November 11, 2022

Weekly News – Friday 11th November

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

You know what they say about windy days and schools, and it’s certainly been windy this week!

Today, we assembled on the Elms for a two-minute silence to remember those who lost their lives in the wars. This followed a special memorial assembly – thank you Ms Howlett. Thank you also to Mrs Brimblecombe for her moving story in assembly this morning by our assembly focus.

Last Saturday, Senior Leadership and the Trustees worked with a consultant to examine the independent schools’ market and to plan for the next five years for Hollygirt. We were thinking carefully and taking great advice about the skills employers are currently looking for. With the onset of a new Sixth Form (September 2023) this was great timing to be considering how we want to equip Hollygirt students for life in the outside world. Details about the Sixth Form offer are now available on our website here and you can read for yourselves about this exciting direction of travel the school is taking. Whilst we will offer the traditional routes into higher education, we are considering our ‘social’ offer and how we will supplement traditional A levels and some BTEC with wider skills such as people management, resilience, teamwork, problem solving, time management and creativity. In fairness, our ACE (Additional Curriculum Enrichment) programme than runs throughout the Senior School is dedicated to providing these skills. Our Sixth Form will build on this with opportunities for development within the community – making sure we are turning out ‘employer ready’ students. It’s truly exciting to be carving out this new niche for our students and to be ahead of the game in terms of what we can offer.

We are recruiting for a School Secretary to join our team if you are or know anyone who may be interested in this role – please find details on the TES website here.

My assembly on Monday was about kindness. How kindness can colour the world. It’s taken me a few weeks to be able to talk about the fact that I lost my beloved dog, Pluto, on the Friday just before half term. The kindness that people have shown me has sustained me; my world threw its arms around me – literally and figuratively. Kindness has really helped. Rusty will join the Barsham family soon and I suspect a little visit to Hollygirt may be on the cards. My thanks to all those who have been kind and I know that Hollygirt is one of the kindest places to work and learn.

We took a dodge ball team out this week and Mr Dean said: “A good night at Nottingham University Samworth Academy. We played as Hollygirt A (Cas, Josh, Peterson, Sufyaan) and Hollygirt B (Oliver, Leo, Freddy +1 from NUSA) v NUSA A and B. After some close matches we eventually finished 3rd and 4th and were awarded bronze medals.”

Lots more sporting opportunities are on their way………

SLT also undertook a work scrutiny this week and we are looking for examples of stretch and challenge in the curriculum. We are also looking at the Homework Policy and will get back to you with some updates around homework before the end of term.

In January, we plan to launch a new MIS system in school and this will be followed next September with a parent app which we hope will get us up to speed and give you all the information you need in one place; so as you will read – a significant amount of work going on behind the scenes in terms of levelling up!

Best wishes for a lovely weekend and well done to Year 11 who got through the mocks – normal service resumes next week!

We include some key dates in the run up to that season that begins with a C! Shops full of it already.

Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

I hope you have all had a good week.

This week, the juniors have been learning about the importance of Remembrance Day and this morning, the whole school observed a two-minute silence. Years 1 and 2 have made some beautiful clay poppies and all of the juniors decorated stones with poppies and messages – this was suggested by the School Council.

Next week is Anti-Bullying Week and we begin this on Monday 14th November with Odd Socks Day. Children are invited to wear odd socks (with school uniform) to celebrate us all being unique. They should bring in £1 which will be donated to the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Over the course of the week, the children will be participating in various lessons and assemblies. This year’s theme is ‘Reach Out’ which aims to empower children to do something positive to stop bullying.

It is also Children in Need next week. On Wednesday, there will be a bake sale and merchandise will also be on sale. Children should bring money in if they wish to purchase items. On Friday 18th November, children can come to school dressed in spots. Alternatively, they can wear something yellow. Children should bring in £1 to donate to this important charity.

A reminder that if you haven’t already done so, please complete the form giving permission for children in Year 1 to 6 to go to the pantomime on Wednesday 14th December.

Thank you so much for your donations so far for The Great Notts Christmas Toy Appeal. These will be much appreciated. If you still have toys which you wish to donate, please could they be in school by Wednesday 30th November. A reminder that the toys must be new.

I will send a more detailed list of events in December out next week but here are some key dates for your diary.

Wednesday 7th December – 11.00am Singing in the Victoria Centre – 11am
Thursday 8th December – EYFS Trip to Nottingham Playhouse – within the school day
Thursday 8th December – 4-6pm Junior Christmas Disco
Friday 9th December – 8.30-9.00am Junior Parent Coffee Morning – after drop off, I am inviting Junior parents to stay for a coffee and a chat if you wish to.
Tuesday 13th December – Junior Christmas Productions – 1pm
Wednesday 14th December – Year 1 to 6 Trip to Nottingham Playhouse (collection from The Playhouse after the pantomime)
Thursday 15th December – Christmas Fair – 2pm – Senior School
Thursday 15th December – Carol Service at St Peter’s Church – 5:30pm – 6:45pm. KS2 children are all expected to attend this event. All parents are welcome and younger children may also attend if they wish and sit with parents. Refreshments will be available from 5.00pm.
Friday 16th December – School finishes at 12:15pm

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Juniors