Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 24th november 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week our children have been busy preparing for the festive period as rehearsals have started for our Christmas performances and each class has been busy preparing their own stalls for the Christmas Fair that takes place next week on Wednesday 29th. More information will be coming out shortly about this great event.

Our intrepid Dodgeballers went out to Garons today to take part in the interschools Dodgeball competition. They performed really well with everybody enjoying the experience and after some very close competetive games, we managed to come 4th overall out of 13 teams. What a great achievement Team Hamstel and thank you for proudly coming to show me your medals upon your return to school.

Thank you for supporting the book fair that has been in school since Monday. It was lovely to see so many people browsing the book cases and we hope you managed to find some great books for reading at home or maybe to give as gifts. Not only does the Book Fair help to develop our love of reading at Hamstel Infants but it also gives us valuable rewards that we can redeem to get new books for our own school library, so all support is gratefully received.

Just a polite reminder that our school is a dog free zone, so please ensure dogs are not brought onto the school grounds. This also includes smaller dogs that can be held in arms.

You may already be aware but just to let you know that the area between the Infant and Junior schools (near the swimming pool and the school halls) has now been gated. This means that there is no longer access to the Juniors by entering through the Poynings Avenue gate. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes but I hope you appreciate that this in the best interests of keeping our children safe.

With safety in mind, we are a very busy site at the beginning and end of day and we want to ensure that drop off and collection times run smoothly and safely. Please could I respectfully ask for all gates and entrances to be kept clear and for all parents and carers to ensure that their children walk around the site and do not ride bikes or scooters on the school grounds. Sadly, we had one of our little ones knocked over by some older children who were running around the reception area and we want to avoid any repeat.

It seems unbelievable, but next week its December and our seasonal preparations ramp up again.

The Christmas Fair on Wednesday and practising the singing, acting and speaking for our Christmas performances will be our main focus next week. However, we also have our Reception children making their annual walks to the Post Box and from the 1st December, children can post their Christmas cards to their classmates and teachers in our post box in school. This will be situated near the school office. Please make sure that all cards are marked clearly with the recipient child’s name and their class to ensure they get to the right people.

We have also had news from the South Pole that we will be receiving a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus in the last week of term. By supporting our chocolate raffle that is being launched at the Christmas Fair on Wednesday, you will be helping us to provide a small gift for every child in our school which Santa will then deliver in person to the children.

I hope you have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you bright and early on Monday morning for another week at Hamstel Infants.

Scott Roche



This week we have been reading the story ‘Good Day Good Night’ and have been learning about different times of the day.

In maths we have been learning about 2D shapes and naming numerals

In art we have been learning how to use water colours.

We have started practising our Christmas songs (apologies if your children are singing them at home!)

REMINDER: Please could you ensure that your child has a spare set of clothes at Nursery. As the weather is getting colder could you put your child's name inside any hats, scarves and gloves, thank you

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been listening to the story 'We`re going on a Bear Hunt.' This is a much-loved children's story with lots of learning to be enjoyed. They have been learning about prepositions, phrases and labelling.

The children have been experimenting with textures and learning about corresponding words. We have been making lots of sounds representing the wind, snowstorm, grass and water. They have made some lovely pictures, using lots of techniques to help improve eye and hand coordination and fine motor skills.


This week the children have been discussing what makes them feel angry and how they can calm themselves down.

We have also been learning about what a nocturnal animal is. The children have then gone on to sort animals into day and night categories.

The children have enjoyed the story ‘Lost in the Toy Museum’ and have described a missing toy for a poster.

We have been practising our counting skills and naming of shapes.

Reception Year

This week we have been reading the book ‘Hoot Owl’ and learning about nocturnal animals. We have been learning what the word nocturnal means, identifying different nocturnal animals and learning about what nocturnal animals do in the day and night.

In maths we have been learning to investigate ways to compose and decompose sets of 3, 4 and 5.

In handwriting we have been learning to write the one armed robot letter h and m, making sure that we start and finish each letter in the right place.

In art we have created our own version of the painting ‘Starry Night’ by Vincent Van Gogh.

How to Help at Home:

RWI and Reading:

  • Continue to read your child stories every day.
  • Listen to your child read their school book at least 5 times a week.
  • Watch the virtual classroom videos.


  • Practise writing h and m – start with air writing and then have a go on paper.

Letter home this week

Year One

Year 1 have continued to learn about toys this week. We have been creating a toy time-line and discussing how toys have changed over time. We have been reading the story, 'Lost in the Toy Museum', and have been learning how to write about different toys using noun phrases. In maths we have been recapping the number bonds to 10 and how to add by making 10 first.

Outdoor Learning was lots of fun this week because we all learnt how to light a candle and how to make yummy smores.

Letters home this week

Year Two

It’s been another busy week in Year 2 learning lots of interesting facts about Alexander Graham Bell who invented the first telephone in the Victorian times. The children have learnt how the telephone has changed over the years. They used their new knowledge to create timelines to show these changes over time and describe the different changes. Using their research the children also wrote a factual piece of writing about the changes of the telephone.

In maths the children have continued developing their knowledge and skills in multiplication. They have begun applying this knowledge to problem solving and exploring if calculations such as 5 × 2 and 2 × 5 are the same thing.

The children enjoyed discussing Victorian historical artefacts, developing some enquiry skills to answer questions about what the objects were and their uses. There were some very interesting objects, and the children had some great ideas for the chamber pot, suggesting it could be a bowl for soup or maybe a hat! They were shocked to find out what it actually was used for!

