School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 13/07/2022

End of Term News - Wednesday 13th July 2022

  New Pupil Leadership Team We are delighted to announce our new Pupil Leadership Team for the 2022-2023 academic year. Our Head Girl will be Arshia S. Our Head Boy will be Xavier B. Our Deputy Head Girl will be Avneet D. Our Depuy Head Boy will be Arjan S. Tennis Champions Congratulations to the winners of our tennis championships! As usual, the competitions were fiercely contested and there was some super tennis and sportsmanship on display. Year 6 winners: Luka K, Aanya B Year 5 winners: Arshia S, Xavier B Year 4 winners: Aiden T, Hana H Year 3 winners: Simar C, Avar D Sports Personality of the Term Congratulations to Arshia S, who was today named Sports Personality of the Term. Arshia always upholds sporting values on and off the pitch or court, showing respect to team mates, opposition, coaches and referees. She shows determination whether winning or losing, always tries her best and is an inspiration to her fellow pupils. She is focused on improving in all areas and her attitude is impeccable. Very well done, Arshia. Musician of the Term Nya P was awarded Musician of the Term today for consistently showing a keen interest in all aspects of music lessons and the music department as a whole. Nya is an excellent role model within the music department and is always offering a helping hand to her peers as well as performing regularly in assemblies and music recitals. She is a member of the Senior Choir, Chamber Choir and the Orchestra. As well as playing the ukulele, she has also reached an impressive Grade 5 on the flute. Congratulations, Nya. Music Examination Results Many congratulations to all of the children who have recently taken music examinations. Those results we know about so far are listed below. If your child has recently taken an examination and is not included in this list, please do let us know their result! Singing - Musical Theatre     Inaaya S Grade 1 Pass Hana H Grade 1 Distinction Anaiya B Grade 2 Pass Samara P Grade 2 Distinction Natalia C Grade 3 Pass Eshanvi A Grade 3 Distinction Siyana M Grade 4 Merit Minaya W Grade 4 Distinction       Singing - Classical     Ria M Grade 3 Merit Shruthi T Grade 5 Merit       Flute     Hana H Grade 1 Merit Ruby L Grade 1 Distinction       Piano           Leo J Grade 2 Pass Malek C Grade 3 Pass Amelia L Grade 3 Pass Viren C Grade 4 Pass       Guitar     Aiden T Grade 1 Pass Aaryav K Grade 1 Pass Arjun C Grade 1 Pass Luca H Grade 1 Pass Aman B Grade 2 Pass Luka K Grade 3 Awaiting result       Cello     Karter P Initial Merit Sahib N Grade 1 Merit Diyan C Grade 2 Merit Devan S Grade 3 Merit       Music lessons  If you wish to request music lessons for your child or add them to the waiting list for music lessons, please complete this form to register. Lesson spaces are currently available for September 2022 in singing, trumpet and flute for students who are not currently learning another instrument in school.  Farewells to Pupil And Staff Leavers As another academic year draws to a close, we wish a fond farewell to our pupil and staff leavers. You have all played a big part in the life of St. Helen's College and you will be greatly missed. We wish you every success and happiness in the future and hope that you will keep in touch and come back to visit us often. Nursery Visit Our Nursery classes visited Campbell Dentist on Friday 8th July. Dr. Taank explained the importance of cleaning our teeth twice a day. We each had the opportunity to sit in the special chair while Dr. Taank checked our teeth with a special mirror. Whilst she checked we wore 'special glasses' so the light was not in our eyes. We promised Dr. Taank we would continue to look after our teeth and not eat too many sweet things.  Summer Reading Challenge The theme for the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge is 'Gadgeteers'. We hope that you will encourage your children to take part in the challenge via your local library. CRUK Relay for Life - This Saturday Thank you to all parents, pupils and staff for your support with the CRUK fundraising events which have been taking place at school, including everyone dressing in pink and blue on Monday in support of Cancer Research. At Upper School, Charlee G and Sienna D (Y4) made and sold bracelets and raised £53.70. The Year 5 children also held a very successful cake sale last week! At Lower School, the children had the chance to 'soak the teacher' among other activities. Our running total for CRUK fundraising is well over £2000, with more still to be collected and added from events within school. We hope that many families will join us at the Relay for Life itself on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. As well as raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK, the day is an opportunity to spend meaningful time with family and other members of the St. Helen's College community. You could sign up to join our team and/or just come along on 16th July. If you would like to sign up, simply follow THIS LINK, click on JOIN A TEAM and sign up using the details below. There is no fee to register. Team Name :  St Helen's College Team password:   SHC2022 It would be most helpful if those planning to attend could let Mrs. Stark know roughly what time of day you hope to arrive/leave the event. You can reach Mrs. Stark at tstark@sthelenscollege.com.   Snowdon Summit! Congratulations to Yuvraj R (Year 2) and Sikhya R (Reception), who made it to the top of Snowdon on Saturday 9th July! Over 600 fundraisers participated in the event, with Sikhya being one of the youngest. They set off just before 8 a.m. to walk 17km up and down Mount Snowdon.  Yuvraj and Sikhya finished the hike by receiving medals which they proudly wore for the rest of the afternoon. Team Raikmo have raised around £2,550 for KhalsaAid so far - a tremendous achievement.  
Posted on: 8/07/2022

