Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring Term House Point Winners

Green House enjoyed the sweet taste of success today as they were announced winners of the spring term house point competition. With the stonking score of 368 points, they celebrated victory beating Red House by an impressive 45 points! As a reward, the children in Green House were treated to cakes, biscuits and juice... served by the losing House Captains.

Year 3 Roman Day

"Right, left, right, left..." came the chant of Roman soldiers marching through the school corridors on Wednesday morning as Year 3 began their Roman day by invading classrooms. After successfully conquering the school the children learnt more about the Roman invasion of Britain and had the opportunity to try on some Celt and Roman equipment. In the afternoon they were put through their paces with some Roman army marching drills and even had to defend themselves from an aerial bombardment in testudo formation. The children were also treated to a display of Roman weaponry: they saw a bow and arrow, sling shot and javelin in action. The day finished with a well earned Roman Feast where, in a one off change of role, the teachers acted as slaves serving the children. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Mayor of Havering Visits Hacton for the Infant Music Festival

Hacton came alive with the sound of music last Thursday, playing host to the Infant Music Festival. Joined by children from Upminster Infants, Langtons Infants and Branfil Primary, the children sang, played instruments and even showed off their dancing skills to songs that they had learnt around the theme ‘all about me’. The children were delighted to be joined by the Worshipful Mayor of Havering, Councillor Lynden Thorpe, and Gary Griffiths, Head of the Havering Music School. Mr Griffiths acted as compere, and taught the children about vocal health awareness by demonstrating some useful vocal warm up techniques.

Children sang their socks off, played percussion instruments with enthusiasm and boogied along to the programme of nine uplifting songs to provide a magical morning of entertainment. Mr Emes said: “The well-rehearsed choirs from all schools sang beautifully together. They excelled themselves with a performance that was clearly enjoyed by our distinguished guests.”

Friday, 22 March 2013

Thank You to Parents

Dear Parents

Thank you so much for your attendance and in some cases patience at our parents’ evenings over the last 2 days. As always, approximately 95% of our pupils were represented at these evenings and Y6 conferencing, which was organised for last week. I hope you found the meetings both informative and useful and that you were pleased with the progress your children have made so far this year.

I would also like to say a very big thank you to the 78 of you who gave your time to complete the OFSTED Parent View Survey in the large hall over the last 2 evenings. The views of the school from those parents who completed the survey were overall very positive and can be found on the Parent View website.

From those who completed the survey, we drew one raffle ticket out of the hat this morning for a £50 cash prize. The winning tickets were numbered 996-1,000; the parents of Hannah and Lucy.

The Parent View Survey can be completed at any time by parents if they so wish, by going to or typing 'parent view' into Google.

Thank you once again for your continued support both of our school and your children, it is greatly appreciated.

We have had an extremely busy and exciting term at Hacton over the last ten weeks, with the following just a few of the notable things :
  • Junior Choir performed at the Young Voices concert at the O2.
  • Year 2 performed at the Infant Music Festival held at Hacton yesterday with over 250 other pupils from Branfil Primary, Upminster Infant School and Langtons Infant School.
  • We had a highly successful Literacy week with a theme of ‘Literary Villains’ that culminated in a fantastic dressing up day.
  • Many different year groups have been out on visits both to locally and to London.
  • The School Council met the Mayor and visited the Mayor’s Parlour / Council Chamber.
  • We have had a huge number of visitors coming into the school enriching the curriculum for our pupils including many different Theatre Companies, a Science workshop, an Author and road safety performances to name but a few.
  • We have run 23 extra curricular activities to which over 240 children attend, all bar one are free of charge.
  • We had a highly successful Red Nose day last week which raised £420 for this very worthwhile charity.
  • We have taken part in many different sporting events including netball and hockey involving both boys and girls.
With only one more week until the Easter break, my staff and I wish you all a really enjoyable Easter holiday with your children.

Let us hope the better weather is just around the corner!

Yours sincerely
N P L Emes

Simple Science Experiments to Try at Home

Last week, pupils enjoyed watching and participating in a fascinating workshop that explored the creative side of science. The show was jam-packed with fun facts: Did you know that you can draw with a carrot? Did you know that dog and cat wee glows under ultraviolet light? Did you know that that light travels so fast that it could orbit the entire earth 7 times in just 1 second?

