School News and Head's Blog
Posted on: 12/02/2021
Weekly News - Friday 12th FebruaryChinese 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.
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!
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 2021Guess 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.
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
- initiative and resourcefulness
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.
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.
Posted on: 29/01/2021
Weekly News - Friday 29th January 2021Endangered 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.
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 2021National 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!
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.
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.
Posted on: 15/01/2021
Weekly News - Friday 15th January 2021Remote Learning
Many thanks to all of the parents who are supporting children at home with their remote learning. It is wonderful to hear about how independent the children are becoming as we embark upon our next phase of school closure. We understand the pressures that many of you are under, trying to juggle working from home, and we are incredibly grateful for all that you are doing to support the children's learning.
In assembly I shared some good tips for the children which you may wish to reiterate them:
- make sure you have an organised workstation
- know your timetable: have it printed out next to you
- have what you need for the day to hand e.g. pencil case, water bottle and any other resources your teacher has told you that you will require
- communicate: ask for help if you are not sure what is being asked from you but remember the 4B's: brain, book, buddy, boss. In other words, read the instructions again, look at your books to help you (or Google classroom), talk to your friends to clarify and remember that you can also ask your teachers for help.
We published these top tips for parents and top tips for children during our last lockdown and you may wish to look at these again.
To assist our teachers' wellbeing, we ask parents to follow our school email protocol and avoid sending emails to the teachers between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. We are encouraging all staff to switch off phone notifications and this may be good advice for all parents too. I am sure that many of your companies have similar protocols - it is crucial that we all step away from our devices and give ourselves some time.
Guess the Place
Today we launched a new weekly 'Guess the Place' challenge in assembly. Each week, a different photo will be placed on the Learning Portal for the children to try and identify. For pupils in Years 1 and Y2 the challenge will be to identify different places in London and for pupils in Years 3 - 6 the challenge will be to identify different places from around the UK. The children will be able to submit their answers on the Learning Portal. Each week in our Friday assemblies the correct answer will be revealed and the next week's photos will be shared. We hope this will be fun for the whole family as we try to 'Guess the Place'!
January heralds once again the launch of the Chorleywood Bookshop Children’s Writing Competition and our children will be excited to know that Cressida Cowell, the Children’s Laureate and author of the How to Train Your Dragon and Wizards Of Once series, will be judging the entries in each of the competition’s three categories!
Last year, this competition attracted over 500 entries from primary and secondary schools. The standard is extraordinary across each age category and previous well-known authors who have judged the event are invariably impressed by the standard as well as the variety.
This year’s theme is Friendship, a theme which should enable all those who take part to focus on positive messages. With challenges targeted to everyone from the youngest children in Reception to the oldest in Key Stage 4, we hope many of our pupils (and perhaps older ex-pupils) will take part.
Full details of the competition and the relevant paperwork are now available on the bookshop's website at https://chilternbookshops.co.uk/schools-2/childrens-creative-writing-comp-2021/
Good luck, everyone. Do let us know how you get on.
Next Friday, for a bit of fun, we are asking pupils at Upper School to wear a hat or fun headwear creation when they come online for our morning assembly. The children at Lower School might like to wear their hats when they have a Google Meet or perhaps to upload a photograph of themselves in their hats to Tapestry or Google Classroom. We look forward to seeing everyone's fun headwear!
National survey evidence from the last lockdown found that around 36% of children were doing less physical activity than usual, with only 22% getting their recommended daily activity of 60 active minutes and a worrying 9% getting no physical activity. Regular weekly PE activities continue to be provided in class Google classrooms and on Tapestry for all of our pupils, and we encourage our parents to ensure children continue to develop their skills and remain physically active. However, we are keen to ensure our pupils are keeping as active as possible, so we are also launching some additional easily accessible fitness activities, as follows. Parents can help our pupils get involved with from Monday.
The first one is an 'Activity Calendar' with daily links to physical challenges all our pupils can have a go at whilst at home. It also includes a link to the Youth Sport Trusts Tuesday and Thursday after school club activities. Here is the January calendar.
