Friday, 22 December 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you very much for your support at the 8 Christmas concerts pupils performed during the last two weeks of term. Over 1,300 family and friends watched the concerts, which I am sure you will agree were all of a very high standard. I hope you enjoyed them as much as the children enjoyed performing in them. Over the course of the concerts, thanks to your generosity, we raised £1,400 for our School Council's chosen charities: Crisis at Christmas and Hacton Primary School!

As we look back at the successes of 2017, I am filled with pride with all that our pupils have achieved. Alongside the exciting move into our brand new school, it has been another year full of engaging and enriching educational experiences. We now look forward to all that 2018 has to offer: it promises to be another fantastic year for Hacton Primary School.

On behalf of my staff I 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 Wednesday, 3rd January 2018.

Mr Emes

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas Dinner

After eight very successful Christmas concerts and to celebrate the upcoming big day, children and staff tucked into a delicious school Christmas dinner this lunchtime. Tender turkey, delicious roast potatoes and mince pies filled our plates as we reflected on a brilliant 2017 in our new school.​

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.

The last E for Effort assembly of 2017 saw many teachers giving the cup to their whole class for their fantastic performances in Christmas plays. Class representatives were chosen to collect their awards.

Congratulations to all of our wonderful pupils who have worked so hard over the last few weeks.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Years 5 and 6: It's Chri-i-i-i-i-i-stmas!


After weeks of watching other pupils perform, it was the turn of our oldest actors to take to the stage for a Christmas chart show with a twist: 'It’s Chri-i-i-i-i-i-stmas!'. Cool costumes, twinkly tinsel, amazing acting and superb singing ensured that it was a production of which they could all be proud. Each catchy song in the Christmas chart show told an important part of the Christmas story. From ‘Gabriel’s Soul Patrol’ to ‘Herod and the King Swingers’, the children performed with energy and enthusiasm and concluded by unveiling the top chart spot with the entire cast together on the stage.

Well done to all our performers for a wonderful Christmas show.

Year 5: Santa Gnomes

Over the last couple of days, Year 5 have been designing, making and evaluating a Santa gnome. The children measured and cut felt fabric with extreme precision then put their sewing skills to the test (which proved to be trickier than first expected!). After some careful work, and a little help from friends, everyone ended with a wonderful decoration that will look great on any Christmas tree!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Early Years: Christmas Role Play

Role play is an important part of children’s learning. It helps to develop confidence, creativity, communication and relationships. It allows children to make sense of the world by providing opportunities for children to act out their own experiences.

The children in Reception have been very excited about the Christmas role play area. They have been busy dressing up as Santa’s elves working in his workshop. They have particularly enjoyed wrapping presents, using scales to weigh different sized presents, writing letters to Santa using their phonic knowledge and making Christmas cards. They have had lots of fun discussing the process of posting a letter and how it gets delivered.

Years 3 and 4: Five Gold Rings


Our Year 3 and 4 pupils continued the Christmas concert season by performing 'Five Gold Rings'. The story follows Lucy and Fred, two children who cannot stand each other, but who have to put their differences aside when something peculiar happens whilst singing 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'. When the song gets stuck on 'five gold rings' they enter a mysterious world and meet some strange characters!

Our children did a fantastic job of learning lines, dance moves, songs and signs, before putting it all together on stage; they sang some well-known and some new songs as well as two dazzling dances. Following a confident dress rehearsal to the school, the children performed their first show to parents on Friday. They began the final week of the term with their last wonderful performance.

An extra thank you to the children who filled in at the last minute when the dreaded sickness arrived and, as always, thank you to parents and carers who provided costumes and helped the children prepare. Merry Christmas from Years 3 and 4!

Year 3: Tudor Houses

Just on the market, these 500 year old Tudor style properties with authentic wooden beams, tiled roofs and diamond windows. They have been designed and handmade by expert carpenters: the Year 3 children of Hacton Primary School. Take a look at the final product and see the quality for yourself. They’re selling fast.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Early Years: The Christmas Story

Reception children have been very busy learning the story of Christmas.

