Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 17th november 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another busy week with lots of work focusing on our Anti-bullying week across the school. The children started the week in style wearing a dazzling array of odd socks to highlight the fact that being different is something to celebrate.

During the week the children have been working hard in their learning about this important subject and it was topped off with a visit to each class from one of our own staff, Mrs Nanda who spoke to each class about the Hindu festival of Diwali. A big thank you to Mrs Nanda for sharing her experiences and her amazing traditional dress with the children to really bring this subject to life.

There were yet more chances for you as parents and carers to visit our school this week as we held phonics and maths workshops for Reception and Year 1 parents respectively. I hope these events demonstrate just how much we value your support and engagement around your children’s learning here at Hamstel Infants – we hope that you continue to support these events as we move into the Spring and Summer terms later in the academic year.

This week we shared our plans for the festive period and all of the amazing events we have coming up that you will be able to attend. Please make sure you read this information as we would hate for any parents/carers to miss out on these important life events.

Next week is a fairly quiet one (well as quiet as it gets at Hamstel Infants) before the Christmas fun begins but we do have the Book Fair in school, which you can find near the Children’s Centre at the front of the school next week. Each class will have their own visit to browse all of the books on offer but please try and visit with your children as well as you might just grab a Christmas bargain or two!

On Friday, our Dodgeball team will be competing at Garons Park – we wish them good luck and will share how they get on next week.

If you have a spare hour or so and are feeling a little festive tomorrow, the Southend on Sea Christmas lights will be switched on from 6:00pm on Saturday evening and culminating in the last of the fabulous free firework displays.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend, see you all on Monday.

Scott Roche



This week we have been learning about different sources of light, we have shared the story ‘The Very Lonely Firefly’ which has lots of sources of light.

In Maths we have been learning about whole objects and being able to identify an object when we only see one part of it.

In Outdoor Learning we enjoyed looking for signs of Autumn and sat around an open fire in the Hobbit Hut to have our snack.

REMINDER: Please do not send your child in with toys from home as they may get lost or broken Thankyou. Please ensure that your child has spare clothes at Nursery.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you have not yet returned your funding form for your child please ensure this is returned, filled in and signed on both sides by Monday 20th, thank you.

Letters home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


It has been another week of intense learning of shapes, colours and differences. The children have been experimenting with colours, mixing and pasting. They have used different shapes to create interesting bigger shapes and pictures and they have all played matching, labelling games. The children have also experimented with playdough and different edible items, making lots of different shapes in different sizes.

The children continued to practice fine motor skills, pencil control, sequencing and lots more. We have been listening to stories about different things around us, and how we are all different and the children have made some lovely faces using lots of different materials.

REMINDER: Seesaw passwords have been sent home please do not share them. Thank you.


This week the children have enjoyed their 'What’s in the Bucket' sessions. They have been learning through sessions how to anticipate, increase their concentration, participation and taking turns. They are beginning to understand that they may not always have a turn and find this tricky. We are teaching the children some strategies, to deal with disappointment.

We have also been experimenting with mixing paints to make different shades and tints.

Reception Year

This week we have been reading the book ‘The Best Diwali Ever’ and learning about light and the Diwali festival. We have been learning about why Hindu’s celebrate Diwali and how they celebrate. In Outdoor Learning we have been learning how to keep ourselves safe around fire and had lots of fun melting marshmallows in the Hobbit Hut and then eating them! In Science we have been learning about light, different sources of light and how to change light.

In Maths we have been learning about how the numbers 1, 2 and 3 can be made using smaller numbers. We have been looking at how adding smaller numbers together, can make a larger number.

In English we have been learning to use our Fred Fingers to write words. We have been learning to use a sound mat to remind us how to write each letter.

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

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 b and n – start with air writing and then have a go on paper.


Use objects to make the numbers 1, 2 and 3. Can you remember which number to add to 2 to make 3? Which two numbers will add together to make 2?

Letter home this week

Year One

Year 1 have had so much fun learning about their teddies. We have been writing factual sentences about different toys and have been making our sentences longer using the word and.

In Maths we have been learning to order and compare number to 20.

We have started learning about the history of toys in our history lessons.

REMINDER: We have Outdoor Learning next week. Please wrap up warm.

