School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 28/06/2019
Weekly News - Friday 28th June 2019Sports News
Ducklings Sports Day
The Ducklings parents and staff were delighted with the performances of our young Ducklings at their very first St. Helen's College Sports Day. There were wonderful performances and team work from all the children! You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
Prep Sports Day
A full report of today's Prep Sports Day will be published in due course. In the meantime, we have recently been sent these photographs from a 1950s St. Helen's College Sports Day and thought that current parents and pupils might enjoy spotting the differences between then and now!
Our Y5/6 tennis team travelled to Redbridge this week to represent Hillingdon at the London Youth Games School Games finals. The event brings together all the Borough winners from the 32 London Boroughs to compete against each other to become regional winners. Our team played matches against schools from the Boroughs of Southwark, Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent, Merton, Lewisham and Wandsworth throughout the day, showing some very good play to remain undefeated all day, winning five matches and drawing two. The team finished in a very credible 9th place overall. Well done to our Y6s Rishi, Aaria and Hebe and to Catherine and Daniel from Y5.
Summer Basketball Camp
If your child is interested in basketball, they might enjoy a summer camp. There are details here.
Year 1 and 2 Summer Plays
Many congratulations to our Year 1 and 2 pupils for their outstanding performances at the Winston Churchill Hall this week as they performed 'The Goblin Next Door' and 'Porridge'. It really is truly remarkable that our young Helenians are able to take to the stage with such confidence to delight their audience with choreography, comic timing, beautiful singing and crisp, audible delivery of lines.
PA Summer Fete
The Summer Fete has arrived and will be taking place in the Upper School playground from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday 29 June 2019). Although there is no entrance fee, there will be donation buckets at the Parkway gate entrance, with any money raised being donated to Cancer Research. In addition, a group of Year 5 entrepreneurial children will be selling products from their stall with all proceeds being donated to World Animal Protection. Please do visit their stall (Dream Team) and give them some support.
The fete is a wonderful event so feel free to bring along your friends and family. There will be a range of world food stalls where you can buy anything from Indian food to mouth-watering hot dogs and burgers from our BBQ. We will also have lots of games for you to have a go at so, if you can, make sure you bring lots of change with you. Any money raised on the stalls is reinvested into the school and this year the PA will be working with the school to bring improvements to the Upper School playground.
Finally, one last plea for helpers. If anyone else is available to help with set up tomorrow (from 7.30 a.m.) or to help on any of the stalls, please do contact us at email@example.com. Thank you to everyone who has offered their support - this event would not be possible without your help and we really do appreciate it!
Cancer Research Relay for Life
As we have done for many years, St. Helen's College will be taking part in the Cancer Research Relay for Life this year. Full details of our fundraising activities have been sent out separately to parents but we would like to remind everyone that there will be a whole school Tog Day on Thursday 11th July, for which we ask that your son or daughter bring in a donation (minimum £1 but all donations gratefully accepted). We would be delighted to welcome team members to join us for the Relay itself, which takes place on July 20th. You can sign up as a team member, or make a donation to our team cause, here.
This week, the children at Upper School have begun their fundraising efforts with 'Soak The Teacher' and selling raffle tickets and bookmarks. On Monday there is a cake sale at Upper School so please do allow your children to bring in some spare change!
Mrs. Rooney was delighted to see so many St. Helen's College children taking part in the new Junior Park Run at Northala Fields this Sunday. It is a free 2km event for 4-14 year olds that takes place every Sunday at 9 a.m. If your child is interested in taking part, please refer to https://www.parkrun.org.uk/northalafields-juniors/ for further details.
Posted on: 21/06/2019
The Pupil Voice: Roadwatch by Catherine LFollowing the recent success of our Junior Roadwatch scheme, I am delighted to share a guest blog from one of our Year 5 Junior Road Safety Officers, Catherine.
In this article I would like to share the new idea of Junior Roadwatch that St. Helen’s College is taking part in.
