Miss Hamalis’ Bulletin – Monday 19 February 2024

Posted: 19th February 2024

Miss Hamalis, Head Of Channing Junior School

Dear Parents 

This week, we are immersing ourselves in the captivating realm of numbers and problem-solving as we celebrate Maths Week. With the theme of ‘Mathematical Games’ guiding our activities, our primary goal is to engage and challenge the girls to use collaboration, strategic planning and perseverance – like Perseverance Squirrel – in order to find solutions to various puzzle-based challenges. 

During their Mathematics lessons this week, as well as during a workshop run by the The Happy Puzzle Company, the girls will participate in strategy games and puzzles designed to challenge their minds and foster collaboration. Additionally, every year group will be assigned a creative homework project providing an opportunity for the girls to apply the skills learned by crafting their own board games using recycled materials. (Further details regarding the homework project will be shared on your daughter’s homework page on Firefly).

This Friday, 23 February, we will be supporting the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay safe programme by hosting a belated Number Day. This is a fantastic opportunity for our school community to come together and support a worthy cause while having fun with numbers. There will be collection buckets on the gate in the morning, so that when girls arrive, the suggested donation of £2 can be donated. Alternatively, if your daughter is unable to bring a donation to school on Friday, please donate online via our Justgiving page

We encourage both pupils and staff – as well as parents and carers at drop off – to participate in ‘Dress up for Digits’. The girls are invited to come into school dressed as a number or something maths related. This could be anything from wearing a football shirt with a number on to dressing up as a dice to wearing a top with 3D shapes on it. In line with our aim to be more sustainable and promote this mindset to the girls, we encourage the girls to create an outfit using items they already have at home. We look forward to seeing their creativity! 

While we thoroughly enjoy the excitement of Maths Week, it’s important to emphasise that teaching Mathematics at the Junior School transcends the bounds of a single event – it’s a fundamental component of the girls’ weekly timetable, bearing immense significance in their educational journey. Teaching and learning Mathematics at the primary level is paramount for a multitude of reasons:

  • Foundational Skills: Elementary Mathematics serves as the cornerstone for more advanced mathematical concepts. It equips the girls with fundamental arithmetic operations, numerical fluency and problem-solving skills, laying the groundwork for tackling complex mathematical concepts in the future.
  • Critical Thinking: Mathematics fosters critical thinking and logical reasoning abilities. Through solving mathematical problems, the girls learn to analyse situations, recognise patterns and devise strategies to overcome challenges.
  • Everyday Life Skills: Mathematical concepts are an integral part of everyday life, from managing finances to interpreting time and measurements in recipes. Introducing mathematics at an early age cultivates practical skills that the girls can apply in various real-world scenarios.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Mathematics instils systematic problem-solving techniques. This skill is not only valuable in mathematical contexts but also applicable in various facets of life, including decision-making and troubleshooting.
  • Confidence Building: Mastering mathematical concepts at an early age fosters confidence and self-esteem in children. Success in mathematics encourages them to embrace new challenges and cultivate a positive attitude towards learning.
  • Enhanced Brain Development: Research indicates that learning Mathematics stimulates brain development and enhances cognitive abilities. It facilitates the development of skills such as memory, attention and spatial reasoning, contributing to overall cognitive growth.

In essence, teaching Mathematics is indispensable for nurturing intellectual growth, preparing the girls for future endeavours, and equipping them with essential life skills necessary for success and fulfilment. This year marks an exciting milestone as, in September, we introduced a new Mathematics curriculum across the Junior School. Power Maths, a UK curriculum mastery programme, has been carefully selected to ignite curiosity and instil confidence in Mathematics among the girls. Our teachers have enjoyed implementing this programme as it embraces a child-centred approach to teaching, fostering a growth mindset and focusing on building a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. In addition to offering rich textbooks and practice materials, Power Maths integrates professional development opportunities for our teachers, ensuring that they are equipped to provide our pupils with the highest quality education in Mathematics.

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.

