Support Our School

St. Helen’s College is a family and, once you are one of us, you are one of us for life!

There are many ways in which willing friends can support the school.

Parents' Association

If you are a current parent, we would encourage you to become an active supporter of the Parents’ Association, either on their committee, as a class representative or as a volunteer at PA events. You can find out more information by contacting pa@sthelenscollege.com.
 

Educational Visits, Speeches and Workshops

If you work in an interesting field and would like to visit us to inspire the current children of the school, we would be delighted to hear from you. Authors, doctors, dentists, lawyers, politicians, film-makers, research scientists, entrepreneurs…all are welcome! You could visit to speak informally at an assembly, to run workshops for groups of children (for example on our annual STEAM Day), or to be a Guest of Honour at one of our special events. Please contact susmith@sthelenscollege.com if you would like to be involved with us in this way.


Legacy Giving

We welcome gifts, large or small, through donations or bequests from ex-pupils, ex-parents, ex-staff and members of the local or global community. If you would like to speak with us further about making a donation or bequest, please contact Su Smith at susmith@sthelenscollege.com

 

We thank you sincerely for your interest in supporting St. Helen’s College. Your generosity will benefit not only our current pupils but future generations of Helenians to come!

News

Posted on: 17/04/2024

Weekly News - Friday 19th April 2024

Centenary Celebrations Welcome back to a busy summer term at St. Helen's College. As we begin the final term of our Centenary year we have some very special events coming up, so please make sure you have the following dates in your diary. Saturday 22nd June - PA Centenary Summer Fete Friday 5th July - Lower School Art Exhibition Tuesday 9th July - Centenary Fun Day for Pupils Thursday 11th July - Upper School Centenary Concert and Art Exhibition   Book Drive - Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd April    We are excited to be hosting a book drive in school next Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd April to support the important work of The Children's Book Project. Learning to read - and reading to learn - is central to our school life and we are grateful to enjoy a wealth of books.  The Project shares books with children who are less fortunate and matches families who have grown out of their books with those who have few books at home. Working with schools, food banks and prison projects, books are donated to children in need. You can hear more about this from the author and ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, a recent visitor to St. Helen's College, and from some of our own avid readers here.  Please take this opportunity to delve into your book shelves at home and donate any books you have enjoyed and feel could now enrich the lives of others. Books should be very gently worn - no creased covers, tatters or yellow pages. No thank you to puzzle, sticker books, dated books such as annuals, text books or school books. We are looking for books aimed at children between 2 and 11. Lower and Upper School will each have a collecting point to accept books which will then be sorted and passed on to new homes. Thank you for your support for this valuable project.  Singing Competition Our very exciting Singing Competition final will take place on Friday 14th June. The categories this year are as follows: Middle School Competition: Year 2 Solo, Year 3 Solo, MS duet, MS group and Best Overall Performance. Upper  School Competition: Year 4 Solo, Year 5 Solo, Year 6 Solo, US duet, US group and Best Overall Performance. Full details of how to submit song choices for approval and enter the competition are being sent out by Mrs. Fawbert to the parents of children in Years 2 to 6.  Music Lessons There are a limited number of spaces available for trumpet, flute, violin, cello and singing lessons for children in Years 2 - 6 this term. If you wish to sign your child up for lessons on these instruments please complete this Google Form. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.  If you have already completed the form for other instruments there is no need to resubmit it as your child will have been added to the waiting list already and Mrs. Fawbert will be in contact once a space is available. Please note there are no spaces for piano lessons at present. The following instruments are also eligible to join the school orchestra: violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone.  Quiz Winner! Congratulations to the children who recently participated in the SATIPS (Support and Training in Prep, Primary and Senior Schools) national general knowledge quiz, and in particular to Aaron B, who placed joint 40th in the Junior category and reached the prestigious leader board!  Aaron achieved a score of 71/100 competing against pupils from a large number of independent schools from across the country. He has won a very well deserved Amazon voucher in recognition of his achievements. Well done Aaron!   Reading Buddies It was wonderful to see our tradition of peer reading in action this week when Year 3 'reading buddies' visited Year 1 to read together. This is a terrific way to model a positive love of books and something our pupils thoroughly enjoy. Shared reading is a brilliant way to boost children's listening, speaking and social skills - and it is fun!          Bikeability There was much excitement today as Year 6 began a four week Bikeability training programme. Over the duration of the course the children will complete levels 1 and 2, gaining the skills, knowledge and understanding to cycle safely on the roads. Today they took to the tennis courts to practise basic bike skills, learning simple bike maintenance and how to set off, pedal, slow down and stop including how to look behind, cycle one handed, turn and control speed.  Cycling has huge benefits, not only for physical health and fitness but also for building social connections, cognitive skills and as an environmental mode of transport. It is vital that children learn how to navigate the streets safely and with confidence. We look forward to seeing their progress as they hit the roads in the coming weeks!    Open Morning  Please note that our upcoming Open Morning has moved from Wednesday 1st May to Thursday 2nd May. We are looking forward to welcoming prospective families into the school to see the school in action. If you have friends or family who would like to visit then please direct them to register online here.  Football at Hillingdon Leisure Centre The football development centre are running training courses this term on Monday evenings at the astroturf pitches at Hillingdon Leisure Centre. Sessions are tailored for children aged from Nursery up to Year 7 and offer the opportunity for budding footballers to develop skills under the expert eye of FA and UEFA accredited coaches. You can find out more information and book a free trial session here.   Next Week Saturday 20th April - Mini Marathon Wednesday 24th April - Year 4 Flatford Mill Information Evening Thursday 25th April - PA meeting in Upper School Hall Friday 26th April - Month End Music Recital in Evans Hall Friday 26th April - Year 6 Bikeability continues  
Posted on: 22/03/2024

