Posted on 18th September 2020
A big thank you
Firstly, a big thank you to all of you for doing your best to follow the Government guidelines regarding our full return to School. Our absence level is higher than normal, but this has been anticipated as you are being more cautious about seasonal bugs.
Importantly, thank you for keeping your child off school if they are symptomatic or if a member of your household is symptomatic. Please remember that the isolation period begins on the first day someone in the household presents symptoms and ends when a negative result is confirmed or at the end of the 10-day period for the symptomatic person or 14-day period for those remaining in the household. Students must not attend School if they or someone is symptomatic and the household is awaiting the outcome of a test. I appreciate that this is frustrating after almost six months away from learning, but it is a sacrifice worth taking to ensure that all students can come to a fully open School.
We are tracking students’ isolation periods so that we know when to expect them to return if they are absent for 14 days. If your household member receives a negative test, thereby releasing the house from isolation, please contact us to make us aware they are returning. We do not need to see the test result, but it does save the office phoning home.
Work for all students is posted on their SharePoint area, part of the Office 365 package, and students can access this work using their School account. Students do not need to be ‘isolating’ to access the work; students absent for non-COVID reasons can look at this work too. Please only email class teachers if there are questions about the work.
New ‘normal’ processes
Despite the year group bubbles, we’re endeavouring to progress the curriculum as much as possible. In Art, Music, DT and PE, as per guidelines, we have introduced cleaning measures to enable students to participate in creative subjects in most of their bubbled groups. Although the Government has explained that Schools can suspend some subjects temporarily to accommodate measures for COVID, we are running the curriculum as normal, although we have to do ‘front facing teaching’ and limit the amount of time student can remain inside.
Students can bring water bottles in from home and these can be refilled at the water dispensers or taps in the bubbled buildings. If using the water dispensers, students must sanitise their hands first. School has provided sanitiser at each fountain.
Please remember to supply your child with a bag (plastic or paper) where they can store their reusable face mask.
Frustratingly, we’re still awaiting information about the structure and dates for A level and GCSE exams in Summer 2021. I will write as soon as I know.
We will be reviewing progress so far via School council, staff and governor meetings w/c 28 September to decide what aspects of our ‘return’ we can change. Your views are also important so if you would like to add these, please email the School via the enquiries address at the top of this letter by noon on Friday 25 September. All views are shared with governors and the senior leadership team.
Despite lockdown, the School’s parents’ group, Friends of CGS, ran their summer raffle. The prizes were handed into school on Tuesday and quarantined (from me). This morning I was pleased to hand prizes to Sophia Faruqi (Y8) who raised £110 and Liam Moore (Y9) who raised £85. Form 8Y won the overall ‘form total’ with £155 raised overall. Thanks to the Friends for their unstinting support during the last six months.
Quaranteen: Nightingale Anthology!
The English Department is pleased to announce the arrival of Quaranteen, an anthology of poetry, prose, artwork and recordings (via QR codes!) Compiled during the Lockdown period, this beautifully presented compilation movingly chronicles the feelings and experiences of students and their families at Caistor Grammar School during an extraordinary time.
Edited by former Y13 students Ewan Martin and Jyothi Cross, Quaranteen is a little piece of social history that is now available for purchase via Parentmail for £6. All proceeds from the sale will be sent on Young Minds, the UK’s leading mental health charity: Quaranteen is a powerful record of a challenging time and something to share, now, and in the future.
We are still holding lost property that was left in School when we closed in March. Another ParentMail letter has gone home today asking students to claim anything that belongs to them. If it is unclaimed at the end of the month, it will be donated to local charity shops.
I am very happy to give you a link to a leaflet from the charity Meningitis Now. [link] Tony and Marilyn Hines have for many years supported this charity after a close relative died from the disease while at university. Like many charities, they have seen a fall in donations due to COVID-19 so if you would like to donate or offer your time fundraising, please contact the school and we can put you in touch.
Two bits of good news for Ellie Roberts (Y13). She has been selected to make her international debut for Great Britain at the Keysoe CDI equestrian dressage from October 7th -12th. Secondly, she has been selected as a British Dressage Youth Foundation Academy Athlete for 2019/2020 which gives her access to training camps, top physios, psychologists and strength and conditioning coaches, etc. This is the start of a pathway to joining potentially the National Academy, which is lottery funded.
I trust you have a safe weekend.