Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Last week, we held our annual Harvest celebrations. New staff to the school are always quite surprised about how big an event Harvest is at The Holt and this year was no different. The preparations started almost at the start of term as Miss Harris, our Charity Coordinator came up with the theme along with Mr Furlong and Mr Marrison, our Global Learning Coordinators.   The theme was “the long hot summer” and the drought it bought around the world and the impact that had on the growth of crops. Each House had their own take on that theme and produced a notice board for display on aspects such as the devastation caused by the Scandinavian forest fires by Haberdashers and the peach harvest failures in the USA by Lacemakers. Students were then asked to bring in produce to be delivered in boxes designed by their form to be delivered by Year 11 students to Wokingham’s elderly and to the local food bank.

In true Holt style, Harvest is an opportunity for a House competition and it was great for Broderers to make a start in the House point standings!

Here is their House board; well-done Broderers, a great start! Their theme was the decrease in cod supplies.

The winners of the House competition were Goldsmiths and their winning display was on the lettuce crisis in Japan. Second place went to Tanners and their board was about the coffee bean shortage and third place went to Spinners who displayed information about the crop failures in Germany.

Here are the top three displays

On Thursday morning, the Head Girl and her deputies led a lovely Harvest assembly to each Year group on “a lot out of a little”. The idea was that out of a drought around the world, producers had to be creative with their harvest. This was then linked nicely with the idea of gratitude; and how a small act of kindness can have a big impact on someone else’s life.

The students and choir sang the old favourites “Cauliflowers fluffy” and “Autumn days” and of course a traditional Holt assembly wouldn’t be the same without our House prefects coming on stage to announce the winners of the House competition and the current House standings. This time they came on dressed as vegetables led by “Farmer Adams” who started off the results with his vegetable themed “corny” jokes!  The audience were highly amused…….or was that bemused?

After the assembly, Miss Harris and her volunteers collated all the produce ready for delivery. We certainly had an impressive amount of food for the Year 11 to deliver the next day.

Here are the ladies at the local food bank……..

Thank you to all our parents and carers this harvest for your generosity and thanks to Miss Harris and her team for all the hard work that went into the Harvest preparations.

Later that day, as I was on lunch duty with Miss Herron, the Head of Year 7, and we thought we would pop along to some Year 7 clubs. We were impressed with a very packed science club, where the students were digging around in soil filled boxes looking for the bugs that were listed on a sheet they were given. I had to leave when they started finding the worms……

It is lovely to see so many students getting involved with the vast array of clubs that are run every day. There is literally something for everyone. If your daughter does not yet take part in an extra-curricular activity, ask her to check on Frog to see if there is anything she likes the look of. We have music clubs, sports clubs, art and drama as well as subject based clubs in practically every curriculum area. These are set up and run by our staff who are very well supported by our senior prefects in the 6th form.

Thanks Miss Kostaki and Mrs Whitehouse for letting us interrupt science club!

From harvest on Thursday, food was still the theme on Friday as we held our annual Macmillan coffee morning. This was organised by Mrs Van Wyngaardt, the Head of Food and Nutrition and was a huge success. We had more cake than ever before, which was great as the queue was enormous. However, thanks to an extended break everyone left happy with lots of cake. This year, we raised an impressive £720.98 for The Macmillan cancer charity.

Thank you to Mrs Van Wyngaardt, Mrs Oyedele and their team of prefects for organising such a successful event and thank you again to parents and carers for your generosity with the amounts of cake your daughters brought in to sell.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and perfect to welcome around 90 former staff and students to the twice yearly Holt association lunch. This event is organised by Linda Carroll and Steve Thomas, former staff, and very active leaders of the Holt Association and their team.

The Holt Association raise lots of money for school through their donations and it is lovely when they all meet up to reminisce over old times. This year, we met some of the very first Spinners and Haberdashers seen below.


The former students love to look around and see what the school looks like today and find out about the kind of things the girls get up to! It was lovely therefore to be joined by our willing volunteers on a Saturday, happy to wear their uniform one extra day!

Here are some Year 9 girls with Linda and Lois from the Holt Association.

If you are a former Holt girl and starting to feel a bit nostalgic, then please do consider joining. Contact Mrs Carroll on for more details. It would be lovely to see you at the next lunch in March.

We have had a great couple of weeks for sport as well……

It started when our sixth form netball team walked away from the U18 South East Berks Netball tournament with gold medals, as Mrs Kennedy mentioned last week. They were undefeated all afternoon.

Then we had our first Cross Country race of the year at Highdown School, having the most amount of participants running. We are currently 1st for the Year 9/10 team, so hoping this continues this week. Well done to Abi Baines for coming 1st, Maddison Grandin for coming 3rd and Bethan Howells for coming 7th

Then, the Year 11 Netball team won the South East Berks netball tournament.

Followed by success in hockey, when we hosted a Hockey Festival at The Holt for Year 9, 10 and 11. The A team won the hockey festival. We had some amazing participation rates by our girls, having the most amount of girls in the tournament.

Finally, last night both our Year 7 netball teams won their matches! Great news!

Well done to all our players and many thanks to the PE department!

Yesterday, we had our four-yearly whole school photo! This is an important part of continuing our Holt history. It was an enormous undertaking; 1,254 students in one photo, but it was brilliantly organised by Mrs Perry and the students were amazing as ever. Here is Mr Stromdale getting the staff ready for the picture, and also you can see the students getting into place.

Look out for that when it is printed!

Lastly from me, a reminder that tomorrow there is early closure as we have our Year 6 open evening. Thank you to all students in advance for your help. We have record numbers of subject volunteers as well as our prefects in Year 11 and the Sixth form ready to guide prospective parents around our fabulous school.

Mrs Katie Pearce