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Posted on: 25/11/2022

Weekly News - Friday 25th November 2022

Be Bright, Be Seen As part of our road safety initiative, children and staff throughout the school wore bright clothes and accessories on Thursday to remind us that, in the dark, it is important to wear something fluorescent so that we can be seen by drivers and other road users. Our Junior Travel Ambassadors also visited Lower School to give an assembly to the younger children, speaking about the Green Cross Code and how to stay safe.       Switch Off Fortnight Our Upper School Eco Reps have been monitoring electricity use in the classrooms at Upper School this week as part of our drive to reduce energy usage in general and during Switch Off Fortnight in particular. Joleen Z (Year 6) explains why Switch Off Fortnight is so important: Switch off Fortnight is a period of 14 days when we all try to save electricity and power to help the environment.  We can help by: turning off lights when we don’t need them, turning off the tap while  brushing our teeth and closing doors in our classrooms to save heating. Helping the environment can also mean saving pocket money! If you spend just one minute less in the shower, then it can save you £10 per person. Sadly a lot of people disregard these rules and litter in local parks and adults often use plastic bags to pack items in shopping. These are some vital tips to help! Use leather or reusable bags to put shopping items in. Help our environment by picking up litter. Spread the news! Making sure everyone understands is very important. Remember the 3R method! Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. By the end of the fortnight, we all hope for you to remember the skills to help our world! Packham Cup Football Tournament Last Saturday, for the first time in three years, our football team took part in the Packham Memorial Trophy at Ryefield Primary School.  We started quite slowly in our first match against Ryefield, with neither team really threatening a goal in a game which ended 0-0.  Our second match was against St. Catherine's B and our morning started to get into gear. The boys played with more positivity and a super cross from Sean R was flicked home by Mikail O for an excellent 1-0 win. Our last group game was against a strong Oak Farm team and this is where we really raised our levels. After going 1-0 down to a soft goal, we started to show great determination and character and deservedly got an equaliser through a superb goal, again taken by Mikail O. With three teams on five points, we unfortunately came third and were eliminated on goal difference (losing out by one goal). Overall, with two Year 4 boys, 4 Year 5 boys and 2 Year 6 boys making up the team, Mr. Dyson felt that this was an amazing achievement from the boys and the parents were similarly proud. If the boys keep producing this effort and spirit, the future looks bright for the St. Helen's College football team! Team: Ollie K, Kamran-Cyrus A, Sean R, Joseph T, Mylo D'O, Rian M, Maicen M, Mikail O. Staff Leaver We will sadly be saying farewell to Mrs. Sarah Smith at the end of this term.  Mrs. Smith has been with us for 10 years as a TALA in the Middle School and after graduating with her Post Graduate Certificate in Chaplaincy this year she has decided to step back and spend more time with her family in Wales. However, we are delighted that Rev. Smith will visit us regularly to lead more of her wonderful assemblies and join us for our special community events.  Christmas Events Parents of the classes shown below are warmly invited to join us for their class assemblies next week. In addition, all parents (Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School) are invited to come together on Friday 2nd December at 4.00 p.m. in the Upper School playground for our annual 'Carols Around The Tree' event.  Tuesday 29th November - 1C Christmas Assembly at 8.45 a.m. (with coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Wednesday 30th November - 1R Christmas Assembly at 8.45 a.m. (with coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Thursday 1st December - Owls Christmas Nativity at 8.45 a.m. (with coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Friday 2nd December - Kingfishers Christmas Nativity at 8.45 a.m. (with coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Friday 2nd December - 3B Class Assembly at 8.40 a.m. (with coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Friday 2nd December - Carols Round the Tree at 4.00 p.m. in the Upper School playground (all families welcome). At our Carols Round The Tree event, Grace O (5A) will be running a stall to raise money for the RSPCA. The stall will be selling handmade knitted and felt Christmas tree decorations, knitted gloves, mittens and hats, festive red bows that can be slipped onto a dog's collar or onto a hairband and handmade cloth-covered trinket trays.  Grace would truly welcome your support for this worthwhile charity. Christmas Tree Decoration Competition Our Christmas trees will soon be arriving in school and, as usual, we are asking children to design and create their own Christmas decoration for display on the trees. Please ensure that your child's decoration is clearly labelled with their name and class, as there will be prizes for the winning decoration in each class. Decorations may be brought into school from Monday 28th November to be hung on the trees. Christmas Holiday Club Holiday Club bookings will open at 4 p.m. today. Please log in to your SchoolsBuddy account to make your bookings. Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal Thank you to everyone who has already donated to the Christmas Present Appeal for the Hillingdon Salvation Army. If you have yet to do so there is still time! Please choose a brand new toy/game for ages 3-11 with a value of approximately £12. The Salvation Army has also suggested Amazon vouchers. The item should not be gift wrapped and should fit inside a plastic shopping bag. Each class teacher is collecting the gifts so please encourage your child to take donations to their classroom. All toys will be collected by the Salvation Army on the 2nd December.  Thank you once again for your generous support. Cookery Club Our Cookery Club members had a super time (and learnt a lot!) this week, making Singapore noodles and Cavolo Nero crispy seaweed. They even practised using chopsticks!         Mother/Baby Mindfulness Classes Our next set of Mother/Baby Mindfulness classes will begin in January after the Christmas break. These are FREE to parents and are open to any parent of a baby from birth to pre-crawling, whether the parent has any association with St. Helen's College or not. They take place on Wednesday mornings at 9.00 a.m. in the Evans Hall at our Upper School site on Long Lane, opposite Lower School. Each class lasts 45 minutes and is followed by optional tea/coffee/chat. The classes are led by Poonam McLaughlin, a St. Helen's College teacher, who is a qualified PAUSE Baby Mindfulness practitioner. They provide a safe space for mums and babies to bond and relax, taking part in Mindfulness exercises and some very gentle yoga. If you would like to join the set of six classes starting in January, please email Mrs. Smith at susmith@sthelenscollege.com with your baby's name and date of birth. Please feel free to share the information about the classes with any other friends or family who might have a baby (birth to crawling - no crawlers allowed!). They don't have to have children at St. Helen's College (or intend to send children here) to come along - the classes are free to anyone. Squash Stars A St. Helen's College parent will be running Squash Stars sessions in the new year, which may be of interest to some families. Aimed at 5-11 year olds, Squash Stars is a new six week junior beginner programme at Hillingdon Squash Club starting on Saturday 4th February at the Brunel University Sports Centre.  The cost is £42, for which each child can enjoy six sessions of squash and a kit bag which includes a racket, ball, Squash Stars t-shirt and a pair of goggles. Squash is suitable for children of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes and is an inclusive, indoor sport. By taking part in Squash Stars, your child will benefit in many ways: They'll have lots of fun whilst being active and learning something new. It’s an opportunity to make friends outside of school. They can put their new skills into practice and head to the court as a family, giving you an opportunity for extra quality time together. The sessions boost confidence and encourage them to reach for the stars. Parents can find out more and sign children up at squashstars.co.uk
Posted on: 18/11/2022

