Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 3rd MAY 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

We've had an amazing week here at Hamstel Infants filled with excitement, fun and great learning experiences for our children!

On Monday and Tuesday, our school was abuzz with excitement as our children embarked on an unforgettable visit to Gemma's Farm. Set up in our wildlife garden, our curious learners had the opportunity to interact with the farm animals and it was a wonderful opportunity for hands-on learning and a chance for connecting with nature. The joy and wonderment on the faces of our children truly proved that it was a real hit!

Our school's musical prowess was on full display during a brilliant morning of melodies and harmonies shared with our fellow Portico schools. Hosted by Hamstel Infants, it was a fantastic morning and gave us the chance to not only collaborate but also foster inclusivity within our Portico community. A big thank you to Miss Whiston for all her hard work to arrange this event and well done to all the children involved!

Today we also welcomed back a familiar friend of Hamstel Infants, Rev’d Andy Goodliff from Belle Vue Baptist Church. Andy came into school to take a very interesting assembly based around the parable of The Lost Sheep and engaged the children fully with his adaptation of another well known story as the children ended up ‘going on a sheep hunt’.

We have another busy week planned as we get ready to cheer on our talented dance team as they prepare to dazzle everybody at the upcoming Infant Dance Festival! The team have been really committed to learning the routines and have shone brightly throughout rehearsals. We have no doubt they'll leave a lasting impression on the stage. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting event next week.

Calling all bookworms and literary enthusiasts! On Friday 10th May our popular open-door sessions have been extended for our ‘Share a Book’ session. This is a wonderful chance for families to connect over a favourite book, so feel free to join us and don't miss this opportunity to share the joy of reading with your child at the end of a busy week.

Also attached to our newsletter today is a letter detailing plans for our Sports Day this year which will take place on Wednesday 19th June. Please time take to read this letter as it contains a lot of information.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and involvement in our school community. Together, we continue to create memorable and enriching experiences for our children!

Attention all children and parents! A friendly reminder that class photographs will be taken on Wednesday 8th May. Let's ensure everyone is picture perfect and looking their absolute best by dressing smartly in full school uniform. If your child is participating in PE, swimming or outdoor learning on Wednesday, don't forget to pack their appropriate gear so that they can change at school.

It’s a Bank Holiday on Monday, so we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday and I hope you have a great long weekend!

Scott Roche


Diary Dates


  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY - school and nursery are closed
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • Thursday 9th - KS1 Dance Festival
  • Friday 10th - Share a Book Open Door
  • Monday 13th - Jascqson Diego Story Box Assembly
  • Tuesday 14th - Fox Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • School Nurse Drop In session
  • Wednesday 15th - Squirrel Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Thursday 16th - Hedgehog Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Quad Kids event
  • Friday 17th - Otter Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Nursery Library visit
  • Monday 20th - Reception & KS1 Jacqson Diego Assembly
  • Nursery Library visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Dragonfly & Duck Church Visit
  • Thursday 23rd - Newt & heron Church visit
  • Reception Sewing workshop
  • Friday 24th - Nursery Library visit
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - Newt Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Tuesday 4th - Reception & Nursery Police visit
  • KS1 Police Assembly
  • Duck Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Wednesday 5th - Dragonfly Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Thursday 6th - Heron Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Monday 10th - Thursday 14th - Phonics Screening Week
  • Tuesday 11th - Otter & Hedgehog Beach visit
  • Wednesday 12th - Fox & Squirrel Beach visit
  • Friday 14th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 17th - Owl & Kingfisher Church visit
  • Tuesday 18th - Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Wednesday 19th - SPORTS DAY
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Thursday 20th - Friday 21st - Year 2 Mini First Aid Session
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Friday 21st - Woodpecker & Peacock Church visit
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • 3Ts Cricket
  • Tuesday 25th - Newt & Dragonfly Beach visit
  • Wednesday 26th - Heron & Duck Beach visit
  • Friday 28th - Borough Sports
  • SEND Coffee Morning


  • Monday 1st - Summer Safety Assembly by Fire Service
  • Tuesday 2nd - Woodpecker & Peacock Beach visit
  • School Nurse Drop In Session
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Thursday 4th - Year 2 Speak Out, Stay Safe Workshop
  • Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Talking Transition/ Class Swap
  • Tuesday 9th - Water Safety Assembly
  • Wednesday 10th - Year 2 Disco
  • 9am & 2.24pm Year 1 Curriculum meeting for current Reception parents
  • Thursday 11th - 9am & 2.45pm - Year 2 Curriculum meeting for current Year 1 parents
  • Summer Fair
  • Friday 12th - Kingfisher & Owl Beach visit
  • Monday 15th - 3.30pm - 4.30pm - Open Evening
  • Nursery Teddy Bears Picnic
  • Tuesday 16th - Year 2 End of Year show (Otter & Hedgehog parents)
  • Reception Superhero Dress Up Day
  • Wednesday 17th - Year 2 End of Year show (Squirrel & Fox parents)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


The children really enjoyed visiting Gemma’s Farm and having the opportunity to hold some of the animals and stroke them.

