After the excitement of the snow the week before last, we have now finally caught up on the calendared events that we had to postpone.
Firstly, we had our second Year 13 parents’ evening last Thursday. This was a lovely opportunity to praise and encourage hard work and effort as well as give some vital feedback and pointers for moving forward as we are about to enter the “home straight” to the A level exams. Thank you parents and staff who were able to re-arrange their schedules to make this event.
Also last Thursday, we had one of our regular visits from the Onatti production company. This company produces entertaining and accessible plays completely in French, German and Spanish to our Year 8 and 9 students. Last week was the turn of the Spanish play which was called “ La casa encantada” or in English, “The enchanted house”. As ever, it was highly amusing with some audience participation from Chloë Marotto and Shalom Igbokwe. Thanks to Mrs Stoker, Head of Spanish for organising this event.
On Friday, the English department held their postponed “World Book Day” events with the Year 7 and staff coming into school dressed as their favourite book character. It is always good fun in the assembly to spot who is who!
This year, there was also the added bonus of the “Door Competition”. Each form decorated the door of the English classrooms. They looked really good and the winners were 7H. Here is a picture of their stunning door:
Year 11 finally finished the last round of their maths and English PPE exams and are now back in lessons going over their papers carefully, identifying gaps in knowledge and learning how to target these gaps so they can do their very best in the summer.
To end a very busy week, I attended the ASCL conference in Birmingham on Friday and Saturday. It was a very interesting conference with many excellent keynote speakers from the world of education including John Hattie, a renowned educational researcher specifically in the field of marking/feedback. Amanda Speilman, the Chief Inspector for Ofsted was also there talking about the changes to the new framework for Ofsted inspections, and of course as was in the news over the weekend, the Right Honourable Damian Hinds MP, the minster for education, gave an address. He touched on the key issues facing schools today; funding, recruitment, teacher workload and the very worrying issue of the role of social media in the lives of our young people. In fact, many of the speakers talked about this issue and the negative impact that inappropriate use of social media can have on children. There is clearly no magic wand to eradicate all the problems, but careful reminders were given of the importance that education and school have to play in equipping young people to better deal with social media and of course, the importance of the role that parents play and the responsibility they have in knowing what their children are doing on line. As a parent to a fifteen year old myself, I know that is not an easy task! It was a very timely coincidence therefore, that Haberdashers led a House event on Friday to give up their phones for a day. As well as raising over £100 for charity, the students impressed themselves with how well they survived the day choosing to play board games, card games and even talking to each other instead of being glued their phones!
On Saturday afternoon, Mrs Allison led another successful group of Year 9 students in the Bar mock trials held at Reading Crown Court. Their months of training really paid off as the team won their heat and are now through to the Regional finals in May. A massive well done to India Pluves, Kirsten Jong, Zoë Fearn, Alice Gowlett, Charlotte Cross, Sylvie Cattelani, Alex Seraphin, Elen Kelly, Abigail Jong, Emma Broadbent, Sophie Guy, Emma Holling, Rosie Donovan, Amelia Millard and Lucy James and a huge thank you to Mrs Allison, Miss Roberts and Miss Harris for training the team so well.
The Magistrates were so impressed with our students they have even offered them some work experience slots! Great news!
This week has also got off to a very busy start. Mrs Kennedy and I were interviewed for an article by Huriya Azam and Leila Hogg in 7L who are taking part in the BBC School Report competition on Monday. It was a lovely opportunity to reflect on our first term and a half as Co-Headteachers and the girls asked us some good questions. We also took the opportunity to share with them once again our vision, as seen in the picture below.
We then met with a group of students from Years 7-9 who have joined The Holt from other schools since January. It was a good to hear what they love about The Holt so far, and to give us some “even better ifs….”
This week we also completed the interviews for our new Student Leadership Team. The process was rigerous with several tasks. All the candidates presented themselves extremely well and should be as proud of themselves as Mrs Kennedy and I are of them.
We are delighted to announce Amber Bentley as our new Head Girl. Her team is as follows; Izzy Piper, Emily Murnane, Cara Dowling and Ajwah Lone.
We also appointed our new House prefects after interviews last night. They are as follows:
Clothworkers-Meghana Krishnamurthy, Isabella Ankerson and Noor Ul-Hassan
Goldsmiths- Ashleen Sembi and Hibah Azar
Haberdashers- Rhiannon Norris and Bella Humphreys
Lacemakers - Ria Dhillon and Kiera Martin
Spinners- Charlotte Cannon and Lauren Trigg
Tanners- Lucy Ramsey and Hannah Whittaker
Weavers- Ellie Leahy and Harriet Sartori
And finally, our as yet un- named new House- Olivia Corbett and Jessica Pollard.
Congratulations to all the students. Mrs Kennedy and I are very much looking forward to working with them all