Weekly News - Friday 18th November 2022

Children In Need We have had a thoughtful and colourful day at school today as we have supported the charity Children In Need by wearing our own clothes to school and taking part in raffles and other activities. We have used the day to consider the important work being done by Children In Need to help children whose lives are challenging in so many ways. We have discussed with pupils how lucky we all are and how important it is always to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. The children have enhanced their understanding of the value of giving selflessly to help others through acts of kindness or by donating time, money or ideas. As well as the whole school fundraising effort, individual pupils have taken the initiative to raise money for those in need. Raiden B (5G) ran a Rubik's Cube competition at break times today to raise additional funds for Children in Need, and Leo A (3M) has raised money for Children in Need by selling his own artwork to family and friends.  3M presented a thoughtful and energetic assembly at Upper School this morning. They told us the history of the Children In Need appeal and reminded us of the phenomenal amount of money Children In Need has raised over the years. Some of the children and some of the parents who were watching also took part in live 30-second challenges in return for the Year 3 staff donating funds for the charity. The children then sang a beautiful, thoughtful hymn and led us in prayers to remind us to be thankful for all that we have. Well done, 3M, this was a most enjoyable and valuable assembly. You can see some photographs of Children In Need Day on our Galleries page here. EDI EDI stands for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Mrs. Briggs is our EDI lead and Leila A is our EDI prefect. These posts, new this year, reflect the commitment to inclusion here at St. Helen’s College. Much is already happening at school, including social responsibility lessons, Debating Club, curriculum changes and the Think Equal initiative, and we are always looking for ways to improve and learn. We are currently trialling an online newspaper called The Day, which contains articles that have been edited so that the language is appropriate for differently aged pupils. Year 6 read an article about the upcoming World Cup this week and some of the children, without being prompted, referred back to recent PSHCE work on the Universal Declaration of human rights. They then discussed human rights in various countries around the world.  Switch Off Fortnight Switch Off Fortnight is an opportunity for schools, homes and young people to make small changes in their lives that save energy and help to protect the planet.  We have had a very successful start to our Switch Off Fortnight. All of the children have been very active in ensuring the lights are being turned off in their classrooms and other empty rooms, powering down their chromebooks when not in use and making sure that the teachers are turning off the overhead projectors and computers at the end of lessons. We will continue our energy saving campaign next week, when we will also be announcing which class had the most amount of switch offs and will be awarded the title of Eco Class of the week. There is some information about how energy gets to our homes here. There is an activity poster to help families think about power and its uses here. National Online Safety  We would like to remind parents that you can register, for free, with the St. Helen's College National Online Safety platform by clicking on this link and proceeding as a parent/carer. You will then be able to access many useful resources and comprehensive courses to help keep your children safe online. Subscribers will also receive a weekly email updating them on topical online safety risks. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require additional guidance or if you have any concerns about your child's online safety. Upper School - Mr. McLaughlin amclaughlin@sthelenscollege.com Lower School - Mrs. Hunt lhunt@sthelenscollege.com Poppy Appeal We are delighted to report that the St. Helen's College community raised a total of £561.89 for this year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Many, many thanks to all those who contributed. Be Bright, Be Seen  With clocks going back and evenings getting darker through the winter months, many of the children may be travelling home in the dark. The 'Be Bright, Be Seen' campaign brings awareness to families about what they can do to help children be seen by road users when travelling to and from school.  We are holding our 'Brightest School' event during road safety week on Thursday 24th November to promote the Be Bright, Be Seen initiative. On that Thursday we are asking pupils throughout the school to wear their brightest clothes to school. Children may wear their own clothes or add something bright/fluorescent to their school uniform/bag.  Spring Term Co-Curricular Programme We would like to remind parents that the co-curricular programme for the spring term (for children in Reception to Year 6) is now available on SchoolsBuddy. The deadline for making your selections is midnight on Sunday 20th November.  Please remember to discuss the programme with your child and only select clubs in which your child has a genuine interest. Spring Term Calendar Dates The school calendar has been updated with dates for spring term events. Please do check it and make a note of relevant dates for your child(ren). PA Forum Thank you to the PA committee and class representatives who attended the PA Forum meeting with Ms Drummond, Mr. McLaughlin, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith on Tuesday evening. Minutes are being prepared and will be sent by email to all parents. Science Quiz Club St. Helen's College entered two teams into the Quiz Club Science competition this week. The children did really well with some tricky questions and there is a chance that one of the teams may make it into the next round. We are currently waiting to hear final news on this. Well done to those children who represented the school.   
Posted on: 11/11/2022

