Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 26th April 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Our visit from Essex Police
  • Year 5 reminder about the Thriftwood Residential meeting
  • Careers Week... can you help?

April is almost coming to an end and May is just around the corner… when are we going to get some lovely weather?! Although the weather is still very changeable it never stops us here at Friars…

This week’s special event was our visit on Wednesday afternoon from Essex Police. You can read more about the visit from the Dog Section further into this newsletter and the link to the full report is there too. A big thank you to PC Blunt and PC Turner and police dogs Bruce, Arnie and Gigi. Thank you also to Mr. Telling who arranged the visit. Mr. Telling is friends with PC Blunt.

Next week we have lots going on, including the Year 1 educational visit to Wat Tyler country park, swimming sessions for both 2G and 1B and a meeting for Year 5 parents and carers about the Thriftwood residential.

Next week, I will be sending a letter all about our summer events so please look out for this.

Have a great weekend and see you all on Monday.

Mr. McClay, Principal

Diary Dates


  • Tuesday 30th - Year 5 Thriftwood Meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall


  • Wednesday 1st - Year 1 Education Visit to Wat Tyler Country Park
  • Catch-up swimming lesson for 2G
  • Thursday 2nd - First swimming lesson for 1B
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 7th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Tuesday 14th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • KS1 Quad Kids Athletics
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Year 6 Isle of Wight Residential & Southend Week
  • Junior Music Festival Rehearsals
  • Tuesday 21st - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Tuesday 4th - Class photos
  • Nursery Beach Visit
  • Tuesday 4th - Friday 7th - Science Week
  • Wednesday 5th - Drumming Workshop
  • Thursday 6th - Final swimming lesson
  • 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 - Year 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Thursday 13th - First swimming lesson for 1MV
  • Monday 17th - Year 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Tuesday 18th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 19th - PTA Inflatable event
  • 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 - Year 6-7 Transition Day
  • Monday 8th - Year 3 & 4 YMCA Songwriting workshop
  • Tuesday 9th - School Nurse presentation to parents
  • Thursday 11th - Final swimming lesson for 1MV
  • 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 have spent time welcoming and settling in our new friends. I have been extremely proud of our older children who have helped to do this and make them feel so welcome. Throughout the week, the children have explored the nursery equipment and found new things to do. Some children enjoyed finger painting and creating pictures of bugs and flowers, others have explored the tessellating shapes, making patterns and pictures with them. The children also enjoyed returning to the pond where they released the tadpoles last week. They spent a little time pond dipping and seeing if they could spot any changes.


This week in Reception, we have been continuing our work on our focus text Errol’s Garden. We have sequenced the story and written our own captions. We have also enjoyed sharing other stories such as “The Tiny Seed” and “A Sprinkle of Happiness” linked to the theme of growing. In PE, we have continued working on different ways to travel whilst balancing a beanbag. In maths, we been introduced to Numberblock 8 and we have been using the language of more and less. In provision, we challenged ourselves at the playdough table by seeing what structures we could make with playdough and lolly sticks. We had some very imaginative creations such as tents, cooking utensils and a “mansion”!

REMINDER: PE day on a Tuesday. Please come in wearing the correct kit: Black shorts or joggers and purple round neck t-shirt.

Please only send your child in with water in their bottles. We have to replace any juice that comes in with water.

Year 1

It is our trip to Wat Tyler Park on Wednesday 1st May. We are leaving school at 9:00am – please ensure that your child is in school by 8:45 and suitably dressed for being outside. Every child must bring a packed lunch, either in a named plastic bag or a named lunch box. This week, we have continued to write about the seasons for our non-fiction booklets. In maths, the children have been doubling numbers and learning about arrays. The children had lots of fun completing a scavenger hunt in class looking for items made out of certain materials.

Year 2

In our English lessons, Year 2 have researched the amazing animals which live in the Antarctic. We worked together to record key points about each animal, which informed our writing this week. In our maths work we have explored finding a ½, ¼ and 1/3 of shapes and numbers. As part of our new science topic, we explored different types of seeds and bulbs which can grow into new plants. We continued to work on our printing pieces and used different objects to print on top of the marbling we did last week. We had some super final pieces which will be added to our Year 2 Gallery.

