Final Word For 2014!

May I take this opportunity to thank all students, staff and parents for what again has been a great term, with some remarkable events and personal achievements.

This is truly an amazing school and I echo those sentiments so frequently told to me by parents and other adults- “If only my school had been like this. Oh, to be back here now!xmas cheer

Wishing everyone in the Simon Balle community, a happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy, enjoyable and successful 2015.  We look forward to seeing all students back in school on Tuesday 6th January.

Christmas Fundraising Update

We are delighted to announce how much has been raised for 2 of our fundraising events:

xmas jumper dayToday, students and staff had the opportunity to ‘Wear a Christmas Jumper for Lottie‘ – raising funds towards the  cancer treatment for an ex-pupil. We have raised over £1070 so thank you to everyone who has contributed.  A huge variety of jumpers can be seen around school, with only a few ‘doubles’ – amazing for nearly 1,200 people!

L&L Research


Staff have also been signing a large Christmas card and donating what they would have spent on cards to each other to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.  Donations towards this have topped £330.

SBS Library In Numbers

Thanks to all students and staff who have supported Library events this term. Book Banter involved 5 visiting authors and 1 journalist. 3 bookshops sold a wide range of books: Books@Hoddesdon, Brenda Parkhouse and the Leaf Cafe. There were 6 winners in our first Writing Challenge and 4 Highly Commended winners. Melanie Taylor, Festival Writer-in-Residence, led 4 workshops and a Poetry by Heart session.

There were 12 Speakers’ Corner sessions including 1 by an alumna working at the War Memorials Trust, 170 Y7 students all received a book through the BookBuzz programme and we now have a helpful team of 17 Student Librarians and Y12 Library Supervisors. We hosted an author event as part of the Hertford Children’s Book Festival too….

Y8 Chocolate Box Challenge

Just in time for Christmas, Y8 have been designing a new box of chocolates in their Maths lessons – as part of the house competition. They had to document every stage of the design process and calculate the volume and surface area of their box.

A number of students were highly commended by the judges, Mrs Pope and Mr Allred, and four were nominated to win. They were Megan Spragg, Ben Kenway, Maddy Durbin and Oliver Scorey.

The overall winner was Maddy Durbin, look out for her ‘Midnight Feast’ box among the images below.

Y8 Boys Reach ‘The Last 32′ In The Country

celebrating fansYesterday the Y8 boys’ football team played Edwinstree School in Round 5 of the National Cup. This was a tightly contested match with the score poised at 2-2 at half time with goals from Jack Smith & Albert Nwahba. The score stayed at 2-2 until the final 10mins when Jack Smith scored two more goals – another goal from Albert Nwahba made it 5-2.


The boys will now play away to Shenley Brook End School from Milton Keynes in the New Year.

Y11 Art Mock Exam

Last Wednesday  Y11 completed their five hour ‘mock’ exam.  The theme was “The British Museum” and the students created a truly eclectic (and in some cases beautiful!) mix of work.

Students had benefited from their trip to the British Museum a few weeks’ earlier, gathering resources and, it seems, much inspiration.  I’m sure this experience will stand them in good stead when they are preparing for their “real” GCSE exam in the not too distant future.

Christmas Lunch 2014

Today students got into the festive spirit when they attended the school carol service at All Saints Church before returning to enjoy their Christmas lunch back at school.

As always, students were served their meals by the staff in the decorated canteen whilst they pulled crackers and were able to enjoy music played by our students.

Special thanks must go to my bunch of amazing helpers who created the Christmas atmosphere – a group of creative, hard working students who were an absolute pleasure to work with. Thank you James, Jude, Lilli, Lily, Louise, Molly and Oak.




all helpers

Enjoying Their Lunch

Enoying Their Lunch

Fractional Distillation In Y10

Y10 have been learning about Fractional Distillation in chemistry. They have been using an App called “thing link” to explain how crude oil is separated into its fractions based on boiling points and intermolecular forces. Take a look at the images created via the links below.
A fun way to learn!

Y13 Psychologists Take On A Challenge

Y13 Psychologists truly took on a challenge and put their interest in a topic before their reliance on being given materials by teachers when they chose to study BiPolar disorder as a part of their Clinical Psychology topic this year.

Not phased by the lack of information in the A Level textbooks they sought out other reliable sources of information; from documentaries, to medical and charity websites and even undergraduate level textbooks to research a given subject area about their chosen topic in pairs. Once they had done this they designed and delivered some very engaging lessons to their peers, using an impressive range of teaching and learning techniques – including setting and marking homework!

To top it all off they produced their own BiPolar textbooks, taking responsibility for a chapter each and even including possible mark schemes for exam style questions.

Well done Y13 – You set yourself a tough challenge and produced some high quality work as a result.



Work In Progress

Work in Progress

BiPolar textbook

BiPolar textbook

Y9 Product Design

This term our Y9 product design students have been designing and making clocks based on their research of the different design movements.

All the clocks have been drawn by the students using computer aided design software and then cut out using the laser cutters.  I’m sure you will agree that there has been some excellent work produced.