September 17, 2021

Weekly News – Friday 17th September 2021

This week's featured image is of Dr. Barsham reading a story to our Year 1, 2, Nursery and Reception pupils as part of Junior School's sponsored readathon. They all looked splendiferous dressed up for our Roald Dahl Day celebrations!

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

It was lovely to welcome so many Year 7 and Year 8 parents (and new starters) to our Meet the Teachers welcome evening on Wednesday. Thank you for coming and thank you to the staff for their time too. We really enjoyed being able to see you and share drinks and conversations. The feedback about how the students are feeling about Hollygirt was overwhelmingly positive (good news!) and we take on board all comments and suggestions for ‘even better if’ and needing email addresses.

It was lovely to hear your feedback about the quality of our teaching and excellence of provision; the benefits of being in a small school; the values you appreciate in our family community. We look forward to seeing more parents at our slightly shorter but important and meaningful Prizegiving event on 13th October from 7-8.30pm.

We know we are a unique school and as I complete my third week here at Hollygirt, it’s time to pause for thought. I have been welcomed wholeheartedly by everyone. People go out of their way to be kind to me. Thank you! This welcome is a poignant reflection of the kindness that is Hollygirt.

I am inspired by the commitment of all and when covering a Year 7 Maths lesson this week – was able to use an almost virtual Mr. Rollinson. The students are joyous and articulate with their opinions and importantly feel able to approach the team here with their ideas.

And as I start to talk to staff in our ‘two stars and a wish’ conversations – things that are going well for them in school and their own wish lists – their comments are testimony to the spirit of the school. I am sharing some of them here without naming names: ‘We provide an individual bespoke package with ‘as and when’ communications with parents; we are great at involving the children in their learning; the passion of the staff here is second to none!’. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Thank you to Ms. Howlett and Mr. Rollinson for taking Year 11 on an amazing Geography field trip this week – just goes to show you can be in two places at once Mr. Rollinson! The students feedback about the trip was so positive we’ve included it at the end of this week’s news post.

And I know the Year 10’s experienced a fabulous PHSE conference day this week – thank you, James.

I enjoyed reading a story to Year 1, 2, Nursery and Reception pupils this afternoon. A big welcome to our new starters in the juniors too – you have done so well this week and the kindness of the team in settling our most young students resonated with the kindness of Hollygirt to me over the last few weeks.

This morning Senior School students enjoyed their assembly – featuring a special video made by Hollygirt staff – ahead of European Day of Languages next Friday. There is an exciting day of activities planned, including the ‘European Bake Off’. Students are encouraged to bake a European themed cake at home and bring them to school on the morning of Friday 24th September ready for our special assembly. The cakes will be judged on presentation, creativity and flavour and there will be some small prizes available for the winners! The cakes will then be donated to our Macmillan cake sale, which will be taking place later that day from 3.00 – 4.15pm at 9 Villa Road and all parents are invited for cake and coffee. We do hope that you can join us.

In a moment, I am going to walk to our shuttle coach to see what the issues are as we have been experiencing some problems – bear with and apologies!

And a reminder that it is Open Morning this Saturday and all of our students are welcome. Tour guides please be here at 9.30am and looking shiny and our other students please at 9.45am and also shiny! We have a lot of prospective families and students booked in for the morning and we hope the weather is kind….

To finish: I heard one of our Year 11 students talking on the stairs- no names mentioned here- who said ‘Hollygirt is levelling up’. Again, couldn’t have said it better myself.

Have a lovely weekend,

Dr. Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

Today, we are celebrating Roald Dahl Day and the children are dressed in some great costumes – they look fantastic and are having a fabulous day.  There is still one week left of the readathon so please encourage the children to keep reading!

You will have received an email about the Junior School Harvest Festival which is being held in our assembly on Wednesday.  The link of the recording will be available after the event. Please send donations in a box or a bag to School next week and, as part of our Harvest celebrations, we shall ensure these are received by Emmanuel House.

On Friday 24th September, the Junior School children will be taking part in some exciting activities for European Day of Language including the European Bake Off. Children should bake cakes at home and bring them to school on the day. The cakes will be judged on presentation, creativity and flavour. Cakes should not contain any nuts or sesame.  Children can come to school wearing an accessory associated with any country of their choosing.

Thank you to the children who are attending Open Day tomorrow and I look forward to seeing you.

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

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Wright
Head of Juniors

Quotes from our Year 11 Geographers about their Dorest Fieldtrip

The Geography field trip was a journey in so many ways. Both the physical act of travelling to the intellectual progression of my learning experience. We were living in Geography, the text book brought alive in a display of pure power in the natural world. Plus, I liked eating ice-cream.


This trip was fantastic. It was planned well by Mr Rollinson and Ms Howlett. I really liked looking at the scenery and looking at historical sights. The Leeson House was nice and had friendly people working there.


We got to see the Old Harry which was really nice to look stand something interesting to see and learn about. At Leeson House we went and saw processes of erosion that showed how longshore drift created a long pebble beach depositing sediment on Old Harry’s Rock where we saw from crack to cave to arch to stack to stump. Along with, we drew sketches to refer to when comparing different dates.


The Geography trip to Dorset was a wonderful bonding experience for everyone. We walked and travelled to various beaches and bays along the coast which were so beautiful to see. We learned a lot not just about Geography but about each other too.


This Geography trip was fun and I made the best memories. Durdle’s Door and Old Harry rock look even better in person. We had great bus discos. In conclusion, Ms Howlett and Mr Rollinson were super fun and I couldn’t have enjoyed the trip more.


The whole trip was planned really well from the timing and visiting of the sights to any free time or activities we did at the house. The coasts and cliffs were very educational and worth every step it took to get there. I’d definitely recommend going again -I would love to go again. Mr Rollinson and Ms Howlett were good fun and helped throughout the whole thing.


This has definitely been the best school trip I’ve been on. The Dorset cost is absolutely stunning. It was amazing to see it and learn about how they were formed. Initially, I was not excited about the long walks to the coast. However, I quickly changed my mind when I saw the beautiful English countryside. Mrs Howlett and Mr Rollinson were absolute legends and made the trip!