Newsletter – 10th July 2020

As we approach the final week of this very different school term, our teachers have been looking at ways to help their classes share their memories of the year, just as they would if the classes were in school.  In last week’s video, your class teacher asked your child to send in a message (either as a video or photograph) about their memories of their time in class or even just as a message to their classmates. These messages are being put together by the teachers, along with messages of their own, to provide an end-of-year celebration of sorts for the whole class.


We really want to include all of the children so even just a short video message to their classmates, or a Love-Actually style picture with a message on a board, would be great (if they are camera shy, just a message will be fine). Please send in these messages to your child’s class teacher email address by Wednesday 15th July.


There is going to be a fair bit of information coming your way over the next week, so be ready for some not so light reading! We have been working through all the details in the government guidance for full opening in September so we will be able to give you the full update next week with all the start and finish times and the other procedures that we need to put in place to make sure that everyone is safe for when we return.


We are aiming to get Conkers Before and After School Club up and running again in September too, although it will have to work in a reduced capacity to start with to stay in line with the guidelines. We will give you the details of this next week as well.


Thank you to all who responded to our learning materials survey, it has really helped inform our planning. We will upload all of the material for each year group to the website on the home learning page and paper copies for those who requested them will be available for collection on Tuesday 21st July, 9am – 1pm from the school office.


11+ camp email confirmations have been sent out today. If you were expecting one and haven’t received it, please let us know so we can make sure you are on the list.


Thank you for your continued support.

Newsletter – 3rd July 2020

We have just received more details about the guidelines we have to follow in September so that we can safely open up the school to all and finally have everyone back together. We will be working on these over the next couple of weeks and then send out more detailed information about how we are going to operate in the new academic year.

The government recently announced plans to help pupils catch up on any learning they have missed out on during the lockdown. While we await further details and guidance on what these plans will be, we would like to ask our CHJS families about whether you would like some additional Maths and English resources from us over the summer and in what format. We will then use this to inform our planning. Whether you wish to keep the summer as a holiday, or if you would prefer some learning resources, we want to be able to support you and your family in the best way we can. Please be assured that, whatever you choose to do for your family, the CHJS team will all be ready in September to support you and your family in returning to what we hope will be a more normal school environment.

To complete the survey click SUMMER RESOURCES SURVEY and please reply by 10th July.

Thank you to all of those Year 5 parents who got their 11+ responses back. We will let you know exact details next week with your class and start and finish times.

We have had loads of great responses for our remote sports day and other challenges this week. The scores for sports day were really tight in 4 out of the 5 events with sit ups proving the decisive discipline for our winners, Colchester, who just pipped Hedingham to the title! Thanks to all of the many that took part and sent back their scores and congratulations to the winning house and your stomach muscles of steel!

In TTRockstars, well done to Colchester again for the highest points and Hadleigh for the highest number of competitors.

Mountfitchet proved to be the brains of the bunch this week with a win in the quiz!

More congratulations are in order as Mr Halsall heads off on paternity leave today with the imminent arrival of his first child – many sleepless nights ahead! Mr Smale and Mrs Farrell will be looking after 6SH in his absence for the final couple of weeks of term.

A little reminder for our or our Year 6 leavers about T-Shirts and the Yearbook. Could you please send your permission, photos and answers to ideally by the end of today if at all possible.

Thank you for your continued support.

11+ Summer Camp for Year 5

We will be running a free 11+ summer camp to help children ahead of the test in the Autumn term.  The sessions will be 4 mornings, Monday to Thursday in the week beginning 3rd August, and will be run by teachers from our school.


Classes will have a maximum of 15 children in them and we will be following all the same distancing and hygiene controls that we have used in school this term. Children will be asked to wash their hands frequently, they will have the same desk for every session, they will not share equipment and all rooms will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.


So that we can organise children into groups and allocate teachers to them well in advance, please could you let us know if you will be attending by the end of this week.


Children will need to bring their own water bottle and a snack. They will not need to bring any materials, it will all be provided.


