Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 19th april 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to the Summer Term, I hope you all had a great Easter break and that the children got to have fun despite the very mixed weather and the rare bursts of sunshine seen.

This week, our Year 1s got straight back into action as they visited The Hive Outdoor Centre for their final seasonal visit of the year. Yet again the children had a great time comparing the seasonal changes that take place outdoors across the year and well done to Newt Class in particular, who seemed to experience all-seasons weather as they had wind, rain, hail and sunshine to contend with.

A big thank you to all the Year 1 and Nursery parents that attended our phonics workshops with Mrs Bryant this week. We hope you found the sessions useful and informative. It is so important for us as a school to share how and what we teach your children, and there is another chance for parents to get involved next week with our Reading Rocks workshop for Reception parents on Friday 26th April, where you will be hearing about how we develop a love of reading in our children. Kingfisher and Owl parents should attend at 9:00am and Peacock and Woodpecker parents at 2:30pm. We hope to see you there!

We have just heard some great news and we are very proud to be re-awarded The Healthy Schools accreditation. Looking at areas across the school from playtimes to PE lessons, outdoor learning to mental health, from safety and wellbeing to our wonderful school meals, this award really recognises all the great work that goes on in our school to keep our children healthy. A big thank you to all the staff for their efforts in achieving this award but particularly Miss Golding and Mrs Bryant who had to collate and present all the evidence.

Scott Roche


Water bottles

Before the Easter holidays you will recall that we asked you to send children into school with a water bottle. Thank you to all the parents that have managed to do this already.

Please can we remind you that bottles should contain water only, (this is an expectation of our healthy schools status) as we have had a few bottles sent in containing flavoured drinks for example, Prime and AirUp.

We will also be getting a supply of plain water bottles in school similar to the first bottle shown in the picture below, so please get in touch if you would like to purchase one. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Diary Dates


  • Monday 22nd - Peacock & Woodpecker visit Southchurch Library
  • Tuesday 23rd - Owl & Kingfisher visit Southchurch Library
  • Tag Rugby Competition
  • Friday 26th - 9am Kingfisher & Owl Reading Rocks
  • 2.30pm - Woodpecker & Peacock Reading Rocks
  • Monday 29th - Tuesday 30th - Gemma's Farm visit


  • Thursday 2nd - SEND Music Event
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • Dance Festival
  • Thursday 9th - KS1 Dance Festival
  • Friday 10th - Share a Book Open Door
  • Monday 13th - Jascqson Diego Story Box Assembly
  • Tuesday 14th - Fox Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • School Nurse Drop In session
  • Wednesday 15th - Squirrel Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Thursday 16th - Hedgehog Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Quad Kids
  • Friday 17th - Otter Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Nursery Library visit
  • Monday 20th - Reception & KS1 Jacqson Diego Assembly
  • Nursery Library visit
  • Wednesday 22nd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Dragonfly & Duck Church Visit
  • Thursday 23rd - Newt & heron Church visit
  • Reception Sewing workshop
  • Friday 24th - Nursery Library visit
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Monday 3rd - Newt Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Tuesday 4th - Reception & Nursery Police visit
  • KS1 Police Assembly
  • Duck Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Wednesday 5th - Dragonfly Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Thursday 6th - Heron Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Monday 10th - Thursday 14th - Phonics Screening Week
  • Tuesday 11th - Otter & Hedgehog Beach visit
  • Wednesday 12th - Fox & Squirrel Beach visit
  • Friday 14th - INSET DAY
  • Monday 17th - Owl & Kingfisher Church visit
  • Tuesday 18th - Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Wednesday 19th - SPORTS DAY
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Thursday 20th - Friday 21st - Year 2 Mini First Aid Session
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • Friday 21st - Woodpecker & Peacock Church visit
  • Speak Out Stay Safe Assemblies
  • 3Ts Cricket
  • Tuesday 25th - Newt & Dragonfly Beach visit
  • Wednesday 26th - Heron & Duck Beach visit
  • Friday 28th - Borough Sports
  • SEND Coffee Morning


