West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 1st MARCH 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It was fantastic to welcome so many of you into school on Tuesday evening for our late book look and then again on Thursday evening when the parents of Year 5 children attended a meeting about transition.

Today has also been a day of teamwork as the children separated into house teams to create their rocks - each containing important messages in line with this year's curriculum driver, spreading words of kindness and encouragement to each other.

Best wishes,

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

We have been working as designers this week in our Connected Curriculum lessons. The children began by researching different bags and how they are suited for their intended purpose, taking into consideration the straps, size, fastenings and materials used. They were then able to identify the key features of the design brief in order to design and make an ambrosia carrier for one of the Greek gods.

There has been a real focus on times tables knowledge this week as the children have been learning about multiplication. They began the week multiplying numbers by 10 and 100, moving onto using known facts to multiply by multiples of 10. The week ended with the introduction of formal multiplication. This has highlighted some gaps in tables knowledge so please encourage your child to spend some time each week on TT Rock Stars and the Maths With a Mouse website.

Beat boxing, bars and lyrics have been the sounds of the Year 3 corridor this week as the children learnt all about rhythm and rhyme in their English lessons. They experimented with rhyming words and created lyrics to rap to a beat. Using our Layered Reading text ‘Beasts of Olympus’ as inspiration, they planned a rap all about the Demon's journey to Mount Olympus.

At the start of the school day, the children have been completing a range of activities for their early morning work. This has included a ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check’ of their weekly spellings, unscrambling anagrams of key vocabulary, generating noun phrases from a photograph of Athens, finding one more and one less than a given number and using their knowledge organisers to determine if statements about ancient Greece were true or false. This valuable learning time has allowed the children to practise skills from previous lessons and also address any misconceptions before new learning takes place.

A highlight for the children this week has been the opportunity to have a full rehearsal of their upcoming presentation where they were very excited to dress in their costumes and practise performing on the stage. They have all worked incredibly hard to learn their parts and we look forward to welcoming you to the performances next week. 3L and 3N on Tuesday and 3T and 3M on Thursday; both performances will begin promptly at 2.15.

Please note that next week, 3T will have PE on Wednesday instead of Thursday.

Year 4

It was lovely to welcome the children back after their half term break, ready to resume their learning journey with renewed vigour. It has certainly been another action-packed week in Year 4. In English, our focus has been on following and writing instructional texts. At times, this has both challenged and amused the children and they have certainly come to understand that they are harder to write than they might first appear! This has also allowed the children to review imperative verbs and adverbs of time and manner.

In maths lessons, we have been making links between multiplication and division. The language of division was introduced including terms such as divisor, dividend and quotient. The children have applied their tables facts to solve division calculations, building on prior learning and using a variety of different strategies including sharing and grouping, drawing arrays, partitioning and formal written methods.

During our science lessons this week, we focused on the water cycle which has allowed the children to consolidate their understanding of evaporation and condensation. The children were fascinated to learn that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water and it is the one of the most valuable resources we have. Looking at diagrams and setting up a simple experiment, the children viewed the process in action and much valuable discussion was had.

During our Connected Curriculum lessons, we considered the question “What have the Romans done for us?” The children learnt about the reason for the Roman’s urge for invasion and particularly why they were determined to make Britain part of their empire. We went on to discuss the legacy their invasion has left, including civilisation, infrastructure and language; the children were amazed how much the Romans did for us and how we still benefit from their influence to this day.

Our PSHCE lessons this half term focus on how to keep our bodies healthy. This week, we have considered the similarities and differences between people both from things we can see and also things we can’t, for example likes and dislikes and personalities. The children have also been taught about the scientific language to use when talking about the private parts of their bodies.

4S are looking forward to Coastal Schools next Tuesday 5th March. If any parents are available to help, please could they contact the office or Miss Street who would be grateful for volunteers. Also, on Thursday 7th March, we will be supporting World Book Day where the children will be allowed to come to school wearing their pyjamas (sleepwear). 4S and 4B who will be doing PE that afternoon will still be able to take part as long as they wear trainers with their PE kit. Outdoor PE for 4G and 4E will be on Wednesday next week.

