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Headmaster’s Letter 20th July 2018

Posted on 11th September 2018


Mr Graham Dobson

Mr Dobson, the Head of D&T, joined the School from Winchmore School, Enfield, north London, in 1993 to launch the department.  (Previously students had walked to Caistor Yarborough).  Under his leadership the department quickly grew, seeing the introduction of A level Technology.  The annual Technology exhibition is a showcase for the work that students manufacture as part of their examination courses under his department’s guidance. In his first few years here, he was also a housemaster in the former boarding quarters in Lindsey House (now the English, Music and Maths block).  In 2011 he took on the pastoral leadership of students in Years 10 and 11.  Mr Dobson’s ascension to the role of Head of Upper School is the stuff of legends.  Mr Cook, the former deputy head, bought him a pint of Guinness and suggested that he could do the job for six weeks to stand in for a sick colleague. Those six weeks became seven years.  His assemblies were remarkable and inspiring: academic, insightful and erudite reflections on life, the universe and during the academic year, 2015-16, his beloved Leicester City.  He stepped down from this role when Year 11 went on study leave in May, and today, he steps down as a teacher at Caistor Grammar School.


His reference to join us came in the form of a chat between the-then head Mr Foulkes and Mr Dobson’s Winchmore headteacher.  The notes read thus: “Good at getting people to work together – very professional in his attitude – sets high standards – self-assured – clear in his expression and gets to the point – he has a vision about the way in which children should learn together – nice chap… plays cricket.”  I cannot attest to his cricketing skills, but those who have met, worked with or been taught by Mr Dobson, will know that he is all this and more.  He has seen several hundred students through their GCSEs, quietly inspiring them to achieve their best when some felt that their best was never achievable.  He has always been on the students’ side, supporting them to the hilt, even when he may not have completely agreed with the choices that they made.


As for his future, he is keen to remind anyone who asks that he is not retiring.  He is, in fact, having a ‘gap decade’ where he hopes to fulfil many of those ambitions that being a teacher impedes from finding form.  (That might be a small clue).  Even these, which will become clearer in the next few months and years, are ambitious, and just like Mr Dobson, are in keeping with the School’s motto, ‘Ever to excel’.


Mrs Andrea Hyslop 

Mrs Hyslop joined the School ten years ago as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator for one day a week.  She has worked with many students over the years, enabling them to reach their potential and giving advice to parents and students.  Her success was such that her role expanded so that at the end of her time with us, she was her for two days a week.  She has been more than generous with her time.  Having spent many years juggling two roles, and after a brief illness, she has decided that she wants to focus more time on her own plans for the future and so, with regret, she leaves us at the end of the year.


Mrs Gill Cook

Mrs Cook joined the School as a Learning Support Adviser five years ago.  Her duties have been numerous and various.  They have involved: supporting a range of students on a one to one basis who have needed help in one way or another to fulfil their potential, running the time management course for Year 10, helping all students with study support skills, running homework clubs to help students to get back on track, working with heads of section to ensure all students are making good progress and compiling the student passports.  Beyond her work in the Learning Support department, Mrs Cook became involved with day and residential trips to France, the Lake District and the Peak District.  She has also supported the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at all levels.  Although she was a part-time colleague, she had a full-time commitment to our students.


Angela Warmouth

Mrs Warmouth taught cello and violin at the School for 20 years, guiding students through their examinations at all levels.  A student of the Royal Academy of Music, she is an accomplished cellist and the strength of our string ensemble is thanks to her dedication.  She has willingly allowed her home close to School to become an examination centre, meaning that Caistor students could take their exams close to School rather than making the journey to Grimsby.  A little known fact is that Godfrey, the School cat, belongs to Mrs Warmouth.  We wished her farewell at Tuesday evening’s Summer concert.

We also say goodbye to…

Mrs Janet Dobson who taught Technology for this year for us and Mrs Dinah Allan who taught Music this term.  Mr Kevin Redgrift, one of our site team is leaving us at the end of the summer to take on a caretaking role closer to home at Scartho Primary Academy.  Our two PE trainee teachers, Miss Jessica Allen and Mr Josh Ward depart having successfully completed their placement year with us.  Our Arts/IT Technician Mr Matthew Thompson is leaving us after his year to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire in September while Miss Molly Craig, our Science Technician will be studying children’s nursing at Sheffield Hallam University.  Mr Kris Smy, our network manager and DofE Bronze coordinator, completed his Computing degree in Computing and is leaving his current School role to train with us a Teacher of Computing from September.  Mr Joe Moloney, our PE Technician, will be with us next year but this time as a trainee teacher in the PE and English departments.


New roles for 2018/19

And finally, Mr Michael Robinson, who has been the Head of Lower School (Year 7) for 14 years, will be taking on a new challenge as Head of Computing.  In his pastoral role, he has overseen students’ transition into CGS, ensuring that each and every one feel settled.  He has devised many initiatives over the years.  Anyone who can get 100 Year 7 students to take part in a mass line dance has a level of expertise that mere mortals can only dream of. Miss Turner will be the new Head of Lower School (Year 7) from September.


Merit and REF winners

 Congratulations to the following students who have achieved high merit and citizenship scores this term.

Year 7: Maia Farnsworth, Dylan Ho, Evie Binns, Pippa Wilmot

Year 8: Hania Obaid, Savannah Moss, Raneem Jaibaji, Holly Bradbury

Year 9: Amelia Terry, Madeleine Roberts, Fareedah Saluwu, Alston Rodrigues, Jasmin Leward.

