School News and Head's Blog

6 Blog Posts found

Posted on: 24/09/2021

Weekly News - Friday 24th September 2021

Satips Art Exhibition Well done to the eight St. Helen's College children whose artwork was chosen to become part of the Satips Art Exhibition this year. Their pieces were diverse and interesting and really do showcase the wonderful work going on in the art studio here at school. You can see their work, and the work of children from other schools, here. Phonics Evenings Thank you to those Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 parents who attended our Phonics training evenings for parents last week and this week. We hope that you found them useful in showing you how to support your children's learning.  Upcoming Events We are all very much looking forward to some exciting events next week. On Tuesday, Year 4 will enjoy an Ancient Greek Day. Wednesday is our annual STEAM Day for all children throughout the school. Years 2 to 6 will enjoy an online event with author Dara McAnulty on Thursday and our Upper School Harvest Festival will take place on Friday morning. Separate details about the author event, including details of how to pre-order Dara McAnulty's excellent book at a reduced price, have been emailed directly to parents of children in Years 2 to 6. The link to purchase the book is here. We also have a virtual Early Years Open Morning on Friday 1st October at 10.00 a.m. If you know anyone with a child under the age of 4 who might be interested in attending, please do direct them to register via the school website here. We are also looking forward to hearing the children play their instruments and/or sing for us next Friday afternoon (1st October) at the first Month End Music Recital of the academic year. We hope many parents will be able to join us for this. Parents' Association Committee Meeting There will be a PA Committee meeting in the Evans Hall at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday 30th September. All parents are welcome to attend. Flu Vaccination Forms If you have a child in a year group between Reception and Year 6 and you have not yet done so, please return your flu vaccination form as soon as possible.  Many thanks to the parents who have already returned the forms.
Posted on: 17/09/2021

