Friday, 20 December 2019

Merry Christmas

Children and staff gathered together in the hall this morning for a joyful Christmas celebration. We shared our favourite songs from each of our concerts and reminded ourselves of the real reason for the season by rearranging the letters of CHRISTMAS. 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support over the past term. On behalf of all of my staff, I would like to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year.

We look forward to seeing you at the start of our spring term on Wednesday 8th January. 

Mrs Leslie

Christmas Dinner

Turkey... check; roast potatoes... check; sausages... check. It must be Christmas dinner time!

Pupils and staff enjoyed a festive lunch today as they sung along to Christmas songs and chatted excitedly about plans for the holiday. The lunch was enjoyed by all in what will probably be the first of many turkey dinners over the coming weeks.

Thursday, 19 December 2019


Last week, our pupils were allowed to make a Christingle at lunchtime. The children learnt about each part of the Christingle and what it represents to Christians.

The orange represents the world, the sweets represent the seasons and things created by God, the red ribbon represents Gods love for the world.

The candle represents Jesus as Christians believe he is the light of the world. The children had lots of fun making their very own Christingles.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Year 2 and 3 Choir: Silent Night

This term, the Year 2 and 3 choir have learnt a range of songs from different genres including 'Rockin' All Over the World', 'When the Saints Go Marching In' and 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'. As we neared Christmas, the choir were keen to learn some Christmas songs. The children learnt a range of vocal warm-ups and sang in a range of genres. They learnt Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and, the biggest memory challenge of all, 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. 25 choir members also performed Silent Night beautifully at the Winter Fair in November.

Year 2 RE: The First Christmas

Following their Christmas performance, Year 2 recalled the story and characters of the first Christmas. They read the story in Guided Reading and then discussed the part played by each character. The children used their knowledge and understanding to create a model of the stable where Jesus was born. The Year 2 children then worked with a partner to retell the story in their own words.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Christmas Jumper Day

Children from Hacton joined with people across the country to celebrate Christmas Jumper Day. With the support of parents and pupils, we are pleased to report that our school raised nearly £400 for charity.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Year 2: A Present from Father Christmas

Year 2 have been writing stories about how a sneaky wolf plans to eat Father Christmas for his Christmas dinner. After all, it isn't his fault that all of the woodland animals have gone into hibernation and he hasn't eaten for days!

Year 2 have been working so hard that Father Christmas has found out. As a little treat for everyone, he has sent sacks full of Christmas hats (and North Pole magic) to wear while writing about his adventures with the hungry, miserable wolf. Let's hope Father Christmas can save the day.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Gold Reading Superst★r

Congratulations to our first Gold Reading Superst★r. Reading 15 books by our three Year 5 focus authors by this time in the year takes real commitment. "We are very impressed by the dedication she has shown to reading", said Mrs Layzell (English Coordinator). "It was gratifying to hear that reading the books has been a pleasure, not a chore; that's the way it should be. She is an inspiration to all of our other avid readers."

Our Reading Superst★r should be very proud of her achievement: "I've read all 7 of the Harry Potters. I like it when a story has more than one book. I was quite excited to be the first one to read 15 books. When I told Mum that I got a certificate and a prize, she said, 'wow!'"

We would encourage all of our pupils to put some time aside to read for pleasure. Who will be our next Gold Reading Superst★r?

School Council: Recycled Fun

After a lengthy and enthusiastic discussion, our School Council decided on a Recycled Fun stall for the Hacton Christmas fete.

Council members bought in their pre-loved books, toys, games and DVDs. They had a few busy lunchtimes organising, sorting and pricing up. Selling and negotiating came naturally to the children and they even had a Black Friday sale to sell off the last remaining stock. "I’m the best seller in the world!", exclaimed one pupil. We may have found some future stars of The Apprentice!

The School Council made a very impressive £84.00 for future school projects.

"It’s nice to know people don’t just want new things."
"I’m amazed at how much we made and how much we sold."

Year 6: Imperial War Museum

Year 6 explored the Imperial War Museum in London as part of learning about World War Two. They focussed on the 'Turning Points: 1934-1945' display where they learnt about events before and during the war. They explored many fascinating artefacts, which helped to deepen their understanding of this period of history. They also visited a very engaging temporary exhibition called ‘Art in exile'. Here, they learnt about the Imperial War Museum’s plan for evacuating their art collection during World War Two.

Year 6: Miles the Mole Workshop

With environmental issues high on the list of concerns about the future, Year 6 were thoroughly engaged by Miles the Mole Workshop. The children were captivated by our visitors' energetic performance, which was not only lively but also interactive and informative.

