Portway Junior School

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W/e 14th December

Creativity at the Heart of Portway Junior School’s curriculum

Portway Junior School - an Arts Mark school in Allestree, Derby, has put “creativity” at the heart of their curriculum. This term the whole school has been involved in a topic based on “Hansel and Gretel”. The idea started a year ago, when the whole school visited Derby Theatre to see their production of “Peter Pan”. They realised they had missed an opportunity, so started planning for the following year to work around “Hansel and Gretel. A year later the children and staff have been involved in a range of exciting learning opportunities and partnered up with arts organisations in Derby.

The whole project was launched in October with a two day cultural extravaganza at Derby Theatre and Deda. The children worked with theatre, dance and music (from Sinfonia Viva) practitioners to devise their own production of “Hansel and Gretel”. Through this 90 of the children attained their Discover Arts Award.


We have now started thinking about next year's production!


Congratulations to all the children for a very successful term. Party Points were confirmed as:

Summer-3,648            Spring-3,631       Autumn-3,602       Winter-3,510

On Friday 11th January 2019 the children in Summer Party can have a dress down day and will have a games afternoon.


We will be having our new outdoor gym installed next week. Please ensure your children stay off the grassed area at the beginning and end of the day. Many thanks.

Teachers at break time trying to solve Dr Dave's Maths Challenge. Who will be the first one?

Teachers at break time trying to solve Dr Dave's Maths Challenge. Who will be the first one? 1

Some of our new books from the PTFA, thank you.

Some of our new books from the PTFA, thank you. 1

W/c 7th December

Firstly, thank you on behalf of the Royal British Legion, this year we raised £176.63 from your Poppy Appeal Donations.


The tech rehearsals have gone incredibly well and the production is looking fabulous. We were incredibly lucky to have a visit from Mike Kenny this week, the writer of Derby Theatre’s Hansel and Gretel. He was completely blown away by the children’s hard work, creativity and enthusiasm.


The PTFA film night was well attended and the children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to the PTFA for organising it. It was the perfect end to a very Christmassy day.


School will be closed on Monday as the staff have an off-site INSET day.

W/e 30th November

Congratulations to the year 5/6 children who performed in the gymnastics competition this week. They have worked extremely hard with before school practices and shown great commitment in preparation for it. Well done Team!

The Cabinet have been finalising the Portway Juniors Lunchtime Bill which they will present to the House of commons next week.

Next week, school will have a very busy feel with the Theatre visit, PTFA Film night (dress up as an Elf character), Christmas lunch (and winter jumpers day) and Technical rehearsals for our production of Hansel and Gretel.

A quick reminder is that children have their coats in school as we are outside at break times even if there are showers.

Finally, the trees along the pathway will be decorated this week by the children. If you have any spare red, blue, green or yellow/gold decorations please send them in to school. Many thanks.

W/e 23rd November

It has been a very busy week as the rehearsals for Hansel and Gretel really get underway. The children are teaching each other songs, scenes and dances they have devised with Derby Theatre, Deda and Viva Sinfonia. The backdrops, props and costumes are being created and the show is starting to come together. This year we have had to charge a small entrance fee go towards the cost of putting on this unique production. Tickets are selling fast and we are really looking forward to seeing you there.

Next week we are off to see Derby Theatre's version of Hansel and Gretel.

It was lovely to meet our prospective new parents for September. They had a chance to hear about the exciting things we do at Portway Juniors and were shown around the school by our very knowledgeable Party Leaders.

We had a very positive PTFA meeting where it was agreed to spend £600 on maths toolboxes and £400 on non-fiction text for class libraries. Thank you so much. We also discussed lots of new ideas including some events for the grown ups. Please see the PTFA link for the minutes of the meeting.

W/e 16th November

The week started with a most incredible workshop for our Year 6s with the Young Shakespeare company. They were working on Macbeth and everyone really engaged with the language and story. 

It was lovely to see so many parents and carers at our Parents' Evening. 

Thank you to Finn and his friends for a really informative assembly on Wednesday for National Diabetic Day. Well done for such a great job. 

We had a Governor Visit on Thursday afternoon which gave Governors an opportunity to share and celebrate all the great learning that is happening in school. 

It was fabulous seeing everyone in their pyjamas on Friday for Children in Need. There was an incredible array of very funky slippers as well. 

W/e 9th November

World War 1 Centenary Week: It has been a truly memorable week. The children have spent the week thinking about the historical impact of WW1, the human stories and the purpose of remembrance.  Many thanks to all the children who made a poppy for our commemorative poppy field. They will be relocated to the community garden after the coming week. The children enjoyed our Diwali celebrations on Wednesday. It was wonderful to see both parents and children at DR DAVE'S MEGA MATHS event. It was great fun with lots of ideas and games with a maths twist. If you were unable to make the event, we hope to host another one in the Spring term, so keep your eyes peeled for the flyers. The week ended with our Remembrance Assembly which included singing by the Lest We Forget choir, readings and poems by the School Parliament members and the reveal of our art installation in the hall. The children observed a minute silence to think about all they had learned during the week.

