School News and Head's Blog

6 Blog Posts found

Posted on: 27/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 27th May 2022

Year 6 Residential Trip to France Our Year 6 pupils have had a wonderful time this week at the beautiful Chateau de la Baudonniere in Normandy, France, where they have taken part in an immersive week of French language and culture. They have enjoyed meeting their penpals, making bread, visiting a market and goat farm and taking part in some challenging and fun physical activities, amongst other things. They return today tired and happy, filled with experiences they will never forget.   Year 4 Residential Trip to Flatford Mill The Year 4 classes have spent the last three days in Flatford Mill, Suffolk. On the way, they stopped off at the village of East Bergholt for a whistle stop tour.  While at the centre, they have taken part in many activities including pond dipping, mammal trapping, shelter building and a twilight walk and enjoyed time around the campfire. There is no doubt that the children have enhanced their independence, enriched their learning and had the most fantastic time spending time together too.   Robins Class Assembly What a super assembly we saw from our Robins Nursery class on Thursday! They told us all about their topic of 'Mini-Beasts' and all that they have learnt. Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, or that worms breathe through their skin? It was hard to believe, watching them, that these children are just 3 and 4 years old. They spoke their individual lines with confidence and projection, sang beautifully and acted out their parts with clear enjoyment, slithering like worms, crawling like caterpillars, buzzing like bees and fluttering as ladybirds and butterflies. There was even a spider! Very well done, Robins, you brightened up our morning and taught us so many things.   Nursery Trip to Bekonskot Model Village Today, Wrens and Robins had a wonderful day stepping back in time at Bekonscot Model Village. They made the most of the beautiful sunshine, were captivated by the tiny village and loved exploring the adventure playground. The highlights of the day were a ride on the narrow gauge railway and taking part in the time machine workshop. All agreed it was a great day out!               Pedestrian Training Children in Years 2-5 undertook pedestrian training this week, led by the Hillingdon STARS Team (Safer Travel and Road Safety). The pupils were taught, and practised, how to stay aware when walking and how to cross driveways and roads safely by stopping, looking and listening. We would be grateful if parents would reinforce the safety message at home with children, including the mantra: Remember - Stop, Look, Listen...THINK!   World Environment Day World Environment Day on Sunday 5th June, hosted by Sweden, is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by UNEP and held annually since 1974, the event has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet. “Only One Earth" is the campaign slogan, with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.  Over 150 countries are participating, and the UN will engage governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities and communities to take action.  We encourage you all to follow the link below and watch the four short videos to learn more about the environmental crisis and how we can all help to overcome it. Jubilee Day St. Helen's College will be celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a special day at school on Monday 6th June. Everyone is invited to wear red, white and blue for the day. The children will enjoy an outdoor picnic lunch, for which you can see the amended menu here. There will be special extended assemblies and some lessons and activities will have a Jubilee theme. Clubs will be on as usual. Class and Whole School Photographs On Tuesday 7th June, we will be having our official class photographs taken at school by Tempest and on Wednesday 8th June there will be a whole school photograph taken in Court Park. On these days, all pupils must come to school in full, correct, summer uniform. For children currently at Lower School, there will be no need for PE kits on these days. At Upper School, pupils should bring PE kits to change into if your class usually has PE or Games on that day. Sports Days Our Pre-Prep Sports Day (for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) will take place on Thursday 9th June, with timings as follows. Please note the slightly amended start time for Nursery/Reception: Year 1 and Year 2: 8.45 a.m. – 11.45 a.m. Nursery & Reception: 12.30 – 3.00 p.m.   Full details about this event were sent directly to parents and can be found here:  Pre-Prep Sports Day. Parents of children in Years 3-6 are reminded that you must let us know whether you will be attending Sports Day and providing a picnic for your child, as well as your child's collection arrangements on that day. Full details for the day, including the link to give your lunch/collection arrangements, are available below: Prep Sports Day (Years 3 - 6). Singers' Concert  The Singers' Concert will take place on Monday 13th June at 7.00 p.m at All Saints Church, Long Lane. Members of the Junior Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir will be performing in this concert. All soloists performing will be contacted directly by Mrs. Fawbert or Mrs. Garnes. Parents are warmly invited to attend the performance.  Music Lessons  If you wish to request music lessons for your child or to add them to the waiting list for music lessons, please complete the following Google form to register. PA Summer Fete The PA Summer Fete will take place on Saturday 18th June from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. at our Upper School site. There will be many, many stalls with entertainment, food, face painting and much more. We do hope that you will all come to join us on the day. Entry is free and the fete will be supporting Cancer Research UK. Details of class stalls, along with a chance to sign up for the rota for your class, have been sent out directly by SchoolsBuddy. Parents are asked to bring donations for the Fete and Sports Day into school from Monday 6th June onwards. There will be donation bins outside entrances from this date onwards.  Parents are also encouraged to volunteer, via PA class reps, to help with setting up/clearing away/other jobs for the Summer Fete. Many thanks to everyone, in advance, for helping out!    
