Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends

The summer term is a crucial time of year for our Year 10 students taking coursework subjects as a lot of preparation needs to happen before they complete this in Year 11.

One of these subjects is Geography where they complete fieldwork as part of the GCSE course. Mirella in Year 10 said:

On 15th and 16th June, the GCSE geography students went on a trip to Hurst Castle Spit to carry out fieldwork for our topic of UK landscapes. The coach trip was around 2 hours, which included lots of chanting, group singing and a facetime call from Mr Marrison on the other coach.

At the spit, students did a field sketch of the beach landscape and took measurements to explain how waves build up the beach profile.

On the way back, we had a pit stop for ice cream and chips, with a view of the cliffs and sea below. On Friday, the geography department took over the humanities block for the writeup day to evaluate our findings ready for exams next year.

It certainly looked like beautiful weather for ice cream! Thank you to the Geography department for organising the trip.

Year 10 also went to the Natural History Museum Oxford and Pitt Rivers Museum to help inspire them for their coursework next year. Miss Schotting said:

This year the Art Department took 70 year 10 Art students to the Natural History Museum in Oxford and Pitt Rivers Museum on Tuesday 14th June accompanied by Miss Edwards, Mr Fulker, Mrs Styles and Ms Rawlings.

It provided students with an opportunity to make first hand observations of unusual artifacts and produce a valuable set of photographs. The work created on the trip will form the inspirational starting point for a major GCSE coursework project that extends into Year 11.

The Natural History Museum is visited by thousands of people every year. It is an inspiring and unique place that houses some of the internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. Our students were mainly inspired by the vast insect and bird collection.

Pitt Rivers was founded in 1884, when General Pitt-Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford. It is an ethnographic and archaeological museum, the objects are not arranged according to geographical or cultural areas but according to type: ‘Magic’, ‘Ritual’, ‘Religion’, ‘Smoking’, ‘Weapons’, ‘Body Art’ or ‘Treatment of Dead Enemies are all displayed to show how there are many ways of being & knowing.

Students were also inspired by the amazing architecture in both museums as beautiful carvings adorned arches and pillars.

Thank you to Mrs Schotting and the art department for leading the trip and to all the members of staff who supported on the day.

Our KS3 masterclass programmed continued last week. Masterclasses are open to anyone to attend and gives students the opportunity to learn about a subject outside the curriculum. The programme is advertised through lessons and on daily briefing.

Mrs Bennett ran a very successful drama session:

In our masterclass, students were given the opportunity to explore the work of a practitioner called DV8, to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the physical theatre style, which puts the human body at the centre of the storytelling. Students started by recording themselves talk about a subject they are passionate about for 1 minute. Topics included why drama is their favourite subject and why women should be treated equally to men. Using these recordings as the basis of a monologue, students worked in pairs to add abstract hand gestures, inspired by Zena Brigg’s monologue from ‘Can We Talk About This?’ The work produced was extremely creative and the students could clearly articulate how the gestures enhanced the storytelling. We look forward to seeing how the students incorporate these ideas into their future drama lessons!

The social sciences department also ran a masterclass on ‘What makes a murderer?’.

Miss Williams told us:

The session included a discussion about the cause of murder, the different types for example planned vs unplanned. We also discussed the nature vs nurture debate and whether there was such a thing as a killer gene or was this more down to experiences, personality or morals. The room was packed for the session and I can see there are lots of budding forensic psychologists at The Holt!

And finally I have the pleasure of announcing the winners of The Holt School Community Art Competition.

The brief asked all members of the community to respond to transform/ change/ adjust/ renew/ grow/ re-energise/ alter/ distort/ mask/ disguise reflecting on their experiences and observations of the world around them in their chosen medias. The standard of entries was high and showed a diverse range of ideas and personal themes. It was fantastic to see such creative responses to the brief as you can see. Winning entries are on display at the entrance to the Art department and can be viewed up until the end of the summer term.

The winners are:

Adults: Mrs Collinson
KS4 – Yr 11: Laura (11W)
KS4 – Yr 10: Katrina (10T)
KS3 – Yr9: Claudia (9G) and Ghina (9S)
KS3 – Yr 8 Annabelle (8G)

Thank you to Mrs Cartmell-Webb for running such a successful competition. As you can see from the photos we have some very talented artists in our school community!

Well done to all Year 11 and 13s who are completing their final external exams this week and Year 12 are also coming to the end of their PPEs- they’ve have all worked so hard in preparation and the end is almost in sight. There will certainly be a lot to celebrate this summer.

Year 10 are also on work experience this week, this is a fantastic opportunity to have a first experience of the world of work, and start to explore what a career in a particular sector may look like. A huge thank you to Mrs Hart who has worked tirelessly to place students. Also thank you to anyone who has been able to offer a placement to our students, it is really appreciated.

With activities week in full swing this week, next weeks blog will certainly be a bumper edition!

Emma Ward
Assistant Headteacher
Head of Sixth Form