As we approach half term at the end of this week, I’m delighted to be able to present our 6th blog of the term.
Our students and staff continue to work incredibly hard to find ways to ensure we provide the best possible opportunities within our classrooms.
This week I have written to all our students to praise them with the following message “Thank you. Your behaviour, conduct, attendance and attitude continue to be what we expect, outstanding; it is clear you are trying your very best and we are really proud of you. You are attending school, following the safety rules and working as hard as you can.”
It’s a pleasure to see that so many have received our Show My Homework merits, new golden tickets, as well as the numbers nominated for Student of the Week.
Some of you will know other students in other schools who will have been sent home because of a positive case. We don’t want this to happen, we’ve had too many days off school this year and none of us wants to see a return to distance learning. Online teaching, whilst we will ensure it is of a high quality, isn’t a substitute for students and teachers being in a classroom together.
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 continue to be first class; it is clear they are trying their very best and we are really proud of them. 95% have attended school and working as hard as they can.
It’s a wonderful achievement and one which we shouldn’t overlook in these difficult times; one that represents the work of our whole school community; parents and carers, students and staff.
Whilst we are not complacent about this indiscriminate virus and how easily it can be transmitted, given the backdrop of the emerging national picture, we will continue to work hard to maintain the success we have achieved – for our young people and their futures.
Deputy Headteacher – Student Interview panel
I have presented six students with Student of the Week certificates for their participation in a student panel that last week interviewed our Deputy Headteacher applicants. Mrs Duff oversaw proceedings but was once again grateful she was observing and not being forensically questioned by this formidable team. The candidates were put through their paces with in depth and probing questions on their views and leadership. All the candidates commented on the students’ professionalism and how articulate they were, but most of all their skill.
A big thank you to them and for the part they played in ensuring we get the best teachers and leaders for our students.
Pictured below: Year 12 – Ben, Skye and Anna and we hope to get all the Year 9 students – Nell, Jack and Charlie, together for next week
Year 8 Student Leadership
Year 8 were asked for volunteers to keep the Cricket Pitch tidy by litter picking and we have been inundated with offers. The team has done an amazing job and we are so proud of them for their community spirit.
Attached is a photo of last week’s litter picking team. They are: Daisy B, Livia A, Amy M, Maddison W, Emily P, Ruby W, Mitchell S, Lyla-Mae B, Indie E and Cassia A
They will all receive certificates next week as Students of the Week for their fantastic contribution to our community.
Future student blog
I was also delighted to be contacted this week by three of our Year 12 students who wish to start contributions to our School blog. Destine, Abbie and Anna.
“We thought that members of staff at the school should have a space to be recognized weekly as well as students for their efforts. We thought that we could either produce a student blog or have a student run section within the blog where we can have a Teacher of the Week section, where staff and students can nominate teachers. We thought that this would be a good motivation for teachers to remind them why they chose to go into teaching and show that we appreciate them.
Thank you very much!”
I will look forward to including their content in weeks to come, and can’t think of a better way than our students, to recognise and support the efforts of our staff at this time.
The staff nominated this week appear underneath our students of the week below.
“In recognition of last Saturday being World Mental Health Day in MFL we rose to the #helloyellow superhero challenge set by the charity Young Minds.
Students created their yellow superhero and wrote a brief description in French or German, tied into their current topic.
So Y7 described them, Y8 talked about their holidays , Y9 mentioned problems they could solve and Y10 celebrated success.
As you can see, we were wowed by our students’ creativity.”
Black History Month
October is Black History Month and Mr Willcocks’ Year 7 class, 7zClaig, took a break from learning about History skills and produced some excellent posters for homework about a significant individual relevant to Black History Month.
Mr Willcocks said, “Each student showed their poster to the rest of the class and we had a great discussion about Black History Month and current debates around the Black Lives Matter movement.”
A selection of posters are shown below.
Mrs Easton has nominated Alesia M in 9xAvon Geography. She has produced a fantastic bit of work on debunking African stereotypes and incorporating the importance of Black Lives Matter.
A fantastic piece of thought provoking work and Alesia is pictured below with our Students of the Week.
Year 7 Postcards
Mrs Kirk continues to receive these cards which were sent out during partial school closure. This week the picture cards from:
Beau DW 7JSB – this lovely postcard was created and sent in during the Summer
In the middle is a card from Tia T 7CB and finally from Kaitlyn T 7JNB, a post card created and sent to school for Mrs Kirk and Mr Chivers.
