West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 13th October 2023

Dear Parents and Carers

It has been another busy week with an array of sporting events taking place. Huge congratulations goes to our Cross Country Squad who have qualified for the 2024 Essex Finals after winning for the third, successive year.

It has also been wonderful to hear the children's voices ring out during the Oliver Jr! workshops and auditions over the past couple of weeks - I'm sure we'll all be word-perfect by the end of term!

I look forward to seeing many of you next week during our first Learning Conferences of the year and would like to remind you that although you are invited to bring your child to the meeting, there is no obligation, especially for those children in Years 3 and 4.

Wishing you all a good weekend,

Best wishes

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

In English this week the children have continued with the story of Mary Anning. They created their own mini movies of key events from the story and even watched and evaluated some of the finished films. After acting in role as Mary Anning and empathising with the events in her life, the children finished the week by writing a diary entry for the day she discovered the sea monster, which they felt must have been the most exciting day of her life!

The focus for maths this week has been 'time'. I’m sure many of the children will be requesting watches for upcoming birthdays and Christmas! They began the week by looking at the units of time and how they link together, as well as learning to tell time to the nearest five minutes on an analogue clock. It would be a great skill to continue to practise at home, so please use every opportunity to consolidate this. Why not have some fun with this - perhaps when baking you could use a timer or your child could work out arrival times for the journey home from school.

The children’s creative juices were flowing in Connected Curriculum this week. They experimented with creating paints and using the materials they gathered at the woods as painting tools. They stamped, rolled and brushed the different materials across their sketch books to create a variety of effects, in preparation for some cave-style painting next week.

Thank you to those parents who have returned volunteer forms - we will be in touch with more details over the coming week. If you feel you may be able to offer some time to helping in school but have not yet completed a form, please collect one from the office so we can arrange a regular slot. We look forward to meeting with you next week at the learning conferences, and wish you a very restful weekend.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 4

We have reached the end of another busy week in Year 4 with only a few more days before the half term break.

In English lessons, we have come to our third and final week of newspaper reports. The children have applied previous learning when creating their very own news reports which they have linked to the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Our intrepid reporters have worked hard to inform their readers whilst entertaining them with facts, quotes and speculation about the famous discovery and the characters involved in this fascinating story.

Our work in maths lessons has extended from the previous week's learning on addition and subtraction. The children have applied their understanding of these calculations to find the perimeter of a variety of shapes with a particular focus on rectilinear shapes. Totalling long strings of numbers mentally has been practised whilst applying their understanding of shape to find missing lengths in order to accurately calculate perimeter.

Art continues to be our focus in Connected Curriculum lessons. This week, the children have developed the use of their sketch books. Through studying the canopic jars found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, they have explored a variety of styles and artistic devices, developing their mark making and design skills to generate a final design. Clay coil pots have also been created with the use of clay tools to smooth and shape. The children were challenged to securely attach their decorative topper (an animal head) to the lid.

Food safety and the importance of careful labelling on food packaging has lead to healthy discussion and detailed understanding as to why this is so important for our physical health and safety with particular regard to those in the community who suffer from allergies.

Just a quick reminder that 4E will be going to coastal schools on Monday and 4S on Wednesday. Please ensure the children are dressed appropriately for active work on the beach according to the weather. As always, many thanks to the parents who have volunteered to help us; we look forward to welcoming you.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 5

In English, we have moved on to exploring non-fiction writing and investigating the features of an information text. To gain a greater understanding of a natural disaster, the children have applied their skills from our layered reading lessons over the last few weeks. It has been wonderful to see them actively engage with a range of texts and we have been impressed with their level of questioning. Next week, we are looking forward to bringing all of our questioning and research together to inform other children about what we have learnt about a chosen natural disaster.

In maths, the children have started to explore fractions and will continue to develop their understanding, including equivalences.

In Connected Curriculum, we have extended our historical enquiry of the events of Pompeii to consider the factors for living near a volcano. The children have explored many different factors, classifying and comparing the advantages and disadvantages to enhance their geographical understanding of a location.

As scientists, the children have learnt about water resistance and designed some very impressive boats! This learning will progress to investigate the scientific concept of air resistance. They had great fun investigating the speed at which their plasticine shapes sunk!

Letters sent home this week:

Year 6


In English this week, our Year 6 students have immersed themselves in the captivating narrative of The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. They've been working diligently to gain a deeper understanding of the characters, their motives, and the historical context in which this timeless poem is set.

