In recent years we have attended the Carlisle Diocese Leavers’ Service at the Cathedral in Carlisle.
This year the Year 6 pupils had an enjoyable trip from Dent station on the Settle-Carlisle line. Travelling in this way seemed to enhance the sense of connection between the two places and added to to the feeling that the service is an important way marker as the pupils prepare to move onto their new schools.
It was especially fitting to think about a special journey that connected us with other pupils and schools across the diocese, as the day also gave us an opportunity to visit the ‘Labyrinth’ art exhibition that the Class 2 pupils had contributed a tile to. Seeing our tile as part of the wider labyrinth was a striking visual reminder of our connections to other schools and communities, and pupils really enjoyed seeing the finished work.
To top it all off we had a delicious lunch in Carlisle; and we were even treated to an Ice-Cream on the way home.
As part of their PSHE, pupils from KS2 have been taking part in Yoga session at Dent Meditation Centre each Friday afternoon for a 3 week period. This opportunity to explore how being calm, still and mindful can help pupils’ wellbeing has been very welcome.
Year 5 & 6 pupils, in particular, have enjoyed learning more about how breathing and movement can help them to develop an understanding of their own bodies and what actions they can take to promote their own wellbeing.
The school has a longstanding tradition of using this space to develop pupil’s wellbeing and we are pleased to taken the first steps in reinvigorating that tradition.
A big ‘thank you’ to the Meditation Centre for providing the sessions.
Part of our school vision is that pupils are equipped to serve others, both during their time as pupils and after they leave.
This year we wanted to review the charitable activities that we take part in, to make sure that when we do things to help others: a) we are making the biggest difference that we can, and b) we are all helping pupils to understand how they can make a difference in a sustainable way.
For those reasons, the staff and Pupil Parliament devided to choose a single charity to support throughout the year, and having decided to do that we settled on UNICEF.
As well as supporting UNICEF, which is making a real difference to the lives of children around the world, we registered to become a Rights Respecting School, which means we are building our understanding of children’s rights through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We are very pleased to have been awarded the Rights Respecting School Bronze Award to recognise the steps we have already taken and the actions we have planned to make sure that the whole community knows, understands and promotes the human rights that all children should have!
Well done to the Pupil Parliament who have been the steering group for this and who helped to complete the necessary self-evaluation and action plan.
This year our focus charity for fundraising is UNICEF. This has been chosen by staff and the Pupil Parliament because it fits in with a number of issues that we have looked at in the curriculum and because the work on children’s rights (in particular, girls’ rights) ties in with ideas we have been exploring in school.
The children who chose to be involved worked extremely hard in their lunch and break times to get a range of activities and stalls ready before we opened to the community at 9:30.
The support from our parents, governors and pupils was fantastic and showed just how rooted in our community the school is.
We were really pleased to be able to raise over £300 for UNICEF and everyone had an enjoyable morning.
It was also an opportunity for a short presentation to parents and the community about our journey towards UNICEF’s Rights Respecting School Award this year.
In Class 2 the children in D & T have been learning about textile design. As part of their ‘Dentrepreneurs’ social enterprise slant on D&T, they have been making sensory blankets for use by residents in nursing homes.
Wherever possible we try to bring the curriculum to life in ways that connect to our local community and also that help to raise pupil aspirations. Our visitor this week certainly did that.
Most pupils know Angela Smith, as she lives in Dent and has her own design business. But perhaps not all of them knew that Ang spent years living in Hong Kong, where she was lead designer for a textiles manufacturing company! Ang shared her portfolio with the children and talked to them about some of the key ideas when it comes to working in Design. She really was an inspiring visitor!
For World Book Day this year we had a range of lovely activities that celebrated and encouraged a love of reading in our school community.
Ahead of the day and in the morning, Class 1 designed book covers for their favourite books, whilst Class 2 wrote reviews of their favourite novels.
These were made into a display in Westwood Books for the whole community to enjoy. We are really grateful to Westwood Books for working with us to promote a love of reading in our area!
During the afternoon pupils took part in a whole school reading activity, where everybody had a chance to read a favourite poem or section of a book they loved. We had everything from limericks through to non-fiction and excerpts from novels.
All of the children had prepared well and read beautifully. It was hard to pick an overall winner from each class but in the end, all the staff agreed that Frank and Alice had worked so hard and read so well that they deserved to be the winners. We hope they enjoyed their prize – book vouchers very kindly given by Westwood Books.
It’s really important to us at Dent that our pupils are equipped to succeed in all areas of life and that’s why we always make time for Bikeability training. Year 5 & 6 pupils have been taking in part in Bikeability this term and although poor weather initally stopped play on the final day, by the end of February all of the pupils have completed their Level 1 or Level 2 Road Cycling Safety certificate.
Well done to all of the pupils involved for their hard work, and a huge ‘thank you’ to Nick from Cyclewise who was a superb tutor to the children.
This Term in Class 2 Geography the pupils have been looking at the physical geography of volcanoes and earthquakes around the world, as well as the way those things interact with human geography of cities and settlements around the world.
As part of the topic we invited a local geologist, Steven Wright, into school to hold an interactive geology workshop with the children.
Steven was able to explain the geology of volcanoes to the children using amazing practical models, as well as footage and actual rocks from his many expeditions to live volcanoes around the world.
He also helped children to understand, again with practical resources and samples of different rocks, the way the remarkable geology of our local area contributes to the amazing landscapes around our school.
We always want our curriculum to embrace and connect with our local environment, as well as encouraging pupils to look more broadly at the wider world. Steven was an inspiring figure who helped children to do both of those things
After our visit to Tullie House last week, KS2 made our way over to the Cathedral for a ‘Worship & Wonder’ tour and workshop.
It was wonderful opportunity to learn more about the different functions of places of worship to help us in our RE. Beyond that, however, it was an opportunity for spiritual development as pupils had the chance to quietly reflect, to marvel at the astonishing art and architecture of the cathedral, and to contemplate the long history of the site as a place of worship.
As the Cathedral is the venue for the leavers service later in the year, it was helpful for Year 6 to visit in advance and have some time to soak up the special environment for that important milestone.