Friars Weekly Newsletter 6th October 2023

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Harvest celebration
  • Herd in the City photos now on display
  • A well done to the cross-country team

The first week of October... although the weather clearly doesn’t know this. For the most part it has been warm and sunny which has meant lots of fun for us. It’s always nice to be outside when the weather is good as 2S found this week during their outdoor learning and as the cross-country team discovered across their two morning practices and their competition today.

A special event this week was our Harvest Assembly on Wednesday. The assembly was longer than our usual assemblies as we had lots to pack into it and we had a special visitor from the church. We learnt a great deal about harvest and our choir performed. A huge thank you to everyone who donated something for our food collection. We have lots to donate to Southend Foodbank.

A big thank you too to everyone who sent in photos of children with the 'Herd in the City'. Our displays are now complete, showing both our participation in Herd in the City and Hares about Town. We are proud to support Havens Hospices.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

"I love seeing my friends at Friars" Year 1 child


This week Nursery children have been looking for signs of Autumn. We have discussed the changing colours of leaves, and how they fall from the trees at this time of year. This all started from a comment about the playground being covered in leaves. Children also enjoyed helping to clear them using the brooms and wheelbarrows. These leaves were then used to make some lovely autumnal pictures. In group time we have been practising our body counting up to 10, we will continue this everyday. Perhaps ask your child to show you their body counting.


We have continued our autumnal themes this week, looking at signs of autumn and the changing weather. We continued to learn more about the Jewish festival of Sukkot and how it is celebrated. We have decorated our snack area to represent a sukkah and we made scarecrows and sukkahs in the garden. We were also thrilled to finally open the sandpit that was filled with new, clean sand this week as we investigated capacity, texture and weight. In phonics we have learnt o, g, c and k and have continued to encourage oral blending and segmenting.

Reminders: We collect reading books in on a THURSDAY ready to send new books home on FRIDAY. We cannot send a new book home without the previous one being returned.

Year 1

Thank you for all the lovely baby photos. The children loved seeing them and discussing how we have changed. We had a super art lesson learning about Picasso. Each child has created an effective abstract portrait using Picasso’s style. They have written some sentences about Grace, the little girl in our story book throughout the week. In maths we have consolidated the children’s understanding of addition as well as helping them to write down a range of calculations. We have introduced the term ‘carnivores’ in science naming a range of animals that eat meat.

Reminders: Please remember to select your child’s lunch online. Meals are provided for free for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and there are some very tasty options!

Year 2

Year 2 have compared the traditional story of the Hare and the Tortoise to ‘Hare V Tortoise –The Rematch’ which are very different stories. I think the children were pleased that the tortoise still won the race against the boastful hare! It has been the turn of 2S to take part in Outdoor Learning this week. The children have learnt about fire safety and how to build a campfire; whilst also learning how to keep safe in our campfire area. We enjoyed roasted marshmallows too which were really yummy!

In maths we have been completing tasks based on number bonds to 10 and 20. This has included exploring addition and subtraction facts for other ‘teen’ numbers. Using oil pastels, 2G have created some super pop art pictures using A4 photographs of themselves - with some rather interesting results. Next week 2G and 2S are back to normal with our usual connected curriculum afternoons.


  • Reading – Read, read and read some more! Some of our children have achieved their first ‘Rainbow Reader’ award. Thank you for your support!
  • Key Words – Please tick any words that your child can read without the need to sound them out.
  • Homework books – Please return to school on Wednesday.
  • Spellings – Tested each Friday.

Year 3

This week in maths, Year 3 have been exploring addition and subtraction. We have used number lines, base-10 and number tracks to help us add and subtract ones and tens crossing over ten and hundreds. It has been a little tricky for us, but our confidence has grown over the week.

In English this week, we have begun looking at newspapers. We have explored the many features of a newspaper including headlines, introductions, pictures and captions. We have also unpicked the language, noticing that newspapers are written in the third person and in the past tense. We have started to plan our own newspaper articles, based around the events in The Iron Man. We are excited to get started new week.