REMINDER: Thank you for those of you who have already paid for the trip to Call of the Wild trip on 27th June.


  • 2G will be swimming on Wednesday for their last swim on 1st May.
  • As of next week Year 2 will have PE on Tuesday and Friday each week.

Year 3

In English, we have continued our persuasive letter to Mr McClay to convince him to let us grow our own dragon fruit trees, and ultimately.... dragons! In maths we have been looking at non unit fractions of amounts and using our times table knowledge to help us. During the week, we had an interesting visit from two police officers, who came to chat about how we can be good citizens in our community, alongside explaining some of the work they do as dog handlers.

3B have continued with their learning of plants in science, finding out about how the Romans lived in history and attempting to become fluent in French by learning the members of our families.

REMINDER: 3B have outdoor learning next week starting on Tuesday. Please make sure the children are prepared for all weathers, including a waterproof coat please.

Year 4

The 'Battle of the Bands' is progressing well between 4S and 4D with the children being given lots of opportunities during the school day to boost their class score as well as their individual score. Please continue to encourage your children to learn their tables at home – it will really support them ahead of the Multiplication Times Tables Check in June and will build your child’s confidence in maths.

Sticking with poetry, the children read, ‘The Jumblies’, by Edward Lear. They had great fun picturing who the Jumblies might be and composing a verse of the poem, in a similar style by themselves.

Electricity and which appliances use mains electricity or batteries was the focus in science. It is good to see a secure understanding of how to keep safe whilst using electrical appliances as well.

Also this week, telling the time in French, exploring the art of ‘Roy Lichenstein,’ and understanding the reasons behind festivals in different religions helped to keep Year 4 on their toes!

REMINDER: Year 4 have their second PE lesson on a Friday afternoon. Please ensure that children are coming into school in appropriate PE clothes and no jewellery.

Year 5

On Tuesday, Year 5 re-enacted the Battle of Bosworth. The children were allocated a variety of roles and jobs which represented the House of Lancaster and the House of York. It was a complete success and the children even wanted to continue the battle the following day.

In maths, we completed a unit on statistics. The students learnt to read and interpret line graphs and tables. They also plotted data on a line graph. Next week, we will be moving onto a unit of shape.

In English, the children used their notes from last week to write a playscript for Scene 6 from Macbeth. They worked hard to include all the necessary features such as colons and stage instructions.

On Wednesday, we had a visit from police dog handlers. We were introduced to two dogs (a German shepherd and a spaniel.) The children watched a demonstration and then had a chat with the officers.

REMINDER: We have our Thriftwood Residential meeting on Tuesday at 3:15pm in the KS2 Hall.

REMINDER: Please have the children wear regular Friars purple jumpers or fleeces on PE day.

Year 6

It has been a busy week as the children had the last of their practice SATs. The children have worked incredibly hard and we can spend time on revision and supporting them in the build-up to the final tests. Please do encourage them to revise at home too as this will make a difference.

In the afternoons, we have looked at how animals adapt to different habitats, the children have produced their own research on individual animals ranging from polar bears to sloths.

The children have improved their map reading skills by locating landmarks around the local area using six-figure grid references.

We were lucky to have a visit from local police officers this week who work as part of the dog unit. We saw a police dog in action demonstrating how to stop and apprehend a potential criminal. The children then had an opportunity to ask questions about the job and what it all entails.

As of next week Year 6 will have PE on Wednesday and Thursday each week.

Letters sent home this week

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


This week in computing, Year 1 continued to learn about grouping and discovered that if items are muddled up, it is easier to count them if they are sorted into groups first, according to an attribute they choose (eg item, colour, size etc.)

Year 2 have started to enter data onto a computer for subjects like favourite colours or favourite fruits and have answered questions about pictograms.

Year 3 started to organise objects into a tree structure as part of their unit on branching databases. They had to choose an attribute (a question) that could only have a yes or no answer.

Year 4 continued their experience with worksheets and learning how to format cells and create line graphs using excel.

Year 5 started their unit on flat file databases and begun to create database cards that can then be sorted/ordered.

Year 6 are continuing to learn about Excel and have begun to format cells on a spreadsheet.

