July Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers

As we reach the end of what has been a very busy academic year at Caedmon College, it is my pleasure to write to you to reflect on some of the highlights of the last 12 months, to thank and say goodbye to valued colleagues who are leaving, and to detail the arrangements for the start of the new school year.


There are so many extra-curricular events that have occurred over the course of the school year, it is difficult to summarise these in just a few lines.  During this last half term, for example, our sporting teams have been enjoying success in cricket, rounders and athletics. Several of our students, having done well at the district trials, went on to represent our district in the North Yorkshire championships in York last month.  Today, on the final day of term, our Y9/10 boys cricket team are playing in the final of the local schools’ cup competition in Scarborough.  On Monday evening, many of you will have enjoyed listening to a number of talented individuals, groups and ensembles perform at our “Summer Musical Evening”, and the previous week saw our Years 7 and 8 “Drama Llamas” group perform a short play, directed by some of our Year 12 A-level Theatre Studies students. As this term finishes, a group of our Year 10 students are enjoying a residential ‘university immersion’ experience at York St John’s University; this caps another really busy year of careers information, advice and guidance that is an almost weekly feature at Caedmon College for one year group or another. Over 40 of our Year 10 Health & Social Care students have recently successfully completed a week’s work experience in local primary schools, medical or care home settings; our Duke of Edinburgh programme continues to go from strength to strength, with recent expeditions including trekking across the North Yorkshire Moors and canoeing in the Lake District; and the whole school enjoyed our annual Sports Day last Friday.  None of these enrichment activities could happen without the expertise and commitment of my colleagues here at the College. I am sure that you will support me in thanking them for their time and effort.

As you will be aware, the governors of Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School consulted their respective communities during the winter about proposals to federate our two schools. These proposals received an overwhelmingly positive response from staff, parents and the wider community, and I am happy to announce that, after several months of preparatory work, the Whitby Secondary Federation came into existence last week. From this point onwards, the two schools will be governed by a single governing body, initially consisting of 12 of the former governors of Caedmon and Eskdale (6 from each school) as well as the two Headteachers.  For its first year, this governing body will be chaired by Mrs Pen Cruz (the most recent chair of governors at CCW), assisted by Mrs Carolyn Watkinson (the most recent chair of governors at Eskdale) as vice-chair.  These are exciting developments for Whitby and its surrounding area.  As I explained at the start of the consultation phase, Caedmon and Eskdale now move forward as two, independent and separate schools, with their own Headteacher, uniform, curriculum models and staffing, but with the benefits that will arise out of closer partnership working.

One of the most important tasks for our new federation is developing our post-16 provision in Whitby.  As you will no doubt be aware, the Scoresby Site is becoming our dedicated sixth form centre from September 2019. We moved our current Year 7 and Year 8 students onto the Normanby Site as soon as the GCSE examinations finished in mid-June allowing building works to commence on the Scoresby Site.

In this first phase of redevelopment, we are building a common room/café area in part of the original main hall, as well as creating a spacious learning resource area on the first floor.  Alongside refurbished classrooms and an expanded range of courses for students to choose from, we are confident that we are creating an attractive sixth form centre that the young people in our area can be rightly proud of attending.

The building works are progressing well and are due to be completed in late August, in good time for us to welcome students into the renamed ‘Whitby Sixth Form’ in September.

There are several developments on the Normanby Site taking place during the summer too.  We are installing a new drama studio within the main building and remodelling our Learning Resource Centre to reflect the change in its use from being primarily focused on the sixth form to now being a resource for the teaching and learning of students in Years 7 to 11.

Last week was our Transition Week for the 104 (and counting!) local Year 6 students who will be joining us in September.  When we gathered them together for their first assembly, they formed a magnificent kaleidoscope with their different primary school uniform colours. The next time we see them, of course, they will be in their smart new Caedmon College uniforms, suddenly looking very grown up! Thanks to the work of our primary colleagues, we are confident that the new group will be a very engaging and successful year group as they proceed through the College.

