School News and Head's Blog
124 Blog Posts found - Showing 1-9
Posted on: 17/05/2019
Weekly News - Friday 17th May 2019Outstanding Musicians' Concert
Last night the audience at All Saints Church was treated to a fantastic array of performances given by our extremely talented children, ranging from the impressionistic piano music of Debussy to the more traditional tunes of Amazing Grace. The concert opened with the orchestra playing and this was followed by our many soloists and instrumental groups, all ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 8. There was also an opportunity to hear staff perform as Mrs. Stubbs (flute), Mrs. Nash (violin) and Mrs. Maclean (cello), accompanied by Mr. Stubbs (piano), performed 'Allegro from Trio Sonata in G Minor by JC Pepusch. This really was a spectacular event and all the instrumentalists played with admirable confidence and panache! Well done to all involved.
National Numeracy Day
National Numeracy Day on Tuesday provided an exciting impetus for teachers to enrich and extend the pupils' learning and it was wonderful to see so many children engaged in activities in and outside of the classroom.
Robins Class Assembly
Wow! Our Robins Nursery children showed how far they have come during their Nursery year as they performed a fantastic assembly all about the seasons of the year on Thursday. It is clear that their programme of rehearsals and performances during the Nursery year (including Harvest Festival, their Nativity Play and class assemblies, as well as the Speech Competition last term) has helped them to find their feet when standing up and speaking in front of an audience. Their confidence, their memories, their relaxed and engaging style and their superb voice projection really were astonishing. We all learnt much about the seasons too. Well done, Robins!
Noah's Ark Hospice Charity Walk
Well done to all of the pupils, parents and staff who came together last Sunday to take part in a charity walk to raise funds for the Noah's Ark Children's Hospice. The walk alone raised £725 for the hospice, which is a wonderful achievement. The sense of community on the day was inspiring and we would like to pass on sincere thanks to all who gave up their time and energy to raise funds for this very worthwhile cause.
Borough Sports Success
Our Year 3 and Year 4 teams were in the spotlight this week and showed their competitive spirit, taking part in Borough Tri Golf and Mini Tennis competitions.
Tri Golf Success
Well done to our Year 3/4 Tri Golf team, who on Tuesday afternoon took part in the annual Hillingdon Tri Golf Festival at Hewens Academy. The team had a wonderful time competing against a time limit, improving their chipping and putting to score points. With ten teams in the festival, St. Helen's College Year 3/4 team came an impressive 3rd place. Congratulations to all of the team on such a great perfomance!
Team members were: Anjika G, Maisie H, Maya T, Jena J, Krishav P, Joban K, Sahib N, Reece G.
Mini Tennis Excitement
On Wednesday, three St. Helen's College teams took part in the annual schools tournament held at Tripletts Community Tennis Centre. The competition attracted 20 teams from across the Borough and each team consisted of two boys and two girls, who played singles matches against players from other schools. The event was played in a very supportive atmosphere, with parents spectating applauding the great play. Our pupils in particular showed a high degree of technical skill and tactical awareness when playing their matches - so much so that all three of our teams made it through to the quarter finals, where our C team faced Glebe and our B team faced our A team! The matches could not have been closer and semi finalists had to be decided on points countback as matches were drawn, but in the end it was only our A team that progressed. Incredibly, the semi final against Whiteheath had to be decided on countback too and unfortunately the St. Helen's College A team missed out by just a few points to Whiteheath, who went on to be the tournament's eventual winners. Well done to all of our team members who were a credit to their school with their sportsmanship and resilience.
A Team: Amar C, Anaiya L, Samir H, Hamdan U
B Team: Fredericka T, Jena J, Zail T, Luka K
C Team: Anaya K, Amber P, Reece G, Eshan N
Co-Curricular Club Reminders
We would like to remind parents that the following clubs will not be taking place next week, since Miss Walker will be in France with the Year 6 residential trip:
Tuesday Y2/3 Athletics - lunchtime
Thursday Y5/6 Rounders - after school
May Half Term Tennis Camp
Miss Walker will be running a May half term tennis camp at Tripletts Community Centre in Hayes. If your child would like to attend, you can find full details including booking details here.
We wish our Year 4 and Year 6 children enjoyable and enriching times as they embark on their exciting residential trips to Flatford Mill (Year 4) and France (Year 6) in the coming week.
Posted on: 17/05/2019
Head's Blog - Would You Like To Tidy Up Now? by Ms Matthews
This week we have a guest blog from Ms Matthews, our Head of Early Years Foundation Stage.
“Would you like to tidy up now?”
