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West Leigh Weekly News Week ending 10th September 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome to our first newsletter of the new academic year. As you can see, it is in a brand-new and improved format that we are really pleased with. We hope you approve! The newsletter will continue to be published weekly and will contain all the usual features from the 'old style' ones, just presented in a more dynamic way that will also allow us to share photographs of some of the things children have been doing over the previous working week.

First of all, we have to comment on how well the children have settled back in to school following the summer break. They have been so positive and enthusiastic since our return last week and we can already see that there is some great learning taking place. The Year 3 children in particular have impressed us with their confident and assured approach to school - is it as if they have been with us for years!

Today we were able to all meet together for a whole school celebration assembly for the first time since March 2020 - almost 18 months ago. The Year 3 and Year 4 children had never even attended one previously! It was so uplifting and joyous for the whole school community to be together and it brought a lump to quite a few staff throats. During the assembly we were able to present our first awards of the year. The Most Improved in PE trophy went to Nathan Ellis (6P) and the Sports Performer of the Week was Daisy Lang (6W).

This morning we launched our new curriculum 'drivers' for this academic year which have a focus on Diversity and Bias. This linked very well with this week's award for the Citizen of the Week that went to Molly Archer (6W). Over the summer, Molly independently wrote to the Prime Minister asking him what he was doing to tackle the issue of racism in the country and she received a very full response from 10 Downing Street commending her on 'positive message of equality'. Great work, Molly!

There are a couple of things we would like to remind you of. During the recent hot days, we noticed that quite a few children did not have a water bottle with them in school. Please can you ensure that your child has a water bottle with them each day and that is only filled with water, no other drinks are permitted. Can we also please remind you not to park your vehicles in the Bursland Court car park on Westleigh Avenue. Non-resident parking in that car park is not permitted as the car park is private property. It is particularly crucial at the moment as there are care assistants coming in to the building early in the mornings and at regular intervals during the day. Finally, we would like to remind you that children can wear trainers for school as long as they are smart, all black with no logos as per our uniform policy. Please can we ask that if your children are currently wearing trainers with logos or that are not black, that you replace them with plain black trainers when they have grown out of them. Thank you

You will notice that in our 'Diary Dates' section we have published the dates for our year group curriculum meetings with parents and carers. These meetings will give you an opportunity to meet your child's class teacher and go through the curriculum and learning opportunities planned for this term and beyond. We are delighted to be able to offer these as face-to-face meetings with you for the first time since September 2019. All the meetings will take place in our Lower School Hall. As we have such large year groups and couldn't accommodate all parents/carers from a year group at the same time, we are running each meeting twice having split the year group in half. We envisage the meetings last around 30 - 45 minutes. Here are the times for the different classes:

Monday 20th September (Year 6) 9.15 6W and 6P: 11.00 6A and 6F

Tuesday 21st September (Year 5) 9.15 5S and 5M: 11.00 5J and 5K

Wednesday 22nd September (Year 3) 9.15 3N and 3T: 11.00 3G and 3E

Thursday 23rd September (Year 4) 9.15 4B and 4R: 11.00 4D and 4L

A very big thank you to the one volunteer we have had to help us marshal the barrier on 'School Street'. Ms Brickell, you are a star! If there is anyone else who thinks they may be able to help us out please contact the school office either by email or telephone. All offers of help will be very gratefully received.

The weather looks as if it might be a bit unpredictable over the weekend, but we hope you manage to have an enjoyable one whatever you may be doing.

Mr Lear and Mrs Woolf

Year 3

Despite having to learn a new timetable, dealing with lockers, lift up desks and being in a unfamiliar environment, we must say we are delighted with how our new Year 3s have adapted to the learning environment of the juniors. In English lessons, we have been reviewing their knowledge of the different sentence types and word classes and there was much hilarity when we began to build some very silly sentences. They have also been introduced to our layered reading text, ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ by Roald Dahl, matching definitions to rather tricky vocabulary and attempting some choral speaking. Our maths focus, which at present is being taught in classes, has been on place value including reading, writing and recognising numbers up to 1000, counting in hundreds and comparing numbers using the mathematical symbols < , > and =. Learning to use an atlas to discover key information about our planet including the seas and ocean, continents and countries, has been an enjoyable challenge for the children and in science they have discussed what humans and animals need to survive and what we need to eat to maintain a healthy diet.

Year 4

Year 4 have made a great start to their second year in the Junior School and the year group staff have been very impressed at how well the children have settled in. In English, the children have begun reading their new layered reading book – "The Time-Travelling Cat and the Egyptian Goddess" – which has caused a lot of excitement and debate in lessons. They have also begun writing descriptive openings about a short film. In maths, Year 4 have been consolidating place value knowledge and investigating how number can be manipulated in open ended investigations. The current science topic for Year 4 is 'Sound' and the children have been introduced to how animals and humans hear with their ears. Finally, in Connected Curriculum, the children have been history detectives. They have made many interesting predictions about who people are based on their belongings and justified their opinions to prove that their ideas are correct.

