Friday, 27 February 2015

Singing Competition Winner

Recently, one of our talented Year 6 pupils took part the Stratford and East London Music Festival. We were very impressed to hear that in the singing competition he achieved first place with distinction. Well done! He wrote a report of the event:

"I competed in a singing competition as part of the Music Festival. Up against five other eager singers, I felt nervous - were they better singers than me? Taking my place on the stage, I took a deep breath and went for it. My first song was 'Where is Love?' from Oliver! Second Place! After singing my first song I felt more confident and was eager to sing the next. Performing the best I could, the judges were wowed by my performance of 'Little People' from Les Miserables. To my surprise I won! First place with distinction, three points from outstanding! I felt so proud of myself and pleased that all my hard work and effort into perfecting my singing had paid off. As a result, I received a trophy, which will have my name engraved on it. It will take pride of place in my living room! My parents were over the moon to know that I had won and my singing teacher even bought me a chocolate bar! (I didn't share it with anyone of course!)"

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Year 3 Stone Age Activities

Year 3 have enjoyed learning all about the Stone Age this term. This was made even more exciting with the arrival of R and H Services and their Stone Age activities. Children were taught how to hunt and gather their own food, they made shelters and tasted food that Stone Age people would have eaten. The children were even able to touch actual Stone Age flint arrowheads and hand axes that have been found during archaeological digs. Year 3 children (and adults) had a fabulous day sharing their existing knowledge and learning even more about life in the Stone Age.

Introducing the Hacton Pupil Passport

Everything we do is designed to create a school where pupils will flourish: personally, socially and academically. Our curriculum goes beyond the content of the national offer to enrich learning, widen experiences and strengthen character.

The Pupil Passport is our latest initiative to help communicate curriculum expectations to pupils and parents. All pupils will receive a printed Passport to which they can refer as they make progress on their journey through the year. We hope parents will also read the Passports so they can support their children more effectively.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Challenge Week: Origami

During Learning Challenge week, Mrs Standen and Mrs Batty shared their love of Origami. Orignally from China and Japan, Origami is the ancient art of paper folding. Once taught in Japanese schools, it is still a popular pastime today. Children from Year 1 to Year 6 followed instructions to produce some wonderful creations, from houses to dogs, butterflies to swans. It was definitely a challenge for all who took part but one that was met with enthusiasm from everyone.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Challenge Week: Tube Map Quiz

With Hornchurch Underground station nearby, Challenge Week presented an opportunity to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the Tube. Large maps were unrolled for the children to use and a range of challenging questions were presented to the table groups. As most of the children at Hacton have travelled by Underground train they were keen to get started. Football-loving pupils enjoyed finding as many stations as they could that share their names with football teams; they found some that even Mrs Burks (who devised the challenge) hadn't considered! All the children pored over the maps as they pondered the tricky questions: Which line has seven sisters and a black horse? What station is nearest to where Henry VIII had people's heads chopped off? The children clearly enjoyed the challenge. They worked brilliantly in their teams and by the end of the session were able to competently find their way around London.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

EYFS: Celebrating Fairy Tale Challenge Week

Early Years children finished their Fairy Tale Challenge Week in style with a grand ball and banquet. Dressed in fantastic fairy tale costumes (thank you parents), they danced and played party games in the hall. The children returned to the Early Years corridor to sit at the long banqueting table for a special feast consisting of biscuits, crisps, jelly and ice cream - yummy! What a wonderful end to a very enjoyable week.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Maths Learning Challenge Winners

We had some fantastic, creative entries for our Maths Learning Challenge, which provided a challenge in itself: picking just one winner in each class! The entries covered all areas of the Maths curriculum including money, shape, fractions, estimating and problem solving. They demonstrated how the children at our school interact with Maths in their environment. Congratulations to our worthy winners, and to 4NM who scooped the class prize for having the most entries.

