I would like to thank families for their attendance and support with Year 11 Parents Evening. It appears as if our latest virtual event went well and that important messages about how best to support each individual child were effectively communicated. Of course we look forward to receiving clarity from the government in terms of how young people in Year 11 and Year 13 will be assessed this summer. In the meantime the key thing is for students to continue to engage with their learning and complete work to the best of their abilities.

Unity Fund
A reminder that through the Unity Fund the school can offer confidential and discrete support to families who are struggling financially. If you are struggling in any way please contact us and we will do our best to help:

Holocaust Memorial Day feedback
On Holocaust Memorial Day a selection of students listened to the testimony of Eva Clark who was born in a concentration camp. Following this experience we asked our students to share what important lessons they had learned and what impact the testimony had on them.

“It made me want to learn more about the holocaust so I could appreciate the suffering the people went through. To dive deeper into the history of the holocaust and WW2.”

“It taught me about hope and staying strong and together during hardships. I think people can be more knowledgeable about it and stop what is happening today.”

“It made me realise how lucky I am that i haven’t lost someone so close to me and that I should be grateful for everything. I think you should respect what has been given to you and love the time spent with your loved ones.”

“Prejudice has no place in the world, but something like that could easily happen again, it is a gradual process that everyone needs to be aware of to be able to recognise the signs.”

“It gave me the opportunity to consider how truly lucky I am to be born at the time that I was.”

“That we can never let anything like the Holocaust happen again.”

“It does make you think about the things that people can go through and still go through in some genocides. And how fortunate we are to live in a time of peace in our country.”

“It made me think about how lucky we are today that we don’t have to be going through the same experience and we need to be grateful for the situation we are in.”

“That everyone should be accepting of one another and not judge them for their religion, race etc…”

Art – Masterpiece of the week.
Katie Atkinson has been making excellent progress in her exploration of landscapes for her A-Level Art project.  Here she has experimented with Brusho ink and watercolours to create expressive backgrounds and then worked into the drawing with pen to add contrast and structure.  She has also started to try composition ideas, such as this ‘tondo’; a Renaissance term for a circular work of Art.  It’s really exciting work and has taken hard work and determination to complete – well done Katie!

Head of Year updates – Miss Turvey and Year 10…
Does anyone else feel as though they are swimming as hard as they can towards a shore that seems to be getting further and further away with a riptide trying to drag them back out to sea? Half term is now 39 lessons away and I need a lifebelt. Resilience and responsibility are the AHS school journey words for Y10 and personally, my resilience tank is running on fumes. BUT, it is not about waiting for the storm to pass, which is will, it is about learning to dance in the rain. So whether you have the energy to jive or Charleston, or feel a more languid waltz is more appropriate, then let’s dance.

I have been setting your young people daily challenges as part of a “Get fit Physically, Mentally and Emotionally for half term” and last Friday’s challenge was to: go screen free for 12 hrs straight this weekend ~ no phone, no tablet, no laptop, no PC, no game consoles, no tv, no kindle. So from Friday 8pm until Saturday 8am OR Saturday 8am until Saturday 8pm OR Saturday 8pm until Sunday 8am OR Sunday 8am until Sunday 8pm. I am not sure if any of them managed it, but I would like to encourage all of you to look at having a screen free 12 hours or, if you can manage it, 24 hrs during half term. Many of us have sore eyes and headaches, a result of too much screen time. If your children are really suffering then try 20/20/20, which has been recommended by an optician ~ every 20 minutes look at something 20 metres away for 20 seconds. It works at de-straining the eyes and avoiding the headaches.

Thank you for answering the phone to us this week; Mrs Stead and myself do monitor the Y10 registers to make sure students are where they are supposed to be. And thank you for letting us know about appointments or illnesses. It may seem weird to you to have to phone the actual school to tell us your children are not going to be in online school when they are at home with you, but please continue to communicate with us: 01904 411341.

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week and our Careers Advisor Ms Robinson is available if you would like to discuss anything to do with Apprenticeships reception@archbishopholgates.org. However there are a whole host of virtual events for you to engage with if your son or daughter is considering the Apprenticeship route post Y11. See the attached NAW schedule for more information.

NAW Schedule

As many of you will know this week is Children’s Mental Health Week and The Duchess of Cambridge, as Patron, said:

“This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself – about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas and feelings. So whether that’s through photography, through art, through drama, through music or poetry – it’s finding those things that makes you feel good about yourself” Which is why I am launching the Y10 Lockdown Limerick competition ~ be creative, be inspired, be inventive, be original ~ and yes, there will be a prize. Send entries to me hturvey@archbishopholgates.org by the end of half term. Get your brains going and free your neocortex.

I’d like to finish by quoting Captain Sir Tom Moore, a centenarian Knight of the Realm who raised over £33million for the NHS and inspired a generation, who has sadly passed this week: “Let’s try not to get downhearted, we will get through this, whatever is thrown at us, and together we can ensure that tomorrow will be a good day.”

Stay safe, take care, virtual hugs, and have a good day. Miss T.

Student Wellbeing – Thankful Thursday

Social Media and Mental Health
The image below is a useful guide for parents/carers around social media and mental health.  If you need any support in this area please speak to your child’s Head of Year.

Collective Worship
This week our form tutor collective worship focuses on the question of Does our behaviour really matter? This is considered in the context of working against injustice in society and our local communities, especially racial injustice. It includes an interview with Daniel Eduardo sharing his experience of growing up mixed race. Our daily quotes are on the theme of Justice.

Thursday – “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the cause of the downtrodden.” – The Bible, the Prophet Isaiah 1:17