School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 30/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 30th November 2018

What a super end to the month we had today, as we heard lots of our pupils give individual performances at November's Month End Music Recital. There were pieces performed on brass, string, woodwind, piano and voice and the children were, without exception, confident and accomplished in their music. They have clearly been putting in the practice required to improve! It is always so wonderful to hear the children perform at these small, informal concerts, which give them the opportunity to develop their confidence and performance skills as they build towards the more formal performances they will give in our larger concerts. Congratulations to the children who took part. We would like to remind all parents that half a term's notice, or payment in lieu, is required when terminating individual music tuition. 4T Assembly 4T shared their recent learning with us today as they presented their assembly all about how they follow the 'yellow brick road' learning pathway to achieve success with their adventure writing. They explained how they have been using their metalearning skills, including collaboration, critical thinking and reflection, to produce outstanding Greek myth writing and then to improve their writing even further. There were some super performances, with excellent singing, dancing, speaking and acting. Well done indeed, 4T. Selfless Service In The Nursery To follow on from our SEWA introduction last week, a parent and two volunteers from the Charity 'Langar Aid' visited Nursery today and the children helped them to pack 'bags of warmth' for the homeless. You can see more about Langar Aid on their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/LangarAid?s=08. We feel very proud that selfless service has been demonstrated by some of our very young pupils today! Sports News Indoor Athletics Our Athletics squad took part in the indoor Sports Hall athletics competition today and finished 4th. Well done to all those who took part. School Games Platinum Award At the indoor athletics event, our Sports Captains were presented with the School Games Platinum Award which St. Helen's College has achieved for the second year running. This recognises the excellence and breadth of the sporting opportunities offered to pupils at St. Helen's College. Netball Win Well done to the netball team, who were 4-0 victors in their friendly fixture against Ryefield this week. Switch Off Fortnight Switch Off Fortnight is now at an end, but we hope that the message promoted by our Eco Representatives over the last two weeks will live long in the hearts and minds of your children and that they will themselves become 'Eco Ambassadors' and spread the word that we should all be doing everything we can to conserve the resources of our planet. Please do continue to Switch Off whenever you can to save energy. School Bus We would like to thank those families who have been able to use the new school bus service this academic year and we trust that you have found this service useful. Unfortunately, due to lack of demand, we will be discontinuing the service at the end of this term. We are very sorry that we will not be able to continue with this service. Moving forward, we would like to encourage more parents to work together and organise car shares to alleviate traffic congestion and to help families with the daily school run.  
Posted on: 30/11/2018

Head's Blog - Reclaiming The Inner You

A couple of weekends ago, I took time out to spend quality time with a group of female friends with whom I had found myself losing touch over the years. We rented a beautiful house in the Cotswolds and spent two days indulging in each other’s companionship. It had been about six years since we were all together last without husbands and children, so we had much catching up to do...but what I had not bargained for was that I would be leading Mindfulness meditation sessions throughout the weekend and that we would end the weekend writing notes of gratitude to each other which were then shared at breakfast on Sunday as we prepared to return home. Time, as we all know, flies by and it really saddened us all that we had allowed so much time to pass without making time for each other; yes, we had all seen each other over the years, but always at busy occasions surrounded by so many other people and our conversations had mainly centred on our families.   We all have very different careers, ranging from successful Global Director at a well known IT company to pharmacist, senior recruitment manager, nurse…but what was most surprising to me was that all these female friends, except myself, were currently not working….they had removed themselves from the treadmill of the work place to reflect on their lives, regain some balance and give more time to themselves and family. They are very fortunate that they find themselves in this position and all are grateful that they are able to do so. It is not often that I am told to sit down, relax and dinner will be prepared (never, in fact - although the fact that I also had a raging temperature and horrendous cold coming on did help)! Over the course of the weekend we discussed our children (ranging from 7 to 20 years old); we all wished that we had been given that ‘parenting handbook’ that someone will make a fortune from when it is published! Parenting is definitely the most rewarding, challenging and important ‘career’ that we all have, and one that you really cannot step away from (except for that well deserved you time!). Schooling was also a key talking point and I am always very mindful when amongst friends that I do not to get on my soap box about education.  