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From the Headmaster….

Posted: 17th June 2019

Dear Parents,

I have spent the day on Barbour’s Piece enjoying a wonderful Pre-Prep Sports Day.  Whilst the sun graced us with its presence on occasion, it was not the most summery of days but this did not dint the enthusiasm, commitment and sportsmanship of our budding sportsmen and women from Nursery through to Year 3!

In addition to the main events, the sideshow of picnic hampers was another annual highlight!  Parents enjoyed a super atmosphere once again and we are delighted to have been able to run the event without cancellation given the appalling June weather we have been having.   My thanks to the PE staff for their organisation, in particular Miss Penn for leading this annual smorgasbord of Pre-Prep fun!  The Pre-Prep staff, led by Mrs Taylor, do a wonderful job in ensuring each and every child has the opportunity to participate and to feel good about taking part.  Well done and thank you to them all. 

Boarding tonight sees another Friday Big Night In!  The boarding house is full of children from Year 4 up, as well as the Year 8s camping out in the grounds as part of their amazing first Challenge Week!  The Year 8s have been involved in Holmwood Bake-Off, with cake design and making guided by Ilia Makri (http://www.iliaskitchen.co.uk) , Dragons’ Den guest Dragons, Steve Herbert and Sharon Dallas, as well as Spaghetti Bridge Building and the £50 Fete Challenge where the pupils have to raise as much money as they can from an initial £50 for their Element charities.  The challenges continue next week including a day at Nuclear Races – a day of water and mud from what I can see!  

Last Friday’s Pre-Prep Summer Concert was a great success as usual. Mr Snell’s last ever Pre-Prep concert, it was a great opportunity not just to appreciate the singing and reading of the children but for us all to be able to recognise the immense contribution Peter has made to music in the school.  His staged retirement continues with him teaching individual pupils from September. We thank him enormously for his commitment, hard work and inimitable humour!

Our Year 6 pupils had a great day at Walton-on-the-Naze earlier in the week on a joint Geography and Science trip measuring coastal erosion amongst other important aspects of the curriculum. My thanks to Mr Guy and Mr White for leading this trip, which the children thoroughly enjoyed.  

On Tuesday evening over 50 parents attended the Assessment Workshop in the Jubilee Hall. Feedback from the event has been very positive and I was pleased to be able to explain our ongoing work at the school which aims to use assessment data in a holistic way, ensuring the individual child is at the centre of all dialogue. 

I met with the Year 8s this afternoon to issue them with their Holmwood House Certificate results at the end of their academic journey at Holmwood.  The Certificate aims to recognise their success not just in academic subjects but in other important aspects of school life, including music, PE, games, ICT, as well as their Laetatums and their 5Rs skills development. They are a super year group who are a pleasure to be working with. 

Thank you to the Parent Reps for our annual full meeting on Monday evening at which we discussed the various points raised by parents.  It was a most useful meeting and minutes will be on the website in due course.  I very much appreciate the work of the Parent Reps throughout the year.   

With best wishes

Alexander Mitchell 
Headmaster

Categories: Headmaster's Blog


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151 Coach Road, Great Horkesley,
Colchester,
Essex CO6 4DX
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Essex CO3 9ST
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