Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 1st march 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Mother's Day Sale information
  • World Book Day reminders
  • Southend Foodbank appeal

Can you believe that we are now into the second half of the academic year? I know I can’t!

This week has flown by and next week offers lots of fun with our World Book Day celebrations. A reminder that we are inviting children and staff to dress up as a book character on Thursday 7th March – except Year 4 as their dress-up day is Friday 8th March.

We are asking each class to decorate their door with a book theme to celebrate World Book Day. Some of our other staff are joining in too. This is Mrs. Turner, Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Sharkey's office door!

Year 4 have double-fun next week as on the Thursday they are off to London for a visit to the Imperial War Museum. I will be joining Year 4 on the trip and I am really looking forward to it. I took my own children to the museum during the half-term break and I must say it is a fantastic museum and well worth a visit.

Enjoy the rest of this week’s newsletter and see you all on Monday.

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

Southend Foodbank Appeal

We are continuing with our appeal to support Southend Foodbank during the period of Lent. If you are able to donate any of the items listed below, we would be grateful if you could send them into school with your child. We will collect donations all the way up until the end of Lent, Saturday 30th March.

• Tinned items such as - fruit, vegetables, tomatoes, spaghetti, fish, ham, meatballs, curry, chilli, potatoes, pies, macaroni cheese, soup, custard, rice pudding and hot dogs

• Other food items – biscuits, crisps, chocolate bars, jam, rice, pasta sauce, cereal, instant mashed potato, squash, hot chocolate, instant coffee, tea bags and UHT milk

• Non-food items – toilet rolls, nappies, shower gel and deodorant

Mother’s Day Sale

On Monday, the children will have an opportunity to buy gifts from the PTA’s Mother’s Day Sale. If you would like the children to buy something, please send them into school with money on the day. Gifts cost £1.50 and exact change would be really appreciated. There will also be a sale after school on Tuesday at the KS1 and KS2 gates. If you happen to forget to send your child into school with money on Monday, please make use of this extra opportunity on the Tuesday.

All proceeds go back to the school for the children. Thank you to the PTA for organising and to everyone for supporting our fundraising.

World Book Day Reminders

• Dress up on Thursday 7th March (except Year 4 – Friday 8th for Year 4)

2G have swimming on the Thursday morning so please make sure if your child is in 2G that they can change in and out of their costume.

• Year 2 will have PE on the afternoon of the Thursday. The children need to either wear a costume appropriate for PE or bring their PE kit to change into.

• 5A have outdoor learning in the afternoon – ideally ensure that your child is wearing something that you don’t mind them getting a little dirty. If this isn’t possible, they can change ahead of the afternoon.

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


It was lovely to see everyone back after the half-term break and we very quickly settled back into the routines of our day. This week we have read the story of ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ ready for our Book Week door decorating. To help create this masterpiece, the nursery children painted pictures of themselves to go alongside the animals seen in the book. We looked in mirrors and talked about our own features and how they are different to our friends. We also enjoyed making mud faces in the environmental garden during Tuesday's outdoors session where we were also thinking about facial features.

REMINDER: Please remind the children to choose their favourite storybook to bring into nursery next week ready to share with their teachers.



Reception children have settled back in well after the half-term break and were very excited to see that the garden had received a little makeover! They have loved exploring the new green area. The children have been looking at all the spring flowers that have started to bloom and using the new “river” in a range of ways. They have raced along it, transported bean bags from one end to the other and even built a bridge for cars across it! The children have also been hunting for and observing worms in their natural habitat; inspired by our text of Yucky Worms! We began the week by thinking about what matters to us as part of Children’s Mental Health Week. The children created spiral artwork to display what matters to them. It was lovely to see the children’s photos and sparked lots of discussion about what was important to them.

Year 1

It has been great to have the children back in Year 1 this week; they all look very smart and grown up! Over the next few weeks, we will be reading the book 'The Secret Sky Garden' and linking our English work to this. This week we have focused on thought bubbles for the main character at different points of the story. In maths, the children have been using their knowledge of tens and ones to represent, compare and write two-digit numbers. We spoke about Samuel Pepys in our history lessons and explained why he was a significant historical person.

