Nursery & Lower School

The Lower School at St. Helen’s College consists of the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) and Year 1. Children enter the Nursery in the September after their third birthday. The following September, they move up into Reception and then into Year 1.

We are on a secluded, colourful and safe site and are a close-knit unit of just under 150 children. We are very well staffed and have a basic ratio of 1:6 in Nursery, 1:8 in Reception and 1:12 in Year 1, with extra floating staff in all classes. This means that the children can make rapid progress in their learning, as well as having lots of fun!

The Lower School is very much part of the whole school and takes part in all of the whole school events such as the annual Speech Competition, St. Helen’s Day, Sports Days and themed curriculum days. 

Lower School children have specialist teachers in Drama, Spanish, Music and Philosophy for Children. 

My child likes all of the staff in Nursery; they are welcoming and fun. The teacher organises her team and class very well and always has time for a chat if needed.

A parent

The curriculum is very vibrant thanks to our dedicated and creative staff, who teach educational skills in a playful way. Teaching develops throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage to become more formal in Year 1. We have interactive whiteboards in every class, along with special computing and IT resources and weekly computing lessons. The Lower School has its own well-stocked library and wonderful outdoor play and discovery areas including our super play castle, Camelot.

There are opportunities for children to begin extra-curricular clubs from Nursery and to take individual music tuition, and we have Lower School Choir for pupils in Reception and Year 1. 

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and most children achieve the highest points on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.


