Remote Teaching and Learning

St. Helen's College has remained open throughout all periods of lockdown for the children of critical workers and, more recently, for our Early Years classes too. The Covid pandemic did, however, force teaching and learning entirely online for some pupils. 

We were extraordinarily well-equipped to move our educational provision online following the first lockdown announcement in March 2020.

We were already using Google Classroom for Flipped Learning tasks and homework, and most of our children were already familiar with this and other online systems. We quickly extended the use of Google Classroom and Google Meet for all classes from Reception to Year 6, surveyed parents to find out how we could best make online learning work for families, and developed an adapted timetable so that, for example, families with siblings in different year groups could have lunch and physical activity sessions at the same time.

For our Early Years classes (Ducklings and Nursery), we used the St. Helen's College Learning Portal and Tapestry to set activities and work online and we held 'keeping in touch' Google Meets so that the children continued to see their friends and teachers.

We are a very well equipped school and we quickly organised the free loan of school devices for any family whose child(ren) did not have their own device for online learning, for as long as required.

We taught our full curriculum. Although we kept largely to the usual school timetable, time was set aside every day for physical activity. 

Our teaching and learning support staff continued to assist in lessons and provided breakout sessions for those who needed additional help. 

Throughout each period of lockdown, we monitored pupil engagement very closely and followed up with parents if we felt that a pupil could better engage with their online learning. Our form teachers continued to hold pupil tutorials to monitor pupils' wellbeing and engagement, and our school counsellor remained available for one to one conversations with pupils who needed her. All pupils had opportunities, overseen by their teachers, to interact with their classmates daily. For all assemblies, lessons and Meets, all staff and children had their cameras on so that we could all see each other and interact fully.

We also made plenty of 'keeping in touch' fun videos, including story time and song videos for younger children, to promote wellbeing and our ever strong community spirit.

Our online teaching and learning approach included a combination of:

  • Live online lessons with class and specialist teachers.
  • Pre-recorded videos, or offline tasks, accompanied by an online optional Meet for children with their teacher if they need further explanation or support.
  • Set project work.
  • Teachers assessing/marking work and providing constant oral and written feedback to children to recognise effort and achievement and to encourage improvement.
  • Regular (at least twice weekly) assemblies to promote school values, mark festivals and national events, celebrate pupil achievements and pupil birthdays and so on.
  • Special online events/workshops such as online author visits, charity assemblies or celebrity visits.
  • Moving our annual competitions online, including our annual Singing Competition and our annual Speech Competition.
  • Setting online challenges for the children, including sport/physical activity challenges, 'Name the Place' challenges and promoting local and national competitions (in which our children are very successful!). 
  • Monitoring pupil work and pupil progress closely.

We are delighted that our children continued to make excellent progress throughout the periods of lockdown. 


