School CLOSED Monday 11th December

Please note that the decision has been made to close Simon Balle All-through School on Monday 11th December due to the severe weather experienced over the weekend.  We expect to be open Tuesday as normal.

The Y11 mock exams that were due to be sat on Monday 11th will be rescheduled.

What Happened To Father Christmas?

Please read this important post on events in the Larch Centre this week!


On Monday the children walked into the playground to find Father Christmas’ sleigh broken. Presents were everywhere and there were snowy footprints left. Oliver was the first to the scene and described the event as ‘the best experience of his life’.  We held an emergency assembly to gather all staff and pupils to discuss what they thought had happened. The children came up with lots of great theories but we decided that we didn’t have enough evidence to know what had happened. All we knew was that Fathers Christmas was somewhere without his sleigh or presents! We headed back to our classroom to get to work on finding out what really had happened.

Lots of pupils made lost posters for Father Christmas and his reindeer, and put them all around school in the hope that someone would be able to help in the search for Father Christmas. Pupils were sent out to gather all the presents that had been scattered across school to hopefully return them to their rightful owner.

On Tuesday when the children came in, there was a letter from Mrs Claus. She expressed that she was really worried because her husband had not returned to the North Pole, and she wandered if any of the pupils knew where he was. Lots of the pupils wrote letters back explaining what they knew so far, and telling Mrs Claus their theory about what had happened. Mrs Claus had also said in the letter that Father Christmas’ favourite food was lasagne so lots of Year 2 pupils suggested that a plate of lasagne was left out for him.

Day three there was breaking news! Mr Tweed came around the classes to show the pupils the CCTV footage that he had uncovered. It showed a reindeer in Balls Park and Father Christmas hiding behind a tree.  Father Christmas was around, and the lasagne had gone! The children were comforted to know that he had eaten, but were still unsure as to where he was (the reindeer were full up too – Lisa had carrots missing from her kitchen!). Reception went on a welly walk through the wood in the afternoon. They were excited to find some ‘reindeer poo’ and stumbled across some clues. They found Father Christmas’ hat, a reindeer’s collar and a present in a tree. Isla decided that Father Christmas must have been hiding out in the woods. Year 1 and 2 wanted to spread the shocking news further and therefore spent time writing news reports and carrying out interviews.  On Wednesday night, Mrs Oakenfull had been instructed by the Year 2s to leave her iPad out in the hall to try and capture Father Christmas coming to get his sleigh.

However on Thursday we discovered that the iPad had been knocked over and we were only left with a voice recording! We could hear Father Christmas talking about going back to the woods and how he could not fix the sleigh despite all the pieces being there, as he didn’t have the tools. Using all of this evidence, all of the children got to work planning how to fix the sleigh. Year 2 made instructions, Year 1 invented a mode of transport to help him get back to the North Pole and Reception made 3d models of alternate sleigh designs.

The week has ended and Father Christmas has still not returned to the North Pole.

The children asked the D&T department if they could leave their tools for Father Christmas to use. Fingers crossed he will have everything he needs to make his way home. It will be interesting to see what will be left on Monday!


WHtFC CCTV from Simon Balle on Vimeo.


WHtFC news report from Simon Balle on Vimeo.

American Football Star Of The Future?

Congratulations to Jack Stodel who has made the GB American football team. Please read below more information from Jack on this fantastic achievement;

“In October I went to the National Combine which is a scouting event for the best in Britain and performed very well, receiving an invite for the u19 Team GB team where I will be attending trials and then playing teams all around the world such as Russia, Finland, Sweden, Canada, the US etc.

Anyone can play American Football, and my team, the Hertfordshire Cheetahs would be more than happy to welcome anyone. Our Flag Team runs for ages 11-14, our Youth Team for ages 14-17, our Junior Team for ages 16-19 and our Senior Team for ages 18+. More information can be found at and I hope to see as many of you there as possible to join us in what is the fastest growing sport in the UK.”


The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

Our work this half term has been focused on Words for Change and the impact one voice can have. We have looked at a range of people, including Martin Luther King, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai, exploring their speeches and the subsequent change they have created. Y8 have now been challenged to use their voice to make a difference.  Please read the report below by Yasmin W.


“Taking inspiration from our work on great leaders like Malala and her message ‘that the pen was mightier than the sword’ we began looking for ways we can have an impact on the world.   

We are now adding our voices to the thousands who support Amnesty International in combatting serious matters occurring all over the world. Our class has looked to support a range of cases such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is being held on charges of propaganda in Iran, and the case of fourteen men from Saudi Arabia who are going to be executed, because they have been tortured into admitting crimes they say they have not committed. 

