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Posted on: 26/03/2021

Weekly News - Friday 26th March 2021

Speech Competition We all thoroughly enjoyed the finals of our annual Speech Competition, held on Monday this week. Miles Barrow, a West End and movie actor and alumnus of St. Helen's College, joined us live online to judge the event and he was hugely impressed by the performances delivered by the children across the school. Very well done indeed to the winners. Junior Competition Class winners 1C - Avleen P 1R - Shayla R 2B - Samuel H 2H - Evie J 3B - Sarab D 3M - Anna K Year 1 winner - Avleen P Year 2 winner - Evie J Year 3 winner - Sarab D Overall Junior Competition winner - Avleen P Senior Competition Class winners 4L - Inaya S 4T - Poppy H 5A - Rivan K 5G - Reiss D 6M - Reece G 6R - Adam O Year 4 winner - Inaya S Year 5 winner - Reiss D Year 6 winner - Adam O Overall Senior Competition winner - Adam O HeartStart First Aid Training In Action At St. Helen's College, we all know that a successful education blends academic learning and transferable life skills. One of the ongoing strands of our personal development programme is our HeartStart programme, through which we teach all children from Reception to Year 6 basic first aid and lifesaving skills. We were sent sincere thanks this week from a parent whose son had, in a life threatening choking situation, stayed calm and responsive, remembering and using the Heimlich Manoeuvre he had been taught in HeartStart sessions at school. It is no exaggeration to say that the actions he took, in a panic situation, were potentially life saving.  I am sure all parents will be pleased to know that we remain absolutely committed to our programmes of education that develop the 'whole child'. While we are thrilled that our children achieve so highly academically, and proud of the excellent habits of learning we instil, we are equally proud of helping your children to grow into responsible, responsive young men and women.  Well done, Ariyan, for putting your HeartStart learning into action and for talking to us all about your actions in assembly this week. Year 3/4 Quiz Club Thursday saw the heats of the Year 3 and 4 Prep School General Knowledge Quiz, and our teams thoroughly enjoyed competing online in this prestigious competition. The questions were really tough, from a wide range of subjects, and our teams gave a very good account of themselves. The Year 3 team got 27 out of their 30 questions right and ended the competition in joint 11th place. The team members were: Aaron B, Raiden B, Marco K and Tiya T. Our Year 4 team got 28 out of their 30 questions right and ended the afternoon in joint 4th position. Very well done to the team: Annie L, Advik S, Arshvir S and Minaya W. Both teams will now have to wait until all the heats are complete to see whether they have achieved enough points to go through to the finals as one of the next highest scoring teams after the automatic qualifiers. Staff Changes We are sad to announce that Miss Walker will be leaving St. Helen's College at the end of the summer term, after 26 years with the school. Miss Walker has, for many years, been the school's Director of Co-Curriculum, Head of PE and Subject Leader of Geography, as well as a highly valued member of the school's Senior Leadership Team. She is leaving us to develop her career even further as she will be taking up the position of Head of Upper School (Deputy Head Pastoral) at High March School, starting in September.  Miss Walker is a familiar face to generations of pupils and parents, as well as being well known across the local community for her involvement in local sports clubs and leagues. She has taught more or less every pupil who has passed through St. Helen's College over the last quarter of a century, and has had a big impact on so many young lives. We know that you will join us in congratulating her on her new post when you see her around school next term. Mrs. McLaughlin will be returning from her maternity leave after the summer half term break and will return to her class, 3M, working three days per week. Mrs. Briggs will continue working with the class on the other two days. Miss Davies and Mrs. Hunt will continue as the Owls class teachers until the end of this academic year, while Miss Joiner is away on her maternity leave. Miss Angie Raja-Ross has joined our team of Teaching and Learning Assistants at Lower School and will be working with Wrens class. Ms Amy Keenlyside will be joining us at Lower School next term, working as a Midday Supervisor. Guess The Place Congratulations to the winners of the last 'Guess the Place' photo challenge this term.  The Natural History Museum was correctly identified by Evie and Ashvika in Year 2 and Millie and Riyan in Year 1. Well done also to Pavan, Hana, Sean and Tiya in Year 3, Eshanvi in Year 4, David, Rivan, Chrissy, Natalia, Luka, Kylah, Siyana, Eshan, Oliver, Shruthi, Riddhi and Charlotte in Year 5, Vidhit and Zail in Year 6 who all used their detective skills to discover that our other photo was of Brosgrove Mill on the Norfolk Broads.  Guess the Place will start again after the Easter Holiday and Miss Walker would be delighted to receive photos of places our families might visit over the Easter holidays or have visited in the past to challenge everyone to 'guess the place'. Please submit your photos with the name of the place to Miss Walker at  swalker@sthelenscollege.com.  Musician of the Term A big well done to Riya C, who has been named the spring term Musician of the Term. Riya has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years in all aspects of music at St Helen’s College. Riya has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She is a member of the Senior Choir and Chamber Choir and is an excellent role model within the music department as a music prefect. She regularly performs at assemblies and recitals and, as well as playing the ukulele, she also sings. Riya has exceptional musical talent, and has recently taken her Grade 2 Musical Theatre Singing exam. Congratulations, Riya. House Cup The pupils of Windsor and Cambria Houses have been working hard to gain house points despite being in lockdown and we are delighted to announce that this term's winners are Cambria. There are only 70 house points between the two house's totals at the moment - so there is all to play for in the summer term! Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition - Submissions Now Open St. Helen's College has registered with the Royal Academy of Arts so that children may submit their artwork for exhibition at the Royal Academy! Submitting artwork is completely free and should be done online by the deadline of 26th April. For pupils aged 12 or under, a parent/guardian will need to enter the artwork on the pupil's behalf; children aged 13 or over may submit artworks themselves. Each student can submit up to three artworks of any type and there is no theme. You will need to supply images of the artwork plus some information about the piece such as title, size, and a little text about the artwork. Each piece of artwork will be seen by a panel of judges and the selected pieces will be shown in our online exhibition. Some of the artworks will also be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts. https://youngartists.royalacademy.org.uk/get-involved?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=OH_YASS_EasterReminder_d_Entrants%26SignUps_24.03.21&utm_content=version_A&sourceNumber= We have many budding artists at St. Helen's College and we hope that you will support your child in submitting work. We look forward to hearing of any success! PA Easter Prize Draw   The PA has again donated prizes for a free draw for the children this Easter.  All of the children were included in this free Easter draw, with one prize drawn for each class. The PA hope that the lucky winners enjoy their prizes and that they all have a wonderful Easter break! Upper School Library The Upper School Library remains busy delivering weekly boxes of books to each classroom at Upper School. Classes have enjoyed uncovering "mystery books" wrapped in paper and ribbons, whilst others have been tucking into books by visiting authors Cressida Cowell and Ross Welford. Many children will be choosing books this week to bring home for the holidays and the Library invites you to enjoy these with your children! Why not read your stories aloud to each other at bedtime, sat together on a picnic or even tucked into a reading den of blankets? The artistic amongst you might like to design your own version of the book cover and draw your favourite scene. As these Easter holidays are spent at home, consider an apposite quote from the author Jhumpra Lahiri "That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet." Please also take the opportunity to search out any overdue books and return to school, particularly if your child is in Year 6. May we remind parents of our school policy that, in order to maintain the library for all, we may ask for a payment to replace any damaged or non-returned books.  Author Events - April There are several interactive author events being run by our partners Chorleywood Bookshop during April which might be of interest to you and your children to keep their enthusiasm for reading high! You do need to book for these events - bookings links are included below. Just after Easter, there is a brilliant draw-along event with the creative star Rob Biddulph, author, illustrator and #DrawWithRob internet sensation at 9.30am on Wednesday 7th April.   Children can pick up their pencils at this event and learn how to build their own story, and even create their own book, step-by-step!  