In April, the Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) went to Guildhall to present to the London Road Safety Council about St. Helen’s College’s phenomenal Road Safety Journey. At the meeting, an ambassador from Transport For London (TFL) introduced a new incentive which was Junior Roadwatch. The JRSOs were enthusiastic about the idea and keen on getting involved. Shortly after this, Miss Walker contacted the TFL ambassador to ask if he would be interested in letting us try this four week scheme out. I would like to tell you all about it now.
What is Junior Roadwatch?
Junior Roadwatch is aimed at children (around my age) to encourage them to venture more into the road safety aspect of speeding. The scheme wants to promote the importance of being aware of speeding and how to prevent it. The JRSOs will work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and the Hillingdon STARS Team. A police officer will be holding a speed gun to check that drivers are not going over the limit. If a driver does get pulled over for speeding at a speed of 35-40 mph they will have the opportunity to speak to us or receive three points off their driving licence and a £100 fine. Drivers going wildly over the limit will not have the choice to talk to us and will receive serious consequences. If the driver chose to talk to us we would ask them questions to help them understand that speeding can be dangerous and make them aware of the risk of crashes/accidents that could happen to them or our community. Alongside the speed activity there would be Sound Pollution tests and Traffic Surveys to give us an insight into how we can make our community a greener place.
What happened on the day?
The scheme is carried over a four week period, which started from the 4th June. On the first week we met with the staff from the Hillingdon STARS team. Mr. Rogers from the STARS team explained the difference between a limit and a target as this normally confused drivers. A target is a goal you strive for and occasionally go over the top of but a limit is a barrier you should not be going over. We want to make sure that people should know that speed signs are a limit not a target. Then, all six JRSOs brainstormed questions for the drivers who go over the limit.
Here are some of them:
Why do you think there are zebra crossings on this road?
Can you tell me what speed you were driving at?
Can you tell me why you were speeding?
Do you know how many schools there are on this road?
Can you name some of the schools?
What does this sign mean?
On Tuesday, it was the actual Junior Roadwatch! Coming along with us were Mr. Rogers and Cat from the STARS team, Miss Walker, two Met Police officers, Mrs. Drummond and Mrs. Stark. First up on the speed limit activity were Esha and I. One of the police officers pointed his speed gun at the road and believe me, it actually looked petrifying! As the police officer pointed the speed gun he detected a car going over the limit. The police directed him to the kerb where the man decided to talk to us. We asked questions so we could gather a picture of why he was speeding. In the end it was because he was running late for a dentist appointment. We found that talking to the driver helped us to understand the story from another point of view.
As our time came to an end towards the end of Junior Roadwatch we were happy we made an impact as we were the first school in Hillingdon to try this new scheme out! It turned out to be a great success and in two weeks we will explain our findings in assembly and we have invited the local councillors along to hear about our work with the STARS team. I hope that our contribution will help to get other schools involved too and that we will be rewarded with a STARS Gold Award!
By Catherine L
Posted on: 21/06/2019
Weekly News - Friday 21st June 2019Arrangements for Year 1 and Year 2 Summer Plays
On Wednesday 26th June, Year 1 and Year 2 children will be performing their summer plays to Nursery and Reception children. On this day, children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 should be dropped by parents directly to the Winston Churchill Hall in Ruislip between 8.00 and 8.30 a.m. They will be brought back to school and will have lunch at school as normal.
On Thursday 27th June, Year 1 and Year 2 will perform plays to parents, family and friends. Year 1 will perform at 1.30 p.m. and Year 2 at 2.30 p.m. On this day, all children should be dropped off at school as normal; they will eat school lunch and Year 1 and 2 children will then be taken by coach to the Winston Churchill Hall for their performances. Children will be dismissed directly to parents from the Winston Churchill Hall following their performance.
Tickets are now available to purchase for these Year 1 and Year 2 productions. Please use this link to book your tickets, and you will then be sent a charge to your SchoolsBuddy account to make a payment. Parents will be permitted to take older siblings out of school on the Thursday afternoon to watch the performance if they would like to; please notify your class teacher in writing if you would like to do this.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the plays, which are always very special events.