Weekly News - Friday 8th July 2022

National Maths Quiz Finals On Monday, three pupils from Year 6 and one pupil from Year 4 went up to the Light Auditorium in central London to take part in the National Maths Quiz Finals. With only 10 questions left, they were sitting at the top of the leader board, but after a difficult following round they ended up finishing 4th overall. This was a fantastic achievement as they were competing against schools from all over the country. Huge congratulations to our team members: Aryan B, Zach F, Shruthi T and Zakariya M.  Ducklings Sports Day On Friday afternoon, our Ducklings enjoyed their first ever Sports Day in the garden of All Saints Church. Cheered on by enthusiastic parents and staff, they demonstrated their fine and gross motor skills in a carousel of activities including aiming, throwing, jumping and running. The children were all rewarded with a certificate and rosette and we were rewarded with beautiful handshakes, thank yous and smiles! Congratulations to everyone for great effort and special congratulations to the Daddies for winning the ball over and under relay race. CRUK Fundraising Events  This morning, all of the pupils in Upper School took part in a cross country run in Court Park to raise money for CRUK. They also enjoyed 'soak the teacher' and 'beat the goalie' and were especially delighted to be given an ice pop each at the end of the lunch break! At Lower School, there has been a successful book sale this week and there are other charity events planned for Ducklings and Lower School on Monday.   Pupil v Staff Rounders On Wednesday, our Year 6 pupils took on a staff team in a thrilling game of rounders at Court Park.  After two intensely competitive innings, pupils and staff were drawn with one win each. However, in the final game the staff managed to hold off the competition and the staff team once again left the field victorious. Congratulations to our Year 6 pupils who gave the staff three very enjoyable and fun games. Thank you to all of the younger pupils who came along to support the teams!           Reception Trip to Whipsnade Zoo Our Reception classes enjoyed a fantastic trip to Whipsnade Zoo at the end of last week. It was exciting to see so many African and Asian animals and learn all about what happens at waterholes in the African savanna. The train ride around the park on the Jumbo Express was lots of fun, as was the coach ride!                  Year 1 Trip to Mad Bess Woods Year 1 celebrated the end of the year in style at Mad Bess Woods. They thoroughly enjoyed the open space, where numerous activities such as cricket, skipping, football and bubble play took place. They then had fun exploring in the woods and visiting Albert and Rolo at the farm- Mrs. Hunt very nearly accidentally fell into Albert's water bucket- which made everyone laugh and gave her a very wet foot! A picnic lunch was relished in the garden and then a visit from the ice cream van. We all agreed that it was a very exciting day. You can see more photographs of this trip on our Galleries page.   End of Term Arrangements As we enter our final few days of term, here are a few reminders of arrangements. Monday 11th July - Tog Day in aid of Cancer Research UK. Children should wear blue or pink and bring a donation for CRUK on the day. Tuesday 12th July - Year 6 'Teacher for a Day'. Tuesday 12th July - Year 6 Prizegiving and Drinks Reception (evening). Wednesday 13th July - End of term (half day). Collection times are: 11.50 a.m. Ducklings/Nursery 12.00 p.m. Reception 12.10 p.m. Year 1 and Year 2 12.20 p.m. Year 3 and Year 4 12.30 p.m. Year 5 and Year 6 Transition Pupils from Nursery to Year 5 enjoyed visiting next year's classroom this week and meeting their teacher for next year. We have also now completed our programme of evening transition meetings for parents of children in Ducklings to Year 2. As usual, 'Meet The Teacher' evenings for parents of children in Years 3-6 will take place early in the autumn term on the following dates: Thursday 8th September - Year 3 and Year 4 Tuesday 13th September - Year 5 and Year 6 Music: School Orchestra and Hillingdon Music School The St. Helen's College Orchestra rehearses on Friday lunchtimes and is open to students in Years 4, 5 and 6. Students must be of Grade 1 standard and above on a string, woodwind or brass instrument. If your child is interested in joining the school orchestra next academic year please email Mrs. Fawbert at  cfawbert@sthelenscollege.com Hillingdon Music School offers a variety of ensembles and bands for children to join which take place on a Saturday morning. Please find more information by following this link: https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/7853/Music-School-and-Ensembles-programme Uniform & Equipment The uniform & equipment list for 2022-2023 is available on the School Documents page of the website. The Parents' Association will be running a uniform stall in the staff car park outside Holiday Club on Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st August from 12 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Grace O'H will also run a cake stall on these two days to raise money for charity.  Uniform donation bins will be left outside Holiday Club from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd July. If you have any unwanted uniform to pass on to the PA this would be very gratefully received.   Subscriptions Just a reminder to all parents that the following publications for children are highly recommended if you do not already subscribe to them: For ages 6 - 12: National Geographic Kids  First News The Week Junior Brilliant Brainz Britannica Magazine For ages 2- 6: Okido Storybox Art Over The Summer Mrs. Pruce, our Head of Art, recommends the following art-based activities or day trips for families over the summer. https://vangoghexpo.com/london/ https://mexicangeniuses.com/london/ Emma Collins art workshops for 6-13 year olds. Details are here. Summer Tennis Camps Once again, Wayfarers Tennis Club in Ickenham will be running their popular summer tennis camps. Mr. Stidder, who runs tennis clubs at St. Helen's College, runs these camps. Full details including dates and costs are here. Autumn Term Menu and Co-Curricular Activities The menu for the autumn term has been published to the School Documents page of the website.  Co-curricular activities for the autumn term will begin after the children have settled into their new year groups. Details will be sent out at the start of the autumn term, when you will be able to select your children's club preferences.
Posted on: 8/07/2022

