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The term is now well underway with so many activities taking place. I am delighted that once again our Under 13 girls football team has reached the last 8 of the national final, we wish them every success in their next round. Much of our focus has been on our Year 11. Following their mocks before Christmas, on the first Friday back this term, each student received the ‘brown envelope’ (just like they will in the summer) which listed all of their results. Staff then work alongside the students, talking through their achievements and options. Obviously these results are mere indicators but are helpful for students, parents and staff alike to focus upon what needs to happen next. Two days later was the Year 11 Parents evening where teachers were able to give diagnostic advice to students and parents. A big thank you to all, I received so much feedback on the hard work of students and staff on the very helpful information and guidance given.

Please can we remind parents about not driving into the school playground (past the Visitor spaces) between 8.30am and 3.30pm and particularly not using this area as a turning circle after dropping students off near the hall.

Dates for your diary

Lost Property

3 Feb 9 Feb

Has your child lost a coat, bag, swimming kit, we may have it! Lost property will be on display in the school reception on Tuesday 24th January between 3 and 4pm.

10 Feb 13-17 Feb 29 Feb 1 March 14 March 15 20 23 30

March March March March

Big Band Evening 8pm School Hall Year 9 Parents Evening & Option information INSET Day Half Term Year 10 Parents Evening Gym & Dance Festival Big Band at Hertfordshire Secondary Headteachers Conference Spring Concert 7pm Broxbourne Civic Hall Year 13 Parents Evening Year 12 Parents Evening PSA Ladies night End of Term

Exam news Last week we had an unannounced inspection from the JCQ (Joint Council for Qualifications). The Inspector looked at 24 aspects of the exam arrangements from satisfactory seating arrangements for mode of delivery/record of seating arrangements to DDA compliance to procedures for planning and managing controlled assessment including staff responsibilities and risk management. Needless to say we passed the inspection with flying colours. A big thank you to the exams team and everyone who supports them. A reminder to all students and parents that we revert to back a 4/1 split on TUESDAY 31st JANUARY. This will mean that break starts at 11.00am and lunch at 1.20pm.

Chinese New Year The Chinese New Year is on Monday 23rd January, when it will be the year of the dragon. To mark the event our canteen will be providing a Chinese lunch which will include: Sweet and sour pork or Chicken in black bean sauce or Sweet chilli corn stir fry All served with rice or noodles and stir fry vegetables Dessert will be toffee and banana pancakes and fortune cookies All this for £2.05! It would be lovely to see as many students as possible taking part in this event which is celebrated all over the world.

Wheatcroft Primary School Last week we received the sad news of the sudden death of the longstanding caretaker at Wheatcroft, Mr T. His funeral will take place on 24th January and as a mark of respect Wheatcroft school will be closed on that day. For further information please contact the school directly.


School Admission Arrangements Hertfordshire County Council is running a consultation on the proposed admissions arrangements for the school year 2013/14 and is seeking responses from parent/carers, schools and community groups. The main change proposed is to allow an increase in the number of preferences from three to four, i.e. parents will be able to apply to four schools, as opposed to only three as currently. Views are also being sought on: • A rule to prioritise children of school staff • Amending the priority area rules and “nearest” school definitions • Other proposals for the treatment of twins/multiple births, a single sex priority area and in year admissions. The consultation period runs until 29 February 2012. Please visitwww.hertsdirect.org/admissions2013 for more information and to respond online or call Mini Harish on 01992 555840 for a copy of the consultation document.

Gym and Dance Show 2012 - March 1st The PE and Performing Arts department are working hard to get a huge variety of performances ready for this year’s show. Students who are interested are invited to a meeting on Friday 20th January at 12.45 in the Gym - we are looking for dancers, gymnasts, trampolinists, cheerleaders and free-runners! All age groups are welcome to get involved. We will be running practices at lunchtimes and after school and it is essential students find out when their rehearsals are. Please encourage your child/children to get involved and put the date in your diary as this promises to be an event not to be missed.

Detentions "We constantly review the type of information we send parents and seek ways to improve. As a consequence of updates to in-school systems, we are in the process of changing the way we notifying parents about detentions. In the future parents will receive email notification if their son/daughter has been set a detention. The student will also receive a copy of the notification to their school email account. If you are unsure whether we have your current email address, please email admin@simonballe.herts.sch.uk stating the name of your child/ren so we can keep our records up to date."

H.A.N.D. H.A.N.D. News is Hertfordshire County Council's free online newsletter with information about benefits, entertainment, activities, support groups, courses and much more for children and young people with additional needs and their parents and carers. We hear from parents, carers and other professionals that they find it an invaluable source of information. You can read it at handnews.hertscc.gov.uk

Invigilators We are currently looking for invigilators for our public exams in the summer, if you are interested in joining our exams team please email Clare Booth at boothc@simonballe.herts.sch.uk for further information and an application form.

