Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 22nd march 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Year 6: Date for the Year 6 Leavers Assembly - see the Diary Dates and the Year 6 section
  • After school clubs for next term
  • A write-up of our visit from Southend Mosque
  • All the usual favourites

It has been lovely to welcome so many parents and carers into school this week for our learning conversation evenings. I hope you found your meeting useful and thank you for all of the very positive feedback. If you were not able to meet your child's teacher but would like to have a catch-up, please email the year group email address and they will be in touch to arrange something with you.

The week started with a lovely assembly all about Eid and Ramadan, delivered by Ifthekar from Southend Mosque. We learnt lots and were able to ask questions. Thank you to Ifthekar and to Mrs. James and Mrs. Witt who organised the assembly - you can read more about it further down in this newsletter. We also had Mr. Greenstein visit Year 3 to talk about the Jewish festival of Pesach. The week started and ended with football matches. After school on Monday we had the Year 5 and 6 boys playing a home fixture against St. Georges. A close game ended with a 1-0 defeat due to a late goal. Tonight we have an away fixture for the girls at Prince Avenue. Best of luck to the team!

Obviously it is our final week before Easter next week - our last day being Thursday. Although we only have four days we still have a lot to pack into them. This includes our phonics screening information sessions on Tuesday, Nursery Stay and Plays and Easter bonnet parades and Rhthym Connections drumming workshops for the whole school on Thursday!

Enjoy the weekend and see you all on Monday.

Mr. McClay, Principal

Monday's Assembly

On Monday, we were thrilled to welcome Imam Iftekhar from Southend Mosque to speak in our assembly. Years 2-6 showed interest and respect as the Imam spoke about Ramadan and how it is observed by Muslims as part of our Ramadan and Eid week. Year 5 were then lucky enough to have a chance to ask Imam Iftekhar questions about his role in the community, Ramadan, Eid and Islam in general. We were incredibly proud of the children’s interest and respect as they eloquently asked their questions to better understand the Muslim traditions.

Thank you to all who have helped their children to pledge a good deed so far; our tree is beginning to bloom already with deeds and we can’t wait to see it come fully to life with more pledges and photos of our kind and helpful community!

After-School Clubs

On the first day back after the Easter break, Monday 15th April, children in Years 1 to 6 who are interested in attending a summer club will bring home letters. We will have 'Summer sports and athletics' clubs for Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6. The reply slips must then be returned by Wednesday 17th April.

Diary Dates


  • Monday 25th - Nursery Maths Stay and Play
  • Tuesday 26th - Y1 Phonics Screening Information sessions at 9:00am and 2:20pm
  • Thursday 28th - 2G Swimming
  • Rhythm Connection Drumming
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY


  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER BREAK
  • Monday 15th - First day back
  • Tuesday 16th - Y6 SATs Meeting at 3:20pm (KS2 Hall)
  • Thursday 18th - 2G Swimming
  • Monday 22nd - Thursday 25th - Yr 6 Mock SATs Week
  • Tuesday 23rd - Y6 Isle of Wight meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall
  • Wednesday 24th - Reception Height, Weight, Vision & Hearing check
  • KS1 TAG Rugby
  • Thursday 25th - Last Swimming for 2G
  • Tuesday 30th - Y5 Thriftwood Meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall


  • Wednesday 1st - Yr 1 Education Visit to Wat Tyler Country Park
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • KS1 Quad Kids Athletics
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Yr 6 Isle of Wight Residential
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • Friday 24th - Yr 5/6 Emerging Rounders
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Tuesday 4th - Friday 7th - Science Week
  • Wednesday 5th - Drumming Workshop
  • Thursday 6th - 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 - Yr 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Monday 17th - Yr 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • 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 - Yr 6-7 Transition Day
  • 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


This week Nursery shared the story of the ‘The 3 Billy Goats Gruff’. We talked about size, comparing bigger and smaller and have used this looking at lots of different things around the nursery. Some children made masks using skills they have previously learnt. They are becoming very good at selecting the materials they want to use and sometimes having to adapt if it is not available. Earlier in the week we also made pizzas for our snack times. The children enjoyed this very much, especially eating them together.

REMINDER: It’s a busy week next week.

  • Monday 25th – Stay and Play (Maths focus - no siblings please)
  • Wednesday 27th – Easter Bonnet Parade

Please remember that after nursery collection, all outdoor play areas are closed and not to be used. Thank you for your help.


