School News and Head's Blog
111 Blog Posts found - Showing 1-9
Posted on: 16/10/2020
Weekly News - Friday 16th October 2020Romans Everywhere!
Well done to Class 3B, who presented a very interesting, informative and well-rehearsed assembly today all about Romans. Through a well-delivered script and performance, they taught us about Roman history: the life of a Roman soldier, the invasion of Britain and battles between Romans and Celts. We heard the stories of Caratacus, whose bravery was recognised by both Celts and Romans, and of Boudicca, including an explanation of why she is also known as Boadicea and why we shouldn't always trust what is written in the history books. There was plenty of humour, too - we learnt that Hadrian's Wall is not at the end of Hadrian's garden and that the saying 'Rome wasn't built in a day' doesn't mean that Rome was built at night time! 3B also presented a fantastic song about the Romans and led us in our assembly prayer. Very well done, 3B!
You can watch the video of their assembly here.
Music: Year 4's Body Percussion Sequences
Year 4 have been working very creatively in their music lessons this week. They have taken inspiration from sounds found in their own names to compose a body percussion sequence. You can see the videos here: 4L and 4T.
Water Pipe Challenge
Our Year 5 pupils got some hands on engineering experience in their geography lessons last week when they took part in the Water Pipe Challenge.
The challenge was to use what they had learnt about water infrastructure in lessons to construct a pipe system to transport one litre of water over a distance of three metres.
It was a wonderful opportunity for some outdoor learning and collaboration in teams to come up with designs which were successful and had no leaks!
This week Year 5 took part in more outdoor learning, with a 'water walk' during which they surveyed the Upper School site to investigate how water is used on site and where water might be used more efficiently. They even read the school water meter!
Junior Road Safety Officers
Our Year 6 Junior Road Safety Officers presented a wonderful assembly on Wednesday, entitled 'Be Bright Be Seen'. Their message was all about being safe pedestrians when the clocks change at the end of October and the darker mornings and evenings arrive. They shared a lovely story about how celebrations at this time of year such as Halloween, Diwali and Bonfire Night are a great time to be with friends and how we can be seen in the dark at these celebrations. Please see copies of the presentation and story in these links.
The JRSOs also told the children in Years 2-6 about a half term 'Be Bright Be Seen' competition in which they are invited to take part. The challenge is to design their own fluorescent or reflective piece of clothing or a fluorescent or reflective school bag. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 3rd November. Information about the competition can be seen here. We hope lots of the children at Upper School will take part and we will have a wonderful display of designer outfits when we come back to school after half term.
Inter House Sports Competition
Children in Years 3 - 6 took part in the inter house sports competition this week in their games lessons. Games and competitions were set up in netball, football, hockey and tag rugby sessions for the children and they all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play for their houses. Results were as follows.
4L Hockey - winners were Windsor
4T Netball - it was a draw
3M Football - winners were Cambria
3B Tag Rugby - winners were Cambria
5A Football - it was a draw
5G Netball - winners were Windsor
6M Hockey - winners were Windsor
6R Tag rugby - winners were Windsor
So Windsor lead the inter house sports competition after round 1. More inter house matches will be played next half term.
RHS Secret Garden Competition
RHS Campaign for School Gardening, in partnership with the Sky Film release of ‘The Secret Garden’, would like you to be inspired and join a competition! If you are a budding gardener and a keen artist, you can find yourself in a ‘secret garden’ of your own design! What would be in your dream garden? Why would it be special? Combine your knowledge and enjoyment of gardens with your artistic flair to come up with a drawing, a painting, a collage or a miniature model of your very own secret garden. If you would like to talk about your design or need help, please see Mrs. Pruce or Ms Gilham. Enjoy designing over the half term! All entries must be made by 19th November and children may submit their designs themselves or bring them to Mrs. Pruce or Ms Gilham, who will arrange to submit them directly from school.
All information can be found from the link below: https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/getmedia/6a85a4e8-9048-41eb-8d85-7d28fe562a17/RHS_Secret_Garden_A4_Childrens_Booklet-(web)
We hope the children have lots of fun imagining and creating their secret gardens!
Upper School Parents' Evenings - Bookings Now Open
Upper School parents' evenings will take place when we return from the half term break, on the following days:
Tuesday 3rd November (4.00 - 7.00 p.m.)
Thursday 12th November (5.00 - 8.00 p.m.)
We will be holding the appointments online, using the video conference function of our usual Parents' Evening booking system. To book your appointment(s), please use the following link. Bookings will be available from 4 p.m. on Friday (16th October).
We look forward to seeing many parents across the two evenings.
PA Forum Meeting and Class Rep Vacancy
The next PA Forum meeting will take place on Tuesday 17th November at 7.00 p.m. and will be held remotely using Google Meet. If you have any points that you would like to raise for discussion, please do share these with your class rep as soon as possible. Class representatives should send any points for discussion to Mrs. Smith by Friday 13th November at the latest please, at email@example.com.