Dr. Jasmine suggested several simple experiments that you can try at home:
  1. Crush some Cornflakes or Rice Krispies into a fine powder then hold a magnet over them.  The magnet should pick up particles of iron!
  2. Put a coin, metal nut, grape and / or (if you're brave) a blob of paint inside a clear, white or yellow balloon; blow it up; give it a little momentum by rotating it to start off the spinning and watch what happens! Also, you can experiment with the sounds made by these different objects whilst they are spinning inside the balloon.
  3. Put baby powder on your fingers and rub them along a smooth metal pole. Be warned, the sound produced could be used as a form of torture!
  4. Cut two strips of paper (about the length of a sheet of A4). Use tape to make each into 2 equal sized circles (by overlapping the ends). Then, stick the two circles together so that they are one on top of the other and perpendicular to each other. Cut each circle in half (so that they are half the original width) and, hopefully, you should be able to open it up to create a perfect square frame!
  5. Make 3D shapes using a construction kit, such as K'Nex. Dip them in a solution of washing up liquid and water and admire the unusual shaped bubbles they create!
  6. You will need two pairs of 3D cinema glasses and scrunched sheets of clear plastic sheet (cellophane) for this. Wear one pair of glasses, hold a piece of scrunched cellophane in front of you with light behind it. Then hold the other pair of 3D glasses behind that and rotate them until you can see different colours.
Have fun experimenting!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Hacton Nursery - Learning About Life Cycles

Nursery children have been learning about life cycles. Some hens eggs have been kept warm in an incubator for just over 3 weeks with children waiting patiently for them to hatch. On Tuesday, amidst great excitement, a small hole appeared in the shell of an egg. A crack appeared around the top until the first chick could push itself free, much to the delight of children and staff. This was shortly followed by the 2nd chick - named Harry by the children - and the final two chicks that appeared (with help) later that day. Mrs Lynch and Mrs Caston both had a sleepless night, hoping that the chicks would be ok. Thankfully, next morning four fluffy chicks were found running around and chirping away.

The children have had first hand experience of life cycles and are now learning how to care for the chicks, to treat them with respect and kindness. Since the chicks hatched the nursery seems to have been a very popular venue for adults and children in the school – it has never had so many visitors! Thank you so much to Poppy and Evie’s mum and dad for the eggs and all their help.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Parent View Reminder

We'll have iPads in the Large Hall during parents' evening and staff on hand to help you complete the Ofsted Parent View survey. This is a very straight forward survey with multiple-choice questions and it should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Parents who finish the questionnaire during parents' evening can claim a raffle ticket for a chance to win £50 in cash. This is an incentive from the school so the odds are good that you could be the lucky winner!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Red Nose Day 2013

Noses were red and hair was crazy on Friday as staff and pupils entered into the 'fun raising' spirit for the 25th Red Nose Day. Sporting wigs of various lengths and colours and some hair raising styles, children and staff wore something red to raise money for Comic Relief. Nursery also held a cake sale to collect even more cash for this worthy cause. A fantastic day was had by all, particularly in assembly when everyone joined in to sing the official fundraising song. Thank you to parents, pupils and staff for your participation and generosity. At the last count, we raised nearly £400.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Parents' Evening Reminder

This week we have parents' evenings on Wednesday and Thursday. If you have not yet made an appointment please contact the office or speak to your child's class teacher as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you all.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hacton 1 - 3 Langtons

Hacton hosted table-topping Langtons in a girls' football match on a rainy Thursday afternoon. Hacton started brightly with captain Amy coming close to an early opener. Langtons hit back and grabbed the first goal of the game. After this, Hacton girls enjoyed a spell of dominance which led to a goal for Amy J, as she smashed the ball in at close range. A good passing move between Roxy and Lucy saw Harlie in on goal. Her shot was well placed but clipped the outside of the post. Halftime: 1-1. In the second half, Langtons showed why they are such a tough proposition with two well-worked goals. Goalkeeper Evie made a couple of brave saves, injuring her thumb in the process. However, Hacton did not let their heads drop and were very unlucky not to score again; twice hitting the post as they pressed hard. In the end, the score did not really do justice to a battling performance. Captain Amy again took the girl of the game trophy with a good goal and spirited display.

Best Work Assembly: 6DM

As part of the History Curriculum, Year 6 have enjoyed studying how Britain has changed since 1948. When asked to vote for their favourite decade, the swinging sixties was the clear winner. 6DM shared some of their work based around this decadent time in Best Work Assembly. The budding artists proudly exhibited their vibrant Pop Art paintings inspired by the work of Roy Lichtenstein and shared their biographies of the music legend John Lennon, who shot to fame in the 1960s as a founder member of music sensations - The Beatles. 6DM's impressive work now makes for a vibrant display in the main corridor.  

