Congratulations to Emily Baker and Harry York who are our new Head Girl and Head Boy. Elections took place and involved for the first time Year 11 students, as well as Year 12 and staff. The Senior Student Leadership Team is the largest we have had. Forty Year 12s have been divided into teams and will be acting as ambassadors for Simon Balle as well as carrying out duties. Well done and a big thank you to all those who are so eager to support and promote their school. We are trying to use our website, which is in fact more of a blog, to show parents, as well as those looking at our school, how it operates, our ethos and the amazing learning which takes place. I hope that this week you all read about Sarah Benham’s amazing achievements at the Planet Under Pressure Youth 2012 conference in London. We have recently been consulting with our students and also meeting with our Parents Association to look at how we can transform the hall into a twenty first century space. Students attended a Governors committee meeting to inform them and parent representatives of the diversity of use. Our hall is used daily as a classroom, for assemblies, additional gym, social meeting space, eating area, exams area, performing space and parents evenings. Therefore it is a complex area to carry out refurbishment. However we now have a plan that will be phased over two years. We have identified a funding stream that will help with lighting costs, leaving the total around £60,000 over the two years, with the PSA looking to fund 50%. Therefore the PSA need your support by attending the quiz nights and other fund raising activities, hosting American students or sponsoring students in the annual fun run. However I am sure that there are other families who might be just as happy writing a cheque to the school to help us achieve this project even more quickly. The hall is used by every student. It is used extensively by most departments including music and drama (look how we transformed it for Les Miserables) and PE. Please be generous, we need your support however small. Indeed we are now one of the few local schools who do not ask for an annual sub, so this is a way you can help. Thank you.
Dates for your diary 14 May 18 May 21 – 25 May 26 May 4 – 8 June
Public exams start, 3/2 split 6th Form Leavers Ball Year 7 trip to Osmington Bay PSA Quiz night Half term
Year 9 Option Interviews These will take place on Tues 29th / Weds 30th May from 4-7pm. Further details will be sent out later this week. 2nd 5K Fun Run Monday 25th June - More details to follow. Mr Pooley
Canteen News We are thrilled to announce that our canteen received 5 stars for their recent hygiene inspection. This is a real accolade as many local food outlets have not received a 5 star rating well done to our catering team. Recently the canteen ran a very successful food fortnight taking the Olympics as their menu theme. Students were able to sample dishes from France, South Africa, China, India, GB, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain and America. Everyone had a chance to extend their palate and try something new.
Library News Tips For Your Research For a wide range of resources why not have a look around the British Library's Learning website at www.bl.uk/learning. Subjects covered include Language and Literature (with an interactive English timeline), Citizenship, History, Arts and Images. There are also pages on Dickens in Context and a study of Books for Cooks. Any queries please ask at the Library Desk. Student Survey Many thanks to all those students who took a few minutes giving us some feedback on our Library and suggesting improvements to our service. Mrs Syme has presented a summary of the results to SLT and there will be more details of the results on the school website shortly. Recycling Magazines Thank you to those parents and members of staff who kindly donate journals regularly to our school Library. Titles currently being donated include 'The Economist' and 'Hertfordshire Life'. If any student/parent/staff/governor receives a magazine regularly and would like to donate it to us after using it we would be very grateful. Children's Book Festival For more details on this new local venture at Luton Hoo on Sunday 20th May please go to www.lhwg.org.uk/ChildrensFestival.html Local illustrators and authors attending include James Mayhew, Justin Somper (Vampirates series) and Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus books). Mrs Syme
Budding engineers look to a greener future
Last week Year 9 were lucky enough to spend a full day working on an engineering challenge looking at wind turbines. Working together in small groups they learnt about the basic design principles and then designed and constructed a wind turbine. They had a project leader to keep an eye on costs and also had to come up with a logo, slogan and presentation for the wind turbine. Key to the success of the turbine were the number, size and angle of the blades and how they minimised the shaking in the wind but maximised the power transmitted. At the end of the day each group had the chance to present this wind turbine and then to test them. All were tested in the same way to ensure it was kept fair. The winning wind turbine managed to generate over 4V which was very impressive for something largely made of paper. Feedback from the students was tremendous with many of them never having attempted a task like this before. The day was provided by The Small piece trust which is a charity whose remit is to increase interest of engineering and science in schools. They are funded by BAA, the airports group. Mr Roe
Drama Practical Exams 2012 Huge congratulations to all the students who have taken their practical GCSE and A level Drama examinations in the last two weeks GCSE On the 25th April we saw 6 groups performing to an external examiner. Without exception all the students did really well and I was so proud of their confidence and how hard they had worked in preparation and in performance. The pieces this year included :‘Teechers’, Blithe Spirit’, ‘Shakers’. ‘An urban girls guide to camping’, ‘Girls and Dolls’ and ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ AS Drama and Theatre studies On 3rd May we saw the culmination of the AS students hard work. Again I was proud of the high level of performance they produced. Their work this year included: Kindertransport - Diane Samuels Eva – Ellen McLeod Helga – Katie Ellis Evelyn – Emily Dawes Lil – Tessa Shaddock Faith – Tamsin Carter Private Lives - Noel Coward Eliot – Harry York Sybil – Kara Norton Victor – Liam Evans Amanda – Katie Roberts Well done to you all. We look forward to August when we get the results. Mrs Cornell
Sky Sports Living for Sports Project Mike Mullen, world BMX champion, from the Sky Sports Living for Sport project visited Simon Balle last week and spent time with some year 9 and 10 students. We are well known at Simon Balle for using sport at school to motivate and inspire our students and this was a fantastic opportunity to do just that. The project aims to inspire students to partake in sport as it ‘helps people think, helps people listen, helps people to speak up and helps people work together. Different sports inspire different people but one thing is true: there’s a sport for everyone and it can change your life.’ Mike complemented the school, saying, ‘I really had a great time visiting the school and genuinely enjoyed working with both groups. One of the best visits I’ve had this year.’