Regardless of their age, I would wager that if you asked your child that particular question, the answer would be a resounding “No”. However, perhaps if you instead asked “Shall we race each other to see who can get the most toys in their box?”, the answer might be slightly more favourable!
The effect of questioning style when engaging young children cannot, and should not, be overstated. Adults’ questions can encourage children to engage in extended conversations, can facilitate comprehension and research also shows us that effective questioning style is proven to stimulate higher-order thinking. There is great potential to increase children's capacity to learn from an activity through careful adult-child talk and questioning is one of many strategies that can either support and encourage children's learning - or stop it in its tracks. But how often do we really stop to think about our questioning style and how it affects children's ability to learn, think and reflect?
As teachers and as parents, we all want to be sure that we are facilitating our children’s learning rather than interfering with it - but how can we achieve this? At one end, too little adult support can limit learning. While play without adults can be rich and purposeful, at times it can become a chaotic or repetitive activity which is decidedly ‘hands-on, brains-off’. At the other end of the scale, too much tightly directed activity deprives children of the opportunity to engage actively with learning. Questioning is one of the most common methods of prompting interactions with children and, if done well, it can have a staggering impact upon learning.
Over the past 14 months, I have been undertaking a range of studies as part of the Chartered College of Teaching’s ‘Chartered Teacher Status’ programme. This opportunity has allowed me to further explore the pedagogy of teaching, but it has also afforded me the valuable opportunity to research, analyse and evaluate the teaching and learning currently going on in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) here at St. Helen’s College. The EYFS curriculum tells us that we “...must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction” and it is precisely this style of interaction for which St. Helen’s College is renowned. Knowing that we are blessed with a wealth of adult expertise in our Kindergarten, Nursery and Reception, I was particularly interested to ascertain exactly how your child benefits from that in our early years classrooms. Thus, my studies culminated in a research project focusing on the direct effect of adult questioning on children’s attainment and progress, with the aim of proving that the teaching and learning at St. Helen’s College is some of the best there is!
As part of the research intervention itself, I carried out specific mathematics activities (number and shape, space and measure) whilst utilising a set of pre-determined questioning techniques – closed questioning for a control group of 24 Reception pupils, versus open-ended questioning for an intervention group of 24 Reception pupils across a 3-week period. The pre-set closed questions used were questions such as “What colour is that square? Is it blue or green?” “Is the answer 3 or 4?” whereas the open-ended questions were designed based on questions I had previously observed being widely used across the St. Helen’s College EYFS classrooms, questions such as: “How could you find out?”; “What do you think?”; “Do you think everyone else would think the same?”; “What do you think is happening?”; “I don't know, what do you think?”; ”Can you tell me more about that?”
Control group results
The control group were presented with only closed questioning that required a recall of fact, experience or expected behaviour, decision between a limited selection of choices or no response at all. When they were then exposed to mathematical activities outside of the control group intervention project, almost all remained very dependent on a nearby adult to start and complete a task, there was very little independent problem-solving (only 4 out of 24 children displayed this) and independence in both number and shape, space and measure activities was low – 6 out of 24 children and 5 out of 24 children. Interestingly, though, independent use of appropriate mathematical vocabulary was significantly higher (13 out of 24 children), but this could perhaps be attributed to additional factors such as continued whole-class teaching time away from the intervention itself, peer-interactions and learned facts taught before the intervention took place.
Intervention group results
The intervention group were presented with a broad range of open-ended questions which provided for increased encouragement, to foster speculation and trial and error and talk that fostered the potential for sustained, shared thinking, exploration and talking. When the intervention group were then exposed to mathematical activities outside of the intervention project, very few (only 3 out of 24 children) looked for support from an adult to start and complete a task, there was a huge rise in independent problem-solving (19 out of 24 children displayed this) and much-increased independence in both number and shape, space and measure activities – 19 out of 24 children and 20 out of 24 children respectively. Again, use of mathematical language remained high (22 out of 24 children) but the difference when observed this time was more sophisticated use of said language to explain and guide peers during their activities – the children in the intervention group were observed to be directly applying their knowledge of mathematical language to other tasks and in more creative and critical ways.
Rest assured then, that your children are in very safe and capable hands in our St. Helen’s College classrooms. Continuing our open-ended style of questioning actively encourages them to be successfully motivated by the pursuit of learning and discovery for their own sake; their resulting excitement has been captured through my purposeful observations and research of their language and independence. Each day, they are supported in finding out answers for themselves and ringing out in each classroom are the “ers” and “ums” of not knowing, followed by the wonderful “oohs” and “ahs” of learning - the sounds of awe and wonder in action, of learning itself, of meaning being made. The skill, knowledge and understanding of our wonderful staff team has been research-proven to allow your children to reflect en route to becoming lifelong learners, ensuring that they are offered a less fixed view of the world - one where curiosity and investigation, rather than correct solutions and consensus-building, fuel their investigations.