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Visiting The Shard

Our pupils often tell us about the adventures they have outside of school and we are always interested to hear about their experiences. We thought we would share an account of an exciting trip to London enjoyed by one of our Year 4 pupils (that turned into a good piece of literacy work).

Monday, 11 March 2013

Literacy Week: The End

Literacy week finished with a suitably happy ending on Friday. Pupils enjoyed a dressing up day, Key Stage 2 quiz and a whole school assembly. In the morning, house teams were quizzed on their literacy knowledge across a range of areas including author names, book covers and opening lines. It was a closely fought contest with teams neck and neck throughout, but who would win? The quiz was left on a cliffhanger and contestants had to wait until the afternoon to find out the result.

Staff and pupils clearly relished the opportunity to dress up as their favourite villains. The afternoon assembly was like a rogues gallery! Chief baddy was none other than Cruella de Vil (who looked suspiciously like Mrs Delmonte). Earlier in the day, Cruella had misplaced some of her 101 Dalmatians in classrooms across the school. Fortunately, she had a host of trainee henchmen to retrieve them, all eager to claim their reward. 12 lucky children won a cinema voucher each, but first they had to brave an audience with Cruella to accept their prize. Following this, the literacy quiz winners were announced. With a fantastic score of 62 points out of a possible 80, yellow team claimed victory from green team who finished a close second. All that remained was for the villainous teachers to strut their stuff on the catwalk and show off their flamboyant costumes to an appreciative audience.

Thank you to parents and pupils for some brilliant costumes and to Literacy Co-ordinator, Mr Pinkham, for organising a week of exciting activities enjoyed by pupils and staff across the school.

Literacy Week: Chicken

Stopwatch Theatre company delivered important messages to the children in Years 5 and 6 on Thursday with their production of Chicken. The drama told the tale of teenage cousins Danny and Christopher as they battled and supported each other through the dilemmas faced by growing up adolescents. Captivated by the poignant performance, the children were silenced as they witnessed the possible outcomes of submitting to peer pressure when crossing a busy road. On a lighter note, following the performance, an interactive workshop enabled the children to rehearse possible reactions to scenarios and choices which they may face in the future.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Literacy Week: Honk

On Wednesday morning Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were treated to a performance of CPA Studios' 'Honk', a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Ugly Duckling. Honk told the story of Ugly, a duckling who looks nothing like his brothers and sisters, his kind mother Ida and a host of other colourful characters. The children loved the villain of the piece, a devious cat who tried to eat poor Ugly! Other favourites were Bullfrog, Drake and Penny, a beautiful swan. The singing and acting were outstanding and the imaginative costumes made it thrilling to watch. After the performance, Key Stage 1 pupils took part in a workshop where they explored the themes of the show and played some games. A big thank you to CPA Studios for a wonderfully entertaining morning.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Literacy Week: The Good Wolf

Author Derek Smith visited Hacton for the second day of Literacy Week. Derek discussed some of his books and the inspiration behind them. To fit in with the theme of our villains week, he read extracts from his story 'The Good Wolf' with live piano accompaniment. After leaving the story at a cliffhanger, Derek explained how the wolf could be a misunderstood character. Children were invited to guess how the wolf could escape the wrath of angry villagers. In the end, rather surprisingly, the woodcutter came to his rescue.

Later in the day, Derek worked with Year 6 and the two classes looked at alternate viewpoints in the form of letters from pirates. Evie and Lucy in Year 6 said that "the songs in the morning were interesting and the cliffhanger kept us guessing."

Monday, 4 March 2013

Literacy Week: The Greatest Fairytale Ever Told

Literacy week got off to a flying start today with a visit from the Hobgoblin Theatre Company. Hacton pupils enjoyed a performance of 'The Greatest Fairytale Ever Told.' Within the space of an hour, the show made a whirlwind tour through many much loved fairytales. As the Evil Queen tried to alter fairytale history, only The Three Little Pigs and Snow White could save the day. So many characters, so many stories and a fantastic way to kick off the week. With villains at the centre of this week's theme, it was only fitting that the Evil Queen and the Big Bad Wolf were foiled in the end. Have you got a favourite baddy? Don't forget that Friday is your chance to dress up as your favourite fairytale villain.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Recipe of the Week

Cooking club met on Wednesday after school to cook up tasty treats. This week's recipe was Omelette Popovers - an alternative way of making omelettes. The savoury snacks were very popular with children; not only did they look appealing, but they tasted delicious too! Most cooked vegetables can be added to the omelettes and they can be eaten hot or cold; perfect for a snack or picnic... Egg-cellent! Why don't you give them a try?