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.”


Using Apps For Impact – SBAS Teach Meet

As a part of our Professional Development Programme we held our first ‘Using Apps for Impact’ Teach Meet on Thursday.

It was a great opportunity for members of staff from all backgrounds and levels of ‘i-experience’ to share how they have been using the students’ devices in and out of lessons. The examples shared are clearly having a fantastic impact on progress, engagement, independence and communication and we are all looking forward to trying them out.

The list below shows the wide range of strategies being used across the school.

Thanks to all who came and shared ideas.

Simple Mind
Click View
Google Classroom
Google Sites
QR Scanner
Tiny Scan
Cam Scan

Speaker’s Corner About Our Sister School

Our audience of about 40 students and staff listened with great interest as Miss Rhodes and Miss Wootton spoke about Samba Njabeh school in the Gambia with which we are twinned. Last Easter Miss Riddle (Primary phase teacher) visited the school and led lessons there. At Speaker’s Corner we learned about the setting of the school, how resources are very scarce and how students can only attend in the mornings or in the afternoons as there aren’t enough classrooms, chairs and tables etc. for all who want to attend.

Simon Balle has held a non uniform day recently to raise funds for Samba Njabeh and it is hoped that links between our two schools will strengthen in the months and years to come.  Please take a look below at the powerpoint presentation used.  You can also access a pdf copy of it here.



Interested In Training To Become A Qualified Teacher?

Simon Balle All-through School is a member of the Alban Federation partnership in the area of teacher training. Each year we offer training places via the Alban Federation to train as both primary and secondary teachers with salaries or bursaries available for suitably qualified candidates in many subjects. Applications are scheduled to open on the UCAS website on 26th October 2017, for courses starting in September 2018. Courses are available for both Primary and Secondary programmes.

If you are interested in becoming a teacher and would like to find out more about how to apply and what is involved, we are holding an Open Morning on Saturday 14th October 2017 from 9.30 -12.00 in the Sixth Form Centre at Sandringham School in St Albans. Please feel free to come along and meet current trainees and course tutors. Equally, if you know of anyone who is keen to train to teach, this will be a very useful event for them to attend.

Further details regarding training at Simon Balle All-through School can be obtained by contacting Yvonne Adshead (adsheady@simonballe.herts.sch.uk)

Schools Direct Trainee Teachers Celebrate QTS

This has been our first year of working in partnership with the Alban Federation to train teachers via the Schools Direct route. We had two tuition fee trainees in Science and a salaried trainee in Music who have spent a year training in schools across the Alban Federation to achieve Qualified Teacher Status. We are delighted to report that all three trainees, under the expert guidance of their subject mentors, were successful in being awarded QTS at the recent Awards Evening at the end of June.

Congratulations to David, Olivia and Nick on qualifying to become members of the teaching profession. We look forward to seeing your on-going development over the next few years.

Miss Riddle In The Gambia

During the Easter break our intrepid Larch Centre colleague, Miss Riddle, took a trip of a lifetime to the Gambia.  While there she visited our sister school Samba Njabeh.

We have interviewed her to find out how her trip went. Please take a look at the gallery of photos below – you can read the transcript of the full interview here.


Y9 Garden Green Fingers

The Y9 gardeners have been very productive so far this year.  They currently have a variety of vegetables and herbs on the go.    Amongst the star performers are french beans, aubergines, tomatoes, cucumber and chillies. Most have been grown from seed here in our greenhouse.

The beautiful yellow flower head is Dill.  All parts of this plant are edible; leaves, flower and seeds and it is clearly very happy as it has spread itself all around the garden.  Likewise the Larkspur (purple flower) which is coming up through every crack and crevice in our little kitchen garden.