School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 15/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 15th November 2019St. Helen's College Shortlisted for TES Awards!
The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the 2020 Tes Independent School Awards and we are absolutely thrilled that St. Helen's College has been shortlisted in not one but two categories - an outstanding achievement!
We have been shortlisted for the Pupil Initiative Award for the wonderful work undertaken by our Junior Road Safety Officers, and for the Sports Award for our superb sporting provision.
Tes editor Ann Mroz said: “The Independent schools in this country are truly exceptional and those that have earned a place on the Tes Independent School Awards shortlist are a cut above the rest. We received an unparalleled number of entries this year, all of which were first rate. The schools that have been shortlisted should be proud - it's a remarkable achievement."
The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 February 2020. So please keep your fingers crossed for St. Helen's College!
Author Visit - Anna Fargher
The pupils at Upper School were inspired on Monday when, alongside our Remembrance Day activities, they were treated to a visit from author Anna Fargher. Anna is the author of The Umbrella Mouse, an award winning adventure tale based on true stories of animals involved in World War II.
The children were shown how dogs carried medical supplies on the battlefield and how foxes would make lucky mascots for fighter pilots. We also learned about the history of the Dickin medal, awarded on one occasion to a courageous pigeon that saved many lives. After the charming presentation, Anna signed books for the children in the library. Catherine and Anish recited the Exhortation in the Upper School playground before everybody observed a two minute silence and Patrick played The Last Post beautifully on his trumpet as we remembered all the soldiers and animals who have fought bravely in war.
Fireworks (Years 1 - 6)
On Tuesday, all of the children from Year 1 to 6 took part in our termly school writing task. This time, the children had to write a description of a fireworks display. During assemblies, the children shared their experiences and looked at some helpful techniques before going back to classes to plan and write. Here is a selection of examples from work across the school:
'I heard a crash, whizz and boom. There were ten fireworks and everyone was amazed. They sparkled and lit up the sky with glitter. The fireworks were cherry red and sea blue. Suddenly one went BANG! and brightly filled the sky.' - Anna 2B
'I could smell hotdogs, onions and candyfloss. Incredible colours covered the sky such as violet, vermillion and tangerine. A joyous feeling filled my heart as the booming and banging filled my ears.' - Shruthi 4T
'The moment the display commenced, I was transported into another dimension where only fireworks and fun existed. A vivid explosion ripped through the air - a fluorescent contrast against the pitch black sky. Again, a spark shot out into the night, only to explode into a flower of a thousand varied shades.' - Anaiya 6M
Times Tables Rockstars
The children have competed in the National Maths Week Tournament for Times Tables Rockstars this week and we are so impressed with their results. They have fully engaged with the task and have made some exceptional progress as a result. Congratulations to 6RD who were the winning class for the school. St. Helen's College came 204th (at last checking) out of thousands of schools which applied.
Harry J in 6RD is the fastest player in Upper School and Sean R is the fastest player in Middle School. Lachlan J in 2H is the most improved Middle School player and Zain A in 6M is the most improved Upper School player this week.
Children in Need
This week, pupils have been busy raising funds for BBC Children in Need. The money raised will go to support vital projects across the UK including Hillingdon Carers, who provide opportunities and support to unpaid carers in the local area.
The Year 6 children organised a raffle and Jena J (Year 5) put together a 'guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition. Today, children dressed in spots or yellow and took part in the Joe Wicks 'Big Morning Move,' which included a special guest appearance at Upper School! The short group workout was a great way to energise for the day ahead and to raise money for those in need.
The raffle winners were:
Elisa K (Wrens) - Giant Pudseyâ
Selina A (1HC) - Blush Bear
Annabelle S (3B) - Giant Pudsey
Leo J (4KT) - Blush Bear
The winner of the 'guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition was Siyana M (4KT).
Thank you for your generosity in supporting the event.
St. Helen's College Pupils Feature In Steve McQueen Year 3 Exhibition
Steve McQueen Year 3 is a partnership between Tate, Artangel and A New Direction. Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen has this week unveiled one of the most ambitious visual portraits of citizenship ever undertaken in one of the world's largest cities. This epic portrait of the future of London captures thousands of local children in a milestone year in their development, and we are delighted that our current Year 4 classes are being featured as part of this piece of art, which includes 76,146 pupils from 1,504 London schools!
Over the past week, class photographs have been popping up on over 600 billboards across London's 33 boroughs as part of a city-wide outdoor exhibition, and the gallery exhibition is now open in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, from 12 November 2019 to 03 May 2020.
We do hope that many of you will take the opportunity to visit this exhibition with your families and reflect on the citizens of the future and all that is being done by schools and families to prepare them for what lies ahead.
Christmas Cracker Concert Band
English Music Academy will be hosting a superb performance opportunity for young wind, brass and percussion players of Grade 3 - Grade 8 standard. They are inviting young musicians who are playing at this level to join them as part of their Christmas Cracker Concert Band on Friday 20th December at St. Peter's Church, Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN. The day runs from 10.30 a.m. and pupils will rehearse seasonal popular music pieces during the day, showcasing their work in an evening performance at 6 p.m. in the church, which is free for parents, family and friends to attend. The music will include Let It Snow, Let It Snow, White Christmas and music from Frozen. The day costs £110 (with a £15 discount if you book before 22nd November) and the church is just a few minutes from Notting Hill underground station, with Portobello Market just around the corner. For more information and to book, please follow this link:
Our Year 6 netball players travelled to Langley Hall School this week for a friendly 7-a-side netball fixture. The team grew in confidence as the match progressed, retaining more possession and shooting with more success to win the match 13 - 7.
