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Posted on: 22/05/2020

Weekly News - Friday 22nd May 2020

Speech 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.  Junior Competition Highly Commended: Samuel 1HC, Evie 1C, Sienna 2H 1HC: Aaryav​ 1C: Arjun​ Year 1 Winner: Aaryav   2B: Hana​ 2H: Neevah​ Year 2 Winner: Hana  3B: Aaryan​ 3M: Oliver Year 3 WInner: Oliver Junior Champion: Oliver (3M) Senior Competition Highly Commended: Vidhit 5G, Harrison 6RD 4KT: Eshan​ 4T: Diyan​ Year 4 Winner: Diyan 5A: Adam 5G: Samir​ Year 5 Winner: Samir 6M: Anaiya​ 6RD: Catherine 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. Middle School: Anaiya B Annabelle S Arshia S Advik S Xavier B Minaya W Upper School: Year 4 Anjika G Charlotte M Shruthi T Year 5 Riya C Jessica L Maya T Year 6 Aarna A Anish A Jasmine B Laura B Uma D Krisha S Esha T 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! Babies.... 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. Community Spirit 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 2020

International 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. Rainbow Room 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! School Grounds 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 2020

VE 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! Charitable Gestures 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.         Staffing 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.  Online Safety 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. Feedback 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 susmith@sthelenscollege.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
Posted on: 1/05/2020

