School News and Head's Blog
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Posted on: 10/07/2020
End of Term News - 10th July 2020We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!
Our final 'feel good' staff video of the lockdown can be found here. Enjoy and have a wonderful summer holiday!
2019-2020 School Magazine
We have, as always, been working very hard to produce a school magazine which showcases some of the excellent work the children have done this year, as well as some of the many activities in which they have taken part. This year we are not printing/distributing the magazine due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you can see the electronic version here and it will remain available on the school website. We hope that you enjoy looking through this lovely keepsake...the children might like to look at what the year group above theirs has been doing too, so that they get an idea of what life will be like for them when they enter their new year group in September.
Musician of the Summer Term
The Musician of the Term trophy is awarded for outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department. The winner this term is someone who has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years, in all aspects of music at St. Helen’s College. She has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She has been a regular member of the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs. She is an excellent role model within the music department and is a music prefect, regularly performing at assemblies, recitals and outside of school. As well as playing the recorder fluently, she has singing lessons and is preparing to take Grade 7 on the piano.
An enormous well done to Anaiya B!
Lockdown Summer Term Sports Personality
A huge well done to Samir H, who has been named the Sports Personality of the Summer Term! Samir engaged with all of the Virtual Sports Day events, uploading lots of videos of himself taking part, and also completed a 26 mile charity challenge. Samir is a talented tennis player and has skills which would have made him a member of several sports teams this term, had school been 'normal'. He always encourages others to get involved and has been particularly encouraging to his younger sister during the period of lockdown. Congratulations, Samir!
Lockdown Sports Champions
Our Year Group Winners were:
Y3 - Oliver K
Y4 - Charlotte M
Y5- Vidhit N
Y6 - Eli V-B
The overall champion was Samir H.
Very well done to all those who took part in the virtual sports events!
Spring Term Sports Personality of the Term
Well done to Rhea A-V, who was named the Sports Personality of the Spring Term (which could not be announced at the end of the spring term due to lockdown). Rhea is a real all-rounder and has been a stalwart of many school teams. She has shown great leadership both on and off the sports pitch and has excelled in the football and netball teams and in her role as a Sports Captain, organising the table tennis trials. Congratulations, Rhea!
Sports This Year
The full sports round up for this year is here.
Mythology Competition Success!
Jasmine B and Uma D (Year 6) have been awarded joint 1st prize in the Arts section of the 2020 Annual Mythology Competition organised by The Primary Latin Project. They each wrote and performed their own individual song as a response to the story of Daedalus and Icarus.
There were some other excellent entries from children in Years 2-6, such as the lovely mythology-inspired piece of artwork by Riya C which you can see here.
The judges made the following comments.
'This year’s entries have been fantastic with such a wide range of materials and ideas used to help to convey the elements of the myths. It has made my job as judge of the art competition very tough because there were so many brilliant entries! Top prizes this year include songs, paintings on canvas, digital art and 3D models. Judging was done taking age of entrants into account to ensure ability was judged fairly. Higher marks were given to the originality of the entry, the attempt to convey all elements of the myth as fully as possible and overall presentation.'
Very well done to all those children who submitted entries and particular congratulations to Jasmine and Uma!
Junior Language Challenge
The uTalk competition played out very differently this year due to Covid so there were no national finals. Certificates have been allocated on different criteria as below.
Leo J (4KT) is one of only 13 children out of over 2300 to get full marks in both rounds and he has won a gold medal and £200 worth of uTalk language software! Tanishka M has won a silver medal and £50 of uTalk software. Other pupils were awarded bronze certificates. Very well done to everyone who took part, and special congratulations to Leo and Tanishka!
House Art Competition
Many congratulations to all of the children who entered our House Art Competition, who will each receive certificates. Winners' trophies were awarded to:
Windsor winner - Anjika G (4T)
Cambria winner - Ruby L (2H)
Ducklings Summer Picnic
Our Ducklings children had so much fun this week when they visited Father Desmond's garden for their summer picnic. You can see more photographs of the children enjoying this special event on our Galleries page here.
Mrs. McGee and the Ducklings staff are very proud of the resilience and joy our youngest children have shown throughout their disrupted first year with us, and we know that they are well equipped to move on for a very happy year in Nursery from September.
Lower School Beach Party
The children attending Lower School had a super day today, celebrating all that summer might bring with their very own beach party day! You can see more photographs of the fun and colourful time they had on our Galleries page here.
Spaghetti and Marshmallow Challenge
Our Year 1 children took part in a marshmallow and spaghetti challenge this week. The winners from Blue Whale pod (1HC) were Roshni and Ashvika, who managed to build a tower that measured 65 cm high. They were also the team that showed the most perseverance and determination. Well done, girls!
The Year 1 children would usually have been visiting Mad Bess Woods, where Mrs. Hunt lives, during their final week of term, where they would have had a wonderful time exploring and having ice creams. We couldn't quite bring the woods to school, but we could certainly bring the ice creams and the children enjoyed them immensely!
