School Calendar



Posted on: 16/03/2018

Weekly News - Friday 16th March 2018

We are looking forward to seeing you all at our annual Exhibition Day tomorrow. The school will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and we hope that you will visit Ducklings, Lower School and Upper School to see all that your children have been busy doing! The car parks are likely to be very busy, so please do come on foot if you can and be prepared to park away from the school and walk if you are coming by car. Please remember that, while all of the teachers and assistants will be here and eager to chat with you, Exhibition Day does not allow time for in-depth discussion of your child's progress. If you would like to speak to any teacher in detail about your child's work then please do make an individual appointment. Children should wear their full school uniform to Exhibition Day please. Chamber Choir We were so proud of our Chamber Choir this week as they competed in the Barnardo's National Schools Choral Competiton at the Royal Festival Hall. They qualified for the final with over 150 schools from all over the UK competing for a place in this prestigious event. On the day they went up against eighteen other primary schools and performed magnificently. Although we were unable to beat Lindley School, who have won the competition now for the third year in succession, our pupils were all winners in our eyes! You can see their competition piece on the link below, which one of our parents has kindly shared with us. 3V Assembly 3V proved today that screen time can be advantageous for children when they engage in such wonderful programmes presented in today's outstanding assembly! Educational and entertaining - the 3V team brought to life the Anglo Saxon period and demonstrated one of our school values of 'Respect'.  The pupils' perfomances were a testament to how much respect they have for each other and their learning here at St Helen's College - well done everyone! Waste Week Our Eco Reps have had a very industrious week encouraging all pupils to be mindful of NOT wasting food and other resources. Each day in the dining rooms they have eagerly weighed our food waste and general waste and reported back in assemblies. We are delighted to report that the food waste has reduced over the week! This has been a superb week-long initiative which has highlighted to us all the important message of recycling appropriately and not to waste food.   School Council The student voice at St. Helen's College is loud and clear and it is so positive to have such an active student council. The reps have been liaising with their classes and taking the ideas and suggestions of the student body to Miss Vig in their weekly meeting. The Year 6 reps then meet with Mrs. Drummond on a regular basis to present the agreed areas for development. Some of the suggestions which have been actioned are board games for the playground, Park Club, Yorkshire puddings for all (not just meat eaters!), new cups in the dining room and soup at lunchtime.  Keep up the great work, council reps! Football League Champions! On Wednesday, after a long wait due to the adverse weather conditions over the last couple of months, we finally went into our last football league game, knowing that a win would secure St. Helen's College our second ever league championship. The team was very nervous all week but looked forward to kicking off against St. Mary's. On a heavy and wet pitch, we started uphill and the side seemed apprehensive and struggled to settle. However, after about twelve minutes, Ryeesa took a corner and Eli headed home! It stayed 1-0 until half time and the team re-grouped and then produced one of their best 15 minutes of football of the season. Eli scored a further two goals for his hat trick and the team and spectators knew we were champions! It has been a wonderful season with the team improving every game, producing some exciting football with skill and pace. Congratulations to all team members who made this possible.  Swimming Gala The Year 5 and 6 swimming team took part in the School Games district swimming gala on Thursday evening at Hillingdon Sport and Leisure Complex. The event attracted eleven local schools and initial heats for each event were held, followed by finals for the six fastest swimmers.  In the individual breaststroke heats, Timi and Wenru swam for St. Helen's, with Timi finishing in 3rd place in his boys' heat and Wenru in 4th place in her girls' heat. This was quickly followed by William and Zoe swimming in the individual backstroke heats. William finished in 4th place and Zoe in 3rd place in very fast heats. Finally Lincoln and Lily took to the pool to contest the individual freestyle heats, with both of our swimmers winning their heats. After the individual heats our team had to get ready for the relay heats. In teams of three our swimmers competed in the medley relay and freestyle relay heats. Adiyta, Wenru and William teamed up to swim the medley relay finishing in 3rd place in their heat and Lincoln, Timi and Lily teamed up to swim the freestyle relay winning their heat convincingly. When the places in the finals were announced, the team were excited to discover they had qualified for 7 out of 8 finals. In the boys' breaststroke final and girls' backstroke final, Timi and Zoe narrowly missed out on medals finishing in 4th place but medals came St. Helen's way with Lincoln winning a silver medal in the boys' freestyle final and Lily winning a gold medal in the girls' freestyle final. It was gold again in the freestyle relay final for Lily, Timi and Lincoln, who led from the front all the way through to the finish.  In the overall team competitions the team finished in 3rd place in the individual cup, relay team cup and overall team cup. Many congratulations to all our swimmers!  Hillingdon Primary Schools Table Tennis Festival On Monday, our team of four took part in the Borough Primary Schools Table Tennis Festival at Oakwood secondary school. Our team was seeded 1 - 4 to play against seeded players from the other schools, with each player playing five matches. St. Helen's College won 19 of their 20 matches, which is an outstanding achievement and led to us being crowned tournament winners. The Mayor of Hillingdon presented our team with gold medals and was pleased to pose for photo opportunities with them too! Well done to the team members: Ryeesa S, Daniel C, Ethan V-B and Jai S. Co-Curricular Clubs Co-Curricular clubs have now finished for this term, with the exception of the following clubs which will be running catch up sessions next week: Yr 3 & 4 Netball                  Monday 19th Yr 2 & 3 Art                         Wednesday 21st Yr 2 & Yr 4, 5 & 6 Tennis    Thursday 22nd Yr 5 & 6 Minecraft               Thursday 22nd Yr 5 & 6  French drama      Thursday 22nd Easter Service and End of Term Parents are warmly invited to attend the Easter service at All Saints Church at 11 a.m. on Friday 23rd. Please remember that Friday 23rd March is the last day of term and is a half day. Holiday Club will be running in the afternoon. Easter Tennis Camps If you have a keen young tennis player, or a child who would like to have a go at tennis, then you might be interested in the Easter tennis camps which are run by our very own Miss Walker. You can find details here. Easter Basketball Camps Children who would like to practise their basketball over Easter might be interested in the basketball camps being run by Thames Valley Cavaliers. You can find details here.
Posted on: 16/03/2018

