School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 29/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 29th November 2019Philosophy For Children (P4C)
Mrs. McLaughlin from 3M delivered two P4C sessions to our Nursery and Reception children this week, encouraging their reasoning and thinking skills.
The other staff looked on with great pride as the children listened very carefully and interacted with each other so mindfully. We are very fortunate at St. Helen's College to have staff expertise and the collegiality amongst staff to share good practice.
2B Class Assembly
What a super class assembly from 2B today, telling us all about their journey so far at Upper School! They demonstrated their growing independence with a 'Countdown' style challenge to change their reading books in the upstairs part of main school, shared some of their impressive English writing with us and demonstrated how to do column addition. They also told us about their involvement in STEAM Day and their first Year 2 class trip to the Chiltern Open Air Museum.
It is clear that they are relishing the challenges that the move to Upper School brings and that they are taking on greater responsibility with glee. A perfectly chosen hymn - 'One More Step Along The World I Go' - rounded off an impressive and very well-presented assembly. Well done, 2B.
Year 6 Senior School Masterclass
Mrs. Hubble, the Head of Northwood College, spent the afternoon speaking with the Year 6 children about transition to senior school. The children asked interesting and thoughtful questions about the issues that were important to them, as they prepare themselves for upcoming examinations and interviews at a wide range of schools. They asked about whether Year 7 children have lockers, how the settling in process works for pupils who are the only one from their prep school, and numerous questions about the interview process for independent schools. The most important message from Mrs. Hubble was that the children should always be true to themselves and sincere in every interaction. As ever, we were very proud of how our Year 6 pupils conducted themselves with such confidence. They certainly were a credit to St. Helen's College.
We heard today also from the parent of one of the pupils who made the transition to senior school in the summer. She had this to say about how her daughter has settled into North London Collegiate School:
'Our daughter absolutely loves her everyday life at NLCS. Thanks to St. Helen’s College for building her self-confidence; she now actively and confidently participates in so many clubs there. She is in Concert Orchestra, Symphonia, duet ensemble; netball, lacrosse, badminton and swimming squads.
We attended the parents' evening last week and it seems that she stood out in all subjects, especially in Maths and English. St. Helen’s College definitely has explored her potential. We are extremely grateful to St. Helen’s College.'
Any parents who are notified of their children's interview dates should inform Mrs. Drummond so that we may assist them in preparing for their interviews.
Month End Music Recital
Well done to all of the performers who took part in today's Month End Music Recital, the third of the term. As ever, this was a wonderful opportunity for our children to perform in an informal environment and it was super to hear pieces on such a variety of instruments and voice. Thank you also to ex-pupil Shreya Tharmalingam for coming back to visit us and delighting us with her voice as she works towards her Grade 6 singing examination.
Times Tables Rockstars
Mrs. Rance is delighted with how pupils throughout the Upper School are engaging with Times Tables Rockstars. They are clearly putting in lots and lots of time to practice and the results are fabulous.
In Upper School, the fastest player this week was Harry J (6RD) and the most improved player was Alex S (6RD).
The fastest Middle School Player was Isaac B (2B) and the most improved was Jasmine H (2H).
Well done to everyone and do keep practising!
Christmas Events - Please Read Very Carefully!
Monday 2nd December
Carols Around The Tree 4 p.m. - Please join us in the Evans Hall/Upper School playground after school, where we will be serving mulled wine and festive treats from 3.10 p.m. We will gather around the large Christmas tree at about 4 o'clock to sing some carols and turn on the lights. All family and friends are welcome so please come along and get into the festive spirit!
Tuesday 3rd December
Nursery Christmas Assembly 8.45 a.m. - all Nursery parents are warmly invited to watch their children perform in their Christmas assembly, which will begin at 8.45 a.m. in the Lower School Hall. Prior to this, coffee will be served from 8.15 a.m. in the Lower School Hall.
Wednesday 4th December
Year 3 Rehearsal at Winston Churchill Hall - All Year 3 children should arrive to school as usual and they will then be taken by coach to WCH. A packed lunch will be provided for Year 3 children by the school caterers; lunch arrangements remain as normal for all other children. End of day arrangements are as normal for all children.
Thursday 5th December
Year 3 Dress Rehearsal at Winston Churchill Hall - all children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 must be dropped at the Winston Churchill Hall, Pinn Way, Ruislip, between 8.00 and 8.40 a.m. on this day, unless they are booked into Breakfast Club. Year 3 will perform their dress rehearsal to the audience and all children will be returned to school by coach in time for normal school lunch service.
Year 3 Performance at Winston Churchill Hall - 7 p.m. - The Year 3 children and staff have been working very hard to prepare their Christmas performance, The Countdown To Christmas, and tickets are still available for the performance. You can book tickets by following this link. We do hope that you will join us on the evening and we are looking forward to seeing many family and friends at this event.
Friday 6th December
Reception Christmas Assembly - 8.45 a.m. - all Reception parents are warmly invited to watch their children perform in their Christmas assembly, which will begin at 8.45 a.m. in the Lower School Hall. Prior to this, coffee will be served from 8.15 a.m. in the Lower School Hall.
Monday 9th December
Infant Choir Carols in Lower School Playground - 8.15 a.m. - Please join us as you drop off your children to hear our Infant Choir singing carols in the morning.
Year 1 Christmas Assembly - 8.45 a.m. - all Year 1 parents are warmly invited to watch their children perform in their Christmas assembly, which will begin at 8.45 a.m. in the Lower School Hall. Prior to this, coffee will be served from 8.15 a.m. in the Lower School Hall.
Wednesday 11th December
Upper School Pantomime Trip (Year 2-6) - after a brief introduction at school to pantomime as a traditional British drama form, all children in Years 2 and 6 will travel to the Beck Theatre to see 'Sleeping Beauty' Previous performances have been of a high quality and much enjoyed by all, so we hope that this year will be no exception. On return to school, the children will enjoy a party style picnic lunch and some afternoon themed activities. School will end at the normal time for all classes.
