Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 22nd MARCH 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Another busy week at Hamstel infants!

Yesterday, the whole school were treated to a brilliant dress rehearsal performance by our Year 1 children. Every single one of the children performed so well and they are really excited to show their parents and carers next week. Year 1 grown-ups are in for a real treat and we are sure you will love it!

Today we held our Science Day, with each class attending a special science assembly delivered by our visiting scientists. Each assembly was highly engaging and the children really enjoyed seeing science come to life before their eyes.

This week we also had some very useful feedback about school life from our Parent Council. These comments and ideas are so important to us so that we can understand and consider parental feelings in all we do. The minutes of the meeting will be shared shortly.

Just a few polite reminders…

If you are picking a child up early for an appointment or are late collecting from school, you need to come to the main office and your child will be bought to you. Please do not try to collect from the classroom door unless it is normal drop off and collection times.

Also, around the same subject, while waiting to either drop off or collect your children, please ensure that younger children are supervised and that they do not play on or with the resources that have been set up for the day.

Both Mrs Farrell in the Junior school, and I would like to respectfully remind all parents and carers that the car park at the side of the school is for Staff and Visitors ONLY. This is not a safe place for dropping children off or picking up children as access to the school can only be obtained by walking along the entry road and back to the main entrances. There are no pupil or parent entrances at the back of the school. We will be arranging for a member of staff to monitor the gate who will politely ask you to find an alternative parking place unless an arrangement has been made with the school for extenuating circumstances.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding in all the above.

Next week is another very busy week as we come to the end of the spring term. The children have lots to look forward to including Easter crafts, Bunny Hop disco and even a royal banquet thrown in!

We hope that the children have all thoroughly enjoyed what has been a very short, but very busy half term! Have a great weekend and we look forward to finishing the spring term in style.

Best regards,

Scott Roche


Diary Dates


  • 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 15th - Thursday 18th - Year 1 Outdoor Learning at The Hive
  • Wednesday 17th - 9am & 2.45pm - Year 1 Phonics Screening Check workshop
  • Thursday 18th - 8.40am & 2.30pm - Nursery Phonics Meeting
  • Monday 22nd - Peacock & Woodpecker visit Southchurch Library
  • Tuesday 23rd - Owl & Kingfisher visit Southchurch Library
  • Friday 26th - 9am Kingfisher & Owl Reading Rocks
  • 2.30pm - Woodpecker & Peacock Reading Rocks
  • Monday 29th - Tuesday 30th - Gemma's Farm visit


  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • Friday 10th - Share a Book Open Door
  • Monday 13th - Jascqson Diego Story Box Assembly
  • Tuesday 14th - Fox Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Wednesday 15th - Squirrel Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • Thursday 16th - Hedgehog Class - Come and Join Outdoor Learning
  • 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
  • Wednesday 19th - SPORTS DAY
  • Thursday 20th - Friday 21st - Year 2 Mini First Aid Session
  • Friday 21st - Woodpecker & Peacock Church visit
  • Tuesday 25th - Newt & Dragonfly Beach visit
  • Wednesday 26th - Heron & Duck Beach visit


  • Tuesday 2nd - Woodpecker & Peacock Beach visit
  • Wednesday 3rd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Thursday 4th - Year 2 Speak Out, Stay Safe Workshop
  • 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
  • Friday 12th - Woodpecker & Peacock Beach visit
  • Reception Superhero Dress Up Day
  • Monday 15th - 3.30pm - 4.30pm - Open Evening
  • Nursery Teddy Bears Picnic
  • Tuesday 16th - Year 2 End of Year show (Otter & Hedgehog parents)
  • Wednesday 17th - Year 2 End of Year show (Squirrel & Fox parents)
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY


This week we have been reading ‘The Gruffalo’ the children enjoyed retelling the story using a story map. We have also had fun creating Gruffalo Collages and making Gruffalo hats.

We have been practising our handwriting patterns.

In Maths we have been learning about 2D shapes and their properties.

We have been learning about the different parts of a plant and have also enjoyed looking at daffodils and painting pictures of them.

How to help at home

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Video’s

REMINDER: Please ensure that your child has a complete change of clothes at Nursery, especially now that the weather is getting warmer and we will start having more water play. Thanks

Please return any borrowed clothes as our stocks are getting extremely low.

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have been learning about the story Stomping Monsters Romping Monsters, this is a lovely book about different monsters and what they get up to, it has lots of words that the children found interesting, the book covered other aspects such as using kind hands and being caring. The children made some lovely monsters using different media to create different textures. They looked at number ordering and recognition, stabilising and repositions, continued pencil control and writing, we used different media to decorate letters and numbers. The children enjoyed engaging with interactive learning games as a group, taking turns and respecting their peers, being patient, and understanding. The children have tried really hard to complete their individual activities with or without support and have all done well. Friday the children had outdoor learning which was lots of fun. It has been an amazing week!

