School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 1/07/2022

Weekly News - Friday 1st July 2022

Year 6 Musical Production - Singin' In The Rain Jr. What an incredible evening last night, as our Year 6 leavers presented the first performance of their musical, Singin' In The Rain Jr., at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham, having spent this week at the theatre rehearsing on the stage there with their professional sound and lighting. It is always magical to see the Year 6 children reach such heights of performance and musicality in their grand summer production, but it is true to say that we felt prouder than ever last night to see the strength of St. Helen's College drama following a disruptive two years of Covid lockdowns. The children's confidence and skill was truly astonishing! Drama has always played a huge part in life at St. Helen's College and these children have performed regularly on stage since Nursery, including class assemblies, speech and singing competitions, music concerts and, of course, major productions in several year groups. So it is no surprise that there was some very accomplished acting, singing and dancing on display and the audience were very appreciative of the children's efforts. The pupils are performing a Friday matinee and another evening show tonight too, before they enjoy their after-play party to celebrate their achievements. Well done, Year 6, you have worked so hard on this show and you have created memories to last a lifetime. We would like, also, to thank all of the staff and ex-pupils who have helped in so many ways to prepare for and stage this production.  Cancer Research UK Fundraising We would like to remind parents that Monday 11th July will be a tog day in aid of Cancer Research UK. Children may wear blue or pink, the Cancer Research colours, and are asked to bring a donation on the day. There will be several fundraising events for different year groups as we near the end of term and children will be permitted to bring money to school in order to take part in these. Class teachers will be sending out details of these. We hope that many families will join us at the Relay for Life itself on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. As well as raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK, the day is an opportunity to spend meaningful time with family and other members of the St. Helen's College community. Please do sign up to join our team and come along on 16th July. Simply follow THIS LINK, click on JOIN A TEAM and sign up using the details below. There is no fee to register. Team Name :  St Helen's College Team password:   SHC2022 iArt Mrs. Pruce, our Head of Art, was delighted to be invited to attend the IAPS iArt awards ceremony on Monday evening in her capacity as Subject Leader for IAPS. Families travelled from as far away as Kenya to attend the occasion, which was set in the beautiful St. Ethelburga's centre in Bishopsgate. The standard of artwork entered this year was incredible as you can see from these pieces, produced by prep school students in Years 5-8. We have such wonderful artists at St. Helen's College so we are hopeful that next year we may be winners too!   RSPCA Young Photographer Awards Budding young photographers might be interested in entering the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards, which are open for entry until 16th August for anyone aged 18 or under. Further details are available here. .begin Mindfulness Course for Adults The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) will soon be running another eight week course for adults, to increase understanding of Mindfulness and wellbeing. Benefits include reducing stress, an improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour, an increase in coping skills and motivation and an increase in self-compassion. The course, called .begin, is delivered via Zoom in 90 minute sessions over eight weeks, and is led by a highly experience MiSP instructor. If you are interested in this course, you can find full details at the link below. https://mindfulnessinschools.org/begin-eight-week-mindfulness-course/?mc_cid=7846ab6f46&mc_eid=dc4c85d2ac Online Safety As the school year draws to a close, we would like to remind you once again of the importance of keeping your children safe when they are online. Some may feel that their child is too young for them to be concerned with such issues.  However, in our technology-filled world, it is becoming increasingly necessary to equip both yourself and your child with the skills needed to enjoy age appropriate online activity and stay safe whilst doing so. As a school we have a long association with Paul Hay, who regularly provides sessions for pupils, staff and parents. His informative presentation can be accessed  via this link. In addition, we are members of National Online Safety and, as part of our parent body, you have free access to this. Please take another look at their site or join up if you have yet to do so. We feel certain that you will find the site very useful. Below are some specific links that you may find particularly helpful. https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/webinar/understanding-age-ratings https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/course/os-for-parents-3-7 https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/course/os-for-parents-7-11 Please do not hesitate to contact the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads, Mrs. Hunt or Mr. McLaughlin if you have any questions. Uniform/Equipment List 2022-2023 The updated uniform/equipment list for 2022-2023 has been posted to the website and is available here. Please note one significant change: the introduction of a new, improved senior tracksuit which is to be worn by children in Years 3-6. As usual, we ask that you check your child's uniform and equipment over the summer holidays and ensure that everything fits and is clean and in good repair before the start of the new academic year. Registrations for Ducklings or Nursery Entry in September 2023 Although September 2023 seems a long way off, our admissions processes begin approximately one year in advance of entry. Therefore, if you have a child born after 1st September 2019 and you would like them to join Ducklings or Nursery in September 2023 or September 2024, please ensure that you register them as soon as possible. Siblings get priority for places but we do need them to be registered in order for them to be included in the admissions process. The registration form is here. In addition, if you have friends or family with children in these age groups, please urge them not to leave it too late to apply! Every year we have disappointed families who have left it too late and to whom we are unable to offer a place for Early Years entry. Many thanks for your support with this. Our next Open Morning for prospective parents will be in mid-October. We will advertise this when we return to school in September. PlayDay at Hillingdon Athletics Track Hillingdon Council will be running a Playday Event at Hillingdon Athletics Track on 3rd August from 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. This is a free event for children aged 0-10 years old and there will be a range of activities including: - soft play, bouncy castle, arts and crafts, story time, a puppet show and much more for the under 5s and  - inflatable slide, bouncy castle, BMX, football shootout and much more for children from 5 to 10 years. Parents are welcome to bring a picnic or food and refreshments will be available to purchase at the leisure centre too. There is information on the flyer here.
