Friars Weekly Newsletter 26th January 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Show Racism the Red Card Visit
  • Panathlon Swimming Report
  • Year 3/4 Boys' Football Report
  • Year 5 - Thriftwood Residential payment reminder

Lots of great learning at Friars this week... Today we had a visit from Show Racism the Red Card, with an assembly for Year 3 and workshops for each of the classes in Years 4, 5 and 6. The sessions really got us thinking and there were lots of strong messages to take onboard. We particularly liked a phrase one of the educators used ; 'Treat others how they would like to be treated.' Often we say 'Treat others how you would like to be treated' but of course it is so important to think and look at things from other people's perspectives.

On Tuesday, some of our children travelled to Stratford in London for a swimming event. I was fortunate enough to go along as I was on minibus driving duties! It was an excellent day and you can read more about it after the PE and Sports section of the newsletter.

Next week we will be welcoming Mrs. Turner to our staff. You might remember that Mrs. Turner is our new Assistant Principal and SENDCo. I know that we will all make Mrs. Turner feel very welcome on Monday.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and see you all on Monday.

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

World Book Day - Thursday 7th March 2024

A reminder that we will be inviting children and staff to dress up for the day as a book character on Thursday 7th March (Friday 8th March for Year 4 as they are off to the Imperial War Museum on the Thursday).

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


This week is the ‘Big Garden Bird Watch’, and the children in Nursery have been busy spotting birds in our own nursery garden. We started the week with a wet but wonderful visit to the environmental garden where we made bird feeders with pinecones, lard and bird seed. We have been creative with paper plates and feathers making our own birds to hang up around the nursery. Please look out for these, next time you are in nursery. The children have enjoyed learning songs about birds, in particular ‘2 Little Dicky Birds’. Again, we thank you for the great turn out of our 'Stay and Play' earlier in the week, it is always lovely to see mums, dads and even grandparents joining in with nursery fun.

REMINDER: Please remember that the outdoor play equipment in Reception’s garden is not to be used after nursery pick up.


This week we have really enjoyed our creative area. We have focused on the expectations of sharing and looking after the glues and pens. A lot of our creative efforts have focused on penguins thanks to our Power of Reading book “Blue Penguin”. We made paper penguins and cold landscape pictures.

In maths we learnt about partitioning numbers beyond 5 and talking about 1 more and 1 less.

In phonics we have learnt th, ng, nk digraphs and have started forming short sentences as if we were penguins such as “I can swim.”

REMINDER: Please remember that our garden is our outside classroom. Children should not be on the equipment nor should they be in the garden at all after school.

Also please make sure that children have spare clothes in school in case of any accidents. We have very limited spares left now as we do not always receive them back when borrowed.

Year 1

This week the children have ordered events from our story, Claude in The City, and written about them. We have compared the countryside to cities and spoken about our capital city, London. In maths the children have been comparing numbers saying which is greater and which is smaller as well as sorting odd and even numbers.

REMINDER: A few children have been bringing money into school. Please ensure that they keep their money at home so that it does not get lost, thanks.

Year 2

Year 2 have been using their imagination to create amazing worlds for their creative writing. They imagined they were the character Rose from ‘The Tunnel’ story and described travelling through the tunnel. They then used descriptive language to write about what she could have found when she emerged at the other end. In maths we have begun to learn about money by recognising coins and notes and calculating amounts. In RE we learnt about the Hindu temple called a ‘Mandir’ and the features inside it. In science the children used our knowledge of the main food groups to create our own balanced meal.

Reminders: Children should be wearing black footwear for school. For PE the children should wear plain joggers and PE tops/sweatshirts.

Year 3

This week Year 3 have had another busy week! We’ve been working hard in maths dividing two-digit numbers. We’ve also started a new unit of work in English, which will lead to use writing a non-chronological report on volcanoes next week. We carried out research and began planning our reports, thinking carefully about our introductions.

Meanwhile, 3B have been concentrating on Geography, making chatterboxes to label volcanoes. Both classes have loved using the glockenspiels this week to play Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’

REMINDER: Don’t forget that 3B have Outdoor Learning on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week.

