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Headmaster’s Letter 19th July

Posted on 19th July 2019

Dear Parent,


At the conclusion of a long and busy term, we say farewell to a small number of colleagues today.


Mrs Julie Wolseley (Head of Classics)


Prior to joining us, Mrs Wolseley worked at boys’ and girls’ schools in London before arriving for the first of two stays in 1992.  She left in 1995 to join her husband who took on a job in the home counties.  In that three-year gap, she worked at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and then the Queen’s School in Watford.  She returned to us in September 1998 – and we’re so glad that she did.  Her list of roles in the School is impressive: she was a teacher governor, was in charge of SEN provision, has been Senior Teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  She has also been the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, head of Rawlinson House, and at the end of last year the Acting SENCO.


And amongst all that activity, she also found the time to lead an extremely successful department.  The Classics department holds a UK record in English schools.  For five years, under her leadership, she helped students secure the best girls’ performance in any English or Welsh school and the best boys’ performance in any English Grammar Schools.  In several years, almost half of the students in Mrs Wolseley’s A level group went onto study Classics at University.  A phenomenal achievement.


She is personable, approachable, supportive, empathetic, pragmatic and honest.  I cannot think of a better role model.  She has helped numerous colleagues, including a new headteacher, when they arrived, and leaves having established some very strong friendships.


I’d like to close with two references from the Greek philosopher Aristotle that are especially poignant:  Mrs Wolseley is not sure what she intends to do next.  There will be some advisory work with Bishops Grosseteste.  However, this abundance of opportunity is one of the joys of stepping down from full time work.  Aristotle, the Greek philosopher said, ‘The end of labour is to gain leisure’.  She has very much earnt that.  I believe that ‘her leisure’ involves travel. And we all wish her well and a safe journey in that endeavour.  Aristotle also said: ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.’  Her passion and dedication to her subject, and the impact of that she has had not just on current students and colleagues here, but also the thousands that have left, is exemplified out by these words.  She has left her mark and, I speak for the School, we are grateful that you chose to dedicate your simply outstanding career to Caistor Grammar School.




Gary Jackson (Second i/c Maths)


Mr Jackson joined us from Yarborough High School, Lincoln, in September 2001.  His enthusiasm and experience means that he was rapidly appointed the Second in Maths and has maintained this position up until his retirement, which commences today.


He has made a significant contribution to the school’s extracurricular life.  He’s run football teams across the age ranges, has made a significant contribution to Y8 orienteering trip to Willingham Woods, Year 12 Young Enterprise, and in charge of the table tennis club.


He was an Evangelist for ICT in the Maths department and fundamental the nascent computer resources in Lindsey.  He has been relentless in expecting the best of students – a persistent pursuer of high standards – but with a dry sense of humour and a modest and unfussy approach.  He leaves an indelible mark on the school and will be remembered with a great deal of affection.  We wish him every success in his retirement.


Naomi Dales (English and Head of Hansard)


Miss Dales joined us in September 2015 from South Hunsley Secondary School initially to work in the English department, but has expanded her role having also taught Year 7 History.

In her four years, she has had a significant impact.  She possesses a keen critical mind, energy, flair and track record of academic success.  She is also an innovative teacher – inspiring students to do their best through some engaging activities.  Her classroom displays are legendary.  She has organised speaker events, supported theatre trips and the department’s Battlefields Trip. 


She has been a wonderful form teacher.  Her form tutor comments on form reports were always detailed and sensitive to the needs of her students.  Her form assemblies were also impressive –she encouraged a number of students to participate who might initially have preferred to inhabit the side lines.  Last year she took on the role of Head of Hansard, injecting her enthusiasm into this part of school life too.  In her first and only year, she won the House competition and therefore leaves with a 100% success rate.


It has always been one of Miss Dales’ ambitions to work abroad, and so when the opportunity to work out in Australia presented itself, it was quite right that she took this opportunity.  She leaves for Australia next week with our best wishes.


Miss Kristina Craven


When Miss Craven came for interview in April of last year, she was adamant that she wanted to take a step back from being a head of department of a large secondary school in Hertfordshire.  She was already phenomenally successful.  A head of department within a year of her first teaching post and an accomplished pianist and cellist.  Miss Craven’s enthusiasm and skill has brought the best out of students.  She worked tirelessly on this year’s production of Sweeney Todd and led the junior strings.