Weekly News - Friday 11th November 2022

Remembrance Day We marked Remembrance Day at school today with a two minute silence, during which we remembered and gave thanks for the men and women who have given their lives during wars to secure the freedoms which we enjoy in Britain today. At Upper School, Year 6 pupils read us a poem and Mrs. Fawbert played The Last Post for us. At both sites, the children showed great respect in thinking with gratitude of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We would like to thank parents, pupils and staff for donations made to The Poppy Appeal. Year 1 Visit Roald Dahl Museum This week, our Year 1 classes visited the Roald Dahl Gallery in Amersham where they certainly fired up their imaginations! Ishani A said: “I loved going to the Roald Dahl Gallery, especially making dream bottles! It was really fun when we did some green screen recording, it looked like we had shrunk onto the television screen like Mike Teavee in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also liked crawling through the tunnel like Fantastic Mr Fox.”  Sports News - Reddiford Challenge Cup At the Reddiford Challenge Cup football tournament yesterday, our players acquitted themselves very well indeed. There was some excellent play and the team finished fourth overall. We are also delighted to report that Malek C was awarded player of the tournament! Well done to all those who took part. After School Sports Clubs We would like to remind parents that, from next week, there will be no after school sports clubs due to lack of light. The exceptions are Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 netball clubs which will continue until the penultimate week of term. All other clubs will continue until the penultimate week. PA Forum This term's PA Forum meeting will take place on Tuesday 15th November. The PA committee and class reps meet with Ms Drummond, Mr. McLaughlin, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith to discuss issues of school-wide relevance. Thank you to those parents who have already sent points for discussion. Some queries may be fed back directly to specific year groups but whole school matters will be minuted and circulated. If you have any whole school points to raise, please forward them to your class rep so that they can be sent on to Mrs. Smith by Monday 14th November at the latest. Minutes will be circulated to all parents after the meeting. Flu Vaccinations - Reminder If you have a child in Reception to Year 6, please check that you have completed and submitted your flu vaccination forms. We still have a few forms that are showing as pending, which means they may not have been completed fully. Please ensure that you put your child's class on the form - do not leave it blank or put just the year. If you are unsure, please ask your child or contact the school and we can advise you which class they are in.  Children In Need Children In Need Day is next Friday, 18th November. On this day children should come to school wearing colourful, spotty clothes.This year we are asking the children to bring in a suggested £5 donation for Children in Need or this can be paid online on our Just Giving Page here. The donation will cover the tog day, 1 raffle ticket per child and the choice of one of two pin badges. Class reps will be asking parents which pin badge (Pudsey or Blush) your child would like, and there will be extra pin badges for sale if your child would like one of each. The £5 is a suggested donation, so if a child has not brought in all of the £5 they can still have a raffle ticket and pin badge. We will be raffling a large Pudsey bear and a large Blush bear and there will be extra raffle tickets available for the children to buy leading up to the day. Many thanks, as ever, for your support. Lost Property We would like to remind parents that EVERY item of your child's property should be named. Not only uniform but also snack boxes, water bottles and stationery should be clearly labelled. Even with frequent reminders, children do often forget items or leave them in unexpected places and it is impossible for the school to reunite owners with their property if it is not clearly named, especially as several children will often own identical or similar-looking items. Unnamed and unclaimed items are disposed of regularly. Term Dates Following the announcement of the extra bank holiday on May 8th, 2023 in honour of the King's coronation, we have updated our term dates document for 2022-2023. We have also now published term dates for 2023-2024. You can find the term dates on the School Documents page of this website. Salvation Army Christmas Appeal St. Helen’s College has run the Christmas Present Appeal for the Hillingdon Salvation Army for a number of years with great success. Originally inspired by current pupils at the school, this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our school’s core values by helping those local families less fortunate than ourselves. Therefore we are inviting your child to choose a brand new toy/game for ages 3-11 with a value of approximately £12. The Salvation Army has also suggested Amazon vouchers. The item should not be gift wrapped and should fit inside a shopping plastic bag. This year the Salvation Army has also requested donations of wrapping paper. Please allow your child to bring in their donation by Friday 2nd December.  We will launch the appeal in our assemblies and really hope it is something you feel able to support. https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/christmas-present-appeal Thank you so much in advance for your kindness and generosity. St. Helen's College Trust The St. Helen's College Trust (Registered Charity Number: 1196657) is an independent charity which exists to promote educational opportunities and all-round development of children aged 0-11 in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas. The charity was established last year and we are delighted that St. Helen's College parents have been generous in their support of it so far. We reported in October that the charity's Trustees approved applications for grants from local charitable bodies for the following: Ickenham Youth FC: Funds to set up an U6/U7 girls' football team.  Home Start Hillingdon: Funds to train volunteers in their spring training programme.  Hillingdon Basketball Club: Funds to buy equipment and t-shirts for youth members. The charity is inviting grant applications on a rolling basis. The criteria for grant applications is wide: the only restrictions are that funds applied for must be used for the direct benefit of children aged 0-11 (whether individuals or groups) in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas and that the charity cannot approve grants to be spent on educational equipment or services that should be provided by the Local Authority. If you do know of any group or individual who might like to apply for funds, please direct them to the simple online application form here. There are also two easy ways in which you can support the St. Helen's College Trust at no cost to yourself. There is a textile bank outside 227 Long Lane into which you can donate unwanted old clothing, shoes, bags, towels and bed linen. Please note that the textile bank cannot accept branded clothing or cushions/pillows/duvets. Items donated to the textile bank are given to those in need of clothing, towels or linen. If there is anything that cannot be donated, it is recycled into industrial cleaning cloths so that nothing ends up as landfill. All donations are gratefully received; the charity receives a small payment per kilo collected. You can also sign up to support the Trust through EasyFundraising. The SHC Trust will receive a small donation from retailers whenever you shop online. Simply download the EasyFundraising app and search for St. Helen's College Trust, then remember to open the app whenever you shop online at most major retailers. Thank you very much indeed for your support. Catering News On Monday 21st November, we will have a special lunchtime menu to celebrate the football world cup. You can see the menu here. Please also find this month's recipe booklet for parents, Eat The Rainbow, here. We hope you will have fun trying these recipes with your children at home. Thames Valley Cavaliers - Free Tickets for SHC Pupils Once again, Thames Valley Cavaliers are offering free tickets to St. Helen's College pupils for their match this weekend. Tip-off is at 6.30 p.m. on Saturday; you can find details here. Christmas If you are beginning to think about Christmas presents for children, you might be interested in Elf UK's offerings which have been designed to enhance children's wellbeing. You can find details here. You can also find details of our very own Mr. Roche's children's book, Niji's Dream, here. 
Posted on: 4/11/2022

