School Calendar



Posted on: 12/07/2024

Year 6 Leavers' Speech by Ms Drummond

  Ladies and Gentlemen, Parents, Teachers and Year 6 pupils, A few years ago I thought that it would be a good idea to link my leaving speech for Year 6 to the play which they had just performed! Not an easy task on occasions - but here goes!! What a marvellous journey we have had together this year, much like the adventures of the beloved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Today, we gather to celebrate not just the end of the school year, but also the wonderful achievements and growth of our Year 6 leavers. As we reflect on our time together, we can draw many parallels to the exciting tale of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a story of dreams, determination, innovation and discovery. Much like Caractacus Potts, who saw potential in an old, run-down car and transformed it into the magical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, our dedicated teachers and staff have nurtured your talents and potential. They have worked tirelessly to inspire and guide you, turning each day into an opportunity for learning and growth. Together, we have built something remarkable – a community where dreams are encouraged and possibilities are endless. To our Year 6 students, you have been the fearless adventurers, much like Jeremy and Jemima. You have faced challenges with courage, approached learning with curiosity, and supported each other through thick and thin. Remember the thrilling moments in the story when Chitty soared through the skies or sailed the seas? Those moments symbolise the heights you can reach and the uncharted waters you can explore with your knowledge, skills and experiences from St. Helen’s College. Just as Truly Scrumptious became an important part of the Potts family's adventure, your friendships and bonds with classmates have added colour and joy to your journey. These relationships, built on trust and shared experiences, will remain with you as you move forward into the next exciting chapter of your lives. And let us not forget the villains in our story – the outrageous (but most loveable) Baron and Baroness Bomburst. They represent the obstacles and fears you have faced and overcome. Whether it was a tricky maths problem, a challenging project, or learning from home during unprecedented times, you have shown resilience and resourcefulness, proving that you can tackle any obstacle in your path. The Baron and Baroness employed the enforcer ‘The Child Catcher’ as they had an intense dislike for children and children were forbidden by law in the fictional land of Vulgaria! Vulgaria certainly is a far cry from our incredibly real land of ‘St. Helen’s College’ where children are very much loved and at the centre of all our decisions!  And thankfully we have no child catchers lurking at each corner!!  In fact, quite the opposite. The community around you at St. Helen’s College has only ever wanted to keep you safe and happy, and help you in your endeavours. Your performances in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were astonishingly accomplished. We saw this in rehearsals, at school and at the theatre. But the success of the final shows depended not only on the cast, but also on the audience. The parents and other family members, the staff and friends who watched on, willing you all to do well, ready to support you if it went wrong and eager to celebrate the joy of your successes. You are so fortunate to have such supportive, loving families who chose St. Helen’s College for you and have been such a bit part of your school journey too. When it comes to a school, it is crucial that parents and staff work together in the best interests of the pupils - team work really does make the dream work! As you leave Year 6 and head towards new adventures, we hope you will carry with you the spirit of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Embrace your creativity, trust in your abilities, and always be ready for an adventure. Keep dreaming big, and never be afraid to let your imagination take flight. Remember that every problem has a solution, and every challenge is an opportunity to grow. In conclusion, I want to thank each and every one of you – students, parents, and staff – for being part of this incredible journey. Year 6, as you drive off into the future, much like our magical car, may your engines roar with excitement, and may you soar to new heights. Your adventure is just beginning, and we can't wait to see where it will take you. Congratulations, Year 6! Remember, the sky's the limit and that it is teamwork that makes the dreamwork! Thank you. Ms Drummond
Posted on: 12/07/2024

