School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 14/05/2021

Weekly News - Friday 14th May 2021

Baroness Floella Benjamin Online Talk On Tuesday morning, Baroness Floella Benjamin joined Years 1-6 for an inspiring and educational talk. During her virtual talk, she passionately discussed her experience of moving to England from Trinidad, and the many successes that she has achieved throughout her life in the West End, film and television, as a children's author, and in her role as a member of the House of Lords. She inspired us all with her resilient and courageous response to racism, demonstrating the power of positivity and self-belief to overcome hardship and challenge. Education has always been important to Floella, and she articulated the transformative power of learning and striving towards greatness. She left us with her 4Cs for a happy life: consideration, confidence and contentment - all wrapped up with some extra COURAGE. We all had smiles on our faces as she sang us out with ‘smile’ by Charlie Chaplin.  Parents' Evening (Years 1-6) Another successful parents' evening took place remotely on Tuesday evening for parents of children in Years 1 to 6. We hope that you all found this useful and thank you for attending. Royal Parks Urban Tree Festival The Urban Tree Festival is a celebration of urban and suburban trees, woods, forests, scrubland, hedgerows and all the wild places that bring life and joy to our cities. It is taking place this year from 15th-23rd May. As part of the festival, The Royal Parks are offering free workshops to children in Years 3-6 and your children will be taking part in some of these during school hours. The workshops aim to get pupils thinking creatively and speaking out about the impact of urban trees during the climate emergency. We would like to encourage families to take your children to visit the Royal Parks over the next couple of weekends or over half term, and to take a look at the trees planted within them, to support their learning in this area. So don't let the weather dampen your spirits! Pop on your raincoat and explore the Royal Parks to inspire your children and yourselves to consider the importance of urban trees. Teddy Talks We hope that you will enjoy watching our brand new St. Helen's College Teddy Talks. These are short talks, given by experienced and dedicated St. Helen's College staff, on topics of interest to parents of babies and young children. Please follow the links below to watch our first six talks and please do share them with friends and family! Growing A Love Of Reading With Your Child - Shirley Drummond, Head Early Speech, Language And Communication - Lucy Hunt, Head of Lower School Positive Behaviour Management - Aidan McLaughlin, Deputy Head The Value of Nursery Rhymes - Jill Crehan, Principal Choosing The Right Setting For Your Child - Su Smith, Director of Admissions Baby Mindfulness - Poonam McLaughlin, Year 3 & Baby Mindfulness Teacher We will be making more talks soon, so if you have any ideas of topics on which you would like advice/tips, please do let us know. You can read more about the ideas behind this initiative in today's Head's Blog, which is a guest blog from Mrs. Smith. May Online Open Morning Our next virtual Open Morning for prospective parents will take place next Friday, 21st May, at 10.00 a.m. If you or any of your friends or family have children under 3 then please do join us online to find out more about the school and the entry process. Anyone interested in attending will need to register by following the link below, and will then be sent a joining link for the Open Morning in advance. https://www.sthelenscollege.com/263/announcements/announcement/60/announcement/?home=1 If you have a child aged 3 or under and have not yet registered them with the school, please do complete a registration form for them so that we can add them to the list for entry in their year group. ​https://www.sthelenscollege.com/257/registration-form Eco Team Trash Mob Next week, our Eco Team Reps will be out on patrol encouraging children to look after our environment by picking up any litter that they see and reminding people to use the bins in the playground for any remnants of snack, tissues etc. It is important that we all raise awareness of looking after our environment and we appreciate your support if you are also able to arrange a family litter pick in your local park. You might like to visit the Keep Britain Tidy website for ideas and inspiration. Mindfulness at St. Helen's College Last week's Head's Blog, all about Mindfulness at our school, was picked up by the Mindfulness In Schools Project (MiSP), who were delighted to read about how embedded Mindfulness is throughout the school community. We are very proud that St. Helen's College is being recognised as a frontrunner in children's mental health and wellbeing through our Mindfulness programme. facebook.com/mindfulnessinschools You can also find MiSP on Twitter as @dotbschools. Half Term Holiday Club Bookings are now open for the May half term Holiday Club at St. Helen's College. If you have not already booked and you would like your child to attend, please login to your SchoolsBuddy account to book. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Posted on: 7/05/2021