Each of our nine children had attended independent schools either for their primary or secondary years and our experiences were all very different. None of the schools were offering what we offer at St. Helen’s College in terms of the balance of instilling that love of learning alongside outward and inward development - striving for academic excellence but also valuing personal development to the extent that we do. Mindfulness, Positive Psychology and P4C were new terms to them when talking about the education of young children; work places and universities offered such aspects of life learning, but not a Prep school curriculum! (Yes, I felt very proud of our school community!) To spend such quality time with close friends, nourishing our souls with laughter, compassion and empathy, was just wonderful. We did nothing over the weekend (a visit to the local village for coffee was the most energetic activity!), but the time relaxing back at the house was the ‘therapy’ we all craved.    I came away not only with rekindled friendships and appreciation of my friends but with both a book and music recommendation that I will share with you. The book is ‘59 seconds’ by Richard Wiseman: ‘At last, a self-help book that is based on proper research. Perfect for busy, curious, smart people’. Some great chapters on ‘Parenting’, ‘Relationships’, ‘Motivation’. Easy to read...thought provoking. My music takeaway, some of your children have already shared in assemblies: ‘Einaudi - Waves’ the piano collection...beautiful! The biggest takeaway though for me personally is something which I am sure many of us need to embrace...remember who we are...not the mother, father, wife, husband, engineer, lawyer, doctor, teacher….it is only by giving yourself time to reclaim the inner ‘you’ that ‘you’ can give the best of yourself to your family and your career.  Have a great weekend!   Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 23/11/2018

Head's Blog - Read All About It!

I was saddened this week to hear from my author friend Jacqueline Harvey that, whilst on her current book tour, when she asked 300 assembled children how many of them enjoyed that special time each day when their teachers read to them, the children were somewhat bemused by this. One little boy went on to tell her that the teacher would often put a story on the interactive whiteboard and they read it to themselves… I am sure that the Head Teacher of this school was on their knees in dismay at this.   I am proud to report that reading is very much alive at St. Helen’s College and reading for pleasure is celebrated right from our Ducklings through to Year 6. But, oddly enough, I am still very much dismayed when I speak to many of our children around the school about their experiences of reading at home.   I know this may be a very generic sweeping statement, and I apologise to those of you who do engage with your children on a daily basis with their reading, but more and more schools are finding that reading is being neglected at home. Parents are either too busy to hear their child read or it is the last aspect of homework to be addressed and thus the book stays in the bag. I urge you all to rethink if you find yourself hearing your child read whilst you are driving them to school, or hear yourself say, ‘I’m too busy at the moment - read to me while I prepare dinner,’ or even worse, ‘get on with something else, I haven’t got time’. Last year Mr. McLaughlin arranged superb reading sessions for parents throughout the school, encouraging you all to embrace ‘reading for pleasure’ and to ‘get caught reading by your children’.  I am now asking all parents to make a pledge within their families that reading with your child takes top priority. Whether it is you hearing them read, sharing a book with them or just generally showing an interest in the book which they are currently reading - we need to ‘Big Up’ reading! Reading unlocks learning, creativity, imagination and critical thinking and if we do not have inspired, inquisitive, curious children then we are failing in our duty as teachers and parents. Having spent time analysing our own assessment results over the course of several years, we know that the best indicators for success in 11+ examinations are good reading and comprehension skills. Children need to ‘hear’ a story being read to them, to hear how language enriches their experiences and sparks that awe and wisdom in whatever genre of story that is being shared with them. It is the one time as an adult that you need to set aside any inhibitions, become a budding actor and engage with the texts to draw your child in.   The majority of our children learn how to read through a balance of our phonic based teaching and comprehension strategies; they learn the phonetic alphabet (https://phonicsinternational.com) - all 44 phonemes - the sounds which can be made with the letters of our alphabet and all the variations. They begin to be able to decode, recognising the graphemes, sounding out and blending for reading. Teaching comprehension sits alongside this e.g. when children infer the meaning from the context, they summarise the main points from a text, develop questioning strategies etc. However, school cannot do this in isolation and home plays a massive part in this.  It is for pupils aged 8+ that I am the most concerned (Years 3 upwards). At this stage, parents tend to wave the flag - ’Yeah! My child can read now!’...well, that is just the beginning! Your child now needs to enrich their reading skills and be exposed to a wide range of texts to develop their reading and comprehension skills.   