West Leigh Juniors Weekly News 12th January 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

A belated 'Happy New Year' to you all. We wish you a year full of health and joyous times.

Our first full week of 2024 has been a good one and the children have fallen back into school routines with focus and enthusiasm, particularly for the isolated snow flurries of the last days. Please see the message regarding adverse weather, later in this newsletter.

I wish you all a relaxing weekend,

Cheryl Woolf

Executive Headteacher

Year 3

A very cold but exciting start to the new year has been had in Year 3. The children are now well and truly hooked into their new topic of Gods and Immortals. During our hook day, the children took part in a range of activities, including tasting traditional Greek cuisine although many were not so keen on the Taramasalata dip. They also created their own mini tragedy and comedy scenes from Greek theatre and learned about the structural and technical layout of the theatre. Taking part in their own mini Olympic games (adapted slightly for safety and modesty purposes) also proved a popular part of the day. This was a fabulous introduction to the new topic and the children looked very much the part when they left on Friday donning the laurel crowns they had created.

In English, we have been introduced to Demon the demi-god - son of the god Pan - in our new layered reading book, ‘Beast Keeper’ by Lucy Coates. The children made connections between some of the gods and even produced their own family trees. We have studied two famous Greek myths this week: Pandora’s Box and Daedalus and Icarus. The children completed letters from Pandora explaining her dilemma of wanting to open the box and seeking advice from the wise Athena. They also wrote a conversation between Daedalus and his son Icarus in which they discussed their plan to escape the tower of King Minos by creating a pair of wings.

Connected Curriculum lessons have focused on the children using their philosophical thinking to try to define and link gods with the needs of ancient civilisations. They researched Roman, Mayan, Egyptian and Greek gods in order to understand what each of the gods represented and they used this research to create a golden sentence.

Over the next week, you will notice some new information coming home through the communication book and on the class Showbie page. Spellings will be recorded in the communication book, the spelling assignment on Showbie and on Spelling Shed so you are able to support your child's learning at home. The KIRFS (mental maths skills) can also be found highlighted within the communication book for you to use the ‘Maths with a Mouse’ website to assist you in supporting your child to improve their mental maths skills. Please also ensure that reading records are up-to-date and signed - the expectation is that children will read with an adult five times a week. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment with supporting your child’s learning at home. We wish you and your families a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 4

It appears that the children in Year 4 have come back to face a new term of learning with good humour and determination. It was lovely to welcome them back after their holiday and hear all about their presents and special moments spent with family and friends.

The children have been introduced to our new Connected Curriculum topic, “Don’t Forget You Passport” which will focus on the geography, history and culture of Italy. They have begun to identify the physical and human geographical features of Italy, comparing these to the UK. Some children were rather disappointed that the we have no active volcanoes but after further reflection, were quite relieved!

In maths, we have introduced the children to Roman numerals, making comparisons to our number system. They have had the opportunity to discuss the limitations of the Roman’s system and translated between Roman numerals and our Arabic number system with increasing accuracy. They have also had the opportunity to use this system to complete simple calculations.

In English, the children were introduced to “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, as part of our Brilliant Book Week. They have been both entertained and educated in equal measure. Throughout the week, the children have considered how an inanimate object can have a personality and how they would demonstrate this. They have also practised writing correctly punctuated direct speech and a formal letter of complaint. The outcomes of these lessons have been particularly pleasing.

Just a reminder for your diary: Young Voices Choir on Monday 15th and 4E are going to Coastal Schools on Wednesday 17th (weather permitting) so wrap up warmly!

Letters sent home this week:

Year 5

We trust you have all had a wonderful break and would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year.

We are now fully into the swing of our new topic, ‘Chocolate.’ Last week, the children enjoyed a ‘hook day’ when they learnt about the history of chocolate, linked it to the ancient Mayan civilisation and ground cocoa nibs to make a chocolate drink. Unlike the Mayans, we didn’t add any chilli!

In science, to kick off our topic on space, the children have worked out the relative distances and sizes of the planets from the sun within our solar system and modelled it using fruit and spices. This links well with our new layered reading text: ‘Armstrong, the Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon.’

We are consolidating and extending our work on place value in maths.

Letters sent home this week:

Year 6

In English, we have been thrilled by Michael Morpurgo's ‘The Giants Necklace’. The pupils have been captivated by the twists and turns of the narrative, actively engaging in locating clues and evidence to unravel the construction of this highly engaging story. Alongside the enjoyment of the storyline, students have been developing a range of active reading strategies, honing skills in locating evidence and making predictions.

