Welcome to this week’s Plymstock School blog, our fifth one as a virtual school. As we move and readjust to a new routine there are some amazing stories again this week of our virtual community supporting each other. We hope you enjoy reading about the work our wonderful young people are completing through distance learning with our staff.
Once again, I’d just like to wish you as normal a weekend as it’s possible, to have in these strangest of times.
Take care and stay safe
Design and Technology Homework leads to an idea for charitable community enterprise
The work of two students in Year 7 is shown here. Miss Stevenson selected them for a special mention this week
“The work of Aimee and Ella has been incredible; they were set a task to create a rainbow out of different coloured foods. The girls have made their rainbows from different fruit, taken pictures and made these into key rings to sell for a donation to charity.”
“I’ve had two members of staff come to me after I had posted through Facebook some things my daughters have done for their community. Ella in Year 7 had DT homework to create a rainbow, & lots of people commented how it would look lovely on a canvas or in a frame. Aimee also in Year 7 wasn’t set the homework by her teacher but loved artistic things so wanted to create a rainbow too! They looked great and after talking with Aimee and Ella they came up with keyrings !”
Ella said a lot of people are helping the NHS at the minute ( rightly so too!!) but something that we all feel strongly about as an old school friend of mine has landed in this position and has been for years – the homeless. The girls are familiar with him and always offer food or a drink when we see him. So the Shekinah Mission Plymouth seemed the right people to help. https://www.shekinah.co.uk/
£50 raised so far. I hadn’t realised minimum donations were £5 which is a lot for many so I’ve offered people to group together… we have over 60 left !”
Mum has given the School permission to share the image of her social media page where people in the local community can support the girl’s enterprising charity work with the supervision of their family.
They have in addition been nominated as students of the week for their hard work and endeavour. An outstanding effort, well done girls. Your empathy and understanding is simply superb and we wish you every success with your fund raising work.
Ex Plymstock School Student – Post University Update
Kate is an ex-Plymstock School who was taught A level Photography by both Miss Clarke and Mr Hurd-Thomas four years ago. The work she did then continued to resonate over the three years of her degree course and this is where it has led her. She has kindly through Mr Hurd-Thomas made the following contribution to this week’s blog. It is always lovely to hear from our past students and be able to share where they have gone next.
About the work she said :
I hope you are keeping safe and well.
Last year, I sent you a copy of Ink, which had my poem, and two cherry blossom photographs printed inside. I also mentioned in the letter that I would be undertaking a dissertation project about cherry blossoms, in the form of an artist book.
In the past week, I have received two finished leather-bound copies of said dissertation. 30+ pages of my own poetry, alongside my a-level photographs, printed on cherry blossom petal paper sourced from a paper mill in Somerset, and finally sent to Cullompton to be bound. I also had to write a 3,000-word essay about it, which was printed separately. Sadly our submission changed to electronic-only because of lockdown, so my supervisor won’t actually get to hold the physical book when she marks it (though I’ve painstakingly scanned in every page for her to see on her computer), but this does mean I get to keep both copies for myself! It is so exciting to see your own work in a proper hardback book.
Just wanted to let you know how far that project on ’Translucence’ has come after 3 years, and where those photographs have ended up.
The last chapter of poetry is generally comparing the cherry blossom to my psoriasis but I did open it with a poem establishing my pre-existing connections to the tree. So I thought I’d pick that poem for you to share, which is about finding inspiration for the photography project – when I ‘claimed’ the cherry blossom.
All work and no play! Our students’ messages from lockdown
Working and Learning at home
Reading – Book review
Ms Burgess has nominated Imogen for student of the week for this book review; we have more reviews that Miss Hogben is compiling. Ms Burgess said, “Imogen is an avid reader who kindly shared some of her lockdown reading favourites so others could enjoy them too”
Imogen’s review is pictured below and was part of additional work Imogen completed for Ms Burgess reviewing “The Beautiful Creatures”, the series has 4 books called “Beautiful Creatures”, “Beautiful Darkness”, “Beautiful Chaos” and “Beautiful Redemption”. It is set in the town of Gatlin in South Carolina.
As she finished a whole series in lockdown, Imogen thought she would do a review of the whole series, as she liked it so much.
