Head's Blog

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Welcome to the Head's Blog 

Please visit the Head's Blog regularly for news, information and communications from Darite Academy.
We will use this blog to share the learning, fun and enjoyment that happens at Darite.


Mr Whipps, Head of School.

 


Update 22.3.24 

Another fun-packed week.

It’s been another busy week at Darite. After the activity of last week, we have certainly continued in that theme! We raised an amazing £99.17p for Comic Relief from our non-uniform and cake sale. Thank you so much for all your support with supporting the charity. Darite is an amazing place to be a part of.Thank-you to those parents and carers who were able to make an appointment for our parents evenings this week. It is great to have some time dedicated to celebrating the successes of the children at Darite and being able to answer any questions you may have. Remember, you do not need to wait for these times if you have questions. Contact Mrs Norris in the office if you would like to talk to a teacher. 

We had our assembly about guide dogs on Wednesday and we must thank everyone who made the assembly so memorable. It was great to see how interested the children were about the amount of work that goes into training a new guide dog.

Balanceability was a great success on Thursday with the children in Class 1 speeding around. Thanks also to Mrs Nash for taking her time to teach the children. By the smiles on their faces, they had great fun along with learning new skills.

Miss Bawden took 5 children from Class 2 and 3 to Looe Primary Academy to take part in the first Bridge Schools Alternative Sports Day. They competed against children from all 14 schools in the trust and had a great time taking part in events like fencing and segway! Thank-you to Looe for hosting and all of the coaches for their time. Looking at the photos, they had a great time. They conducted themselves wonderfully and we are very proud of them.

Class 2 and 3 finished the week with a workshop from the Minack theatre. This was to celebrate Shakespeare week. They were visited by actors who worked with them to look at characters and plots of the plays and finished with a performance of their own piece of drama. Thank-you to the Minack for taking the time to work with our children. They had a great time.

Don't forget that Wednesday sees our final event of the turm with our Easter picnic and baking competition. We will have a wide range of activities to take part in along with the judging of the Easter themed baking and bonnet competition. Entries for both can be brought in at the start of Wednesday. All are welcome.

The First Lego League team would like to thank all of you who have made suggestions on how we can raise money to get the team to the national finals in Harrogate. As you will have seen from the letter that I sent on their behalf yesterday, we are looking for sponsors to help fund transport and accommodation in Yorkshire. To help with this, we have setup a Go Fund Me page that anyone can login to and donate any amount, large or small to help hit our target and allow the team to compete. The link for this is here

Have a fantastic weekend. 


have a fantastic weekend. 

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Lego Champions! 

Lego Champions!

On Thursday, Miss Bawden and I had the pleasure of taking 9 children to RNAS Culdrose for the second day of the regional tournament of the First Lego League. You may, like me, have seen footage of day one on the BBC news on Wednesday and anticipation (and nerves) was high. The team -The Darite Virtual Pros - were up against 30 other teams on Thursday, and a total of 60 other teams over the two days, which included secondaries as well as primary aged pupils!

The competition was composed of two parts over the day; a presentation on a theme and coding a Lego robot to perform precise tasks. During both of these challenges, they were judged on their attitude, professionalism, teamwork and graciousness towards each other and the other teams.


Innovation Project

This year’s theme was "Masterpiece". The teams had to prepare a presentation on a project that they had been working on, detailing how they would use technology to bring a passion of theirs to a wider audience. the Darite team used all their diplomacy to decide to base their project on using 360-degree video to film their passion of cycling and then link it to the use of virtual reality to allow disabled people, the elderly and people who are unable to ride or have a bike to experience their love of the sport. They wrote letters to international companies for their help and support and worked hard to adapt and innovate their ideas. The judges were impressed with the project (and the song) along with their use of help beyond the school.

Robot Game

The second aspect of the competition was the “Robot Game”. This was a coding competition - the participants had to build and code a robot from a set number of Lego pieces to move around a mat, interacting with Lego obstacles in complex ways to score points. The children had all shown incredible amounts of dedication, voluntarily coming in for extra practise sessions before school, at lunchtimes and after school. The team were assigned the first slot of the day and there was an assembled crowd of judges, military personnel and other schools to watch the team try and score as many points as they could in the best of 3, two-and-a -half minute rounds. The children worked amazingly as a team to run the codes and adapt their robot on the fly. Their highest score was a huge 335 points. Tension was high across the day as the team (and teachers) watched the other scores come in but, in the end, no-one was able to top their score and, for the second year in a row, Darite were awarded the trophy for the “Robot Performance”!



