The previous week at Plymstock was dominated by our year group celebration events. We welcomed parents and students to the after school reception in the Galley. Once drinks and scones were served, it was time to present the awards. These recognised both the academic and personal successes amongst our students. I was so impressed to see so many amazing young people get the recognition they deserve. There were even one or two really moving stories where students had overcome great adversity and shown amazing resilience. It makes me feel so proud to be the Headteacher of this school and its amazing young people and wonderful staff. A massive thank you goes to all the parents who took time out of their day to join us, as well as our staff who work tirelessly so our students get the education and opportunities they deserve.
This week our brilliant Art Show took place and once again, it really didn’t disappoint. Every year I am blown away by the quality of the pieces produced by our students – showing such incredible talent. No words from myself can adequately describe their work, so I have included a selection of photos to allow you to see for yourself.
At the launch event on Tuesday, various staff and students were also presented with awards for demonstrating outstanding creativity either as a teacher or a learner. These individuals were nominated by both staff and students.
The student winners are: Harrison (D&T – Food), Jess (Geography), Denzil (Music), Laura (Art), Rebecca (Art),
Niamh (Art), Rhys (Science), Caolan (Science), Aneya (Science), Becca (Science), Will (Drama), Melanie (English), Tia (English) and Elliot (Business Studies).
The staff winners are: Mr Johnson (Maths), Ms Wilkins (RS/History), Ms Tendell (RS), Mr Farrant (Science), Mr Dale (English), Mr Broadwater (English), Mr Bellamy (PE), Mr Stanton (Science), Ms Harris (Social Sciences) and Ms Slade (RS).
Finally, I would just like to say a huge thank you to the Art department, the Art technicians and our Premises team for getting the show successfully up and running – you did a great job.
A group of Year 8 students from Mrs Elliott’s book group, Ela, Kiara, Jack, Max, Lexie, Hannah, Daisy and Sarah, recently attended the annual Plymouth Schools Carnegie Challenge. Schools from around the city meet to shadow the national Carnegie Medal Book Award. Each school is given a book to champion from the shortlisted titles, and then perform a short presentation. This year we were allocated ‘After the Fire’ by Will Hill and Plymouth College hosted the event. The students met with Miss Grainger every day, at lunchtime, for three weeks to rehearse. They were all really enthusiastic and worked hard to perfect their presentation. The students thoroughly enjoyed their day and were a credit to the school. A massive thank you goes to Miss Grainger and Mrs Elliott for their hard work and giving up all her lunchtimes for the group, and to Ed who was the reserve.
Plymstock School has just been visited by a Year 7 class from the Hörderlin-Gymnasium, near Stuttgart in Southern Germany. Their school trip was to Exmouth, but as they use the textbook that Plymstock School is featured in, they asked if they could come for a visit (In fact, the textbook is the most popular ‘English’ textbook in Germany and consequently, Plymstock School is known across the country). Every year, we have huge numbers of young people and their parents requesting tours! The group spent the morning with our 8xBern students who are in their first year of learning German. After various getting-to-know-you and bilingual language learning activities the Plymstock group taught the HöGy students how to play Rounders. This is not played at all in Germany so was a good chance to exchange views on sports and cultural differences. At break the German students had celebrity status in the Galley, with many of our other students coming to introduce themselves and find out who they were. Everyone had a great time and are looking forward to further contact with the school with a view to an exchange next year.
The weekend before last, 37 of our intrepid Year 9 Duke of Edinburgh students undertook their expedition section qualifier in some quite challenging weather conditions! Each student had to carry all of their kit, including tent stove and first aid. The challenge was to navigate their route and to be totally self sufficient whilst doing so.
On the Saturday their route took them through the peaceful and lovely surroundings of Mount Edgecombe and some quite miserable rain. Late morning saw the group walking in seven teams passing through the picturesque villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. By the afternoon the groups had made it out to remote Rame Head with some of the best views anywhere, before finally getting into Whitsand bay Campsite by early evening.
Some quite amazing outdoor cooking followed where the tired but hungry students did their best on their Trangia Stoves. Staff saw a combination of food types served up to varying degrees of ‘digestible success’. Luckily, it was hunger that prevented too much fussiness over their culinary creations and all the food soon disappeared.
Sunday saw an early start due and some rather sluggish Year 9 students were reluctantly awake and cooking by 7:30am. After breaking camp our rejuvenated hikers set off for their return route which took them right through the countryside of Whitsand Bay and Maker Church before finishing on Sunday afternoon at Mount Edgecombe. They had time for a group photo before heading back to Plymouth on the Cremyll Ferry. This was a very successful expedition where all of our students showed some high quality navigation, campcraft and teamwork skills.
Well done to each and every student taking part, and a big thank you to the staff that made this all possible (and giving up another weekend for our young people).
He’s become a frequent visitor to my blog of late, but once again we say congratulations to Joe in Year 8, with his blossoming hockey career. He has just capped an excellent season with Devon Hockey, PMHC and the School Hockey Team by being selected for the UK Lions Programme and England Hockey’s Performance Centre. Joe has been training hard for the West Panthers and the County side and after a number of games was excited to receive the news that he had made it to the England Hockey Performance Centre based in Taunton, where the best players from the region train together and compete against other centres, with the aim of gaining a place in the Futures Cup Squad next summer. If that wasn’t enough good news, after spending the weekend in Nottingham, achieving a silver medal, representing the West Panthers U13 team in the UK Festival of Hockey, he has been selected to be part of the UK Lions. The Lions receive intensive training from highly motivated and qualified coaches. In addition, teams are given the opportunity to play high quality hockey, both home and abroad. Well done Joe.
Here are our Year 8 Athletics Team that competed in the Plymouth Championships last week. The girls achieved a third place finish and the boys came in seventh. The stand out performance was by Leah, who won the Triple Jump with a new Plymouth Athletics Club record of 10.63m! This also puts her well inside the top ten performers in the country (two years young).
We end the blog with our top notch students of the week.
First up is Rosie in Year 7. Rosie is such a hard working student, impressing staff across the board. In the celebrations last week she received commendations for Art, Drama, English and Science. Keep up the great work Rosie.
Next up is Jack our Year 8 winner. Jack has shown significant improvements in school over recent months. He also took a big step out of his comfort zone to help with a transition day for some of our new Year 7 students. In doing so, he really impressed Mrs Smith and Mr Chivers with his sound advice for our new students!
Dacjan has won this week’s Year 9 award. Dacjan really is one of the nicest students you could hope to meet. He is polite, friendly, hard working and in the words of his Head of Year ‘an all round legend’. He also frequently helps out other students in his tutor group with homework and advice.
Our final winner this week is Elliot in Year 10. Teenagers sometimes get a bad rep out there in society – the suggestion being that they can be quite selfish. Having the privilege to work with over 1600 teenagers, I know this is just not true. A perfect example of this was shown last week by Elliot at the Year 10 Celebration Event. This student won an Amazon Fire Kindle in the prize draw, but because he already owned one, he gave it straight to another student who didn’t have one. He could have kept it, sold it etc…but instead chose a random act of kindness. It brought a real smile to everyone’s faces.