Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Last Thursday, Soulscape came in for a second day to work with our Year 9 students as part of their PoR GCSE work. We invite Soulscape in because they have first-hand experience of some of the topics covered at GCSE such as Christian persecution, prayer, worldwide church and pilgrimage. This enables the students to hear another voice and enhances the GCSE course. All the speakers are volunteers and we are hugely grateful for the time that they give to us.

The day was organised by Mrs Barker, Head of the PoR department. Soulscape were so complementary about our students’ behaviour and contributions and equally our students really enjoyed the day. It was also lovely to welcome back Mrs Gibson, a former PoR teacher at The Holt who is now part of the Soulscape team, pictured below.

On Friday, those “winning Weavers” enjoyed their House party. This was their prize for winning this year’s House competition, which runs from April to April to enable the Year 11 and 13 students to also join in. Tanners came a close second this year, but all of our Houses have worked hard over the last 12 months, raising money for charity, holding House events, entering sports events and other subject House competitions.  Miss Izod, Head of Weavers was delighted with her team and the whole House enjoyed their party treat, along with Mrs Williams who leads our Heads of Houses. Well done Weavers and Miss Izod. The competition has started again from zero now, so the all the Houses are back in the game.

Last term, Mrs Hart our careers lead, launched a national competition called “Step into the NHS” set by the NHS for our Year 8 and 9 students. The aim was to research and advertise the many careers on offer in the NHS and to share the message that there are jobs to suit anyone no matter what your interests and skills are. To enter the students had to choose a career that interests them, create a job description, and an advert. Entries could be individual, or groups of up to four. The prize was a tablet or a £50 Amazon voucher.

Nationally, there were over 3000 entries, and although we didn’t win, many of our students were highly commended for their work, and they will all receive certificates.

Some groups produced videos and others models or posters. Here are some of the entries.

Well done to our students who challenged themselves to have a go!

The theme of Mrs Kennedy and my assembly last week was Achieve, and although we stressed that to achieve wasn’t just about winning, or gaining other accolades, but I do want to take a moment to celebrate some recent sporting achievements.  Last night, our Year 10 and 11 students challenged themselves and worked very hard over the season to compete in the Under 16 football finals, led by Miss Shephard.  The team unfortunately lost 3-0 against Maiden Erlegh, but played a fantastic match and Miss Shephard was rightly very proud of them.  Well done to you all!

Also in sporting news, we were delighted to hear that Eleanor and Izzy Blinkhorn, Harriette Smith and Rachael Newman and their synchronised swimming team were crowned National Champions at the weekend at the National Synchronised Swimming Championship finals in Nottingham. The hard work and commitment needed to perform at this level is phenomenal and Izzy and Rachael are also working hard for their GCSEs at the same time! Well done to you all!

We encourage all of our students to challenge themselves and have a go at things and take the opportunities on offer and as such, we are delighted to be launching a special “Passport” for our Years 7 and 8 students. The passport will give examples of things the students can do and get involved in, that will Inspire and Challenge themselves, so they can Achieve. This links into our vision for all our students; that they gain cultural capital by being Inspired, for exampleby taking a trip to a museum, or listening to a free music recital. That they will develop confidence through Challenge, by leading a House event, or entering a competition for example, and lastly, they will develop high aspirations for themselves and Achieve, by perhaps reading a non-fiction book around a subject that interests them, or attending a lunchtime career seminar.  Once completed, the students will track their progress. We think this will be a great opportunity to share awareness of the opportunities out there and to encourage our students to move out of their comfort zone.

Ms Royle will be launching this with the students in assembly next week.

Katie Pearce