porters grange weekly newsletter week ending 13th October 2023

Janelle McCurdy visits Porters Grange

On Monday afternoon, we were fortunate enough to welcome the author Janelle McCurdy into the school due to the links we are starting to build with a lovely local book shop, Jacqson Diego. As part of Janelle’s assembly, the children were invited into the world of fantasy and learnt what an umbra is. They learnt how Janelle’s love of gaming inspired her to write this trilogy series.

Janelle introduced her first two books of the trilogy, ‘Mia and the Lightcasters’ and ‘Mia and the Traitor of Nubis.’ Mia’s home was plunged into a forever night years ago by the shadowy Reaper King. Outside the city walls the umbra roam. Only a special few can tame the umbra to keep the city safe…

After Janelle’s assembly, the children returned to class and used this week’s learning power ‘Use your imagination’ to create their own umbras. Their creativity and drawing skills really impressed Janelle. She said ‘I can see some future authors and illustrators at Porters Grange!’

The children enjoyed this aspiring experience so much that several children pre-ordered or returned after school to purchase signed copies! Janelle said she looks forward to visiting again once the final of the trilogy is published.

If you would like to order copies of Janelle’s books, please use the following link: www.jacqsondiego.com/janelle-mccurdy-order-form which will be available until Friday 13th October.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support. Reading is a fundamental part of Porters Grange and we hope the children continue to enjoy books for a lifetime.

Panathlon Tenpin Bowling

On Wednesday 11th October, we took a small group of children to participate in the Panathlon Tenpin Bowling event at Hollywood Bowl in Basildon. The children had great fun and some of them even scored a strike! As a team, we scored a grand total of 522 points. Each child received a fantastic medal and a certificate for taking part. Well done everyone!

Porters Oak Tree

Since we had the amazing Julia Donaldson live author experience, we have been enjoying her latest book The Oak Tree. We thought it would be wonderful to enjoy her story under our very own Porters Oak tree! The children relaxed while listening to the story, enjoyed the fresh air and after collected acorns and Oak leaves. At Porters we value the importance of outdoor learning and over the year our children want to observe the oak tree to see how it changes through the seasons. Why not try this as a family? Take your child's favorite book and share it under one of the many lovely trees in Southend... Take a photo and share it on SeeSaw.

Early Years Family Reading Workshop 1

On Wednesday 10th October we invited both Nursery and Reception families to our reading workshop. It was a great opportunity to learn how we teach and value phonics and reading at Porters Grange and how families can help with their child's reading journey at home. The children loved joining their grown ups and receiving their first Porters Grange reading book! The workshop ended with a fun rhyming book, The Whales on the Bus. You could tell this is a firm favorite of the children as we read it altogether! All slides and videos from the workshop are now on See Saw. There will be a Reception Family Reading Workshop on Wednesday 22nd November at 9am and 2.30pm. Thank you for your support.


This week we have been continuing our interest in our book for this half term, ‘The whales on the bus’, we have made a group dragon in the wagon, goats on boats, snakes on skates and baboons in balloons!!

We have also had amazing fun with some pirate themed toys and enjoyed taking our turn in a group game.

REMINDERS: Thank you to the parents and carers who attended this week’s reading workshop.


Thank you to the parents and carers who attended this week’s reading workshop. The children should have received their school reading book and reading log and have begun to use new skills to read their book and re-tell the story.

This week the children have enjoyed reciting familiar nursery rhymes and joining in with the words and actions. As part of letters and sounds phase 1, the children have been playing listening games and thinking what sounds they can hear at the beginning of words.

In maths the children have been learning to count carefully touching each object. They have explored making sets and how to sort objects in various ways.

REMINDER: Please check your child has their name in all items of clothing. Please listen to your child read at home and sign their reading record.

Year 1

This week the children have learned how to write the letters in the zig zag family. They have applied the correct letter formation within words. Some children have composed their own sentences and written them down. They have also been enjoying outdoor play, experimenting with heights of blocks and comparing these towers to their own height. The children have explored fact families in maths and working out number bonds.

REMINDER: Parents evening is Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th October. Please book a time to come and see us. Please support your child in practising to write the z, v, w and x.

Year 2

This week in English we made predictions about what would happen in the book “The Night Pirate.” We used our knowledge of nouns and adjectives to describe our characters. In maths, we learned about number bonds and fact families. We explored how numbers are related to each other and practised different math skills. Our history lesson focused on buildings in modern and Victorian Southend. In PSHE, we found different ways to manage our feelings. We created a “Keep Calm Toolkit” to help us when we’re feeling upset or worried. In PE, we had a great time practising ball skills, especially in the sunny weather!

REMINDER: A reminder that children shouldn't have earrings on for PE.

Year 3

This week Year 3 have been working on writing instructions in English for a stone age oatcake recipe. They have been applying knowledge of adverbs to clearly state how each instruction should be carried out. In maths they have been learning about addition and subtraction and are now applying their knowledge to using the formal method in a column. In art they have been making clay pots, inspired by the stone age, making markings on the pots.

REMINDER: Please remember to read every night with your child and then record this in their reading diary. Their diary should then also be in school every day.

Year 4

This week in English we have been reading the story ‘the Princess who hid in a tree’ about an Anglo-Saxon royal family who are treated badly by an evil king. The children have created their own family member and adapted some things within the story. In science, we had a great lesson all about different animal teeth and the children were fascinated by the different shapes of teeth and skulls.

