February 25, 2022

Weekly News Friday 25th February 2022

This week's featured image is of Senior School Council.

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Not sure where the half-term week went…

I hope you had a good week and managed to not get blown away!

This week’s assembly was from Ms Bellamy our singing teacher and promoted the benefits of taking extra-curricular Music lessons – whether singing, piano, guitar, cello or clarinet. Ms Bellamy talked about the aerobic benefits of singing for the lungs – a poignant comment given the recent pandemic. Please do let us know if you would like your sons and daughters to take extra-curricular music lessons and a reminder that we also offer LAMDA lessons. Whilst your son or daughter does not have to take exams in any music subject, achieved grades do contribute to totals of UCAS points for university entry. Thank you to the girls who took part in the assembly.

Another assembly focussed on our new loos! We then hit some snagging (as one does with new building projects) but as I type, the new girls’ loos in the senior school are in full working order. Boys need to be patient for just a while longer as their planned refurbishment is scheduled for the Easter holidays. I took this opportunity to talk to the students about the need to care for our facilities! My thanks to the facilities team who worked hard facilitating this initial renovation over half-term.

This week saw another first, as our recently gifted green wall was switched on! We have turned it off until we get some shoots and leaves gathered but not only will it provide a wonderful green canvas in our assembly / dining room – it also has the rather wonderful sound of a tinkling brook which is very restorative.

Thursday night saw Year 9 Parents’ and Options Evening and we are seeking to accommodate requests! It’s great to have been able to broaden our offer to include GCSE PE (requested by the students) and GCSE Business Studies (requested by the students) and also to offer both Creative iMedia and Computer Science. We have a little bit of time now before we finalise the offer to consider all the elected options and to try and rearrange pieces of the timetabling jigsaw -where we can. We will be in touch and please do get in touch with any questions and queries.

I am looking forward to popping into some Year 11 Issues lessons to deliver some cognitive intervention prior to the GCSEs and to talking to Year 11 parents about revision strategies based on my research. We will do everything we can to support Year 11 through this fairly intense time. The students need balance. Work hard but definitely some downtime too. Good food (vitamins) and sleep.

The School Council was very busy this week and what a great team they are (pictured in this week’s featured image at the top of this page). It’s a really useful meeting where the students can highlight any issues to me and I then take their ideas and thoughts to our leadership meeting on a Monday, so that their valuable comments can be actioned.

I also met with our neighbours this week to discuss the proposed development on the former Elms Primary School site on Cramner Street, and the implications for the school and residents. In the course of our conversation, I am now able to thank you for not blocking driveways on Villa Road, but there are still a couple of garages that keep getting blocked. I will put up a couple of Hollygirt notices, and ask you to please be mindful of these. As the days are a little warmer, please remember to turn your engines off whilst waiting – thank you.

In P4C (Philosophy for Children), Year 6 and I have been discussing whether or not fish are happy and how can you tell and, of course, the recent invasion of Ukraine. It’s fair to say I was impressed by their humanity, their perception and their empathy of the situation. I am sure many of us are discussing this and there may be some reassurances or further conversations needed for and with our youngsters.

The PE kit which will become school uniform in September is now available online if you wish to place your order. Thank you to our suppliers for getting this in place.

A reminder that our next Friends of Hollygirt committee meeting with take place on Monday 28th February, 4pm – 5.30pm in my office.

I have a busy weekend ahead -it’s my graduation in Cambridge and I just hope I manage to get the correct gown and hood – more of that anon!

Best wishes

Helen Barsham


Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

Welcome back.  I hope you all had a good half-term break despite the weather. From what I have heard, the children certainly seemed to enjoy themselves.

Red Noses will be on sale from Monday at a cost of £1.50 each. We do have limited stock but will continue to sell them throughout the week as there long are there is stock availability.

Junior Parents’ Evenings are on Tuesday and Wednesday. With the exception of Nursery and Reception, these will take place in the Year 5 and 6 building (No 9 Villa Road). Nursery and Reception meetings will take place in the EYFS classroom. Refreshments will be available in both the Friends’ Room or EYFS classroom.

On Wednesday, the school photographer will be in school to take individual pupil portraits. Please could you make sure blazers are in school.

Thursday is of course World Book Day. I am very much looking forward to seeing the children’s costumes!

I am aware that many of you have already ordered the new PE kit which will be delivered very soon.  If you weren’t able to do this, it is now on the Schoolwear Solutions website to order. If ordering online, please note that Junior children in Nursery to Year 5 should all have the hoodie – the zip top is optional as an additional piece of kit. However, Year 6 can choose to have either or both.

Children in Nursery to Year 5 will all need the Games T-shirt; Year 6 can choose between the T-shirt or the polo shirt.  All children can choose the skort or the shorts, and either leggings or tracksuit bottoms. Once the new kit has arrived, children may alternatively still continue to wear the current kit but should not be in any non-uniform items. All pupils should have the new PE kit by September 2022.

You will be receiving a letter about a Junior School trip to the Space Centre later this term- this should be both hugely educational and great fun. It will reinforce the work covered in some year groups through Topic and also Science Week which falls the week prior to this.

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

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Wright
Head of Junior School


Key Dates for the Week Ahead

Monday 28th February Friends of Hollygirt Committee Meeting, 4pm – 5.30pm, Dr Barshams Office
Junior Parents’ Evening
Tuesday 1st March Junior Parents’ Evening
Year 11 trip to Science Live
Wednesday 2nd March School photos
Thursday 3rd March World Book Day
Covid Vaccinations
Year 5 & 6 DART (previously DARE)