Thursday, 20 December 2018

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2018 has been another wonderful year filled with engaging and enriching educational experiences for our pupils. We are incredibly proud of the progress that the children have made and the lovely sense of community at our school. Working together, we are giving our pupils the very best opportunities as they move forward on their learning journey. Thank you, parents, for your continuing support.

We hope you enjoyed the children's Christmas concerts as much as they did. Each one was filled with many magical moments: heartwarming songs, energetic dances, confident acting and plenty of laughs. Over 1,100 family and friends watched the concerts, which I am sure you will agree were all of a very high standard. Thanks to your generosity, we raised over £1000 for our School Council's chosen charities: Cancer Research, St. Francis Hospice and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

We now look forward to all that 2019 has to offer; it promises to be another fantastic year at Hacton Primary School. On behalf of the staff, we would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year with your child / children and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 8th January 2019.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Nursery: The Magic of Christmas

Nursery children have had a very exciting time during the build-up to Christmas.

They wrote their wish lists to Father Christmas, but how would they make sure he received them? Firstly, they addressed their envelopes to the North Pole and then they took their little legs to their nearest post box and popped their letters inside. On the way, they were reminded about how to cross the road safely. They were all amazed that their letters will find their way to Father Christmas in the icy North Pole.

The children were also had a brilliant time when party entertainer Nicky Trix brought along Father Christmas. What a fantastic surprise!

It has been a joy to watch the children get so excited by the magic of the festive season. We hope the children all have a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Year 2 DT: Festive Fun

After making sock snowmen, Year 2 constructed a new sleigh for Santa. In their Literacy stories, Santa crashed his sleigh and needed a new one in time for Christmas Eve. The children had to paint their sleighs in festive colours, add wheels by sawing and gluing them carefully and then add more festive decorations. Years 2 had lots of fun making their sleighs and practised their skills of designing, creating and evaluating.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Year 6 DT: Xmas Cards

Over the past couple of days, Year 6 have been investigating Christmas cards with moving parts. To create a Christmas card with pulleys and axles. Through trial and improvement, the children had to measure, cut and attach a disc that could display three different festive scenes. Following this, they planned, designed and created their own Christmas card that firstly had Santa delivering presents and then had him flying off to the next house. The children learnt about the importance of planning and the need for accuracy when measuring and assembling.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Guidance for Parents Taking Photographs During School Productions

We're all excited about the Christmas plays that are being staged, 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.

*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)

Friday, 7 December 2018

Havering Primary Live

Year 6 were very lucky to attend the Havering Primary Live event at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch.

Our pupils broadened their understanding of the different sections of an orchestra and were taught how to identify different instruments within pieces of classical music. The children were told to listen out for different instruments within pieces of music played by an orchestra, including music from Harry Potter.

Year 6 had a fantastic time and they behaved impeccably.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Year 5 Science: Electrical Conductors and Insulators

Year 5 were challenged to find the most efficient electrical conductor to use in a set of floodlights. First, an electrical circuit needed to be set up and tested using wires, crocodile clips, an energy source and a bulb. Once the circuit was tested, a range of materials were introduced into the circuit to determine whether it allowed energy to pass through - an electrical conductor - or prevented energy from continuing on its journey - an electrical insulator.

After the conductors were identified, our junior technicians had to test levels of resistance. A more resistant material allowed less energy to pass through, making the bulb in the circuit shine less brightly. Year 5 concluded that the most conductive material they tested was metal.

Year 2 Computing: Evaluating Games

As part of the Computing curriculum, 2MS visited the Computer Room to log on to the laptops and test a range of simple games on Scratch. They used the laptops over a series of weeks and evaluated games, giving them a score and then discussing ways to improve and develop the games. They enjoyed evaluating one player and two player games that included an addition race game, a tennis game and a fishing game.

The children also reflected on their own gaming at home and how games can be addictive.

Evaluating existing games has laid the foundations for future learning where Year 2 will be able to modify and develop their own games using the coding skills they will learn in Computing.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Autumn Athletics

November was a busy month for Hacton's athletes, with the Havering Cross Country and Sportshall Athletics competitions both taking place.

First up was the cross country. A bright, sunny morning greeted our 24 pupils at Stubbers Activity Centre, making their long run that little bit easier. The event began with the Year 3/4 girls' race. Our 6 girls lined up along with approximately 160 competitors from other schools, ready to run 1.2km through grass and woodlands around the lake. Next up was the Year 3/4 boys race, followed by our older pupils who tackled a longer 2km course. All of our pupils - some who have participated before and others who joined the team for the first time - ran absolutely brilliantly, pushing themselves and persevering when the race got tough. A special 'well done' to our two Year 6 pupils who achieved top-10 finishes. Congratulations also to our talented Year 4 pupil who finished in a fantastic third place, becoming Hacton's equal-highest all-time finisher!