So, what will you ask your child to elicit thinking, learning and wondering about the world this weekend? Now that’s a good question.
Posted on: 10/05/2019
Weekly News - Friday 10th May 2019Staffing News
Congratulations to Ms Matthews, our Head of EYFS, who has successfully completed and passed the Chartered College of Teaching CTeach programme. Ms Matthews is now recognised nationally as one of 180 teachers to be accredited with Chartered Teacher status. The programme of study and research which she engaged in was rigorous and demanding and will continue to benefit the outcomes for our children. It is wonderful to have this level of expertise on our staff.
Year 3 Residential Trip To Shortenills
Our Year 3 pupils have had the most wonderful residential trip and taken part in a super programme of activities including orienteering, journey sticks and camp fire singing, to name but a few. They also carried out numerous chores as they developed their maturity and independence, including making beds, clearing tables, setting up for breakfast! Great teamwork and camaraderie from all. You can see some photos of their trip here.
SATIPS Art Exhibition - Bromsgrove School
We are delighted that some of our pupils' work has been exhibited at the national SATIPS Art Exhibition at Bromsgrove School near Birmingham. Well done to Aleyna (1J), Aaryan (1HC), Avneet (2H), Chloe (5A), Jack (5G), Georgia (6W) and Zoe (6W). You can see their artwork here.
Next year the exhibition will move closer to home (to the Royal Masonic School, Rickmansworth) and we hope that many of you will be able to visit.
We look forward to seeing many of you at our annual Musicians' Concert next Thursday at 7 p.m. in All Saints Church. This event is always the most wonderful evening of musicality with a wide range of repertoires from the children and staff.
Well done to all our Year 6 pupils who have been attending the Saturday morning sessions which finish next week on Saturday 18th May. It is good to know that our children are safe on their bikes and confident bike users.
Holiday Club - May Half Term
Holiday Club bookings for May half term are now open. Please log in to your SchoolsBuddy account to make your bookings.
PA Summer Fete
It’s that time of year when the PA are busy with “all hands on deck” preparations for our flagship event, the PA Summer Fete. We would like to ask you to save the date:
Date: Saturday 29th June 2019
Time: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Upper School playground
One of the aims of the PA is to encourage community, friendship and fun for our children, parents and guardians and the wider St. Helen's family. Over the years, the school fete has been a great event where the school community has come together by bringing their ideas, giving their time and providing much enthusiasm.
The fete is organised by the PA committee which, at present, comprises eight full-time working mums, with amazing support from the PA Class Reps. If you are interested in joining the Committee, we always welcome new interest!
We rely on your help for the fete and we will be putting out requests for help out via the newsletter in the next few weeks. However, there’s no time like the present so we are looking for immediate responses for the following:
We Need You!
At least 10 helpers from each year group to commit to helping on the day of the fete - we will start at 8 a.m. and finish clearing up at about 6 p.m. but you don’t need to do the whole stretch. If you can pledge help for all or part of the day, please do let us know. We need help on many levels such as running stalls, serving food, making tea and coffee, face painting, henna art, glitter tattoos, moving chairs and tables, putting marquees up, clearing litter, PA audio technicians and barbecuing. If you feel worried about taking on tasks yourself, why not get a team from your class together? Each class has a class rep, who will also be communicating with you.
We would be really grateful for donations of the following (NO BOOKS PLEASE):
Nearly new, good condition soft toys - for the toy tombola
Good condition used/new school uniform – for the uniform stall
Brand new toys - for the raffle and toy tombola stalls
New items or unwanted gifts - for the raffle
If you work for a company who might like to donate anything to the fete please let us know.
Fete collection bins will be put out at the entrances and exits on all three school premises after half term (Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School) for you to bring your donations, so please have a good sort out over half term. We will empty the collection bins on a daily basis.
We run a tuck shop where we sell drinks, sweets, ice creams and crisps. If you own a shop or can get reduced/discounted rates, we’d love to hear from you!
As in previous years, we will be having a range of stalls at the fete to cater for a variety of tastes. To help us make this happen, we are looking for volunteers to provide the cuisine - this could be anything from African to Mexican, Italian to Thai. We will also be looking for volunteers to man these stalls. If you are able to provide food for a stall or would like to volunteer to serve on a food stall (even if it’s only for an hour), please do get in touch.
