Last week we set off for Aachen with 36 of our German students from Years 8, 9 and 10. Our main focus was two-fold: exploring some German Christmas traditions by visiting the stunning Christmas markets in Aachen and Köln (Cologne) and having our first visit to our partner school St Ursulas Gymnasium in Aachen. We were very lucky to secure a bursary to support the trip from UK-German Connection. Students were, as always, delightful and really made the most of the trip, speaking lots of German, sampling new food and making new friends. The markets put us in the Christmas spirit; der Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral) left students awestruck and the Lindt chocolate factory put many on a sugar high!
As an MFL teacher the highlight of the trip for me was seeing our students with their German peers, exchanging Christmas traditions and looking at where things seem superficially similar, but are actually quite culturally different (like opening presents on Christmas Eve!).
Plymstock features in the textbook used by many German schools, including St Ursulas, so we were treated like superstars.
As the photos show, it was a fantastic trip and we look forward to further partnership activities in 2020.
A special thank you to our wonderful staff for making this Ms Baker, Mrs Hordern, Mrs De Mora, Mrs Richards, and Mr Dott
Ten students represented our school in the Plymouth schools basketball competition at the Life centre this week. It was great to see 10 schools participating and with a mixture of wins and losses the players grew in confidence and played some great basketball throughout the afternoon.
Well done to Dylan, Alex, Alfie, Billy, Alex, Ella, Sam, Mia, Olly and Joe.
Katie in Year 13 has designed and made Christmas cards which she is selling in aid of Alzheimer’s UK. We are very proud of her. They are on sale in LA7. Here’s what she says about her excellent endeavour.
“I am selling handmade cards to raise funds for Alzheimer’s UK this Christmas. The cards have been painted, made and printed by myself and are being sold for £1 each or 6 for £5. Orders can be made via the Facebook page: “Christmas Cards- Alzheimer’s UK” or by purchasing in LA7.The charity is very close to my heart and every penny raised will make such a difference to life changing research. All money raised will be sent to the charity in January and the total is looking promising, with around £140 already raised. Thank you to anyone who has already contributed and to anyone considering it, let’s spread a little love this Christmas….”
I’m sure you will agree not only are the cards amazing but we are all so impressed by Katie’s drive and passion to help others.
We held our annual half price Scholastic book fair in the library this week. It proved to be very popular with the students who enjoyed looking and buying books for themselves and but also as Christmas presents for their family.
We also had students who helped us run the fair at break and lunchtime, Ryan & Michael who are both in Year 9. Ryan was indispensable to us, he was so reliable, competent and mature.
A big thank you to Ryan, Michael and to all students and staff that supported us, we sold approximately £600 so it was another very successful year.
U13 West Devon Indoor Cricket
On Wednesday 27th of November Plymstock School took part in the PSSP West Devon Schools U13 Indoor Cricket event. The competition consisted of four schools entering one team to compete across a one day event. The first game saw Plymstock win the toss and step up to bat against a confident Stoke Dameral team. After a convincing win to start the day, the teams confidence grew after each over played. Following this, game two saw the team play St Boniface in a down to the last over show down. The team stepped up to hit two sixes off the first two balls which sealed the victory. Finally the team took on Heles to end the day in style. Another win was then added to the team’s performance. Alongside this, Aleksander achieved the ‘spirit of cricket’ award for fielding for Heles, showing amazing character and sportsmanship, when the team went a player down (he even took a catch!). The team now go on to compete against the best in Devon at Exeter University in the New Year. The U15’s have a chance to book their place on Friday at Plympton Academy.
Thanks to Mr Foot for taking the team on the day and the outside clubs that have helped the players develop their skills!
We have an active Student Senate (with representatives from the different year groups) which meets once per half term with a member of the senior leadership team, this year Ms Burgess. The students have the opportunity to discuss concerns, issues and give suggestions for improvement. Previously their suggestions have led to changes in the length of lunchtime, our uniform and led to the introduction of new student facilities.