Weekly News - Friday 1st May 2020

Ready Steady Read Initiative Helps Raise Over £5000 for St. Helen's College Readers! Last half term the school took part in a sponsored reading challenge called Ready Steady Read to boost our World Book Day celebrations. The response from the St. Helen's College community was quite astonishing and proved, yet again, just how much our pupils love to read! Altogether, we raised a phenomenal £2,393, a truly excellent effort. One of our parents, Ms Iqbal, supported the event through her role at Usborne publishers and we are very grateful that she has also offered us a generous boost of 60% extra on our order for the next academic year. Together with a large school contribution, this gives us over £5,000 to make for a truly exciting book order, ready for the 2020-21 school year. Every penny will go towards improving our class readers and boosting our school libraries to ensure that we have the very best reading materials available to each child. We are sure that the children will all be very excited about the new books coming their way! We would like to give a special mention to Rhys M, Maicen M, Arya A and Liberty Y for their splendid fundraising efforts. Our heartfelt thanks go to every single pupil who took part, and to the families and friends who were so generous with their sponsorship. You have all helped to strengthen even further the reading programme at our school, an area that is so vital to all learning across the curriculum.  Helping In The Community Manisher L (5G) decided to work on a project over the Easter holidays to help those in her road who might be vulnerable, elderly or isolated. You can see what she did by watching her video below.   Shakira (4T) is busy making pop up cards for homeless and elderly people, just to let them know they aren’t alone. Here is one of her cards - they look sure to brighten someone's day. Anjika (4T) turned 9 this week and decided to do something different for her birthday, so she created a video to raise money for Hillingdon Foodbank and has raised almost £300 so far! Many of our staff and parents are NHS responder volunteers and have been responding to calls in their local communities, delivering supplies, helping with the transport of medical equipment, or simply making supportive telephone calls to those who are alone and vulnerable. Red Cross Kindness and Resilience Activities If you are looking for inspiration for ways in which your child can develop their kindness and resilience during the lockdown, you might be interested in the activities posted by the Red Cross on their website. Parents/pupils can sign up for email updates too. All of the free, online activities will be linked to the Red Cross Kindness Calendar and will: encourage simple acts of kindness build resilience connect family and community provide creative and quick ideas for learners cover topics including first aid, preparedness, wellbeing and empathy. Action for Happiness You might also like the Action for Happiness calendar for Meaningful May, which you could print and display at home, or check online each day. This gives a simple prompt for each day to help us all to lead happier lives. We display these calendars in the staff rooms at school to help our staff to choose happiness and we thought that parents and children might enjoy them too! https://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/875756/may_2020.pdf Remote Learning It has been wonderful to see the array of work which is going on around our 'remote' school this week. The children have been very creative in their approach to tasks and sport and fitness is definitely highly featured! We have seen some super Sports Day preparation going on in gardens, with excellent standing long jumps being achieved! You can see the Ogretici family practising their standing long jump here: Well done to Jasmine B and Alex S (Y6) for their incredible 'shake table' constructions. We enjoyed sharing their experiments through the videos they submitted. You can see these here: Feel Good Fridays Our first 'Feel Good Friday' today saw pupils dress in their House colours and submit entries for our competition, getting creative in designing or creating something to show what their house means to them. You can see some entries on our Galleries page. Next week, Friday is a bank holiday and there will be no online teaching/learning that day and no key worker supervision in school. On this day, Britain will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day, when the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. As a school community, we will mark this momentous day on Tuesday 5th May. This will be introduced on Monday in assembly and pupils will take part in VE activities on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday, pupils may wish to wear something in a VE Day style (clothes from the era) or to dress in red, white and blue. It is not quite the day we had planned to have if we were in school, but please do encourage your children to share some of their learning with you. You may also wish to create your own VE Day bunting to hang in your windows - please see:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4TrqYDyf4PMdLypxzyTwGDg/great-british-bunting Please do share any photos with us if you have a special 'garden party lunch' or other celebration at home to mark this momentous day. Sadly the commemorative concert at The Barbican, in which our Chamber Choir were due to take part, has been cancelled. We hope that when we return to school we can record some of the songs which the children were learning for the event and share them with you all.  Hello Video - Lower School The staff of Lower School have shared a video of themselves saying 'hello' to the children from lockdown in our own way. This is available on the Learning Portal. The Upper School staff will be publishing a video soon too, so do look out for that. We miss the children so much and can't wait until we are all back together! Staff News We are delighted that Mrs. Jane Smith will be joining our team of Peripatetic music teachers as our new flute teacher from September.  Mrs. Smith has taught pupils from various schools over her teaching career, including at Wycombe Abbey and Dr. Challoners. Please contact Mrs. Allery if you are interested in your child starting flute lessons in September as there are some spaces available due to our Year 6 pupils leaving. Mrs. Allery can be reached at: rallery@sthelenscollege.com. The Parent Practice For those of you who have found Elaine Hannigan’s practical advice useful, please see the latest podcast, episode 23, on ‘screen time sanity in lockdown’, where she interviews Victoria Markhou, mother of two and a parenting coach.  https://www.theparentpractice.com/podcast/ The Global Classroom On Tuesday 5th May at 4.30 p.m., The Global Classroom are holding a real-time interactive event that aims to help children understand what COVID-19 is and gain a better understanding of what they can do to keep themselves safe and healthy. The live online broadcast will promote safe hand hygiene to all children taking part. It is in partnership with WHO, UNICEF, Scarisbrick Hall and is supported by the Independent Schools Association via Microsoft Teams. All schools are invited to take part - find out more. We hope that you will encourage your children to join in. John Lewis/Waitrose Competition: Design A Super Hero Bear John Lewis/Waitrose are running a competition for children to design a superhero-themed bear to grace their shelves this Christmas. All proceeds will go to the NHS in support of all their incredible work.  To enter children should simply draw, sketch and design their SuperBear using the template which is available to download here: https://jland.partners/FeelGoodFriday. Children may be as creative as they like! When designs are complete, pupils or parents should share them by email to designyoursuperbear@johnlewis.co.uk by 5pm on Friday 8th May 2020. Full details are available here: https://jland.partners/FeelGoodFriday Thank a Teacher Day - 20th May  Our teachers are working incredibly hard at home and it would be wonderful if any of the children would like to thank their teachers personally.  National 'Thank a Teacher Day' is approaching and the children can arrange for a card to be sent to school for their teachers with a personal greeting. Please share this with your children if they would like to get involved in thanking their teachers! https://thankateacher.co.uk/thank-a-teacher-day
Posted on: 24/04/2020

