Portway Junior School

'Aim high, do your best and never stop learning'

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Head Teacher's Blog 2019/20

w/e 6th March

We have had a fantastic week demonstrating our Portway 5.

Respectful: The Year 5/Year 6 girls competed in the regional football championship representing Derby County. Although they didn't win the overall competition they one their group stages. The girls behaved and played with great respect for others and sportsmanship, fantastic!

Active: The children in Klee performed their Cuban inspired Salsa brilliantly at the DSSP Celebration of Dance at the Riverside. They fully engaged with the whole morning supporting and looking after the infant children who performed their Indian inspired dance and all the other schools involved. A great morning, well done.

Friendly and Responsible: The children in Year 3 continue to rehearse their singing performance and staff visiting the school have commented on how friendly and responsive they have been.

Helpful: The children have been incredibly helpful this week in supporting our Portway Book Festival.


w/e 28th February

I hope everyone is making the most of their extra day today smiley. A huge congratulations to our Year 4 children who have worked so hard over the past few months to learn a range of very complex songs and the sign language to accompany them in preparation for a very special concert involving Viva Sinfonia and a number of other city schools. We had a lovely message from the organisers:


I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for all your hard work in preparation for the performance yesterday!  The hard work you have put in was clearly evident in the attentive listening, total engagement in the performance and incredible singing & signing.


I was on stage and was hit by the wonderful wall of sound – it was the encore of Song 3 that really got me, they all sang with so much passion – it was simply wonderful!


The Year 5s and Year 6s had a brilliant visit to the church, thank you to Warrick for his enthusiasm in engaging the children and improving their understanding of Christianity and the Bible to compliment the RE learning in school.

We had another busy Sweetie Friday, thank you again to the PTFA for organising and running this event.


Don't forget next week we have WORLD BOOK DAY which will feature books looking at the environment and climate change.

Wednesday 11th March is our second Portway Network Meeting. We will be discussing the roles and responsibilities around communication for the school, parents and children. To get a broad overview of opinions  a questionnaire will be sent out this week  which will be used at the Network Meeting. Please let the school know if you intend joining us for the discussion.

W/E 14th February

Stormy weather may have been a feature of the last couple of weeks with Ciara and Dennis, but hopefully everyone will have a calm and peaceful half term holiday.

The PTFA disco was a huge success and I would like to thank; on behalf of the children, parents and staff, the PTFA committee for organising a great evening. Not only was the disco great fun it also raised a magnificent £688. Please keep an eye on the PTFA Facebook page @pjsptfa

The children looked back at their New Years Resolution this week and found that they were still struggling with looking after their own property. Our 'left mountain' of jumpers, shoes, and coats sadly increased over the term. Please remind your children to bring home all the items they take to school each day and check names are in jumpers as none of the 'left property' is named.

We said goodbye this week to Miss Potts who has been working with the Forest School programme and sports provision at break times. We wish her every success in the future. Miss Stevenson will now be leading the Forest School programme. Our Mini Sports Leaders will continue to help everyone have fun and be active at break times.

Next term we continue our topic of Urban Pioneers - ask your children what they have learned so far this term and perhaps, if you get chance, why not take them to some of the interesting places in Derby, The Arboretum, Pickford House, Derby Museum, The Silk Mill to name but a few, or go on the Derby heritage trail.

Wishing you all a fabulous half term break from all the staff at PJS.

w/e 31st January 2020

It has been a real celebration of our broad and balanced curriculum over the past few weeks.

Our Topic launch for - Urban Pioneers has shown just how little the children knew about Derby and it's incredible history, so we are really looking forward to finding out about the very special place we live and comparing it to other places and how history has impacted what Derby is like today. There has been lots of singing with both Year 5 and Year 4 involved with amazing singing opportunities that will culminate in performances and even; in the case of Year 5, a professional recording!

The Fire service visited Year 6 and we had the Executive chef from Chartwell's teaching the Year 3s and Year 4s all about healthy eating.

Sport has featured strongly with fantastic Gymnastics participation, Game of Life activities for Year 5 and 6 and a number of further events before the end of this term including an Odyssey Sports afternoon for Year 4, Basket ball and sports hall athletics.

This week saw our Times Tables Rock Star challenge week - WOW! It started with a fabulous dress up day where staff and pupils looked every inch the rock star and ended with our celebration assembly where it was revealed that the children, in 4 days completed over 1/4 million correct answers on TT rockstars (that's an average of around 700 correct answers per child in school). The assembly PowerPoint is in the children's section. Well done everyone who took part, you are all winners as knowing your times tables is a really powerful super skill. It was lovely to have the PTFA finish the week with a Sweetie Friday - Thank you.

