8th March 2024

Save the date

Thursdays: Tiny Tiddlers: 9am

Friday 15th March – Red Nose Day

Monday 18th March – Pre-loved uniform sale

Tuesday 19th March – Tea & Talk: ODL and Art 8.50am

Tuesday 19th March – Springfest 3.30pm – 5pm

Thursday 28th March – Celebrating Together – 1.15pm

Thursday 28th March - Last day of term 1.15pm collection

Monday 15th April – Return after Easter break

Wednesday 1st May – Class photos

Message from the Principal

Dear parents/carers,

What a great week and a fantastic Friday.

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day and World Book Day. We have also shared on Instagram other national days and weeks, including cheerleading week. Take a look at Instagram this week.

We love to celebrate achievements and raise awareness so that our children can be effective contributors and active citizens within society. Thank you to children, staff and parents for your engagement in events.

At Darlinghurst we promote a love of reading. We have a reading culture with lots of book talk and ways to engage in reading within the curriculum. Recently, we have had visits from the ‘World of stories’ and the national literacy Trust with categorisation taking place in our library and replenishment of stock. The Advisory Librarian, loved our library space and the creative approach to providing cosy and homely areas for reading. She shared how there was a wonderful book buzz around the academy,

We are delighted to be part of the project and to be receiving a large donation of books. The reading Ambassadors, Mrs Richards and Mr Dunne love new books!

We enjoy sharing books with children in school and promoting shared reading at home. It is a joy to see our children’s faces light up when they read a book aloud or to see them immersed in a novel, losing track of time. We know it’s a wonderful thing to love reading. It’s also crucial to your child’s success – it is at the core of their education. It builds academic success as well as personal rewards.

The more children love to read, the more they do it and the better they become at reading. When reading is fun and easy, they like it even more. It’s a positive cycle and this is why we dedicate time to reading and phonics in the curriculum and promote daily reading at home. Children bring home phonics books, sharing books or their AR books to read at home and at school. They recommend books to each other and love the story time sessions, hearing a story read aloud. This week, I went along to Reception to join in story time with Starfish Class. It was lovely to see them enjoy traditional tales and share their knowledge of fairy tales and characters. I also had the chance to join in song and rhyme time across the Reception classes.

Reading quotes from children:

“When I read, I feel the joy of being lost in a book”.

“Reading helps me to learn and understand the world. I can live in another time in history, or a faraway place. I can even live a completely different life”.

“Sometimes a book character is like me. I can see myself and my feelings inside a book. I am not alone. It helps me understand myself and others”.

“I like adventure stories”.

“I like fantasy stories.”

“ I like non-fiction books and facts”.

“ I like Joke books”.

Reading quote from the Institute of Reading development – A love of reading makes all the difference.

“Getting lost in books, and having that experience over and over again, will make your child a reader. Reading for pleasure will become part of who your child is, a core part of his or her identity. Your child will always be able to look to books for knowledge, pleasure, and inspiration. A love of reading will enrich your child’s life now and long into the future”.

We have enjoyed the build up to World Book Day with the Masked Robot reading stories. Were you able to guess who was behind the mask? Individual videos are on Instagram if you want to take another look and listen.

Today was super fun with lovely costumes, cosy PJ’s and activities across the academy. We also had a visit from Jacqson Diego Story Emporium. Classes enjoyed hearing about the World Book Day books and listening to stories. It was a pleasure to walk through the hall and see this in action. We really appreciate the time and support for the day.

A quote:

“we believe books are like golden tickets that give you space to be yourself, to go on adventures that you didn’t know were possible and to discover new things”.

Take a look at their website.

Independent Children's Bookshop | Jacqson Diego Story Emporium | Southend-on-Sea

I loved visiting Dolphin Bay for a sensory story. I LOVED IT! The children participated in the story, We are going on a bear hunt’ with trays of grass, mud, twigs and cotton wool. The snow blizzard was SUPER fun!

Thank you to the reading team and to everyone that has taken part in making this week and today a success. The community spirit has been truly remarkable.

As always, enjoy your family time together.

Mrs Nicholls

In the spotlight

World Book Day - A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

Early years in the spotlight

Reading is so important in our everyday lives, especially as we get older. In Nursery and Reception, we love sharing fiction and non-fiction books with the children throughout the year, not only to support our current topics of learning but for fun too. At the end of every day we sing songs, repeat rhymes and enjoy listening to stories. We build upon the children’s knowledge and understanding of stories and often find that many have repeated refrain, which the children thoroughly enjoy joining in with. For example, last week we shared the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and even though there are many variations on this traditional tale, the children naturally joined in with ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff..’. . By immersing our children into the world of books we increase their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.

Exposure to Early reading and fostering a love of reading begins at Tiny Tiddlers. Each week we share stories, rhymes and books to develop a love for different characters, scenarios and build an amazing world of imagination through play, exploration and discovery.

This week we had rhyme sacks out for the children, parents and carers to explore. We had five little monkeys jumping on a bed and five little ducks who went swimming. The children fully immersed the characters in their play both with the rhymes, through singing, acting and manipulation of the resources and through the play opportunities available to them, we even had the ducks go hiding around the room until mummy duck called them all back again.

