School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 13/09/2019
Head's Blog - An Education of ValueI have been observing our children over the last 8 days since the beginning of term - I am overwhelmed with how they have embraced the new changes and experiences.
The virtues which children develop over time are underpinned by the values which are held by the families, the community and school. This week in assembly the Upper School pupils discussed Aristotle, one of the great teachers and philosophers of Ancient Greece, who was interested in thinking about how humans can live a good life.
It is by thinking about this question, discussing the question and by the adults surrounding the children modelling virtuous behaviours that our pupils will grow into confident, articulate, creative, caring and resilient young adults.
Last night we welcomed one of our alumni, Josh Valman, to our annual Prizegiving as our Guest of Honour. Josh attended St. Helen’s from 1999 to 2006 and continued his education at Vyners School. Josh is now a world leader in rapid innovation and manufacturing. He is the founder and CEO of RPD International, a business powering corporate Research and Development departments around the world.
Josh’s passion for engineering has driven his success but he is very aware that it is often very difficult to find the right staff to develop his products - saying that often the most technically brilliant engineers are not the ideal employee for his creative business. Instead Josh looks for attributes such as resilience, good interpersonal skills, empathy, collaboration, co-operation - people who really care about what they are doing, want to make a difference, enjoy their work and feel fulfilled by what they are doing.
As Josh spoke to the children last night I could see the Year 7 pupils who have just started at their new secondary school sit up and take notice, nodding in agreement with him, who knows...perhaps in a few years time another one of our Old Helenians may be a member of RPD international! (I hope to have Josh blog as a guest next week!)
Our old Year 6 pupils have certainly made a good impact at their new senior schools - it was heartwarming to speak with several parents last night who were so grateful for the amazing foundations that have been put in place for their children’s future through the ethos, the staff, the curriculum and the community of St. Helen’s College.
We will continue to promote our school values hand in hand with you as parents to enable your children to lead a good life.
CARING HELPFULNESS COOPERATION KINDNESS PERSEVERANCE COURAGE FAIRNESS FRIENDLINESS
PATIENCE RESPECT COURTESY FORGIVENESS
DETERMINATION SELF-DISCIPLINE GRATITUDE HONESTY
Posted on: 13/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 13th September 2019PA Welcome Event For New Families
The PA and staff look forward to welcoming all of our new families (including children!) to their Welcome Event which will take place in the Evans Hall and Windsor Garden from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Meet The Teacher Evening - Year 4 and Year 5
We are looking forward to seeing our Year 4 and Year 5 parents on Tuesday evening for the Meet The Teacher evening. Drinks will be served from 6.45 p.m. in the Windsor Garden and then the classes will split into the Evans Hall and the Upper School Hall.
Year 4 Pupils Discover Ancient Greece!
The Year 4 children have begun their history topic on the Ancient Greeks in style on Tuesday. They were treated to a full day of fun, immersing themselves in the Ancient Greek way of life through an interactive show in the morning and two follow up workshops in the afternoon. The show saw the children become assistants to a trainee time traveller who went back in time for her 53rd attempt at passing her final trainee mission. The trainee found herself at the house of Jocasta, an Athenian housewife. As part of the mission the children learnt about many aspects of Ancient Greece from Jocasta, including the gods, the Olympics, Greek architecture, democracy and the role of women.
The workshops further developed the children's historical knowledge. In the first, the children had to think about the legacy of the Greeks in order to help the time travellers set up a new history TV programme. In the second workshop, Jocasta set up a scene in her courtyard depicting life in the household, with the children taking on the various roles. Then the children re-enacted her wedding.
It was a busy day, and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
uTalk Language Challenge
This year, Upper School children will be participating in the uTalk Language Challenge as usual. In a change to past year's routines, the competition final will be within this academic year, which means that Year 6 children may enter, so the competition is open to all children in Years 2-6.
Registration costs only £5 per child and gives each participant access to 12 topics on the uTalk app for the rest of the school year (2019/20). Every child will be provided with a unique username and password which they can use to login to the uTalk app as well as view their scores, progress and achievements in their very own online dashboard. Teachers will also get access to the same 12 topics as the children.
This year there will not be a national final. Instead, children will take part in regional finals. Round One, Spanish, will start in September and run until 10 a.m. on Friday December 20th 2019. Children can start scoring points as soon as they have downloaded the app and logged in using the username and password with which they will be supplied.
Pupils who score 500 points (out of a possible 3,960) will go through to Round Two, which will run from 10 a.m. on Monday 6th January 2020 until 10 a.m. on Friday 27th March 2020. Children will be learning the same 12 topics in French with the 30 highest scorers in each region going through to their regional final where they will compete against the clock and each other to be named uTalk JLC Champion for that region. In the event of more than 30 children in each region achieving full marks, extra French topics will be unlocked for them to learn to help select the top 30.