Rob will be encouraging children of all ages to draw along and he’ll be reading his brand-new, wonderfully waggy story of one dog day afternoon. Every dog has his Dave (or otherwise-named human)... but, on a walk in the park, the adorable Teddy the pug loses his! And when Teddy finds himself at the shed of the TERRIBLE TROLL in the woods, he might find more than he bargained for... a new friend.  Packed with delight, dogs, and even a Dave, this hilariously funny and exquisitely illustrated new book from the incredible Rob Biddulph, will have you panting for more! This is the perfect story for boys and girls of 4+, and dog-lovers everywhere, to share with their families! Roll around in the rhymes and enjoy Rob Biddulph's trademark warm-hearted humour. Event tickets: from £10, bookable here.  Two days later (Friday 9th April at 10 a.m.), for all those budding authors, there is a Creative Writing Workshop with Francesca Gibbons, author of A Clock of Stars, a thrilling and timeless fantasy adventure with a race against time, lovable characters and a magical kingdom.  During the 75-minute workshop children will be creating their own magical kingdom, and dreaming up adventures and characters of their own. With all the magic of Narnia and the humour of Mary Poppins, this is a future fantasy classic - and the beginning of an unforgettable journey... Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum's boyfriend too.  And she certainly shouldn't follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree. But then... who does what they're told? Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the two sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time - helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter... and even the stars above them. Event ticket: £30, which includes access to the live stream event, a copy of Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth (RRP £7.99) and a £5 voucher to spend in Chorleywood or Gerrards Cross Bookshops. Book for this event here.  There is also after school fun on Thursday 22nd April at 4.30 p.m. with Dermot O’Leary, one of the nation’s best-loved broadcasters and children’s authors.  Dermot will be talking about his latest ninja adventure story, ‘Toto the Ninja Cat and the mystery Jewel Thief’, and his very own rescue cat who inspired him to write these best-selling, hilarious stories.     Toto and her friends are due to be looking after the French ambassador on a day of sightseeing, finishing at the Tower of London to see the animal world's crown jewels: a sacred diamond cat collar. But when they arrive, the collar has disappeared - and what's worse, it looks like Toto's boss Larry is responsible, with Toto as his accomplice! Toto is almost arrested, but she escapes to try and get to the bottom of the mystery and clear her name. Event ticket: £12, which includes access to the live stream event and a copy of 'Toto the Ninja Cat and the Mystery Jewel Thief'. Book your ticket here.  Outdoor Opportunities I am sure that you are as keen as we are for the children to make the most of the nicer weather to come and get out and about and active once more. Lockdown has restricted opportunities for physical activity, social interaction and team play, so we encourage you to think now about exploring new sports clubs or other active opportunities for your child. Ickenham Cricket Club will be re-launching training sessions for children aged 5-11, beginning from Sunday 25th April. Sessions run from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. If your son or daughter would like to try cricket for the first time, or develop their cricket skills, we would encourage you to try out this lovely, friendly cricket club. You can find full details here and at www.ickenhamcc.co.uk. Blaze Netball Club in Uxbridge run sessions after school during term times for children in Years 4, 5 and 6. If you have a child who might be interested in joining the club, you can find full details here.      You might like to visit some canals or rivers with your children over the holidays. The Canal and River Trust have some great resources to encourage families to enjoy our waterways - do take a look by following the links below: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/explorers/learning-bundles Main Activities Page https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/news-and-views/our-campaigns/canals-at-home-our-best-bits Virtual tours, games and puzzles https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/explorers/games Perform Drama Workshops Perform will be running holiday courses over the Easter Holidays for 4-10 year olds. Based on Beauty and the Beast, these fun drama, dance and singing courses will run from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. each day. Further information is available here: https://www.perform.org.uk/classes-courses/holiday-courses/beautyandthebeast NextGen Enterprise NextGen Enterprise is a practical entrepreneurial course with a mission to introduce the next generation of entrepreneurs to a world of innovation, collaboration, and creativity. The course is delivered online in an interactive environment and is suitable for ages 10-18. NextGen offer three unique courses where students develop fictional business ideas in their teams and are guided by a dedicated NextGen Coach - an experienced entrepreneur. Along the journey, students learn key entrepreneurial skills and then present their business plans to an expert panel and a wider audience. For more information on NextGen Enterprise, please visit www.nextgenenterprise.co.uk or call 0207 117 2965.   Computer Xplorers Easter Camps Our partners Computer Xplorers will be running some online Easter camps that might be of interest to your children. An Intro to Python Coding (Age 10+) Tech giants such as Google, NASA and YouTube all use Python within their businesses. Are your children up for a new challenge? Now is your child's chance to learn some real-world coding skills in online Python classes! Click on the link below to register  https://middlesex.computerxplorers.co.uk/classes/easter-python-coding-intro Easter Arcade Game Design (Age 8+) Children will learn to design, code and build their very own arcade games to keep and play with their family. This is a great class for budding game designers and tech enthusiasts. Are your children up for a new challenge? Now is your child's chance to develop coding and programming skills in our online Arcade Game Design classes! Click on the link below to register  https://middlesex.computerxplorers.co.uk/classes/easter-arcade-game-design-class Easter Roblox Game Design (Age 9+) Do your children love to play #Roblox? Through these online classes, your children can gain knowledge on #gamedesign and #programming concepts while having fun creating their very own obstacle course in Roblox using Roblox Studio. Click on the link below to register https://middlesex.computerxplorers.co.uk/classes/easter-roblox-game-design-class Covid Rates in Hillingdon  Infection rates in the west London area haven’t fallen as low as other parts of the capital, so the London Borough of Hillingdon Education Team have asked us to remind our community that it is vital that we all do our bit to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Every action we take will help to keep us all safe. So please continue to: Wash your hands Cover your face Keep a safe distance Get tested Take your vaccine when offered Thank you for all of your ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of the pandemic. We hope that you all stay safe over the Easter break. Summer Term The summer term begins on 21st April. Please remember to send your children back to school in their summer uniform. We respectfully remind parents that tights are NOT permitted with the summer dress - girls should wear white knee length or ankle socks only, please. To continue to reduce items brought into school, no caps or summer boaters will be required, but children must bring St. Helen's College sun hats to wear in hot weather. Please remember to apply sun cream at home before school when the weather is warm. The summer term lunch menu will be published to the Parents section of the website before the children return. Please do discuss the menus with your child prior to coming to school each day to ensure that they understand what is available. The pandemic is still ongoing and we will therefore be adapting the summer term programme as we continue to adhere to Covid protocols and risk assessments. While large events and external sports fixtures will not be taking place, we will be doing our utmost to provide a busy and enriching term for the children. As you know, our co-curricular programme will be starting up again and club allocations will be confirmed at the start of next term, with activities beginning the week of 26th April. We will be running in-school sports fixtures and competitions, including our annual Singing Competition, and there will be year group Sports Days. For Years 3-6 we will be arranging residential days for the children to offer many of the experiences they would have had on their residential trips. We will also be producing class assemblies to broadcast to parents and our Year 6 children will of course be busy as they prepare their end of term Year 6 musical production. Further details about these events will be shared in due course. The school calendar has been updated with summer term events, so please do take a note of these now for your diaries. You can access the calendar, as always, here. Absence We would like to remind parents of the procedure for reporting a child's absence or requesting absence for a child for any reason. Please do not contact your class teacher about this, or telephone the school office unless a particular conversation is necessary; please send an email to absence@sthelenscollege.com clearly stating your child's name and class and the reason for absence. Your child's class teacher will be informed and requests for absence will be processed.   
Posted on: 19/03/2021