The PA have a vacancy for a class rep for Kingfishers class. If any parent in Kingfishers would like to become the class rep, please contact the PA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our pupil charity representatives have been meeting to discuss fundraising for the Autumn term and we will, as usual, be taking part in two nationwide initiatives: Children in Need and the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Parents are often very generous when it comes to charity giving, and we know that many of you will wish to donate. This year, we are unable to accept cash donations in school but we have set up two JustGiving fundraising pages so that we can fundraise as a community - the links are in the relevant sections below. Some of our charity representatives have written these short pieces to introduce our fundraising for this term.
Children in Need - Friday 13th November
On Friday 13th November, children may come to school in their own clothes. The theme is Fluorescent and Reflective, so the children may like to wear something fluorescent, or perhaps to add funky fluorescent and reflective spots and stripes to their outfits.
This theme will link with our Road safety for Be Safe, Be Seen.
Families are asked to make their donations (suggested £2 minimum donation, but all donations gratefully accepted) online via this link:
The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
This is a charity which helps raise awareness for the soldiers who unfortunately died during their work for our country during the war. It also raises money for the army and soldiers who have retired and are looking for career advice.
The war ended at 11.00 a.m. on the 11th day of the month of November (the eleventh month of the year). So that’s why on 11th November at 11.00 a.m. our school will have a 2 minute silence, during which we remember those who have died fighting courageously. Also we salute those who are thankfully still alive all because of their perseverance in World War II.
St. Helen's College cares about the soldiers too. This is why we are asking that you donate to this cause - even a really small amount is appreciated. You can donate by following this link:
This year poppies will NOT be on sale at school, but you can still bring your own poppies from home. So please on 11th November, when we stand and are silent, think about all those soldiers who risked their lives and think about all the nurses as well, some died too. Luckily, a lot of those soldiers are alive and we thank them for their bravery for England!
Just think about it, if these courageous soldiers had not existed then our country would most likely be in peril right now! So this will be our day to reflect on the selfless soldiers who went out of their way to help us become a better country!
(by Reece and James)
Early Years Virtual Open Morning
If you have a son or daughter who will be eligible for Ducklings or Nursery entry next September or subsequently, or if you have friends and family members who fall into this category, then you may be interested in our upcoming Early Years Open Morning. This will take place, online, on the morning of Friday 6th November. Mrs. Drummond, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith will all be available on the morning to present a virtual tour of our Early Years environment/provision and to answer questions about the application and entry procedures.
You can register for this event here, or by following the link on the homepage of the school website. Please do share this link and make sure your friends and family are aware of the event, so that they do not miss out on the opportunity to join us.
If you have a child born after 1st September 2017 and you have not yet registered him or her for entry at the school, please do so at your earliest convenience. The entry process for next year's Ducklings Kindergarten and Nursery intake is beginning now and all children, including siblings, must be registered in good time!
Today we said goodbye to two members of staff who will be greatly missed at St. Helen's College.
Mrs. Harker, one of our Lower School Teaching and Learning Assistants, is leaving us after eighteen years to move further away to a village near Preston and spend time with her family. She will be very sadly missed by all. The Lower School staff gave Mrs. Harker a wonderful send off today which was accompanied by a thoughtful and memorable 'So Long, Farewell' video featuring all members of the staff.
Mr. Barnard, one of our Premises team, has decided to make the move down to the West Country to join his daughter Mrs. Haar, who many will remember from her time with us at St. Helen's College! Mr. Barnard has been with us for two and a half years, driving the school minibus, working at Breakfast Club and assisting the Premises team with the upkeep and development of the school estates. We thank him for his work and wish him all the very best for his new life in Devon!
Posted on: 9/10/2020
Weekly News - Friday 9th October 2020Prizegiving
It was super to see the children who left Year 6 this summer on Thursday evening, as we held our annual Year 7 Prizegiving event. This year we held the event online and were pleased that proceedings were able to run in the same way as usual, albeit virtually! As well as the presentation of the prizes, we enjoyed some pre-recorded music from the Chamber Choir and a thought-provoking story from Lucy Crehan, Educational Advisor to our Board of Governors, who inspired us all by asking one simple question: 'Why not?'. Mr. Crehan was quite right when, in his closing remarks, he commented on the potential that all of our children have to ask 'Why not?' and carve out their own path in life. Well done also to our new Head Girl, Jena, and Head Boy, Zail, who gave a confident and meaningful vote of thanks - a great start to their tenure!
It was delightful to see our Year 6 leavers in their new school uniforms and we are very proud of how they have all begun their senior school journeys. We congratulate them on their well-deserved prizes and wish them all the very best for the forthcoming academic year, during which we know they will use their well-established St. Helen's College values and work ethic to underpin further success.
On Wednesday we held a special Prizegiving assembly here at school, at which the form prizewinners from last year's Year 3, 4 and 5 were recognised. In every class, one child was awarded the Excellence prize, one child received an Effort prize, and two children received special prizes to recognise individual contributions and achievements. Mrs. Drummond presented children with their certificates and book tokens and every child recognised should feel very proud of themselves.
