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Posted on: 23/02/2018

Weekly News - Friday 23rd February 2018

The February Month End Music Recital today gave a lovely opportunity for some of our young musicians to show off their talents and hard work to their peers and parents, as well as to develop their performance skills, in an informal environment. Very well done to all those who performed on their instruments or sang for us. There were charming, energetic and moving performances on piano, flute, violin, cello, guitar and a lovely vocal rendition of a song from 'Cinderella'.  Assemblies This Week It was wonderful to watch how well 3T reminded our school community of the importance of 'RESPECT'. I know that children hear this message frequently from parents and teachers, but for the children to embrace this value and character trait and deliver it with such clarity and confidence was super. Well done, 3T! This was a wonderful assembly and we felt humbled to be in the audience.  6M performed an incredibly poignant assembly as they jumped 30 years into the future to be themselves as  'grown ups' reminiscing on their St. Helen's College days!  Their last class assembly was certainly one to remember for everyone - thank you 6M.  Borough Football Finals Well done to our football team, who competed in the Borough Football Finals this week and finished in 4th place. The team worked hard and demonstrated plenty of skill and determination in a fast-paced tournament of short matches.  Parent Feedback Please note that, following feedback from the class representatives via the Parents' Association, Mrs. Drummond has decided to host a termly PA reps' meeting to give parents a forum in which to discuss whole-school issues with members of the Senior Leadership Team. PA class representatives should continue to forward individual or class/year group-specific queries to the relevant class teacher, a member of SLT or to Mrs. Drummond directly. The next meeting for PA reps will be in the summer term. Thank you to all of the class reps and PA committee for their continued support and useful feedback. Uniform Please allow your children to wear their woolly hats to school in this very cold weather so that their ears are protected from the very low temperatures. Once the cold snap has passed, please revert to wearing the school black hats (girls) and felt caps (boys) to/from school when wearing full school uniform, in order to maintain the smart St. Helen's College uniform appearance in the community. Class representatives have let the school know that some parents are unsure about which uniform to wear, either daily or for specific activities. The uniform list is re-published each summer term in advance of the new academic year; in order to clarify things for parents, we will be taking photographs of children in the correct uniform and sportswear for each year group or phase. These will be  distributed next term with the updated uniform list. We hope that this will help to clarify what should be worn and when, as well as acting as a reference guide for parents throughout the year. Arrival at school Pupils at Upper School should not be left unattended outside the school prior to 8 a.m. An adult should wait with children until a member of staff comes on duty at 8 a.m. If early drop off is required, pupils may always be booked into Breakfast Club from 7.30 a.m. 
Posted on: 9/02/2018

