December 2, 2022

Weekly News – Friday 2nd December

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors enjoyed a special trip out this week to have their badges made.  Thank you to Matilda’s Mum (Emily) and her office for suggesting this and to India for the super design that won the competition.

“The anti-bullying ambassadors went along with our badge competition winner, India, to go and create our new and improved anti-bullying team badges!  We learnt about what Imara (the charity) provides and we all took part in their different activities, such as music therapy techniques.  We were able to make our own badges and bracelets.  It’s fair to say we all had a great experience!” 

The subject of the charitable status of independent schools seems to be all over the press this week and I’d like to thank Ms Fry for her letter to Keir Starmer which sums up how we feel about this situation.  She hasn’t received a reply yet so has re-sent it!  Ms Fry talks about the level of service we give; our care and provision and how the children benefit from a Hollygirt education; the care, support and stretch and challenge.  She mentioned how Hollygirt staff came out of the TPS (Teachers’ Pension Scheme) a few years ago without strikes – how the children in the school were unaffected by industrial action – the commitment of the staff because they love this school and its children.

The consultant we worked with regarding our strategic plan that is designed to ensure the future of the school, felt that there was no need to worry; even if a Labour government ‘get in’ then there will be many years before any legislation can be revoked.  Hollygirt has been here for over 140 years years.  We’re made of strong stuff and can weather the storms; there is a remarkable spirit of endurance which is woven into the fabric of the school.  On Wednesday, we had a Full Board Trustee Meeting to flesh out further our plans for the future; my thanks to the trustees for their time and support of the school and for their vision and I will report on some of the details of our plans in the new year.

Monday was Year 11 Parents’ Evening and thank you for all the support Year 11 parents showed; as a whole, we are really pleased with the mock exam results which promise some excellent achievements in the summer.

Another Sixth Form information evening is being held on Monday if anyone wishes to come along (info on the website here).  We will work with our families on an individual by individual basis (as we always do) and this evening is to also welcome some new interest in our Sixth Form provision.

This week, I had the pleasure of reading the wonderful story ‘The Stick Man’ to Year 1 and we had biscuits (of course)!  Thank you Year 1 for the lovely thank you card which is now on my wall.  I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Thank you to the Eco Team for educating the school community about climate change and introducing our new eco-sticker initiative.  Some very good work starting here.  We are looking to remove plastic water bottles from lunches after the Easter holidays and I will keep you updated.

If your child usually has a packed lunch but would like Christmas lunch on Wednesday 14th December, they will be able to order this as a separate order next week.

Do any of our existing parents have the opportunity to display any of our banners for future admissions events?  If this is something you feel you may be able to help with, in raising the awareness of the school, please contact our Admissions Manager Charlotte Schmidt (

We have added to the calendar a Year 7 Parents’ Social Evening on Tuesday 17th January to give parents the opportunity to touch base with teaching staff informally.  Further details to follow in the new year.

We will be asking children for a £2 donation for Save the Children next Thursday 8th December as we participate in National Christmas Jumper Day throughout school.

Have a good weekend,

Dr Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon,

The teatime concert last Friday was wonderful and it was great to see so many juniors perform and so many parents in attendance.  This was the first time some of these children had performed in front of an audience and they did brilliantly.  A huge achievement for all of them.

As we move into the last couple of weeks of term, there is a lot happening!  Children in juniors have been busy decorating the Christmas trees.  They are still working incredibly hard rehearsing for the Christmas productions whilst also putting great effort into their usual lessons.  This week, EYFS have been investigating ice by collecting natural materials from outside and freezing them in containers of water to watch what happens when they melt.  Meanwhile, Year 1 enjoyed listening to Stick Man (whilst eating biscuits!) with Dr Barsham.

Next week, on Wednesday morning, Years 1-6 are singing in the Victoria Centre; this is always such a lovely event and I hope some of you will be able to pop by to see us.  On Thursday, EYFS are visiting Nottingham Playhouse.  I know they will really enjoy this experience.  Thursday is also Christmas Jumper Day and children can wear these over their uniform, if they wish to, bringing £2 to donate to Save the Children.  After school, it is the Junior Disco.  We have sold loads of tickets and it will be great fun.  Children should bring their disco clothes to get changed into after school.  Many thanks to the Friends of Hollygirt for organising this and staff for helping out.

It was great to catch up with some of the Year 6 parents last night.  A reminder for Friday morning – please feel free to pop in for a coffee and a chat in the Friends’ Room (Year 5 and 6 building) from 8.15am to 8.45am.

Junior Eco Reps have been busy looking at the school environment and discussing what we can change in school.  We have arranged to meet with Senior Eco Reps next week to see how we can put our plans into actions.  More to follow on this.

The post box is up in Junior School.  If children wish to post their cards, please could you ensure names and classes are on envelopes.  Our Year 6 children will sort the post each day and deliver it to the relevant classes.

Extra-curricular clubs will run next week but not the following week due to all the other events.  The last day of term will be non-uniform and we are asking for donations to a local food bank.  A reminder that we finish at 12.15pm on this day and there is no After School Club (this will run until Thursday 15th December).

As it is getting much colder, children do need their green coats in school each day for playtimes.  Please also send in hats and gloves.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Juniors