Posted on: 20/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 20th May 2022

Wellbeing Day On Wednesday, we enjoyed our annual Wellbeing Day, during which children across the school took part in interesting, educational and fun activities to support their mental and physical wellbeing. At Upper School, the day started off with an assembly in which staff showcased their 'talents'. The children were very entertained!  The day continued with parent helpers supporting sessions and Mrs. Patel leading activities in sign language to some year groups. If you would like to reinforce sign language learning with your children at home, the information used is here and here.  Activities throughout the day included a disco, mini-beast hunt, sports, meditation, mindful art and music, spiritual prayer activities, games for the brain, health and safety workshops and a PSHCE workshop led by Ms Lim, to name a few. We are very grateful to all of the parent helpers and staff who contributed to make Wellbeing Day a memorable event for the children.  We have made a video showing some of the events and activities in which pupils take part regularly at school, and which support their wellbeing. The children enjoyed watching this in assemblies this week, and we are sure you will enjoy watching it too. The video is available here. You can also see photographs from Wellbeing Day on our Galleries page here. Musicians' Concert On Tuesday evening, parents, staff and pupils gathered at All Saints Church for our annual Musicians' Concert. It was wonderful to be able to hold this event again for the first time since Covid struck and what a celebration it was! There were stunning solo, group and orchestral performances with all types of instrument represented. Very well done to all of the musicians who entertained and moved the audience so beautifully. You can see more photographs of the concert on our Galleries page here. 4T Assembly The children of 4T presented a class assembly in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee this morning. They told us lots of interesting and important information about Queen Elizabeth II, from her birth right through to today, including acting out her coronation. There were some jubilee songs and a rousing rendition of the national anthem, as well as a quiz at the end to check on what the audience had learnt! Very well done, 4T, on your confident presentation of such an educational and entertaining assembly. Singing Competition Our annual Singing Competition took place at Upper School this afternoon and, as ever, this was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Our guest judge Yvonne Fawbert, Director of Music at Sherborne Prep School, was very impressed by the standard of the entries and the children performed their solo and group performances with super musicality and feeling. The winners were: Year 2 Solo: Gurdaya J Year 3 Solo: Inaaya S Year 2/3 Group: Aaryav K, Ayush A, Rohan F Middle School Overall Winner: Gurdaya J Year 4 Solo: Samara P Year 5 Solo: Anaya S Year 6 Solo: Shruthi T Year 4/5/6 Group: Layla O, Siyana M, Anokhi B, Kylah O-A Upper School Overall Winners: Layla O, Siyana M, Anikhi B, Kylah O-A Very well done to our winners, and a special mention too to Alyssa P, Diyan C and Kylah O-A, who were all highly commended by our guest judge for their performances. We now look forward to our Singers' Concert on Monday 13th June, to which parents are warmly invited. Junior Roadwatch Our Junior Travel Ambassadors (JTAs) took part in the Junior Roadwatch scheme this week, working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police on this road danger reduction education scheme which aims to reduce speeding near schools. As part of the scheme, primary school children take part in speed awareness sessions with the Metropolitan Police Service's Roads and Transport Policing Command in order to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding near their school. Drivers caught speeding are pulled over by police officers and given the option of receiving a fixed penalty fine and points on their licence or attending a speed awareness course or, if drivers are deemed suitable, speaking to the children. If they take this option, the driver will receive an educational message from the children and the council staff member. The primary school pupils ask drivers questions such as "Why do you think the speed limit is 20mph on this road?" and "Are you aware of the consequences of speeding?" The aim is to encourage the driver to reconsider their speed. Bushcraft Club Children at Upper School have been enjoying Bushcraft Club. This week, the children were learning how to tie different knots and mastered a reef knot, clove hitch and bowline. This is in preparation for shelter building which they will soon be undertaking.       