We hope you will give the books a go having read Imogen’s detailed and skilled review.
We love this awesome photograph sent from Finlay in Year 7 who is keeping fit by riding his mountain bike and completing the PE department challenges each week.
Our staff like our students have been trying to fit in some important time around the pressures of work and family to help take their mind off the current situation. Mrs De Mora has taken to gardening and has shared this picture of her greenhouse with you. She’s currently growing grapes, peas, tomatoes, squash, herbs, courgettes, carrots, aubergine, flowers and blackberries to name a few!
We would love to hear from any students who are growing seeds too.
Thank you to Mrs Kirk for the photographs she has contributed from her daily walks this week that have featured throughout the blog. This was on our walk on Sunday near Bovisand. In addition, Cynthia Stokes has sent in some photographs she took on one glorious evening down in Radford Park.
Isaac in Miss Grainger’s English group decided to write a poem about home learning for his distance learning task last week. In addition, he wrote a book review about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, one of his favourites. Both Miss Grainger and Mrs Whitehead who supports Isaac were impressed with both the quality of his poem and this heart felt piece.
Mrs Whitehead said, “His mum mentioned Isaac enjoyed doing this homework task so much and he really focused and used his imagination. I hope these pieces of work make you smile as they did me.”
The staff and Isaac’s mum are so proud of how hard he has worked since the school closed on Friday 20 March. Like many students he has naturally struggled with anxiety and in understanding how to do some of the school work tasks set on SMHW but he has persevered and kept on trying every single day and he has completed every piece of work that has been set (72 pieces of work so far).
We really hope you enjoy Isaac’s work as much as we did, we know this is not easy and lockdown is naturally creating anxiety for all of us. Our routines have been disrupted and one way of helping, is to build new routines around life in home. All our students, supported by parents, are doing a tremendous job and support is available from staff when needed.
We can all relate with Isaac’s statement: “a poem about home learning, I miss school, home learning is hard”. I know that we are all in agreement with this: students, teachers, parents and carers. What we all like about school is the interaction, the fun, to be with our friends
and learn about new ideas, concepts and of course pursue the subjects we have a passion about.
Well done Isaac, a very worthy Year 9 student of the week.
Every week Ms Birchnall sets a voluntary quick, easy science experiment for her classes and Lab Rats club. Students who complete it often send in photos or videos of the results. Last week Will in Year 8 sent in a great video of dyed water being sucked up into a glass by a candle as the oxygen was used up.
This week Abi and Katie in Year 10 did an experiment to show the difference in air temperature in a bottle. The worked together via FaceTime and sent in this picture of their squashed bottles. In Year 8 Ocean’s squashed bottle photo makes it very clear to see the effect that the difference in temperature made.
Olivia has received a nomination this week for student of the week by Mrs Tyrell for being extremely committed to the Healthy ME challenges and in addition has been rowing, running and practicing her netball shooting. She completed the 5k in less than half an hour, rowed 6.8k on a rowing machine at home and completed the challenge of 100 shots in Netball in just under 7mins. We are very proud of her motivation, determination and resilience.
Art completed at home
This week’s gallery contributions submitted to Mr Hurd-Thomas come from:
Charlie Y12, Mia Y8, Isabelle Y7, Macy Y11, Ben Y10 and Isabelle Y7
Ms Wakeham was sent the following work from two students in Year 11.
She said, “The Art department encouraged our GCSE students to carry on and sit their exam at home. The following work is fantastic and I am delighted both students have shared it with us. Both Harry and Kasper have been nominated as students of the week.
Kasper did a digital piece about odd things that he imagines to be on the sea floor. It was influenced by the Surrealists. His exam title was ‘Out of the Ordinary’.
Harry, who is also a talented drum player, produced a dynamic final piece in response to the question, ‘Rhythm’. He studied the work of Gjon Mili, Eadweard Muybridge, Kandinsky and Jackson Pollock. After much research into the emotional power of different colours and experimentation into how he could visualise his responses to rhyme, Harry chose to drum out the rhythm of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ but with paint laden brushes! He took the work a stage further by adding a relief drawing of his drumming movements over the top in coloured electrical wire.
The result is fantastic! I have included a couple of his development pieces, as they are so interesting.
