Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 7th JUNE 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • An appeal to name children's clothing and to check items at home.
  • Special visitor report: Jeff Rich from Status Quo!
  • A new local Junior Parkrun coming soon...

Although only a four day week, we have had a lovely start to our final half-term of the school year. We have also really appreciated the good weather! This week was... Science Week and it has been lovely to see so much science taking place and to have classes from different year groups working together.

The week started with our class photographs and these looked really lovely – I am sure you will be pleased when you see them. The children all looked extra-specially smart! On Wednesday we had Jeff Rich from Status Quo visit us… and wow… it was amazing! Please see further on in the newsletter to find out more about his drumming workshop. On Thursday, Reception had their first educational visit, travelling to Hyde Hall. I accompanied the children and it was a super day and the children were fantastic.

Next week is incredibly busy with the Junior Music Festival on Monday, Key Stage 2 Borough Sports on Tuesday and the Year 5 Thriftwood Residential and activities for those children staying behind. We also have the Phonics Screening Check and the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check. Wow!

Today we say goodbye to Mrs Lambert who has worked at the school for many years. We thank her for her dedication and wish her all the best for her new chapter.’

Have a very lovely weekend!

Mr. McClay, Principal

Missing clothing and the importance of naming items

I know that we make regular appeals regarding the naming of clothing but please can I ask that all items of clothing that children wear to school are very clearly named – particularly those items that the children are more likely to remove, i.e: jumpers, fleeces, cardigans and coats. As we are finally seeing some nice weather, children are increasingly removing items especially at break and lunch times.

Also, this weekend may I kindly ask that everyone checks school clothes/coats for names of other children. We have had a child in Year 2 lose named jumpers recently and there might well be other children in the school who are missing items too. It would be great if we could reunite any missing items with their owners.

Thank you very much for your support with this matter.

Mr. McClay

Junior Parkrun and Parkrun

As you might know, one of my hobbies is running. Often on a weekend you might find me at a Parkrun on a Saturday or a Junior Parkrun on a Sunday with my own children.

Whilst Saturday Parkruns are 5km in distance, Junior Parkrun is only 2km and is very achievable. Until now, our closest Junior Parkrun was over at Hawkwell but on Sunday 16th June a new Junior Parkrun is starting up in Great Wakering at the Recreation Ground. Every week at 9:00am children between the ages of 4 and 14 can turn up and run for free. All you need to do is register and print off a barcode to receive an official time. I would thoroughly recommend it! Please click on the link below for more information. I might see you there! Of course, regularly running helps to improve fitness and will certainly support the development of our budding cross-country runners. In the autumn, we will once again take part in the Southend cross-country competitions so anyone interested would do well to try out Junior Parkrun.

This Sunday, I am running the Southend Half Marathon. If you’re spectating and you see me, please give me a wave and a cheer 😊

Mr. McClay

Diary Dates


  • 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
  • Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 12th - Friday 14th - Year 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Thursday 13th - First swimming lesson for 1MV
  • Monday 17th - Year 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Nursery Stay & Play: Sports Day
  • Tuesday 18th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 19th - PTA Inflatable event
  • Thursday 20th - Clean Air Day
  • Friday 21st - World Music Day
  • KS1 3 Tees Cricket
  • Tuesday 25th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 26th - KS1 Sports Day and Picnic
  • KS2 Picnic and Sports Day
  • Thursday 27th - Year 2 Call of the Wild Visit
  • Friday 28th - KS1 Borough Sports


  • Monday 1st - Veolia Visiting Year 1
  • Wednesday 3rd - Friday 5th - Art and D&T Festival at Friars
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parents Open Evening
  • Thursday 4th - Nursery Stay & Play
  • Friday 5th - Year 6-7 Transition Day
  • Monday 8th - Friday 12th - Career Week
  • Monday 8th - Little Street Visit EYFS & KS1
  • Tuesday 9th - School Nurse presentation to parents
  • Little Street Visit EYFS & KS1
  • Wednesday 10th - Year 3 & 4 YMCA Songwriting workshop
  • Thursday 11th - Final swimming lesson for 1MV
  • Friday 12th - PTA Summer Fayre
  • Monday 15th - Nursery Stay & Play
  • Tuesday 16th - Year 6 Pizza & Film afternoon
  • Wednesday 17th - Year 6 Water Fight
  • Thursday 18th - Y6 Leavers Assembly 9:15am-10:00 (KS2 Hall)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


  • Monday 22nd July 2024
"I love seeing my friends at Friars" Year 1 child


Wow what a great start to the new half-term. The sun is shining and the children all returned happily, let’s hope this continues. Thank you to those that joined us for our first stay and play.

