School News and Head's Blog
23 Blog Posts found - Showing 1-9
Posted on: 20/04/2018
Weekly News - Friday 20th April 2018Welcome back one and all to what will be a busy and fun-packed summer term! Please don't forget to check the school calendar to see what is in store. We would like to remind you that, during the summer months, children should continue to wear their full school uniform into school. Teachers will ask children to remove ties/blazers in school for the day when the weather is very hot. All children should have their St. Helen's College sun cap with them at all times too, as these must be worn at playtimes and for games sessions outdoors in hot weather.
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. McLaughlin!
As you all know, two of our Upper School teachers had a wonderful wedding celebration over the Easter holidays and we wish Mr. and Mrs. McLaughlin a very long, happy and prosperous future together. Children in Middle School and Upper School had the privilege of hearing from the bride and groom in assembly this week as they shared their sentiments and reflections including photographs and a video from their special day. Thank you to them both for sharing this with the wider community. You can see some photographs of their special weekend on our Galleries page.
Good Luck to Mrs. Rooney!
Mrs. Rooney will be running the London Marathon this weekend to raise money for Phab Kids and we wish her well. She has shown huge commitment and determination in her training and will no doubt show the same spirit on the day itself. You can find out more about her chosen charity, and make a donation if you would like to, by clicking here.
We would like to remind parents that fees for individual instrumental/vocal tuition are due by the first lesson of term please. Payment should be made directly to the music teacher.
Our very exciting Singing Competition for Years 2 - 6 will take place on Friday 8th June this year. Children should decide which category they would like to enter and choose a song. Next, fill in a slip and put into the box - these can both be found at the front of the hall and entries must be submitted no later than Friday 4th May.
There is no set theme this year as we would like to hear songs from all different genres and perhaps a range of songs throughout musical history. Singing in other languages is permitted. The only restrictions this year are that we would like you to avoid singing pop songs and we would like to see only simple gestures and appropriate movements relevant to the performance. No dance moves please.
The categories are:
Best solo singer from each year group.
Best group - trios (3) or quartets (4) only.
There should be just one solo entry per child but they may also participate in either a duet or a group. No choir songs please!
A backing track is required (without words) for performance on the day; CD or Ipod only. No piano accompaniments will be used this year, unless a child is playing the piano as part of their performance.
All winners will be invited to sing at the Singers’ Concert on 12th June.
Should the number of entrants be high, preliminary rounds will take place before half term.
Walk to School Week
Next week is ‘Walk to School Week’ at school and we would like to encourage as many pupils as possible to take part.
The theme for this year is ‘City to Seaside’ and over the week as a whole school we will be trying to walk to distance from Hillingdon to Brighton beach. That’s 69 miles! The children will earn badges and prizes for themselves and their class, just for walking to school! In assemblies today the benefits of walking to school and been highlighted to children. Walking to school is healthy for us, healthy for our environment and helps us to learn about road safety. Also, we can meet our friends and have a chat on the way!
We understand that it may not be possible for all pupils to walk the whole way from home to school and so we recommend a 'Park and Stride' approach. This is where you park your car a 10 minute walk away from the school gates and walk the last bit. You could walk through Court Park to get to school!
All pupils have been issued with a ‘Walk to School’ record card which can be coloured if they walk, even just some of the way, to and from school each day next week. Coming to school on a bike or scooter also counts!
Our team of Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) will be out and about next week spotting those of you who are doing a great job! The week will launch a term of 'Walk on Wednesday' which will start from 25th April so you can keep walking to school each week this term. A walking route to school will be supervised by staff and our JRSOs every Wednesday. The route will start from Court Drive coming through Court Park and will be staffed from 8 – 8.30 a.m., so that pupils can safely participate in walking to school each week.
We suggest the following use of the safe walking route:
Children in Years 3 – 6 may be dropped at the drop off point in Court Drive and the children can walk along the route in small groups. Parents are welcome to walk too.
Parents of pupils in Nursery – Year 2 must park carefully in Court Drive and walk with their children along the route. Young children will not be permitted to use the route unaccompanied by an adult.
World Earth Day
World Earth Day is on Sunday 22nd April with the focus to end plastic pollution.
As a school we have been discussing in class/assembly the importance of looking after our planet and what we can do to help 'end plastic pollution'.
The link to the World Earth Day site can be found here.
A link to an Earth song can be found here.
As a school we will be focusing on World Environmental Day on Tuesday 5th June.
PA Quiz Night - Saturday 12 May 2018
Don’t forget that the PA Quiz Night will be taking place at 7 p.m. on Saturday 12th May 2018 (adults only). So gather up some other parents in your child’s class, friends and family members, fill in the reply slip that was circulated before the Easter holidays and drop it off at the school office. Completed forms need to be submitted by Friday 27th April 2018 - if you need a new one, your PA Class Rep will be able to forward you an electronic copy. Tickets cost £10 each and will include a chip shop supper and you can bring your own drinks. Places are limited so get in early to ensure that you don’t miss out. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tennis team trials will be taking place next Wednesday, 25th April, after school from 3.50 - 5 p.m. for boys and girls who can play mini tennis and wish to play in the school Year 3 and 4 tennis team in the forthcoming Borough tournament on 16th May. The school has a great record in competitive tennis and are current Borough Champions! If you would like your child to come along, please ask your child to sign up on the sheet on the PE notice board. Please note that team practice for successful applicants will take place on Wednesdays after school each week in the lead up to the Borough tournament.
Tag rugby team trials for Year 5 children will be taking place on Wednesday afternoons until 4.30 p.m. Your child has already indicated whether he or she would like to attend.
Tennis for Kids is a LTA initiative happening this summer offering TENNIS TASTER courses for children aged 4-11 who are new to tennis. The course includes six coaching sessions, a Babalot racket and ball set and a personalised t-shirt – all for £25.
Courses are starting soon at our club/school link venues but places are limited and are going fast. Please use the links below to find a course and book a place for your child.
