School News and Head's Blog

6 Blog Posts found

Posted on: 15/02/2019

Head's Blog - Working At St. Helen's College

  Working in the independent sector is a privilege for many teachers and support staff. Here at St. Helen’s College we have an incredibly supportive parent body, pupils who are eager to learn and it is the journey which home and school take together which ensures that we get the best from each child. This may not always be the picture some schools are facing. For those of you who have been keeping an eye on the education news, it can often be quite a depressing read; teacher recruitment and retention sits high on the agenda. Damian Hinds, education secretary, said: “I think teachers work too many hours – aggravated by unnecessary tasks like excessive marking and data entry, spending more than half their time on non-teaching tasks.” I make it my job to keep in touch with what is going on in the maintained sector and regularly meet up and interact with colleagues from both the independent and maintained sector.  On a Sunday evening I regularly contribute to an online discussions platform, ‘SLTChat’, which is both enlightening and refreshing as I am able to reflect on the good practice happening at our school.   At St. Helen’s College we have an incredibly dedicated staff who all work for the common interest in giving your children the most interesting experiences in our  curriculum. We use smart assessment methods which are effective and involve the pupils in the process and our data is used effectively to plan the next steps for the children’s learning.   Parents from Year 1 upwards will have received the children’s Learning Logs this week as part of our reporting process. These Learning Logs were noted in our last school inspection as an exceptional aspect of our teaching and learning process and the inspectors were showing so much interest in these that I have become very protective of these unique logs as they are totally bespoke for our school, being the brainchild of Mr. Lewis. The subject leaders have ownership of their subject logs and work closely with the class teachers to ensure that each statement is appropriate for the children but that pupils will all be stretched and challenged, often aspiring to targets in the year above or adapting to targets which still need to be consolidated from the previous year.  The pupils take ownership of their learning and visit these logs often to reflect on their progress and set their targets. For our younger pupils from Ducklings to Reception their learning is tracked and monitored via our online platform ‘Tapestry’ which I know that all the parents also have access to. This assists us in building up the profile of the children’s progress and development as they work within the Early Years Framework. Our staff have the freedom to be creative with our curriculum and have the time to research and plan for inspirational lessons to engage your children.   We have not felt the backlash of teacher recruitment which many schools face and it is with confidence and pride that we have a very low turnover of staff here at St. Helen’s College.  When teachers do decide to move on to pastures new or retire (sadly we will bid Mrs. Stark farewell in due course), we are inundated with applications from ambitious and inspiring teachers and other staff  who would like to join our team to make their contributions to your children’s learning. To say that that I am proud of our school is an understatement.  As we approach the mid-year point in our school calendar, I can hardly believe that we have already completed a term and a half of the 2018 - 2019 academic year.  Enjoy the half term break with your children. Continue to enrich their learning - talk to them about the world around them, play games and puzzles, read books together, visit interesting places! Happy Half Term! Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 15/02/2019