They have also learned about the archaic language and poetic devices used by Noyes to create powerful imagery. Based on these skills, the pupils have generated their own imagery, building ideas to be incorporated within a piece of poetry relating to the Second World War.

Layered Reading

Drawing inspiration from the legendary tale of the Hairy Hands, our pupils have been honing their oral storytelling techniques. They've explored a range of dramatic aspects to breathe life into their narratives, captivating their audience with suspense, intrigue, and creativity. This engaging activity not only enhanced their storytelling skills but also encouraged imaginative thinking.


In maths, lessons have provided numerous problem-solving opportunities, allowing our mathematicians to apply their knowledge of addition and subtraction to fractions. Mastery of these fundamental skills will serve as a strong foundation for further problem solving tasks.


As scientists, they have been hard at work conducting investigations related to the impact of components within electrical circuits. They've been hands-on, exploring how various components interact and affect the overall function of these circuits. This practical experience has fostered critical thinking and problem-solving skills while deepening their understanding of electrical systems.

Connected Curriculum

In our Connected Curriculum, Year 6 have been delving into the impact of propaganda during the Second World War. They've been identifying how language, imagery, and colour were used as powerful tools to influence public perception. Additionally, their artwork has continued to develop as they have applied tone, light and perspective to their sketches in order to refine them.

Letters sent home this week:

Southend Cross-Country Competition

Wow, wow, wow! West Leigh's cross-country runners have been working hard. Last week, 48 children competed in the annual Southend Cross-Country competition. The teachers were so proud watching on as the children showed fantastic levels of determination, resilience and self-belief when competing. It is always a joy to see our children cheering on other competitors and being sporting at the end of races too.

After a tense week of waiting for the results, we can reveal that West Leigh are the cross-country champions, for the third year running! Each of the 8 teams who competed finished in the top 2! This means that ALL competitors have qualified for the Essex finals, which take place in 2024. This is an incredible achievement that has never been seen before at West Leigh!


On Thursday, five children represented West Leigh in a tense bowling competition against other Essex schools, at Hollywood Bowl in Basildon. It was an exciting morning full of strikes and spares! Incredibly, every child achieved at least one strike. Mr Markham and Mrs Atkin were eagerly taking notes and bowling tips from the children! Three of our five competitors even joined ‘The One Hundred Club’ - achieving over 100 points in their game. The children scored 489 points between them! It was great to see such enthusiasm and enjoyment.

Online Safety

The digital world may feel confusing and complex. To help support all our families, we would like to draw your attention to the online safety section of our school website:

Online Safety

In addition, to help you understand a little more about the apps, services and devices that you and your child may use, please refer to the parent guides . These will support you to help keep your child safe online. The latest guide to be added features the popular game, “Among Us”.

Janelle McCurdy visits Portico schools

Two schools from our academy trust were treated to a visit from an exciting and inspirational author on Monday 9th October. Janelle McCurdy, who works not only as a wonderful children’s author but also as a game reviewer, was able to share with the children from both West Leigh Junior School and Porters Grange Primary how she writes her books. Her first book, Mia and the Lightcasters, has been shortlisted for book awards and the second instalment of the trilogy, Mia and the traitor of Nubis, is set to be just as successful. Working as a game reviewer has certainly helped her to access young readers’ imaginations and engage them in her fantasy writing.

She spoke with the children about what life is like as an author, as well as providing an insight into the fantasy adventures that she enjoys writing. Following a Q&A session with some of our Year 6 pupils, Janelle went on to inspire other children to create their own ‘umbra’: a fantasy animal companion to help in their own adventure stories. The children were enthralled!

Inspiring children through the meeting of authors is at the heart of Portico’s aim to help all the pupils develop a love of both reading and writing

Inspirational Person

This half term's inspirational person is not particularly famous but they embody our new curriculum driver of 'it's the little things that count.' Abigail Lupi was just ten years old when she visited her grandmother in a nursing home to celebrate her birthday. Whilst there, Abigail noticed that many of the residents were lonely. As a result, she set up 'CareGirlz' - a group of young children who visited care homes and performed shows and plays for the residents. She won several awards for her work within her local community. The children within her organisation made their own costumes and choreographed their own dances, giving up hours of their time to help the elderly people in nursing homes. Something small that Abigail noticed and acted upon has had a huge impact on the lives of many - the little things really do count!

