Challenge For All

We believe that all children, whatever their level of knowledge and skills, should be stretched and challenged in every lesson. The bespoke ‘learning logs’ system developed by the school allows teaching staff to assess and track pupils’ progress while also providing a tool for the pupils to reflect on their learning and understand their next steps.

Our high ratio of staff to children means that we can work together to stretch and challenge every pupil.

A significant number of pupils have exceptional knowledge, skills and aptitudes and it is crucial that all children are extended appropriately. Pupils’ strengths are recognised and teachers have high expectations, setting high levels of challenge whether in the classroom, art studio or  laboratory, or on the games field. Extra workshops, trips and courses may be offered to stimulate and develop our children.

Many children win scholarships to the senior school of their choice and our carefully considered scholarship programme ensures that children’s potential is identified early and that applicants are very well supported throughout the scholarship process.

Some children find learning to be more challenging than others in some areas. Many of these children, with encouragement and help from school and home, overcome difficulties and thrive academically, but others with specific learning difficulties may need tailored instruction and appropriate additional support.

Early identification of learning difficulties takes place during the first years at school. St. Helen’s College has experienced, well-qualified staff with expertise in addressing learning problems and we call upon outside experts for guidance as necessary. One to one and small group assistance is available for children who experience difficulties. Advice and support are offered to parents so that effective back-up work can take place at home.

News

Posted on: 9/02/2024

Weekly News - Friday 9th February 2024

Class Assemblies The children of our Wrens Nursery class delighted parents and staff at their class assembly on Thursday. The children delivered a charming performance all about the weather. They sang beautifully about snow, rain and suitable clothing before reciting, in unison, a poem about the wind. They finished with a gorgeous rendition of 'I Can Sing A Rainbow', using coloured scarves for corresponding colours of the rainbow. Well done Wrens, it was a delight to watch you all perform.       On Friday it was 6L's turn to present a thought provoking class assembly on the concept of 'community'. The children demonstrated the importance of social responsibility, emphasising that everyone has a part to play if our communities are to thrive. Exploring British values and democracy, Year 6 wrote and delivered impassioned speeches as prospective MPs, promising improvements in key areas of the local community including education, the NHS, road safety, transport, housing and accessibility. The sentiment to count our blessings was a fitting end to the assembly, alongside a reminder that we can all do small things within our communities to make a big change. Well done, 6L, for a very confident and accomplished assembly.  Sports News Football The U11 football team played two matches this week. On Monday they took on St. Mary's. They played extremely well but were unable to take their chances and ended up losing 0-1, with Sean R named the player of the match. On Wednesday the team battled hard again to draw 1-1 against a very strong St. Bernadette's team, and Marco K was the player of the match. The House football competition took place this week and the results were: Year 3/4 1st - Windsor 2nd - Cambria 3rd - Caledonia & Hibernia Year 5/6 1st - Windsor 2nd - Hibernia 3rd - Cambria 4th - Caledonia Netball House netball was also played this week. The results were as follows: Year 3/4 1st Caledonia 2nd Windsor 3rd Hibernia 4th Cambria Year 5/6 1st Cambria 2nd Windsor 3rd Hibernia  4th Caledonia Karate News Several St. Helen's College pupils attended the English Karate Federation Kyu Grade National Championships over the weekend as part of KML Karate Club. The KML squad was crowned EKF National Champions in an impressive seven categories and secured 4th position on the association leader board. Nya O-A became the EKF Kyu Grade National Champion, while Avleen P, Rania Q and Naiya L won the team silver medal. In addition, Freya K and Aleya S earned team bronze medals and also earned individual bronze medals. Well done to all involved! Free Basketball Tickets St. Helen's College pupils are being offered free tickets to the London Lions women’s Eurocup quarter final game on Wednesday 28th February at 7 p.m. at the Copper Box Arena. To redeem the offer, please click here and enter the code ‘LYG783’ as your promo code. The Thames Cavaliers are playing the Birmingham Rockets on Sunday 11th February at 5.30 p.m. at Uxbridge College Sports Centre, and tickets to this game are also free for St. Helen's College pupils. Details are here. Yuvraj Receives Award From Mayor Yuvraj R (Year 4) received his award from the Mayor of Hillingdon this week for his entry in the recent walk to school road safety competition. What a special event. Well done, Yuvraj!       Author Visit: Zanib Mian On Tuesday 5th March, children in Years 2 to 6 will be visited by author Zanib Mian, who will inspire them with a talk about becoming an author. There will be an opportunity to pre-order copies of Mian's books which can be signed and dedicated on the day. Full details, including the order link, are available here. Half Term Holiday Club We have a new telephone number for Holiday Club. If you need to contact Holiday Club staff during the half term week, you can reach them at 01895 699835. Rainbow Recipes - February Chef Soula has shared these 'Eat the rainbow' recipes for February, themed around the colour purple. We hope you will enjoy making some of these with your children. Robotics Half Term Camp Robothink will be running a February half term robotics camp in the Lower School Hall at St. Helen's College from 12th to 16th February. Details, including how to book, are available here. Upcoming Dates Monday 19th February - 6H swimming all week Tuesday 20th February - PA coffee morning in the Evans Hall Wednesday 21st February - Football v. St. Matthews Thursday 22nd February - Owls coffee morning and class assembly Friday 23rd February - Month End Music Recital      
Posted on: 9/02/2024

