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News and Events

Emotional Health and Wellbeing Project

Practical strategies for helping children manage overwhelming feelings

Click the link to hear Dr Pooky Knightsmith shares ideas about how to help children recognise and manage overwhelming feeling with a host of practical ideas and suggestions about how to enable children to tailor their own plan.


Watch the video here:


Parent Council Meeting, March 2018

The first meeting of our new Parent Council took place on Friday 16th March 2018.  Please find attached the minutes of this meeting for your information.  

Year 2 SATs meeting for parents

Please find attached the PowerPoint presentation from last week's SATs meeting for parents.

Spaceship crash lands in our Wildlife Area! Jan 2018

Look at the scene that greeted our Year 1 children this morning - twisted metal, burning fires and billowing smoke!  A spaceship has crash landed in our Wildlife Area during the night!  Mrs Dillnutt inspected the scene and secured it with warning tape, and the children have been investigating and writing reports of what they found.  Today's exciting event fits very well with this half term's ‘Man on the Moon’ topic.

Christmas card competition Dec 2017

A huge well done to Lilly in Dragonfly Class for winning the Design a Chrismas Card competition organised by Alex Bright, Councillor for Southchurch Ward.  Lilly's hand-print Rudolph design has been printed and used by Councillor Bright as his official Christmas card for 2017.  As the quality of the entries was so high, Councillor Bright also chose two runners-up, Isabella and Sophie, and their Christmas pudding and candle designs feature on the back of the card.  Well done girls!

Christmas Performances 2017

We have been treated to some wonderful Christmas performances over the last two weeks.  The children worked hard to learn their songs, dances and lines and were so excited to share it with their parents and carers.  They all performed brilliantly in front of audiences of over 100 people for each show and we are very proud of them.      
      Reception:  Whoops-a-Daisy Angel
      Year 1:  Baubles!
      Year 2:  A Victorian Christmas

Reception parents invited in to watch Phonics in action (Nov 17)

We were delighted to welcome parents of children in our Reception classes in to school to join in one of our daily Read Write Inc phonics lessons.  We hope that these sessions were a useful introduction to our phonics programme and will help parents to support their children at home.  Please find below some useful resources to help parents to support children with Phonics at home. 


Enhanced Healthy Schools Award (17.11.17)

We were very proud to receive the Enhanced Healthy School Award at a special ceremony in Southend on 17th November.  Three of our children from Year 2 gave a presentation using PowerPoint to explain how our school dinners keep us healthy.  They did a fantastic job and were great ambassadors for our school.  We received the Enhanced Healthy Schools Award in recognition of the efforts we have made to provide healthy school meals and a broad range of physically active school clubs, and our work to develop teaching and learning in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Relationships lessons. We were also delighted to learn that the essay we produced about our work to increase the health of our children here at Hamstel has been published in a local journal.

School Council Report - October 2017

Our School Council is made up of one representative from each of the Year 1 and Year 2 classes in the school.  Children volunteer for the role and are elected by their classmates.  There is a meeting of the School Council every Wednesday during which the children discuss different aspects of school life, raise issues and make suggestions for improvement.

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Sunshine Trip to the Cinema (9.11.17)

The children in our Sunshine group had a wonderful trip to the Odeon Cinema in Southend on the 9th November for a special screening of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  The children really enjoyed the experience and were very well behaved throughout.  We are grateful to the Odeon Cinema for offering these children the chance to see this film with no charge.

Remembrance events (10.11.17)

We marked Armistice Day in school with a special ceremony featuring a bugle salute and a march past from members of the Combined Cadet Force from Westcliff High School for Boys, very much supporting the British Values element of our curriculum.  The children made their own poppies from recycled materials to create a magnificent field of poppies in our wildlife area.

We also took part in the Southend Schools Festival of Remembrance project with each of our children making their own clay poppy to be displayed alongside 4,500 others created by local school children in the Cliff Gardens along Southend seafront.  The children in our School Council had a speical preview of the display on Thursday 9th November and reported back to their classmates on what they had seen and learnt about the meaning and importance of Remembrance events.

Links for the Southend Schools Festival of Remembrance:



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Inclusion Award for Hamstel Infant School & Nursery (3.11.17)

This week Hamstel Infant School and Nursery was visited by an assessor for the Inclusion Quality Mark  and we were delighted to be awarded ‘Centre of Excellence’ status for the third year running!  This award recognises our commitment to providing equal opportunities for all pupils irrespective of individual need, ability or disability and the schools commitment to continuous improvement in this area.  The assessor noted that our school has a real dedication to inclusion which is apparent in all we do.  A particular strength of the school is the way our staff work as a team to ensure all our children reach their potential.  We are very proud that our commitment and dedication has been acknowledged with this prestigious award!

Year 2 History Day (3.11.17)

The children in Year 2 had a fantastic start to the term with an astounding discovery in the wildlife area.  Whilst digging, our Forest Ranger Mr Darke stumbled across something hidden underground.  He rushed to gather the children and to our amazement a very old and dirty looking basket appeared from the depths wrapped in some sacking.  We had found a time capsule!  Deciding to embark on a History Day as a result of the find, the children immediately set to work finding out what period in time the capsule belonged to; with diary entries, photographs and artefacts from times gone by, they had a challenge on their hands!  After some research and lots of investigating the objects up close, the children established that all the items pointed to the one and only Queen Victoria!  This has been a wonderful way to start our theme ‘Rule Britannia’ Where we will be finding out much more about the infamous Queen and the time she lived.