Weekly News - Friday 17th September 2021

House/Sports Captains We are delighted to announce our new Year 6 House Captains and Sports Captains. They are: Windsor Girls' House Captain - Amber P Windsor Boys' House Captain - Antony F Cambria Girls' House Captain - Avaani M Cambria Boys' House Captain - Diyan C Cambria Boys' Sports Captain - Luka K Cambria Girls' Sports Captain - Kylah O Windsor Boys' Sports Captain - Adam K Windsor Girls' Sports Captain - Charlotte M Other positions of responsibility will be allocated next week. Harvest Festival Celebrations Due to our Covid protocols, we have adapted our Harvest Festival programme. Please read the following information carefully. As usual, we invite all children to bring in a harvest donation to help those in need in our local community. Please send in non-perishable hampers/baskets/contributions with your child on the dates shown below. These will be donated to the local Salvation Army.   The School Harvest Festivals will take place on the following dates/times: Upper School: 1st October (All Saints Church) 9 a.m.  Year 5 parents are invited to attend the Upper School Harvest Festival service, which will be led by Year 5 pupils.  Children at the Upper School who are not attending the service at All Saints Church will attend a Harvest assembly at school. Lower School Harvest Festivals Kingfishers: 5th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church) Owls: 6th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church) 1R: 7th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church) 1C: 8th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church) Wrens: 11th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church) Robins: 12th October 8.45 a.m. (North Hillingdon Methodist Church)  Parents are invited to attend their class performance and morning coffee will be served on each day in the Lower School Hall from 8.15 a.m for those attending the performance. Performances will take place in the Methodist Church. Chamber Choir Event We are pleased to announce that our Chamber Choir has their first external event in the school diary and will be attending the London Schools Concert 2021 on 14th November. This is a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to sing in the beautiful St. John's Smith Square and for parents to support the Children's Trust Charity and enjoy an incredible afternoon of musicality from top London Prep School choirs. In previous years, this has been a most enjoyable and rewarding event. We hope that many families will buy tickets to attend and support both the Children's Trust and our Chamber Choir. Please click here to book your tickets. Love of Learning We were delighted to see this beautiful piece of artwork, which Aanya B (Year 6) produced over the summer. Aanya has been inspired by her work in the art studio with Mrs. Pruce, and extended her learning further independently over the summer to produce this lovely wall mural.  One of the St. Helen's College aims is to inspire a lifelong love of learning and it is heartwarming to see this in action every day. Well done, Aanya, on both a super piece of work and on taking your learning forwards independently.     Alumni News We are thrilled to share some more exciting alumni news! Old Helenian Kareena Sharma has been accepted into Cambridge University to study Medicine at Christ's College.  Kareena attended St. Helen's College throughout her primary school career, leaving in 2014 to attend Beaconsfield High School for Girls. Her parents, who contacted us to share their wonderful news, sent this message:  "We would like to thank St. Helen's College for instilling the much needed core ethics and discipline required to make this achievement possible. Thank you all and please continue your amazing work to make this possible for more young children." We certainly will do so, and we are sure that we will be hearing from many current parents in the future about your children's successes too! Co-Curricular Clubs There are still some spaces available in our Year 5/Year 6 Karate Club which is held on Tuesday afternoons from 3.50 - 4.50 p.m. If your child would like to join this club, please contact Mr. Harrington at The remaining places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  Music Lessons We have a few spaces available for one-to-one music lessons in school for Years 2-6 on the following instruments:  Flute Singing  Violin  Piano Students who are already learning an instrument in school may have piano lessons on a Saturday morning but not at other times. Please note that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Any additional applications will be added to the waiting list and you will be contacted once a space becomes available. If you wish to sign up for music lessons please email Mrs. Fawbert at  Individual and Sibling Photographs Pupil photographs will be taken next week as follows: Monday 20th September - Individual Ducklings photographs (taken during the school day) Tuesday 21st September - Individual Nursery/Reception/Year 1 photographs (taken during the school day) Thursday 23rd September - Individual Year 2-6 photographs (taken during the school day) If you have two or more siblings at the school, and would like a sibling photograph taken, you should bring your children to either of the optional sibling sessions: Lower School (Methodist Church Hall) on Tuesday 21st September from 7.30 a.m. Upper School (Upper School Hall) on Thursday 21st September from 7.30 a.m. Please ensure that your children arrive at school on the day of their photograph in full, smart school uniform, with long hair neatly tied back. Teddy Talks Our next Teddy Talks are now ready for viewing! While these are aimed at parents of babies and pre-schoolers, we are sure that parents of older children will also enjoy and benefit from the advice offered by our school staff offer. Please do watch them and share them with any interested friends, neighbours and family. SHC Teddy Talks - Early Years Music (Claire Fawbert) SHC Teddy Talks - Emotional Regulation in Babies and Pre-Schoolers (Julia Brooker) SHC Teddy Talks - Supporting Healthy Eating (Soula Kokkinoplitis) SHC Teddy Talks - Making Time for Yourself (Steve Roche) SHC Teddy Talks - Managing the Arrival of a Sibling (Leo Harrington) SHC Teddy Talks - Digital Awareness (Shirley Drummond) SHC Teddy Talks - Non-Digital Games (Shirley Drummond) Sleep School is a very busy place and children can, understandably, get very tired. One of the best ways that parents can support children is to ensure that they get the right amount of good quality sleep for their age. The recommended daily sleep times for children are: Babies to 12 months - 12 to 16 hours (including naps) 1 to 2 years old - 11 to 14 hours (including naps) 3 to 5 years old - 10 to 13 hours (including naps) 6 to 12 years old - 9 to 12 hours 13 to 18 years old - 8 to 10 hours It is crucial that children have a calm, screen-free bedtime routine with a regular bedtime. Parents can find further information here: Please do support your child to settle for bed calmly and at the same time each evening, and to get the correct amount of sleep for their age. It can be difficult to establish new routines, but the benefits to children (and adults) of doing so are huge.  PA Welcome Event for New Families - Change of Date The PA Welcome Event for new families has been postponed and will now take place on Saturday 6th November at the Evans Hall at Upper School.  Funtasia (After School Club) Bookings We have made some minor changes to our wraparound care procedures to ensure that they are as efficient as possible. Breakfast Club is running from 7.30 a.m. each morning as usual - please make your bookings through SchoolsBuddy as early as you can to secure your place. To avoid last minute surges in bookings and to ensure that we always maintain high staff-to-pupil ratios, we are asking that parents book their places for After School Club as early as possible, but at the latest by midday on the day that an after school Funtasia session is required. SchoolsBuddy bookings will close each day at 12.00 p.m. Mrs. Rooney administers the Funtasia booking system, so for any emergency requests past the cut-off point for bookings, please call the school office to speak with her about availability. Mrs. Lawrence will continue to manage Funtasia. We remind parents that, for pick up at the end of the day, there is a ten minute grace period before the children are put into a chargeable Funtasia session.  We thank you for your cooperation. Lunch Menu Next week, we are back to Week 1 of the lunch menu. Please note that there have been two minor changes to the menu (which do not affect allergens). Tuesday and Wednesday's menus have been swapped due to delivery dates. The chicken meatballs will now be turkey meatballs due to supplier availability. The updated menu (which will remain in place for the rest of the Autumn term) has been published to the website here. Natasha’s Law From 1st October, there is a substantial change to the law in terms of the food labelling requirements for pre-packaged goods for direct sale. This change requires all pre-packaged goods to be fully labelled with both allergen information and the individual ingredients of each item offered for sale. The law is also known as Natasha’s Law. Our catering partner, Accent Catering, make all their pre-packaged goods fresh everyday on site. During the last few weeks of the summer term, they were busy training their teams and introducing new recipes, packaging and labelling systems to ensure that they are fully prepared to comply with these new regulations. This affects all sandwiches, bread products, pre-wrapped bakery goods, salad boxes and in fact, any food item that is offered in a sealed package or container. This term, pupils will see new products in new packaging and new labelling. The recipes have been developed to meet the needs of most of our pupils but if your son or daughter cannot find what they are looking for, they only need to ask one of the catering team who will be delighted to assist them. The extensive allergen controls remain in place but the team remain committed to providing special diets and requirements on request, if they are not covered by the core menu.
Posted on: 17/09/2021

