School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 7/10/2022

Weekly News - Friday 7th October 2022

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

Weekly News - Friday 30th September 2022

Yesterday we celebrated St. Helen's Day at school, which is when we think about the history of our school and about St. Helen, after whom we are named. During the day, pupils in Years 2-6 attended a special afternoon assembly at which Old Helenian Ishil Mehta spoke about life at St. Helen's College many years ago. The pupils also had the opportunity to ask Mrs. Crehan questions about what life was like at St. Helen's College when she lived here as a child and in the days when Mr. and Mrs. Crehan were the joint Heads of the school.  Our new pupil leadership team gave a presentation about the history of the school, Year 5 performed a chant about St. Helen herself and we had a super performance from Minaya W on the piano. Many thanks indeed to all those involved. In the evening, we held a drinks reception for Old Helenians and current and ex-staff. Some of our Year 6 pupils gave musical performances and tours for alumni who were keen to see how the school has changed over the years. Our guests also enjoyed perusing the history boards with old photographs, school reports and more. It is always wonderful to see old pupils return and super that they are so interested in what is going on at the school now.   Upper School Harvest Festival Today pupils in Years 2 - 6 attended All Saints Church for our annual Harvest Festival service. Our Year 5 pupils led the service with poems and readings to remind us of all that we have to be thankful for at this special time of year. There were many parents in attendance and, as ever, the St. Helen's College community was extremely generous with donations of food. These will be given to the local Salvation Army for distribution amongst those in need in our local community. Thank you all very much for your generosity. The Lower School will also be celebrating Harvest next week and parents are warmly invited to watch your children's Harvest performances and to bring in donations a day or two before your child's event. The dates and times are as follows. Nursery: Wednesday 5th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Reception: Thursday 6th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Year 1: Friday 7th October 8.45 a.m. Harvest Assembly at Methodist Church Trips and Visits It has been a busy week of activities to enrich the children's learning. Year 3 visited St. Albans on Monday, where their history knowledge about The Romans was certainly expanded through a tour and workshops. On Thursday, our Reception children took a trip to Odds Farm, during which they enhanced their learning about their 'On The Farm' topic. Also on Thursday, the Year 4 classes enjoyed visiting workshops themed around Ancient Greece to bring history to life. Our Nursery children today had the chance to join a live webcast through Scholastic of Julia Donaldson reading her latest book 'The Baddies' and Axel Scheffler drawing pictures for the book. They also had a singalong with Julia Donaldson with some of her familiar songs. Month End Music Recital Very well done to the many children who performed at our first informal music recital of the academic year this afternoon. Thank you to the parents who came along to support and celebrate your children's musicality. What a lovely way to start the weekend! News From The Library The Upper School library marked St Helen's Day with a number of quizzes for all years which celebrated this literary corner of school! Children enjoyed an acrostic St. Helen's Day quiz, solving clues that showed them how well they have been learning their way around the library shelves. Even the youngest years grappled a little with the Dewey Decimal system!   It was a very busy library session; in fact it has been a week of many quizzes, with more to come next week with a quiz set by Ayla A in Year 6. Interested Year 6 pupils are reminded to apply by Monday for the role of Student Librarians. These students work one shift a week to assist in the running of the library at lunchtimes. All Year 6 pupils are encouraged to reply; an interest in reading is really helpful and readers of all abilities are welcome. Listening and organisational skills are valued too! Pupils should email Mrs Emanuel a few sentences about why they would like to be a librarian, their current clubs and a few sentences about a book they have recently enjoyed reading and why.  