Thursday 12th December
School Christmas lunch - Lower and Upper School children will enjoy a party style Christmas lunch here at school, cooked and served by our Accent staff. You can see the menu, with allergens, here.
Lower School Pantomime Visit - After their Christmas lunch, Lower School children will enjoy a visit from West End In Schools Pantomimes who will present their version of Dick Whittington. Lower School children are encouraged to wear party clothes to school on this day but please also remember suitable shoes and a warm coat!
Friday 13th December
Upper School Carol Service - Parents are warmly invited to join us at All Saints Church for our Y2-6 Carol Service, which will begin at 11.00 a.m. Please be mindful that the end of term is a busy time for traffic, and walk to the service/to pick up your children from school if you possibly can, or perhaps park away from the school and walk.
End of Term - half day - Pick up times are:
Ducklings and Nursery 11.50 a.m.
Reception 12.00 p.m.
Year 1 and Year 2 12.10 p.m.
Year 3 and Year 4 12.20 p.m.
Year 5 and Year 6 12.30 p.m.
Holiday Club will be running on the afternoon of Friday 13th December and then every day until Monday 23rd December. Please book in via your SchoolsBuddy account.
The children often like to send festive cards to their friends at this time of year. We are aware that many children like to pop a Christmas chocolate/coin into the cards as a treat but please could we request that this year that an alternative to chocolate is sought. With our school being very allergy aware, we are recommending that perhaps Christmas stickers are added instead or perhaps the simple gesture of a card is adequate. Thank you for your continued support. For further information and advice on allergies please see the Allergy Aware UK website.
Christmas postboxes will be open next week at Upper School, Lower School and Ducklings for free deliveries of Christmas cards among the children. Please ensure that the children's names and classes are clearly marked on envelopes.
Jack and The Beanstalk at The Compass Theatre
If any parents would like to take their children to a local pantomime, you can find details of The Compass Theatre's production of Jack and the Beanstalk here.
Please remember to use Easyfundraising when you do your Christmas shopping, as over 4,000 shops and sites will donate to the St. Helen's College Development Fund at no extra cost to you - so you can raise donations when you buy gifts, decorations, your festive food shopping or anything else online! It doesn't matter if you haven't signed up yet as it takes just a moment to create your account and begin using Easyfundraising to raise money for our cause. Just click here or follow this link: âhttps://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/sthelencoldevfund/?invite=T7XS4M&referral-campaign=s2s
Thank you so much for your support!
Posted on: 22/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 22nd November 2019uTalk Children's Language Competition Wins Prestigious National Award!
We are delighted to report that more than 25,000 children, including hundreds from St. Helen's College over many years, have helped the uTalk Junior Language Challenge to win a prestigious award from the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
The Threlford Cup was presented to uTalk by the Institute's Patron, Prince Michael of Kent, for its competition to foster the learning of languages. Since the Challenge was launched in 2004, around 27,000 UK children have entered the competition, learning a range of languages including Arabic, Zulu, Khmer, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, German, Swahili, Chichewa and Esperanto. St. Helen's College children have been taking part for 15 years and have a strong record in the competition - we even had a national winner a few years ago, when ex-pupil Brendan won his family a trip to Malawi!
uTalk MD Richard Howeson mentioned St. Helen's College and quoted Mrs. Stark in his acceptance speech, during which he dedicated the award to all of the children who have taken part in the competition over the years. Mrs. Stark had said, 'Each year when the initial language is announced, a buzz of excitement goes around the school. It is a great motivator and has really brought languages to life'.
We are proud of our association with this fabulous competition and delighted that we are able to offer it to our children every year. If your child is taking part this year, please do remind them to keep going so that they can keep raising their points score! It is also not too late for your child to enter this year, if they have not already done so. Registration costs only £5 per child and gives each participant access to 12 topics on the uTalk app for the rest of the school year (2019/20). Every child is provided with a unique username and password which they can use to login to the uTalk app as well as view their scores, progress and achievements in their very own online dashboard. The first round language is Spanish and pupils who score 500 points (out of a possible 3,960) will go through to Round 2, which will run from 10 a.m. on Monday 6th January 2020 until 10 a.m. on Friday 27th March 2020. If you are interested in registering your child, please email Mrs. Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
2H Class Assembly
2H took us on a journey through Numberland this morning, reminding us of what a wonderful world we live in, with maths everywhere.
The Zero Heroes embraced their 'nothingness' with the important message of how place value underpins all mathematical concepts and we were treated to a beautiful rendition of 'What A Wonderful World'. Well done everyone...all 26 of you!
Times Tables Rockstars
Well done to all of the pupils who are continuing to work/play hard on Times Tables Rockstars! Here are the results this week:
Fastest Middle School - Verity S
Fastest Upper School - Harry J
Biggest improvement in correct answers in Middle School - Verity S
Biggest improvement in correct answers in Upper School - Anjika G
Switch Off Fortnight
The school has been getting behind the national campaign 'Switch Off Fortnight' which runs from 18th-29th November (this week and next).
The Eco Reps have been busy creating posters and helping to launch the campaign in assembly. They have a challenge to see if their class are 'waste busters' by turning off electrical devices like smartboards, televisions or lights when not in use and closing their classroom doors to keep the heat in. During the campaign children throughout the school are learning all about energy and how to use it efficiently. We hope that you will be mindful about 'switching off' at home too.
Myla Wins Silver Medal at International Karate Championship
Myla competed in The Central England 7th International Open Karate Championships last weekend - a high profile tournament attended by over 70 clubs from 12 countries from around the world. Algeria, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Slovakia, Turkey, Scotland, Wales and England were represented. Myla did herself and the UK incredibly proud and walked away with silver in her category for fighting, having narrowly missed out on gold, and also took home a bronze in Kata. Well done indeed, Myla.
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Crehan!
We are delighted to share the happy news that Mr. & Mrs. Crehan welcomed their third grandchild, a girl, last night. Teddy welcomes his little sister and Mum and Dad are very proud parents!