They meet a couple of weeks ago for their first meeting of the year and were joined by Caroline Chapman, Community and Families Worker at the Plymstock United Church. Caroline joined the group to talk to them about her work with the Plymstock Area Children and Young People’s Community Group. The group has been set up by Caroline Chapman with Jon Stephens, UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador. They want to give children and young people who live in the Plymstock area the opportunity to be key contributors to democratic processes in their local community; to provide opportunities for children and young people to voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings so that their opinions can be listened to and included in the life and development of their community.
Caroline said ‘It was great to hear from the young people and discuss the problems they face as well as the positives. The young people who came along from Plymstock were a real credit to the school and could discuss opinions and solutions confidently. I was really impressed and would like to thank you and all at Plymstock for your support in the community. The unfair bad reputation young people can have should be challenged’
They are picture below with Caroline and Ms Burgess, Assistant Headteacher who is working this year to coordinate our student leadership programme.
Year 10 Cambridge National Sports Science
On Wednesday period 5 a group of year 10 Cambridge National Sports Science students lead a year 7 PE class as part of a unit about minimising risk of injury in sport. They were assigned small groups to warm up and cool down during a dodgeball lesson having planned the session last week in a classroom. The students were superb and really consolidated the theory that they have been studying. The year 7’s also enjoyed the experience of being taught by people closer to their age and responded with real enthusiasm. Next week the year 10’s have an exam and as they have shown me that they know their stuff already, I’m sure we’re looking at target grades or more!
Table Tennis Event
Table Tennis continues to develop at Plymstock with an afternoon and evening of friendly fixtures against Lipson CC and Stover School. This gave players who had not been selected for the Devon Championships the opportunity to challenge themselves and develop their skills. All the boys and girls had to officiate and score their own games.
Thanks to Mr Hulse (Stover) and Mr Corson (Lipson) for bringing their teams.
Year 10 Headteachers celebration lunch
Last week I had the great privilege of hosting a lunch for the following Year 10 students:
Alicja, Caitlin, Jessica, Joe, Jessica F, Joe, Lexie, William, Ethan, Jessica J, Isabella and Mimi
Following their recent progress check , they were all awarded a lunch with me by Mr Taylor, Director of Learning for Year 10 and 11 and Mrs Harris their Head of Year in recognition of their outstanding progress. It was a real pleasure to talk to them and learn about how much they cram into their weeks both in and out of school! We were all really impressed with their mature attitude and commitment to their studies. I’m really looking forward to meeting the next group who will be recognised for both their endeavour and resilience towards their studies.
Head teacher’s Personal Achievement Award
‘Sleep-out’ for the Soup Run
Jo and Harry recently took part in a sponsored ‘sleep-out’ with their youth group and despite horrendous weather managed to stay out all night. Both boys individually raised over £300 each and the whole group have raised in excess of £1000! This money will be going to Plymouth’s homeless and the Soup Run. They are part of the ‘Wired Youth’ group at Plymstock United Church.
We congratulated these two boys as a staff this morning and are incredibly proud of their effort, personal achievement and resilience to stick with their challenge given the weather. In particular, for their empathy and recognising that others need help and being minded to be active citizens within our community.
Family success with Bike and Bat!
Congratulations first go to Jasper in Year 11 for achieving a British Cycling Downhill Mountain Bike ranking (Youth) of 3rd in the South West & 22nd in the UK.
In the South West, Jasper raced at Ashcombe (nr Chudleigh), finishing 1st in category & 2nd out of all 158 riders. More recently, at Round 1 of the Woodlands Riders Winter Series (Gawton Gravity Hub, nr Tavistock), he finished 2nd in category & 4th out of all 141 riders.
This was Jasper’s first season of ‘big’ events where he competed in 15 races across England, Scotland & Wales, including the: Pearce Cycles DH Series, Gravity Events DH Series (5th in category at Rheola, South Wales), HSBC National DH Series & British National DH Championships.
Jasper also competed in the U18 Southern Enduro (Pippingford, Sussex) where he came 4th in category & 21st out of all 205 riders. Jasper has now entered the July 2020 (8 Stage) British National Enduro Series National Championships (nr Minehead, Exmoor), 2020 DH race entries tbc.
