West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 8th MARCH 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been an extremely busy week in school, with trips to the Houses of Parliament, a writing workshop with Southend High School for Girls, the Year 3 presentation to parents and a sea of pyjamas!

There was also a buzz of excitement on Thursday when the children had the opportunity to buy a special gift for an important adult which I hope will be enjoyed on Sunday.

Best wishes,

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Diary Dates

New dates in italics

March 2024

  • Monday 11th-Friday 22nd - Test Weeks
  • WLJS Cross Country - pm
  • Boys' Choir @ Palace Theatre - 6pm - 8.30pm
  • Tuesday 12th - Girls' football @ Bournes Green
  • Wednesday 13th - Year 3/4 tag rugby @ SRFC
  • Parent Council Meeting - 6pm - 7pm
  • Friday 15th - Comic Relief (non-uniform day)
  • Dragonball competition
  • General Knowledge Quiz Club semi finals
  • Monday 18th - Coastal Schools (4E)
  • Year 6 netball finals @ Alleyn Court
  • Writing workshop with SHSG
  • Wednesday 20th - Benchball festival @ Thorpe Hall
  • Thursday 21st - Forest Schools Club session 1
  • Monday 25th - Learning Conferences
  • Southend Diving Talent - Year 3
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Tuesday 26th - School Nurse session for parents
  • Wednesday 27th - Learning Conferences
  • Essex Cross Country Finals @ Garons
  • Samba Workshop
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Thursday 28th - Coastal Schools (4G)
  • Forest Schools Club session 2
  • Last day of term
  • No After School Club
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY

April 2024

  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER HOLIDAYS
  • Tuesday 16th - Netball @ Shoeburyness High - 3.30pm - 5pm
  • Thursday 18th, Friday 19th & Saturday 20th - Oliver Jr! Production
  • Wednesday 24th - Year 5 Trip to West Stow Village
  • Friday 26th - Year 4 Field Study @ Adventure Island - 8.30am - 2.30pm

May 2024

  • Friday 3rd - Maths Quiz Club Area Heat
  • Monday 6th - Bank Holiday Monday
  • Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Year 6 SATs Week
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Year 6 Awesome Art Week
  • Monday 20th - Bikeability Week (6A & 6W)
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 5 presentation to parents (5J & 5R)
  • Wednesday 22nd - Swimming Gala @ Garons - 12.30pm - 3pm
  • Thursday 23rd - Year 5 presentation to parents (5K & 5F)
  • SEESMA Area rehearsals
  • Friday 24th - Year 5 Poetry performance to school
  • Monday 27th - Bank Holiday Monday
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term

June 2024

  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Tuesday 4th - Friday 14th - Multiplication Tables Checks
  • Tuesday 4th - Bikeability Week (6D & 6P)
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th - Test Week (Years 3, 4 & 5)
  • Seesma rehearsal and concert @ Cliffs Pavillion
  • Tuesday 11th - Late Book Look (6pm - 7pm)
  • Wednesday 12th - Borough Sports - 12pm - 3pm
  • Thursday 13th - Friday 14th - 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

  • Monday 8th - Fun Swim Week
  • Thursday 11th - Open Evening
  • Monday 15th - Year 6 House Team Swimming Gala
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • No After School Club
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

Year 3

What a wonderful week it has been for the children in Year 3! It was lovely to see so many of you on Tuesday and Thursday for our year group presentation. The children have worked extremely hard over the last few weeks to learn their lines and it absolutely paid off! They performed their lines with great confidence and we are very proud of them.

In science, the children carried out investigations to explore the strength of different magnets. They planned and conducted their investigations independently, showcasing their learning about magnetism from last week.

It has been nice to see the children being such busy bees with their sewing throughout the week! They have applied patience and concentration to begin practising different types of stitches in preparation for sewing their ambrosia carriers for their chosen Greek god or goddess.