I was therefore surprised when she told me that she wanted to take on a more demanding role and to become a head of department again. And even though this new role was a part-time role it would regrettably mean that she would leave us to fulfil her commitments to her new department in Derbyshire.  This is typical of Miss Craven: dedicated, focused and professional.  Although we will miss her as a colleague, I am pleased that the school’s influence has been so positive that she has rediscovered her passion for teaching.  Her new school and its students will benefit greatly from her expertise.


Mr Pountney (Performing Arts Technician) has worked tirelessly as our Performing Arts Technician these last two terms.  If you see him around the site, he never stands still; always walking purposefully off to the next task.  He has worked on House Plays, music extravaganzas, end of term concerts, assemblies and Library events, including a successful performing arts evening earlier this month.  As well as supporting the school’s music and drama, Mr Pountney has also given a great deal of time helping to revive the former student and staff association, the Caistorians.  Membership now stands in excess of 500 and I hope that he will continue to encourage members to get back in touch with their old school wherever his life takes him.


Mr Dominik Bathel (German assistant) left us this week to return to Germany after a successful and busy placement.


More staff news….


Mrs Taylor has chosen to go part-time from September and is stepping down as Head of Biology.  My thanks to her for her years of dedicated service in this role.  Mr Cooke will take on leadership of the department as part of his Head of Science remit.


Mr Hargreaves will become Second in Maths and also takes on the role of Head of Hansard.


Mr Moloney (trainee PE and English teacher) has completed his training year I’m delighted that he will be joining the department on a part-time basis in his first year of teaching.


Miss Naylor (PE Technician) has had an excellent year supporting the PE department.  She remains with us to start her teacher training placement in September.


Ever to Excel (E2E) awards and merit winners

The E2E awards are voted on by students and awarded to those in Years 7-9 that have demonstrated courage, determination, inspiration, equality and respect.  They have gone above and beyond to demonstrate the best in their character:

Year 7: Lily Packer, James Warmoth, Isabelle Catley, Jaipreet Mattu & Katie West

Year 8: Mia Chong, Jack Brighton, Oswin Khoo, Sienna Osborne & TylaRedhead 

The students who secured the most merits this term are:

Year 7 – Emily Pein & Michelle Agreda

Year 8 – Max Murray & Dylan Ho

Year 9 – Jonathan Murthwaite & Evie Chappell

Golden tickets winners for most merits; 

Evie Chappell, William Pein , Ava Farnswath, Eva Phillips, Hollie Routeledge 

& Francesca Whitton 

Golden Ticket winners chosen by Form Tutors;

9X – Alice Lingard  & Lukasz Grab

9Y – Izzy Marshall & Charlie Henderson

9Z – Oliver Morton & India Brand

E2E winners as voted for by peers

Issac Cornell, Dan Knapton ,Alice Lingrad, Max Robinson & Molly Thomas 


Caistor Cares


A group of students played a small concert for Caistor’s over 60s this Monday.  Led by Pearl McCannAva Farnsworth and Hollie Routledge, the Year 7 students performed ‘Any Dream Will Do’ from ‘Joseph’ and the ‘White Cliffs of Dover’.  The three Year 9 students led Nisha ChandrasekharEmily PeinKiera Scott, Eleanor RowlandsBeth CrowtherLucy SmithCharlotte PhillipsCharlie Steer,Catherine Hargreaves and Hugo Cullen at the performance.  We will do it again next year.  The Year 9 students’ work adds to the volunteering work that Year 12 undertake



Year 9 French and Physics Gifted and Talented Day


For the third year, Mrs Donoghue and Mr Holland combined forces to challenge students to design a safe and cost effective way of storing nuclear waste at a site in the UK.  And as if that were not difficult enough, they have to do parts of the day’s activities in French.  The quality of work continues to be high – so much so that two teams were jointly awarded the prize this year.  Well done to Jake ChackoHeidi WarneSophie Legood & Kaajal Gupta who were the best presentation team. Lucasz GrabAlice CrossElspeth JollyCharlotte Davey and Beth Sykes were the best presentation team.


Final week’s trips


The Girls’ PE department went to Liverpool for the Vitality Netball World Cup on Thursday. Thanks to Mrs Ellerby, Mrs Buck, Mrs Cooke and Miss Naylor who took 47 students on the trip, which left Caistor at the bleary time of 4.15am.  The Art department ran their annual trip to London for 30 students.  My thanks to Mrs Porter, Mrs Shilling and Mrs Jago for attending and a slightly later (though still early) 7am depart.  Dr Wilton and Miss Turner take 14 Year 12 German and History students to Berlin until next Wednesday.  On that, a thank you to all staff who have supported these many worthwhile extra-curricular trips this year.  I counted that there were 110 excursions this year (residentials, sports fixtures, workshops, conventions, theatre trips, whole school/year group activities), more than one trip every other day that we’re in school.  As well as the teachers and volunteers, it is also important to acknowledge the behind the scenes work that goes into these events. My thanks, on everyone’s behalf, to the Educational Visits Coordinator Mrs Southwick, who is supported by the Extracurricular Administrator Mrs Glentworth.  Such a broad range could not happen without their commitment to their roles. 


