A Rainbow of Emotions
Noticing the theme of some of the students’ artwork featured above and in the sections below, it is important that our students are not only completing their work but also finding a way to express themselves and take time to become self-absorbed in the way art or other creative outlets can provide.
We are all dealing with uncertainty and a loss, to varying degrees, of: routine, structure, friendship, opportunity, and freedom. It helps to find familiar paths to distract us from the daily speculation and the unknown of what the ‘new normal’ may entail. Finding a routine at home helps us all but especially our young people.
“The best way out is always through,” wrote the poet, Robert Frost.
This week, with the continued media speculation about when schools will reopen, what is clear within the groups that represent schools is that before the date can be arrived at, there is much to do. Much to do in terms of reassuring our students, parents, carers, teachers and support staff and the wider community about safety. Much to do in terms of providing definitive scientific advice on issues like social distancing and PPE in schools and of working through the logistics for each school and college in its own context.
The latest statement last night from the DfE continues to be “There is no set date for schools to reopen. Schools will remain closed to most until scientific advice indicates it is right to reopen and the five tests set out to beat this virus have been met.”
We are planning to the limits that we can at this stage to be ready to re-open as soon as we can, we look forward to the day when we can welcome our students back safely. In whatever form that takes, you can be assured we will continue to plan to provide the very best educational care and support for both students, carers and parents.
In the meantime, until we are informed of the specifics and any possible dates, we will continue, in partnership with you, to do our very best to support learning at home and to provide Edu-care on site for the children of key critical workers and vulnerable children.
I will write to all parents next week, once the government has been able to reflect on this week’s data and the Prime Minister has made his statement on Sunday.
For now, I look forward to tomorrow and celebrating VE Day. At the end of this blog you will find a letter from Plymouth Local Authority on how we can all celebrate VE Day virtually. My thoughts, like yours, will be on those family members who went through that period of self-sacrifice, doing the extraordinary things as part of ordinary everyday life in the face of overwhelming threat. Our freedom and our society owes so much to those individuals.
Take care; stay safe and well.
Last Friday during Edu-Care Mrs Tyrell was talking to Ellie about how she is staying active at home. She informed me that she was completing the 2.6 challenge, something that Mr MK Taylor encouraged for this week’s Healthy ME and Social ME task.
It is linked to the London Marathon, which has been cancelled for the first time ever since it started 39 years ago. This will pose a huge threat to charities who would usually benefit from the event and now more than ever our vulnerable members of society need our support.
The aim is to encourage people to create their own challenges based around the number 26 (as the marathon is 26.2miles long) and raise money for the charities of their choice. The Marathon last year raised over 66 million pounds for charity and being the biggest single charity event in the country was set to raise a similar amount this year.
Ellie and her mum have taken on this challenge in aid of St Luke’s Plymouth. They are completing a 2.6-mile walk with their dog every day for 26 days.
We would like to commend Ellie and her family and wish them the best of luck!
Here is the link to their just giving page if you would like to support them…
Our staff covering Edu-care this week, nominated Ellie as a Student of the Week. This is for her working really hard and in recognition of her generous and thoughtful nature. She greets everyone with a smile every day. Well done Ellie.
Plymstock School Alumni News
We were delighted to hear this week that one of our ex-students Kane Sullivan has been promoted to Operations Manager at the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol.
Kane was a hard working student and an active member of our school community, captaining the school football team. He left Plymstock in 2012 after completing his A levels, and was awarded the High Achievement Award for exceptional A Level results going on study a BSc in biomedical sciences at the University of Southampton.
Kane then joined the policy team at The King’s Fund in September 2017 for a two-month placement as part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. Kane has been working in the surgical division at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust for his final placement. Kane initially completed a postgraduate diploma in health care leadership which he then followed with a Masters (both with the University of Birmingham).
We are not surprised that Kane has achieved so much in such a short space of time given his exceptional commitment to studies at Plymstock School.
We send Kane and all the staff working within the NHS our very best wishes and thanks for all that they are doing for us during the COVID 19 pandemic. Congratulations Kane on your promotion, all the staff and students at Plymstock School are very proud of your achievement.
Staff Video – #StayHomeSaveLives
A group of our staff coordinated by Mrs Kent and with the editing skills of Mrs Hawker have produced a video to remind us all about the importance of supporting the NHS.
Here is the link to the page, https://plymstockschool.org.uk/plymstock-school-staff-video/
This video has an international languages theme and follows the recent videos produced by both our PE and D&T department.
Mrs Kent and the team hope it brightens your day but helps us all remember the importance of #StayHomeSaveLives
- We are staying in so we can go back out
- We’re staying apart so we can get back together
- We are working together so all our hardships now are for a better and happier tomorrow.
The MFL team is running a competition linked to the video to match up staff and languages which will be posted for KS3 on SMHW. Prizes (in the post) for the first correct answers emailed in.
All work and no play! Our students’ messages from lockdown
Working and Learning at home
Below are some pictures Mr Wookey has been sent by Brooklyn in Year 8. Some creative time well spent during lockdown and a worthy Student of the Week for Year 8. An insight into what some of our students are doing during lockdown.