Finally, as the school year draws to an end, we say ‘goodbye’ to valued members of our school community.  Below I’ve detailed the staffing changes occurring this summer.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Year 13 and Year 11 students. I have been very impressed by the manner with which they have approached their studies this year, and the exemplary way in which the A-level and GCSE examinations were conducted this summer. I am sure that you would wish to join me in wishing these young people every success with the next stage in their education or training.

Staffing changes

As we finish for the summer, we will be saying goodbye to a number of valued colleagues who are leaving us to move to other schools or are pursuing different careers and interests.

  • Mr Deason is leaving the College for the second time! Having been a student here on the Normanby Site in the mid-1970s, he is leaving Caedmon this summer after 41 years of distinguished service as a science technician. His encyclopaedic knowledge of all of our scientific equipment and stored chemicals will be greatly missed. He has a great interest in astronomy and I am sure that he will continue to be a regular visitor to the site on cold, dark Sunday evenings to use the telescope we house, along with his friends from the Whitby Astronomical Society. Countless teachers and students have benefitted from his expertise over the years, and we wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.
  • Mr Firth joined the former Caedmon School in 1996. Before moving to Whitby, he had built up a wealth of experience, teaching in Leeds and Bradford, as well as an extended spell teaching English as a foreign language in South America. In the last 23 years, he has taught English, a subject he loves, to thousands of students. They have benefitted from his expertise in drawing out the creative side of every student he teaches. He is a published author, and this enthusiasm for his own writing has been channelled into extra-curricular activities such as a poetry club during his Caedmon School days, and more recently through his leadership of our ‘Creative Club’ on the Normanby S We wish him every happiness in the future.
  • Mr Gortzak leaves us this week after 20 years of teaching mathematics – first at Caedmon School and latterly at Caedmon College Whitby. Hundreds of students have benefitted from his expertise and love of mathematics. In his days at Caedmon School, he ran the Chess Club, organised numerous mathematical enrichment events and was, for a time, the leader of Resolution House. Mr Gortzak is passionate about mathematics and over many years has developed a highly effective pedagogy that draws the best out of the students he teaches. We wish him well in his next venture – a temporary teaching appointment in his native Sweden.
  • Mrs Mastrolonardo leaves us this week, after over 17 years of distinguished service at the College, to take up a new teaching post at Thirsk School from September. This is a poignant moment for her because, not only was she a student at the former Whitby Community College, her three daughters have recently been taught at the College and continued into the sixth form. As a PE teacher, she will in her time have taught just about every student enrolled at the College. She has led the PE department with distinction, teaching a range of GCSE and A-level courses, and more recently introduced an Applied Psychology course into our sixth form. It is as our Head of Year 13 that I have known Mrs Mastrolonardo, and I have really appreciated the academic and pastoral support that she has shown to a range of students in this crucial final year of their education. Her first love is sport of course, particularly netball, cross-country running and athletics, and countless students have benefitted from her commitment to extra-curricular sport – at school, district and county level. We wish her well in this next exciting stage of her career.
  • Mr Corcoran leaves us this summer after 17 years of distinguished service to the C Having studied in Leeds – coincidentally with Mr and Mrs Mastrolonardo, the first part of his teaching career was in the Nottingham area before he moved up to the North Yorkshire coast. For many years, he was Head of PE at Whitby Community College, introducing a number of new qualifications in the subject at Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form, as well as running numerous extra-curricular teams. Football is his first love and, for a number of years, Mr Corcoran coached one of the North Yorkshire representative teams. In the last few days, staff at the College have been able to glimpse the ‘young Mr Corcoran’ when his old friend and colleague, Mr Mastrolonardo shared some photographs and memories of their university footballing exploits together and favourable comparisons to another left-footed mid-field maestro of that era – Maradona! In more recent years, Mr Corcoran has moved into a leadership role in the sixth form. Students in Year 12 in particular have really benefited from his calm, unflappable style as he has helped them to adjust to the rigours and requirements of sixth form studies. We thank him for everything he has contributed over all of these years and wish him well in the various ventures that he has planned for this next stage in his life.
  • Mrs Anscombe, another former student of the College, leaves us this week after 13 years of working in our Learning Resource Centre on the Normanby S Not only has she helped us to maintain this marvellous resource for our students, she has been able to provide support and encouragement for our sixth form students.
  • Mr Young, Mr Wilson and Mrs Morgan all joined the College in 2012 and are leaving this summer. After many years of distinguished service in the RAF, Mr Young developed a new career with us here at the College as one of our cover supervisors.  His adaptability has been a real asset to the College as, on a daily basis, he has covered for staff absences in classes of all ages and across a range of different subjects. He has also helped us to plan and organise trips, advising on any particular health and safety or supervision issues. Mr Wilson, through his photographic and music technology skills, has provided invaluable support to numerous colleagues in College and, in particular, has helped to organise many of our presentation and performance evenings. He has helped the College to establish and maintain a prominent presence on social media. Mrs Morgan has used her art background to support the students on our Foundation Learning Programmes, both at Key Stage 4 and in our sixth form. She has always encouraged these students to develop entrepreneurial skills and the Christmas, Easter and Summer fairs she has helped her students to organise have effectively drawn together the learning experiences of her students for parents to see. We wish all three of these colleagues well in their future ventures.
  • Ms Penrose-Stupart, Mrs Barnes and Ms Mussett are also leaving us this summer. Ms Penrose-Stupart joined Caedmon in 2015 as a newly qualified teacher and, in the intervening four years, she has really developed her craft as a teacher. As well as teaching Art and Graphics across the entire age and ability spectrum, she has made a huge impact with the tutor groups she has led. Her presence around the College will be missed and we wish her well as she takes up a new teaching position in Germany in the autumn. Mrs Barnes joined us three years ago. A biology-specialist, she has also taught across the entire age range at the College. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues in the science department and, in particular, by her form group whom she has known since she started with them in September 2016. She leaves to take up a teaching post at Stokesley School in September. Ms Mussett leaves us this week to take up a post in the PE department at Ryedale School. Although originally trained in PE, she has taught in our science department for the last two years, having previously taught PE in Scarborough. Teaching outside of your main subject specialism can be a challenge, but one that Ms Mussett has risen to with characteristic distinction. We wish her well in this next stage of her career and look forward to welcoming her and sporting teams from Ryedale to Whitby in the years ahead.
  • Finally, Mr Corner and Ms Hayton from our learning mentor team, and Ms Shepherd, one of our teaching assistants, are leaving us this summer to pursue the next stages in their careers. Mr Corner begins his postgraduate teacher training course in September, and both Ms Hayton and Ms Shepherd are looking at continuing their valuable work in other schools locally.

