Friars Weekly Newsletter 22nd September 2023

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

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


It has been a very windy week in nursery this week, but the children have loved making kites and flying them in the nursery garden. With our new children continuing to settle, we have focused on modelling play and choosing and using equipment correctly. The children have particularly enjoyed being shown how to use the different small PE equipment outside, from throwing and catching to balancing beanbags on their heads.


The children were very tired at the end of last week and we are glad to say that they all returned on Monday full of beans, smiles and ready to go!

This week, we have started learning the phonemes s, a, t, and p. We have been thinking of words that begin with these sounds. See if you can think of any at home! We enjoyed making pretend p p p pizzas and roaring like t t t terrible tigers!

The weather has been much cooler this week (thank goodness) and we have been noticing some signs of autumn in the garden. The first leaves are falling from the trees for us to collect and the spiders have been spotted in their webs. It is a glorious time of changing colours and variations in weather.

Please make sure your child has a named jumper or cardigan and a waterproof coat as we do tend to go outside in all weathers if only for some fresh air.

The children have all been superstars at lunch time. We have to walk in a silent line all the way from our classrooms to the big hall. They then line up to get their lunch, carry it to the table and clear their own plates away. This is a very grown-up thing to do and we are very proud of them all.

We have been learning lots of new songs about saying hello, goodbye and the days of the week.

The children are doing so well in listening and learning our new rules and routines. Well done to them all and to all of you parents and carers for your help and support in these first few weeks.

Year 1

Thank you to everyone who came to our information evening earlier this week, we hope that you found it useful. The children have enjoyed learning a little bit about farms this week and making their own farmyard map. In maths, we have looked at number bonds to 5 as well as using a number line to count on and back using numbers within 20. We are continuing to learn about animals in our science work learning about mammals this week.Please ensure your child’s jumpers/cardigans are named. We have a growing collection being left behind in school.

PE days – all children have PE on Monday and should come to school wearing their PE kits. Earrings need to be taken out.

  • 1B have indoor PE on Thursdays
  • 1MV have indoor PE on Fridays

Children should come to school in the school clothes for indoor PE and have earrings out.

Year 2

This week Year 2 have read the story ‘The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig’ which is an alternative version of the ‘Three Little Pigs’. The children really enjoyed predicting what might happen in the end and were very surprised that the wolves and the Big Bad Pig ended up as friends! The children compared the two stories by identifying similarities and differences between them. We also used pictures from the book to identify nouns and used adjectives to describe them, e.g. ‘beautiful, bright yellow flowers’.

In history, the children have created questions to ask their parents and grandparents about their childhood; including questions about their school days and favourite toys. These questions have been sent out as homework this week. During the week beginning 9th October, we would like to invite some grandparents into school to talk to the children about their childhood. Please let us know if you have a relative who would like to take part in these sessions.

During science this week we have investigated the properties of metals and recorded our results in a table. Some of the children thought that the ‘Three Little Pigs’ should have used metal to protect their houses!

REMINDERS: Outdoor Learning: 2G Outdoor Learning week will begin on Monday 25th September and 2S will enjoy their sessions during the week beginning Monday 2nd October. The children need to wear old trousers and suitable footwear such as trainers, or they can bring wellies to school (in a named bag) to change into for their sessions. Please ensure your child has a waterproof coat, as these sessions will continue whatever the weather!

Please note: The children will still have their PE lesson on Thursday so will need to come to school wearing their PE kit as usual. (Please remove earrings).

Homework: Please return the yellow homework book to school each Wednesday.

Spellings: These will be sent home each Friday and tested on the following Friday.

Phonics Reading Book: After reading three times with adults in school, these books will be sent home to read each Wednesday. Please read this book with your child to reinforce the new phonemes and words they have been learning.

Thank you so much for your support.

Year 3

What a week! We have been super busy as usual here in Year 3. In maths we have been continuing with place value and looking at number values, ordering them and deciding which numbers are greater than or less than. We have really shown we have a great number knowledge and dealing with hundreds has not phased us at all!

In English, we have been working on speech in a text, understanding what inverted commas are and how to use them. We also tried to use a range of synonyms for ‘said’ to make our writing more interesting.