Anastasiia by Mrs. Smith

  Many of you will remember the 2022 blog I wrote about Anastasiia, the Ukrainian refugee whom my husband and I were sponsoring through the Homes For Ukraine scheme in 2022. I can’t believe over two years have passed since then. In the end, Anastasiia did not come to us in 2022. She reached Barcelona and, by the time her UK visa came through, she had already found a job and decided, understandably, to stay, even though she spoke no Spanish. She spent over two years there, but she finally arrived to live with us last week. We are really enjoying getting to know her: she is a resilient, courageous young woman who has suffered more uncertainty and trauma in her short life than we can imagine. It is unbelievable that, just as Covid was coming to an end, her country was invaded and life became completely unsafe and unbearable for her and other Ukrainians. The conversations we have had in just one week about the things she has seen and overcome, and her associated emotional and practical struggles, related in her trademark matter-of-fact tone, have been frankly heart-breaking. My husband and I met almost 30 years ago at university in London. We have been married for 25 years,  worked hard, raised a family and suffered serious illnesses and bereavements as well as some of the most joyous times. Last year I completed my MA and in October I begin my PHD. We have seen our sons make their way through prep school, grammar school, university and the world of work. But in seven days, Anastasiia has taught our family more than we might ever have learned without meeting her. Is there any lesson more important than how to find the courage and resilience to look adversity squarely in the face, discover fearlessly who you really are, and push yourself to work to become the best person you can be for yourself and the world? Anastasiia was just 18 when she fled Ukraine, two weeks after the war started, and made her way across Europe alone with just a suitcase and backpack. Her mother had already left; her brother, father and grandmother remained behind in Kherson, which was under attack. I am glad to say that they are all now out of Ukraine and safe in different countries. While in Barcelona, alongside working full time in any job she could find to support herself, Anastasiia continued her passion of drawing and design and submitted a portfolio of work and an application (which she managed herself, in a foreign language!) to the University of Arts, London. Only around a quarter of applicants to this prestigious university are successful, and she was one of them. She is living with us now with a view to moving into university halls in London to complete her foundation year and then a three year Bachelor of Arts. It has been her dream for several years to do so and, because of the terrible circumstances of her life, she is starting her studies three years later than most UK students would. She arrived in London exhausted and under a lot of stress, still with just one suitcase of belongings, but enormously excited about the prospect of student life ahead of her. However, there is already another sizeable bump in the road. Anastasiia is determined to keep working online for the website/graphic design company employing her, although - run by another displaced Ukrainian - it is not well-paid. She has applied for a loan for her university tuition fees, which she will have to re-pay. But it turns out that she cannot apply for a loan for maintenance costs, as UK students can, because her foundation year is not an integrated part of a four year degree. We have discovered that, once her tuition fee loan is approved, she can apply for a hardship bursary to help with living costs, but it would not cover all of her accommodation costs. And because of one of those frustrating bureaucratic glitches, she can’t apply for the bursary - which there is, anyway, no guarantee she will get - until she’s already enrolled at the college in September. Meanwhile, her accommodation have already sent an advance bill of almost £3000 which must be paid by mid-August. Anastasiia is an incredible young woman and her journey is just beginning. She is extremely upset by this latest hurdle, and trying to be practical about the fact that she might not be able to take up the university place she has earned. Watching on, I am enormously proud of what she has achieved and coped with over the last three years and humbled by her attitude in the face of every obstacle. I feel so deeply that she deserves the chance to pursue her dream. Many of you asked how you could help and wanted to send money for Anastasiia when she was due to arrive in England in 2022 and news of the Ukraine war was shocking us all. The situation in Ukraine is still shocking; it is still completely unsafe for Anastasiia to return to her home country. Her family, all now refugees, have lost their homes and are scattered across Eastern and Western Europe each doing their best to survive and, hopefully, to keep physically and mentally strong. So if you would like to help Anastasiia take the next step of her extraordinary journey, please consider donating anything, however small, to a collection fund to help her on her way to her foundation year, and to the freedom, she’s so determined to achieve. The fund will remain open for donations until the end of July. I know that Anastasiia will do it alone, somehow, someday, if she has to. But I hope you’ll agree that she deserves a chance to do it now, with our love and support. Anastasiia’s Fund Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Mrs. Smith
Posted on: 12/07/2024