On the Amnesty website, you too can TAKE ACTION and sign the petition to stop travesties such as these from happening: 

As Nelson Mandela said, “Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” He is right. We CAN be that great generation if we realise the power of our voices …  “

Y8 Combustion Reaction

8A have been looking at different types of reactions in their Science lessons. In this lesson they were looking at combustion reactions and fire safety. Oil ignites when heated to about 400 degrees Celsius, a lot higher than then boiling point of water. When water is added to the oil fire the water sinks to bottom of the pan because it is more dense than the oil.

The water then instantly turns into steam and its volume expands 1600 times the original amount of water added. The water and oil then have nowhere to go but upwards creating a​​ fireball.

We replicated this on a small scale adding 3ml of water to 20ml of burning oil and here is the video of the result.

Y8 Combustion Reaction from Simon Balle on Vimeo.

Volcano Day 2017

Earlier this half term Y8 took part in the annual volcano competition. There were 4 different categories that students could enter; volcano cake, model, volcanic explosion or a piece of artwork.

Y8 stepped up to the challenge with 170 students entering the competition. Every year the geography department is delighted to see the creativity of Simon Balle students and this cohort did not disappoint. Some of the highlights included a volcano doorstop and a model made from volcanic rock which was collected on holiday in the Canary Island. It was excellent to see students making links between the tectonic hazards unit they have been studying and bringing it to life through their work.

Later on in the day 8N gave the reception students a guided tour of all of the volcanoes. The reception students built upon the terminology they had been learning, using words such as explosion, lava and magma. This gave Y8 the opportunity to develop their leadership and had the opportunity to show their understanding what the different parts of a volcano are and how they work.

Well done to everyone who was involved, especially Emma Whiteland, the overall winner. Please take some time to look through the pictures below, you will see the quality and variety of the entries!



SBAS Word Of The Month – December

You will remember last month we introduced our Word of the Month – explaining in an effective and enjoyable way the critical decoding and vocabulary skills.   For more explanation please use this link to access the November version

Decoding words is one of the key skills so each month we’re going to introduce you to a word and explain why it means what it does.  Please see the poster images below which will be on display in school for December.


House Plays 2017

Please see below the official adjudication by Mrs Cornell and a selection of photos from the House Plays 2017 event.

“Beane opened the show with a strong performance with ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’. A lovely tableau picture  was revealed as this moral tale commenced. Great individual work from Nina Palmer and Chloe Hill and a really special ‘bromance’ between Taylor French and Michael Penson. Some lovely ensemble work from the year 7 servants. Well done to Heather Morgan, Mary Gibbard and Evie O’Connor.

 Rib’s offering was the wonderfully titled ‘Bar Wars-  Return of the Sauce’. An accomplished and confident narration from Sarah Greaves. A big well done to Kallie Batchelor and Anna Beaven who had strong vocal strength and convincing characterisation. A delightful first appearance in House plays from Sebastian Fioravante and Bella Baker. Very well staged and appropriate use of music and dance. Good work from Cam McLeod, Mack Isaac and Alfie Mayes.

A rousing chorus introduced the Mimram Crew. Here we saw strong off-text confidence and  effective audience participation. Nice ‘god’ work from Max, Lola and Keira and an impressive ‘Ajax’ routine from Paul Busby and Ewan Dowton. A very special mention needs to go to Ewan Dipper who performed his song brilliantly. Mega well done to Jacob Whitelegg-Spavin who drove this epic project ‘solo’.

Next was Ashbourne tackling the well known story of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, with Directors Ronnie Jackson and Meghan Johnston using a combination of stage performance and sound track from  the 1939 film. Here we saw a confident performance from Grace Stanbrook as Dorothy and a super trio of Scarecrow (Emma Robinson), Tin Man (Rowena Carr) and a well observed cowardly lion (Harry Palmer). A special mention to ‘Toto’ – the amazing ‘flying’ dog!

New house was our penultimate performance with ‘Into The Woods’. A fabulous and confident cast who were well choreographed and really well staged. The whirlwind arrive of Dawa Karko as the wicked witch is worthy of a mention as is the delightful engaging performance of Cinderella by Tilly Maynard. Acapella marvelous from Jacob Broadwood and an impassioned song from David Burnside. Great fun as the bodies stacked up at the end. Well done to True Meischke and Rebecca Burnside.

 Our evening was rounded off nicely with Lea House’s ‘Shrek’. A large cast with notable performance from Harry Moore as the energetic and ‘irritating’ Donkey and from James Milroy as the menacing Lord Farquar. Some clever double casting with the two Princess Fionas – who both performed really well. Clever covering and embracing of  the ‘technical difficulties’.

Well done to both Leah Hawkins and Molly Nesbitt-Larking.”



Best Newcomer = Harry Moore

Best individual performance = Kallie Batchelor

Audience Appreciation = New

Best overall = Rib