Weekly News - Friday 19th March 2021

Red Nose Day The school has been painted red today as we have all worn our own clothes, mainly red, to celebrate Comic Relief Day. We have kept each other laughing by telling jokes and finding the joy in everything, and we are very proud that the school community is raising money to support Comic Relief's work. You can see photographs of the fun we have had today on our Galleries page here. Thanks to donations, Comic Relief continues to make a difference to the lives of millions of people across the UK and around the world, working for a just world, free from poverty. Comic Relief partners with local projects and organisations that are working to tackle four of the biggest challenges society faces today: Improving Mental Health A Safe Home for Everyone A World Where Children Can Survive and Thrive Freedom from Fear, Violence and Discrimination. In each of these areas, the Covid-19 pandemic has made people’s lives even harder, so your support is as important as ever. If you have not already made a donation to our St. Helen's College Comic Relief fundraising, we suggest a minimum donation of £2 per family, but of course all donations are most welcome. You can donate, and see the latest total raised by the school, by following this link.  Thank you. Hillingdon STARS Competition Success! The STARS team at London Borough of Hillingdon have asked us to thank all of the parents and pupils who got involved with the KS1 Captain Safety drawing competition and the KS2 Road Safety Invention competition. We are thrilled to announce that St. Helen's College children did very well indeed in the competition and the following children were winners in their categories: KS1 Captain Safety Competition Page 3 - Alyssa P (Year 1) KS2 Road Safety Invention Competition 1st Place - Joe T (Year 3) Joint 2nd Place - Riya S (Year 3) Special congratulations to Alyssa, Joe and Riya! The STARS team were very impressed with the drawings and incredible designs and concepts that the children came up with. All of the children who entered will receive a certificate which will be presented in a school assembly in due course.  Prep School Quiz Club Heats Our Year 5 and Year 6 Quiz Club teams took part this week in the national heats for the annual Prep School Quiz Club Competition. The heats took place online and included questions on Geography, Science, History, the Natural World, Maths, English, Religion and much more. Some of the questions were very challenging indeed! Our teams acquitted themselves very well. Our Year 6 team (Zail T, Arjan D, Ben L and Vandan V) moved quickly up through the leader board during the first few rounds, and finished the competition in joint 7th place out of 50 teams, beating many excellent prep schools from the local area and across the country. They should feel very proud of themselves. The top six teams qualified automatically for the national finals, and our Year 6 team must now wait until all heats are complete to find out if they have qualified as one of the next highest scoring teams. The Year 5 team (Anjika G, Shruthi T, Zacahariah F and Aryan B) also performed well, moving up through the leader board to finish in joint 8th place out of 48 teams. Very well done to the children and staff involved. Please do keep encouraging your children to expand their general knowledge by reading newspapers, watching news-based programmes or reading non-fiction books.  iArt Competition Many congratulations to all of the children who created entries for the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) iArt competition. Mrs. Pruce and Mrs. Drummond were so impressed by the high standard of art work, which made the judging incredibly difficult. They have, however, made a final decision on the three artists whose work will be put forward to represent St. Helen's College for this prestigious national competition. Very well done to Riya C (Year 6), Tiya T (Year 3) and Arya A (Year 2). You can see their beautiful entries below. Riya C Pencils and pens "Break Out" Surrealism 30cm X 21cm "I found this lockdown really hard and frustrating, I was desperate to escape and this is me, breaking through the tape keeping me in my room to get outside and be free."     Tiya T Acrylic paint "Rousseau Storm" Magical Realism 30cm X 21cm "I took inspiration from our Henri Rousseau art project in school to express the weather outside on the day and the storm we are in at the moment. I love his oversized flowers."     Arya A Age 7 "Rainbow Tree" Watercolours and soft pencils Pointillism and fine art 59cm X 42cm "I decided to draw and paint a rainbow tree because in my garden we have huge trees and during lockdown saw two rainbows over the trees which always made me smile and happy."   Easter Holiday Club We are looking forward to relaunching our Holiday Club provision this Easter and we are delighted that so many families have booked in already. The booking system has now closed but we do have a very limited number of places still available on some days for pupils in Years 2 - 6. If you would like to check availability and book a place please contact Mrs. Rooney at lrooney@sthelenscollege.com. Guess the Place Well done to the following Year 3 - 6 pupils who correctly guessed that this week's place was the iconic Library of Birmingham building:  Tiya, Grace, Joseph, Sean and Hana (Year 3).  Shruthi, Riddhi, Charlotte, Shakira, Siyana, Chrissy, Natalia, Kylah, Anjika, David and Luka (Year 5). Zail and Samir (Year 6). Our London landmark this week was a little bit tricky for our pupils in Nursery - Year 2, but many congratulations to Millie and Riyan in Year 1 and Evie in Year 2, who correctly named the place as Regent's Park.  PA Forum Meeting The next PA Forum meeting will take place at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday 24th March. Parents are encouraged to send points for discussion onto class representatives. Class reps should send points for discussion to Mrs. Smith by Monday 22nd March at the very latest please: susmith@sthelenscollege.com.  Home Self-Testing Service Launches in Hillingdon for Households with School Children Households and families with school-aged children can now access COVID-19 home testing kits. The 'community collect' service launched this month to households with primary and secondary school and college age children, as well as those providing childcare and in support bubbles. Testing kits are to be used twice weekly, meaning people can self-isolate faster if they test positive. Home-testing kits can currently be ordered online for home delivery at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or can be collected from Topping Lane PCR test site near Brunel University.  Kits will also be available for collection shortly from the borough's seven asymptomatic testing sites.  Find out more at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-testing. Textile Bank Thank you to those of you who have already made donations into our new textile recycling bank, which is located alongside the path outside 227 Long Lane. Please do not forget that we can accept all clothing, paired shoes, belts, bags, curtains, bed linen and towels. Items that cannot be put into the bank are branded school uniform items, duvets/pillows/cushions and rugs/carpet off cuts.  The Lynne Chilver School of Dance The Lynne Chilver School of Dance run sessions at the North Hillingdon Methodist Church, Long Lane (at the front of Lower School), as follows: Ballet and Tap: Saturday mornings from 9.00 a.m. Tap: Mondays from 4.00 p.m. Modern and Freestyle: Wednesdays from 4.00 p.m. Acro and National returning soon. Children are prepared for recognised exams (IDTA RAD ISTD) and entered when they have reached the required level. Every two years they take part in a show held at the Beck Theatre during February half term. All lessons have been made Covid secure. The dance school runs other events, such as an annual Summer School and Christmas workshops. They also hold adult classes in Zumba, Ballet and Tap.  Fees for children's classes start from £60 per term (12 weeks). All classes should be booked directly through the dancing school.  More information and contact details are available on their website: www.lynnechilver.co.uk   Hillingdon Libraries Uxbridge Library are running weekly Once Upon a Bump sessions via Zoom. These sessions are for expectant and new parents to get together online for singing, stories and a chat. You can see details here.  Hillingdon Libraries also have several weekly online Tiny Tales story time sessions for families with pre-school children. These are run by different libraries within the Borough and information about the dates and times of these are uploaded weekly to the library Twitter feeds (@Hill_Libraries) and Facebook feeds (@HillingdonLibraries). 
Posted on: 12/03/2021

