Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

It has been a very busy week at The Holt.  Despite ensuring all teachers are “work from home enabled” it has very much been business as usual.

Last Tuesday, Year 9 and 10 students put their rugby officiating skills to practice at the Primary Berkshire Schools Games held at Reading Rugby Club.  The girls received training and carried out the Tag Rugby Officiating Award led by the RFU in February in preparation for the tournament.  Nicola McCombe, Berkshire’s Rugby Development Officer commented “quite simply, they were brilliant. They were confident, knowledgeable, efficient, encouraging to the young players and conducted themselves in a manner of which you should be extremely proud”.  Well done to everyone involved, and thank you to the PE department for organising this opportunity. It so good for confidence building and resilience to be taken out of your comfort zone like this…..

Talking about being taken out of their comfort zone, our three student Wokingham Council reps,  Holly Mackinnon, Daniela Bertolino and Hemani Rull, have also been busy attending events at the Council Chambers. Jan Nowecki who is the Town Clerk at Wokingham invited them to Westminster to experience the House of Parliament, Monday. She said that “they all found it both informative and interesting and were able to see some of the synergies between the custom and practice at this local tier of government and that at the national level”.  She also said they were all very good ambassadors for their schools and a pleasure to spend the day with.

That is so good to hear and we are also grateful to Jan for giving them this opportunity.

On Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th of March all of the Year 7s went on a trip to Rushall Farm for Geography. Nada El-Dali in 7L wrote this report:

“On this trip we learnt many things. One of the things we learnt was that Rushall Farm was a mixed and organic farm. This meant that they had animals and crops and that they did not use fertilizers. We also found out that most sheep give birth to 2 lambs. Occasionally, if they give birth to 3 or more, the farmers take one or more of the lambs away as the mother is not able to take care of more than 2 lambs.

We also had a lot of fun at Rushall Farm. We went on a tractor ride to the fields where we learnt about different types of soil. It was really fun to walk through the mud and get messy. Many of us got to hold a lamb, which was the best part of the trip. Even though some of us didn’t get to hold a lamb, we were allowed to stroke them, which was also very enjoyable. We also saw many animals, which include chickens, cows, sheep and pigs.

Overall Rushall Farm was a very fun trip. It was very nice to spend some time outside in the countryside, not caring whether we got muddy or not. We learnt many things which will help us continue to study our current topic in Geography which is Food Issues. Indeed, our next home learning project will be a write up of our trip to the farm”.

Thanks to Mr Marrison, head of geography for organising this trip and to all the staff who accompanied him and had a great day out.

On Thursday night the 6th form team led a Post-18 options evening for all our Year 12 students. This event was really well attended, and students and their parents had informative talks about apprenticeship options, and university applications. We were lucky to have representatives from all sectors. One such representative was our own Charlotte Webster, former Holt girl. Charlotte is now in the final year of her degree level apprenticeship but luckily for us has agreed to come back again next year to speak to our students again. Thanks Charlotte, and thanks to Mrs Bellis, Mrs Kemp, Mrs Whitehouse and Mrs Hart for their contributions.  

The PE department were busy on Friday as they organised another successful Sports Relief day. Students and staff all came to school dressed as their sporting hero, or in sportswear…….or just in joggers…… to celebrate. The Year 12 sports prefects even came to school dressed as their PE teachers…….! They then organised the sports mile for Sports Relief at lunchtime which was a great success. We were lucky with the weather and great fun was had by all!

Thanks to the PE department for leading this worthwhile event.

For those students and staff who preferred a bit of retail therapy at lunchtime, they could opt for the Swish sale, led by Mrs Williams, her prefects and her team.

This was effectively a posh and well organised “bring and buy” clothes sale. The prefects did a great job of collecting in items of clothing over the past few weeks and set it all up to be like one lovely big shop!.

This was the first time we have had an event like this and the team managed to raise £103. The proceeds are going to Miss Edwards charity to help build a school in Uganda.

On Monday, Mrs Weaver led a great day of revision workshops for all our Year 10 students. We have run this event for some time now as it really helps the students in the early part of their GCSE course to have a go at a variety of revisions techniques in readiness for their upcoming exams.

Here are the students hard at work…….thanks Mrs Weaver for planning and leading this event.

Lastly, on Monday evening, the Spanish department led their annual tapas evening. After thoroughly washing their hands (no doubt to the tune of cumpleaños feliz) the student tasted a variety of delicious Spanish snacks. The students were braver this year and really went for the squid in ink and mussels! After the snacks, they all danced the Macarena, led by our prefects Heather Martin, Hannah Ransome and Rosie Kennedy.

Thanks Mrs Stoker for organising this event.

It has been so good this week that all the great extra things we offer at the Holt have been able to go ahead despite the situation with Covid 19 ever more pressing.

Mrs Kennedy and I have never been prouder of our staff ,  their stoic and caring attitude in the face of really difficult times and of our students who remain calm and sensible as they  continue to join in!

We would also like to thank you, for being so supportive of us as we make and continue to make some tough decisions as we head towards Easter. 

Katie Pearce