Friars Weekly Newsletter 17th November 2023

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Updates about our Anti-Bullying Week, Odd Socks Day and Children in Need
  • Reports for recent girls' and boys' football tournaments

What a great week despite yet another storm!

Every year, we celebrate Anti-Bullying Week and this year was no exception. The week began with Odd Socks Day. We enjoyed wearing our odd socks to school and Ms. Taylor Brown took the day’s assembly. Ms. Taylor Brown explained to children why Odd Socks Day is so important and read the story Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph. This is one of my personal favourites as it promotes being different and acceptance. The copy of the book was one that Rob Biddulph signed for me when he opened the Porters Grange library a number of years ago. Rob writes books for both younger and older children and he is definitely an author I would recommend.

The children have obviously been learning lots about bullying and what to do if they ever have any worries or problems. The week finished with Children in Need which seemed very fitting - a great opportunity for us all to come together to support a great cause. We are proud of the charity work we do for not only Children in Need but Comic Relief, Havens Hospices and Macmillan Cancer Support amongst other charities. Staff loved seeing the children in their non-uniform and the many Pudsey ears and other merchandise. I think the children enjoyed seeing the staff dressed up too! Thank you to everyone for taking part and for the generous donations which will be winging their way to the charity once Mrs. Andrews has added everything together. Poor Mrs. Andrews!

Thank you to everyone who attended our Learning Conversation Evenings. We hope you found your meeting useful. If you were unable to make it and would still like to talk, please email your child’s year group email account and your child’s teacher will do their best to arrange a time to meet.

It’s hard to believe that December is only a fortnight away… Please make sure you have made a note of the Christmas events that are happening in school. Remember that more information about the Winter Wonderland decoration making sessions will come to you the week before your event. Our PTA Christmas Fayre is exactly two weeks today. You will be able to collect your child at 2:00pm following our usual end of day arrangements. The fayre will remain open until 4:30pm so if you would rather it be a little quieter, do feel free to leave and return a little later on…

Have a lovely weekend and see you all on Monday.

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

Collective Worship and Religious Education Survey

Thank you to those of you who have completed this survey. It is not too late to offer your views. If you can spare a few minutes, please complete the survey at: https://forms.office.com/e/dbipgXwuTE

Bikes and Scooters

A reminder again that if your child does bring a bike or scooter to school, please ensure that they are locked up in the shed. The school cannot take responsibility for bikes and scooters on the school grounds. Thank you.

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


To start our week in Nursery we wore our odd socks to celebrate how we are all different. We read the story Simon Sock and talked about how we show kindness to others.

Also, this week in Nursery we have introduced foundation to phonics in our group time sessions. Most of the Nursery children will now learn a new phoneme each week and begin to work on initial sounds and blending with practical and interactive, hands-on activities

REMINDER: Please remember that Monday is our Reading themed Stay and Play. Parents/Carers and younger siblings all welcome.


It has been a busy week in Reception as we kicked off the week with Odd Socks Day. This was a chance to stimulate discussion on why being different is something to celebrate as part of the national Anti-Bullying Week. As the week progressed, we enjoyed learning about spiders using non-fiction books and Google searches. This inspired many pictures of spiders, webs and some children were even beginning to label them. We have begun learning the songs for Our First Nativity and have already got some firm favourites that bring a lot of enthusiasm. By the end of the week, we were thinking of others as we came to school in non-uniform for Children in Need. We added Pudsey spots to lots of things and talked about how we can help children who do not have as much as we do.


Year 1

It has been a fun week in Year 1 – the children have been discussing properties of 2D shapes and enjoyed playing ‘what shape is in the bag?’ In English, the children have written captions for pictures from the Emperor’s Egg.

REMINDER: 1MV have their outdoor learning sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Year 2

Year 2 children have started to develop their sewing skills this week in readiness for making their puppet. There was real perseverance on show by many children who tried and tried and tried again when things went wrong! As it was Anti-Bullying Week, the children have discussed what the word ‘bully’ means and who they can talk to when they upset by others.

It was lovely to be able to meet with parents and carers during our parent consultation evenings. It is always a joy to share your child’s achievements with you all.

Reminder: Please read with your child regularly at home to support their decoding and fluency skills. Please sign their Rainbow Reader Chart at the front of their record book when they have read to you. Many thanks for your support. It really is appreciated.

Year 3

What a busy week it has been in Year 3! We started off with a story and song for our anti-bullying assembly on Monday (excellent effort with the odd socks!), which we have continued to think and learn about throughout the rest of the week too, through a range of activities.