Year 6 French Day and Play In A Day
The Year 6 pupils enjoyed a 'fantastique' day of French themed activities on Wednesday, including bread making, disco dancing, French quizzes, traditional games and of course the annual talent show! Tasty crepes were served at lunchtime from a wonderful crepe van too. Well done to everyone for embracing the day. You can see more photographs from the day on our Galleries page here.
On Thursday, they put on a 'Play In A Day' version of 'Singing In The Rain', which would have been their grand Year 6 musical. The children entered into the challenge with enthusiasm and demonstrated their well-developed performance skills. The weather wasn't fantastic on Thursday and once or twice they were actually singing in the rain! You can see the video of their efforts here.
We wish all pupils and families who are leaving us all the very best for the future. We will miss you...please, please keep in touch. Old Helenian news should be sent to email@example.com - we would love to hear all that your children get up to and to celebrate their future successes with you.
We also wish the staff who are leaving us every success for the future and thank them for their commitment to the school. We know that they will keep in touch with us and look forward to hearing from them. All the very best to class teachers Miss Dear, Mrs. Rance and Mr. Tovell and to Mrs. Stubbs (Music) and Miss Williams (Funtasia).
Mrs Califano (1HC) will be leaving us to start her maternity leave and we look forward to hearing happy news later in the summer from her and from Mrs. Rance too.
Mrs. Hunt, who has been a class teacher at St. Helen's College for 20 years, is stepping away from her class teacher role in September to concentrate on her leadership duties as Head of Lower School and one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads. We thank her for her excellent work as a class teacher over so many years.
Summer Reading Challenge
We know that many families have enjoyed visiting their libraries during the summer holidays and participating in the summer reading challenge. However, with the disruption to library services due to COVID-19 the challenge will this year take place digitally. Please do sign your children up to enjoy some super reading challenges, quizzes and other activities by following this link:
We look forward to hearing about the children's summer of reading for pleasure!
Summer Holiday Activities
Parents might be interested in these ideas for some activities to keep your children busy and entertained over the summer holidays.
Posted on: 3/07/2020
Weekly News - Friday 3rd July 2020Feel Good Friday - All About Me
We hope that the children enjoyed expressing themselves today by wearing something on the theme of 'All About Me'. What was very obvious, from the outfits worn by the children (and staff) both in school and at home, was what a diverse and vibrant community we are! Many among us chose to wear dress reflecting our culture or background and an enormous number of activities, sports and interests were represented too. Well done everyone for the effort put into outfits today, and I hope that you will continue to reflect on all that makes you an individual, including your heritage, your interests and talents and your dreams for the future.
You can see photographs of the children on our Galleries page here.
Virtual Sports Day Awards
Over the summer term, Upper School pupils have been preparing at home and participating in our Virtual Sports Day. The leadership board has been changing weekly in what turned out to be a hot contest! Congratulations to all who took part; the list of event winners is available here. Overall year group winners will be announced at the final assembly next Friday.
Chamber Choir 2020-2021
Thank you to everyone who submitted a video entry for our online Chamber Choir auditions. We are pleased to announce that the following children have been selected:
Ria M 4T
Riya C 5G
Mrs. Fawbert and Mrs. Garnés very much look forward to working on beautiful choral music with you. Thanks to Mrs. Allery also, who was as usual part of the selection process. Many congratulations to our newest members!
Old Helenian News
We are delighted to share the news that Old Helenian (and school neighbour) Rex Baldwin has just been made Deputy Head Boy of The John Lyon School for the academic year 2020-2021.
Last Day of Term
Next Friday, 10th July, is the end of term and is a half day. Collection times for each year group are shown below. Please do adhere closely to these in order to help us to maintain social distancing outside the school gates.
Ducklings - 12 p.m.
Lower School Site
Nursery - 12 p.m.
Reception - 12.15 p.m.
Upper School Site
1HC - 12 p.m.
1C - 12.10 p.m.
Key Workers Year 2-5 - 12.20 p.m.
Year 6 - 12.30 p.m.
To end our term with the Nursery and Reception children, we will be having a Bubble Beach Party at school on Friday 10th July.
We will use our last morning together to share in some fun activities around a 'Hawaiian summer beach party' theme in each of our bubbles here at Lower School. We would very much like to encourage the children to dress accordingly, so please do have a look at home for shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses or even a grass skirt for the children to wear on the day!
Children from Year 1 to 6 who are in school will have a socially distant final assembly at 11 a.m. in the playground at school (weather permitting), which we intend to live stream out to the children at home.
We look forward to sharing a fun-filled and no doubt emotional final day together.
All instrumental tuition for September has now been allocated and our timetables are full on all instruments except (unusually!) the flute. We have some outstanding Year 6 flautists who are leaving us this summer to transfer to their senior schools, creating a few more vacancies than usual. The flute is a beautiful instrument to learn and play, not too noisy to practise (!) and much prized by senior schools, since woodwind groups and orchestras need talented and experienced flautists. If you have a son or daughter in Year 2-6 who would like to learn the flute from September onwards, please contact Mrs. Allery directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Field Studies Council Summer Breaks
Families might be interested in booking a summer break at one of the lovely Field Studies Council locations across the United Kingdom. The locations are safe, remote and provide a lovely opportunity for your children to connect with nature. They can let their imaginations run free: get muddy, ford streams, build dens and create their own adventure. There is wildlife to spot, woods to explore and amazing creatures to wonder at. The beautiful FSC sites have peaceful nooks and crannies aplenty so you can finish reading that book, enjoy a real face-to-face chat and find the perfect spot for a picnic. Why not get out there and make the most of all that nature has to offer in our beautiful country?