In class, they have read the Christmas story and learnt about how people celebrate Christmas, the foods we eat at this special time and why we decorate our houses with cards and lights. The children have talked about Christmas as the festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus. They have had lots of fun dressing up and retelling the story in their very own stable.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Early Years: Here We Go Round the Christmas Tree

Christmas-Play-2017 Christmas-Play-2017

On Monday and Tuesday, our Early Years children performed their Christmas play to a packed school hall. Nursery children in jolly jumpers sang Christmas songs with familiar nursery rhyme tunes, they  danced with enthusiasm and were clearly proud to be taking part in their first ever Christmas play. Some took to the limelight with ease whilst others were a little more timid, but they all performed brilliantly.

Reception children did a fantastic job of remembering their lines and holding the microphone as they narrated between songs. They sang about the fairy on top of the tree, the all-important Christmas presents and delicious chocolate shapes.

The play ended with a traditional nativity and an adorable rendition of Away in a Manger. There were big smiles all round when the children shook tambourines as they sang Jingle Bells.

The staff were very proud how confidently the children performed and all of the hard work that they put in to learning 12 songs.

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for your continued support of our youngest children.

Years 1 and 2: Christmas with the Aliens


This year, Key Stage 1 took part in an out of this world performance. 'Christmas with the Aliens' saw a rocket crash land at Hacton Primary School. The little green people enjoyed watching a Christmas Nativity filled with songs, laughter and dances. Luckily, the rocket was repaired and the aliens were able to return to their planet, having learned the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Hacton Choir in the Community

On Monday morning, the Year 3 and 4 members of Hacton's choir braved the cold weather and had a short walk to sing Christmas carols to the elderly at Havering Christian Fellowship Church. The children loved having an opportunity to perform to an audience, who seemed to enjoy their angelic voices!

After the performance, the children socialised with the adults and spoke to them about Christmas and what they have been doing in school. This uplifting experience helped to build our pupils' confidence and clearly brightened the day of some elderly members of our local community.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Afternoon Christmas Concerts

We look forward to seeing you in school for the rest of our Christmas performances. So that you don't have to wait in the cold, please avoid arriving very early for afternoon concerts.

The school hall is used for school dinners daily until 1.05 pm. Unfortunately, as the hall then has to be cleared, cleaned and 160+ chairs put out, it will be 1.25 pm before parents will be allowed to come into school for afternoon Christmas concerts.

We will endeavour to get all parents seated as quickly as possible, children in to the hall and performances started as close to 1.30pm as possible. Thank you and enjoy the show!

Monday, 11 December 2017

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. 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)

School is open as usual (Monday 11th December)

School is open as usual today.

However, we ask all Reception pupils to enter via the Nursery entrance due to the Reception outdoor safety area being very slippery.

As this area is unsafe we ask EYFS Parents with older children to walk across the Junior playground today rather than through the walkway gates which will be closed. The double gate across the Junior playground will be open for access.

The EYFS Christmas concert will go ahead as planned this afternoon at 2.00 pm.

Friday, 8 December 2017

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. These were neatly wrapped by the children and taken home for them to enjoy.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

New Digital Leaders

After much deliberation, our Digital Leaders for 2017/18 have finally been selected. A large number of applications were handed in but only 9 could be chosen. These pupils showed a keen interest in Computing and displayed a great knowledge of ICT. They will be completing weekly tasks and jobs to support teachers and pupils in the delivery of Computing across the school. Our Digital Leaders will also host a club for Year 1 to help our younger pupils develop their Computing skills, training the Digital Leaders of the future.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Nursery: Posting Letters to Father Christmas

The children in Nursery have been busy writing letters to Father Christmas, choosing toys carefully and adding them to their lists. They have written their names at the bottom of their letters, popped them into envelopes with Father Christmas’ name and address on before walking to the red letter box to post them.

It was a chilly walk, but the children loved looking at the houses on the way, identifying Christmas trees in windows and wreaths on doors. Once they had posted letters and wished them on their way to the North Pole they set off back to the warm nursery for hot chocolate and biscuits!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Early Years: Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning gives children the opportunity explore the world in different ways, through their senses and through physical activity. There are so many benefits to learning outside of the classroom including: developing social skills as children work together; encouraging independence as children have space to explore and make their own creative choices; encouraging a more active lifestyle.

