The Holt School


8th November 2017

Dear Parents. Guardians and Friends

Last week, Ms Hunt. Mrs Ezekwe, Ms Rawlins and Miss Harris shared with all our students their love of literature in assembly through the theme of Hidden Voices.  They explained to the girls that writers can help us find out about people and events that we did not know about or fully understand. They explained that some writers choose to create characters that give a voice to types of people that history or society overlook; hidden voices. Therefore, literature can help us learn about others and explore our identity.  Mrs Ezekwe shared her love of the work of Grace Nichols, from Guyana, but has lived in the UK since 1977, and how she writes about the hidden voice of identity.  Grace’s poem Hurricane reminds us that no matter where you live in this world, it can become a part of your identity and a wonderful thing to embrace.  Miss Harris talked about Jennifer Worth, who wrote Call the Midwife series and how she shared the hidden voices of many of the characters midwives would see back in the 1950s. Ms Rawlins explained that the reading by Simon Armitage called Give was about homelessness and wanting change.  Finally, Ms Hunt talked about Warhorse by Michael Murpurgo, War Horse tells a powerful story of humanity and friendship and that War Horse gives a voice to the ordinary man’s experience of war and the cost of war on humans, animals and nature.

War features heavily in our assemblies this week as Miss Herron and some sixth formers reminded us of the importance of Remembrance Day in assemblies.  We have our beautiful handmaid poppies displayed in the school grounds to remind us of those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.



Armistice Day is celebrated on November 11 each year, and this year it falls on a Saturday.  Armistice Day marks the day the armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany that brought the end of WWI.  This armistice took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, which is why the UK holds two minutes of silence at 11am every November 11.  However, after the outbreak of WWII, many countries changed the name of this day, with members of the Commonwealth choosing to call it Remembrance Day.

We will hold a remembrance service this Friday, where Year 7 will congregate outside the hall to listen to Rev Richard Lamey and then Mrs Pearce sharing readings and poems.  Alice Burrows will play the last post before a whole school 2 minutes silence at 11am.  Our girls who are cadets also attend the service in their full cadet uniform.  It is always a moving and humbling experience.

I have a little story about the war too – my mother was German (Her dad was killed in 1941 fighting) and when I was a child, every two years my mum would take me, my brothers and sister to Bremen.  We would always have café and Kunken with my grandmother and her sisters – my great aunts.  There were no great uncles  - a whole generation of men were wiped out by the war. Mostly, the women left behind were strong and pulled together.  However, my great aunt Adelheid had three sons- all in their late teens, they all went to war and her husband too – none of them returned.  My mum told me that Adelheid used to wait for them every day; she would save things for them forever hoping they would be home one day.  I remember her flat being dark, full of photos of her ‘men’ as she called them.  It was really sad.   I think her livelihood was lost too.

The trauma and suffering that war brings is unimaginable to many, Remembrance is about individual lives, their courage and their loss of life to try to make a more peaceful world, and sadly war still goes on in many parts of the world today, despite the lessons we can learn from history.   We must not forget those who lost their lives but also we need to work on reconciling differences to strive for peace.  This is hard, as seen on the news every day.  On a more cheery note, it is lovely to see every day how our students try to promote peace in their lives by showing kindness and compassion to their peers and family. 

Enjoy the rest of the week

Anne Kennedy

What's On

Full Calendar

Yr 9 Parents Evening 4pm

22 Feb 2018 - 22 Feb 2018

Secondhand Uniform Sale

22 Feb 2018 - 22 Feb 2018

Yr 13 Parents Evening 4pm

01 Mar 2018 - 01 Mar 2018

KS3 Parents Info Evening 7pm

07 Mar 2018 - 07 Mar 2018

PTA Mtg 7.30pm

07 Mar 2018 - 07 Mar 2018