ALL children should be reading every night either to an adult or sharing a text with an adult, or discussing what they have been reading with an adult. If you do have a reluctant reader, please let your form teacher know - we need to engage every child with reading. It is the crux of all learning and home and school must work together to create avid learners. Sadly, children will never become avid learners if they are reluctant to use their reading skills. Which is why we ask parents to put reading to the top of the homework list. Please see below an extract from our ‘Homework Policy’. Please note that much of the homework expectation the whole way through the school is for adults to spend time reading to/with/hearing your child. Time Allocation Weekdays during term: Nursery: informal Reception: 10 minutes per evening Year 1: 15 minutes per evening Year 2: 15 minutes per evening Year 3: 20 minutes reading + 20 minutes homework task(s) Year 4: 20 minutes reading + 30 minutes homework task(s)   Year 5: 20 minutes reading + 30 minutes homework task(s) Year 6: 20 minutes reading + 40 minutes homework task(s) Please note that 20 minutes is a minimum reading time, not a maximum! I urge you all as parents to review your family homework habits and to prioritise reading - it is key to all learning. Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 23/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 23rd November 2018

6M taught us all a superb lesson today on the importance of grammar and punctuation through their entertaining assembly. For anyone who feels a bit discombobulated about their conjunctions, prepositions, apostrophes etc., these young children are such great ambassadors and they clearly know their stuff! Well done 6M! SEWA Assemblies We were delighted to welcome Karthik back to St. Helen's College this week for his third visit to assemblies to remind us all to be the best we can be in our acts of selfless service. Pupils in Middle School and Upper School were also congratulated as we read out our value spotters for the acts of kindness which had been acknowledged around the school this week. It is important that our awareness of acts of kindness is raised, no matter how small that act is. Selfless service is all about giving joy to others, looking after our environment and making our world a better place for us all. You can see the presentation used by Karthik in the assemblies here. For more information about the SEWA organisation, you might like to visit their website at www.sewaday.org Sports News Quick Sticks Hockey Tournament On Friday afternoon last week, eight of our pupils travelled to Eastcote Hockey Club for the annual Quick Sticks borough tournament. We had two teams of four entered into the tournament, each playing matches in a group with four other teams, with the winners definitely going through alongside the top two runners-up out of the six groups. Unfortunately our A team didn't make it through but our B team gained one of the runners-up spots. In the quarter final, our B team went 2-0 down but staged an amazing comeback to win 3-2, with children and parents very excited! In the semi-final, we took the lead but unfortunately lost 2-1 which meant that we finished in third place. There was some great hockey played by both teams with all children and parents really enjoying the afternoon. A team: Jayan C, Luke J, Hebe E, Mya S. B team: Aditya S, Alex C, Tamara A, Ionie M. London Youth Games Run Congratulations to Zoe K (Year 6), who was selected to represent Hillingdon at the London Youth Games cross country event held at Parliament Hill last weekend, after winning the borough cross country competition earlier this term. Zoe was one of 165 runners competing from across London's 33 boroughs. The course was very challenging as it included going up the dreaded Hampstead Heath Hill on both laps of the course. It was a great day for racing, with some beautiful weather, and Zoe had a good race, finishing in 1st place for Hillingdon borough and 18th place overall. Zoe is following in the footsteps of another famous London runner who also took part in this event - Sir Mo Farah represented Hounslow in cross country at the London Youth Games, placing 9th in the 1994 under-13s race! We will follow Zoe's running career with interest! Charity Efforts We are pleased now to be able to announce the totals raised for the following charities: Children In Need - £1,625.95 British Legion Poppy Appeal - £234.34 Many thanks indeed to everyone who contributed to either charity via school. Your generosity is much appreciated. Month End Music Recital Parents are reminded that the November Month End Music Recital will take place next Friday (30th November) in the Evans Hall from 3.45 p.m. All are welcome, so please do come along to this lovely informal recital to hear the children play a variety of instruments. Christmas Tree Decoration Competition 2018 Just a reminder that, as usual, we will be running our annual Christmas tree decoration competition for all children. The trees will be put up in school on 25th November and the children should bring in their beautifully hand decorated, creative decorations from Monday 3rd December. There will be a winner in each year group. Please can the children remember to label their decoration with their name and class. Switch Off Fortnight Our Eco Team will continue to promote Switch Off Fortnight next week, reminding everyone to save energy by turning off lights and electrical devices whenever possible, both at home and in school. We hope that you and your children will make it a lasting habit to save energy wherever possible.
