Posted on 28th September 2016
Farewell to Mrs Amanda Gould
I am very sorry to tell you that Mrs Amanda Gould, our Catering Manager, will be leaving us after 24 years of very distinguished service on October 7th. The reason for this is that she has decided to purchase and run her own tea shop in Brigg. Thus, for her a new career and exciting adventure begins. She has given our School magnificent service over a very long time indeed. She is an immensely talented chef who has conjured up meals of amazing quality in very large numbers every school day. Every individual will have their own favourites to remember but for me it has been her home-made soups which day after day have been a delight. For others, I know it will be her salmon lying on a bed of couscous or her legendary chicken pie. Her years of greatest achievement were probably our Sports College period when a great deal of emphasis was put on healthy eating with subsidies provided by our specialist status to boot. It is a measure of her ability and her imagination that we moved from a period of chips effortlessly into a new healthier era. She has led a dedicated team of caterers for our School which has been especially noteworthy for their loyalty and longevity of service. Together under her inspired leadership they have done a great job for us. We are exceptionally grateful to Mrs Gould and wish her all the best for a new chapter in her culinary endeavours.
A Splendid Awards Evening
A packed Caistor Parish Church enthusiastically supported our Awards Evening last week where more cups and prizes than ever – 186 at the last count! – were presented. I am hugely grateful to all those students and their parents who attended for perhaps 30 seconds of personal glory and an hour and a half of supporting other people’s achievements. This great gala event seems to very satisfyingly embody the community we want to be. I am very happy to enclose some extracts from the 28 page Awards Evening programme but if you wish to read the whole thing, it is to be found on our website and you can access a number of photographs there, too. Our Guest Speaker at the Awards Evening was Mr Simon Cohen, an ethical entrepreneur and real world philosopher who was inspiring and challenging in equal measure. In his address, he asked each of us to reflect on what were the most important things in our lives and then to evaluate the extent to which we were actually living lives that put these most important things at the top of our priority list. It is clear from talking to many students that he made quite an impact. We are very grateful to him for spending the best part of a day with us and engaging with a number of years groups before the evening started. You can also read about his visit on our website. Awards Evening involves a tremendous amount of work and preparation and I am very grateful to all those who were involved in its creation.
An impressive Year 7 Sleepover
I am delighted to report that the new Year 7 are making an extremely good impression in the School. They are smiling a very great deal, eager to do well and are quickly learning very good habits. Our traditional way of bonding them to the School community – our Year 7 Sleepover – went extremely well recently and once again this was because so many people have had to give up their time and support it in a whole host of ways. I am of course especially grateful to Mr Michael Robinson, Head of Lower School, for his leadership of the event but I am also grateful to many teachers and members of the non-teaching staff who were magnificent. As always, the Friends of Caistor Grammar School rose to the challenge and supported our endeavours. Meanwhile, numerous Sixth Form helpers were really tremendous and I think brought home to Year 7 minds that everyone in the School wants them to settle well and to prosper.
An opportunity to become a Parent Governor
The Governing Body has two Parent Governor vacancies. This is because two Governors have left recently. Mr Tony Lyons has made a very long and distinguished contribution to the Governing Body and has been Chair of the Personnel Committee for a number of years. An ex-teacher himself, he has been very committed to the Maths Department and offered unstinting support in many areas. We are grateful for his humanity and practical thoughtfulness. Mr Glenn Burton-Fletcher has been Chair of the Governors’ Finance Committee for the last 3 years and has brought his expertise as a Chartered Accountant to this weighty position. We are very grateful too to him for his ability to make very complicated issues seem more straight forward and to offer new ideas and solutions to familiar problems. We now seek nominations from parents who are prepared to serve a four year term and are willing to take on the role of Parent Governor. Nominations should arrive with me by noon on Monday 10th October 2016.
The Governing Body normally meets six times a year and Governors additionally serve on one of the three Committees, which meet about three or four times a year. We hope candidates will also feel able to support the life of the school. Anyone who is a parent of a student on the school roll is entitled to stand. In this context ‘parent’ includes guardian. A candidate must be proposed and seconded by other parents of students in the School. Each candidate is also asked to submit a short personal statement of about 100 words explaining why he or she feels it appropriate to stand for election. These statements will be circulated to parents with the ballot paper, should an election be necessary.
