Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Tuesday 9 January 2024

Posted: 9th January 2024

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

Happy New Year 2024! I hope you all enjoyed a joyful festive season with your loved ones. Personally, I had a wonderful time cherishing moments with my family and friends. A special highlight was spending time with my newborn nephew, born on 27 December. I find myself amazed by his accomplishments already and eagerly look forward to engaging in playful activities, reading and learning with him. While I navigate the joys of being a doting aunt, I am ever committed to being a teacher, and I hope my brother and his partner approve of my dual responsibilities.

The holidays also provided an opportunity to reconnect with my parents, who returned from Cyprus, brimming with excitement to welcome their first grandchild. This reunion evoked memories of my own  childhood, filled with shared moments of play and exploration with my brother, surrounded by the toys and books that shaped our early years. 

Reflecting on my childhood, I recall my love for nursery rhymes and a treasured book that fuelled my imagination for hours. This interest was heightened when I discovered a fascinating connection to ‘Little Miss Muffet,’ who, as it turns out, lived near my childhood home in Hertfordshire. Learning about her stepfather, Dr. Thomas Muffet, a renowned entomologist, added a delightful twist to this familiar rhyme. This discovery sparked my interest in the history of other nursery rhymes, prompting me to delve into research that may soon find its way into an assembly for the girls. 

It’s surprising that nursery rhymes have fallen out of favour, as they play a crucial role in supporting language and communication skills, building confidence, and preparing children for the challenges of reading and writing.

Today marked the happy return of the Year 1 – Year 6 girls, and it was delightful to see many of you at the school gate. I eagerly anticipate the return of our Reception girls next week and enjoyed meeting prospective Reception children for the upcoming academic year. Our activities with them certainly incorporated a touch of rhyme and rhythm!

As we embark on this new year together, I wish you and your families a prosperous and joy-filled journey ahead. May 2024 be a year of growth, learning and shared accomplishments for our school community.

With warm wishes on this chilly day 

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.

'Young Art' Competition Exhibition: Monday 15 January

All of the girls’ submissions for the Young Art competition will be exhibited in our Library on Monday 15 January 3.00pm – 4.30pm. Artists who have entered are welcome to come along after school to view their artwork with their family. Entries will then be sent off for judging and those selected will appear at a special exhibition at the Royal College of Art in April.

All artwork must be brought into school by this Friday and sent to Mr Fellows. Entries should have the artist’s name, year group, DOB and ‘Channing Junior School’ clearly displayed in block capitals on the back. This year’s theme is ‘Our Living World’ and artworks should be an A4-sized painting, drawing or print. 

Good luck to all entrants!

Year 6 Junior Entrepreneur Project (JEP)

In Design & Technology, Year 6 pupils are embarking upon their JEP journey where they learn all about how small businesses are run and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We are looking for a parent volunteer to come and talk to pupils about their experience of being an entrepreneur and share some pearls of wisdom with girls before they start up their own class businesses. If you are available on the morning of Monday 29 or Tuesday 30 January, and could spare two hours (to deliver a presentation to each of the Year 6 classes), we would love to hear from you.

In addition, if any business-minded parents are free to act as a ‘dragon’ in our Dragon’s Den event where groups of children pitch their ideas, then please get in touch. This will happen on the morning of Monday 19 or Tuesday 20 February.

If you can help with either of these events, please contact Mr Fellows (DT Leader) as soon as possible:

Brew Monday: Monday 15 January & Tuesday 16 January

‘We say it’s time to stop this myth about Monday being ‘blue’ and instead start a conversation over a brew!’ On Monday 15 January, we will be taking part in Brew Monday 2024, an initiative created by the Samaritans. To connect as a school community, parents and guardians are invited to share a tea/ coffee in the Drama Studio at drop off (between 8.00am and 8.30am). Once your daughter has said goodbye and has headed down to the playground as usual, you are encouraged to warm yourself with a hot drink and have a catch up with each other. Please note that any charity donations are voluntary. 

On Tuesday 16 January, we will be extending Brew Monday to our House Buddy Form Time, where the girls will have hot chocolate and a natter with their buddy. For this special treat, please can your daughter bring a mug of her choice to school on Tuesday 16 January.

Year Group Assemblies

We are delighted to be able to welcome parents of Year 4 and Year 3 pupils into school to watch your daughters in their Year Group Assemblies this term. They will be performed, in Fairseat Hall, to pupils and staff on Mondays and to parents onWednesdays from 8.30am-9.00am. To watch your daughter’s performance, 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. 