Christmas Tree Decoration Competition
As usual, we will be running a Christmas tree decoration competition this year. Pupils are asked to bring a home-made tree decoration to school and please make sure that they add their name to the decoration! All of the decorations will be displayed on our lovely Christmas trees at Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School and there will be a small prize for the winner in each year group. Pupils should bring their decorations from Monday 2nd December and judging will take place on Thursday 12th December.
It is not too late for any interested parents to join the Staff/Parent Choir and rehearse over the next few Fridays, ready to perform at the Carol Service on Friday 13th December. You do not need to be a high level musician at all - enthusiasm is really the only requirement! We meet at 7.50 a.m. each Friday in the Upper School Hall and would be delighted to welcome new members. There are just three rehearsals and a performance to come this term, so the time commitment is not great. Please do just turn up and join us next Friday morning if you would like to join in.
We are very proud to announce that our school community has raised the following amounts for charity in recent weeks:
Children In Need - £1579.96
Poppy Appeal - £226.52
Very many thanks to you all for your generosity in supporting these two charities.
Quick Sticks Hockey Festival
On Friday last week, St. Helen's College took two mixed teams to the Quick Sticks Hockey Festival at Eastcote Hockey Club. Our A and B teams were put into two groups of five teams, meaning we had four matches to play. Both teams really enjoyed the evening, playing some good hockey and scoring some good goals, but unfortunately we did not make it through the group stages. All the children tried their very best and showed really good signs of improvement. Many thanks to the parents who supported on an extremely cold evening! Team members were: Dhian C, Ciaran R, Vidhit N, Pavitar D, Grace B, Chloe W, Maya T, Charlotte M.
Borough Sports Hall Athletics
The Sports Hall Athletics event took place at Swakeleys School this week. Ten schools from across the borough competed in this heat, taking part in running, jumping and throwing events. Our Year 5 and Year 6 teams worked hard in their events and finished in 7th place overall. Well done to all those who took part.
On the evening of the event, we were awarded our Platinum School Games Award, which lasts for two years. This award recognises the superb sports provision at St. Helen's College across the curriculum and co-curriculum, including the opportunities our pupils have to show leadership through sport. We are very proud to have been recognised once again in this way.
Month End Music Recital
A reminder that next Friday we will have our November Month End Music Recital in the Evans Hall from 3.45 p.m. All children and family members are invited to come and support our musicians.
Posted on: 15/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 15th November 2019St. Helen's College Shortlisted for TES Awards!
The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the 2020 Tes Independent School Awards and we are absolutely thrilled that St. Helen's College has been shortlisted in not one but two categories - an outstanding achievement!
We have been shortlisted for the Pupil Initiative Award for the wonderful work undertaken by our Junior Road Safety Officers, and for the Sports Award for our superb sporting provision.
Tes editor Ann Mroz said: “The Independent schools in this country are truly exceptional and those that have earned a place on the Tes Independent School Awards shortlist are a cut above the rest. We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, all of which were first rate. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud - it's a remarkable achievement."
The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 February 2020. So please keep your fingers crossed for St. Helen's College!
Author Visit - Anna Fargher
The pupils at Upper School were inspired on Monday when, alongside our Remembrance Day activities, they were treated to a visit from author Anna Fargher. Anna is the author of The Umbrella Mouse, an award winning adventure tale based on true stories of animals involved in World War II.
The children were shown how dogs carried medical supplies on the battlefield and how foxes would make lucky mascots for fighter pilots. We also learned about the history of the Dickin medal, awarded on one occasion to a courageous pigeon that saved many lives. After the charming presentation, Anna signed books for the children in the library. Catherine and Anish recited the Exhortation in the Upper School playground before everybody observed a two minute silence and Patrick played The Last Post beautifully on his trumpet as we remembered all the soldiers and animals who have fought bravely in war.
Fireworks (Years 1 - 6)
On Tuesday, all of the children from Year 1 to 6 took part in our termly school writing task. This time, the children had to write a description of a fireworks display. During assemblies, the children shared their experiences and looked at some helpful techniques before going back to classes to plan and write. Here is a selection of examples from work across the school:
'I heard a crash, whizz and boom. There were ten fireworks and everyone was amazed. They sparkled and lit up the sky with glitter. The fireworks were cherry red and sea blue. Suddenly one went BANG! and brightly filled the sky.' - Anna 2B
'I could smell hotdogs, onions and candyfloss. Incredible colours covered the sky such as violet, vermillion and tangerine. A joyous feeling filled my heart as the booming and banging filled my ears.' - Shruthi 4T
'The moment the display commenced, I was transported into another dimension where only fireworks and fun existed. A vivid explosion ripped through the air - a fluorescent contrast against the pitch black sky. Again, a spark shot out into the night, only to explode into a flower of a thousand varied shades.' - Anaiya 6M
Times Tables Rockstars
The children have competed in the National Maths Week Tournament for Times Tables Rockstars this week and we are so impressed with their results. They have fully engaged with the task and have made some exceptional progress as a result. Congratulations to 6RD who were the winning class for the school. St. Helen's College came 204th (at last checking) out of thousands of schools which applied.
Harry J in 6RD is the fastest player in Upper School and Sean R is the fastest player in Middle School. Lachlan J in 2H is the most improved Middle School player and Zain A in 6M is the most improved Upper School player this week.
Children in Need
This week, pupils have been busy raising funds for BBC Children in Need. The money raised will go to support vital projects across the UK including Hillingdon Carers, who provide opportunities and support to unpaid carers in the local area.
The Year 6 children organised a raffle and Jena J (Year 5) put together a 'guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition. Today, children dressed in spots or yellow and took part in the Joe Wicks 'Big Morning Move,' which included a special guest appearance at Upper School! The short group workout was a great way to energise for the day ahead and to raise money for those in need.
The raffle winners were:
Elisa K (Wrens) - Giant Pudseyâ
Selina A (1HC) - Blush Bear
Annabelle S (3B) - Giant Pudsey
Leo J (4KT) - Blush Bear
The winner of the 'guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition was Siyana M (4KT).