Posted on: 24/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 24th June 2022

Year 1 and 2 Summer Plays Wow! We were treated to first class performances at The Compass Theatre this week when our Year 1 and Year 2 classes took to the stage to perform their summer plays to parents, pupils and friends. Year 1 performed 'Stella The Starfish', a colourful production in which they took us on a tour of the ocean, sharing some very interesting facts about our seas and acting their parts beautifully. There were clownfish, rainbow fish, seaweed characters, a shark and a snapping turtle as well as the human characters and, of course, the starfish. The Year 1 children sang their songs beautifully and with meaning, and there were even some solos. From children so young, this was a very impressive production indeed. Year 2's play was 'The Emerald Crown', all about the destruction of the rainforest. The children presented their important message with skill and tunefulness, performing solo and small group numbers as well as the whole cast song performances. There was some accomplished acting and beautifully clear speaking and it was obvious that they relished the opportunity to perform on stage in a real theatre. Very well done to all those involved.  Mrs. Belvoir was joined by her family at her last St. Helen’s College production yesterday as Year 2 performed. Mrs. Belvoir’s contributions to the drama and musicality of the school will be sorely missed after her 22 years of commitment. Both her children Alice and Harry attended St. Helen’s College and the family were very proud to support Mrs. Belvoir yesterday.      PA Summer Fete The summer fete last Saturday was such a wonderful community event and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the PA for all of their hard work in organising it, and to all of the parents, pupils and staff who attended, ran stalls and performed on the day. There was a charity fundraising aspect to some of the stalls at the fete and the following funds were raised on the day. Ukraine appeal: £146.60 GOSH stall: £132.69 CRUK donations: £77.04. Year 6 Play - 'Singin' In The Rain Jr.' Next week, our Year 6 leavers will perform their grand musical production, Singin' In The Rain Jr., at The Compass Theatre. Performances will take place on: Thursday 30th June (7.30 p.m.) Friday 1st July (2.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.)  If you would like to buy tickets, the booking link is here. Parents will be permitted to take children out of school for the Friday matinee performance if they would like to do so. Year 4 Swimming Week Our Year 4 children have enjoyed an intensive week of swimming at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Complex this week and it has been super to see the development of their technique and confidence in the water. Morning Meditation Arshia in 5A led the Upper School in a beautiful meditation practice called 'Be the Pond' this morning.  You may wish to try the practice yourself - see below. First let's be comfortable. You can sit on the floor with crossed legs or if you prefer you can sit on a chair. If you are sitting on a chair, sit tall with your feet on the floor and your shoulders relaxed. If you want you can close your eyes. Take deep breaths in from your nose and out from your mouth. We will do this three times. After these nice deep breaths you should feel calm and relaxed. I would like you to imagine that you and your mind is a big pond. In the pond there are many fish which are your feelings, all swimming around together. There is a happy fish, a sad fish, a sleepy fish, an excited fish, an angry fish, a worried fish, a playful fish, a calm fish, a kind fish and a selfish fish. There are so many fish which are your feelings. All of them are swimming around the pond. We are here to observe our feelings and be the pond. It is wonderful being the pond. You be the pond and let the fish be the fish. Sometimes you can become the fish, the angry fish and you will hurt somebody. Stop and  convert your mind back to being the pond. You do not need to do anything else but just be the pond. See if you can let the fishes, your feelings pass by without you losing your focus. Just be the pond. Slowly we open our eyes and come back to the here and now. Marvellous Moneyboxes! Thank you to all of the parents who have helped children to create their marvellous money boxes and collect spare coins for Cancer Research UK. You can see some of their creations here. The total raised so far through the money box scheme across all three sites is almost £1900! Thank you to you all for these generous donations.   We would like to remind you all that the St. Helen's College community is supporting Cancer Research's Relay For Life. We encourage pupils, parents and staff to join our team and to attend the Relay itself which will take place on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. This is a 24 hour event but you can come for as long or short a time as suits you. Our team and others will walk the track in relay throughout this time to show that cancer never sleeps, and nor does the fight against it. We encourage you also to dedicate a candle of hope. Details are here. It is one of the most poignant moments at the Relay for Life when lit candles are placed around the track as night begins to fall. Everyone is invited to dedicate a candle to someone no longer with us, a friend or family member living with cancer, a loved one who has survived, or perhaps as hope for the future - a world where all cancers are cured. There is also a link here if you would like to make a donation to the St. Helen's College team.  There will be a tog day at school on Monday 11th July in support of CRUK. Children are encouraged to wear the Cancer Research UK colours of pink and blue, and to make a donation. Further details will be provided nearer the time. We thank you all for your support. Cookery Club The children of the Upper School Cookery Club had a great time in their last session yesterday when they made spring rolls. They have certainly become budding young chefs during the course of the term!       Reverend Sarah Smith We are sending Rev. Smith (Mrs. Smith, 3B) our best wishes this weekend as today is her last day as a Deacon. Tomorrow she will be ordained as a Priest at St. Mary's Church, Aylesbury.  As Rev. Smith prepares for this major event in her life she has been listening to Andre Rieu - I Will Follow Him - such a beautiful composition and one which reflects Rev. Smith's strong faith. Sparks Summer Shoots Some of the St. Helen's College children have enjoyed workshops from Sparks this year.  The company is running summer camps this summer, where children produce their own movie production in a five day workshop. Children devise an original storyline, direct their scenes, shoot their shots, crew their set, star in their movie and edit it too. At the end of the week, they share their work with family in a special presentation and later celebrate with a red carpet premiere event too. There are spaces for ages 5-18. Further information can be found here: https://www.sparksarts.co.uk/product/summer-shoots-2020/ Sports Summer Camps Thames Valley Cavaliers Basketball Club and Blaze Netball Club are also running summer camps. Details can be found here: Thames Valley Cavaliers Basketball Club Blaze Netball Club 1 Blaze Netball Club 2
Posted on: 17/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 17th June 2022

