As we come to the end of the spring term, there is so much to celebrate at Hamstel Infants. As this newsletter shows the school is full of exciting and amazing opportunities for our students, their talents shine for all to see. We hope that you enjoy reading all the articles detailing the children’s wonderful achievements and experiences. The very busy life of the school goes on and as ever we want to thank both you as parents for your support and also the staff of the school for providing such as wealth of opportunities for our students.

Next term heralds an exciting and somewhat busy time for the school! The KS1 SATs are fast approaching, however, the children are working very hard to achieve the very best they can. This is an opportunity for the children to ‘show off’ the learning and all of their hard work during their time in KS1.

When we return after the Easter break we will be in the Summer term which means that children can wear their summer uniform. School starts back on Tuesday 23rd April 2019.

We want to wish you a fantastic Easter break filled I am sure, with quality time together in friendship and love. Fingers crossed the sun shines a little for us over the next couple of weeks.

History off the Page

Year 1 travelled back in time with History off the Page! They were transported back to 1666 as part of their topic “The Big Smoke” looking at the Great Fire of London. Children swapped their usual school uniform for breeches and aprons as did the staff! Children in Newt Class said that they enjoyed dressing up as it made it feel real.

The dining hall was transformed into London in 1666 complete with different shops from the time. Master Craig took the children on a journey through London. Children could have a go at candle-making at the chandlers, making bread at the bakery, weaving, sewing and leather-work. Many children also took a visit to the Barber surgeon who was able to diagnose various ailments and give a glimpse into the gruesome side of medicine in the 17th century!

The experience was child-led with children choosing what activities they wanted to do whilst being given news stories about how the fire was spreading, allowing the day to be completely immersive.

In the afternoon, the children became archaeologists, excavating the remains of different properties to help identify the owners of the artefacts. This helped them to develop and use deduction, reasoning and historical enquiry skills.

Finally, the day ended with a demonstration of metal work and the creation of a pewter medallion!

Year 2 visit Colchester Castle

On Tuesday 2nd April the Year 2 children thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Colchester Castle. The day was full of exciting activities, bringing their Castles as Homes learning to life.

The children found out about different jobs in the castle including what the Lord and Lady of the castle might do, what materials they would have used to make clothes and different household objects. The children found out about some of the herbs and plants that they would have been used for medicines. Did you know that cinnamon is good for coughs and colds?

During the visit the children had a great time becoming a ‘Knight in training’, putting on their Knight tabards and having a tour of the Castle. They got to see the well where the servants would have collected water, go outside and ‘shoot arrows’, look at some drawings that were carved into the stone by the Knights who would have guarded the castle and finally on the tour we went up the spiral staircase onto the roof and across to the other side of the castle. On the way back down we found a secret room where there was a hole in some stone, we discovered this was the toilet!

Colchester Castle is full of interesting artefacts collected over hundreds of years. The children were able to explore the museum and look at some different items such as pottery, jewellery, knight armour and mosaics. The children even got to try on some of the old clothes.

Year 2 had a great time on their visit and there certainly were some tired children on the way home! A big thank you to all the volunteers who were able to help on the day.

Creative Dance Festival

On Friday 1st March, the Year 2 Dance Club took part in the Southend’s ‘Festival of Creative Dance’ which was held at Garon Park Leisure Centre. 17 Schools from across Southend Primary School Sports Association came together to celebrate the art of Dance.

All the children danced with great enthusiasm and performed amazingly! They watched other schools perform their dance routines and were inspired by the older year groups.

Well done for all the hard work and effort you put in Dance Club! Fabulous ambassadors for our school.

Reception Reading and Writing workshop

On Tuesday 2nd April we welcomed the Reception parents to a Reading and Writing workshop.

We talked through the different ways we teach reading and writing at Hamstel Infant School as well as how parents can support their children at home.

The children then joined their grown-ups and enjoyed completing a range of exciting reading and writing activities.