Posted on: 16/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 16th November 2018

This week we were delighted that two of our pupils shared their experiences of projects they have been involved with outside of school. Uma in Year 5 shared with us a video which she made in collaboration with her mother's law firm to educate youngsters on the importance of 'Equal Pay'. The pupils were not only intrigued to find out more about how the video was made but asked some very pertinent questions on equal pay. Vidhit from Year 4 has also been busy filming for today's 'The One Show' for Children in Need.  Although he was unable to give too much away, we can all tune in on BBC1 at 7 p.m. to see Vidhit in action!   It has been inspiring also to see so many of our pupils take the initiative and run clubs for their peers. We currently have groups of children running a maths club and a nature club, organised and promoted by themselves by their interests and passions.  Children in Need The school has been a lively, colourful place today as we have undertaken our annual fundraising for Children in Need. Everyone came to school dressed in yellow and/or spots and there were raffles at all three sites, through which lucky winners won giant Pudsey bears and smaller Pudsey and Blush bears. Many thanks to Mrs. Crehan for drawing the winners! The whole school took part in an Autumn Watch themed ramble in Court Park this morning; this was a really wonderful way to spend our morning break time in the 'great outdoors' and gave children space and time to reflect on how very lucky they are. You can see a short video of the ramble here: https://youtu.be/Se0hAApblYw The pupils of 2H presented a thought-provoking assembly themed around 'Greed or Need'. They re-told the story of King Midas in a very modern way and, through their excellent acting and delivery of words and song, reminded us that it is what is in our hearts that counts, not what is in our pockets. This is such an important message, which we hope we live long in the hearts of all who heard it. Very well done to the staff and pupils of 2H. St. Helen's College raises over £2100 for OneBillion Charity Through Eurotalk Language Challenge St. Helen's College has, for several years, taken part in the Eurotalk Junior Language Challenge (now re-named as the UTalk Challenge). In previous years, this has been offered as an optional challenge for Upper School pupils but this year, to enrich the Languages curriculum for children, the school paid the entry fee to enter all children from Years 2-5 into the challenge. Each year, pupils learn a European language in the first round, an Asian language in the second round and an African language in the third round. They build up their knowledge of the language and then compete online against pupils from other schools across the nation. Our record in the competition is very strong - a few years ago, one of our pupils won the whole national competition and his family won a trip to Malawi, where they distributed iPads to children for the charity. Each child's entry fee is donated to OneBillion. This charity promotes literacy and numeracy in developing countries through OneCourse, their app designed for communities where children have little or no access to formal schooling, for example in very remote villages and refugee camps. OneCourse encourages collaborative learning for out-of-school children and their families. This year the school's entry fees raised a donation of £1095, which was match-funded by a benevolent supporter of the charity so that our total contribution doubled to almost £2200.  Thank you to all parents who have supported St. Helen's College pupils in learning new languages outside of curriculum hours. We are sure you are delighted to know that, in doing so, you have also been part of supporting such a fantastic charity. Relay for Life Total We are also absolutely delighted to announce that the grand total raised by the St. Helen's College Relay for Life team, including from on the day fundraising, was £5791.45. Thank you so much to everyone who got involved in any way. Star Gazing This Weekend The West of London Astronomical Society is hold a free public observation session at Ruislip Lido this weekend and would like to invite families to come along to experience the wonder of the sky at night. Observation sessions will be running Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 6 - 8 p.m. For further information please click here. Sports News Last Saturday our school football team took part in the annual Packham Cup tournament, where over the years we have enjoyed good success, including reaching the final last year. This year's tournament didn't go quite as planned, with us going out in the group stages. An improved performance in our third game gave the Year 5 pupils who took part some valuable experience for next year.  Our Year 5/6 netball team took on St. Bernadette's School in the local league this week. After a slow start, the girls came back in the second half with some good attacking play. In the dying minutes St. Bernadette's pulled away to win the match 9 - 7.   