STOP PRESS – UPDATE ON STRIKE – SEE LAST PAGE Already we are looking ahead in school to the end of exams, midsummer and the new Year 6s soon with us. I have been so impressed this year with their response to transition. Nicky Traynor (the Head of Year for the new Year 7) and many colleagues have visited each student, 22 primary schools in all. Around 40 of the students along with a parent have signed up for one of our cooking sessions, whilst about 75 will come along to the ICT workshop. Parental support is vital to success and I am delighted with this response. Transition Day this year is on Thursday 14th July with the welcome evening the night before. We therefore look forward to getting to know the new Year 7s and their parents. Expectations are high, we trust that they will quickly settle into their new learning environment. However, before all of this, a busy schedule greets us with the Summer Concert, Modern Foreign Languages Festival, Art Exhibition, Sports Day and more immediately the arrival of the American visitors and the Fun Run. The latter two events are important occasions to fundraise for our lecture theatre. The work is just beginning and in September I am sure like me, you will be excited by the transformed learning space. Like many local schools the Governing Body has decided that it should now consider whether Simon Balle School should convert to Academy status. There is a lot of press coverage about this but to put it simply, a school becomes independent from the Local Authority’s control but still is state funded. During the autumn term we will formally consult. Air Ambulance - you may have read in the ‘the Mercury’ or been told by your children that an accident occurred on our Astroturf during one lunchtime. Ryan fell whist playing football so an ambulance was called. They in turn, called the air ambulance as a precaution. Thankfully, Ryan once checked over, was able to return home and was in school the next day. Dates – As you know two teaching unions have agreed to strike next Thursday 30th June. As yet we do not know who is striking and how this will affect us. Once we know I shall post information on our website, so please keep checking. Alison Saunders Dates for your 23-26 June 27 June 30 June 7 July 13 July 14 July 14 July 16 July 18 July 21 July
diary American visitors Lower school fundraising ‘Fun run’ ATL/NUT STRIKE Languages festival Non uniform Transition evening 7pm Transition Day for Year 6 Art Exhibition Ware Art Centre (private view) Art Exhibition open Sat morning Stevensons Uniform Sale 3.30 -8pm End of School
PSA 2nd hand uniform sale - Thursday 14th July 3-4 pm in school canteen. £1 per item. If you have any unwanted uniform that you would like to donate please bring it to the school office. Many thanks.
Student Voice Re-launch We are currently in the process of re-modelling Simon Balle School Student Voice to launch again in the autumn term. We value and welcome the contributions students can make to our school community. We look forward to using this resource more effectively next year. If you have any comments, concerns or ideas regarding our structure and use of student voice then please contact the school. More details will follow in due course.
Non-uniform day on Thursday 7th July We will be holding a non-uniform day on the 7th in aid of our link schools in South Africa. We carry out this work through an organisation called ‘Link International’ whose aim is to identify and remove the obstacles to quality education. They work with national and local governments to develop a deep understanding of the education system and the practical difficulties that schools face and take a long term approach because real change takes time and progress is not always smooth. Working in partnership with our schools in South Africa has been an exciting and valuable experience for our students and staff. By bringing a global dimension to teaching and learning we have enriched our curriculum. Similarly our link schools have also benefitted by inspiring the school’s community to take notice of the school and to support them to deliver better quality education. This may be by building accommodation for teachers, providing training and ensuring children attend school. They also help schools to educate, plan for and manage the impact of HIV/AIDS. We hope that you will help us to support our links in Kimbili and Qumbu by giving generously to this very worthwhile initiative. We suggest a minimum donation of £1.00. Students should dress sensibly for school and not wear anything which may be deemed inappropriate. Mike Moss, Deputy Head Message from the Geography Department All current Yr11 GCSE students hoping to study Geography in Yr12 please note there is a compulsory residential fieldtrip to Sheringham, Norfolk which takes place Monday 