Dear parents and guardians,
There is a feeling that spring has sprung at The Holt in recent weeks. I write this on the National Day of Reflection, organised by mariecurie.org.uk, with HRH Prince Charles encouraging us all to remember the sadness of the past year. However, the lengthening days, the appearance of spring flowers, and the gradual easing of lockdown are all calling us to look forward as well.
There are certainly some things we are glad to move on from. Mrs Kennedy mentioned a fortnight ago the massive undertaking of organising lateral flow testing for all students in school. This was brilliantly planned by Mrs Martin and Mrs Maynard, and supported by a small army of staff. Students should now have picked up home testing kits, and we are grateful for your help in ensuring that testing takes place and that any positive results are reported as detailed in Mrs Martin’s letter. This will help us to reduce transmission in school and keep the whole community safer.
The PE department are delighted that the in-school LFT programme has come to an end. This means that they get their Sports Hall back for lessons and clubs. They have also welcomed back Mrs Bolton from maternity leave this week.
I have the pleasure of overseeing the Year 9 options process in school. The senior leadership team, together with Ms Herron, enjoyed interviewing all the girls during February to discuss their choices and future plans. It was wonderful to hear so many of them talk so passionately about the subjects they plan to take. We are really pleased to have had our highest ever uptake of GCSE Computing; it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but is important that girls have the opportunity to study the subject here, and that some of those will go on to work in the high tech industries that abound in this area.
Speaking of which, Mrs Dearing encouraged our Year 8 students to participate in the CyberFirst Girls Competition run by the National Centre for Cyber Security. We had sixteen teams of four sign up to the challenge, and our highest performing team went on to the national competition. Congratulations to Teah, Kadijah, Leila and Ghina who made it all the way to the semi-final from a field of 1600 teams.
KS3 students have also had the opportunity to enter an art competition based around Mothers’ Day, but also celebrating any and all of the important women in our lives. Mrs Skeates was delighted with the entries – some of which you can see below.
We have all been saddened by the death of Sarah Everard. Holly from Year 10 has put together a “Thought for the Week” highlighting the problem of male violence towards women. All staff and students are encouraged to wear a yellow item of clothing or accessory on Friday 26th March to show solidarity with the countless “Sarahs” worldwide, and as a symbol of hope.
Charity Tuesday, on 30th March, will see Goldsmiths House will be holding a number of events to raise money for their house charity Rays of Sunshine. Tokens will be used instead of cash, and these should be purchased in advance via WisePay.
I would like to pay tribute to our students in Years 11, 13 and 10 who have worked hard to prepare themselves for PPEs (mocks) in less than ideal circumstances. We are really proud of the way in which they have faced additional challenges. Along with all of our students, they certainly deserve some downtime over the Easter break.
Finally, Mrs Lamey has been encouraging us to “wonder more” in assemblies this week, so I will leave you with a poem of spring, because I don’t need an excuse for a poem.
Loveliest of Trees
- E. Housman 1859-1936
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.