Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends
And so, we are reaching the end of our first “normal” school year since Covid-19 made its presence known amongst us. For the students in our younger year groups, this has meant a first taste of some of our Holt traditions.
Prime amongst these is our SportsFest which took place last Friday. I have spent most of my career working in a variety of mixed schools in which levels of sporting participation amongst female students was pretty low. The fear of having adolescent boys potentially sitting in judgement often led to many roster spaces left sadly unfilled on sports day each year. There are many arguments for and against single sex education but seeing so many students give their all in a wonderful festival atmosphere shows what a special school The Holt is.
In our recent welcome evening for the parents of the Year 6 girls who will join us in September, I extolled our house system. I assured parents that, although not every girl will make the first team in their favourite sport, all our students will have the chance to represent their House. The overall SportsFest winners will be revealed at our end-of-term assembly, but in the meantime, I salute all the competitors – whether record breakers or hastily-called-upon reserves.
A big thank you is also due to our PE department and all the other staff that made the day happen. You can follow much of our common sporting life by looking for The Holt School PE Department on Facebook. Here are some photographs of the big day to whet your appetite.
Equally impressive was the exhibition held last week by our art department. We are very fortunate to have a team of three brilliant artists who inspire and teach our students to produce work of stunning quality. I brought my Year 5 daughter to see the pieces on display, and she hasn’t stopped talking about it since.
Our Year 12 students have recently completed four days of work experience overseen by Mrs Hart, our Careers Lead. This is a really important week that helps students build skills, confidence and a greater awareness of what work they may pursue in the future. With so many people working from home post-covid, it has proved a greater challenge to secure placements for all our students. If you or your employer might be able to offer a placement next year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preceding work experience was our Year 12 Activities Day put together by our Sixth Form team. This included sessions on cooking (such an important life skill), playing steel drums (such an important life skill), and Northern Soul dancing (a supremely important life skill), as well as an escape room.
I imagine this hot, sticky July may seem distant and a little unreal come September – a fevered dream. So, to finish, here is a piece of art from a former Year 9 student that evokes late summer, and a reminder from Lewis Caroll to treasure the memories of the adventure this time of year can hold. Thank you for lending us your daughters and sons for another year. I wish all our students, staff, parents, and friends a safe six weeks until we meet again.
A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky by Lewis Carroll
A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?