Re-opening and the ‘new normal’
Who’d have thought that this week in 2011 we were celebrating the school centenary, 9 years later we are seeing a very different chapter in the school’s history emerge. However, still a school in the words of it’s old motto moving ‘Forward’ and using it’s new motto, ‘succeeding together’ through this time in partnership. ‘Stronger Together’ is the motto of our Trust and all these phrases seem to summarise our current work together.
Further to my letter last Friday 15 May I have written to parents, carers and the students in both Year 10 and 12 with regard to our initial planning for provision; to give them some face to face time in school with their teachers during the summer term.
You will find the links to my letters in our School newsfeed here: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/news/
We are very much looking forward to welcoming students back on site in a limited and safe way that will enable them to meet their teachers; complying of course with the stringent DfE and UK Government guidance on Social Distancing.
As part of that preparation work, I would like to share with you some artwork that Ms Hogben has produced to remind the students about the 2-metre rule and pictures of ECO2.
Our Eco Block is being prepared as one of the zones where students will be kept in strict social bubbles, with an assigned desk and classroom. You will see from the work our site team has completed below, it is not a classroom you would recognise.
The majority of our classrooms will only permit eight students at 2-metre spaces; one of the many logistical tasks we are tackling, as part of detailed risk assessment planning.
I will write and update all parents after half term once we have received further DfE advice on the specifics of opening secondary schools. There is still much uncertainty on the exact dates, given the complexities of the virus. I do not at this stage want to inform you of arrangements that could in all likelihood change again after half term
In the meantime, I hope you all continue to stay safe and well and can enjoy the half term holiday together. I thank you again for your ongoing messages of support to our teachers and your patience and understanding as we move forward.
NATIONAL THANK A TEACHER DAY – MAY 20TH
‘Thank You’ to a teacher that has made a difference to you?
On Wednesday National Thank a Teacher Day was an opportunity for us to think about those teachers who we may want to stop and thank for inspiring and encouraging us all as children to believe in ourselves.
“You don’t do lessons, you make memories”
I would like to recognise all the comments that have been sent either privately to our teachers or with requests to share with all our staff. The following comment is typical and I used this on Wednesday to thank our staff:
I hope everyone in Plymstock School is keeping safe and well. I think everyone is doing a wonderful job at keeping the children of key workers, and those who are vulnerable, safe during this scary time.
“Can I first say how much we all appreciate your hard and ongoing commitment to the welfare of our children during this time, as well as the amount of time it takes you all to continue to educate our children in a new manner too.”
Dear Mrs Duff,
I just wanted to write to express my gratitude and ask you to pass on to all the teachers what a great job they are doing in these difficult times. My daughter is in Year 7. She sometimes struggles with confidence and likes me to sit with her when I can for reassurance but I can honestly say that all her teachers have been so supportive when called upon. I do not feel the amount of work set is unmanageable in any way.
I am a nurse so am continuing to go to work every day. Having had my own professional role change to meet the needs of the current crisis I can only imagine how difficult it must be for teachers working from home trying to meet the needs of all the individual pupils whilst dealing with their own home lives as well. We nurses are called angels on a daily basis but I think the teachers deserve as much recognition.
I am not expressing myself as eloquently as I would like but just felt the need to send a heartfelt thank you for what you are all doing.
Many thanks and stay safe
Plymstock School Alumni News
In the blog on 7 May, we featured an article celebrating that one of our ex-students Kane Sullivan has been promoted to Operations Manager at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol. Chloe Sumner who contacted me at that time has since helped me catch up with several of Kane’s peers who left Plymstock School in 2012.
I am delighted that they have kindly agreed to share what happened next. I hope when it’s safe to do so, to invite them all back to help inspire another generation of Plymstock School students to believe in themselves, work hard and follow their dreams.
Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”
I have nominated Kezia in Year10 as Student of the Week for sending Mr Withey the message below.
In Mr Withey’s words “Made me smile… not much …..but made me smile”, high praise indeed Kezia from Mr Withey..
Please don’t underestimate that achievement!
Mr Withey states “Kezia has also been remarkably diligent, punctual and engaged in her work. She has thrived through distance learning.” Well done Kezia
‘How to Stay Safe and Sane in Lockdown’
‘One of our fabulous Year 7 tutor groups have decided to make a video’
Ms Robinson sets her tutor group (7MGR) a little challenge each week – this week, (inspired by various staff videos) they made a video called ‘How to Stay Safe and Sane in Lockdown’ – they sent her their individual clips and she edited them into a little video.
