School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 11/07/2018
End of Term News - 11th July 2018It was enormously impressive for parents, staff and pupils to visit the Year 6 project exhibition this week. Our Year 6 pupils have been working very hard on their independent projects, which covered subjects as diverse and interesting as World War 2 (and, for one project, an investigation into how our lives might be if the Allies had not been successful), fashion through the ages, space rockets, wildlife, oceanography, neuroscience, planes and much, much more. The children had developed websites, produced books, made models and created artwork and the standard of their work was very high indeed. There was even a live volcanic eruption to enjoy! To prepare their projects, the Year 6 pupils were mentored by staff with expertise in their subject area and it was clear that their imaginations and independent research skills have really been kick-started by this process. Well done to all involved. The projects will all be available to view on the Learning Portal shortly.
Pupil Leadership Team
A huge thank you to this year's excellent Pupil Leadership Team, who have done an outstanding job as role models for the younger pupils. Special thanks to our Head Girl Sophie, Head Boy Krish, Deputy Head Girl Amishi and Deputy Head Boy Max.
We are now delighted to announce our new Pupil Leadership Team for the academic year 2018-19.
Head Girl will be Ionie M
Head Boy will be Jayan C
Deputy Head Girl will be Anisa W
Deputy Head Boy will be Thomas W
Other senior positions of responsibility will be announced in September.
Musician of the Term - Summer Term 2018
The Music Trophy is awarded each term to a pupil who has shown outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department.
The winner this term is Wenru D. Wenru is an excellent role model in the music department. She has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years, in all aspects of music at St. Helen’s College. She has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She plays the recorder fluently in class and at recorder club, has been learning the violin for several years, and enjoys playing in the school orchestra. Wenru began singing in the Lower School choir and has continued in the Upper School. She has performed successfully, in both solo and group categories, in the Singing Competitions and at the Singers’ Concerts. Two years ago, Wenru was selected to join the Chamber Choir and has since performed at two prestigious venues in London.
Wenru has exceptional musical talent and has recently been awarded a distinction for her Grade 8 piano examination.
Well done, Wenru!
We have one space available for an Upper School pupil to learn the piano on a Saturday morning at 11 a.m. If you are interested in your child taking this space, please email Mrs. Allery at firstname.lastname@example.org. The place will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
On Monday, the St. Helen's College chess teams attended a tournament at local rivals St. Bernadette's. All the players played at least one game, including reserves. The A team reached the semi-final of the championship and the B team reached the semi-final of the shield. Although the teams were unable to progress to the final, this meant that each of the team players (including reserves) received a bronze medal.
There was also a set of chess puzzles. These increased in difficulty as they progressed and required considerable concentration and determination from the pupils. We are delighted to report that, in this contest, Nirmit N came first and Luke J came second. Each boy received a badge. Well done, chess players!
School Sport 2017-2018
It has been a superb year of sport at St. Helen's College. The school was awarded the Platinum School Games Award, being one of only a handful of schools nationwide to be recognised in this way.
Our teams became Borough Champions in tri-golf and table tennis, and we were double Borough Champions in tennis and represented Hillingdon at the London School Games. There were individual medals in swimming and cross country at district level, and in netball we were runners up in the District Girls League and runners up at the Year 6 Reddiford Netball Tournament.
In a fantastic year for English football, St. Helen's College football team were to WIN the football league and were runners up in the Packham Cup tournament.
In athletics, there were several bronze, silver and gold medals at district level and several pupils achieved their English Schools Athletics bronze, silver or gold awards.
Congratulations are due to all of the children who took part in the school tennis tournament this term, organised by Mr. Dyson.
Results were as follows:
Y3 Boys - Winner: Samir H; Runner up – Zayd K
Y3 Girls - Winner: Fredericka T; Runner up – Amar C
Y4 Boys - Winner: Eli V-B; Runner up – Harry J
Y4 Girls - Winner: Rhea A-V; Runner up – Shaina A
Y5 Boys - Winner: Rishi S-P; Runner up - Adi S
Y5 Girls - Winner: Aaria K; Runner up - Zoe K
Y6 Boys - Winner: Timi O; Runner up - Amrit R
Y6 Girls - Winner: Ryeesa S; Runner up - Zara S-P
Highly Commended for Sport
Two certificates were presented today, to Lincoln B and Hebe E, for their outstanding contributions to the school athletics team this term.
Sports Personality of the Term
The Sports Personality of the Summer Term was awarded to Ryeesa S. Ryeesa has represented the school in many sports and has always shown a determination to perform to the best of her ability.
