Last week all students in Years 7-11 had an assembly about our ‘Books for Africa’ project, which was followed up by mufti days throughout this week. The goal is to be able to donate a huge number of old textbooks (that we no longer use due to GCSE and A Level changes) for the charity, and raise enough money to enable them to be shipped to countries across Africa, to enable young people to gain an education (something that we all too often take for granted here in the UK). A huge thank you goes to staff and students for supporting this – you will make a real difference. A special thank you goes to Ms Birchnall who organised everything.
Here’s a bit of information on the charity…
‘Books for Africa’ is a simple name for an charity organisation with a simple mission. They collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to students of all ages across Africa. Their goal is to end the book famine in Africa. ‘Books For Africa’ remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 42 million books to all 55 countries on the African continent since 1988. In 2018 alone, ‘Books For Africa’ shipped 2.3 million books, and 123 computers and e-readers containing 283,000 digital books, to 29 African countries. More than £2.2 million was raised last year to ship these books to the students of Africa.
Thursday evening saw our Duke of Edinburgh celebration event. This was a lovely evening for staff, students and parents to get together to recognise everything the 2017-18 DofE cohort achieved.
35 students successfully achieved their Bronze Award. The Bronze DofE programme has 4 sections – Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. The students had to do a minimum of 3 months activity for each of the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections, and plan, train for and do a 2-day (1 night) expedition (plus a practice expedition). As the students recall – the weather was very challenging on the expedition! We were so proud of everything these students achieved last year.
We also had four students who completed their Silver Award. Much like the Bronze Award, there are the same four sections. However, this time the students need to do at least 6-months Volunteering and a minimum of 6-months on either Physical or Skills and 3-months on the other. The Expedition section this time involved completing a 3-day (2-night) expedition (plus a practice expedition).
I would particularly like to thank the staff involved for all their hard work, including giving up multiple weekends, to ensure this opportunity could go ahead.
Our Post-16 Business Studies students, as part of their coursework, are required to plan, cost and run a trip. This year the students decided to undertake market research on the tours provided at Wembley Stadium, in order to analyse customer satisfaction and how it might be improved. The students, accompanied by Mr Hughes and Mrs Littler, headed off early on a Saturday morning for London. The trip included a full tour of Wembley Stadium, a visit to the Wembley Learning Zone and finally a shopping trip in the afternoon. The students organised this entirely by themselves. We all think they did a great job – well done. A big thank you also goes to Mr Hughes and Mrs Littler for supporting.
This week Year 10 students took part in the Art trip to St Ives. It was a great success, with our students being able to benefit from visiting the newly extended Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum. On the whole, spirits were high despite some episodes of extreme weather and our students were a credit to the school. A huge thank you goes to the staff that organised and supported the trip.
Our MFL department are busy organising a programme of trips for the coming months. The Years 8-10 trip to the Christmas Markets in Aachen is now just a few weeks away. For those involved, don’t forget the parents’ meeting on 16 November at 4.30pm.
We have had 81 Year 7 students sign up for the Normandy trip in February. Additionally we will shortly be advertising for Year 10 students to apply to be Language Leaders and support this trip. Interested students should see Mr Downes.
This week we received the latest round of letters from our pen-friends at the Kaspar-Zeuß Gymnasium in Kronach, Bavaria in SE Germany. As always, the letters’ arrival, along with film and book posters and bookmarks created a real buzz. Students in 9Y1 will be writing back about their current topic – ‘daily routine’ – the German students will be surprised how late we can stay in bed in the morning, as their school starts much earlier than Plymstock.
Our Year 9 football team competed in the first round of the Plymouth Schools Cup competition this week. The achieved a very hard fought 6-4 win over Stoke Damerel Community College. Having played SDCC in the competition in the last two years, and with both matches going to penalties, it promised to be a close encounter. The Plymstock team showed great resilience and character coming from a goal behind on several occasions, and with the game tightly poised at 4-4 with just five minutes remaining, the team got their reward. A thunderbolt of a volley from Sam W led to wild celebrations from the players (and the manager, Mr Farrant, alike), before a late Noel R header completed the victory. A special mention goes to Charlie C for a perfect hat-trick and Goalkeeper Lloyd for a faultless game. A huge well done to the team. Bring on to the next round…..
Our Year 11 football team also deserve a big well done. They have just reached the 3rd round of the ESFA Cup, with a 3-1 victory away at Hele’s School. Our goal scorers were Luka P (scoring 2) and Lewis A. The team will now face Callington Community College in the next round here at Plymstock.
I have a series of updates from the world of Judo!
Max in Year 12, as part of the British Junior Squad has been training in Japan at many of the leading centres, including the world-wide home of Judo ‘The Kodokan’.
In Year 10 Cordelia recently took gold at the Welsh Open in the Junior category, and then fought in the Senior category taking a silver medal. She is now the Number 1 ranked player in the UK at Junior level, and has a Top 10 ranking in the Seniors. An amazing achievement
In the Plymstock School Judo Club, Year 7 student Bogdan fought at the Western Area School Championships and took Gold. Ellie in Year 9 also represented the school and took Bronze. In fact Ellie has just returned after having had almost a two year lay off from Judo due to injury.
Prior to that, Year 9 student Jessica took Gold at the Truro Open. Jessica who has only been doing Judo since May, beat a girl who was three grade belts higher (that girl also recently took silver at the British Championships).
Well done everyone – some really impressive achievements.
We end this week’s blog with some great students of the week. Our winners are:
- Zack B for a blistering performance in a recent rugby tournament, resulting in being awarded ‘Man of the Match’. Despite sustaining an injury in the tournament, he didn’t miss school!
- Ethan B for the exceptional kindness and support he has shown to a new student joining Plymstock. Moving schools is never easy, but with students like Ethan around making people feel welcome, it really helps.
- Sajed A-L in recognition of his hard work, positive attitude and outstanding creative writing that has hugely impressed Mr Nicholls.
- Lily-Mae S for for producing some excellent revision resources (including a detailed timeline of events in the Cold War) over half term. Her extensive timeline (as shown below) is being valued and used by her and others, in History lessons.