Message from the Headmistress
On Monday it will be February. Bye bye bitterly cold and pretty horrid January. We won’t miss you!
Top tip from me to start looking forwards to better times: start to spot the spring bulb shoots springing up and take notice of the daylight hours getting a little longer… and get off the sofa and into the garden/park, anywhere to stretch the muscles and enjoy the fresh air. (In a coat, hat and gloves of course!)
This morning the whole school were treated to our Senior School Languages teachers dance version of Hollygirt: Get Active. What a joy. It was such a lovely ‘assembly’ we are hoping that it will make a regular appearance on our scheduling.
We are well into our online learning routine now and well done to all on getting stuck in. The pupils’ attendance at live lessons and submission figures are really impressive and I’ve seen evidence of some top quality work!
I am sorry to postpone the Parents’ Question and Answer session which had been scheduled for tonight. I wanted to give the opportunity for others to join us and so have moved this to next Friday at 6pm. It will be a short Zoom meeting with no set agenda, just the opportunity for you to speak to Mrs Wright and I about questions and queries you may have. (Positive feedback is always welcome too…)
Next week dates for Senior School:
On Thursday 4th is the Year 10’s Parents’ Evenings on SchoolCloud. You will have received the required information on the way it operates and the booking system from Mr Dean. Should you wish to chat to Mr Dean or myself on this evening we have somewhat restricted availability as there is a Trustees meeting on the same evening. If these times don’t suit, please ask for a call on a different day.
Friday 5th is the deadline for the return of Year 9 options forms.
You will have seen on the news that schools are not able to reopen after half term. The government has suggested a date of 8th March. This will be confirmed to us two weeks beforehand and at that point we will find out whether it is a return for all children or if there are to be any staggered arrangements. We will, of course, share the news with you as soon as details are confirmed.
Likewise we are awaiting the outcome of the Ofqual consultation into the way exam results will be awarded to the Year 11 pupils and whether there will be any board set moderated tests to be done. I am expecting news on this in a couple of weeks and will share once all is confirmed. We are still planning mock examinations for Year 11 but I re-iterate that this will not happen the first week back.
COVID specific news:
We were sad to have to close down the KS4 key worker bubble this week as we had a possible contact testing positive. This re-opens for these children on Tuesday 2nd.
I remind all parents that they should get children tested if they are symptomatic and let the school know this is happening. The whole family must self-isolate if any member of the household has symptoms until the result of a test is clear – and continue for 10 days if it is positive. As we have to contract trace in school, for key worker children and staff, it is important that families still coming into school inform us without delay to mitigate the risks to all present.
To help with our communications on COVID and to ensure they do not get mixed up with other email communications in our busy inboxes we have set up an email account just for such things. So, from Monday 1st February you will receive communications from email@example.com regarding anything Covid-related including any notifications from NHS/DfE or PHE about the virus. We kindly request that you use this discrete email for letting us know about any family testing or positive cases which we need to be aware of as well.
I will send out the revised Parents’ Handbook from this account on Monday – look out for it. These will all be essential communications and I urge you to read them closely.
Remember too to let the tutor mentors know if your child is otherwise ill or struggling with technology and they can alert their colleagues that work may not be expected that day.
Senior pupils are requested to look to their online file management systems and to save all the work they upload to a dedicated school file, perhaps with sub files for each subject. In this way they will have a copy of all the work they produce somewhere then can find it again. (I say this as a non-digital native whose filing systems are a little like my desk – a bit messy).
For those pupils coming into school and those at home: a quick reminder that our full behaviour expectations still apply. Take care what you say, what you post in the chat to avoid any apparent rudeness, silliness or unkindness.
Homework for Senior School pupils:
Following some requests for pupils to get homework from some parents, we have suggested the following to staff:
KS3 can be set homework such as projects for the rest of this half term. It will have flexible completion dates and may extend over half term.
KS4 should have homework set once a week for each subject. It is intended to be similar to what they would normally be expected to do at this stage in their learning.
Following our Entrance Day and scholarship testing for our prospective new Year 7 entrants for September 2021, letters are on their way! If you know people who have not been offered places at other schools and/or who may be interested in a Hollygirt education, it is not too late to get in touch. (We’ve had 4 enquiries already since we ran our events). Please let them know to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all folks, have a great weekend – we may even get a little more snow if it pushes northwards on Saturday afternoon.
Keep smiling, keep well.
Message from the Head of Juniors
I hope you all enjoyed the snow last weekend. It certainly came down quickly but caused great excitement! I have loved seeing some of the snowman pictures – well done on your efforts!
Another week of hard work and impressive work from the children. I have joined many lessons over the last few weeks and have really enjoyed observing what the children have been doing. It is amazing how even the youngest children are so comfortable with using Teams. Attendance to live lessons is high – thank you for ensuring children are able to access these. Please remember the work will be on Satchel:One if your children does miss the lesson.
Parents’ Evenings will take place, as usual, after half term. These will of course be online and further details will follow.
Please do let me know if we can do anything else to help during this time. We will always telephone or arrange an online meeting with you at your request if you need any extra support or just fancy a chat.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend,
Head of Juniors