Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

With the end of January in sight…….(the dark mornings and dark evenings will soon be a mere memory),  the green shoots of spring are on the horizon to give us all a lift. There is definitely a feeling of “heads down” in January isn’t there? That was certainly the case here as our Year 11 and 12 finally finished all their PPEs and are now emerging from their PPE fog to their previous day to day routines, ready to embrace more opportunities!

We are excited about lots of things that are happening at the moment at The Holt. Last week Miss Flintham and Ms Shephard took the Year 10 GCSE dance class to Oxford to see Richard Alston’s contemporary dance company. This was a great way to link in the theory studies of professional works and how stage, costume and lighting are used as well as inspiring the pupils with dance movement. The students enjoyed the trip and really got a lot out of it.

On Friday, the GCSE dance group took part in a four-hour intensive dance workshop learning set phrases for their GCSE assessments. This was led by Mel Simpson who was not only impressed with the girls dancing abilities but their fantastic work ethic, concentration and energy throughout the day. We are very excited by this promising first ever cohort of GCSE dance students.

Thanks Miss Flintham for organising these opportunities and thanks also to Ms Shephard for accompanying the trip to Oxford with Miss Flintham.

The school production is also coming together nicely. For those of you who follow us on Twitter, you will see regular updates posted by Mr Gray, Miss Edwards and Miss Harris. We are so excited for the Beauty and the Beast in March! Watch this space! (and Twitter of course.)

It is not just the arts that have had a week of great opportunity…….. we heard at the weekend that a team of Year 8 students from The Holt had made the semi-finals of the CyberFirstGirls competition. This is the first time we have got to this stage in this competition. Well done to Olivia, Priya, Sanjana and Niha, all from 8L. Thanks to Mrs Dearing and her team, Mrs Bernadotte and Mr Campbell for their  hard work and encouragement as well. Good luck for the next round in February.

We are really proud of the enrichment opportunities our fabulous staff offer here, and so I am delighted to let you know of the maths department’s plans for their maths enrichment week which starts next week on Monday 3rd February. To kick things off, the maths’ team have led assemblies all this week to whet the students’ appetites ready for next week, when each lunchtime there are numerous events aimed at all Key Stages. Students can choose from activities such as Mr Green’s shape safari, Mr Bryce’s topology, Miss Pyle’s networks with Dobble (a Pearce family favorite game) or Mr Fulker’s weird world of imaginary numbers and fractals! On Friday there is even a chocolate tombola to raise money for the NSPCC number day.  Please do talk to your daughter/son about this and encourage them to attend. For every session attended they get a stamp on their loyalty card. Three stamps equals a free entry to the raffle!

Lastly, today and yesterday Mrs Martin arranged for Pause to come into school. Pause is a branch of Soulscape with whom we collaborate on numerous projects. Year 7 and 8 were each able to visit the Pause space where they had an opportunity to step outside the day to day routine of school, take a deep breath and simply ‘be’. Pause is a place to reflect, enjoy quietness and peace. The classrooms were transformed into interactive zones with different themes and activities. The students really enjoyed this opportunity and got lots out of it! The Soulscape and Pause team were extremely complimentary about our students, who were excellent as always, asking lots of questions and just appreciating the space. Thanks to Michelle McLeish and her team at Soulscape.

Mrs Pearce