Posted on 27th November 2020
New post-lockdown tiers
Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire have all been placed in Tier 3 (Very high alert) when the current national restrictions end on December 2. Under the new guidelines, education continues to be an essential activity. We continue to operate in zoned/ bubbled groups, restricting visitor access to the site except for essential visits. Students will continue to wear face masks in communal areas (except classrooms) and we will continue to exercise the same hygiene regimen. The school day remains the same. Face mask/ face covering rules continue to apply on public and school transport. Students will also have to isolate for up to 14 days if they have had ‘close contact’ with positive students. Close contact is defined as being within one metre for one minute or two metres for 15 minutes. I appreciate that this is frustrating but we, like you, are doing our best to follow the guidelines and to ensure that we can remain open.
I changed the rules for the Sixth Form when we went into the four-week lockdown, effectively keeping the students on site throughout the day unless they could go home directly. The students were outstanding. It is therefore appropriate that as we move into a new phase of restrictions, the students are allowed to leave site during the day. Students must ensure that visits off site are deemed essential and restrict them to once per day. (It is acceptable to go between home and school several times for study purposes). The Rule of Six will continue to apply and journeys outside the start and close of the school day must have a purpose: going home, visiting the shops. Students should not gather in local parks or outdoor spaces while on school business. Households must not mix indoors. This means students cannot invite other students back to their house to study.
…other COVID updates
PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:
I am also aware that any student who has an in-patient visit to a hospital is now routinely tested. Our last confirmed case only manifested because the student received a routine COVID test as part of their visit. Parents were not aware that their child had been tested.
Please therefore check with hospital staff if your child has had a test as part of their visit and seek reassurance over how long you should wait to receive the test’s outcome (see ‘c’). Please contact me if you would like to discuss this point further as I realise it is a ‘grey’ area as students attending hospital will not be symptomatic or have a positive test.
Sunday Times Parent Power – School of the Decade
We were delighted to learn this morning that Caistor Grammar School has been announced as the Sunday Times East Midlands State Secondary School of the Decade. We will feature in the newspaper this weekend. I thought you’d like to read part of the press release that accompanies the award: ‘Parent Power is widely acknowledged as the most authoritative survey of the country’s best schools. The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the percentage of examination entries gaining A* to B grades at A-level (which is given double weighting) and the percentage of entries graded 9, 8 and 7, at GCSE and iGCSE.
Nick Rodrigues, the deputy editor of Parent Power, said: “One of the leading schools in the East Midlands, Caistor Grammar School ranks top in the region more often than not. It was The Sunday Times East Midlands State Secondary School of the Year in 2017-18, and with just under 700 pupils is a vibrant hub of activity where students’ talents are fostered and encouraged.
“This is an outstanding school where standards are clearly high, but it is also a community in which students can’t help but boast about the unfailing support they receive.”
A decade is a long time – it is important to acknowledge that this award is for staff, governors, students, both past and present!
Quaranteen – a second run
Thank you, once again, to all of you who purchased our Lockdown anthology! We are really pleased to have received several requests for additional copies and have decided that, if there is sufficient demand for a second edition (approximately 50 orders to make it viable), then we will go ahead with another print run (just in time for Christmas!). If you would like to order an additional copy, please email the Head of English, Briony.McNeilly@caistorgrammar.com by Monday 30th November. A donation will again be made to Young Minds, the UK’s largest mental health charity for teenagers.
It has been brought to our attention that there is another harmful TikTok trend going round at the minute. A film from 2011 called “Megan is missing” has been shared throughout TikTok, with users being challenged to watch as much as they can before they have to turn it off.
“Megan is missing” is a particularly disturbing film, where users feel like they cannot escape what they have witnessed. The film depicts the online grooming and subsequent abduction, sexual assault and rape of what is represented as a 14-year-old high school student.
We urge you to be aware of what your child is doing on social media and talk to them about what they may have seen online. Our pastoral team are ready to talk to any students that may have seen this trend and need support in school.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your child’s Head of Section.
County Lines Intensification Week
This week is County Lines intensification week across Lincolnshire. The Police and other agencies are focusing on how they can prevent county lines by helping to make vulnerable people aware of the risks and to recognise if they are being pressured.
‘County Lines’ is a term used to describe gangs and drug dealers from one area, generally cities, come to other areas to exploit vulnerable people into dealing drugs, etc.. It can involve violence and intimidation. County Lines is here in Lincolnshire. The gangs involved are exploiting people from the local area, and others who are coming to Lincolnshire. The ‘Look Closer’ campaign encourages the public to look closer at people around them, and by doing so they may spot the signs of vulnerability and exploitation, which can then be reported to Police or Crime Stoppers.
If you have concerns, you can call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or email. Young people also have the availability to report through FEARLESS.ORG (young arm to crime stoppers) which has an anonymous reporting form alongside a “hide” button if they are disturbed whilst reporting.
I realise that the last two section were bleak, but I hope you’ll understand that the emotional and physical safety of our students is paramount.
I trust you will have a good weekend,