Cancer Research UK Marvellous Moneyboxes Next half term, we will be fundraising for Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life. Please help your child to choose an empty container at home to turn into a Marvellous Moneybox. This can be an empty box or carton. Suitable examples include a small plastic bottle, take away tub, Innocent veg pot or small plastic Pringles tub. Children at Ducklings and Lower School should bring their containers into school where they will decorate them with their teachers, and Upper School children should decorate their containers at home. Your child can decorate them in any way that they like and then make a slot for coins or notes in the top of the container.  Please could you then encourage your child to fill their Marvellous Moneybox with coins or even notes.  On June 20th we will ask your child to bring their Marvellous Moneybox back to school. The moneyboxes will be displayed before they are emptied and all of the money collected will go to the St. Helen’s College RELAY FOR LIFE fundraising initiative. We can’t wait to see what the children will make with their containers! Thank you very much for your support. Scout Fun Day Perseverance Scout Group are looking for new members and are holding a free fun day on Saturday 21st May in Sweetcroft Lane. If you would like to go along and try out some scouting activities, full details are here. Lacrosse Chiswick Lacrosse will once again be running summer camps to give a taster of lacrosse, which might be of interest to those with children transferring to senior school this year or next. Details are here.
Posted on: 20/05/2022


During our Wellbeing Day this week, we spoke with pupils about the five pillars of wellbeing, which are: To give To connect To take notice  To be active  To keep learning The children here at St. Helen’s College are encouraged daily (not just on Wellbeing Day!) to live their lives according to these five pillars. I have been reflecting today on how, as a school, we do this. There is great joy in giving. We teach the children about performing acts of selfless service, raising money for those less fortunate and the importance of giving time to friends or those who are struggling. Connecting with others is one of the most important things in life. Through our values programme, we explore friendship, co-operation, determination, love, kindness and more. In class, on the playing field and in music and drama productions, children learn to work collaboratively with others. But it is in our Mindfulness, Philosophy for Children and Positive Psychology programmes that connectedness really comes alive. We help the children to develop positive, enriching listening skills and to connect not just with others, but with their own thoughts and feelings. Taking notice can mean many things, from stopping to appreciate the beauty of the world around us, to thinking about how other people are feeling and the reasons for their behaviour, to concentrating on something new, to developing self-awareness by noticing our own emotions and thoughts. We encourage our pupils to take notice of themselves, their community and their world. So often, taking notice is the first step in taking responsibility. We all know that being active is important for both physical and mental health. You only have to look at the playgrounds here at school to see the joy that simply running and climbing can bring. Through active playtimes and a well-planned and expertly-delivered PE and Games programme and co-curricular programme, we ensure that the children have plenty of physical activity during their time at school. And so to the fifth pillar, learning. It is no surprise to hear from a Headteacher that this is one of the most important things in life. Every day here is a school day, and every day really should be a school day for all of us. Certainly the children at St. Helen’s College are learning daily, but so too are the adults. We are engaged in professional, creative and personal development through formal channels, of course, but we also take every opportunity to learn from your children who, so often, have something new to teach us. I hope that parents, too, will embrace the five pillars of wellbeing to support your own physical and mental health and to model healthy living to your children. It can be hard to prioritise yourself, but your own wellbeing is the most important thing, so please do! You might also like to take a look at the wellbeing homework that has been shared with your children - maybe you could have a go too. You can see it here. Have a wonderful weekend of wellbeing! Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 13/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 13th May