  • Monday 1st - Summer Safety Assembly by Fire Service
  • Tuesday 2nd - Woodpecker & Peacock Beach visit
  • School Nurse Drop In Session
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Thursday 4th - Year 2 Speak Out, Stay Safe Workshop
  • Mini Games
  • Friday 5th - Talking Transition/ Class Swap
  • Tuesday 9th - Water Safety Assembly
  • Wednesday 10th - Year 2 Disco
  • 9am & 2.24pm Year 1 Curriculum meeting for current Reception parents
  • Thursday 11th - 9am & 2.45pm - Year 2 Curriculum meeting for current Year 1 parents
  • Summer Fair
  • Friday 12th - Kingfisher & Owl Beach visit
  • Monday 15th - 3.30pm - 4.30pm - Open Evening
  • Nursery Teddy Bears Picnic
  • Tuesday 16th - Year 2 End of Year show (Otter & Hedgehog parents)
  • Reception Superhero Dress Up Day
  • Wednesday 17th - Year 2 End of Year show (Squirrel & Fox parents)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


It has been lovely to see the children after the Easter break. This half term our theme is ‘Around the world’. We will be learning about different animals from different parts of the world. Our story this week has been ‘My Granny went to Market’. We have talked about the countries that Granny visits and have also been talking about different countries that the children have visited.

In Maths we have been learning to count to 12 and backwards from a given number.

We have been learning about different times in a day. The children have been talking about what they do in the morning, afternoon and evening.

We have started RWI which is the phonics reading scheme that the school follows. The links below are videos of the sounds that have been taught this week in Nursery. There are also QR codes on the Nursery windows.

How to help at home:

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Video’s

REMINDER: Please do not let your child bring in toys, jewellery or Blue Tak into Nursery.

Could you please ensure that your child has a complete set of spare clothes at Nursery as we are running very low on spare clothes.

Could the AM starfish children arrive at Nursery before 8.40 as they are missing out on important learning carpet sessions Thankyou

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


Seeing all the children back after the Easter break with big smiles ready to learn was lovely. It has been a busy week and the children settled back into the daily routine with enthusiasm.

We have been learning about cold climate animals and listening to the story 'Penguin'. The children have completed pencil control, letter writing and number activities, word and number matching games and practising turn-taking skills.

They have enjoyed making arctic animals using different techniques and materials to create interesting features. We have continued with group activities and lessons, focusing and participating together.


It’s been lovely to see everyone after the Easter break. The children have settled in well.

The theme for this half term is ‘Around the World.’ We have shared the story ‘Penguin’ and the children have been learning the names of animals that live in cold climates. We have used art and crafts to make animals that live in the Artic. The children have made sentences to match pictures from the story using colourful semantics.

Reception Year

It has been lovely to see so many happy, smiley faces this week, with all the children so eager to come back to school.

This half-term our theme is ‘Around the World.’ We will be learning about hot and cold countries and the animals that live in them. This week we have been reading the book ‘Penguin’ and in science have learnt the names of animals that live in cold climate countries. In geography we started by learning the names and location of some cold climate countries and continents. In DT this term we will be designing and making a fabric fish. This week we started learning about items that are sewn together.

In maths we have been revisiting counting, focusing on counting things that cannot be seen as well as counting larger sets of objects and things that cannot be moved.

In writing we have been writing sentences about some of the animals that we learnt about in science. We learnt about simple noun phrases; using an adjective before a noun for example fierce lion. In handwriting we focused on forming our numbers correctly.

In PE we started our new unit, Ball Skills. This week we have been exploring different ways of using our hands to move with a ball.

In PSHE we have been learning about food and drink that will keep us healthy.

How to help at home


Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Videos and listen to your child read their RWI storybook and RWI Book Bag Book at least 5 times a week.


Practise writing all the number 0-9.


  • Count things that cannot be seen e.g. claps
  • Count larger sets of objects and pictures

Letters sent home this week

Year One

Welcome back! It was lovely to see the children again after what has felt like a very long break.

What a great way to start a new term with our final visit to The Hive. The children enjoyed looking for signs and features of spring as they took part in a Spring Scavenger Hunt.

In Literacy we started our new book for the week called ‘Grandma Bird’ by Benji Davies. We looked specifically at the character of Noi and discussed not only his appearance but the kind of thoughts and feelings he had at different points in the story. We used all this information to help us write a character description about him.

In Maths we have been continuing to look at ‘arrays’. We have been focussing on rows of equal groups and working out how many there are altogether. We have also been consolidating our knowledge on doubles.

We started our new topic ‘At the Seaside’. We looked at lots of different artefacts from holidays from the past and discussed what they were and how they were used. We came up with some questions about what we would like to know more about.