Weekly News - Friday 22nd March 2024

It was wonderful to be joined by so many members of the St. Helen's College community for our Easter Service this morning at All Saints Church. Many thanks to all of the families who attended and to our wonderful choirs, orchestra and Year 6 readers who led the service so beautifully. We would like to wish everyone a happy, peaceful Easter break. Speech Competition and Poetry Recitals Our Nursery and Reception children did an amazing job this week of reciting the poems they had learnt off by heart. On Tuesday, both Reception classes performed their pieces from a stage in the Methodist Church Hall, watched by an audience of around one hundred parents and staff. Their courage and confidence in mounting the stage individually and speaking their poems was astonishing for children so young.  On Wednesday, it was the turn of the Nursery children to have a go at their first solo performance at St. Helen's College. They did so in the familiar environment of their classrooms, using a small stage, and speaking out one by one to their parents, staff and peers. For those who found the experience a little intimidating, a friend was available to hold their hand and share the stage with them for the duration of their poem. For children aged just three, four and five to be willing - and able - to stand up in front of a congregation of adults and speak verse from memory is very impressive indeed. Many of the children projected confidently and conveyed the meaning of their poems in style, as well as making lovely eye contact to engage their audience. The future of drama and public speaking at St. Helen's College is certainly in safe hands. Well done Robins, Wrens, Kingfishers and Owls. We are very proud of you! On Thursday, the children in Years 1 to 6 took part in our annual Speech Competition. Competing in three categories (Years 1/2, Years 3/4 and Years 5/6), they performed their poems with poise and style to their audiences. The pupils had been given a range of challenging, sophisticated and in some cases humorous poems and the expression they put into their performances was really wonderful. It was an extremely difficult job for our judge, Mrs. Emanuel, but in the end the winners were: Year 1 Class Winners: Aan G and Aahana G Year 2 Class Winners: Sikhya R and Zakariya S Overall Pre-Prep Winner: Sikhya R   Year 3 Class Winners: Eleanor G and Aaria M Year 4 Class Winners: Alana F and Leo A Overall Junior Competition Winner: Alana F             Year 5 Class Winners: Veer K and Aarav C Year 6 Class Winners: Verity S and Emily S Overall Senior Competition Winner: Veer K           Centenary Exhibition Day Thank you to all of the families who attended the Centenary Exhibition Day last Saturday and for the wonderful feedback from this busy event. It was a joy to see the children's hard work displayed so beautifully throughout all three school sites: Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School. The children thoroughly enjoyed showing parents their classrooms and the variety of work they have completed so far this year. It was also an opportunity to reflect on the tradition and legacy of St. Helen's College over the past one hundred years, and to welcome back some familiar faces of attending alumni! We are very proud of all of the children at St. Helen's College and the huge effort each and every child puts in to achieving such a high standard of work. Thank you for supporting the children and celebrating with us in our special Centenary year. You can see some photographs from Exhibition Day here and hear from some pupils here.  ABRSM Music Exam Results Huge congratulations to all of the children who have been working so hard on their pieces for instrumental and vocal examinations this term. We are delighted to report the following results: Luca H Piano Grade 1 Pass Jeena H Piano Grade 1 Pass Hana H Singing Grade 3 Distinction Sofia K Piano Grade 1 Merit Tiya T Piano Grade 2 Distinction         Simar C Violin Grade 3 Pass Amelia L Piano Grade 5 Merit Zinnia M Singing Grade 2 Merit Aanya P Violin Grade 4 Pass Aaran P Piano Initial Pass Shanaya P Violin Grade 1 Merit Rayan S Guitar Grade 2 Merit Inaaya S Singing Grade 3 Distinction Rohaym U Guitar Grade 1 Pass         Jana A Trumpet Grade 1 Merit Gurdaya J Singing Grade 3 Distinction Avleen P Piano Initial Merit Shaylen P Piano Grade 2 Merit Alyssa P Singing Grade 3 Distinction Caitlin P Piano Grade 1 Pass Armaan V Piano Grade 1 Pass         Oliver B Violin Initial Merit Eleanor G Piano Initial Merit Emerald S Violin Initial Merit Leonard S Violin Initial Merit Alicia Z Singing Grade 1 Distinction Alicia Z Violin Grade 3 Distinction         Anika S Piano Initial Merit   Sports News This week the Year 5 and 6 netballers took part in the Beechwood Park and Orley Farm netball tournaments. It was a great way to finish off the season and they played brilliantly, displaying great character skills: perseverance, determination and respect. Well done to all of the pupils involved!         