UKMT Maths Challenge Success The Year 6 children and Zakariya M participated in the UK Mathematics Trust Junior Mathematical Challenge for students in Year 8 and below. We had some fantastic results. With only one missing answer, Zakariya M won a gold certificate and automatic entry to the Junior Olympiad. Aryan B also won gold and entry to the Junior Kangaroo round. A further nine children won silver and ten won bronze. Owls Class Assembly The children of our Owls Reception class performed their class assembly to parents and staff at Lower School on Thursday morning. They re-told the story of Little Red Riding Hood, with a twist, and considered the value of Forgiveness: what this means and how we can demonstrate it in our lives. There was much confident individual and group speaking and some excellent singing, including an accomplished solo performance! Very well done to the children of Owls for this super presentation which was much enjoyed by all. Trips & Visits On Monday, the Year 1 classes enjoyed a visit to Windsor Castle to support and bring alive their understanding of their History topic of 'Kings and Queens'.  On Tuesday, our Year 6 children took part in an online 'visit' to the Houses of Parliament, during which they were able to put questions to parliamentary representatives and learn about the parliamentary system. Summer School - Bookings Open Today Our Summer School will run this year from Monday 15th to Friday 19th August at PACCAR Scout Camp for children in Years 3 - 6. Details are here and have been emailed directly to parents. Bookings go live at 4.00 p.m. today and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please book your place(s) through your SchoolsBuddy account.  Singing Competition Well done to everyone who entered this year's Singing Competition. We received so many high quality entries and it has been a very difficult task to select finalists this year. The following pupils have been selected to perform in the live final on Friday 20th May to our guest judge Sarah Hughes. Please can finalists also send an mp3 copy or a link to the backing track they will be using for the final to Mrs. Fawbert before Wednesday 18th May ( Year 2 Solo Alyssa P  Armaan V  Gurdaya J  Year 3 Solo Mia O  Zinnia M  Inaaya S  Middle School Groups Alyssa, Shayla & Alana Ashvika & Inaaya Aaryav, Ayush & Rohan Year 4 Solo Ruby L  Samara P  Hana H  Year 5 Solo Minaya W  Inaya S  Eshanvi A  Anaya S  Year 6 Solo Kylah O-A  Shruthi T  Diyan C  Upper School Groups Charlotte & Shruthi Layla, Siyana, Anokhi & Kylah Anokhi & Siyana Maxwell Garden We have had visitors this week to our ever developing Maxwell Garden and we know that the pupils will be delighted to welcome the addition of ducks to the Upper School grounds!         Wellbeing Day As part of our Wellbeing Day on Wednesday 18th May, we will have Lisa from 'Mrs. Melts' coming in to school to sell her handmade candles and wax melts to the parents and staff. She will be based at the Lower School from 8.00 - 9.00 a.m. and at the Upper School from 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. We have a slightly altered lunch menu for Wellbeing Day, which you can access here. Sports News Sports Days Our Sports Days this year are scheduled for: Ducklings - Friday 8th July Pre-Prep (Nursery/Reception/Year 1/Year 2) - Thursday 9th June Prep (Years 3 - 6) - Friday 17th June Details for the Pre-Prep and Prep Sports Days have been sent to parents this week and are available at the links below. Parents are warmly invited to attend these events. Pre-Prep Sports Day (Nursery/Reception/Year 1/Year 2) Prep Sports Day (Years 3 - 6) Cricket Middlesex Cricket are offering free youth membership to children aged 0-8, and low-cost memberships for those aged 9-17. If your child is interested in cricket (or if you are, and would like to introduce them to the sport), you can find details here. News from the PA There will be a PA meeting on the 18th May at 7.30 p.m. at the Vine Inn in Hillingdon. All parents are most welcome to attend. Hillingdon Guided Family Bike Rides Hillingdon Council offer free guided cycle rides to encourage families to get out and about on bikes. The idea is for you to enjoy an easy, family-orientated, guided cycle ride with Hillingdon cycle instructors, with a stop for refreshments and a chance to enjoy the sights of Hillingdon. None of the rides are a race so you can take them at your own pace. All routes will be fun, safe and interesting with the distance, duration and terrain of the ride varying according to the type of ride.  Ride leaders are passionate and keen cyclists, who have been trained to guide groups of people and are employees of Hillingdon Council. They also have been trained in first aid.  