DHS embrace Safer Internet Day exploring what ‘free to be me’ means online
Tuesday 11th February was Safer Internet Day which is acknowledged worldwide and used to highlight how to use the internet safely and appropriately. The theme this year was ‘free to be me’ with a focus on online identity. This meant looking at how people can be untruthful online and the consequences of that as well as advocating for tolerance and compassion to allow people to be open about who they really are.
At Durrington High School the computing department themed KS3 lessons on the day to be centred around this subject. Students looked at short videos that opened up discussions about why people are often ‘fake’ when using social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. They also took part in a quiz which asked them if they agreed or disagreed with statements such as ‘I prefer the online world to the real world’ and ‘I always post the trust online no matter what people think.’ The varied answers from students prompted interesting discussions.
Students were also invited to take some time to think about their own identity and what they would be willing to share online. Each student wrote down their thoughts in an outline of a head and shoulders which were collected together. The answers included factual information such as ‘sister’ and ‘brother’ but also their passions and attributes such as ‘bookworm’ and ‘loyal.’
Claire Taylor, Head of Business, Computer Science and ICT, said ‘Safer Internet Day provides a great opportunity to engage our students in thinking about their safety online. It is something we are always educating our students about as it is such a vital part of modern life, but to have a whole lesson to focus on it is really valuable.’
During the day resources provided by Safer Internet Day were shared on the school’s social media channels to engage parents and carers in the conversation. It is important to have open communication with young people about their lives online and the resources can help with starting that conversation. You can find them all here. Our LRA Manager Mrs Baker also shared a list of recommended books that can be useful in exploring the online world which you can find here.
Super success as DHS place first in their heat of new competition Dance Live
On Wednesday 12th February our 120 strong team headed to Portsmouth Guildhall to perform in the first ever Dance Live competition. Having taken part in Rock Challenge, which was sadly not happening in 2020, for so many years, the team were delighted to have the opportunity to perform in a new and exciting competition.
The team have been working hard on their 7-minute piece since September, rehearsing every Friday after school. Everyone involved has shown incredible dedication and had a wonderful time. The amazing piece titled ‘Fearless and Therefore Powerful’ was an exploration into the world of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The novel has been the inspiration for so many film and theatre adaptations and the wonderful team knew they could create something very special. The performance tells the story of Victor Frankenstein’s journey, detailing his obsessive pursuit to create a human, whilst exploring the varied emotions resulting from the reality of this and ultimately exposing the tragedy within the story.
The excited students arrived at Portsmouth Guildhall at midday and after a fun hip-hop lesson they had a half an hour slot on the stage to rehearse with full lighting. They then moved to a different space and had another 30 minutes to polish and perfect the piece before the evening performance. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting ready with hair, costume and make up. This is always a great part of the day as the students chat and work together to create incredible results. Many thanks to Learning Supervisor Ellie Symmonds who worked tirelessly on the hair and make up for the students playing monsters.
DHS were the penultimate performance so the team had a nervy wait whilst the first 6 schools performed. When they got on the stage they were all outstanding, The hard work that had gone into the piece really shone through and it was a flawless performance. They skipped off the stage feeling happy and proud, knowing they had all done their best.
Once the final performance had taken place representatives from each school were invited on to the stage for the results. Third place was announced as The Angmering School and second place as Richard Taunton. The nerves increased as everyone knew it was either first place or not progressing to the finals, so the screams and jumps for joy erupted when Durrington High School were awarded first place. The team will now go on to take part in the Dance Live final on Saturday 25th April.
It is a huge achievement to have come first, especially as all other schools included 6th Form students. At Durrington High School everyone is welcome to join the Dance Live team a nd inclusivity is at the heart of the piece, this was acknowledged in one of the judges’ comments, ‘You all had the opportunity to shine.’
Mrs Isham, Director of Performing Arts, said, ‘I am so proud of this team. They were professional, supportive ad hard working in taking on this new venture. Thanks to Portsmouth Guildhall for putting on such a superb competition, we have been looked after so well and it has been such a pleasure to be part of the first ever Dance Live competition.’
It was a real treat to welcome back ex-DHS pupil and West End performer Charlie Donnelly who we are so grateful to for supporting us with much of the fantastic and challenging choreography.
