School News and Head's Blog

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Posted on: 9/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 9th November 2018

3B led the school today at this most poignant time of year as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War 1. Not only did they take the lead in our two minute silence, along with School Council members who presented the wreaths made in their art lessons, but they performed magnificently in both their assemblies. All pupils and parents stopped to remember all those who have been involved in our armed forces over the past 100 years and those still serving. Thank you to everyone who has supported the British Legion Poppy Appeal. Many children and families will be attending various services over the weekend as we commemorate this historic day. Please see below the link from CBeebies discussed in assemblies today which looks at war from the animals' perspective. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04p4zsl/poppies Children in Need Next Friday, 16th November, is Children in Need Day and, as usual, the school will be supporting this most deserving cause. Children may come to school on the day in their own clothes, wearing spots or yellow if possible, and every child should bring a pair of named wellies in a plastic bag. Children may like to decorate their wellies with spots too! There will be grand raffles at all three sites, with prizes of giant Pudsey Bears and smaller Blush Bears and Pudsey Bears, and the whole school will wear their wellies to go on an Autumn Watch themed ramble in Court Park in the morning. There is a suggested donation for each child of £5, which will include the cost of one raffle ticket, and you may buy extra raffle tickets if you would like to send in more money with your child. We will be delighted if the school can make a significant contribution to the charity; however, the most important aim of the day is to raise awareness amongst our pupils of how lucky they are and of how many disadvantaged children there are who need our help. We understand that families give time and money in other ways and through other channels. All donations will be gratefully received, but there is no mandatory contribution to take part in the day. We are very aware that many of you have already purchased Children in Need merchandise and will be wearing it to school or will be contributing live during the live television show. U-Talk Award St. Helen's College has been recognised as the school which has accumulated the most number of points from the children participating in the Eurotalk online challenge. Every child from Year 2 to 6 took part this year, learning new languages and competing against children from other schools around the country. It is a testament to the strength of our language department that the school has been inspiring children to learn such a diverse range of languages. Mrs. Stark attended the ceremony in Olympia today to collect the award on behalf of St. Helen's College. Chess News Two St. Helen's College chess players, Michael K and Anish A, were very fortunate recently to have the opportunity to play against Shreyas Royal, an incredibly talented nine year old schoolboy who is already conquering the world of chess. He is already the best player in the under-12 age group in the UK, and the second best under-10 player in the world! Shreyas travelled from his home in Kent to play 17 matches simultaneously against 17 players from Uxbridge Chess Club, including Michael and Anish. Shreyas literally had to walk between 17 chess boards and played each game against the clock. Incredibly, he won all but one of the 17 games, drawing one. There is no doubt that Shreyas is helping to inspire a whole new interest in the game of chess at a junior level. Well done Michael and Anish for trying to beat him! Sports News Our Year 6 netball team played against Oak Farm in the local league this week. The match was very close and for much of its duration both teams were drawn on the same number of goals. However, Oak Farm had a final surge in the last quarter and won the match 8 - 6. Well done to all of the St. Helen's College team. PA Christmas Parties The PA will be running Christmas parties for the children on Sunday 2nd December at The Breakspear Arms, Breakspear Road South, UB9 6LT. There will be hot food, entertainment, a visit from Santa and each child will receive a Christmas gift! Posters with details are being displayed around the school and a flyer/reply slip will be sent home in your child's book bag. A copy of the flyer/return slip is also available here. Please complete your ticket/food order and return the flyer to the school as soon as possible. Party timings are: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.  Ducklings, Nursery and Reception 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m.  Years 1, 2 and 3 3.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.  Years 4, 5 and 6 Please note that a parent must stay with children from Ducklings, Nursery, Reception and Year 1. We hope that your child/ren will be able to join us for the Christmas parties, which have always been extremely good fun in the past! Staff/Parent Choir We are very interested to hear from parents who would like to join our staff/parent choir, which is meeting in the Upper School Hall on Wednesday mornings from 8.00 - 8.25 a.m. during the second half of term to prepare for a performance at the Carol Concert on the final day of term.  We are a friendly group, led by Mrs. Garnes, and enthusiasm is really the only requirement. All are extremely welcome and male voices are particularly in demand! Why not come along and join us - we are sure that your children will be delighted to see you in the choir. If you are able to join us, please email Mrs. Garnes to let her know so that she may prepare the correct number of packs in advance, and then simply turn up on Wednesday morning to the Upper School Hall at 8 a.m. You can reach Mrs. Garnes at mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com. Photo Consent Opt-In Forms & Data Collection Forms All parents are being send an opt-in form which, post-GDPR, we must ask you to sign in order to allow us to use photographs of your children. The school likes to keep parents up to date with what your children have been doing and a big part of this is taking and sharing photographs via this website and our newsletters and magazines. Please therefore sign and return the opt-in form promptly. If you have not yet returned your data collection form, please also do this at your earliest convenience, since these were due back to school before the half term break. Many thanks indeed for your co-operation with this.
Posted on: 2/11/2018