Slowing Down At The Campfire

  Yesterday I had one of my final Mindfulness sessions with the Year 6 pupils and we discussed the importance of having ‘campfire time' to deal with the stresses of modern day living. Back in the days when humans had to go out hunting for food, our bodies were programmed for survival and that fight, flight or freeze reaction was a lifesaver - it enabled us to ‘act smart' without having to 'think smart' (which takes longer). Campfire time gave the hunters time to rest, relax and recover from a stressful day of hunting.   Modern stressors trigger mental activity rather than physical activity. Because of this, we do not tend to spend and burn up our stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Instead, these may end up getting stored in our bodies. They can accumulate over time and increase our baseline levels of stress, so that we may end up living our lives in a perpetual state of stress! This in turn may lead to more over-thinking and rumination. If this sounds familiar, you are definitely not alone. As I discussed these ideas with the Year 6 pupils, there was a lot of nodding and agreement and they shared their thoughts with each other. They articulated where they wear their ‘stress signatures’ or how they feel ‘stress’ in their bodies, minds and actions.  Our pupils are so astute and tuned into their minds and bodies that some of their responses in this session were incredibly moving.  Adults and children alike need that campfire time. As adults, we need to model healthy behaviours to our children, including being able to slow down and allow ourselves to rest, relax and recover. I have been following Carl Honore for some time now and he is such an advocate of ‘slow’. His latest book, Bolder, certainly hits a note for me. In this, he attempts to eradicate the negativity surrounding ageing and argues for recognition of the positive aspects of ageing. I am now happily embracing my mid-fifties!   The last few weeks in any school are incredibly busy but here at St. Helen’s College our last few weeks have really packed a punch. Tonight I felt quite overwhelmed at what I still have to achieve in such a short space of time. I recognised this in my body as I reached for paracetamol for the headache I had been ignoring! But instead of popping the paracetamol I picked up a magazine which has been sitting on my desk for several weeks, flicked through it and chuckled as I savoured the Kids National Geographic!  I slowed down and did something enjoyable, rested and read a short snippet about how music matters. Grooving along to funky music, singing, chilling and listening to music improves your mental wellbeing (we all know this but do we all do this enough?). I now admit to you all that the weekend before last I had a ‘Glastonbury’ weekend! No, I was not at Worthy Farm - but I danced around my living room on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and had the time of my life, so that by the time Monday came I felt rested, refreshed and ready for the week ahead!  So, what are you going to do for your campfire time - how will you slow down this weekend? Whatever you are doing, however you rest and recharge, value this time - it could be a lifesaver! Happy weekend! Ms Drummond
Posted on: 1/07/2022

Weekly News - Friday 1st July 2022

Year 6 Musical Production - Singin' In The Rain Jr. What an incredible evening last night, as our Year 6 leavers presented the first performance of their musical, Singin' In The Rain Jr., at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham, having spent this week at the theatre rehearsing on the stage there with their professional sound and lighting. It is always magical to see the Year 6 children reach such heights of performance and musicality in their grand summer production, but it is true to say that we felt prouder than ever last night to see the strength of St. Helen's College drama following a disruptive two years of Covid lockdowns. The children's confidence and skill was truly astonishing! Drama has always played a huge part in life at St. Helen's College and these children have performed regularly on stage since Nursery, including class assemblies, speech and singing competitions, music concerts and, of course, major productions in several year groups. So it is no surprise that there was some very accomplished acting, singing and dancing on display and the audience were very appreciative of the children's efforts. The pupils are performing a Friday matinee and another evening show tonight too, before they enjoy their after-play party to celebrate their achievements. Well done, Year 6, you have worked so hard on this show and you have created memories to last a lifetime. We would like, also, to thank all of the staff and ex-pupils who have helped in so many ways to prepare for and stage this production.  Cancer Research UK Fundraising We would like to remind parents that Monday 11th July will be a tog day in aid of Cancer Research UK. Children may wear blue or pink, the Cancer Research colours, and are asked to bring a donation on the day. There will be several fundraising events for different year groups as we near the end of term and children will be permitted to bring money to school in order to take part in these. Class teachers will be sending out details of these. We hope that many families will join us at the Relay for Life itself on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. As well as raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK, the day is an opportunity to spend meaningful time with family and other members of the St. Helen's College community. Please do sign up to join our team and come along on 16th July. Simply follow THIS LINK, click on JOIN A TEAM and sign up using the details below. There is no fee to register. Team Name :  St Helen's College Team password:   SHC2022 iArt Mrs. Pruce, our Head of Art, was delighted to be invited to attend the IAPS iArt awards ceremony on Monday evening in her capacity as Subject Leader for IAPS. Families travelled from as far away as Kenya to attend the occasion, which was set in the beautiful St. Ethelburga's centre in Bishopsgate. The standard of artwork entered this year was incredible as you can see from these pieces, produced by prep school students in Years 5-8. We have such wonderful artists at St. Helen's College so we are hopeful that next year we may be winners too!   RSPCA Young Photographer Awards Budding young photographers might be interested in entering the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards, which are open for entry until 16th August for anyone aged 18 or under. Further details are available here. .begin Mindfulness Course for Adults The Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) will soon be running another eight week course for adults, to increase understanding of Mindfulness and wellbeing. Benefits include reducing stress, an improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour, an increase in coping skills and motivation and an increase in self-compassion. The course, called .begin, is delivered via Zoom in 90 minute sessions over eight weeks, and is led by a highly experience MiSP instructor. If you are interested in this course, you can find full details at the link below. https://mindfulnessinschools.org/begin-eight-week-mindfulness-course/?mc_cid=7846ab6f46&mc_eid=dc4c85d2ac Online Safety As the school year draws to a close, we would like to remind you once again of the importance of keeping your children safe when they are online. Some may feel that their child is too young for them to be concerned with such issues.  However, in our technology-filled world, it is becoming increasingly necessary to equip both yourself and your child with the skills needed to enjoy age appropriate online activity and stay safe whilst doing so. As a school we have a long association with Paul Hay, who regularly provides sessions for pupils, staff and parents. His informative presentation can be accessed  via this link. In addition, we are members of National Online Safety and, as part of our parent body, you have free access to this. Please take another look at their site or join up if you have yet to do so. We feel certain that you will find the site very useful. Below are some specific links that you may find particularly helpful. https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/webinar/understanding-age-ratings https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/course/os-for-parents-3-7 https://nationalonlinesafety.com/hub/view/course/os-for-parents-7-11 Please do not hesitate to contact the school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads, Mrs. Hunt or Mr. McLaughlin if you have any questions. Uniform/Equipment List 2022-2023 The updated uniform/equipment list for 2022-2023 has been posted to the website and is available here. Please note one significant change: the introduction of a new, improved senior tracksuit which is to be worn by children in Years 3-6. As usual, we ask that you check your child's uniform and equipment over the summer holidays and ensure that everything fits and is clean and in good repair before the start of the new academic year. Registrations for Ducklings or Nursery Entry in September 2023 Although September 2023 seems a long way off, our admissions processes begin approximately one year in advance of entry. Therefore, if you have a child born after 1st September 2019 and you would like them to join Ducklings or Nursery in September 2023 or September 2024, please ensure that you register them as soon as possible. Siblings get priority for places but we do need them to be registered in order for them to be included in the admissions process. The registration form is here. In addition, if you have friends or family with children in these age groups, please urge them not to leave it too late to apply! Every year we have disappointed families who have left it too late and to whom we are unable to offer a place for Early Years entry. Many thanks for your support with this. Our next Open Morning for prospective parents will be in mid-October. We will advertise this when we return to school in September. PlayDay at Hillingdon Athletics Track Hillingdon Council will be running a Playday Event at Hillingdon Athletics Track on 3rd August from 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. This is a free event for children aged 0-10 years old and there will be a range of activities including: - soft play, bouncy castle, arts and crafts, story time, a puppet show and much more for the under 5s and  - inflatable slide, bouncy castle, BMX, football shootout and much more for children from 5 to 10 years. Parents are welcome to bring a picnic or food and refreshments will be available to purchase at the leisure centre too. There is information on the flyer here.
Posted on: 24/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 24th June 2022