This week in Reception, the children have been thinking about good deeds and ways of being kind and helpful in recognition of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. We have enjoyed hearing from some children in the class whose families are currently observing Ramadan and how they plan to celebrate Eid. In the garden, we have noticed some signs of spring and have carried out some observational drawings of the different minibeasts we have found including a ladybird and a snail.

REMINDER: We are really low on girl's spare clothes. If you have had any school clothes sent home with your child can they please be returned. Many thanks.

Year 1

Throughout the week, the children have learnt about mass and capacity in their maths lessons. They have used scales to weigh various classroom objects, saying which is heavier and which is lighter, as well as solving simple problems related to mass. Our writing has focused on using ‘and’ to join two ideas together in a sentence. In science, we learnt about taste – the children loved tasting a range of different foods and commenting on them. Thank you to everyone who attended our learning conversation evenings – it was lovely to see you all and share your child’s successes.

REMINDER: 1B have outdoor learning on Monday and Tuesday. 1MV have their sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

The children should wear their Friars school tops and suitable clothing for being outside.

Year 2

The children in Year 2 have been exploring ‘mass’ this week in maths. They have learnt about kg and g and have calculated the weight of an object by adding up the weights used to balance it. They have also calculated how much ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’ an object is compared to another, using subtraction to ‘find the difference’. In English, Year 2 have been demonstrating their comprehension skills. They have demonstrated their ability to find answers to both literal questions and those requiring inference. 2G have enjoyed their outdoor learning sessions too! (Please read about their activities in the outdoor learning section below).

REMINDER: Please remember to listen to your child read regularly to develop their decoding skills and fluency when reading aloud.

Year 3

In Year 3 this week, we have been extremely busy. In maths we have been recapping on previous learning and taking part in some maths assessments. The children have impressed us adults with how much knowledge they have retained! In English we have spent the week looking at various grammar skills from articles (a, an, the) to prepositions (where something is). During the afternoons we had a visit from Mr. Greenstein to have a chat about the Jewish festival of Pesach, it was really interesting to hear all about this festival and how it is celebrated. In science we investigated how shadows are formed and recorded results from our shadows at different points during the day. In DT we continued with our lever projects where we designed and made our very own moving posters.

Thank you to everyone who attended the learning conversation evenings this week. It was lovely to be able to share your child’s learning journey with you!

REMINDER: To complete the Good Deed leaf and return it to class teachers, so they can be added to the Good Deed Tree in the KS2 hall.

Year 4

Year 4 have been very busy this week in English as the children had to complete reading, grammar and spelling tests! Whilst we understand children can find tests tricky both Mrs. Dyer and Mr. Smith are proud of the children’s efforts.

In maths we have continued our learning on fractions, developing our understanding of how to recognise equivalent fractions and how to add fractions together.

Our afternoons have been filled with lots of great activities, including learning about Submarine Spitfires in the Battle of Britain and understanding how to take medicine safely and what to do if you or a friend has taken too much medicine. In science we also learnt about pollution and how it is affecting our oceans. Phew!

Year 5

This week, Year 5 have been completing English NFER tests (grammar, reading and spelling). The children all focused well and tried their best. The Year 5 staff are very pleased with their efforts.

In maths, we have been revising some topics visited earlier in the year in preparation for next week’s maths tests.

On Monday, Iftekhar visited Year 5 after an assembly. He spoke about his faith and his position within Southend Mosque. The children were really respectful and interested in the answers to their questions.

Our afternoons have been dedicated to DT. The children referred to their plans to create pomanders. It has taken a great deal of patience and resilience and the children have achieved some pleasing results.

Year 6

This week has seen us focus on high levels of description within our writing. We achieved this initially by using photographs of wolves as a stimulus for our writing. We then moved onto base our writing on a traditional fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood, but written from the wolf’s perspective. This of course alters the story style somewhat but still requires high levels of description to hook the reader and build up characters.

In maths we have been making links between fractions, decimals and percentages and understating their equivalence.

Science was exciting as we carried out experiments to help us understand osmosis and diffusion. This was for us to how these processes work within understand how the human body transports nutrients and water.

Southend Week: Next week, there will be a letter about Southend Week coming home with those children who are not attending the trip to the Isle of Wight.

Year 6 Leavers Assembly: It's hard to believe that the children are almost entering their final term with us... The Y6 Leavers Assembly will be on Thursday 18th July 9:15am-10:00am held in our KS2 Hall. This is the penultimate day of the school year.

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


This week, Year 1 have been continuing their learning of using Word and have begun to make changes to a text using bold, underline and italics. This is all part of the missing teddy poster they have been creating.

Year 2 have been learning about creating musical patterns on a computer using Chrome Music Lab. The skills have included considering pitch and tempo in their creations.

