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The “Student Questionnaire” letter

Posted on 29th January 2016

An important Term

Our Spring Term has started very well.  It is an important one in the life of the School.  This is not least because it contains a large number of Parents’ Evenings which are crucial events in helping us to do the best job we can for your child.  Parents’ Evenings happening in this Term are as follows:  Year 11 on Thursday 4th February, Year 12 on Tuesday 9th February, Year 9 on Thursday 10th March, and Year 7 on Wednesday 23rd March.  Year 11 are currently digesting the results of their mocks and will then be seeking to make appropriate adjustments in response to them.  Meanwhile, students in the Sixth Form in both Year 12 and Year 13 are having mocks during this Term in order to help them cope with the demands of a new external exam structure at A level.  Year 11 students received their Reports on Wednesday 27th January.  Year 9 will receive their Reports on Wednesday 24th February.  Year 10 will receive their Assessments on Wednesday 2nd March.  Year 7 will receive their Assessments on Wednesday 9th March.  Year 12 will receive their Reports on Wednesday 16th March.  Year 8 will receive their Assessments on Wednesday 23rd March.

This is also a Term of many foreign trips.  The History department trip to Russia departs on Thursday 11th February.  The Ski trip to Bormio, Italy, departs on Friday 12th February.  The French Homestay trip departs on Friday 19th February.

The results of the Student Questionnaire 2016

I am happy to share with you the results of this year’s Student Questionnaire which was carried out earlier this term with a comparator from last academic year which was carried out towards the end of the Autumn Term 2014.  In this questionnaire, which is given out every year, students have the opportunity to write exactly what they wish about many different aspects of the School.  Generally, being the young people we want them to be, they are not slow to comment on things which do not please them.  This is something I am particularly conscious of because I read every single questionnaire when they are completed.  However, when all the numbers are put together, they provide a really very positive picture about the School and one which is very similar to that provided last year.  This suggests that the student body’s overall feelings are fairly settled.  We take the questionnaire very seriously.  It has been discussed at a School Council meeting, at a Senior Leadership meeting and indeed at a Governors’ meeting and already some improvements have been made to our working in response to some students’ suggestions.  I was impressed with the serious and thoughtful way in which the School Council discussed the questionnaire and I commend them for that.  One of the Senior Prefect Team pointed out to me that the most remarkable thing about the questionnaire was that it happens at all in such a thorough way and that its results are so widely circulated and discussed.  This speaks powerfully of the School we wish to be:  not one where everything always goes to plan, but one which is prepared to look itself in the eye and to seek to make improvements where possible.  I hope you will be encouraged by looking at the results.

The 2015 DfE Performance Tables

This year’s DfE Performance Tables at both GCSE and A level provide an impressive and wide-ranging survey of Caistor Grammar School’s success, once again.

At GCSE, we are the leading school in terms of 5 A*-C including English in Lincolnshire for the 8th year running.   Our average point score (Best 8) is the leading score in Lincolnshire at 420.5 and the 69th highest score in the country.  Our total point score is 587.8 and this is not only the leading score in Lincolnshire but also the 35th highest score in the country.  In terms of the English Baccalaureate, our score of 88% is the 2nd highest in Lincolnshire and the 34th highest in the country.  In terms of Value Added at GCSE, our score of 1027.1 is the 4th highest among all schools in Lincolnshire and the 2nd highest grammar.  This is particularly impressive since our students arrive at the School with high base line scores.

At A level, our average point score per candidate is the leading score in Lincolnshire at 1079.5 for the 13th year in a row and it is also the 23rd highest ranking score in the whole country and we are the 18th ranked state school.  In terms of average point score per entry, our score of 237.1 is the 2nd highest score in Lincolnshire.  When considering Value Added at A level, our score of +0.11 is the 5th Best Value Added score in Lincolnshire (and the 4th highest ranking grammar school).  Again this is very impressive given our extremely good GCSE results 2 years ago which are a baseline for this Value Added.

Much attention is given in the Performance Tables to the levels of progress that students make in both English and Maths.  Our score for English is 95% making 3 levels of progress and 93% for Maths.  The English score is the 5th highest ranking one in Lincolnshire and the Maths department’s score is the 6th highest ranking one in Lincolnshire.  An analysis is also done of A*-C pass rates across the curriculum.  The English department has the 3rd highest ranking score in Lincolnshire, the Maths department has the 5th highest ranking score whereas Science and Humanities both have the leading scores in the county and languages has the 5th highest score.

