Hamstel Infant School & Nursery Weekly News week ending 16th february 2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

It seems hard to believe that we are already at the half-way point of this academic year but I must say that my first 6 months at Hamstel Infants have been an absolute pleasure and it’s been great getting to know everyone in our school community.

Since September, the children have been a credit to themselves and to you and this last half term has been no different, with all children making progress in their own way and producing some great work.

This week it was a delight to welcome our reception family members to an afternoon tea party, complete with cucumber sticks, sandwiches and cakes. We hope you really enjoyed sharing this lovely family time with your children.

Just a reminder that children should wear the correct PE Kit for our PE lessons in school or sporting competitions at other venues. This includes a gold PE t-shirt, maroon PE shorts and plain coloured trainers. If the weather is cold, tracksuit style bottoms can also be worn. If we can offer any support supplying uniform of any kind, please speak to us and we will do all we can to help. Thank you for your assistance with this.

After half term we have an extremely short build up towards the Easter holidays, with just 4 weeks and 4 days in school. However, in typical Hamstel style we have a jam-packed schedule for our second part of the spring term.

During the first week back our Year 1 children will be visiting The Hive for some outdoor learning before then heading off to the library the following week. We have our Book Week to look forward to from 4th to 8th March, which also includes our dressing up day on Thursday 7th March.

We then have our Teacher Parent meetings on 12th and 13th March. The booking system will go live on 26th February to book your timeslots with the teachers, so please look out for this when we return after half term!

Also coming up in March we have the Infant Music Festival, Science Day, Easter Crafts, Bunny Hop Discos and of course our Year 1 Spring Show so never a dull moment and always lots for our children to look forward to at Hamstel Infants.

I hope you have a relaxing half term and we look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 26th February.

Best regards,

Scott Roche



This week we have been reading the story ‘The Magic Porridge Pot’. This has linked nicely to our Maths as we have been learning about capacity and had fun filling our pots with oats and describing if our pot was full, empty or nearly full. We have enjoyed making our own pots. We have also been learning about Shrove Tuesday and enjoyed tasting pancakes and talking about our favourite toppings!!

In Outdoor Learning we enjoyed looking for signs of Spring and planted some bulbs.

We hope that you all have a lovely half term.

Letters sent home this week

Rainbow & Starlight


This week Rainbow Room has been looking at Feelings and Emotions. We have looked at different emotions that we may feel and how we can control them. The children have been great at getting involved and enjoyed group activities concentrating on fine motor skills, Literacy and Maths.

They completed focus activities and made faces out of playdough depicting feelings. The children have been getting involved in lots of dancing and singing, and have collaborated and played functionally in the garden, tidied up the classroom and have become more independent in the environment together. It has been a great week for Rainbow Room, wishing everyone a lovely half term.


This week Starlight have been learning the traditional story of ‘The Enormous Turnip.’ We have ordered the story, made face masks and wrote CVC words to match pictures of the characters.

The children have all engaged well with the Attention Autism sessions (‘the bucket’) showing anticipation and waiting for their turn to take part when named.

The children have continued to try new foods at lunchtimes, having a ‘tasting plate’ of the food on the menu for that day. We are very proud of them!

Thank you for your support again this half term. We hope you have a lovely break.

Letters sent home this week

Reception Year

What a fantastic end to the half-term, welcoming relatives into school for our afternoon tea to celebrate special people. The children have all enjoyed sharing their learning with their special relative and enjoyed the special sandwiches as well!

In Outdoor Learning this week we have been learning about winter and seasonal changes, we have been on a seasonal walk to observe all the signs of winter.

In Maths we have continued to learn about shapes with 4 sides, investigating different ways squares and rectangles can be made from smaller shapes.

In English we have been reading the story ‘The Enormous Turnip’ and been learning to write words and sentences about the book.

In PE we have completed out gymnastic unit and learnt to travel with confidence over, under and through equipment. We have all enjoyed exploring moving in different ways and how to jump and land safely.

How to help at home


  • Continue to listen to your child read at least 5 times a week.
  • Watch the virtual classroom videos.


REMINDER: Next half-term we will be looking at castles. If any families visit a castle over half term would you kindly share it on Tapestry for us to share and discuss with the rest of the class in our lessons. Thank you.

Letters sent home this week

Year One

This week we have been writing winter poetry! We were introduced to what a verb was and have tried to include some of these words in our work. We have worked really hard to up-level our vocabulary to make our poetry more exciting. We made a collaborative word bank and used this to help us in our writing.

In Maths we have been consolidating our knowledge of numbers to 40 and our understanding of tens and ones. We have been working practically with dienes to support our written work. We have also been practising counting in 10s to 100!

In Design & Technology we have been finalising our projects. We used our plan to make a space background design and then created our moving parts including sliders, levers and wheels. To finish we evaluated our design and thought about what we could improve next time.

