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Headmaster’s Letter 8th June 2018

Posted on 8th June 2018

Dear Parent,

Sports Day

Sports Day, held yesterday at the King George V stadium, Grimsby, was an opportunity to witness our School’s very special character on show. Firstly, you would have seen the support and enthusiasm with which students applauded their friends. This included the cheers festooned upon the record breakers (see below) and the support and encouragement for those bringing up the rear, often with a battalion of house captains and Year 12 students running alongside them. Secondly, the day was run with clockwork precision. The Head of PE, Mr Shutes, supported by Mr Shepherd, Mrs Ellerby, and our trainee teachers, Mr Ward, Miss Riddel and the PE technician, Mr Moloney, managed to orchestrate all the students and staff so that every eventuality was catered for and every event happened – on time. Thank you to them and the staff at the venue. Behind the scenes, our admin team (Mrs Glentworth, Mrs Newton and Mrs James,) ensured that arrangements were in place for the whole school to move from Caistor to Grimsby for the day, accommodating some last-minute changes. Finally, our Year 12 students played a vital role in ensuring that the whole day runs smoothly. The House Sports captains ensure their competitors make it to the events on time while they, and their peers, support, cajole and encourage all of our students to give their best. Many individuals achieved more than they thought they could thanks to their resolve and the limitless support from the role models in Year 12. Thank you once again to them.

There is currently a steward’s enquiry over the results. I hope to confirm the outcome with students early next week. All I can say is that the outcome of one event changed last night. The final result still make it a close-run thing, closer than previous records. Ayscough won the Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 girls’ competitions; Hansard won the Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 boys’ competitions. Rawlinson won both Year 10 competitions.

As for School records, I can confirm seven were broken. Congratulations to the following:Chizu Obu (Year 10, Boys’ 100m); Chima Obu (Year 7, Boys’ 100m); Josh Knapton (Year 10, Boys’ Hurdles); Will Plaskitt (Year 8, Boys’ Hurdles); Suzanne Bate (Year 8, Girls’ 800m); Henry Cullen (Year 9, Boys’ 1500m) and Year 7 Girls’ 4x100m relay.

After last year’s cancelled event, it was encouraging to see an abundance of good-natured competition continuing to flourish amongst our students. This was also Ms Turner’s last sports day leading Hansard. She received a huge cheer from students yesterday but I would also like to say thank you to her for four years of leading the house. She starts a new role in School in September. Miss Dales will be the new Head of Hansard.

Lincolnshire Show

The Lincolnshire Show is less than two weeks away and I wanted to remind you again about the School’s policy if you plan to submit a request for absence.

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”.  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.)

Friends’ raffle

Our School Friends group are continuing to try to swell their coffers so that we can make some improvements to the School’s environment. Two forms are neck and neck for the circus skills afternoon. I’m keen that the responsibility for spending much of this year’s fundraising is delegated to the students so please support this aim, if you can, by purchasing tickets.

Summer menu

Our summer menu for the second half of term is now online. You can find it on the School website. This is also an opportunity to acknowledge Mrs Hitchcock’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality and range of food on offer. She has done such a good job that she has unfortunately been headhunted by the catering supplier Brakes, who supply our kitchens, to work with other businesses. I wish her every success with this new challenge which starts in early July. Mr Smy, our IT Network Manager is also changing jobs. Having just gained his degree through the Open University, he will be training to be a Computing teacher with us from September. Mr Smy’s job is currently being advertised on the School website.

Good Schools’ Guide

We had a visit from the Good Schools’ Guide, the leading review journal for UK schools,  before half term and their report is now on their website ( We don’t pay anything to appear on their website or in their publication so it really is an unbiased view. I am afraid that I cannot send you a copy as I would be breaking their copyright but it is extremely positive. However, I would like to quote the following snippets for you. The guide says the School has ‘Dedicated teachers praised for taking a calm approach’ and that ‘Sixth form mentoring of younger pupils [is] effective.  Lots of extra support including revision sessions.’ Further, ‘the atmosphere was very laid back, relaxed and welcoming, but there was a real sense of purpose’, and, ‘strong friendships are made here, it’s the sort of school where everyone knows each other, and looks out for each other,’ was said more than once.’ The summary paragraph said ‘there is plenty of choice locally but Caistor stands head and shoulders above the others’. The journalist added ‘a school that offers an all round education, not just good grades.  Able children are taught an excellent work ethic, independent thinking and are well set up for later life, nurtured and encouraged within a very tight, close-knit community.  They are very fortunate.’

Have a good weekend,

Yours sincerely

Alistair Hopkins