Meanwhile, our attendance score of 2.7% absence is once again the leading score in Lincolnshire.  Taken together, this vast amount of information gives a clear indication that whichever indicator is used Caistor Grammar School is right at the top of Lincolnshire and one of the leading schools in the country.  This is an enormous testament to the hard work and skill of our students and the commitment and talent of our staff.  We are also very grateful to the key role played by parents in supporting their children towards fulfilling their potential.  Congratulations to the whole CGS community!

A magnificent DofE Awards Evening

We recently held a really wonderful Awards Evening for our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, hosted by our Co-ordinator, Mrs Jo Hoare, and her Deputy, Mr Dave Moffat.  No fewer than 78 students received awards: 35 Bronze, 29 Silver and 14 Gold, which is an astonishing achievement for our School.  Moreover, the current number of students involved in the scheme is even more incredible: 62 Bronze, 32 Silver and 28 Gold.  All this is only possible because of the incredible dedication of a large number of staff and Friends of the School.  My thanks go to all of them.  Below are listed all the people who were involved in the organisation of the evening.

Ms Jacky Secker and Mr Barry Sinclair:- Lincolnshire Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Office

Mrs Linda Cowland and Mr Kristian Smy:-   Caistor Grammar School Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Administration  and Technical Support Team

Mr Lawrence Brown, Mr David Buckle, Mr Mick Hoare and Dr Dan Wilton:- Caistor Grammar School Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Volunteer Expedition Assessors

Mr Ryan Bradley, Mr Christopher Buckle, Mr Lawrence Brown, Mr Gavin Cooke, Mrs Gill Cook, Mr Chris Frost, Mr Chris Hoare, Mr Mick Hoare, Mrs Heidi Leaning, Mr Mark Leaning, Mr David Moffat, Mrs Linda Moffat, Mrs Angela Palmer, Mr Norman Palmer, Mrs Linda Patrick, Mr Michael Robinson, Mrs Anna Sharp, Mr Dave Shepherd, Mr Phil Smith, Mr Kristian Smy and Mrs Jan Waite:- Caistor Grammar School Duke of Edinburgh’s Award  Volunteers and Supervisors

Mr Tom Smith:- Photography

Mrs Rebecca Shilling:- Display Boards

Another remarkable feature of this evening was that our Guest Speaker was Ms Bonita Norris, who is a British mountaineer and is the youngest person to climb Mount Everest and the North Pole.  Ms Norris was an inspirational speaker and the speeches from our current and ex-CGS students were very impressive too.  The full list of speakers at the Evening are as follows and I am thankful to all of them:

Bronze Award

Emma Thompson, William Chico, Powly Wijayaratna, Holly Mottram, Harry Craig, Freddie Marris, James Sprague, Fred Barker

Silver Award

Azreen Afzal, Orla Knowles, Jak Pickerden, Bridie Salmon, Eve Simmons, Luke Wakeman

Gold Award

Freddie Holmes, Charlie Hewis, Sarah Lodder-Manning, Holly Marris, Mathew Travis

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 – Hala Aabed and Charlie Lugsden.  7Y – Ella Clark, Henry Cullen, Siddarth Kamath, Jake Lawrance, Owen Noble, William Payne and Natalie Walker.  7Z – Alisha Osborne and Rojel Varghese.  The winners in Year 8 are:  8X – Ellie Brook, Halle Burchell, Jesse Devaney, Pawel Grab, James Hare and Chizu Obu.  8Y – Martha Cornell, Freddie Fearn and Amy Sugden.

8Z – Kamya Gandhi and Vignesh Kamath.  The winners in Year 9 are:  9X – Abi Bower, Isaac Heath, Tegan Hinch, Ewan Martin, Ellie Shepherd and Nikita Tan.  9Y – Anna Carter, Michael Durham and Sophie Grainger.  9Z – Ethan Dolby.

