October 20, 2023

Weekly News – Friday 20th October 2023

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

My thanks to Mrs Griffiths for organising our contribution to Muslim Hands – the charity working to feed anyone and everyone who is struggling on Mansfield Road.  Thank you to you for all of your Harvest contributions.  Doing something kind, giving to others is one of the best ways to boost personal well-being.

A busy week in the Sixth Form which I must thank Mrs Brown for.  A lovely Open Evening and meet the A level teachers on Monday night and then Year 11 had their Sixth Form Taster Day on Wednesday.  There is another event on 23rd November if you were unable to attend.  A level Politics and Philosophy were a real big hit!  What we can offer for the brief 18 months that is Sixth Form is exceptional.  It’s a first-rate education in small groups and an excellent way to ensure that the future is bright – if you haven’t considered us because your son/daughter is keen to follow friends (we understand this) etc – you should – because it’s a crucial pivotal time and our provision is unique because of its size – small is our strength.  Mrs Brown would be happy to see any of you individually for chats and tours.

We had a lovely coffee morning yesterday.  Good to see so many parents here and thank you for the overwhelming positive feedback about the school.  We spent the time discussing the issues kids and parents are up against these days including social media, VAT on fees and AI.  The VAT issue is interesting, and we simply can’t go there yet but we do know that Hollygirt is an independent school like no other and we truly care and love our students and know that they belong here and nowhere else.

Congratulations to Mr Dean and the Year 10 Dodgeball team as they competed in the City Dodgeball Championships this week.  They finished 4th and 7th out of 8 teams, with our B Team only just missing out on a medal.

We have some leadership news.  I need to thank Mrs Wright hugely for bridging the role of Deputy Head of Hollygirt. However, Mrs Wright is very firmly needed back in Prep now and so as well as expressing my sincere thanks to her for being such a team player, I’d like to congratulate Mr Cholerton on becoming the whole school Deputy Head effective from after half term.  Mr Cholerton has been quick to fall in love with the school and to understand our students and the care we offer them.  He has been a real presence across both Prep and Seniors.  His ethos is all about building relationships and solving problems and he has impressed staff, parents, students and Trustees in his short time.  So, congratulations and get the sleeves rolled up!

Finally, I was pleased to be nominated for and received confirmation of the fact that I have been awarded Fellowship status at the Chartered College for Teachers.  Fellowship status is awarded ‘to committed teachers and leaders who have shown a significant and sustained contribution to the teaching profession’.  My submission was around the years of leadership in education and my research into test anxiety.  The award of Fellowship means I can use the initials FCCT after my name. It is an honour and one that I promise to use well to continue good work for young people.

Helen Barsham

This week’s Shout Out goes to Annabelle in Year 8 – see more here.

Message from the Deputy Head Seniors / Head of Prep

Good afternoon,

What a busy half term.  I can’t quite believe we are already at the end of the first half term.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had to make the decision to cancel the Year 1 and 2 trip to Bolsover Castle today.  I know the children were looking forward to this and I am sorry if they are disappointed.  Mrs Wand will be in touch about rearranging this.

I would like to thank Miss Cooper for her hard work and wish her all the best as she begins her maternity leave.  We can’t wait to meet her daughter and I know she is planning to visit us soon!  We look forward to welcoming Mrs Hawthorne to teach Year 3.

Have a lovely half term break.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Prep

Message from the Head of Sixth Form

The first half term of Sixth Form certainly feels like it has flown by, with this last week being the busiest of them all.  I attended a Careers Convention at Fernwood School so that others can find out about us and benefit from what we have to offer.  Interest was high and our place in the post-16 world is very clear – we are truly unique in the supportive community we have to offer.

We invited parents and students into Stevenson House for our Sixth Form Open Evening on Monday, and there was a real buzz as quality conversations were had about subject options, combinations and future pathways.  I always enjoy chatting about Sixth Form and helping to support individual students in their decision making, so do get in touch!

Finally, our Year 11 students experienced life in the Sixth Form during our Taster Day, exploring lots of different subjects in the taster sessions they had picked.  It was a busy day, from finding out what their favourite subjects are like at A level to hearing about new options including Sports Coaching and Criminology.  But there was also time to relax in the Sixth Form Common Room and enjoy the table football and piano!  The students were a credit to Senior School – participating really well and looking so smart in the Sixth Form dress code.  The day included team building (thank you to Mr Dean!) and a House Quiz so that we ended the day on a competitive but fun note.  Please note that Sixth Form applications are being received and are due by Friday 15th December.

Now it’s time for the Year 12 students to reflect on how far they have come this half term.  Truly settled as Sixth Formers, taking their opportunities, and getting involved.  A strong foundation has been established for their continued success throughout Year 12 and Year 13.

I wish you all a restful half term.

Alison Brown
Head of Sixth Form