Weekly News - Friday 4th November 2022

2R Class Assembly The children of 2R today presented a wonderful assembly all about Bonfire Night. They looked at the history and traditions of fireworks, shared lots of interesting facts and reminded us to 'remember, remember the 5th of November'. They also let us know how important it is to be careful on Bonfire Night itself around fireworks and sparklers. As a grand finale, they sang Katy Perry's Firework with lights and glitter pom poms. This was an informative, enjoyable and very well presented assembly. Well done 2R!   Nursery Trip to Playtrain Our Nursery children had so much fun on their first Nursery trip to the Playtrain soft play centre today! They were very well behaved and loved the experience of being on a coach with their friends.  Eco-School News Our pupil Eco-Team developed a St. Helen's College Eco-Code last year and we would like to ensure that families are aware of this, so that you can support pupils in following it. You can see the Eco-Code here. We are also very keen to find out whether any members of our community are involved in any eco work outside of school. If your child(ren) are involved in anything either as individuals or through other organisations (e.g. Scouts, Brownies etc.) then please let us know by emailing Mrs. Mann at nmann@sthelenscollege.com. Sports Results Our Year 5/6 girls' netball team played a match against Cowley St. Lawrence School this week and won 4-0. They demonstrated some great team play and individual skill and, most important, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Well done, girls! The Y5/6 boys' football team also  played this week, against Ryefield School. It was a close match in which we saw some excellent play. The game ended 2-2.   Year 5 Cookery Club In the first Year 5 Cookery Club session this week, our budding young chefs really enjoyed making rice and peas, jerk chicken, sweet potato and fried plantain. Yum yum!         Junior Parkrun As many parents will already know, Parkruns are free and available for the children to take part in on the weekends. All of the information for the nearest Junior Parkrun (2K) can be found here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/northalafields-juniors. If children are feeling more ambitious they could always do the longer distance (5k). Information on the 5k events can be found here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/northalafields/ or here https://www.parkrun.org.uk/blackpark/.  We hope that many children will choose to take part regularly. Christmas Card Competition Children in Reception to Year 6 at St. Helen's College have been invited to take part in a competition to design our local MP's 2022 Christmas card, which will be sent to many dignitaries and even to His Majesty The King. Reception and Year 1 children will design their entries at school, while Upper School children should work on their designs at home this weekend if they would like to take part. Full details are on the letter here. Please ensure that your child follows the guidelines and hands their design in on time: all entries must be handed to class teachers by Monday 7th November.  Flu Vaccinations - Reminder If you have a child in Reception to Year 6, please check that you have completed and submitted your flu vaccination forms. We have a few forms that are showing as pending, which means they may not have been completed fully. Please ensure that you put your child's class on the form - do not leave it blank or put just the year. If you are unsure, please ask your child or contact the school and we can advise you which class they are in.  Remembrance Day We will be marking Remembrance Day at St. Helen's College, as always, by reflecting on the day's meaning and significance and by observing a two minute silence. Our Year 6 Charity Representatives will continue to sell merchandise at Upper School arrival next week. There are traditional poppies, reflector poppies and wristbands for the children to purchase. Please allow your children to bring some money into school if they would like to buy any of these. Oak Farm Library - Autumn News Oak Farm Library have several activities and sessions for primary aged children. You can find details of their latest programme here.
Posted on: 14/10/2022

