“Be the best you can be”
This has been a strap line that we have talked to the students about since that first day in September.
This week’s blog is all about our students and their work at home with their teachers and tutors, all working hard to stay in touch and support the work that continues. Our students are wonderful young people and I hope you enjoy their work and the way they have found ways to support each other, stay in touch and think of others in the community less fortunate than themselves
To read about and see their endeavour, resilience and empathy, I have no doubt our students, like others before them that we have featured in recent months, will go on to be world class.
Community Spirit during lock down
This week another of our students, Brendan in Year 8, has demonstrated he is a community spirited individual.
Brendan’s letter to Mr Wookey is below. Mr Wookey comments:
I am very hardly ever rendered speechless but you have managed to do it! What you have done is amazing. Not only will the Shekinah mission appreciate the money you have raised but also the sacrifice you made and the new found knowledge you have gained.
Thousands of people sleep rough every year in England some are young teenagers and some would be classified as OAPs and they need all the support they can get.
It is people like you that make being a Head of Year amazing! Well done”
To Mr Wookey and Mr Pearsall :
“I am writing to let you know about a special event I took part in last weekend.
I have been taking part in virtual meetings with my Scout group throughout lockdown. On Saturday 20th June my scouts and the beavers, cubs and explorers in my troop all took part in a sponsored sleep out to raise money for Shekinah mission. Shekinah Mission supports the homeless in Plymouth. Older participants and leaders were encouraged to spend the night outside if they had access to a safe space. Younger participants might have slept in their garage or shed or just spent some part of the evening outdoors.
I made a shelter from two large cardboard boxes and some plastic sheeting.
My scouts had a zoom meeting at 8pm to share who was sleeping where and to chat a little about why we were getting sponsored for Shekinah. We were reminded to keep ourselves safe.
I settled into my sleeping bag and got into my shelter at about 9.45 and by 10pm it had started to rain. It was quite lonely and scary and I did not get much sleep.
By 2.20am my shelter was really soaked with rain. I decided to go indoors – but spent the rest of the night sleeping on the kitchen floor.
The total raised from the sleep out by the whole troop is just over £1000.
Sleeping outside alone was really challenging and made me really think hard about what life must be like if you are homeless.
I am very impressed and can only add to Mr Wookey’s high praise of both his effort and resilience to complete this challenge. I’m most impressed by his empathy and understanding for others in society who have become vulnerable. I’m very proud of his actions and congratulate him for completing his challenge and his efforts to both raise money and promote the amazing work of the Shekinah Mission.
He is a worthy student of the week and a certificate will be making its way to him very soon.
Partial re-opening short update
Friday’s decoupage and origami.
This week in Edu-care some of students have been very creative, pictured below is the work of Caolan, Kianna and Thomas.
Miss Monelle was really impressed with all their efforts and has nominated Caolan as Student of the Week, for all the positive comments we have received about him from teachers last week.
Transitions – Moving on Up!
Year 7 into 8
School Diversity Week – Bake Off!
Miss Robb, Head of Year 7 moving into Year 8, has been running a baking/cooking competition this week for School Diversity Week.
Miss Robb has been inundated with entries for a competition she has been running with Year 7 as part of her transition work in becoming their new Head of Year – whilst still very much thinking about Year 11; she has an exciting update for them next week.
I was offered the unenviable task of judging them! Miss Robb explains
“The week’s Year 7 competition tasked the year group with creating an edible rainbow to celebrate School Diversity Week. The number of entries was staggering, 21 in total, and the time, care and creative thought that went into them was commendable. Mr Pearsall was asked to judge the competition and choose a winner and that was Sophie – rainbow zebra smarties cake. Mr Pearsall said “I was really impressed and this was a very hard task to pick one! I chose Sophie because of the colours and creativity of the design, coupled with the technical skill of achieving all those coloured layers. They all look amazing, it’s a great shame we couldn’t taste them. My runners up are Mitchell’s bread and Kacper’s layered cake.