Venue: Tripletts Community Tennis Centre, Hayes click here
Venue: Wayfarers Tennis Club, here
Drop Off and Go and Pick-Up and Go at Lower School and Upper School
The school's parking regulations are available here. Please can we remind parents of the importance of following our procedures each day to enable ease of flow of traffic and due consideration to other parents. This week many parents have been observed getting out of cars and unpacking the boot of the car etc. This only delays cars behind and causes frustration. We have also had parents tooting horns, which causes disturbance to the local neighbours.
Pupils should also not be allowed to use the pedestrian crossing on Long Lane unless accompanied by an adult.
At pick up time please can parents refrain from parking across from school outside of the medical centre as this also obstructs traffic and we cannot operate the pick-up and go system effectively.
Today, pupils at the Upper School site had their first fire drill of the term. Although all pupils lined up correctly and were accounted for in a timely manner, I am sure they will share with you my disappointment at the noise level during evacuation and line up. It would be much appreciated if families would discuss at home the importance of following fire procedures to ensure that everyone is safe, and the reasons for remaining calm and quiet in these situations. It may be an opportunity for you to discuss what the fire evacuation procedures would be in your own home too.
Posted on: 23/03/2018
Weekly News - Friday 23rd March 2018It was super to be joined by so many parents for our Easter Service today. We wish you all a happy Easter and a relaxing holiday with your families.
Speech Competition/Poetry Recital
All pupils from Nursery to Year 6 performed with great confidence, articulation and pride at our annual Junior and Senior Speech Competitions and at the Nursery and Reception poetry recitals. It is a testament to the families' support and the superb teaching here that our children are able to take to the stage and demonstrate such highly developed public speaking skills. Congratulations to all of the children for learning their poems and speeches, but special congratulations to our winners.
The overall winners were:
Years 1-3: Zidane B
Years 4-6: Daniel G-J.
Music and Sports Personalities of the Term
Many congratulations to Shreya T, who was named the Music Personality of the Term for the Spring Term for her outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department.
Shreya has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years, in all aspects of music at St Helen’s College. She:
has excellent musical skills and is very knowledgeable;
applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work;
is always impeccably behaved and is an excellent role model;
plays the recorder fluently;
enjoys and sings in the Senior Choir;
has recently sung at St John’s Smith Square and The Royal Festival Hall with the Chamber Choir;
is a reliable music monitor;
has worked extremely hard in singing lessons and
has recently passed a Grade 5 singing exam with distinction.
Our Sports Personality of the Term was also announced this week and the award went to a very deserving Chiara L in Y5. Chiara has shown commitment and determination to achieve her sporting goals this term, training incredibly hard to reach an excellent standard of skill in her sport. She remains very modest about her achievements but is really brave when competing, often somersaulting 5 meters in the air. The whole school was incredibly proud of her as she competed at the international competition in Portugal this term and won a gold medal. Many congratulations, Chiara!
There are photographs of the winners on the Galleries page.
Our Year 3 children are involved in a new project, exchanging letters with a Spanish school in Murcia, in the southeast of Spain. Last Thursday, to develop this further and as a surprise for our children, Year 3 actually had the opportunity to have Skype conversations with Spanish pupils, exchanging likes/dislikes and talking about their hobbies, favourite subjects and more. This was a wonderful opportunity to develop their Spanish by speaking with Spanish pupils and the children here are full of excitement for what comes next. Some new international friendships, maybe? We are looking forward to exploring the possibilities of this new project and we will keep you posted!
Trips And Visits This Week
Reception were so lucky to be visited by the Starlab Planetarium this week as a fantastic end to their topic on 'Space'. Once inside the dome, they took an amazing journey through space - looking at the sun, the planets in our solar system, spiral galaxies and stunning nebulae. They were then treated to a breathtaking 360 degree view of the night sky, where they identified some of the most famous constellations and heard how their stories had been passed down through time. It was an incredible experience that they will never forget!
On Wednesday, Year 4 went on a fantastic trip to the Synagogue, which served as a fitting conclusion to their studies of Judaism. The children were impeccably behaved throughout - as was commented on by all of the wonderful and welcoming hosts - during three workshops on the Shabbat, the Torah and Jewish song. All of Year 4 performing a Jewish dance, which provided an entertaining end to a truly outstanding trip.
Chess Club has been busy this term, with participants competing in matches as part of our chess tournament. In the end, Aditya S won the chess tournament in a nail-biting finish to beat Michael K by one point. There were three players who qualified for the Megafinal at Harrow High School on Thursday 12th April: Ayush A, Aditya S and Michael K. Well done to all those who have been developing their chess skills and to these three boys in particular!
The Chess Team enjoyed a friendly match yesterday too, with the teams as follows:
A team: 1 Ayush 2 Michael. 3 Catherine 4 Luke
B team: 1 Aditya. 2 Nirmit 3 Keaton 4 Jai
The result of the first round matches was:
St. Helen's A team v. St. Bernadette's A team
Draw Board 1 Draw
Win Board 2 Lose
Draw Board 3 Draw
Draw Board 4 Draw
St. Helen's B team v. St. Bernadette's B team
Win Board 1 Lose
Win Board 2 Lose
Win Board 3 Lose
Win Board 4 Lose
This was a clean sweep by our B team so things were looking good at the halfway stage.
St. Helen's A team v. St. Bernadette's B team
Lose Board 1 Win
Win Board 2 Lose
Win Board 3 Lose
Lose Board 4 Win
St. Helen's B team v. St. Bernadette's A team
Lose Board 1 Win
Lose Board 2 Win
Win Board 3 Lose
Lose Board 4 Win
So at the end we won round 1 and St. Bernadette's won round 2 so the result was a draw. As this was a friendly, we agreed a draw and did not go into finer detail. However, had this been a tournament match we would have won with more individual wins! Well done to all of the pupils, who played well in the face of stiff opposition.
If your children (and you) might enjoy hearing some music from the movies, why not attend the Family Concert at Trinity Church, Harrow tomorrow evening (Saturday 24th March)? Full details, including ticket prices and timings, are available here.
We have flute vacancies for children in Year 2 upwards. These will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so if you are interested in your son or daughter learning the flute, please contact Mrs. Allery as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We still have spaces available in the following Upper School clubs for the summer term.
