West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 2nd february 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are looking forward to welcoming lots of you to our Safer Internet parent quizzes next week and as we are all aware of the importance of knowledge in light of the ever-changing online world, we hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us.

It has been another full week of learning and extra-curricular activities, including yoga lessons in Year 3 and artist studies in Year 4 and it has been wonderful to witness such focus and engagement throughout the school.

Best wishes,

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

It has been lovely to see the children so engaged in their learning this week. They have based their English work on ‘The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse’ written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. The mouse and the duck meet in the unlikeliest of places (the Wolf’s stomach) and so their story unfolds! The children enjoyed further developing the characters by writing and performing some of the dialogue which could have taken place. They also considered the balance of power between the characters and how this alters during the story.

In maths, we have been consolidating and building upon our formal addition and subtraction skills and in science we have been learning to represent the findings of our friction investigation visually. The children developed their accuracy and attention to detail by creating colourful bar graphs to display the data.

In our Connected Curriculum lessons, the children were asked to consider if modern day life would have been different if the ancient Greek civilisation had never existed. It took only a short amount of time for the classes to point out that we would be without the Olympics, democracy, aspects of our English language, theatre and much more! The children then developed their independent research skills before creating a poster or leaflet to provide information about their chosen aspect of the legacy of ancient Greece.

It has also been a physically active week, with the introduction of yoga on Friday morning. The children enjoyed the session which was followed by a visit to Belfairs fields on Friday afternoon to finish the week.

This week, you may have noticed your child coming home with words to learn. We appreciate you supporting them to practise these at home in readiness for our presentation after half term.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 4

The Year 4 corridor has been a rather surreal place this week and this has in the main, been due to it being our Awesome Art Week! The majority of the children’s learning has been linked to a piece of artwork by the Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dali called ‘The Persistence of Memory’ painted in 1931. This dreamlike image, incorporating a sandy beach, a reflective sea, a rocky peninsula (where clocks are melting from strange structures) and a disembodied face-like form, has intrigued and stretched the children’s imagination and interpretation skills.

We began the week considering the interpretations of others to this work and used our senses to describe and give meaning to the motifs within the painting. As historians, the children also considered how events from the 1930s influenced the artist. Building on their learning from the previous week, the children then created a wide range of figurative language structures to further describe the painting and the feelings it evoked to write a piece of descriptive prose. Finally they were excited to write figurative poetry about the image after reading poetry inspired by the paintings of Van Gogh and Hokusai.

We also linked our scientific studies to the painting where the children carried out an investigation into melting. They considered how a solid becomes a liquid and what causes the change of state. They also investigated if ice melts quicker in fresh or salt water.

Maths lessons have also taken inspiration from the artwork where the children honed their time-telling skills. They reviewed telling the time on both analogue and digital clocks, consolidating their knowledge through practise and questioning. Problems involving duration were also covered in some sets; these skills will continue to be practised over the coming week – further support at home would be very welcome.

Finally, to make the week truly awesome, the children were excited to create their own piece of artwork based upon their study of this painting. They were introduced to a range of paintings by Dali as well as other surrealist artists such as Joan Miró and Rene Magritte to widen their knowledge and to spark further creativity. The children were shown how to use the grid method to proportionally recreate aspects of the Dali painting together with some training on perspective. Inspired by the images and motifs in the original, the children thoroughly enjoyed creating their own surrealist forms, warping objects, animals and people onto their backgrounds. The children have enjoyed the week of exploring the strange and marvellous world of the surrealist movement.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 5

Our Mayan head-dresses are progressing well in Year 5. We have used Modroc to form the face and will add detail once our models have dried. For many of us, this is a new medium and we have enjoyed using it to good effect (although we doubt the cleaners will be quite as impressed!).

Continuing with the story of ‘Armstrong - the Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon,’ we learnt how Amstrong’s attempt at space travel resulted in a fire breaking out in his apartment. We have been generating eye-witness reports which we will use to write a news article using direct and indirect speech.

In maths, we have been consolidating our skills in division using formal written methods. Most of us are now more confident and are working with greater levels of independence.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 6

In English, the children have been immersed in the exploration and reflection of characters, delving into how luck and misfortune shape their narratives. Additionally, students have honed their persuasive writing skills, crafting compelling nominations for a ‘Simply the Best’ Award within our school community. This exercise not only refined their persuasive abilities but also fostered a sense of appreciation and recognition within our school environment, despite it being a fictitious award!

In maths, they have developed their knowledge and understanding of the links between fractions, decimals, and percentages. Engaging in a variety of problem-solving tasks, along with interactive online activities and games, the year group has enhanced their ability to apply these concepts.

Within our Connected Curriculum, their artwork continues to develop as the pupils build upon their rainforest collage skills. Simultaneously, in geography, pupils have forged links with maths, creating climate graphs to deepen their understanding of climate patterns in different regions.

Scientific exploration has led Year 6 into the microscopic world of micro-organisms. Students have delved into the fascinating realm of these tiny life forms, understanding their significance. Furthermore, investigations into the conditions required for the growth of mould added a hands-on dimension to their scientific inquiry.