PA Summer Fete We hope to see you all at the PA Summer Fete tomorrow, Saturday 18th June, from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. at our Upper School site. This is always a wonderful day for our St. Helen's College community as we come together to enjoy food, drink, fun and music.  Prep Sports Day We braved the hot weather today for our Prep Sports Day at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Complex with Years 3 to 6. It was wonderful to be joined by so many families to celebrate the children's efforts in their track and field events and the St. Helen's College values really shone through today: excellence, determination, kindness and courage, to name a few. Singers' Concert On Monday evening, we gathered at All Saints' Church for our annual Singers' Concert. There were fourteen performances including solos, small groups and, of course, our Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs. It really was a celebration of the musicality of St. Helen's College, with the children singing beautifully and with confidence. Their enjoyment was clear to see.  Mrs. Crehan also performed, along with Kristina, Mr. & Mrs. Crehan's Ukrainian guest. Their rendition of 'For Good' from Wicked was very moving - there was hardly a dry eye in the church!  Live Chamber Choir Auditions We warmly invite pupils from Year 3 to Year 5 to audition for Chamber Choir 2022-2023. Auditions will take place next Wednesday 22nd June at 12.30 p.m. for Year 3 pupils and 1.00 p.m. for Year 4 and 5 pupils in the Upper School Hall. The audition song will be "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins, which can be found on the Music Google classroom and current Junior Choir Google classroom. Selected pupils will begin Chamber Choir in September and members will be announced before the end of term. Best of luck to all! Maths Quiz Club Semi-Finals On Tuesday morning our Maths Quiz Club took part in the semi-finals of the Prep School Maths Quiz. Both St. Helen's College teams did well, with one team placing 5th overall. They have made it through to the national finals which will take place next week at the Light Auditorium in central London. Team members were: Zakariya M (Y4), Zach F, Shruthi T, Aryan B (Year 6). Wrens Class Assembly The children of Wrens Nursery performed their final class assembly of the year on Thursday. They told us the poignant story of Billy the Bee, who had no buzz and no friends because he was different to the other bees. In the end, however, the bees learnt that it is good to be different and that we all have unique qualities. The assembly carried a very important message about friendship and the children delivered their lines and songs with confidence and enthusiasm. There was even a singing solo and duet alongside the many group numbers. Very well done, Wrens.   Year 6 Pupil Publishes First Novel! Shakira V has completed her first book, a crime novel, which is now available for other pupils to read at the Upper School library. The Scandal of the Ruby Necklace is catalogued on the Upper School library system, which means that Shakira is listed as a fiction writer on the system, fully searchable, and fully loanable. Shakira says that seeing her name listed on the system as a fiction writer was the proudest moment of her life.  Charity Week The Charity Reps have been working hard on planning ideas for Charity Week, which will commence on Monday 4th July. All proceeds from the week will be going to Cancer Research U.K. There will be fun activities arranged for that week.  On Friday 8th July the Upper School will all be taking part in a sponsored cross country run around Court Park. The children will be bringing home sponsor forms and we would be very grateful if you could help them to collect some sponsorship for the event. The Lower School will be doing different events including a nearly new book sale, obstacle course and soak the teacher. Confirmation of dates and events will be sent out soon. If your child has made a money box could you please send this into school on Monday 20th June. Many thanks, as always, for your support. Class Allocations and 'Move Up Mornings' Parents have today received notification of their child's new teacher for next year. 'Move Up Mornings' for pupils are on the following dates, when the children will have an opportunity to visit their new classrooms and meet the new teaching staff. Year 1 - Year 5: Monday 4th July Nursery/Reception - Tuesday 5th July Staff News Mrs. Belvoir (2B) will be leaving us at the end of this academic year after 22 years of committed service to St. Helen's College.  She will be very much missed as she has been such an integral part of our community and has worn many hats, including being a form teacher at both Lower School and Upper School and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. She has also, of course, been very involved with music and performing arts across the school. We wish her well as she looks forward to new adventures in her life outside of teaching.   Mrs. Beale will be retiring from her position as Welfare Assistant at Lower School at the end of this academic year. Mrs. Beale has been a part of the school community for 21 years. We are delighted that Mrs. Beale will remain with us in the role of Breakfast Club Manager, so she will keep in touch with us, albeit in a different capacity. Ms Oakshott will take up the role of Welfare Assistant at Lower School as well as working as part of the Teaching and Learning Support team.  Ms Califano has worked at Lower School for the past three years and has been covering Miss Joiner's maternity leave since last year.  We would like to thank her for her commitment to the school and wish her well in her next post. Mrs. Neri has been a member of the Lower School staff for the last few years and is leaving us to spend more time with her young family. Mrs. Chesworth is leaving her post as a Reception TALA as she and her husband retire and relocate. Mrs. Purewal is leaving her post as a Ducklings assistant to spend more time with her family. Mrs. Eirwen Smith is closing the chapter of one of her books in the library and is sadly leaving us at the end of this academic year. Mrs. Smith has inspired all of the avid readers at Upper School over the last nine years and will be much missed.  Miss Joiner will be returning to us following her maternity leave on 4th July and will resume her role as Owls teacher from September.  Mrs. Reid has been with us for several years working as a member of our teaching and learning support staff and we are delighted that she has now completed her teacher training and will join us as a class teacher next year.  Miss Boden will be working as a member of the Ducklings team from September and Miss Hasmukh will move with the Ducklings children to Nursery.  We will be joined in September by the following new staff: Miss Gallacher will become a TALA in Reception. Mrs. Songira will be joining the Ducklings team. We will also be welcoming Ms Cosgrove to the SMSA team at Lower School later this month.  Pick Up and Go Please note that the 'pick up and go' facility is only available at the Parkway entrance at the end of the day for pupils in Years 2 - 6. Parents collecting from the Windsor entrance must collect children from the door of the school building, not at the road end of the path. Holiday Club Holiday Club will run during the summer holidays from Thursday 14th July - Wed 31st August (excluding the bank holiday on Monday 29th August). Bookings will open on Friday 24th June at 4 p.m. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account to book places. Summer Science Fun The Royal Society are running a summer science festival with free interactive activities from 6th - 10th July. If you are interested in finding out more, full details can be found here.