Upcoming family rides: Northala Fields ride - Sunday 22 May  Starting from Hillingdon Leisure Centre at 10 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Tuesday 26 July Starting from Uxbridge Library at 9.30 a.m., going to Oak Farm Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Wednesday 27 July Starting from Botwell Green Library at 9.30 a.m., going to Yeading Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Thursday 28 July Starting from Ickenham Library at 9.30 a.m., going to South Ruislip Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Queen's Jubilee Celebration and Art Exhibition Hayes End Methodist Church will be holding a Jubilee Celebration on Friday 3rd June from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. There will be activities and entertainment for the family, a jubilee tea and barbecue. As part of the celebration, children from the local area are encouraged to produce a piece of Jubilee-themed artwork, which will be exhibited at the event. This is not a competition; every child who takes part will receive a Jubilee gift/memento and will have the joy of seeing their work exhibited! Details of the celebration are available here and details of the art exhibition are available here. SparksArts Free Workshop Vouchers and Summer Shoots SparksArts are offering St. Helen's College children vouchers for two free filmmaking workshops. These take place at Bishop Ramsey School in Ruislip on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can download your voucher here. SparksArts also run Summer Shoots, filmmaking summer camps where children aged 5-18 produce their own movie production in a five day workshop. The young filmmakers work in small, peer age film crews to produce their own movie masterpiece. They devise an original storyline, direct their scenes, shoot their shots, crew their set, star in their movie and edit it too. At the end of the week, they proudly share their work with family in a special presentation and later celebrate with a red carpet premiere event too (in peer age 'studio' groups). Further information and booking is available here:  
Posted on: 6/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 6th May

Year 3 Residential Trip On Thursday our Year 3 children headed off on their first residential trip, to PACCAR scout camp. They have been blessed with gorgeous May weather and it is clear that Year 3 and their accompanying staff have delighted in the vast open air space that is PACCAR. They have shown admirable team spirit and resilience when tackling the exciting activities and fun and laughter has abounded. They return home today rejuvenated and exhausted in equal measure! There are more photographs of the Year 3 children enjoying themselves on our Galleries page. Kingfishers Class Assembly - May Day Our Kingfishers Reception class presented a wonderful assembly all about May Day on Thursday to a very appreciative audience of family and staff at Lower School. They told us about - and even demonstrated - morris dancing, maypole dancing and the choosing of a May Queen. There was some really super singing and movement, and every child spoke lines with confidence, grace and real understanding of their words. Outside the hall, the sun was shining too! It was an uplifting and joyful start to our day and we are very proud of the children and their efforts. Well done, Kingfishers. The Owls Reception class will be presenting their assembly to parents next Thursday, 12th May, at 8.45 a.m. There will be coffee served in the Lower School Hall from 8.15 a.m. and we look forward to seeing Owls parents then. Music News We are looking forward to the Musicians' Concert on 17th May at 7.00 p.m. All parents are warmly invited to attend and Mrs. Fawbert will be sending out further details to the parents of the pupils involved next week.  The Singing Competition entry deadline has been extended to 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th May, to allow more time for groups to rehearse and send their entries in. We would also like to encourage students to submit a solo performance as well as their group performance. Please note that entries submitted after 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th May will not be accepted. Chess Team Our chess team very much enjoyed their match against St. Bernadette's School this week. Each player received 1 point for a win, 0.5 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. At half time the score was tied at four points each, but in the end St. Bernadette's won by 9 points to 7. The score was close, reflecting how evenly matched the players were.   Well done to all of those who took part: Jacob N, Raiden B, Anna K, Eva J, Ruby L, Kamran-Cyrus A, Zakariya M, Verity S, Rian M and Jeena H. Special congratulations to team captains Jacob and Kamran-Cyrus, who each won both their matches. They are in Year 5 and led by example for the other players, who are all in Year 4.   Cookery Club Our Upper School Cookery Club had a great time this week making brownies and smoothies! There are certainly some budding chefs among the group.         