Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

It seems longer but it is now week 6 of Holt@home and week 9 of lockdown, albeit slightly relaxed as we stay alert.

Just as we have settled into a lockdown routine (which has had many positive unintended outcomes), where our students and staff have adapted brilliantly to working from home, we need to move out of this new comfort zone and adapt again as school partially reopens in June. The Coronavirus situation is not for the short term and Mrs Pearce and I are working on making the new way of working sustainable and comfortable at school. Our priority is making everyone safe and we have to work hard on this as well as ensuring we keep up our high standards of learning.

We are excited about the partial reopening of school for Year 12 and 10 after half term, so that staff and students can enjoy being with each other again and learning together, whilst following the protocols and guidance on social distancing and other protective measures to ensure we respect the health of our school community.

Year 12 will be in school from Monday 1st June, on a partial timetable. We will send a letter out to parents and students with more details at the end of this week. In summary, Year 12 students will be taught in classes of 15 or less and will have a two-hour face to face lesson per subject in school, one ‘live’ video lesson per subject and one remote lesson a week per subject. The Year 12 PPEs will be in school during the week beginning 15th June – 19th June.

We are staggering the partial reopening so Year 10 will be in school from Monday 8th June, on a partial timetable. For option subjects, students will have a one-hour face-to-face lesson (with less than 15 students) per week in school and three remote lessons over a fortnight. For maths and English students will have one live audio/video lesson of each per week and four remote lessons over a fortnight. For science, students will have two ‘live’ audio/video lessons a week and five remote lessons over a fortnight. For MFL, students will have one live audio/video lesson per week and three remote lessons over a fortnight. Learning Link will be open for Year 10 ICA students. We will write to parent in more detail the week before Year 10 start at school once we have finalised the detail.

We will continue with our key worker provision in the LRC and if you are a key worker or your daughter is vulnerable please do contact us

We are working with huge constraints, as is every other sector of the economy with social distancing and other protective measures, fewer staff available at school and managing the worries and uncertainties of the situation. However, Mrs Pearce and I are always humbled by the positivity and empathy of our parents, students and staff as we all work through this situation, which is new to all of us.

Year 7, 8 and 9 are taking their end of year assessments and we have been impressed with their ‘can do’ approach to them. Good luck for the rest of the week! After half term, staff will continue setting KS3 lessons as per student timetable and will send the work through in the morning. We are keen to maintain a high standard of work and as teachers become more confident and creative in setting remote learning we hope there will continue to be more variety. Tutors will call home again after half term – this worked really well.

The Heads of House are interviewing for Year 10 House prefects this week – over TEAMS. They are going well and the successful applicants will be notified on Friday. Mrs Williams leads the Heads of House, who in turn lead the sixth form House prefects and the newly appointed Year 10 prefects. The Heads of House are thinking hard about how to bring holthousesystem@ home for next half term – we are excited to hear about the plans. Miss Harris continues to pull together some beautiful letters, art and music from girls in KS3 to send to the Glebelands Care Home. The replies that come back from the residents are magic! Please ask you daughter to show you the ppt from the residents – it is emailed every week to your daughter and do encourage her to contribute if she wants too.

It is half term next week so we wish you and your family a peaceful break and thanks again for all your feedback and support over the last few weeks – it has been helpful, encouraging and reassuring.

Best wishes
Anne Kennedy