Posted on: 10/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Prep Sports Days On Thursday, classes from Nursery to Year 2 took part in their Sports Days at Court Park, and were blessed with some lovely weather. The children embraced all of their different sporting challenges and were delighted to receive rosettes to celebrate their achievements in both track and field events. There was some super sportsmanship on display and we felt very proud of them all!  Many thanks to all of the parents who came along to support the children. You can see some photographs on our Galleries page. Prep Sports Day Parents of pupils in Years 3-6 must fill in this short Google form (one for each family) to let us know if you are planning to attend Sports Day on Friday 17th June and what your child(ren)’s lunch and going home arrangements will be. Please read the information below carefully first. Sports Day will run all day and children in Years 3-6 will need to be dropped off by parents at Hillingdon Athletics Stadium between 8.00 a.m. and 8.40 a.m. on Friday 17th June. There will be no Breakfast Club available for Years 3-6 on this day. Lunch will be from 12.00 p.m. to 12.30 p.m. Pupils will be able to sit and have a picnic with their families or with a nominated friend’s family at lunch, or a packed lunch can be provided by the school. We anticipate finishing at approximately 3.00 p.m. Parents should take children home directly from the stadium after the prize giving ceremony. There will be no Funtasia After School Club available for Years 3-6 on this day. We hope very much that parents will be able to attend the event but, if you are unable to attend, please make arrangements for your child to go home with friends on this day.  The programme for Sports Day, with approximate timings of events for each year group, has been sent to parents today and is available here. 4L Class Assembly Our 4L class presented a marvellous assembly today in which they illustrated the beauty and benefits of nature, including forest bathing and spending time in rural settings. They shared poetry and artwork to showcase the natural world around them and celebrated Sir David Attenborough's 96th birthday with an interesting quiz in his honour. They delivered their production with professionalism and enthusiasm, giving lots of inspiration and ideas about how to look after the environment too! They also celebrated the Maxwell Garden's bustling ecosystem and even held a short meditation practice. Well done, 4L!  Jubilee Celebrations We had fun celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee at school on Monday, despite the rather gloomy weather!  Everyone dressed in red, white and blue and the school was festooned with bunting. We enjoyed special assemblies and a street party style lunch too.  At Upper School, the children were greeted by The Queen herself as they arrived! Can you guess who is under the mask? Aanya B and Ivaan M were the  winners of the Jubilee flag design competitions and their flags are now flying proudly at school!     Aanya's flag at Upper School         Ivaan's flag at Lower School       Year 2 Trip to Iver Environment Centre Our Year 2 classes took a trip to Iver Environment Centre today to enrich their learning in science. While there, they went on a mini-beast hunt, had a great time pond dipping and made a visit to the rainforest. The children had a fantastic time! Bushcraft Club This term, Bushcraft Club have been busy learning how to use a compass, considering the Countryside Code and practising how to tie knots.  These new skills were put to good use this week when Bushcraft Club were tasked with building a shelter. The children had lots of fun using natural materials and tarpaulin to create a free standing tepee or a suspended tent between the trees.  The success of their shelter building was tested when Mr. Smith simulated a passing shower of rain. Some of the group did get wet!   Karate Success Several St. Helen's College pupils, having been introduced to karate via after school clubs here at school, have now taken up the sport locally at Mr. Kumedzina's club. They competed this weekend and across the team they won 2 golds, 2 silvers and 10 bronze places. What a wonderful testament to the children's work ethic and attitude! Year 1 and 2 Summer Plays Our Year 1 and 2 classes will be performing their summer plays at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham on Thursday 23rd June. Children in the St. Helen’s College Nursery and Reception classes will attend the Compass to watch the dress rehearsal on Wednesday 22nd June, along with any children in Year 4 who have a sibling performing (since Year 4 children will be swimming on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd June). Children in other year groups at St. Helen’s College may be taken out of school by parents on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd June to attend the performance with their family if they have a sibling performing.  Tickets for the plays are now available and must be purchased directly from The Compass Theatre. Parents should purchase tickets and attend only the show in which your child is performing; if you have a child in both Year 1 and Year 2, please make sure that you purchase the ‘package’ option containing tickets for both shows so that you pay for one show only. Due to the size of the theatre, ticket numbers are limited to 3 per family. The booking links are here: Parents of pupils only in Year 2, CLICK HERE to book The Emerald Crown tickets Parents of pupils only in Year 1, CLICK HERE to book Stella the Starfish tickets Parents of pupils in both Year 1 AND 2, CLICK HERE to book a package ticket to both Stella the Starfish AND The Emerald Crown Please also note the following arrangements regarding drop off and pick up for rehearsals and the performances. Tuesday 21st June 8.30 a.m.  Year 1 parents to drop Year 1 pupils off at The Compass Theatre. Year 2 pupils to be dropped to school as usual. 3.30 p.m.  Year 1 and Year 2 parents to collect Year 1 and Year 2 pupils from The Compass Theatre. Wednesday 22nd June 8.30 a.m.  Year 1 children to be dropped by parents at The Compass Theatre in their costumes. All other pupils to be dropped off at school as usual. All children to be collected from school at their usual end of day time. Thursday 23rd June All pupils to be dropped to school as usual. 1.30 p.m. Year 1 performance to parents at The Compass Theatre. 2.30 p.m. Year 2 performance to parents at The Compass Theatre. All Year 1 and Year 2 children to be collected/taken home by parents from The Compass Theatre after their performance.  We look forward to seeing Year 1 and Year 2 parents at the performances. PA Summer Fete The Summer Fete is always a super day which brings the whole St. Helen's College community together to celebrate and have fun. Please be sure to add the date to your diaries now: Saturday 18th June, 1 - 4 p.m. at the Upper School site. We are short of donations at the moment for the Summer Fete. Please bring donations of raffle prizes to any school entrance as soon as you can. Parents of each class are also asked to make donations for your class stall, as per the letters sent out earlier. If you are unsure what your class has been asked to donate, please check with your PA class rep.  Many thanks in advance for your support. Cancer Research Relay for Life Once again this year, the St. Helen's College community is supporting Cancer Research's Relay For Life. We encourage pupils, parents and staff to join our team and to attend the Relay itself which will take place on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. This is a 24 hour event but you can come for as long or short a time as suits you. Our team and others will walk the track in relay throughout this time to show that cancer never sleeps, and nor does the fight against it. We encourage you also to dedicate a candle of hope. Details are here. It is one of the most poignant moments at the Relay for Life when lit candles are placed around the track as night begins to fall. Everyone is invited to dedicate a candle to someone no longer with us, a friend or family member living with cancer, a loved one who has survived, or perhaps as hope for the future - a world where all cancers are cured. There is also a link here if you would like to make a donation to the St. Helen's College team.  We thank you all in advance for your support. Summer Netball Camp Blaze Netball Club are running a summer camp at Bishopshalt School from 25th to 29th August. Information is available here.