REMINDER: Please remember to read every night with your child and then record this in their reading diary. Their diary should then also be in school every day.

Year 5

This week in English, the children have looked at biographies. They have read a biography about Katherine Johnson and identified the features.

In art, the children have planned their own space collage. Next week, they will create them using all of the skills learnt this half term.

REMINDER: Swordfish class are visiting the Planetarium next Wednesday and Seaturtle next Thursday. If you have not yet paid, please pay via Parent pay.

Year 6

This week, in English, we have been studying a biography about Arthur Conan Doyle - the author of the famous mystery novel Sherlock Holmes. In maths, we are learning how to use long division to solve trickier calculations. In geography, we have created a plan for a local area of spare land. In PSHE, we have discussed life events that could affect people’s mental health and wellbeing and solutions to help in these situations.

REMINDER: Please come to one of the parent evenings next week if you are able to make it. The children would love to show you some of the wonderful work they have been completing. A reminder that full PE kit needs to be in on Wednesdays and Fridays.


This week year five begin their study of animals in French; year four take their knowledge of French numbers onwards; year two are building sentences about the weather on different days.


Music Clubs

  • Tuesday: Music Making for year 1 and 2.
  • Thursday: Choir for years 3 - 6.

Instrumental Lessons

We do have a few vacancies, please contact Mrs Baines if your child would like to learn an instrument.

  • Tuesday am; Drums
  • Wednesday am: Keyboard and Flute
  • Wednesday am: Guitar

Did you know? Shopping at our Scholastic book fairs has raised £1357.11 in Scholastic Rewards in the last year for Porters Grange Primary School to spend on books!! This has been spent on high quality books that we share with your children during our daily reading time and lots of Porters P.I.C.K books for our big and micro-libraries for your children to enjoy.

Please support our book fair next week so we can raise some more money. We always need new books. The book fair is open straight after school in the North Hall everyday next week! Thank you for your support.

Healthy Schools

Second Hand Uniform Shop

Our Uniform shop is located within the front reception area of the school and is open Monday-Friday 8.15am - 4.00pm. All items are 50p each. We always have a good selection of skirts, trousers, jumpers, tops, dresses and P.E items. Please ask at the office to point you in the right direction.

School Uniform Donations

We welcome school uniform donations for us to sell at our school uniform shop. Could we please ask that the clothes are in good, clean condition. All items can be dropped off at the school office between 8.15am - 4.00pm. Thank you so much for doing this for the school as it helps our parents out tremendously.

*** White Polo Shirts needed ***

If you have any white polo shirts or short sleeved white shirts in good clean condition that your children have grown out of could you consider donating them to the school.

Thank you



Congratulations to Stingray and Orca Class who received their class attendance awards this week. Stingray having had the best attendance in school at 97.69%, had their class attendance song played as the children left assembly.

Parents Reporting Absences

We have had a higher than usual number of pupil absences that have not been reported to the school attendance team this week. Absences that have no reason recorded are marked on the register as unauthorised. If a child is absent without a reason being provided, the school will aim to contact you. If we are unable to get hold of you by phone or email school staff or our local authority attendance officer may also carry out a welfare visit to your home address.

Please be reminded if your child is absent from school for any reason, a parent should contact the school to let us know. You can do this by telephoning the school on 01702468047 (select OPTION 1 for the attendance line) on the morning of absence. Make sure you are ready to provide your child's name, class and reason for the absence. You can also report a pupil absence via the attendance email – attendance@pgps.porticoacademytrust.co.uk. Mrs Wyer or Mrs Morris will confirm that they have received your message and the reason for the absence can be communicated to the class teacher.

Pupil attendance is checked daily, so if an absence is going to continue for more than one day, please keep us updated in the same way, call or email the school.

Out Of School Hours Absence Reporting

You can call the school and leave a voicemail message on the attendance line or leave a message in the form of an email, if you need to contact the school at a time that is out of school hours.

Dinner Menu

Week 2

Monday - Beef Burger in a Bun - Vegetable Burger in a Bun - Wholewheat Pasta with Arrabiatta Sauce - Carrot Sticks - Lemon Drizzle Sponge

Tuesday - Beef Biryani - Vegetable Fajita Wrap - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Sweetcorn - Flapjack

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

Thursday - Chicken & Vegetable Chow Mein - Mushroom & Vegetable Chow Mein - Pasta with Tomato & Vegetable Sauce - Broccoli - Apple Crumble with Custard

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Spiced Squash & Spinach Samosa - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Chips & Baked Beans - Oat & Cherry Cookie

Diary Dates


  • Monday 16th - Friday 20th - Book Fair
  • Tuesday 17th - Parents Evening
  • Wednesday 18th - Parents Evening
  • Swordfish visiting Southend Planetarium
  • Thursday 19th - Sea Turtle visiting Southend Planetarium
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - October Half Term
  • Monday 30th - INSET Day


  • Friday 17th - Children In Need
  • Monday 20th - Year 5 & 6 visting the cinema


  • Wednesday 6th - Flu Immunisations
  • Tuesday 19th - Christmas dinner
  • Thursday 21st December - Wednesday 3rd January - Christmas break