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Chris Coyle-Chislett

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2 St George’s Road, Hayle,
Cornwall, TR27 4AH

“Penpol pupils are curious, creative and courageous learners. Our school community believes in authenticity as the foundations of deep-rooted learning. Through our rich and relevant curriculum, we nurture community-minded, forward-facing international citizens of the future.”

Penpol Panthers

That’s a wrap on the 2023-24 Cross Country season…

What an exciting and incredibly successful first season for the Penpol Panthers running club! The club has grown in numbers and enthusiasm since September, with runners enjoying weekly club sessions – come rain or shine!

Throughout the year, pupils have grown in resilience and built supportive friendships with their fellow Panthers as they’ve honed their technique through fun running games, endured the infamous bleep test and prepared for some arduous races.

The new club name and logo were designed with creative input from some of our own club members and earlier this month, we were very grateful to receive some very smart running vests. A massive thank you to the PFA for funding the purchase of the vests and to Exhibit 1 Clothing for printing them.

We have had over 35 different pupils from KS2 join our club sessions and represent the school at district and country races. A massive congratulations to every runner who has taken part this year!

It would be remiss of me not to mention some of our more decorated Penpol Panthers.

In their respective Penwith District school race meets, Niyah (Year 3) placed 3rd, 1st, 1st & 2nd; Fred (Year 4) placed 1st, 1st, 1st & 1st; Atia (Year 5) placed 1st, 1st, 1st & 1st; Theo (Year 5) placed 1st, 4th, 4th & 7th.

What’s more, in the county finals Niyah finished 3rd overall, Fred placed 1st and Atia came in at 2nd. Such a incredible achievements from these young athletes!

Finally, a big shout out and massive thank you to all of the parent support we’ve had this year – not least of all Ahsan for volunteering at both the club sessions and races across the season.

We look forward to another joyous cross country season beginning in September 2024!

Making Magic in Year 4!

To celebrate all of the fantastic learning which has been going on, Year 4 celebrated a Harry Potter ‘dress up’ day on Tuesday 26th March. The school playground was abuzz with spells and charms, the favourites being ‘expeliarmus’ and ‘wingardium leviosa.’

This term, Year 4 have been immersed into the world of Harry Potter, reading Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone. They have absolutely loved their Whole Class Reading sessions on this book and have really excelled at retrieving key information to help explain their understanding of the book.

In PE, our students have been delving into the enchanting world of Quidditch. Under the guidance of Mr. Stanlake, our PE coordinator, in their inaugural Quidditch session, our budding Witches and Wizards embarked on their maiden voyage into the intricate rules of this bewitching game. Ever since their inaugural session, the students have eagerly embraced the complexities of Quidditch, reveling in its magical challenges. 



In English, they have described Hogwarts using adventurous adjectives, similes and metaphors to really showcase the magic that conjures up Hogwarts castle. In addition, they have also experienced a Potions lesson with Professor Emery and Professor Peck.


This involved concocting a potion, deciding upon its magical value and then advertising their potion to the masses.The students were incredible and bowled us over with their enthusiasm and flair for writing this term. Their persuasive posters and adverts were of spell-binding quality. Check out the pictures of the students and teachers having an incredible time below!

The Dragons and the Six Super Stars both come back from Culdrose with Trophies!

Last week our Year 6 and Year 5 Lego Teams (the Six Super Stars and the Dragons respectively) took part in the Cornwall finals of the FIRST Lego League.

With thirty other teams taking part each day it was wonderful to see the event getting bigger and better every year in Cornwall.  But of course more teams also means more competition for our own Penpol pupils!  They completely rose to the occasion though with both groups sharing two excellent presentations and each taking part in three brilliant Robot Games runs.

This is the story of how our students got on at RNAS Culdrose…

Part 1: Robot Games

The Robot games is a fun challenge where the children have to design, build and code their very own robot to complete different missions. There is a maximum of 550 points on offer this year and a score of anything over 200 is considered exceptionally good – especially for primary teams!

The Dragons

Never under-estimate how much pressure it takes to be a Robot Games Engineer.  Not only are you lining up your robot and ensuring your code works perfectly, but you have a whole world of excitement, pressure and expectation building around you.  Those two and a half minutes determine a huge part of your whole teams score in the competition – so it’s a lot of pressure!

Not that you’d know if from watching the Dragons though.  They stayed cool under pressure, re-ran missions that didn’t work quite right and communicated throughout to ensure they got the very best score possible in each game.  And all that hard work paid off on the third and final run as, to much cheering and support from their fellow team members, the robot managed to achieve it’s best run and got a score of 265 points when it mattered the most – catapulting the team to second place on the Robot Games scoreboard.