Year 1 and 2 Summer Plays Wow! We were treated to first class performances at The Compass Theatre this week when our Year 1 and Year 2 classes took to the stage to perform their summer plays to parents, pupils and friends. Year 1 performed 'Stella The Starfish', a colourful production in which they took us on a tour of the ocean, sharing some very interesting facts about our seas and acting their parts beautifully. There were clownfish, rainbow fish, seaweed characters, a shark and a snapping turtle as well as the human characters and, of course, the starfish. The Year 1 children sang their songs beautifully and with meaning, and there were even some solos. From children so young, this was a very impressive production indeed. Year 2's play was 'The Emerald Crown', all about the destruction of the rainforest. The children presented their important message with skill and tunefulness, performing solo and small group numbers as well as the whole cast song performances. There was some accomplished acting and beautifully clear speaking and it was obvious that they relished the opportunity to perform on stage in a real theatre. Very well done to all those involved.  Mrs. Belvoir was joined by her family at her last St. Helen’s College production yesterday as Year 2 performed. Mrs. Belvoir’s contributions to the drama and musicality of the school will be sorely missed after her 22 years of commitment. Both her children Alice and Harry attended St. Helen’s College and the family were very proud to support Mrs. Belvoir yesterday.      PA Summer Fete The summer fete last Saturday was such a wonderful community event and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the PA for all of their hard work in organising it, and to all of the parents, pupils and staff who attended, ran stalls and performed on the day. There was a charity fundraising aspect to some of the stalls at the fete and the following funds were raised on the day. Ukraine appeal: £146.60 GOSH stall: £132.69 CRUK donations: £77.04. Year 6 Play - 'Singin' In The Rain Jr.' Next week, our Year 6 leavers will perform their grand musical production, Singin' In The Rain Jr., at The Compass Theatre. Performances will take place on: Thursday 30th June (7.30 p.m.) Friday 1st July (2.00 p.m. and 7.30 p.m.)  If you would like to buy tickets, the booking link is here. Parents will be permitted to take children out of school for the Friday matinee performance if they would like to do so. Year 4 Swimming Week Our Year 4 children have enjoyed an intensive week of swimming at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Complex this week and it has been super to see the development of their technique and confidence in the water. Morning Meditation Arshia in 5A led the Upper School in a beautiful meditation practice called 'Be the Pond' this morning.  You may wish to try the practice yourself - see below. First let's be comfortable. You can sit on the floor with crossed legs or if you prefer you can sit on a chair. If you are sitting on a chair, sit tall with your feet on the floor and your shoulders relaxed. If you want you can close your eyes. Take deep breaths in from your nose and out from your mouth. We will do this three times. After these nice deep breaths you should feel calm and relaxed. I would like you to imagine that you and your mind is a big pond. In the pond there are many fish which are your feelings, all swimming around together. There is a happy fish, a sad fish, a sleepy fish, an excited fish, an angry fish, a worried fish, a playful fish, a calm fish, a kind fish and a selfish fish. There are so many fish which are your feelings. All of them are swimming around the pond. We are here to observe our feelings and be the pond. It is wonderful being the pond. You be the pond and let the fish be the fish. Sometimes you can become the fish, the angry fish and you will hurt somebody. Stop and  convert your mind back to being the pond. You do not need to do anything else but just be the pond. See if you can let the fishes, your feelings pass by without you losing your focus. Just be the pond. Slowly we open our eyes and come back to the here and now. Marvellous Moneyboxes! Thank you to all of the parents who have helped children to create their marvellous money boxes and collect spare coins for Cancer Research UK. You can see some of their creations here. The total raised so far through the money box scheme across all three sites is almost £1900! Thank you to you all for these generous donations.   We would like to remind you all that the St. Helen's College community is supporting Cancer Research's Relay For Life. We encourage pupils, parents and staff to join our team and to attend the Relay itself which will take place on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. This is a 24 hour event but you can come for as long or short a time as suits you. Our team and others will walk the track in relay throughout this time to show that cancer never sleeps, and nor does the fight against it. We encourage you also to dedicate a candle of hope. Details are here. It is one of the most poignant moments at the Relay for Life when lit candles are placed around the track as night begins to fall. Everyone is invited to dedicate a candle to someone no longer with us, a friend or family member living with cancer, a loved one who has survived, or perhaps as hope for the future - a world where all cancers are cured. There is also a link here if you would like to make a donation to the St. Helen's College team.  There will be a tog day at school on Monday 11th July in support of CRUK. Children are encouraged to wear the Cancer Research UK colours of pink and blue, and to make a donation. Further details will be provided nearer the time. We thank you all for your support. Cookery Club The children of the Upper School Cookery Club had a great time in their last session yesterday when they made spring rolls. They have certainly become budding young chefs during the course of the term!       Reverend Sarah Smith We are sending Rev. Smith (Mrs. Smith, 3B) our best wishes this weekend as today is her last day as a Deacon. Tomorrow she will be ordained as a Priest at St. Mary's Church, Aylesbury.  As Rev. Smith prepares for this major event in her life she has been listening to Andre Rieu - I Will Follow Him - such a beautiful composition and one which reflects Rev. Smith's strong faith. Sparks Summer Shoots Some of the St. Helen's College children have enjoyed workshops from Sparks this year.  The company is running summer camps this summer, where children produce their own movie production in a five day workshop. Children devise an original storyline, direct their scenes, shoot their shots, crew their set, star in their movie and edit it too. At the end of the week, they share their work with family in a special presentation and later celebrate with a red carpet premiere event too. There are spaces for ages 5-18. Further information can be found here: https://www.sparksarts.co.uk/product/summer-shoots-2020/ Sports Summer Camps Thames Valley Cavaliers Basketball Club and Blaze Netball Club are also running summer camps. Details can be found here: Thames Valley Cavaliers Basketball Club Blaze Netball Club 1 Blaze Netball Club 2
Posted on: 21/06/2022