REMINDER: You should have had some information about our Year 1 educational visit to Wat Tyler Park on Wednesday 1st May. If you have not had this, please contact the office.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

Year 2

This week the Year 2 children have been researching Florence Nightingale. They found out lots of interesting facts which they then included in their own non-chronological report about this significant historical figure.

In maths the children have learnt to recognise the ÷ sign and have solved a variety of word problems using division. The children enjoyed researching Henry Ford and the first motor cars in their history lesson. In art, the children continued to explore the works of Van Gogh and created their own paintings using acrylic paint.

REMINDER: World Book Day –Thursday 7th March

2G’s swimming also starts on Thursday 7th March. Please ensure the children have a costume which they can easily change out of for swimming and PE.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

Year 3

What a lovely week welcoming everyone back nice and fresh to our next half-term! In English we have started to look at a story called ‘Escape from Pompeii’ and will over the next few weeks write it in our own words, but obviously much better than the original! In maths we have continued to look at fractions both unit and non-unit fractions, mostly within shape and will move onto fractions of an amount over the coming weeks. This week was our Children’s Mental Health Week and so we have been discussing what we could do to make ourselves feel better and to discuss any feelings we may have, whether they are positive or negative. In science we have stated our new topic on ‘light’. We have looked at artificial and natural light and sorted the different sources under the correct headings.

REMINDER: New spellings have come home this week, please make sure you practise these for the spelling test, which takes place on Monday mornings.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

Year 4

It was a pleasure to see all the children back after the February half-term. It’s amazing to think we’ve only got 24 school days until we break up again for Easter. My, how time flies!!

This week in English we are tackling narrative writing. The children are travelling back in time to the Second World War and using their knowledge of World War II from their learning so far to add detail and description, as well as using paragraphs, fronted adverbials and inverted commas accurately. Not only were their stories great to read but they were grammatically correct too.

In maths, we finished off learning about how to calculate the perimeter for regular and irregular polygons and have moved on to fractions – what they are and how they are used and applied to a variety of different calculations.

How a WWII soldier was dressed and what his kit consisted of was the focus of history and we have started our, ‘Make-Do-And-Mend,’ owls in D&T.

Next week, we are off to the Imperial War Museum. Please make sure that you have given your permission and paid your contribution through ParentPay. We are really looking forward to it.

Next week is also our Book Week. World Book Day is actually on the day we go to London so Year 4 will be dressing up on the Friday instead.

Our times tables Battle of the Bands was won by 4S... well done 4S! Our highest individual scorers were Cecilia for 4S and Lathan for 4D. A special mention too for Beth who achieved a very high score too. Out of the 60 children in the year group, only 23 took part. Hopefully next time even more children will participate. If your child hasn't shown you Times Tables Rockstars, please ask them to do so... it is such a great website and there is an app you can download too.

REMINDER: For PE lessons, children should be wearing plain PE kit, and any tops worn should not have hoods.

New spellings, maths and English homework will be coming home today and be returned next Friday. Children should be continuing to learn their multiplication tables.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

Year 5

On Monday and Tuesday, Year 5 experienced music workshops where children improvised using a range of a modern technology. In had an interesting link to science, discussing insulators and conductors.

This week, 5BW have been looking at map work and compasses in outdoor learning. The children have worked in teams to locate different geographical features on a map. They have thoroughly enjoyed being out in the fresh air for their learning. It will be the turn of 5A next week.

The children have developed their understanding of decimals and percentages by looking at thousandths as decimals and fractions this week. They have shown great perserverance and enjoyed the challenge.

In English, our focus has been narrative writing based on an animation about a lighthouse keeper.

We are looking forward to World Book Day next week!

REMINDER: For PE lessons, children should be wearing plain PE kit, and any tops worn should not have hoods. Earrings must also be removed for the duration of the lesson.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

Year 6

On Monday and Tuesday this week, Year 6 had music workshops which the children all found very engaging. They used the iPads to improvise and create music with.