Weekly News - Friday 2nd November 2018

6W's class assembly re-enactment of the Gunplowder Plot heist gripped the audience this morning, with a guest performance from the St. Helen's College School of Rock band! It was a superb performance by all. I am sure that our Year 6 pupils' visit to the Houses of Parliament next week will be a memorable and most enjoyable outing.  Poppy Appeal Pupils at Lower School and Upper School are able to purchase their poppies at school. Year 6 and the Charity Monitors will be selling these next week in the playground. Thank you for supporting the Royal British Legion. Parking Restrictions in Parkway We have been informed by the London Borough of Hillingdon that there will be new parking restrictions introduced in Parkway from mid-November. Single yellow lines will be painted along the whole road, with restrictions so that drivers are not permitted to park between the hours of 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. Our drop-and-go system should not be affected by these restrictions, since parents using the drop-and-go system do not stop their engines or exit their cars. We hope that the new restrictions will help with the traffic flow in the area since traffic should be able to move freely both ways along Parkway at these times. Staff/Parent Choir We are very interested to hear from parents who would like to join our staff/parent choir, which will be meeting on Wednesday mornings from 8.00 - 8.25 a.m. during the second half of term to prepare for a performance at the Carol Concert on the final day of term.  We are a friendly group, led by Mrs. Garnes, and enthusiasm is really the only requirement. All are extremely welcome and male voices are particularly in demand! Why not come along and join us - we are sure that your children will be delighted to see you in the choir. If you are able to join us, please email Mrs. Garnes to let her know so that she may prepare the correct number of packs in advance, and then simply turn up on Wednesday morning to the Upper School Hall at 8 a.m. You can reach Mrs. Garnes at mgarnes@sthelenscollege.com. Concert Tickets We are currently arranging an exciting opportunity for our Chamber Choir to sing at the prestigious St. John’s Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3HA as part of the annual London Schools Concert organised to raise money for The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. Choirs and young musicians from some of London’s best independent schools have been performing for family and friends at this event for many years and we are delighted to have been invited to participate, once again, in what will be their 15th concert.   The concert will take place on Sunday 3rd February 2019 and starts at 2 p.m. The link for the tickets is below. Adults are £25 and children are £15. https://www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/1/london-schools-concert.html Sports Results Our Year 6 netball team played St. Andrew's School in the local league this week. It was a home match and we enjoyed some great home support from the sidelines. The team played very well, working effectively together through the centre court towards goal. Our attacking pairs teamed up well to create lots of shooting opportunities and our defending pairs made lots of interceptions to limit the shooting chances of St. Andrew's. The final score was 18 - 0 to St. Helen's College. Eleven Year 6 children participated in the Borough Tag Rugby competition this week, at which there were 17 teams representing 11 schools. St. Helen's College put on an impressive performance and were unbeaten, winning two matches and drawing two. The children developed their running and passing skills throughout the tournament and were particularly good in defence, giving their opponents little opportunity to score. Another team in the group won three matches, so we did not progress to the finals.  PA Christmas Parties The PA children’s Christmas parties will take place on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at The Breakspear Arms, Breakspear Road South, UB9 6LT. Tickets will cost £10 per child, which includes food and entertainment and the parties promise to be bigger and better than ever this year!  The timings of the parties will be as follows: 10.30 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.: Ducklings, Nursery and Reception​ 1.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m.: Years 1-3 3.30 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.: Years 4-6 Please look out for the flyer/reply slip which will be sent home in book bags next week. Full details of how to book your tickets and the food choices available will be included on the flyer. Don't miss out - pencil the date in your diary now! Breakfast Club We would like to remind parents that Breakfast Club bookings are now open on SchoolsBuddy. If you wish for your child to attend Breakfast Club, you must book in advance through your SchoolsBuddy account. You may book up until 7.30 a.m. on the day of attendance, so there is still plenty of flexibility for parents. Please note that you may not just turn up on the day and ask Breakfast Club staff to take your child without first making a booking online.
Posted on: 2/11/2018

Head's Blog - Flipping Fantastic!

