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Holmwood House School
  Autumn Term 2022  
From The Head

Dear Old Holmwoodian,

As I reflect back on what has been a very busy Autumn Term I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. The children have worked very hard in and outside of class this term. They have performed in some outstanding concerts, played numerous matches, won many internal school awards.  There have been some great academic trips and our interconnected learning has led to some stunning results. I have witnessed some incredible discussions and learning in class and seen the creation of some fantastic practical projects.
In the classroom we have seen three major initiatives start and accelerate. The English Project in Years 5 to 8 has had an immediate impact. The refreshed IGNITE curriculum for Reception to Year 4 has already had some fabulous results and great fun has been had with the sparkling starters and fantastic finales. We are very impressed with our current Reception cohort, it has been a joy to see them arrive and settle so well, our new Monster Phonics reading initiative has helped them get off to a flying start with their literacy.

We continue to work on character development. Year 4 to 6 have spent time on teamwork, positive attitudes and ‘what character means’. Next term the Years 4 to 6 girls have an extra-curricular programme ‘Inner Wings’ where they will find their superpower. Mindfulness lessons have happened for three year groups. I am aware that Mindfulness is not everyone’s strategy for self-management, but I sincerely believe we need to give children tools, and if they use some elements in the future, then it is valuable.

Our Year 8s, who will be our first cohort of Year 9s as we expand the school up to Year 11, had a very exciting Pioneer Evening where they discovered more information about their GCSE options, new uniform and the space  we are developing for them.  
With very best wishes for 2023
Edward Bond

Mr Edward Bond
  Pioneers Unlock Adventure to Year 9  
  We were very excited to welcome our Year 9 Pioneers to a fun and informative evening on Tuesday.  This group (currently Year 8) will be our first cohort of Year 9 as we expand our provision up to Year 11.  During the evening they accepted our Escape Room challenges and unlocked information about: the curriculum; plans for their study and recreation space and the Senior School uniform.   
  Year 7 SPARK Expedition  
  The Year 7 SPARK Expedition is designed to help our pupils gain essential skills for life. It consisted of a day learning expedition skills, followed by a hike to a ‘secret’ campground, where they camped for the night.  They were guided on how to work as a team but also develop individual resilience. It was a great way to start the year and have an adventure with their existing and new friends! So how did it go Year 7?  
  Year 6 Globe Trip  
  Much Ado About Nothing is the play Year 6 are studying at the moment, so they headed off to the Globe Theatre to extend their understanding further. The aim was to spark every pupil’s enthusiasm for one of the most influential writers in the world. They participated in a workshop led by actors from the Globe and had a guided tour of the theatre, which they had been learning about the history of in Global Studies.  
  Year 5's Pilgrimage Trail  
  Ely Cathedral's Pilgrimage Trail sparked Year 5's curiosity and developed their understanding of the cross curricular work they are doing about pilgrimage this half term. This spectacular building and particularly the stained glass, ignited the children's wonder and will be the inspiration for their design work in Art and DT.  The children asked some great questions and were particularly curious about why such a significant religious building had been built in Ely.  
  Water, Water Everywhere  
  How do rivers flow?  Curious to find out the answer as part of their water topic this term, Year 4 set about building a river bed, then experimented and tested them to understand how they flow. They were asked to describe what was going on geographically and what the objects they were using represented. Next they decorated the river scenes, making them look as realistic as possible and to help them understand what else may affect their flow.  
  Extreme Earth  
  This term Year 3 explored the 'Extreme Earth', the children discovered what is really beneath their feet! This included learning about the structure of the Earth and how this structure causes certain natural disasters to occur.  To engage the children and spark their curiosity the children made salt dough models of the earth, layering up different colours of dough, then cutting through them.  
  Explorer Day in Year 2  
  Year 2 were challenged to carry out some research into an explorer of their choice and find out more about them.  For “Explorer Day” they all came dressed up as their chosen explorer and had made a poster about them, which they presented to the class.  The rest of the day was filled with different activities from team building to expedition training!  It was a Fantastic Finale to their Land Ahoy theme!  
  Tasty Adjectives  

What a delicious way to learn about adjectives!  In literacy Year 1 have been enjoying the book 'Oliver's Fruit Salad' and learning about adjectives, so to ignite their learning and make it relevant to their lives, they decided it would be fun to all make a beautifully colourful fruit salad.  Once they had made it  and tasted it they all came up with some fabulous adjectives.