Olympic Park visit
After the success and commitment of our hockey teams this year, 30 students were given the opportunity to experience International Hockey and get a taste of the Olympic Games. On Saturday 5th May we travelled to the Olympic Park and the New Riverbank arena to attend an Olympic test event. It was a fantastic experience for all involved and the standard of hockey on show was World Class. The final game between Great Britain and Australia ended in a 3-3 draw and gave us a taste of the atmosphere that will be experienced in the Summer. Let us hope that in a few years time we may be watching one of our students compete at this level.
We had success at the partnership volleyball tournament held at Presdales School on 2/5/12. The girls team lost their opening match to Presdales 16-36, however then had excellent wins over Chauncy (27-17) and Sele ( 36-10). They finished runners up, which was very pleasing considering this is the first time ever we have entered a volleyball competition. Well done to Molly Smallwood-Conway, Katie Lok, Shannon Hewitt, Emma Kitchen, Georgia Griffiths and Charlotte Adams. The boys B team, won both their matches, 24-16 v Chauncy and 38 -7 v Richard Hale. This meant they won their tournament. The standard of their volleyball was excellent and demonstrated fantastic team work. Well done to Ryan Davis, Harry Smith, Jack Taylor and Jack Sewell The boys A team, also demonstrated the excellent standards of the Simon Balle teams by also winning their tournament. They remained unbeaten winning v Sele 29-12, Richard Hale 25-18 and Chauncy 21-19. Well done to Zach Scott-Gray, Tom Curnock, James Armitage and Evan Cowler. We will now be sending a squad to the county finals in June.
County League Athletics â€“ Round 1 Last Thursday Simon Balle athletes competed in the first round of the County Athletics League at Wodson Park against Sheredes, Broxbourne, Nicholas Breakspear and Knights Templar. In the U14 girls best performers were Georgia McIntyre (Shot), Abbey Conroy (Discus) and Tor Hill (Javelin). In the U14 Boys the following were victorious; Josh Moses (Triple Jump), Matt Parris (Pole vault) and George Lynn (Hurdles). In the U16 Girls Anya Titchmarsh (300m), Maddy Twyning (800m), Sophie Rawlinson (1500m) and Chloe Ring (Long Jump) were all winners. In the U16 Boys Ayrten Abbess had a great day winning both the 400m and High Jump. In the Pole Vault Evan Cowler jumped a school record of 2.40m to win. Overall Simon Balle won three out of the four age groups with the U14 boys finishing in 2nd place. This was a great way to kick off the athletics season and hopefully more of the same to follow. Round 2 takes place at Welwyn on Thursday. Year 8 and 9 Girls win District Football League On Thursday 26th April the Year 8 girls beat St. Marys 12-0 to become District Football League Champions. Tor Hill scored 5 goals to lead the team to victory. This is the 7th Girls Football Trophy this year which is a fantastic achievement. On the way to this win the girls had played 3 games, winning them all. They scored 20 goals and conceded only one. The previous week the Year 9 girls beat Presdales 11-1 to win the District League. The girls overall had won 3 matches out of 3, scoring 26 goals and conceding no goals. A big well done to all the girls involved.
Review of the year to follow. County Basketball Sucess Well done to Leah Wilkerson 7HL for gaining a place in the final 20 squad for the girls County Basketball team. Leah is a year younger than the rest of the squad and will be representing the County in an InterCounty Basketball tournament on Saturday 26th May. We wish her all the best with this excellent opportunity. Senior Rounders Tournament Well done to the Year 11 girls that played in the recent senior rounders tournament and came 3rd in the district. Some outstanding fielding and batting was demonstrated on the day and the girls did the school proud: Vicky Boulton, Lucy Maniez, Lydia Tyrrell, Beth Huffington, Mel Harvey, Keely Haylett, Charlotte Gettings, Alice Twyning and Celia Wighton Upcoming Events • Thursday 10th May - County Athletics League Round 2 - Welwyn • Friday 11th May – Aquathlon at Simon Balle • Monday 14th May – County Athletics League Round 3 – Stevenage • Monday 21st May – County Athletics League Round 4 – Stevenage (SBS Host) • Monday 25th June – World Sports Day • 25th – 29th June – National School Sports Week • Monday 25th June – The 5km Fun Run • Wednesday 27th June – Sports Day (Inter-house Athletics & tug-o-war) • Friday 29th June – District Athletics Championships Music News We received a terrific response from the audience at our Wind Celebration Concert which showcased Concert Band and Junior Wind Band as well as featuring Saxidentals, Brass Ensemble, Clarinet Choir and Ensemble and the Sam Gould Quintet. Here are just a few comments from the many emails we received: We were very impressed last Saturday night by the high standard of performances by all the pupils, by their dedication and concentration. That can only be achieved by staff who are inspirational, who demand and get the very best response from their pupils. The music was of a professional standard and the way the students conducted themselves was also excellent. Our children are so very lucky to have such wonderful musical opportunities and such great teachers to support them. Having the experience to learn and play an instrument in such a supportive environment provides an enriching experience for SBS pupils. Long may it continue. Thanks to Mrs Taylor and Mrs Millinger plus all the staff and students who worked so hard to put the evening together. Our next concert is on Wednesday 4th July at Broxbourne Civic Hall and will feature many of our instrumental groups and choirs.