West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 1st December 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

School is starting to feel increasingly festive, with the year group decorations adorning the corridors and Christmas trees in our classrooms, halls and entrances. Today's flurry of snow also added to the excitement as the children made their way across to our celebration assembly which marked the start of advent. It was also wonderful to welcome so many of you during our year group decoration mornings - I hope you enjoyed this time as much as the children.

We would also like to extend our thanks for your generosity today; the St Vincent's Centre were delighted with all the children's food donations which will support so many families who are in need this Christmas.

Wishing you all a good weekend,

Best Wishes,

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

This week in English, Year 3 have been continuing to build the excitement and description within their Stone Age stories where a prehistoric animal has been helping a character to transport back to the present day! In our layered reading lesson, we discussed the issues that Ug has experienced and how he has dealt with and solved these problems. The children showed excellent recall of the text so far whilst discussing the book.

In maths, we began to draw and measure straight lines and learn how to accurately measure length using a ruler. The children have also started to think about equivalent measures. Throughout the week, investigations were carried out to estimate and compare the lengths of their arms to try and put their learning into practice. We are pleased to see some excellent effort and increased speed on TTRS; please make sure the children try to regularly practise their times tables as frequently as possible.

We identified prehistoric animals in Connected Curriculum and explored if any species were still around today. The children also enjoyed learning about how Britain became separated from mainland Europe to become an island and the changes in landscape and civilisation that this caused.

Towards the end of the week, we had a fantastically festive morning creating decorations for our corridor and classrooms. We cannot believe it is now December! It was lovely to see so many family members attend on Thursday morning and we also look forward to seeing lots of you at our Stay and Play session on Wednesday 6th December at 10.15am.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 4

It was so lovely to see so many of you on Wednesday for the Christmas decoration morning. The children and staff appreciated your assistance in creating the Christmas snowflakes and the Christmas tree plates. With so many now adorning the corridors and classrooms, it is now looking very festive in Year 4.

4G also visited the beach as part of Coastal Schools this week. They had an amazing morning exploring the coastal environment, and despite the cold weather, had a great time. Both 4G and 4E will have their second Coastal Schools experience in the next half term.

In Connected Curriculum this week, 4G also explored tomb robots by practically building models from Lego WeDo. They created model explorers and wrote instructions in simple computer code to respond to sensors that detect objects or motion. The rest of Year 4 have been studying The River Nile and it’s importance for ancient Egypt. This informed their English work, where the children have learnt how to create an information text to educate, inform and fascinate.

Area has been the focus for our maths this week. The children have been learning how to find the area of rectilinear shapes (those made up of rectangles) by counting squares and by using a simple multiplication method. Our science focus this week has been the exploration of pitch. The children have observed how the pitch of a musical instrument can be changed and the reasons why this happens.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 5

We began this week embracing the Christmas spirit. Our corridors and windows are full of joy and we thank everyone who attended our Christmas decoration morning; hopefully it allowed you to step into the season full of Christmas cheer.

Adding to the excitement, children in 5F had a wonderful time at their Forest School session this week. It was great to see how they embraced all the elements and sensibly engaged in child-led outdoor learning. Not only did it allow them to enhance their problem-solving abilities but it also encouraged collaboration and creative thinking. If you are lucky enough, you may still discover their den creations in Belfairs Woods.

During our maths lessons, a week of discovery continued as the children began to investigate 2D and 3D shapes. The focus of categorising and identifying shape helped to embed the children’s use of mathematical vocabulary.

As our exploration of The Tempest continued to unfold, the children transformed into puppeteers, taking charge of their own theatrical creations. They directed and crafted scenes that portrayed the manipulative nature of one of the characters - adding a dynamic and creative layer to our study.

Our science lessons involved creating and designing pulley systems. Without too much instruction, each class collaborated to solve a conundrum involving milk bottles and string. As our investigations continue into the world of mechanisms, it is marvellous to see the children identifying real-life examples.

Once again, we extend our thanks to everyone who has taken the time to support us at Forest Schools this week. It has been an extremely valuable experience for the children.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 6

This Monday marked the beginning of the week with a burst of festive joy during our Christmas decoration morning. Imagination and creativity filled the air as both pupils and adults showcased their artistic flair. The two halls buzzed with activity, and it was a delightful challenge to discern who was having the most fun — the highly engaged pupils or the equally spirited adults!