Tradition by Mrs. Crehan

Mr Crehan and I attended a very successful Sports Day on Friday. At the final ceremony Mrs Drummond unexpectedly asked if I would like to say something to the gathering. Observant parents will have noticed the slight tussle between Mr Crehan and myself - he is always so good at the on-the-spot speeches whereas I would rather think it through beforehand and this is why I will frequently sing my speeches at weddings/ events and also at the end of term to the leaving teachers - I prefer to have time to think it all through and consider my words  (often rhyming!) I woke up in the early hours of the morning and realised that I did have something I'd like to say on the subject of this year's Prep Sports Day  but I wasn't ready to say it on the day, so here it is in a blog! ( Not a song on this occasion.) I go back a long way in St.Helen's history. I was 11 years old when we moved in to Cambria to live when my mother, Mrs Evans, took over the school from Mrs Hempstead, who was the 2nd head teacher in its history.  I have been associated with St. Helen's for 52 years of its 98 years. ( Any ideas for how to celebrate our centenary in 2 years time gratefully appreciated!) So 52 years ago St.Helen's Sports Day took place in the grounds of Oak Farm, exactly where our Lower School buildings stand today. We had 60 metre tracks painted out and the races were sprints, slow bicycle ( where you try to be last to cross the line by wobbling slowly on your bicycle), egg and spoon, sack race and dressing up race where you put on various items of clothing and then race to the finish. I don't think there were any field events. Going back as far as I do, I am aware of tradition and not losing some of the things from the past that we have valued at St. Helen's, perhaps for sentimental reasons, while obviously embracing things that are clearly beneficial to the children and the school.    This Sports Day was very different under the sports leadership of Mr. Harrington; it was a great improvement on the distant past and even on the more recent past. It was fantastic that every child got the opportunity to try every field event, as well as timing each child individually in their sprints so that the finals were fairly raced against the fastest children in the afternoon. The all day format and the huge help offered by the Year 9 ex-St.Helen's children meant that the day was reasonably relaxed for the staff, and hopefully the parents enjoyed the opportunity to follow their children around the stadium followed by a picnic lunch with their family. There were many other changes; the most memorable was the whole school relay with every child running in short bursts, governed by a flag being waved Grand Prix style by a staff member. So this was clearly a great improvement on the Sports Days of 50 years ago but there is something that hasn't changed underlying the day; mainly the strong values demonstrated, but also the attention to detail and the meticulous organization. There is something special about the essence of St.Helen's which has been handed down through the generations and is still very tangible today - the DNA that also brought so many ex- pupils back to our school fete. A unique factor from St. Helen's history is that there have been only 5 sets of heads ( sets in that two sisters founded the school and then Mr Crehan and I led the school together) in almost a century and each head has chosen their own successor according to their values and the direction they want for the school. This will have led to a strong unison of purpose over the years, which is still  imbued by every teacher and pupil. Just as the baton is passed on in a school relay each pupil needs to hold on to the core essence of St. Helen's and then pass it on to the next generation of pupils to preserve for hopefully our next few hundred years! Our unique DNA is our firm foundation on which we build the future, and St.Helen's is very forward- thinking in every area of the curriculum. Aren't you glad I didn't say or sing all this at the end of a baking hot Sports Day? 'It ain't what we do, it's the way that we do it!' Mrs Crehan   
Posted on: 17/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 17th June 2022

