West Leigh Juniors Weekly News Week ending 8th October 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Isn't it incredible to think that there are only two weeks of this half term remaining? This term is really flying by - rather like the amazing cyclists from the Women's Cycling Tour that we saw yesterday! It has been an incredibly exciting week with its focus on reading in the community and the many activities and events going on around that. Full details of what has been happening can be found later in this newsletter.

It has been very encouraging to see so many parents and carers attend our 'Book Look' sessions after school each Tuesday. However, please can we ask that you do not come into school via the entrance on Ronald Hill Grove until 3.30pm when the last Year 5 classes leave. There was quite a bit of congestion this week. If you are visiting classes in Years 3 and 4 you can come in via the ramps by their exit doors as soon as all the children have been collected. Please bear in mind that you do not need to come in for 'Book Look' every week!

You will obviously be aware that since COVID restrictions were lifted, the children have been able to take part in more events outside of school. Year 6 are already excited by their opportunities to spend a week either at Ilam Hall in Derbyshire or in and around Southend in June next year. We are now very excited to announce that we have arranged a 2-night residential trip for the Year 5 children. The dates are from Wednesday May 18th to Friday May 20th 2022 ; please put them in your diaries. Further details regarding venue, cost and the alternative non-residential trip to follow.

Finally, it is that time of year when we start to arrange some of our Christmas festivities. We have today arranged with the infants that the school Christmas lunch will be on Wednesday 15th December. Another date for your diaries!

We wish you a very pleasant weekend.

Mr Lear and Mrs Woolf

Year 3

This week the children have been inspired by our author visit to begin writing their own woodland stories. Our trip to the woods last week really helped them to include their senses when describing familiar surroundings. Maths lessons have focused upon addition strategies and the first 'Battle of the Bands' has caused much excitement throughout the week as the children have strived to gain as many coins as possible whilst embarking on their journey to becoming Rock Heroes! In Connected Curriculum, we have asked the children to become conservationists and consider how we can help to save the animals of the world and what we need to do to ensure planet Earth thrives. This has been really enlightening for the children and they have enjoyed the opportunity to show their passion for animals. In science lessons, we have continued to investigate human growth and have been busily measuring heights, hand spans and head circumferences. There was also much excitement on Thursday afternoon when the children watched the Women's Tour of Britain cycle race whizz past the school!

Year 4

It has been a tremendously exciting week with all of the wonderful activities surrounding ‘Reading in the Community Week’ and Year 4 were particularly lucky to visit Leigh Library. In English, the children have continued working hard on their information texts about the afterlife. Some pieces of work are reaching their conclusion and it has been brilliant to see the children improve their level of detail and independence. Year 4 have continued their addition and subtraction work in maths with more focus on puzzles and problems this week. In science, the children have practised and applied investigative skills to learn more about how pitch can be changed. Finally, Year 4 have learned about canopic jars in Connected Curriculum and their role in the mummification process. Looking forward to next week, this learning will be used to aid Year 4 in designing a canopic jar that can be made in the classroom!

In the coming weeks, Year 4 children will require an art apron in order to participate in the art lessons involving clay. Please could you ensure that they send your child into school next week with an art apron (it doesn’t need to be specially purchased – an old shirt will suffice!)

Year 5

It has been a varied and enjoyable week in Year 5. In our English lessons, we have been analysing newspaper reports and recognising the features of journalistic writing. The children will be applying these next week as they begin to write a newspaper article based on our layered reading text. During maths, we have been working through a range of multiplication and division strategies and pupils have been challenged to articulate their understanding of these operations using the correct mathematical language. In science lessons, the children have extended their knowledge of forces to include air resistance. Many enjoyed feeling the effect when adapting their surface area on the playground, and the Women’s Tour Cycle Race gave us the opportunity to talk further about streamlined shapes and minimising the effects of air resistance. In our Connected Curriculum sessions, we have been learning about the everyday lives of the Anglo-Saxons and the individual roles that existed within each settlement.

