Dear Parents and Carers
We have made it through another week, with the knowledge today that lockdown in its current form will continue for at least another 3 weeks, so we can all stay safe at home.
The surreal situation that we find ourselves in continues against a backdrop of exceptional weather, which I think has helped many of us through this initial stage.
I hope you will continue to make time for yourself and to try to relax with people around you; our staff will continue to support you and your children at home in the best way we can.
I would like to praise the way in which so many of our students are handling lockdown and home working. Our staff are reporting excellent interactions with all our students through Show My Homework and email over the last 4 weeks.
The following quote from a message Mrs Wilkins wrote me earlier in the week adeptly summarises so many conversations staff have had with me this week.
“Many of them saying that they are learning more about themselves and their families, as well as being keen to continue their academic learning at home. Many have also been reflective about the bigger picture, caring for others, and not just focusing on the things that they are missing. There has been a very mature approach from our young people – and for that they deserve praise.”
We would like to continue our thanks to you as parents for your support and messages of good will. Our leadership team and staff are fully aware of the challenges you are facing in the home and are constantly reflecting on how we can improve our interactions over supporting learning at home.
We have a key group of people leading this work who will continue to keep you up to date through MyEd but to reduce down the number of communications going home you can also stay up to date by following our Website newsfeed: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/news/ and look at the information on our distance learning page: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/distance-learning/
Remember, you are doing an amazing job in impossible circumstances. Please look after yourselves.
Please take care, stay safe and well
A New Arrival
I am delighted to inform you that:
Maggie Merritt (middle name) Waterfield was born on 28th at 21:15. She was 6 pounds 9 ounces.
Congratulations go to Mr Waterfield and Ms Merritt on the birth of their daughter.
The Plymstock PE Department – Stay Home to save lives
To support the continuing measure to stay home to save lives. Our PE Department took up the challenge to make a video. We hope you enjoy it. You will find a copy on our website here:
It helps to remember the objective:
- We are staying in so we can go back out
- We’re staying apart so we can get back together
- All our hardships now are for a better and happier tomorrow
Design and Technology – project
We start with both a nomination for student of the week from Miss Pring but also one of many examples of the work our students have been completing at home. There are simply too many to feature but we are trying to include as many as possible.
Miss Pring has been impressed by Lucas’ response to the project she set. We have included some photographs and the conversation they have had online to support his learning. I am sure you will agree that Lucas fully deserves his nomination both for his project but also for his care and compassion for his neighbours. Well done Lucas
“I did not set this as a piece of work specifically, I merely suggested to students in the lessons leading up to lockdown the sorts of things they could undertake. We gave a broad outline of programmes to watch for all year groups but Lucas is a very ‘practical’ student and with the encouragement of his family (and sister who studied GCSE D&T) and his natural problem-solving attitude he came up with the project idea. The conversation led on to the discussion of other ideas and he was aiming to make a bird box next.”
I know it is only the first week but I have been a bit bored. I decided to do a little project to help our next-door neighbour.
Since she is under strict self-isolation, she cannot go outside to buy toys to entertain her kitten. I decided to make a small toy to keep the cat out of mischief.
First, I recycled an old cardboard box from my dad’s stash. I then found some string and some beads in the craft cupboard. Then I made some holes in the top of the box using a screwdriver, being sure about my fingers because this is a health and safety precaution. Once I made the holes, I threaded the string through them and secured them with another bead.
Finally, I trimmed the ends of the string so the cat would not catch his claws in them. Once I had finished and taken a couple of pictures, I delivered it round to our neighbour being sure that I stayed two metres away from her door as we are practicing social distancing. I have attached some pictures for you to have a look at, I thought you would appreciate it.
I hope you are well and that this is giving you an idea for your cats
This story has been included to celebrate the work of all our students, parents and teachers who are now working together on ‘distance learning’
It’s one of many conversations going on showing we will find a way in difficult times to do the best we can and no more.
BBC Student Success
Danielle in Year 8 has featured in the new BBC1 production of Malory Towers, Danielle took part in filming last summer and it is now is available on BBC iplayer.
Malory Towers is a new 13-part drama based on the iconic novels by Enid Blyton and following the adventures of Darrell Rivers as she leaves home for the first time to attend an all-girls’ boarding school.
The series is set in post-war Britain on the sun-drenched cliffs of the Cornish coast and explores a nostalgic world of midnight feasts, lacrosse, pranks, a mystery ghost and lasting friendships.
Danielle was very lucky to have featured quite a lot through the episodes especially the 1st six. She is also in the introduction of every episode. An exciting outcome for Danielle. Due to her efforts, after some fierce and competitive casting auditions, she secured a place in the cast.
We are proud of her achievement and hope you enjoy watching this classic Enid Blyton story as part of home learning.
Keeping Reading Alive at Home Plymstock School Library
Plymstock School Virtual Library
A reminder that our library now has its own website with a link from our main school website menu page. Our library website is packed with information and support during this closure. You can find the library here:
Updated weekly, with the latest news, book reviews, advice about useful websites, competitions – take a look!
