Following the successful visit to Plymouth of our French partners back in March, late last term saw the return visit of 19 Year 10 students and three staff from Plymstock School, to Brest in the west of Brittany, as part of our collaborative work on the European Erasmus+ project ‘Maritime Citizens of the Future’. The focus of the project has been to enable young people from Plymouth and our twin city of Brest to explore how living in a maritime city affects lives and shapes future opportunities.
This year’s theme for the project has been Maritime Jobs and, as part of the project, Plymstock students prepared a series of presentations in French about the job opportunities that are available due to Plymouth’s location by the sea and its importance as a naval and commercial sea port.
On the evening of 13 May, the group met at Plymouth ferry port to embark on a true adventure, the likes of which has not been seen at Plymstock in many years. There were clearly nerves amongst the students at the prospect of spending five nights as temporary members of French families, and tears from parents saying good bye to their children and sending them into unknown territory for the first time.
During the week of the visit, students experienced a wide range of visits and activities, including a visit to the French naval base in Brest (a tour of an active warship was greatly appreciated by both students and staff alike), a morning spent shadowing their French partners in lessons including French, English, History and Economics at the Lycée de l’Iroise, visits to the Océanopolis aquarium, the French naval museum and a ride on a cable car linking the eastern and western parts of the city. Students also delivered their presentations to our French partners on the Thursday morning.
In the evenings, students were able to experience what it is like to be a young person in France today and they were able to participate in a range of social and sporting activities, as well as sample the delights of home cooked French meals. To cap off the whole experience, every student was able to use the French they have learnt in school in real-life situations.
At the end of the week, goodbyes were said to exchange partners who, in the main, have become true friends. This programme represents a really exciting opportunity and will continue to take place in years to come. The opportunity to forge links with the Lycée de l’Iroise that the Erasmus+ project has provided is something we intend to nurture and grow in the future, to enable many more Plymstock students to experience the thrill of following in the footsteps of these 19 pioneering students in 2018.
Daniel: “The French exchange was a great experience to test and advance my French skills”
Georgia: “It was an amazing opportunity to show us the differences between our nationalities”
Natalie: “It was an amazing opportunity to practise our French”
Emma: “I found the French exchange an amazing opportunity to go to France and learn the language and also about their culture, while staying with a French family”
A huge thank you to the staff and parents who supported this opportunity.
It has been a busy few weeks for our Duke of Edinburgh students, as the expedition season is now in full swing. It kicked off with pre-expedition training where almost 50 students spent a day working through a series of workshops such as first aid, navigation, route planning, meal planning and camp craft. This was to help prepare them for their impending expeditions.
The first of those expeditions was the Bronze Practice and for once, the weather was on our side. The students started at Jennycliff on the Saturday and then walked the beautiful coastal paths through to Brixton, where they camped overnight. On the Sunday, the students walked a slightly different route to return to Oreston Quay. They were completely self-sufficient throughout the weekend which is always a really empowering feeling, carrying everything they needed on their backs. The students showed fantastic character and Mrs Tyrrell is very much looking forward to the Qualifier Expedition in a couple of weeks time.
In addition, last weekend our first Silver D of E group completed their practice expedition too. This was on Dartmoor, so slightly tougher terrain and unfortunately with much harsher weather conditions! The girls started at Bellever Woods on the Friday and finished at Haytor on Sunday afternoon. They were amazing! They demonstrated exceptional motivation, resilience and camaraderie. I hope they have recovered as they will be out again this weekend on their Qualifier Expedition.
Thank you to all the staff that give up their time to enable these expeditions to happen and good luck to all the DofE participants for their upcoming expeditions.
A group of our Year 9 students have been involved in a project called Beyond the Baseline, run by the Youth Sport Trust and the Tennis Foundation. Their mentor from the project, Jessica Weeks, has run three sessions with the group focusing on skills such as teamwork and communication, personal skills (including building resilience and motivation), and thinking/creative skills. All achieved through tennis. The final session involved the Year 9 students coaching primary-aged students. This took place just before half term with a Year 5 class from Dunstone. Our students were initially a bit nervous, but soon fully embraced coaching the experience. Lots of fun was had by all. A big well done to the students and a thank you to the staff that supported the event.
