After months of planning, preparation, rehearsing and the odd ‘artistic outburst’ (Mrs Lowe) the show finally went live. I am delighted to say that it has been a huge success with our students and staff putting together a top quality production and performance – something to be proud of.
It has been a real treat watching SISTER ACT develop over the weeks. I am still to see the whole performance; I cannot wait to watch it tonight having heard so many wonderful reviews from parents, staff and students.
For those who do not know the story, Deloris van Cartier is a Reno lounge singer who witnesses her mobster boyfriend commit a murder, forcing her into witness protection. She is placed in a convent in California, in the hope she will adapt to the quiet lives of the nuns and stay out of trouble. The nuns assign her to the choir, where she naturally transforms them into a soulful gospel group and helps them find their voice. Over four nights our students have entertained hundreds of people as they brought this story to life. The show was a real triumph and I would like to thank the huge number of people who contributed to this, giving up evenings, weekends and holidays to make it such a success.
The show is a real team performance by all the staff involved and I would like to thank all of them for their support and encouragement over many months. They do a fantastic job whether it’s leading and supporting the rehearsals, setting up chairs, clearing up litter, selling tickets and refreshments, they always want the best for our students and invest huge amounts of time and energy to create, nurture and support so many.
I would also pay thanks to ex-student Stuey Nosworthy and team from his Plymouth Event Production Company, AVLX, which includes ex-student Finley Clark and our own ICT technican Peter Hill for the fantastic job they did providing professional technical support with the audio, video and lighting for the evening.
Finally, a huge thank you goes to everyone (students, staff, parents, carers, friends, family and ex students), who took the time to come and see the show – without your continuous support and commitment these opportunities wouldn’t run.
GCSE mock results morning
Thursday morning proved to be a nervy start for our Year 11 students as they arrived early for their GCSE mock results morning. Having completed a challenging period of mock examinations before and after Christmas, Thursday was the day that they received their results.
The aim is to give the students a realistic simulation of what to expect in the summer but with the key difference that there is still time to make changes and further improve. Thankfully, many of the students were happy with their outcomes and it reflected some real hard work during that mock period.
The assembly highlighted that hard work has a reward and anything worth having in life requires determination and effort. Year 11 were asked in their assembly to consider:
What do YOU want to achieve?
Where do YOU want to be in 10 years’ time?
The key message was that we can all make excuses and it was time to act now. That you can have, RESULTS or EXCUSES but you cannot have both.
YOUR decisions, attitude and emotions are in YOUR control and determine YOUR path. Parents, carers and teachers may seem like they are moaning but it is not moaning… it’s called friendly awareness raising.
Best of luck Year 11; we know like previous year groups they have the energy and passion to succeed.
The Science Department have already started the mock follow up and have the following sessions available to support students after school.
These are photos from the last two weeks of Lab Rats where students enjoyed setting fire to food to try to find out which contained the most energy – Pringles won by a long way and huge flames were dealt with expertly (or at least enthusiastically) by the students.
This week’s Lab Rats dissected an eyeball and found that they are really hard to pop! Many managed to get the lens out in a perfect sphere and use it to magnify writing. One eyeball once cut did release its juice at a rate that its Lab Rat was not quite ready for.
Lab Rats is on for all students, years 7 – 13, every Tuesday from 3.15-4.10pm in Sc1 with Ms Birchnall and Mr Cooper.
It is not for the squeamish!
Mental Health and Well-Being
Staff Professional Development Session at Plymstock School
As part of our Continuing Professional Development programme at Plymstock School, staff on Monday had the opportunity to receive training from Sam Garner, a qualified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and child adolescent practitioner.
With both teachers and students increasingly experiencing mental health concerns, Sam identified a need for schools to provide proactive support for those suffering from anxiety. In our training session, Sam focused on how our brains work and develop, along with risk protection factors for mental health and she explained how we can support our students’ well-being, along with our own! Sam is straight talking, motivational, empathetic and so much fun. Her humour put the whole staff at ease and created an atmosphere of warmth and enjoyment on a cold, bleak January afternoon. Sam’s core purpose is to help both teachers and students alike. She emphasised the importance of building positive relationships highlighting that they are the foundation of everything in life. As a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, Sam asserts that if we change our thoughts to more positive ones and manage negative ones we will have better mental health: it’s about being proactive and not reactive.
