Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 3rd november 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to the second part of the autumn term! I hope you had a great half term and that the children managed to get a well-earned break.

Firstly, well done to everybody for braving some truly awful weather this week, especially our Year 1 children who still went ahead with their visits to The Hive outdoor learning centre. We only had one session where the weather beat us so this will be caught up on Monday instead but those who did attend came back full of exciting news about their outdoor investigations.

On Thursday, the children looked beautifully presented for their Tempest photographs – thank you for your support with this, we hope you like the results when the photographs come home.

Today we also held our non-uniform day where we asked for the children to kindly bring in a small donation for our Christmas Tombola. Huge thanks to everybody that took part, we have received some amazing donations which will all be used to generate more funds that go towards making your children’s school experiences even better.

Next week is another busy week with a special reading focus. Year 2 will be visiting the local library across the week and Friday afternoon is our share a book open house session from 3pm. On Wednesday 8th we will also be inviting Year 2 parents into school again for our ‘Reading Rocks' parent workshops. Please see the letter that went out this week for more details.

On Friday next week, it’s another whole school Hamstel Infants event as we will come together to hold our Remembrance Day assembly for the children. This is an important time for our school as the Hamstel Schools were opened just 27 days after the declaration of World War I in 1914 and was then used as a barracks and for the production of gas masks during the Second World War.

Next week we will also begin to confirm our plans for the festive season including dates when you can come into school for our Christmas events that include our performances, Christmas fairs and decoration making.

I hope you have a great weekend – stay safe and dry and we will see you on Monday morning.

Scott Roche



The children have settled back into our Nursery routine well. This weeks story has been 'Owl Babies', we have been learning to talk about how the owls felt during the story. We have been thinking about our families and talked about our extended families such as grandparents, aunties and uncles.

In Maths we have been learning about positional language such as in front of, behind, next to, the children enjoyed following instructions of where to put their bear. Maybe you could try this at home.

REMINDER: As the weather is changing, can you please ensure that your child has a pair of wellies to keep at Nursery. Thank you.

Please ensure that your child has a spare set of clothes at Nursery and that their uniform and coats are named. Thank you.

Letters home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children in Rainbow Class have been learning about shapes, colours, and sizes, they have completed matching games and made some brilliant pictures using an array of different media.

We have also been experimenting with messy play, using lots of different edible items and the children created some interesting items. They have also enjoyed Attention Autism (Bucket Time), Thera Play, writing, number activities, and Makaton.


In Starlight Class this week the children have been practising writing long legged letters l, t, u, j and y using the correct formation. We have been reading the book 'Room on The Broom' and we have enjoyed making our own potions.

In Maths the children have been working on looking at a group of objects (no more than 10) and being able to say how many there are without counting (subitise).

On Wednesday afternoon the children really enjoyed making Crunchy Caterpillar Playdough and then making their amazing caterpillar monsters.

Reception Year

What a great start to the new term. The children have all loved coming back to school and we have enjoyed seeing their smiley faces again. This week we have been learning about the book 'Room on the Broom'. We have been learning to identify the characters in the story and to think of adjectives to describe them. In Art we have started learning about Vincent Van Gogh and exploring his artwork. In Writing we have been learning to spell words, using our Fred Fingers to help us. In RE we have started learning about Diwali by reading the Hindu story 'Rama and Sita' and thinking about why they were special. In Maths we have been learning how to count accurately, knowing to count only one object at a time.



This week the children have been working in new groups for their RWInc lesson. RWI home learning will now change depending on which group your child is working in. All children will continue to take home the QR codes for the virtual classroom.


Count objects at home.

Show your child a small group of objects (no more than 5), can they subitise (tell you) how many there are without counting them?


Practise writing all the long legged giraffe letters: l, I, t, u, j, y. Remember to start at the top of each letter.

Letter home this week

Year One

Year 1 have enjoyed their first week back at school. We have started learning all about toys with a focus on teddies. We have enjoyed reading the book 'Where's my Teddy?'.

In Maths this week we have been learning about ordinal numbers, positions and left and right.

We were sorry to have to postpone Heron Class' trip to the Hive due to the weather, but the other classes really enjoyed their first outing. We spotted lots of mushrooms and when we returned to school we all made our own autumnal leaf-man picture.

