School News and Head's Blog

4 Blog Posts found

Posted on: 13/12/2023

Weekly News - Wednesday 13th December 2023

Christmas Wishes We would like to send our heartfelt best wishes to you all for a peaceful, joyful Christmas.  It was magical to join together this morning for our annual Upper School Carol Service at All Saints Church. We reflected on the importance of the Christmas story and message, listening to Year 6 children deliver bible readings and prayers. The orchestra played beautifully and the Junior Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir all sang for us, followed by a massed choir performance, for which several members of staff joined in. Special congratulations and thanks to Hana H (Year 6) for her exquisite Once In Royal David's City solo performance. This was a meaningful, fitting way to end the first term of the year.   Chamber Choir Reaches Final Of National Choral Competition! We are absolutely delighted to report that the St. Helen's College Chamber Choir has made it through to the finals of the Barnado's National Choral Competition on Tuesday 5th March! This is such a wonderful achievement for our elite singers, who recorded two songs for the competition: John Rutter's 'Colours of Christmas' and Linn Marsh's 'Believe'. They will be learning new songs to perform at the final in March and we will all be rooting for them! If you would like to hear the songs which secured their place in the final, you can do so here. ABRSM Exam Results  Congratulations to all of our musicians who have recently passed ABRSM examinations. It is, once again, an impressive list of achievements. Mark D 5G Piano Grade 2 Pass Pavan S 6L Singing Grade 2 Distinction Verity S 6H Singing Grade 2 Pass Karter P 5G Piano Initial Merit Aran P 4T Piano Grade 3 Pass Aanya P 5G Piano Grade 4 Pass Zoe F 3B Piano Grade 2 Pass Carols Around The Christmas Tree We were thrilled to see so many of you at the Carols Around The Tree event on Monday, and it was truly joyful to hear children, staff and parents sing with such gusto. When the St. Helen's College community comes together it is always a very special time and this was no exception. Thank you to Soula for the hot chocolate and mulled wine, and to the parents who brought sweet treats to sell for the PA. If you would like to see a video of the singing, you can do so here.    Father Christmas Visits! Monday was an extremely exciting day for our Ducklings and Lower School children: Christmas party day! The children wore their own clothes and played games, and the day was topped off with a visit from Father Christmas, who brought along a gift for every child. He visited Ducklings first and then, at Lower School, the new library was transformed into Santa's Grotto and each class visited him to share their Christmas wishes and receive their present. You can see more photographs of the Lower School children enjoying the run-up to Christmas on our Galleries page here.   Santa Dash Also on Monday, many of the children at Upper School chose to take part in a Santa Dash in Court Park. Wearing Santa hats, antlers, elf hats or - in some cases - entire Santa outfits, pupils and staff ran around the perimeter of the park. It was an enjoyable half hour of fresh air fun!         Christmas Tree Decoration Competition So many children throughout the  school brought in home made decorations for our Christmas trees this year that it was extremely hard to choose winners! In the end, the honours went to: Robins - Mayilan P Wrens - Nishay A Owls - Cameron G Kingfishers - Oliver N 1C - Callum B 1R - Annalivia B 2R - Aarlen J 2H - Adam H 3B - Tansy M 3M - Emerald S 4B - Alyssa P 4T - Mahi B 5G - Shanaya P 5R - Inaaya S 6H - Arjun C 6L - Tiya T Well done to all our budding artists!   Year 3 & 4 Trip to Peter Pan On Tuesday our final Christmas trip of the term saw the Year 3 and 4 children travel to The Rose Theatre in Kingston-Upon-Thames to see a production of Peter Pan. They thoroughly enjoyed the outing! Roman Day  Year 3 had great fun during their themed Roman Day on Monday (pictured here ready for battle!) They took part in three workshops throughout the day, designing shields, making Roman coins using clay, and finally a Lego building workshop where they created aqueducts, villas and even the Colosseum!        Ducklings And Nursery Entry - September 2024 If you have a child who is eligible for entry into Ducklings or Nursery in September 2024, and you have not yet registered them with us, please do so as soon as possible by completing our online registration form. Places will be allocated in early/mid January for both entry points. Looking Ahead As always, please take the opportunity over the holidays to check your child's uniform and equipment and to repair or replace anything as necessary, to ensure that they have all they need for next term. You can check the uniform and equipment list here. Please, please, please make sure that all items of uniform and equipment are clearly named! It is often very cold during January, February and even March, so please help the children to remember their coats, woolly hats, gloves and scarves. The spring term menu has been posted to the website and can be seen here. First Week Of Term Monday 8th - Friday 12th January - 5G swimming all week Wednesday 10th January - Nursery entry meetings (for 2024 entry) Wednesday 10th January - Year 5 transfer meetings with Ms Drummond Thursday 11th January - Nursery entry meetings (for 2024 entry)  
Posted on: 8/12/2023