Artist of the Week
Each week, Mrs. Pruce chooses a child who has made a particular contribution to art lessons and recognises them with an 'Artist of the Week' certificate. However, this week, the standard of commitment and work has been incredible, making it difficult for her to choose. This week, therefore, the award goes to a whole class, 3M, for their wonderful still life studies. Well done, 3M!
It has been very exciting over the last couple of weeks to see our Year 5 and 6 children with their new ukeleles. They have been learning how to tune their own ukeleles, learning notation and composing their own pieces of music. We look forward to our first performances in due course.
Head Boy/Head Girl team
Mrs Drummond touched base with Jena and Zail this week to see how they were settling into their new roles thus far having already had two opportunities to speak on behalf of the school in public. Jena said, 'it feels good to represent the school and have a positive impact on the other children',while Zail noted, 'it's great to have more responsibilities and to be a role model to others'.
We are feeling exceptionally proud of all of our pupils this term; they have settled well into new routines and all have embraced being back together again.
Pupils from Year 2 - Year 6 participated in the Mindfulness in Schools Project 'Sit Together' today and managed to remain focussed for the full 6 minutes - quite a testament to our pupils at the end of a very busy week. They have all received a certificate in recognition of sitting together and I would recommend that you read this week's Head's Blog which has a link to an interesting article for you to enjoy.
Lower School Parents' Evenings
Thank you to all of the Nursery, Reception and Year 1 parents who attended our first ever video parent consultations this week. The new technology worked well and the evening ran very smoothly. The second evening will take place on Thursday 15th October from 5.00 to 8.00 p.m.
Mrs. Rooney and Mrs. Rumney Run!
Huge congratulations to Mrs. Rooney, who braved the wind and rain on Sunday morning to complete her second London Marathon, this one virtual!
Having only signed up six weeks ago, she was extremely pleased to gain a personal best of 5 hrs 11.
Mrs. Rooney tells us that running around the streets of Hillingdon, Ickenham and Ruislip gave her time to think about people that inspire her.
Mrs. Rumney also spent Sunday morning running, as she ran 15 miles alongside a friend who was running the virtual London Marathon in Oxford. Her friend, the Head of a school in Oxford, was accompanied by various friends and family throughout different sections of the 'race' and Mrs. Rumney ran further than a half marathon herself!
As with so many things during the current pandemic, this adapted way of running required extra determination and resilience as there were no crowds and no finish line to spur runners on. Well done indeed, Mrs. Rooney and Mrs. Rumney - you are an inspiration to us all!
Posted on: 2/10/2020
Weekly News - Friday 2nd October 2020Harvest Assembly
Thank you to our Year 5 pupils who today reminded us of the significance of Harvest Festival, performing a remote assembly with an important message. Sadly we are not accepting physical donations for Harvest this year, but we know that many parents, pupils and staff would like to make a donation as usual. Hillingdon has a website for Food Banks which highlights where to donate food and when:
It was wonderful to have the re-launch of Chamber Choir today, with our Year 6 pupils singing in their separate bubble groups.
Covid-19 restrictions mean that we will not be able to hold our normal Prizegiving this year but our Year 6 leavers, now Year 7, will be joining us remotely next Thursday for a celebration of their St. Helen's College achievements. Next week in assembly there will be additional commendations presented to our Year 4 - Year 6 pupils for their achievements during the last academic year.
After 18 committed years at St. Helen's College, Mrs. Harker, one of our Lower School Teaching and Learning Assistants, will be leaving us at the end of this half term. Mrs. Harker has worked with so many children over the years and will be greatly missed. We wish her well as she relocates to Chipping, near Preston.
Miss Eaver will also be leaving at Christmas as she relocates to Dorset to be with her family. Miss Eaver has worked in Nursery and Funtasia for the past 5 years.
Mr. Barnard, who has worked with us for the past 2 years as part of the maintenance team, is also relocating to Devon to be with his family and his last day with us will be Friday 16th October.
We are delighted to welcome some new staff to the team.
Mrs. Chesworth has joined us working in Reception (Kingfishers) in the absence of Mrs. Neri.
Miss Freegard will replace Mrs. Harker in 1C from 2nd November.
We were absolutely delighted to hear of the wonderful news of a new arrival, baby Thomas, who is the first grandson for Soula and her family. Congratulations Soula!
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation we have taken the decision not to run any co-curricular clubs this term, as our priority must be the safety and wellbeing of the children. There are, however, still many opportunities to try new activities and learn new skills outside of school. We would encourage our parents to look at some of the suggested activities and links below, many of which are from our existing club leaders, for online or socially distanced activities outside of school hours.
Computer Xplorers Middlesex, who provide our Minecraft Club, are offering St. Helen's College pupils the opportunity to join a remote online Game Design Club in October. Information can be found here.
Mr. Foale, our chess coach, has forwarded information about the online Delancey Chess Challenge and online Weekly Chess Activities.
Mr. Stidder, our school tennis coach, has provided information about tennis activities happening locally in Hayes and Ickenham. You can find Tripletts Community Tennis Centre term time information and half term information here.