We will have staggered start and finish times to avoid congestion at the gate and classes will have a break time separate from the other classes. Once we have a final list of attendees we will send you your start and finish times, drop off and collection information and which classroom your child will be in.


Please either return the slip , call or email us by Friday 3rd July if you would like your child to attend.


To see the full letter, please click on this link:  11+ summer camp ltr Jun 20

Newsletter – 25th June 2020

We were delighted to hear the news that we can look forward to all pupils returning full time in September. We have just under 200 pupils regularly in school at the moment, with all our classrooms in use because of the restrictions for class sizes, but it will be fantastic to get back to something nearing normality in the new term.


For parents who are collecting children at the end of the day, could I please ask that you follow the one way system through the playground and move on swiftly as crowds are starting to gather now we have a lot more children and it is making distancing a little tricky.


You will receive a video tomorrow from your child’s new class teacher for September. Their current teachers have already passed on lots of information to each new class teacher so they are all prepared for the new year. If you have any questions or would like to make contact to update them ahead of September with any new additional information you think might need sharing please do so through the email address given in the video.


We have distributed transition packs to our Year 6s where they have been sent to us by the secondary schools. If you haven’t been sent anything yet please check the individual school’s website.


We are aware that many 11+ summer camps may not be able to run during the holidays so we will be running one ourselves for Year 5 pupils who are considering taking the selection test in the Autumn term. We will send you a sign up letter with dates and other details next week. The CSSE have released an update for Year 5 parents on their website with their preferred options for the test, including possibly moving the date if they get permission from the DfE.


We are working on putting together learning materials for the summer holidays, for those who wish to keep their home learning going, and we will send out more information about this shortly. We have strong links to external tutoring companies that we use for certain groups of children already and we will be looking to expand on this in the Autumn term alongside intervention work in small groups in school to help children catch up where necessary.


The Year 6 PGL trip that was planned for September has been moved to the Summer term of 2021. We do not know if we would have been allowed to attend or indeed how many would still want to attend in September and we wanted to avoid any uncertainty this may have caused so it has been moved to July 2021 (not in transition week) at no extra cost to parents. We will send out more details in the new academic year.


As for the Year 3&4 PGL trip, we have been working with our own insurers and are now in a position to give you back the money that PGL really ought to have refunded in the first place. It’s a lot of cheques to write, so please be patient with us as the finance team get them sorted over the next week or so. When we are back in the new academic year, we will have a look at the options we have for replacing what is always a brilliant trip.


It would have been sports day next week so Mr Robinson and Mr Smale will be sending out a sports day challenge with different activities that children can have a go at at home. Children from all year groups can take part in the activities if they would like to and score points for their house teams which will be collated and an overall house winner announced once all the results are in.


Stay safe.

On-Line Activities – 25th June 2020


Over the last couple of weeks we have been sending out regular challenges and activities for your children to attempt while at home, alongside the weekly messages from their class teachers.


The challenges are released via our Facebook account ( and YouTube channel (search ‘Chalkwell Hall Junior School’). You do not need to have an account on either platform to view our content.


We hope you have enjoyed the range of challenges so far, from reading in unusual places to learning a magic trick or even trying to identify the school staff members from their baby photos, and we have many more lined up for you over the coming weeks – including our Virtual Sports Day next Tuesday (30th June).


Here is a spotlight on our latest challenges to go up this week:


National School Sports Week

This week is National School Sports Week and Active Essex have created daily challenges for everyone around the county to take part in. The challenges have covered very different areas, with juggling and Zumba among them, and support those of all abilities.  If you want to, you can film your challenges and share your achievements with us and we will pass them on to the organisers. More details can be found on their website


Music lessons with Mr Winiberg

Mr Winiberg has been producing weekly music lessons every Thursday. You can find all the lessons so far on our YouTube Channel.


This week, Mr Winiberg’s music lesson is all about lyric writing. He plays ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana, then talks about the structure (verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse 2, pre chorus, double chorus). He then challenges you to write your own lyrics following that structure, and if you are feeling super confident to then sing your lyrics along with the track. Whether you write them down or sing them, please share your new songs with us.


