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Although it is important not to focus upon the future, in schools we inevitably look forward. The next three weeks continue to see a flurry of activity. The mock exams for Year 11 start next week alongside traditional activities such as the Year 7 Pantomime trip, this time in Hertford. The Year 7 Parents Evening will take place on December 6th when parents will speak to each subject teacher about their child’s progress. Unfortunately this year it has been impossible to hold our Christmas Carol Concert as musicians and singers will be involved in ‘Les Miserables’. This I am sure will be a ‘real spectacle’ of the highest quality so do come along and enjoy! School ends very early this year on Friday December 16th, an entire week before Christmas. End of term times will be issued in the next newsletter. As everyone is aware, a number of national trade unions and professional bodies in the public sector are taking industrial action on Wednesday 30th November. This action is not against the school itself but is about anticipated changes to the public sector pension schemes. As a large number of our staff will be involved, I took the decision to close the school on health and safety grounds and endeavoured to give parents as much notice as possible, given that I am still unclear as to exactly how many staff will be in school on the day. This is an ideal opportunity for those students who have imminent exams to use the time along with our school intranet resources, to revise and study.

Christmas Lunch Each year we hold a very special Christmas lunch for all students; for our new parents I thought you would like to know how it is organised. Christmas lunch will take place on Wednesday 14th December. Students MUST buy a ticket in advance at a cost of £3.75, payment by lunch card or cash. Tickets will be on sale in the canteen from Monday 5th December. No other food will be on sale on the 14th. Those students eligible for free school meals obviously get a free meal but they still need a ticket. The lunch is a full traditional Christmas lunch, as parents know all of our meat comes from a local butcher. A vegetarian option will be available. The dining room and hall area are decorated, students sit at properly laid tables, with table cloths. We encourage students, especially in Year 7 to sit in form groups as their form tutors serve them. Other staff serve at the hatchery. The music department has arranged some traditional festive music to be played and sung. Do encourage your child to buy a ticket. In secondary schools there are few opportunities for community occasions, unlike primary school. The students who do come along really enjoy the atmosphere and it becomes one of the highlights of the year.

Dates for your diary

FREE SCHOOL MEALS

6 Dec 7 Dec 5 – 13 Dec 13 Dec

Please find below a letter from the Local Authority regarding free school meals. Other benefits may be available for example help with the cost of music lessons or school trips. Registering for FSM is completely confidential. The information at the end of this newsletter will give you full details including eligibility and how to apply.

14 Dec 14 – 16 Dec 16 Dec 3 Jan 2012 12 Jan 10 Feb

Y7 Parents Evening Drugs & Alcohol Info Evening Y11 Mock exams

3/2 Split (for 1 day only) Year 7 Pantomime Trip Christmas Lunch Les Miserables School Performance End of School Term Spring Term Starts Year 11 Parents Evening INSET Day

Children in Need

We would like to thank everyone who took part in Children in Need day. With the cakes kindly donated by our canteen and non school uniform money we raised £1300 for this very worthwhile cause. Again, many thanks.


Drugs and Alcohol Information Evening. Following on from the very successful and well-attended Anti Bullying Information Evening on Wednesday 23rd November, there is a Drugs and Alcohol Information Evening on Wednesday 7th December, 7-8:30 pm in the school hall.

Library News This is to remind parents to encourage students to join up as members of Hertfordshire Libraries. Please go to: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/libraries/services1/services/howtojoin/ for further details. This is a free service and members are eligible to use a wide variety of online resources e.g. Britannica Online as well as borrow books etc. Mrs Syme (Librarian)

Year 9 Parent / Student Table Tennis Evening Last Wednesday saw the second parent / student table tennis evening. Over 40 participated in the event and the atmosphere was fantastic. After two hours of intense competition Florence Fyfe and her Dad beat last year’s winners Abbie Benstead and Dad. Thank you to the PSA for providing refreshments and all who supported the evening and I am looking forward to a summer event. Mr Pooley

Isabel Hospice

We received a lovely letter from the Isabel Hospice regarding four of our 6th form students, Kerri-Ann Read, Gar-En Leung, Daisy Maniez and Emma Pearce. Here are a few extracts……… ….“gone above and beyond by volunteering for Isabel Hospice to help promote our Jingle Bells and Bows Fun Run which is taking place on Sunday 4th December 2011”… …“they were extremely enthusiastic, cheerful and smiley and I was extremely proud to have them representing the Hospice on that day”… …“It is evident that you have some fantastic students at your school”… …”to top it all off, Kerri-Ann has even offered her time to help me again in the future, which I will certainly be taking up as her and her friends were an absolute asset to the team on that day!”

Music News As always the Autumn term is a busy time in the Music department. Our community choir Take Note performed in a concert with Maltings Sinfonia raising money for Macmillan cancer support. Their performance of the Faure Requiem included stunning solos from two of our students, Beth Wischhusen and Simeon Munro. Congratulations to Debbie Kemp for all her work in putting this together and to the choir for taking on such a huge challenge with admirable enthusiasm - it sounded fantastic! Last Tuesday saw some 200 performers taking part in our Autumn Concert in front of a very full house at Broxbourne. We have received so much positive feedback from family and friends and share their pride in both the high quality of the performances and the excellent behaviour of our students, including many Year 7s making their debut in various choirs and ensembles. It is at times like this that we remember why we work in the Music Department. There is so much going on, with so many students involved. They work hard (mainly!) and are dedicated to what we do. Our team, in turn, is dedicated to getting the most from the musicians, pushing them as hard as we can. There are thrills and spills, tears and tantrums, but we get there, working to ensure everyone does their best.