Round 1


Round 2


Round 3

The Six Super Stars

In the Robot Games you are given three opportunities to get your best score possible – but the Six Super Stars did theirs on the very first run!  To much cheering and excitement their robot pulled off the perfect run, completing all the missions they had planned and scooped up a brilliant score of 265 points.  This took the pressure off the other two runs, allowing the students a chance to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the moment.  This was a real team success as every member had the opportunity to launch at least one mission in the two and half minute timeframe.

They even engaged in some friendly banter with the the Year 7 team from Hayle Academy, which included some team-members from last years Penpol Pumpkins.  This caught the attention of BBC Spotlight who sent their reporter Johnny Rutherford who featured the team on his report in the evening news!


Round 1


Round 2


Round 3

Part 2: Innovation Project

The Innovation Project is a chance for the children to identify a problem linked to the annual theme (Creativity and Hobbies for this season) before researching, creating, refining and presenting their own innovative solution. This takes the form of a five minute presentation to the judges and a ten minute question and answer session afterwards.

The Dragons

For their Innovation Project the Year 5’s conducted a survey all about art and found that 80% of children in school loved to draw.  The only problem was that three quarters of those children often didn’t draw because they didn’t have any good ideas of inspiration of what to create.

The Dragons set about fixing this by creating a Scratch project called the DrawingRandomiser which gives people an idea of what to draw – often with some very funny results!

They shared this project with the judges in a short comedy sketch that they’d written together and gave the judges a chance to try their project for themselves.

For this presentation there was nowhere to hide and the team all had to be really brave in their confidence – something they truly excelled at in the run up to the competition.  On the day they were able to speak confidently and proudly to the judges (in fact one of the organisers told us it was hard for the judges to get a word in because the team were so confidently explaining everything they’d been doing!).

31 points

out of a total of 40

The judges praised their “unique idea to encourage creativity for all people” and thought they “adapted to failing technology very well” when their laptop couldn’t get onto the internet.

The Six Super Stars

The Year 6 Innovation Project also revolved around the theme of art, but with a slightly different focus.

After lots of planning meetings and discussions, the team identified the problem that quite often people struggle to draw because they don’t know how to.  To help with this problem they decided to create a book that students can use to learn how to draw different things with friendly, step-by-step instructions.  They chose popular things to draw such as animals and using iPad they created illustrations and instructions to help even the most beginner artist create some beautiful pictures.

Having made this book the team then created a presentation to share with the judges which featured lots of comedy and some great acting too.  They also had a printed copy of their book to demonstrate what the finished product would look like in the future.

They were full of confidence in the judging room and ensured that each team member had the opportunity to talk and reflect on the journey they’ve been on over the course of the competition.

19 points

out of a total of 40

The judges enjoyed their “unique, acted presentation” and said their “excellent, enthusiastic teamwork” was evident throughout whilst describing and solving their “novel problem”.

Part 3: Robot Design Presentation

The last part of the competition was the Robot Design Presentation. This name is slightly deceptive as it isn’t just about the robot that the teams have built. Yes it is largely about this, but it is also a chance to share the story that the children have been on since starting their journey in the competition. This is a chance to share their learnings, their new skills, their strategies, plans and anything else that they want to with the judges.

The Dragons

When it came time to share their Robot Design presentation the Year 5’s decided on an ‘interview-style’ approach where they took it in turns to ask questions for each other to answer about the robot, coding, mission strategy and testing they’d done.

This fun approach meant the children were able to talk naturally without having to learn a script beforehand and gave them plenty of opportunities to highlight their coding and strategy for their missions.

29 points

out of a total of 40

The judges shared that it was “well presented” and that the team “explained thoroughly what could go wrong and the how to avoid mistakes during the missions.” 

The Six Super Stars

For their Robot Design presentation the Year 6’s created and shared A1 posters which featured their code, photos of the robot and attachments and important information about their robot.  This meant they were able to clearly articulate the journey they’d been on with their coding, including the decision making strategy behind changing their robot design from the standard ‘Advanced Driving Base’ to a more unusual ‘Coop Bot‘ which they found after doing lots of online research into effective robot designs. 

They took this starting point and adapted the robot for their own mission strategy by creating an assortment of interesting attachments to help them earn points.