Weekly News - Friday 7th May 2021

Parents' Evenings (Years 1-6) Thank you to all of the parents who attended online parent consultations on Tuesday for children in Years 1-6. We hope that you found these useful. The second parents' evening for these year groups will take place this coming Tuesday, 11th May. We look forward to seeing many more of you online then. Upcoming Author Visit - Baroness Floella Benjamin On Tuesday 11th May at 10 a.m. pupils in Years 1-6 will have the privilege of joining a live online event with Baroness Floella Benjamin, a truly inspirational speaker. The Baroness is celebrating the publication of both her picture book Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story About the Windrush Generation, and the 25th anniversary edition of her ever-popular memoir Coming to England: two books that give a powerful reminder of how courage and determination can overcome adversity. Parents and children have the opportunity to pre-order copies of these books if you would like to do so. THE PICTURE BOOK for younger readers (rrp £6.99) - Suitable for Years 1 & 2 A story about the triumph of hope, love, and determination, Coming to England is the inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. When she was ten years old, Floella Benjamin, along with her older sister and two younger brothers, set sail from Trinidad to London, to be reunited with the rest of their family. Alone on a huge ship for two weeks, then tumbled into a cold and unfriendly London, coming to England wasn’t at all what Floella had expected. Coming to England is both deeply personal and universally relevant – Floella’s experiences of moving home and making friends will resonate with young children, who will be inspired by her trademark optimism and joy.  THE MEMOIR (25th anniversary edition) (rrp £6.99) - suitable for Years 3-6 With a foreword by the author and some additional historical information, this is the incredible story of Floella’s journey from Trinidad to London, as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords.  Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.  If you would like to buy copies of Baroness Floella’s books, please click on the link below to order https://chilternbookshops.co.uk/product-category/baroness-floella-benjamin/ Important: as you go through the checkout, you will be given the option to have your book(s) delivered directly to the school, with no delivery charge. If you choose this option, please state your child's name and class in the 'Details Required For School Events' box, as this will ensure correct allocation of the book(s) to your child in school. This link will be open until midnight on Thursday 13th May. Models Required! Pullen's, our uniform suppliers, will soon be doing some updated photographs for their website of children modelling school uniforms. They are looking for 4 or 5 St. Helen's College children aged 4-9 to model our school uniform. The shoot will take place on 2nd June in Elstree (during half term) and the children will be needed for around 4 hours on that day. If you would like your child to be involved, please email templefortune@uniform4kids.com, clearly stating your child's full name and age, and then await further instructions/confirmation.  May Half Term Holiday Club Bookings will open next week for Holiday Club for May half term. We will send an email to parents when bookings open. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account if you would like to book a place for your child. Places will be limited to 15 children per bubble and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Parents are asked to send packed lunches for Holiday Club during half term as there will be no catering available on site. Upcoming Events As we are now gradually able to resume some of our events following such a disrupted period, we would like to remind parents to check the School Calendar regularly and add dates to your own diaries. In particular, coming up soon, we have Sports Days, residential days, Meet the Teacher evenings, Prizegiving and of course our Year 6 performances. Please do make a note of the dates! Chiswick Lacrosse - Summer Camps Chiswick Lacrosse will be running two weeks of summer camps this year, during the weeks of 16th and 23rd Aug. These are suitable for girls over the age of 9. The club has run lacrosse camps for over 30 years and are confident that it gives girls the very best introduction to a sport they may be playing at their senior school when they transfer. Approximately half of the girls who attend the camp are new to the sport. The camps also enable girls to meet up with their prospective peer group as we can group the girls according to their new school. If you are interested in booking a place for your daughter on one of these camps, you can find further information here. Do let us know if you plan to attend!
Posted on: 30/04/2021

