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.

Havering Cross Country Competition

Before half term, twenty-four of our athletes took part in the Havering Cross Country competition at Stubbers Activity Centre, racing superbly over a challenging course against twelve other schools. In the first race, two of our speedy Year 4 girls finished a fantastic 2nd and 3rd place, with the rest of the team finishing close behind. Next up were the Year 3 and 4 boys, with an excellent 5th place from our Year 4 pupil leading the team home. Then it was the turn of our older teams. Again, a wonderful 2nd and 3rd place was achieved by two of our Year 5 children in the girls' race, followed by a brilliant 8th place from our Year 5 boy leading the final team home.

After the races, we found out the team results, where every competitor's result is combined to give a final placing. Every team did brilliantly! Our Year 3/4 boys and Year 5/6 girls both finished second, our Year 5/6 boys finished third, and our Year 3/4 girls team won! Well done, girls!

Overall, a superb team effort and a great morning's work. Well done to our amazing athletes.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Year 4 Science: Tooth Decay Investigation

Year 4 investigated liquids and the effect that they have on our teeth. They took a strictly scientific approach to their investigation using subheadings such as prediction, variables, method and conclusion.

Using eggshells as a realistic model of dental enamel, the children discovered that vinegar is not good for our teeth; it completely softened the outer shell of the egg. They discovered that water and milk are best for our teeth as there were no changes to the eggshells.

The children have presented their entire investigation beautifully in their science books, thinking carefully about underlining subheadings, using bullet points and numbered instructions. Great work!

Friday, 18 October 2019

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 6

Year 6 made the most of Outdoor Learning Week. They fully immersed themselves in a whole host of activities, developing skills that they don’t always get to put into practice. Come rain or shine, they were outside getting their hands dirty.

The majority of Year 6's time was spent creating a ‘Legacy Garden’. This was a challenging process, with a great deal of clearing, digging and planting to be done. Thankfully, some of Year 6's family members joined in with the outdoor fun!

Our nature-loving pupils spent an afternoon designing and building bird feeders out of lollipop sticks using a hot glue gun. To further develop their appreciation of the world around them, Year 6 spent time carrying out observational drawings of an autumnal scene. They also explored the school grounds, conducting a bug hunt to classify the insects in their local environment.

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 5 WW1 Experience

Year 5 were very lucky to receive a visit from Mr Weaver of the 10th Essex Living History Group. He brought along artefacts from WW1, including uniforms for the children to wear.

Mr Weaver joined our young historians by the trench on the school field. He explained the benefits and perils of the trenches and helped them gain a deeper understanding of life as a soldier during WW1.

Year 5 all had a go at throwing a heavy grenade out of the trench and used a periscope to see troops advancing towards them. Thank you so much to Mr Weaver for sharing his knowledge and helping to bring our WW1 topic to life.

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 5

Year 5 had a brilliant afternoon planning and creating bug hotels. They used found materials to create a home for nature with lots of nooks and crannies for bugs to hide in. They placed them around the school grounds to encourage wildlife to make a home at Hacton.

Mr and Mrs Manning, who are both Scout leaders, introduced Year 5 to the exciting world of bushcraft skills. The children learnt new outdoor skills, such as shelter building and fire lighting. The best part: roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire.

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 4

Throughout Outdoor Learning Week, Year 4 have taken part in exciting orienteering challenges. This developed children's map-reading and teamwork skills. The challenges also used knowledge and skills from across the curriculum, especially maths and geography.

Year 4 enjoyed searching the front and back school fields to collect their data to identify types of trees using a leaf key. They used their maths skills to present their information in two bar charts. They also used this data to compare the types of trees found in both school fields.

The sound of rain inspired the children during Outdoor Learning Week. They decided to use parts of the body to generate their own rainstorm sounds. The children watched a video of an orchestra and then, in groups, composed their own rainstorm symphonies.

One Year 4 pupil said, "I loved doing the jumping and actions because we were able to use our body effectively."

Another said, "I really liked this lesson because it was different being able to use our body for music rather than our voices or instruments."

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 3

Year 3 loved taking the classroom outside for Outdoor Learning Week. They enjoyed a wide range of activities including nature art, finding 2d shapes, orienteering and a bushcraft workshop, where the children learned how to build a fire and toast delicious marshmallows. The highlight of the week was the challenge to create their very own rainbow-coloured dream catchers.

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 2

Year 2 experienced a wide range of engaging experiences during Outdoor Learning Week.

Bushcraft: the children learnt how to climb into and out of a hammock. They also toasted marshmallows around the campfire and then enjoyed eating the warm, gooey treats.

Welly Wanging: Year 2 competed in small groups to see who could throw their wellies the furthest.

Orienteering: Teams raced to complete all of the numbered checkpoints around the school field. It was a very tight call between the winners.

Observational drawing: Our pencil-wielding pupils took some time out from the manic week to observe and sketch the trees around the school grounds.

Autumn walk: the children went for a walk through the park to collect natural objects for their Autumn Hacton logo.

Planting: Year 2 have planted thir very own vegetable patch in the KS1 playground planters. It is hoped that the broccoli, onions, chard, winter salad and broad beans will grow so that they can make vegetable soup in the spring term.

Hedgehog houses: the children worked in small groups to create hedgehog homes for the winter. Straw was put inside to make it nice and cosy and the outside was decorated with leaves. The desirable dwellings were placed around the school field to provide hedgehog homes over the winter months.

