Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 3rd may 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Update on the appeal to support the Southend Foodbank

We have hit the midpoint in our half-term and what a lovely week it has been. There has been lots of excellent learning taking place across the school and visits too.

On Wednesday, the Year 1 children left early for Wat Tyler Country Park. They all seemed to have an excellent time. When I met the children off the bus I was told ‘It was amazing’ by one child and another said ‘It was great. I missed you!’. We missed you too… but it was great that you had so much fun and learnt so much. It was also the best day this week for the weather! Lucky Year 1!

On Thursday, a group of children went to Hamstel Junior School for a music event involving the other Portico schools. This was great fun and a full report will follow soon.

Next week sees Nursery head off to the beach on Tuesday afternoon and Year 5 visit the Tower of London on Wednesday. The Tower of London is one of my favourite places to visit and always makes for an excellent school trip.

Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone and see you on Tuesday.

Mr. McClay, Principal

Southend Foodbank Lent Appeal

Thank you to everyone who supported the appeal for the Southend Foodbank over the period of Lent. We had many donations which helped our community. Please see the poster below that was sent to us this week...

Diary Dates


  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 7th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Tuesday 14th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Year 6 Isle of Wight Residential & Southend Week
  • Junior Music Festival Rehearsals
  • Tuesday 21st - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Tuesday 4th - Class photos
  • Nursery Beach Visit
  • Tuesday 4th - Friday 7th - Science Week
  • Wednesday 5th - Drumming Workshop
  • Thursday 6th - Final swimming lesson
  • Reception Education Visit to Hyde Hall
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th - Phonic Screening Week
  • Monday 10th - PTA Father's Day Sale (during school day) - Children can bring into school £1.50 per gift
  • Junior Music Festival
  • Tuesday 11th - PTA - Father's Day Sale (after school - KS1 and KS2 Gates)
  • KS2 Borough Sports
  • Wednesday 12th - Friday 14th - Year 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Thursday 13th - First swimming lesson for 1MV
  • Monday 17th - Year 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Tuesday 18th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 19th - PTA Inflatable event
  • Thursday 20th - Clean Air Day
  • Friday 21st - World Music Day
  • KS1 3 Tees Cricket
  • Wednesday 26th - KS1 Sports Day and Picnic
  • KS2 Picnic and Sports Day
  • Friday 28th - KS1 Borough Sports


  • Wednesday 3rd - Friday 5th - Art and D&T Festival at Friars
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parents Open Evening
  • Thursday 4th - KS1 & KS2 Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Year 6-7 Transition Day
  • Monday 8th - Year 3 & 4 YMCA Songwriting workshop
  • Tuesday 9th - School Nurse presentation to parents
  • Thursday 11th - Final swimming lesson for 1MV
  • Friday 12th - PTA Summer Fayre
  • Thursday 18th - Y6 Leavers Assembly 9:15am-10:00 (KS2 Hall)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


  • Monday 3rd June 2024
  • Monday 22nd July 2024
"I love seeing my friends at Friars" Year 1 child


Nursery have certainly made the most of the much-improved weather this week. We have introduced the outdoors water play area, where the children have very much enjoyed exploring scooping and pouring water through funnels and different sized tubing. More will be built on as we move through the term. The children also went over to the environmental garden where they looked at different leaves and the patterns they made whilst printing with them. It was our first 'Stay and Play' for this term, thank you to all that were able to attend.

REMINDER: Please remember Tuesday 7th May is the first beach trip for afternoon children. Please ensure children are wearing sensible footwear e.g. trainers and trousers. They must still be wearing their uniform on the top. Also please ensure they all have full water bottles.

If you agreed to meet us at the beach, we estimate to arrive between 1:00pm and 1:15pm. Collection is 2.30pm.


Owls and Robins have continued to enjoy Errol’s Garden, observing growing and change in our own garden and designing gardens. We have looked at symmetry, completing mirror flower pictures and many children have begun to look more closely at the pips inside fruit snacks.

In PE we have introduced the concept of relay races and begun to enjoy some games and races whilst noticing the changes in our bodies after exercising.

Mrs. Webb and Mrs. James were incredibly proud of Reception as they attended their first assembly this week. Most sat quietly and still as they listened to the importance of eating healthily, brushing our teeth properly and what a portion of each food group is (a shock to some of us adults!)

