Sixth Form Applications for September 2023 NOW OPEN, please click here

Headmaster’s Letter 8th March

Posted on 11th March 2019

Dear Parent


A lot happening at CGS this busy week …


House Plays


House plays on Wednesday took place in the town hall: after last year’s snow we were back in our usual venue.  Like last year, Rawlinson, Hansard and Ayscough performed their three plays.  This year they were “A Caistor Carol”, “Legally Blonde” and “Peter Pan” respectively.  For the second of the three performances, judges Debra West and Cathy Bennett-Ryan from the Caxton Theatre Company, Grimsby, watched, reviewed and critiqued the performers writers, directors and actors before announcing “Legally Blonde” as the winner.  Just over 80 students across the school participated, but I would like to cite the following in particular for their guidance and leadership:  for Rawlinson, Lili Gregory and Emily Oldridge; for Ayscough Jyothi Cross and Oliver Sullivan; for Hansard, the winning play, Chloe Brown, Henry Montgomery and Maya McCann.  With the pressure off, for the third performance, we were joined by families to watch the students again for final polished performances.  Staff give up a great deal of time to make this happen and I would, on behalf of the students, like to thank the Heads of House, Mrs Cooke, Miss Dales and Mr Markham for all of the help that they give the house students.  I would also like to thank Mr Harris, Mr M Robinson and Mr Pountney for the technical and artistic support that they have given the students.


D&T exhibition


That same evening, back in school, the D&T department held their annual exhibition.  It’s a showcase for students’ efforts in Years 10 through to 13 who spend a great deal of time making, modelling and designing their products.  Evenings and weekends, as well as lunch hours, have been sacrificed to get their projects just right.  As I have come to expect, the quality of work is a testament to the efforts of the students and their teachers, Mr Donington, Mr Birch and Mr Hutson.  It was good to see so many Year 9 students attend as they can gain an insight into how high they can aim when they embark on this course.


World Book Day


Mrs Jago, the School librarian, led a literate charge this year.  Over 100 staff and students reflected on a book that meant a lot to them.  (Mine was Graham Greene’s “The Heart of the Matter”).  The Year 9 Literacy Leaders appeared in various lower school classes to read five minutes of Travelling Tales at the start of each lesson.  I do like the variety that the School encourages.  The seven students leading this initiative on Thursday were: Raneem Jaibaji, Hania Obiad, Sapphy Dunn, Erin Johnson, Benjamin Scott and James Sanderson.





English Speaking Union


The English Speaking Union team from Year 11 travelled to The Grammar School at Leeds on Saturday for the regional heats, representing Lincolnshire.  It was a close competition, with several commentating on our speakers’ wit, flair and erudition.  However, they came a close second to the winning team from Silcoates School in Wakefield.  Vignesh Kamath, Kamya Ghandi and Toby Barnett were brilliant ambassadors and could not have tried any harder.  Thanks to Mr McTernan and Mr N Robinson who worked with the team and to Mrs Barnett, who accompanied them to the tournament.


Pancake Race


The crowds gathered on the steps and upper terrace on Shrove Tuesday to watch the traditional Caistor Grammar School pancake race.  In its new home of the Middle Court, it was good to see the crowds return.  We have a boys’ and girls’ race where students from each year group have to perform four flips, negotiate a chicane and jump a couple of hurdles.  Hansard and Ayscough were equal first in the boys’ race while VAR had to be called in for one Sixth Form student’s unusual flipping technique.  Think the Fosbury Flop in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.  After much debate, it was agreed that the student was not travelling through their hoop and the result stood, so Ayscough won, taking the overall first for the Pancake Race.


Chemistry Olympiad


The results for the Chemistry Olympiad were announced this week.  Thanks to Mrs Leaning for entering and guiding  the students through some demanding questions.  The following achieved Gold: Emma Lunn, Joshua Morris, Fran Dyas and Peter Taylor.  Silver certificates were awarded to: Jacob Lawson, Thomas Christie, James Harling, Raian Jaibaji, Guy Lyons and Grace Holmes.  Bronze certificates were awarded to: Edward Raddings, Michael Durham and Lewis Beighton.  It is worth noting that the students whose names are in italics sat the Olympiad a year early – after only one term of A level work.


German Exchange


Year 10 and 11 students welcome students from our German partner school to CGS on Monday. Dr Wilton and Miss Turner have planned a series of events for the students and teachers from the Willibald Gymnasium in Eichsatt, Bavaria. These include trips to Lincoln, Hull and York, as well as quizzes, assemblies and a day in school. I am sure it will be a great success. Our guests arrive late on Monday evening so thank you to parents for collecting them and for hosting throughout next week.


Careers opportunities


Mrs Bradbury, the Head of Careers, would like me to make you aware of a couple of opportunities coming up for students.  On Saturday 16 March, EngineeringUK is hosting a Big Bang Family day at the NEC, Birmingham.  Siemens UK are also offering two-week work experience placements over the summer holiday.  Please use this hyperlink to find out more:


Uniform suppliers


Mrs Buck has been working behind the scenes to secure a second uniform supplier to the west of Caistor.  A frequent comment in parental surveys is that parents from Caistor, Brigg, Scunthorpe, etc. have to travel to Cleethorpes.  I am pleased to announce that following our uniform consultation earlier this year, in addition to Greenswear in Cleethorpes, Shah’s Uniform, 109-111 West St, Scunthorpe, DN15 6HX. (01724 844934) are also now stocking Caistor Grammar School uniform.  I hope that this helps parents.  Please remember that the girls’ skirt remains the same.


University Open Days


A couple of weeks ago, I emailed all of Year 12 with details of The Guardian’s annual university league tables.  It is an invaluable guide for students as they work their way through the tens of thousands of course on offer.  My advice is to plan ahead and to identify the courses that are of interest.  A small number of students have been extremely diligent and are already asking to attend open events.  The school policy is that students are allowed to attend four open events, including offer days, between the end of the Year 12 exams (late June) and the end of the Autumn term of Year 13.  (Interview days are not included).  It is much more valuable to be in School.  Please do try to organise events at weekend if at all possible.  Travel time is also a factor too.  If a student needs an additional day for travel, please explain why this is required in the request.  I know lots of students try their utmost to balance school and university needs.


Senior Prefect Team hustings


We begin the search for the next group of senior student leaders this Wednesday.  I am pleased to see that 25 students have decided to stand for either Head Boy or Head Girl and four additional senior prefect roles.  As well as their usual duties, I am expanding the prefect team’s remit by giving them specific roles, two of which will be advising on student e-safety and student mental health.  I wish them all well as they embark on their exiting (if occasionally challenging) leadership opportunities.


Friends of Caistor Grammar School


Raffle tickets will go on sale via students for the summer draw.  There are still a few spaces for tonight’s Race Night, starting at 7pm in the dining hall.  Tickets cost £5 and include a fish and chip supper from Savage’s.  This year. the Friends are raising funds for a new kiln for the art department.


Yours sincerely


Alistair Hopkins