July 14, 2021

A Farewell Message from Mrs Hutley

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

I am writing on the morning of my last formal day in school, and am pleased to report it is bright and Sunny! Here is my last analogy for you. Those who have heard me speak know that I am particularly fond of analogies…

The metaphorical book of my life at Hollygirt is coming to the last few pages, those where I have left only to tidy up and to write my thanks and acknowledgements. The tidying up, you don’t need to know about (unless you have recently seen the paper mountains in my office), the thanks and acknowledgements are far-ranging and could take a while. However, unlike my Prize Giving Speeches, which have many an honourable mention in dispatches, I will strive to be brief.

I thank the whole community of Hollygirt: staff, parents, pupils, former staff, neighbours and friends for their enduring support of me and of the school. Clearly, the school is not me – though someone once suggested it was, but I have just been privileged to be its guardian for the past 14 years. And as all parents know, sometimes this can be a tough call, being a guardian. When you often, in doing what is right, you upset people; when changes that are necessary cause anxiety and where (you need to know that I am being interrupted every 10 seconds by a stream of cards, and flowers and chocolates…. How wonderful😊) sometimes honesty, which is always the best policy, can unwittingly cause offence.

However, I believe that all that has been done, has been done with integrity and for the good of the school and all its people. The staff at Hollygirt are unfailingly outstanding, and I have never worked in any place where there is such a commonality of purpose. I have never desired for anyone to be the same as anyone else, and I adore the diverse and eclectic people who make up our community. I don’t know how it works, but it does.

And what next? Well, I have an empty book awaiting me, crisp and clean. I have some scrappy notes lying around of what it might contain, but I clearly visualise its cover: it has my tree (always a tree- likely soon to be a tattoo) which stands tall and proud, deeply rooted in the earth’s goodness, solid. Its many branches point upwards and outwards, seeking air and light, aspiring high: and the new leaves flutter in the breeze. This time there is a solitary bird, perched at the top, just ready to fly…

I wish you as individuals, the new Head Teacher and the school as a collective, every happiness and success for the future.

Au Revoir….

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Chair of Trustees

Dear Parents and Guardians

We have all made it to the end of what must be one of the most unusual years in Hollygirt history.  I would like to thank you for continuing to support the school and the staff through this unprecedented period.  I think you will agree that they have done an outstanding job in keeping the school operating and providing education in a safe setting for all students despite lockdowns, self-isolation, bubbles, Covid tests, and the move to online learning.  I hope all staff will manage to have some time off during the summer close down.

This is of course also the end of an era, as Pam Hutley retires as Headmistress. The Trustees have already thanked Pam during our last Full Board Meeting and I have written to her to thank her for her dedication and nurturing of the School. Pam has a singular way of managing the School and I am sure she will be missed. We all hope that she will enjoy this exciting new chapter in her life.

The next academic year will begin with a new Headteacher, Helen Barsham, who I know some of you have had the opportunity to meet, either online or in person. The Trustees are looking forward to working with Helen to continue the development of Hollygirt.

Wishing you and your families a safe, healthy, and happy summer.

Dr Debra Costley

Chair of Trustees