I can’t believe that we have already reached the last blog of the 2018-19 academic year. Time has just flown by! I am delighted to see the construction of the new Arts Centre and extra classrooms getting well underway. As you can see from the photo, ground has now been broken and it is full steam ahead!
Last week was one of Plymstock’s busiest of the year, with both Challenge Week and Work Experience taking place. This saw over 1000 young people engaged in a wide variety of opportunities locally, regionally and even abroad. As ever, our students were an absolute credit to the school and hopefully they have all gained some amazing memories for the future.
I would like to thank all the staff that organised, led and supported the week. It is a huge amount of work and without staff going the extra mile, these opportunities simply wouldn’t happen.
Rather than describe the week in text, it is far better for everyone to see what happened!
One of our Year 12 students, Charlie, managed to secure a week of work experience at the Houses of Parliament. Whilst there he had the privilege of meeting and listening to Sir David Attenborough speak to MPs about climate change. What an amazing opportunity. Charlie described Sir David as inspiring.
On the Friday evening, at the end of Challenge Week, we held our Year 11 Prom at the Boringdon Golf and Country Club. It was a great night and gave an opportunity for well over 200 students and staff to celebrate the last five years. The students were brilliant and arrived in style (inc. a couple of students in a tank!). The night included food, much dancing, a bucking bronco and even fireworks! We will miss Year 11, although it is great that many are staying with us in the Sixth Form. We wish all of them the very best for the results day in the summer.
This week saw our whole-school Festival of Sport take place. There was a carnival atmosphere in school as students took part in a huge variety of sporting activities, including track and field events, football, rounders, dodgeball, table tennis and many more (there was even some dodgy dancing to the Cha Cha Slide – mentioning no names Miss Evans and Ms Harris!!). The overall winning tutor group was none other than Mrs Tyrrell’s (our Head of PE – but apparently it wasn’t a fix!!). Well done to all the students who took part.
I would like to say a massive thank you to the PE department for organising such a fantastic day, and for the positive participation and support by both students and staff.
Prior to our Challenge / Work Experience week, we held our annual whole-school Sponsored Walk. This involves everyone in the school making a 10-mile round trip to Saltram House and back again. We had glorious weather, and staff and students were in fine spirits (despite a few blisters here and there!). A huge thank you goes to the National Trust for facilitating the event, and to all the staff who worked in the background to organise and coordinate this complex operation.
On 26 June a group of twenty-four students from Years 7-10, spent the day in the library judging books for this year’s Plymstock School Book Award (known as the ‘Hogwards’). There were thirty-six books on our longlist this year, which the students have been reading and keeping notes on since November 2018.
The students discussed and debated each book in turn, fighting for their favourites to be put onto the shortlist. The maturity of their discussions was fantastic and they showed so much passion towards the books that they had read. One Year 9 pupil said “It is the best day of the year. Who wouldn’t want to talk about books all day?”
A special well done goes to the Year 7 students, taking part for the first time and contributing so brilliantly. We also thank the Year 10s, as this was their last time, and for their efforts over the last few years.
The winning book was Dear Martin by Nic Stone, with Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw and Clean by Juno Dawson as the runners up. If anyone would like a copy of the books we read please contact the library by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The students should all feel massively proud of themselves, it is a real accomplishment and they have worked so hard. Thank you to Miss Hogben who ran the day brilliantly and Mrs Sherwood for keeping the students ‘on track’ all year!
Also, just before Challenge Week, we had 17 Year 5 students from Dunstone Primary School, Hooe Primary School and Pomphlett Primary School spend the day with us. The students immersed themselves in a day of creativity and problem solving. In Science the students were burning different substances and making observations. In English they had to work together to develop a new product and present their ideas through different forms of advertising, which included a magazine advert and some enthusiastic role play! At lunch our Year 9 students, who were helping throughout the day, challenged the Year 5s to a game of football. Once the Year 5s had worked out that there were no rules, the Year 9s were soundly beaten! In Maths they had to work in teams to build the tallest structure possible from spaghetti, tape and string to hold a marshmallow and solve mathematical problems to find the treasure. All the students had a fantastic day and were really buzzing when their parents came to pick them up. A big thank you goes to Ms Graham who organised the day, along with all the staff and Year 9 students who supported.
I am delighted to say that a number of our Post-16 students recently competed in the ‘You’re Hired’ Final. ‘You’re Hired’ is a business challenge, issued to 17 year olds across Plymouth by a number of local, national and international businesses, challenging them to solve commercial problems in a creative and strategic manner. Our finalists were:
- Tanisha B
- Trinity C
- James H
- Amy J
- Daisie P
- Emily T
Trinity achieved third place in the competition for the ‘Most Employable’ 17-year old in Plymouth. Emily managed to win the ‘Best Future Rail Engineer’. Daisie was a member of the overall winning team.
A huge well done to everyone who took part – you did brilliantly.
Two of our Year 9 students, Bronwyn L and Maia L have recently received their Girl Guiding Awards. This is the highest Guide Award that can be achieved. The girls have worked really hard on this over the last twelve months and organised many group activities including a disability awareness night, meet the guide dogs event, a first aid evening, a quiz night, a fitness evening and much more. Both girls along with two other Guides from Coombe Dean will be starting a new Rangers Group, which will be led by Maia’s older sister Zara. This will be the first Rangers Group in Plymstock for a number of years. A huge well done to both students.
Huge congratulations goes to Sammie H in Year 12 who has just taken part in the English Schools Track and Field Event in Birmingham. Sammie did brilliantly and managed to win a Silver in the 100m hurdles and a Bronze in the 4x100m relay. Well done – a fantastic achievement.
A huge well done also goes to Year 10 student Sophie M, who won at the Archery GB Junior National Outdoor Championships in Lilleshall last weekend. This is the biggest junior event in the country, with 250+ archers from all around the UK competing. Sophie is now the National Outdoor Under 16 Barebow Champion. She absolutely smashed it. It was a two day event and she won both days, breaking every personal best she had ever set, and created eight new Devon and Cornwall records, one Regional Record and achieved Junior Master Bowman status (the top classification any junior can get). Sophie has now set her sights on being Indoor Champion in December, as well as setting a UK Record before she moves up into the Under 18s in February next year. All I can say is wow!