Posted on: 26/06/2020
Weekly News - Friday 26th JuneReady to Rumble
Here is our next 'feel good' video, made in recognition of the fact that today would have been the Prep Sports Day. We hope it will remind you all that the St. Helen's College staff are keeping in good spirits and thinking of all members of our community, even while it is not possible for us all to be together in person. We hope you enjoy it!
It has been super to see the children back in their uniforms today for this week's Fun Friday theme. For some of them, it will be the last chance they have to wear their St. Helen's College uniform before they move on to their next schools, and it was lovely to see them so smart and so proud of their school colours.
We were also thrilled today to have a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Crehan, who were able to walk around the school and 'visit' the children by waving hello from the doorways of the pods.
Here they are in the Zen Garden - it was very hot, but the fountain was bubbling away just in front of them!
We have also been making an alternative marketing video at school today, to give prospective parents (who are currently unable to visit) a natural flavour of the school. The video has been directed by Mrs. Smith, filmed by Mr. Smith (no relation!) and stars Catherine and Anish, our Head Girl and Head Boy. It will be edited and the final version will be posted to the website in due course, but for now, here is a sneak preview of the likely ending.
PA Virtual Family Quiz
The Parents' Association will be running a virtual family quiz on Saturday 4th July at 3.00 p.m. Full details are available here. We hope that many of you will take part!
House Art Competition
Thank you to all of the children who have entered the House Art competition. You can see entries on the Galleries page. The winning house will be announced in the final assembly of term.
Music places for individual tuition from September have now been allocated. However, we do have a few vacancies for flute, trumpet and violin tuition. These will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please contact Mrs. Allery as soon as possible if you would like your child to begin lessons on one of these instruments. You can reach Mrs. Allery at email@example.com.
We have communicated with parents directly today to confirm that, sadly, we will be unable to run our Holiday Club this summer due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place which require strict consistency of staffing.
Here are some alternative clubs that might be of interest to parents this summer.
If you have a son or daughter who will be eligible for entry into St. Helen's College Nursery in September 2021 (children born between 01.09.17 - 31.08.18), and you have not already registered him/her, please ensure that you do so soon. We give priority to siblings when we are allocating the Nursery places, but they do need to be registered with the school in order for us to do so!
You should register your child by completing the online registration form at:
Some parents might be interested to read the latest articles from Attain Magazine, which can be found by following this link.
Posted on: 19/06/2020
Weekly News - Friday 19th June 2020Funny Face Friday!
It has certainly been a fun day today both in school and at home, as the children have donned their 'funny faces'. Here you can see some of our Nursery children making their funny faces! There are lots more photographs from around the school and home on our Galleries page here.
Thank you so much to the children who entered our House Art Competition, depicting the school values. We have thoroughly enjoyed all of the entries and the winners will be announced in assembly on Monday.
Next Week - Uniform Friday/Alternative Mufti Day!
Next Friday will be a flipped 'mufti day', when we invite children to wear their school uniform throughout the school day, whether they will be on the school site or learning at home. It might feel very strange to some of them to put it on for one last time this year! Of course we understand that some children might have grown out of all or part of their uniform, so please feel free to be a little creative if you need to, or to use PE kit, but please do encourage the children to wear their full school uniform if they have it.
Chamber Choir Auditions
If you have a child in Year 2 to Year 5 and they would like to audition to join the Chamber Choir, please check your Google Classroom for further details which have been sent out today.
Rising Up Together
A lot of information follows below about how things currently stand at school, and what the immediate and longer term future might hold. One thing is sure...as a school community, we have remained strong throughout lockdown so far and we will rise up, ready to come back together fully with joy and gratitude when we are finally allowed to do so! We hope that you will share this sentiment as you enjoy our latest SHC lockdown video, Rise Up:
The Remainder of This Term
We have, over the past week, surveyed parents of those children who are currently eligible to attend school but have not yet been back to the school site. Many have indicated that their children will return next week or the following week and we have made plans to accommodate them safely. Unfortunately we will therefore not be in a position to invite pupils from any other year groups back into school before the end of this term. We understand that this will be disappointing news for many families, as it is for us, but we are sure that you understand that, with the restrictions which are currently in place for school, all our school space and staffing is being fully utilised.
Travel To School
As the number of pupils on site has continued to increase gradually, the London Borough of Hillingdon's Road Safety Team have produced a poster to remind parents about best practice when travelling to/from school. You can read this here.