PA Summer Fete We hope to see you all at the PA Summer Fete tomorrow, Saturday 18th June, from 1.00 to 4.00 p.m. at our Upper School site. This is always a wonderful day for our St. Helen's College community as we come together to enjoy food, drink, fun and music.  Prep Sports Day We braved the hot weather today for our Prep Sports Day at Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Complex with Years 3 to 6. It was wonderful to be joined by so many families to celebrate the children's efforts in their track and field events and the St. Helen's College values really shone through today: excellence, determination, kindness and courage, to name a few. Singers' Concert On Monday evening, we gathered at All Saints' Church for our annual Singers' Concert. There were fourteen performances including solos, small groups and, of course, our Junior, Senior and Chamber Choirs. It really was a celebration of the musicality of St. Helen's College, with the children singing beautifully and with confidence. Their enjoyment was clear to see.  Mrs. Crehan also performed, along with Kristina, Mr. & Mrs. Crehan's Ukrainian guest. Their rendition of 'For Good' from Wicked was very moving - there was hardly a dry eye in the church!  Live Chamber Choir Auditions We warmly invite pupils from Year 3 to Year 5 to audition for Chamber Choir 2022-2023. Auditions will take place next Wednesday 22nd June at 12.30 p.m. for Year 3 pupils and 1.00 p.m. for Year 4 and 5 pupils in the Upper School Hall. The audition song will be "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins, which can be found on the Music Google classroom and current Junior Choir Google classroom. Selected pupils will begin Chamber Choir in September and members will be announced before the end of term. Best of luck to all! Maths Quiz Club Semi-Finals On Tuesday morning our Maths Quiz Club took part in the semi-finals of the Prep School Maths Quiz. Both St. Helen's College teams did well, with one team placing 5th overall. They have made it through to the national finals which will take place next week at the Light Auditorium in central London. Team members were: Zakariya M (Y4), Zach F, Shruthi T, Aryan B (Year 6). Wrens Class Assembly The children of Wrens Nursery performed their final class assembly of the year on Thursday. They told us the poignant story of Billy the Bee, who had no buzz and no friends because he was different to the other bees. In the end, however, the bees learnt that it is good to be different and that we all have unique qualities. The assembly carried a very important message about friendship and the children delivered their lines and songs with confidence and enthusiasm. There was even a singing solo and duet alongside the many group numbers. Very well done, Wrens.   Year 6 Pupil Publishes First Novel! Shakira V has completed her first book, a crime novel, which is now available for other pupils to read at the Upper School library. The Scandal of the Ruby Necklace is catalogued on the Upper School library system, which means that Shakira is listed as a fiction writer on the system, fully searchable, and fully loanable. Shakira says that seeing her name listed on the system as a fiction writer was the proudest moment of her life.  Charity Week The Charity Reps have been working hard on planning ideas for Charity Week, which will commence on Monday 4th July. All proceeds from the week will be going to Cancer Research U.K. There will be fun activities arranged for that week.  On Friday 8th July the Upper School will all be taking part in a sponsored cross country run around Court Park. The children will be bringing home sponsor forms and we would be very grateful if you could help them to collect some sponsorship for the event. The Lower School will be doing different events including a nearly new book sale, obstacle course and soak the teacher. Confirmation of dates and events will be sent out soon. If your child has made a money box could you please send this into school on Monday 20th June. Many thanks, as always, for your support. Class Allocations and 'Move Up Mornings' Parents have today received notification of their child's new teacher for next year. 'Move Up Mornings' for pupils are on the following dates, when the children will have an opportunity to visit their new classrooms and meet the new teaching staff. Year 1 - Year 5: Monday 4th July Nursery/Reception - Tuesday 5th July Staff News Mrs. Belvoir (2B) will be leaving us at the end of this academic year after 22 years of committed service to St. Helen's College.  She will be very much missed as she has been such an integral part of our community and has worn many hats, including being a form teacher at both Lower School and Upper School and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. She has also, of course, been very involved with music and performing arts across the school. We wish her well as she looks forward to new adventures in her life outside of teaching.   Mrs. Beale will be retiring from her position as Welfare Assistant at Lower School at the end of this academic year. Mrs. Beale has been a part of the school community for 21 years. We are delighted that Mrs. Beale will remain with us in the role of Breakfast Club Manager, so she will keep in touch with us, albeit in a different capacity. Ms Oakshott will take up the role of Welfare Assistant at Lower School as well as working as part of the Teaching and Learning Support team.  Ms Califano has worked at Lower School for the past three years and has been covering Miss Joiner's maternity leave since last year.  We would like to thank her for her commitment to the school and wish her well in her next post. Mrs. Neri has been a member of the Lower School staff for the last few years and is leaving us to spend more time with her young family. Mrs. Chesworth is leaving her post as a Reception TALA as she and her husband retire and relocate. Mrs. Purewal is leaving her post as a Ducklings assistant to spend more time with her family. Mrs. Eirwen Smith is closing the chapter of one of her books in the library and is sadly leaving us at the end of this academic year. Mrs. Smith has inspired all of the avid readers at Upper School over the last nine years and will be much missed.  Miss Joiner will be returning to us following her maternity leave on 4th July and will resume her role as Owls teacher from September.  Mrs. Reid has been with us for several years working as a member of our teaching and learning support staff and we are delighted that she has now completed her teacher training and will join us as a class teacher next year.  Miss Boden will be working as a member of the Ducklings team from September and Miss Hasmukh will move with the Ducklings children to Nursery.  We will be joined in September by the following new staff: Miss Gallacher will become a TALA in Reception. Mrs. Songira will be joining the Ducklings team. We will also be welcoming Ms Cosgrove to the SMSA team at Lower School later this month.  Pick Up and Go Please note that the 'pick up and go' facility is only available at the Parkway entrance at the end of the day for pupils in Years 2 - 6. Parents collecting from the Windsor entrance must collect children from the door of the school building, not at the road end of the path. Holiday Club Holiday Club will run during the summer holidays from Thursday 14th July - Wed 31st August (excluding the bank holiday on Monday 29th August). Bookings will open on Friday 24th June at 4 p.m. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account to book places. Summer Science Fun The Royal Society are running a summer science festival with free interactive activities from 6th - 10th July. If you are interested in finding out more, full details can be found here.
Posted on: 10/06/2022