Thank you for your generosity in supporting the event.
St. Helen's College Pupils Feature In Steve McQueen Year 3 Exhibition
Steve McQueen Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen has this week unveiled one of the most ambitious visual portraits of citizenship ever undertaken in one of the world's largest cities. This epic portrait of the future of London captures thousands of local children in a milestone year in their development, and we are delighted that our current Year 4 classes are being featured as part of this piece of art, which includes 76,146 pupils from 1,504 London schools!
Over the past week, class photographs have been popping up on over 600 billboards across London's 33 boroughs as part of a city-wide outdoor exhibition, and the gallery exhibition is now open in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, from 12 November 2019 to 03 May 2020.
We do hope that many of you will take the opportunity to visit this exhibition with your families and reflect on the citizens of the future and all that is being done by schools and families to prepare them for what lies ahead.
Christmas Cracker Concert Band
English Music Academy will be hosting a superb performance opportunity for young wind, brass and percussion players of Grade 3 - Grade 8 standard. They are inviting young musicians who are playing at this level to join them as part of their Christmas Cracker Concert Band on Friday 20th December at St. Peter's Church, Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN. The day runs from 10.30 a.m. and pupils will rehearse seasonal popular music pieces during the day, showcasing their work in an evening performance at 6 p.m. in the church, which is free for parents, family and friends to attend. The music will include Let It Snow, Let It Snow, White Christmas and music from Frozen. The day costs £110 (with a £15 discount if you book before 22nd November) and the church is just a few minutes from Notting Hill underground station, with Portobello Market just around the corner. For more information and to book, please follow this link:
Our Year 6 netball players travelled to Langley Hall School this week for a friendly 7-a-side netball fixture. The team grew in confidence as the match progressed, retaining more possession and shooting with more success to win the match 13 - 7.
As we approach the mid-season break in the local schools' netball league, we are pleased to report that the St. Helen's College team are currently top of the table. League matches will resume in January.
On Saturday morning our football team took part in the annual Packham Cup Memorial Trophy. The team had three group matches, winning the first 3-0, the second 5-0 and the third with an impressive 1-0 victory over Hermitage. This meant that we finished top of the group. In the quarter final, we were drawn against Whitehall School and after extra time we were unfortunate to lose 1-0. This was an extremely tough draw for us as Whitehall went on to win the trophy. Mr. Dyson feels that, if the draw had been a bit kinder, we could well have been in the final ourselves. However, the team played superbly well, scoring many goals and should be very proud of themselves for strong performances on what was an extremely cold morning. Thank you to all of the parents for your ongoing loyal support. Team members were: Zail T, Patrick E, Joban K, Daniel G-J, Eli V-B, Harry J, Adam K.
At the halfway stage in the football league, we are currently sitting at the top of the division with four games left to play.
Children must not arrive unaccompanied at the school gates after 8.30 a.m. Registration takes place at 8.30 a.m. every day and it is important that your child arrives at school in good time to line up and go into registration without rushing. If you are unavoidably delayed and your child arrives after 8.30 a.m., then you MUST accompany your child to the school office and sign him/her in.
Posted on: 8/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 8th November 2019Times Tables Rock Stars
The children at Upper School have been diligently practising their times tables this week ahead of National Numeracy week next week, when all children will be entered into the national Times Tables Rockstars competition. Prizes will be awarded to classes with maximum participation over the course of the week and we hope the children will all be able to participate.
There have been some changes in scores this week with Sean R (2H) becoming the fastest middle school player and Avantika G (2B) achieving the most improved player.
In Upper School there has been another fierce battle with Mohib F achieving a phenomenal 0.94 seconds per question and regaining his title as the fastest player in the school. Louis B (4T) is the most improved player in Upper School this week.
Keep up the good work!
Year 1 Trip to Roald Dahl Museum/Gallery
Our Year 1 children enjoyed a phiz-whizzing trip to the Roald Dahl museum/gallery on Thursday and have certainly been inspired to be even more creative in their creative writing work!
Nursery Trip to Playtrain
The Nursery children had a wonderful trip today to the Playtrain soft play centre and were very excited also to be getting on a coach at the beginning of their adventure!
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Poppy Appeal thus far. Children will be selling poppies on Monday morning in the playgrounds. We will be observing a two minute silence at 11 a.m. at Upper and Lower School and this year one of our Year 6 pupils will be playing The Last Post which he has been working hard to learn in his trumpet lessons.
Visiting Author - Anna Fargher
On Monday we will enjoy a visit from Anna Fargher, author of 'Umbrella Mouse', the winner of the 2019 Sainsbury's Book Prize for Fiction, who will speak to children in Years 3 - 6. Information has been sent separately to parents. This will be particularly poignant on Remembrance Day as 'Umbrella Mouse' is a timeless tale of courage, resistance and friendship, drawing on the true stories of animals caught in the conflict of World War 2. Anna will also be joining us for the Remembrance silence.
Children in Need
Next Friday (15th November) is national Children in Need Day and we will once again be supporting this worthy cause. We would like to invite children to come to school dressed in yellow or spots on Friday, for a donation to the charity (we suggest a minimum donation of £2). Raffle tickets are being sold at Upper School, Lower School and Ducklings so please do allow your children to bring in some money to buy raffle tickets if they would like to be in with a chance of winning Pudsey and Blush Bears.
At Upper School, Jena J will be running a 'Guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition to raise money for Children in Need. This activity will start on Tuesday in the gazebo every morning from 8 a.m. and will cost £1 a go.
Thank you in advance for your generous support for this charity initiative.
On Wednesday our football team had their fifth match of the season against Highfield School, winning 7-1. Highfield weren't the strongest of opposition but the team were able to work on developing their skills, tactics and teamwork. Adam K scored his first goals of the season, netting 4 - quite an achievement for a Year 4 pupil - and Eli scored 2 and Harry 1. Hopefully we can take this form into the Packham Cup this Saturday and progress through the competition. Team members were: Zail T, Patrick E, Joban K, Reece G, Daniel G-J, Eli V-B, Harry J, Jack H and Adam K. Well done to all involved!
