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Caistor Grammar SchoolHeadmaster's NewsHeadmaster’s Letter 10th May

Headmaster’s Letter 10th May

Dear Parent

Year 11 – farewell (for now) and thank you

It’s hard to believe but we have reached that part of the year when we say farewell to Year 11. They depart today for their study leave. After the traditional fancy dress parade first thing, it’s doughnuts in the canteen, a ‘this is your life’ slideshow and then we head off paintballing. When they get back, they receive their year book, a hoodie and depart through the 1631 door of the Old Hall with a final handshake from the Head. It’s then the small matter of GCSEs…

I spoke to the year group on Wednesday morning to tell them how proud I am of them all. They have conducted themselves superbly these last two years as they have worked towards this moment. Their achievements have been considerable – house events, school plays, a very successful work experience week in Year 10, charities, community work, team sports – they have left their indelible mark upon their school. Each has talents (even if they don’t realise it) which they have ‘loaned’ to us. They have added numerous ideas to the school’s development and I intend to continue their initiative that our ‘Christmas’ day in December is used as a fundraiser for local foodbanks.

Their characters have been in part moulded by the tutor team of Mr Frost, Mrs Leaning and Mrs Dowthwaite as well as all the staff – teaching and non-teaching – that have supported them. I must thank them as well as acknowledging the guidance that Mr Davey, their head of section, has given and before that, the contribution of Mr Dobson. As well as giving them the best chance academically, I hope that School has taught them to be prepared to embrace the changing world in which they live, and I hope too that they see their hard earned qualifications as a key that will open many doors for them. To illustrate this point, I always refer to Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken. Giving students the confidence to make brave decisions is a school aim that I hope all can see. Of course, I hope to welcome back as many as possible in September to start their A levels with us. For those not returning, I again thank them for all they have done and wish them every success.

In addition,…

As Year 11 (and next week Year 13) begin study leave, I wanted to share an article from The Sunday Times. I hope it gives you some guidance about how you can best support your child through these demanding few weeks – for parents and children. Please click here.

Battlefields

The Battlefields trip departed early this morning for northern France and Belgium. I am grateful to Mrs McNeilly and Mr Davey for giving up their weekend for the 20 Year 12 students on the trip. They return on Sunday.

Open evening

Open evening is this Wednesday 15 May. Thank you to parents that have given permission for their son or daughter to support departments or to guide prospective students around the site. You will have received some permission slips through ParentMail that I would be grateful if you would complete to ensure that we know where the students in our care are. The evening finishes at 8pm. I would be grateful if you could collect your son/ daughter promptly. The roads around the school will be very busy so please park responsibly, even if you’re parking up for just a couple of minutes. Residents quite rightly become frustrated if visitors block driveways. Thank you for your understanding.

Be Aware

I have updated the Be Aware page of our website with a new handout about the video sharing app ‘TikTok’. The app has evolved from Musical.ly. The app has a reputation for being safe and free from trolling but there have been recent news stories about users harassing children for photos. The article explains how you can change settings and spot accounts that might be masquerading as someone different. There are further links to other sources which you might find useful as you seek to educate your child about the positives and negatives of social media. In addition, the new mobile phone policy will start on the first day back after May half-term. In school, we do all we can to protect students when they are using the Internet. We cannot block 3G or 4G (soon to be 5G) communications. Please seek advice from your service provider concerning the filters that can be implemented.

Careers events

Mrs Bradbury, our Head of Careers, has passed me some more details of upcoming events that students might like to consider.

  • Year 12 students interested in a career in property (building surveyor, town planner, sustainability consultant, financial analyst, etc.) have the opportunity to attend a free four day summer school at the University of Reading from 22 to 25 July. I quote: ‘The Pathways to Property Summer School allows students the chance to explore the property industry in more depth. With such a huge variety of roles, from a building surveyor or town planner to a sustainability consultant or financial analyst, there is a role to suit any skillset or personality.’ If you are interested, you need to apply for a place by 31 May. Here’s their website: https://hly.ac/2ITaXm1
  • Those students interested in a career in dentistry could consider this evening at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, on Thursday 27 June (6.30pm to 8.30pm). It is suitable for students in Years 9 and above. You need to reserve place by emailing: nhs.talent@ulh.nhs.uk They need the student’s name, school, year group and contact details. Please mention the date and location above.

Lincolnshire Show (19 and 20 June)

I have received the first absence request for the Lincolnshire Show. To avoid any confusion (or embarrassment), I’m publishing the School’s policy.

I do not want any student who is following an external exam course, that is students in Year 10 or Year 12, to miss school to attend the Show.  Year 12 also are planning university visits (please accept that we do not want students to miss more than four days off school for this purpose) so I think there are enough other distractions from normal School routine.  Further, I think that if students do wish to go to the Show – Year 7, 8 or 9 – it should be because they are going with their parents – not their friends – and they have a genuine interest in the Show, perhaps because they are from a farming family.  If an application is still made, please can this be explained in the section on “Reason for Absence”.  We have a list of the students who have attended the Show over recent years.  I hope the above will be accepted by parents and students in the spirit in which it is intended: that each day at Caistor Grammar School is a special learning opportunity to be prized and that if a large number of students miss school, it undermines the educational experience for those who remain.

Congratulations

Sam Biglands (Y8) had a wonderful weekend representing U13 Market Rasen and Louth Rugby Club at a tournament in Southport, Liverpool. Sam plays scrum half and worked tirelessly to keep the ball in possession. By the end of the weekend, the team scored an impressive 41 tries meaning that they lifted the trophy. The team were praised by officials for their teamwork, sense of respect, enjoyment, self-discipline and sportsmanship.

All good wishes,

Alistair Hopkins
Headmaster

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