What’s On – Friday 27th January

Message from Mrs. Castell

Dear Parents

Remember the 3 parking rules: Care, Consideration and Caution!

As part of our ongoing commitment to resolving parking concerns around the schools, the children had an assembly from 3PR, a group that supports schools with parking in the area. They all brought home a leaflet about the 3 rules which clearly outlines our expectations for parking. Please consider pedestrians, residents and other road users when parking your car.

As already informed, our school will not be affected by industrial action on 1st February. We are looking forward to our visit from Night Owls next Thursday 2nd February. Details of the assembly and subsequent photographs with Whisper the Barn Owl have been sent home via ParentMail.

Our next Reading Monday is 6th February and Family Learning Time is on Tuesday 7th February. I am aware that these events fall on two consecutive days, but as we have already reduced Reading Mondays to once a month, I am reluctant to cancel another session.

Please remember that Friday 10th February is a non-pupil day, so we break up for half term at 3.10pm on Thursday 9th February. On this day, WISPA and WJSPA at the Junior School are holding a Valentine's dress down day, with children asked to wear something red for a suggested donation of £1 for the parents' associations.

A reminder that this term we offer an opportunity for you to have a school dinner with your child. We had a very successful lunch with Foxes this week and we look forward to Squirrels next Wednesday. Dates for your diary are:

Squirrels - Wednesday 1st February, 11.45am
Turtles - Wednesday 8th February, 12.05pm
Parrots - Wednesday 22nd February, 12.05pm
Dolphins - Wednesday 1st March, 12.05pm
Sharks - Wednesday 8th March, 12.05pm

Mrs Duff will send a form via ParentMail in advance of your class lunch date, so that you can order a school lunch if you wish. If you are having a school meal you will need to pay £2.60 to the school office in advance. Each lunch visit takes approximately half an hour. Please note that for the weeks of our parent lunches I will try to run Choir on a different day, as it would normally be on a Wednesday.

Attendance this week was 93.8% compared to our target of 96%. There has been a rise in parents requesting holidays during term time, as previous travel plans have been postponed due to the Covid pandemic. Given the learning missed at nursery or in school during the lockdowns, we expect that parents would want children to be at school as much as possible. Children have 13 weeks holiday each year and INSET days often give you a chance to travel before the main holiday starts. Please use this time for holidays and appointments, as the impact of missed learning is greater than you might anticipate. All absence requests can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances and schools are obliged to consider fines when holidays are taken in term time.

In addition we are seeing a lot of children arriving late in the mornings and having to come in through the front doors. This will impact your child’s learning. For example:

Minutes late per day during the school year Equals days' worth of learning lost in a year
5 minutes 3.4 days
10 minutes 6.9 days
15 minutes 10.3 days
20 minutes 13.8 days
30 minutes 20.7 days

It is always difficult to decide whether your child is too ill to come to school; no one can predict what will happen as the day progresses. If you would like some guidance with this, the link below may be of some use - https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/is-my-child-too-ill-for-school/.

Have a good weekend. Best wishes,

Helen Castell


The NSPCC provides this information for parents dealing with behaviour: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/research-resources/leaflets/positive-parenting

We all have a duty to safeguard the children in our care and if the school suspects or knows that a child is at risk of significant harm, we will make a referral to Social Services. The school does not investigate any disclosures that children may make, we are a referring agency. Procedures on safeguarding from the Government make it clear that all staff should operate with an ‘it could happen here’ approach to any concerns they may have. If you have any concerns about a child please telephone the Essex Child and Families Hub on 0345 603 7627.


  • If anyone has any spare bird-feeders or teapots, we would love to hang them in the trees for Forest School!
  • As we have children in school with life-threatening allergies, please do not send products containing nuts into school, or egg-based foods such as egg mayo, scotch egg, omelette, frittata etc.
  • Teachers cannot check the class email during the day. Please send urgent messages to parents@writtleinfantschool.com.
  • We love to share awards, medals, trophies, even anecdotes from children’s achievements outside of school. Please hand them to me or email parents@writtleinfantschool.com for assemblies on Friday.
  • Diary dates and school events can added from our website to the calendar on your phone. Click on your chosen list of dates from the Links section and then click export at the bottom of the page.


