Weekly News - Friday 26th March 2021Posted on: 26/03/2021
We all thoroughly enjoyed the finals of our annual Speech Competition, held on Monday this week. Miles Barrow, a West End and movie actor and alumnus of St. Helen's College, joined us live online to judge the event and he was hugely impressed by the performances delivered by the children across the school. Very well done indeed to the winners.
1C - Avleen P
1R - Shayla R
2B - Samuel H
2H - Evie J
3B - Sarab D
3M - Anna K
Year 1 winner - Avleen P
Year 2 winner - Evie J
Year 3 winner - Sarab D
Overall Junior Competition winner - Avleen P
4L - Inaya S
4T - Poppy H
5A - Rivan K
5G - Reiss D
6M - Reece G
6R - Adam O
Year 4 winner - Inaya S
Year 5 winner - Reiss D
Year 6 winner - Adam O
Overall Senior Competition winner - Adam O
HeartStart First Aid Training In Action
At St. Helen's College, we all know that a successful education blends academic learning and transferable life skills. One of the ongoing strands of our personal development programme is our HeartStart programme, through which we teach all children from Reception to Year 6 basic first aid and lifesaving skills.
We were sent sincere thanks this week from a parent whose son had, in a life threatening choking situation, stayed calm and responsive, remembering and using the Heimlich Manoeuvre he had been taught in HeartStart sessions at school. It is no exaggeration to say that the actions he took, in a panic situation, were potentially life saving.
I am sure all parents will be pleased to know that we remain absolutely committed to our programmes of education that develop the 'whole child'. While we are thrilled that our children achieve so highly academically, and proud of the excellent habits of learning we instil, we are equally proud of helping your children to grow into responsible, responsive young men and women.
Well done, Ariyan, for putting your HeartStart learning into action and for talking to us all about your actions in assembly this week.
Year 3/4 Quiz Club
Thursday saw the heats of the Year 3 and 4 Prep School General Knowledge Quiz, and our teams thoroughly enjoyed competing online in this prestigious competition. The questions were really tough, from a wide range of subjects, and our teams gave a very good account of themselves.
The Year 3 team got 27 out of their 30 questions right and ended the competition in joint 11th place. The team members were: Aaron B, Raiden B, Marco K and Tiya T.
Our Year 4 team got 28 out of their 30 questions right and ended the afternoon in joint 4th position. Very well done to the team: Annie L, Advik S, Arshvir S and Minaya W.
Both teams will now have to wait until all the heats are complete to see whether they have achieved enough points to go through to the finals as one of the next highest scoring teams after the automatic qualifiers.
We are sad to announce that Miss Walker will be leaving St. Helen's College at the end of the summer term, after 26 years with the school.
Miss Walker has, for many years, been the school's Director of Co-Curriculum, Head of PE and Subject Leader of Geography, as well as a highly valued member of the school's Senior Leadership Team. She is leaving us to develop her career even further as she will be taking up the position of Head of Upper School (Deputy Head Pastoral) at High March School, starting in September.
Miss Walker is a familiar face to generations of pupils and parents, as well as being well known across the local community for her involvement in local sports clubs and leagues. She has taught more or less every pupil who has passed through St. Helen's College over the last quarter of a century, and has had a big impact on so many young lives. We know that you will join us in congratulating her on her new post when you see her around school next term.
Mrs. McLaughlin will be returning from her maternity leave after the summer half term break and will return to her class, 3M, working three days per week. Mrs. Briggs will continue working with the class on the other two days.
Miss Davies and Mrs. Hunt will continue as the Owls class teachers until the end of this academic year, while Miss Joiner is away on her maternity leave.
Miss Angie Raja-Ross has joined our team of Teaching and Learning Assistants at Lower School and will be working with Wrens class.
Ms Amy Keenlyside will be joining us at Lower School next term, working as a Midday Supervisor.
Guess The Place
Congratulations to the winners of the last 'Guess the Place' photo challenge this term. The Natural History Museum was correctly identified by Evie and Ashvika in Year 2 and Millie and Riyan in Year 1. Well done also to Pavan, Hana, Sean and Tiya in Year 3, Eshanvi in Year 4, David, Rivan, Chrissy, Natalia, Luka, Kylah, Siyana, Eshan, Oliver, Shruthi, Riddhi and Charlotte in Year 5, Vidhit and Zail in Year 6 who all used their detective skills to discover that our other photo was of Brosgrove Mill on the Norfolk Broads.
Guess the Place will start again after the Easter Holiday and Miss Walker would be delighted to receive photos of places our families might visit over the Easter holidays or have visited in the past to challenge everyone to 'guess the place'. Please submit your photos with the name of the place to Miss Walker at
Musician of the Term
A big well done to Riya C, who has been named the spring term Musician of the Term. Riya has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm over several years in all aspects of music at St Helen’s College.