Exciting News – Competition time
I have two copies of ‘Robin Hood’ by Robert Muchamore, to give away 🙂
To take part, you have until Friday 24th April to send Miss Hogben, either:
A book review (on any book or books of your choice) – to appear on the library website
A short piece of writing (about half to one side of A4) on ‘School life at Home’ (this does not have to relate to reading)
Please send your entries to email@example.com
The two winners will be announced on Monday 27th April – via the library website.
The books will be kept at school until we return or can be sent directly to your home, with permission from parent/carer (directly from Amazon).
Plymstock School Edu-care
Over Easter, we have provided a new combined Plym Edu-care provision with our Trust partner schools of Coombe Dean, Oreston, Dunstone and Wembury Primary Schools. This is part of the government’s strategy to support key workers fighting coronavirus: COVID-19. This joint provision is continuing and the students are supervised by a team of staff on a rota from all the schools and have been completing their distance learning work in school.
I would like to say a special thank you to all the staff involved and the students who have been simply outstanding; adapting to the new routines social distancing requires within a school setting.
Over Easter, Ms Robinson set voluntary work on Macbeth, she reports:
“They had a choice of creative tasks. Four students really engaged with the tasks and produced some lovely work. Isabelle and Callum wrote story versions of the play, while Olly re-created Lady Macbeth’s diary entries and went to the trouble of making them look old and aged. Jamie storyboarded a scene from the play and did it in quite a lot of detail
Callum, Isabelle, Jamie and Olly have received nominations for students of the week from Ms Robinson
It is great to see students have the opportunity to use their time to follow and engage in topic and subjects they are passionate about. Learning for the sake of enjoyment. Fantastic work by all.
Modern Foreign Languages
Congratulations to the 66 Y7 students who joined Ms Baker for break time Quizlet live on Thursday practising their French. One team had an unexpected bonus when Ms Ziegler popped up in their team!
The winner was Billy with 4 wins and runners up Ella, Dylan, Isabelle, Ellie, Louisa and Joshua with 2 wins each.
Miss Ellis not be outdone was really also really pleased with her class 9yFrNile and their participation. Miss Ellis said “they have been working really well from home and we have had an even bigger turn out, the screenshot of those who participated is for a special shout out to all for their enthusiasm”
French fitness challenge
Over the holidays, students have sent in photos of their French fitness challenge (a bit like doing “PE with Joe”).
French fitness challenge photos from Olivia, Eden, Anna, Maddison, Leonita, Sam and Emily.
I particularly liked that some people put their PE kit on to do it!
Evie (8yGm Bern) photo of Kaiserschmarrn. The recipe was set as a suggested challenge task and all the ingredients were in German. She sent this photo the next day with a message in German that it was ‘sehr gut, danke’
Art completed at home
Mr Hurd-Thomas has received a range of pictures of Artwork completed at home.
The work included pieces from Year 11, where students have completed what they were going to do in their cancelled GCSE exam, in their own time. Year 10 students have sent in additional work. Year 11 Cameron and Lucy and in Year 10 Olivia and Elisha
GCSE Art 2020 – Rhythm of Life
Here is a link to a film piece Noah completed as well. As the title suggests it shows movement, the piece is filmed on the roads through Plymouth. The piece seems all the more poignant now we are in lock down, it is very thought provoking. A fantastic film Noah.
Year 8 having been completing a piece of science research work on how deforestation affects habitats. This is Yasmine-Marie’s piece, which Mrs Parsons has nominated for student of the week, because of her detailed research and presentation.
In Mr Farrant’s lessons his students are looking at pregnancy and their task this week was to research what you should/should not do when pregnant and then produce a poster or leaflet that could be displayed at a GP Surgery or in Hospitals. Mr Farrant has nominated Gracie for student of the week, for her wonderful poster.
Miss Easton has sent in Summer’s work (Year 7) She took screen shots of some of her power point slides. Mrs Easton commented, “She decided to do extra work on why coral reefs are important and she has created a quiz for me on google slides, I was really impressed by her work ethic and interest in the subject!” She has been nominated as a student of the week.
At this time, our staff are busy supporting families and helping them stay connected with the support that is available within Plymstock and Plymouth. This is by no means exhaustive and we are not promoting one organisation over another, just helping direct families who may need support at this time:
The following online directory has been recommended by Plymouth Gateway:
Sainsbury’s are also doing local home deliveries – Gateway gave us the Plymouth operating line as opposed to the national line which is 08009178557 ext. 1
There is also a local business called Vegbox who are doing home deliveries, their number is 848738.
