Big Win For Y10 Rugby

Y10 Rugby victory Jan17On Monday the Y10 boys played Francis Coombe Academy from Watford in the quarter finals of the County Shield, led by Albert Nwahba. The game was scoreless at half-time, evidence of what a close, hard-fought encounter the game was.

However, Simon Balle came out strong in the second half  – keeping their composure and tactically flawless.  They went on to score 3 tries, with a man of the match performance from Marc Ross-Gardner at scrum half. The boys are now through to the semi-finals to be played before the end of February.

STEM Club Reactions

The members of STEM club have been investing what amazing things we can do with science. This week they were looking at different types of reactions and we demonstrated an exothermic reaction using sugar, bicarbonate of soda and ethanol. When these things react they produce heat, steam and a carbon structure which resembles a black snake.  The students created a time-lapse video of their reaction which shows the ‘snake’ growing out of the dish.

The experiments we have been doing in STEM club have all been in preparation for a student-led project which will start this term. The students will create their own investigation to look at any scientific topic which interests them. If successful the students will get CREST awards and may be entered into nationwide competitions.

STEM exothermic reactions from Simon Balle on Vimeo.

Winter Weather Reminder

‘Closing the school may be the right decision where the judgement is that students or staff face significant risk of serious injury in school or travelling to school.  But remember that every lesson counts and consider whether it is reasonably practical to keep open.’ (DCSF)

The Headteacher, School Manager and Premises staff assess the situation in terms of health and safety. We also consult with other local schools. If conditions pose a significant risk, the school will close. There is a robust system for notifying families which includes –

News of any school closure or part school closure will be made available to parents via the school website,   We will also send email notification to parents and students via the regular ‘InTouch’ communication  system as well as updating our Twitter and Facebook pages.

HCC has a new School Closure Notification System in place that lets parents know when school will be closed in severe weather conditions.  To receive these messages by SMS or email, parents need to register at the following link:  This link will direct you to the “Sign Up” page where you should click on the “sign up” button located at the top right hand side of the page on the grey strip and from there follow the instructions. It should take no more than 5 minutes to register and you can edit your information at any time should you change your mobile number or email address. Each contact within the system can have 2 devices added for each communication type if they wish to – this means that in addition to adding your own mobile number and email address, you could include the mobile number and email address of a partner or a grandparent in your registration process. They too would then receive any messages in relation to the school’s closure. Alternatively, interested parties could register themselves separately. If you have children at more than one school you can register for those schools too in a single registration process by selecting all schools at which you have children. Once signed up you will receive messages relating to the status of your child’s school.

If a substantial amount of snow falls during the day senior staff may decide that the school day should be shortened so that staff and students can leave the site in order to get home in the daylight. School day times may alter – open later, have a shortened lunch and leave earlier.

When we remain open risk assessments will be undertaken to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and all site users. Our premises staff have formulated an action plan which includes clearing and gritting paths and walkways.

There are a number of options which may be adopted, in the case of severe weather, to ensure continuity in teaching and learning for example –

  • Certain classes may be asked to stay at home in a specific Key Stage
  • The school is closed and all students will be given work using ICT, the work will be sent to staff for marking.
  • School is open but there is a reduced number of staff. Classes may be reorganised with priority being given to exam classes
  • For students not on site e-learning may be used. In advance departments will prepare work which can be delivered virtually.

The decision to close the school is complicated and not taken lightly. Hopefully the above will show some of the strategies which will be used in the event of snow.

Headteacher’s Blog

The latest edition of the Headteacher’s Blog has been published and is available here. This time, Assistant Headteacher Ian Finch ponders ‘resolutions’.

Y8 Mathematical Chocolate Boxes

Just before Christmas our Y8 students put a lot of effort into the creation of their chocolate box projects. They had to design and create their own chocolate box, calculating the volume and surface area and creating different nets.  They also looked at marketing strategies, key sales points, pricing and packaging.

They then had to set up a stand for both students and staff to come around and look at their creations, ask questions and decide which of the students’ projects had the best features. We had several winners from each class, the students thoroughly enjoyed creating their boxes and we have some fantastic work produced. One student actually made his chocolate box out of chocolate which was very impressive – well done Jack!

Holiday Information

snowfallWishing all members of the Simon Balle community a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

School will be closed over the holiday period  – staff and students return on Thursday 5th January 2017 (Week 2 timetable)