Friday 22nd March

Co-headteachers’ welcome

As we dust off our tennis rackets and bring out the cricket pads from the garage we can reflect back at a fantastic term and look forward to an exciting summer term ahead. Although the summer weather is not upon us we are certainly able to benefit from the lighter evenings.

Last week we were pleased to announce the opening of our new MFL block. This is a replacement building for our dilapidated mobiles and they look amazing. We did an official opening with students across our all through school, our MFL department and members of our governing body. A special thanks goes to our Business Manager, Haydn Walsh for his vision and tenacity in pushing this build over the line. This is all part of future proofing and providing the very best learning environment for our teachers and students.

We have had several enrichment activities over the last few weeks. From our Spanish trip in Year 8 and 10, our sixth form in Berlin, our politics students attending as delegates at the Model United Nations to Year 2 on a trip to Windsor. Within school we also had a ‘awe and wonder’ week as our science staff took over the assemblies. It is hard not to be excited about learning opportunities across our all through school!

In the next academic term we again have yet more wonderful opportunities. Year 12 are on work experience for a week, Year 7 are off to Bawdsey Manor and Year 8 and 10 are off to France. There are, as usual,  numerous musical and sporting activities for your children to participate in. We all know the impact this has on mental health and positive wellbeing.

Finally the new term for many will signal the final preparations for the public exams starting as early as mid April. A big thank you goes out for all the hard work by staff in preparing our students to do their very best. Our students have worked really hard and we wish them our very best!

Simon Balle’s Got Talent!

On Monday 25th March, at 6pm, we are hosting our first talent show! We have an array of talent on display, from musicians, to drama performances, dance, and much more! Please come and support our students. 

Tickets are now available through the parent portal and will be on sale until 3 hours before the show. They must be purchased in advance, and are a bargain at just £3!

Go to Make a Booking, then Music Events. Please select the correct event – Talent Show! Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and are unreserved. You will receive an email confirmation.

Library News

There’s lots happening in the library at the moment. World book day was celebrated right the way across the all-through school, our regular Speakers’ Corner and Music Mondays have been taking place, and there’s a host of exciting events coming up to celebrate Easter.

Click on the posters above to see the upcoming events, and then read about everything in the latest Library News blog post.

Please click here for our latest careers opportunity blog. This edition includes:

  • Film
  • Medicine
  • Construction
  • Sustainability
  • University bursaries 
  • Career as a pilot

Sixth Form

Red Nose Day Football – rain or Shine

The annual Sixth Form Charity Football match to support Red Nose Day was another highly entertaining match. We had sunshine, a VAR decision, rain, a dramatic last minute goal, more rain and a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw.

Well done to all the students that participated and thank you to Mr Prendergast for officiating and everyone else that came to support and remained until the very end.

UCAS Excel Trip

Year 12 students had the opportunity to engage with a number of next step providers as they begin to consider life after A Level study at Simon Balle All-through School. Following weeks of enrichment preparing for the event, it was great to see students interacting with universities such as @rncmlive and employers and asking those all important questions as they continue planning their destination after Sixth Form. Our staff enjoyed upskilling themselves and learning more about the opportunities available and making connections with @ucfbuk @unioftheartslondon and the @dysoninstitute to support the careers provision at Simon Balle All-through School.

A Level Politics Conference

A Level Politics students attended a conference last week where they heard from a range of speakers across the political spectrum including politicians from Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Reform UK.   The conference finished with the hosts of the Rest is Politics podcast, Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell, answering questions from the students about current political events. The speakers touched on so many aspects of our Politics course including whether the voting system for general elections needs to be reformed, policy differences between political parties and the protection of human rights within our political system.

Year 12 Next Steps Evening

On Thursday 21st March we held our ‘Next Steps Evening’ for Year 12 students and parents/ carers. Annabelle Bullock from Hertfordshire University delivered a talk focusing on University applications, labour market information, improving employment prospects and finance and funding for university applications. We also discussed our internal next steps programme and the support provided to all students in year 12 for apprenticeship and university applications. We hope that the evening was informative and has given our Year 12 students the motivation to start exploring their next steps in more detail. 

Arts Ambassadors

Thank you to all those students who applied to become Arts Ambassadors. We were really impressed with the range of skills and knowledge of different art, craft and design techniques. Congratulations to the following students who will represent the all-through Creative Arts:

Freddie, Chloe, Jack, Alec, Aluna, Albert, Callum, Cara, Gemma, Mya, Isabelle, Eloise, Grace, Sophie, Issachar, Jessica, Csongo, Lottie, Isabella, Carolina, Christina,  Kaiyah, and Lila  – As Larch Arts leadership role.


Look out for the House World Arts Day information via student email next week. This is due on the first day back after the Easter break on Monday 15th April. Arts ambassadors will collect them in morning form in the Larch and any submissions in secondary can be delivered to the main reception before morning form. A selection chosen by the ambassadors will be submitted for the underpasses in the local community.

