Welcome to the 2013/14 academic year at Caistor Grammar School and a specially warm welcome to those parents who are joining the family of our School for the very first time. There are many new students in the School this week: 95 in Year 7, 1 in Year 8 and 25 in Year 12. In total there are 654 students on roll (304 boys and 350 girls), 181 of whom are in our Sixth Form.
Our Autumn Term will get off to a racing start and as you will see in our Calendar for the Year which is being issued to students today. Please have a good look at this since it includes the details of many events and activities which we hope you will come to support. In particular, these include an Information Evening for the parents of Year 11 students on Thursday 12th September, an Information Evening for the parents of Year 12 on Wednesday 25th September and an Information Evening for the parents of Year 10 on Thursday 3rd October. We will also be holding a Sleepover for students of our new Year 7 on the night of Friday 13th September.
Welcome to new members of staff
We welcome a number of new members of staff at the start of this term. Mrs Kathryn Bradbury is joining us as a teacher of French (part time). Mr Richard Davey, an old student of the School, is joining us as a teacher of English. They are both very welcome. We are also working with two trainee teachers this year. Mr Ian Johns will be in the PE Department and Mr Ian Marris will be in the History Department. We welcome a number of gap year student technicians. Miss Megan Thompson and Miss Emily Hood will be working as Performing Arts Technicians. Mr Jack Goudie will be working as a PE Technician and Mr Henry McTernan will be working as a Science Technician. They will all be familiar to students in the School since they were all in the Upper Sixth last year. We welcome Mr Robert Greenacre as our new Deputy Site Manager. Mrs Claire Mosey, who has been with us for some months, is flying solo now as our Finance Manager. The same can be said of Mrs Katherine Jago who, after a long job share as Librarian is now fully in charge on her own. We congratulate a number of staff on posts in the School. Mr Tom Smith is now Head of Computing (we have re-named ICT to Computing in the light of Government recommendations). Mr Robert Harris is now second in the English Department. Mr Marcus Croft has a new role as Raising Standards Co-ordinator and Mrs Tara Taylor has a new expanded role as Student Mentoring Co-ordinator. We have a really strong team of staff in place and I am sure that they will serve the School with distinction in the years to come.
Outstanding examination results, once again
Taken together, this year’s results can be seen as the best overall set in the school’s history! They are a huge credit to both our students and our staff. We will lead Lincolnshire in the DfE tables at A level in all the ways these results are measured, for the eleventh year in a row, a remarkable accomplishment and dominance of our fellow schools. We are likely to be in the top 35 schools in the country in the DfE performance tables. At GCSE, we have achieved the gold standard of 100% 5 A*-C, incl. English & Maths for the fifth year running and the seventh time in the last eight years (and our own unique diamond standard of 7 A*-C passes including English and Maths for the third year running and the fifth time in the last seven years!). We have also gained 100% 5A*-C passes for the eighth year running and for the thirteenth time in the last sixteen years we have 100% 5 A*-C in the Performance Tables! We have performed well in the English Baccalaureate with a score of 79%. We expect to be very highly ranked in the 2013 DfE Performance Tables. Overall, our results further extend our extraordinary record of sustained excellence and Lincolnshire school domination.
The nature of the School’s Partnership with Parents
The partnership between the School and you, the parents of its students, is a very special one. If we work together harmoniously, then our chances of being most effective in supporting your children as they grow and develop as young people and as learners will be maximised. We have a guidelines document for this partnership, which is currently being revised and which we will be issuing to all parents in the near future. In essence, this document sets out what you can expect of the School and what the School can expect of you, the parents of our students. In today’s society it is fashionable for people to think about their rights and therefore it would not be surprising if you were to put emphasis on what we should do for you. I do think, however, that if our partnership is to work best it is important that we all consider your responsibilities to the School and what we can reasonably expect of you as parents as well. Principally among our expectations, I would hope that you would deal with us honestly and give us full information about things which will impact on your child. The Government have recently tightened up their regulations on parents taking their children out of school during term time. We will shortly be consulting on a new School policy in this area but, in common with local schools, as I signalled to you in a Parents’ Letter sent last Term, we will be tightening up our expectations in this area. The main message of this new policy will be: please don’t plan family holidays for your children during term time – or any other sort of absence during term time. A secondary message, however, is that in dealing with these issues, we very much hope you will be honest and frank and speak to us about them in good time. Some parents have either told us at the last minute, or even not told us at all, or told us a less than truthful account. This is very distressing and I hope and believe very unusual. We all should do all that we can to ensure that this does not happen again.
Today for me is the best day of the School year! Today everything is possible and we can begin with a blank sheet of paper: ambitious, full of energy, and with plans to turn our dreams into a reality. We want to do all we can to make this happen for your child. I look forward to meeting you and working with your children during the course of the next 12 months.