West LeighJuniors Weekly News 29th September 2023

Dear Parents and Carers

This week, we have spoken to the children about our new Curriculum Driver - "It's the Little Things."

Our driver was selected as a focus this year so that all of us take responsibility for the 'little things' we can all do to make each others' day a little brighter, such as holding a door for someone, keeping our school environment tidy or even greeting each other with a cheery, "Good morning." Whatever these little things might be, we are sure that they will make a big difference to those around us.

Wishing you all a good weekend,

Best wishes

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

It has been another busy week in Year 3, with much excitement building for our trips to the woods next week. Please ensure your child has a rain coat, suitable footwear and a snack with them. 3T and 3M will be going on Monday 2nd October and 3L and 3N will be going on Friday 6th October. We will return before lunch so normal arrangements for lunch will take place.

In maths lessons this week, we introduced maths bands. All the information regarding how maths bands work was detailed in the letter sent out on Monday 25th September. The children have settled well and have been working on using formal addition. If you would like to support your child with this, please see our Maths with a Mouse webpage using the following link: https://www.mathswithamouse.co.uk/calculation-methods/addition

Our English lessons have seen the children plan and create a set of instructions for preparing and cooking fish during the Stone Age. They used pictures and information from our layered reading book ‘Stone Age Boy’ and were expected to include imperative verbs and adverbs of time. On Friday, the children were able to complete a mastery write to allow them the opportunity to apply all their learning of instructional writing.

The children have woked as geographers during Connected Curriculum lessons, learning about the location of Skara Brae. They researched the location and created some very informative tourist information leaflets. The children also designed and mapped out their own Stone Age settlement, considering the features and using a key.

Thank you to all those who have offered to join us on our trip to the woods. A note can be found in your child's Communication Book to confirm the time we are leaving school (9.15am) so please arrive at the school office at 9am if you are coming with us.

We wish you a very restful weekend and look forward to seeing you on Thursday 5th October at 2pm for our curriculum meeting.

Year 4

During English lessons this week, the children have assumed the role of journalists. By reading and studying a range of articles, they have developed their understanding of key features, with particular focus on the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why). Working in small groups and using Egyptian artefacts to stimulate discussion, our intrepid reporters collaborated to create a Newsround-style report which they transferred to a written piece, demonstrating their understanding of the features.

In maths lessons, Year 4 have been reviewing their knowledge of formal addition and subtraction. Applying their learning from previous weeks on place value, the children have been reminded of the importance of setting out calculations accurately and neatly as well as checking their work to identify and correct errors. Mental maths skills have also been practised using a wide variety of games and puzzles.

During this week's RE session, the children considered where collective worship might take place; they used Google maps to locate a variety of places of worship within our local area.

The gods of Egypt also visited the Year 4 classrooms this week. The children were asked to consider why the Ancient Egyptians might have worshiped so many gods. They completed a scavenger hunt locating facts to create a fact file on the one that most interested them. They also thoroughly enjoyed using digital art to turn themselves into a Pharoah. The results are truly magnificent and inspire both wonder and in some cases terror!!

In science, the children studied the results of their 'teeth' investigation from last week. Many were surprised at the results which we hope will incentivise the children to brush their teeth carefully, especially after breakfast!

Year 5

Despite a sleepy Monday morning after their residential trip to Mersea, the children have made good progress in writing their narrative stories based on The Ridge. We have focused on writing effective openings and using cohesive devices. Tension has been applied to develop the build-up of each story and to introduce the dilemma. It has been great listening to the children read their developing stories aloud; they cannot wait to finish them next week.

In maths, the children have started their work on multiplication and division, applying these skills to simple problem-solving contexts.

Connected Curriculum work has been based on different types of volcanoes. This has been linked to our layered reading text based on disasters. The children have produced infographics and posters to demonstrate their learning.

The children also enjoyed investigating the force of friction and the effect different surfaces create on the effort needed to pull a weighted shoe. See if your child can explain how the force of friction is created.

