Good to be back
It’s been wonderful to have all our students back, to hear laughter in our classrooms and see them enjoying learning with their teachers.
Schools are vital for long-term health and wellbeing, as well as helping students to achieve qualifications and allowing them to develop as a whole person.
We believe the best way to support our students is through the consistency of our high expectations and standards.
Their behaviour, conduct, attendance, and attitude this week have been first class; it is clear they are trying their very best and we are really proud of them. 97% have attended school and working as hard as they can.
Thank you to the whole Plymstock School community (parents, carers, staff and students) for creating a safe, familiar & welcoming environment together.
A special mention to the newest members of our family, Year 7, you’ve been outstanding; full of energy, happiness and excitement.
We look forward to seeing everyone again next week.
Year 13 Celebration (old Year 12)
This week we wanted to start a celebration of last Year 12, in recognition of their hard work and resilience during the partial school closure. We couldn’t fit this in at the end of the year with our other celebrations and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.
Many of the new Year 13 students had returned to school for some lessons in June during our partial re-opening. However, all students are now back in school and enthusiastic to continue their learning with their teachers – it is lovely to see them all again.
Some of our students have managed to develop some excellent independent study skills during the school closure period, although they are pleased to be back into more normal lessons!
Just before the end of the school year, we asked teachers how students had got on with their distance learning work – teachers were overwhelmingly pleased with the work being completed by the students and special mentions go to:
Jacob B, Edward B, Lauren B, Tabitha B, Maddie C, Emma C, Summer D, Tom D, Alex D, Emma F, Zoe G, Grace M-C, Michelle M, Daniel P, Daniel R, Shannalea R, Aliya S, Jacob S, Natalie S, Katie S, Holly T, Isaac V, Edith W and George W
The Sixth Form team will be celebrating their successes with them soon.
Plymstock School Alumni News
“One Month in Tohoku: An Englishwoman’s Memoir on Life after the Japanese Tsunami”.
We were delighted to be contacted by one of our ex-students this week, Caroline Pover who has a new book out 31 August 2020, “One Month in Tohoku: An Englishwoman’s Memoir on Life after the Japanese Tsunami”. She said, “I am thrilled to today announce the official release of my fifth book, and first memoir which mentions Plymstock School on a number of occasions.
Caroline, a former pupil (Head Girl 1989-90), has visited the school many times over the years to give talks on entrepreneurship or living in Japan (where she lived for fifteen years). The last time she visited the school was to collect relief supplies following the tsunami in 2011.
“You can read more about the book at http://www.carolinepover.info/one-month-in-tohoku/ but I wanted to drop you a personal message about it because you got a mention in the book, and I wanted you to know that almost ten years after the disaster, your support is still not forgotten.
If you get a chance to read the book, I do hope you enjoy it, and thank you again.”
Caroline has continued to stay in contact with the school over the years, returning to give up her time to talk to our students about her life, work and adventures. Caroline’s full biography can be found on her website here: https://www.carolinepover.info/ it is inspirational and we wish Caroline every success with her next book.
Caroline has kindly written the summary below and I hope when it’s safe to do so, to invite Caroline back to help inspire another generation of Plymstock School students to believe in themselves, work hard and follow their dreams.
This week has all been about promoting our Plymtsock School culture and values of: Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”.
We hope Caroline will be an inspiration to lots of our current students as they return to school.
Plymstock School – Our objective is simply to be a world-class learning community that enables all young people to succeed both now and later in life.
Welcome back from the Heads of Year 10 and 11
Mr Wyatt noted ‘ After a long lockdown and summer, who knew what to expect on returning to school? The pandemic is still a lurking menace, and yet Year 10 have come back with a degree of maturity and purpose that does them great credit. The new rules around preventing the spread of Covid 19 have made school an even more restrictive environment than usual, and yet the behaviour and attitude of my year group has been unimpeachable. As I often say, it takes an ill wind to blow nobody any good: ie, even in the worst situations there is good that comes through.
Thank you for a brilliant restart, Year 10!