London Youth Games Virtual Fitness Challenge
The second is an opportunity for our Year 2 - 6 pupils to take part in the London Youth Games Virtual Fitness Challenge. The challenges this term will be based around fitness and personal bests and may be done at home or at school (for those attending) in class or at breaks, to keep all of our young people active with minimal equipment required.
The challenges are all about participation and will be an opportunity for our pupils to represent the school and Hillingdon Borough and earn valuable points for the Hillingdon team in the London Youth Games competition!
The first Fitness Challenge will go live on the LYG website on Monday 18th January and will be posted in the Year 2 - Year 6 PE Google classrooms. The children will have until Thursday evening each week to complete the challenge and add their results to the shared spreadsheet in their PE Google Classroom. These results will then be submitted to London Youth Games and the weekly leader board will be announced in our Monday assemblies.
We hope lots of our pupils will have a go at the virtual fitness challenge and try to get St. Helen's College and Hillingdon to the top of the leader board each week!
We Like to Move it
Finally, our Year 6 Sports Captains and PE staff put together a fun workout video at the end of last term for us all to get up and move to in January. Have lots of fun joining in with them - see if you can get the whole family up moving and share your videos with us! Click here for the video.
Blue Peter On YouTube
CBBC have launched Blue Peter on YouTube and we are sure that pupils and parents will be interested in this, for entertainment outside of home-schooling hours now we’re in lockdown.
Blue Peter is the longest running children's TV show in the world and the videos are suitable for 5-11 year olds. There are world record breaking challenges, arts and crafts, environmental videos, cooking and baking how tos, inspirational films, gaming, celebrity appearances, dance routines and music performances. The channel also features ways of getting a Blue Peter badge, behind the scenes footage and extra content about the presenters Adam, Lindsey, Mwaksy, Richie and Henry the Blue Peter dog.
If you are interested, please subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/bluepeter (it’s completely free to subscribe!) and also don’t forget to watch the live programme on CBBC at 5.00 p.m. every week, or on BBC iPlayer.
We have recently received an email from Hillingdon Council's School Travel and Road Safety team, regarding the increased use of E-Scooters across the borough. The council have received numerous reports of E-Scooters being ridden across the borough on public roads, in parks and even through town centres.
Please read the E-Scooter guidance document which has been created to inform parents and residents about the use of E-Scooters. We encourage parents to have a look at this document as there are road safety and legal implications associated with the unlawful use of E-Scooters within the borough.
Many of our children took ABRSM examinations on their instruments last term, although some were inevitably delayed due to Covid. This list of results is therefore not yet complete, but we did not want to delay any further in sharing with you the results that we have received so far, in order to celebrate these achievements. Very, very well done to all of the children who have been practising so hard to work towards exams, and to those who have already sat their exams and achieved such great results! To those who have exams coming up next week, we wish you the best of luck.
Posted on: 8/01/2021
Weekly News - Friday 8th January 2021Cressida Cowell Art Competition Runner Up!
Huge congratulations to Alexander A (2H) who was named a runner up in Cressida Cowell’s #CreateWithCress winter holiday card competition. Alexander created a superbly creative card and received a hand written note from Cressida Cowell commending him on his imagination and skill! Well done, Alexander.
Year 2 Seahorses
Year 2 produced some really excellent art work this week. Inspired by Eric Carle's 'Mister Seahorse' book, they got creative with colour and design. Their finished pieces are really beautiful. You can see them on our Galleries page here.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse Competition
In Upper School assemblies this week, Mrs. Drummond has been reading The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse to the children. This beautiful book is filled with original illustrations and inspiring quotes and the four characters strike up friendships and begin to make sense of their world together. If you do not already own it, we recommend purchasing a copy as it is wonderful for adults and children alike to return to again and again.
We would like the children, and any interested parents, to create an illustration with an accompanying quote, inspired by the illustrations and quotes in The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. Quotes should be centred on at least one of the St. Helen's College values:
We hope that you will have lots of fun getting creative over the next two weeks and there will be prizes for winning entries in Year 2/3 and Year 4/5/6. There may even be a prize for a winning parent entry!
Words From The Library
Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Emanuel, our Upper School Librarians, are very sorry not to be having their usual interaction with the children while the library remains closed in lockdown.
