Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 13th October 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week has been one of the busiest yet for the children and families of Hamstel infants.

On Monday and Tuesday we were joined by the amazing Happy’s Circus and from the moment the vans and trailers pulled onto our field and the big top started to go up, the excitement across the school grew. We were over the moon to see over 900 people come and join the fun, the games, the food and of course the circus performance over the two days. Everybody we spoke to, left the event buzzing after a real, ‘feel good’ evening. A big thank you to all of the staff and PTA Members who gave up their time to support the event and an especially huge thank you to Mr Bailey, Mrs Barrand and Mrs Tracy who worked tirelessly behind the scenes.

During the week we have had lots of great learning going on, our Year 1 children had their local walks around the area and there has been lots of learning based around what they saw around our community. Wednesday was a great day for our Year 2 children as they were visited by the Nite Owls. The children saw a flying display in the hall and were amazed as they glided silently from place to place. It was lovely to see them all so engaged in their research and creation of Owl linked work that followed the visit.

We had our first parent council meeting of the year and some interesting points came up for discussion. It is so important for us to hear your views about school so it would be lovely to have as many parents as possible involved. If you are interested in being a parent councillor and can spare an hour every half term, please let the office know and we will be more than happy to provide you with more information.

Next week our Teacher Parent meetings take place on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings so if you haven’t booked an appointment yet, it would great to see you!

On a personal level, I am absolutely delighted to be saying at Hamstel Infants, we have great parents, great children and great staff and I am really excited to see all of the brilliant things we can do together in the future!

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday morning for our last week of this first half term. A reminder too that school will be closed on Friday 19th for staff training.

Scott Roche


Celebration Assembly - Effort and Resilience.

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


This week we have been learning about the book ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’. During our outdoor learning session, we went on our own bear hunt and found lots of bears hidden in the wildlife area. We have been learning to retell a story using a story map.

The children have enjoyed making their own bear hats using scissors to cut the ears and a stapler to fasten the ears to their hat.

In Maths we have been learning to count objects accurately and creating repeating patterns. Maybe you could create some repeating patterns at home and share them on Tapestry.

REMINDER: Could you please ensure that your child has their name in their coats, jumpers and cardigans Thank you.

Letter home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


It has been a busy week in Rainbow Room, the children have been experimenting with autumn leaf printing, painting and so much more. The children have enjoyed looking and touching different types of leaves and using them in their play. We have used the sensory room in the afternoons and had lots of fun with matching and sorting games. The children have been fantastic following routines and directions, and we have continued with mark-making, handwriting and number work.

REMINDER: Could you please ensure that children have names on all their coats, jumpers and cardigans. Thank you.


This week the children have been learning about the changes that take place during Autumn. They have been collecting leaves and then printing some colourful autumn leaves and painting autumn trees.

We have also been looking at the characters in the story of 'The Gingerbread Man'. In cooking the children were excited to bake their own Gingerbread Men.

In Maths we have been learning that we can subtract by crossing out.

Reception Year

This week we have been learning about the book ‘Who Sank the Boat.’

We have been continuing to learn about different modes of transport, as well as learning about the Christian Bible story Noah’s Ark. In Science we have been learning about floating and sinking, we have been exploring which objects float and which sink. In DT we have been learning to design and make a boat.

In Handwriting we have been learning to write the long legged letters ‘u and t’, remembering to start at the top.

In Maths we have been learning to subitise 2 and 3, practise making 2 and 3 with our fingers and identify when a small collection is rearranged, or a quantity is changed.

How to help at home:

Sounds of the week:


Spend time reading stories to your child.

Encourage your child to share their school reading book with you. Encourage them to talk about the pictures using full sentences.


Encourage your children to write the letter u and t. Make sure they start each letter in the right place and finish in the right place.


Outdoor Learning Next Week

  • Owl Class: Monday
  • Peacock Class: Tuesday
  • Kingfisher Class: Wednesday
  • Woodpecker Class: Thursday

Letter home this week

Year One

Year 1 have had a fantastic week, we have really enjoyed going on our Local Area Walk. We spotted different examples of street furniture and learnt the names of the roads we walked along. When we returned to class we mapped our route onto a simple map.

We have been reading the story the Gingerbread Man and learning to describe the characters and settings.

We have been learning how to subtract in maths, using different methods to take away.