If you have any ideas or suggestion for the fete, we’d love to hear from you and embrace these. We can only put this event on with your help so please do get in touch. It's an event that’s really enjoyed by the children and the whole St. Helen's College community.
Contact us: email@example.com
Thank you in advance for all of your help and support to make this year's fete a really special event for everyone!
Posted on: 10/05/2019
Head's Blog - Key To Successhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48190126
It was with a sense of pride that I read this BBC article, entitled 'Well trained nursery staff key to good care'. As all of our parents who have had children go through our Kindergarten and Early Years (Nursery and Reception) know, we have superb adult to child ratios to ensure that your children are exceptionally well cared for, but the high ratios also give our staff the opportunity to have those 1-1 conversations with your children to enrich their spoken word and develop their thinking and learning skills.
"A better staff-to-child ratio leads to improvements in quality but staff qualifications and training is the most important factor.”
Our staff ratios are excellent throughout the school and our staffing levels are exceptional form Ducklings to Year 6. It goes without saying that our staff are very well qualified but it is the dedication and commitment of the staff to ongoing professional development which is one of the most important factors at St. Helen’s College.
This week, for example, while Year 1 - Year 6 teachers were meeting with parents for our parent conferences, the EYFS team were taking part in their own learning workshop, using the 10 squares to develop maths activities for the children.
There is a saying that every day is learning opportunity, but that is pertinent not only to the children but also the staff; it is always refreshing as I visit the many classrooms to overhear and see teachers sharing ideas and good practice with each other. Throughout the academic year our staff are highly invested in and supported to enable them to keep learning to improve the outcomes for our pupils.
Not only do we invest in our staff, but it is the partnership we have with you as our parent body which is so important in ensuring that you are all able to support your children’s learning at home. Last year we ran very successful reading workshops and e-safety sessions and this term we have already had a superb evening for parents of our younger pupils on supporting phonics and early maths skills. Later in the summer we will be meeting with many of you for Information Evenings as we lead up to the transition of the children through the school, which I trust you will find interesting and informative, and for September we have arranged for an external speaker to hold a workshop for parents and staff, ‘Enabling parents to bring out the best in their children’, which we are very much looking forward to. Details on how to book tickets for this event will be published next half term.
This week I have toured many potential candidates for the current positions which we have available at St. Helen’s College and I have to admit they everyone has been in awe of our school, the children, the staff and the sense of collaboration which we have with our parent body. We truly are remarkable and I am confident that our new staff who we hope to appoint very soon will only add to the quality of what we offer here!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Posted on: 3/05/2019
Weekly News - Friday 3rd May 2019Year 5 Residential Trip - Isle of Wight
Our Year 5 children return tired but happy today after an exhiliarating week spent on the Isle of Wight. They have taken part in all sorts of exciting and adventurous outdoor activities and carried out investigations to help them understand coastal erosion and other geographical concepts. You can see a few photographs of their week on our Galleries page here.
Year 6 Trip to Battle of Britain Bunker
Our Year 6 pupils had an outstanding day today as they visited the Battle of Britain Bunker, where they took part in interactive, hands-on workshops. Many members of the public, and the Bunker staff, commented on what a credit the pupils were to the school as they showed such excellent behaviour and courtesy.
We were delighted to have the IDEAS Bus visiting us at Upper School this week for our Project Day, during which Year 4 and Year 6 children took part in a wide range of creative activities, including coding, virtual reality art, robot racing, dance, music technology and photography. To read more about the importance and impact of the day, do read Mr. Tovell's blog about Creativity in Education which you can access here.
Thank you to all of the parents from Ducklings to Reception who attended last night's presentation on supporting reading and mathematics in the early years. The session was very well attended and the discussion and questions were a testament to the supportive environment we have here from both staff and parents to ensure that your children achieve their very best.
We celebrated our Year 6 pupil Chiara L's further gymnastics success in assembly this week at Upper School. In Spain over the Easter holidays she received a gold medal with her partner as they were crowned DIAC 11-16 WP champions! We wish Chiara well as she competes in the English Championships this weekend in Durham.
Our very exciting Singing Competition for Years 2-6 will take place on Friday 7th June this year. Children should decide which category they would like to enter and choose a song. Next, fill in a slip and put into the box - these can both be found at the front of the hall and entries must be submitted no later than Thursday 9th May.
Once again, there is no set theme this year as we would like to hear songs from all different genres and perhaps a range of songs throughout musical history. Singing in other languages is permitted, but please provide a translation of lyrics for the judge. The only restrictions are that we would like you to avoid singing pop songs and we would like to see only simple gestures and appropriate movements relevant to the performance. No dance moves please.