The dates of the Year Group Assemblies this term are: 

  • Year 4 Year Group Assembly – Wednesday 28 February
  • Year 3 Year Group Assembly – Wednesday 15 May

Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will have their Year Group Assemblies in the Summer Term. More details to follow.

Parents’ Evenings

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

  • Tuesday 30 January (in person 4:25 – 7pm)
  • Wednesday 31 January (online 4:25 – 7pm)

These ten minute appointments will be in person (on the first day), or online (hosted on Schoolcloud on the second day) 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 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 only this term. KS2 meetings with Specialist Teachers took place in the Autumn 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 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2  pupils will take place on:

  • Wednesday 31 January for all Specialist Teachers (online 4:15 – 7pm)
  • Thursday 1 February for all Specialist Teachers (online 4:15 – 7pm)
  • Tuesday 6 February for all Specialist Teachers except PE (online 4:15 – 7pm)

One further evening date, in February, will be released for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 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 February which you will be able to amend on Schoolcloud after Wednesday 24 January. Meetings with Specialist Teachers will be five minute appointments hosted Schoolcloud and booked on a first come first served basis:

  • Miss Bolton (RR, 1A, 1C, 1W ~ PE)
  • Mrs Castle (RM, 2B, 2R ~ PE)
  • Mr Fellows (Year 1 –  Year 2 ~ Art & DT)
  • Miss Jimenez (Reception –  Year 2 ~ Spanish)
  • Mrs Lynch (Reception –  Year 2 ~ Drama
  • Mrs Munro (Reception –  Year 2 ~ Music)

This academic year, we 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 welcomed positive feedback following the Autumn Term Parents’ Evenings.

The booking system will be open from 8pm this Thursday 11 January until 8pm on Friday 19 January. Should you wish to make any changes after this date, please contact the school office. Further details will be provided via email before the booking system opens, including a short guide on how to add appointments. Please check your inbox carefully. Next week’s Bulletin will detail any clubs that have been impacted by this term’s Parents’ Evenings.

Staff Biographies & Contact Information

Staff Biographies

Please see this academic year’s Staff List 2023/2024. A reminder that you can also read about the staff and find photos of them on Firefly (please use your daughter’s login details): Staff Bios on Firefly .

Staff Contact Information

Please find the email contact details of the staff: JS Key Contact information. Please could we ask that your specific query is directed to the appropriate individual and anything of a more serious nature is directed to a member of the Senior Team. Please note that Miss Hamalis needs to approve all requests for absences so please send them via The Junior School office:

In order to prevent unnecessary awkwardness and/or embarrassment, please remember to address members of staff by their title and surname. 

Please be mindful that staff may not pick up emails immediately (teachers will, of course, not be checking emails when they are teaching, running clubs or supervising pupils at break and lunchtimes) and may choose to take time to investigate the matter before responding. However, they will endeavour to answer your queries within 24 hours. Please do not think that a lack of instant response means a lack of interest on the part of the member of staff. 

Please note that staff are not expected to reply to emails outside normal school hours, weekends or during school holidays. If you have an emergency which needs to be dealt with before school next opens, please email: Please do not send communications or information to or

Absences & Religious Holidays Form

Link to Form

Parents are requested to give advance notice to the school if they intend their daughter to be absent. Please write to Miss Hamalis via with your request. Please complete this form outlining the days your daughter will be absent from school due to religious observance.

Food, Glorious Food

Lunch Menus

The girls (and staff) are very lucky to have a delicious and nutritious lunch every day. Have a look at the menu options for this term on the website.

Birthday Cakes & Treats

You are very welcome to send in nut-free cakes or treats for your daughter to celebrate her birthday with her form or year group. Please ensure that they are separate cakes or treats rather than a large cake that needs to be sliced. Additionally, please be mindful of the size of cakes: they should be no bigger than a child’s hand. Due to health and safety, please do not send in cake pops. Furthermore, please do not send in treats for any other occasions without prior permission from your daughter’s Form Teacher.