TCS London Mini Marathon: Tomorrow We are delighted that so many families and staff have signed up for the TCS Mini London Marathon tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you there. Timings for the event are: 12.00 p.m. Reception & Year 1 12.30 p.m. Years 2 - 6 If you have not already done so, please read carefully through this information about the day. Please remember that parents remain responsible for their children throughout the event. Your child should wear their school PE kit; although there is no official meeting point, this will make it possible for St. Helen's College families to spot each other more easily. Walk To School Fortnight: 3rd - 14th October The last two weeks of this half term will be 'Walk To School Fortnight' for our Year 2 - 6 children. Every child will be given a loyalty card, which will be stamped by our Junior Travel Ambassadors for each day that the child walks to school. If your child is unable to walk to school, they can also achieve a stamp by walking five laps of the playground before school each day. Children will need to arrive at school in good time (by 8.15 a.m. at the absolute latest) in order to complete their laps and earn their stamp. The class with the most stamps at the end of the fortnight will receive a certificate and some extra play time too. No doubt there will be fierce competition amongst the classes for this coveted prize! We hope that you will join us in encouraging the children to walk to school during the final two weeks of the half term, or to earn their stamps by walking the playground laps. You can find a fun Walk to School booklet here and a Walk From Home activity sheet here to help make your walk to school fun! You can also find our St. Helen's College Walk Zone map here. St. Helen's College Trust The St. Helen's College Trust (Registered Charity Number: 1196657) is an independent charity which exists to promote educational opportunities and all-round development of children aged 0-11 in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas. The charity was established last year and we are delighted that St. Helen's College parents have been generous in their support of it so far. We are pleased to report that, this week, the charity's Trustees approved applications for grants from local charitable bodies for the following: Ickenham Youth FC: Funds to set up an U6/U7 girls' football team. The money will be used to train coaches and buy equipment so that even more girls in the local area will be able to play football in an inclusive club from a young age. Home Start Hillingdon: Funds to train volunteers in their spring training programme. Home Start volunteers assist families with children aged 0-5 who are struggling. Volunteers provide emotional and practical support and signpost families to further services where appropriate. Hillingdon Basketball Club: Funds to buy equipment and t-shirts for youth members, to encourage a sense of community and to encourage children to return to the club and be ever more active. The Trustees will be carrying out impact assessments in due course to monitor the impact of grants awarded.  The charity is inviting grant applications on a rolling basis. The criteria for grant applications is wide: the only restrictions are that funds applied for must be used for the direct benefit of children aged 0-11 (whether individuals or groups) in Hillingdon and the surrounding areas and that the charity cannot approve grants to be spent on educational equipment or services that should be provided by the Local Authority. If you do know of any group or individual who might like to apply for funds, please direct them to the simple online application form here. Charity Climb Many congratulations to Ali (1R) and Hassan (Robins), who completed a sponsored climb last weekend up Northala Hills. The brothers were raising money for Al Ayn Social Care Foundation who care for over 82000 orphaned children in Iraq. The two boys started this with a small group of their friends aged 2-6 last year and this year they have raised over £8000! It costs £55 per month to sponsor an orphan in Iran, so this will go a long way. The boys hope to make this a yearly endeavour. Well done, Ali and Hassan, it is always wonderful to see pupils involved in charity work - your efforts will make a big difference.
Posted on: 30/09/2022