Saving Water - Children Are The Future (By Mr. Lewis)

    When it comes to saving water, the children are the future When scientists search for life on other worlds, they begin by looking for water. Water is vital for life and yet in the affluent West we take it for granted, wasting it,  polluting it and disrupting the water cycle. Next Thursday is the United Nations World Water Day and, to coincide with this, Waterwise will be running a UK Water Saving Week. Each day will have a theme with a downloadable pack full of ideas, information, challenges, posters, infographics and water saving tips.   I must declare an interest in water efficiency. I grew up in Cape Town -  the first modern city to declare a day on which it will run out of water. The date has been pushed back from mid-April but when Day Zero comes, homes will not be supplied with running water and residents will need to queue for water rations. Cape Town’s annual rainfall is greater than London’s and its population is less than half of ours but a recent drought and mismanagement have led to the crisis. Of course, in some places fresh, clean water is even more difficult to come by than just having to queue for it. Eight years ago, my 16 year old daughter and I volunteered in a rural village in Ghana. It was near a lake but due to poor infrastructure there was no fresh running water available so water was trucked from elsewhere and sold in plastic bags. We were unable to wash properly and my daughter became seriously ill. This experience was one of the motivators for her to study water science and governance, which has led her to co-ordinating Water Saving Week. We may have hopes and plans for our children’s careers but it is their life experiences that will lead them to their vocation. At St. Helen’s College, the children are better informed than most about water, its importance for life and the consequences of water scarcity and contamination. It is a significant part of the Year 5 geography curriculum. The children investigate the processes and infrastructures that get clean water to our homes in the UK and, in partnership with Affinity Water, they undertake a STEM water pipe engineering challenge. They look at water pollution case studies to understand how the environment can become damaged and they look for ways to save water in their daily lives. They learn about parts of the world where clean water is scarce and the impact that this has on the communities and particularly the children. Please discuss saving water with your children and visit the Water Saving Week website. If they would like to write a poem or create a poster about water we will submit it to Waterwise and we may even win a prize. You may also want to look at World Water Day and the main Waterwise website. Mr. Lewis
Posted on: 9/03/2018