Having completed ‘Letters from the Lighthouse’ at the end of the Autumn term, we eagerly introduced our latest Layered Reading adventure: Katherine Rundell's ‘The Explorer’, which has already sparked excitement, even though we've only read a few pages.

In maths, the children have been reading and interpreting line graphs and have also developed their skills in drawing accurate graphs. They initially developed their ability to draw and label accurate scales, which was highly beneficial in supporting their subsequent learning.

A new topic, 'Our Changing World,' has been launched, sparking creativity in our Connected Curriculum. As an initial hook to this topic, the children created artwork linked to climate zones around the world, using watercolour paints to express their understanding. They built upon this knowledge in a subsequent lesson, applying their deeper knowledge of longitude and latitude, linking these to climate. Additionally, they've been introduced to the artwork of Rousseau, adding an artistic layer to their interdisciplinary learning. This linked to the development of drawings relating to wildlife from tropical rainforests.

Following previous learning about Karl Linnaeus's system of classification, Year 6 have been expanding their vocabulary and understanding of the intricate manner in which living things are categorised. To showcase their newfound knowledge, students researched invertebrates and creatively presented their findings.

Letters sent home this week:

Knowledge Organisers

This week, you have been emailed the knowledge organiser for this term's new topics in science and Connected Curriculum.

These important documents contain all of the key knowledge and facts the children need in order to have a good understanding of a topic. They can be used in a variety of ways to support learning at home - please see our website for more information:


Online Safety

Freedom of expression is enshrined in international law. Some individuals, however, misunderstand the right to share their opinions as a licence to target others with the most horrendous prejudice. So how do we balance people’s prerogative to have their voice heard against everyone’s right to live in a respectful, inclusive society?

This conflict frequently unfolds in the digital world. Online posters can be falsely accused of hate speech, while actual hate is often defended as merely being ‘free speech’. To help children and young people learn to identify the boundaries and recognise genuine hate speech when they see it, the guide this week provides some helpful definitions and guidelines.

Online Gaming Risks

It has come to our attention that some children are playing online games, such as Fortnite, which have age restrictions. Whilst we would discourage the children from playing such games, we ask that any parents who allow their child to play games online are vigilant, in order to protect their children from the associated risks and dangers.

Key Notices this Week:

Year 3 Disco: Please use the following link to book a space:


School Lunch Information: Just a reminder that all school meals need to be paid for and booked in advance (before 8a.m. on the day) on ParentPay. If the system does not allow you to book a school lunch, this indicates that your account is in arrears and needs to be in credit. Please ensure that you discuss the lunch menu choices with your child. If the 8a.m. school lunch deadline is missed, children will no longer be able to order lunches in class as it’s causing difficulties with ordering for the Infant School Kitchen. A packed lunch must be provided.

Sportshall Athletics

This week has been a great week of sport at West Leigh, with children representing the school in Sportshall Athletics on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. With twelve competing schools and around 360 children participating in both completions, it was two afternoons full of sporting excellence and lots of excitement.

Both teams completed a mixture of running and field events including relays, obstacle races, sprints, throwing and jumping. Every event scored points based on time or distance

All children involved demonstrated superb sportsmanship, respect and amazing determination.

With all the events finished and the results combined, the Year 5/6 team finished in 2nd place, earning them a place at the Essex finals on Wednesday 6th March.

The Year 3/4 team also worked tirelessly in every event, supporting and encouraging each other and working fantastically as a team. They proved that hard work and determination pays off, as they finished 1st and have been crowned 2024 Sportshall champions for Southend. Well done to all the children involved!

Inspirational Person

This half term's inspirational person is Mary-Grace Henry. As we consider the little things at school, she is an excellent example of someone who took small steps to achieve a tremendous goal that helped many. At the age of twelve years old, she set up her own business making and selling hair accessories to raise money to provide an education for girls in areas of poverty. With an initial goal of providing education for just one girl, Mary-Grace quickly surpassed this and sold over 11 000 hair accessories, funding education for many young girls.

Mary-Grace is inspirational as she has shown that focusing on the small steps can lead to success with a larger goal - and one that benefits a whole community. We can learn a lot from her advice: “My advice is just to begin. When you see a need, act. Dream big, but start small, taking little steps.”

Mary-Grace identified a need and came up with a solution, using small steps. Last half term, you identified problems/needs and decided which you would like to support by creating your own charity. Some of your brilliant ideas are below - thank you to all who took part in the Showbie challenge!

