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Weekly News – Friday 8th September

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

Welcome back. We hope you have all had a fabulous summer and your children are excited to be back in the routine.

For all our parents new to this newsletter, we hope you enjoy reading our weekly information sheet which aims to fill you in on school happenings and prepare you for what is to come. It will be delivered to your inbox every Friday afternoon during term time. Additionally, we post information to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts regularly throughout the week. On our website, you will also find information you need: term dates, letters, the school calendar, etc. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please ask!

This term we welcome the following new pupils to Hollygirt: Shaheer, Esher, Temisan, Gurleen, Megan, Daisy, Lexi, Sofia, Elliot, Amanveer, Oliver, Saeed, Amy, Andrew, Holly, Alexander, Harriet, Troy, Tanaka, Mya, Armaan, Adam, Jabulani, Yakira, Melissa, Lisa, Judd, Joshua, Zara, Kien, Emile, and Joseph.

We are still seeing parents wishing for a September start for their child, so there may be more. Welcome too to the pupils who have joined Senior School from our own Junior School. They are looking so grow up now and so smart!

‘Smart’ is my current buzzword. We have started as we intend to go on with sharing our uniform guidelines with the senior pupils. Boys: shirts tucked in, ties in neat knots to a fastened top shirt button. Girls: skirts of a reasonable length (no more than 4’’ above the knee when kneeling down), ties as the boys or the stripy blouse (which does not tuck in). All pupils should wear their blazers around school and on their journeys to and from school until half term. They may ask for permission or otherwise will be told if they may remove them in lessons. Girls’ tights should not have holes or ladders in. We have a set of standard letters that form teachers will send home if there is flouting of our uniform code and we look forward to you working with us on these matters.

School seems a little simpler this year now that we have placed our year groups together for form tutor time rather than vertically streaming the children in Years 7 to 9.  In addition, the one-week timetable is a definite hit. Structurally we have made some changes to the way management works. We now have an extended leadership team working to ensure smooth day-to-day operations in key areas: academic and pastoral in Junior and Senior School as well as contributing to the whole school strategy. Therefore, if you have a concern about your child there is a clearer structure of who to contact:

For a single academic concern speak firstly to the class teacher (Junior School) or subject teacher (Senior School); for day-to-day pastoral concerns/notifying us of appointments speak firstly to the class teacher (Junior School) or the year group form tutor (Senior School). For any concerns about specific special needs, contact Mrs Howlett who is now Senior Teacher Pastoral and SENDCO. Needs at a higher level whether academic, social or behavioural will be dealt with by Mrs Howlett, Mrs O’Looney (Head of Pupil Support) or Mr Dean. We will direct your query to the right person if you are unsure. I will always be available to talk about private matters which parents may need to speak to me about, including finance, and I will deal with formal complaints. Our complaints policy has been revised and can be viewed on our website here.

If you wish to feel more involved, why not join the Friends of Hollygirt committee? This is our parent/teacher organisation supporting social and fundraising opportunities for the school. If you would like more information, please contact The first Friends of Hollygirt meeting of the new term is on Friday 15th September at 4.00pm in my office.

The Parents’ Forum is another opportunity to get your opinions heard, to share in discussions about issues and to consider some points of strategy. There will be more information about the Parents’ Forum next week. One thing discussed at this group was the opportunity for the pupils to buy healthy snacks. We are trialling a fruit bowl in the main reception area, with a donation box for payment, to see how it goes. I have seen staff buying fruit but not pupils yet. Let’s see.

You may have noticed that we have had an unfortunate delay in the completion of our fabulous new senior play space. The wall is now finished and we are hoping for the new surface/planting shortly. In the meantime, we are allowing pupils in Years 7 upwards to play on Corporation Oaks (just above the Avenue) under close supervision so they do not miss out on valuable time to let off steam at morning break and lunchtime.

Tomorrow (Saturday 9th September), a large group of staff are taking part in the 5k inflatable run in Newark and raising funds for YoungMinds, a charity committed to the mental health and well-being of children. Our fundraising page is: As I write, we’ve reached 90% of our fundraising target.

Our research team, exploring the more recent history of Hollygirt have a meeting scheduled for Thursday 21st September, in my office at 4.00pm, to discuss the timeframe for collating and writing the information for our new history of Hollygirt book in readiness for a big event we are planning for summer 2018. If you can help us with our project please contact our researcher, Carol, on as soon as possible.

Next week’s activities in the Senior School:

Extra-curricular activities in the Senior School will start on Monday. You will need to sign a consent form for all after school clubs.

The Year 11 career interviews will continue until Tuesday.

On Wednesday 13th, 7.00pm to – 8.30pm, Year 11 pupils are invited to the Post-Hollygirt Evening, where the providers of post-16 education in the county come to display their schools/colleges and to talk to the children about their courses, entrance procedures and time frames for making applications.

On Thursday 14th, the Year 7 pupils will have a fantastic afternoon doing team-building activities with Mr Cheeseman. PE kits are required.

On Friday 15th at 4.00pm in my office, the first Friends of Hollygirt meeting will take place. New members are welcome. We will be discussing the big event we have planned for summer 2018 to celebrate 140 years of Hollygirt School, the Curry Night and other fundraising and exciting social events for you and your children.

Also on Friday 15th, Senior School pupils are invited to wear their trainers for a day for our ‘Casuals for the Caribbean’ day. A £1 donation is required to take part and all money will be given to the Oxfam emergency appeal for hurricane Irma.

I am still seeing parents wishing for September start for their children – it is not too late! If you know someone who has had a poor start in their school, let them know about Hollygirt – use your recommend voucher and earn a £50 John Lewis Voucher. There are places available in all year groups except Year 2 and Year 11.

Have a great weekend.

Mrs Hutley


Message from the Head of Juniors

Dear Parents,

A huge welcome back to everyone. It is great to see children, parents and staff again and I have very much enjoyed hearing about your summer. A special welcome to all of our new pupils; I look forward to getting to know them all over the coming weeks and hope we can make the transition to Hollygirt as smooth as possible.

Junior meetings will take place next week. If you haven’t already, this is an opportunity to meet your child’s form teacher as well as other parents. These meetings will provide an overview of the year and allow you to ask any questions you may have.

Children in the Junior School will be participating in Joe Wicks’ first ever School Fitness Week. You might have heard him referred to as ‘The Body Coach’. Each day next week, Joe will stream a live 20-minute workout at 10.00am. The aim of the week is to get more children to enjoy being active and feel the benefits of exercise. Please ensure that your child has their trainers in school every day next week.

On Wednesday, we are celebrating Roald Dahl day. With this being so close to the beginning of term, we are not asking you to create costumes but simply for the children to wear or accessorise in something yellow, Roald’s favourite colour. Next week there will be a book fair in school; children will be able to visit this during the school day to purchase books if they wish to.

Our extra-curricular programme will soon be up and running and with so many fantastic clubs on offer, we are encouraging every child to become involved. 

As you know, our adventure playground was replaced by Hollyearth last year which we make great use of as an ‘outdoor classroom’.  We now only have one piece of climbing equipment left which the children can use at playtimes. If you would prefer for this not to happen, please let form teachers know.

Please take care when parking in the mornings and at pick up time. There are traffic wardens around so please try to use the marked bays to avoid getting a ticket.

Finally, good luck to staff members who are taking part in the 5k inflatable run on Saturday. I am looking forward to the pictures!

Have a lovely weekend,

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