Trips and Visits Year 5 visited Bletchley Park on Tuesday where they enjoyed an interactive day finding out all about the development of electronic computers and the vital role of Britain's code breaking operation during World War 2.   The children toured the museum which is home to the largest collection of Enigma code breaking machines in the UK. They learnt about the remarkable life and achievements of Alan Turing and visited the original huts which housed the code breakers, most of whom were women. The children were fascinated to discover how the code breakers were recruited, then sworn to top secrecy; for some surviving staff until this very day! It was very powerful to hear how their specialised skills were instrumental in bringing the war to an end. To top the day off, the children were able to experiment with the machines and had the chance to write a coded cipher of their own names.  Our Reception classes were thrilled to receive a visit from a travelling Planetarium this week to bring their learning about Space alive! This pop up, immersive experience transported the children into virtual space where they delighted in a tour of the night sky, viewing the transition from daytime to night. The children discovered fascinating facts about the stars, moon and Jupiter and explored the concept of shapes in space. Finally, the children had the opportunity to identify the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor constellations, otherwise known as the 'Big Bear' and 'Little Bear'. The event proved to be a fun, interactive experience which illuminated their learning about earth's place in the wider solar system.  We have held residential trip information evenings this week for next term's Year 3 and Year 5 residential trips. Thank you to the parents who attended. There will be meetings early next term for parents ahead of the Year 4 and Year 6 residential trips too. Spring Garden Competition Thank you to all of the pupils who took on the challenge of designing and creating a spring garden in a box for our House competition. The designs were beautiful and very imaginative and we were delighted that the children adopted so enthusiastically the idea of using natural or recycled items to make their gardens. Congratulations to the winners, Leonard S. in 3M and Armaan V. in 4B who won extra points for their House teams.        One World Day One World Day will take place on May 7th. This year there is a sustainability focus, as we only have one world. If any parents, alumni or friends who work in this area would be willing to offer a talk or workshop on that day, please would you contact Mrs. Briggs at vbriggs@sthelenscollege.com at your earliest convenience. Waste Week Battery Collection Thank you to all the children who collected and brought in old/used batteries for the 'Recycle To Read Batteries Collection', part of a National Waste Week initiative. Each House has now filled a large box with batteries and will be awarded two valuable House points for each battery donated.  We heartily encourage all our families to continue to recycle unwanted 'tech', you can find out more information on local electrical and battery drop off points here. Please remove batteries from electricals and recycle them separately. You can find out more information on the these links: Material Focus hello@materialfocus.org.uk www.recycleyourelectrical.org.uk facebook.com/recycleyourelectricals @recycleelectric @recycleyourelectricals_ linkedin.com/company/materialfocus News From The PA The PA will be running a second hand uniform stall in the school car park at the Parkway entrance to the school on Tuesday 26th March 2024 from 12.00 p.m. to 3.00 p.m.  Come along and snap up a bargain before the change over to the summer uniform next term.  