September 9, 2022

Weekly News Friday 9th September

This week's featured image is of some of the artwork made by Year 6 using found natural objects during their Forest School session with Mr Dean this morning.

The whole school is saddened by the news of the Queen’s death. We are looking carefully at how we will commemorate Her Majesty’s life and indomitable spirit, her commitment to duty and the hope she brought to millions. Once we hear news of the arrangements, we will look carefully at our events, but we do plan to hold our Welcome Evenings, Open Morning and Prizegiving at this point. We hope you have a peaceful, reflective weekend.

Message from the Head

Dear Parents,

Welcome back and a big welcome to all our new students, staff and parents.

The trustees and the Senior Leadership Team are working hard with a strategy to fulfil the vision for Hollygirt. We are growing in numbers (which is great news) and this will fuel further growth and provision of opportunity. One area we are really keen to improve is how we communicate everything home – reports and assessments, letters and payment systems. We hugely appreciate the investment you are making into your child’s education and know we do most things very well indeed but just know from me – we are open to feedback about where we can improve and dedicated to doing so – sometimes it takes a bit of time – so bear with!

On a pedagogical note, we continue to embed the latest cognitive research into our teaching and learning and spent some time at INSET looking at the research into memory, the wonderful work of Bob Bjork on ‘desirable difficulties’, and how we can use cognitive research to support the well-being of our students, especially around high-stakes tests. This provision is unique to Hollygirt (as is much of our care).

I popped down to Year 6 today to teach P4C (philosophy for children) and found our new Deputy Head there discussing the skills and attributes needed to be a Queen. We welcome Mike Casey and the fresh ideas he has which will also help to expand our offer and add to our being the best, small, independent school in Nottingham.

We are aware of a negative review online, and I need to reassure you that this is a result of an action that had to be taken to ensure excellent provision for all of our students. I am sure that you understand. I will always seek to ensure the best educational and pastoral provision for your children. We have so many wonderful reviews that offset the one negative and are a true representation of the school, but I thought I would address this ‘head on’. On the note of excellent education…

We are sharing the extra-curricular provision with you today and would like you to spend a couple of minutes discussing this with your sons and daughters. Clubs will start running next week and we will have a Hustings assembly on Monday where students can sign up for the various clubs.

We look forward to welcoming new parents next Wednesday 14th from 5-6.30pm (informal get-together with teachers) and if you’d like your son /daughter to stay – they are very welcome to hang out in Homework Club and then we will put a film on downstairs and /or some board games for them; we hope this makes it a bit easier for you.

We will also be sharing some information with you shortly about the new Sixth Form and I plan to write separately to current Year 11 parents next week.

Open Morning is already set to be very busy with over 40 families registered already (please remember that attendance is expected for all students at this important school event) and we are very busy with tours too. We do offer something quite unique at Hollygirt and that is driven by the team here. I can’t thank them enough for the hard work, commitment and passion that propels us forwards underpinned by our values of: resilience, kindness, hard work and honesty.

Best wishes,

Helen Barsham

Message from the Head of Juniors

Good afternoon, 

It has been lovely to see all the children back this week.  I have enjoyed hearing about their holidays and the adventures they have had over the summer break. A huge welcome to our new children who have all settled in so well.  I am sure they will be very happy here. 

Form Teachers will have emailed you about Welcome Meetings next week.  These will provide you with an opportunity to find out more about the year ahead. If you cannot attend these, teachers will be happy to arrange an alternative time with you. 

Our extra-curricular programme begins next week – I know the children are excited about the range of activities on offer.  Please could you return forms indicating your child’s preferences if you have not already done so. 

Have a nice weekend,

Victoria Wright
Head of Juniors

Key Dates for the Week Ahead

All Week Junior School Parent Meetings
Wednesday 14th September Stay and Play in EYFS

New Parents Welcome Evening (Senior School), 5-6.30pm

Saturday 17th September Whole School Open Morning, 9am – 12pm