Year 6

What an exciting week it has been! It all began, in English, with a visit from the sensational and inspirational author Gareth P Jones, who not only entertained the children, but most certainly got them thinking, not only about imaginative ideas but also about how viewpoint, tense and questioning can really influence the direction of a narrative piece. As we were, as a school, celebrating Reading Week, it was only right that we spent a considerable amount of time further enjoying our layered reading book ‘Letters from the Lighthouse’. The children enjoyed going off on a tangent and considering the legend of the hairy hands which was referenced within the book. Many of their ideas and storytelling skills were truly terrifying! In addition to this, Year 6 have studied 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes. They were inspired by, initially, an engaging song by 'Horrible Histories' relating to the historical context of Dick Turpin as well as using engaging interactive resources to study the powerful and emotive narrative within the poem. Within Connected Curriculum , the pupils took the opportunity to pull together all of their research and share their informed opinions about who they believe suffered most greatly during World War II. It was wonderful to see how they approached this in diverse and creative manners and were able to justify their thoughts so articulately.

In maths, each group has been refining their ability to manipulate fractions in order to compare and calculate, but also to understand more fully these potentially challenging concepts. They have experienced a wide array of activities and games and are beginning to work with increased confidence in many aspects as mathematicians. We have only needed to listen to the conversations that have taken place whilst these activities and games have been carried out or played. Excitingly, they have chosen their teams for the upcoming 'Battle of the Bands' in TT Rock Stars and hopefully the level of competition will be intense and bring much enthusiasm. Let battle commence!

Music Workshop

On Thursday afternoon, our Year 6 choir members enjoyed a creative music workshop, organised by Southend Choirs and composer Kerry Andrew. Click here to find out more.

The Women's Cycling Tour!

Also on Thursday, the children of West Leigh experienced an event that they will never forget! The whole school walked over to Eastwood Road to watch and cheer as stage four of the Women's Tour of Britain cycled past. Click here for more details.

Reading Week

Wow! What a whirlwind of a Reading Week we have had. Under the title, ‘Reading in the Community’, the children certainly have made the most of the opportunities around them this week.

On Monday, the whole school was inspired and enthralled by the author, Gareth P Jones. From his musical interludes, engaging wit and invaluable advice to our upper school children when it came to writing their own mystery stories, Gareth showed just what an exciting and fulfilling life we can all have when we immerse ourselves in books and the imaginary world. As part of a new venture between West Leigh Juniors and our local children’s bookshop, Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, we then hosted a book signing event after school and to say we were overwhelmed by the response is an understatement! The patiently queuing children and parents and carers were a testament to how inspirational Gareth was throughout the day.

Also, all of our Year 4 children had the opportunity to visit Leigh Library during a morning session this week. As the first set of classes back into Leigh Library since February 2020, the librarians were keen to show the children what the library had to offer and many of the children returned to school enthused and looking forward to their next trip to the library to choose their own books.

A selection of Year 5 children had a somewhat daunting task this week as they ventured across the playground, back to their old stomping ground to read to the infant classes. They practised and prepared the telling of a story using a picture book. The children were fantastic and the infants reported back that ‘they were a pleasure to have and read with such confidence and expression’. Well done Year 5 – we hope to have further opportunities for more of you in the future.

Throughout the week, it has been super to see the 'Reading in the Community' photos as they have been uploaded on Showbie. We will review them all over the weekend and present the year group winners with their prize; the results and winners will be published in next week’s newsletter. Thank you for assisting your children in order to provide some absolutely wonderful entries.

Finally, Friday brought two more launches. Firstly, Reading Ambassadors are back – this is when we have some of our incredibly mature and responsible Year 6 children work alongside children from the lower school to support them with their reading. The Year 6s are very keen to make a good impression and are taking the responsibility very seriously. We know that in the past many children have enjoyed this experience whether they are supporting a reader or being supported and feel sure it will be a success again this year. Perhaps the most exciting launch, however, has to be West Leigh Junior School’s very own online book shop! In collaboration with Jacqson Diego Story Emporium and Bookshop.org, parents and children will now be able to purchase books recommended by the school. Whilst there will be a small delivery charge for the books you order, there will also be a contribution made by Bookshop.org to a book fund for the school so we can continually restock our shelves and library. We hope this will be a successful venture and are, as always, grateful for your support. To access our online bookshop please click here.

