Friars Weekly Newsletter 1st December 2023

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Fun at the fayre
  • Christmas cards in school
  • Chocolate and sweet raffle

A slightly later newsletter due to all of the fun and busyness of last week! On Thursday, we saw the start of Christmas events with Year 1's Winter Wonderland and on Friday it was our annual Christmas Fayre. I know almost all of you attended and I hope you would agree with me that it was a super afternoon. The PTA put an incredible amount of time and effort into its organisation and I would personally say the result was possibly the best Christmas Fayre to date. A huge thank you to the PTA and the Friars staff for pulling it all together. Of course, thank you to you and the children for bringing the fun of the fayre and for helping us raise valuable funds for the school. All the money raised goes straight back to your children.

This week ahead we have more Winter Wonderland sessions and the start of our Christmas performances. We can't wait!

Once again, we will be running our Christmas chocolate and sweet raffle this month. This time there will be a slight change though! Not only can you buy tickets from Tuesday for £1 for a strip of five tickets (money to be given to adults in class) but also - for every day the children are in school over the next three weeks they will be given a free ticket. The draw will be held on out final afternoon. You can see below the choccy and sweetie goodness that is there to be won. A giant Lindor ball full of truffles, a giant Dairy Milk, lots of selection boxes... and a special hamper that is not pictured but will be revealed soon! All money raised once again goes towards things for the children.

Lastly, everyone can start bringing in their Christmas cards from today as we will have our Christmas post box in operation. Some of our Year 6 pupils will deliver the cards across our afternoons.

Happy December!

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

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


This week Nursery children have read the story of the Gingerbread Man. They have enjoyed baking their own gingerbread which they took home to eat. Some children made their own masks and puppets from the characters within the story and then used these to retell the story in their own words. During group time, we are continuing with our 'foundations in phonics' and basic maths skills. The children are becoming really confident in counting up to 10 objects accurately.

REMINDER: Our next Stay and play is on Wednesday 6th December. All learning journeys will have been updated and ready for you to look through.

Letters sent out this week


We have had a very interesting week in Reception. The children are coming into a calmer start to the day and some really interesting activities that have inspired writing for a purpose including postcards and shopping lists, collaged creations and many interesting conversations. We have begun introducing more resources and showing the children the importance of looking after property and working hard to utilise the whole area. Each day we have been practising our Christmas singing for our performance. We were very excited to see the stage up and try on our costumes!

Letters sent out this week

Year 1

It was lovely to see so many of you at our Winter Wonderland afternoon this week. We hope you had as much fun as the children! Throughout the week, the children have been making repeating patterns: enjoying creating their own patterns in our art area. In science, we have started to write a diary about planting and growing a bean, observing changes over time.

REMINDER: Our Christmas show is on Tuesday 12th December at 9:15pm and 2:15pm. Please only attend one performance.

Letters sent out this week

Year 2

In maths this week year 2 have been consolidating the understanding of adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. They have then compared numbers using < > and =.

In English we have been showing off our fantastic writing in our independent writing book. The teachers were thrilled with the effort the children put into their writing and

the children were very proud of themselves – well done!

In other news the Christmas Play rehearsals are in full swing. We have started singing the songs in our sleep! We look forward to sharing it with you on December 15th!

Reminder: Winter Wonderland will take place next Friday 8th December.

Letters sent out this week

Year 3

This week we have completed our second assessment week. The children have all tried incredibly hard and should be proud of their efforts. This week our tests have been focused on English comprising reading, spelling and grammar tests.

In maths, we have been consolidating our previous learning. We have revisited place value, partitioning and representing numbers to 1000. We have also looked at number sequences. The children have been using their knowledge of times table to work out the next number in the sequence.

In science, we have been looking at different animal skeletons and comparing similarities and differences. We studied why animals have different shaped skeletons and how this helps them to survive. In history, we have continued our study of the Iron Age, looking at the Celtic Round Houses. The children enjoyed sketching the round houses and exploring what they would have looked like and inferring what it might have been like to live in them. As part of our D&T project, we are designing medicine boxes linked to our book focus ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’, which they are thoroughly enjoying!


Letters sent out this week

Year 4

This week has seen Year 4 complete their second week of assessments – it has been the maths tests this week. The first test was all about the four rules and the children’s knowledge and understanding of how to use them. The second two tests were about applying their knowledge of the four rules and other areas of maths to solving problems. The children approached all the tests over the last two weeks with a very sensible and focused attitude.

In English we were back to poetry writing and studying different writing strategies such as using alliteration and synonyms to enhance our work.

The study of Ancient Greek history continues. This week the children learnt about the Greek gods and then had to design a ‘Top Trump,’ card, rating their leadership, strength, kindness, intelligence and danger level.

The week finished with the PTA Christmas Fayre. It was lovely to see so many of you able to attend and have a very enjoyable afternoon.

REMINDER: For PE in the colder weather, children should be wearing school tops and if they are going to wear joggers or leggings, they need to be plain in colour (black, grey etc). Thank you for your help with this.

Letters sent out this week

Year 5

Similarly, to other year groups, this week has seen Year 5 complete their second week of assessments – it has been the maths tests this week. The arithmetic test was all about the four rules and the second two tests were about applying their knowledge of the four rules and other topic areas to solving word problems. The children approached all the tests over the last two weeks very sensibly and their perseverance was great to see.

In English, we have looked at poetry and developed our understanding of rhyming words. In addition, the children worked on performance poetry in small groups. We watched Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake and made it our own whilst considering volume, tone, speed and body language. Well done to everyone for being brave and performing in front of their peers! Linking to our English lessons, the children looked at how God is revealed via poetry in RE.

