Dronfield Junior School

Dronfield Junior School
Reaching Potential

What's happening at DJS?

School Council Elections 2023

On Thursday 28th September, all children voted to elect the school council representatives for this year. We were so pleased to see so many children putting themselves forward for election and we thank everyone who courageously stood up in front of their peers to make a speech or took the time to make a poster outlining how they could make a difference to the school.

At DJS, we are keen to promote pupil voice in as many ways as possible and the School Council provides just one opportunity to achieve this. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) says that children and young people should have a say in decisions that affect their lives. A school council can provide a meaningful way in which pupils can voice their opinions and have their views taken into account in decisions which impact upon them.

Within the school curriculum, one of the key areas making up the ‘Learning for Life and Work’ theme is active participation. The curriculum requires that pupils are provided with opportunities to participate in school and society. At DJS, our school council aims to increase participation and teach pupils about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.


World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is happening on Tuesday 10 October 2023. The official theme for this year's event is 'Mental health is a universal human right', as set by the World Federation for Mental Health. World Mental Health Day is about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change for everyone’s mental health. It’s also a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to get help if you are struggling.

Five Ways to Wellbeing (derbyshire.gov.uk)

World Mental Health Day 2023 | Mental Health Foundation

We invite children to come to school on Tuesday 10th October wearing yellow (socks, a scarf, a bobble/scrunchie, a T-shirt, a hat or an item of clothing with yellow on it) to support the #HelloYellow campaign. Donations of £1 to YoungMinds via ParentPay are welcomed to support this worthy charity working to promote the wellbeing of children and young people.

In assembly Mrs De Almeida showed the children the Get Britain Talking video Britain Get Talking | Assembly Video (itv.com) to link with this. The also learned a song called ‘One Call Away’ which is about supporting others.

We have encouraged all our children to share their worries big or small by talking, writing or drawing.


Book Fayre November 2023

Reading for pleasure is transformative for pupils’ academic success and personal wellbeing. With this in mind, we are very pleased to announce that our school Book Fayre will be held the week commencing 6th November.

The Book Fayre will be open before and after school during that week – Monday to Friday. 


Golfing Champions

Congratulations to the following pupils: Louis, Lucas, Stanley and Oliver who won the Hallowes Junior Cup on Sunday at Hallowes Golf Course.



Esme, Lily and Erin performed a dance routine with their dance troupe at Alton Towers' ScareFest. 


Fishing Champion

Harry, in Y5, joined the Bess of Hardwick Angling Club last term. His parents said, "It was advertised within school or he would never have been aware of it or managed to try fishing." Nathan Barber (an ex-parent) helps to run the club and Harry has attended since joining via school.

Over the last few months he has achieved his bronze and silver awards. He attended last week and achieved his Gold award. The extra highlight was also catching the biggest fish of the day, a 10lb Carp. His parents have told us that they were really pleased school helped to get Harry into fishing at Hardwick Hall.


Year 2 Open Evening

On Thursday 19th October, we held an open evening for prospective parents and their children who will be applying for a Junior school place starting in September 2024. The school staff opened up their classrooms to showcase some of the work and activities that we have on offer at DJS.

Visitors had the opportunity to take part in activities such as building electrical circuits, sampling how it felt to learn in a Victorian classroom, arts and crafts and coding activities as part of our computing curriculum. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families who attended our open evening, along with our DJS children who gave up their time to support the activities in the classrooms.

The stars of the show, however, were definitely our Year 6 ‘tour guides’ who greeted families at the entrance and showed them around our school with confidence and enthusiasm. The positive feedback from prospective parents about our Year 6 pupils has been overwhelming. We’d like to share part of an email that we received from a parent this morning following the open evening:

"We would just like to say a big thank you for the holding the Year 2 Open Evening. I'm not sure what I expected but it was amazing!"

"Thank you so much to the staff for staying so late and sorting so many wonderful, engaging activities in the classroom. You were warm, welcoming and enthusiastic (despite it almost being the end of half term!!)"

"Your Year 6 children are just WOW!! The Year 6 who showed us around did a brilliant job."

"Very thorough!! Humorous, honest and great with our two lads. The way the children conducted themselves, interacted, shared their knowledge was incredible and lots of that will be down to you as a school. Thank you so much!"

"I know when our child starts, he will have a fabulous time at Dronfield Junior School!"


Y6 France Residential

Last week, we took 42 Year 6 children to France on residential. The children stayed at the Chateau D’Ebblinghem located in St Omer, just 45 minutes from Calais. The children and staff had a wonderful time and were fully immersed in French culture. Some of the activities included a visit to a French market, learning how to make Goats Cheese at a local farm, a visit to an artisan chocolate factory and an authentic traditional bakery. The children's behaviour was exemplary and we are proud to offer such a unique enrichment experience that develops independence, self-confidence and understanding of the wider world.

French Residential Chateux


Learning about, and experiencing, other cultures

DJS Alumni

We are thrilled to hear that ex DJS pupil, Sophie De’Ath has secured the role of teenage columnist for the Dronfield Eye. In her first column, Sophie talks about how her love of creating fantasy stories and Harry Potter inspired her to become a writer.

