Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 9th february 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

There has been a definite Chinese theme across our school as our Early Years children learnt about Chinese New Year this week. They have produced some lovely work and were very excited to tell me all about their learning.

Year 2 welcomed parents into school again to watch our Maths Mastery lessons and yet again we had another great response with lots of parents taking the chance to see how we embed early maths understanding and asking lots of relevant questions. Thank you to everybody who attended.

Continuing the maths theme, some of our children were lucky enough to attend a great event on Tuesday at Thorpe Hall school that combined practical maths and physical exercise. The event was a real success and our children did themselves proud and had fun along the way.

Today, our KS1 boy’s football headed off to The Len Forge centre to take part in an inter-schools football tournament. We will let you know how they got on next week.

This week our Parent Council also met and discussed lots of important areas across the school including; our behaviour policy, the healthy smiles initiative, educational visits, handwriting and our dojo rewards to name but a few. Thank you so much to the parents that give up their time, its so important for us to hear your views and get a parental perspective of the school. Its not too late to get involved – if you would like to become a parent councillor, please give the office your details and we will gladly be in touch.

Here at Hamstel Infants we pride ourselves on being a fully inclusive school which means that we have lots of children with a variety of different needs - some physical, some emotional, some developmental and some social, who all present and act in different ways. Every child has the right to be respected and safe and it goes without saying that social media or WhatsApp groups are not the correct places to be discussing individual children, their needs or their behaviours. I would respectfully ask that should any parent or carer have a need to discuss any areas of concern, that they use the correct channels to share information and come to speak to a member of staff immediately. Thank you for your support in making Hamstel a safe place for all of our children.

Next week, we have a food theme taking place with pancakes and afternoon tea featuring heavily for some of our children. It’s also a four-day week for the children as Friday 16th is an Inset Day for teacher training.

We also thought we’d give you plenty of notice about our proposed Sports Days in the Summer. To make things easier for you around work commitments etc, this year we are planning on having one day, Wednesday 19th June, where all sports days, from Nursery to Year 2, will take place. Please save the date and more details will follow soon.

Also coming out next week will be our exciting plans for our Book Week that’s starts on 4th March – lots of things to look forward to.

I hope you have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday morning!

Best regards,

Scott Roche



This week in Nursery we have enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year. We enjoyed tasting some Chinese food, learning about the animals of the zodiac, setting up a Chinese restaurant, making Chinese dragons and creating our own Chinese music and dances.

We also read ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker' and have designed our own shoes. In Maths we have been learning to match numerals to quantities.

Outdoor Learning - Will be on Thursday 15th February, children should wear suitable clothes for the weather.

Please ensure that your children have a full set of spare clothes at Nursery.

Can you please return any borrowed clothes as our stocks are getting very low. Thank you.

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about the Chinese New Year, they have made some dragons and lanterns using different types of media, the children enjoyed learning about the dragons and how they are made. We also continued with number sequencing and additions, picture sequencing, pencil control and reading. The afternoons have been filled with sensory play, paint therapy and functional play.

There will be no Swimming on Tuesday, thank you.


The children in Starlight this week have enjoyed their swimming lesson. It is wonderful to see how much more confident they have become in the water.

In Maths this week some of the children have been counting to 30 and beyond. They have been sequencing numbers and finding the missing numbers.

We have sequenced the pictures to the story of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'.

The children have also enjoyed completing Chinese New Year activities.

Letters sent home this week

Reception Year

The children have really enjoyed their second week learning about the story 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'. We have written more words and sentences about the story.

In PSHE we have been learning about making good choices about which computer games we play.

In Maths we have been learning to describe quantities as having more than and fewer than. In Shape, Space and Measure we have been learning about shapes with 4 sides, investigating squares and rectangles and the different ways to make them using smaller shapes.

In Geography we have been creating simple maps from physical resources and by drawing.

In RE we have been learning why Chinese New Year is celebrated.

