October 13, 2023

Weekly News – Friday 13th October 2023

Message from the Head

Dear Parents

Ironically, I am going to start this newsletter about water!  If we didn’t have enough already, please can your sons/daughters bring a water bottle to school.  Ideally, a reusable one so that we cut down on plastic.  If they forget, then a Hollygirt water bottle is available from the Bursar, and we can add this cost to the invoice.  Many thanks.

We have had three assemblies this week.  On Monday, we discussed mental health – the assembly is here.  On Tuesday, we addressed the topic of some students being too ‘hands on’ (especially around football) and ‘banter’ – link is here and importantly today, we celebrated Black History Month – which we all believe should be every day of every year.  My thanks to Mrs Hall and the Year 9s for sharing their knowledge about important black women – link here.  We watched a video as part of this assembly and heard from children the message of tolerance and all people being equal.  It was poignant given the news.  As a school we have received some guidance from Nottingham City Council about how to manage conversations about the events in Israel/Gaza and we will look into this on Monday.  It is important that we always have political impartiality as teachers.

As you know, Hollygirt is such a diverse community.  Recently, we have welcomed /are welcoming students from Nigeria, Sudan, India and Argentina.  Tolerance is always going to be a key value to us given we are wonderful in our differences.  We will always have a lot to learn from each other.

Again, a week of staff and students not feeling well so I am hoping that we can soon put the winter bugs to bed.  As a school we try not to use agency cover so that your sons and daughters at least know their teacher.  However, if cover is long term, we may look to a different solution.  Miss Fry has said that I may let you know that she is having a hip operation which is why she is currently absent.  We will look forward to welcoming her back when fully recovered and thank Ms Hill for covering KS4 Art.  We are seeking a solution to our KS3 Art classes.

Mrs Griffiths is leading the Harvest Festival assembly on Monday and huge thanks for the donations.  Please do spare a can of beans etc on Monday if you haven’t already as all proceeds go to such a worthwhile cause, ‘The Open Kitchen’ on Mansfield Road.

Looking forward to teaching a sample A level Classical Civilisation taster session next week on our Sixth Form Taster Day on Wednesday – good to go back to the ancient world for a while. Life was certainly interesting in ancient Greece and Rome.

Finally, my sincere thanks to Mr Dean, Miss Lau and Mr Gray for leading a pretty cold and wet residential.  I think Year 7 will need rest and hot chocolates this weekend and look forward to seeing them on Monday.

Have a good weekend,

Helen Barsham

This week’s ‘shout out’ goes to Hugo in 7A – see here.

Parents are welcome to come along to my half termly Head’s Coffee Morning next Thursday morning from 8.30am to 9.00am.  Please email Lucy (Lucywilkins@hollygirt.co.uk) if you would like to come along for a chat, coffee and a croissant.

Message from the Deputy Head Seniors / Head of Prep

Good afternoon,

On Tuesday, it was World Mental Health Day and in addition to showing our support by wearing yellow, over the course of the week, children have taken part in a variety of activities organised by Mrs Heatlie.  They have learnt about different types of feelings and the importance of talking about their worries with a trusted grown up.  All children have worked on activities to identify their own ‘circle of support’ and name the people they could talk to.  They also shared things they like to do to promote their own well-being and have been given a challenge sheet of activities to try at home.

Our poetry assemblies yesterday were wonderful.  Thank you to Mrs Keyworth for organising these and to all staff who worked hard to prepare these.  Well done to all children who performed so confidently.  Thank you for coming to support the children.

Class photographs for Years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will take place on Monday.  Please could children come to school in their uniform, including blazers, and bring PE kits or swimming kits with them to get changed into later.

Next week is, of course, the last week of this half term and on Friday, Years 1 and 2 are going to Bolsover Castle as part of their Castles topic.  I am sure they will have a great day.

A reminder that the Friends of Hollygirt Christmas cards and order forms need to be back by next Friday as Mrs Scott will be sending these through over the half term break.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Prep

Message from the Head of Sixth Form

Good afternoon

It has certainly been a busy week in Sixth Form.  From promoting our #HelloYellow event to the whole school, in which we wore items of yellow or yellow stickers to show our support for everybody’s wellbeing.  Year 12 students went into form time and asked the younger years of Senior School to “write something nice” about a member of staff.  It was a lovely task to organise these and then deliver them to teachers and support staff.

Sixth Formers also had their first trip – a team building bank heist in a Cryptology Escape Room!  I’m very pleased to report that we found the diamond with a couple of minutes to spare! Impressive code breaking, puzzle deciphering and all-around teamwork.

More teamwork was in evidence during our PSHE time.  Students considered the British Values and Hollygirt’s school values, and then joined together to discuss our Sixth Form ethos.  They agreed that consideration, respect, determination and individuality are at the heart of what we do and sum up what our Sixth Form is all about.

Looking ahead to next week, it is the turn of our Year 11 students to find out more about Sixth Form.  The Open Evening is on Monday 16th October, 5.30-6.30pm and the Taster Day is on Wednesday 18th October.  Students have selected the subjects they wish to try out and get the opportunity to experience life in Stevenson House for a day.  We are looking forward to welcoming them and supporting those important decisions about their post-GCSE future.

Have a relaxing weekend,

Alison Brown
Head of Sixth Form