Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 26th april 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been a very busy week for our Reception children as each class headed out to Southchurch library for an interesting visit and the chance to experience a wide range of books. Our children as always, enjoyed the visits, were brilliantly behaved and were a credit to our school.

I would also like to give a shoutout to all the parents, carers and family members that have helped with any of our visits this year…we genuinely couldn’t give our children these opportunities without you, so a big thank you from us all!

The Reception parents got to come into school this week as they attended their first Reading Rocks workshop with Mrs Tracy, learning how to instil a love of reading. This is something that is very important to us as a school and Mrs Tracy was over the moon with such a great turnout- thank you so much to everybody who came along to support this event.

In sports, our Tag rugby team did brilliantly to come second in a local inter-schools tournament on Wednesday …you can read Mr Sayer’s write up on our website for full details, well done Team Hamstel.

Next week we have Gemma’s farm visiting us for two whole days on Monday and Tuesday. We hope this will be an amazing chance for the children to get up close to a variety of familiar farmyard friends. Both children and staff are very excited for what we hope will be a great event!

We are also close to finalising our plans for this year’s sports day on Wednesday 19th June. A letter should be winging its way to you next week with all the details.

Just a couple of quick reminders…

All our after-school clubs finish at 4:15pm except for singing that finishes at 4:00pm, and athletics that will run until 4:30pm. Please try and be on time to collect your children from these after school activities. This obviously does not include our wrap around care that currently runs until 5:45pm.

Due to growing numbers, if you require Breakfast Club, please ensure this is booked in advance using your ParentPay account. We appreciate that in a genuine emergency this may not be possible but for every other booking numbers must be known before 7am, so that we can plan any additional staffing that may be needed on busier days.

Finally, please remember that the upcoming Monday 6th May is a bank holiday so we won’t be in school on this day.

I hope you have a great weekend – lets hope for some more sunshine!

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 29th - Tuesday 30th - Gemma's Farm visit


  • Thursday 2nd - SEND Music Event
  • Monday 6th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • 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 event
  • 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


This week we have been reading ‘Hairy Mclary’ and learning about different types of pets. The children have enjoyed talking about their own pets.

We have also been thinking about rhyming words and spotting the rhyming word in the story.

On Tuesday the children enjoyed celebrating St George’s Day, we made flags with the cross of St George on, shields and some children made St George and dragon stick puppets. The children enjoyed decorating biscuits.

In Maths we have been learning about length, the children enjoyed using cubes to measure different objects.

We have also been learning about healthy foods

How to help at home:

Watch the RWI Virtual Classroom Video’s

Fred’s Adventures – party

REMINDER: Please be aware that we have had cases of headlice in Nursery so could you please check your child’s hair regularly and treat if needed.

Outdoor Learning - Is on Friday 3rd May please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. We have Gemma’s Farm on Tuesday.

Spare clothes - Could you please ensure that your child has a set of spare clothes at Nursery as we are running low on spare nursery clothes. Thank you

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week the children have continued to learn about cold climates and arctic animals. We have been looking at different textures and sounds, using a range of media and materials, music instruments and animal sounds. The children have continued with pencil control, number work, basic additions and prepositions, sizes, lengths etc. The children enjoyed Outdoor Learning on Friday, touching and listening to all the different sounds and textures, they collected some leaves to make a lion's mane. To finish off our outdoor learning experience we had a picnic which the children really enjoyed. (Photos are on ClassDojo).

The children have continued with group activities working together and sharing items. They have completed counting, matching and size activities. We have been learning to share our toys, turn taking and understanding personal space. The children have also been learning about emotions and feelings, learning to understand the different emotions that others may feel.

This week's pencil control: One armed robot letter formation

REMINDER: Gemma's Farm - Tuesday 1.30pm


This week we have continued learning about cold climates. Some children have made their own books about penguins, polar bears and artic hares. The children have used different skills to make penguins, such as reading instructions (supported by Widgit), scissor skills and gluing.

We have continued practising counting to 20, by learning the numbers in order, counting sets of objects and recording the number of objects in the sets.

At the beginning of the week, we made a diary entry based around Outdoor Learning from last week, using colourful semantics to structure our sentences.

Yesterday, the children worked together to rescue cold climate animals from ice.

The children have enjoyed chasing and popping bubbles at playtimes.

How to help at home



  • Practise counting sets of objects, counting one item at a time.

REMINDER: Gemma’s Farm – Tuesday.

Please can you return any borrowed clothing to Starlight, as we are running short of spare clothes.

Reception Year

This week we have been reading 'Billy’s Bucket' and learning about sea creatures. In English we have continued to learn about adjectives to describe animals and practised orally using noun phrases to describe sea creatures e.g. dangerous shark.

