Welcome back to start the start of the new academic year. I hope you all had a great summer and are now ready for an exciting year ahead.
This week saw our students return with big smiles on their faces, glad to be up bright and early once again. Of course, it was a really big week for the newest members of the Plymstock family – our Year 7 students. As you know, due to the popularity of our school we increased our intake into Year 7, rising from 260 to 300. This new group of fantastic students have been amazing and have already started to fully embrace life at Plymstock School. We wish all our students the very best for the year ahead.
I would like to congratulate our Year 11 students on their outstanding GCSE results. This year is perhaps the biggest shift in the examination system for decades, with virtually all subject areas moving to the new 9-1 qualifications. These exams are far harder than any of the GCSEs of the past. However, despite the significant increase in challenge, we are delighted to report that our results are once again excellent.
Our preliminary results analysis indicates that our headline measures are likely to be well above national averages, just as in 2017. This achievement is a real testament to the team effort between students, staff and parents. We are also over the moon to see that a significant number of our students managed to achieve grade 9s across a wide variety of subject areas – a grade that few students in the country will achieve. The new grade 9 is actually higher than an old A*.
Impressively one of our students achieved something very rare – grade 9s in every single subject. Year 11 student, Daisie Pulley achieved straight grade 9s in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, German, History, Art and a double 9 in Science. This amazing feat was only been achieved by 0.1% of students in the country this summer (approx 700 students out of a national cohort of nearly 550,000). There have been many other exceptional individual performances. Some highlights are: Martha Reeves with three grades 9s, three 8s and three 7s, Tobi Chapman with two grade 9s, three grade 8s and 3 grade 7s, Lucy Pitt with four grade 9s, two grade 8s and two grade 7s, Katy Christopher with three grade 9s, two grade 8s, one grade 7 and one grade 6 and Elizabeth Ho with five 8s, two 6s and one A*, to name but a few (I could go on and on listing!).
Marcus Merrell-Jones was the student in the year group who made the greatest progress of all. However, huge numbers of other students made incredible levels of progress including Phoebe Showler, Zara Luxford, Jake Conibeer, Ella Warwick, Billy Clarke, George Piper and Georgia Booth. Again, I could carry on listing for ages.
We are so proud of our wonderful Year 11 cohort – they really did amazing.
We are also over the moon with the success of our A Level students. A Levels have also undergone unprecedented change with brand new extremely challenging examinations. We are so proud to see that our students’ hard work has payed off.
We are thrilled to see that a significant number of the grades awarded this year to our students ranged from A*-B. Whilst our overall pass rate was nearly 100%, our top performers did exceptionally well. Some highlights include (with their A2 grades in brackets): Tom Webb (2 A*s and 2 A Grades), Caitlin Hamon (4 A Grades), Lois Teasdale (2 A*s and 1 A Grade), Niamh Shalliker (1 A* and 3 A Grades), Sophie Anderson (1 A* and 2 A Grades) and Adam Rigler (3 A grades) to name but a few.
It is really pleasing that so many students gained university places to study a diverse range of subjects such as History at York, Computer Science at Cardiff, Architecture at Liverpool, French & German at Cardiff, Physiotherapy at Bournemouth, Mathematics at Leeds and Astrophysics ay Aberystwyth.
We are particularly delighted that after all of her hard work Caitlin Hamon, is heading off to the University of Sussex to study Medicine and become a Doctor! This is an incredible achievement and we know she will be a huge asset to the medical profession.
I would like to offer a huge thank you to all the staff here at Plymstock, along with all the parents who supported at home, for their hard work and commitment to ensuring that our young people achieved such strong outcomes at both GCSE and A Level.
On Saturday 28 July we said goodbye to 13 students, Mr Steward and Mr Russell, as they departed from Plymouth Coach Station on the long journey to start their exciting, month-long adventure, in Peru. The experience was run in conjunction with Camps International, and we were partnered with staff and 12 students from Devizes School in Wiltshire.
After nearly 30 hours of travelling the group (nicknamed ‘Team Vicus’) arrived in Arequipa, Peru to spend their first night in a hostel (luxury compared to what they would be sleeping in over the coming weeks!) From that point on the real adventure started. Over the four weeks the students took part in projects such as helping build classrooms, constructing and refurbishing community buildings, as well as improving local amenities. They met local people, tried exotic foods and even experienced traditional Peruvian dancing! A big part of the experience was the trekking, including the long final trek to see one of the wonders of the world – Machu Picchu. There’s little I can say in this blog to do this expedition justice, so below is a number of photos that hopefully give you a sense of what a life changing experience it was for the students, and of course the staff.
I will end by saying an enormous thank you to Mr Steward and Mr Russell for giving up their summer holiday to enable our students to have this opportunity. The students were amazing from start to finish – so I would also like to thank them too (along with their parents for the support in the background). My final thanks goes to Camps International who provided the programme, and to the staff and students at Devizes School who are now firm friends.
Finally, I have just been informed of some great news. I am delighted to say that Mrs Johns from our Science department has just given birth to a baby boy. Rhys William Johns was born weighing 8lb 6oz. Mrs Johns is back home with Rhys and her husband enjoying parenthood. Huge congratulations.