We have sent a direct email to parents today about Online Safety. If you have not already done so, you can register for our National Online Safety platform by clicking on this link and proceeding as a parent/carer. You will then be able to access many useful resources and a comprehensive course.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require additional guidance or if you have any concerns about your child's online safety. Our Designated Safeguarding Leads are:
Upper School: Mr. McLaughlin
Lower School/Ducklings: Mrs. Hunt
2nd Uxbridge Beavers - Places Available Now
Before Coronavirus prohibited face-to-face Scouting, the 2nd Uxbridge Beavers Group met weekly at the Scout HQ on Gatting Way (the same road as Hillingdon Leisure Centre). They are currently running weekly online meetings for their Beavers children. These meetings allow the children to burn off a little energy and also to safely connect online with other children their own age, which is more important now than ever.
The group currently has places and would be delighted to have girls and boys aged between 5¾ and 8 years old join them. You can find full details here.
Summer Holiday Club
Current government guidance, staffing restrictions and the protocols in place within school regarding grouping children mean that it will most likely not be possible for us to offer Holiday Club provision over the summer holidays. We will of course update you if the situation changes.
As parents already know, we will be saying goodbye to some members of staff at the end of this academic year. Mrs. Rance will be leaving us as she and her husband await the birth of their second child; they have decided to move further away from the school. Mr. Tovell is leaving us to move to a position much closer to his home, to enable him to spend more time with his family; he is also expecting his second child. Miss Dear has decided to step back from teaching altogether to devote more time to her family at home, and Mrs. Stubbs will also be relinquishing her peripatetic music commitments with us.
After 20 years as a class teacher at St. Helen's College, Mrs. Hunt will not be a form teacher next year. She will remain in her role as Head of Lower School but will now have the opportunity to teach some lessons in Year 1 and also to follow the progress of the children as they transition to Year 2. Mrs. Hunt also oversees Ducklings and is our Designated Safeguarding Lead for Ducklings and Lower School. Mrs. Hunt will miss the role of form teacher but she will now have the opportunity to visit all the classes and to assist across the EYFS to Year 2. Mrs. Allery, while remaining with us as a Year 5 form teacher, will no longer be Director of Music as she would like more time to focus on supporting her family, and Miss Phoebe Williams will no longer be working with us as a Funtasia Assistant. Mrs. Blackstone will, after some years of semi-retirement, be taking the plunge and retiring fully. We wish them all the very best as they move onto their next phases.
As previously announced, Mrs. Claire Fawbert will be joining us as our new Director of Music from September. Mr. Steve Roche will be joining us as Head of English and Year 6 form teacher. Miss Kyra Linton will be joining us as Head of Maths and Year 4 form teacher. Mrs. Victoria Briggs will be covering for Mrs. McLaughlin in 3M while Mrs. McLaughlin completes her maternity leave. Mrs. Nadine Pruce will be joining us as Head of Art, Miss Emma Rackham will be joining us as Year 1 class teacher and Mrs. Jane Smith will be joining us as a peripatetic flute teacher. We are also in the process of appointing an Early Years Assistant to work in our Ducklings class while Miss Hill completes her maternity leave.
Class Allocations 2020/21
Please find below the list of class/teacher allocations for the next academic year.
Our new intake of Ducklings will be led by Mrs. McGee
The new Robins Nursery class will be led by Mrs. Mann
The new Wrens Nursery class will be led by Miss Carmichael
Robins Nursery will become Kingfishers with Ms Matthews
Wrens Nursery will become Owls with Miss Joiner
Kingfishers will become 1R with Miss Rackham
Owls will become 1C with Miss Cooper
1C will become 2H with Mrs. Hussein
1HC will become 2B with Mr. Bustard
2B will become 3M with Mrs. Briggs (Mrs. McLaughlin following maternity leave)
2H will become 3B with Mrs. Belvoir
3B will become 4L with Miss Linton
3M will become 4T with Mrs. Thompson
4KT will become 5A with Mrs. Allery
4T will become 5G with Ms Gilham
5A will become 6R with Mr. Roche
5G will become 6M with Mr. McLaughlin
New parent meetings and transition meetings for parents whose children will be joining year groups from Ducklings to Year 2 have been arranged over the coming weeks. These meetings will take place online and parents have been sent the dates and will be sent further information before each meeting takes place.
Meet the Teacher evenings will take place, as usual, in September for parents of children in Years 3 to 6. The provisional dates are below - please add these to your diaries now.
Thursday 3rd September at 7 p.m. - Year 3 and Year 6
Tuesday 14th September at 7 p.m. - Year 4 and Year 5
We hope that these Meet the Teacher evenings will take place in person, on the school premises, as usual. If this is not possible, they will take place online. Again, further information will be sent to parents before each meeting takes place.
While we will not be able to hold our 'moving up mornings' this term as we usually would, there will be an opportunity towards the end of term for the children to 'meet' their new teacher online, and to welcome new pupils who may be joining into their class from September. Further details about this will be provided by class teachers.
Planning for September
Some parents have contacted us to ask about plans for our return to school in September. The truth is that, like schools across the country, we just don't know what September will hold for us all yet.
We are, of course, hoping and planning for a full return to school and for normal life to resume for everyone. Although we are also considering possible alternative scenarios, we will not be able to make any definite plans until nearer the time when the government makes further decisions and announcements based on the course of the pandemic at that point.