Mindfulness in Schools

There has been a lot in the news this week about the tragic murder of Brianna Ghey and the way in which her mother has responded. The BBC have reported that she has launched a local campaign in Warrington which has raised £50,000 to deliver Mindfulness training in schools, and is now backing a nationwide campaign which is calling upon the government to fund Mindfulness training for every school in England. You can read their report here and find out more about the Mindfulness in Schools Project here.  While it is enormously sad that it has taken such a tragedy to bring this issue to the fore, I could not agree with Brianna's mother more. There is an urgent need for all children, and school staff, to be taught Mindfulness principles and techniques, and to use these regularly. Those who know St. Helen's College well know that we have been teaching Mindfulness to the children for many, many years. More than this, we have embedded Mindfulness as a school principle and staff and children practise Mindfulness daily, using a toolkit of techniques to combat the inevitable strains of modern, busy lives. Children here take on the role of Mindfulness ambassadors and over the last few years have led meditation sessions in assemblies and written about the effects of Mindfulness upon them.  This week, some of the Year 3 children have been talking about what being a part of a mindful school is like for them. They described how they have mindful moments in their classroom on Thursdays, when they lie down and put cucumber slices on their eyes. They also talked, unprompted, about liking how calm it is when they go into their classroom, about mindful moments in assemblies and about practising finger breathing to help them to stay calm and be in the present moment. One boy explained how our breath is always with us, and can be relied upon to calm us down if we can slow down and notice it. These ideas are clearly not unusual to St. Helen's College children, and it was obvious from the way they spoke that they do not see being mindful as something they have learnt, but as something they are. For children aged 7 and 8 to be able to articulate how and why Mindfulness is used in their day to day lives is wonderful and gives us all great hope for the future. I have no doubt that children throughout St. Helen's College feel the same, given that we have been embedding Mindfulness right from the start of a child's journey with us for so many years. This includes at Ducklings, our 2+ setting, where we use age-appropriate sessions such as teddy breathing to help our youngest children to experience and enjoy moments of calm self-awareness. You might like also to read a piece that I wrote about Mindlessness v. Mindfulness from 2021 here. There is no guarantee that Mindfulness training would have prevented Brianna Ghey's terrible murder. But there is certainly evidence that Mindfulness can help children and adults to push away negative thoughts and to embrace the positive, to ground themselves and to experience peace, self-awareness and acceptance. Mindfulness can help us all deal with impulses which may not be productive or good for ourselves or others, and give us time to examine and process our thoughts before acting upon them. I hope that Brianna's mother is successful in her efforts to bring Mindfulness training to all schools, and to all children, in the United Kingdom. Our love and thoughts go with her. I wish you all a mindful, happy half term break.
Posted on: 2/02/2024