November ended with the Sportshall Athletics competition at Hornchurch Sports Centre. Day 1 saw 20 of our Year 5/6 pupils participate in a range of running, throwing and jumping events, competing against 17 other schools. All of the events were relays, so good teamwork and changeovers were very important. The children did fantastically, winning their heat in 8 out of the 12 races, coming 2nd or 3rd in the others and supporting each other enthusiastically. At the end of the competition, there was a tense wait for the results... were thrilled to find that we had won! Although a school from the afternoon session (18 schools participated in the morning, and 18 in the afternoon) won the overall event on points, all of our pupils should be very proud of their achievement.

The next morning was the turn of our Year 3/4 pupils, many of whom were new to Sportshall Athletics. Again, the children did a fantastic job, changing their baton skillfully and demonstrating some excellent throwing and jumping. After a busy and tiring morning, we were again delighted to find out that we had come an excellent third out of 16 schools!

Congratulations and thank you to the 42 children who represented Hacton in these events. We would like to say a special thank you to our talented Year 6 pupils, many of whom were competing for the last time after many years: you have been such great competitors and wonderful role models to our younger pupils.

Year 5: Spelling Club

Throughout the past term, Year 5 pupils have hurried into school bright and early to take part in Mrs Layzell’s spelling club. Over the weeks, she has seen them grow in confidence as they have tried many different and fun ways to learn new spellings. They have even been the first in the school to start using ‘Spelling Shed’, a great programme which provides a more interactive way to learn their spellings. Tracking the children's progress makes it clear that they are working incredibly hard. Well done super spellers!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Year 6: Trampolining

During November, Year 6 have been very fortunate to take part in a trampolining lesson at Sanders School. The children have been taught several different moves including tuck, straddle, pike, seat drop and swivel hips. Some children impressed the staff so much that they even moved onto front drops! It has been a fantastic experience that all the children have all thoroughly enjoyed. Year 6 can't wait to do trampolining for our PE lessons at secondary school next September!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Provision for Hearing Impaired Children Visit the Pink Parachute

The Provision for Hearing Impaired Children at Hacton Primary School went on a visit to The Pink Parachute in Hornchurch. This visit gave the hearing impaired children an opportunity to interact with their peers, practise their safe travel skills (which were introduced in a recent assembly by the school’s Junior Travel Ambassadors) and develop their creative skills.

The children reported on the trip in their literacy lesson:

"Yesterday morning, we went to The Pink Parachute. It was half an hour walk, when it rained, we had to find ourselves shelter. Luckily, the bank next to us had a shelter and we rested for a while. When we arrived at The Pink Parachute, the owner (whose name is Rav) saw us and said 'take a seat'."

"I chose my Christmas decoration. I choose Santa Claus. I carefully cleaned the Christmas decoration. Next, we painted it. I painted carefully. Half an hour later she gave us a drink and a biscuit. Next, we carried on painting our ornament."

"When we were painting, I was painting a 2D Christmas tree (which you can hang up). Some painted a 3D Christmas tree (which can stand up), some painted Santa (which was sitting down) and a stocking."

"When we finished, we said 'bye!' to Rav. She was actually a kind woman to meet. On the way back to school, when we were going past St Andrew’s church, we saw the War Memorial where at the bottom we saw wreaths of poppies to remember those who died in WW1 and WW2."

This was a fabulous opportunity for children to make choices, use their fine motor skills to carefully paint a piece of pottery and to share a new experience with their hearing impaired peers.

Thank you to Rav at The Pink Parachute for looking after us and the Breyer Foundation who funded our visit.

Provision for Hearing Impaired Children:

“I liked painting a  red and black Father Christmas” (Reception child)

“I liked it because we got to do our own painting and take them home” (Year 2 child)

“I liked picking the colours on the colour chart. They were nice and bright. I would like to do it again” (Year 5 child)

“I enjoyed it because we got to paint and choose what we wanted” (Year 6 child)

“It was fantastic because we got to paint our own decoration and learn new skills in a different place.” (Year 6 child)

Girls' Football: Hacton 6 - 0 Benhurst

Hacton's Year 5/6 girls' football team took centre stage to play their first cup match of the season. Despite the pouring rain, exciting play saw Hacton's gutsy girls dominate the match.