Weekly News - Friday 12th March 2021

Eco School We are delighted that our eco school flags have arrived, which recognise our commitment to sustainability and improving the environment. We will be finding somewhere suitable to display them...do look out for them in due course! To further promote sustainability, a new textile bank has been installed alongside the path outside 227 Long Lane (Windsor). Please feel free to donate your unwanted clothes, shoes, accessories, belts, bags, bed linen and soft toys by posting them into the bank. These textiles are either sent to poorer communities across Europe, or recycled into industrial cleaning wipes so that nothing ends up in landfill and the school will be paid a small amount per kilo for items donated. Please note that items that CANNOT be accepted are duvets, pillows, cushions, carpets, rugs, workwear and textile off-cuts. We hope that this will be a useful service for families, especially as charity shops are not currently open, as well as encouraging us all to be more eco-friendly by recycling more and sending less to landfill. Please feel free to pull into the car park outside 227 Long Lane at weekends if you have items to donate. St. Helen's College Instagram Many parents already follow our St. Helen's College Art Instagram account. We would like to encourage you also to follow our main St. Helen's College Instagram account here. Please do sign up to follow us! Red Nose Day - Friday 19th March We will be supporting Comic Relief on Red Nose Day next Friday and have set up a 'Just Giving' page on behalf of the school. Children should come to school on this day wearing red and/or with any of the Comic Relief merchandise such as red noses, boppers, t-shirts etc. We ask that each family makes a donation in order for their child to come in their own clothes. We suggest a minimum donation of £2 per family, but of course all donations will be most welcome for this very worthy cause. You can donate by following this link. There will be a slightly altered special menu for Red Nose Day. You can see this here. Online Safety  National Online Safety have published useful guides about social media apps including Whatsapp, Snapchat and Tiktok. We encourage all parents to read these and, in particular, to note the ages at which these accounts are permitted for children. For example, the age at which Whatsapp is permitted in the UK is 16. NoS have many other useful resources. If you have not already done so, please register here as a St. Helen's College parent to see similar weekly guides and other useful information on online safety. Music - Assembly Performances If your Upper School child would like to perform their instrument or sing during a Friday assembly slot this term, please contact Mrs. Fawbert at cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com or let your class teacher know. Performing in this way is a great opportunity for your child to gain confidence, whethr or not they are currently preparing for a grade exam. While assemblies are taking place remotely, the children perform in the Evans Hall with Mrs. Fawbert, with their performances broadcast live to the rest of the Upper School. Their peers are always generous with their applause and kind comments! Guess The Place Congratulations to our pupils in Upper School who correctly guessed last week's place was the White Cliffs of Dover. Well done to Penelope, Samara, Avantika, Grace, Kal-El and Hana in Year 3, Poppy and Advik in Year 4, Shakira, Diyan, Charlotte, Natalia, Oliver, Amber and Anjika in Year 5 and Sophia, Pavitar, Zail, Samir and Vidhit in Year 6.  Congratulations too to our pupils in Year 2 and Lower School who correctly guessed that the place in London last week was the Cenotaph. Well done to Phoebe in Nursery, Millie and Riyan in Year 1 and Simar, Evie, Alexia and Avar in Year 2. Continuing Professional Development At St. Helen's College, we pride ourselves on developing not only the children but the staff too. We are delighted that Mrs. Reid (formerly Miss Heath), one of our Upper School Teaching and Learning Assistants, will commence teacher training from September 2021. Mrs. Reid will remain with us while she is training and we know that she will be an asset to the teaching team. We are very proud to announce that Mrs. Smith has just been awarded a distinction in her AMCIS (Association of Marketing & Communications in Independent Schools) diploma. We are very fortunate to have her expertise and high level of professionalism at the school. We are also thrilled that Mrs. Cargill has successfully completed her Diploma in School Business Management and is enjoying putting her learning into practice each day at St. Helen's College. All of this continuous professional development is a testament to the commitment of our staff to self-improvement, which will no doubt have an impact on the future of St. Helen's College and your children. Pick Up And Go - Parkway As is often the case when children first return to school after time away, Parkway has been very busy at drop off and pick up times this week. This has prompted a complaint from a neighbour about cars queueing along the length of Parkway.  We have reminded teachers that pupils must be brought out for collection promptly at their end of day time. We would like also to remind parents not to arrive early to pick up your child. If you arrive and there is already a queue of more than two or three cars for pick up and go, please drive past them to the car park, park your car and walk down to collect your child. If you are using pick up and go, please remind your child to enter the car promptly and fasten their seat belt immediately so that you may safely pull away without delay. The same applies at 'drop and go' in the mornings - please encourage your child to have all that they need ready so that they can exit the car promptly when you pull alongside the kerb, and please then pull your car away as soon as it is safe to do so. The systems do generally work very well and we are sure they will continue to do so, if we all work together to make drop off and pick up as smooth as possible! Many thanks for your support in this. Asymptomatic Covid Testing for Parents Please note that voluntary asymptomatic testing is available for adults in households with school aged children (as well as in childcare and support bubbles). As a school we are not able to provide tests to families but please see below the information from the DfE about this scheme and how to access tests. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly: through your employer, if they offer testing to employees by collecting a home test kit from a local test site - anyone aged 18 or over can collect two packs of seven tests by ordering a home test kit online; please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes - this frees up home delivery for those who need it most.
Posted on: 5/03/2021

Weekly News - Friday 5th March

World Book Day What an amazing day we had yesterday, celebrating World Book Day 2021. Children from Ducklings to Year 6 dressed up in special clothes to represent our theme of 'magical worlds', and enjoyed thinking about their favourite books and characters. The children from Ducklings to Year 2 were treated to a wonderful virtual visit from author Emily Gravett. She showed us all around her studio, which included her cute dog Dilys! It was amazing to see how she creates her illustrations, beginning with pencils and paints and then using computers and scanners. We were fascinated to listen to her funny stories and discover how she became such a successful author and illustrator. We also had fun taking part in many book related activities such as a book scavenger hunt and filming our book reviews! At Upper School, a special assembly led by Mr. Roche told us all about the benefits and joys of reading. We were lucky to have a virtual author visit from Ross Welford. Speaking to the children in Years 3-6, he demonstrated his love of magic and walked the children through writing the first chapter of their very own novel. We hope that they feel inspired to carry on and complete their books! As part of this special day, children in all year groups were challenged to create their own 'reading den' - a special place, decorated however they like, that they can use anytime for reading. Research shows that reading helps to reduce stress levels, so even a few minutes a day spent in these special places will be a great benefit! The children adopted this task enthusiastically (assisted at home by their parents, we are sure!). You can see some photographs of their wonderful reading dens on the Galleries page. Don't forget that our virtual book fair is still running until the end of today. You and your children can enjoy browsing a wonderful selection of children’s books in the comfort of your own home and raise money for the school at the same time if you make purchases! 20% of sales will be donated to the school so that we can buy more books for our library and classrooms. The books have been carefully selected to ensure that you can choose from the most recent and most popular titles of the highest quality, as well as some much-loved classics. All you need to do is click this link and get shopping! https://chilternbookshops.co.uk/primary-school-book-fair/ All orders will be delivered direct to the school (unless you select to collect them from Chorleywood or Gerrards Cross Bookshops). Happy browsing, happy shopping and many thanks indeed for your support in encouraging your child with their reading and supporting the school's library resources! A SAFE Return to School We are all looking forward so much to coming together fully, in person, as a community again from Monday. Ahead of the return to school, we would like to set the children a little challenge, to design an A4 poster relating to our SAFE acronym: S - stay a sensible/good/2m distance from each other A- always wash our hands correctly and when we need to F - free to talk with the adults about how we are feeling E - enjoy each day together Pupils should bring their designs to school on Monday and the best designs will be laminated and displayed around the school. Happy creating! Our school Risk Assessment for Full School Re-Opening has been updated for the return to school on 8th March, and is available for all parents to read on the School Documents page of this website here. It will be updated weekly, with the first review taking place on Monday 8th March. Wellerman Video Thank you so much to the children who, inspired by our assembly with the fabulous Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark, have contributed to our school Wellerman video. Mrs. Fawbert had quite a task to put the video together, with so many different instruments being played and people singing and doing actions! She was extremely proud of everyone who contributed. You can see the finished video here. Miss Joiner We know that parents will wish to join us in wishing our Owls Reception teacher Miss Joiner well as she embarks on her maternity leave, a little earlier than planned due to the Covid situation. We would like to thank Miss Joiner for all her work with Owls this year in such challenging circumstances, and we wish her well with the rest of her pregnancy. Take care, Miss Joiner, and we will look forward to seeing you back in school with your new addition in due course! Road Safety Assembly - Petition Success! Well done to our amazing Junior Road Safety Officers, who gave a confident, informative presentation in assembly on Monday to report back on the action already taken by the local council following the petition that they organised to improved safety around the crossing on Long Lane. Our school petition asked the council to consider replacing the existing zebra crossing with a pelican crossing. This option is being investigated but, in order to improve safety at the crossing immediately, the council have already installed very, very bright 'zebrites' at the crossing to deter vehicles from travelling too fast towards the crossing. Representatives from the London Borough of Hillingdon STARS team joined us for this special assembly and were so impressed with the presentation and with the ongoing St. Helen's College commitment to road safety. Free Asthma Workshops for Parents Hillingdon Health are running a free asthma workshop for parents on Friday 26th March, from 2 - 3 p.m. This workshop, run by a qualified asthma nurse, will cover inhaler techniques, common triggers, asthma myths and what to do if your child is having an asthma attack. Full details, including how to sign up, can be found by following this link. Guess The Place Congratulations to all those who correctly guessed this week's places. The Lower School place was the Globe Theatre, famous for William Shakespeare's plays, and the following people guessed correctly: Nursery: Phoebe, Sikhya. Reception: Dev, Arup. Year 1: Amara, Millie, Alyssa, Aakash, Shayla, Yuvraj, Armaan, Rania, Riyan, Rohaym. Year 2: Simar, Evie, Alexia, Aaran, Diya. The Upper School place was the Albert Docks in Liverpool and the following people guessed correctly: Year 3: Raiden, Joseph, Aleyna, Grace, Sean, Verity, Tiya, Sarab, Penelope, Hana. Year 4: Oliver, Myla, Yousra, Karan, Marvin, Dylan, Inaya, Dominic, Xavier, Eshvani, Annie. Year 5: Riddhi, Natalia, Anokhi, Deven, Diyan, Charlotte, Anjika, Oliver. Year 6: Zail, Samir. EasyFundraising for St. Helen's College If you are not already raising funds for St. Helen's College Development Fund when you shop online, please do consider signing up! It is completely free to you and the school's development fund will receive donations whenever you shop online at many, many retailers.  To sign up, just click the link below to create your account and then download the EasyFundraising app to your mobile phone and/or tablet, and/or allow EasyFundraising to add the donation reminder to any desktop computers you use. Then simply use the app or the online reminder to raise money when you shop online. Many parents and staff are already doing this and, although each donation seems small, if we all remember to use EasyFundraising we will be able to raise a meaningful amount for the Development Fund. We are hoping, gradually, to build a meaningful enough fund that we can then use both to support our school and to support charitable educational projects in less developed countries.  https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/sthelencoldevfund/?invite=NX24VZ&referral-campaign=c2s Many, many thanks to those parents are already signed up and to those who will sign up now! Please don't forget, in particular, to use EasyFundraising for those big ticket items, like hotel/holiday/flight bookings or when you are switching insurance suppliers.
Posted on: 26/02/2021