30 points

out of a total of 40

The judges said their presentations were “novel, funny and charming” as well as their “detailed explanation of design, issues and solutions”.

Part 4: Core Values

The final of the four areas that teams are marked on is called the Core Values. These values include Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun. Throughout their presentations, their robot games and the day itself the teams are being judged on these six areas.

The Dragons

As a team, the Dragons really embodied their Core Values over the course of the day.  They supported each other throughout, from cheering during the Robot Games matches to supporting each other in the presentations if they stumbled on any lines.

They demonstrated the impact they’ve had through their project and shared all the discoveries they’d made as they learnt to build and code their Lego robot.

20 points

out of a total of 24

The judges were really impressed with how the team “supported each other and the most confident always encouraged the least confident” and said that “when asked about teamwork they all discussed how they organised as a team and how the team has supported each other learning new skills”.

The Six Super Stars

The Six Super Stars did a fantastic job sharing their Core Values during the competition – from supporting each other and exploring the STEM exhibitors together to being kind and courteous to adults and other teams. 

The judges picked up on their team spirit and gave them a rare Exceeding score of 4 points for both their Teamwork and Fun.  For every other score they got a 3 which shows that Discovery, Innovation, Impact and Inclusion were “consistently observed across the team“.

20 points

out of a total of 24

The judges praised their “excellent teamwork”, the fact they “worked out improvements and simplified their designs” and the fact that during their presentation there were “great answers by all members to questions”.

The Final Scores

As you can see from each of the four areas above, both teams did really well and embraced each and every aspect of the competition. I’m thrilled to say that they both returned to Penpol with a trophy to recognise their hard word.

Year 5 Team

The Dragons came second overall in the Robot Performance category with a score of 265 points, as well as taking home the Breakthrough Award which "celebrates a team that made significant progress in their confidence and capability in both the Robot Game and Innovation Project and are a shining example of excellent Core Values."

Year 6 Team

The Six Super Stars came top of the charts in the Robot Games section, beating over 30 other teams with their incredible score of 265 points.

Because of this excellent score they take home the Robot Performance Trophy.

Year 4’s Term of Magic Extends to St Michael’s Mount!

On Tuesday 27th February, Class 9 and 10 took a memorable and magical trip to St Michael’s Mount. This visit ties in closely with our current topic of Harry Potter and, in particular, focusing this week on describing the imperious Hogwarts castle. The Mount certainly has that magical quality to it and offered the perfect stimulus to encourage the children to describe a castle setting description, using similes and metaphors.

The excitement was palpable preceding the exciting walk over the iconic causeway, which links the mainland to St Michael’s Mount. Students were in their element, taking in the stunning Penwith coastline to the West and the imposing castle above which perched high upon the Mount ahead.

We were greeted at the harbour by Kerry Rice, the Education Officer for St Aubyn Estate, who led us on a magical journey through time as we explored the historic beauty of St Michael’s Mount. Upon arriving, the students were given a brief outline of the planned activities they would be taking part in, followed by a quick recap on why we had come to the Mount in the first place…to inspire our own Hogwart’s setting description.

Each group excelled and came up with high-quality and powerful adjectives, using them to create impressive similes and metaphors on their silhouette outline drawing of the Mount.

The children are also gearing up for World Book Day  next week, where they will be studying a range of Cornish Giant folk tales in English and Guided Reading. One of the children’s favourite activities was storyboarding the Cornish folk tale, the Legend of Cormoran the Giant , where Kerry captivated the children’s imaginations with her retelling of the tyrannical giant who once lived on the mount and how he was defeated by a local boy called Jack.

“I’ve actually visited the ground where Jack’s heart is buried deep beneath in the ground last time I came here!” one pupil was keen to share.

Kerry then led a wonderful drama activity in which they acted out the story of Cormoran the Giant – complete with an authentic blast of a horn from Kerry!

There was plenty of time to explore the village nestled below the castle, where students competed to find answers to the harbour challenge quiz sheet. Students were amazed to learn that the island lays host to 30 full time residents, who stay on the island and work there each day; be that as a gardener of the castle gardens, or working in the boatyard and maintaining all of the essential equipment.


All of the students demonstrated an excellent knowledge by the end of the trip of the history of the Mount and are now looking forward to writing up their setting descriptions of Hogwarts castle using similes and metaphors over the next few days.

It’s fair to say the children are all eager to return to the Mount and see what else the island has to offer!


Drama at the Minack

On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd February, our Year 2 classes braved the elements as they ventured to the historic and magical Minack Theatre for a theatre tour and drama workshop.


