Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 11 December 2023

Posted: 11th December 2023

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

The term is fast drawing to a close, although the level of activity in and around school is definitely on the increase. Father Christmas’ elves and, by the sounds of it, the elves on the shelves in your homes are busy at this time of year; however, I think it is fair to say that the school staff are even busier! 

With the seasonal festivities well underway, I must express how delightful it was to be part of the Winter Celebration on Friday. It was truly a treat to see the confidence and talent of our girls as they stood up to sing and play musical instruments: a moment to be savoured and celebrated. I extend my sincere gratitude to Mrs Munro for her dedication and hard work organising this fabulous event. I would also like to give special thank yous to Mr Boxall (Director of Music) for playing both the organ and piano, Ms Salzmann (Visiting Music Teacher) for playing the harp and Ms Sheehan (Y1 & Y2 parent) for adding an extra layer of magic with her beautiful singing. I look forward to welcoming Reception parents to the girls’ Winter Play on Wednesday in the Arundel Centre, our purpose built theatre across the road at the Senior School. 

As we approach the end of this term and the year, I wanted to share with you the highlights from today’s assembly, where we delved into the rich Unitarian heritage that defines the ethos of our School. We began our assembly with the Unitarian opening: ‘We gather today with open minds, loving hearts, and helping hands.’ This powerful invocation encapsulates the spirit of our Unitarian School, where kindness, tolerance, respect and inclusivity are the foundation of all that we do.

Channing, founded in 1885 by Miss Emily and Miss Matilda Sharpe, along with the Reverend Robert Spears, has a unique history. In the 1880s, it was uncommon for girls to receive a quality education, but the founders were pioneers, ensuring that girls had the educational support needed to thrive. Our School is named after William Ellery Channing, a leading theologian in Unitarianism, reflecting our commitment to the Unitarian values of free thinking, acceptance and inclusivity.

Our Winter Celebration on Friday was a beautiful blend of traditional carols with a modern twist, reflecting the vibrant and close-knit community we have at Channing. In the programme, you may have noticed an extract from ‘A Sermon by the Rev. Paul Oakley’, emphasising the Unitarian influence on the Christmas traditions we hold dear today. Unitarians played a pivotal role in popularising customs like the Christmas tree, as introduced by Charles Follen, a radical Unitarian minister, and the iconic Christmas carol ‘O Holy Night,’ translated by Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight. The Key Stage 2 girls sang this carol beautifully in the church. 

Our assembly shed light on the Unitarian contributions to Christmas, from Unitarian Charles Dickens’ novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ to the creation of the now-iconic image of Santa Claus by political cartoonist and Unitarian Thomas Nast. Even the beloved Dr. Seuss, a Unitarian, shared the true meaning of Christmas in his timeless work, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’ I very much enjoyed listening to the Senior Team enthusiastically reading extracts from this on Friday. 

In essence, without the Unitarian influence, Christmas as we know it would be very different. It is testament to the lasting impact of our Unitarian heritage on the festive season and the values we hold dear.

As we approach the holiday, let’s carry the spirit of unity, kindness and inclusivity into the new year. Thank you for being an integral part of the Channing community and for your continued support. I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season. Wishing those of you celebrating, a very Merry Christmas! And to families celebrating Chanukah, Chag Chanukah Sameach! And to you all, a Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing you all again in January.

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.

Festive Activities

Date Activity
Monday 11 December Festive themed lessons begin
Wednesday 13 December Music in the Courtyard (8.15am – 8.45am)

EYFS Winter Performance – Arundel Centre (2.15pm – 2.45pm – doors open at 2pm) Parents invited – ticketed event

The girls will be dismissed from the Arundel Centre after the performance. All uncollected pupils will be escorted back to the Junior School at 3pm.

Thursday 14 December Year 1 Festive Art Workshop 

KS2 Christmas Comedy 4Kids Performance (2pm – 3pm)

Friday 15 December Festive House Buddy Form Time

Final Week of Autumn Term Clubs

Please see below for all the clubs running this week: 

Monday 11 December  Tuesday 12 December Wednesday 13 December Thursday 14 December
Reception Ballet

KS1 Ballet

Y4&5 Tennis

KS2 Coding 

Y2-5 Yoga (am) 

Reception Ballet 

KS1 Virtual Reality 

Y3&4 Engineer & Explore 

KS1 Chess 

KS1 Tennis 

KS2 Chess

Y3&4 Multisports 

KS2 Virtual Reality 

KS1 Street Dance

Y3 Tennis

KS1 Football

KS2 Coding

Y3-5 Cooking

KS2 Street Dance

KS2 M:Tech 

End of Term Collection Times

Reception 11:45am (main gate)
Year 1 11:55am (side gate)
Year 2 11:55am (main gate)
Year 3 12:05pm (side gate)
Year 4 12:05pm (main gate)
Year 5 12:15pm (side gate)
Year 6 12:15pm (main gate)

Holiday Camp Opportunity

Please see here (or scan the QR Code below) for the details of Active Day Camp’s Holiday Camp, which is running at Channing Junior School from Monday 18 – Wednesday 20 December. Spaces are still available!

Reminders for the New Year

Please remind your daughter to take home her musical instrument(s) before the end of term. We will, of course, at school too. 