Weekly News - Friday 26th February 2021

Re-opening: March 8th We are all delighted that we will be able to re-open to all pupils from Monday 8th March. We will be sending a comprehensive communication to parents next week outlining plans for the return, and with an updated risk assessment, but school operations are likely to be very similar to those we adopted during the autumn term.  All children from Ducklings to Year 6 will be required to attend in school uniform from 8th March onwards. If you need to buy uniform, Pullen's are open for Click & Collect on a Tuesday and Friday from 9.00 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. or you can order online at Uniform4Kids for delivery to your home address. If you experience delays in securing new uniform, and your child does not have suitable, properly fitting uniform to wear, then until their new uniform arrives they should wear their PE kits if they fit, or other plain clothing with trainers suitable for indoor and outdoor use.  National Empathy Week In assembly this week we highlighted to the children in Years 1 - 6 the importance of developing their 'empathy superpower' to raise awareness of National Empathy Week.  The children were encouraged to read stories to help them 'walk in another's shoes' and recognise and understand the feelings of others and emotions they may experience themselves. We have challenged the children to take action when they see someone having a difficult day, whether that be an older relative, a sibling, a parent or their friends and to use their 'empathy superpower' to be there for that person; to ask how they are doing, to listen, to not be distracted and to use magic phrases to show they understand how the person is feeling. Read Ms Walker's inspirational guest Head's blog this week to discover more about the importance of empathy for us all.  Pets And Our Wellbeing Assembly On Monday, we welcomed Jason Cortis from The Blue Cross to our Year 1-6 virtual assembly, who gave a presentation about Pets And Our Wellbeing. We were even joined online by a few pets from pupil and staff households! We learnt how to take care of pets, how important it is to give them choices, how to ensure their wellbeing and how we can look after our own wellbeing too. Many thanks indeed to The Blue Cross for visiting virtually and delivering this talk. You can find out more about The Blue Cross and their valuable work here: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/ Nicola Cooper We are terribly sad to pass on the news that a much-loved member of our school community, Nicola Cooper, recently passed away after living with cancer for many years. Nicola's daughter, Amanda Cooper, is currently the class teacher of 1C. Nicola was a familiar face at our Lower School for over 20 years, and made a tremendous and very positive impact on countless children and their families. She was also an enormously valued colleague and friend to those with whom she worked. Rarely without a smile on her face, she found the joy in every situation and she had a natural desire to make life happier for all those around her. She was kind, thoughtful, selfless and, true to herself and the St. Helen's College spirit, she put family at the heart of everything she did.  Nicola's family have chosen, in her memory, to support the new Maternity Bereavement Suite at Hillingdon Hospital. Kit's Cause was a charity created after family friend Rachael and her partner Alex lost their son at 30 weeks in September 2019. The charity raised £15,000 for the new maternity bereavement suite at Hillingdon Hospital. This cause was very close to Nicola’s heart. Although very ill herself battling cancer, Nicola most recently still helped their fundraising efforts by knitting Easter chicks. This space is so important because, at the moment, mums who lose their baby have to give birth on the labour wards surrounded by other happy families. This fundraising for a separate private space is so important for families to feel safe and spend time with their babies. If you would like to make a donation in Nicola Cooper’s memory, you can do so here: https://www.love2donate.co.uk//inmemory/identify_name.php?currentpage=1&chosen=39540&adstate=Y Rest in peace, Nicola. Baby News! Huge congratulations to Mrs. Neri and her family, who welcomed a son on 11th February at 2.31 a.m., weighing 8lbs. He was 2 weeks overdue and they have named him Harrison Peter James Heggie. As you can see, the latest addition to the St. Helen's College family is beautiful! We are looking forward to meeting him in due course.        World Book Day On Thursday 4th March we will be celebrating World Book Day. This year's theme is 'Stories Set in Imaginary Worlds'. The children may wish to raid their dressing-up boxes for outfits and/or accessories to match this magical theme, which they should wear during their sessions at home or at school on the day. Acclaimed children's author Ross Welford will be speaking with the children in Years 3 - 6 and the children in Nursery - Year 2 will be treated to a talk from the fantastic author and illustrator, Emily Gravett.  Details on how to order books for the children, and how to take part in our online book fair, have been sent out via SchoolsBuddy.  We are all looking forward to an exciting and educational day on Thursday and we thank you in advance for your support of the day. Guess the Place Well done to everyone who had a go at guessing where our places were this week. The Upper School place was the spectacular Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Many people correctly guessed the Giant's Causeway but only Aiden, Raiden, Penelope, Sean, Joseph, Grace and Tiya in Year 3, Marvin and Eshanvi in Year 4, Anjika, Oliver and Charlotte in Year 5 and Ben in Year 6 correctly placed it in Northern Ireland too.  The Lower School place last week was St. Paul's Cathedral. Congratulations to Simar, Ayush, Alexander, Riya Skye, Simrina, Evie, Alexia, Brendan and Aanya in Year 2, Alyssa, Thomas, Millie, Aakash, Riyan, Shayna, Aran, Armaan, Ella, Amara and Yuvraj in Year 1, Aaria, Aarav and Ivaan from Kingfishers, Grace and Sikhya from Robins, Arup, Arya and Eliana from Owls and Phoebe from Wrens all of whom got it right! Parent Practice - Free 'The Big Return' Webinar Many parents have attended talks given by Elaine Halligan of The Parent Practice here at school in the past. Some have also gone on to attend some of her online webinars. Elaine is running a free webinar on Wednesday 3rd March (next week) from 8-9 p.m., helping to support parents as you prepare your children for the return to in-person education. If you would like to join, please click the link below for further information and to register. FREE WEBINAR : The Big Return - preparing your children for starting (teachable.com)   Reminder: Hillingdon STARS Road Safety Competitions The STARS Team at Hillingdon Borough Council are currently running two Road Safety Competitions.  Full details and downloadable entry forms are contained within the links below. All entries should be emailed to the STARS team by Monday 1st March which will also allow some time after the half term to enter.  KS1 Road Safety Story Book Competition (Early Years and Years 1 & 2) The children should draw pictures to go with the pages of our new road safety book called "Captain Safety!". They can enter drawings for as many pages as they like.  KS1 Road Safety Story Book Competition.pdf KS2 Road Safety Invention Design Competition (Years 3 - 6) The children should come up with a new "Road Safety Invention" which could make our roads safer. They should draw the design as well as explain how the road safety invention would work and how it makes our roads safer.  KS2 Road Safety Invention Competition.pdf All winners will be announced and contacted in March. We hope the children will have fun creating their entries! PA Forum Meeting We have moved the date of the next PA Forum meeting from 10th March to 24th March, to give us all time to re-adjust to the return to school before we meet. Parents are encouraged to wait until the children have been back at school for at least one full week before sending points onto class representatives. Class reps should send points for dicussion to Mrs. Smith by Monday 22nd March at the very latest please: susmith@sthelenscollege.com. We will send reminders nearer the time.
Posted on: 12/02/2021