After a long and hilly minibus journey, we arrived at a windy clifftop overlooking the beautiful Porthcurno beach. We then descended the 100+ stone steps to the wonderful outdoor theatre space below. The children were treated to a VIP tour of the theatre, including the backstage and dressing rooms, whilst learning about the rich history of the Minack.

The very welcoming and incredibly talented Minack Theatre staff led a series of fun drama games, before we split into groups to learn and rehearse the infamous tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Year 2 pupils then made history by becoming the latest in a long line of great actors to perform on this historic theatre stage. Their performances of Jack and the Beanstalk were thrilling, funny and most importantly filled with joy! Accompanied by wild winds, squally showers and even bursts of brilliant sunshine, the children enjoyed a truly authentic Minack experience.


We are very excited to take this experience back into the classroom and let it inspire our very own Jack and the Beanstalk-inspired stories next week!

Conscription! Year 6 are heading to the front!

As we have in previous few years, Year 6 headed to Bodmin Keep to explore the Military Museum. Bodmin Keep is the historical home of the DCLI; the barracks for which many of our ancestors signed up in and trained at as members of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry.

To help immerse ourselves in to the lives of young soldiers we took part in two workshops. One, where we were able to explore their replica trench where we discussed the dismal living conditions and even had a go at heading ‘over the top’ ourselves. During the second workshop, we had the opportunity to look at ‘Somme’ letters that were written by soldiers in 1914 from the muddy battlefields on France. Here we really felt the emotion connected with these letters and the sensitivity with which we were going to need to write our own. We then had the chance to write pen some ideas to take back to school with us for our very own letters.

During our guided tour we learnt all about how the keep was used to train and house recruits who later went onto fight in France and Belgium as part of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry before housing visiting G.I Joes in the lead up to the D-Day landings in 1944.

The building is rich with British Military history and a plethora of artefacts and replicas to explore and discuss including; Mary tins, a present from Princess Mary to serving soldiers in 1914; genuine WW1 clothing, helmets and boots; food stuffs from the time of WW1, including a VERY hard tac biscuit; and soldiers personal possessions, such as boot polish, button polishers and shaving kits. A new addition to the museum is a exhibit on the United Nations and the roll the British Forces play in peacetime; helping maintain the peace across the world and well as helping with natural disasters.

We had a truly awe-inspiring day where many of our current day to day difficulties were put into persecutive. We left feeling very grateful to live in the world in which we do and will be taking our first hand experience of the trench back to school with us and using it to help write our very own letters from the Somme.

Codeblocks at Christmas

This term the students in Years 3 and 6 have been creating their own 3D Winter Ornaments using the Tinkercad program.

The Year 3’s have been learning all about 3D modelling and how to adjust, combine and create using different 3D shapes, while the Year 6’s have been putting their coding skills to the test by creating their own 3D decorations using nothing but blocks of code!

This week, as one hundred and twenty 3D decorations go home, we wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes of how these wintery treats were made…

Year 6


Class: 14

I used three spheres for the body.  I used the move block and changed the z axis.  I then squashed a cynlinder for the base and I used the text block for my name and the size block to change the size.

For the hat I used a torus shape and a cynlinder, which I moved using the Z axis.


Class: 14

For my Christmas decoration I made a gingerbread man, it was very fun to make! At first I was quite confused, but then I got the hang of it and created this!


Class: 14


Class 13

I used hearts instead of triangles to make the tree segments unique. I also did a green gradient. Then we were told that our designs are going to be printed in white and that we would haft to paint it.  For the tinsel I used dashes in text because there was no shape that would mimic tinsel very well.

This is where I got stuck on how to flip it upwards. This is where Harry told me I just needed to place a ‘select all’ block at the bottom.

I used two squares and moved it by the z axis (up) to create the pot top and I used a semicircle to make the tree stump. 


Class: 13

Blue blocks make the shapes – if we didn’t have these we wouldn’t have anything on this page.

Purple blocks are vital if you want the objects to be in the right place to make something cool or cute.

Top tip: If you open the Blue blocks you can change the size of each block individually.


Class: 13

To make my snow monkey,I first had to place the body by using spheres all lined up on top of each other.  Next I did the ears to do that I used cones and adjusted the sizes.   Then I started doing the mouth because I want my monkey to be happy.  After that, I started doing the eyes with two spheres again it was quite hard at the start but then it got a bit easier.