In history this week, we moved away slightly from The Stone Age, exploring The Bronze Age. The children enjoyed learning about how bronze is made and watching a demonstration of smelting. The children have a good understanding of how bronze improved daily life for the people of this time. In science, we looked at how magnets are used in our everyday lives. Children were surprised to know that magnets are used in debit/credit cards, compasses MRI scans and clocks. In PSHE this week, we have been looking at ‘respect’ and ‘disrespect’. We looked at different scenarios into respectful and disrespectful behaviours. In art, we finished off our silhouettes of the Iron Man. We used pastels and water colour paints to create a backwash. They look brilliant!

Reminders: Next week is the start of 3KA’s outdoor learning. Please ensure the children are wearing school tops/t-shirts. Please ensure the children are prepared for all weathers as these sessions will happen regardless of the weather.

Year 4

Using different methods (column addition, visual representation of numbers and the bar method) to add numbers up to 1000, was the focus for Year 4 in maths this week. The children are continuing to learn the 7 times table but just the multiplication facts this week.

In science the children continued to learn about teeth, researching on the iPads about the purposes of different teeth: incisors, molars and canines and the structure of a tooth. Questions were asked such as 'What is pulp? What is enamel and how hard is it? The children had to draw a tooth and correctly label each part.

After last week’s research into Viking broaches, the children were able to make them using clay and next week they will be able to paint them and add precious jewels as part of their design.

Following on from the children’s earlier learning in geography, they will be creating their own treasure map, where X marks the spot and using four figure grid references to be able to pinpoint the locations of items that they have put on their map. They will also be able to ask their questions such as, ‘What will you find at points (45,29)?’

With the weather being so changeable at the moment, lots of the children are taking their jumpers/cardigans/fleeces off and leaving them on tables in their classes or in the playground. Please ensure that your children’s clothing has their name in it. When an item of clothing is named, it is generally returned to the named child, but if it is not named, it will end up down in lost property at the office.

Year 5

This week, in maths, Year 5 have been applying a range of skills to their topic of addition and subtraction. They were able to use their skills of rounding at the beginning of the week in order to estimate answers. We also looked at the inverse as a method for checking our calculations. This topic will come to an end next week and we will move onto multiplication and division.

In English, Year 5 have written newspaper reports about the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. They referred to their detailed plans from last week and wrote a report that included all of the necessary features such as eyewitness statements.

Most excitingly, we had David Mayne from Thorpebay and Shoeburyness Baptist Church visit the year group. David was very impressed with how deeply the children had investigated the topic of faith and he led some thought-provoking discussion as a year group. He was able to offer some answers to questions that were directly posed personally to him and also questions about creation, God and other faiths.

In addition, we leaned a little into our next science topic ahead of time as we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be involved in a live talk for World Space Week. On Friday, we participated in an event called What’s New in Space. It was very interesting and the children enjoyed the lesson.

Reminders: Children are set maths and English homework every Friday that is due the following Friday.

Please only dress in alternative clothes on a Monday for the SSCO PE lesson. If children have an afterschool sports club i.e. tennis, they can get changed into PE clothes at the end of the day should they wish. They must wear full uniform on these days.

Year 6

This week, Year 6 have continued with narrative writing based upon an adventure into a cave. The children have used many grammatical skills to build tension and help develop a flowing style.

"I can't believe we created our own games - I want to do this for my job" Year 6 child


This week in computing children have been developing essential computing skills.

On Monday morning, Year 1 children used the mirror to look at themselves and create a Portrait using the paintz.app. This enabled them to practise those essential mouse skills and using the mouse and buttons to draw their facial features, some children even went on to add a drawing of a member of their family.

In the afternoon, Year 5 students continued to learn about searching the Internet, focusing on finding new and interesting facts related to the ancient Egyptians. Not only did they have to research using a search engine, but they also used splitscreen to record their facts.

Year 4, worked hard to analyse a webpage on the BBC website in order to determine the author of an article. And then had to establish who the content belonged to, for example, the author of the article (who had written the article), even though the content belonged to the BBC. Furthermore, the children had time to enhance their Office skills by learning how to use PowerPoint to create a presentation around the subject, many of the children chose to write about the Vikings (a topic which they are learning about in the classroom). This sparked a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for a project that we will work on over the next few weeks.