Well done to all those who sent in photos of their creation, I think our Design and Technology Department will be very impressed with the amount of talent we have in the year group.
Look out for my next competition on ShowMyHomework very soon. I’m really proud of you! “
Miss Robb has also nominated Mitchell whose entry is pictured below as her Student of the Week, “he will know the reason why and I am very proud of him and his hard work and effort”.
Year 9 into 10
Mark Taylor, Assistant Headteacher, Director of Learning for Years 10 & 11 wrote to Year 9 parents on 5 June with regard to the change in our Distance Learning to support Year 9 with their transition work to commence their GCSE courses. You will find the details on our website here: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/letters-to-year-9-parents/
Mrs Dover was sent the following piece of work by Katie in Year 9. It is part of her HSC 9-10 Transition Work. As she completed it in super quick time, Mrs Dover said that she deserves to be her ‘Student of the Week’.
And in addition, some PE work from Mrs Tyrrell
Some excellent pieces of work from the Year 9 students who have opted for GCSE PE next year. I have been really impressed with the enthusiasm, commitment and quality they have shown this week.
We are very much looking forward to teaching such an enthusiastic group.
Work pictured from Ashton, Darcy, Tilly, Khloe and Poppy
Year 10 into 11
Mrs Harris and the Year 10 tutors sent a message to the year group this week
Mrs Harris said, “With the partial re-opening of school last week, our Year 10 tutor team put together a message to all the students in the year group. Each week tutors make contact with tutees and we have been delighted to see many in school but there are some shielding and working from home, so we just wanted to say a big hello and that we look forward to seeing them all in the autumn.”
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 in our blog on 22 May.
This week I’ve been contacted by Dan Shillabeer who has updated me on what he and another former student, Kathryn Williams are both doing.
“Dear Mr Pearsall,
I just wanted to update you on what I have been up to since leaving Plymstock School in 2014. I went on to study Business at Bristol UWE obtaining a First Class; I was originally on the path to study Primary School teaching with Mathematics, however, one of my A-Level grades was lower than required, so I sporadically followed another route. This turned out to be a huge positive; I had never studied business before, therefore, I ensured I worked very hard over the three years, which resulted in receiving an award for the highest graded dissertation in the business school.
I joined Babcock as a Business Co-ordinator in October 2017, this was a few months after graduating. I am now a Project Management Office specialist, managing Risk and Integrated Business Planning. I managed to convince Babcock in January 2019 to let me work part-time, enabling me to start an outdoor advertising business after being accepted into UWE’s business incubator programme. After a year of balancing both, I returned full time to Babcock as the challenge was too great, whilst the business was not suitable to generate a career.
I am very glad I returned to Babcock full-time due to job security and I still have a clear career path ahead of me. During Covid19 I became a bit restless, therefore, I collaborated on an app with a friend from Ireland, named Ordoapp (www.ordoapp.co.uk).
This is an in-house ordering platform supporting local cafes/pubs/restaurants and bars. Customers can order and pay for their food/drink without moving from their seat. We have had a great response so far; this is launching in the UK next week and we are currently providing demonstrations in the local area and on Zoom.
Lastly, you may remember my partner Kathryn Williams who I met whilst at Plymstock in 6th form. You taught her GCSE Maths in 2012, helping her achieve the C which she needed to get into Southampton University. Kat achieved a First Class in Psychology and now enjoys working in mental health.
I hope you are okay, I can imagine it has been absolutely manic for you! Thank you for taking the time to read this.
It is really great to hear from our ex-students and we wish them all well in their future careers.
All work and no play! Our students’ messages from lockdown
Working and Learning at home
Year 7 Head of Year nomination
Miss Robb’s and Mr Davis’s nomination this week is for Lara, who has just made a fantastic Xbox controller birthday cake for her brother’s birthday.
Mr Davis also commented on her continued commitment and interest.
