Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

Like many of you on Monday, I watched the Queen’s funeral with a real sense of pride that the world’s focus was on our British tradition of outstanding pomp and ceremony to honour Her late Majesty the Queen. It was a truly historic moment for us all.

Tradition is important on any scale, and it is something that gets more so, as we get older. For this reason, The Holt Association is so valued by our school. On Saturday, The Holt Association held their biannual lunch. In all about 60 former students and staff attended, sharing stories and being taken on tours of the school to see the new changes and upgrades to our site that have been made. The Holt Association led by Linda Carroll, also a former Holt colleague, does a great job to bring everyone together and to raise much needed funds for our school. Just this term, they made a donation of £1,000 which will contribute towards some much needed upgrading of sound and visual equipment in the sports hall. If you are a former Holt student and would like to join the Association, Linda would be delighted to hear from you. You can email her on

We are very grateful to members of The Holt Association and to Mrs Carroll and her team of organisers for all their hard work for the school.

This weekend may well also have been a very busy one for you if you have a daughter or son who headed off for “freshers’ week” at their university. What an exciting adventure they have ahead of them. Taking my own daughter back to university on Saturday, it hit me again how quickly time flies and how this time last year she was going off the first time. I asked her what her top tip was for new freshers and she said, “you just have to put yourself out there, approach people and smile”. This links in so well to our message in assembly last week where we reminded students of the importance of joining clubs and taking part in extracurricular activities, even on their own, so they can learn about going out their comfort zone as this builds resilience for life.

The extracurricular timetable for this half term is now out, so perhaps you could go through this with your daughter at home to see what piques their interest that they might want to join.

Many of our students take part in clubs outside of school and a popular one is The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Mrs Kennedy and I met with a lovely group of Year 11 students last week where they shared with us their real-life experience of first aid and quick thinking on an expedition.

Sophie, Olivia, Niamh, Riya, Katie and Celia along with a student from another school, were walking up the Wiltshire hills, when they heard a voice calling help. They located a man, who whilst running, who had impaled his foot on a metal spike. The girls very calmly applied first aid and were there with their emergency blankets and bandages whilst they waited for the ambulance. They were praised for their quick thinking and actions by their expedition leader, who very kindly let Mrs Kennedy and I know.

Well done girls, we are very proud of you!

Yesterday, Mrs Kennedy and I welcomed a former head of The Holt from 1969-1989, Mrs Christine Holland to the school. Christine had a picture of The Holt building that she wanted to donate in person, so it was delightful to meet with her and Linda Carroll and swap our stories of school leadership. We asked her if she had any advice for us. She paused for just a moment and said, “I think you’ll find that road (Holt Lane) is going to be a problem”. Yes indeed, some things never change.

Last week at The Holt, 153 of our Year 9 students went on a technology trip to The Harry Potter studios in Leavesden. Miss Hurry reports as follows “The experience for them was magical… opening their eyes to the creator’s hard work that made this story come to life on screen. The girls were able to see the new addition (this time, it was the fabulous screeching mandrakes in the greenhouse!! The staff, who were extremely talented film enthusiasts and linked to the world of animation, architecture and design were welcoming to our students, answering any questions they may have had about the making of the Harry Potter films. The perfect detail and aesthetic choices of every set is priceless. From set designs, props, costumes to the incredible special effects that made the film what it is today. This has opened the eyes to our students about the career pathways that Design and Technology can lead them to.”

Thanks go to Miss Hurry for organising this trip.

We certainly are looking forward to more offsite trips and visits this academic year!

Katie Pearce