In our English lessons, the focus returned to the intriguing world of Macbeth. Year 6 unleashed their creativity by crafting and performing their own spells, drawing inspiration from the enigmatic weird sisters in Shakespeare's timeless play. The classroom resonated with incantations and imaginative energy as students immersed themselves in the mystical realm of Macbeth.

Our scientific learning led us to the exploration of white light. Students enthusiastically engaged in learning and investigation, practically developing their understanding of white light.

Light Exploration

In our Design and Technology sessions, the past week witnessed remarkable progress in the pupils’ puppet-making development. The focus on sewing skills has proven fruitful, with pupils showcasing significant improvement in their abilities. The intricacies of constructing puppets are gradually unfolding, and the excitement and enjoyment bubbling up as the puppets take shape has been truly evident. While there's much work ahead in the coming weeks, their commendable start lays a strong foundation for what promises to be a creatively rewarding journey.

Puppet Creations

Letters sent home this week:

'It's The Little Things' Advent Calendar

Today, we marked the start of advent with the introduction of our new 'Little Things Advent Calendar'. In line with our curriculum driver, we will be encouraging the children to do one 'little thing' each day - and every day that we open a door of the calendar, we will reveal a new small act of kindness that the children can try to complete. These little things will be things that they can do at school, at home and within their community. We would love to hear about any of the little things that the children manage to carry out at home/in the community, so please do let us know!

Today's door was opened by Mrs Woolf, who encouraged the children to ask people at home about their day, and really listen to their answers. We hope that over the weekend, the children do take the time to talk with and listen to their families about what they have got up to.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page, as the advent calendar videos will be published there each day.

Online Safety

Online Safety: Music streaming

Music streaming apps allow people to listen to music on their devices. It gives users access to millions of songs and artists from around the world. Popular music streaming apps and sites include Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and Deezer. Music streaming allows children to listen to songs from around the world in a much easier and cheaper way. This enables them to showcase their talent which would have been very hard to do many years back.

In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as explicit content, adult-themed podcasts and chatting to strangers.

Science Quiz Club

Last Friday, two teams of four children took part in the online Inter-School Science Quiz Championship. With everything to play for, the teams progressed through six increasingly challenging rounds, where questions ranged from animal habitats to the names of dwarf planets within the asteroid belt.

By the end of the quiz and after much hard-work and team spirit, the two teams finished in 31st and 47th places respectively. All the children involved should feel extremely proud of the effort and enthusiasm they put into the competition.

Multi-School Dodgeball Event

On Wednesday 22nd November, the Year 6 dodgeball teams travelled to Garons Tennis and Leisure Centre to take part in a multi-school dodgeball event. The day was split into two parts: one team attending the festival in the morning and the other attending in the afternoon for a competitive tournament.

In the morning, two teams played a number of games with a range of different schools and both teams played incredibly well with both winning a number of games and only losing a couple in the closing seconds of the final round. It was great to see so many schools enjoying the opportunity to play dodgeball.

In the afternoon, the teams played the group stage with three schools to play. In their first match, they narrowly missed a win against Earls Hall but went on to win against Westborough. In the final game, the team went 1-0 down but equalised in the second round, taking it to the final round which Prince Avenue eventually won.

Making it into the Super 10s, they played another 4 games. In the first two, the team worked very hard, taking each game through all three rounds, but unfortunately in the last round of both games the other teams took the win. They remained positive and went into the third game with great confidence and worked hard as a team to win 2-0. They knew that their final match against St Michael's would be tough as they hadn’t lost any of their games in the group. West Leigh remained positive and played very well but St Michael's took the win. The team did an incredible job to finish in the top 10 and should be very proud of themselves.

Throughout the day, the children represented the school with superb sportsmanship, and respect. They were a real credit to the school, with every single team member improving in every match and enjoying the game of dodgeball.

Netball League

On Tuesday, eight Year 6 girls attended Shoeburyness High School to play in the Netball league, with the following results:

  • Game 1 against Greenways (B Team): 8-0 win
  • Game 2 against Richmond: 9-0 win
  • Game 3 against Greenways (A Team): 2-1 win
  • Game 4 against St. Mary's: 10-0 win

We look forward to next term when we meet again and get to play Hamstel, St George’s and Thorpe Hall.

Well done to all the girls involved on a very cold afternoon, displaying some excellent shooting and defending.