World Book Day Reminder

We are very excited to be welcoming five amazing poets, authors and illustrators during the week of World Book Day for assemblies and workshops. You can order copies of their books for your daughter(s) through Pickled Pepper Books using this link. Any books purchased will be delivered to school in advance of their respective visits to be signed and handed out. Please state your daughter’s full name and form and ensure your order is placed by the deadline of Wednesday 21 February 2024.

We recommend the following books by our visiting authors and illustrators:

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2

  • I am Bear, Bear Moves’, ‘Hip and Hop’ and ‘Big’ by Sav Akyuz 
  • Party Parade’ by Leanne and Sara Miller 

Years 3 & 4

  • ‘Celebrate!’, ‘Dear Ugly Sister’ ,‘Being Me’ and ‘Welcome to our Table’ by Laura Mucha 

Year 4

  • Pupils may also purchase books by Eve Wersocki Morris and meet the author at a lunchtime book signing.

Years 5 & 6

  • ‘The Bird Singers’ and ‘The Wildstorm Curse’ by Eve Wersocki Morris.


Latest TooledUp Courses for Parents

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

  • Thursday 22 February 1:15pm  ~ Live Q&A: Supporting Girls Through Puberty: Your Questions Answered
  • Friday 23 February 10:00am  ~ Misophonia Assessment and Management
  • Monday 11 March 12:30pm ~ Brain Development: The Early Years and How Parenting Can Optimise Lifelong Skills for Emotional Wellbeing

Lauderdale House Heritage Weekend: Saturday 24 February & Sunday 25 February

Lauderdale House are hosting their annual Heritage Weekend – the perfect opportunity to discover the fascinating and diverse history of Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park and the areas of Highgate and North London. Highlights include stalls and public talks on Saturday (including one featuring the Channing School archive!) and a Family Day on Sunday including a trail and craft workshops. You can find out more information here.

Residential Parent Meeting Dates: Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 & Year 6

In the Summer Term, all year groups in Key Stage 2 take part in a residential trip. These overnight stays provide lifelong memories for the girls and help establish and develop relationships with their peers. The trip programme has also been designed so that the experience on each trip differs, as does the length of stay and location. 

Over the coming weeks, we will be hosting parent and pupil information talks to discuss each trip in detail. If your daughter is in Key Stage 2, please note the below dates, which will be held in person at 8.30am in Fairseat Hall. You are very much encouraged to attend to ensure you know all the details ahead of the trip. 

  • Year 4: Wednesday 13 March
  • Year 5: Wednesday 20 March 
  • Year 6: Wednesday 17 April 
  • Year 3: Wednesday 24 April 

In preparation for your daughter’s residential trip, please see here for more information provided by Tooled Up: Supporting Your Child if They Feel Worried about Their School Residential Trip. Additionally, if you have any questions ahead of the meeting, please contact your daughter’s Form Teacher and/ or Miss Wright (Assistant Head CoCurricular):

Digital Safety

Guidance & Support regarding Smartphones & Devices

With technology continually evolving, and a myriad of websites, games and social media platforms available at our fingertips, it is important to consider all of the impacts – positive and negative – that a device can have on your daughter’s wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Our approach at school is to educate the girls about the use of devices and screen time during PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) and dedicated Online Safety lessons. 

We have also explored ways in which we can provide parents with guidance around smartphones, smart technology and the digital world through resources provided by Tooled Up Education: 

  • Dr Kathy Weston and Professor Sonia Livingstone OBE discuss ‘How Children and Young People Engage in the Digital World’ in this podcast. They explore the topics of screen time, children’s use of smartphones and the place of digital technology in families today.
  • As your daughter grows up and gains more independence, you may be considering when is the right time to provide her with her own, personal device. If you need some advice to inform this decision, tune into Dr Kathy Weston’s webinar ‘Buying Your Child a Phone: Things for Parents to Consider’ where she answers some important questions around the risks and benefits.

Year 1 Design Technology Project

Callout for Small Boxes & Food Packaging

This half term, Year 1 pupils are building structures from ‘junk’. Please can you send in small boxes and food packaging made from card. The girls must be able to cut the items themselves, so please do not send in packaging made from plastic or thick card. Kitchen rolls are great but no loo rolls. Thank you for your support!

