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The “The Extraordinary Wizard of Oz” Letter

Posted on 6th November 2015

The extraordinary production of “The Wizard of Oz”

Our last half term ended in a truly memorable fashion with an extraordinary production of “The Wizard of Oz”.  This was, once again, a mammoth production involving the huge cast and a vast production team.  The beautiful programme (thanks to Laura Johnson) listed over 135 names which gives some idea of the scale of the enterprise.  The quality of the acting, music playing, staging, directing and overall production was exceptionally high.  Many thanks go to all the students who were involved and to my many colleagues who supported the production including those who helped front of house or keeping order backstage and, in particular, Mrs Ailsa Wish, Mr Ryan Bradley, Mrs Anna Sharp, Mr Michael Robinson, Miss Ellie Robey, Mrs Katherine Jago (Producer), Mrs Frances Thompson (Musical Director) and Mr Rob Harris (Director).  The programme also lists a huge number of parents who helped with the costumes which were exceptional.  We managed to get a large number of them up on the stage after the last performance to thank them.  It was a wonderfully happy and joyous production, of which we can be very proud.

An election for two new Parent Governors

I would like to thank all those parents who have put their names forward to become a Parent Governor.  We have had an encouraging response and there will now be an election.  There are two vacancies available so each parent/guardian will have two votes.  On the attached sheet is a summary of the information which candidates have provided about themselves.  Please study this with care.  Also provided are two voting slips on the assumption that there will be two eligible CGS parents/guardians in the household.  Each person should fill in only one voting slip but can cross two names on the slip.  Voting slips should then be placed in a sealed envelope marked “Parent Governor Election”.  This should be handed in to the School Office by Thursday 19th November 2015.  The election has come about as a result of the retirement from the Governing body of two Parent Governors, Mr Martin Shaw and Mr Paul Seamer.  We are very grateful to both of them for their contribution, enthusiasm and loyal support of the work of the school.

Recent developments and activities

We are pleased to announce that Mrs Allison Clark has been appointed as the new Head of Middle School following the retirement of Mrs Jacques.  She has made an excellent start to her new job.

Currently our latest generation of Year 12 International Ambassadors are nearing the end of what has been a very successful visit to Tangshan in China.  You can see pictures of their visit on the School website and also on my Twitter feed.  We are very grateful to Mrs Anna Sharp and Mr David Moffat who have accompanied them.  This follows our hosting of a visit from students in Tangshan Foreign Language School, China, earlier in the Term and we are extremely grateful to Dr Dan Wilton, our International Co-ordinator for his work on this and to all those students and their families who acted as hosts.

There has also been another foreign trip which has been taking place over half term and which has just returned home: Year 8 French trip to Normandy.  They had a super time with a busy programme of activities in a delightful chateau, with excellent weather.  I am very grateful to Mr Andy Holland for organising this supported by Dr Dan Wilton, Mrs Gill Cook and Mrs Monica Jacques.

Supporting Children in Need

Next Friday, 13th November, we will, once again, be supporting Children in Need by having a fancy dress day.  I am grateful to the Senior Prefect Team and School Council for their support and enthusiasm in publicising and leading this very worthy charitable activity.  I do hope that students will enter into the spirit of it and dress in style.  We are charging £1 for the privilege so we hope to receive a sizeable amount on the day.  Please do support your children’s efforts for this event.

A memorable Sports Assembly

We held our annual Sports Assembly on Friday 16th October, with the aim of publicly recognising and rewarding the success and dedication of our top sports performers.  I am very grateful to the PE Department for all their work in producing this, especially our Head of PE, Mr Andy Shutes.  We were very pleased to welcome Rob Watson, the Foundation Phase Lead Coach with Scunthorpe United FC.

Below is the list of winners for this year.  Congratulations to them all and to everyone who was nominated for an award.


YearFootball WinnersNetball Winners
7Joey DawsonLily Welton
8Joshua HyldonMolly Alcock
9Alex KnoxOlivia Smith
10Lucas ButtonPippa Bradley and Lauren Shale
YearMale AthletesFemale Athletes
KS3William TateEmily Barratt
KS4Lucas ButtonImogen Smith and Lucy Wilson


Overall Sports Performers of the Year

Year 7Harry Russell-SpindleyFrankie Shepherd
Year 8William TateEmily Barratt
Year 9Angus HaswellLucy Wilson
Year 10Sam Redgate-LargeGrace McGrory

Procedure for requesting absence for medical appointments and for students taken ill during the school day

There have been several occasions recently where students who feel ill have taken it upon themselves to ring their parents asking to be picked up before getting permission to leave School.  The correct procedure if a student feels ill is for them to pick up a “Permission to go home ill” slip from the School Office.  This then requires completing and the student must get it signed by their Form Tutor, their Head of Year, a member of the Senior Leadership Team or Mrs Anna Sharp, who is in charge of First Aid in school.  The form then needs to be returned to Mrs Newton in the School Office who will then ring either a parent or guardian for them to be picked up.  When the parent arrives, they need to sign their child out of school.  Under no circumstances must the student phone or text home requesting their Parent/Guardian to collect them.