Weekly News - Friday 9th February 2018

We are delighted that the school was today presented with a special award to recognise our outstanding provision for pupils with Asthma. We are the first school in the London Borough of Hillingdon to be named as an 'Asthma Friendly School'. Many congratulations to Miss Lang, Mrs. Beale and all of the staff who ensure that our provision for children with asthma is first class. London Schools Concert Our Chamber Choir participated for the first time this year in the Children's Trust annual London Schools Concert . They performed along with six other independent schools in the beautiful baroque church St. John 's, Smith Square in the heart of Westminster. Our pupils sang with such confidence and harmony in both of their songs but in their second song, 'Can you Hear Me?', they mesmerised the audience of 500 with their singing  and sign language.  Thank you to all of the parents who attended the concert and to Mrs. Allery and Mrs. Garnes for preparing the pupils so well. Over £5,000 was raised on the day for this very worthwhile charity and we look forward to being part of this very special day again next year - do put Sunday 3rd February 2019 in your diaries now! The next event for the Chamber Choir will be the Barnardos National Choral Competition on Monday 12th March and tickets can be purchased here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/120550-barnardos-national-choral-competition-and-concert-2018 1HC Assembly In their class assembly this week, 1HC entertained us with dragon dancing, singing and the history of the Chinese New Year with such vibrance and superb presentation skills.  Special thank you to Joleen who had been instrumental in sharing so much information about the traditions of this special event in the Chinese culture. Mr. Crehan, who is also learning Mandarin, tested out his language skills with the children back in class with great aplomb!  2H Assembly 2H delighted us today in reminding us of the importance of friendships with words, action and song. In their words, 'To have a good friend, you need to be a good friend'. Congratulations and thank you, 2H. Speech Competition Every child in Years 1 to 6 should now have brought home their poem or piece of prose to learn for our Speech Competition, which takes place in the last week of term. Please do help your child to learn their poem or prose by heart and to speak it as expressively as they can. The children will also have a chance to practise in class after half term and there will then be preliminary rounds to select class finalists. Class finalists will perform at the finals of the Speech Competition, to which parents of finalists will be invited. At the finals, a winner will be chosen from each class and there will also be an overall winner selected for Years 1-3 and for Years 4-6. Children will be judged on their expression, projection and clarity. They will be expected to show an understanding of, and empathy for, the content of their piece. Use of reasonable facial expression and appropriate hand gestures is encouraged, but please note that no choreography or props are allowed! Nursery and Reception children will each learn a poem and will recite these to their peers, staff and parents in their own Speech Festival. Again, please help your children to learn their poem by heart and to enjoy performing it. We hope you will enjoy hearing the children practise at home for this! Sports News The Year 6 handball teams took part in the local primary school competition last Saturday at Oak Wood School. This fast moving, action packed Olympic sport is very exciting to watch and our pupils really enjoyed playing competitively. Everyone worked hard to attack and defend and Krish was an outstanding goalie, even managing to save a penalty. Our A team won two matches in their group against Hillingdon and St. Bernadette and the B team also won two matches in their group against Oak Farm and St. Andrew's. However it was the B team who narrowly lost out on progressing to the semi finals by just one goal. Well done to all our players: Ryeesa S, Abigail Y, Jed H, Timi O, Max E, Aeshan N, Zara S-P, Grace R, Natalie F, Amrit R, Arusan U-H, Abhiram R and Krish T. The West London Eagles handball team runs training for junior boys on Tuesdays and junior girls on Thursdays at Northolt High Sports Centre. If your son or daughter is enjoying handball at school, why not consider joining them? The first session is free and full details are available atwww.westlondoneagles.co.uk. On Monday, we had a boys' hockey match against St. Benedict's School at Brunel Sports Park. After recent years of success, we found ourselves playing against a much improved team. St. Helen's College put in a lot of determination and tried hard to keep their shape. Unfortunately we lost the match 7-1 but the boys really enjoyed the afternoon. The team members were: Abhiram R, Daniel C, Arusan U-H, Amrit R, Veer B, Nirmit N, Rajdeep B, Jed H and Luke J. World Book Day The school will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 1st March. The theme for this year is Roald Dahl, one of the most phizz-whizzing British children's authors of all! Children are asked to dress up on the day; pupils from Years 1 - 6 are encouraged to dress as a Roald Dahl character but all book characters are welcome! Ducklings, Nursery and Reception will of course be joining in with all the fun and they are asked to dress as a book character of their choice. We hope it will be a fun filled day to celebrate all the fantastic reading done throughout the year.  