Focus Days Bring Learning Alive for Pupils at St Helen's College

St Helen's College | 9 Oct 2017
The boys and girls of St. Helen’s College, on Parkway, Hillingdon, have started the academic year with a bang as they have enjoyed two days of special immersive learning: St. Helen's Day and STEAM Day.
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On St. Helen’s Day, the family-run prep school examined its history through ‘A Day In The Life of 1924’. Children and staff arrived at school dressed as they would have been in the 1920s, and lessons investigating the past were delivered. Pupils had traditional sewing and handwriting lessons, using chalk and slate. They learnt about old money and converted pounds, shillings and pence into today's money, practised times tables by rote learning chants, compared 1920s maps of Hillingdon with today's maps, discovered the art deco movement and its influence on fashion and learnt some traditional folk songs. Typing and dictation skills were practised, and children also learnt about the commercial use of telephone and made their own string telephones. They also investigated life in Britain and Spain in the 1920s. At break times, old fashioned playground games were played.

Lower School pupils (aged 3 to 6) were fascinated to discover that the first television was produced in the 1920s, and that votes for women and the discovery of penicillin were two of the big topics of the time. The history of St. Helen's College in the 1920s was brought to life in Upper School assembly. The children discovered how Hillingdon changed in the 1920s, how the school came to be founded by Dorothea and Mary Watson in 1924 and where the original school house was on Long Lane. In the afternoon the school’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Crehan, visited. They watched a traditional school PE drill and spoke in an afternoon assembly about their memories of St. Helen's College. Year 2 pupils were awarded their St. Helen's College value cards by the senior pupil team in a short ceremony and then school song was vigorously sung by all!

The following week, the school’s STEAM Day saw pupils engage in a diverse programme of exciting activities to investigate Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths. Visiting companies, staff and parents provided workshops to help children learn through memorable hands-on experiences. From designing a water delivery system with Affinity Water, to designing and testing wind tunnels; from building bridges and rafts to making cheese and honeycomb, pupils (and staff) enjoyed challenging themselves. Wildgoose developed a bespoke app for the school, using gamification for learning; there were Maths challenges including puzzles, codes and rotational symmetry designs; children made lava lamps, marble runs and umbrellas and pupils took part in orienteering sessions. The children at Upper School were visited by representatives from Tesla, who brought along two Tesla cars and demonstrated self-drive technology. The children will, no doubt, never forget seeing the cars in action!

 

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