Edale CE Primary School

Head of School's Blog


It’s been an exciting week as we welcomed our new intake for September to spend their first taster session in the Swallow’s classroom on Tuesday afternoon. They looked instantly settled and at home – with school jumpers already being worn in excitement by Luca and Ruben! Next week sees them spending a full day in school as well as experiencing Edale Island. I’m sure Ruth is well prepared for them and has their name leaves at the ready to sew onto our Forest School tapestry.


Year Six have spent very little time at Edale this week. Their days have been filled with: a trip to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to take part in the small schools event held annually there; rehearsals for their end of year production, which take place at Hope Methodist Hall on Friday 12th July, and a day of transition activities at Hope Valley College. We’ve all missed them but I guess it gears us up, as staff, for transition time too!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Mrs W

Useful info -  Derbyshire's 10 keys to unlocking school-readiness



As we near the end of term, things are by no means slowing down and the children have had some fantastic opportunities to take part in. The upper KS2 children of both Edale and Hope are embarking on the John Muir award, organised by the National Trust. In essence, the award has four key areas: discover a wild place; explore it; conserve it and share your experiences.

See for more information. They visited Tideswell Dale last week to begin their work…

Last Tuesday was the anniversary of the 125th passenger train along the Hope Valley line. We were joined here at school by the Y5 class from Hathersage, who we met off the train in our Victorian outfits just as happened all those years ago. The Y6 band from Hope played some songs of the era and Kath and Naomi produced a morning of fun activities for the children to take part in (including making edible chocolate trains…yum!)

The following day, Y2-6 from Edale and Hope headed to Derby to visit the Open Centre (a multi-faith centre, who offer faith trails and workshops so children can get hands on, personal experience of the rich and diverse country we live in.) We visited Derby Mosque and Derby Gurdwara – were offered a meal of dhal and chapatti in the open kitchen - and had some brilliant Islamic workshops about Hajj and Arabic writing.

Last week ended with a blazing-hot sports day on the school field up at Hope. Children took part in a variety of ‘personal best’ challenges, a mini-football tournament and some running races to finish. Congratulations to Ella and Sam who received trophies for their sporting attitudes and endeavour. Well done all!

Mrs W


What a busy couple of weeks we’ve had. I thoroughly enjoyed my first full experience of Country Day last weekend. Our children were superb and promoted the school fantastically well – from songs, readings and prayers in the band tent at Collective Worship, to showing off their Tai Chi skills with Paul in the ring and then being involved with the National Trust ‘Be Kinder’ project in a fun re-enactment of the Mass Trespass. Listening to 6 music on Saturday morning, I was excited to hear Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie discussing the show with live audio of Jarvis introducing our children in the background! Here is the link – we feature between 2hrs37 to the end of the show.

Our Year 6 group went off on their residential trip to Lea Green last week, spending two nights and three days away from home. I was lucky enough to join them for two of the days, where they tackled high and low ropes in some horrendous weather (no moaning though!) and learnt archery and bush craft skills amongst other things. The day after they got back their outdoor skills were immediately put to the test with a forest schools session with Ruth Dixon which was thoroughly enjoyed by all (check out the Eagles class page for some pictures). The children will have 5 Forest School sessions in total with Ruth – lucky things!

Swallow’s headed off to Jess’ barn on Friday morning as she had a hidden wonder for them to see…a swallow’s nest with 4 new chicks for the children to observe through binoculars. They loved it and we have some fantastic pictures to display of real swallows for the swallow’s classroom.

Mrs W


Well another half term has whizzed by. SATs week for the Year 6’s came and went in a blur of travelling up and down the road between Edale and Hope, transporting exam papers (always with a chaperone…thankyou Mrs Witchalls) so that all the children could take the tests at the same location. We enjoyed an early breakfast together each morning and the children remained in great spirits throughout.

The Puffins from Hope got the train down to Edale on Monday morning to meet our Swallows for a guided walk with Ben from the Peak Centre. Their route took in Ollerbrook, The Nab and Grindslow and finished off with a play in the grounds of the Peak Centre. There were lots of tired legs at the end of the day but everyone (including all the teachers) were still smiling and were full of praise for the children.

Tuesday saw everyone gather at Hope Primary for a living history day hosted by Kathryn from the ‘The History Van’. She came in character as Mrs Armitage – landlady of the Stag Inn in Sheffield, 1864. This was the year of the Sheffield Flood, when Dale Dyke Dam burst – spilling 114 million cubic feet of water. The children rotated round activities which included: Industrial Sheffield – what it was like on the day of the flood; putting in insurance claims to recompense loss; finding out what the newspapers said about the flood; dressing up and role-playing stories of the time and learning about the job of a wheelwright, building water wheels and dams. It was an inspirational day which culminated in a public meeting in the Town Hall (Puffin’s Classroom) where some tough questions were asked about who was to blame for the disaster. I have requested that Kathryn bring her History Van down to Edale in the Autumn term so we can shoot back in time 200 years in celebration of the School’s birthday.