As we approach the mid-season break in the local schools' netball league, we are pleased to report that the St. Helen's College team are currently top of the table. League matches will resume in January.
On Saturday morning our football team took part in the annual Packham Cup Memorial Trophy. The team had three group matches, winning the first 3-0, the second 5-0 and the third with an impressive 1-0 victory over Hermitage. This meant that we finished top of the group. In the quarter final, we were drawn against Whitehall School and after extra time we were unfortunate to lose 1-0. This was an extremely tough draw for us as Whitehall went on to win the trophy. Mr. Dyson feels that, if the draw had been a bit kinder, we could well have been in the final ourselves. However, the team played superbly well, scoring many goals and should be very proud of themselves for strong performances on what was an extremely cold morning. Thank you to all of the parents for your ongoing loyal support. Team members were: Zail T, Patrick E, Joban K, Daniel G-J, Eli V-B, Harry J, Adam K.
At the halfway stage in the football league, we are currently sitting at the top of the division with four games left to play.
Children must not arrive unaccompanied at the school gates after 8.30 a.m. Registration takes place at 8.30 a.m. every day and it is important that your child arrives at school in good time to line up and go into registration without rushing. If you are unavoidably delayed and your child arrives after 8.30 a.m., then you MUST accompany your child to the school office and sign him/her in.
Posted on: 8/11/2019
Weekly News - Friday 8th November 2019Times Tables Rock Stars
The children at Upper School have been diligently practising their times tables this week ahead of National Numeracy week next week, when all children will be entered into the national Times Tables Rockstars competition. Prizes will be awarded to classes with maximum participation over the course of the week and we hope the children will all be able to participate.
There have been some changes in scores this week with Sean R (2H) becoming the fastest middle school player and Avantika G (2B) achieving the most improved player.
In Upper School there has been another fierce battle with Mohib F achieving a phenomenal 0.94 seconds per question and regaining his title as the fastest player in the school. Louis B (4T) is the most improved player in Upper School this week.
Keep up the good work!
Year 1 Trip to Roald Dahl Museum/Gallery
Our Year 1 children enjoyed a phiz-whizzing trip to the Roald Dahl museum/gallery on Thursday and have certainly been inspired to be even more creative in their creative writing work!
Nursery Trip to Playtrain
The Nursery children had a wonderful trip today to the Playtrain soft play centre and were very excited also to be getting on a coach at the beginning of their adventure!
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Poppy Appeal thus far. Children will be selling poppies on Monday morning in the playgrounds. We will be observing a two minute silence at 11 a.m. at Upper and Lower School and this year one of our Year 6 pupils will be playing The Last Post which he has been working hard to learn in his trumpet lessons.
Visiting Author - Anna Fargher
On Monday we will enjoy a visit from Anna Fargher, author of 'Umbrella Mouse', the winner of the 2019 Sainsbury's Book Prize for Fiction, who will speak to children in Years 3 - 6. Information has been sent separately to parents. This will be particularly poignant on Remembrance Day as 'Umbrella Mouse' is a timeless tale of courage, resistance and friendship, drawing on the true stories of animals caught in the conflict of World War 2. Anna will also be joining us for the Remembrance silence.
Children in Need
Next Friday (15th November) is national Children in Need Day and we will once again be supporting this worthy cause. We would like to invite children to come to school dressed in yellow or spots on Friday, for a donation to the charity (we suggest a minimum donation of £2). Raffle tickets are being sold at Upper School, Lower School and Ducklings so please do allow your children to bring in some money to buy raffle tickets if they would like to be in with a chance of winning Pudsey and Blush Bears.
At Upper School, Jena J will be running a 'Guess the number of sweets in a jar' competition to raise money for Children in Need. This activity will start on Tuesday in the gazebo every morning from 8 a.m. and will cost £1 a go.
Thank you in advance for your generous support for this charity initiative.
On Wednesday our football team had their fifth match of the season against Highfield School, winning 7-1. Highfield weren't the strongest of opposition but the team were able to work on developing their skills, tactics and teamwork. Adam K scored his first goals of the season, netting 4 - quite an achievement for a Year 4 pupil - and Eli scored 2 and Harry 1. Hopefully we can take this form into the Packham Cup this Saturday and progress through the competition. Team members were: Zail T, Patrick E, Joban K, Reece G, Daniel G-J, Eli V-B, Harry J, Jack H and Adam K. Well done to all involved!
The Year 5 and 6 girls' football team were also in action on Wednesday, travelling to Denham United Ladies FC to take part in a tournament of sixteen local schools. Some of the girls were playing competitive football for the first time but they showed great skill and tenacity to win the group with one goalless draw and two victories. Rhea A-V captained the team, leading by example with two winning goals to help the team through to the semi finals. Unfortunately, they lost a competitive semi final against an excellent team but the whole squad can be very proud of an excellent performance. Congratulations, girls!
Posted on: 18/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 18th October 2019Month End Music Recital
Our October Month End Music Recital of the year took place in The Evans Hall this afternoon and was well attended. These informal recitals give those children learning instruments or having vocal tuition a chance to perform in an informal setting. Very well done to all of the children who performed; we were treated to a variety of pieces on the piano and violin from various year groups, including a duet. This was a lovely way to end the week and the half term! Well done to all those who performed.