Outdoor Learning Week: Year 1

Outdoor Learning Week allowed Year 1 to get creative using natural materials from around the school grounds. The children worked in groups and individually to create wonderful life-sized leaf pictures.

They also read Stickman by Julia Donaldson and created the characters out of natural materials.

Time around the campfire was a highlight. Year 1 learnt campfire songs such as 'On Top of Old Smokey' and 'If You're Happy and You Know it'. Mr and Mrs Manning taught the children about fire safety, bushcraft and toasting marshmallows. After devouring their soft, warm marshmallows, the children spent time relaxing in a hammock.

Our Year 1 pupils had a fantastic week of outdoor learning: they got wet, muddy and smoky, but they always had smiles on their faces.

Outdoor Learning Week: EYFS

What a busy week! Early Years children are used to outdoor learning but this week provided an excuse to spend even more time around the school. All children have been on an Autumn Walk where they looked for different signs of Autumn and collected crispy, coloured leaves that had fallen to the ground.

The children had a special visitor on Wednesday: Mrs Manning bought in her beautiful owl, Grendel. The children loved seeing him up close and asked some very intelligent questions.

“How does he eat?”
“Where’s his owl Mother?”
“How does he see in the dark?”
“Where do other owls come from?”
“Does he like to fly in the night?”
“Why is he that colour?”

To round off an exciting week, the children planted daffodil bulbs which they hope to see flower in the spring.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Year 6: A Guided Tour of Hornchurch Country Park

Year 6 were able to discover the rich history of Hornchurch Country Park thanks to our very knowledgeable tour guide, Mr Manning. The children explored different locations within the park, such as gun emplacements and pillboxes. They were even able to hold several wartime artefacts brought along by Mr Manning. Year 6 learnt many fascinating facts about Hornchurch’s role during WW2 and the significance of the Country Park as an airfield during both world wars.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Harvest Festival Assembly

Thank you to all the children and parents who kindly donated items for our annual harvest festival assembly. At this time of thanksgiving, it is important to appreciate how lucky we are and also to remember those who are less fortunate or may be in need of help. Your generous donations were delivered to the Harold Hill food bank.

"We don’t think anyone in our community should have to face going hungry. That’s why we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in crisis. We are part of a nationwide network of food banks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK." Harold Hill Foodbank

Thanks again for your continued support.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Reading Assembly

Our first reading assembly of the year was full of excitement. To begin, we celebrated our 'extreme readers' who shared photos of themselves reading during the summer holidays. It was fantastic to see so many children making a good read part of their summer.

Next, we revealed treasure chests. These contain the recommended year group reading - as communicated on each year group's boarding passes - and will be placed in each classroom. Years 3 to 6 can take the books home to read.

Each year group has three authors on which to focus throughout the year. Read five books by one author? Receive a bronze certificate. Read another five? A silver certificate will wing its way to you. Finally, if you read five books by all three authors, you receive the coveted gold certificate. All you need to do is get these ticked off on your boarding pass and post it in the treasure chest in the foyer.

As the grand finale of our reading assembly, we introduced our new Reading Ambassadors. These children will be representing the school as reading helpers. They will share their passion and encourage others to share their passion for books. At Hacton, we love to read!

Friday, 4 October 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.

Year 5 Trip: Imperial War Museum

Year 5 spent the day exploring the World War One exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London. Stunned by the incredible artefacts and information, they came back to school having a greater understanding of the reality of life at war. They learnt more about the catalysts behind its beginnings, the brutality of life as a soldier and the impact the war had on the home front. By visiting the museum, Year 5 also gained a greater insight into the lives of Joey and Albert, who are characters in the story 'War Horse' by Michael Morpurgo.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Year 1 Art: Mondrian

Year 1 have been learning about the modern artist Mondrian. They used outlines of clothes as a base for creating designs in his distinctive, colourful style. The children have learned about the elements he used in his paintings, including primary colours, rectangles and squares with thick black lines. Their vibrant work is now hung on washing lines, to liven up the classroom.

Year 1 Maths Club

Year 1 Maths Club enjoyed a puzzling time. The children were presented with six alien sudoku puzzles to complete that increased in difficulty. The marvellous mathletes enjoyed the challenge and were able to complete them all. The children showed determination to succeed and resilience to complete each board. Well done!

Year 6 Information Meeting

Thank you to all of the parents who came to the Year 6 Parents Meeting last week, as promised, here is the presentation. We will be organising a SATs meeting at the beginning of next term. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to speak to a member of the Year 6 team.

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Black History Month

To mark the beginning of Black History Month, Hacton children learned about Rosa Parks. In 1955, her refusal to give up her seat on a bus made her a beacon for the American civil rights movement. In assembly, a small group of children carried out a performance, where they paid a bus driver and pretended to get on a bus. Everyone on the bus paid the same amount, but those who wore jumpers had to sit at the back. Those wearing a t-shirt sat comfortably near the front. If other people got on to the bus, the children at the back with jumpers had to give up their seat. The children of Hacton shouted, "unfair!"

After the performance and an informative assembly, our pupils learnt that a bus boycott triggered by the actions of Rosa Parks changed the rules of American society, and led towards equality and justice for everyone, whatever the colour of their skin.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Year 2 Literacy: The Disgusting Sandwich

Year 2 read the story 'The Disgusting Sandwich' and were inspired to make their own. They found ingredients in the school gardens to fill their revolting creations. After assembling them, the children wrote a set of instructions which drew on their own disgusting sandwich-making experience.