Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 10th november 2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week our Year 1s and Year 2s went out and about again proving beyond doubt that not all learning needs to be in the classroom. Dragonfly class visited The Hive outdoor learning hub on Monday to complete our round of Year 1 visits to this great venue. While Year 2 classes visited the library for some quality reading time and the chance to look at a brilliant range of books across a wide range of topics. Thank you to the parents and carers that helped support these visits, we literally could not do them without you!

Thank you to those parents and carers that attended our ‘Reading Rocks’ workshops on Wednesday. We hope you enjoyed the sessions and got to experience for yourselves just how seriously we take a love of reading at Hamstel Infants. A big thank you to Mrs Tracy for setting up this event.

On Wednesday evening all of our teachers headed off to Porters Grange school for our termly Portico Subject Leader meetings. These are a great opportunity for our subject leaders to share ideas about their allocated subjects and develop collaborative ideas across the Trust. This is just one of the ways in which being part of Portico really benefits our school as not only can we use ideas from other schools to make the learning experiences that we give our children even better, but we also have the chance to share all of the great work that goes on in Hamstel Infants.

This week has also been a week of remembrance across the school. The children have been learning about this important event and why we commemorate it across our country. They have also produced some amazing poppy art work that will adorn our walls and brighten our corridors from next week. This reflective week finished with our annual Remembrance Service outside, where we thought about Hamstel’s history during the war, why we have poppies and why we hear the last post played for remembrance. After an impeccable minutes silence, our service ended with a march past by members of Westcliff High School cadets.

The children were absolutely amazing and stood silently and respectfully throughout and a special mention to our school councillors, Lyla and Paige who laid our poppy wreath. A fitting tribute to honour those who have given their lives for our country.

Next week we have another busy week ahead as its our Anti-Bullying week!

The week gets off with a bang on Monday as its Odd Socks Day, where children can wear any combination of weird and wonderful socks that they wish. There is of course, a very valid point to wearing odd socks and that is to highlight that its ok to be different and that being different is actually great!

Next week there is also the chance for our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 parents/carers to come into school again. We have Reception phonics workshops on Tuesday 14th, Year 1 Maths workshops on Wednesday 15th and Nursery Share a Book sessions on Thursday 16th. All of our parent events have been brilliantly attended this year so far and of course, your support at these events is so important to us. Thank you.

Finally, our anti-bullying week comes to a close on Friday with our dress down day for Children in Need. For a small donation, children can wear spots, Pudsey merchandise, their onesie or whatever they choose to help celebrate this special day.

I hope you have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you again on Monday for another week at Hamstel Infants!

Scott Roche



We have had a very creative week in Nursery this week. We have been learning about Bonfire Night and Diwali. The children enjoyed listening to the story ‘Little Glow’. We have been learning about the artist Jackson Pollock and enjoyed creating some of his artwork by flicking and drizzling paint onto paper. We have also been learning about the Hindu Festival of Diwali as well as Remembrance Day.

In Maths we have been learning to subitise which is knowing an amount without counting each object.

We listened to Handel’s Royal Firework Music, moving and mark making in response to the music.

REMINDER: Can you ensure that your child has spare clothes at Nursery as our stocks of spare clothes are now very low, Thank you

Outdoor Learning is on Friday

Please ensure that your child has wellies and shoes to change into as it is very muddy in the Wildlife area.

Share a book on Thursday 16th November

  • Starfish AM at 11.00am
  • Starfish PM at 12.00pm
  • Seahorse at 2.30pm

Don't forget to wear Odd Socks Monday - Normal uniform, odd socks!

Letters home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


It has been a busy week in Rainbow Room, we have continued to learn about different shapes and sizes, colours and differences. The children have been looking at things that are different, how we are all different, and how things look and feel different. They have made pictures using lots of different materials and media to create lovely work.

We have continued listening and learning basic Makaton. The children have also been learning about accepting and tolerating others around them. Playing and sharing in the same environment. The children are using the 'letter families' to learn and write their alphabet, to create and form CVC/CCVC words. We are using visuals and Makaton to improve and support communication and language.

Please let me know if anyone would like copies of the following: 'letter families', 'now and next', 'I want comm. Board'.


In Starlight Room this week we have been very creative using a variety of different media to produce ‘Poppy Pictures’. We have been talking and learning about the differences between night and day and have used the book, ‘Goodnight Moon’.

We have also been learning about feelings using the book , ’How Do You Feel’ to identify when we feel the same and what causes us to feel that way and what we can do about it.

Don't forget to wear Odd Socks Monday - Normal uniform, odd socks!

Reception Year

This week we have learnt about day and night. We have been reading the book ‘Goodnight Moon,’ to find out about the changes between day and night. We have also been learning about Remembrance day, making poppies and joining in with the school Remembrance Service.

In Maths we have been comparing the numbers 1, 2 and 3. We have been finding one more and one less than these numbers and using the language of more and fewer to compare these amounts. We have also been ordering key events that happen in our day and using time vocabulary to talk about when these events happen. In Handwriting we have been learning to write the one armed robot letter r (down the robot and other his arm).

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.


Practise writing r – start with air writing and then have a go on paper.