Curriculum Newsletters, Information for Parents & Recommended Reading Lists

Curriculum Newsletters

The Spring Term Curriculum Newsletters for each year group as well as the Information for Parents documents (shared in the Autumn Term) have been shared on the Year group Firefly pages to view and download; please log in to Firefly using your daughter’s account details. You can also click the document links below:

Early Years Reception
Key Stage 1 Year 1
Year 2
    Key Stage 2 Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Year 6

Recommended Reading Lists for each year group are available to view and download from Firefly. Please remember you can contact the teachers directly if you have any questions or in fact, ask them at the gate when you drop off or collect your daughter(s). 

Spring Term Extracurricular Clubs

Club Information

Our Spring Term Club Programme begins on Monday 15 January and will run until Friday 22 March, with the exception of the clubs below due to essential use of the Drama Studio for the 4+ Assessment Days:

  • KS1 Karate (Wednesdays)
  • KS1 Cheerleading (Thursdays)
  • KS2 Street Dance (Thursdays)
  • KS2 Cheerleading (Fridays AM)
  • KS2 Karate (Fridays)

These clubs will commence on Wednesday 24 January – Friday 26 January and run until Friday 22 March. If you require your daughter to remain in school for the first week, please sign her up to Mini Owls and/or Late Owls in the usual way.  

It is essential that you log onto Schoolbase again to check the day, time and cost (where applicable) of your daughter’s allocated club(s) and which, if any, she is currently on the waiting list for. Please note that once clubs start, we are no longer able to add or change your daughter’s club choices. Please support us in encouraging your daughter to commit to a club and attend every week. 

Additionally, it is important to remember that once chargeable clubs have started, you will be charged for the full block of sessions for this term. If your daughter misses the same club for three consecutive weeks, her place may be given to someone else. If this is an external club, you will still be charged for the block of sessions.   

Please contact Miss Radford,, if you have any further questions about your daughter’s club allocations for this term.

Birds & Owls

Reminder of Changes to Mini Owls & Late Owls

Adjustments to our wraparound care provision take effect from today. 

Early Birds (before school)

Procedures remain unchanged: 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, who are signed up to Mini Owls, will be taken by their Form Teacher after their pick up time where they will be offered a snack and will take part in a practical, adult-led activity. Parents will only be able to collect their daughters from Mini Owls at 3.35pm (3.20pm on Fridays) at the School Office, unless they are attending Late Owls. There is no charge for this. 

Reception/KS1 Late Collection (after school)

Girls in Reception and KS1, who are not signed up to Mini Owls, and who are not collected at their Year group’s dismissal time, will be taken to our new Late Collection provision located in the Library. You will be able to collect your daughter directly from the Library’s external door at any point between 3.10pm and 3.35pm (3.00pm -3.20pm on Fridays). Girls who are not collected at 3.35pm will attend Late Owls where normal dismissal procedures will follow. 

Late Owls (after school)

This runs from 3.35pm – 5.50pm (from 3.20pm on Fridays), and is charged from 3.50pm (from 3.30pm 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. 

Charity & Outreach

Goodwin Foodbank Collection

From Monday 15 January – Friday 26 January, we will be running our first food bank collection of the term, in support of the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation. All those in GOODWIN House are encouraged to donate items they can spare to local families and individuals in need. 

Suggestions of items to donate include:

Food items – tinned meat, tinned fish, rice, pasta, couscous, pasta sauce, tea, coffee, sugar, hot chocolate, biscuits, cereals, cooking oil, flour, tinned vegetables, long-life milk. Other items – toothbrushes (adult and child), toothpaste (adult and child), shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, soap, sanitary items, nappies, baby wipes.

Please place donations in one of the blue labelled Food Bank collection bins at the front of school.

Camden Music Trust Practice-athon

Looking for a fantastic opportunity to support your daughter’s New Year’s Resolution to practise every day and get her off to a smashing start? She can practise her instrument every day AND raise money for a great cause: Camden Music Trust. Your daughter will also be rewarded by Mrs Munro, Head of Music: she will award a House point for every square your daughter fills in. If she fills in all the squares, that’s a whopping SEVENTY House points. Perseverance Squirrel will be very proud indeed! All the information and forms can be found here.