(Bushcraft will include using a compass, map reading, the Countryside Code, recognising weather conditions, international signs of distress, ropes, knots & gadgets, building a shelter, finding water, building a fire and campfire cooking. Please note that this club is now available to Y4 too.)
Y2/3 Spanish club
Y4/5/6 Spanish club
Y5/6 Tag rugby
Please contact Miss Lang at email@example.com as soon as possible if you would like to book onto these clubs for next term
Easter Girls' Basketball Camp
There will be a basketball camp for girls taking place at Douay
Martyrs School over the Easter holidays between Tuesday 3rd - Friday 6th April. Daily sessions run from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The camp will be a mix of drills, matches, mini competitions and shooting games with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment. All girls aged 7-17 are welcome, regardless of ability or whether they have played basketball before, and the camp will be run by female coaches. There’s also an early bird price of £75 (reduced from £90) for all places booked by 29th March - you can make your booking with a text, call or email and payment can be made later on the first day of camp. Full details are available here.
PA Quiz Night - Saturday 12 May 2018
The PA Quiz Night will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday 12th May 2018 (adults only). The reply slips to book your team in (no more than 8 people per team) have now been circulated in book bags so, if you fancy an evening of fun and laughter and the opportunity to test your grey matter, get your forms filled in and back to us by 27th April please. Tickets cost £10 each and will include a chip shop supper but you will need to bring your own drinks. Places are limited so do get in early to ensure that you don’t miss out. We look forward to seeing you there!
PA Easter Raffle
This year, the PA donated a prize for a free Easter egg draw for each class. Congratulations to all of the lucky winners and Happy Easter to all from the PA!
Posted on: 16/03/2018
Weekly News - Friday 16th March 2018We are looking forward to seeing you all at our annual Exhibition Day tomorrow. The school will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and we hope that you will visit Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School to see all that your children have been busy doing! The car parks are likely to be very busy, so please do come on foot if you can and be prepared to park away from the school and walk if you are coming by car. Please remember that, while all of the teachers and assistants will be here and eager to chat with you, Exhibition Day does not allow time for in-depth discussion of your child's progress. If you would like to speak to any teacher in detail about your child's work then please do make an individual appointment. Children should wear their full school uniform to Exhibition Day please.
We were so proud of our Chamber Choir this week as they competed in the Barnardo's National Schools Choral Competiton at the Royal Festival Hall. They qualified for the final with over 150 schools from all over the UK competing for a place in this prestigious event. On the day they went up against eighteen other primary schools and performed magnificently. Although we were unable to beat Lindley School, who have won the competition now for the third year in succession, our pupils were all winners in our eyes! You can see their competition piece on the link below, which one of our parents has kindly shared with us.
3V proved today that screen time can be advantageous for children when they engage in such wonderful programmes presented in today's outstanding assembly! Educational and entertaining - the 3V team brought to life the Anglo Saxon period and demonstrated one of our school values of 'Respect'. The pupils' perfomances were a testament to how much respect they have for each other and their learning here at St Helen's College - well done everyone!
Our Eco Reps have had a very industrious week encouraging all pupils to be mindful of NOT wasting food and other resources. Each day in the dining rooms they have eagerly weighed our food waste and general waste and reported back in assemblies. We are delighted to report that the food waste has reduced over the week! This has been a superb week-long initiative which has highlighted to us all the important message of recycling appropriately and not to waste food.
The student voice at St. Helen's College is loud and clear and it is so positive to have such an active student council. The reps have been liaising with their classes and taking the ideas and suggestions of the student body to Miss Vig in their weekly meeting. The Year 6 reps then meet with Mrs. Drummond on a regular basis to present the agreed areas for development. Some of the suggestions which have been actioned are board games for the playground, Park Club, Yorkshire puddings for all (not just meat eaters!), new cups in the dining room and soup at lunchtime. Keep up the great work, council reps!
Football League Champions!
On Wednesday, after a long wait due to the adverse weather conditions over the last couple of months, we finally went into our last football league game, knowing that a win would secure St. Helen's College our second ever league championship. The team was very nervous all week but looked forward to kicking off against St. Mary's. On a heavy and wet pitch, we started uphill and the side seemed apprehensive and struggled to settle. However, after about twelve minutes, Ryeesa took a corner and Eli headed home! It stayed 1-0 until half time and the team re-grouped and then produced one of their best 15 minutes of football of the season. Eli scored a further two goals for his hat trick and the team and spectators knew we were champions! It has been a wonderful season with the team improving every game, producing some exciting football with skill and pace. Congratulations to all team members who made this possible.
The Year 5 and 6 swimming team took part in the School Games district swimming gala on Thursday evening at Hillingdon Sport and Leisure Complex. The event attracted eleven local schools and initial heats for each event were held, followed by finals for the six fastest swimmers. In the individual breaststroke heats, Timi and Wenru swam for St. Helen's, with Timi finishing in 3rd place in his boys' heat and Wenru in 4th place in her girls' heat. This was quickly followed by William and Zoe swimming in the individual backstroke heats. William finished in 4th place and Zoe in 3rd place in very fast heats. Finally Lincoln and Lily took to the pool to contest the individual freestyle heats, with both of our swimmers winning their heats.
After the individual heats our team had to get ready for the relay heats. In teams of three our swimmers competed in the medley relay and freestyle relay heats. Adiyta, Wenru and William teamed up to swim the medley relay finishing in 3rd place in their heat and Lincoln, Timi and Lily teamed up to swim the freestyle relay winning their heat convincingly. When the places in the finals were announced, the team were excited to discover they had qualified for 7 out of 8 finals.
In the boys' breaststroke final and girls' backstroke final, Timi and Zoe narrowly missed out on medals finishing in 4th place but medals came St. Helen's way with Lincoln winning a silver medal in the boys' freestyle final and Lily winning a gold medal in the girls' freestyle final. It was gold again in the freestyle relay final for Lily, Timi and Lincoln, who led from the front all the way through to the finish. In the overall team competitions the team finished in 3rd place in the individual cup, relay team cup and overall team cup. Many congratulations to all our swimmers!