Year 5

It has been a real pleasure to welcome the children of Year 5 back to school and to see how enthusiastically they have approached their learning this week. In English, we have begun reading "The Firework Maker’s Daughter" by Philip Pullman: exploring the setting and getting to know some of the unusual characters. In maths, we have been revising the children’s knowledge of place value then beginning to tackle some reasoning and problem solving tasks in order to deepen their understanding of our number system. We have also been developing our historical enquiry skills in preparation for our 'Sailing the Seven Seas' connected curriculum topic this autumn. It is amazing what you can tell about people from an old suitcase full of artefacts left in the attic. Finally, science has seen the pupils begin to learn about forces and how they can be measured. Well done to all the children for returning with such a positive attitude and embracing their learning this week. We look forward to an exciting term ahead!

Year 6

Although it has only been a matter of days, it has been a busy and fun-filled start for the year six pupils. With many new freedoms and the ability to mix with the rest of the year group in a wider variety of ways, this seems to have brought more joy to the school. In Connected Curriculum, the pupils were challenged to take on the role of the codebreakers inspired by those who worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. The children have also been introduced to their layered reading book "Letters from the Lighthouse" which is set in the summer of 1941. They have already encountered some unusual behaviour amongst the key characters and it is safe to say that it has captured their imaginations. Unsurprisingly, for many children, this is an important time as they prepare to take their selection tests. For those children for whom this is important, there has been the opportunity to refine their test technique and in the coming week they will further develop the key skills that they need. As a year group, they have certainly made a positive impression and hopefully, they will be able to sustain this throughout the entire year, setting the most wonderful example for the rest of the school.

Dinner Menu

Week three

Monday - Cheese & tomato pizza with tortilla chips - Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn - Creamy cheese and vegetable bake with garlic bap - Vegetable couscous and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or raspberry mousse

Tuesday -Homemade creamy chicken and chick pea korma - Homemade vegetable and five bean chilli - Jacket potato with baked beans - Rice, vegetable selection and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or lemon shortbread.

Wednesday - Traditional honey glazed roast gammon - Ratatouille with garlic bap - Baguette with cheese - Roast potatoes, vegetable selection and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or fruit flapjack.

Thursday - Jumbo pork sausage in a baguette - Vegetarian sausage in a baguette - Tomato and pepper pasta bake with garlic bap - Fried onions, coleslaw and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or fruit crumble and custard.

Friday - 100% fish fingers - Jacket potato with cheese - Baguette with salmon and sweetcorn - Sauté potatoes, baked beans and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or fruity jelly.

Diary Dates

September

  • Monday 13th - Swimming restarts
  • Monday 20th - Yr 6 curriculum meeting
  • Tuesday 21st - Yr 5 curriculum meeting
  • Yr 3 'Nite Owls' visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Yr 3 curriculum meeting
  • Thursday 23rd - Yr 4 curriculum meeting
  • Friday 24th - Boys table tennis at Thorpe Hall - 9.30-11.45am
  • Girls table tennis at Thorpe Hall - 12.30-3pm

October

  • Monday 4th - Friday 8th - Reading Week
  • Tuesday 12th - Flu immunisations
  • Monday 18th - Individual photos
  • Tuesday 19th - Sibling photos
  • Monday 24th - Friday 18th - HALF TERM BREAK

November

  • Monday 1st - INSET DAY
  • Friday 5th - Yr 6 height & weight check
  • Tuesday 30th - Flu immunisations 'mop up'

December

  • Tuesday 7th - Christmas celebration
  • Wednesday 15th -Christmas lunch
  • Friday 17th - Tuesday 4th January - CHRISTMAS BREAK

Swimming

Monday

  • 3E - Miss Bowes
  • 3N - Mrs Bemister
  • 4B - Mr Boylan

Tuesday

  • 3T - Mrs Thompson/Mrs Halls
  • 5S - Mr Buchan
  • 5J - Mrs Wilson

Wednesday

  • 3G - Mrs Garrett/Mrs Aggus
  • 4L - Mr Loveridge
  • 4R - Mr Markham

Thursday

  • 5K - Miss Chapman
  • 5M - Mrs Millham

Friday

  • 6W - Mr Dunn
  • 6F - Miss Fletcher
  • 4D - Mr Dammery
  • 6P - Miss Poysden
  • 6A - Mrs Nash/Mrs Carr

Attendance

The class with the best attendance this week was 3T with 100%! Congratulations to them. We have asked the teachers and children to get their attendance 'dances' filmed over the next week for us ready to show during the Friday celebration assembly to the rest of the school should they win an attendance award. They are always great fun to watch!

No Trophy Today!

The first House Points trophy will be awarded during the celebration assembly next Friday. This morning in assembly we shared the House Team crests with the Year 3 children - it was a bit like having a 'Sorting Hat' a la the Harry Potter books! The Year 6 children will also be voting for the House Team Captains over the next couple of weeks which always creates great excitement. Look out for their names coming soon.

01702 478593 - Office@westleigh-jun.southend.sch.uk