The children have been learning to link multiplication and division in maths lessons. They learned to use their partitioning skills to divide a two-digit number by a one-digit number. To end the week, the children learned to carry out the method for short division (with evidence), demonstrating hard work and perseverance.

With the focus on division this week and multiplication last week, the children have noticed the importance of quick times tables recall. Please encourage your child to practise their times tables regularly, as well as their new KIRFs, which are in their Communication Book.

Year 4

Our English lessons this week have focused on the character of Queen Boudicca. The children have learnt about her as a warrior and the leader of the Iceni tribe. Through the study of playscripts, they have worked collaboratively to read, rehearse and perform historic scenes involving her potential rebellion. From this, the children thoroughly enjoyed using a range of emotive vocabulary to write Boudicca’s speech, rallying her troops. In addition to this, as part of our Connected Curriculum, the children examined Roman Soldiers and Celtic Warriors. They were then able to write a description about them and choose who they thought would be a better fighter.

As mathematicians, the children used their prior knowledge of multiplication and division to calculate equivalent fractions. Using this understanding, they were then able to add and subtract fractions, some with different denominators.

In science, the children used the iPads and the Keynote app to demonstrate their previous learning about the water cycle. They learnt how to create an animation showing this process.

In PSHE, the focus was about safe and unsafe forms of physical contact. The children explored scenarios then decided whether these forms of physical contact were safe or unsafe.

It was 4S’s turn for Coastal Schools this week. They thoroughly enjoyed collecting stones and pebbles to make a pebble pet with a sea creature theme. They then designed its shelter. So much fun was had by all.

Year 5

Cloud Tea Monkeys has been our focus text this week. After learning about the author's style of writing, we have been predicting how the story might progress, attempting to write our own next chapter. The work produced has seen some wonderful figurative language used.

In maths, we have been learning to calculate the area and perimeter of rectangles whilst also calculating missing angles. We progressed to irregular shapes where we really had to use our problem solving skills to be successful!

This week, we have been working on our movie-making skills in both our Connected Curriculum work on the Ancient Mayans and during World Book Day. We researched an aspect of the Mayans that we found interesting then created a stop motion movie to demonstrate our learning. Topics ranged from farming to the gods and sacrifice. For World Book Day, we applied our learning to create movie trailers for our favourite books. We are hoping to use these to inspire others to read the books we love.

During World Book Day, Year 1 joined us from the Infant School, allowing us to spend time sharing books. The staff from both schools were very impressed with the maturity of the Year 5 children, with many children commenting on how much they enjoyed reading with the younger pupils.

Year 6

In our English lessons, the pupils have completed a diverse range of activities. This has included the completion of their personal recounts, as well as writing carefully considered internal monologues relating to a character from their Layered Reading book. This enabled them to deepen their understanding of the many and varied verb forms in the English language.

In maths, they have been honing their skills with revision focused on area and perimeter. Through engaging tasks and challenging activities, they’ve applied their understanding and knowledge with increasing levels of proficiency. They have also been refining their arithmetic prowess and mastering calculation.

In the fascinating world of science, our pupils have had the opportunity to investigate and analyse adaptations through entertaining experiments. Using a range of ‘beaks’, Year 6 have explored the concept of adaptation in action, uncovering the secrets of evolution and biodiversity. With each experiment, they have not only deepened their understanding of scientific principles but have also ignited their curiosity for the natural world.

Key Notices this Week

Water Bottles: Increasing numbers of children are coming to school without a water bottle. Please can you ensure that your child brings a water bottle to school every day.

Uniform: Lost property is on the rise once again so please ensure that all items of uniform are clearly labelled so these can be returned to the rightful owners.

School Lunch Booking System: All school meals need to be paid for and booked in advance, before 8am, on ParentPay. If the 8am deadline is missed, children will no longer be able to order lunches in class as this is causing major difficulties with ordering from the Infant school kitchen. If a lunch has not been pre-booked, your child must be provided with a packed lunch that they bring into school with them. If the system does not allow you to book a school lunch, this indicates that your account is in arrears and needs to be in credit. Please also ensure that you discuss the lunch menu choices with your child. Lunches can be booked in advance as far as the Easter holidays.