Weekly News - Friday 12th February

Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day Celebrations It was wonderful to see so many of the children and staff dressed in red to celebrate both Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day during our Upper School assembly this morning. Many thanks indeed to Ashvika A, Eshan N and Viren C who provided musical performances on piano and violin and a special thank you to Ruby L and Joleen Z, who gave very informative and confident presentations about Chinese New Year, and to Jacob N and David W, who prepared presentations and videos to be shared with the classes in school too. Internet Safety Day and Safe Remote Teaching Accreditation! This week, children have been reminded about the importance of staying safe online. We would like to remind parents that there are some very useful resources available to you at National Online Safety to support you in keeping your children safe on the internet.  You can even register here as a St Helen's College parent and complete short training modules, and there is a useful 'top ten tips for keeping children safe' guide available here.  We are also delighted to announce that St. Helen's College has been awarded the National Online Safety Safe Remote Education Accreditation, which recognises that the school has successfully completed a comprehensive remote education training programme, demonstrating our commitment to providing high quality remote education, keeping children and young people safe online and supporting pupil wellbeing. The accreditation rewards our carefully planned and successful approach towards safeguarding children and supporting pupil wellbeing during remote teaching and learning. National Online Safety is a multi-award winning digital training provider with extensive resources in online safety, developed in line with the Department of Education’s statutory requirements. NextGen Enterprise Success Riya C, Manisher L and Zara B (Year 6) have joined Next Gen Enterprise, and are undertaking a series of online instructor-led courses which aim to inspire and develop next generation talent. The girls have already completed the bronze level award where they successfully investigated, discussed successful businesses and brands, and then pitched their business concept in front of a live virtual panel which included successful entrepreneurs who asked questions and provided feedback. This gave them a very good insight into building a successful business and has also given a boost to their collaboration, discussion, creativity, and presentation skills.   The girls are currently in their last week of the silver award, where they have learnt about key roles within a business, e.g. sales, marketing, HR. This Sunday they are looking forward to presenting their business model via video meeting to a panel of judges and other students.   Well done girls, and many thanks for bringing this company to the school's attention. We are currently exploring ways in which we might work together to offer similar courses through the school's co-curricular programme, so watch this space! In the meantime, if any parent or pupil would like to find out more, you can take a look at the NextGen Enterprise prospectus here. Crossing Petition Success Last term, following a couple of 'near misses' on the Long Lane zebra crossing between Lower School and Upper School, our Year 6 Junior Road Safety Officers were determined to take action and try to reduce the speed of cars on Long Lane to make the crossing safer for our pupils, staff and parents as well as for the local community. They decided to petition the local council for a safer 'Pelican' crossing to be installed. They wrote a very persuasive letter to the local councillors and gathered support from fellow pupils by collecting names on a pupil petition. This was then supported by a staff petition and letter from Mrs. Drummond too. All the information was submitted through the council's Democratic Services for consideration. On Wednesday this week, Mrs. Drummond and Miss Walker attended a virtual council meeting where the petition was considered. The councillors were very impressed by our JRSO submission, which made a compelling case, and the strong partnership the school has developed with the council's Road Safety and STARS team over recent years. We are absolutely delighted to announce there was unanimous support from all of the councillors attending the meeting for the installation of immediate safety improvement measures on and around the crossing on Long Lane and a commitment to pursuing the installation of a pelican crossing with Transport for London over the coming year. As a measure of the council's support and undertaking to improve safety for the St. Helen's College community, they have acted swiftly, installing brighter, more eye catching 'Zebrite' beacons on the crossing today, within 48 hours!  Over the coming weeks we will be working with the Road Safety team on their proposed installation of  the 'Vehicular Activated Signs' this summer. These activate when vehicles are approaching a crossing at speed and highlight a school is nearby, so they should certainly help to reduce the speed of traffic around our school sites. We will be working in partnership with councillors and the Road Safety team over the coming months to secure Transport for London approval for the installation of a pelican crossing and we will keep you updated on the progress of this. It is a credit to our pupils that they led the way on this road safety action project. Their understanding of the British value of democracy and the mechanisms for having a voice in local democracy were the catalysts for this significant achievement, which we know will improve the lives and safety of our whole school community. Many congratulations to our JRSO team: Jena, Fredericka, Jessica, Vidhit, Samir, Manisher and Georgia.  Guess the Place It has been another exciting week trying to Guess our Places in our photo challenges. Many congratulations to the 32 children from Lower School and Year 2, who correctly guessed their place was the The Penguin Pool at London Zoo. Many of you mentioned you had been there - let's hope we will be able to visit all the animals again soon. The Year 3 - 6 photo was a little more challenging this week. Some people guessed it was Oxford, 45 people correctly guessed it was Oxford University but well done to our super geography detectives this week who guessed it was All Souls College, Oxford. These were Tiya, Aleyna, Sean and Joseph in Year 3, Poppy in Year 4 and Anjika in Year 5. There will be half term Guess the Place photos posted later today so you can all keep exploring parts of London and the UK.  London Youth Games Virtual Competition Many of our Year 3 - 6 pupils have continued to take part in the London Youth Games virtual fitness challenges this term. Last week they took part in a Jumping Jacks challenge and this week they have competed in the Shuttle Run challenge. Through their efforts and those of pupils in other Hillingdon schools, the borough team is creeping up the London Youth Games leader board. We are delighted to award some of our pupils with a special London Youth Games Fitness Challenge certificate for participating in all four challenges this term. Many congratulations to  Anika, Riya S and Hana in Year 3, Anjika, Sahib, David and Riddhi in Year 5 and Samir and Pavitar in Year 6. The challenges will continue after half term, when we hope to see even more pupils taking part.  Special Pet Assembly On Monday 22nd February at 8.30 a.m. we will be joined by a special guest from the Blue Cross organisation in our special assembly for Years 1 - 6. Be sure to join us with your pets if you have any to find out how to look after pets and t consider 'pets and our wellbeing', a reminder of the things humans and animals all need to stay healthy and happy. Ducklings/Nursery/Reception Parents' Evenings Video consultations for parents of Ducklings, Nursery and Reception parents will take place on Thursday 4th March and Tuesday 9th March. Bookings will open at 3 p.m. today. Please follow the link below to book your appointment. Appointments are allocated on a first come, first served basis. https://sthelens.schoolcloud.co.uk/ Ducklings Entry - September 2021 We now have just a few places left for Ducklings entry in September 2021. If you have any friends or family with a child who was born between 01.09.18 and 31.08.19, please let them know that they will need to register their child as soon as possible now in order to be considered for entry. Online Open Morning - Friday 26th February 2021 at 10.00 a.m. Under the present restrictions, we are sadly still unable to show prospective parents around at the school. At the end of the first week back after half term, we will be holding our next Online Open Morning for prospective parents. If you have any friends or family who might be interested in St. Helen's College for their child/ren, please do encourage them to register for this virtual open morning and attend on Friday 26th, to find out all about the school. Mrs. Drummond, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith will be hosting the event. The registration link is here - please do share far and wide - many thanks indeed for your support! Speech Competition This week the children have been given their pieces for this year's Speech Competition. It will be an online event again this year and another opportunity for the children to hone their public speaking and performance skills.  The first rounds of the competition will take place in the week after the half-term break with the junior (Year 1-3) and senior (Year 4-6) finals taking place on Monday, March 22nd. Form teachers will give out more information as the competition progresses. The judging criteria are: expression, projection and clarity. The entries will be performed live (with the exception of the final) and should not be accompanied by gestures or choreography.  It is always a fun and exciting event on the St. Helen's College calendar and we are sure that we will be blown away by another raft of impressive performances again this year. Good luck to all the children - have fun learning and reciting your pieces! Perform Half Term Drama Workshops Perform, who visit St. Helen's College regularly to deliver workshops for children, are running February half term drama workshops online for Reception to Year 6 aged children.  For one hour each day, Perform's warm and friendly team of theatre professionals will inspire and encourage the children as they combine drama, dance and singing into a magical experience. They'll encourage them to project their voices, learn energetic dance routines, sing catchy songs and develop the Perform 4 Cs: Confidence, Concentration, Communication and Coordination. The course costs £60 for the 5 days. If you are interested, you can read all about the classes and sign up here: https://www.perform.org.uk/classes-courses/holiday-courses/fe2021. Hillingdon STARS Road Safety Competitions The STARS Team at Hillingdon Borough Council will be running two Road Safety Competitions over the February half term.  Full details and downloadable entry forms are contained within the links below. All entries should be emailed to the STARS team by Monday 1st March which will also allow some time after the half term to enter.  KS1 Road Safety Story Book Competition (Early Years and Years 1 & 2) The children should draw pictures to go with the pages of our new road safety book called "Captain Safety!". They can enter drawings for as many pages as they like.  KS1 Road Safety Story Book Competition.pdf KS2 Road Safety Invention Design Competition (Years 3 - 6) The children should come up with a new "Road Safety Invention" which could make our roads safer. They should draw the design as well as explain how the road safety invention would work and how it makes our roads safer.  KS2 Road Safety Invention Competition.pdf All winners will be announced and contacted in March. We hope the children will have fun creating their entries! Colne Valley Art Competition Budding young artists might also like to take part in the Colne Valley Park Art Competition. The theme of the competition is: My visit to the Colne Valley Park. The Colne Valley Park stretches from Rickmansworth in the north to Staines and the Thames in the south, and from Uxbridge and Heathrow in the east to Slough and Chalfont St Peter in the west. Children's artwork can be of anywhere in the Colne Valley Park or something they like doing when they visit the Colne Valley Park. There are two age groups categories: Ages 7-9 years Ages 10-12 years Each participant must live in or near the Colne Valley Regional Park. Only one entry per child can be submitted. Artwork must be between A4 and A3 in size and children may use any type of art, household or natural materials. There are prizes including: £50 art voucher for first prize from each age group category £40 art voucher second prize from each age group category £30 art voucher third prize from each age group category In addition, all entries will be displayed in the exhibition gallery on the Colne Valley Park website. How to submit entries: Take a photo of artwork Email photo to Artcompetition@groundwork.org.uk with Subject TASGX Children’s Art Competition Please include details of where you live – town, village, suburb, whether in the Colne Valley Park or near it (this will not be included in Gallery credit) Provide the following information to be included in the Gallery Exhibition First name of artist Age of artist Location of visit Why did you choose this visit Full details can be found here. Competition winners will be notified at the end of April 2021 via email...happy creating! Oak Farm Library Oak Farm Library has recently undergone a refurbishment and is now back open to the public. This is a fantastic local resource and we urge all parents to make use of the library regularly with your children, to support and encourage a love of reading. The library is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (closed for lunch from 1.00 - 2.00 p.m.). Due to the current lockdown restrictions, it is operating as a closed door, reserve and collect service. The library's many wider resources/services include: Reserve and Collect - parents and children are still able to search and reserve books, either online or by telephoning the branch. Staff will then contact readers when their books are available for collection. All returned books are quarantined for 72 hours and collection takes place at the front door to maintain safe distancing. Not yet a member? You can always join up here. Follow the library on social media - keep up to date with events and service updates on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram. The library is currently running a packed events programme for Heart Month to promote mental and physical wellbeing in the community. Bookstart - parents and families can still collect Book Start baby packs (babies up to 1 years) and Treasure Packs (3 years +) at the front of the library. Tiny Tales (online children's Storytime's) - the library continues to deliver several online Storytimes a week. This is a great way for children to stay in touch and have fun during lockdown. Reading Well - a collection of books specifically designed to support residents into improved wellbeing. There are also dozens of Online Resources which can be accessed from home by all LBH library members: Borrowbox - thousands of e-books and audiobook titles for parents and children to enjoy, on your own devices at home. All you need to do is access Borrowbox through the Hillingdon Libraries website and create an account using your library card number. Once you've created an account you can then download the app on your preferred device and start borrowing. RB Digital - an expansive collection of digital magazines, audio books, and ebooks awaits you! Whether you are on the go or at home, there are plenty to enjoy.  Ziptales - a place for children to enjoy a wealth of interactive stories, lessons, and fun activities, from Nursery age to Key Stage 2. Brittanica Junior - A fantastic place for young curious minds to explore the world around them, for fun or educational reasons. Brittanica Student - A curriculum guided encyclopaedia tailored especially for enquiring secondary school age children.
Posted on: 5/02/2021

