Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 11 Sept 2023

Posted: 11th September 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

As a school, we view the girls’ pastoral care as paramount and we place great emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, giving the girls the vocabulary to talk about their feelings via our Emotional Management Programme: Kimochis. I strongly believe that if the girls are happy, they will learn best and thrive. We continue to review and extend our provision. Following the recommendation in our last ISI inspection in 2022, we have been exploring further ways to ‘enable pupils to feel confident to communicate any concerns to school’ by developing a culture of active listening amongst staff. 

There was a fantastic atmosphere in Fairseat Hall this morning as we all gathered together for the first Junior School assembly of this academic year.

I took the opportunity to remind the girls how all of the staff in school will support each and every one of them, to help them to learn, but also to make sure that they feel safe and heard. I emphasised that if they ever feel worried about something happening at school in lessons, in the playground, during clubs, or Birds and Owls, or at home, they should come to speak to one of the adults who they trust and respect at school. Talking about things that they are worried about can help them to feel better. 

Together we explored who the girls can speak to which included: their Form Teacher, a Teaching Assistant, a Specialist Teacher or our Welfare Assistant, Mrs Ryan. I introduced the key members of our Safeguarding Team: Mrs Brant (Head of EY and KS1), Miss Kitsis (Head of KS2) and Mr Entwisle (Deputy Head), who are all Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSLs), explaining that they support me as the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to try to ensure that all of the girls in school feel safe and happy. I reminded the girls that they can always – and often do – speak to me. They can pop into my office at break time, or lunchtime, or speak to me when they see me around the school. I was impressed that lots of the girls had already spotted the new Safeguarding posters that are displayed around the school as reminders.

The real sense of community at Channing is one of the many things I love about my job. Since the beginning of term, I have been extremely proud of the older girls. When I say older, I mean starting right from Year 1 as they have been enthusiastically supporting the new Reception girls to settle in. Last week, the Year 6 girls had huge smiles on their faces as they greeted the Reception girls at the gate on their very first day. So many of the Year 1 – Year 6 girls have been asking at morning drop off if they can help escort the Reception girls down to the playground. It is amazing to see them embodying the roles of Empathy Rabbit and Responsibility Badger. Whilst, the Reception girls and other new girls, who have joined us this year, have demonstrated bravery like Bravery Mole. 

Our eight Channing Characters – Empathy Rabbit, Responsibility Badger, Bravery Mole, Resilience Robin, Respectfulness Hedgehog, Perseverance Squirrel,

Curiosity Fox and Independence Owl – are now very much embedded into the school experience and will be referred to regularly by the staff and girls. I encourage you to use this key vocabulary with your daughters at home. There is more to come to further reinforce the characters including: signs in Forest School (eg. Forest’s Den), storybooks inspired by the current Year 8 pupils (written when they were in Year 6 explaining why each animal has been related to each characteristic), an animation created by a former Channing Senior School student, and a new role of responsibility (Channing Character Champions) for girls in Reception – Year 6. More details to follow.

Before I sign off, I thought you might like to see our revamped website: especially as the opening film stars a few pupils from The Junior School, many of whom you will recognise.

I look forward to seeing you at our Welcome Evening thisWednesday 13 September from 6 – 8pm

Shana Tovah to all our Jewish Families celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

With warm wishes

Miss Dina Hamalis
Head of the Junior School

Events & School Calendar

Welcome Evening: Wednesday 13 September (6 - 8pm)

Miss Hamalis will lead a talk and introduce the Form and Specialist Teachers, Teaching Assistants and some of the support staff. You will also visit your daughter’s Form room to meet the year group Form Teachers and Teaching Assistants to learn more about the expectations for the year ahead. 

Please note, if your daughter is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 you will be in Fairseat Hall first at 6pm; you will then go to your daughter’s Form room at 7pm to meet the year group Form Teachers and Teaching Assistants.

If your daughter is in Year 3 – Year 6, you will go to your daughter’s Form room first at 6pm to meet the year group Form Teachers and Teaching Assistants; this will be followed by a talk from Miss Hamalis in Fairseat Hall at 7pm.

Please follow the one way system around school (there are signs); there will be staff on hand to point you in the right direction.

Late Owls Collection: Wednesday 13 September

Due to our Welcome Evening, which is taking place in Fairseat Hall, please collect your daughter from the Drama Studio located on the right-hand side near the main wrought-iron gates (rather than from Fairseat Hall).

School Calendar

You can view all events for the year in the school calendar via our Parent Portal: SchoolBase login. Your calendar view should already be filtered to display The Junior School events and events which are specific to your daughter’s year group. 

The ‘School Calendar Parent View’ button shows the complete calendar, which can be viewed by each month, week or day. Events also appear on the right-hand side of the home page under ‘Forthcoming Events’ and the monthly view of the calendar also appears at the bottom of the home page.

