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The “A wonderful Fancy Dress day at CGS” Letter

Posted on 20th November 2015

A wonderful Fancy Dress “Children in Need” day

We all enjoyed a really memorable day at School last Friday supporting “Children in Need” and raising money for this great cause (£871.18 at the last count), in considerable style.  We are grateful to all students and staff for their enthusiasm and especially to a group of students, Anna Carter, Indumita Prakash, Tegan Hinch and Isabel Taylor who raised extra money with a cake sale and Fancy Dress competition at lunchtime.  I do urge you to go to the School website and check out the pictures there.  You might also look at my Twitter feed – easily accessible by clicking on the little bird in the top right hand corner of our webpage, even if you don’t have a Twitter account yourself.  .

The Annual Parents’ Questionnaire: Tell us what you think

It is that time of year again when we ask parents to fill in our Annual Parents’ Questionnaire.  (We are sending you two copies home with this letter.)  We really appreciate you taking the time and making an effort to complete this form and returning it to us.  All schools are exceptionally accountable to a whole range of constituencies, not least, their parental body and it is vital for us that you tell us what you think.  If you are happy, believe your child is exceptionally fortunate to attend this school and daily count your blessings that they are here, then please emphatically tell us this!  Similarly, this is an ideal opportunity to express any concerns or doubts or disappointments you have with us.  (Though, of course, I would not want you to wait for a whole year to do that – simply pick up the phone or send us an email.)  Our questionnaire form is also available as a separate attachment on line just in case you are reading this not having had the actual Parents’ letter delivered to you.  You should know that concurrently, our staff have completed their questionnaire and we will soon be asking students for their views too.  Last year all three sets of results were extremely positive and we hope that the same will be true this year.  If so, it will be a very important validation of all our work and effort.

Two new Parent Governors

Congratulations to Mr Melville Christie and Mrs Kerry Nilsson.  Commiserations to Mrs Maria-Isabel O’Donoghue and Mrs Nicola Thompson.  We are very grateful to them all to be prepared to serve the School and to all those parents who voted.  A reminder too that the Friends of Caistor Grammar School is a vibrant and friendly group with lots of parents in it as a very good way to become involved in the life of the School and to help us be a better community.

Success in three different events

Well done to the two teams who entered the Kids’ Literary Quiz last week.  One team comprised of Pippa Baugh, Holly Cook, Imogen Horton and Frankie Shepherd.  The other team comprised of Olivia Borgstrom, Jessica Meacock, Evie Piper and Kayleigh Suddaby.  Well done to both teams, but particularly to the first team who won their regional heat and will now go to the national final in Oxford.  We are grateful to Mrs Katherine Jago and Mr Rob Harris for organising this event.

Congratulations to the Senior Maths Challenge team who won their regional heat and will go to London to the national finals.  The team comprised of Ben Tuckley, Daniel Jackson, Charlie Hewis and Sam Braben.  Thanks go to Mr Michael Robinson for organising the event.  The U19 netball team also recently won their tournament and are now through to the regional final.  Thanks to go to Mrs Ellerby for organising this event.

Well done to Charlie Hewis and Dylan Moss who have qualified for the British Mathematical Olympiad.  Ben Tuckley, William Walker, Ben Garnett, Daniel Jackson and Daniel Bassett have qualified for the Senior Mathematical Kangaroo Competition.  The results of the recent Olympiad are as follows:

Gold award

Year 13: Charles Hewis, Dylan Moss, Benjamin Tuckley, William Walker, Ben Garnett

Year 12: Daniel Jackson

Year 11:  Samuel Braben

Year 10: Daniel Bassett, Gavin Wu

Silver Award

Year 13: Samuel Reed, Leonie Brummitt, Charles Kenny, Matthew Travis, Sven Schygiol, Thomas Steer

Year 11: Saskia Garner

Year 10: Peter Taylor, Laura Brady, Joshua Morris

Bronze Award

Year 13:  Robert Cowan, Ashin Leons

Year 12: Nina Leggett, Benjamin Etchell, Jasturan Padda, Georgina Walker

Year 11:  Michelle Zietsman, Nithya Balchandra

Year 10: Thomas Christie, Alexander Sedman

Congratulations to all these talented students.

