Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 12th january 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to our Spring term. I hope you all had a great Christmas break and are raring to go for the new year.

This week the children have settled back to their learning very impressively – the school has been very calm and the children have returned smoothly to the well-established routines set in the autumn term. We also welcomed our new Nursery starters who have been equally as brilliant. We had a visit this week from Mrs Woolf, our Portico CEO and she was also really impressed with how our young children focus during their lessons and move calmly and sensibly around the school. While we are always very proud of our children here at Hamstel Infants, it is also nice to hear that from other people as well.

Just a couple of reminders for all parents…

If your child attends Breakfast club, places must be booked beforehand as our staffing levels are determined by the amount of children attending. If children just turn up at the hall in the morning and we are not expecting them, it could cause safety issues as we have limited staff on site available to offer additional help.

Also just a reminder that dogs must not be brought onto the school site, this includes small dogs that are held in arms or bags.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation with these requests.

The spring term is always our shortest but is no less busy and next week we have the first of our Maths workshops of the new term when Reception parents are invited to join us on Thursday 18th January at 9:00am (Kingfisher and Owl) and 2:30pm (Peacock and Woodpecker).

There will be lots more opportunities for parents to come and join us in school and for our children to enjoy as we move through the year, including World Book Day, reading and maths workshops, library visits, an afternoon tea and our eagerly awaited Year 1 Spring Show.

As it’s our first full week back of 2024, I would like to wish you all a healthy and happy year ahead and I hope you have a great weekend.

We look forward to welcoming the children back on Monday.

Best regards,

Scott Roche



It has been lovely to see the children come back so happy after the Christmas break. We would like to welcome our new starters who have settled well into Nursery life.

This half term our theme is ‘Once Upon a Time’. We will be reading lots of traditional tales and singing nursery rhymes.

In Maths we have been learning about shapes that have 4 sides such as squares and rectangles.

We have been learning about everyday objects and what they are used for.

REMINDER: Please ensure that your child has spare clothes at Nursery.

Please ensure that your child’s hats, gloves and scarves are named.

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about 'The Three Little Pigs', we have been learning about different materials and media, big and small, long and short, we have looked at weight, and different textures. The children have enjoyed listening to the story, they have all enjoyed doing the huffing and puffing along to the story. We have incorporated this into our daily attention autism bucket, and the children have really enjoyed joining in and blowing down cups and empty boxes. They have made some superb pigs and have used different materials to make the pigs' houses.

It has been a busy enjoyable week and the children have completed lots of activities.


It has been lovely to welcome the children back after the Christmas break.

This week the children in Starlight have enjoyed the story of 'The Three Little Pigs' and loved joining in being the Big Bad Wolf, ‘Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I blow your house down’ during the story. The children have been learning to name the characters and think of words to describe them. In art we have used the different textures to make the three houses of the little pigs.

In Maths we have been learning all about 2D shapes.

We have also been very busy practising to write curly caterpillar ‘c’.

All in all the children have had a very busy week completing lots of activities.

Reception Year

It has been lovely to see all the children so keen and happy to come back to school after the Christmas holidays. This half-term our theme is ‘Once Upon a Time,’ we will be reading lots of different traditional tales over the course of this term. We have started our learning by reading ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and thinking about the characters in the story and adjectives that we could use to describe the characters.

In Science we have been learning about materials, including the names of different materials, their properties and their purposes. We will be using this knowledge over the next few weeks to design and make a house for the Three Little Pigs. In Geography we have been learning about Winter and to know the names and location of places on a UK map. In Maths we have been learning to use our fingers to quickly show different quantities and to recognise numerals to 5. In Handwriting we have been learning to write the curly caterpillar letter ‘c.’

How to help at home:


  • Continue to listen to your child read 5 times a week.
  • Watch the QR codes for your child’s RWI Group


  • Can your child show the correct number of fingers when you say a number?
  • Can you child recognise numbers to 5?


  • Practise writing the curly caterpillar letter ‘c’. Remember to start at 1 o’clock and curl around the caterpillar.

REMINDERS: In order to make our houses for the Three Little Pigs, we will need junk modelling materials. A note has also been put up in your class window.

Letters send home this week

Year One

A BIG welcome back to the Year 1 children this week. The week has been full of enquiry and speculation as the children were made aware on Monday morning that there had been a CRASH LANDING in our Wildlife Area! There were bits of, what we think may be a spaceship scattered everywhere, there were pieces of metal, electrics and even a space helmet discovered! Of course, Mr Bailey used the special yellow tape to section off the areas. The event sparked lots of interesting chatter in the classrooms.