Weekly News - Friday 15th February 2019

Half Term Activities Although no formal homework is set during the half term break, the teachers are offering some optional activities for pupils to keep them occupied. Please read on to find out more about these optional opportunities.   World Book Day - 7th March This year for World Book Day our theme will be 'Stories from Around the World.' We have a range of fantastic activities planned for the children throughout the week including a visiting book bus, author talks and book quizzes. We will not be dressing up for Book Day this year; however, we will be creating a photograph compilation display of the children in traditional dress from around the world. Form teachers will issue guidelines for the challenge following the half term break. "There are many little ways to enlarge your world.  Love of books is the best of all.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Mindful Sit Congratulations to the whole school for taking part in the Mindful Sit this week, sitting in complete silence for five minutes to experience the sound of silence. Many thanks to the Year 5 Mindfulness Ambassadors, who led the assemblies in Lower School and Upper School to explain what Mindfulness is and to demonstrate some practices. True ambassadors for how to be mindful! Assemblies This Week Money Money Money! 6W took on the challenge of financially educating the children in Upper School with their assembly all about money this week. They presented ideas about how to earn pocket money and how to make financially responsible decisions about how to use your money. The 6W pupils explained you can EARN, SAVE, SPEND or DONATE your money. There was even a working cash machine in the assembly issuing money! Developing our pupils' financial literacy and ability to manage money is one of our PSHCE themes and such an important life skill, so the 6W pupils have challenged the pupils in Upper School to take on an optional half term pocket money challenge. They have encouraged the children to find some helpful jobs they can do around the house to earn a little bit of pocket money and everyone has been given a half term 'Money Flow Diary' to complete to show how they EARN, SAVE, SPEND and DONATE their money during the week. After half term they will share their diaries and what they did with their class in PSHCE lessons.  The themes of 6W's money assembly and ideas about teaching your child about financial responsibility can be found on the Cha-Ching Family Zone here. The resources are excellent and may be of interest to families for developing the child's life skills with money.  Valentine's Day There was so much love in Lower School this week as Kingfishers Reception class performed their wonderful assembly celebrating the history and traditions of Valentine's Day.  We even had a marriage celebrated on the day with our bride and groom!  A delightful performance by all the children and so poignant as the children shared their Valentine's messages to their families.                 Nursery Counting Cushions The Nursery children absolutely loved counting on their new cushions this week, which have been kindly made by Brenda Hunt. The children used the Numicon pieces to count and then matched them to the cushions. Thank you very much Brenda!           Owls Visit the Art Studio The children of Owls Reception class visited the Upper School Art Studio and Miss Dear this week to create space-themed t-shirts for their upcoming assembly. The children were very excited to come over to the Upper School and see the Art Studio and they created some lovely t-shirt designs!         Year 2 Trip to Heath Robinson Museum Our Year 2 pupils enjoyed a super trip to the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner this week, where they looked at the different illustrations Heath Robinson had made and found clues in his pictures, like a swinging cat in a box. The pupils made felt with different coloured materials, using water and soap. It was great fun to have soapy hands!       