Wayfarers Tennis Club term time information is here and half term information is here.
Other clubs which might be of interest include Mother Nature online science clubs.
Club Hub provides many links to a variety of online clubs and activities currently being offered in the London region too.
We would really encourage our children to keep trying new things and to develop their skills as much as they can, even during these challenging times.
We encourage children to wear watches to school, to support them in learning to tell the time correctly. However, please note that Fitbits or similar devices are not permitted. Children seen wearing these devices will be asked to remove them.
If you have not yet completed the ISC (Independent Schools Council) Coronavirus survey, we would encourage you to do so. Please simply follow the link below and answer the questions - this information is being collected from all ISC member schools.
Posted on: 25/09/2020
Weekly News - Friday 25th SeptemberMindful Sit
The Mindfulness in Schools Project will have their national Schools Sitting Together very soon and we will be participating as a school on Friday 9th October by having all the children from Year 2 - Year 6 sitting together in a mindful practice.
Harvesting The Crops
Mr. Rizzo is very proud of the crops which have been harvested from our Upper School and Lower School gardens, including tomatoes, potatoes, beans, courgettes, marrows and pumpkins (which Soula intends use to make some soup for us). We are most fortunate to have such enthusiastic staff who are keen to share their passion for the outdoors with the children and other staff.
Mrs. Couto has sadly broken her leg and will be away from school until she has recovered. We wish her a good recovery and will miss her presence in Lower School as one of the lunchtime supervisors and as patrol at 227 Long Lane. In her absence Miss Hunter (Mrs. Hunter's daughter) has joined our staff and will be covering for Mrs. Couto.
NHS Test and Trace Covid App
The government has just launched the new test and trace app. We would encourage parents to download the app from the app store - more information can be found here.
Face Coverings at Drop Off and Pick Up
Given the current situation, it is more vital than ever to ensure the safety of our children, family and friends. We would like to encourage parents to wear face coverings during drop off and pick up. It is a sensible precaution for parents and should help to lower the risk where social distancing can sometimes be difficult. Whilst this is not part of the official government guidelines, we should try and play our part in preventing the spread of infection at a time when cases are rising.
COVID Symptoms - Latest NHS Advice
It is really important that you follow the latest NHS advice regarding COVID symptoms and whether/when to get your child tested. You can read this advice here.
Unfortunately we have now taken the decision not to offer Holiday Club over the October half term period, due to COVID restrictions and uncertainty. We feel it will be beneficial for the school staff and pupils to have a 14 day quarantine from the school environment. This will also give us an extra opportunity to arrange further cleaning across the school sites, ready for the next half term.
Parents are reminded not to park over neighbours' driveways on the streets around school. Many of the neighbours also need to leave home to do the school run or to get to work and we have had several neighbours being blocked this week.
Posted on: 18/09/2020
Weekly News - Friday 18th September 2020Chamber Choir Re-Starts!
We are delighted that we will be able to re-start Chamber Choir rehearsals shortly, with an adapted timetable to allow children to practise in their year group bubbles.
Remote Chamber Choir will start from next week, with lyrics and backing tracks put onto Google Classroom each week for the children to learn.
Mrs. Fawbert, our new Director of Music, will then begin to lead in-person rehearsals on Friday mornings from 8 - 8:30 a.m. in the Upper School Hall, as follows:
Friday 2nd October for Year 6 pupils
Friday 9th October for Year 5 pupils
Friday 16th October for Year 4 pupils.
Rehearsals will then continue after half term.
COVID restrictions do not allow us to put on Harvest Festival assemblies at Lower School or our Upper School Harvest Festival church service in the way that we usually would. We know that parents, pupils and staff will still wish to make donations of food items at Harvest time to support those in the local community who do not have enough to eat. Hillingdon has a website for Food Banks which highlights where to donate food and when, which you can see here: https://hillingdon.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/
Year 5 will be leading our Harvest assembly and we will be sharing further information about this in due course.
Our youngest children have been very busy this week building their relationships with each other and exploring their world through play and more focussed sessions, all carefully planned and linked to the seven areas of learning and development. You can see photographs of them enjoying themselves on our Galleries page here.
Individual Pupil Photographs
Individual pupil photographs will be taken by Tempest on:
Monday 21st September (Ducklings)
Tuesday 22nd September (Nursery, Reception and Year 1)
Friday 25th September (Years 2-6)
Please ensure that your child attends school looking smart in their full school uniform, including blazers for Upper School children, on the day of their photograph.
We are sorry that, due to COVID restrictions, it will not be possible for sibling photographs to be taken at school this year.
Welfare, Child Safety and Uniform Reminders
Please note that, if you feel the need to give your child Calpol or any similar paracetamol based product in the morning, you should not send him/her into school. These products mask symptoms, including but not limited to high temperatures, which is why it is not appropriate to send a child to school after taking such medicines.
If your child cycles or scoots to school, please ensure that they wear a suitable protective helmet.