REMINDER: Share a Book Open Door: Come into class at 3pm to share a book with your child.

Letters home this week

Year Two

A big welcome back to the Year 2 children this week, we hope the children had a fun half term with family and friends.

We have kick started our half term with our new theme ‘Rule Britannia!’, which we are very excited about. It looks set to be a very interesting topic. In Literacy we have been reading the text ‘Queen Victoria’s Knickers’ by Jackie French.

The children have really enjoyed this book. We used some of the fantastic images to help us with our writing skills this week, where we have been learning about simple preposition words e.g. under, over, behind. Using the images from the book we have been practising writing sentences using some simple prepositions e.g. The small dog is standing behind the chair.

In Maths we have been spending the week consolidating our subtraction unit, thinking about the strategies we have learnt and beginning to apply to numbers when we need to ‘rename’ (borrow) from the tens. We have explored this concept practically and begun to use our column method as a written method.

The children have started learning about everyday materials in Science building on knowledge from Year 1. The children have sorted some materials and described the materials e.g. smooth, rough. We have also learnt about manmade and natural materials, what these terms mean and have identified manmade and natural materials in our environment.

REMINDERS: Mrs Farrell will be conducting tours for prospective parents who are thinking of sending their child to Hamstel Juniors in September from our Year 2.

The dates are:

  • Tuesday 7th November at 9.15am
  • Thursday 9th November at 4.30pm
  • Thursday 16th November at 4.30m
  • Monday 20th November at 9.15am

Library Visits:

  • Monday 6th Nov – Squirrel and Otter
  • Tuesday 7th Nov – Fox and Hedgehog

Reading Rocks Day:

  • Wednesday 8th Nov
  • 9am – 9.45am - Fox and Squirrel
  • 2.15pm - 3pm – Otter and Hedgehog

Share a Book Open Door:

Come into class at 3pm to share a book with your child.

Don’t forget it is also Outdoor Learning next week. Please make sure your child is prepared for all weather next week, with warm and waterproof clothing and shoes.

Letters home this week

Celebration Assembly - Enthusiasm & Determination.

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

Online Safety

Artifical intelligence is a hot topic in technology and the news right now. There are many questions being raised worldwide about how AI might conceivably affect the very future of the human race. In respect to where its impact on young people is concerned – the clearest risk is almost certainly the AI-powered ‘virtual friends’ which are springing up all over the internet. The following guide offers you some important information with this in mind.

Diary Dates


  • Monday 6th - Year 2 Library visit Otter & Squirrel
  • Tuesday 7th - Year 2 Library visit Fox & Hedgehog
  • Wednesday 8th - Year 2 Reading Rocks Day
  • Friday 10th - Share a book Open Door 3pm
  • Remembrance event
  • Monday 13th - Odd Sock Day
  • Tuesday 14th - Phonics workshop -
  • 9am - Woodpecker & Peacock
  • 2.30pm - Kingfisher & Owl
  • Wednesday 15th - Year 1 Maths workshop
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need
  • Monday 27th - Friday 1st - Reception walk to the postbox
  • Wednesday 29th - KS1 Christmas Fair
  • Thursday 30th - EYFS Christmas Fair


  • Wednesday 6th - Reception Nativity 9am - Kingfisher & Owl Classes
  • Thursday 7th - Reception Nativity 9am - Peacock & Woodpecker Classes
  • Friday 8th - Christmas Jumper Day & Christmas Lunch
  • Wednesday 13th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am & 2.15pm
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • 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

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

Southend Health Visiting Team

The Southend Health Visiting Team have a leaflet for parents and carers with important information including:

  • Child Health Clinics in different areas across Southend
  • Information for the Flu Vaccination
  • Children with Asthma
  • Dog Safety Awareness
  • Cost of Living

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 30th October - Year 2

  • Tuesday 7th - Fox Class
  • Wednesday 8th - Squirrel Class
  • Thursday 9th - Hedgehog Class
  • Friday 10th - 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: Peacock Class - 97.2%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 95.7%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 97.5%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 96.5%

Year 2: Otter Class - 97.5%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 95.5%

Whole School: 95.9%

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.