NSPCC Workshops and Fundraiser The NSPCC’s 'Speak out. Stay safe.' programme will be visiting our school during the second half of term, with their friendly mascot Buddy, to make sure our pupils have the knowledge and understanding they need to stay safe.  To support the NSPCC we will be organising a fundraiser at school in the week beginning 5th March. This year’s fundraiser (the Buddy cycle and scooter workout) will involve children counting how many times they can cycle or scoot around a workout route in 10 minutes. Pupils will be asked to bring their (named) bicycle/scooter and helmet to school on the day of their challenge. The school will have some spare bicycles/scooters available too. Year 6 will be taking part in the Buddy cycle and scooter workout but have chosen different activities to raise funds. 6M will take part in a Spellathon and 6D will take part in a maths challenge. Full details and sponsor forms will be sent home in due course. In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher. Instrumental Vacancies We have an unexpected vacancy for a child (in Year 2 - Year 6) to learn the 'cello at school. Lessons are available from after half term onwards. We will also have a vacancy for individual trumpet tuition from Easter. Again, this is available to children in Years 2 to 6. If you are interested in your child learning either of these instruments, please email Mrs. Allery at rallery@sthelenscollege.com as soon as possible. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Posted on: 2/02/2018

Weekly News - Friday 2nd February 2018

Our Year 6 Sports Captains were inspired to create an assembly this week about the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, after an offer from a parent to bring in one of the torches used in the relay to get the Olympic flame from Greece to PyeongChang.  The Sports Captains delivered a very informative assembly all about this year's host city, the Olympic and Paralympic values, the symbolism of the torch relay and the 2018 torch design. They told us all about the different sports that we will see next week when the Games start. The children were amazed to see the torch and the Sports Captains demonstrating some winter sports! â€‹ There were class assemblies this week too. Our Robins Nursery children performed a roaringly successful assembly for us on Thursday all about dinosaurs. It was clear, following their recent workshop with the Travelling Natural History Museum, that the children had learnt so much about fossils and the species of dinosaurs - whose names they pronounced with unfaltering good diction! Quite an achievement for 3 and 4 year olds! Well done Robins! 2B presented their assembly all about the Great Fire of London and what a great way this was of learning about this fascinating history topic, with music, dance, drama and singing. Thank you to 2B for telling us the story behind the Great Fire and reminding us of the brave job that our firefighters continue to do for us today. Parents, do enjoy your visit to London this half term! Don't forget to visit the Galleries page for photographs of assemblies, performances, sports and more. Borough Basketball This week our basketball team took part in the Borough School Games Basketball Tournament held at Uxbridge College. The event, attended by 30 school teams from across the borough, was organised by Thames Valley Cavaliers and students from Uxbridge College's Basketball Academy.   Our A team were in a group with Hayes Park A, Dr Tripletts A, Oak Farm A and Guru Nanak. Our B team was in a group with Hayes Park B, Tripletts B, William Byrd B, and Whiteheath C.  As the competition progressed our teams became more confident and the shots started to go in more and more. Our A team won 2 and lost 2 matches and our B team won 1 match and lost 3.  The event was great fun and gave all our pupils a positive experience of competitive basketball. Well done to team members Jed H, Aeshan N, Max E, Jai S, Luke J, Roshan J, Tamara A and Sreeja B. If anyone would like to try basketball, there is a basketball camp running over February half term at Uxbridge College. Details are available here. Road Safety Parents are reminded that the school does not permit children to use the pedestrian crossing on Long Lane unaccompanied. Please help us to set a good example and do not allow your children to use the zebra crossing without an adult. Long Lane is a busy road and we consider that it is not safe for children to cross it alone.
Posted on: 26/01/2018