A tremendous House Music

Our House Music competition – both Junior and Senior and public performance – this year were really magnificent.  It was a vintage year!  We have remarkably talented students and they work together to great effect.  Huge thanks go to Mrs Fran Thompson, our Head of Music, and to Miss Ellie Robey, our Performing Art Technician, for all their work behind the scenes.  We are also grateful to our three Heads of House: Ayscough – Mr Stephen Markham, Hansard – Miss Rebecca Turner and Rawlinson – Mrs Fiona Cooke.  In the end it was Ayscough who won the Junior competition and Rawlinson who won the Senior competition.  But everyone was a winner!  I would also like to list those students who were involved in organising their House contributions:

Ayscough:  Sophie Siemaszkiewicz, Charlie Hewis, Sam Reed, Holly Marris, Leonie Brummitt, Grace Glevey, Sven Schygiol

Hansard:  Alice Hardy, Alex Newton, Callum Croft, Rawan Jaibaji, Eleanor McCormick, William Walker, Dilasha Gurung, Sophie Macleod

Rawlinson:  Anna Kent, Matthew Travis, Ben Ayres, Claire Nicholson, Martha Kent, Isabella Chase, Rebecca Jex

Finally, a big thank you to our technical team, who are inspired and overseen by Mr Michal Robinson which comprised of James Gillett, Ben Etchell, Joe Shilling, Guy Annis and Pippa Baugh.  They were fantastic!

Request for help in finding Work Experience placements

Our Year 10 students are starting to look for work experience placements.  All 96 of them will be going out on work experience from July 11th – 15th 2015 and it is sometimes difficult for them to find suitable placements.  If any parents (or friends of the school) can offer placements in their workplaces to one or two of our pupils at this time, we would be delighted to hear from them.  There is a requirement that placement providers need to have Employers and Public Liability Insurance and a Health and Safety Policy; this normally rules out enterprises of fewer than five employees.  If you think you might be able to offer a placement, or would like further details, please contact Miss R Turner, Head of Careers, at the school on email or telephone 01472 851250.  We are always very grateful for the support which parents provide at this time.

Sixth Form Open Evening

We are holding our annual Sixth Form Open Evening for entry into our Lower Sixth in September 2016.  We very much hope that every student in our current Year 11 will attend with their parents, but we also warmly welcome students currently attending other schools.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please do encourage them to come along. The Evening will start at 7pm prompt and will begin in our school gym on Tuesday 24th November 2015.

School Uniform

We would like to thank parents once more for your support with school uniform this term.  Now that the weather is colder, students can wear hats, scarves and gloves at school when wearing an outdoor coat over their blazer, but they should not be worn inside school.  In addition, boots are not part of School uniform.  They may be worn to and from school, but school shoes should be worn around the School site during the school day.

School Trips

We are very fortunate at Caistor Grammar School that our staff are so enthusiastic and willing to give up their time to organise many trips and activities for students to be involved in.  These are usually very successful and hugely beneficial to the students involved and to the overall excellent quality of relationships that exists generally between student and student and student and staff in the School.  However, it would be wrong for students or parents to believe that these trips are an entitlement.  Recently on a School trip, there was some bad behaviour and the staff involved felt very let down and disappointed.  This, quite naturally, led them to question whether the investment of time and effort was worthwhile.  As Headmaster, I will never require a member of staff to either organise a trip or take students on that trip whom they do not feel comfortable being responsible for.  Students and parents need to understand this.  It is also worth pointing out what a difference a “thank you” from a student and a parent at the end of a trip makes.  Many will say that in the rush to collect belongings and meet up with parents this is difficult to manage.  And I would reply that emails work well too.  We receive surprisingly few emails thanking us for the many and varied activities we provide for students.  Perhaps the Parents’ Questionnaire will be a good substitute for their absence but in general I think we should say thank you more.

With very best wishes

Yours sincerely



The Questionnaire can be downloaded here.