Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

After two weeks of incredible Christmas productions, the Autumn term has come to an end. Over 900 parents, friends and relatives enjoyed impressive singing, dancing, acting and signing from Early Years, Years 1/2, Years 3/4 and Years 5/6. Generous family members dropped coins in buckets when they left performances and raised £930 for the three charities chosen by our School Council: Great Ormond Street Hospital, Save the Children and the RSPCA. A huge well done to all the children who filled us with Christmas spirit; we are very proud.

Without a doubt 2014 has been another very successful year for our school. Primary Key Stage 2 results were recently published by the Department for Education and pupil progress was exceptional, placing us comfortably in the top 5% of schools in the country and in the top 5 schools in Havering. This would be considered outstanding by Ofsted. We have also just been informed by the DfE that we were in the top 300 schools in the country for progress made by Pupil Premium / vulnerable pupils and this has been recognised with a special £1000 award from the DfE. Achievements like this could not happen without the continued dedication and support from our staff and parents. Thank you.

Throughout the year, our pupils have enjoyed a wide range of engaging and enriching educational experiences. We now look forward to all that 2015 has to offer: it promises to be another fantastic year for Hacton Primary School.

May we take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday 6th January.

Year 4 Flower Arranging

In the run up to Christmas, Year 4 were lucky enough to have a masterclass in how to design and create a table arrangement. Mrs Fairburn, a talented florist, came to our school to demonstrate and assist in the making of the floral decoration. The children thoroughly enjoyed creating their own wonderful arrangements to adorn the Christmas table.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Guidance for Parents Taking Photographs During School Productions

We're all excited about the Christmas plays that are being staged soon, your children have been working really hard learning their lines and practising their songs. We know that most family members would like to have a record of these important events in their child's school life and we are happy for you to take photographs and short videos during performances. However, when taking photographs, we must abide by certain rules to ensure the safety of all children in our school:
  • Parents are not permitted to take photographs or videos for anything other than their own personal use* 
  • Do not post images or videos on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc) as these may include children who must not have their image online
  • Please zoom in on your own child to minimise the number of other children who are included in your photos and videos
  • Please be considerate of other people in the audience: turn off the sound on your camera or phone; only take short videos; do not use large screen devices that may distract others
As you know, most parents signed a consent form giving permission for their children to be photographed by the school so we will, as usual, be posting pictures and videos from Christmas plays on our blog. We will also be videoing the Christmas plays for family members who could not attend the performances. A copy will be available in the school office for you to borrow.

*The Information Commissioner’s Office states photographs taken by parents at nativity plays do not breach the Data Protection Act so long as they are only for personal use. Digital video and images shared on Facebook, Youtube and other social networking sites need consent from the parents of children in the photos (source: ICO)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Hacton 8 - 0 Elm Park

The Hacton girls' football team recently claimed an impressive victory in their match against Elm Park Primary. Emily (Year 6) reports:

Excitement filled the air as the ref blew his whistle to signal the start of the match against Elm Park. Elsie ran in for a tackle. Passes were made followed by a whack of the ball from Katie and the whistle was blown. 1-0. The crowd went wild and, with determination, 2 more fantastic goals were scored by Katie. 3-0. The whistle was blown and Maddie made a long run up the field before she passed to Emily. Defender blocking her way, Emily sneakily smacked the ball in between the girl's legs making it 4-0. Once the centre kick was taken, Amy took possession of the ball and made a long pass to Elsie. A shot was made, but unfortunately it was saved with the goalkeepers feet. Emily was determined to score a goal and went in for the rebound making it 5-0. Time flew by and Hacton were on the road to victory when Katie tapped the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net. 6-0. Suddenly, the tides turned and our opponent's striker came charging into our half. Grace made an excellent tackle, but Elm Park recovered quickly. They had a shot and it was looking bad for our girls, but Jade made a spectacular save. 5 minutes were left and Katie received the ball from Alex and walked it into the net! 7-0. The Elm Park midfielders drove the ball slowly towards our goal as our team tirelessly tried to stop them. Megan made an excellent tackle and passed up to Kayleigh Ann, as she ran up the field. Crossing it to Katie, she knocked it in leaving the score at the final whistle 8-0.

Well done girls!

Friday, 5 December 2014

All England Junior Ballet Champion

Congratulations to our Year 6 pupil who recently became the British Theatre Dance Association (BTDA) All England Junior Ballet Champion. She has worked very hard to become a brilliant ballerina and we are all impressed by her amazing achievement.

"I went with my nan and my mum to Leicester. The drive took about 3 hours. We had to stay in a hotel that had a swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi - it was really cool! I had to do a ballet dance lasting about 2 minutes. I was competing against fourteen other girls, some were older than me and some were younger. I had to line up on stage with the other girls and we were called on to wait and listen to the results. They started with fourth, then third, then the runner up and then the winner... when they called out my name I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it! I got a massive trophy and a huge certificate. It was the best day ever."

