After a long wait – I am really pleased to announce that construction has finally commenced on our major building project, that will see six new classrooms and a 450-seater Arts Centre rise up at Plymstock School. Over the next 12-months, the extensive works will see a real enhancement to the facilities that we provide for students and staff. Particularly exciting is the new Arts Centre, which will be one of the largest performance spaces in the whole city once complete. This previous week has seen the new access road going in and the setting up of the site compound. The heavy works start on 01 July, as soon as the GCSE and A Level examinations have finished. Exciting times. We will keep you updated throughout the build.
Last Friday I had the unique opportunity, with the other Westcountry Schools Trust secondary Headteachers, to visit a school in Solihull, just outside Birmingham. Tudor Grange Academy Solihull is one of the highest performing schools in the whole country, and it was really interesting to see what they do and how they do it. We were made to feel incredibly welcome and took away some new ideas that we can consider for our own developing multi-academy trust. We would like to thank the staff at Tudor Grange for their hospitality and we look forward to welcoming them to the South West in the not too distant future.
Last Thursday, Mrs Lowe and Mr Bellamy took our A Level Drama students to the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol to watch a production of Our Country‘s Good. This play tells the story of the first penal colony in Australia in the 1780s. The Governor-in-Chief of the colony decides to get the convicts to perform a play, as he believes that giving them access to the arts will help redeem them and make them better citizens. Not that we want to give a plot spoiler, but the experiment is a complete success! The themes of the play are still seen as enormously relevant today with so many cuts nationally to arts funding! Our students will be writing about the play in their forthcoming A Level Drama exam, so this really was an invaluable experience for them. A good and productive day was had by all (if a little tiring for some!).
We always like to see what our ex-students are getting up to. Some of you may have recently seen the Channel 4 documentary called ‘D-Day: The King Who Fooled Hitler’. In a tale of double agents and decoys, this documentary reveals, for the first time, the story of King George VI’s elaborate ruse to divert German attention away from the Normandy landings in 1944. We are pleased say that the expert leading the documentary is one of our ex-students, Dr Rory Cormac, Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Nottingham. The link to the documentary is HERE
Well done to the following Year 7 students who have completed the British Trampoline Federation Awards. The highest achievement is Level 10 and students need to complete individual moves competently and then complete them in a routine. A big thank you goes to our awesome coaches Hannah L, Kate P, Lauren W, Immy S, Livvy J, Holly B.
Our successful students are:
- Keenan M (Levels 1 and 2)
- Soraya B (Levels 3,4 and 5)
- Yasmin P (Levels 3 and 4)
- Sacha S (Level 3)
- Kennadie W( Level 3)
- Brooklyn C (Level 3)
- Ella B (Levels 3, 4 and 5)
- Lucy H (Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6)
- Katie P (Levels 3 and 4)
- Jacob R (Levels 3 and 4)
- Louise C (Level 3)
- Elise N (Levels 3, 4 and 5)
- Rowena M (Level 3)
- Chloe H (Levels 4 and 5)
- Lauren P (Level 6)
- Charlotte S (Level 6)
- Erin S (Level 6)
- Katie W (Level 6)
- Cyrena W (Level 6)
- Olivia J (Levels 6 and 7)
- Evie E-B (Level 7)
- Maya M (Levels 6 and 7)
- Dulcie H (Level 7)
Finally it is time for our students of the week. I am pleased to announce the following winners:
- Jessie W and Olive E who both play for the SB Frankfurt Under 12 Girls Team. In a very unique situation, it’s an all girls team playing in a boys league. I am delighted to report that they won the league (believed to be the first time ever in the UK). They played the whole season unbeaten and also won the league cup final last Sunday, effectively ‘doing the double’. It’s been reported locally, nationally and also worldwide (on CNN!) Both girls were interviewed live for Westcountry News on Tuesday 14th May and they took it in their stride. What an amazing achievement.
- Olly C who recently competed in the Table Tennis Nationals, achieving third place in the doubles and reached the final 16 in the singles. Olly is travelling to Czech Republic next week to compete again!
- Rose W who is a female rugby player who plays for Devon! She is incredibly successful and has won many trophies. Plus she is also a really lovely young person. It is great to see her leading the way for girls rugby.
- Kameron H for his exceptional performance in the Ten Tors event over the weekend. He walked 45 miles over the two days. Unfortunately, two of his team had to voluntarily withdraw due to injury which held them back a little, but Kameron’s team still finished within good time. A really great achievement, especially considering his GCSE exams started this week.
- Issie S and Callum R who both took part in a nationwide competition run by Kinglsey Napley Solicitors, in which 700 schools took part. The competition was made up of four tasks, where they had to look at legal scenarios, give legal advice (using the correct legislation), put together proposals and record a presentation for prospective clients. Mrs Littler who attended, was only able to give very minimal advice and guidance, so it was all down to the students. Although, they didn’t make it through to eventual final, they did really well. On one task they managed to finish 4th out of 700 – amazing!