Weekly News - Friday 8th December 2023

Christmas Christmas Christmas! There have been so many exciting Christmas celebrations, trips and activities going on across the school this week. Our 1R children entertained and informed us on Monday morning with their Christmas assembly at the Methodist Church. Their speaking and singing was first class, with every child contributing confidently and tunefully. It was very interesting to learn of different Christmas celebrations from around the world, and everyone enjoyed hearing the children tell the traditional Christmas story and sing both traditional religious and upbeat modern songs. Well done, 1R!     On Tuesday and Wednesday it was the turn of our Reception classes, Kingfishers and Owls, to present their Nativity assemblies. The children shared a confident re-telling of the traditional Nativity story in fabulous costumes, every child speaking and singing beautifully. These two performances even included solo singers which is an incredible achievement for such a young year group! Thank you to all our Reception performers for your fantastic work.      On Thursday and Friday our Nursery classes, Robins (pictured here) and Wrens, took to the stage for delightful Nativity assemblies. We were treated to sparkling singing and lots of smiles at these joyous and uplifting performances. It was wonderful to see pupils taking part so confidently in their first public performance at St. Helen's College. We are sure there will be many more to come! To see more Christmas photographs visit the gallery on the St. Helen's College website.     We were delighted that, as usual, Reverend Ken Kingston spoke to each of the Lower School classes following their Christmas assemblies. This year, he had a special twist up his sleeve: a donkey costume which Ms Drummond bought for him last year, after he had admired the donkey costumes in the St. Helen's College 2022 nativities!  The Methodist Church will be holding a special family 'Carols and Christingle' Christmas celebration on Sunday 17th December at 6.00 p.m. Everyone is welcome.    At Ducklings, our youngest children have been very busy creating festive decorations and cards, learning about the story of Christmas and exploring the traditional Nativity scene.            On Thursday, everyone wore Christmas jumpers to school and enjoyed a delicious Christmas lunch. A huge thank you to all the Accent staff for their hard work. We were disappointed to have to postpone Carols Around The Tree, but hope to see you all on Monday afternoon for the re-arranged event, weather permitting.     We also held Festive Footsteps on Thursday. This was our JTA (Junior Travel Ambassador) team's latest incentive to encourage parents and children to walk, scoot or cycle for either part or all of the journey to school using our park and stride map. Our JTA team, in their green Santa hats, marshalled the route through Court Park, admiring some lovely Christmas jumpers and decorated bikes and scooters along the way! Well done to all of those who participated. Hana H, Grace O'H and Anna K (Year 6) were very pleased with the outcome of their raffle this week. They raised a total of £145 for Cancer Research UK. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket. We were delighted with the efforts of all of our pupil artists who submitted designs for the Centenary Christmas Card competition. The standard of entries was incredibly high. There were two winning designs, from twins Zoravar and Naseeb D in Year 1, whose outstanding artwork will be adorning the official school digital Christmas card this year. Congratulations! Theatre Trips The first two of our Upper School class Christmas trips took place this week too. On Wednesday, Year 5 and 6 visited London's Peacock Theatre to watch a very special Sadler's Wells performance of The Snowman. Parents might like to take children of any age to The Snowman Walking Trail in the Fleet Street area of London over the Christmas break. You can see details here: On Friday, Year 2 enjoyed an entertaining trip to Dick Whittington, the seasonal pantomime at the Compass Theatre in Ickenham. The pupils relished the opportunity to travel to the theatre by tube and, once there, delighted in the songs, dancing and jokes. Everyone certainly entered into the fun spirit of the occasion.  Online Safety As part of our ongoing commitment to keeping our pupils safe online, we would like to remind parents that we are members of National Online Safety, a platform that we use for our online safety curriculum and for training staff. Parents can also access the resources, including courses and webinars around online safety, using the following link: We also have a date for your diaries. Mrs. Hunt and Mr. McLaughlin will be hosting an online evening to discuss specific, topical online safety concerns for primary-aged children on Wednesday, February 28th at 7 p.m. We will send the joining link nearer the time. Chamber Choir Visit to Chalfont Lodge Care Home On Friday our talented Chamber Choir visited Chalfont Lodge Care Home to spread some Christmas cheer to the elderly residents. The choir enchanted the audience with their beautiful performance of Believe (Lin Marsh), The Colours of Christmas (John Rutter) and Believe (Glen Ballard & Alan Silvestri). They were then joined by the residents to sing a selection of festive feel-good numbers including Jingle Bells, Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer and We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It was a special moment for St. Helen's College Headmistresses present and past, as Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Crehan and Ms Drummond were together for the first time.   Recipe Pack  Chef Soula has shared this lovely December recipe pack for you to try with your children at home. We hope that you will have fun cooking together over the holidays! Oak Farm Library Oak Farm Library will be running some lovely events for children over the Christmas holidays. You can find details here.  Dance School The Lynne Chilver School of Dance has been popular with St. Helen's College pupils for many years. They run lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Methodist Church on Long Lane. Please click here for more information.  Free Basketball Tickets! Once again St. Helen's College pupils have access to free tickets for this weekend's Thames Valley Cavaliers basketball fixtures at Uxbridge College Sports Centre. Full details are here. Next Week Monday 11th December - Lower School Party Day (children should wear party clothes) Monday 11th December - Year 3 Roman Day Monday 11th December - Carols Around The Tree 3.00 p.m. Tuesday 12th December - Year 3 & 4 trip to Peter Pan Wednesday 13th December - Year 2-6 Carol Service at All Saints' Church, 11.15 a.m. Wednesday 13th December - End of Term. Half Day Finish Times - 11.50 a.m. (Ducklings & N); 12.00 p.m. (R); 12.10 p.m. (Y1,2); 12.20 (Y3,4); 12.30 (Y5,6)
Posted on: 1/12/2023

