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1st May 2014

We returned after Easter to continuous reminders that the ‘exam – season’ is already upon us. However other activities continue to delight and engage. The Year 8 ‘volcanoes’ were fantastic. To go into the hall and see tables full of domed creations, coloured and erupting was a ‘sight for the eyes’. The imaginative menu to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday was intriguing; traditional recipes for flapjack using hard-boiled eggs to name but one idea. ‘Take over day’ a national programme, took a great deal of planning and initiative, but our student group of mixed ages took all this in their stride and so ran activities for primary classes, as they took over Hertford Museum on April 24th.

SCHOOL EXPANSION As you are aware Hertfordshire County Council approached Simon Balle Governors several years ago to discuss whether we would consider expanding to become an All Through School, to meet the increasing demand for primary places this side of Hertford. The public consultation is now over. Concerns were raised from local residents around traffic management both in the locality and on site, and there was also some sceptism around actual pupil numbers. On the other hand, we heard from families and their frustrations over getting places in local oversubscribed schools. Governors have decided to keep to their decision as they can see the great benefits of an All Through School for all students and their families. However, we now move to the ‘planning stage’ where there will be further steps to seek views. It is normal practice for an ‘Exhibition’ to be staged. This will take place in late May whereby you are invited to come along and see the plans in general. We are meanwhile using this as an opportunity to look at traffic and our site. We are soon to revise our School Travel Plan and will be promoting ‘Walk to School’ week. With over 60% of our current students walking to school or taking public transport, we feel we are in a good position to look at new creative ways to minimize traffic onsite and perhaps reduce traffic in the immediate area. Alison Saunders

THIS ISSUE:  School expansion  Music News  Hertford museum  PSA News  Snowdon Y13 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: 6th May


6th—9th May

Y7 Osmington Bay

26th—30th May Half term 2nd June

Return to school

9th June

Transition evening (1) for NEW year 7’s

18th June

Annual Fun Run

19th June

Transition evening (2) for NEW year 7’s

23rd June

Transition evening (3) for NEW year 7’s

26th June

Annual Art Exhibition

27th June

Year 11 Leavers Evening

1st July

Transition evening (4) for NEW year 7’s

4th July

Staff training day

8th July


9th July

Y6 into Y7 Parents Evening

10th July

Transition Day

23rd July

End of term

SIMON BALLE STUDENTS TAKE OVER HERTFORD MUSEUM On Thursday 24th April, eight students from Simon Balle ran interactive handling sessions and a gallery tour for 30 primary school students from Wheatcroft, Hollybush and Abel Smith. This was part of a national initiative called 'Take Over Day' pioneered by the charity Kids in Museums. Running object handling sessions downstairs was Maddie Irons, Jack Skelton and Oak Hamilton-Hill. The students ensured the primary school visitors were engaged through quizzes, historic photographs of the local area and interesting facts. Upstairs, Oliver Scorey, Charlotte Yates and Harry Ingram gave the younger students a guided tour of the museum with a particular focus on sport, toys and of course the famous 6,000 toothbrush collection! Kelton Boyter-Grant and Ursula Blyth-Morter of Year 10 had the challenge of welcoming the primary groups and ensuring the day ran smoothly. The morning was a huge success and the primary students learnt lots of exciting information about the history of Hertford. The sessions also met our primary goal which was to ensure students enjoy visiting museums and view them as an exciting opportunity. Many of the younger children commented on how they wanted to return to the museum with their parents! The SBS students used the event as an opportunity to improve their organisational skills, work as a team, learn new knowledge and enjoy the challenge of passing this knowledge onto students younger than themselves. I am extremely proud of all the Simon Balle students involved and what they have accomplished after months of hard work and planning. I look forward to the next Take Over Day in November. Vicky Cleevely Head of History

PSA NEWS The PSA would like to thank Hertford Town council for their community grant of ÂŁ1,000 towards the funding of the new minibus. Did you know... You can now help Simon Balle School PSA - just by shopping online. Thousands of stores will donate to us a percentage of every pound you spend online when you shop with Give as you Live. To get started go to: simonballepsa Next PSA meeting is Monday 12th May in IT2 - anyone interested in getting involved with the PSA is welcome to attend.

The PSA quiz in March raised ÂŁ1,200 - many thanks to all who took part!!