Grace O'H from 6H will be running a bake sale alongside the uniform stall, selling all sorts of delicious treats, including home-made cupcakes, tiffin, rocky road and cookies. All money raised will be donated to Cancer Research UK. The PA has once again donated prizes for a free draw for the children this Easter.  All of the children were included in this free Easter draw with one prize drawn for each class. We hope the lucky winners enjoy their prizes and wish everyone a wonderful Easter break! Summer Term - Important Information Children should return to school after Easter in their full, correct summer uniform. Please remember that tights must NOT be worn with the summer dress. White knee or ankle socks are the summer uniform option with the summer dress. The lunch menu for the summer term has been published to the website and is available here. Summer term co-curricular clubs will begin on the first full week back.  Please check your child's bags, pencil case, water bottle, snack box and other equipment over the holidays to ensure that everything is clean, in good working order and NAMED. Please replenish/replace items as necessary to ensure that your child has all of the correct equipment each day. There are a number of major events in the summer term, as usual. Please check the school calendar and make a note of the dates relevant to your child's year group. In addition, here is a reminder of events for the first two weeks of the summer term: Wednesday 17th April - Term begins Friday 19th April - Year 6 Bikeability sessions begin Friday 19th April - PA Comedy Night at Uxbridge Golf Club Saturday 20th April - Mini Marathon Wednesday 24th April - Year 4 Flatford Mill Information Evening Thursday 25th April - PA meeting in Upper School Hall Friday 26th April - Month End Music Recital in Evans Hall Library Book Drive  We are delighted to announce our community will be supporting The Children's Book Project at the start of summer term! Learning to read - and reading to learn  - is central to our school life and we are grateful to enjoy a wealth of books. The Project shares books with children who are less fortunate and matches families who have grown out of their books with those who have few books at home. Working with schools, Food Banks and prison projects, books are donated to children in need. We would invite you to look at your book shelves over the holidays to find those books you have enjoyed and feel you could now share by donating. Please note: Books should be very gently worn - no creased covers, tatters or yellow pages. No thank you to puzzle, sticker books, dated books such as annuals, text books, school books.  We are looking for books aimed at children between 2 and 11. We will have collections points available for books at Lower and Upper School on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd April.  Mini Me Easter Camps  Mini-Me Camps are running an Easter holiday camp at PACCAR Scout Camp. There are limited spaces left available and all friends and family are welcome! Full details, including booking details, are available here. Delancey UK Chess Challenge Megafinal Registration   Registration for this year's Delancey Megafinal 2024 is now open for registration. This season it will include a range of over-the-board and online events. Megafinals will take place across the UK, the gigafinals will take place in Edinburgh, Manchester and Sandown Racecourse and the terafinal in the splendid surrounds of Blenheim Palace. Over £10,000 worth of prizes will be awarded as cash, trophies and medals. You can register and find out more here.  RoboThink Easter Workshops RoboThink will be running special Egg-ineering robotics workshops during the Easter holidays at St. Helen's College Lower School. There are options for half or full day sessions. You can find out more and book here.  Lynne Chilver School of Dance The Lynne Chilver School of Dance runs regular classes in the Methodist Church Hall on Long Lane and has been popular with St. Helen's College pupils for many years. Lessons take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and include ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre. More information can be found here.  Local Theatres For Easter holiday entertainment don't forget about local theatres which will be running family friendly productions over the holiday period. The Compass Theatre in Ickenham is showing The Little Mermaid - Easter Panto and the Beck Theatre in Hayes is showing The Sooty Show - 75th Birthday Spectacular! and Alice in Wonderland.   
Posted on: 15/03/2024

