September 3, 2021

Weekly News – Friday 3rd September 2021

This week's featured image is of our new Head, Dr. Barsham, with our Junior school pupils. Year 1 made her feel very welcome with a handmade card before her first assembly on the topic of creativity.

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Where do I start? It has been a whirlwind of a week and such an exciting one.

I was ‘nervecited’ to deliver some of the latest research (a result of my recent doctorate) on the Cognitive Science of ‘Desirable Difficulties’ (Bjork, 1994) to staff on Tuesday and as a team, we have great plans for using this powerful knowledge with Hollygirt students -more of this anon! We will keep you posted but I will be talking to Hollygirt students about this in assembly soon. I would also be very happy to do some training for parents if you’re interested – perhaps you could let me know on

Following this, the staff completed a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) about the school. This is important information to gather as we set the strategic direction and vision for the future of Hollygirt. I have asked the students to complete this too -we need to hear their voices and I am keen to gather your opinions. At the bottom of this page is a form if you would like to submit your feedback.

I delivered a junior assembly about creativity, we are all far more creative than we realise, and set the ‘combi animal’ competition – do ask your sons and daughters about this. Thank you to Patrick who was obviously listening very carefully to my mention of the new chocolate fridge that is in my office and my present of a Freddo frog (caramel) -THE BEST! And to Year 1 for my lovely welcome card.

I ran around the school Tuesday morning to find all the students (really still finding my way around) to say hello and just check-in. I feel so privileged to have the role of guiding and caring for these students – what a great bunch they are.

I finished the week with a senior assembly and delivered a creative challenge there, but feel it’s not fair to offer a challenge without accepting one so I have invited the whole school to set me some challenges. These will be drawn at random out of a box and I will do my best to fulfil them as long as they possess integrity, are positive for the school and don’t embarrass me – the funky chicken dance (previous school) will always be remembered.

My thanks to the whole team here this week for their kindness and support and a special shout to the Covid testing team -absolute stars. Please help by ensuring your children test twice a week at home after Monday (the next school test) and we will ensure more tests are brought home next week.

Thank you too to the students who have been kind and quite intrigued to see the inside of my office -they are always welcome. The door is open and I look forward to seeing / meeting many of you at upcoming events.

I know time is precious but if you do have a few minutes to let me know your interest in attending some training / educational events for parents (can be online?) on such subjects as cognitive science, and your SWOT analyses, I would be grateful.

The team and community here are amazing and I appreciate the excellent and above and beyond commitment – there is more work to do and my sleeves are rolled up as we look forward to an exciting future at Hollygirt. Ever Onward and Upward.

Warm wishes,

Helen Barsham (Doc to the students……)

P.S. Please remember no worry or concern is too small – don’t let a molehill become a Whatsapp mountain – get in touch!

P.P.S. Parking has already started to haunt me – please can we be courteous to the neighbours – we need to work as a community.

P.P.P.S. I am very keen to get the Friends of Hollygirt up and running again and may even rope my other half in to help (as treasurer) – please email or call if you’d like to be part of the new launch.

Message from the Head of Juniors

Dear Parents, 

A very warm welcome back to school!  It has been lovely to see the children and hear about their summer adventures. A huge welcome to both the new pupils who have joined us this term and to Dr. Barsham who is really looking forward to getting to know everyone.

As the children settle into their new classes, Form Teachers are arranging parent meetings. They will be in touch to let you know when these are. These are always very useful meetings detailing more on the year ahead, timetables and daily routines.

You should have received a letter informing you of our new ECA programme which, without bubbles, we have been able to expand significantly. We do encourage all children to participate in some activities. Please return forms to Form Teachers as soon as you can.

We have loads of interesting things planned for the children this year and you will find out more as the term progresses. We look forward to a really exciting year ahead.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Wright
Head of Juniors