MUSIC NEWS Saturday night saw a wonderful concert of wind and brass music from our ensembles. The evening began with the Simon Balle Concert Band conducted by Clare Taylor, including music from Hairspray and Wicked. The percussion section featured heavily in an exciting arrangement of I Got Rhythm and the clarinets had their chance to shine in Clarinets to the Fore. The brass ensemble directed by Al Nunn then performed three pieces ranging from Renaissance to samba. Junior Wind, conducted by Cynthia Millinger and Al Nunn, performed a great programme of popular numbers including the theme from Wallace and Gromit and finishing with Party Rock Anthem. A special mention for those who were taking part in their first concert, not least our junior percussion players under Phil Stevenson’s direction. The Sam Gould saxophone quartet closed the first half with two challenging pieces, one of which was recently played for Hugo’s A level recital. They performed with such skill and enjoyment at an incredibly high standard. Saxidentals opened the second half with a rousing selection from their repertoire, including Super Mario and the ever-popular Engine No. 9. Concert Band then played their second set, a highlight of which was Lassus Trombone, performed with great gusto to the audience’s delight. The saxophone ensemble then took centre stage again, showcasing our own Boogie Woogie Bari Boy, Alex. Concert Band ended the evening with a spirited performance of the ever-popular Instant Concert, where over thirty well-known melodies are condensed into just over three minutes of musical mayhem, a perfect finish to a fantastic evening. Thanks to all our teachers who worked so hard to put this concert together, particularly Clare Taylor for overseeing this and putting together all the wonderful programme notes. Finally a reminder that all our ensembles will be joining for our summer concert at Broxbourne Civic Hall on Tuesday 8th July at 7pm.

YEAR 13 TRIP TO SNOWDON In late March 20 Y13 students went on a short residential trip to Snowdon to study glaciation. The trip gave the students the opportunity to experience one of the cold environments that they will need to discuss in their Unit 4 exam. Upon arrival all of the students completed a mapping activity which involved identifying the different glacial features that they would be visiting, as well as recognising the challenges and opportunities the area brings. The following day the students had an early start to begin their walk around Snowdon where all four seasons were experienced in a day! The first guided walk started at Pen y Pas and saw a number of glacial features including Roche Moutonnees, corries and tarns. After a quick lunch on the bus the second walk started at the Snowdon visitor centre and then a walk to the Devils Kitchen and around Llyn Idwa. A short walk on and the students had a fantastic view of the U-Shaped valley and ribbon lake. The final evening session gave students the opportunity to recreate the glacial features they had seen during the day using plasticine.

LIBRARY AND ENGLISH DEPARTMENT NEWS Please follow the Library on Twitter @SBS_Library for news of authors, illustrators, libraries, events and advice on resources etc. Remember it’s nearly time for Hoo’s Kids Book Fest on Sunday 11th May. Lots of famous children’s authors attending including Sophie McKenzie and Robert Muchamore. To buy tickets and see who else is presenting please go to http:// BOOKS FOR FREE Our Library is acquiring some popular fiction and biographical books through the Books for Free initiative which has a shop in Welwyn Garden City (31 Stonehills WGC AL8 6NA). This organisation takes donations of resources that would otherwise end up in landfill or pulping and, indeed, SBS Library has given some weeded out old stock to this project. For more information please go to The outlet welcomes the public and the only restriction is that 3 books maximum are taken at each visit. STAFF EASTER READING CHALLENGE At the end of the Spring Term 40 staff members agreed to take part in this new literary Challenge. Our Library Team distributed Easter goody bags which included a novel or quick read (for students/adults), leaflets advertising The Barn Theatre (in WGC) and the Leaf Cafe (in Hertford), a bookmark and some mini Easter eggs. The Challenge was to read the book over the Easter break, write a short review to be displayed on our Library shelves (as in bookshops) and to pass the book to an appropriate student. As a follow up event for all staff taking part in this initiative, to encourage people to discuss books, there will be coffee and cake at break on Friday 23 rd May in the Library. Here staff will be able to browse the selection of books used in the Challenge and borrow more books. We are all aware that staff reading is an important habit for our students to observe and follow. Here are a couple of book reviews by staff: ‘BLOOD FAMILY’ BY ANNE FINE This is a good read – gritty and realistic. Not light hearted but an uplifting ending: interestingly told from different view points. By Mrs Mullen ‘ALL THE TRUTH THAT’S IN ME’ BY JULIE BERRY At first the synopsis- “her tongue cut out, her best friend dead” is daunting. The story itself however is compelling. Some beautiful language “One friend to me feels like bounty”. A thought provoking read for an older student. By Mrs Woodhead SCHOOL LIBRARIES GROUP CONFERENCE Our Librarian, Mrs Syme was pleased to represent our School for the first time at the SLG Conference in Derbyshire on Saturday 5th April. This event was organised by a committee of school librarians from CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). As well as hearing discussions about current issues facing school libraries, Mrs Syme and Joyce Martin (Director of JCS Online Resources) led a seminar ‘Disseminating and exploiting your digital library’. This enabled our Librarian to share best practice and top tips with 30 school librarians. SBS has subscribed to JCS resources since they first became available to schools and our students and staff benefit from having 24/7 access to a range of these reference tools. For more information please go to and for access details to our titles students and staff need to log on to the SBS website and click on the button under LibraryApps ‘Library Online resources’. An update on these resources will appear in the next NewSBytes, but in the meantime please ask if you need assistance.