Weekly News - Friday 14th October 2022

Children's Trust Concert We were filled with pride last Sunday when our Chamber Choir performed at the beautiful St. John's Smith Square at the Children's Trust Concert. They sang their two pieces with great confidence and musicality and certainly touched the audience. The event organisers and the staff of many other schools commented on how smart and well-behaved the St. Helen's College pupils were, as well as how impressive it was that so many of our parents were in attendance. We are grateful to all of the families who came along to support the children and this very worthy charity.           Woodlands Care Home Visit On Monday, a group of Year 5 and 6 pupils visited Woodlands Residential Care Home on Long Lane to spend time with residents there. Woodlands cares for elderly people who are living with dementia and/or other health issues. While there, our pupils spoke with the residents and performed some songs for them. Both residents and pupils enjoyed the get-together.     PA Welcome Event For New Families It was lovely to see so many of the families who joined us in September at the PA Welcome Event on Saturday. The weather was kind and it was clear to see how much the children enjoyed having a play in the beautiful Evans Garden and how much the parents enjoyed getting to know other families. Many thanks to the PA Committee and helpers who put on this event. Year 6 Our Year 6 pupils have had a superb start to the academic year and have risen to their many leadership roles. They were excellent ambassadors this week as they toured prospective parents at our first Open Morning of the year and were rewarded with a surprise morning tea party on Thursday.       PA Christmas Card Project Children will have brought home a sheet this week with an order form on one side (with instructions on how to pay) and a space for artwork on the other side. If your child has started their artwork at school but hasn't finished and you want to place an order for Christmas cards, they will need to complete the art at home over half term. If they have completed their artwork and you want to order something, you just need to complete the adjoining order form and then return it to school and also make the associated bank transfer. The artwork MUST be on the same sheet as the order form. Please make sure you include the child's name and class (clearly written) on the order form, return the form to school and make the bank transfer payment, all by Friday 4 November 2022 at the very latest. Unfortunately the PA will not be able to process any orders which have not had payments made, have missing order forms, or are missing the artwork by the Friday deadline. If anyone has any questions, please contact your class rep. PA Christmas Parties The PA will, once again, be running Christmas parties for the children of St. Helen's College. This year, these will take place on 27th November. Please see this Save The Date flyer for more details. Further details and a link to the booking form will be sent out to parents after the half term break. Queen's Green Canopy We are delighted to report that our Queen's Green Canopy tree planting has been uploaded to the Queen's Green Canopy map. We planted our trees at Lower and Upper School during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, as part of the initiative https://queensgreencanopy.org/get-involved/schools/.   Year 5 Visit to Hampton Court Palace Year 5 enjoyed a fabulous day at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday, enriching their learning about The Tudors. The weather stayed dry, the children were full of enthusiasm and the staff were impressed with their behaviour. Our pupils explored the outside grounds including the gardens, real tennis court, chapel and impressive range of kitchens and had tours of the Tudor state apartments. The children thought about the impression Henry VIII was trying to make on his court and visitors, used their detective skills to find evidence of Henry’s wives and were wowed by the ceilings in particular. In a workshop with a leader from Hampton Court they used prior knowledge from school lessons along with their critical thinking skills to consider questions about Henry VIII and his reign.      2H Coffee Morning/Class Assembly It was a pleasure to welcome the parents of class 2H into school for a coffee morning and class assembly this morning. In their presentation, the children of 2H magically transported us back to life in The Stone Age. They taught us all about trading, cave painting, jewellery making and even staying away from poisonous mushrooms.  The children looked amazing in their costumes and the assembly was a great ending to their history topic on The Stone Age and thoroughly enjoyed by all! TfL STARS Gold Accreditation St. Helen's College has retained its gold accreditation through TfL STARS, which recognises the school's continuous work around Sustainable Travel And Road Safety over the last few years. The STARS team praised the commitment from the school, the children and the parents to continually improve sustainable travel and road safety in and around St. Helen's College.  Parents' Evenings Bookings open at 4 p.m. today for the Upper School (Year 2 - 6) parents' evenings which will take place after half term on Tuesday 1st November and Thursday 10th November. Parents should login and book appointments using this link. Ducklings Two Year Progress Check meetings will be taking place on Tuesday 1st and Thursday 3rd November. Parents have booked their meetings and we look forward to seeing you all then. Remembrance Day The school will, as usual, be marking Remembrance Day in November. From 1st November, when we return from the half term break, we will have some items available for children to purchase in return for a donation. There will be poppies, a zip pull, a clip on reflector poppy, silicon wristbands and snap bands which double up as rulers. We suggest a minimum donation of £1 per item. Winter Uniform All pupils should return to school wearing full winter uniform after half term. Please note that woolly hats are only to be used in very cold weather conditions and they should not replace the boys' wool caps or girls' felt hats.  Flu Vaccination - Action Required Parents of children in all years from Reception to Year 6 are reminded that you MUST complete your flu vaccination form. This must be done whether your child will be having the vaccination at St. Helen's College or not. The link was emailed to parents via SchoolsBuddy last week. Free Basketball This Weekend! The first Thames Valley Cavaliers home game is on at Uxbridge College this weekend and all St. Helen's College pupils are invited to watch the Cavaliers take on Manchester Magic. It is FREE for pupils to enjoy the fun. Just state that you are from St. Helen's College at the door to get in free. There is also a special £1 price for pizza slices! The flyer with all the information about the match is here.  Half Term Basketball Camp The Thames Valley Cavaliers are running a basketball camp at Uxbridge College during the second week of half term for children aged 7 and above. If your son or daughter might be interested in attending this, you can find the details here.  
Posted on: 7/10/2022

Weekly News - Friday 7th October 2022

TCS Mini London Marathon What an amazing day it was last Saturday, with well over 200 St. Helen's College pupils, parents and staff taking place in the TCS Mini London Marathon. The sun shone, there was a real community spirit and we were so proud of everyone who competed in the race and gained a London Mini Marathon medal!  Daya R (Year 4) was interviewed by BBC Sport and several more of our pupils featured in media coverage of the day. It was clear to see that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event. We are delighted that so many families took up the opportunity to be involved in this special day and hope that many young runners have been inspired for the future.     Lower School Harvest Assemblies It was super to see our Nursery children perform this week at their harvest assembly on Wednesday. The children of Robins and Wrens sang their harvest songs enthusiastically and were all very brave to perform in front of such a packed room of adults for the first time! On Thursday, the Reception classes (Kingfishers and Owls) presented their harvest performance. They reminded us how lucky we are to live in a country that is able to produce so much food through farming, and how grateful we should be to the farmers at this harvest time of year. They then went on to consider the importance of thinking of others less fortunate and of sharing our food with them. Each child spoke individual lines and there were group poems and songs performed with gusto.  Today, Year 1 finished off the Lower School harvest assemblies with their confident and tuneful performance all about the word HARVEST. They noted that the letters of HARVEST can also be used to make the words STARVE and SHARE, reminding us that we should be thankful for our own food and be sure to share it with those who do not have enough. The singing in this assembly was particularly impressive.  Very well done to all of the children involved and a big thank you to all of the families and staff who gave such generous harvest donations. These are being distributed by the Salvation Army to those in need in our local area. Year 2 Stone Age Studies Our Year 2 children had a wonderful immersion day all about the Stone Age on Tuesday to enhance their understanding of their history topic. They all came to school dressed in amazing homemade Stone Age costumes and took part in many activities such as cave painting, foraging in the park, collage making, pebble painting, mystery food tasting, using clay and even Stone Age maths! On Wednesday, they further enriched their learning with a visit to the Chiltern Open Air Museum, where they took part in shelter building, bracelet making, charcoal face painting, lighting fires and den building. We were proud to receive very positive praise from the Chiltern Open Air Museum for the children's exemplary behaviour during the  trip. You can see some photographs of Year 2 enjoying their Stone Age studies on our Galleries page here. Year 6 Trip to Denham Country Park Year 6 enjoyed a beautifully sunny day for their geography trip on Thursday and enhanced their learning about rivers by river dipping and measuring different river data. They also enjoyed a scenic walk in Denham Country Park and were able to identify rural and urban features of the park. The children found freshwater shrimp and a variety of invertebrates in the river and identified them using magnifying glasses. Everyone got wet, had fun and learnt lots about the geography topic!   Sports News On Monday every pupil in Years 5 and 6 represented St. Helen's College in either netball or football in friendly fixtures at Highgate School. This was a lovely opportunity for every child to engage with representative sport for the school. Our Year 4 children have thoroughly enjoyed their week of swimming. Their confidence in the water has been a joy to behold. Year 3 children will be swimming each afternoon next week. School At Work Open Morning - Wednesday 12th October Next Wednesday is our first Open Morning of the year for prospective parents. Our Year 6 children will be guiding tours at Upper School on this day. There are now very limited appointments left available. If you know of any family who may be interested in visiting us on the day, please ask them to contact us to book in for an appointment, either by telephone or by email at susmith@sthelenscollege.com. Recipe Cards - Orange This year, the children of St. Helen's College will be encouraged to 'eat a rainbow', with a monthly colour theme on displays in dining areas. October's colour is Orange and Soula, our chef, has provided these recipe cards for parents in case you would like to make some orange food at home with your children!
Posted on: 30/09/2022