Posted on: 24/11/2023

Weekly News - Friday 24th November 2023

Primary Maths Challenge The results are now in for the Year 4 - 6 Primary Maths Challenge - a fun and exciting mathematical challenge which has taken place over the past few weeks. We had a number of children who secured gold, silver and bronze awards.  Special mentions go to these Year 4 children who performed incredibly well for their age bracket: 4T - William B (silver award), Shaylen P, Mahi B, Aran P, Gurdaya J and Parth K (bronze awards) 4B - Aaran T, Yuvraj R, Ella K, Tiffany T and Armaan V (bronze awards) Additionally, very well done to Tiya T (6L) and Aryan L (6L) for achieving the highest (joint) scores in the whole school. All of the Year 4 - 6 pupils should be very proud of themselves for showing such perseverance and enthusiasm during the challenge.  4T Class Assembly Class 4T presented a super assembly this morning all about 'Preparation'. By performing and narrating a short play about a squirrel who failed to prepare for winter, they taught us that preparation is a crucial part of life. They reminded us of the many things we all prepare for on a daily basis, and took a humorous look at preparations for the new school year, performing poems from a pupil, teacher and parent point of views. They also reminded us that advent is the season of preparation for Christmas, and of how we may prepare for this special time of year by performing acts of kindness and service, as well as by buying presents, writing cards and hanging decorations. The children had each made an advent calendar with doors which opened to show the acts of kindness which they intend to perform. Great work, 4T! This was a very meaningful and enjoyable assembly. Month End Music Recital Our November Month End Music Recital provided a wonderful opportunity for many of our instrumentalists and vocalists to perform to their parents, staff and peers. These occasions are always informal and allow the children to take to the 'stage' in a supportive and friendly environment, sometimes for their first ever public performance! Today, as well as vocal performances, children shared pieces on flute, piano and clarinet. Very well done to all of those children who stepped up to perform; it was a lovely way to start the weekend. Chamber Choir Record For Barnado's National Choral Competition On Tuesday, the Chamber Choir recorded the two songs which they have entered for this year's Barnado's National Choral Competition. St. Helen's College has a strong track record in this competition and we wish our elite singers the best of luck this year!       Library - Mystery Readers Year 2 are loving their 'Mystery Reader' sessions in the library at the end of each week! The children never know who is going to turn up to read to them - it might be a parent, a member of staff or someone else! Here is Mr. McLaughlin, who was last week's Mystery Reader, entertaining a Year 2 class. The Mystery Reader season started in style with Mrs. Christodoulou sharing a family favourite read. We would love to hear from other parents or grandparents who would enjoy the opportunity to entertain Year 2 with a story! If you are interested please contact Mrs. Emanuel at Story time is currently 3 p.m. on Friday afternoons.  Chef Soula Nominated For Award! We are so proud of our school chef, Soula, who has been nominated for a very special award by Accent! Soula was recognised as one of Accent's most valued employees, for her professionalism and achievements. She runs a wonderful team of staff here at St. Helen's College and we are delighted that her work has been recognised in this way.   Food Bank Donations Thank you so much to those who have made donations to our new, ongoing Food Bank collection. Mrs. Bickle, a St. Helen's College parent, took the first donation to the Hillingdon Food Bank today where it was gratefully received. Donation boxes are now permanently available at Upper School, Lower School and Ducklings. Sports News 3M have enjoyed a week of swimming this week.  On Tuesday, Year 4 girls travelled to Alpha Prep to play two competitive netball matches. The girls have made some strong progress with their knowledge of the rules and positions so far this term and demonstrated this during the games. Well done to everyone involved! The Year 6 netballers took part in a fixture against Alpha Prep at home on Thursday. It was a well matched competitive game, with the pupils displaying some fantastic shooting and making lots of interceptions which we worked on this week during their lesson time. They won 11-9. Well done to all of the pupils!    All of the Year 3 and 4 footballers played against Alpha Prep on Tuesday. There were seven matches played. St. Helen's College won 5, drew 1 and lost 1. The children thoroughly enjoyed the friendly fixture and there was lots to celebrate.         On Thursday our Year 6 footballers took on Alpha Prep at Court Park. They put on a convincing display, losing only one of the six games played. Goalscorers were: Jeevan P (2), Kal-el M (3), Aidan T (1), Joe T(1), Aaron B (3), Riya S (1), Marco K (1), Mylo D'O (2), Rian M (1), Zaki M (1), Anand V (2)       The Year 6 footballers also took part in a competition at Goals Hayes on Friday. A report and pictures will follow next week. Thames Valley Cavaliers are playing again this weekend, against Hemel Storm. Details are available here. Message From The PA We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 26th November at the PA Christmas Party. The response has been great and we cannot wait to see you all there. Tickets are now sold out and will not be available at the door. Thank you for your enthusiasm, and let's make this Sunday a memorable one! Centenary Christmas Card Competition We would like pupils to have a go at designing the cover of a special Centenary Christmas Card for us this year. The card should include mention of the St. Helen's College Centenary. Pupils may draw, colour and paint the card but should not use glue or glitter. The winning card, chosen by Ms Drummond, will be sent out digitally by the school to many recipients! Pupils should hand their designs in to their class teacher (Ducklings/Lower School) or to the school office (Upper School). The deadline for submitting entries is next Friday, 1st December.  Next Week Monday 27th November - Nursery/Reception nativity photographs Wednesday 29th November - Football v. St. Catherine's (A) Thursday 30th November - Flu vaccinations (Reception to Year 6) Thursday 30th November - Atom Prime Parent Webinar (Years 3 to 5) 6.00 pm. Friday 1st December - 1C coffee morning/Christmas assembly 8.15 a.m. Friday 1st December - 2R coffee morning/Christmas assembly 8.15 a.m. Friday 1st December - Holiday Club bookings open 4 p.m. Christmas Arrangements Monday 4th December - 1R coffee morning/Christmas assembly 8.15 a.m. Tuesday 5th December - Kingfishers coffee morning/Nativity 8.15 a.m. Wednesday 6th December - Owls coffee morning/Nativity 8.15 a.m. Wednesday 6th December - Year 5 & 6 trip to The Snowman Thursday 7th December - Robins coffee morning/Nativity 8.15 a.m. Thursday 7th December - Carols Around The Tree and PA Christmas Fair 3.00 p.m. Thursday 7th December - Christmas lunch - menu available here Thursday 7th December - Christmas jumper day (Christmas jumpers may be worn throughout the school on top of whichever uniform/kit your child would usually wear on this day) Friday 8th December - Wrens coffee morning/Nativity 8.15 a.m. Friday 8th December - Year 2 trip to Dick Whittington Monday 11th December - Lower School party day Monday 11th December - Upper School carol service rehearsal Wednesday 13th December - Upper School carol service Wednesday 13th December - End of term 11.50 a.m. (Ducklings & N); 12.00 p.m. (R); 12.10 p.m. (Y1,2); 12.20 p.m. (Y3, 4); 12.30 p.m. (Y5,6) Holiday Club  Holiday Club bookings will go live on Friday 1st December at 4 p.m. Please book your places promptly to enable us to staff the club appropriately.
Posted on: 17/11/2023