Challenge Week: Perspective Photography

During Learning Challenge week we looked at Perspective Photography. Our pupils created optical illusions to make objects appear further away, closer, larger or smaller than they actually were. Children across the school displayed creativity and imagination when composing their mind-bending photographs. Getting in the right positions to create optical illusions was not easy, but the children persevered and created some fantastic photographs that are now proudly displayed in the school corridor.

Challenge Week: Drumming

During Challenge Week, pupils in all year groups studied and performed music from Africa. Learning how drums and rhythms were used in African villages as a communication tool, The challenge was to create rhythms to send a message to other children in the class. After speaking to one another using the drums, our pupils learnt an African song. 'Tue Tue' was performed in the whole school sharing assembly at the end of Challenge Week.

listen to ‘Challenge Week Drumming: Tue Tue’ on audioBoom

Challenge Week: Bunting with Meaning

In each of the world’s religions, stories play an essential part. For centuries, they have been used to teach people about the beliefs of their religion in an easy to understand way. Years 1 and 2 looked at a Sikh story called the Milk and the Jasmine Flower. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 looked at a Christian story called The Forgiving King and the Unforgiving Servant. During Challenge Week, we discussed the meaning behind these tales. Our pupils created bunting to represent the ideas in these stories and the results are proudly displayed around school.

Challenge Week: Boccia

One of the most popular activities during Challenge Week was the ball game boccia.

"The best challenge was boccia. It is a paralympic sport so we had to sit down to take part - that was the challenge. It was nearly impossible to get the right angle to hit the ball so we had to find other ways to be successful. We all got very competitive and made sure that the measuring was accurate to decide who won. It was great fun!"

By Hannah (Year 5) and Natasha (Year 4)

Friday, 13 February 2015

Challenge Week: Shorthand

During Challenge Week, all pupils were introduced to Pitman Shorthand – a skill which allows people to take notes quickly and efficiently. At first sight, the children merely saw a mass of squiggles, dots and strokes. However, by playing games such as ‘Simon Says’, children were allowed to see the correlation between shorthand (which is based on sounds) and their own knowledge of phonics. Pupils were then asked to draw the symbol that matched the sound. By the end of the lesson they were able to recognise and draw some strokes which represented sounds such as ‘p’, ‘b’,‘t’, ‘d’ , ‘ch’ and ‘j’ and even copy words to match the picture of animals. Year 5 and 6 pupils were asked to decipher a message written in shorthand. Well done to all pupils: a great start was made learning a difficult skill.

Year 6 SATs Information

Thank you to all parents who attended the SATs information meeting. The talk covered the upcoming Year 6 SATs and we gave details about the tests that children will be sitting. We also provided information about the Level 6 tests for reading and maths which would be taken by a small group of high achievers. A lot of ground was covered so we have posted the presentation for those who could not attend and for parents who want to study the information in more detail.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Hacton 4 - 1 Branfil

The Hacton girls' football team recently scored an impressive win against Branfil Primary. Amy, Elsie and Megan (Year 6) have written this report

With high hopes we kicked off to a great start. Maddie made a long run down the pitch, straight through the Branfil defenders. Powerfully, she took a shot ... and she scored! Just minutes into the match and it was already 1-0 to Hacton. Branfil kicked off. Megan (our Captain) made a great tackle, Amy chased it up the pitch and passed to Katie who took an amazing shot and scored - 2-0! Not long after we made it 3-0, but Branfil took the ball and sprinted down the pitch. 3-1. Despite the fact that we were comfortably in the lead, we were still determined to get another ball in the net. Katie passed to Emily who ran down the pitch until she finally crossed it to Amy. She had a shot ... unfortunately it hit the post. It was almost full time when Katie ran up the pitch and made it 4-1. The whistle blew and Hacton had won 4-1. Victory!

Well done again girls.

Year 5 DT: The Surface of the Moon

After researching the terrain of the moon, Year 5 pupils enjoyed getting messy dipping their hands into glue and water to make papier-mâché models of the lunar surface. They learned to identify the names of different features including: rills, mons, montes, craters, mare and marie. In addition, pupils enjoyed learning about existing moon vehicles and exploring the different design features required for the vehicle’s purpose. They used this knowledge to design and build their own prototype moon buggies.

