Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 25 Sept 2023

Posted: 25th September 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

I can’t quite believe we are already four weeks into the new academic year. It has been an absolute pleasure observing the girls settling into school life and seeing them thrive. Over the next few days, I will miss seeing them, the staff and many of you at morning drop off as I will be at the annual IAPS Heads’ Conference. I relish this time as it gives me the opportunity to speak to other Heads from all over the country and beyond and moreover, to reflect on our current practice in order to continue to make the school experience for the girls even better. This year, I am particularly looking forward to listening to lectures and seminars to learn more about creating cultures of thinking, the future of artificial intelligence in schools, and developments in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

At Channing, we promote the concept of being life-long learners to girls and the staff. Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for staff is something that we greatly value. In addition to providing a comprehensive In-Service Education and Training (INSET) programme at the beginning of each term and at our weekly staff meetings, we encourage our teaching and support staff to attend professional development courses so that they continue to strengthen their knowledge and understanding. After all, as the educational landscape changes, teachers shift from being ‘gatekeepers of education’ to ‘choreographers of learning’ (The Future of Education Report, Google).

As I said at our Welcome Evening, we have become a Tooled Up Education school. This is an excellent resource for parents, as well as teachers, so we can all continue to learn together. The Tooled Up Team create evidence-based resources, including videos and papers on all aspects of parenting, education and family life, eg. about neurodiversity and sleep. You will be invited to the virtual Parent Launch on Wednesday 11 October 6-7pm (save the date) and will have access to the resources from Tuesday 31 October. I also recommend subscribing to the founder, Dr Kathy Weston’s, Wednesday Wisdom emails. 

Last week, she wrote an excellent article: Mistakes and Mattering which resonated with me as many of the girls at school (and in fact I still do as an adult!) find it disheartening when they make mistakes. To learn more about Developing a Growth Mindset, I would recommend listening to this talk by Carol Dweck. At home, you can support and promote the concept of having a Growth Mindset and ‘I can’t do it…yet!’ by encouraging the girls to be resilient like Resilient Robin and persevere like Perseverance Squirrel.  As Dr Kathy Weston wrote: ‘We have all made mistakes, but what did we learn from them? Mistakes are part of learning and also lead to innovation, improvement and betterment. Without them, we may never progress or move forward. Without them, we could and would never try harder, focus more, stretch or challenge ourselves.’

To all our families observing Yom Kippur, ‘G’mar chatimah tovah’.

With warm wishes

Miss Dina Hamalis 

Head of the Junior School 

Calendar & Events

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.

European Day of Languages

Tomorrow is European Day of Languages. In tomorrow’s Form Time, the girls will learn more about this special day in a presentation shared by Miss Jimenez and Mrs Eliad (Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Leads). At home, why not challenge your family to greet each other using a different European language each day. To continue the celebration of languages at home this week, ask your daughter(s) to share what they have learned to continue to champion a lifelong love of language learning.

Key Stage 2 (Year 3 - 6) Recital Evening

Your daughter is warmly invited to perform in the first Key Stage 2 (Year 3- 6) recital evening of the year. Please fill in the form by Sunday 1 October. This is a popular event and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Mrs Munro, Head of Music will be in touch on Monday 2 October to let you know if your daughter has secured a spot in the programme.

ABRSM Practical Music Examinations: APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

We will be holding practical music examinations on Monday 4 – Wednesday 6 December for candidates in both the Junior and Senior School. These examinations are also open to candidates who have practical music tuition outside of school, provided their teacher has stated that they are ready to take an ABRSM practical examination this term.

We need parental consent before we enter candidates, therefore parents need to complete the online form by 4pm on Thursday 12 October at the latest. Regrettably, we will be unable to process late applications.

Harvest Festival Collection

We will be running a Harvest Festival collection for Food Bank Aid from today until Monday 1 October. 

Food Bank Aid is a charity which supports over 30 independent food banks across North London by collecting, sorting and distributing food, toiletries and household items to over 16,000 people, including more than 5,200 children. There has been a significant increase in people attending food banks, with rising energy and food prices coming into effect, and they need our help!

We are delighted to help support such a worthy cause. We feel strongly as a school community that we should help raise awareness of food poverty and engage particularly with our pupils about social responsibility, but most importantly help those families who are really struggling.

Parents’ Evenings

All Form Teachers (Reception – Year 6) will host appointments with parents to share academic and pastoral news about how your daughter is settling into her new form early in the year; her mental and emotional wellbeing; her organisation skills (including homework); behaviour; and friendships. Form Teacher meetings, for the Autumn Term, will take place on:

  • Tuesday 10 October (in person 4:15 – 7pm)
  • Wednesday 11 October (online 4:15 – 7pm)

These ten minute appointments will be in person (on the first day), or online (hosted on Schoolcloud) and booked on a first come first served basis.