The Year 5 and 6 girls' football team were also in action on Wednesday, travelling to Denham United Ladies FC to take part in a tournament of sixteen local schools. Some of the girls were playing competitive football for the first time but they showed great skill and tenacity to win the group with one goalless draw and two victories. Rhea A-V captained the team, leading by example with two winning goals to help the team through to the semi finals. Unfortunately, they lost a competitive semi final against an excellent team but the whole squad can be very proud of an excellent performance. Congratulations, girls!
Posted on: 18/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 18th October 2019Month End Music Recital
Our October Month End Music Recital of the year took place in The Evans Hall this afternoon and was well attended. These informal recitals give those children learning instruments or having vocal tuition a chance to perform in an informal setting. Very well done to all of the children who performed; we were treated to a variety of pieces on the piano and violin from various year groups, including a duet. This was a lovely way to end the week and the half term! Well done to all those who performed.
Year 5 Trip to Hampton Court Palace
Year 5 had a great day at Hampton Court on Monday, despite the weather. The children were very inquisitive as they looked around the palace and were wowed by the size and magnificence of rooms such as the Great Hall, the Great Watching Chamber and the Chapel with its beautiful ceiling painted like a starry night sky. The children took part thoughtfully in their workshop with 'Edward, a member of the King's household'. They learnt about the different positions at court and about the 'great chain of being', which put everyone in the land into society groups. However, your position was not fixed and you could rise in society (like Thomas Wolsey did). You could also fall and the children learnt that the further up the ladder you went, the further you had to fall! In the end, most of the pupils were in agreement that it would probably have been safer to have been a servant in Henry's household rather than in a position of power.
Times Tables Rock Stars
This week has been another exciting week in Times Tables Rock Stars. Congratulations to Eva J (2H), who had the biggest increase in accuracy for Middle School and to Anokhi B (4T) who now holds the title of the most accurate player in the school.
There has been a hard fought battle at the top this week between two of our fastest boys in Upper School. Harry J just pipped Mohib F to the post with less than a hundredth of a second between the two to hold on to his title as the fastest player! Poppy H (3M) retains her title as the fastest Middle School player. Well done to all!
Year 6 Morning Tea Party
The school is very grateful to our wonderful Year 6 students, who were great ambassadors for the school on our recent open morning. The children enjoyed some morning treats to celebrate their achievement.
4T Assembly - How We Learn At St. Helen's College
Our 4T pupils presented a well-informed and research-based assembly this morning, as we were introduced to the ideas behind Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset.
The children also examined various ways in which they learn, including reflection, collaboration and always trying their best. They finished the assembly by treating us to a wonderful rendition of a song from The Greatest Showman. Well done, 4T!
STARS Character Competition
The Hillingdon Road Safety Team are running their annual road safety competition and we would like to encourage pupils in Years 3 - 6 to design an entry over the half term break. Pupils are asked to design a road safety character, and the four winning characters will be used in Hillingdon's printed road safety material.
You can see the full details and entry form from the Hillingdon STARS Team here.
This year the Parents' Association have asked the school to take part in designing Christmas cards as a school fundraiser. The children are all currently busy completing their designs ready for processing and they are all looking very exciting.
In addition, the Parents' Association have also expressed that they would like to give each child the opportunity to create their own family, birthday, or other occasion card. If you wish to take part, you will need to follow the instructions on the form which has been sent home today with your child, placing your order online first then bringing in your form and design back to school no later than Friday 8th November, ready for collection. Children should hand their designs to their class teacher or to Miss Dear directly.
We hope you enjoy taking part. We are sure your designs will look fantastic!
Half Term Holiday Club and Breakfast Club
Holiday Club and Breakfast Club will both take place at Lower School over the half term break. The children will make use of the facilities at both Upper and Lower School over the course of the week, but we would ask that you drop children off to Lower School and pick them up from Lower School at the end of the day. You can see more information about Holiday Club here.
We are now beginning the entry processes for Ducklings entry in September 2020 and Nursery entry in September 2020. If you have a child who is eligible for entry to the school next September, and you have not yet registered him/her with us, please do so as a matter of urgency so that you do not miss out on a place. You can register your child online here.
Children in Need Fundraising
On Friday 15th November we will be supporting the Children in Need charity to raise money for projects taking place all over the UK. To support this excellent cause, we will be holding a tog (non-uniform) day and children are asked to come to school wearing yellow and/or spots. In addition to this, we will have a raffle and a special live stream workout with 'The Body Coach' Joe Wicks. Many schools up and down the country will be participating in this huge event. We kindly ask that you send your child in with a suggested donation of £2 - any more will be gratefully accepted.
Your child may wish to bring some extra money into school for raffle tickets, which will be on sale throughout the week in the mornings at Lower School and Upper School. There will be a giant Pudsey Bear and a smaller Blush Bear as prizes at Lower School and Upper School. Ducklings children may also buy raffle tickets for the Ducklings raffle; the prizes at Ducklings will be a smaller Pudsey Bear and smaller Blush Bear. We wish the children luck in the raffles and thank you, in advance, for your support of this charity.
St. Helen's College Parent Parking Pledge
We would like to remind parents of our Parent Parking Pledge which aims to manage congestion and improve safety near our school at busy times. The idea is simple: in return for agreeing to follow some basic principles, your car can carry a sticker that tells the world you are doing your bit to make a difference.
Parents at schools across Hillingdon are agreeing to:
• Help my child/children travel actively at least once a week
• Drive with consideration for others
• Park away from the school gates
• Never block a driveway
• Turn off my engine when parked
In addition we have three pledges that apply here and trust that you will agree to:
• Follow the St. Helen's College parking regulations
• Use the 'Drop & Go' and 'Pick Up & Go' zones safely and efficiently
• Respect and adhere to the parking restrictions in operation around all our school sites
If you are happy to make the Pledge, please follow the link and complete the form. Once submitted, you will get your car sticker that will show others your commitment to pupil health and safety.