Weekly News - Friday 17th November 2023

Centenary Party - Tickets Now Available! We will be rounding off the 2023-2024 academic year with a grand St. Helen's College Centenary Party at the end of the summer term, when the SHC community will join together to celebrate the school's 100th year in style. The party will take place on the evening of Friday 12th July at The Manor Barn in Ruislip and we hope to see many parents there. There are a limited number of tables (seating ten) available for purchase on a first come, first served basis. These are now available to buy via SchoolsBuddy. One parent will need to buy a table on behalf of ten guests, so please plan your group and buy your table now! Tickets will include dinner, some drinks and entertainment. Tickets are priced at £55 per person (£550 per table). Guests must be over 18 years of age. We very much hope that you will join us to celebrate the end of the 2023-2024 centenary year with a bang! Maths News The pupils have had a blast this week, taking part in Maths Week England, a nationwide celebration of maths in which all schools in England may participate. St. Helen's College children have been diving into investigations, puzzles and quizzes. There has been collaboration and competition across the year groups, bringing maths to life, and children have showcased their numeracy skills as well as problem solving and reasoning. There were some online events and talks too. Year 6 joined a webinar to learn about ‘Green Careers’ from three people working in environmental jobs. We met an exploration geologist based in the Arctic Circle, a data scientist working for the Met Office and an architect who designs healthcare settings for the NHS. They talked about how maths is used in their day to day work.    Well done to all for engaging so well with some challenging and thought provoking problems!  There has also been a buzz about school as children from Years 2 - 6 have been engaging with Times Tables Rock Stars and taking part in a nationwide online competition, ‘England Rocks’.  Well done to all of our pupils for working as a team and collecting points for St. Helen’s College! We were up against some tough competition from across the country. Despite this, our pupils persevered until the end, never giving up and helped move SHC up the ladder, finishing in 1057th place overall, which is no mean feat.  Special mentions go to Tiya T, Eva J and Rohan F for finishing in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (respectively) within our school. What an incredible effort! Over the past fortnight, the Primary Maths Challenge - a fun and exciting mathematical challenge - has also been taking place. Years 4-6 joined in and took the challenge this year. It is run by The Mathematical Association and aims to build children’s enthusiasm and resilience in maths. Results are yet to be published and announced, so watch this space! Children In Need The school community joined together today to focus on Children In Need, thinking about those less fortunate and how we can help them. At all three sites, children and staff wore spots and stripes and took part in activities to help raise money for this most worthy charity. Here you can see our Wrens Nursery class enjoying their Children in Need day! 2H presented a super assembly to educate parents, pupils and staff at Upper School about 'Peace'. They taught us how to say the word peace in many different languages, and about what peace means to them and to us all at St. Helen's College. The children also acted out a beautiful story, 'The Peaceful Pond', during which the animals in a very peaceful pond were disrupted by the arrival of a snappy, unfriendly crocodile. In trying to find a peaceful solution to the problem, the animals discovered that the crocodile had been driven out of his previous home and was really quite sad. Having understood the reasons for his behaviour, and having explained their desire to live peacefully, they welcomed him into their community and peace was restored. Well done, 2H, for helping us all to reflect on the importance of peace and kindness, and for reminding us how lucky we are to have peace within our community. The winners of the Children In Need raffles were: Ducklings - Meeshal K Lower School - Jovun B Middle School - Ajooni G Upper School - Mahi D     Thank you very much to everyone who has supported our Children In Need fundraising efforts. Sports News 3B have enjoyed a week of swimming lessons at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Complex this week. The Year 6 netball team had another great win this Wednesday against St. Mary's. It was a fast paced game and the girls worked hard to keep possession. They won 4-1. On Thursday the netball team attended the Reddiford School netball tournament. The girls showed great resilience and motivation on the cold and slightly damp afternoon. They played five matches in total and finished in a very impressive 2nd position. Well done to all involved. Next week, on Tuesday 21st November all of the boys who normally do football will be playing a competitive match against Alpha Prep at Court Park. The girls who normally play football for Games will play an inter-school match against each other. Matches will kick off at 2 p.m. and parents are very welcome to come and watch. On Thursday 23rd November all of Year 6 will play in competitive matches for football or netball against Alpha Prep at home during their PE times. Matches will kick off at 2 p.m. Parents are more than welcome to come and watch.  