Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 20 November 2023

Posted: 20th November 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

Since this morning, I have been beaming with pride and humming ‘Greece is the Word’ following the assembly which was performed brilliantly by our talented Year 6 pupils. They transported us back in time to Ancient Greece with enthusiasm, creativity, and a deep understanding of the historical context. They made me feel incredibly nostalgic as I was reminded of my very first year of teaching twenty-one years ago (wow – time flies!) when I was teaching the same topic to my Year 3 form. 

The assembly commenced with a captivating exploration of the political structures in Ancient Greece, with particular focus on the distinctions between Athens and Sparta. The girls, serving as narrators and characters, brought this historical period to life with commendable enthusiasm. The contrast between the disciplined life of Sparta and the democratic principles of Athens was vividly depicted, capturing the attention of the audience. The dramatic entrance of the Spartan soldiers added an extra layer of authenticity to the portrayal, shedding light on the rigorous training and unique aspects of Spartan society. The girls’ performance effectively conveyed the toughness and military strength inherent in this ancient civilization.

Transitioning seamlessly, the assembly then delved into the realm of gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. The girls embodied various deities with humour and flair, sharing anecdotes about their lives and interactions. The portrayal of the legendary Greek heroes, especially the story of ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’, was both engaging and commendable. The courage and determination of Theseus, along with the clever assistance from Ariadne, left a lasting impression.

In their final moments on stage, our young performers expressed gratitude to the audience, highlighting the relevance of these timeless stories. They encouraged their peers to draw inspiration from the strengths and qualities exhibited by the characters, emphasising the enduring lessons embedded in Ancient Greek mythology.

Incorporating History into our curriculum serves several important educational and developmental purposes:

  • Cultural Awareness and Understanding: Learning about history exposes pupils to different cultures, societies and historical events. This helps them to develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity in our world.
  • Critical Thinking Skills: Studying History encourages critical thinking as pupils analyse past events, their causes and their consequences. It fosters the ability to evaluate evidence, make connections and draw informed conclusions.
  • Contextual Understanding: History provides context for the present. By studying historical events, pupils can better understand the development of societies, institutions and systems, which in turn helps them make sense of the world around them.
  • Citizenship and Civic Engagement: History education contributes to the development of responsible and informed citizens. It helps pupils understand the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as the importance of civic engagement in shaping society.
  • Teaching Values and Morality: History often presents moral and ethical dilemmas that can prompt discussions about values. It provides opportunities for pupils to explore different perspectives and make judgments about right and wrong.
  • Building a Sense of Identity: Studying history helps pupils develop a sense of identity and belonging. Learning about their own cultural and historical heritage fosters a connection to their roots and a sense of continuity with the past.
  • Developing Research and Analytical Skills: History requires pupils to engage in research, analyse primary and secondary sources and synthesise information. 
  • Promoting Historical Empathy: Through the study of history, pupils develop empathy by understanding the experiences, challenges and triumphs of people from different times and places.
  • Preparation for Future Learning: Historical knowledge provides a foundation for understanding more complex topics in later education. It introduces pupils to key concepts, events and ideas that form the basis for more advanced studies in history and related disciplines.
  • Communication Skills: History involves storytelling and communication. Pupils develop their ability to express ideas clearly, both in writing and verbally, as they discuss historical events and themes.

Having History in our curriculum contributes to a well-rounded education, fostering critical thinking, cultural awareness, civic responsibility and a deeper understanding of the world.

I extend my appreciation to the Year 6 pupils and their Form Teachers, Mrs Davari and Miss Bharucha, for their performance this morning. I look forward to welcoming the Year 6 Parents to watch their daughters in their assembly on Wednesday from 8.30 – 9am. Please arrive no earlier than 8.25am when you will be asked to sign in at the iron gates to be escorted to Fairseat Hall by our Specialist Teachers. 

With warm regards

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.