Weekly News - Friday 26th January 2018

Thank you to all of the parents who attended our reading meetings this week and showed such energy and enthusiasm. Reading is such a vital area of the children's development and we our delighted to have such strong parental support with home reading. Here are three links to the materials used for the meetings. Lower School presentation (phonics and alphabetic code)  Reading at Home presentation Book Talk question slips If you have any queries about reading at home or school, please contact your child's form teacher in the first instance. You may also contact Mr. McLaughlin, our Head of English, at amclaughlin@sthelenscollege.com Assemblies This Week 1S reminded us all of the importance of looking after our world in their class assembly this week, with a delightful re-enactment of the the Old Testament story of 'Noah's Ark'. Each pupil played their part with such enthusiasm and passion.  Thank you to the children for a heartwarming performance. Another superb assembly came today from 4A, who highlighted the character trait of 'self-control'. Mrs. Drummond was honoured to attend a preview performance on Thursday, when pupils also reflected on how they were aware that they are becoming more self aware and recognised how they have matured in Year 4 and developed more 'self-control'. Well done everyone! Do visit the Galleries page to see photographs of the assemblies. Heartstart Training Our annual Heartstart training for pupils from Reception to Year 6 was completed last week in a series of workshops. Each year pupils are taught a progressive range of skills so that they know what to do in a medical emergency. Basic first aid skills are taught including how to call 999 and what to do if someone is unconscious, choking, has a serious bleed, stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrest. We hope your children have shared some of the skills they have learnt with you and we encourage parents to ask your children to demonstrate what they would do by acting it out. This is a good way for them to embed their skills and train others at home too.  Burns Supper Thank you to Soula and her staff for embracing 'Burns Night' with the Middle and Upper School pupils who were all able to sample some Scottish fayre. Well done to those children and adults who stepped out of their comfort zone to taste haggis for the very first time (both meat and vegetarian were on offer).  Many children asked if they could purchase this outside of school they enjoyed it so much! We shall not promote any individual supermarket but yes....most supermarkets will stock it in the sausage/bacon isle! Happy haggis hunting! Staff news We welcome Miss Davies back to Lower School on Monday after her maternity leave. Miss Davies will be in school for three days each week and we are delighted that Mrs. Meeran will remain with us for the other two days to job share with Miss Davies.   Class Representatives We would like to remind parents of the role of the class representatives. Their role is twofold: to disseminate information from the School or the PA committee to the class parents, and to pass on any collective feedback from parents to the School or to the PA committee. The School has an ‘open door’ policy and all parents are asked to direct queries, in the first instance, to their class teacher. This will usually be the fastest and most direct way for queries to be answered or concerns addressed. If the class teacher is unable to help, he or she will refer parents to the appropriate member of the SLT or to Mrs. Drummond. The Parents’ Forum convened only once each term, and so did not allow for immediate discussion of any issues; we are finding that the new system has been embraced by parents throughout the school and is working well.  Uniform 2018-19 The uniform list for 2018-19 has now been finalised and published. You can access a copy here. Please note that all children should return to school in September wearing full winter uniform from now on. There are two changes to items on the uniform list. Firstly, the girls' winter skirt has been updated. The new green skirt is a one-piece skirt with a flat front and drop-pleated back; it should be easier to wash and dry for parents, as well as holding its shape better and providing a more comfortable fit for all girls. The green skirt will be extended to Nursery children so that parents may continue to use their Nursery skirt into Reception if appropriate. We are sure you will agree that the new style skirt represents an improvement on the old style, fully pleated skirt. The old style skirt is being discontinued and the tunic, which is harder for the girls to get on and off, is also being discontinued. This will streamline the girls’ uniform list and ensure that all girls will have a uniform appearance, as the boys do. Although we are sure that most parents will want to adopt the new skirt as soon as possible, there will be a year’s grace period so that parents may make use of uniform already purchased. The 3-in-1 green coat (which was already part of the uniform list) is being introduced as a compulsory item, in response to many requests over the years from parents, both via the Parents’ Forum and in informal discussions, for a uniform coat for all. The School has consulted with Pullen’s over the last two years and has looked at many different samples of coats. We know that parents felt strongly that a unisex coat would be the best solution, so that parents could pass the coat down to siblings of either gender. We are mindful of the cost of uniform and the selected 3-in-1 coat is almost half the price of the most economical duffle coat we could source. Its introduction will also allow us to discontinue the PE fleece as a separate item, which will help to minimise costs for parents. We anticipate that parents will separate the fleece from the outer shell of the coat and use the outer shell as a day-to-day school coat, keeping the fleece with the PE/Games kit. Children should be warm enough in full winter uniform (long-sleeved shirt, jumper/cardigan, blazer, coat, hat, scarf and gloves), but of course they may also use the fleece lining as part of the winter coat if needed in extremely inclement weather. As ever, we thank you for your support as these changes are introduced. Nursery Hours Following the launch of our full time Kindergarten, Ducklings, there is now hardly any demand for part time places in the Nursery at 3+, with parents opting to send children for the full school day. We will therefore be discontinuing the part time option for Nursery attendance and will be requiring all children in future intakes to accept places on a full time (Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.) basis. Please contact Mrs. Smith if you have any queries about admissions.  Sports News: Platinum Award, Borough Gymnastics & Tickets to Women's FA Cup Final At the Borough Gymnastics competition this week, Miss Walker was presented with the Platinum School Games Award.  The award was achieved after five consecutive years of achieving the School Games Gold Award. We had made a video submission from our Sports Captains showcasing how sport, competition and leadership skills are developed at St. Helen's College. Of the 24,000 schools in the UK only 104 schools have been award the Platinum Award, with 24 schools in London receiving the award and only two in Hillingdon!  We are delighted that is has been recognised that our curriculum and co-curriculum provision for sport is of the highest quality nationally.  This highly prestigious award has only been achieved because of the whole school community support of sport: parents transporting pupils and cheering teams on, pupils committing to trying their best in sport and staff delivering high quality PE/Games lessons, running clubs and taking teams to competitions. Well done everyone!  This week pupils from Years 3/4 and Years 5/6 took part in the School Games Borough Gymnastics Competition held at Botwell Green Leisure Centre. Over the past month the children have been working hard, learning floor and body management routines and vaults in order to compete. The children were judged by a panel of judges on each apparatus just like at the Olympics. In a very high standard competition it came down to a couple of marks here and there to decide the overall placing. Our teams gave a very good account of themselves, improving through rounds. Both our Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 teams finished in 7th place in the competition with a score of 96.2 and 103.8. Well done to team members Harry J, Daniel G-J, Catherine L, Lily A, Zara S-P, Ionie M, Lincoln B and Ethan V-B.  Examples of their efforts can be seen on the Galleries page. The FA are offering discounted tickets for the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday 5th May for school groups. Standard tickets are available at £15 for adults (with under-16s free) and if parents can organise a group of twelve or more then the adult tickets become just £7.50 each. If groups book before 31st January then you will also have the opportunity to win additional experiences such as free coach travel to the game, a visit from the Women's FA Cup trophy to the school and other experiences. Tickets can be booked at https://ticketing.thefa.com/.  We do hope many of you will choose to attend. Holiday Club The booking form for the February half term Holiday Club has been posted to the School Documents page of the website. Please note that the deadline for booking places is Friday 2nd February. Traffic Delays Most parents are no doubt already aware of the works being carried out along Harlington Road. Diversions are in place via Lees Road, Uxbridge Road and Harlington Road and the London Borough of Hillingdon have indicated that the road closure is likely to continue until at least 16th February. We know that this is affecting many of your journeys to school and will continue to do so. When pupils arrive late at school, this can disrupt the registration session and the first lesson for all of their class. Please do allow extra time for your journey while the road closure is in place, and/or use alternative routes where possible. Of course we understand that lateness is occasionally unavoidable because of unforeseen heavy traffic, but we hope that, with forewarning and planning, lateness may be avoided during this inconvenient, although essential, road closure. We thank you for your support.
Posted on: 19/01/2018