7th - Friday 11th November 2011. The trip is an essential part of the A-Level course which aims to develop geographical skills. The full cost of the trip is yet to be determined as this will depend on numbers, but in previous years the price has been between £170- £200 and includes all accommodation food and excursions. Further details of the trip will be sent out as early as possible in September with a payment schedule. Global awareness week Monday 4th July – Friday 8th July Over the course of this week students will be learning, thinking and acting on issues which affect people on a global scale. We have chosen this week to prepare for Oxfam’s international water week campaign which begins Monday 11th July. Activities will include: Non-uniform day to raise funds for our two link schools in South Africa; this will be on Thursday 7th July. We ask for a £1 contribution which will go towards supporting schools in their development of teaching and learning, any extra contributions will be welcome as this will allow us to make even more of an impact. Simon Balle School Water week campaign, led by Year 9 students to raise awareness of the need for action to improve life chances for those affected by water vulnerability; although not a fund-raising activity if families do wish to donate there will be an opportunity to add to the collection box in the canteen at lunchtimes. Students will learn more about these issues in assemblies and lessons throughout the week. ‘Whiz Kids’ HSC Careers Ltd is delighted to offer the ‘Whiz Kidz’ Business & Enterprise Academy 2011 for Gifted and Talented students in Y7 to Y9. The 5 day programme will run twice on 1st to 5th August and 8th to 12th August. The programme will focus on the development of the key skills required for career progression and success in an ever changing global, employment market. Embedded throughout will be opportunities for students to explore and practice the key business functions through a range of interactive and practical activities looking at finance, marketing, promotions, sales, product design and other business and entrepreneurial skills. The Academy has been subsidised by HCC however parents/carers will be asked for a contribution of £45.00 to cover the cost of materials and excursions. Limited places are available, offered on a first come first served basis. Applications to be received by Friday 24th June. To book a place please email or call Louise Dorson – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : 01462 704909, Fax : 01462 704987 Address : HCS Ltd, Delta House, Avenue One, Letchworth Garden City, Herts SG6 2HU
Year 5 transition day On Friday 17th June, 20 year 5 students from Hertingfordbury Cowper came to Simon Balle for a transition day. The aim of this is to allow students to experience a day in a secondary school. They had a very exciting time. They had lessons in a variety of subjects starting with Mr Taylor in music. Miss Ahmet taught a geography lesson, Mrs Pope maths. They had lunch in the canteen which was exciting as they had a special event going on. In the afternoon Mrs Jones baked cookies with the year 5s to take home and in the last lesson Mr Miller demonstrated a ‘rainbow fizz’ in science. Mrs Noblett then ran an after school club. It was a very successful day and the Year 5 students really appreciated the effort that all teachers had put into giving them a real flavour of secondary school life. Whilst the students were in lesson their teachers observed lessons for their own CPD. They also got to experience secondary school for the day! Thank you to all teachers who taught a lesson or were observed. It is much appreciated. Miss Baynham Trip to Simon Balle On Friday 17th June 2011 class 5 were able to go to Simon Balle Secondary School for the whole day! Our first lesson of the day was music, and to be honest, we all thought it would be an hour of singing...instead it was a fun, cool and, most of all, a good lesson. After that it was break, it was funny because we always had to look up at the older children because they were too tall. Then we had geography we all enjoyed that very much as we were talking about saving the world. We moved on to maths next - we combined sport and maths which was fun. We were taken to the lunch hall to have our lunch which was very nice. After, we had Food Tec which was my favourite lesson of the day as we made choc chip and cherry cookies! Then we had science it was AMAZING we all loved it! We had an after school club everyone enjoyed it. I hope we come back very soon, thank you so much for letting us come. From Josephine Ready Trip to Simon Balle On 17th June I went to Simon ball school for a secondary school try out day, I enjoyed all the activities. We did music, geography, maths, food tec., science and a sport afterschool club. I really