Swimming Contributions: Please note that we receive no funding to run the pool. Spiralling fuel costs mean that without your contribution, we will have to seriously curtail lessons to cut costs. 

School Nurse Presentation: Please note a change to the previously advertised school nurse health clinics, as detailed below:

The Little Things Rock!

This term's team challenge really did rock! We asked the children to think about the effect that positive and uplifting words can have - another of the 'little things' that we would like the children to consider. They thought how it feels when someone says something kind to them, and how they could use words to encourage and uplift others. After spending some time creating kind and inspiring messages of their own, the children then designed kindness rocks for other members of the school. We were so impressed with the beautiful, creative designs that the children came up with, as well as the variety of messages that they devised!

In the afternoon, we placed the rocks in patterns on the playground, so that parents could see the rocks as they came in to collect their children. At the end of the day, everyone collected a rock and took it home to treasure. It was lovely to see so many happy faces as children read the messages on their rocks.

This was a thought-provoking challenge as some children initially struggled with the idea of giving away the rock that they had put so much time and effort into - but by the end of the day, all could see the value of sharing something wonderful with others.

Thank you to all of our parents, who supported the challenge by sending in rocks as well as allowing children to bring in markers and art materials.

Visit to the Houses of Parliament

On Tuesday 5th March, the School Council visited the Houses of Parliament where they enjoyed a tour of this extraordinary building. They observed a parliamentary debate in The House of Commons, explored the workings of The House of Lords and learned about the history of parliament whilst walking in the footsteps of monarchs and parliamentary leaders - both past and present.

The children were also delighted to meet our local MP - Anna Firth - who shared details about her role, including current bills which are currently working their way through parliament.

Having developed a greater understanding of the democratic process and the workings of parliament, the children left with a greater awareness of the part they have to play in achieving a stronger, successful, harmonious country.

Year 5 Writing Workshop

On Tuesday, we welcomed sixth form students from Southend High School for Girls to work with some children from Year 5 as part of a writing project.

Having watched a short animation based on ‘The Piano,’ the children were then paired with a mentor from SHSG to help them generate their own ideas about writing projects they could work on together across three planned sessions in the next month. The ideas discussed were emotive, philosophical and destined for great outcomes.

We look forward to hosting our next session in a couple of weeks when we will get down to the ‘nitty gritty’ of writing stories, descriptions and whatever else the children think would be suitable. The West Leigh children were really excited at the prospect of deciding their own writing outcomes and relished the opportunity to work with older students as their ‘mini-teachers’.

World Book Day

We had a wonderful day on Thursday celebrating World Book Day. The children were delighted to come to school dressed in their pyjamas and other accessories – many of them asking if they could do it every day! Armed with their reading books, the children moved to their lessons as usual, prepared to Drop and Read when the bell sounded. In addition, each year group worked on their own World Book Day tasks linked to our computing curriculum: Year 3 learnt about algorithms to make ‘chatterboxes’ about their favourite reads, Year 4 created graphic novels and characters for animation based on their books, Year 5 were tasked with making movie trailers for their books using iMovie on the iPads and Year 6 created vlogs and podcasts about their favourite authors, texts and genres. It has been such a valuable and cherished opportunity for the children to share their own reading for pleasure with their friends and teachers.

In addition, the children from the upper school also enjoyed reading with the Reception and Year 1 classes from the Infants. It was so very heartening to see how caring and nurturing our children were.

Sportshall Athletics Essex Finals

Following their 2nd place finish in the Southend competition, the Year 5/6 Sportshall Athletics squad competed in the Essex finals. There was a fantastic amount of talent on display and the squad enjoyed their opportunity to compete against some of Essex's finest athletes! West Leigh finished in 8th place out of the final 14 schools. We are so proud of the children and the determination and perseverance showed by all throughout the competition!