Sustainability Week: Terrific Trees

Next week, the whole school will be taking part in Sustainability Week. As this coincides with National Tree Week, the focus will be on celebrating nature and trees. During the week, the girls will have the opportunity to take part in the following activities:

Monday 27 November The girls will be watching a video created by the Sustainability Team introducing the week and events.
Tuesday 28 November

Travel Responsibly like Responsibility Badger! 

We are encouraging pupils and staff to come to school in an eco-friendly way. They could walk, scoot, cycle, bus, park and stride or car share. Miss Baker, Mr Rich and the Senior School Sustainability Team will be on the gate to count and congratulate those who do this.

During Buddy Form time, this WWF video will be shared to inspire the girls to create a colourful poster on the theme of ‘Be Kind to Our Planet’.

Wednesday 29 November


We are encouraging pupils and staff to donate £1 or more to dress up in tree colours or as an environmentalist. We would like  the girls to think sustainably and wear clothes they already have. 

All details of how to donate will be in next week’s Bulletin, ready for today’s fundraising. 

Friday 30 November All of KS2 will be assigned the same homework activity which will challenge the girls to make a simple, eco-friendly tree decoration to hang either on one of our Christmas trees, or outside. Reception and KS1 will have the opportunity to do this during the week at school. 
Monday 4 December

National Tree Dressing Day

We will be hanging up the decorations the girls have made on trees around the school.

Winter Celebration: Friday 8 December

Our Winter Celebration takes place in St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, on Friday 8 December at 2.15pm. As space in the church is limited, there is a ticketing system in place. Tickets are available here. Staff and pupils are looking forward to welcoming you for a festive celebration of all things Winter. Thank you for supporting your daughters to review the song lyrics and music shared on this Firefly page.

Late Owls will run after school as normal on Friday 8 December.

Extracurricular clubs will continue to run after school on Friday 8 December. Whilst KS2 Karate is cancelled that day; KS1 MultiSports and Years 3 & 4 Football will continue to run as normal. So that we can plan for the correct number of adults to escort pupils back to school, please complete this Google Form to indicate whether your daughter will be returning to school for her club, or will be collected by family attending the Winter Celebration in St. Michael’s Church. Please complete this form by this Friday 24 November 2023. 

Spring Term Extra-Curricular Clubs Programme

Clubs Programme Information

In the new Spring Term Extracurricular Clubs Programme, you will find detailed information about each of the before, during and after-school clubs on offer next term. To ensure that you only sign up for those clubs that your daughter is interested in 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 some clubs, which have been clearly indicated on the programme, have automatic sign up. If there are any changes to your daughter’s place in this club, please contact Miss Bodell ( immediately to ensure her space is released and available to others. 

Please carefully consider how many clubs your daughter can attend, avoiding signing her up to multiple clubs in one day, and every day. If your daughter is signed up for a lunchtime club, she is only able to attend one, and must commit to the club (rather than choosing to play instead). Similar to last 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 your daughter has 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 in the Spring Term, please register your interest on Schoolbase between Wednesday 22 November 9am and Monday 27 November 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 Schoolbase). 

Confirmation of the club(s) that your daughter(s) can attend will be confirmed the week commencing Monday 4 December (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 Spring Term. If there is a mistake and you can no longer make any of the clubs that your daughter has been allocated, please contact Miss Bodell: straight away. 

All clubs will commence on Monday 15 January and will run for 9 or 8 weeks, with the final week being Monday 18 March for both internal and external clubs. Once a place on chargeable external clubs has been confirmed, you will be charged for the block of 8 or 9 sessions for the Spring Term, which will be added to your school bill. This is because 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, should she be attending after her club. 

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



We value PSHE as one way to support children’s development as human beings, to enable them to understand and respect who they are, to empower them with a voice and to equip them for life and learning. 

Jigsaw is a progressive and spiral scheme of learning. It ensures that learning from previous years is revisited and extended, adding new concepts, knowledge and skills, year on year as appropriate. Parents are encouraged to view the spiral of knowledge and skills progression within each of the Jigsaw units of work, on your daughter’s year group page on Firefly. This information includes the key vocabulary used in each year group and suggestions for Family Learning. 