enjoyed the day and it gave a good insight about going to secondary school. Beth Emsley Year 12 Work experience Last week over 100 yr 12 students embarked on their independently sourced work experience programmes. It was fantastic to see so many students successfully gain placements in highly competitive industries and organisations despite the economic recession. With over 90% of our students applying each year to the country’s top universities, undertaking relevant work experience is crucial to enhancing their application. This year students found placements at a variety of institutes and organisations namely; BBC worldwide, UCL London, Westminster Abbey, Royal Veterinary college, RBS London, Environment Agency and the Metropolitan Police to name a few. In pursuit of the right kind of experience students proved to be extremely resourceful with many commuting into London whilst others travelled to varying parts of the UK. In order to undertake her dream placement at an American Museum in Norfolk one student camped for the week in a nearby holiday park whilst another prospective marine biologist flew to Greece to volunteer at a Turtle sanctuary. On returning students will now begin the first stages of making an application to university by registering online, attending the Hertfordshire UCAS fair and attending a talk by UCAS (Universities and College Admissions Service) on July 6th. Well done to all those students whose perseverance and hard work rewarded them with an invaluable week. Students quotes : Kendall Francis – conservation assistant, Westminster abbey – “the most amazing experience of my life!” Grace Carter, Unicorn Theatre, London – “Fantastic, informative and everyone was really lovely, learnt a lot about the industry and access routes”
Library News On Wednesday 18th May, Lower School Book Club attended a ‘RED HOUSE PORTFOLIO DAY’ at Nicholas Breakspear School in St Albans. This was an event to discuss the books shortlisted for the Red House book award. Students exchanged views on the books with those from other schools and voted on their favourite. The highlight of the occasion was a talk by popular children’s author CLIFF McNISH who spoke of his writing career, answered questions and signed copies of his books for the students. It was an enjoyable and inspiring morning. Another popular author, LUCY JAGO, visited SBS Library on Monday 23rd May to speak to Year 7 and 8 girls. She gave us a fascinating background to her recently released historical novel ‘Montacute House’. This House is a National Trust property where the action of this Elizabethan story is set. The event was arranged with books@hoddesdon and Lucy did a book signing during the day. Events 14th June Mia Steinkamp, an American librarian who has been working at an international school in Malaysia for seven years visited. She is moving to Houston,Texas to help with a private high school’s new library project and was keen to see our redesigned Library. 17th June A Year 10 student talked to students and staff about Italy at Speaker's Corner. 21st June Visit by i-desk Solutions Ltd to show our i-cybers to a visitor from Kettering Academy. 24th June A Year 12 student talk to students and staff about green technology at Speaker's Corner. 4th July Judges of the SLA Library Design Award visit SBS Library which is a Finalist in the competition.
Music News The Summer Term is always a busy time for our singers and musicians, with much preparation underway for exams, concerts and the tour. Our Summer Concert takes place on 5th July. Transition pupils from a number of local junior schools have been preparing a song which they will rehearse in workshops with Jenny Finch and perform with our Young Voices choir and Year 11 Singing Leaders at the concert. Jenny has also been running a highly successful series of drum and samba workshops with local school as part of our Outreach programme. Parents should now have received timetables for the following exam dates – please support your sons and daughters by encouraging them to practise regularly and to perform to you, it really makes a difference! Rockschool – Tuesday 28th June Percussion -Wednesday 29th June Trinity Guildhall – Thursday 7th/Friday 8th/Friday 15th July Associated Board – Monday 18th July Congratulations to William Butcher who passed Grade 4 Trumpet with Merit and Dominic Rugg Gunn who passed Grade 5 Trumpet last term.
Simon Balle Rock School is proudly hosting its annual summer showcase at the Corn Exchange, Fore St. Hertford on Thursday 7th July. This yearsâ€™ event will feature our biggest ever line-up, including 8 bands from all year groups! Tickets will be available on the night priced ÂŁ3:00 doors will open 7:30 The Bands have worked really hard in preparation for this show and are all sounding great, come and show your support!
