Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Wednesday 6 Sept 2023

Posted: 6th September 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents

I have very much enjoyed welcoming you and your daughters into school at morning drop off for the last couple of days. It always astounds me how much the girls in Year 1 – Year 6 grow in height and maturity over the summer and I forget how small the new Reception girls (if you can believe it, the class of 2037) are when they embark on their Channing journey.

This morning we went across the road to attend the beginning of year whole school assembly at the Senior School. It was great to hear from Mrs Hughes, our headmistress, and the Year 13 Head Girls, Flora and Imani. I was incredibly proud of the Reception girls for listening intently during their first whole school event as well as for standing up to wave to the Year 13 students, the class of 2024. Our new Year 6 Head Girls, Helena S (6D) and Ruby S (6B) enthusiastically helped me with my section of the assembly. Together, we created ‘A Recipe for Success’ inspired by the popular TV programmes, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and ‘Junior Bake Off’. Donning chefs hats and aprons, Helena and Ruby placed the people in our community (lots of jelly babies) into a large bowl: 1036 pupils across the school, 150 teachers and 70 support staff. We agreed that as a community it is imperative that we work together to make this year as successful and enjoyable as possible.

As I asked the audience, the pupils across the school, what qualities and values they thought would help us to make a fantastic school year, Helena and Ruby added the ingredients (lots of confetti) into the bowl and stirred it into the mix. I was impressed by the excellent array of characteristics that the pupils selected, many based on The Channing Promise and the Channing Characters. We agreed that with time, our recipe for success will make a great school year! Moreover, everyone in the school community will need to play their part.

To find out more about life at The Junior School, please see New Families Booklet. Every summer term, we give joining parents a hard copy. As it consists of many reminders, including The Channing Promise and the Channing Characters, existing parents will also find it very helpful.

Regular readers of the Bulletin will have noticed that we have changed the style so that it is more streamlined and easier to navigate. This is following feedback from you in the parents’ survey regarding communications. We will, of course, continue to celebrate the girls’ many achievements during Monday assemblies. However, moving forward, rather than these being listed on the Bulletin, Girls Enjoying Success Awards will be displayed on the Trilby TV in the main corridor and soon on a new Trilby TV that will be placed facing the courtyard in the entrance area. The girls absolutely love these screens which display notices and achievements. As they walk past they are fascinated to see what will be displayed and who will be ‘famous on the school TV!’

Additionally, we have made significant improvements to the School Calendar and will no longer post a summary of key events on the Bulletin each week. You are able to view the calendar most easily via our Parent Portal here: SchoolBase login. Your calendar view should already be filtered to display The Junior School events and some specific to your daughter’s year group. This is a working calendar so there will be regular updates. I look forward to seeing you all at our first event this term, Welcome Evening on Wednesday 13 September (6-8pm). Please see the details below.

Here’s to a successful and happy new year! With warm wishes
Miss Dina Hamalis

Staff Biographies & News

Latest Staff Updates

Please see this academic year’s Staff List 2023/2024. You can read about the staff and find photos of them on Firefly (please use your daughter’s login details): Staff Bios on Firefly . 

We warmly welcome Mrs Castle (PE Teacher) and Miss Bouterakos (General Teacher), who is covering for Miss Parmar whilst she is 4K’s Form Teacher for the first half of the Autumn Term.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Miss Kalogirou (PE Assistant), who decided to move on during the summer holidays due to her increased daily commute after relocating to Bristol. I thank her for everything she has done for the girls and the school over the last two years. We are in the process of recruiting a replacement PE Assistant to join the staff team; I will update you in due course.

Staff Contact Information

Please find the email contact details of the staff: JS Key Contact information. Please could we ask that your specific query is directed to the appropriate individual and anything of a more serious nature is directed to a member of the Senior Team. Please note that Miss Hamalis needs to approve all requests for absences so please send them via The Junior School office:

In order to prevent unnecessary awkwardness and/or embarrassment, please remember to address members of staff by their title and surname. 