Community Matters by Mrs. Smith

  I have been a part of the St. Helen’s College community for almost 12 years now. Throughout that time, I have found it to be a vibrant, happy, kind community of pupils, parents and staff and I feel very lucky to work in such an inspiring and friendly place.   It is interesting that the characteristics of our community remain constant, even though its members change annually, as new parents and children join the school and families who have been with the school many years move on. I am sure that the reason for this is that our community has such strong and enduring shared values: love, harmony, spirituality, self-awareness and growth. Over the last year and a half, as we have negotiated our way through the pandemic, the word ‘community’ has taken on even greater, and perhaps wider, meaning. We have all become more aware that humanity is one global community, facing the same problems all over the world. We have, too, become more aware of our local communities: of the pressures and challenges on our healthcare system and its staff, on our education system and on parents and young people. It is this increased awareness, perhaps, that has led us here at St. Helen’s College to reflect on how we can, as a school, contribute more to our local and global community. Our values are not only inward-looking, focussed on our own community; they are also outward-looking, and should enable us to make a difference to the lives of others outside of our school gates.  We have, for some time, been concerned at the lack of support networks available for new parents in the first few years of their children’s lives and we are taking steps to make a positive contribution in this area. Through our pre-school parenting programme, we are making advice and support available, free of charge, to parents in our local community and further afield, whether their child is to join St. Helen’s College or not. We are doing this through our programme of Teddy Talks and through offering free baby/toddler classes here at St. Helen’s College. The willingness of our staff to be involved in this project is a testament to their core values. We all feel the same desire to help and support those at the coalface of parenting, so that their babies and young children may have the very best experience possible. Seven new Teddy Talks have recently been filmed and added to the website. You can watch them by following these links: SHC Teddy Talks - Early Years Music (Claire Fawbert) SHC Teddy Talks - Emotional Regulation in Babies and Pre-Schoolers (Julia Brooker) SHC Teddy Talks - Supporting Healthy Eating (Soula Kokkinoplitis) SHC Teddy Talks - Making Time for Yourself (Steve Roche) SHC Teddy Talks - Managing the Arrival of a Sibling (Leo Harrington) SHC Teddy Talks - Digital Awareness (Shirley Drummond) SHC Teddy Talks - Non-Digital Games (Shirley Drummond) In addition, Mrs. McLaughlin’s Mother/Baby Mindfulness classes are now running at school on Wednesday mornings, with the aim of supporting mums to support their babies. These classes are suitable for babies from about six weeks old to crawling, so if you know anyone with a child of the right age, do encourage them to sign up for a set of six classes by contacting me at We are currently working on adding other classes to the programme. The new St. Helen’s College Trust will be able to provide financial support to local organisations and/or families in order to enhance parents’ and children’s experiences, too. Mrs. Drummond, Mr. Sellu (an ex-St. Helen’s College parent) and I are the three founding Trustees of this Charitable Trust, which is a separate legal entity from the school itself. We have been working over the summer to establish and agree the Trust’s aims and principles, write our Governing Document, and establish our Charity bank account, as well as to identify potential income sources for the Trust. Our next steps will be to begin promoting the Trust to potential beneficiaries in the local area, as well as driving fundraising to add to its funds, so that we are able to make meaningful donations to support children and their parents/carers in our community. We are delighted that our school community will be able to contribute, through the Trust, to our wider local community, providing support for local families when they need it most. We hope to arrange a fundraising event during the current academic year and are currently considering hosting an Auction of Promises to which current St. Helen’s College families would be invited. We very much hope that you will consider attending such an event to help to raise funds for this cause. The Trust exists to promote the advancement of children’s education and all-round development in the Hillingdon/Uxbridge local community. Its stated aims are to: provide, enrich and extend educational and other opportunities for children from birth and throughout their primary education, and  provide support, advice and guidance for their parents and/or carers. We are slowly building up funds for the Trust and we hope to invite applications from potential beneficiaries from January onwards. At first, the grants we will be able to make will be fairly small; in time, we hope that these will increase in size. Everything has to start somewhere! We are planning to recruit more Trustees for the SHC Trust as time moves on, and are currently interested in hearing from anyone who has Charity or Fundraising experience and expertise. Please do get in touch if you have expertise in this area and are interested in becoming involved, either as a Trustee or adviser: We believe that the pre-school parenting programme and the SHC Trust will enable the school community to make an increasingly meaningful contribution to the local community. We are open to any other ideas of ways in which we can support parents and children in the local community; please do let us know if you think of any! Mrs. Smith
Posted on: 10/09/2021