Weekly News - Friday 30th September 2022

Yesterday we celebrated St. Helen's Day at school, which is when we think about the history of our school and about St. Helen, after whom we are named. During the day, pupils in Years 2-6 attended a special afternoon assembly at which Old Helenian Ishil Mehta spoke about life at St. Helen's College many years ago. The pupils also had the opportunity to ask Mrs. Crehan questions about what life was like at St. Helen's College when she lived here as a child and in the days when Mr. and Mrs. Crehan were the joint Heads of the school.  Our new pupil leadership team gave a presentation about the history of the school, Year 5 performed a chant about St. Helen herself and we had a super performance from Minaya W on the piano. Many thanks indeed to all those involved. In the evening, we held a drinks reception for Old Helenians and current and ex-staff. Some of our Year 6 pupils gave musical performances and tours for alumni who were keen to see how the school has changed over the years. Our guests also enjoyed perusing the history boards with old photographs, school reports and more. It is always wonderful to see old pupils return and super that they are so interested in what is going on at the school now.   Upper School Harvest Festival Today pupils in Years 2 - 6 attended All Saints Church for our annual Harvest Festival service. Our Year 5 pupils led the service with poems and readings to remind us of all that we have to be thankful for at this special time of year. There were many parents in attendance and, as ever, the St. Helen's College community was extremely generous with donations of food. These will be given to the local Salvation Army for distribution amongst those in need in our local community. Thank you all very much for your generosity. The Lower School will also be celebrating Harvest next week and parents are warmly invited to watch your children's Harvest performances and to bring in donations a day or two before your child's event. The dates and times are as follows. Nursery: Wednesday 5th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Reception: Thursday 6th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Year 1: Friday 7th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Trips and Visits It has been a busy week of activities to enrich the children's learning. Year 3 visited St. Albans on Monday, where their history knowledge about The Romans was certainly expanded through a tour and workshops. On Thursday, our Reception children took a trip to Odds Farm, during which they enhanced their learning about their 'On The Farm' topic. Also on Thursday, the Year 4 classes enjoyed visiting workshops themed around Ancient Greece to bring history to life. Our Nursery children today had the chance to join a live webcast through Scholastic of Julia Donaldson reading her latest book 'The Baddies' and Axel Scheffler drawing pictures for the book. They also had a singalong with Julia Donaldson with some of her familiar songs. Month End Music Recital Very well done to the many children who performed at our first informal music recital of the academic year this afternoon. Thank you to the parents who came along to support and celebrate your children's musicality. What a lovely way to start the weekend! News From The Library The Upper School library marked St Helen's Day with a number of quizzes for all years which celebrated this literary corner of school! Children enjoyed an acrostic St. Helen's Day quiz, solving clues that showed them how well they have been learning their way around the library shelves. Even the youngest years grappled a little with the Dewey Decimal system!   It was a very busy library session; in fact it has been a week of many quizzes, with more to come next week with a quiz set by Ayla A in Year 6. Interested Year 6 pupils are reminded to apply by Monday for the role of Student Librarians. These students work one shift a week to assist in the running of the library at lunchtimes. All Year 6 pupils are encouraged to reply; an interest in reading is really helpful and readers of all abilities are welcome. Listening and organisational skills are valued too! Pupils should email Mrs Emanuel a few sentences about why they would like to be a librarian, their current clubs and a few sentences about a book they have recently enjoyed reading and why.  TCS London Mini Marathon: Tomorrow We are delighted that so many families and staff have signed up for the TCS Mini London Marathon tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you there. Timings for the event are: 12.00 p.m. Reception & Year 1 12.30 p.m. Years 2 - 6 If you have not already done so, please read carefully through this information about the day. Please remember that parents remain responsible for their children throughout the event. Your child should wear their school PE kit; although there is no official meeting point, this will make it possible for St. Helen's College families to spot each other more easily. Walk To School Fortnight: 3rd - 14th October The last two weeks of this half term will be 'Walk To School Fortnight' for our Year 2 - 6 children. Every child will be given a loyalty card, which will be stamped by our Junior Travel Ambassadors for each day that the child walks to school. If your child is unable to walk to school, they can also achieve a stamp by walking five laps of the playground before school each day. Children will need to arrive at school in good time (by 8.15 a.m. at the absolute latest) in order to complete their laps and earn their stamp. The class with the most stamps at the end of the fortnight will receive a certificate and some extra play time too. No doubt there will be fierce competition amongst the classes for this coveted prize! We hope that you will join us in encouraging the children to walk to school during the final two weeks of the half term, or to earn their stamps by walking the playground laps. You can find a fun Walk to School booklet here and a Walk From Home activity sheet here to help make your walk to school fun! You can also find our St. Helen's College Walk Zone map here. St. Helen's College Trust The St. Helen's College Trust (Registered Charity Number: 1196657) is an independent charity which exists to promote educational opportunities and all-round development of children aged 0-11 in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas. The charity was established last year and we are delighted that St. Helen's College parents have been generous in their support of it so far. We are pleased to report that, this week, the charity's Trustees approved applications for grants from local charitable bodies for the following: Ickenham Youth FC: Funds to set up an U6/U7 girls' football team. The money will be used to train coaches and buy equipment so that even more girls in the local area will be able to play football in an inclusive club from a young age. Home Start Hillingdon: Funds to train volunteers in their spring training programme. Home Start volunteers assist families with children aged 0-5 who are struggling. Volunteers provide emotional and practical support and signpost families to further services where appropriate. Hillingdon Basketball Club: Funds to buy equipment and t-shirts for youth members, to encourage a sense of community and to encourage children to return to the club and be ever more active. The Trustees will be carrying out impact assessments in due course to monitor the impact of grants awarded.  The charity is inviting grant applications on a rolling basis. The criteria for grant applications is wide: the only restrictions are that funds applied for must be used for the direct benefit of children aged 0-11 (whether individuals or groups) in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas and that the charity cannot approve grants to be spent on educational equipment or services that should be provided by the Local Authority. If you do know of any group or individual who might like to apply for funds, please direct them to the simple online application form here. Charity Climb Many congratulations to Ali (1R) and Hassan (Robins), who completed a sponsored climb last weekend up Northala Hills. The brothers were raising money for Al Ayn Social Care Foundation who care for over 82000 orphaned children in Iraq. The two boys started this with a small group of their friends aged 2-6 last year and this year they have raised over £8000! It costs £55 per month to sponsor an orphan in Iran, so this will go a long way. The boys hope to make this a yearly endeavour. Well done, Ali and Hassan, it is always wonderful to see pupils involved in charity work - your efforts will make a big difference.
Posted on: 23/09/2022