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos:

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

A BIG welcome back to the Year 2 children, it’s lovely to see such happy and excited children ready for learning this summer term!

We have begun our new theme ‘Africa’ and there has been lots of investigating already into where Africa is in the world and what kind of place it is. The children have been using atlases to locate the continent of Africa and know that it is one of our 7 continents.

In Literacy the children have been using the text ‘Meerkat Mail’ by Emily Gravett this week, which is all about Sonny the Meerkat who goes on a bit of adventure to lots of different places. Through using this text, the children have been exploring the concept of a postcard, understanding its features and why postcards are sent. Putting themselves in the role of the character, Sonny, the children wrote some brilliant postcards telling his family about some of his adventures.

In Maths we have continued our unit on fractions which we started just before the Easter break. The children have been learning to recognise, find and name quarters, thirds and halves. The children have been deepening their knowledge of the fraction symbol and beginning to recognise the numerator and the dominator. To help them understand this we have explained that the numerator of a fraction represents the number of equal pieces the whole is split into, and the denominator represents the number of pieces that are selected, this concept has been developed though practical and pictorial tasks. Why not explore some fractions when cutting up fruit, cake or pizza at home or even making some links between sharing quantities at home.

REMINDER: Next week is Outdoor Learning. The weather is still very temperamental at the moment, so please make sure you child has a warm, weatherproof coat.

Letters sent home this week

Celebration Assembly - Enthusiasm & Determination

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

Online Safety

Potentially addictive online games are nothing new, but the specifics of this kind of media can vary enormously – and, as a consequence, the risks in each individual game are just as diverse. The city-builder Township is no exception: providing its legions of devotees with accessible, satisfying fun … but exposing them to potential hazards at the same time.

However, any safeguarding issues that the game might have can (with a little knowhow) be neutralised – allowing young players to have some engrossing fun without adults needing to worry about children’s data, their money or their mental wellbeing. Our guide outlines how to help young gamers enjoy Township safely and responsibly.

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

PTA - Friends of Hamstel

There will be a pre-loved uniform sale next Wednesday, 24th April after school on the playgrounds behind the two schools.


A reminder that the deadline for applying for a place in our Nursery from September 2024 is Tuesday 30th April, 2024. If you would like any more information or an application pack please contact a member of the school office.


We are pleased to announce that we have a new uniform supplier Brand Identity Schoolwear. Our uniform is now live on their website and available to make purchases online or you are welcome to pop into their shop to purchase your child’s uniform. The opening times are Monday - Friday 9am-5.30pm and during the Summer months they are open on Saturdays.

Their shop is Brand Identity, Unit 2, 555 Sutton Road, Southend-on-Sea, SS2 5FB There is onsite parking available.

The website link is below.


Our other supplier for school uniform is Crawlers, 361 Hamstel Road, SS2 4LE, which also offers online ordering. Their website link is below.

Hamstel Infant School Archives - Crawlers Uniforms & EmbroideryCrawlers School Uniforms & business uniforms in Southend. - Crawlers Uniforms & Embroidery (southendschoolwear.com)

If you are looking for pre-loved uniform the Friends of Hamstel Schools PTA hold regular sales on the first Wednesday of each month or you can leave your details with the school office to be passed on to a member of the PTA.

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.

Outdoor Learning

  • Tuesday 23rd - Fox
  • Wednesday 24th - Squirrel
  • Thursday 25th - Hedgehog
  • Friday 26th - Otter


  • Tuesday - Heron & Squirrel Classes
  • Wednesday - Newt & Hedgehog Classes
  • Thursday - Dragonfly & Otter Classes
  • Friday - Duck & Fox Classes

PE Days


  • Friday


  • Thursday
  • Friday


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

Year 1

  • Monday - Duck Class
  • Tuesday - Dragonfly Class
  • Wednesday - Heron Class
  • Thursday - Newt Class

Year 2

  • Monday - Hedgehog Class
  • Tuesday - Otter Class
  • Wednesday - Fox Class
  • Thursday - Squirrel Class


Weekly Attendance Award

Reception Year: Woodpecker Class - 99.2%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 97.2%

Year 1: Newt Class - 96.9%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 94.2%

Year 2: Otter Class - 99.1%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.6%

Whole School: 92.5%

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.