Every day I am in awe of how engaged our pupils are with their learning and how they strive to take their learning beyond school, but this week I feel the need to share a particular example of this! As the pupils go through the school, the learning that we expect the pupils to do at home has a different emphasis; the children are introduced to ‘Flipped Learning’. Flipped Learning inverts the traditional classroom model by introducing concepts before class, allowing teachers to use class time to guide each student through active, practical, innovative applications of the principles. The teacher provides resources such as videos so that the core concepts may be covered by the children at their own pace before the lesson. A quick quiz or other feedback from the children informs the teacher of their level of understanding so that the appropriate level of support for each child can be provided in class. Time previously spent addressing the whole class is spent supporting individuals as they solidify what they have learnt, test their comprehension and master the content. This method of home learning ensures that pupils are able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a subject but also that they are extending their learning skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and perseverance with a greater depth of responsibility. Our Year 6 pupils were recently asked to choose their own way of helping other children understand one of the topics that they had learnt. They produced a range of interesting presentations that could be used for Flipped Learning. Some children chose to develop their presentations over the holidays. One produced his own animated video explaining the order of operations in maths. Please follow this link to watch his video. Thomas has not only used his IT skills but demonstrated his understanding of algebra using his creativity and with a superb sense of humour!   This is a prime of example of how our pupils are engaged and inspired by learning and I know that in the very near future Thomas is also hoping to take part in a masterclass on movie making with the iPad, including green screen, run by external provider https://www.tomorrowsachievers.co.uk/. Do take a look at this website as there are so many wonderful opportunities for our pupils to participate in at weekends and holidays. Mr. Lewis, who is the leading force on ‘Flipped Learning’, will be sharing more on its uses and how our pupils are being encouraged to embrace Flipped Learning, not only for school home learning, but also for how it can inspire them beyond the classroom...but that is for a future blog! Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 12/10/2018