They would like us to remind the children that 'reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay put'. And they would also like parents to remind children of these words from the ever positive and very wise Dr. Seuss:
The more that you read
The more things you will know
The more that you learn
The more places you'll go!
Do please keep encouraging your children to look at books often and, if old enough, to read to you every day as well as to themselves. Do carve out time to read to them too, no matter how old they are. Reading for pleasure is one of life's great joys!
Uniform - Summer Boater Hats
The girls' boater hat is currently being temporarily discontinued as the manufacturer has decided to close their business due to the pandemic. Pullen's do have limited numbers of the boater hats in stock for the summer term, but (depending on parental demand) may run short for 2021, particularly as parents may not have bought a boater in 2020 due to the lockdown.
Pullen's are working on re-sourcing, but they do not believe that they will be able to obtain stock for 2021 as the source is in Sri Lanka and the raw materials from China.
Therefore, girls will not be required to wear a boater hat this summer term if they do not have one. We expect that Pullen's will be able to organise an alternative supplier for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Posted on: 11/12/2020
Weekly News - Friday 11th December 2020Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!
We had so much fun at school yesterday, all dressed in our Christmas jumpers and enjoying a party day at Ducklings/Lower School and a panto day at Upper School! As ever, the Christmas lunch was delicious and lots of fun too.
Elf On The Shelf
The naughty Christmas elves have made their appearance at St. Helen's College once again this year, keeping the children throughout the school entertained, curious and very observant! Thank you to Mr. Smith and Mr. Rizzo for keeping a close eye on them to make sure that they were not too mischievous! You can see photos on our Galleries page here.
Christmas Tree Decoration Competition
Well done to every child who designed and made a tree decoration. The trees have looked so fabulous with the home made decorations so proudly displayed. The winners were:
Ducklings - Hadi Q
Wrens - Raya R
Robins - Ajit J
Kingfishers - Emily K
Owls - Libby Y
1R - Shayla R
1C - Zayd A
2B - Aaryan K
2H - Veer K
3B - Sarab D
3M - Hana H
4L - Annabelle S
4T - Milo M
5A - Leo J and Aanya B
5G - Kiran A
6M - Pavitar D
6R - Jena J
Christmas Present Appeal
Many thanks indeed to all of the parents and children who gave so generously and donated a toy or game for the Hillingdon Salvation Army's Christmas Present Appeal.
We were delighted to be able to send so many toys and games across to the Salvation Army and we know that they will bring joy to many families this Christmas.
Community Christmas Message
Our Year 3 children recorded a Christmas message to share with the residents of three local care homes: Sweetcroft, Ryefield and Woodlands. We have also sent it to the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church and All Saints Church to spread St. Helen's College Christmas wishes throughout the local community. We thought that you would enjoy seeing this too and we are sure that it has brought lots of joy to the residents of the care homes and members of our local community. You can watch the video here.
Staff Christmas Fun Video
The staff at St. Helen's College would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas. You can see us getting into the Christmas mood and sending wishes to you all in these fun videos:
ABRSM Music Examination Results
We have received the first of this term's (remote) ABRSM examination results and we are delighted for the children who have all achieved so highly as usual! We are awaiting the final sets of results and will publish the complete list at the start of next term. Congratulations to all those who have worked so hard to prepare for their exams and who have been well rewarded.
Next term the children in Years 3 - 6 will be competing in their class groups and will be tested on general knowledge questions which will then lead to the top performers being selected to represent the school in the annual Prep School Quiz Club competition. Over the Christmas holidays it might be a fun activity for the family to engage in games such as Junior Trivial Pursuit and other general knowledge games to increase your children's knowledge of the world around them. You might like also to encourage them to watch age-appropriate news programmes such as CBBC Newsround and to read an age-appropriate newspaper such as First News or The Week Junior.
Sports Personality Of The Term
Many congratulations to Ollie T, who has been named the Sports Personality of the Term. Reading out the citation for the award, our Sports Captains noted that Ollie is a real all-rounder, who thoroughly enjoys playing a variety of sports and always demonstrates good technical skill and tactical awareness, regardless of the activity. They said that Ollie enjoys working with his peers in PE and games lessons and positively influences, motivates and encourages others to perform to the best of their ability, particularly in inter house matches. Well done, Ollie!