Diwali has been great fun to learn about through poetry and artwork this week. The children have really enjoyed learning about this festival; please do ask them about it!

While dressed up for our Children in Need celebrations, we’ve even managed to squeeze in a workshop for carbon monoxide awareness. Your child will have brought home an alarm and will be quite the expert on why we need these in our homes!

Thank you for meeting with us this week and taking time to discuss the wonderful progress Year 3 are already making.

REMINDER: Please ensure your child brings a coat and water bottle (both named!) to school every day.

Spelling tests are every Monday and times tables are on a Friday so please practise these as much as possible with your child.

Year 4

What a wet week it’s been. Thankfully, the wet weather has not stopped the children from learning. It was also good that the weather did not stop so many of you from attending our learning conversations this week. It was lovely to see you and get to know you a little more.

Using the White Rose Maths scheme, Year 4 are investigating multiplying and dividing. This week, they studied the 3, 6 and 9 times tables and learnt how to display their answers through a variety of means.

The children were focused on poetry during the week, learning the different strategies and writing techniques that poets use when writing.

This week has also been ‘Anti-Bullying Week,’ and ‘Diwali,’ and the children have looked into both, discussing different friendship scenarios and how they would deal with them in PHSE and creating rangoli patterns as part of the celebration of Diwali.

The week finished with Children in Need, with the children coming in non-uniform or their Pudsey bits and pieces.

REMINDER: Please ensure that children bring in their completed homework on a Friday morning.

Year 5

This week in maths, we have started our unit on fractions. The children have focused on unit and non-unit fractions and finding equivalent fractions. Everyone has worked really well and clearly brought a lot of knowledge with them from Year 4. In English, we started the week with a 'best write' based on Remembrance Sunday. We then went on to write letters from the perspective of a soldier. Geography saw us locating well-known mountains of the world using an atlas. The children's atlas skills are developing well. For RE, the year group rehearsed a song for Diwali which began on Sunday. We also began learning our Christmas song, Stop the Cavalry for which lyrics will be given to the children so that they can sing along at home. Mid-week, Year 5 continued their yoga by putting moves together in sequences.

Year 6

Year 6 have been completing practice SATs this week. All the children have worked extremely hard and shown great perseverance and resilience.

In the afternoons we have continued experimenting with electrical circuits to make traffic lights work and printed our fabric for our cushions.

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


Wow! Such a successful week in computing this week.

Firstly, I would like to thank Bella-Rose (Year 6) and Bow (Year 5) for bringing in their 3D models created at home using a 3D printing pen. I was so impressed with their enthusiasm and dedication and loved seeing your designs this week. Thank you so much!

We have worked hard across all year groups to continue developing our learning of creating media.

The week began with Year 1 developing their typing skills using Microsoft Word to write a description about themselves. The need for children to locate the various keys on the keyboard is challenging and the sooner we are able to recognise capital and lowercase letters our speed of typing and logging in will improve.

In the afternoon the Year 5 classes created a vector drawing on PowerPoint of Pudsey for children in need and a pair of odd socks for Anti-Bullying Week.

Year 4 began planning their very own podcasts. They decided on a topic from Children in Need, Anti-Bullying Week or 'All about Friars'. They were asked to plan their introduction, outro, main pieces of information as well as identify which sound effects they wanted to use at various points throughout the podcast.

This week, Year 3 had a go at animating a hand drawn picture of Pudsey Bear. This was a new website we explored using the iPads and was a huge success. Many children requested the website so they could continue the fun and learning at home.

Animated Drawings

On Thursday, Year 2 continued their learning of taking photographs focusing on the use of light in the pictures and how this can change the photograph. We explored different areas of the school with different brightness to show the difference between natural light, no light or the use of a flash. Next week we will be looking at the different effects on the iPad and how these effects can drastically change and adapt the pictures taken.

On Friday, Year 6 were eager to continue learning and developing their 3D modelling skills using Tinkercad. Already we are seeing some amazing designs take place. This week they were asked to create a Pudsey bear for Children in Need and/or Odd Socks Day to celebrate Anti-Bullying Week.

Online Safety

As well as our weekly online safety guides, I would like to remind you of the recent letter about Online Safety for Parents. In the letter we outlined the process for signing up (for free) to the National Online Safety services. You can do so by following the link in the letter and select ‘Parent/Carer’ as your user type in order to get instant access to a wealth of support guides, videos and resources. This only takes a few moments to do and will help us all to keep your children safe online.