The categories are:
Best solo singer from each year group.
Best group - trios (3) or quartets (4) only.
There should be just one solo entry per child but they may also participate in either a duet or a group. No choir songs please!
A backing track is required (without words) for performance on the day; CD or ipod only. No piano accompaniments will be used this year, unless a child is playing the piano as part of their performance.
All winners will be invited to sing at the Singers’ Concert on 11th June.
Should the number of entrants be high, preliminary rounds will take place before half term.
It is with sadness that we will be bidding Mrs. Haar and her family a farewell at the end of the summer term as they make the move to Devon. Mrs. Haar has had a long association with St. Helen's College and was instrumental in setting up our Kindergarten two years ago. We wish her well, and know that the new manager, when appointed, will be taking over a very happy and thriving setting.
Miss Fleming and Mrs. Meeran will be leaving us this term to spend time travelling and with grandchildren respectively. Both have made such a difference to the children they have cared for at St. Helen's College and will be very much missed by us all.
Miss Malik will be leaving us at the end of the summer term after four years of service to work in a new environment. We are sure you will join us in wishing her well and in thanking her for all that she has done for your children and the school.
Mrs. Duberley will also be leaving us at the end of this term after a very long career with the school. We wish her well in her retirement and thank her sincerely for her service over so many years!
Staffing for September
We will let parents know the staffing for classes in September in due course.
We would like to remind you that children must not bring nuts, or any items containing nuts, to school. Suitable snacks for break time are fruit, raw vegetables or plain biscuits.
Please note that the safety of your children is paramount to us, thus we request that when collecting children from the Upper School site, you keep younger siblings under close supervision and do not allow them to play on the grass opposite the school entrance on Parkway.
Posted on: 3/05/2019
Head's Blog - Creativity: The Key To Unlock Limitless Potential (by Mr. Tovell)
This week we have a Guest Blog from Mr. Tovell, Year 4 Class Teacher.
In the most watched TED talk of all time, educationalist Sir Ken Robinson FRSA claimed that “schools kill creativity”, arguing that “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it”. Whilst this may be the case in many schools, it is my fervent belief that this is not something which is occurring at St. Helen’s College. In fact, creativity is one of our St. Helen’s College learning strategies which means that, not only do St. Helen’s College students understand what it is to be creative, they are also given opportunities to be creative across the curriculum. It is my position that creativity (meaning original thought and ideas) is one of the greatest effectors of change in terms of how we perceive the world or live our lives. Indeed, with a truly creative mind, does potential not become limitless?
As the title of this blog suggests, it is my belief that imagination and creativity are skills which must be developed in all learners and across the curriculum. Obvious examples are in fiction writing and art; however, creativity is also a key component for problem solving in mathematics when considering how to ‘break in’ to the problem or when solving disputes with peers.
With this in mind, I was thrilled when I was asked to organise Wednesday’s Project Day for Years 4 and 6 in collaboration with the IDEAS Bus team. Following a short assembly, the children completed a carousel of activities in small groups, before volunteers showcased their learning in a closing assembly. Activities included a visit to the IDEAS Bus, which had advanced technology on board including a 3D printer, becoming young entrepreneurs who had to pitch for finance for their original idea and a Virtual Reality Workshop. The overarching theme was for pupils to be as creative as possible - something I am pleased to report they did with great success.
One of the challenges facing young learners when asked to be creative is the fear of judgement from their peers. As a result, children can be reluctant to ‘have a go’ and just say whatever comes to mind, which is why I was so pleased to see students supporting one another, helping them to build upon initial ideas and recognising that many great ideas are born out of less great ones and that you cannot build upon an idea you have not had. The whole day was a celebration of the wonderful, creative children we have at St. Helen’s College and reminded me of how lucky I am to be part of such a special community.
I will leave you with the thoughts of one of the most creative people ever to grace our earth:
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere - Albert Einstein
I could not have put it better myself!
Posted on: 26/04/2019
Weekly News - Friday 26th April 2019Welcome back! It was wonderful to greet the children back to school this week for this very exciting summer term. I trust that you all have enjoyed the holidays and made the most of the incredible weather.
Please ensure that all school uniform is labelled clearly and the girls are now all in summer uniform. Tights must not be worn with summer dresses and all long hair should be tied back neatly. In sunny weather, sun hats must be worn when the children are in the playground so please do ensure that your child has one in school.
We are delighted to welcome Miss Ruth Fahy to St. Helen's College as our new Welfare Officer. Miss Fahy has worked for many years in other schools in the same role and has spent time with Miss Lang over the Easter Holidays to have a thorough handover. The children from Y2 - Y6 met Miss Fahy this week in assembly and I am sure that you will all have the opportunity to meet her over the next few weeks.