The Portway Network Meeting was really well received and very productive. The notes from the meeting are in the Parent section. The next meeting is on Wednesday 11th March at 2:30pm, so if you are free please come along and join the discussion. If you are unable to attend but have anything you would like discussing please email We will be discussing communication, roles and responsibilities at our next meeting.

Please keep an eye on the calendar for newly added dates and information. Remember it is updated weekly.

Fencing needed to enable grass to 'recover' due to weather.

W/E 10th January 2020

Happy New Year to you all. It was lovely to see everyone back at school. We have set a New Year Resolution Challenge linked to our Portway 5 area of 'Being Responsible' - look after our school and environment by; keeping school tidy, looking after our belongings so that school is tidy and safe. On other Portway 5 news we have our new 'Be Active' mini leaders at break-times leading sporting challenges and our 'Be Friendly' Kindness Ambassadors around school.

We have launched our new topic of Urban Pioneers (content is in our curriculum area).

The School Parliament has also met this week and they have decided to look at our rewards systems so they are motivational and suit the children we currently have in school.

We hope to see as many of you as possible for our inaugural Portway Network Group Meeting on Wednesday 15th January at 9am. Please let the office know if you are able to attend to help us with numbers.

Christmas is almost upon us... the parties are complete, the staff panto is (almost) ready and Christmas films have been watched. The carol service was beautiful and an amazing reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, thank you to Warrick and Woodlands Church for their invitation to hold it there.

In the New Year we will be launching our Portway Network Group for parents/carers, children and staff members. Details will be sent on ParentHub and there is a new page under the parents tab.

We will also be updating the calendar as we now have confirmation of Transition dates etc which have led to some changes to our events in the summer term. Please update your personal calendars at home.

Finally, I would like to thank you all on behalf of myself and all the staff at Portway for your support during the last term. We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a successful and healthy 2020.

We will see you all back at 8:55am on Monday 6th January 2020.

Thank you for your superb support for the Advent Challenge

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

W/E 13th December

Congratulations to all the children and staff for putting on an incredible performance of the Nutcracker. From the outset, the children worked incredibly hard to create their own production and I am incredibly proud of what they all created. A perfect example of Team Portway!

I am particularly impressed with, and want to say a huge 'Thank You' to, the children who had to step in at the last minute for our evening performances and cover the lines or parts of their classmates who unfortunately were unable to be there for the performance. Thank you also to our evening audiences for being so supportive as some of our classes were low on numbers. However they pulled together and performed brilliantly.

A quick reminder to particularly our Year 3 parents, following a number of incidents. PLEASE go to the office in the morning to pass on messages to staff to ensure the message gets through. Staff on the doors are unable to take messages or let adults in as they are focussed on meeting and greeting the children and making sure they get into class safely.

Thank you to the PTFA for organising and running the monthly Sweetie Friday it was another success with weekend treats for the children.

Our 'left property' mountain will be in the hall this week. Please ask your child to check it, if they have left jumpers in school.

Next week we have our parties and the children can wear their party clothes on the day of their party. (Please make sure shoes are appropriate for a school day).

W/E 6th December

The school is feeling very Christmassy at the moment with Nutcracker rehearsals reaching their final stages, classroom decorations and having had a wonderful Christmas jumper/Christmas dinner day. Our marvellous kitchen staff prepared 350 delicious Christmas dinners which were enjoyed by pupils and staff alike. A particular favourite this year were the roasted parsnips, especially in years 3 and 4. The day was finished off with the PTFA film night which was a huge success and many thanks to the PTFA and staff who were involved in planning and attending the event.

Matisse had a superb visit to Toyota to learn about engineering. The children behaved impeccably and had a brilliant time.

The first Parliament meeting was very successful with some exciting ideas coming from the children. The main focus for next half term is going to be the school Reward and Sanctions approach.

Please see the Parliament page in the children's section for the Parliament actions.


It was lovely to welcome so many new faces for our open afternoon. I hope you enjoyed your taste of Portway Juniors and the tasty snacks that were on offer from Chartwells.

A huge thank you to our Popway Choir who sang beautifully. Well done also to our Party Leaders and Year 6 MPs who acted as our tour guides. Our visiting parents were very impressed with your obvious love of the school, your enthusiasm and confidence.

The PowerPoint is available on our parents page.

W/E 15th November

This week has been KINDNESS WEEK. We have had a number of assemblies and lessons looking at acts of kindness and how to be a kind person. As always our children have shown great empathy, kindness and respect for others. All around school we have seen kind, caring and respectful behaviours and these have been put onto our kindness wall. Our Kindness Ambassadors will be announced next week.

We commemorated Armistice day on Monday with a 2 minute silence and the children were involved in interesting discussions and activities to help them understand the importance of Remembrance and it's significance today. The children in Year 6 had a fantastic workshop with the Young Shakespeare Company experiencing the play Macbeth which initiated lots of fabulous learning.