Staff will have a well-deserved and much-needed break over the summer, but we will certainly also spend time over the summer planning carefully and communicating with staff and parents. While it is hard for us all to sit with uncertainty for now, we just don't have any other option. We ask you to refrain from speculating or from contacting staff over the holidays; we will communicate with parents by 14th August over planning for the September return, and at least weekly from then on.
Parents are reminded that the uniform and equipment list is available in the Parents section of the website here. Please do take a look at what your child will need for September onwards as they move into their new year group.
Our uniform suppliers, Pullens, re-opened their shops on Monday 15th June and visits are currently by appointment only. Pullens have asked us to let parents know that they have the following measures in place to prepare for social distancing and to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of customers and staff:
Installed hand sanitising stations at the entrance to stores, placed physical markings throughout to ensure social distancing and positioned PPE equipment.
Stores are open by appointment only to limit the number of customers in store at any one time.
Late night opening on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, by appointment.
Request one adult per family with only the child/children who require uniform.
Card payments only.
Exchange/Refund policy – extended to 120 days.
10% discount, in June and July, on all orders placed online with a minimum value of £100, using code U4K10.
No-contact returns processes in place for online orders.
Live Chat available online, during working hours.
Click & Collect service from outside stores.
Specifying a deadline for families to order uniform online by 10th August to ensure uniform is delivered by the start of term.
Posted on: 17/06/2020
Weekly News - Friday 12th June 2020La-La-La Lockdown
We hope you enjoy this video to lift all of our community's lockdown spirits! Thanks go to Miss Walker and her son for teaching everyone the dance, and to Mrs. Crehan for the soundtrack. Well done all those who took part!
We enjoyed some wonderful music in the Upper School assemblies from our Year 2 children this week; well done to Ruby and Hana for their beautiful flute playing. It is such a delight for us to continue to celebrate the musicality of children.
Mrs. Nash will also be looking for some new violinists from next year - do contact Mrs. Allery if you have a child at either Lower School or Upper School who may be interested in learning the violin from September. You can reach Mrs. Allery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mrs. Nash herself has been very committed to improving her own skills and is on Day 87 of 100 consecutive days of violin practice - she started this about a week before lockdown! She has also just started an online course with an amazing violinist in the US which lasts for 3 months. He sets daily practice assignments which take about an hour a day. Mrs. Nash is a true advocate of our current value of 'self-discipline'.
Funny Face Friday
Next Friday (19th June) we invite children to 'Funny Face Friday'. All children, whether attending school in person or taking part in remote learning, are encouraged to make their face a 'funny face'. Hats, wigs, glasses of any description, face paint, stick on jewellery....anything is welcome! We hope that this will be a real spirit-lifter for us all!
House Art Competition - Final Week For Entries
We would like to remind pupils to submit their entries for our House Art Competition. Pupils may be as creative as they like in producing their pieces of artwork: drawing, painting, sculpting, modelling, sticking/collaging: all these are welcome, and more! Art must be on the theme of a school value, and each piece of work must be accompanied by a note (NOT WRITTEN ON THE PIECE OF WORK ITSELF) which should give the child's name and class and clearly state the value depicted.
The list of values to choose from are:
The deadline for submitting entries (to your class teacher or pod supervisor) is Friday 19th June.
Thank you to Vandan V (Year 5), assisted by Sulaiman M, who shared this super quiz with his classmates this week. You might like to have a go too!
In our fast-paced society, it is important that young people know how reliable sources of news are constructed, learning how to identify bias and unreliable or misleading information in its different forms. Regularly reading a reputable newspaper will help pupils to access reliable news and to understand the concept of sources, the purpose of reports and the role of journalism in society. In school, we subscribe to First News, which pupils can read while here. We would like to remind you that you could take out a personal subscription to this excellent children's newspaper if you would like to do so. At the moment, there is a special offer so that you pay just £1 for your first three issues. More information is available at https://www.firstnews.co.uk/.
Book Token Competition
Our school needs you! Help us win £5,000 of National Book Tokens for the school library - and get £100 for yourself! Just enter the competition online, it only takes a minute: https://www.nationalbooktokens.com/schools
Pupils might like to get creative and enter the National Book Tokens competition to design a book token gift card. They could win £10 book tokens for all of their classmates if their design is chosen as the winner!
Posted on: 5/06/2020
Weekly News - Friday 5th June 2020Singing Competition
What a wonderful afternoon we had today, hearing the children's entries for the final of our Singing Competition. The standard was, as always, astonishingly high and the children showed a high level of confidence, technical ability and performance skills. Mrs. Crehan had the very difficult job of judging this year and our gratitude goes to her for her adaptability in taking part in an online competition this time! The results were as follows.
Year 3 Winner - Advik
Runners up - Minaya and Xavier
Overall Middle School Winner - Advik
Year 4 Winner - Shruthi
Runners up - Anjika and Charlotte
Year 5 Joint Winners - Jessica and Maya
Runner up - Riya
Year 6 Winner - Jasmine
Runners up - Aarna and Laura
Overall Upper School Winner - Jasmine
Very many congratulations to all those involved and to our winners!