Addams Family Rehearsal – September 1


Plans for October’s production of ‘The Addams Family’ are well underway, with props sourced, costumes fitted and a half term’s worth of rehearsals already under our belts.  Just to make sure that we hit the ground running after the summer break, there will be a Sunday rehearsal on the 1st September, the final Sunday of the summer holidays, between 1-4pm in the New Hall.  We understand that not everyone will be able to make this, but if it is at all possible, we would love to see as many members of the cast – in particular named parts and understudies – and chorus there for a full sing through.  There will be rehearsals every subsequent Sunday between 10am and 4pm and we appreciate parents’ efforts to ensure that these commitments are met.  My thanks to all those who will be working flat out on this production in September and October.  I would like to acknowledge the work of Mr Hargreaves, Mrs Jago and Mr Thompson.


Caistor Focus


The latest ‘Caistor Focus’ newspaper has been published.  If you can’t locate a student’s copy, it will be uploaded onto the website shortly.  Kate Jennings (Y12) has written a beautiful piece about Godfrey, the School’s departed cat.




On 20 July (tomorrow) six of our students are heading off on the adventure of a lifetime. Rosie BarkerToby BarnettFynn DeleeEmily QuillBen Spray andNatalie Walker and travelling to the World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, USA.  They are also visiting New York, Washington DC and Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  They are part of a contingent of 36 Scouts from Lincolnshire making up the 3,600 from the UK and the 40,000 from around the world that will be part of the largest ever World Scout Jamboree.


In addition, Alice Watmough is representing Lincolnshire Scouts on an inter-rail adventure across Europe.


All of the Scouts have worked incredibly hard to fundraise for the trip.  Part of the UK participant cost goes to Scouts in other countries who would not be able to afford to attend international events.  The Scouts have been involved in and supported many community events in the Caistor area in return for donations and many have learnt new skills and taken on part-time jobs to raise money.


Food Bank


Thanks to all who contributed to Year 10’s Foodbank collection.  Mrs Leaning reports that 697 items were collected by the Scunthorpe Food Bank this week.




Any students who are interested in studying in USA might benefit from attending this seminar in the summer holidays.  It’s in London, but it is free!  The event takes place on Tuesday 13 August at the University of Notre Dame. 1 Suffolk Street, SW1Y 4HG from 5pm to 7pm.




I am aware that some students and their parents/carers can find the holidays a demanding and emotional time.  As I mentioned in my 5 July letter, our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Clark, has put together an information pack with contact details of agencies that can be approached should this be the case.  I hope you find it useful while school is closed for the summer.  If you cannot access it vie the hyperlink then please look at the Be Aware section of our website.


A level and GCSE results day


A level results day is on Thursday 15 August.  We open the doors to the Old Hall at 8pm.  The Senior Leadership Team will be available to support students who are rethinking their next steps.  Mrs Barnett, our exams officer will be in school on that Thursday, Friday 16th and Monday 19th August to process priority remarks.  GCSE results day is on Thursday 22 August and the Old Hall doors open at 9am that day.  Please note that public examination results cannot be released to relatives in lieu of the student without the student’s authorisation.  To avoid embarrassment on the day, I suggest you email your request in advance.  You must also bring ID to collect results.


And penultimately, an apology


I forgot to cite two key people in last week’s Year 12 Challenge of Industry.  My belated thanks to Gordon Stamper, of Online Design and Engineering Limited, who chaired the event and to Mrs Elaine Hughes, of Bride Outlet, who led one of the groups.  I am grateful to both for their ongoing support of this day.


And finally…


This is the 37th parents’ letter I’ve written this term (I know I missed one Friday).  I always try to make it as brief as possible but such a lot worthy of mention happens here that it’s remiss of me not to cover as much as possible.  I hope above all it shows what a busy and productive School we have here.  Please thank staff when you get the opportunity.


Thank you also to parents for your ongoing support for your children (our students) and School this year.  I wish you all a restful break.  We start again on Wednesday 4 September.


Yours sincerely



Alistair Hopkins