Weekly News - Friday 5th February 2021

Guess the Place Well done to everyone who had a go at guessing where our places were this week. The Upper School place was quite tricky to guess so well done to those who guessed it was in the county of Devon, but special congratulations to Tiya, Joseph, Sarab, Grace and Sean in Year 3, Oliver in Year 4, Riddhi, Anjika, Charlotte and Oliver in Year 5 and Samir in Year 6, who all identified the place as the seaside town of Dawlish in Devon.  Many people correctly guessed that the Lower School place was Buckingham Palace, home to our Queen, Elizabeth I. Congratulations to Phoebe, Ishani and Sikhya from Nursery, Saffron, Eleanor, Alicia, Arup, Nihaal, Aaria, Simran and Aarav in Reception, Rania, Ella, Yuvraj, Millie, Caitlin, Armaan, Aakash, Shayla, Shayna, Riyan, Amara and Alyssia from Year 1 and Inaaya, Simar, Ayush, Evie, Alexia, Simrina, Riya Skye, Alexander, Aaran, Ashvika and Armaan in Year 2, all of whom got it right! London Youth Games Virtual Fitness Challenge It was a Russian Twist challenge last week that our pupils took part in to contribute to the Hillingdon Borough team's efforts in the London Youth Games competition. Well done to David from Y5/6 and Hana from Y3/4 who were the twisting king and queen this week. Hillingdon were placed in 18th place after the Russian Twist round of the competition, but only 5 more pupils from our school taking part would have put Hillingdon in the top 5 boroughs, so we hope lots more of our pupils in Years 3 - 6 will take on next week's Shuttle Runs challenge. This will be posted on Monday in the Year 3 - 6 PE Google classrooms.  A Gift for the Queen Year 2 wowed Mrs. Pruce on Tuesday morning as they attended their lessons wearing crowns and tiaras as they embraced their lessons on portraiture study. The portraiture of the Queen was absolutely outstanding and we will be sending copies to Her Majesty to cheer up her lockdown experience. We will keep you posted if we have a response! Well done Year 2! Year 4 Music - Storm Responses You might like to see this video, which Mrs. Fawbert has created to show Year 4's incredible responses to "Storm" from Benjamin Britten's opera "Peter Grimes". The students were challenged to create their own artistic and poetic responses to the music whilst listening to it. Well done, Year 4! Dress to Express It was wonderful to see such an expression of individuality from the children in assembly today as they dressed to express themselves as part of Children's Mental Health Week. Maya T in Year 6 also prepared a lovely video to remind us of how important it is to express ourselves. You can see her video here. Sea Shanty Fun We had fun in assembly today as we investigated sea shanties and looked at how and why they have recently become so popular on social media! The children were astonished when a mystery guest joined our online assembly - Chris Stark from Radio 1, who is currently at the top of the charts with his own sea shanty remix! Chris spoke to the children about having ideas and making them reality and it was clear that they were inspired by his message. We all joined in with some body percussion along to a sea shanty and we have challenged the children to contribute to a school sea shanty, which Mrs. Fawbert will put together for us. For those children who feel inspired to have a go at making their own Sea Shanty contribution at home, please find some lyrics and ideas here and the instrumental parts here. You can see the full assembly here. School Reports Pupils from Year 1 - Year 6 will be receiving their school reports next week. I am sure that you will find them interesting and insightful. As many of you are aware, we focus on 'Habits of Learning' for each subject in the belief that teachers facilitate the learning but we encourage the learning to come from within the child. We work hard to develop these 'habits' which should lead to successful, curious and creative learners:  - organisation and readiness - independent work - homework - collaboration - initiative and resourcefulness - self-discipline It is with home and school working together with the same aims that your children will fully benefit from what we offer at St. Helen's College. I wonder if, as adults, we could take these 'habits of learning' and apply them to our own work life!  The teachers have surpassed expectations this term whilst delivering remote learning and being able to produce such helpful reports.  The Parent Practice Many of you may remember Elaine Halligan who visited us last year and ran a superb parenting workshop. Elaine has now developed her company and has launched a new website and is offering some superb courses and workshops for parents. Please do take a look at her now offerings here. Please let us know if any of you sign up for any of her sessions - we would love to hear your feedback. Half Term Activities Mini Monets Art Club still have a few places left for their popular half term Zoom art activities. If you have a budding young artist you might like to sign them up for a week of artistic fun which includes creating a t-shirt and pottery making! You can find the full details here. ComputerXplorers will be running two clubs over the February half term which might be of interest to children aged 8 and over: Roblox Game Design and Kodu 3D Game Design.  ROBLOX Game Design Learn to design your very own game using Roblox Studio, encouraging your child to power their imagination and explore the endless possibilities that come from games design. The sessions begin with your child setting up a project with Roblox Studio and continue with them designing all elements of the game. Click on the link below to register. https://middlesex.computerxplorers.co.uk/classes/roblox-game-design-class KODU 3D Game Design Students will use Kodu, a graphical programming environment, to design and build games. They will then create a range of terrains, worlds and characters, controlling the characters' movement, sound and vision using an intuitive, icon-based programming language. Click on the link below to register.  https://middlesex.computerxplorers.co.uk/classes/kodu-game-design-class  
Posted on: 29/01/2021