Year 5 Trip to Hampton Court Palace
Year 5 had a great day at Hampton Court on Monday, despite the weather. The children were very inquisitive as they looked around the palace and were wowed by the size and magnificence of rooms such as the Great Hall, the Great Watching Chamber and the Chapel with its beautiful ceiling painted like a starry night sky. The children took part thoughtfully in their workshop with 'Edward, a member of the King's household'. They learnt about the different positions at court and about the 'great chain of being', which put everyone in the land into society groups. However, your position was not fixed and you could rise in society (like Thomas Wolsey did). You could also fall and the children learnt that the further up the ladder you went, the further you had to fall! In the end, most of the pupils were in agreement that it would probably have been safer to have been a servant in Henry's household rather than in a position of power.
Times Tables Rock Stars
This week has been another exciting week in Times Tables Rock Stars. Congratulations to Eva J (2H), who had the biggest increase in accuracy for Middle School and to Anokhi B (4T) who now holds the title of the most accurate player in the school.
There has been a hard fought battle at the top this week between two of our fastest boys in Upper School. Harry J just pipped Mohib F to the post with less than a hundredth of a second between the two to hold on to his title as the fastest player! Poppy H (3M) retains her title as the fastest Middle School player. Well done to all!
Year 6 Morning Tea Party
The school is very grateful to our wonderful Year 6 students, who were great ambassadors for the school on our recent open morning. The children enjoyed some morning treats to celebrate their achievement.
4T Assembly - How We Learn At St. Helen's College
Our 4T pupils presented a well-informed and research-based assembly this morning, as we were introduced to the ideas behind Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset.
The children also examined various ways in which they learn, including reflection, collaboration and always trying their best. They finished the assembly by treating us to a wonderful rendition of a song from The Greatest Showman. Well done, 4T!
STARS Character Competition
The Hillingdon Road Safety Team are running their annual road safety competition and we would like to encourage pupils in Years 3 - 6 to design an entry over the half term break. Pupils are asked to design a road safety character, and the four winning characters will be used in Hillingdon's printed road safety material.
You can see the full details and entry form from the Hillingdon STARS Team here.
This year the Parents' Association have asked the school to take part in designing Christmas cards as a school fundraiser. The children are all currently busy completing their designs ready for processing and they are all looking very exciting.
In addition, the Parents' Association have also expressed that they would like to give each child the opportunity to create their own family, birthday, or other occasion card. If you wish to take part, you will need to follow the instructions on the form which has been sent home today with your child, placing your order online first then bringing in your form and design back to school no later than Friday 8th November, ready for collection. Children should hand their designs to their class teacher or to Miss Dear directly.
We hope you enjoy taking part. We are sure your designs will look fantastic!
Half Term Holiday Club and Breakfast Club
Holiday Club and Breakfast Club will both take place at Lower School over the half term break. The children will make use of the facilities at both Upper and Lower School over the course of the week, but we would ask that you drop children off to Lower School and pick them up from Lower School at the end of the day. You can see more information about Holiday Club here.
We are now beginning the entry processes for Ducklings entry in September 2020 and Nursery entry in September 2020. If you have a child who is eligible for entry to the school next September, and you have not yet registered him/her with us, please do so as a matter of urgency so that you do not miss out on a place. You can register your child online here.
Children in Need Fundraising
On Friday 15th November we will be supporting the Children in Need charity to raise money for projects taking place all over the UK. To support this excellent cause, we will be holding a tog (non-uniform) day and children are asked to come to school wearing yellow and/or spots. In addition to this, we will have a raffle and a special live stream workout with 'The Body Coach' Joe Wicks. Many schools up and down the country will be participating in this huge event. We kindly ask that you send your child in with a suggested donation of £2 - any more will be gratefully accepted.
Your child may wish to bring some extra money into school for raffle tickets, which will be on sale throughout the week in the mornings at Lower School and Upper School. There will be a giant Pudsey Bear and a smaller Blush Bear as prizes at Lower School and Upper School. Ducklings children may also buy raffle tickets for the Ducklings raffle; the prizes at Ducklings will be a smaller Pudsey Bear and smaller Blush Bear. We wish the children luck in the raffles and thank you, in advance, for your support of this charity.
St. Helen's College Parent Parking Pledge
We would like to remind parents of our Parent Parking Pledge which aims to manage congestion and improve safety near our school at busy times. The idea is simple: in return for agreeing to follow some basic principles, your car can carry a sticker that tells the world you are doing your bit to make a difference.
Parents at schools across Hillingdon are agreeing to:
• Help my child/children travel actively at least once a week
• Drive with consideration for others
• Park away from the school gates
• Never block a driveway
• Turn off my engine when parked
In addition we have three pledges that apply here and trust that you will agree to:
• Follow the St. Helen's College parking regulations
• Use the 'Drop & Go' and 'Pick Up & Go' zones safely and efficiently
• Respect and adhere to the parking restrictions in operation around all our school sites
If you are happy to make the Pledge, please follow the link and complete the form. Once submitted, you will get your car sticker that will show others your commitment to pupil health and safety.
Thank you and please remember to display your car stickers with pride!
PA Class Representatives
Many thanks to those parents who have volunteered to become (or continue as) PA class representatives. We are still seeking a class rep for 4T. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take on this role.
Children should return after the half term break wearing full winter uniform. The only winter coats that should be worn are the school 3-in-1 coats.
Upper School parents' evening is on Thursday 7th November and appointments can be booked in the usual way. We look forward to seeing parents then.