The Lower School were delighted to see their new locomotive and carriages. It has already proved to be a very popular addition to the playground, taking the children to all kinds of destinations! We would like to thank the PA for funding our new train and look forward to many more opportunities to play on it.
The Upper School welcomed 80 visitors to school on Thursday as Year 5 and 6 from Catherine Dior school in Normandy met their Year 6 pen pals and spent the morning experiencing life in an English Prep School. The children were immersed in the English Language as they enjoyed breakfast and then took part in a carousel of activities run by St. Helen's College staff including cricket, charades, chess, garden games, tennis, table tennis and more! The Accent team provided a superb traditional roast which wowed the visitors before our Year 6 pupils led a wonderful assembly. We look forward to visiting their school in May. You can see photographs of the children enjoying their morning here.
JRSOs Present To London Assembly at Guildhall
A group of Year 5 girls did a terrific job over the Easter holiday and truly impressed the London Road Safety Council (councillors and officers from the 32 London Boroughs) when they visited London's Guildhall to give a presentation on their latest road safety initiative and the work they do to promote road safety here at St. Helen's College. They were a real credit to the school!
We are delighted that we have now become an ABRSM examination centre for the children's music examinations and the pupils who sat their exams at the beginning of the Easter holiday reflected in assembly and felt that being in a familiar environment allowed them to relax more and focus on their musicality. Many congratulations to the children who achieved the following qualifications:
6M Anisa W G1 Pass
3M Sahib N Prep Pass
5G Dhiya K G3 Merit
5A Ridhima M G2 Merit
5A Lily A G1 Pass
3M Raya M Prep Pass
6W Georgia M G2 Pass
5G Marcus S G1 Distinction
4T Vidhit N G1 Merit
5A Catherine L G4 Distinction
5G Jasmine B G3 Distinction
5A Esha T G2 Merit
5A Tanishka M G1 Pass
4KT Kimaya P G1 Pass
6M Pritee T G3 Pass
5G Krisha S G1 Merit
4T Zara B G1 Pass
3B Eshan N G2 Pass
5A Ciaran R G1 Pass
4KT Vandan V G2 Pass
4KT Krishav P Prep Pass
3M Devan S Prep Pass
BBC 500 Words Competition
Many congratulations to Catherine and Laura in Year 5, whose creative stories have been selected to go through the next round of judging in this national completion. Tens of thousands of entries are received each year and we are delighted that the girls' creativity and writing skills have been recognised. We wish them well for the next round and wait to hear further news.
We were delighted to hear of yet further international success for Chiara L in Year 6, from her latest international gymnastics competition in Portugal in March. Chiara and her partner received a sliver medal, beating gymnasts from all over the world in the 11-16 age group. What a superb achievement at such a young age - well done, Chiara!
Co-Curricular allocations for the summer term are now complete and these have been sent to parents by email.
The following Upper School clubs still have a few places available; please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible if you would like your child to take part in one of these clubs.
Tri-Golf - now available to Year 3 and Year 4 children as well as Year 5/6. Taking part is this club could lead to playing in the Year 3/Year 4 tri-golf team. Tuesdays 3.50 - 4.50 p.m.
Jewellery Club (Y5/6) Wednesday 1.00 - 1.40 p.m.
Printing Club (Y5/6) Friday 1.00 - 1.40 p.m.
Yoga Club (Y4/5/6) Thursday 4.00 - 4.45 p.m.
The following Lower School clubs still have a few places available; please contact email@example.com as soon as possible if you would like your child to take part in one of these clubs.
Spanish (Reception) - Monday lunchtime
Spanish (Y1) - Thursday lunchtime
All clubs begin this week with the exception of Upper School Gardening Club, Coding Club and Rounders. These begin the following week.
We hope that your children will enjoy the amazing range of co-curricular activities being provided this term.
'Tis the season for our Year 3 to Year 6 pupils to embark upon their annual residential trips. We wish our Year 5 pupils a safe and successful trip as they head off to the Isle of Wight on Monday.
Posted on: 26/04/2019
Head's Blog - SHC
As we enter our final term of this academic year I would like to share with our community the key messages and the focus of our staff training on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It seems most apt that we have just celebrated a very special Christian festival, the sadness of Jesus being crucified on the cross but the joy of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Like many religious leaders, Jesus was one of the greatest teachers and the character traits and values which he embodied are replicated across many faiths.
