St. Helen’s Church of England School Newsletter | 7th October 2022 

Dear Parents and Carers,  

This half term is going by at warp speed – I can’t believe there are  only a couple of weeks left until the holiday.  

Here is a round-up of the last couple of weeks with some key  messages for the year, now we have settled in.  


Firstly, a huge and heartfelt thank you to our wonderful staff and  


volunteer team who go out of their way to provide a rich, broad,  balanced and inspirational curriculum for every child: 

To Mr Wilson, the church warden, for giving his time to open the church up so we can use the incredible space for RE and collective  worship, bringing a sense of awe and wonder.  

To Mr Marlow, our fabulous volunteer, who gives his time to run  Ground Force days each week, helping the children to understand  about stewardship while doing valuable work to maintain the grounds,  as well as supporting our Inspiring Researchers challenge with the  village archive project on enrichment afternoons.  

To Mrs Pirrie and Mrs Thompson for their support in teaching the  children to make bread and soup, again as part of enrichment  afternoon. 

To Mrs Fidler, for organising yet another amazing Appledore book  festival, with not one but two fabulous and inspirational visiting  authors.  

13th October Y6 to Lundy (new  date) 

14th October – Stephen Shield x country 

18th and 19th October – Parent  Consultation 

19th October – Harvest Service in  Church 

20th October – Pound for Panto 21st October - Non-pupil day 1st November – Tempest Photos 8th November – Story Night 11th November – FOSH quiz 

28th November - 5th December  Scholastic Book Fair 

2nd December - Christmas Fayre

To Mrs Larque for running a daily lunch club to support social skills 

To Miss Gale and Mrs Gagg for running a weekly choir and singing club 

To Mr Kent, Mrs Tolley, Ms Boyles and the FOSH team for their efforts to organise fun events to  bring the community together while raising lots of money which goes directly back into  enrichment.  

Honestly, there are so many more people I could and should mention but I hope this small  selection helps you to see how vast and valued our school community is.  

If you are interested in joining Friends of St Helen’s (FOSH), our PTA, please speak to one of the  teaching team.  

Similarly, we also have vacancies on our Local Schools Committee (formerly our governing body),  so if you would like to share your time and talents in that way, please talk to me, Miss Hall in the  office or our chair, Mrs Akam about how you can get involved.  

Now, onto the next cornerstone… 


On the subject of enrichment, I need to say a huge well done to our impressive Young Leaders  who are growing in confidence week after week as they lead the rest of the school in achieving  their Inspiring Challenges. Seeing them reflect on and learn from their successes and challenges  is really inspirational and I love seeing the pride they show when they are able to think creatively  to resolve issues and overcome difficulties.  

Our weekly celebration of the character virtues is one of my favourite parts of the week, when  we celebrate how members of the school community have used their virtues to live out our vision  to Love, Learn and Serve as Inspiring Change Makers.  

The variety of virtues demonstrated never fails to blow me away. From children who are  consistently demonstrating virtues of compassion, empathy, forgiveness, honesty, justice and  courtesy, to those who show aspiration, resilience, creativity, curiosity and more. It is humbling  to see and hear even our youngest children using the language of character.  

We would love to hear how your child is developing their character virtues outside of school so  please do celebrate these achievements with us on Seesaw or in person. No success is too small!  If you’d like to know more about how character development supports and enhances life at St  Helen’s and beyond, please come and speak to me! 

One important element is its impact on the next of our cornerstones…


I am so impressed by the progress I am seeing from so many of our young people. From the youngest children getting to grips with the first phases of their phonics learning; to children  growing their reading age and becoming more fluent with their number facts; and to our oldest  children beginning to tackle the very trickiest concepts that they will encounter in primary school  – it is fair to say that I am super proud of them all.  

Seeing every child making progress from their starting points is the absolute highlight of our jobs  and we celebrate every small step towards success. If you would like advice or guidance on how  you can support this, please tell us the areas you would like to know more about so that we can  make sure our workshops are helpful and well attended.  

One of the things of which I am most proud at St Helen’s is our Courageous Curriculum, which  sits at the heart of our Curriculum 360. It is an innovative, creative, dynamic and enquiry-led  program which the teaching staff have embraced. This new way of thinking, planning and  teaching, and the focus on pupil agency and transformative skills is pretty ground-breaking.  

We would love your feedback. 

Digital and Innovation 

And so to our final cornerstone. As a Trust we are so fortunate to have an infrastructure in place  that means that every child in KS2 has their own Chromebook that they can use at home and at  school. Can we please ask that whenever possible, Chromebooks are charged at home and that  

the chargers are kept safely at home? It is also vital that your child has their Chromebook in  school every day. Setting learning, support and challenge activities via the Chromebooks means  we are able to cater for a wide range of needs in fully inclusive classrooms whilst making  environmentally conscious choices about printing and paper.  

We would love to know how best we can support you to make the best use of this fantastic  resource so as always, please let us know how we can help and support.  

This is quite a lot longer than I had planned so … 

Have a great weekend,  

Bex Northcott


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