Over the holidays would be a perfect time to ensure your daughter has the correct school shoes for the term ahead (she should not be wearing DMs or biker boots, or trainers unless it is their PE day). In addition, it is an excellent opportunity to restock pencil cases (KS2) with scissors, a glue stick, writing pencils, blue pens and ink cartridges (if using an ink pen), a 30cm ruler, as well as a scientific calculator and protractor (Years 5 – 6 only).

Staff News & Fundraising

Staff News

Congratulations to Mr Carvalho for being appointed as our permanent PE Assistant! He will continue supporting Miss Bolton (Head of Sport) and Mrs Castle (PE Teacher) in lessons and co-curricular activities.


During Sustainability Week, we raised £430.10 for Just One Tree. With your generosity, we have been able to help plant 430 trees and help kelp regeneration in the oceans. Thank you all for your donations to this worthwhile cause.

Autumn Term Reports

Report Information

Year 1 – Year 6 Form Teachers and Specialist Teachers have completed an academic Autumn Term Report for your daughter, 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 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. 

The grades are:

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

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. These are short, clear next steps so your daughter knows how to improve further. You will be able to access your daughter’s Autumn Term Report from 3pm on the last day of term, Friday 15 December, via the SchoolBase Student Portal. Please email if you are unable to log in to the Student Portal.

Challenges & Competitions

Winter Reading Challenge

Winter is the perfect time for snuggling under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and a great book! OurLibrary Leaders have set the girls a special challenge to read four or more books over the holidays. The girls can find the Library Leaders’ awesome book lists here. They suggest the girls read two books from the recommendations on Firefly and two books of their own choice. Pupils who take part will receive a small prize and House points. The challenge runs until 15 January 2024 for all year groups. Happy reading!

Young Art Competition

A reminder that the Young Art competition deadline for entries is Friday 12 January. Artwork must be an A4-sized drawing or painting on the theme ‘Our Living World’. Please ensure your daughter’s name, year group, DOB and a title are written on the reverse before sending them to Mr Fellows (Art and DT Lead). All entries will be exhibited in the Library after school on Monday 15 January before they are sent off for the judging process. Selected entries will be displayed at the Royal College of Art in April.

Birds & Owls

Reminder of Changes to Mini and Late Owls

Sign up forms for Spring Term Early Birds, Reception/KS1 Mini Owls and Late Owls will be sent to parents by email. Once received, please sign up in advance for the whole half term.

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

Reception/ KS1 Mini Owls (After School)
This runs from the end of the school day until – 3.35pm (3.20pm 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 3.35pm (3.20pm on a Friday) at the School Office, unless they are attending Late Owls. There is no charge for this. 

Late Owls (After School)
This runs from 3.35pm – 5.50pm (from 3.20pm on Fridays). There will be structured activities for the girls to take part in and they will also be offered a snack of fruit, soup and a sandwich. Please collect your daughter from the School Office. Charges apply for Late Owls. Please note you are only charged if your daughter attends Late Owls; her time ‘in’ and ‘out’ is recorded and this is added to your termly bill.  

Sustainability: Christmas Trees & Packaging

Recycling Christmas Trees

In the new year, the girls in Forest School lessons will be practising using loppers and bow saws and creating some more wooden items by recycling Christmas trees. If you have a cut tree that you would like to donate from Monday 8 January, Mr Rich and Miss Baker (Sustainability & Forest School Leads) would be very grateful. Ideally they are seeking 10 trees of about 7 – 12 feet. If you can offer a tree and are happy to bring it to the school, email to receive instructions about where to bring it. Thank you, as always, for your support.

Spring Term DT Project: Callout for Festive Treat Packaging!

Please save any Pringles and Twiglets tubes for a Spring Term Design Technology project. Also, please send in packaging with hinged lids, such as tea bag boxes, to Mr Fellows (Art & DT Lead).

Channing Association News

New CA Secretary needed for 2024: please get in touch if interested

A huge thank you to Mrs Agnes Colmer (Y1 mum), who has been the CA Secretary since September 2022, and stands down at the end of this calendar year. The CA are looking to fill the role; if you are interested please contact Mrs Sarah Graham (Y2 and Reception mum) and Mrs Imogen Taylor (Y2 mum), who can share further details.

Parent Volunteers for 4+ Assessments in January 2024

Call for parent volunteers to support the 4+ assessments in January for prospective Reception girls, to answer questions from prospective parents and to help showcase our wonderful Junior School. If you would like to volunteer, please pick a 1-hour slot. You will receive all the info you need ahead of time.

Events: Save the Dates

  • CA Charity Comedy Night, North London Laughs: Wednesday 20 March 2024/ Exclusive first-access tickets to parents will go live in January. The venue is Alexandra Palace.
  • Channing Association Charity Swimathon: Friday Saturday 23 March 2024
  • Summer Fair “ChanFest 2024” – Sunday 9 June 2024

PreLoved Uniform Sale and call for donations - 8:15am - 9am, 25 January 2024

Our next preloved uniform sale will take place in the main entrance courtyard /Drama Studio (weather dependent). Please donate any unwanted uniform ahead of Thursday 25 January, placing washed, bagged donations in the blue bins in the courtyard. Thank you!