Super Pre-Prep Sports Days
Well done to all of our Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children who took part in their wonderful Sports Days at Court Park on Thursday. Without exception, the children joined in enthusiastically and competed with determination and pride. We are sure that parents were as proud of them as we all were! You can see lots of photographs of the children taking part on our Galleries page.
St. Helen's College Are Chess Champions!
Very well done to the St. Helen's College chess teams who performed extremely well in their tournament against St. Bernadette's School this week. There were some very strong individual performances which contributed to the St. Helen's College A team winning the tournament and the trophy! Our B team struggled a little on the day, but gained valuable experience and were delighted to see their friends lift the trophy too.
It is worth noting that, while the St. Bernadette's players were mainly from Year 6, our A team were all from Year 5 and our B team was made up of one Year 5 player and three players from Year 4! They should feel very proud of themselves to have taken on the challenge of competing against older children and performing so well. A badge was awarded to Ibraheem for sportsmanship and another badge to Marcus for best checkmate, and all of the children deserve a special mention for their efforts.
St. Helen's College A team: Michael K, Jai D, Alex S, Marcus S
St. Helen's College B team: Ibraheem F, Sulaiman M, Aaron S, Vidhit N
Aarna Plays at Cadogan Hall!
Congratulations to Aarna A, who will be playing two pieces with the Hillingdon Orchestra at the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea. Aarna plays the flute and it is an honour to be chosen to play in this wonderful venue. You can see details of the performance here:
Encore : A Celebration of Music
If your child plays an instrument and would like to get involved with the Hillingdon Music Hub, you can find out more information by following the link below.
3M Assembly - Fair Trade
Well done to the children of 3M who presented a truly inspirational assembly this morning all about the benefits of Fair Trade. They took us all on a journey to St. Lucia to see how bananas are grown and who profits the most from the banana trade, before explaining why buying Fair Trade will help to make sure that workers are paid fairly and able to feed and educate themselves and their families. Fair trade coffees, teas, bananas and banana milkshakes were served to parents before the assembly too!
PA Summer Fete
The Summer Fete is only a week away and preparations are almost complete. To help make this the best event possible, we are looking for donations of:
Soft toys - for the toy tombola
Nearly new toys (no books please)
Old school uniform – for the uniform stall
Brand new toys - for the raffle and toy tombola stalls
New items or unwanted gifts - for the raffle, nearly new stall or hoopla
If you are able to donate any of the above or can volunteer your time for all or part of the day, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Dads raise over £5000 for the British Heart Foundation!
Some of our St. Helen's College fathers had a very special Father's Day this year, spending the day taking part in the London 2 Brighton bike race to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
The Dads have, so far, raised £5,433.98 for the British Heart Foundation, which really got them noticed by the event organisers on the day. They did 1:1 interviews and put out special congratulatory wishes when they reached the finishing line. Even the sun made an appearance!
The families of these men were so proud of the Dads' achievement. Well done to all involved!
Young Geographer of the Year
Information about the Royal Geographical Society's Young Geographer of the Year competition can be found here. We would like to give the current Year 4 and Year 5 children the opportunity to take part in this poster competition. Year 4 and Year 5 children could start to think about ideas over the holiday and do research on holidays such as taking photos or collecting items. If your child would like to take part, please register your interest by emailing Miss Walker at email@example.com. Miss Walker will run some workshops (after school) in September for those who wish to enter the competition to work on their posters, ready to submit entries by 18th October.
There are still a few spaces available for instrumental tuition at Upper School from September: we have one space for trumpet, one space for flute and two spaces for clarinet. If your son or daughter would like lessons, please email Mrs. Allery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. All places for other instruments have now been allocated.
We would like to remind parents that teachers are happy to sign passport forms, but these forms must be brought to school unsigned and signed by parents in front of teachers in order to comply with regulations.
Summer Hair Cuts
Please can parents be very mindful to follow the guidance given in the Parents' Handbook regarding short haircuts for boys. The relevant text is copied below.
Boys’ hair must be cut above the collar and ears in a conventional manner. Crew cuts, shaved patterning, obvious layering and gelling are not allowed.