Musician Of The Term
We are delighted to announce that Manisher L has been named the Musician of the Term. Manisher has shown outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department. She has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years in all aspects of music at St. Helen’s College. Manisher has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She is a member of the Chamber Choir and, as a music prefect, is an excellent role model within the music department.
Manisher regularly performs at assemblies and recitals both inside and outside of school. As well as playing the ukulele, she plays the piano and the harmonica. She has exceptional musical talent and has recently taken Grade 6 keyboard, Grade 2 piano and Grade 3 harmonica. Well done, Manisher!
Inter House Sports Competition
Children in Year 3 - 6 took part in the Inter House Sports Competition again this week in their games lessons. At the end of the first half term, Windsor led the year long competition so there was friendly rivalry between the houses for the honours this half term. Games and competitions were set up in netball, football, hockey and tag rugby sessions for the children and they all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play for their houses. Results were as follows.
3M Hockey - Winners were Windsor
3B Netball - Winners were Windsor
4L Football - It was a draw
4T Tag Rugby - Winners were Cambria
5A Hockey - Winners were Cambria
5G Tag Rugby - Winners were Windsor
6M Football - Winners were Windsor
6R Netball - Winners were Windsor
These results, combined with the first half term's results, mean that Windsor have won the Autumn Term Inter House Competition. Many congratulations to everyone in Windsor!
PA Christmas Gifts
The PA have generously bought a gift for every child in the school for Christmas: a traditional game of Mikado (pick up sticks). These have been sent home with children today. Parents of our youngest children might wish to hold onto the gift for them until they are a little older. The PA have also sent this written message and a video message too.
PA Christmas Message:
This year we haven’t been able to hold a Christmas party for the children but instead have given them a gift each that we hope they will enjoy and will be a keepsake to remember their time at St. Helen's College. We would like to wish you and your families and very happy and safe Christmas.
PA Video Message
Today we bid farewell to Miss Eaver, who has been at Lower School for the past 5 years. We wish Miss Eaver well as she finally joins her family who have relocated to Dorset and we know that she will be a super addition to her new school. Thank you, Miss Eaver, for all that you have done for the children - the staff will also miss your Disney and Star Wars dress up days!
Looking Ahead - Spring Term
The spring term lunch menu has now been published to the School Documents page of the website and is available here.
Thank you to all parents in Year 3 to Year 6 who have made your spring term co-curricular club selections. The club allocations have now been published to parents and we ask you to make your payments promptly to confirm your child's place at their club.
Bookings are also now open for the spring term Breakfast Club and After School Club. As ever, we encourage you to book in advance if you do know that you will need these clubs on particular days, as forward bookings always help us with planning staffing and catering. Breakfast Club bookings for Lower School must be made by the Friday before the week you need, since we will need to arrange staffing for this in advance. Lower School Funtasia bookings close at 2 p.m. each day, and Upper School Funtasia bookings close at 3 p.m. each day. You may book the sessions you require by logging in to your SchoolsBuddy account.
Drop off/collection arrangements and class bubble group arrangements will remain the same for the spring term as they have been this term. We will, of course, keep a close eye on government guidance related to COVID-19 and will review arrangements if it proves necessary to do so.
We would like the children in Reception to Year 6 to begin wearing their felt caps and boaters again whenever they are wearing full school uniform from the start of the spring term. St. Helen's College woollen hats may be brought to school to be worn in the playground during play times and may be worn with PE/Games kits. Please do also take the opportunity over the Christmas break to double check that uniform is in a good state of repair and that your child has all the necessary equipment as outlined on the Uniform & Equipment List, which is available here.
Posted on: 4/12/2020
Weekly News - Friday 4th December11+ Results
We are delighted to announce that our Year 6 pupils have excelled themselves, with a very high number having passed the Buckinghamshire and/or the Berkshire 11+ examinations. Many of the Year 6 children are now working towards Independent School entrance examinations and interviews. We are very proud of all their achievements so far.