All worthy Students of the Week and pictured in our group shot below.
Garden Make over
Students in the Den bubble have been busy improving their school environment, as part of their Community ASDAN challenge.
Poppy, Lizzie, Amy, Ashton & Archie all spent time sweeping and tidying the whole area and then prepared one of the flower beds, weeding, adding soil, planning and planting spring bulbs for a colourful display in the New Year …..fingers crossed.
The photos below show the students tidying and the before and after outcomes. A real team effort. Well done to all.
Food, glorious food! – Design and Technology
Mrs Worley has sent in a selection of photos from her Year 7 and Year 8 groups. She explains:
“Students have been cooking at home due to the current situation, and I am blown away by the quality of the pictures that I am being sent on a daily basis and that I am seeing in lesson time.
My Year 7 classes this year have cooked something of their own choice, practised their knife chopping skills, and have made a fruit crumble (see pictures of a selection of the crumbles.)
Year 8 have been learning all about bread, and have made bread rolls and their own design of a pizza (see attached pictures for a selection of these).
Year 9 have been learning about healthy meals, and I have been shown a lots of pictures in lesson time for Bolognese and stir fry.”
Amazing work and effort, well done to all
The new build – Head for heights
The crane returned this week to add the roof structure now the block work has reached the top of the second level. Work continues at a pace and everything is on schedule for the classrooms to be handed over in April 2021.
Pictured below are the lift and some of the plans showing the building’s layout
The Golden Ticket
Last week we launched a new rewards initiative across the school where students have the opportunity to receive a golden ticket during each lesson.
We want to reward students at Plymstock School who come to school every day, try their best and uphold the values of the school. Every student who receives a golden ticket during a lesson receives a badge on SatchelOne.
Additionally, every week one golden ticket is drawn by each Head of Year and the winning student can choose one of three prizes. The first, a mufti day at the end of term for themselves and a friend, second – try their hand at a lucky dip where they choose a prize at random; these range from stationery, sweet treats to amazon vouchers. The third option is that the students can pay it forward in an act of kindness and the golden ticket will be donated to their tutor group; the tutor group with the most golden tickets at the end of term will receive a collective reward. This week’s winners were:
- Year 7 – Grace W
- Year 8 – Kacie R
- Year 9 – Nidal V
- Year 10 – Millie B
- Year 11 – Jamelia H
- 6th Form – Kate P
Well done to all our winners and I look forward to keeping you updated with our future winners.
Students of the week – Lots of nominations this week and more to follow next!
All our winners have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”
Our other winners include:
In Year 7
Alfie T in 7RLR nominated by Mrs Glastonbury for an absolutely fantastic, creative homework where he made Sherlock Holmes’ briefcase and all of the items that he would need inside. They only had to draw it out on a sheet of paper!
Lily W in 7JSB nominated by Ms Robinson as she was really impressed with Lily’s commitment and effort in English – she’s mature, enthusiastic and hard-working every single lesson.
Beth B in 7SLL nominated by Miss Ziegler for being an absolutely amazing child, a great student, on task, focused and learning from day one! She is also very, very polite, a true pleasure to teach and have in her class. A kind, considerate, lovely young person.
Kaitlyn T in 7JNB, Tia T 7CB and Beau DW 7JSB for the post cards sent to school for Mrs Kirk and Mr Chivers. Mentioned above.
In Year 8
Daisy B, 8MGR nominated by Mr Wilson. “Daisy is enjoying Science and Chemistry so much she has memorised the first 25 elements of the Periodic table…in the correct order! She is also working really hard in class and is really good at answering difficult questions.”
Sam C, 8LMW nominated by Mr Farrant for going above and beyond in recent Science lessons and performing above his pathway in a recent end of topic test.
Jacob W, 8MFG, nominated by Ms Baker for his perseverance with difficult work this week.
Livia A, 8MGR nominated by Mr Pringle for her excellent work ethic in class and work on really challenging extension questions.
Emily P, 8KMD, nominated by Miss Offer Assistant Head of Year 8 “In these unsettling times we all need to be kind to ourselves and others, and Emily goes above and beyond to bring a bit of sunshine to our day. “ Wow!
Well done to all and a wonderful group of students who we couldn’t get together all at the same time, hence we have two photographs.
In Year 9
Alesia M, 9EJP nominated by Miss Easton for her work on Black Lives Matter, shown at the start of this blog.