Both the Year 2 and Year 3 students this week continued to develop their knowledge of remaining safe online through watching a short clip of a video. This led to lots of useful discussions about keeping our passwords and information safe and at the end of the lesson, they had time to continue developing their typing skills.

On Friday, Year 6 started to develop their shared PowerPoint presentations. This involved children working with someone in another part of the room to collaborate on a shared learning objective, creating an informative PowerPoint about the Victorians. This is a work in progress, and we are looking forward to sharing the final results with you at half term.

"It was great to win my event at the Borough Sports - I felt so proud" - Year 5 pupil

PE and Sport

This week our cross-country runners represented the school in their first tournament of the year. Runners from Year 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all took part. There were some great performances and all the children involved did the school proud. A huge well done to... Mollie, Ralph, Albert, Ollie, Harry and Tanner from Key Stage 1 and... Millie, Hunter, Tommy, Jonathan, Etty, Alex, Chris, Cooper, Ryan, George, Vincent, Faith, Bow, Destiny, Jenson, Kuzey, Alvie, Bradley, Layla, Poppy, Edwards, Riley, Taylor and Dominic from Key Stage 2!

A full report from the event will be included in next week's newsletter.

Fun Football club continues, having had a very good response for places.

It’s really good to see almost every child, in school on their PE day, wearing the correct kit and ready to take part in their lessons with enthusiasm.

I've learnt so many new things but its different from normal school work because its 'life' things- Year 6 child

Outdoor Learning

Another busy week in Outdoor learning for our wonderful 2S children and teachers, learning about Fire safety. Thank you Mr. Brady for arranging some special visitors for our lovely Year 2’s!

Next week it is Year 3's turn! So 3KA are up first. Make sure you are dressed and ready for outdoor learning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Singing Assemblies with Mrs. Dyer and Ms. Taylor-Brown

KS1 with Mrs Dyer

KS1 joined with KS2 as part of the singing assembly on Monday, to make sure that all the children were ready for the harvest festival on Wednesday.

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

A Monday morning impromptu sing song to make sure we were all ready for the Harvest Festival this week. Of course, the children were brilliant and a special well done to our choir on their first performance of the year!

This weeks songs:

Cauliflowers fluffy:

We came into this great and very appropriate song from 1976! The year I was born and apparently a very hot summer!

And we walked out to a very calming and beautiful song chosen by one of our Yr5’s “What was I made for” by Billie Eilish from the Barbie soundtrack.

Visit from David Mayne, of Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness Baptist Church

Well, what an afternoon Year 5 had on Tuesday!

We welcomed David Mayne, from Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness Baptist Church to discuss what faith means. The children have spent some time already this half term discussing what faith means to them and explored some of the reasons why people belong to religions. As a class, both 5BW and 5A devised a range of very thoughtful questions about faith ranging from: ‘Why do people believe in God?’ to ‘How do people keep their faith when things go wrong?’

David was very impressed with how deeply the children investigated this topic and he led some thought-provoking discussion as a year group. He was able to offer some answers to questions that were directly posed personally to him and also questions about creation, God and other faiths. We are looking forward to how we are going to use the feedback of our discussion in future weeks in class.

Mrs. Axelson, Mrs. Witt and the Year 5 team were super impressed with how all of the children in Year 5 were respectful of the beliefs and views of others.

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Diary Dates


  • Monday 9th - Flu immunisation
  • Wednesday 11th - Panathalon 10-pin bowling
  • Thursday 12th - Swimming 5BW
  • Tuesday 17th - Individual photos
  • Friday 20th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - Half Term
  • Monday 30th - INSET Day


  • Wednesday 1st - Year 6 height & weight screening
  • Thursday 2nd - 5BW Swimming final session
  • Friday 3rd - Year 5/6 Boys' Football
  • Wednesday 8th - PTA uniform/Christmas Jumper sale
  • Thursday 9th - 5A Swimming starts
  • Friday 10th - Maths Story Day
  • Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Year 6 SATs practise week
  • Wednesday 15th - Learning Conversations
  • Thursday 16th - Leaning Conversations
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball
  • Thursday 23rd - Swimming 5A
  • Wednesday 29th - Boccia
  • New Age Kurling
  • Thursday 30th - Swimming 5A