JRSO Conference Our Junior Road Safety Officers were invited to attend an event at Brunel University run by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s Road Safety & School Travel Team this week. Our team, consisting of six pupils from Year 5 (Catherine L, Laura B, Jasmine B, Dhiya K, Esha T & Anaiya B) were invited to participate in a number of fun educational activities including a theatre performance, workshops and the Dragons Den (during which they had to present an idea and pitch for funding). Over the past few weeks the team have been discussing ideas to improve road safety or school travel and they came up with the idea of a loyalty scheme to encourage safe, active walking to school.  They investigated their ideas, looking at how it would be achieved and what the rewards for participating would be.  They then had to research the costs involved and produce a proposal in the form of a presentation. On the day the girls were excited but a little nervous and were part of the first group to be called in to face the “Dragons”. They came across confidently and gave a polished presentation. The Dragon’s commented on their well thought out ideas and clear costings.   Councillor Burrows remarked that he has never had a school ask for funding for a loyalty scheme, and he was impressed at the innovative idea to encourage everyone to make a commitment to our scheme. At the end of the day we all sat nervously waiting to find out if our pitch to the Dragons had been successful and I am delighted to say that not only did they endorse our idea but actually gave us more money they we had asked for, which is fantastic. This will enable to JRSOs not only to implement their idea but promote their scheme throughout the school with posters and banners. They very much deserved the funding that they received and we look forward to seeing their Active Walking Loyalty Scheme in action.  Well done girls.         Sports Results The Year 5/6 Netball B team played two matches this week, successfully winning both with improving performances. In their first match on Wednesday against Ryefield School they won 5 - 1. They then played St. Mary's School B team on Thursday, winning 3 - 0. The Year 5/6 Netball A team played St. Mary's School A team too on Thursday, dominating their match to win 12 - 0.  Our school football team resumed matches after the winter break with a 2-0 win against St. Andrew's, with Harry and Alex scoring the goals. This was followed up this week with a convincing 4-0 win over Laurel Lane School, with Alex scoring 2, Harry netting one and Jack H getting his first goal for the school. The team has started very well and hopefully we can keep this going for the remaining three matches. We welcome two new additions, Thomas W and Jack H, to the team. BBC 500 Words Competition The annual BBC 500 Words Short Story Competition is now open and entries are being accepted until 8th March for ages 5 - 13. This is a fun writing activity for the children with some fantastic prizes to be won, so we hope that you will encourage your child to enter. Half term is a super time for the children to plan and write a short story. An adult must submit a child's entry online so please feel free to submit your child's entry at home; alternatively, you may email the entry to your child's class teacher and we can submit it for you. Here is a link to the main competition information:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1 Here is the link to the resource pack, including planning tips and activities:  http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio2/500words/500_words_2019_resource_pack.pdf Good luck to all entrants! Waste Week: 25th-29th March As part of waste week there will be a host of assemblies taking place by Mrs. Mann, Mrs. McLaughlin, Miss Dear and the Eco Reps. The theme this year is 'Say no to single use plastic', so we would like to set an optional half term challenge of taking photos of 'alternatives used instead of plastic'. These photos will then be displayed on our Eco Board for all to see. Please bring the photos into school and give to your class teacher no later than Friday 1st March. During the week, the Eco Reps will keep a record of single use plastic they see from their class and the results will be shared in assembly, the aim being that all classes have 0% single use plastic. Children will be focussing on the theme in more detail in their lessons during that week to discuss, learn and debate this very important issue.  We look forward to seeing all your photos after the half term. 
Posted on: 8/02/2019