Congratulations to the following students who have been acknowledged for their contribution to our REF ideas (Respect, Excellence & Friendship).

Year 7 Saquib Jajja, Tyla Redhead, Molly Raithby

Year 8 Kaajal Gupta, Lukasz Grab, Charlotte Davey

Year 9 Ben Shale, Eve Hewitt, Harry Nickells

Physics and French Gifted and Talented Day 

This is the second year that this initiative has been held.  An amazing day was had by all 28 students, selected for their hard work and progress in Year 9.  Split into 6 groups, the students had to design, construct and test a model facility to store nuclear waste (an egg) for the French nuclear power company, EDF.  Whilst doing this, additional problems were set such as researching relevant scientific concepts, mathematical calculations, selecting a suitable geographical location, strict time management and all within a very tight budget.  They presented their project and findings, in French and English, to a panel of experts including Mr Holland (French), Mrs Donoghue (Physics) and returning former student and engineering graduate Adam Walker (Manufacturing Engineer).  The whole group of students performed fantastically during the day and choosing the winning design was incredibly difficult due to the amazing variety of imaginative designs.  Eventually the panel of experts went with the design from Hala Aabed, Dakota Sylvan, Emily Thompson, Caitlin Beaumont and Will Payne. Thank you to Mr Holland, Mrs Donoghue, Miss Craig and Mr Walker for their support.

Summer concert

We enjoyed a superb concert on Tuesday evening from our very talented musicians. Thank you especially to students in Years 10 and 11 who returned from work experience or their extended summer holiday to perform for us. Thank you to the Friends who, thanks to the warm weather served drinks outside. Thank you to Mrs Thompson, Mr Thompson, Mr Warmouth and Mrs Allan for leading the event.

Challenge of Industry 2018

Last week, we hosted our annual Challenge of Industry Competition.  Held across two days, the event pitches students against one another in teams of eight or nine.  They have to design, market and sell a product in a little over 12 hours of working together.  Groups are decided for them and some unexpected challenges presented to them.  Mr Hay, Head of Year 12, supported by Mrs Stones, from the Learning Support Department, put together a demanding day for the students and assemble a diverse range of business advisors to support them. Thank you to them and to the following companies who released staff for two days: University of Lincoln, Skanska, Ann K Robinson Chartered Accountants, Lovelle Estate Agents, the RAF, Apostleship of the Sea (Hull), the Bride Outlet, Lincolnshire Police, ARH Tucker & Son, OSL Consulting and British Steel.  The winners were Sterling, made up of the following students: Momin Ali, Esther Baker, Benjamin Bedford, Francesca Dyas, Bailey Bradshaw-Nuttall, Chloe Brown, Aisling Stenton, Jamie Wallace and Isobelle White.


I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of our school uniform requirements for students in Year 7 to 11 and so allow you to prepare for the start of the new academic year. Parents should pay particular attention to the uniform items of girls’ skirts and boys’ trousers, which in some cases do not adhere to the school guidelines.  The skirt should be a box pleat skirt, worn to no more than two inches above the knee.  In addition, girls’ trousers should be a formal black style and should not be of a ‘skinny’/tight fit, nor should they be a typical 5 pocket jean style.  Boys trousers should be charcoal grey in colour and not black.  For further guidelines please see items on the web site of our uniform providers Greenswear (  The only jewellery which should be worn is a wrist watch, single plain ring and single ear studs; please dissuade students from coming to school wearing wrist bands, bracelets or necklaces.  Make up and nail varnish are not permitted.

Other news

Well done to Harrison Tuite (Year 9) who has just won the ‘Road to Wimbledon’ county final 2018.  A tremendous achievement: he has now gained a place to play at Wimbledon in two weeks’ time and also have a couple of tennis lessons with former British no 1 Tim Henman… Mr Harris of the English department led the recent MENCAP Readathon, raising £813.62 for charity… Students in Year 10 and 12 went to London yesterday (Thursday) on the art trip.  They had a chance to view Emily Shilling (Year 12) and Laura Jackson’s (Year 13) work on display at the Mall Galleries Exhibition. Thank you to Mrs Porter, Mrs Shilling and Mrs Jago who led the trip, returning late last night… Hannah Scott (Year 10) is having her hair shaved off today for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Hannah has already raised in excess of £300. I expect this will increase… Four students have been supporting the primary school’s end of year production of Joseph.  Thank you to Hollie Routledge, Charlotte Davey, Pearl McCann and Maddison Bray (all Year 8) for lending their talents and for continuing to build links with other local schools… Congratulations to Millie Wallace (Year 9) who this week competed at the Fernie Pony Club One Day Event held at Rolleston, Nottinghamshire.  She came 6th and has qualified for the Regional Championships to be held at Keysoe in September… Tom Mead (Year 12) has secured a scholarship at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for September 2019… If you want to read more about School from our students’ perspective, then please read the latest edition of Caistor Focus, which will be available online soon.  Thank you to Mr Davey for editing this publication.


And after all that, it is time for a holiday!  Thank you for all your support this year and thank you to all the staff at the School who work hard to enable our students to achieve their potential in a range of ever impressive activities and academic endeavours.


I wish you and your families a very happy summer holiday. The new academic year starts on Tuesday 4 September.


Yours sincerely,

Alistair Hopkins