Weekly News - Friday 19th January 2018

It has been another incredibly busy week at school! Don't forget that photographs of school events are posted weekly to the Galleries page. Owls Class Assembly Owls class performed with outstanding confidence as they presented a very informative assembly on their topic of 'Hot and Cold'. We were taken on a worldwide tour from the arctic to Antarctica, discovering the habitats and animals of those regions. We also stopped off at the Equator and experienced the heat and volcanoes of the tropics. Congratulations Owls - we all learnt so much from you!  5G Class Assembly 5G also presented a super assembly today, all about space exploration. They looked at the natural curiosity of humans and how it prompts us to explore, showed us a timeline of all the space exploration which has happened so far and held a live debate! The assembly finished with a performance of 'Space Oddity'. All who watched 5G will certainly have come away with much more knowledge about why and how we explore space, and how we might continue to do so in the future. Christian O'Connell Author Visit On Wednesday we received a special visitor at Upper School: Absolute Radio DJ, stand up comedian and children's author Christian O'Connell. He was here to talk to the Year 4, 5 and 6 children about his second book in the Radio Boy series, subtitled The Revenge of Grandad. He spoke about his journey to becoming a writer with great charisma and humour, but there were a few things he said that really stood out amongst the improvised jokes and hilarious anecdotes. Christian spoke about his journey to becoming a radio DJ being full of rejection and difficulty. He used these issues as a positive - a means to grow and develop as a person until he got to where he wanted to be. The children nodded, knowingly, because we speak about this all the time. What we learn is that 'FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning', and what Christian was referring to was growth mindset - the resilience and perseverance needed to succeed. After sharing tales from Coldplay's private jet and a cautionary word about allowing your pets and children on a trampoline (at the same time), Christian shared his favourite subject at school: English. He went on to explain that reading was a transformative force in his childhood, transporting him to other worlds, elevating his ambitions and developing his sense of empathy.  Our children made such a positive impression on Christian with their questioning, manners and sense of fun. Judging by the look on their faces during the talk, we think the feeling was mutual! Travelling Natural History Museum Visit At Lower School this week, the Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children enjoyed a visit from the Travelling Natural History Museum. The children learnt all about dinosaurs, including their names, what they ate and how they digested their food, how big (or small) they were and much more! They also carried out a meteorite experiment to help understand how dinosaurs became extinct, and were able to touch the amazing dinosaur models. The Year 1 children took part in a fossil dig and all children were given a dinosaur gift to help them to remember all that they had learnt.  Year 4 Trip to Amersham Field Study Centre Our Year 4 children had a fantastic trip this week to the Amersham Field Study Centre, where they learnt about electricity and energy. Every minute of the day was used as an opportunity for learning which educated, inspired and allowed the children to have fun.   The day started by meeting ‘Michael Faraday’ and the pupils learned about electricity, its uses, dangers and how the substation in the vicinity works to provide power to our homes. We took a walk around the perimeter of the substation, understanding why we can touch pylons and not get thousands of volts of electricity through us or why a bird can sit happily on a high voltage wire! We then continued in the classroom and made solar powered circuits. The afternoon was spent learning about the way animals conserve energy by creating well-insulated homes, such as a nest for a dormouse, and how squirrels try to survive winters by hiding their food. We completed the day with a short walk looking at lichens, fir trees and leaf skeletons along the wide expanse of the wooded areas. Every child made progress in their knowledge of one of our curriculum topics as well as having the chance to enjoy learning in the outdoors. General Knowledge Quiz Club Well done to our quiz teams, who took part in the Prep School Challenge Heat this week. They gave a very good account of themselves, displaying some really excellent general knowledge and competing with great interest and enthusiasm. Daniel G-J, Georgia M, Nirmit N and Ben L finished in 3rd place overall, and Anisa W, Zayd K, Amrit R and Catherine L finished in 7th place.  Year 5 Transfer Meetings With Mrs. Drummond Thank you to all of the Year 5 parents who have already attended individual transfer meetings with Mrs. Drummond to discuss future schools. More meetings will take place tomorrow and please remember that Mrs. Drummond's door is always open if you would like to discuss secondary transfer. Next term there will be a Year 4 transfer meeting and another meeting for all Year 5 parents together. Lunch Menu Please note that an updated Lunch Menu for this term has been posted to the School Documents page. Some allergen information has been updated, and Accent are now marking (with a leaf symbol) dishes which are particularly recommended as healthy, balanced choices. Please do refer to this updated menu from now on when making lunch choices with your children. Print Cartridge Collections We will be collecting used print cartridges from now on at all sites as part of a PA initiative to recycle these and raise funds. Please send any used print cartridges, toner cartridges etc. into school with your child and, since the used cartridges can be converted into PA funds, please do feel free to collect used cartridges from your places of work to send in too! Many thanks, in advance, for your help. Reminder - Snacks/Birthday Treats Parents are reminded that all children should bring a small, named snack to school each morning for morning break. Suitable snacks are fruits, vegetables, plain biscuits or a small sandwich. Chocolate, crisps, sweets and other high sugar snacks are not permitted. If your child would like to bring in treats for friends on their birthday, these should be individually wrapped and given out at the end of the day.  We are a nut-free school; please do not send any items into school which contain nuts. Please take care with sandwich fillings and do not use peanut butter, Nutella or other spreads containing nuts.  
Posted on: 12/01/2018

Weekly News - Friday 12th January 2018

We were reminded today of the hardships of life during the Second World War as 6D presented an excellent assembly about family, sacrifice, evacuation and the Blitz spirit. With a focus on the fictional Jones family, 6D used poetry, wartime songs and an emotional script to tell us all about the pressures facing families during wartime, and about how the Great British spirit was maintained and developed through hard times. Parents, pupils and staff were all inspired not only to remember those who fought for freedom, but to ensure that their fighting spirit and family values live on in our world today. Well done, 6D, for a well-written and well-presented show. You can see photographs of the performance on the Galleries page. Summer School This year's Summer School will take place from 20th - 24th August. Please add the date to your diaries now. Further details and booking forms will be published in due course. Lower School Parents' Evening The next Parents' Evenings for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will take place on Thursday 1st February (5.00 - 8.00 p.m.) and Tuesday 6th February (4.00 - 7.00 p.m.). As usual, we are operating an online booking system and appointments will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can access the online system here. Do bookmark the link for future use. Bookings for these two evenings will close on Friday 26th January. Author Visit - Christian O'Connell The Upper School will be visited next Wednesday by Christian O'Connell, well-known radio DJ and children's author. Christian has written the Radio Boy books and he will be speaking to children about his career and his life. We are sure he will be very inspiring! School Garden Produce It is wonderful that produce grown by our Gardening Club is now being used in the school kitchen. Ms Gilham and her gardeners have produced a good crop of beans, which we have enjoyed this week in a lovely bean salad on the salad bar at Upper School. Forthcoming Events As ever, we have a busy term ahead. Please don't forget to check the school calendar regularly and to take note of significant dates. We would like to remind parents now that there will be no Funtasia on the afternoon of Friday 16th March and that our annual Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 17th March from 10.00 a.m. All parents and pupils are expected to attend Exhibition Day, which gives a wonderful chance for pupils to share their school and their work with family.
Posted on: 5/01/2018