Please be mindful that staff may not pick up emails immediately (teachers will, of course, not be checking emails when they are teaching, running clubs or supervising pupils at break and lunchtimes) and may choose to take time to investigate the matter before responding. However, they will endeavour to answer your queries within 24 hours. Please do not think that a lack of instant response means a lack of interest on the part of the member of staff. 

Please note that staff are not expected to reply to emails outside normal school hours, weekends or during school holidays.  If you have an emergency which needs to be dealt with before school next opens, please email: Please do not send communications or information to or

Useful info for Parents

Drop off & Collection

At drop-off, the main wooden gates will open at 8am (the smaller side gate will not be open in the mornings); all parents and girls can come into the courtyard. The metal gates will be opened from 8am – 8.20am so that the girls will be able to go down to the playground where there will be staff supervising them. Please note that parents are to remain in the courtyard and are not to follow their daughter through the iron gates. At 8.20am, all Form Teachers collect their Form from the playground. Any girls arriving after 8.20am will need to go through the main entrance and sign in via the Office. 

Dismissal at the end of the day will remain staggered with Form Teachers dismissing the girls. Parents collecting pupils in Year 1, Year 4 and Year 6 are invited to gather in the courtyard to pick up their daughters, Side gate collection is for Reception, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 5. Please queue at the smaller door further down the hill on the side of the building. Any changes in collection arrangements should be emailed to the Form Teacher in advance. Anybody regularly collecting your daughter(s) should be added onto SchoolBase via the Parent Portal. 

We do not release children to any other people unless we have had a message from a parent/carer informing us. Please ensure any changes to collection are emailed in advance to your daughter’s Form Teacher. 

Early Birds (Monday – Friday)

Pupils can arrive between 7.30am and 7.50am if they would like breakfast.

After 7.50am, breakfast will not be provided, no admission after 7:55am

Beginning of the day (Monday – Friday) 

All pupils can arrive and be supervised in the playground: 8am – 8.20am

Lessons/assemblies start for all: 8.30am
End of day (Monday – Thursday) End of day (Friday)
Reception (side gate): 3.00 – 3.10pm 

Years 1 (iron gates to the courtyard): 3.10 – 3.20pm  

Year 2 (side gate): 3.10 – 3.20pm  

Years 3 (side gate): 3.30 – 3.35pm 

Year 4 (iron gates to the courtyard):  3.30 – 3.35pm 

Years 5 (side gate): 3.35 – 3.40pm 

Years 6 (iron gates to the courtyard): 3.35 – 3.40pm  

Reception (side gate): 2.50 – 3.00pm  

Years 1 (iron gates to the courtyard): 3.00 – 3.10pm  

Year 2 (side gate): 3.00 – 3.10pm  

Years 3 (side gate): 3.20 – 3.25pm 

Year 4 (iron gates to the courtyard):  3.20 – 3.25pm 

Years 5 (side gate): 3.25 – 3.30pm  

Years 6 (iron gates to the courtyard): 3.25 – 3.30pm  

Welcome Evening - Wednesday 13 September & Parents’ Evenings

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 13 September from 6 – 8pm for our Welcome Evening. We will share information about exciting changes and additions to the curriculum and will introduce our Form and Specialist Teachers, Teaching Assistants and some of our support staff. You will also visit your daughter’s classroom to get a chance to hear more from the year group Form Teachers and Teaching Assistants and to learn about the expectations for the year ahead. 

Parents’ Evenings, with Form and Specialist Teachers, take place throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. At the end of this first half term, you will be able to meet with your daughter’s Form Teacher. This will provide a timely opportunity to discuss your daughter’s well being, how she has settled into her form, her attitude to learning and engagement as well as her achievement in lessons. 

The girls are very lucky to have many Specialist Teachers; they will be available for Key Stage 2 (Year 3-6) academic appointments at the end of this half term and the beginning of next half term. Specialist Teachers will then be available for Early Years & Key Stage 1 (EY & KS1) academic appointments in January and February. 