Hillingdon Primary Schools Table Tennis Festival
On Monday, our team of four took part in the Borough Primary Schools Table Tennis Festival at Oakwood secondary school. Our team was seeded 1 - 4 to play against seeded players from the other schools, with each player playing five matches. St. Helen's College won 19 of their 20 matches, which is an outstanding achievement and led to us being crowned tournament winners. The Mayor of Hillingdon presented our team with gold medals and was pleased to pose for photo opportunities with them too! Well done to the team members: Ryeesa S, Daniel C, Ethan V-B and Jai S.
Co-Curricular clubs have now finished for this term, with the exception of the following clubs which will be running catch up sessions next week:
Yr 3 & 4 Netball Monday 19th
Yr 2 & 3 Art Wednesday 21st
Yr 2 & Yr 4, 5 & 6 Tennis Thursday 22nd
Yr 5 & 6 Minecraft Thursday 22nd
Yr 5 & 6 French drama Thursday 22nd
Easter Service and End of Term
Parents are warmly invited to attend the Easter service at All Saints Church at 11 a.m. on Friday 23rd. Please remember that Friday 23rd March is the last day of term and is a half day. Holiday Club will be running in the afternoon.
Easter Tennis Camps
If you have a keen young tennis player, or a child who would like to have a go at tennis, then you might be interested in the Easter tennis camps which are run by our very own Miss Walker. You can find details here.
Easter Basketball Camps
Children who would like to practise their basketball over Easter might be interested in the basketball camps being run by Thames Valley Cavaliers. You can find details here.
Posted on: 9/03/2018
Weekly News - Friday 9th March 2018It is just one week to go now until our annual Exhibition Day, at which we celebrate the hard work and achievements of your children throughout the year. Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 17th March from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. We have sent invitations out to each family and we do urge you to attend!
This special occasion, which is for current parents only, gives parents and other family members a chance to visit classrooms at all three sites and throughout the school to see the work produced by pupils. Your children will, no doubt, be eager to show you all that they have been doing. They will also enjoy reminiscing when visiting younger classes and looking forward to what is in store for them in the future when visiting older year groups.
Refreshments will be available in The Evans Hall throughout the morning and all of your children's teachers and teaching assistants will be on hand. However, please note that teaching staff will not be available on this day for in-depth discussion of children's progress or other matters. Should you need to speak individually with the teacher about your child, please do make an appointment at another mutually convenient time.
Parents have traditionally been very generous with sending in flowers and lending vases for this day. We thank you in advance for your support. The day is for current families of the school only. If you know of any families with young children who might be interested in St. Helen's College as prospective parents, we will be running a 'School at Work' Open Morning at the start of the summer term, so please do encourage them to telephone us and get booked in.
The children have been very busy throughout this week learning about the work of the NSPCC and how to keep themselves safe. As an added bonus, they have also been keeping themselves healthy in their fundraising venture scooting and cycling around the playground. Thank you to family and friends who have supported this very important charity.
Assemblies This Week
We have seen some beautifully performed class assemblies at school this week, on three very different but very interesting and important topics. Wrens Nursery presented their assembly all about Mother's Day with astonishing confidence and presence for children so young. They told us all about mums and all that they do, and some children explained why they love their mummy in particular. As you can imagine, there was barely a dry eye in the house! Congratulations, Wrens!
On Thursday, 5W demonstrated their understanding of narrative poetry with an excellent performance of The Highwayman, one of the most famous narrative poems.Through song and spoken word, they recited the poem as they re-enacted the story in costume and to great effect. There was a rhythmic drum beat and coconut halves provided the sound of horse's hooves. No-one could fail to be moved as the poem reached its tragic and unforgettable conclusion. Well done, 5W.
4T taught us all about meta-learning through their performance today, which included drama, music, movement and some humour too. They reminded us that we all learn in different ways and that it is by understanding ourselves as learners that we can reach our full potential. They also reminded us of the importance of being ready to learn at all times, and of how we might suffer if we are not ready to learn. All those watching will no doubt now remember the St. Helen's College mantra, that everyone should be Ready, Respectful and Safe at all times. Good work, 4T!
International Gymnastics Success!
Congratulations are due to Chiara L and her gymnastics partner, who did incredibly well in Portugal at the Maia International Acro Cup last weekend after dedicating several months of practice, sheer hard work and commitment to Acro gymnastics. Chiara would practise for 4-5 hours after school, perfecting the routine in preparation for their first international competition.
Last Friday, they beat 30 other pairs, representing over 12 countries, to qualify in first place for the final on Sunday. Then, in an exciting final, they held their nerve and performed beautifully to take gold! They are now the 2018 International Youth WP Acro Champions! This is a major achievement for Chiara; her family, friends and the whole school are tremendously proud of her.
You can see photographs of the event on our Galleries page.
This week our netball teams took part in the annual Reddiford School netball tournament. Our teams went as defending champions, having won the event for the past three years. Teams from Alpha Prep School, Quainton Hall, Reddiford School and St. Helen's College took part this year in a fun 'round robin' format. It was the first taste of 7-a-side netball for our teams, as they make the progress from Hi-five netball in preparation for secondary school netball. Both the A and B teams worked well on the court, adjusting to having WA/WD on court, and delivered some good patterns of play in their performances.
The A team won 3 and narrowly lost 2 matches and the B team won 2 matches and lost 3 matches. The overall tournament winners this year were Alpha Prep but our teams are determined to go back next year to try to reclaim the trophy! Well done to all the girls who took part: Zara, Abigail, Ionie, Grace, Aaria, Amishi, Natalie, Maddy, Zoe, Eshar, Wenru, Rhea, Georgia and Shreya.
Co-Curriculum - Summer Term
The Co-Curriculum Programmes for the summer term have now been posted to the School Documents page of the website and are available by following these links:
Upper School Programme - Summer 2018
Lower School Programme - Summer 2018
The closing date for returning booking forms is Wednesday 14th March.