Girls who are currently wearing summer uniform should ensure that what they are wearing complies with the uniform list. Summer dresses should be worn with white socks only and never with tights. Modesty shorts may be worn under the summer dress for lunchtime physical activity (e.g. for girls who are likely to cartwheel!). These must not be visible when worn under the dress. Leggings and other long-leg coverings are not permitted.
Drop and Go
Year 2 children may now use drop and go/pick up and go on Parkway, and morning drop and go on Long Lane. If you are dropping off at 227, you must not leave your child until there is a member of staff available to see them safely into school.
Message from the Parents' Association
On behalf of the PA Committee I would like to convey a huge warm welcome to the St. Helen's College new parents. We hope that you have all settled well into school life and that the children are enjoying their time at St. Helen’s College so far.
This Saturday the PA team would have hosted the annual welcome event we hold for new parents, serving delicious fresh homemade cakes, sandwiches, tea and coffee. For the last few years we have had great weather so we are able to sit outside in the garden, mingle and chat. Unfortunately this year we have had to cancel this event due to the current situation we face. Many other events have also been cancelled this year but we hope next year we may be able once again to hold the PA Summer Fete, children’s Christmas parties and co-ordinate other activities for parents and students.
The main purpose of such events is to bring the St. Helen’s College community together; however, some events that we host do generate funds and these funds are used to buy things that can enhance our children’s experience at school. This has included things like Camelot at Lower School and the tree house and games tables at Upper School.
Those parents who are part of the PA Committee and wider PA Class Rep team really enjoy the role and are proud to make such an impact in our children’s experience here at St. Helen’s. However, time is a precious resource that we are sadly lacking, so we are always really grateful for any support that you can give. Please do look out for future updates on any events we plan to hold, what support is required and how you can get involved. If you have any suggestions then please do get in touch, we are always looking for fresh ideas to help our children get the best out of this fantastic school. If you would like to get involved please contact us at email@example.com.
Mrs. Jamani, PA Chair
Posted on: 11/09/2020
Weekly News - Friday 11th September 2020Our first full school week has been a resounding success! Well done to all our new Ducklings and Nursery children, parents and staff. All of the children seem so happy and settled, learning new routines and making new friends. Mrs. Drummond was welcomed into the Ducklings garden this afternoon (socially distanced of course!) and enjoyed meeting the newest, youngest members of the school community. It is a credit to the staff and parents that the children are already so comfortable in their new surroundings.
Sadly, the PA will be unable to run their usual 'Welcome Event' for new joiners and their families this year. However, we hope that all new families have now made contact with their PA class rep and feel welcomed by the parent body. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all.
This week we have launched our official St. Helen's College Art Instagram account. Please follow us to see examples of the lovely artwork being produced around the school! Just go to Instagram and follow St. Helen's College Art.
Mrs. Pruce has also introduced 'Artist of the Week' at Upper School. The 'Artist of the Week' will be announced every Friday in assembly.
If you do have a budding young artist, you might be interested to know that Mini Monets Art Club are soon re-opening their doors to run children's art classes once more. You can find full details here.
We have reviewed some areas of our curriculum for this academic year and have made some adjustments to our languages teaching programme. Pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 will now focus on French as the main language, with Latin being introduced at Year 5 and continued into Year 6.
We hope to be able to offer a Spanish Club to those pupils who would like to continue with Spanish beyond Year 3 and further details of co-curricular clubs will be shared in due course.
Pupils lower down the school will continue to be taught Spanish up to the end of Year 3.
Mr. Aguiar, our Spanish teacher, is absent from school but we are delighted that Mrs. Rance will be teaching Spanish to the children in his absence.
Year 6 Senior Team
We are delighted to announce our new Year 6 pupil leadership team for this academic year.
Head Girl - Jena J
Head Boy - Zail T
Deputy Head Girl - Maya T
Deputy Head Boy - Samir H
Congratulations to all of the other Year 6 pupils who stood for the positions - it was an incredibly difficult decision as they all were strong candidates and superb ambassadors of the school. Hustings and voting will take place next week for the positions of House Captains and Sports Captains.
Autumn Term Welfare Newsletter
Please take the time to read the Autumn Term newsletter from Mrs. Wilcock, the school Welfare Officer. This contains important information about medication, asthma, flu vaccinations and more.
Raising Emotionally Strong Children - Parental EQ App
We would like to draw your attention to this new app which has been recently developed and launched by a group of experts, drawing from the fields of child development, behaviour psychology and clinical psychology. As parents, we all need as much help as possible and ultimately we all want to be the best parents possible to enable our children to flourish. This app has been designed to help parents be more self-aware, confident and connected with their children. Do take a look at the app and if you decide to download it we would love to hear your feedback. Please follow this link for further information: https://parentaleq.com/
Upper School Arrivals and Pick Ups
Thank you to all parents for adhering to the dedicated arrival time. We would like to remind all Upper School parents that children in Years 4-6 must not be dropped off prior to 8.15 a.m., unless they are with a younger sibling.
Next week we are due to have unusually hot weather. Please ensure that your child/ren come to school with sun cream applied prior to arrival and that they have their sun hats.