Weekly News - Friday 23rd September 2022

STEAM Day There has been such an atmosphere of purposeful and joyful learning across the school today as children have spent our annual STEAM Day discovering new things through hands-on workshops and interactive sessions.  At Ducklings, children had the opportunity to experience a range of STEAM activities and they particularly enjoyed investigating the sights and sounds of fizzing bath bombs and launching some spectacular footpump rockets. At Lower School, the children were visited by 'The Sublime Science Team' and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a range of exciting workshops, exploring slime making, 'climate chaos',  forces, pressure, touch and smell.  The Lower School children also experienced a carousel of technology, engineering, arts and maths activities throughout the day. They had great fun with 3D sculptures, nature art, giant marble runs, bubble blowing, coding, musical drawing and more. At Upper School, two Old Helenians visited to inspire current pupils with talks and workshops focussing on invention, robotics, structure building and micro-bits. The pupils also enjoyed 'exploding art' sessions, tower building, workshops with Glencar Construction, virtual reality immersion and much more. It was clear to see, across the school, that the children experienced many of those 'lightbulb moments' which really do inspire an ongoing love for learning and passion to take their experiments even further. We know that they will apply all that they have learnt today in their ongoing education and, no doubt, will remember the excitement and joy involved in discovering something new!  Thank you to everyone involved in organising and running this special day, including our parent helpers. It was a real community effort. You can see photographs of the pupils enjoying their STEAM Day activities on our Galleries page. New House Captains Hustings have taken place this week for House Captains and Sports Captains for each of our four new houses, and the Year 6 children who applied for the positions made some excellent speeches to their houses before all of the children and staff in each house cast their votes. Well done to everyone involved. The elected Captains are: House Captains Caledonia - Arshvir S and Shriya K Cambria - Lavanya B and Burhan P Hibernia - Inaya S and Aman B Windsor - Anaya S and Gabriel K Sports Captains Caledonia - Anaiya B and Malek C Cambria - Poppy H and Oli K Hibernia - Ayla A and Nayan P Windsor - Minaya W and Albert H We look forward to seeing how the House and Sports Captains will lead and inspire their houses over the coming year. Author Visit - Mini Grey On Thursday we had a fantastic author visit from the renowned writer and illustrator, Mini Grey. She presented her latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, to all the children in Years 2, 3 and 4.  Mini took us on a 4.6 billion year journey through time with interactive timelines, many wonderful creatures and even a draw-along masterclass at the end!    This was followed by a book signing in the library, where the children were able to meet and speak with Mini.  Books are still available (for all pupils) and will come with a signed bookplate. You can order your copies here.  The deadline for ordering is 5pm on Sunday 25th September and the books will be given to your child at school next week. We look forward to more exciting author events in the future. Plastic Free Schools We are pleased that St. Helen's College has now completed Objective 3 for 'Plastic Free Schools'. Armaan V wrote a letter to our local MP (who was then Prime Minister) highlighting the need for a change in plastic use and asking for his assistance. We are awaiting a response! We now move on to Objective 4: Challenge the Industry. Pupils will contact the companies responsible for plastic packaging and use the power of their voice to call for change. Harvest Festivals As ever, we will be celebrating Harvest with Harvest Festival events at school. Children are invited to bring in donations of non-perishable food items, which will be given to the local Salvation Army for distribution amongst those in need. We suggest that these are combined into a simple basket or suitably covered cardboard box. We would be grateful if your child would bring their donations in one or two days before their Harvest event. The dates for the events are as follows and parents are warmly invited to attend the event for your year group: Years 2 - 6: Friday 30th September 9 a.m. Harvest Festival Service at All Saints Church Nursery: Wednesday 5th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Reception: Thursday 6th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Year 1: Friday 7th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Nursery, Reception and Year 1 Parents' Evenings Parents' evenings for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will take place on Tuesday 4th October (in-person) and Thursday 13th October (remote). Bookings for these are now open. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account to book your meeting. Thames Valley Cavaliers - Free Tickets for St. Helen's College Pupils This Weekend Basketball team Thames Valley Cavaliers are playing two games this weekend and our pupils are invited to attend to watch them for free. Details are on the flyers attached - you just need to let the table know (at arrival) that you are St. Helen's College pupils to get free entry for the children. Saturday TVC Match Flyer Sunday TVC Match Flyer TCS Mini London Marathon We are delighted that so many families and staff have signed up for the TCS Mini London Marathon. We will receive confirmed timings for the event early next week and will send these out to parents as soon as we receive them. In the meantime, if you have not already done so, please read carefully through this information about the day, which was sent to parents by email this week.  Walk To School Fortnight: 3rd - 14th October The last two weeks of this half term will be 'Walk To School Fortnight' for our Year 2 - 6 children. Each child will be given a loyalty card, which will be stamped by our Junior Travel Ambassadors for each day that the child walks to school. If your child is unable to walk to school, they can also achieve a stamp by walking five laps of the playground before school each day. Children will need to arrive at school in good time (by 8.15 a.m. at the absolute latest) in order to complete their laps and earn their stamp. The class with the most stamps at the end of the fortnight will receive a certificate and some extra play time too. No doubt there will be fierce competition amongst the classes for this coveted prize! We hope that you will join us in encouraging the children to walk to school during the final two weeks of the half term, or to earn their stamps by walking the playground laps. October Half Term Holiday Club Bookings will open on Friday, 30th September for our half term Holiday Club sessions. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account and book early to secure your child's place. Brilliant Parents: Emotional Resilience Lunch and Learn Webinar Brilliant Parents are hosting a free ‘Lunch and Learn’ Webinar for parents in Hillingdon Borough on building emotional resilience with children. Friday 30th September 12.30 – 1.30 p.m. Samantha Abraham will deliver her expertise online and towards the end there will be an opportunity to ask questions if you wish to. Parents can register for this event using the link below. Building Emotional Resilience Event Registration Home-Start Hillingdon Home-Start Hillingdon, a charity based at All Saints Church on Long Lane, are recruiting for their next volunteer preparation course which will begin on 7th October and run on a Friday for 9 weeks. Home-Start work with local families who have at least one child under 5 and who are finding things tough. The charity trains and manages volunteers to support families who are struggling with issues including post-natal depression, isolation and managing difficult personal circumstances. Some members of St. Helen's College staff have been Home-Start volunteers and it can be a very meaningful and rewarding role to take on.  There is some information about the role of a Home-Start volunteer here. The flyer about the next volunteer training course is here. If any parent would like to apply to train as a Home-Start volunteer, you can contact the Hillingdon branch at: office@homestart-hillingdon.org.uk or by telephoning 01895 252804. Hillingdon's Trees for Streets Hillingdon Borough Council are working with Trees for Streets to encourage residents to sponsor a street tree. In doing so, you can help to: - fight climate change and pollution - improve the health of everyone in the neighbourhood - leave a legacy that will last for generations - create a haven for wildlife - make your street a nicer place to live. You can find out more here. 
Posted on: 16/09/2022