He said, “I send out regular messages just asking what they’ve been up to and she always sends something in!”
They just can’t stop baking in Year 7! Well done Lara what a lovely thing to do.
Year Head 9 of Year nomination
Mr Dott is very impressed by the work of Oliver in his year. He told me that he
spoke to his mum last week and she told him that Olly is developing his practical skills by being given small and simple tasks to complete by his mum and her partner. Both are skilled tradespeople and as you can see below, under close supervision Olly has fitted some plug sockets.
Olly has previously ‘wowed’ us with his technical skills by using an old skateboard and radio controlled car parts to build his own lawn mower, he has also recently restored an old bike for a neighbour.
Mrs Childs, who is currently working in Edu Care, has nominated Lizzie and Amy to be Students of the Week for Year 9 this week.
She said, “Both these girls have completed all their English work, every week, on time and to the best of their ability. Each week they do their best to improve and always attempt the extension work when it is set, even when they find it challenging. They both deserve a big pat on the back.”
We would also like to thank Mrs Child’s for her work too! She’s been awesome in Eco Edu-care.
Year 10 Head of Year nomination
Dedan has been nominated by his Head of Year after she found out about him taking up gardening during lock down. His mum sent in some photos and a list of all the produce that he is growing – I would be interested to find out how the kiwis and oranges do!
His mum said, “He’s been growing runner beans, kale, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, peas, broccoli, butternut squash, raspberries, carrots, onion, garlic, peppers, sweet potatoes, kiwis and oranges! He wants to do a lockdown garden tour for his YouTube channel so I can send you the link once he posts it.”
And we also have Year 10 nominations from Mrs Whitehead for Olivia.
“Olivia has been unwell recently and has continued to work when she was well enough – she has worked really well and completed all the work set – mum said that she is impressed with the way she has been focused and succeeded to maintain a high level of work.
Olivia needs the award for being a superb young lady who has maintained a high level of work under difficult circumstances.”
We are very proud of Olivia for her superb endeavours and resilience.
National Citizens Service (NCS) Update:
Great news! NCS have launched their new initiative ‘One Million Hours of Keep Doing Good’. Open to students aged 15-17. Full details available in the ‘Latest News’ area on our school website www.plymstockschool.org.uk
Full details can be found at the end of this blog
‘Widen My Path’ safer cycling and walking
Have your say on how to give cyclists and walkers more space to get around safely and maintain physical distancing between Plymouth and Plymstock School.
Add your idea or up vote an existing idea here:
Full details can be found at the end of this blog
Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day 2020
Saturday 27 June is Armed Forces Day. Plymouth is marking this event online only.
To find out more: https://www.plymoutharmedforcesday.co.uk/
The main themes are as follows:
Plymouth’s military: past, present and future
The website includes fascinating and inspiring information on Plymouth’s Military and its past, present and future. From the captivating archive footage from The Box, to photographs of the military in action today taken locations from across the world. Plus a taster of what the future holds for the Royal Navy with its future technology.
Military career opportunities
If you find that inspiring, why not take a look at the diverse range of career opportunities that are available within the Military. If you’re aged 12 or above, maybe joining the Cadets would be of interest? A great place to make lifelong friendships and experience a huge range of exciting activities.
Support for Veterans
Details of many charities and organisations who would normally be exhibiting in the Veteran’s Village are also available through the website, offering their help and support on a wide range of issues.
Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day 2020.
This week’s gallery contributions come from Mr Hurd-Thomas who wanted to share with you some of the fantastic art work that students have been doing at home.
“My Year 7’s have blown me away this week. They are at the end of a project that started looking at Peter Randall-Page and Richard Long. The theme of the project is Order and Chaos, and, when we are in school, we usually make a clay final piece. However, in the current circumstances, I have had to open this out more to them improvising a response to the theme and/or the artists using whatever materials they had at hand. Here are some of the awesome outcomes!
And as well as this, Ollie completed the most wonderful paint-by-numbers image of a lion. It must have taken hours!
Pictured below is amazing and talented work of: Casey, Isabelle, Jessica, Josh, Summer and Ollie.
Casey has been nominated Mr Hurd-Thomas’ student of the week in Year 7 for consistent hard work in Art throughout the year and during lockdown.
Mr Wookey, Head of Year 8, Mrs Harris, Head of Year 10 as well as Mr Withey, Head of History have nominated the following students for Student of the week after receiving this message from Mrs Wilkins:
“I am so proud of so many of our students. The excellent work they are producing at home genuinely makes me smile daily.
There are so many Year 8 students that deserve praise but this week I would like to nominate Alfie for Student of the Week for his excellent History distance learning work and particularly his work on WW1 Trenches.”
Mr Wookey also commented as his D&T teacher that Alfie’s work for DT is also always really good!
Mrs Wilkins would also like to nominate Louis for Student of the Week for his excellent history score.
This is a note which she sent to him:
This is excellent work. I am very impressed. Your quiz score is a perfect 25/25!!!
I have included Mrs Whitehead in this feedback so she can see how well you are doing, and I have included Mrs Harris because I want to nominate you for Y10 student of the week this week.
A massive well done Louis.
Take care and have a good week.
Both have impressed me loads with their resilience and determination as well as their work.”
Well done boys!
We continue to receive some great entries for the# DefiCrepes pancake competition. Entries are on twitter to view @MsBakerMFL and a selection are here.
Today is the deadline and winners will be announced next week (for the school competition). Linguasope will also be judging all the national entries. If you haven’t sent your picutres in, Miss Ziegler needs to receive them today.
Special mentions this week from Ms Baker for Alfie and Polly as Y8 French and Y9 German quizlet live winners and to Dom and Polly in Y9 German for recording excellent German interviews about school to practise their speaking.
Great work in the Y8 French group 8yRyder this week, where work completion and submission continues to be excellent across the class. I must pick out Meisha, Jack, Annabelle, Annoushka, Jackson, Max, Ryan and Ben who always do their work ahead of the deadline.
In the new Y9 Travel and Tourism options group, Katie, Carla, Jacob, Lucy and Sophie have submitted some great research work on iconic travel destinations on each continent.
Student of the week nominations from me are Dom and Polly (mentioned above) in Year 9 German as that was a big speaking task to record and get right, Carla in Year 9 for the level of detail in her travel and tourism work – especially as this is the first task set as their new option group. In Year 12 German – Maddie for commitment to the live lesson, despite the heat on Thursday. And in Year 8 French Jack for making sure all lessons are done to the best of his ability.
For Year 10 French, Mrs Kent has nominated the following 8 students as students of the week – every week, at 12pm on Fridays, they are on Quizlet live. They have been awesome, so committed and making real progress. Well done to all.
Hermione B, Ela W, Leah G, Jess F, Jack D, Molly H, Alicja G and Isabelle S
PE – PE@Home
Mrs Kirk has had the following photos of students exercising during lock down, sent in to her this week by Abi, Charlotte and Emily
Mrs Hawker has sent in a few names for the blog this week for doing some excellent work. Pictured below is the work of Danny and Matt for the theatre marketing assignment, the music work is all in a booklet which has been submitted.
Year 7 and 8 music students have been learning about the various instruments in an orchestra and building their knowledge on the various components and sounds.
Year 7- Eloise, Bronwyn, Mahi, Maisie, Sophie, Daniel, Lara, Samuel, Livia, Zech, Finley, Charlie, Issy, Grace, Sophie, Reehena, Louisa, Esme, Timas, Lily, Isabella, Dan, Abi, Stevie Leigh, Leonita, Ethan, Jacob and Dylan.
Special mention to Ava who has created a hip hop tune on her phone and Summer who has rehearsed and recorded Naughty from Matilda and On my own from Les Miserables. Well done, girls!!
Year 8- Leighton, Aydin, Jack, Amelia, Finley, Molly, Madison, Lauren, Ewa, Yasmine-Marie, Kyle, Sam and Emelia
There has also been some imaginative work on some distance Drama learning, Ollie created some great work for the Aladdin project and Danny, Matt and Rosie have worked hard on a theatre marketing project where they have created a synopsis, character breakdown and poster for a new musical based on the current events happening in the world.
Wow! That’s more than a few, well done to all the students above and Mrs Hawker found it very difficult given all the hard work and fantastic work that has been submitted but her nominations for Students of the week go to Leighton from Year 8 and Livia from Year 7.
EPiC – Spirited Arts Project
Mrs Slade has nominated Jean in Year 7 as ‘Student of the Week’ for the poem below.
Mrs Slade has also received work from Logan in Year 9. “I thought that it was eye catching and up to date with the current situation”, Mrs Slade said. We hope you enjoy the slides pictured below from Logan’s PowerPoint
Finally, Max in Year 7, Mrs Slade comments:
“Max, this is one of the best and most creative pieces of work that I have received to date. I think that it is brilliant! You have really thought carefully about the task and have obviously worked really hard in order to produce this creative piece. I am going to send it to Mr Pearsall to include in this week’s blog. Honestly, this work has made my day. I hope that you enjoyed working through this and that your family have enjoyed some of the food produced too. Brilliant!”
There have been some truly creative pieces of work sent in over recent weeks for the spirited arts project and the level of thought and work that has gone into these projects is amazing.
Well done to all our students
From Mr Wyatt this week two students worthy of a special mention for doing some excellent work
“Another cracking piece of English work from Isabelle on “Dracula”. I have just included her illustration, but the written analysis was top drawer as well.”
“A blackout poem (set as tutor homework this week for years 8 and 9) on the topic of LGBT diversity from Annie as part of diversity week. A powerful piece of work.”
Science Fun Fact Monday
Miss Evans loves a fun fact so the Science Department have started fun fact Monday where students are encouraged to send their best Science facts to the Science team. Miss Evans started off the week with “this is how baby owls sleep as their heads are too heavy”
Keenan was this week’s winner with the following fact “African Grey’s live up to be 60 years of age and outlive most of their owners. They have the metal and emotional capacity of a 5 year old human child. Here is a picture of Keenan with his African Grey who is 35 – the same age as Miss Evans (I know you can’t believe either of them are that old!)
Look out for next Monday’s fact on the Science department’s Instagram page (plymstocksci)
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:
Livia, Max, Jean, Casey, Lara and Mitchell
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 8 students of the week:
Jack, Leighton, Alfie and Brendan
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 9 students of the week:
Lizzie, Caolan, Logan, Carla, Oliver, Dom, Amy, Polly and Katie
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 10 students of the week:
Hermione, Dedan, Isabelle, Jack, Jess, Olivia, Leah, Alicja, Molly, Louis and Ela
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 12 students of the week:
Careers Insight – Charity and Not-For-Profit
The charity sector is full of people who are fuelled by a desire to truly make a difference. They work with organisations who are dedicated to a cause that is meaningful to them.
So before you think about a role in this sector, first consider what kind of charity you would like to work for? Charities prefer to employ staff who genuinely believe in their mission, so they remain motivated and enthusiastic.
Do you want to create a healthier environment, help eliminate poverty or support children in war-torn countries? What are you passionate about?
If you’re looking for a career that really makes a difference to people’s lives; a job in this sector could be for you!
The Careers Team
Forthcoming Events and important announcement
Safe Cycling and Walking Campaign
You may like to be aware of the following campaign ‘Widen My Path’.
This has been brought to our attention by one of our parents who is concerned that there isn’t a safe and straightforward cycle route from the City Centre to Plymstock School. This may well be said from other directions to Plymstock School.
