Wednesday, 23 July 2014

End of the School Year

It's difficult to find the words to summarise such a fantastic school year. There have been so many highlights: being recognised by the Minister of State for Schools for the outstanding progress of our pupils; winning the football league; successful school trips; impressive fundraising for charity; spectacular school productions; happy children who clearly love coming to school. The list goes on...

As the summer term came to a close, children and staff both old and new gathered in the hall for the final assembly of the year. Amongst laughter as we reminisced about life at Hacton there were tears of sadness and pride as our Year 6 leavers received certificates in recognition of their achievements. We are very proud of the progress they have made both academically and socially and we feel confident that they are ready for the next exciting chapter of their school life. As well as saying goodbye to our Year 6 pupils, we also said a fond farewell to some members of staff who are moving on to pastures new. We wish our Year 6 children every success as they venture on to secondary school and we look forward to welcoming back our pupils in September. We hope you enjoy a restful, fun-filled and sunny holiday.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Keep Maths Bubbling!

During the long break it is important that children do not suffer from the ‘Summer Slide’; they can begin to forget skills, particularly in maths, which can lead to setbacks when they return to school in September. We are keen to ensure that maths is not just seen as a classroom activity, but something that can be enjoyed outside of school too. Please download the activity ideas below that you can enjoy with your children whether you stay at home, or are lucky enough to venture overseas. We hope you will find the suggestions useful and take the time to encourage your children to ‘Keep Maths Bubbling!’

Miss Muskett, Maths Coordinator

Don't forget that our school subscribes to a number of educational resources that can be accessed from home by following the links on our web page for pupils.

Goodbye Year 2, Hello Year 3

In an adorable assembly at the end of the summer term, Year 2 pupils shared their memories of life as infants at Hacton. They also talked about their achievements and looked forward to becoming juniors. To round off the assembly, the children sung some of their favourite songs from the year.

We enjoyed the assembly so much that we asked our pupils to perform it again, this time with our video camera rolling. We hope Year 2 parents enjoy this record of their children's time as infants at Hacton.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Drum Masterclass with Jeff Rich

Hacton pupils were very lucky to have a visit from professional drummer Jeff Rich (who famously played with Status Quo for 16 years) for a music masterclass that both entertained and inspired. In the thrilling educational workshop, Jeff not only displayed his astonishing command of rhythm but also explained the history of the drums and how they are played. Drums from the most primitive to the most technologically advanced were expertly demonstrated. Some lucky pupils were invited to try drums from around the world that included the djembe, the talking drum and various snare drums.

Jeff explained that he started drumming at the age of 9 with knitting needles on biscuit tins. After working hard and saving up enough money he bought a snare drum. By the time he was at secondary school he had a full kit. With a combination of hard graft, perseverance and some good luck he went from playing in school bands to playing on television adverts and then performing with famous groups such as Stretch, Judie Tzuke, The Climax Blues Band, Def Leppard and Status Quo. His setup now centres around a rare Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum worth over £10,000!

When Jeff sat behind the kit to demonstrate his mastery of the instrument, the children were clearly amazed: many clapped along and wiggled to the beat; some listened with fingers in their ears, surprised by the sheer volume; hearing-impaired children felt the powerful vibrations through a balloon. Everyone was astounded by the dexterity of the performance. Percussion was handed out for the grand finale - a jam where all pupils and staff joined in with a steady beat from the drum kit.

Learning about the drums and hearing a professional musician perform in the school hall was clearly inspirational and, as the final cymbal crashed, the children showed their appreciation with a huge cheer.

Cookery Club Lunch for Staff

On Friday morning, Year 6 Cookery Club prepared and served a tasty lunch for staff. The day before we cooked the butterfly cupcakes, which took forever! Then, on Friday morning, we prepared the tables and chairs. At 9 o'clock it was time to cook so we put on our aprons and made a start. We made the leek and bacon pasta bake first then the chicken kebab, the last main we cooked was the omelette popovers which took a lot longer than we expected (whoops!). 12 o'clock arrived and we were all so excited. Our first customers arrived and we served them drinks. It was then time for food. At 12.40 the omelette popovers were finally ready and they were served to our hungry diners. It was soon time for dessert. Before the apple slices were ready, we gave out butterfly cup cakes; everyone loved them. All in all, the lunch was a big success.