Weekly News - Friday 15th March 2024

Exhibition Day We are looking forward to seeing pupils and their families tomorrow (Saturday 16th March) at our annual Exhibition Day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. All children should attend on this day in full school uniform, at the time that suits you best during the two hour slot. Pupils will have the opportunity to show families around their classrooms and to share their workbooks, displaying all their hard work this year so far. The day also presents a lovely opportunity to visit older year groups to see what lies in store for your child in coming years, and to visit previous year groups to reminisce. This year, to tie in with our Centenary celebrations, each year group has a decade theme, so it will be particularly poignant to travel through time as you travel through the school. Refreshments will be served in the Evans Hall throughout the morning. We look forward to seeing you all on Exhibition Day and to celebrating the pupils and their work. Speech Competition The competition is hotting up in our annual Speech Competition for Years 1 to 6 and, as usual, the standard is very high. The children have been working very hard learning their designated poems off by heart and taking on feedback to improve even further. You can hear more from the children here. The finalists are selected by class teachers and senior members of staff, evaluated on the following criteria: expression, projection and clarity. The Year 1 - 6 Speech Competition finals will be held on Thursday 21st March, and parents of finalists are invited to attend. These will take place at the following times:  Year 1 & Year 2  9.00 a.m. at Lower School (with coffee served for parents from 8.15 a.m.) Year 3 & Year 4  1.50 p.m. at Upper School Year 5 & Year 6  2.50 p.m. at Upper School Every Nursery and Reception child is also busy learning a poem and all Nursery and Reception parents are warmly invited to join us for their recitals. These will take place on: Reception - Tuesday 19th March at 9.00 a.m. (coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Nursery - Wednesday 20th March at 9.00 a.m. (coffee served from 8.15 a.m.) Easter Service Our traditional Easter Service at All Saints Church on Long Lane will take place next Friday 22nd March at 11.00 a.m. for Years 2 - 6.  Parents are warmly invited to join us for this special occasion; the service will include performances from our Junior Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir and the school orchestra. Year 6 children will lead us with readings and prayers. Please be reminded that the school term finishes at lunchtime with the following collection times for the children: 11.50 a.m. - Ducklings & Nursery 12.00 p.m. - Reception 12.10 p.m. - Years 1 and 2 12.20 p.m. - Years 3 and 4 12.30 p.m. - Years 5 and 6 Year 1 Trip to Gunnersbury On Thursday, our Year 1 classes enjoyed a visit to Gunnersbury Museum where they were taken back in time to experience life in a Victorian household. The children visited a traditional Victorian kitchen, dressed up as house servants and carried out jobs that the maids and footmen would have done every day; sweeping the floor, washing dishes, cleaning clothes, ironing clothes (and newspapers!) and shining spoons. It wasn't all hard work however, the children also had the opportunity to play with some traditional Victorian toys and discover how toys have evolved through to the modern day. The children were highly engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the day trip.    Spring Garden In A Box Calling all green-fingered gardeners! Don't forget to bring in shoe box gardens next week to win points in our latest House challenge. Pupils are asked to find an old shoe box or similar and, using only natural or recycled materials, to create their own mini spring garden. The children may be as colourful and creative as they like! They might like to include paths, ponds, fences, plants and wildlife. Please bring your garden creations into school on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th March. Each entry will receive two house points. Ms Drummond will judge the winning entries for each year group, who will receive extra House points and will appear on the school website! Gaza Save The Children Appeal  Thank you to all of the children and staff who dressed in pyjamas and loungewear today; we are extremely grateful for all of the generous donations to Save The Children, to support children currently suffering in Gaza. St. Helen's College has so far raised over £4000, a significant contribution to a very worthy cause. Thank you so much for your support. You can still make a donation via our JustGiving page here.  PA Comedy Night We would like to remind all parents about the upcoming PA Comedy Night on Friday 19th April. Details are here and tickets will be on sale until the end of term. The link for booking is: https://forms.gle/4GjXNdkAxmDsTYZG9 Co-Curricular Clubs All co-curricular clubs for this term have now ended, apart from the following which will take place in the final week of term: Orchestra (Monday after school) Tennis Club (lunchtime only) As usual, the children have engaged enthusiastically with all of the many extra activities and opportunities we have offered. We are looking forward to even more outdoor activities next term with the better weather! Staff News Mrs. Brooker, our School Counsellor, will be stepping away from her TALA (Teaching And Learning Assistant) role at the end of this term in order to focus solely on her counselling practice. She will remain available to St. Helen's College children for Time To Talk sessions from next term.  Mrs. Webb, who many children already know as our netball coach, will be taking over Mrs. Brooker's TALA role and is looking forward to working more closely with the children across the year groups at Upper School.  Mrs. Roscoe has today completed her final day working with our Wrens Nursery class, and we wish her all the very best as she leaves St. Helen's College to spend more time with her family. After Easter we will be welcoming Mrs. Krawiel as a full time TALA in Wrens. Mrs. Krawiel is already a familiar face to the class and we know that the children of Wrens will be delighted to have her around full time. Next Week Monday 18th March - District Cross Country Monday 18th March - Year 4 Senior School Transfer Meeting in Evans Hall 6 p.m. Tuesday 19th March - Reception Poetry Recital (coffee from 8.15 a.m.) Tuesday 19th March - Year 5 Trip To Bletchley Park Tuesday 19th March - Beechwood Park Year 6 Netball Tournament Tuesday 19th March - Year 5 Isle Of Wight Information Evening (6.30 p.m.) Wednesday 20th March - Nursery Poetry Recital (coffee from 8.15 a.m.) Wednesday 20th March - Orley Farm Year 5 Netball Tournament Thursday 21st March - Speech Competition (9.00 a.m. Y1/2, 1.50 p.m. Y3/4, 2.50 p.m. Y5/6) Thursday 21st March - Planetarium Visiting Reception  Thursday 21st March - Year 3 PACCAR Information Evening (6.30 p.m.) Friday 22nd March - Year 2 - 6 Easter Service At All Saints Church (11.00 a.m.) Friday 22nd March - End Of Term (Half Day)
Posted on: 8/03/2024

