GCSE Results

Congratulations to all our Year 11 students on so many remarkable results!  It was good to see so many of you today collecting your results and sharing in our celebration.  90% of students achieved 5+ A*-C grades and a quarter of the year achieved 8 or more A* and A grades.  Yet again, a testament to hard work, determination and team work from students, staff and parents.

All sixth form enquiries should be emailed to sixthform@simonballe.herts.sch.uk

We will welcome all students back to school on Tuesday 4th September.

Exam success

A fantastic set of A level results have been received today.  I’m absolutely delighted for the students and staff who worked so hard for these successes.   Every A level was passed (100% pass rate) with 36 A* grades and 60% at A*-B (our best ever results).

I am very pleased that students have gained prestigious places at Cambridge University, the Central School of Speech and Drama and other top universities to study Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry.

Performing Arts Festival 2012

The Performing Arts Festival was held recently and was a hugely entertaining and successful evening.

Beane House opened proceedings with a parody musical of ‘Twilight’.  They used drama techniques well and a special mention should go to the narration and the excellent use and choice of appropriate music throughout.

Ashbourne House followed this with ‘The Very Unmerry Adventures of Robin Hood’ – excellent characterisation throughout and well choreographed dance numbers.

The third entry was Lea House with their version of ‘Beetlejuice’.  Strong, committed performances from all with a good use of drama techniques particularly in the juxtaposition of the ghosts and the estate agents.

The showcase ended with Rib House presenting ‘The Wizard of Oz’.  There were clever and inventive use of props, hall and stage space.  The use of drama techniques was consistent and appropriate with particularly strong stage pictures and physical theatre.

After much deliberation the overall winner’s trophy was awarded to Rib.  Special mention must go to Ellen and Tamsin for a fantastic directorial debut.

Beane – Twilight

Ashbourne – Robin Hood

Lea – Beetlejuice

Rib – The Wizard of Oz


Winning House

Celebrating INSET

Learning in school is not just for students and we actively promote Life Long Learning for all our staff.  To this end we held 5 Inset days during this academic year and covered a diverse range of topics including: 

  • The new Ofsted framework and its implications on lesson planning.
  • Teacher research projects
  • ICT as a teaching and administration tool

From our extensive range of audits and professional feedback a personalised Inset package is already being planned for the next academic year.  All this training has a direct impact on the quality of teaching and learning throughout the school and as a result every student will benefit.

Ruth Bate Award 2012

I am very pleased to congratulate Harry and Emily on being given the Ruth Bate Award for 2012.  This is given for personal achievement, commitment, creativity, participation, enthusiasm and assisting others in MFL.

Ruth Bate was a language teacher at Simon Balle school who died in 1989 – the award seeks to preserve the memory and some of the qualities of  Ruth Bate as well as recognising the achievements of a new generation.  The shield and a list of students who have received the award is permanently displayed in the MFL department.

Music events at Simon Balle

At our recent Summer concert over 200 students and adults performed music from classical to jazz, popular to shows. Izzy Mclean, Emily Judd, Tom Hutchison and Ben Gould all performed movements from various concertos to a high standard. It was a truly wonderful evening and one that was so inclusive of all our musical community.  The mayor of Hertford, Cllr Jane Sartin, attended and has written about it in her blog.

We’ve also recently had two singing evenings, a guitar recital and the Rock School gig at the Corn Exchange.  They were fabulous occasions and enjoyed by all that attended.

Many thanks to all students, staff and choir members for all their efforts and to the many parents and members of the community that support these events.  With another excellent crop of instrument grade exam results and the Music Tour to Ghent leaving later this week it remains a busy time for the Music department!

Y12 Buddhist Monastery visit

Our A level RE students recently visited the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery inHemel Hempsteadfor an enrichment opportunity.  They were given a tour of the temple and found out about the daily routines and way of life lived by the bhikkus (monks) and bhikkunis (nuns).  After lunch they participated in a meditation session, realising how difficult it is to concentrate the mind and stay wholly focussed for extended periods.

The students feel that they gained further understanding of the concepts they had learnt in class and enjoyed this valuable and interesting experience.

Year 7 Osmington Bay and Table Tennis evening

We had a fantastic turn out of parents and pupils at our Year 7 Osmington Bay and Table Tennis evening on Thursday 12th July.

We all enjoyed watching the DVD of the pictures and videos from our recent Year 7 trip (that Mr Stobbart had kindly produced) on the big screen in the hall.

Following this, 36 families competed in a table tennis tournament.  After group rounds, quarters, semi finals and a grand final the top 3 prizes went to:

3rd place – Paddy and Mr Hobson

2nd place – Rees and Mr Clarke

1st place – Daniel and Mr Heald

Many thanks to the Year 7 parents for a fantastic evening and for their ongoing support of both their pupils and the school throughout the year.

Megadrive 2012

We had the ‘Megadrive’ team in on Thursday, providing our 6th form students with a hard hitting message about the dangers of driving for young adults. Amongst other groups, the emergency services provided information and talks on various stages of having a car – from how to buy through to what can happen if stopped by the police. The day culminated in a dramatic reconstruction of a road accident involving all the emergency services and a very moving talk from a mother directly affected by a tragic accident.

Thanks must go to Megadrive and the various organisations for delivering such informative and important messages to our young drivers.

Big Bang Science Awards

On Wednesday 4th July eleven Yr 7 and 8 students went to theImperialWarMuseum, Duxford to present their science projects at the Big Bang Science Awards.  The projects included work on using chlorophyll to dye t-shirts, trying to fix a rusty circuit and the affect of oxygen on reaction rates and memory.  The students’ enthusiasm about their projects was commented on by the judges.

Since returning from the event we have been contacted by an ambassador from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to set up a STEM club where the focus is to fix the rusty circuits in order to fix the green power car.  This is a fantastic achievement and we are very proud of our students for impressing the judges.  We look forward to working with the ambassador and improving the project.  Well done to all the students that took part.