The next Thames Valley Cavaliers home game will take place this Saturday at Uxbridge College at 7.00 p.m. Once again, free tickets are available for St. Helen's College pupils. Information is here. Junior Travel Ambassadors Present To Hillingdon Councillors On Tuesday evening, Charlee G and Raiden B (Year 6) represented our Junior Travel Ambassadors at the Highways and Transport Select Committee at the Civic Centre, Uxbridge. They both spoke with confidence and authority to explain to the Councillors the work that our JTAs have been doing, what initiatives our new JTAs have planned and the impact that being part of the STARS programme is having. Their most recent survey showed a 35% decrease in car use since 2018 and 17% increase in active travel. St. Helen's College has been working with the STARS team for around fifteen years to encourage pupils and parents to travel to school actively wherever possible, sending out maps highlighting safe walking and cycling routes, and promoting 'park and stride' to parents who do come by car. Pupils have taken part in many activities over the years including pedestrian and Bikeability training, Junior Citizens, Eco Schools, Parent Parking Pledge, Air Quality projects, The Big Pedal and Theatre in Education. In 2018 the JTAs successfully applied for funding for new scooter parking at the Lower School. At the last two 'Dragons Den' events in 2019 and 2020, they successfully bid for funding from the council to go towards road safety and active travel initiatives at the school, including the walking loyalty scheme. In 2021, another successful bid was made to the council. Following some incidents on the zebra crossing on Long Lane outside the school, the JTAs started a petition and sent this to the council, who acted very quickly to install ‘zeebrite’ halos on the lights of the crossing to make the crossing more visible to drivers. Most recently, the JTAs won a Top Influencer Award in West London from TfL for their achievements in active and safer travel initiatives and attended an awards ceremony at the Oval, Kennington. Many congratulations to Charlee and Raiden for their super presentation and to the whole JTA team for their enthusiasm and dedicated work to promote road safety and active travel. STARS Competition Winner! The LBH STARS team ran a competition in October as part of their Walk to School month. They were overwhelmed with the response and there were some fantastic entries from children across the Borough. We are delighted to announce that Yuvraj R - 4B was selected as a 3rd place winner for the Key Stage 2 Road Safety Invention Competition! The judges felt that Yuvraj's invention - flashing street lamps to alert drivers that there are pedestrians walking too close to the curb edge - was a very clever yet simple, effective and original idea that could work in a real life setting.  Well done Yuvraj! Diwali Lunch Thank you to Soula and her team for the wonderful Diwali lunch on Tuesday, which was enjoyed by all! Here are some photographs of the delicious dishes they prepared.                             Pullens Black Friday Sale Pullens (Uniform4Kids) are having a Black Friday Sale next Friday. The offer is valid for one day only, online, and exclusively on Friday 24th November 2023. There will be a 20% discount on all products including school wear, sportswear, footwear and accessories. This offer is available online only via  Discount code BLACKFRIDAY20 must be entered at checkout. A discount cannot be added retrospectively to an order already placed. There will be no Click & Collect or delivery to school available during this event. Orders will be dispatched via courier. Orders may take up to one week to process. Food Bank Through our Harvest Festival collections, we recently donated non-perishable food items to Hillingdon Salvation Army. A Lower School parent has suggested making this an ongoing commitment and has volunteered to support the school in getting this initiative off the ground.  We would like to be able to donate to the Hillingdon Food Bank on a weekly basis and will provide drop boxes at Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School. Donations must be non-perishable items such as tinned meat, fish and vegetables, formula milk, jams and honey. We hope you are able to support us in this ongoing endeavour as we are certain it will make a difference to those in our community who are less fortunate than us. Wet Bags As a community we are always eager to look for new ways to reduce waste and damage to the environment. A parent has recommended reusable wet bags, which may be used instead of single use plastic bags for wet children's clothes. If you are interested in purchasing one for your child, you can see an example at the link below.  Next Week 3M swimming all week Tuesday 21st November - U9 (Year 4) netball v. Alpha Prep School (A) Tuesday 21st November - Boys' football v. Alpha Prep and girls' inter-school matches Thursday 23rd November - U11 (Year 6) boys' football v. Alpha Prep School (H) Thursday 23rd November - U11 (Year 6) girls' netball v. Alpha Prep School (H) Friday 24th November - 4T coffee morning and class assembly (from 8.15 a.m.) Friday 24th November - Month End Music Recital in Evans Hall (from 3.45 p.m.) Friday 24th November - Pullens (Uniform4Kids) Black Friday Sale Textile Bank We would like to remind you that you can support the environment, help those in need and raise funds for the St. Helen's College Trust, at no cost to yourself, by donating used clothing, shoes, bedding, bags etc. to the textile bank situated outside 227 Long Lane. Wherever possible, these textile items are distributed to those in need. Any that are not suitable for distribution are recycled into industrial cleaning cloths, so that nothing ends up as landfill. The St. Helen's College Trust receives a small payment for each kilo of textiles donated. If you are not familiar with the work of the St. Helen's College Trust, please do take a look at the website. The charity is young but growing, and has made a positive difference to many children's lives in the local area over the last two years. If you know of any organisation, group or individual who may benefit from a grant, please let them know that the Trust welcomes applications. The criteria are that the grant must be used to advance the education and/or all-round development of children aged 0-11 in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas. Multi Sports & Swimming Fun Week There will be a multi sports fun week at Hillingdon Leisure Centre over the Christmas break, offering various activities including swimming for children in Years 1-7. You can find details here.
Posted on: 17/11/2023