Learning about the impact of traffic pollution, the children understood how emissions affect the quality of the air that they breathe. Children are more vulnerable to traffic fumes due to their height.

They were shocked to hear about the effects of pollution. Year 6 were pleased to learn that, with more thoughtful behaviour, we can all make a difference.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Year 1 DT: moving pictures

Across the half term, Year 1 have been creating moving pictures for their DT unit on simple machines. They made a moving frog using split pins and a pivot mechanism, as well as a picture of an ice-skating snowman using a sliding mechanism.

For their DT task in the run-up to Christmas, Year 1 had to make a Christmas-themed moving picture that appealed to children. The children evaluated their work to assess where they could make improvements.

Some reflections included:

“Last time I cut through the snowman’s scarf, so I need to be more careful when cutting.”

“Last time I put too much glue on, so I was more careful this time.”

The children then had to choose whether to use a slider mechanism or a pivot mechanism before they made their final product. The children explained why they had chosen their designs:

“I chose a pivot because it’s really fun to play with.”

“I did a pivot because it’s really fun to slide it round in circles and you can move it more up and down.”

“I chose a slider to make it on a tall slider stick.”

Monday, 2 December 2019

Havering Netball

Eight super netballers from Year 6 played in their first ever matches against two local schools. Miss Claridge was very impressed with the determination and effort shown in the games. The final results may not have gone Hacton's way, but the team's netball improved hugely throughout the afternoon. A big well done to all of you!

Sportshall Athletics

36 talented athletes from Years 3 to 6 represented the school in two exciting mornings of Sportshall athletics at Hornchurch Sports Centre. The children demonstrated some superb sprinting, hurdling, throwing and jumping. The event, which was attended each day by around 350 athletes from 18 Havering schools, required each team member to compete in two relays on the track and two field events.

Experienced pupils were joined by new team members, with everyone giving 100% and showing a wonderful team spirit. The performances were fantastic: Team Hacton kept the baton safe and won their heat in many of the relays.

At the end of each day, the results were out. Our younger pupils - most of whom were competing for the first time - came an excellent sixth. Our Year 5/6 team were runners up, just missing out on the top spot. Congratulations to our amazing athletes for a super morning's work.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Year 3: Who Should Inspire Us?

Year 3 have been looking at beliefs, teachings and values of various religions including Sikhism, Hinduism and Christianity. They discussed how these teaching influence people to make daily decisions about how they live. The children watched several short video clips that illustrated different belief systems and then decided upon the values that were most important to them. They had a fascinating discussion about the difference between wants and needs.

Year 1 Maths: Number Bonds to 10

Year 1 have been learning that number bonds are two numbers added together to make another number. The focus this term is to learn number bonds to 10. In pairs, Year 1 used Numicon and felt tip pens to investigate the different ways to make the number 10. The children made posters to illustrate different combinations, for example, 9+1, 8+2, 7+3, 6+4, 5+5. Over the next few weeks, we will be challenging the children to commit their number bonds to memory.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Year 1: Banana Milkshakes

Year 1 had a great time making banana milkshakes. They ordered instructions using imperative verbs and wrote a list of ingredients. While they were making their shakes, they 'flossed' to the noise of the blender. The children were fantastic cooks, demonstrating cutting, measuring and mixing skills. Afterwards, each group had time to enjoy their delicious, gloopy drinks.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Year 3 History: Trip to Layer Marney Tower

Year 3 visited Layer Marney Tower to support their autumn History topic, The Tudors. The tallest Tudor gatehouse in England was built in the 1520s by Lord Henry Marney and, nearly 500 years later, offered the children a fun-filled educational day out. Year 3 took part in several workshops throughout the exciting and memorable day. They learnt all about Tudor knights and their armour, which led to an archery lesson. Another workshop focused on the typical Tudor diet. The children were shocked to discover that the Tudors feasted on such delights as blackbird pie and worm porridge!

After climbing 99 stairs to reach the top of the tower (avoiding the trap door that Lord Marney used to fight off his enemies), Year 3 were rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Well done to 3PP, 3AS and 3GB for their excellent behaviour and attitude on this trip. They were a credit to Hacton. Thank you also to the parents who helped out; we hope that you enjoyed yourselves as much as the children did.

Friday, 22 November 2019

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 of the wonderful children who made an extra effort this week.

Girls' Football: Engayne vs Hacton

In one of the most exciting games for a long time, our girls' football team was unlucky to be knocked out of the cup competition. The game had everything: Hacton went a goal down, fought back to lead 2-1, there was a late equaliser and finally a late penalty.

Both keepers pulled off some impressive saves. In the closely fought match, our team were unlucky to lose by an unfortunate late penalty. The gutsy girls were fantastic representatives of our school, with their perseverance, determination, respect and sporting spirit. Well done!