Ms Harris commented ‘We were delighted to welcome Year 11 back this week. They have adapted remarkably well to our Covid Safe provisions and have settled back into their learning with real Plymstock Spirit. The atmosphere in their lessons has been calm, purposeful and focused. They have shown remarkable support and kindness to their peers as they’ve been reunited this week. We were proud of the way they adapted during lockdown but we are even more proud of the way they have bounced back this term.
Well done Year 11 – we missed you and we’re so excited to see you all shine during this academic year!
An amazing start from both Year groups. Please find on our website the ‘welcome back message’ from Mr Taylor Assistant Headteacher and Director of Learning which was shown on the first day.
Skydive for St Lukes
On Sunday Holly and Kate from year 12, are participating in a charity skydive to raise money for St Lukes’ Hospice. They are hoping to raise as much as they can for this cause and would appreciate any donations towards their skydive to support this charity and the amazing work they do.
Should you wish to support them the link to their fund page is here
Really impressive and clearly, they have a head for heights. We are looking forward to seeing the photos of the dive. We thank them for all they have done to fund raise for this important local charity.
RAFA (The RAF Association) bike ride
On Saturday, Nathan and Owen (plus ex-student Alex) will be undertaking a 70-mile bike ride for the RAFA (The RAF Association).
The RAFA provide support to veterans, service personnel, and their families during difficult times.
Their just giving page is:
Above and Beyond!
Virtual Work Experiences/course
Although the usual Year 12 Work Experience week didn’t take place in July, the following students all participated in a range of Virtual Work Experiences/courses ranging from forensic psychology, business, law, mathematics, sport, primary education, Global Warming, psychology, cyber security, medicine and communication skills. It is fantastic to see so many of them being proactive to get work experience and develop their skillset during lockdown.
Dan, Jack, Emma, Isaac, Charlotte, Grace, Edith, Josh, Lauren, Natalie, Ryan, Dan, Ruth, Tabitha, Zoe, Jacob, Emma, Alexa, Eva, Ed, Maddie and Leo.
In addition, well done to Daylon who applied and was accepted onto the Sutton Trust Virtual Summer School which saw him undertake a weeklong programme with the Sutton School Trust.
Well done to all these students for finding a way to continue their personal development despite the challenges of the times. It’s an important part of our school that we prepare students for the working world. Education is more than just qualifications and they are to be congratulated on their endeavour and resilience.
Out and around the school
To continue to deliver on our promise of high-quality teaching throughout the pandemic, teachers at Plymstock School have been using Visualisers within their lessons. The Visualiser is essentially a desktop camera which will live stream straight to the teacher’s computer or project onto the board.
This device enables teachers to model work alongside students, scaffold tasks where extra support is needed, and even allows students to share their work with the class, all whilst maintaining a safe social distance.
This is yet another strategy Plymstock School have adopted to reduce the impact the pandemic has on pupil learning.
Here’s Mr Leal and Miss Easton in action.
At Plymstock School we recognise the vital role that sport and physical activity play in ensuring physical and mental wellbeing and therefore believe that access to quality PE lessons is crucial, now more so than ever.
The Active lives survey conducted by Sport England has given us strong evidence that active children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others, as well as having increased concentration levels and better behaviour.
During these uncertain times it is key to continue to develop positive relationships with sport and physical activity.
Our students have been fantastic in PE this week, enthusiastic and energetic.
The PE department have adapted 4 sports using national guidance to allow COVID-SAFE participation. Mrs Tyrell explains:
“Our first priority is to ensure students’ safety, so we have completed extensive risk assessments in order to provide the necessary mitigations to enable physical activity to resume. Students in all year groups will be following a carousal of four carefully chosen activities: Football, Netball, Hockey and Table Tennis. These are activities where our staff have particular strengths and experience, and each have a National Governing Body (NGB) who have developed guidance which has been approved by the government. Our updated risks assessments mirror those advised by the NGBs. In addition, there will be strict protocols in place related to sanitising hands and equipment, before, during and after lessons.”