St. Helen's College took part in the District girls' football tournament this week held at Denham United Ladies Football Club. Our team of girls played with great determination and teamwork in all three games they played. Against Laurel Lane they drew 0 - 0, against Cherry Lane they won 2 - 0 and in a very competitive match against Heathrow they lost 1 - 0. Well done to all the girls who played.  Christmas Tree Decoration Competition 2018 As usual, we will be running our annual Christmas tree decoration competition for all children. The trees will be put up in school on 25th November and the children should bring in their beautifully hand decorated, creative decorations from Monday 3rd December. There will be a winner in each year group. Please can the children remember to label with their name and class somewhere on their decoration. Switch Off Fortnight Our Eco Team will be promoting Switch Off Fortnight over the next two weeks, reminding everyone to save energy by turning off lights and electrical devices whenever possible, both at home and in school. Data Collection Form and Photo Consent Form Many thanks to the parents who have already returned these two forms. If you have not returned them already, please note that these must be returned to the school office by Monday.
Posted on: 16/11/2018

Head's Blog - Headspace

Many of you may already know what ‘Headspace’ is but for those of you who do not, I would recommend that you take a look at it. Headspace is a wonderful tool to help with stress; it is a guided mindfulness app, which offers a variety of quick mindfulness sessions to help with anything from sleep to sport. The app is appropriate for both children and adults. I am aware that some of our children already use a mindfulness app as part of their daily routines and I am convinced of the benefits that it brings them. I am currently offering a 'Mindful Moments' club at lunchtime for pupils in Years 5 and 6. This is a drop in club; the pupils do not need to attend every week but if they feel they need a little bit of ‘headspace’ they can come along. We revisit some of the mindfulness practices they have already been taught in their mindfulness sessions in Year 4 and explore other ways of helping them to find that inner peace and calm, each time bringing their thoughts back to their breathing. Throughout the school, from Ducklings to Year 6, children are experiencing moments of silence and calmness and are beginning to allow themselves to embrace this special time. Even as adults, we often forget how nourishing a few moments of silence and calm can be in our VERY busy lives. Only last week I had a conversation with some parents who had spent half term in India and had stepped back from their busy lives to appreciate calm and the beauty of our environment. Adapting back to the reality of North London living after time away can be quite a shock! It really is important to be aware of how we can support our children and ourselves by making time for quality ‘headspace’. I look forward to starting my 'Paws b' Mindfulness course with Year 4 this year and to developing Mindfulness practice and understanding with Year 6 in lesson time too. In support of our Mindfulness work at school, and whatever the age of your child, I urge you to extend your own and your children's awareness of, and engagement with, Mindfulness practice by downloading the Headspace app and using it regularly! Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 9/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 9th November 2018

3B led the school today at this most poignant time of year as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War 1. Not only did they take the lead in our two minute silence, along with School Council members who presented the wreaths made in their art lessons, but they performed magnificently in both their assemblies. All pupils and parents stopped to remember all those who have been involved in our armed forces over the past 100 years and those still serving. Thank you to everyone who has supported the British Legion Poppy Appeal. Many children and families will be attending various services over the weekend as we commemorate this historic day. Please see below the link from CBeebies discussed in assemblies today which looks at war from the animals' perspective. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04p4zsl/poppies Children in Need Next Friday, 16th November, is Children in Need Day and, as usual, the school will be supporting this most deserving cause. Children may come to school on the day in their own clothes, wearing spots or yellow if possible, and every child should bring a pair of named wellies in a plastic bag. Children may like to decorate their wellies with spots too! There will be grand raffles at all three sites, with prizes of giant Pudsey Bears and smaller Blush Bears and Pudsey Bears, and the whole school will wear their wellies to go on an Autumn Watch themed ramble in Court Park in the morning. There is a suggested donation for each child of £5, which will include the cost of one raffle ticket, and you may buy extra raffle tickets if you would like to send in more money with your child. We will be delighted if the school can make a significant contribution to the charity; however, the most important aim of the day is to raise awareness amongst our pupils of how lucky they are and of how many disadvantaged children there are who need our help. We understand that families give time and money in other ways and through other channels. All donations will be gratefully received, but there is no mandatory contribution to take part in the day. We are very aware that many of you have already purchased Children in Need merchandise and will be wearing it to school or will be contributing live during the live television show. U-Talk Award St. Helen's College has been recognised as the school which has accumulated the most number of points from the children participating in the Eurotalk online challenge. Every child from Year 2 to 6 took part this year, learning new languages and competing against children from other schools around the country. It is a testament to the strength of our language department that the school has been inspiring children to learn such a diverse range of languages. Mrs. Stark attended the ceremony in Olympia today to collect the award on behalf of St. Helen's College. Chess News Two St. Helen's College chess players, Michael K and Anish A, were very fortunate recently to have the opportunity to play against Shreyas Royal, an incredibly talented nine year old schoolboy who is already conquering the world of chess. He is already the best player in the under-12 age group in the UK, and the second best under-10 player in the world! Shreyas travelled from his home in Kent to play 17 matches simultaneously against 17 players from Uxbridge Chess Club, including Michael and Anish. Shreyas literally had to walk between 17 chess boards and played each game against the clock. Incredibly, he won all but one of the 17 games, drawing one. There is no doubt that Shreyas is helping to inspire a whole new interest in the game of chess at a junior level. Well done Michael and Anish for trying to beat him! Sports News Our Year 6 netball team played against Oak Farm in the local league this week. The match was very close and for much of its duration both teams were drawn on the same number of goals. However, Oak Farm had a final surge in the last quarter and won the match 8 - 6. Well done to all of the St. Helen's College team. PA Christmas Parties The PA will be running Christmas parties for the children on Sunday 2nd December at The Breakspear Arms, Breakspear Road South, UB9 6LT. There will be hot food, entertainment, a visit from Santa and each child will receive a Christmas gift! Posters with details are being displayed around the school and a flyer/reply slip will be sent home in your child's book bag. A copy of the flyer/return slip is also available here. Please complete your ticket/food order and return the flyer to the school as soon as possible. Party timings are: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.  Ducklings, Nursery and Reception 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m.  Years 1, 2 and 3 3.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.  Years 4, 5 and 6 Please note that a parent must stay with children from Ducklings, Nursery, Reception and Year 1. We hope that your child/ren will be able to join us for the Christmas parties, which have always been extremely good fun in the past! Staff/Parent Choir We are very interested to hear from parents who would like to join our staff/parent choir, which is meeting in the Upper School Hall on Wednesday mornings from 8.00 - 8.25 a.m. during the second half of term to prepare for a performance at the Carol Concert on the final day of term.  We are a friendly group, led by Mrs. Garnes, and enthusiasm is really the only requirement. All are extremely welcome and male voices are particularly in demand! Why not come along and join us - we are sure that your children will be delighted to see you in the choir. If you are able to join us, please email Mrs. Garnes to let her know so that she may prepare the correct number of packs in advance, and then simply turn up on Wednesday morning to the Upper School Hall at 8 a.m. You can reach Mrs. Garnes at mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com. Photo Consent Opt-In Forms & Data Collection Forms All parents are being send an opt-in form which, post-GDPR, we must ask you to sign in order to allow us to use photographs of your children. The school likes to keep parents up to date with what your children have been doing and a big part of this is taking and sharing photographs via this website and our newsletters and magazines. Please therefore sign and return the opt-in form promptly. If you have not yet returned your data collection form, please also do this at your earliest convenience, since these were due back to school before the half term break. Many thanks indeed for your co-operation with this.
