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!


Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week was before half term.  We raised awareness about our innate mental health through mindfulness tips every day, emailed to all students and staff.

Mindfulness is just about noticing and observing feelings, thoughts and physical sensations. Not DOING anything about them, but just becoming more aware.

So the tips included:

– breathing techniques: the simplest thing you can take notice of

– body scan: to become aware of how we feel physically

– sitting and listening: noticing everything going on around us for a minute or two

These tips will be posted around school, as little reminders for us to take a moment to check in with ourselves, especially during the busy exam period

Satur-Dads and Super-Mums 2018

Last Saturday saw another successful Satur-Dads and Super-Mums event in the Larch Centre. Mums, dads, grandparents, staff and children all came along to support the event that was planned and organised by Kelly and Kayla and the other members of the Green Fingers at Simon Balle group. The day would not have been possible without them. It was well planned and organised. Glenn from Willowside Gardens very generously donated plants, planters, compost, bark, manpower and professional advice.

It was a sunny, warm day and an early start at 8:30am. We were all assigned jobs and everyone set to work painting fences, decorating cable reels, digging in a wild area, making a seating area out of a GIANT reel and tyres, planting borders and planting boxes, making a music wall and refreshing the herb garden. The children helped to paint gold balls and stones for a design outside year 1 and others helped Mrs Southall to weed the year 2 beds and clear for new planting.

With the whole community working together, we were able to achieve a lot in a short space of time. Every year, gardens need a spruce up and ours now looks ready for summer with fresh plants filling the planters and borders. It looks colourful and vibrant and the children love the new additions.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who gave up their time on Saturday morning to help at school. You can see from the group photo that the day was well attended and this is evidence of the fantastic community we have here at Simon Balle. Thank you also the cake makers, the donations givers, the material donators and everyone who helped in the preparation stages as well as on the day.  What a turn out… this is our third year of Satur-dads. I wonder what next year will bring!

Royal Wedding

Our reception classes have been interested in finding out more about the royal wedding so we have been exploring it throughout the week. We learnt about the royal family and what usually happens at a wedding. They learnt about the special carriage, traditions and looked at pictures of Windsor Castle and previous royal weddings.

This finished with our very own royal wedding ceremony on Friday. The children planned the wedding, creating everything from the wedding cake to the bridesmaids’ flowers. All roles were covered, including a band, guards, photographers and the entire Royal family.

Invitations were written and sent out so there was quite the audience to witness the special occasion. Let’s hope the real thing runs as smoothly!

Views From Above

We have been going through some of the old records of the school and thought it was worth sharing three photos of the school which show how we have expanded over the years.

The first, black and white, shot was in the 70s after the swimming pool and sixth form/humanities block were added.  The second was most likely taken during the late 70s or early 80s and the last one was once we expanded to an All-through School.

Lots of changes but also the main layout remains and the school has been refurbished extensively!

*Many thanks to Miss Craik (former pupil and current staff member) for identifying the dates more clearly for us.*

2018 Gym and Dance Showcase

On Monday the PE department hosted the 2018 Gym and Dance Showcase. Students from our  primary phase had the opportunity to watch and be inspired by the hard work and talent of our very own Simon Balle Gymnasts and Dancers.

The show began with our Y1 and 2 gymnasts performing a fantastic routine to The Greatest Show. This was followed by over 20 routines from Y7-13 students displaying some excellent solo, duet and group performances. The afternoon boasted wonderful variety from ballroom to bollywood, from hip-hop to tap.

Our gymnasts and dancers have been choreographing and rehearsing routines since January, which were executed brilliantly in the show. Students displayed professionalism throughout the afternoon and were a credit to the school.

Thank you for all students involved in performing, Harry Crystall and Josh Childs who did a fantastic job with the stage, music and lighting, and staff that helped to organise and set up such a fantastic afternoon.

As you can see from the photos below there was a lot of energy in the routines!

Larch Centre Speed Stackers

It was lovely to welcome back alumnus Lee Norton last week. He is a national champion in his sport of Speed Stacking.

Lee did an assembly with the children where he told them when he started to do speed stacking and how many hours and years of practise it takes to become national champion. He then gave us a demonstration of his moves and the children and adults couldn’t believe how fast he could do it!

This links with our values and Lee said that you have to be determined and show lots of perseverance. The children had the opportunity to then have a go at some of the moves that Lee showed us and it was clear to see we may have some speed stackers in the future who are all up for having a go to beat Lee’s record.

Thank you to Lee for inspiring the children!