Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 4 December 2023

Posted: 4th December 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

The classic novel, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis holds a special place in my heart. I fondly remember receiving a box set containing the series of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ for my ninth or tenth birthday. I spent many wintery days that holiday – I was born exactly a week before Christmas – curled up under a blanket captivated by the magical and imaginative world. I would hope it was to his delight; however, realistically it was probably more to his frustration, that I also insisted to my little brother as we sat in the deep wardrobe full of coats in our family home, that we close our eyes and wish that we be transported to Narnia where we would be greeted with Mr Tumnus, the faun by the imposing landpost.

The stories’ magical elements in the enchanted land of Narnia with talking animals, and the battle between good and evil, created a sense of wonder and excitement for me. So when I heard what the theme was for this year’s Winter Fair I was absolutely thrilled. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Channing Association, in particular the fantastic co-chairs, Mrs Graham and Mrs Taylor, for their exceptional creativity and meticulous organisation that made the Winter Fair on Friday a wonderful success! The magical atmosphere of the world of Narnia truly came to life enabling us to share the joy and spirit of the season.

As the girls ventured through the wardrobe into the enchanted Narnia to visit Father Christmas and his elves, their smiles and laughter created a magical afternoon filled with warmth. The gorgeous reindeer, Dancer and Prancer, were certainly a highlight and The White Witch Cafe was a culinary delight, thanks to the generous contributions of baked goods from many of you. Mrs Mitchell’s beautiful hand-illustrated tea towels and tote bags are now cherished keepsakes, capturing the magic of the Winter Fair. I am truly grateful for the strong sense of community that defines the Junior School. Your continued support and participation in events make a significant difference.

As we continue to embrace the festive spirit, this week promises to be both exciting and joyous. In this morning’s assembly, we all enjoyed listening to numerous musicians including: Breakfast Bells Club playing ‘Bells in the Snow’ and the KS1 choir singing, ‘Percy the Puny Poinsettia’. Furthermore, we were delighted to welcome back Miss Pepper (previous Head of Music) with her colleague, Ms John, from the Camden Music Trust. They explained the charitable initiative that we will be supporting in the new year when we will be raising funds to enable children, who face hardship, to participate in music activities. Through a sponsored Practice-a-thon (our girls practising playing their musical instruments), we will raise money to enable these children to attend weekend ensembles culminating in a performance. More details will follow from Mrs Munro (Head of Music) in the new year.

Numerous festive activities have been organised for the girls to enjoy over the coming fortnight. Please refer to the table below for further details. 

With warm wishes for the chilly week ahead

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.

Festive Activities

Date Activity
Monday 4 December National Tree Dressing Day
Tuesday 5 December Reception & KS1 – Peter Pan Theatre Performance in Fairseat Hall ~ 9:30am – 11am
Thursday 7 December
Christmas Jumper & Christmas Accessories Day (with normal school uniform)
Christmas Lunch
Friday 8 December Winter Celebration, St Michael’s Church ~ 2:15pm – 3:15pm (Parents invited – ticketed event) – see further details below
Monday 11 December Festive themed lessons begin
Wednesday 13 December EYFS Winter Performance (Arundel Centre – doors open at 2pm) 2:15pm – 2:45pm (Parents invited –ticketed event)
Thursday 14 December
Festive Parent Art Workshop (Year 1 only)
Christmas Comedy 4Kids Performance for KS2 2pm – 3pm
Friday 15 December Festive House Buddy Form Time


Arrangements for the Winter Celebration at St Michael’s Church: Friday 8 December

The girls are sounding spectacular and are very excited about singing in the festive season! Please see below for final logistical details for our Winter Celebration this Friday:

  • All girls from Reception – Year 6 are attending.
  • This is a ticketed event. Please ensure you have your tickets on your device or printed out to show the member of staff on the door. Tickets can be booked here.
  • The concert will start at 2:15pm promptly.  Please note that the doors will not open until 2pm. 
  • Please note that no hot drinks are allowed in the church.
  • There is no parking available at the church. The car park will be cordoned off to allow safe dismissal of pupils.
  • Reception and KS1 pupils will be dismissed inside the church.
  • KS2 pupils will be dismissed at the side of the church. Mrs Munro will let you know when forms are ready to be picked up so you don’t have to wait too long in the cold!
  • Be sure to let teachers know that you have collected your daughter so they can be marked off the register.
  • All pupils in Year 1 – 6 do not need to bring in their bags to school on Friday. This will make for an easier time of dismissal and ease crowding in the church.
  • Pupils who are attending Late Owls will be taken back to the school by members of staff.

Food Bank Donations

Thank you to all those families who donated to the first Waterlow food bank drive for the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF). In total, almost 200 items were donated, which will form part of emergency food parcels for those in crisis. The AWTF are currently supporting over 60 families and vulnerable adults, as well as supplying ready meals with fresh fruit and vegetables for over 200 homeless people. Thank you for all your support! 

Next up is Goodwin with their food bank collection running from Monday 15 January – Friday 26 January 2024.

Extracurricular Clubs

Club Arrangements for the Autumn Term

This week is the final week of internal clubs (those run by Channing members of staff). Please note, as 

arranged at the beginning of term, the following external clubs are not running this week: 

  • Monday 4 December: KS1 Gymnastics 
  • Tuesday 5 December: Y3&4 Gymnastics 

External clubs will continue to run as usual next week, with the final club taking place after school on Thursday 14 December. Please note, as arranged at the beginning of term, the following external clubs are not running

  • Monday 11 December: KS1 Gymnastics & KS2 Science 
  • Tuesday 12 December: Y3&4 Gymnastics & KS1 Science 
  • Wednesday 13 December: KS1 Karate
  • Friday 15 December: all clubs cancelled

Spring Term Club Programme

Confirmation of the club(s) that your daughter(s) can attend will be confirmed this week (an email will be sent to you confirming when everything is up-to-date on SchoolBase and is ready to be checked). It is essential that you view the clubs on SchoolBase to ensure both you and your daughter know which clubs they have been allocated for the Spring Term. If there is a mistake and your daughter can no longer make any of the clubs that she has been allocated, please contact Miss Radford straight away as there are many pupils on the waiting list.

Teaching & Learning

Autumn Term Reports

Year 1 – Year 6 Form Teachers and Specialist Teachers are busy completing an academic Autumn Term Report for your daughter. Teachers are reporting on all subjects in the Year 1 – 6 curriculum (excluding PSHE which will be reported on in Summer Term). Separate report grades will be given for: Academic Achievement as well as Attitude and Engagement.

The grades are:

  • Above Expectations
  • Meeting Expectations Securely
  • Meeting Expectations With Support
  • Working Towards Expectations 

The grades will reflect your daughter’s performance at the end of this term – a third of the way through the academic year – in lessons, assessments, homework and her response to feedback. The reports will show your daughter’s standardised score from English and Mathematics assessments taken at the start of the Autumn Term.

What are Standardised Scores?

Standardised Scoring is a method used in education to allow pupils, parents and schools to directly and easily compare performance in different subjects. Standardised Scoring converts each pupil’s score into a consistent scoring system, taking into account the number of marks available, and the average score. The average score for each assessment is awarded a score of 100. Performance above the average therefore results in a Standardised Score higher than 100.

How do I interpret Standardised Scores?

A score of around 100 means your daughter scored in line with the expectations for this cohort in this assessment. A score of significantly above 100 means your daughter scored above expectations in this assessment. A score of below 100 means your daughter scored below the expectation in this assessment.