REMINDER: We need helpers for our trip to the Hive after half term. Please talk to your class teacher if you would like to support.

Letters home this week

Year Two

It’s been another busy and very exciting week in Year 2! The children have enjoyed their time in the Wildlife Area, creating and using an obstacle course and using their observational skills to draw pumpkins. We also enjoyed the visit from the Nite Owls, where the children watched a fantastic flying display and learnt lots of new facts about Owls. Watch out for a news story about this next week.

In Literacy the children have been asking questions and researching about Owls, learning about their habitats, what they like to eat and the life-cycle.

In Maths the children have continued to work on their calculating skills and knowledge linked to addition.

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

The dates are:

  • 31st October at 9.15am
  • 2nd November at 9.15am
  • 9th November at 4.30pm

Letters home this week

Diary Dates


  • Monday 16th - Prospective Parent tour
  • Tuesday 17th - Parent Teacher Meetings between 3.30pm and 5.30pm
  • Prospective Parent tour
  • Wednesday 18th - Parent Teacher Meetings between 3.30pm and 7.20pm
  • Prospective Parent tour
  • Thursday 19th - Handwriting workshop 9am - Kingfisher & Owl
  • 2.30pm - Woodpecker & Peacock
  • Friday 20th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 23rd - Friday 27th - October Half Term
  • Monday 30th - Year 1 Outdoor learning week at The Hive
  • Prospective Parent tour
  • Tuesday 31st - Prospective Parent tour


  • Wednesday 1st - Prospective Parent tour
  • Thursday 2nd - Prospective Parent tour
  • Individual photos
  • Friday 3rd - Non Uniform Day
  • Monday 6th - Year 2 Library visit Fox & Otter
  • Tuesday 7th - Year 2 Library visit Squirrel & 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
  • Thursday 7th - Reception Nativity 9am
  • Friday 8th - Christmas Jumper Day
  • Wednesday 13th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • Friday 15th - Year 1 Christmas Crafts
  • 9am - Newt & Heron
  • 2.30pm - Duck & Daragonfly

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

Late Arrival and Collection of Children

We have unfortunately noticed an increase in the number of children either being brought late into school or who are being collected late through the office.

In the morning class doors are open from 8.30am and close at 8.50am, unless there are very exceptional circumstances please make every effort to be at school during this window. Late arrival can mean your child feeling uncomfortable when going into class and missing out on important information at the start of the day. If you are experiencing a particular issue with getting your child into school on time each day please contact the school office to discuss this further.

In the same way being collected late from school can be upsetting for young children, if you are going to be late due to an exceptional reason always contact the school office in the first instance so that we are able to reassure your child and discuss the best course of action with you. Any child who has not been collected by 3.30pm will be taken to our After School Club provision and a charge of £7.00 will be made. We would rather avoid this happening as our After School Club is very popular and used regularly by lots of families who have booked in advance.

Reception September 2024 Intake - Prospective Parent Tours

If you have a child born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 they will be due to start school in September 2024. The application process is now open and if you live within the Southend Borough Council area you can apply online at www.southend.gov.uk/admissions. Deadline for applications is 15 January 2024.

If you, a family member or friend have a child due to start school and would like to view our school please contact the school office either by telephone 01702 468461 or by email office@his.porticoacademytrust.co.uk to book onto one of the tours we have coming up.

Flu Immunisation

The EPUT Immunisation team visited school last week to give the flu vaccine to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, where consent had been received.

Don’t worry if your child has missed their school flu vaccine. The EPUT Immunisation team are holding catch up clinics during flu season.

If your child was absent or has missed the visit and you would like the vaccine call 0300 790 0597 option 1 to book into a clinic.

Please refer to the items attached to this week's newsletter which we have been asked to share by the local authority. All parents have the right to reply to a consultation on any school.

Outdoor Learning

Week commencing 16th October - Reception

  • Monday 16th - Owl Class
  • Tuesday 17th - Peacock Class
  • Wednesday 18th - Kingfisher Class
  • Thursday 16th - Woodpecker 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 - 96.1%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 93.6%

Year 1: Newt Class - 99.4%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95.3%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class & Otter Class - 98.6%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.9%

Whole School: 95.2%

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 Clubs

Premier Education Clubs are now available to book for after the half-term holiday. 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.