Use objects and number lines to find one more and one less than the numbers 1,2 and 3. Can you child tell you one more and one less without using resources to help them?

Don't forget to wear Odd Socks Monday - Normal uniform, odd socks!

Letter home this week

Year One

Year 1 have continued to learn about different materials and their properties during Science lessons this week. Can they identify what different objects around the home are made from?

In Literacy we have been reading the story 'Where’s my Teddy' and writing a short recount of the story.

In Maths we are beginning to look at numbers to 20. Can your child count to 20 and tell you one more or less of different numbers.

REMINDER: Next week we would like all children to bring in a small teddy. Please make sure the teddy is not a special teddy as it will stay in school all week. Please ask your class teacher if you are unsure what to bring.

Don't forget to wear Odd Socks Monday - Normal uniform, odd socks!

Letters home this week

Year Two

Wow! What a fantastic and busy week the Year 2 children have had. The children have thoroughly enjoyed their visits to Southchurch Library where they explored how the library works, read some books and enjoyed listening to a story. I know their behaviour was outstanding and the librarians commented on how well the children behaved, so well-done Year 2!

Our Reading Rocks Day on Wednesday was also a big success and the children loved welcoming adults from home into the hall to share books and complete some bookish activities. We hope the adults also found the information shared about the Year 2 Reading Curriculum useful too.

In Literacy this week the children have had great fun designing inventions for a new pair of knickers for Queen Victoria! This has all been inspired by the fabulous book 'Queen Victoria’s Knickers' by Jackie French. The children finished the week by writing a letter to Queen Victoria trying to persuade her to have a pair of their design.

In Maths the children have started a unit on multiplication. They have started the process of understanding what grouping means and how it is linked to solving simple multiplication calculations. The children have explored this concept practically and have started to represent their working out through pictures and written number sentences. We will continue with this unit into next week and will be starting to focus on the 2x, 10x and then the 5x times tables.

The children have also been thinking about Remembrance Day and what the poppy symbolises. The children have also created their own poppy art, which has been displayed in school.

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 dates are:

  • Thursday 16th November at 4.30m
  • Monday 20th November at 9.15am

Don't forget to wear Odd Socks Monday - Normal uniform, odd socks!

Letters home this week

Celebration Assembly - Caring.

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

Online Safety

Many apps and digital games may at first appear to be free and fun but employ microtransactions that can quickly amount up and cost a small fortune! It’s a system which has featured in many of younger gamers’ perennial favourite franchises, from Fortnite to FIFA. As well as encouraging regular spending, microtransactions – especially the increasingly common use of loot boxes – have also been scrutinised for what many argue is a resemblance to gambling, with the potential to foster addictive behaviours. This guide tells you what you need to know about microtransactions.

Diary Dates


  • Monday 13th - Odd Sock Day
  • Jacqson Diego Assembly
  • Tuesday 14th - Phonics workshop -
  • 9am - Woodpecker & Peacock
  • 2.30pm - Kingfisher & Owl
  • Wednesday 15th - Year 1 Maths workshop
  • Friday 17th - Children in Need - Non Uniform
  • Friday 24th - Dodgeball Competition
  • Monday 27th - Friday 1st - Reception walk to the postbox
  • Wednesday 29th - KS1 Christmas Fair
  • Thursday 30th - EYFS Christmas Fair


  • 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
  • Friday 8th - Christmas Jumper Day & Christmas Lunch
  • Wednesday 13th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am & 2.15pm
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • Thursday 14th - Nursery Christmas Production 9am
  • Year 2 Christingle
  • 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 3

Monday - Cumberland Sausages with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Vegan Sausages with Mashed Potato & Gravy - Pasta with Cheese Sauce - Ham Salad Wrap - Cheese & Tomato Bloomer - Peas - Apple & Carrot Flapjack

Tuesday - Beef Chilli with Steamed Rice - Vegetable Chilli with Steamed Rice - Jacket Potato with Cheese - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Steamed Carrots - Chocolate & Beetroot Brownie

Wednesday - Sticky Glazed Chicken - Margherita Pizza - Pasta with Tomato & Basil Sauce - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Spicy Potato Wedges & Coleslaw - Cherry Cornflake Cake

Thursday - Creamy Pesto Chicken with Fusilli Pasta - Vegetable Pasta Bake - Jacket Potato with Baked Beans - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Pan Fried Leeks - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers - Vegetable & Bean Stuffed Pitta Pocket - Pasta with Tomato & Lentil Sauce - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Chips & Baked Beans - Chocolate Brownie

Freshly Baked Bread: Garlic & Rosemary Bread or Wholemeal Bread

Messages from the Office

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 13th November - Reception & Nursery

  • Monday 13th - Owl Class
  • Tuesday 14th - Peacock Class
  • Wednesday 15th - Woodpecker Class
  • Thursday 16th - Kingfisher Class
  • Friday 17th - 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: Owl & Woodpecker Classes - 92.6%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 92.3%

Year 1: Dragonfly Class - 98.7%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 96.1%

Year 2: Otter Class - 98.7%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 96.6%

Whole School: 95.9%

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.