Wonderful work, thank you to all involved.”
Year 9 lock down art
Year 9 have been studying the work of the Italian painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo who painted portraits made up of fruit and veg. Students were asked to copy one of the portraits using any real fruit and veg that they could find at home.
Kyle has received a nomination as student of the week for his piece and here are a few of my favourite pieces from Kianna, Mel and Henry. A huge well done to all my students for all the work that they have completed.
Have been looking at artists such as William Morris who were influenced by patterns in nature. This week they were asked to form patterns of their own out of anything they could find at home. Here are a few of the results. I particularly like Louise’s earbud pattern!
The worked pictured is by Louise, Matt and Niamh
Next week Ms Wakeham will be sending in some of their isolation portraits….
And finally, Ms Wakeham has nominated Sophie in Year 7 as a student of the week for her wonderful drawing. Year 7 have been researching the Staffordshire Pew Figures that were made in the 1740’s. They would have made their own 2020’s Plymstock Pew figures out of clay at school; but they are going to try some alternative ideas at home (watch this space). Sophie’s drawing is to show what her idea will be.
Well done everyone, it is fantastic work and a great effort.
Design and Technology
Mrs Worley has been impressed with some work submitted by Lara, a Year 7 student, this week. She produced some amazing baking worthy of Bake Off, and a very detailed food hygiene poster, which was an optional extra from this week’s food hygiene lesson. I have attached the slide showing the poster, and her cooking creations
The Design and Technology department want to thank a huge thank you to all their students, parents and carers supporting their children with distance learning. The department have had an amazing response from all the students across the school. We have been sent pictures of cakes, pizza, bread, bike stands and birdhouses.
Several students have received nominations for student of the week from Miss Pring and her team in D&T (there was so much amazing work this week) that deserve a mention. They are listed in the student of the week section below.
Please find some great examples of work in French, with creativity and pride !
”This is my finished comic strip. I hope you like it.” Jessica 8x Fr Holne
My opinion about French music, by Jack , 8x Bern
Humanities Special mentions
Mrs Wilkins has asked for the following students to have a special mention in the Blog this week.
I have been especially impressed with the work of the following students:
Ella – Y7 – History
Evie – Y8 – History
Danny – Y8 – EPiC
Izzy – Y9 – EPiC
Hiran – Y10 – History
I would like to praise the following students for their continued effort & determination to succeed:
Kacper – Y7 – History
Jessie – Y8 – EPiC
Louise – Y8 – History
Louis – Y10 – History
Well done everyone for his or her hard work and resilience.
Students of the week
All our winners have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”
Our winners include:
In Year 7
Mr Campbell has nominated Finley for his commitment to keeping fit each week by riding his mountain bike and completing the PE department challenges each week.
Miss Stevenson has nominated the work of Aimee and Ella mentioned above in the D&T section. The girls have made their rainbows from different fruit, taken pictures and made these into key rings to sell for a donation to charity.”
Mrs Worley has nominated Lara for some amazing baking worthy of Bake Off, and a very detailed food hygiene poster. Featured in the D&T section above.
Ms Wakeham has nominated Sophie in Year 7 for her wonderful drawing based on Staffordshire Pew Figures that were made in the 1740’s.
Miss Pring has nominated Kiana-Jade for submitting every piece of work set since lockdown and generally being extremely studious. Fantastic Endeavour Kiana-Jade, well done, you should be very proud of your efforts.
In Year 8
Year 8s who have completed some high quality work for French.
Zack. Sam, Isaac, Olivia, Victoria, Evie, Soraya, Charlotte, Erin
Mrs Tyrell has nominated Olivia in 8MKT for student of the week. She is extremely committed to the Healthy ME challenges and in addition has been rowing, running and practicing her netball shooting. She completed the 5k in less than half an hour, rowed 6.8k on a rowing machine at home and completed the challenge of 100 shots in Netball in just under 7mins. We are very proud of her motivation, determination and resilience.
Mr Watteau has nominated Jessica for her comic strip and Jack for his piece of work on ‘My opinion about French music’ as great examples of work in French, showing both creativity and pride, featured in the French section above.
Miss Pring has nominated the following students in Year 9 for their D&T work:
Sam for amazing work produced, always detailed and more often than not, he completes the optional tasks too.
