Well that’s it – another academic year over and the time has simply flown by! It’s been a very successful year for our students and staff and I am confident that the school will continue to go from strength to strength. It’s been an unusual year too where we’ve seen snow in Plymouth, some actual summer sun and England even won a penalty shootout! Personally, I would like to thank all members of our school community for their support, hard work and commitment over the last 12 months. Our success is a team effort and without everyone pulling together it just wouldn’t work. I do hope that everyone has a great summer break and I cannot wait to welcome the students and staff back in September.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen the recruitment process for Head Boy and Head Girl take a slightly different route to previous years. Students vying for staff and peer votes (they had to have at least five staff and five student nominates), undertook a ‘hustings’ process which saw each candidate give a two-minute presentation on why they should be elected and what they would bring to the role. Staff and all Year 12 students then voted for their chosen candidate. We even had some students showing their Photoshop skills by creating interesting campaign posters!
The voting was extremely close this year. We are pleased to announce that the new team are:
- Head Boy: Andrew H
- Head Girl: Katie H
- Deputy Head Boys: James M (Year 11 link) and James W (Year 10 link)
- Deputy Head Girls: Grace E-S (Year 11 link) and Hannah W (Year 7 link)
- Senate Team (with a link to Year groups): Maddie M (Year 10 link), Weronika D (Year 8 link), Lauren B (Year 9 link) and Lauren R
It’s been two weeks since the last blog and it is fair to say that we have not stopped here at Plymstock School. I’ll start off with our whole-school sponsored walk. Taking over 1000 people out of school to undertake a 10-mile round-trip walk to Saltram House and back is no easy feat. This year we also had to contend with temperatures of over 30 degrees. However, it all went really well. The students were absolutely brilliant – smiles and laughter throughout the day. I would like to thank all the staff for their support and of course the National Trust for facilitating the event.
Last week was our exciting Challenge Week, where students had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of extra curricular activities. Examples included residentials (such as those in France, the Isles of Scilly, Extreme Cornwall and PGL), day experiences (such as Fishing, Water Sports, Horse Riding, Golf, Skiing, Paignton Zoo, the Aquarium, the Eden Project, Ashcombe Adventure Centre, Football (inc. Plymouth Argyle) etc..) and our Year 7 community enrichment programme, where our students got to engage with the diverse communities that exist in the city (plus a day on the coast at Wembury). Additionally, our Year 10 and 12 students were out on Work Experience at a huge variety of businesses and services across the region. Overall it was a fantastic week that was thoroughly enjoyed by students and staff alike.
Two weeks ago, 22 students from Years 7-10 took part in the Plymstock School’s annual book award judging day which was held in the school library (known as Hogwards). The students have been reading and writing notes for the long listed books since October. There were 28 books involved, so the students have worked incredibly hard. They discussed each book and at the end of the day crowned ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas, as their winner. We are so proud of the students involved, their comments and thoughts were very considered, mature and entertaining! It was a brilliant day. A big thank you goes to everyone involved and Mr Wookey in particular, for his help throughout the year.
A few of our Year 7 and 9 Art classes were asked to contribute some artwork to this year’s Hope Festival in Devonport. The festival was aimed at supporting and welcoming refugees living in the city. The rest of the work will be displayed on the wall outside the Hub. Needless to say the organisers were absolutely delighted with the amazing work our students produced.
Some of our Year 7 students have had the opportunity of making real French crêpes with the help of Mrs Richards and Mrs Hordern. The students made their own crêpes with a choice of sweet and savoury fillings. They thoroughly enjoyed their creations and found the crêpes délicieux!
Last weekend, Sophie in Year 9 competed in a two-day competition at Exmouth Archers having never taken part in a two-day event before, or shot competitively the longer distances. After a very long and hot two days, not only did Sophie come away with two trophies but she also broke four county records and set a county and regional record for her overall score for the weekend. Her efforts have secured her a place on the Devon and Cornwall County team again this year, for the Intercounties Tournament in September. We are really proud of her achievements and are looking to compete nationally next year.
Rebecca in Year 9 was tasked with being one of the hosts for the recent HMS Heroes Awards Evening, introducing and announcing winners of the awards and singing with the MKC Heroes choir. It was a great night and we are pleased to say that Rebecca was awarded a certificate and medal for her contribution and commitment to the MKC Heroes, as both an Ambassador and Standard Bearer. She also collected a certificate on behalf of Plymstock School for our commitment and work for MKC Heroes in school.
Year 8 students have been studying the causes and course of WWI in this, the centenary year of the end of the Great War. The ‘Trench Projects’ help them understand the conditions British soldiers experienced on the Western Front, as well as providing them with the context for part of GCSE course they will study in Year 10. The task was part of an extended homework written by Miss McEwan, piloting the use of Google Classroom. The success criteria were set to give the students the ability to be as creative as possible. Clay, cake, papier-mâché models, as well as Fortnite and Minecraft simulations were all some of the final pieces. Great work guys.
Very recently we had a group Year 5 students with us for the day from Dunstone Primary School, Elburton Primary School, Hooe Primary School and Wembury Primary. The students were involved in a day of creativity and problem solving. In Science the students learnt all about the Bunsen Burner and what happens when different substances are burnt. In Maths they had to work in teams to build a structure from spaghetti to hold a marshmallow and solve mathematical problems to find the treasure. In English they had to work together to develop a new product and present their ideas through different forms of advertising. All the students had a fantastic day and were really buzzing when their parents came to pick them up. A huge thank you goes to all the staff involved, especially Ms Graham who led the day. I would also like to say a huge well done to the Year 9 students who helped all day – they were brilliant!
As you all know, the school recently started offering free Judo sessions and one of the students who has taken up this opportunity has gone from strength to strength. Jess in Year 8 has just competed in the Kazoku Open in Cornwall. It was for the Red and Yellow belts across Devon and Cornwall. In the semi-final, Jess took on a girl who was three grades higher and in a heavier weight category. She used her spirited style to dominate the contest, throwing the girl to the edge of the mat and then proceeded to pin her down for the win!
This put Jess in the final against a girl who was five grades higher, who has been practicing Judo for over a year, compared to Jess’ three weeks! It was an extremely competitive affair and the action went back and forth. In the end she just missed out but took the silver medal. An amazing achievement. Jess has shown a real natural talent and I am sure we can expect great things from her going forward.
Just a reminder – If any students would like to try Judo then the free after school class is on a Tuesday from 3.30 – 4.30pm in Sports Hall 2 during term time.
Finally, I would like to offer a big thank you to Bidfood (one of the largest food wholesalers in the country) for sponsoring our new girls rugby team kit. I think it looks great.
Finally, to end this week’s blog, I have just been passed some great news about one of our ex-students. Chris Biddle spent seven years here and then headed off to Oxford University to read Law. We have just heard today that he has been awarded a First Class Honours Degree. Well done Chris – an absolutely amazing achievement. We could not be prouder of you.