Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 22 January 2024

Posted: 22nd January 2024

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

I would like to say a huge thank you to many of you who volunteered to support us during the 4+ assessment days over the last fortnight by speaking to prospective parents whilst they waited for their daughters. This is a fantastic opportunity for these parents to find out more about what happens behind the school gates. Planning for these assessments, or playdates as we like to call them, prompts me to reflect on what defines a Channing girl and the qualities we seek in those who thrive within our community.

Our overarching vision, Girls Enjoying Success from ages 4 to 18, encapsulates our commitment to nurturing individual growth without undue pressure. Recognising that success is unique to each girl, we focus on them as individuals, aiming to help each one realise her full potential and become the best version of herself.

Channing is an academic school, where we provide a holistic, broad, and balanced educational experience within a supportive and purposeful environment. Our goal is to develop each girl individually, fostering her talents, interests, and helping her achieve her goals.

Central to our approach are the eight Channing Characters: Resilience Robin, Perseverance Squirrel, Empathy Rabbit, Responsibility Badger, Bravery Mole, Independence Owl, Respectfulness Hedgehog and Curiosity Fox. Co-created by both girls and staff, these characters instil the confidence needed to navigate life effectively and happily.

As a Unitarian school, our ethos of kindness, tolerance, respect and inclusivity permeates every aspect of the school experience. The Channing Promise, created by pupils across the Junior and Senior School, articulates our core values to which every member of the school community commits.

We prioritise pastoral care, believing that happy children learn best. Our safe and supportive environment fosters a strong sense of community, where every staff member, from teachers to caretakers, knows each girl by name. This includes me; I place great importance on getting to know all of the girls and I enjoy watching each and every one of them as they move through the Junior School and beyond. Encouraging a sense of ownership, girls actively participate in various roles of responsibility, such as School Council, Form Captains, Head Girls, Sustainability Team, Digital Leaders and Channing Character Champions.

Our approach to teaching and learning is dynamic. Our skilled practitioners employ adaptive teaching methods, eschewing grouping by academic attainment within classrooms. We emphasise high expectations and questioning to support and stretch and challenge all pupils. Technology plays a crucial role with the use of the Google Suite for Education, iPads and Chromebooks in Computing lessons and across the curriculum. 

A hallmark of our school is the wide range of co- and extra-curricular experiences we offer. Workshops and trips enrich our curriculum. Recent excursions include visits to Kew Gardens, The Florence Nightingale Museum, Lords Cricket Ground, the RAF Museum, and the Royal Festival Hall. Special weeks focusing on areas such as ‘Healthy Schools’, ‘Around the World’, and ‘Inspirational Women’ complement our curriculum. The girls – and staff – eagerly embrace opportunities to dress up for these special occasions. Additionally, we organise residential trips for Key Stage 2 pupils (Year 3-6). 

Furthermore, we boast an exciting range of over 100 extra-curricular clubs before school, at break time, lunchtime and after-school. This term’s offerings include: yoga, ballet, chess, karate, coding, orchestra, virtual reality, science, cooking, gardening, debating and cheerleading. Our commitment to providing a diverse range of clubs ensures every girl has the chance to explore new interests or pursue existing passions, promoting a well-rounded education.

Thank you for entrusting us with the education and wellbeing of your daughters. We look forward to another year of shared successes at the Junior School.

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.

ABRSM Practical Music Examinations: 18-20 March - APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

We will be holding practical music examinations on Monday 18 – Wednesday 20 March for candidates in both the Junior and Senior Schools. These examinations are 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. Please note: regrettably, Year 6 pupils will be unable to take their examination in the Summer Term, as they are away on a residential trip the week the examinations take place in May.

We need parental consent before we enter candidates, therefore parents need to complete the online form by 4pm on Monday 5 February at the latest. Regrettably, we will be unable to process late applications.

Royal College of Art ‘Young Art’ Preview

We were excited to share all the wonderful entries for this year’s Young Art competition in our library last Monday. There was an array of colour across all 80+ works on the theme of ‘Our Living World’ and our artists interpreted the theme in a variety of ways, from flora and fauna to the Northern Lights! We are hopeful that the judges from the Royal College of Art will select some of our submissions to show at their special exhibition in April. Good luck to all who entered and well done for your bravery! You can find some photos and a video of last Monday’s preview on Firefly:

Gardening Club Competition for all Girls ~ Deadline Monday 5 February

As Mr Rich (Forest School & Sustainability Lead) and the Gardening Club are looking forward to a new growing season, they are pleased to announce a design competition: the terrace outside Year 4 is empty and ready for a transformation. Can your daughter design a new layout of planters, seating, trees, water features or more to make this an amazing new area for us all to enjoy? 

The Gardening Club has produced a map of the terrace to help your daughter to draw out her design. Copies of the map are available from Mr Rich.

This competition will run until Monday 5 February. Your daughter should give her entry to Mr Rich or the Office. Judging will take place that week and the winner or winners will be announced in assembly on Monday 19 February. House points and prizes will be awarded to all keen designers. 

Some suggestions to help the girls with their designs:
The terrace faces south; it gets lots of sunshine, but can also get quite windy. This means plants need to enjoy full sunshine, but be a little resistant to wind. Should we use drought resistant plants in this sunny place or should we use a clever watering system?

The Year 4 pupils might also enjoy some trees or taller items outside their windows to cool down their classroom in the summer. 

It would be good for us to be able to use it as an outdoor classroom, so we might need 24 seats or benches with room for 24 people. But, would we need some shade (either from trees or from a pergola) to keep our skin safe? 

Gardening Club would like some more space to grow more food for our lunch – can you include some planters for them to use? Have you got any clever ideas for watering the new planters – can you include a water butt or a watering system?