Weekly News - Friday 24th April 2020

Staff News We are sad to announce that Mrs. Rance will be leaving us at the end of the summer term. As many of you know, Mrs. Rance is expecting her second baby and she and her husband are now planning a move further away from the school, as her husband embarks upon a new job. She has therefore taken the decision not to return following her maternity leave this summer. Mrs. Rance has been with the school for 8 years and her dedication and enthusiasm have made her very popular with children, parents and colleagues. She will be greatly missed and we know that you will join us in wishing her well as she embarks on her new adventures. Mrs. Stubbs has been with us for 3 years and has always enthused the children as a flute teacher and one of the Lower School music teachers. She has decided now to focus on family and reduce the number of peripatetic students she teaches. Mrs. Stubbs has been a super colleague and wonderful teacher and we will miss her very much. We wish her all the best for the next phase of her life. Following rigorous recruitment procedures, we are delighted to announce some new appointments. The following new members of staff will be joining us from September. Ms. Kyra Linton will be joining us as a Year 4 form teacher and Head of Maths. Ms. Linton, herself educated in the independent sector, is passionate about the benefits of a private education, and so, following her degree, she decided to undertake a PGCE to join the teaching profession and inspire a new generation of pupils. She is currently at the Van Gogh Primary School and will bring with her a great deal of independent school experience both as a pupil and a teacher, as well as great enthusiasm and excellent pastoral care. Mr. Steve Roche will be joining our staff as Head of English. Mr. Roche is currently working at St. Margaret's Independent School in Bushey. Along with his considerable expertise and experience in teaching English in the independent sector, he brings a passion for mindfulness and is looking forward very much to contributing to the ethos of the school. Mrs. Claire Fawbert will, from September, replace Mrs. Allery as Director of Music. Mrs. Fawbert is currently working at Slough Music Service as their Music Centre Co-ordinator, teaching in a wide range of primary and secondary schools in Slough and organising events for the Music Service. She is also a professional trumpet player and has already met some of our pupils.She will bring her enthusiasm and passion for music to the school and is already known to many of our peripatetic teachers in the musical world.  Mrs. Nadine Pruce will become our new Head of Art, replacing Miss Dear; Mrs. Pruce has been teaching art at the Royal Masonic School for Girls for the past 8 years and was in the midst of arranging a national exhibition for preparatory schools before the pandemic, at which many of our pupils' work would have been exhibited. Mrs. Pruce is looking forward to working with us and continuing to develop the passion and expertise that our pupils have in the subject. Alongside teaching art, Mrs. Pruce will be supporting the Teaching and Learning in her other role as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. Mrs. Victoria Briggs will join us in September as a Year 3 teacher, covering Mrs. McLaughlin's maternity leave. Mrs. Briggs and her husband are a military family who will be relocating from Suffolk over the summer. Mrs. Briggs has taught in many top independent schools around the world as she has travelled with her husband and will bring a wealth of teaching experience to the Year 3 classroom. Home Learning - Parent Resources Elaine Halligan, one of the Parent Practice founders, has invited parents of St. Helen's College to receive a free download of her '30 day to learn Parenting Cards'. These cards are superb for parents of children of any age and may be welcome at this testing time. You can access the cards at https://www.theparentpractice.com/signup. The Parent Practice podcasts are also packed full of tips and great interviews which may prove useful for you as you support your children in their remote learning. You an access these here: https://www.theparentpractice.com/podcast/. Feel Good Fridays As we move into our new term with the school sites closed, we will be launching 'Feel Good Friday' with a different theme each week, to help keep children feeling connected to our school community and to boost their spirits!  Next Friday (1st May) will be our 'House Day' and we invite all the children to wear their Cambria or Windsor house colours for their day of remote learning. We also encourage pupils to create/design/make anything which represents their house. Ideas might include writing a poem, building a model, designing a coat of arms or other emblem, writing a house rap or song....pupils may be as creative as they like!  Entries should be photographed, recorded, scanned and emailed to Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Drummond. Entries will be shared on our website gallery and there may even be prizes! Remote Learning and Easter Holiday News St. Helen's College children have been busy creating their own rainbows to add the the 'Rainbow Trail', displayed in the windows of houses all over the country. You can see some of their creations on our Galleries page here. There has also already been some fantastic online learning going on. Ollie T (4T) made and shared a super science video to explain the conclusion for his experiment, which you can see on the school Youtube channel here: Xavier B (3M) has been creating the most amazing marble runs at home to test how fast and far marbles will run! In his second attempt, he even runs marbles down from his bedroom window on the outside of the house!   