At DJS, we believe that, by teaching children to become life-long independent motivated writers, we are providing them with the most powerful cultural capital you can have – an ability to turn your voice (your thoughts, knowledge, opinions, artistry) into powerful writing.

Congratulations Sophie, well done on this wonderful achievement. 

We are proud of all of our pupils, both past and present. 


Year 5 and 6 Panathlon Event

On Tuesday a group of our Year 5 and 6 pupils travelled to Tupton Hall School to take part in a Panathlon sporting event. Mr Hands, who took the children, remarked on their perseverance and sportsmanship during the event. The children represented the school brilliantly and enjoyed taking part in a range of different sports, including curling, table tennis and bowling. They even came 3rd overall and were rewarded a bronze medal for their achievements. Well done to everyone involved. 

Panathlon Event


Y6 Ancient Greece Immersive Day

Our Year 6s took part in a day of history linking to their topic on Ancient Greece. The sessions were delivered by Kathryn who works for the History Van - a company that travels round schools delivering workshops and interactive activities as a hands-on way of learning about history.

The Year 6s spent the day exploring the discoveries and inventions of the great names of Ancient Greece that still influence us today. The children took part in lots of fun activities; they tried on some Ancient Greek style clothes, made some water-wheels in the style of the Greeks, learnt traditional weaving on a loom, practised Ancient Greek first aid and finally they made Greek theatre masks.


Y3 Roman Immersive Day

Our Year 3s enjoyed an immersive Roman experience. During the day, the children participated in a range of activities such as: learning how to be a Roman soldier, find out about Roman numbers and coins, trying on articles of Roman clothing, including armour, building an arched bridge and used a catapult to knock it down (defeating Boudica in the process) playing some Roman games and even offering their 'body parts' to a Roman goddess!


Year 5 History Trip to Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield

Our Year 5s visited Kelham Island Museum at Sheffield where they all took part in workshops about children during WW2. They learnt a lot more about air raids, rationing, the role of women, evacuation and so much more. The staff leading the workshops were highly impressed by the children's background knowledge. We would thoroughly recommend a visit to the museum which is free to visit. Following their visit and inspired by other poems, including one by a modern war poet, Angela Marie James, the children have written highly emotive poems of an excellent standard describing the reality and impact of WW2. 


Derbyshire Councillor Alex Dale visit

On Thursday 9th November, we welcomed local Derbyshire Councillor Alex Dale to school at lunchtime as part of National School Meals Week. Councillor Alex Dale enjoyed eating one of our most popular school meals, ‘The Big Breakfast’. Our DJS ambassador, Nathan showed Alex around our school and introduced him to Julie, our school cook and the kitchen staff. He was very impressed with the food and enjoyed talking with the children. Alex Dale has a strong interest in children and young people’s education and is Cabinet Member for young people.

This week we offered every child one subsidised school meal so that they could sample our delicious, freshly cooked school dinners. 61 children took us up on this offer and enjoyed a school freshly cooked on site.


 Children in Need

We have supported Children in Need in ‘spotacular’ fashion today in school. The children looked fantastic in their pjamas, onesies and spotted clothing. The school council members organised some ‘on the spot’ challenges for their classes and year groups. Thankyou for all those who made a donation to support this cause. It isn’t too late to donate; we ask for a £1 donation which can be paid via Parent Pay. Please see We're there for you- BBC Children in Need for more information about the amazing groups and charities supported by money raised annually by Children in Need


DJS Choir Recording

Our choir of 52 children went to the parish church to professionally record four songs composed by local singer-songwriters. It was a great honour for our choir to be asked to do this, and the composers were extremely impressed by the children’s singing and focus. Once production on the tracks is complete, they will be available to listen to in exchange for an online charity donation. 

Y6 Bikeability

Our Year 6 pupils have taken part in Bikeability sessions. The first sessions (checking riders’ ability) took place on the school playground and included basic bike checks, helmet checks and general handling skills. The instructors assessed each child to see if they were safe to continue to ride on roads which meant they had to show they could achieve the outcomes of Level 1, principally being able to control the bike unaided and riding with one hand (to enable them to signal). Those riders who demonstrated this, then took part in a session on the roads around Dronfield, where they learnt how to cycle safely and navigate traffic. The children worked really hard and enjoyed learning new skills.


Y6 Residential to Buckinghamshire

The children enjoyed learning about the origins of Chocolate by taking part in a workshop about The Mayans. They then had the opportunity to sample lots of different types of Cadbury’s chocolate (much to their delight!) before experiencing a 4D cinema show.

Linking to their English work on Harry Potter, the children were able to see their learning come to life at the Warner Bros studios, which definitely proved a ‘wow’ factor for everyone, including the staff!