Weekly News - Friday 8th March 2024

  World Book Day Celebrations! The school was abuzz with excitement today as we celebrated World Book Day across all three sites. Our theme this year was 'Read, Reuse, Recycle' and we had asked parents not to buy new costumes but to recycle or upcycle existing clothing to help children dress up as book characters. Children enjoyed World Book Day assemblies, quizzes and a themed lunch. Classes from Upper School visited Ducklings and Lower School to read to the younger children and to watch 1R's World Book Day assembly. In Reception, the children had a great time building reading dens. There were also book swaps and much more. Pupils had great fun trying to guess which books had supplied the quotes pinned to staff too! Huge congratulations to Roha and Emily in Year 6, pictured here, who have written and published their own story, Colour Washed, to coincide with World Book Day. Roha even came dressed today as one of their own characters! Colour Washed is available for children to borrow from the school library. It's great to see such passion for books and nurture writers of the future.  Overall the day presented a wonderful opportunity for us all to focus on the value - and joy - of books and reading. Please, please continue to read with your children daily and to let them see you enjoying reading too. Developing a love of reading really is the backbone for educational success! You can see lots of World Book Day pictures from across the school on our Galleries page here. Year 3 Play Year 3 made a big 'Splash' on Thursday evening, taking to the stage to perform their play at the Compass Theatre in Ickenham. What a treat it was for us all! Having worked extremely hard for weeks in rehearsal, the Year 3 children delivered a show stopping performance in this fun and vibrant re-telling of the story of Noah's Ark.  Every child had the opportunity to speak and they all impressed the audience with their acting and vocal skills, confidence and stage presence. It was wonderful to see the children thrive in the exciting setting of a professional theatre and truly bring the production to life. Year 1 and 2 children were lucky enough to attend the morning dress rehearsal; a great opportunity to enjoy the show and experience a taster of what is to come for them. Congratulations Year 3 for a terrific evening, you can see some pictures here.   Chamber Choir Enjoy Barnado's Competition On Tuesday our Chamber Choir travelled to Birmingham for the day to take part in the Barnado's School Choir Finals at Birmingham Symphony Hall. Twelve junior schools and eleven senior schools from across the United Kingdom had qualified for this very prestigious event. Our Chamber Choir and accompanying staff travelled by coach, arriving at around 10.30 a.m. for a warm up and rehearsal, then taking to the stage to perform their two songs to six judges and an audience. There followed a Pizza Express lunch, after which the choir had the chance to watch a few senior schools perform, which was very inspiring. Late afternoon was taken up with a massed choir rehearsal, led by Douglas Coombes MBE, for which all of the junior and senior school choirs came together. This was a marvellous opportunity for our children to sing with a large group of vocalists, led by an extremely experienced and talented conductor! The day concluded with the grand concert itself, which began at 6 p.m. and concluded with the announcement of the winners. Each choir performed a song and the massed choir performances at the start and end were a real sight to behold. There was just one winner from amongst the junior schools and one from amongst the senior schools; sadly it was not St. Helen's College on this occasion, but we were enormously proud of our Chamber Choir's performances and of how they conducted themselves throughout the day. We know that it is an occasion that will be long-remembered by all involved, as well as a tremendous learning opportunity for the children.  We would like to thank all of the parents and family members who came to Birmingham to support the children. It is typical of the loving and encouraging nature of the St. Helen's College community that every single child was supported by family who travelled to see them perform. Author Visit - Zanib Mian The children in Years 2 to 5 had a real treat on Tuesday - a visit from Zanib Mian, author of the popular 'Planet Omar' and 'Meet The Maliks' series. Zanib shared a fun and inspiring talk about her life as a writer, explaining how she became an avid reader as a child and loved writing stories. She involved the children in a short 'detective' activity to show how creating interesting characters is the cornerstone of a gripping story and how we can all use our observation skills in every day life for inspiration!  