Friday, 27 March 2015

3KV Celebrate Literacy Week

3KV had a fabulous last day of term dressing up as book characters to celebrate the end of Literacy Week. Year 3 focussed on Oliver Twist for the whole of this week so it seemed appropriate for Mrs Batty to dress up as the famous Oliver Twist, Mrs Standen as Nancy and Miss Vlasic as the Artful Dodger! 3KV had a wide variety of characters including: Little Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland, Where's Wally, Willy Wonka, a child from The Railway Children and TWO Sherlock Holmes. The children's brilliant costumes (thanks parents!) made for a colourful end to a lively Literacy Week.

Year 4 Cake Sale Raises Over £90

On the last day of the spring term, Year 4 children held a charity cake sale during break and lunch times. Delicious homemade cakes were snapped up and raffle tickets were purchased by children and staff. Our pupils chose to fundraise for the RSPA and very successful they were too: they raised over £90. Well done!

Year 4 PE

In PE, Year 4 children developed their skills in gymnastics to explore balances and rolls. This made for exciting lessons using all of the apparatus. The end of this unit of work culminated in a series of performance pieces using all of the skills that the children had learnt in gym.

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. The children experienced candling the eggs (putting a light behind them) and were amazed to see the tiny movements of the developing chicks. Unfortunately, they hatched on a Friday evening but the children were delighted to arrive back into Nursery on Monday morning to greet the new arrivals. Two eggs were hatched - one Ixworth hen and one Sebright bantam - and the chicks have now been returned to Hadleigh Farm. The farm opens on 31st march, should anyone wish to visit them in their new home.

Years 5 and 6 Basketball

This week, our Year 5 and 6 pupils have had the opportunity to develop their basketball skills by working with a teacher from one of our local secondary schools (Emerson Park). The children perfected their passing, improved their interception and skilfully shot balls at the basketball net! We hope to see some of your new skills being performed during playtime and during their next session after the Easter holidays.

Debating with Year 3

Year 3 learnt more about the conditions for Victorian children like Oliver Twist. Our pupils focussed on understanding the dangers for children at work in Victorian times. Children had to climb under heavy and dangerous machinery, they could get lung problems and other diseases as a result of their work. Some jobs involved working until their hands were bloody.

In the afternoon Year 3 held a debate with one side arguing against such terrible conditions for children at work and others arguing for children working under these conditions.

Harry, who became known as Joseph Knight, was arguing that factory owners would not like the new laws and it would cause too much trouble so children should continue working under such conditions.

Ayla took on the role of Newton Lophim who believed that all children should be given a chance to better their situation in life and consequently should not be forced to work under such dangerous conditions.

Emily played Edward Dettle in the debate arguing that someone needs to stick up for children as they are too young to stick up for themselves.

Freya and Joe both debated that poor children do not need to be educated as their proper place is at work.

The debate became rather lively at times with all children extremely passionate when discussing their reasoning. Reflecting on their debate, it was clear that Year 3 found the experience thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Year 3 in the Workhouse

Year 3 have been focussing on the wonderful ‘Oliver Twist’ for Literacy Week. By Monday morning, Year 3 classrooms had been transformed into dark and dull Victorian workhouses with rules chalked onto the walls which had to be followed for the day.

Children were forced to work in silence at all times. Jobs throughout the day included washing filthy dirty clothes with only water and one bar of soap to be shared amongst the workers, oakum picking and bread baking. Supper was served to the workers: gruel, gruel and more gruel made by the children in the afternoon (served with a small bread roll). The children wrote in their diary at the end of the day.

Lexie: “Today was hard work. We had to bake bread, do lots of washing AND oakum picking. We had to do it all in silence. Life at the workhouse was exhausting”.

Joe: “First I went to the bakery to make some brown bread to go with the disgusting gruel. I later picked around 88 strands when oakum picking”.

Lily: "I don't like the workhouse because there are so many hard jobs like laundry and oakum picking. Following the rules is also hard because you aren't allowed to talk, you have to eat gruel and if you ask for more food you will get sent to Mr Bumble. You're only allowed to be seen and not heard and if you don't follow the rules then you get a punishment."

Kaiden: "I feel sad because I had to do the washing. We had to obey the rules and we had to stay quiet in class. Also we had to stay in single file in the line. We've had to separate rope into pieces and we weren't allowed to talk in lessons. We are not allowed to be happy."

Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge. This week, we had a 'Shopping Challenge'. Our Key Stage 1 pupils were asked to find different ways to make 20p. The brilliant Year 2 winner found an impressive number of ways that equalled the target amount.

