Portway Junior School

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

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Weekly Head Teacher's Blog

W/e 26th July

Well, this is my final Blog of the 2018/19 academic year and we really ended on a high. High temperatures included!

Even with the incredible heat the children were able to enjoy; games, DVDs, ice lollies and lots of singing laugh. The final assembly was an opportunity to say farewell to staff and pupils and thank yous for making the year so awesome. The staff had been presented with their PJs (Portway's version of the Oscars) with awards such as 'The Stevie Nicks Award for singing', 'The Sir David Attenborough award for Conservation', The Dr Seuss Award for reading' and 'The Nelson Mandela Award for enabling children to be heard.' 


I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year so fantastic for the children;

The PTFA, for their continued support in providing events, such as discos for the children to enjoy and for fundraising to enable us to organise special events for the children.

The Governors, for their unwavering support and challenge to ensure the children at Portway Junior School get the best education possible which recognises the whole child and promotes lifelong learning and success.

The parents/carers, for their continued support of the school. Thank you for your kind comments about all the fabulous things we have done with your children this year.

The staff, for their relentless pursuit of excellence to ensure the children have the best opportunities for successful futures where they feel empowered and capable of facing challenges. A special thank you to the office staff for their hard work in being the initial contact point for parents and visitors and for ensuring all parents are informed, up-to-date and supported. Thank you also to the Mid-day supervisors for looking after the children at lunchtime and making sure they are safe and healthy and the caretaking team for keeping the school clean, safe and open.


Finally, I would like to thank the children for their hard work and enthusiasm in all aspects of their school life. Everyone has something they are not so keen on or struggle with but the children have been brilliant in digging deep, having a go and being brave. As adults we know these Team Portway attributes will stand them in very good stead for the future and we thank everyone who have helped the children to achieve success this year in whatever aspect of school life and we look forward to their continued successes next year.


Everyone at Portway wish you all a happy, peaceful and safe Summer break and we look forward to seeing you all on Monday 9th September at 8:45am. The children will go straight to their new classes. Diary dates for 2019/20 are now on the school calendar.


W/E 19th July 2019

We have had an incredible couple of weeks. The children have been inspirational with their efforts and enthusiasm. From our amazing Rock Steady Concert performed by our rock stars to the Year 6 production of Mulan and the fantastic Annual Music Concert at Woodlands Church. All of these were supported brilliantly by the parents and the feedback was wonderful.

The weather finally cleared to enable us to run/walk the 10K Fun run for CRY and School sports equipment. We will let everyone know the final figure raised for each on Monday. It was lovely to see so many parents/grandparents at our Open Afternoon. The weather was also kind to the year 6s who, after making their picnics set off for a wet and wild day at Markeaton Park. The children were impeccably behaved and everyone had a great time.

The weather wasn't quite so kind to the Year 3s who went pond dipping at Allestree Park and got rather soggy walking back to school. They all appeared quite jolly despite this and enjoyed their adventure.

The week ended with our End of Year Celebration Assembly. Congratulations to the children who were awarded Star of the Year for 'Exceptional effort and positivity in all aspects of school life.'

Our Party Points winners were AUTUMN with 3,785. The Party members can wear non-uniform on Wednesday and will have a fun afternoon as their prize.

Lauren Ace - Author visit for Year 2 and Year 3

Lauren Ace - Author visit for Year 2 and Year 3 1


On Friday 12th July the Portway Junior School Code Club took 4 teams to a Rotary Computing Tournament at the University of Derby where they were set the challenge of programming a BitBot to follow a line around a track and to be the fastest and funkiest robot to do so. After a number of rounds of testing, time trialling and refining our teams came 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Time Trials and 2nd and 3rd overall in the competition. Special thanks to Mr Finney and Mrs Hills who accompanied the children and Mrs Waller and provided expert assistance.

Congratulations to all our Coding Club members.

W/e 5th July

Another very busy week with transition, new parents, sport and hoodies.

Our new look Portway Olympics was very well received by the school community as it enabled all children to be active and engaged throughout the morning. Although we didn't get to finish everything on the day ( a learning point for us) we managed to complete the activities on Friday and had a celebration assembly to follow. The children in the top three teams were awarded their medals. Each class teacher also picked two children who demonstrated excellent TEAM PORTWAY attitudes. The final results were:




The Year 6s were also presented with their leavers hoodies which they can now wear to school over the final weeks.