Weekly News - Friday 10th September 2021

Year 2 Coffee Morning The Evans Hall was buzzing yesterday as we welcomed our Year 2 parents to Upper School for a coffee morning. We are delighted that your children are all settling well at the Upper School and that they have all enjoyed the first full week of life in Year 2!  Meet the Teacher Evenings It was wonderful to see so many Year 3 and Year 6 parents at our Meet the Teachers Evenings and we look forward to seeing the Year 4 and Year 5 parents next week. At all the meetings we have shared information on pupil wellbeing and how we can all work together to support the children. Mrs. Brooker, our school counsellor, is available to all our Upper School pupils and parents can request for their children to have time with her via their form teacher. Pupils in Upper School can also self refer and pop a 'Time to Talk' note into Mrs. Brooker's mail box in the school hall.   We also have very good associations with external agencies and we shared details of The Parent Practice and Parental EQ. More information on the Positive Parenting Coaching and E-Courses from the Parent Practice can be found at The ParentalEQ app can also be downloaded from your mobile device: or by accessing their website: If you do subscribe to ParentalEQ, please ensure that you choose St. Helen's College on the drop down menu as we are an affiliated school. The St. Helen's College Trust The St. Helen’s College Trust is a newly established charitable fund which exists to promote the advancement of education in the Hillingdon/Uxbridge local community. Its aims are to: provide, enrich and extend educational opportunities for children from birth to age 11, and provide support, advice and guidance for their parents. There are many ways in which St. Helen’s College parents can support the Trust. You can donate unwanted textiles to our textile bank outside 227 Long Lane, which will be recycled and for which we receive a small payment.  You can make donations when invited to at school events e.g. performances. You might like to donate part or all of your deposit to the Trust when your child leaves the school.  You can sign up to EasyFundraising and raise money for the Trust at absolutely no cost to yourself when you shop online with over 4000 retailers. EasyFundraising donations really mount up and make a BIG difference, so we’d really appreciate it if you would sign up and support us. It’s completely FREE and only takes a moment. You can download the EasyFundraising app and use that – it’s so easy. You can find our EasyFundraising page at: If you need any help at all in getting set up with EasyFundraising, please contact Mrs. Smith at Friends and family are most welcome to sign up too!   STEAM Day 2021! We will be holding our next STEAM Day for pupils from Ducklings to Year 6 on Wednesday 29th September 2021. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) days are becoming increasingly popular and have been hugely successful at St. Helen's College in the past. Sessions held have included building air powered cars, constructing a bridge to take an adult's weight, solving complex maths problems and making music from found materials. We would be delighted to hear from any parents in the Upper School who are able to offer a workshop activity. Please can you contact Mr. Harrington at outlining what you would be able to offer, what age group it may be suitable for and if you would be available for the full day or part of the day. If you are interested please can you respond by Monday 13th September. If you have any questions about the day please feel free to contact Mr. Harrington. At Lower School, workshops will be delivered by familiar staff as the children are so recently settled or re-settled into their new environment.  Library At Upper School, our new Year 2 and Year 3 pupils really enjoyed their first visit to the library! The librarians commented on how engaged and enthusiastic the children were. We hope that they will make full use of the library throughout their time at Upper School - readers are the best learners, after all.     PA Donation - Reading Chairs There was great excitement at Lower School and Upper School this week when the children received some beautiful reading chairs and benches which will enrich the children's outdoor learning spaces. Thank you to the St. Helen's College Parents' Association for the generous donations which are very much being enjoyed. Alumni News We are delighted to share the news that Sahar M, an Old Helenian, has achieved 3 A* grades in her A levels and will shortly be taking up a place at Cambridge to read Human and Social Politics. Sahar was Head Girl at St. Helen's College and will always be fondly remembered by pupils and staff here, not least for her excellent rendition of 'Albert and the Lion', which won her the Speech Competition during her time at Upper School! We wish her all the best in her new adventure at university. If any of our current parents are alumni or you know of alumni, please do encourage them to join our alumni community by emailing Ducklings and Nursery Entry - September 2022 If you have a son or daughter who is eligible by age for entry into Ducklings or Nursery next September, and you have not yet registered them with the school, please do so as soon as possible. The entry process for these classes will begin shortly. You can register online here. Teddy Talks On Monday, we filmed our next set of six Teddy Talks. These talks, aimed at parents of very young (pre-school) children, offer support and guidance on topics of interest. We are delighted that Soula, our chef, has spoken about pre-school feeding/eating, Mr. Harrington has spoken about how to manage the arrival of a sibling, Mrs. Fawbert has recorded a talk on pre-school music, Mrs. Brooker has spoken about helping very young children to regulate their emotions, Mrs. Drummond has offered advice on managing the use of digital devices with pre-schoolers, and Mr. Roche has spoken about the importance of how to make time for ourselves as parents. These new talks will soon become available via our website and on Youtube. In the meantime, if you have not already watched the previous set of six talks, we thoroughly recommend watching them. You can find them here. If there are any other topics on which you feel advice would be useful for parents, please do let us know by emailing Mrs. Smith at We are keen to continue adding to this bank of talks as we know from feedback how useful parents are finding them. Mother/Baby Mindfulness Classes Mrs. McLaughlin's Mother/Baby Mindfulness Classes have now begun! These are taking place in the Evans Hall on Wednesday mornings at 9.00 a.m., in six weekly blocks. Our first mothers and babies clearly enjoyed their first class this week. The classes are suitable for mothers of babies aged from six weeks to crawling. They include a mix of mindfulness practice and yoga for mums, and are aimed at supporting mums to support their babies. If you have a baby of the right age for our next set of classes, which will begin after the October half term, or have any friends or family with babies of the right age, please contact Mrs. Smith to sign up at The classes are completely free of charge and are open to anyone, whether their child is registered at St. Helen's College or not. We are planning to expand our programme of pre-school classes for babies and toddlers so watch this space for more information! PA Welcome Event, Ducklings Uniform Sale and Class Representatives The Parents' Association will be holding a Welcome Event for families who are new to the school on Saturday 25th September from 12 - 2 p.m. in the Evans Hall at Upper School. We hope that many new families will be able to join them for a warm welcome to the St. Helen's College community! The PA will be holding a second hand uniform stall for Duckings children on Thursday 16th September from 2.45 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. in the Ducklings Garden. Come and grab a bargain - we look forward to seeing you there! The PA have vacancies for class representatives for Duckings, 5G and 6R. If you are a parent of a child in one of these classes, and would like to find out more or put your name forward, please contact the PA at Co-Curricular Activities Confirmations of co-curricular activity allocations have now been sent to parents. Please make prompt payment of any fees due via your SchoolsBuddy account. Any queries concerning co-curricular activities or the programme should be addressed to Mr. Harrington, our new Director of Co-Curriculum, at 'School at Work' Open Morning - Wednesday 13th October We are thrilled that we will once again be able to welcome prospective parents into school for an Open Morning on Wednesday 13th October. Visits on this day will be by appointment only to manage the flow of visitors around the school and we know that our Year 6 children are eagerly looking forward to hosting their first tours of the school! If you have any friends or family with children who would be eligible to join Ducklings or Nursery in September 2022 or thereafter, please do encourage them to book in for a tour on this day. It really is a lovely experience to enjoy a tour conducted by our pupils! They can book in by telephoning the school office on 01895 234371 or by emailing Mrs. Smith at Parking, Drop Off and Pick Up Regulations We would like to remind all parents that it is crucial that you adhere to the school's parking, drop off and pick up regulations. In particular, please do not block neighbours' driveways on Long Lane, Parkway or in any surrounding streets. We work very hard to establish and maintain good relationships with our neighbours and the local community, and expect parents to support us in this. On Parkway, if you are using drop and go or pick up and go, please do not queue if there are more than three cars in front of you; if so, please drive to the car park and park so that you do not cause congestion along the street. We thank parents, as always, for your support. Snacks We would also like to remind parents that snacks must not contain nuts. We ask that you follow the school's Healthy Eating Policy when choosing snacks. Suitable snacks are fruit or vegetables, or plain biscuits.
Posted on: 10/09/2021