Many thanks to the staff involved for giving our students such an incredible and enriching opportunity – Emily Isham, Lizzie Wolstenholme, Louise Wallis-Tayler, April Cross, Annie Hewett, Kathy Hughes, Sam Hodnett and Ellie Symmonds.
Year 7 students shine at the MFL Spelling Bee
On Wednesday 12th February 20 year 7 students took the brave step of competing in the MFL Spelling Bee after successfully reaching the finals following class-based competition. The event took place in the main hall and friends and family were invited to watch. There were delicious refreshments served on arrival to celebrate how well the students had done to get this far before Mr Davis gave everyone a warm welcome.
He reiterated how well the students had done to reach the final and congratulated them on how hard they had worked over the term in preparing. The students had practised at home but also had support from year 9 mentors who helped them every Thursday lunchtime. The French competition took place first followed by the Spanish.
Each finalist was called up to stand at the front of the room with the screen behind them which displayed the words they had to spell. They each had one minute to spell as many words as they could that were produced by the random generator, which had been created by Mr Norfolk, DHS Data Leader, and read out by Mr Davis. The words were all from a worksheet that students had been asked to revise from and covered countries, school essentials, colours, verbs, numbers to 20 and animals. The students were challenged further as they had to spell the words using the French/Spanish alphabet.
Everyone did extremely well. It is a credit to them all that they could stand in front of their peers and their families and take on a very difficult task. After everyone had given their best each student was given a certificate before the top 3 in both languages were given out. The results of the French competition were
1st – Ayla Djevdet
2nd – Ruby Blaikie
3rd – Luca Dragoi
And for Spanish
1st – Isaac Leigh
2nd – Holly Richards
3rd – Jack Miles
Mrs Copper, Head of MFL, who judged the competition alongside Mr Davis, congratulated the students on their fantastic efforts and thanked the audience for their support both at home and on the night.
Mr Davis, said, ‘We are really proud of all of the students that have pushed themselves tonight. They have shown great confidence in their language skills to spell a large range of words in a different language, which many of them have only been learning since September. We are delighted with how they are doing and the Spelling Bee gives them an opportunity to shine. I would also like to thank the year 9 mentors who have given up their time to support the finalists and help prepare them for tonight’s event. Well done to all involved, it has been a great evening.’
More success in the county finals for the KS4 badminton teams
Following their success in the district competition the KS4 boys and girls badminton teams headed to the K2 centre in Crawley to compete in the county competition. It was another day packed with activity with both teams taking on different schools in several rounds of best of 5 matches, which were a mixture of doubles and singles. The games were more difficult to win at this competition with the first team to 21 (rather than 11) taking the win. Both teams played exceptionally well and really showed off their skill as well as determination and great sportsmanship.
The girls team won all their group games before taking on Uckfield in the semi-final which they won. In the final they faced a strong team in Lewes Priory and after 5 tight games were just pipped to the post 3-2, taking the runners up spot, an amazing achievement, especially when it was such a close final. All the players, Millie Whiteside, Alyx Maskell, Chloe Jones and Jessi Lownds gave their all and were skilled and committed players. A special mention to Alyx and Millie who were both unbeaten in all of their singles games throughout the day.
The boys team produced a dominant performance. Led by Scott Haysom, who is ranked number 1 in the county for his age, Drew Hammersley, Oli Wadeson, and Joel Butler all put in exceptional performances. They won each of their group games 5-0 and then continued with their incredible form to beat Uckfield in the semi-final and Tanbridge in the final, again not dropping a game. They were deservedly crowned county champions and will go on to play in the Southern regional finals in Guildford after half term.
Tom Pickford, Director of PE and Dance at DHS, said, ‘It was great to see both teams play so well at the county competition. Their dedication was inspiring and both teams played so well. To be county champions and runners up is a huge credit to their talents and determination, well done to them all.’
An exciting insight into secondary school geography for year 5 and 6 students
Students make a pledge for Time to Talk Day
Exciting Science opportunities for Durrington High Students
Mock results day for the mock exams
Youth Sport Trust Step into Sport Camp equips students with vital leadership skills
Double success for the KS4 badminton teams
Students take to the (dry) slopes as they prepare for an incredible half term trip to Austria
GCSE PE students enjoy learning about physiotherapy as a potential career path with visit from Worthing Hospital team
Year 9 students inspired by Chichester’s art and architecture
U16 girls football team reach last 16 of the National Cup
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