Dear parents, guardians and friends,

Good news – Covid numbers are right down to just 10 students and 1 teacher. Half term provided a timely ‘fire break’. We are looking forward to returning to face-to-face assemblies and mixed extra-curricular clubs from next week.

It is really important that we have as much face-to-face interaction as possible and extracurricular, students love being together and seem to embrace it more given their experiences of lockdown over the couple of years.

As a senior leadership team, we were inspired by the responses from the nations children in the report ‘The Big Ask….The Big Answer’ published last month. Dame Rachel de Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England succinctly concludes the findings in a well written forward. The report refers to a survey where the response rate was the largest ever for such a project, with over 500,000 children between 7-19 years responding. The overarching message from the children was one of heartfelt optimism and ambition for the future. The respondents said they valued a happy home, things to do outside, school and learning and the importance of good physical and mental health. The report recognizes the young people’s desire to want to participate in their communities, which is really great as well as the challenges that some face. Rachel de Souza described our young people as the ‘sleeves up’ heroic generation and I think we can all learn from their perspective of how things are and how they want to be in the future.

The Big Ask – Big answers (

It is 58 pages but the forward and conclusion are enough to feel inspired, understand the challenges and be reassured by the sensible responses from the children and from the Children’s Commissioner’s responses. We will do our best to take on board the suggestions where we can influence and let’s hope national and local government also reflect on the findings.

In school this term, we have certainly noticed how enthusiastic students are to participate in enrichment clubs. Netball is the number one club in Year 7, 8 and 9 with more that 70 students attending, dodgeball is popular in Year 10 as is crochet club in Year 8 and the neuroscience club run by the science department is attracting more over 40 students in Year 9. Over 80% of students in Year 7, 8 and 9 are attending at least one club in school which is fabulous – our highest rates ever and reflects the findings from the Big Ask …that young people want to be involved and participate.

Next week it is our sixth form open evening and we are looking forward to meeting Year 11 parents and their daughters. There will be a short presentation about our sixth form and the application process in the school hall at 6.00pm. Following the presentation there will an opportunity to find out about courses offered at The Holt School sixth form. Staff and students from each department will be giving short talks across five repeated sessions with some time for questions and answers before the end of each session.

Join Our Sixth Form | The Holt School

Please can you remind your daughter/son to take a LFT test twice a week, preferably on a Monday and Thursday so we can minimise asymptomatic cases and so reduce transmission in school.

Finally, we wish Year 11 good luck with their maths PPEs – they have 3 papers in three days this week and also thanks to their teachers who will be marking the scripts over the next week.

Have a good weekend

Anne Kennedy