End of Term News

Centenary Concert and Art Exhibition What an astonishing day of celebration it was yesterday, as we hosted the Upper School Centenary Art Exhibition and Centenary Concert. Both events took place at the Winston Churchill Hall in Ruislip, a super venue for celebrating the arts. We transformed the theatre lounge into our own Art Exhibition space for the day, complete with tropical plants, soft music and refreshments. Parents, pupils and staff had plenty of time to peruse artwork created by every child in Years 2 to 6. The variety of techniques and artistic talents on display was truly wonderful; we clearly have many budding artists, designers and sculptors in our midst.   In the evening, the Centenary Concert showcased the extraordinary standards reached by our many, many vocalists, instrumentalists and public speakers. With around one hundred pupils involved, we were treated to performances from the Junior Choir, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra and Massed Choirs, as well as accomplished solo performances from vocalists and instrumentalists. In addition, four children performed individual spoken recitations of poetry or dramatic extracts. The guitar and string ensembles performed in the lobby as guests arrived too! This really was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the arts at St. Helen's College. Thank you to all of the families and staff who supported the event, and congratulations to the children who created such incredible artwork and/or performed on the stage. It was an event we will never forget. Centenary Fun Day The rainy weather didn't dampen the children's spirits this week or deter them from enjoying a special Centenary Fun Day on Tuesday.  Lower School celebrated the 100th birthday of St. Helen's College by taking part in a range of House activities throughout the day. These included creating birthday posters, making delicious fruit kebabs, writing House acrostic poems, completing puzzles, playing games and throwing themselves into lots of singing and dancing! Children across the school enjoyed a special picnic style lunch menu and at Upper School there was both a movie afternoon and fun and games in the park! Year 6 Project Exhibition It was an absolute pleasure to host the Year 6 Project Exhibition on Tuesday when our talented pupils showcased their individual project work. The pupils presented a research project of their choice to parents, peers and staff in a terrific display of hard work and creativity. It was so inspiring to hear the children's passion and excitement for their chosen subject and the flair with which they produced their work. Everything from science and technology to history, geography, art, textiles, music and sport was represented. The quality of work was truly outstanding and offered, perhaps, a glimpse at where their future careers may take them!    Ducklings Sports Day On Thursday Ducklings took part in their first St. Helen's College Sports Day. Parents were invited to cheer the children on as they participated in a variety of fun games and activities in the Ducklings grounds. This was a wonderful way for the Ducklings to round off their first year of development at St. Helen's College. We know that they have all laid super foundations for the future and look forward to seeing them at increasingly sophisticated Sports Days as the years progress!       Year 1 Trip to Mad Bess Wood On Wednesday Year 1 enjoyed a trip to Mad Bess Wood in Ruislip. Despite a heavy downfall during lunch, rain did not stop play for the children! They had lots of fun playing on the lawn with a variety of toys before going on a mini trek in the woods. They used magnifying glasses to explore the minibeasts and had the opportunity to identify and name the different plants and trees they discovered.  After lunch they had a visit from Pino and his ice cream van which was a real hit with children and staff alike! Then, the children had a sneaky peek in Mrs. Hunt's garden and found some of the sunflowers they had planted in the spring. All agreed it was a wonderful way to celebrate a fantastic year.   Year 6 Teacher For A Day Year 6 stepped into the shoes of teachers and staff across the school for 'Teacher For A Day' this week. The children began by leading a very organised and professional Upper School assembly and then took to the classrooms where they led and assisted in lessons across the year groups. At Lower School the children led football training sessions, creative arts activities and joined in with fun phonics lessons. At Upper School the children shadowed staff in the classroom and beyond, experiencing a day in the life of a school chef, librarian, PE teacher and school secretary!  They all did a terrific job and enjoyed the experience immensely.    Year 3 and 4 Tennis Finals Our talented Year 3 and 4 tennis finalists hit the court this week in the hotly contested SHC Tennis Competition. The standard of play was outstanding. All the finalists played with terrific flair in thrilling, competitive matches. The atmosphere court side was electric as the final points were decided. In the end the winners were:   Isaac A and Emerald S in Year 3 Aadhya M and Rayhan R in Year 4  Well done to everyone who took part in the competition; it was fantastic to watch tennis of such a high standard.    ABRSM Examination Results We are very proud of all of our musicians and vocalists who have achieved great results in their ABRSM exams this term.  