Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 10th MAY 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you had a fantastic Bank Holiday Monday and enjoyed some well-deserved rest and relaxation together.

With it only being a four-day week, it's been a quiet yet productive week here at Hamstel Infants with our children fully engaged in their learning and consolidating essential skills across various subjects.

I was incredibly honoured to watch Team Hamstel participate in the Southend Dance Festival on Thursday. It was a wonderful opportunity for our children to showcase their talents alongside other local schools, many of whom were a lot older. The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience of performing to such a large audience and represented our school with such pride. Well done to all that took part and Miss West, who has prepared the team so well.

Today was an exciting day at as we had the privilege of welcoming our Portico Trustees for a special learning walk around our school.

Our guests had the opportunity to visit every classroom and witness first-hand the incredible teaching and the outstanding learning of our children here at Hamstel Infants. Every child we saw was engaged in their learning and we are immensely proud of our dedicated staff and the amazing children who make our school community so vibrant and inspiring.

We would also like to thank our trustees for giving their own time to visit our school and for their ongoing support in our mission to provide high-quality education to every child at Hamstel Infants.

Looking ahead to next week, we are excited to welcome Year 2 parents into school for an outdoor learning session with their child’s class. It will be a fantastic opportunity for parents to see first-hand the wide range of skills that we teach here at Hamstel and a chance to enjoy our wonderful outdoor grounds together.

Team Hamstel will once again be in action, bringing more excitement and fun to our school community as they gear up for the Quad Kids Sports Event on Friday. Our children have been eagerly preparing for this event, and we can't wait to see them demonstrate their skills and sportsmanship.

Thank you for your continued support, have a good weekend and we look forward to another great week ahead!

Scott Roche


Diary Dates


  • 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


This week in Nursery we have been learning about animals that live in a cold climate, we have learnt about the North Pole and South Pole. We have read the story ‘Cuddly Dudley’

In Maths we have introduced the names of 3D shapes.

In PSHE We have been learning about how keeping active can keep us healthy.

How to help at home:

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Video’s

REMINDER: As the weather is now getting warmer could you please apply suncream before Nursery, ideally an 8-hour protection as the children are now spending a lot of time in the garden.

If you do not have 8- hour protection and your child is in Seahorse group, you can bring named suncream in for them to apply themselves roll on bottles are the easiest.

Please provide your child with a sun hat and spare clothes.

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have continued with their learning with our story 'Farmer Duck'. The children have solidified their understanding of animals on a farm, of some arctic animals and habitats, the children have made some lovely artwork representing farm animals.

The children have been working hard with continued learning about subitized numbers, letter recognition, pencil control cvc/sentence writing, and sentence building. The children have enjoyed watching Makaton with Mr. Tumble.

The weather has been so lovely that we have taken some of our group learning sessions outside into the garden, this has been a big success and the children have been focused and engaged, and we have ended each lesson with some water play. It has been a week full of lots of structured activities and games.

This week's letters: Zig Zag Letter Family


  • Recognising sets of numbers such as 2 apples, 10 fingers, 3 dots etc.
  • Understanding lengths and widths, exp: long, short, wide, tall, high, narrow

REMINDER: When bringing Sunscreen for children please make sure they are named. Any spare clothing is appreciated, this must also be labelled with names.


This week we have continued with our story ‘Farmer Duck.’ The children have been very creative, using paints and collage to make farm animal pictures. We have used colourful semantics to make sentences to match pictures from the story. The children seemed to especially enjoy making a sentence about the farmer eating chocolates in bed!

We have made the most of the good weather and have been doing water play in the outside area.

In Handwriting we have practiced forming the zig zag monster letters: correctly: z, v, w and x.

In Maths we have been recapping the numbers 6 to 9 in the 5 and a bit structure, using frames and our fingers to show these numbers.

In Outdoor Learning we had a scavenger hunt, looking for items in the environment.

How to help at home:


Practice letters in the zigzag monster family:


  • Identifying numbers in the environment, e.g. house numbers, numbers on number plates.

REMINDER: Please can you provide a change of clothes for your child. As the weather is getting warmer, please can you apply sunscreen on your child before they come to school.

Reception Year

This week we have been reading ‘Handa’s Hen’ and learning about animals that live in hot climate countries. In Geography we have been learning to name and locate some hot countries. In Literacy we have been composing our own sentences about some of these animals and writing our sentences into our books.

In PSHE we have been learning how to keep our bodies healthy by being active. In PE, we have been active by learning how to pat or bounce a ball with increasing control.

In Maths we have been recapping the numbers 6 to 9 in the 5 and a bit structure as well as knowing that 10 can be composed of 5 and 5. We have been matching quantities to numerals. In Shape, Space and Measure we have been learning how to tell the time to the hour.