Year 5

During our English lessons this week, we have been introduced to our new text, Cloud Tea Monkeys by Elspeth Graham and Mal Peet. We have been replicating the use of figurative language to describe settings and have analysed main characters in the story.

In maths, we have been revisiting our geometry skills and have learnt about symmetry and the transformation of shape.

During science, we introduced a new topic of life cycles and enjoyed dissecting flowers to identify the different parts of a flower's reproductive system.

Year 6

As mathematicians, the pupils have embarked on a journey of revision, laying the groundwork for refining their skills and tackling more complex problem-solving scenarios. With determination and focus, they've begun the process of strengthening their mathematical prowess, with a focus on angles and co-ordinates.

In English , Year 6 have been immersing themselves in the intricate character of Con from Katherine Rundell's captivating narrative. Through thoughtful analysis and reflection, they've examined how their perceptions of Con have evolved, showcasing their deepening understanding of character dynamics and narrative progression. Additionally, they've completed the first drafts of their personal recounts, skilfully crafting emotive endings to leave a lasting impact on their readers.

In Connected Curriculum, they have investigated the intricate patterns of animal prints, translating their observations into creative expressions through printing techniques. Furthermore, they've delved into the complex web of relationships surrounding the rainforest, exploring its significance to various groups and engaging in spirited debates about its importance.

The week culminated in an exciting Team Challenge, where our Year 6 pupils showcased their teamwork, leadership, and supportive nature. Their enthusiastic participation not only highlighted their own strengths but also demonstrated their commitment to fostering the values of empathy, responsibility, and good citizenship.

Online Safety

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.

Netball at Alleyn Court

On Wednesday, the Year 6 netball team entered the KS2 netball competition at Alleyn Court.

They played Chalkwell, winning 4-0, Hamstel, 3-2 and Bournes Green, winning 6-0 so will now be attending the finals on Monday 18th March.

The girls once again showed excellent teamwork and determination. Well done to all involved.

Football Festival

On Friday 16th February, 18 children from Year 3 and 23 from Year 5 participated in a football festival at the Len Forge Centre.

The children were split into three teams and played a round robin football festival with every team playing each other, giving the children plenty of time to play football against other schools and each of the West Leigh teams. It was a fantastic day for the children and everyone involved had a great time learning and improving their football skills.

General Knowledge Quiz Club

Following four weeks of practice sessions, the General Knowledge Quiz Club teams came together this morning to compete in the online area heats against over 80 other schools across the country.

The competition was extremely tense as both West Leigh teams tackled an array of questions from a wide range of topics including facts about historical figures and dates, composers, famous film tracks and planets within the solar system, to name but a few. Both teams demonstrated great communication skills and teamwork as they saw themselves move up and down the scoreboard throughout the contest.

After a nail-biting final round, both teams finished in the top 30 and we are excited to announce that both teams have made it through to the semi finals on Friday 15th March.

Key Notices this Week

Footwear: As stated on our website (https://www.westleighjunior.co.uk/uniform ), only plain black footwear/trainers are permitted in school. This is to avoid children from feeling pressurised about the latest fashion trends and brands. If you are unable to send your child into school with plain, black trainers as per our uniform expectations, please pop into school to let us know.

Cross-Country: All of the children who were previously invited to attend cross-country competitions at Thorpe Hall and Alleyn Court should now have received a letter inviting them to our very own West Leigh cross-country event. This will take place on Monday 11th March at Belfairs Playing Fields during the afternoon session of the school day. We look forward to finally seeing these children compete in a mixture of individual and team races. 