Tension was high in the presentations at the end of the day. With such a high score in the coding, the team were in with a shot at winning the day. Everything was crossed as the final award approached. To the children's delight, their names were called to be awarded the Champion's Award for the highest overall score for the day. By winning the day, the team have brought home another trophy but more importantly, have earned a place to compete at the national finals in Harrogate, against all the other regional winners from across the whole of the UK.

We were so proud of their achievements, conduct and teamwork during the day. We can’t wait to see how they get on against the other regional winners in April.

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Weekly update 

Superb Week

What an amazing week we’ve had! There is so much to tell you about this week that I am gong to publish this blog in two parts! Children in Class 2 and 3 have been cycling superstars this week during their bikeability sessions. Mrs Nash – our teacher- was very pleased with their effort and skills. Class 1 are looking forward to their sessions last week. Well done to all the children who took part.

Year 5 had a superb afternoon on Wednesday at the Junior Life-Skills roadshow. This is an opportunity for children all over the local area to get together and meet different organisations who will help them learn skills to improve their safety, understanding and much more. They learned CPR, how to remain safe online, at the beach and on the railway and learned more about public transport and electrical safety. They had an amazing time and would like to thank all the professionals for their time. Alongside this we had a fantastic day today celebrating Comic Relief. Thank-you to Mrs Richardson-Calladine for giving up her time to come along and support. 

Thank you so much to all of you who found time to send cakes into school for our sale. We raised a fantastic amount of money for the very worthwhile charity. I will certainly be tuning in tonight to have a laugh and support the work that Comic Relief do in this country as well as around the world.

Good luck to the children taking part in the Landrake run today. I hope you don't get stuck in the mud! Congratulations also to one of our Year 4 pupils who has qualified for the regional finals! 

Have a great weekend. 

Mr Whipps

 


What a week! 

What a week!

We have had an amazing week this week at Darite. You may have seen some of the things we’ve been up to on our Facebook page. We are trying to keep this updated to share with you the things that make Darite special. To help share the learning at Darite, we have also sent home family log-ins for Seesaw. More details are included in the letter that has also gone home today and we do hope that you give the learning a “Like”. If you have any questions about seesaw or the learning, please talk to class teachers rather than through seesaw as this is a learning platform.

Over the last 4 weeks, Class 3 have taken part in the “Start Small Dream Big Eden Packed Lunch” project. They have been learning about sustainability, healthy eating and how a few healthy choices can make a big difference. The children had to submit a design for a packed lunch that was not only good for the body, but good for the planet. They (and we) were delighted to be awarded the “Healthiest and Tastiest” award at the ceremony on Wednesday. They were up against 15 other schools and worked really hard to submit a winning design. They were also nominated in 4 other categories. Congratulations to Year 5 and 6 for their winning design. The entry can be seen here.

We had two trips this week too! Eden played another role this week as Class 3 visited to learn more about climate change and how they can have a positive change on the planet. They walked round all three biomes to collect evidence of climate change and will use this in school to plan for the future and support fighting climate change. They were a credit to the school. Class 2 and Year 2 had a fantastic day at Cabilla on Wednesday. They learnt all about the temperate rainforest and the habitats that are found there. They saw a beaver lodge (although no beavers sadly) but they had an amazing time. Thank-you to the adult helpers who gave up their time to help the trip take place.


Yesterday’s reading breakfast was a triumph. It was amazing to see so many parents, carers and relatives who were able to make it to school. Reading is such an important skill and events like this really raise the profile of reading in school. The children love reading to each other but having parents in adds another level of enjoyment. Thank you to those of you who were able to come and we will run these again through the year. This was part of World Book Day and the children looked great in pyjamas (and no-one fell asleep). The children also did some learning based on this by joining in with live lessons and other reading based fun. Thank-you to Lisa in the kitchen for providing such a fantastic breakfast too!


