What’s On – Friday 3rd February

Message from Mrs. Castell

Dear Parents

Congratulations to our wonderful cheerleading team, who took part in their first competition on Tuesday. We came second, which is fantastic especially considering this is a totally new sport for our school! Only two points between us and the winners! My thanks go to all the staff who accompanied the children, in particular to Mrs Scott-Simons and Miss Wakeling for undertaking all the training and arrangements to take part. We are so proud of the children!

We also had a visit and demonstration from the amazing Night Owls. The owls performed a special assembly on Thursday, with each owl flying the length of our hall which was absolutely incredible for the children to see. Each child had their photo taken with Whisper the Barn Owl, which you will be able to purchase if you wish. Details will be sent home next week.

We are considering how to enable parents to become more familiar with the governing body. A letter from our joint Chairs, Esther Burton and Matt Coffey, follows this message and you can contact them both by emailing chair@writtleinfantschool.com. Esther Burton will be on the playground at morning drop off on Thursdays and Fridays.

This week we welcomed Squirrels' parents for lunch, it was a pleasure to host you all. Dates for upcoming parent lunches are:

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

A reminder that we have Reading Monday this coming Monday and Family Learning Time on Tuesday 7th February. We also have a dress down day on Thursday for Valentine's Day. Children are invited to wear something red, with a £1 donation for WISPA. We close for the half term break at 3.10pm on Thursday. Friday 10th February is a non-pupil day.

Every Monday and Friday, a group of Year 6 children come to be playleaders in our playground. A big thank you to the Junior School staff for their help to make this happen!

Attendance this week is 94% compared to our school target of 96%. A reminder that we share NHS guidance on common childhood health conditions on our website.

Enjoy the weekend.

Best wishes
Helen Castell

Message from the Chairs of Governors

Dear Parents\Carers,

We are writing to introduce ourselves as the new Chairs of Governors at Writtle Infant School. We both feel very privileged to have been elected co-chairs for this academic year. Both Matthew Coffey and myself are teaching professionals and we both have and have had children at Writtle Infant School, so we are acutely aware of how important this school is to you.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the previous chairs Natalie Booker and Ralph Bray for their hard work working closely with the school.

Governors are volunteers and our main role is to work with the school ensuring that your children receive the best education in a supportive and safe setting. To this end we have three core strategic functions:

  • It is the role of the Governing Board to ensure that the school provides a first class education for every child in our care, ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • We are responsible for monitoring and evaluating the performance and effectiveness of the school, holding leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff. And for providing support to our excellent teaching and support team.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the School, ensuring that the budget is managed prudently and that its money is well spent.

The governors come from a range of backgrounds and have different skills, but we could not do our job without the expertise of the Headteacher, Leadership Team and all the committed staff at Writtle Infant School.

We are sure you will continue to give Mrs Castell and her leadership team your support during the year and the governors look forward to receiving further reports on the great work going on in the school. We hope that 2023 will be a successful and happy one for your children.

Should you wish to share any thoughts or ideas, please contact us on: chair@writtleinfantschool.com

We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming year.

Kind regards,

Esther Burton and Matthew Coffey
Co - Chairs of Governors


The increased cost of living has meant that many are considering stopping ‘non-essential’ monthly costs such as video streaming services. To help fill that gap, you are now able to stream thousands of films and series for free with your Essex library card on Kanopy Kids! From TV shows to read-along stories and language learning videos, you can enjoy unlimited watching with your kids on Kanopy. Plus, parental controls allow for safe and monitored watching. Find out more on the Essex Libraries website. Happy streaming!

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 - Bobby for working independently to write division number sentences. Felix for coming up with some fabulous WOW words for our shared writing about the Moon Dragons.

DOLPHINS - Isabelle for such kind, inclusive behaviour with the younger children at lunchtime and Eden for her confidence in both talking in front of the class and for being an amazing team member in the cheerleading competition this week. One of our governors, Mrs Gentle, has nominated Henry K for his polite manners whilst out of school

PARROTS - Ronnie for being honest even when it is tricky and Albie for politeness, always so polite to the staff in the mornings.

TURTLES - Hayden - we are so proud of his perseverance and effort with his handwriting. Archie T - we are so proud of him persevering with sentence writing. Jaqub for such an amazing start back at our school and showing perseverance in learning

SQUIRRELS - Alice for inclusivity - being a good friend and inviting others to play. Ismael for perseverance with his name writing - great work !

FOXES - Wilf for being so polite and being brave when holding the owl! Daisy for being independent when making a card for the owls.

Year 2 News

We were treated to a wonderful owl display on Thursday. The children were in awe of the owls flying above their heads and a big well done to Parker and Kim L for being super brave and helping Erika and Lisa fly the owls. We have continued with our maths unit on Multiplication and Division and the children have been introduced to the division symbol. We have been looking at  sharing and grouping strategies and have been showing these in different ways. We will share some of these strategies with you at Family Learning Time on Tuesday. The children have also enjoyed retelling the story of the ‘Moon Dragons’. We rewrote the story in three parts, the beginning being a modelled write by the teacher, the middle a shared write and the children finished writing the story independently.  Both classes have loved their Dance lessons this half term and have very much enjoyed learning simple choreographed routines and perfecting their moves!
Please click here for this week's home learning.

Year 1 News

This week we have explored nouns and discovered they are people, places and objects. We became actors and pretended to be the little pig, we took turns to ask each other 'what happened to Rolf?' the main character in our story. It turns out he was eaten! We looked at number bonds to 20 and continued to build our addition skills. We looked at parts of animals such as tails, legs and spines. We have had a huge focus on PSHE this week and discussed how we can be respectful, use safe touch and discussed why we have rules.
Please click here for this week's home learning.


This week has been all about the owls! We chose an owl poem from the Poetry Basket collection, we have drawn and painted owls and written about them. We were so excited to see the owls doing their wonderful display in the hall and remembered lots of the facts that we learnt at the show. In phonics we learnt the digraphs 'oo' both long and short, and 'ar'. We also learnt the tricky words 'we' and 'are'. In maths we have been exploring measurement - heavy and light, using the balance scales and also capacity: full and empty. We can't believe we have almost finished the first half of Spring term!
Have a lovely weekend,

Forest School News

Sharks (Tue 31st Jan): The sun made a little appearance today, it was so lovely to feel a little warmth! We continued with bird watching, mainly our resident robin, who definitely loves all the attention. There were lovely daffodil paintings that made us feel like Spring is on its way. Each week we find a worm, but there is a very important competition of who finds the longest worm and today was the record - 17cm! This was definitely Superworm! It was the mud again that kept the children very busy, we could not believe how many wellies kept getting stuck!
Turtles (Wed 1st Feb): A chilly day clearing the pond of some of the algae, toys and debris. First we talked about safety and the rules of being around the water. Unfortunately a hedgehog had gone into the water but was not able to get out, the children were sent back into the forest school area while the hedgehog was taken away. We talked about how we can help prevent this happening again, so we have made a temporary ramp. A caterpillar was found while we were de-weeding, we have kept it safe and will monitor it closely. The children squeezed in bird surveys and paintings of the robin. The pond area is looking great, it was hard work but definitely worth it. We know the wildlife were grateful as we saw ducks back on the pond the following day! We will be hopefully going back next week and we're hoping to see some frog spawn in the Spring.