Thank you and please remember to display your car stickers with pride!
PA Class Representatives
Many thanks to those parents who have volunteered to become (or continue as) PA class representatives. We are still seeking a class rep for 4T. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to take on this role.
Children should return after the half term break wearing full winter uniform. The only winter coats that should be worn are the school 3-in-1 coats.
Upper School parents' evening is on Thursday 7th November and appointments can be booked in the usual way. We look forward to seeing parents then.
PA Christmas Parties
The PA Christmas parties for children will take place on Sunday 1st December 2019 at Richings Sport Park, Wellesley Avenue, Richings Park, Iver, SL0 9BN. Tickets will cost £11 per child which includes food, entertainment and a visit and gift from Father Christmas!
Timings of the parties will be:
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Nursery and Reception
12.30 - 2.30 p.m. Years 1, 2 and 3
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Years 4, 5 and 6
Please look out for details of how to book, which will be sent out via your class WhatsApp group. Please note that bookings must be made by the deadline as we will not be able to add children after this date. Don't miss out - pencil the date into your diary now! The flyer is available here.
Posted on: 11/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 11th October 2019Harvest Festivals
Once again, pupils and parents have been enormously generous in their giving and the food donated at our Lower School Harvest Assemblies and Upper School Harvest Festival Service has now been distributed to the Salvation Army. They have sent a lovely message of thanks, letting us know that these donations will help to supply many Christmas food parcels for families in this area who will appreciate this type of assistance over what can be a particularly difficult time.
Some of the food will also go to supply the Food Bank at Yiewsley, as the Salvation Army issue many Food Bank vouchers throughout the whole year to local people who need a little extra help.
The Salvation Army asked us to convey sincere thanks to all who contributed in the collection and assure you all that your kindness will make a difference to many people in the local community. Thank you!
Our pupils from Nursery to Year 1 performed wonderfully in their Harvest Assemblies. It was a joyous occasion and the confidence that exuded from the children was quite overwhelming. Well done to all of the children and staff involved. You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
Times Tables Rock Stars
The children have been very busy with their Times Tables Rock Stars this week.
Tiya T in 2H was the most accurate player in Middle School and Harry J in 6RD was the most accurate player in Upper School. Harry also gained the coveted Rock Hero status and takes the crown from Mohib as the fastest player in the school. Poppy H in 3M remains the fastest player in Middle School.
Well done everyone!
Trips This Week
Our Year 2 children had a super day out at the Chiltern Open Air Museum this week, where they were transported back to the Iron Age.
Year 3 pupils visited St. Albans Cathedral where they re-enacted the story of St. Alban and created beautiful mosaics.
On Wednesday our football team had their third match of the season away at Laurel Lane. The team performed very well in difficult conditions, with long grass and a very windy day. Goals from Harry J, Jack H and Patrick E secured us a 3-0 win. Mr. Dyson feels that the team is progressing very well and hopefully this can continue when we entertain Cowley St. Lawrence at home this coming Wednesday.
Well done to the netball team who played their first match this week with an outstanding win of 12-0 against St. Mary's. The girls passed extremely well and their teamwork and co-operation has put them in a very strong position this early in the season.
Pupil Fundraising Efforts
Grace O'H, one of our class charity representatives, will be running the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) 5k again this year, on Saturday. She has raised over £400 for the cause so far. Good luck Grace, we will be thinking of you! It has been noted that many of our pupils are now taking part in weekly fun runs.
A reminder to all parents that any snack provided for your child must not contain traces of nuts and must be healthy. Suitable snacks are fresh or dried fruit and vegetables or plain biscuits. Crisps, popcorn, mini cheddars etc. are not suitable snacks.
From Monday, Upper School pupils will be able to replenish their water bottles at break time with fresh fruit-flavoured water. Milk will still be available.
We would like to remind parents that the gates at the three entrance points to the school (Lower School, Long Lane and Parkway) close at 8.30 a.m. promptly. If your child arrives after 8.30 a.m., then a parent or carer will need to accompany the child to the school office to be signed in, and their arrival will be recorded as a 'late'. There is a significant amount of administration to be completed by teachers in the early morning before assemblies, including taking the register and completing lunch orders, and it is therefore crucial that children arrive to school by 8.30 a.m. at the latest.
School Drop Off and Pick Up
Those of you who have been following the news will be aware that idling cars have been a hot topic recently. Please do not leave your car engine running if you are parked up on Long Lane, in Court Park or in any of the surrounding roads. Those parents who do use the Pick Up & Go or Drop & Go facility, please remember not to exit your car and to move off swiftly.
Data Collection Forms
Data collection forms have been sent home with each child this week in your child's book bag. Please check the form very carefully and return it to school. You must sign the form even if there are no changes to confirm that the information we hold for you and your child is correct. If there are any changes to the information we hold, please note these clearly on the form when you return it to us. Please return your forms as soon as possible, and by Friday 18th October at the latest.
Posted on: 4/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 4 October 2019Harvest
Upper School celebrated Harvest on Tuesday with a lovely service in All Saints Church. Thank you to all families for the most generous donations, which the local Salvation Army will be sharing with members of our local community who may not be as fortunate as we are.
We look forward to the Lower School Harvest Assemblies at 8.45am next week. Please do join us for coffee from 8.15am in the Lower School Hall prior to the assemblies:
Monday - Year 1 followed by Infant Choir performance
Tuesday - Reception followed by Infant Choir performance
Wednesday - Nursery
The children from Nursery to Year 2 were delighted to welcome the author Simon Phillip and illustrator Kate Hindley. They were enthralled as Simon read his stories whilst Kate drew some characters from each book. With Kate's guidance, the children then became illustrators themselves! Both Philip and Kate explained how they had become so successful and what inspired them. Notably, they recommended that the children read as much as possible and gather their ideas by truly observing their surroundings.
The sessions were a great success, and who knows, we may have inspired some authors and illustrators for the future!