Examples of these are now being exhibited in the main corridor in Hacton.

Year 6 RE: Five Pillars

In Year 6, we have been looking at ‘What it means to be a Muslim’ in our RE work. After studying and discussing the Five Pillars of Islam, we thought about how these ‘Pillars’ were similar to other religions and our personal life choices. Individually, we decided on what the ‘Five Pillars’ for our life could be and discussed how these could affect other people.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Challenge Week Update

Challenge week is well underway and children are enjoying moving between classes and trying new things. We look forward to hearing about the highlights on Friday in assembly. Keep watching the blog for information about each of the challenges the children have taken on.

Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of our Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge. The challenge was to write the names of objects in life that are square. Well done to the Year 2 pupil who was able to list an amazing 16 objects - well done!

"I was surprised to win. I thought it would be someone else but it was me! I felt happy. I won some sweets but I haven't eaten them yet. Mummy and Daddy were pleased."

Key Stage 2 Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of last week's Maths Challenge. Children had to use their imaginations to come up with a story behind the number sentence '215-129=?'. Well done to our Year 3 pupil who won with his creative answer, "A chicken laid 215 eggs. 129 of them hatched. How many eggs does the chicken have now? Answer 86". Great job!

"Maths isn't one of my best subjects but I'm still quite good at it. I felt excited in assembly because I thought I had a chance of winning. I won sweeties. I ate them all myself. I got a certificate with maths pictures all over it. Mum and Dad said, 'Well done!'. Winning the Maths Challenge makes me want to do it more to see if I can win it again."

Year 4 India Day

Year 4 experienced the delights of India. They learnt some Bollywood dance moves, tried different Indian food, made samosas and took part in Indian arts and crafts. The children discussed and experienced life in Chembakolli through an interactive workshop and were able to try on traditional Indian saris. They thoroughly enjoyed their day a had a true taste of typical Indian lifestyles.

"Learning all about India was very interesting. I was surprised that some poor people in India don't wear shoes, they drink from rivers and they live in mud and cow dung houses. It made me realise how lucky we are." (Rebecca)

"Samosa making was my favourite part because it was fun and they were easy to make... they were yummy!" (Rachel)

Year 6 Literacy: Ice Trap

In Literacy Year 6 have been reading the book ‘Ice Trap! Shackleton's Incredible Expedition’. This is the story of the epic journey made across the Antarctic ice pack by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men in 1914. The story teaches us much about heroism, leadership and loyalty. Year 6 pupils have written diaries, newspaper reports, poems, descriptions, non-chronological reports, biographies and story endings based on his incredible voyage.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

500 Words Writing Competition

Do you love to write stories? Have you got a wild imagination? Do you love to read books? Well, this is the competition for you! For the 5th year, BBC Radio 2 are hosting the 500 word story competition and it's bigger than ever. The competition requires you to write a short story which is no more than 500 words. If you are lucky enough to be one of the national winners, the presentation will be held in St James Palace attended by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. There is a brilliant website to accompany the competition - - that gives you all the information you need along with lots of cool stuff such as stars reading last years winning stories, tips from top authors and interviews with the judges: Francesca Simon; Frank Boyce and Malorie Blackman. There are inspirational ideas and the Alphabot (a robot that gives you words to include in your story when you press his tummy).

Take a look at the web site as there is loads for you to listen, watch and read. So, now is your chance to show off your authorial skills. Get your pens writing, good luck and happy story writing!

School Council Visit the Mayor of Havering

Last week, the School Council visited the Mayor of Havering. They have written this report:

On Febuary 2nd, School Council members went on a once in a lifetime visit to the Mayor of Havering where we met the Deputy Mayor, Barbara Matthews. The Mayor had an engagement, however, she was quite upset she couldn’t be in our presence.