Weekly News - Friday 16th September 2022

Author Visit - Mini Grey On Thursday 22nd September, we will welcome multi award-winning author/illustrator Mini Grey to St. Helen's College to present to our children in Years 2, 3 and 4. Mini will take pupils on a whistle stop tour through the story of life on Earth - all 4.6 billion years of it! Children will be introduced to the amazing creatures which have evolved on our planet and the events - including mass extinctions - which have caused chaos. To pre-order copies of her latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, ready to be signed and dedicated at school on the day, please click the link below and place your order through Chiltern Bookshops by 5 p.m. on Wednesday 21st September: https://schools.chilternbookshops.co.uk/events/mini-grey/ Orders placed in time will automatically be delivered free to St. Helen's College for your child to bring home.  STEAM Day Next Friday (23rd September) we will hold our annual STEAM Day. The children will be off timetable and will take part in a range of activities covering Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths. Pupils should wear PE kit as they will have an active day. Co-curricular clubs will run as usual.  New House Competitions! This week the children in Years 2 - 6 attended their first house assemblies with their new groups. They were introduced to their new pupil and staff teams amid much anticipation. Here is a reminder of our new house names, colours and House Leaders for this year: Cambria (Red - Mrs. Hunt) Caledonia (Blue - Mr. Lewis) Hibernia (Green - Mr. McLaughlin) Windsor (Yellow - Mr. Harrington) To launch the new house groups, the children have been asked to take part in a competition to design a house shield and mascot. Form teachers have the templates; entries should be returned to them by September 30th. Each entry will gain house points for their team and the winners will be displayed on our new house boards. We look forward to an exciting first year with our four houses and a keenly contested House Cup competition too! Rearranged Dates Just a reminder for parents of upcoming events, some of which were rearranged due to the period of mourning following the Queen's death. Monday 19th September SCHOOL CLOSED Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday 20th September Individual Lower School pupil photographs (optional sibling photographs from 7.40 a.m. at the Methodist Church Hall) Co-Curriculum clubs start Year 5/6 Meet the Teacher Evening at Upper School Wednesday 21st September Individual Ducklings pupil photographs from 9.00 a.m. at Ducklings Year 1 Phonics & Maths Evening at Lower School Year 2 Phonics & Maths Evening at Upper School Thursday 22nd September Individual Upper School pupil photographs (optional sibling photographs from 7.40 a.m. in the Upper School Hall) Year 2-4 author visit (during morning lessons) Friday 23rd September STEAM Day Parents are reminded to check the school calendar regularly for information about events. Co-Curricular Clubs Co-curricular clubs will begin on Tuesday 20th September. Allocations were sent to parents during this week. Please remember that, once you have signed your child up to a club and they have been allocated a place, the school is unable to make changes to the allocations or issue refunds. We are looking forward to a busy and fun term with so many different clubs and activities on offer! Supporting Children With Grief National Online Safety have published a guide with tips for supporting children in dealing with grief. As we all continue to focus on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her upcoming funeral, this may be useful for you in discussing bereavement with your children. It is available here. Polio Booster Vaccination Programme Following the detection of polio virus in sewage samples taken from North and East London, the NHS is offering all 1-9 year olds in London a polio booster vaccination. For some children this may be an extra dose of polio vaccine on top of their routine vaccinations. In other children it may just bring them up to date. Polio is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. Because of the success of the polio vaccination programme, there have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK since 1984. By giving an extra polio vaccine dose, this will boost each child’s protection. Please read this NHS letter carefully and follow the NHS advice. School at Work Open Morning - Wednesday 12th October Our next 'School at Work' Open Morning for prospective parents will take place on Wednesday 12th October. This is a lovely opportunity for prospective parents to view the school and meet the pupils and staff on a normal day. If you know of any family who are considering private education for their child, please do let them know about the event. Visits on Open Morning are by appointment only; prospective parents can book an appointment by calling the school office on 01895 234371 or emailing susmith@sthelenscollege.com.  

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