Eco Schools Green Flag Award
We were thrilled to hear today that St. Helen's College has been awarded the Green Flag Award by Eco Schools. This award recognises the school's eco-friendly nature and systematic, sustained commitment to working in an eco-friendly way and to educating children about how and why we must care for our environment. The Eco-Schools Team were particularly keen to thank St. Helen's College for continuing to work on the Eco-Schools Green Flag during such a demanding year, noting that this is a true reflection of our school's determination to make a real difference. A big thank you to all of the staff and children, particularly the Eco Reps.
The children of 2B presented an extremely creative and resourceful nativity 'premiere' this morning which was much enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff alike! The 2020 retelling of the traditional story, based in and around St. Helen's College Upper School, included some wonderful acting and singing too. We are sure that the children will never forget their 2020 Christmas class assembly! Very well done to all of the children and staff involved.
Year 1 'Zoom' Into Antarctica!
Today Year 1 ‘Zoomed’ into Antarctica! Caitlin’s Uncle Pat is currently working at Scott Base in Antarctica and Year 1 were able to talk to him via video link and see where he works. It was incredible! Uncle Pat explained that at the moment the sun never goes down in Antarctica, so there are 24 hours of daylight each day. He showed Year 1 some incredible animals and explained that he gets to see them every day. The children saw what he has to wear to keep warm and were very interested in what he has to eat - who knew that there were chefs in Antarctica! They were also very interested to know what Uncle Pat studied at school and how he got the opportunity to work in such an incredible place. He said that he worked very hard at school and that he particularly enjoyed maths and science.
This was a perfect end to Year 1's science topic all about animals, including humans. The children have certainly deepened their knowledge about Antarctica and they feel inspired to do something to help the environment. They are now planning to raise some money for the World Wildlife Fund and adopt their very own Year 1 penguin. Please remember that you can do your bit too by turning off lights and keeping doors closed whenever possible. Many thanks indeed, Uncle Pat!
Carols Around The Tree
Our Upper School children enjoyed singing carols in their class bubble groups around the tree in the playground today. Mr. and Mrs. Crehan joined us for the event which, although different to usual, was no less festive and enjoyable! The school is looking so festive with decorations and lights everywhere. A big thank you to Mr. Smith, Mr. Rizzo and Mr. Neil for all their hard work. We are all looking forward to a very Christmassy final week of term.
Year 3 Roman Day
Our Year 3 children enjoyed a super Roman-themed day on Thursday, to bring their History topic to life. They dressed as Romans, investigated Roman life, made mosaics and Roman numeral clocks and even tasted Roman food! They also took part in road building activities. You can see photographs of the day on our Galleries page here.
Year 5 Study Water Pollution
The children in Year 5 have been investigating water pollution and its impact on the environment through the use of case studies. Miss Walker has been delighted with the work produced by all of the children as they researched the BP Deepwater Horizon. Using a variety of sources, they created timelines and event mindmaps, which they then used to write some fantastic newspaper reports. A selection of the children's reports can be found on our Galleries page here.
Art Throughout The School
Mrs. Pruce, our new Head of Art, reports that she has had an amazing first art filled term at St. Helen's College. The talent is high and as families are unable to come in to see all the lovely work, she has made a short video to share with you, showcasing wonderful artistic creations across the school. A truly busy, fun filled term! We hope you will enjoy exploring the children's work here.
Monday 7th December - Christmas Present Appeal
St. Helen's College children develop core values and an appreciation of how fortunate they are in their own lives and of how important it is to support those of others who are less fortunate. This year, following a suggestion from a parent, we are encouraging our pupils to support the Hillingdon Salvation Army's Christmas Present Appeal. We are inviting parents and children to choose a brand new toy/game, up to a maximum value of £12 and which will fit into a plastic shopping bag. These gifts should be delivered, unwrapped, to school on Monday 7th December. We will quarantine the gifts and then pass them onto the Salvation Army, who will arrange for their safe distribution to families in need over the festive period. Thank you so much in advance for your kindness and generosity.
Christmas Tree Decoration Competition
Don't forget to encourage your child to enter the Christmas Tree Decoration Competition. Children are invited to design their own decoration to be hung on our Christmas trees at Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School. Decorations should be of a sensible size but may take whatever format the pupils choose! There will be a small gift for every child who enters and a winner will be chosen from each class to receive a prize too. The last day for bringing in a completed decoration is Wednesday 9th December. Decorations should be clearly named and handed to form teachers on arrival at school. Judging will take place on Thursday 10th December and prizes will be awarded on the final day of term. We look forward very much to seeing the children's entries this year!