  Ahoy There Reception!  
  It was Pirate Day in Reception - fun and learning went hand in hand, as all the exciting treasure hunts, songs and pirate activities during the day were linked to the Monster Phonics the children have learnt so far this term. Monster Phonics teaches children to read by enabling them to identify the individual letter combinations and blend the sounds together to read the word. It is a fun way to teach phonics, since it is multi-sensory.  
  Fun in Pre-Reception  
  Our Pre-R children have settled in wonderfully this term. They have been incredibly curious by the change of seasons and have loved seeing the changing tree colours when they have been out in the playground and on their adventures in the Spinney. They have all been participating in a variety of fun, messy and exciting activities and have concentrated brilliantly in our French, Swimming and  Music and Movement sessions.  
Year 3's First Fixture
Huge congratulations to Year 3, they show great spirit and teamwork during their first ever netball and football fixtures again South Lees. 
Teams of the Term
The top teams this term have been Year 4 girls and Year 5 boys. Both have had absolutely first rate seasons, winning every or virtually every match they played. Particularly our U9 netball team who produced some very impressive results at the Ipswich Prep School Netball Festival. They played 6 matches and won all 6! There was wonderful teamwork on display and some excellent skills, which resulted in them scoring an amazing 44 goals across all the matches. However the Sports Department have been really impressed by the energy, commitment and development shown by all teams this term.
Music and Drama
Christmas Performances
The  busy Christmas season got off to a flying start last Friday with the Prep School Christmas Concert.  It was wonderful to see so many children involved in the evening.  They all did fantastically and must be congratulated on all the hard work that had evidently gone into creating such spectacular performances.

Pre-Prep also took to the stage in the Jubilee Hall with Years 2 and 3 putting on a magnificent production of "Who took all the Loo Roll?" A hilarious story about some aliens watching the festive traditions on Earth from outer space. 

Pre-R, Reception and Year 1 gave a sparkling performance of their Christmas Show "Santa's Hat" a tale of Santa's lost hat, it turns out that Santa had been sitting on it all the time!   They all collaborated with each other brilliantly, worked really hard to learn their lines and songs and listened well to all the directions they were given.
Holmwood Traditions
Overnight Stays

Whilst we are not a full boarding school, Holmwood House provides opportunities to experience independence through our overnight stays.

From Year 4 children have an opportunity to stay overnight either once a week or for special Theme Night.  Some of the highlights this term have included cinema nights, swimming nights, a Dr. Who Theme Night and a Year 8 boarding night trip to Frankie & Benny's.

It was standing room only as Songfest returned to its usual place in the Holmwood calendar. There was a buzz of excitement during the Element rehearsals, where each Element was given just an hour and a half to rehearse their previously unknown song.  The theme this year was the Noughties and the songs chosen were:

Air -  Can’t Get You Out of my Head
Land  - You Raise me Up
Water - Viva La Vida

Congratulations to Year 8 who won the Year Group competition and Air who won the Element competition.
Holmwood's 101st Birthday
The school has celebrated its birthday every year for the last 101 years around the 5 November as it was on this day in 1921, that Mr and Mrs E. F. Duggan secured the lease on Holmwood House, Chitts Hill, Lexden.  It was the perfect site with several acres of land to allow them to fulfil their dream of opening a school, which would be realised at the start of the summer term in 1922.

Incredibly the way we celebrated the school’s 101st birthday this year was remarkably similar to the way that the 1st birthday was celebrated.  Many of the same games were played such as the Animal Game, each year group tackled a number of challenges and played games, a cake was cut and Year 4 paraded their lanterns.

As always we finished off with a bonfire and a spectacular firework display and the day drew to an end with performances from the Years 7&8 Rock Bands. 
Buddy Reading
Buddy reading is back! Everyone was very excited to meet up with their buddies and share a book with them. The Year 8s went to the library and met up with the Year 4s; the Year 7s went to the Year 3 classroom; the Year 6 met the Year 2s, whilst Year 5 read with the Year 1s. Later Reception met their Year 8 and their Year 4 buddies, who will remain with them throughout their school life!
Upcoming Events
Year 7 Entry SPARK Evening
Are  you starting to think about secondary school options for your child in Years 5 or 6, then why not bring them along to our fun and immersive Year 7 Discovery Evening, on Thursday 23 February at 5.30pm?  The evening offers a fun and relaxed way to meet our staff, see our facilities and have a little taste of what secondary school life is like.  Places are limited, so please sign up.
Discovery Morning for Pre-Schoolers

Beginning to think about Reception or Pre-Reception for your pre-schooler?  On Saturday 1 October? Why not come along on Saturday 4 February at 9.30am and have some fun with us at our "Under the Sea" themed Discovery Morning. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to familiarise themselves with a school setting in a fun and relaxed way. Places are free but must be booked in advance.
Holmwood House School | Sparking Curiosity. Ignighting Wonder.
Holmwood House School
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