Congratulations goes to Sophie in Year 8 who recently competed in the ESF2018 Football Tournament in Bognor Regis, with her Plymouth Aspire Girls FC Team. Sophie is the goalkeeper and conceded just the one goal in the whole tournament! The team were overall winners and were presented with their trophies by Tottenham Hotspur and England legend Teddy Sheringham MBE and Casey Stoney MBE, an equal legend for Arsenal, Liverpool and England women’s teams. Sophie will now compete with the talented team at St George’s park in July for the UK ESF Grand Finale Title. Well done Sophie.
Year 8 students in Mrs Wilkins’ class have been studying the impact of slavery in the British Empire, including the conditions experienced by slaves. They undertook some impressive extended homework, showing their learning and creativity through the display work shown below. Once again they have really impressed their teacher with their willingness to work hard to develop their knowledge and understanding through their preferred styles.
Rebecca in Year 9 recently took part in a parade and service of the Blessing of the Standard in Torpoint. She looked incredibly smart and represented MKC Heroes brilliantly. Keep up the great work.
Just before the half term break we held the Year 13 Final Assembly, to celebrate, what for many students, has been seven years at Plymstock. There was laughter and tears (and a very interesting moustache – mentioning no names Mr Sweet!!). As is tradition, the Year 13 students always do some sort of ‘prank’ on Mr Sprenkel, the Director of Post-16. This year the theme was ‘cups’ and his office was decorated appropriately!
As a school we work closely with the NHS and we’d like to draw your attention to an upcoming event at Derriford Hospital. On Saturday 16 June 2018, between 10am and 2pm, Derriford Hospital, will be welcoming visitors along to an Open Day which has the theme of #NHS70 – the NHS past, present and future.
From early equipment used to test your old lenses and artificial eyes, they will have on show equipment used in healthcare over previous decades. They’ll also be exploring how roles, such as those of nurses and therapists have changed since the NHS first started. Being a Major Trauma Centre, they’ll be able to explain how things like survival rates have changed (and improved!) for patients and why. The #NHS70 Open Day won’t be all looking back. By very popular demand, they’ll once again have a Careers Fair, so those interested in being future NHS staff can find out more about the opportunities available. You can book in advance onto talks by some of their specialist staff groups using the app they have created for the event.
The NHS has also teamed up with our two local universities. The University of Plymouth will be joining them on the day with interactive stands around podiatry and dietetics. They will also be bringing their training ambulance along to the event so visitors can explore how Paramedic Practitioners are trained. Plymouth Marjon University, just across the road from Derriford Hospital, will be opening up their sports centre and health areas to demonstrate activities such as rehabilitation.
Being a military hospital benefiting from the Defence Medical Group South West, Derriford’s military colleagues will be present with a Casualty Sim and a display of RNH Stonehouse amongst other things.
For more information and to book on to events or talks, please download their free app HERE
It’s time to celebrate just a few young people in our student of the week section.
In Year 7, our winner is Isabelle, who has been nominated for her continued positive attitude and high levels of resilience. A great student and a credit to the school.
In Year 8 we have three winners – Sophie, Sarah and Charlie. Firstly, Sophie and Sarah have been amazing mentors and buddies to two new students who started Plymstock this week. They have gone out of their way to help the new students settle brilliantly. Charlie is nominated for showing real strength of character by doing the right thing under very difficult circumstances. Very impressive Charlie.
Leon is our Year 9 winner, to celebrate an exceptional piece of work in English that really impressed his teacher. It showed hard work, perseverance and going the extra mile. Well done Leon.
Finally our Year 10 winner is Sunny, who was recently selected to play at Wembley Stadium for a national football competition. This took place straight after the Exeter-Coventry game. Well done Sunny.