St. Helen's Day by Mrs. Crehan

Yesterday we celebrated St. Helen's Day - a time to remember our school history in our 98th year. The children in Years 2 - 6 congregated in the Windsor Garden for an assembly in the afternoon. We had an ex-pupil, Ishil Mehta, reminiscing on the time Mr. Crehan pursued a burglar down Parkway to retrieve a cassette player that was stolen through an open window during the school day. He didn't tell us much about his own life but he is a very successful businessman who is a trustee of the St. Helen's College Trust. The Year 5 pupils sang us a song which Mrs. Smith and I wrote specially for St. Helen's Day a few years ago about the life of St. Helen herself. The Head Girl/Boy team gave us the whole history of the school referring to a wonderful display, created by Mrs. Pruce, of photographs of St. Helen's College from 1924 to the present day. I then told the children a few anecdotes from when our family moved into Cambria when my mother, Mrs Evans, took over the school from the second Head, Mrs. Hempstead, when I was 11 years old. I was remembering that at that time there were no administrative staff and no office. If I or my brother or sister were off school through illness, we had to run down the stairs from our sickbeds, in view of the children who were in a class which is now the library, to answer the phone and take details of prospective pupils. It was very different in those days! The children then asked further questions about what it was like 50ish years ago. We then had a wonderful event for the alumni and past teachers in the evening. Our present pupils were performing as background music and then leading tours around the school to show the alumni the changes since their day, and also what hasn't changed. The alumni have all done so well! We had a female professional footballer, a female engineer working on HS2, Oxford and Cambridge university students and a graphic designer who told us that her sister who would have come but was still at work as a BBC climate-change journalist looking into some ecological disaster which has affected the health of people abroad and is being denied by the authorities. And there were many more amazing careers our alumni are now involved in. Hopefully St. Helen's College can claim their good starts which have led to where they are today. We were encouraging them to spread the word to other Old Helenians amongst their family and friends - and they still know many - that we will be having a big celebration for our centenary in two years. We had many ex-staff who attended including the very first Deputy Head, who used to call Mr. Crehan 'The Boy' when he first started as Head, because he was the youngest member of staff. Mr. McLaughlin said to her, 'I have your room' and she responded, 'I didn't have a room!' So a great day was had remembering our St. Helen's College family past and present, which is growing by the year and of whom we are so proud!  Mrs. Crehan
Posted on: 23/09/2022

Weekly News - Friday 23rd September 2022

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

Weekly News - Friday 16th September 2022

Author Visit - Mini Grey On Thursday 22nd September, we will welcome multi award-winning author/illustrator Mini Grey to St. Helen's College to present to our children in Years 2, 3 and 4. Mini will take pupils on a whistle stop tour through the story of life on Earth - all 4.6 billion years of it! Children will be introduced to the amazing creatures which have evolved on our planet and the events - including mass extinctions - which have caused chaos. To pre-order copies of her latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, ready to be signed and dedicated at school on the day, please click the link below and place your order through Chiltern Bookshops by 5 p.m. on Wednesday 21st September: https://schools.chilternbookshops.co.uk/events/mini-grey/ Orders placed in time will automatically be delivered free to St. Helen's College for your child to bring home.  STEAM Day Next Friday (23rd September) we will hold our annual STEAM Day. The children will be off timetable and will take part in a range of activities covering Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths. Pupils should wear PE kit as they will have an active day. Co-curricular clubs will run as usual.  New House Competitions! This week the children in Years 2 - 6 attended their first house assemblies with their new groups. They were introduced to their new pupil and staff teams amid much anticipation. Here is a reminder of our new house names, colours and House Leaders for this year: Cambria (Red - Mrs. Hunt) Caledonia (Blue - Mr. Lewis) Hibernia (Green - Mr. McLaughlin) Windsor (Yellow - Mr. Harrington) To launch the new house groups, the children have been asked to take part in a competition to design a house shield and mascot. Form teachers have the templates; entries should be returned to them by September 30th. Each entry will gain house points for their team and the winners will be displayed on our new house boards. We look forward to an exciting first year with our four houses and a keenly contested House Cup competition too! Rearranged Dates Just a reminder for parents of upcoming events, some of which were rearranged due to the period of mourning following the Queen's death. Monday 19th September SCHOOL CLOSED Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday 20th September Individual Lower School pupil photographs (optional sibling photographs from 7.40 a.m. at the Methodist Church Hall) Co-Curriculum clubs start Year 5/6 Meet the Teacher Evening at Upper School Wednesday 21st September Individual Ducklings pupil photographs from 9.00 a.m. at Ducklings Year 1 Phonics & Maths Evening at Lower School Year 2 Phonics & Maths Evening at Upper School Thursday 22nd September Individual Upper School pupil photographs (optional sibling photographs from 7.40 a.m. in the Upper School Hall) Year 2-4 author visit (during morning lessons) Friday 23rd September STEAM Day Parents are reminded to check the school calendar regularly for information about events. Co-Curricular Clubs Co-curricular clubs will begin on Tuesday 20th September. Allocations were sent to parents during this week. Please remember that, once you have signed your child up to a club and they have been allocated a place, the school is unable to make changes to the allocations or issue refunds. We are looking forward to a busy and fun term with so many different clubs and activities on offer! Supporting Children With Grief National Online Safety have published a guide with tips for supporting children in dealing with grief. As we all continue to focus on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her upcoming funeral, this may be useful for you in discussing bereavement with your children. It is available here. Polio Booster Vaccination Programme Following the detection of polio virus in sewage samples taken from North and East London, the NHS is offering all 1-9 year olds in London a polio booster vaccination. For some children this may be an extra dose of polio vaccine on top of their routine vaccinations. In other children it may just bring them up to date. Polio is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of muscles. Because of the success of the polio vaccination programme, there have been no cases of natural polio infection in the UK since 1984. By giving an extra polio vaccine dose, this will boost each child’s protection. Please read this NHS letter carefully and follow the NHS advice. School at Work Open Morning - Wednesday 12th October Our next 'School at Work' Open Morning for prospective parents will take place on Wednesday 12th October. This is a lovely opportunity for prospective parents to view the school and meet the pupils and staff on a normal day. If you know of any family who are considering private education for their child, please do let them know about the event. Visits on Open Morning are by appointment only; prospective parents can book an appointment by calling the school office on 01895 234371 or emailing susmith@sthelenscollege.com.  
Posted on: 16/09/2022