Weekly News - Friday 30th April 2021

General Knowledge Quiz Team Successes! We are thrilled to let you know that three of our General Knowledge teams have made it through to the Prep School General Knowledge National Finals! Our Year 4 team, Year 5 team and Year 6 team all qualified from their heats and are now continuing to work on their General Knowledge, preparing for the national finals which will take place in June. Competition is fierce in this contest so the children have already done extremely well and we are very proud of them. We all wish them luck in the Finals! The Big Pedal Pupils, staff and parents at Lower School and Upper School have taken part in the national Big Pedal Week this week to promote physical activity and active travel to school.  Everyone was encouraged to include walking, scooting or cycling in their daily travel to and from school between Monday 26th - Friday 30th April and there was a challenge to see which class completed the most active journeys. At Upper School, 5A completed the most cycling journeys, 3M completed the most scooting journeys and 4T completed the most walking journeys. At Lower School, 1C and 1R were joint winners of being the most active travellers to school. Every child from Nursery to Year 6 enjoyed Big Pedal/Push bike/scooter sessions in PE lessons this week, and we saw a great increase in the number of people actively travelling to school, whether on foot or using bikes and scooters. The children's proficiency in scooting and cycling was noticeably improved and we feel that this could be one of the benefits of the lockdown period, when so many of you took to the outdoors. It was great to see parents and staff travelling in different, more active ways too, and it was good to hear that many of you found the lovely new walking distance zone map that has been produced for us useful when planning your journeys. This map will remain available in the School Documents page of the website for the future and we hope that it will encourage you all to try to incorporate some foot travel into your school journeys. Our Premises Manager Mr. Smith also took up the challenge. A keen cyclist himself, he undertook a long distance bike ride each evening and challenged the children to guess where he had got to before returning to school. Children were told which direction he was travelling each day (North, South, East or West) and the distance of the round trip. Photographs of his final destinations were shared daily and we hope that the children enjoyed trying to work out where he ended up each day! Mr. Smith has cycled over 250 km this week on his bike - an amazing achievement! We hope that you all enjoyed your active travel this week and that you will all now keep it up, finding more active ways to travel to and from school for the rest of this term and into the future. You can see more photographs from the week on our Photo Galleries page. Upcoming Author Visit - Baroness Floella Benjamin On Tuesday 11th May at 10 a.m. pupils in Years 1-6 will have the privilege of joining a live online event with Baroness Floella Benjamin, a truly inspirational speaker. The Baroness is celebrating the publication of both her picture book Coming to England: An Inspiring True Story About the Windrush Generation, and the 25th anniversary edition of her ever-popular memoir Coming to England: two books that give a powerful reminder of how courage and determination can overcome adversity. Parents and children have the opportunity to pre-order copies of these books if you would like to do so. THE PICTURE BOOK for younger readers (rrp £6.99) - Suitable for Years 1 & 2 A story about the triumph of hope, love, and determination, Coming to England is the inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. When she was ten years old, Floella Benjamin, along with her older sister and two younger brothers, set sail from Trinidad to London, to be reunited with the rest of their family. Alone on a huge ship for two weeks, then tumbled into a cold and unfriendly London, coming to England wasn’t at all what Floella had expected. Coming to England is both deeply personal and universally relevant – Floella’s experiences of moving home and making friends will resonate with young children, who will be inspired by her trademark optimism and joy.  THE MEMOIR (25th anniversary edition) (rrp £6.99) - suitable for Years 3-6 With a foreword by the author and some additional historical information, this is the incredible story of Floella’s journey from Trinidad to London, as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords.  Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.  If you would like to buy copies of Baroness Floella’s books, please click on the link below to order https://chilternbookshops.co.uk/product-category/baroness-floella-benjamin/ Important: as you go through the checkout, you will be given the option to have your book(s) delivered directly to the school, with no delivery charge. If you choose this option, please state your child's name and class in the 'Details Required For School Events' box, as this will ensure correct allocation of the book(s) to your child in school. This link will be open until midnight on Thursday 13th May. Residential Days We are delighted that we are now able to offer Year 3 to Year 6 a residential day in the local area. Information about each year group's plans has been sent to parents this week. Please ensure that you read this as there is a lot of information. Some of the trips require parental support with transportation so please add the dates to your diaries now.
Posted on: 23/04/2021