Senior Boys are crowned County League Football champions A big well done to the senior boy’s football team who followed up their district success with a county league trophy. Mr Stobbart had the following to say; “After winning the District Cup earlier in the year, the senior boys football team followed this up by winning Division 2 of Hertfordshire Schools County League. They were unbeaten in the competition and finished top of 6 other schools from around the county. Congratulations to the squad for adding more silverware to the cabinet.” County League Athletics The Simon Balle Athletics team have been making a big impact on the county scene. The U14 girls are on course to make the final after some impressive results. Star performers have been Abby Benstead in the Discuss throwing close to 25m, Sophie Rawlinson in the 1500m who’s won 4 out her 5 races, Maddy Twyning in the 800m with numerous PB’s and Chloe Ring in the hurdles. Our boys have had some fantastic performances also with Patrick Tarry dominating the hurdles. The boys have a good chance of making the plate final and will need to score at least 50+ points in today’s final league meeting. On Tuesday Simon Balle hosted round 5 of the County league at St. Albans. A big thank you must go out to all the staff who helped out and gave up their time. The event was a huge success and ran very smoothly thanks to Miss Jones’ fantastic organisational skills. This was by far our most successful round where 3 out of the 4 teams were victorious – U14 girls, U14 boys, U16 boys and third place going to the U16 girls. The final round takes place this week. Mr Pooley had the following to say; “It was amazing to see so many staff work together to make this event run smoothly and it reminds me once again what a fantastic set of staff we have at Simon Balle School. Our students did us proud with more school records broken and personal bests achieved. The U14 boys, U14 girls and U16 boys came 1st tonight and the U14 girls are on course to qualify for the County League final, which would be an amazing achievement should they qualify. The students really appreciated all the staffs support and Miss Jones deserves a big pat on the back for organising everything before she left. County Athletics Championships The County Schools Athletics Championships were held last Saturday at Hemel. Sophie Rawlinson ran a great 1500m to finish 8th beating her personal best time by 7 seconds, Sophie wasn’t too far away from the medal and this result puts her in a good position for a medal in next year’s race as she will still be in the U15 age-group. Helena Page ran a personal best of 44.8 in the 300m to make it through to the final where she finished 6th. Dan Morton also threw a PB in the Javelin. Chloe Ring, Patrick Tarry (Hurdles), Francesca Hodges (Long Jump) and Hugh Brady (100m) also competed well. Rounders Update: The year 8 girls played Presdales A and B team on Thursday 16th. The girls (Phoebe McMurray, Maddy Twyning, Jessie Ensum, Sophie Rawlinson, Chloe Ring, Flo Fyfe, Eliza Weeks, Jess Pointon, Izzy Moreale) lost 7 rounders to 4 against the A team and drew 5 all with the B team. Phoebe McMurray was player of the match. East Herts Awards Alice Twynning and the Yr 8 girls have been shortlisted for an award at the East Herts Awards Evening on 23rd June at Castle Hall from 6.30pm.
Alice Twyning: Alice Tywning from Simon Balle School is an elite basketball player who is currently a member of the England U16 Basketball squad. Initially Alice was selected in a squad of sixty players and this has since been reduced to twenty elite players. When Alice was in Year 7 she played basketball for Simon Balle and as a result of this she was persuaded to attend county trials where she was successful in securing a place on the County team. During one of the county games she was identified by one of the east of England coaches. Consequently she was selected to represent the East of England. Alice is quite a talented player who trains hard and attends 3 day England training camps 4-6 times a year and Regional training every second Sunday. Alice also plays club basketball for Hertfordshire warriors U16’s who this season reached the semi-final of the National League. On top of all of this Alice is currently in Year 10 and still manages to achieve ‘A’ grades in the majority of her subjects. Alice’s national representation is credit to her dedication, hard work in training and perseverance. Alice is an example of someone who can train and compete at the highest level as well as achieve top grades at school. Year 8 Girls: The Simon Balle Year 8 Girls have had one of the most fantastic season’s ever and this has been achieved through a wide range of sports which included football, cricket, athletics, swimming and hockey. Let’s start with our football team. This team was involved in four competitions this year and won 3 of them. The girls had a fantastic run in the National Cup travelling to Norfolk, Reading, Essex & Cambridge only to come unstuck in the