Welcome to this week’s blog. I hope this edition finds you and your families safe and well.
Our theme this week has been community kindness. As a school, we are very aware of our position within and as part of a wider community. This week’s blog is a celebration of our collective work, at a point of extraordinary pressure on us all.
Our message to you, our community, is: Thank You.
You are doing amazing work as families to support one another and we value and appreciate your support, as we all work tirelessly to provide the best for our school community.
Our time to shine!
We know many of our students are missing the contact they have with their teachers, teaching assistants and all our amazing support staff. Next week, we will be specifically focusing on “our time to shine”.
With the news this week, it seems poignant to reflect on where we are.
Although we are only three weeks into a new term there is an understandable and real sense of fatigue from our conversations with parents, carers and students. This is in no small part to the world in which we find ourselves in and the daily stresses and challenges it brings. In addition, we should stop and recognise that the move to remote education has forced us all to adopt a new way of working, with very little lead in time or preparation. We are having to learn and acquire new skills, at pace, and implement them with immediacy.
The message from the Prime Minister on Wednesday evening that, at the earliest, schools will be reopening from Monday 8 March, has at least given us an indication of how we can plan and make the work we are doing sustainable. We, like you, look forward to welcoming all our students back on site. Face to face education will provide the best learning and has the biggest impact on physical and mental health.
However, in the meantime we will all do the best that we can with remote education.
We will continue to learn from what we are doing, listen to your feedback and that of our students to ensure we deliver the best possible education remotely. Our teachers are full of praise for the work of our students, their participation, engagement and the quality of the work they are submitting.
Our students should be very proud of the work they are doing, there is much to celebrate in this week’s blog.
“Just as light shines in the darkness, so the Star is often considered a symbol of truth, spirit and hope.”
Thank you for everything you do.
Community kindness week
On Wednesday, the Heads of Year delivered assemblies to the students on the theme of community kindness. You can find the link here to a copy of the assembly and there are images below.
Mr Yendell explains:
“This is going to focus on encouraging the students to reflect on different acts of kindness that they could do to support each other and their community during these difficult and strange times.
I thought I would kick this off by launching a Plymstock School ‘act of kindness’ by giving away a hamper to one of our fantastic colleagues within our own school community. The hamper has been donated to us and I thought this was an ideal opportunity to recognise the wonderful work that everyone is doing.”
All staff have been entered into the raffle and Mr Yendell is pictured below with our lucky winner Miss Ellis.
“In the meantime, you might like to also join in the ‘act of kindness’ theme, I am sure everyone will appreciate the lift, little things like checking in with a colleague, a positive email or giving them a little treat (chocolate usually works!!!)”
In the meantime, I hope you continue to stay safe and well.
Alan Yendell, Deputy Headteacher, Pastoral
I would like to personally thank Mr Yendell and our pastoral team for leading this week, and to thank Mrs Kirk and others for the work they have undertaken to celebrate the work of others.
People going above and beyond every day for Plymouth
Community Action to help others
Back in May we connected with Jess and her family and found out about their efforts to collect food for the Plymouth Foodbank. You will find the article in this edition of our blog:
I am delighted to be able to again highlight this charitable work by Jess and her family.
Jess has been nominated for “People going above and beyond every day for Plymouth”
We are very proud of Jess’ outstanding work and that she has been nominated. A very worthy nominee. Well done Jess.
All things PE
I’m really pleased to be able to highlight and celebrate the efforts of our hard working PE department this week. As well as being a very talented team of staff, they are as you won’t be surprised to learn, resourceful and resilient when faced with a challenge.
Mrs Tyrrell explains:
‘The whole team have wanted to find a way of running PE both off site and on site.
It has been a real pleasure to be able to run practical PE sessions for all of the students on site over the last three weeks. We have been participating in a carousel of activities including Archery, Table Tennis and Badminton. Although these sessions are different, they still provide a little bit of normality to our week, enabling some social interactions and giving everyone a little respite from the computer.
The students have really engaged with the activities, and with the smaller groups and better student:teacher ratios, we have seen some amazing progress. These students return to the classroom more focused and motivated to continue with their distanced learning.
Pictured below: Luke (Year7) – Archery Champion, Year7 Archery, Year 11 Archery, Year7 Badminton
PE through Remote Learning
Well done to those of you at home who are consistently being physically active too and commenting on Satchel:one to let us know what you are doing.
It is great to hear that you are all improving your ‘Physical ME’ and Healthy ME’. It is more important than ever to prioritize physical activity as we are all forced to live a more sedentary lifestyle.
Being active will not only improve your physical health but your mental health too, helping you to feel more energized, motivated, and engaged.
To try and encourage the students to be healthy and active this week I have recorded myself doing the task they have been set.’ The you tube link is:
Kelly Tyrrell, Head of PE
PE @ Home
Here are some lovely pictures of Amy doing her PE lesson at home following the Sports Stars workout.
PE @ Home
I wanted to share some of the fantastic comments and work that our students are completing.
This work is from two Year 11 students and it is so lovely to gain really positive enthusiasm and engagement.