Science Week

The Simon Balle community had a wonderful time supporting this year’s British Science Week! The theme this year was ‘time’. In the Larch, all year groups were able to participate in exciting assemblies led by Mr Davison and the secondary Science staff, which included some fascinating experiments. Years 3-6 also had a session called ‘Ask a Scientist’ in which Mr Davison was really impressed with the quality of questions and answers. Year 5 also had the opportunity to visit the secondary labs and use bunsen burners for the first time! The Larch Science team are really looking forward to seeing the children’s entries for the Poster Competition, winners will be announced in due course! Please take a look at our social media pages for some brilliant photos capturing all the excitement of British Science Week.

Learning in the Larch – Phase 1

It has been another few weeks of amazing learning in Reception and Year 1!

Reception have been reading the story ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ and learning all about plants. We have even planted our very own runner beans, and will be keeping a diary to record our observations as we watch them grow! We continue to develop our outdoor area and the children have been really enjoying the new resources introduced so far… watch this space for our launch after Easter! The children are learning important skills to carefully look after our resources and how we tidy up responsibly. We hope this continues at home! 

In Year 1, the children have been thoroughly enjoying learning about shape poems, and we have been using our senses to explore fruit to inspire writing our own poems. We are learning all about ‘Who Were the Greatest Explorers?’ in History, and the children have been fascinated by the explorations of Captain Cook, Roald Amundsen and Captain Scott. Finally in DT the children are designing and creating their own ‘fabric faces’, and we have been so impressed by their sewing skills!


If you would like to speak to a member of the SEND team, you can book a virtual appointment of up to 15 minutes with a member of the SEND team, please use the following booking link: Booking link

STEM Update

Last week we launched the Industrial Cadets Programme for Year 9 students. Industry mentors from Glaxo will be coming in every Thursday to support students with their projects. Students have chosen the following project titles: My school is an island and A theme park for the future.

A group of Year 12 students have built a drone with a falcon attached, which is designed to deter seagulls from visiting the school grounds. Below are some images, illustrating their work to date.

If you would like to get involved, please come to S8 on Thursdays after school, 3:10pm – 4:10pm.

Secondary Dinners

From Tuesday 26th March we will be sending out automatic alerts on ParentPay every Tuesday and Thursday for students with a dinner money balance in arrears.

Students’ accounts are allowed to be overdrawn by £5.40 (equivalent to a meal deal for two days) to give two days’ grace for account balances to be topped up. If you do receive an email alert, please make sure that you top up your child’s account as soon as possible to ensure that their account is in credit.

If you would like to receive low balance reminders before your child’s account becomes overdrawn, you can set this up on your individual ParentPay account on this link (requires logging into your account before clicking the link). Instructions on how to set up low balance reminders can be found on the ParentPay website by clicking on the ‘Help’ link at the top of the screen, then choosing ‘Managing Your Account’ in the knowledge base, and then choosing ‘How to set alerts’.

PE News

It’s been an incredibly busy March already for Sport and PE, with still many more fixtures to go. We have had much success across Football, Netball, Basketball and Rugby as well as a ‘This Girl Can’ trip and the continued great work from our Year 9 and 10 Sports Leaders. 

This week we have had our Year 10 Girls play in the County Netball final against Herts & Essex School. There are 3 teams in District Football finals with the Senior team still in with a chance of reaching another final. The Year 7 Boys Basketball team are currently unbeaten in the District league with one game to play.

We’ll be publishing our Easter Sports Blog on Thursday, and this will include Inter House Sports results, an update on the District Swim Championships, as well as next term’s Sports extra-curricular programme.

Parent Staff Association

Slice of Summer – Raffle donations needed!

Our summer and winter raffles have been tremendously successful over the years.  We are looking forward to launching the summer 2024 raffle next term but need your help.

Are you or your company are to able to donate a prize or sponsor the raffle?

Previously, we have given away ipads, spa days, hotel stays, gift vouchers, afternoon teas and lunches, theatre vouchers, experiences, uniform vouchers and more.

Please get in touch if you can help us!

Slice of Summer, 13th July – Sponsor search

Is your business in the position to sponsor our summer fair?

Does your company offer Match Funding? It is an easy way to boost fundraising efforts!

Can you donate a star prize to the Summer Raffle?  All donations will be well received.

Please email

Interested in taking a pitch at the summer fair? Join our Stallholder Database to express your interest.

Larch Frozen Fridays

Traditionally, each Friday after the May half term, the PSA offers ice cream sales to Larch families.  This is a much enjoyed treat for the warmer months but can only happen with a good number of parent helpers.  If you are able to support sales on a Friday between 3-3.30pm, please sign up to a slot via this form. 

Thank you in advance.

Dates for your diary

A full calendar of events can be viewed on the school website.

  • Monday 25th March:  Simon Balle’s Got Talent 
  • Monday 25th March: Years 3,4,5 and 6 Cross Country at Hertford Rugby Club
  • w/b 25th March: House sports
  • Thursday 28th March: last day of spring term (finish at normal time)
  • Monday 15th April: first day of summer term (start at normal time)
  • Tuesday 16th April: Y8 France trip
  • w/b 22nd April: Y12 Work experience
  • Tuesday 23rd April: Y8 parents evening (virtual)
  • Wednesday 24th April: Gym and Dance display

Wishing everyone in our community a happy Easter

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Rachel Kirk and Mr Michael Moss (Co-headteachers)