Weekly News - Friday 5th January 2018

Welcome back and a Happy New Year to you all! I trust you have all had a lovely holiday and are ready to embark upon Joyous January! To start the new year off on good footing, please can you continue to support your children in the following areas. Pupils should return to school in full winter uniform and well equipped for all lessons and activities (a bag check might be helpful!).  Please arrive promptly at the beginning of the day. Ducklings should be dropped off at 8.30 a.m. ready for registration followed by their first morning activity. All Upper and Lower School children should be ready to line up in their playground at 8.30 a.m. As you know, traffic is often heavy, so please allow plenty of time for your journey to school and to find a suitable, safe parking space. Please do follow the school's drop and go/parking regulations and, in particular, do not block neighbours' driveways. With the big government drive on healthy eating for children and reducing plastic packaging, please remember that the school asks you to provide a healthy snack for your child each morning in a named, reusable container. The snack should be fruit, vegetables, plain biscuits/crackers or a small sandwich. Please do not send your child into school with crisps, chocolate or high-sugar snacks. Please beware - many snacks claiming to be fruit based are actually very high in sugar and are not recommended. Staff News We are thrilled to announce some wonderful baby news. Miss Shepherd, one of our Lower School Lunchtime Supervisors/Teaching and Learning Assistants, gave birth to a healthy baby girl just before Christmas. Mum and baby are enjoying their first few weeks together. Miss Wallis, one of our Year 5 teachers, is expecting her first baby in the summer. We are sure you would all like to join us in congratulating her and we wish her well as her pregnancy and wedding plans progress. 2018 will be a busy year for her! We will announce staffing arrangements for all year groups for the next academic year in due course. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Helen Collier, who will be joining us on Monday as our new peripatetic violin teacher. Music News We are looking forward to a very musical term ahead, with some exciting choral events including the performance at St. John's Smith Square on Sunday 4th February. We are also delighted to announce that the Chamber Choir have once again got through to the finals of the Barnado's Choir Competition on Monday 12th March! More information to follow on both of these events. We will also enjoy the music at our first Easter service at All Saints Church at the end of term. If your child has individual instrumental or vocal tuition, please remember that fees are now due. We would also like to remind parents that, as per the terms and conditions, a half term's notice or payment in lieu is required when terminating individual tuition.  Music timetables will be published to the website shortly; please do check these.
Posted on: 15/12/2017