Your challenge this half term is to tell me the first three small steps that you would take to begin solving a problem and helping those who need your help. You can post these in the comments box in the 'Inspirational People' folder on Showbie.

Adverse Weather

Although we are not expecting any adverse winter weather, I would like to take an opportunity to remind you of our bad weather procedures. We endeavour to keep the school open when we can - our prime concern always being the safety of the pupils, staff and other members of the school community. However, in the unlikely event that we have to close the school due to adverse weather, you will be notified by email at the earliest opportunity.

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

January 2024

  • Monday 15th - Young Voices Choir @ the O2 - 10.30am - 11pm
  • Tuesday 16th - Y6 RSE Parent Talk - 2.30pm - 3pm
  • Wednesday 17th - Year 5 General Knowledge Quiz Club Trials
  • Monday 22nd - Little Lifesavers - Year 5
  • Tuesday 23rd - Swimming Gala for selected children - 9am - 3pm
  • Year 4 Book Look
  • Wednesday 24th - Year 3 General Knowledge Quiz Club Trials
  • Year 5/6 Football vs Bentley St Pauls
  • Friday 26th - Football tournament (Y3/4 boys) - 9.30am - 2.45pm
  • Friday 26th - Year 3 Disco 6.15pm - 7.45pm
  • Tuesday 30th - Young Voices Concert for parents @ 2pm
  • Year 3/4 Father David Assembly
  • Year 5/6 Boys' Football vs Greenways
  • Wednesday 31st - Year 4 Water Safety Assembly
  • Year 5/6 Father David Assembly
  • Year 5/6 Hockey Competition

February 2024

  • Friday 2nd - Year 4 to fields
  • Monday 5th - Year 5/6 Boys Football vs Greenways
  • Tuesday 6th - Year 6 Cyber safety Assembly
  • Year 3 Book Look
  • Year 3 Girls' to fields
  • Year 3/4 Boys' Football vs Rayleigh
  • Friday 9th - Year 3 to Fields
  • Wednesday 14th - Year 5 Performance to Parents
  • Friday 16th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 19th - 23rd - February Half Term
  • Monday 26th - Yr 5/6 Girls Football
  • Tuesday 27th - Cross Country Competition @ Alleyn Court 11am - 1pm
  • Tuesday 27th - Late Book Look (6pm - 6.30pm)
  • Thursday 29th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football vs Down Hall Primary
  • Year 5 Transition Meeting to Parents from 7.30pm

March 2024

  • Friday 1st - General Knowledge Quiz Club Area Heat
  • Monday 4th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Tuesday 5th - Year 3 presentation (3L & 3N)
  • School Council visiting House of Parliament
  • Year 3/4 Father David Assembly
  • Year 6 Book Look
  • Year 5/6 Boys' Football vs Down Hall
  • Wednesday 6th - Year 5/6 Father David Assembly
  • Thursday 7th - Year 3 presentation( 3M & 3T)
  • Year 3/4 Girls' Football vs Rayleigh
  • Monday 11th- Friday 22nd - Test Weeks
  • Wednesday 13th - Parent Council Meeting
  • Monday 18th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Monday 25th - Learning Conferences
  • Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Wednesday 27th - Learning Conferences
  • Essex Cross Country Finals
  • Samba Workshop
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY

April 2024

  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER HOLIDAYS
  • Monday 15th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Thursday 18th, Friday 19th & Saturday 20th - Oliver Jr! Production
  • Monday 22nd - Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Wednesday 24th - Year 5 Trip to West Stow Village
  • Friday 26th - Year 4 Field Study
  • Monday 29th - Year 5/6 Girls' Football

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)
  • Year 5/6 Girls' Football
  • Tuesday 21st - Year 5 presentation to parents (5J & 5R)
  • Wednesday 22nd - Swimming Gala
  • 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

  • Tuesday 4th - Bikeability Week (6D & 6P)
  • Tuesday 4th - Multiplication Check Fortnight
  • Monday 10th - Test Week (Years 3, 4 & 5)
  • Tuesday 11th - Late Book Look (6pm - 7pm)
  • Wednesday 12th - Borough Sports
  • Thursday 13th - 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
  • Thursday 18th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

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 - Tuesday
  • Outdoor PE - Thursday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • Outdoor PE - Wednesday


  • Indoor PE - Monday
  • 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 5R who have achieved an impressive 100% attendance this week.


Our most improved in sport award goes to Archie Hall (4G)

Our sports performer award goes to Toby Hobson (6W)

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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