Weekly News - Friday 1st December

House Songs  We will rock you!  The children - and staff - were in full voice on Thursday morning for our House Song event. Ramping up the team spirit, each House delivered a hearty rendition of their chosen piece. The songs were Queen's 'We Will Rock You' (Hibernia) and 'Don't Stop Us Now' (Cambria), Katy Perry's 'Roar' (Caledonia) and 'Believer' by Imagine Dragons (Windsor).     Class Assemblies  On Friday Class 1C shared a beautiful assembly explaining why Christmas is such an important time of year for Christians. They retold the Christmas Story and shared various ways in which Christmas is celebrated around the world. They sang a mixture of traditional and modern upbeat songs to entertain us too! Super work 1C, we were incredibly proud of your performance!       2R also treated us to a very festive assembly this week, sharing unusual Christmas customs and traditions from around the world. We learnt about hidden gifts on the Christmas tree in Germany and eating Christmas caterpillars in South Africa!  The assembly was topped off with the pupils' own fun and energetic take on 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', which proved a big hit with the audiences who watched this excellent assembly!       Middle East Conflict We know that there are many in our community affected by the conflict in the Middle East. We have spoken to the staff about this at school over recent weeks and they have been dealing sensitively and individually with the topic where pupils have expressed concern. We continue to focus on our school values in assemblies and our daily school life. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those suffering. We are all praying for peace. Social Media Thank you to all of those who responded to the recent social media survey. We have taken note of your preferences and have now launched/re-launched the school's social media channels. The school will never post essential information via social media so there is no obligation to follow us, but we hope that you will choose to do so in order to celebrate all that the St. Helen's College community is up to!  Instagram - @StHelensCollege_Hillingdon Facebook - @StHelensCollege_Hillingdon Twitter (X) - @StHelenCollege You might also like to follow Ms Drummond on Twitter (X). Twitter (X) - @shirleydrummon5   Chess News Congratulations to the winners of our recent in-school chess tournament and to all of the Year 4, 5 and 6 Chess Club players who participated.  1st - Gold medal Emily S (6L)  12 points 2nd - Silver medal  Aaron B (6H)  11 points 3rd - Bronze medal  Aakash B (4B)  10 points   The school will once again be taking part in the 2024 Delancey School Chess Tournament next term, so look out for more chess news then! Uxbridge Junior Chess Club will be hosting a Junior Chess Tournament on Sunday 21 January 2024. This is an individual competition but if a school has five or more pupils in the tournament then the school is automatically entered in the school tournament. Further details can be found here.  Sports News Last Friday our Year 6 footballers joined an exciting tournament at Goals Hayes, which was organised by Queen's Park Rangers Football Club. Players were Ryley J, Luca H, Kal-El M, Marco K, Rian M, Jeevan P, Viren C and Anand V. The boys won the first match 3-0 and narrowly lost the final two matches. The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the children were a testament to St. Helen's College, demonstrating exemplary sportsmanship. Well done boys! The football team's match against St. Catherine's School on Wednesday ended in a 1-0 loss. The boys were absolutely outstanding and only conceded in the last minute of the game. Team members were Jack K, Giuseppe D, Rian M, Sean R, Joe T, Daynan C, Aaron B, Maicen M and Mikail O. Switch Off Fortnight Looking after the environment is important to everyone at St. Helen's College and recently pupils have been on a real mission to save energy! Taking part in Switch Off Fortnight has galvanised everyone to put into action simple ways to save energy at school and at home.  Sofia S and Roshni J (5R) have written this to explain: This year's Switch Off Fortnight has been amazing! All the classes have been doing so well, and the electric metre scores are a lot better than last year. We know that everyone has been trying very hard. Even when it’s not Switch Off Fortnight please do turn off the lights, turn off the board and more. We really want you as the parents/guardians to encourage your children and for your children to encourage you to switch off at home. Switch Off Fortnight went on for two weeks from Monday 13th of November until Friday 24th of November. Well done to everyone for doing Switch Off Fortnight and not forgetting! Class winners for week one were 2H (Middle School) and 5R (Upper School) and for week two were 2H (Middle School) and 6H (Upper School). The winners enjoyed five minutes of extra play. Well done everyone and keep up the great work!  