Hillingdon Road Safety Dream Bike Competition
Out of 470 entries, Arjun C (2B) has just been awarded second place for the Hillingdon Road Safety Dream Bike competition which we shared on this news blog recently. Arjun really took a keen interest and took his time to think about his dream bike and was very proud of his design. Using alliteration, he named his design the 'Weird and Wacky Bike'. Very, very well done, Arjun!
School This Week
We thought that you would all like to see some photographs of life around school this week, to give you a flavour of what it has been like getting ready for re-opening and being here with part of the community back with us. You can see these on the Galleries page. See if you can spot anyone you know!
Many thanks to Mr. McGee who has created outdoor cleaning stations for our Ducklings children so that they can continue to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly when playing outdoors!
Well done to Anjika G (4T) who wrote a fantastic Scratch program this week with a bilingual, colour-changing hexagon! You can try out her program here.
New Additions to the SHC Family
Many congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin, who welcomed their first baby, son Remi, this week! Remi weighed 6 lbs and 13 oz and the family are all back at home and enjoying their time together. We are sure that you would all like to join with us in wishing them well.
We are also delighted to announce the birth of Maeve, daughter to Miss Hill and granddaughter to Mrs. Hill!
Maeve was born on 24th May, weighing 6lb and 2oz. Miss Hill and Maeve's dad George have been having a wonderful time together as a new family and send all their love to the St. Helen's College community and especially to the Ducklings children - Miss Hill is enjoying her maternity leave but is missing you all very much.
House Art Competition
This year we will be holding our inaugural House Art Competition. Pupils may be as creative as they like in producing their pieces of artwork: drawing, painting, sculpting, modelling, sticking/collaging: all these are welcome, and more! Art must be on the theme of a school value, and each piece of work must be accompanied by a note (NOT WRITTEN ON THE PIECE OF WORK ITSELF) which should give your child's name, class and clearly state the value depicted.
The list of values to choose from are:
The deadline for submitting entries (to your class teacher or pod supervisor) is Friday 19th June.
World Environment Day
Whilst many pupils and teachers continue to work remotely, Freshwater Theatre Company wanted to find a way to celebrate World Environment Day with you online. We bring you a timely message from our Earth Explorer about the actions we can take to protect our environment for future generations: https://youtu.be/jLow_8SdNPg
Please do share this link with your colleagues, pupils and their parents, as well as your family and friends. The World Environment Day website [https://www.worldenvironmentday.global] has lots of information including a practical guide with more resources.
Lockdown Survival Guide
Although this guide is branded as a 'teen guide' for surviving lockdown, there is a lot in it which we feel would be useful to our current pupils - as well as to some of the Old Helenians out there who might be approaching, or in, their teenage years and might need some extra support through this difficult time. We hope that you will find it useful - you can access it here.
Rainbow Room Thanks
Our Year 6 pupils were delighted this week to receive letters of thanks from the team at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, acknowledging the colourful and creative pictures they produced and sent in to decorate the Rainbow Room at Hammersmith Hospital.
Posted on: 22/05/2020
Weekly News - Friday 22nd May 2020Speech Competition
Today we held our first ever online speech competition finals. Congratulations to all of our finalists; they left us all thoroughly entertained in the junior and senior competitions, performing their poems and speeches with confidence and conviction. Here is a list of all the winners and highly commended entries.
Highly Commended: Samuel 1HC, Evie 1C, Sienna 2H
Year 1 Winner: Aaryav
Year 2 Winner: Hana
Year 3 WInner: Oliver
Junior Champion: Oliver (3M)
Highly Commended: Vidhit 5G, Harrison 6RD
Year 4 Winner: Diyan
Year 5 Winner: Samir
Year 6 Winner: Catherine
Senior Champion: Catherine 6RD
A huge thank you also to our judge and school governor, Miss Beckett, who gave her time throughout the week to watch the entries and provide excellent feedback to the children. To all those who did not make the final this year: well done for taking part in the competition. Keep practising and next year it could be you!
Big Dreamers Writing Competition
Throughout the week, children across the school have been writing short stories for a national competition run by National Book Tokens and Puffin. There is a 300-word limit and the theme is 'dreams.' There are many fantastic prizes to be won, including £200 in book vouchers. If your child has not yet participated, you may wish to help them complete a story and submit their entry over the half-term holidays as a fun creative writing activity. Full details can be found here.
Singing Competition Finals - Middle School and Upper School
Thank you for the many video entries we received for our online singing competition. Although it was a very difficult decision as usual, the following students have been selected for the finals.
The finals will take place during the afternoon of Friday 5th June. Further information will follow shortly. Students do not need to resubmit videos, unless they are asked to, and they will not need to sing live. Please note that the submitted video entries will be shown to all spectators during the afternoon of 5th June. Our judge for the final round of the competition, Mrs. Crehan, will choose her winners.
We wish all of the finalists the very best of luck!