Our terrific team showed that they have what it takes across the entire pitch: a strong defence reduced Benhurst's chances on goal; when the opposition broke through our new goalkeeper stepped up to make some super saves; our midfield players teamed up brilliantly to break any attack; and our upfront superstars hit the mark to fantastic effect.

Well done girls for a tremendous 6-0 win.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Year 3 Visit Layer Marney Tower

Year 3 have been learning all about the Tudors. To support this topic, they had a fantastic day at Layer Marney Tower. Our happy historians found out how food and drinks were sourced during the Tudor period, experienced life in a Tudor school - learning how to write with quill and ink - and they also learnt to count up to 10 in Latin. Year 3 were climbed up the astonishing 99-step spiral staircase that leads to the top of the tallest Tudor gatehouse in England. They thoroughly enjoyed immersing themselves in the past and came away with a deeper understanding of the Tudor era.

Monday, 26 November 2018

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are presented with the E for Effort cup during our whole school assembly.

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

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Year 5 Literacy: Persuasive Letter Writing

Mr Emes presented Year 5 with a challenge designed to help them develop their powers of persuasion: they had to convince him that break times and lunchtimes should not be shortened.

Incensed by Mr Emes' proposal to reduce playtime to just 5 minutes, Year 5 wrote persuasive letters of complaint expressing their disapproval. Having had the opportunity to share their thoughts verbally in a debate hosted by Mr Emes, our determined headteacher remained convinced his plan should be implemented. Consequently, the children planned formal letters expressing their point of view. These letters, which contained powerful language choices and persuasive phrasing, were set out using formal letter writing techniques. As a result of having read through the children's well-presented, beautifully written and composed ideas, Mr Emes finally agreed that it was in the children's best interests that playtime should maintain its 15 minute duration. Normal Year 5 Letters of Complaint Phew!!

Monday, 19 November 2018

Year 2: A Visit from Florence Nightingale

To support their History topic, Year 2 had a visit from Florence Nightingale. They were able to use the knowledge and skills that they had learnt throughout the half term in a practical, fun and engaging context. Children took part in a practical workshop where they could re-enact Florence's journey to Scutari, explore the conditions of the hospital and become a part of Florence's team of nurses by scrubbing the floors, chasing out the rats and bandaging wounded soldiers. Taking in part in the wonderful workshop helped Year 2 strengthen their understanding of this fascinating historical figure.

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are presented with the E for Effort cup during our whole school assembly.

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

Fundraising for Children in Need

Pupils entered into the fundraising spirit on Friday with a non-uniform day to support Children in Need. Our small donations will help make a big difference to the lives of disadvantaged children living in the UK. Thank you to parents and pupils for helping our school raise over £450!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Nursery: Baby Dinosaurs

Nursery children discovered a frozen egg in their garden. They thought it was left by a dinosaur. The sunshine helped the egg to crack open and the ice gradually melted away revealing something very special: three baby dinosaurs!

Monday, 12 November 2018

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are presented with the E for Effort cup during our whole school assembly.

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

Year 6: Macbeth

Year 6 began learning the story of Macbeth appropriately with Act 1 Scene 1, looking at the role of the witches at the beginning of the play. They took on the characters of the witches to create a disquieting atmosphere, suggesting that dark forces were at work. Our pupils discussed how they thought the witches would move and speak, adapting their body language and tone of voice to cast their sinister spell over Macbeth.

Year 6 Visit Hornchurch Country Park

To understand the important role our local area played during both world wars, Year 6 visited Hornchurch Country Park, formerly home to RAF Hornchurch. Our pupils were very fortunate to have a guided tour from Mr Manning who has an extensive knowledge of wartime Hornchurch. They looked at various historical landmarks around the park including pillboxes, Tett turrets and the remains of anti-aircraft gun placements. Mr Manning brought along some of his own wartime artefacts including part of a plane propeller from WW1.

Both children and adults learnt many fascinating facts about the history of the RAF base, how it was used during WW1 and the key role that it played during WW2. Year 6 were amazed to find a site of such historical significance so close to our school.

Thank you Mr Manning for the incredible insight into our local area and thank you also to the parents who accompanied Year 6 on the walk.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Times Table Challenge Champion

In whole school assemblies, Mr Emes challenges some of our marvellous mathematicians to a quick-fire times table quiz. Children are given 30 seconds to answer as many times table questions as possible in front of the whole school. 6 x 7? 9 x 12? 8 x 4? When the pressure is on, it takes excellent knowledge and keen concentration to become a Times Table Challenge champion.

Our latest winner achieve 27 correct answers in 30 seconds; astonishing!

"I always had a dream of being really good at times tables. I'm a times tables coach so when other people get stuck they ask me for help. I want to be a pilot when I am older and that requires very good maths."

