Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 8th MARCH 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a brilliantly busy, book-based week at Hamstel Infants this week as we celebrated our Book Week in style. The children have really loved sharing books from home with their peers and the story teller sessions and library visits were all thoroughly enjoyed. World Book Day itself was celebrated with our customary dressing up day and seeing the children proudly parading around the hall as various book characters was a great way to start the day. The children also enjoyed a book themed lunch before taking part in more book and story related activities. It was lovely to see all the different costume ideas and appreciate the amount of effort that clearly goes into making sure the children have a memorable day. The week ended with an extended share a book open house session, the perfect way to end our very busy week.

As a parent myself and veteran of many past book days, I would also like to thank ‘you’ for your support in making this happen for our children as I realise it is a time of year that often comes with additional time and costs involved.

In addition, to our Book Week celebrations, Team Hamstel also attended two different sporting events this week. On Thursday, our Panathlon team headed off to Alleyn Court school for a great afternoon of sporting events that included basketball and curling. The team were so proud to receive their huge medals! While today, our gymnastics team attended a cross school event at Thorpe Hall school with equally as much enjoyment and achievement as they took part in beam, floor and even vaulting activities.

Well done Team Hamstel!

While next week looks slightly less busy, we still have lots going on as we prepare to welcome parents and carers to our Teacher/Parents evenings on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Don’t forget that it's not too late to request an appointment, you can book using School Cloud or contact the school office. If you are unable to make either of these days but would still like a meeting or telephone call with the teachers, please contact the school office and we will arrange a suitable time.

Next week, we also have Year 1 Maths Mastery sessions for parents to attend, the book fair is in school all week and our singers will be heading off to the Infant Music Festival on Friday.

Never a dull moment at Hamstel Infants, but we wouldn’t change it for the world!

Have a great weekend, Happy Mother’s Day to all of our Hamstel mums, older sisters, nans and aunts and we look forward to seeing you on Monday morning.

Best regards,

Scott Roche


Diary Dates


  • Tuesday 12th - Teacher Parent Meetings
  • Wednesday 13th - Year 1 Mastery in Numbers for Parents
  • Teacher Parent Meetings
  • Friday 15th - Infant Music Festival
  • Red Nose Day - more details to follow
  • 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: Duck Class & Newt Class
  • Wednesday 27th - Year 1 Spring Show: Dragonfly Class & Heron Class
  • 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


This week the children have enjoyed celebrating Book Week with lots of different activities. We shared the whole school story ‘The Dream Book’, we also read ‘Princess Smarty Pants’ as part of our ‘Out of this World’ theme. We have been busy creating castles, Princess dresses and making Princess hats. The children loved the visit from the Storyteller and made their own hats.

In Maths we have been counting forwards and backwards to 10.

We have been looking at different flags and what flags can be used for.

The children looked fantastic in their book character costumes for World Book Day. A big thankyou to the grownups who provided the costumes.

How to help at home

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos with your child, encouraging them to join in with the Fred Talk.


Friday 15th March - Starfish AM session starts at 8.30, can you please ensure that your child arrives promptly this allows the children to settle before their carpet session before their carpet session which starts at 8.40.

Please return any clothes that have been borrowed from Nursery and ensure that your child has spare clothes at Nursery Thanks

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about 'The Gruffalo', the children have been looking at different features in the Gruffalo story, and have named them during story time, and group sessions. We have been dancing to The Gruffalo song and slithered like a snake, hooted like an owl, squeaked like a mouse and ran like a fox, it has been lots of fun, learning about all the different sounds and names of the animals in the story.

The children have been learning about lengths, weight and size. Rainbow enjoyed listening to the Storyteller who visited the base, the children sat with interest and focus, as they watched all the exciting items which were displayed during the story.


This week we have continued learning about 'The Gruffalo'. The children have identified the characters in the story, and we have talked about how the mouse played tricks on the other woodland animals. The children have followed instructions to make Gruffalo crumble and have weighed tins of Scrambled Snake, Owl Ice Cream and Roasted Fox, using the mathematical language ‘heavy,’ ‘light,’ ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter.’

The children really enjoyed the Storyteller visiting the base. They all sat well and joined in with the actions and repeated story language.

REMINDER: If you have borrowed some clothes from school, please can you wash them and return them to us. Thank you.

Reception Year

This week we have continued our theme ‘Out of this World’ by reading the book ‘Grumpycorn.’

In English we have been learning to write sentences about our weekly book, remembering to use our Fred fingers, form our letters correctly and remember capital letters and full stops.

In Maths we have been learning to use more and fewer to describe groups of quantities. We have learnt that the term equal means when there is the same number of items in two sets.

