Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends
To quote the illustrious popular music combo Steps (or Ella Fitzgerald, if you prefer), “Into each life some rain must fall.”
Over the past week, the weather seems to have flitted between hot sun and torrential downpours. School life, too, is always a mixture of sunshine and showers.
Mrs Pearce wrote last week about Year 11 setting off on study leave. Last Friday, it was the turn of Year 13 to say their goodbyes. The outgoing Student Leadership Team had one last hurrah in leading the leavers’ assembly in which they paid tribute to the Sixth Form team of Miss Ward, Mrs Thomas and Mrs Calliss together with the Year 13 tutors. Our senior students brightened up the day with some interesting fancy dress choices having dug out their old striped blouses the previous day. We wish the year group every success in the coming exams and for their futures beyond The Holt. On a personal note, I will miss them because they started at the school at the same time as me when they were Year 7.
Exams are well underway now for both Year 11 and 13, and we have been impressed by how well organised and how positive the students have been. They have responded well to the additional challenges brought by the last two years. We are grateful to students in other years who are having to move around the school very quietly so as not to disturb the candidates. Assemblies this week, led by Miss Williams from the Social Sciences department, are focusing on addiction. However, it is our relationship with our digital devices, rather than alcohol or drugs, that have come under scrutiny. We always want to make our students think, and so they have spent time in morning registration weighing up the pros and cons of handheld technology – sunshine and rain again!
Students in Years 7 – 9 will be sitting their end of year assessments after the half term break. I am sure they will have been making use of the revision material provided over the past couple of weeks. We would also recommend that they spend some time preparing over half term, but it also important that they rest and relax. Again, balance is important. You should have received the assessment timetable and revision guides for each subject. Do contact your child’s year team if you have any queries.
Looking a little further ahead, 20th -24th June is our Activities Week. The bulk of Year 8 and Year 9 are off on their Bushcraft residentials, Year 7 are all going to Chessington, and there will be lots of other activities occurring in and around school. I will write to parents of KS3 students with further details after the half term break.
Students in Year 10 will be spending that week on work experience. Mrs Hart, our Careers Lead, is working very hard to find students placements. This has been particularly challenging because of post-pandemic changes in working patterns; there are fewer employers able offer a space. If your daughter is in Year 10 and still awaiting a placement, do make use of any contacts you have. Similarly, if you or your employer might be able to work with us, email email@example.com.
Lastly, I’d like to pay tribute to the work of the PE department – staff and students. We are just coming to the end of First Aid Fortnight. Mrs Ebden writes, “All students in years 7-10 will all have one lesson in CPR/lifesaving and one lesson in basic first aid. This is to help them feel more confident in an emergency situation and give them a basic knowledge on how they can help. Students have been extremely responsive and have said how much they have enjoyed learning about these topics. They have been inquisitive and engaged throughout the two weeks and we look forward to continuing this over the coming years.”
On Tuesday just gone, Mrs Bolton and Miss Cardy took a group of our Year 10 students to lead a sports festival for primary pupils in Woodley. We were very proud to have this feedback passed on to us:
“I just wanted to let you know that our Year 3 children had a really enjoyable time today for Woodley sports week. Could you please pass on our thanks to the staff and pupils from the Holt School that led the event? The students very knowledgeable and they were very good at keeping the children engaged and active. They had clearly planned their activities carefully and every event was inclusive for all, which is very hard to achieve. They were very good with their time management as all of our children had multiple attempts at each activity. We are very much looking forward to next year’s event.”
These activities are examples of our aim that “Holt students prepared for responsible adulthood taking with them the good character of stoicism, gratitude and humility that will impact positively on their own lives, and those of others, to make for a better world.”
And just a quick mention for our wonderful Intermediate Athletics Team who have qualified for the regional finals of the English Schools Track and Field Cup which will take place in Winchester on 8th June. Good luck girls!
So, although our uniform may be a “Deeper Shade of Blue”, we’re enjoying the sunshine as we wish a happy half term break to all our students and staff. We hope you all have some time to relax and perhaps join in the Jubilee celebrations!