The opening of the Olympic Torch Building

Posted on 19th September 2013

The opening of the Olympic Torch Building

I need to write to you to tell you about what a special day Monday was at Caistor Grammar School!  The OTB was officially opened by Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust and one of the key people behind GB’s success at the London 2012 Olympics.  We all agree that she spoke magnificently in two separate gatherings during the opening event.  Our guests gathered in uncertain weather on our tennis court just to the south of the building and had a superb view of it and especially its balcony, from which our choir sang “Caliban’s Dream”, which was written specially for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.  We were also graced by the presence of the Mayor of Caistor, the Chairmen of Lincolnshire County Council and West Lindsey District Council, as well as local MP, Martin Vickers.  We were delighted to welcome many people who had participated in the building process and we particularly want to thank our architects, Steve Bartle and Robin Loukes, our Quantity Surveyor, David Hewitt, and employees from our builders, Topcon, particularly Steff Senyszyn , who was the Site Manager.  The process of organising the building within the School was led by Mr Ed Cook, Deputy Head, with a good deal of support from our Site Manager, Mr Rick Broddle and our then Finance Manager, Mrs Sharon Woodhouse (now Mrs Claire Mosey).  We are grateful to all of them too.  The whole project would not have been possible without the ambition and drive of our Governing Body.  We particularly thank our Chair of Governors, Mr John Colley and our previous Chair, Mrs Lindsay Fell, who was instrumental in developing the plans to improve our science facilities, as well as the then Chair of the Finance Committee, Mr Brian Ruffell-Ward.  We were also pleased to invite any ex-members of staff, ex-governors and Friends of the School.

Listening, in the transient sunshine, to the singing of “Caliban’s Dream” was one of my best moments in teaching.  The choir, superbly led by Mrs Fran Thompson, Head of Music, did a brilliant job.  I am reprinting the words of this wonderful musical piece for you since they seem particularly resonant for our day.

And the rain tossed about us, in the garden of the world,
But a flame arrives to guide us, cast in gold between the anvils of the stars
Watching over all your children in the rain, and the streets where I remember,
Where the fire that lights a candle soars again.
Affirming flame, hear me call.
Through the darkness, hear it call to us all.
And stir again.
This beating heart, come to care.
And the light drives out our fears, And the joy drives out our pain,
And the nations come to greet us, waving open arms like waves of golden corn.
Ever hear us, oh the spirit of the world.  May your light be ever near us,
Always lead us from the dark, though we may fall.
We will fly.
And with love, ever call.

Praise for our fabulous five

We named the building the Olympic Torch Building because of our five then current students who carried the Olympic Torch last summer and because one of them, Alice Kaye, has donated her Torch for us to display.  On Monday all five of them appeared.  Joe Hewitt, currently in Year 11, Kate Pattison (Year 12) and now ex-students Tom Paine (who travelled all the way from Manchester University) and Alice Kaye and Jordan Duckitt, Cauldron Lighter, who delayed his departure to the University of Edinburgh just to be with us.  Both Alice Kaye and Jordan Duckitt gave brilliant addresses to our student body.  We are immensely proud of them and delighted that their achievement will now always be remembered at Caistor Grammar School.

Five counts in more ways than one

Five is a significant number at Caistor Grammar School in this Term because September 2013 marks 100 years in which the School has been served by only five Head Teachers.  Henry Ernest James Coxon became Head in 1913 and served until 1945.  Robert Capper was Head from 1945 until his untimely death in 1957.  Kenneth Gordon Michel (who sadly died last year) was Head from 1957 until 1981, and Trevor Foulkes was Head from 1981 until 1995.  I have been Head ever since.  I am very pleased that Mr Foulkes and his wife were able to be with us on Monday.  I am sure that one of the many secrets of CGS’s success is the stability of its teaching staff which is well illustrated by this example.

Please support the Friends of Caistor Grammar School

The Friends of Caistor Grammar School is an invaluable support to the life of the School in all sorts of ways.  It does raise money for the School but its main role is to support the life and work of the School.  We need new members on our Friends Committee and people who will be prepared to come forward and offer their service from time to time.  The Friends AGM is taking place at 7pm on Wednesday 2nd October and we would very much like it if you would consider coming along and supporting it and, if possible, offering your services on the Committee.  If you want to discuss this then you could contact the Secretary of the Friends and our School Librarian, Mrs Katherine Jago, by ringing the School.

Year 7 Parents: Come to our Treasure Hunt

Our Year 7 Sleepover last Friday night/Saturday morning was a tremendous success and we are very grateful to all those colleagues and Sixth Form students who made it possible.  I hope that all Year 7 feel bonded to us now.  We certainly feel close to them.  Another opportunity for the students of Year 7 to get to know us better and also for their parents to become a little more involved in what is going on at the School is our Year 7 Treasure Hunt, one of the things which is annually organised by the Friends of Caistor Grammar School.  This will be on Saturday 28th September.  Year 7 parents should already have received a letter specifically about this but I strongly recommend the event, which I will be attending and I hope that you will be able to join us.  Please do use the reply slip to confirm this.

And finally……

Accessing my Twitter account which can be found by going on to the School’s website and clicking on the small bird at the top right hand corner.  If you are really keen, you could become a “follower” and then you would receive all my tweets automatically.

The library is hosting a Scholastic Book Sale, open at breaks and lunchtimes, from Wednesday 18th to Monday 23rd September.  Monies raised will enable us to buy more books for the library, and also go towards the fundraising for new library shelving, so please try to support this cause.

With very best wishes

Yours sincerely