Friars Weekly Newsletter friday 19th April 2024

Coming up in this edition of the newsletter...

  • Reminder about the Year 6 Isle of Wight Meeting on Tuesday 23rd April at 3:15pm

The summer term has begun and we have got off to an excellent start. The children have settled into school exceptionally well after the long Easter break. New topics have started and there has been lots of great learning. It was lovely to share this learning in this morning's celebration assemblies.

This week we had an invited visit from the local authority's Inclusion Team. We had nine visitors who spent the morning with us, popping into classrooms in KS2 as well as looking at our break and lunch times. They were very impressed with our school and were incredibly complimentary about what they saw. We felt very proud. We feel it is very important to work with colleagues from outside the school to make our practice the very best it can be. Partnership work is a big feature of what we do.

As you know, the summer term is always a really busy time with many things happening... the Key Stage 2 SATs, Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check, educational visitors and visitors, residentials for Years 5 and 6, Father's Day sales, sports competitions, an Open Evening, our own Sports Days and Picnics and the PTA Summer Fayre to mention just a few things... Please do add everything to your diaries!

Have a really super weekend and see you all next week.

Mr. McClay, Principal

Diary Dates


  • Monday 22nd - Thursday 25th - Yr 6 Mock SATs Week
  • Year 6 Isle of Wight meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall
  • Wednesday 24th - Reception Height, Weight, Vision & Hearing check
  • Thursday 25th - Swimming for 2G
  • Tuesday 30th - Year 5 Thriftwood Meeting 3:15pm KS2 Hall


  • Wednesday 1st - Year 1 Education Visit to Wat Tyler Country Park
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 7th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Monday 13th - Thursday 16th - KS2 SATs Week
  • Tuesday 14th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Friday 17th - National Numeracy Day
  • KS1 Quad Kids Athletics
  • Monday 20th - Friday 24th - Year 6 Isle of Wight Residential & Southend Week
  • Junior Music Festival Rehearsals
  • Tuesday 21st - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Nursery Sports Day
  • Thursday 23rd - Reception Sports Day
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - INSET Day
  • Tuesday 4th - Class photos
  • Nursery Beach Visit
  • Tuesday 4th - Friday 7th - Science Week
  • Wednesday 5th - Drumming Workshop
  • Thursday 6th - Reception Education Visit to Hyde Hall
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th - Phonic Screening Week
  • Monday 10th - PTA Father's Day Sale (during school day) - Children can bring into school £1.50 per gift
  • Junior Music Festival
  • Tuesday 11th - PTA - Father's Day Sale (after school - KS1 and KS2 Gates)
  • KS2 Borough Sports
  • Wednesday 12th - Friday 14th - Year 5 Thriftwood Residential
  • Monday 17th - Year 3 Education Visit to Colchester Castle
  • Tuesday 18th - Nursery Beach Visit
  • Wednesday 19th - PTA Inflatable event
  • Thursday 20th - Clean Air Day
  • 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 - Friday 5th - Art and D&T Festival at Friars
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parents Open Evening
  • Thursday 4th - KS1 & KS2 Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Year 6-7 Transition Day
  • Monday 8th - Year 3 & 4 YMCA Songwriting workshop
  • Tuesday 9th - School Nurse presentation to parents
  • Friday 12th - PTA Summer Fayre
  • Thursday 18th - Y6 Leavers Assembly 9:15am-10:00 (KS2 Hall)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


  • Monday 3rd June 2024
  • Monday 22nd July 2024
"I love seeing my friends at Friars" Year 1 child


The children had some special visitors in the Nursery this week – tadpoles! After being mesmerised by them swimming around in the container, they learnt how they will form their legs soon, then eventually turn into frogs. On Wednesday, the children took them over to the environmental garden with Mrs. Wheatley to release them into the pond. Great fun was had by all.

This week Mrs. Glen has been busy out and about meeting our new friends that will be starting with us next week. They have joined us for two very successful stay and plays and nursery staff were all very impressed with our current children who were all very welcoming.

REMINDER: Watch out for new stay and play dates for the summer term, these will be sent out soon.


It was lovely to welcome the children back after the Easter break. We hope you all had a lovely couple of weeks.

This week we have introduced our new Power of Reading book. The children were shown gardening tools and had to guess what our book was about. It is called Errol’s Garden and we are going to be thinking about it over the next few weeks.

In maths we have been talking about different ways of sorting. Also, we have been learning about odd and even numbers.

On Tuesday, the children enjoyed their first ever P.E. lesson in the hall. We focused on spatial awareness and balancing.

We have all enjoyed outdoor learning... please read below to find out about what we did.

Letters sent home this week

Year 1

It has been wonderful to welcome the children back into the summer term. In their English work, the children have looked at features of non-fiction books and started to write their own non-fiction booklets about the seasons. Our maths work has focused on counting in twos, fives and tens as well as solving simple multiplication puzzles. In our science lessons, we have started to learn about the properties of different materials.

