School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 20/05/2022
Weekly News - Friday 20th May 2022Wellbeing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
WellbeingDuring our Wellbeing Day this week, we spoke with pupils about the five pillars of wellbeing, which are:
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!
Posted on: 13/05/2022
Weekly News - Friday 13th MayUKMT 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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Year 2 Solo
Year 3 Solo
Middle School Groups
Alyssa, Shayla & Alana
Ashvika & Inaaya
Aaryav, Ayush & Rohan
Year 4 Solo
Year 5 Solo
Year 6 Solo
Upper School Groups
Charlotte & Shruthi
Layla, Siyana, Anokhi & Kylah
Anokhi & Siyana
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!
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.
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)
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: https://www.sparksarts.co.uk/product/summer-shoots-2020/.
Posted on: 6/05/2022
Weekly News - Friday 6th MayYear 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.