Today I’d like to share my termly update on the progress we are making as a school towards our current priorities and to ensure that we strive to achieve our vision that ‘Everyone Succeeds’
We have targeted the most significant challenges since September and have formed our School Development Priorities.
You’ll find my updates at the foot of today’s Blog.
Fun in the Sun
Students, staff and visitors enjoyed an afternoon in the sun today as these images of our Summer Fair reflect. Money raised from the stalls and activities will be going to the nominated House charities – more information on the totals to follow.
Well done everyone!
An update on the progress towards our school priorities.
Priority 1: Students achieve the highest academic outcomes
A whole-school focus on literacy and oracy
Some of our Year 9 students recently took part in the Carnegie Shadowing event. The students delivered a presentation on a book selected for the 2017 Carnegie Medal: Glenda Millard’s ‘the stars at oktober bend’.
They said, “The book is a fascinating insight into the re-wired head of Alice Nightingale, a fifteen year old girl who has slow, thick speech, and so writes poems to convey her feelings, and Manny James, a child soldier who has a guilty secret”.
Mrs Johnson added, “Despite not taking home the medal for ourselves, it was an interesting experience, and we all immensely enjoyed reading a book we would never pick up to read otherwise”.
Priority 3: Leadership at all levels
Embedding and enhancing the extensive leadership opportunities for students
Young Enterprise Awards
Our Young Enterprise team, MRKT, team have invented a clever device which attaches to the base of trays helping waiting staff to carry them and prevent spillages and breakages. The team won the Innovation Category at the Plymouth award ceremony.
Mr Jenkins said the team was commended on taking a risk in developing such a complex product which dealt with a real issue. The group hours spent researching the hospitality market which included studying operations at restaurants in Plymouth.
He added, “Roseanna Milburn, the company MD, has been given a reduced grade entry to Bath University to study marketing on the basis of taking part in the programme and leading a successful enterprise. The team was superbly supported by Matthew Rashleigh our business adviser from Babcock and a former student”.
DHSB was well represented at the South West Academic Trust (SWAT) Teaching and Learning Conference held at the University of Exeter. Mrs Green and a group of students from 8W led a seminar sharing their international links with students at a school in Syria.
This was a wonderful experience for our Year 8 students and a fantastic opportunity to develop their own leadership skills.
The Physics Society
We have many student leadership societies and organisations that are led by our students. They provide exciting opportunities for the real world to enter the classroom. I thought we would profile the Physics society who have recently returned to school from CERN as part of a visit during Curriculum Enrichment Week.
The text below describes two of the recent events.
Recently our weekly Physics Society were lucky enough to have four guest speakers from Plymouth University come in to talk about Optometry. It was entitled, ‘Optometry – a great career between Physics and Medicine’ and they gave a 90 minute session explaining all about the study of eye and vision problems. They brought in a large selection of different instruments used for investigating such problems and taught us how to use them and tested them on us. The physics going on behind these problems was also explained and it was all incredibly fascinating.
The guest speaker that visited recently was Dr Vincent Smith. He was heavily involved with the design of part of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
Priority 4: Collaboration and Community
Widen access to improve social mobility by overcoming barriers in the community
As you are aware we have been working hard to develop closer relationships with our partner primary schools. Mr Butcher and a group of students recently worked with College Road Primary School.
Mr Butcher said, “We have two sets of mainly Year 9 students who are assisting the Year 5s at College Road with their coding and decoding, using the Scratch programming language. The first set of students to visit this week found the Year 5s were soon full of enthusiasm and drive and so had achieved the lesson’s goals quite early on. Our computing students had to think on their feet and develop extensions to the core work. Both sets of students really relished the opportunity to work collaboratively. The session flew by”.
Sky Sports for Living
Year 9 and 10 have been taking part in our Sky Sports Living for Sport project. The boys have been working together to engage and develop practical, leadership and organisational skills to help unlock and develop life skills valuable both in and out of school. The aim of our project is to help lead a tag rugby event for primary schools across the city, due to take place at Plymouth Albion’s ground.
As part of the project Sky Sports assign us an athlete mentor to support along the way and this year’s mentor is David Hill, a Paralympic swimmer and triathlete from both the Athens and Rio Paralympic Games.
This was David’s second visit to DHSB having been in at the launch of our project back in February, this time he supported a class during a PE lesson and then visited an engineering class to talk about the process he goes through in developing his prosthetic arm for use in everyday life and for when he competes at a global event like the Paralympics.
David finished his day with us by giving a workshop highlighting Sky Sports six keys to success; mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success, and how they can apply them in their everyday life.
Mr Carpenter said, “It was great to have an athlete of David’s calibre in and working with our boys who gained a valuable insight into the life of an inspirational, elite athlete”.
Priority 5: Creative and Entrepreneurial Spirit
Continue to use the latest cutting edge technology creatively and innovatively influencing the wider educational community
Recently DHSB hosted a Digital Learning Teachmeet for local schools to attend. We were kindly supported by C-Learning & HP. The Teachmeet was small but powerful with 18 teachers and students in attendance sharing good practice, inspiring ideas and new software packages.
Highlights included Mystery Hangouts, Google Cast, Google Expeditions and EDpuzzle. The stars of the show were of course DHSB Digital Leaders Yasin and Alfie.
They presented on the topic of digital leaders, agile development and showcased their latest product they have been working on eCareers. Yasin then went on to give an excellent presentation on security covering how secure Googles infrastructure is and what users can do to protect themselves for example enabling two factor authentication.
Ms Middleton, our International Co-coordinator, and Mr Carpenter travelled to Sweden with two Year 12 students, Henry Spencer and Jim Luckhurst recently, to take part in our Erasmus project. Henry has written an account of the visit.
The Erasmus programme takes schools from across Europe and encourages them to share best practice lessons with one another. Jim and I had the wonderful opportunity to join the trip to Hudiksvall in Sweden to learn about science lessons throughout a number of European countries, including Lithuania, France and Sweden.
We experienced a number of European lessons from each school, the highlight being a lesson on Phylogeny, conducted with the use of muffins to demonstrate an evolving species! Not only was the trip beneficial to our science studies, we also developed relationships with the foreign schools and students and collected invaluable information on school and student life across Europe.
Overcome the barriers to recruitment and retention, reflected nationally, through a new DHSB approach
Many thanks to Ms Moreton, our Information, Advice and Guidance Coordinator, who has been extremely busy working towards completing the Investors in Careers Award for DHSB
Ms Moreton was well prepared for a full day of assessment and at the end of the day was delighted that our Investors in Careers award was renewed. The award is one of the highest accolades an organisation can receive for excellence in this area of work and is definitely something the award holder can be very proud of. Full details can be found in Ms Moreton’s blog.
Tuesday 18 July
Thursday 20 July
Final day of term (with a 12.40 finish for students who have permission to leave the site)