You will be directed to secure your Parents’ Evening appointments with Form Teachers and Specialist Teachers via SchoolBase. Instructions will be shared to help you to do this in advance.

Lunch Menus

The girls (and staff) are very lucky to have a delicious and nutritious lunch every day. Have a look at the menu options for this term on the website.

Birthday Cakes & Treats

You are very welcome to send in nut-free cakes or treats for your daughter to celebrate her birthday with her form or year group. Please ensure that they are separate cakes or treats rather than a large cake that needs to be sliced. Additionally, please be mindful of the size of cakes; they should be no bigger than a child’s hand. Due to health and safety, please do not send in cake pops. Furthermore, please do not send in treats for any other occasions without prior permission from your daughter’s Form Teacher. 

Absences & Religious Holidays Form

Parents are requested to give advance notice to the school if they intend their daughter to be absent. Please write to Miss Hamalis via with your request. Please complete this form outlining the days your daughter will be absent from school due to religious observance.

Uniform & Items Required

Please ensure that your daughter has returned to school in the correct uniform, either Summer as the sun is shining (up until half term) or Winter. This includes a House coloured Book Bag in Reception – Year 3 or a Channing rucksack (or a dark-coloured rucksack) from Year 3. For girls in Year 3 – 6, we recommend that they have a folder (not ring binder) in which to carry exercise books, printed homework resources and letters from school/home. All girls also need to bring a protective art apron to remain at school at the start of each term. Please see the uniform list on our website: Channing Junior School |Uniform List 2023/2024

All girls need to bring in a named water bottle, sunhat and sunscreen in their school bag. Your daughter should also have a coat at school every day, but please also ensure she has a waterproof jacket, which can be left at school. Please clearly label everything your daughter brings to school.

To help prevent the spread of head lice, if your daughter’s hair is sits below her shoulders, it must be fully tied back using brown, black or Channing blue hair ties, bands and/or clips. No nail varnish, or jewellery should be worn (unless for religious reasons) and only small plain stud earrings are permitted (small hoops or sleepers are not to be worn for safety reasons). Analogue and digital watches are permitted. However, fitbits and smart watches are not permitted to be worn in school.

We also ask that your daughter does not come into school with an air tag in their bag or on themselves. Last term, these were causing disruption in lessons as staff were receiving numerous alerts on school iPads and personal devices. Additionally, they may cause you unnecessary distress as they aren’t always accurate.

PE Kit

All girls have two PE lessons each week and should wear: a house-coloured t-shirt (Reception – Year 2 only), or a Channing PE shirt with the school tracksuit bottoms, leggings, skort or shorts. Suitable trainers must also be worn. 

On the days when your daughter has PE, we ask that she arrives at school in her PE kit. So not to miss lesson or break time, she will remain in her kit all day. It is important that your daughter has a complete change of uniform/kit (including underwear, socks and shoes) at school at all times in case of inclement weather. 

All pupils in Key Stage Two (Years 3 – 6) will participate in hockey lessons. Please ensure your daughter has the correct equipment to allow for a smooth start to the Autumn Term. Here is a list of suggested essential equipment, which can be bought in various shops or online: Gum shield, Shin pads, Socks (Black or Sky Blue), Hockey stick. A stick height guide can be useful; however, this item is not essential.  

A gumshield is essential for playing hockey. As such, your daughter will be unable to participate in lessons without one. Should your daughter arrive to a hockey PE lesson without a gum shield, to ensure she is still able to take part, she will be provided with a new gumshield by the PE Team. The cost of this gum shield will be charged to your school account. 

All jewellery should be removed in PE lessons to minimise the risk of injury. If your daughter is unable to  remove her plain stud earrings because they are new and still healing, please provide surgical tape to temporarily cover them. Please support your daughter by demonstrating how to apply the tape before her first lesson. Pupils in Years 3 – 6 are welcome to bring roll on deodorant should they feel they need it.