Today was Mrs. McLaughlin's last day with us for the time being and we all wish her well as she begins her maternity leave and she and Mr. McLaughlin await the arrival of their first child! It was so lovely to hear the children of 3M give her a send off this morning just before the Junior Speech Competition. The children had created a beautiful video montage, Yousra read a lovely poem about 'Why God Created Teachers' and Eshanvi read an acrostic poem that she had written herself. After school today, staff joined together in a virtual baby shower to celebrate, and we enjoyed taking part in games and quizzes. We thought you might enjoy this quiz - see if you can guess the staff member from their baby photos! We will share the answers after half term.
Well done to Grace O'H (Y2), who has been baking for the team of managers and call handlers who staff the COVID-19 hub at the Civic Centre, to lift their spirits. Grace has baked gluten free cakes and birthday cakes and even used a genuine WWII recipe to bake a cake for VE Day!
Grace and her family have also been making cloth face masks and homemade filters to slip in the back. As an act of kindness, they have sent these off to vulnerable people around the country and have provided masks to people working in the private sector front line who may have to use public transport to get to work.
Esha T (Y6) celebrated her birthday this week and her family had the super idea of giving the day a French theme, to make up for Esha not being able to go on the Year 6 trip to France this year because of the pandemic. We hope that Esha enjoyed her day - Bon Anniversaire, Esha!
Phased Re-opening and Packed Lunches
Parents of children returning to school in Phase 1 of our reopening are reminded that absolutely NO NUT PRODUCTS may be sent into school in snacks or packed lunches. Please do be vigilant. There are currently children at school with severe/multiple allergies and some products, such as cereal bars, may contain nuts less obviously.
In the hot weather, it will be a good idea to send an ice pack in the packed lunch bag.
Class teachers will be sending out year group specific information ahead of the return to outline daily procedures, which we hope will answer any questions you may have.
Keeping Well At Home
Until 1st June, most of the country are still being asked to stay at home. We are aware that some of you will have to continue staying at home past this date, too, especially if you live with a clinically vulnerable person. This advice about keeping well at home might be useful....let's all keep looking after ourselves!
National Thank A Teacher Day
The staff have been very touched this week at the numerous messages received for Thank A Teacher Day. Some children even made videos. It is really very nice to be appreciated, so huge thanks to everyone who took the time to send messages, photos and videos.
Posted on: 15/05/2020
Weekly News - Friday 15th May 2020International Day of Families
It is lovely to know that the children have spent the week engaging in activities to celebrate International Day of Families today. You can see some photos of what they have been up to on our Photo Galleries page.
Well done to our Year 6 children, who have been creating and sharing artwork to decorate a room at Hammersmith Hospital which is being transformed into a 'Rainbow Room'. The room is being used by NHS staff to allow them some quiet, contemplative time in the midst of their often harrowing days and nights.
Speech Competition Finals
Next Friday, 22nd May, the school will be hosting its first-ever online Speech Competition finals! The competitions will take place at the following times via Google Meet, in the same way as an assembly:
8.45 - 10.00 a.m. Junior School Final (Years 1 - 3)
1.50 - 3.00 p.m. Senior School Final (Years 4 - 6)
All finalists have been emailed detailed instructions on how to take part. It will be a fantastic way to bring the community together and end the half term by showcasing the children's public speaking skills!
I have also challenged the children to write their own 'Feel Good Friday' poem this week, all about what makes them feel good. Children in Years 1-6 who would like to write a poem should submit their finished poem to their class teachers next week.
Parent Feedback and 6RD Video
Thank you so much to all of the parents who sent feedback about our remote educational provision via the survey sent out last week. We were very pleased that the feedback was so positive; parents clearly feel that the quality and amount of online teaching is good and that pupils are engaging well and making good progress. We were really touched to read the many individual comments that you took the time to write, thanking your teachers and other staff for all that they are doing. Some parents questioned whether there would be an opportunity for formal feedback from staff to parents this term. The answer is that, while we are unable to hold parents' evenings, teachers will certainly be preparing written end of year reports for each child. The format of these reports will reflect the altered circumstances of the term and they will focus on progress in the core subjects.
Led by Tanishka, the children of 6RD have created a beautiful and very touching video of thanks for their teachers and all of the staff who have supported them during their time at St. Helen's College. Thank you, 6RD - this means so much to us!
Mr. Smith and Mr. Rizzo have been very busy working on the school grounds over the last few weeks.
At Upper School, new fencing has been installed outside the back of Cambria, the Zen Garden has been enhanced with a beautiful new pergola and the Art Studio has been re-furbished.
The gardens and lawns are looking beautiful and we are continuing to maintain our indoor and outdoor spaces to our usual high standards. We can't wait until we can welcome pupils back to enjoy these areas.
At Lower School, where the key worker children are being cared for daily, everything is tidy and well cared for, and we are working on the planted area at the foot of the playground which should soon be looking really good.
Posted on: 8/05/2020
Weekly news - Friday 8th May 2020VE Day Celebrations
The whole school really entered into the spirit of celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day this week, with a variety of activities taking place across the year groups. We couldn't have our planned street party at school, but the children certainly made up for it with their enthusiasm!
In our Monday assembly, Patrick, our St. Helen's College History Prefect, introduced us to VE Day, by sharing some of his knowledge with everyone. He spoke very knowledgeably. Catherine performed a wonderful rendition of the popular war time song, the White Cliffs of Dover, accompanying herself on the piano.