Nurturing Our Youngsters

  This week I was quite shocked to learn that there are 260 million children around the world who are not in any form of education and 175 million who are not enrolled in any form of pre-primary education. An interview piece in the TES with Sarah Brown, the founder and chair of global education charity Theirworld, talks about the importance of teachers. Ms Brown says, "I don’t think there’s a person who has success in their lives that doesn’t credit some of that back to a teacher."  The first two weeks of this academic year have been such a pleasure in school as I have breathed in the joy that your children create on a daily basis with their thirst for learning and their willingness to embrace all the experiences each day.  However, I would like to add to what Ms Brown states and say that,  "I don’t think there’s a person who has success in their lives that doesn’t credit some of that back to a member of the school staff team."  As parents you have chosen St. Helen’s College as your child’s school, investing in your child’s future, and for this we are most grateful. However, the success of your children is also testament to the support you give them at home and to every adult who interacts with them as part of the St. Helen’s College family. Many of our pupils have been with us since they were aged 2 or 3, enjoying the best possible start in life with a wide range of experiences. The research from ‘Theirworld’ includes these observations: 90% of a child’s brain development takes place between birth and the age of five.  This is why the five elements of nurturing care – health, nutrition, play, learning and protection – are so important for early childhood education and development. Early years education and development can help identify a child’s learning needs early on, improve their socialisation and set them on the road to reaching their full potential.  Your children are fortunate to have incredibly supportive families and a team of staff who nurture them on a daily basis. The relationship between home and school is crucial.  This is why we enlighten parents about how you can support your children in their development in regular meetings throughout the year.  The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is called such for a reason - it lays the foundation of development for your children to enable them to thrive. The social and emotional aspect is the most important area of learning in very young children and creates the pathway for future learning and development. Some of you may also have viewed some of our ‘Teddy Talks’ on our ‘Pre-School Parenting’ tab on our school website. They are there to help families with common aspects of raising your children.  Our staff have a diverse range of expertise in many areas and sharing this is helpful to our current and prospective parents.  If you have never visited our Pre-Parenting area then please do so - you may find some of it very helpful. I am proud to be the Head of St. Helen’s College and to have such an incredibly skilled and committed staff who all have the best interests of your children at the heart of all that they do, whether that be the teaching or support staff.  The relationship between home and school is key and it is this unique partnership which creates the haven of harmony for your children to thrive each and every day.   Ms Drummond
Posted on: 9/09/2022