On the next part of my code, I tried doing a tail it was really hard to do because you cant make it curve since we are coding it. I managed to do it by mixing up all the numbers and then it just turned out to look like a tail.

I think it’s safe to say the Year 6’s have truly outdone themselves this year, each taking home a beautiful and unique 3D winter ornament.

Year 3

Our Year 3’s have also been exploring the world of 3D designing in Tinkercad whilst creating their own two-tone winter ornament.

They’ve learnt how to master the different tools and iterated on their designs to make each one the very best it can be before they got printed.  How good do these look?!

Roman Invasion in Year 4!

Year 4 have been learning about the Romans this year and held a special day to celebrate. Everyone dressed up in their finest Roman attire, including the Year 4 teachers!

To begin with, the Year group were greeted by Marcus Quintonius, a high ranking legionnaire, who gave the children an insight into Roman army life. Focussing on the Roman invasion of Britannia, students learned about the different equipment, roads and forts used by the Romans which made them such an impressive force.

Next, both classes were thrown into the melee and had to use their best codebreaking skills in order to crack a hidden location written by the emperor himself, Julius Caesar. The hidden message revealed one of Rome’s greatest engineering feats in the Roman empire – Hadrian’s Wall.

As well as playing classic army card games, such as Roman Rummy, both classes got to experience what it was like to march like a Roman. Led by Roman Legionary Marcus’ booming commands, Classes’ 9 and 10 both marched up and down the playground, to embed their understanding of Roman commands. Next, the students practised forming the defence shape, which is the ‘testudo’, or the tortoise. This proved an effective barrier against incoming missiles aimed by the teachers.

It cannot be overstated the time and preparation which went into the costumes and shields, as well as the facepaint and hairstyles. The students looked sublime and the Roman visitor was impressed by how well Year 4 embraced the day!

Penpol Celebrates Languages Day 2023!

On Wednesday 4th October, Penpol School celebrated European Day of Languages for its 6th time. We are so fortunate to have so many languages being spoken as either a first or second language by our students.  For this reason, European Day of Languages is a prime opportunity to shine a light on each of these languages which represents our diverse learning community here at Penpol.

Back by popular demand, the French café was a favourite amongst students and staff. Like last year, KS2 students were invited to sample a French breakfast in Class 9 with Mr Emery and his year 4 group. Each class enjoyed singing in French and were then able to order from KS2 students, learning the basics such as ‘Bonjour’, ‘s’il vous plaît’ and ‘merci.’ KS2 students then put their French linguistic skills to the test to then host their KS1 reading buddies in their classroom.

Finally, at the end of the day, Mrs Curnow and Mrs Best had KS1 enthralled with a reading of ‘Goolan’ to celebrate the Cornish language.  In addition, Mrs Best and Mr Jones serenaded the children with songs featuring Welsh, Cornish and French.  Mr Jones and Mr Emery led a European singalong in KS2, which culminated in a school record of 8 languages being sung in one song. This rounded off a fantastic day which marked an important day in the school calendar.

A huge ‘Meur ras’, ‘diolch yn fawr,’ ‘merci,’ ‘gracias,’ ‘dzien dobry,’ aciu’ and ‘obrigado’ to all of those who helped to make the day a huge success.  

Healthy Choices on the Menu at Penol

Earlier this week, we were visited by educators from the Council’s Healthy Cornwall team who worked with all of ur KS2 pupils . The idea for this session was the empower our children to make their own healthy choices when choosing what to fuel their bodies with. The Healthy Snack Family Challenge is attached below.

The session included 3 different activities: the tasting of different healthy snacks including, beetroot, dried apricot, sugar snap peas and humus; what a balanced diet looks like and how it contains lots of different food groups in moderation; and finally, shattering the myth that healthy food have to be expensive. The children all tasted different foods, with many doing so for the first time.

The children learnt all about the ‘Eatwell Healthy Plate’ and discussed how different food groups serve different purposes and how each are individually important to the growth, development and maintaining of a healthy body and mind.Our Year 5 and 6 pupils also took a more in-depth look at the calorie content of different foods, both healthy and unhealthy and took a closer look at the monetary cost vs nutritional output of each food.

They were particularly shocked at the sugar content of some their favourite drinks! With one even commenting “that’s why were encouraged to drink water!”

All children in KS2 then were gifted a free water bottle to celebrate their participation in which  was some  information to share with parents and a healthy snack challenge, all of which is included below. It has been wonderful to see so may children making healthy choices with their snacks continuing to celebrate the learning they have undertaken in science, PE and PSHE around health and wellbeing.