Reception - Year 4

Forest School Kit

All girls in Reception – Year 4 will participate in weekly Forest School sessions in our dedicated area. As the girls will be outdoors in all weathers – rain, hail or shine – we need to ensure they are appropriately dressed. Layers are great for keeping warm under waterproofs. All clothing should be clearly named and brought to school in a named backpack. 

Pupils in Reception will begin their Forest School sessions after half term, having utilised the time for independent learning and continuous provision across the first half of Autumn Term. Experience has shown that starting Forest School later in the Autumn Term for our youngest learners enables essential time in the Reception classrooms and outdoor areas for the girls to feel settled and content to make the greatest progress with their learning from the start of the school year.

From the start of term, pupils in Reception – Year 2 should bring named wellies to be kept at school (pupils in Reception utilise these in their outdoor classrooms). Pupils in Year 3 and 4 will need to bring named wellies and clothing to school on their Forest School days and will return home with these on the same day. On the day your daughter/s have Forest School, please provide an extra named plastic bag inside for wet waterproofs:

  • Mondays: 2B and 4W 
  • Tuesdays: 1C and 4K
  • Wednesdays: 3F and 3E
  • Thursdays: 1W
  • Fridays: 1A and 2R
  • Reception To start Forest School after half-term (RecR on Wednesdays and RecM on Thursdays)


To prepare for Forest School sessions, please see the list of items required below:

  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (separates are easier for getting dressed independently)
  • Named wellies (NB: Reception – Year 2 will keep these at school)/ Fleece lined wellies or snow boots for the colder months
  • Long sleeved top
  • Sweater/ hoodie/ fleece
  • Leggings or tracksuit bottoms 
  • Warm socks 
  • A thermal base layer, e.g. Merino wool
  • Hat and scarf
  • Gloves (preferably waterproof, not mittens)

Items can all be ordered from a variety of online shops, including Mountain Warehouse, H&M and  

Reception - Year 2

Junior Duke

Girls from Reception to Year 2 are invited to take part in the Junior Duke Award at home. This encourages the younger girls to work through a range of tasks to earn a badge and certificate at the end of the year. There are a maximum of ten challenges at each stage – some creative and others domestic. These tasks will help to encourage the girls to develop life skills, including developing independence and responsibility (linked to the Channing Characters). 

Reception children can work towards the Bronze ‘Micro Duke’ Award at home, whilst Year 1 pupils can complete the ‘Silver Mini’ Award and Year 2 pupils aim to complete the ‘Gold Mini’ Award. We will encourage your daughters to actively participate; however, it is not compulsory for them to participate. If you would like your daughter to take part in the initiative, please fill in the Google form and her Bronze ‘Micro Duke’ Award challenge workbook will be sent home. Once your daughter has completed a minimum of seven challenges from the Bronze ‘Micro Duke’ Award challenge set, she is welcome to return her booklet to school to receive written feedback from Miss Bolton, Head of Sport, before she is presented with her certificate and badge in assembly.

Year 2 - Year 6

Read, Write, Inc (RWI) Logbooks

Your daughter will soon start to bring home a RWI Spelling Log book. This will be used to store login details for online accounts, as well as to keep a record of any words that she needs to practise more than other words. Every pupil will have different words that they find challenging to spell, so it’s important to keep a log of the ones that they personally need to learn. For each unit, your daughter will record at least five words that she has found the most challenging to remember. Please practise these words with your daughter at home, each week. Your daughter can spell them out loud and/or jot them down. You may want to do it after you have heard your daughter read. Please keep revisiting words from previous pages until you are sure your daughter can spell them readily. No ‘traditional’ type of weekly spelling test lists will be sent home. Please make sure your daughter keeps her Log Book in her bag and brings it to school everyday.

Permissions & Consent

Walking Home & Mobile Phone Consent

For parents of girls in Year 5 & Year 6, please indicate via SchoolBase if your daughter(s) has permission to walk home alone. This can be specified by day or as full consent. Please also provide consent if you wish for your daughter(s) to bring a mobile phone into school. Any personal devices in Year 5 & 6 must be handed to the Office at the start of each day (immediately upon arrival) and must remain there for the duration of the day. Pupils will then collect their mobile phone when leaving school (this could be after normal collection, after Mini Owls, Clubs or Late Owls).