Have a super half-term break,

Mrs W

Click on this link for an interesting clip about The Sheffield Flood



It’s been a busy couple of weeks back into, what is, a very short term. The Swallows came straight back to a trip up to Hardenclough Farm to see the lambs. They were joined by the Puffins from Hope and then all came for a picnic back here at school, which was lovely! It was an ideal start to the Swallow’s new topic all about ‘our local area’ so watch this space for local walks and requests to explore the beauty of the Peak District.

Gardening Club has begun every Tuesday and the front playground is looking fantastic thanks to Mrs Garmeson’s efforts over the hols. The children are all keen and eager and will hopefully be able to eat some of their produce later on in the summer term.

Ella and the Y6 Eagles had a sporty start to the new term up at Hope with a session of football coaching from a Manchester City youth coach, a fencing workshop and a lesson about keeping fit: physically, mentally and socially. Thanks to Max the coach for really inspiring them! SATs revision has been going well and the Year 6’s are excited about being able to come into school early on test days next week for a slap-up breakfast to boost morale before the hard work begins! Good luck to them all – they’ll be ace!

Mrs W



It’s been a fantastic end to the spring term what with confirmation that our Federation with Hope Primary is to go ahead and lots of exciting activities and events being planned for the summer months.

The children began this week with an eggs-citing Easter egg hunt in the beautiful grounds of the Peak Centre. On Tuesday, the Eagles spent the morning at Hope to experience an African dance and storytelling workshop. Bemma, originally from Ghana, then came down to Edale to work with the Swallows class and delivered more dance and story-telling; the children also produced some stunning printed artwork. It was great to be absorbed in a different culture for the day and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

What a superb last day of term we have had. The children wandered down to the Moorlands Centre this morning for some fun activities about bees. Representatives from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust taught them about the Peak District’s iconic Bilberry Bumblebee – why she’s a secret superhero and what we can do to help protect her. They were treated to cream scones with bilberry jam – lucky things! We headed to church after lunch and had a special Easter service – starting at the church gates, waving palm leaves and singing hosanna, then Sam and Leo getting their feet washed like at the Last Supper and Ella carrying the cross up the aisle. Prayers were followed by…mini eggs of course! Thank you Simon for a lovely service.

Finally, I’d like to say a massive thank you to Theresa Skillen who has really got our school’s ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for pre-schoolers up and running. The sessions are getting busier and busier and I’m so pleased that we can boast such great provision for younger children and families from Edale and beyond.

Have a peaceful Easter…I’m certainly looking forward to my first summer term working here in Edale. I still have to pinch myself everytime the hills come into view at the top of Mam Nick – is this really my commute to work?!

Have a fantastic Easter break,

Mrs W


The Swallow’s were entertained by Mr and Mrs Briddon’s Puppet Show on Monday morning. They watched a performance about Martha and Mary (Luke Chapter 10 and John Chapter 12), which they thoroughly enjoyed.

We have tadpoles in school! They are being monitored closely by Mrs Garmeson’s class. What a great opportunity for the children to see lifecycles in action. Hopefully, some will make it to fully-fledged frogs; the children are committed to releasing them back to their natural habitat when this happens.

Simon delivered a collective worship this morning with the theme of Mothering Sunday. The children were full of ideas as to what the ‘perfect mother’ should be like/should have. Words such as patience, kindness, lots of time and loving were offered as well as Jack’s idea – he would like mum to have a dishwasher! A thoughtful sentiment…

Enjoy your weekend,

Mrs W


There is a quote up in our entrance area from Nelson Mandela. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice.” The children have had some great discussions during collective worship time about the sentiment behind this, and other quotes. It was pleasing that so many community members were able to join us in raising a fantastic £81.25 for Comic Relief last Friday. Thank you.

The children appear to be loving Tuesday’s cookery club – last week was yummy blueberry muffins and this week savoury and sweet scones...what fantastic culinary skills they are learning!

This time of the school year – the pressures that go with formal testing of the children start to rear their ugly head. Our Year 6’s will do their Statutory Assessment Tests the week beginning 13th May and Year 2 assessments will take place in May, also. The Year 1’s have a phonics screening test the week beginning 10th June and Mrs Garmeson will be meeting with an external moderator from the local authority to ensure her judgements of reception children are in line with national expectations. That should keep us all on our toes! Our children are working hard and we are hugely aspirational in what we hope they can achieve. Most Year 6 children are attending a revision club, which is really helping them develop study skills that will hopefully be useful not just this year, but in years to come. We are extremely conscious though, that there are far more measures of success than statistical scores from tests and we have some fantastic wider opportunities planned in the coming weeks and months including: an African dance, story-telling and visual arts workshop, a trip to Derby to go on a ‘Faith Trail’: including visiting a Mosque and a Gurdwara, a trip to a local farm during lambing season and various events to mark the school’s 200th birthday. Lots to look forward to!