Weekly News - Friday 8th February 2019

Quiz Club Success On Tuesday, eight members of our General Knowledge Quiz Club took part in the annual general knowledge quiz area heat at Davenies School in Beaconsfield. Two teams of four children went head to head against nine other teams to answer forty general knowledge questions. Subjects included geography, history, classical music, films and literature. It was a close contest and our teams showed great knowledge and determination. We are very proud to say that our teams finished in 2nd and 3rd place. Well done to Arushi (6M), Anisa (6M), Catherine (5A), Daniel (5G), Ben (4T), Vidhit (4T), Aryan (3B) and Anjika (3B).              Sign2Sing All across the school this week our children have raised awareness of a very small charitable trust, Sign2Sing, by taking part in their annual event 'Sign2Sing'. In their music lessons the children have been learning British sign language to a popular Take That song.  Mrs. Smith, one of our Year 3 Teaching and Learning Assistants,  has also been running a sign language club at lunchtime.  Each assembly gave me tingles and we were delighted that Tony the representative from the charity was able to join us yesterday to enjoy our performances.   It is so important that we raise our children's awareness of this disability but that they realise that deaf people are able to communicate and lead a very enriched and fulfilling life as they do.  For those of you who have not seen the Oscar nominated short film about Maisie the 6 year old girl I would highly recommend it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkIbPTV1NIE A special thank you is due to Georgia in Year 6, who has been inspired by this charity and arranged a 'Guess the number of sweets in the jar' event at Upper School, which raised £100 yesterday.  We will announce the full amount raised next week and thank you all for your kind donations. You can see videos of the assemblies here: Lower School - https://youtu.be/SwFWlEaXy40 Upper School - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0R5EKWJeY&feature=youtu.be Year 5 Sell Their Cereals Pupils in Year 5 have been busy taking part in their own 'The Apprentice' challenge. The brief was to come up with a new cereal for children and our pupils worked in their English, art and computing lessons to put together a pitch for their own brand new cereal. In art lessons they made and designed cereal boxes, in English they wrote a presentation pitch which would persuade supermarkets to buy their product and finally, in computing, they put together an eye catching and informative stop motion animation for their pitch. The children worked enthusiastically to develop their ideas and the delivery of the pitches by all of the children was to a high standard and very professional. Watch out Alan Sugar - the next generation are on their way!         Chinese New Year We had a great time at school this week celebrating Chinese New Year. The children loved the special menu created by Soula and her team for lunchtime. The children in Year 2 particularly enjoyed seeing Joleen demonstrate how to use chopsticks properly!                     Assemblies This Week On Thursday, the children of Robins Nursery performed superbly as they shared with us the traditions and history of the Chinese New Year. A most colourful and confident performance from every child - congratulations!                                2H told us all about The Great Fire of London in their assembly today. Their re-enactment of the Great Fire of London was really entertaining, with wonderful singing, dancing and drama.  We are so fortunate to live so close to London and I am sure that many of the pupils will enjoy visiting so many of the landmarks they have been learning about.  The visiting 2H parents had an extra treat today as the Middle School children also performed their Sign2Sing song to their audience - a very poignant moment.                   5A performed a wonderful, thought provoking assembly this week on dreams and aspirations. The children recited a fun poem by Gareth Lancaster and re-enacted the traditional story of ‘The Three Trees’.  Parents and pupils alike joined in to sing 'A Million Dreams’, led by a confident and proud 5A, all dreaming big to be the very best that they can be in their futures.                          Sports News Handball Competition Last Saturday some of our Year 6 pupils took part in the district handball competition held at Oakwood School. The event, supported by Ruislip Eagles Handball Club, who provided referees, saw ten teams of boys and girls play this exciting and fast paced game.  St. Helen's College had two teams taking part and both teams played very well during the group stages, winning many matches. Our A team progressed to the semi finals to play Oak Farm in a thrilling match which was won by just one goal by Oak Farm. Player of the day was Thomas W who was outstanding in goal! Well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to the A team who were presented with bronze medals.  If your child is interested in handball, they might like to join the Eagles handball club for training. More details can be found here. Information about Thames Valley Cavaliers basketball club's Saturday programme and half term holiday camp can be found here. Netball Results Netball teams from Langley Hall came to St. Helen's on Wednesday to play netball against our Year 6 girls. Our A team won 9 - 0 and the B team lost 10 - 0.  In the local schools' netball league our team played Hermitage school last night. After a shaky start, the girls rallied in the second half and the final score was 10-4 to Hermitage. Mindful Sit Pupils from Ducklings to Year 6 will take part in a mindful ' Sit Together' on Monday, where they will embrace the moment and sit mindfully to enjoy a strong silence. This activity is being carried out by thousands of children across the UK to raise awareness for National Children's Mental Health Week. More details can be read here: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/sit-together-for-childrens-mental-health-week/ Month End Music Recital - Next Friday (15th February) We would like to remind parents that our February Month End music recital is happening rather early, next Friday, because of half term! Please do come along to this lovely informal occasion to hear the pupils perform, playing their musical instruments or singing. You will be most welcome, whether your child is performing or not. We look forward to seeing many of you there. PA Class Representatives - Forum Meeting Tuesday 12th February Please let your PA class rep know if there is any point relevant to the whole school community which you would like us to discuss at the forthcoming forum meeting on 12th February. Any points which relate specifically to your class or year group should, as always, be addressed to the class teacher. We are particularly interested to hear any feedback or ideas from the parent community about car sharing and how this may be embedded further throughout the school.
Posted on: 8/02/2019