Posted on: 9/07/2021

Weekly News - Friday 9th July 2021

Prizegiving We enjoyed a marvellous Prizegiving Ceremony with our Year 6 leavers and parents at school yesterday evening. While this was not our usual September Prizegiving format, the evening was a huge success and it was very special to be able to celebrate the many, varied and frankly astonishing achievements of this wonderful cohort of pupils. Miss Linda Beckett, St. Helen's College Governor and Chair of our Education Committee, attended as our Guest of Honour and gave an inspiring speech which will stay with us all for years to come. Our Head Boy and Girl gave a heartfelt vote of thanks to round off their time in their positions of responsibility and we would like to thank Jena and Zail, along with their deputies Maya and Samir, for being an excellent Pupil Leadership Team this year. We were also able to pay tribute to one of our parents, Ms Jamani, who leaves the school this week after very, very many years as a St. Helen's College parent and several years as Chair of the Parents' Association. Thank you to all those involved in organising and running this event, and to all the Year 6 parents who attended to celebrate the children's successes and personal qualities. New Pupil Leadership Team We are delighted to announce our new pupil leadership team for the academic year 2021-2022. Our Head Girl will be Shruthi T Our Head Boy will be Eshan N Our Deputy Head Girl will be Layla O Our Deputy Head Boy will be Sahib N Other Year 6 positions of responsibility, including House Captains and Sports Captains, will be decided upon and announced at the start of the new academic year. St. Helen's College Voice 2020-2021 This year's school magazine, St. Helen's College Voice, has been published digitally today and is available here. We hope that you will enjoy looking through this with your children, celebrating their work and perhaps looking forward to the sorts of things they will be doing when they join their new year group from September. We also hope that the Year 6 parents are enjoying the beautiful Leavers' Yearbooks which the school has produced and gifted to the Year 6 children as an everlasting memory of their journey with us. Farewell Miss Walker Today, Miss Walker leaves St. Helen's College after an amazing 27 years of dedicated service. On Monday, the London Borough of Hillingdon STARS Team made a surprise visit to our online assembly to thank Miss Walker for all that she has done over the years to promote sustainable travel and road safety for our pupils, staff and parents, and for the wider community. They spoke with passion about her dedication to these causes, and noted the many changes that she has driven through during her time at St. Helen's College, including Walk on Wednesday, the parent parking pledge, the walking loyalty scheme, increased bike/scooter storage, The Big Pedal and many more. Miss Walker introduced Junior Road Safety Officers here at St. Helen's College and, as she said to the pupils on Monday, she is hopeful that the school's excellent work in this area will continue, with the pupils at the heart of it. Goodbye, Miss Walker, and good luck in your new role. You have been a wonderful teacher and ambassador of St. Helen's College and you will be greatly missed. We know that you will remain in the family and look forward to seeing you at many future St. Helen's College events. Please read Miss Walker's Farewell Blog here. Year 6 Projects Our Year 6 children have been working independently this term on their final projects and the rest of the Upper School children had a chance to view these on Wednesday. Parents are able to view them too - simply ask your child to log on to the school system and show you the projects! Year 6 Heart and Lung Dissection Year 6 children have been studying ‘healthy bodies’ in science. They have learned what it means to have a healthy and balanced diet, the deficiency of vitamins that may lead to diseases like scurvy, the effect of exercise on the heart and circulation, and the effect of legal drugs in the form of alcohol, medicines and tobacco.   A crucial part of their learning is the understanding of how nutrients and oxygen get transported around the body, enabling energy to be used for life processes. The heart is the central part of this system, so in order to gain a deeper understanding and have a ‘hands-on’ experience, they undertook a dissection activity using lamb heart and lungs.  They had a close observation on the structure and texture of lungs, and they cut through the windpipe that led to bronchioles and air sacs where the exchange of gases takes place. They were most fascinated by the heart with its chambers and connecting blood vessels. They identified the right and left ventricles and atria, and could explain which part had oxygenated and deoxygenated blood. They enjoyed making connections as to how the section of the heart they were cutting formed part of the pathway of the whole circulatory system that they had previously studied. The activity left most of them curious, satisfied, knowledgeable, happy and buzzing learners. Hands on science is the best type of all! ABRSM Music Examinations Congratulations to all of our musicians who have been busy preparing for and taking music examinations this term. The following pupils were entered and results are shown where