In RE we have continued our learning about special stories and looked at Christian stories from the Bible.

In DT we have been practising using a running stitch to sew two pieces of material together.

How to help at home


Practise capital letters for the long-legged giraffe letters:


Can you notice different numbers when you are out and about, for example door numbers. Do you know what number it is?

Use your fingers to make different numbers, using the 5 and a bit structure.

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week we have been reading ‘Look What I Found at the Seaside’ by Moira Butterfield and Jesus Verona. We discussed the difference between non-fiction and fiction texts and looked at specific seaside vocabulary, in particular wildlife.

We took notes to retrieve some information about wildlife from the book and then we wrote some simple factual sentences.

In Maths we have been introduced to numbers to 100. We have been counting in sequences of 10 using dienes to represent tens and ones. We have always been learning to understand the value of the tens and ones digit in a number.

In Geography we have been learning about the seas surrounding the UK and labelled them on a map. We have also been looking at the human and physical features of our own seaside town Southend.

We all enjoyed an Outdoor Learning session this week where we created seaside pictures using natural materials such as sticks, pinecones and shells. We also looked at seasonal changes and looked at signs of Spring. We discussed garden and wild plants and different kinds of trees.

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos:


Letters sent home this week

Year Two

This week in Year 2, we have started looking at the story 'Sleeping Beauty' by Sarah Gibb. We read the story as a class and focused on two of the main characters: Princess Rosebud (Sleeping Beauty) and Malevola (the wicked fairy). The children explored some new vocabulary to describe the characters and used this to write some fantastic character descriptions. Ask your child which character they chose to write about.

In Maths this week, we have been focusing on time. We have concentrated on telling the time on an analogue clock: o'clock, half past, quarter past, and quarter to. The children have done very well in being able to read the time from a clock and setting clocks to the correct time. We even touched on telling the time in five-minute intervals.

We have continued exploring our theme, Africa, and have been studying the artwork of Tanzanian artist Edward Tinga Tinga. His artwork is well known for its use of bright colours and patterns and features a range of African animals. The children will be delving deeper into this style and creating their own pieces in a similar fashion.

Next week, we have Outdoor Learning planned, and parents are invited to join their children's class in the afternoon. With the weather turning warmer, please ensure your child is appropriately dressed and protected from the sun with sun cream applied and hats worn. Gnats are also present in our wildlife area, so your child may benefit from having some repellent applied.

Letters sent home this week

Gemma’s Farm

Hamstel Infants had the delight of welcoming Gemma’s farm on Monday and Tuesday last week. The children got to see a variety of animals including ducks, rabbits, ferrets, ponies, goats, chickens and sheep.

The children got a chance to hold and stroke a duck, chicken and a rabbit. They also had the opportunity to brush the ponies, which they loved!

They also enjoyed meeting a mischievous dog called Pig who loved playing fetch with his bone and a very naughty goat called Jammy Dodger who jumped right up onto the farmer’s back! The children had a fantastic time in the sunshine with all the animals.

Portico Music Event

On Thursday 2nd May, children from across the Portico Trust were brought together in the first trust wide music workshop. The children came from years 1 to 4, spanning the ages 6 – 9 years old. With kind permission from David Stanley at The Music Man Project, they worked together, under the direction of teachers Sandra Baines and Nina Bemister, to create a version of the beautiful song Peace and Hope using tuned percussion instruments and a small but perfectly formed choir. The shared outcome was very uplifting and we hope that this will be the first of many music workshops whereby the children from across the trust can gather together to make music, explore ensemble work and perform together.

Celebration Assembly - Respect

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

Online Safety

Dinner menu

Week 2

Monday - Pork Sausage with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Vegan Sausage with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Ham Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn & Baked Beans - Chocolate Rice Krispie Cake

Tuesday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Pasta - Vegan Tomato & Mixed Bean Sauce with Fusilli - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Carrots & Broccoli- Mandarin Jelly

Wednesday - Honey Roast gammon with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Sweet chilli Stir-fry mushroom & Vegetable Noodles - Wholewheat Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Ham Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Peas - Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday - Boston BBQ Chicken Wrap - Margherita Pitta Pizza - Baked Wedges - Bakes Beans & Peas - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chocolate Sponge with Chocolate Sauce

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Fajita Wrap with Chips & Ketchup - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Ham Salad Baguette - Peas & Baked Beans - Lemon Drizzle Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread - Garlic & Herb or Wholemeal Bread

Messages from the Office

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 14th - Fox Class
  • Wednesday 15th - Squirrel Class
  • Thursday 16th - Hedgehog Class
  • Friday 17th - Otter 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: Owl Class - 98.9%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 94.1%

Year 1: Duck Class - 100%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95.7%

Year 2: Fox Class - 97.9%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.6%

Whole School: 95.4%

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.