Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 8th December 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

What a fantastically festive time it has been at Hamstel Infants this week.

After a successful dress rehearsal to the whole school on Tuesday, our reception children performed their nativity show to parents and family members on Wednesday and Thursday and what a great job they did.

It is very easy to forget how daunting it must be for a child who has only been in school for their first term, to not only perform in front of a big audience but also manage to remember all of the words, tunes and actions to the songs and their lines if they took on a narrator role. They all performed brilliantly and we were extremely proud of them, as all of you watching must have been as well.

A big shout out must go to all of the staff who have got the children to this standard through their hard work and effort– believe me, smoothly transitioning 120 young children off and on stage and making it look so organised is no mean feat!

And a huge thank you to everybody who came along to watch the performances. It was great to see the hall packed on both days and I know the children loved having you there to cheer them on.

On Wednesday, our athletes headed off to Barons Court to take part in the Christmas Cross Country event. They all performed well and did themselves and us proud as always!

Thursday was another busy day as Enzo the Elf came to visit in the morning, just to check that all of the children were being good and to spread some festive cheer and in the afternoon our carol singers went to sing some Christmas tunes for the residents of Centenary Place. Again another lovely community event that was enjoyed by all.

We received a lovely message back from the Residents home saying ‘Thank you so much for visiting us with your choir today. The children sang beautifully and were so well behaved, a real credit to the school!’. Well done to our singers and Miss Whiston who gives up her time each week to run our choir.

Finally, the week ended with our Christmas dinner and Christmas Jumper day. The school was awash with colour as some truly brilliant designs were on show and the children enjoyed a fabulous Christmas lunch prepared by our brilliant chef Keith and his team. A big thank you to all of the staff who helped to prepare the food and serve the children their lunch. We hope they all enjoyed it!

Next week, its another busy one as our Nursery and Year 2 children take to the stage for their Christmas Nativity and Christingle. Both sets of performances will take place on 13th and 14th December as previously advertised.

Our carol singers are busy once again, this time heading off to Boscombe Lodge to entertain the residents there before Year 1 welcome parents in on Friday 15th for their Christmas Craft sessions.

Next week, is also the last chance to buy tickets for our children’s chocolate raffle which will be drawn on Friday. Don’t miss out on winning a great prize!

We never stop at Hamstel Infants…especially when it’s Christmas!

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Best regards,

Scott Roche


Scott Roche



This week Nursery have been sharing the story ‘Wow! Its Night-Time'. We have been learning about nocturnal animals. We have also been busy practising our Nativity performance and making lots of Christmas crafts.

In Maths we have been counting forwards and backwards from a given number and counting objects from a larger group.

REMINDER: Don’t forget our Nativity performances on;

  • Wednesday 13th at 2.15pm
  • Thursday 14th at 9.15am

Please return your child's book on Friday so that it can be changed on Monday. Thank you.

Rainbow & Starlight


This week in Rainbow Room the children have been learning about Christmas. The children have made some lovely craft work using different media and materials to create lots of textures and patterns. We have been listening to Christmas stories and singing songs.

The children have continued to practise letter formations using the letter families, and fine motor skills. They have made lovely progress on their number work, counting, additions and ordering.

It was lovely to see the children wearing their Christmas jumpers, having fun, singing and dancing together.

REMINDER: All books are to be changed on Friday. Thank you


This week in Starlight we have been learning all about the Nativity Story and learning how Christians celebrate Christmas. The children have produced some lovely craft work about the Nativity using various media and practising their cutting skills, which is progressing.

In Handwriting we have continued to practise writing correctly ‘one arm robot letters’.

In Maths we have been learning to count objects to 20 and subtracting by counting backwards.

The children have been working very hard practising their Christmas song for Friday.

It was lovely to see all our children wearing the Christmas Jumpers and enjoying their Christmas lunch together.

REMINDERS: Don’t forget our Christmas gathering on Friday at 2.30pm

Reception Year

This week in Reception we have been reading the story ‘The Nativity Story’ by Juliet David. We have been sequencing the story and discussing why Christians believe in Christmas. In Handwriting we have been practising all the one-armed robot letters, remembering to start and finish in the right place. In Maths we have been learning to recognise numerals to 5 and learning to count objects, knowing that the stopping number tells us how many we have altogether.

We are so proud of the whole of Reception, they worked so hard to learn their actions and songs for their Nativity. They did brilliantly in both performances so a big well done to all the children for their hard work.

How to help at home


  • Continue to listen to your child read 5 times a week. Remember to write in their home school book.
  • Watch the QR codes with your child, encouraging them to join in.


  • Recognise numbers when you are out and about.
  • Count objects carefully.


Year One

Year 1 have had a nice week learning about 'The Nutcracker'. We have been reading lots of poems and learning to explain why we liked them. We wrote our own Nutcracker-inspired poem.

In Maths we have been learning to subtract by counting back and using number lines.

We have continued to learn how to sew a running stitch and are finishing off our finger puppets.

REMINDER: Year 1 Christmas Crafts - Friday 15th

Year Two

It continues to be busy and festive in Year 2 as we continue to work hard practising for our Year 2 Christingle next week. The children are very much looking forward to sharing their special performance with you.

Despite the festive rehearsals the children have continued to work hard in class. In Literacy the Year 2 children have enjoyed exploring the poem 'Coming Home' by Michael Morpurgo and using this as inspiration to write their own poems about a robin. The results of their poems were brilliant! The children used some fantastic vocabulary and demonstrated real flair for being poets.

In Maths the children have completed their unit on Division, consolidating and applying new skills to a variety of problems and calculations.

In Design and Technology, the children have been following their designs they created to make their own vehicles, and they look fantastic! The children will be following up with their evaluations next week.

Celebration Assembly - Working Together.

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

Online Safety

In 2019, Disney launched its own streaming platform, intending to challenge the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Giving (often exclusive) access to shows and movies – such as the legendary studio’s animated classics and the revered Star Wars back catalogue – Disney+ has been a colossal success, proving popular with viewers of all ages.

Despite Disney’s reputation for wholesome, child-friendly content, however, there’s far more material available on their platform – some of which is aimed exclusively at adults. This could easily fly under the radar, given the company’s general image. This guide has useful tips to help your family sit back, relax and enjoy what Disney+ has to offer.

Diary Dates


  • 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
  • Carol singers visiting Boulevard Lodge
  • Friday 15th - Year 1 Christmas Crafts
  • 9am - Heron & Newt Classes
  • 2.30pm - Duck & Dragonfly Classes
  • Monday 18th - Nursery & Reception Christmas movie & hot chocolate
  • Wednesday 20th - Year 1 & 2 Christmas movie & hot chocolate
  • 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

  • Wednesday 7th - Parent Council Meeting 9am
  • PTA School Uniform sale after school
  • 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

Children's Chocolate Raffle

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.

Christmas in the City

Your child will have brought a booklet home 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.

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.

Wellbeing at Garons Park Newsletter

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning will return on 8th January with Year 1.


  • Tuesday - Otter & Squirrel Classes
  • Wednesday - Duck & Newt Classes
  • Thursday - Dragonfly & Heron Classes
  • Friday - Hedgehog & 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 - 90%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 87.4%

Year 1: Duck Class - 96.7%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 93.3%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class - 97.6%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 95.3%

Whole School: 92%

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.


We have a new selection of clubs to sign up to for when we return to school after the Christmas break.

Emails have been sent with details.

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.

Art Club - Year 2

Year 2 - sign up by Friday 15th December using the button below. Full details have been emailed out.

Cookery Club - Year 1 & Year 2

Sign up by Friday 15th December using the button below. Full details have been emailed out.