Congratulations go to Alfie in Year 7 was awarded the certificate below and is now studying for a diploma in Canine Communication. Mr Chivers and Mrs Kirk have made Alfie Student of the Week for using his time to pursue his own passions and interests outside of lessons.
Well done Alfie.
This week, Miss Reeves set her Year 7’s a homework to create a poster on any invention they would like. It was their chance to get creative.
Isobel in Year 7 has been overcoming her own personal challenges this week and was frustrated with her inability to complete her schoolwork. Miss Reeves has nominated Isobel as student of the week for her invention picture due to her sheer resilience and determination to get things done. We all are very proud of our students and their resilience at this time.
Miss Reeves was impressed by the work from all her students but hopes you enjoy the selection from:
Alexis, Isabel, Isabelle, Esme, Louis, Oliva and Sophie
Jean in Year 7 wrote the poem below. His teacher Mr Dale nominated him as Student of the Week, for this wonderful piece of prose. Well done Jean.
Art completed at home
This week’s gallery contributions come from Miss Clarke who wanted to share with you some of the fantastic art work that students have been doing at home.
The images below are a selection of student’s work, from Years 7-10.
Many thanks to Alfie, Ava, Dan, Dolly, Ella in Year 7, Jess, Jessica in Year 8 and Lacy, Lexie and Oliva in Year 10 for their contributions.
We have many very talented students.
Design and Technology
Miss Pring continues to be incredibly proud and overwhelmed by the passion and talent of our students. Miss Pring said “I had a flurry of messages with amazing work from a variety of students. They all make me smile”. We are all proud of this creative work.
You may remember Lucas from our blog on Friday 17 April, this talented young man at that point had got bored and decided to do a little project to help his next-door neighbour. His neighbour is under strict self-isolation and cannot go outside to buy toys to entertain her kitten, so Lucas decided to make a small toy to keep the cat out of mischief. At that time he mentioned he would update us about his bird box project.
I have got bored again and have made three bird boxes for our local community of birds to enjoy. I have attached some pictures and I hope you enjoy looking at them. I hope you are well
As you will see below Lucas completed the project and screwed one of them to the trellis. A few days later, Great Tits found the nest box and are now lining it with grass trimmings, feathers, moss and leaves to make it nice and warm for when they eventually lay eggs.
Lucas said “I have attached some pictures of them, I hope you enjoy looking at them”, we certainly have and we are all really impressed, a fantastic project and wonderful that you have a nesting bird. Not easy! Very impressive and Miss Pring’s Student of the Week.
Project bug box!
Next, we have a second nomination from Miss Pring for Student of the Week for Amy and her Bug Box project, pictured below. Well, we are all really impressed too Amy – an impressive project and I’m sure like Lucas you will soon have lots of bugs making it their home. Well done.
Dear Miss Pring,
I have been making a bug box with my dad as our old one had fallen to pieces. It was good fun to make. We looked at bug boxes on the computer and then drew our own. I had a go at using the saw, the drill, using a set square and the screwdriver. At the end, I painted it all. My mum is really pleased and so am I!
Here are some fantastic photos of Caleb’s work in Year 7; you will see he has worked hard on this! In addition, to this wooden pallet recycling project Caleb has also been planting with his sister and spray-painted some tyres too.
Another Student of the week. Well done Caleb.
And last but not least!
Miss Pring has nominated both Rhiannon and Louis in Year 10 for their outstanding commitment and effort. Their work is pictured below and is a revision & research task on plastics. Fantastic!
Quizlet Last week’s challenges:
Y8 Quizlet Live Breaktime challenge on Weds (fraught with technical difficulties and the site crashing, but still very competitive) Overall winner Olivia in 8yClaig – 6 wins beating all the MFL staff who took part! Runners up Ruby in 8yHolne – 4 wins with Amelie in 8yClaig and Kyle in 8xHolne both on 3 wins. So she doesn’t get into a strop, we also have to mention that Mrs Summers was the staff winner with 4 wins (although I understand she was helped by her smallest son)!
Re-run of the challenge on Thursday breaktime was again highly competitive and a mixture of teams and individual challenges. Winner: Ruby in 8yHolne followed by Jess and Thomas both in 8yBasel. Special mention to Mrs Kent’s very small children who joined in (2 wins), but only wanted to play if they could be in the sharks team!
A challenging Y10 quizlet on Thursday was won by Ela, who beat 22 other students and Mrs Kent’s family
French and DT learning together
Hawkeye in Year 7 is Ms Baker’s Student of the Week. Mum sent Ms Baker a link to a video he had made linking his French and DT learning together to record a French cooking video making scones. We are very proud of him.This is the message I had from mum
“Please see the video Hawkeye 7RMK has made linking both French learning about foods and recipes and the DT task to make scones together. I know there are a few grammatical errors and pronunciation mistakes but I was so proud of his efforts and work on this. He enjoyed seeing how he could apply the french and produce his own cooking video!”
We are really proud of him too, superb effort applying his language skills. Well done.