Thursday 10th December - Panto Day/Christmas Lunch
On Thursday 10th December, children from Nursery to Year 6 will be treated to a traditional pantomime, which will be streamed live into their classrooms! They will also enjoy our traditional school Christmas dinner, which is always a very popular and joyous occasion! The adapted menu for the day is available here. Please note that there will be a dairy-free alternative for the dessert option. Children at Upper School are invited to wear a Christmas jumper over their school uniform on this day and children at Lower School may wear their own Christmas party clothes.
Friday 11th December - End of Term
Term will end on Friday 11th December, which is a half day. Please collect your children at the times shown below:
Ducklings and Nursery: 11.40 a.m.
Reception: 11.50 a.m.
Year 1: 12.00 p.m.
Year 2: 12.00 p.m.
Year 3: 12.10 p.m.
Year 4: 12.20 p.m.
Year 5: 12.30 p.m.
Year 6: 12.40 p.m.
Some of the churches in Long Lane are organising a nativity trail for children. Many of the usual Christmas activities have had to be changed or even cancelled, and the churches wanted to offer something fun over Christmas.
The idea is that 6-inch knitted nativity figures will be placed in the windows of some of the shops/businesses at Hillingdon Circus, Ryefield Avenue and Sutton Court Road by the middles of next week.
Using a leaflet with the names of the figures, children (with a parent or responsible adult) need to find them and write down where they found them. Once they have found all the figures then they can return the leaflet to North Hillingdon Methodist Church where they will be entered into a prize draw.
We have sent home the leaflets with children today and we hope that you will enjoy this activity with your children over the weekend or over the holidays in the run up to Christmas.
Spring Term Co-Curricular Activities
We will be re-introducing some more co-curricular activities next term, with a limited programme of clubs for Years 3-6, using only internal St. Helen's College staff. Unfortunately we continue to be very limited on the number of staff and locations available for clubs, whilst maintaining our COVID-secure protocols. We thank parents of the younger children for your patience during this gradual re-introduction of clubs. We will continue to monitor the situation and will endeavour to make more clubs available during the summer term, if we are able to do so. For now, parents of children in Years 3-6 should log on to SchoolsBuddy from 3 p.m. today to make their club selections for next term.
Posted on: 27/11/2020
Weekly News - Friday 27th November 20203M Class Assembly
Well done to 3M, whose class assembly was presented to parents and the Upper School this morning. We were treated to individual musical performances from Samara and Arjun and the class performed a group song all about Roman numerals as they shared with us all that they have been working on in their various subjects. They have been studying the Romans in history, learning about different types of settlements in Geography, exploring inverse operations in maths and investigating forces in science. In the art studio, they have worked so hard on their skills that the whole class were awarded 'artist of the week'! In English, they have been developing their imaginative and creative writing skills following our online visit from author Cressida Cowell and in RE they have been thinking about choices, including what feels right and what feels wrong. They also shared with us a video excerpt of a music lesson in which they were learning about and practising African drumming. What busy lives they lead here at school! Very well done to them for their confident and enjoyable presentation of all that they have been engaged in during this half term so far.
We are delighted to share a recording made in a socially distanced 'bubble group' format by the Chamber Choir during this half term. We hope that you enjoy hearing the children sing once more. You can see the video here.
Last week was national 'Anti-Bullying Week' and in Monday's Upper School assembly Mrs. Drummond shared a video message to the children at St. Helen's College from West End actress Wendi Peters (who has also been our Senior School Speech judge). The children were introduced to a little boy, 'Charlie', who was badly bullied at school by other children who did not accept him for who he was and mocked his love of the theatre, acting, dancing and singing. Wendi and a multitude of West End stars have come together to produce a charity single in support of the anti-bullying campaign from the Diana Award. Do take a look at the single here. Please also see the link here for more information for parents.
