Teach in Herts Recruitment Fair

teach in herts logo_rgbMembers of staff from Simon Balle will be in attendance at the Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair on Saturday 19th March 2016 between 10.00am and 3.30pm, at Hertfordshire Development Centre at Robertson House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage SG1 2FQ.

This annual event is free to attend and representatives will be available to discuss current and future teaching opportunities.  In addition, a series of informative and inspiring workshops will be running to support you, whether you are entering the profession, progressing your career or returning to teaching.

We advertise all Simon Balle All-through School  vacancies via Teach in Herts as well as using the vacancies page of this website.

In addition, individual advice surgeries will be running, providing personalised support and guidance on being a teacher and information will be available on living and settling in Hertfordshire.The University of Hertfordshire and School Direct providers will also be attending and offering advice on routes into teaching. For full details on the event and to pre-register your attendance, see www.teachinherts.com

A level Maths Warm-Up Challenges

These problem-solving challenges are used to engage and motivate students at the start of their Maths lessons – a sort of ‘warm up’ before mathematical exercise. They require students to apply logic and mathematical skills to a range of puzzles in different contexts. Although they’ve been set to Y12 and Y13 Mathematicians, many can be solved by pupils from Y7 to Y11, parents, visitors and staff too.
Here are the challenges that have been set since the start of the school year. How many can you solve?

If you need some help solving them, ask an A level Mathematician or a Maths teacher.  We are hoping for this to turn into a weekly post – so tune in and exercise your brain!

Y8 Boys Win Rugby Emerging Schools District League!

Y8 Emerging Schools ChampionsFor the second successive season the Y8 boys have won the Emerging Schools District League. After beating all of the other teams in the District, the boys put on an impressive display to beat John Warner 31-7.

After a slow start, conceding a try, the boys turned it around and scored 5 tries. The man of the match was Arthur Baker, who scored 2 tries and forced many turnovers.

Websafe Wednesday #2

Safer Internet Day yesterday saw the launch of a new programme by Google to encourage safer internet usage by young people.  Clicking on this link takes you to a story on the BBC News website about young people and social media.  It highlights the need for the education and guidance which is provided in school as well as the importance of parents engaging with their children about social media use at a young age.

websafe wednesday 2 social mediaThe recent e-safety meeting for parents included discussion of many social media platforms and which caused the greatest level of potential concern.  The presentation from the meeting is available on the e-safety section of the school website.

Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram are all banned from our school iPads and are not accessible using the school WiFi even if installed on phones.  Phones with 4G/data bundles can obviously access them.  We stress the very positive aspects of social media usage at school, but also the potential issues that can arise; encouraging students to ensure they adopt appropriate protective behaviours.

What social media networks are your children using?  Regularly chatting to them about their usage makes the topic less difficult and artificial, as I am sure most of you already know.

We will be providing further opportunities to discuss and explore e-safety issues in the future.  The details to access the online e-safety module have been sent out to all parents who responded.  Please contact the school using admin@simonballe.herts.sch.uk if you had requested access and have not received your details.


Cross Country Achievements

Cross Country SuccessWell done to Y11 student Jacob F as well as Trixie W from Y8 who both finished in the top 25 at the Hertfordshire Schools Cross Country Championships on Saturday at St Albans.

Conditions were tough with strong winds as all the athletes climbed the two big hills on the course. Jacob ran consistently well to hold his top 25 position against some strong opposition. Trixie ran well and wasn’t far off the top 10.  With another year still in this age-group the future looks very bright for Trixie.

Well done to both athletes.

Spine-chilling Writing

Spine ChillersBefore Christmas some of our  Y9 students entered a creative writing competition. They wrote a Mini-Saga, creating a spine-chilling story in 100 words. This was a popular nationwide competition and standards were high with thousands of entries. Winning stories were selected for publication based on imagination, perception, expression and creative use of language

Four of our students: George Jones, Anna Beaven, Joel Pattison and Emma-Jayne Belsey have been successful and have been given the opportunity to have their mini-saga published in an anthology.

The anthology: Spine-Chillers – The Spooky Truth will be sent to the British Library and further libraries across the UK and Republic of Ireland, providing a lasting record of their achievement.  We will also be sent a copy for our school library.

Well done to George, Emma-Jayne, Anna and Joel – a great achievement.

Y12 Mathematics Problem Solving Day

Please see below a report from Y12 student Dominic Rugg-Gunn regarding a recent Maths trip to Cambridge University:

On Monday 11th January, 5 students went to the Centre for Mathematical Studies at the University of Cambridge to attend a problem solving conference. There were about 20 schools at the event with 4-5 students from each school. Y12 maths CambridgeThe majority of students are taking maths and further maths, so naturally the problems were astronomically difficult! However, there were 6 staff from both the Cambridge Problem Solving Centre and the Further Maths Support Programme.

The staff were great at not giving us the answer which, although infuriating, was incredibly good motivation to us all. There was one such problem which seemed impossible at first, but after 20 minutes of playing around with the numbers it transpired that only simple trigonometry was needed and the answer just popped out!

Y12 MathematiciansThe day began with a short lecture by a maths professor from Essex University, who  demonstrated some of the techniques we would need for problems later in the day and talked to us about university maths courses. Following this there was a carousel of 3 activities, all of which were much enjoyed by the 5 of us.

Overall it was a great day out to Cambridge University with many difficult problems for us to try and solve.

Speaker’s Corner – Holocaust Art Project

Well done to Y12 student Chloé Lake who delivered a very professional presentation to students last Friday in the Library. She spoke about the way in which her Art class had created a picture around the art from some primary-aged students at local Mill Mead School. Students had been hearing about Nicholas Winton’s feat of saving hundreds of Czech children during the Holocaust and the story inspired their drawings.

Following Chloé’s talk students in the audience also described how they had been involved in recent events to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.




Y11 Historians Warm Up For Cold War Exam

In recent History lessons, Y11 have been revising the Cold War in preparation for their upcoming mock test and also their summer exam. Mrs Cowan has created a variety of different resources to make the process more effective and fun, including domino sets where students have to match pictures with descriptions.

The post-it note timeline game was also a useful way of remembering when key events occurred, as students are required to know the chronological sequence of Cold War events. It also gave the students an opportunity to test their knowledge against one another.

Y11 cold war revision 1Y11 cold war revision 2Y11 cold war revision 3


7N Model Cells

7N cell models 17N were given the homework task of creating a model cell which they had studied in class. Students produced fantastic models ranging from specialised nerve cells through to cakes modelling leaf palisade cells. The whole class put amazing effort into their models and deserve lots of credit for the time and effort they put in. Take a look at a selection of photos to check out the outstanding models. There are so many more.
7N cell models 4
7N cell models 2

 7N cell models 3

Look out for some of these models in science week!