We did another investigation in science where we used magnets to look at the force they use. We found out that if the poles are the same the magnets will ‘repel’ and if they are different, they will ‘attract’.

We have continued to read our text The iron Man in English and have enjoyed using that in English for speech and answering a range of comprehension questions based on what we have read.

REMINDERS: Spelling tests are on Mondays, please make sure you are practising these at home whenever possible.

Homework is due in on Wednesdays, so that we can get them marled and new homework ready to be sent out on Fridays.

Earrings MUST be taken out on PE days as children will not be able to take part unless they are. Our PE days are on Wednesdays.

Year 4

What a change in the weather. Even so, Mr. Smith and 4S have battled against the wind and the rain to get out and enjoy their turn of outdoor learning. Thankfully, Mr. Brady was very kind and allowed the children into the hobbit hut when it got too wet to be outside. The children thoroughly enjoyed creating art through nature and taking macro pictures using the iPads!

In English, the children have been developing their story writing skills, choosing vocabulary that grips the reader’s attention and ensuring that punctuation is being used as accurately as possible.

In maths, the children have been embedding their knowledge of numbers lines and where numbers, up to and including 10, 000, are positioned on them.

It was 4D’s turn to complete work on the teeth and map co-ordinates in the afternoons. Both classes were improving their basketball skills on Tuesday afternoon…. although the basket balls were being blown all over the place!

We also held our curriculum evenings this week where we were able to explain to you what teaching looks like in Year 4 and what the year should look like. A big thank you to those of you who were able to attend.

Just a few reminders: -

  • There should be no jewellery, particularly earrings worn for PE and no hoop earrings at any time.
  • Homework is sent home on a Friday, to be returned the following Friday.
  • Please ensure that children are wearing uniform every day except Tuesday, when they should be wearing clothing suitable for PE.
  • Children do need to be practise their multiplication tables to back up their learning in school.

Year 5

This week, Year 5 have continued and completed their narrative writing for The Tiny Crusader. The children really enjoyed the animated clip and working on description.

We started the week comparing and ordering numbers up to 1,000,000 and ended the week with rounding. The children applied their prior knowledge of these concepts well.

In geography, the pupils studied the journey of the River Nile and completed map work.

Music saw the students using the glockenspiels to play Bon Jovi’s, Living on a Prayer.

We also held our curriculum evening this week where we were able to explain to you what teaching looks like in Year 5 and what the year should look like. A big thank you to those of you who were able to attend.

REMINDERS: Please use the Microsoft form link to sign your child up to the Thriftwood trip taking place next June.

Year 6

In English, our focus has been on introducing speech into our narrative writing whilst using description. Our writing has taken place over 3 days to ensure we have introduced characters and the setting within introduction, the middle section has an issue or problem that needs to be resolved. The final part of our narrative is about the resolution of the situation. The children have enjoyed this and displayed their understanding of the punctuation and grammatical features that we have covered over the past two weeks.

In maths, we have focussed on comparing the value of numbers, rounding numbers and understanding negative numbers. We have also extended our understanding of addition and subtraction of numbers up to 10,000,000.

We have created our own designs inspired by William Morris, which become the centre piece of our upcoming DT project, where we will print and sew cushions.

In geography, we have learnt about how vast the British Empire was under the rule of Queen Victoria and produced maps to this effect. We are looking forward to imagining life as Phineas Fogg within the realms of the British Empire next week.

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


Year one had some time exploring the mouse this week. After practising how to log in children were then asked to share their learning about the little red hen and the different animals in the story from their classroom learning. Students were then asked to have a go at drawing on of the animals from the story using paintz. The task involved controlling the mouse to select tools, colours and size them in different ways.

On Monday afternoon year five students began exploring using the search function in five different search engines. They were asked to search for a term including ‘boot’, ‘Sale’ and rugby and evaluated the results. We then worked to refine the search results. Following this we went on to compare the results using five different search engines analysing the number of ads and relevance of results within each search engine.

Tuesday saw the year 4 students learning about the internet and what it is made of, looking at the use of routers and networks. Children were then asked to search three different websites and find 3 different pieces of information on each of them. Through completing this task they also learned how to browse the internet and use ‘split’ screen for efficiency.