Thinking ME: Teodora B Year 11XPE: Produced this wonderful design for her hockey stick last week.
Physical Me: A comment left from a Year 11 student that made me smile
😉 Mrs Kirk
‘Hey miss, for PE this week I’ve been walking up and down the stairs, why you might ask? well… today’s total was a grand 12 times. You may be wondering as to why I am making the excessive effort to exercise. This is simply so that I would be able to get to the fridge. By walking up and down I have burned around 3 calories which I celebrated by having a bar of chocolate. Over the last week, I have estimated that it’s been a grand total of 50 times 😂’
PE @ Home
Please find an outstanding entry for the PE work designing a world cup football
from Xiaoying Z, followed by some a collage of other students entries for all challenges.
Mr MK Taylor
Rewards and Golden Tickets
Last week we saw the return of Golden Tickets but they have gone virtual whilst you are working remotely.
Golden Tickets are given to those students who consistently do their best and uphold the standards and expectations of Plymstock School.
This week’s Golden Ticket Prize Drawer Winners were:
- Yr 7 – Martha G
- Yr 8 – Sophie B
- Yr 9 – Sam R
- Yr 10 – Ben R
- Yr 11 – Leah G
- 6th form – Ralphie H
Keep an eye on your school email inbox for your reward
This week’s students with the most Golden Tickets were:
- Yr 7 – Cameron C
- Yr 8 – Lilia O
- Yr 9 – Olivia J
- Yr10 – Ana-M G, Dulcie H and Lucy J
- Yr 11 – Bailey P
- 6th form – Abbie C
Well done you have been awarded 5 merits
Many students are also starting to creep towards the bronze merit award – this is where they have achieved 150 merits this academic year. We will keep you up to date on this in the coming weeks.
Creating a positive culture and environment based upon being the best you can be and doing the right things every day is really important to us at Plymstock School and we would love to hear your ideas of how we can improve this. If you do have any ideas then please let your Head of Year and Miss Evans know.
Miss Evans, Associate Assistant Headteacher
Miss Hogben would like to ask all students to keep an eye out for a couple of new pages that are going to be uploaded next week (starting Monday 1st February 2021) on to the Plymstock school library webpage.
We have some exciting news for our Year 7 students, so please look out for a message from Miss Hogben via the library website and Mrs Kirk during your Year 7 assembly on Wednesday.
We also have a new page for all our students to contribute to, where we will be urging you to share your experiences of ‘kindness in adversity’
Miss Hogben would like to remind students who are struggling with reading at home or having access to reading resources to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org through Satchel One or Mrs Elliott and Mrs Sherwood at email@example.com
Scarlett D sent me photos of the wonderful cake that she made. There is a bar of chocolate on my desk waiting for her when she comes back to school.
Amy’s remote learning
Amy has been working extremely hard on lots of different activities at home, including: Art, PE, Maths, Science, and DT. Those buns look delicious Amy! Keep up the great work, we’re proud of you.
A special shout out to my Key Stage 4 classes. The engagement with my live cooking sessions has been really great. Well done everyone.
On Wednesday, Year 10 cooked Jambalaya. Pictured below is the work and efforts of Layla A and Megan T.
Today we were cooking stuffed chicken with cream and wine. I wanted to praise Maria E. With parental permission, she cooked live at the same time as me.
I’d like a mention for all the 10C German group who have been working live on Teams – the work has been excellent and their dedication impressive.
It’s been a pleasure to teach them.
Year 7 Tutorials
Mrs Dover has been in touch and wanted to celebrate the work going on as part of our tutor programme.
‘I thought it would be a nice insight into the importance we place on our students’ personal development, wellbeing and relationships and not just REMOTE LEARNING. It’s important to highlight that MS Teams has allowed us to connect and have fun together before the day starts. Ms Birchnall and the Year 7 Team are running quizzes.
I have done a Scavenger Hunt (Aiden P won – see below), this Thursday we’ve got ‘Book Club’.
7LHD held a ‘Virtual Bookclub’ in their Thursday Tutor Session this week. The idea is to give the class the opportunity to discuss their books and simply celebrate the joy of reading!
Imogen is currently reading ‘The Yeti Files’, Isobel is reading ‘The Host’, Aiden is reading ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Getaway’, Layla is reading ‘Codename Bananas’ and Mrs Dover is reading Alison Weir’s ‘The Lady in the Tower – The Fall of Ann Boleyn’ “Heavy going non-fiction – not bedtime reading!”
Head of Life Education and Careers
‘I’ve been doing some 3D virtual sculpting with my year 8 classes. The students and I myself have enjoyed it so much I thought that perhaps I’d also turn it into a staff competition for a bit of fun. The tool is free and online and with it you can pull and push a lump of virtual clay. Here’s a link to a tutorial that I made for the students: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYOIrbvBrjc
Here’s a link to the tool itself: https://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/
I’ll be back in a couple of weeks to show you the results but you might want to try this at home.’
Mr Barnes, Art teacher
Duke of Edinburgh Award
This term Year 9 have the opportunity to sign up to do their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE).