Current Affairs - First News Newspaper
Many families are already subscribed to the children’s current affairs newspaper ‘First News’ but they have just launched a fundraising venture to promote even more children to get reading. For every family that sign up for a subscription to the paper St Helen’s College will receive a £2 donation. For us as a school, it is not about the donation but raising the children’s awareness of current affairs and reading for pleasure a different genre of materials in the form of a child friendly newspaper (suitable for age pupil in Y2 - Y6)). To try six free issues please do sign up at https://subscribe.firstnews.co.uk/six-free/. On the second step of the payment you will be asked to input the name of the school you are nominating ‘St Helen’s College’. Any donations we receive will go towards the library reading materials for the children.
The Student Council representatives at Upper School school have been representing the pupil voice in their meetings. On their request, we will very shortly (when all our water containers arrive!) be providing flavoured water for the children from Y2 - Y6 at break time as an alternative to milk. The pupils have also voted on the types of fruit they would like and Soula will be happy to provide these flavours. (Milk will still be available to pupils).
Other requests from the pupils that have been actioned are; the request for baked beans when jacket potatoes are available as a lunch choice (we currently have baked beans twice a week but Soula will note this request), a stationery box for the children to continue their creativity with writing and drawing at lunchtimes (our SMSA’s already have a box but it is being replenished with some exciting new resources).
Acts of Kindness
It is always wonderful to hear of our children being involved in charity events and for their deeds of kindness. We were very proud this week to hear of the efforts of 2H children; Aleyna N requested that children did not purchase any gifts for her birthday but instead donated money to a charity of her choosing. Aleyna now has £560 to donate to charity - a wonderful venture of kindness and superb support from her peers.
Year 6 visit to Denham Country Park
The children in Y6 experienced some ‘hands on’ geography fieldwork this week when they visited Denham Country Park to investigate rivers. The children became river detectives for the day; wading into the river to collect data about the River Misbourne’s depth, width and flow and analysing minibeasts present in the river. They were also able to track the path of the River Misbourne to its confluence with the River Colne and River Frays and compare these rivers. Finally, a walk along the Grand Union Canal and seeing Denham Deep Lock in action gave the children a terrific insight into the engineering accomplishments of the Victorians.
Reception trip to Odds Farm
Kingfishers and Owls enjoyed an exciting visit to Odds Farm this week to support their learning about harvest time and to bring their shared topic of ‘The Farm’ to life. The children were able to meet and touch some furry friends and they thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get close to lots of sheep, goats and pigs during their visit to the indoor barn. The children were also enthralled by a live ‘Piggies Lunch’ demonstration and they had a super (but very bumpy) tractor ride!
On Wednesday, the football team had their second game of the season at home to St Catherine’s and pulled off a very good 1-0 win. St Catherine’s are a very good team who dominated the 1st half and could have been well ahead but for some good defending, bad finishing and a great save by Zail. We grew into the game and scored through Eli with a very good left foot finish to give us the lead. St Helen’s managed to hold on to secure an impressive win. The team should be extremely proud of themselves with this performance, especially Adam K in Yr4 who made a huge impression on his debut.
Team Zail, Patrick, Reece, Joban, Jack, Harry, Daniel G-J, Eli, Adam.
This week, our pupils took part in the District cross country competition held at the Vyners playing fields. They had been training for the past few weeks to complete the 2km course and completed the boys and girls races confidently, supporting each other as they ran. Our top finishers were Michael K and Rhea A-V in their respective races, and solid performances from everyone in the team resulted in very credible 6th place for the girls team and 7th place for the boys team. Well done to the teams; Marcus S, Alex S, Daniel G-J, Reece G, Jack H, Adi S, Ciaran R, Michael K, Rhea A-V, Chloe W, Grace B, Amar C, Maisie H and Siyana M.
Times Tables Rockstars
We have relaunched Times Tables Rockstars at Upper School this year and the children all seem really enthused. They have created their rockstar avatars and are busy earning points by practising their tables. Each week, the fastest player in Middle and Upper Schools (last week Poppy H and Mohib F) and the players who have made the biggest improvement through lots of practice (last week Roha K and Ciaran R) will be recognised. This week our top players are Jacob N for Middle School and Anokhi B for Upper School!
The children will progress through different rock star levels and will be awarded certificates and prizes whenever they reach a new status. Congratulations to Mohib F, the Year 6 maths prefect, who is the first and only player in the school to earn the elusive ‘rock hero’ status.
Following the success of last week’s talk by Elaine Halligan from the Parent Practice, I would like to thank Mrs Dhillon whose reflections of the evening are the guest blog this week. (Do read!)
We have had wonderful feedback from the workshop and many parents have asked if further training could be sought. We are delighted that our parents at St Helen’s have been offered a 50 % discount for their Online Parenting Course from the Parent Practice, which is a 10 module e-learning course. Please see the line below for further details:
The code is STHELENS2019 but please note that it is only valid for 7 days.
To order go to this page https://theparentpractice.simplero.com/purchase/16521-Membership-of-The-Positive-Parenting and use the coupon code where it says ‘Have a Coupon Code’. This will reduce the price to £175.
Nursery to Year 1 parents’ evening is on Tuesday 8th October from 4pm - 7pm at Lower School. Please do check the time of your appointment. Please note that Funtasia will be in Wrens classroom on the parent evenings.
Pick up arrangements
If your pick up arrangements from school vary from the normal person who collects your child, please can you email this information to the form teacher or email the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org if the arrangement is a last minute change. I am sure you understand our need to ensure that your children are being handed over to the correct person at the end of the day.
Jewellery in PE
It is the school’s policy that no jewellery should be worn in P.E lessons for health and safety reasons. Children should, where possible, not wear jewellery to school on P.E days. If earrings cannot be removed because they are new, parents are respectfully requested to provide a small reel of micropore tape for their children in their school bag so they can tape over the earrings for P.E. If religious bangles (metal and string with beads on) cannot be removed then parents are respectfully asked to provide their child with a sweatband in school colours (green, white or black) to wear over the top. Necklaces should not be worn as these present particular risks around the neck.