Pavitar (5G) and his father played on the Dhol on their street to show their family support to the NHS and all the key workers. Bravo! During the Easter break in one of the Friday messages Mrs Drummond challenged the children to create something from a simple piece of wire. Some of the children's creations can be seen on the Galleries page. Since returning to school on Wednesday, Year 2 have done some amazing talks on Google Meet. The pupils worked on them over the Easter holidays and have spent the last two days sharing them with the class. Topics have included swimming, family, skiing, Scotland, cats, foxes, staying healthy, cars and many more. Some children even presented their screens!  Well done, Year 2. Videos If you have not yet been watching Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Drummond videos and messages, please do take a look - there is a link on the home page of the Learning Portal. These have been posted throughout the Easter holidays. There is a mixture of stories, songs, messages and short clips to lift the spirits! You might like to take a look at this 12 second clip of Mrs. Drummond, Mr. Smith, Miss Baldwin, Roshni and Ajit dancing at Lower School over the holidays for a start!   First News We would like to encourage our pupils to keep up to date with current affairs while they are learning from home. The school has a subscription to First News, the excellent newspaper for primary school children, and many pupils usually read this when they are visiting the library at school. For now, First News are publishing digitally and making their content available for free download. Please do encourage your child to subscribe digitally and to read First News each time it is published. Further information on how to do so is available here. Music News We are thrilled to announce the results of the ABRSM examinations taken at the end of last term: Flute 6M Keaton P Grade 1 Distinction 6M Dhiya K Grade 4 Merit 6RD Esha T Grade 2 Merit Singing 6RD Laura B Grade 3 Distinction 4T Shruthi T Grade 3 Distinction 6M Jasmine B Grade 5 Merit 4KT Chrissy S Grade 1 Merit 4T Ria M Grade 1 Merit 6RD Catherine L Grade 6 Pass 2B Senna G prep pass 3M Xavier B prep pass Clarinet 5A Jessica L Grade 1 Distinction Saxophone 5G Vidhit N Grade 2 Pass Violin 2B Emily S Initial Grade Distinction 1C Aanya C Initial Grade Distinction 4KT Layla O Grade 1 Merit 6M Ibraheem F Grade 3 Pass Piano 6RD Kaixin F Grade 1 Merit 5A Aaran P Grade 1 Pass Guitar 4KT Luka K Grade 1 Pass Trumpet 3B Dominic M Grade 1 Pass This is a fantastic set of results and we are very proud of all of the pupils involved, who worked so hard last term to practise and prepare for their music examinations alongside their other daily work and activities. For the time being, individual instrumental and vocal lessons are being delivered remotely. Timetables for the summer term have been posted to the website and are available here.  From September, due to Year 6 pupils leaving and creating some vacancies, we will have spaces for children to learn flute. Some of our talented flautists will be playing in Friday assemblies over the next few weeks so do encourage your children to watch - hopefully they will be inspired to want to learn the flute themselves! Spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis and you should email Mrs. Allery directly if your child would like to learn the flute: rallery@sthelenscollege.com STARS Competition The London Borough of Hillingdon STARS Team are running a 'Design your Dream Bike' competition, which closes on Thursday 30th April, and we would like to encourage children to make an entry. Children should draw what their dream bicycle would look like. It doesn’t have to be a conventional two-wheel bicycle - the bike can be as wacky and inventive as they want. The more creative the better! Think wings and rockets and you are on the right track! Children are encouraged to use their imagination and whatever medium they have to hand. Paints, pencils, crayons and pens are all totally acceptable! Once the top 3 winning designs from each key stage have been selected, they will be sent to a graphic designer to be turned into a piece of art - digitising the design and adding colour and backgrounds to the print, which will then be mounted and framed for your child to keep. Prize breakdown (for each KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4): 1st Place will receive a £50 Amazon Voucher and an A3 framed print of their bike 2nd Place will receive a £30 Amazon Voucher and an A4 framed print of their bike 3rd Place will receive a £15 Amazon Voucher and an A5 framed print of their bike In addition, work will be exhibited at a local library, subject to changes to the current lockdown conditions. Here is a template that could be printed out and used by your child; however, if you don't have access to a printer then please feel free to use any piece of paper and art supplies you have! When your child's design is complete, please e-mail a photo of the design including the child's name, school and year group to stars@hillingdon.gov.uk. Entries must be received by Thursday 30th April 2020. The STARS team will then contact the winners by email. Good luck, everyone!
Posted on: 20/03/2020