REMINDERS: Year 2 classes have Outdoor Learning next week.

Letters home this week

Celebration Assembly - Respect.

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

Online Safety

Gone are the days of Black Friday only existing in the physical environment of the high street. Now, both this retail landmark and its sister event, Cyber Monday, see deals and discounts displayed across almost every online retailer. These deals also often pop up within in-app purchases too on popular games and services. The frantic dash for the best bargains online, however, also harbours several risks: chiefly, cybercriminals hoping to exploit people’s excitement and hoodwink them out of their hard-earned cash.

This week's guide has some expert pointers on keeping both your money and your personal information safe, while still making the most of the spectacular sales.

Diary Dates


  • Monday 27th - Reception walk to the postbox.
  • PTA Freecycle after school in the Infant Main Hall.
  • Wednesday 29th - Parent Council Meeting 9am
  • CHANGE TO DATE/TIME: Wednesday 29th - Whole School Christmas Fair 2.30-4.30pm in the Infant Hall.


  • Friday 1st - Reception Sept 2024 - prospective Parent tour 9.30am
  • Monday 4th - Friends of Hamstel PTA AGM meeting 11.15am
  • Wednesday 6th - Reception Nativity 9am - Kingfisher & Owl Classes
  • PTA Uniform Sale after school
  • Christmas Cross Country Event
  • Thursday 7th - Reception Nativity 9am - Peacock & Woodpecker Classes
  • Enzo the Elf visiting
  • Carol singing at Centenary Place
  • Friday 8th - Christmas Jumper Day & Christmas Lunch
  • Wednesday 13th - Nursery Christmas Production 2.15pm
  • Year 2 Christingle 9am - Fox & squirrel Classes
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Christmas Production 9.15am
  • Year 2 Christingle 9am - Hedgehog & Otter Classes
  • Friday 15th - Year 1 Christmas Crafts
  • 9am - Heron & Newt Classes
  • 2.30pm - Duck & Dragonfly Classes
  • Wednesday 20th - Last Day of Term

Thursday 21st December to Wednesday 3rd January 2024 - Christmas Break

January 2024

  • Thursday 4th - First day of Spring Term - children return to school and nursery
  • Wednesday 10th - PTA School Uniform sale after school

February 2024

  • Wednesday 7th - Parent Council Meeting 9am
  • Friday 16th - INSET Day
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - HALF TERM



Children can be collected from class at 2.30pm. If you are unable to collect at 2.30pm please use the button below to complete the form to help us with our arrangements. Thank you.

A fast-track entry ticket will be available for 50p per family, give your money to the class teacher on Wednesday morning. The fast-track ticket will be given to your child as they leave.

Cash only - bring lots of change.

Please see the flyer for more details.

Reminder - Cookery Club, Premier Education Athletics Club and Soccer 66 Football Club will not be running on Wednesday 29th Nov due to the Christmas Fair. The sessions have been re-scheduled and those affected advised by email.

Dinner menu

Week 2

Monday - Beef Burger in a Bun with Baked Jacket Wedges - Vegetable Burger in a Bun with Baked Jacket Wedges - Wholewheat Pasta with Arrabiatta Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Ham Salad Wrap - Carrot Sticks - Lemon Drizzle Sponge

Tuesday - Beef Lasagne - Vegetable Fajita Wrap - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn - Flapjack

Wednesday - Honey Roast Gammon with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Ratatouille Pasta Bake - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Ham Sandwich - Pan Fried Leeks - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Thursday - Chicken Tikka Masala & Rice -Vegetable Pasanda with Rice - Pasta with Tomato & Vegetable Sauce - Cheese Sandwich - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Broccoli - Apple Crumble with Custard

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Spiced Squash & Spinach Samosa - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich - Ham Salad Baguette - Chips & Baked Beans - Apple Cake

Freshly Baked Bread: Tomato & Herb Bread or Wholemeal Bread

Messages from the Office

Parent Council Meeting

  • Wednesday 29th November at 9am

Please use this button to raise an item for the agenda, thank you.

Prospective Parent Tour

We have a final tour taking place next week for parents/carers of children due to start Reception Year in September 2024. The tour will take place at 9.30am on Friday 1st December. Please contact the school office if you would like to book on.

Christmas in the City

Your child will have brought a booklet home showcasing lots of Christmas activities and events that are taking place in Southend. Join in Southend High Street to celebrate this festive season! Head to www.visitsouthend.co.uk for more details.

There are a range of markets coming to Southend this Christmas that will run alongside the wide range of city centre venues offering gifting ideas and Christmas delicacies from mince pies and gingerbread to hot dogs and mulled wine.

Fun family friendly events taking place this festive season in and around Southend. Contact the venues to find out more and book ahead.

Second-Hand Uniform

We have a limited stock of second-hand uniform available for a small donation of 50p per item. If there are any items you would like to request please complete the request form here.

Outdoor Learning

Week commencing 27th November - Year 2

  • Tuesday 28th - Fox Class
  • Wednesday 29th - Squirrel Class
  • Thursday 30th - Hedgehog Class
  • Friday 1st - 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
  • 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 - 98.1%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 91.6%

Year 1: Duck & Heron Classes - 96.3%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95.4%

Year 2: Otter Class - 96%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 94.3%

Whole School: 93.7%

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 Clubs

Premier Education Clubs are available to book for this half-term. Book now using their website at this link www.premier-education.com Please see the flyer for details of clubs and how to book.

All clubs are now open to our Reception Year children.

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 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.