Our Early Years pupils have enjoyed exploring the outside learning environment. They have been very busy building, constructing, painting, making, collaging and colour mixing. The children have used a variety of messy play ingredients to make their own potions, just like in the story Room on the Broom. They particularly enjoyed colour mixing in shaving foam and discovering what happens when they mix different colours together.

Cooking Club Party

On the Wednesday 29th November 2017, Cookery Club decided to have a party with all the glamorous and kind teachers. Some of us decorated scrumptious ginger biscuits with chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. One of us chose to make cupcakes, one of us made ice-cream and one of us made an Oreo cheesecake. Mrs Dibble and Mrs Perry cooked chocolate orange cookies. Every single thing was delicious.

We invited Mr Emes, Mr Coombes, Miss Campbell, Miss Claridge, Miss Wells, Miss Hornsby and all of the Year 1 teachers. We made glasses of orange juice for people who were thirsty. At last it was time for the teachers to leave and for the whole of cooking club to go home, our tummies full of sweet treats.

By the children of Cooking Club

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

School Council Visit the Mayor of Havering

Our School Council visited the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Van den Hende, in her chambers at the town hall in Romford. After being greeted by a member of support staff, the children were welcomed by the mace bearer and Madame Mayor, who wore her formal, ruby-red dress robes. The children enjoyed an informative question and answer session in the council chambers where they learned more about the Mayor's responsibilities. After question time, they were invited to tour the chambers where they enjoyed pretending to be Mayor, dressing up in her crimson gown. The solid silver ceremonial mace weighed a whopping 5.22kgs and was very expensive, so we thought it was best to look but not touch! The children were also thrilled to receive their very own 'Mayor Bear' as a souvenir of their special trip.

This visit will be long remembered by all the children for Madame Mayor’s consideration, generosity and kindness... despite her hectic schedule!​

Christmas Arrangements 2017

Hacton's preparations for Christmas commence on Friday 1st December with our Christmas tree, which is kindly donated by a parent, being delivered. Mrs Ware will have the tree decorated by the time pupils arrive in school and the Christmas post post box will officially open. All Christmas concerts and other Christmas arrangements for the next three weeks are listed below:

Monday, 27 November 2017

Pupil Spotlight: Commitment to Karate

One of our talented Year 4 pupils took part in the National Karate Championships held in Sheffield. The competition is incredibly difficult to get into but she was chosen above many others for her skill and:
  • Positive attitude towards training and competitions
  • Commitment to attendance
  • Regularly taking part in competitions 
She fought fantastically despite it being the first time that she had to wear body armour and a heavy helmet. She should feel enormously proud for her brilliant achievement and commitment. Well done!

Year 3: Design and Technology

In Design and Technology, Year 3 have been planning and preparing for their woodwork making class. They began by evaluating and comparing modern houses with Tudor houses. There are many obvious distinguishing features that the children were able to highlight. The black and white exterior is very prominent on the Tudor style house as well as the structure of the buildings.

After comparing the buildings, they began to design their own Tudor houses and think about the step by step guide they needed to follow in order to complete their project. Finally, the day arrived where they were given the opportunity to use woodwork equipment to build their very own model of a Tudor house. With the help of some very kind parents, Year 3 used saws, bench hooks and sandpaper to create the frame for their Tudor house. The children were all very proud of their achievements and, thankfully, all fingers remained intact!

Friday, 24 November 2017

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. With rehearsals for Christmas plays beginning next week, today saw the last E for Effort until the last day of term.

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

Boys' Football: League and Tournament Success

Our boys' football team have been performing brilliantly. Some of the team have written this report:

Hacton boys' football team (coached by Mr Coombes) made an astonishing start to this year's campaign. On the 16th November 2017, the team travelled to Wykeham School, Hornchurch to play the first round of the tournament. Here are the results.