"We had to find the most ways to make 20. There are lots of ways you can make it! I wasn't in assembly, Mrs Muskett came into class and gave me my prize - some Randoms - and a certificate. I had to share the sweets with my sister, but I didn't mind. Mum and Dad were really happy that I'd won and I was really happy too."

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Year 2 Geography: Islands

Year 2 have been looking at islands in Geography. Firstly, the children made plans of how they wanted their islands to look with all the features they hoped to include. To start building the islands, balloons were covered in papier-mâché. Once the papier-mâché had dried, the balloons were chopped in half to make the island shapes. The shapes were then painted using blue for the sea, yellow for the sand and green for the land. Year 2 then referred to their plans to add objects such as volcanoes, trees, flowers and people that they placed on their colourful islands. The end results were fantastic. This has been a project that our Year 2 pupils have thoroughly enjoyed.

Year 6: The Railway Children

Year 6 have been using 'The Railway Children' as their focus text for Literacy Week. In today's Literacy lesson, pupils acted out their favourite scenes from the book. Can you guess what they are?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Clutching their golden tickets, a number of our KS2 pupils were given the wonderful opportunity to visit the theatre this week to watch the world famous production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

As the curtain was raised and the orchestra began to play, our children watched the stage with awe and wonder, as the story unravelled before their eyes. Based on Roald Dahl's renowned text, this West End show encompassed dancing Oompa Loompas, incredible stage design, singing and dancing that got all of our heads bopping and acting that left us on the edge of our seats. As usual, all the children made us very proud and behaved beautifully (with even a few members of the public commenting on the excellent example being set). Everyone had a fantastic time and it was an experience that will be remembered forever.

Beatrix Potter in Early Years

The Early Years children are undertaking another Challenge Week, this time linked to all things Beatrix Potter and her love of animals. The children have been given the opportunity to complete six different adult led tasks: making Peter Rabbit out of clay, making a set of Benjamin Bunny ears, taking photographs of themselves as characters from the stories and making a delicious carrot cake. The children will end the week with a salad picnic just like the cheeky Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor's garden!

Nature Detective Club

Mr and Mrs Jemima Puddle Duck arrived in the pond area today. Nursery children were delighted as this unexpected visit coincided with Literacy Week and the Beatrix Potter stories. The real stars of the show are the members of our new Nature Detective Club who have been working hard behind the scenes to clean up our school environment, encouraging more wildlife to visit. Hopefully, as our conservation work continues, we will have more visitors.

CPA College's Production of 'Tracy Beaker'

Mischievous behaviour, mighty tantrums and soulful singing filled our school hall as children from Reception to Year 6 were treated to a production of ‘Tracy Beaker’ by the CPA College. Our pupils and staff thoroughly enjoyed watching the dramatic story of Jacqueline Wilson's well-loved character and her pursuit of happiness. Super singing, divine dancing and amazing acting made for a great start to the day.

Key Stage 1 Hearing Impaired Children Visit the Post Office

Mrs Murphy took her Year 1 and 2 hearing impaired children on a trip to the post office. The children wrote letters to one of our P-HIC Communicators, Mrs Lamb, who is currently at home in New Zealand. Pupils walked to the post office where they had their letters weighed. They bought stamps and were given airmail stickers. After putting stamps and airmail stickers on their envelopes, the letters were posted in a nearby post box. As our pupils sauntered back to school, a post van passed them. The children were happy to know that their letters would soon be winging their way to the other side of the world.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

3KV and Nursery: Reading Partners

Children from the morning nursery had an exciting time visiting 3KV for a reading partners session. The nursery children took along one of their favourite books and it was read to them by a Key Stage 2 pupil. Year 3 read with enthusiasm and expression and engaged the nursery children in conversations about the book. Both year groups thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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 made an extra effort last week.

Storytelling with Phil McDermott

After launching our Literacy Week with a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging assembly, children from Years 1 to 6 each attended a storytelling workshop with Phil McDermott. Children learnt about the way in which stories can be told to engage your listener and how using your voice (as well as your body language) can bring a story to life. We look forward to seeing the children reading with some of their newly developed skills.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Infant Music Festival 2015

Key Stage 1 pupils sang beautifully alongside pupils from other local schools at the Infant Music Festival. Eidvidas (Year 2) wrote this report:

"Today we went to the Infant Music Festival. We sang lots of songs with Upminster, Branfil, Oakfields and Langtons. We had a great time at that school. After we sang we had a treat. We got biscuits and a drink. We sang by ourselves 'Petrol Makes the Racing Car Go'."