In history, we studied the famous Cleopatra. The children produced some wonderful sketches and noted some interesting facts.

On Thursday, Year 5 completed their Ancient Egyptian amulets by carefully considering the paints and colours to use to ensure they looked aesthetically pleasing.

Then of course we ended the week with our wonderful Christmas Fayre.

REMINDERS: Please ensure the children come to school with their coats now that the temperature has dropped.

Letters sent out this week

Year 6

Year 6 have continued writing persuasively this week, designing and advertising gadgets that they feel would be useful for chores at home, within school or that could be an asset to a future spy. Some of the ideas were very creative and it would be difficult to choose which of the many gadgets you would ultimately choose.

We have continued working on fractions this week, simplifying, finding equivalents and moving onto comparing and ordering.

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


The Year 1 classes started our computing lessons this week focusing on editing and changing the ‘look’ of the text in a Word document. They created an invitation to the Winter Wonderlands and experimented with changing the colour, font, size as well as the underline, italic and bold features. Well done Year 1, keep practising those typing skills.

In Year 5, children continued their understanding of vector drawings and developed skills including copy and paste to duplicate a shape rather than creating them all separately. They were tasked with creating a landscape picture or a flower garden.

On Tuesday, Year 4 began recording their podcasts and due to the room needing to be rather quiet the rest of the children focused on their typing skills through the use of typing more information into their scripts or by playing one of many typing games. We will finish recording the rest next week before we start editing them to include sound effects.

Year 3 worked hard on their stop-frame animations this week. They were asked to select their background and characters, cut out the images and some managed to start recording their animations. Next week we will continue recording before we can evaluate our finished animations to ensure they are all realistic and work in the correct way.

On Thursday, the Year 2 children continued learning how to edit their photographs and they have already created some wonderful portraits of each other.

Due to the Christmas Fayre this week, Year 6 had very little time on the computers but will find time to continue their 3D modelling next week.

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.

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

PE and Sport

PE this week has been far colder and it has been really good to see more children dressed appropriately for their PE sessions. All classes have been working on athletics skills with running being the main focus.

Please help us to ensure that the correct sports kit is work on PE days.

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

Outdoor Learning

Despite the weather, Year 6 have spent their afternoons outside in the Environmental Garden where the children made a variety of Christmas decorations using saws, drills, secateurs and glue guns.

Next week it is the turn of 5A!

Please come dressed to learn outside whatever the weather on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday! Remember that it should be uniform on the top half...

Singing Assemblies

KS1 with Mrs. Dyer

We are continuing to practise and get better at ‘Away in a Manger,’ and ‘It was on a Starry Night.’ The countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun.

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

Another festive week for us - we came into the very jolly “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson.

We practised one of our favourites: “It Was on a Starry Night”

And we left to the classic “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams.

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Diary Dates


  • Monday 4th - Year 3 Winter Wonderland 2:00pm
  • Tuesday 5th - Year 6 Winter Wonderland 2:00pm
  • Wednesday 6th - Reception Nativity 9:15am KS2 Hall
  • Nursery Stay & Play
  • Year 5 Winter Wonderland 2:00pm
  • Thursday 7th - Reception Nativity 9:15am KS2 Hall
  • Swimming 5A
  • Year 4 Winter Wonderland 2:00pm
  • Friday 8th - Year 2 Winter Wonderland 1:45pm
  • 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

January 2024

  • Thursday 4th - Children Return to school


  • Friday 16th February 2024
  • Monday 3rd June 2024
  • Monday 22nd July 2024

Dinner Menu

Week 3

Monday - Cumberland Sausages with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Vegan Sausages with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Ham Salad Wrap -Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Peas - Apple & Carrot Flapjack

Tuesday - Beef Chilli with Steamed Rice - Vegetable Chilli with Steamed Rice Ve Jacket Potato with Cheese - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Steamed Carrots - Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie

Wednesday - Sticky Glazed Chicken - Margherita Pizza - Pasta with Tomato & Basil Sauce - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Spicy Potato Wedges & Coleslaw - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Creamy Pesto Chicken with Fusilli Pasta - Vegetable Pasta Bake - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Pan Fried Leeks - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Vegetable & Bean Stuffed Pitta Pocket - Pasta with Tomato & Lentil Sauce - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Chips & Baked Beans - Chocolate Shortbread Biscuit

Freshly Baked Bread: Garlic & Rosemary Bread and Wholemeal Bread

OPAL Update

This weeks OPAL update comes from Lottie!

This week in OPAL I saw some children building a car with the tyres and the blocks.

I also saw some children helping each other in the block area to build a house.

When I was in the sandpit I saw Ms Taylor-Brown and there were two children working together to build a massive sandcastle!

We really need more scooters! The children are often waiting for one so if you have any scooters at home that your child no longer rides- please send them into the school office!

Thank you.


On Friday of course we had our Christmas Fayre extravaganza! More information to follow later in the week - but can we just say thank you for your support, your donations and just for coming along to make the event wonderful!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

1st December 2023

24th November 2023

3rd November 2023

20th October 2023


This week’s attendance winners were 2G and 5A.

Better luck next week 5BW!

For the first time in 2023-24 we have a team surpassing the 400-point mark... and it will be no surprise that the team is Caernarfon. Our yellow team has been leading from the off and it was certainly a good week for them as they are now over 50 points ahead of both Windsor and Sterling. Stormont are only 8 points further behind. Come on Windsor, Sterling and Stormont - you can do it!


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 -