they are known - some children are still awaiting news of their result. Y1       Aria M Violin Initial Merit         2B       Simar Violin Grade 1 Pass         3B       Viren Piano Grade 3 Pass Emily Violin Grade 2 Pass                 4L       Minaya Piano Grade 5 Merit Arshia Piano Grade 2 Merit         5A       Rivan Guitar Grade 2 Merit Zach Piano Grade 8 Distinction Zach Violin Grade 5 Merit   Chamber Choir Well done to everyone who submitted video auditions for Chamber Choir. The standard of auditions was very high again this year! There are limited spaces available and the following seven pupils have been chosen to join in September 2021:  Natalia C Aanya B Amber P  Samara P Hana H Ruby L Grace O'H The Chamber Choir will be performing at the St. John's Smith Square Children's Trust charity concert on Sunday 14th November - please add the date to your diary now as this is always a very special occasion! Year 4-6 Talent Assembly On Monday we were treated to a marvellous special assembly during which children from Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 sang, delivered some improvisation comedy, danced, played a variety of instruments and more! The children really are so talented and it was amazing to be able to share their interests with them. Well done to all those involved. Tennis Finals Many congratulations to the winners of our annual tennis finals! As always, the competition was tough and every child had to play to their very best. We all really enjoyed watching them play. The year group winners were: Year 3 boys - Sean R Year 3 girls - Hana H Year 4 boys - Xavier B Year 4 girls - Arshia S Year 5 boys - Luka K Year 5 girls - Anjika G Year 6 boys - Samir H Year 6 girls - Amar C Music Personality of the Term Congratulations to Jessica L, who has been named the Music Personality of the Term. Jessica has always worked conscientiously and demonstrated enormous enthusiasm, over several years, in all aspects of music at St. Helen’s College. She 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. Jessica regularly performs at assemblies, recitals and outside of school. As well as playing the ukulele, she also plays the piano and the clarinet and sings! She has exceptional musical talent, and is working on Grade 3 exams on the piano, the clarinet, and singing. Her melodious singing voice also helped her to gain the part of Nala in the Year 6 production of The Lion King this year, and her performance was first class. Very well done, Jessica! Sports Personality of the Term Amar C has been named the Sports Personality of the Term for the summer term. Speaking about her, the Sports Captains noted that Amar has been an amazing role model to everyone and always tries her best, showing sportsmanship, kindness and perseverance in every sport. Amar always strives for excellence and always achieve it. Amar has taken part in all the tennis tournaments from Year 3. She was in the District Sports team and also in the netball team in Year 5. When times get tough for other people or they think they’re doing poorly, Amar will support them and make them persevere to achieve their personal best. Amar got 5 rosettes and won the Year 6 tennis tournament for girls. She also did really well during the staff v. pupils rounders game. Congratulations, Amar! Staff v. Pupil Rounders! Wednesday afternoon saw our Year 6 children take on the staff in the annual Staff v. Pupils rounders matches. There were three teams of children and we are delighted to report that the staff team won all three matches. The Year 5 children might want to get practising over the summer so that they can take their revenge on the staff next summer! Teacher for the Day The Year 6 children had great fun on Thursday as they stepped into the teachers' shoes for the day and did our work for us! You can see photographs of them enjoying their time as staff on the Galleries page. Reverend Sarah Smith Many congratulations to Mrs. Smith (Year 3) who was ordained last weekend in Oxford. We are so proud of her and feel so lucky now to have a Reverend on our staff! Mrs. Smith gave a short sermon at our Year 2-6 Final Assembly today and we know she will continue to inspire the children here with her faith as time goes on.     Cancer Research UK Fundraising Many thanks to all those parents who have already generously made donations in support of Cancer Research UK. The link is still open so if you have not already donated and would like to do so, you can still donate by clicking here.    News from the PA Second Hand Uniform Stall The PA will be holding a second hand uniform stall in the school car park on Parkway towards the end of the summer break.  If you are picking up from Holiday Club or just want to pop along to see what bargains you can pick up, the stall will be open from 12 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday 17 August 2021 and Friday 20 August 2021. This will still give you plenty of time to get along to Pullens if you aren't able to get all of the bits that you need from the stall.   Charity Cake Stall On Tuesday 17 August 2021, alongside the uniform stall, Grace O (3M/4L) will be selling a range of delectable homemade treats, including cakes and biscuits.  All items will be individually packaged and all money raised will go to Cancer Research UK.  