Weekly News - Friday 20th March 2020

Scholarships We are thrilled to announce that our Year 6 pupils have performed extremely well in the independent school entrance processes. Following the 11+ entry assessments and interviews, they have been awarded the following scholarships. As you will see, it is an impressively long list! Many congratulations to all of these children, and to all of the other Year 6 children - we are so pleased that your hard work has been acknowledged in this way. Headington School Academic Scholarship - Catherine L Music Scholarship - Catherine L Long Close School Academic Scholarship - Taha U Merchant Taylors School Academic Scholarship - Daniel G-J Northwood College Academic Scholarship - Aarna A Academic Scholarship - Esha T Art Scholarship - Kaixin F Art Scholarship - Ridhima M Sport Scholarship - Rhea A-V Reddam House School Academic Scholarship - Ibraheem F Royal Masonic School All-Rounder Scholarship - Ridhima M St. Helen's School, Northwood Academic Scholarship - Aarna A Academic Scholarship - Ridhima M St. Mary's School Academic Scholarship - Jasmine B St. Paul's Girls' School Music Exhibitions for Flute and Voice - Catherine L Wycombe Abbey School Music Scholarship - Catherine L Music Personality of the Term The Musician of the Term trophy was awarded this term to Jasmine B, who has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated great enthusiasm over many years in all aspects of music at St. Helen's College. Jasmine has excellent music skills, applies and shares creative ideas well in class work, and has is an excellent role model within the music department as a music prefect. She has been a regular member of the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs and she regularly performs in assemblies and recitals. As well as playing the recorder fluently, Jasmine plays the piano and the guitar, and has recently taken her Grade 5 singing exam. Well done, Jasmine! PA Easter Egg Winners The following children won the PA Easter egg raffle today. Some of these children were not in school but don't worry - we will hold onto their prizes for them until we return! Ducklings - Alana P Robins - Aaria M Wrens - Nihaal P Kingfishers - Millie B  Owls - Caitlin P 1C - Avar D 1HC - Ashvika A 2B - Hana H 2H - Lachlan J 3B - India C 3M - Milo M 4KT - Nirvaan D 4T - Avaani M 5A - Jessica L 5G - Joban K 6M - Jai D 6RD - Aran C Many thanks to the PA for their generosity in donating these Easter prizes!   Outdoor Choir This week the Senior Choir took their musicality outdoors and delighted Accent staff, other pupils and staff (including catering staff) with a medley of Frozen songs. It was wonderful to see and hear such uplifting musicality around the Windsor Garden and playground.         Sports News Well done to the girls who played in the netball rally last Saturday. The team lost in the semi finals and were awarded bronze medals. They were also presented with gold medals and the cup for winning the league. Congratulations, girls.         Staff News We know that you will wish to join us in congratulating Ms Califano (1HC) who is expecting her second child! 
Posted on: 13/03/2020

Weekly News - March 13th 2020

Chess  Congratulations to Michael K from Year 6, who was the winner of the Delancey Chess Tournament; Michael received a lovely trophy and book voucher. Congratulations also to Marcus S and Alex S who both qualified for the Megafinal, which is due to take place over the Easter break. Wrens Assembly A budding group of scientists entered an amazing time machine and went back to the prehistoric era in the Wrens class assembly this week, where they met two paleontologists who introduced them to an array of fascinating dinosaurs.  The children delighted us with their singing, acting and knowledge of dinosaurs and how they became extinct. There were some wonderful performances from such young children. Congratulations to everyone involved!     6RD assembly It was an emotional morning for the pupils and parents of 6RD as the children presented their final class assembly. They took the opportunity to share their favourite memories of their time at school with the audience, from Nursery right through to Year 6, and to reflect upon the great start they have made not just to their education but to their lives! They considered their hopes and dreams and speculated on the careers they might go on to undertake, but also reminded us all that health and happiness are the most important goals in life. Well done, 6RD; your singing and acting were very impressive and we very much enjoyed sharing your reflections.   Quiz Club Heats On Tuesday, our Quiz Club visited the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster to take part in the national primary General Knowledge Quiz Club finals. The A team came 10th overall and the B team came 25th overall. There were 31 teams taking place in all. This was a fantastic experience including a super minibus tour of London for our Quiz Club members, who were: Catherine L, Esha T, Ben L, Vandan V, Aryan B, Riddhi S, Annie L and Arshvir S.     