Friars Weekly Newsletter 2nd February 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Dates for summer sports and the PTA Summer Fayre
  • A call for photographs of our local area to support learning in geography and history
  • A plea for volunteers to support Mr. Brady

It’s February already… January has whizzed by and Monday marks the start of Week 6 of the half-term. I said a few weeks ago that dates for summer events would be coming soon... Please see the dates below for our sports days and picnics:

  • Wednesday 22nd May: Nursery Sports Afternoon and Picnic
  • Thursday 23rd May: Reception Sports Afternoon and Picnic
  • Wednesday 26th June: KS1 and KS2 Sports Day with KS1 in the morning and KS2 in the afternoon. There will be our special picnic lunch for KS1 and KS2 in-between.

Another great annual event is our PTA Summer Fayre. This year the event will be held on the afternoon of Friday 12th July. More information will follow after Easter about all of these events.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Mr. Chris McClay, Principal

Local Photographs

A little something from Ms. Taylor-Brown... at Friars we always want to make our curriculum the very best it can be for our children. In geography and history we would like to build up more resources about our local area. If anyone has any photos of Shoebury/Southend in the past - please pop them into the office in an envelope with your name on and I can get these scanned and returned to you. It would be lovely to build up a bank of images to share with the children! It might also be helpful to know more about the photos, for example the locations if they are not obvious. Thank you in advance.

Outdoor Help

Also our very own Ray Mears AKA Mr. Brady is still looking for anyone who can give any time to help him maintain our environmental garden and outdoor classroom - if you have green fingers, or just fancy helping out please drop Ms. Taylor-Brown an email on

World Book Day - Thursday 7th March 2024

A reminder that we will be inviting children and staff to dress up for the day as a book character on Thursday 7th March (Friday 8th March for Year 4 as they are off to the Imperial War Museum on the Thursday).

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


Nursery read the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. Following on from this, there has been a lot of discussion about size, comparing bigger and smaller. Children have made bear masks which they used to act out the story. They also enjoyed making and tasting porridge, the children thought it was funny pretending it was too hot, too cold and of course just right. During this week's visits to the environmental garden we were hunting for bugs, digging for worms in the soils and moving logs to find woodlice and beetles. All of us really enjoyed this activity.

REMINDER: Thursday 8th February is our Stay and Play session, all welcome.


Reception have really enjoyed learning all about Antarctica and penguins through our text “Blue Penguin”. This week the children have shared what they have learned about penguins and generated questions about what they still want to find out. We have then focused on research skills to find the answers to our questions. In phonics the children have continued to consolidate their knowledge of the digraphs ch, sh, th, ng and nk. In maths, we have focused on consolidating our counting skills, number recognition and using cubes to add and subtract.

REMINDER: Outdoor learning

  • Wednesday – Robins
  • Thursday – Owls

Please have wellies in school.

Year 1

This week the children in Year 1 have written their own poems about winter, focusing on adjectives and nouns. In maths we have looked at counting on as a strategy for adding two numbers together. Our PSHE lesson focused on internet safety, with the main message being to tell a trusted adult if something upsets you. In their art lessons, the children have started to learn about Lowry.

Year 2

The children have travelled through the amazing world of Anthony Browne’s book ‘Into the Forest’ this week. Different fairy stories are interwoven into this beautiful picture book. This provided the stimulus for some imaginative writing using the pronoun ‘I’, as the children described their journey to grandma’s house. In maths we have continued learning about money by making amounts in different ways and calculating amounts of money. During our science work, we explored how exercise changes out body – the children were fascinated about the changes in our heart rate when feeling their own pulse.

Reminders: An activity has been set for homework as part of our school celebration of Chinese New Year. Please support your child in this design challenge. There are prizes to win!

Year 3

In English we have completed a non-fiction text based all around volcanoes. We researched facts and took all we have learnt over the past few weeks and created our own ‘book.’ In maths we have started to look at measurements and discussed the various measurements we could use such as mm, cm and m. We did some measuring and comparing. 3A have created volcano pictures using the medium of oil pastels, following the style of Margaret Godfrey. In science, we have continued with our investigations around rocks and how various elements could cause them to erode. 3B had lots of fun in outdoor learning, we looked at fire safety, cooked marshmallows, bread twists and made their own little fires in small groups. What a fun but extremely smelly week!

REMINDER: Spelling books are due back in on Mondays.

Homework books are due in on Wednesday, and no later than Thursday.

Please continue to ensure your child reads as much as possible at home. That could be shopping lists, reading packets and signs as they walk around shops etc.

Year 4

In English this week, the children are building on their learning of non-chronological reports from last week. They took notes on different elements of WWII, such as evacuation or air raids, and from these notes produced a non-chronological information text, ensuring that all the features were included.

Short division was the main focus in maths. This can be quite a tricky concept to grasp, particularly where there are remainders involved.