Congratulations also go to Jemima in Year 9 for completing her debut season in the Plymouth Cricket Club Ladies & Devon U13 Girls, Cricket Squads.
Play-Cricket records show Jemima played 7 matches for Devon in 2019: Batting – 6 innings (1 not out), a total of 97 runs (incl. 12 x 4’s), Av. 19.40 (runs/innings), with a high against Wales of 34 runs (off 24 balls, incl. 6 x 4’s); Bowling – 11 overs, claiming 4 wickets with an Av economy 4.41, & best of 2/8 (wickets/runs).
Following a successful end of season trial, Jemima was selected for the Devon U15 Girls 2019/20 Winter Training Squad. Training started at Exeter University in November. We may have another Plymstock School student on the way to representing her country!
Well done to Jasper and Jemima, fantastic achievement showing both hard work and resilience. We are all really proud of you and your successes. Keep us informed!
Yanah, Jess and Neave played for Plymouth Ladies Hockey in Manchester over the weekend and won two of their three games.
A fantastic achievement and we are really proud of their success.
Plymouth Argyle FC Under 15s
Izaek in Year 10 has been selected twice in November to play in U15s Premier League Floodlit Cup, on 7th November against Southampton and in last Wednesday’s 2-1 victory against Swansea.
We are hoping for more victories in the weeks to come. Well done Izaek and a special thanks from the PE department for his help and support in coaching our Year 7’s on Friday after school. Izaek is a brilliant role model, one of our politest students and we are really proud of him.
We now reach our students of the week section. All our winners demonstrating Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; simply Plymstock to “be the Best you can be”
Our winners include:
This week we have two nominations for Year 7, Rocca and Emily.
Rocca for her effort in lessons and self-reflection, she said “Can I do this again as I want to do a better job. When I was at Primary I didn’t always try my hardest but now I want to be the best that I can be”. Well done Rocca for recognising what you need to do to improve yourself. ‘I’m not there yet’ is a great Plymstock School way of saying, “I know I can improve and I can do better”.
Not a day has gone by since the start of year 7 in September when Emily hasn’t had a smile on her face. She is always ready to learn and tries her best. She is a pleasure to be around. Well done Emily, the Year 7 team and all your teachers are very proud of you.
Finally in Year 7, Aleksander for achieving the ‘spirit of cricket’ award for fielding for Heles in the Under 13 West Devon Indoor Cricket Tournament. He showed amazing character and sportsmanship, when the team went a player down.
The following Year 8’s were all nominated by Miss Holton; they helped a Year 7 in distress at Morrison’s last week and were rewarded by the boy’s mother with a box of chocolates each. Osyris, Coen and Logan we are really impressed by your actions and proud of you.
Ryan is student of the week for Year 9 for helping the Library team with the running of the book fair. He came every break and lunchtime, he was so sensible, competent and basically brilliant!
In Year 10 we have two nominations Jack and Leah.
Jack for his excellent attitude to learning. He has turned things around since September and his tutor is really impressed with the way he has started Key Stage 4. Well done Jack, we’re really proud of you. Leah for continually going above and beyond in school. She makes a huge contribution to the school community through her work in the Library and always has a smile on her face. Well done Leah, you are an absolute credit to the year group.
Mrs Robb has nominated Stanley, Charlie and Sam in Year 11. All three have been selected to represent the South West at the British Indoor Rowing Championships this coming weekend at the Olympic Park in London. We wish them the best of luck.
As featured above, Katie in Year 13 has been nominated by her tutor Ms Baker and the sixth form team for designing and making Christmas cards, which she is selling in aid of Alzheimer’s UK. We are very proud of her.
On Thursday 5th December Mr Johnson brought in six cupcakes, which were raffled off to raise a bit of money for the Plymouth Food bank.
Unfortunately the cakes were won so, sorry for the very tempting photograph! They looked amazing. The lucky winner is Mrs Johns, pictured below with Mr Johnson. Thank you for organising this; it’s one of many examples of how our staff and students are actively engaged with supporting others.