ExtraCurricular Clubs: Autumn Term Club Programme 2023

Autumn Term Club Programme 2023

In the new Autumn Term Extracurricular Clubs Programme you will find detailed information about each of the before, during and after-school clubs on offer this term. To ensure that you only sign up for those clubs that your daughter is interested and committed to joining, please read through the booklet carefully. It is essential that you discuss the new and exciting options together. Please note that pupils who play musical instruments must still sign up for their place in our ensembles, with the exception of Piano Trio and String Quartet. If your daughter attends any ensemble during lunchtime, it is not possible for her to attend another lunchtime club on that day. It is also vital to sign up for clubs that your daughter enjoyed last year as there is no automatic rollover for any of our clubs other than Cheerleading Squad

Please carefully consider how many clubs your daughter can attend, avoiding signing her up to multiple clubs in one day, and every day. This term, when signing up, Schoolbase will either add your daughter to the club list, or add your daughter to the Waiting List if the club is already full. This does not mean that you have definitely been put on the Waiting List as the club places will still be reviewed once they close for sign up. 

If your daughter is interested in attending any of the clubs on offer this term, please register your interest on SchoolBase between Wednesday 13 September 9am and Monday 18 September 6pm. After this point, you will be unable to sign your daughter up for any extracurricular clubs. Please read this document carefully, which provides written instructions on how to access the Parent Portal. If you have any trouble accessing the Parent Portal, please contact directly (not the School Office as we are unable to help with technical queries relating to SchooBase). 

Confirmation of the club(s) that your daughter(s) can attend will be confirmed on Tuesday 19 September (an email will be sent to you confirming when everything is up-to-date on SchoolBase). It is essential that you check this list on SchoolBase to ensure both you and your daughter(s) know which clubs they have been allocated for the Autumn Term. If there is a mistake and you can no longer make any of the clubs that you have been allocated, please contact Miss Bodell: straight away. 

All clubs will commence on Monday 25 September, and will run for 9 or 10 weeks, with the final week being Monday 4 December. Most externally run clubs continue to run until Thursday 14 December. Once a place on chargeable external clubs has been confirmed, you will be charged for the block of 10 sessions for the Autumn Term, which will be added to your school bill as all pupils are required to commit to the full block of sessions. If you have signed your daughter up for an external club, you are strongly encouraged to sign up to a club run by Channing Staff that takes place beforehand. If you do not, your daughter will attend Waiters for the duration and will be collected by the Club Leader before the club begins. Please remember that after 4pm, you will need to ensure you sign your daughter up for Late Owls.


If you have any questions about the club programme, please contact Miss Bodell:

Teaching & Learning


(Using research-based evidence to help you support your child)

We commonly get asked by parents what they can do to support their child’s learning. Thankfully, a wealth of research allows us to help answer this. This week and next we will cover 10 top ways to support your child. 

  1. Have high expectations: talk to your child about the importance of school, their attitude towards teachers and their value of education. This study makes interesting reading. 
  1. Maintain communications with your child: ask your child open-ended questions about their day, how they are finding school as well as their short-term and long-term goals. Having a positive and solution-focused thinking style allows pupils to be more equipped in developing a growth mindset. 
  1. Develop good reading habits: research shows that some of the benefits of reading include: 
  2. Improved cognitive development 
  3. A better understanding of the world around them 
  4. Greater concentration 
  5. Improved academic success 

This blog post explains how to support your child’s reading. 

  1. Have clear homework rules: these should help your child better divide their homework and leisure time. Some ways to help your child with their homework include: 
  2. Setting a routine
  3. Having a designated homework space 
  4. Promoting independence 
  5. Helping your child organise their own time 

This blog post explains how to support your child with their homework 

  1. Encourage physical activity: too little exercise can result in reduced memory capabilities, worsened concentration levels and feeling more stressed.Try to encourage your child to make use of the wide range of extra curricular clubs available at school.

Channing Association News

Quiz Night

The Channing Association Quiz Night is on Wednesday 27 September at 7pm. Join for an evening of questions, curry, drinks and socialising! Tickets are now on sale and event details are on Classlist


Pre-Loved Uniform

The Channing Association is running a pre-loved uniform sale on Thursday 21 September at 8:15am in the Drama Studio. Payment is card-only. They would be grateful if you could donate any unwanted uniform in good, clean and wearable condition by next Tuesday (19 September). Please remove your daughter’s name before placing your donations into a carrier bag and then into the blue pre-loved uniform bins in the courtyard at the front of the school.

Channing Association AGM

The Channing Association AGM (across both the Junior and Senior Schools) will be held on Monday 9 October, 7- 8pm, in the Senior School 6th Form Centre. All parents are welcome to join.

Class List

For those new to Classlist, this short ‘how-to’ video guide may be helpful to watch.