Online Safety

Long gone are the days where eBay and Amazon were the only means of buying quality items online. The rise of user-friendly, accessible shopping apps has meant that getting clothes, gadgets and other goodies delivered direct to your door can be accomplished with a few touches of your phone’s screen while you’re on the go.

These apps aren’t without their issues, however, and users still run the risk of scams, data breaches and other online safety concerns. Being aware of these dangers will go a long way to keeping your money and information safe, so you can still enjoy what these shopping apps have to offer. Our guide has some top tips to help protect young people on these purchasing platforms.

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

PE and Sport

Our summer term of sport has continued with a mix of weather across the week. Most classes have been able to enjoy their learning outside.

KS2 children have been working on athletics skills alongside either tennis, rounders or cricket. KS1 and Reception children have been working on skills linked to running, jumping, throwing, catching and hitting.

Please help your child get the most out of their PE lesson by ensuring they have the correct kit and are suitably dressed on their PE days, ready for their lessons.

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

Outdoor Learning

3A had a fantastic time outdoors this week! Next week, from Tuesday to Friday, it is the turn of 3B. Please make sure the children are dressed for whatever the weather! Normal uniform on the top half please.

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

No singing assembly - as we had another OPAL assembly this week!

Police Visit

On the afternoon of Wednesday 24th April, we had a special visit from PC Blunt and PC Turner who both work in the Dog Section of Essex Police. What made the visit even more exciting was the fact that they brought their police dogs with them! PC Blunt had his Alsatian called Bruce and PC Turner had his Alsatian called Arnie as well as his working cocker spaniel, Gigi. We did not get to meet Arnie as he stayed in the car.

You can read more and view more photos on our website here.

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Dinner Menu

Week 3

Monday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Meatballs with Tomato Sauce & Penne - Vegan Roasted Ratatouille with Penne - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Wrap - Cheese and Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Broccoli - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Tuesday - Bacon & Mushroom Carbonara with Pasta - Vegan Lentil & Vegetable Curry with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato sauce - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Sweetcorn & Coleslaw - Carrot cake

Wednesday - Herby Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - 3 Vegetable Mac n’ Cheese - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Seasonal Greens & Broccoli - Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie

Thursday - Cottage Pie Topped with Sweet Potato Mash - Vegan Chickpea & Spinach Korma with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Cauliflower & Carrots - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Bubble & Squeak with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Peas & Baked Beans - Apple Cake

Freshly Baked Bread - Courgette & Tomato or Wholemeal Bread.

OPAL Update

Another great OPAL week! Our playrangers were awarded their gorgeous sparkly badges. These were rather costly so please make sure the children take good care of them and wear them everyday.

This week, Becky from OPAL came in again and helped me look through the action plan. I had been too harsh on myself and I am thrilled to say many of our actions are in the green after her visit. Next stop our accreditation in October - but lots of work to do first.

Unfortunately this week due to staff being on training courses, we had to revert back to KS1 and 2 playtimes for a few days. The children really missed mixing together but fear not we will be back to normal next week!

Also this week, I had great fun helping the children extend their stage made of wooden blocks into a catwalk. We had some wonderful models strutting their stuff and the addition of dressing up made it even more fun!

REMINDER: Thank you so much for your art donations.

What are we looking for now? Well...

  • Baby dolls and buggies/prams
  • Dressing up clothes for children- all ages!

And if anyone has an old clothes rail on wheels they no longer need- I would love to hear from you!!


Some exciting developments and some summer fun is being planned! Watch. This. Space!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

26th April 2024

19th April 2024

22nd March 2024

15th March 2024


Across the week, it has been lovely to see so many children wearing their ‘Excellent’ and ‘100%’ attendance badges for the spring term. Hopefully lots more children will receive these this summer.

This week our attendance winners were 2G in Key Stage 1 and 6L in Key Stage 2. Congratulations to both classes.

Last week Windsor took the lead in the competition for the Friars Cup and they remain at the top of the tree this week too. The gap has closed to just seven points.

This is probably one of the closest races we have had over the years and it would take a brave person to predict a winner!


In July we are hoping to host some career events for our children. We are looking for parents/carers/family members or friends who would like to come and talk to our children about ut their jobs. Think you can help or know someone who can? Please drop me a line

01702 294837 -