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Whole School Singing Assembly

Two of our talented Year 6 girls provided an instrumental performance in singing assembly; one on the flute and one on the clarinet. Both have been learning their instruments in school, working hard to prepare their performance pieces. Firstly, they played a duet - Cavatina from The Marriage of Figaro - before each playing a solo piece. Both girls are working towards their next graded music exam. They did a fantastic job of helping our pupils' appreciation and understanding of live music.

School Council: Anti-Bullying March

School Councils from the local area joined together to march through Upminster, highlighting the issue of bullying.

As children struggle to control the world around them, they can sometimes be unkind to others. When this happens repeatedly, we call it bullying. Raising awareness helps our community recognise bullying behaviours so we can stop them and support those who feel bullied.

Our School Council took the train to join the School Council Alliance at Upminster Junior. After feedback from parents, our School Council is now a boy and a girl from each class.

Over 100 children from local schools marched from Upminster Junior. They waved banners and chanted "change starts with us!" to highlight the issue of bullying. People out shopping in Upminster stopped and stared, asked questions and smiled encouragingly to see children taking an active role in making the world a happier place.

Year 2: Maypole Dancing

Year 2 have been reading a book called 'Beware of Teachers' in which a sneaky wolf plans to hunt down a teacher for his tea. Luckily, the teacher catches on to the wolf's cunning plan. He ends up tied in the strings of a Maypole. 

To gain a greater understanding of this book, the children took part in a maypole dancing session. Not only have the children had the opportunity to explore a new experience, but they have also been able to bring their learning to life.

By working as a team, every group was able to complete the maypole dance. The teachers were even able to escape being caught up in the ribbons; unlike the wolf from the story! 

Year 6 History: The Holocaust

Year 6 developed their knowledge and understanding of one of the darkest aspects of World War 2 with some very important visitors. They were joined by Bob and Ann Kirk, who lived through the extreme discrimination of the Holocaust.

The children listened respectfully as Bob and Ann described what life was like for them in Nazi Germany: their haunting childhood memories of burning synagogues, hiding from the Nazis, living in constant fear of the Gestapo and how their parents were ultimately forced to let them go so they would be safe. Young children without parents to accompany them, Bob and Ann made the long journey to Britain aboard the Kindertransport to escape the antisemitism sweeping Germany at the time.

We can't thank Bob and Ann enough for travelling a long way to share their very moving memories with us. We would also like to thank the Holocaust Educational Trust for helping us to arrange such a humbling and important educational experience.​

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Year 1 English: Jam Sandwiches

Year 1 have been learning about the features of instructions and how to use imperative verbs (bossy words). They successfully made jam sandwiches and then wrote instructions on how to make them. They used lots of bossy words to guide the reader step by step. 

Monday, 18 November 2019

Year 3: Narrative Writing

Inspired by an animated film called 'Catch It', the children in 3PP have written some wonderful short stories. They produced detailed and imaginative tales to demonstrate their secure understanding of setting, character and plot. The impressive use of vocabulary, along with a range of descriptive techniques, resulted in some excellent narratives. Fantastic work 3PP!

Friday, 15 November 2019

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.

This week, the whole of Year 6 received the award for exemplary behaviour on their Imperial War Museum trip. Representatives of Year 6 classes appear in the E for Effort photo alongside individual winners.

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

Reception: Room on the Broom Walk

Reception children put on their wellies and raincoats and set off for a windy walk through the school field.  They discovered some of the characters and props from Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. Children searched high and low and were very excited to find everything they needed to retell the story: a bird with a bow, a dog with a hat, a frog with a wand, a hungry dragon and even a broomstick that had snapped in two. Children have been working hard to sequence the story that they experienced.​

"We found all the witch things. We found a frog and a cat and a dog and we even found a broomstick and it was snapped!"

"The witch dropped everything at school and she was flying away from the dragon and left everything outside."

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Fabulous Footballers

Hacton's Year 5/6 girls' and boys' football teams braved a cold and wet afternoon to attend a football tournament at Harrow Lodge Park. Each team played four matches against other local school teams. The gutsy girls won 2 and drew 2 games. The bold boys won two games, drew one game but lost their last. Our teams displayed super sporting conduct, spirit and determination; they were a credit to our school. Well done!

Monday, 11 November 2019

Remembrance at Hacton

Today at Hacton, on the 11th day, of the 11th month at the 11th hour, we joined with people around the world to stand in silent contemplation. We stopped. We thought. We remembered.