British Science Week Competition

Next week marks British Science Week which will focus on the concept of ‘time’. As part of this week, West Leigh pupils have been invited to take part in the annual science poster competition (please see details attached or see Showbie). Thank you to those pupils who have already handed in fantastically detailed and imaginative posters. For those who have not, but who would like to participate, please ensure that these are handed in by Wednesday 20th March.

Please note: In Year 6, this poster competition has been set as a homework task this week.

West Leigh Library

After much anticipation, the West Leigh Library re-opened to the children this week. The biggest change is the addition of the area now known as 'Discovery Den'. Here, the children can enjoy a wonderful selection of non-fiction books such as the Encyclopedia of Ugly Animals, Can You Get Rainbows in Space? or How was that Built? It really is like walking into your favourite bookshop! Of course, there are also many new fiction books on offer to readers of all tastes and abilities. New children's magazines are also delivered regularly. Coming soon, will be two audio book players and we mustn't forget to mention the lovely new rug!

The librarians are ready to welcome children back and to guide them through the West Leigh Library Reading Challenge from next week.

Inspirational Person

This half term, we have learned about the work of Nicholas Lowinger. At the age of five, he was inspired to help homeless people when he visited a shelter and realised that children had to wear used shoes, which often did not fit well. When he was seventeen, he set up 'Gotta Have Sole' - a charity delivering new shoes to homeless children. We were greatly inspired by his drive to change at such a young age, and his quote: "No one is ever too young or old to help others. Kids don’t always realise that they have the power to make a difference."

Last half term's Showbie challenge was a great success and many children were awarded prizes. This half term, the challenge is to design a pair of shoes to help Nicholas spread the word about his charity. There is a template in the 'Inspirational People' Showbie folder.

Design Competition

We are inviting budding designers in Years 3-5 to design the front cover for next year's Communication Books. Designs need to include a space for each child's name, class and team and should include the name of our school.

Preferred designs will be those completed by hand, rather than digitally.

All completed designs should be given to Mrs Carr by Monday 11th March (with the entrant's name and class written in pencil, on the reverse).

The winning design will be selected by the School Council before sending off to print.

Comic Relief 2024

On Friday 15th March, we will take part in a charity fundraiser for Comic Relief. On this day, the children are invited to come to school dressed in something wacky or funny as this year we are encouraged to 'do something funny for money.' All the details can be found on the letter which has been emailed this afternoon.

Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Homemade Bacon, Tomato & Vegetable Wholemeal Pasta - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese or Tuna Mayonnaise - Granary Baguette with Cheese - Sweetcorn, Coleslaw & Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Cocktail

Tuesday - Traditional Roast Chicken with Yorkshire Pudding - Quorn in Vegetable Gravy with Yorkshire Pudding - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese or Tuna Mayonnaise - Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans & Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt to Fruity Flapjack

Wednesday - All Day Breakfast (Sausage, Baked Beans and Hash Browns) - Vegetarian All Day Breakfast (Vegetarian Sausage, Baked Beans and Hash Brown) - Granary Baguette with Tuna Mayonnaise - Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Banana Cake

Thursday - Homemade Beef Lasagne- Homemade Vegetable Lasagne - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese or Tuna Mayonnaise - Garlic Bread, Mixed Vegetables and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Carrot Cake

Friday - 100% Fish Fingers - Vegetable Fingers - Wholemeal Wrap with Salmon & Sweetcorn - Potato Wedges, Garden Peas & Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Mandarin Jelly.

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
  • 4B - Mr Boylan
  • 3N - Mrs Nash & Mrs Mitchinson


  • 3L - Miss Playfair
  • 4G - Mrs Garrett & Mrs Nash
  • 4S - Miss Street


  • 3T - Mrs Thompson
  • 5K - Miss Chapman
  • 5R - Mrs Lewis


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


  • 6W - Mr Dunn
  • 4E - Mrs Rodger
  • 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 - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • 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


Congratulations to 4E who achieved the best attendance this week, with an impressive 100% - a great start to the half term!

Team Points

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.

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