Coen R, 9AJE nominated by Ms Robinson. “Coen’s most recent written assessment showed huge effort and superb attention to detail; he’s enthusiastic, motivated and mature in English lessons. He has also gone above and beyond the call of duty in his book review homework, creating a 3D model of his favourite book cover – really imaginative, original and creative.”
Lilly-May D, 9MFW, nominated by Mr Nicholls and Miss Davis, Assistant Head of Year 9. Lilly impressed the rest of the group with her response to a GCSE English Language question. The group had been asked to discuss social media and its impact on society. Five pages later, Lilly-May had finished and had even managed to include everything from the GCSE checklist. Well done Lilly-May!
Then our Year 9 student panel, mentioned at the start of this blog: Nell, 9MKT, Jack B 9MFW and Charlie S, 9MFW.
In Year 10
Ana-Maria G, 10AHW, nominated by Mr Davies for some brilliant answers in Business that go into more detail than he could ever hope for!
Freya F-S, 10JED, nominated by Mr Davies for brilliant effort in lessons, always tries hard and incredibly focussed
Gracie W, 10TJW, nominated by Mr Davies for being really keen, very good in lessons, demonstrates brilliant knowledge and understanding and always willing to help others
Carla M, 10JED, nominated by Mr Davies always willing to participate, happy to share answers and striving to improve understanding dramatically in every lesson.
Lucy F, 10SSO, nominated by Mr Davies for some brilliant answers and effort in Business, with a real honest approach to any questions sent her way – in particular with the aims and objectives!
Imogen T, 10ABB nominated by Mr Watteau for always being polite and positive and trying her best.
Ella T, 10 nominated by Mr Johnson for great determination, showing improvement and promise and for smiling
In Year 11
Jamelia H, 11DJW nominated by Mrs Harris, Head of Year 11 for her quick thinking and brave reactions to a situation that occurred over the weekend.
Connell M, 11DJW nominated by Mr Farrant, Connell has been absolutely brilliant in all of his Science subjects since returning back to school in Year 11.
Harry E, 11ADS nominated by Ms Robinson for his consistent effort and his willingness to rise to the challenge of GCSE English – he’s making brilliant progress.
Anthony nominated by Ms Robinson for his quiet commitment and steady improvement.
Jack S, 11, nominated by Ms Robinson for his hard work and for simply not giving up.
Charlie N, nominated by Mrs Harris, Head of Year 11 for showing kindness and helping their peers
Bronwyn L, 11LLG, nominated by Mrs Harris, Head of Year 11 for showing kindness and helping her peers and Bronwyn receives a second nomination from Mrs Worley for her commitment to the GCSE food course – her work is commendable, and the dishes she has been making at home for her practice NEA have shown incredible skills, she has made a fantastic start to Year 11.
Livvy J, 11JLW, nominated by Miss Marshall for her excellent work and efforts in class.
Luke C, 11SLG, nominated by Miss Marshall for his excellent work and efforts in class.
Post 16 nominations
In Year 12:
Core Maths: Abbie C for completing all optional homework in advance of her test and performing well with her in-class assessment.
RS: Summer S for excellent essay/assessment… growing in confidence
Drama: Lucy R for demonstrating compassion and humility this week- she worked really hard on her monologue and was really supportive of everyone else in the group. They were all amazing but Lucy stood out this week.
Psychology: Codie W for enthusiasm and contributions in Psychology as well as great questioning.
Then our Year 12 student panel, mentioned at the start of this blog: Ben W, Skye L and Anna M all from 12 NJB.
In Year 13:
PE: For excellent results on their review of Year 12 exam: Lauren B, Matthew B, Scott P, Jacob S and Katie S
Physics: Daylon M for his hard work and excellent positive attitude in Physics since returning to school.
English Language & Literature: Tyler A for his diligent attitude to work and lessons.
Core Maths: Isaac V nominated as he did really well on his assessment – hardly dropped any marks on the questions he did and is on course for his target grade.
RS: Dan R for his fortitude in the face of adversity.
Health & Social Care: Freya M for a positive approach to her lessons. Really Focused, excellent notes, participated in World Mental Health Day and her bravery in always wearing shorts whatever the weather!
Biology: Mia G for having a great attitude to striving for excellence despite the setbacks and feeling of having missed out on teaching that lockdown has brought on.
TEACHERS OF THE WEEK:
- Mrs Kent from Languages. Mrs Kent has been nominated for supporting year 11 during their GCSEs and providing great revision resources.