How to help at home


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



  • Make two groups of objects. Which has more than and which has fewer than?
  • Can you spot rectangles and squares out and about?

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week in Literacy we have been continuing with the story ‘Something Different’ by Jill Lewis and Ali Pye. We designed a new main character and wrote adjectives to describe what they looked like. We were introduced to what a story map was and used this to plan retelling the story.

Finally, we used all these skills and re-wrote the Something Different story but instead included our new main character. We had lots of fun making weird and wonderful looking creatures!

In Maths we have been looking at numbers to 40. We have been working very hard to learn about tens and ones and the value of a digit in a number. We did lots of practical work using tens frames and counters to help us.

This week we started our Design and Technology block. We have been learning about different mechanisms including levers and sliders. We finished the week by making our designs for a space themed moving picture. We are really looking forward to creating these next week!

How to help at home

Watch the following QR codes, encouraging your child to join in:

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

Did you know that Penguins have a layer of fat called blubber to keep them warm in the cold climate? This is just one of many facts the Year 2 children have been learning about in their research this week, when finding out all about penguins. The children have thoroughly enjoyed using books, fact files and i-Pads to research information about penguins. Using this information, the children then wrote their own reports to share their newfound knowledge. They have learnt about the penguin’s life cycle, their habitat, diet and much more! Why not ask your child if they can tell you 3 interesting facts they have learnt this week.

In Maths we have been revisiting addition and subtraction and the methods we have previously learnt. We have spent time practising using our written methods, such as the column method when adding or subtracting two, 2-digit numbers. The children have also been applying these skills to solving a range of problems linked to addition and subtraction. The children have demonstrated their understanding through verbal explanations and their written methods.

This week in Outdoor Learning, the children have been taking part in The Big Garden Birdwatch which is organised by the RSPB. The children spotted pidgeons, seagulls and robins and kept a tally of how many they saw within a certain amount of time. The children also experienced a ‘sledge’ ride across the playground. They worked together as a team to pull the giant sledge with some of the children sitting on it to help them imagine what it might have been like for Captain Scott and his team on their expedition. The children really enjoyed this experience.

Letters sent home this week

Celebration Assembly - Working Together

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

Online Safety

This week's online guide tells trusted adults what they need to know about Monkey. With Omegle finally shutting down in late 2023, the top spot among video chat services is up for grabs – and Monkey has its eyes set on the crown. Randomly matching its users for 15-second conversations, the platform’s developers claim to have created a dynamic online space for people to make new connections and, potentially, even some new friends.

Despite these innocuous-sounding intentions, however, Monkey has been criticised for moderation which may not be comprehensive enough to defend against the obvious dangers that unregulated, random video calls pose to the younger element of the site’s userbase.

We have added all of our parent guides to the school website which can be found on at the button below;

Diary Dates


  • 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 19th - SPORTS 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

School Nurse - Drop-in Sessions

Next week our School Nurse will be with us on Tuesday 13th Feb from 9am-10am, she will be 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.

There will be other sessions taking place throughout the rest of this school year, please see the poster for details.

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

  • Monday 12th - Owl
  • Tuesday 13th - Peacock
  • Wednesday 14th - Woodpecker
  • Thursday 15th - Kingfisher
  • Friday 16th - Nursery


  • Tuesday - No Swimming
  • Wednesday - Newt & Hedgehog Classes catch up sessions
  • Thursday - Duck & Otter Classes catch up sessions
  • Friday - No Swimming

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: Kingfisher Class - 93.9%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 90%

Year 1: Newt Class - 96.6%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 94.8%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class - 95.9%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 94.8%

Whole School: 93.2%

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.

Art Club - Year 2

There is no Art Club on Monday 12th February, the sessions have now finished for this club.

Singing Club

There is no Singing Club on Monday 12th February, the sessions will start again when we return on Monday 26th February.

Cookery Club - Year 1 & Year 2

Cookery Club for the current groups taking place have now finished. There are no Cookery Club sessions next week.