Farewell to this year’s Year 11 and 13
May is a bitter sweet month at Caistor Grammar School. It is a time of exams, which brings significant tensions, but is also a time of farewells. We have recently said goodbye to our Year 11s prior to them doing their GCSEs. This is a rites of passage moment which we help to diffuse by taking them all paintballing. I am very grateful to Mr Graham Dobson, Head of Upper School, and his intrepid colleagues who braved bruises and pain but had a super day. The Year 11 costumes were particularly stylish and individual this year. Year 11 have also signed off by producing a memorable Year Book and I also thank Mr Dobson for co-ordinating the work on this. I am sure it will prove to be an excellent remembrance of the people they shared their education with at CGS. Of course, the great majority of students in Year 11 will return into our Sixth Form and so the farewell to most of them is a temporary one. However, when it comes to Year 13, it really is goodbye forever.
The current Year 13 have been a really impressive year group who have made a tremendous mark on the life of the School. They have been generous with their time and talents when working with younger students in the School and have made a notable success of inter-house activities during this year. They have also achieved much in school productions, concerts, school newspaper editions, public speaking events and in many sporting events over the years. Their academic achievements have been exceptionally impressive too, and their GCSE results were comfortably the best in the School’s history. But we will remember them most as people. Individual personalities who shared their vitality and hard work and wit with us to impressive effect. We gave representatives from the Upper Sixth the opportunity to speak to younger students in their last assembly and this proved to be a really memorable occasion. If I could put all those speeches together, I would probably come up with a sentence like: “Journey through life with passion and confidence. Share your dreams with others. Seize your opportunities at this School enthusiastically”. Several of the students tried to pick out the special distinctive features of a CGS education for them. Among other things, they cited the encouragement of each and everyone’s individuality; the teaching staff who “act as an inspiration to us to be the kind of people we should be”. But it was the quality of relationships between student and student and student and teacher that were celebrated above all. We will miss Year 13 a lot and we thank them for their wonderful contribution. We will wave them on their way at our social highlight of the year, the Sixth Form Ball, at the White Heather, Caenby Corner on Friday 24th May.
Thoughts on the new intake of September 2013 and beyond
We have recently held two other major school events which have given us cause for high expectation and excitement about our future as well as led us to reflect further on what are the essential ingredients of our school.
The first one was our New Intake Evening for the students and their parents of Year 7 in September. There will, as usual, be 94 of them. 49 will be girls, 45 will be boys. 49 are in-catchment students and 45 are out of catchment students. 26 of them already have siblings in the school and 5 will be the third child in their family to join us. They will be coming to us from no fewer than 39 schools and 18 of them will be the only one in their primary school to join CGS in September. This is actually not an unusual trait for us. In the current Year 7, there are 24 students who are the only one from their primary school and we have calculated that more than one quarter of the School’s population falls into this category. Some students are certainly brave, prepared to go against the normal trend of those around them. Their parents, too, are passionate about their children’s education. I think this is a very powerful and significant ingredient in making us the school we are.
Last week, we held our Open Evening which was extremely successful. We gave out more prospectuses – 278 – than we have ever previously done. We also had more of our own students in attendance than ever before. They did a magnificent job and we have received many positive comments from visitors about their many excellent qualities. It made me feel very proud of them and grateful to those of you who made it possible that your son or daughter was serving their school.
We are now into the period when prospective students’ parents are asked to register at the School for our entrance tests in September. There is, of course, no necessity for a candidate to have attended our Open Evening, though we hope that it will have inspired those who did attend to apply, so please continue to pass on the news about CGS if you meet anyone who could be a candidate.
New non-teaching staff at Caistor Grammar School
We have had a number of retirements of non-teaching staff in the school over recent months. As a result we have a number of new colleagues and established colleagues taking new positions in the School. I am particularly pleased to welcome Mrs Claire Mosey to CGS. She will be taking on the role of Finance Manager at the School on 1st August 2013, when our long standing Finance Officer, Mrs Sharon Woodhouse, retires. I will be writing to you about her later on this term. Meanwhile, Mrs Mosey is shadowing Mrs Woodhouse for the next 2 ½ months. Mrs Anne McTernan is our new midday supervisor and is also one of our cover supervisors. They join Mrs Samantha Newton, our new Receptionist, Mrs Anna Sharp, our new Cover Manager and Mr Kristian Smy, our new ICT Technician.
Recent trips, events and activities
We are grateful to Mrs Rachael Gladwin, Head of RE and the RE department for taking the Year 7 students to Walsingham on pilgrimage last Friday. It is a long way to go but was a very worthwhile experience, as always. We have the second leg of our Year 10 exchange to Königswinter in Germany which is being led by Dr Dan Wilton, our Head of German, supported by Miss Rebecca Turner and Mrs Judith Cripsey. It sets off on Wednesday and goes into half term. I am sure it will be a very successful visit. Our Year 7 students took part in a Healthy Day and thanks go to Mr Michael Robinson, Head of Year 7, for organising this and to Mrs Amanda Gould for her help. We had a visit from an author, Georgia Twynham and we are grateful to Mrs Katherine Jago for organising this. Well done to the Young Enterprise Team, Arkhon, who were in the county finals at RAF Cranwell and won the Best Presentation and Best Finance Director. We are grateful to Mrs Louise Triggs for her support. We also thank Mrs Fran Thompson for organising a music trip to the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Congratulations to go to Beth Laverick (11Z) and Natasha Francis (11X) who both won through the heats in the Lincolnshire Slam Jam competition and go on to the Grand Final. An honourable mention goes to Angus Haswell (7Z) who was competing for the first time and did extremely well. We are also proud of the achievements of our athletes in the English Schools’ competition. Our intermediate girls’ reached the A final as a result of their success, the intermediate boys’ team came 3rd, the junior boys’ team came 4th and the junior girls’ team came 4th. As a result of our extremely good track record in this competition (please excuse the pun!) we have been invited to host and organise the A final on June 18th. I am sure we will do a good job.
Taking care when dropping your child off at school
The roads immediately around the School area are very narrow and there is a lot of traffic congestion at school arrival and departure times, but particularly in the morning. A number of buses stop in the Market Place so there are large numbers of students walking down Bank Lane. Recently, there have been a few incidents where a student has been narrowly missed by a car driving up to the Market Place. We would, therefore, request that parents drop off their children in the Market Place and avoid using Bank Lane, if at all possible, to avoid a more serious incident happening and would be grateful for your co-operation.
With very best wishes.