Investigating Friction

Please support your child to ensure that they have their Communication Book in school each day and encourage them to read at least three times a week. They should write the page number they read to in the relevant boxes and we ask that you initial this at the end of the week.

Year 6

English and History: Narratives Inspired by 'The Gas Mask'

In English lessons, once again linked to our Connected Curriculum, Year 6 have embarked on a unique journey through time and storytelling. They have been developing their narrative writing skills, drawing inspiration from the structure of Pie Corbett's 'The Gas Mask.' This approach has not only deepened their understanding of history but also honed their creative writing abilities.

One exciting aspect of this journey has been the use of visual planning techniques to map out their narrative ideas before putting pen to paper. This innovative method has allowed them to organise their thoughts, plot elements and characters, resulting in well-structured and engaging narratives.

Maths: Division Mastery and Application

In maths, Year 6 have been refining and extending their understanding of division, including the skill of long division. They have been learning to apply this knowledge in increasingly challenging contexts. This solid foundation in division will serve them well as they tackle more advanced mathematical concepts, fostering their problem-solving abilities.

Science: Understanding Switches and Properties of Materials

As scientists, they have been exploring the intriguing world of switches and how they operate in various ways. They have also applied their knowledge of the properties of materials to understand how these are used in the construction of switches.

Connected Curriculum: Investigating the Second World War

As part of our Connected Curriculum, Year 6 have been researching and investigating the challenging question, "Who suffered most during the Second World War?" This thought-provoking task has allowed them to delve deeper into the historical context and consider the impact of the war on various groups of people. It has encouraged critical thinking, empathy, and a deeper understanding of the complexities of history.

Year 6 Curriculum Meeting - Tuesday, 2:30pm in the Dining Hall

We look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for the Year 6 curriculum meeting at 2:30pm in the Dining Hall. This meeting will provide valuable insights into your child's Year 6 journey and the engaging Year 6 curriculum.

Table Tennis Competition

The first Southend Primary School Sports Association (SPSSA) competition of the year took place at Alleyn Court School on Wednesday 20th September. Pupils took part in the table tennis competition and both boys and girls achieved a very creditable third place.

In the morning session, a team of boys participated against nine other schools. The competition was organised in a ‘round robin’ format, meaning that the boys played eight matches in fairly quick succession. West Leigh competed with great determination and skill. They won six and lost two of the eight matches. Going into the final round, they had to secure a win against their opponents to win the bronze medal. The boys fought hard and won the final match 3 games to 1, and were rewarded with third place.

In the afternoon session, three girls participated in the main event, playing a number of friendly matches. The event also took the form of a ‘round robin’ competition. The girls displayed great skills and made a tremendous start, winning the first five matches fairly comfortably. The final two matches, which would ultimately have decided positions 1st, 2nd and 3rd, were extremely close. After a number of incredibly close games, West Leigh finished in third place, securing a bronze medal.

The pupils displayed excellent manners and sportsmanship and were super ambassadors for the school.

Year 5 Residential Visit to West Mersea

On Wednesday 20th September, 114 Year 5 children arrived at school with a mass of suitcases, full of excitement for their three-day residential in Mersea. Upon our arrival (to a very windy Mersea!), the children were sorted into their tents and then gathered together for a picnic lunch before their first two activities.

Some children found their way around the caving simulator whilst others conquered the knee-wobbling heights of the Leap of Faith. Following a hearty dinner and some time to organise their tents and play on the field, the children enjoyed a few stories and sung some songs whilst enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit. By this point, the children were ready for their beds. They all settled into their tents full of excitement for the next day’s activities and eventually, the camp was quiet!

On Thursday morning, the camp woke nice and early! After breakfast, the children were greeted by their instructors for more thrilling activities. Some children took to the water in kayaks learning how to paddle and steer by playing some team games whilst others worked on their team-work skills on the adventure course. After refuelling with a tasty lunch, the children tackled the high ropes, conquering their fears whilst others enjoyed paddle boarding on the calm lake. Unfortunately, due to bad weather and lack of light, our planned evening activity was unable to go ahead but with a quick re-plan, the whole group settled down to watch a film. With all the children worn out, the camp fell silent very quickly on Thursday night.