“The workshop was very informative and helpful for me as a parent.”

“We enjoyed drawing and colouring the Rainbow Fish, writing a story using the stones amongst other activities we found the workshop both helpful and informative.”

“I enjoyed the one on time with Kian. The activities give you fresh ideas for at home. I found it informative and I can make sure I am saying the sounds correctly.”

“Leo really enjoyed the drawing and threading the beads activities. The workshop was very helpful and has given me some great ideas to try at home.”

Celebrating Maths Week - Quantum Theatre

In March we celebrated our Maths learning when we were joined by Quantum Theatre. The Year 1 and Year 2 children really enjoyed the show - The Half Pint Kid! The children helped solve mathematical problems exploring numbers, place values and the four functions, number bonds, fractions and decimals.

The Half-Pint Kid is an exciting tale of mathematical mayhem. We joined the Half-Pint Kid as he sets out to solve the mystery of who robbed the Hicksburg bank. We followed him as he set out on a trial of mathematical clues and skulduggery. We had to help him fight The Tumbleweed Gang in order to find out who was really behind the missing money!

A fabulous afternoon of fun in using and applying our Maths Knowledge.

Discovery in Wildlife Area

There is an electric buzz, a lot of talk and excitement around the Year 2 classrooms this week. Mr Darke interrupted the day on Monday as he shared some mysterious and curious findings in the Wildlife Area on his return from half term. On his rounds of inspecting the Wildlife Area, Mr Darke had spotted some smoke wafting into the air, thinking this was strange and a bit of a concern, he investigated further. Mr Darke soon discovered a large nest with some unusual eggs in them near the smoke.

Mr Darke acted quickly and secured the area off and alerted all staff. Once the area was safe, Mr Darke allowed the year 2 children to go outside and look at the mysterious discovery. Of course the children were very excited and there was lots of talk about what may have left the eggs in our Wildlife Area. However, nearby, there were some other unusual items, the children think they might possibly be a tooth, some scales and footprints. Most of the children have come to the conclusion that a dragon may have entered the area during half term because it was safe place to leave the eggs.

The nest has been left for the time being, and we hope that nothing too dangerous emerges from the nest in the next few days before it can be removed and taken to an even safer location. However, if any strange sightings are seen in the area, please notify the staff at once…

In the meantime the Year 2 children have been busy creating ways of how to ‘trap a dragon’.

Infant Music Festival

On Thursday 27th March the Singing Club children participated in the Infant Music Festival at the Freight House, Rochford. They joined with children from three other schools to share in a morning of music and songs. They showed great enjoyment, enthusiasm and confidence when singing their own individual songs, ‘The Clown’ and ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain’. The children were very well behaved and a credit to their parents and great ambassadors for our school, and sounded wonderful. A big well done to all of them!

Year 1 Great Fire of London

Year 1 enjoyed the end of their topic of the “Big Smoke” by re-enacting the Great Fire of London.

The children had made their own tudor houses out of cardboard boxes. Mr Darke then set them out to represent the streets of London and set fire to it! The fire quickly took hold until it reached St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Book Week

This year, Hamstel Infant School had lots of fun sharing stories and getting excited about books during Book Week.

Each year group focussed on a different story, reading and learning about the text. Each class got creative and made a model to show different parts of the story; together the models retold the story and were on display at our Book Week Art Exhibition.

We celebrated the end of Book Week and World Book Day with a Character Dress Up Day on Friday 8th March. All the children looked fantastic in their book character outfits, we had a real mix of characters, Harry Potter, Fairy Tale Princess’, Alice in Wonderland and many more; the teachers even got involved too!

Nursery News

The nursery children have had a jam packed term with amazing learning opportunities. Most recently, we have had two different animal encounters; reptiles and guinea pigs. The children were very keen and excited when we had the animals in to visit. They were all incredibly brave and either held or stroked the animals and were absolutely fascinated by them.

