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Caistor Grammar SchoolHeadmaster's NewsHeadmaster’s Letter 25th May 2018

Headmaster’s Letter 25th May 2018

Year 13 – farewell and thank you

I suspect that the grammar pedant will be horrified with my third sentence, which contains no verb, but I felt our departing Year 13’s futures were so diverse and interesting that I would momentarily discard the structures of the English language to celebrate their aspirations. So, here goes. Paramedics, microbiologist, journalists, archaeologists, historians, architects, medics, teachers, engineers, psychologists, lawyers, dentists, classicists, film directors, nurses, accountants, linguists, criminologists, forensic psychologist, physiotherapists, zoologists, gap year-ers, aviators, economists, computer scientists, travellers, illustrators, physicists, chemists and bio-chemists.

This list sums up the year group’s plans for life beyond CGS. Looking back to last week’s open evening, I was asked by a parent what my vision is for the School. In Monday’s assembly, Mr McTernan, the Head of Sixth Form, read out the varied list of careers, professions and gap years that our soon-to-be former students will be embarking upon after they leave us after their final exam. To me, enabling students to make informed choices so that they can lead the lives that they wish to lead is the vision. And here the word ‘vision’ is something of a misnomer: we do it already, I believe.

In Wednesday’s final Year 13 assembly, I explained to the year group that May is the saddest month for teachers because we say goodbye to our exam classes. I used Philip Larkin’s poem The Whitsun Weddings to try to decipher the range of emotions that come to the fore as others move onto the next stage of their lives. In his poem, Larkin undertakes a train journey from Hull to London one Whit Sunday. Like the cricketer, spied for a moment from the train carriage, we never get to see the delivery bowled. Instead, we experience the pause of the inconclusive moment and then move on with our busyness, always wondering what happens next. (Although, I’d very much like to hope they’ll keep in touch!)  And although this will be the eighteenth time that I’ve done this in my career, it never becomes any easier. We won’t be there to see them write the next chapter(s) of their lives. We have been fortunate to witness the preface though – over to them!

 

Behaviour Policy

Governors have approved a new behaviour policy for the School and it is now online in the policies section of the website. There have been no changes to current practice; rather the policy aims to give greater transparency following comments from the parents’ survey of last year. The policy outlines the ways in which we encourage and celebrate good behaviour, the expectations on all members of School to encourage good behaviour, definitions for ‘misbehaviour’ and ‘serious misbehaviour’ and our stepped approach to behaviour.

Engineering

Last parents’ letter I advertised an opportunity for students interested in medicine to attend a lecture in Lincoln. This week, I’m making you aware that the University of Lincoln are offering a three-day engineering workshop at the university campus for future engineers. It is free and includes two nights of accommodation for students aged 13 and 15. Here’s a hyperlink to the application form. Spaces are limited so please act quickly. I am very happy to promote these local opportunities for students but please be aware that the University of Lincoln are coordinating and have responsibility for this event.

Sports Day

Thank you if you have clarified your child’s travel arrangements for the day. While most of the school will be at Sports Day on Thursday 7 June, we will have some students on site. Please note that the dining hall will be serving only cold food/sandwiches that day.

Friends’ business

Well done to those current and soon to be students who completed their Three Peaks Challenge last weekend in the sunshine and heat last weekend. They raised just short of £500 for the School. The Friends’ raffle continues apace. As an incentive for the form that sells the most tickets, I have booked for an afternoon’s circus skills workshop in July.

And finally,…I mentioned earlier this month that Mrs Wolseley and Mr Dobson have stepped down from their pastoral roles in School today while Mrs Clark has taken on a new role. All three are moving onto new challenges. I would like to thank them for the contributions that they have made to School and for the professionalism with which they have supported students through their successes and disappointments, always maintaining a sense of perspective and support that has been exemplary. Mr Davey will be taking on the role of Head of Upper School. Mrs Ellerby will be the new Head of Middle School and Mrs Clark will be our new Designated Safeguarding Lead and Senior Teacher. I am sure you will join me in wishing them all the best in their new roles.

I hope that last weekend’s good weather, which made the DofE Bronze expedition a joy for participants and volunteers, returns for half-term. Do enjoy the week way from School.

Kind regards,

 

Alistair Hopkins

Headmaster

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