She became a triple Borough Champion this term as part of the table tennis team, tri-golf team and tennis team, and she represented Hillingdon at the London Youth Games tennis finals, losing only one match all day on her way to finishing in 4th place.
Ryeesa also won a silver medal at District Sports; she is a school tennis champion and she is the current school record holder for Year 5 Turbo Javelin.
However, football is Ryeesa's real passion; she is a part of the Arsenal youth team and we are sure it won’t be long before she gets her first England cap!
Very well done, Ryeesa. Your contribution to sport at St. Helen's College has been wonderful.
There are some exciting themes planned for this summer's Holiday Club, run by Miss Carmichael and the Holiday Club team, including:
SUMMER IS HERE!
WACKY TRANSPORT – AROUND THE WORLD IN 10 DAYS
OUTDOOR MINI OLYMPICS
HOLIDAY CLUB’S GOT TALENT
If your child/ren will be attending Holiday Club, please take note of these important reminders:
Please apply sun cream to your child before coming to school.
âBring a sunhat to wear.
Bring spare clothes for your child - we could be getting wet!
Make sure your child is wearing suitable footwear.
We will be using the main school entrance in Parkway, with the exception of Breakfast Club. Holiday Club numbers will be displayed on each door should you need to contact us.
We look forward to seeing you!
Summer School - Years 2-6 at HOAC
For those taking part in the Year 2 - 6 Summer School at Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre (HOAC) in August, the kit list and programme have been sent home with your children. These have also been posted to the School Documents page of the website, so you can refer to them there in case they are misplaced between now and August.
Cancer Research Relay for Life 2018
Our team fundraising is well underway for this year's Relay for Life, which takes place at Harrow School on 1st September 2018. It is not too late to join our team or to make a donation to sponsor us as we attend on the day to walk the track in a team relay for 24 hours and staff the Candle of Hope stall.
You can join the team or make a donation here. If you would like to dedicate a Candle of Hope to a loved one who has fought, or is currently fighting, cancer, please email Mrs. Stark at email@example.com by the end of August. The suggested minimum donation for a Candle of Hope dedication is £5; this may be sent into Mrs. Stark at Upper School when we return to school in September.
Preparing for September
Parents should check the School Documents page for the uniform and equipment list for 2018-19. Please ensure that your children return to school in September with full, correct school uniform and PE/Games kit in good repair and a freshly stocked pencil case where relevant.
Please note the change this year that, due to the hot Septembers we have experienced in recent years, pupils may return to school in either full summer or full winter uniform, depending on the weather. You may decide daily which uniform is more appropriate for that day. The only exception is the day of your child's school photograph, when they must wear full winter uniform. Reminders will be sent about this nearer the time. From the October half term, all pupils must wear full winter uniform.
The Autumn term lunch menu can also be found on the School Documents page. You might like to read through this with your children over the holidays and help them to make healthy choices for their lunches next term.
The Parents' Handbook has also been updated and re-published to the School Documents page. Please ensure that you are familiar with its contents.
The school calendar has been populated with important dates for the Autumn term. We strongly suggest that you check this over the holidays and make a note in your own diaries of all dates relevant to your children.
The Autumn term co-curricular programme will be published when we return to school in September so please do not worry - you have not missed it! We are planning to use a new, online booking system similar to our parents' evening booking system, which should be much easier for parents and will allow for online payments too. We will be working on setting this up over the summer and full details will be sent out at the start of next term.
STEAM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics) will take place on Friday 21st September this year. In the past, parents have been very generous in giving time to run workshops or activity sessions on this day, or to support teachers in doing so. Recent examples include The History of the British Telephone Box, Making an Ideal Parachute, Testing Aerodynamics, Music Workshops, Arts and Crafts, Drama...the opportunities are endless and it is hoped that the day will be as wide-ranging as possible! Please contact Mr. Tovell if you would like to offer a workshop or your time: firstname.lastname@example.org. A big part of what makes St. Helen’s College such a fantastic school for your children to attend is the wonderful level of parental support, so please do sign up and make this our best STEAM Day to date!
You can see a video of our first ever STEAM Day here to give you an idea of the sorts of activities we have had in the past.
Many thanks to all pupils, parents and extended family for their continued support throughout this academic year. It truly has been an incredibly successful and exciting year for everyone. To those who are leaving us to move onto new schools, we wish you all the best and please do keep in touch! We wish you all a safe, happy and fun-filled summer.