Hacton Literacy Week

Excitement and gasps of suspense filled the hall as our 2015 Literacy Week was launched by professional storyteller Phil McDermott. The theme for our Literacy Week this year is ‘Classical Stories’ and each year group will be learning about both the classical and modern day versions of some of our country's favourite stories:
  • EYFS: Beatrix Potter Stories
  • Year 1: The Jolly Postman
  • Year 2: The Secret Garden
  • Year 3: Oliver Twist
  • Year 4: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • Year 5: The Wind in the Willows
  • Year 6: The Railway Children
With a week full of activities linked to the different texts, watch this space to find out more about the work we have been doing and experiences we have had. Enjoy Literacy Week!

Havering Easter Program of Events

If you are stuck for ideas for the Easter holidays, have a look at what's on offer in Havering!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Parent View Update

Thank you to everyone who completed the Ofsted Parent View survey during parents' evenings. We had a good response with 86 opinions that Ofsted can take into consideration when they carry out their next inspection. It was great to chat with parents and hear such positive comments about the school. We were also delighted to review the results of the survey and see that parents are confident that their children feel safe, well looked after and are making good progress at our school. If you didn't have time to complete the simple online survey during parents' evening, we'd be grateful if you could do so here»

Congratulations to the winner of the survey prize draw whose ticket was drawn today. The lucky family now has an extra £50 in cash - happy shopping!

Year 6 Literacy: The Giant's Necklace

After studying the short yet moving story of 'The Giant's Necklace' by Michael Morpurgo, Year 6 learnt how to change narrative into play script. Carefully written stage directions along with well crafted script lines, allowed successful performances of the plays during a very lively Literacy lesson.

Year 1 Science: Evidence of Spring

In Science, Year 1 have been looking for evidence of spring. The young naturalists went on a scavenger hunt around the school grounds and found blossom, bumble bees and spring flowers. They returned to class and painted a tree with blossom on it. This is the third tree that children have drawn this year, they have also drawn autumn and winter trees. By the end of the year we will be able to see all the seasonal changes in their artwork.

School Lunch Menu: Easter Special

Havering Catering Services are offering a special Easter menu on Wednesday 25th March. For Reception and Key Stage 1 pupils, schools dinners are now free - even on special menu days. For Years 3-6, school lunch tickets are £2.10 (drinks 30p) and can be purchased in the usual way:
  • From the Dining Hall on Monday and Wednesday 8.45-9.15 am
  • Via Debit or Credit Card through the Parent Pay line on 01708 433119

Thursday, 19 March 2015

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.

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

Key Stage 2 Maths Challenge Winner

Probability was the focus of our Maths Challenge this week. The challenge was to think of something that is nearly impossible. Our winner suggested that, "it is nearly impossible to hang on a crossbar with 1 hand for 10 minutes". However, we had some other excellent entries including, "It is nearly impossible to do absolutely nothing" and "It is nearly impossible to live to be over 100 years old". Well done to all who took part and congratulations to our winner.

"I was at swimming when it was assembly so I didn't know I'd won the Maths Challenge until someone came to our class with the prize. I thought, 'Did she really just say my name?'; I couldn't believe it! I was given a certificate and some sweets. I waited until I got home to eat the sweets. I shared them with my little brother: I'm very kind like that, very generous!"

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Parent View Survey - Win £50!

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 simple online form with just 12 multiple-choice questions that ask about your opinion of our school - it should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Parents who finish the survey during parents' evening can claim a raffle ticket for a chance to win £50 in cash. We want you to tell Ofsted how brilliant Hacton is so the prize is an incentive from our school: the odds are good that you could be that lucky winner!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Hearing Impaired Pupils Experience the LSO in Concert

Children from our hearing impaired provision took the train to the Barbican Hall to experience a spectacular concert by the London Symphony Orchestra. Our pupils settled into their seats alongside children from other London schools to enjoy an interactive performance of Viva España. They sang, joined in with the actions and were mesmerised by the accompanying on-screen visuals. This wonderful classical concert performed by one of world's top orchestras was thoroughly enjoyed by all of our pupils who were lucky enough to attend.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Year 4 Visit the Science Museum

Year 4 were amazed and delighted by the fascinating exhibits and demonstrations at the Science Museum in London. The day began with an exciting hands on hour in the Launch Pad where children experimented with sound, magnets, forces and much more; they were even able to listen to music through their teeth! Our pupils were also invited to watch a show where children were selected to sit on a chair made of nails. The children were astounded that this was possible.