In science, the children began an investigation which will continue next week. They are investigating which material makes the best ear defenders. Ensuring that the test is fair and that only one variable is changed are important things to learn in completing a science investigation.

In RE, the children looked at the importance of the Qur’an for Muslims, and the importance of the words, ‘holy’ and ‘sacred.’ They also discussed how the lives of Muslims are influenced the Qur’an.

Along with PE, computing, history, music, layered reading and assemblies – it’s been another busy week.

REMINDER: Our trip to the Imperial War Museum is Thursday 7th March. Please ensure that you have read the letter and if you need to order a lunch, please call the office sooner rather than later.

Year 5

In English this week, our focus has been diary writing. We have recapped the features and the children know the genre well. The children also enjoyed basing some of their lessons on our layered reading book, ‘The Boy Who Met a Whale,’ and this will be continued into next week.

Maths has seen us moving onto fractions and developing our prior learning from the autumn term. The students confidently multiplied integers by unit and non-unit fractions. They accurately used mathematical language and provided 3 tick answers on how to complete the calculations.

In geography, we looked at the rising sea levels due to global warming. We related this to our local area and Essex and studied forms of protection.

We ended the week with the children completing their pop art inspired environmental campaign posters.

Year 6

This week in English we have been learning about writing letters of complaint. We continued to develop understanding of human rights issues and used Liu Xiaobo as our study.

In maths, we have begun learning about the language of ratio and how this links with our fractions knowledge.

In science, we made observations of mould spores growing from last week's experiment and have been finding out about fungi. We set up a test to show how a mushroom reproduces by spore dispersal.

For our geography, we used maps and atlases to identify the 5 main biomes and then we compared deserts to tundra!

Reminder: Next week children will be taking part in Bikeability sessions.

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


In Year 1, the children have now mastered the four directions on a robot (forwards, backwards, left and right) and are able to direct a robot to a chosen destination.

In Year 2, the children have been introduced to a new term – algorithm – to be able to program a robot, avoiding obstacles that are in the way.

In Year 3, the children have been putting their coding into sequences, ensuring the order is correct to create a song on a guitar on Scratch.

Year 4 are beginning to look at repetition in shapes using Logo.

In Year 5, the children have used “if” and “then” statements when coding their Crumble to program their Sparkle to come on when they press the switch.

Finally, in Year 6, the children have been using Scratch to create their own catching game, using and consolidating their programming knowledge from the last few weeks.

REMINDER: Tuesday 6th February 2024 is Safer Internet Day, so please use the opportunity to discuss and review how the children use devices in your home.

Top tips and ideas can be found on the following web site:

Online Safety

For many companies who operate in the online space, attention and engagement are the holy grail. Social media sites in particular make deliberate creative choices to keep people scrolling, reading, watching and clicking. This phenomenon is known as ‘persuasive design’ and it’s being employed in the vast majority of the digital world’s most popular destinations.

A study by the charity 5Rights Foundation concluded that “…the brain's response to rewards and punishments can be leveraged through persuasive design to keep children online.” To tie in with Safer Internet Day 2024, thisguide can help to educateyoungsters on the effects of persuasive design – and suggests ways to insulate themselves from its influence.

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

PE and Sport

It has been really good to see some sports skills being developed through sport this week. There has been a range of badminton, rugby and dance going on this week. It is always lovely to see children suitably kitted out for PE. Please help us to ensure the children have the best lessons by ensuring they have the right kit – children should be wearing their Friars purple top in school on their PE days. Other tops are not to be worn in school. And as always, earrings cannot be worn during PE lessons.

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

Outdoor Learning

3B had loads of fun in outdoor learning, looking at fire safety, cooking marshmallows, bread twists and making their own little fires in small groups.

REMINDERS: Next week Nursery and Reception are sharing the week. On Tuesday Nursery children will be having outdoor learning. On Wednesday afternoon Robins will be having Outdoor Learning. On Thursday afternoon Owls will be having Outdoor Learning.

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms Taylor-Brown

This week we finished our month of learning about the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Frankin. The children always amaze me with the facts they remember from my assemblies! I think we have some great quizzers in the making.

Next week we will have a new artist of the month. Here are some clues:

  • He is British.
  • He has collaborated with lots of famous people.
  • He writes his own songs and music
  • His passion for music started at a young age.
  • As a child his mum took him busking!

Any ideas? Come and let me know if you do!

This week we came in to the beautiful Bridge Over Troubled Water. We talked about the meaning of this song and that it was not about a real bridge over water but being there for a friend in need.

Thinking about Aretha’s gospel roots- we then sang “Oh Happy Day”!

We left to “Let it be” yet another cover and written by the brilliant Lennon and McCartney of the Beatles! One child commented “This is a good song!”

