September 22, 2023

Weekly News – Friday 22nd September 2023

Message from the Head

Dear Parents

I think we need a weekend.  One of our busiest Open Mornings followed by the wonderful celebration of Prize Giving means we’ve had a busy week.  Whilst looking to the Southwell Ploughing Match next Saturday – it might be time to take a breather this weekend.

Mr Cholerton our new Assistant Head (Pastoral) and Designated Safeguarding Lead took assembly on Monday and I was surprised and impressed to learn that he had trained in athletics with Mo Farah and some of you will know he has coached the Derby County Women’s Football team up to elite status.  It was lovely for the school to get to know him a bit better.

This week, whilst I was managing communications around the dispersal notice that the police issued in town for Thursday afternoon, our Sixth Formers led whole School Council!  Thank you to them and such a great help to me.  Having a Sixth Form is really amazing and adds a whole layer of experience and responsibility (as well as education) to the school.  They love their badges too!  The Sixth Form are also offering an academic mentoring service to our Year 11s.  They have a badge for this!

It was good to see the old Year 11s (now Year 12) on Wednesday at Prize Giving to celebrate their remarkable efforts and achievements alongside current students’ effort and achievement awards.  My thanks to Lucy Wilkins for organising the event and to Miss Seaton and Mrs Maher for the excellent music.  I will take this opportunity to thank the whole team for their hard work in ensuring we offer a bespoke academic and pastoral education and to you for supporting your children with us on their journeys.  Due to inclement (wind and rain!) weather on Wednesday morning, we did not have our usual run through so well done school for managing without a rehearsal.  Thank you all for coming.

Copies of the speeches can be found here:
Head’s Welcome – Dr H Barsham
Vice Chair of Trustees – Alison Bingham
Key Speakers – Dr Edward Pooley and Dr Claire Bloxsom

Curriculum maps will soon be with you so that you can share a bit more in terms of knowing what your son/daughter is studying this term and this year.

I have sent home some information about the Goose Fair and why we ran our in-house Macmillan coffee morning today – thank you Year 11 prefects for this.  Next week, we will stop the bus running from Thursday due to potential traffic restrictions and use a walking bus instead so a member of staff will walk down to the high schools to collect and drop off students who take buses from there.  A reminder that we have this service – please let Sam on Reception know if you wish to book a ‘seat’ on the bus.  If you do book it is important that your son/daughter does take their seat as we can wait for ‘no show-ers’ who have decided to walk on the day – this is slowing us down a bit.  We do take a register.

I’m sure many of you will have noticed the new signage around school – the photo used to head up this week’s Weekly News shows the new sign for Garfield House…. how many knew that the main Senior School building is called Garfield House?

Have a lovely weekend in the knowledge of a promise of warm weather this next week.

Best wishes,

Helen Barsham


Message from the Deputy Head Seniors / Head of Prep

Good afternoon

Thank you to all children who attended Open Morning last weekend, to either work with their teachers or for some of the older children, to tour families around school.  It was an incredibly busy and successful day with so many positive comments about the children, staff and school.

Prize Giving on Wednesday was such a lovely evening and made me feel very proud to be part of Hollygirt.  Well done to all children, KS2 who attended, and also the younger children who achieved so much last year too.

Today, we have celebrated European Day of Languages and the children have taken part in a variety of fun activities.  Photos will follow.

On Monday, we will be having our individual photographs and children need to come to school in uniform, including blazers.  Instead of coming to school in PE kits, Year 1 to 6 should bring these or swimming kits to get changed into in the afternoon.

Goose Fair begins next week and there are likely to be some road closures and more parking restrictions around school.  For the duration of Goose Fair, you will be able to drop off and collect from the back gate on Villa Road in addition to Elm Avenue.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Prep


Message from the Head of Sixth Form

Good afternoon

Student voice is always important at Hollygirt School, so it has been a busy week with our Year 12 students sharing their ideas about Sixth Form life, from establishing their own tuck shop to planning ideas for our first Sixth Form trip.  A real benefit of being part of something new is how valued each person’s contributions are.  The students have also been working together to personalise their study space.  Teachers and students are proud of how our Sixth Form both looks and feels, and we enjoyed guiding the tours during the Open Morning last Saturday. Feedback on the transformation of the building was wonderful to hear, together with how reassuring parents and children found it that there is now no need to leave the benefits of Hollygirt life, as the progression to A levels is now available.  We look forward to sending an Open Evening invitation to our Year 11 students and their parents shortly, to share the many opportunities we provide.

Have a lovely, and hopefully dry, weekend,

Alison Brown
Head of Sixth Form

Reminders for next week:

Monday 25th September – individual and sibling photographs plus some of the class photographs will be taken – all children to remember their blazers