24th November 2023

Dear parent/carers,

It isn’t long till we start the countdown to Christmas and advent calendar doors are opened. Every child knows the date to write in the book across the month of December! They are all starting to prepare for the festive season with singing underway and plans are in place for our Christmas Dinner and other events. Christmas Jumper day is on the same day as Christmas Dinner. Should you have any outgrown jumpers that you are happy to donate they would be warmly welcomed for those without.

On Saturday, our choir performed at the Southend Switch On main stage. They sang and entertained the crowds with a repertoire of our favourite Christmas songs. They were even interviewed on BBC sounds with members of the choir and Miss Salter. Sadie Nine, from the BBC, commented on the children’s confidence and the importance of confidence in their future lives. Clearly our values were on full volume!

We also found out that some of our year 6 Artists were successful in the Blue Bird Care, Christmas Card competition. Entries were shared with the Blue bird Team and Shelia, a customer of Blue Bird had the difficult task of choosing an overall winner. She ended up choosing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The winning card is currently in print and will be circulated amongst Blue Bird care and all those they wish happiness to at this time of year. The children have been invited, alongside Mrs Buckley to visit the branch at Chalkwell to see their cards (alongside other entries from our year six children) in their window. They will also find out a little more about how care is provided in the community and careers in care. If you drive park Chalkwell Lights take a glance at the widow front to see the display.

Now back to all things, November. It has been the dodgeball season with sessions in school and competitions. Children have shown me their skills and shared their techniques. Darlinghurst is known for their skills in dodgeball and I have renamed the team – DA Dodgers! I will allow Mr Felton and Mr Blewett to share the rest of the sporting news.

Over the last two weeks all of our dodgeball squads have been in action in local competitions. Our LKS2 squad managed a very respectable 7 wins out of 9 games whilst our UKS2 B team managed to win all of their games. Up next were our UKS2 A team who narrowly missed out on winning the competition for the third year running losing in the final 2-1. Our KS1 team however managed to go one better and were crowned overall champions beating Thorpe Greenways in the final 2-1. Well done to all involved as always you demonstrated all of our school values throughout all competitions.

In year five we have had a special visitor linked to their focus on World War and also careers in the parachute regiment and army. Mrs Lee, our history lead is sharing more information on this within K.eeping. In Touch. this week. In year six children have shared poems and recounts of evacuees with me, some of which were written as voluntary homework after being inspired. The poems were extremely well written and thought provoking. Other children shared their extracts of writing about the Windrush, placing themselves in the situation of leaving their home country to live and work in Britain. The pieces were incredible providing the reader with knowledge of the past but also the impact of discrimination.

The Early Years and Year one have been busy exploring inside and outside the classroom. This included a local walk by year one. Thank you to all the parent helpers who made this possible. The Early Years has also been busy with parent tours. The children have been confident and friendly to our visitors attempting to engage them in play and saying hello. Who needs my talk and sales pitch when the children in the Early Years have it covered!

School photographs took place today. Children were full of smiles and hairstyles. We cannot wait to see the proofs! Everyone loves a school photograph.

Finally, can I ask parents and carers to continue to refrain from using telephones on the school grounds for safeguarding. Please attempt to keep phones out of sight and use.

As always,

Enjoy your family time together.

In the Spotlight

Art trip to Focal Point Gallery

On Monday, some year 6 children went on a trip to Focal Point Gallery in Southend to see an art exhibition called ‘Storm Warning’ which was all about Eco systems in our oceans and how climate change is affecting our sea levels and coastline. The artwork was based around the planting of seagrass to avert rising sea levels as well as a model representing our coastline here in Essex.

The children learnt about Greenpeace and their campaign against sewage in our oceans. They also learnt how the appearance of seahorses indicates cleanliness in our waters, but how the coral reefs around the world are being bleached by pollution. This led on to a fantastic discussion amongst all of us about meat eating, vegetarians, and vegans and how everything is linked in the food chain and affects our environment. We saw some beautiful paintings of microscopic plankton which we then went on to recreate in the Artist led workshop. We were so lucky to have a photography- based workshop based on Cyanotypes (sun prints), where the children learnt about the origins of photography using this method and how early botanists catalogued their work using this process. The children made their own sun prints using natural materials and made their own Sun print negatives by drawing their own plankton creatures on to clear cells. We had a brilliant day and have been asked back to see the children’s work when it is exhibited. We also made links to history, Science and art during this visit and talked about careers with a basis in Art and Design such as architecture, sculpting and designing environments not just portrait painting and landscapes.

Cave art paint making

Following Mr Carr’s stone tools visit in art, year 3 made their own paint based on cave art. Year 3 have created their own paint from natural materials, recreating earthy colours. They then went on to create their own cave art painting with sticks, charcoal and chalk pastels just like our ancient ancestors.