This week we have been reading 'Elmer' and talking about which animals we would find in a jungle and which animals we would find on a farm. We have also been learning about the features of animals such as a horse has hooves and sheep have wool etc

In Maths we have been practising counting to 12 and counting backwards from 10.

In RWI we have learnt the sounds ‘n’ and ‘p’. You can access the video and practise at home.

How to help at home:

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Video’s

REMINDER: Please return the toothbrushing consent forms ASAP

Please let Mrs Snashall or Miss Brooks know if you are able to help take the children to the library, thank you.

Please ensure that your child has spare clothes at nursery especially now that the weather is getting warmer as we will have water play in the garden.

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about farm animals and listened to the book 'Farmer Duck', they have enjoyed looking at different animals in their setting, and the sounds they make. The children have made some lovely handprinted animals, and enjoyed visiting Gemma`s Farm, all the children were very well-behaved using kind hands and listening to directions. This week we have been practising curly caterpillar letters, simple additions and number ordering, cvc words, and sentence building, daily reading and matching games. The children have been listening to the story, and why farmer duck was unhappy, and how that made him feel, we used the zones of regulation to help the children express their own feelings and how they can use the colours to show others.

We had water play on Wednesday as it was such a lovely day, the children enjoyed playing with bubbles and water, learning to share and take turns.

REMINDER: With the weather warming up can I please ask for a change of clothing for water play.


Our new story this week is ‘Farmer Duck.’ The children are learning the story well and beginning to join in with the repeated story language. We have written words to match the verbs in the story.

The children thoroughly enjoyed Gemma’s Farm; they listened well to instructions and took it in turns to hold the animals. We have played listening games to try to identify the sounds made by different farm animals.

In Maths we have identified 5 and not 5. We have subitised groups of numbers and used our fingers to make the same number.

We have continued to practise rolling a ball to a target by playing a group game and naming the person we are passing the ball to. The children have listened well and been ready for their turns!

How to help at home



  • Practise subitising numbers up to 5. Identifying whether a number is 5 or not 5. Represent numbers 1-9 on your fingers.

Reception Year

This week we have been learning about farm animals. We have had a great time visiting Gemma’s Farm, being able to stroke the animals and hold some of the smaller animals. We have been reading ‘Farmer Duck’ and writing about different farm animals. In RE we have been learning about why animals are special. In outdoor learning this week we have enjoyed making a rope friendship bracelet

In PSHE we have been learning about why sleep is important and in PE we have been learning to dribble a ball with our dominant hands.

In Maths we have been learning about the how 5 is made up and how to identify a missing part of 5.

In Science we have been learning to compare animals that live in cold climate and in Geography we have been comparing life in this country and life in cold climate countries.

In DT we have continued about learning about sewing, this week focusing on what a sewing stitch is.

How to help at home


Longed Legged Giraffe Letters


  • How many ways can you make 5?
  • Represent numbers 6 – 9 on your fingers.

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week we have thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Gemma’s Farm. The children absolutely loved holding and stroking the different animals.

In Literacy we used our visit to Gemma’s Farm to write a recount about what we did and what we saw. The children have been revising their learning on time conjunctions and have been introduced in how to use an exclamation mark accurately.

In Maths we have been learning about fractions. We folded shapes and identified what a half and a quarter is. We then learned how to share to find a half and a quarter of a number.

In Geography we have been learning about the countries of the UK and their capital cities. We have been looking at the features and characteristics of the UK and revising human and physical features.

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos:

REMINDERS: Outdoor Learning will be next week after the Monday Bank Holiday. Newt Class will have their Outdoor Learning on Friday 10th.

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

We were so lucky that the weather was fairly kind to us at the beginning of the week when we had Gemma’s Farm visiting. All the children had a wonderful time meeting Gemma and welcoming all the animals to our school. The children were so well-behaved and respectful during their visit.

This week in Year 2 the children have been developing their knowledge and skills in instructional writing. The children made African masks using card, colourful paper and pens and followed some simple instructions to create these. They thought about the steps they followed and how they would organise them and write the instructions down to help someone else. The children thought about time conjunctions to begin their sentences e.g. First, Then, Next as well the verbs they needed and extended their explanations with adverbs to describe the action e.g. carefully cut the card with scissors. The children wrote some fantastic instructions, and the masks look wonderful displayed in the classroom.