 League Matches

First Match:
Hacton 1-0 Squirrels Heath
Second Match:
Hacton 2-0 Oasis Primary
Mini Final:
Hacton 1-0 Rise Park

In addition to this, the Hacton boys had a match against Branfil Primary in a separate cup. As if it could not get any better, Hacton won 3-0! This means they are through to the next round of another tournament. The whole squad are very happy that they have yet to concede a goal. The next match is after Christmas, so the boys are training hard. Overall, a very bright and cheerful start to their season.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Netball: Hacton 11 - 4 Benhurst

Tuesday 21st November saw the official start of the netball season for the Hacton Netball Team. Their first fixture was at home against Benhurst. Their match against Hacton staff the previous week meant they already had a good deal of match practice.

After a warm up and a team talk, Hacton won the coin toss and took the first centre pass. The game started slowly until our determined team made their first break, and scored. It wasn’t long before Hacton had established a convincing lead working particularly hard in the centre of the court. The tallest members of our team used their fabulous height and reach to their advantage, proving themselves to be a formidable defence. Under the posts, our super scorers totted up an amazing 11 goals against Benhurst’s 4.

A brilliant performance by all resulted in a resounding victory for Hacton Netball Team. Well done!

Reception: Phonics Workshops

Thank you to all of the parents/carers who attended our phonics workshops to find out more about how we teach reading and writing in Reception. Children had a great time showing you all how they segment the sounds to write simple words and form their letters correctly.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Pupil Spotlight: Fantastic Gymnastics

Congratulations to our talented Year 4 gymnast who picked up two Total Gymnastics Essex championship medals for her vault and floor routines. Olympic medalist Beth Tweddle MBE presented the gifted gymnast with a bronze medal for her impressive floor routine and gold for her perfect handstand flat back.

“I was hoping that I might come second in the vault but when my name was called out as the winner I was amazed. I went out with my mum and dad for dinner to celebrate. My mum won’t stop talking about it!”

Friday, 17 November 2017

Fundraising for Children in Need

Pupils entered into the fundraising spirit with a non-uniform day to support Children in Need. In today's whole school assembly, Mrs Leslie spoke about the work of this important charity and the ways in which our small donations will 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!

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 this week.

Interesting Buildings Challenge

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Interesting Buildings Challenge. We received a wide variety of photos for our display about different types of architecture. Our pupils have obviously visited lots of amazing buildings!

The staff at Hacton have viewed all the entries and the lucky winners visited The Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Neasden Temple. Well done for some fantastic additions to our display.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Netball: Staff vs Pupils

Last week saw the ultimate battle of netball talent between Hacton staff and the school netball team. Super shooting, perfect passing and defensive dodging characterised the match along with laughter and fun. However, Mr Coombes' smile soon faded when he had to hop off with a minor leg injury... much to the merriment of his unsympathetic colleagues!

Although the teachers - with their height advantage - were victorious in this first tournament, the Hacton netball team certainly gave them a run for their money. Thank you to all the staff who took part and to the pupils for their impressive netball skills and fine sporting spirit.

Girls' Football: Hacton vs Gidea Park

With the turf settled and the grass growing, our new school field was finally ready to be put to the test. The girls' football team played a great game against Gidea Park Primary and they have written this report:

The girls' football team played a home cup match against Gidea Park Primary. The startling screech of the whistle meant it was time to do our best. We started with the ball and within seconds we were down the line into the other team’s side of the pitch. It was going so well and, with a few attempts to shoot, we almost scored within minutes. Unfortunately, they tackled and got the ball down our side of the pitch. We tried tackling them but despite our efforts, we could not take possession of the ball. They scored. However, we were not downhearted; in fact it would give us the determination to power through. The score was now 0-1 and yet again we were back in the other team's half, but then out of nowhere they ran back to our half and they scored, twice! 

The whistle was blown but, despite the frustrating defeat, we played well and had fun working together as a team. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Year 5 Literacy: World War One

This term, in Literacy, Year 5 are reading a very exciting book called War Horse. This book is themed around World War One. We started to read this book so we could appreciate how the soldiers who fought during the war would have felt in the most appalling conditions.

This war topic is also linked to our History and so our half term homework was to complete one of three activities, either to: build a trench, create a poster or produce a presentation. However, each needed to identify a parapet, duckboards, barbed wire and an ammunition store.

