Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 26th january 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Another busy week in school at Hamstel Infant School and Nursery where our children go from strength to strength in their learning and development.

This week our Year 2s took their learning out of the classroom as they visited Holy Trinity Church. This wonderful old local building gives a lovely contrast to the more modern, Bellevue Baptist Church that the children also visit. They had a great experience learning about the church’s history, having a tour and doing some sketching around the building. A huge thank you to the staff at Holy Trinity for sharing their knowledge. It is opportunities like these that bring our children’s learning to life!

The work needed to make our Poynings gate entrance safe is very nearly completed. Thank you for your continued patience around this, we do appreciate that this is very inconvenient on a busy school run. Our site team are working with the contractors to get the work done and our Poynings Avenue entrance open again soon. Fingers crossed…maybe even as soon as Monday!

On a more serious note, please can I remind all parents and carers that the recording or photographing of children on our site is strictly prohibited. This is to maintain the safety of all our children. Thank you for your cooperation.

Next week we invite our Year 1 parents and carers to attend our Reading Rocks Workshop where you will hear why reading for pleasure is so important and how to support this at home so that you and your children can enjoy this great time together. Dragonfly and Heron class parents are in the morning and Newt and Duck class in the afternoon. We look forward to welcoming you and hope you enjoy the session.

I hope you have a great weekend…I myself will be wallowing in misery at the news that Jurgen Klopp will be leaving his post as Liverpool manager at the end of the season!

See you all bright and early on Monday morning.

Best regards,

Scott Roche



This week we have been reading ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and have been learning that a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. We have been answering questions about the story. As part of our story, we have been thinking about healthy and unhealthy foods and what food could Little Red Riding Hood take to Grannies house.

We have been practising drawing circles in an anti-clockwise direction.

In Maths we have been learning to subitise to five by showing up to five fingers, or looking at a group of objects and knowing how many there are without counting them.

In Outdoor Learning we went on a scavenger hunt finding different items on our list. We also enjoyed taking part in the RSPB Big Spring Bird Watch by counting how many different birds we saw in the wildlife area.

REMINDER: Please do not let your child use the Adventure trail or go on the climbing frame. Thank you.

Please ensure that your child has a full set of clothes in Nursery, also please name hats, gloves and scarves thank you.

As we are trying to promote independence, could you please dress your children in clothes that are easy for the children to put on and take off themselves, especially trousers and leggings. Elasticated trousers are the best for children at this age. Thank you.

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about the story 'The Enormous Turnip'. We looked at different fruits and vegetables that could be grown on a farm, their texture and colour, we used painted vegetables to make some striking artwork. The story was enjoyed by all, learning about the characters in the story, the types of animals on the farm and what sounds they make.

We have continued to use sentence-building activities, number and letter writing and pencil control activities. The children have continued to engage in functional play and turn-taking activities, messy play and sensory activities.


This week we have started to complete activities on the story of the 'The Three Billy Goat's Gruff'. We have been learning to write some more cvc words and a sentence for a speech bubble about the Billy Goat Gruff. The children have really enjoyed this story.

In Time to Talk we have been talking about how we know someone is happy or sad by their facial expressions. The children then made a happy and sad face of themselves.

The children have tried very hard with their handwriting to use the correct formation.

Letters sent home this week

Reception Year

This week we have been reading the book ‘The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff.’ In English we have been learning to write words and sentences about some of the characters in the story.

In PSHE we have been continuing our learning about belonging to a community and this week we have been thinking about right from wrong and why it is important to make the right choices.

In Maths we have been thinking about all the different ways to make 5 and how 5 can be partitioned into different parts.

In Geography we have been learning about human features. In Outdoor Learning this week we spotted some of the human features around the school grounds. Also, in Outdoor Learning we have been working in groups to build a bird's nest and enjoy taking part in the Big Bird Watch.

How to help at home


  • Listen to your child read their book at least 5 times a week.
  • Watch the QR codes.


  • How many ways can you make 5?


Letters sent home this week

Year One

In Literacy we have been looking at uplevelling our adjectives. We have been working really hard to create more adventurous vocabulary and have used the story ‘The Way Back Home’ by Oliver Jeffers to inspire our writing.

In Maths we have been revising our addition and subtraction skills to 20. We have also been looking at applying all the skills we have learned so far this year.

We have been working on an Art block this week and learning about the artist Peter Thorpe. We have been exploring primary and secondary colours and have used this knowledge to begin creating a piece of artwork inspired by Peter Thorpe.

How to help at home


  • Listen to your child read their book at least 5 times a week.
  • Watch the QR codes.

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

This week in Year 2 the children have been exploring a new book in Literacy, 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers. The book is about a little boy who finds a penguin at his front door, who has left Antarctica. The boy decides to try and find out who has lost the penguin. The children have explored the characters this week thinking as well as learning about what an exclamation sentence. The week was finished with the children producing some brilliant Found posters describing the penguin.

In Maths the children have been busy revisiting some aspects of their learning covered during Year 2 so far and been working hard to show their teachers what they have remembered.

The children enjoyed their visit to Holy Trinity Church this week looking at the features of a church and completing some sketching. A big thank you to all those at the Church for allowing us to visit.

Letters sent home this week

Celebration Assembly - Respect

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

Online Safety

Anime is one of the most popular forms of media in the modern world. Fans span across multiple generations – with a particular emphasis on young people in the west, to whom the unique art style and over-the-top presentation greatly appeal. It takes many different forms – from movies to video games – but is most commonly presented in TV shows.

The cartoonish art style of anime can lead people to assume that all media of this type is child-friendly. While a good amount of anime fits this description, there’s just as much – if not more – that centres around deeply adult themes and topics, with scenes of extreme gore, disturbing horror, and sexual content. This week’s guide delves deep into this cultural phenomenon, identifying all risks parents and carers should be aware of.

Diary Dates


  • 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 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 - Beef Keema with Turmeric Rice - Vegan Layered Vegetable & Sweet Potato Bake - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans or Salmon Mayonnaise - Cheese Sandwich - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Flapjack

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

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 29th - Newt
  • Tuesday 30th - Duck
  • Wednesday 31st - Dragonfly
  • Thursday 1st - Heron
  • Friday 2nd - Rainbow & Starlight


  • 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: Kingfisher Class - 96.1%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 93.7%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 98.1%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95.9%

Year 2: Otter Class - 97.9%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.4%

Whole School: 95.3%

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.