The online safety guide this week focuses on Smart TVs which have become more affordable in recent years. They are now found in many homes and these advanced systems offer numerous features beyond those of a normal television set. They have the ability to access the internet and interface with popular streaming services without the need for an additional set-top box or other device.

This increased functionality, however, also brings additional threats to privacy, security and more – as you’d expect from any device capable of going online. As televisions are such a cornerstone of our home lives, these dangers can be uniquely difficult to manage. This week's guide breaks down the major risks, with tips on helping children to enjoy TV … stress free!

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

PE and Sport

Well done to the football teams that played last week – all children involved had a great time and found the standard of football to be very good. The reports for both the girls' and boys' tournaments are further down this newsletter.

In school this week, we have tried to be outside where the weather has permitted it. It has been lovely to see children working on their PE wearing the school PE kit - as it is getting colder, please remember that plain black tracksuit tops can be worn as part of the PE kit but they must not have hoods. Hoodies should not be worn as they are not part of the expected uniform.

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

Outdoor Learning

1B have had a great time with their outdoor learning sessions, the children have looked carefully at plants, planted some winter vegetables and conducted an experiment to see how roots absorb water.

Don’t forget: 1MV have their outdoor learning sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Come dressed and ready whatever the weather! School top halves please and sensible bottoms, footwear and jackets!

Singing Assembly with Ms. Taylor-Brown

KS1 with Mrs Dyer

The children started to learn Christmas carols and this week began with ‘Away in a Manger,’ and ‘It was on a starry night.’

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

We came into the wonderful “Driving home for Christmas by Chris Rea- that always reminds me of driving to visit my mum all the way in Somerset!

We then practiced “Whilst Shepherds watched their flocks by night” and talked about what the verses meant.

And we went out to the brilliant “Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. The children loved this animation- so we will have this one coming into assembly next week. I was really impressed that the children rememberd Nat King Cole’s name!

Maybe I am inspiring some music pop quiz experts with my assemblies!

Boys Football Tournament

Including: Brayden, Alfie P, Taylor, Tylor, Riley B, Riley M, Olly, Dominik and Joe

On the way to the tournament all of us were singing on the minibus. When we arrived, we lined up and then we were taken into the Len Forge grounds. We congregated in a corner and started to do our training. When we were called over, we were told the rules and we observed a 2 minute silence for Remembrance. Finally, we were given a pitch number…

In the first match we lost 2-0 and after this we had a break and started to train in the corner again until we had our second match. In the second match we went down to a narrow 1-0 loss. We recovered with a drink then watched the next two matches. The third match was another defeat… 2-0. After that, we trained again and got ready for our next fixture which was a 4-0 loss. We packed up our bags and went to are lunch area. Over lunch, we talked about how we had been playing and remained positive.

After lunch we went back to our area and started to warm up until we were called over again for the pitch number we would be on. We waited for two games and then we lost our fifth game 1-0: but we played better than we did in the morning! After that we had a further defeat in our sixth game before drawing 0-0 in game number 7! We then had a three-match break. In our final match we drew again… 1-1. That was the end of our tournament and we were told we could leave and head back to school.

On the way back, we talked about our games. Everyone had a great time and we are looking forward to our next tournament.

Written by Brayden

Girls Football Tournament

Including: Layla Z, Layla C, Poppy, Lottie, Bella-Rose, Gracie, Brooke, Alicia & Kalessie

We started off at school and were called in to put our football shirts and jackets on. It was good that they were comfortable. An hour later we left the school and walked to the school minibus. Thankfully, everybody was happy with who they were sitting next to. We drove for about fifteen minutes and we arrived. When we got there, we found ourselves amidst a mighty football pitch. Actually there were four football pitches…

We went to one of the goals and put all of our belongings inside it. After a minute, we chose a partner and started training with them. Some people had a group of three. The training was so much fun.

In no time we were playing our first match. Some people didn’t start because they were substitutes. This meant that if somebody was hurt or had been on for too much time they would take the person off and put one of the backup people on instead.

Straight after the first match we had a two-minute break, then we were back on. After that, we had twenty minutes to eat our lunch. Most of us didn’t eat much because we were on the pitch after that too. That was our first three matches played! Next we had to go over to the end of the field and see if our team was in the top twelve. Luckily we were! If your team was in the top twelve that would mean you would have more matches and maybe win the tournament.

We had to move our belongings to the other end of the field while dodging matches going on. After that, we had another break but for thirty minutes this time. The break was good and we were practicing penalty kicks. After a few rounds of people being the goalie we would swap over. After a period of time the playing was over.