Charity Contributions

Laden with tins of soup, tomatoes and spaghetti, and packets of rice, pasta, and sweet treats, the children took great pride in bringing their food donations into school this morning.

All their donations were gratefully received by the St Vincent's Centre and will certainly make a difference to many families this Christmas.

Key Notices this Week:

After School Club: Please note that there will be no After School Club on the last day of term (Wednesday 20th December).

Thorpe Hall Cross-Country: Following the postponement in November of this competition, we are unfortunately not able to attend Thorpe Hall's rearranged date of Monday 11th December as many of our participants will be at St Margaret's Church rehearsing for the carol service. We are planning to organise an alternative cross-country event for these 64 children during the new year so that they do not miss out.

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

December 2023

  • Tuesday 5th - Late Book Look 6pm - 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 6th - Parent Play Session (Year 3) 10.15am - 10.45am
  • Thursday 7th - Visit to St. Vincent's Foodbank
  • Friday 8th - Santa Dash
  • Monday 11th - Carol Concert rehearsal @ St. Margaret's Church (9am - 12pm)
  • Tuesday 12th - Carol Concert @ St. Margaret's Church (7pm - 8pm)
  • Tuesday 12th - Year 6 - Belfairs School of Rock
  • Wednesday 13th - Christmas Dinner and Christmas jumpers
  • Thursday 14th - FOWLS Christmas Gift Sale
  • Monday 18th - rescheduled tennis session (Year 3) 8.00am
  • Monday 18th - Year 4 Christmas Party
  • Tuesday 19th - rescheduled tennis session (Year 4) 8.00am
  • Tuesday 19th - Year 3 Christmas Party
  • Tuesday 19th - Year 5 Christmas Party
  • Wednesday 20th - Non Uniform Day
  • Wednesday 20th - No After School Club
  • Thursday 21st - Wednesday 3rd - Christmas Holidays

Future Dates:

January 2024

  • Tuesday 9th - Y3/4 RSE Parent Talk 2.30pm - 3.00pm
  • Wednesday 10th - Sportshall Athletics @ Garons (Years 5/6)
  • Thursday 11th - Sportshall Athletics @ Garons (Years 3/4)
  • Year 5 RSE Parent Talk
  • Monday 15th - Young Voices Choir @ O2 - 10.30am - 11pm
  • Tuesday 16th - Y6 RSE Parent Talk - 2.30pm - 3pm
  • Monday 22nd - Little Lifesavers - Year 5
  • Friday 26th - Year 3 Disco

February 2024

  • Tuesday 13th - Year 5 Performance to parents from 2pm
  • Thursday 15th - Year 5 Performance to Parents from 2pm
  • Tuesday 27th - Late Book Look (6pm - 6.30pm)
  • Thursday 29th - Year 5 Transition Meeting to Parents from 7.30pm

March 2024

  • Monday 11th- Friday 22nd - Test Weeks
  • Monday 25th - Learning Conferences
  • Wednesday 27th - Learning Conferences

April 2024

Thursday 18th and Friday 19th - Oliver Jr! Production

May 2024

  • Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Year 6 SATs Week
  • Monday 20th - Bikeability (6A & 6W)

June 2024

  • Tuesday 4th - Bikeability Week (6D & 6P)
  • Tuesday 4th - Multiplication Check Fortnight
  • Monday 10th - Test Week (Years 3, 4 & 5)
  • Tuesday 11th - Late Book Look (6pm - 7pm)
  • Thursday 13th - Year 3 Residential to Danbury
  • Thursday 13th - Transition meeting for Year 4 parents (7.30pm)
  • Tuesday 18th - Year 3 Induction Meeting for Year 2 parents from 7.30pm
  • Monday 24th - Friday 28th - Year 6 Residential to Ilam Hall and Southend Week
  • Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th - Year 6 Transition Day (King John)

July 2024

Thursday 11th - Open Evening

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.

Second Half Term:


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor PE - Thursday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Wednesday
  • Outdoor - Monday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


This week, 4S achieved the best attendance with 98.39% .


This week's Most Improved in Sport Award goes to Delilah Stone (5J)

Our Sports Performer of the week is Jacob Holdgate (6P)

Community Contributions

Please email details of anything your child does to support their community, along-with photos (if available), to the school office, for the attention of Mrs Carr.

Team Points

01702 478593 - Office@westleigh-jun.southend.sch.uk

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