Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 2nd february 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week we welcomed our Year 1 parents in for another of our ‘Reading Rocks’ workshops led by Mrs Tracy. Parents had the chance to gain ideas on how to support reading at home and listened to why we value reading for pleasure so much at Hamstel Infants. A big thank you to our author, Jacqueline from Jacqson Diego who enhanced the event even further and to Mrs Tracy for organising.

We really do feel that learning to read not only underpins all other learning but when you read for pleasure, it opens a whole new world of creativity and imagination, so your attendance and support around this area is greatly appreciated.

Next week, Our Nursery children will also be learning all about Chinese New Year, while our KS1 sports teams are participating in two different events. The first is an interesting Maths Festival event combining PE and Maths on Tuesday before our boy’s football team step into action on Friday. We wish them all good luck and hope they enjoy the events…Go Team Hamstel!

Wednesday 7th February is a very busy day. We have a Parent Council meeting in the morning, where we will be sharing some of our plans to improve the school. If you would like to be a parent councillor, please let the office know and we will get in touch. We are also inviting Year 2 parents to come in and join our Mastery in Number maths lessons on Wednesday at 2:45pm. We hope you will come and join your child in class and find out how we embed the important elements of number in our young children. Finally, the PTA are also planning to do a pre-loved school uniform sale after school on Wednesday, so if you need any replacement uniform, please pop along and see the PTA on the playground.

Just a reminder that Friday 16th February is an INSET day so school will be closed to the children, then after the half term its World Book Day on Thursday 7th March where children will be able to dress as their favourite characters.

I hope you have a great weekend and we look forward to welcoming you back, bright and early on Monday morning.

Best regards,

Scott Roche



This week we have been reading ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ story and have been answering questions about the story. We have also been thinking about rhyming words by reading ‘Oi Frog’ and sorting what the animals should sit on, for example bears sit on chairs and goats sit on coats!

In Maths we have been comparing objects by size such as taller, shorter and the same. We have been practising counting backwards from five. In Geography we have been talking about what we see on our journey to Nursery.

REMINDER: Please ensure that your child has spare clothes at Nursery. If your child has borrowed Nursery clothes recently could you please return them, thank you.

We would be grateful of any donations of trousers, socks, pants and knickers that your child has outgrown. Many thanks.

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been listening and learning about the story 'The Gingerbread Man'. The children have made some lovely craftwork, with painted hands and feet. We have experimented with lots of messy play and thera play. The children have continued with their pencil control activities, one to one activity, number and letter recognition and understanding.

Swimming will commence as usual on Tuesday.


This week we have been reading the story 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'. The children have been practising their cutting skills by making The Three Bear masks and bear headbands.

In Maths we have been ordering bears by size and completing simple addition and subtraction calculations. We have also been using dice to subitise the dice patterns.

The children have continued looking at the emotions ‘sad’ and ‘happy’. We discussed how they would feel if certain situations happened to them.

Letters sent home this week

Reception Year

This week we have started reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We have been learning to write words and short sentences about the book.

In PSHE we have been learning about how to be a good friend.

In Maths we have been looking at die patterns, subitising the different arrangement of dots and using double dice to represent larger numbers.

In Geography we have been learning to identify human and physical features in our school environment.

In RE we have been learning about Chinese New Year and comparing it to New Year in UK.

How to help at home


  • Continue to listen to your child read at least 5 times a week.
  • Encourage your child to watch the Virtual Classroom videos.


Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week we have had Outdoor Learning! We have been building bug homes and mini shelters using lots of different materials from outside. We used things like sticks, leaves, grass and pieces of wood to make our homes inviting for the insects.

In Literacy we have been continuing to develop our use of exciting adjectives. We read the story ‘Something Different’ by Jill Lewis and Ali Pye and looked at pictures of the ‘little something’ creatures. We came up with exciting vocabulary to describe what they look like. We finished the week by writing a character description about one of the main characters.

In Maths we have been doing revision on addition and subtraction. We have been using number lines and tens frames to support our counting on and counting back.

How to help at home

Watch the following RWI Virtual Classroom videos, encouraging your child to join in:

Year 1 Reading Rocks Day

On Wednesday we were so happy to see many of our parents and children’s relatives join the children for our Year 1 Reading Rocks Day! The sessions were all about encouraging the love of reading, the importance of reading books aloud, spending time together as a family to read and enjoy books and the importance of informal Book Chat to help support the understanding of books and the development of vocabulary.

The children really enjoyed the different stations that were set up with a variety of fiction and non-fiction books, there was lots of stories being listened to and enjoyed around the hall. We were very lucky to have Jacqui from the local Independent Bookshop ‘Jacqson Diego’s Story Emporium’ join us with her pop-up bookshop. Jacqui also closed our session with a wonderful Storytime, which seemed to be enjoyed by all the children and some adults! . A big thank you to all the adults who came to join us, and we really hope you enjoyed it as much as we did at Hamstel.

Year Two

Year 2 have been very busy this week planning and writing their own stories based on the text they have been using in class over the past couple of weeks, 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers. The children planned a simple prequel story about the penguin’s journey from the South Pole to the boy’s front door. The children came up with lots of great ideas and wrote some brilliant five-part stories of the penguin's adventure. The children thought about their story language to open the sentences and sequence their ideas.

In Maths the children have been revisiting their multiplication skills and knowledge, developing their fluency and written methods. They have explored solving some multiplication problems to, talking about how they solved them using mathematical language to talk about their methods.

In PSHE the children have been talking about how different communities help people feel included. The children talked about shared interests, beliefs and friendships, to help people feel like they belong to a community.

Letters sent home this week

Celebration Assembly - Effort & Resilience

This weeks value has been 'Effort & Resilience', below are highlights from around the classes.

Online Safety

For many companies who operate in the online space, attention and engagement are the holy grail. Social media sites in particular make deliberate creative choices to keep people scrolling, reading, watching and clicking. This phenomenon is known as ‘persuasive design’ and it’s being employed in the vast majority of the digital world’s most popular destinations.

A study by the charity 5Rights Foundation concluded that “…the brain's response to rewards and punishments can be leveraged through persuasive design to keep children online.” To tie in with Safer Internet Day 2024, thisguide can help to educateyoungsters on the effects of persuasive design – and suggests ways to insulate themselves from its influence.

Diary Dates


  • 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

Nits – The Unwelcome Visitors

Nits/Headlice are a very common childhood condition and they can be very irritating for the child, causing itchiness and sore patches in some cases.

The most effective way of dealing with these nuisance visitors is regular checks, combing with a fine-toothed comb and doing it all over again a couple of days later.

There are other treatment options and here is the link to the NHS guidance https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/head-lice-and-nits/


Nursery Tours

Do you or a friend/family member have a child turning 3 years old before 1st September 2024?

We are now starting to offer tours to visit our Nursery, come along to one of the sessions to see our lovely purpose-built setting. Application packs and further information will be available on the tours or from the school office from Monday 4th March.

The application deadline is Tuesday 30th April. For more information on the application process please call the school office or visit our website www.hamstelinfants.co.uk

Outdoor Learning

  • Tuesday 5th - Fox
  • Wednesday 6th - Squirrel
  • Thursday 7th - Hedgehog
  • Friday 8th - 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 - 97%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 91.3%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 98.4%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 96.3%

Year 2: Otter Class - 96%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 94.7%

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.


We have a selection of clubs for this term.

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.