Individual pupil photographs will be taken by Tempest on:
Monday 21st September (Ducklings)
Tuesday 22nd September (Nursery, Reception and Year 1)
Friday 25th September (Years 2-6)
Please ensure that your child attends school looking smart in their full school uniform on the day of their photograph.
We are sorry that, due to COVID restrictions, it will not be possible for sibling photographs to be taken at school this year.
Posted on: 4/09/2020
Weekly News - Friday 4th September 2020It has been so wonderful to hear the laughter of the children, see their smiling faces and feel the love within our community over the past two days. From our youngest Ducklings to our Year 6 pupils, there has been a calm and happy return to school. Thank you to all parents for supporting us with the new drop off and pick up routines and social distancing as we opened our doors this week. Please note that, if you have a child in Year 3 - Year 6, or have a child in Year 2 and a child at Lower School, and you would like to collect your child from the Long Lane entrance, you must email your form teacher to let them know. This will ensure that your child is sent to the correct exit at the end of the day. Year 2 parents who do not also have a child at Lower School must use the Parkway pick up point.
Our Year 6 pupils are already demonstrating their leadership qualities around the school and setting a great example for the younger pupils. Next week we will be hearing from those pupils who wish to stand for the positions of Head Boy and Head Girl as they will be presenting speeches in our remote assemblies. In Upper School assembly today, last year's Head Boy (Anish) and Head Girl (Catherine) shared some words of wisdom and encouragement with the children.
Speed Reading Success
We are delighted to report on the success of one of the pupils who left us at the end of Year 6 in July.
Michael K came 7th overall (adults and juniors) in the Mind Sports Olympiad Speed Reading competition in August! Competitors from around the world were given a brand new adult novel (372 pages) to read and then given a comprehension test. Michael read the 372 page book in 110 minutes and then did the test. There were some high level competitors in the competition. They calculated his raw reading speed at 909 words per min. Now that all of the results have been officially ratified, Michael will receive the Bronze Junior Medal. https://msoworld.com/2020-medal-table/
Michael's parents kindly shared with us that they have no doubt that the access Michael had to all kinds of books at St. Helen's College, and the emphasis we place here on reading regularly, must have helped him in this super achievement!
Road Safety Competition Presentation
Out of 470 entries, Arjun C (3M) was awarded second place for the Hillingdon Road Safety Dream Bike competition, which we shared on the school news last term. Arjun's design, the 'Weird and Wacky Bike', really impressed local councillors and over the summer break he was invited to the awards ceremony at the Uxbridge Civic Centre where the Mayor and councillor Keith Burrows presented him with a digital copy of his dream bike art work. Many congratulations, Arjun!
The Hillingdon Asthma Team have asked us to remind parents that, if your child has asthma and uses a preventative inhaler, you must make sure it is being taken regularly EVERY DAY as we are heading towards the most challenging season for asthmatics.
The school has a booking for flu jabs for all children from Reception to Year 6 for 2nd December. However, in the current situation we are unable to confirm the arrangements for this and we would therefore encourage any parents who are being offered flu jabs by their GPs to have children vaccinated independently from school if you would like to do this.
11+ Transfer: Senior School Open Evenings
We would like to remind Year 5 and Year 6 parents that many schools have virtual open evenings coming up and now is the time for parents to be be pro-active about looking into and booking these for any school for which you might wish to apply.
2+ and 3+ Entry To St. Helen's College Next Year
If you have a child born between 01.09.17 - 31.08.19 and you have not yet registered him/her with us, now is the time to do so! As always, we will begin the entry process for next September's new Ducklings and Nursery classes later this term, so please make sure that your child is registered if you have not already done this. The online registration form is available here. Please do remind any other friends and family who may be eligible for entry next year to register early too.
We now have a 'virtual tour' available on our website, hosted by last year's Head Boy and Head Girl, which prospective parents may watch to get a flavour of the school. Although we are unable to run Open Mornings for now, we will be able to accommodate individual (and slightly restricted) tours of the school for prospective parents as the term progresses so please do encourage friends and family to telephone Mrs. Smith if they would like to visit the school.
Many of our parents attended a superb workshop last year run by Elaine Halligan from the Parent Practice. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they are sadly unable to visit us this year but all their training and courses are now available online at https://www.theparentpractice.com/programmes/about-our-courses. They also have a free pack for any parents who sign up to their newsletters 'How to get the best out of your children'. You can sign up at https://www.theparentpractice.com/signup.
We would be very interested to hear from any parents who do attend any of the workshops.
Posted on: 10/07/2020
End of Term News - 10th July 2020We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!
Our final 'feel good' staff video of the lockdown can be found here. Enjoy and have a wonderful summer holiday!
2019-2020 School Magazine
We have, as always, been working very hard to produce a school magazine which showcases some of the excellent work the children have done this year, as well as some of the many activities in which they have taken part. This year we are not printing/distributing the magazine due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you can see the electronic version here and it will remain available on the school website. We hope that you enjoy looking through this lovely keepsake...the children might like to look at what the year group above theirs has been doing too, so that they get an idea of what life will be like for them when they enter their new year group in September.