SHARKS - Amy for persevering with her maths work using repeated addition and Jacob for fabulous independent spelling of Common Exception Words. 

DOLPHINS - Rowan for his fabulous perseverance in his reading and phonics and Henry K for his politeness and perseverance with following instructions.

PARROTS - Ava-May for perseverance with handwriting & Isla for independence as she worked independently to improve her handwriting and use aids in the classroom.

TURTLES - Maria for always persevering and trying her best and Poppy for being so kind and inclusive to everyone.

SQUIRRELS - Martha for independence in zipping up her coat this week.  Walter for perseverance - he tried his mashed potato even though he didn't think he liked it and Theo for inclusivity, always including his classmates in games.

FOXES - Robin for persevering, you have been working so hard with your name writing and writing the ‘Super Sentence’. Kiki for being inclusive and always being a kind and caring friend.

Year 2 News

The children have been enjoying our HIPIP themes for this term. There has been a large focus on working collaboratively on a collage which represents a certain emotion. The children chose which emotion they wanted to make a collage on and had the choice of happy, sad, fear, anger, surprise and love. So far we have made a plan, made a background and decorated a border. This week, they will be thinking about the main image on their artwork. We will upload some photos onto the school website when they are completed. We have started our new Maths unit on Multiplication and Division. The focus this week has been on recognising and making equal groups. The children have also been introduced to the multiplication symbol and have been writing related repeated addition number sentences. We also had the opportunity to investigate and make axles in preparation for our DT project which is to make a car to transport vehicles safely.
Please click here for this week's home learning.

Year 1 News

This week, we have created our own alternative endings to ‘Good Little Wolf’ and the children were very creative! We have also been building our writing stamina to make us better writers! We have continued to explore place value to 20 and compare numbers using greater than, less than. We looked at Henri Rousseau who was an artist that would draw using his imagination. We drew pictures of our own wolves and imagined where the wolves could be. We then drew our own backgrounds using our imagination and used water colour to paint them. We continued to develop our own dance routines that included counting in steps of 4 & 8.
Please click here for this week's home learning.


This week we have learnt about the Lunar New Year. We found out that it is celebrated in lots of different countries. Thank you to two Squirrel Families who shared some photos and resources with us. We learnt a fun dragon poem, ask your child to recite it to you. We also practised our folding and join skills again by making red envelopes and lanterns. We enjoyed our PE lesson on Monday and Coach Chris was again very impressed with our skills and how we remembered the circuit. He also added some new stations too. In phonics we have introduced the phonemes ee, igh and oa. In maths we have been continuing to look at numbers 1-5 and looking at how 5 can be made in different ways. We hope you have a good weekend.

Forest School News

Sharks (Tues 24th Jan): We started to sow sweet pea seeds, ready for spring! We got even closer to our resident robin, putting a row of seed on the floor to feed him while the children sat on the bench. He is getting very confident around the children!

We cooked popcorn on the fire, and the children found sticks to dry in the shed until next week when we need them. The bug hotels were checked and refilled with dry leaves. We talked about Venus and Saturn being visible next to the crescent Moon, talked about the Moon starting to become full again ready for full moon on 5th Feb 23.

Turtles (Wed 25th Jan): Lots of mud play! The mud has got very thick and deep, resulting in lots of wellies getting stuck and needing to be rescued. The whole group helped and we compared it to The Enormous Turnip. There was lots and lots of laughter (and very muddy clothes!) as the children's boots got stuck, so teamwork was needed to help others out of the mud without getting stuck themselves!

We tried to light a fire to cook some popcorn but the wood was too damp, we talked about what we need to make a fire and how to keep safe. The children gathered sticks to dry for next week's fire.  We saw 4 squirrels in the tree above us chasing each other, our resident robin and a crow checking out the massive nest at the very top of a tree. We will be observing that nest with interest! The hedgehog home was filled with more leaves and the roof repaired. We talked about hedgehog numbers declining.

It was very cold this week, and some children found it hard to warm up, so they went indoors for a little while. We encouraged everyone to do more physical activities and wrap in blankets to keep warm!