Welcome back to the summer term
“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall”
It’s wonderful to be back! I want to thank our students for their fantastic efforts this week, adapting once again to new systems on site.
After a lot of juggling and logistics over half term, by our hard working site and Network support team, we finally moved into our new classrooms this week. Pictured above, is our wonderful new ICT suite. We have some wonderful light and spacious rooms as well as some much needed extra toilets. All very modern and up to date; in a colour scheme chosen by our student senate.
As we cautiously move forward, it’s been a pleasure this week to see our additional PE clubs and activities once again taking place after school. The students are making the most of our facilities at lunchtime to play supervised COVID safe football.
Children as they should be; running around, burning off energy, having fun together in this wonderful early spring sunshine.
Plymouth Soup Run
Jannis R and Elise N (year 9) both volunteered with Plymstock United Reform Church to help with Plymouth Soup Run which is a non profit organisation.
During Covid times most homeless have been homed by the council however due to having to abide by certain rules and regulations ie non smoking in buildings, lights out, no pets etc, some people still sadly choose to sleep on the streets, others are not necessarily homeless, however extremely poor and vulnerable and need extra help.
The evening starts with making fresh soup and sandwiches and packing bags with fresh fruit and anything else kindly donated from local butchers, bakeries and supermarkets. This all has to be made up within a specific timescale, once all packed these food packages are delivered to the homeless within designated areas at specific times around Plymouth City Centre and Devonport. Any left overs are taken to a Hostel the same night so that there is no waste!
On this particular evening a couple of areas needed extra police presence which was rather daunting, however Elise and Jannis were still happy to work and were impressed how most people queued up in a orderly manner while waiting for the volunteer cars to arrive and unload. The homeless were polite and so very grateful. The volunteers also hand out donated sanitation items, clothes and even dog food for the pets. There was one gentleman who had his face painted like a skeleton and had pet rats as his friends, another young gentlemen in his 20’s desperately needed a sleeping bag, Jannis and Elise were so happy to be able to accommodate him with one and also a good, warm. waterproof coat!!
A Soup run is so much more than just handing out cups of soup, it’s about warmth, compassion, listening and a friendly face!
We are incredibly proud of both these students and their actions to support others who are less fortunate than themselves in our community. Their hard work and empathy is simply oustanding! They have both received a Headteacher certificate in recognition of their personal achievement
The Little Princess Trust
This week I was contacted by our receptionist Jan Brown, about the amazing act of charity her granddaughter has taken part in.
Layla D is in Year 7 and her mum explains:
On Monday, my daughter Layla had 14 inches of her hair cut off so she could donate it to The Little Princess Trust – a charity which makes wigs for children that have lost their hair due to cancer. She has been growing it for the past few years with the aim to donate it and we’re super proud of her for being so passionate about doing something to help other children who are facing something so difficult.
We’re incredibly proud of her and have given a link below to a Go Fund Me page to help raise the money needed to turn the hair into a wig. Her mum oversees this page and has said that should you wish to donate the link is below and all money raised goes directly to The Little Princess Trust.
Duke of Edinburgh Award – update
The Year 9 DofE Bronze participants are currently working on three sections at Bronze level. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter and developing new skills.
Here are some more amazing examples of their work (below). Annie W has been downloading an OS booklet and learning to navigate and read through it. She also signed up to a four-week online navigation course by ‘Pure Outdoor’. This is part of her ‘skills’ section. She also plotted her mum’s DofE expedition route out on a map of Dartmoor. She used six figure grid references to do this and scales and distances.
Isabella I has been writing emails/postcards to poorly children and their siblings through the charity ‘Post Pals’. Her goal is to brighten up somebody else’s day by writing them an email/postcard every week.
Keep up the good work year 9!
Mrs de Mora
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is part of our extra curricular programme at Plymstock School.
HRH Prince Phillip has changed the lives of many children across our schools through the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and we cannot thank him enough for everything he has done to shape lives. We are sending our condolences to the royal family during this time.
In tribute to HRH Prince Phillip,Tom D a 6th form student has completed his DofE and shared his experience…
‘it has been a really good experience. DofE definitely helped encourage me to try and get involved with new things, leading to many fun experiences. During doing the award, I had to cooperate with people that I would not have normally been around which also helped grow my own people skills and put me outside of my comfort zone’.
We’ve include below in addition some pictures from pre COVID restrictions taken in March 2020 when I presented awards to the cohort shown on their expeditions in June 2019. We look forward to our next adventures to challenge ourselves.