This week’s lesson can be found here:


Learn a magic trick

Mrs Thompson plays the magical assistant to her son George as they set you a spell-binding challenge to learn and share a magic trick.


If you want to give the challenge a go, it can be found here:


Don’t forget to send us a message about how you are getting on with the challenges, about any learning you have been doing at home or if you have any questions or problems you may be having. These messages can be sent in via the class email accounts (e.g.


Good Luck!





Newsletter – 18th June 2020

We have seen a sharp increase in the number of children of key workers returning to school, as more and more businesses get back up and running, and it has been a pleasure to welcome them back. Thank you to all the key worker parents who have let us know in advance of their child’s return to school, it makes it a lot easier to plan.


The government have given us a little flexibility in saying we can take more children if we have room but we are still working under the directive of accommodating key workers and more vulnerable children and then Year 6 pupils before we can consider allowing any more year groups in to school. Because we need to have reduced numbers in each group, we now have 10 classes of year 6 children and 7 classes of key worker/more vulnerable children which means we aren’t going to be in a position to invite any extra year groups in before the end of term.


I would love to have been in a position to welcome back other year groups as a whole or in rotation but we simply do not now have the space to accommodate them. With the limited space that we have left we are working on bringing in those that need it most first, those who do not tick the government’s official vulnerable list but those who we know and have been working with who may be more at risk than others.


We share your frustrations with everyone not being able to attend school. Teachers want to see their classes and we know that the children would love to be able to see their teachers and their classmates in person.


We are trying to up our level of engagement over this half term with teachers making more regular videos and encouraging children to stay engaged with their learning so we hope that will make things easier at home. The current situation can certainly feel isolating for some so we will be sending out activities to try and get more of our children engaged with school and try to get back a bit of our community feeling by having some whole school shared tasks to enjoy.


The lessons provided through the Oak Academy are great for keeping up with maths and English but nothing compares to being part of a classroom and, in turn, part of a whole school. We are seeing that and we are trying to find ways to help everyone feel more included. Please get in touch with your class teachers if you need any more support.


Mr Linfield

Update to website & keyworkers children

We hope the children enjoyed the videos the teachers sent out to their class last week via email.  If anyone didn’t receive a video, please contact us to make sure we are holding the correct email address for you. We will be creating many more videos to try and engage and challenge the children over the next 5 weeks.


Today we have uploaded to our website a new, more interactive timetable with some tips and advice from the year group teachers on how to approach the Oak Academy lessons for the week. It also includes ideas to support reading and your child’s wellbeing. Please click on this link to access it:, if you haven’t already done so.


If you or your child has any queries at all, either about their learning or general wellbeing, or would like to share what they have been up to at home, then please contact their teacher via the class email address, e.g.


We are seeing our key worker children numbers in school rising, and we are really enjoying seeing more familiar faces back in school.  We would ask that you let us know in advance if you will be sending in your child so that we can make appropriate arrangements if the numbers start to increase further.


Thank you for your continued support.

Summer Reading Challenge

Every year the school welcomes a representative from the library service to join us in an assembly to share the details of the Summer Reading Challenge. We are always proud to hear of the successes many of our children have with these challenges so are incredibly pleased that the challenge will be going ahead this year.


Please find the details from the library service below.



This year’s theme is ‘Silly Squad’ and the all-new digital website ( was launched officially on Friday, 5th June 2020, with a host of fun activities, and runs right through the summer to September.


Families will be able to find an array of virtual ‘super silly’ curated events which will be hosted online, including games, quizzes and many different downloadable activities, with the intention of entertaining and educating children, who may be feeling self-isolated at this difficult time.


Children are encouraged to read anything that makes them feel happy, no matter what the format and whether or not they have borrowed it from the library or it’s something from home: fiction or non-fiction, poetry, comics, joke books and more.