REMINDER: Please be reminded that the reception garden and play equipment are not to be used after school. We take measures each morning to ensure the area is safe for the children and these will not be in place after school.

Year 1

We had a wonderful day at Wat Tyler Park. The children made kites, went on a senses walk, found the ‘smelliest’ plants and experienced pond dipping. They all behaved very well and we are proud of them. After the visit, we have written a recount of the day using ‘first’, ‘then’, ‘next’, ‘after that’ and ‘finally’.

Our maths work has focused on sharing items and numbers fairly to make equal groups.

In art, the children have started to paint an African sunset and practised sketching African animals.

REMINDER: Please support your children to dress and undress themselves independently. This will really help us at swimming!

Year 2

We’ve been working hard on fractions in maths this week. We have been looking at halves, quarters and thirds and the children are really embedding their understanding of the denominator in a fraction. We have looked at unit fractions and non-unit fractions too. We have been able to identify and find fractions of shapes and quantities.

Year 3

What a week! The weather has improved this week (although maybe not today), let's hope it continues.....

In English, we have been creating some character descriptions and started to plan writing our very own story, based on The Boy Who Grew Dragons books. We have been trying to use adventurous adjectives and similes.

In maths, we have started to look at money. We started by recapping on coins and notes, moving onto adding and subtracting amounts.

During the afternoons, 3A have continued with their learning of plants in science; finding out how the Romans lived in history and attempting to become fluent in French by learning the members of our families.

REMINDER: We will be making pizzas in the following weeks. If there are any concerns or allergens we should know about, please speak to one of the Year 3 teachers.

Year 4

During English this week, Year 4 concentrated on instructions – what the features are and the type of language that should be used. On Wednesday, the children watched pancakes being made and took notes, which they then turned into full instructions on Thursday.

Decimals up to hundredths has been the main focus in maths and understanding the difference between tenths and hundredths. The children are beginning to understand that the bigger the denominator the smaller the size of the fraction.

In science, the focus was learning the symbols of electrical circuits so that when they start to build their own electrical circuits, they will be able to draw diagrams that are scientifically accurate.

In geography this week, the children continued their learning of how different mountains are formed. They learnt the names of the mountains, the definitions and then drew what they looked like.

Another busy week!

Year 5

In English, Year 5 focused on the formation of paragraphs and recognising when to start a new one. We ended the week looking at the features of newspaper reports. The children had a go at forming catchy headlines and informative orientations.

Maths saw the start of a new unit on shape. We revised the classification of angles and the students demonstrated some excellent prior knowledge of acute, obtuse, reflex and right angles. We ended the week on measuring angles.

In history, we learnt about food eaten during the Tudor period. The children designed a menu for a Tudor banquet. We were surprised to discover that they ate swan and puffin.

On Tuesday, we compared the similarities and differences between initiation ceremonies for 4 different religions.

REMINDER: Wednesday 8th May is our trip to the Tower of London. Children must arrive promptly to their classrooms at 8.30am. Children must bring a bottle of water (this can be filled in the classroom if necessary). Regular school uniform must be worn with comfortable shoes for walking. An appropriate coat is needed for the expected weather as lots of the attraction is outdoors.

REMINDER: Children must be able to remove their earrings before a PE lesson on Mondays and Wednesday. Otherwise, we ask that they come to school without earrings on said days.

Year 6

This week, we have been developing our writing skills using parenthesis to clarify meaning in our sentences. We have been deciding on the most suitable use of commas, dashes and brackets. In reading, we have focused on inference skills – looking to explain implied meaning in the texts we have used.

In maths, we have been revising the names and properties of shape. This has then led to us calculating their area, perimeter or volume.

For science, we have started to look at how plants are suited to their environments and how they have evolved over time to ensure their continued survival.

In geography, we have taken on the role of cartographers; mapping out our school and orientating ourselves to help locate places within the building.

In music, we have started to learn to play the recorder and play the notes A, B and G. We are using the piece of music called “You’ve got a Friend” by Carole King.

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


Year 1 continued with their computational thinking when it comes to sorting and grouping. They have learnt to group 2D shapes in different ways, such as by colour, shape or size.

Year 2 are developing their knowledge of pictograms by entering data from a tally chart and converting it into a pictogram.

Year 3 have continued their work on branching databases, sorting food and drink by asking questions such as “is it yellow?” or “is it liquid?”

