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Weekly News – Friday 23rd November

Message from the Headmistress

Dear Parents,

What an exciting week it has been. On Monday night The Friends’ of Hollygirt Curry and Quiz night was awesome.  A huge cheer to The Cumin restaurant for the private use of their upstairs space, the top quality food and attentive service. We even had our own bar. The ambience of the space was perfect for us and we may well be returning next year! Well done to the team of teachers who won the quiz chocolate. I promise at this early stage to add in more contemporary questions next year. This was requested by a 21 year old – so the rest of us might need to swot up…Thank you to the team of organisers too.  Each year I am surprised that we have spaces available as it is such a good night out! We made £257 from the raffle and those who were fortunate to win were thrilled by the quality and range of prizes available.

Mr Deacon with Karos Adventure launched the Duke of Edinburgh programme to our Year 9 and 10 on Tuesday night and had a great turn out. I think DofE is one of the best things a young person can do to build their team work skills, resilience and to develop a side of themselves that the curriculum can’t teach. It is truly character building (and great fun) and I hope that we get a good uptake of pupils wanting to take part.

On Wednesday the Year 7 and Year 10 Geography trip to the Natural History Museum had its setbacks (all out of our control) and I thank all the accompanying staff for their calmness in the face of adversity and for looking after the children so well. A special well done to all the children (and indeed the staff) who were in school bright as buttons on Thursday morning.

Next week we hold our first Parents’ Forum meeting on Friday at 4.00pm till 5.30pm in my office. At this meeting, interested parents from throughout the school can attend to discuss school issues, help with our developing strategy and make suggestions for school improvements. The only constraints are we do not speak about individual pupils or teachers. Agenda items can be submitted by any members of the parent body and by the staff. This is usually a half termly meeting but due to the cancellation of the earlier one, it is the first of the academic year. As several regular attendees last year were parents of Year 11 leavers, we are seeking new members. Please let Lucy know ( if you would like to come and if you wish to have any agenda items discussed. In an ideal world, I would have representatives from each key stage.

I have had the first delivery of raffle items from parents for the Friends’ Christmas hampers. Can I remind all, especially our new parents, to send in one Christmas related food, drink (or other) item to me at school within the next couple of weeks. The more items – the more hampers – the more prizes to be won…

I am having growing concerns about children’s discretionary screen time (i.e. the time they spend on gadgets for gaming, YouTube and social media). I recently attended a meeting led by an eminent doctor/researcher who spoke about the myth regarding some of the positive reports about usage and reminding us that most of these were commissioned by the industry. He outlined the growing list of serious medical conditions which were being attributed to over use affecting children and young people’s physical and mental health. Yesterday the BBC produced a report with some top tips for parents which I share with you below.

E-parenting tips

  • Set house rules such as screen time limits, and what children are allowed to view
  • Talk to children about what they do and see online
  • Encourage them to communicate with friends in online social spaces (PH comment – encourage them to chat in REAL spaces.)
  • Teach children to think before they click
  • Use tech tools to limit how much inappropriate content they see
  • Be a good role model

I would add: take all gadgets out of children’s bedrooms. NOW.

I will have a discussion about this on the Parents’ Forum agenda in relation to what parents feel is reasonable and strategies for parents to manage their children’s usage.

Staff changes: Mrs Jepson who joined us in September as Teacher of Spanish is moving on at the end of term as her journey time is not working out for her and her family. We are delighted to be welcoming back Ms Nisan on a permanent contract. Many of you will know Ms Nisan from the work she did with us in Spanish last Summer Term. She is a great Spanish teacher and also teaches Zumba! Let’s hope we can have some more of this- it was a great activity for us!

New Pupils: this week we have welcomed Oliver to Year 7 – we hope he quickly settles and makes lots of new friends.

PARENT OFFER – 15% Discount at WATER LILY restaurant in MANSFIELD for all Hollygirt staff and parents. Water Lily is a fantastic new restaurant in Mansfield with lots of parking available, owned by Mrs Rahman (Yasin’s mum). It is a stylish contemporary setting offering a wide range of cuisine. Look them up and when making a booking say you are from Hollygirt and you will receive a 15% reduction in your food bill. This is not a one off offer and can be used as many times as you care to visit. Thank you to Mrs Rahman for this very generous offer. I will be seeing you soon…

Wrap up warm and have a great weekend.

Should you wish to know…there are 32 sleeps till Christmas!

Mrs Hutley

Message from the Head of Juniors

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

Dear Parents,

It was good to see so many parents at the Curry Night on Monday. I had a great evening; the food was delicious and the quiz good fun. Well done to the winning team!! There were some amazing raffle prizes too; thank you for your generosity in donating these.

Yesterday, many of the Year 3 parents popped in to meet Miss Cooper. We will see her a lot more in school over the coming weeks so if you didn’t have the chance yesterday, there will be plenty more opportunities.

The children in juniors are currently decorating their ‘Hollygirt Rocks’ and they look fabulous. They will be coming home soon so that you can hide them!

Next Friday 30th November, Years 1 and 2 will be visiting both intu Broadmarsh and the Victoria Centre. At intu Broadmarsh, they will be able to view the decorations we created earlier this term whilst also visiting the grotto. In the Victoria Centre, they will be able to play in the ball pit. In the afternoon of 30th, junior children who are eligible and have opted to have one, will be given their flu immunisations.

We are approaching the busiest time of the year and as we get into December, there are lots of exciting events and changes to timetable.  Next week, in addition to a letter detailing them, I will be sending home a summary sheet of December events and activities; please keep checking this as children may need to be in different uniform or bring things in for special days. For now, I would just like to remind you that school is closed on Friday 7th December as it is our annual Prize Giving holiday.

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