Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

This week Mrs Kennedy and I met with our first competition winners of the school year as we celebrated their success at becoming published authors.

The students, in Years 8, 9 and 10, each had to write a 100 word mini short story centred around one of the given themes. Our ghoulish girls almost all chose a horror and suspense genre; the work they have been doing in English on “atmosphere” clearly paid off!

Whilst many of the scenes involved graveyards and creepy old houses, some light relief was given however, in the way of a snow day story by Chloe Rudd, and a romantic proposal story by Amelia Oginska.

The girls were rightly proud of themselves, as were we, as they showed us their books which arrived last week.

Last Wednesday evening we welcomed over 200 of our new Year 7 parents to school as we talked through some more settling-in information. On the agenda was our school’s Growth Mindset philosophy and our character values of stoicism, gratitude and humility as well as information on building friendships, home learning organisation and reports and reviews. We hope the evening was very helpful to our parents, both “new” and to those with older daughters in the school.

Later tonight, we look forward to welcoming our new Year 12 parents to their information evening where the 6th form team will share with them information about the A level Mindset ideology which we promote here and which focuses on the key differences between success at GCSE and success at A level and how to get there.

Last Thursday afternoon, it was lovely to see our Year 13 students along with their parents as they met with their tutors and Head of Year to talk about their plans post -18, be that university, a degree level apprenticeship, or employment.

As the UCAS season is in full swing, the 6th form centre is buzzing with personal statement writing and research about universities.    Our students applying to Oxford or Cambridge, or to do courses such as veterinary medicine, medicine, dentistry or law are already well underway with this process as their deadlines for UCAS are much earlier. These students have been well supported by Mrs Baker and her specialist Oxbridge/early entry team comprising Mrs Whitehouse, Miss Izod and Miss Keeley.

We are very lucky that our 6th form team has such great experience and expertise with UCAS along with other pathways such as degree level apprenticeships; the students really are well supported.

On Friday, we had much excitement as the school photographers arrived to take the photographs of our new Year 7 and Year 12 students. They all looked very well presented; Year 7 with their smart blazers and Year 12 with their new lanyards!
Here are the Year 7 gathering in the hall arranging themselves in height order.

Here are the Year 7 gathering in the hall arranging themselves in height order.

The process was so very slick…..which bodes very well for next month when we are scheduled to have our whole school photo! That is quite some operation and luckily, we have always been blessed with good weather, so fingers crossed for this time. The whole school photo is really important to us; it enables every member of our school community to be part of Holt history. We often get former students come back into school, either as speakers, visitors, or more often as parents and the first thing they do in the meeting room is find themselves on the whole school photo that they were in.

We do a whole school photo every four years, because that way every student gets to be in at least one photo during their time here.

This week Mrs Davis launched her debate club to the Year 11 and 6th form students and was really delighted with the turn out and enthusiasm they showed. They are now preparing a motion on “Freedom of Speech” as a mixed team of year 11, 12 and 13s.

In addition, the Year 11 students are also getting ready for a brand new Inter House debating competition with the heats starting the week beginning 24th September and the final being on Friday 5th October.

Lastly, an early reminder, on Friday 28th September at 7pm we have our first Year 7 school disco of the year which I know the students really look forward to, so look out for more information about ticket sales soon!

Mrs Katie Pearce