Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

I hope you all had a good half term.  It is a busy seven weeks until the summer holidays with exams but also students will be able to take part in many enrichment activities. The summer term, once exams and assessments are completed has a slightly less frantic feel to it – for the students not the teachers!

The Year 7,8 and 9 students have started their end of term assessments this week and from my little chats with many of them at lunchtime yesterday, they seemed in control and calm.  It was great to see the girls relaxing at lunchtime; enjoying bubble gum lollies (the blue lips said it all!)  rather than cramming for the test in the next lesson…I was impressed!

On Thursday before half term, ten Year 9 and 10 students were invited to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers showcase at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), celebrating 100 years of female participation in the Army.  This joint venture between the Army and industry was to showcase the breadth of educational and career pathways into STEM careers for young aspiring female students.  It was a huge event with over 1000 students involved in the day.  The girls met female role models from a broad range of STEM employers who inspired them to think about traditionally difficult to reach careers for women.  Thank you to Mrs Williams and Mrs Hart for accompanying the girls.

On the same Thursday, District Sports day arrived on a very wet and gloomy day at Palmer Park!  However, the performances of our students and the team atmosphere were far from dreary and it was a wonderful day with a group of talented, committed and happy students.

The strength of athletics in Berkshire is particularly strong and we were competing against some of the toughest schools in the county.  The day was extremely successful and despite not winning all four age groups again this year, we came second in years 7 and 10 (by one point!) and our years 8 AND year 9 team were both crowned District Champions.  We also won the overall girls event combined, which is a fantastic achievement!  It was a great day and 10 girls were crowned District Champions in various events, with even more going on to represent Wokingham this weekend at the Berkshire Schools County Championships. Congratulations!  Thank you to Mrs Bolton and Miss Godfrey for all their coaching and support.

At lunchtime on Wednesday before half term Mrs Connor, Head of House for Haberdashers and her two senior prefects – Bella and Rhiannon (pictured below watching it all happen!) – organised a ‘Strictly Dance Competition’. Staff coupled up to showcase their ballroom dancing and Year 9 girls entertained us with an impressive dance sequence too.  Miss Bassett won ….dancing on her own, as her partner was not able to make it on the day.  Miss Bassett was amazing.  Thank you to the 100+ students who made up the enthusiastic and encouraging audience.  Well done to Haberdashers…they raised £102 for The Helen Douglas House.

The last day for Year 13 is always an emotional one as they reach the end of their time at The Holt.   The students dressed up ….enjoyed their last time with their group of friends around the same table they have had for two years in the sixth form centre and shared memories.

The senior prefect team, led by Lauren Webb, our fantastic Head Girl, wrote and delivered a moving final Year 13 assembly with time for reminiscing, looking forward, awards and some singing….from High School Musical!  Mrs Bellis and Mrs Kemp were thanked for all their support and guidance in addition to Ms Royle.  Members of each tutor group delivered very kind and thoughtful speeches about their tutors – which the tutors really appreciated. We wish Year 13 well as they head off to the next stage of their adventures, and we look forward to hearing all about them at presentation evening!  To quote a famous fictional headteacher……some wise advice reminding us that it is our choices that define us all.

Finally, Mrs Pearce and I are delighted with our new website – it feels modern and fresh.  We hope you find it easier to retrieve the information you need quickly.  As always, we are appreciative of feedback so if there is anything you would like to have added or changed please contact us.

Good luck to all our students taking exams this week for GCSE, A level and in Year 7, 8 and 9….we are thinking of you all the time – every adult has been through the intensity of exams!

Have a good week.

Anne Kennedy