Weekly News - Friday 12th October 2018

It has been an incredibly successful and busy half term as ever at St. Helen's College and I wish you all a restful half term break and look forward to seeing all the children back at the end of October in their winter uniforms. Lower School Update We are delighted with the new Reception and Nursery classrooms and the children have well and truly made them their new homes in the last five weeks!  I am sure that you all enjoyed having the opportunity visiting the classrooms during parents' evenings. Over the half term break our contractors will be completing the snagging list and moving the last of their equipment off site. Our new storage areas have now also been completed and the playground areas requiring attention will be re-tarred which will mean that the children will have full access to the playground after half term. We had hoped that we may also be able to repaint the playground but this may need to wait until a future date. The area of ground outside the Nursery classroom which has some artificial grass laid on it at present is being prepared for a permeable surface which we hope to have completed as soon as is feasible.  Lower School Parents' Evening It has been wonderful to see so many parents over the past week or so at the recent Lower School parents' evening and to hear how happy and settled all the children are in their new classes.  We have such a supportive parent body and it is with us all working together that your children will flourish best. Thank you for all the positive feedback.   Lower School Harvest Festival Assemblies Wow! Well done to the children of Nursery, Reception and Year 1, who presented such confident and interesting Harvest assemblies this week. Thank you so much for all of the contributions which overwhelmed the Salvation Army and our local community will hugely benefit from your donations. Zail's Presentation Zail in Year 4 led assembly on Wednesday enriching the learning of pupils from Years 4, 5 and 6 and staff with his wonderful experiences from his five week adventure to South America. It was clearly an experience that he will never forget and he most certainly is an ambassador for the South American tourist board! You can view his presentation here. 4KT Assembly We were treated to a super assembly from 4KT this morning as they reminded us of the importance of 'co-operation' in their acting, recital and singing. Tremendous teamwork and co-operation from all - well done!   School Bus The School Bus service, running from Ruislip through Ickenham to school, will now be available for all children from Nursery through to Year 6. Parents of Nursery children should discuss with their form teacher (Miss Carmichael or Mrs. Mann) before booking their child onto the bus. Bookings are open for the second half of term and places should be booked through the SchoolsBuddy system. Coding Club We still have some spaces available in our new Coding Club, available to children in Years 5 and 6. We have slightly amended the timing of the club so that Year 5 children may attend after swimming. The club takes place after school on a Friday from 4.00 to 5.00 p.m. The children have heard all about coding in assembly this week and we hope that they have been inspired to learn more about coding, which is such an important skill in the world today. If you would like your child to join Coding Club for the six weeks of the second half of term, please email swalker@sthelenscollege.com. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and, once your place is confirmed, you will be asked to make payment in advance via SchoolsBuddy. Sports Results Cross Country Champion! On Monday our girls' cross country team took part in the Hillingdon Borough cross country finals at Belmore Academy School. Over 70 girls who had qualified from across the Borough took part on a relatively flat course and the pace was fast. After the initial crowded start, it was Zoe K from Year 6 who lead from the front and held off a spirited challenge from a St. Bernadette's runner to stretch her lead over the latter part of the course, taking the title in style. The rest of our team, Chiara L, Hebe E, Rhea A-V, Jada P and Chloe W did very well too, helping the team to finish in 4th place overall.  Zoe has now been invited to represent Hillingdon at the London Youth Games mini marathon in November at Parliament Hill. Congratulations to all of the girls and to Zoe in particular. Netball  It has been a busy week for the Year 6 netball team. On Wednesday they took part in a friendly 7-a-side netball tournament at St. Mary's School. Six teams from five schools took part, including independent schools Heatherton House, St. Helen's School and St. Mary's. Our team played very well, showing a confident understanding of the game and solid tactical awareness. The team won 3 matches and lost and drew the other matches to finish in 3rd place.  The following day it was a league match and the format was Hi Five netball, the 5-a-side version of the game. Our opponents were local rivals Highfield School. The team dominated the play against a less experienced team to get their season off to a flying start winning 14 - 0.  Well done to all the Year 6 girls who played this week: Hebe E, Rhea Sa, Zoe K, Wenru D, Mya S, Georgia M, Tamara A, Eshar S, Ionie M, Aaria K and Jada P. Football Our Year 3/4 football players showed great individual ability in their match against ACS this week. St. Helen's College won the game 4-0,  with every player making a good contribution. The two players of the match were Louis B (Y3), who scored 2 goals, and Adam O (Y4). The other goals were scored by Joban K and Adam K. We will now be looking to build on the strong individual performances and develop our teamwork over the coming weeks. Well done to all of the boys who played. The Year 5/6 football team had a difficult week, losing 3-0 in both the league and cup games this week to St. Catherine's. St. Catherine’s have a very strong team and look set to do well this season, so these matches were great learning opportunities for the team. The boys should be commended for the resilience and sportsmanship they showed during these two tough games. Uxbridge Junior Chess Club If your child enjoys chess, then he or she might be interested in joining the Uxbridge Junior Chess Club, which is run by one of our parents, Mr. Knight. Sessions for new and experienced players aged 6-15 years are run on Wednesday evenings from 6 - 7.30 p.m. at the Ivy Leaf Club, 8 Wellington Road, Uxbridge, UB8 2AP. You can find full details at www.uxbridgejuniorchessclub.com. Your first session is free so why not go along and try it out. Hillingdon Fire Station Open Day There is an Open Day on Friday October 26th at Hillingdon Fire Station, between the hours of 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. This has been a great success in recent years and we would encourage you to take your children along if you have a free day. There will be a wide range of activities on the day such as giving the children a chance to get on board a fire truck, try on the gear and squirt some water at targets from the hoses. Children will gain an insight into what the Fire Brigade do on a daily basis through live fire safety demonstrations and there will be free fire safety advice. There will be a number of different fire trucks there on the day, all with special abilities. There will also be a variety of food stalls, including an ice cream van, and children will have a chance to meet Sherlock, the special fire investigation dog, as well as other guide dogs. There will even be a petting zoo! If you would like to take your bike along on the day,  you can get it stamped for free by the police in order to help protect against theft.
Posted on: 5/10/2018

