Friday, 20 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

After two weeks of incredible Christmas productions, the Autumn term draws to an end. Over 1100 parents, friends and relatives enjoyed impressive singing, dancing, acting and signing from the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Years 3/4 and Years 5/6. Generous family members dropped coins in buckets when they left performances and raised over £1000 for the two charities chosen by our School Council: Great Ormond Street Hospital and Cancer Research. A huge well done to all the children who filled us with Christmas spirit; we are very proud.

Without a doubt 2013 has been another very successful year for our school. Primary Key Stage 2 results were recently published by the DfE and our results were exceptional, placing us comfortably in the top 2% of schools in the country. This would be considered outstanding by Ofsted. Achievements like this could not happen without the continued support and dedication of our staff and parents. Thank you.

Throughout the year, our pupils have enjoyed a wide range of engaging and enriching educational experiences. We now look forward to all that 2014 has to offer; it promises to be another fantastic year for Hacton Primary School.

May we take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday 7th January.

Hacton's Achievements Recognised by the Minister of State for Schools

Dear Parents

I am pleased to be able to attach a letter sent to us by the Minister of State for Schools which arrived today, the last day of the autumn term.

Out of nearly 17, 000 primary schools in England we are amongst the top 250 performing schools in terms of the progress all pupils and disadvantaged pupils (Pupil Premium) make between Key Stage 1 and the end of Key Stage 2, and their attainment at the end of the Key Stage.

This is an outstanding achievement and is due to the hard work of everyone involved in the 'Hacton family team' - pupils, staff, governors and yourselves.

Mr Emes

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Our First Christmas Play

Early Years pupils excelled themselves with two brilliant performances of ‘Our First Christmas Play’. They all learnt nine songs and performed them with great enthusiasm. Reindeer pranced with excitement as nursery children danced and sang beautifully. Reception children delivered their lines with skill and revealed some stars in the making. Staff are very proud of the children and can now ‘clap, dance and shout HOORAY!’ in readiness for Christmas.

KS2 Choir at the Messy Church

On Sunday 15th December, thirty-eight members of the KS2 Choir were invited to join the Messy Church at St Matthew's to sing songs for their Nativity celebrations. The children, joined by their families, Miss Smith and Mrs McDonach, had a great time singing carols and sharing songs from their own Christmas Plays, as well as joining in with Christmas arts and crafts and eating lots of delicious cakes. Some members of the choir were even asked to dress up as angels and shepherds to bring the Nativity story to life. At the end of the service, all of the children lit the Christingle candles that they had made and led a rousing rendition of Away in a Manger.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Hearing Impaired Pupils 'Shine'

Hacton's hearing impaired children were recently given an exciting opportunity to work with Essex photographer, David Shields. He was producing a exhibition about the achievements of deaf children and young adults and what or who inspires them. The exhibition was called 'Shine'.

David came to our School to work with Yr 4 and Yr 5 pupils in March. Firstly, they participated in a photography workshop and then the children took their own photos. The results were put on display at the very prestigious Photographers' Gallery in London, with pupils and their parents invited as special guests. A little while later, the exhibition was held again at the Queen’s Theatre and was open to the public, friends and family. The exhibition was featured on the BBC Two programme See Hear and included interviews with some of our pupils and their parents.

Our pupils' work included a photo of Taekwondo gear, photos about football, basketball and music. One pupil took a photo of signing hands and another a photo of her soon-to-be born sister. This was an amazing opportunity for our hearing impaired children to express themselves and communicate about some of the things that make them 'shine'.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Winter Wonderland at the Queen's Theatre

After a brisk walk through Hornchurch, Year 6 arrived at the Queen’s Theatre to watch an orchestral performance of ‘Winter Wonderland’. With cymbals crashing, drums beating and sleigh bells ringing, the children (and adults) were filled with Christmas spirit. Asked to recognise several songs within a Christmas medley, faces lit up as familiar tunes echoes around the theatre. One lucky pupil, Joe, was asked to join the percussion section of the orchestra on stage to provide sleigh bell backing for a festive favourite. Thank you to Havering Music School for a fantastic morning.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Banana Milkshake

Recently, Year 1 had great fun whizzing up banana milkshakes. They each made a cook book with step by step instructions for making the delicious treat. Everyone agreed it was their favourite recipe so far!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Guidance for Parents Taking Photographs During School Productions

We're all excited about the Christmas plays that are being staged soon, 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. We will also be videoing the Christmas plays for family members who could not attend the performances. A copy will be available in the school office for you to borrow.

*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)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Year 1 Local Area Walk

Recently, Year 1 went on a local area walk. Dressed in warm coats, hats and boots, the excited pupils set off from school on a surprisingly sunny day. They stopped at the post box to send postcards to their families and continued on to Hacton Parkway. The children explored the playground to find out how the equipment worked. Year 1 really enjoyed having a walk and a play in the fresh air.