It was lovely to see so many parents in school for our Parents' Evenings. The staff really appreciated all the very positive conversations that were had during the two evenings.

The week ended with our Children in Need Day. Thanks to your generosity we raised £335.

Congratulations to our winners.

Congratulations to Meredith (Y6), Lois (Y5)
Congratulations to Daisy (Y4) and Matilda (Y3)

Great Portway Bake-Off

w/e8th November

We have had a fabulous week at Portway Juniors. As it is Parliament Week we have had our school parliament elections which started with our Year 6s presenting their ideas to the whole school. The children were amazing and had excellent ideas including; becoming a plastic free school, traffic congestion and pollution, kindness to the environment and friendship. These were all ideas that the whole school agreed with. Following the vote we were able to announce our Party Leaders and call a general election. The votes were counted and our MPs appointed. This enabled us to see which party had got the most members and our Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister were announced. The Members and leaders then met today to swear the oath and our Parliament is now all ready to get to work. (Our members and oath are on the website under Children)

We also showed off our new sports kit for school events which looked very smart.

We have had an amazing response to the Great Portway Bake-off. Judging is currently happening with our PTFA members, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. We will announce the results on Monday.

Next week is our Kindness Week so we would love to hear about any acts of kindness your children show or are shown by others.

Show Racism the Red Card

w/e 25th October

The last day of Autumn 1 term may have been rainy but it certainly hasn't been dull. The children had a great assembly and videos on the important topic 'Show Racism the Red Card.' (The PowerPoint is on the children's page.) Yesterday we were treated to the Year 4 Assembly which involved time travelling/Jumanji playing adventurers saving the planet from the dinosaurs! I love a happy ending, and the singing was great too.

After the holidays we will be joined by Miss Alice Rubini as she joins our team as a Teaching Assistant.

We hope you have a fabulous and safe half term week and enjoy your extra hour in bed on Sunday.

Head Teacher becomes a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching

Talking Mental Health

w/e 18th October

This week we focussed on Kindness and Mental well-being. Our assembly presentations are under the Children's tab on the website.

Relationships with others is often the hardest thing children deal with in school. We spend a great deal of time supporting and reminding all the children to be kind, friendly and helpful. Most of the time this is successful but when it goes wrong we talk about the impact this has on others and themselves.

Next week we are looking forward to our Year 4 Assembly and we will be discussing with the children the 'Show Racism the Red Card' campaign.

w/e 11th October

This was an incredibly busy week especially for showing our independence and resilience. The Year 6shad a fabulous time at their residential at Whitemoor Lakes. All adults involved were very impressed with the behaviour and determination of the children to face new challenges including highwires, abseiling, yachting and climbing. A huge thank you to all the staff who gave up their time to make this possible. Great effort Year 6!

The rest of the school was involved with our Cultural Campus Days with Acting masterclasses, Choreography, Composing, Theatre studies and Art. The children worked incredibly hard and have created the beginnings of our Production of 'The Four Realms'.

A great week with lots of positivity - Well done Team Portway!


w/e 4th October

Macmillan Coffee morning: Congratulations to Year 5 who organised and ran a wonderful coffee morning for parents and families of Portway Juniors. Following the making of their own cakes and delights we were also spoilt with a super selection of cakes to sell. They raised a magnificent £200 which will be donated to Macmillan and everyone had a lovely morning.

Well done Year 5.

w/e 27th September

It has been a fantastic couple of weeks with the Year 3s being a great addition to Team Portway. We have had a very calm and orderly fire practice, a Fantastique Foreign Languages Day, a fun Stand Up Derbyshire active learning day (interrupted a little by school photos) so we will do some more next week.

Congratulations to our football teams that represented the school so well this week. Coaches commented on how well the children performed and what excellent sportsmanship they demonstrated.

We have added a new tab to our Children's Pages for school assemblies so that the children can share with parents or revisit themselves .topics we have covered.

I'm looking forward to our PTFA AGM next Tuesday (1st October) at 4pm

A very warm welcome to everyone. It has been a lovely to see so many smiling faces and keen learners this week. The Year 3 children have settled remarkably well and I look forward to watching them grow and develop over the coming years.

We are still very much at the settling in stage with basic expectations being revisited. Our meet the teacher events will explain this more and allow parents and carers to get to know the staff a bit better.

You may have noticed some additions to the school grounds, our polytunnel, the Y3/Y6 pathway with stepping stones made by Miro class last summer. We also have the new Table Tennis table now installed. This was bought for from the 10K sponsored run, so many thanks for your support.

We have also welcomed new staff this week; Miss Hughes (Y3), Mrs Abbott (Y4), Mrs Foster (Y4), Miss Mosedale (TA), Mr Wilbur-Evans (TA) and Miss Bull (TA). It is a pleasure to have them with us.

Here's to an exciting and positive year.


Our new Polytunnel

School Money