Message from the Headmistress
Thank you to those who have returned their mini questionnaire about technology at home, which forms part of our contingency planning documentation. If you haven’t completed this please do so, as it clarifies the picture for us. Click here to access the survey. For your information, if there is a national or local lockdown which impacts the school (and the government is striving for this not to happen to preserve the continuity of education for all pupils and to keep parents at work…) we would be open for the children of key workers. If, however, because of a localised outbreak affecting a pupil or staff member who has had close contact with others, we are forced to send home a whole or part of a bubble, we would in this case be guided by PHE and NHS Track and Trace and we would not be able to have those children/staff in school as the self-isolation requirement is now a matter of legal compliance.
We have had a calmer week at school and we are currently Covid free. (Long may this last).
I remind you that if anyone in your household has booked a test, until the result is received, the whole household needs to self-isolate. Thank you for keeping school in the loop when this is the case.
The government rules are becoming increasingly disparate and hard to follow so I will not nag about these this week. As yet, none of our catchment area is at the top of the likely local lockdown list, though some are creeping ever closer. In local lockdown situations schools are currently to remain open. The further mitigations of senior pupils wearing masks in corridors and public indoor spaces has already been implemented at Hollygirt as an additional precaution.
Have you downloaded the NHS Covid-19 app? (10 million of us have nationwide). Anything which helps us to understand our proximity to the virus is helpful in increasing our self-protection and that of our friends.
Onto other news:
You will have seen the lovely pictures of the food mountain we collected for the St Ann’s food bank, as part of our Harvest celebrations. Whilst deploring the need for the existence of food banks in the UK in the 21st century, we are pleased that we have been able to help.
In Senior School, our Year 11 will be having some in-class tests in the week after half term. This will give us an indication of where the pupils are in their learning of Year 10 and the beginning of the Year 11 work. Teachers will then be able to target support where required and to discuss the current performance level with parents and pupils at Parents’ Evening (scheduled for Tuesday 10th November). Pupils will be spoken to in class about what knowledge and skills will be tested. We will be able to give consideration to access arrangements, e.g. extra time. Our formal mock exams will no longer take place immediately after the Christmas break, but will be scheduled later in the same term. We will advise as to dates later on.
We are still busy recruiting new pupils to the school and have had 4 new starters in Junior School this week. We are still doing private tours by appointment for mid-term start, or for next September, so it’s not too late if you know people who are contemplating it to recommend them to us.
Miss Nisan is organising our Hollygirt hoodie order on behalf of the Friends of Hollygirt. If your child, or you, would like a new cosy hoodie, the deadline to get the order in is 9th October. A copy of the letter can be found here. Whilst we’re on the topic of Friends of Hollygirt, the committee is desperately seeking new members. The next meeting date is Friday 9th October at 4.00pm. The meeting will be held online on Zoom. Please email Roberta at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in joining the Friends of Hollygirt.
Can I remind parents not to book normal appointments in school days where possible. I know some necessitate this, but with a half term coming up, this is an ideal time to fit in the dentists.
Can I also remind you about safe parking in our neighbourhood, this is to protect your children and to ensure we do not overly impact on our near community.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Message from the Head of Juniors
I would like to begin by welcoming the children who have joined the Junior School this week. We are so pleased that you have chosen to come to Hollygirt and I am sure you will be very happy here.
This year, for National Poetry Day, we are doing it slightly differently and having a Poetry Read-Off across the Juniors. For the initial stage, children are currently performing poems to the rest of their class. Children will then vote for their favourite performances with successful candidates progressing to the next round where they will compete against other children within their Key Stage. The final of the Poetry Read-Off will take place in assemblies during the week of 12th October with winners being announced by the end of this half term. I am really looking forward to listening to the children’s performances.
Next Monday and Tuesday are our Parents’ Evenings, this year on TEAMS. If you haven’t already made an appointment, or wish to arrange an alternative date, please contact Form Teachers. If you wish to also have an appointment with me, please let me know.
I will firstly apologise for mentioning this so soon but, you will be receiving information about Christmas cards! As in previous years, we are giving children the opportunity to design a Christmas card which you may purchase packets of; other merchandise is also available in the same design. Some classes are creating these in school whilst the older children will be bringing these home. Please read the information carefully and if you wish to purchase these, return the completed card and order to school by Monday 12th October. Please note that payment is online and we cannot accept cash or cheques.
Please could I remind you that if children are arriving late, and there is no member of staff on the Elm Avenue gate, they should be taken to Main School Reception. This is to ensure they are safely taken to their teachers.
Have a lovely weekend.
Head of Juniors