Principal's Blog December 2017

End of 2017- what a busy term this has been, we have achieved so much at The Holgate Academy!
As you will be aware, we have had a Full Academy Review earlier this term. On the 3rd and 4th October The Holgate Academy hosted ten DALP colleagues who undertook a FAR (Full Academy Review). They visited lessons and spoke to staff, governors and students. We now have the final full report and the opening statement identifies a key strength, which I want to share with you:-
“The Principal with the support of the Executive Principal is providing strong and effective leadership.  The support and drive of the SLT overseen by the Principal is ensuring that improvements are being made in many significant areas across the academy on their rapid journey to outstanding.”
This statement clearly demonstrates our unrelenting ambition to provide our young people with the very best education possible. 
Period 7
Many of our students choose to attend our period 7 sessions. This is a great way for students to access support with homework; projects; coursework and exam preparation. I met with our top ten year 11 attendees to celebrate their commitment and the impact these extra sessions have had on their progress. The students were: Olive Magwira , Toby Symms ,Charlotte Burman, Zoe Alvey, Hannah Smith, Ellie Wigginton, Nikki Gardner, Louise Sandford, Lucy Woolley, Sam Newbury. Well done! Please encourage your child to attend period 7 in 2018 - it can make a massive difference to their progress.
Charity work
At The Holgate Academy, we continued to support a variety of charities. Our annual shoebox appeal was a great success this year.  Shoeboxes house form winners were: Rufford – Mrs McLaughlin, Sherwood – Mr Novelle, Thoresby - Ms Jones and Clumber – Miss Blackburn who were the overall winners and collected most 30 boxes. Well done to Miss Blackburn’s tutor group this is a fantastic effort!
Key Craft Garden Centre / Christmas lights – it was great to meet so many of you at this event. Staff and prefects attended to support with raising money for the “Wishing on a Star” charity – thank you to all of you who made a contribution to this and to our head boy who turned on the lights.
Each year students from the DALP academies take part and submit designs for the Corporate Christmas card. Flo Pearce-Burton created a fantastic design this year and she was the Corporate Christmas Card winner for 2017- congratulations!
Our annual Carol Concert took place at St Mary’s church in Hucknall on Tuesday 12th December– this was a fantastic event. The church was full and the standard of performance from primary, secondary and sixth form students was excellent. It takes great courage and confidence to perform in front of a full church. Holgate choir students were:- Jordana Harrison, Tia Grant, Charley Kennedy, Kya Raven, Alana Reavill-Dilks, Mea Reavill-Dilks, Joshua Weir, Katherine Butler, Louis Cotterill, Abiraame Raveendran, Hollie Goddard, Leah Dixon, Chloe Day, Joel Palethorpe, Dystiny Laszlo, Miracle Magwira, Charlotte Sladden, Jenna Slater, Karen Adu-Gvamfi, Jack McCarthy and Poppy Andrew.
Thanks to Miss Blackburn, Miss Durham, Mrs Morris for organising this event. 
The choir also performed at the Royal Concert Hall and the Diverse Academies Creative Art Festival- music is a real strength for The Holgate Academy.
The year 7 and 8 discos were a great success this was an opportunity for our younger students to celebrate their achievements and successes – thank you to Mr Diamond and Mr Lees for organising this event and to House Leaders for supporting.
HSFC (Hucknall Sixth Form Centre) 
The HSFC continues to impress all the students who have chosen to continue their education with us. On Thursday 21st December was the Year 13th Awards Evening this excellent event was to celebrate the student’s success and hard work. I will be presenting two special awards at the event to Flynn Lithgow and Courtney Simpson who were the highest performers for year 13 in 2017- congratulations!
Local MP donates microscopes to support science education at The Holgate Academy
Hucknall Councillor, Ben Bradley, has donated funds to The Holgate Academy to enable the school to purchase 10 top-of-the-range microscopes to support science education. Following his election as MP for Mansfield in June, Cllr Bradley stepped down from Ashfield District Council; however, he continues to donate his allowances for duties as County Councillor to local groups and good causes. As a Councillor in Hucknall his funds are ring-fenced to be spent in our local community and the science faculty at the academy are lucky beneficiaries.
We would like to thank Ben for his ongoing support for our academy and the education of the children in Hucknall.
STEM Opportunities
Students at Holgate have taken part in E.ON’s new ‘Micro Mix’ workshop, which aims to help pupils investigate renewable energy sources and the role these play in the nation’s energy mix. Taking part in the Micro Mix, the year 9 and 10 pupils designed and built functioning micro models that generated electricity-using wind, solar or hydro power. Working in competing teams, the pupils were encouraged to use their problem solving skills and creativity to build, test and improve their designs before finalising them. 
Year 8 and 9 students had an excellent day working with the RAF’s engineering team where they had the opportunity to programme their own robot. We are running a weekly LEGO robotics club, working towards a regional and (hopefully) national competition day.  Magdalen College, Oxford, saw our posts on Twitter and got in touch wanting to work with our students.  In January, the students will be taking part in a build your own drone day, with the opportunity to do some drone racing afterwards.  We are also planning to visit Oxford later on in the year.
Two great example of the excellent STEM education we provide at Holgate.  
Can I take this opportunity on behalf of my colleagues and myself to thank parents and carers for your ongoing support. You and your children make this academy a great place to be. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ms S Forsey