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Caistor Grammar SchoolHeadmaster's NewsHeadmaster’s Letter 26th January 2018

Headmaster’s Letter 26th January 2018

The week began with an inspirational presentation from one of our Year 13 students, Julia Randle, in whole school assembly. Julia is raising money for her Project Trust gap year in Thailand when she leaves us in July. She spoke eloquently about her project, the selection process (including no Internet for five days) and her fundraising so far, to over 400 students with just Power Point slides and the scantest of notes. If you want to know more about her project, then I have included her fundraising page web link at the bottom of the letter. School has made a small contribution using our School fund. A very small part of the fund was also used to support the visit last Friday of author and explorer Matt Dickinson, who taught a creative writing workshop to Year 7 and 8 students. If you would like to read some of the writing that our students produced, then please click here. I hope you will enjoy reading what they produced. We are lucky to be able to use your donations to part-fund this type of experience for students. Thank you to Miss Dales who organised it and to parents for their contribution.

February half-term marks the mid-point of the school year but for our exam groups we have already gone through the half year marker. Year 11 parents’ evening, deliberately placed after last term’s mocks and an assessment, took place on Tuesday. In my one-to-one meetings with Year 11 that began this Monday, students have taken on board the ‘honest’ advice from their teachers that evening. Many have a very clear sense of focus and purpose over the remaining 56 days of lessons before they start study leave. These 15-minute conversations are a highlight of the year. Students are very honest about where they feel they’re at and what they need to do to get there. Every interview has ended with the question: ‘what one thing would you change about CGS.’ I do take their suggestions seriously and discuss them with the Senior Leadership Team. Above all, I am impressed by their commitment to their School and their acknowledgment of the lengths to which the School’s staff go to support them. Year 13 start their mocks at the end of next week. I wish them every success.

Initiative and entrepreneurship are very much in demand in the world in which we all live. Our Young Enterprise scheme, which is supported by volunteers, testifies to these attributes. It will soon be coming to an end for our Year 12 students. I have been asked by one of the companies, Snug Mugs, to mention their project in the newsletter. So here goes: the team are selling three different mug bundles: tea, hot chocolate and bed socks. You will possibly have seen them at some school events. I hope this link to a picture of one of the bundles helps. The tea bundle is a mug with three different flavoured teas and a cookie, the hot chocolate mug bundle contains two sachets of hot chocolate and a cookie and the bed socks bundle contains a pair of fluffy bed socks and a cookie. The tea, hot chocolate and cookies, all come from Ringtons, a family business. The tea and hot chocolate are Fairtrade and Ringtons are active members of the Ethical Tea Partnership. The tea bundle is £5, the hot chocolate bundle is £5.50 and the bed socks bundle is £6. For more information, please email our ‘enquiries’ address at the top this letter and put ‘snug mugs’ in the subject line.

Our PSHE programme is constantly evolving and we try to share some of the information that we receive with parents. On our website’s Be Aware page (https://goo.gl/wWG8ip) you will find links to advisory services, videos and e-safety issues. A new link has been posted to the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. They have produced a free booklet that provides ‘simple advice and guidance to parents and carers that make conversations about feelings a part of everyday conversation.’ I hope you find it useful.
Last Saturday, 22 students and parents made the journey to Stamford to participate in the Superzone cross country tournament. The following students achieved top 20 placings. Year 7 Boys: Louie Osborne, Robin Smith, Andrew Githu and Noah Barnett; Year 7 Girls: Sienna Osborne; Year 8/9 Boys: Henry Cullen; Year 10/11 Boys: Joel Cottingham, Oliver Sullivan; Year 10/11 Girls: Ella MacPherson, Emily Barratt; Year 12 Boys: Ted Harper-Smith. (The students whose names are in bold are through to the Anglian School championship in Ipswich on Saturday 2 February.) All students ran very well on a cold and wet day. Joel and Louie have earned an automatic place in the English Schools cup. Well done to all 22 who competed and thank you to families that supported and to Mrs Buck who attended.

Accompanying this letter is some information about our Friends’ next Fundraising event, a Race Night in School on Friday 9 March at 7pm. After last term’s successful quiz night, the Friends are running another event for families. Each year, the Friends raise a sum for a specific aim within School. This year I have asked that the money be given to the School Council so that they can make some aesthetic improvements to the site.
I am looking for nominations for a new Parent-Governor. Someone with a background or working knowledge of health and safety would be ideal. A hard copy of the nomination letter went home with students last Friday. If you have not yet received the letter, please contact the Clerk, Mrs Craddock, using the enquiries email and another hard copy will be sent home via your child. If you would like to know more about the commitment, please contact me.

And finally, the DfE have published the school’s data dashboard. I don’t want to spend long deciphering it or extracting data-heavy comparisons with other Schools: our students are more than a blunt statistic on a spreadsheet. The data confirms that last year we achieved the best results in Lincolnshire at both A level and GCSE, and our Progress 8 score (the measure by which we are assessed to add value to students’ examination outcomes) is the second best out of Lincolnshire’s 53 secondary schools. If you’d like to do your own data trawl, then please follow this link.
I wish you all a happy weekend,

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