Weekly News - Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Prep Sports Days On Thursday, classes from Nursery to Year 2 took part in their Sports Days at Court Park, and were blessed with some lovely weather. The children embraced all of their different sporting challenges and were delighted to receive rosettes to celebrate their achievements in both track and field events. There was some super sportsmanship on display and we felt very proud of them all!  Many thanks to all of the parents who came along to support the children. You can see some photographs on our Galleries page. Prep Sports Day Parents of pupils in Years 3-6 must fill in this short Google form (one for each family) to let us know if you are planning to attend Sports Day on Friday 17th June and what your child(ren)’s lunch and going home arrangements will be. Please read the information below carefully first. Sports Day will run all day and children in Years 3-6 will need to be dropped off by parents at Hillingdon Athletics Stadium between 8.00 a.m. and 8.40 a.m. on Friday 17th June. There will be no Breakfast Club available for Years 3-6 on this day. Lunch will be from 12.00 p.m. to 12.30 p.m. Pupils will be able to sit and have a picnic with their families or with a nominated friend’s family at lunch, or a packed lunch can be provided by the school. We anticipate finishing at approximately 3.00 p.m. Parents should take children home directly from the stadium after the prize giving ceremony. There will be no Funtasia After School Club available for Years 3-6 on this day. We hope very much that parents will be able to attend the event but, if you are unable to attend, please make arrangements for your child to go home with friends on this day.  The programme for Sports Day, with approximate timings of events for each year group, has been sent to parents today and is available here. 4L Class Assembly Our 4L class presented a marvellous assembly today in which they illustrated the beauty and benefits of nature, including forest bathing and spending time in rural settings. They shared poetry and artwork to showcase the natural world around them and celebrated Sir David Attenborough's 96th birthday with an interesting quiz in his honour. They delivered their production with professionalism and enthusiasm, giving lots of inspiration and ideas about how to look after the environment too! They also celebrated the Maxwell Garden's bustling ecosystem and even held a short meditation practice. Well done, 4L!  Jubilee Celebrations We had fun celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee at school on Monday, despite the rather gloomy weather!  Everyone dressed in red, white and blue and the school was festooned with bunting. We enjoyed special assemblies and a street party style lunch too.  At Upper School, the children were greeted by The Queen herself as they arrived! Can you guess who is under the mask? Aanya B and Ivaan M were the  winners of the Jubilee flag design competitions and their flags are now flying proudly at school!     Aanya's flag at Upper School         Ivaan's flag at Lower School       Year 2 Trip to Iver Environment Centre Our Year 2 classes took a trip to Iver Environment Centre today to enrich their learning in science. While there, they went on a mini-beast hunt, had a great time pond dipping and made a visit to the rainforest. The children had a fantastic time! Bushcraft Club This term, Bushcraft Club have been busy learning how to use a compass, considering the Countryside Code and practising how to tie knots.  These new skills were put to good use this week when Bushcraft Club were tasked with building a shelter. The children had lots of fun using natural materials and tarpaulin to create a free standing tepee or a suspended tent between the trees.  The success of their shelter building was tested when Mr. Smith simulated a passing shower of rain. Some of the group did get wet!   Karate Success Several St. Helen's College pupils, having been introduced to karate via after school clubs here at school, have now taken up the sport locally at Mr. Kumedzina's club. They competed this weekend and across the team they won 2 golds, 2 silvers and 10 bronze places. What a wonderful testament to the children's work ethic and attitude! Year 1 and 2 Summer Plays Our Year 1 and 2 classes will be performing their summer plays at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham on Thursday 23rd June. Children in the St. Helen’s College Nursery and Reception classes will attend the Compass to watch the dress rehearsal on Wednesday 22nd June, along with any children in Year 4 who have a sibling performing (since Year 4 children will be swimming on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd June). Children in other year groups at St. Helen’s College may be taken out of school by parents on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd June to attend the performance with their family if they have a sibling performing.  Tickets for the plays are now available and must be purchased directly from The Compass Theatre. Parents should purchase tickets and attend only the show in which your child is performing; if you have a child in both Year 1 and Year 2, please make sure that you purchase the ‘package’ option containing tickets for both shows so that you pay for one show only. Due to the size of the theatre, ticket numbers are limited to 3 per family. The booking links are here: Parents of pupils only in Year 2, CLICK HERE to book The Emerald Crown tickets Parents of pupils only in Year 1, CLICK HERE to book Stella the Starfish tickets Parents of pupils in both Year 1 AND 2, CLICK HERE to book a package ticket to both Stella the Starfish AND The Emerald Crown Please also note the following arrangements regarding drop off and pick up for rehearsals and the performances. Tuesday 21st June 8.30 a.m.  Year 1 parents to drop Year 1 pupils off at The Compass Theatre. Year 2 pupils to be dropped to school as usual. 3.30 p.m.  Year 1 and Year 2 parents to collect Year 1 and Year 2 pupils from The Compass Theatre. Wednesday 22nd June 8.30 a.m.  Year 1 children to be dropped by parents at The Compass Theatre in their costumes. All other pupils to be dropped off at school as usual. All children to be collected from school at their usual end of day time. Thursday 23rd June All pupils to be dropped to school as usual. 1.30 p.m. Year 1 performance to parents at The Compass Theatre. 2.30 p.m. Year 2 performance to parents at The Compass Theatre. All Year 1 and Year 2 children to be collected/taken home by parents from The Compass Theatre after their performance.  We look forward to seeing Year 1 and Year 2 parents at the performances. PA Summer Fete The Summer Fete is always a super day which brings the whole St. Helen's College community together to celebrate and have fun. Please be sure to add the date to your diaries now: Saturday 18th June, 1 - 4 p.m. at the Upper School site. We are short of donations at the moment for the Summer Fete. Please bring donations of raffle prizes to any school entrance as soon as you can. Parents of each class are also asked to make donations for your class stall, as per the letters sent out earlier. If you are unsure what your class has been asked to donate, please check with your PA class rep.  Many thanks in advance for your support. Cancer Research Relay for Life Once again this year, the St. Helen's College community is supporting Cancer Research's Relay For Life. We encourage pupils, parents and staff to join our team and to attend the Relay itself which will take place on Saturday 16th July at Harrow School. This is a 24 hour event but you can come for as long or short a time as suits you. Our team and others will walk the track in relay throughout this time to show that cancer never sleeps, and nor does the fight against it. We encourage you also to dedicate a candle of hope. Details are here. It is one of the most poignant moments at the Relay for Life when lit candles are placed around the track as night begins to fall. Everyone is invited to dedicate a candle to someone no longer with us, a friend or family member living with cancer, a loved one who has survived, or perhaps as hope for the future - a world where all cancers are cured. There is also a link here if you would like to make a donation to the St. Helen's College team.  We thank you all in advance for your support. Summer Netball Camp Blaze Netball Club are running a summer camp at Bishopshalt School from 25th to 29th August. Information is available here.
Posted on: 10/06/2022

