Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

It has been a busy but quiet week at The Holt.  Mrs Pearce and I have been meeting with Heads of Department all week to discuss their exams analysis and the key strategies that worked alongside areas to develop that will improve performance even more. We are very fortunate to have passionate and knowledgeable staff leading departments…..they all come up with subject specific actions that will hopefully lead to more marginal gains next year.

The Year 13 prefect team are working hard organising the harvest assembly based on the theme of ‘community and freedom’.  Forms are preparing their harvest offerings as well as the House displays that will be set up on Wednesday afternoon. Thank you to everyone who has brought in produce – it is going to our elderly community in Wokingham and the foodbank.

It still felt very much like summer on Saturday when Mrs Pearce and I were kindly invited to The Holt Association biannual lunch.  The Holt Association is made up of ex Holt girls and staff.  Sheila, Hazel and Moria were all at The Holt during the war and they remembered planes flying over making their way to or from Woodley airfield.  They laughed when I asked them if they were scared – they said it was exciting.  They did concede that they did not really know what was going on as no mobile phones (!).   They also talked about deportment lessons and woolly pants they had to wear under their skirts…..opaque tights are better!

Christine Holland was Headteacher between 1969 and 1980 and Beryl Ogden was Deputy Headteacher between 1970 and 2008.  They talked about the stresses back then and said that it was mainly tricky students and they used to do student swaps with The Emmbrook – we call this a managed move now.   Our stresses are budgets, recruitment and relentless accountability – things have changed over the years! Christine said they had a lot of money back in the 70’s.

Kate, Diane and Jo were members of staff between 1975 and 2011 and they were keen to hear about how our current students are getting on, the new gates and of course the House standings!

Finally thank you to Holly, Daisy and Katie for representing current Holt girls and to Linda and Steve (ex staff) who devote so much time to keeping up the community of ex staff and students – the fond memories and friendships have clearly lasted for many years.

Not sure girls played rugby in the 70s and 80s at The Holt but they definitely do now.  Congratulations to Charlotte Cross and Amelia Brindle who will be part of the Centre of Excellence for the premiership sides of Richmond U18 and Harlequins U18.  An amazing opportunity for both girls and a big shout out to Miss Shephard, who inspired and encouraged them to take up rugby in the lower years – thank you!  Here they are helping with KS3 rugby club – giving back.

Finally, we have welcomed many Year 6 parents over the last three weeks to see The Holt in action….our Year 11 prefects have been very informative tour guides telling parents how it is…and they are our best ambassadors.  The last parent tour is next Monday and the Year 6 open evening is next Thursday –all Year 6 girls and their parents are very welcome.

Best wishes

Anne Kennedy