Y5 Christmas Concert

The Year 5s performed their Christmas Carol concert at church. The children were a credit to DJS; those who delivered lines, did so with confidence and enthusiasm and the singing was polished and uplifting. It certainly got us into the Christmas spirit! It was really great to see that the children also acknowledged the different faiths, traditions and beliefs around Christmas and could speak about these with compassion and understanding. Indeed, the service had a little something for everyone, including a special ending in which the children sang ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ in sign language using the British Sign Language. I would also like to say a special well done to those children who played their instruments, from clarinets, to violins and guitars, it was wonderful to see how far the children have come in their music lessons in school.

We hope that parents, grandparents, friends and families all enjoyed it as much as we did and as the introduction to the concert said, ‘the pleasure in a gift is as much in the giving as the receiving. We give our carol service to all of you and we hope you enjoy it.’

Year 3 work in the community

The Year 3 children have been busy making vital links with our local community. They have made Christmas cards to send to residents in a local care home and for others that may be alone at Christmas time.

As part of our RE curriculum, the Year 3s also visited The Oaks Christian Church to take part in some Christmas activities.

These opportunities help the pupils to learn about fundamental British Values; we encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.



Maths Bauble Challenge

Congratulations to the 46 children across school who completed the Christmas bauble challenge which incorporated maths and art. All have been presented with a certificate and Christmas pencil. Hardwick were the house with the most participants.

Over 60 baubles were completed by the children. We even had an entry from our Governing Body! Hardwick were the overall winners with 17 children contributing.


BBC 500 Words Competition

Congratulations to Florrie in Year 5 who has made it through to the second round of the BBC’s 500 words competition. What a fantastic achievement so far, well done Florrie!

Lee Rowley MP Christmas Card Competition

Huge congratulations to Eva and Benjamin who were Runners up in Lee Rowley (MP) Christmas card competition. Their design was printed on the back of Mr Rowley’s official Christmas card. Well done both of you, what an accolade!

The winning design is selected by a panel of judges and made into Mr Rowley’s constituency Christmas card. This will then be sent to over 600 people to spread festive cheer, including the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and local businesses.


National League Trust Under 11’s Cup Final

Congratulations to the boys who represented DJS in football at the National League Trust Under 11’s cup today at Staveley Minors Welfare. They worked brilliantly as a team and showcased some excellent footballing talent, going on to win the whole tournament. This means that they will now represent Chesterfield in a regional cup tournament in York on Tuesday 30th January. We are immensely proud of this achievement, well done!

Premier League Primary Stars Girls’ Cup

Congratulations to the girls who represented DJS in football today at Gosforth Fields. The girls faced some very challenging opponents but held their own brilliantly, showing excellent team work and skill. We are thrilled to announce that they came second in the tournament and are now through to the next round of heats which will be played in Staveley. The girls are following the same pathway of success as our other U11 team, We are immensely proud of this achievement from our girls, well done!

 Year 6 Dodgeball event

Children in Acacia class took part in a series of tactical games and activities as part of a dodgeball festival this week. They worked hard to develop tactical skills which they then put into action during the final dodgeball tournament. 

Y5 and Y6 Boccia Festival

Mr Hands took a group of Year 5 and 6 pupils to a Boccia festival where they were given opportunity to take part in a series of Boccia related games.

Boccia is an inclusive sport, usually played on a court in teams of up to three people. Each team is given six balls, and the objective of the game is for players to roll their balls as close as possible to a white target ball called a jack. 


DJS History exhibition at The Barn, Dronfield

We are very excited to let you know that The Barn in Dronfield is exhibiting the wonderful History writing produced by our pupils. The children have created their own information posters to demonstrate what they have learnt in their History project. The Year 3s wrote about the Romans, Year 4s about the Victorians, Year 5s World War II and the Year 6s wrote about Ancient Greece. Well done to Anson, Maddie and Olivia in Year 3; Eva, Connie and Saimonas in Year 4; Sophie, Emily and Eloise in Year 5; Mia, Alice and Maddie in Year 6 who received a special certificate for their outstanding work that was presented to them in our celebration assembly.


Children's Mental Health Week 5th February 2024

It has been Children’s Mental Health Week this week and classes in school have been focussing on different aspects of mental health. This year’s theme of My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves. When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our well-being. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem.

This year, the aim is for children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be empowered to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing. Please see the link below to some recommended books that promote awareness of children’s mental health that you may wish to share with your child at home. 

Children's Mental Health Week: 5 Book Recommendations on the BooksForTopics Blog

Safer Internet Day 2024

For Online Safety Day, our classes participated in an interactive webinar all about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its use in our daily lives. Many of us thought AI was a new invention, but we were surprised to learn that it was created over 70 years ago! AI helps us when we are gaming, using chatbots and voice assistants, when we are coding and there are even AI vacuum cleaners! The webinar looked into Generative AI, known as Gen AI. Children, with adult supervision, can use this to write their own stories, create music and make animations. We were asked to draw a rabbit, with specific details and we compared our versions with one generated by Gen AI. It was fascinating to listen to its potential in medicine and many of your children might have careers in this field in the future. The webinar did stress that children need to be safe whilst using AI and follow the age restrictions set by certain programs.

You can see Miss Spencer’s class in the photo participating in the session, answering true or false statements and sharing our ideas.