Year 5 Visit Eastbury Manor

Year 5 pupils thoroughly enjoyed their Victorian Christmas at Eastbury Manor. They learned how to make a Victorian Christmas pudding (nothing too fancy as the Victorians felt rich foods could make children too excitable!); decorated a Christmas tree; and then each pupil produced their own cornucopia. It was interesting too see how many children produced large cornucopias once they learned they would be able to hold more sweets!

In the afternoon, everyone took part in popular Victorian parlour games such as ‘Basket’ (which tested pupils’ memories) and skittles. These games became particularly competitive when the two class-teachers played ‘Fish’ - a game which required two paper fish to be propelled along the floor using the air from some frantically waved newspapers! To the delight of 5SM, Miss Munday’s fish crossed the finishing line first and she won a handful of chocolate money; quite an expensive treat in those days!

"5SM and 5PS went on a once in a life time adventure to a historical place where the is an opportunity to experience the feeling of being in the Victorian era. 
Our favourite activity was playing the Victorian games because everyone got to get involved but the people who were caught out got to look for people who were doing the opposite of what they were meant to do so they would be OUT! The volunteers that taught us about Eastbury Manor were called Tom and Dave. Tom was the man who helped 5SM make a cornucopia and Dave was the one who showed 5PS How to make a Christmas pudding and then we swapped around. We had a great time!"

By Mia and George (Year 5)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are awarded the E for Effort cup in front of the whole school during our Friday morning assembly. Listen to the reasons why pupils have been given the award:

Congratulations to the wonderful children who have made an extra effort this week.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Year 5 Victorian Day

Year 5 pupils and teachers stepped back in time to experience a day at school in the Victorian era. Dressed for the occasion and wielding canes, Mrs Sanderson and Ms Munday ensured that strict discipline was maintained at all times. Any child who broke the rules had to stand in the corner and wear the dunce's hat or worse... receive the cane!

Throughout the day children carried out times-tables drills, copper-plate handwriting, spelling and reading. On the playground children performed a drill where there they marched, stretched and exercised. During a thoroughly engaging Victorian drama workshop in the large hall, Year 5 took part in roll play activities to help them understand the daily life of a poor working child in Victorian London.

Despite the harsh rules and even harsher punishments, pupils enjoyed dressing up and learning about Victorian times. However, they were very relieved to remove their caps and bonnets and return to the present day!

Hacton Pupils on Sky Sports 1 this Saturday

A couple of weeks ago, 25 pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 took part in filming for the Sky Sports 1 show 'Game Changers'. Hacton's attempt at the Super School Challenge will be shown during this week's episode of Game Changers (Saturday 29th November at 9.00 am on Sky Sports 1). The feature recorded with the children will last for about 2 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Year 6 Music: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

As part of the new music curriculum, we have adopted a scheme of work (Charanga) which sees each unit based around a song of a particular genre. Year 6 were off to a flying start this year when they studied Hip Hop music based around ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’. During this unit of work they focused on vocal improvisation, reading musical notation and playing both the recorder and xylophone. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning this classic song and they are looking forward to music next term where they will compose and perform their own Hip Hop tunes. Fresh!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are awarded the E for Effort cup in front of the whole school during our Friday morning assembly. Listen to the reasons why pupils have been given the award:

Congratulations to the wonderful children who have made an extra effort this week.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Design and Technology in Year 3: Galleons

Year 3 have been busy researching and sketching in preparation for making a Tudor galleon. The children gained inspiration from their recent trip to the Golden Hinde and couldn’t wait to start building their own model ships fit for great explorers like Sir Francis Drake. Year 3 have planned to include sails, rigging, masts, and even cannons that move. The galleons should bear a close resemblance to the real thing and we look forward to seeing the completed creations in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Key Stage 2 Pupils Visit the Royal Opera House

Recently, a group of Key Stage 2 pupils visited the Royal Opera House to experience a magical performance by The Royal Ballet. They wanted to share their report of a wonderful day out:

On Friday 14th November some of us (from KS2) were lucky enough to receive invites to go to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. Travelling on the Underground and by foot, we arrived in plenty of time and ate our packed lunches in the beautiful foyer of the theatre. With the show starting at 1pm, we excitedly walked down a golden pathway (that led to the theatre itself) and were filled with glee as we sat in our seats in the front row of the balcony. 

The theatre was amazing! The ceiling highly decorated, the seats a soft red velvet. Under the stage itself was the orchestra with 50 plus musicians. As the show began the audience either erupted with applause of stared in amazement. 