PA Christmas Parties
The PA Christmas parties for children will take place on Sunday 1st December 2019 at Richings Sport Park, Wellesley Avenue, Richings Park, Iver, SL0 9BN. Tickets will cost £11 per child which includes food, entertainment and a visit and gift from Father Christmas!
Timings of the parties will be:
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Nursery and Reception
12.30 - 2.30 p.m. Years 1, 2 and 3
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Years 4, 5 and 6
Please look out for details of how to book, which will be sent out via your class WhatsApp group. Please note that bookings must be made by the deadline as we will not be able to add children after this date. Don't miss out - pencil the date into your diary now! The flyer is available here.
Posted on: 11/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 11th October 2019Harvest Festivals
Once again, pupils and parents have been enormously generous in their giving and the food donated at our Lower School Harvest Assemblies and Upper School Harvest Festival Service has now been distributed to the Salvation Army. They have sent a lovely message of thanks, letting us know that these donations will help to supply many Christmas food parcels for families in this area who will appreciate this type of assistance over what can be a particularly difficult time.
Some of the food will also go to supply the Food Bank at Yiewsley, as the Salvation Army issue many Food Bank vouchers throughout the whole year to local people who need a little extra help.
The Salvation Army asked us to convey sincere thanks to all who contributed in the collection and assure you all that your kindness will make a difference to many people in the local community. Thank you!
Our pupils from Nursery to Year 1 performed wonderfully in their Harvest Assemblies. It was a joyous occasion and the confidence that exuded from the children was quite overwhelming. Well done to all of the children and staff involved. You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
Times Tables Rock Stars
The children have been very busy with their Times Tables Rock Stars this week.
Tiya T in 2H was the most accurate player in Middle School and Harry J in 6RD was the most accurate player in Upper School. Harry also gained the coveted Rock Hero status and takes the crown from Mohib as the fastest player in the school. Poppy H in 3M remains the fastest player in Middle School.
Well done everyone!
Trips This Week
Our Year 2 children had a super day out at the Chiltern Open Air Museum this week, where they were transported back to the Iron Age.
Year 3 pupils visited St. Albans Cathedral where they re-enacted the story of St. Alban and created beautiful mosaics.
On Wednesday our football team had their third match of the season away at Laurel Lane. The team performed very well in difficult conditions, with long grass and a very windy day. Goals from Harry J, Jack H and Patrick E secured us a 3-0 win. Mr. Dyson feels that the team is progressing very well and hopefully this can continue when we entertain Cowley St. Lawrence at home this coming Wednesday.
Well done to the netball team who played their first match this week with an outstanding win of 12-0 against St. Mary's. The girls passed extremely well and their teamwork and co-operation has put them in a very strong position this early in the season.
Pupil Fundraising Efforts
Grace O'H, one of our class charity representatives, will be running the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) 5k again this year, on Saturday. She has raised over £400 for the cause so far. Good luck Grace, we will be thinking of you! It has been noted that many of our pupils are now taking part in weekly fun runs.
A reminder to all parents that any snack provided for your child must not contain traces of nuts and must be healthy. Suitable snacks are fresh or dried fruit and vegetables or plain biscuits. Crisps, popcorn, mini cheddars etc. are not suitable snacks.
From Monday, Upper School pupils will be able to replenish their water bottles at break time with fresh fruit-flavoured water. Milk will still be available.
We would like to remind parents that the gates at the three entrance points to the school (Lower School, Long Lane and Parkway) close at 8.30 a.m. promptly. If your child arrives after 8.30 a.m., then a parent or carer will need to accompany the child to the school office to be signed in, and their arrival will be recorded as a 'late'. There is a significant amount of administration to be completed by teachers in the early morning before assemblies, including taking the register and completing lunch orders, and it is therefore crucial that children arrive to school by 8.30 a.m. at the latest.
School Drop Off and Pick Up
Those of you who have been following the news will be aware that idling cars have been a hot topic recently. Please do not leave your car engine running if you are parked up on Long Lane, in Court Park or in any of the surrounding roads. Those parents who do use the Pick Up & Go or Drop & Go facility, please remember not to exit your car and to move off swiftly.
Data Collection Forms
Data collection forms have been sent home with each child this week in your child's book bag. Please check the form very carefully and return it to school. You must sign the form even if there are no changes to confirm that the information we hold for you and your child is correct. If there are any changes to the information we hold, please note these clearly on the form when you return it to us. Please return your forms as soon as possible, and by Friday 18th October at the latest.
Posted on: 4/10/2019
Weekly News - Friday 4 October 2019Harvest
Upper School celebrated Harvest on Tuesday with a lovely service in All Saints Church. Thank you to all families for the most generous donations, which the local Salvation Army will be sharing with members of our local community who may not be as fortunate as we are.
We look forward to the Lower School Harvest Assemblies at 8.45am next week. Please do join us for coffee from 8.15am in the Lower School Hall prior to the assemblies:
Monday - Year 1 followed by Infant Choir performance
Tuesday - Reception followed by Infant Choir performance
Wednesday - Nursery
The children from Nursery to Year 2 were delighted to welcome the author Simon Phillip and illustrator Kate Hindley. They were enthralled as Simon read his stories whilst Kate drew some characters from each book. With Kate's guidance, the children then became illustrators themselves! Both Philip and Kate explained how they had become so successful and what inspired them. Notably, they recommended that the children read as much as possible and gather their ideas by truly observing their surroundings.