Weekly News - Friday 9th March 2018

It is just one week to go now until our annual Exhibition Day, at which we celebrate the hard work and achievements of your children throughout the year. Exhibition Day will take place on Saturday 17th March from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. We have sent invitations out to each family and we do urge you to attend! This special occasion, which is for current parents only, gives parents and other family members a chance to visit classrooms at all three sites and throughout the school to see the work produced by pupils. Your children will, no doubt, be eager to show you all that they have been doing. They will also enjoy reminiscing when visiting younger classes and looking forward to what is in store for them in the future when visiting older year groups.  Refreshments will be available in The Evans Hall throughout the morning and all of your children's teachers and teaching assistants will be on hand. However, please note that teaching staff will not be available on this day for in-depth discussion of children's progress or other matters. Should you need to speak individually with the teacher about your child, please do make an appointment at another mutually convenient time. Parents have traditionally been very generous with sending in flowers and lending vases for this day. We thank you in advance for your support. The day is for current families of the school only. If you know of any families with young children who might be interested in St. Helen's College as prospective parents, we will be running a 'School at Work' Open Morning at the start of the summer term, so please do encourage them to telephone us and get booked in.  NSPCC The children have been very busy throughout this week learning about the work of the NSPCC and how to keep themselves safe. As an added bonus, they have also been keeping themselves healthy in their fundraising venture scooting and cycling around the playground. Thank you to family and friends who have supported this very important charity. Assemblies This Week We have seen some beautifully performed class assemblies at school this week, on three very different but very interesting and important topics. Wrens Nursery presented their assembly all about Mother's Day with astonishing confidence and presence for children so young. They told us all about mums and all that they do, and some children explained why they love their mummy in particular. As you can imagine, there was barely a dry eye in the house! Congratulations, Wrens! On Thursday, 5W demonstrated their understanding of narrative poetry with an excellent performance of The Highwayman, one of the most famous narrative poems.Through song and spoken word, they recited the poem as they re-enacted the story in costume and to great effect. There was a rhythmic drum beat and coconut halves provided the sound of horse's hooves. No-one could fail to be moved as the poem reached its tragic and unforgettable conclusion. Well done, 5W. 4T taught us all about meta-learning through their performance today, which included drama, music, movement and some humour too. They reminded us that we all learn in different ways and that it is by understanding ourselves as learners that we can reach our full potential. They also reminded us of the importance of being ready to learn at all times, and of how we might suffer if we are not ready to learn. All those watching will no doubt now remember the St. Helen's College mantra, that everyone should be Ready, Respectful and Safe at all times. Good work, 4T! Sports News International Gymnastics Success! Congratulations are due to Chiara L and her gymnastics partner, who did incredibly well in Portugal at the Maia International Acro Cup last weekend after dedicating several months of practice, sheer hard work and commitment to Acro gymnastics. Chiara would practise for 4-5 hours after school, perfecting the routine in preparation for their first international competition. Last Friday, they beat 30 other pairs, representing over 12 countries, to qualify in first place for the final on Sunday. Then, in an exciting final, they held their nerve and performed beautifully to take gold! They are now the 2018 International Youth WP Acro Champions! This is a major achievement for Chiara; her family, friends and the whole school are tremendously proud of her.  You can see photographs of the event on our Galleries page. Netball Tournament This week our netball teams took part in the annual Reddiford School netball tournament. Our teams went as defending champions, having won the event for the past three years. Teams from Alpha Prep School, Quainton Hall, Reddiford School and St. Helen's College took part this year in a fun 'round robin' format. It was the first taste of 7-a-side netball for our teams, as they make the progress from Hi-five netball in preparation for secondary school netball. Both the A and B teams worked well on the court, adjusting to having WA/WD on court, and delivered some good patterns of play in their performances. The A team won 3 and narrowly lost 2 matches and the B team won 2 matches and lost 3 matches. The overall tournament winners this year were Alpha Prep but our teams are determined to go back next year to try to reclaim the trophy! Well done to all the girls who took part: Zara, Abigail, Ionie, Grace, Aaria, Amishi, Natalie, Maddy, Zoe, Eshar, Wenru, Rhea, Georgia and Shreya. Co-Curriculum - Summer Term The Co-Curriculum Programmes for the summer term have now been posted to the School Documents page of the website and are available by following these links: Upper School Programme - Summer 2018 Lower School Programme - Summer 2018 The closing date for returning booking forms is Wednesday 14th March. Waste Week We are now promoting Waste Week, which takes place between 12th and 16th March. The focus this year is 'food and packaging' waste, so as a school we will be looking at ways to reduce these. Our Eco Reps have been busy making posters to help remind us all of the best ways to do this and what unfortunately happens when we use too much packaging. We are also asking the children to think about how they can also reduce food waste at home. You can see more information here and here. Your child will be bringing home a paper copy of their own 'student food diary' so that they can complete it and return to their class teacher, who will pass it to either Miss Dear, Miss Vig or Mrs. Mann. We will also be having a fact finding mission around the school for children to learn more about food and packaging waste.  Thank you for your support with this campaign.  Staff News We will be bidding farewell to two members of staff at Easter time. Mrs. Sweeney will be leaving us after many years of service to enable her to spend more time with her family. Mrs. Copland, one of our Lower School lunchtime assistants, will also be leaving to take up another role. We wish them both well and thank them for their dedication and commitment to the school. Next term, 1S will be taught by Mrs. Hunt, assisted by Miss Davies and Ms Thomas. 1HC will be taught by Miss Cooper.  Easter Holiday Club Bookings Now Open The booking form for the Easter Holiday Club has now been posted to the School Documents page of the website and is available here. Please note that completed booking forms must be returned by next Friday, 16th March. PA Easter Raffle As has become traditional, the PA has donated prizes for an Easter raffle for the children. All of the children will be included in this free Easter egg draw (which will take place in the last week before the Easter break) and there will be one prize for each class. We hope that the lucky winners enjoy their prizes! Battle of Britain Bunker If your child has a keen interest in history (or you are hoping to spark one!), the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge will re-open on Friday 30 March (Good Friday), along with the new visitor centre. The visitor centre will be open seven days per week (closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day), from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with last admission at 3.30 p.m.  You can find more details here. We do hope many of you will take your children to this very local and very interesting historical site. Parking Reminder We would like to remind parents again of the school parking regulations, which are published on the School Documents page of the website and are available here. It is crucial that parents follow these, both for the safety of children and adults and to maintain good relationships with our neighbours and the local community. We would like to remind parents in particular that staff car parks may not be used by parents and that parents must not park in Parkway on the opposite side of the road to the school, as this obstructs the flow of traffic along Parkway. Thank you for your support.
Posted on: 9/03/2018