Hillingdon Food Bank  The St. Helen's College community has generously donated a second large box of supplies to the Hillingdon Food Bank, proudly displayed here by Rohan V and Annalivia B (Year 1).  Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to this important initiative. You can find collection boxes at Lower and Upper School entrance areas, and any contributions are gratefully received.      Staff News We will, sadly, be saying goodbye to Miss Rackham, our 1R class teacher, at the end of this term, as she has now moved away from the area. We all wish Miss Rackham well as she pursues her next adventures, and we thank her for being a wonderful colleague. Miss Rackham's position will be filled, from January, by Mrs. Ashley Coker. Mrs. Coker is no stranger to St. Helen's College, having worked at Lower School as a Teaching And Learning Assistant some years ago before pursuing her teacher training. We are delighted to be welcoming her back into the St. Helen's College fold! Ms Furniss has recently joined the administrative team based at Upper School to assist with admissions, marketing, communications and more. We know that you will join with us in extending her a warm St. Helen's College welcome. Atom Prime training  A big thank you to all of the Year 3, 4 and 5 parents who joined the Atom Prime online training webinar on Thursday evening. Atom is a terrific online platform and a great way to engage with and support your child's learning at home.  Christmas Tree Decoration Competition As usual we will be running our Christmas Tree Decoration Competition this year. Children should bring in their home-made decorations from Monday 4th December until Friday 8th December. This year, children in Nursery to Year 6 should make decorations themed in their house colour. These are: Caledonia - Blue Cambria - Red Hibernia - Green Windsor - Yellow/Gold Ducklings may make decorations in any colour/style! Each decoration entry will receive two house points and there will also be a prize for the winner in each class from Ducklings through to Year 6. Christmas Post Box Our Christmas post boxes will be in operation from Monday at both Upper and Lower School. If your child would like to post cards for others in their class or other classes across the school, they may pop them into the post boxes and our Year 6 pupils will sort and deliver them. Please do not put chocolate or other edible treats into the cards.       Thursday 7th December On Thursday 7th December, children should wear their Christmas jumpers to school over their usual uniform. We are promoting 'Festive Footsteps' on this day, encouraging parents and children to walk (or use bicycles or scooters) for either part or all of the journey to school. Children might like to decorate their bicycles or scooters on this day to add to the festive feel! There will be school staff and JTAs (in green Santa hats) marshalling the route through Court Park from Court Drive to Parkway, so why not park a little distance from school that day and travel on foot the rest of the way? Our 'park and stride' map can be found here. Families taking part in 'Festive Footsteps' will also be helping to ease congestion at the end of the day, when the whole school will be gathering together for Carols Around The Tree in the Upper School playground. You are all warmly invited to join us for this event. Refreshments will be served from 3 p.m. outside the Evans Hall, and singing will begin around the tree at approximately 3.30 p.m. Year 6 children will be running a raffle in aid of Cancer Research UK on Thursday too, so please allow your child to bring £1 into school if they would like to buy a raffle ticket. This is entirely optional. Co-Curricular Bookings and Holiday Club Bookings Open Today Bookings for spring term co-curricular activities will open at 4 p.m. today. Please log in to your SchoolsBuddy account to submit your child's preferences. As ever, please discuss choices with your child in advance so that you know you are requesting clubs that your child really wants to attend. Preferences must be submitted by midnight on Sunday (3rd December). Bookings for the Christmas Holiday Club will also open at 4 p.m. today and should be made through your SchoolsBuddy account. Next Week/End of Term 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 from 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 Friday 8th December - Chamber Choir visit to Chalfont Lodge Care Home Tuesday 12th December - Year 3 & 4 trip to Peter Pan  Wednesday 13th December - Years 2 - 6 Carol Service at All Saints Church 11.15 a.m. 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)
Posted on: 1/12/2023