Some of the activities are pictured below.
As usual I found the ever resourceful and energic Mrs Slade busy with her group, pictured below. Today Year 11 were welcomed back with a little bit of the legendary Robin Williams.
Whilst looking at a clip of the film and listening to “a wonderful world” the students were challenged to reflect upon the topic of good and evil. We will be exploring what we mean when we talk about good and evil. This will lead us onto discussing religious and philosophical teaching, beliefs and attitudes to crime, punishment and forgiveness.
We will explore what “good” really is and what makes an act wrong, do we have free will and does our conscience play a role in moral decision making?? What are the ethics surrounding the death penalty? arguments and debates will be enjoyed on this controversial topic that will lead us into the theological debate on forgiveness and is belief in God challenged by the existence of evil?…………..
Relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education
RSE Lessons for Year 10 and Year 11
As you may have read in the media, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will be compulsory for all secondary school students from Summer 2021. This week we have launched our new RSE programme for Years 10 and 11 which will build on RSE topics already delivered in Life Education at Key Stage 3 and contribute to our wider approach to developing the ‘whole person’ at Plymstock School.
Students will start by looking at ‘Transitions and Coping with Change’ which is part of our wider ‘Recovery Curriculum’ to support our students in their return to school.
Pictured below is Mrs Dover who leads this important area of the curriculum teaching within the science curriculum. I was very impressed by the level of discussion, enthusiasm and engagement.
The new build – Up, up and away!
Our building work has recommenced on site and the pictures show our new classrooms today receiving their flooring.
GCSE Results 2020
Well done to the class of 2020 – you have made us very proud.
We would like to say a huge well done to our Year 11 students.
After five years of secondary and seven years of primary school, it is wonderful to see our young people finally rewarded with their GCSE results after a challenging six months.
Our students are not statistics; they are young people that we have worked with for many years. Our staff worked extremely hard to ensure that the Centre-Assessed Grades (CAGs) for each individual student were fairly determined in each and every subject, even though this was a new system for all schools.
So much had been invested in terms of time and hard work by all our young people, when suddenly, everything came to an abrupt halt. Our students wanted to sit their examinations; they wanted to have the opportunity to show the progress they had made. We are incredibly proud of our Year 11 students and have been struck by the positivity, maturity and resilience shown by each and every one of them this year.
We would like to thank our staff, who consistently went the extra mile, giving up time after school, at weekends and school holidays to support the students to get to this point.
Our students, staff and parents worked together as a team and the outcomes achieved are really impressive.
We wish all of our Year 11 students the very best of luck in the next stage of their future either in our Sixth Form, at college, in apprenticeships or in employment.
A Level Results
In a unique year with no perfect system for assessing grades, our priority was to support our students towards the next stage of their lives and help them achieve their aspirations. We were incredibly proud of our Year 13 students
We are really pleased that the vast majority of our students have got the necessary grades to progress to the next stage of their lives, be that University, Apprenticeship or employment.
We would like to compliment our students on their resilience and hard work during this unprecedented year. We would also like to acknowledge the support given by teachers at school and parents/carers at home, and we look forward to celebrating with them in person as soon as we are able.
Amongst the numerous successes we have students gaining places on university courses such as: Medicine at Plymouth, Politics at Durham, Fine Art at Leeds, Engineering at Brunel, Dentistry at Birmingham, Law at Cardiff, Finance at Bristol, Astrophysics at Bristol, Naval Architecture at Newcastle, History at Exeter, Physiotherapy at Cardiff, Medicine at Southampton and Operating Department Practice at Cardiff, to name but a few.
Outside of higher education we have seen our students gaining higher level apprenticeships at numerous local firms such as Babcock and employment in a multitude of areas such as the armed forces.
We wish them all every success in their futures, we are incredibly proud of them.
And finally, …
The Head teacher’s commendation award for community action (for supporting our Year 7 and 8 students) goes to three of our Year 11 students. Pictured below.
Well done girls, you were awesome in looking out for younger students and being outstanding role models.