Year 4 have started to get to grips with Microbots (small minicomputers that can be programmed for a wide range of uses). However, this week they were simply testing basic code on them and had a go at turning them into an electronic pet hamster or a simple name badge with input commands and sounds.

Year 5 have learnt what a field and a record are in a database and are starting to compare different types of information by sorting data on a database.

Year 6 are continuing their work on Excel by learning which data types can be used in calculations, then constructing a formula on a spreadsheet and discovering that inputs can change outputs. They used calculating travel expenses as their example.

Online Safety

On 19th April 2024, Ofcom released their annual Media Use and Attitudes Report, detailing the findings of several surveys and their implications for parents, children and young people in the UK. These statistics often include plenty of thought-provoking information relating to online safety.

The report itself is extremely extensive, so instead we've provided a bespoke selection of data gathered by Ofcom about children and young people’s experiences on social media, video games and the like. Check our guide for a thorough breakdown of the headline findings.

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

PE and Sport

As the weather has been improving further, it has been great to use more of the space outside. Athletics has been a big focus with different throwing, jumping and running skills being refined. All classes have had time to learn about rounders, tennis or cricket; the rules and skills needed to play the games.

REMINDER: On PE days, children are asked to wear PE kit to school but are expected to wear Friars T-shirts, jumpers of cardigans. Children must not wear hoodies or tops with hoods.

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

Outdoor Learning

3B have really enjoyed their outdoor learning this week. We have been looking at compass points, directions and keeping safe in the countryside.

Next week it is time for Nursery to have some outdoor fun- they will be with Mr. Brady Wednesday and Friday and then off to the beach on Tuesday too!

Please make sure children are dressed for outside - whatever the weather! Uniform on the top half.

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

A bumper singing week for us! A bit of singing in Monday’s assembly then Wednesday's assembly too! This week I focused on our school values and songs that relate to them!

So it was time for a bit of Aretha (Respect), Miley (The Climb - perseverance and aiming high), Katy (Roar - including everyone) and Bob (Three Little Birds - wellbeing comes first!)

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Dinner Menu

Week 1

Tuesday - Ham & Cheese Pizza with Bakes Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Wedges - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Crumble with Custard

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with roast Potatoes & Gravy - Squash & Lentil Lasagna- Baked Jackets with Baked Beans - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguettes - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Cauliflower - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Mild Chicken & Vegetable Curry with Steamed Rice - Vegan bEAN Chilli with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Broccoli & Carrots - Chocolate & Pear Sponge

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & ketchup - Vegan Goujons with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jackets with grated Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Egg Mayo Baguette - Peas & Baked Beans - Banana Flapjack

Freshly Baked Bread - Carrot & Beetroot or Wholemeal Bread.

OPAL Update

Another busy OPAL week. The playrangers are loving their new roles and have been such a help to Miss Andrews and me!

We have spent time working together clearing out the sheds and organising the resources into our new boxes.

Thank you Mrs. Glen for donating some of the nursery bricks to us!

Firstly - thank you everyone for your donations! We have gone from having no scooters to having around 15. It is great to have some in the shed ready to replenish once we start running low again!

Thank you also for the huge amount of art and craft materials you have donated.

So what's next on our list?

It's all the B's this week as we are desperately seeking:

  • Balls! Any shape and size!
  • Baby dolls
  • Barbies

If you can help with any of this you are able to donate - please drop it into the office and let the ladies know its an OPAL donation for me. If you think you have anything else we might like - please let me know!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The children simply adore OPAL and it would not be possible without your donations and support!


Some exciting developments and some summer fun is being planned! Watch. This. Space!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

3rd May 2024

26th April 2024

19th April 2024

22nd March 2024


This week 1MV were our winners in KS1 with 97.7%. In KS2 it was victory for 6B with 96.3%.

Well done to both classes.

Are Windsor still in pole position? Has Caernarfon overturned the deficit? Has Stirling leapfrogged them both? What about Stormont… have they done something incredible and gone from fourth to first…?

Well, it is a ‘yes’ to the first question! Windsor was our winner in both KS1 and KS2: the lead growing by another 12 points on last week. Both the reds and the yellows have now broken the 800-point barrier. Can the blues and the greens reach 800 by next Friday?


In July we are hoping to host some career events for our children. We are looking for parents/carers/family members or friends who would like to come and talk to our children about ut their jobs. Think you can help or know someone who can? Please drop me a line

01702 294837 -