Written by Luke (Year 5)

I made a WW1 trench and it was fun making it.  I used: brown icing for the sandbags, Lego for the beds, lolly sticks for the ladders and for the wood on the walls.  Also, I used wire wool which feels just like barbed wire and brown paint, to paint the box.

'To build my trench I used the facts I learnt at school.  I made it out of cardboard and used paper to construct sandbags; I used lolly sticks and pop sticks for the duckboards.'

Year 1: Jam Sandwiches

In Literacy, Year 1 have been making jam sandwiches. They have learnt about ‘bossy verbs’ and they now know their real name too - imperative verbs. The children gave instructions to each other and made a delicious sandwich; they even made some extra for the Office Staff!

Year 4: Gamelan

Year 4 enjoyed a morning of immersing themselves in Gamelan, the music of Indonesia. To begin, the headteacher of a school for music and dance from the island of Java taught our pupils a song called 'Jaranan'. They then learnt the dance moves, which made it clear that the song was about a horse.

The tuneful children then used a range of Gamelan instruments to play a melody that occurs between the verses of song. Instruments, they were told, were to be respected and Gamelan players are always very careful to walk around their instruments, instead of stepping over them, as a sign of respect.

By the end of the session the whole class could play a variety of instruments and sing the Gamelan song with it. It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Remembrance at Hacton

Our pupils have been thinking about the effects of war on people’s lives, both now and in the past.

Reception children have painted some lovely poppies that they have added to their remembrance displays.

In Year 6, the children read some famous war poems and then, after taking time to reflect, they wrote their own poems from the point of view of children affected by war. We are sure you will agree that their poems stir many emotions which are associated with this time of remembrance.

Lest we forget.​

The Havering Cross Country Championships

On a chilly but (thankfully!) dry November morning, 24 of our pupils descended on Stubbers Adventure Centre to race in the Havering Cross Country Championships. With 25 schools from across the borough competing in the four races, an incredible 600 junior children were in attendance.

On a chilly but (thankfully!) dry November morning, 24 of our pupils descended on Stubbers Adventure Centre to race in the Havering Cross Country Championships. With 25 schools from across the borough competing in the four races, an incredible 600 junior children were in attendance. With many of our team having practised in the weeks leading up to the event, we felt prepared, excited and ready to race.

After a warm up and final talk about starting and finishing strategies, the first race - Year 3 and 4 girls - got underway. I didn't have to wait long to see our first runner appear at the end of the 1,200m course. Our Year 4 pupil made light work of a hill at the very end, finishing an incredible 6th in a field of around 150 runners. Her team mates soon followed; it seemed like a solid team performance, but we'd have to wait to find out the team results.

Next up were the Year 3 and 4 boys. Three runners from last year were joined by three new pupils, making an impressive team. The boys set off like rockets! Soon, finishers began to emerge; I couldn't believe it when four of our boys - closely followed by their team mates - emerged together then sprinted for the line, all finishing in the top 20! Again, we'd have to wait to find out our team placing.
Soon the Year 5 and 6 girls began. Showing no sign of their pre-race nerves, the team, four of whom raced last year, did absolutely brilliantly on the longer 2,000m course. Again, I didn't have to wait long to see a Hacton pupil powering towards the finish; our Year 5 pupil finished in an amazing 9th place. Her team mates also finished highly, all of them showing that they had a little left in the tank for a quick finish!

Finally, the last race of the day - the Year 5 and 6 boys. After a long wait in which they gave plenty of encouragement to our younger pupils, our boys were off. Soon, they came speeding towards the finish, with another of our talented Year 5 athletes leading the way in a fantastic 8th place. One of our Year 6 pupils also achieved an impressive top-20 finish, with his team mates coming in just seconds behind to bring the team home.

Later that day, we discovered our team scores; Year 5 and 6 boys finished in an excellent 8th place, Year 5 and 6 girls finished in a brilliant 4th place, and our Year 3 and 4 girls and boys teams finished in a quite fantastic 2nd place!  I am incredibly proud of the effort that the whole team put in, and can't wait to see many of you compete again next year. Keep on running!

Miss Claridge (P.E. Coordinator)