Head's Blog - Antarctica by Mrs. McLaughlin

This week we have a guest blog from Mrs. McLaughlin, who has been inspiring the children at Upper School with assemblies about her journeys in Antarctica. On Monday I had the opportunity to lead the Middle School and Upper School assemblies. When I am given such opportunities I like to share my life experiences with the children: having written a book, explored Antarctica with Sir Robert Swan, trekked the Amazon Rainforest and the Himalayan range, hiked Mt Fuji in Japan and volunteered in Palestine, there is something there that intrigues everyone.   On Monday, I chose to inspire the children (and staff) with my Antarctica story. It seemed apt with the children having had a snow day on the Friday and temperatures in other parts of the world sinking to lows never experienced before. I showed the children videos and pictures of my trip and talked about what it was like to visit one of the coldest, loneliest and driest places on Earth. The children were in awe! I started by telling the children that I had watched a video that Sir Robert Swan had shown the children at the school I was working in at the time, and it was this video, showing the beauty and wonder of Antarctica, that made me determined to visit. I shared this video with the children and they seemed to be just as inspired as I was.   As I continued to show the children videos and pictures, I could see their eyes widen with excitement. The story of my friend Jemima the penguin and the leopard seal was one of the stories that intrigued them most. After telling my story of perseverance, co-operation, respect and fairness - just some of the values we teach here at school - I went on to explain the real reason I visited Antarctica. It was to make a difference, however small. It was to make small changes in my lifestyle and to inspire others to do the same, so that the world could be a much nicer place to live in. I shared some eye-opening facts about climate change with the children and asked them what they felt was the number one threat to our planet. I got so many fantastic answers: pollution, noise, humans, artificial intelligence and more. The children were surprised but quickly realised the truth when I told them Sir Robert Swan’s most famous quote: ‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.’ This alone inspired me to do more and I know that it got the children thinking too. Since the assembly, the children have asked me a whole host of questions and have carried out research about Antarctica independently of their own accord. As a school, we continue to work closely with our Eco Reps to make a big impact in small ways. This includes taking part in 'Waste Week' and 'Switch Off Fortnight', ensuring that electricity is used efficiently, growing our own vegetables and monitoring food waste. Last year we achieved the Eco Schools Silver award and we are now striving for the prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award. If there is a final message I can leave you with, it is this: ‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.’ - Sir Robert Swan OBE Mrs. McLaughlin
Posted on: 1/02/2019