Riya has excellent music skills and applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work. She is a member of the Senior Choir and Chamber Choir and is an excellent role model within the music department as a music prefect. She regularly performs at assemblies and recitals and, as well as playing the ukulele, she also sings. Riya has exceptional musical talent, and has recently taken her Grade 2 Musical Theatre Singing exam.
The pupils of Windsor and Cambria Houses have been working hard to gain house points despite being in lockdown and we are delighted to announce that this term's winners are Cambria. There are only 70 house points between the two house's totals at the moment - so there is all to play for in the summer term!
Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition - Submissions Now Open
St. Helen's College has registered with the Royal Academy of Arts so that children may submit their artwork for exhibition at the Royal Academy! Submitting artwork is completely free and should be done online by the deadline of 26th April. For pupils aged 12 or under, a parent/guardian will need to enter the artwork on the pupil's behalf; children aged 13 or over may submit artworks themselves.
Each student can submit up to three artworks of any type and there is no theme. You will need to supply images of the artwork plus some information about the piece such as title, size, and a little text about the artwork. Each piece of artwork will be seen by a panel of judges and the selected pieces will be shown in our online exhibition. Some of the artworks will also be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts.
We have many budding artists at St. Helen's College and we hope that you will support your child in submitting work. We look forward to hearing of any success!
PA Easter Prize Draw
The PA has again donated prizes for a free draw for the children this Easter. All of the children were included in this free Easter draw, with one prize drawn for each class. The PA hope that the lucky winners enjoy their prizes and that they all have a wonderful Easter break!
Upper School Library
The Upper School Library remains busy delivering weekly boxes of books to each classroom at Upper School. Classes have enjoyed uncovering "mystery books" wrapped in paper and ribbons, whilst others have been tucking into books by visiting authors Cressida Cowell and Ross Welford. Many children will be choosing books this week to bring home for the holidays and the Library invites you to enjoy these with your children!
Why not read your stories aloud to each other at bedtime, sat together on a picnic or even tucked into a reading den of blankets? The artistic amongst you might like to design your own version of the book cover and draw your favourite scene. As these Easter holidays are spent at home, consider an apposite quote from the author Jhumpra Lahiri "That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet."
Please also take the opportunity to search out any overdue books and return to school, particularly if your child is in Year 6. May we remind parents of our school policy that, in order to maintain the library for all, we may ask for a payment to replace any damaged or non-returned books.
Author Events - April
There are several interactive author events being run by our partners Chorleywood Bookshop during April which might be of interest to you and your children to keep their enthusiasm for reading high! You do need to book for these events - bookings links are included below.
Just after Easter, there is a brilliant draw-along event with the creative star Rob Biddulph, author, illustrator and #DrawWithRob internet sensation at 9.30am on Wednesday 7th April.
Children can pick up their pencils at this event and learn how to build their own story, and even create their own book, step-by-step! Rob will be encouraging children of all ages to draw along and he’ll be reading his brand-new, wonderfully waggy story of one dog day afternoon.
Every dog has his Dave (or otherwise-named human)... but, on a walk in the park, the adorable Teddy the pug loses his! And when Teddy finds himself at the shed of the TERRIBLE TROLL in the woods, he might find more than he bargained for... a new friend. Packed with delight, dogs, and even a Dave, this hilariously funny and exquisitely illustrated new book from the incredible Rob Biddulph, will have you panting for more! This is the perfect story for boys and girls of 4+, and dog-lovers everywhere, to share with their families! Roll around in the rhymes and enjoy Rob Biddulph's trademark warm-hearted humour. Event tickets: from £10, bookable here.
Two days later (Friday 9th April at 10 a.m.), for all those budding authors, there is a Creative Writing Workshop with Francesca Gibbons, author of A Clock of Stars, a thrilling and timeless fantasy adventure with a race against time, lovable characters and a magical kingdom. During the 75-minute workshop children will be creating their own magical kingdom, and dreaming up adventures and characters of their own.
With all the magic of Narnia and the humour of Mary Poppins, this is a future fantasy classic - and the beginning of an unforgettable journey... Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum's boyfriend too. And she certainly shouldn't follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree. But then... who does what they're told? Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the two sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time - helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter... and even the stars above them.
Event ticket: £30, which includes access to the live stream event, a copy of Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth (RRP £7.99) and a £5 voucher to spend in Chorleywood or Gerrards Cross Bookshops. Book for this event here.
There is also after school fun on Thursday 22nd April at 4.30 p.m. with Dermot O’Leary, one of the nation’s best-loved broadcasters and children’s authors. Dermot will be talking about his latest ninja adventure story, ‘Toto the Ninja Cat and the mystery Jewel Thief’, and his very own rescue cat who inspired him to write these best-selling, hilarious stories.
Toto and her friends are due to be looking after the French ambassador on a day of sightseeing, finishing at the Tower of London to see the animal world's crown jewels: a sacred diamond cat collar. But when they arrive, the collar has disappeared - and what's worse, it looks like Toto's boss Larry is responsible, with Toto as his accomplice! Toto is almost arrested, but she escapes to try and get to the bottom of the mystery and clear her name.