Book Sale We are delighted to report that the World Book Day book sale last week (of surplus library stock plus some books donated from home) raised £108, which will be used to purchase new school library books which enhance our wellbeing. This might include books specifically addressing wellbeing and mental health, fiction for different ages, hobbies and sports...any specific suggestions or ideas are most welcome! In the summer term, our librarians will create a display of the new books. Many thanks indeed to all those who supported the book sale!  Sports News Table Tennis We took twelve players (three teams) to the Hillingdon Primary Table Tennis at Oakwood School on Monday. The format of the competition was different this year, with twelve individual medals available instead of team medals. We are delighted to report that, of the twelve individual medals available, St. Helen's College won seven! There were four seed pools overall and our individual medals were as follows:     Seed Pool 1 Silver - Eli V-B Bronze - Ciaran R Seed Pool 2 Gold - Jai D Silver - Harry J Bronze - Mohib F Seed Pool 3 Silver - Rhea A-V Bronze - Hema G  We were crowned Borough Champions once again and the team proudly retained their silver plate trophy! Well done to all those pupils involved. Football Our school football team finished their campaign for this season with a 2-1 defeat at home to St. Matthew's. It has been a season of two halves, with some great play and results before Christmas followed by a drop in form after the Christmas break. The team should be proud of themselves as we have introduced younger players this year and some of the performances from our Year 6 players have been outstanding. Mistakes have cost us a higher finishing position in the league, but with the introduction of youth we look forward to a successful campaign next season. Netball Many congratulations to our netball team, who were winners of the Year 6 netball tournament at Reddiford School this week. Schools taking part were Alpha Prep, Reddiford, Quainton Hall and St. Helen's College. Our team were undefeated all afternoon and showed great competitive skills and team play.     Swimming Gala At Thursday evening's swimming gala, the St. Helen's College team put on a very strong performance indeed, qualifying through the heats for 7 out of 8 finals! In the finals, there were bronze medals for Krisha S in breaststroke and Catherine L in freestyle and a silver medal for our freestyle relay team, made up of Catherine L, Ben L and Krisha S. The St. Helen's College team came in 3rd place overall and should feel very proud of themselves!   Speech Competition (Years 1- 6) Our finalists have now been selected from each class for the Speech Competition, following a very high standard of semi-finals. Parents of finalists will receive a letter inviting them to attend the final on Monday 23rd March, which will be judged by one of our school Governors, Miss Linda Beckett. We hope that we will all enjoy a sensational day of 'projection, expression and clarity'! Singing Competition Our very exciting Singing Competition for Years 2-6  will take place on Friday 5th 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 boxes which can be found at the front of the Upper School hall. Entries must be submitted no later than Thursday 26th March. Semi-finals will be held during the first half of the summer term this year.  Once again, 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 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. Duets and groups are encouraged to add harmony/part singing to their performance. The categories are: Best solo singer from each year group. Best duet Middle School  Upper School  Best group - trios (3) or quartets (4) only. Middle School  Upper School   There should be just one solo entry per child but they may also participate in either a duet or a group. No summer term 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 or guitar as part of their performance.                                                                      All winners will be invited to sing at the Singers’ Concert on 9th June. Exhibition Day, Easter Service and Nursery/Reception Poetry Recital We have taken the decision to postpone Exhibition Day, which was due to take place on Saturday 21st March, and to cancel the Upper School Easter Service, which was due to take place on Friday 27th March, as part of our action to mitigate against the risk of Coronavirus. We are sorry that these events will not take place this term but we are sure that parents will understand the reasons behind their cancellation. We are currently considering the format of the Nursery/Reception Poetry Recital and whether it will be possible for this to take place, and will contact parents about this in due course. PA Easter Raffle The PA has again donated prizes for a raffle for the children this Easter. All of the children are included in this free Easter egg draw with one prize drawn for each class. We hope that the lucky winners enjoy their prizes and we thank the PA for organising the raffle! Rescheduled PA Forum Meeting Date The next PA Forum meeting is now scheduled to take place in the Upper School Hall at 7 p.m. on Monday 27th April. Class rep's should send any points for discussion to Mrs. Smith at susmith@sthelenscollege.com by the first day of term please, to allow the school time to collate and research any issues before the meeting.  
Posted on: 6/03/2020