We have created flashback narratives in English and tried to seamlessly move from the present to the past and back again within the writing.

In maths, our focus has been on understanding the place value of decimals which we will later link to fractions and percentages.

In art we have been preparing work for World Book Day which we are looking forward to next week.

Letters sent home via ParentPay this week

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


A special mention this week to Year 5, who have been working so hard the last few weeks on their STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project.

At the start of January, they began to learn about a physical device called a Crumble, learning to attach components such as a sparkle (light), button and motor.

They then had to program their Crumble using the desktop computer to tell the components what to do (for example - light on for 5 seconds, turn forwards etc.,).

This all led to a three week D&T (Design & Technology) project to make a working carousel, which they designed, created, programmed, debugged and evaluated in groups of 4. To say I am proud of their creations would be an understatement. Well done Year 5 – we have many potential engineers in the making!

Check out some videos of the carousels working below.

Mrs. Wheatley

Online Safety

If you haven't already signed up for the National Online Safety for Parents and Carers website please do so. It is really great and a helpful tool in keeping children safe at home when they are online - including when using social media if you allow them to do so. Please look back to the letter you received for more information.

Behind video-sharing platforms (like YouTube) and streaming TV shows and movies, gaming is the third most popular online activity for children in the UK. In fact, according to recent data from Ofcom, an overwhelming 89% of children aged 3 to 17 play video games. Of those, more than one in five (22%) talk to other players online who they don’t know outside the game.

The risk of contact from strangers is just one of the reasons that many parents are concerned about their child’s gaming: increased screen time, inappropriate content and in-game spending also figure among the most frequent fears. Agreeing on some rules around your child’s gaming activities can certainly help, and this guide has some useful tips for establishing these boundaries.

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

PE and Sport

From week commencing Monday 11th March, all classes have been timetabled for two PE sessions each week – please check the letter from this week for the relevant days. PE kit must be worn on these days. It is important that children are correctly dressed for PE as it sometimes means children are unable to take part in their curriculum when they are not.

Next week we have two school football matches against other schools and we look forward to updating you on their games next week.

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

Outdoor Learning

This week, 5BW have been looking at map work and compasses in outdoor learning. The children have worked in teams to locate different geographical features on a map. They have thoroughly enjoyed being out in the fresh air for their learning. It will be the turn of 5A next week.

REMINDERS: 5A come dressed for outdoor learning next week please on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

‘Music Beyond Imagination’ workshops

Years 5 and 6 had a brilliant time during their ‘Music Beyond Imagination’ workshops this week. Using a controller and some magical wires and rulers, they created their own digital musical instruments. They also enjoyed a video game that lets you explore how science creates music! Pupils had a great time exploring all things music, including composition, singing, pentatonic scales, and chord structures, as well as delving into the science curriculum too, thinking about conductors, insulators, electricity, and sound. Maths concepts were also touched upon, such as duration, equivalences, two-step problems, and conversion, while the computing segment covered design, debugging, logical reasoning, search technology and safe use. What busy workshops!!

These workshops were funded by Music on Sea supported by funding from Arts Council England. You can find out more about Music on Sea by visiting

Chinese New Year at Friars

Friars fully embraced the festivities before the half-term break, as we celebrated Chinese New Year in school for our final week before half-term. Over the course of the week, children completed some incredible dragon sketches across all year groups from Nursery to Year 6, which demonstrated some great progress in art. They worked on how they control pencils to create lines, tones, textures and other skills.

Wednesday, we have to say, was the most exciting day by far. We had the INCREDIBLE Kudos Combat Lion Dance Team come to visit us for an amazing assembly for the children to celebrate. Many said it was the best day they had had in school yet!

With loud drums, cymbals, and of course the lion itself, the hall was alive with sound and excitement – the lion even had a nibble on a few members of staff and children, as well as the lettuce it was offered.

We just wanted to extend our thanks to you at home too, for your incredibly generous donations that went to the team and their charity.

At lunchtime, many children also chose the noodle option for dinner to pay homage to the Chinese New Year, and each year group enjoyed some prawn crackers in the afternoon!