Next week we will start our Relationships and Sex education sessions in PSHE lesson. We will share the NSPCC video of ‘Pantosaurus’ who explains that your private parts are private. All content is age appropriate and rest assured that we will not be talking to the children about reproduction. A letter was sent home to you about this. The link is below if you missed it...

REMINDER: Our Year 1 trip to Wat Tyler takes place on Wednesday 1st May. The children must be in school on time.

1B start their swimming on Thursday 2nd May. Please help your child to be confident with changing their clothing.

Letters sent home this week

Year 2

Sorry to 2G who had their swimming lesson cancelled this week. We are talking with Hamstel Junior School about a time they can give us to make up the lost session. Watch this space.


Letters sent home this week

Year 3

In English, this week we have been looking at persuasive letters and trying to persuade Mr McClay to let us grow our own dragon fruit tree in the enviromental garden, thus allowing us to grow our very own dragons! We had some very compelling reasons as to why we need to grow one and we hope he allows us to! In maths we have gone back to learning fractions. This time around, we have been adding and subtracting fractions, as well as partitioning a whole fraction into two or more parts. We have started our new topic for this half term, looking at Romans and how the city of Rome began. It has been interesting to read about the factual events and the mythological ideas of Rome's creation. We have also started a new layered reading book, which we have been looking forward to for a while – The Boy Who Few with Dragons! We are already enthralled and can’t wait to carry on reading!

REMINDER: 3A have outdoor learning starting on Tuesday next week – 23rd April and 3B will be the following week – 30th April. Please ensure the children have suitable outdoor clothing, especially with the way our weather has been surprising us this week!

Letters sent home this week

Year 4

Welcome Back! We hope that you had a good break. We have hit the ground running. Over the next few weeks, the children are going to be continuing to embed their learning on the times tables ready for the forthcoming National Multiplication test that will be taking place during the first week of June.

We have already started another Battle of Bands between 4D and 4S. There are great prizes up for grabs for the highest scoring class and the highest scoring child. Please encourage your children to use, ‘TT RockStars,’ at home to practise their tables and to earn points for themselves and for their class. This will also help to boost their confidence whilst we are doing regular practice tests as well as a variety of other activities to encourage and strengthen their times table knowledge. Please also encourage your children to learn the times tables that they find the hardest, specifically the x7, x8, x9 and x12.

Because of our times table work, we will not be sending English homework home, except for weekly spellings. This has changed as well. Spellings will now be sent home on a Thursday and will be tested on the following Thursday.

The Year 4 topic this term is geography based. The children will be studying mountains – where they are, how they are created and the different ways that mountains affect the land around them. It may be the final term but we’re not slowing down!

Letters sent home this week

Year 5

This week in Year 5, we finished our learning on area and perimeter in maths. The children persevered with the area of compound shapes and we will continue with this learning through the summer term.

In English, the students were introduced to Macbeth. They read scene 3 and performed it in small groups. We watched an animated version and took detailed notes. The children will use these next week to write a short section of it as a playscript. They really enjoyed the story and how it has many twists and turns.

History saw the children learning about the origin of the Tudor Rose. They sorted information linked to the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

Year 5 have started their music unit on recorders. They are learning the Motown tune, ‘Dancing in the Streets,’ in the note F.

We also started the PE unit on cricket. The wind was blowing wildly but the children remained focus on their batting skills and how to achieve the correct batting stance.

Letters sent home this week

Year 6

We have welcomed Year 6 back after their Easter holidays and have focused on reading comprehension, particularly the skills of information retrieval and understanding vocabulary within the context of different writing genres.

Our focus in maths has been fractions, percentages and decimals and the relationships and links between them. We have applied this to problem solving. Much of this work is heavily reliant on times tables and the application of this knowledge.

We have begun rounders in our second PE session, examining and understanding the rules, communicating, listening and developing teamwork through cooperation. Our Friday PE lessons will be based upon athletics.

In science, we are looking at inheritance and evolution. We started the first lesson looking at how different inherited and environmental factors have affected the offspring of dogs. Our geography this week has been using Ordnance Survey maps to understand the keys and symbols. In French, we are learning about different modes of transport.

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend the SATs meeting this week. A letter was sent out afterwards - please see the link below if you missed it.

Reminder: On Tuesday 23rd April at 3:15pm, we have our meeting about the Isle of Wight residential. If your child is attending the visit, please do try to come along. We will be sharing our final plans and information and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Reminders: The first payment for Southend Week is due this Monday, 22nd April. The final payment for the IoW residential is due next Friday, 26th April.

Letters sent home this week

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


This week in computing, Year 1 have begun to look at labelling groups of objects using different types of shells, as the introduction of the new unit on grouping data.

Year 2 have been recording and representing data in a tally chart, as their introduction to the new data unit.

Year 3 have been creating their own yes/no questions, as their introduction lesson to branching databases, separating groups of objects by one attribute.

Year 4 have used Excel to input and view data as part of their databases learning. They have used a range of charts to display findings of class surveys they have done in class. They also learnt about formatting cells better to see information they have inputted.