By Evie, Ciara and Sophie

5PS Raise Over £400 for Good Causes

Congratulations to 5PS who raised over £400 for good causes with a fantastic tabletop sale. There were delicious cakes, carefully crafted loom bands, refreshing lemonade and much more available in the large hall for staff and pupils to buy. The hard work of the children (and their parents) raised a very impressive sum of money that will help support research into Cancer, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Motor Neurone Disease. We were extremely impressed with the diligence, careful organisation and pride that children took in setting up their tables. Thank you to parents for helping your children prepare for this very successful and rewarding project.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Alice in Wonderland

Despite the sweltering heat, proud parents and grandparents packed the hall on the last Wednesday of term to watch the Year 6 leavers production of Alice in Wonderland. After only 3 weeks of rehearsals, all the children sang, acted and performed brilliantly (with no prompting required!). Alice, Sis, The White Rabbit, The Mad Hatter and the March Hare led the sensational performance which captured the imagination of the audience as the story became curiouser and curiouser. Rapturous applause erupted as our talented children finished the show with a rousing rendition of Daydream Believer. Well done to Year 6 for a wonderful performance and a fitting finale to their time at Hacton.

Thank You Tea

It was fantastic to see so many of you enjoying tea, cakes, good company and a cheeky glass of rosé during our thank you tea this afternoon. Everyone who gives up their time contributes to the success of our school, so your support is greatly appreciated by staff and pupils. Thank you again - we look forward to working with you during the next school year.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Early Years Sports Days

This year, we held our first Nursery and Reception Sports Days. The children, dressed in their team colours, were so excited and keen to do their best. To encouraging cheers from family and friends, they ran, hurdled, balanced and completed an obstacle race with beaming smiles on their faces. After the fun of the children's events, the serious competition began! Parents did their children proud by completing a good-natured traditional mums' and dads' race. We can see where the children get their winning spirit! Thank you for supporting your children and for helping to make our first Early Years Sports Days so successful.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Year 4 Visit the Natural History Museum

Year 4 recently visited the Natural History Museum for a day filled with fascinating facts. Exhibitions about the human body, animal habitats and, of course, dinosaurs were the subject of many "did you know that...?" discussions amongst our pupils. To a captivated audience, industrious leafcutter ants carried leaves across ropes to their nest. On a totally different scale, the famous model of a blue whale had our children awe struck by the size of the majestic mammal. We are so lucky to have this world-class museum just an easy train journey away; the inspiring day out was clearly enjoyed by pupils and they learnt so much about the natural world.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Junk Modelling with Year 1

Year 1 children were asked to bring in boxes, cartons, bottle tops, sweet wrappers and any other old packaging they could find to use in their DT lessons. Demonstrating creativity and imagination, pupils worked in groups to design and make jolly jungle animals out of the available junk. Their project was a great success: the children displayed excellent team working skills and have constructed creations of which they can be proud. Good work Year 1!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Hacton Summer Fayre

Thank you to our Parents' Association for another fantastic Summer Fayre and to everyone who supported this exciting annual event. With the sun blazing, children whizzed down slides, bounced on inflatables and hung on for dear life on the bucking bronco! There was something for everyone: face painting, hoopla, balloons, sweet stalls, a barbeque and much more. Children had great fun flinging wet sponges at teachers trapped in the famous Hacton stocks (a rare chance for pupils to get their own back for all that challenging homework!). Teachers also displayed their fancy footwork and precision pom pom skills with a very well coordinated cheerleading routine, raising a smile and a cheer from the stunned audience.

Thank you again to everyone involved in organising and running this superb event. The Parents' Association raised over £2000 - a brilliant achievement - and this will be put to good use enriching the school life of our pupils.

Monday, 7 July 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, 4 July 2014

Sports Days 2014

It was pleasing to see so many family members turn out for our sports days last week. With 8 events testing skills in running, throwing, jumping and agility, this year's Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 sports days were full of energy and fun. Children were determined to do their best for their teams but to enjoy themselves along the way. Scores on both days were incredibly close and pupils were on tenterhooks waiting for the results. Cheers erupted as Mr Emes announced that Green team were the KS 2 winners while the honour was shared by joint KS 1 winners, Green and Yellow teams.

