Dear Parents, Guardians  and Friends

Some of my well-meaning non teacher friends and acquaintances have started to say to me in recent weeks, “I bet you’re starting to wind down for the summer now”. I tend to smile politely and change the subject, but anyone who has worked in a school knows that this is not the case. In addition to normal lessons and planning for the next academic year, our school calendar is bursting with special events as we approach the end of term.

Firstly, I would like to welcome any new readers of this blog. Following on from the Year 6 transition day, we welcomed new parents to an information evening in our school hall last Thursday. This was a chance for them to meet the senior leadership team and, most importantly, the newly double-barrelled Mrs Izod-Martin who will be Head of Year to the incoming Year 7 students in September.

Our current Year 7 and 8 students had a treat on Friday afternoon with Mr Gray, our Head of Music, inviting some friends into school to put on a wind quintet concert. This was a thrilling musical experience in which our students  heard music ranging from popular to jazz to classical and gained a new appreciation of the way different instrumental voices can provide texture and interplay.

On Friday evening, it was the turn of our Year 11 students to let their hair down – or have it pinned up in elaborate style – with their end-of-exams prom at the Coppid Beech Hotel in Binfield. It was an evening of high glamour and obvious relief as the stress of GCSEs was danced away, and a long summer of freedom started with a bang. Our students looked stunning in their evening wear and did themselves proud with their good-natured celebrations. Special thanks go to Miss Izod (as she was known to them) whose meticulous planning and care for Year 11 lay behind the success of the evening. Thank you also to Ashby Giles Photography for some wonderful photographs…

We are grateful to the technology department who took our Year 10 textiles students to the “New Designers” exhibition at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London last Thursday.  It offered students the unique opportunity to meet university graduates face-to-face and to get a behind-the-scenes look at the work produced by them.  This will inspire them to create their own ideas and to develop them to complete their NEA coursework in Year 11.


They also attended a talk facilitated by three designers who work for Sainsburys. Each spoke of their different journeys to becoming successful designers and provided an insight into the daily working life of a designer.  They spoke of the variety of tasks such as trend forecasting, the use of the iterative design process, and the production of the resulting garment.  The students listened attentively and asked questions at the end. We were very proud of the girls as they engaged with the experience, and we were complimented on their excellent behaviour.

Our students’ endeavours to raise money for their chosen House charities continue. Well done to 7T who held a sweet sale on Friday, and to 10G who thought outside the box and decided to charge students to have the opportunity to give a “makeover” to some lucky members of staff. I will let you judge for yourself whether they were able to gild these particular lilies in aid of the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre.

Mrs Kennedy will be writing next week’s blog with a picture spectacular on our annual SportsFest. This day of heated competition and fun has been postponed to next week due to a disappointing weather forecast for Friday, but the longer races and field events are already taking place this today. Good luck to all taking part to bring glory to their House. As I said to our new parents last week, not every student  will get to captain the school hockey team, but every student has the opportunity to take part in character building interhouse events during their time with us. Thank you to the PE Department and all the other staff that make this happen.

Away from Wokingham, the Geography Department have taken their Year 12 students down to Leeson House near Swanage for a field trip. We are grateful to staff for giving up their time to allow the students to hone their skills in measurement and data collection, and to put their study of geography into context.

While the nation goes to the polls on Thursday this week, students have had their opportunity to cast their vote in The Holt School General election today. The History and Politics Department have been explaining to our students how elections work and the importance of engaging in democracy and civic life. Our sixth formers led assemblies for the younger years last week in which they explained the concept and process of democratic elections. You can see them below eagerly awaiting the voting public!

One last thing to share with you now is our winning of the School Security Award at the recent Education Business Awards ceremony in London. Our site, with thirteen separate buildings and four entry points, is a complex one. Collecting the award below are Estates & Operations Director Tom McWilliam, and Site Manager Ben Phillips both of whom have worked very hard to improve site security through the installation of entry systems and CCTV.

So, with all that ticked off, the “wind down” continues with our Holt Young Musician of the Year competition, open evening, SportsFest, drama showcase, Year 7 speech competition, presentation assemblies, the Senior Music Festival at the Hexagon, Year 9 praise song competition, Year 8 poetry recitals, Year 7 interhouse competitions in science and maths, further charity events from 9H and 9T, Year 8 PGL residential, Year 10 work experience, a KS3 and Year 12 activities week, and a final assembly in which we will all come together to celebrate the end of the school year. And, of course, the bread and butter of teaching and learning continues amidst these events for the next week and a half! Thank you to our wonderful staff who make these things happen, to our students for their stamina, curiosity and creativity, and to you for your support and interest in all things Holt.


Ben Adams

Assistant Headteacher