Dear Parents and Guardians

After eight weeks of holt@home it is good to welcome staff and students back to school this week… after so long, most of us have mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension.

Here are the ten things that we have learnt after such a crazy year

  • Socialisation
    Students all say they are looking forward to seeing their friends and staff look forward to seeing students and their colleagues.  Everyone used to long for a day off but now everyone is keen to be back.  The vast majority of us like to chat!  Student talk in lessons is one of our school priorities which we will encourage through debate and discussions in class… more ‘you’re on mute’ or ‘my mic isn’t working’!
  • Adaptability
    We all can adapt to new situations much faster than we thought possible.  The live lessons worked very well and staff and students navigated the functionality of TEAMS with confidence after just a few lessons.
  • Structure
    It is no wonder that the school day has barely changed since the 1900s…we all like some structure, routine and a sense of purpose each day.  It makes the weekend seem extra special.
  • Taking responsibility
    Students have developed independent learning skills at a faster pace than would be expected as they have had to take responsibility for their learning….they have had to keep up, be assertive in asking for help and looking for alternative explanations when needed.
  • The IT department are heroes
    Mr Drew and Mr Bird have worked tirelessly over school closure to keep our IT systems working and for reminding us constantly how to change the presenter mode….we would have been scuppered without them.  Thank you!
  • Having a school uniform isn’t so bad after all
    ‘Loungewear’ became the uniform of lockdown but there is nothing nicer than changing out of school uniform into cosy joggers at the end of the day….helps to give separation between home and school which is nice.
  • LFT centres in sports halls – no sweat!
    93% of students taking lateral flow tests will have passed through three times in the next two weeks – that is 3200 tests in total… Mrs Martin and Mrs Maynard have done a brilliant job project managing the task.  Thank you.
  • A pandemic is the perfect time to fix leaky pipes
    We have had all sorts of problems with old leaky water pipes and faulty boilers over the last few weeks but with no disruption to anyone.
  • Storm Darcy couldn’t take down our marquees
    We replenished the marquee floors with some decent wooden batons over Christmas and ropes were tightened to take on the storm.  All remained in order with no puddles or flapping sides.  The home improvements have continued with Mr Giles assembling more picnic tables. Big shout out to Mr Phillips and Mr Giles for all their hard work and vigilance around the school site. 
  • We are all grateful for our learning!
    Learning is a positive experience, brings meaning and makes life more interesting for all of us for sure!

Finally Year 11 started their PPEs on Monday – we are all thinking of you and wish you good luck!  Mrs Pearce is up next week for the blog and followed by blogs from the rest of leadership over the next few weeks.

Best wishes

Anne Kennedy