The School Parliament have met this week and are in the process of passing the 'Portway Lunchtime Act' having proposed a Bill they are now in the process of deciding the final wording.

The week ended on a surprise note with the opportunity to see a theatre production in school of Pinocchio, which was great fun and gave the children a very different experience of theatre craft. 

Next week we will be holding our Parents' Evenings in the hall. The BOOKFAIR will be in WARHOL class from 3.30pm - 4pm Mon and Thurs, 3.30pm - 6.30pm Tues and Wed. We look forward to seeing you all there.

The children of Portway Remember.

The children of Portway Remember. 1 Lest We Forget whole school art installation
The children of Portway Remember. 2
The children of Portway Remember. 3 Our growing poppy field of commemoration.
The children of Portway Remember. 4
The children of Portway Remember. 5
The children of Portway Remember. 6
The children of Portway Remember. 7 The LWF choir singing at our Remembrance Assembly

4th November

I am very proud of our Lest We Forget Choir who performed brilliantly at the Genting Arena, Birmingham, on Saturday evening. They represented the school beautifully. Well done!


Children from across England and Wales performed in the first-ever National Children's Remembrance Concert to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the first World War. Derby and Derbyshire were represented by choirs from:

  • Derby Music Centre, South East Derbyshire Music Centre, North East Derbyshire Music Centre
  • Portway Junior, William Gilbert Endowed Primary, Mickleover Primary, Lawn Primary and Crich Junior

We joined a 2000 strong mass children's choir, Birmingham Schools' Symphony Orchestra, Ealing Youth Orchestra, the debut performance of the National Youth Pipe and Drum Band, Sandwell Youth Brass Band, Birmingham Schools' Guitar Ensemble, Leicestershire Show Choir, plus performers from Wales, Norfolk, Bournemouth and Sutton Coldfield and a Parade of 57 Flags by Scouts and Guides.

‘This special concert will enable thousands of young people to play an active dramatic part in the commemorations and hear of the experiences of those only a little older than themselves.’

Minister of Faith and Integration, Lord Bourne


w/e 26th October

Congratulations to Year 4 on their brilliant performance of The Tempest. You did a fantastic job and every word could be heard. Super effort.

A reminder to parents that coats will be needed in school everyday. we learn outside even when the weather is inclement. Please sign up for Parents' Evening using our online system.

w/e 19th October

What an amazing week. The children have produced some incredible scenes for our Production, through their work with Derby Theatre, Deda and Viva Sinfonia. I was so impressed with what they achieved in such a short space of time and their positive attitudes. 

Outdoor learning and team building activities have been a great success with the atmosphere in school really buzzing.

Congratulations to our Year 6's who had a fabulous week of challenges and successes. Their behaviour and attitude was magnificent. Based on the huge success of the trip, the fabulous responses we have had from staff, parents and children we are now planning next year's residential. A huge thank you to all the staff and helpers who gave up their time to support the children on this valuable experience.

Next week we will be selling Poppy Appeal items as shown below.

w/e 12th October

Parental involvement has been a feature of the last couple of weeks, it was great to have some new faces at our PTFA AGM. We had the opportunity to say thank you to last year's committee for all their hard work especially Karen Mosely who has now stepped down from the committee after many years of dedication. New ideas for fund raising events were discussed and we hope to see more parents at our next meeting on Tuesday 20th November, 6pm at school.

It has been lovely to see parents coming along to our coffee and chat sessions with Mrs O'Farrell who has arranged for an interesting range of speakers to join us. They are held on Thursday mornings from 9.15am, please drop in and see what we are doing.

The children are looking forward to Team Building Week, when they will get lots of opportunities for collaborative, problem solving and creative thinking projects from maths trails to creating the choreography, songs, props and scenes for our Production in December.


w/e 5th October

As October begins and the leaves start to fall the Autumn term is well under way. Now that everyone has settled in we have talked to the children about remembering the school rules to ensure school continues to be a happy, safe and inclusive place of learning. In the past week the children have had the exciting opportunities to take part in Derby Feste, Rock Steady Workshops and sporting events and everyone involved has represented the school brilliantly. I awarded my first Head Teacher's Award to Freddie in Year 3 for the exceptional and inspirational attitude he demonstrated this week, well done!

The Governing board have received notification that our application to become a Multi Academy Trust has been approved by the Regional Schools Commissioner. We will keep you updated on the conversion as the process progresses.

It was lovely to see new faces at our PTFA AGM and we hope more parents will join us for our next meeting on Tuesday 20th November, 6pm at school.

