Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

This week has indeed been a “busy news week” with regards trips and events. It is lovely to see these activities up and running again after such a long break!

Last week, our Year 7 students were able to take part in the annual visit to Rushall Farm. This is a long-standing tradition at The Holt, and a trip that our students talk about for years; it often even gets a mention in the Year 11 leavers assembly.

This year, the trip was organised by Miss McNally in the geography department. She said:

This week, we took all of Year 7 to visit Rushall Farm in Bradfield to see a working farm in action. This goes alongside the topic that students are currently learning in Geography lessons, and was a great opportunity to see what they have learned in real life. Each group explored the different elements of a farm, learning about crop rotation, machinery, organic produce and diversification. Above all of these though, the parts of the farm that students enjoyed the most were definitely the animals, especially the month-old lambs hopping around the field, and the mud! We were incredibly lucky with the weather this year, only blue skies for both days, as previous years have been hampered by snow and cold!

Some lovely pictures! Thanks Miss McNally for organising this trip and the Year 7 tutors who accompanied their forms.

This time of year is NEA season! This is where the Year 11 students complete any practical components of their GCSEs. Last week was the turn of the food and nutrition students.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the food room corridor was turned into The Holt Bistro as our food students cooked a two-course meal for their invited teacher guests. The invites were hot tickets amongst staff, as they were treated to waitress service and great food. Mrs Williams was the “Maître D” and the rest of the technology team were there to support Miss Hurry and Mrs Nyazika as they ensured their students’ food made it to the pass on time.

The food was lovely, and the students had planned and practiced well! One student told me that her family has eaten nothing but butter chicken curry for weeks as she practised most nights…….. it was worth it, it was delicious!

Thanks also to Mrs Nyazika and her team!

The PE department and the Year 10 Sports Leaders also led their first sports festivals in a long while. Mrs Bolton, our co-head of PE took our students to Alder Grove primary school and we led an event for 10 primary schools. She said:

Our leaders were absolutely fantastic and received many compliments from both staff and parents. I was very proud! On Tuesday we held a primary hockey tournament at Holt with a different group of leaders who were also brilliant. It’s so nice to have these events running again post Covid and all of the girls involved were a credit to our school.

It was certainly heart warming to hear all the excited voices of the little ones as they arrived on site. Here are some photos. Well done and thank you to Mrs Bolton and the team and of course to our Year 10 sports leaders.

On Saturday, Mrs Smith, Mrs Fairhead, Mr Mirams, Mr Green and Miss Ward, along with students from the Birds and Beasties club and the Climate Action Challenge task force all met to plant some trees on the school site. The tree saplings were sourced by Mrs Fairhead from the conservation volunteers organisation called “I dig trees”.

Many thanks to all those that came in the rain to plant the trees- at least you didn’t have to water them as well! We are looking forward to watching them grow over the years!

This coming Saturday, we will see a welcome return of the Magistrates mock trial competition. The last time this competition was held was back in 2018 and we won our heats, making it through it to the finals which took place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. This year there is only one round, and it will be held at Reading Magistrates’ Court. Our Year 9 students will compete with other schools in the region to present a case they have been working on since January. They will play the roles of the defence and the prosecution, the witness, the defendant, the usher, the court clerk, and the magistrates and this year we even have a court artist.

Miss Harris and Miss Howard have been working hard training this team and we look forward to the competition on Saturday. We will let you know how we do! Good luck to everyone.

Lastly, a reminder, if you haven’t already bid, that we have a few more days left on our auction of promises. There have been a few more prizes added this week, so please do have a browse. All the funds raised come back to the school. Please feel free to share this link with friends and family members. The auction closes on 21st March. Happy bidding!


Katie Pearce