Weekly News - Friday 9th September 2022

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II We have held special assemblies across the school today to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our Union Jack flags are flying at half mast and will continue to do so throughout the ten days of mourning. During this time, school events are postponed and new dates for these will be sent to parents in due course. Sorrow and grief affect all of us in different ways. Please be assured that, if your children have any questions or are feeling sad, we are here to listen and support them. A valuable resource to help children deal with bereavement can be found here and more resources for supporting children's mental health are available here.  St. Helen's College Winners in National Handwriting Contest Many congratulations to the four St. Helen's College pupils who were awarded prizes in the Satips national handwriting contest, and particularly to Tiffany and Abir who are NATIONAL CHAMPIONS in their age groups! 1st Place: Tiffany T (Year 3) 1st Place: Abir G (Year 2) 2nd Place: Avleen P(Year 3) 2nd Place: Amariah O-A (Year 2) Well done to all of the children who entered the competition. Junior Olympiad Maths Award Zakariya M (Year 5) received a distinction in the UKMT Junior Olympiad with a score of 44. He will receive a silver medal and book prize for this outstanding achievement. Trinity Arts Award Congratulations to our Year 5 pupils, who have been awarded the Trinity Arts Award which they worked towards last year in their music lessons. Commonwealth Karate Competition Good luck to the Year 6 St. Helen's College pupils who will be competing in a Commonwealth Karate Competition this weekend: Myla K, Inaya S and Dylan C and to Kylah O-A, who left us in July at the end of her Year 6 and will also be part of the team. Music Lessons If your child is interested in learning a musical instrument, please use this form to register their interest and to be added to the waiting list. Mrs. Fawbert will contact you directly once a space is available. London Mini-Marathon - 1st October All pupils from Reception to Year 6 will this year be able to take part in the NEW TCS Mini London Marathon, taking place in Westminster on Saturday 1st October. This is a one mile event for children the day before the world-famous TCS London Marathon. It’s a chance for your children to run, jog, walk or wheel by Buckingham Palace and cross the very same finish line as the world’s best athletes. Every child who finishes will receive a special TCS Mini London Marathon medal and our school will receive £10 per finisher to spend on PE or IT equipment too. Thank you to all of those parents who have already signed up. It is not too late to do so - simply complete the Google form which was emailed to you recently. The deadline for responses has been extended to Friday 16th September. Provisional timings for the event are 11 a.m. - 1.20 p.m. although these are yet to be confirmed. We will let parents know as soon as we have confirmation of exact timings. Autumn Term Co-Curricular Activities We would like to remind parents that the deadline for submitting your child's preferences for this term's co-curricular activities is this Sunday, 11th September. Club allocations will be sent out to parents at the end of next week. PA Class Representatives 2022-2023 The St. Helen's College Parents' Association is made up of parent volunteers and does a wonderful job of arranging social events to draw the community together. The PA Committee and class representatives work hard all year and we are very grateful for their time and input. Here is the list of class representatives for this year. Ducklings: Shirel Amin  Robins: Fatima Al-Ruhaimi & Simmie Gill Wrens: Atiyeh Ardakanian Owls: Lisa Patel  Kingfishers: Tayiba Qureshi 1C: Reena Patel  1R: Nipa Patel  2H: Zoya Sadiq 2R: Ciara Banerji  3B: Rajni Gupta  3M: Misba Malik   4L: Sejal Patel  4T: Sima Sandal  5A: Suchita Patel & Nikkie O'Halloran 5G: Indy Lachhar 6B: Zoya Sadiq  6R: Vacant If any parent from 6R would like to volunteer to act as class rep this year, please contact pa@sthelenscollege.com. The committee and representatives meet with Ms Drummond and other senior leaders at school once a term to discuss matters of whole school relevance. If you do have any comments or suggestions about matters which affect pupils/parents throughout the school, please feel free to send them to your class representative for discussion at the next meeting. Matters relevant to specific class or year groups should be directed to the class teacher. Pakistan Floods Appeal As parents will know, devastating floods have hit Pakistan, submerging vast areas of land and leaving 6 million people in need of urgent help. According to the government of Pakistan, a third of the country - equivalent to an area the size of the UK - is underwater, in what the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called a "climate catastrophe". Whole villages have been cut off, with rescuers struggling to reach them. At least 1,200 people have been killed and 12,577 injured. Aid agencies are scrambling to respond to meet people’s basic needs such as food, clean water and shelter, and the government of Pakistan has called for international assistance to provide humanitarian aid.   Huge areas of agricultural land have been affected, with crops swept away and three quarters of a million livestock killed, which will mean many people going hungry in the longer term. There is also a high risk from water-borne diseases spreading in affected areas. DEC charities are providing life-saving aid either directly or through local partners. But they urgently need more funds to reach more people. £10 could provide essential hygiene supplies for two people  £50 could provide emergency shelter for two families  £100 could provide emergency food for two families for a month  If you would like to make a donation, you can do so via the DEC website appeal at: https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/pakistan-floods-appeal. We will be educating the children at school about this catastrophe and the urgent need to support those affected.  Roblox - Online Safety Information National Online Safety have issued this useful guide for parents and carers, which covers online safety for the popular video game Roblox.  Uniform/Hair Reminders We would like to remind parents that blazers are a required part of both the winter and summer uniform for all children from Reception to Year 6. Please ensure that your child has a clean, smart blazer with them every day. Games/PE kits should only be worn on PE days.  Long hair must be tied back neatly and hair cuts should be appropriate, with no obvious shaving or gelling. ISI Consultation The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is currently consulting on proposals for its new inspection framework. This will be introduced in September 2023, at the start of the next inspection cycle. The proposed framework builds on the strengths of ISI’s current framework, while providing the opportunity to review and develop inspection practice. The consultation closes on Friday 16th September 2022 and ISI are keen to hear parents' views.  Please visit www.framework.isi.net to read about their proposals and complete the survey.  You do not have to answer every question or complete the free text boxes, but please make sure to click on the ‘submit’ button once you have finished.  
Posted on: 9/09/2022