Here is the link https://vimeo.com/421453088
We hope you enjoy the video as much as we have, I hope it brightens your day but helps us all
remember the importance of #StayHomeSaveLives
- We are staying in so we can go back out
- We’re staying apart so we can get back together
- We are working together so all our hardships now are for a better and happier tomorrow.
Last week we featured a story about several community-minded students. Miss Wilkins has been working with Jess and her family this week on an update below as to how we can safely support Jess in collecting food.
Year 7 2020, New Transition Webpage
I am delighted to announce that our new ‘Plymstock Transition Year 7 cohort 2020’, webpage is now live.
We have launched a virtual transition webpage to support all our Year 6 students, parents and carers in joining Plymstock School. I mentioned in an open letter on 24 April to our Year 6 families in the blog that ‘we have not forgotten you.’
A team of staff are working actively with our primary feeders to find out all about you.
Please find it on our homepage in the menu bar.
It includes all of our key information, parent letters, introduction from Mrs Kirk and Mr Chivers and a new ‘Virtual Tour’.
We hope you get a chance to have a look.
Have a safe and enjoyable half term.
Mrs Kirk and Mr Pearsall
Plymstock Lockdown Literacy Challenge
Please visit our new Library Website using the link below to find some ideas and information about how to help children gain confidence and develop a love of reading:
Please reply to @plymstocklockdownliteracychallenge to let us know what you all do to get your children reading more!
Plymstock Literacy Lockdown Challenge
Literacy Challenge let 20.05.2020
All work and no play! Our students’ messages from lockdown
Working and Learning at home
Mrs Littler has nominated Isaac in Year 12 as student of the Week for going that extra step in all of his studies and for his extra-curricular activities.
Due to work experience not taking place this year Isaac took advantage of participating in an online Computer Science based work experience programme offered by Invest In Education.
This saw him looking at cybersecurity, AI and other tasks. The experience finished off with an assessment, which Isaac passed with flying colours.
Well done Isaac
I have nominated Gracie in Year 8 for a special Headteacher Personal Achievement Award, in our student of the week category, Gracie has been unwell and unfortunately had to stay in hospital. Despite all this, her thoughts even when coming around from the anaesthetic, were making sure that her teachers were aware of why she hadn’t submitted work. She has also been incredibly resilient the Doctors did commend Gracie for her for having such a high pain threshold, because it was such a nasty appendix and operation.
Gracie, we wish you a speedy recovery.
Miss Pring has nominated the following students from her tutor group as students of the week:
Samuel – for using his creative skills to keep going with his home learning, despite how challenging this can be. In addition, for walking a neighbour’s dog daily as she is disabled, shielding and can’t get out. I know Mum is very proud of Samuel.
James – James found home learning difficult initially and is now working hard. He sent Miss Pring a wonderful picture that he has taken for a get well card the tutor group are making. He has clearly spent a lot of time and care over this.
We are proud of both James and Samuel for their hard work, resilience and empathy, well done.
Staff Video MFL Competition – the winner was Annie in y9 with 24/25 correct answers. Runner up Erin in Y7. Their prizes will be coming via special bike delivery over half term! Thanks to everyone who took part.
Y10 Assessment – well done to the students who submitted their French assessments – you will have started to receive your feedback ready to IACT. We have been very pleased with how the French and German students have approached this task.
In other Languages news, Mrs Kent says Year 10 French Quizlet live winners:
1) Alicja G. 6 wins
2) Hermione B. 5 wins
3) Molly and Madame Baker 4 wins
Miss Ziegler says a special mention to Megan (9xTamar), who is working really well, she also messaged me to say she set up the Duolingo app and is doing French every day. Exapmles of Megan’s work attached.
A shout out for Lizzie and Mrs mum for enthusiasm in completing French work. For Isaac for completing all French work, always.
Secial mentions also for Ashton 9yNile and Annabelle 9yCongofor excellent work.
Miss Ziegler would also like to say a big thank you to year 9 parents for being very supportive to their children and to her.
Ms Baker says:
Brendan and Amelie are Y8 Quizlet champions from last week and Miss Ellis and Louis were winners this week.
Y8 French quizlet live moving to Tuesday breaktime from now on, so it doesn’t clash with German.
Art completed at home
We start with a selection of work from Mr Hurd-Thomas’ classes. Featured below is the work of: Karmen in Year 8 and Mackensie in Year 7.
Miss Clarke has also sent in a range of work from her KS3 classes.