Have a restful weekend,

Mrs W



Another busy week in school draws to a wet and windy close. The children were fully involved in this morning’s collective worship where we looked at and watched clips from the Comic Relief website. The strap line this year is ‘a just world, free from Poverty’, which links in with our collective worship theme of ‘Justice’ for this half term. I intend to promote such themes more overtly around school – starting in the entrance hall where you will be able to see, through a new display, the Christian values that we will be considering each term.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that our wobble bridge is currently out-of-action. The company who installed it have been out to assess the damage and have agreed to repair it so it should be back in action very soon.

Y4, 5 and 6 from Hope and Edale spent the afternoon with Trish, a representative from the National Trust, on Tuesday. They have been involved in designing a ‘patch’ (scouting type badge) to represent their love of the outdoors which has now gone to print. All children will receive an individual ‘patch’ as soon as they are ready as well as their design being made into a flag which will be created for a special National Trust event happening on Winnats Pass in the near future…watch this space for details.

This week has been British Science Week. Mrs Dunne embraced this with the KS2 children during her Monday session and Mrs Garmeson has showcased the amazing engineering feats of the Swallow’s with a display of their Space Buggy work near the office staircase. Our Swallow’s seem particularly interested in all things Science and Technology so I have put a link below to some recommended age-appropriate reading for this subject area.


Apologies for the lack of blog last week. I was on a (very full-on) residential course to start the beginning of my CEPQH (Church of England Professional Qualification for Headship) and have come back full of inspiration and enthusiasm for what lies ahead at Edale…

This week has been an absolute whirlwind! The Swallows were lucky enough to have a visit from Coel Hellier, an astrophysicist from Keele University, who treated them to a talk about his fascinating job and all things ‘Space’. He was very impressed with the children’s knowledge and interest in the subject matter.

I tried not to act too star-struck when our neighbour, Mr Cocker, popped into school on Wednesday to request our involvement with himself and the National Trust at this year’s Country Day. The children will hopefully be involved with some drama, linked to the Mass Trespass. Watch this space…

World Book day was such fun! Well done to all the children for embracing the event and coming in some superb costumes. Check out the photos in our ‘Latest News’. Hopefully the children will choose to undertake some of the reading challenges which came home in their book bags yesterday – let us know how they get on. There are some great audio books on the World Book Day site for bedtime listening.

Mrs W


What a glorious, sunny end to the half term. Our weeks now begin with the Swallow’s class trooping off to the Peak Centre to use their hall for PE first thing on a Monday morning. Ben, the centre manager, has kindly offered us this excellent facility free of charge and we hope to link up with the Peak Centre more often as the weather improves - for local guided walks and outdoor, environmental opportunities. The Swallows were joined at Forest School this week by a group of Y1 Puffins from Hope. Much fun was had together and the sunshine meant the children could access the river for the first time in a few weeks! Our topic of space continues after half term with the children heading to Hope on Monday 25th for lunch and an afternoon of fun in a planetarium which will be set up at the Methodist hall. We will take lots of pictures for the website.

Your children have worked exceptionally hard this half term and deserve a restful week off. Have lots of fun!

Mrs W


The children were thrilled to receive a personal card from Jasmin Paris, recent winner of the Spine Race - one of the toughest endurance races going! They had been lucky enough to have a talk by the race organiser back in early January and it was great to see how much enthusiasm they had for following the race each day with Mrs Garmeson. Jasmin's card was very motivating and was clear in it's message to the children - work hard enough, and you can achieve your goals. We'll display the card in school for you to read.


This week has been Children's Mental Health Week. The strap-line this year is 'Healthy: Inside and Out'. Often, when discussing the idea of being healthy with young children they think it is all linked to 'healthy bodies' and eating more fruit and vegetables. I think the children's Tai Chi and mindfulness sessions on a Wednesday morning are so important in supporting their overall well being. It helps them to see that our bodies and minds are so closely linked and that things we do to improve our physical well being can help with mental well being too. If you are interested in what the week has been promoting then have a look at the link below. There is a good research article about children who get less sleep being more likely to struggle with worries.

Mrs W


An unexpected snow day means I can finally get round to some website updating and setting up my blog which I intend to do weekly just to give you a flavour of what’s been going on in school. It’s been fantastic to see 100% attendance at our new craft club and it’s been a great opportunity for me to spend time with all the children and get to know them that little bit better. We are currently making ‘eco-superheroes’ out of Eco-bricks, paper mache and fabric for the capes. The ‘Eco-bricks’ movement is something I am trying to promote at both Edale and Hope to make the children aware of how much plastic is used in packaging and how we can do our bit to reduce plastic heading to landfill. If you are keen to find out more…..follow the link below. It’s amazing how my rubbish bags' reduced in size just from eco-bricking for a couple of weeks at home!

Looking forward to a normal day back in school tomorrow,

Mrs W