Reading For Pleasure: We are working hard to promote reading for pleasure in school, here are some great books your child may enjoy.

w/e 28th September

Today we said a fond farewell to Mrs Boden; after supporting children staff and parents at Portway Juniors for many years. We wish her every happiness and success in her future adventures.

Well done to the children in Years 4, 5 and 6 who were involved in the Brownlee Mini Triathlon event this week. Hopefully it may have sparked an interest in taking these sports further.

Also, congratulations to our Y5/6 Mixed football team who came third in their competition this week. All the children behaved impeccably and demonstrated excellent sportsmanship.

Following our General election the winning Party was Summer

So our Prime Minister is Joseph L and our Deputy Prime Minister is Emilia B-B.

Our first Cabinet and House of Commons meeting took place this week and the children chose the following Party names:

Yellow – Summer

Green – Spring

Blue – Winter

Red - Autumn

The children have been reminded that nail varnish, fancy hair accessories and coloured hair are NOT part of our school uniform. Please help us by reminding them about this.

As part of our drive to encourage independence we also reminded children, again, to look after their belongings as we have an ever increasing clothes and lunchbox mountain stacking up in the school hall.

Good luck to Wright Class who will be leading the Derby Feste Parade tomorrow.

w/e 21st September

It was lovely to see so many of you at the 'Back to School Fair'. The school was certainly buzzing. A HUGE 'THANK YOU' must go to the PTFA for organising the event and everyone who helped with setting up and on stalls. Please remember it is the PTFA AGM in school on Tues 2nd October. Everyone is welcome.

We also had the opportunity to meet together as part of our 'Meet the Teacher' evening. As we look forward to this new school year it is great to see Team Portway working together to support all the children in school to achieve their full potential and to have the sort of experiences which help to develop their resilience, positivity and motivation. 

This week we held hustings for the Party Leader Elections. All the children who put themselves forward were amazing. They spoke with passion, eloquence and confidence. Following the whole school vote our Party Leaders and Deputies were elected and this then prompted a General Election in school. Next week our Party Leaders, MPs and Prime Minister will begin their role leading our School Parliament. Further information will be available on our School Parliament link.

Next Saturday (29th September) children from Joseph Wright Class will be leading the Derby Feste Parade which starts the Derby Feste Arts Festival. If you are in town on Saturday please come and cheer us on. The fun begins at 10.45am at The Spot outside the Intu Centre.

w/e 14th September

What a great start to the school year. The children have settle back well into school routines and learning. We have already had 'Rock Steady' in school for an assembly, which was great fun. The new team points are looking great, it's very close at the moment with the Green Team edging ahead slightly.

Next week we will have our Party Leader elections for our new School Parliament which will then lead into our whole school vote for class MPs. We will have a School Parliament link on the website for children and parents to access once the elections are complete.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at our Back to School Fayre on Friday 21st September.

Clubs will be starting over the next two weeks please see our clubs page for details.

W/E 20th July

The last full week of this school year and still the sun is shining. Year 6 started the week with a visit from the police talking about the dangers of knife crime the children were complimented on their interesting and mature viewpoints and their responses to the discussions. The whole school had a 'Staying safe in the holidays' Day which included Fish and Chip lunch in the school grounds.

Our moving on assembly was led by Mr Butcher and the Year 6 children received their moving on books.

DIAMOND Team enjoyed a Highland Games afternoon as team winners. They were busy caber tossing, welly wanging and 'haggis' hurling and ended the afternoon with Scottish oatcakes, cheese and a soupcon of Irn-Bru.

It was lovely to see so many parents in school for the open afternoon and thank you for all the lovely comments given to myself and the staff.

We then had the amazing treat that was the Portway Musical Tea Party. The children performed beautifully and it was lovely to hear such a wide range of music and see such amazing talent on display. Well done to all the children and thank you to the music teachers, to Miss Beecroft and Miss Kerwood and especially to Mrs Hindmarch for organising it.

The week has ended with our Annual Sports Day. Again the children showed their determination and talents and we are very proud of all of them. Congratulations to RUBY Team who won the overall title this year.


W/E 13th June

A very busy week for everyone, especially the Year 6's who have been involved with their residential trip or outward bounds activities. All the children behaved brilliantly and faced the variety of challenges with great positivity. Thank you to all the staff for their hard work supporting these great experiences.

All the children in school had the opportunity to work with the University Science Dept on Wednesday. They brought in a range of wildlife creature (taxidermy) for the children to look at and touch to help them get closer to these beautiful British animals and birds and to explain more about their habitats and protecting the environment. 

The NSPCC came to school to thank the children for their amazing fundraising efforts with the sponsored walk. We raised over £3,200 for this incredible charity.

