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Parents’ Letter

I trust you enjoyed your half-term and that even though the weather has been inclement this week, you managed to enjoy the sun.  Summer uniform was declared in the last week before half-term and we now follow this until the end of the academic year.  We will continue to expect students to arrive at school dressed appropriately.  If students choose to wear a coat, we also expect them to wear their blazer too.

Our assembly theme this half-term is ‘Rest and Be Thankful.’  In my assembly this Monday, I explained the two week process that President Abraham Lincoln undertook to compose the two minute Gettysburg Address.  I concluded by making the point that a period of reflection and contemplation makes for a happier outcome rather than leaping into any situation without having fully established and understood the situation.

We have our Sports Day on the 28th June at the King George Stadium, Grimsby, and we very much welcome the support of parents and carers.  However, I must ask that, if you come to watch, you enter only by the separate spectators gate.  You may watch the events from the designated viewing area (outside the track fence, below the grassy bank) – not in the stands.  Please be aware that the entire ground is designated as No Smoking, and dogs are not permitted on site.  If you are collecting your child at the end of the event – they will come to meet you.  Please do not attempt to enter the stand.

End of term will be soon upon us.  We will be moving our finishing time forward to 2.30pm on Wednesday 19th July.  We have coordinated our finishing times with the bus companies, Caistor Yarborough Academy and Caistor Primary School.  Let’s hope for sunnier weather then!

Other news:

  • Cashless catering goes live this Monday. If you have not signed up for ParentMail yet, then please do so to upload your child’s account.  The note and coin machine in the dining hall can also take money.  Please be aware that the machine only takes new style £1 coins.  We will be able to swap the old coins in the Finance Office ONLY until October when they will no longer be legal tender.
  • We have enjoyed some interesting debates over the course of this week as students have participated in the School’s own general election. Students have been going form to form to discuss their party’s policies.  We had a better-attended than expected hustings in Tuesday’s very wet lunchtime.  There was plenty of challenging and good-humoured debate from our representatives for the Conservatives, Labour, Lib-Dem and Green Party.  Thanks to students Culum Bond (Labour), Matthew Fieldsend (Conservative), James Hare (Green) and Toby Hibbert (Lib Dem) for their commitment, to Adam Pountney and Holly Mottram for chairing the debate and to Mr Robinson for being our Returning Officer.  The result, announced at Speaker’s Corner yesterday afternoon, was a dead heat between Conservative and Labour.  Lots were drawn and Labour was declared the winner.  The first time CGS has gone Labour since records began.
  • Our senior prefect team will be launching their initiative for their year in office this Monday in whole school assembly. Their focus is on positive mental and emotional health and will be working using the acronym AIM.  This stands for Ambition, Inclusivity and Motivation.  All very positive!  As well as speaking in assembly and using our well attended student council to support this, they intend to have a student-led week in the Spring term with activities and guest speakers.  If there is any parent that would feel able to support our students by lending advice or expertise, then please contact me via the email address above.
  • I am delighted to confirm that Mrs Anne-Marie Bray (who has a daughter in Year 7) has been appointed as one of our two parent governors. We still have one more vacancy and so we shall hold another election in the new school year.  I for one am extremely supportive of the role that governors play in advising, supporting and guiding all of us at Caistor.  It really is a unique opportunity to have a say in the School’s evolution and to take an active role in shaping your child’s education.
  • We have held two one-minute silences for the victims of the two atrocities in Manchester and London. We are committed to ensuring that the School remains a safe environment for both staff, students and visitors.  School life should also continue unaffected.  If your son or daughter is showing any signs of anxiety regarding these recent upsetting events, please do contact us so that we can be aware.
  • The School website continues to be the best way to keep up with news from School. One area which I hope you will find useful is Parents’ Page and, in particular, the ‘Be Aware’ tab.  This gives guidance on any emerging issues beyond School (eg social media crazes, etc).
  • We said goodbye to our Year 13 students on the final day of last half-term before they formally began their study leave. They have been a superb group of students and I am sorry to have only known them for a term and a half.  They have been all that we would want them to be – and more – with their contributions to school life in a host of fields.  In their final assembly, I read to them the final verse of Philip Larkin’s poem The Whitsun Weddings.  The poem concerns a railway journey where, as the passengers disembark at the end of their journey for a new life, Larkin reflects on all the possibilities that their life holds, but which he will not be able to witness.  I hope that we have done a good enough job for them: we will certainly miss them and look forward to hearing how they are getting on without us – exceptionally well, I expect, – which tells me that the School has done its job.
  • Our Archive Group is holding a reunion day on Saturday 8th July (10am-4pm) in School for former students. Rooms in the top half of school will be dedicated to particular headmasters, with memorabilia from their era.  Please do drop in to the event if you can – you do not need to be a former student – or pass the word onto other friends of the school.  There is a poster on our website.
  • There will be a short meeting on 13th June at 6pm for anyone interested in creating or sourcing props and costumes for our next school production, Beauty and the Beast.  The meeting is taking place in 06 (next to reception).  All are welcome, from expert seamstresses, enthusiastic props makers to those with a little time to look for that elusive costume item, sew on a button or paint a piece of scenery.  Alternatively please contact our producer, Katherine Jago.  She can be contacted via email: katherine.jago@caistorgrammar.com, or on the school number, 01472 851250.

With best wishes,
Yours sincerely

Alistair Hopkins

Headmaster

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