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Headmaster’s Letter 28th February

Posted on 28th February 2020

Dear Parent

House Drama

One of the highlights of the school year is House Drama. Younger students, led by Year 12 and Year 13, have been practising every lunchtime to bring to the stage their interpretations of some classic stories. On Wednesday next, Year 7-10 will make their to the town hall to watch their peers. In the evening, for benefit of friends and family, they do it all again. I would very much like to invite you to the event, which starts at 7pm and will be completed by approximately 9pm. If your son or daughter is performing or working in the technical department, please would you ensure you complete the ParentMail form about supervision. I hope everyone enjoys the experience.

Senior Prefect Week

This year the Senior Prefect Team will be running a ‘Stress-Ed’ week from the 9th to the 13th of March. This week will consist of a variety of lunchtime activities, as well as leading whole school assembly, that aim to promote strategies students (and staff) can use in order to deal with stress in their everyday lives. Activities include: Zumba, meditation, making stress balls, vegan food tasting, ‘hot chocolate and a chat’, film day and others still to be confirmed. I have very much enjoyed working with the team this year. The students are:Anna Carter & Will Gale (Head Girl and Head Boy) and the Senior Prefects: Jyothi Cross, Francesca Hannath, Aimee Mason-Lynskey & Jack Swain.

Friends’ Race Night

The Friends are holding their Race Night on Friday 6 March at 7pm, in the Dining Hall. Tickets cost just £5, available through Parentmail, to include a hot supper. Anyone can attend; people don’t have to have a connection with school, so friends and relatives are most welcome. It is a really fun and exciting evening, so we hope you can join us. There is a full bar for drinks.

The Friends are still looking for some sponsors, which costs £25. This can either be a business or a family, and there is an opportunity to feature a business on both the Friends’ Facebook page and in the race cards on the night. This is a great way to get your business known within the school community. You also get to name the eight horses that run in your race, so the funnier the name the better! If you would like to get involved, please contact the Chair of Friends at

Technician positions

The application window is now open for our PE and Performing Arts Technicians. These two posts, which commence in September, are aimed at students looking for a gap year either before or after further education courses. More details can be downloaded from the website. Details have been posted in form rooms and on noticeboards in Casterby.

Design and Technology Exhibition postponed

It is with regret that I have to inform you that the D&T exhibition has been cancelled. We are considering running it later in the year. Ofqual, the body that runs examinations, informed us this year the display of ‘unmoderated’ examination work is not allowed under the Ofqual’s guidelines. This is a great shame and disappointment to A level and GCSE students as the exhibition was a tangible deadline for practical work and an opportunity to have their work judged by parents and peers. We are looking at some alternative dates towards the end of the calendar year when the coursework pieces will have been moderated.

Mace Public Speaking Competition

I would like to wish our MACE public speaking team every success when they take part in the North East regional final on Tuesday 3 March at St Aidan’s CE High School in Harrogate. Our representatives are: Toby Barnett, Rio Rawlings and Emily Sharman. Thank you to Mrs Barnett, the Exams Officer, for taking the students to Harrogate.

Term dates for 2020/21

The consultation has now been completed and I will send a letter to parents on Monday morning about the decision that we have reached. I apologise for the delay but the three head teachers have agreed to publish a joint response at the same time.

Exam timetables

Exam timetables were given to all students in Years 11 and 13 in the final week of last half-term. Please ensure that you make a copy and post them up at home somewhere where all the family can support the candidates – and also (yes, this has happened) ensure that they know when they have a morning or afternoon exam. There is lots of help available in the form of lunchtime classes, as well as having teachers available who are happy to answer questions.

Pancake race postponed

You would have heard a collective moan from School on Tuesday when it was announced that the House Pancake race had to be cancelled due to slippery conditions. We are going to try again next Tuesday.

Coronavirus/ COVID-19

I have written several letters this week keeping parents informed about UK Government advice concerning precautions to guard against the spread of the virus. Posters are on display around the school which re-enforce good practice about hygiene. I will keep you informed about any changes as and when I receive advice. In the meantime, copies of a Department for Health poster have been displayed in School. If you would like to read it, please click here.

Congratulations to..

Two students will be competing with their dogs at Crufts in Birmingham next week. I would like to wish Chloe Watson-Bryans (Y7) and Jennifer Ketley (Y13) every success… Daisy Williams (Y9) secured the winter JC and Hickstead qualification on the Sunday of half-term with her horse King III.

Yours sincerely

 Alistair Hopkins