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Headmaster’s Letter 15th November

Posted on 15th November 2019

Dear Parent,

A lot to report this week!

U14 County Netball Champions
The U14 Netball Team won the county championship last Saturday in Skegness. I am delighted to publish Charlotte West’s report for you:

On Saturday, I, Sienna Osborne, Molly Raithby, Lucy Harper-Smith, Katie West, Maisy Watmough, Mollie Swinscoe, Niamh Noble and Freya Warne travelled to Skegness to compete in the U14 County Finals.  Prior to this we had finished second in the qualifying tournament, with the top two qualifying for the finals.  In the tournament on Saturday, we had a very tight game against QEGS Horncastle, losing out by a couple of goals.  However, the team moved on from the defeat and went on to win the county finals, undefeated.

There were 11 teams, split into two divisions.  A team from our division dropped out so we only had four matches.  Here are the scores which led us to winning our division, Branston 12-8, Stamford 9-9, Winterton 9-5 and Spalding 15-8.  In the semi-finals, as we won our division, we played the runners-up from the other division, Kesteven and Sleaford.  This was when our players began to feel the nerves but smashed it with an 18-8 win to reach the final. By this point everyone was delighted, and the team was playing like it never had before.

We found out that Branston had won the other semi-final.  As we had already beaten them earlier in the day we had to be careful to not become too confident.  Everyone played amazingly in the final, we won 14-7.

This means we go through to regional finals in January as Lincolnshire champions! Congratulations to Sienna Osborne who was named manger’s and players’ player of the tournament!  On behalf of the team I would like to thank Mrs Ellerby and Miss Naylor for giving up their Saturday to take us and to organise and coach the team.

House Music
We enjoyed two afternoons of House Music this week. Hansard won both the junior and senior competitions. On Wednesday evening, selected students from both competitions performed in front of family and friends.  Our judge, Mrs Sue Barker, formerly North East Lincolnshire music advisor, pointed out that performing in front of peers is a significantly more difficult challenge because they are the toughest critics.  It was a was a great afternoon: long may these continue.  Part of its success is as a result of the Year 13 Performing Arts Captains.  So, for their benefit, thank you to:

Libby Tasker

Oliver Sullivan

Maya McCann

Henry Montgomery

Emily Oldridge

Josh Hughes

Before I close this section, I would also like to thank the tech team of Pippa Baugh, Olivia Borgstrom, Jack Dowthwaite, Rory Longcake and Savannah Moss who worked hard balancing and mixing the music to ensure that the performers were peerless.

Library news
The Scholastic book fair grand total for students, departments (and staff!) was a spend of £969.  This earned us £615 in commission.

This additional injection of funds means that Mrs Jago, the Librarian, can maintain her policy of purchasing more than one copy of the latest popular title.  It gives us the flexibility to respond to student demand and keep waiting lists to a minimum.  This year, Mrs Jago intends to start a book club for Key Stage 3 students utilising our interested sixth formers.  She also has lunchtime volunteers willing to come in regularly which is a great help.

All Year 7 students will, over the next week, collect their Bookbuzz title.  From a curated list, assembled by the Book Trust, students could choose one of 17 titles.  The books are theirs to keep – they were purchased by the Library, with the generous support of the Friends of Caistor Grammar School.

Studies demonstrate that students’ reading habits improve when families show an interest in one another’s reading habits.  I hope that this gift on behalf of the Library and Friends can spur those conversations at home.

Mrs Jago’s work, particularly that promoting the Book Fair, is helped by the Year 9 literacy Leaders.  I want to acknowledge their enthusiasm and work which continues to ensure that reading is an important aspect of school life.  This part of the reason they raised so much from the Scholastic Fair. They are: Afeef Hadi, Zamin Ali, Megan Allison, Jack Attridge, Sophie Bishop, Ethan Brook, Tilly Coupland, Amelia Crompton-Howe, Darcey Cullen, Lucy Ellis, Eve Foster, Yash Gandhi, Hardiq Karan, Saqib Jajja, Flora Jolly, Tyla Redhead, Yasmine Sedaghat, Lily Suddaby, Will Whitton and George Wood.

Sixth Form Open Evening
This coming Tuesday, the 19th November starting at 7pm, we hold our Sixth Form Open Evening.  There will be a brief talk in the gym introducing the evening and then a chance to attend up to five A level subject presentations.  I hope as many Year 11 students and their parents can attend as possible to see the breadth and depth of opportunities we offer our post-16 students.  Our entry requirements are on a par with other post-16 providers in the region and our travel bursary scheme means that we are accessible to those who might otherwise find transport costs an impediment.  I am committed to widening access to our outstanding sixth form while maintaining our focus on personal development and academic outcomes.

Beth Shalom
Our Year 9 students visited the National Holocaust Centre and Museum yesterday as part of the School’s Upstanding work.  Yesterday was my sixth visit and I continue to be moved by students’ reactions to the displays, the stone memorial and the testimony of a Holocaust survivor.  Yesterday’s trip was different in that our visit coincided with the visit of BBC’s Songs of Praise.  A small number of students were interviewed by the presenter Aled Jones. The programme will be broadcast on Sunday 26 January, the day before Holocaust Memorial Day.

Our Sixth Form mentors recently raised money to support Reuben Armstrong (Caistorian 2003-8) who had a serious motorbike accident in Malaysia.  Here’s a link to his Just Giving fundraising page if you would like to make a contribution.  His friends, family and work colleagues are £12,000 short of their £50,000 target to ensure he receives the best medical care possible. £100 was raised by the Sixth Form mentors.

Tempest photographs
Firstly, if you have already placed an order for photographs, thank you.  If you haven’t ordered as yet or wish to order more photographs, please note the last chance for images to be processed for pre-Christmas delivery will be 16th November (tomorrow).  You should consult your previous email for your image reference numbers to find your photographs. If you need assistance, please call 01736 751555 (option 3) or click on contact us on the home page

A lot of students to cite this week… Well done to Matilda Mosey (Y7) and Sophie Brennan (Y10) who are performing with Brigg Amateur Operatic Society in their production of Annie this week at the Plowright Theatre.  For the second year running, Oliver Bradley (Y12) running Oliver was shortlisted for Young Sports Start of the Year at the Heart of the Community Awards.  Oliver swims and competes at national level.  Oliver has recently trained to be a coach and is teaching children to swim.  He does 17 hours of training per week, including two pre-school sessions.  Oliver is currently the Boys’ Club Captain of the Cleethorpes and District Swimming Club.  Rory Longcake (Y12) has won a competition hosted by the 20-21 Art Gallery in Scunthorpe.  He had to design and build a playable maze out of Lego to be used and displayed in the interactive area of the gallery’s new Brick by Brick exhibition.  (An exhibition of work by international artists who use Lego as their medium).  It will be on display until January 3rd, 2020.  This is a touring exhibition which is expected to tour for approximately two years.  The next stop for the exhibition and his maze is the Harley Gallery in Worksop, on display until April.

We are advertising for a new site assistant to start work with us in January.  Further details can be downloaded from the website.  Please pass this onto anyone that you think might be interested.

Yours sincerely,

Alistair Hopkins