Posted on: 6/07/2018
The Chartered College of Teaching - Head's BlogWhen selecting a school, how can parents make judgements about the quality of teaching on offer? Should they look at academic results or could that lead them to select an ‘exam factory’ rather than a school which inspires a lifelong love of learning through excellent, well-planned, dynamic, proactive teaching and learning opportunities? How can parents be assured that a school is using the latest research in its teaching methods, building excellent results through a constantly evolving best practice based on what is proven to work? Do working parents really have the time and the will to read through comprehensive inspection reports in detail, rather than just take the headlines? These questions are important for families in both the independent and state education sector, but are also crucial for Heads in the independent sector, who are increasingly under pressure to compete for new pupils and to prove why and how their school is ‘a cut above’.
The new format of the Independent Schools Inspectorate will give parents security in the knowledge that a school is compliant with the DFE's regulatory school requirements (Regulatory Compliance Inspection). The Educational Quality Inspection will also give every school the opportunity to demonstrate to the Inspectorate the quality of the outcomes for their pupils and the contributory factors which makes each school unique. There is no doubt that these inspections are valuable and necessary. However, parents (and Heads) also need to be reassured that individual teachers, to whom the pastoral care and education of children is entrusted, are doing their utmost to develop themselves continually and to contribute positively to the ever-evolving educational landscape.
A new professional body has been established to provide a solution: Chartered Teacher Status, a post-graduate qualification for dedicated teachers which gives them a chartered professional standing. In the future, parents will be able to ask schools how many Chartered Teachers they have on their books and this will provide an independent measure of the quality, dedication and professionalism of the teachers they will be ‘employing’.
Back in February 2017, the Chartered College of Teaching (CCT) held their inaugural conference at the QEII Convention Centre, Westminster, the same venue where only months earlier the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) had held their national conference for Head teachers from UK and international IAPS schools. The CCT has been established to connect, inform and inspire teachers to deliver the best possible education for children and young people. Theirs is a professional role comparable to the Law Society, General Medical Council and Royal Institute of British Architects.
Professor Dame Alison Peacock, the Chief Executive of the Chartered College, the former Secretary of State for Education the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, John Tomsett from Huntington School, Professor Rob Coe of CEM at Durham University and Professor Tanya Byron were just some of the speakers we heard from that day. On return from the conference I offered all my teachers at St. Helen’s College the opportunity to take up membership of the CCT, paid for by the school as part of their CPD.
Many independent school parents belong to professions where their achievements can see them elevated to chartered status. However, for teachers, previously the only way to be elevated in their careers was to take on other leadership responsibilities, become middle leaders, senior leaders or headteachers. The problem is, this takes teachers away from the classrooms where their work has the most impact and away from the reason they were inspired to join the profession in the first place - to teach children!
Independent schools do have their own professional associations who provide exceptional CPD opportunities but, with parents increasingly ‘shopping around’ across the sectors before making final choices about buying into private education, it is important that independent schools embrace partnerships across all sectors and phases of education to give our teachers even greater opportunities and a voice on the national education stage. The Chartered College of Teaching hopes to drive even greater support and collaboration across the whole profession.
At St. Helen’s College, we are delighted to be supporting our Head of EYFS who has secured a place on the pilot cohort of the Chartered Teacher programme, which was launched at the start of the year for practising teachers to recognise their skills and knowledge while working towards accreditation as a ‘Chartered Teacher’. There are 180 teachers in this first cohort, from international and UK schools. The programme enables teachers to continue developing their practice within the classroom, raises the status of the profession, and is the first step in the development of a career pathway focused not on leadership but classroom practice. The pilot programme has participants from all sectors and phases. Throughout, participants have undertaken a range of different assessments that enable them to showcase their knowledge and skills against the areas set out in the Chartered College’s Professional Principles. As a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College, I have been selected to sit on the Assessment Board for the pilot programme. We meet as a group, in person or online, to advise and moderate the assessment pathway of the programme. It is a rigorous and demanding course and any school who has a member of staff who has Chartered Teacher status should be very proud.
Parents can place their trust in the Chartered Teachers scheme. Chartered Teachers must prove that they use latest educational research in teaching practice day to day and, in doing so, that they inspire other colleagues and their school as a whole to keep up to date with the latest research-based teaching techniques. The outcomes are twofold: children are more inspired to learn and to take ownership of their own learning, and they are also PROVEN more likely to achieve better outcomes in both their academic and personal development.
