Friday 10th May

Co-headteachers’ welcome

The sun has finally made an appearance and it is a wonderful coincidence that it was this week that our year 7 students visited Bawdsey Manor. I’m sure that each and every one of them will have made fantastic memories and will have stories to tell their families and those of us back at school.Today when walking around the Larch and secondary phase popping into lessons, listening to student discussion, debate, enquiry and having ‘light bulb’ moments I start to think about what it is like to be a child at Simon Balle All-through School? What is it like on a day to day, month by month and over the course of their education. We have such a strong curriculum which builds and reinforces knowledge and we look to enhance this experience by our wide enrichment opportunities. Currently the trips committee are plotting what opportunities are on offer in each year group and it is lovely to see the variety of experiences.

It is certainly the time of year where we are now heavily involved in staff recruitment in a climate where nationally it is hard to recruit teachers and support staff. We are passionate about our students receiving a broad and ambitious curriculum and maintaining the highest quality teaching. I am well aware that the biggest asset we have are our students who sell our school by acting as ‘tour guides’. As they take candidates into lessons and walk the corridors they always speak about the calm atmosphere and the focus on learning. The relationships between staff, students and parents are certainly key to our success!

This week I have enjoyed attending Larch assemblies, listening to our students playing fantastic music in assembly, handing out lots of sport certificates and recognising students for living our values. 

As many of our students near their public exams it was fantastic to attend the Year 13 final assembly. The array of costumes under the guise of film and TV characters was amazing and everyone took part, even the sixth form staff! It was surreal to share the school hall with the Mario Brothers, inflatable dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, Buzz Lightyear and a hotdog! Spirits were high and it was a fantastic send off.  The sixth form team deserve a big thank you for organising the event. On Friday we will have a similar event for Year 11. 

Next week, exams start in earnest in year 6 (SATS), year 11 and year 13 (A levels and vocational qualifications). The results they achieve in these assessments will celebrate their academic achievements but we are so very proud of the many other ways in which these students have developed. The exams won’t measure the kindness they have shown to their friends, the perseverance they have shown in their sports teams, the confidence they have developed to speak up, the hours of practise they have put in with their musical instruments, the ways in which they have overcome challenges faced both in and out of school, nor will they capture the creativity the students have shown when developing the ability to solve problems. Exams are important as they provide stepping stones to greater things but it is worth remembering just how much our young people have grown in other aspects which are just as valuable.

Young Enterprise Area Finals Trip

On Tuesday 30th April, 7 students from our Y12 Young Enterprise Company went to the University of Hertfordshire to represent Colour2Learn at the Area Finals. The students spoke passionately about their business, their journey and all that they had learned along the way and they showed the school values of responsibility, wisdom and community in leaps and bounds. A special mention to Taylor Arm, who stood solo on the stage to present the company to an audience of over 200 people with charisma, confidence and clarity. The educational colouring books were praised for their innovation and the judges were impressed with the quality of the final product. Colour2Learn still has a few weeks left to trade and so if you would like to snap up a colouring book before the opportunity passes, please email They are £6 each or 2 for £10.

Y10 Trip to Farm Fitness

Last week, twenty-one year 10 boys travelled  to Farm Fitness – voted as one of the ‘best gyms in the world’ by Men’s Health. This was a rewards trip for the students who have been working hard at Mrs Butler’s lunch time fitness club throughout the year. 

The students were put through their paces by the owner Tom Kemp and functional fitness coach MJ and given the opportunity to transfer the skills and techniques learnt at school to some functional fitness movements on the farm. The boys showed excellent resilience and teamwork throughout 4 varied workouts.

Year 5 and 6 update

Year 5 have been thoroughly enjoying the careers talks taking place over the course of the last few weeks. They sparked great conversations and the pupils were lucky enough to hear from an engineer, pharmacist, user experience designer, art curator and someone who works in health economics. 