The sessions were a great success, and who knows, we may have inspired some authors and illustrators for the future!
Current Affairs - First News Newspaper
Many families are already subscribed to the children’s current affairs newspaper ‘First News’ but they have just launched a fundraising venture to promote even more children to get reading. For every family that sign up for a subscription to the paper St Helen’s College will receive a £2 donation. For us as a school, it is not about the donation but raising the children’s awareness of current affairs and reading for pleasure a different genre of materials in the form of a child friendly newspaper (suitable for age pupil in Y2 - Y6)). To try six free issues please do sign up at https://subscribe.firstnews.co.uk/six-free/. On the second step of the payment you will be asked to input the name of the school you are nominating ‘St Helen’s College’. Any donations we receive will go towards the library reading materials for the children.
The Student Council representatives at Upper School school have been representing the pupil voice in their meetings. On their request, we will very shortly (when all our water containers arrive!) be providing flavoured water for the children from Y2 - Y6 at break time as an alternative to milk. The pupils have also voted on the types of fruit they would like and Soula will be happy to provide these flavours. (Milk will still be available to pupils).
Other requests from the pupils that have been actioned are; the request for baked beans when jacket potatoes are available as a lunch choice (we currently have baked beans twice a week but Soula will note this request), a stationery box for the children to continue their creativity with writing and drawing at lunchtimes (our SMSA’s already have a box but it is being replenished with some exciting new resources).
Acts of Kindness
It is always wonderful to hear of our children being involved in charity events and for their deeds of kindness. We were very proud this week to hear of the efforts of 2H children; Aleyna N requested that children did not purchase any gifts for her birthday but instead donated money to a charity of her choosing. Aleyna now has £560 to donate to charity - a wonderful venture of kindness and superb support from her peers.
Year 6 visit to Denham Country Park
The children in Y6 experienced some ‘hands on’ geography fieldwork this week when they visited Denham Country Park to investigate rivers. The children became river detectives for the day; wading into the river to collect data about the River Misbourne’s depth, width and flow and analysing minibeasts present in the river. They were also able to track the path of the River Misbourne to its confluence with the River Colne and River Frays and compare these rivers. Finally, a walk along the Grand Union Canal and seeing Denham Deep Lock in action gave the children a terrific insight into the engineering accomplishments of the Victorians.
Reception trip to Odds Farm
Kingfishers and Owls enjoyed an exciting visit to Odds Farm this week to support their learning about harvest time and to bring their shared topic of ‘The Farm’ to life. The children were able to meet and touch some furry friends and they thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get close to lots of sheep, goats and pigs during their visit to the indoor barn. The children were also enthralled by a live ‘Piggies Lunch’ demonstration and they had a super (but very bumpy) tractor ride!
On Wednesday, the football team had their second game of the season at home to St Catherine’s and pulled off a very good 1-0 win. St Catherine’s are a very good team who dominated the 1st half and could have been well ahead but for some good defending, bad finishing and a great save by Zail. We grew into the game and scored through Eli with a very good left foot finish to give us the lead. St Helen’s managed to hold on to secure an impressive win. The team should be extremely proud of themselves with this performance, especially Adam K in Yr4 who made a huge impression on his debut.
Team Zail, Patrick, Reece, Joban, Jack, Harry, Daniel G-J, Eli, Adam.
This week, our pupils took part in the District cross country competition held at the Vyners playing fields. They had been training for the past few weeks to complete the 2km course and completed the boys and girls races confidently, supporting each other as they ran. Our top finishers were Michael K and Rhea A-V in their respective races, and solid performances from everyone in the team resulted in very credible 6th place for the girls team and 7th place for the boys team. Well done to the teams; Marcus S, Alex S, Daniel G-J, Reece G, Jack H, Adi S, Ciaran R, Michael K, Rhea A-V, Chloe W, Grace B, Amar C, Maisie H and Siyana M.
Times Tables Rockstars
We have relaunched Times Tables Rockstars at Upper School this year and the children all seem really enthused. They have created their rockstar avatars and are busy earning points by practising their tables. Each week, the fastest player in Middle and Upper Schools (last week Poppy H and Mohib F) and the players who have made the biggest improvement through lots of practice (last week Roha K and Ciaran R) will be recognised. This week our top players are Jacob N for Middle School and Anokhi B for Upper School!
The children will progress through different rock star levels and will be awarded certificates and prizes whenever they reach a new status. Congratulations to Mohib F, the Year 6 maths prefect, who is the first and only player in the school to earn the elusive ‘rock hero’ status.
Following the success of last week’s talk by Elaine Halligan from the Parent Practice, I would like to thank Mrs Dhillon whose reflections of the evening are the guest blog this week. (Do read!)
We have had wonderful feedback from the workshop and many parents have asked if further training could be sought. We are delighted that our parents at St Helen’s have been offered a 50 % discount for their Online Parenting Course from the Parent Practice, which is a 10 module e-learning course. Please see the line below for further details:
The code is STHELENS2019 but please note that it is only valid for 7 days.
To order go to this page https://theparentpractice.simplero.com/purchase/16521-Membership-of-The-Positive-Parenting and use the coupon code where it says ‘Have a Coupon Code’. This will reduce the price to £175.
Nursery to Year 1 parents’ evening is on Tuesday 8th October from 4pm - 7pm at Lower School. Please do check the time of your appointment. Please note that Funtasia will be in Wrens classroom on the parent evenings.