  • Monday: Newt
  • Tuesday: Duck
  • Wednesday: Dragonfly
  • Thursday: Heron

Letters home this week

Year Two

In Year 2 this week we have been immersing ourselves in the life of Queen Victoria. We started with using our enquiry skills by asking questions about Queen Victoria using some photos from different stages of her life. We thought about the different question openers you can use such as Why, How, When, Where. The children came up with some great ideas which then led them into carrying out some research about some of the important events in Queen Victoria’s Life. The children discovered that she was married to Prince Albert who came over from Germany and so much more! Using all the interesting information, the children wrote some brilliant factual sentences using the conjunctions ‘because’ and ‘when’ to explain the facts with more detail. The children also learnt how to create a timeline to show some of the key events in chronological order of Queen Victoria’s life.

In Maths the year 2 classes have continued with their unit on multiplication thinking about the 2x, 5x and 10x table. The children have been learning about the patterns in the times tables and how they can be represented in an array, both practically and pictorially. They have then been learning ways of demonstrating written methods using the symbol to represent multiplication.

The Year 2 children have also been very lucky this week to have Mrs Nanda, one of our TA’s come into our classes and tell us all about the festival of Diwali. Mrs Nanda dressed up in a traditional outfit and shared lots of information about this special event.

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 final date is:

  • Monday 20th November at 9.15am

Letters home this week

Celebration Assembly - Aspire.

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

Online Safety

As well as our weekly online safety guides, I would like to remind you of the recent letter about Online Safety for Parents. In the letter we outlined the process for signing up (for free) to the National Online Safety services. You can do so by following the link in the letter and select ‘Parent/Carer’ as your user type in order to get instant access to a wealth of support guides, videos and resources. This only takes a few moments to do and will help us all to keep your children safe online.

The online safety guide this week focuses on Smart TVs which have become more affordable in recent years. They are now found in many homes and these advanced systems offer numerous features beyond those of a normal television set. They have the ability to access the internet and interface with popular streaming services without the need for an additional set-top box or other device.

This increased functionality, however, also brings additional threats to privacy, security and more – as you’d expect from any device capable of going online. As televisions are such a cornerstone of our home lives, these dangers can be uniquely difficult to manage. This week's guide breaks down the major risks, with tips on helping children to enjoy TV … stress free!

Diary Dates


  • Tuesday 21st - Thursday 23rd - Book Fair open 3.15-3.45pm - come visit us in the Children's Centre foyer.
  • Friday 24th - Dodgeball Competition
  • Monday 27th - Friday 1st - Reception walk to the postbox
  • CHANGE TO DATE/TIME: Wednesday 29th - Whole School Christmas Fair 2.30-4.30pm in the Infant Hall.


  • 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

  • Friday 16th - INSET Day
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - HALF TERM

Dinner menu

Week 1

Monday - Ham & Pineapple Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Jacket Wedges - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Sweetcorn -Chocolate Rice Krispie Cake

Tuesday - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Peas - Carrot Cake

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - Macaroni & Cheese - Jacket Potato with Salmon Mayonnaise - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens - Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday - Chicken Fajita Wrap - Vegetable & Bean Burrito - Pasta with Roasted Tomato & Basil Sauce - Tuna Mayo Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Steamed Carrots - Maryland Cookie

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Vegetable & Bean Chimichangas - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Ham Sandwich Egg Mayo Baguette - Chips & Baked Beans - Chocolate Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread: Pesto Bread or Wholemeal Bread

Messages from the Office

Christmas in the City

Your child will have brought a booklet home this week 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.

The Big Switch On - Saturday 18 November 2023 9am to 7:30pm (Christmas Light Switch on 6pm!) Join in the festive fun at the Christmas Light Switch On in Southend. We have a full day of entertainment across the High Street that the whole family will love!

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 20th November - Year 1

  • Monday 20th - Newt Class
  • Tuesday 21st - DuckClass
  • Wednesday 22nd - Dragonfly Class
  • Thursday 23rd - Heron Class
  • Friday 24th - Rainbow & Starlight


  • 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: Owl Class - 98.2%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 94.7%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 99%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 95%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class - 99.3%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 93.6%

Whole School: 94.4%

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.