Next week we have our Year 6 production of MULAN, an additional transition day for Y2,Y3,Y4 and Y5. We also have a morning of activities planned for Y6.There will also be our Annual Music Concert which will be held at Woodlands Church and our coding club will be involved at the university in a coding competition. All the best to our children in their performances and competitions.

w/e 28th June

Following on from last week's Blog, I am thrilled to tell everyone that we raised an amazing...


at the Enterprise Fair organised and run by the children. A fantastic effort, well done everyone!!!


This means that over the summer holiday we hope to get the Cynefin Project up and running ready for September.

This week the Year 6s have experienced a mock secondary school experience with lessons in different classes with different teachers, new timetables and a higher degree of personal responsibility being expected, as it will be at Secondary School. The children coped marvellously and really enjoyed the experience and we have had a great response from Woodlands Staff who are very pleased we did this.

The Year 4s all took part in the DFE Standards Agency pilot for the Multiplication Tables Check. It involved 25 questions answered online with a time allowance of 6 seconds per question. Times tables from 2x to 12x were checked. The children completed the checks really well and were positive about the experience.

Next week is transition for all children. This means that on Tuesday the children currently at PJS will meet their new teachers and new classmates, the Year 6s will be offsite at their new schools and our new Year 3s will be joining us from their infant schools. We recognise this can be a stressful time for some children but we find that talking to the children about all the things that are staying the same and acknowledging that these feelings are perfectly normal  that it helps them feel more at ease. We will have further transition opportunities during the last few weeks of term to support all the children and help a smooth transition in September for everyone.

The weather is looking much better and fingers crossed we will be holding our postponed Olympics on Thursday 4th July at 9:15am. We will NOT be having a picnic afterwards.

HOT WEATHER REMINDER: Please ensure your child has a sun hat and water bottle in school. We encourage the children to top up their water during the day as they finish it. Children are also able to get sun cream at our dispensers around school and are expected to wear sun hats during breaks and outdoor lessons.

W/e 21st June

It has been a very exciting and industrious week in school with preparations taking place for our Enterprise Fair. The children did a marvellous job in deciding how best to invest their start up fund of £30 to become true entrepreneurs. We had designing, making, profit analysis and amazing team work demonstrated in every class. The end of the week culminated in a superb Enterprise Week where the children were able to show how confident and articulate they were selling their wears to parents and family members.

Thank you to all the friends and family that attended we had over 200 visitors! The school had a real buzz and almost everything from the mocktails to coasters, artwork to needlecraft were sold during the afternoon. Pictures will be on class pages this week.

Congratulations to our young engineers who had a very successful time at Rolls Royce last weekend. The report by Miss Beecroft is below.

The weather is still keeping us guessing but we plan to have our 10K Fun Run for C.R.Y and school sports equipment before the end of term and we will notify you asap.

The Year 6 children will have a week of Year 7 readiness this coming week which we are piloting for the city in consultation with the secondary schools.

We have our fingers crossed for good weather and remind the children to have their water bottles and sun hats in school.

Finally, we continue to have high levels of 'left property' that the children leave around school. Please remind your child(ren) to take home their belongings including lunchboxes, cardigans and/or jumpers at the end of the day.

Engineering Club

Over the past few weeks, children from year 5 have worked with Miss Beecroft become engineers and created wooden electrical cars complete with gears! They have shown such resilience when creating the cars, combating each problem in their teams and then supporting other teams so that everyone by the end of the process had a working model. 

On the 15th of June, the children, their parents and Miss Beecroft headed off to the celebration event at Rolls Royce Heritage Centre. We had a marvellous time (the free biscuits were very much appreciated by the children!). First of all, our cars had the straight line test followed by the true test- the cars had to travel up a ramp, getting steeper each time. Mrs Walker was an excellent assistant, and I'm unsure who was more competitive, the children or the parents! The children then had to talk through their designs with a Rolls Royce engineer.

After looking round the heritage centre and playing with real life robots, it was time for the results! Portway Junior School won both categories with Oliver and Josh walking away with the medals.

I would like to say well done and thank you to all the children and Miss Beecroft! They have worked so hard and all the work was their own.  Thank you to the parents for coming and helping on Saturday morning, I'm sure they will agree it was a fantastic event! 

w/e 14th June

Despite the weather conspiring against us the children have had a terrific healthy living week. From mindfulness, yoga and meditation for a healthy mind through food workshops and sleep workshops for a healthy body to plenty of exercising and inter-class competitions. The weather scuppered our plans for Sports Day (which has been moved to Thursday 4th July 9:15am) and to complete our 10K fun run which we hope to do next week (weather permitting.) 