The children were very excited to see the results of our various changes experiments – their favourite had to see the Mentos and cola where the cola exploded from the bottle! Their faces all lit up when they saw just how high the cola blasted.

We hope that those parents who attended the Read, Write Inc sessions found it helpful to see how their children are taught phonics. As the children develop their knowledge of phonics, you will see their range of vocabulary grow.

Thank you to the parents who joined us today for our Easter Celebration. The children all sang wonderfully and we hope that you enjoyed the yummy treats that the children had made.

Sports events

Cross country

On Wednesday 27th February, 12 Year 1 children and 12 Year 2 children represented the school in a Cross Country Competition. The weather was unseasonably warm and the children had to run 1000m against 19 other schools and over 100 other children! All the children gave their best and we had some excellent results amongst our squad. There were lots of parents there to cheer on and encourage the children.

KS1 Football Festival

On a rather cold and windy Friday 8th March, 10 children from our Year 2 football squad took part in the KS1 Football Festival at The Len Forge Centre. The team played four matches with the scores very close in all games. Unfortunately they didn’t win the tournament, however they competed with great sportsmanship, courage and with smiles on their faces, demonstrating impeccable behavior pitch side and representing the school tremendously well. Thank you to all the parents who supported the team on the day.


Attendance is an important focus for our school. Our attendance is slightly down on this time last year which is disappointing. Remember if your child is well enough to be in school, bring them! If they have a headache, feel tired or just a bit under the weather but are playing normally at home, they should be with us. Arriving on time is important, some children do get upset when they are late for school and then find it difficult to settle. We do understand that sometimes emergencies occur which result in being late; however, better late than absent!

Just a reminder that requests for leave will only be authorised by Mrs Clark in exceptional circumstances; a holiday is not an exceptional circumstance. You may be issued with a penalty notice if your child misses too much school. Time off school is disruptive for your child and they will miss important learning which may be hard for them to catch up on.

Congratulations to Dragonfly and Peacock classes who have won the attendance cup 4 times this term!

Red Nose Day

As a school, we supported Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March. The children were allowed to come to school in non-uniform wearing an item of red clothing. We had lots of red noses, some children even painted their nose red! Together we raised £390 to help Comic Relief transform the lives of poor and vulnerable people, both in the UK and across the world’s poorest countries. Thank you for your generosity.

School dinners

We return after Easter to a new Dinner Menu. Copies were sent home last week with the newsletter, however, if you have misplaced it, please visit the school website.

Medical Reminders

Please let the school know if anything changes to your child’s medication and or care plan. It is important that we have all the relevant information in order to support your child. It is up to parents to ensure that the medicine kept in school is not out of date, however, we will send home reminders when medication is near to its expiry date.

Parent Mail

If you haven’t already done so, please make sure that you download the ParentMail app in order to receive school communication directly to your mobile device. The app saves all your messages in one place making them easily accessible and organised. Payments for trips etc. should be paid using ParentMail also. If you have not provided the school with your email address or you would like a registration link for a ParentMail account, please contact the school office.

Parking reminder

The car park is for members of staff at Hamstel Infants School and Nursery and Hamstel Junior School and for school visitors. It is becoming increasingly difficult for staff to access the main car park. The car park should not be used by parents unless special dispensation have been given to that parent by either school. Please be consideration when parking on the roads around school. We kindly ask that you bear in mind local residents when parking and accessing the roads around the school, we are part of a local community and all need to be considerate with these issues. Thank you for your support in this matter.

Dates for the diary

  • Tuesday 23rd April - Return to school
  • Wednesday 1st May - Class photos
  • Monday 6th May - Bank Holiday Monday
  • Wednesday 8th May - Tag Rugby competition -12:30-3pm
  • Thursday 9th May - School nurse drop in session
  • KS1 Quad Kids -10.30-3pm
  • Monday 20th May - Rev GoodliffAssembly -2.30pm
  • Thursday 23rd May - Reception measurements
  • Friday 24th May - Reception measurements
  • Break up for half term

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