Photography Consent

During your daughter’s time at Channing, we may wish to take photographs of activities that involve her. The photographs may be used for displays, publications and our website/social media by us, by the Local Education Authority or by local newspapers. We require all parents to inform us via SchoolBase whether or not they consent to such use of photography for their daughter(s). 

Families are respectfully advised that they DO NOT have permission to film or take photographs of other people’s children, nor of members of staff.

All photography is strictly forbidden in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

All visitors will be reminded of our policy at the beginning of each event.

Please help us to protect and respect pupils: performances may be stopped if unauthorised photography or filming takes place.

More information regarding photography consent is available in the appendix of the Parent Portal User Guide linked below. 

Please ensure all permissions are completed on SchoolBase by Friday 8 September 2023. Information about how to complete this can be found in the Parent Portal User Guide (click on link). For information on how to access Schoolbase or support regarding SchoolBase, please email:


Social Media

Social Media 

We often publish photos and films or events such as Year Group Assemblies, performances and trips on Firefly, our password secure website. Additionally, we publish photos and films (depending on parental permissions) on our social media accounts. Follow us on: Channing Instagram Account, Miss_Dina_Hamalis Instagram Account, Channing X Account and Channing Facebook Account to see what the girls are getting up to at school.

Birds & Owls


Please find below separate sign up forms for Early Birds, Mini Owls and Late Owls. 

Parents must sign up in advance for the whole half term.

Early Birds (Before School): Early birds booking form

The girls can be dropped off at the office door between 7.30am and 7.55am. Girls will then make their way down to Fairseat Hall, (staff will be available to help the younger girls if needed.) They will be given a healthy breakfast and there are a choice of activities. The girls will stay until their class entry time. Please note that we are not able to give girls breakfast if they arrive later than 7.50am. There is no charge for this. 

Mini Owls (After School): Mini Owls booking form

This runs from 3.10pm-3.50pm (3.30pm on Fridays). The girls will be taken by their Form Teacher after their pick up time. Parents will only be able to collect their daughters from Mini Owls at 3.50pm (3.30pm on a Friday), and no earlier, at the main gate, unless they are attending Late Owls. There is no charge for this. Please be reminded that you will not be able to collect your child prior to 3:50pm if they have attended Mini Owls.

Late Owls (After School): Late owls booking form

This runs from 3.50pm – 5.50pm. From 3.50-4.30pm, activities will be provided on the tables for pupils to choose from. From 4.45 – 5.15pm, there will be a structured activity for the girls to take part in. They will also be offered a snack of fruit, soup and a sandwich. When you are collecting your daughter, please ring the bell to enter the school via the main gates and walk around the outside of the building to the side door of Fairseat Hall. Please remember that you will not be able to enter the school before 3:50pm for collection from Fairseat Hall.

Charges apply for Late Owls only:

  • £6.50 for up to half an hour
  • £11 for up to an hour
  • £17.50 for up to an hour and a half 
  • £22 for up to two hours

Please note you are only charged if your daughter attends; her time ‘in’ and ‘out’ is recorded and this is added to your termly bill.  

Extracurricular Club Programme

Autumn Term 2023

The Autumn Term extracurricular clubs will begin on Monday 25 September. All clubs run by staff will continue until Friday 8 December, with most external clubs running until Thursday 14 December. All information about this term’s clubs will be in next week’s Bulletin. 

Channing Association


The Channing Association will be hosting a parent (and staff!) Quiz Night on Wednesday 27 September. Doors will open at 7pm for an evening of questions, curry, drinks and socialising! Tickets will go on sale later this week and event details are on Classlist. 

The Channing Association is running a second-hand uniform sale on Thursday 21 September at 8:15pm in the Drama Studio or the front courtyard, weather permitting.

Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution

Children’s Storytelling Event

There is a storytelling event taking place at the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution this weekend. Follow this link for more information.