A very good start to the Summer Term
Our Summer Term has started in an impressive fashion last week. This is a period which is dominated by both internal and external exams, necessarily so, and of course we all take these very seriously, but it also has many delights and joyful moments to relish. Firstly, on the subject of exams, Year 10 students begin their exams on Thursday 30th April. Students in Years 7 and 8 start theirs on Monday 1st June and students in Year 9 start theirs on Monday 22nd June. Meanwhile, GCSE and AS levels (for Year 12) start on Monday 11th May and so the last day before their study leave for Year 11 and Year 12 will be Friday 8th May, whereas the last day at School for Year 13 will be Thursday 21st May as most of their exams happen after half term which lasts from Monday 25th May until Friday 29th May. We will be welcoming next year’s Year 7 students at the New Year 7 Intake Evening on Thursday 7th May. Our Sixth Form Ball – the Caistor Grammar School highlight of the year! – will be on Friday 22nd May.
We will be holding our Open Evening on Wednesday 13th May between 6 – 8pm and we very much hope that your son or daughter will be able to support us in showcasing Caistor Grammar School at its best to our visitors that night. The Evening is primarily organised for the parents of students (and the students themselves) who are currently in Year 5 at primary school and who therefore could be taking our entrance exams in September 2015 for entry the following September, but we welcome everyone. So if you know of anyone who might be interested (it is still not too late to apply to join our Sixth Form and our Year 10 in September 2015 either) then please pass on the news. There is more information about the Evening on our School website.
We have issued students with our Summer Term 2015 calendar which is a very useful summary of all the major events in the Term but since students only get one copy, I am not sure that you will get to see it so we are putting a copy of it on our School website to give you the best possible opportunity to be up to date with all that is happening here at CGS. We will also be launching the latest version of our prospectus on our website before it is distributed to parents for our Open Evening.
REF Ideal and Merit winners
Congratulations to those students who have won prizes for living out the REF Ideals last Term. These refer to the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship. The winners in Year 7 are: Holly Cook (7Z), Freddie Fearn (7Y) and Elena Sedman (7X). The winners in Year 8 are: Anna Carter (8Y), Abigail Bower (8X) and Sophie Grainger (8Y). The winners in Year 9 are: Robert Hewis (9Z), Harriet Leggett (9X), Gavin Wu (9X) and Jessica Jex (9X).
Congratulations also to our Merit winners for the Spring Term. These are given for academic achievement and citizenship. The winners for academic achievement are: Vignesh Kamath (7Z), Aidan Parker (7Y), Anna Carter (8Y), Xander Ashley-Turner (8Y), Lydia Handsley (9Z) and Thomas Christie (9Z). Whilst for Citizenship, the winners are: Imogen Horton (7X), Chloe Hunter (7X), Thomas Steggles (7X), Katie Robey (8Y), Ailsa McTernan (9X), Robert Hewis (9Z) and Charlotte Kitching (9Z). Well done to all these students!
An excellent Upstanding Day
The last week of last Term saw an excellent innovation for Year 9 students who were involved in our first ever Upstanding Day organised by Mr Andy Hay and the RE department. This followed on from our visit to Beth Shalom the previous Term. We are extremely grateful to the National Holocaust Centre and Amnesty International for helping us in this work which involved exploring with students how we can be better citizens. It all went exceptionally well and was very memorable. Co-incidentally on the same day, Year 9 were also involved in the History Balloon Debate which was another roaring success. Congratulations go to: 1st, Gavin Wu, as Albert Einstein, joint 2nd Alexandra Mottram, as Louis Pasteur, and Franscesca Dyas, as Gallileo, and joint 3rd, Robert Hewis, as George Washington, and Thomas Christie as Thomas Edison.
Top 6 students
In the last Parents’ Letter 5/2015, following a meeting when all Heads of Department talked about six exceptional students, I was delighted to list the names of students who had received 4 or more recommendations. Unfortunately, the names of some students in this list were not mentioned, so we are now pleased to congratulate Abigail Bower (8X), Eleanor Hills (8Y) and Laura Brady (9X) on achieving 4 or more recommendations.
Young Enterprise success
This year we have had three teams in the Young Enterprise competition and we are delighted that all three teams have won prizes. The “Sigma” team designed a UV bracelet and were runners-up in the regional heats and won “Best innovation” prize. They will now take part in the County Final today. The “Pineberry Media” team won Best Stand and the “Volaris” team won Best Presentation. Thanks go to Mr Andy Holland for organising the teams and to our Young Enterprise business adviser, Mrs Julia Sowerby.
We are very grateful to Mrs Sowerby as she has helped with the Young Enterprise teams for many years but she is now stepping down from this role. We are now looking for someone with a business background who may be able to take on the role of Business Advisor to future Young Enterprise teams. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact Mr Andy Holland at the School.
Pupil Premium Eligibility
Pupil Premium is a funding stream awarded to the School to help provide extra opportunities for students who have ever been ‘looked after’or in care for one day or more; the children of service personnel and families who are eligible for Free School Meals or who have been within the last six years.
From April 2014, schools receive funding for students who have been registered on the school census as having been adopted from care or leaving care under a special guardianship or residence order. If you believe that you or your children meet any of this criteria, please can you inform the School as soon as possible.
Parents can apply for free school meals even if they don’t want to take up free school meals, as this funding can assist your child in many other ways, from extra tuition to assistance with school trips. So that the School can benefit from this extra funding, please contact the Finance Manager, Mrs Claire Mosey, if you need help applying or if you need more information.
Guidelines for absence for the Lincolnshire Show
This School has a strong tradition of supporting the Lincolnshire Show and over the years has often taken parties of students to visit it, so please don’t misinterpret what you are about to read since I think the Lincolnshire Show is a wonderful institution. However, I have been disappointed over recent years that a very large number of students took advantage of the opportunity to have a sanctioned day off school at the last minute to visit the Show, not with their parents, it seemed, and with very little interest, apparently, in what the Show had to offer. Therefore, we have a policy for dealing with absence requests for the Lincolnshire Show.
Firstly, I do not want any student who is following an external exam course, that is students in Year 10 or Year 12, to miss school to attend the Show. Year 12 also are planning university visits (please accept that we do not want students to miss more than three days off school for this purpose) so I think there are enough other distractions from normal School routine. Further, I think that if students do wish to go to the Show – Year 7, 8 or 9 – it should be because they are going with their parents – not their friends – and they have a genuine interest in the Show, perhaps because they are from a farming family. If an application is still made, please can this be explained in the section on “Reason for Absence”. Further, we have a list of the students who have attended the Show over recent years. I do not think, except for in the most exceptional circumstances – because a student is competing or exhibiting – that there is a need to attend two years running. I hope all of the above will be accepted by parents and students in the spirit in which it is intended: that each day at Caistor Grammar School is a special learning opportunity to be prized and that if a large number of students miss school, it undermines the educational experience for those who remain. (This does not happen when we run a school trip for a year group as we are taking out the entire year group.)
Good luck to all those students from Year 10 involved in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition taking place this weekend. Thanks go to Mrs Jo Hoare, for organising it, with much appreciated support from Mr Dave Moffat, Mrs Linda Moffat, Mrs Anna Sharp, Mrs Jan Waite, Mr Kristian Smy, Mrs Gill Cook, Mr Norman Palmer, Mrs Angela Palmer, Mr Ryan Bradley, Mr Gavin Cooke, Mr Mark Leaning, Mrs Heidi Leaning, Mrs Linda Patrick and Mr Mick Hoare.
With very best wishes