The event was a wonderful opportunity for the children to gain some valuable tips for their own creative writing and to have a book specially signed and dedicated to them. Zanib's parting message was a passionate call to visit the library as much as possible; books have the power to transport us to all sorts of exciting and magical places, something we heartily encourage here at St. Helen's College.  1R Class Assembly Wednesday saw our 1R pupils perform their class assembly to an eager audience of parents and staff. Themed on World Book Day the children dressed up as their favourite book characters and celebrated the many joys of books and reading. The children highlighted how books can help us learn about the world around us, can be wonderful practical guides, for honing skills like cooking, and how fiction can take us into amazing, new and magical worlds! The assembly was a joy to watch, all the children delivered their lines clearly and with confidence and delighted in the songs celebrating the wonderful world of books. Well done 1R for a very special assembly!   Eco Team Plastic Free Schools Project Congratulations to our diligent Eco Team who have accomplished the fourth objective in the 'Plastic Free Schools' initiative, which is to 'challenge industry'. Our Eco Warriors conducted their own research into plastic packaging in school, at home and whilst out and about to identify three companies they felt could do more to reduce plastic use. They wrote compelling letters to food and drink giants Coca-Cola, Ferrero and Mondelez-International, to highlight the damaging environmental impact of their products and packaging. Applying pressure on influential food companies is a crucial step in the campaign to tackle plastic pollution. Well done to the Eco Team for their hard work on this important issue.  Quiz Team Semi Final On Friday our Quiz Team took part in the semi final of the national Prep School General Knowledge Quiz. Children from Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 collaborated in this online event, competing with other schools from across the UK in a hotly contested competition covering history, geography, art, popular culture and more. Our team made a great effort finishing in 28th position out of 48 teams.  Well done to our team members: Rian S (Year 3) Armaan V (Year 4) Sofia S (Year 5) Anika C (Year 6) Junior Citizens Event  On Thursday, Year 6 took the bus to Brunel University for the annual Junior Citizens event. The children participated in many interactive workshops with organisations including the London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police, Bikeability, RNLI, the NHS, SCARF Lifeskills and TfL to develop safety awareness and life skills. The children learnt about travelling safely on public transport, fire safety, crime risk, safe and unsafe substances and staying safe online. The children thoroughly enjoyed the day and gained many valuable skills to help equip them for the transition into senior school.    Exhibition Day We would like to remind you that Saturday 16th March is our annual Exhibition Day, during which the school will be open for pupils and their families from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. All children should attend on this day in full school uniform, at the time that suits you best during the two hour slot. Pupils will no doubt be eager to show you around their classrooms and will also want to revisit previous year groups to reminisce! The day also presents a lovely opportunity to visit older year groups to see what lies in store for your child in coming years. Your children's work will be available for you to view on this day and staff will be in school, but please note that the day will not allow for detailed conversations about individual children. This year, to tie in with our Centenary celebrations, each year group has a decade theme, so it will be particularly poignant to travel through time as you travel through the school. Refreshments will be served in the Evans Hall throughout the morning. Friday 15th March is a half day in order to allow the school to prepare for Exhibition Day. There will be NO FUNTASIA available on Friday 15th March and children must be collected at the following times: 11.50 a.m. (Ducklings & Nursery) 12.00 p.m. (Reception) 12.10 p.m. (Y1,2) 