REMINDER: Just a reminder that we will be starting water play soon, and therefore would like a change of clothing for all children with their names.


This week we have continued with The Gruffalo story. The children have used symbols to make some amazing sentences to match parts of the story, thinking carefully about the colour of the characters. We introduced diary writing this week, where the children looked at photos of themselves doing an activity – they were very interested in looking at themselves!

We have moved to music to mimic the way the animals moved in The Grufffalo story.

We finished the week with some Outdoor Learning, which the children seemed to enjoy.

Reception Year

This week we have been learning all about monsters and reading the book ‘Monstersaurus.’ . In Art we have been painting our clay monsters that we created last week. In History we compared how castles have changed over time. In PE, we continued our Dinosaur Dance unit by exploring contrasting movements. In Science we have been learning about plants, this week we have learnt the names of the different parts of a plant. In RE we have started to learn about the Christian Easter Story. In English this week we have been writing sentences about monsters, remembering to start each sentence with a capital letter and end the sentence with a full stop. In Maths we have been learning about doubles. We have been learning to identify doubles, use our fingers to show doubles, say the parts that make the double and say the total amount of the double.

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.


Continue to practise all the zig zag monster letters, remember to start and finish in the correct place.


  • Show doubles on your fingers.
  • Show doubles with your toys.
  • Can you say how many in each part?
  • Do you know the total of the two parts?

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week we started a new story called ‘The Extraordinary Gardener’. We discussed what a setting was and used our knowledge of nouns and adjectives to write a setting description from one of the pictures from the book.

In Maths we have been continuing to develop our knowledge of addition and subtraction in the form of word problems. We have been spotting different vocabulary to help us know if the problem is add or subtract.

We have spent a lot of our afternoons rehearsing for our show, and on Thursday we had a dress rehearsal to the rest of the school. We are really looking forward to performing to our adults next week!

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos:

REMINDER: Year 1 Spring show next week

  • Tuesday – Duck and Newt
  • Wednesday – Dragonfly and Heron

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

The Year 2 children have really enjoyed designing their own pet dragon and then writing an explanation about them. The children thought about what their dragon would like, what features it might have, where it might live and what it might like to eat and drink. They drew their designs and thought about the vocabulary to describe it. Once they had finished planning, they wrote their explanations and descriptions. As usual the children came up with some great ideas and used some fabulous vocabulary to describe them.

In Maths this week the children have been busy learning about 3d shapes. We have look at the features of some of the common 3d shapes such as cube, cylinder, cone and sphere. In our lessons we have been using mathematical language to describe the properties e.g. vertices, faces. During the lessons the children have been encouraged to use full sentences to describe the shapes and explain how they know it is the shape it is.

In RE we have continued to listen to stories from the Bible that Christians believe Jesus told and discuss the meaning behind the parable, The Prodigal Son. The children also thoroughly enjoyed finishing the week with a special Science assembly from Einstein's Entertainer’s.

Letters sent home this week

Congratulations to the Girls Football team for playing their first game. Well Done Girls.

Online Safety

Cultural and technological changes have made the experiences of today’s children vastly different to our own childhoods; it can be challenging to engage youngsters in open, honest conversation – especially about more sensitive topics. This, combined with many children’s instinct to avoid “rocking the boat”, can make it difficult to stay up to date with the goings on in their lives.

However, it’s hugely important that trusted adults still offer an empathetic ear and feel able to encourage young people to open up about their day-to-day activities. This guide provides ten top tips for promoting open conversations with children – helping to make sure there’s someone they know they can turn to in times of need.

Dinner menu

Week 1

Monday - Beef Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Vegan Bolognaise with Spaghetti - Baked Jackets with Grated Cheese - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Cheese Salad Wrap - Pea & Broccoli - Maryland Cookie

Tuesday - Ham & Cheese Pizza with Bakes Wedges - Margherita Pizza with Baked Wedges - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Ham Sandwich - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Sweetcorn - Apple Crumble with Custard

Wednesday - Roast Chicken with roast Potatoes & Gravy - Squash & Lentil Lasagna- Baked Jackets with Baked Beans - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguettes - Cheese Sandwich - Seasonal Greens & Cauliflower - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Chilli Con Carne with Steamed Rice - Vegan Bean Chilli with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Tuna Mayo Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Broccoli & Carrots - Chocolate & Pear Sponge

Freshly Baked Bread - Carrot & Beetroot or Wholemeal Bread.

Messages from the Office

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 link for more details.

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

Outdoor Learning

  • Monday 25th - Otter
  • Tuesday 26th - Fox
  • Wednesday 27th - Squirrel
  • Thursday 28th - Hedgehog


  • Tuesday - Heron & Squirrel Classes
  • Wednesday - Newt & Hedgehog Classes
  • Thursday - Dragonfly & Otter Classes
  • INSET Day

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 - 93%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 91.1%

Year 1: Newt Class - 97.8%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 91.9%

Year 2: Hedgehog Class - 95.7%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 94.5%

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.

Singing Club

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