June 15, 2023

Weekly News – Thursday 15th June

Message from the Head

Dear Parents

It’s been quite the week.

We did – as a precaution – put the school into lockdown first thing on Tuesday because of our proximity to the events and the sketchy news that we were receiving.  As this was the beginning of the day – a few students still had phones on them, and I know that some of you received worrying calls/texts which prompted you to call the school.  Just so that you know – we will always endeavour to take phones off children if there is an emergency because if you try and ring the switchboard it blocks the line(s) for any emergency calls we might need to make/receive.  Fortunately, we have never been in this position before.  As a school we will learn from this process.  We did call the police and took their advice, and the school was able to resume ‘business as usual’ by 9.05am.  We have talked to the school community about these events, and I hope the students feel supported – the staff too.  It is a tragic loss of life, and we are very shocked.  On Wednesday we asked the prep and senior school students to come together to remember the people who had lost their lives and their families in their thoughts for a minute.

Along the vein of togetherness, we were pleased to see Dr Costley here this week and with her Year 9 research assistants gathering more data from Year 7 this time on the theme of ‘School Connectedness’.  This is valuable data for the school as we examine what makes Hollygirt students want to come to school and what we may be able to improve upon.  We will share the outcomes in due course.

This week has seen a lot of house activity including a whole, through school house quiz competition on Wednesday and allocation of races for Sports Days.

Last Friday the school’s academic scholars presented their research projects to the school: from clouds to AI to supertasters – it’s good to get the youngsters researching and presenting.

I mentioned the water fountains last week and happily most students are bringing in their own bottles.  However, we are still getting through a number of plastic cups (as we will always allow children water) so that defeats the object rather of getting rid of water bottles… please encourage your son/daughter to have a water bottle (and sun cream) with them in school at the moment.

Last year we ran a competition for a Hollygirt sunhat which Dhaman in Year 7 won.  I haven’t actioned this yet but it is still very much on the agenda to get some Hollygirt bucket hats made from Dhaman’s design.

The minibus went on its inaugural trip on Monday taking Year 7 to a handball tournament and I believe is booked to take Prep girls to a football tournament next week – go Hollygirt minibus (and teams, of course)!

As said, I am not in school on Friday but will catch up on email.  I’m leaving our lovely school in the very capable hands of Mrs Wright so if there is anything urgent – please make contact via her email on victoriawright@hollygirt.co.uk.

I’m saving ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ comments for next week.

Have a lovely hot weekend.

Best wishes

Helen Barsham

Message from the Deputy Head of Seniors / Head of Prep

Good afternoon

This week Prep School have enjoyed Wellbeing Week; this is what Mrs Scott has reported.

This week has been Wellbeing Week in the Prep School with daily activities provided to help the children find ways to keep healthy in both their minds and bodies.  The children from Kindergarten to Year 6 had fun doing a range of things each day including: fun dancing, mindfulness colouring, relaxation, cloud watching and thinking of other ways to boost their mental wellbeing. 

Here’s what some of the children had to say about it: 

“Wellbeing is about having good mental health.  Doing theses things makes me happy.” Yaseen  

 “I love listening to calming music.”  Mia-Bella  

 “I loved mindfulness colouring and calm time.” Tori  

 “I like dancing.  It makes me feel happy.” Arlo  

 “This makes me feel relaxed.” Noah  

 “We have made hands for a wellbeing wave this week.  I have felt very calm and my favourite activity was making my wellbeing monster.” Munashe

This evening, I am looking forward to watching the first performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  It is great to have a production including so many children from both Prep and Senior School.  Thank you to Miss Seaton and all staff who helped put this together and thank you to parents for your support.  Well done to all the children who are participating and have worked so hard attending after school rehearsals.  There is also a performance tomorrow afternoon if you cannot make tonight.

Year 5 will be enjoying a day in the Senior School tomorrow, experiencing a range of different lessons and taking part in team building activities during the afternoon whilst making many new friends.

Please could you make sure all children have hats in school for when the weather is warm.  It is a good idea to have a hat which can be left in school so that is does not get forgotten.  Children also need to apply sun cream before they come to school in the morning but may also bring some with them to apply later in the day; please make sure this is named.

It is Prep Sports Day next Tuesday 21st (for Years 1 to 6).  Mr Deacon has sent out information about this.  Again, please make sure children have hats and plenty of water.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Year 5 are 6 are off on their residential to The Mill next Wednesday to Friday.  I know they are very excited and will have an amazing time.

Mrs Wand has sent out requests for donations for the Prep Garden Party on Saturday 1st July.  Thank you for all the donations so far and please continue to send items in.  We still need raffle prizes.  If you, or anyone you know, are able to donate a raffle prize, please send these to Mrs Scott via Form Teachers or Reception.  Raffle tickets will follow shortly.

Have a lovely weekend,

Victoria Wright
Deputy Head of Seniors / Head of Prep