May 20, 2022

Weekly News Friday 20th May

This week's featured image is of some members of Gardening Club who've been busy this spring sowing wildflower seeds and planting sweet peas and snowdrops for our 'superbloom' Jubilee garden.

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Revision Strategies

We hit the ground running on Monday with a timely reminder from Mr Firth about the kinds of apps that are available to help with revision. This is in addition to the school’s mantra of ‘study, test, test, test’.

I have talked to staff this week about ‘fear appeals’ – a great body of research (e.g., Putwain, Symes & Wilkinson 2016). The general takeaway from the research is that ‘fear appeals’ which are ‘come on you know you’ve got exams soon’ type of statements from parents, teachers and peers, can work to motivate students who may be reluctant to study but for a child who is anxious – fear appeals about exams can make a child feel more anxious. We know that testing is good for the brain and I think that if we can approach assessments thinking like this then we can increase feelings of self-efficacy around tests. This is my research area so we can invest considerable time and knowledge at Hollygirt into getting the very best outcome for our students. Y11 received an intervention to encourage self-efficacy about high stakes tests and we will ensure that all year groups and students receive this as high stakes tests (GCSEs) are approached.

A reminder that my video about revision strategies is available here: 

Jubilee Concert

Next Friday brings our Jubilee garden concert (and a non-uniform day) of wearing red, white and blue (£2 to go to house charities). I do hope many of you can squeeze a couple of hours out of your busy schedules to attend -cream teas at the ready in time to enjoy the concert (Pimms anyone?). We’re also having a charity bake sale ran by I believe. It’s also Head’s informal coffee morning 8.30 -9.00.

Second Hand Uniform Shop

Due to GCSE examinations taking place in the Friends Room at Villa Road, next Thursday’s opening of The Friends of Hollygirt Second Hand Uniform Shop is cancelled. However, if you have any uniform requests, please join the Facebook Group where they’ll be happy to take orders which will be left at reception ready for collection. 

Alternatively, if you’re not a Facebook user, you can email

Staffing Changes for 2022-2023

I’d also like to catch you up to speed on some staffing changes for 2022 -2023.

Mrs Morgan is retiring (although I am sure we will still see her) and we have appointed a new PE teacher Natalie Kohut who will start with us in September. Thank you, Jackie, for your unequivocal support of Hollygirt students, staff and parents. Wishing you every happiness in the future.

Ms O’Looney is also leaving us due to a relocation. Thank you for everything you do and have done and I know you will not be a stranger to us. Thank you too for your unequivocal support of Hollygirt students and we know this is adieu rather than farewell.

Ms Hill – our wonderful receptionist, whom many of you know and who supports the students tirelessly, is leaving her role in Reception in September to join our Learning Support Team and we are thrilled that Ms Hill is staying with us and will be working even more closely with the students. These will be hard shoes to fill on Reception – the infinite patience with the whole community’s requests and always with a smile!

In addition, Sally-Anne Peters is joining the team as an LSA.

Online Safety

Today Years 6,7 and 8 received an assembly by our local PCSO about online safety and choosing friendship groups outside of school wisely! The older year groups will also be involved in an assembly in the next week or two on a similar theme but pitched at their level.

We are also planning an online safety event for parents -more of that anon.

Have a good weekend,

Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

What beautiful weather we have been experiencing this week.  Please could I remind you that children need to have a sun hat and sun cream in warmer weather.  It may be easier for children to leave their sun hats at school in their desks rather than try to remember them on sunny days.

This week, in Topic, Year 1 and 2 have enjoyed making their own pirate maps and they have been out in the garden practising the points of the compass. Key Stage 2 have been working really hard in preparation for their tests next week.

We will be celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee next Friday 27th May from 2.00 pm  – 3.30 pm in the Junior School garden.  Please join us for a concert and cream tea. Children can come to school dressed in red, white and blue.

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

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Wright
Head of Juniors

Key dates for the Week Ahead

Monday 23rd – Friday 27th Junior (KS2) & Senior Exam Week
Friday 27th Head’s Coffee Morning, 8.30-9 am

Whole School Jubilee Concert, 2-3.30 pm