Why Art? By Mrs. Pruce

“Every child is an artist”, said Pablo Picasso, and I know he’s right. My second year at St. Helen's College is now underway and what a first year it was! Yet, throughout the turmoil of Covid, our art work has held the classes together, united us in our new joy for the subject and had us chuckling during online lessons (especially when dressed as royalty in crowns and tiaras with Year 2). Art is all around us, not just in galleries but on TV, packaging, book covers, graphic design, the restaurant industry and stage and film to name a few. The career options are numerous and it is a subject to be taken seriously. The subject of art dates back thousands of years, all around the world, and allows us to know what we now know about history. From cave paintings to Henry Moore’s chalk work on the shelters during the war and Banksy’s political graffiti. Without these we can only guess at what has really happened. In itself, art can be a way of communication to express ourselves, healing our souls when troubled or telling a story. Art can be an experience to share our thoughts and feelings or just to while away time. For me personally, art has been something that I have only had the courage to embrace in the last 15 years or so. I say courage as I was the child at school who was too tall, stuck out like a sore thumb and went easily red faced when the art teacher told me that it wasn’t my best subject; it crushed all creativity I had for many years. I promised myself that no child in my class would ever be made to feel this way about their own talents. The introduction of new skills at St. Helen's College has proven that Picasso was right. The child that can draw superbly may not be the best painter; the painter may not be the best sculptor, who in turn may not be the best print maker; but they are all good at something and seeing that realisation dawn on their faces is what drives me on. As teachers we have a role to play in encouraging our students, focussing on the good and inspiring in them the confidence to try. FAIL is the First Attempt In Learning and even as adults we are - and should be - still always learning.  As adults we have a lot to learn from our children, in school and at home. The artistic response to the pandemic blew my mind. The explanations given as to why the children drew what they drew were clear, simplistic and openly honest. Arya A with her “Rainbow Tree” and Riya C with “Breakout” were stunning examples that gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. Have you ever been reduced to tears by art in any form - perhaps poetry, music or a piece of writing? Seeing the Taj Mahal for the first time from far away actually made me cry, not an emotion I expected to feel at all over a building. The use of sketchpads at St. Helen's College has been changing, and is changing further this school year. The desire to scribble out something not liked is natural but also pointless, since we need to see our failures to perfect our abilities. In the book 'The Dot', Peter H Reynolds shows us the power of one single adult's actions to change a child's life. “The book shows the importance of teacher-student relationships, and our connections as human beings. It shows how creative thinking on the part of a teacher can unlock a child's own creativity, confidence, and growth.” So, however old you are, don’t forget that the child you were has now grown up. I encourage you all to go and enjoy whatever art form you would love to explore the most, and remember… in art you are never wrong.    Mrs. Pruce  
Posted on: 3/09/2021