Year 5 Military Visit

On Wednesday, Year 5 were so excited to have a ‘real life soldier’ visit their classroom! As part of our learning related to WW1 and to foster an interest in various careers, a member of the parachute regiment came dressed in their glorious uniform equipped with bags, helmets and other military attire and spoke to the children about their important work and how it all began. Pupils were engaged from the start and listened in awe at the hard work and determination to achieve such success, just like the values of perseverance and resilience instilled in our children at Darlinghurst Academy. We discovered that weeks of physical training are required and that team work is especially important. Pupils were also lucky enough to handle various objects including empty bullet magazines and protective body armour. After the presentation, Year 5 asked numerous questions to further their understanding:

What age do you have to be to join the Army?

Which countries have you visited?

What is your rank?

Are there any women in the parachute regiment?

Have you met the King?

Did you pass all your tests?

What’s it like jumping out of a plane?

It was an honour to have representation from such an elite member of our armed forces share the history of their career and how they have helped others in time of need.

Protecting our Planet Day

The 30th November is Protecting Our Planet Day. It’s a great opportunity for us to think about what actions we can take to help our planet. Our children will get the chance to watch and take part in live lessons including during a lunchtime club with Mrs Powell. We would love for you to send in photos and videos to show us what action you’re taking or any ideas about what we could do – from a new invention to help collect litter to upcycling something at home or even planting trees. Share your news with us so we can share on Instagram!

Last week, Mrs Powell had the opportunity to share how our school have helped integrate climate change and sustainability into our curriculum as part of Eco-school’s Cut Your Carbon Month. She shared information about our school’s journey to be more sustainable to 70 different schools across the UK. It was a real pleasure to support other schools who are only just starting their journey.

My Future, My Southend

This week Years 1, 2, 4 and 6 have taken part in the My Future, My Southend Project. The children took part with virtual sessions with other schools across Southend and were introduced to three careers – a computer programmer, a visual artist and an actress. They learnt all about the jobs and have been inspired by them. It was interesting to learn you need to be good at Maths, Physics and Writing if you want to be a computer programmer! They also enjoyed taking part in charades and guessing different job roles! Different classes will be taking part in these sessions each half term.


Tickets for all Christmas productions are now available to purchase via your child’s ParentPay account of a cost of £2 each (you will not receive a physical ticket but your name will be added to a list). There will be standing and seating availability on a first come, first served basis upon arrival. The charity we are supporting this year is Havens Hospice. Should you have any queries please email generalenquiries@darlinghurstacademy.org.uk

National Online Safety

Gone are the days of Black Friday only existing in the physical environment of the high street. Now, both this retail landmark and its sister event, Cyber Monday, see deals and discounts displayed across almost every online retailer. These deals also often pop up within in-app purchases too on popular games and services. The frantic dash for the best bargains online, however, also harbours several risks: chiefly, cybercriminals hoping to exploit people’s excitement and hoodwink them out of their hard-earned cash.

This week's guide has some expert pointers on keeping your both your money and your personal information safe while still making the most of the spectacular sales.

With more than two billion active users exchanging messages, photos and videos (amongst other things) WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging services. With it’s end-to-end encryption it only allows messages to be seen by the sender and receiver (not even WhatsApp themselves can see what has been sent). This privacy issue has been in the spotlight recently as the UK’s Online Safety Bill proposes to end such encryption on private messaging sites. As a result, WhatsApp are considering withdrawing its service in the UK.


Can we please remind all parents driving to school, that parking on or over our neighbours’ driveways must be avoided at all times. Please be respectful of our local community and be considerate and safe when parking.


Attendance last term and upon return was extremely high we have been in line or above both regional and national statistics. Out of all primary schools in the borough, we were amongst the top 5 for attendance. We are thrilled at this achievement and we push for greater success as we face new challenges.

The weather is changing, we continue to remind parents/carers to ensure children are dressed appropriately for the weather. As winter illnesses approach remember the advice of ‘handy andy’ and ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ to help keep germs at bay.

We also remind you that punctuality is equally as important, our gates open at 08:35am and close soon after, any arrivals once the gates close are classified as late and will be recorded as such. At the end of the day children are dismissed at 15:10pm and parents/carers are expected to be on time to collect or should book a place in after school club. We understand that there can be times where unexpected events occur and can cause lateness, in these circumstances please contact the academy and we will help as best we can. Persistent lateness will result in intervention from our attendance officer and/or our senior leadership team.

As always, please contact Miss Davis should you have any difficulties you wish to discuss.

Proud To Be Me

Save the date

Thursdays: Tiny Tiddlers: 9am

Thursday 7th December – Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Dinner

Monday 11th December – Winterfest 3:30pm – 5pm

Wednesday 13th December – ‘The Night Before Christmas’ Nursery production 10am – 11am

Wednesday 13th December – Year 3 & 4 Christmas Light Concert – 2:30pm – 3pm

Thursday 14th December – ‘Born In a Barn’ – 2:30pm – 3pm

Friday 15th December - Year 5 & 6 Christmas Light Concert – 2:30pm – 3pm

Monday 18th December – ‘A King is born’ Year 1 & 2 production – 2:15pm – 3pm

Tuesday 19th December – PTA Christmas Fayre 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Wednesday 20th December – last day of term – 1.30pm finish

Get in Touch

Darlinghurst School

Pavilion Drive

Leigh on Sea



Contact Us

T. 01702 478379

F. 01702 509207

E. generalenquiries@darlinghurst.co.uk