Songs and rhymes can be accessed by all ages and are a great way to engage children and begin their love of reading and creativity.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day ‘Invest in women: accelerate progress’ was celebrated today. We celebrate achieving gender equality and women’s well-being all aspects of life and in order to create prosperous economies and a healthy planet this is more important than ever to close the billion-pound deficit in gender-equalities measure by 2030. #InvestInWomen

Sports and PE news

Y5 Football

We always like to give as many children the chance to represent the academy in competitive sport. So when the opportunity of a year 5 football tournament for boys who have not represented us yet, we were very happy to join in. Football is very popular here at Darlinghurst and we easily had enough boys keen to be involved to take 2 teams.

Our teams thoroughly enjoyed their experience and even got the chance to play each other during the competition which without doubt was the most competitive game of the day! With a good few wins under their belts both teams returned to school proud and grateful for the chance to be involved. Well done boys.


Our newly formed netball team were also in action this week in the SPSSA competition for local schools at Aleyn Court school. As always, our team represented our academy demonstrating all of our school values. They finished the morning with 2 wins and 2 loses but most importantly, with big smiles on their faces. A special mention must go to Esther, she was the only year 4 girl to attend the competition and did not allow the day, or the height, of some of the girls bother her and was an integral part of the team. Well done Esther and well done girls!

Eco Update

We were super pleased to win a competition to have the opportunity to plant apple trees with Veolia and Southend City Council. A huge thank you to some Year 5 pupils who helped plant the trees as part of their Outdoor Learning lesson. We look forward to growing and enjoying the fruit for many years to come!

The Eco Committee have been very concerned about Air Pollution and so created this simple fact sheet about what you can do to help reduce air pollution around our school and in our local area.

Battery Recycling Competition!

Our school is recycling batteries to protect the planet (and for a chance to win book vouchers for the school).

We need your help - plus your child could win some fantastic eco-inspired prizes too!

How can you help?

1.​Hunt out used batteries at home. We are collecting AA, AAA, C, D, 9V and button batteries.

2.​Tape over the contacts of lithium (Li) and button batteries (see below).

3.​Put them in a tied plastic bag (preferably reused)

4.​Take them to the school’s collection point.

5.​Enter the prize draw at

Safety first:

Not only is storing and recycling batteries safely great for the environment, it can also help reduce risks associated with batteries:

•​Batteries can cause serious injury or death if swallowed, please keep batteries out of reach of small children and pets.

•​Lithium and button batteries need to be taped so their contacts don’t touch, as they could short circuit if they do.

Use sticky tape over the contacts (top and bottom of batteries). Button batteries can be placed in a line between two sections of sticky tape. Lithium batteries can look like any battery, but they will have lithium (Li) written on them.

Many thanks for your support and happy battery hunting!

To find out more, head to: jointhep

Great British Spring Clean

15th-31st March is the Great British Spring Clean. The Eco Committee have planned some ideas for what we can do for this event in school. We would also like for you to come and join us for a Litter Pick with the community group Litterless Leigh on Two Tree Island (meet opposite the skate park) at 9am on Saturday 16th March. Please RSVP at We’d also love for you to share your photos of any litter picks you take part in outside of school during this time period.

Pre-loved Uniform Sale

We will be holding a pre-loved uniform sale on Monday 18th March at 3.10pm. This will be held in the main hall. Please collect your child at normal pick up and make your way to the main hall via the office. Please do not enter via the playground doors.

We would be grateful of any change! Thank you for your continued support.

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day is back on Friday 15 March 2024! We have a limited supply of Red Noses available to purchase (via your child’s ParentPay account), priced at £2 each.

Any noses purchased will be distributed by your child’s class teacher on Thursday 7th March and Thursday 14th March, ready for the big day!

There is a 1 in 166 chance to get your hands on a limited edition Rare ‘Gold’ Nose! The Noses are made from plant-based materials meaning they can be recycled at home and are suitable for children aged 3 and above.

Don’t forget to scan the QR code inside your Red Nose box for an extra special surprise!

Children should wear full school uniform please but are invited to wear their Red Nose to school.

Cliffs Pavilion Pantomime Tickets – Jack & the Beanstalk

This is the GIANT pantomime announcement we’ve all BEAN waiting for! Rylan will be starring in this year’s fabulous family pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk at the Cliffs Pavilion as ‘The Spirit of the Beans.’

Doomed to sell his trusty cow, join Jack and his family as they fight to outwit the evil giant, win riches beyond his wildest dreams and the hand of the girl he loves. Expect laughs, music, special effects, magic beans and bundles of audience participation in this giant of a pantomime!

We have a limited supply of tickets available for sale on ParentPay for the 7pm performance on Saturday 14th December 2024, priced at £25 per ticket. They are Band A tickets in the stalls area of the Cliffs Pavilion and usually retail at £48 each, so this is a fantastic saving!

Purchase early to avoid disappointment!



Puffin – 97.1%


Billet – 99.2%

Proud to be me

Get in touch

Darlinghurst School

Pavilion Drive

Leigh on Sea



T. 01702 478379

F. 01702 509207