Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Last week was packed with exciting events that has left most of us feeling warm, appreciative and happy!

Thank you to all our families for the donations of pot noodles, sugar, washing powder, nappies and toothbrushes for the Wokingham food bank.Mr Marrison delivered the items to the foodbank on Friday. The volunteers were very happy that they had been sorted on Global day in crates!

Year 12 biologist entered the biology Intermediate Olympiad, – the results were excellent with Natalia Otto and Juhi Kapoor reaching Gold.  Well done!

The leading mathematicians Maryam Mirzakhani, Katherine Johnson, Isaac Newton, Fibonacci and Ada Lovelace were all the centre of attention for the Year 9 House maths competition. Each House had to create a wall display that was atheistically good, full of interesting information about the person’s life including their family and education and included some real world application.Well done to Tanners who came first, then is was Spinners and then Lacemakers. Tanner’s wall display was about the life of Maryam Miirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician and a professor of mathematics at Stanford University – who sadly died at the age of 40 from breast cancer. Spinners came second with a display about Arthur Caley and Lacemakers were third with Ada Lovelace.

Year 7 have had a few lovely period 5 lessons of late…and their teachers!….where they have congregated in the hall to watch house competitions.On Monday, Mrs Pearce and I judged the Year 7 House speech competition. ….a girl from each house was voted by her peers to speak on a chosen subject. Topics ranged from period poverty to gender equality to elephant poaching. All the speeches were excellent – engaging and interesting. Congratulations to Grace for her winning speech on Modern Slavery, with moving anecdotes, Saarah for coming second with a speech on challenging stereotypes and using her inspirational stories to engage the audience and to Sanjana, for coming third, for her passionate speech on female education and the lack of it in some areas of India – her personal stories were very moving. Well done to everyone who took part – all the speeches were of a high standard and well-rehearsed so the final decision was tough!

On Tuesday, Year 8 girls recited poems in the ‘Global Poetry by Heart’ competition in their period 5 lesson…with their science teachers enjoying the poems at the back of the hall. Girls recited poems including ‘Half- Caste’, ‘Hawk Roosting’, ‘Not My Business’, ‘Hurricane Hits England’ and ‘Valentine’. The girls were well rehearsed, and dramatized their poem in their voice and movements and they even had props to make their recital engaging. Well done to Sophie (T) for winning, Alyssia (S) for coming second and Shreya (L) for being third and of course to all the Year 8 girls who took part – they really went out of their comfort zone as they performed in front of their peers – they were inspirational! Thank you to Ms Mirza for organising both the speech and poetry competitions and to Mrs McClelland, Head of English, for being a judge and helping to organise.

Not only was it Global poetry day on Tuesday, Year 8 were also celebrating Día de la Hispanidad, a festival to celebrate all things from the Spanish speaking world.…..and a perk of being a Co-Headteacher as you will have gathered,  is being asked to judge.  I was particularly excited to judge the Year 8 Hispanic MasterChef competition. It is so good, the judges are given a few forks, glass of water and napkin and then we are set free on seven different meals… it was culinary delight to tuck into delicious paella, chicken stew, tapas, churros and salsa. The marks have been submitted and results will be revealed during the Year 8 presentation assembly.Thank you to Mrs Stoker and Mrs van Wyngaardt for organising the day.

On Monday, we welcomed admissions tutors from the universities of Exeter, Royal Holloway, Reading and Oxford Brookes to give our Year 12 an insight into university life.  Our speakers shared with the students what university life is like, why university and what tutors are looking for in a personal statement.  All of Year 12 left at 3.30pm with a first draft of their personal statement – which is impressive and will mean they will be ready to apply through UCAS in September and have their applications sorted by October half term.

The whole school were out on the field on Friday for Sports Day – each of the house banners for the opening ceremony represented an England Rose netball player – to celebrate the Netball world cup that is on this weekend in Liverpool.  Lacemakers won the banner competition with netball player Layla Guscoth , Tanners were second with Tracey Neville and Goldsmiths were third with Geva Mentor. Thank you to all the girls who put so much effort into preparing their house banners.

The athletics was excellent with the 60m school record being broken by Tomi in Year 7 by one second!Each House had a stall to raise money for their charity including mocktails, ice cream, Nachos, sweets and hair braiding – a total of £1500 was made for Charity. The support for the athletes was incredible and Mrs Pearce and I felt very proud of all our students for their encouragement of each other and engaging in the spirit of the day. Miss Barnett, Miss Harris and DJ Richard kept the atmosphere going with their witty commentaries and dance tunes.

It was a clean sweep for Weavers across all year groups – Congratulations!!

The Friends of the Holt colour run was enjoyed by 123 students and many others watching or throwing powder….and thank you to all who entered the race, The Friends raised £650 towards school resources.

Finally, a huge thank you goes to Mrs Bolton, Head of PE and her team, for the slick organisation of the sports day and for their excitement and enthusiasm that they brought to the day as well as the encouragement they gave to the girls. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Anne Kennedy