The DofE is a chance to gain new skills and interests, get fit, have fun and broaden your horizons. And, when you complete your programme, you’ll achieve a highly respected award that can help open doors in the future, whatever you’re hoping to do.
The DofE’s non-competitive and open to all young people – it’s about setting your own personal aims, overcoming your own challenges and pushing your own boundaries.
You’ll do four sections: Skills, Volunteering, Physical and your Expedition. You can choose your activities – either improving something you already do or discovering something completely new.
During, and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants who complete their Skills, Volunteering and Physical sections will receive a special DofE Certificate of Achievement – a formal recognition, by the DofE, of the efforts you’ve made and the skills you’ve gained at this extraordinary time. If you go on to do your expedition you’ll also achieve your DofE Award. This will likely happen in the academic year 2021-22.
Find out more here (Bronze), and please get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like more information about doing your DofE. Hopefully, we will be able to go an adventure at some point in the future, last year’s groups pictured below.
Mrs de Mora
This week we focus on Digital Skills!
In the current situation it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone can benefit from digital.
Virtual social environments and online learning are enabling people to feel supported and connected; improving their learning experience.
But what Digital Skills do we use on a daily basis? Which Digital Skills have developed over these unique times?
The Careers Team
Key Stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9) -Office 365
This week we complete the work to allow all our students to be able to benefit from the full range of features Microsoft Office 365 offers:
We need to move your email box to the Office 365.
This process will happen this weekend (30th & 31st January).
After the change you will need to log in to Office365 and MS Teams again but using your school email address ending in .org.uk
You password has not changed
The user name ending in .net will no longer be needed and won’t work anymore!
Students of the week
This week’s winners
- In Year 7: Joshua M nominated by Mr Withey. ‘Josh impressed hugely with his drafting and redrafting of his History essay entitled: Why did William win the Battle of Hastings? I think I marked about four attempts to turn a good initial attempt into a brilliantly researched and analysed final effort. His top pathway mark was a reward not only for his skill but for his perseverance.’
- In Year 8: Mila M nominated by Mr Davies for having a ‘click’ moment in Maths when she fully understood something and then went on to explain it in detail to another student!
- In Year 9: Amelie F nominated by Mrs Slade as she has consistently kept to deadlines and has produced some fantastic work so far. Her Power point work is pictured below
- In Year 10: Charley J nominated by Ms Baker for her distinction style work in BTEC Travel and Tourism
- In Year 11: Madi A nominated by several members of staff for her commitment to distance learning and her contributions to tutor sessions. She has shown great maturity, resilience and has worked incredibly hard all week. Well done Madi! But don’t forget to take a break!
Nominees for Student of Week
All our nominees have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”.
Congratulations to all who were nominated this week:
In Year 7
- Caden M nominated by Mrs White for his brilliant science work – he is really working hard and putting in extra effort.
- Charles B-R nominated by Miss Matthews for completing the painting pictured below after a 1:1 lesson with his Grandma who is a professional artist. Completely by himself but following instructions as his Nana did one the same next to him. Well done Charles.
- Rosie A nominated by Mr Smith as she has produced a pleasing standard of work continuously since the beginning of term.
In Year 8
- Ella K nominated by Mrs White as she has been sending me the most beautiful work for her science lessons.
- Brody M nominated by Mr Davies for his amazing art work that he has been doing for his lessons! Really impressed with his pictures! Pictured below.
- Scarlett D nominated by Mrs Robb for the pictures in our ‘shout out’ section that she sent me of the wonderful cake that she made. There is a bar of chocolate on my desk waiting for her when she comes back to school.
In Year 9
- Jess G and Jakob T nominated by Ms Baker for particularly great work live on Wednesday.
In Year 10
- Lizzie B nominated by Mrs Fenwick. Lizzie’s work ethic and determination to succeed in all the tasks she is given is amazing. Keep it up Lizzie you’re a star!
- Niks K, Ben R and Rosie S all nominated by Ms Baker for excellent work in German on Wednesday.
- Denis C nominated by Ms Baker for his great effort in BTEC Travel and Tourism.
- Megan T has been nominated by Mr Walker as she is in school using On-Site Provision every day apart from a few days off last week for an ear infection. Despite this, she has handed in every piece of work that’s been set and if she has no data on her phone, she waits until she gets home to submit her work.
- Sawyer T nominated by Mrs White as Sawyer’s chemistry work during lockdown has been outstanding.
- Ben P, Annie S and Beck F all nominated by Mrs Tendell for excellent commitment to distance learning.
In Year 11
- Madi A, Abi W and Kiela nominated by Mrs Harris for excellent commitment to distance learning.
- Aneya E and Lauren W nominated by Mrs Baker for great dedication and participation to their French GCSE live lessons.
- Madi A and Sophie P nominated by Mrs Slade for their work on exploring the idea of…. “Would it be better to be a happy pig than an unhappy human………?”…the ideas and deep thinking have been quite profound. Madi’s work is shown below
- Poppy D nominated by Mrs Fenwick as she has worked incredibly hard this week on a presentation for her ASDAN course about horses. She’s going to present next week to a small group of adults and students. Good luck Poppy. I’m sure you’ll be great.
A new club is starting in the coming weeks