We watched three very different performances. Most of us enjoyed the second performance best which was called 'The Age of Anxiety' and was about friendship. 

"It was one of the best trips I have eve been on, a once in a lifetime opportunity." (Francesca) 
"It was amazing." (Annerose) 
"It was one of the most phenomenal experience I think I'll ever have!" (Tristan) 
"It was the most exciting ballet I have ever seen." (Ruby)

Year 6 Visit the Globe Theatre

The sun peeped through the rain clouds (for a while) as our Year 6 pupils travelled up to London to visit the spectacular Globe Theatre. Stopping for a photograph outside St. Paul's Cathedral and taking in the sites as they crossed the Millennium Bridge, it didn’t take long for our Shakespeare studying students to spot the famous thatched roof alongside the Southbank. After a little exploration of the surrounding area, we were led inside Shakespeare's Globe and given a tour of the theatre both in front of and behind the stage. Using their knowledge of Macbeth and new found awareness of performing in a large space, our pupils gave a theatrical performance of some of the famous play’s lines. This experience was followed by a workshop where the mind and moral battles going on inside Macbeth’s head were explored. This enjoyable trip provided an exciting conclusion to Year 6's work on The Scottish Play.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Money Awareness Week

Money Awareness Week saw pupils of all ages involved in learning about money and developing their awareness of how it is earned and spent. From Early Years - who held a cake sale to learn how to count out coins - to Year 6 - who held a 'bring and buy' sale to raise money for charity -, engaging activities helped our pupils understand the role money plays in everyday life. Competitions added to the excitement of the week: who would make the most creative maths hat? who would make the  most colourful money box? who would make the most inventive money themed board game?

Raising money for charity is close to our hearts at Hacton. A giant 'HS' was made by children who bought in 10 pence pieces. Also, Years 1-6 held their very own 'bring and buy' sales.

Friday afternoon saw a special celebration assembly of the children’s work. Year 1 focused on why we need money and how we get it. Year 2 looked at the differences between needs and wants. Year 3 covered different sources of income, the concept of affording something and saving. Year 4 looked at bank accounts, what they’re for and how we use them. Year 5 thought about debt and credit and the links with responsible and irresponsible debt. Year 6 focused on salaries in depth and how to budget for real life bills. The week ended in high spirits as competition results were announced. Money boxes were presented to all 20 competition winners.

What a successful week! Our pupils clearly enjoyed all the money themed activities. We hope the lessons they have learnt will help them appreciate the value of money in everyday life and achieve economic well-being. To top it all, we raised over £500 for Diabetes UK - the charity chosen by our School Council. The success of this week would not have been possible without the continued support from parents and carers. Thank you.

Monday, 17 November 2014

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are awarded the E for Effort cup in front of the whole school during our Friday morning assembly. Listen to the reasons why pupils have been given the award:

Congratulations to the wonderful children who have made an extra effort this week.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Fundraising for Children in Need

Pupils entered into the fundraising spirit today and dressed up for this year’s Children in Need campaign. In addition to the superhero themed non uniform day, School Council representatives worked hard all week selling raffle tickets to win Build-A-Bear Pudsey and Blush teddies. The winning tickets were picked in assembly and the cuddly characters now have new homes with delighted Reception and Year 6 pupils. As a result of these fundraising activities our school has collected over £500 for Children in Need. Thank you to parents and pupils for your support.

Year 1 Design and Technology: Pivots

Year 1 have been busy in Design and Technology this term making moving animals. Linked closely with their Science topic, the children have been displaying their cutting and construction skills to make parts of creatures which can pivot. Much fun was had by all using split pins to attach the parts together and then playing to see how their project moved.

“We made pictures move with pivots”

“We made pivots to make the frog’s legs move, it’s fun.”

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Game Changers at Hacton

25 pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 took part in filming for the Sky Sports show 'Game Changers' - a programme that aims to get children interested in sport and leading more active lives. After applying to take part in the show months ago, we were informed yesterday that the film crew and producers would be arriving in school at 9.30 today! Our pupils donned their freshly pressed PE kits (thank you parents) and, with a certain amount of trepidation, made their way to the large hall. They had nothing to worry about: the friendly film crew had set up a fun sports activity that involved throwing balls into a target to score points.

It was time for lights, camera, action. Pupils were filmed describing what they love about Hacton before they took part in the sports activity. If the ball was on target the children pulled a happy face to camera, if the ball missed the target they pulled a silly face; we look forward to watching that! All the children who took part had a wonderful time and, after some initial nerves, appearing in front of the camera really helped build their confidence. We will let you know as soon as we hear when the show will be broadcast.

Elsie: "I was excited and anxious about playing the game well. At first I was nervous being in front of the camera but in the end it was fun."