We are now promoting Waste Week, which takes place between 12th and 16th March. The focus this year is 'food and packaging' waste, so as a school we will be looking at ways to reduce these. Our Eco Reps have been busy making posters to help remind us all of the best ways to do this and what unfortunately happens when we use too much packaging.
We are also asking the children to think about how they can also reduce food waste at home. You can see more information here and here.
Your child will be bringing home a paper copy of their own 'student food diary' so that they can complete it and return to their class teacher, who will pass it to either Miss Dear, Miss Vig or Mrs. Mann.
We will also be having a fact finding mission around the school for children to learn more about food and packaging waste.
Thank you for your support with this campaign.
We will be bidding farewell to two members of staff at Easter time. Mrs. Sweeney will be leaving us after many years of service to enable her to spend more time with her family. Mrs. Copland, one of our Lower School lunchtime assistants, will also be leaving to take up another role. We wish them both well and thank them for their dedication and commitment to the school.
Next term, 1S will be taught by Mrs. Hunt, assisted by Miss Davies and Ms Thomas. 1HC will be taught by Miss Cooper.
Easter Holiday Club Bookings Now Open
The booking form for the Easter Holiday Club has now been posted to the School Documents page of the website and is available here. Please note that completed booking forms must be returned by next Friday, 16th March.
PA Easter Raffle
As has become traditional, the PA has donated prizes for an Easter raffle for the children. All of the children will be included in this free Easter egg draw (which will take place in the last week before the Easter break) and there will be one prize for each class. We hope that the lucky winners enjoy their prizes!
Battle of Britain Bunker
If your child has a keen interest in history (or you are hoping to spark one!), the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge will re-open on Friday 30 March (Good Friday), along with the new visitor centre. The visitor centre will be open seven days per week (closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day), from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with last admission at 3.30 p.m.
You can find more details here. We do hope many of you will take your children to this very local and very interesting historical site.
We would like to remind parents again of the school parking regulations, which are published on the School Documents page of the website and are available here. It is crucial that parents follow these, both for the safety of children and adults and to maintain good relationships with our neighbours and the local community. We would like to remind parents in particular that staff car parks may not be used by parents and that parents must not park in Parkway on the opposite side of the road to the school, as this obstructs the flow of traffic along Parkway. Thank you for your support.
Posted on: 2/03/2018
Weekly News - Friday 2nd March 2018Yesterday we celebrated World Book Day and the children looked fantastic in their costumes. We had many Roald Dahl classics including several Willy Wonkas, Miss Trunchbull, the Twits, tortoises and even a golden ticket! Each year group looked at a particular Roald Dahl story and delved into his marvellous world of imagination. Some of the events planned for yesterday were put on hold due to the conditions - they will be rearranged in the coming days.
We also had a fantastic author visit from Shane Hegarty, who had travelled from Ireland to share stories about his 'Darkmouth' series. He provided some wonderful writing tips for the children, all inspired by just two words: What if? He also informed us that a major animated movie based on the series is currently in the works. Watch this space!
You can see photos on our Galleries page.
It was with Dunkirk spirit and an incredible bunch of excited and colourful book characters that every member of our Kingfisher class embraced the snowy weather to remind us of the joy of books on World Book Day. We were in the company of some of the greats: Goldilocks, Alice in Wonderland, Paddington, Harry Potter and Willie Wonka to name but a few!
Some great advice was shared, including a section of Roald Dahl's 'Television' poem, but one of the important messages delivered by the children was another Roahld Dahl quote: "if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
Thank you to all of our wonderful characters for delivering such a superb assembly and to the parents for supporting us in getting our astronauts, crocodiles, Dorothys, Ariels and other cast members to school on such a memorable day!
The netball squad took part in the local School Games netball rally last Saturday held at Ryefield School. Girls from Years 5 and 6 made up our two teams and despite the cold temperatures the sun shone and it was a great morning of netball, with sixteen teams taking part. Our B team played three group matches, losing two and drawing one match. Our A team won two matches and lost one match and it was enough to progress to the quarter finals to face Hermitage School. Our team played very well but it was a difficult match against a strong opponent and St. Helen's were knocked out of the tournament to the eventual tournament winners, Hermitage. The netball squad have had a good netball season and performed well in the local school league, finishing in second place in the league table. The team were awarded runners up silver medals in recognition of their achievement. Well done to everyone who played in the league this season and the whole netball squad: Amishi, Abigail, Maddy, Lily, Grace, Natalie, Zara, Ryeesa, Shreya, Rhea, Mya, Ionie, Aaria, Wenru, Georgia, Hebe, Tamara, Kyra, Eshar and Zoe.
Due to the current extreme weather conditions several football league and cup fixtures have had to be cancelled. They will be rearranged and we will advise of new dates as soon as possible. In order to complete the matches before the end of the season, at the end of this term we may have to schedule two matches per week. Currently the football team is top of the league and into the semi finals of the cup!
NSPCC Workshops and Fundraiser
The NSPCC’s 'Speak out. Stay safe.' programme will be visiting our school next week with their friendly mascot Buddy, to make sure our pupils have the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe.
To support the NSPCC we are holding a fundraiser at school next week. This year’s fundraiser (the Buddy cycle and scooter workout) will involve children counting how many times they can cycle or scoot around a workout route in a set time. Pupils are asked to bring their (named) bicycle/scooter and helmet to school on the day of their challenge. The school will have some spare bicycles/scooters available too.
Year 6 will be taking part in the Buddy cycle and scooter workout but have chosen different activities to raise funds. 6M will take part in a Spellathon and 6D will take part in a maths challenge.
Full details have been sent home by email. We look forward to a successful collaboration with the NSPCC. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.
The school now has a new procedure to report all head injuries to parents by telephone as they happen. We will report head injuries even if we do not consider there to be any cause for concern. We do not wish to worry parents unduly, and our Welfare staff will explain to parents clearly over the telephone whether any further action needs to be taken to monitor or investigate the injury. In the vast majority of cases, children who sustain minor bumps to the head are able to remain very happily in school and will not need to be collected or taken for further examination.