Dinner Menu

Week One

Monday - Cheese and vegetable pizza - Jacket potato with baked beans - Cold tuna and sweetcorn pasta salad with garlic bap - Herby potato cubes and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or fruit flapjack.

Tuesday - Pork sausage and tomato pasta bake - Vegetable frittata with garlic bread - Baguette with egg mayonnaise - Vegetable selection and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or chocolate chip cookie.

Wednesday - Traditional roast chicken with stuffing - Quorn in vegetable gravy - Baguette with cheese - Roast potatoes, vegetable selection and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or fruit flapjack.

Thursday - Homemade beef cottage pie - Homemade vegetable and lentil korma curry - Baguette with chicken mayonnaise - Vegetable selection and salad bar - Fresh fruit, yoghurt or cherry sponge.

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

Diary Dates

New dates in italics


  • Wednesday 13th - 8am - Y5 Mary Poppins workshop
  • Y6 Tag Rugby @ Southend RFC
  • Thursday 14th - 3.30pm - Y5 Mary Poppins auditions
  • PM 4L Coastal schools
  • Friday 15th - 7pm - Y5 Disco
  • Monday 18th - Individual photos
  • Tuesday 19th - Sibling photos
  • Wednesday 20th - 8am - Y3 Mary Poppins workshop
  • AM 4B Coastal schools
  • Thursday 21st - 3.30pm Y3 Mary Poppins auditions
  • Monday 25th - Friday 29th - HALF TERM BREAK


  • Monday 1st - INSET DAY
  • Thursday 4th - AM Tag Rugby at SRFC
  • Friday 5th - Y6 height & weight check
  • Monday 8th - Learning conferences
  • Tuesday 9th - AM 4L Coastal schools
  • Wednesday 10th - Learning conferences
  • Thursday 11th - AM 4D Coastal schools
  • Friday 12th - AM Team Challenge
  • Monday 15th - Odd Socks Day for Anti-Bullying Week
  • Tuesday 16th - 2pm - 5M and 5S Poetry Performance to parents/carers
  • Wednesday 17th - PM Y5 Science roadshow
  • Thursday 18th - AM Y3/4 Dodgeball at Thorpe Hall
  • 2pm - 5J and 5K Poetry Performance to parents/carers
  • Friday 19th - Children in Need
  • Y5/6 Football at Len Forge
  • Wednesday 24th - AM Y5/6 (B) Dodgeball at Garons Park
  • PM Y5/6 (A) Dodgeball at Garons Park
  • PM Y5 Science roadshow
  • Thursday 25th - AM 4R Coastal schools


  • Wednesday 1st - PM Y5 Science roadshow
  • Friday 3rd - Y3 @ Colchester Zoo
  • Tuesday 7th - Christmas celebration
  • Wednesday 8th - AM 4B Coastal schools
  • Y6 w/Young Shakespeare Company
  • PM Y5 Science roadshow
  • Wednesday 15th - School Christmas Lunch
  • Friday 17th - Tuesday 4th January - CHRISTMAS BREAK



  • 3E - Miss Bowes
  • 3T - Mrs Thompson/Mrs Mitchinson
  • 4B - Mr Boylan


  • 3N - Mrs Bemister
  • 5S - Mr Buchan
  • 5J - Mrs Wilson


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


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


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


Due to the presentation from Jacqson Diego Story Emporium in assembly this morning, we were not able to award our certificates to the classes with 100% certificates. We will make sure they receive them on Monday. As a clue to the who the recipients may be, there are two classes from Y3 and one class from Y5. Which ones, though?...


Citizen of the Week

Stanley Bear was today awarded to Sylvie Do Nascimento (4B) as she was named our Citizen of the Week by the school council for being a kind and considerate friend to others. Well done, Sylvie!

Sports Performer of the Week Noah Johnson (6W)

Most Improved in PE Olivia McArdle (4L)


For the first time this year, a different House other than Centicore won the Team Points trophy. Well done to everyone in the House of Phoenix.

The House Team Points results for this week are:

1st Phoenix - 47 points

2nd Centicore - 40 points

3rd Wyvern - 38 points

4th Pegasus - 35 points

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