Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends So the hour rolled forward on Mothers’ day, what a mean joke that was. I don’t know about you but I spent Sunday chasing my tail, wondering why I was running out of time! The advantage of course, is the lovely lighter evenings and with the warmer weather of late, it does feel like summer. It is lovely to see the girls out on the field at break and lunch at last, some playing games and running around and others chatting in groups, basking in the sun. We have had a very busy end to this term as usual, with the PE department coming back victorious from sporting events last week. Mrs Bolton’s basketball team won the Under 15 Berkshire Basketball Championships for the second year in a row after a great performance and team effort………

…….and Miss Shephard’s rugby team who are now the Under 15 Berkshire Champions after their stellar performance at the Berkshire Youth Games where they also won for the second year running.

This week has also seen the very competitive House football competition, run by Miss Flintham. The students all played very well and really had fun on the pitch. The winners were Year 7 Haberdashers, Year 8 Tanners, Year 9 Haberdashers and Year 10 Weavers. I absolutely love this photo!

Well done to all and thanks to our amazing PE department for all their hard work and encouragement. There has been some great work on the charity front as well this week. 7C organised a “Holt’s got Talent” competition where several Year 7s sang and danced their way through lunchtime. It was a small event, but very well organised and efficiently run. Well done to them!
Miss Harris also arranged for a former student, Chloe Brooks to come into school and speak to our charity prefects about her latest venture. Chloe was incredibly inspiring as she described her training for the “Marathon-des-sables” that she will be running for the charity Hope for Children. The Marathon-des-sables is a six-day, 251 km ultramarathon, which is approximately the distance of six regular marathons. The longest single stage is 91 km long. This multiday race is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara Desert and I am not surprised it to hear it has been called the toughest foot race on Earth! It certainly sounds it! We wish Chloe all the best, we are incredibly proud of her. If you would like to track her progress and send Chloe messages of encouragement over the course of the event from the 7th-12th of April then you can do so using the link; Her full name is Chloe Brooks and her race number is 401. Good luck to Chloe. We are looking forward to hearing all about her run when she comes back. Last week, we said a big “Thank You” to our Year 13 prefects for all their hard work over the last year. The prefect system is such a strength of our school and really embodies our vision of students working across the age groups to get things done and have a voice through student council. This year, prefects have run subject clubs, led subject and House assemblies, arranged numerous charity events, worked in teams for sports day and the Christmas Fayre, helped with House dance and generally assisted members of staff to help enable all the clubs, competitions and events to run. We couldn’t do it without them!

Mrs Kennedy and I also said a special thank you to our Head Girl Amber and her team of deputies for their fabulous work and service to the school. They seemed genuinely pleased with their special gift! I am sure they will use their mug at University and remember us fondly!

On Friday night, Mrs Williams and her team in the technology department led our second ever fashion show. A new tradition for The Holt School, this is the evening when the GCSE and A level students get to show their “final” pieces and parents and friends have an opportunity to see their work displayed. The work is not only garments made in textiles though, but also displayed are projects from product design and graphics. Mrs Van Wyngaart and some Year 10 students were also on hand to make amazing canapés, which went down well. Thank you to the technology staff for all your hard work!
Over the weekend, Mrs Williams then rushed off along with Mr Gray and the group of students going on this summer’s expedition to the Philippines for their training weekend in preparation for their trip in July. It was a good job the weather was warm, as they had to build a camp to sleep in! I think they all passed the training course luckily! Thanks Mrs Williams and Mr Gray!

That brings us to the last week of term and Mrs Kennedy and I are delighted to be shaking many hands as we present certificates and awards to recognise the hard work, effort and achievement of our students in our end of term presentation assemblies. Then on Friday, we have the big end of term assembly led by our Head Girl team and it is at this one where they hand over to our new team, Olivia Alborough and her deputies. Finally, it is then the Easter holidays! Mrs Kennedy mentioned in her blog last week that this is her first Easter holiday in seven years where she doesn’t have any of her children studying for public exams.  Well, this is my first one, as my Year 11 daughter knuckles down to break the back of her revision over the holiday. I will be on hand to make tea, toast and cook nice dinners, and……..yes….. I will be “looking after” her phone! I wish you all a lovely holiday, whether you are at home, going away or like me supervising the study of Year 11 and/or Year 13 children and look forward to seeing you all next term. Katie Pearce Co-Headteacher