Weekly News - Friday 1st March 2019

Owls Assembly - All About Space The children in Owls took us on an intergalactic tour of Space this week in their assembly and astounded us with their knowledge of Space. Singing and performances were out of this world!               Well done Owls - you are all our little stars! 2B Assembly - Colours 2B brought much colour to a rather drab Friday morning (dreich as I would say in Scotland!) with their creative assembly on colour, inspired by their recent trip to the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner. (Do visit if you are not aware of this superb local museum,  https://www.heathrobinsonmuseum.org/.)               The children then acted out a wonderful story told to us from the perspective of the crayons in a packet of Crayola crayons!  I am sure that we will all be more mindful and creative in our use of colours in the future but also a lovely reminder to allow our own true colours to shine through. Well done 2B! Quiz Team Success! Our Quiz Team have reached the semi-finals of the Prep School General Knowledge Competition, which will be held at Merchant Taylor's School on 20th March. They will be busy over the next few weeks acquiring even more general knowledge to prepare themselves for what will be a very high level challenge against the other qualifying prep schools. Year 4 Take Decimal Work Outside               The children in Year 4 made the most of  this week's good weather to take their learning outdoors as they worked interactively and cooperatively learning to multiply decimals by 100, 1000, 10000.  Great team work and fun in developing their mathematical understanding. Year 5 Drama The shrieking of witches and chants of spells resounded around the playground this week as our Year 5 classes practised performing their own versions of the famous 'Song of the Witches' from Shakespeare's Macbeth. Their focus is on characterisation, adding pitch, pace and vocal pauses where necessary. Great work, Year 5. You can see some photos and short videos of their work here. HeartStart We are delighted that the school has been re-affiliated for another year as a teaching school for HeartStart, the British Heart Foundation initiative to educate a future generation in life-saving skills. As part of our innovative and unique PSHCE curriculum, we run the HeartStart programme for all children from Reception to Y6 each year, teaching and building skills in emergency first aid including calling for help, dealing with conscious and unconscious casualties, choking, serious bleeding, strokes, heart attacks and cardiac arrest.   British Science Week 2019 1st - 8th March is British Science Week. Parents may wish to learn more, or look at some of the resources with your children, to help to spark their scientific interest! To do so, please follow the link below for more information on the theme, which is ‘Journeys’.  There are activity packs for all ages and families, and you can get involved with ‘Run with the Ancestors’, locate events near you, or get involved in ‘citizen science’ and help with digitizing old weather records! https://www.britishscienceweek.org/ Direct links to age-appropriate resource packs are below. EYFS (Ducklings, Nursery and Reception) https://www.britishscienceweek.org/app/uploads/2019/02/BSA_sciweek_pack_earlystages_0119v2.pdf Primary Pack (Years 1 - 6)https://www.britishscienceweek.org/app/uploads/2019/02/BSA_sciweek_pack_primary_0119v4.pdf Family Pack https://www.britishscienceweek.org/app/uploads/2019/02/BSA_EurotunnelTerminal_handout_1118_W1.pdf A further useful resource is the Science Live site: https://sciencelive.net/ We hope you will enjoy getting scientific together! Walk on Wednesday Our weekly initiative to encourage our pupils and parents to include walking as part of their journey to and from school returns next Wednesday.  Why not enjoy a stroll through Court Park or along Long Lane on the way to school each Wednesday?  It's a great way to start the day.  Our ''Drop and Stride' route will also operate from Court Drive where our older pupils can be dropped before independently walking down the path in Court Park to school. Our staff and Junior Road Safety Officers will be positioned along the path to supervise the route between 8.05 and 8.25 a.m. Pledge Sign Up Clinics Our Junior Road Safety Officers will be holding sign up clinics for the school's new Parent Parking Pledge on Wednesdays this half term in the Upper School gazebo. Signing up is quick and easy online and parents will receive their car pledge sticker immediately.  If you can not make Wednesdays to sign up for the pledge you can access the online form here. Let's see which class gets all their parents signed up first!  Sign2Sing Fundraising Many thanks to all who kindly made donations in support of our Sign2Sing initiative in the first half of term. We are delighted to report that the school raised a total of £400.56 for this most worthy of charities. More importantly, perhaps, we have once again raised the children's awareness of the importance of caring for those whose lives are more challenging than their own. Sports News Our football team suffered a defeat on Wednesday, losing 6-3 to Hermitage. It wasn't our best performance, but the boys showed a lot of character in the second half and hopefully this will help us moving forward. Goal scorers were Alex C, Jack H and Eli V-B. Exhibition Day We would like to remind parents that our annual Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 23rd March. This year, to celebrate our new look Lower School, we would like to invite all parents and staff for a Bucks Fizz reception at Lower School from 9.30 a.m. The official timings of Exhibition Day at Ducklings and Upper School will be 10.00 a.m. until 12.00 p.m. Refreshments will be served from 10.00 a.m. in the Evans Hall. We do hope that you will all take this opportunity to celebrate your children's hard work and achievements on this special day. Speech Competition Children throughout the school are now busy learning their poems for our annual Speech Competition and aiming to produce performances of a really high standard. Nursery and Reception children will recite their poems to their parents, teachers and peers on Tuesday 26th March. All Nursery and Reception parents are warmly invited to attend to hear the children perform. Children in Years 1 to 6 will, as usual, perform their poems first to their class teachers, who will select semi-finalists. Mrs. Drummond and Mrs. Smith will then hear the semi-finalists and select the finalists. Parents of finalists will be invited to the finals on Monday 25th March, when the finalists will perform their pieces to parents, staff, peers and our guest judge, the Reverend Ken Kingston. The children's performances will be judged on three things: expression, projection and clarity. Gesticulations or movements will not be counted. Some natural hand movement is acceptable but judgements will be made purely based on the quality of the pupils' speech. Choreographed actions are not permitted. We hope that you will encourage your child to learn their piece by heart, to practise with expression, projection and clarity in mind, and to support and encourage their peers in doing the same.  We are very aware that not everyone can make it through to the final so please support us in helping your children to cope with disappointment to strengthen their resilience. Registration Reminder If you, or any of your friends or family, have a child whose date of birth is between 01.09.15 and 31.08.17 and you intend for them to join St. Helen's College, please register them now as a matter of priority. The online registration form is available here. Trophies Reminder We would like to remind parents that all cups/trophies awarded at Prizegiving, Sports Day and the school tennis competition need to be returned to the school office this term. Please return trophies as soon as you can.  
Posted on: 1/02/2019

