Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Last week’s biology week ended on a real high on Friday, with the greatly anticipated “dissection day”. Having whetted appetites the week before with some great assemblies, Mrs Whitehouse and her team opened up four of the labs to run demonstrations of dissections…students could choose from a heart, a rat, a frog and a fish. All labs had standing room only and the students were utterly engrossed with what they saw. Definitely an awe and wonder moment!

Thank you to Mrs Whitehouse, Miss Izod, Miss Keely and Miss Hayes.

On the subject of events at lunchtime, we talk all the time about the importance of getting involved in extracurricular activities. Clubs are great for encouraging students to come out of their comfort zone, learn new things and make new friends. As I was on duty this week, the lovely chorus of a song from the musical Mary Poppins being rehearsed by our orchestra, drew me to the music department. It was a very cheery moment to listen to the students play and to see so many girls from a variety of year groups coming together and having a great time over a shared interest.

 

In addition that lunchtime, some Year 13 students were running the languages club.

Our Sixth Form students play such a huge part in the life and ethos of the school and we really appreciate how much they involve themselves with everything that goes on.

This extended to record numbers of Sixth Formers acting as prefects on Thursday night as we held our Year 12 Sixth Form open evening. The hall was packed; it was lovely to see so many of our Year 11 students as well as a good number of external students expressing an interest in joining The Holt School Sixth Form in 2019. In case you missed the evening, or know anyone who is interested in joining our successful co-educational Sixth Form, application forms can be found on the school website. The deadline is 14th December 2018.

We are still at the start of the process however, and Year 11 have other key post 16 events happening next half term to help them to make up their minds.

Here are some pictures of staff and prefects at the ready……

A busy night in the maths department.

It has been another great week for assemblies this week, with Mrs Dakovic and Mrs Thomas leading assemblies on mental health to support the work being done nationally on mental health awareness. Their theme linked closely with the psychology of “learned helplessness” which followed quite nicely into one of our character traits of gratitude and how being grateful in life makes you a happier person. They talked about some everyday strategies that we all could do in order to lead more grateful lives, but for me, the best part was the follow up work that they asked form tutors to do in registration. Each student compiled and shared the top three things on their personal “grateful list”. They wrote these on post-it notes to form part of our very first school “grateful tree”. By far the most common things students felt grateful for were not surprisingly family, friends, health and their homes. Several even said “school” which was reassuring too!

Here is the finished article, displayed in the Sixth Form Centre.
The tree in progress…….
The view from outside!

On Friday evening, the Year 8s had their first of two discos held over the year at The Holt. It had a spooky Halloween theme and was very well attended by Holt and Forest students.

These events are lovely to hold and they raise a lot of money for the school. However, they would not happen if it were not for the work of “The Friends of The Holt”. This group is the amalgamation of the former PTA and The Holt Trust. One of our governors, Cristina Bain is chair of this group and they are very keen to raise as many funds for the school as possible. Whilst we appreciate how busy everyone is, if you are able to volunteer your time to help at any of the events they hold, I know they would love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you cannot commit to helping at events, but feel able to give some time to fit around your commitments, then they are really keen for someone to take charge of a Friends of The Holt Facebook account. This can be done from anywhere, and in liaison with the committee, at any time. They are also looking for a stock taker. Someone who can spare a couple of hours per month to check and manage stock levels in the Friends of The Holt stock cupboard. If you are able to volunteer your services for any of these roles, then please do get in touch by emailing friends@holt.wokingham.sch.uk

As we progress through the last week of this half term, we still have some key events coming up!

On Thursday, we are holding a “wear something pink to school” day to raise funds for breast cancer awareness.

Also on Thursday evening, the music department are holding the Year 7 singing concert. This starts at 7pm in the main hall. This concert is a three-year-old tradition now and this year the theme is “Disney”. I am looking forward to hearing it and meeting more of our Year 7 parents.

Lastly, on Friday Mrs Martin and Mrs Williams have organised for a careers fair to take place in the sports hall. They have arranged for over 60 representatives from different sectors of industry to come to school and set up a stand for students to investigate. Each year group will have their own timeslot over the course of the day where they can wander round and ask lots of questions about future careers.

The day promises to be excellent and we look forward to telling you all about it in our next blog.

Have a lovely half term break

Mrs Pearce
Co-Headteacher

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