Friars Weekly Newsletter 8th December 2023

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Christmas Lunch and Christmas Jumper Day on Wednesday 13th December
  • No after-school clubs Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th December
  • Chocolate and Sweet Raffle
  • Christmas Fayre Update in the PTA section

A really fantastic week here at Friars with so much happening… This included nativity performances from Reception and Winter Wonderland events for Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Phew! A big thank you to everyone who visited this week to enjoy these occasions with us. It has been lovely to have so many parents, carers and other relatives in school at this festive time. Thank you to our staff for making all of this come together and thanks again to our PTA who supported refreshments at the nativities.

Children have started to receive their free Chocolate and Sweet Raffle tickets this week. For each day until Christmas, our children will be given tickets simply for being in school. Of course, you can also buy tickets for £1 per strip. Children just need to bring money into school to give to their adults in the classroom. We are still yet to add the grand prize... watch out for the reveal next week.

The Chocolate and Sweet Raffle... so far...

On Wednesday next week, it is our Christmas Lunch and Christmas Jumper Day. Thank you for booking the Christmas lunch in advance. If the children do not have a Christmas jumper, please do not worry. They can wear a Christmas t-shirt or another a festive item such as a hat. The children must still wear uniform on their bottom half.

It will certainly be busy again next week with Nursery and Reception’s Winter Wonderland events and performances from both Year 1 and Year 2. There will also be a visit on Friday from our special friend from the North Pole. Let’s hope that we are all on the good list this year! We can’t wait!

Have a very lovely weekend and see you all on Monday.

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

After-School Clubs in the Last Week

Across the final three days of the term, there will be no after-school clubs taking place this includes football, choir, karate and tennis. Extended Schools Provision will continue until Wednesday 20th December.


Recently, we have seen an increasing number of children arriving late for school. This not only creates busyness in the school office but it can detrimentally affect children’s learning. Please can we urge everyone to arrive at school on time, every day. Thank you for your support.

Uniform - Paul’s School and Work Wear

This week we heard from Paul’s School and Work Wear that they still have lots of Friars’ uniform left. They will be closing down at the end of January and items are now half price. It could be worth popping along…

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


This week, we have been talking about the changing weather again. We have thought about the clothes we wear in colder weather conditions and learnt the poem from Poetry Basket called ‘Breezy Weather’. The children enjoyed adding actions to this, such as blowing for wind and wrapping their arms around themselves for huddling together. We had another successful Stay and Play which provided time for parents to look through their child’s learning journey: showing some of the wonderful things they have learnt this term.

REMINDER: Please remember if your child brings their spare clothes bag home, please ensure it is refilled and sent back to Nursery. We have completely ran out of spare tights and socks.


This week we have been so proud of our reception children as they took part in their very first nativity play! We want to say well done to the children for all the effort that they have put in over the last few weeks with their singing and signing.

REMINDER: Winter Wonderland Monday 11th December at 1.45pm (please arrive at 1.40pm) We will be sending home a new reading book as usual this Friday. Please can these be returned at the beginning of next week to be collected in. Many thanks.

Letters sent out this week

Year 1

The children in Year 1 have been practising their Christmas production regularly throughout the week. In maths, we have been using a number line to solve a range of addition and subtraction calculations. Our science and English work has been linked this week; the children have recorded their observations of a bean plant growing over time and written about it. We have discussed the changes, the main parts of plants, their functions and wondered why some beans have grown better than others.

REMINDER: We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 12th December at 9:15am or 2:15pm to see our Christmas show.

On Monday 11th December, we will be collecting in all of the children’s reading books.

Letters sent out this week

Year 2

A jam-packed week for Year 2 this week! As well as continuing our practice for the upcoming Nativity, we have been working hard. We have looked at Advent in RE and discussed the importance of saving money in PSHE. In maths, we recapped all of our learning related to addition and subtraction, and really impressed our teachers with what we have learned. We have been adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers across the tens, and comparing number sentences using > < and =. In English we practised changing verbs into nouns by adding the suffix ‘er,’ and learning how some of the spellings change when we do this. We also revised writing instructions in preparation for our Winter Wonderland, which was a wonderful and festive end to our extremely busy week!