quarter finals against a very good Queens team. They scored 42 goals and conceded only 5 in this competition with Abbie Bensted finishing as the competitions top scorer with 29 goals. The girls went from strength to strength winning the district 6-a-side cup, the district 11-a-side cup and just recently they beat Parmiter’s school to win the County cup. In Cricket the girls won the Lady Taverners Cricket competition going through the group stages unbeaten. The girls beat Queens school in the final and went on to represent Hertfordshire at the London and SE England regional championships. In Hockey the girls became District hockey champions winning all their games. The girls became County Sportshall athletics champions and therefore went on to represent Hertfordshire in the South East of England regional championships where they put in a fantastic performance to come out winners. Sophie Rawlinson who was part of this team has also achieved success this year in swimming and won a recent schools Aquathlon competition. Cricket Officials The following pupils have participated in a cricket officiating course at Presdales Sports Hall. • Stuart Bowden • Lucy Maniez • Jack Sewell • Zach Scott-Gray Zach and Stuart helped out at a recent competition and Eric Riddle had the following to say; “Please pass on my grateful thanks to Stuart Bowden, and Zach Scott-Gray, who provided me with invaluable help in preparing pitches, umpiring, and clearing up at yesterday's Sports Partnership Primary Schools' Kwik Cricket tournament. Staff and parents remarked on both the high standard of their officiating, and also on their excellent interaction with the pupils. They did everything that was asked of them, were eager to please, and were excellent Ambassadors for your school.” Eric Riddle Important Information • New PE kit – The Year 7’s starting in September will wear the new PE kit – more information to follow in the next newsletter. o Boys - New polo shirt & green rugby top o Girls - Fleece instead of rugby top, with the same polo shirt as the boys. • Please check all fixtures on the PE website • 5km Fun Run – June 27th
National School Sports Week – June 27th – July 1st o Monday – 5Km Fun Run o Tuesday – Yr 8/9 Inter – house sports & Girls Tag Rugby o Wednesday – Orienteering & Fencing o Thursday – Yr 8/9 Inter-house Rounders/ Cricket & Tennis o Lunch-times – Quatro – Ball & District Athletics District Athletics Championships – Friday 1st July G & T Enrichment Days o The following students will be attending two Gifted & Talented PE Enrichment Days at Herts Sports Village run by the Sports Partnership. The days are Monday 20th June and Friday 8th July. Year 8 Bethany Baxter Jonathan Carter Abbie Bensted Jonathan Goodson Sophie Rawlinson Dan Morton Chloe Ring Patrick Tarry Maddie Twyning Kallum Titchmarsh
Year 9 Jack Smith Zach Scott-Gray Garin Rogers Sam Brown
Eliza Weeks Ellie Yeardye SCHOOLS REPORT FROM THE HERTS YOUTH GAMES AQUATHLON On Saturday 18th June pupils from Simon Balle represented East Herts in the U13 and U15 aquathlon event at the Youth Games held at Herts Sports Village, Hatfield. Sophie Rawlinson, Bethany Baxter, Patrick Tarry (U13) and Phillip Murphy (U15) had qualified for the East Herts team by finishing in the top two for their age group in the recent Hertford & Ware SSP aquathlon. The U13 aquathlon sees each competitor swim 150m followed swiftly by a run of 1500m. The U15’s swim 200m followed by a 2000m run. Outstanding performances by the Simon Balle contingent ensured that they contributed to a brilliant team result. Patrick Tarry finished in 2nd place, Sophie placed 3rd with Bethany 4th place in the U13 category and Philip finished 4th place in the U15 age group. Well done to them all in this County wide event! These individual performances all resulted in East Herts U13 mixed team finished as overall winners! The U15’s were awarded 2nd place overall! A superb achievement by the pupils from our Sports Partnership. The points awarded to the teams were added to an overall East Herts total. These points proved to be very important as East Herts won the Overall District trophy from the Herts Youth Games for the 3rd year running. The aquathlon team will now attend a Herts Youth Games/School Games Celebratory Evening at Hertford Theatre on Thursday 23rd June. Louise Rudd, Aquathlon Team Manager, SSCo H&W SSP
Food Technology Food in Focus Week 6th June heralded the start of Food in Focus week. This was a cross curricular event which involved other subjects in the school integrating food drink or diet into their lessons. Students worked in their own class rooms and / or the food room to work with food and drink. • In German they looked at the German sausage both within the German culture and language. Pupils sang and rapped the sausage song and produced posters of German metaphors. In French students looked at ‘French gouter’ and worked in the food room with bread and chocolate and drinks. • In English - creative writing, Elizabethan cooking to name but a few.