Pick up arrangements
If your pick up arrangements from school vary from the normal person who collects your child, please can you email this information to the form teacher or email the school office at email@example.com if the arrangement is a last minute change. I am sure you understand our need to ensure that your children are being handed over to the correct person at the end of the day.
Jewellery in PE
It is the school’s policy that no jewellery should be worn in P.E lessons for health and safety reasons. Children should, where possible, not wear jewellery to school on P.E days. If earrings cannot be removed because they are new, parents are respectfully requested to provide a small reel of micropore tape for their children in their school bag so they can tape over the earrings for P.E. If religious bangles (metal and string with beads on) cannot be removed then parents are respectfully asked to provide their child with a sweatband in school colours (green, white or black) to wear over the top. Necklaces should not be worn as these present particular risks around the neck.
Posted on: 20/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 20th September 2019Prime Minister Boris Johnson Reads To Year 1
We were thrilled today to receive a visit from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is working with the BookTrust children's charity to promote children's reading - a cause dear to St. Helen's College! This month the BookTrust charity have launched their 'Time To Read' campaign, which encourages families to share books and stories each day and to use books as a way to explore issues that impact on wellbeing, such as anxiety or friendship issues.
St. Helen's College parents know already that, as a school, we promote reading daily with your child and believe that this underpins all learning. We were therefore delighted to be approached by the Prime Minister's office to arrange a visit for Mr. Johnson to read to our Year 1 children. The children were enthralled today as he read them The Cave by Rob Hodgson, which showed that things aren't always what they seem, and that life can be full of surprises!
Mr. Johnson also visited Upper School and was hugely impressed by the STEAM Day activities going on all around (see below for more details!). It is a testament to the ethos and success of St. Helen's College and its pupils that, having visited last year, Mr. Johnson chose to come back and see our children again!
It has been a busy, purposeful and exciting day of learning across the entire school from Ducklings to Year 6 today as children have taken part in a wide range of STEAM Day activities. At Upper School, pupils took part in practical and academic indoor and outdoor activities run by staff and parents, including building cardboard kayaks, cracking a code using maths, making marble mazes and investigating endothermic and exothermic reactions. One of the sessions was run by Susan O'Connor, the author of 'Creative Genius Journal'. The children worked in groups to design, create and make playground equipment, challenging their collaboration and communication skills. We would highly recommend that parents take a look at her journal for 7-12 year olds:
At Lower School, the children became engrossed in Lego mazes, making kaleidoscopes and investigating how colours mix. They used their technological skills to take part in some digital animation and became apprentice engineers when building spaghetti towers. They used our outside space to make bookmarks from the natural resources around us and blasted rocket mice into the beautiful blue sky! Our youngest Helenians, the Ducklings, also took part in some age-appropriate STEAM activities. The children helped to measure water into three different water pits and then got into small groups. Using lots of colourful bath bombs, the children got to explore how putting them into water can make them change and how our senses reacted! The children spoke about the sounds that the bath bombs made in water such as "POP! "Fuzzzzzzz" and "Whoosh", adding that they smelt "fruity", "sweet" and some even thought they smelt "yummy". The children also explored how, when the differently coloured waters were mixed together, the colour of the water changed and some even got brighter! Ducklings finished off celebrating their STEAM Day with dropping some mints into a bottle of pop and watch it go up, just like a volcano!
This really was, across the school, an inspirational day that children and staff will never forget! You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
Loving their Learning
The dining room and playground have been a cacophony of educational chatter this week - it has been super to hear the children discussing the number of syllables within the lines of their nature Haiku poems (Y3), how the Romans came to seize England and why (Y3), Verbal Reasoning was the best lesson for one child this week because he loves playing with words (Y4), Year 5 pupils enjoyed their water challenge as they worked collaboratively to design and make their water pipe systems discussing the many elements which had to work together for the most efficient delivery of water; Year 6 discussing how to spot 'Fake News'. How rewarding for the teachers to know that our pupils' learning does not just stop in the classroom - the love of learning which is being embedded exudes from them through their day and I am sure is then shared with you all at home too!
Community and London Ambassadors
We are delighted that St. Helen's College is being recognised in the local community as one of the leading schools in addressing the environmental issue of traffic and pollution surrounding schools. You can read a little about this here. We were also delighted to hear this week that we have been nominated for a London wide award as one of the top London Schools for our hard work around school travel and road safety. We have been nominated for two categories:
School of excellence in walking - for our brilliant walking loyalty scheme
School of excellence in road safety/pupil led project - for our hard work with the Junior Roadwatch project
We have also been nominated for the category of 'Long Serving Travel Champion' for all our hard work over the 9 years that St. Helen's College has been championing this.
The Student Council in Upper School have had a great start to the term. In their first meeting they discussed general council etiquette and electing the secretary and spokesperson. The first item for discussion for all the classes was whether they would like to see the introduction of flavoured water available at break times. There was a resounding majority vote for this and this will be rolled out to the children at Upper School early October. The pupils will now need to vote on the flavours they would favour: strawberry, cucumber, lemon, orange...? We look forward to hearing their suggestions and I am sure that Soula will be able to source a variety of healthy options.
For pupils who prefer milk there will still be some available.
The Zen Garden was also an area which was discussed and the pupils are very strong in their passion for only using this area for quiet and peaceful moments which they will ensure will continue to happen.
