Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,


Firstly, some successful news from the PE Department.

On Saturday, Mrs White and Mrs Bolton took some of the Cross-Country team to the Berkshire Schools Cross Country race at Newbury Showground. Both the U13 and U15 team came 2nd in Berkshire! They told us…

We had some outstanding performances from so many runners but special mentions to Matilda who came 3rd and Chloe who came 15th, who are now through to represent Berkshire at Counties in a few weeks time.

Mrs White & Mrs Bolton love this race every year! Thank you to parents for bringing them along, it was so nice to chat to you all. We can’t wait for our summer athletics now.

Thank you to Mrs White and Mrs Bolton for all the support you gave to the students taking part.

On Monday, the drama department took 29 Year 10 and 12 drama students to the National Theatre Live Theatre Conference.

Miss Edwards told us..

The day started with an informative session led by Lyn Garden, hailed as the foremost theatre critic in England, who shared invaluable insights and top tips on crafting live theatre reviews. Following this, the students immersed themselves in a dynamic physical theatre workshop hosted by the renowned Gecko Theatre company, enhancing students understanding and appreciation of physical theatre. The day continued with an insightful tour of the theatre, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the magic of stagecraft. The highpoint of the day was the captivating performance of Gecko’s brand-new production, “Kin.” To conclude the extraordinary day, students were treated to a Q&A session with the artistic director and cast of the production.”

Thank you to Miss Edwards and Mrs Bennett for organising the trip.

And finally, one of my roles at The Holt is as our more able co-ordinator. This means I lead on the development and approach to stretch and challenge for all students. As a school we focus on different aspects of challenge each year, and this year the focus is on the idea of ‘grapple’. To grapple with something is to wrestle with it intellectually, to engage deeply with challenging ideas, and to confront the unknown. The process of grappling extends beyond memorising ideas, it encourages a deeper understanding of concepts.

NACE (The National Association for More Able Children) champion the importance of students being able to grapple because

  • It builds resilience- The journey of grappling instils resilience in students. When faced with difficult subjects, they learn to persevere, adapt, and overcome obstacles. This resilience becomes a valuable life skill, preparing them for the challenges they’ll encounter in their school work as well as whatever job they may have in the future.
  • It encourages curiosity- It fosters curiosity and a love for learning. When students explore beyond their comfort zones, which encourages them to seek out opportunities to learn outside of the classroom independently.
  • It develops critical thinking- the ability to think critically is crucial in an ever-changing world. Grappling with complex subjects means students must effectively judge information and question assumptions.

Therefore, we will be encouraging students to be ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable’ and be ready to grapple when they are facing new and challenging ideas in the classroom.

Also, we know that many of our students push themselves beyond the curriculum every day and we want to be able to showcase some of the fantastic things which they do. Therefore, we have now set up a new page on our website called the ‘Student Showcase’. Please find a link below to the page with our first pieces of content- a blog written by our Year 9 students as well as a sixth form Spanish magazine.

Emma Ward

Assistant Headteacher

Head of Sixth Form