Plymstock School are supporting the Everyone’s Invited campaign by reminding all our students that any young person who reports that they have been affected by this issue will be supported in line with our existing safeguarding protocols.
Students can contact their Head of Year, Assistant Head of Year or any of our Designated Safeguarding Leads to discuss any concerns that they may have about sexual harassment, assault or abuse.
These will be managed in line with the school’s Safeguarding Policy. Alongside this we already have a dedicated link to the NSPCC on our website and a range of other links to pages to support families and children. The NSPCC have also launched a dedicated helpline for children and young people who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse at school, and for worried adults and professionals that need support and guidance, including for historic abuse.
New NSPCC helpine, Report Abuse in Education on 0800 136 663 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Students of the week
All our nominees have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”.
This week’s winners
- In Year 7: Layla D is in Year 7 for her charity work for The Little Princess Charity
- In Year 8: Miss Robb has nominated Rocca-Jade S: “Rocca-Jade has come back to school which a completely renewed focus and attitude to her lessons. She has been particularly engaged with her Maths lessons and her recent test result was fantastic. We are really proud of Rocca-Jade”
- In Year 9: Grace A, nominated by Mr Wilson “Grace has always got a book on the go and is always ordering new ones from the library. She is also a really pleasant, useful friendly member of tutor who always has something nice to say and always puts in awesome effort in all her classes”
- In Year 10: Chloe Kenyon, nominated by Mr Wallace for working hard and revising thoroughly, leading to excellent test scores in maths
- In Year 11: Ellie B, nominated by Mrs Parish for a really positive attitude and going the extra mile
- Year 12: Theatre Studies: Ethan P for his excellent work and commitment to Theatre Studies this week. He’s come back with lots of ideas and fantastic energy for the devising work the group are doing.
- Year 13: Further maths: Tom D, Miss Marshall would like to nominate Tom for his work in on some epic integration!
Ms Wright would like to nominate the whole of her Further Maths class – they are awesome mathematicians and such lovely people, every single one of them. They co-operate amazingly well with Y12 and Y13 courses going on at the same time in the same room and I absolutely love teaching them.
Well done to: Nathan, Joel, Skye, Anna, David, Evie, Tom, William, Joseph, Joseph, Corey and Maddie
Ms Burgess’ Year 13 English class
Mrs Parish would like to nominate all of her and Ms Burgess’ English class for working extremely hard this term and having a brilliantly positive attitude all of the time.
Well done to: Tyler, Louis, Zoe, Alice, Lewis and Sarah
Year 13 RS class
Ms Slade would like to nominate her Year 13 RS class – they have been absolutely amazing at just coping with all that this year has thrown at them. I am really proud at their dedication to achieving their best.
Well done to: Louis, Jack, Grace, Anya, Maddie, Ruther, Evie, Eleanor, Eva, Dan, Dan, Abigail and Maddie
Clubs and activities
LabRats Science club will have a trial session on Tuesday 4th May in Sc1 from 3-4pm. This is for year 7 only in the first instance.
Well done to all who were nominated this week:
All our nominees have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”.
In Year 7:
- Joseph R and Gabriel L nominated by Miss Reeve “We have a new Scheme of learning which we have just started in Computer Science and I discovered that both students are complete ‘Whizz Kids’ when it comes to computer programing using Online Scratch! I think other students will learn a lot from their expertise”
- Matthew B, Ellsie L, Lily S and Hayden W, nominated by Mr Wallace for working hard and revising thoroughly, leading to excellent test scores in maths.
In Year 8:
- Mr Wilson has nominated Summer L for awesome work and effort in Science in every lesson. Summer works really hard in Science and wants to know everything! She is always looking for extra work to complete and always wanting a new challenge
- Louisa G and Poppy M, nominated by Mrs Parish for always putting in 110% in class
- Summer F, Molly K, Aimee K and Lara M, nominated by Mr Wallace for working hard and revising thoroughly, leading to excellent test scores in maths
- Alfie H-L has been nominated by Mrs Parish for participating in a really positive way in class
In Year 9:
- Miss Reeve has nominated Lilly- May D “she completed a worksheet in Computer Science this week to such a fabulous standard that I have been using it as an exemplar piece of work to show other students what they can aim towards
- Courtney H, Ruby M and Ryan W, nominated by Mr Wallace for working hard and revising thoroughly, leading to excellent test scores in maths
- Jessica W, nominated by Mr Smith for continued great classwork and excellent contributions in our Q&A sessions
In Year 10:
- Mrs Parish has nominated Ewan B-T and Isabella P for consistently working really hard in all lessons
- Isaac Q, Brooke B and Annabelle H, nominated by Mr Farrant “They all attended the afterschool Biology session today to prepare for their mock exams even though they only found out in the morning that it was starting, I think this shows a huge determination to succeed and they also worked extremely hard during the session – so well done!”
