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The ‘end of another year’ letter

Posted on 19th July 2017


It is hard to believe that we are at the end of another year.  This afternoon, we met in the church opposite school to give thanks to the School’s founders and all those that have contributed to the School’s growth and on occasions have prevented its closure.  This year’s service has been altered slightly to thank some of the School’s unsung heroes.  I am keen that students are aware that they belong to a School that nurtures their ambition and encourages their achievement, while at the same time being a part of a School that has been built on traditions and values.

Year 10 returned from work experience this Monday.  I was delighted to read the feedback and comments from local businesses and institutions.  Each and every one was an ambassador for our school.  They excelled their own expectations but matched ours.  As they step up and take on the mantle of being the GCSE year, I am sure that they will continue to work hard and strive to be the best that they can be.

Several events and activities have taken place recently.  Amongst these were the Year 12 students who were involved in a two day Challenge of Industry.  Thanks go to Mr Andy Hay, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, for organising this.  We have also had another Newspaper Day resulting in the latest edition of Caistor Focus.  Thanks go to Mr Richard Davey for co-ordinating this.  The students involved in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme were successful in their assessed expedition.  We are grateful to Mrs Jo Hoare, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Centre Manager for organising this.  Thanks go to Dr Dan Wilton for organising a language activity weekend for Y8 students and also a visit to Berlin for Y12 students that departed yesterday.

We are grateful to everyone who supported the Friends of Caistor Grammar School raffle which raised over £2000 and thanks go to Mrs Tracey Edwards (Chair) and Mrs Sharon Ferguson (Vice Chair) for organising this.


We say goodbye to several colleagues at the end of this term. Lutz Budtke has been our German assistant since April.  He has helped our A level and GCSE students prepare for their oral examinations.  Miss Rachel Robinson and Mr Tim Stewart, former students, have been excellent Science and PE Technicians.  They leave us to go on to higher education.  Miss Charlotte Adamson and Mr Sam Ottley have been outstanding trainee PE teachers (SCITTS) and have been snapped up by the Tollbar Academy Chain.

Mrs Cathy Spencer joined us in September 2014 as a part-time RE teacher.  She has assisted the department in drawing up schemes of work, accompanying trips and ensuring high standards for students.  She leaves us to take up a full-time RE post at Ermysted’s School in Skipton.

Mrs Jo Hoare has undertaken various roles at the school since she was appointed in October 2007.  In recent years, she has filled the dual roles of Educational Visits Co-ordinator, and lately, the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme Centre Manager.  Since we became a licenced centre, the scheme has grown from strength to strength, thanks largely to Mrs Hoare’s attention to detail and her ability to muster a strong group of volunteers.  She leaves us to pursue her own interests.

And finally, Mr Rick Broddle has been our site manager for 10 years.  It is a full-time role in every sense of the word.  He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the school site functions, is secure and while many of us are away enjoying our holidays, Mr Broddle is co-ordinating legions of contractors on a variety of projects.  My own memory is of Mr Broddle is gritting the site in sub-zero temperatures.  His loyalty to the School is matched by his commitment to Grimsby Town and he receives our best wishes as he retires and moves to Louth.

REF Ideal and Merit winners

Congratulations to those students who have won prizes for living out the REF Ideals last Term.  These refer to the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship.  The winners in Year 7 are: 7X – Holly Bradbury and Molly Thomas, 7Z Kaajal Gupta.  The winners in Year 8 are:  8X – Anya Cross and Eve Hewitt.  8Y – Rhianna Humphrey.  The winners in Year 9 are:  9X – Pawel Grab.  9Z – Callum Lilliman and Nisha Prabhakar.

Congratulations also to our Merit winners for the Summer Term.  These are given for academic achievement and citizenship.  The winners for academic achievement are:  Ava Farnsworth (7Y), Suzanne Bate (7Y), Amelia Terry (8Z), Faris Alderson (8Z), Francesca Shepherd (9Z) and Vignesh Kamath(9Z).  Whilst for Citizenship, the winners are:  Holly Bradbury (7X), Henry Clark (7Y), Theo Powell-Howard (8Z), Thushi Thulasiraj (8Y), Charlotte Morton (9Y) and Caitlin Smith (9X).  Well done to all these students!

Absence forms

I am grateful to parents for ensuring that School is a priority and arranging wherever possible, medical appointments, etc. after School or in holidays.  Next year, we will have two new forms, requesting permission for absence, both of which can be downloaded from the website.  These can be found in Parents/Useful Documents/Permission for Absence Form. For routine medical appointments, etc. these will go directly to your child’s form tutor for approval.  For requests that fall outside this (eg sports events, family-related absences, etc.) then these will come directly to me.  I hope that the notes are self-explanatory but do contact the school office if you are unsure.


Thank you for your continued support with school uniform.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of our uniform requirements and allow you to prepare for the start of the 2017/18 school year.

Please pay particular attention to the uniform items of girls’ skirts.  This should be a box pleat skirt, worn longer than mid-thigh length.  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.  For further guidelines please see items on the website of our uniform providers Greenswear (

The boys should wear charcoal grey trousers, not black.  The only jewellery which should be worn is a wrist watch, single plain ring and single ear studs; it would be helpful if students were encouraged not to come to school wearing wrist bands or necklaces.  Make up and nail varnish are also not permitted, and hair accessories should be discreet.

Attached is a copy of the school uniform guidelines for 2017/18 – this can also be found on the parent’s page of the school website.


The old bag racks are being ripped out in the first few days of the summer holiday and will be replaced by red and blue lockers, as asked for by the student council.  Please can you pay for the rental of your child’s locker as soon as possible via Parent Mail. While other schools have contracted this service to private firms (and charging just over £20 a year), we are charging £6 a year.  Pupils in receipt of pupil premium will not have to pay.

From September, letters and communications home will be sent home ostensibly using Parent Mail.  Communications will arrive in your email inbox on Friday.  If you have not signed up for Parent Mail, please email to receive your time sensitive log on email.

And finally…

I’ve very much enjoyed my two terms at Caistor so far.  Thank you for all of your support and for entrusting your child’s/children’s education with us.  I wish you and your family a restful holiday and look forward to welcoming students back on Tuesday 5th September.

Yours sincerely


Alistair Hopkins