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.

Takeover Day 2017

On Friday 17th November, Simon Balle students were both the organisers and audience for Takeover Day at Hertford Museum. Sixteen Y8s and three Y11s ‘took over’ the museum for the day and ran tours and activities for the general public and students from Y2.

Takeover Day is a nationwide event created by the charity Kids in Museums and Simon Balle students have been participating for a number of years, but this year saw unprecedented levels of interest, mostly from 8B.

Abby, Megan and Emily in Y11 were tremendous ambassadors for the school, running a reminiscence session with older residents of Hertford about their experiences in wartime and the latter half of the twentieth century, and it was great to see different generations sharing their thoughts and memories. The Y8s also conducted themselves with great maturity when guiding the Y2s around the museum and entertained them with stories and facts about the museum’s artefacts.

The Simon Balle students used the event as an opportunity to improve their organisational skills, work as a team, learn new knowledge and take responsibility for teaching others. The day was an unqualified success thanks to their effort and creativity and was greatly enjoyed by students of all ages. Miss Harrison and I were really impressed with their efforts.

Book-Con Chapter 6 – An Excellent Extravaganza

Our sixth book festival was a great triumph with all Reception-Y9 students hearing a published author and everyone in the Simon Balle community invited to at least one event!

Highlights included the annual Library Challenge Awards Evening at our local Leaf bookshop with special guest The Worshipful the Mayor of Hertford, Cllr Mrs Susan Dunkley. Prizes were presented by inspiring, popular author Keren David and we thank Rebecca Pirt from Leaf which generously supported our Festival through Leaf tokens and discounted books in their pop-up bookshops.

Wednesday was a highlight as a whole day was taken by local, creative author Alice Hemming to introduce our youngest children to her picture books and chapter books. Thanks also to self published author Jemima Pett who travelled from Norfolk to be with us and Ross Welford who gave two talks, first to Y8 and then to the wider school community who learned about his personal journey in the fields of media, publishing and journalism.

Thank you to all the parents and students who supported our very successful Book Fair (more details to follow) and to staff who helped the week run smoothly.

Book-Con illustrated how here at Simon Balle reading is at the heart of all we do.

EduTech Newsletter Autumn 2017

Welcome to the first of many half termly newsletters that the schools EduTech department will be sharing with you.

This first one outlines a little bit about the EduTech department and their roles within the school along with our ambassador team, some useful tips and also a link to our recently launched EduTech Hub!  You can either click on the named link below or view the ‘Issuu’ document at the bottom.

EduTech Autumn Newsletter 2017


Remembrance Ceremony 2017

As has now become tradition, the whole school paused today to mark the sacrifice of war.  As the school gathered, our Brass Ensemble played Abide With Me, O Valiant Hearts and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

After an introduction by Mr Moss, Head Boy Harry Ingram read ‘In Flanders Field’.  This was followed by Head Girl Molly Robinson reciting ‘A Poem For Armistice – Remember Me’.  The ‘Ode of Remembrance’ was read by Mrs Saunders before The Last Post was played by Mr Nunn. After an impeccably observed 2 minute silence, the formal part of the ceremony was closed with the playing of Reveille.

Students went to their period 3 lessons listening an amazing performance of  ‘I Vow to Thee, My Country’ by the Brass Ensemble.


Remembrance Ceremony 2017 from Simon Balle on Vimeo.