Ladies Indulgence Evening:

Friday 23rd March 7 – 10pm Put the date in your diaries now and ask your friends to join you for a relaxing evening trying some beauty treatments. For further details please see: http://www.simonballepsa.org.uk/ladiesnight.htm Also ladies if you are a beauty therapist who would like to offer treatment on this evening or a lady who runs a business selling beautiful things and would like a stall please email Clare Stokes (PSA member) on astokes111@btinternet.com for further information.


Win up to £10,000 and help to raise funds for Simon Balle School PSA The Simon Balle PSA would like to invite you to support us by taking part in ‘The Weather Lottery’ a fun way to raise funds for the school. It’s easy to take part, you can pick up a leaflet or sign up online at: http:www.theweatherlottery.com/categories/players/scheme.php?scheme=SIMON or look for Simon Balle under ‘Education’ when you click on to play the Sunshine lottery online. Simply select your six lucky numbers (between 0-9) to play in the daily game (Mon – Thu each week). Every day the Weather Lottery will take the last digit of the recorded temperature (in Fahrenheit) as reported in the Daily Telegraph for six destinations (Corfu, Tenerife, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Innsbruck and Stockholm) and automatically scan all of the entries to see who has won! You can check your numbers online or through The Daily Telegraph. The cost is £1 per week (with 35p going to the PSA) and prizes range from £2 for matching 3 numbers to £10,000 for matching all 6. Thanks for supporting the PSA and good luck!

Young leader initiatives have made a great impact on the teaching of young people over the last 15 years. The SBS Foreign Language Leader Award hopes to engage a whole new group of young leaders. The scheme has been highly successful and is targeted at the Year 10 students. Training is outside school time and requires real involvement with partner primary schools and/or younger students in the school. Students would plan, prepare, trial and deliver learning activities for and with the younger students, with an eye to developing and demonstrating leadership skills through French, German and Spanish activities. They will also be involved in the Olympic 2012 Themed “Going Global” Day on 13th July. Students must be prepared to work as a team, engaging and preparing work. The first preparation meeting is after school on Thursday 19th January 3.30-4.30pm with the first placement at Abel Smith, Mill Mead, Bengeo and Morgans primary schools on Thursday 2nd February. If you require any further information please contact Mr R Taylor.

Year 7’s Trip to Aladdin

On the 13th of December Year 7 were lucky enough to be treated to a trip to see ‘Aladdin’, Hertford Theatre’s current pantomime. We assembled in the hall and then shortly after we walked down to the theatre and took our seats. Between most of Year 7, the teachers who were kind enough to come along and staff and students from Stapleford Primary School, we filled the theatre. The show started quite promptly with an introduction to Abanaza, the villain of the show. He was our host who spoke entirely in rhyme and led us through the story. The next scene started with a song and dance to Dancing Queen (the ABBA song) performed by a talented group of young performers, led by Aladdin’s mother ‘Twanky’, the dame. The show continued through to the interval flawlessly. We were surprised by the quality of the singers’ voices.


During the interval we received some ice-cream. For a hall full of children the atmosphere was surprisingly calm. Throughout the next five minutes of the break we started to wonder what would happen next in the story. We knew the story of Aladdin before we watched this version, however the producers had altered certain things about the performance, for example the genie who, in this production, was tall man with platform shoes and an afro who sang funky disco songs. Also a nice touch of difference to the usual story was the lamp; they used a lava lamp which was a nice and funny addition to the show. We enjoyed the rest of the show thoroughly. There was a very effective part in the climax of the performance. The lights were flashing on and off whilst the characters on stage moved in slow motion as they each tried to get the lamp. It was a great show overall and we think as well as all the children, the teachers loved it too! Rosa Noxon and Eden Maydale

News from the Sixth Form

Sixth Form Induction will take place on Monday 2nd and Tue the 3rd of July 2012. This two day induction programme is designed for all Y11 students joining Simon Balle Sixth Form in September, and forms just a part of a comprehensive induction programme offered to students. OXBRIDGE Applications 2012 Last week we were delighted to learn that three students have received offers from Cambridge University. We would like to congratulate all our students who have been successful in receiving offers from their chosen Universities. UCAS Applications, Performing Arts and Foundation College Courses 2012 104 UCAS applications were submitted before the Jan deadline – many thanks to the Year 13 form tutors for all the time spent in writing references. It is a very time consuming process; the references that we provide offer our students the best possible opportunities in gaining university offers. Thanks also to Julie Calder and Stefan Radajewski for the work they do to ensure that the UCAS process operates smoothly. A number of students are applying to Performing Arts colleges and Foundation Art courses this year; we wish them luck and our best wishes with their applications. Year 12 Work Experience Julie Calder the sixth form careers advisor will be launching the work experience programme for 2012 shortly. Year 12 students have been reminded to use their powers of “Networking" when meeting up with friends, family and neighbours, as there may be some potential placement opportunities for them. The majority of the best placements come from people we know! Work experience will take place the week beginning Monday 11th June 2012 and all year 12 students will be expected to participate. If you think you can help in providing this valuable opportunity to one of our students please contact Julie Calder via email calderj@simonballe.herts.sch.uk or call her on 01992 410400 ext 252. Sixth Form Bulletin Every Friday sixth form students, parents, staff and school governors receive an email copy of the bulletin giving them information, notices and a variety of opportunities open to students. This publication is also available on our web page if you would like to know more. And finally, if you know someone who is interested in joining our sixth form in September 2012 please ask them to visit our web page or contact Lynn Salt via email saltl@simonballe.herts.sch.uk or call 01992410 ext 230. Lynn Salt, Sixth Form Manager