Posted on: 14/06/2019
Are Outdoor Lessons Just A Distraction? - Head's Blog
A recent article in the Times Educational Supplement, which I highly recommend that parents read, reaffirms the belief which we have here at St. Helen’s College about the benefits of learning in the great outdoors.
A couple of years ago, Miss Walker as part of her professional studies further engaged our staff with ‘outdoor learning’ across the curriculum and it has been so wonderful to hear the feedback both from children and staff of the benefits of taking their subjects outside.
On a daily basis we have pupils across the school using our outdoor spaces for learning and I am always delighted when the pupils are able to articulate what they have learnt with not a textbook or school desk in site!
Traditionally many schools felt that the best learning was conducted in a classroom environment with a very structured curriculum directed by the teacher. Thankfully, due to all the valuable evidence research which has been carried out, educationalists are now so aware of the benefits, not only academic but social and emotional, which outdoor lessons provide.
Our EYFS pupils in Ducklings through to Reception spend a great deal of time in the outdoors and the best practice can often be found amongst Early Years practitioners. Last week I spent 3 days as a member of the Independent Schools Inspectorate inspecting the educational quality of a school. The inspection team had to gather evidence on the pupil outcomes in relation to academic achievement and progress as well as their personal development. Much of the evidence was sourced by the team in the great outdoors!
Below I have extracted an example from the independent schools regulatory standards of some of the areas which schools must be seen to be fulfilling. As you read the list below I hope that you will be able to visualise your son or daughter (from Ducklings to Year 6) actively learning in the outdoors - as this is where much of this wonderful rich learning is taking place!
Pupils’ academic and other achievements
Knowledge, skills and understanding (KSU); the development of their knowledge, understanding and skills across the areas of learning (linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative education.
Communication; the development of their competence in communication (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and its application to other areas of learning.
Numeracy; the development of their competence in numeracy and the application of their knowledge and skills in mathematics to other areas of learning.
Study skills; the development of their study skills, including the ability to draw upon a suitably wide range of sources and to develop higher-order skills, including the ability to analyse, hypothesise and synthesise.
Attitudes; their attitudes towards learning, including their ability to demonstrate initiative and independence, their willingness to work collaboratively and the extent to which they take leadership in their learning.
Pupils’ personal development
Self-understanding; develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline and resilience, including an understanding of how to improve their own learning and performance, so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their lives.
Decision-making; understand that the decisions they make are important determinants of their own success and well-being.
Spiritual understanding; develop spiritual understanding and an appreciation of non-material aspects of life, whether religious, philosophical or other.
Moral understanding and responsibility for own behaviour; distinguish right from wrong, understand and respect systems of rules and laws, and accept responsibility for their own behaviour, including towards others.
Social development and collaboration; are socially aware and so are able to work effectively with others, including to solve problems and achieve common goals.
Staying safe and keeping healthy; know how to stay safe and understand how to be physically and mentally healthy, particularly in terms of diet, exercise and a balanced lifestyle.
Our day trips and residential trips, which are such an important part of our educational provision, allow your children to achieve so much academically and personally and it has been wonderful to receive such positive feedback form the parent body recently as our Year 3 to Year 6 pupils have all returned from this year’s trips. The recognition of the pupils' personal development is quite remarkable with comments such as:
‘he really seems to have grown up in such a short time!’
‘She is so much more independent and took risks we never imagined she would take’
‘I cannot believe my daughter was rolling about in mud and loved it so much!’
‘He genuinely seems more organised and considerate since he came back’
‘ He hasn’t stopped talking about the trip - every day we seem to hear something else!’
As a school when we receive such positive feedback from parents after the residential trips it is so rewarding and makes our jobs even more enjoyable, knowing the difference that we make to a child’s development.
Education should be rich in experiences and prepare young people for the future. All the experiences that your children are having in the outdoors are contributed to by the lessons the teachers are planning, the trips and activities they have the opportunity to take part in and of course the superb outdoor space we have at school.