Uniform & Items Required


Please ensure that your daughter has returned to school in the correct winter uniform. This includes a House coloured Book Bag in Reception – Year 3 or a Channing rucksack (or a dark-coloured rucksack) from Year 3. For girls in Year 3 – 6, we recommend that they have a folder (not ring binder) in which to carry exercise books, printed homework resources and letters from school/home. All girls also need to bring a protective art apron to remain at school at the start of each term. Please see the uniform list on our website: Junior School |Uniform List 2023/2024

This term, the girls in Year 2 will be taking part in Mini Hockey. They will require: shin pads, long black socks and a gumshield (please ensure these are moulded before their first lesson). Please click on the hyper-links for examples. If your daughter, in Year 2, forgets her gumshield, the cost to purchase a new one from the PE Department will be added to your school bill. Your daughter is very welcome to purchase and bring her own hockey stick into school on her PE days, should you wish. Here is a handy guide to help you understand which size to purchase. Please ensure all personal items are labelled clearly.

All girls need to bring in a named water bottle in their school bag. Your daughter should also have a coat at school every day, but please also ensure she has a waterproof jacket, which can be left at school. Please clearly label everything your daughter brings to school. 

To help prevent the spread of head lice, if your daughter’s hair is sits below her shoulders, it must be fully tied back using brown, black or Channing blue hair ties, bands and/or clips. No nail varnish, or jewellery should be worn (unless for religious reasons) and only small plain stud earrings are permitted (small hoops or sleepers are not to be worn for safety reasons). Analogue and digital watches are permitted. However, fitbits and smart watches are not permitted to be worn in school. 

We also ask that your daughter does not come into school with an air tag in their bag or on themselves. Last term, these were causing disruption in lessons as staff were receiving numerous alerts on school iPads and personal devices. Additionally, they may cause you unnecessary distress as they aren’t always accurate. 

PE Kit

All of the girls have two PE lessons each week and should wear: a house-coloured t-shirt (Reception – Year 2 only), or a Channing PE shirt with the school tracksuit bottoms, leggings, skort or shorts. Suitable trainers must also be worn. 

On the days when your daughter has PE, we ask that she arrives at school in her PE kit. So not to miss lesson or break time, she will remain in her kit all day. It is important that your daughter has a complete change of uniform/kit (including underwear, socks and shoes) at school at all times in case of inclement weather. 

All jewellery should be removed in PE lessons to minimise the risk of injury. If your daughter is unable to remove her plain stud earrings because they are new and still healing, please provide surgical tape to temporarily cover them. Please support your daughter by demonstrating how to apply the tape before her first lesson. Pupils in Years 3 – 6 are welcome to bring roll on deodorant should they feel they need it.

Forest School Kit: Reception - Year 4

All girls in Reception – Year 4 will continue to participate in weekly Forest School sessions in our dedicated area. As the girls will be outdoors in all weathers – rain, hail or shine – we need to ensure they are appropriately dressed. Layers are great for keeping warm under waterproofs. All clothing should be clearly named and brought to school in a named backpack. 

Pupils in Reception – Year 2 should bring named wellies to be kept at school (pupils in Reception utilise these in their outdoor classrooms). Pupils in Year 3 and 4 also need to ensure they have their named wellies in school, but will need to bring clothing to school on their Forest School days (they will return home with these on the same day). On the day your daughter/s have Forest School, please provide an extra named plastic bag inside for wet waterproofs:

  • Mondays: 2B and 4W 
  • Tuesdays: 1C and 4K
  • Wednesdays: 3F and 3E
  • Thursdays: 1W
  • Fridays: 1A and 2R
  • Reception RecR on Wednesdays and RecM on Thursdays

To prepare for Forest School sessions, please see the list of items required below:

  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers (separates are easier for getting dressed independently)
  • Named wellies (NB: Reception – Year 2 will keep these at school)/ Fleece lined wellies or snow boots for the colder months
  • Long sleeved top
  • Sweater/ hoodie/ fleece
  • Leggings or tracksuit bottoms
  • Warm socks 
  • A thermal base layer, e.g. Merino wool
  • Hat and scarf
  • Gloves (preferably waterproof, not mittens)

Items can all be ordered from a variety of online shops, including Mountain Warehouse, H&M, and OUTSY Kids.

Read, Write, Inc (RWI) Logbooks: Year 2 - Year 6

Your daughter will start the term by bringing home her RWI Spelling Log book. This is used to store login details for online accounts, as well as to keep a record of any words that she needs to practise more than other words. Every pupil will have different words that they find challenging to spell, so it’s important to keep a log of the ones that they personally need to learn. For each unit, your daughter will record at least five words that she has found the most challenging to remember. Please practise these words with your daughter at home, each week. Your daughter can spell them out loud and/or jot them down. You may want to do it after you have heard your daughter read. Please keep revisiting words from previous pages until you are sure your daughter can spell them readily. No ‘traditional’ type of weekly spelling test lists will be sent home. Please make sure your daughter keeps her Log Book in her bag and brings it to school everyday.