New Beginnings

  The first week of any school year is all about ‘new beginnings’ but up until yesterday, prior to the sad news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her Sovereign Majesty,  we had not imagined what we would all be experiencing as a nation today. This morning in school we commemorated the life of Her Majesty in special assemblies and I was proud to observe how our pupils from Year 2 to Year 6 engaged and reflected during the assemblies.  We discussed the St. Helen’s College motto: Strive for excellence Help others achieve Care for each other We reflected on how Queen Elizabeth II embodied these values, serving her country right up until three days ago when she invited Elizabeth Truss to be our new Prime Minister.  I am sure that we may all have special memories of occasions or events that stand out in our minds when Queen Elizabeth made an impact on the lives of others as she carried out her duties with such selfless service.  I have my own very special memory of when I met the Queen in 1986, when I volunteered at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh as a VIP Hostess looking after dignitaries and guests. I was honoured to be selected to be on Royal Box duty for several days at the Meadowbank Athletics Stadium and greeted the Royal Family as a guard of honour on their entrance one day. We curtsied to the Queen and she congratulated us on the role we were playing for the Games and told us to keep up the good work! The fun side of the Queen came out that day as the audience cheered on the athletes and a Mexican wave started to make its way around the stadium. Despite the security announcements begging the people in the stands not to participate in the Mexican wave, the younger Royal (Prince Edward) wholeheartedly took to his feet and waved his arms in the air. Of course as VIP hostesses we followed instructions and remained calm and composed (or I thought I had - but this photo may tell a different story!). The photo shows the fun of the moment and the Queen had that twinkle in her eye as she saw her son being the young royal rebel!  I was then privileged to join the Royal Party for afternoon tea  - despite my shaking hands and my naive awkwardness as a 19 year old I still hold those memories fondly.   Your children will experience great changes in their lives and this is such a monumental historical time for us all as we transition to having a King on the throne.   Please speak with your children and share your memories, listen to their feelings and embrace this period of change. Queen Elizabeth II’s death on September 8th 2022 marks the beginning of a new era for the House of Windsor. I leave you with the prayer we shared today. God, Our Father, all through our country we are sad at this time, because our Queen is no longer with us.  She will be missed by so very many, but we know that you are looking after her. Bless those close to her.  May they know they are remembered by us.  And bless our country at this time of change.  May we all work together as one family, and be ready to serve others as our Queen served us.  In Jesus' name we ask it.  Amen. May Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace. God Bless. Ms Drummond
Posted on: 2/09/2022