Congratulations to our latest Times Table Challenge champion.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Year 5: Healthy Eating

Year 5 were treated to a visit from Change4Life, who promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Our pupils discussed the food wheel and what constitutes a ‘balanced diet’ before talking about the benefits of exercise; why it's important to move for the recommended hour per day. They also looked at the correct amount to eat, depending on the type of food that is being consumed. To finish the extremely informative and engaging session, the children had the opportunity to make their own nutritious snack: a vegetable wrap which included a range of raw salad vegetables, topped off with a healthy spread.

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are presented with the E for Effort cup during our whole school assembly.

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

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Year 6: World War II Day

Year 6 dressed as evacuees, army officers, land girls and other characters to learn about life during World War II.

Throughout the day the children took part in a carousel of activities which included wartime cookery, writing postcards home, drawing gas mask boxes and experiencing some 1940s tunes. Our whistle-stop journey through the era finished with a VE Day celebration where the children were able to sample wartime treats baked with their own fair hands - bread pudding, carrot cookies and cheese whirls - accompanied with a sing-song and signed performance of Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again'.

Thank you parents for providing such fantastic costumes, helping our pupils gain a greater understanding of what life was like in wartime Britain.

Provision for Hearing Impaired Children: The Importance of Role Models

The Provision for Hearing Impaired Children at Hacton Primary School was delighted to welcome Paul Newbury. Paul is a deaf role model who is the chairman of The Essex Deaf Children’s Society. This organisation provides help for families with D/deaf children, promoting independence, creating positive images of D/deaf children and encouraging deaf awareness within the family and the community.

The presence of a role model for children is crucial for the wellbeing of a young person as they grow up; these people can inspire, provide a blueprint of how to behave and act as a source of valuable information. With this in mind, young deaf people need the presence of adults who are themselves deaf in their lives. Our children were given the the opportunity to meet a successful role model, who is profoundly deaf and whose first language is BSL.

Paul initially toured our school, briefly visiting the classes with deaf children in. He then spent time with Mrs Norford’s Literacy group where the children shared their current written work: ‘The day the BFG visited Hacton Primary School’.

Paul then meet with a group of children for 20 minutes and they had a chance to introduce themselves and discuss their hopes for Christmas presents. All children learnt some new signs and enjoyed Paul’s sense of humour.

Finally, Paul visited Mr Marshall’s Maths class and spent time working with different children in the room who were learning how to accurately measure angles. The children had the opportunity to meet a successful deaf role model and practise their communication skills, both spoken and sign language as well as lip reading.

Provision for Hearing Impaired Children said:

"It was nice to meet new deaf people, especially an adult so we can get help with our sign language. It was nice to show him what we’ve been doing."

"I liked meeting Paul because he was funny and kind. It was nice to sign with him."

"It was fabulous when he joined us in Maths. I felt shy but proud to have him in my lesson to help."

Year 1 Maths Club

1SB have started their Maths Club by joining triangles to make new shapes. They also had lots of fun looking at tens and units and they learnt how to partition using Numicon - a teaching resource designed to help children visualise numbers.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Worldly Wise: Volcanoes

This week in our Worldly Wise assembly, we learnt about different types of volcano, how they are formed and why they erupt. Did you know that there are over 1500 active volcanoes in the world?

Our very own Hacton volcano was created by Mr Marshall and Miss Hornsby using vinegar, baking soda and red food colouring. Our pupils learnt that eruptions can cause catastrophic damage and they were very excited to watch the Hacton eruption occur. Thankfully, our little volcano was a lot less destructive than the real thing.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Times Table Challenge Champion

In whole school assemblies, Mr Emes challenges some of our marvellous mathematicians to a quick-fire times table quiz. Children are given 30 seconds to answer as many times table questions as possible in front of the whole school. 6 x 7? 9 x 12? 8 x 4? When the pressure is on, it takes excellent knowldege and keen concentration to become a Times Table Challenge champion.

Our pupils were astonished by one of our Year 3 children when she beat even Year 6 children to achieve 24 correct answers in 30 seconds; an amazing feat!

"I practice my times tables at home so I thought I had a chance of winning. I like getting good at times tables. My mum was really proud of me and we went to a restaurant after school. She bought me a drawing book as well."

Congratulations to our reigning Times Table Challenge champion.

Friday, 19 October 2018

E for Effort

Every week, teachers recognise pupils in their class who have made an extra effort. These pupils are presented with the E for Effort cup during our whole school assembly. Our most recent winners were awarded their cups and certificates in the assembly before half term.

Congratulations to all the wonderful children who made an extra effort.