To cap it all, we had our first “Break the Rules” day organised by the school council. There certainly were some wacky hairstyles and brightly painted nails! We raised a superb £66! The money raised will be used to support learning at Darite. Thank-you to everyone who supported with the day. As you can see, it’s been really busy at Darite this week with lots more to come before Easter!


Have a great weekend. Mr Whipps

 


 

A fun packed week!

It’s been another wonderful week at Darite. The children have been working hard in all their lessons and have bee proudly showing me what they have been doing. Next week we will also be sending home codes for you to share the learning that the children have been doing on our seesaw platform. The children are looking forward to sharing what they have been doing with you all.

This week, KS2 childre were all given two books that were donated from The Book Trust Presents as a thank-you for taking part in their live event. The children were delighted by the stories. 

We have continued our series of special assemblies this week with the East Cornwall Search and Rescue team coming in on Wednesday to talk to the children about their role in keeping people safe when out walking. It was a fascinating glimpse into a job that many of the children were unaware of and we are really grateful to the team for giving up their time to share with us.

“Toasty Thursday” was a great success yesterday, with lots of children bringing in their 25p and enjoyed to warm snack. To quote one child “That was so nice, I’m going to bring in 50p next week to get two pieces!” Those children who won star of the week were also treated to a luxury hot chocolate during this time. It did look very tasty and is a reward we will be continuing. "Toasty Thursday" will continue to raise some money for both school and charities that are close to the children’s heart. The first charity who will benefit will be the Search and Rescue Team.

There are lots of things upcoming in the next week or so and I wanted to remind you of what is happening. Next Tuesday, Class 3 will be visiting Eden as part of their wider curriculum enquiry.  On Wednesday, Class 2 and Year 2 are visiting Cabilla as part of the prize for winning the “Re-wilding” competition last year. Thursday is World Book Day and we are again holding our very popular reading breakfast. Please come in from 8.50 until 9.45 to share a favourite book, piece of toast (or breakfast muffin from Lisa our cook) with the children.


Finally, Friday sees the first “Break the rules day” organised by the school council. The children are able to “break” up to 4 rules from the list selected by the school council for 50p per rule. More details will go out early next week but the children are looking forward to it.


As you can see, there is lots to look forward to as always at Darite. Thank-you for your continued support. Have a fantastic weekend.

 


Half Term 

Fond goodbyes

In the blink of an eye this half term has come to an end. It has been a whistle-stop half term but with so much crammed in, a very memorable one.

We capped it off with a visit from the Liskeard Fire Station who came to talk to children about fire safety and even brought an appliance to show. Thank you very much to the team for taking time out to come and see us.

The end of term is always a chance to rest and relax with family. This half term however is bittersweet as we bit a very fond farewell to Mrs Evett and Mrs Thomas, both of whom are leaving Darite for new adventures. Mrs Evett has been at Darite for 5 years now and has been a fantastic administrator, always happy to help with a smile. If she doesn’t know the answer to something, it’s not worth knowing! Mrs Thomas has been a wonderful teacher and mentor to the children and I know that they have become the amazing learners they are in no small part because of her. We will miss both of them a lot and, wherever they end up, we hope they will remember the smiling faces of the children at Darite. I am sure that you will join with us in wishing them luck in the next steps of their journeys.

To end on a happier note, this week we held an interview process to find a replacement for Mrs Evett as administrator. It was a tough process but I am delighted to let you know that we have appointed Mrs S Norris as our new administrator. She has already been into the school to meet the staff and children and is really looking forward to starting at school after half term. With the departure of Mrs Evett, we are re-advertising the post for our Breakfast Club supervisor. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the Darite team and make sure that all children are able to start the day well. If you are interested in the position or have any questions, please let the office know and we will arrange a time to talk about what the job entails.


We are looking forward to seeing the children again on the 19th February but in the meantime, I hope you have a relaxing half term holiday. Thank-you again for your continued support of the school.

 


Weekly Update 

Another busy week!

It’s been another busy week at Darite. We welcomed Kernow King and the Cornish Caretakers in on Monday to talk about Cornish mining heritage. Class 2 were lucky enough to have a workshop with the team and then there was a show that the children really enjoyed! Thank-you to the Cornish Caretakers for coming in to see us. 