If you are interested in registering your child, please email Mrs. Stark at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Engineering The Future
Many of our pupils and parents were inspired by the speech given by our Guest of Honour, Josh Valman, at last night's Prizegiving. Josh is an Old Helenian, now in his early twenties, who has built a multi-million dollar engineering business. His company, RPD International, helps major multi-national companies as well as smaller entrepreneurs bring products to market more quickly. We were extremely lucky to hear from him last night about why engineers are crucial to our planet's future. For any budding young engineers or families interested in following this up with further exploration and education, we would recommend looking at the forthcoming events, talks and family workshops at the Royal Institute:
We are very much looking forward to our exciting STEAM Day which will take place on Friday 20th September. Thank you in advance to all those parents and staff who have already volunteered to run workshops or assist on the day. It will be a wonderful day of community collaboration and creativity.
Thank you to parents for selecting your child's co-curricular preferences via SchoolsBuddy. Allocations have now been made and you will need to follow the instructions in your allocation email and make payment promptly to secure your club places. Clubs begin from Monday (16th September).
We still have a few places on the following clubs, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis now. Please email Miss Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child would like to join one of these clubs:
Taekwondo Y4/5/6 â
We look forward to another enriching and exciting term of co-curricular activities.
Posted on: 6/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 6th September 2019St. Helen's College Gains Gold Travel Award
We are thrilled that, having reviewed our School Travel and Road Safety (STARS) Accreditation, Transport for London (TfL) have awarded St. Helen's College a Gold STARS award this year!
To achieve Gold, St. Helen's College had to be judged to be among the top 10% of London schools, setting high standards to inspire others to transform travel habits, fully engaging the wider community to promote best practices and proving a measurable reduction in the number of journeys made by car every day.
The school had to provide evidence that, within three academic years, we had completed 25 different travel activities, 15 supporting activities and 8 consultation activities. We also had to demonstrate at least a 6% modal shift away from the car or at least 90% of pupils travelling actively to/from school.
This accolade recognises all of the hard work being done at school and in the community, led by our pupil Mini and Junior Road Safety Officers and our staff School Travel Champions, to improve sustainable travel and road safety in and around our school. The school's 'drop and go' schemes, bike/scooter parks, pedestrian and Bikeability courses, Walk on Wednesday initiative and walking loyalty scheme, as well as the Parent Parking Pledge and our 'Speed Aware' scheme run in partnership with local police, are all initiatives driven by the school community which are helping to reduce traffic and promote road safety in our local area. This really is a partnership between staff, parents, pupils and the wider community and we are grateful to everyone involved. As a community, we should feel very proud of this award recognising all that we are doing to improve our local environment for all.
School Games Platinum Award
We are absolutely delighted to announce that St. Helen's College has achieved the School Games PLATINUM Mark Award for the 2018/19 and 2019/2020 academic year.
The School Games Mark is a Government-led award scheme, launched in 2012 and facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust, which rewards schools for their commitment to the development of participation in physical activity and competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success in providing opportunities for competitive and non-competitive sport and young leadership.
We are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible. As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded with this award. We look forward to applying once again in 2020!
Relay for Life 2019
Thank you so much to all parents, pupils and staff who supported the Cancer Research Relay for Life this year, donating, participating in fundraising activities and joining the St. Helen's College team for the Relay itself. Our team raised an amazing £4,025.81 in total, which was the second highest total raised by a team. We are very proud of our ongoing commitment to this event and to raising money for Cancer Research.
On Sunday 1st September, Mrs. Cheema (mother of Amar and Suraj, Old Helenians who left us in 2019 and 2016) organised a 12 hour long charity walk at Hillingdon Stadium to raise awareness of bile duct cancer and to raise much needed funds for the charity AMMF, which is the UK's only charity for Cholangiocarcinoma.
Over 150 people participated throughout the day, many of whom were St. Helen's College families and friends. Thank you to everyone who attended or donated to the charity. You can read Mrs. Cheema's inspiring blog at
So many of our pupils achieve great things both inside and outside of school. We have numerous pupils who are selected for high calibre sports teams, including cricket, football, chess and athletics, and our musicians share their talents in many areas too. Aarna (Year 6) recently played at the prestigious Cadogan Hall with the Hillingdon Music Hub and Catherine (Year 6) plays flute with the National Children’s Orchestra (NCO) and has now been awarded a place to study music every Saturday at the Royal College of Music. Please do continue to share your children's successes with us as it is important that we are aware of their all round achievements.