Letters sent home this week:

Online Safety

For many companies who operate in the online space, attention and engagement are the holy grail. Social media sites in particular make deliberate creative choices to keep people scrolling, reading, watching and clicking. This phenomenon is known as ‘persuasive design’ and it’s being employed in the vast majority of the digital world’s most popular destinations.

A study by the charity 5Rights Foundation concluded that “…the brain's response to rewards and punishments can be leveraged through persuasive design to keep children online.” To tie in with Safer Internet Day 2024, this guide can help to educate youngsters on the effects of persuasive design and suggests ways to insulate themselves from its influence.

Join us for Safer Internet Day

The children will all be working on a range of activities around Safer Internet Day next Tuesday. During the morning, they will learn about various online influences and how to respond to these in order to stay safe online. The children will also be exploring how technology might adapt and develop in the future too, particularly with the development of AI.

On Tuesday, we will welcome the parents of Year 6 pupils to come in at the end of the day and see some of the things they have learnt before helping them complete a short quiz! We will do the same again on Wednesday for the parents of Year 5 pupils, Thursday for Year 4 and Friday for Year 3.

Thank you once again to all those who have signed up to the National Online Safety through the National College. Please use the following link to watch the short five minute video that has been distributed through this service. It may well help you answer one or two of the quiz questions!!

Joint Infant-Junior Art Project

On Thursday, a group of Year 5 pupils collaborated creatively with pupils from Year 2. The Year 5s became the teachers and shared their advice and learning about how to create a coil pot from clay. The results are excellent and we are looking forward to meeting again soon to add painted details, designed by the children.

Hockey Tournament

On Wednesday, West Leigh competed in two hockey tournaments held at Warner's Bridge. This was only the second time that the children had played on an astro turf!

In the morning, the B team played five games against a variety of teams. Across the morning, some excellent tackles, defensive work and strong passes meant that the children won four out of five games! During training, the children have been practising using their reverse stick, getting their feet out of the way and stopping the ball and getting it under control before passing-all of these skills were displayed during the games.

The afternoon went slightly differently with the A team coming up against some very strong opponents! The A team played six games and managed to draw five of these, only losing one game. Despite the other team scoring first in most of the games, the children kept their heads up, showed great encouragement towards each other and kept on playing, allowing Toby to score a hat trick!

Year 5/6 Boys' Football v Greenways

The team had a tough test in their latest league match this week. Greenways were the convincing winners, with the match finishing 7-1. There were however plenty of positives to take away. The team remained determined and persevered until the final whistle. After hitting the post twice and some dramatic goal-line clearances, there was a feeling that the ball just wouldn't go in, but West Leigh scored with the final kick of the game! Despite the scoreline, Lucas Thomas pulled off several magnificent saves as well as an excellent penalty save that Alisson Becker would have been proud of! Hopefully the team can win their next league games against Fairways and Edwards Hall!

Javelin House Team Event

This week's house team sporting challenge was a javelin contest! Various hoops had been positioned on the playground where the children had to throw their foam javelins in order to earn their house team more points. Mr Markham and the Year 6 Sport Captains have been amazed by just how many children are queuing up to earn points for their house teams. The winners of this event were... Wyvern!

Overall standings:

  • Wyvern (20 points)
  • Pegasus (18 points)
  • Centicore (16 points)
  • Phoenix (12 points)

Composers of the Future!

During music lessons last term, the Year 6 children took part in a composition project created by the English National Opera. Their task was to finish a piece which had been started by their in-house composer, Omar Shahryar, using instruments and their voices. All four classes worked creatively and demonstrated superb collaborative skills to show they could compose.

Over 200 schools took part last term, submitting in excess of 500 entries to the competition and we are very proud of 6P in particular as their composition - Watermelon: A Symphony of Pips was selected as one of the top fifteen entries; the digital media team at the ENO then went on to create an animation for their two minute composition. Please take a look at the composition using the following playlist.

Key Notices this Week

Donations Required: If you have any recorders at home which are no longer used, the school would be very grateful of any donations. Year 3 and Year 4 children will be using their recorders in lessons this year so please do not donate theirs, however tempted you may be! All donated recorders can be brought to the Lower School Hall to Mrs Bemister or Mrs Walker.

Paper Needed: If there are any businesses who would like to recycle unused plain paper of any size/colour, we would be extremely grateful for your donations.

Inspirational Person

This half term's inspirational person is Mary-Grace Henry. As we consider the little things at school, she is an excellent example of someone who took small steps to achieve a tremendous goal that helped many. At the age of twelve years old, she set up her own business making and selling hair accessories to raise money to provide an education for girls in areas of poverty. With an initial goal of providing education for just one girl, Mary-Grace quickly surpassed this and sold over 11 000 hair accessories, funding education for many young girls.

Mary-Grace is inspirational as she has shown that focusing on the small steps can lead to success with a larger goal - and one that benefits a whole community. We can learn a lot from her advice: “My advice is just to begin. When you see a need, act. Dream big, but start small, taking little steps.”