Wednesday saw Class 3 joining with other schools from all over the country to enjoy a virtual session from Book Trust Represents called, “Bookmaker Like You” with Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, Sabine Adeyinka and Jasmine Richards. ‘Bookmaker Like You’ highlights the artistry of book creatives from under-represented communities and backgrounds. After the session, several pupils expressed a wish to write, create writer’s notebooks and to enter writing competitions . They were really inspired! The class found out about writers, publishers and editors working to ensure children of all ages can see themselves represented in books. This prompted a rich discussion in class about why representation is important and book recommendations. To the delight of the class, the school received a shout out from the authors as the questions submitted by the class, were answered! The class asked the three writers what their book recommendations would be for our age group and their recommendations will be headed to our reading corner along with some books from Coelho, Adeyinka and Richards.


Not to be left out, Class 1 very proudly showed me their learning in maths and English this week. It is always fantastic to see the pride that the youngest children in school take in their work and their progress is fantastic to see.

We only have two weeks left of this half term before the break. There is a lot going on at Darite, so please keep checking back for updates and news.

 


What a busy week! 


What a week at Darite! First we have world famous BBC stars in our midst and then  we finish the week with a visit from our MP. The children were really excited to see the school and their friends on the CBeebies show Fred and Pete’s treasure tales. The BBC came to film way back in March and the episode finally aired this week. The children performed amazingly and we were all so proud of them. Make sure you check iPlayer for the episode “The Storyteller’s Hook” if you haven’t seen it. 

 

We also welcomed Sheryll Murray MP to school today. She spoke to the children about how parliament and government works and had time for photos and questions. She met the school council and was able to give them some advice. Thank-you to Ms Murray for taking the time to visit us. 

 

This week we also took time to reflect on the remembrance services that will be happening this weekend. As always, the level of respect, thoughtfulness and kindness shown by the children was wonderful to see.

 

This term continues to race towards Christmas with lots of activities planned. Please make sure that you keep up to date with key events on the website and newsletter.


 


Weekly update 

Where has the time gone!

Just like that we’re 1/6 of the way through the year! We have certainly finished strongly with Mrs Alberts return to Class 2 on Wednesday, some amazing learning and plenty of smiles. Thank-you to those parents and carers who were able to attend the first Head’s Forum of the year on Monday. I will be running these every half term and they are an opportunity to bring questions and suggestions to me and then to the staff. These are of course voluntary and if you have any questions in the meantime, your child’s teacher is always the first port of call.

You may have remembered that in the summer term last year, Mrs Saberton entered a competition to “re-wild” the school. She put together a very comprehensive plan to improve the wild tribe area. The children worked hard to create the first of a series of bug hotels (made to look like the school) and attach it to a newly painted and decorated section of area. We were absolutely delighted to receive news on Tuesday that of all the schools both large and small who entered, Darite won! The judges were very impressed with the planning, input and building of the bug hotel along with the improvement to the area of the school. We are so proud of Mrs Saberton for leading this and, of course, the children whose ideas made the change happen. We have also won a prize but more about that next half term!

Also this week, Class 3 welcomed Claire Newman to school. We were incredibly lucky to be able to have her visit as she works for NASA! Claire is a senior research scientist working to understand the atmospheres of Mars and Titan and looking at weather patterns! Her work had been carried out by the Curiosity Rover on Mars – making the first measurements of winds around the Martian dunes. The children were fascinated and horizons were definitely broadened in the afternoon. Huge thanks to Claire for making time to come and talk about her work with us.

In other exciting news, series 2 of “Fred and Pete’s Treasure Tales” will air at 3.55 each afternoon on CBeebies, starting on the 23rd October. This is due to high demand and has been moved forward from an original air date of February! You may remember that way back in April, the BBC came to film one of the episodes in school – featuring some of our pupils! Unfortunately, I do not know the order that the episodes will be shown in but make sure you stay tuned to catch our pupils on the big screen! As you can see, it’s been a very busy and exciting week!

On the 20th October, school is closed to children as the staff have a training day along with all the other staff from all 14 bridge schools! We are looking forward to welcoming the children back on Monday the 30th October. Everyone at Darite hopes that you all have a relaxing break ready for the exciting lead up to Christmas.

 


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