YEAR 10 TRIP TO NORFOLK On the final three days of the Easter term 90 Year 10 Geography went to Norfolk to collect data for their controlled assessment. The first stop for the students was to Norwich. Here the students collected data on the rebranding. To ensure that their data was collected successful the students prepared questionnaires and a Environmental Quality Survey at school before they left and trialled them around the school. This preparation work and the focus of the students meant that they collected all of the data they needed. In the evening students worked in groups to collate their data and create radar graphs which will be used in their controlled assessment. The following day students visited three different places along the North Norfolk coast, Sea Palling, Happisburgh and Overstrand. Students studied the range of defences along the coast like and completed Environmental Quality surveys and field sketches. After a sand castle build competition the students got back onto the coaches and prepared themselves for the evening session. For the final evening session the classes drew maps of the North Norfolk coast and annotated it with diagrams of the different defences and explored the advantages and disadvantages of each one. These maps will be referred back to next year when students study the coasts topic. On the final day the students walked into Sheringham to complete a further analysis of the defences and to visit The Mo Museum. At the museum students found out about the history of Sheringham and the how area is now being used to generate energy through the offshore wind farm. All the students were excellently behaved throughout the trip and we wish them good luck for the rest of the controlled assessment and their mock exams.

YEAR 11 COUNTY CUP FINAL The U16 Boys Football team have completed their 5 year journey and gone out with their heads held high. It has been a pleasure to be their coach and watch them develop into one of the best teams in the County. The preparation and attitude of all the players was fantastic last night and they all did themselves, the school and their families proud. Last night we took an early lead through a Harvey Pearse header and went in at half time with a deserved 1-0 lead. A 5 minute spell in the second half saw a strong Queens Football Academy score 3 goals. The boys stuck with it and tried everything to get back in the game but it just was not enough. I am confident that many of the boys will go on and play a good standard of football and hope that they get into that position again with the senior football team. Thank you to all the boys for a wonderful 5 years and a special thanks to Mr Klippel who has been a great support to myself and the team. Mr. Pooley.

COUNTY ATHLETICS LEAGUE The athletics season began in earnest with another great display by the Simon Balle Athletics team. The U14 & U16 boys fought off some strong competition from Roundwood school to win on the night and post high points totals of 56 & 59 points respectively. Top performers on the night were debutant Tom Brown (U16) who won the 200m in a pb of 26.5. Jacob Fenwick broke the 1500m school record running 4.59. Albert Nwahba broke the Year 7 discus record winning with a throw of 25.14m. The U14 and U16 girls faced strong competition against Sheredes and Presdales finishing 3rd & 2nd respectively on the night with some good scores. Angel O’Driscoll had a great run in the 200m, winning in a time of 30.2. Lilly Jones (triple jump) & Louise Reilly (high jump) also won their events. Well done to all who competed. Next week’s match takes place at Welwyn from 4.30pm on Wednesday. Your support is always welcome.

GIRLS FOOTBALL SUCCESS The Year 9 Girls won the District League just before the Easter holidays. The girls beat John Warner on penalties scoring all five. This is now the seventh trophy of the season for Girls football at Simon Balle. What a fantastic achievement and a big thank you to Mr. Carter for his hard work with the girls this year.

THE HERTS AND WARE SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP AWARD The Herts & Ware School Sports Partnership Awards took place on Thursday 3rd April at Sele School. Below are the winners and runners-up and a few words about each of their achievements to date. Congratulations again to all the students who received awards.

Award KS3 Effort/ Improvement

KS 4-5 Sports Leader / Coach

Name of Nominee Jacob Fenwick (runner – up) Throughout Key stage 3 Jacob has worked very hard in PE lessons and has improved skills to the point that he now represents the school in Athletics, Aquathlon and Rugby. Jacob is also a sports leader and will in the future be involved in Rugby leading. Molly Smallwood-Conway (runner-up) Over the past few years Molly has been like an additional member of the PE Department supporting us in a variety of ways. She assists in the running of the year 7 girls football team, is an Athletics leader at the SBS satellite athletics club and supports our special needs students in PE lessons.

Elite Performer

Sarah O’Brien (runner – up) Sarah has competed at elite level sailing for a number of years now. She has competed at both National and International level and has recently finished in the top 30 at the World Championships. Sarah also competes and officiates to quite a high level in swimming.

Team of the Year

Y11 Boys Football County cup finalists (winners) The Year 11 Boys have made the County Cup final and are the first Boys team in 14yrs from SBS to do so. Their first match in a County cup in Y7 was an 11-1 loss and their last match will be in the final.

newSBytes 1st May 2014  
newSBytes 1st May 2014  

Simon Balle School newsletter May 2014