We are very fortunate at St. Helen's College that our pupils work hard to uphold the school values and the children have been encouraged to share acts of kindness this week and to be good friends to each other. Of course they might not always get it right but that is the journey of childhood: learning about social relationships which, as adults, we can support the children to cultivate.
This festive season might feel a little bit different than normal for many young people. That’s why we’re encouraging you to join The Week Junior’s 12 Days of Kindness challenge – a fun way for children to help spread joy to their family, friends, community – and more importantly themselves – this December. Taking part is easy: simply visit theweekjunior.co.uk/12daysofkindness and download their special, free poster that features 12 ways to show kindness as well as some handy ideas from The Week Junior team to help you complete each day. There is something for every family to enjoy – from making thank you cards and baking Christmas treats, to donating toys and helping wildlife, all in support of Action for Children and their Secret Santa campaign, it’s the perfect feel-good way to end the year.
Carols Around The Tree
Our Christmas trees are now up at all three sites. We would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Lall, who have recently opened a florist in Hillingdon, for their kind donation of a tree for the Lower School Hall. We are looking forward to enjoying our usual Carols Around The Tree with pupils, albeit in a slightly different format to usual! We are very sorry that we cannot invite parents into school to join us this year, but the classes will each spend some time in school singing around the tree and this will no doubt help to get the pupils into a festive mood.
Don't forget to encourage your child to enter the Christmas Tree Decoration Competition. Children are invited to design their own decoration to be hung on our Christmas trees at Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School. Decorations should be of a sensible size but may take whatever format the pupils choose! There will be a small gift for every child who enters and a winner will be chosen from each class to receive a prize too.
Children may bring their decorations to school from Monday 30th November and the last day for bringing in a completed decoration is Wednesday 9th December. Decorations should be clearly named and handed to form teachers on arrival at school. Judging will take place on Thursday 10th December and prizes will be awarded on the final day of term. We look forward very much to seeing the children's entries this year!
Monday 7th December - Christmas Present Appeal
St. Helen's College children develop core values and an appreciation of how fortunate they are in their own lives and of how important it is to support those of others who are less fortunate. This year, following a suggestion from a parent, we are encouraging our pupils to support the Hillingdon Salvation Army's Christmas Present Appeal. We are inviting parents and children to choose a brand new toy/game, up to a maximum value of £12 and which will fit into a plastic shopping bag. These gifts should be delivered, unwrapped, to school on Monday 7th December. We will quarantine this gifts and then pass them onto the Salvation Army, who will arrange for their safe distribution to families in need over the festive period.
The appeal is being launched in assemblies at school and we do hope that it is something you will feel able to support. Thank you so much in advance for your kindness and generosity.
Thursday 10th December - Panto Day/Christmas Lunch
On Thursday 10th December, children from Nursery to Year 6 will be treated to a traditional pantomime, which will be streamed live into their classrooms! They will also enjoy our traditional school Christmas dinner, which is always a very popular and joyous occasion! The adapted menu for the day is available here. Please note that there will be a dairy-free alternative for the dessert option. Children are invited to wear a Christmas jumper over their school uniform on this day.
Friday 11th December - End of Term
Term will end on Friday 11th December, which is a half day. Please collect your children at the times shown below:
Ducklings and Nursery: 11.40 a.m.
Reception: 11.50 a.m.
Year 1: 12.00 p.m.
Year 2: 12.00 p.m.
Year 3: 12.10 p.m.
Year 4: 12.20 p.m.
Year 5: 12.30 p.m.
Year 6: 12.40 p.m.
Online Safety - An Important Reminder
There is no doubt that we have needed the digital world recently and it will continue to be a major part of our children’s lives. However, as parents and teachers we have a duty to be aware of what our children are able to access and how it influences them.
It is never too early to teach your child how to be safe online, so we would like to remind parents to follow these steps to promote online safety with your child:
limit and monitor screen time
install parental controls
only allow age appropriate apps & games
set privacy settings
listen to what your child knows, or what they think they know, and then review, reflect and respond
For more information please log on to National Online Safety where there is a wealth of information to support you.
Please do contact our Designated Safeguarding Leads, Mrs. Hunt (Lower School) or Mr. McLaughlin (Upper School) if you have any questions.