Plymouth Food Bank
Staff who have visited the food bank to make donations this week have confirmed they are fully operational and the shelves are pretty full at present, if people are able to make the trip. Information about how to donate to them or what they need is on their website plymouth.foodbank.org.uk
To access support with shopping etc The Caring for Plymouth Support Hub https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/caringforplymouth
There is also a Facebook group for the Plymstock area which can be accessed here and there are likely to be groups for other parts of the city: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PlymstockHelpANeighbour/?ref=share
There is also the Good Neighbour scheme where people can volunteer to help: https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/coronaviruscovid19information/volunteering0
We have had to make the decision to cancel our Challenge Week trips for 2020. I am sure that this will not come as a surprise. We have started the refunds process.
Payments will be returned through Parent Pay to the same source as they were originally made. We will send a confirmation message when your refunds have been made.
Please be patient during this process as we are mostly working from home and therefore this will take longer than usual.
Please email Mrs Wilkins: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Students of the week
All our winners have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”
Our winners include:
At Plymstock School, we have something we try and instil into students: it is okay to fail as long as you don’t give up. It is important to see the journey and remember that you simply havent’ got there yet! This week’s nominees have all demonstrated that mind set and trait.
In Year 7
Miss Pring has nominated Lucas for his project work in Design and Technology mentioned at the start of this blog. Miss Pring is impressed by his ‘can do’ attitude, his enthusiasm and determination, despite the challenges he faces with sourcing materials. Miss Pring is particularly impressed because he is only in Year 7 and has the potential to do really well at GCSE D&T with his mindset.
Miss Easton has nominated Summer for the extra work Summer completed on ‘why coral reefs are important’ Miss Easton was really impressed by her work ethic and interest in the subject!
In Year 8
Mrs Richards and Mr Davies have nominated Evie for a great attitude and hard work straight from the go on Monday morning, even before the Easter holiday had finished! Mr Davies commented “She completed the first hour of learning set before I’d even managed to finish setting it for all my other Year 8 groups” Mrs Richard’s also commented on her work ethic and speedy response and a photo of her German work is included in the German section above. Well done Evie.
Mrs Parsons has nominated Yasmine-Marie for a great piece of science research work on how deforestation affects habitats.
Mr Farrant has nominated Gracie for a piece of work submitted for a poster/leaflet on pregnancy mentioned in the Science section above. He was particularly struck by the simple but highly effective logo and detailed information, which used simple and effective language to convey complex messages. Well done Gracie
In Year 9
Mr O’Neil has nominated Oscar, for the first week of home learning. He really struggled and did not do well at all on the assessment work I set them. He then got a bit of help, set his own private quiz to have another go at it, and got 100%. Like so many students, Oscar normally does not like having a go at things in case he gets them wrong, his achievement is his resilience in having another go at the topic and then getting 100%. Superb effort and the very definition of both resilience and endeavour, well done Oscar. Never give up.
Ms Robinson has nominated Callum, Isabelle, Jamie and Olly for their outstanding work produced on a voluntary Easter task on Macbeth.
In Year 10
Mr Davies has nominated Bailey, for working hard at home and producing some great work! He always asks whenever he is stuck to which is great to see!
Charlie. Both Mrs Kent for (French) and Mrs Dover for (Travel and Tourism) have mentioned her commitment and great work this week. Well done Charlie. In addition to your teachers, Ms Baker is impressed with your commitment and effort this week.
Keira. Mr Rogers set his Computer Science students a range of programming challenges to tackle that went from easy up to borderline Year 12 standard. Many students have attempted and even completed the highest level of challenge but Keira was singled out because she has persevered through the task even though she has found it a challenge. She did not give up; she has asked questions, applied the feedback and then asked again if she needed to. Well done Keira.
Once we are back, I will catch up with the students nominated each week, including those who have contributed to this week’s blog.
Plymstock Drawing Challenge – APRIL from Mr Wookey
THIS IS JUST FOR FUN!
Every day I try to draw something. Does not matter where I do it or what I draw, I just sit down and draw. Some look great and others I just put in the bin.
With this in mind, I thought I would set up a design daily challenge for you. Here are the rules if you wish to take part:
- Use the photo attached to see what we are drawing each day (we are starting April’s late, Sorry)
- You do not have to join in each day but TRY and draw everyday
- NO ASSESSMENT. NO JUDGEMENT!
- Use any material/medium to complete your drawing or picture
- Post your picture using the #plymstockART2020
- Have fun
This challenge is there to give you a bit of quiet time or something different to focus on or something to do that you do not normally do.
IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER (YOU THINK) YOU ARE GOOD AT ART OR NOT!
I will be taking part and I have sent this out to staff as well to see if they want to take part.
Remember to stay safe!
Next steps for ‘Remote Learning’ for Year 10 students
We hope this message finds you in good health. We have created a video message for you all concerning the next steps for ‘Remote Learning’ for Year 10 students from our Director of Learning Mr Taylor.
It can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
We have also created two additional guides, which can be found here:
As always, if you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Thank you to Mrs Kirk for the photographs she has contributed from her daily walks this week that have featured throughout the blog.