How to help at home


  • Continue to listen to your child read at least 5 times a week.
  • Watch the following virtual classroom videos, encouraging your child to join in:

Letters sent home this week

Year Two

It’s only been a 4-day week for the children, but it’s still been super busy! The children have really enjoyed getting creative with their writing this week and have written some lovely penguin poetry. We thought about how the penguins move and the kind of things they do.

In Maths we have started our unit on Money, recognising coins and notes, adding notes and coins together to find totals. We had to look very closely at the different values of the coins and use our knowledge of number to count on.

We have been comparing special places of 2 different religions. We compared the Church and the Mosque. We found out that both religions pray but the praying routines can look slightly different. We also discovered that Muslims and Christians have similar celebrations and festivals such as Weddings, but the way they carry this out may have some differences too.

Letters sent home this week

Online Safety

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1 billion users worldwide. The platform allows users to upload images and videos to their feed, create interactive ‘stories’, share live videos, exchange private messages or search, explore and follow other accounts they like – whilst at the same time continuously updating and adding new features to meet the needs of its users.

We have added all of our parent guides to the school website which can be found on at the button below;

Diary Dates


  • Friday 16th - INSET Day - school will be closed to all pupils.
  • Monday 19th - Friday 23rd - HALF TERM
  • Monday 26th - Thursday 29th - Year 1 Outdoor Learning at The Hive
  • Monday 26th - Friday 1st March - Nursery Tours


  • Monday 4th - Year 1 Heron & Newt visit to the Library
  • Tuesday 5th - Dragonfly & Duck visit to the Library
  • Wednesday 6th - PTA Uniform sale after school
  • Thursday 7th - World Book Day
  • Friday 8th - Jacqson Diego KS1 Assembly
  • Tuesday 12th - Teacher Parent Meetings
  • Wednesday 13th - Year 1 Mastery in Numbers for Parents
  • Teacher Parent Meetings
  • Friday 15th - Infant Music Festival
  • Red Nose Day - more details to follow
  • Wednesday 20th - Parent Council Meeting
  • Year 1 Mastery in Numbers for Parents
  • Friday 22nd - Science Day
  • Monday 25th - Nursery Easter Craft sessions
  • Tuesday 26th - Year 1 Spring Show
  • Wednesday 27th - Year 1 Spring Show
  • 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 6th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Wednesday 8th - Class photos
  • Monday 20th - Reception & KS1 Jacqson Diego Assembly
  • Wednesday 22nd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Monday 27th - BANK HOLIDAY
  • Tuesday 28th - Friday 31st - May Half Term


  • Tuesday 4th - Reception & Nursery Police visit
  • KS1 Police Assembly
  • Monday 10th - Thursday 14th - Phonics Screening Week
  • Friday 14th - INSET DAY
  • Wednesday 19th - SPORTS DAY


  • Wednesday 3rd - Parent Council Meeting
  • Tuesday 9th - Water Safety Assembly
  • Wednesday 10th - Year 2 Disco
  • Friday 19th - Last Day of Term
  • Monday 22nd - INSET DAY

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

Mothers’ Day Sale

Our PTA will be running a Mothers’ Day Sale during school time on Thursday 7th March. There will be a selection of gifts for your child to choose from, all priced at £2.00. If you would like your child to pick up a gift for you or someone else special to them please just send them in with the £2.00 (cash) in a named envelope on the day. Thank you.

School Nurse - Drop-in Sessions

This week our School Nurse was in school on Tuesday available to speak with parents or carers. Please see the flyer below for the other dates she is with us. You can either book a slot by contacting the school office or pop in, although the times will be subject to her availability.

Nits – The Unwelcome Visitors

Nits/Headlice are a very common childhood condition and they can be very irritating for the child, causing itchiness and sore patches in some cases.

The most effective way of dealing with these nuisance visitors is regular checks, combing with a fine-toothed comb and doing it all over again a couple of days later.

There are other treatment options and here is the link to the NHS guidance https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/head-lice-and-nits/


Nursery Tours

Do you or a friend/family member have a child turning 3 years old before 1st September 2024?

Our tours to visit the Nursery are filling up fast, please book soon to avoid disappointment. Application packs and further information will be available on the tours or from the school office from Monday 4th March.

The application deadline is Tuesday 30th April. For more information on the application process please call the school office or visit our website www.hamstelinfants.co.uk

Outdoor Learning

  • Monday 26th - Newt
  • Tuesday 27th - Duck
  • Wednesday 28th - Dragonfly
  • Thursday 29th - Heron
  • Friday 1st - 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: Peacock Class - 96.8%

Overall Reception Year attendance for the week 92.2%

Year 1: Duck Class - 96.3%

Overall Year 1 attendance for the week 93.6%

Year 2: Fox Class - 95.3%

Overall Year 2 attendance for the week 89.7%

Whole School: 91.8%

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.

Art Club - Year 2

There is no Art Club on Monday 12th February, the sessions have now finished for this club.

Singing Club

There is no Singing Club on Monday 12th February, the sessions will start again when we return on Monday 26th February.

Cookery Club - Year 1 & Year 2

Cookery Club for the current groups taking place have now finished. There are no Cookery Club sessions next week.