Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends
It was lovely to see our students basking in the glorious sunshine at the end of last week. Our grounds are lovely areas to sit with friends and enjoy………although we were joined by some buzzing “brown burrowing bees” on one of our favourite picnic areas on Friday. Thankfully, these bees are non-stinging and harmless- although they did take up a favourite south- facing bank…..sadly, the weather seems to have changed somewhat into this week…….!
Our busy trips and visits schedule kicked off last week with the technology department’s trip to the Mini manufacturing plant on Tuesday. 56 students from Year 11 and 13, travelled by coach to Cowley Oxford where they were greeted by a retired Paint plant manager, before moving into a seating area in their mini museum.
Mrs Williams wrote “There were four separate groups who toured 10 minutes apart, we were driven in a minibus to the Body in white building, where we saw 400 million pounds worth of robots which is 1000 robots assembling 1000 cars per day, welding, sealing and assembling the frame and panels of the car.
We then watched a video of what the paint plant does as we were not able to enter due to risk of contamination – it was a clean facility.
Then we moved onto the assembly plant where there were 400 people assembling all aspects of the car. We saw Just in time (JIT) manufacturing where the bumpers were requested from a sub manufacturing company in Banbury and delivered to Cowley within 4.5 hours. We also saw the quality checks the cars went through at every stage of the assembly process via laser measuring tools to in depth analysis of welds. There were then final diagnostic checks once the car was complete and the cars were driven off the end of the production line for further Quality Control tests through a kart track with various surfaces to wet environment tests.
Overall, the students were able to gain an understanding of manufacturing in an industrial setting- production lines, robotics, H&S safe working practices, potential hazards and risk assessments, supply chain, finishing techniques, effects of technological developments, methods of production, quality monitoring systems, and how current legislation affects manufacturing plants.
We arrived back in school at 4.00pm after a very informative trip that links to many aspects of the GCSE and GCE specifications”

The trip looked really interesting, thanks Mrs Williams for organising it and thanks also to all the staff that accompanied her.

Extracurricular activities are picking up really well, with the clubs’ programme in full swing now. The drama dept were delighted with the turnout to the introductory workshop to this year’s whole school production. The auditions are this week……so a break a leg everyone.

We have now almost completed a full rotation of our two-week timetable and once complete, tomorrow, our students will have met all their teachers and found their way to each classroom. As they get used to being in an older year group, with possibly different teachers, we are working hard to share expectations about what to expect in lessons and also outside of lessons with home learning. One way as parents that you can see the progress your daughter/son is making, is to look at the work they are doing in their exercise books/folders and ask questions about it. It is a great way to initiate conversations about a wide range of things.
Last Friday, Year 7 had another great session led by Soulscape, on the theme of “the impact of our words on others” on Friday, 15th September. They explored the qualities which make a good friend, discussed how they would like to be treated, and set individual goals for the year ahead. It was heart-warming to witness our students sharing their thoughts and realising that they are an integral part of The Holt’s community. Soulscape once again provided excellent teaching, helping our students understand the importance of kindness and empathy.

Now for an early “heads- up” about our careers fair happening at the end of this half term. This is a biennial event that is run by Sharon Hart, our fabulous careers lead.  All students get to attend the event at set times over the day and talk to the numerous stall holders from a wide variety of sectors of industry, including banking, construction, IT and cyber security, the emergency services, engineering, universities, film, law and many, many more. We will give you more information about this day as we get nearer to it!


Katie Pearce

Co Headteacher