- Mrs Dover has nominated Shea H, Violet K and Kayla D for helping Ms Linzell complete her Level 6 Careers Assessment by taking part in a CV workshop
- Jack M and Freya F-S, nominated by Mr Wallace for working hard and revising thoroughly, leading to excellent test scores in maths
In Year 11:
- Marley F nominated by Mrs Parish for a really positive attitude and going the extra mile
In Year 12:
- Criminology: Isaac W, Arina C, Kieran P, Isabelle W, Skye L, Codie W, Eloise W-K 12. They all achieved above target in their most recent classroom assessment and have prepping like bosses for Year 12 assessment week. I’m really proud of them! Ms Harris
- Computer Science: Tegan T and Pippa W for exceptional and consistent commitment
- Anna McF Miss Marshall would like to nominate Anna for her work in both maths and further maths. She is always good humoured and makes an excellent contribution in both subjects.
- Theatre Studies: Ethan P For his excellent work and commitment to Theatre Studies this week. He’s come back with lots of ideas and fantastic energy for the devising work the group are doing.
In Year 13:
- RS: Eva N for a consistent excellent work ethic and Anya C for sustained progress and rapid development
- Core Maths: Tabitha H, Aliya S, Freya M for their resilience, work ethic and great sense of humour.
- German: Maddie C for her complete commitment to her studies and her future.
- Tom D Miss Marshall would like to nominate Tom for his work in Further maths on some epic integration!
- Thomas C Miss Marshall would like to nominate Thomas for demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of Flags of the World during tutor time.
- Chemistry: Emma C and Annabel M for excellent effort and continued dedication to the subject.
Merits and Rewards
A huge congratulations to those students who were awarded their bronze merit award before the Easter break. Since September these students have achieved 150 merits for their brilliant work, attitude to school life and encompassing what it means to be part of Plymstock School. I would like to individually mention every student who was presented with a badge and certificate but I don’t think there is enough room in the blog – there were 209 individuals!
I would like to give a special shout out to 2 Year 8 students Ella K and Ava S who achieved their silver merit badge as well – that is 300 merits! A massive achievement, well done girls!
Wear your badges with pride – we are proud of you!
Teacher of the week:
The Student Senate have today presented Miss Hogben with an award following this lovely nomination from the Year 11 pastoral team.
Ruth Hogben for Teacher of the Week. She has started one to one wellbeing mentoring with some of our Year 11 boys this week. She offered to do this off her own back, on top of her own responsibilities and duties, because she is so passionate about a child-centred approach to education and really believes in forging positive relationships.
She and her team have just been invaluable to us in the pastoral team this last academic year, we honestly wouldn’t have been able to cope without them. They are all amazing, but Ruth in particular has been a shining light!
Stress is something we will all experience in our lives.
However, there are any number of reasons why we may feel under pressure at different times. This pressure can sometimes be helpful, keeping us focused and helping us complete tasks.
For children and young people, this may happen because of school work, difficulties at home or problems with friends. Adults may face many different pressures at work, and juggling priorities can cause significant stress.
The Big Ask
If there is ever a more suitable time to create opportunities to engage and provide platforms for children and young people to feel listened to – the time is now! The impact of COVID-19 has and will continue to have an effect on us all, but the newly appointed Children’s Commissioner for England is encouraging everyone to take part in the largest ever survey of children and young people in England. This will be used to show the government that children think and need to live happier lives.
About the Big Ask
The Big Ask is a survey for children and young people aged 4-17 in England. The survey has been split into different age groups, so it is age appropriate.
Why should you take part?
This is a chance for children and young people to have their say on things that matter to them. They can share what their lives are like, what they want to see in the future and what is holding them back. The information will be used to tell the people who run the county and the local area of what needs to change to make lives better for the future.
How do I take part in the survey?
The survey takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. You can access the survey by visiting
EVERY CHILD IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Since the first spring lockdown, the lives of children have changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined. On average, a child contacts Childline every 25 seconds.
By raising £120 you could help answer 30 children’s calls to Childline, when they feel like no one else will listen. Hit the fundraising target and get an exclusive medal to say ‘thank you’!
Sign up now for £15 and get your NSPCC running vest. Take to the pavements and parks, hit your stride and know every kilometre you cover is helping us be here for children.