Music News Congratulations to the Sharp family on their double piano exam success. Eleanor recently passed Grade 5 and Michael Grade 6, both with Merit. Very well done to both of them!


What a fantastic and historic couple of weeks it has been with success at County and National Level in both boys and girls football cups. The athletics season is also in full swing with the 1st round of the District Sportshall Athletics League taking place last Thursday and the District Indoor Championships taking place on Wednesday.

U13 Girls go through to the last 8 in the National Cup

The Year 7 and 8 girls travelled to Colchester on Friday 6th January to play Stanway School in the last 16 of the National Cup. This was a very intense affair between two closely matched teams. Simon Balle started the strongest going ahead early on with a fantastically struck free kick by Danni Hill. But Stanway hit back after a misplaced pass on the halfway from Simon Balle led to the Stanway player running 50yds to slot the ball past Zoe Perrin in goal to draw level. Tor Hill then scored a fantastic solo goal to take the girls into the lead before half time. About 10 mins later Tor was unlucky to have a goal dis-allowed and brought back for a Simon Balle free kick. However just before the break the girls conceded a penalty which Zoe produced a fantasic double save to prevent Stanway from going level. After the break Stanway came out strong from the restart and scored straight away to draw level. After this Simon Balle dominated possession apart from the occasional counter-attack from Stanway. Simon Balle’s determination and great team work was rewarded with another goal from Tor Hill midway through the 2nd half. The girls were able to keep it at 3-2 and as a result are through to the last 8 in the country. A big well done to team manager, Mr Carter. This is a fabulous achievement and good luck to the girls in the quarter final. The girls have also made it through to the ¼ final of the County cup.

1st XI football team reach the ¼ finals of the County cup

On Thursday the 1st XI travelled to Goffs for the last 16 of the County Cup. The boys started slowly and were 2-0 down at half time. However they came out strong in the 2nd half with 2 goals from Jamie Semark and one from Andy Clarke taking the boys through to the quarter final of the County Cup. This is the first time a 1st IX Simon Balle team has made it this far since the mid 90’s. The boys now have a home draw for the quarter finals. We will let you know the date and opponents as soon as they are announced. The Year 11 team have also made it through to the quarter finals of the County cup. Good luck to both teams.

Year 7 Boys Basketball The Year 7 boys played their first game of the season against Richard Hale on Thursday night. In a closely contested match Simon Balle came out on top winning 14-13. A big well done to all the boys involved.

Girls Hockey Year 10 Girls v John Warner…0-0 Top performers were Alex Latif, Katie Lok and Georgina O’Kane.

Athletics News

On Thursday Simon Balle had 4 teams competing in the 1st Round of the District Sports Hall Athletics League at Wodson Park. Top performers on the night were Josh Moses (Yr 8) who performed well in the standing triple jump and was part of the victorious Year 8 boys relay team. Other relay successes came from the Year 7 girls in the 4X 1 lap and Year 8 boys in the obstacle relay. In the 1 + 2 lap relay event the Year 8 girls and Year 7 boys were victorious. Top female performer was Lily Jones (Yr 7) who performed very well in the sprints. Overall results are as follows; Year 7 Girls – 2nd (2 points behind Presdales) Year 7 Boys – 3rd Year 8 Girls – 3rd Year 8 Boys – 3rd The final Round takes place on 26th January at Wodson.


Cricket News Congratulations to Phoebe McMurray who has been chosen to receive a Bowling Award for her performances for the County U15 Girls team during the 2011 season.

Leadership Update On Tuesday our 2 Sports Ambassadors, Faye Sheldon and Gregor Noblett attended a conference at Pinewood School. Faye and Gregor worked with primary school pupils for the day on different Olympic themes. The feedback from parents was excellent so well done to the both of them on doing a fine job. Faye and Gregor are also leading members of the Simon Balle School Sports Council.