Teacher professional development should be a high priority for all school leaders as part of their strategic development plan. In the independent sector there are high stakes for pupil outcomes reflected in good examination results, and rightly so. Hard-working parents, often paying school fees from income, expect value for money in the form of the best teaching and learning for their children. To ensure that we provide this, it is crucial that the professional development of teachers is prioritised and that Heads know where to access the best CPD opportunities - there is a growing unregulated market of CPD which is not ‘quality assured’ or tested, but which can be eye-wateringly expensive! It is therefore reassuring that IAPS, who already provide an excellent programme of CPD for teachers and school leaders, is currently in discussions with The Chartered College of Teachers. Working together, I am confident that we will build the membership numbers of teachers from the independent sector.
Teacher recruitment and teacher retention is becoming a problem and this is having an impact on the independent sector too. Head teachers and governors need to plan effectively and raise the questions: how do we ensure that our teachers are kept abreast of curricular issues, have access to good evidence based educational research to improve teaching and learning in the classroom and how are we keeping staff inspired and motivated. We hope that the Chartered College of Teaching will provide answers.
The Chartered College has set up a network programme across the UK to build up the professional knowledge base of teaching and bring members together to work on issues of direct concern to classroom practice, wherever they are located and whatever their setting, interests and experience. Ten members of St. Helen’s College staff recently attended a session hosted at another independent school who have also embraced memberships and promotion of the Chartered College among their staff. The session was attended by teachers from local primary and secondary schools, from the maintained and independent sector. This year I attended the second annual Conference of the Chartered College. I came away from the conference having connected yet again with many wonderful teachers and educators, further informed and inspired to go back to my own school to continue working with my staff to improve the quality of the education and experiences we provide.
So I would urge every Head teacher in the independent sector to support the work of the Chartered College of Teaching and to promote membership for every one of their teachers. And I would urge parents to ask schools whether their teachers are members of the CCT, and whether they have any teachers working towards Chartered status. In future years, this may well be the best measure possible of a school’s overall ‘quality’.
Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching
Posted on: 6/07/2018
Weekly News - Friday 6th July 2018Today we bid farewell and wish a happy summer holiday to our Lower School children. You have all worked very, very hard this year and had an enormous amount of fun at school with your friends. Please enjoy the summer holiday with family and friends and return to school in September relaxed, refreshed and ready for another exciting year!
The long-planned Lower School refurbishment project commences tomorrow. We are all looking forward very much to showing the new facilities to you all when you return in September!
End of term arrangements for Upper School children for next week are published below.
PA Summer Fete
A huge thank you to the PA committee and to all of the parents, staff, pupils, Old Helenians and other members of the community who came together to make last Saturday's Summer Fete the success that it was! The sun was shining and it was one of the busiest fetes we can remember. Well done to the pupils who performed to make it a musical event too.
The Wizard of Oz
On Thursday evening, our Year 6 leavers put on their first performance of The Wizard of Oz at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham. The performances are the culmination of much hard work to bring acting, dancing, singing, props, make-up, costume, lighting, direction and so much more together for these amazingly high standard shows. As usual, the quality of acting, singing, dancing and stagecraft was extremely high and there were some standout individual performances. Most importantly, though, these children will feel so proud of what they have achieved together, as a TEAM, bringing to life this wonderful story with such a strong message of self-belief, which I am sure the children will not fully appreciate until later in life.
âThe children will stage a matinee this afternoon and their final performance this evening and they will then enjoy a well-deserved end of show party!
Photos of the dress rehearsal have now been published to the Galleries page.
We are pleased to announce that St. Helen's College will, for the next five years, be sponsoring a seat at The Compass Theatre. Our association with the theatre is long-lasting, with our Year 6 production taking place there each year, and we are proud to be able to support the dramatic arts in our local community. So, if you are going to see a show there over the summer or subsequently, do look out for our sponsored seat in the middle of Row C!
Empire of the Sikhs Exhibition
Suhavi's dad, Amandeep, co-founder and chair of UK Punjab Heritage Association, was honoured by the Queen with an OBE for services to Punjab and Sikh heritage and culture in the recent birthday honours. This is an immensely proud moment for the charity, friends and family and a true recognition of twenty years of research, writing books, advising on Sikh cultural issues, giving lectures and hosting exhibitions on Sikh history and culture.
This summer sees the launch of an exciting exhibition hosted at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS, entitled Empire of the Sikhs. The exhibition will include artefacts from the Royal Collection and is open from 12th July to 23rd September. Entry is free and there are guided tours and activities for children.
We do hope that many of you will visit the exhibition with your children and extended families over the holidays. Here are the details and accompanying press release.