It has been Science Week this week in nursery with the theme of time. Some children made shadow pictures that were pinned to the window, later in the week they looked at the effects of the sun on the paper over time. Others compared how many actions they could do in 1 minute. This included; how many balls into a hoop, how many pegs from one cup to another, how many times around the track on a got quite competitive but interesting to see how we all do things at different speeds. We also compared which we thought would melt quicker, an ice cube or a chocolate button. Of course, the children thought it was great holding a chocolate button in their hand and feeling it melting – yes they were allowed to eat it afterwards.

REMINDER: Nursery sports day – Monday 17th June 10.30-11.30am (this will replace both stay and plays for that day)

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)


Wow, what a busy week! This week the children have been focusing on the concept of time. We have investigated what happens to an apple core over time; we used our senses to explore green and red apples, describing their taste and appearance and measuring the circumference. We then placed the cores in zip-loc bags to observe what happens. We also investigated how many pompoms can you put in a pot in one minute. We focused on making predictions and observations. On Thursday we had our first ever school trip! We were very excited about travelling on the coach. The children enjoyed exploring the environment, collecting natural objects, identifying plants and using their creative skills. A great day was had by all!

REMINDER: PE lessons on Tuesday. Please ensure that you send your child wearing the correct PE kit and earrings are removed. Many Thanks.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 1

As part of our Science Week, the children have investigated where to put ice so that it melts in the shortest possible time and worked hard with children in Year 4 - testing reaction times. 1B have had their final swimming session. The children in 1MV start their sessions next Thursday. Please ensure that all earrings are taken out and that girls have a one piece costume. In their English lessons, the children have written speech bubbles for characters, created their own story plan and used adverbs in their writing. The maths sessions have focused on counting in tens and recognising amounts.

Next week it is the national Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. The children are well prepared for this and we are sure that they will do their best. This is nothing to worry about.

Due to outdoor learning, Science Week and a 4 day week we will change all the children’s reading books next week.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 2

Year 2 have been involved in various science activities this week and have enjoyed exploring the theme of ‘Time’. Our class investigation tied in with our PE lesson and we predicted how many times we could carry out an activity e.g. star jumps, ball relay and hoop jumping. Some of our predictions were very close to our results. We tried lots of different ways to empty a 2L water bottle for the Whole School Challenge. Harrison had a good technique and emptied the bottle in just over 8 seconds! We have also watched Smashing Stereotype video stories. We learnt about scientists who work in a range of industries. We also discovered that not all scientists wear white coats or have white hair that sticks up!

REMINDER: Science Competition The children can create a piece of artwork entitled ‘Change Over Time’. It can be in any form e.g. a painting, collage or 3D model.

Named entries should be sent in by Wednesday 12th June.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 3

What a lovely start to the last half term!

This week we have been extremely busy with our Science Week learning and the topic of ‘Time.’ We have completed lots of different investigations, such as recording how many star jumps we can do in a minute, what our reaction time is compared to an older child and how can we quickly empty a 2 litre bottle of water.

In English, we have created a story map of our very own dragon story, ready to write up next week. In maths we have started our new topic of shape and have been looking at directional language and right angles.

Wednesday morning was the best, with an exciting visit from Jeff Rich from Status Quo giving us a drumming workshop. We absolutely loved it, especially the part where we had a go at some of the instruments!

REMINDER: The Year 3 trip is on Monday 17th June, if you are yet to pay, please can you do so as soon as possible.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 4

This week has been busy with multiplication tables and Science Week. Our maths lessons have focused on embedding the knowledge of the times tables and ensuring that we can answer questions as speed. The children will only have 6 seconds to answer each question. Please encourage your children to practise their tables whenever they might have a few spare minutes as the national Year 4 check is next week.

The afternoons this week have been devoted to Science Week, looking at the concept of time. There have been competitions, classes working with each other and lots of opportunities for the children to understand the effects that different amounts of time can have a on specific situation but also how different elements can affect what is completed in a certain amount of time. In Year 4, we made jelly and then put different fruits into the setting jelly to investigate if fruits have an impact on the amount of time it takes a jelly to set.

We were also treated to a drumming performance and workshop on Wednesday.

What a way to begin the first week back of the final half-term before the summer.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 5

This week, Year 5 have been looking at another of William Shakespeare’s plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The children have thoroughly enjoyed watching the animation have made concise notes ready for future use. Each afternoon, we have been enjoying Science Week. On Tuesday, the children designed and produced a pendulum which they then used to carry out a fair test to investigate whether the pendulum weight alters the number of swings per minute. They collected their results and drew a conclusion that it wasn’t about the weight but where it was positioned on the string that made a difference. On Thursday, we met with our Year 2 buddy classes where we tested our reaction speeds. On Friday, we investigated the best method for emptying a 2 litre bottle of liquid in the fastest time. In maths, we have moved onto a new topic looking at decimals. We will continue this next week in the lead up to our maths NFER tests.