Posted on: 27/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 27th May 2022

Year 6 Residential Trip to France Our Year 6 pupils have had a wonderful time this week at the beautiful Chateau de la Baudonniere in Normandy, France, where they have taken part in an immersive week of French language and culture. They have enjoyed meeting their penpals, making bread, visiting a market and goat farm and taking part in some challenging and fun physical activities, amongst other things. They return today tired and happy, filled with experiences they will never forget.   Year 4 Residential Trip to Flatford Mill The Year 4 classes have spent the last three days in Flatford Mill, Suffolk. On the way, they stopped off at the village of East Bergholt for a whistle stop tour.  While at the centre, they have taken part in many activities including pond dipping, mammal trapping, shelter building and a twilight walk and enjoyed time around the campfire. There is no doubt that the children have enhanced their independence, enriched their learning and had the most fantastic time spending time together too.   Robins Class Assembly What a super assembly we saw from our Robins Nursery class on Thursday! They told us all about their topic of 'Mini-Beasts' and all that they have learnt. Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, or that worms breathe through their skin? It was hard to believe, watching them, that these children are just 3 and 4 years old. They spoke their individual lines with confidence and projection, sang beautifully and acted out their parts with clear enjoyment, slithering like worms, crawling like caterpillars, buzzing like bees and fluttering as ladybirds and butterflies. There was even a spider! Very well done, Robins, you brightened up our morning and taught us so many things.   Nursery Trip to Bekonskot Model Village Today, Wrens and Robins had a wonderful day stepping back in time at Bekonscot Model Village. They made the most of the beautiful sunshine, were captivated by the tiny village and loved exploring the adventure playground. The highlights of the day were a ride on the narrow gauge railway and taking part in the time machine workshop. All agreed it was a great day out!               Pedestrian Training Children in Years 2-5 undertook pedestrian training this week, led by the Hillingdon STARS Team (Safer Travel and Road Safety). The pupils were taught, and practised, how to stay aware when walking and how to cross driveways and roads safely by stopping, looking and listening. We would be grateful if parents would reinforce the safety message at home with children, including the mantra: Remember - Stop, Look, Listen...THINK!   World Environment Day World Environment Day on Sunday 5th June, hosted by Sweden, is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by UNEP and held annually since 1974, the event has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet. “Only One Earth" is the campaign slogan, with the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”.  Over 150 countries are participating, and the UN will engage governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities and communities to take action.  We encourage you all to follow the link below and watch the four short videos to learn more about the environmental crisis and how we can all help to overcome it. https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/get-involved/earth-school-challenge Jubilee Day St. Helen's College will be celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a special day at school on Monday 6th June. Everyone is invited to wear red, white and blue for the day. The children will enjoy an outdoor picnic lunch, for which you can see the amended menu here. There will be special extended assemblies and some lessons and activities will have a Jubilee theme. Clubs will be on as usual. Class and Whole School Photographs On Tuesday 7th June, we will be having our official class photographs taken at school by Tempest and on Wednesday 8th June there will be a whole school photograph taken in Court Park. On these days, all pupils must come to school in full, correct, summer uniform. For children currently at Lower School, there will be no need for PE kits on these days. At Upper School, pupils should bring PE kits to change into if your class usually has PE or Games on that day. Sports Days Our Pre-Prep Sports Day (for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) will take place on Thursday 9th June, with timings as follows. Please note the slightly amended start time for Nursery/Reception: Year 1 and Year 2: 8.45 a.m. – 11.45 a.m. Nursery & Reception: 12.30 – 3.00 p.m.   Full details about this event were sent directly to parents and can be found here:  Pre-Prep Sports Day. Parents of children in Years 3-6 are reminded that you must let us know whether you will be attending Sports Day and providing a picnic for your child, as well as your child's collection arrangements on that day. Full details for the day, including the link to give your lunch/collection arrangements, are available below: Prep Sports Day (Years 3 - 6). Singers' Concert  The Singers' Concert will take place on Monday 13th June at 7.00 p.m at All Saints Church, Long Lane. Members of the Junior Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir will be performing in this concert. All soloists performing will be contacted directly by Mrs. Fawbert or Mrs. Garnes. Parents are warmly invited to attend the performance.  Music Lessons  If you wish to request music lessons for your child or to add them to the waiting list for music lessons, please complete the following Google form to register. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSejd_XZ8SXTClIyL4p4O8020hMoUVPbTVeu6vKzY4Z9crNZDA/viewform PA Summer Fete The PA Summer Fete will take place on Saturday 18th June from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. at our Upper School site. There will be many, many stalls with entertainment, food, face painting and much more. We do hope that you will all come to join us on the day. Entry is free and the fete will be supporting Cancer Research UK. Details of class stalls, along with a chance to sign up for the rota for your class, have been sent out directly by SchoolsBuddy. Parents are asked to bring donations for the Fete and Sports Day into school from Monday 6th June onwards. There will be donation bins outside entrances from this date onwards.  Parents are also encouraged to volunteer, via PA class reps, to help with setting up/clearing away/other jobs for the Summer Fete. Many thanks to everyone, in advance, for helping out!    