Kindness/Anti-Bullying Week 2023

Throughout Anti-Bullying Week at St. Helen’s College, we have dedicated our time to educating one another on the importance of taking a stand against bullying. The word ‘bullying’ at our school is one which we rarely hear, as our children are aware of how to treat each other and what to do if they feel uncomfortable or upset about something which happens to them or a peer. However, it is important that as a community we share with our pupils what other children around the UK are discussing in their schools this week.  On Monday it was World Kindness Day and what a great way to introduce our new value of the week, kindness, and to remind our pupils of ‘kindness’ and how it looks at our school. It is with us all being mindful of ‘kindness’ that we can alleviate the behaviours which may lead to bullying. The AntiBullying Alliance has a wealth of resources to help schools and parents and I would recommend that parents use these tools to assist you in supporting your children. As you know, we take a preventative approach in our behaviour policy and our mantra of ‘ready, respectful and safe’ resonates around the school, encouraging all pupils to be the best version of themselves every day.   There was a time where we would hear the phrase, ‘Oh, it was only banter.’ However, many educators are now rightly dismissive of ‘banter’ being a fun means of communication as it can often lead to bullying behaviours. Any form of ‘banter’ is well avoided. Martha Evans, Director of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, says, “Banter is a fun part of communication, but too often bullying behaviours are dismissed as ‘just banter’. Recognising the fine line between banter and bullying is crucial for the development and emotional well-being of our children. We want to see schools having these conversations with pupils this Anti-Bullying Week. We must empower educators with the confidence to support children, fostering an environment where every child’s voice is heard and respected, and we hope Anti-Bullying Week 2023: Make A Noise can help achieve this.” On Monday, pupils in our Upper School assembly were very articulate in their discussions regarding bullying behaviours and being kind. They shared their views:   Treat others as you would like to be treated Do not say something or do something to anyone if you would not like it said or done to you If you see a friend looking upset or sad ask them if they are ok Tell a grown up if you see or hear anything unkind happening Stand up to someone if they are being mean to you or your friends These were the thoughts of our children and it was followed up during the assembly with some key points for us all (adults and children) to think about in order to support and care for those around us: Be Kind: A simple act of kindness can change someone's life. Speak Out: If you see bullying, don't ignore it. Stand up and speak out. Your voice will always matter. #makeanoise Embrace Our Differences: Our uniqueness is what makes us so special. Celebrate diversity and appreciate everyone’s differences. St. Helen’s College takes pride in being a school that nurtures, supports and uplifts every person that we welcome through our doors. #AntiBullyingWeek #BeKind #NoMoreBullying How are you going to share your ‘kindness’ this weekend? Happy weekend! Ms Drummond
Posted on: 10/11/2023