Posted on: 23/02/2018
Weekly News - Friday 23rd February 2018The February Month End Music Recital today gave a lovely opportunity for some of our young musicians to show off their talents and hard work to their peers and parents, as well as to develop their performance skills, in an informal environment. Very well done to all those who performed on their instruments or sang for us. There were charming, energetic and moving performances on piano, flute, violin, cello, guitar and a lovely vocal rendition of a song from 'Cinderella'.
Assemblies This Week
It was wonderful to watch how well 3T reminded our school community of the importance of 'RESPECT'. I know that children hear this message frequently from parents and teachers, but for the children to embrace this value and character trait and deliver it with such clarity and confidence was super. Well done, 3T! This was a wonderful assembly and we felt humbled to be in the audience.
6M performed an incredibly poignant assembly as they jumped 30 years into the future to be themselves as 'grown ups' reminiscing on their St. Helen's College days! Their last class assembly was certainly one to remember for everyone - thank you 6M.
Borough Football Finals
Well done to our football team, who competed in the Borough Football Finals this week and finished in 4th place. The team worked hard and demonstrated plenty of skill and determination in a fast-paced tournament of short matches.
Please note that, following feedback from the class representatives via the Parents' Association, Mrs. Drummond has decided to host a termly PA reps' meeting to give parents a forum in which to discuss whole-school issues with members of the Senior Leadership Team. PA class representatives should continue to forward individual or class/year group-specific queries to the relevant class teacher, a member of SLT or to Mrs. Drummond directly. The next meeting for PA reps will be in the summer term.
Thank you to all of the class reps and PA committee for their continued support and useful feedback.
Please allow your children to wear their woolly hats to school in this very cold weather so that their ears are protected from the very low temperatures. Once the cold snap has passed, please revert to wearing the school black hats (girls) and felt caps (boys) to/from school when wearing full school uniform, in order to maintain the smart St. Helen's College uniform appearance in the community.
Class representatives have let the school know that some parents are unsure about which uniform to wear, either daily or for specific activities. The uniform list is re-published each summer term in advance of the new academic year; in order to clarify things for parents, we will be taking photographs of children in the correct uniform and sportswear for each year group or phase. These will be distributed next term with the updated uniform list. We hope that this will help to clarify what should be worn and when, as well as acting as a reference guide for parents throughout the year.
Arrival at school
Pupils at Upper School should not be left unattended outside the school prior to 8 a.m. An adult should wait with children until a member of staff comes on duty at 8 a.m. If early drop off is required, pupils may always be booked into Breakfast Club from 7.30 a.m.
Posted on: 9/02/2018
Weekly News - Friday 9th February 2018We are delighted that the school was today presented with a special award to recognise our outstanding provision for pupils with Asthma. We are the first school in the London Borough of Hillingdon to be named as an 'Asthma Friendly School'. Many congratulations to Miss Lang, Mrs. Beale and all of the staff who ensure that our provision for children with asthma is first class.
London Schools Concert
Our Chamber Choir participated for the first time this year in the Children's Trust annual London Schools Concert . They performed along with six other independent schools in the beautiful baroque church St. John 's, Smith Square in the heart of Westminster. Our pupils sang with such confidence and harmony in both of their songs but in their second song, 'Can you Hear Me?', they mesmerised the audience of 500 with their singing and sign language.
Thank you to all of the parents who attended the concert and to Mrs. Allery and Mrs. Garnes for preparing the pupils so well. Over £5,000 was raised on the day for this very worthwhile charity and we look forward to being part of this very special day again next year - do put Sunday 3rd February 2019 in your diaries now! The next event for the Chamber Choir will be the Barnardos National Choral Competition on Monday 12th March and tickets can be purchased here:
In their class assembly this week, 1HC entertained us with dragon dancing, singing and the history of the Chinese New Year with such vibrance and superb presentation skills. Special thank you to Joleen who had been instrumental in sharing so much information about the traditions of this special event in the Chinese culture. Mr. Crehan, who is also learning Mandarin, tested out his language skills with the children back in class with great aplomb!
2H delighted us today in reminding us of the importance of friendships with words, action and song. In their words, 'To have a good friend, you need to be a good friend'. Congratulations and thank you, 2H.
Every child in Years 1 to 6 should now have brought home their poem or piece of prose to learn for our Speech Competition, which takes place in the last week of term. Please do help your child to learn their poem or prose by heart and to speak it as expressively as they can. The children will also have a chance to practise in class after half term and there will then be preliminary rounds to select class finalists.
Class finalists will perform at the finals of the Speech Competition, to which parents of finalists will be invited. At the finals, a winner will be chosen from each class and there will also be an overall winner selected for Years 1-3 and for Years 4-6.
Children will be judged on their expression, projection and clarity. They will be expected to show an understanding of, and empathy for, the content of their piece. Use of reasonable facial expression and appropriate hand gestures is encouraged, but please note that no choreography or props are allowed!
Nursery and Reception children will each learn a poem and will recite these to their peers, staff and parents in their own Speech Festival. Again, please help your children to learn their poem by heart and to enjoy performing it.
We hope you will enjoy hearing the children practise at home for this!
The Year 6 handball teams took part in the local primary school competition last Saturday at Oak Wood School. This fast moving, action packed Olympic sport is very exciting to watch and our pupils really enjoyed playing competitively. Everyone worked hard to attack and defend and Krish was an outstanding goalie, even managing to save a penalty. Our A team won two matches in their group against Hillingdon and St. Bernadette and the B team also won two matches in their group against Oak Farm and St. Andrew's. However it was the B team who narrowly lost out on progressing to the semi finals by just one goal. Well done to all our players: Ryeesa S, Abigail Y, Jed H, Timi O, Max E, Aeshan N, Zara S-P, Grace R, Natalie F, Amrit R, Arusan U-H, Abhiram R and Krish T.
The West London Eagles handball team runs training for junior boys on Tuesdays and junior girls on Thursdays at Northolt High Sports Centre. If your son or daughter is enjoying handball at school, why not consider joining them? The first session is free and full details are available atwww.westlondoneagles.co.uk.