If you can, please do show your support and get yourself a little treat at the same time. PA Class Representatives 2021-2022 We still need volunteers for class reps for: Robins Nursery, 1R, 5G and 6R. Please contact if you would like to find out more about being a class rep or to volunteer. Year 6 Leavers The PA were delighted to gift leavers' hoodies and individually wrapped St. Helen's College cupcakes to all of our Year 6 leavers. We wish them all well as they embark upon the next stage of their adventures!                                       Summer Reading Challenge Hillingdon Libraries will be launching the Summer Reading Challenge this Saturday 10th July through to the start of September 2021. The theme this year is Wild World Heroes, focussing on nature, conservation, and the environment. Hillingdon library staff have helped to create an engaging and exciting video to help promote this year's challenge. Here is the link to Hillingdon Libraries Youtube channel for the video- We hope that many children will take part - don't forget that reading is the foundation for success in primary education and beyond, so it is important to keep it up over the summer! English Writing Skills - Holiday Workshops For those parents wishing to enhance their children’s English writing skills over the summer, please see the links below: There are very few workshops available this summer, but there are plenty of writing opportunities that can be undertaken at home. Keeping a diary is a great way to ensure regular writing and reflection, and the world around us can stimulate ideas for poetry and story writing. Creative writing is a wonderful method of self expression, so a pen, pad and imagination is a great place to start. Summer Tennis Camps Miss Walker and Mr. Stidder are, as usual, running tennis camps over the summer. You can find the details here and here. This is a great way to stay active and keep busy so we hope many of you will sign up! Virtual Open Morning - September Our next online Open Morning will take place on Friday 24th September at 10.00 a.m. If you, or any family and friends, have a son or daughter eligible for entry to Ducklings, Nursery or Reception in September 2022, September 2023 or September 2024, please do register/encourage them to register to attend. The registration link is here. Next Academic Year Calendar The school calendar has been updated with dates for the autumn term. Please do check it and make a note of significant dates. STEAM Day will be taking place on Wednesday 29th September and parents may be invited to offer workshops as usual - look out for an email about this! Uniform & Equipment If you have not already done so, please check the Uniform & Equipment list on the School Documents page of the website so that you can ensure that your child has all that they will need for their next year group. Funtasia/Breakfast Club Bookings Bookings for wraparound care for the Autumn term will open on the first day of term, 2nd September, very early in the morning. Breakfast Club and After School Club will be available as usual and, as ever, we ask that you book as far in advance as you can, wherever possible, as this is so helpful for us when planning staffing, catering and other logistics. Co-Curricular Arrangements and Bookings We are currently finalising the co-curricular programme for the Autumn term. Bookings will open soon after the start of the term and we will send a reminder at that time to ask you to make your choices. Clubs are being planned to start from the week beginning Monday 13th September. Autumn Term Menu The menu for the autumn term has been published to the School Documents page. Please do take a look at it with your child ahead of the new academic year to help them to make sensible choices. Snacks When sending in snacks for break times, please follow the school rules and send fruit, vegetables or plain biscuits in a named snack box. In exceptional circumstances, if your child is getting very hungry or needs a second snack for after school before a club, you may send a plain sandwich (cheese, ham or similar). No high fat, high sugar or high salt foods are permitted and please do not send anything messy! Individual Instrumental and Vocal Tuition Please note that, from January 2022, fees for individual instrumental and vocal tuition will increase as follows: 30 minute lesson (Upper School): £22.50 20 minute lesson (Lower School): £14.50 Parents are reminded that a term's notice is required if you would like your child to stop receiving individual instrumental or vocal tuition. Notice should be emailed to Mrs. Fawbert at FREE Pause Mother and Baby Mindfulness Classes Starting from Wednesday 8th September, we will be running FREE Mother and Baby Mindfulness Classes at St. Helen's College for babies aged from 3 months to crawling (no crawlers allowed). If you, or any of your friends and family, have a baby who will be the right age, and you would like to attend, simply email with your full name, baby's name and date of birth to book your place. The classes, led by Mrs. McLaughlin, will run at 9 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, in the Evans Hall at Upper School, and there are six classes in each course. These classes will give an opportunity for mothers and babies to bond and enjoy mindful time together, and will include techniques such as mindful breathing, yoga and massage. 
Posted on: 9/07/2021