Due to this event taking place, Mrs Tracy asked the children to write a recount of what they found and what happened on Monday morning. The children used time conjunctions such as first, next and finally to sequence the events together. Mrs Tracy found the Year 1 recounts very useful!

In Maths the children have been learning about 3D shapes. They have been learning to identify some of the common 3D shapes by using the correct names such as cube, sphere, cuboid and cone. The children have also been learning to recognise 2D shapes in pictures and group shapes, thinking about some of their features e.g. corners, sides.

In History the children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the famous space explorer Neil Armstrong and how he was the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. The children have learnt lots of interesting facts and we are sure they would love to tell you about them, if they haven’t already that is!

How to help at home


The links below are for a RWI virtual classroom video. Each video links to a sound that the children have been learning in their RWI lessons. Please watch these videos with your child, encouraging them to join in.

Letters send home this week

Year Two

It’s been a chilly first full week back in school, but the children have all come in full of excitement for the new term ahead and of course their new theme, Let’s Explore!

The week started with the children posing questions around a photo taken of Scott of the Antarctic and his team when they finally reached the South Pole on their expedition. Not knowing anything about the photograph the children verbalised and wrote questions that had sparked some interest about who the men might be, what they were doing, where they were etc. With lots of excitement the children carried out some research to discover more about Scott and his team, what they did, why and what happened on their expedition. The children finished the week by writing some explanation sentences to answer some posed questions.

In Maths the children have been learning about mass and measuring in kg and g. They have been exploring this concept practically using scales as well as having images of scales and reading the given measurement. The children have also been learning to compare two different masses.

The children have also carried out an observational drawing lesson this week, in which they carefully drew a winter bobble hat and gloves. In PSHE we also talked about what a community is and discussed any communities the children might belong to, e.g. a club, school, faith.

REMINDERS: It is Outdoor Learning next week, please make sure the children are wearing warm clothes and suitable shoes. Hats, gloves and coats should be named.

Letters send home this week

Celebration Assembly - Caring

This weeks value has been 'Caring', below are highlights from around the classes.

Online Safety

Smartphone Safety Tips

According to Ofcom, 69% of under-18s use a smartphone as their main method of going online. Additionally, 49% of children use them for online gaming – putting smartphones only behind consoles (59%) as the device of choice for playing games on. Most people won’t require such statistical evidence, however, to acknowledge the huge importance of phones to young people.

Given that Santa’s recent visit is likely to have bestowed smartphones on an even greater number of young people, it’s a particularly opportune moment to ensure that children are able to use their handsets responsibly – and, above all, safely. From passcodes to parental controls, and from screen time to scams, This guide has the essential advice.

Diary Dates


  • Thursday 18th - Maths Workshop for Reception Parents - 9am Kingfisher & Owl
  • 2.30pm - Woodpecker & Peacock
  • Wednesday 31st - Year 1 Reading Rocks Workshop


  • Wednesday 7th - Parent Council Meeting 9am
  • Year 2 Mastery in Numbers for parents 2.45pm
  • PTA School Uniform sale after school
  • Friday 9th - KS1 Boys' Football Tournament
  • Thursday 15th - Reception Relative Afternoon Tea
  • Friday 16th - INSET Day - school will be closed to all pupils.
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - HALF TERM
  • Monday 26th - Thursday 29th - Year 1 Outdoor Learning at The Hive
  • Monday 26th - Friday 1st March - Nursery Tours


  • Monday 4th - Year 1 Heron & Newt visit to the Library
  • Tuesday 5th - Dragonfly & Duck visit to the Library
  • Wednesday 6th - PTA Uniform sale after school
  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day
  • Friday 8th - Jacqson Diego KS1 Assembly
  • Wednesday 13th - Year 1 Mastery in Numbers for Parents
  • Friday 15th - Infant Music Festival
  • Wednesday 20th - Parent Council Meeting
  • Year 1 Mastery in Numbers for Parents
  • Friday 22nd - Science Day
  • Monday 25th - Nursery Easter Craft sessions
  • Tuesday 26th - Year 1 Spring Show
  • Wednesday 27th - Year 1 Spring Show
  • Bunny Hop Disco 4-5pm
  • Thursday 28th - Year 2 Banquet
  • Friday 29th - GOOD FRIDAY


  • Monday 1st - EASTER MONDAY
  • Tuesday 2nd - Friday 12th - Easter Holidays


  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • Monday 20th - Reception & KS1 Jacqson Diego Assembly
  • Wednesday 22nd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Tuesday 4th - Reception & Nursery Police visit
  • KS1 Police Assembly
  • Monday 10th - Thursday 14th - Phonics Screening Week
  • Friday 14th - INSET DAY


