News - Friday 13th October

Posted on: 13/10/2017

The half term has ended with some super, enriching experiences outside of school for the children.

Year 2 had a fantastic trip to Chiltern Open Air Museum this week. The children were transported back in time to experience what it was like to live in a Mesolithic Stone Age camp, learning to make fire (safely!), re-enacting hunting and gathering, and building shelters to name just a few activities. They also became archaeologists in another workshop, learning how to look for clues about the past. The staff at the museum were impressed by their knowledge and enthusiasm. It was a great day!

Our Year 3 pupils had a day out in St. Alban's Cathedral on Monday, where they had the chance to enhance their classroom learning by utilising their knowledge and skills in an abstract environment. The children had the opportunity to make their own mosaics, dress up as the Romans did and take part in role play. The children learnt about St. Alban and the important role he played during the Roman era. Year 3 were even lucky enough to meet with a real archaeologist and listen to some of the things he had found just outside St. Alban's Cathedral. 

The Year 5 children enjoyed their visit to Hampton Court Palace on Thursday. They were blessed with super, sunny weather and they thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Tudor kitchens and re-enacting Henry VIII’s life story.

You can see some photos of the trips on the Galleries page.

Assemblies This Week

This week saw three outstanding performances from Nursery, Reception and Year 1 as we celebrated Harvest at the Lower School. The children's learning from the classroom was evident in all the assemblies, which conveyed heartfelt messages and sincere gratitude for the food we have. The children highlighted how we need to care for our world and think of others not as fortunate as us. There were wonderful singing and recitals throughout all assemblies - congratulations to all of the children and many thanks to parents for their support and generous donations, which the Salvation Army will thoroughly appreciate.

2B then performed their class assembly today, in which they reminded us all of the meaning of Diwali and the celebrations that occur during this lovely festival. The children were dressed in bright, beautiful colours and, without exception, they showed marvellous stage presence and confidence to deliver their lines clearly, with passion and with humour in places. Well done, Mrs. Belvoir, Mrs. Schlachter and the children of 2B.

Eurotalk Junior Language Challenge

Congratulations to Anisa W, who today attended the national finals of the Eurotalk Language Competition, having qualified earlier this term. Anisa has been learning Zulu and did extremely well in the finals today, reaching the last round where she finished with a score just a few points below the eventual winner of the whole competition! Anisa has done incredibly well to reach the very last stage of this prestigious national competition, which sees a vast number of children from all over the UK learn three different languages and compete at each stage. Well done, Anisa!

Borough Cross Country Results

Our girls' cross country team and Y6 pupil Timi O attended the Borough cross country competition this week, following their qualification in last week's District event. Running alongside over 200 pupils from schools across the Borough, our pupils performed very well. The girls' team finished in 7th place out of 12 schools, with Zoe K finishing in 4th and Abigail Y in 9th place. Timi O finished in 16th place in the boys' event. Well done to all our runners. â€‹

Gardening Club

The children from Middle and Upper School have had a bountiful harvest from the vegetable plot in the Zen Garden. Guided by Ms Gilham and our school groundsman, Mr. Rizzo, the children grew potatoes, carrots, borlotti beans and a number of herbs and ornamental plants. The children love growing and propagating plants, as well as eating what they grow. They will all be taking home some carrots and potatoes, and they will share the borlotti beans with the whole school as we are sure that our school chef will make a delicious bean salad.

Year 4 Dental Talk

On Thursday morning, we had the privilege to have Dr Bhanji visit the school to deliver a talk to our Year 4 children. The talk was about the evolution of teeth and Dr. Bhanji explained the significance of the changes in the skull, teeth and jaw and how we humans have evolved. There were also many fascinating animal facts, such as the snail having the most teeth in the animal kingdom, 14000 - 25000 teeth!

Being a dentist, Dr. Bhanji's most important take home message was for us all to brush our teeth twice a day and to remember that we are only allowed 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. A can of coke has 8 and a Muller Corner yoghurt has 6! 

We are truly grateful to Dr. Bhanji for such a great opportunity, and would be delighted to hear from other parents who feel they have expertise they could share with the children to enrich their learning.

NSPCC Online Safety

Following their excellent, informative presentation to parents earlier this term, the NSPCC have now kindly provided copies of their booklet 'Your Child's Online World', which we have sent home to parents in book bags. Do take a look - the booklet provides useful tips about how to keep your child safe online and how to talk with them about their online activity. It is, of course, crucial that home and school work together to educate our children about how to stay safe and happy online.

Staff News

Huge congratulations to Mr. Tovell, who has just received the news that he has passed his Master's Degree in Teaching and Learning.

We are delighted to be welcoming some new staff members to the St. Helen's College team after half term.

Mrs. Sharon Cargill will be joining us as our new School Business Manager. Mrs. Cargill has a long association with the school as a parent, shares the school's values and has a remarkable wealth of relevant experience and expertise. 

Mrs. Catherine Copland will join the Lower School team as a Lunchtime Assistant, as we bid farewell to Mrs. Kaye. Mrs. Kaye has been with the school for many years and we wish her well for the future. Mrs. Asia Canas will also be joining the Lower School team as a Lunchtime Assistant, to provide maternity cover while Miss Shepherd is away.

Please do join us in congratulating Mr. Tovell and in welcoming our new staff!

New School Website

Following the publication of our new prospectus in September, the school website has been re-designed and re-developed and the new website will be launching over half term. Subscriptions to the School News Blog and Head's Blog will automatically be carried across to the new website, so parents do not need to do anything in order to continue to receive these. Parents should note that class blogs, including the Ducklings Kindergarten blog, are being discontinued. But please do not worry! Weekly guides and information will continue to be sent to all classes from Ducklings to Year 2 as they are now; they will come to you directly by email rather than via a blog subscription. Curriculum Notes for Years 3-6 will also continue to be sent out half-termly, by email rather than via blog subscription.

The new website has a 'Galleries' page which will carry photographs of school events, trips etc. and to which we will provide links from the news page. For residential trips, we will still post lots and lots of photographs for parents; these will be published to password-protected pages which we will direct you to at the time of the trip.

We hope that you will agree that the new website is fresher in design and that you will find it very user-friendly.