Weekly News - Friday 5th October

We are delighted to announce that St. Helen's College has been shortlisted for the Independent School Parent Magazine Awards for Independent School of the Year 2018. This nomination is a particularly pleasing one, since it recognises pupil experience. A core belief at St. Helen's College is that children learn best when they feel happy, secure and loved, so we are delighted that we have been shortlisted as one of the best independent schools for pupil experience! Breast Cancer Now I am so proud of one of our Year 6 pupils, Amar, who delivered a very poignant and informative assembly to Year 4-Year 6 this week. I am sure many of you read the Head's Blog last Friday - this young man really has helped a lot of children to talk both amongst themselves and with adults on a very important topic. Please do take the time to watch the presentation here: https://youtu.be/WjIXuWK23N4 Harvest Thank you to all the Upper School pupils and parents for attending the service on Tuesday and for all the most generous donations. The Salvation Army were overwhelmed by your generosity. I am sure you will agree that the pupils gave us the most delightful harvest service with song, poetry and prayer. Well done to everyone! Our Lower School Harvest Assemblies will be taking place on Monday 8th (Nursery), Tuesday 9th (Reception) and Wednesday 10th (Year 1). Each assembly will begin at 8.45 a.m. and parents are warmly invited to watch children perform. The Infant Choir will perform after the Reception assembly and again after the Year 1 assembly. Prizegiving Many thanks to those of you who attended Prizegiving last night, either as parents of prize winners or as parents of Chamber Choir children. As ever, it was a magical event at which we celebrated the academic, sporting, musical and dramatic achievements of our prize winners, as well as their personal qualities and contributions to the school. Our Guest of Honour, Jonny Taylor from Merchant Taylors' School, inspired the audience with his entertaining and thought-provoking speech and did a wonderful job of handing out the prizes. Lower School Parents' Evening It has been wonderful to meet with so many of our parents in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 this week at the recent parents' evening. It is heartwarming to hear from you all how well your children are settling into a new year group and enjoying the new academic year. Please do remember that if you would like to speak to the teachers for longer then you can make an appointment directly with your teachers. Sports Results The District Cross Country event took place on Thursday evening and St. Helen's College children gave a very good account of themselves. There were over 100 runners in both the boys' and girls' races, so the competition was tough. However, Zoe K was crowned the Borough Champion for the girls, finishing in 1st place, Chiara L finished in 8th place and our girls' team finished as bronze medallists. Very well done to the girls: Zoe K, Chiara L, Hebe E, Jada P, Chloe W and Rhea A-V. All of these girls have qualified for the Borough Finals on Monday. Our boys' team finished in 10th place, with Alex C the best placed individual in 24th place overall.  Last week, our football team got their competitive season off to an impressive start, beating Highfield 4-0 even though the team has not yet had much time together. Very well done to Harrison J, who scored all four goals! This week, the team lost 1-0 on Wednesday to St. Bernadette’s. The team played well and were unlucky not to get a draw on this occasion. Half Term Holiday Club - Bookings Now Open On SchoolsBuddy Bookings are now open for Holiday Club which will be running throughout the half term, with optional Breakfast Club each day. Please make your bookings through your SchoolsBuddy account as soon as possible, and by next Friday (12th October) at the latest. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. A day session runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and this includes a cooked lunch and afternoon tea. Tea will be served at the earlier time of 3.30 p.m. so that, if parents are collecting children early, they will still be able to have tea. The optional Breakfast Club sessions run from 7.30 a.m. Please note that you may pay by card or select 'voucher payment' which tells us that you are paying by Childcare Voucher or Tax Free Childcare Account. If you would like to pay for some sessions using card, and for some sessions using voucher payment, then you will need to make separate bookings for these - for example, book Monday/Tuesday sessions and pay by card, then book Wednesday/Thursday/Friday sessions and pay by childcare voucher. We hope that you will find the new online booking and payment system easy to use but if you experience any difficulties, please do contact the school office who will be pleased to help. School Bus and Breakfast Club Bookings Now Open Via SchoolsBuddy Bookings for the morning bus service and Breakfast Club for the second half of term are also now live on SchoolsBuddy. Please note that, even if you have been a regular user of these services before, you must now book and pay online on SchoolsBuddy to secure your places going forward.  When you log in to your SchoolsBuddy account, go to the Bookings tab and book the services/sessions you require.  For Breakfast Club, you may pay by card or select 'voucher payment' which tells us that you are paying by Childcare Voucher or Tax Free Childcare Account. If you would like to pay for some Breakfast Club sessions using card, and for some Breakfast Club sessions using voucher payment, then you will need to make separate bookings for these - for example, book Monday/Tuesday sessions and pay by card, then book Wednesday/Thursday/Friday sessions and pay by childcare voucher. We hope that you will find the new online and payment system easy to use but if you experience any difficulties, please do contact the school office who will be pleased to help. Childcare Vouchers/Tax Free Childcare Account payments may not be used for School Bus bookings, since by its nature this 'extended care' does not happen on the school premises. Around School Please may we request that, when parents are crossing the Upper School Playground, you use the pathway around the outside of the playground instead of cutting across the playground. If you are waiting for Upper School children to be dismissed and have come across from Lower School please may we ask that you wait on Parkway - this alleviates congestion outside the school office.   Parents are reminded to supervise younger pupils at the Upper School entrance and to be particularly vigilant of the car park areas and the gardens which are cared for so well by Mr. Rizzo. 
Posted on: 5/10/2018