We would like to thank parents for attending this year's sports days. The smiles on our pupils faces made it clear that they really appreciated your encouragement and support.

Derek the Butterfly

One of our Year 6 pupils wanted to share his enthusiasm for nature with his classmates. He was given a butterfly kit for his birthday and he told fellow pupils all about it:

"My dad bought me a butterfly kit for my birthday. When I got it, we had 5 eggs. They turned into  caterpillars, then pupas and then they emerged as a butterflies. It took about 3 weeks for each of them to turn into pupas then a week for them to turn into butterflies. When they were caterpillars they were in a box and the food was already in with them. When they turned into pupas we transferred them into the special butterfly habitat. We had to put some banana and apple in with them, score the fruit with a knife and drizzle sugar and water over it. 5 butterflies emerged and I released the other 4 into my garden but this one can't fly. The species of butterfly is the painted lady and we named this one Derek!

"I feel like I'm helping butterflies by adding to the population. I want to go into something to do with nature when I am older, like be part of a club that's supporting nature."

Update: later in the day, Derek found his wings and flew away!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Using Literacy Skills to Make a Sandwich

A group of Year 3 pupils had fun making sandwiches as part of a literacy unit of work. The children have been working hard with Mrs McDonach to write clear instructions explaining how to make sandwiches, using time connectives and making sure their sentences made sense. They put their writing to the test and followed the steps they had written. The proof of the sandwich was in the eating... Success! They were all delicious.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hacton Win Year 3/4 Football Tournament

On Saturday 14th June, Hacton Primary School were invited to RJ Mitchell school to play in a year 3 and 4 football tournament. Although we got off to a bad start, losing 2-0 and 2-1, we soon started improving and won the next 3 matches to take us into the semi-finals. In the semi-final, we played Scotts (our big rivals) and beat them 1-0. In the final, we beat St Albans 2-0 to win the tournament!

By Luke (Year 4)

Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of last week's Maths Challenge: 'How many things can you think of that are shorter than a metre but longer than 50cm?'. As usual, we had some great responses. Well done to our Year 5 pupil who came up with a list of imaginative suggestions including: '11 5cm bottles next to each other'.

"I was at swimming when the winner was announced but I was overjoyed when I found out it was me! I won some chocolate buttons and a certificate. I've still got two chocolate buttons left because I'm like Charlie (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory): I like to save my chocolate and enjoy it a bit at a time. I gave my mum and dad a chocolate button each. They're proud of me for winning the Maths Challenge."

Hearing Impaired Pupils Experience the LSO in Concert

Our hearing impaired pupils visited the Barbican Centre to experience a spectacular concert by the London Symphony Orchestra. After an easy Tube journey, the children hopped off the train and walked excitedly to the concert venue. Lunch was eaten in the Barbican Centre foyer before the children took to their seats, with pupils from other London schools, in the impressive auditorium. The educational concert, with a transport theme, was simply magical and the children were thoroughly engaged throughout. The performance focussed on different instruments of the orchestra and included plenty of playful audience participation. This was a fantastic opportunity for our hearing impaired pupils to experience a classical concert performed by one of world's top orchestras and they absolutely loved it.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Reception Visit Barleylands

Reception classes have been learning about milk and the processes involved in getting it from udder to carton. The recent trip to Barleylands farm park and craft village gave them the opportunity to meet some cows and learn more about dairy farming. They also had great fun making butter and tasting delicious milkshakes. An exciting tractor ride took the lucky children to wheat fields where they learnt how crops grow and how they are harvested. To round off the visit, pupils made pizzas from scratch. As the fresh pizzas cooked, the wonderful aroma made mouths water and tummies rumble. Unsurprisingly (farm animals, pizza and milkshake!), this fun-filled trip was enjoyed immensely by our Reception children.

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.

Music Skills with Brittons Academy

Year 9 an 10 music students from Brittons Academy entertained and inspired our Key Stage 2 pupils with an hour long music show in the Large Hall. The enthusiastic senior school performers impressed our children with guitar playing, drumming and singing. The favourite part of the show amongst our pupils was 'Stomp' in which household items were used as musical instruments with Hacton children joining in to raise the roof with a rhythmic racket! The Brittons Academy students love of music most definitely made an impact: the sound of drumming on desks and upturned bins has been heard echoing through the corridors ever since!