Next week the children will be showing off their entrepreneurial skills which will culminate in our Enterprise Fair on Friday 21st June at 2pm. We are looking forward to seeing you all on Friday at 2pm. The fair will end around 3:30pm as families go home. Please can you enter via the hall doors and sign in on your arrival. We are planning to use the classrooms for our shops, but should the weather improve dramatically we will then put some shops on the playground.

Mrs Waller spoke to her class this week to inform them of her exciting new adventure - she will be moving to Australia in the summer holidays with her family to start a new life there. We will miss her very much and wish her every success in the future. Mrs Clarke will also be leaving us on 28th June to start a new adventure of her own. I'm sure you will join me in wishing her the very best and saying a huge thank you for all her hard work over the years.

I look forward to seeing many of you on Friday.

W/E 31st May

As we look forward to our final term for 2018/19 I can reflect on a very short, but exciting half term.

From the Year 4 residential to Lea Green, through the SATs for Year 6 to finally the Year 5 Eco Assembly. The children have demonstrated time and again their positivity, engagement and resilience.

We are now looking forward to Healthy Living Week (10th - 14th June) with our new look Sports Day on Thursday 13th June which will start at 9:30am and will be followed by our family picnic. Our sponsored run supporting CRY and School Sports equipment will take place on Friday 14th June. The children are encouraged to wear sports gear all week as they will be taking part in a range of activities. The weather forecast currently for Sports day and the Fun Run is warm and dry so fingers crossed it remains that way.

Our Enterprise week (17th -21st June) will conclude with our Incredible Enterprise Fair on Friday 21st June from 2pm- 3:30pm. We hope you will join us. All funds raised by the children's efforts will go to the Cynefin Project for us to develop the children's access to outdoor learning.

This year our Year 6 production is Mulan! Following discussions with parents last year we have decided that once the Year 6 families have selected their tickets we will release the additional tickets to the rest of the school community. So watch this space for further details.

Finally, we have been awarded £1000 for our Cynefin Project from Tesco's Bag for Life Community Fund.

Please keep checking the school calendar for events and details.


W/e 10th May

The Bank Holiday weekend might not have brought the best weather but this week the children have still been getting out and about. Year 6 children were involved with completing their Bikeability course, getting ready for their SATs and the Year 4s went on their residential.

Year 6 SATs: The children have spent this week thinking about how to stay calm, being reminded about getting fresh air, plenty of sleep and eating well to make sure they are able to do their best next week. The children have worked really hard and are absolutely ready for this part of their learning journey.

Year 4 residential: It is always a pleasure to go on a residential trip with the children and to see them grow in confidence and independence even in a short space of time. I'm sure the children will have slept well on their return as they had had a very busy couple of days being outside conquering assault courses, problem solving, building shelters and a late night game of hide and seek. A huge thank you to Miss Briggs for organising the entire trip and thank you to all the adults that gave up their time to make the trip possible. Finally, a big thank you to the children for being great fun and being prepared to try everything, for eventually learning to follow instructions and also for getting some sleep. It was a great trip and I'm sure the children had a memorable time.

PTFA Disco: Thursday 16th May Beach Party theme. Don't forget to get your tickets for the disco and hopefully the weather will be more summer like.

W/E 3rd May 2019

It has been a fantastic, if not hectic, return to school this week. We travelled the world during the week visiting 9 countries and ending with a celebration assembly on Friday. Feedback from parents has been great with many commenting on the positivity and enjoyment their children had expressed. Feedback from the children has also been positive:

'It's great to find out about countries I may work in one day'- Billy (Y4)

'I liked helping younger children in my group and getting help from the older ones' - Jack (Y5)

'It's been really great because we have experienced the countries' - Izzy (Y4)

'I know lots now' - Zion (Y3)

'It's been brilliant' - Jonny (Y6)

'I've really enjoyed it' - Lizzie (Y6)

We had some of the Trustees, Members and Head teachers from Odyssey Trust visit on Wednesday and they were very impressed with the engagement, learning and enthusiasm shown by the pupils and staff. They also recognised the importance of such approaches to ensure broad and balanced curriculum that focussed on how children learn best and pupil needs. 

Well done to Team Portway for making it such a great week. The PowerPoints and work can be seen under the Children tab. Please visit and see what we did. 

W/e 12th April 2019

It was a lovely end to a very long and busy Spring Term. At our Full Local Governing Board meeting we said a huge thank you and au revoir to Claire Brown as she stepped down as our Chair of Governors and a LGB member to enable her to fulfil her role as a Trustee of Odyssey Collaborative Trust.