Penelope A-C 6L Piano Initial Merit Viren C 6L Cello Grade 1 Distinction Arjun S 6L Piano Initial Distinction Emily S 6L Piano Grade 3 Merit Arjun C 6H Guitar Grade 3 Pass Marco K 6H Guitar Grade 2 Pass Grace O'H 6H Cello Grade 3 Pass Aiden T 6H Guitar Grade 3 Merit           Alexander A 5G Singing Grade 2 Distinction Alexander A 5G Cello Grade 1 Merit Zinnia M 5G Trumpet Grade 2 Pass Simrina N 5G Singing MT Grade 3 Merit Simrina N 5G Flute Grade 2 Pass Mikail O 5G Piano Initial Distinction Sayaan S 5G Cello Grade 2 Merit           Ashvika A 5R Piano Grade 5 Pending Aaryav K 5R Guitar Grade 2 Merit           Dhani C 4B Singing MT Grade 1 Merit Shayna C 4B Cello Grade 1 Merit Shayna C 4B Singing MT Grade 2 Merit Shayna C 4B Piano Grade 2 Pending Ella K 4B Piano Grade 2 Pass Naiya L 4T Piano Initial Merit Naiya L 4B Singing MT Grade 1 Distinction Aaran T 4B Piano Grade 1 Pass Leo A 4T Piano Grade 1 Pass Leo A 4T Singing Grade 2 Distinction Amara B 4T Piano Grade 2 Pass Avleen P 4T Singing Grade 1 Distinction Avleen P 4T Piano Grade 1 Merit Aran P 4T Cello Grade 4 Pass Parisa S 4T Singing MT Grade 2 Distinction                     Anika C 3B Piano Grade 1 Merit Zoe F 3B Piano Grade 3 Pass Eleanor G 3B Singing Grade 1 Distinction Eleanor G 3B Piano Grade 1 Distinction Liberty Y 3B Piano Grade 1 Distinction Alicia Z 3B Singing MT Grade 2 Distinction Ajooni G 3M Singing MT Grade 1 Merit           Emily K 3M Piano Grade 1 Pass Alba M 3M Piano Grade 1 Merit           Aayan B 2R Singing Prep Pass Siara R 2R Piano Prep Pass   LAMDA Examination Results What a wonderful set of examination results we have received for the pupils who recently took examinations here at SHC. Very well done to all of the children. Riya S - Acting Grade 2 Distinction Eva J - Acting Grade 2 Distinction Anika C - Acting Grade 2 Distinction Anna K - Acting Grade 1 Distinction Zoe F - Acting Grade 2 Distinction Mustafa F - Acting Grade 1 Distinction Elisa K - Acting Entry Level Distinction Hana H - Acting Grade 1 Distinction Senna G - Acting Grade 1 Distinction Amaya L - Acting Grade 1 Merit Aryan S - Acting Entry Level Merit Shanaiya K - Acting Grade 2 Distinction Sienna K - Acting Entry Level Merit  Naiya L - Speaking in Public Grade 3 Merit Music Lessons We are proud to offer a range of music lessons here at St. Helen's College from Reception through to Year 6. Music lessons are taught on a one-to-one basis by our talented team of specialist music teachers, many of whom work professionally in the music industry.  From Reception children can learn the violin or the 'cello, and from Year 2 children can learn a wider variety of instruments including flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, piano, singing and guitar (NB: guitar can be learnt from Year 3).  Allocations are currently being placed to children already on the waiting list for music lessons. If you would like to add you child to the waiting list for music lessons please complete the following Google Form: ( Please note: the waiting list for piano lessons is already quite long, however there are spaces for most other instruments to begin in September. The Google Form includes further information, however please contact Mrs. Fawbert on if you have any further queries. Final Assembly At our final assembly this morning, we celebrated many of the children's achievements this year. Congratulations to our Year 3 to 5 form prize winners who received trophies and book tokens recognising their academic excellence, exceptional effort and application of school values. Our outgoing Head Boy and Head Girl gave a super speech as they handed on the positions of responsibility to Year 5 children (see below), and the children listened with enjoyment and emotion to Ms Drummond's farewell speech to the Year 6 leavers, themed around Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There was much anticipation over the award of the House Cup, of course. Once the House point totals had been tallied for the entire year, the winning House was Hibernia. The House Cup is now decked out in green ribbons and the Hibernia House Captains were extremely proud to accept it on behalf of all of the pupils in their House. The final counts and positions for the year were: Hibernia - 6334 Windsor - 6307 Cambria - 5277 Caledonia - 4946 It is always emotional saying goodbye to the pupils and families leaving us. We would like to wish them all huge happiness and success in the future, and remind them once again to keep in touch with us here at St. Helen's College. Pupil Leadership Team We are delighted to announce our new Pupil Leadership Team for the academic year 2024 - 2025. Head Girl: Ashvika A Head Boy: Maicen M Deputy Head Girl: Diya B Deputy Head Boy: Alexander A Caledonia House Captains: Arya A and Avar D Cambria House Captains: Amelia L and Samuel H Hibernia House Captains: Shanaiya K and Veer K Windsor House Captains: Evie J and Aaryav K We would like to thank our outgoing Pupil Leadership Team for all that they have done over the last year, and wish our new team luck as they take on these positions of responsibility. Next Term Please ensure, over the summer, that your child has all of the correct uniform and equipment for their new year group and that this is all clean, in good repair and named. The uniform and equipment list can be found on the School Documents page of the website. Co-curricular clubs will begin in the third week of the autumn term; the programme will be published to parents at the start of term for your child to make their selections. We would like to remind parents, ahead of the new year, that children must arrive at school punctually each morning. Late arrivals are disruptive. Please allow plenty of time for your journey to school to ensure punctuality.  PA Welcome Event Please make a note in your diaries for the PA welcome event on Saturday 14th September 2.00 - 4.00 p.m. in the Evans Hall. This is an opportunity to meet the friendly PA team, share fundraising ideas and find out how you can be involved. Everyone is welcome.  Flu Vaccinations  Vaccination UK will be visiting the school on Tuesday 19th November to administer the seasonal flu vaccine for Reception through to Year 6. More information and a consent form will follow in the autumn term.       
Posted on: 5/07/2024