Year 5 have today completed their videos on playtimes and OPAL, after working for the last few weeks on creating and editing videos using I-Movie. They shot their videos in the playground, imported the clips to I-movies, added music, cropped, annotated, created introductions screens and end screens. Ms. Taylor-Brown was so impressed that she will be using one or two to be the official school OPAL video.

Year 6 have begun to learn about spreadsheets and how to collect data and enter it onto a spreadsheet.

Online Safety

Potentially addictive online games are nothing new, but the specifics of this kind of media can vary enormously – and, as a consequence, the risks in each individual game are just as diverse. The city-builder Township is no exception: providing its legions of devotees with accessible, satisfying fun … but exposing them to potential hazards at the same time.

However, any safeguarding issues that the game might have can (with a little knowhow) be neutralised – allowing young players to have some engrossing fun without adults needing to worry about children’s data, their money or their mental wellbeing. Our guide outlines how to help young gamers enjoy Township safely and responsibly.

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

PE and Sport

This week has started our summer term of sport. It is always good to be outside and using the wonderful space we have at Friars.

KS2 children will all be working on athletics skills alongside either tennis, rounders or cricket. KS1 and Reception children will be working on skills linked to running, jumping, throwing, catching and hitting.

Hopefully the weather will continue to improve, and more lessons will be outdoors. Please ensure children are suitably dressed on their PE days for their lessons.

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

Outdoor Learning

Owls class and Robin class have enjoyed their outdoor learning sessions this week. They have been colour matching natural objects and finding different shades and enjoying a scavenger hunt. The children drew their own garden and enjoyed collecting things to stick onto their pictures.

REMINDER: Next week it is back to Year 3! Starting with 3A from Tuesday to Friday and 3B the week after - please make sure they are dressed for whatever the weather!

Singing Assemblies

KS2 with Ms. Taylor-Brown

No singing assembly this week. Watch out (or maybe listen out) for more singing next week...

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Dinner Menu

Week 2

Monday - Pork Sausage with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Vegan Sausage with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Ham Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn & Baked Beans - Chocolate Rice Krispie Cake

Tuesday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta - Vegan Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Steamed Rice - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Carrots & Broccoli - Mandarin Jelly

Wednesday - Honey Roast gammon with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Sweet chilli Stir-fry mushroom & Vegetable Noodles - Wholewheat Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Ham Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Peas - Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday - Beef Keema with Turmeric Rice - Vegan Layered Vegetable & Sweet Potato Bake - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans or Salmon Mayonnaise - Cheese Sandwich - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Flapjack

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Fajita Wrap with Chips & Ketchup - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Ham Salad Baguette - Peas & Baked Beans - Lemon Drizzle Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread - Garlic & Herb or Wholemeal Bread

OPAL Update

A busy opal week this week. The children were delighted to hear how happy Becky was when she came to visit.

The children were also excited to see our new scooters - gathered by myself and Stanley’s mum from Facebook Finds as well as some donations from staff and children here!

I asked the children in assembly to help me think of ideas to improve the adventure zone. The play team (our adults who support at lunchtime) have had some ideas which I shared.

At lunchtime some other children came to find me with their ideas for a bracelet making area!

Also a huge thank you to our brilliant Year 5’s who have been making some OPAL videos.

The children are desperate to have 'art and craft' and quiet areas outside in OPAL.

Can you help us resource it?

Please pop any donations into the PTA donation bin by the office...

  • Crayons
  • Colouring pencils
  • Felt tip pens
  • Colouring books
  • Poppits
  • Bracelet making stuff
  • Paper or card
  • Rolls of wallpaper
  • Drawing pencils
  • Storage boxes with lids (any size)
  • Sharpeners
  • Games
  • Books and comics
  • Anything else art and crafty
  • Any outside garden games or sports equipment
  • And as always- booster seats.

Thank you so much!

Ms. Taylor-Brown and the children


Some exciting developments and some summer fun is being planned! Watch. This. Space!

Celebration Assembly

The links for our Celebration Assemblies can be found below.

19th April 2024

22nd March 2024

15th March 2024

1st March 2024


We did not have a Celebration Assembly in the final week before Easter as it was Good Friday. Winners of attendance for that week were 2G in Key Stage 1 and 4D in Key Stage 2. Well done to both classes.

This week saw wins for 1MV in Key Stage 1 and 5A in Key Stage 2. The whole school attendance figure for the first week back was 93% which is some way below our target of 96%. Should you need any support around attendance, please make contact with us. Mrs. Halls is the school’s lead for attendance and is always happy to talk with parents and carers.

Oh! Wow! The lead has changed…!

From the third week of the autumn term, Caernarfon have been out in front in the race for the Friars Cup… however this week it is all change. We have a new leader… Windsor!

A very strong couple of weeks from Windsor sees them leapfrog Caernarfon into first place. Stirling are only 26 points behind with Stormont bringing up the rear with a very creditable 713 points (37 points behind).

We are now two-thirds of the way through the school year so with a term to go it is looking very interesting indeed. Well done Windsor and good luck to everyone.


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 -