Posted on: 2/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 2nd November 2018

6W's class assembly re-enactment of the Gunplowder Plot heist gripped the audience this morning, with a guest performance from the St. Helen's College School of Rock band! It was a superb performance by all. I am sure that our Year 6 pupils' visit to the Houses of Parliament next week will be a memorable and most enjoyable outing.  Poppy Appeal Pupils at Lower School and Upper School are able to purchase their poppies at school. Year 6 and the Charity Monitors will be selling these next week in the playground. Thank you for supporting the Royal British Legion. Parking Restrictions in Parkway We have been informed by the London Borough of Hillingdon that there will be new parking restrictions introduced in Parkway from mid-November. Single yellow lines will be painted along the whole road, with restrictions so that drivers are not permitted to park between the hours of 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. Our drop-and-go system should not be affected by these restrictions, since parents using the drop-and-go system do not stop their engines or exit their cars. We hope that the new restrictions will help with the traffic flow in the area since traffic should be able to move freely both ways along Parkway at these times. Staff/Parent Choir We are very interested to hear from parents who would like to join our staff/parent choir, which will be meeting on Wednesday mornings from 8.00 - 8.25 a.m. during the second half of term to prepare for a performance at the Carol Concert on the final day of term.  We are a friendly group, led by Mrs. Garnes, and enthusiasm is really the only requirement. All are extremely welcome and male voices are particularly in demand! Why not come along and join us - we are sure that your children will be delighted to see you in the choir. If you are able to join us, please email Mrs. Garnes to let her know so that she may prepare the correct number of packs in advance, and then simply turn up on Wednesday morning to the Upper School Hall at 8 a.m. You can reach Mrs. Garnes at mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com. Concert Tickets We are currently arranging an exciting opportunity for our Chamber Choir to sing at the prestigious St. John’s Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3HA as part of the annual London Schools Concert organised to raise money for The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. Choirs and young musicians from some of London’s best independent schools have been performing for family and friends at this event for many years and we are delighted to have been invited to participate, once again, in what will be their 15th concert.   The concert will take place on Sunday 3rd February 2019 and starts at 2 p.m. The link for the tickets is below. Adults are £25 and children are £15. https://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/1/london-schools-concert.html Sports Results Our Year 6 netball team played St. Andrew's School in the local league this week. It was a home match and we enjoyed some great home support from the sidelines. The team played very well, working effectively together through the centre court towards goal. Our attacking pairs teamed up well to create lots of shooting opportunities and our defending pairs made lots of interceptions to limit the shooting chances of St. Andrew's. The final score was 18 - 0 to St. Helen's College. Eleven Year 6 children participated in the Borough Tag Rugby competition this week, at which there were 17 teams representing 11 schools. St. Helen's College put on an impressive performance and were unbeaten, winning two matches and drawing two. The children developed their running and passing skills throughout the tournament and were particularly good in defence, giving their opponents little opportunity to score. Another team in the group won three matches, so we did not progress to the finals.  PA Christmas Parties The PA children’s Christmas parties will take place on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at The Breakspear Arms, Breakspear Road South, UB9 6LT. Tickets will cost £10 per child, which includes food and entertainment and the parties promise to be bigger and better than ever this year!  The timings of the parties will be as follows: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.: Ducklings, Nursery and Reception​ 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m.: Years 1-3 3.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.: Years 4-6 Please look out for the flyer/reply slip which will be sent home in book bags next week. Full details of how to book your tickets and the food choices available will be included on the flyer. Don't miss out - pencil the date in your diary now! Breakfast Club We would like to remind parents that Breakfast Club bookings are now open on SchoolsBuddy. If you wish for your child to attend Breakfast Club, you must book in advance through your SchoolsBuddy account. You may book up until 7.30 a.m. on the day of attendance, so there is still plenty of flexibility for parents. Please note that you may not just turn up on the day and ask Breakfast Club staff to take your child without first making a booking online.

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