It is important that we remind ourselves of our school motto:
Excellentiam e concordia
Our Latin motto means excellence through working together in harmony/unity of purpose. When it was recreated by our students, using the acronym SHC for St. Helen’s College, the pupils’ interpretation was:
Strive for excellence
Help others achieve
Care for each other
In my welcome back to all of our staff in their different roles, I reminded everyone of what our motto means to us all: colleagues to colleagues, staff to pupils and staff to parents. So, as parents, what does our school motto mean to you all: parents to parents, parents to children, parents to staff?
If we can all strive for excellence each and every day, help others achieve and care for each other, what great models we will all be for the children in our care. The first assemblies of the term for the children also focussed on our motto and we outlined the school values which will be a focus this term:
Staff training is always focussed on how to get the best out of your children, keeping your children safe, ensuring that all staff are up to speed on all aspects of Health and Safety and termly safeguarding updates.
Mrs. Cargill led us all in a most informative but entertaining session, which put Sue Barker to shame, as the two team captains Mrs. Haar and Mr. McLaughlin led the staff in ‘A Question of Health and Safety’. The key areas covered in the numerous rounds of questioning and scenarios were Fire Safety, Electrical Safety and Asbestos Awareness. Who knew that Health and Safety, a very serious but vital part of any organisation’s legislative duty, could be so interesting and fun (although I have heard the Mr. Crehan’s ladder training was also up there in the entertainment stakes)! Our school fire wardens were also put through their paces in a six hour intensive training session - but we are hoping that they will never have to utilise these skills either in the workplace or at home. Ms Gilham made a very pertinent point that it is not until you go through such training that you reflect on the practices and procedures we have in place on our own homes. Do you know your fire escape routes to exit your homes and do you have a plan? Do you keep a set of keys in a convenient place if you need to evacuate your house?
Mrs. Hunt led the staff through another session on Safeguarding - the welfare of every child is paramount and, through working closely with Children’s Services, we ensure that we are supporting you in your roles as parents to allow your children to flourish in every aspect.
This term we have a very exciting programme of residential visits and Miss Walker’s update in her role as Educational Visits Coordinator was very well received. You can be assured that, whether your children are embarking upon a residential trip or a day trip, the staff are all highly skilled and incredibly competent in their roles looking after the needs of your children and keeping them safe throughout the trips.
Our school behaviour management and supervision systems were also revisited and we discussed the importance of consistency of approach from all and the high expectations we have from all children. I would ask of you all as parents to remind your children, as I will be doing in assemblies, that regardless of what adult is supervising in school whether this is in the playground, classroom, refectory, etc. that their responses and the level of respect to all adults is appropriate. To settle the children around the school we use a ‘hands up’ approach instead of using voices and this works well. However, children being children, they often need frequent reminders of the expectations and to understand the meaning of being calm and quiet to enable them to continue with their school day.
We are all very much looking forward to this busy and exciting term ahead and we will all work together, home and school, to give the children a memorable summer term.
Posted on: 29/03/2019
Weekly News - Friday 29th March 2019Easter Greetings
I wish all families a wonderful holiday over this spring season. Enjoy the weather, the outdoors and of course the company of your loved ones. We look forward to seeing you all on Thursday April 25th. Please remember that girls should return in summer uniform.
I am sure you will all join me in thanking all of the staff at St. Helen's College for their hard work and commitment to the school and to your children over this term. I wish them all a restful, peaceful Easter holiday.
In Upper School assemblies today, we discussed how children can improve their general knowledge. The children were most knowledgeable about how they could do this by visiting places of interest, talking to adults about the world around them and reading a wide range of books. I have challenged every child, if they do not already possess a children's encyclopaedia, to perhaps ask their parents very politely if this could be an Easter gift. The challenge is to learn a fact a day and wow their families and friends with a new piece of general knowledge every day during the holidays. Happy reading, happy talking, happy visiting!
Farewell to Miss Lang
The children gave Miss Lang a wonderful farewell in Upper School assembly today and she was presented with a card by our Head Boy and Head Girl, which had been signed by all of the children. We wish Miss Lang much happiness in her new role and look forward to seeing her as part of our Holiday Club staff during future holidays.
We will welcome Miss Fahy to St. Helen's College as our new Welfare Officer after the Easter holidays. I am sure you will all enjoy getting to know Miss Fahy and welcoming her to our community.
Musician of the Term
Our Musician of the Term trophy goes to someone who has shown outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department. An enormous well done to Pritee T.
Pritee has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years in all aspects of music at St Helen’s College. She
is an enthusiastic singer and has been a committed member of the senior choir over the last three years;
was selected to join the Chamber Choir, and has participated in recordings and performed at two prestigious venues in London over the last two years;
is a fluent recorder player and plays in the school orchestra;
has excellent musical knowledge and regularly expresses opinions and contributes creative ideas successfully in each lesson, often injecting a sense of humour!