Competition for the Girls

Science Week Poster Competition

We will be celebrating Science Week later this term (Monday 11 – Friday 15 March); the theme this year is ‘Time’. As part of this, we encourage the girls to enter a national British Science Association’s poster competition. The girls are invited to create a poster showing how a certain type of technology has changed over time, or even the advancement of time-telling technology itself. For inspiration, they can look at the winners of the 2023 competition. Budding poster makers could also go futuristic, showing how they think the world might look in years to come, or could perhaps look at nature – lifecycles, lifespans, evolution and hibernation – nature is full of timely topics. 

Things you need to know:

  • Your daughter can create an entry alone, or work as a team with others. 
  • Each entry should be hand-drawn on one page of A4 or A3 plain paper, using pens, pencils, crayons, or paints. 
  • Entries must have the following clearly written on their reverse: entrant first name and surname initial only (all names if a team) and entrant age (all ages if a team).
  • The posters will be seen by a panel of judges, who are looking for: 
    • Creativity in approach – Innovative angle on the content or creative interpretation of the theme – don’t be afraid to think outside the box;
    • Content – Clear, accurate and informative about a STEM topic;
    • Effective communication – presented and communicated in an engaging way.
  • The two runners up in each category will be uploaded to the British Science Association social media sites to enable the public to decide on a fifth ‘popular vote’ winner.
  • Each entrant’s first name, age and school name will be announced on social media and on the British Science Association website. If you do not wish for this data to be shared, please make this explicit on the entry form.
  • Entries may be displayed and used for marketing, with only first names used.
  • Please see here for full terms and conditions.

We wish that everyone could be a winner, but we are only permitted to submit five entries. Your daughter needs to return completed entries to school by Monday 18 March and Mrs Canning and Mrs Miller (Science Leads) will organise the selection of our five submissions into the national competition.


Channing Association News

Swimathon in Aid of HypoHounds: Saturday 23 March - Sign Up Now

For the second year running, the CA is organising a charity swimathon. This year, the girls participating will be raising funds for the charity Hypo Hounds that supports people with Type 1 Diabetes, and is a charity close to a Year 6 family. 

If your daughter(s) would like to take part, please add name and class to the sign-up sheet (link below), and collect a sponsorship form from the CA by emailing or downloading it from Classlist (under ‘What’s On’ in the app).

For safety, your daughter must be able to swim at least one length (18m) on her back and front unaided, and must be accompanied on the day by an adult at the poolside.

  • Venue: Poolside Manor Swimming Pool, Lyndhurst Gardens N3 1TD
  • Time: Saturday 23rd March, between 4:30pm and 7:30pm
  • Sign-Up Form: Swimathon Sign Up
  • Event details:

Channing Association Choir: Information & Rehearsals

The first rehearsal for the new CA Parent and Teacher Choir will be this Thursday, 22 February. 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 small cost per person per session to cover venue hire.

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

For any questions and to sign up please email

PreLoved Uniform: place donations in courtyard bins

We are always building our preloved uniform stock up and welcome donations. Please continue to place any unwanted uniform in good condition, unlabelled, washed, and bagged in the blue bins in the courtyard.

Diary dates for Spring and Summer terms

  • Wednesday 20 March – CA Charity Comedy Night, North London Laughs.
  • Saturday 23 March – Channing Association Charity Swimathon. 
  • Sunday 9 June – Summer Fair “ChanFest 2024”.


Chatting with Channing

From Channing to the Crown - Alumna Katie Nicholl’s Remarkable Journey

Listen on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Channing website
Join us as Katie takes us on a nostalgic journey through her school days at Channing, where her passion for storytelling began. From conquering daunting staircases to forming lifelong friendships, Katie paints a vivid picture of her formative years and the lessons she learned. Discover the behind-the-scenes tales of Katie’s journey from aspiring journalist to acclaimed royal correspondent. From chance encounters with Prince Harry to covering milestone events like the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Katie’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary. Explore the challenges of royal reporting, including navigating palace intrigue and earning the trust of sources, as Katie reflects on the evolving media landscape in the digital age.