Weekly News - Friday 2nd February 2024

Class Assemblies Our Robins Nursery class took to the 'stage' on Thursday to perform a 'winter' themed class assembly to an excited audience of parents and staff. The children were dressed for the chilly weather in cosy hats and scarves as they sang beautifully about this magical season. There were even some mini snowmen and penguins to add to the wintery scene! The singing and accompanying actions were a joy to watch. Well done to Robins for a great performance; it is a privilege to observe every child growing in confidence.        The children of 5G presented their assembly on Friday which, most impressively, they had written themselves. The theme was a question: What Makes A Good Life? Each of the children shared their thoughts about what makes a good life, and it was heartening to hear them tell us, in their own words, what they think is most important. Their ideas included kindness, love, family and friends, helping others in need and being creative. They also considered questions about what leads to happiness, and which careers they might choose when they are older. They sang and danced for us all beautifully and led us in thoughtful prayers too. Well done, 5G. There is no doubt that the future is bright for you all. You can view some clips of the children here and here.  Tree Planting Workshops Ahead of the Trees for Cities public tree planting event tomorrow at Court Park, we were delighted for St. Helen's College to be invited to make our own special contribution to this important community project.  Years 2 and 5 donned wellington boots and embraced the muddy conditions for a bracing outdoor workshop, learning how to plant successfully for sustainability and putting it into practice by planting maple and dogwood saplings on the northern boundary of the park. Thank you to Trees for Cities and to our green-fingered pupils for representing the school. We hope to see the saplings grow into thriving trees for people to enjoy for many years to come.  We hope many other pupils and parents will join the community tree planting day tomorrow, Saturday 3rd February, in Court Park. There will be food and hot drink provided for volunteers and the aim is to plant a mix of both small and large trees in the park. The groups of small trees will increase the diversity and resilience of the existing woodland areas by adding new species and younger trees to the space. The new trees will eventually add depth to the northern border of the park and assist with drainage in the often waterlogged soil area. We encourage your children to wear their school PE kits to take part in this event so that it is obvious which children are from St. Helen's College. You can sign up to take part here:  https://www.treesforcities.org/hillingdon-court-park.   Travelling Natural History Museum Visit Nursery! On Friday our Nursery children were enthralled when the Travelling Natural History Museum came to visit, complete with dinosaur models, exploding interactive experiments and even fossilised dinosaur faeces! The workshop, led by 'Dino Girl', included fascinating facts about the food different dinosaurs ate, how they hunted and their enormous size. The children were thoroughly engaged and particularly enjoyed an exploding meteorite experiment demonstrated to explain one of the theories about why dinosaurs became extinct.      Year 6 Riot Act Workshop (Road Safety) On Monday our Year 6 children enjoyed a visit from The Riot Act, who delivered an interactive workshop about road safety and active travel. The lively, engaging performance certainly got the children thinking more deeply about how they travel and how important it is for each of us to play our part in reducing pollution as well as keeping ourselves healthy and safe.     General Knowledge Quiz On Wednesday, two teams from our popular Quiz Club represented St. Helen's College in the annual inter-school General Knowledge Quiz. Children from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 collaborated in this online event, competing with 70 other schools from across the UK in this hotly contested competition.  From questions on the Great Plague to Harry Potter, our team members had great fun demonstrating their knowledge under strict time pressure. Congratulations to Anika (6L), Sofia (5R), Armaan (4B) and Rian (3B), whose team reached twelfth position and are through to the semi-final! Well done also to Ashvika (5R), Mustafa (5R), William (4T) and Oliver (3B) who put in a great effort and reached a very respectable 41st place.  LAMDA Results Mrs. Moore's LAMDA pupils have been taking their first set of exams and we are delighted to report the following results. Eva J - Entry Level (Distinction) Riya S - Entry Level (Distinction) There are several more LAMDA pupils entering for examination soon and we wish them all the best of luck. Sports News It has been a busy week of sport. Last Friday girls from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 attended a football festival at Radlett Prep School. They all really enjoyed taking part in this fun event and developing their skills. During the afternoon, the U9s won a game, lost a game and drew a game and the U11s were undefeated, drawing two games and winning one. On Wednesday the boys' football team met with Cowley St. Lawrence. Despite dominating the game, the St. Helen's College team struggled to convert their chances and the end result was a 1-1 draw.     On Tuesday this week the Year 6 netball team played Laurel Lane School in their last league match of the year. The girls showed how far they have progressed as a team since September, communicating well with each other, making some fantastic attacking plays and delivering some very sharp shooting. They won 9-1, finishing on a high! On Wednesday, Year 5 and 6 netball players travelled to Orley Farm School for an away fixture. It was great to see all the pupils representing St. Helen's College so brilliantly. The games were competitive and well matched, enabling the pupils to put everything they have learnt during games sessions into practice on the court. Well done to all involved! Parents who are looking for something active for children to do over the half term break might be interested to know that Pro Soccer Coaching will be running a February half term camp from Monday 12th to Friday 16th February at Swakeleys School. You may book for a full week or single days, and there is a reduced price for additional brothers and sisters. The course is run by FA qualified coaches and at the end of the week, each child receives an engraved trophy. The company, its staff and the course have no affiliation with St. Helen's College but if you are interested you can find details here. News From The PA Comedy Night The date of the upcoming PA comedy night at Uxbridge Golf Club has now changed to Friday 19th April. Details are here. The booking link is open and will close at the end of term before we break up for Easter holidays. Please book your tickets here: https://forms.gle/4GjXNdkAxmDsTYZG9. Applications Invited For PA Chair As we are now halfway through the academic year, it is time to begin reflecting on the incredible dedication and leadership of Nikki O'Halloran, our current PA Committee Chairperson. Nikki has steered us through many successful initiatives and as her tenure draws to a close, we extend our deepest gratitude for her tireless efforts and invaluable contributions. Looking ahead to the academic year commencing in September 2024, we are now seeking a new Chairperson to lead the Parents' Association Committee. This role is vital to the continued success of our school community engagement efforts and the enhancement of our school experience. If you have a passion for fostering connections, organising events, and contributing to the betterment of our school community, we invite you to consider stepping into the role of PA Committee Chairperson. Your enthusiasm and commitment will be instrumental in shaping the future of our school community. To express your interest, please contact sthelenscollegepa@gmail.com. We encourage all interested individuals to apply and be part of this rewarding opportunity to make a meaningful impact.  Those who express an interest will have the opportunity to be voted into the position. This democratic process ensures that our community has a say in selecting the individual best suited to lead the PA Committee. Sick Child Training Several parents attended a Sick Child Training session on Monday evening with Dr. Dharsi. This workshop taught parents about common childhood illnesses, how to recognise them and when it is (and is not) necessary to consult a doctor. We hope that it helped to give parents confidence in dealing with childhood health issues. Early Years Parents' Evenings Thank you to all of those parents who attended our Ducklings and Nursery parents' evenings on Wednesday. We hope that you found the conversations useful. Next Week - Reminders Wednesday 7th February - Football v. St. Bernadette's (H) Thursday 8th February - Wrens coffee morning and class assembly Friday 9th February - 6L coffee morning and class assembly  
Posted on: 2/02/2024

