Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 19th january 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Despite the cold weather our children have been on fire in their learning and it has been great to see examples of great work, determination, and just sheer hard work across the school this week.

On Monday we were visited by our Read Write Inc consultant, who saw some amazing examples of early reading in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. The children were exemplary and the teachers did pretty well too as she left us with very positive feedback.

Thank you to Miss Goodman for leading the Maths Workshops this week for our Reception parents. We had another great turnout, so a big thank you to everybody who came along. We hope you found it useful.

Just a reminder that learning in school goes on until 3:15pm so our staff will not open doors until then and the children will still be enjoying activities such as class story times until this point. Thank you for your cooperation and patience with this.

Next week, our Year 2 children are off to visit the local church as another great way of bringing their learning to life outside of the classroom by seeing things for real rather than using pictures and artefacts in school. We hope they enjoy their visits.

While still some way off, I just wanted to share the dates for our Parent’s Evenings this term which will take place on 12th and 13th March. More information will follow soon but please save these dates in your diaries.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you again on Monday.

Best regards,

Scott Roche



We have had a busy week in Nursery. We have been learning the Nursery Rhyme ‘Jack and Jill’.

We have been learning to hear the initial sound in words.

In Maths we have been learning to recognise and order numerals.

We have been learning about Southend and talking about some of the places that we have visited in Southend. We have also been talking about our extended family and people who are special to us.

REMINDER: Outdoor learning Friday 26th January - Please ensure that your child has boots at Nursery and a pair of shoes to change into as it is very muddy in the wildlife area. Please ensure that your child is wearing warm clothes on this day.

Please ensure that your child has a spare set of clothes at Nursery. Thanks

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about the book 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears', it has been an exciting week, making lots of craftwork using different materials and media to create amazing work.


This week in Starlight we have continued to look at the story of 'The Three Little Pigs'. The children have been able to sequence the story by completing a story map. The children have also used Fred Talk to write simple words and a sentence about the three little pigs. The children have been learning to name and use 2D shapes to make The Big Bad Wolf, we have also been comparing height and length.

The children have enjoyed 'What’s in the Bucket’, where we have looked at Night. How we get ready for bed, and they produced some lovely Night Sky art work using different textures.

Reception Year

In our final week of learning about ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ we followed our designs to build our houses for the Three Little Pigs. Which house will withstand the huffs and puffs of the Big Bad Wolf?

In Literacy we continue to use our Fred Fingers to help us spell words and sentences to describe the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf.

In Maths we have been learning to order numbers to 5 and match numbers to quantities. In Geography we learnt about physical features in our school grounds. In PSHE we have been learning about belonging to a community and the different rules we follow in different situations.

In Handwriting we have been learning about the curly caterpillar letters: a and d. We have learnt the importance of starting at 1 o’clock.

How to help at home


  • Continue to listen to your child read 5 times a week.
  • Watch the QR codes with your child, encouraging them to join in.


Practise forming the letters a and d. Remembering to start and finish in the right place


  • Order number 1 to 5.
  • Match number to different groups of objects.

Year One

Year 1 have been continuing with their Man on the Moon topic.

We have listened to ‘Whatever Next’ by Jill Murphy and have been practising our sentence structure linked to pictures from the story.

To finish the week we wrote a list of objects of things we would take with us on a trip to the moon!

In Maths we have started learning about length and height. We have been using the terms ‘longer, taller and shorter’ to describe items. We have started to measure objects around the classroom using our hands and feet. Towards the end of the week we were learning how to measure accurately using a ruler.

We have been continuing our history lessons looking at the life of Neil Armstrong. We created a timeline of his life, focussing on the main events and sequencing them in the correct order. We have also looked at the planet Mars and the landing of the Mars Rover. We finished the week by comparing the difference between the famous events of the Moon Landing and the Mars Rover.

How to help at home


Listen to your child read their RWI Book Bag book or RWI storybook. Aim to listen to your child read 5 times a week.

Watch the following RWI Virtual Classroom videos with your child, encouraging them to join in. These links have also been sent out on Parent Pay and the corresponding QR codes are available in your classroom window.

Year Two

Year 2 have had a busy week enjoying their time in the Wildlife Area, despite the cold! The children worked with Mr Bailey and their friends to learn how to create sparks between two sticks, which was very tricky! They also learnt how to tie to sticks together with some string, again this proved a very tricky task, but as usual the children showed great determination in trying to succeed in their challenges. Well done Year 2!

In Literacy this week we have continued to immerse ourselves in Captain’s Scott great exploration to reach the South Pole, racing against time and Amundson! The children have continued to build on this historical knowledge and use it to write some fantastic recounts of the exploration in the form of a simple Newspaper Report. The children had to think about the events that happened, and make sure they wrote about them in the correct order. They used language such as First, Then, After That, Finally to help sequence their sentences. Creating their own timeline of events in History supported the children’s chronological understanding of the exploration.

Year 2 Maths has been all about learning how to read simple pictographs, collecting data and recording it to show the information they found out in a tally and create their own pictographs to represent their information. They have also learnt how to ask and answer simple questions about data.

Letters send home this week

Celebration Assembly - Aspire

This weeks value has been 'Aspire', 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 25th - Year 2 Classes local visit
  • Thursday 26th - Year 2 Classes local visit
  • 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 1

Monday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Baked Jackets with Grated Cheese - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Pea & Broccoli - Maryland Cookie

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

Outdoor Learning

  • Monday 22nd - Owl
  • Tuesday 23rd - Peacock
  • Wednesday 24th - Woodpecker
  • Thursday 25th - Kingfisher
  • Friday 26th - Nursery


  • 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 - 97.7%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 85.8%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 98.7%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 96.2%

Year 2: Squirrel Class - 99%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.9%

Whole School: 93%

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.