Weekly News - Friday 29th January 2021

Endangered Species Assemblies The children from Y1 - Y6 were delighted to hear from Jo from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation on Monday.   Jo delivered very informative assemblies to the children about endangered animals and how we can help.  It was warming to hear so many super questions from the children and to find out that so many of our pupils already have adopted animals.  Throughout this week the children have been designing animal masks and we viewed a plethora of animals in assembly this morning!  Please see below the message from Jo. We believe that it is vitally important to teach children practical ways in which they can make a difference in the lives of endangered species and protect the environment for future generations. Please find below, five ideas which you may like to share with your child, to help them to become young conservationists who can turn the tide on extinction. If they are interested, we have lots more information in the education section of our website, including species factsheets, colouring sheets, activities and green ideas. You can also get your child creatively engaged in environmental issues, whilst developing their teamwork skills by encouraging them, along with a group of friends, to participate in our Global Canvas children’s art competition. For young wildlife enthusiasts our animal adoptions make a fantastic gift. If you would like to find out more about DSWF’s vital conservation work across Africa and Asia, you can sign up to receive regular updates by Clicking Here.   Charlie Mackesy Art Competition Over the past few weeks we have been sharing the beautiful book 'The Boy, the mole, the Fox and the Horse' in assemblies and the children were challenged to create their own saying reflecting our St Helen's College values. The winners are Aanya 5A and Zayd in 1C. You can see their winning entries below.     Holiday Club - February Half Term I am sure that parents will understand that due to the circumstances we find ourselves in that we are unable to provide Holiday Club this half term for the children of our Critical Workers.  All our staff are involved either in supervision or remote teaching and it is essential that they all are able to step back for a week to enable them to continue next half term. It also give us a good opportunity for further cleaning of the school sites.  Fun Friday - Dress to Express Next week we will be acknowledging National Children's Mental Health Awareness Weekand are inviting the children to get involved in this year’s theme is Express Yourself. Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good. It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself. For Children's Mental Health Week we will be encouraging the children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.  We invite the children to attend school next Friday dressed to express and look forward to seeing how they express themselves!   Guess the Place Results Lots of entries again for our Guess the Place challenges. Last week's Upper School photo was of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. We had 141 entries and although 19 people guessed it was in Scotland, 33 people correctly guessed it was Edinburgh but only 4 people got Arthur's Seat too, so well done to Anjika from Y5, Joseph, Grace  and Sean from Y3. The Lower School photo last week was of the London Eye and again over 70 entries with 41 people getting it right. This week's photos will be posted on Friday for you to start guessing.   London Youth Games Week 1 Challenge. Over 30 of our Y3 - 6 pupils took up the challenge to represent St Helen's College and Hillingdon Borough in the first LYG virtual fitness challenge of speed bounce. Our top bouncers last week were Pavitar from Y5/6 and Hana from Y3/4 but everyone who took part contributed to Hillngdon being in 16th place out of 32 London Boroughs last week. This week's challenge has been to do as many Russian Twists as possible in 30 seconds, our school scores will be submitted on Friday and we will hear the results of where Hillingdon is on the leaderboard on Monday.  Snowtastic  This week we all enjoyed the snow that arrived on Sunday and it was amazing to see snow people appearing all around in our gardens and parks. Thank you to everyone who shared their photos, we hope you enjoy seeing the fun we had in the snow! Click here to watch our video.  Accent Lockdown Recipes Soula and her team are very much missing the children and I am sure that many of them are also missing our super lunches.  Please see here the Accent website which has a wonderful range of recipes available for you.   The Royal Albert Hall - Meet the Orchestra The Royal Albert Hall have an array of activities for the children to get involved in and you may like to join them as they introduce the children to the orchestra. Please see the link here
Posted on: 22/01/2021

Weekly News - Friday 22nd January 2021

National Online Safety Award We are delighted that St. Helen's College has successfully met all the criteria to achieve the NOS Certified School Community accreditation for the 2020/21 academic year. This award recognises the school's commitment to Online Safety. We are totally committed at St. Helen's College to educating children, staff and parents about staying safe online. The vast majority of our staff, including all teaching staff, have recently undertaken training about how to keep ourselves and the children we educate safe while using the internet. Internet safety is embedded into our teaching in all classes during remote education too. Never has it been more important for our children to understand the potential dangers of the internet alongside its huge benefits and potential, so this award is very timely indeed! Guess The Place Well done to all of the children who worked out the correct answers to our Guess The Place pictures last week!  For children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6), the correct answer was Durdle Door, Dorset. We had over 400 responses and 113 people correctly guessed the name of the place. Many were close with answers of Dorset or the South coast.   Please remember that all of the pictures will be from somewhere in the UK each week - so don't submit international answers as they will be wrong! For children in Key Stage 1 (up to Year 2) - the answer was Tower Bridge, London. We had over 130 responses and 42 people correctly guessed the name of the place. Many thought it was London Bridge - just like the Americans!  This week's pictures have been posted to the Learning Portal and we hope the children will have fun doing their research and making their guesses. Ducklings and Nursery It has been wonderful to hear the laughter coming from our Early Years classrooms this week as we welcomed back our Ducklings and Nursery children.  Thank you to all the staff and parents who are following all of our school protocols to keep staff, children and parents safe. For families who have not yet returned their children to Ducklings or Nursery, please do contact the school before returning.  Charlie Mackesy Art Competition Thank you to those children who have submitted their entries.  The last day for submission will be Monday 25th and the winners will be announced next Friday in assembly. Guest Speakers in Assemblies We are very fortunate to be welcoming some guest speakers to our assembly programme this term and would like to remind pupils in Years 2-6 that assembly will start at 8.30 a.m. on Monday 25th. We will be hearing from Jo from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and she will be speaking about Endangered Species. Year 1 will then have a talk at 9 a.m. from her on Elephants. On Monday 22nd February we will also welcome Jason from Blue Cross who will be speaking to us about Pets And Our Wellbeing.  The Big Garden Bird Watch I am sure that many of you are enjoying your gardens and parks during the lockdown and we would like to encourage you to engage with nature even further by signing up for the annual Big Garden Bird Watch with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds which runs from 29th January to 31st January. Do let us know what wonderful birds you spot and enjoy looking after the wildlife on our doorstep. Year 6 Examinations and Interviews We are very proud of our Year 6 pupils as many of them have participated in a very different process for their senior school assessments.  The pupils have been, and still are, sitting online examinations and interviews. They have taken it all in their stride and demonstrated how adaptable and resilient our St. Helen's College pupils are - well done boys and girls! Staff News We are delighted to congratulate our Owls teacher Ms Joiner and her partner, who are expecting their first baby in July. We are also eagerly awaiting the news from Mrs Neri, whose baby is due next week!  January 25th - Burns Night! I may be in the minority from our community but I will certainly be celebrating Burns Night and enjoying my haggis, neeps and tatties with whiskey sauce this weekend followed by the delicious cranachan dessert! For those of you who are interested to know more about this Scottish celebration please do visit this website. Usually the children at Upper School would be able to taste haggis (both the meat version and vegetarian) here at school. Alas, sadly this will not happen this year,but do remember that you can purchase haggis in most supermarkets! Perform Drama Workshops Over many years we have welcomed ‘Perform’ into school to provide various drama based workshops. They have always been excellent and the children have a wonderful time. They are currently offering Zoom classes for drama, singing and dancing. Please see the link below if you are interested in a free trial. https://www.perform.org.uk/free-drama-class Virtual Early Years Open Morning - Friday 26th February If you have any family members, friends or neighbours who might be interested in entry to St. Helen's College for their son or daughter in 2021, 2022 or 2023, please do encourage them to register for our next online open morning. This event will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday 26th February and anyone interested in future entry for their child will be most welcome to join us. Mrs. Drummond, Mrs. Hunt and Mrs. Smith will be online to present the St. Helen's College Early Years provision and to take questions on the entry procedure. The event can, of course, be joined from anywhere in the world! The link for registration for the Open Morning is here and copied below - please do share this with any family, friends or neighbours who have babies or very young children and might be interested in finding out more about St. Helen's College. https://www.sthelenscollege.com/263/announcements/announcement/60/announcement/?home=1  

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