Mental health and well-being affects every area of our lives. Therefore, as teachers we have a responsibility to do all we can to be supportive of students, and our colleagues, to ensure that we promote mental health and don’t inflict mental harm.
We left Sam Garner’s session refreshed and inspired. But, most importantly, we left armed with some key strategies to help develop our capacity to empathise with our students and to aid us in our own lives and ability to manage our own stress.
Link to Sam Garner’s book
Samantha is an education consultant and trainer specialising in Special Educational Needs (SEN) and mental health. She is an ex-SENCo ( Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and a qualified cognitive behavioural therapist and child and adolescent counsellor who has written her own Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) mental health programme used in schools worldwide. Lauded for her honesty and humour, Sam travels nationally and internationally to train and speak at conferences.
Youth Mental Health First Aid course
Four members of support staff completed a two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid course this week. YMHFA is the help given to a young person experiencing a mental health issue before professional help can be obtained.
The aims of YMFA are to:
• Preserve life where a young person is in danger to themselves or others
• Provide help to prevent the emotional or mental health issue developing into a more serious state
• Promote the recovery of good mental health
• Provide comfort to a young person experiencing a mental health issue
• Raise awareness of mental health issues in the community
• Reduce stigma and discrimination
Careers at Plymstock School
This week our Careers Insight focuses on the exciting world of Engineering #Gatsby Benchmarks
We always have a keen interest in Engineering at Plymstock School, but what we often find is that students do not really know what it is!
Exploring things around us can often give a better understanding of what Engineering is.
For more ‘Types of Engineering’, click here! https://www.nacme.org/types-of-engineering
The Careers Team
English Memory for Learning
I was hoping to take some pictures outside this week but the weather has not been kind. However, I did want to share with you the amazing artwork I found in Mrs Glastonbury’s English Room to help inspire students and help them with their memory for learning.
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:
Finlay in year 7 has been offered a place on Saturday at the Devon Schools X Country event at Stover. We’ll let you know how he gets on. However, just being selected is a fantastic achievement. Well Done Finley.
Danielle has recently taken part in a performance of Beauty and the Beast at Exeter Northcott Theatre, after winning a place through a fiercely competitive audition. The auditions had a particular focus on dancing ability and Danielle stood out immediately; they knew she would be perfect for the show. The show has been long running and was watched by 18,000 people! Danielle was praised for her hard work and commitment and held her own within this professional cast. The Creative Learning Manager has, in addition, praised her for combining performing with school work and admired the way Danielle could be relied on at all times to be professional and sensitive to those around her.
I am sure you will agree that for someone of her age to show such maturity and commitment is highly commendable. We are all really proud of you Danielle. Well done!
Maddy and Jake are Year 9 Students of the Week for their kindness in helping two new students settle at the school this week – they have embodied the Plymstock School Culture admirably.
Madi has started the New Year with a brilliantly positive mindset and energy. She has also been an incredibly calm and supportive friend to others this week – she really contributes to our Plymstock School community. Well done Madi, the Year 10 pastoral team think you’re a star!
Ms Burgess and Miss Grainger have nominated Leah as Year 12 student of the week. Not only is she playing the main role in the show this week, but she is always spending her own time helping other students e.g. supporting students in the library this morning, during registration, with the new spelling programme, working with Mrs Parish today so that she is trained to be a Sixth Form English tutor for GCSE students and helping my Year 11 class after school last night! She is so altruistic.
Students of the term
In the last blog before Christmas the following students were nominated as students of the term. Year 12 – Tyler, Shannalea, Ed,Isaac, Katie and Holly. Year 13 -Emily, Tom, Ella, Ella and Misha
I was delighted to join these wonderful young people for a celebration breakfast this morning hosted by Miss Monelle and Mrs Littler to reward their successes. The Sixth Form Team would like to say a well done to all the Year 12 students for how they have settled into their Sixth Form studies, and the Year 13 students who have started their final year of study. Some students have made excellent progress in their work ethic, effort and attitude.
We look forward to welcoming parents, carers and students to our sixth form open evening next week.