Congratulations also to our Merit winners for the Autumn Term.  These are given for academic achievement and citizenship.  The winners for academic achievement are:  Amelia Terry (7Z), Orianne du Bedat (7Z), Vignesh Kamath (8Z), Saffat Hossain (8Z), Indumita Prakash (9Y), and Anna Carter (9Y).  Whilst for Citizenship, the winners are:  Kiana Matthews-Carr (7Y), Thomas Wood (7Y), Charlotte Morton (8Y), Martha Cornell (8Y), Isabel Taylor (9Y), and Tegan Hinch (9X).  Well done to all these students!

Some outstanding performances from Year 11 students

Parents of Year 11 students should by now have received a copy of their Report.  Each Term, as you will know, our students get either an Assessment or a Report and each Term an average is calculated on the computer for their effort and attainment.  Slightly less scientifically, I award students who have done particularly well a triangle Δ (and students who have not done particularly well, an asterisk*).  We record these indicators as well.  I have listed below those students in Year 11 who have received a Δ in every one of their termly Assessments or Reports at CGS from the start of Year 7 until now.  I am also listing below the names of those students who just missed one Δ over the last 14 Terms.  Well done to them all!

Year 11 Students receiving a Δ in every one of their Assessments or Reports since Year 7

11X – Christel Bazoua, Charlie Bowtle, Philippa Bradley, Dominiqueá Clark, Gabriella Clark, Sophia Constantopoulos, Harry Craig, Kezzia Dennis, Saskia Garner, Alexander Goodburn, Emily Jackson, Jemi Maliyil, Elin Smith, Ella Suckling, Georgina Walkington

11Y – Charlotte Aukland, Holly Bignell, Lillian Coultas, Louis Debnam, Christopher Durham, Hannah Marland, Georgia Metcalfe, Holly Mottram, Lucy Myshrall, Adam Pountney, Katie Reddish, Joseph Shilling, Emma Thomsen, Olivia West, Ben Wong

11Z – Nithya Balchandra, Chloe Graves, Katie Greig, Emily Johnson, Grace McGrory, Julia Randle, Thomas Rollinson, Rohan Samuel, Lauren Shale, Joseph Shipley, Michelle Zietsman

Year 11 Students receiving a Δ in all but one of their Assessments or Reports since Year 7

11X – James Robey, Erin Shepherd

11Y – Tiegan Everatt, Harvinder Lewars, Alexandra McAdam

11Z – Omar Khaled, Powly Wijayaratna

School Transport

We are currently investigating the need for a school bus from Market Rasen and surrounding villages, to Caistor.  If this is a service you would be interested in then please contact Mrs Shona Buck, (, and leave your details.

Extra curricular activities for the Spring Term 2015

We are delighted to share with you the Extra Curricular Activities sheet for the Spring Term 2016 which confirms CGS as a vibrant place in which to grow up as well as to learn.

The Literacy Leaders are hosting a Scholastic Book sale, open at breaks and lunchtimes from Tuesday 2nd to Monday 8th February.  Last year we were able to buy over 100 books with the commission earned, and we would love to be able to do the same again.  Please try to support this worthy cause.

Recent Events

Year 9 were recently involved in World War 1 Living History Day.  Thanks go to Mr Marcus Croft, Head of History, for organising this event.  Congratulations go to the debating team who reached the regional final, comprising of James Smith (12FC) and Jessica Bowen (12FC).  Thanks go to Mr Nick Robinson for organising this event.  A team of chemists (Jemi Maliyil 11X, Laura Brady 10X, Guy Annis 9X and Michael Durham 9Y) took part in a “Top of the Bench” competition.  Thanks go to Mrs Heidi Leaning, Head of Chemistry, for organising this event.  Sixth Form students organised a Holocaust Memorial Assembly yesterday to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.  It was an impressive event.  We are grateful to Dr Dan Wilton for his help with this event.

And finally …….

This is the first opportunity I have had to write to you since the announcement has been made of my retirement at the end of this calendar year.  I feel exceptionally fortunate to have been able to work at Caistor Grammar School for such a long time and especially to have held the position of Headmaster.  I believe this to be an exceptional school, a wonderful place to work with tremendous staff, governors and most of all students, but 21 years of Headship is a very long time and it is a very demanding job.  My decision to retire should be viewed in that light: I have had a wonderful time, but now I am ready for a rest.

I look forward to seeing you some time during the Spring Term 2016.

With very best wishes

Yours sincerely



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