Farewell to St. Helen's College by Miss Walker

I had been putting off writing my farewell blog; I knew it would be very difficult to write as I am truly sad to be leaving a place that has meant so very much to me and my family over the past 27 years. But as I settled myself down, with a glass of wine in hand, to go down memory lane, I received the devastating news that I would have to self isolate in the final week of term. It has been completely heartbreaking not to be able to be with my school family in my final week and to say the goodbyes and thank yous I wanted to say in person to so many colleagues, parents and pupils. However, working from home this last week has given me more time to reflect on my time at St. Helen’s College and to focus on the happy memories which will fill my heart forever.  My St. Helen’s College journey began in 1994 when I joined the school as a fresh faced graduate and new mum with a nine month old daughter to teach PE part time. Things were certainly different back then: I was the only female staff member permitted to wear trousers, in the form of a very fetching brightly coloured 1990’s shell tracksuit, and the only sports pupils played were football and cricket for boys and rounders and netball for girls. The Upper School playground was the size of one third of the existing netball court and a scaled down netball court was marked out and the rest of the outside area behind Cambria was a grassed old orchard. It took my best persuasive powers to convince Mr. and Mrs. Crehan to make the playground bigger in 2004 so that pupils could benefit from more play space and better sports facilities. When I started at the school, PE was led by Mrs. Bryant and Miss Cooper (1C teacher) and her older sister Sarah were in the Y5 and 6 netball team, so it seems fitting that I will be handing on the baton to Miss Cooper to run the Y5 and 6 netball team next year.  I became Head of PE in 1996 and working afternoons gave me the opportunity to balance family life whilst developing my teaching career and growing a tennis coaching business alongside Mr. Stidder. In fact, Mr. Stidder has been associated with St. Helen’s College for longer than me, providing tennis coaching at the school since 1992! I continued to work part time as my family grew with the arrival of my son in 1998. Subsequently both my children joined the school in Nursery, then called Rainbows and Sunshines, and they both went through the school, taught by Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. Allery, Mrs. Belvoir and Mrs. Stark amongst others. In recent years, since graduating, my daughter has come back to work at the school from time to time too.  So I hope this gives you a sense of how my family has been so closely linked to the St. Helen’s College family over the years.  Throughout the early 2000s I ran a successful Ofsted registered morning pre-school in The Pavillion in Court Park and many children from here progressed to join St. Helen’s College where I continued to teach them. Perhaps this was the inspiration for our very own Ducklings Kindergarten? By 2008 I was teaching full time at the school and became subject leader for geography and took on a shared form tutor role with Ms Turner. In 2010 I was invited to join the Senior Leadership Team as Director of Co-curriculum, a role I have thoroughly enjoyed.  The school has changed immeasurably over the past 27 years, expanding to two form entry, relocating Lower School from All Saints Church to its present site, and adding a science block, art studio and refectory. The PE shed, which used to be my office too, has been moved three times! I am immensely proud of the many developments I have been responsible for introducing during my time at the school. These have included expanding the day and residential visit programme, the introduction of an overnight sleepover visit for Y3 and extending the Y5 visit from a weekend trip to a week. I have also led and encouraged outdoor learning to take place to spark pupils’ curiosity, deepen their understanding, and improve their sense of well-being. I introduced swimming to the curriculum and established more opportunities for pupils to compete with local state schools and independent schools. I am proud of developing a modern, future facing geography curriculum which encourages an awareness of the issues of climate change and develops tangible skills for pupils to build upon in the future, and of introducing an extensive co-curriculum clubs programme across a range of creative, aesthetic, sporting and academic fields. Yet it is the positive impact the progressive Heartstart first aid training programme for pupils and the School Travel Plan to make school travel safer and more active has had for pupils and their families of which I am particularly proud. Through it all, my passion and commitment has always been to make a difference and to provide the very best learning experiences and opportunities for personal development for St. Helen’s College pupils. It has given me great personal and professional satisfaction to see so many pupils grow and develop into confident young people, ready to face new challenges with integrity. It is lovely that so many of our alumni keep in touch and just last week in Court Park I bumped into no fewer than four St. Helen’s College old boys and girls and their families! Hearing about their achievements and sharing their memories about their time at St. Helen’s College makes my heart swell with a great sense of pride to know I have been part of their journey in life.  This place has been such a wonderful and inspiring place for pupils to learn and for me to work. It has been my enormous pleasure to lead a variety of initiatives which highlighted and communicated what a unique and special place it was and raised the profile of the school locally and nationally. Achieving the Gold TfL STARs Award, the School Games Platinum Award and reaching the finals of the 2020 TES Independent Schools Awards in not just one but two categories: ‘Student Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Sport, Health and Wellbeing’ were notable moments. Yet I think being runner up in 2013 for the Pearson Teacher of the Year Award stands out as something special. The initial nomination was made by the then Head Girl, Emily Hannis, and the subsequent kind and heartfelt supporting statements submitted for the award by many pupils, parents, alumni and principals is something that I will always cherish.  I have taught thousands of St. Helen’s College pupils, including three Crehan children, my own and other staff members' children and many families - brothers, sisters and cousins, over the years and I have befriended pupils and parents alike. I am grateful for the support and kindness parents have shown me and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to serve this wonderful community as a teacher and member of the Senior Leadership Team. I have met the most fantastic people here and I am forever changed by my inspiring and compassionate colleagues, with whom I have enjoyed close working relationships and friendships over the years. Thank you too to the incredible pupils I have had the pleasure of teaching. I hope I have made a difference in many of their lives, just as they have irrevocably changed mine.   I have been blessed to be part of a strong school community at St. Helen’s College and I look forward to becoming a member of, and contributing to, another school community in this way. I look forward to the opportunities that await me both professionally and personally at High March School. It is not a coincidence this is a school with a similar history and heritage to St. Helen’s College, with a family ethos and with the values of friendship and kindness at its core. I will truly miss the amazing colleagues, pupils and parents I have been fortunate to know. I am honoured to have received the opportunity to grow personally and develop my career amid such talent and brilliance.  So as the sun goes down on my time here and I say farewell, I hope in some small way I will be leaving my footprints at St. Helen’s College. I will always remember my life at St. Helen’s College fondly and, just as the school song says, this school is ‘my second family’ and it is ‘my heart’. I will be forever connected to this community for that reason. Miss Walker
Posted on: 1/07/2021