On Monday, we had a boys' hockey match against St. Benedict's School at Brunel Sports Park. After recent years of success, we found ourselves playing against a much improved team. St. Helen's College put in a lot of determination and tried hard to keep their shape. Unfortunately we lost the match 7-1 but the boys really enjoyed the afternoon. The team members were: Abhiram R, Daniel C, Arusan U-H, Amrit R, Veer B, Nirmit N, Rajdeep B, Jed H and Luke J.
World Book Day
The school will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 1st March. The theme for this year is Roald Dahl, one of the most phizz-whizzing British children's authors of all! Children are asked to dress up on the day; pupils from Years 1 - 6 are encouraged to dress as a Roald Dahl character but all book characters are welcome! Ducklings, Nursery and Reception will of course be joining in with all the fun and they are asked to dress as a book character of their choice. We hope it will be a fun filled day to celebrate all the fantastic reading done throughout the year.
NSPCC Workshops and Fundraiser
The NSPCC’s 'Speak out. Stay safe.' programme will be visiting our school during the second half of term, with their friendly mascot Buddy, to make sure our pupils have the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe.
To support the NSPCC we will be organising a fundraiser at school in the week beginning 5th March. This year’s fundraiser (the Buddy cycle and scooter workout) will involve children counting how many times they can cycle or scoot around a workout route in 10 minutes. Pupils will be asked to bring their (named) bicycle/scooter and helmet to school on the day of their challenge. The school will have some spare bicycles/scooters available too.
Year 6 will be taking part in the Buddy cycle and scooter workout but have chosen different activities to raise funds. 6M will take part in a Spellathon and 6D will take part in a maths challenge.
Full details and sponsor forms will be sent home in due course. In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher.
We have an unexpected vacancy for a child (in Year 2 - Year 6) to learn the 'cello at school. Lessons are available from after half term onwards.
We will also have a vacancy for individual trumpet tuition from Easter. Again, this is available to children in Years 2 to 6.
If you are interested in your child learning either of these instruments, please email Mrs. Allery at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Posted on: 2/02/2018
Weekly News - Friday 2nd February 2018Our Year 6 Sports Captains were inspired to create an assembly this week about the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, after an offer from a parent to bring in one of the torches used in the relay to get the Olympic flame from Greece to PyeongChang.
The Sports Captains delivered a very informative assembly all about this year's host city, the Olympic and Paralympic values, the symbolism of the torch relay and the 2018 torch design. They told us all about the different sports that we will see next week when the Games start. The children were amazed to see the torch and the Sports Captains demonstrating some winter sports! â
There were class assemblies this week too.
Our Robins Nursery children performed a roaringly successful assembly for us on Thursday all about dinosaurs. It was clear, following their recent workshop with the Travelling Natural History Museum, that the children had learnt so much about fossils and the species of dinosaurs - whose names they pronounced with unfaltering good diction! Quite an achievement for 3 and 4 year olds! Well done Robins!
2B presented their assembly all about the Great Fire of London and what a great way this was of learning about this fascinating history topic, with music, dance, drama and singing. Thank you to 2B for telling us the story behind the Great Fire and reminding us of the brave job that our firefighters continue to do for us today. Parents, do enjoy your visit to London this half term!
Don't forget to visit the Galleries page for photographs of assemblies, performances, sports and more.
This week our basketball team took part in the Borough School Games Basketball Tournament held at Uxbridge College. The event, attended by 30 school teams from across the borough, was organised by Thames Valley Cavaliers and students from Uxbridge College's Basketball Academy.
Our A team were in a group with Hayes Park A, Dr Tripletts A, Oak Farm A and Guru Nanak. Our B team was in a group with Hayes Park B, Tripletts B, William Byrd B, and Whiteheath C. As the competition progressed our teams became more confident and the shots started to go in more and more. Our A team won 2 and lost 2 matches and our B team won 1 match and lost 3.
The event was great fun and gave all our pupils a positive experience of competitive basketball. Well done to team members Jed H, Aeshan N, Max E, Jai S, Luke J, Roshan J, Tamara A and Sreeja B.
If anyone would like to try basketball, there is a basketball camp running over February half term at Uxbridge College. Details are available here.
Parents are reminded that the school does not permit children to use the pedestrian crossing on Long Lane unaccompanied. Please help us to set a good example and do not allow your children to use the zebra crossing without an adult. Long Lane is a busy road and we consider that it is not safe for children to cross it alone.
Posted on: 26/01/2018
Weekly News - Friday 26th January 2018Thank you to all of the parents who attended our reading meetings this week and showed such energy and enthusiasm. Reading is such a vital area of the children's development and we our delighted to have such strong parental support with home reading. Here are three links to the materials used for the meetings.
Lower School presentation (phonics and alphabetic code)
Reading at Home presentation
Book Talk question slips
If you have any queries about reading at home or school, please contact your child's form teacher in the first instance. You may also contact Mr. McLaughlin, our Head of English, at email@example.com
Assemblies This Week
1S reminded us all of the importance of looking after our world in their class assembly this week, with a delightful re-enactment of the the Old Testament story of 'Noah's Ark'. Each pupil played their part with such enthusiasm and passion. Thank you to the children for a heartwarming performance.
Another superb assembly came today from 4A, who highlighted the character trait of 'self-control'. Mrs. Drummond was honoured to attend a preview performance on Thursday, when pupils also reflected on how they were aware that they are becoming more self aware and recognised how they have matured in Year 4 and developed more 'self-control'. Well done everyone!
Do visit the Galleries page to see photographs of the assemblies.
Our annual Heartstart training for pupils from Reception to Year 6 was completed last week in a series of workshops. Each year pupils are taught a progressive range of skills so that they know what to do in a medical emergency. Basic first aid skills are taught including how to call 999 and what to do if someone is unconscious, choking, has a serious bleed, stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest. We hope your children have shared some of the skills they have learnt with you and we encourage parents to ask your children to demonstrate what they would do by acting it out. This is a good way for them to embed their skills and train others at home too.
Thank you to Soula and her staff for embracing 'Burns Night' with the Middle and Upper School pupils who were all able to sample some Scottish fayre. Well done to those children and adults who stepped out of their comfort zone to taste haggis for the very first time (both meat and vegetarian were on offer). Many children asked if they could purchase this outside of school they enjoyed it so much! We shall not promote any individual supermarket but yes....most supermarkets will stock it in the sausage/bacon isle! Happy haggis hunting!
