Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,  

 The best part about being a Head of Sixth form is seeing students start a new chapter of their journey into A-levels from the first taster day in Year 10, all the way through to when Year 13 return to collect their certificates in December and tell us about how their first term of university or their apprenticeship has been. A few of these key events have happened in the last couple of weeks.

Our Year 11 students took part in their taster day last Friday. The day was an opportunity to help them make important decisions about subject choices. The students I spoke to throughout the day really enjoyed the freedom and privileges that come with being a student at the HoltSixth and were really impressed and excited by the lessons that they experienced; learning is so much more enjoyable for students when they pick subjects that that complement each other, and that they truly enjoy and are curious about. The sixth form team are looking forward to meeting our new Year 12 cohort in September 2023 to see where their journey takes them. As a reminder the deadline for applications this year is the 12th December, and students can make their application via the new sixth form website Holt Sixth Form | Together We Are Better

 Our Year 12 students also had an opportunity to reflect on their GCSEs during their GCSE certificate presentation event. The students got to hear some key memories throughout each year of The Holt, and also what their Year 11 tutors felt stood out about them as a form group which certainly had some funny and unexpected observations included! We were also very lucky to be joined by Lauren Webb, who is an alumni of The Holt sixth form and has gone onto to complete an undergraduate and master’s degree in chemistry. Lauren’s memories of The Holt sounded very familiar to the students, but she gave the students thoughtful advice on how to approach sixth form and making their choices after their A-levels. Thank you to Lauren for coming to visit us and be such an inspiring role model for our students.

This time of year also brings around the election process of our new student leadership team. The candidates went through a rigorous process which included pitches to their peers, staff and Year 7s. As well as this they were put through their paces with different tasks and interview panels. We are proud of everyone who applied to be part of the team and pushed themselves out of their comfort zone for sure.  A huge congratulations to our new student leadership team. Sophie is our head student and her deputies are Caitlin, Emma, Holly and Katherine.

Our senior house prefects applicants will also be having their interviews next week with the Heads of House and the senior leadership team, so we wish them the best of luck!

As we edge closer towards the end of term, our festive events and traditions have begun. As a school, we were invited to make decorations for the Christmas tree in Wokingham Market Place. These decorations were presented at a ceremony on Monday this week, which included the Wokingham Town Mayor giving an introduction, followed by Christmas Carols. You will be able to go and spot our Holt logo on a Christmas decoration next time you’re in the town centre. Thank you to Mrs Johnston, Mr Turner and Miss Vockins for organising the event.

On the note of festivities, a reminder that our Christmas concert takes place on the 15th December at St Paul’s Church and tickets are available via the link below. 

The Holt School Christmas Concert at St Pauls Church event tickets from TicketSource

We currently have many other festive events in action such as Christmas doors, the Christmas Fayre, Christmas dinner, all of which Mr Adams will be able to tell you more about in the blog next week.

On a final note with my other ‘hat’ on as more able co-ordinator for the school. I am delighted to inform you all that The Holt School has achieved accreditation for the NACE challenge award. NACE are the National Association for Able Children in Education. We had two assessors visit us for the day and speak to our governors, parents and students. They also watched lessons and interviewed our teachers. This award highlights that The Holt is committed to high quality provision of teaching and learning for more able children, which in turn stretches and challenges all students in our community.

Emma Ward

Assistant Headteacher

Head of Sixth Form