In PSHE we learnt how to keep ourselves clean for example washing our hands, having a bath or a shower. In PE we continued our learning about ball skills by exploring different ways of using our hand to move a ball. In Handwriting we revisited the curly caterpillar and zig-zag monster letters. In Maths we subitised different arrangements of 6, made and describe different arrangements of 6 and revisiting doubles. In DT we learnt how to thread a needle.

In Science we learnt about the physical features of animals that live in cold climates and in Geography we learnt about the physical features of cold climate countries. In RE we talked about how to take care of animals and the different ways we can do this.

How to help at home



  • Practise subitising 6
  • Make different arrangements of 6 and try to describe them
  • Make doubles on your fingers

Outdoor Learning - Due to Gemma’s Farm on Monday and Tuesday next week. There will some changes to the days the children have Outdoor Learning, please see below:

  • Wednesday: Woodpecker and Owl Classes
  • Thursday: Peacock and Kingfisher Classes

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week in Literacy we have been continuing with the story ‘Grandma Bird’. We have been looking at the features of a postcard and how to use an exclamation mark. During our big write we wrote a postcard from the perspective of Noi (the main character) as he went on a little holiday to Grandma’s.

In Maths we have been learning to divide and share into equal groups. We have worked practically to share objects out fairly. We used our STEM sentences to discuss how many objects altogether, how many groups and how many in each group.

In our History topic we have been looking at seaside holidays in the past. We have learned about bathing machines, beach huts, steam trains and Punch and Judy shows. We have been comparing what holidays were like before to holidays now.

How to help at home

Continue to watch the RWI Virtual Classroom videos:

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

This week in Year 2 we have been researching and finding out all sorts of interesting facts about Meerkats after enjoying our text from last week, 'Meerkat Mail' by Emily Geervat. The children have become real experts in knowing all sorts of interesting facts, about their habitat and what they like to eat. We are sure if you ask them, they will be able share something they have found out with you! Using all this new knowledge the children have written some very informative non-chronological reports to share this information with others. The reports are worth are a read when you next pop into class!

We continue to grow as budding Mathematicians this week as we review and consolidate our skills in number bonds to 20. We have also been reviewing and consolidating our knowledge and skills in calculating, developing our methods further when adding and subtracting. Using our understanding of calculating number we have applied this to solving a range of mathematical problems. The children have really risen to their mathematical challenges this week and worked so hard to achieve some brilliant Maths outcomes.

We have continued to learn more about Kenya and the continent of Africa. We have looked at a variety of photographs to discuss, explore and compare the landscapes. Some of these landscapes look very different to ours, The Savannah showed vast, dry grassy land where some of the wild animals leave whilst others showed rocky mountains with valleys. We learnt some new vocabulary to describe these landscapes such as Savannah, valley and vast.

Letters sent home this week

Online Safety

Long gone are the days where eBay and Amazon were the only means of buying quality items online. The rise of user-friendly, accessible shopping apps has meant that getting clothes, gadgets and other goodies delivered direct to your door can be accomplished with a few touches of your phone’s screen while you’re on the go.

These apps aren’t without their issues, however, and users still run the risk of scams, data breaches and other online safety concerns. Being aware of these dangers will go a long way to keeping your money and information safe, so you can still enjoy what these shopping apps have to offer. Our guide has some top tips to help protect young people on these purchasing platforms.

Dinner menu

Week 3

Monday - Chicken & Sweetcorn Meatballs with Tomato Sauce & Penne - Vegan Roasted Ratatouille with Penne - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Wrap - Cheese and Tomato Bloomer - Carrots & Broccoli - Orange Shortbread Biscuit

Tuesday - Fajita Spiced Turkey & Vegetables with Steamed Rice - Vegan Burrito - Pasta & Tomato sauce - Tuna Sweetcorn Baguette - Cheese Sandwich - Sweetcorn & Coleslaw - Carrot cake

Wednesday - Herby Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes & Gravy - 3 Vegetable Mac n’ Cheese - Baked Jacket with Baked Beans - Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich - Cheese Salad Wrap - Seasonal Greens & Broccoli - Chocolate Brownie

Thursday - Traditional Beef Lasagna- Vegan Chickpea & Spinach Korma with Steamed Rice - Pasta & Tomato Sauce - Chicken Mayonnaise Baguette - Ham Sandwich - Cauliflower & Carrots - Vanilla Ice Cream

Friday - Breaded Fish Fingers with Chips & Ketchup - Vegan Bubble & Squeak with Chips & Ketchup - Baked Jacket with Grated Cheese - Ham Salad Bloomer - Cheese Sandwich - Peas & Baked Beans - Apple Cake

Freshly Baked Bread - Courgette & Tomato or Wholemeal Bread.

Messages from the Office


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

  • Wednesday 1st - Woodpecker and Owl
  • Thursday 2nd - Peacock and Kingfisher
  • Friday 3rd - Nursery


  • 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 - 98.7%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 92.9%

Year 1: Newt Class - 94.2%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 92.9%

Year 2: Otter Class - 94.5%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 93.9%

Whole School: 93.2%

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.