Experiences bring us happiness not just when we’re having the experience, but also when we simply think about them. I am sure that you have seen your child’s face light up when they talk about some of the things they have done outside of the normal classroom environment.
Many of you are possibly starting to plan some of the things that you may be able to do with your children over the summer holidays. So please do continue the ‘outdoor’ learning for the children, giving them the opportunity to explore the great outdoors - it is called the ‘great’ outdoors for a reason!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”â—âMark Twain
Posted on: 14/06/2019
Weekly News - Friday 14th June 2019Singers' Concert
Our annual Singers' Concert on Tuesday evening yet again left the audience with a sense of pride and awe at the calibre of our pupils' musicality as they entertained us with a range of songs and choral numbers. Congratulations to all of the children who took part, whether they were Singing Competition winners or sang as part of one of the school choirs.
Six of our Year 3 pupils attended a maths challenge day at Edge Grove Prep School this week. They participated in a variety of problem solving challenges and earned shells for correct answers. They collaborated really well and worked with both speed and precision, finishing second overall. The team consisted of Zach F, Luka K, Anjika G, Shruthi T, Aryan B and Devan S.
4T Read to Reception
On Wednesday, 4T visited Reception. As a class, they first performed the basic version of the tale 'The Blind Man and the Hunter', using actions, before sharing their superb versions of the story, which they had worked hard to write, reflect upon and improve. The Reception children behaved impeccably and were engaged throughout the session.
Mindfulness Course for Parents
Please see below the link for the next Mindfulness course for parents which is being offered by the Mindfulness in Schools Project. This online course begins in September and runs online for 8 weeks.
Kingfishers class took us on a journey to the continent of Africa to retell the story of Handa's Surprise with their colourful costumes, animals, African instruments and tremendous singing in Swahili. Well done to all of the children!
The children of 4KT used their class assembly to share their experiences on their recent residential trip to the beautiful Flatford Mill in the heart of Constable Country.
JRSOs - Roadwatch
Our JRSOs had a wonderful opportunity this week to work with the Hillingdon STARS Team and the Metropolitan Police piloting the Junior Roadwatch scheme. The girls worked alongside the Met Police on Long Lane and drivers who were pulled in for speeding were offered the opportunity to have a conversation with our JRSOs as an alternative to receiving a fine and penalty points.
We are very fortunate to have been involved with the Junior Roadwatch pilot and hope that in the future this will be rolled out across the London Borough of Hillingdon to increase safety on our roads and to raise public awareness of the dangers of speeding. It has also been a great opportunity for our children to raise awareness to their own parents who drive the children to school each day!
May we take this opportunity to ask parents who drive along Parkway to be very aware of their speed as they approach school.
Parent Parking Pledge
Thank you to those of you who have now signed up to the Parent Parking Pledge - please can we ask that you display your badges with pride!
The London Borough of Hillingdon are running a few 'Bikespiration' events soon to help to encourage local residents to use bicycles. Further information can be found here.
Harefield Colts Cricket
If you have a budding cricketer you might be interested in Colts Cricket at Harefield Cricket Club. The club offers professional, safe, fun coaching with ECB qualified coaches, a superb club house and cricket facilities for all ages from U9 to U17. Training for U9 to U15 age children is on Friday evenings from 6.00 - 7.30 p.m. If you would like further information, pop into the club or email email@example.com.
The PA provides a refreshments stall for parents to enjoy at the Sports Days and we really need your help please with donations of cakes, biscuits, snacks, soft drinks and bottled water. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you will be able to make a donation - any contribution would be very gratefully received. You can drop your donations to the Upper or Lower School office. Thank you.
We will have some vacancies for September for individual tuition in trumpet, clarinet and flute at Upper School. If you are interested in lessons for your son or daughter on one of these instruments, please email Mrs. Allery directly at email@example.com. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
All places for the other instruments have now been allocated.