Weekly News - Friday 23rd April 2021

St. George's Day It was wonderful on the journey to school today to see so many St. George's flags flying. We hope that many of your children enjoyed discussing some of the traditions and activities linked to St. George's Day. Please do ask them at home about their St. George's day activities, and continue to celebrate the day with them. Here are some of our Ducklings, who enjoyed making St. George's Day flags today!         World Earth Day and Climate Change Competition Yesterday was World Earth Day 2021. Advik S, one of our Year 4 Eco Reps, has written this piece to explain more: World Earth Day is an annual event that shows support for environmental protection. Every year it is held on the 22nd April. It was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes in 1970 which is approximately 51 years ago.  Every day around 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean and around 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every year. Although humans have inflicted all this damage upon the environment, there is still time to make amends. Some of the things you could do are to use a cotton or fabric bag when you go shopping, use your own water bottle instead of buying bottled water as much as possible and lastly go on litter walks. You will be helping the environment and I know these changes might be small, but if we all contribute to it we will make the world a better place. Many thanks to Advik for his commitment to educating others on this important topic. To encourage more people to think about Climate Change, Hillingdon Council is running a Climate Change Competition, which is open to all St. Helen's College children. The closing date is Saturday 5th June. Children are urged to get creative and take part in this borough wide competition to get everyone thinking about Climate Change, how it makes us feel and what can be done to do our part. Children are free to use any art form to express what Climate Change means to them, whether it be a musical composition, a drama scene, a poem, a piece of artwork or something else.  You can find out more information about the competition here, including how to enter and of course what prizes are on offer! We hope that many of your children will create entries for this competition and that, in doing so, they will think deeply about climate change and what it means for all of us. iArt Competition Winner! Enormous congratulations to Arya A (Year 2), whose ‘Rainbow Tree’ piece of art came first in the Year 1-2 category of the prestigious iArt competition. The competition had a record number of entries this year: 168 in total and over 30 entries in the Year 1-2 category (the biggest entry ever). So a huge well done to Arya, whose beautifully framed piece of art is currently hanging in Mrs. Drummond's office where it is being admired by all who visit. Arya will be presented with a certificate and Amazon gift voucher, and her artwork is being turned into a picture that will hang on the wall of IAPS HQ for a year too.   The Big Pedal Week We would like to remind parents that we will be taking part in the national Big Pedal Week next week to promote physical activity and active travel to school.  We encourage all pupils and parents to include walking, scooting or cycling in their daily travel to and from school between Monday 26th - Friday 30th April. Pupils will also have the opportunity to take part in a Big Pedal activity in one of their P.E lessons next week.  We would also like to draw parents' attention to this lovely new walking distance zone map that has been produced for us in association with The Big Pedal Week. This will remain available in the School Documents page of the website for the future and we hope that it will encourage you all to try to incorporate some foot travel into your school journeys. In-School Peripatetic Music Lessons Resume We are delighted to hear the musicality of our children throughout the day at school once more, as individual instrumental lessons have resumed in person, after a prolonged remote teaching period. Thank you to all of the parents and teachers who maintained the children's musicality throughout the lockdown period. Upcoming Author Visit - Baroness Floella Benjamin At 10 a.m. on Tuesday 11th May, Years 1 - 6 will be joining a virtual event with Baroness Floella Benjamin. She is a captivating presenter with a powerful story to tell. Her memoir, Coming to England, is already a classic and will soon be available in two new paperback editions: a picture storybook for children in KS1, and a revised and re-illustrated memoir for children in KS2. We have ordered some copies of both for the school and will send out an order form nearer the time for parents, should you wish to order one or more for your child or as a gift. Before the event, pupils will be shown the following reading of the picture storybook. We encourage parents to watch this too. As well as being a great reading of the story, it adds some historical context to Baroness Benjamin's life and will help you to discuss the event with your child(ren).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZUHEMM4shI Singing Competition Our very exciting Singing Competition final will take place on Friday 11th June 2021 this year. We had our first online solo competition last year, judged by Mrs. Crehan, and this was very much enjoyed by all. Both the semi-finals and the final round will take place like last year, with video entries. This year we have a guest judge and we will share this information with you on the day of the final. In order for the competition to go ahead, we request that video entries are submitted for the semi-finals. Due to the current circumstances, we can only hold a solo competition again this year. Only one entry per child is permitted and on only one email, please. Please submit your solo video entry by no later than Friday 14th May 2021. There is no set theme this year and we would like to hear songs from all different genres and eras. Singing in other languages is permitted. All songs must be age appropriate, melodic and have appropriate lyrics and themes. If you are unsure whether your choice is appropriate, please check with Mrs. Belvoir, Mrs. Fawbert or Mrs. Garnes (email addresses below). We would like to see only simple gestures and appropriate movements relevant to the performance - no dance moves please. A backing track is required (without words) for the performance. A child may play the piano/guitar etc. as part of their performance. For Middle School (Year 2 and 3) entries please submit to both of the following: sbelvoir@sthelenscollege.com mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com For Upper School (Years 4, 5 and 6) entries please submit to both of the following: cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com The subject of the email should be clear, e.g "Singing Competition: name of child, form group, name of song" and it may be easiest to submit using your school Google drive. Finalists will be chosen and announced by Friday 28th May 2021 on the school newsletter. Good luck to all! Parents' Evening Bookings Years 1 - 6 Our next parents' evenings for Years 1 - 6 will take place on: Tuesday 4th May from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. Tuesday 11th May from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Once again, we will be running these remotely due to Covid restrictions. Bookings are now open so please follow this link to book your appointments. Virtual Open Morning This term's Virtual Open Morning for prospective parents will take place on Friday 21st May at 10.00 a.m. These events are a lovely opportunity for prospective parents to meet Mrs. Drummond and other school staff and to hear about our provision, ethos and aims. Parents are able to ask questions and really get a feel for the school. If you do have friends and family who might be interested in their children joining us now or in the future, please do encourage them to register and join us on 21st May. The registration link is here. 
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.

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