Pritee has significantly grown in confidence, having shied away from performing in public; however, she is now ready to take her Grade 3 examination tomorrow. We wish her luck!
Sports Personality of the Term
Many congratulations to Ionie M, who has been awarded Sports Personality of the Term by her peers. Ionie is a sports scholar who has shown great levels of determination and excellence in every sport she plays. She has been a valued member of many school teams including the football, handball, hockey and netball, winning district and borough medals this term. She regularly plays for local clubs outside of school and has enjoyed regional success playing football and netball. Well done, Ionie!
World Book Day Winners
The Middle and Upper School children were challenged to complete a World Book Day quiz. The prizes are a book of the children's choosing. Congratulations go to Anokhi (3M) and Aarna (5G).
It was wonderful to see so many families visit the school to celebrate their children's achievements on Saturday. I am sure you will agree with me that the school was abuzz with excitement and joy as you shared in your children's hard work and achievements. It was particularly lovely to hear all of the wonderful comments from families who saw our beautiful Lower School development for the first time.
It's a Hat Trick!
Many congratulations to our Year 6 table tennis team, who won the Borough table tennis competition for the third year running! The event took place at Oakwood School this week and was organised by Hillingdon Table Tennis Club. Our team of four, Rishi, Taran, Aaria and Mya, played in ranking order against teams from seven other Hillingdon Borough schools. Our team played extremely well showing consistency, creativity and good sportsmanship as they played 28 matches and only lost 2! The team were crowned Borough Champions and presented with the table tennis trophy plate by Hillingdon Mayor Cllr John Morgan who had seen them play and congratulated them on their excellent play. Well done to the team and special thanks also to our Year 6 Sports Captains, who organised matches on a table tennis ladder and final play offs over the last month during break times and lunchtimes to select the table tennis team.
We had our final football fixture of the season on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to St. Mary's. Mr. Dyson thought it was one of the best performances of the season as the team featured five debutants, including three Year 4 boys and two Year 6 children. Considering this, the effort and commitment was fantastic to see and it was a lovely way to finish the season. Overall, we finished mid table, winning three, losing five and Harry J was our top goal scorer with six goals, followed closely by Alex C with five. Many thanks to Mr. McLaughlin and Mr. Bustard for supporting Mr. Dyson throughout the season.
PA Easter Raffle
As has become traditional, the PA has donated prizes for a raffle for the children this Easter. All of the children have been included in this free Easter egg draw with one prize drawn for each class. Congratulations to the lucky winners; we hope you enjoy your prizes! Many thanks to the PA for their kind donations.
uTalk Language Competition
Pupils in Years 1 - 6 are invited to participate in a pilot competition in preparation for the new national uTalk competition which is being relaunched in September 2019.
The uTalk Challenge Pilot is a competition giving primary school age children the chance to learn a new language or reinforce a known language using the uTalk app. The competition will run between March and June 3 and our pupils will compete against each other. There will only be one round of the competition this year and the language will be Spanish. Some small prizes will be awarded in each school.
The new software this year will permit us to have a school dashboard where we can monitor progress. This will be available on the Learning Portal, so that the children may enjoy the excitement of checking the leader board to see how they are getting on in a live competition with their peers.
If you would like your child/children to participate in this modified competition this year, please email Mrs. Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is £5 per child, which will be payable on SchoolsBuddy after you have registered your interest.
We invite pupils to enter a national competition run by the writers of Minimus, the textbook we use in Year 5 Latin lessons. Pupils are invited to create an interpretation of the story of Midas - a copy of which has been provided by Mrs. Stark.
Pupils are invited to submit entries in the following categories:
A. Art e.g. painting, drawing, collage, poster, craftwork etc.
B. Creative Writing e.g. poem, play-script, 1st person account, diary or journal etc.
C. Drama – a version of the story, written and performed by pupils, and submitted as a private video link or DVD.
D. Animation – a version of the story, written and animated by an individual, and submitted as a private video link.
Entries need to be submitted by 22nd April at the latest, but can be submitted any time before then.
We really hope your children will be inspired to produce some creative and original work and we look forward to seeing the entries coming in. Just hand them to your form teacher, who will pass them on to Mrs. Stark, or give them to Mrs. Stark directly. email@example.com
Summer Term Menu
The Summer Term Menu has been posted to the School Documents page of the website.
Easter Sports Camps
If your child is keen on keeping active, why not come along to one of the Easter tennis or multisports camps being run locally. Full details are available here and here.
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