Hertfordshire Early Years Quality Standard

The team in Reception have been working hard all year towards an accreditation in Early Years. This week we completed our project and received the highest mark, a Gold standard!

Mrs Oakenfull, link Governor Emma Davies and I went to the Hertfordshire Education Centre, where we set up a stall to present the completed project and received a certificate and award.

To achieve the Gold standard I have led a project to develop writing opportunities that will engage all children and enhance their writing abilities. One of the ways we did this was through developing language skills and learning stories in a variety of ways, including the Talk for Writing approach. We also developed our Welly Walks, Tapestry Tasks and outdoor learning.

Wendy Lamb from Herts for Learning said in a congratulatory email “On behalf of the EYQS team and HfL EY team can we pass on our congratulations to you and all of the team involved. We recognise the contribution made by your team, to reflect on their practice, identify areas for development and celebrate successes.”


Dazzling Biscuits!

Y7 students welcomed group leaders from Y1 to their food lesson to learn how to make biscuits, using the “creaming method”. Y1 were eager to find out more as these turned out to be very special biscuits- biscuits that reminded them of the stained glass windows they had recently looked at when visiting All Saints Church. As part of their PRE lessons, Y1 have been learning all about the Bible and how in many churches, bible stories are retold in stained glass windows.

In order to create the illusion of stained glass, crushed boiled sweets are placed in a hole created by cutting the cookie dough. Once baked, the biscuits emerge resplendent in colour, providing a transparency.

The Y1 group leaders then a week later worked with the food technicians, their own teachers and myself to make their own biscuits, this time without Y7 support.  They really enjoyed the making and baking, quite tricky in this hot weather.

Even more they all loved eating their handiwork!

Art Exhibition 2018 Highlights

The end of year Art Exhibition was held in the Larch Centre recently, featuring incredible work from Reception right through to A Level.

Thank you to all those that attended in support of our students, it was a fantastic celebration of the creativity and hard work our students across the whole school put into exploring visual communication and creative media.

Classes across the school visited the gallery with the Art Department and were able to enjoy the inspiring work on show. KS3 and 4 students were able to identify the skills and ideas they are currently developing; an invaluable experience that enables them to see the similarities between their own work and those exhibited. As an all-through school we are so privileged that our A Level and GCSE students have the opportunity to inspire our reception and KS1 students who were amazed by the work on show.

The standard of work this year was outstanding and we wish all of our students leaving us this year the very best of luck, we are so proud of their achievements. Their work will go on to inspire students for many years to come.

Larch Centre Sports Day 2018

On Monday, in scorching heat, the Larch Centre took part in their annual Sports Day.

The children took part in a range of different activities throughout the morning; including an egg and spoon race, sack race, obstacle race, javelin throw, ‘skip to be fit’ challenge and a dressing up race.

This was followed by individual races and a final relay in their houses.  Considering it was very hot the children displayed all our values to get to the finish line!

A big thank you goes to the sport leaders from Y10 who helped all afternoon and did a fantastic job. There could only be one winner of the Sports Day trophy and this year it went to Rib!

Talented KS3 Artists

The Art Department have been blown away by the ‘Portrait of the Year’ entries from Y7, 8 and 9. The quality of work and the range of media our students explored was fantastic.

Due to the outstanding level of work being produced across KS3 our students were given the opportunity to compete for a place to exhibit their work next to the A level and GCSE Art and Design Students.

The vast number of entries have been collected and judged and the shortlisted work will be exhibited at our end of year exhibition on Tuesday 3rd July. Winners will be announced at 6pm during a short presentation.

We look forward to welcoming you to the exhibition and joining us in celebrating​ the creative abilities of students across all phases of Simon Balle All-through School.

Hertford Public Library Staff Visit

Last week we welcomed David Rudd and Linda from Hertford Library who introduced us to the annual Summer Reading Challenge beginning in July. This year the theme is Making Mischief as The Beano celebrates its 80th anniversary. The aim is that young people visit their local library to sign up, borrow and read at least 6 books/audiobooks over the summer and win stickers, a certificate and a medal.

Our Primary students were enthused about this great challenge organised by The Reading Agency each year: some young people are going to sign up for the first time whilst others are keen to try another Reading Challenge. For more information (including how older students can volunteer their support at their local library) please go to https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

Handwriting Award 2018

Last month all of our students in Y2/Y7/Y8 and Y9 took part in the Queen Mother’s national handwriting competition.  To our delight we have just been informed that Y7 student Georgie Robins has been announced overall winner for her age category in this prestigious competition – well done Georgie!

Georgie will be given an engraved Cross pen and certificate as reward for her achievement.  She will also receive a family ticket for the Cambridgeshire Food & Drink Festival later this month.

As a school we have also decided to nominate some students for some in house prizes as there were so many exceptional entries.  So, further congratulations must go to:

Emily Ayres 7R, Ava Meekoms 7B, Lilley Tooley 8R, Ellie Fisher 8L, Adi Sinha 9L and Callum Stern 9R.

Larch Healthy Living

We always love a themed week, it brings the year groups and classes together to share a common theme. This week, we have been learning about our health and what contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Miss Hill joined us for an assembly to teach mindfulness techniques to the staff and children. Throughout the day, the children were able to practise these strategies to be ‘in the now’ and aware of the world around them and their feelings at each moment. Mrs Johnston from the Art Department came to talk about how being kind to others also helps with our healthy mind and lifestyle, and introduced the SBAS Rocks. They have spent the week painting a rock which will be used for the art exhibition before being hid around for others to see, an act of kindness to brighten others day.

Elsie’s mum spent an afternoon with Year 2, leading a meditation session, which the children enjoyed. They relaxed and listened to her soothing voice, the hall has never been so quiet and tranquil! In the same day, Reception had a visit from our Road Safety officer, who taught the children how to cross the road safely. They all demonstrated how they would do this to keep themselves safe.

Skip 2 Be Fit spent the day in school on Thursday, running workshops with each class. John introduced skipping and allowed the children time to practise with the rope that counted each skip. The children were then timed for 2 minutes and the score was recorded. They then had another 2 minutes to beat their score. The children showed such determination and persevered at quite a hard skill. What a fantastic day! http://skip2bfit.com/ The staff also got involved. Now the challenge is on as we begin our journey as a skipping school.

On Friday we learned about balanced diets. Histons Produce Co. came to teach KS1 about the need for fruit (and vegetables) in their diet. They enjoyed using the smoothie bike to blend their own smoothies and tasting new fruits. Reception were joined by Darcey’s mum for a healthy eating workshop. She taught them what it means to be healthy by eating a balanced diet and the importance of a colourful plate.

We have had a fantasticweek!