Event ticket: £12, which includes access to the live stream event and a copy of 'Toto the Ninja Cat and the Mystery Jewel Thief'. Book your ticket here.
I am sure that you are as keen as we are for the children to make the most of the nicer weather to come and get out and about and active once more. Lockdown has restricted opportunities for physical activity, social interaction and team play, so we encourage you to think now about exploring new sports clubs or other active opportunities for your child.
Ickenham Cricket Club will be re-launching training sessions for children aged 5-11, beginning from Sunday 25th April. Sessions run from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. If your son or daughter would like to try cricket for the first time, or develop their cricket skills, we would encourage you to try out this lovely, friendly cricket club. You can find full details here and at www.ickenhamcc.co.uk.
Blaze Netball Club in Uxbridge run sessions after school during term times for children in Years 4, 5 and 6. If you have a child who might be interested in joining the club, you can find full details here.
You might like to visit some canals or rivers with your children over the holidays. The Canal and River Trust have some great resources to encourage families to enjoy our waterways - do take a look by following the links below:
Virtual tours, games and puzzles
Perform Drama Workshops
Perform will be running holiday courses over the Easter Holidays for 4-10 year olds.
Based on Beauty and the Beast, these fun drama, dance and singing courses will run from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. each day. Further information is available here: https://www.perform.org.uk/classes-courses/holiday-courses/beautyandthebeast
NextGen Enterprise is a practical entrepreneurial course with a mission to introduce the next generation of entrepreneurs to a world of innovation, collaboration, and creativity. The course is delivered online in an interactive environment and is suitable for ages 10-18. NextGen offer three unique courses where students develop fictional business ideas in their teams and are guided by a dedicated NextGen Coach - an experienced entrepreneur. Along the journey, students learn key entrepreneurial skills and then present their business plans to an expert panel and a wider audience. For more information on NextGen Enterprise, please visit www.nextgenenterprise.co.uk or call 0207 117 2965.
Computer Xplorers Easter Camps
Our partners Computer Xplorers will be running some online Easter camps that might be of interest to your children.
An Intro to Python Coding (Age 10+)
Tech giants such as Google, NASA and YouTube all use Python within their businesses. Are your children up for a new challenge? Now is your child's chance to learn some real-world coding skills in online Python classes! Click on the link below to register
Easter Arcade Game Design (Age 8+)
Children will learn to design, code and build their very own arcade games to keep and play with their family. This is a great class for budding game designers and tech enthusiasts. Are your children up for a new challenge? Now is your child's chance to develop coding and programming skills in our online Arcade Game Design classes! Click on the link below to register
Easter Roblox Game Design (Age 9+)
Do your children love to play #Roblox? Through these online classes, your children can gain knowledge on #gamedesign and #programming concepts while having fun creating their very own obstacle course in Roblox using Roblox Studio. Click on the link below to register
Covid Rates in Hillingdon
Infection rates in the west London area haven’t fallen as low as other parts of the capital, so the London Borough of Hillingdon Education Team have asked us to remind our community that it is vital that we all do our bit to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Every action we take will help to keep us all safe. So please continue to:
Wash your hands
Cover your face
Keep a safe distance
Take your vaccine when offered
Thank you for all of your ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of the pandemic. We hope that you all stay safe over the Easter break.
The summer term begins on 21st April. Please remember to send your children back to school in their summer uniform. We respectfully remind parents that tights are NOT permitted with the summer dress - girls should wear white knee length or ankle socks only, please. To continue to reduce items brought into school, no caps or summer boaters will be required, but children must bring St. Helen's College sun hats to wear in hot weather. Please remember to apply sun cream at home before school when the weather is warm. The summer term lunch menu will be published to the Parents section of the website before the children return. Please do discuss the menus with your child prior to coming to school each day to ensure that they understand what is available.
The pandemic is still ongoing and we will therefore be adapting the summer term programme as we continue to adhere to Covid protocols and risk assessments. While large events and external sports fixtures will not be taking place, we will be doing our utmost to provide a busy and enriching term for the children. As you know, our co-curricular programme will be starting up again and club allocations will be confirmed at the start of next term, with activities beginning the week of 26th April. We will be running in-school sports fixtures and competitions, including our annual Singing Competition, and there will be year group Sports Days. For Years 3-6 we will be arranging residential days for the children to offer many of the experiences they would have had on their residential trips. We will also be producing class assemblies to broadcast to parents and our Year 6 children will of course be busy as they prepare their end of term Year 6 musical production. Further details about these events will be shared in due course.
The school calendar has been updated with summer term events, so please do take a note of these now for your diaries. You can access the calendar, as always, here.
We would like to remind parents of the procedure for reporting a child's absence or requesting absence for a child for any reason. Please do not contact your class teacher about this, or telephone the school office unless a particular conversation is necessary; please send an email to email@example.com clearly stating your child's name and class and the reason for absence. Your child's class teacher will be informed and requests for absence will be processed.