Friday 26th April

Co-headteachers’ welcome

Welcome back to the Summer term. We hope that everyone managed to have a restful Easter break and recharge their batteries ahead of what always proves to be a busy term.

Since the term started we’ve already had quite a lot going on: the MFL department have taken 80 students to France, Y12 have been on work experience, Y7 and Y8 have taken part in the UK Maths Challenge, our Y11 and Y13 students have started practical exams in MFL, Art, Textiles, 3D Design and PE, our Early Years team opened their wonderful new outdoor environment for learning and our Year 5 and 6 netballers and footballers reached the district finals – wow!

This week we have been delighted to welcome an inspection team from Ofsted and show them all of the fantastic things that we do at Simon Balle All-through School. We are incredibly grateful for all the messages of support from our community, and the hard work put in by both teaching and support staff across the all-through school over the past few days. However, we always say that our students are the best advert for what we do here, and once again this was the case during the inspection. They worked hard, demonstrated an excellent attitude to learning and truly embodied our Simon Balle Values.

By the time the next newsletter is published, the exam season will be well and truly underway with the written exams starting in the hall, our Year 6 SATs ready to go, and our Y7 students will be on the way back from their residential trip to Bawdsey Manor. And if we’re lucky we might have enjoyed a sunny bank holiday weekend…

Chemistry Olympiad

Year 13 Chemistry students took part in the 2024 Chemistry Olympiad competition. This challenging competition allows students to develop their critical problem-solving skills and test their knowledge in new, real-world situations. All students were successful in gaining certificates, with 55% achieving the Bronze level. An outstanding result for our students.

On Tuesday 23rd of April Year 13 Chemistry students visited the University of Hertfordshire to listen to talks on a variety of analytical techniques including NMR, Mass Spectrometry and Infrared Spectroscopy. Students were able to bring along their own synthesised Aspirin samples for analysing! An excellent day and fantastic opportunity for our students.

Year 12 Work Experience Week

This week, our year 12 students have successfully completed work experience placements across a number of industries with a range of employers including; Thames Water, EY, Roche, Vivienne Westwood, NHS, Hertfordshire County Council, University College London, the Bishop’s Stortford Independent, Handlesbanken, McMullen, Sotheby’s and more.

The work experience process began in September as students joined the Sixth Form. Attending weekly enrichment workshops, students have gained the confidence to engage and connect with employers and professionals. Work experience is a vital part of a student’s development as they prepare to choose a next step destination after leaving Simon Balle All-through School.

We look forward to hearing all about their fantastic placements on their return to school. However, it has been great to hear so much positive feedback from employers throughout the week. 

A huge thank you to all the employers who continue to support our careers programme.

Click here for our latest careers opportunity blog

Larch outdoor area opening

We were delighted to officially open our Reception Outdoor Area this week! After much research, planning and preparation, the Reception team have worked hard to transform our outdoor provision. Their aims were to create an environment that promotes the holistic development of all students, and to ensure the area provides a space that enhances skill development and open-ended play opportunities linked with all seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.

We are proud to have invested as a school in new resources and provision, as well as having a number of resources and furniture designed and built by our Design and Technology Department here at Simon Balle. Our Reception children also helped to paint some of our resources and the fence themselves! They were so excited to start their learning through play outside, and particularly enjoyed our new ‘Larch Reading Hut’ and our stage area! It has been wonderful to see them taking risks, problem solving and being creative and curious learners. We really look forward to seeing this year’s cohort enjoying the new area, as well as our Reception cohorts in the years to come. 

Please head over to Instagram to see photos of the grand opening

Music News

Our musicians have been keeping themselves busy performing at a series of events. you can read (and more importantly hear) what they’ve been up to in the most recent Musical News Blog.


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.The Hertfordshire SEND Local Offer website lets parents, young people and professionals know what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in Hertfordshire, and who can access them.

PSA News

10th May – Doughies Pizza. Order today!

Calling all pizza and cookie fans!

The next Doughies delivery is booked for Friday 10th May.  Any orders for pizza or cookie kits need to be placed via the Doughies website before 4th May.

Click on the link to see the promotional poster: Pizza Evening – Simon Balle.

Summer Raffle. Tickets now on sale.

To pre-order Summer Raffle tickets, visit the PSA website where you can view the most up to date prize list. This will be updated when new donations come in. As always, there are some superb prizes on offer.

Secondary pre-orders can be collected from the office after the May half term holiday.  Primary pre-orders will be sent home via bookbags.  Just remember to return completed counterfoils to either school office by 12th July!

Slice of Summer. Volunteer sign up open.

The Slice of Summer VolunteerSignUp sheet is now open! Sign up today to support your year group.

We are trialling a new sign up process this year, enabling you to view the live volunteer sign up sheet and choose a time and area that best suits you.  Please take some time to carefully read the sign up instructions at the top of the form before committing to a slot.

All student sign ups will be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher.  The more slots filled, the more chances of winning!

We have a limited number of Friday set up Film Club slots available this year.  If you would like to help us set up but have difficulty helping due to childcare, look no further! Staff members will be on hand to keep an eye on your Larch children, so that you can get stuck in.

Larch Frozen Friday. Helpers needed.

Each Friday after the May half term, weather permitting, Larch children (and adults!) look forward to an ice cream sale in the playground.  As always, we can only offer events like this with a good number of supporters to assist with the sales.

This year, we are trialling a new volunteer sign up option where each Larch year group will have the opportunity to host a sale. See attached poster for the year group rota.

If you are able to support your year group, please sign up to a slot.

Library News


Extreme Reading Challenge

Well done to everyone who did the Extreme Reading Challenge during the Easter holidays. A lot of reading was done in unusual places and in creative ways (including a hologram and an action film)!

London Marathon

Congratulations to Mr Townsend for completing the London Marathon last weekend. If you’d like to contribute to his fundraising you can do so by visiting this link.

Dates for your diary

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

  • Tuesday 30th April: Y12 Young Enterprise Finals
  • Thursday 2nd May: Singing Recital
  • Friday 3rd May: Y13 Leavers Event
  • Friday 3rd May: House Reward Event
  • Friday 3rd May: Y3/4 Gymnastics Competition
  • Monday 6th May: Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 7th – Friday 10th May: Y7 Bawdsey Manor Trip
  • Wednesday 8th May: 8N McMullens Visit
  • Friday 10th May: Y11 Leavers Event
  • W/b 13th May: Y6 SATS week
  • Friday 17th May: Y9 Aim High Trip – Festival of Ideas

Wishing everyone in our community a positive and fulfilling fortnight ahead.

Yours sincerely,

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