Pictured below is the work of: Abi, Year 7, Emotion; Anoushka, Year 8 Monster Design; Dylan, Year 7; Jessica, Year 8; Jessica, Year 8, Dots Animal; Kacie, Year 7 Emotions; Lucy, Year 8 turtle drawing; Sam, Year 8, Lizard.
Dylan is Year 7 has been nominated as Student of the Week by Miss Clarke
Just a reminder from Ms Wakeham from last week’s blog, isolation portraits.
If you haven’t seen the pictures please do have a look they’re awesome!
Please do go on the Devon Guild Website to vote for your favourite isolation portrait. We have quite a few students with work submitted.
If you are able to make time to vote, the students entered would really appreciate your time.
We start with Mrs Hughes nominating Lily in 7x-pe2 as Student of the week for keeping active at home and completing her PE challenges.
Mrs Tyrell has been also hearing back from our students who have been busy this week and has made them her students of the week.
Ella and Esme took on the challenge of creating their own fitness games that they have practiced with their families. Ella designed a miniature golf course in her back garden and produced score sheets and rules to go with it, while Esme shared her ‘heads or tails’ fitness game. We really enjoy seeing what the students are getting up to at home.
I also had a lovely conversation with Lizzie this week. She told me about all the fantastic things her and her family are getting up to at home and shared some photos with us.
You will also spot her brother William too.
Fantastic to hear from you all and see you keeping active and well, Mrs Tyrell
Extended writing in Year 8 History: Mrs Withey
This half term, students in my Year 8 class have been studying a distance learning unit on the British Empire and have recently answered a challenging GCSE style question on its impact and legacy. They firstly had to analyse two historian’s interpretations and then write a balanced argument building on the main ideas using their own knowledge before reaching a judgement.
It really was a challenging task! I am delighted with the response and am so pleased to see a number of students achieving above their Plymstock pathway grade.
In particular, I am incredibly impressed with essays written by Matthew, Jess, Laura, Toby, Poppy, Danny and Freya. I’ve nominated Matthew and Jess as Students of the Week for their work which was exceptional. However, everyone is worthy of praise.
It is a real credit to our students to see them engaging so well in distance learning.
Well done and thank you for being so amazing!
EPiC – Spirited Arts Project
Mrs Slade has nominated the following students as Student of the Week for their impressive work at home. Firstly, Ben for his really thoughtful and creative piece that is extremely eye catching.
In addition, another colourful and creative piece of work from Imogen,
The last piece of work comes from Ethan.
“Hello, I have put cling film around the dome to show that our atmosphere is covered in plastic, I don’t believe in god so I haven’t included him in this project. However, I do believe that humans have ruined this earth. To show that,I have stuck pieces of plastic to the dome. I have drawn dead trees to symbolize that we have killed most of earth’s trees.”
Well done to all three on the time and effort they have put into their work.
Mr Wright has also nominated Nathan in Year 8 for a fantastic piece of work. It was part of the students EPiC tasks since school closure. The brief was to choose a religious theme and create either a model, drawing, story, poem etc of what the religious theme makes you think and feel.
Nathan has used the serenity prayer and done a fantastic job of relating the theme/prayer to the current environment.
Incredibly moving and very thoughtful. Thank you Nathan. Fantastic and inspiring.
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:
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 7 students of the week:
Dylan, Lily, Esme, Ella, Matthew, Jess and Ethan
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 8 students of the week:
Gracie, Samuel, James, William and Nathan
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 9 students of the week:
Lizzie, Ben and Imogen
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 10 students of the week:
In Year 12, Isaac
Forthcoming Events and important announcement
Challenge Week Refunds Update
The finance team have worked hard throughout the last few weeks on the complex refunds process for the Challenge Week 2020 trips. I am very pleased to say that the last few trips have now been refunded.
The following trips and activities were refunded this week:
- Y7 PGL
- Y8 & Y9 PGL
Please note that if your child was on one of these trips, and the money paid has not now arrived back to the original payment source, you will need to log in to Parent Pay and accept the refund to complete the process.
If you have any questions please email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Staying in touch and up to date with Plymstock School
We continue to update parents with direct messages through our MyEd messaging service. To support the volume of updates as requested by parents only a limited number of key important messages will be sent home each week.
Please do check our Plymstock School Newsfeed for all our latest updates and messages.
Information about Distance Learning can be found here:
Information on Mental Health and Wellbeing can be found here:
and specific information related to COVID-19 on our distance learning page below the Newsfeed banner
Thank you to Mrs Kirk (Sunsets) for her photographs used in this week’s blog from her daily exercise walks.