Dinosaurs Roar! (14.9.17)

The children in Year had a great time learning to be palaeontologists when the Dinosaur Roar! fossil workshop came to school on 14th September.  The children learnt all about the different types of dinosaurs and how fossils help us to understand how dinosaurs lived and what they ate, before digging for fossils and bones themselves!  The workshop was organised as an introduction to this term's Year 1 Dinosaurs topic.  

Nick Butterworth visits Hamstel Infant School

We were delighted to welcome best-selling children’s author Nick Butterworth to school on Monday. Nick Butterworth was in school all day and held special assemblies for each year group, sharing some of his well-known stories with the children and talking to them about his work as an author and the joys of reading and writing.  Nick then stayed on after school for a book signing and gave a short talk to parents about his work.  We do hope the children enjoyed this exciting opportunity!     

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Book Week

The children had great fun taking part in all the activities we arranged to celebrate Book Week. We saw some wonderful costumes on Friday 3rd March, from princesses to superheroes to the Cat in the Hat, and the children were amused to see the staff from across the school joining in the fun! 

We were also lucky to be visited by Leigh-on-Sea author and illustrator Morty Sey and Scott Chegg who gave special readings of their book ’Mum…’ and are looking forward to another author visit from  Nick Butterworth, author of the Percy the Park Keeper books on 13th March.     

Finally, a big thank you to all the parents who came along to our Book Fair. Thanks to you we received commission of £534.80 in vouchers to be spent on books for our school! 

Healthy Schools Award

We are very proud to announce that we achieved reaccreditation as a Healthy School for the third time in December 2016. We first achieved Healthy School status in 2007, and received reaccreditation in 2010, 2013 and 2016. The Healthy Schools Programme supports the links between health, behaviour and achievement; it is about creating healthy and happy children and young people, who do better in learning and in life. The programme is based on a whole-school approach to physical and emotional well-being focused and focuses on learning and activities across four themes:

· Personal, Social & Health Education     · Healthy Eating       · Physical Activity      

· Emotional Health & Wellbeing




Centre of Excellence for Inclusion

Hamstel Infant School and Nursery is one of only two schools in the Southend area and one of seven in Essex to be awarded the prestigious ‘Centre of Excellence’ status in recognition of its commitment to providing equal opportunities for all pupils irrespective of individual need, ability or disability and its commitment to continuous improvement in this area.  The school first achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark in 2011 and has built on this success to receive the Award for a second time in 2016 and be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for Inclusion.  To be successful schools must demonstrate the good practice within their schools and that they have the capacity to build on and share this across a broader cluster of schools. Karen Porter, Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, said, “I am so proud of our entire school team and pleased that their hard work and dedication has been recognised in this way. Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Hamstel Infant School and Nursery and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to share our commitment and drive in other schools.”  

Learning how to dance like a Chinese Lion!

The children were treated to a thrilling Chinese Lion Dance performance in a whole school assembly on 30th January 2017 to mark the Chinese New Year and over the course of two days learnt how to perform their very own Lion Dance in special workshops led by the James Uglow Lion Dance troupe.   As well as trying on the lion costumes and learning some of the basic dance steps, the children had a go at playing the drums and cymbals that traditionally accompany the Lion Dance.  The children in Years 1 and 2 also had the chance to try out some Chinese acrobatics!  This once in a lifetime experience helped bring to life the children's learning about the history and traditions of Chinese New Year celebrations and was funded by some of the Sports Premium funding received from Government.


Prestigious national award for our work with More Able children

Hamstel Infant School and Nursery is only the ninth school in England and Wales to receive a prestigious NACE (National Association for Able Children in Education) Challenge Award for the third time, recognising a decade of excellence in provision for More Able and Gifted and Talented pupils. 



New playground markings are out of this world!

We have waited a long time to be able to have our playground markings due to the many building projects that have taken place!  We are now very excited to reveal to the children our fabulous new space themed playground markings!  The children on our School Council were given the opportunity to choose a large project and selected the resurfacing of our main playground, opting for a space theme and working with us on the design.  The wonderful new features include an alien maze, rocket hopscotch, an activity trail, an alphabet spiral, a target board and a duck, duck, goose game.  Playtime is an important part of the school day, encouraging children to develop their social skills and promoting physical activity, and we can’t wait to see the children making use of this great new addition to our school environment.     

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Drowning Prevention Week

As a school passionately committed to teaching our children to swim we were proud to support the Royal Life Saving Society's Drowning Prevention Week last week (20-26 June 2016). All of our children took part in special activities during their school swimming lessons last week to teach them vital water safety skills including how to keep themselves safe around water and the meaning of the signs at the beach and the different water safety flags. All of our children have weekly swimming lessons all year round with our ASA evel 2 qualified swimming teacher in our indoor pool and swimming is a key element of the school's physical education.

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