Dear parents, guardians and friends

November is not many people’s favourite month. The dark evenings have set in, and the twinkling lights of Christmas are still some way off – although Diwali has brought some brightness this past weekend.

School life, however, is certainly not dull at this time of year. It is a month of industry. There is a saying, “if we would like to move mountains, we should be willing to practise on small hills”; much that happens now builds towards the future.

We have been very impressed by the way in which our Year 11 students have gone about their PPEs (mock examinations) in mathematics. Three papers in the space of a week certainly tested their resilience and mental stamina. Having missed the experience of sitting their Year 10 examinations in school back in April, they have had a steeper learning curve than most. We hope they have learned valuable lessons about how to prepare, and the importance of eating, sleeping and relaxing alongside well planned hard work. The current Year 10 have also taken a PPE in Philosophy of Religion – a GCSE they will sit next summer.

Last week finished for Year 11 with workshops on study skills during which our Year 13 students passed on the benefits of their experience of revision. We are always delighted when our young people give up their time to help and inspire others. Our current Student Leadership Team have certainly done that over the past year, and they will soon pass on the baton to their successors. Staff and sixth formers have been voting for some outstanding candidates from Year 12, and the results of the final selection process will be made public in due course. I don’t think we need worry about an orderly transition.

Students have also been busy entering the technology department’s upcycling competition. Ingenious ideas for reusing and repurposing materials have led to a win for Weavers, with Tanners and Goldsmiths close behind. Some of the entries are pictured here.

Year 7 received this year’s flu vaccination on Monday – an important step in keeping them and the whole community healthier this winter. This event ran very smoothly with minimal disruption to lessons.

All of the activities I have mentioned in this blog post can only happen because of the unstinting work of our support staff including the site team, data team, exam team, admin staff, technicians and Student Support. We are very fortunate to have talented people working hard behind the scenes to make these things happen for your daughters and sons, and we are grateful to them.

If your thoughts are turning towards your Christmas shopping, we would be delighted if you would consider using the following links:


This raises money for the The Holt at no additional cost to you.

Finally, Mrs Pearce wrote last week about the fundraising taking place for a permanent memorial to James Furlong. We have been overwhelmed by the response from The Holt community and beyond. As I write, the total raised stands at over £9 000. If you would yet like to make a donation, please use this link:

Ben Adams
Assistant Headteacher