Across the school, children and staff were dressed in red, white and blue and many were waving flags and had decorated their rooms with bunting, which could be clearly seen in our Google Meets!
In Year 1, the children were busy writing postcards, diaries from the front line and even creating their own radio broadcasts to announce Victory in Europe! There were also activities such as quizzes and designing World War 2 medals. Reception staff and children really entered into the spirit of VE Day! They were making flags, videos and creating pictures. Even the Star Leader bears took part in the shared celebrations!
Children in other year groups created amazing posters. They also planned, researched and calculated the cost of a VE Day party, did word searches, took part in guided reading about VE Day, joined in with songs from the era and even tried out baking some World War 2 recipes!
Our Reception children (Kingfishers and Owls) made a video to wish everyone a happy VE Day and to show off their red, white and blue clothes and the flags and other decorations they had made. Here they are celebrating:
Brendan Q (Y1) made his own black and white broadcast to celebrate VE Day. You can see this here:
You can see other photos from our VE Day celebrations on our Galleries page. All round, it was a fantastic effort from the St. Helen's College community to celebrate this very special day!
It is so wonderful to hear that our pupils and parents are such great ambassadors and upholding our school values within our community. Advik S from 3M recently donated birthday money, which he had left over from earlier this year, to two very deserving causes. He has given £50 to Great Ormond Street Hospital and another £50 to the Colonel Tom Moore fundraiser for NHS.
Mr. Kumedzina is a Station Commander for the London Fire Brigade and also the Head Karate Coach for South West of England. The Kumedzina family have been training together to keep fit during lockdown, and the London Fire Brigade Charity have been raising money for the NHS by doing a 365 hour non stop run to emulate the 24 hour efforts of the NHS across a 7 day period.
Each participant has a board which is dedicated to a person or cause and Mr. Kumedzina dedicated his to his daughters and all the other children of St. Helen's College who have been working so hard at home. To support this effort, Myla ran for an hour to show her support.
We are thrilled to share the news that Mr. Tovell (4T) and his wife are expecting a baby! The new baby will become a little brother or sister to their son Teddy. Many congratulations to Mr. Tovell and family!
Sadly Mr Aguiar, our Spanish teacher, will not be teaching the children remotely due to ill health (which is not Covid-19 related). In his absence there will still be Spanish provision for the children which will be overseen by Mrs. Stark, our Head of MFL and other staff who have a good level of proficiency in Spanish. We ask parents to be mindful not to contact Mr. Aguiar at this time.
Upper School 'Hello' Video
The Upper School staff shared a video this week to say 'hello' to all the children. We are missing them all so very much! The video was published on the Learning Portal.
Wellbeing for all working remotely
During this period of remote learning it is very important that we all make sure we think about our health, safety and wellbeing. We are all spending much more time on our PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Teachers are preparing and delivering lessons to your children and many of you as parents are also working remotely. Never before has so much time been spent online by us all. It is important that this should be done in the safest way possible ensuring we do not put undue strain or stress on our bodies.
As a staff we have all been assessing our home workstations and I am sure that your employers have also been advising you of the same.
This short video here shows some simple ways to adjust workstations and you may wish to complete your own basic workstation assessment at home for your children and yourself using this simple checklist.
As a school we are encouraging our staff to switch off from work and their workstations to enable them to recharge for the next day and to adopt a schoolwide email curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am. I am sure that many of you have this in place with your place of work too. Please do be mindful that staff may not reply to your email until the next working day if you do send something to them in the evening - they are not ignoring you but are being encouraged to look after their wellbeing in order for them to be refreshed for the next day. Thank you for your support in this matter.
If you share a device with your child, it is strongly recommended that you log out of your account before allowing your child to use the device. If you do not, you are giving your child access to applications and information that you may not wish them to see. In addition, if you are logged onto a gmail account, your child will encounter problems with applications such as Google Meet. When multiple gmail accounts are used, Google sets the first account to be logged on as the default account. So, for example, if your child clicks a Meet link they will be taken to it with your account details and they will not be able to join. If siblings share a device, they should also sign out of their Google accounts after use.
We will be seeking feedback regarding this term's online learning provision from parents, staff and pupils next week using questionnaires developed by RSAcademics, a well-established and highly regarded educational recruitment and consulting company. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey when you receive it.
In addition, we will be holding a virtual PA Forum meeting to focus on pupils' wellbeing and the wellbeing of our whole school community. This will take place on Wednesday 20th May at 7 p.m. If you have any points that you would like the PA representatives to discuss with Mrs. Drummond, Mr. McLaughlin, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith, then please forward these to your representative as soon as possible. Class representatives should forward points for discussion to Mrs. Smith by Friday 15th May, please, at email@example.com.
Book for Upper School
For those of you who enjoyed Anna Farher's 'The Umbrella Mouse' adventure with Pip....great news! The sequel to Anna's debut book is now available for pre-order. Please follow the link https://www.waterstones.com/book/umbrella-mouse-to-the-rescue/anna-fargher/sam-usher/9781529003994
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