On Friday morning, the camp awoke slowly, and after breakfast, the children took part in their two final activities: some conquered the climbing walls, with others trying to score highest at archery. Some groups also paid a visit to the on-site beach where they created some superb beach art. After one last meal, the bags were loaded back onto the coaches as we headed back to school – rather tired!

During the three days they spent at Mersea, all 114 children showed great determination, acceptance of adventure and great improvement with team-work. The staff were extremely proud to see the children thrive in the outdoors, tackle their fears and strive to improve on every attempt - especially on the aerial activities. It was also encouraging to see the children build friendships among their peers.

Year 5 Alternative Residential Visits

Wow - what a fun week we had during our alternative local trips whilst the children went to Mersea! On Wednesday, we enjoyed baking our very own lunch – pizza swirls followed by cookies!

We surprised ourselves with how delicious our treats were that we actually wished we had made more! The staff were very impressed with the range of skills shown by all of the children. They were also amazed by the cleaning and tidying skills shown by all: our kitchen was perfectly neat afterwards!

Lots of fresh air was on the agenda for the rest of our time together. The children enjoyed visiting Belfairs Park for fun and games as well as a treasure hunt in the woods on Friday morning.

All the children were successful at locating some natural treasure that they each won a prize. The children also enjoyed a day at Leigh Beach followed by an ice-cream. By Friday, the children were definitely ready for a rest after lots of walking and fresh air!

Inspirational Person

This half term's inspirational person is not particularly famous but they embody our new curriculum driver of 'it's the little things that count.' Abigail Lupi was just ten years old when she visited her grandmother in a nursing home to celebrate her birthday. Whilst there, Abigail noticed that many of the residents were lonely. As a result, she set up 'CareGirlz' - a group of young children who visited care homes and performed shows and plays for the residents. She won several awards for her work within her local community. The children within her organisation made their own costumes and choreographed their own dances, giving up hours of their time to help the elderly people in nursing homes. Something small that Abigail noticed and acted upon has had a huge impact on the lives of many - the little things really do count!

The Showbie challenge for this half term can be found in the 'Inspirational People' Showbie folder. See below for some great examples of last half term's challenge, where children created their own art work in the style of Stephen Wiltshire. We didn't quite manage our own London alphabet, but we came close!

For this challenge, we would like the children to create their own idea for a charity in our local area. Who would it be for and why? What would they do to help? Children should post their ideas in the comment box - we look forward to reading all of the children's ideas!

Book Looks

Our popular 'Book Looks' are now taking place on Tuesday afternoons, between 3.30pm and 3.45pm. These are a great opportunity for you to pop into school to look at your child's work. Please refer to the calendar below for the date of each session:

  • Tuesday 3rd October- Year 6
  • Tuesday 10th October - Year 4
  • Tuesday 31st October - Year 3
  • Tuesday 7th November - Year 6
  • Tuesday 14th November - Year 5
  • Tuesday 21st November - Year 4
  • Tuesday 28th November - Year 3

When all the children have vacated the school, please enter through the front of the building before heading to your child's classroom.

Janelle McCurdy Visit

We are excited to have another author visiting the school on Monday 9th October. Janelle McCurdy is a young British author who was first published last year with Mia and the Lightcasters – a book which has been shortlisted for many awards. This year, the sequel, The Traitor of Nubis is being released and is sure to be another exciting adventure. Janelle will be holding an assembly with the Year 4 and Year 5 children during the morning. Unfortunately, she is unable to stay for a book signing but if you would be interested in pre-ordering books, please use the following link:


You are also able to purchase books using the same link until Friday 13th October.

Curriculum Meetings

We would like to give you advance notice of our Curriculum Meetings that will be taking place in a few weeks time. This will be an opportunity to find out about the routines and all the upcoming topics that will take place this year, in your child's year group.