The Year 4's ended the week with their Greek Day celebrations. Everyone looked terrific and I have to say watching them 'strutting their stuff' in the catwalk show was great fun.


Year 6 THE LION KING 1 'Awesome'
Year 6 THE LION KING 2 'Stunning'
Year 6 THE LION KING 3 'The best production ever'
Year 6 THE LION KING 4 'Brilliant. I had goosebumps.'

W/e 6th July

Wow! What a week. Scorching weather, transition and performances.

The week started with transition which was a lovely opportunity for new parents to Portway to get to know staff in school. We are looking forward to working with all our new and established parents over the next few years.

Tuesday was transition day with our Year 6s visiting their new schools, new September intake children and staff visiting us and our current children having the opportunity to get to know their new teachers. It was a lovely day with lots of exciting things happening in school, including a Dino Dig for our newY3s!

Year 2 children visited us again to see the Y6 production of The Lion King and the whole school got to seethe dress rehearsals.

Yesterday the Y6 parents finally got to see our end of school production. I have posted some photos and comments from parents.

The production was a true celebration of all the children in Year 6. Every child had a say in what they did, from make-up to stage and costume design from acting, dancing and singing to technical production with sound and lighting. The children all pulled together to create an incredible production. We are so proud of them, they were all stars!!!

I would also like to thank the enthusiasm and commitment of all the staff involved as they helped make this end of year event so very special.

And finally, today we were officially awarded our Music Excellence Award. Congratulations everyone.

W/e 29th June

A super hot week for everyone. It started with Year 5 and Year 6 taking part in workshops with the NSPCC and ended with our NSPCC sponsored walk. The Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 children watched the superb Saltmines production on Internet safety and completed workshops.The PTFA also handed out the Year 6 leavers hoodies.

Due to the weather and position of our school field, sports day had to be postponed for safety reasons until Friday 20th July, when we hope the weather will be a little cooler. The children still had their picnic lunch under the trees around the school. 

We will like to remind parents again that it is essential for children to have a cap/hat and water bottle in school everyday.  

Next week will be super busy with transition days, Year 6 production and Languages Day.


NSPCC Sponsored Walk

NSPCC Sponsored Walk 1   NSPCC Sponsored Walk 2   NSPCC Sponsored Walk 3   NSPCC Sponsored Walk 4

PTFA Film night fun.

PTFA Film night fun. 1

W/e 22nd June

An amazing week of learning with the children accessing a whole range of wider learning experiences to help prepare them for life both inside and outside school.


We were visited by First Steps to talk to the whole school about Body image and then they completed workshops with our Year 6 pupils.


The NSPCC visited the children for a whole school assembly on 'Speak out, Stay safe'. They will be completing workshops with the children in Y5 and Y6 next week.


The children enjoyed a very tuneful film night, arranged by the PTFA. We even had time for a cool down interval half way through.

Success at the Rolls Royce Engineering Challenge. Our budding Engineers had been working on their car projects with Miss Challender all term. 

Reuben and Sam - Best engineered Car (achieved full marks!!)

Olly and Jacob - 2nd Best engineered Car

Olly and Jacob - Best themed car

Amelia and Lucy - Car that travelled the furthest and highest up a ramp.

Brilliant effort, well done everyone.


The netball team is also busy competing in inter-school matches currently. Well done for their commitment and enthusiasm. Great team work and effort. Well done.


Sunscreen, sun hats and water bottles will be needed this week. Sun glasses are also useful especially to children with hay fever.

The garden is coming on a treat!

The garden is coming on a treat! 1                      The garden is coming on a treat! 2

W/e 15th June 2018

The end of a very busy week digging and making as part of our Community Garden project. The children are creating ornaments, living wigwams, colourful flowers and even a bug mansion and that's just to mention some of the creative ideas being produced to make our Community Garden an interesting and relaxing space to enjoy nature and just 'day dream'. 

A huge thank you to the parents and friends of PJS for helping with the heavy work, we couldn't have done this without you. We hope to have a grand opening in the next few weeks once we have the area planted up. 

The World Cup has started and the classes are watching how their team is doing. 

The sun is shining and the SATs are over. I would like to congratulate the Year 6 children on their calm and sensible approach to this week. They have all worked incredibly hard and demonstrated such mature attitudes to their learning. They have really earned their end of SATs party. Well done everyone! 
Community Garden winning designs 1Mood boards chosen by the Eco Council
Community Garden winning designs 2The 'Portway Tree' design by Finley

W/e 8th June:

The children have had a very inspirational week with-

  • The launch of the Year 6 production of the Lion King
  • Science Ambassadors having an amazing visit to the University's Forensic House
  • WORLD CUP DAY - The school is looking very colourful with every class now supporting one of the world cup teams.
  • Year 4 and Year 5 having an incredible workshop playing the steel drums.

Next week will be our Community Garden Project week.

School Money