The Showbie challenge for this half term can be found in the 'Inspirational People' Showbie folder. See below for some great examples of last half term's challenge, where children created their own art work in the style of Stephen Wiltshire. We didn't quite manage our own London alphabet, but we came close!

For this challenge, we would like the children to create their own idea for a charity in our local area. Who would it be for and why? What would they do to help? Children should post their ideas in the comment box - we look forward to reading all of the children's ideas!

Book Looks

Our popular 'Book Looks' are now taking place on Tuesday afternoons, between 3.30pm and 3.45pm. These are a great opportunity for you to pop into school to look at your child's work. Please refer to the calendar below for the date of each session:

  • Tuesday 31st October - Year 3
  • Tuesday 7th November - Year 6
  • Tuesday 14th November - Year 5
  • Tuesday 21st November - Year 4
  • Tuesday 28th November - Year 3

When all the children have vacated the school, please enter through the front of the building before heading to your child's classroom.


At our next Parent Council meeting on Wednesday 1st November, we will be dicussing homework. We would like to know your views regarding the amount of homework set as well as the frequency and type. Please share your views with your class representative so these can be discussed at the meeting in November.

Volunteers Needed

If you are able to spare some time either before school or at the end of the school day to man our School Street barrier, we would be extremely grateful - even if it is just one session per week.

If you believe you might be able to spare some time, please contact Mrs Robertson in the school office.

Key Notices this Week:

Learning Conferences: During Learning Conferences next Tuesday and Thursday, please be aware that you will not be able to walk through either of the school halls between 3.30pm and 4.30pm due to extra-curricular clubs. Please follow the signs that will direct you around the outside of the building to your child's year group. We will also be setting up a pre-loved uniform sale during each evening.

Outdoor clothing: Now that the weather has turned slightly more autumnal, please can we ask that children have a suitable coat/footwear, as we will still go out onto the playground in light rain.

Clubs before school: We appreciate that the children are excited to attend early morning extra-curricular clubs starting at 8:00am. Arriving 5 minutes before the club starts is more than sufficient to ensure they are on time. We are noticing increasing numbers of children arriving significantly earlier than this, even before the club leader is on site! There are simply no staff available to supervise the children until their club begins so please can you ensure that children do not arrive too early.

Late pick-ups from After School Club: Please ensure that children are collected no later than 6pm or you may incur an additional fee.

Trading Cards: Unfortunately, we have asked the children to leave all trading cards (Pokemon, Match Attax etc.) at home from Monday.

Uniform: Please note that Paul's has stopped selling West Leigh uniform. All remaining stock has been sent to School Wear Centre in Hamlet Court Road.

Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Homemade Creamy Cheese and Vegetable Bake - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Granary Baguette with Tuna Mayonnaise - Coleslaw and Salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or Fruit Cocktail

Tuesday - Pork Sausage Toad in the Hole - Vegetarian Sausage Toad in the Hole - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Sauté Potatoes, Broccoli / Beans and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Banana Cake

Wednesday - Homemade Mild Chicken Curry with Rice - Homemade Mild Chickpea and Vegetable Curry - Granary Baguette with Cheese - Rice and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Biscuit

Thursday - Homemade Beef Cottage Pie - Homemade Quorn and vegetable Cottage Pie - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Carrots / Peas and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yogurt or Carrot Cake

Friday - 100% Fish Fingers - Vegetable Fingers - Wholemeal Wrap with Salmon and Sweetcorn - Potato Wedges, Baked Beans and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yogurt or Fruity Jelly

Diary Dates

New dates in italics

  • Monday 16th - Coastal Schools (4E)
  • Tuesday 17th - Learning Conferences
  • Wednesday 18th - Coastal Schools (4S)
  • Wednesday 18th - Year 5/6 A Tag Rugby Competition @ SRFC (all day)
  • Thursday 19th - Learning Conferences
  • Friday 20th - INSET DAY
  • Friday 20th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football Competition @ Len Forge
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - HALF TERM
  • Monday 30th - 5F & 5K to Fields (1.45pm - 3pm)
  • Tuesday 31st - Coastal Schools (4B)
  • Tuesday 31st - Year 3 Book Look

