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Holmleigh Park High School

Letter from the Head - 3rd December 2021

In this issue: COVID-19 update, and the festive season arrives!

Dear all,

Well, December has definitely arrived!

Unfortunately, COVID-19 rates have been on the increase, with a notable increase in cases in the last two weeks. I am hoping that the reintroduction of masks in communal areas will hope bring this down and as always our students have calmly accepted this and got on with it. I'm very grateful to all students for this - including those who are exempt, who have also been extremely cooperative in making staff aware. There are two other ways parents can help us with COVID-19:

  • Continuing to have your children complete twice-weekly lateral flow tests, even when they are not symptomatic. This is the single best way to stop the virus transmitting.

  • Continuing to support us with ventilation. I do appreciate that having windows open in December isn't optimal! I want to reassure you that we do check the temperatures of rooms each day to ensure they are above recommended minimums. Please do continue to encourage students to wear jumpers (we still have plenty of spare school jumpers for any student who wishes to borrow one) or t shirts etc under their shirts. Coats can be worn to school but not in the building or in classrooms - I appreciate this might seem counterintuitive, but when we permitted coats briefly last year we saw an immediate and significant decline in student behaviour and concentration so I would rather avoid this. 

Please note as well that we have been asked by the Department for Education to do another round of lateral flow tests when students return to school in January. This will likely mean a slightly staggered start to the year, and I will write with full details next week once we have finalised arrangements. 

Moving onto more positive matters, my highlight of the week was attending our Chamber Choir's Christmas Concert at Gloucester Cathedral, in partnership with the Cathedral Choir. They sang absolutely beautifully, and I was incredibly impressed by how far they have come since forming in October. Huge thanks to Mr Goodway, Ms Lewis, and Ms McJennett for all their hard work supporting them. 

They may have kicked off the festive season, but there's lots yet to come. Our trees will be going up next week, and we're once again inviting students and families to contribute to our food bank appeal. Students will be able to donate any extra food in line up each day, and we will be distributing this to local food banks at the end of term. Canned or other long-life foods are always particularly welcome, as are any old but good quality toys which can be shared with local childrens' charities. 

The end of term also means that House Sports are back, and I'm very much looking forward to watching students get involved. Meteor are currently ahead in the house competition, but with several hundred points up for grabs over the next fortnight there's all to play for! We will also be holding our usual celebrations, so I'm looking forward to awarding junior, half and full colours to a wide range of students!

And finally, to help bring in the festive season properly, I'm delighted to announce that the last day of term (Friday 17th December) will be a Christmas Jumper Day. Students can wear any appropriately Christmassy jumper - which should be worn along with their normal uniform! We ask that students donate £1 if doing so, with all proceeds being donated to the Salvation Army. Participation is of course completely optional, and students not participating should simply wear their normal uniform. 

I hope that you and your families have a very enjoyable weekend. 

Best wishes,

Mr Farmbrough