Posted on: 20/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 20th May 2022

Wellbeing Day On Wednesday, we enjoyed our annual Wellbeing Day, during which children across the school took part in interesting, educational and fun activities to support their mental and physical wellbeing. At Upper School, the day started off with an assembly in which staff showcased their 'talents'. The children were very entertained!  The day continued with parent helpers supporting sessions and Mrs. Patel leading activities in sign language to some year groups. If you would like to reinforce sign language learning with your children at home, the information used is here and here.  Activities throughout the day included a disco, mini-beast hunt, sports, meditation, mindful art and music, spiritual prayer activities, games for the brain, health and safety workshops and a PSHCE workshop led by Ms Lim, to name a few. We are very grateful to all of the parent helpers and staff who contributed to make Wellbeing Day a memorable event for the children.  We have made a video showing some of the events and activities in which pupils take part regularly at school, and which support their wellbeing. The children enjoyed watching this in assemblies this week, and we are sure you will enjoy watching it too. The video is available here. You can also see photographs from Wellbeing Day on our Galleries page here. Musicians' Concert On Tuesday evening, parents, staff and pupils gathered at All Saints Church for our annual Musicians' Concert. It was wonderful to be able to hold this event again for the first time since Covid struck and what a celebration it was! There were stunning solo, group and orchestral performances with all types of instrument represented. Very well done to all of the musicians who entertained and moved the audience so beautifully. You can see more photographs of the concert on our Galleries page here. 4T Assembly The children of 4T presented a class assembly in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee this morning. They told us lots of interesting and important information about Queen Elizabeth II, from her birth right through to today, including acting out her coronation. There were some jubilee songs and a rousing rendition of the national anthem, as well as a quiz at the end to check on what the audience had learnt! Very well done, 4T, on your confident presentation of such an educational and entertaining assembly. Singing Competition Our annual Singing Competition took place at Upper School this afternoon and, as ever, this was a thoroughly enjoyable event. Our guest judge Yvonne Fawbert, Director of Music at Sherborne Prep School, was very impressed by the standard of the entries and the children performed their solo and group performances with super musicality and feeling. The winners were: Year 2 Solo: Gurdaya J Year 3 Solo: Inaaya S Year 2/3 Group: Aaryav K, Ayush A, Rohan F Middle School Overall Winner: Gurdaya J Year 4 Solo: Samara P Year 5 Solo: Anaya S Year 6 Solo: Shruthi T Year 4/5/6 Group: Layla O, Siyana M, Anokhi B, Kylah O-A Upper School Overall Winners: Layla O, Siyana M, Anikhi B, Kylah O-A Very well done to our winners, and a special mention too to Alyssa P, Diyan C and Kylah O-A, who were all highly commended by our guest judge for their performances. We now look forward to our Singers' Concert on Monday 13th June, to which parents are warmly invited. Junior Roadwatch Our Junior Travel Ambassadors (JTAs) took part in the Junior Roadwatch scheme this week, working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police on this road danger reduction education scheme which aims to reduce speeding near schools. As part of the scheme, primary school children take part in speed awareness sessions with the Metropolitan Police Service's Roads and Transport Policing Command in order to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding near their school. Drivers caught speeding are pulled over by police officers and given the option of receiving a fixed penalty fine and points on their licence or attending a speed awareness course or, if drivers are deemed suitable, speaking to the children. If they take this option, the driver will receive an educational message from the children and the council staff member. The primary school pupils ask drivers questions such as "Why do you think the speed limit is 20mph on this road?" and "Are you aware of the consequences of speeding?" The aim is to encourage the driver to reconsider their speed. Bushcraft Club Children at Upper School have been enjoying Bushcraft Club. This week, the children were learning how to tie different knots and mastered a reef knot, clove hitch and bowline. This is in preparation for shelter building which they will soon be undertaking.       Cancer Research UK Marvellous Moneyboxes Next half term, we will be fundraising for Cancer Research UK's Relay for Life. Please help your child to choose an empty container at home to turn into a Marvellous Moneybox. This can be an empty box or carton. Suitable examples include a small plastic bottle, take away tub, Innocent veg pot or small plastic Pringles tub. Children at Ducklings and Lower School should bring their containers into school where they will decorate them with their teachers, and Upper School children should decorate their containers at home. Your child can decorate them in any way that they like and then make a slot for coins or notes in the top of the container.  Please could you then encourage your child to fill their Marvellous Moneybox with coins or even notes.  On June 20th we will ask your child to bring their Marvellous Moneybox back to school. The moneyboxes will be displayed before they are emptied and all of the money collected will go to the St. Helen’s College RELAY FOR LIFE fundraising initiative. We can’t wait to see what the children will make with their containers! Thank you very much for your support. Scout Fun Day Perseverance Scout Group are looking for new members and are holding a free fun day on Saturday 21st May in Sweetcroft Lane. If you would like to go along and try out some scouting activities, full details are here. Lacrosse Chiswick Lacrosse will once again be running summer camps to give a taster of lacrosse, which might be of interest to those with children transferring to senior school this year or next. Details are here.