Weekly News - Friday 6th March 2020

What a wonderful day we had yesterday as we celebrated World Book Day! At Ducklings and Lower School, children and staff dressed up following their 'enchanted' theme and the pupils of Robins Nursery presented a beautiful book-themed assembly (see below). At Upper School, the children arrived at Platform 9 3/4 to embark upon their Hogwarts adventure as the school grounds were adorned with Harry Potter themed signs. Staff and pupils enjoyed a day of Potter-themed activities and lessons, including riding 'broomsticks' in PE sessions! The following morning, 6M presented their Harry Potter assembly (see below). In response to a parent request, you can see here a picture of some of the many staff who dressed up as Hogwarts teachers and pupils! Soula and her wonderful team provided a special 'enchanted' themed lunch and the Evans Hall was transformed into the Hogwarts Great Hall, with extra long tables and polyjuice potion smoothies. Accent Catering have provided some World Book Day themed recipes which you might like to try cooking with your children at home. You can see them here.  Thank you to all of the parents who worked hard to help your children dress up as characters from their favourite books - reading really did come to life at St. Helen's College this week and we couldn't have done it without you! Robins Class Assembly - Books Books Books Wow! The children of Robins Nursery really did enchant us all with their assembly performance on Thursday, as they stood up confidently in front of a hall full of adults and recited their lines and songs about books and all the magic to be found within them. Their costumes were really beautiful and it was particularly touching to see the children being such good friends to each other, as they helped each other to remember their lines and take their places. It is easy to forget that these children are only 3 and 4 years old when we see them able to command a room, remember lines and songs and present themselves so confidently. Very well done, Robins!   6M Class Assembly We are grateful to the children of 6M, who presented a confident, musical and meaningful Harry Potter-themed assembly on Friday morning. Linking the Harry Potter stories neatly to our school values, they reminded us that friendliness is perhaps one of the most important values of all, and that bravery and perseverance often pay off. We were treated to a beautiful rendition of 'Double Double' by a Hogwarts-style choir and there was some super choreography and some humour too! Five of the girls also played Harry Potter themes on recorder, in parts, to begin the assembly. The pupils certainly showed off their excellent musical and acting skills and we are sure that, along with the children of 6RD, they are going to give us an end of year musical to remember this year - there is so much talent among them! Well done, 6M. Year 1 Trip to Windsor Castle Year 1 were very lucky with the weather on Tuesday, as the children and staff enjoyed a super day out at Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the whole world! The pupils really enjoyed learning all about the Queen and her favourite home. Exhibition Day Our annual Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 21st March from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is a wonderful St. Helen's College tradition and we hope that all families will attend so that you may view the displays of children's work across the curriculum. Pupils should wear full school uniform please. Please note that Friday 20th March is a half day and that there will be no Funtasia available on this day as the staff prepare for Exhibition Day. Speech Competition (Years 1- 6) Well done to all of the children who have been reciting their poems in class this week. The teachers have been very impressed with the standard and have had the very difficult task of choosing class semi-finalists. When finalists have been selected from each class, the parents of finalists will receive a letter inviting them to attend the final on Monday 23rd March, which will be judged by one of our school Governors, Miss Linda Beckett.  Staff Updates Mr. Tovell will be leaving us at the end of this academic year to take up a new position at St. Alban's High School for Girls prep department. This is much closer to his home and will allow him more family time as his son Teddy starts school. Although we are very sorry to see him go, we wish him well in this new stage of his career. We are currently recruiting and will announce details of new appointments soon. Sports News Football It was a difficult week for the football team, who lost 3-1 to Heathrow on a challenging pitch in very wet, boggy conditions. Well done to the boys for their efforts on such a miserable day. Onwards and upwards! Netball Borough Finals Our netball team competed in the borough finals this week and put up a creditable performance on a rather dismal, rainy day. In the end, they won 4 matches and lost 2, and were placed 9th overall. Well done to the girls who took part. Marks and Spencer's Little Garden Marks and Spencer are currently running a promotion named 'Little Garden'. When you spend over £20 in the food hall or on food to order, M&S will give you a free seedling kit. You could use this to grow seedlings with your children at home or, if you find you have surplus kits, we would be very grateful if you would bring them to school for Ms Gilham, who will use them in our summer term Gardening Club. Many thanks for your support - let's all get growing!
Posted on: 28/02/2020