  • Year 3 - Thursday 5th October - 2pm - 2.30pm
  • Year 4 - Tuesday 3rd October - 2pm - 2.30pm
  • Year 5 - Thursday 5th October - 2.30pm - 3pm
  • Year 6 - Tuesday 3rd October - 2.30pm - 3pm

PE and Jewellery

Jewellery must be removed before PE and swimming lessons. If your child is unable to remove their own earrings, we kindly ask that these are not worn on PE or swimming days.

We understand that some children have been wearing plastic 'sport-style' earrings on PE/swimming days. Whislt we discourage any jewellery being worn on these days for safety reasons, if parents choose to send their child wearing plastic 'sport earrings', we will only allow participation on receipt of a letter stating that the parent/carer accepts full responsibility for injury caused.

End of the School Day

We would like to remind you that the school gates onto Ronald Hill Grove will be locked from 3.40pm so kindly ask that you vacate the playground as quickly as possible.

When waiting for children who have swimming lessons, please can adults and their children stay next to the swimming pool so that after school clubs are not impacted. Please can we also remind you that mobile phones must not be used on the playground as this area is still used by clubs and our after-school provision. .

Dinner Menu

Week 2

Monday - Homemade Tomato and Vegetable Wholemeal Pasta Bake - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Granary Baguette with Cheese - Coleslaw and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Jam Doughnuts

Tuesday - All Day Breakfast

(Sausage, Beans, Hash Brown) - Vegetarian All Day Breakfast (Vegetarian Sausage, Beans, Hash Brown) - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruity Flapjack

Wednesday - Traditional Roast Chicken with Yorkshire Pudding - Quorn in vegetable gravy with Yorkshire Pudding - Granary Baguette with Egg Mayonnaise - Roast Potatoes, Carrots / Peas and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Chocolate Cherry Cake

Thursday - Homemade Mild Chili Con Carne - Homemade Mild Vegetable and 5 Bean Chilli Con Carne - Jacket Potato (Choose from Baked Beans, Cheese, Tuna Mayo) - Rice and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yoghurt or Fruit Biscuit

Friday - 100% Fish Fingers - Vegetable and Cheese Bake - Granary Baguette with Salmon and Sweetcorn - Potato Puffs, Sweetcorn / Peas and Salad Bar - Fresh Fruit, Yogurt or Ice Cream

Photograph Arrangements Following Cross Country

If your child has been invited to attend the cross country session on Wednesday morning, they will need to bring their school uniform to change into for their photo. We will help them to make sure they look smart for the photo.

Diary Dates

New dates in italics

October 2023

  • Monday 2nd - Year 3 trip to Belfairs Woods (3T & 3M) - 9.15am - 11.45am
  • Monday 2nd - Year 5 & 6 Girls' Football @ 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 3rd - Year 4 Curriculum meeting - 2pm - 2.30pm
  • Tuesday 3rd - Year 6 Curriculum meeting - 2.30pm - 3pm
  • Tuesday 3rd - Year 5/6 Boys' Football @ Grove Wood
  • Tuesday 3rd - Coastal Schools (4B)
  • Tuesday 3rd - Year 6 Book Look
  • Wednesday 4th - Oliver Jr! Workshop for Year 5 - 8am
  • Wednesday 4th - Year 3-6 Cross Country training
  • Wednesday 4th - Individual and Sibling Photos from 8.30am
  • Thursday 5th - Individual and Sibling Photos from 8.30am
  • Thursday 5th - Year 3 Curriculum meeting - 2pm - 2.30pm
  • Thursday 5th - Year 5 Curriculum meeting - 2.30pm - 3pm
  • Thursday 5th - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 5) - 3.30pm
  • Friday 6th - Year 3 trip to Belfairs Woods (3L & 3N) 9.15 - 11.45am
  • Friday 6th - Year 3-6 Cross Country at Garons (12pm - 2.45pm)
  • Monday 9th - Author Visit
  • Monday 9th - Year 5 & 6 Football (Wickford) 11.30am - 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 10th - Year 4 Book Look
  • Wednesday 11th - Year 5/6 B Tag Rugby Competition @ SRFC (all day)
  • Wednesday 11th - Oliver Jr! workshop (Year 6) 8am
  • Thursday 12th - Hollywood Bowl for selected children
  • Thursday 12th - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 6) 3.30pm
  • Monday 16th - Coastal Schools (4E)
  • Tuesday 17th - Learning Conferences
  • Wednesday 18th - Coastal Schools (4S)
  • Wednesday 18th - Year 5/6 A Tag Rugby Competition @ SRFC (all day)
  • Thursday 19th - Learning Conferences
  • Friday 20th - INSET DAY
  • Friday 20th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football Competition @ Len Forge
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - HALF TERM
  • Tuesday 31st - Coastal Schools (4B)
  • Tuesday 31st - Year 3 Book Look