In Science we have enjoyed learning about minibeasts, this week we focused on identifying and naming the physical features of minibeats.

In History we have been learning to identify the features of a castle from the past and in Art we designed our clay monsters that we will be making next week.

The children have all really enjoyed Book Week and World Book Day, bringing in their favourite book, dressing up as their favourite book character and enjoying their Storyteller session.

How to help at home


Over the next few weeks, we will be learning to form the zig zag monster letters. This week we have focused on ‘z’

Outdoor Learning next week

  • Owl: Monday
  • Peacock: Tuesday
  • Kingfisher: Wednesday
  • Woodpecker: Friday

Letters sent home this week

Year One

We have had a very exciting and busy week!

We have had another trip, this time to Southchurch Library!

We got to spend time exploring some of the beautiful books. We also learned all about how the library works and what the different symbols mean on the books.

We have also had World Book Day! What fantastic costumes the children have created! This year we have read the story ‘The Dream Book’ by Bia Melo. We created our own dream world and then wrote some adjectives to describe what it looks like.

In Maths we have been continuing our work on numbers to 40 by exploring number patterns.

In Science we have been learning about evergreen and deciduous trees and we have also planted some broad beans. We are going to be watching these grow over the next few weeks.

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos with your child.

REMINDER: Please check ClassDojo so your child can practise their song for the Spring show.

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

What a lovely Book Week we have had in Year 2! The children thoroughly enjoyed coming to school on World Book Day dressed up as a book character, and there certainly was a wonderful variety! The children enjoyed their time with the Storyteller on Wednesday and have also enjoyed sharing their favourite books from home with their friends. Despite the fun activities and excitement of Book Week we have managed to sneak in some learning too!

In Literacy, we have continued to focus on our book 'Once Upon a Dragon’s Fire', but this week we used our learnt story language from last week and have written our own stories linked to the text. There has been some brilliant story writing and the children have enjoyed sharing them with others around the school.

In Maths the children have been learning more about 2d shapes. The children have learnt how to identify the sides of vertices of some of the common 2d shapes. They have also been starting to learn how to identify a line of symmetry in a 2d shape.

We have a range of weather this week, but this never stops the children getting outside and enjoying the opportunities they have for learning and developing new skills. Witling a stick has been one of the skills the children have had the opportunity to have a go at in Outdoor Learning this week and even though it can be tricky, the children should great determination in having a go.

Letters sent home this week

Celebration Assembly - Aspire

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

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


Thank you to the PTA and volunteers for organising this years' Mother's Day sale - we hope that everyone who receives one of the gifts is really please with it.

Messages from the Office

Measles - Prevention

Cases of measles are increasing nationally, the best way of avoiding catching measles is vaccination.

2 doses of the MMR vaccine is all that’s needed for the best protection. Most children have these as part of the childhood vaccination programme: the MMR vaccine is given normally at around 12 months old and then again between 3 and 4 years old.

If you can’t remember if your child has had any, 1 or 2 doses of MMR vaccine, check their personal child health record (the Red Book). If this doesn’t help, speak to your GP, they will have a record of this.

If your child is has not yet received them, no matter what age they are, you should contact your GP to get them vaccinated as soon as possible. It is never too late to catch up on missing vaccinations.

Adults can also check whether they have been vaccinated and have the vaccine too.

Teacher Parent Meetings and Book Fair

Our teacher parent meetings take place next week. If you haven't yet booked an appointment time remember that the system will close on Tuesday morning. Full details have already been sent out and you can find the email on your ParentPay account under the communications section.

We will also be holding our Book Fair next week, we will have a wonderful selection of books. Come and have a look - dates and times below on the poster.

Please remember cash or online payments only using a QR code.

School Nurse - Drop-in Sessions

Our School Nurse is next in school on the dates below, she is 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.


We have received some information about some great events happening in Southend over the next few weeks. Please click on the links for more details.

Window Wanderland is a captivating new community art project that invites Southend’s residents to be a part of transforming our city into a spectacular outdoor art gallery

There are also lots of different Easter Events on offer, so visit the VisitSouthend website for more details.

Outdoor Learning

  • Monday 11th - Owl
  • Tuesday 12th - Peacock
  • Wednesday 13th - Woodpecker
  • Thursday 14th - Kingfisher
  • Friday 15th - Nursery


  • 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 - 98.1%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 95.9%

Year 1: Newt Class - 98.43%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 94.9%

Year 2: Fox Class - 98.1%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.8%

Whole School: 95.8%

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.

Singing Club

The last Singing Club session will be held on Monday 18th March.