We welcome Miss Davies back to Lower School on Monday after her maternity leave. Miss Davies will be in school for three days each week and we are delighted that Mrs. Meeran will remain with us for the other two days to job share with Miss Davies.
We would like to remind parents of the role of the class representatives. Their role is twofold: to disseminate information from the School or the PA committee to the class parents, and to pass on any collective feedback from parents to the School or to the PA committee. The School has an ‘open door’ policy and all parents are asked to direct queries, in the first instance, to their class teacher. This will usually be the fastest and most direct way for queries to be answered or concerns addressed. If the class teacher is unable to help, he or she will refer parents to the appropriate member of the SLT or to Mrs. Drummond. The Parents’ Forum convened only once each term, and so did not allow for immediate discussion of any issues; we are finding that the new system has been embraced by parents throughout the school and is working well.
The uniform list for 2018-19 has now been finalised and published. You can access a copy here. Please note that all children should return to school in September wearing full winter uniform from now on.
There are two changes to items on the uniform list.
Firstly, the girls' winter skirt has been updated. The new green skirt is a one-piece skirt with a flat front and drop-pleated back; it should be easier to wash and dry for parents, as well as holding its shape better and providing a more comfortable fit for all girls. The green skirt will be extended to Nursery children so that parents may continue to use their Nursery skirt into Reception if appropriate. We are sure you will agree that the new style skirt represents an improvement on the old style, fully pleated skirt. The old style skirt is being discontinued and the tunic, which is harder for the girls to get on and off, is also being discontinued. This will streamline the girls’ uniform list and ensure that all girls will have a uniform appearance, as the boys do. Although we are sure that most parents will want to adopt the new skirt as soon as possible, there will be a year’s grace period so that parents may make use of uniform already purchased.
The 3-in-1 green coat (which was already part of the uniform list) is being introduced as a compulsory item, in response to many requests over the years from parents, both via the Parents’ Forum and in informal discussions, for a uniform coat for all. The School has consulted with Pullen’s over the last two years and has looked at many different samples of coats. We know that parents felt strongly that a unisex coat would be the best solution, so that parents could pass the coat down to siblings of either gender. We are mindful of the cost of uniform and the selected 3-in-1 coat is almost half the price of the most economical duffle coat we could source. Its introduction will also allow us to discontinue the PE fleece as a separate item, which will help to minimise costs for parents. We anticipate that parents will separate the fleece from the outer shell of the coat and use the outer shell as a day-to-day school coat, keeping the fleece with the PE/Games kit. Children should be warm enough in full winter uniform (long-sleeved shirt, jumper/cardigan, blazer, coat, hat, scarf and gloves), but of course they may also use the fleece lining as part of the winter coat if needed in extremely inclement weather.
As ever, we thank you for your support as these changes are introduced.
Following the launch of our full time Kindergarten, Ducklings, there is now hardly any demand for part time places in the Nursery at 3+, with parents opting to send children for the full school day. We will therefore be discontinuing the part time option for Nursery attendance and will be requiring all children in future intakes to accept places on a full time (Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.) basis. Please contact Mrs. Smith if you have any queries about admissions.
Sports News: Platinum Award, Borough Gymnastics & Tickets to Women's FA Cup Final
At the Borough Gymnastics competition this week, Miss Walker was presented with the Platinum School Games Award. The award was achieved after five consecutive years of achieving the School Games Gold Award. We had made a video submission from our Sports Captains showcasing how sport, competition and leadership skills are developed at St. Helen's College. Of the 24,000 schools in the UK only 104 schools have been award the Platinum Award, with 24 schools in London receiving the award and only two in Hillingdon! We are delighted that is has been recognised that our curriculum and co-curriculum provision for sport is of the highest quality nationally.
This highly prestigious award has only been achieved because of the whole school community support of sport: parents transporting pupils and cheering teams on, pupils committing to trying their best in sport and staff delivering high quality PE/Games lessons, running clubs and taking teams to competitions. Well done everyone!
This week pupils from Years 3/4 and Years 5/6 took part in the School Games Borough Gymnastics Competition held at Botwell Green Leisure Centre. Over the past month the children have been working hard, learning floor and body management routines and vaults in order to compete. The children were judged by a panel of judges on each apparatus just like at the Olympics. In a very high standard competition it came down to a couple of marks here and there to decide the overall placing. Our teams gave a very good account of themselves, improving through rounds. Both our Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 teams finished in 7th place in the competition with a score of 96.2 and 103.8. Well done to team members Harry J, Daniel G-J, Catherine L, Lily A, Zara S-P, Ionie M, Lincoln B and Ethan V-B. Examples of their efforts can be seen on the Galleries page.
The FA are offering discounted tickets for the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday 5th May for school groups. Standard tickets are available at £15 for adults (with under-16s free) and if parents can organise a group of twelve or more then the adult tickets become just £7.50 each. If groups book before 31st January then you will also have the opportunity to win additional experiences such as free coach travel to the game, a visit from the Women's FA Cup trophy to the school and other experiences. Tickets can be booked at https://ticketing.thefa.com/. We do hope many of you will choose to attend.
The booking form for the February half term Holiday Club has been posted to the School Documents page of the website. Please note that the deadline for booking places is Friday 2nd February.
Most parents are no doubt already aware of the works being carried out along Harlington Road. Diversions are in place via Lees Road, Uxbridge Road and Harlington Road and the London Borough of Hillingdon have indicated that the road closure is likely to continue until at least 16th February. We know that this is affecting many of your journeys to school and will continue to do so.
When pupils arrive late at school, this can disrupt the registration session and the first lesson for all of their class. Please do allow extra time for your journey while the road closure is in place, and/or use alternative routes where possible. Of course we understand that lateness is occasionally unavoidable because of unforeseen heavy traffic, but we hope that, with forewarning and planning, lateness may be avoided during this inconvenient, although essential, road closure.
We thank you for your support.
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