Please note that although the council’s library buildings are still closed until further notice, we are encouraging children to continue to access our services freely through our virtual services and e-lending platforms


Other reading resources to help at home


Parents have been asking about stage reading books, and many of them can be accessed for free online from the ‘Oxford Owl’ website:


It takes two minutes to register for free, and the books are tablet friendly and organised by difficulty or age group to help finding the right books for your child as easy as possible.


For those children who may need help with their phonics/spelling, the Phonics Play scheme (which we follow in school) is currently free to use and accessible via their website:  It contains a lot of interactive games to help them learning key sounds and spelling patterns.


For those looking for something a little different, there are lots of online reading events taking place, such as the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival at home ( Also, the World Book day website continues to share a wide number of engaging resources (


Good luck with the challenge!









Newsletter – 11th June 2020

Despite the announcement earlier in the week in the news that schools would have greater “flexibility” over who can attend, we have no information as yet from the Department for Education on who should receive priority over the remainder of this term for attendance at school. We had been working under the assumption that children would be given the chance to attend school at some point because that is what we had been told. We are meeting tomorrow with our governing body to consider what options we may have moving forward but, without information from the government on who is now supposed to take priority, we may have to wait a little while longer.

Because of the reduced class sizes, all our teachers are required in the direct daily teaching of our Year 6s along with more groups of key worker and vulnerable children but they are keen to engage with their own class children who are out of school too. Children in Years 3, 4 & 5 are all working on the same lessons in school as the children should be at home so please send any pieces of writing or other work in on the class emails then teachers can provide direct feedback and encouragement. If you are struggling with anything at home, please contact your class teachers. We are already working with many families and our learning mentors are helping with anxiety issues and other problem areas that are presenting themselves as the lockdown drags on.

We have been in regular contact with families that we considered to be more vulnerable, like those involved with social care, child protection cases or those with EHCPs (Education Health Care Plans) and many parents have been in touch where they have needed something extra that has arisen during the time they haven’t been in school. We have provided bespoke learning packs, for example. Where a child is not working at the level of the rest of the year group or is struggling to access the materials online, we have printed individual packs for pupils that they have then collected. We have also purchased laptops and provided these for pupils who did not have access at home as the government scheme was taking too long to arrive. If you need help, please let us know via your class teacher.

We can’t do direct teaching live streamed into your homes, sorry. The NEU have advised against it for safeguarding reasons and a number of our teachers are teaching other year groups so trying to livestream their current class wouldn’t work logistically either. It is also something that would not have been sustainable as we opened up to a greater number of children.

Teachers will be sending out e-postcards to children as recognition for their hard work in keeping up with their online learning, sending work in and completing tasks on MyMaths and TTRockstars. The teachers will also be sending out videos to challenge the children with some tasks that are not just maths and English related, more along the lines of the creative tasks that we have on our home learning page:

It looks like we aren’t going to get to have a sports day this year so our PE leads, Mr Robinson and Mr Smale, are working on a series of challenges that the children can take part in at home and then send in their results to add to their house totals so we can celebrate team and individual performances.

We share your frustrations and wish we could have more of the children in school. We have already secured more staff for September, which means we will be in good position to have extra teaching hours available to us to help provide catch up lessons in school for those who need them in the Autumn term.

Thank you for your continued support.

11+ Papers for Year 5 pupils considering taking the 11+


We have purchased a set of 11+ practice papers for maths and English from one of our local 11+ tutoring companies so that you do not need to. These are written in the same style as the CSSE test.


Please find below a maths and an English paper, along with the answer schemes, for your child to have a go at.


Maths test June 2020

English test June 20


We cannot share the most recent CSSE past papers from the last couple of years with you electronically because of copyright (they are available to purchase on the CSSE website) but there are free older ones on their website at


Some other resources you may wish to have a look at are:

(you have to sign up but it is free)

not exactly the same as the CSSE 11+ style but useful all the same and plenty to pick from

again, not all exactly in the same style as the CSSE 11+ but a vast range to choose from (different authors such as CGP and GL) so there will be something for everyone.