Year 4

We are continuing our learning about WWII in Year 4. This week, the children completed a comprehension activity about Winston Churchill, learning some facts about this former prime minister. They began to learn the features of non-chronological text as next week, they will be writing one about children and how they were affected during the war. If any children want to get ahead of the game and do some research at home, please do encourage them to do this, especially on the topics of evacuation and gas masks. In geography, the children looked in even more detail about the axis, allied and neutral countries involved in the war and where abouts they were on a world map.

In P.E. the children continued to hone their skills in the game of badminton, playing a variety of games whilst learning how to accurately hold the racquet and how hard they need to hit shuttlecock.

REMINDER: Please ensure that you have seen the letter regarding the Year 4 trip on Thursday 7th March to the Imperial War Museum in London. It is essential that you have read this and replied if your child is to attend. Please pay special attention to the details of how to order a school packed lunch should you require one.

Year 5

Year 5 conducted their own version of COP26 (a global warming conference) and debated the causes and effects of climate change. Ultimately, the students determined that climate change is a real problem that requires urgent action across the world.

They have then applied this learning and their knowledge gained from last week, to write an explanation text on climate change in English lessons. Tasked with using technical vocabulary, the children have written in a formal tone and developed full sentences from their comprehensive notes.

In PE, both classes continued with netball and worked on perfecting the 3 passes. RE saw the students learning about Buddhist symbols.

We ended the week with a fantastic Show Racism the Red Card workshop.

Reminder: Today is the payment date for the first instalment for the Thriftwood Residential. If your child is signed up and you haven't yet made this £50 payment please do today.

Year 6

This week our writing has been based on Nelson Mandela who spoke out against the South African Government’s Apartheid regime. He believed their policy of separating people by race was wrong and unjust. He was arrested for the role he played in helping organise protests and raising awareness of the problem many people were affected by. We wrote diary entries as if we were him from the time he imprisoned on Robben Island. The children were empathetic and showed a good understanding of the emotional issues he would have had to deal with.

In maths we have continued work on fractions, embedding our knowledge and practicing further with multiplying and dividing fractions. We have applied this to problem solving and when calculating fractions of amounts.

We ended the week with a fantastic Show Racism the Red Card workshop.

Reminder: The next instalment for the Isle of Wight Residential is due on Friday 23rd February. Information regarding Southend Week for those not attending will come out next half-term.

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


In Year 1, the children are continuing to learn to move a robot by comparing left and right turns and experimenting with the turn and move commands on their mouse robot.

In Year 2, the children designed their own map mat for a robot mouse to travel around. Everyone will enjoy doing more of this learning next week.

In Year 3, the children learnt that they can create a sequence of connected commands in Scratch and how their Sprite will respond.

In Year 4, the children are furthering their learning using Logo by using loops to create shapes. They also had a go at trying out Turtle Academy (which you can also try at home!)

In Year 5, the children continued their work using Crumble and added a switch to their programs, setting a condition to switch the sparkle on and off.

In Year 6, the children have been using Scratch to create a variable in a game (score), ready for their up and coming project.

REMINDER: Can Year 5 please start to bring in some cardboard (not too thick) for their Computing/D&T project of designing/creating a carousel using a Crumble. They will also need a centre column, such as a Pringle tube. Cardboard can be placed in the Computing Room. Thank you.

Online Safety

Anime is one of the most popular forms of media in the modern world. Fans span across multiple generations – with a particular emphasis on young people in the west, to whom the unique art style and over-the-top presentation greatly appeal. It takes many different forms – from movies to video games – but is most commonly presented in TV shows.

The cartoonish art style of anime can lead people to assume that all media of this type is child-friendly. While a good amount of anime fits this description, there’s just as much – if not more – that centres around deeply adult themes and topics, with scenes of extreme gore, disturbing horror, and sexual content. This week’s guide delves deep into this cultural phenomenon, identifying all risks parents and carers should be aware of.

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

PE and Sport

Unfortunately, the football game last week was postponed as our field was frozen and not playable – we hope to rearrange the fixture soon but we are still waiting to hear from the other school.