We look forward to seeing our Year 6 leavers next week and many current families at our annual Prizegiving at the Winston Churchill Hall in Ruislip on Thursday evening.
Summer Schools 2019
Once again this year we ran two extremely successful Summer School weeks in August (in addition to our Holiday Club which ran throughout the summer holidays and was very well attended).
At Lower School Summer School, the theme was Around The World. The activities focussed on different parts of the world, with a different country being 'visited' each day. Children took part in a variety of arts & crafts activities and indoor and outdoor play, all linking to this geographical theme.
At Upper School Summer School, held at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre, the children took part in a 'Pirates and Bucanneers' themed week, enjoying sailing, kayaking, dragon boating and other water activities, which often culminated in the children jumping joyfully into the lake! They also took part in land activities, including climbing and abseiling, the commando challenge, pedal karting and pond dipping, all using the wonderful facilities available at HOAC.
You can see photographs of the children enjoying themselves on the Galleries page.
PA Welcome Event For New Parents
The PA Welcome Event for parents who are new to the school will take place next Saturday, 14th September, from 12 to 2 p.m. in The Evans Hall. We hope to see all our new families there!
STEAM Day - Friday 20th September
Preparations are well underway for our exciting STEAM Day on Friday 20th September. Thank you to all staff and parents who have offered to run or assist with the workshops. If there are any Upper School parents who would still like to assist, please email Mr. Tovell at email@example.com.
School at Work Open Morning - Wednesday 16th October
Our next School at Work Open Morning will take place on Wednesday 16th October, when we will be welcoming groups of prospective parents to look around the school. In the past, existing parents have been very helpful in displaying posters to promote Open Morning in places of business, homes or cars, and in passing on flyers to any interested friends, relatives or neighbours. We are sending home a couple of flyers/posters for each family today in the hope that you will help to promote this event for us once again. We thank you in advance for your help and please do let us know if you can make use of any more posters or leaflets.
School Magazine - 2018-2019
We hope that you all enjoyed reading the new annual school magazine which was sent home to each family on the last day of the summer term. If your child was absent on the last day of term and you have not yet received your copy, it should have been sent home with them this week.
If any parent would like to purchase extra copies of the magazine, it is possible to do this at a cost of £12 per copy. Please pop in to see Mrs. Rooney at Lower School or Mrs. Smith at Upper School as soon as possible if you would like to buy a copy. Payment for these should be made in cash.
Posted on: 6/09/2019
Head's Blog - Welcome Back!
Welcome back to all of our returning families and to our new families who have joined our wonderful community: welcome!
I am sure that you have all had a super summer. I have had an incredible summer, relaxing, resting and socialising with family and friends but there is only so much of this ‘non-routine’ that I can take! I admit, I was so ready to come back to school to be energised by the buzz of enquiring minds and the energy of our pupils, staff and parents.
I am sure that you will agree that the children have embraced the new school year across the school. From our fledgling Ducklings to our new Year 6 pupils, there is an almost tangible sense of joie de vivre.
As the children settle into their new routines, I have observed and overheard them discussing the ‘Golden Rules’ of working together as a community, writing and signing classroom pledges and agreeing how they can be their best selves. Our informal school motto:
‘Strive for excellence
Help others achieve
Care for each other’
resonates around the school, along with our ‘Ready, Respectful, Safe’ behaviour mantra. Your children are amazing and I feel truly blessed to witness their awe and wonder each and every day.
As your children embark upon their new academic year, I would like to share with you all extracts from an article I recently read in Attain magazine to help you all settle into the school year. I have slightly altered the order but strongly recommend that you read the full article to give greater context!
10 Golden Rules for Parents
Do read a bedtime story to your child every night (or hear them read every night as they move up through the school).
Do teach your child to be independent.
Do play games with your child (as often as possible) and teach them how to lose gracefully; this will also spark their creativity and help their concentration.
Do read everything the school sends to you.
Do be proud of everything your child brings home and wow at it no matter how huge, hideous, or unrecognisable it may be.
Do not compete with other parents about who has the most accomplished child.
Do not take your child out of school early at the end of term or return late at the beginning of term.
Do respect and believe what the teachers say about your child, and communicate with your form teacher if you have any concerns (it is teamwork that will bring out the best in your children).
Do set a good example in phone etiquette.
Don't feel the need to invite everyone to your child's birthday party (this may be difficult in Lower School but gets increasingly easier as the children get older!)
The full article may be read here https://digital.attain.education/.
We look forward to yet another successful and joyful academic year with your children at the centre of our focus!