February 11, 2022

Weekly News Friday 11th February 2022

This week's featured image is of the first Head's Coffee Morning, featuring our guest of honour - the lovely (and hypoallergenic) Dottie the dog.

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

It is hard to believe that we are already at the halfway point of the academic year.

The week started with a full schoolwork scrutiny and my office was spilling over with work from every department in the school. It was wonderful to really see such excellent practice and the books are full of students (and teachers) evaluating their work and looking at what went well and ‘even better if…’. Every day sees prospective parents in the school and Monday was no exception and this particular parent commented that it was good to see (amidst the piles of books)  ‘that we were working’. We are working – hard!

Thank you to the mums who came for coffee this morning – it was really lovely to be able to spend some time as a community together. Dads, you are of course welcome and we will run another coffee morning event soon. It is very informal and a chance for a chat for half an hour and thank you too to Dottie, our non-shedding dog who came to brighten the day.

Thank you to Mr Dean for starting the week off with an Internet Safety assembly. Our students are well versed in how to keep themselves safe online but yet there are still issues. We talked extensively about gaming and how to keep your profile safe and privacy settings on. I welcomed the news this week about the new restrictions that social media companies are facing; this should make our job a bit easier…

Year 11 have some serious work to do this half term and we hope that they have taken our advice and ensured they have everything they need to revise thoroughly. After half-term, I will be going into Year 11 Issues lessons to talk again through the cognitive science behind revising effectively (study, test, test, test) and also inviting parents to a talk about my research in cognitive science.

It was great too to see so many Year 7 parents this week. Thank you to the wonderful staff team and for the lovely feedback about how well organised and professional the evening was. We have had a meeting this week to discuss where parents evenings fall in the school calendar and we are looking at making these meetings even more effective for you next year.

Staff and student wellbeing are subjects that are always close to my heart and the staff wellbeing group met this week. We need to look after the team. I have decided to run a drop in on a Friday for any member of staff who has a worry. Thank you too to our MHFA (Mental Health First Aider) team who work very proactively in school. Student mental health is a standing item on our weekly leadership meeting agenda and we plan to run some ‘drop ins’ from next half term. The senior students have access to numerous external agencies from our notice board.

DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) was today and I cannot emphasise enough the pleasure that a love of reading can give in life. More of this anon but we are giving some serious thought to how we can promote reading further.

Hollygirt has its own snowdrops and I welcome their arrival. Look in the beds on the way to the main reception.

I hope you enjoy a wonderful break with your family and can get outside for fresh air and to watch the slightly forming buds on trees, the return of lighter mornings and nights is on the horizon.

Best wishes

Helen Barsham


Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

As we reach the end of this half term, the Junior School are making the most of their Friday afternoon. The children have enjoyed their DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) session and I have just seen the fantastic Titanic models Year 3 have created as part of their Topic work.  I am sure the children are ready for half term. They have achieved so much this half term and really deserve the break. I would like to thank the staff who have, as ever, worked incredibly hard to ensure the children receive the very best learning opportunities and have great fun whilst doing so.

This week, as part of their architectural project, Years 5 and 6 visited the Council House, where not only did they undertake some sketching, they also met a Nottingham City Councillor, Councillor Kotsonis, who spoke about the system of law and the democratic values.

We are still in final discussions about the new summer dress and I hope to be able to provide you with more information very soon. We are waiting to hear of an exact delivery date for the new PE kit but hope this will be soon after half term.

We will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March.  This year, our theme will be The Wonder of Words. Children may come to school dressed in a costume of their choice – this can be linked to the texts they are covering in class or it can simply be from their own favourite book.

Red Nose Day is fast approaching and as part of this charity fundraising event, our School Council will be selling the official Red Noses for £1.50 during the week of 14th-18th March.  If your child wishes to purchase the merchandise, please make sure that they bring their money to school at this time – stock is limited, so don’t miss out!

We have many exciting activities planned for next term, including an agility festival for Key Stage One, Science Week, a whole Junior School trip and a disco.  More details on these will follow.

This week’s Stars of the Week can be viewed here.

Have a great half term and I look forward to seeing you on Monday 21st February.

Mrs Wright
Head of Junior School


Key Dates for the Week Ahead

 Monday 14th – Friday 18th February: Half Term Holiday