2023/24 INSET DAYS

  • Monday 30th October 2023
  • Friday 16th February 2024
  • Monday 3rd June 2024
  • Monday 22nd July 2024

Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Ham & Pineapple Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn - Chocolate Rice Krispie Cake

Tuesday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Peas - Carrot Cake

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Macaroni & Cheese - Jacket Potato with Salmon Mayonnaise - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens - Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday - Chicken Fajita Wrap - Vegetable & Bean Burrito- Pasta with Roasted Tomato & Basil Sauce - Tuna Mayo Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Steamed Carrots - Maryland Cookie

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Vegetable & Bean Chimichangas - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Egg Mayo Baguette - Chips & Baked Beans - Chocolate & Courgette Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread: Pesto Bread or Wholemeal Bread

OPAL Update

A great week in OPAL. There was great excitement in the sandpit with a new delivery of sand arriving that needed spreading out!

I led a short assembly reminding the children of the play charter we have in place which they have all signed. By and large lots of great behaviour in OPAL and positive choices just a few reminders needed here and there and especially about tidying- something I am sure you can all relate to!

Next week we have our OPAL mentor Becky coming to talk with the working group, observe a lunchtime session, work with our play team and help me reflect on our action plan and next steps. More to follow soon!

I am still hunting high and low for...

  • Scooters
  • Booster seats
  • Barbie dolls and clothes
  • My little ponies
  • Arts and craft materials
Practising some baton twirling
More great loose parts creations!
Another great structure!
Not sure how Mr Telling snuck in here!
A fabulous robot with cogs!


Well this week our PTA spent time in their shed doing a stock take of what we have ready for the Christmas Fayre. It will be all hands to the pump as the big day approaches- so if you are able to help with any of the wrapping or other jobs that will need doing (you don’t need to the PTA beyond this if you are not able to) then please drop them a line on friarspa@gmail.com all help will be warmly welcomed.

Next week we will be meeting to make the final arrangements for our next two events so watch this space.

These events will be a uniform and Christmas jumper sale on 8th November (time to be confirmed) and our first ever Christmas Shopping Event on Friday 17th November from 7-9pm. If you have a small business or know someone who would like a stall at this event- please get in touch on the email address above.

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

6th October 2023

29th September 2023

22nd September 2023

15th September 2023

8th September 2023


Last week we were unfortunately down to 91% which was surprisingly low and not what we are used to here at Friars. This week we bounced back to above 93% but this is still lower than where we need to be... Come on Friars... we can do it.

Could 1MV make it 5 weeks in a row in winning the KS1 attendance cup…? Unfortunately, they couldn't. Four weeks was quite an achievement and whilst they weren't first... they were second!

This week's winner in KS1 was 2S with 96.5%. In KS2 it was a win for 6L. Well done to both classes.

Caernarfon went into this week with a 14 point lead and they have extended this by a further 13 points! Caernarfon now lead by 27 points from Stirling who are in second place. Stirling are another 3 points adrift, with Stormont bringing up the rear.

Well done to all of our teams for working so hard over the past week. Only two weeks to go before half term... will Caernarfon lead then?!


Music on Sea ensembles are a great way for students to learn to play an instrument as part of a group:

Harp Group - 4.15pm - 5.15pm Tuesday at the Southend Adult Community College. For Harp players of all abilities.

Primary Rock - 3.30pm - 5.00pm Fridays at Edwards Hall Primary School. For students in years 3 to 6 wishing to play as part of a band. Keyboard, guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, singers.

Southend Academy of Music - 10.00am - 12.00noon Saturdays at Porters Grange Primary School. For those aged 7+, beginners welcome. There is a junior orchestra, drumming/percussion group, keyboard group and guitar group.

01702 294837 - office@fps.porticoacademytrust.co.uk