November 2023

  • Wednesday 1st - Years 5/6 Basketball Competition @ Eastwood Academy (all day)
  • Wednesday 1st - Oliver Jr! Workshop (Year 4) @ 8am
  • Thursday 2nd - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 4) @ 3.30pm
  • Tuesday 7th - Coastal Schools (4S)
  • Tuesday 7th - Year 6 Book Look
  • Wednesday 8th - Oliver Jr! Workshop (Year 3) @ 8am
  • Thursday 9th - Oliver Jr! Auditions (Year 3) @ 3.30pm
  • Friday 10th - Flu Vaccinations
  • Friday 10th - Year 5/6 Boys' Football @ Len Forge (9.30am - 2.45pm)
  • Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Year 3/4 Test Week
  • Tuesday 14th - Young Shakespeare Company (Year 6)
  • Tuesday 14th - Year 5 Book Look
  • Wednesday 15th - Year 3/4 Dodgeball Competition @ Garons
  • Thursday 16th - Coastal Schools (4E)
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Test Week - All Year Groups
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 4 Presentation to Parents (4B & 4E)
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 4 Book Look
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball Competition B/C @ Garons (9am - 12pm)
  • Wednesday 22nd - Year 5/6 Dodgeball Competition A @ Garons (12.15pm - 3.30pm)
  • Thursday 23rd - Year 3 trip to Barleylands - 9am - 3pm
  • Thursday 23rd - Year 4 Presentation to Parents (4G & 4S)
  • Friday 24th - Science Quiz Club Area Heat
  • Tuesday 28th - Year 3 Book Look
  • Wednesday 29th - Boccia Competition @ Garons (9.30am - 12pm)
  • Wednesday 29th - Kurling Competition @ Garons (12.15pm - 2.45pm)
  • Thursday 30th - Cosatal Schools (4G)

December 2023

  • Monday 11th - Carol Concert @ St. Margaret's Church (7pm - 8pm)
  • Wednesday 13th - Christmas Dinner
  • Thursday 21st - Wednesday 3rd - Christmas Holidays

Disco Dates

  • Year 3: 26th January - arrival 6pm/6.15pm - end - 7.45pm
  • Year 4: 13th October - arrival 6pm/6.15pm - end - 7.45pm
  • Year 5: 3rd November - arrival 6.45pm/7pm - end - 8.30pm

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
  • 4G - Mrs Garrett & Mrs Aggus
  • 3N - Mrs Nash & Mrs Mitchinson


  • 3L - Miss Playfair
  • 4E - Mrs Rodger
  • 4S - Miss Street


  • 3T - Mrs Thompson
  • 5K - Miss Chapman
  • 5R - Mr Markham


  • 6D - Miss Fletcher
  • 5J - Mrs Wilson
  • 5F - Mrs Flower


  • 6W - Mr Dunn
  • 4B - Mr Boylan
  • 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 - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • 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 5K for achieving the best attendance this week at 99.29%.


Most Improved in Sport goes to Isla Hatton in 6W.

Sports Performer of the week goes to Fred Sams in 4G.

This week's Citizen Award goes to Conor McCormack in 6A and Erin McCormack in 3N.

Team Points

01702 478593 - Office@westleigh-jun.southend.sch.uk

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