The below brackets give you a more detailed view of how your daughter performed in each of their assessments at the start of the Autumn Term, relative to expectations:

Following the standardised assessments earlier in the term, Form Teachers and Specialist Teachers have been able to provide adaptive teaching in the classrooms to ensure common misconceptions have been addressed in lessons. Your daughters will have gained targeted advice from their teachers throughout this term in response to these standardised assessments, as well as continuous assessment for learning opportunities built into their lessons. 

We hope the academic Autumn Term Reports will provide an overall picture of what your daughter has achieved at the end of her first full term in Year 1 – 6. Each grade will be accompanied by a concise target for

your daughter to work towards throughout Spring Term. You will be able to access your daughter’s Grade Sheet from 3pm on the last day of term, Friday 15 December, on SchoolBase.

Parental Behaviours & Attitudes

With support from Inner Drive, we are using the most up to date educational research to help pupils, teachers and parents understand the attitudes and behaviours of Fearless Learners and pupils who show bravery like Bravery Mole. Researchers reviewed 36 studies on the effect of parental behaviours and attitudes on childrens’ grades. They then made suggestions about what does and doesn’t work. You can read a simple summary of some of that research here

Tip: Starting simple and small, such as regular conversations with your daughter about her learning and setting clear boundaries about homework and screen time, seems to be a good launchpad for success. Children often learn from what their parents do and not just what they say, so it stands to reason that if we model the desired behaviours (i.e. good reading habits), they are more likely to replicate it themselves. 

Thanks to Inner Drive for their support with this initiative. 

Mindful Driving and Parking

Mindful Driving and Parking

Unfortunately we have had several complaints over the last couple of weeks, in particular about parents parking at the junction of Bisham Gardens and Highgate Hill. This creates a real risk to parents and pupils, as well as members of the general public, who cross the road at this point. Please be mindful of our neighbours, the local community and other members of the Channing community when you drive and park during morning drop off and afternoon collection by driving sensibly and parking legally. In order to help alleviate traffic and parking issues in the village, we offer Early Birds from 7.30am and have staggered collection times. 

It is fantastic to see many of you organising ‘park and stride’ (parking a few roads down and walking), as well as arranging car shares if you live closeby to other Channing families.

Channing Association News

Winter Fair

Thank you to everyone who came to the Fair, and a special thank you to all Form Reps, scrunchie-makers and bakers! We hope you all enjoyed seeing the Junior School be transformed into Narnia, and that your girls had a wonderful Christmassy time. 

£3,400 was raised for Great Ormond Street from the raffle! Thank you to Mrs Jo Latner (2R) for running it! Please contact her to collect any prizes that you may have won. 

Tea towels and totes – if you purchased a Winter Fair 2023 tea towel or tote bag and did not collect it at the Fair, you can collect it from the School Office from Wednesday 6 December. There is still time to buy one here:

Cake boxes/stands can be collected from the School Office.

Festive Cards & Gift Wrap Coming Home Today

Festive cards and gift wrapping orders have been delivered to school, and will be given to the girls by their Form Teacher to take home. Every online order placed has been fulfilled. If you sent in artwork and forgot to place your order online, there may still be time for you to do so. Please contact the organisers directly via email if you have any questions requests: 

Auditions for new Channing Dad Band: Call for Interest

Opportunity for dads to release their inner rock star! Musicians wanted to form a Channing dad band to play cover songs (all genres and tastes of music are welcome). Drummer, guitarists, keyboard player and singers needed. Rehearsals will be once a month with the first gig performed at ChanFest 2024 (The Summer Fair on Sunday 9 June)! Please contact Mr James Taylor (2B dad) if you’re interested. Contact Mrs Imogen Taylor, CA CO-Chair for his mobile number.

Comedy Night: Alexandra Palace Theatre ~ Save The Date

For one night only (20 March 2024), Avalon and the CA present North London Laughs, where some of the UK’s greatest comedy stars will perform a hilarious charity evening to raise vital funds for the Gastroenterology Department at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The star-studded comic line-up will shortly be announced. Tickets will go on sale after Christmas – SAVE THE DATE!