Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

At The Holt, we always mark the seasons and special times of the year. Doing so helps to bring us together and lends a rhythm that weaves its way through our learning and teaching. This includes House competitions such as sports day, and events such as Easter, Christmas, Remembrance Day, and harvest – which we celebrate this week.

Of course, this is a year like no other, but we believe that makes it even more important to practise the virtues of gratitude and generosity that are hallmarks of harvest tide. Long gone are the days when most of the population, young and old, would be involved in bringing in the harvest. However, we still think it is important both to be thankful and to share what we have.

One of my roles as Assistant Headteacher is to coordinate our programme of assemblies and “Thought for the Week”. Covid-19 means it is impossible to assemble multiple year groups together but, within our bubbles, we continue to think about ideas that take us outside of ourselves.

Our harvest assemblies this week, led by our Student Leadership Team, will celebrate some of the “unsung heroes” of the fight against Covid-19. Many people have kept us safe and helped to keep the country running this year including those working in food production, retail, transportation, public services, the armed forces, postal services, banking, telecommunications – the list goes on. House prefects are creating displays to remind us of these roles, and others, that we might take for granted. We hope that all in our community will find ways to express gratitude to those around them as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.

Harvest is also an opportunity for generosity. As a school, we normally collect food that is then organised into parcels and delivered to elderly local residents by our Year 11 students. Unfortunately, we can’t do that this year, but we have still been collecting donations to be passed on to https://wokingham.foodbank.org.uk/.

They do a wonderful job of supporting local people in need, and would value any donations you make at any time of the year. Thank you to all of our students who have brought produce in, and to our parents whom, I suspect, may have paid for it.

Miss Harris – our charity coordinator, harvest organiser, and inspirational teacher of English – has shared this thought for the week with us:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant”

(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Much can be drawn from these words:

  • They take us back a step; there can be no harvest tomorrow if we don’t plant seeds today
  • They remind us to be stoic, taking action where we can rather than fretting about success and failure
  • They remind us that patience and dedication are needed to bring about a harvest

Each member of our Senior Leadership Team is attached to a year group and supports the Head of Year as they nurture and guide the students therein. I have had the great pleasure of working with Mrs Priddy, Mrs Worthington, Mrs Griffiths and our outgoing Year 11 students over the past five years. I am delighted that so many of them have chosen The Holt Sixth Form as the best place to continue their studies, and remember their tentative first steps when they, and I, joined the school in 2015.

Mrs Priddy and I now have the responsibility of working with our new Year 7 students. We are really impressed with how well they have started – especially considering the extra challenges this September has brought. It’s wonderful to see them getting into good rhythms and routines with their organisation and home learning, and to see them beginning to take up extra-curricular activities. The seeds that they plant now will provide a harvest in the years to come.

Thank you, as always, for your support. As we say a final goodbye to the summer, I hope you enjoy a few more days of sunshine.

Ben Adams
Assistant Headteacher

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