Mr Tony (Gardener) thinks a water feature might be a good idea – could this encourage wildlife onto the terrace and help cool down Year 4 in the summer? Would a fountain be good? Or would several smaller pools work well?

Sometimes, we use the terrace as a viewing location to look at the playground – can your design allow people the chance to look over towards the playground and the MUGA?

TooledUp Courses for Parents

As you know, we have collaborated with Tooled Up Education; an invaluable digital library of evidence- based resources on all aspects of parenting, education and family life.  Founder, Dr Kathy Weston, has collated the best and most up-to-date research from around the world and distilled it into usable, easy to understand resources which can be instantly applied to daily life. 

For upcoming TooledUp Courses and Events please click here

  • Tuesday 23 January 7pm  ~ Raising a Detective in the Digital World: A Talk for Parents. Dr Kathy Weston.
  • Friday 26 January 12pm  ~ A Guide to the Mental Health of Children and Young People: Q&A. Dr Meinou Simmons.
  • Friday 9 February 2pm  ~ Ask The Sleep Experts: Q&A. The Sleep Project

Birds & Owls

Birds & Owls Information

We aim to ensure that our wraparound care provision caters to the needs of everybody in our school community. We hope that opening a Late Collection provision this term has supported your pick-up routine by providing you with some flexibility around your daughter’s dismissal.

In order to ensure that our after-school provision runs as smoothly as possible and to safeguard our pupils, we kindly ask that you sign your daughter up to Mini Owls and/or Late Owls in advance so that she is on the register. You will not be charged if your daughter is signed up but doesn’t attend Late Owls. Instead, charges are calculated based on when your daughter is signed in and out of the provision. 

Charity & Outreach

Goodwin House Foodbank Collection

This week is the second week of the GOODWIN House Food Bank Collection. Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) is a charity closely connected to the school that runs a weekly food bank in Islington. Those in the local community, who are desperately struggling, can get a hot meal, clothes and also stock up on basic essentials for the week ahead. Anything that our community can spare is very welcomed and the AWTF greatly appreciates our continued support.

Items that are desperately needed at the moment are:

  • Washing powder
  • Sanitary items
  • Oil
  • Tuna
  • Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • Long life milk 
  • Microwave rice 
  • Coffee 
  • Warm coats (all ages and sizes) 
  • Shoes (all ages and sizes) 

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

Channing Association News

Channing Association Choir: Update & Rehearsal Dates

Thank you to everyone who registered interest in the Channing Association Parent and Teacher Choir. We have had a great response and are delighted to confirm that the first rehearsal will be after the February half term.

The choir is for parents and carers, as well as staff, and is open to all genres of music. Rehearsals will be fortnightly, and will run on Thursday evenings from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at St Michael’s Church in Highgate. There will be a (very) small fee per person per session to cover venue hire.

Confirmed rehearsal dates: Thursday 22 February, 7 March and 21 March.

There is still time to sign up. Please email

North London Laughs Charity Comedy Night in aid of GOSH: Wednesday 20 March

For one night only, Avalon presents a star-studded line-up including GREG DAVIES, ROB DEERING, SARA PASCOE, LOU SANDERS, EMMANUEL SONUBI and JOSH WELLER for a hilarious evening to raise vital funds for an incredible cause.

Parents have exclusive first-access to tickets until this Thursday, before they open for general sale. All details and the link to ticket sales (which will be sold via the venue website) can be accessed via the Classlist events page or below.

  • Venue: Alexandra Palace Theatre
  • Time: Doors open at 6:30pm for Channing parents to have a drink at the bar. The show runs from 7:30pm – 10pm 
  • Buy tickets: Purchase here using the code GOSHPRESA24: North London Laughs > Alexandra Palace
  • Event details:

Charity: Great Ormond Street Hospital – Gastroenterology Department

Preloved Uniform Sale: Call For Donations

Our next preloved uniform sale will take place this Thursday 25 January, between 8:15am – 9am in the main entrance courtyard / Drama Studio (weather dependent).

We are still collecting donations of preloved uniform items in good condition ahead of the sale. Please place unlabeled, washed, bagged donations in the blue bins in the courtyard. Thank you!

Diary Dates for the Spring & Summer Terms

  • Preloved Uniform Sale and call for donations – Thursday 25 January 8:15am – 9am, see details above

  • CA Parent and Teacher Choir – Details and first rehearsal date (Thursday 22 February) now confirmed.
    See notice above or in the Classlist events page.

  • CA Charity Comedy Night, North London Laughs: Wednesday 20 March
    Exclusive first-access tickets to parents available until this Thursday – check the Classlist events page for further details. Venue is Alexandra Palace, doors open at 6:30pm. Buy tickets with code GOSHPRESA24
  • CA Charity Swimathon: Saturday 23 March 2024
    Details to participate will be shared later this month.
  • Summer Fair “ChanFest 2024” – Sunday 9 June
    Add the date to your calendar! Girls and their families are invited.


Chatting with Channing

Exploring the Cosmos with Professor Lewis Dartnell

Listen on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Channing Website

On this month’s episode of Chatting with Channing, our Year 12 STEM ambassadors, Maddie and Chiara, had the incredible opportunity to interview Professor Lewis Dartnell, a prominent figure in the field of astrobiology. In this podcast episode, we delve into the fascinating world of astrobiology and Professor Dartnell’s captivating insights.Professor Dartnell holds the Professorship in Science Communication at the University of Westminster and presented a captivating talk based on his book, The Knowledge at our inaugural STEM Christmas lecture.

Professor Dartnell provides our listeners with a captivating overview of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe. He shares his specific areas of interest within the field, giving us a glimpse into the mysteries of extraterrestrial life and the conditions that might support it.