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As part of their athletics programme PE students took part in the Food Olympics (and this was actually one event I was successful in obtaining tickets to watch!!) Great fun was had by all who competed in teams named after different countries to take part in the potato shot, apple bobbing, orange relay, egg & spoon race and pancake race, not forgetting the cracker hurdles. Seb Coe eat your heart out – this was brilliant. Some of our Year 10 students took part in a joint project involving English and Art which was held in Café Rouge celebrating café culture. It was inspired by a painting seen by Mr Salmons at the recent Hertford Art Exhibition by a local artist Celia Sanders. The Maths department are working with ratios and measurement to bake. In Citizenship students are currently working on a topic called ‘We are Britain’ which investigates identity and diversity in the UK. As part of Food in Focus week they designed multicultural menus with all their favourite foods from cultures that have immigrated to the UK and integrated into the culture. Can you guess the clear winner for a main meal…………it was Chicken Tikka Massala. In Business Studies students took up an ‘Apprentice style’ challenge to design, price and market a new bottle of water. They worked over a number of lessons to devise a new style of water aimed at a particular target market. This project is still in progress as the students work to design the bottle and label and create the publicity to advertise their product. All are competing against each other and in true ‘Apprentice style’ there will be a final winner. In ICT students went online to complete activities centred on the Eatwell Plate.
Staff Ready Steady Cook The week ended with a star studded event that involved staff teams competing for the much acclaimed ‘Ready Steady Cook Trophy’ – a silver plaque and wooden spoon. Competition was fierce (I was far too scared to be a judge) among the entrants which included teams from Senior Leadership, Humanities, Science, English, PE, the Office, Design & Technology and the eventual victors from ICT and Business Studies. The atmosphere was brilliant and it proved to me what a wonderful community we work in among our staff and pupils. Both the staff and pupils made this week very special. A big Thank you to everyone concerned for all their hard work, enthusiasm and support.
Linda Jones Food Technology
Abel Smith School is 150 Years Old! The school was founded in 1861! We are inviting former pupils to come and have a look round the school at our Open Evening on Tuesday 12th July from 8:00-9:00pm. The Governors and Headteacher Abel Smith School, Churchfields, Hertford
SIMON BALLE SCHOOL
A HUMANITIES COLLEGE 23rd June 2011 Dear Parents
You might have seen in the news that some teachers will be taking strike action on Thursday 30th June 2011. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have called a national strike. The strike is about the proposed changes to teachers pensions by the Government. The argument is not with the school or with the local authority employers, but our school will be affected by the strike. Some of our teachers will be taking strike action on 30th June, others will be working normally. The following will not have a teacher and you will need to make other arrangements for your child on that day. Do not send your child to school if he/she is in one of these year groups – Year 8 or Year 9 Year 10 classes will run from Period 1 to Period 4 – 8.45am to 1.20pm (except the Y10 MFL Young Leaders who will stay for their presentation Period 5) Year 7 classes will run from Period 2 to Period 5 – 10.00am to 3.25pm Year 12 classes will run as normal all day At break time only the Coffee Shop will be open but for all students. There will be a reduced lunch service and students will have to purchase a ticket from the canteen in advance. I know that making alternative arrangements for your children will be difficult for some parents; that is why we are giving as much notice as possible and running as many classes as we can safely. I am sure that we will quickly get back to normal on the Friday. Yours sincerely
Alison Saunders Alison Saunders Headteacher