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Weekly News #34

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

Gosh! What fabulously hot weather we have had, though it is looking a bit thundery today. I noticed earlier this week just how fragrant the trees on the avenue were – has anyone else spotted this?

The Junior School playground has certainly seemed quieter with the Year 5 and 6 pupils at The Mill from Monday to Wednesday and Nursery to Year 4 at Sundown Adventureland on Tuesday. Pupils in Senior School have demonstrated their sporting prowess at their annual Sports Day. I enjoy seeing all our participants try their best – some are obviously athletic and highly skilled, others struggle but give it their best shot. We applaud all whose efforts win points towards the house games cup. Well done to Clumber for winning the house trophy this year. For a full list of individual winners, please click here. Thank you to Mrs Morgan for organising this year’s event and to all the staff, especially the Maths department for keeping an accurate tally of the scores. GCSE examinations have finally come to an end and we were royally entertained at the Senior School Summer Concert last night.

As we approach the last couple of weeks of term, there is so much going on and it’s quite difficult to keep a handle on who is where doing what. Here is a checklist for parents:

  • Tonight – 4pm Parents’ Forum
  • Weekend (24th/25th) Bronze DoE weekend in Derbyshire. Thank you to Mrs Carr for all her work with DoE this year. It has been quite a feat with new rules and regulations, and much more of the administrative work coming back into school. We love giving the children the opportunity to take part in this scheme and rely hugely on the staff volunteering to give up their weekends to support the expedition work as well.
  • On Monday, we are looking forward to the return to work of Mrs Howlett (Head of Geography and SENCO) and Mrs Wright (Head of Junior School and Year 4 Teacher) after their maternity leave. I take this opportunity to thank all those who have stood in for their various roles in the interim to maintain the stability of our ship. Especially to Mr Dean, Mr Goodhead, Miss Roberts and Mrs Allen. Great job. I suspect there will be some phews sighed at Monday handover!
  • Monday also sees the Nursery and Reception Sports Day at 11.30am. We love this event, it’s great fun! Hope the mums and dads have been in training too.
  • On Wednesday, the Junior School are in their Wimbledon Whites for their special Wimbledon themed day; the Year 7 and 8 pupils are having an afternoon with a storyteller; and after school at 7pm, The Friends of Hollygirt have their AGM in 9 Villa Road. Please let us know if you are coming and return the slip on the letter to vote by proxy. We always welcome new members of the committee. Just turn up for a wine and some strawberries if you would like to meet the team.
  • Thursday 29th sees the Year 10 in their Conference Day about future education choices and career options and later on in the evening, the leaving Year 11 have their special prom at Bestwood Lodge. I look forward to this event every year.
  • On Friday 30th we welcome Year 5 pupils to Senior School from Hollygirt and beyond for a Taster Day. We still have spaces on this day if you know anyone who would like to attend.
  • Saturday 1st July is our annual Junior Garden Party. Please remember to return your unwanted raffle tickets to school as soon as possible!
  • If you would like us to celebrate the success of your child’s out of school activities in our end of term edition of the Holly Leaves, please send a photo with some information to Roberta at

A final shout out for anyone who might have missed the letter with information about next year’s ski trip. We can add on new recruits up until the end of this term. Please speak to Mr Goodhead if children from current Year 4 to Year 10 are interested in Easter skiing 2018. The original letter can be read here.

Pupils from the School Council in Junior School have asked if parents could donate to school any good condition, no longer used, board games, which might be helpful for wet breaks.

I wish you all a restful weekend.

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Acting Head of Juniors

Click here to see this week’s Stars of the Week

Dear Parents,

It has been a very tiring week this week, and not just due to the 1976-esque weather (so I’m told; alas, I was a mere babe-in-arms at the time), but because of the residential we went on for the first half of the week to The Mill Adventure Base. What can I say? It was an absolutely outstanding trip; great fun for all and a superb experience for the pupils in Year 5  and 6 that they will remember for many, many years. Of course, the favourable weather helped – it was a relief for us all to end up in the lake when kayaking! – but I was struck with how exceptionally well the children interacted with each other, how ALL were willing to give everything a go and how well behaved they were; they did the school – and yourselves – proud. I could ramble on further, but I dare say you’ve probably had an overdose of anecdotes and John Motson-like commentary, so I shall simply encourage you to look at the fabulous photos on the school’s Facebook page and reiterate how impressed I was with the children. My thanks to Mrs Keyworth for organising a superb trip, and also to Mrs Walker for her help.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the rest of Junior School (Nursery to year 4) headed off to Sundown Adventureland, where, I understand, a good time was had by all (my son certainly had plenty to say about it!). Again, there are some super photos on Facebook. Thank you to Mrs Wand, the staff and parents who were roped in to help.

The Year 6 girls had no respite upon their return from Sutton-in-Ashfield, as they spent Thursday morning at a “This Girl Can” festival at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, an event focusing on participation and fun (though I was delighted to hear that Emma came back with a bronze medal!). The girls thoroughly enjoyed it and were brimming with enthusiasm upon their return at lunchtime (just ahead of an afternoon of tennis at Magdala Tennis Club… I sense they will have slept well last night!).

Alas, some of the Year 6 pupils were involved in last night’s Senior School Concert at Nottingham High School, performing their work from Masks Club with some pupils from Senior School. My thanks to Miss Roberts for staging this, and I am particularly impressed with the stamina of Ayisha, Simon, Alex L., Alexandra and Emma for managing a late night after the week they’ve had! Well done to all.

At last week’s Friday assembly, I was delighted to hand out a stack of certificates for the Readathon Challenge. I am delighted to announce that a final total of an amazing £681.50 was raised for Water Aid, the charity chosen by the School Council. An excellent effort, so well done to all. However, I would like to take the time to give a very special mention to Edie-Mae in Reception, who personally raised a whopping £112! Brilliant! Incidentally, Miss Hutley, our Marketing Manager, is always keen to hear about such personal achievements, including things from outside school, so please do keep in touch (

Looking to next week, Monday morning is the Nursery and Reception Sports Day, with races starting at 11:30. I know the children have been working hard in their PE lessons and I hope to see you there, cheering them on. I should also draw your attention to the EYFS and Year 1 Prize Giving, which is on Wednesday 5th July at 9am – another chance to celebrate the successes of the younger children.

On Wednesday, it will be “Wimbledon Whites Day” – the children are asked to dress in tennis garb, predominantly white, and bring in a bottle and a jam jar of sweets, which will go towards the Junior Garden Party (1st July). Think Federer, Murray, Navratilova, McEnroe… There is a prize for the best outfit! In addition to this, all of the children from Reception to Year Six will be having a session at Magdala Tennis Club – please look out for the letter in your child’s bag.

Also next week, I am delighted that Mrs Wright, Head of Juniors, will be returning following her maternity leave. Both the children and the staff will be very excited to see her back in situ. There will be a crossover period with Mrs Allen to ensure a smooth transition for the children. I would like to take the time to thank Mrs Allen wholeheartedly for her calm, dedicated commitment to her role. She can look forward to a second retirement now! Thank you, Mrs Allen.

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing plenty of headbands on Wednesday!

Mr Goodhead
Acting Head of Juniors

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"Pupils are self-confident, self-aware and have a good sense of who they are."

ISI Inspection February 2013