Dear Parents and Guardians

The voting for the new House is underway and the results will be shared on Thursday….Broderers, Bakers, Basketmakers or Bowyers.  Linda Carroll and Steve Thomas stirred up passions with their assemblies on the history of The Holt and the Houses.  We are lucky to be part of a school which dates back to 1931 and having recently visited a school built in the 1970s it made me appreciate even more the history of The Holt.  The archiving system is vital to holding on to the history of the school and enabling us to trace the changes in schooling and lifestyle and the things that do not change such as the House system!  We are hugely grateful to Steve, Pauline and Linda for their time and commitment to running the archives and especially to Steve who is digitising them all.

Linda and Steve were very impressed with the girls in assembly; their enthusiasm for the naming of the new house and their attentiveness.  They sent this card to express their gratitude.

The senior House prefects took their first House assemblies last week where the girls in the different Houses had to choose a charity. The charities are Wokingham Homeless (S), Helen and Douglas House (H), Mind UK (L), Reverse Rett (C), Reading Deaf Children Society (W), Rays of Sunshine (G) and Daisy’s Dream (T)

Year 10, 11 and 12 students keen to find out more about studying at Oxford and Cambridge attended talks from quirky lecturers from Cambridge. The most popular was the lecture on neuroscience and in particular on dreams.  The lecturer was impressed with the deep thinking of the girls through the questions they asked!  Another guest speaker from Cambridge delivered a lecture on behavioural economics and in particular, how we stereotype to short cut decision making. Again, it was very thought provoking. The girls engaged well and they were totally enthralled by the subject matter.   Mrs Davis and Mrs Bell work closely with our link college, Trinity College at Cambridge as part of their outreach programme and we are grateful to them for organising the lecture day.

This week we have been sorting out work experience placements for our Year 12 students for three days in July.  The statutory guidance from the government states that every student in the sixth form should have first-hand experience of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing or work experience to help their exploration of opportunities and expand their networks, additional to any part time jobs they may have.  We really do want our students to succeed into transition from education to the workplace so they can lead positive lives and contribute positively the lives of others.  Work experience is one vital part to good careers guidance as well as strengthening our students’ applications for university and apprenticeships.  We cannot underestimate the experiences they have in meeting new people, dealing with customers, being self-motivated in getting tasks completed, problem solving, using their knowledge from A levels and literally building up the stamina needed for  working eight consecutive hours in a day…..there are no ‘study periods’ in the workplace!

We sent out a letter to parents, staff and alumni to request work experience placements in March but we didn’t receive a very good response so another letter has gone out today  Thank you to the parents who have been touch, but please, if you are able to take a student for one to three days that would be very helpful.  The paperwork is minimal and would just involve a phone call to you to go through the Health & Safety checklist….they have really simplified it in the last few months. If you know your organisation takes on work experience students please let us have a contact name and phone number.  We appreciate it can be awkward or challenging to have a work experience student tagging on for 1 to 3 days but it can also be an interesting experience for a rising middle leader to sort them out for the duration of the work experience.   The sectors that students have expressed a particular interest in are health care (medicine, nursing, physiotherapy), geography or environmental related, psychology related, journalism, international culture, biological sciences, finance and accountancy, law, sports, art galleries, fashion, business/marketing, estate agencies and architecture.  If you can help please do get in touch.

Finally, I wish you all a relaxing long weekend, if you are lucky enough to work weekdays only.


Anne Kennedy