We have six Specialist Teachers, who teach across the entire Junior School. As such, Specialist Teachers will be available to meet with parents of KS2 pupils only this term. Reception – KS1 meetings with Specialist Teachers will take place in the Spring Term. If you choose to make a booking with a Specialist Teacher, they will provide an academic overview of your daughter’s effort and attainment since the start of the academic year. Specialist Teacher meetings for KS2 pupils will take place on:

  • Tuesday 10 October (online 4:15 – 7pm)
  • Wednesday 11 October (online 4:15 – 7pm)
  • Wednesday 1 November (online 4:15 – 7pm)

Two further evening dates, in November, will be released for KS2 appointments with Specialist Teachers only once the dates above are taken. If you wish to book an appointment with a Specialist Teacher, but notice that the appointments are all taken, please click to join the waiting list with that Specialist Teacher. Following this, you will be allocated an appointment later in November which you will be able to amend on Schoolcloud after Tuesday 1 November. Meetings with Specialist Teachers will be five minute appointments hosted Schoolcloud and booked on a first come first served basis:

  • Miss Bolton (3F, 4W, 5K, 6D ~ PE)
  • Mrs Castle (3E, 4K, 5S, 6B ~ PE)
  • Mr Fellows (Year 3 –  Year 6 ~ Art & DT)
  • Miss Jimenez (Year 3 –  Year 6 ~ Spanish & French)
  • Mrs Lynch (Year 3 –  Year 6 ~ Drama
  • Mrs Munro (Year 3 –  Year 6 ~ Music)

The school has introduced a new intuitive and easy to use online appointment booking system: Schoolcloud. This allows you to choose your own appointments for online and in-person Parents’ Evening appointment times with teachers and you will receive an email confirming your appointments. We are confident this will be an improvement to the previous system and welcome any feedback.

The booking system will be open from 8pm this Thursday until 8pm on Friday 6 October. Should you wish to make any changes after this date, please contact the school office. 

Further details will be provided via email tomorrow morning, including a short guide on how to add appointments. Please check your inbox carefully. 

Autumn Term Clubs

Club Information

Thank you for your patience whilst we established the club programme for the Autumn Term, which is full of fun and exciting new activities for your daughter(s) to try. The programme started today and we are thrilled with how many pupils are participating in the many activities on offer this term. To double check which club your daughter will be attending, please see the Parent Portal, SchoolBase. If your daughter’s club is not listed, it means that she has been added to the waiting list due to that club being oversubscribed and she has not secured a place for this term. Please be mindful that many of the clubs this term were very oversubscribed and, therefore, places were limited. If a space does become available, and you are on the waiting list, you will receive an email from Miss Bodell,

All sport clubs require trainers (Hockey Club also requires shin pads, socks and mouth guards). If your daughter does not have PE on a day she is attending a sports club, please ensure she has trainers in her school bag. The exceptions to this are: Ballet, Gymnastics, Street Dance and Karate, where your daughter will need to have appropriate leotards or PE kit to change into for the class. 

Please note that as from today, we are no longer able to add or change your daughter’s club choices. If your daughter misses the same club for three consecutive weeks, we will be in contact as her place will be given to someone else. If this is an external club, you will still be charged for the full block of sessions for the Autumn Term.   

Whilst waiting for a club to start, pupils attend Waiters (you do not need to sign your daughter up to this), where they will be provided with a snack and collected by the Club Leader at the start time for their club. Collection for all clubs will be at the main iron gate. Please wait for your daughter outside the gate, in the same way as dismissal.

Teaching & Learning News

Using Research-based Evidence to Help you Support your Child

Evidence suggests that one of the most powerful things a parent can do to assist their child’s academic development is having clear homework rules. These 45 Positive Phrases to Say to Your Child at Homework Time by Dr Kathy Weston are an excellent starting point. This week, we use this post from Inner Drive and their infographic to suggest 10 simple things you can do to help your child with their homework.

Channing Association News

Fundraising Update

The Pre-Loved Uniform Sale last week was the CA’s first fundraising event of the academic year, raising an incredible £1,885 and demonstrating commitment to sustainability and waste reduction. Thank you to Ms Sue Wan (Y3E mum) who led the team of volunteers to sort and re-sell uniform items! 

Funds raised by the CA are allocated to three core pillars: supporting the girls, fostering a sense of community amongst Channing families, and raising money for charitable causes

Quiz Night: Wednesday 27 September (7pm)

There is still time to buy tickets for the Channing Association Quiz Night. Join for an evening of questions, curry, drinks and socialising. You can buy individual tickets and be allocated to a table or buy as a table of 8. Further details are on Classlist.

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.

Fireworks Event

Tickets for our Fireworks Event, on Saturday 4 November, are now available to buy. There is limited availability so please don’t put off buying them as the event sold out in the first week of sales last year.

There will be hot dogs, burgers, Sri Lankan curry and churros available from 5:30 (non-meat options will be available) as well as beer, wine, mulled wine, sweets and glo accessories. Gates will open at 5:30 – 8:30pm with the display starting at 6:45. The DJ and dancers are back this year to help get the fireworks party started.