From the Headteacher…

Posted: 7th January 2022

Dear Parents
Term got underway with bang. I saw Year 2 this morning preparing storyboards on their panto experience and the teachers shared with me how much they enjoyed the real buzz and enthusiasm on the bus back. The Years 7 and 8 trip to the Drifters Girl musical was also a resounding success; they talked with real pride in seeing one of their peers on stage in a major West End show. Year 4 are out today at Ipswich Museum and I’m sure will come back excited by what they have seen on the Egyptians.
We have ‘soft launched’ Century Tech to the pupils, which is a tool we can use to support, stretch and challenge all our pupils by providing personalised content, questions and pathways using AI. Logging in to Century Tech has been trialled with Year 4 although I can see on my dashboard that several other pupils have logged in already. Mrs Bradbury and I will be working with some other pupils today to show them how it works. Introductory video for learners.
We will be using it in three ways:
  • Work set by teachers
  • Opportunity for support, stretch and challenge – allowing a pupil’s pathway to steer them to the right work to stretch them or support them.
  • Entrance test preparation (Verbal and Non-Verbal reasoning – English and Maths questions) – this needs to be manually switched on at our end individually.
Following parental feedback we have completed the audit and development of the framework for independent study in Years 4 to 7 so that parents can see what is/will be set. The vast majority of this will be completed in school based independent study sessions but Century Tech allows you as parents to support learning at home and allows them to complete relevant tasks if you wish at home. We are benchmarking and preparing a similar sheet for Years R to 3.
This week’s assemblies have focused on Community and Team work. I believe that January is the second hardest month of the school year (weather, light, temperature) – and I encouraged the girls and boys to support each other in all areas of school life, whether in their academic ambition and studies or day to day in break times. We have focused on Holmwood’s 3Cs and how they relate to a community – Care, Courtesy and Consideration. To illustrate it I showed them this clip from a Belgian bus company’s advertising campaign.
We had a super INSET day as staff. It ranged widely from planning curriculum for Years 6 to 8 mapped from GCSE needs, a webinar from Century Tech, reviewing greater depth work from national samples, to phonics work. We will be using our Thursday afternoon training sessions to revisit and build on each area over the term.
The Pre-Prep staff have considered the morning 8.15 to 8.35 am arrangements and want to revert to the pre-pandemic set up. This is being done with the children’s learning at the core and to enable the staff to see you more. Another email will follow regarding this – there is no change to timings just what they do on arrival.
Thank you to all the parents who have offered their support over the next month if we need help if we lose too many staff to isolation.
Have a very good weekend
Best wishes
Ed Bond
Categories: Headmaster's Blog News


Holmwood House Nursery

151 Coach Road, Great Horkesley,
Essex CO6 4DX
T: (01206) 273 827


Holmwood House School

Chitts Hill, Lexden,
Essex CO3 9ST
T: (01206) 574305