Term dates 2015/2017

I am happy to enclose the term dates for the next 18 months.  I very much hope that you will be able to respect them and to take any planned holiday or trips outside all term time.  The School has an Attendance Policy which can be accessed on the School website. If you do need to request to remove your child from School at any time, there is a special form for this, “Request for Absence” which can be obtained from the School Office and which must be returned to me at the School in good time.  The form can also be downloaded from the School website.

There have been issues recently whereby a few students have been signing out for medical appointments without completing a “Request for absence” form.  This is a requirement for all absences, including medical, and not just for holiday requests.

Revised policy on the use of mobile phones at CGS

The use of mobile phones in School has recently been in the news and is the subject of some controversy.  In the past we have allowed students to bring mobile phones into School because they are such a central part of young people’s lives and such an aid to communication with parents and families.  We have decided to continue this policy but we are concerned that phones should not be used in lessons and become a distraction to learning.  This expectation has been reiterated to students in Assembly and discussed at recent School Council meetings.  If a student does mis-use their phone, they can expect to have it confiscated for the rest of the school day.  If this mis-use is repeated, then they can expect it to be confiscated for the rest of that school week.  It will be returned to them on the Friday afternoon of that week.  Parents will be notified if this takes place.  We are hoping that common sense and good conduct will prevail and that this sanction will be very rarely used.  We hope for parental support in implementing this policy.

School Fund Update

We would like to thank parents who have contributed to our School fund and to our School Technician fund, which is to ensure that we can have three student technicians employed at the School next year to help school life run smoothly.  We are also very grateful to the Friends of CGS for undertaking some fundraising activities to support this project and in particular to CGS parent and renowned saxophonist, Snake Davis, who has kindly agreed to run a jazz evening in the Spring Term, so look out for that.  In the meantime if you have not yet contributed, it is not too late to do so.  Simply send in a sealed envelope marked either “School Fund” or “Student Technician Fund” or two envelopes.

A busy and eventful Half Term

This 7 week half term is an extremely hectic one, full of a wide range of activities and events.  In this first week, Year 9 will be visiting Beth Shalom where they will be very privileged to hear from Iby Knill who has specially re-organised her diary to speak to our students.  Next week brings our Remembrance Service on the 11th November.  We will also be holding a Parents Evening for Year 7 parents and students on Thursday 12th November.  Week 3 brings our House Music competition with Juniors on Tuesday 17th and Seniors on Wednesday 18th.  Wednesday 18th is the date of our public performance of our House Music with all the Junior items and the winners of the Senior competition.  All parents and friends are very warmly welcome to Caistor Town Hall for a prompt 7pm start.  There is no admission charge but raffle tickets can be purchased.  On Tuesday 24th November we will be having our Sixth Form Open Evening at 7pm in the gym.  We warmly invite our current Year 11 students and any student in Year 11 from another school who might be interested in joining our Sixth Form next September.  On Wednesday 25th we will be having school inter house cross country and our Newspaper Day will be on Wednesday 26th.  Our Autumn Concert is on Tuesday 8th December and our Christmas Evening Carol Concert is on Tuesday 15th December.  Year 13 Parents’; Evening is on Tuesday 1st December (they receive their reports on Wednesday 25th November).  Year 8 received their assessments on Wednesday 4th November.  Year 9 receive theirs on Wednesday 11th November.  Year 7 receive theirs on Wednesday 18th November and Year 10 on Wednesday 9th December.  Year 12 parents will receive their student’s self-assessment on Wednesday 9th December.

Christmas cards

The Friends of Caistor Grammar School have produced a unique Christmas card for sale, featuring the Old Hall, to help raise funds for the School.  The cards are available from the School Office in packs of 5 and the cost is £5.  We do hope you will support this fundraising venture

Our term ends at the normal time on Thursday 17th December.

With very best wishes

Yours sincerely