Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

I hope you were allowed to work from home and enjoyed the snow day as much as our students and staff did – it was a real Brucie Bonus!

Joel Park filled up with children, parents and teenagers soon after 9am to get the best fresh snow…my Year 13 economists were out there and they told me the slope was perfect for sledging – it was great to see them out before they embarked on their past paper at home!

A special well done needs to go to our Year 11 Health and Social Care students who had their actual GCSE exam on Friday morning – they were in good spirits in the morning and a few were appreciative of their parents making them breakfast and saying ‘you can do it’…it was actually ‘we can do it’! Most of the girls walked to school or rode in on the very reliable X4 bus … they never seem to stop due to bad weather. One GCSE down – well-done girls!

Last week, Mrs Williams, Head of Technology and her team ran House Technology Day for Year 8. The teams had to design a structure from two pieces of A4 paper that would withstand weight starting at 200g and some structures withstood 1 kg as well as being aesthetically interesting. Before I announced the winners, I asked how many girls would be keen to have a career in architecture, engineering or product design….not many…we need to work hard to change perceptions of STEM careers. However, the girls did seem very excited after their creative day and congratulations to Clothworkers who came first.

Our Year 13 maths prefects, Miranda (plans to study maths at uni) and Megan (wants to study architecture at uni) shared their passion for maths with the whole school last week as they led assemblies, created a Thought For The Week and ran a quiz to raise money for the NSPCC Number Day. Miranda and Megan shared their favourite bits – Megan shared a decision maths problem of the travelling salesman and Miranda shared the Penrose tiling pattern that is really beautiful as well as explaining the role of the NSPCC. Thank You!

Our Year 10s won the U15 County Cup last year and were the Holt Sports Personality Team of the Year. Below is a great photo from a match last week. The Year 9s have joined them this year and combined they are currently competing in a four week rugby league tournament and remain unbeaten!!

Along with one Year 11 student, nine of the U15 Holt team were selected for the Berkshire County Team at trials on Sunday. Moreover, we have a Year 13 student in the Wasps Centre of Excellence so eleven in total playing at county level, which is brilliant! In a couple of weeks, training at school will be just for Year 7 and 8 to discover the next generation of Holt rugby players. Many heartfelt thanks goes to Miss Shephard, who tirelessly inspires and encourages students to sign up to join rugby teams in and out of school. She is optimistic that we will have an England player as part of our alumni in the future.

Finally, it is The Friends of The Holt school quiz night on Friday 22nd March and we would love for as many parents, guardians and friends to come and join in. The vibe is good and the evening offers a great way to catch up with friends, meet new people and to stimulate the grey matter! Mrs Pearce and I are really happy to meet parents who have never attended before, especially our new Year 7 and 8 parents. We will promise you a warm welcome and make sure you have a team to join. It is a cheap night as tickets are £10 per person, which includes a supper. Beer, wine and soft drinks are on sale and people bring along nibbles to share with their teams. Your daughters may initially be horrified that you are off to the school hall on a Friday night to possibly mingle with teachers but remind them they will have a parent free home for a few hours….that can be a big deal for teenagers!!

More musings next week!
Anne Kennedy