Posted on: 13/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 13th May

UKMT Maths Challenge Success The Year 6 children and Zakariya M participated in the UK Mathematics Trust Junior Mathematical Challenge for students in Year 8 and below. We had some fantastic results. With only one missing answer, Zakariya M won a gold certificate and automatic entry to the Junior Olympiad. Aryan B also won gold and entry to the Junior Kangaroo round. A further nine children won silver and ten won bronze. Owls Class Assembly The children of our Owls Reception class performed their class assembly to parents and staff at Lower School on Thursday morning. They re-told the story of Little Red Riding Hood, with a twist, and considered the value of Forgiveness: what this means and how we can demonstrate it in our lives. There was much confident individual and group speaking and some excellent singing, including an accomplished solo performance! Very well done to the children of Owls for this super presentation which was much enjoyed by all. Trips & Visits On Monday, the Year 1 classes enjoyed a visit to Windsor Castle to support and bring alive their understanding of their History topic of 'Kings and Queens'.  On Tuesday, our Year 6 children took part in an online 'visit' to the Houses of Parliament, during which they were able to put questions to parliamentary representatives and learn about the parliamentary system. Summer School - Bookings Open Today Our Summer School will run this year from Monday 15th to Friday 19th August at PACCAR Scout Camp for children in Years 3 - 6. Details are here and have been emailed directly to parents. Bookings go live at 4.00 p.m. today and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please book your place(s) through your SchoolsBuddy account.  Singing Competition Well done to everyone who entered this year's Singing Competition. We received so many high quality entries and it has been a very difficult task to select finalists this year. The following pupils have been selected to perform in the live final on Friday 20th May to our guest judge Sarah Hughes. Please can finalists also send an mp3 copy or a link to the backing track they will be using for the final to Mrs. Fawbert before Wednesday 18th May (cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com). Year 2 Solo Alyssa P  Armaan V  Gurdaya J  Year 3 Solo Mia O  Zinnia M  Inaaya S  Middle School Groups Alyssa, Shayla & Alana Ashvika & Inaaya Aaryav, Ayush & Rohan Year 4 Solo Ruby L  Samara P  Hana H  Year 5 Solo Minaya W  Inaya S  Eshanvi A  Anaya S  Year 6 Solo Kylah O-A  Shruthi T  Diyan C  Upper School Groups Charlotte & Shruthi Layla, Siyana, Anokhi & Kylah Anokhi & Siyana Maxwell Garden We have had visitors this week to our ever developing Maxwell Garden and we know that the pupils will be delighted to welcome the addition of ducks to the Upper School grounds!         Wellbeing Day As part of our Wellbeing Day on Wednesday 18th May, we will have Lisa from 'Mrs. Melts' coming in to school to sell her handmade candles and wax melts to the parents and staff. She will be based at the Lower School from 8.00 - 9.00 a.m. and at the Upper School from 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. We have a slightly altered lunch menu for Wellbeing Day, which you can access here. Sports News Sports Days Our Sports Days this year are scheduled for: Ducklings - Friday 8th July Pre-Prep (Nursery/Reception/Year 1/Year 2) - Thursday 9th June Prep (Years 3 - 6) - Friday 17th June Details for the Pre-Prep and Prep Sports Days have been sent to parents this week and are available at the links below. Parents are warmly invited to attend these events. Pre-Prep Sports Day (Nursery/Reception/Year 1/Year 2) Prep Sports Day (Years 3 - 6) Cricket Middlesex Cricket are offering free youth membership to children aged 0-8, and low-cost memberships for those aged 9-17. If your child is interested in cricket (or if you are, and would like to introduce them to the sport), you can find details here. News from the PA There will be a PA meeting on the 18th May at 7.30 p.m. at the Vine Inn in Hillingdon. All parents are most welcome to attend. Hillingdon Guided Family Bike Rides Hillingdon Council offer free guided cycle rides to encourage families to get out and about on bikes. The idea is for you to enjoy an easy, family-orientated, guided cycle ride with Hillingdon cycle instructors, with a stop for refreshments and a chance to enjoy the sights of Hillingdon. None of the rides are a race so you can take them at your own pace. All routes will be fun, safe and interesting with the distance, duration and terrain of the ride varying according to the type of ride.  Ride leaders are passionate and keen cyclists, who have been trained to guide groups of people and are employees of Hillingdon Council. They also have been trained in first aid.  Upcoming family rides: Northala Fields ride - Sunday 22 May  Starting from Hillingdon Leisure Centre at 10 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Tuesday 26 July Starting from Uxbridge Library at 9.30 a.m., going to Oak Farm Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Wednesday 27 July Starting from Botwell Green Library at 9.30 a.m., going to Yeading Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Summer Reading Challenge-themed ride - Thursday 28 July Starting from Ickenham Library at 9.30 a.m., going to South Ruislip Library and returning at 12.30 p.m. Queen's Jubilee Celebration and Art Exhibition Hayes End Methodist Church will be holding a Jubilee Celebration on Friday 3rd June from 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. There will be activities and entertainment for the family, a jubilee tea and barbecue. As part of the celebration, children from the local area are encouraged to produce a piece of Jubilee-themed artwork, which will be exhibited at the event. This is not a competition; every child who takes part will receive a Jubilee gift/memento and will have the joy of seeing their work exhibited! Details of the celebration are available here and details of the art exhibition are available here. SparksArts Free Workshop Vouchers and Summer Shoots SparksArts are offering St. Helen's College children vouchers for two free filmmaking workshops. These take place at Bishop Ramsey School in Ruislip on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can download your voucher here. SparksArts also run Summer Shoots, filmmaking summer camps where children aged 5-18 produce their own movie production in a five day workshop. The young filmmakers work in small, peer age film crews to produce their own movie masterpiece. They devise an original storyline, direct their scenes, shoot their shots, crew their set, star in their movie and edit it too. At the end of the week, they proudly share their work with family in a special presentation and later celebrate with a red carpet premiere event too (in peer age 'studio' groups). Further information and booking is available here: https://www.sparksarts.co.uk/product/summer-shoots-2020/.  