Posted on: 7/06/2019
Weekly News - Friday 7th June 2019PA Summer Fete
The date for the PA Summer Fete is approaching quickly and PA class reps will be busy over the next couple of weeks arranging rotas for stalls and collecting in donations. We urge all parents to give your support to this special event - please sign up for a slot on your class stall or one of the general stalls and please do be generous with your donations so that this year's Fete may be the biggest and best yet! Most importantly, please do come along on Saturday 29th June and enjoy the day with your family and friends. All are welcome and there will be a wide variety of stalls, entertainment and food and drink to enjoy.
World Environmental Day
Wednesday this week was World Environmental Day, which this year had a focus on air pollution. Classes were spoken to about air pollution, its effects and how we can help to limit this particular type of environmental hazard. Eco Reps were also involved in making posters to highlight this important issue.
If you would like to follow up on this with your children at home, you might find the following links useful.
Today saw children in Middle and Upper School compete in our ever-popular annual Singing Competition. Very well done to all those who took part! It was clear that the pupils had been practising very hard and the standard was, as always, very high. Many congratulations to the winners, who will perform at our Singers' Concert at All Saints Church next Tuesday evening. All parents are warmly invited to attend the Singers' Concert. There was not enough time to complete the Upper School competition this afternoon so this will be completed, and the winners will be announced, early next week.
Tennis Borough Champions!
Many congratulations to our Y5 and 6 tennis players who took part in the Borough tennis tournament this week held at Tripletts Community Tennis Centre. Our three teams displayed some great play during the course of the competition, resulting in both our A and B team reaching the final to play each other! The matches in the final were highly competitive but it was the A team that came through to take the title and retain the cup for St. Helen's College this year. Our team will now progress to the London School Games Finals to represent Hillingdon against schools from across London.
Well done to everyone who took part: Rishi, Daniel, Aaria, Catherine, Eli, Alex, Hebe, Tamara, Patrick, Ciaran, Mia and Kyra.
Opening Training Sessions - London Girls Development Academy of Football
Watford FC Girls are rebranding as LGDA (London Girls Development Academy) and will be holding open training sessions on the following dates/times. If your daughter is interested in football why not encourage her to go along.
Saturday 8th/Sunday 15th June
U8/9/10 10.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.
U11/12 11.30 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Walking Loyalty Scheme
Our Year 5 Junior Road Safety Officers will be launching their walking loyalty scheme for Upper School pupils from next week. The scheme, which has been designed by the pupils and has been supported with funding from the London Borough of Hillingdon's School Travel and Road Safety team, is an exciting way to reward our pupils for walking to school this term. Pupils will be able to collect a loyalty card from our JRSOs and, for each day they include a significant element of walking to school as part of their journey, they will be able to collect a stamp for their card. For pupils who are unable to walk all or part of the way to school, a walking circuit will be available in the playground and they may complete ten laps before school starts to gain a stamp. As pupils collect enough stamps they will be rewarded with bronze, silver and gold certificates and at the end of the term medals will be awarded to pupils who have impressed our JRSOs with their commitment to walking to school. We do hope that lots of our Upper School pupils will get involved and, if successful, the scheme may be extended to Lower School next term.
Year 6 Summer Production - Romeo and Juliet - Tickets Now Available
Tickets may now be purchased for our grand Year 6 musical production at The Compass Theatre, Ickenham. This year, our Year 6 pupils will be presenting Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Performances will take place on:
Thursday 4th July at 7.30 p.m.
Friday 5th July at 2.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.
Parents will be permitted to take pupils out from school on the Friday in order to watch the matinee performance.
You may book tickets by following this link:
Sports Days - Message from the PA
The PA is organising a refreshments stall in Court Park for the Lower School Sports Day on 20th June and another at Hillingdon Sports and Leisure Complex for the Upper School Sports Day on 28th June and we really need your help.
We would be really grateful for any donations of cakes, crisps, drinks and other snacks which we will then be able to sell to parents in order to raise money for the school. If you are able to donate anything, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can gauge quantities. If your donation is not perishable, you can drop it off at the Upper or Lower School office at any time before the day and we will pick it up from there. If your donation is perishable, please bring it to the relevant venue on either 20th or 28th June 2019. Any support that you can offer would be very welcome.