Year 3 students spent their computing lesson comparing the difference of drawing using pencil and paper and then drawing using the computer. It was really interesting to hear some of the preferences and reasons included, easier to erase mistakes when using the computer, easier to control the pencil when drawing on paper. Children were then asked to answer questions on a word document to share their learning.

Year two students this week thought about the use Information Technology within the school. They were able to identify different devices which use technology and could classify them in different ways including the ways in which technology is used and the purpose for either communicating with others or for creations.

On Friday afternoon the year six students began to think about how we can work together online and share information. This included the ability to access shared files online; sending information over the internet in different ways and how we can access different types of media through the use of the internet. Some very complex concepts but they year six students worked hard to understand the different terminology.

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

PE and Sport

With the upcoming Cross Country competition on the horizon, the children have been challenging themselves to run (or jog) a similar distance around the field. Their focus has been to pace themselves throughout the race and avoid the temptation of sprinting until the very end. Many children surprised themselves with running further without stopping than they thought that they could initially!

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

Outdoor Learning

2G will have their outdoor learning sessions in the week beginning 25th September and 2S will have their sessions in the week beginning 2nd October. The sessions will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednedsay and Thursday.

Follow us on Facebook

Diary Dates


  • Tuesday 26th - 9:00am Reception Phonics Meeting for parents
  • 2pm Reception phonics for parents
  • Thursday 28th - Swimming 5BW


  • Thursday 5th - Swimming 5BW
  • Friday 6th - 9:00am - KS1 Cross-Country
  • 11:45am - KS2 Cross-Country
  • Monday 9th - Flu immunisation
  • Wednesday 11th - Panathalon 10-pin bowling
  • Thursday 12th - Swimming 5BW
  • Tuesday 17th - Individual photos
  • Friday 20th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - Half Term
  • Monday 30th - INSET Day


  • Wednesday 1st - Year 6 height & weight screening
  • Thursday 2nd - 5A Swimming starts
  • Friday 3rd - Year 5/6 Boys' Football
  • Thursday 9th - Swimming 5A
  • Friday 10th - Maths Story Day
  • Wednesday 15th - Learning Conversations
  • Thursday 16th - Leaning Conversations
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball
  • Thursday 23rd - Swimming 5A
  • Wednesday 29th - Boccia
  • New Age Kurling
  • Thursday 30th - Swimming 5A

2023/24 INSET DAYS

  • Monday 30th October 2023
  • Friday 16th February 2024
  • Monday 3rd June 2024
  • Monday 22nd July 2024

Dinner Menu

Week 2

Monday - Beef Burger in a Bun with Baked Jacket Wedges - Vegetable Burger in a Bun with Baked Jacket Wedges - Wholewheat Pasta with Arrabiatta Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Ham Salad Wrap - Carrot Sticks - Lemon Drizzle Sponge

Tuesday - Beef Lasagne - Vegetable Fajita Wrap - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn - Flapjack

Wednesday - Honey Roast Gammon with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Ratatouille Pasta Bake - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Ham Sandwich - Pan Fried Leeks - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Thursday - Chicken Tikka Masala & Rice - Vegetable Pasanda with Rice - Pasta with Tomato & Vegetable Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Broccoli - Apple Crumble with Custard

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Spiced Squash & Spinach Samosa - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Ham Salad Baguette - Chips & Baked Beans - Apple & Parsnip Cake

Freshly Baked Bread: Tomato & Herb Bread or Wholemeal Bread


Our first meeting of the year and it’s full steam ahead for another year of fundraising! Please get involved whether you can commit to supporting at every event or just as and when. Contact us on the email address on our poster. All help is welcomed- with so much to do we need you!

Don’t forget to buy your discounted tickets and wristbands from us too!

And finally, as you may or may not know we have a large stock of second hand uniform. We are always looking for more and now have a special bin you’ll be able to drop it off into! But it’s rather a boring bin and we want to decorate it with drawings of our wonderful children in their Friars finery!

If your child would like to have their picture on our bin- please ask them to draw a clear picture of them in their Friars uniform (and colour it using the Friars colours) and bring it into to Ms Taylor-Brown! Thank you. Please just pop their name ON THE BACK so we can thank them!

Celebration Assembly

The link(s) for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

22nd September 2023

15th September 2023

8th September 2023


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 - office@fps.porticoacademytrust.co.uk