Celebrating Opportunities

As we returned to school on Monday after a glorious weekend of Jubilee celebrations, I was somewhat apprehensive that perhaps our St. Helen’s College Platinum Jubilee celebration day might not quite have the impact we had hoped for due to it falling after the official weekend of events. However, I was not disappointed as our school community came together in true St. Helen’s College style to continue the pomp and ceremony of the events of the weekend. Everyone looked wonderful in red, white and blue, with crowns and flags bearing regalia. We had singing, dancing and fanfares as the Jubilee competition flags were raised and the most wonderful tea parties across the school. We revisited the values of the Commonwealth and it was warming to hear the children discuss how many of those values are also being embodied here at St. Helen’s College. Your children are such a joy to be around each day and they certainly appreciate every opportunity that comes their way. We have now had four incredibly successful residential trips for our Year 3 through to Year 6 pupils and I thoroughly enjoyed my week in France with Year 6. I am somewhat saddened to hear that some schools have not yet reinstated their pre-covid offerings of residential trips to students or have resisted travelling overseas with them. We were delighted that our chateau in France, ‘Chateau de la Baudonniere’, was reopened and that we could enjoy all the opportunities offered by such a residential school trip. Over the years of attending numerous school residentials I have often been asked by friends outside of education why I enjoy taking children on such trips. Until you have experienced one it is hard to put into words what we gain from them as adults. However, I can say with my hand on my heart that it is a privilege and pleasure to spend time with the children of St. Helen’s College on residentials. It is undoubtedly incredibly hard work and a huge responsibility for staff to act ‘in loco parentis’ for so many children, but the cohort of Year 6 pupils this year were such great company in France and throughout the week. No matter where we were, either onsite or out and about visiting other places, we received so many positive comments from members of the general public. Our pupils really do stand out among the crowd with their manners and social etiquette and they show genuine enthusiasm for the opportunities they are given. This week I joked with the staff at our staff meeting and the children in assembly and recommended that we all buckle ourselves in for a fast and furious roller coaster ride this half term, as the school calendar is jam packed with so many wonderful opportunities for our children and the community in general. This week has not disappointed us - and as we enter the weekend exhilarated from the past 5 days, do remember to allow your children to recharge over the weekend. Next week brings an abundance of new learning and opportunities! Happy weekend everyone! Mrs. Drummond

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