Friday, 28 February 2014

A Visit from Author Dan Freedman

Key Stage 2 pupils had a treat on day four of Literacy Week as Dan Freedman, author of the popular Jamie Johnson football themed books, visited the school. Dan ran several Q&A workshops with all pupils from Key Stage 2. In these sessions, Dan explained how he became a successful author following a career in football journalism. Dan outlined the route any writer must take from beginning with a blank page, developing a plot and adding interesting characters. For our budding writers, Dan discussed the influences of footballers such as Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand on his stories. By showing video clips of his interviews with the players, the author looked at how to build their competitive instincts into his fictional football characters. 'Kick Off' (Dan's first book) is in the process of being adapted for a TV production and Dan revealed a trailor for the show. This fitted in perfectly with our theme of books that have gone on to be TV or film productions.

Lots of our children took the opportunity to buy signed copies of the Jamie Johnson books while several lucky children from each year group received free signed books for the interesting questions they asked during the discussions. Football is certainly popular amongst our boys and girls and Dan's visit should inspire not just football fans but all aspiring writers to put pen to paper and try to create their own engaging characters.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Reminder: Literacy Week Dress Up Day

Friday is our annual Literacy Week dressing up day. Our theme for this year is books which have become films or television programmes. A letter was recently sent home with dressing up ideas. We would be very grateful if Parents/Guardians could contribute by helping their child to participate in the finale of this enjoyable week - we know that our pupils love to dress up!

Literacy Quiz

Wednesday saw a dramatic conclusion to the keenly contested Literacy Week quiz. With a rapt audience, the houses battled to be crowned Literacy quiz winners for 2014. House and Vice Captains chose how to organise their quiz and played a key role in ensuring the smooth running of the seven round contest. After completing 3 rounds, the quiz teams were joined by the rest of KS2 and in the second half of the quiz house captains could 'ask the audience'. As the final round approached, the teams were separated by just 4 points. Blue team held a slender advantage and after a thrilling, tense finish, were able to pip the other teams to the post by 2 points. All teams competed in a sporting manner and the audience certainly played a key role. Blue team can now look forward to crowning their glory during the Friday afternoon assembly.

What would you score in our literacy quiz? Click the image below for a sample round. Simply name the books from which the first lines come and let us know your score in the Facebook comments!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Literacy Week Begins

Literacy week began today with a return visit of the popular Hobgoblin Theatre Company. This week we are celebrating books that have become renowned and popular films/television programmes. To support this, the Hobgoblins worked their magic on the legend of Robin Hood. A number of films and TV programmes have brought this classic story to life and the pupils of Hacton certainly enjoyed the energetic one hour performance. To loud cheers, children from Reception through to Year 6 witnessed the triumph of the heroes - Robin, Maid Marian and Will Scarlett - over the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham. Later this week, Years 3-6 have the visit from popular author Dan Freedman while KS1 have the interactive Rainbow theatre company in to work with them.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Flat Stanley Challenge

Over the half term holidays the whole school will be participating in the Flat Stanley challenge. Pupils have been busy customising their Flat Stanleys before posting them to a friend or family member in this country or abroad. It is hoped that each recipient of the character will send a postcard back to school before sending it on to another friend or family member. We are hoping to receive lots of postcards that help us learn more about different parts of the world. This should to help raise the profile of Modern Foreign Languages in our school.

Don’t forget to post your character. Will your Flat Stanley travel the furthest or visit the most places in the world?

Year 6 SATs Information

Thank you to all parents who attended the SATs information meeting this week. The talk covered the upcoming Year 6 SATs and we gave details about the tests that children will be sitting. Tests are in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and the Maths test. We also provided information about the Level 6 tests for reading and maths which would be taken by a small group of high achievers. A lot of ground was covered so we have posted the presentation for those who could not attend and for parents who want to study the information in more detail.

Fantastic Photographers

Last year, pupils from our hearing impaired provision took part in a prestigious photographic exhibition called 'Shine'. As a follow up, the organiser, Fay, came to assembly this week to return the highly professional photos to the talented children. Thank you to Fay for rounding off what has been a thoroughly rewarding experience for everyone involved.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Hacton Teams in the Romford Recorder

The achievements of our teams at the recent Sanders Draper sports tournament are featured in the Romford Recorder this week. There's a photograph that includes our netball team as well as a great picture of our triumphant footballers.

Young Voices at the O2 Arena

On Friday 31st January, 42 children from Hacton's choir had an amazing time as they took part in the Young Voices Concert 2014 at the O2 Arena, London.

It was an extremely long day for the children and grown-ups: they arrived at the O2 at 1.30, had rehearsals with the principal conductor from 2.30-5.00 and had a well deserved tea break before show time at 7pm. There was no chance of falling asleep though as George led a spontaneous and rousing 'Hacton chant' to keep everyone awake.

The show began in a blaze of bright lights and there was no stopping the Hacton Choir who sang at the tops of their voices and boogied through the night. As well as singing songs such as Mr Blue Sky and a medley of Family Film Favourites, the choir provided backing vocals for X Factor star Stacey Solomon and danced to some fabulous Hip Hop tunes from the 90s with the Urban Strides Street Dance Group. There was audience participation too as parents got up and strutted their funky stuff!

Miss Smith said, "I am so proud of all of the children. Not only were they beautifully behaved, they sang and danced in fabulous Hacton style! Thank you to Mrs McDonach, Mrs Cordaro and Mrs Smith for their help and energy on the day. Finally, thank you to parents for your support. We can't wait to do it all again next year!"

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Chinese New Year in Early Years

Children in Early Years celebrated Chinese New Year in style. Reception children made an imposing dragon head which they used to good effect in their class dance. Nursery children dressed in red and enjoyed a Chinese banquet of rice, noodles, prawn crackers and dips. They all learnt the phrase 'Gung Hei Fat Choy' and used this when speaking to each other. All of the children joined in streamer dances to traditional Chinese music and had lots of fun!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hold the Front Page - Hacton Times Sells Out!

Congratulations to our newspaper club who sold more than 220 copies of their first 'Hacton Times'. Eager children (and staff) all around the school snapped up the riveting read and have thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating articles written by our talented young journalists. We are all looking forward to next edition so get typing year 5 and 6!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Safer Internet Day - Let’s Create a Better Internet Together

Safer Internet Day 2014 will take place on 11th February with the theme 'Let's create a better internet together'. We will take this opportunity to ensure children are aware of online dangers and help children understand the digital world better. Each year group will focus on using the internet safely within their lessons and by the end of the day would have completed a project demonstrating their awareness of this sensitive topic.

For parents, Safer Internet Day is a great time to have a conversation with their child about staying safe online. To help you get started, please visit for some ideas and resources to help make raise awareness of eSafety with your child. We would also encourage you to read our 'eSafety Information for Parents' page. If you have any questions, we will be holding an Internet Safety meeting with parents in the near future.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Havering Primary Schools Expansion - Have Your Say

As you should now be aware, Hacton is due to be rebuilt under the Priority School Building Programme as a three form entry Primary school with 26 pupils in each class plus provision for hearing impaired children. The Local Authority has produced a consultation document about the expansion programme for Primary schools in Havering.