Sustainability: Recycling broken writing instruments, Christmas Trees & Packaging

Recycling Broken Writing Instruments

The Sustainability Team is excited to announce that we will now be collecting used and broken writing instruments to recycle. Please place these items in the blue bin, located in the courtyard and we will take them to a Terracycle drop-off point. We thank you in advance for checking the list below and only putting accepted items in the bin. 

Accepted waste: all brands of plastic and metal writing instruments, e.g. pen, felt tip, highlighter, marker, correction fluid pot or tape, mechanical pencil and eraser pen (cap included).

Waste that is NOT accepted: wooden pencils, glue sticks, rubbers, rulers, chalk sticks or cutting objects. 

To check the full list and download the accepted waste poster click here.

Recycling Christmas Trees

This half term, 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.

DT Project: Callout for Festive Treat Packaging!

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

Channing Association News

Volunteers to speak to prospective parents at 4+ assessments - this week and next

There are a few slots still to fill for parents willing to support the 4+ assessments for incoming Reception girls – answering questions from prospective parents and helping to showcase our wonderful Junior School. If you would like to volunteer, please pick a 1-hour slot via this link:  

Thank you to those who have volunteered so far; please sign in at the School Office ahead of your slot. Mr Entwisle or Miss McGinnety will show you where to go and brief you.

Would you like to join the new Channing Association Choir?

Following the wonderful singing in the Winter Celebration in St Michaels last term, the Channing Association – supported by Mrs Munro, Head of Music- is very excited to be launching a parent and teacher choir in the New Year, and we need YOU! The choir is for parents and guardians and will open to all genres of music. Rehearsals will be fortnightly in a local venue TBC on Tuesday evenings, 7.00pm-9.00pm. 

If you would like to join the choir or take on the role of accompanist on the piano, please email to register your interest.

PreLoved Uniform Sale: Call For Donations

Our next preloved uniform sale will take place on Thursday 25 January between 8:15am – 9.00am in the main entrance courtyard/Drama Studio (weather dependent). We would be very grateful for further donations of unwanted uniform items in good condition ahead of the sale. Please remove your daughter’s name labels. Please place unlabeled, washed, bagged donations in the blue bins in the courtyard. Thank you!

Charity Comedy Night, North London Laughs: Wednesday 20 March

The CA will announce the all-star line-up for its 2nd Comedy Night – North London Laughs – in next week’s Bulletin. Channing parents will be offered exclusive first-access to tickets from Wednesday 17 January, before they open for general sale on Wednesday 24 January. All details and the link to ticket sales can be accessed via the Classlist events page.

Venue: Alexandra Palace Theatre

Time: Doors at 7.00pm for a 7:30pm start, ends at 10.00pm

Event details:

Charity: Great Ormond Street Hospital

Diary Dates for Spring & Summer Terms

  • PreLoved Uniform Sale and call for donations – Thursday 25 January 8:15am – 9.00am.
  • CA Charity Comedy Night, North London Laughs – Wednesday 20 March.
  • Channing Association Charity Swimathon – Saturday 23 March Details to participate will be shared later this month.
  • Summer Fair “ChanFest 2024” – Sunday 9 June 2024 Channing girls and their families are welcome.

Chatting with Channing

Alumna Amanda Davidson and the Transylvanian Scholars Program

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Channing Website

In this episode, we have the pleasure of sitting down with Amanda Davidson, an alumna of Channing School. Our conversation delves into Amanda’s academic pursuits post-Channing, her career, and the unique Transylvanian Scholars Program. Amanda sheds light on the inception of the program, its connection to her family, and how it has evolved over the years. As the leading force behind the program, Amanda shares the challenges involved in its coordination and how the program fosters cultural exchange and understanding between students from Channing and János Zsigmond School. We explore the invaluable skills and knowledge gained by students through their participation in the Transylvanian Scholars Program, examining its impact on both Channing and János Zsigmond students. Join us for a compelling conversation that unravels the rich tapestry of cultural exchange, and the profound impact of programs like the Transylvanian Scholars in shaping the lives of students.