February 12, 2021

Weekly News – Friday 12th February

This week's featured image is of Ajai writing his name in the snow at school.

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

Well here we are at half term and looking forward to the possibility of returning to school on 8th March (subject to government decision makers). Thank you so much for working with us since January to ensure your children access our online learning and support. We are thrilled by the engagement figures and the submission rate for tasks set and know that most are in a fabulous routine and working hard. We added in more structure this time round and it seems to have been well received by the pupils.

At Parents’ Forum last Friday, we had some very positive conversations and some fabulous suggestions made. To summarise the discussions:

There was much praise and gratitude supporting the teachers and key workers in their work to date. We discussed the amount of screen time and agreed that the balance we have struck between live lessons and online work is about right for our families. There were some concerns about pupils’ emotional health and their social development following this period of isolation and we discussed whether contact by phone to the pupils may be a good move forwards. Some suggested weekly, others less frequently. To clarify, staff will always make a call to children, (usually via a parent) if the child or parent requests this and we urge parents to contact the staff if they think their child would benefit from such. However the concern was that those most in need of such contact may not make the request. In the Senior School we are going to ask all senior pupils in form time first thing on Monday 22nd  to let their form tutors know if they would like to arrange a 1:1 chat and progress from there. The other issue that was raised was that parents themselves feel a little cut off, especially those new to the school. I have a few ideas here:

1. A quiz night on Thursday 25th February for staff and parents

2. I propose to run a further parents Q+A forum for open discussion on Friday 5th March. At this meeting it would be great to discuss other ideas parents may have for forming groups for social purposes. I am thinking of a reading group? Or discussion group on important topics (not necessarily related to education!) Would anyone come?

I asked last week for any feedback from senior parents on the SchoolCloud parents’ evening process for our future strategy. Mr Dean has provided this easy to fill in survey for you to glean a fuller response.  Please click on the link:


You may have now seen the Marketing Manager vacancy advertised. Please share the following link with anyone you think might be interested: https://hollygirt.wpenginepowered.com/staff-vacancies/ The deadline for applications is Friday 26th February at 9.00am.

There are no lessons next week, though there are some open tasks on Satchel:One for anyone wishing to continue with some structure in their days.

Whilst we are limited in what we can do this holiday, it will be good to have a lie-in (not all day please), to exercise outdoors, and to change the routines so that it feels like a break. We will see all the children back online on Monday 22nd ready to start again.

Have a lovely half term,

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Head of Juniors

Dear Parents,

As we approach Friday afternoons, I always look forward to our celebration assembly where we share some of the work produced over the course of the week.  It always amazes me how much effort the children have put into tasks and reminds us just how hard they have been working, through all areas of the curriculum.  Well done to the children for adapting so quickly to remote learning this half term and thank you to parents and staff for everything you have done to plan, prepare and keep the children motivated. I hope the children all enjoyed Food for Thought day yesterday – there seem to have been lots of delicious pancakes made as well as many other exciting activities.

Our Junior School Head Boy, Oscar, has recorded an end of half term vlog:

Half term is a chance to take a well-earned break, however, there are some flexible tasks on Satchel:One, which are optional, for the children to complete. There is no expectation to complete these tasks but, of course, we would love to see them if the children do.

Form Teachers will have arranged appointments with you for Parents’ Evenings after half term.  If you would also like an appointment with me, either on this night or another, please let me know.

I hope children, parents and staff all have a relaxing break.

Mrs Wright
Head of Juniors