Weekly News - Friday 22nd September 2023

Posted on: 22/09/2023


Today we have all enjoyed a very busy and productive STEAM Day.

Lower School and Ducklings certainly steamed into the day with enthusiasm that knew no bounds! The day has been full of activities.

Ducklings enjoyed fizzing bath bombs and were amazed by the flight of their rockets.

At Lower School, Nursery enjoyed bubble making, designing a giant marble run and creating a wall out of shaving foam. Reception children shot their own rocket birds into the air, and created beautiful magic lilies and nature brushes. Year 1 became totally absorbed whilst painting to different styles of music and making tricky mazes. They also had fun coding Beebots.

At Upper School, classes enjoyed activities including a chrome music lab, creating beautiful spirograph designs, origami, investigating mobile forces, 'bristlebots', making paper sculptures, investigating bridge construction, designing organisms and water filtering systems and more!

It has been the most wonderful day of enrichment, and greatly enjoyed by all. Many thanks to our visiting parent helpers and to all of the staff involved in making the day such a success.

Robert Swan Visit

IMG 20230920 WA0005On Tuesday, we welcomed Robert Swan OBE for a truly memorable Upper School assembly. Robert is the first man ever to walk to both the north and south poles. His recent expeditions involve using solely renewable energy. His mission to inspire the next generation to take care of the planet has meant that he spends his time talking to world leaders and educators about what steps are needed to ensure we are protecting our environment both locally and globally. 

Robert shared photos and videos of his first expeditions from 1984 to 1989, as well as one of his trips to Antarctica back in 2012, when Mrs. McLaughlin accompanied him. He described in detail the awe-inspiring story of his travels to the north and south poles with moments of great beauty and peril. He also spoke about his son Barney’s current mission in Australia where they are trying to restore the world’s oldest rainforest.  

Teachers and pupils were left feeling inspired and wanting to do more to protect our beautiful planet. If there was one message to share with our St. Helen’s College community from Robert Swan’s visit, it would be his famous quote: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

The school has joined the 2041 Schools: Champions of Antarctica initiative to help educate young people about the need to protect the world’s last great wilderness beyond the current agreement date of 2041. 

You can find out more about Robert Swan and his projects using the links below:


We plan to see Robert again in 2025 in a live-link assembly from his research centre in Antarctica, where he will be spending the whole winter using only solar, wind and biofuel!

St. Helen's College Receives Gold STARS Award

We are proud to report that St. Helen's College has, once again, been awarded the Gold STARS accreditation by Transport for London. This award recognises our ongoing work on School Travel And Road Safety.

Year 1 Maths And Phonics Evening

Thank you to all of the Year 1 parents who attended the Maths And Phonics Evening at Lower School on Wednesday. It is so important that families and school work in partnership to support the children in their educational endeavours, and we hope that you found the evening useful.

Online Safety

Whatsapp is the most widely used messaging platform on the planet, with over two billion users (forecast to become three billion by 2025), across more than 180 countries. The majority of those people (70%) open the app at least once a day – but what exactly are they seeing? Contact from strangers, fake news and convincing scams are all amongst the service’s well-documented hazards. 

 According to Ofcom, Whatsapp is used by more than half of 3 to 17 year olds in the UK (including one in three from the 8 to 11 age bracket), despite its 16+ age restriction. 

National Online Safety provides this information leaflet for parents about the use of Whatsapp. We urge you to read it and retain it for your reference.

We would also like to remind parents that it is not appropriate for any child at St. Helen's College to have access to social media apps such as Whatsapp (which has an age rating of 16), Snapchat (which accounts for over half the online grooming the UK), Tiktok or similar. Primary school aged children are simply not mature enough to experience these apps safely, no matter how independent they may seem in other areas of their lives. This stance is shared by all online safety experts. While we educate the pupils at school about online safety, parents have a crucial part to play in keeping children safe online.

More Karate Success!

3d75b1e9 bdc5 4e16 a910 6d2f3ff6efb8Several St. Helen's College pupils and Old Helenians enjoyed success with the KML Karate Club at the UK International Championships held at Warwick University last weekend. 

This prestigious tournament forms part of the club's preparation for the upcoming International Banzai Cup in Berlin. Out of the 35 clubs participating, KML Karate brought home the most medals and secured third place in the success chart. 

Well done to all of the SHC pupils and Old Helenians who competed.

Harvest Festivals

Our Upper School Harvest Festival Service will take place next Friday at All Saints' Church at 9.15 a.m. Upper School parents are warmly invited to join us if they are able to.

We would be most grateful for Harvest donations from Upper School parents ahead of the service. These should be dropped into the Upper School office on Wednesday or Thursday next week. We would really appreciate made up boxes/hampers filled with long-life food such as canned goods, rice, pasta, etc. If anyone has a few fruits, vegetables or flowers from their garden that could enhance the display in the church, that would be lovely (but please note that only a few would be needed and these are NOT suitable items for donations so should not be purchased!). All donations will be distributed by the Salvation Army to those in need in Hillingdon. 

Lower School Harvest Assemblies will take place slightly later in the term and we will send the arrangements for these in due course.

Parents' Evenings

Parents' evenings for Ducklings, Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will be held on the following days:

Wednesday 4th October (4.00 - 7.00 p.m.) 
Thursday 12th October (5.00 - 8.00 p.m.)

To book your appointment, please use the following link. Bookings will be live from 12.00 p.m. on Monday 25th September.

When booking appointments, parents should use the following format for class names:
Ducklings Kindergarten
Robins Nursery
Wrens Nursery

Next Week

Here is a reminder of what is coming up next week.

Monday 25th September - Year 4 Ancient Greek Day
Wednesday 27th September - Year 5 Trip: Hampton Court Palace
Wednesday 27th September - Year 6 Trip: Henry Moore Studios & Gardens
Thursday 28th September - Reception Trip: Odds Farm
Thursday 28th September - Year 2 Trip: Chiltern Open Air Museum
Friday 29th September - Upper School Harvest Festival at All Saints Church (9.15 a.m.)
Friday 29th September - Month End Music Recital in the Evans Hall (3.45 p.m.)