Dear Parents Guardians and Friends

Last Thursday morning, Tamanna Steven and I were nervously waiting for a phone call from Radio Berkshire – they wanted to talk to us about the overwhelming response we have had to the Just Giving page for Mr Furlong. Tamanna spoke really well on the radio and was able to mention how The Holt community as well as the community of Wokingham and Reading are coming together to raise funds in this way.  A comment from an ex-student sums up the messages that people are sending:

Mr Furlong was my history teacher from year 11-13 – he started at The Holt when I was in year 10. He was such a brilliant teacher, made every lesson interesting and even with a syllabus dedicated to the triumphs of men he went above and beyond to make sure we learnt about women in history as well. His brilliant teaching even followed me to uni, as in my second year I ended up taking a module unrelated to my field because I had heard of him speak on the topic in class. I can only assume he was as brilliant a person outside his job as in it.
So I have to thank you again, for finding a way to memorialise him at The Holt so he isn’t forgotten as another statistic.

As I write this blog, the fund has reached an amazing £11,808 so our thanks to everyone who has donated so far. The next step for Tamanna and the Memorial Committee is to plan for the memorial mosaic artwork itself.

At a time of year when we look forward to Christmas it is always good to think about other people and yesterday was our first ‘Charity Tuesday’. Collecting for charity is a big part of The Holt school ethos and our Houses raise hundreds of pounds for their respective charities each year.  

The charity sales (and yes there were cakes!)  are covid-19 compliant and held in year group bubbles in the marquees at lunch time. Students use Wisepay to purchase plastic tokens which they can spend at the stall.  These pictures show 9W and 7L preparing for their sales.

In the run up to Christmas we are also going to hold a Charity Christmas Jumper day. On 11th December all students and staff can donate to Save the Children charity and wear a Christmas Jumper. This will be on the same day as the festive Christmas Picnic – no full dinner this year but students can purchase picnic lunches to eat in the marquees, which will be decorated, and very Christmassy I am sure.

In addition we are collecting advent calendars to send to the food bank, a big thank you to Miss Harris for coordinating our charity events.

Last Friday was sixth form taster day. This is when the Year 11 students get the chance to experience actual A level lessons as well as learn about the courses, and hear from the Student Leadership Team about life in the sixth form. They also get the the sole use of the Sixth Form Centre for the whole day and no doubt also enjoyed the hot chocolate! Mrs Bellis the Deputy Head of the Sixth Form commented that she had ‘never seen a year group as good as Year 11 today! ‘

More information about applying for The Holt Sixth Form is here

Finally, I am going to ask for your help again. Now that the Year 13 PPEs are finished the Geographers are focusing on their NEA coursework. We would be really grateful if you could find time to respond to the questionnaires. They are all focused on our local area and your responses are a major part of their data collection.

Here are two to start off with –


Many thanks

Mrs Y Smith

Assistant Headteacher