Y1 Letters To Santa

Today our Y1 students have been busy writing letters to Father Christmas. They used magazines to help decide what they would like for Christmas and then carefully wrote letters. As they have been learning to use commas in their writing this week they made sure to include them to the letters.

When they had finished writing, we carefully placed our letters were carefully placed into envelopes and then walked down to the post box. The students are hoping that Father Christmas will read the letters and reply. They had to make sure that writing was clear so that Father Christmas can read it and also made sure a stamp was on each envelope!

Santa Letters 1 2016Santa Letters 2 2016

Accelerated Reader Update

All our Y7 students participate in Accelerated Reader which helps them to choose enjoyable books at a level that is just right for them. They do quizzes regularly and  get awarded house points for each successfully taken quiz. Because the system is automated, it also records the number of words each student has read.

Congratulations to these students in Y7, who through reading and quizzing regularly, have read most words in their form.

AR bits

The Book Nook

Now we are approaching Christmas the ‘book nook’ in the Larch Centre has been sprinkled with Christmas magic.

It has been transformed into a cosy front room with snow falling outside. Children can choose a book and snuggle on a comfy cushion beside the fireplace. They also have an area to write their letters to Santa and post them in the post box.  The children are enjoying this peaceful space where they can enjoy reading independently or with a friend.

The area has been created by the Displays Team and they are currently working on a mini theatre for the students to perform their own shows to one another whilst developing their speaking and listening skills.

The Great Egg Race Launched

Currently our Y7 students are learning about forces. To consolidate this knowledge we have launched our annual inter-house competition ‘The Great Egg Race’. The students make a vehicle which will carry a hard boiled egg across a classroom without breaking the egg. We are looking for style, speed, distance safety and science in the designs.

Below is a taster of designs from 7R. More to come in the New Year!

Book Fair Booms!

Book Fiesta Book FairDuring book week our Library organised a Book Fair through Scholastic which took place in the Larch Hall. Over the course of the day over 500 students visited and spent £1205 in total! It was lovely to see many of our primary students browsing and buying with their parents/carers; there was an attractive display of current fiction and information books.

Thank you to all who came – we have £663 to spend now on books as commission. All our students will benefit from the new stock we are choosing. Well done everyone!

Find Your Own Calm

‘Find Your Own Calm’ is a space that has been created by Mrs Klippel in the sixth form area for students to use when they need a break.

Sixth Form Room of CalmWe are aware that studying for A Levels can be stressful at times – particularly in the lead up to exams. In this space she has tried to create an area where students can sit quietly and take a moment to gather their thoughts.  Colouring-in books and pens have been provided as a relaxing activity and a variety of planners to try and help them manage their time.  The room has subtle lighting and flowers and there are QR codes displayed to enable students to select calming music to listen to. There are also tips for managing anxiety and meditation exercises available also.

We hope the students find this a helpful addition to the sixth form area – just another way in which we look at the ‘whole student’ here at Simon Balle.  There have already been many positive comments about the atmosphere this space creates and the work Mrs Klippel has put into creating it.

Book Fiesta! Chapter 2

Book Fiesta Gill LewisTuesday of book week saw the arrival of children’s author and former vet Gill Lewis from Somerset who spoke enthusiastically to Y7 students about her many books associated with animals. Gill’s latest novel, Gorilla Dawn, considers the selling of gorillas into captivity and students got involved acting out the message. This book is actually one of the chosen titles in Booktrust’s Bookbuzz selection this year.
Book Fiesta Steven CamdenSteven Camden, successful YA author, spoke to our Y8 and 9 students on the Thursday about the craft of storytelling. Students were very engaged in these sessions and afterwards Steven spent some time with our team of student librarians answering their questions and giving them tips on getting published.

Generationext 2016

Generationext 2016Ten Y12 students went to Roche in Welwyn recently to take part in an event called Generationext. The event aims to encourage students to consider a career in medical sciences.
The day started with a lecture from Professor Alice Roberts (BBC2’s The Incredible Human Journey) presenting on the evolution of the human embryo (ever wondered why human embryos have an empty yolk sac which disappears after week four of gestation?) and the development of science through the ages with the theme being ‘complexity from simplicity’.  The middle part of the day involved work shops on career and the wide range of careers available in the medical industry.  Finally the day finished with a lecture from Dr Peter Lovatt who works at the dance psychology lab at the University of Hertfordshire. His research looks into the effect of dancing on patients with Parkinson’s disease and also the how hormones effect our dancing patterns.
The students enjoyed the day and are now considering medical sciences as a potential career option.