School Nurse Presentation: Please note a change to the previously advertised school nurse health clinics, as detailed below:

Inspirational Person

This half term, we have learned about the work of Nicholas Lowinger. At the age of five, he was inspired to help homeless people when he visited a shelter and realised that children had to wear used shoes, which often did not fit well. When he was seventeen, he set up 'Gotta Have Sole' - a charity delivering new shoes to homeless children. We were greatly inspired by his drive to change at such a young age, and his quote: "No one is ever too young or old to help others. Kids don’t always realise that they have the power to make a difference."

Last half term's Showbie challenge was a great success and many children were awarded prizes. This half term, the challenge is to design a pair of shoes to help Nicholas spread the word about his charity. There is a template in the 'Inspirational People' Showbie folder.

Design Competition

We are inviting budding designers in Years 3-5 to design the front cover for next year's Communication Books. Designs need to include a space for each child's name, class and team and should include the name of our school.

Preferred designs will be those completed by hand, rather than digitally.

All completed designs should be given to Mrs Carr by Monday 11th March (with the entrant's name and class written in pencil, on the reverse).

The winning design will be selected by the School Council before sending off to print.

World Book Day

Next Thursday, we will be celebrating World Book Day. In addition to a number of enjoyable activities planned throughout the day, the children are invited to come to school in their pyjamas/sleepwear. They are also welcome to bring slippers to wear whilst inside.

Comic Relief 2024

On Friday 15th March, we will take part in a charity fundraiser for Comic Relief. On this day, the children are invited to come to school dressed in something wacky or funny as this year we are encouraged to 'do something funny for money.' All the details can be found on the letter which has been emailed this afternoon.

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

March 2024

  • Tuesday 5th - Year 3 presentation (3L & 3N)
  • School Council visiting Houses of Parliament
  • Coastal Schools (4S)
  • Visit to Adalah Care Home for selected children @ 1pm
  • Year 6 Book Look
  • Wednesday 6th - Year 5/6 Father David Assembly
  • Sportshall Athletics (Years 5 & 6)
  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day - wear pyjamas
  • Year 3 presentation( 3M & 3T)
  • Significant Females Sale - from 1.15pm
  • Friday 8th - Toy Swap
  • Monday 11th- Friday 22nd - Test Weeks
  • Boys' Choir @ Palace Theatre - 6pm - 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 13th - Parent Council Meeting - 6pm - 7pm
  • Friday 15th - Comic Relief (non-uniform day)
  • Monday 25th - Learning Conferences
  • Southend Diving Talent - Year 3
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Wednesday 27th - Learning Conferences
  • Essex Cross Country Finals @ Garons
  • Samba Workshop
  • Oliver Jr! dress rehearsal
  • Thursday 28th - Last day of term
  • No After School Club
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY

April 2024

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

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)
  • 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
  • No After School Club
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

Don't forget to check out our new online bookshop here.

Swimming

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.

Monday

  • 3M - Mrs Millham
  • 4B - Mr Boylan
  • 3N - Mrs Nash & Mrs Mitchinson

Tuesday

  • 3L - Miss Playfair
  • 4G - Mrs Garrett & Mrs Nash
  • 4S - Miss Street

Wednesday

  • 3T - Mrs Thompson
  • 5K - Miss Chapman
  • 5R - Mrs Lewis

Thursday

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

Friday

  • 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.

Second Half Term:

3L

  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday

3M

  • Indoor PE - Wednesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday

3N

  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Friday

3T

  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday

4B

  • Indoor PE - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday

4E

  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday

4G

  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday

4S

  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday

5F

  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday

5J

  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday

5K

  • Indoor PE - Friday
  • Outdoor PE - Monday

5R

  • Indoor PE - Thursday
  • Outdoor PE - Tuesday

6A

  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday

6D

  • Indoor - Wednesday
  • Outdoor - Monday

6P

  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Monday

6W

  • Indoor - Thursday
  • Outdoor - Tuesday

Attendance

Congratulations to 6W who achieved the best attendance this week, with an impressive 100% - a great start to the half term!

Awards

The Most Improved in Sport Award goes to Jacob Stow in 4S.

Sports Performer of the Week Award goes to Kai Lone in 5J.

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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