Across the school, classes continue to work on badminton skills in their PE 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 have had three wonderful afternoons enjoying outdoor learning this week. Thankfully the weather hasn’t been quite so cold as previous weeks!

REMINDERS: Next week will see 3B venturing outside with Mr. Brady on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Please come dressed for whatever the weather! A reminder that the children must wear their uniform on their top halves.

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms Taylor-Brown

This week Mrs. Halls came to see what our singing assemblies are all about. Fair to say she was pretty impressed with the children’s engagement, recall of learning and of course their phenomenal singing!

Earlier in the year Mrs. Hodgson told us we had been heard singing “Roar” from the bus stop. Well this week I think Asda heard us. Absolutely brilliant and really got me feeling motivated and inspired for the day ahead!

We continued learning about Aretha Franklin, watching her performance at Barack Obama’s inauguration back in 2009. You can watch it here.

You can learn more about Aretha Franklin here:

We then learned some more facts about many of the awards she had received throughout her career and how she used her voice to speak up and change the world. This led us to singing Katy Perry’s ROAR!

We then got ourselves back in the green zone ready to play and learn and left to “I Say a Little Prayer”.

I really cannot express just how much I love our singing assemblies in KS2 and what a highlight of my week they are!

I am going to be collecting song requests for our OPAL 2024 Friars playlists - so watch out for request slips coming to classes next week!

Panathlon Swimming

On Tuesday the 23rd January, eight children from across KS2 had the amazing opportunity to take part in a Panathlon discovery swimming event at the Olympic pool in Stratford. The children were all very excited to have the experience of swimming in London at such a large venue.

Over the course of the day, the children had the opportunity to take part in a number of fun swimming events, where teamwork and fun were the main goals. The children all had a wonderful time and represented the school extremely well, with their behaviour and their teamwork skills.

At the end of the event, all of the children received a medal and were allowed to keep their gold swimming hats (we will give these back out to the children if they didn’t take theirs home). As the event was part of the work of the Jack Petchey Foundation, we were presented with a special tile (from the Olympics of 2012) signed by the CBBC presenter Radzi, which we will be putting on display alongside our certificates in the main foyer.

Well done Team Friars!

Year 3/4 Boys’ Football Tournament at Len Forge

On Friday 19th January, ten boys headed off to the Len Forge Centre for a full day of football fun. Although the weather that week had been freezing, there were no worries of the match being called off thanks to the 3G artificial playing surface. The boys were very excited as we set off from school.

Once at Len Forge, Mr. McClay swapped over with Miss Edwards and left Miss Edwards and Mr. Brady together for the morning matches. Thank you Miss Edwards for giving up your morning off work to help support. The team performed really well under their guidance drawing most of the matches but also winning too. A single defeat meant the team were faring brilliantly! The spirt the boys played with was excellent and they all showed strong teamwork. Mr. McClay returned to see the conclusion of the final match of the morning as Miss Edwards needed to head to Friars, and then it was lunchtime. We sat together, enjoyed our packed lunches and assessed the morning’s results.

The afternoon began with a draw and then there was a 5-0 defeat which was really the only shadow on the day. However, after a chat between matches things turned around again and the team started to play with real authority – holding their positions perfectly. Although Riley wore the goalkeeping jersey for the most matches, other children took turns in goal too and did themselves proud. Our top goalscorer was Chris but Harley was close to securing a hat-trick in one of the afternoon matches! Whether the children played in goal, defence, midfield or up front they all acquitted themselves well.

We ended up finishing joint 8th out of 13 teams – and with a little more luck at times – would have placed even higher.