Musician of the Summer Term
The Musician of the Term trophy is awarded for outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department. The winner this term is someone who has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years, in all aspects of music at St. Helen’s College. She has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She has been a regular member of the Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs. She is an excellent role model within the music department and is a music prefect, regularly performing at assemblies, recitals and outside of school. As well as playing the recorder fluently, she has singing lessons and is preparing to take Grade 7 on the piano.
An enormous well done to Anaiya B!
Lockdown Summer Term Sports Personality
A huge well done to Samir H, who has been named the Sports Personality of the Summer Term! Samir engaged with all of the Virtual Sports Day events, uploading lots of videos of himself taking part, and also completed a 26 mile charity challenge. Samir is a talented tennis player and has skills which would have made him a member of several sports teams this term, had school been 'normal'. He always encourages others to get involved and has been particularly encouraging to his younger sister during the period of lockdown. Congratulations, Samir!
Lockdown Sports Champions
Our Year Group Winners were:
Y3 - Oliver K
Y4 - Charlotte M
Y5- Vidhit N
Y6 - Eli V-B
The overall champion was Samir H.
Very well done to all those who took part in the virtual sports events!
Spring Term Sports Personality of the Term
Well done to Rhea A-V, who was named the Sports Personality of the Spring Term (which could not be announced at the end of the spring term due to lockdown). Rhea is a real all-rounder and has been a stalwart of many school teams. She has shown great leadership both on and off the sports pitch and has excelled in the football and netball teams and in her role as a Sports Captain, organising the table tennis trials. Congratulations, Rhea!
Sports This Year
The full sports round up for this year is here.
Mythology Competition Success!
Jasmine B and Uma D (Year 6) have been awarded joint 1st prize in the Arts section of the 2020 Annual Mythology Competition organised by The Primary Latin Project. They each wrote and performed their own individual song as a response to the story of Daedalus and Icarus.
There were some other excellent entries from children in Years 2-6, such as the lovely mythology-inspired piece of artwork by Riya C which you can see here.
The judges made the following comments.
'This year’s entries have been fantastic with such a wide range of materials and ideas used to help to convey the elements of the myths. It has made my job as judge of the art competition very tough because there were so many brilliant entries! Top prizes this year include songs, paintings on canvas, digital art and 3D models. Judging was done taking age of entrants into account to ensure ability was judged fairly. Higher marks were given to the originality of the entry, the attempt to convey all elements of the myth as fully as possible and overall presentation.'
Very well done to all those children who submitted entries and particular congratulations to Jasmine and Uma!
Junior Language Challenge
The uTalk competition played out very differently this year due to Covid so there were no national finals. Certificates have been allocated on different criteria as below.
Leo J (4KT) is one of only 13 children out of over 2300 to get full marks in both rounds and he has won a gold medal and £200 worth of uTalk language software! Tanishka M has won a silver medal and £50 of uTalk software. Other pupils were awarded bronze certificates. Very well done to everyone who took part, and special congratulations to Leo and Tanishka!
House Art Competition
Many congratulations to all of the children who entered our House Art Competition, who will each receive certificates. Winners' trophies were awarded to:
Windsor winner - Anjika G (4T)
Cambria winner - Ruby L (2H)
Ducklings Summer Picnic
Our Ducklings children had so much fun this week when they visited Father Desmond's garden for their summer picnic. You can see more photographs of the children enjoying this special event on our Galleries page here.
Mrs. McGee and the Ducklings staff are very proud of the resilience and joy our youngest children have shown throughout their disrupted first year with us, and we know that they are well equipped to move on for a very happy year in Nursery from September.
Lower School Beach Party
The children attending Lower School had a super day today, celebrating all that summer might bring with their very own beach party day! You can see more photographs of the fun and colourful time they had on our Galleries page here.
Spaghetti and Marshmallow Challenge
Our Year 1 children took part in a marshmallow and spaghetti challenge this week. The winners from Blue Whale pod (1HC) were Roshni and Ashvika, who managed to build a tower that measured 65 cm high. They were also the team that showed the most perseverance and determination. Well done, girls!
The Year 1 children would usually have been visiting Mad Bess Woods, where Mrs. Hunt lives, during their final week of term, where they would have had a wonderful time exploring and having ice creams. We couldn't quite bring the woods to school, but we could certainly bring the ice creams and the children enjoyed them immensely!
Year 6 French Day and Play In A Day
The Year 6 pupils enjoyed a 'fantastique' day of French themed activities on Wednesday, including bread making, disco dancing, French quizzes, traditional games and of course the annual talent show! Tasty crepes were served at lunchtime from a wonderful crepe van too. Well done to everyone for embracing the day. You can see more photographs from the day on our Galleries page here.
On Thursday, they put on a 'Play In A Day' version of 'Singing In The Rain', which would have been their grand Year 6 musical. The children entered into the challenge with enthusiasm and demonstrated their well-developed performance skills. The weather wasn't fantastic on Thursday and once or twice they were actually singing in the rain! You can see the video of their efforts here.