Weekly News - Friday 2nd July 2021

The Lion King! Wow, wow, wow! We have had wonderful performances from our Year 6 children this week as they have presented their grand musical, The Lion King, to children, staff and parents on our special stage in the Evans Garden. The quality of singing, acting and choreography was extraordinarily high and the costumes and set were amazing! It is always very emotional watching the children perform at school for the final time before they leave us, and we know that the Year 6 parents found tears in their eyes too. Very, very well done Year 6. You are an amazing set of performers and your confidence will stand you in very good stead for success at senior school and beyond. We have posted lots of photographs of The Lion King on the Galleries page for you to enjoy. Wellbeing Day On Monday, we celebrated Wellbeing Day, with a focus on activities to boost mental health and wellbeing throughout the school.  Here is a booklet for parents with helpful tips and advice on how to support your children's mental health. Here is a recipe booklet for healthy smoothies to make with your children. As the week moved on, the children were given the opportunity to showcase their talents and interests in special assemblies, and it was a real treat to hear them sing, play instruments, show off artwork and more. Very well done to all of the children who shared their talents and interests with us all. Year 2 Trip to Iver Environment Centre On Thursday, our Year 2 children enjoyed a super day trip to Iver Environment Centre, where they enjoyed some fantastic outdoor learning. They went pond dipping, caught bugs and went to the rainforest!          Sports Results We had a very special assembly on Tuesday morning at which our Windsor and Cambria Sports Captains, led by Miss Walker, announced the results of both the Year 3-6 Inter-House Sports Cup and the Year 3-6 Sports Day Trophy. There was much excitement as the results were gradually announced and the children waited to hear who the overall winners were! In the Inter-House competition, for which matches are played in Games sessions throughout the year, Cambria achieved 38 points and Windsor achieved 46 points, so Windsor were the overall winners. Vidhit N, the Sports Captain of Cambria, gave a motivational speech to the children of Cambria, encouraging them to continue striving in the future and thanking them for all of their hard work and sportsmanship. Reece G, the Windsor Sports Captain, congratulated the children of Cambria for being such worthy opponents and reminded us all that we are all winners if we compete with determination and grace, and are proud of ourselves and others. The Sports Day results were very exciting indeed and there was much anticipation in the assembled audience as Miss Walker told us all each year group's results: Year 3: Windsor 94 points, Cambria 160 points Year 4: Windsor 103 points, Cambria 150 points Year 5: Windsor 130 points, Cambria 99 points Year 6: Windsor 131 points, Cambria 88 points These results meant that Cambria were the overall Sports Day winners, with a total of 497 points. Amar C, as Windsor Sports Captain, was graceful in defeat, congratulating Cambria sincerely. She reminded the children of Windsor of how hard they had all tried and how proud they should feel of themselves. Cambria Sports Captain Fredericka T then praised Windsor for being such challenging rivals and for all of their individual performances in the track and field events, while congratulating the children of Cambria for their super achievement. All four Sports Captains gave rousing and heartfelt speeches, thanking staff and pupils alike for making the competitions so meaningful and close, and for all of the organisation that goes into all of the many sports events that take place at St. Helen's College. Well done everyone! General Knowledge Quiz Team Our Year 5 and 6 General Knowledge Quiz Teams took part in the national final of the Prep School General Knowledge Quiz last Thursday. The event took place online and was hotly contested, as schools from all over the country competed to answer tricky questions on all aspects of general knowledge. Our Year 5 team finished 10th overall and got a total of 20 questions right out of a possible 30. Very well done to the team members: Anjika G, Shruthi T, Zachariah F and Aaryan B. The Year 6 team came 9th in their competition and got a total of 22 questions right out of a possible 30. Congratulations to the team: Ben L, Zail T, Arjan D and Vandan V. Year 3 Flower Photography Competition Winners Well done to the six Year 3 children who were chosen as winners of the Year 3 photography competition. All of the children in Year 3 were challenged to take a photograph of a flower over the half term break. The photographs were all stunning and it was really hard to pick the winners! Very well done to Verity S, Arjun S, Samara P, Ali B, Sean R and Zakariya Mi.     