The Year 3s performed brilliantly in front of the school and their families on Thursday. Well done all of you for your hard work and effort. I really enjoyed the singing and jokes that were part of the Egyptian Mummy Mystery. 

Year 3 and Year 6 enjoyed an incredible Languages morning run by students from Derby University. There were games, songs and a wide variety of languages for the children to experience.

Very fittingly the SPRING Party won the Points Challenge this term with 5,478 points! Due to a very busy 4 weeks after the Easter break we will have a non-uniform day and treat for Spring Party on TUESDAY 7th May. 


Save the World in 59 Days

After the holidays our whole school topic for the summer term will be about the world the children live in and how to protect this for the future. To launch the topic we will be having an enrichment week travelling across the world. On FRIDAY 3rd MAY the children can come to school dressed in colours of a country of their choice or national dress for a country of their choice so that we can have a One World Day.


We wish everyone a very Happy Easter and a peaceful break. School reopens on Monday 29th April at 8:45am.

W/E 5th April

The week started with Year 4s transforming themselves into Ancient Greeks and had a fabulous day of history, culture and food. It was a great learning experience for all the children.

The Eco Council, Gardening Club and classes planted the remaining trees to create a Silver Birch Spiral, shaded areas and we have sent some trees to the Infants to plant in their garden area. So, well done to everyone for joining in on this phase of our Cynefin Project.

Silver Birch spiral


Gym Equipment Usage:

Despite clearly visible signage and repeated reminders to parents and children we still have children and young people using the equipment at the end of the school day. Unfortunately, we now have no choice but to allocate school budget to provide fencing to mitigate the Health and Safety Risk. This is greatly frustrating. As I am sure you are aware, this is a time of increasingly tight budgets and we are now having to spend funds on such things that ordinarily are not required during the school day. Having spoken to both parents and children it is clear that many are equally as disappointed that others are not 'following the rules'. At the end of the school day we hope to clear the school site in a safe and orderly fashion and unfortunately this is not helped with children having 'unsupervised playtime' on the gym equipment.


Family Tree Planting

Family Tree Planting 1
Family Tree Planting 2

W/e 22nd March

It has been a really family focussed week at Portway. It was lovely to see so many families at our Parent consultation evenings. The feedback has been very positive from parents, children and staff.

The Governors visited this week to see how we support the well being of children, families and staff in school. They spoke to our Peer  Mentors, Hub members, Party Leaders and pupils and staff over a very pleasant lunch. They were super impressed with the work happening in school to support well being and develop those life skills of resilience and self regulation. As always the children were able to talk with great enthusiasm and understanding of what happens in school, why it helps and how they can be involved.

The beautiful weather made our Family Tree planting event all the more fun. It was great to have over30 families come to school and plant a tree as part of our tree trail. Thank you to our families for supporting this event and for the lovely comments. a huge thank you to Year 5 who mapped out our tree trail, great maths and science guys. Also, thank you to all the staff who gave up their Saturday to come along and help. Certificates will be created this week and more trees will be planted by the children during the week to create habitats and food supplies for wildlife and shade for the children in the future.

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our main fundraiser for our outdoor learning project (Cynefin Project) due to having no ticket sales for the Quiz Night. As a school, we feel it is equally important for parents in school to feel included and as part of this we felt a Parent/Teacher/Governor social event would be a great way to get new members of the school community to get together and get to know people in a social context. Also, it was seen as an opportunity to raise money, have some fun and have an evening out. Clearly, we misjudged this. Consequently, we will be sending out a Survey Monkey to parents to see what types of events you would like to see in school recognising the hard work, effort and numbers of helpers are required to run many of the events we have had in the past we would like to try some new ideas and need your suggestions.

We are still aiming to raise £2,500 to provide the children with the outdoor learning areas we need to increase our use of the outdoor space we have.

w/e 8th March 2019

Wow! What a week for Portway Juniors to demonstrate it's incredible creativity. The week started with a fabulous performance by a number of pupils in London at the launch of this year's 10 Pieces. We received lovely thank you for the children and staff from the BBC team:

'WELL DONE and THANK YOU!! You all did so wonderfully. I hope you all had a great time and know how much we appreciate all the effort you and the students put in to what was a real highlight of the launch. Your contribution meant that we had the voice of the children and teachers at the heart of the launch.'

We had a fantastically inspirational talk as part of the Big Pedal Challenge. Again, pupils were congratulated on the range of interesting questions they raised and also for their positive behaviour.

Everyone looked incredible for World Book Day, thank you to parents for your support of this event we have raised £280 which means we are able to create a second library trolley. smiley The children also created amazing Potato characters, well done.