Weekly News - Friday 15th December

As another term draws to a close, we wish you a very happy festive season and a well deserved rest.  Please note that, if your children will be attending Holiday Club over the holidays, you should use the Evans Hall entrance on Long Lane, rather than the Parkway entrance, for both dropping off and collecting your children. This is because some refurbishment works will be taking place in classrooms in the main Upper School block. We look forward to seeing all pupils back at school, well-rested and ready to learn, on January 8th! Lower School Nativity Plays and Christmas Assemblies This week we have been privileged to watch the most wonderful performances from our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 classes. The beautiful nativity stories were retold in the children's individual and unique way and the acting was complemented by outstanding singing. I am sure that everyone in the audiences was truly moved by the magical joy that the children exuded during their time on the stage. It is a testament to the school staff and to the excellent parental support our pupils receive that the children reach such amazing heights at such a tender age. Thank you to everyone involved. You can see photographs of the Lower School performances on our Galleries page. Christmas Lunch Soula and the Accent team provided a delectable Christmas lunch for the school yesterday. Ian and Amanda from Accent Catering's head office were in attendance and were overwhelmed by the children's manners and by the positive feedback which they gave to the catering staff. It was wonderful to see our pupils appreciating home cooked festive food! You can see some photos on our Galleries page. School Games - Platinum Award We are thrilled that St. Helen's College has become one of the first schools in England to win a new national award for making a commitment to develop its students to be the best they can be in competitive school sport. We are one of only 104 schools in the country to receive the special School Games Platinum Award. The Award is part of the School Games Mark, a government-led awards scheme launched in 2012 and administered by national charity the Youth Sport Trust, which had close to 9,000 applicants this year. Its aim is to reward schools for a commitment to the development of competition across schools and into the community. Participating in this process allows schools to evaluate their PE provision, grading them either bronze, silver or gold, and assists schools in developing an action plan for future progress. The Platinum Award is the new fourth level of the award scheme, introduced earlier this year to celebrate schools who had shown consistently high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to school sport. Applications were only open to those schools who had achieved five successive gold awards. To achieve the gold award a school must meet a certain set of criteria, which includes engaging a high percentage of young people in both curricular and extracurricular activities, participating in a minimum number of competitions across different sports, and reaching out to target groups including young leaders, volunteers, and those previously identified as the school’s least-active pupils. We are really delighted to have been recognised with this award. As an independent school, we have a creative and exciting PE/Games curriculum, as well as a quite unique co-curricular programme with over 70 clubs. Our pupils reach very high standards in core sports such as football, rugby, netball, hockey, tennis and athletics but, perhaps as importantly, they are also able to ‘have a go’ at sports as diverse as lacrosse, badminton, taekwondo, yoga, tri-golf, gymnastics, handball and many more. This exposure to the widest possible range of activities leads pupils to uncover real talents or interests in the sporting world, and to go on and compete at high levels in their chosen sport(s). Competitive sport develops a healthy drive to succeed, pride and humility in victory, grace and resilience in the face of defeat, and the ability in pupils to pull together as a team for a common purpose. These traits can be seen in every St. Helen’s College pupil and we are enormously proud of the way in which our sporting and co-curricular programmes contribute to our pupils’ personal development. Chess Team Well done to the St. Helen's College chess team, who played a friendly tournament against St. Bernadette's last night. Although unsuccessful in an overall team win, the pupils demonstrated superb perseverance and resilience in their playing. Thank you to Mr Foale for arranging such great opportunities for our children. You can see photographs of the competition on the Galleries page. Sports Personality of the Term Congratulations to Eli V-B in Year 4, who has been awarded the Sports Personality Of The Term cup. Eli has made an excellent contribution to school sport this term, representing the school in the football team and the Sports Hall Athletics team. In PE lessons or school teams, he has been a real impact player who helps the team to be successful whenever he plays. He is a regular in the school senior football team, despite only being in Year 4, and is the joint leading goal scorer in the football team this term. He also scored with a fantastically memorable bicycle kick in the Packham Cup final! Eli's football excellence has been recognised outside of school as well; he has been selected to train and play for Chelsea football club. Well done to Eli! The following pupils were also high commended for their sporting achievements this term: Jasmine B - for showing excellence in trampolining when taking part in the British Gymnastic Trampolining London regional league and winning a gold medal. Abigail Y - for a significant contribution to school sport this term in several teams and for representing Hillingdon in the London Youth Games cross country event.   Musician of the Term The Musician of the Term trophy is awarded for outstanding effort, commitment, dedication and achievement within the music department. The winner this term is someone who 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; she applies and shares creative ideas successfully in class work; she is impeccably behaved and an excellent role model; she is a reliable music monitor; she enjoys and sings in the Senior Choir; she plays the recorder fluently in class and at Recorder Club; she has been learning the violin for several years and, having recently passed Grade 4, is working towards Grade 5. She is also the lead violinist in the school orchestra. A tremendous well done to Amishi K! Music Results We are thrilled to announce the following music exam results so far. More will follow in due course, as they are received. Very well done to all of the children who sat exams and have achieved such excellent results! Shreya 6M - Grade 5 singing DISTINCTION Anish 4A - Grade 2 violin DISTINCTION Mia 5G - Grade 2 violin MERIT Nidhi 5G - Grade 1 singing MERIT Dhiya 4A - Prep Test flute Tanishka 4T - Prep Test singing Kimaya 3V - Prep Test singing Guitar Vacancy A vacancy has arisen for individual guitar tuition. If you have a son or daughter at Upper School who is interested in learning the guitar, please email Mrs. Allery at rallery@sthelenscollege.com. The place will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. School Magazine The latest issue of St. Helen's College Voice, containing your children's written work and art work, has been sent home with your child. It is also available online here. Enjoy! Co-Curricular Clubs - Spring Term There are still a few spaces in the following clubs for next term. If your child would like to try any of these clubs, please email mlang@sthelenscollege.com as soon as possible. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis: Wed - Y6 Debate Club Thurs - Y4/5 French Drama Fri - Y5/6 Pastel Drawing Pennies For Clean Water The children in Year 5 have been searching down the backs of sofas and raiding the wells of their parents cars over the past few weeks on a penny drive to raise money for WaterAid. Inspired by what they had learnt in geography about the risks of drinking dirty water in some parts of the world, they each aimed to fill an old water bottle up with pennies. This money would then be used to buy a very special Christmas gift to help people have access to clean water for a healthy life. 5G raised £84.14 and decided to purchase a water tank and handwashing stations and 5W raised £165.84 and decided to purchase two hand pumps, two sets of taps and a water tank.  All money raised will be doubled by the UK government. Pictures of the children doing the count and purchasing their gifts can be seen on our Galleries page. Well done to Year 5 for raising so much and making such a difference to people in need. If your family would also like to buy a gift of water for life please use the link below. https://shop.wateraid.org/collections/charity-gift-cards
Posted on: 8/12/2017

