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May 2024 update letter to parents/carers

Our Ref: DK/jh/gltr/may 24    

7th May 2024

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you and your family are all well.  The month of May sees us move into the external examination season for Year 11 and Year 13 students so this letter will contain information on this as well as our internal exams for other year groups. I will also cover a very important event in the school’s history at Buckingham Palace and how you can help the school community through our Preloved Uniform Shop too, as well as reminders on key dates and events in the next couple of months.

Exam Season: Preparing for external and internal exams
The coming weeks will see students in Year 11 and 13 sit their final GCSE and A Level / Level 3 exams, and all subjects are supporting students with detailed plans in place. The main body of exams will begin on Thursday 9th May, with the final GCSE exam taking place on Wednesday 19th June, and at A Level on Monday 24th June.

For students in Years 7 & 8, all subjects will sit a 45-60 minute Summer Term exam in May/June which will include content from this term along with questions from key topics covered earlier in the year.  These exams provide valuable opportunities to build up their experience and skills in relation to how to revise effectively before they reach the beginning of GCSE studies, as well as ensuring that key knowledge is revisited regularly to help them to retain this in their long-term (working) memory.  Teachers will be providing revision and practice materials, there will also be revision lessons in advance of the exams and we have been running assemblies and Tutor sessions on effective study habits to help to build up the important habits of how to revise and prepare yourselves for exams. 

Year 10 and 12 students will be sitting their end of year Mock Exams in mid-late June, and these important internal exams will help teachers and students alike identify key topic areas for additional focus over the summer, specific exam skills that will need to be practised more frequently in Year 11 and Year 13. 

How can I help to support my child in preparing for the exams?
We have a section on the school website (External Examinations), which contains the exam timetable for this summer, rules and regulations of the exams as well as advice and guidance materials we have compiled from partner organisations, InnerDrive, PiXL (Partners in Excellence) and Seneca for parents.

Parents of students in Year 11 and Year 13 will be receiving letters from Mr Lovell (Vice Principal for Y11) and Mrs Honeyghan (Director of Sixth Form) respectively with more specific information on the arrangements for the final exams and study leave at the end of the exam period.

Holyhead at Buckingham Palace - Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards
I am delighted, and exceptionally proud to inform you that our pioneering Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students from Year 13 in 2023 (Ria Mall, Nina Kaur, Gia Khokhar and Jasmeen Saini) will be receiving their Awards from Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace on Monday 13th May. This is a momentous occasion for the Holyhead School community, our first recipients of this prestigious internationally recognised award, and a testament to the hard work and dedication of our ‘Fab Four’. They will be accompanied not only by their families but also by Mr Wright and Mrs Davies who have done so much over recent years to establish the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme as a key part of our enrichment programme, and also to support the team in their path from the Bronze Award in Y9/10 with all of the COVID disruption, through to Silver and finally to become the first Holyhead students to achieve the Gold Award. 

Pre-loved Uniform: Can you help us to help others?
As we move towards the summer, I will keep a reminder about our Pre-loved Uniform shop in each of the upcoming monthly update letters. This support comes from your generosity in donating items of uniform that are no longer needed and in good condition, which in turn is then washed and made available to families at very low prices. 

We are looking for donations of blazers, ties, shirts, trousers and items of PE kit to help to provide supplies for families needing to use this service, and with Year 11 students finishing in June this is a great opportunity to support each other as part of a wider school community. Donations can be made at the school reception or students can hand any bags with items to Senior Leaders or Heads of Year on duty at the start of the school day.

Key upcoming dates and events in May/June

  • Year 10 Work Experience week begins on Monday 20th May. Many students have secured placements they will be based at their workplace for the week, whilst the remaining students will be completing a range of work related activities at Holyhead working with external companies and providers.
  • We will be breaking up for the May half-term holiday at 3:15pm on Friday 24th May, and will return to school at 8:40am on Monday 3rd June.
  • We are looking forward to celebrating the success and hard work of so many of our students at our annual Presentation Evening event at the Town Hall on Thursday 27th June from 6.30pm. With a late finish for many staff and students we will be having a delayed start on Friday 28th June with all students needing to arrive by 10.25am for a Period 2 start.

I thank you again for your time in reading this letter and as usual, I wish you and your family well over the coming weeks. We wish all of our students the best for their upcoming exams and hope that the information provided in the letter may be useful in helping them at home too in preparation. 

Yours faithfully,

Dave Knox

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