Weekly News - Friday 28th February 2020

World Book Day We would like to remind you that next Thursday, 5th March, we will be celebrating World Book Day. The theme for Ducklings and Lower School is 'Enchanted' and the theme for Upper School is 'Harry Potter'. The children are asked to dress as a book character of their choice (which may of course link to the themes if you wish). It is sure to be a fun-filled day, celebrating the fantastic world of books and all the reading done throughout the year. The children are also asked to bring the book their character is from on the day so that we can share them together. There will be a special themed lunch menu on World Book Day. You can see this, and associated allergens, here. In conjunction with our World Book Day celebrations, the school is taking part in a sponsored read through Usborne Books in a bid to get even more fresh new books into our classrooms and libraries for your children to enjoy. Sponsorship forms and reading logs have been sent home with your children and full details have been sent out on SchoolsBuddy. Many thanks for your continued support of the children's reading. As part of World Book Day, we will be holding a book sale of pre-loved books surplus to the library. It will take place in the Upper School gazebo between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. on Thursday and books will cost 25p, 50p or £1. The money raised will be used to buy new books that will boost our wellbeing and good health! Please do come along with your child(ren) if you can. Speech Competition Children are busy preparing their Speech Competition entries and recitals. This is one of the many opportunities across the year which enables the children to showcase their verbal skills and to develop their confidence in public speaking. Please note that children must not use gestures or choreography of any kind in their performances. For Years 1-6, the judging criteria are: expression, projection and clarity. Year 2 Visit The Heath Robinson Museum Year 2 had a very enjoyable trip to the Heath Robinson Museum on Monday.  They had a look around the beautiful  museum and then took part in an art activity using different coloured wool and lots of soap and water to make felt. They used the colour wheel to decide on different colours for their designs and have created some  lovely pieces of art work. This beautiful, local museum offers lots of craft activities over the holidays for families so please do consider taking your children during school holiday times too!   JRSO Conference On Wednesday our Junior Road Safety Officers were invited to attend an event at The Winston Churchill Hall by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s Road Safety & School Travel Team. Our team, consisting of six pupils from Year 5 (Fredericka, Georgia, Samir, Vidhit, Jena & Manisher) were invited to participate in a number of fun educational activities, including a theatre performance, workshops and the “Dragons Den”, for which they had to present an idea and pitch for funding. Over the past few weeks the team have been discussing ideas on how to improve road safety and decided upon a drive to raise speed awareness amongst parents, staff and pupils. They came up with various ideas of how this could be achieved including signage, banners on the railings, a portable speed bump to reduce speed in Parkway to 10mph, assemblies for parents, leaflets and making their own awareness video similar to the TfL “Watch your Speed” campaign. They researched the resources that are available and then calculated the costs involved. They then produced their proposal in the form of a presentation. On the day they were all very excited and a little nervous before they were called in to face the “Dragons”. They spoke confidently and delivered a polished presentation. The Dragons gave them quite a grilling at the end of their presentation and they answered all their questions with confidence. Councillor Burrows remarked that he was unable to authorise a speed bump but was impressed by their well thought out ideas for raising speed awareness. At the end of the day we all sat nervously waiting to find out if their pitch to the Dragons had been successful and we were delighted that not only did the Dragons endorse the children’s ideas but actually gave them more money than they had asked for! We received a total of £500 which will enable the JRSOs to get working on their campaign. We look forward to seeing their Speed Awareness Campaign come to life!     Year 3 Pedestrian Training & Year 5 Road Safety Workshop Our Pedestrian Safety training programme continued this week, with Year 3 pupils undertaking their road safety training with the London Borough of Hillingdon's Road Safety Team, and Year 5 children enjoying a visiting Road Safety Workshop from 'Riot Act' today.       Kingfishers Class Assembly - Space The children in Kingfishers rocketed us into space this week with a superb assembly, teaching us all about the solar system and space travel. We even met some cheeky little aliens! We were also reminded of how to look after our planet by reusing, reducing and recycling our waste. The children performed confidently and it was a very informative and enjoyable presentation. Well done, Kingfishers.     Woodlands Care Home Visit On Thursday a group of our Year 6 children, Mrs. Belvoir, Mrs. Drummond and Mr. Barnard visited Woodlands Care Home in Ickenham. This was the first 'getting to know you' visit for the children and the residents and our pupils are incredible ambassadors for the school. Many of the residents suffer from dementia/Alzheimer's and the children were so incredible with their communication and the interest they showed in their new friends. Our new relationship with Woodlands is particularly special for Mrs. Belvoir as her mother is one of the residents who enjoyed the company of the children.    Friday Informal Music Recital We enjoyed another superb informal music recital in the Evans Hall at the end of the school day today, with performance from pupils from many year groups. It is wonderful to see the children gaining confidence in performing to a supportive, friendly audience and we are sure that many of them will go on to a lifetime of performance and musical achievement! Well done to all those who took part. Football - Cup Match v. Oak Farm Unfortunately on Wednesday we suffered our first defeat of the football season, going down 4-0 to Oak Farm in the Cup. The team weren't at their best and hopefully we can rectify that for our remaining two league games.  Exhibition Day Our annual Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 21st March from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is a wonderful St. Helen's College tradition and we hope that all families will attend so that you may view the displays of children's work across the curriculum. Pupils should wear full school uniform please. Please note that Friday 20th March is a half day and that there will be no Funtasia available on this day as the staff prepare for Exhibition Day. StarGazing Event at Ruislip Lido This Weekend The West of London Astronomical Society would like to invite children, parents and staff to a public stargazing event being held at Ruislip Lido this coming weekend: Fri 28, Sat 29, Sun 1 Mar, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Details are on the poster attached which you are invited to print and publicise as you wish.   Medium term forecasts are now quite reliable and are currently saying:  Fri: poor Sat: starting partially cloudy then clearing Sun: the most promising, again improving over the evening. Please check the WOLAS website before setting off: http://www.wolas.org.uk when the GO/NOGO call will be made by 4pm. The next stargazing weekend is 20 - 22 November, at the end of National Astronomy Week when Mars will be at its closest until 2035. We do hope that many of you will take your children along to enjoy some stargazing! Junior Bake-Off Love Productions, the company behind The Great British Bake-Off, are currently looking for young budding bakers between 9 -15 years old for a new series of Junior Bake-Off. Filming would take place from July 2020, but applications close on Sunday 5th April 2020. Interested young bakers can apply online at WWW.APPLYFORJUNIORBAKEOFF.CO.UK. Spice of the Month - Caraway Accent Catering's 'Spice of the Month' for March is Caraway. You can find lots of recipes including Caraway here - we hope you will enjoy making some of these with your children!  

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