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Headmaster’s Letter 8th December 2017

Posted on 8th December 2017

We had a superb Autumn concert on Tuesday evening. Over 100 students performed. We also heard from the Year 7 choir. I am delighted that so many parents made the journey to support their children or just to revel in the abundance of talent that Mrs Thompson and her department nurture. Our Christmas Evening/carol concert next Tuesday 12 December, starting at 7pm, is in the Church and is followed by mince pies and mulled wine organised by the Friends is in the Old Hall. If you would like to contribute some mince pies, please send them into School to Mr Sunter’s office.

We ran our annual Scholastics Book Fair last week. We are fortunate in that our very able Librarian Mrs Jago enables students to take a full and active role in the running of the Library through the Literacy Leader Scheme. Our Literacy Leaders this year are: Anya Cross, Dakota Sylvan, Eve Hewitt, Hala Aabed, Neha Elangovan, Sasha Stevens, Eleanor Wood, Fynn Delee, Kiana Matthews, Lottie Cooksey, Lydia Clarke, Rhianna Humphrey, Amelia Terry, Caitlin Beaumont. Ellis Clark, Faris Alderson, Jasmin Lewars and Madeleine Roberts. They promote reading amongst all year groups. Students’ suggestions are followed up for new books so the Library stock is up to date. Please do encourage your child to borrow a book for the Christmas holiday.

We had Christmas dinner on Wednesday. Two courses with a choice of three main dishes (two vegetarian) and numerous desserts. A record 638 students were served in 90 minutes with SLT doing their best to support the kitchen staff. (I hope to be recruited from ‘puddings’ to vegetables next year!) Feedback was that this year’s Christmas Dinner was the best ever. Thank you to Mrs Hitchcock and her team.

As well as Christmas Dinner, our team of International Young Ambassadors were at Caistor Primary that afternoon. The team led work with younger students on Nordic folk tales. This week’s team were: Alice Pace, Molly Lus, Chloe Brown, Phoebe Cross, Abigail Laycock, Rahima Begun, Kate Bunn and Olivia Tufts-Moulds. Thanks to Dr Wilton for organising it all and I’m grateful to the primary school for their very warm welcome.

And finally, on a busy Wednesday, Mr Dobson, Head of Upper School, went to the King Power Stadium in Leicester to collect the National Citizen Service Silver Award (2016/17) for the School. The National Citizen Service offers students in Years 11 and 12 the chance to work in their area on local community projects and attend seminars. Last summer, one group of CGS students supported the town’s Greenacre Care Home by organising a garden party. The organisation’s ethos of service and leadership echoes the School’s aims so I would encourage as many eligible students as possible to participate when their opportunity arises. The NCS will be coming into School on Wednesday 17 January to advertise opportunities for next summer.

The Student Council met this week and have decided that they would like to acknowledge Christmas Jumper Day on Friday 15 December with a non-uniform event called Caistor Goes Christmas. Lessons will still be as normal but students can wear something Christmassy to the event. There will be a Christmas cup cake Bake off, bingo and at lunchtime, Speaker’s Corner will become Carol Corner. The cost is £1 and all funds go to Save the Children. This also applies to Year 11 who have their Art exam and a DT workshop that day. They should come suitably attired so that they conform to their department’s health and safety rules.

One of my favourite jobs since early October has been reading Year 13’s UCAS applications. I’ve pressed the ‘Send to UCAS’ button 59 times as of last night, so I’m over halfway. I enjoy reading their personal statements and their accompanying reference. I continue to be impressed with the range of activities in which they participate and the depth of talent that they have. It is no surprise therefore to see that offers of places are already starting to come in. An emerging trend among universities is to offer unconditional offers if a student makes that university their first choice. I would like to offer a few words of advice. If students take up an unconditional offer, please ensure that they do not become complacent because they have a place for next year. A levels are truly standardised assessments which means that A level grades are often used to ‘rank’ job applications for employment. It is therefore important to work through to the end of the course with the same focus as if aiming for an A level or points offer. Further, some universities award financial bursaries and scholarships based on A level grades. I’d also add that a sense of personal achievement is equally important!

Our website is a good source of information about students’ online safety. We accept that mobile devices, the Internet, social media, etc. will be an evolving part of students’ lives and we, as a School, play our role to make them aware of social media pitfalls through PSHE lessons and in our Student Council authored mobile phone policy. On the school website, in the Parents’ section, the top tab in the drop down menu says ‘Be aware’. Today, we uploaded a document explaining how various live streaming apps work. You might find this useful as we have a holiday coming up. Under the same Parents’ heading, you’ll find the results of the recent Parents’ Survey. Thank you if you took the time to answer. I’ll write a response to some of the questions and comments by the end of term.

I will leave my next Parents’ newsletter until the last day of term, Tuesday 19 December, when like other Caistor schools, we will finish at 2.30pm. If your child catches the LCC/Dents bus which runs through Osgodby, Middle Rasen and Market Rasen, etc. then we will accommodate students in School until the normal finish time of 3.45pm.

With warmest regards,