We also just wanted to extend our thanks again to Sophia in 3A’s mum, who thought of us and donated the lovely balloon arch!

Regarding the RE homework competition, winners will be announced and presented soon, as we were overwhelmed with the beautiful pieces some of you brought in and it’s taking us a while to decide the winners… Watch this space!

What a blast!

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms Taylor-Brown

Well - this week we rounded off our February focus on the rather brilliant Ed Sheeran.

We listened to Lego House as we came in and a video featuring a rather familiar face to any Harry Potter fans!

We then sang “Colours of Day Dawn” one of my childhood favourites from my own primary years. I chose this song after driving into school along the seafront and seeing a beautiful sky!

We then watched one of my favourite music videos- Photograph by Ed Sheeran. The children were transfixed and told me lots of things they noticed about Ed Sheeran- such as he likes reading and he plays different instruments.

We walked out to “Perfect”- which featured another of my favourite artists- Beyonce.

So who is our next musician of the month for March? Well, here are some clues-

  • A rock band formed in 1970
  • 4 members
  • Guaranteed to “rock you”

I have already had some guesses so lets wait and see if anyone is right!

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Diary Dates


  • Monday 4th - PTA Mother's Day Sale (during school day) - Children can bring into school £1.50 per gift
  • Tuesday 5th - PTA - Mother's Day Sale (after school - KS1 and KS2 Gates)
  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day for Nursery, Reception, Yr1, Yr2, Yr3, Yr5 and Yr6 - dressing-up
  • Swimming starts for 2G
  • Yr 4 trip to Imperial War Museum
  • Friday 8th March - World Book Day for Yr4 - dressing-up
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Stay and Play
  • 2G Swimming
  • Monday 11th - Friday 15th - Yr 6 Practice SATs Week
  • Wednesday 20th - Learning Conversations
  • YMCA Songwriting for Yr 3/4
  • Thursday 21st - 2G Swimming
  • Learning Conversations
  • Friday 22nd - KS1 Girls' Football
  • Monday 25th - Nursery Maths Stay and Play
  • 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 - Last Swimming for 2G
  • Tuesday 30th - Y5 Thriftwood Meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall


  • Wednesday 1st - 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
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • 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 - 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 - Yr 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Monday 17th - Yr 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • 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 - 5th - Art and D&T Festival at Friars
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parents Open Evening
  • Thursday 4th - KS1 & KS2 Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Yr 6-7 Transition Day
  • Friday 12th - PTA Summer Fayre
  • 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 great week in OPAL - the children are loving our new sandpit and are getting really good at tidying it up and helping me put the cover back on!

The children are also enjoying the pompoms and dancing streamers. I have seen some great little shows being performed on stages made from wooden blocks.

REMINDER: We still need scooters and booster seats!


A busy time for us!

This week we held another uniform sale - and we had a great selection of World Book Day outfits too! Thank you everyone who donated and also came along to support us! Total raised coming soon!

On Monday, we will be having our Mothers Day sale. Each class will get to visit during the day - all gifts are priced at £1.50. In addition you can pop along after school on Tuesday outside school by the KS1 and 2 gates straight from school. We will still be around when clubs/choir finish so come and see us!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

1st March 2024

9th February 2024

2nd February 2024

26th January 2024


Attendance figures were up on the week before the half-term break with many classes above our 96% school target.

This week’s attendance winners were 2G in Key Stage 1 and 4D in Key Stage 2. A very special mention to our Owls class in Reception who had the best percentage of the week at 98.9%!

This week in Key Stage 1, three teams were tied for top spot… Windsor, Stormont and Stirling. In Key Stage 2, it was an outright victory for Stirling! This all means that the gap between Stirling and Caernarfon has closed further. We are now into the second part of the school year and it is really ‘hotting’ up!


Not so much a community event from me - but I am looking to arrange a careers event over the summer for our children to learn about different jobs and careers. If you would like to come and tell the children about your job or if you work for a company who might like to help out or have any connections through family and friends - please let me know! Drop me a line on

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 -