Mary-Grace identified a need and came up with a solution, using small steps. Last half term, you identified problems/needs and decided which you would like to support by creating your own charity. Some of your brilliant ideas are below - thank you to all who took part in the Showbie challenge!

Your challenge this half term is to tell me the first three small steps that you would take to begin solving a problem and helping those who need your help. You can post these in the comments box in the 'Inspirational People' folder on Showbie.

Calling all Golfers!

West Leigh Junior School is looking for children to represent the school in a golf competition, which is for 'club standard' golfers, in the Summer term. Please contact the school office if your child plays at this level and is interested in competing in this event.

Dinner Menu

Week 3

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

Tuesday - Jumbo Pork Sausage in a Roll - Vegan Sausage in a Roll - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese to Tuna Mayonnaise - Corn on the Cob - Coleslaw and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Crumble and Custard

Wednesday - Mrs Maddin’s Chicken Ham, Leek and Mushroom Pie, Cheese, Onion and Potato Pie, Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese to Tuna Mayonnaise - Mashed Potatoes, Garden Peas and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt and Fruity Shortbread

Thursday - Homemade Beef and Spaghetti Bolognese- Vegetable and Quorn Spaghetti Bolognese - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans, Cheese to Tuna Mayonnaise - Carrots & Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Sponge

Friday - 100% Fish Fingers - Breaded Vegetable and Cheese Bake - Wholemeal Wrap with Salmon and Sweetcorn - Sauté Potatoes, Baked Beans and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit - Yoghurt or Fruity Jelly.

Diary Dates

New dates in italics

February 2024

  • Monday 5th - Years 5/6 Football V Greenways - 2.30pm - 4.20pm
  • Tuesday 6th - Year 6 Cyber safety Assembly
  • Year 6 Safer Internet Parent Quiz - 2.45pm - 3.15pm
  • Adalah Care Home visit for selected children @ 1.15pm
  • Year 6 basketball friendly @ Alleyn Court - 4pm
  • Year 3 Book Look
  • Wednesday 7th -Year 5 Safer Internet Parent Quiz - 2.45pm - 3.15pm
  • Thursday 8th - Year 4 Safer Internet Parent Quiz
  • Friday 9th - Year 4 to Fields
  • Final swimming trials @ 10am
  • Year 3 Safer Internet Parent Quiz - 2.45pm - 3.15pm
  • Tuesday 13th -Oliver Jr! rehearsal
  • Netball fixture @ Shoeburyness High School - 3.30pm - 5pmPrimary School - 3pm - 4.30pm
  • Wednesday 14th - Coastal Schools (4B)
  • Thursday 15th - Year 5 girls' football against Greenways @ 2.45pm
  • Friday 16th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 19th - 23rd - February Half Term
  • Monday 26th - Yr 5/6 Girls Football @ fields
  • Tuesday 27th - Cross Country Competition @ Alleyn Court 11am - 1pm
  • Tuesday 27th - Late Book Look (6pm - 6.30pm)
  • Year 5 Transition Meeting to Parents from 7.30pm

March 2024

  • Friday 1st - General Knowledge Quiz Club Area Heat
  • Years 3/4 Girls' Football @ Len Forge - 9.30am - 2.45pm
  • Monday 4th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Tuesday 5th - Year 3 presentation (3L & 3N)
  • School Council visiting House of Parliament
  • Year 3/4 Father David Assembly
  • Year 6 Book Look
  • Wednesday 6th - Year 5/6 Father David Assembly
  • Thursday 7th - Year 3 presentation( 3M & 3T)
  • Year 3/4 Girls' Football vs Rayleigh
  • Monday 11th- Friday 22nd - Test Weeks
  • Boys' Choir @ Palace Theatre - 6pm - 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 13th - Parent Council Meeting - 6pm - 7pm
  • Monday 18th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields
  • Monday 25th - Learning Conferences
  • Southend Diving Talent - Year 3
  • Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Wednesday 27th - Learning Conferences
  • Essex Cross Country Finals @ Garons
  • Samba Workshop
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY

April 2024

  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER HOLIDAYS
  • Monday 15th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields
  • Tuesday 16th - Netball @ Shoeburyness High - 3.30pm - 5pm
  • Thursday 18th, Friday 19th & Saturday 20th - Oliver Jr! Production
  • Monday 22nd - Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields
  • Wednesday 24th - Year 5 Trip to West Stow Village
  • Friday 26th - Year 4 Field Study @ Adventure Island - 8.30am - 2.30pm
  • Monday 29th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields

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)
  • Year 5/6 Girls' Football @ fields
  • 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
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

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.

First Half Term:


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday


  • Indoor PE - Thursday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday


  • Indoor - Wednesday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday


  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday


Well done to 3T who achieved an impressive 100% attendance this week.


Our most improved in sport award goes to Polly Morley (5F)

Our sports performer award goes to Lucas Thomas (6W)

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.

Team Points

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