The 2012km Challenge The 2012km Gold challenge is finally up and running. All passwords and usernames have been e-mailed out to form tutors however if you have signed up but have not yet received your password please e-mail me at brennand@simonballe.herts.sch.uk. At the moment the staff are winning with over 30km completed. Once you have received your team’s username and password details please log on to http://family.goldchallenge.org/ The teams are as follows: SimonBalleSchoolSixthFormTeam , SimonBalleSchoolStaffTeam SimonBalleSchoolYear10Team

SimonBalleSchoolYear7and11Team

SimonBalleSchoolYear7and8Team

SimonBalleSchoolYear8Team

SimonBalleSchoolYear9andSportsTeam We have received 7 free student places to attend the stadium parade on the 1st April in the Olympic stadium in front of 20,000 people. Please read below for more information; “Having signed up your school to the Gold Challenge in 2011 your school will have been allocated a number of tickets to take part in the stadium parade. Gold Challenge will have notified you separately of the number of tickets you will receive. These tickets will enable your pupils the unique opportunity of taking part in a parade that will mirror the route of the Olympic Opening Ceremony in front of a crowd of 20,000 alongside celebrity ambassadors and Team GB Legends. Pupils will also get to sit in the stands and watch the rest of the days’ activities unfold. Our highest fundraising schools on the 29th February 2012 will be in with the chance to win a 100m race at the event for its pupils. Buying more tickets – parents, friends, etc… We are delighted to be able to offer you an early bird discount on the regular ticket price. Use the code [tbc] to buy tickets for £12.00 which we are offering to you until the end of January. Normal ticket price is £20.12. You will be able to buy tickets from early January by going to www.ticketmaster.co.uk and searching for Gold Challenge.” If you are interested in accompanying your child to this fantastic event on 1st April, then please e-mail me on my address above and I will put your child into the draw (they must have already signed up to the 2012km challenge). We are fund raising for cancer Research, so I will be asking pupils who have signed up to bring in a minimum of £2 by the end of January.

Upcoming Events

Yr 7 Girls basketball at Wodson – Mon 16th Jan Indoor District Athletics Championships at Picketts Lock (2pm Start) – Wed 18th Jan Gym and Dance Festival – Thursday 1st March Sports Relief Mile – Friday 23rd March


More News Less than 200 days until the Olympics come to London. Please see PE Bulletins for exciting Olympic facts. The torch comes to Hertford on 7th July 2012. The Olympic notice board is now completed at school where you can follow how the Olympic hopefuls are getting on. There will also be information regarding the 2012km challenge. We will be awarding a Sports Performer of the Month from February onwards. Winners will receive a Trophy (for 1 month) and a Certificate. Information regarding criteria to follow soon. Please see a copy of our clubs in the Sports Enrichment section on our website. A group of 25 Simon Balle pupils plus 4 staff attended the National basketball final at the NIA in Birmingham on Sunday. A great day was enjoyed by all and a big thank you goes to Mr. Pooley who organised the day. Boys Saturday football begins on the 21st January against Onslow School. Don’t forget that all our fixtures are on the PE website and are updated regularly. Mr Brennan, Head of PE.

Changes to the QEII’s adult and children’s A&E services From Monday, 16 January 2012, the A&E services at the QEII hospital in Welwyn Garden City are changing: For adults, the current A&E service will continue to be available 8.00am and 8.000pm every day, but overnight the service will treat minor injuries only; For children aged between 12 months and 16 years of age, the QEII A&E service will now treat minor injuries that need urgent attention 24 hours a day, every day of the week; For babies 12 months who need to be taken to hospital, please go to the nearest specialist emergency department – which for most will be the 24/7 service at the Lister. Whether an adult or child, if you are suffering from a mild illness you should still see your GP as normal, or contact the GP out-of-hours service at night or weekends by calling 03000 333 333. Alternatively you can call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 who can provide advice on what you should do. If your injury or condition is felt to be serious, even life-threatening, please call 999 or go to the nearest hospital with a 24/7 emergency department – which for most people will be the Lister in Stevenage, where there is also a dedicated specialist children’s emergency department service. Of course, if an adult or child is taken to the QEII and their condition deteriorates, staff will stabilise them before their transfer to the best place to receive their on-going care – normally the Lister. These changes are part of a programme to bring together all of the Trust’s inpatient and emergency services at the Lister by 2014, when the investment of some £150 million will have transformed it into the main hospital for across east and north Hertfordshire. By the same time, NHS Hertfordshire will have created the new QEII hospital – which will provide local people with a range of outpatient, diagnostic, ante/post natal and community care services, as well as a new ‘Local A&E’ that will be able to treat the vast majority of people who need the current A&E service. You can find out which NHS services are available in your area by visiting a new online resource for Hertfordshire – www.wheredoigo.org.uk – or by contacting NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for more information.



newSBytes 17th January 2012