Good luck to our candidates for the Rockschool and Trinity Guildhall exams. We also have a Rockschool gig and a wind recital evening coming up on 6th December and Saxidentals at Soundbites on 7th, so plenty to keep us occupied in the run-up to Les Miserables.

U13 Girls go through to the last 32 in the National Cup The girls beat The William Edwards School from Thurrock 3-0 in Round 5 of the National Cup. With goals from Tor Hill, Danielle Hill & Kitty Voss. The girls are now through to the last 32 of the national cup. A big well done to all the girls involved.

Year 9 Girls win District 6-a-side Football A couple of weeks ago the Year 9 girls football team won the District 6-aside football tournament for the 3rd year in a row, after drawing their first game against Sele they went on to win the rest of their matches comfortably.

Year 8 Boys Basketball The boys have had a good start to the District League where they have won one, drawn one and lost 2 matches. Top performers have been Lane Boronte and George Lynn. Results are as follows; SBS v St. Mary’s 4-4 draw SBS vs Richard Hale 2-24 loss SBS v Sele 16-2 win SBS vs Cheshunt 9-11 loss

Girls Hockey Girls Hockey is going from strength to strength at Simon Balle School. The Year 9 Girls are participating in the County Cup this year and have got off to a flying start with 3 wins out of 3. Two weeks ago the girls met the Royal Masonic School and won 3-0 and last week the girls followed this up with a 5-0 win against Sir John Lawes school. Well done to all the girls involved and good luck in the remaining 2 group games. On Thursday night the year 8 girls drew 1-1 with John Warner with Tor Hill winning player of the match. Our Year 7 Hockey Team beat Broxbourne 5-2 with Eve Blyth-Morter as player of the match.

Rugby Update The Year 8 boys rugby team last Wednesday showed a lot of heart coming back from 12-26 down against John Warner to draw 26-26 with 2 late converted tries. Zac Abdelhamid was man of the match Results are as follows; Year 7/8 v Sele 39-0 win Year 8 v John Warner 26-26 draw


Football Update The Year 11 boys made their debut in the County Cup and made a big impact winning 11-2 against Francis Bacon. The 1st IX were knocked out of the District cup by Turnford. A goal from Tom Bellamy made it 1-1. It then went to extra-time and penalties with Turnford winning.

Leadership Update The following students as part of their leader’s course assisted at the yr3/4 primary schools Sportshall athletic event at Wodson on Friday 18th November. They performed fantastically with Jack Sewell leading a mass warm-up at the beginning of the competition. Jack Sewell Lara Shilston Ben Neate Katie Lok Bradley Palmer Jess Hill Niamh Parris

Anya Titchmarsh Mollie Brigham Alex Salter Sam Brown Grace Durbridge Niall Coates

‘School Games’ report November 2011 The Government’s new sporting competition began this term and culminates with the School Games Final on December 8th at Herts Sports Village and Queen’s school. The top schools in Hertfordshire will compete in badminton, table tennis and boccia and the winners then go forward to represent Hertfordshire at Regional and National School Games finals. Simon Balle has been fully involved in the training and participating in both table tennis and badminton competitions. School Games Qualifiers Results: Table Tennis: The U13 girls finished 3rd in area competition. The U16 Girls were winners so will be representing Hertford and Ware at the games. District Badminton: U14 girls A team: Milly Clarke, Abbie Benstead, Tor Hill and Abbey Conroy beat Presdales in the finals so go through to School Sports Games (county level) on 8th December Badminton: The U14 Boys finished 3rd in area competition. The following competitions are still to be held: Badminton: Girls U14 (23rd November). U16 Boys and Girls (1st December) U19 Boys and Girls go straight through to Finals of School Games on December 8th Next term the competition includes sportshall athletics, futsal, trampolining, rowing and girls cricket with the county final being at Wodson Park.

Olympic News

2012km Challenge – Closing date for Registration – Wednesday Nov 30th – See PE Website to register.

PE Website http://sbspedept.wordpress.com/ The new PE website is now up and running. You will be able to find information related to the curriculum, fixtures, clubs and school achievements. The site is updated regularly with results and news. The new PE bulletin will be uploaded onto the website each Monday which will show a list of all fixtures for the coming week and any important news. Mr. Brennan Head of PE


Simon Balle School Mangrove Road Hertford Herts SG13 8AJ 29th November Dear Parents and Carers

Did you know … just registering your child for Free School Meals means that the school gets extra money? Register now to make sure we don’t miss out

The Government is giving money to schools to help children from lower income families do their very best. This funding is called a ‘Pupil Premium’.

For every child registered Simon Balle School gets £488 this year. If you are registered for Free School Meals you could also get help with costs of school trips or music lessons.

Please register before Christmas to make sure your child and others in their class don’t miss out.

How does it work? 1. First, check if you qualify – it is not just if you are unemployed, so please look at the list on the next page. 2. Registering is really quick and easy – if you think you qualify, contact Sue Dopson in the school office or Herts County Council who will help you to register. 3. If you want your child to have a free, healthy meal at lunchtime that’s great – they will get the free meal (saving you more that £350 a year), extra benefits and the school gets £488 extra. 4. If you don’t want your child to have the school meals they can continue as normal – as long as you qualify and are registered, the school still gets £488 extra.


No one will know you have registered and it will not affect any other benefits you are claiming.

Please talk to us about registering your child today. Yours sincerely,

Alison Saunders Alison Saunders Headteacher

Do you qualify? You can register your child for Free School Meals if you get any of these benefits: •

Income Support

Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• • • •

Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190 Working Tax Credit 'run-on' - the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit

Pupils can also register for Free School Meals if they get any of these benefits themselves. Come and talk to us if you’re not sure.


newSBytes 29th November 2011