This week, Plymstock School was visited by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Wendy Foster. She was joined by her Consort, Councillor Ken Foster, and the Lord Mayor’s Macebearer.
The Lord Mayor has a long standing relationship with the school, with her children attending here many years ago. Her Consort and husband is also a former governor of the school. It was an absolute pleasure to take the Lord Mayor around our to see our fantastic school in action. It was also great to talk about how the school has developed, our plans for the future and the challenges facing schools in our city.
Wednesday saw a number of staff and students take part in the ‘Lots of Socks’ initiative to support World Down Syndrome Day. Why socks? Well, it’s because chromosomes look like socks and people with Down Syndrome have an extra chromosome. Our SEND staff especially embraced the wearing of odd socks – in fact they even managed to rope me into the day (and I’m probably the least likely person ever be seen in odd socks!).
Over the years, Plymstock School has had a number of students with Down Syndrome, including two amazing students in our current Year 7. Although the ‘Lots of Socks’ initiative is relatively new, it is already beginning to have an effect, with staff saying that students were asking them why they were wearing odd socks, which prompted discussion and helped to raise awareness. Next year we hope to make this a school-wide event.
As a consequence of the snow closure, we rescheduled World Book Day to last Thursday. World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. As we always see, our students and staff really went to town and wore some amazing outfits of their favourite characters from literature. We even had a visit from President Trump in all his ‘Fire and Fury’ (played by none other than our Head of Performing Arts, Mr Chick!).
Over the lunch break we held a costume competition with the staff and students. I am pleased to say the following people won:
- Destine was the overall winning student with her Gandalf outfit.
- The two runners-up were Kieran (as Sherlock Holmes) and Lucy (as Scarlett O’Hara).
- Mr Nicholls won the staff award for his Jeykll & Hyde outfit, with Miss Grainger as Arwen being awarded the runner-up spot
A big thank you to everyone involved for making it a great day.
This year the British Science Week theme was ‘Discovery and Exploration’. During lessons, Year 7 and 8 students, went on a space adventure. Students were tasked with designing and testing the materials for their own Astro-nappy, competing to design the best ‘Egg Re-entry Space Shuttle’ (including testing from height) and took part in a debate on whether mobile microphones should always be on and listening! The students had the opportunity to enter the national poster competition and all years took part in the tutor space quiz. Poster, tutor quiz entries and Egg Shuttle winners to be announced next week.
Our Sixth Form Psychology students have been looking at Humanistic Psychology and carried out a visual learning task, in order to assist their learning of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. There was some debate about whether Maslow was correct in his theory and on the whole the students felt that he more or less got it right, with many aspects of their pyramids matching his.
This week we held our Life Education collapsed afternoon on Tuesday. A wide variety of different opportunities and experiences were available across the year groups.
Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in a series of ‘Futures Activities’. Year 7 focused on creative challenges and an exploration of careers within the creative industries. Year 8 looked at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and participated in interactive workshops. Year 9 worked on developing the skills and qualities associated with enterprise and employability. This was supported by students from Plymouth Marjon University.
Year 10 looked at careers and employability – specifically, preparing for the world of work and their upcoming work experience. The students covered areas such as CVs, interview skills and workplace scenarios/role plays. They also looked at health and safety.
Our Year 11 students were given the opportunity to work on revision skills, organisation and revision timetable planning. This was followed by a highly competitive ‘Tug of War’.
Many of our Year 12 students took up the opportunity to attend the Higher Education Convention at Westpoint Arena. Our Year 13 students, and some of Year 12 that were looking at alternatives to university, had the opportunity to learn about apprenticeship opportunities, as well as participate in interview preparation through the legal firm Womble Bond Dickinson. The firm brought two of our ex-students back with them, who were recruited two years ago onto their prestigious higher level apprenticeship.
Overall, it was a really good day, with our staff and students having a very positive experience. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to making this so effective (there are far too many people to mention individually).
Our Year 8 boys football team marched into the semi-finals of the Plymouth Schools Cup competition after a hard fought match at Stoke Damerel Community College. With question marks before the game about the conditions of the pitch given the recent weather, Plymstock gave a fantastic account for themselves beating last year’s finalists. An enthralling action-packed encounter took place with Plymstock coming from a goal down on 3 separate occasions to finish 3-3 at full-time. The boys then held their nerve in a tense and cagey dreaded penalty shoot-out, that finished 3-2 in our favour. It was a testament to the boys’ character who have now beaten both of last year’s finalists (Devonport High School for Boys and Stoke Damerel) during the early rounds of this year’s competition. The result was much to the delight of both players and a very contented manager (Mr Farrant). Well done everyone.
We’d like to say a huge well done to a number of students who have worked incredibly hard this term on their British Trampoline Awards. Each specific level has a number of movements that must be performed with high levels of control and fluency, both as stand-alone skills and in a routine (Level 10 is the hardest level). Mrs Campbell would particularly like to thank our talented student coaches – Holly, Lauren and Kate for helping the sessions run smoothly.
It’s student of the week time and we start with our Year 7 winner – Ella. This fantastic young lady has been nominated for exceptional hard work, positive attitude, refusal to give up and kindness to others. A really great Plymstock student.
Drew is our Year 8 student of the week. Recently Drew broke his leg, which is enough to get anyone down. However, he has been at school with a smile on his face, working extremely hard and refusing to let a broken leg stand in his way. His attitude has been amazing. On the day I was taking the photos, Drew was actually having his cast removed – so here’s his certificate!
Our Year 9 winner this week is Matthew. He has been nominated in recognition of his continued hard work and effort. This was recently exemplified when he designed a 132 slide presentation on countries around the world! Vey impressive Matthew.
Our Year 10 student of the week is none other than Harvey. In addition, to showing huge improvements in school, Harvey has also developed into a top quality rugby player playing for Devon, Exeter Chiefs and of course, Plymstock School. Keep up the great work Harvey – we are very proud of you.
Chloe is our Year 11 winner. Last week, a small group of Year 11 students visited Duchy College for the day. Chloe was absolutely fantastic. Her positive attitude and friendliness towards others was amazing. She happily took on responsibility and put lots of extra effort in, to make the most of the day. The staff said she was a pleasure to have around. She clearly has a great future working with animals – her real passion (plus, as you can see from the picture, she’s quite brave too!).
Finally, our Post-16 student of the week, is a previous winner – Max. You will recall that Max is a rising star in the world of Judo. After his recent exceptional performances with England, he has just been selected to represent Great Britain at a competition and training camp in Bremen, Germany. Well done Max.