Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

We are in our final week of term and we are feeling very Christmassy at The Holt. It is wonderful to see such positive spirit around the school from the tutor doors dressed ready for their judging in the Christmas door competition, to hearing Christmas songs playing during dance in P.E lessons.

Last Thursday we had our first ever virtual Christmas concert. It was fantastic to see the contributions from our students and staff across the school, and it was great that the members of our school community were able to all contribute to a key event on our school calendar. A huge thank you to Mr Gray our Head of Music and Mrs O’Reilly who coordinated the recording and rehearsals for the Christmas concert and put together an outstanding event. Our staff choir were even able to form virtually with all of their individual parts being merged together using the wonders of technology and Mr Gray’s expertise. We were also able to have part of the concert filmed from St Paul’s, thank you to Father Richard for allowing us to do this and providing a beautiful reading for the concert. The benefit of a virtual event is that it is still available to watch via the following link which will be available until Thursday at 7pm.

On Friday we also had our Christmas jumper day and Christmas picnic.  It was brilliant to see the girls embrace the festive spirit, wear the hats from their crackers and tell some awful jokes. Thank you to our caterers Chartwells for adapting our Christmas lunch to a grab and go style!

Also this week the Year 11 GCSE drama students performed their devised pieces which contribute towards their final GCSE grades. The students have been working tirelessly on these pieces and they have done very well to rehearse and refine their work. Miss Edwards and Mrs Bennett were very impressed at the quality of performances which were produced. Thank you to the drama department for your hard work with this.

We also saw a house Christmas cake competition this year. Bake off can stand aside as we clearly have some very talented students (and staff) amongst us! Well done to everyone that entered, it was terrific to see a range of entries across the year groups. I have included some pictures below of some of the mouthwatering entries. Thank you to Mrs Nyaziki and the technology department for running such a fantastic competition!

This week we also thanked our outgoing sixth form house prefects and subject prefects for their hard work over the last year. They have worked really hard this year to support with adapted House events in line with Covid restrictions, produced fantastic assemblies and they have been impressive role models within the school. With this, we have also elected our new House prefects for this year, we were very impressed with the way our sixth form students presented themselves in their virtual interviews via teams. Congratulations to our new house prefects, and we will be advertising the role of our subject prefects in the new year.

We would also like to wish Miss Shephard the best of luck in her new role at Windsor Girls as an assistant headteacher. We know Year 11 are very grateful for all the support and guidance you have given them, and we want to thank you for your contributions to the P.E department, we will all miss her very much.

Then lastly, we have our traditional end of term assembly on Thursday during period 5 before we break up. As with all events such as these at the moment, it will be delivered via Teams. A huge thank you to our Student Leadership Team for organising this, they have adapted seamlessly to this new type of assembly and have worked tirelessly to ensure it is a fantastic Christmas assembly. They have contributed so much to the school community and have we have been very impressed with their flexibility under challenging circumstances. This will also be their final act as our Student Leadership Team this year, and the new team will be introduced to the school during this assembly.

It has been a very long, but very successful term. The students and staff have been amazing under our ‘new normal’. As a school community we have done more things virtually than we ever thought possible from teaching, to parents’ evenings and even open evenings. We have really appreciated your continued support throughout this term.

The Senior Leadership Team and I would like to wish you a lovely and restful Christmas break, and a happy and safe new year!

Emma Ward

Assistant Headteacher

Head of Sixth Form