The pupils were then reminded of some of the suggestions they have made over the past couple of years which have been acted upon: new cutlery and cups for the dining room, no onion in the macaroni, the addition of the The Retreat and the Castle (partly funded by the school and the PA) and table top games for the playground...to name but a few.
We look forward to a superb year of pupil voice.
Meet the Teacher Evenings
Thank you to all of the parents who have recently attended our Meet the Teacher evenings. It has been encouraging to have such a great attendance at these evenings, demonstrating the parental support which will no doubt help your children to achieve their very best this year. Please contact your form teachers if you have any further queries or questions.
New Parents' Lunch
The PA committee and new families to St. Helen's College had a wonderful afternoon socialising in the Windsor Garden last Saturday, getting to know each other and finding out more about the work of the PA. Thank you to all who attended and the PA for providing the lovely food and refreshments. If you are interested in supporting the work of the PA or becoming the class form representative please contact Mrs. Clements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual Pupil Photographs
Monday 23rd - Ducklings will have their individual photos from 8.30 a.m.
Wednesday 25th Lower School - siblings can be photographed together from 8 a.m.
Friday 27th Upper School - siblings can be photographed together from 7.40 a.m.
Pupils should not be bringing in football/Disney or similar collector cards to school. Unfortunately they have caused upset in the playground and in classes! Fitbits should also not be worn to school; however, a watch is acceptable.
Posted on: 13/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 13th September 2019PA Welcome Event For New Families
The PA and staff look forward to welcoming all of our new families (including children!) to their Welcome Event which will take place in the Evans Hall and Windsor Garden from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Meet The Teacher Evening - Year 4 and Year 5
We are looking forward to seeing our Year 4 and Year 5 parents on Tuesday evening for the Meet The Teacher evening. Drinks will be served from 6.45 p.m. in the Windsor Garden and then the classes will split into the Evans Hall and the Upper School Hall.
Year 4 Pupils Discover Ancient Greece!
The Year 4 children have begun their history topic on the Ancient Greeks in style on Tuesday. They were treated to a full day of fun, immersing themselves in the Ancient Greek way of life through an interactive show in the morning and two follow up workshops in the afternoon. The show saw the children become assistants to a trainee time traveller who went back in time for her 53rd attempt at passing her final trainee mission. The trainee found herself at the house of Jocasta, an Athenian housewife. As part of the mission the children learnt about many aspects of Ancient Greece from Jocasta, including the gods, the Olympics, Greek architecture, democracy and the role of women.
The workshops further developed the children's historical knowledge. In the first, the children had to think about the legacy of the Greeks in order to help the time travellers set up a new history TV programme. In the second workshop, Jocasta set up a scene in her courtyard depicting life in the household, with the children taking on the various roles. Then the children re-enacted her wedding.
It was a busy day, and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. You can see photographs on our Galleries page.
uTalk Language Challenge
This year, Upper School children will be participating in the uTalk Language Challenge as usual. In a change to past year's routines, the competition final will be within this academic year, which means that Year 6 children may enter, so the competition is open to all children in Years 2-6.
Registration costs only £5 per child and gives each participant access to 12 topics on the uTalk app for the rest of the school year (2019/20). Every child will be provided with a unique username and password which they can use to login to the uTalk app as well as view their scores, progress and achievements in their very own online dashboard. Teachers will also get access to the same 12 topics as the children.
This year there will not be a national final. Instead, children will take part in regional finals. Round One, Spanish, will start in September and run until 10 a.m. on Friday December 20th 2019. Children can start scoring points as soon as they have downloaded the app and logged in using the username and password with which they will be supplied.
Pupils who score 500 points (out of a possible 3,960) will go through to Round Two, which will run from 10 a.m. on Monday 6th January 2020 until 10 a.m. on Friday 27th March 2020. Children will be learning the same 12 topics in French with the 30 highest scorers in each region going through to their regional final where they will compete against the clock and each other to be named uTalk JLC Champion for that region. In the event of more than 30 children in each region achieving full marks, extra French topics will be unlocked for them to learn to help select the top 30.
If you are interested in registering your child, please email Mrs. Stark at email@example.com as soon as possible.
Engineering The Future
Many of our pupils and parents were inspired by the speech given by our Guest of Honour, Josh Valman, at last night's Prizegiving. Josh is an Old Helenian, now in his early twenties, who has built a multi-million dollar engineering business. His company, RPD International, helps major multi-national companies as well as smaller entrepreneurs bring products to market more quickly. We were extremely lucky to hear from him last night about why engineers are crucial to our planet's future. For any budding young engineers or families interested in following this up with further exploration and education, we would recommend looking at the forthcoming events, talks and family workshops at the Royal Institute:
We are very much looking forward to our exciting STEAM Day which will take place on Friday 20th September. Thank you in advance to all those parents and staff who have already volunteered to run workshops or assist on the day. It will be a wonderful day of community collaboration and creativity.
Thank you to parents for selecting your child's co-curricular preferences via SchoolsBuddy. Allocations have now been made and you will need to follow the instructions in your allocation email and make payment promptly to secure your club places. Clubs begin from Monday (16th September).
We still have a few places on the following clubs, which will be allocated on a first come, first served basis now. Please email Miss Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org if your child would like to join one of these clubs:
Taekwondo Y4/5/6 â
We look forward to another enriching and exciting term of co-curricular activities.
Posted on: 6/09/2019
Weekly News - Friday 6th September 2019St. Helen's College Gains Gold Travel Award
We are thrilled that, having reviewed our School Travel and Road Safety (STARS) Accreditation, Transport for London (TfL) have awarded St. Helen's College a Gold STARS award this year!