12.20 p.m. (Y3,4) 12.30 p.m. (Y5,6) We look forward to seeing you all on Exhibition Day and to celebrating the pupils and their work! Gaza Charity Day A reminder that next Friday 15th March we will be raising money for Save The Children, to support children currently suffering in Gaza. We have been thinking about how lucky we are to have warm homes and cosy beds and so on Friday 15th, pupils and staff may come to school in pyjamas in return for a donation of their choice to Save The Children. You can make donations via our JustGiving page here. We thank you in advance for your support. Sports News The football team travelled to St. Andrew's School on Wednesday afternoon for another fixture. The team won 3-1, with Aaron B scoring two goals and Ryley J adding the third. At times the boys played some good football on a poor pitch, but once again the story of the match was our missed opportunities in front of goal. This is something on which we will continue to work, in the hopes of improving our league position and making things easier for ourselves in the league next season. Man of the Match, for an outstanding second half performance, was Daynan C. Co-curriculum Clubs Summer Term Booking opens today for co-curriculum clubs for the summer term. Please login to SchoolsBuddy to make your choices.  Holiday Club (Easter) Holiday Club will run from Monday 25th March - Friday 12th April (Excluding Good Friday - 29th March and Easter Monday - 1st April). Bookings open on Friday 8th March at 4 p.m. Please login to SchoolsBuddy to make a booking.  RoboThink Easter Workshops RoboThink will be running special Egg-ineering robotics workshops during the Easter holidays at St. Helen's College Lower School. There are options for half or full day sessions. You can find out more and book here.  Baby Mindfulness Classes Mrs. McLaughlin's next set of FREE Baby Mindfulness classes will begin after the Easter break. These classes are for mothers and babies (aged from six weeks until crawling). They run on Wednesday mornings at St. Helen's College Upper School and provide a safe space for mums and babies to bond, taking part in breathing, gentle yoga and other mindfulness exercises. There is also the opportunity to meet other local mums and babies and to socialise with them. If you have a baby of the right age (or will do by mid-April) and are interested in joining these classes, please email Mrs. McLaughlin on pmclaughlin@sthelenscollege.com. The classes are open to everyone, whether they have a child at St. Helen's College or not, so please do spread the word. Messages From The PA Uniform Donation Bins / Uniform Stall / Charity Bake Sale Do you have any good condition SHC uniform that you no longer need?  If you would like to donate it to the PA, you will be able to drop it in the donation bins which will be located outside the school entrances from Monday 11th March until Friday 22nd March.  A second hand uniform stall will be set up and run in the Upper School car park on Parkway from midday to 3 p.m. on Tuesday 26th March (the first Tuesday in the Easter holidays). If you'd like to pick up a bargain, make sure you come along and visit the stall.  A cake stall will run alongside the uniform stall, selling delicious sweet treats to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Please do come along and treat yourself and your family! Next Week And End of Term Events Monday 11th March - Year 5 (U10) netball v. Highgate School (H) Thursday 14th March - Year 1 Trip To Gunnersbury Thursday 14th March - House Assembly Friday 15th March - Half Day - NO FUNTASIA  Saturday 16th March - EXHIBITION DAY 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Monday 18th March - District Cross Country Monday 18th March - Year 4 Senior School Transfer Meeting in Evans Hall 6 p.m. Tuesday 19th March - Reception Poetry Recital (coffee from 8.15 a.m.) Tuesday 19th March - Year 5 Trip To Bletchley Park Tuesday 19th March - Beechwood Park Year 6 Netball Tournament Tuesday 19th March - Year 5 Isle Of Wight Information Evening (6.30 p.m.) Wednesday 20th March - Nursery Poetry Recital (coffee from 8.15 a.m.) Wednesday 20th March - Orley Farm Year 5 Netball Tournament Thursday 21st March - Speech Competition (9.00 a.m. Y1/2, 1.50 p.m. Y3/4, 2.50 p.m. Y5/6) Thursday 21st March - Planetarium Visiting Reception  Thursday 21st March - Year 3 PACCAR Information Evening (6.30 p.m.) Friday 22nd March - Year 2 - 6 Easter Service At All Saints Church (11.00 a.m.) Friday 22nd March - End Of Term (Half Day)
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