Leaving St. Helen's College by Mrs. Briggs

  I have ‘only’ been here for four years. For me, as someone whose husband is in the Army, this is a long time in one job as we have moved frequently during our married life. But by St. Helen’s College standards I am still quite new! I started as a maternity cover teacher for Mrs. McLaughlin, baby Remi having arrived in June. It was  September 2020, between covid lockdowns. I arrived into a world of social distancing, of not meeting families properly for the first year I was here, of remote parents’ evenings and assemblies and lots of time on Google Meets. I struggled with the technology and am forever grateful to Mr. Bustard for always being on hand, socially distanced and wearing a face mask, to help.  Despite all of this, I loved it immediately. On my second day of teaching Year 3, I asked if the children could give me a better descriptive word than nice. Jeena’s hand went up immediately; ‘phenomenal’ was her suggestion. She then spelt it accurately and I knew I had come to the right place! That class, now leaving as 6H, was the best class I had had in my many years of teaching. They were so pleased to be back at school following remote learning, so bright and engaged, so much fun and so hard working and empathetic towards each other. I now know that this is how things are throughout the school here; a sharp contrast to some of my experiences in other schools. The pupils are mindful and polite, they are considerate and chat easily to adults and to each other. Due to the nature of my husband’s job, I have worked in fifteen different schools, including in Germany, Kenya and in the USA. St. Helen’s College is my favourite. It is a very special community of children, families and staff. Everyone really does work together for the good of the children and it is such a happy, committed and aspirational place.  I feel so lucky to have worked here and that my daughter got to experience being a pupil here for two years. I am very, very reluctant to leave. If you see me next week please don’t be too nice to me as I may well cry!  Mrs. Briggs
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