Posted on: 6/05/2022

Weekly News - Friday 6th May

Year 3 Residential Trip On Thursday our Year 3 children headed off on their first residential trip, to PACCAR scout camp. They have been blessed with gorgeous May weather and it is clear that Year 3 and their accompanying staff have delighted in the vast open air space that is PACCAR. They have shown admirable team spirit and resilience when tackling the exciting activities and fun and laughter has abounded. They return home today rejuvenated and exhausted in equal measure! There are more photographs of the Year 3 children enjoying themselves on our Galleries page. Kingfishers Class Assembly - May Day Our Kingfishers Reception class presented a wonderful assembly all about May Day on Thursday to a very appreciative audience of family and staff at Lower School. They told us about - and even demonstrated - morris dancing, maypole dancing and the choosing of a May Queen. There was some really super singing and movement, and every child spoke lines with confidence, grace and real understanding of their words. Outside the hall, the sun was shining too! It was an uplifting and joyful start to our day and we are very proud of the children and their efforts. Well done, Kingfishers. The Owls Reception class will be presenting their assembly to parents next Thursday, 12th May, at 8.45 a.m. There will be coffee served in the Lower School Hall from 8.15 a.m. and we look forward to seeing Owls parents then. Music News We are looking forward to the Musicians' Concert on 17th May at 7.00 p.m. All parents are warmly invited to attend and Mrs. Fawbert will be sending out further details to the parents of the pupils involved next week.  The Singing Competition entry deadline has been extended to 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th May, to allow more time for groups to rehearse and send their entries in. We would also like to encourage students to submit a solo performance as well as their group performance. Please note that entries submitted after 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th May will not be accepted. Chess Team Our chess team very much enjoyed their match against St. Bernadette's School this week. Each player received 1 point for a win, 0.5 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. At half time the score was tied at four points each, but in the end St. Bernadette's won by 9 points to 7. The score was close, reflecting how evenly matched the players were.   Well done to all of those who took part: Jacob N, Raiden B, Anna K, Eva J, Ruby L, Kamran-Cyrus A, Zakariya M, Verity S, Rian M and Jeena H. Special congratulations to team captains Jacob and Kamran-Cyrus, who each won both their matches. They are in Year 5 and led by example for the other players, who are all in Year 4.   Cookery Club Our Upper School Cookery Club had a great time this week making brownies and smoothies! There are certainly some budding chefs among the group.         Parents' Evenings: Years 1 - 6 Thank you to all of the parents who attended the in-school parent consultations this week. The teachers very much enjoyed talking to you about your children's work, activities and wellbeing. The next parents' evening for Years 1-6 will take place on Thursday 12th May from 5.00 to 8.00 p.m. Appointments on that evening will be held remotely. Residential Trip Meeting: Year 6 It was great to see so many parents and pupils at the Year 6 French Residential meeting on Wednesday evening this week. It is clear that the children are very much looking forward to this exciting trip and we were delighted by the high levels of trust from parents too. Year 5 Transfer Meeting We will be holding a Year 5 Transfer Meeting (to discuss senior school applications/processes) on Tuesday 10th May at 7.00 p.m. in the Evans Hall. We look forward to seeing Year 5 parents there. Sports Days We are busy planning our Sports Days for later this term and will shortly be sending out information to parents about these. If your child has a Sports Day trophy at home from 2019, or if you know of any family who does, please could these be returned to school as soon as possible now, so that we have time to collate them and prepare them for this year's Sports Days. School Uniform The current warm weather is set to continue, so please send your children to school now in their summer uniforms.  Holiday Club - May Half Term Bookings for our May half term Holiday Club will open on Friday 13th May at 4.00 p.m. Due to the Jubilee bank holidays, the Holiday Club will run for three days only: Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st May, and Wednesday 1st June. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis so please book your child(ren)'s place(s) early.
Posted on: 29/04/2022

Weekly News - Friday 29th April 2022

Year 5 Residential Trip - Isle of Wight Our Year 5 children return from the Isle of Wight today where they have spent five days on a residential trip. They have taken part in many exciting activities including climbing and high roping, taken a trip to learn all about the Mary Rose and undertaken coastal studies to enrich their geography learning. Five days and nights away from home has also enhanced their independence and cemented already very strong friendships. They return tired but happy! Maths Quiz Club The school entered two teams into the Quiz Clubs Inter School Maths competition this week, and our teams performed brilliantly, finishing 2nd and 5th. Both teams have qualified for the semi-finals which will take place on 14th June, and we wish them luck as they prepare for these!  Sports News The pupils of Year 2 have enjoyed their intensive swimming week this week at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Centre. The football team lost their quarter final 2-0 to Heathrow Primary School in a tough game on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Harrington was pleased with the team's resilience and determination to keep going against tough opposition! On Thursday, the U11 netball team played in a tournament at Newnham Junior School, progressing through the first round, which gave them some great experience and was very enjoyable too. School at Work Open Morning We ran a very successful Open Morning this week, during which our confident Year 6 guides enjoyed showing prospective families around the school. The families who came to look around were, as always, very impressed with our articulate, confident and enthusiastic pupils throughout the school. Singing Competition Our very exciting Singing Competition final will take place on Friday 20th May 2022 this year.  The semi-finals will take place like last year with video entries for solos, duets and groups, with finalists being selected to perform live on 20th May, to our guest judge Sarah Hughes. Only one solo entry per child is permitted (one additional group or duet entry may be made) and submitted by only one email, please. Please submit your video entry by no later than Friday 6th May 2022. For Middle School entries please submit to all of the following: cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com sbelvoir@sthelenscollege.com mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com hhawkes@sthelenscollege.com For Upper School entries please submit to all of the following: cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com hhawkes@sthelenscollege.com The subject of the email should be clear, e.g. "Singing Competition: name of child, form group, name of song and composer" and it may be easiest to submit using your school Google drive (don’t forget to share the file). The categories this year are as follows: Middle School Competition: Year 2 Solo, Year 3 Solo, MS duet, MS group and Best Overall Performance. Upper  School Competition: Year 4 Solo, Year 5 Solo, Year 6 Solo, US duet, US group and Best Overall Performance. Finalists will be chosen and announced by Friday 13th May 2022 on the school newsletter. The following rules apply: There is no set theme this year and we would like to hear songs from all different genres and eras. Singing in other languages is permitted, however we request a translation to be submitted with your entry.  All songs must be age appropriate, melodic and have appropriate lyrics and themes. If you are unsure whether your choice is appropriate, please check with Mrs. Belvoir, Mrs. Fawbert, Mrs. Garnes or Mrs. Hawkes.  We would like to see only simple gestures and appropriate movements relevant to the performance - no dance moves please.  A backing track is required (without words) for the performance. A child may play the piano/guitar etc as part of their performance. 'Harmony at Home' Parent Practice Course Some parents may remember Elaine Halligan from The Parent Practice, who ran a parent workshop here at St. Helen's College a few years back. Elaine is commencing her next 'Harmony at Home' course on Tuesday 3rd May and some of you may be interested in signing up for this. The course runs remotely from 8.00 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. for 6 weeks. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKKXXFsDmcPFThVKFMccKwphRcHzGmHfBFcgpvxHZPqlgGHXpvMHsVTCTBmGVCXHLnsB Free Parent Asthma Workshop The Hilllingdon asthma nurses are offering another free parent workshop on May 13th from 4 to 5 p.m. We hope that many of you will take advantage of this opportunity to hear about asthma and its management. Full details are here.

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