Weekly News - Friday 6th July 2018

Posted on: 06/07/2018

Today we bid farewell and wish a happy summer holiday to our Lower School children. You have all worked very, very hard this year and had an enormous amount of fun at school with your friends. Please enjoy the summer holiday with family and friends and return to school in September relaxed, refreshed and ready for another exciting year!

The long-planned Lower School refurbishment project commences tomorrow. We are all looking forward very much to showing the new facilities to you all when you return in September!

End of term arrangements for Upper School children for next week are published below.

PA Summer Fete

A huge thank you to the PA committee and to all of the parents, staff, pupils, Old Helenians and other members of the community who came together to make last Saturday's Summer Fete the success that it was! The sun was shining and it was one of the busiest fetes we can remember. Well done to the pupils who performed to make it a musical event too.

The Wizard of Oz

On Thursday evening, our Year 6 leavers put on their first performance of The Wizard of Oz at The Compass Theatre in Ickenham. The performances are the culmination of much hard work to bring acting, dancing, singing, props, make-up, costume, lighting, direction and so much more together for these amazingly high standard shows. As usual, the quality of acting, singing, dancing and stagecraft was extremely high and there were some standout individual performances. Most importantly, though, these children will feel so proud of what they have achieved together, as a TEAM, bringing to life this wonderful story with such a strong message of self-belief, which I am sure the children will not fully appreciate until later in life.

​The children will stage a matinee this afternoon and their final performance this evening and they will then enjoy a well-deserved end of show party!

Photos of the dress rehearsal have now been published to the Galleries page.

We are pleased to announce that St. Helen's College will, for the next five years, be sponsoring a seat at The Compass Theatre. Our association with the theatre is long-lasting, with our Year 6 production taking place there each year, and we are proud to be able to support the dramatic arts in our local community. So, if you are going to see a show there over the summer or subsequently, do look out for our sponsored seat in the middle of Row C!

Empire of the Sikhs Exhibition

Suhavi's dad, Amandeep, co-founder and chair of UK Punjab Heritage Association, was honoured by the Queen with an OBE for services to Punjab and Sikh heritage and culture in the recent birthday honours. This is an immensely proud moment for the charity, friends and family and a true recognition of twenty years of research, writing books, advising on Sikh cultural issues, giving lectures and hosting exhibitions on Sikh history and culture. 

This summer sees the launch of an exciting exhibition hosted at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS, entitled Empire of the Sikhs. The exhibition will include artefacts from the Royal Collection and is open from 12th July to 23rd September. Entry is free and there are guided tours and activities for children.

We do hope that many of you will visit the exhibition with your children and extended families over the holidays.  Here are the details and accompanying press release.

Digital Dummies

Over the past couple of weeks I have shared information with parents regarding our concerns over social media, apps, games, and screen time and we have also discussed this at our new parents' welcome evenings this week.  I am attaching a new publication from the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools which has been produced for parents as a useful guide 'Tech a break; Avoiding 'digital dummies' in the summer.' I do hope that you will find time to read this carefully.

St. Helen's College Voice

The latest issue of St. Helen's College Voice is being sent home with your children. A digital copy is also available here

News from the Library

All library books should be returned to the library by Monday.

We are very pleased with the large number of pupils who use the library and while many pupils are finishing off their books and returning them, there are currently 196 books still out on loan, with 97 of these being overdue for return, having been out for more than two weeks.  

We are also pleased to report that the often quoted statement that "boys don't read" is certainly not true at St. Helen's College.  Our  pupils all read enthusiastically. Pupils have enjoyed the varied reading challenges set and many pupils have received certificates for completing their chosen challenge. Next term we will be looking at more ways to enthuse our pupils in their reading. In the meantime, please encourage your children to keep on reading with the Hillingdon Libraries summer reading challenge.  This year's theme is Mischief Makers and the challenge starts on 7th July.  More information is available at https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/summerreading

District Sports 

On Monday this week, 32 of our aspiring young athletes from Years 3 - 6 took part in the Small Schools District Sports athletics competition at the Uxbridge track. Competing against nine other local schools, our pupils competed in a range of track and field events. Individual success came in field events with Harry J gaining a bronze medal in the Year 4 boys' standing long jump and Sulaiman M (Y3) and Eli V-B (Y4) both winning bronze medals in their tennis ball throw event.  On the track, there was individual success for Fredericka T gaining a bronze medal in the Year 3 girls' 50m, Timi O (Y6) winning a silver medal in the boys' 800m and Zoe K and Hebe E winning gold medals in the girls' 800m and Y5 girls' 70m events respectfully. Our Year 6 relay team finished off the evening in style by gaining team silver medals in a race in which they exhibited some silky smooth changeovers. 

Photos have been published to the Galleries page.

School Games Regional Finals

It was the turn of our Year 3 and 4 tennis team to represent Hillingdon at the School Games regional finals held at Crystal Palace this week. Eli, Daniel and Catherine from Year 4 and Amar from Year 3 took part in the event, in which all 33 London boroughs were represented. During the day the team played seven matches against borough teams from Kingston, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Newham, Camden, Sutton and Barnet. The team played some exciting matches and showed great resilience and team spirit to win 1 match, draw 4 matches and lose 2 matches.  The team finished 4th in their group and 13th overall out of 33 boroughs. Very well done to all our tennis players!

Tennis For Kids

Well done to our Year 1 children, who have all now completed the Tennis for Kids six week national programme and have received their certificates. They all graduated with flying colours and, with Wimbledon happening now too, we are sure they have all been inspired to enjoy tennis!

Old Helenian Sports News

Huge congratulations are due to Old Helenian Issy Sibley who, having discovered football at St. Helen's College, went on to play football at club and international level. Issy has most recently been playing for the Chelsea Ladies U20 team and the England ladies U19 team, and we are now delighted to announce that she has secured a four year soccer scholarship at the University of West Virginia! Issy sent a lovely card to Miss Walker to thank the school for starting her off on her footballing journey, which is taking her so far. Well done, Issy. We are always thrilled to hear from Old Helenians who are continuing to develop their talents and pursue their dreams!

Cancer Research Relay for Life Fundraising

Lots of different events have been taking place at school, organised by the various year groups, to raise money for CRUK Relay for Life. Many thanks to all parents for allowing your children to bring in some money and enjoy all the wonderful activities including cake sales, guess the beans in the jar, sponsored walks, 'Soak the Teacher' and 'Beat the Goalie'. So far we are delighted to announce that we have raised a total of £1324.94.

Co-Curricular Clubs

Please note that ALL co-curricular clubs have now finished for this term. Many thanks to all those who ran clubs and participated in them with such enthusiasm.

Upper School End of Term Arrangements

Next Wednesday, 11th July, is a half day. Provided the weather is fine, all children in Years 2 to 6 will join together for a Final Assembly in the Windsor garden at 11:00 a.m. and parents will be very welcome if they wish to attend. 

Please park well away from the school in order to prevent congestion. There should be no parking in Parkway as this causes congestion and inconvenience to our long-suffering neighbours. The car park will be full. Please park and walk.

Parents who attend the Final Assembly may take their children home immediately afterwards. For others, term will end at 12:15 for Years 2 and 3, and 12:30 for Years 4, 5 & 6. Older children will be released at the same times as their younger siblings.