Those attending Thriftwood are very much looking forward to their visit on 12th June next week. For those staying at school, we have lots of fun activities planned.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

Year 6

Year 6 have begun their focused writing assessments which will continue up until the end of this month. Our aim is to produce a variety of pieces that incorporate many grammatical features in a variety of genres.

In maths we have started a project based around profit and loss incorporating their understanding of ratio and proportion.

We were involved in a Key Stage 2 musical drumming workshop which was very loud but extremely good. All children participated as part of a percussion orchestra.

The afternoons have been based around the theme of time as it is Science Week. The children have made water clocks, tested their reaction in relation to exercise and looked at the work of Galileo.

Reminder: If you haven't already, please complete the online form for the hoodies. We need to know the size you would like for your child by 9:00am on Monday or we will order a size 12-13.

Letters sent home this week (via ParentPay)

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


Year 2 this week have returned to Scratch Junior for a recap on programming, exploring sequencing.

Year 5 have returned to programming, looking at how conditions are used in selection (with if.... then statements)

Year 6 had their final week on Excel, doing a project on event planning. They have set budgets and calculated costs for an imaginary end of Year 6 event.

Online Safety

On the internet or on social media, it’s likely that you’ve come across the occasional pop-up – promising a great deal on some product or service, declaring that you’ve won some kind of prize, or making any other number of tempting claims. This marketing tactic has been around for almost 30 years and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon.

Unfortunately, pop-up advertising carries with it various online safety risks, as we can never be certain where those links will take us or how legitimate their creators are. These ads can be especially risky for children and young people, who may not yet be able to look at such marketing with a critical eye. However, our free online safety guide will educate you on pop-ups, their associated risks, and how to safeguard yourself and young people from this phenomenon.

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

PE & Sports

PE across the school is now fully into the summer term. In KS2, all classes will be doing outdoor adventurous activities, which will include team games and problem-solving tasks. There will be a range of football, rounders, tennis and cricket also being taught. In KS1, children will be developing skills of hitting, catching, throwing, jumping and running through different sporting experiences.

Next week some children in KS2 will be taking part in Borough Sports.

Please remember to help children to have the correct kit on the correct days for PE.

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

Outdoor Learning

Year 1 had a great time in their final outdoor learning sessions this week. The children were encouraged to look closely at natural objects that they had found, discussing their shapes and textures. These were then used to create pieces of natural art work.

No outdoor learning next week as Mr. Brady will be at Thiftwood! The Year 5 children not going to Thriftwood will be very busy and getting out to the beach for the day on Thursday.

Drumming Workshop by Jeff Rich from Status Quo

On Wednesday 5th June, we had a very special visitor to Friars… Jeff Rich from Status Quo! Jeff was a drummer in Status Quo for many years and now visits schools to share his experiences and perform workshops. Jeff had previously visited Friars but that was some years ago.

Jeff runs workshops for Key Stage 2 children, and after telling everyone his background he got straight onto showing his talent and skills. It was a very interactive session and many children had an opportunity to be involved. The feedback from children and staff was excellent and no doubt we will be seeing Jeff again which will be great for our children further down the school.

“I really liked all the different instruments and it was such a fun experience and all the rhythms were amazing.”Sophia, Year 3 Music Ambassador

“On Wednesday there was an assembly about the different drums and people playing the drums. At the end, year 5 and 6 went up to play the different instruments. After, year 3 and 4 could play the instruments. What I really enjoyed about it is when the sound got loud then quiet.” - Skyla, Year 4 Music Ambassador

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

No singing assemblies as we were far too busy enjoying our drumming session!

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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

It has been a busy week in Opal! The art area has been very popular with lots of children making beautiful pictures. We have had lots of fun playing basketball and football. It has been great watching everyone making mud pies in our mud kitchen. Some of us are really enjoying playing in our two amazing sandpits, one is even shaped like a pirate ship!

Lots of children have been using the building equipment with some very impressive Lego creations!


Don’t forget it is our Father's Day sale on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday children will be able to visit the sale during the school day. On Tuesday the sale will be on after school at the KS1 and Ks2 gates!

All gifts £1.50 and as usual a really great selection for the special people in your life so don’t miss out. Please to make things much easier for everyone - send all money in an envelope with your child’s name, class and amount of money inside written on the front! The children should bring this money into school with them.

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

7th June 2024

17th May 2024

10th May 2024

3rd May 2024


The new half-term saw wins for 1MV in Key Stage 1 and 3B in Key Stage 2. The best attendance in the school this week was in Owls class in Reception.

Well done to our Owls! 99.1%!

Sterling took the honours in Key Stage 1 this week with Caernarfon our winners in Key Stage 2. Overall, Sterling closed the gap to Windsor ever so slightly.

Only 6 weeks left… and all to play for…


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 -