- Mr Bellamy from P.E. Mr Bellamy has been nominated for his inventive ways of making table tennis fun.
- Miss Marshall from Maths. Miss Marshall has been nominated for being so friendly and helpful during A-Level Maths lessons and for being an “All Round Legend”.
- Mrs Withey from History. Mrs Withey has been nominated for “doing everything to make sure I understand the work set, being so kind and making lessons so fun”
- Mr Sprenkel from Religious Studies. Mr Sprenkel has been nominated for putting so much effort into putting out regular YouTube videos for RS revision.
- Mr Hughes from Business Studies. Mr Hughes has been nominated for explaining things in detail and being so helpful with the homework given.
- Mr Cooper from Science. Mr Cooper has been nominated for creating positivity during lessons – an important quality to have.
- Ms Birchnall from Science. Ms Birchnall has been nominated for her resilience around school.
- Mrs Lowe from Performing Arts. Mrs Lowe has been nominated for putting in 110% to make lessons fun, creative and memorable. “I love being taught by her”.
- Mr Rogers from ICT. Mr Rogers has been nominated because he explains topics really well and makes lessons more practical and fun.
- Miss Graves from Art. Miss Graves has been nominated for being such a supportive tutor during these difficult times as well as teaching amazing GCSE art lessons.
- Mr Waterfield and Mr Dale are joint nominees from English. Mr Waterfield and Mr Dale have been nominated for giving their Year 12 Literature class an amazing start with their A -Level and for helping them prepare for their landmark assessment. “They are both amazing”.
Careers Insight – Bouncing back – Leadership
Last week we explored Teamwork and recognised how important it is in school and out of school. This week we focus on Leadership. The word “leadership” can bring to mind a variety of images.
The careers team
Children in Need and British Legion Poppy Appeal
As many of you will be aware, when you were able to pop into reception you would have seen the poppies crocheted by Jan Brown our receptionist, sold in support of this important annual appeal. This year Jan has taken on an additional challenge and has come up with a COVID safe way for staff, students and parents to support these appeals through her work if you wish to.
“Hello, a lot of you may know that for the last few years I have been crocheting and selling poppies to raise funds for the British Legion Poppy Appeal. Every year thanks to the generosity of staff/parents and members of the public who visit Reception I have managed to raise a substantial amount to give to this worthy cause.
This year for a change, and to help get me through lockdown earlier in the year, I decided to try and do something to support the Children in Need campaign as well and I have crocheted some Pudsy Bear heads. There are 2 versions of these, the one to wear as a brooch and the other which is on a key ring chain.
Because of Covid restrictions this year it is more difficult for people to come to Reception but if you would like to send me an e-mail letting me know what you would like I can put your request to one side and it could perhaps be collected at the end of the school day when it is quieter.
If any parent would like to purchase any of these they could perhaps e-mail me adding the name of the student in school who will collect and then the student could collect/bring in the money at the end of the day. There is a limited supply so don’t delay in putting in your order
My e-mail address is: email@example.com
All of them are individually bagged and have been in their own little bags for over 2 weeks so should be perfectly Covid safe.
Could you also please note that they are not toys and would not be suitable for small children. “
Forthcoming Virtual Events
Welcome to Plymstock School – Come and join us
Plymstock School Open Events for current Year 6 parents (2021 entry)
At Plymstock, we understand that deciding on a secondary school can be a complex process.
Due to the current restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, regretfully our on-site open events for prospective Year 7 students and their families has been cancelled.
Therefore, to support you and your child, we have created this virtual Open Event page to help with your decision.
The Open Events page gives parents and students the opportunity to find out more about each department and the teaching at Plymstock School. You are able to view our excellent facilities and to see and hear from our students and staff, including our Headteacher Rob Pearsall.
The virtual tour of the school, gives visitors the chance to familiarise themselves with the grounds.
You might also like to explore our Gallery of school events from 2019-20 and our School Blog, these showcase the many opportunities our students take part in to be the best they can be. Showing their hard work, resilience and empathy; we are particularly proud of their efforts during the partial school closure and the many stories of students undertaking charity work to support others less fortunate in the community than themselves.
If you have a question which is not answered here then please contact us and we will do our best to provide the answer. Support@plymstockschool.org.uk
Our admissions criteria can be found here:
We hope you enjoy our virtual Open Evening videos but in particular this video by our students: