Busy, Busy, Busy – what a week!
Monday to Wednesday
This week we hosted Protection Approaches https://www.protectionapproaches.org/ as part of our personal development programme. Protection Approaches is the UK’s only charity committed to ending all identity-based violence. Identity-based violence is any act of violence where the perpetrator targets someone because of how they view their victim’s identity – perhaps because of their victim’s gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious, or political affiliation.
The sessions were led by Dilia Zwart and Andy Fean and they complemented our existing curriculum programmes: Community Cohesion Week (Year 7), Life Education, EPIC, subject specific themes explored for example in History and English and the pastoral curriculum.
The themes are part of what we describe as developing ‘Plymstock Culture’ wider skills in our curriculum with a particular focus on empathy, respecting different cultures, individual differences and diversity.
Andy and Dilia said “We really did have a great time meeting your staff and students. Everybody we engaged with is a real credit to the school”. Their sessions ended with a pledge against racism by each Year group. The banners below represent 1500 pledges from Year 7 through to Year 11.
On Wednesday we hosted our annual Governors’ training day. This day allows governors an opportunity to work alongside both staff and students and learn first-hand about work being undertaken. This year they looked at our school improvement themes and how the new 9-1 GCSEs have led to a curriculum within our school that starts in Year 7 and ends in Year 11, we call it the five year journey. They really enjoyed their day.
I wanted to share some of their feedback about both the staff and the students, I’m sure you will agree it is a fantastic endorsement of the work our teachers and students undertake in partnership with our parents and carers.
“It was a great visit and I was hugely impressed by the energy, passion and commitment of the team, I had the chance to sit and talk with the team as a whole and I was delighted to see how aligned they were to the vision of the school and more importantly how they are putting that into action”
“the behaviour from the pupils was a credit, lots of channelled energy and really proud to show their achievements and not scared to speak up and give things a go even in front of a stranger.”
“There seemed to be a culture where there was no fear of failure, which I would have thought key in a learning environment.”
“The Staff were an absolute credit to the school and the ethos, helping the children to be the best they can be.”
The European Day of Languages
Hello! Bonjour! Willkommen! ¡Hola! Ciao! Cześć!
The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on 26th of September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. Being equipped with the ability to speak another language opens doors to lucrative jobs, exquisite culture, and mouth-watering food, and by marking the day at Plymstock School, we hope to broaden the horizons of our students through the broad range of trips and experiences our Languages department offer our students.
The day was promoted by Mathieu Watteau of our languages team who has a role within the school to develop the wider use of languages. The European Day of Language 2019 has been a successful day full of opportunities for our students to discover and promote European culture and the use of languages!
Over 25 tutor groups took on the challenge to answer the 15 questions in the language quiz. Congratulations to all, especially to our two joint winners … (drum roll) 9TJW and 11RLR! Well done!
Many tutors have promoted one or several European culture(s) and language(s) through displays on their classroom door. The winner this year is 7MGR. Mrs M Robinson deserves a special mention for embracing the spirit of EDL and dressing up as well!
The first ever EDL ‘Plymstock Bake Off’ was a real success. We were very pleased to receive 26 entries form year 7 to year 12. The ‘cake decoration award’ was presented to: Ellie and Rudy-Jack in Year 7 and Eleanor in Year 10. The ‘European Day of Languages award’ was presented to Isabel Year 7 and Joshua Year 10. Well done to all the others for their amazing effort, imagination and creativity.
Many thanks to all the participants and we look forward to seeing you next year for more quizzes, door fun and cakes!
The teaching of a foreign language is already a part of our curriculum, but this day gives us the opportunity to introduce other languages to students. Staff were encouraged to dress up and there were a range of events from using another language in lessons, a Bake Off and dress the door competition. The following pictures show some of the flavours and tastes of the day!
There are many valuable and unforgettable experiences to be had by spending time in different European countries, and we believe that language should not be a barrier.
I’m sure you will agree the team deserve a huge thank you for their efforts and enthusiasm throughout the day. They, like many staff here, really embrace having fun! Thank you
They even found the energy after school to run their study support session for our Year 11 GCSE students as part of their extensive supported study programme. Four carousel sessions rotated between the teachers focussing on the core skills of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Laying the foundations now for their examinations in June, it’s a long journey and they are to be commended for their hard work and resilience.
Thank you for reading! Merci pour la lecture! Danke fürs Lesen! ¡Gracias por leer! Grazie per aver letto! Dziękuję za przeczytanie!
Our A level Sociology students were asked to create something that showed what Post-Modernism means to them. Merito wrote the following performance piece and performed it in sociology – I’m sure you will agree with his teachers it was a piece of work worthy of sharing.
Last week you will be aware on Friday 20 September there were climate change student strikes across the world. Anna, one of our students, took part in the Plymouth demonstration with her mother and brother. She had a very busy, active and fun day with her family, from banner making until the silent laying down on the ground toward the end of the march.
Anna grew up in Brussels and her ambition is to take her personal protest to London and hopes both Plymouth and the UK will become like Belgium by improving its awareness concerning climate change. We are very proud of Anna and her active citizenship.
One example Anna told me about was transport. “Trains are cheap and everybody pays the same, whenever you buy your ticket. This helps people to consider leaving their car at home. Some cities have free public transport. Brussels has a good tram network so there is no need for a car. We used to cycle everywhere, e.g. to school every day, since the cycle paths were safe and dominating the city, rather than the streets being dominated by cars.”
‘Make Your Mark’
Mr Wilcocks has been working with his tutor group in registration over the past two weeks; students have had the opportunity to vote as part of the ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. Students voted on the issues they would like the UK Youth Parliament to campaign on when the UK Youth Parliament debates in the House of Commons in London on 8th November. Students could vote on issues like ‘Protecting the Environment’, ‘Votes at 16’ or ‘Mental Health’. Participating in votes like this helps students learn about the democratic process and learn about the British Value of democracy and how to be active Citizens.
We now reach our student of the week section. Our winners include:
Michael & Jamie who went out of their way to help a Year 7 boy for the whole break time today. They were really patient and kind with him
Natalie has embraced Year 10 and started her studies with an amazing positive attitude and has impressed her teachers. Mrs Harris her Head of Year is very proud of her.
Dustin only joined us at the beginning of term. He has impressed us with his proactive approach, his hard work and he is the most polite, friendly and humble young man. Mrs Robb and the Year 11 team said they are very lucky to have him in their year group.
Tyler, Jess and Nathan who were nominated by a member of a public for their exemplary conduct and behaviour on the bus home, they regularly allow passengers to get on the bus ahead of them and will give up their seats to support those who need priority seating. Real ambassadors for the school.
I met Sophie, pictured below, who is now a National Champion in archery.
At the end of the Archery Outdoor season, Sophie in Year 11, topped off a year of success by winning Gold at the Junior Inter-counties Competition representing Devon and Cornwall and competing against archers from all around the Westcountry. In the process she set new personal bests at nearly every distance, achieving over 1000 for the first time, breaking 2 regional records and setting 5 new Devon and Cornwall records. She is now the UK’s Under 16 National, Regional and County Outdoor Barebow Champion and has finished the season undefeated with the top Junior Master Bowman status from Archery GB. With the indoor season about to start, Sophie will be competing in the UK Barebow Championships in November and at the Junior Indoor Nationals in December before she moves up into the Under 18 category in February.
What an amazing series of achievements. Well done Sophie.