November 2023

  • Wednesday 1st - Years 5/6 Basketball Competition @ Eastwood Academy (all day)
  • Wednesday 1st - Oliver Jr! Workshop (Year 4) @ 8am
  • Thursday 2nd - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 4) @ 3.30pm
  • Thursday 2nd - Cross Country @ Thorpe Hall - 9am - 12pm
  • Friday 3rd -Year 5 Disco from 6.45pm until 8.30pm (FOWLS)
  • Tuesday 7th - Coastal Schools (4S)
  • Tuesday 7th - Year 6 Netball V Alleyn Court (at West Leigh) 3.40pm - 4.40pm
  • Tuesday 7th - Year 6 Book Look
  • Wednesday 8th - Oliver Jr! Workshop (Year 3) @ 8am
  • Thursday 9th - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 3) @ 3.30pm
  • Thursday 9th - Year 4 Football Friendly @ Chalkwell Park- 3.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Friday 10th - Flu Vaccinations
  • Friday 10th - Year 5/6 Boys' Football @ Len Forge (9.30am - 2.45pm)
  • Saturday 11th - FOWLS Christmas Fayre - 12pm - 3pm
  • Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Year 3/4 Test Week
  • Tuesday 14th - Young Shakespeare Company (Year 6)
  • Tuesday 14th - Year 5 Book Look
  • Wednesday 15th - Year 3/4 Dodgeball Competition @ Garons
  • Thursday 16th - Coastal Schools (4E)
  • Thursday 16th - Year 5 Football Friendly @ Chalkwell Park - 3.30pm - 4.30pm
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Test Week - All Year Groups
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 4 Presentation to Parents (4B & 4E)
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 4 Book Look
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball Competition B/C @ Garons (9am - 12pm)
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball Competition A @ Garons (12.15pm - 3.30pm)
  • Thursday 23rd - Year 3 trip to Barleylands - 9am - 3pm
  • Thursday 23rd - Year 4 Presentation to Parents (4G & 4S)
  • Friday 24th - Science Quiz Club Area Heat
  • Monday 27th - Year 6 Christmas Decoration Morning
  • Tuesday 28th - Year 3 Book Look
  • Tuesday 28th - Year 5 Christmas Decoration Morning
  • Wednesday 29th - Boccia Competition @ Garons (9.30am - 12pm)
  • Wednesday 29th - Kurling Competition @ Garons (12.15pm - 2.45pm)
  • Wednesday 29th - Year 4 Christmas Decoration Morning
  • Thursday 30th - Cosatal Schools (4G)
  • Thursday 30th - Year 3 Christmas Decoration Morning

December 2023

  • Friday 1st - Christmas Foodbank Collection
  • Monday 11th - Carol Concert rehearsal @ St. Margaret's Church (9am - 12pm)
  • Tuesday 12th - Carol Concert @ St. Margaret's Church (7pm - 8pm)
  • Wednesday 13th - Christmas Dinner
  • Monday 18th - Year 4 Christmas Party
  • Thursday 21st - Non Uniform Day
  • Friday 22nd - Wednesday 3rd - Christmas Holidays

Don't forget to check out our new online bookshop here.


Please ensure that your child has their full kit with them on swimming days as we will no longer be phoning home for forgotten kits.


  • 3M - Mrs Millham
  • 4G - Mrs Garrett & Mrs Aggus
  • 3N - Mrs Nash & Mrs Mitchinson


  • 3L - Miss Playfair
  • 4E - Mrs Rodger
  • 4S - Miss Street


  • 3T - Mrs Thompson
  • 5K - Miss Chapman
  • 5R - Mr Markham


  • 6D - Miss Fletcher
  • 5J - Mrs Wilson
  • 5F - Mrs Flower


  • 6W - Mr Dunn
  • 4B - Mr Boylan
  • 6P - Miss Poysden
  • 6A - Mrs Mears

PE Lessons

Please ensure that your child is wearing their full kit on PE days as we will no longer be phoning home for forgotten kits.

First Half Term:


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor PE - Thursday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday


  • Indoor - Wednesday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday


Well done to 3L and 5K who both achieved 100% attendance this week.


Our most improved award goes to Alba Ford in  3M for an impressive amount of speed bounce jumps demonstrated in PE.

Our sports performer is Henry Smith in 5K for an excellent goal scored from the halfway line during football in PE.

This week's Citizen Award goes to Maisie Webb in 5R.