Keenan although he has not studied food at school he has sent me some of the pictures of things he has made by himself. He made some drop scones and sent me the photos, he was very proud of them and it has inspired him to move onto greater things.
In Year 9
Ms Wakeham has nominated Kyle for his portraits using any real fruit and veg that they could find at home piece based on the work of the Italian painter, Giuseppe Arcimboldo who painted portraits of made up of fruit and veg.
Miss Grainger and Mrs Whitehead have nominated Isaac for his distance learning work on Harry Potter and poem on lockdown, featured above. In addition, both Isaac’s parents are key workers and he has been working from home on his own – he has made a swiss roll and macaroni cheese for mum when she has returned from work. The Year 9 team and teachers who work with Isaac are so impressed by the way he had adapted to the new working from home. He has managed all the work set and shown great resilience and determination to get things done. A fantastic effort Isaac, we are all very proud of you.
Mrs Summers has nominated Megan. She is working very hard, completing extra maths and doing lots of baking too. She has even asked for more maths so mum has ordered some books from Amazon and asked Mr Johnson and he sent some work too. Well done Megan for being so hard working and resilient.
Miss Pring has nominated the following students in Year 9 for their D&T work:
Ellie for her improved effort and focus on work submitted. In addition, she has been awarded a merit in D&T for her resilience.
Spencer for simply amazing work, consistently good quality and 110% effort. Well done Spencer.
In Year 10
Ms Birchnall has nominated Abi as she worked hard on understanding a new GCSE scientific concept that she was struggling with and requested additional resources and help, showing excellent resilience and perseverance. Abi is featured in the Science article above.
Mrs Whitehead and Mrs Reeves nominated Louis. He has worked brilliantly handing in all of his distance learning way before the deadline is due. His resilience has been fantastic and the work he has produced has been to a standard above his target level. They are both extremely proud of Louis.
Miss Pring has nominated Jack for handing in every piece of BTEC work set and on time. He has been working tirelessly and his efforts are really starting to pay off. He has really impressed Miss Pring with his approach to distance learning.
In Year 11
Ms Wakeham has nominated Kasper and Henry for carrying on and completing their GCSE Art exam practical that they would have sat. Both students have produced work which is amazing and featured above. Well done to both students.
Careers Insight – April 2020
Careers Insight #CrisisCareersHeroes
Each week we will be focusing on the amazing work that is going on around us!
This week we will focus on the workers who are looking after us.
See the picture below
If you are a naturally caring person and enjoy working closely with other people, then a career in nursing could be for you.
Nurses are a very valuable part of our society and working in the industry can be very rewarding.
For more information, also check out:
When you think of adult social care, you probably imagine a care assistant working with an older person.
However, while this is a important job within social care, it’s just the tip of the iceberg!
For more information, try this link:
The Careers Team
Challenge Week Refunds Update
The finance team have been continuing the complex refunds process for the Challenge Week trips.
The following trips and activities have now been refunded:
• Horse Care
• Trains, Planes & Automobiles
• Day trips
• Paignton Zoo
• Isles of Scilly
• Year 7 Community Cohesion Week
Please note that if your child was on one of these trips, and the money paid has not now arrived back to the original payment source, you will need to log in to Parent Pay and accept the refund to complete the process.
Update for the remaining trips – PGL, France, Watersports & Cornwall
We have received updated guidance from our Multi-Academy Trust regarding any trips taking place after 21 June 2020 where payments have been made to the trip providers. At present, government guidelines confirm that only trips up to 21 June are cancelled. We fully expect the government will move this date into July soon which will enable us to confirm cancellation of our trips officially and refund all payments to parents. As soon as we receive this confirmation, the refunds will be made via Parent Pay.
We all appreciate your continued understanding and your patience. I will continue to keep you updated.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Forthcoming Events and important announcement
We continue to update parents with direct messages through our MyEd messaging service, To support the volume of updates as requested by parents only a limited number of key important messages will be sent home each week.
Please do check our Plymstock School Newsfeed for all our latest updates and messages.
Information about Distance Learning can be found here:
Information on Mental Health and Well being can be found here:
and specific information related to COVID-19 on our distance learning page below the Newsfeed banner