Posted on 20th April 2018
A warm welcome back to the summer term – quite literally this week. I’ve been asked by students a couple of times if we’re going to start summer uniform early. This is highly unlikely as the weather’s going to revert to seasonal norms over the weekend.
This half-term’s assembly theme is: “The road to success is always under construction.” (Arnold Palmer). Success, which I believe everyone deserves to experience, comes as a result of self-reflection. This might not seem the case to students midway through revising for their A level and GCSE examinations, or those that have taken their GCSE speaking language exams this week. Students should see their exam results as affording them a wider variety of choices for their future.
Absence requests and the Lincolnshire Show
I am afraid that I was presented with some last-minute holiday requests at the end of last term. (A handful even came in retrospectively). As ever, I very much value the opportunity to talk through these requests with parents before I decide whether or not to authorise an absence. I have a responsibility to ensure that students receive an education on every day of the school year and so I am unlikely to approve absences for holidays: a phone call is a better medium for communicating this rather than an email. In the same way that parents (and I) expect staff to be in School to teach lessons, I must exercise the same expectation of students too so that they can receive their education. In anticipation of the next batch of requests, I thought I would therefore publish the School’s policy on the Lincolnshire Show, which takes place on Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June.
Firstly, I do not want any student who is following an external exam course, that is students in Year 10 or Year 12, to miss school to attend the Show. Year 12 also are planning university visits (please accept that we do not want students to miss more than three days off school for this purpose) so I think there are enough other distractions from normal School routine. Further, I think that if students do wish to go to the Show – Year 7, 8 or 9 – it should be because they are going with their parents – not their friends – and they have a genuine interest in the Show, perhaps because they are from a farming family. If an application is still made, please can this be explained in the section on “Reason for Absence”. Further, we have a list of the students who have attended the Show over recent years. I hope the above will be accepted by parents and students in the spirit in which it is intended: that each day at Caistor Grammar School is a special learning opportunity to be prized and that if a large number of students miss school, it undermines the educational experience for those who remain. (This does not happen when we run a school trip for a year group as we are taking out the entire year group.)
Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme
I want to wish the Year 10 students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh the best of luck this weekend for their Bronze practice expedition. Thank you to the team of staff and volunteers who will be supporting them this weekend. Sun screen rather that waterproofs will be required! I estimate that that a little over a thousand Caistor Grammar School students have benefited from the award over the last 20 or 30 years. We are one of the largest DofE centres in Lincolnshire and approximately 100 students per year participate in either Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. Mrs Hitchcock has decided to step down as our centre manager after the Gold expedition in July. If you would be interested in knowing more about this remunerated role, please get in contact.
Congratulations to our two Year 12 Young Enterprise teams who made the trip to Lincoln for the Final. (I advertised Snug Mug’s product earlier this year.) Cygnet Charms won the Best Financial Management Award. The students have been a regular fixture at evening events this year. If you have managed to speak to them, you will have been impressed with their focus, confidence, charm and business acumen. So you are aware, the teams were: Cygnet Charms – Raian Jaibaji, Robert Hewis, Charlie Kitching, Esther Baker & Lauren Scotney; Snug Mugs: Jacob Lawson, Jess Jex, Abdul Wasey, Callum Barton, Isabella Spilman, Molly Matthews, Laura Jackson & Joshua Morris. Thank you to Mr McTernan, Mrs Hughes, Mrs McKinsley and Mr Cook who have supported the students throughout this year.
We work hard to maintain a positive relationship with Caistor residents and the Town Council. Mr McTernan, the head of Sixth Form, has asked some of our Sixth Formers who drive to school to avoid parking in the town hall car park. The unlimited free car parking might soon be subject to a two-hour maximum stay as some, including our students, are occupying spaces for too long. I hope that we can do our part to ensure that this does not happen. It’s also worthwhile reminding those that do drive to School that cars can only be used for the journey to and from School. They must not be driven during study periods, lunch, break, etc. The School rules are clear on this point.
I hope you all enjoy this weekend’s weather.