We wish all pupils and families who are leaving us all the very best for the future. We will miss you...please, please keep in touch. Old Helenian news should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org - we would love to hear all that your children get up to and to celebrate their future successes with you.
We also wish the staff who are leaving us every success for the future and thank them for their commitment to the school. We know that they will keep in touch with us and look forward to hearing from them. All the very best to class teachers Miss Dear, Mrs. Rance and Mr. Tovell and to Mrs. Stubbs (Music) and Miss Williams (Funtasia).
Mrs Califano (1HC) will be leaving us to start her maternity leave and we look forward to hearing happy news later in the summer from her and from Mrs. Rance too.
Mrs. Hunt, who has been a class teacher at St. Helen's College for 20 years, is stepping away from her class teacher role in September to concentrate on her leadership duties as Head of Lower School and one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads. We thank her for her excellent work as a class teacher over so many years.
Summer Reading Challenge
We know that many families have enjoyed visiting their libraries during the summer holidays and participating in the summer reading challenge. However, with the disruption to library services due to COVID-19 the challenge will this year take place digitally. Please do sign your children up to enjoy some super reading challenges, quizzes and other activities by following this link:
We look forward to hearing about the children's summer of reading for pleasure!
Summer Holiday Activities
Parents might be interested in these ideas for some activities to keep your children busy and entertained over the summer holidays.
Posted on: 3/07/2020
Weekly News - Friday 3rd July 2020Feel Good Friday - All About Me
We hope that the children enjoyed expressing themselves today by wearing something on the theme of 'All About Me'. What was very obvious, from the outfits worn by the children (and staff) both in school and at home, was what a diverse and vibrant community we are! Many among us chose to wear dress reflecting our culture or background and an enormous number of activities, sports and interests were represented too. Well done everyone for the effort put into outfits today, and I hope that you will continue to reflect on all that makes you an individual, including your heritage, your interests and talents and your dreams for the future.
You can see photographs of the children on our Galleries page here.
Virtual Sports Day Awards
Over the summer term, Upper School pupils have been preparing at home and participating in our Virtual Sports Day. The leadership board has been changing weekly in what turned out to be a hot contest! Congratulations to all who took part; the list of event winners is available here. Overall year group winners will be announced at the final assembly next Friday.
Chamber Choir 2020-2021
Thank you to everyone who submitted a video entry for our online Chamber Choir auditions. We are pleased to announce that the following children have been selected:
Ria M 4T
Riya C 5G
Mrs. Fawbert and Mrs. Garnés very much look forward to working on beautiful choral music with you. Thanks to Mrs. Allery also, who was as usual part of the selection process. Many congratulations to our newest members!
Old Helenian News
We are delighted to share the news that Old Helenian (and school neighbour) Rex Baldwin has just been made Deputy Head Boy of The John Lyon School for the academic year 2020-2021.
Last Day of Term
Next Friday, 10th July, is the end of term and is a half day. Collection times for each year group are shown below. Please do adhere closely to these in order to help us to maintain social distancing outside the school gates.
Ducklings - 12 p.m.
Lower School Site
Nursery - 12 p.m.
Reception - 12.15 p.m.
Upper School Site
1HC - 12 p.m.
1C - 12.10 p.m.
Key Workers Year 2-5 - 12.20 p.m.
Year 6 - 12.30 p.m.
To end our term with the Nursery and Reception children, we will be having a Bubble Beach Party at school on Friday 10th July.
We will use our last morning together to share in some fun activities around a 'Hawaiian summer beach party' theme in each of our bubbles here at Lower School. We would very much like to encourage the children to dress accordingly, so please do have a look at home for shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses or even a grass skirt for the children to wear on the day!
Children from Year 1 to 6 who are in school will have a socially distant final assembly at 11 a.m. in the playground at school (weather permitting), which we intend to live stream out to the children at home.
We look forward to sharing a fun-filled and no doubt emotional final day together.
All instrumental tuition for September has now been allocated and our timetables are full on all instruments except (unusually!) the flute. We have some outstanding Year 6 flautists who are leaving us this summer to transfer to their senior schools, creating a few more vacancies than usual. The flute is a beautiful instrument to learn and play, not too noisy to practise (!) and much prized by senior schools, since woodwind groups and orchestras need talented and experienced flautists. If you have a son or daughter in Year 2-6 who would like to learn the flute from September onwards, please contact Mrs. Allery directly at email@example.com. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Field Studies Council Summer Breaks
Families might be interested in booking a summer break at one of the lovely Field Studies Council locations across the United Kingdom. The locations are safe, remote and provide a lovely opportunity for your children to connect with nature. They can let their imaginations run free: get muddy, ford streams, build dens and create their own adventure. There is wildlife to spot, woods to explore and amazing creatures to wonder at. The beautiful FSC sites have peaceful nooks and crannies aplenty so you can finish reading that book, enjoy a real face-to-face chat and find the perfect spot for a picnic. Why not get out there and make the most of all that nature has to offer in our beautiful country?
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