Year 6 are enjoying their Science lessons – taught by Mr Davison – on Monday afternoons in preparation for their transition into Year 7. SATs revision is well underway and we have been blown away by the effort each and every pupil is putting in. We wish them all the best of luck next week.


The SEND team are pleased that Mrs Gibbins is joining the SEND team as Inclusion administrator. She will be a familiar face to those in the Larch. 

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

The Local Offer has shared an online training session about Autism which is open to parents as well as schools. Level 1 Autism training This covers:

  • some basic principles of autism, challenging some myths and stereotypes
  • the strengths and areas of difference
  • simple reasonable adjustments and strategies for practitioners to consider.

Library news

We’ve got two exciting events coming up in the next month. First we have the return of our popular Disney Quiz on Thursday 23rd May. And then after half term we are very excited to welcome back author Alice Hemming to celebrate the 2024 Paris Olympics and National Writing Day. She will be hosting a Sports Writing Workshop and launching a Diary Writing competition (closing date Wednesday 19th June).

Please speak to Library staff or see the posters in the Library for more information about both events.

Please click here for our latest careers blog

Uniform reminder

As the weather improves, we kindly ask that the children come prepared for the warmer days. This should include applying sun cream before school, bringing a named hat and a filled water bottle.

Please take a moment to review the summer uniform standards by following the attached link

Parent Staff Association

Slice of Summer, 13th July – Volunteers needed!

The Slice of Summer VolunteerSignUp sheet is now open! Sign up today to support your year group.  All student sign ups will be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon Voucher.

  • Prize Table – Year 9, 10, 11 + 6th Form
  • Inflatable Archery – Year 8
  • Ice Cream – Year 7
  • Human Fruit Machine – Year 6
  • Nerf Fruit Splat – Year 5
  • Lucky Lollies/Win a Stanley Cup – Year 4
  • Splat-the-rat – Year 3
  • Teddy Tombola – Year 2
  • Buried Treasure – Year 1
  • Hook-a-duck –  Reception

In addition, other areas that need volunteer cover include: Bar, BBQ Serving, Inflatables, Candy Floss, Admissions, Shortbread Decorating, Bottle Tombola, Pre-loved Uniform.

Frozen Friday – Volunteers needed!

If you are able to support your year group Frozen Friday sale after school, please sign up to a slot.  Stock will be purchased each week, we simply need help running the sales.

  • 7th June – Year 6
  • 14th June – Year 5
  • 21st June – Year 4
  • 28th June – Year 3
  • 5th July – Year 2
  • 12th July – Year 1
  • 19th July Reception

Summer Raffle. Tickets now on sale.

Pay for Summer Raffle tickets, via the PSA website where you can also view the most up to date prize list.

New customers will need to register and wait for admin approval before completing transactions.

After the May half term, secondary orders can be collected from the office and primary orders will be sent home via bookbags.  Just remember to then return completed counterfoils to either school office by 12th July!

21st May – PSA Meeting,

Join us at 7pm on Tuesday 21st May in the secondary library, for our next meeting where we will be reviewing recent and upcoming events. You do not need to be a committee member to attend.

If you’re unable to attend but are able to offer support, please sign up to one of our many volunteer slots – see below!

Hertford Family Pride Day

This weekend (Sunday 12th May, 2-4pm) the Town Council will be hosting Hertford Family Pride Day in Castle Park. You can read more about the event here:

Dates for your diary

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

  • W/b 13th May: Y6 SATS week
  • Wednesday 15th May: Y5 trip to the Barbican
  • Friday 17th May: Y9 Aim High Trip – Festival of Ideas
  • W/b 20th Mat: Larch parents’ evenings
  • Wednesday 22nd May: Y1 animal dress up day
  • Thursday 23rd May: REception Ugly Bug Ball
  • Tuesday 21st May: PSA meeting
  • Thursday 23rd May: Disney Quiz in the Library
  • Thurs 14th June: Sports Writing Workshop lunchtime in the Library

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

Yours sincerely,

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