Weekly News - Friday 10th November 2023

Happy Diwali! For those celebrating this weekend, we wish you a Happy Diwali, filled with light, love and laughter. Remembrance At SHC Today we took the opportunity at school to talk about why we wear poppies as a mark of respect and remembrance for all those who so bravely gave their lives in war to secure our freedom. We observed silences and, at Upper School, heard Year 6 children read a poem and a prayer and Mrs. Fawbert perform The Last Post beautifully. Thank you to parents for allowing the children to bring in money to buy poppies, and thank you to the Year 6 Charity Representatives who sold them.  Children in Need On Friday 17th November, we will be raising money for Children In Need here at school. All children are invited to wear spots and stripes and they will have the chance to take part in some fun, age-appropriate activities during the day. Every child will also be entered into a raffle with the chance of winning their own Pudsey Bear. We are asking for each child to bring in a donation (suggested minimum £2 but all donations gratefully received), which they can hand in to their class teacher on the day. Thank you in advance for your support.  Year 1 Trip To Road Dahl Gallery The Year 1 trip to The Roald Dahl Gallery in Aylesbury was a wonderful experience for all involved on Tuesday! The children were able to explore the Bucks Museum to get inspiration for their very own dream bottles. They were fascinated to learn about Roald Dahl's life and the real people Roald knew who inspired characters such as the BFG and Miss Trunchbull. The Gallery itself was full of amazing exhibits and the children all had the most fantastic time interacting with them all. Everyone enjoyed the day and would thoroughly recommend it. Sports News On Tuesday the Year 4 girls took part in the Reddiford netball tournament. They displayed great focus and versatility when playing their first 7-a-side netball matches. They placed 4th overall. Well done to all the girls.                 The Year 6 netball team had a league netball match against Cowley St. Lawrence on Wednesday. The girls dominated the game throughout, displaying great timing and accuracy. They scored an impressive 12 goals, winning 12-0.       The football team lost 5-1 to Oak Farm on Wednesday in the Borough Cup Competition, in a tough game which certainly taught them much about perseverance. Thursday then saw the U11 football team travel to Reddiford School for the Reddiford Cup Tournament, contested between six teams. They played five games in total, winning the first 2-1, the second 2-0 and the third 2-0. The fourth game saw the boys win convincingly 5-0, leaving them needing just a draw in the final game to secure the trophy. They showed nerves of steel to keep a clean sheet and draw 0-0, making them the overall tournament winners. Aaron B was the top scorer but every boy played with determination and skill. Well done to all involved! Parents' Evenings Thank you to all of the parents who came to the Year 2 - 6 parents' evening on Tuesday. This was the last of the formal parents' evenings for this term but, as ever, we urge parents to keep in touch with class teachers regularly. Centenary Christmas Card Competition We would like pupils to have a go at designing the cover of a special Centenary Christmas Card for us this year. The card should include mention of the St. Helen's College Centenary. Pupils may draw, colour and paint the card but should not use glue or glitter. The winning card, chosen by Ms Drummond, will be sent out digitally by the school to many recipients! Pupils should hand their designs in to their class teacher (Ducklings/Lower School) or to the school office (Upper School). Switch Off Fortnight Switch Off Fortnight starts next week and this year there is an opportunity for pupils to design the Switch Off Fortnight campaign t-shirt. Winners will receive 10 Teemill t-shirts with their own design and an optional visit to the Teemill factory to meet the team and see how the t-shirts are made. All information about the competition can be found here. Please do let the school know if your child enters the competition!  Next Week All week - 3B swimming Tuesday 14th November - Diwali special lunch menu Thursday 16th November - U11 girls' netball at Reddiford School (1.30 - 3.30 p.m.) Friday 17th November - Children In Need  Friday 17th November - 2H coffee morning and class assembly (8.15 a.m.)
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