Weekly News - Friday 8th December

Year 3/4 Production The Year 3 and Year 4 children truly declared our festive season officially open as we were taken on an incredible journey with Sasha and her orphan friends up onto the rooftops of London and to the North Pole, meeting the most extraordinary characters en route!  I am sure that everyone who attended either of the productions would agree that the play was truly outstanding. The performance was executed exceptionally well, with the children's talents in singing and dancing on full display and their comedic timing wonderful! Congratulations to all involved. You can see photographs of the production on our Galleries page. PA Christmas Fair Last Sunday we had our very first PA Christmas Fair in the Winston Churchill Hall. There were such festivities as the children were entertained throughout the day, the highlight being their visit with Santa! Thank you to the PA committee and the amazing army of helpers who made the day possible - such community spirit and fun for all! The PA have sent this message: We held a Christmas Fair for the first time this year and it was a mammoth event! Thank you to everyone who offered their time, helped with the poster design, came early to set up and stayed late to set down, wrapped presents, made donations, manned stalls, baked cakes, carried things in their cars, attended the event etc. The Christmas Fair would not have been possible without your support so we are truly grateful. Thank you also for the feedback that we have already received. We hope that those of you who attended enjoyed yourselves and that the event got you into the festive spirit. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year.  Carols Around The Tree Thank you also to all parents, staff, pupils and friends who joined us for our Carols Around The Tree on Friday afternoon in the Upper School playground. It was a very festive occasion and we all enjoyed singing carols together so much! Well done to all of the lucky winners of the Christmas hampers, and thank you again to everyone who made a donation for their class hampers and/or bought raffle tickets. We're sure you agree that they looked amazing and made lovely raffle prizes. Infant Choir Carols Our amazing Infant Choir have been singing Christmas songs in the playground at Lower School this morning, and will be doing so again on Monday morning. Their grasp of lyrics and music is really exceptional for children so young and we hope that parents have enjoyed hearing them sing. Very well done to all involved! There are some photos of the choir singing on the Galleries page. Reminder of Arrangements for Last Week of Term Mon 11th Dec - Robins and Wrens Nativity Play at Lower School at 8.45 a.m. All Nursery parents welcome - no tickets needed. Mon 11th Dec - Year 1 Christmas Assembly at Lower School at 9.15 a.m.  All Year 1 parents welcome – no tickets needed. Parents will be able to wait in the Methodist Hall for their child’s performance to start. Coffee and mince pies will be served from 8.30 a.m. Tues 12th Dec - Kingfishers & Owls Nativity Play at Lower School at 8.45 a.m. All Reception parents welcome - no tickets needed.           Wed 13th Dec - Upper School Pantomime trip to 'Sleeping Beauty' at Theatre Royal, Windsor Children in Years 2 – 6 should come to school in their full school uniform, bringing a substantial drink/snack for the pantomime. Pupils will have a late lunch back at school after the show. Children should be collected at normal time and Funtasia will run as usual. Thurs 14th Dec - Christmas Lunch (Nursery - Year 6)  PLEASE SEE THE CHRISTMAS LUNCH MENU ON THE SCHOOL DOCUMENTS PAGE. Thurs 14th  Dec - Lower School Children’s Party & Show  Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children should come to school in their party clothes. It is hoped that all Nursery children will stay all day due to the show in the afternoon. All children should bring a morning snack as usual. No reading books or school bags. Normal school times.                                    Fri 15th Dec - Carol Service   Children in Years 2 to 6 will take part in the Carol Service at All Saints Church at 11:00 a.m. All parents are warmly invited to attend the service.  Fri 15th Dec - End of term    Term will end at 11:50 for Ducklings & Nursery; 12:00 for Reception; 12:10 for Years 1 & 2; 12:20 for Year 3 & 4; and 12:30 for Years 5 & 6. Older siblings may be collected at the same time as their younger brothers and sisters. Mon 8th Jan - Spring Term commences. Staff News We will be bidding Miss Bentley, our peripatetic violin teacher, a fond farewell at the end of this term as she embarks on a new life up north in Yorkshire. So many of our pupils have benefited from Miss Bentley's expert tuition over the years and we are all very grateful for her contribution to the musicality of St. Helen's College. In January we will welcome our new violin teacher, Mrs. Collier, to the  music staff and some of the pupils may have already met her this week during her visit. Mrs. Collier is very established in the local area, having previously been Head of Music at another local school, and I am sure that her strong connections with the Hillingdon Music School Orchestra will be a great addition to the opportunities and experiences of our pupils.  Mrs. Dilworth has been with us at Lower School as a Teaching and Learning Assistant for the last year, but she will be leaving us at the end of this term as she pursues a new career. We are pleased that she will also remain as a member of our bank staff. Mrs. O' Mahoney will be returning to us as a Teaching and Learning Assistant in January and we are delighted that she will be rejoining the St. Helen's College family!  Next term, Miss Davies will also be returning to Lower School on a part-time basis after her maternity leave. Mrs. Meeran will remain with us on a part-time basis.  Mrs. Sue Blackstone, who has been the matriarch of our Holiday Club provision, will be retiring from her duties after this December's Holiday Club. We cannot thank Mrs. Blackstone enough for her many years of dedication and care to our pupils. We will not be saying goodbye to Mrs. Blackstone just yet, as she will still be running our Breakfast Club provision until the end of this academic year.  Miss Carmichael, our Wrens Nursery class teacher, will be stepping into the role as Holiday Club manager, ensuring that our well established and popular Holiday Club will continue in the same vein.  Co-Curricular Clubs Thank you to all parents who have returned their co-curriculum booking forms for clubs next term. We carefully monitor the amount of extra curricular activity the children do, ensuring that they are involved but also maintaining a healthy balance so that they can cope with the rigour of the academic day. In rare cases it may be necessary to limit the number of activities a pupil is doing for their well being. Similarly, we look for opportunities to encourage those who are not involved to experience new things. Club confirmations will be sent home next week. Clubs have now finished for the term, except for the following catch up sessions which will run next week: Tuesday 12/12    Y3 tennis, Y4/5/6 tri-golf, Y2 football. Thursday 14/12   Y2 tennis, Y4/5/6 tennis. Spring Term Programme and Menu The Term Programme for the Spring Term has now been published to the School Documents page of the website, and dates have been added to the School Calendar. As usual, it will be a busy term and there are several dates for parents to note! Please note, in particular, that Funtasia will be closed on the Friday before Exhibition Day. The Lunch Menu for the Spring Term has also been published to the School Documents page. You might like to review this with your child before next term begins.

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