In Maths the children have continued to further develop their calculating skills and build on their subtraction understanding using the variety of practical and written methods they have learnt. The children have been working hard to apply this knowledge to solve a variety of problems and demonstrate how they solved these. There has been some excellent problem solving going on in the classes and the children have really shown some dedication and perseverance in solving some challenging mathematical tasks.

In Science the children have been revisiting habitats by comparing habitats in different places in the world and their suitability for animals. The children have also been continuing to develop and explore their knowledge of Kenya and what it is like to live there.

In other news, we would like to congratulate some children who won a drawing competition that was held at Holy Trinity Church. Some of the children entered during their visit last term. So, a big well done to Milah in Hedgehog Class who was the overall winner and Mia, Lula and Paige in Hedgehog Class as runner ups. They received a prize each, well done!

Letters sent home this week

Reception Reading Rocks Day!

Our Reception children had a wonderful day on Friday 26th April when parents and carers joined the classes for a Reading for Pleasure workshop after listening to a short presentation about the importance of developing the habit of reading for enjoyment.

The hall was set up with a wealth of exciting and inspiring books to read and share with their grown up, amongst cushions and rugs. Some of these books were familiar books, but many were new to them. The children also took part in other activities such as a scavenger hunt and mini reviews by drawing pictures of their favourite book.

We were also very lucky to have Jacqui from Jacqson Diego join us with her pop-up book shop so families could purchase books. Jacqui finished the workshop with a story time, reading the lovely book ‘Mr Leopard’s Bookshop’ by Alexa Brown and Julia Christians. It was lovely to see all the Reception children enjoying and listening to a variety of stories with their adults.

Celebration Assembly - Aspire

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

Online Safety

On 19th April 2024, Ofcom released their annual Media Use and Attitudes Report, detailing the findings of several surveys and their implications for parents, children and young people in the UK. These statistics often include plenty of thought-provoking information relating to online safety.

The report itself is extremely extensive, so instead we've provided a bespoke selection of data gathered by Ofcom about children and young people’s experiences on social media, video games and the like. Check our guide for a thorough breakdown of the headline findings.

Dinner menu

Week 1

Tuesday - Ham & Cheese Pizza with Bakes Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Wedges - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Crumble with Custard

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with roast Potatoes & Gravy - Squash & Lentil Lasagna- Baked Jackets with Baked Beans - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguettes - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Cauliflower - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Chilli Con Carne with Steamed Rice - Vegan Bean Chilli with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Tuna Mayo Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Broccoli & Carrots - Chocolate & Pear Sponge

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & ketchup - Vegan Goujons with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jackets with grated Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Egg Mayo Baguette - Peas & Baked Beans - Banana Flapjack

Freshly Baked Bread - Carrot & Beetroot or Wholemeal Bread.

Messages from the Office


We are pleased to announce that we have a new uniform supplier Brand Identity Schoolwear. Our uniform is now live on their website and available to make purchases online or you are welcome to pop into their shop to purchase your child’s uniform. The opening times are Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm and during the Summer months they are open on Saturdays.

Their shop is Brand Identity, Unit 2, 555 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 5FB There is onsite parking available.

The website link is below.


Our other supplier for school uniform is Crawlers, 361 Hamstel Road, SS2 4LE, which also offers online ordering. Their website link is below.

Hamstel Infant School Archives - Crawlers Uniforms & EmbroideryCrawlers School Uniforms & business uniforms in Southend. - Crawlers Uniforms & Embroidery (southendschoolwear.com)

If you are looking for pre-loved uniform the Friends of Hamstel Schools PTA hold regular sales on the first Wednesday of each month or you can leave your details with the school office to be passed on to a member of the PTA.

School Nurse - Drop-in Sessions

Our School Nurse is next in school on the dates below, she is available to speak with parents or carers. You can either book a slot by contacting the school office or pop in, although the times will be subject to her availability.


Outdoor Learning

  • Tuesday 7th - Duck Class
  • Wednesday 8th - Dragonfly Class
  • Thursday 9th - Heron Class
  • Friday 10th - Newt Class


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

PE Days


  • Friday


  • Thursday
  • Friday


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

Year 1

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

Year 2

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


Weekly Attendance Award

Reception Year: Woodpecker Class - 93.5%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 92.6%

Year 1: Newt Class - 94.9%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 94.3%

Year 2: Squirrel Class - 98.3%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 95.4%

Whole School: 94.1%

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.


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.