COVID-19 update: Entrance test dates

Headmaster’s Letter 1st May

Posted on 1st May 2020

Dear Parent,

I trust you are well.

Yesterday’s press briefing by the Prime Minster indicated that there is an emerging strategy for a return to School. I think that what is clear is any return will be phased, which is likely to require further changes to our curriculum and school day.

This week form tutors have been checking in with their form groups to ensure that everything is as good as can be considering the circumstances. Please can you check that students have responded to this email. A ‘yes – all is fine’ will suffice (if, indeed, everything is ‘fine’.) Subject teachers are also feeding back to Heads of Section about students completing work. We’re coming to the end of the first two-week block of work for ‘flexed’ Years 7-9 work. Someone from the Senior Leadership Team will be in contact with home to make you aware if a pattern is emerging whereby your child is not submitting work. When we do come back, we will have to hit the ground running and students who have proactively decided not to engage with the work will be at a distinct disadvantage.

This week I wrote to all students in Years 7-9 inviting them to an online form group meeting so we can try to maintain contact. Similarly, we’re going to try to re-establish our very able mentors to continue the excellent work they undertake in school. This can be for subject support or just simply encouragement. I also hope to hold a school council meeting on Thursday for students in Years 10 and 12.

I am also going to host a question and answer session via the School Twitter feed on Thursday 8 May from 7pm to 8pm. The school twitter feed is @Caistor_GS. I can answer any questions you might have about the School’s approach to lockdown. This will be a ‘first’ for me so we will see how it goes.

Home school and mental well being

Thanks again to all the parents who are supporting students at home. I have no doubt that this has its joys – and challenges. The BBC online learning initiative has had some very good feedback. If you need some support regarding creating a routine, then please click here to access a good worksheet. I concede it’s probably more useful for younger students.

Be Aware

Mrs Buck has reviewed the Be Aware page so that information can be accessed by category. I will continue to make you aware of any pertinent information as and when. In the meantime, if your child has just received their first mobile phone and is starting to engage with social media platforms, you might want to look at the BBC Own It pages for some useful advice. https://www.bbc.com/ownit/take-control/own-it-app

September 2021 entry

The process for students seeking to join us in September 2021 has now started. If you’d like to start the application process now, please complete the form for the entrance exams by clicking here.

Our entrance exam dates will be Saturday 5th September and Saturday 12th September. Parents must complete an online form to enable their child to sit the exams. The deadline is August 11th. The forms and further details will be on the website from Monday. The Admissions tab along the top is the area to access.

We’re advertising through our primary school network, our website and via social media platforms. Please would you pass on this information to any parent who is interested in CGS.

Careers

Mrs Bradbury has produced an excellent resource for careers. The ‘Speaker for Schools’ organisation is hosting a number of free talks from leading journalists, academics, entrepreneurs, business people about how they made it! She has also posed an important question which will become commonplace in any job or further/ higher education interview: What did you do in Lockdown? You can view the programme resource here.

Trips refunds

I’ve received a few questions about the refunds process for excursions. (You are probably facing the same issues at home for holidays you have booked but have since cancelled). The Department for Education’s directive, so you are aware, is that we should make claims through our insurers as opposed to going back to travel firms. This also includes claims for more complex trips (either UK-based or abroad), where the duration of school closure and the subsequent lack of organisational and preparation time with the students, may mean that a future expedition has become unviable for a school to undertake safely even after the School re-opens.

Health

News of moving towards a possible route out of lockdown, which will include a return to School, is very much welcomed. However, it is essential that we do not let our guard down. I’m including a link here from Public Health England in North Lincolnshire, which explains the hidden risks we continue to face while lockdown still applies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=5OsSwS3S0JQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Mr Keith Liddle

And finally, I wanted to relay some very sad news that I received late last week about the passing of a former CGS teacher, Mr Keith Liddle. Mr Liddle was a former Head of Physics and in recent years played a key role in supporting with the running of external exams. He had been ill for some time with leukaemia. Our thoughts go to his wife Chris, and to their daughters Michelle and Jenny. Both girls were students here too.

Mr Liddle was an enthusiastic teacher with an impressive knowledge of his subject and was always keen to take on new ideas. He was a dedicated professional who wanted the best for his students and the staff in his department. He was affectionately called ‘The Colonel’ by students thanks to his ‘KFC’ look. He was the driving force of Hansard House and ran the school play technical team.

After he retired, the School had no hesitation in asking him to help and support the running of the external examinations and our 11+ entrance papers. The commitment he showed as a teacher was carried through in this role and he became the assistant examination officer. He had an eye for detail, was cool under pressure and always had the students’ best interests at heart. In retirement, he spent many hours driving the School mini-bus for the benefit of our students.

Mr Liddle was a hardworking, respected and dedicated member of staff, who was committed to achieving the best for Caistor Grammar School, in whatever capacity. He was a good friend to the School in so many ways and he will be very much missed.

With best wishes for a safe weekend ahead,

Alistair Hopkins

Headmaster