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Headmaster’s Letter 13th March

Posted on 13th March 2020

Dear Parent,


The Senior Prefect Team’s Stress education week has been well received by students. I very much enjoyed the vegan food tasting event on Wednesday but was one of only 50 to enjoy the taste of vegan cheese. Other events this week have included Zumba, therapy dogs, meditation, hot chocolate & a chat. The team have also coordinated the collection of toiletries for the Women’s refuge in Grimsby. The week began with a Q&A session in whole school assembly with Mrs Buck, Mr McTernan and me about our views on stress and how we manage it in our own lives. The senior prefect team have embraced the opportunity to make their mark on school.

New Senior Prefect Team

As one team’s year comes to an end, a new team begins. We began the process on Wednesday of selecting the new senior prefect team. Year 12 students, the current SPT and a selection of staff heard three-minute speeches from the 18 candidates. Some were humorous, some serious, some a mixture. It was clear though that all the students cherish their school and want to see it move forward. Importantly, many had clear ideas about how they would achieve this.

Voting started yesterday and concludes today. All Year 12 students and staff can vote for four candidates to go through to the second round. Staff and students’ votes have equal weight. In the second round, students face a panel interview where they are asked to give a brief presentation about what they want to achieve in ‘their’ year, and then answer some interview questions that consider attitudes, values and resilience. I will let you know the outcome in a fortnight’s time.

History Balloon Debate

On Wednesday morning, the annual Year 9 Balloon debate was held to decide which historical figure would be jettisoned from the balloon. It was an enlightening set of speeches, delivered with the passion you would expect of someone about to be forcibly ejected. We were joined by Dr James Greenhalgh, Senior Lecturer in the School of History and Heritage, as a judge. This was his second visit in a row; I hope he will join us next year. The nine students (three from each form) speak about the importance of their figure and then challenge the ‘record’ of one or two of their fellow debaters. Competing this year we had Noah Barnett (Sir Tim Berners-Lees – inventor of the world wide web), Max Murray (Carmenta – inventor of the alphabet), Yash Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi – politician and social activist), Jack Attridge (Thomas Savery – patent of an early steam engine in 1698), Tyla Redhead (Alan Turing – Mathematician) and Charles Darwin (Evolutionary theorist). The top three were, interestingly, represent a contextual commentary on the world in March 2020. They were: 3rdEve Foster (Frankin D Roosevelt – US president), 2ndClaudia Smith (Marie Curie – twice Nobel prize winner) and 1stYasmine Sedaghat (Maurice Hilleman ) Yasmine’s selection is an unsung hero of Science. Please read his Wikipedia entry here to learn more.

Public summer examinations

As the summer external exam season approaches, can I draw your attention to the guidance recently released by Ofqual regarding expectations around cheating and malpractice. Our students work very hard for the grades they achieve and are reminded frequently how to conduct themselves in a public examination. Various safeguards are put in place to support and guide students. So that you can support us, the information provided in the link below is just as relevant to students as as it is to parents and carers. It is also be available on the school website.

(You will appreciate that there may be changes to the public examination calendar this year)


Neve Watson (Y7), has decided to make a large supply of ‘paperback hedgehogs’ to sell and raise money for Caistor Hedgehog Care. She picked up the idea after attending the same activity in School last week and enjoyed it so much she now wants to make more and sell them to donate all proceeds to this local charity. If you can donate any books or would like to contact Neve to purchase one for Hedgehog Care, please contact her mum, Mrs Watson (who is also our independent careers advisor) by email:


Isaac Waterhouse (Y7), has been selected to represent Lincolnshire in the County Cup tennis event at Loughborough University on the 25th and 26th April… Jennifer Ketley (Y13) achieved a 3rd in the KC Flyball (adults) at Crufts in Birmingham, making her team the 3rd best team in the country. She also came 2nd in YKC Flyball (juniors)… All good wishes to Alice Fearn (Y8) and Henry Cullen (Y11) who are running in the English Schools Cross-Country Championship in Liverpool tomorrow.

I wish you a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Hopkins