Letters sent out this week

Year 3

The Christmas festivities are in full flow this week. Thank you to all the parents that came to the Winter Wonderland on Monday, it was great to see so many of you there, we hope you enjoyed it as much as the children did, there were some awesome wreathes! We are practising hard on our Christmas songs ready for the whole school singalong in the final week. Hopefully you have been hearing the beautiful singing from your children, whilst they have been practising at home...

In maths, we have been revisiting the four operations and refining our skills when answering various calculations. In English, we have started to look at formal and informal letters. Next week, we will be writing to a pharmacy to try and persuade them to stock our medicine boxes that we are creating in DT.

REMINDER: Christmas lunch is on Wednesday next week and the children can also wear their Christmas jumpers or something festive. Uniform on the bottom half please.

PE will still go ahead as planned next week.

Letters sent out this week

Year 4

It was lovely to see so many of you at our Winter Wonderland on Thursday, spending time with your children, creating Christmas decorations and memories of a fun afternoon.

Also during the week, we prepared and wrote a Christmas shape poem, embedding our learning from last week. We are practising the carols that we will sing during the whole school carol service and the singalong. In science, we learnt about food chains and how energy from the sun is passed through the different creatures that eat it and in French we were counting up to 30. Still a busy week of learning.

Please be aware that the week beginning Monday 8th January, 4D will begin outdoor learning and the following week it will be the turn of 4S. Children need to wear their school uniform on the top but can wear jeans, tracksuit bottoms, leggings etc. It is bound to be quite cold and possibly muddy, so suitable footwear and warm coats should also be worn. Please be aware that all outdoor clothing may get muddy!

REMINDER: No hoop earrings are to be worn to school, just stud earrings please.

Letters sent out this week

Year 5

In English, the children have continued looking at performance poetry and even had a go at writing their own poetry based on ‘Junk.’ According to 5BW, Miss Barrick eats some rather bizarre food!

This week, the students have continued their learning on fractions and have shown great perseverance when adding fractions with different denominators. They have also begun subtracting fractions and will continue this next week.

In history, Year 5 learnt about mummification. They watched a live demonstration of the class teacher mummifying an orange. They then wrote instructions based on this knew knowledge.

5A have enjoyed making Christmas decorations in outdoor learning this week. It is the turn of 5BW next week. Thank you Mr. Brady.

On Wednesday, we welcomed parents and carers to Year 5 to create penguin dream catchers. Thank you to all who came and made it special for the children.

The children have clearly been rehearsing our year group's Christmas song at home. Thank you for your support with this.

Letters sent out this week

Year 6

This week, we held our Winter Wonderland which was very well attended. The children had been looking forward to this event for some time and it was a great success. Adults and children made some festive ‘Gonks’ which look very professional.

In our writing this week, we have been retelling a fairytale narrative; adapting and developing the story to make them our own.

In Maths, we have introduced the children to an online game called ‘Prodigy’ where children are tasked with problems to solve which enable them to complete different quests. They will hopefully be asking to play this at home too! We have set a number of tasks as homework this week on Prodigy.

In science, we are exploring the properties of light. Children have been investigating how light travels in straight lines and how different surfaces reflect light.

Letters sent out this week

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


Computing this week has enabled children to work hard on their topics which are beginning to come to an end for this half-term. Over the remaining lessons we will think about everything we have learned this term and create something to show our learning.

On Monday Year 1 went back to using Paintz to create a seasonal picture in order to practise their mouse control. Some even inserted a text box and included a poem or rhyme to go with the picture.

Year 5 used PowerPoint to create a vector drawing including a background this week in order to create a more realistic image. They were tasked with creating animals and/or plants and flowers to include on a saved image searched from the internet relying on a host of skills using copy and paste, rotating, resizing, grouping, layering as well as ensuring drawings looked as real as possible.

In Year 4 the children recorded their podcasts onto the iPads using voice notes. They are now uploaded onto our school's server so that next week we can include sound effects and background music to edit our podcasts. How exciting!

On Wednesday, the Year 3 children continued working on their stop-frame animations using the characters and backgrounds they had prepared last week. Next week they will add the dialogue to their animations to create a mini film.

Year 2 had the chance to use the iPads again this week to take pictures in different formats - portrait and landscape in different modes including the portrait mode and then once they had an image they liked they were tasked with editing it. A very useful skill this side of the Christmas holidays.