Over the past couple of weeks I have shared information with parents regarding our concerns over social media, apps, games, and screen time and we have also discussed this at our new parents' welcome evenings this week. I am attaching a new publication from the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools which has been produced for parents as a useful guide 'Tech a break; Avoiding 'digital dummies' in the summer.' I do hope that you will find time to read this carefully.
St. Helen's College Voice
The latest issue of St. Helen's College Voice is being sent home with your children. A digital copy is also available here.
News from the Library
All library books should be returned to the library by Monday.
We are very pleased with the large number of pupils who use the library and while many pupils are finishing off their books and returning them, there are currently 196 books still out on loan, with 97 of these being overdue for return, having been out for more than two weeks.
We are also pleased to report that the often quoted statement that "boys don't read" is certainly not true at St. Helen's College. Our pupils all read enthusiastically. Pupils have enjoyed the varied reading challenges set and many pupils have received certificates for completing their chosen challenge. Next term we will be looking at more ways to enthuse our pupils in their reading. In the meantime, please encourage your children to keep on reading with the Hillingdon Libraries summer reading challenge. This year's theme is Mischief Makers and the challenge starts on 7th July. More information is available at https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/summerreading
On Monday this week, 32 of our aspiring young athletes from Years 3 - 6 took part in the Small Schools District Sports athletics competition at the Uxbridge track. Competing against nine other local schools, our pupils competed in a range of track and field events. Individual success came in field events with Harry J gaining a bronze medal in the Year 4 boys' standing long jump and Sulaiman M (Y3) and Eli V-B (Y4) both winning bronze medals in their tennis ball throw event. On the track, there was individual success for Fredericka T gaining a bronze medal in the Year 3 girls' 50m, Timi O (Y6) winning a silver medal in the boys' 800m and Zoe K and Hebe E winning gold medals in the girls' 800m and Y5 girls' 70m events respectfully. Our Year 6 relay team finished off the evening in style by gaining team silver medals in a race in which they exhibited some silky smooth changeovers.
Photos have been published to the Galleries page.
School Games Regional Finals
It was the turn of our Year 3 and 4 tennis team to represent Hillingdon at the School Games regional finals held at Crystal Palace this week. Eli, Daniel and Catherine from Year 4 and Amar from Year 3 took part in the event, in which all 33 London boroughs were represented. During the day the team played seven matches against borough teams from Kingston, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Newham, Camden, Sutton and Barnet. The team played some exciting matches and showed great resilience and team spirit to win 1 match, draw 4 matches and lose 2 matches. The team finished 4th in their group and 13th overall out of 33 boroughs. Very well done to all our tennis players!
Tennis For Kids
Well done to our Year 1 children, who have all now completed the Tennis for Kids six week national programme and have received their certificates. They all graduated with flying colours and, with Wimbledon happening now too, we are sure they have all been inspired to enjoy tennis!
Old Helenian Sports News
Huge congratulations are due to Old Helenian Issy Sibley who, having discovered football at St. Helen's College, went on to play football at club and international level. Issy has most recently been playing for the Chelsea Ladies U20 team and the England ladies U19 team, and we are now delighted to announce that she has secured a four year soccer scholarship at the University of West Virginia! Issy sent a lovely card to Miss Walker to thank the school for starting her off on her footballing journey, which is taking her so far. Well done, Issy. We are always thrilled to hear from Old Helenians who are continuing to develop their talents and pursue their dreams!
Cancer Research Relay for Life Fundraising
Lots of different events have been taking place at school, organised by the various year groups, to raise money for CRUK Relay for Life. Many thanks to all parents for allowing your children to bring in some money and enjoy all the wonderful activities including cake sales, guess the beans in the jar, sponsored walks, 'Soak the Teacher' and 'Beat the Goalie'. So far we are delighted to announce that we have raised a total of £1324.94.
Please note that ALL co-curricular clubs have now finished for this term. Many thanks to all those who ran clubs and participated in them with such enthusiasm.
Upper School End of Term Arrangements
Next Wednesday, 11th July, is a half day. Provided the weather is fine, all children in Years 2 to 6 will join together for a Final Assembly in the Windsor garden at 11:00 a.m. and parents will be very welcome if they wish to attend.
Please park well away from the school in order to prevent congestion. There should be no parking in Parkway as this causes congestion and inconvenience to our long-suffering neighbours. The car park will be full. Please park and walk.
Parents who attend the Final Assembly may take their children home immediately afterwards. For others, term will end at 12:15 for Years 2 and 3, and 12:30 for Years 4, 5 & 6. Older children will be released at the same times as their younger siblings.