Fairness by Mrs. Kahol

  Our school value over the past couple of weeks has been Fairness and we have had several opportunities in assemblies and around the school to discuss and see fairness in action and reflect on how we perceive fairness. Many of you may know that I am an avid supporter of an organisation called WomenED and one of the key principles associated with this organisation is ‘fairness’.  See the link here on the four WomenEd Campaigns. I have had many conversations with parents regarding equality and fairness and I am aware that many of you are active proponents of this in your work places and home lives. I am delighted to share this blog written by Mrs. Kahol, a parent who works at GSK. It is written with the pupils as an audience but so relevant for us all.  Ms Drummond   Dear Pupils, As you start the new year, I wanted to discuss the important topic of equality with you. Did you know that only around 100 years ago, women weren’t allowed to get a proper education? You might be surprised to know that the first college which allowed women to get into higher studies was the University of London, and that the first  women ever to receive degrees got them in 1878. Education, which is now a basic right for all, wasn’t granted to girls in this country just one hundred years ago.  Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, these issues still exist. While the right to vote for women arrived in the early 1900s in the UK as a result of the suffragette movement, true equality for women is far from achieved, both in the UK and globally. Let me give you an example to explain more clearly. Two girls and two boys participate in an activity and receive the same score. Should they receive the same award for it – say two chocolates each? How would you feel if the boys were given three chocolates each and the girls were given only two? Would that feel fair? This idea of rewarding men and women differently for doing the same job is called Gender Pay Discrimination and it has been illegal in the UK for 45 years. But it still exists in some other parts of the world.  However if, in the above scenario, girls were asked to complete five more tasks in parallel to the tasks they have been given, they would of course take longer hours to complete the tasks, get more exhausted and likely leave the initial two tasks to the boys. This would lead to the boys getting all the chocolates. This is what is known as the Gender Pay Gap: because women still do more of the unpaid work of a family (e.g. childcare and housework) than men do, they have less time for paid work. The causes of the Gender Pay Gap are complex and overlapping. While some women may choose to work less and earn less, others may be forced into this situation and may not be happy. According to the Women in Work Index 2021, at the rate the Gender Pay Gap is currently closing, it will take more than 50 years to reach gender pay parity. For every 100 men in the workforce, 69 women are in the workforce in the UK. That number is much lower for developing nations. Currently in the top 500 companies of the world (Fortune 500) only 9% of the CEOs are women. This equates to fewer role models for women which may lead women to have lower aspirations overall for their careers, a phenomenon called The Glass Ceiling. Inequality like this between men and women at work may have a negative impact not only on women but on men too. It boxes men and women in to assume that they want to take on gender roles as they were defined centuries ago, with women staying at home and men outside. Things have changed in the last few centuries. Both men and women can work now if they want to, they can take care of a family together and support each other. Financial freedom is no longer limited by gender. Boys and girls, you all have the opportunity to change this world. Each one of you can help in continuing to close this gap. It is important that the pupils of St. Helen’s College study hard and have equal opportunities to make names for themselves in fields of their choice in the future. Don’t let stereotypes box you into gender roles. You are the future and a good education from an esteemed school such as St. Helen’s College puts you in a great position to make your dreams come true. The world needs role models like you, prepared to call out any discrimination you see around you. Mrs. Kahol
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