Next Week - Charity Week Our final week of term will be our charity week, with a focus on supporting Cancer Research UK. Monday is a non-uniform day. Children may wear their own clothes and the theme is the CRUK colours of pink and/or blue. We ask that each child makes a donation in order to wear their own clothes (suggested minimum £2 and more gratefully received!). All children will also be participating in a theme within their classes to raise money for CRUK - details are being sent to you directly from your class teachers. All donations should be made via the St. Helen's College CRUK Relay for Life fundraising page here, please. We ask that parents make one donation to cover the non-uniform day and the class activity. Many thanks, in advance, for your generous support of this cause. End of Term - Friday 9th July Term will end on Friday 9th July, which is a half day. Children should be collected at the following times, or booked into Funtasia for the afternoon: 11.50 (Ducklings & Nursery) 12.00 (Reception) 12.10 (Years 1, 2) 12.20 (Years 3, 4) 12.30 (Years 5, 6)  The Upper School final assembly will be live streamed for parents of children in Years 2 - 6. This will begin at 10.30 a.m. on Friday 9th and we hope many of you will be able to join us online. Details of how to join the event will be sent to parents next week. Library Investment The library has been enjoying investing in a wealth of wonderful new titles for next year, with fiction refreshed at all reading levels and a fresh injection of non-fiction, from current affairs and biography to nature and sport. We look forward to sharing these with the children in September! In the meantime may we remind children - and parents - that all books should be returned on or before Monday please. Books which are lost on loan or damaged may need to be replaced and a charge may be made. Please address any queries to News From The PA The PA currently have vacancies for class reps for the next academic year in Ducklings, 1R, 5G and 6R. If you would like to become a class rep for one of these classes, please contact the PA at There will be a pop up second hand uniform stall, run by the PA, in the school car park on Parkway from 12 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on both Tuesday 17 August and Friday 20 August. Parents will have the opportunity buy bits ready for the return to school at the start of September whilst also having time to get any additional bits from Pullen's after this date if the PA don't have what you are looking for. Please add these dates to your diary and support the PA by popping along to buy some second hand uniform. 2021-2022 Academic Year As ever, we are pressing ahead with plans for a normal return to school in the hope that the world will have returned to normal by then! If there are Covid restrictions in place at the end of August, any changes to normal arrangements will be communicated to all parents before the start of term.  Uniform & Equipment If you have not already done so, please check the Uniform & Equipment list on the School Documents page of the website so that you can ensure that your child has all that they will need for their next year group. Funtasia/Breakfast Club Bookings Bookings for wraparound care for the Autumn term will open on the first day of term, 2nd September, very early in the morning. Breakfast Club and After School Club will be available as usual and, as ever, we ask that you book as far in advance as you can, wherever possible, as this is so helpful for us when planning staffing, catering and other logistics. Co-Curricular Arrangements and Bookings We are currently finalising the co-curricular programme for the Autumn term. Bookings will open soon after the start of the term and we will send a reminder at that time to ask you to make your choices. Clubs are being planned to start from the week beginning Monday 14th September. Autumn Term Menu The menu for the autumn term will be published to the school website over the summer holidays once it is finalised. Please do take a look at it with your child ahead of the new academic year to help them to make sensible choices. Snacks - A Reminder When sending in snacks for break times, please follow the school rules and send fruit, vegetables or plain biscuits in a named snack box. In exceptional circumstances, if your child is getting very hungry or needs a second snack for after school before a club, you may send a plain sandwich (cheese, ham or similar). No high fat, high sugar or high salt foods are permitted and please do not send anything messy! Walking Zone Maps As we continue to promote sustainable travel and road safety, we have now taken delivery of the display boards containing our school walking zone maps. These will be put up at school over the summer holidays and we hope that you will all continue to walk/scoot/cycle with your children for all or part of your journeys to school, as much as you are able.       Covid-19 Please see below the guidance from the NHS regarding Covid-19 symptoms and actions to be taken. As there are signs of an increase in positive cases in our local areas, it is very important that we follow this guidance strictly as a community.  The main symptoms of COVID-19 are: a high temperature a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal What to do if your child has symptoms If your child has any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, even if they're mild: Get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if they have COVID-19 as soon as possible. You, your child and anyone else you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get the test result – only leave your home to have the test. Anyone in your childcare or support bubble should also stay at home if your child has been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.  
Posted on: 25/06/2021