Psychological Safety

  It has been wonderful to welcome so many new children to St. Helen’s College this week and I have been in awe of how well our new Ducklings and Nursery children are settling into their new environment.  Our other new pupils across the school have started forging new friendships and across all three school sites there has been such genuine care and love shared by all. It never ceases to move me at the beginning of a school year when I observe the staff with their new classes, the children with each other and every member of our community coming together to make sure that everyone is happy, settled and ready for the new year ahead.   There has been a lot written about, and much research conducted on ‘psychological safety’ and the relationship between psychological safety at school and pupil well-being.  When the psychological safety of teachers is high, so too is students’ well-being - they demonstrate increased levels of self-confidence, which in turn leads to enhanced pupil development. I am proud to be part of such a caring community where everyone (pupils and staff) feel safe, respected and comfortable to be themselves, they are not afraid to take risks, are not afraid of failure and are accepting of feedback. Amy Edmonson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School, is well known for her work on teams and in one of her Ted Talks here she discusses 3 things we can do to build a psychologically safe workplace: 1. frame the work as a learning problem, not an execution problem 2. acknowledge your own fallibility 3. model curiosity I would hope that every member of the staff at St. Helen’s College feels that they are ‘championed’ in the workplace for what they do. Mr. and Mrs. Crehan as our School Principals and myself as Headteacher are incredibly fortunate to have such a committed team who continuously give their best for the good of your children.   As a learning community the children learn best from their role models and these role models are the adults they are surrounded by both at home and at school.   Our staff are also continuous learners, taking risks, learning new skills and embracing the challenges which new learning brings.  Our ongoing continuous professional learning at St. Helen’s College is quite outstanding. A snapshot of this is the commitment from staff such as Mrs. Reid, as she embarks upon her PGCE teacher training year, Mrs. Smith (Director of Communications/Admissions) as she commences an MFA in Creative Writing, our Reverend Smith who is training to be a School Chaplain, Mrs. Ross who has just been awarded her BA in Early Years Education and Mrs. Gilbey who has recently been awarded her L3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning. Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith have just trained as our Wellbeing Champions to support staff Mental Health and I myself am embarking upon my second year of an MA in Educational Leadership and Management. Why we all do this additional learning is because we do feel psychologically safe in our workplaces, we want to be the best role models we can and continue to strive to be the best we can. However, it is not only in taking certified courses that we as adults continue our learning journey.  The staff embrace learning on a daily, weekly, termly basis - as they continue to hone their skills, taking on board new educational research and pedagogy,  introducing new software to enhance pupil learning and of course learning from each other and your children. It is evident that the ‘psychological safety’ of our staff is high and this in turn has a significant impact on the relationships which your children form at school and the love that they have for learning.   This week we have seen the youngest members of our community take their first steps in becoming members of St. Helen’s College - our new Ducklings and Nursery children - as they left their first settling in session.  I was warmed by the feedback from parents as they collected their happy, curious and excited children.   To all our families, new and current, to all our staff, new and current, thank you for making our community such a caring and safe environment where we can all flourish and grow! Here’s to a superb new academic year!  Mrs. Drummond

6 Blog Posts found