  • Wednesday 3rd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Tuesday 9th - Water Safety Assembly
  • Wednesday 10th - Year 2 Disco
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

Dinner menu

Week 3

Monday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Meatballs with Tomato Sauce & Penne - Vegan Roasted Ratatouille with Penne - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Wrap - Cheese and Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Broccoli - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Tuesday - Fajita Spiced Turkey & Vegetables with Steamed Rice - Vegan Burrito - Pasta & Tomato sauce - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Sweetcorn & Coleslaw - Carrot cake

Wednesday - Herby Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - 3 Vegetable Mac n’ Cheese - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Seasonal Greens & Broccoli - Chocolate Brownie

Thursday - Traditional Beef Lasagna- Vegan Chickpea & Spinach Korma with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Cauliflower & Carrots - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Bubble & Squeak with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Peas & Baked Beans - Apple Cake

Freshly Baked Bread - Courgette & Tomato or Wholemeal Bread.

Messages from the Office

Cost of Living Support Coffee Morning 16th January 2024

Southend City Council are running a coffee morning, all Southend residents are invited. For more information please follow the link.

Tackling Poverty Strategy Coffee Morning – Events - Livewell Southend

Outdoor Learning

  • Tuesday 16th - Fox
  • Wednesday 17th - Squirrel
  • Thursday 18th - Hedgehog
  • Friday 19th - Otter


  • Tuesday - Heron & Squirrel Classes
  • Wednesday - Newt & Hedgehog Classes
  • Thursday - Dragonfly & Otter Classes
  • Friday - Duck & Fox Classes

PE Days


  • Friday


  • Thursday
  • Friday


  • Monday - Woodpecker
  • Tuesday - Peacock
  • Wednesday - Kingfisher
  • Thursday - Owl

Year 1

  • Monday - Duck
  • Tuesday - Dragonfly
  • Wednesday - Heron
  • Thursday - Newt

Year 2

  • Tuesday - Otter Class
  • Wednesday - Fox Class
  • Thursday - Squirrel Class
  • Friday - Hedgehog Class


Weekly Attendance Award

Reception Year: Woodpecker Class - 95.4%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 92.8%

Year 1: Duck Class - 96.7%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95.4%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class - 98.6%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 95.6%

Whole School: 94.6%

If your child is going to be absent from school please contact the school office by 9am and leave a message on our answerphone or via ParentPay giving your child's name, class and specific reason for their absence.

Any planned absence for example medical appointments should be advised to the school office with a copy of the confirmation letter or text being provided. For other absence i.e weddings, holidays etc then a Leave of Absence Request form should be completed in advance. Copies of this can be obtained from the school office.


We have a new selection of clubs for this term.

Emails have been sent with details.

Premier Education Club Information

Book onto clubs using this link www.premier-education.com

For before school clubs run by Premier Education drop-off is in our Infant School Hall. Enter through the Poynings Avenue gate and walk across the playground. The register will be taken by the club coach and once the club is finished children will be taken to their classrooms. Please arrive promptly.

For clubs after school run by Premier Education collection is from the Infant School Hall. Enter through the Poynings Avenue gate and walk across the playground. Children will have been escorted to the club by school staff for the start.

Collection time for all Premier Education after school clubs is 4.15pm. Premier Education staff will telephone parents/carers of any uncollected children after 5 minutes. Any child not collected after 10 minutes will be escorted to Hamstel Infant School & Nursery After School Club and a fee of £7.00 will be charged.

If you are unavoidably delayed please telephone the school emergency telephone number on 07526 079300 to speak with a staff member of our After School Club.

Bricks4Kidz Club Information

Book onto club using this link www.bricks4kidz.co.uk/essex

Bricks4Kidz Club is held in our Welcome classroom. Collection for this club is from the Reception Learning Garden (No mow) outside Woodpecker Class.

Collection time for the club is 4.15pm. Any child not collected after 10 minutes will be escorted to Hamstel Infant School & Nursery After School Club and a fee of £7.00 will be charged.

If you are unavoidably delayed please telephone the school emergency telephone number on 07526 079300 to speak with a staff member of our After School Club.

Art Club - Year 2

Takes place on a Monday after school, finishes at 4.15pm. Collection for this club is from the Reception Learning Garden (No mow)

Singing Club

Takes place on a Monday after school, finishes at 4.15pm. Collection for this club is from outside Hedgehog Class.

Cookery Club - Year 1 & Year 2

Year 1 - takes place on Tuesday after school.

Year 2 - takes place on a Wednesday after school.

Collection time for the club is 4.15pm. Collection for this club is from the Reception Learning Garden (No mow) outside Woodpecker Class.