Weekly News - Friday 25th June 2021

Sports Days We have enjoyed truly wonderful Sports Days this week for every year group from Nursery to Year 6. While many of these were forced into a different format from usual due to Covid restrictions, the enjoyment and determination on the children's faces was as evident as ever. There is no doubt that healthy competition builds character and that striving to improve one's own performance is a super skill to embed in our children. Very well done to all of the children who took part and thank you to all of the staff involved, too. You can see some photographs of the Pre-Prep Sports Days on our Galleries page here and photographs from today's Prep Sports Days will be uploaded soon. We thank all parents for respecting the request to stay away so that we were able to run these events so smoothly for the children. We are very much looking forward to the Ducklings Sports Day next Friday too! Musicians' Concert Once again, Covid restrictions unfortunately thwarted our plans for our annual Musicians' Concert which is usually such a wonderful event at All Saints Church. However, our musicians have performed in school and we have put together an online 'concert' for parents to enjoy. You can watch this here. Ark Farm Visit Ducklings! Our Ducklings children had a wonderful time yesterday when they were visited by Ark Farm. They spent time learning about and petting animals including a donkey, pig, goat, sheep, dog and duck. We were so impressed by how attentively they listened and how gently they handled the animals. You can see some photographs of their day on our Galleries page here. Prospective Head Boy/Girl Speeches Very well done to the Year 5 candidates who have put themselves forwards as potential Head Boys and Head Girls for the 2021-2022 academic year. On Monday and Tuesday, they gave speeches to the rest of the school about why they would be a good choice for these positions of responsibility. We were so impressed by how well they articulated their personalities and ideas. Pupil voting has been taking place at school this week; staff input will also be considered and the new Pupil Leadership Team will be announced at our final assembly on the last day of term, which will be live streamed for parents. Online Chamber Choir Auditions 2021-2022 We invite students from Year 2 to Year 5 to audition for Chamber Choir by submitting a video entry. The following YouTube video may be used to learn the audition song "Give Me Oil in my Lamp" which is from 7 minutes and 10 seconds until 8 minutes and 3 seconds on the video: Lyrics are below: Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning Give me oil in my lamp, I pray Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning Keep me burning ‘til the break of day Sing hosanna, sing hosanna. sing hosanna to the king of kings Sing hosanna, sing hosanna. sing hosanna to the king. Children should sing looking directly at the camera at a distance of 1 metre away approximately. There is a piano accompaniment available which you can download here: Please submit your child's video entry using the piano accompaniment and not the YouTube video by no later than Friday 2nd July 2021. We request that the subject of the email is clear, e.g "Chamber Choir Auditions: name of child and form group". Please submit to both of the following: and Members will be selected and announced before the end of term. Best of luck! PA Forum and PA Class Representatives We had an enjoyable and successful PA Forum meeting on Wednesday evening, at which Mrs. Drummond, Mrs. Hunt, Mr. McLaughlin and Mrs. Smith met with the PA class representatives to discuss/feedback on issues raised by parents throughout the school. Minutes have been sent to all parents. The PA will have vacancies for class representatives in the following classes for the 2021-2022 academic year: Ducklings Robins 6R If you would like to put yourself forward as a class rep for any of these classes, please contact There will be collection bins outside both Upper School and Lower School for the last two weeks of term and the PA will be very grateful for any donations of uniform that you no longer need. They are hoping to run a second hand uniform shop outside of the school over the summer holidays, and more information will follow about this in due course. Summer Holiday Club Holiday Club bookings for the summer holiday open today for children in Nursery to Year 6. The Holiday Club will run at Upper School for all children and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We urge parents to make bookings as early as you can, so that you secure the dates you would like and so that we are able to plan our staffing and logistics with certainty. Please login to your SchoolsBuddy account to make your bookings. Royal Institution Events You might be interested in the events which are being planned by the Royal Institution for July. You can find out more details by following the link below. St. Helen's College Trust If any parents have not yet signed up with EasyFundraising and would like to do so, now is a good time as there is an extra promotion which means an extra £5 incentive for both you and the school. Don't forget, if you support our cause on EasyFundraising, you will raise money for the St. Helen's College Trust at no cost to yourself every time you use the app to shop online with over 5000 participating retailers. If you would like to sign up, please use the link below. If you need any support with signing up, please contact Mrs. Smith at We are very grateful for your support. Sign up to support St. Helen's College Trust on #easyfundraising, and they will give you a £5 shopping voucher once you have raised your first £5 - PLUS we will get a bonus £5 donation, it’s win, win! It's simple to join and you can raise FREE donations whenever you shop online with over 5,200 retailers. Sign up here: Please don't forget, also, that you can donate your unwanted textiles (clothes, paired shoes, bags, belts, sheets/pillowcases, curtains etc) to our textile recycling bank which is located outside 227 Long Lane. You can pull your car into the car park area there while you drop your textiles off, whether during term time or holidays. The textiles are donated to poor communities and/or recycled to make industrial cleaning cloths, so nothing ends up as landfill, and the St. Helen's College Trust receives a small donation per kilo of collected clothing. We are happy to receive textile donations from the wider community, so do feel free to share this with any local family and friends too.
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