The first event of our morning was catching the 193 bus to Romford Market and, suprisingly, it was full with other people. Once we got off the bus, we ventured under the subway to the magestic Town Hall. After having a few photos taken in front of the sign, a staff member – Robert – escorted us into the Councillors' Chamber. We took our seats and then, to show respect, rose as the Deputy Mayor arrived. We got to ask a bundle of questions.

Next, we were introduced to Robert and Derek who told us about the ceremonial mace and the Mayor’s robes. Shortly after, we were treated to refreshments in the Mayor’s Parlour. We then played dress up in the Mayor’s gown and the mace bearer’s gown plus we got the honor of holding the mace itself; it was very heavy, weighing over 7kg.

We had an extraordinary day and we really enjoyed it.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Challenge Week: Launch Assembly

Launching challenge week in style, the hall erupted with cheers and applause this morning as children took on new challenges to beat different world records: the most spoons balanced on your face; the tallest tower of matchsticks and keeping a ball off the ground for the longest time possible with only your feet. No records were broken today but pupils entered into the challenges with enthusiasm and excitement.

After, we looked at a real life example of an extraordinary challenge. With a passion for expanding boundaries, especially in the air, Felix Baumgartner became hugely famous when on 14 October 2012 he jumped 24 miles to earth from a balloon reaching speeds of up to 725mph. He became the world’s first supersonic skydiver, breaking the sound barrier and took the record for highest altitude manned balloon flight and the highest altitude skydive. Our pupils gasped in awe when they watched the video of this amazing achievement. Don't worry, we do not plan on sending any children into space this week! Remember - don’t try this at home!

Children left the hall ready for the challenges that will face them this week. They have been encouraged to be the greatest they possibly can be.

"I love a challenge, and trying to become the first person to break the speed of sound in freefall is a challenge like no other." Felix Baumgartner

Challenge Week

At Hacton, we believe in giving our pupils a broad and balanced curriculum which extends beyond the classroom and prepares our young people for the challenges of the real world. With this in mind, an incredibly exciting week has been planned for this week in school as we lose our timetable and visit different classes throughout to take on new challenges and tackle new experiences. Challenges include: learning the skill of shorthand; creating rhythms on African drums; investigating the London Underground; orienteering and photography master classes. Teachers have chosen a challenge which they are passionate about and are looking forward to sharing these with the children. It looks to be another great week in school.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Reception: Drawing the Giant's Castle

Reception have been learning about a range of traditional tales this term. For their focus on Jack and the Beanstalk, the children used Drawing Pad on the iPad to draw the giant's castle. They learnt about some different features of a castle to help them with their illustrations. The children then created amazing artworks that incorporated turrets, moats and draw bridges. Some children made Jack's beanstalk and clouds then placed their giant's castle at the top. You could almost hear the giant roaring: 'Fee, fi, fo, fum!'

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Visit from Grendel

Recently, Key Stage 1 were very lucky to have a visit from Grendel the four week old Bengal eagle-owl. This tied in perfectly with Year 1 science work focussing on animals and animal footprints. Grendel is actually a pet that belongs to some of our Year 1 pupils. We found out more about Grendel from their dad:

"We did a lot of research and got expert advice before deciding whether an owl would be suitable as a family pet (our friend has a barn owl). Bengal eagle-owls are known to have a good temperament and are easier to keep than some owls. We won't know whether Grendel is a boy or girl until he/she is older. Grendel can't go outside because its feathers are still growing - it can't fly yet. The owl stays in the living room during the day and the attic at night. When Grendel is older and the weather is a little warmer it will move into an aviary that I'm building. At the moment, Grendel likes to play with cuddly toys!"

Grendel was from a captive breeding program in Oxford and has become very relaxed around people. The owl took the visit to Key Stage 1 in its stride. The children adored their new fluffy feathered friend and its visit prompted some great questions from our inquisitive pupils. Thank you for visiting us Grendel: we hope you had a hoot!