REF Ideal and Merit winners Summer Term
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 – Cavan Waite, 7Y – Willow Cleave, 7Z – Liam Doughty. The winners in Year 8 are: 8X – Trinity Herberts, 8Y – Bethany Adams, 8Z – Holly Cook. The winners in Year 9 are: 9X – Kate Jennings, 9Y – Eleanor Hills, 9Z – Jade Servat.
Congratulations also to our Merit winners for the Summer Term. These are given for academic achievement and citizenship. The winners for academic achievement are: Natalie Walker (7Y), Rosie Barker (7Y), Vignesh Kamath (8Z), Saffat Hossain (8Z), Anna Carter (9Y), Indumita Prakash (9Y). Whilst for Citizenship, the winners are: Benjamin Hughes (7Y), Matthew Linsley (7Z), Charlotte Morton (8Y), Lottie Bacon (8Z), Molly Davy (9Z) and Charlotte Marshall (9Z). Well done to all these students
Help us if you can
Attached to this letter is the information we send out annually about our School Fund. This fund exists to support the wide-ranging and ambitious extra-curricular programme of the School. It helps, for example, to run our minibus and to help with those varied extra expenses which make all that we do possible. For many, many years we have asked for the equivalent of £5 per term, or £15 a year in a one-off payment and now we are raising that to £20 as a one-off payment. This is simply an indicative figure of the sort of money we would like to raise if everyone contributed. We quite understand that not everybody will be able to make a contribution or wish to make a contribution; it is entirely up to you. We are also aware, however, that some parents are both able and willing to make a much larger contribution than £20 to support the life of the School and we would like you to consider doing that if you could. This year, exceptionally, I am also writing to you to consider supporting other aspects of the School’s life, if you are in a position to do so. You will hear from many quarters, the newspapers and television, about the difficulties which schools face in making their budgets balance. Simply put, the amount that schools receive per student is being reduced year on year and has been for the last 4 years (at a rate of -1.5% per year). Meanwhile, the costs to the School in running our service are going up so we are paying out more but receiving less. This clearly cannot go on forever without there being a problem. Currently we employ three student technicians to help with the smooth running of the School in PE, Performing Arts and Science. They really do offer us an invaluable service. However, we were finding it extremely difficult to pay for them this year. We are looking to raise something in the order of £15000 to pay for them for the next academic year. If you could help in this area we would very much appreciate it. Cheques should clearly identify that you are supporting our Student Technicians’ Fund and/or our School Fund. You may choose to write two cheques, or one, or none. Again, it is entirely up to you. However, I can promise you that all the money that we receive will be well spent in supporting the education your child receives.
As an Academy, we can claim Gift Aid back from HM Revenue & Customs on eligible donations. So if you are a tax payer, every pound donated by you is worth £1.25 to the school, making your donation go further. To ensure that we can claim please complete and return to the School the enclosed Gift Aid declaration included on the School Fund Donation Form. One Gift Aid Declaration can apply to all future donations to the school indefinitely.
Please find attached a School Fund Donation Form which can be completed and returned to school, together with your donation. If preferred you can make your donation by bank transfer or Standing Order. The School Fund bank details are: Sort Code 30-95-05, Account Number 02548232, Caistor Grammar School Fund Managed Account, Lloyds Bank plc, High Street Lincoln Branch, PO Box 1000, BX1 1LT.
Macmillan Coffee Morning
Year 11 students write to you as follows:
“We would like to invite you to our annual Macmillan Coffee. Macmillan is a charity which aims to support cancer sufferers from diagnosis, in treatment and post treatment. They are a team with professionals and volunteers who attempt to ensure that no-one faces cancer alone. Macmillan is a registered charity which relies upon donations to keep helping people face cancer.
Our Coffee Morning will be held in the School’s Old Hall between 10am and 12pm and all parents, carers and friends are welcome. We would be very grateful I students/parents would bake cakes for this event. Students will also have the chance at morning break to buy cakes at our cake sale, outside the School’s Staff Room. For the first time last year, we broke the £1000 mark with the money we raised and we aim to break that again. However we can only do this with your support.”
Being photographed at Caistor Grammar School
If you have visited our School website recently, you will be aware that we take lots of photographs at CGS and they adorn our walls as well. We hope that students and their parents are proud to be seen carrying out their lives as CGS students but we are aware that this can be a sensitive matter. If you do not wish your child to be in any photographs on our walls or on our website, please will you notify the School Office of this and we will seek to ensure that they are not.
With very best wishes
Click here to read the Friends Newsletter
Click here to read Mr Hale’s speech from Awards Evening