A huge well done to the team. You certainly displayed our Friars’ School Values and should be really pleased with your collective performance! Congratulations,

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Diary Dates


  • Thursday 1st - 2S Swimming
  • Friday 2nd - KS1 Boys' Football
  • Thursday 8th - 2S Swimming
  • Thursday 15th - 2S Swimming
  • Friday 16th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - February Half Term
  • Thursday 29th - Last Swimming for 2S


  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day for Nursery, Reception, Y1, Y2, Y3, Y5 and Y6 - dressing-up
  • Swimming starts for 2G
  • Friday 8th March - World Book Day for Y4 - dressing-up
  • Monday 11th - Friday 15th - Yr 6 Practice SATs Week
  • Wednesday 20th - Learning Conversations
  • Thursday 21st - 2G Swimming
  • Learning Conversations
  • Friday 22nd - KS1 Girls' Football
  • Thursday 28th - 2G Swimming
  • Rhythm Connection Drumming
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY


  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER BREAK
  • Wednesday 17th - Tri Golf
  • Thursday 18th - 2G Swimming
  • Monday 22nd - Thursday 25th - Yr 6 Mock SATs Week
  • Tuesday 23rd - Y6 Isle of Wight meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall
  • Wednesday 24th - Reception Height, Weight, Vision & Hearing check
  • KS1 TAG Rugby
  • Thursday 25th - Yr 1 Education Visit to Wat Tyler Country Park


  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • KS1 Quad Kids Athletics
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Yr 6 Isle of Wight Residential
  • Friday 24th - Yr 5/6 Emerging Rounders
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Thursday 6th - Reception Education Visit to Hyde Hall
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th - Phonic Screening Week
  • Monday 10th - Junior Music Festival
  • Tuesday 11th - KS2 Borough Sports
  • Wednesday 12th - Friday 14th - Yr 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Monday 17th - Yr 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Friday 21st - World Music Day
  • KS1 3 Tees Cricket
  • Friday 28th - KS1 Borough Sports


  • Thursday 4th - KS1 & KS2 Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Yr 6-7 Transition Day
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


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

Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Baked Jackets with Grated Cheese - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Pea & Broccoli - Maryland Cookie

Tuesday - Ham & Cheese Pizza with Bakes Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Wedges - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Crumble with Custard

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with roast Potatoes & Gravy - Squash & Lentil Lasagna- Baked Jackets with Baked Beans - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguettes - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Cauliflower - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Mild Chicken & Vegetable Curry with Steamed Rice - Vegan bEAN Chilli with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Broccoli & Carrots - Chocolate & Pear Sponge

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & ketchup - Vegan Goujons with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jackets with grated Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Egg Mayo Baguette - Peas & Baked Beans - Banana Flapjack

Freshly Baked Bread - Carrot & Beetroot or Wholemeal Bread.

OPAL Update

A busy, busy OPAL week. Our play rangers were thrilled to get their new light blue jackets. I met with the playteam (our adults) to share how things are going and where we need to go next. Next week I will be meeting with the working group to review our action plan and progress so far.

I absolutely love seeing how engaged the children are in their play and how keen they are to help make OPAL the best it can be! I have a little band of 4 amazing Yr4 girls all set to venture into the shed with me next week- who knows what treasures we will find!

Still desperately hunting replacement scooters! If you have any no longer required please don’t forget us!


This week saw our PTA AGM - and what a busy meeting it was! So much to celebrate, reflect on and think about for what’s to come! Thank you to Amy, who has been our chair for all her hard work and welcome to Hazel who was voted into the role for the year ahead, supported by our new treasurer Lianne, secretary Hayley, and social media team Dawn, Hazel and Liz. I was thrilled to be asked to be a Trustee! It was great to welcome new members too - please remember however you can help - it would be really appreciated. Please drop us a line to find out more and get involved.

Following the Christmas Jumper Sale - we are hoping to hold a World Book Day Costume Sale in February - so if you have any outgrown costumes and props in good condition that could help another family - please pop these into our donation bin in the foyer.

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

19th January 2024

15th December 2023

8th December 2023

1st December 2023


We will keep the KS2 winners under wraps until next week – as we would not want to spoil the surprise ahead of the assembly that has been rolled over to Monday…

However, we can share that our KS1 winners were 1B with 96.6%. Amazingly, 2G were 0.1% behind 1B with 96.5%... that is as close as it can get! Unlucky 2G but very well done 1B.

This week saw another team cross the 500-point barrier… congratulations to Windsor! Windsor were not our winners this week though. The spoils went to Stirling in KS1 and Stormont in KS2. That does mean that Caernarfon’s lead was reduced. Well done everyone!


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 -