Weekly News - Friday 1st February 2019

Year 5 Armada Battles In their history lessons this week, 5A and 5G had great fun re-enacting the events of the Spanish Armada. Throughout their afternoon lessons, the children heard the story of the Armada whilst having their own 'mini battles'. On tables of four, children were split into two pairs, with one pair representing the English and the other pair the Spanish. Everyone had a picture of their monarch, a picture of the type of ship they would be in and a map of the English Channel showing the points of the various battles, as well as four sets of scenarios from different times during the event. The pupils were made commanders of their fleet, with the number of ships the Spanish and English actually had. As events 'unfolded', the children worked in pairs to make decisions about how to proceed, given three possible options for each decision. Each class then discussed all the choices they had made, and Mrs. Hopkins revealed what actually happened and what would have happened if the children had been the decision makers back in the sixteenth century! The pupils very much enjoyed examining their results cards to see whether they would have lost ships and ultimately been victorious!  Many thanks to Burn, our History Prefect, and Anisa for assisting Mrs. Hopkins with these exciting lessons! Year 5 gave some excellent feedback after the sessions, which were clearly extremely interesting and memorable for them. Times Tables Rock Stars We would like to remind all parents from Year 1 upwards that all of your children have a school subscription to the superb 'Times Tables Rock Stars' site, which is also available as an app to download. This online programme assists the children in learning their multiplication tables in a fun and interactive manner...so do remind them to use it regularly! The children are able to access Times Tables Rock Stars via the Learning Portal, as well as other online resources including Mathletics, Language Nut, Abacus and Curriculum Visions. DeLancey UK Chess Challenge The first online Delancey UK Chess Challenge begins this Friday 1st February, and the children from our Upper School chess clubs will be encouraged to take part. Please see the following link for details on how to register and take part.  https://www.delanceyukschoolschesschallenge.com/chesskid/  Alternatively, watch the following brief videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpl7XQdwRMM&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKAhDhFzhzQ&feature=youtu.be  St. Helen's College to become ABRSM Exam Centre We are delighted to announce that we will be becoming an examination centre for some of our music pupils. This will mean a large number of our pupils will be able to sit their examinations in a familiar environment on a Saturday instead of missing lessons during the week and travelling to other examination centres. Peripatetic music teachers who will use our centre will be in contact directly with parents.  Hillingdon Music Hub This week in assembly, Miss Collier gave a talk to Upper School children about the Hillingdon Hub. The Hub provides opportunities for young musicians from different schools to get together to play in a band or orchestra, on a Thursday evening and/or Saturday morning. Some current St. Helen's College pupils already attend, as do some ex-pupils. If your son or daughter has Grade 1, or plays at that level or above, they are able to join, and you don't have to live in the borough to attend. We would urge you to allow your children this extra musical opportunity! If any parent or pupil would like any further information, Mrs. Allery or Miss Collier would be pleased to provide this. You can also find more information by following the link below. ​https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/music Wrens Assembly The children of Wrens Nursery put on a roaringly good dinosaur-themed assembly this week, displaying quite astonishing knowledge and performance skills for children aged 3 and 4!. They knew lots of interesting facts about dinosaurs and educated their audience about herbivores, carnivores and what caused dinosaurs to become extinct, even re-enacting a meteorite hitting the earth! They also sang three very catchy songs and wore fantastic costumes. Each and every child spoke individually, remembering their words and projecting their voices beautifully. Well done, Wrens! Borough Basketball Our basketball team took part in the borough basketball competition this week held at Uxbridge College. The team played four matches in their group and after narrow defeats in the first two matches they bounced back to win the final two matches against Ryefield and St. Swithun Wells schools. Well done to the team.  Chinese New Year - Special Menu On Tuesday, we will be celebrating Chinese New Year with a special themed menu. You can see the special menu here. Year 5 Transfer Meetings Thank you to all the Year 5 parents who have met with me over the last couple of weeks to discuss the choice of schools available for your children’s senior school transfer. With us all working together, we can prepare the children for this exciting next step.  Car Sharing If you currently drive your child to school, we would like to encourage you to consider sharing the journey with other parents who live near to you. Car sharing has many benefits, including: Relieving parents of the need to drive to school every day. Encouraging friendships among children, either within the same class/year group or across the years. Reducing traffic congestion on local roads. Easing the difficulties of finding parking spaces around school. Reducing pollution in the local area. Helping to educate children to be responsible citizens by reducing pollution and congestion. Encouraging relationships between parents across the same/different year groups to enhance the SHC community. Freeing up parents' time at the start/end of the day on some days of the week to enable more working hours/free time! If you are interested in car sharing, please let your PA Class Rep know, as we will be discussing this further with Class Reps at the next Parents' Forum meeting. We would be delighted to see more parents car sharing at morning drop-off and evening pick-up, and we will be actively promoting car sharing to the children in assemblies and via our Junior Road Safety Officers too. Thank you, in advance, for your efforts in arranging car sharing in order to improve the school run for everyone. St. Helen's College Parent Parking Pledge  We are asking you to consider making the Parent Parking Pledge in an effort to manage congestion and improve safety near our school at busy times. The idea is simple: in return for agreeing to follow some basic principles, your car can carry a sticker that tells the world you are doing your bit to make a difference. Parents at schools across Hillingdon are agreeing to: • Help my child/children travel actively at least once a week • Drive with consideration for others • Park away from the school gates • Never block a driveway • Turn off my engine when parked In addition we have three pledges that apply here and trust that you will agree to: • Follow the St Helen's College parking regulations • Use the 'Drop & Go' and 'Pick Up & Go' zones safely and efficiently • Respect and adhere to the parking restrictions in operation around all our school sites If you are happy to make the Pledge, it would be great if you could follow the link and complete the form. Once submitted, you will get your car sticker that will show others your commitment to pupil health and safety. Thank you!  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEIokFqGjH68LP5qCH9miaJIxA4i6cTB4J67WMDB009-j5PA/viewform?usp=sf_link

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