Year 3 have continued to add content to the Tech magazine they are creating, including adding text boxes in their templates and inserting relevant online pictures.

Year 4 have continued their work on photos and have looked at editing and cloning photos and combining images.

Year 5 have now started to create their videos about Friars School, after learning about different camera angles and shots. They had great fun outside shooting their videos in readiness to put everything together and edit next week.

Year 6 are continuing to develop their website and are editing to ensure the presentation is good using preview tools.

Online Safety

Please do sign up to the National Online Safety website at Thank you to those of you who have already done so. So far we do only have 33 of you signed up so please do spare some time to go to the website.

Cultural and technological changes have made the experiences of today’s children vastly different to our own childhoods; it can be challenging to engage youngsters in open, honest conversation – especially about more sensitive topics. This, combined with many children’s instinct to avoid “rocking the boat”, can make it difficult to stay up to date with the goings on in their lives.

However, it’s hugely important that trusted adults still offer an empathetic ear and feel able to encourage young people to open up about their day-to-day activities. This guide provides ten top tips for promoting open conversations with children – helping to make sure there’s someone they know they can turn to in times of need.

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

PE and Sport

The Year 5 & 6 football teams have played again this week. The boys’ team played a very balanced game and eventually conceded a late goal from an unfortunate deflection. The girls’ team are playing today with an away fixture. They will let you know how they got on next week.

It has been great to see more and more PE lessons going on across the school as the term progressed. I’m pleased to see lots of children have been getting involved and are dressed suitably.

Mr. Leggett, PE Leader

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

Outdoor Learning

A fantastic week for 2G outside in the environmental and at East Beach! The children spent time discussing categories of animals including mammals, amphibians, birds, insects and reptiles that we might find in our locality and the environmental garden. We went on hunts to find evidence of said creatures in the garden including nests, snail trails, webs, holes and much more. We also discussed what they might eat, and what might eat them! We then compared this to creatures we may find at the beach after our visit. It’s been a great and super fun week for us!

REMINDER: Just a reminder that 1B have outdoor learning on Monday and Tuesday next week and 1MV have their sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.

The children should wear their Friars top and suitable clothing for being outside.

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

This week I told the children about the amazing experience I had at a Candlelight Concert last week celebrating the music of my favourite band Coldplay, played by a very talented string quartet “Weddington Strings”. The atmosphere was amazing and as the concert ended and they explained their next show was a Queen tribute - I knew I had to share this with the children!

We came into a candlelight classical version of We Will Rock You and left to Bohemian Rhapsody. The children recognised the melodies immediately!

Together we sang “Everybody’s Building” another song from my school days.

Well done to Year 4 our new choir of the week.

And here is a song correctly guessed by Edward in Year 6 that made me cry at the concert. I just thought it was beautiful and the candles made it even more magical.

Can’t recommend these events highly enough if you ever see one advertised!

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Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Baked Jackets with Grated Cheese - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Pea & Broccoli - Maryland Cookie

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

Freshly Baked Bread - Carrot & Beetroot or Wholemeal Bread.

OPAL Update

A very busy OPAL week - Miss Stuart's ideas last week to relocate the mud kitchen and loose parts area has really got the children buzzing!

This week I also held a meeting with our 40+ play rangers. We talked about what is working well and what needs developing next! The children take their roles very seriously and have got some amazing ideas...

So watch this space!

Next week Becky will be visiting from OPAL HQ - we are so excited to show her the progress we are making and the wonderful play that is happening!


Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

22nd March 2024

15th March 2024

8th March 2024

1st March 2024


Last week we had 4D be awarded an extra break time thanks to an excellent weekly percentage of 99! This week a class in Year 3 almost managed the same feat… however sadly 3A just missed out with 98.7%. Still an excellent result so well done 3A!

In Key Stage 1 it was a win for 1MV with another score above 98%... 98.2%. Congratulations 1MV.

Here’s to a super healthy final four school days before the Easter break.

Caernarfon’s lead had been slipping back recently… could Windsor even surpass them this week??? Remember last week the gap had reduced to only three points… the answer is… no!

Caernarfon were back on form this week and were our winners in both KS1 and KS2. This meant that the three points had grown to 15.

However, it is all still very close indeed!


*Please note this club is not organised or delivered by the school.

Not so much a community event from me - but I am looking to arrange a careers event over the summer for our children to learn about different jobs and careers. If you would like to come and tell the children about your job or if you work for a company who might like to help out or have any connections through family and friends - please let me know! Drop me a line on

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 -