Head's Blog - Reflections on the Heads' Conference

Last week I had the privilege of joining with 400 other Independent School Heads from all over the UK and overseas at the annual Head’s Conference. I spent three full days listening to interesting and thought-provoking speakers and having the opportunity to network with fellow Heads to discuss and share our expertise and experiences.   I must admit that on several occasions I did sit back and smile (I hope not too smugly) as some of the speakers highlighted key aspects for improving the education of young people and I reflected that, at St. Helen's College, we are already doing these things very well... Harriet Marshall - Building a sustainable future and global citizenship for our children by promoting the United Nations Global Goals. This is our third year in supporting this at school and only on Tuesday of last week we revisited this with the launch of ‘The World’s Greatest Lesson’ in Upper School assembly. Dr. Ruth Graham - Discussing future engineers in our school and promoting STEAM. Didn’t we just have our STEAM Day two weeks ago! Julie Robinson - The importance of partnerships between the independent sector and state schools. We have numerous partnerships already in place, not only for pupils' benefit but also for staff professional development. Chris Jeffrey - Developing and embedding a culture of wellbeing through mindfulness, positive psychology, time to talk, starting with the why and being human first…. Chris was 'preaching to the converted' here - in fact, we were one of the first schools to introduce these tools for ensuring the wellbeing of our children. Lucy Crehan (yes, Mr. and Mrs. Crehan’s daughter Lucy was one of our keynote closing speakers!) - Discussing her book Cleverlands, Lucy looked at what the top performing schools around the world are doing and how this could impact our practice, including removing setting from subjects, deploying resources effectively and less one to one support which has very little evidential impact from research. At St. Helen's College, we began to implement these recommendations very early indeed and are constantly reviewing the effectiveness of educational techniques such as setting and support. One speaker whose wisdom inspired humility and awe was Lord Dr. Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE. He discussed the AI revolution and being ready for 2030. In his presentation he made reference to the World Economic Forum report and the vital skills which will be most desired by employers by 2020. These were listed as: Creativity. People management. Coordinating with others.  Emotional intelligence.  Judgement and decision making. Service orientation.  Negotiation skills. Cognitive flexibility. This involves creativity, logical reasoning, and problem sensitivity. I do believe  that our curriculum and the opportunities pupils have here at St. Helen’s College are ticking every one of these skills!  In the full report it discusses the skills which will be required but also those which will be in rapid decline. Emotional intelligence will be one of the top skills required, with active listening almost disappearing. ‘Robots may help us to get somewhere faster….but they cannot be more creative than we are’.   The CIA in the USA recently posted an advert in the Economist. The job spec stipulated: intellectual, curious adventurers. No work background was specified. I am sure you can see where I am coming from…..your children are the future, so let’s keep supporting them in developing the correct skills through our academic and holistic curriculum to enable them to be ready for their futures. I am signposting you to a Ted Talk by Lord Hastings..’The Empowerment of Purpose’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zePLEJtUIe8 Enjoy! Mrs. Drummond
Posted on: 28/09/2018

