Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a peaceful time with families over the Christmas break. We wish everyone the very best for 2021 and that everyone stays safe and well.
Thank you to all for your continuous support, commitment and friendship to Plymstock School. In particular, we recognise your understanding during these incredibly challenging times.
Like you, we have been coming to terms with the significance of the announcement from the government regarding schools moving fully to remote learning for all year groups from Wednesday 6 January.
As a country, we have been asked to sacrifice much to try and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and again today we are being asked to further support the national effort. The most recent advice from the government is that if children can stay safely at home, they should, this will limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
Yesterday the Government clarified that “limiting attendance is about reducing the number of contacts that all of us have with people in other households.” and “in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce contacts outside households wherever possible.”
They have made it clear that it is important to underline that “In all cases, provision must continue to be made on-site for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to safeguard their welfare and ensure essential services can continue to function.”
We realise that these are extremely difficult times for everyone and appreciate your continued support as we move forward. We may not get everything right all of the time but will work extremely hard with you to adjust and make the necessary changes to ensure we continue to provide the best educational experience for our students.
Please do not hesitate however to get in touch via email, with your child’s tutor or Head of Year in the first instance, if you have any concerns or questions.
Advice and Guidance During the Covid Pandemic
You will find all the information you need on our new and updated website page here:
We will continue to keep in regular communication with you through our MyEd direct messaging service and would encourage you to routinely check our website news feed here: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/news/ and of course the Plymstock School Blog and social media accounts for updates.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message and your ongoing support and understanding; your messages of support have really helped our staff this week and are greatly appreciated by all.
We look forward to publishing stories in the New Year that celebrate the work of our staff and the many achievements of our wonderful students.
Year 11 and 13
As you will have heard, the exams in the summer will now not go ahead in the normal way. Whilst we are awaiting more details on what will actually happen, we want to reassure students in years 11 and 13 that we will, as previously, do everything in our power to ensure you are both kept informed and most importantly are not disadvantaged.
Our Year 11 and 13 students have been amazing in response to the cancellation of this summer’s public examinations. The way they have dealt with the news about their GCSEs and A levels shows such maturity and resilience in these uncertain times. We are very proud of all of them.
Their response has been typical of the strength of character our students display; they are resilient, pragmatic and looking forward to what comes next.
The most important thing they can do at the moment is to fully engage with the remote learning that is set and submit work to teachers when requested. We cannot emphasise enough just how important this is for students in these key exam year groups.
Over the last two days, staff have talked to Year 11 and 13 and reassured them that: Things will be ok, to focus on things you can control, keep learning we are very proud of you, we care deeply about you and we don’t know all the answers yet but as soon as we do we will tell you.
Plymstock School is committed to educating the whole person; it is not just about the exams and grades. Central to our curriculum is the fact we build valuable life skills: resilience, tenacity, teamwork, aspiration, self-care and kindness to others.
Monday evening’s announcement has shown that our students possess the skills they will need in the months ahead, to develop into lifelong learners. It remains vitally important students complete their courses and fully engage with their teachers.
Miss Monelle and Mr Taylor will be in touch with further updates as soon as the DfE have clarified arrangements of exactly how students will be assessed.
‘Great Library Fish Competition’
This year’s ‘Great Library Fish Competition’ got underway just before Christmas, with students in Year 7 getting involved through their English lessons. Each student in Year 7 was given a cardboard fish and was asked to use it to write a review about their favourite book. 😊
The students were given the freedom to use the fish in any way they wanted, however, whatever they did (to their fish) had to also relate to the book they had chosen to write about.
The competition was extended to include the Christmas holiday and the judging was due to take place this week. Unfortunately, we are now unable to continue with the judging as not all the students have been able to hand in their fish. However, the fish will be judged when we return to school and from next week Miss Hogben will highlight some of the entries via the library website. For now, here are a few examples of the excellent competition entries the students in Year 7 have been producing…
Miss Hogben would also like to remind all students that the library website is still up and running and will continue to support you as you read from home. Miss Hogben will be releasing some new videos and competitions so remember to keep checking in 😊
Remember, reading is gift and at a time like this a wonderful mental health tool. A book can offer you an escape like nothing else can – a chance to dip into another world and free yourself from any worries or stress – it is also a brilliant way of growing your brain without really thinking about it 😊 (win win).
Having said that, it is important for me to point out that some of you do struggle with reading, whether you find it difficult or you just don’t enjoy it. I want you to know that I am here for you and will do everything in my power to support you with this. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to give you some extra support. There are lots of resources on the website and links to free audio books and videos of authors reading from their books. I am also constantly researching to find out what new book-related things are happening, so if you contact me I can direct you to anything I think might inspire or support you with your reading (or just keep checking the website as it will be constantly updated).
Reading for pleasure is, and always will be, an incredibly important part of your life at Plymstock School, so please contact me if you need help or inspiration 😊
Stay safe and keep reading!
As we find ourselves in another lockdown we are going to find ourselves feeling lots of different emotions. There is lots of support available.
We have access to online counselling and support, crisis support from CAMHS and lots of online resources. https://plymstockschool.org.uk/mental-health-and-wellbeing/
Mrs Rebecca Littler
Assistant Head of Sixth Form
Writing at Plymstock School
Students in 7, 8 and 9 have been chosen for the next Young Writer’s publication – Trapped. Students had to use their imagination and skill with words to compose a 100 word saga using ‘TRAPPED!’ as a theme. It was fabulous working on this with the students and allowing their imaginations to run wild. Sadly, not all students can be chosen for the book, but there will be other opportunities. Budding writers can also use the website themselves and enter competitions on their own: https://www.youngwriters.co.uk/competitions/KS3-4
There is an upcoming competition called ‘Unsolved’ that parents might want to explore with their young authors and there are other competitions for other age groups too, if home learning for siblings needs some more competition.
Well done to our 63 winners chosen for the Trapped publication.
Students of the week
Next week we will return with the nominations from this week. In the meantime we have students below who have been nominated for their work from before Christmas.
They have all demonstrated the Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; congratulations to all of them.
“The following students in my year 8 literacy lessons have impressed me this term with their resilience and endeavour. Even when they have found work hard, they have never given up. As a result they have made good progress: Ryan, Georgia, Andra, Nils, Matthew and Wezlee.
The following students in my year 8 literacy lessons are examples of what it means to be a ‘Plymstock Student’ -simply being the best you can be. They are a credit to the year group: Ella, Olivia , Ava, Lilia and Emily.
Year 11 on MS Teams and Quizlet live
Well done to all Miss Ellis’ GCSE students who have been joining on MS Teams and Quizlet live.
They’ve all been working really hard and they’ve really adapted well to online learning.
Welcome to our new staff
This week we welcome the following new staff to our school, they are not meeting students in the way they expected, but like all of us they are finding ways to adapt. It’s great to have them working with us.
A very warm welcome to:
1. Mr Alan Yendell (Pastoral – Deputy Headteacher)
2. Mr Chris Swabey (Head of Performing Arts)
3. Mr Wayne Smith (English)
4. Ms Elizabeth Sheridan (Science)
5. Miss Emily Connell (Academy Support Coach)
Other ways to complete school work online
We never thought we would be advising this, but students should, if they don’t have a laptop but do have a gaming device, to be using it!
By following this link: https://plymstockschool.org.uk/xbox-and-playstation-4/
You will find 2 documents which will help your child connect to Microsoft Teams, Office and Satchel One using an Xbox or PlayStation 4.
Headsets can be used to join Microsoft Teams meetings and keyboards can also be plugged into the device.