The aim of the ‘Widen My Path’ campaign is to let you have your say where you think the council could improve infrastructure to give cyclists and walkers more space to maintain physical distancing and to get around safely.
You will see there are some requests already for safe cycling en route to Plymstock School but you can add your idea or up vote an existing idea here:
The link to the website:
Widen My Path – suggest more space for physical distancing
YOUR CHANCE TO PUT YOUR COVID-19 INFRASTRUCTURE SUGGESTIONS ON A MAP
There’s a great website at https://www.widenmypath.com/plymouth/ which we’d really like you to use.
Take this opportunity to show Plymouth City Council (and the Plymouth Cycling Campaign!) exactly where you think they could improve infrastructure to give cyclists and walkers more space to maintain social distancing during the Coronavirus emergency, and to get around safely. With people slowly returning to work and not wanting to use public transport, cycling and walking are the go-to means of travelling around Plymouth.
We now know that the Council has until Friday to submit to the Dept for Transport an initial tranche of funding proposals for creating extra new and protected space within our city by creating one way streets, closing roads, extending pavements, making new contraflow cycle lanes and other measures while traffic remains relatively light.
The Cycling Campaign has already sent them several submissions over the course of recent weeks, so there is no reason for them not to have proposals ready to go. But just in case they have sat on their hands (while other cities have pressed on regardless) let’s help them along.
Visit https://www.widenmypath.com/plymouth/ where you can zoom in to a map of the City, click on the location you’d like to see improved and make a comment in the box on the right before clicking “Add my comment”. You can add as many as you like, and you can also click on what people have already added and agree (or not).
This will really help us to be sure that we are representing the aspirations of the cyclists and walkers of Plymouth and give us better leverage when campaigning.
Plymouth Cycling Campaign
FACEBOOK: Plymouth Cycling Campaign
National Citizens Service (NCS) – Please see below the update we’ve received:
As you may have heard, The NCS Trust made the decision to cancel this year’s traditional NCS programme to respect social distancing. Nevertheless, this summer your local NCS team, Groundwork South, will be providing a new and exciting opportunity for your young people. This new initiative is ‘One Million Hours of Keep Doing Good’.
With the country starting to get back on its feet and lockdown slowly being lifted, we would like to offer your 15-17 year old the opportunity to join NCS in a national effort to achieve one million hours of volunteering and social action. Between July 27th– August 10th, Groundwork South will be hosting 2 NCS programmes in the area to help rebuild communities and create lasting positive change. This is an opportunity for your young people to develop their interpersonal skills and make a contribution towards the recovery of the country after this challenging time.
Each Keep Doing Good programme will last 5 days (Monday – Friday) and will be made up of young people from the local area. This summer’s programme is free to attend. Young people will have the opportunity of either working alongside a local volunteering partner, or creating their very own social action project to raise awareness for something they feel truly passionate about.
Young people who participate in this summer’s Keep Doing Good programme will still be eligible to take part in more traditional NCS programmes this coming autumn or summer 2021.
Please note that for the duration of the programme, NCS Groundwork will be aligning with health and safety recommendations and guidance provided by the Department of Education and Public Health England on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings.
You can sign up online at: https://wearencs.com/keep-doing-good.To get in contact with someone at your local NCS Groundwork team, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07702532756.
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 is on our distance learning page below the Newsfeed banner.
NEW Face-to-Face webpage now ‘live’
Since sharing information with you last week about the partial phased return to school for Year 10 and Year 12 students, I am delighted to announce that the webpage for Face-to-Face Learning is now ‘live’. The link to the page is below:
Here, you will find pertinent information, letters and FAQ all in one place which will make accessing information much easier.
In addition to this, there are photos of the classrooms and areas of the school showing some of the COVID-19 Social Distancing and safety measures in place as we move forward. I hope you will find this both useful and informative.
Thank you to Miss Marshall for her early morning photograph used in this week’s blog.