Weekly News - Friday 28th September

Our first Month End Music Recital of the academic year this afternoon was very well attended, and saw some super performances from the pupils on flute, violin, trumpet, saxophone and piano. It is always so impressive to see children so young performing in public with confidence and great skill, and such a pleasure to see the results of their hard work. Bravo to all those who played! E-safety talk Thank you to all those parents who attended the E-safety talk on Tuesday night; we had a full house and it was encouraging to see how home and school are working together to support the children. Paul Hay, our visiting E-safety specialist, told us that he thoroughly enjoyed the day and that the pupils were a credit to parents and staff. He was delighted that the evening talk was so well-attended. You are welcome to visit Paul's page and email him directly if you do have any queries relating to E-Safety. www.pclstraining.com/links paul.hay@pclstraining.com Eco Schools Silver Award Following on from our Bronze Award, the Eco Team (together with the whole school community) have now achieved the Eco Schools accreditation of the silver award! We will now strive to achieve the even more prestigious ‘green flag’ award with the help of everyone. Please continue to promote ways to live in a more eco friendly fashion: ‘reduce, reuse, recycle, repair’. Harvest Festivals Our Harvest Festival celebrations will take place over the next two weeks. Upper School (children in Years 2-6) will attend the Harvest Festival service at All Saints Church on Tuesday next week. All children should be in full, correct school uniform on this day. If they have PE/Games on a Tuesday, they should bring in their PE/Games kits to change into.  Lower School (children in Nursery to Year 1) will celebrate Harvest the week after with their Harvest assemblies. As is traditional, we would ask parents to send your child in with a Harvest donation. The most suitable donations are tinned, canned or dry packet goods such as tinned fruit, vegetables, meat or fish; dried pasta, rice, pulses or grains, packets of cereal and porridge or packets of sweet treats such as biscuits. Please check the sell by date and send goods with as long a shelf life as possible. All donations will be going to the Salvation Army, who will distribute to those in need in Hillingdon. Many thanks to you all, in advance, for your generosity. Breast Cancer Awareness October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Mr. and Mrs. Cheema, parents of Amar (Y6) will be taking part in the Breast Cancer Now campaign in collaboration with Marks and Spencer. During the month of October, 20% of all purchases made from the ‘Pink Collection’ will be donated to Breast Cancer Now to fund vital research to ensure that by 2050, any woman diagnosed with Breast Cancer will survive. Please do visit your local M&S in store or online to support this cause. https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/style-and-living/breast-cancer-now-feature Mrs. Cheema has written a guest Head's Blog this week. You can read it here. Cancer Research Relay For Life We are delighted to announce that the total raised by the St. Helen's College team for this year's Cancer Research Relay for Life now stands at just over £4000. Many thanks to you all, once again, for your generosity. You can get a feel for the day itself through this short video clip of the team: https://animoto.com/play/ZT0bYGL4FLClJsmxvZkv8g Staffing  We are delighted to welcome Mrs. Fiona Bool to St. Helen’s College as our new Finance Manager. Some of the children have already met Mrs. Bool in assembly and I am sure she will soon get to know our school community. Mrs. Dennington is working alongside Mrs. Bool over the next week to ensure a good transition and I would like to thank Mrs. Dennington for all her hard work and dedication to St. Helen’s College over the past 17 years.  Half Term Holiday Club - Bookings Now Open On SchoolsBuddy Bookings are now open for Holiday Club which will be running throughout the half term, with optional Breakfast Club each day. We will be using SchoolsBuddy to take bookings. When you log in to your SchoolsBuddy account, go to the Bookings tab and book the sessions you require. A day session runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and this includes lunch and afternoon tea, which is served at 3.30 p.m. The optional Breakfast Club sessions run from 7.30 a.m. Please note that you may pay by card or select 'voucher payment' which tells us that you are paying by Childcare Voucher or Tax Free Childcare Account. If you would like to pay for some sessions using card, and for some sessions using voucher payment, then you will need to make separate bookings for these - for example, book Monday/Tuesday sessions and pay by card, then book Wednesday/Thursday/Friday sessions and pay by childcare voucher. We hope that you will find the new online and payment system easy to use but if you experience any difficulties, please do contact the school office who will be pleased to help. School Bus and Breakfast Club Bookings Now Open Via SchoolsBuddy Bookings for the morning bus service and Breakfast Club for the second half of term are now live on SchoolsBuddy. Please note that, even if you have been a regular user of these services before, you must now book and pay online on SchoolsBuddy to secure your places going forward.  When you log in to your SchoolsBuddy account, go to the Bookings tab and book the services/sessions you require.  For Breakfast Club, you may pay by card or select 'voucher payment' which tells us that you are paying by Childcare Voucher or Tax Free Childcare Account. If you would like to pay for some Breakfast Club sessions using card, and for some Breakfast Club sessions using voucher payment, then you will need to make separate bookings for these - for example, book Monday/Tuesday sessions and pay by card, then book Wednesday/Thursday/Friday sessions and pay by childcare voucher. We hope that you will find the new online and payment system easy to use but if you experience any difficulties, please do contact the school office who will be pleased to help. Childcare Vouchers/Tax Free Childcare Account payments may not be used for School Bus bookings, since by its nature this extended care does not happen on the school premises. After School Club bookings will be set up on SchoolsBuddy in due course. Piano Vacancy - Upper School We have an unexpected vacancy for a child (Y2-6) to learn piano at 12 noon on Saturdays. Please email Mrs. Allery if you are interested in this; the place will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. rallery@sthelenscollege.com The Nutcracker at The Royal Opera House If you are considering a family outing for Christmas, you might be interested in seeing The Nutcracker at The Royal Opera House.  https://www.roh.org.uk/productions/the-nutcracker-by-peter-wright
Posted on: 28/09/2018