Children gathered around our poppy memorial to remember those who sacrificed so much for our country. Our assembly this week looked at the reasons why we wear poppies and about the importance of remembrance. Our pupils learnt that Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. We looked at the words and signs to the poem 'In Flanders Fields' and thought about the sacrifices that were made.

Friday, 8 November 2019

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 of the wonderful children who made an extra effort this week.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Outdoor Learning Week: Orienteering

During Outdoor Learning Week, our pupils took part in a range of orienteering activities, culminating in a map-reading challenge. Teams in each year group had to find out who could use their newly-acquired map-reading skills to complete a course in the quickest time. Earlier in the week, the pupils had taken part in lessons which developed their teamwork, understanding of maps and symbols, and ability to give and follow directional instructions. On the final day, the children used an electronic orienteering kit to locate each control point as quickly as they could. The size of the course depended on the year group, with our Year 5 and 6 pupils finding controls using a map of the whole school site. Congratulations to our 2019 Orienteering year group champions!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Year 5/6: Tag Rugby Competition

10 children from Year 5 and 6 went to May and Baker RUFC in Dagenham to compete in a tag rugby tournament with 25 other schools. The children played valiantly, displaying all of the core values of rugby including discipline, teamwork and respect. Although our team didn't win the tournament - that title went to Nelmes Primary - we did earn a Respect award from the other coaches and referees. Only one other school in the competition earnt this, so our pupil should be very proud of themselves.

After only three training sessions with Mrs Stephenson, our team played like absolute superstars. A big thank you to the parents who came to support and cheer us on.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Year 6: World War Two Day

Year 6 World War 2 Day saw our pupils learning a greater appreciation of life in wartime Britain. They adopted the role of code breakers from Bletchley Park, using the Caesar cipher to crack encrypted messages. Theymade newspaper plant pots and sowed salad leaf seeds as part of the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. To better understand the impact of rationing, all pupils baked wartime recipes including bread pudding and cheese whirls. They also experienced life as evacuees and wrote a postcard home to their parents. To end the day, Year 6 sampled the food they had baked and enjoyed a joyful VE Day celebration.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Our School Council

The School Council is the voice of our pupils. It aims to improve our school while ensuring all decision making is fair and democratic.

With elections completed and badges presented, the council had a very busy first meeting. Members' roles were decided and the school council code of conduct was agreed. Most years, we have about the same number of boys and girls in the school council. We were surprised to discover that, this year, our pupils had voted for boys in every class. The School Council is led by a female teacher to guide the children and ensure that all decisions made are fully inclusive.
School Council Code of Conduct
  1. Take care of each other e.g. older members can support the younger members.
  2. We don’t leave anybody out.
  3. Always put your hand up.
  4. We always support the majority decision.
  5. Don’t shout out.
  6. Always listen to the person speaking.
  7. Always give your class an update.
  8. Try our best to make the school better.
  9. Always attend school council meetings unless we are not at school.
  10. We must always report back to our classes and share their views (not just our own).
The council members are looking forward to an exciting year of discussion, decision-making and democracy.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Fantastic Fireworks

Thank you to everyone who made this year's Hacton fireworks display such a huge success. Our hard-working parents' association did a fantastic job of organising a fun family event and, with over 800 tickets sold, they raised lots of money for our school. The event was clearly enjoyed by children and adults alike. The spectacular evening went with a bang... a whoosh.... and a pop!

Early Years Diwali Celebrations

Early Years children enjoyed celebrating the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali. Some of our parents kindly gave up their time to share the story of Rama and Sita, one of the most important stories from Hinduism. They also explained how the festival of light is celebrated by millions of people around the world.

Children used clay to make diva lamps then painted them with lots of bright colours. Then, they added glitter and jewels to make them sparkle. Early Years children also enjoyed using chalk to create colourful Rangoli patterns on the playground. 

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 of the wonderful children who made an extra effort during the first week of this half term.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Year 1 RE: The Lost Sheep

Year 1 have been learning about Christian beliefs. As part of this topic, they have been reading some of the stories that Jesus told and discussed how these stories inspire Christians today. The children have been reading the parable of The Lost Sheep. They have learnt that this story shows how each person is precious to God. The children have been very creative and have enjoyed making their own fluffy sheep.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Outdoor Learning Week

Our dedicated staff are always looking for new ways to inspire and enthuse our pupils, to foster their love of learning. Research has shown that outdoor learning has many benefits: health, wellbeing, physical skills and connecting with nature, to name just a few.

This term, we had our first Outdoor Learning Week - and what a week it was! Our pupils loved getting their hands, faces and clothes dirty during a whole range of activities including bushcraft, orienteering, nature-based art, and even conker maths.

Click the links below to read year group reports of this outstanding week of learning at our school.