Miss Ellis has received this picture of Keenan’s French work in Year 8. He has been working incredibly hard and she has named him her student of the week. Both Ms Baker and Miss Ellis are really impressed with his high scores and success despite the difficult situation working from home (and in another language!). He is their Student of the Week.
Miss Ellis would also like to give some other special shout-outs to:
Olivia and Lily in 7xFrYealm for being really organised this whole time and working really hard on their French and Literacy work.
Harrison in 9yFrTavy for his brilliant work and great scores in his literacy during lockdown.
“Well done to all my students for their continued hard work and efforts at home.”
We start with a wonderful and inspiring piece of work submitted to Mrs Tendell by Josh in Year 9 and nominated by her as student of the week. Mrs Tendell comments “What a star to have found these quotes and to have reflected on how they are inspiring.”
Mrs Slade has nominated Max as Student of the week for his work on ‘spirited arts’, pictured below. Max is in Mr Willcocks Year 8 class and they just thought that the level of thought and the time taken to complete this was outstanding.
Miss Reeves has nominated Megan in Year 9 as Student of the Week for her work in EPiC, simply fantastic is what both Mrs Reeves and Mrs Slade have said about Megan. Wow! was their other comment on her outstanding commitment to distance learning.
Miss Reeves said, “Megan worked really well today and has produced some wonderful work for her Epic Assignment. Pictured below. She has also completed all of this work since this morning! She emailed me asking for further clarification on what needed to be done and then she simply went off and did it. I think this is wonderful dedication and total resilience.”
We are all proud of you Megan.
Students of the week
All our winners have demonstrated Endeavour, Resilience and Empathy; Plymstock School students striving to “Be the best you can be”
Our winners include:
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 7 students of the week:
Alfie, Isobel, Jean, Lucas, Caleb and Hawkeye
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 8 students of the week:
Mr Wookey, Head of Year 8 has nominated the following students based on feedback from Mr Watteau and Mrs Bradley with regard to their endeavour and commitment to their home learning. Both their teachers and parents are very impressed with the amount of time, concentration and effort they have put into improving their learning at home. Regularly completing their work ahead of deadlines. Mrs Slade and Mr Wilcocks also nominated Max and for his work mentioned in the RS/EpiC section of this blog. Well done; superb effort and commitment.
Brooklyn, Max and Kyran
In addition to Keenan’s nomination above in languages, he has received further nominations from Mr Wookey his Head of Year and Mrs Summers for working very hard and trying to keep on top of all his work. His mum is very proud of how he has handled the move to distance learning and the staff supporting him are impressed too.
Well done Keenan. Impressive effort and keep up the hard work, we are all very proud of your resilience and endeavour.
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 9 students of the week:
Ellie, Josh and Megan
The following students mentioned in the blog have received nominations as Year 10 students of the week:
Rhiannon and Louis
Careers Insight – 2020 #CrisisCareersHeroes
Keeping things clean and working
The Careers Team
Forthcoming Events and important announcement
Celebrate VE Day 75 at home
Plymouth City Council is inviting us to celebrate VE Day 75 from the safety of our own homes.
A huge range of resources have been pulled together in a dedicated area on the Visit Plymouth website to help you throw your own 1940s themed party at home, including bunting templates, hair tutorials, wartime recipes and a playlist. Plymouth Dance has filmed three different tutorials so you can learn some new moves and dance along to vintage tunes provided by The Drat Pack.
A range of worksheets are available to download, including rationing-themed maths puzzles, word searches and crafts, that offer a useful home-schooling opportunity during lockdown.
The Box has also provided some fantastic film clips showing Plymouth during the war years. The footage offers a glimpse into the city’s past, including the King’s secret visit in 1941 and the bomb damage the city suffered during the Blitz.
You will be able to see an online gallery featuring even more fascinating archive images from the city’s collections, as well as links to information and resources from the Imperial War Museums and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
For those wishing to participate in VE Day at home, there are a number of key moments during the day that everyone is invited to take part in, which will bring people across the country together from a distance. This includes a two minute silence at 11am and the Nation’s Toast to wartime heroes at 3pm – to join in, simply raise a glass of a refreshment of your choice and say: “For those that gave so much, we thank you.”
Find out more and discover all of the resources available at visitplymouth.co.uk/veday75.
You can follow the History Festival from 8 May at plymouthhistoryfestival.com.
If you host a VE Day celebration then please ensure you stay at home and only celebrate with the family or friends that you live with.
Take care and stay safe.
Staying in touch and up to date with Plymstock School
We continue to update parents with direct messages through our MyEd messaging service, To support the volume of updates as requested by parents only a limited number of key important messages will be sent home each week.
Please do check our Plymstock School Newsfeed for all our latest updates and messages.
Information about Distance Learning can be found here:
Information on Mental Health and Wellbeing can be found here:
and specific information related to COVID-19 on our distance learning page below the Newsfeed banner
Thank you to Mr Mason-Lawrence (Sunsets) and Miss Williams (views of Plymstock School from a distance) for their photographs used in this week’s blog from their daily exercise walks.