Head's Blog - Breast Cancer Awareness by Mrs. Cheema

They say everyone knows someone who has had Cancer. When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2013, at the age of 36...I didn’t. I was chair of the Parents’ Association at the time and very much involved in the school community. We had just had the St. Helen’s College Family Bollywood evening. It was a fantastic night, all singing and dancing with great food. We even had Mr. Crehan changing the Bhangra lightbulbs on the dance floor! We came home elated with the success of the evening. That very night as I flopped into bed, exhausted with the excitement and preparation that comes with any school event, I felt a hard lump in my right breast. As the news broke and the days unfolded, my world turned upside down. As a family, we were being taken down a road that was very unfamiliar to us. Eight months of treatment followed, to include 6 sessions of chemotherapy, 15 sessions of radiotherapy and surgery and a whole summer snatched away from us. Our children Suraj and Amar, just 8 and 5 at the time, had to watch and wait as mummy got sick and then a little better and then sick again as the chemotherapy did its job every three weeks to shrink my tumour and catch any stray cancer cells that may have travelled around my body. People often ask how we coped? Well, I believe it has a lot to do with a positive mental attitude. Accepting a situation that is out of your control is the first step. No amount of worrying will change any situation. Each day when I wake up, I have a choice, to live that day as best I can or to lie in bed and feel sorry for myself. Some days, the latter choice was my only option when my body needed its rest. I am very aware every single day how precious our lives are and how they can be snatched away in a split second, so I choose to enjoy each and every day and make it special. How do the children cope? I think children are very resilient, a breath of fresh air actually. The innocence of a child can get you through any situation. Children look at the here and now. They don’t hold on to the fear, don’t worry about the future and can move on quite quickly with a play date or a family movie night on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn! Keeping things as normal as possible, even through the toughest of days, is how we got through it. So here we are, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year is a particularly exciting one for our family. Gurveer and I are working with one of the largest Breast Cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now, in collaboration with Marks and Spencer to raise vital funds for research into Breast Cancer so that by 2050, anyone diagnosed will survive. To take one of the most challenging parts of our lives and turn it into something positive to raise awareness and help towards a common goal is a fantastic opportunity for us. https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/style-and-living/breast-cancer-now-feature M&S have pledged to raise 13 million pounds over this 5 year campaign and together we can reach this goal even faster. I am asking everyone to visit your local M&S store during the month of October. 20% of any purchases made from the Breast Cancer collection will be donated to Breast Cancer Now to fund this vital research. I believe that if we can break the backbone of Breast Cancer, we will be one step closer to finding better treatment for all other cancers. Breast Cancer affects 1 in 8 women, and early detection is the key. I never thought this would happen to me but it did. Then my mum and my sister were also diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We are all ok now, because we were so aware and detected these changes early. Look, touch, feel, know your breasts and be aware of any changes, no matter how slight. This should be done every 3-4 weeks. If any change at all is seen, visit your GP and demand a mammogram is done. I cannot shout this message any louder and I will continue to do so. Speak to the women in your family and spread awareness amongst your friends, and speak to your elders as cancer does not exclude anyone. This is not something any woman can ignore. Be breast aware, it could save someone’s life. Mrs. Cheema

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