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Weekly News #35

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

The Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) group were out on their practice expedition at the weekend and had a fantastic time. Well done to all the pupils for navigating to the campsite and managing the heavy bags. I think a couple of groups had a later set off than anticipated whilst they waited for late arrivals. One of the biggest things that DofE teaches us is about how what we do can impact others. It’s a great life lesson.

We were delighted on Monday to welcome Mrs Wright (Head of Juniors) and Mrs Howlett (Head of Geography and Senior School SENCO) back to school following their maternity leave. We will of course be very sad to say goodbye again to Mrs Allen in Junior School who has maintained a stable ship with the Year 4 group and a huge thanks to Mr Dean in Senior School who took on the Geography teaching load on top of his role as Deputy Head.

I popped across to the Nursery and Reception Sports Day on the first and last sunny day of the week (good timing, folks) to see our youngest children run around our track. The highlight is always the parents’ race when we see the level of competition our mums and dads generate between themselves. It’s not all about the winning… it’s about the stickers!

You may have noticed a large hole in the White House wall, which was taken down as part of a complex planned operation to remove the enormous tree root. This is the beginning of our total refurbishment of the White House garden which will continue through the summer holidays as we level and lay AstroTurf to make the garden a fabulous play space for our Senior School pupils for September. We are very grateful to Friends of Hollygirt, who agreed at their AGM on Wednesday night to contribute £7500 to the costs of this redevelopment.

I wonder if you have spotted some of the huge number of renovations and improvements we have made this academic year – much decorating has been done, trees have been pruned and gardens enhanced, external lighting has been changed and no end of jobs have been crossed off the rather ambitious list. The team will be flat out in the summer holidays too.

I spotted lots of ‘would be tennis superstars’ in the Junior School on Wednesday for their Wimbledon Whites Day. What a shame it rained so hard that we had to cancel the outdoor tennis session at Magdala Tennis Club. Did you know that Wimbledon is as old as Hollygirt? 140 years.

Thank you to the parents who attended last Friday’s Parents’ Forum meeting and others who attended the Friends of Hollygirt meeting on Wednesday. We have had a hugely successful year of making and spending funds. Well done to the whole committee and to all those who have supported our events this year. A full resume will appear in their newsletter which will come home in the end of term packs.

On Thursday, the Year 10 had their Careers Day – completing their Morrisby profiling to better inform their post 16 choices and in the afternoon they had a series of visitors who explained how their careers had begun and how they got where they are. We were delighted at this occasion to welcome back some former pupils to share their experiences. Then we had the Year 11 Leavers’ Prom at Bestwood Lodge Hotel. Our Year 11 were a small cohort, but they did themselves proud at their final event of their school career (apart from collecting their examination results in August and coming to Prize Giving in October). All were immaculately turned out – dapper young men and beautiful young ladies. I hope they will keep in touch with us and have a life long relationship with the school.

Finally, today we have welcomed 17 children to our Year 5 Taster Day, to get a feel for what life in the Senior School is like – they have had a full day of lessons and had a really real experience – with English, Maths, Music, Religious Studies, Geography, IT and Spanish on their timetable.  We look forward to meeting you all again at the Assessment Day in January.

Oh, the week doesn’t end there! Tomorrow is the Junior School Garden Party from 11.00am to 1.00pm. I will be there with my book stall. The sun is due to shine and there will be much to do and plenty to buy. A great couple of hours out for adults and children of all ages. See you there!

Next week there is more to come: Junior School Summer Production on Monday; new parents meetings for our junior and senior new starters; fixtures; physics event; and the incredible trip to America!

Have a great weekend. For those who may be counting, there are 11 sleeps until the long summer holidays!

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Head of Juniors

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

Dear Parents,

My first week back has been a very enjoyable but incredibly busy one. It has been great to see everyone again and there are so many new children that I have been getting to know.

We are very quickly approaching the end of term but there are still many events to look forward to and changes to the usual timetables. Tomorrow is, of course, our annual Garden Party and my office is currently full of exciting goodies that have been ticketed up ready for you to win! The event begins at 11.00am and finishes at 1.00pm. The weather forecast keeps changing but currently looks like it should be dry. I hope to see many parents, extended family and friends there. Thank you to all parents for the generous contributions which make this such a successful event. Thank you also to Mrs Wand who co-ordinates this event and to all staff for their support.

On Monday, the Junior School Summer Production will take place and all children in Years 1 to 6 need to be dropped off at St Jude’s between 8.00am and 8.45am for final rehearsals. The KS1 performance of ‘Superkids!’ will begin at 2.00pm followed by KS2 with ‘The Lion King’ at 2.30pm. There is a charge for tickets; this is simply to cover the hire of the venue.

On Wednesday 5th July, it is our EYFS and Year 1 Prize Giving. We hope that parents will join us to celebrate the achievements of the children over the past academic year. This will be held in the Senior School hall, beginning at 9.00am.

Unfortunately, rain stopped play this week and although the children were very well dressed for the occasion, Wimbledon Day had to be postponed. We are hoping to take all children from Reception to Year 6 to Magdala Tennis Club on Wednesday 5th July instead. Children can come dressed in their Wimbledon whites again or in their normal PE kits. Children in Reception and Year 1 should come to school dressed in uniform but bring their tennis clothes to get changed into after their Prize Giving.

The afternoon of Thursday 6th July is our Junior School ’Flying Up’ day where children will spend the afternoon in their new classes with their new teachers.

On Friday 7th July, there will be a KS2 summer concert involving all pupils from these year groups; you are very welcome to attend. The concert begins at 2.00pm in the Senior School hall and will be finished by the end of the school day. In addition to music and voice, there will be speech and drama performances.

Finally, congratulations to Charlotte Corbishley in Year 4 who won third place in the primary category of the Meat Free Monday poster competition. Work submitted was of a very high standard and we are very proud that one of our pupils was placed in the top three. Prizes will follow!

Have a relaxing weekend and fingers crossed for some sunshine tomorrow.

Mrs Wright
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