Broadening Our Thinking

Recently Ms Gilham, our Head of Science and Challenge and Enrichment Co-ordinator, noted that when the children were asked to research a key scientist, they tended to name a European or American scientist such as Newton, Einstein, Fleming or Edison. It struck her that their knowledge of scientists seemed quite narrow in this global world that we live in.   Ms Gilham had already noted that Iron Age and Bronze Age scientists were mostly from other parts of the world, perhaps of Arabic, Indian or Babylonian origin. It was this that inspired her to broaden the children’s thinking and she tasked them to research names with a broader geographical and historical approach. The children were encouraged to discuss this at home and to think about people they knew who were in the world of science, including female scientists and scientists who worked or lived in places other than Europe or America. The results from Year 6 have been quite astounding and they have all learnt so much from the task, as have the staff! The pupils’ research revealed a great deal about a diverse range of scientists from across history and across the globe. The children certainly broadened their scientific knowledge and simultaneously learnt to take a global approach when tasked with independent research. Their thirst for knowledge also led them to research their own families and revealed some facts closer to home, including these. A Year 6 girl’s aunt is a gynaecologist currently working towards a PhD and her research aims to find out why childbirth is more straightforward for some women than for others. A Year 6 boy’s parent is a GP who used be a surgeon but found it too messy!  A Year 6 girl’s great grandfather was a professor named Dr. Drabu, who was born in Kashmir and qualified as one of the first General Practitioners in Pakistan. He worked in refugee camps after bearing witness to the partition of the Indian subcontinent. The children also discovered that our very own Ms Gilham (nee Emily Capulas) was a researcher at Sussex and Brunel Universities. For those interested, some of her research papers can be seen here: Parents who are interested in broadening their own knowledge of scientists through the ages and across the world might like to start with this timeline: Have a super weekend. Ms Drummond

4 Blog Posts found