We ended the week with children in Year 4 and Year 5 being taught a range of languages from Swahili to Dutch by students from Derby University. Year 3s worked with the Young Shakespeare company having fabulous workshops on A Midsummer Night's Dream. I also had the privilege of taking a group of children to perform at the Celebration of Dance at the Riverside alongside 12 other schools. The children were quite simply brilliant. These experiences truly enrich the learning happening in Portway Juniors.

It is weeks like this that prove just how amazing the staff, pupils and families of Portway Juniors really are.


Please remember school is closed next Friday (15th March ) for INSET Day. We will be having a Red Nose Day dress down on Thursday 14th March.



As you are aware we have big plans for Portway Junior School grounds. These will benefit the whole community including the Infant School and local clubs. We have called this whole project The CYNEFIN Project and we are using a number of ways to raise money.

This is how you can help:

The Family Tree Project - make a lasting impact by planting a sapling with your children for a donation of £5 (Details on our Cynefin Project page)

Tesco's Tokens- If you shop in Tesco please ask for your token and place it in the box for Portway Juniors.

Quiz Night - A great night of quizzes, prizes and fun. Bring your team along and join in the fun (Details on our Cynefin Project page)



We hope you will join us and support our fundraising efforts for the benefit of all the pupils at Portway Juniors. 

Children at BBC 10 pieces launch event in London

Children at BBC 10 pieces launch event in London 1

W/e Friday 1st March 2019

It has been a busy first week back and the glorious weather certainly made it feel like winter was behind us. We have now started our new whole school topic 'The Clock is Ticking...'

The week also began with the fabulous news that Natasha in Year 6 had qualified to show her St Bernard dog at Crufts next year having had a very impressive and successful show during the holiday. So well done and good luck Natasha.

The PTFA Neon Disco was a huge success and everyone looked brilliant and behaved really well. Thank you to all the parents and staff who helped organise and run the event.

Next week we will be saying farewell to Mrs Hughes who has been completing her second teacher training placement with us and we wish her every success in the future.

Good luck also to the pupils taking part in the BBC 10 pieces launch in London on Monday. This is a very prestigious honour and, having seen their performance, I know they will be truly brilliant.



W/e 25th January

A request from our Prime Minister:

We would like to improve our wet playtime/golden time boxes. If you have any old games/jigsaws, construction kits or books that are in good condition and complete that you no longer use please send it into school. ASK A GROWN UP AT HOME before you bring games etc into school. Thank you.


W/e 18th January 2019

This week the Cabinet and House of Commons met and decided that they wanted to look at 'What makes an excellent Team Portway member?' They will be talking with the school community about what this could look like and how to make sure everyone in school feels part of and behaves as a member of Team Portway. A new School Parliament has been set up for ideas and suggestions.


The children are enjoying using the new outdoor gym equipment during the school day. Unfortunately, the SLT and staff are still spending a lot of after school time telling children from Portway Juniors, Infants and Woodlands to come off the equipment. We recognise that it is very tempting but again request that parents support the school and do not allow their children to use the equipment at this time.  In school we teach the children many essential life skills, coping with temptation is one of those life skills.

Summer Party reward afternoon

Summer Party reward afternoon 1
Summer Party reward afternoon 2
Summer Party reward afternoon 3
Summer Party reward afternoon 4
Summer Party reward afternoon 5
Summer Party reward afternoon 6

w/e 11th Jan 2019

A warm welcome back and Happy New Year to you all. The children have had a very successful start back to the new term and our new members of staff; Mrs Vickers and Miss Potts have started to get to know everyone. It is also great to have Miss Wilkinson back from her maternity leave.

We have had a super busy week with our ECO Award Launch. We are proud of our Eco record but wanted to shine a light on our achievements and develop the children's understanding to enable them to make informed decisions in terms of being responsible individuals. We will continue our Eco journey over the coming months and years.

Our outdoor gym is now available for the children to use in their break times. We have spent the week showing them how to use it safely and appropriately. The equipment will be supervised during break times and a timetable is to be trialled over the next couple of weeks. We will then see how this is going.

It was an absolute pleasure to spend Friday afternoon with our Party Point winners, Summer. The children enjoyed playing traditional games and having a go on the ActivWall. It was great to see the children mixing and playing games collaboratively. Thank you children for a lovely afternoon. 

Next week we have our first Cabinet and House of Commons meetings for 2019. I am looking forward to hearing what project the children would like to address next having successfully creating a Break Time Act and improvements last term.

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