Head's Blog - Child Welfare (by Mrs. Smith)

The Oxford English Dictionary offers two definitions of the word ‘welfare’: ‘Statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need’. ‘The health, happiness and fortunes of a person or group’. Thankfully, we live in a country where much is made of the need to look after ‘child welfare’ by the government, by charities and by the press. There are, necessarily, guidelines issued to ensure that families, schools and other services make sure that the ‘basic physical and material well-being’ needs of children are met. There are objective measures which can be taken to check that this is happening and it is certainly happening here at St. Helen’s College. However, the second definition of welfare is equally interesting. How do we, as a school, know whether we are doing well at looking after the ‘happiness and fortunes of a person or group’?  Today I saw a very sweet interaction on the steps outside of my office window at morning break time. There were five girls altogether, and one girl did not have a snack with her today. Two of her friends immediately offered to share their snacks with her, and the other two quickly followed suit. However, one then pointed out that they perhaps should not do this, in case the first girl had any allergies or wasn’t allowed to eat what the others had brought. A brief discussion ensued, before the first girl and one of her friends decided that they would visit the school office to let staff know that she was snack-less, and rather hungry. Interested to see the outcome of this little vignette, I popped into the office in time to see the conversation between the girls and Miss Lang, our Welfare Officer. Miss Lang sympathised with the child who had forgotten her snack, and thanked her friend for accompanying her to the office. Having checked the child’s dietary requirements, Miss Lang then offered her a choice of the banana she had brought in for her own mid-morning snack, or a plain biscuit from the ‘staff stash’. The girl chose the banana, thanked Miss Lang and went away happy. This story typifies, for me, what ‘welfare’ is about at St. Helen’s College. It is not just about the meeting of basic needs. It is about kindness, empathy and working together to ensure that children feel included, valued and loved. In another school, the girl might just have got through the morning without a snack. No permanent damage would have been done and her ‘basic physical well-being’ would not have been compromised. But here at St. Helen’s College, her welfare was actively promoted by her friends and by the staff. They imagined how she might feel at being the only one without a snack (hungry, a bit left out, a bit forgotten) and they worked hard to make sure that she did not feel those things. I feel sure that, if she were to forget her snack again, the same thing would happen. I think that Miss Lang would probably also telephone her parents to remind them, kindly, to help her to remember her snack in future – after all, Miss Lang’s personal fruit supply can only stretch so far! This is at the heart of what makes St. Helen’s College a special place. Everyone in our ‘family’ looks out for each other; everyone is prepared to go that extra mile, sharing what they have and helping others to feel safe and cared for. We don’t just meet the ‘basic physical and material well-being needs’ of our children; by teaching and enacting the school’s values, we help every child to feel involved, looked after and glad to be with us. When a child feels involved, looked after and glad, they instinctively want to help others feel that way too. So they, and we, actively promote ‘the happiness and fortunes’ of our group. Mrs. Smith
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