In the afternoon, there was plenty of time to explore the rest of the museum’s galleries. The exhibits ranged from aeroplanes and space shuttles to displays that explained how the brain works when eating different foods. Year 4 had a brilliant day learning about many different aspects of science in the world around us.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Red Nose Day 2015

Today was a brilliant 'fun raising' day at school with our pupils excited to be dressed in red to raise money for Comic Relief. Red noses, brightly coloured outfits, deely boppers and fabulous painted faces could be found in every classroom. Assembly had a Red Nose Day theme with children learning about the important work of Comic Relief. Thank you to parents, pupils and staff for your support. At the last count, we had raised nearly £400.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

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.

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

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Puzzle Challenge Day

Recently, Key Stage 2 enjoyed a Puzzle Challenge Day. Each year group was presented with a range of puzzles, which became progressively harder. Our pupils soon discovered that the best way to work was as a team, persevering as they searched for successful strategies. Rising to the challenge with enthusiasm and energy, the children let out cheers of delight every time a puzzle was solved.

Hearing Impaired Pupils Record with the LSO

Our Key Stage 2 hearing impaired pupils recently took a trip to the St Luke's Music Education Centre  in Old Street, London for an exciting and rewarding day recording with musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra. The children took part in the LSO film and music project where they performed the soundtrack to a short film based around Manuel de Falla’s ballet, 'The Three Cornered Hat'. Our pupils worked alongside musicians from the LSO and children from four other schools to create music that conveyed the emotions of a character from the story. Playing mainly percussive instruments, the children worked hard all day until their performance was perfect. We look forward to experiencing the completed film.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Challenge Week: Forensics

Confusing codes, framing fingerprints and notes left in an incriminating ink were the evidence to which Year 6 pupils had to apply their investigative skills. Our pupils had to solve the ultimate crime: who stole the chocolate? The children looked carefully at their fingerprints and compared them to those found at the scene of the crime. This evidence, along with the secret codes (which required cracking) and the use of chromatography to test the inks used at the scene of the crime, revealed the culprit!

Year 6 learnt that in real life, all of these skills are used by the police to help solve crimes.

Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Key Stage 1 Maths Challenge. This week's challenge was to estimate the number of sticks inside the bag. Our magnificent mathematician in Year 2 correctly guessed the answer: 70. Excellent estimating!

"I am quite good at maths - it's my favourite. When we were doing hundreds and partitioning in class I was good at it and got them all right. I just stared at the Maths Challenge board and guessed 70. I was off school so I got my certificate and prize at home. I got some Haribo. My brother doesn't like sweets, he only likes chocolate, so I had them all to myself. I was happy and hugged Mummy."

Junior Travel Ambassadors

After completing application forms and submitting persuasive personal statements about why they should be chosen, our new Junior Travel Ambassadors were picked by Elaine Keeler, Havering Road Safety Officer. Elaine was impressed: "It wasn't easy, there were some very good applications. I've picked the children who seemed most keen to improve safety in the environment".

There was great anticipation in assembly as we thanked our previous Junior Travel Ambassadors and announced the names of the Year 5 children who will be this year's JTAs. They were presented with an introduction pack containing lots of goodies including a shiny new badge, pencil case and an information booklet about their new role. Our new Ambassadors have the important job of promoting road safety, particularly around our school, and encouraging more active and sustainable travel. In the Summer term, they will be leading their first assembly for all pupils. Congratulations to our new Junior Travel Ambassadors.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Year 6 Geography: Antarctica

Year 6 have researched Antarctica in their Geography lessons. Using words such as longitude, latitude, continent and hemisphere they had to describe its relative and absolute location. Adopting the role of travel agents, pupils described Antarctica’s physical features to try to persuade tourists to visit the ‘last remaining icy wilderness at the very south of our planet’. Year 6 also investigated materials that would make the best insulators for Antarctic explorers and designed outfits for them to wear on their adventures.

Our talented Year 6 artists have also produced some fantastic Antarctic art work.

Key Stage 2 Maths Challenge Winner

Congratulations to the winner of last week's Maths Challenge. Children had to use their estimation skills to work out how many coloured sticks were in a bag. Well done to our Year 4 pupil who was the only pupil to guess it correctly.

"It was quite hard to work out how many sticks were in the bag. My friend and I couldn't agree but I thought 190 was about right; I didn't think I'd got it exactly right though! When 190 was called out in assembly I smiled to myself. It was exciting to go up and get my certificate and prize (some Randoms sweets). Mum was happy because I've never won the Maths Challenge before. Even my sister said, 'Well done'!"