Parents' Evenings: Years 1 - 6 Thank you to all of the parents who attended the in-school parent consultations this week. The teachers very much enjoyed talking to you about your children's work, activities and wellbeing. The next parents' evening for Years 1-6 will take place on Thursday 12th May from 5.00 to 8.00 p.m. Appointments on that evening will be held remotely. Residential Trip Meeting: Year 6 It was great to see so many parents and pupils at the Year 6 French Residential meeting on Wednesday evening this week. It is clear that the children are very much looking forward to this exciting trip and we were delighted by the high levels of trust from parents too. Year 5 Transfer Meeting We will be holding a Year 5 Transfer Meeting (to discuss senior school applications/processes) on Tuesday 10th May at 7.00 p.m. in the Evans Hall. We look forward to seeing Year 5 parents there. Sports Days We are busy planning our Sports Days for later this term and will shortly be sending out information to parents about these. If your child has a Sports Day trophy at home from 2019, or if you know of any family who does, please could these be returned to school as soon as possible now, so that we have time to collate them and prepare them for this year's Sports Days. School Uniform The current warm weather is set to continue, so please send your children to school now in their summer uniforms.  Holiday Club - May Half Term Bookings for our May half term Holiday Club will open on Friday 13th May at 4.00 p.m. Due to the Jubilee bank holidays, the Holiday Club will run for three days only: Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st May, and Wednesday 1st June. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis so please book your child(ren)'s place(s) early.
Posted on: 6/05/2022

May Day Musings

  Having attended the most wonderful ‘May Day’ themed Kingfishers assembly on Thursday morning I find myself today musing about how fortunate we are here at St. Helen’s College. I was somewhat surprised at how moved I was yesterday by our Reception pupils in their performance. The joy and confidence that they exuded in their singing, dancing and narration brought a tear to my eye and it was definitely not from the ‘hayfever’ associated with their floral garlands! I did say to Ms Matthews that I thought she was very brave to include morris dancing and maypole dancing! However, St. Helen’s College is well known for challenging the children and setting the bar high and the Kingfishers certainly rose to the occasion. The children sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ (the original is by Johnny Cash - you may listen here.) It was during the singing, as I looked at each child’s animated little face as they engaged us in this gorgeous song, that I felt such gratitude for being part of this incredible community. We really do have the best job in the world educating your children every day - they bring us joy and happiness in how they respond to the environment around them, their curiosity and their thirst for learning. As I sit here typing this blog I can hear incredible singing voices from the Evans Hall from Year 6 as they rehearse ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ from their summer production of Singing in the Rain. In the past few days I have been inspired by so much learning which I have observed around the school: Y6 screen printing in art Y5 drama outdoor working on Victorian melodrama scenes Y3 challenging themselves in so many ways on their residential trip Y1 independently ‘grappling’ with mathematical enquiry Y5 programming their games in computing - checking their coding, refining and adjusting    Pupils physically plotting linear equations on the playground eg y= 0.2x + 7 Reception class ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ creativity - stunning artwork! My list of observations from this week could be endless but every time I visit a class or walk around the school, the pride I feel is immeasurable.     Yesterday afternoon I attended our association (IAPS - Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) District meeting which was hosted in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral - what a privilege it was to meet with fellow London Headteachers in such a prestigious setting to discuss current educational thinking. Yet again I felt such a sense of pride in what we do here at St. Helen’s College as we shared our views and school practices on issues such as Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.  Our school is truly unique and I look forward to embracing this summer term with our exciting programme of events showcasing your children. Happy weekend!  Mrs. Drummond

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