Next was our fourth match. We had to wear pink bibs for the first time because the other team was wearing purple too. The next match was all about tackling… most people followed the rules. After this match it was all over.

Sadly, it was time to go. We walked back happily and left the pitch. We were happy to have taken part but some were sad to go home. Most people went back to school but a few went straight home.

The tournament was so much fun and everybody enjoyed it! It was a great day! Thank you for letting us go!

Written by Layla Z

Follow us on Facebook

Diary Dates


  • Monday 20th - Nursery Stay & Play
  • Thursday 23rd - Swimming 5A
  • Wednesday 29th - Boccia
  • New Age Kurling
  • Thursday 30th - Swimming 5A
  • Year 1 Winter Wonderland


  • Friday 1st - Maths Story Day
  • PTA Christmas Fayre
  • Monday 4th - Year 3 Winter Wonderland
  • Tuesday 5th - Year 6 Winter Wonderland
  • Wednesday 6th - Reception Nativity
  • Nursery Stay & Play
  • Year 5 Winter Wonderland
  • Thursday 7th - Reception Nativity
  • Swimming 5A
  • Year 4 Winter Wonderland
  • Friday 8th - Year 2 Winter Wonderland
  • Monday 11th - Reception Winter Wonderland
  • Tuesday 12th - Year 1 Christmas play
  • Wednesday 13th - Christmas Jumper Day
  • Nursery Winter Wonderland and Singalong
  • Christmas Lunch
  • Thursday 14th - Last swimming for 5A
  • Friday 15th - Year 2 Christmas Play
  • Monday 18th - Nursery Stay & Play
  • Christmas readings & Carol Service
  • Tuesday 19th - Christmas Singalong Assembly
  • Wednesday 20th - Last Day of term

January 2024

  • Thursday 4th - Children Return to school


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

Dinner Menu

Week 1

Monday - Ham & Pineapple Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn - Chocolate Rice Krispie Cake

Tuesday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Peas - Carrot Cake

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Macaroni & Cheese - Jacket Potato with Salmon Mayonnaise - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens - Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday - Chicken Fajita Wrap - Vegetable & Bean Burrito- Pasta with Roasted Tomato & Basil Sauce - Tuna Mayo Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Steamed Carrots - Maryland Cookie

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Vegetable & Bean Chimichangas - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Egg Mayo Baguette - Chips & Baked Beans - Chocolate & Courgette Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread: Pesto Bread or Wholemeal Bread

OPAL Update

What a busy week. This week the heavy rain and gales have held us back a little- but as soon as we were able we sprung into action with our new playrangers taking their roles with great pride!

We are still looking for scooters- so if you have any your children have grown out of- please think of donating them to us!


Exciting news - raffle tickets will be available from Monday at a price of £1 per strip. Please send money in a named envelope with your child to their class. Tickets can also be purchased from the office or even at the Christmas Fayre! Thank you so much for the donations so far and if you have anything else you can donate or a connection to a local business who would like to help please let us know.

We have got some amazing prizes this year including:

  • A beautiful Chocolate Hamper made by one of our wonderful Reception parents
  • A family ticket to Tower Bridge
  • A £20 Grumpy’s diner voucher

…. and lots more including wine, chocolate, games and even a cuddly toy!

And a massive thank you for coming to the PTA sale- we raised an amazing £259 and 19p!

We are always looking for help and especially as we approach the fayre on 1st December so please please please drop us a line if you can help in any way no matter how small! Friarspa@gmail.com

A reminder that our wheelie bin is in position and ready to receive any donations of second hand uniform! So, if you are clearing out any uniform, or winter coats, please drop them here instead of throwing it away or donating elsewhere. Our second hand uniform sale not only supports other families but also helps raise funds for school.

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

3rd November 2023

20th October 2023

13th October 2023

6th October 2023


Sadly, there do appear to be a few bugs around at the moment. Do remember that we are happy to have the children in school with colds and coughs - as long as they are well in themselves.

This week saw a win for 4D in Key Stage 2 and a triumph for 2G in Key Stage 1. Well done to both!

With no celebration assemblies last week, it was always going to be interesting to see the impact of two weeks' worth of points on the team scores...

Well, the gap to Caernarfon in first has closed! We now have Caernarfon in first with 324 points, Stirling in second with 290, Stormont third with 289 and Windsor in fourth with 288. How close!

Congratulations to Stirling who were our KS1 winners and Windsor who won for KS2. Stirling scored the most points over the fortnight ... if they keep this up who knows what might happen...


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