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Diary Dates


  • Monday 5th - Wednesday 7th - Year 6 Bikeability
  • Thursday 8th - 2S Swimming
  • Nursery Stay & Play
  • Thursday 15th - 2S Swimming
  • Friday 16th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - February Half Term
  • Monday 26th - Yr 5/6 Conductive Music Workshops
  • Nursery Stay and Play
  • Tuesday 27th - Yr 5/6 Conductive Music Workshops
  • Thursday 29th - Last Swimming for 2S


  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day for Nursery, Reception, Yr1, Yr2, Yr3, Yr5 and Yr6 - dressing-up
  • Swimming starts for 2G
  • Yr 4 trip to Imperial War Museum
  • Friday 8th March - World Book Day for Yr4 - dressing-up
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Stay and Play
  • 2G Swimming
  • Monday 11th - Friday 15th - Yr 6 Practice SATs Week
  • Wednesday 20th - Learning Conversations
  • YMCA Songwriting for Yr 3/4
  • Thursday 21st - 2G Swimming
  • Learning Conversations
  • Friday 22nd - KS1 Girls' Football
  • Monday 25th - Nursery Maths Stay and Play
  • Thursday 28th - 2G Swimming
  • Rhythm Connection Drumming
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY


  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - EASTER BREAK
  • Wednesday 17th - Tri Golf
  • Thursday 18th - 2G Swimming
  • Monday 22nd - Thursday 25th - Yr 6 Mock SATs Week
  • Tuesday 23rd - Y6 Isle of Wight meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall
  • Wednesday 24th - Reception Height, Weight, Vision & Hearing check
  • KS1 TAG Rugby


  • Wednesday 1st - Yr 1 Education Visit to Wat Tyler Country Park
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • KS1 Quad Kids Athletics
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Yr 6 Isle of Wight Residential
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • Friday 24th - Yr 5/6 Emerging Rounders
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Thursday 6th - Reception Education Visit to Hyde Hall
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th - Phonic Screening Week
  • Monday 10th - Junior Music Festival
  • Tuesday 11th - KS2 Borough Sports
  • Wednesday 12th - Friday 14th - Yr 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Monday 17th - Yr 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Friday 21st - World Music Day
  • KS1 3 Tees Cricket
  • Wednesday 26th - KS1 Sports Day and Picnic
  • KS2 Picnic and Sports Day
  • Friday 28th - KS1 Borough Sports


  • Wednesday 3rd - 5th - Art and D&T Festival at Friars
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parents Open Evening
  • Thursday 4th - KS1 & KS2 Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Yr 6-7 Transition Day
  • Friday 12th - PTA Summer Fayre
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


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

Dinner Menu

Week 3

Monday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Meatballs with Tomato Sauce & Penne - Vegan Roasted Ratatouille with Penne - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Wrap - Cheese and Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Broccoli - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Tuesday - Bacon & Mushroom Carbonara with Pasta - Vegan Lentil & Vegetable Curry with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato sauce - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Sweetcorn & Coleslaw - Carrot cake

Wednesday - Herby Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - 3 Vegetable Mac n’ Cheese - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Seasonal Greens & Broccoli - Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie

Thursday - Cottage Pie Topped with Sweet Potato Mash - Vegan Chickpea & Spinach Korma with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Cauliflower & Carrots - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Bubble & Squeak with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Peas & Baked Beans - Apple Cake

Freshly Baked Bread - Courgette & Tomato or Wholemeal Bread.

OPAL Update

In OPAL this week we have been continuing to get ready for our next OPAL visit on Thursday 8th February. Last week I went to visit a local nursery which is sadly closing down and I bought a few things for Nursery, Reception and OPAL including a much needed scooter.

This week I also met with our working group to share our progress with our action plan to date. Still lots to do but we are definitely on the right path!

As always we still need scooters!


This week the PTA spent time sorting through our very full donations bin! Thank you so much everyone who donated. Please don’t forget we are looking for World Book Day costumes and props too for our sale.

Also please don’t forget with half term around we are your one stop shop for Adventure Island wristband, Sealife and Golf tickets - with great prices and money raised for our school it really is a win-win situation!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

26th January 2024

19th January 2024

15th December 2023

8th December 2023


Both of our winning classes were heading towards 100% this week…

In KS1 our winners were 2G. 2G have taken the trophy a number of times this year and they seem to be on a bit of a roll in doing well. You might remember that last week they were only 0.1% away from top spot.

In KS2 it was a win for 4S. After a long spell of not winning this is their second win over the past three weeks. Keep it going 2S!

Wow! All four teams above 500 points now… the race is certainly hotting up. Caernarfon continue to lead the way with Windsor in second but there are only 50 points separating all four teams.

This week’s winners were Stirling in KS1 and it was a three-way tie in KS2 with Stirling, Stormont and Caernarfon sharing the honours.


Not so much a community event from me- but I am looking to arrange a careers event over the summer for our children to learn about different jobs and careers. If you are in a job you would like to come and tell the children about or if you work for a company who might like to help out or have any connections through family and friends- please let me know! Drop me a line on

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 -