On Friday, Year 6 continued experimenting with Tinkercad to create some 3D models - this week they were given some freedom to create something seasonal and christmassy, or to continue develop their Friars' memorabilia object.

Online Safety

In 2019, Disney launched its own streaming platform, intending to challenge the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Giving (often exclusive) access to shows and movies – such as the legendary studio’s animated classics and the revered Star Wars back catalogue – Disney+ has been a colossal success, proving popular with viewers of all ages.

Despite Disney’s reputation for wholesome, child-friendly content, however, there’s far more material available on their platform – some of which is aimed exclusively at adults. This could easily fly under the radar, given the company’s general image. This guide has useful tips to help your family sit back, relax and enjoy what Disney+ has to offer.

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

PE and Sport

We have been lucky with the weather this week and classes have managed to enjoy their lessons outdoors.

Year 5 have their last swimming lesson next week. It was noticed how the children have been growing in confidence in the water and are refining their swimming skills.

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

Outdoor Learning

5A have enjoyed making Christmas decorations in outdoor learning this week. It is the turn of 5BW next week. Thank you Mr. Brady.

5BW - your turn next week! Don’t forget come dressed to learn whatever the weather on 12th and 13th December.

Singing Assemblies

No singing assemblies this week due to busy days in school thanks to performances and Winter Wonderland events! Singing assemblies return in 2024!

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Diary Dates


  • Monday 11th - Reception Winter Wonderland 1:45pm
  • Tuesday 12th - Year 1 Christmas play 9:15am and 2:15pm
  • Wednesday 13th - Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Lunch
  • Nursery Winter Wonderland and Singalong 10:15am
  • Christmas Lunch
  • Thursday 14th - Last swimming for 5A
  • Friday 15th - Year 2 Christmas Play 9:15am and 2:15pm
  • Monday 18th - Nursery Stay & Play
  • Christmas readings & Carol Service
  • Tuesday 19th - Christmas Singalong Assembly
  • Wednesday 20th - Last Day of term
  • Chocolate and Sweet raffle

January 2024

  • Thursday 4th - Children Return to school
  • Thursday 11th - First swimming session for 2S


  • 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 - CHRISTMAS DINNER DAY - Roast Turkey, Sage & Onion Stuffing & Chicken Chipolata Sausage or Vegan Roasted Vegetable & Cranberry Wellington - Served with Roast Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Peas, Carrots & Gravy - Gringerbread Brownie

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 busy week here - and I am afraid no OPAL update from me this week!

I will do better next week...

But in better news... I think I may have found a lovely parent who can help us print our Play Rangers hi vis jackets!

Ms. Taylor-Brown


Well it is “fayre” to say our Christmas Fayre was a huge success and over £1600 was raised! Thanks everyone for getting involved and helping make this event truly amazing!

We also have had a new visitor to the school courtesy of some very important PTA connections. Ellie will be here for a little longer before she heads to her next adventures! Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Braunton for arranging Ellie's school stay.

This week we also helped serve teas and coffees at the Yr R Nativities! It was brilliant to meet so many of you and hear of even more willing helpers. We really do need as many of you to get involved, however much you can - as possible. So if you are coming to watch any other nativities please come and say hello and let us know if you’d like to get involved!

Finally - there are rumours that there could be someone coming to visit on Friday next week. Ho, ho, ho!

Watch. This. Space!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

8th December 2023

1st December 2023

24th November 2023

3rd November 2023


The penultimate full week of 2023 saw wins for 2G in Key Stage 1 and 3KA in Key Stage 2. Both had winning percentages above the school’s attendance target of 96%. Well done to both classes!

We have lots happening over the last 8 school days so let’s hope everyone is in school right up to Wednesday 20th December. Don’t forget that for every day in school, children receive raffle tickets for the Chocolate and Sweet Raffle. The draw will be held on the final Wednesday.

Last week we saw a double-win for Caernarfon but this week it was Windsor’s turn to achieve that accolade! The red team were out in front in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and therefore closed the gap to Caernarfon. Well done everyone… Next week we will have our final Team Points announcement of 2023.


Please refer to the items attached to this week's newsletter which we have been asked to share by the local authority. All parents have the right to reply to a consultation on any school.

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 -