To achieve Gold, St. Helen's College had to be judged to be among the top 10% of London schools, setting high standards to inspire others to transform travel habits, fully engaging the wider community to promote best practices and proving a measurable reduction in the number of journeys made by car every day.
The school had to provide evidence that, within three academic years, we had completed 25 different travel activities, 15 supporting activities and 8 consultation activities. We also had to demonstrate at least a 6% modal shift away from the car or at least 90% of pupils travelling actively to/from school.
This accolade recognises all of the hard work being done at school and in the community, led by our pupil Mini and Junior Road Safety Officers and our staff School Travel Champions, to improve sustainable travel and road safety in and around our school. The school's 'drop and go' schemes, bike/scooter parks, pedestrian and Bikeability courses, Walk on Wednesday initiative and walking loyalty scheme, as well as the Parent Parking Pledge and our 'Speed Aware' scheme run in partnership with local police, are all initiatives driven by the school community which are helping to reduce traffic and promote road safety in our local area. This really is a partnership between staff, parents, pupils and the wider community and we are grateful to everyone involved. As a community, we should feel very proud of this award recognising all that we are doing to improve our local environment for all.
School Games Platinum Award
We are absolutely delighted to announce that St. Helen's College has achieved the School Games PLATINUM Mark Award for the 2018/19 and 2019/2020 academic year.
The School Games Mark is a Government-led award scheme, launched in 2012 and facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust, which rewards schools for their commitment to the development of participation in physical activity and competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success in providing opportunities for competitive and non-competitive sport and young leadership.
We are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible. As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded with this award. We look forward to applying once again in 2020!
Relay for Life 2019
Thank you so much to all parents, pupils and staff who supported the Cancer Research Relay for Life this year, donating, participating in fundraising activities and joining the St. Helen's College team for the Relay itself. Our team raised an amazing £4,025.81 in total, which was the second highest total raised by a team. We are very proud of our ongoing commitment to this event and to raising money for Cancer Research.
On Sunday 1st September, Mrs. Cheema (mother of Amar and Suraj, Old Helenians who left us in 2019 and 2016) organised a 12 hour long charity walk at Hillingdon Stadium to raise awareness of bile duct cancer and to raise much needed funds for the charity AMMF, which is the UK's only charity for Cholangiocarcinoma.
Over 150 people participated throughout the day, many of whom were St. Helen's College families and friends. Thank you to everyone who attended or donated to the charity. You can read Mrs. Cheema's inspiring blog at
So many of our pupils achieve great things both inside and outside of school. We have numerous pupils who are selected for high calibre sports teams, including cricket, football, chess and athletics, and our musicians share their talents in many areas too. Aarna (Year 6) recently played at the prestigious Cadogan Hall with the Hillingdon Music Hub and Catherine (Year 6) plays flute with the National Children’s Orchestra (NCO) and has now been awarded a place to study music every Saturday at the Royal College of Music. Please do continue to share your children's successes with us as it is important that we are aware of their all round achievements.
We look forward to seeing our Year 6 leavers next week and many current families at our annual Prizegiving at the Winston Churchill Hall in Ruislip on Thursday evening.
Summer Schools 2019
Once again this year we ran two extremely successful Summer School weeks in August (in addition to our Holiday Club which ran throughout the summer holidays and was very well attended).
At Lower School Summer School, the theme was Around The World. The activities focussed on different parts of the world, with a different country being 'visited' each day. Children took part in a variety of arts & crafts activities and indoor and outdoor play, all linking to this geographical theme.
At Upper School Summer School, held at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre, the children took part in a 'Pirates and Bucanneers' themed week, enjoying sailing, kayaking, dragon boating and other water activities, which often culminated in the children jumping joyfully into the lake! They also took part in land activities, including climbing and abseiling, the commando challenge, pedal karting and pond dipping, all using the wonderful facilities available at HOAC.
You can see photographs of the children enjoying themselves on the Galleries page.
PA Welcome Event For New Parents
The PA Welcome Event for parents who are new to the school will take place next Saturday, 14th September, from 12 to 2 p.m. in The Evans Hall. We hope to see all our new families there!
STEAM Day - Friday 20th September
Preparations are well underway for our exciting STEAM Day on Friday 20th September. Thank you to all staff and parents who have offered to run or assist with the workshops. If there are any Upper School parents who would still like to assist, please email Mr. Tovell at email@example.com.
School at Work Open Morning - Wednesday 16th October
Our next School at Work Open Morning will take place on Wednesday 16th October, when we will be welcoming groups of prospective parents to look around the school. In the past, existing parents have been very helpful in displaying posters to promote Open Morning in places of business, homes or cars, and in passing on flyers to any interested friends, relatives or neighbours. We are sending home a couple of flyers/posters for each family today in the hope that you will help to promote this event for us once again. We thank you in advance for your help and please do let us know if you can make use of any more posters or leaflets.
School Magazine - 2018-2019
We hope that you all enjoyed reading the new annual school magazine which was sent home to each family on the last day of the summer term. If your child was absent on the last day of term and you have not yet received your copy, it should have been sent home with them this week.
If any parent would like to purchase extra copies of the magazine, it is possible to do this at a cost of £12 per copy. Please pop in to see Mrs. Rooney at Lower School or Mrs. Smith at Upper School as soon as possible if you would like to buy a copy. Payment for these should be made in cash.