Beginning of Term News - Friday 2nd September 2022

We are delighted to extend a warm welcome to a new academic year, both to those returning to us and to the many new pupils and families embarking on their St. Helen's College journey. We look forward to a busy and exciting year of learning, love, fun, enrichment and mutually supportive relationships. It has been a busy summer at school. Our Holiday Club and Summer School were well attended and enjoyed by many pupils and much work has taken place at school to improve the environment. In addition to our new pupils, we welcome the following new staff at the start of term: Mrs. Webb - Netball Coach Mrs. Gallacher - EYFS Assistant (Reception) Mrs. Sonigra - EYFS Assistant (Ducklings) Miss Hilliard - EYFS Assistant (Nursery) Mrs. Cosgrove - SMSA (Reception) Miss Kharoti - Funtasia/Holiday Club New House System We are delighted to announce that we will be extending our House System this year and have created two additional houses, 'Caledonia' and 'Hibernia'. Children from Nursery to Year 6 will draw their new houses next week and the house system will be enriched by many activities including regular 'House Assemblies' throughout the school year. We are looking forward to raising the house spirit both in school and at home! Our House Leaders this year will be: Cambria - Mrs. Hunt Windsor - Mr. Harrington Caledonia - Mr. Lewis Hibernia - Mr. McLaughlin London Mini-Marathon - 1st October All pupils from Reception to Year 6 will this year be able to take part in the NEW TCS Mini London Marathon, taking place in Westminster on Saturday 1st October. This is a one mile event for children the day before the world-famous TCS London Marathon. It’s a chance for your children to run, jog, walk or wheel by Buckingham Palace and cross the very same finish line as the world’s best athletes. Every child who finishes will receive a special TCS Mini London Marathon medal and our school will receive £10 per finisher to spend on PE or IT equipment too. We will be promoting this event to children in school and sending further details about how to sign up... so please save the date now and watch this space. Important Dates/Information Please check the School Calendar here and make a note of relevant dates for your child(ren) for the term. There is a lot of useful information, including lunch menus, term dates, uniform and equipment lists, on the School Documents page of the website. Healthy Snacks We would like to remind parents that each child should bring a named, refillable water bottle and a named snack for break time each day. We are a healthy eating school and there are several children with severe allergies throughout the school. Suitable snacks are fruit and vegetables, sliced appropriately. Please DO NOT send any products containing nuts or other allergens. Please remember that chocolate, sweets, crisps or other sugar-filled snacks are not permitted. We are also an eco-friendly school and therefore urge parents to put snacks in a named, reusable container and to avoid sending packaging into school if possible. Asthma Reminder If your child has asthma and uses a preventative inhaler (Beige/ Brown/Orange/Red/ Purple/Pink) please make sure it is being taken regularly EVERY DAY even if your child is well as we are heading towards the most troublesome time of year for children with asthma. Uniform and Equipment Please ensure that every item of your child's uniform and equipment is clearly labelled with their name. We make every effort to remind the children in school to keep their belongings with them, but inevitably there is some lost property and it is almost impossible to reunite children with lost items that are unnamed. Unnamed, unclaimed items will be disposed of by the school at the end of each half term. Welfare News The autumn term welfare newsletter is available here.

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