We include the statutory Relationships and Health Education within our whole-school PSHE Programme; however, this content is not taught until the Summer Term. Further information will be shared later in the Spring Term because “Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory Relationships and Sex Education” DfE Guidance p.17

Puberty is taught as a statutory requirement of Health Education and covered by our Jigsaw PSHE Programme in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle (unit) in the Summer Term. We conclude that sex education refers to Human Reproduction, and therefore inform parents of their right to request their child be withdrawn from the PSHE lessons that explicitly teach this i.e. the Jigsaw Changing Me Puzzle (unit)

  • Year 4, Lesson 2 (Having a baby)
  • Year 5, Lesson 4 (Conception)
  • Year 6, Lesson 3 (Conception, birth)

Ahead of the Summer Term, we will ask that you please inform your daughter’s Form Teacher, as well as Miss Alfaro and Miss Walker (PSHE & Emotional Management Leads) via email if you wish to withdraw her from the specific lessons listed above. 

Health Advice

Head Lice Reminder

Head lice are not serious, but can be very annoying. Research has shown that infections of head lice occur just as often in school holidays as during term time. Despite young children being the most affected, it is a community problem rather than a school problem. As a school, we need to follow the advice as outlined by Public Health England:

  • School nurses should not send out letters informing parents about any incidents of head lice.
  • There is no need for a child who has head lice to stay away from school.
  • Routine screenings/ head inspections should not be carried out at school. 
  • Parents should be encouraged to check their children’s hair regularly using a nit comb on wet hair.
  • Parents should be advised to only treat if live lice are found.

Click the link for further information.

Following this guidance, we do not share information to or regarding specific cases as this could result in bullying and unkindness towards individuals and/or groups or children and/or parents. We do; however, include reminders in the Bulletin in order to remind you to check your daughter’s hair.
If individual parents would like to share information with other parents in their daughter’s form, you are, of course, able to. 

If you are at all worried about head lice, or feel you need more advice, then you should consult our school nurse, your health visitor, pharmacist, or family doctor. Some parents also choose to work with professional nit and lice removal services, who will support you to remove head lice in a clinic or at home. 

We encourage everyone to check their daughter’s hair and treat it if any live lice are found. It is thought that if we all do this three times per year, once every school term, then we will eventually reduce the spread of lice.

Channing Association News

Winter Fair on Friday 1 December: Buy Tickets Now!

Narnia is coming to the Junior School and tickets are on sale! After school on Friday 1 December (no clubs or Mini/Late Owls), the girls with their families are invited to venture through the wardrobe to explore an enchanted Narnia Wonderland, where the children will discover Santa’s Grotto and themes from the beloved story ‘The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe’. We encourage you to enjoy the book or the film with your children prior to the Winter Fair, and look forward to welcoming you for a magical Christmassy afternoon!

– Buy tickets here

Click here to sign up to donate baked goods to the White Witch Cafe

Click here to preorder a 2023 Channing Winter Fair tea towel or tote bag, hand-illustrated by Y3 mum Mrs Nicole Mitchell

– Event details and when your class can visit the Grotto on Classlist here:
Please support your daughter’s form by signing up to help with any prep and to help on the stalls.

Winter Fair Raffle - Tickets Now On Sale!

Buy your tickets for the Winter Fair fundraising raffle in aid of Great Ormond St Hospital, and be in for a chance to win some amazing prizes! Family and friends are welcome – and encouraged – to also buy tickets!

Buy your tickets here and share the link with family and friends!

Prizes include:

Dinner for 4 at Claridges

Tickets to Willows Farm

Coaching session with Freddie Ljungberg, Arsenal and Spurs tickets, signed Pelé & Maradona shirts

Tea party with Miss Hamalis

Tickets to Ed Gamble at Hackney Empire

Everyman Cinema tickets

Spa, Beauty Salon and piercing vouchers

Local pub vouchers

1-2-1 tennis lesson with Mr Entwisle

Gym memberships & coaching passes

Harvey Nichols hamper

1-2-1 Drama lesson with Mrs Lynch

And many more items!