Ryan: "We scored 20 which was good. It felt amazing that I got to go on television."

William: "I felt a bit embarrassed knowing that everyone will see what I did but I'm pleased I did it."

Ryleigh: "The game was fast moving. I felt under pressure but proud knowing that I'm going to be on TV."

Taylor: "At first I was worried that I might mess up but I got used to it and chilled out. Now I'd like to do it again."

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance at Hacton

'Remembrance' is not a word we use every day. In everyday life, we say we 'remember' something like a friend's birthday. Things around us help us to remember people or places. Photos remind us of a party, or maybe a holiday. Old toys or clothes remind us of who gave them to us, or why we liked them when we were younger. But 'Remembrance' is bigger than that. 'Remembrance' is something that can be shared. That is why many people wear poppies as November the eleventh draws near. The poppy is a sign of remembrance. It shows we have not forgotten what happened long ago, to people in our own and other people's families.

A hundred years have passed since 1914. But we still remember that war. Today, we call it World War One. We stop. We think. We take time out of our lives and bring to mind those people who fought and suffered and died in a terrible war a hundred years ago. We also remember the people caught up in World War Two and other wars that have happened since World War Two ended in 1945.

Today at Hacton, we joined with people around the world to stand in silent contemplation. We stopped. We thought. We remembered.

Children in Reception thought about why we wear poppies. The children looked at photographs of the display at the Tower of London and made their own poppies to hold during the silence at 11am. Later in the day they painted pictures and added their poppies to classroom displays.

Year 6 put their thoughts into moving poems of remembrance.

Displays along the main corridor remembered family members and other local war heroes.

Science Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our weekly Science Challenge. This week's question was:

"Why does condensation form on the outside of a glass of cold water?"

This question required pupils to understand that water vapour in the air becomes droplets of water when it comes into contact with something cold. Two super scientists in Year 6 put their heads together and displayed a brilliant understanding of how condensation forms. Well done!

Friday, 7 November 2014

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are awarded the E for Effort cup in front of the whole school during our Friday morning assembly. Listen to the reasons why pupils have been given the award:

Congratulations to the wonderful children who have made an extra effort this week.

Year 1 Fireworks

To capture the spirit of bonfire night, Year 1 used iPads to draw colourful and imaginative pictures of fireworks. While they were engrossed in drawing, the children were invited in small groups to make rockets using breadsticks, melted chocolate and sprinkles. Some even added popping candy to theirs. Year 1 had great fun exploring the fireworks theme: they enjoyed making their delicious rocket treats and proved that they are amazing digital artists.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bonfire Night: Have Fun and Be Safe

It's November the 5th and we hope that, whether you are going to an organised display at the weekend or you are having your own party, you enjoy the whoosh, bang and crackle of the fireworks. Please think about safety at all times and remember the fireworks code:
  • Stand well back
  • Never go back to a lit firework
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket
  • Never throw fireworks
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five
  • Keep pets indoors
More information about fireworks safety is available on the RoSPA website

Did you know that half of all fireworks accidents happen to children under 16? See 20 Things you never knew about fireworks for more fascinating facts.

Fireworks safety poster by Connie (5SM)

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Science Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the the winner of our first weekly Science Challenge. The question was:

"How would placing a coat around a snowman affect the time it takes to melt?"

Pupils had to decide whether the snowman would melt more quickly, would take longer to melt or whether it would take the same amount of time to melt and explain why. This question required the pupils to use their knowledge of thermal insulators. The answer from our super scientist in Year 5 earned her a prize.

"When my name was called out in assembly I was happy. I won a pen and a bag of Maltesers and I got a certificate too. The Science Challenge made me think a bit but it didn't take me long to remember what I had learnt in year 4 about thermal insulators. I'm going to try to answer the science question every week - I like a challenge!"

Friday, 24 October 2014

Afternoon Places Available in Hacton Nursery

There are now afternoon places available in our nursery. This session runs from 12.30 pm until 3.30 pm. If you would like to visit our nursery or reserve a space for your child please contact us on 01708 443991 or email

Early Years Cake Sale Success

After two days of baking, Early Years children held their very own cake sale. Stalls were set up in both Nursery and Reception where the children took the roles of shopkeeper, cashier and assistant. Customers carefully counted out their pennies and chose their favourite cakes to take away. The correct money was taken by the cashier and cakes were packed in a bag by the assistant. The children had great fun shopping and being trusted with real money - just like grown ups! Thank you parents for your support.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Singing Assembly - Believe

With its inspiring lyrics and a soaring chorus, 'Believe' was the perfect song to motivate our pupils on a chilly October morning. Singing Assembly found the children in fine voice and they sang, as usual, with energy and enthusiasm. We hope you enjoy listening to Key Stage 2's version of this uplifting song.