Posted on: 20/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 20th September 2019Prime Minister Boris Johnson Reads To Year 1
We were thrilled today to receive a visit from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is working with the BookTrust children's charity to promote children's reading - a cause dear to St. Helen's College! This month the BookTrust charity have launched their 'Time To Read' campaign, which encourages families to share books and stories each day and to use books as a way to explore issues that impact on wellbeing, such as anxiety or friendship issues.
St. Helen's College parents know already that, as a school, we promote reading daily with your child and believe that this underpins all learning. We were therefore delighted to be approached by the Prime Minister's office to arrange a visit for Mr. Johnson to read to our Year 1 children. The children were enthralled today as he read them The Cave by Rob Hodgson, which showed that things aren't always what they seem, and that life can be full of surprises!
Mr. Johnson also visited Upper School and was hugely impressed by the STEAM Day activities going on all around (see below for more details!). It is a testament to the ethos and success of St. Helen's College and its pupils that, having visited last year, Mr. Johnson chose to come back and see our children again!
It has been a busy, purposeful and exciting day of learning across the entire school from Ducklings to Year 6 today as children have taken part in a wide range of STEAM Day activities. At Upper School, pupils took part in practical and academic indoor and outdoor activities run by staff and parents, including building cardboard kayaks, cracking a code using maths, making marble mazes and investigating endothermic and exothermic reactions. One of the sessions was run by Susan O'Connor, the author of 'Creative Genius Journal'. The children worked in groups to design, create and make playground equipment, challenging their collaboration and communication skills. We would highly recommend that parents take a look at her journal for 7-12 year olds:
At Lower School, the children became engrossed in Lego mazes, making kaleidoscopes and investigating how colours mix. They used their technological skills to take part in some digital animation and became apprentice engineers when building spaghetti towers. They used our outside space to make bookmarks from the natural resources around us and blasted rocket mice into the beautiful blue sky! Our youngest Helenians, the Ducklings, also took part in some age-appropriate STEAM activities. The children helped to measure water into three different water pits and then got into small groups. Using lots of colourful bath bombs, the children got to explore how putting them into water can make them change and how our senses reacted! The children spoke about the sounds that the bath bombs made in water such as "POP! "Fuzzzzzzz" and "Whoosh", adding that they smelt "fruity", "sweet" and some even thought they smelt "yummy". The children also explored how, when the differently coloured waters were mixed together, the colour of the water changed and some even got brighter! Ducklings finished off celebrating their STEAM Day with dropping some mints into a bottle of pop and watch it go up, just like a volcano!
This really was, across the school, an inspirational day that children and staff will never forget! You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
Loving their Learning
The dining room and playground have been a cacophony of educational chatter this week - it has been super to hear the children discussing the number of syllables within the lines of their nature Haiku poems (Y3), how the Romans came to seize England and why (Y3), Verbal Reasoning was the best lesson for one child this week because he loves playing with words (Y4), Year 5 pupils enjoyed their water challenge as they worked collaboratively to design and make their water pipe systems discussing the many elements which had to work together for the most efficient delivery of water; Year 6 discussing how to spot 'Fake News'. How rewarding for the teachers to know that our pupils' learning does not just stop in the classroom - the love of learning which is being embedded exudes from them through their day and I am sure is then shared with you all at home too!
Community and London Ambassadors
We are delighted that St. Helen's College is being recognised in the local community as one of the leading schools in addressing the environmental issue of traffic and pollution surrounding schools. You can read a little about this here. We were also delighted to hear this week that we have been nominated for a London wide award as one of the top London Schools for our hard work around school travel and road safety. We have been nominated for two categories:
School of excellence in walking - for our brilliant walking loyalty scheme
School of excellence in road safety/pupil led project - for our hard work with the Junior Roadwatch project
We have also been nominated for the category of 'Long Serving Travel Champion' for all our hard work over the 9 years that St. Helen's College has been championing this.
The Student Council in Upper School have had a great start to the term. In their first meeting they discussed general council etiquette and electing the secretary and spokesperson. The first item for discussion for all the classes was whether they would like to see the introduction of flavoured water available at break times. There was a resounding majority vote for this and this will be rolled out to the children at Upper School early October. The pupils will now need to vote on the flavours they would favour: strawberry, cucumber, lemon, orange...? We look forward to hearing their suggestions and I am sure that Soula will be able to source a variety of healthy options.
For pupils who prefer milk there will still be some available.
The Zen Garden was also an area which was discussed and the pupils are very strong in their passion for only using this area for quiet and peaceful moments which they will ensure will continue to happen.
The pupils were then reminded of some of the suggestions they have made over the past couple of years which have been acted upon: new cutlery and cups for the dining room, no onion in the macaroni, the addition of the The Retreat and the Castle (partly funded by the school and the PA) and table top games for the playground...to name but a few.
We look forward to a superb year of pupil voice.
Meet the Teacher Evenings
Thank you to all of the parents who have recently attended our Meet the Teacher evenings. It has been encouraging to have such a great attendance at these evenings, demonstrating the parental support which will no doubt help your children to achieve their very best this year. Please contact your form teachers if you have any further queries or questions.
New Parents' Lunch
The PA committee and new families to St. Helen's College had a wonderful afternoon socialising in the Windsor Garden last Saturday, getting to know each other and finding out more about the work of the PA. Thank you to all who attended and the PA for providing the lovely food and refreshments. If you are interested in supporting the work of the PA or becoming the class form representative please contact Mrs. Clements at email@example.com.
Individual Pupil Photographs
Monday 23rd - Ducklings will have their individual photos from 8.30 a.m.
Wednesday 25th Lower School - siblings can be photographed together from 8 a.m.
Friday 27th Upper School - siblings can be photographed together from 7.40 a.m.
Pupils should not be bringing in football/Disney or similar collector cards to school. Unfortunately they have caused upset in the playground and in classes! Fitbits should also not be worn to school; however, a watch is acceptable.