Calendar 2019/20

The term dates for students for the new academic year are as follows:

  • Half term 1 Tuesday 3 September – Friday 25 October
  • Half term 2 Tuesday 5 November – Friday 20 December
  • Half term 3 Monday 6 January – Friday 14 February
  • Half term 4 Monday 24 February – Friday 3 April
  • Half term 5 Monday 20 April – Friday 22 May
  • Half term 6 Monday 1 June – Friday 17 July

Please note that the staff training days for the coming year will be:

  • Monday 2 September 2019
  • Monday 4 November 2019
  • Friday 29 November 2019
  • Tuesday 14 January 2020 (please note that this replaces Monday 6 January as previously communicated, due to a late change of date for some external training that all teaching staff will be attending)
  • Monday 20 July 2020.

It is also worth mentioning that, as part of the national celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE day and the end of WWII in Europe, the government recently announced that the traditional May Day bank holiday will move, next year, to Friday 8 May.  The College will therefore be closed on that day. More details can be found on our website. We will remind you about these, and other key dates – such as parents evenings and various information events, when we return to school in September.

Start of term arrangements

Looking forward to September, Monday 2 September is a staff training day and the College will be closed to students. Thereafter:

Tuesday 3 September: The new academic year starts for students in Years 7 to 11 on the Normanby Site at the normal time of 8.55am. After an extended tutor period and ‘Welcome back’ assemblies, lessons will start from Period 2 onwards.

Enrolment of new Year 12 students into Whitby Sixth Form begins on the Scoresby Site from 9.00am, and continues throughout this week.

Wednesday 4 September: Years 13 and 14 students return for the start of their academic year with an induction at 9am onto our new sixth form site. Lessons begin from Period 2 onwards.  Enrolment of new Year 12 students will continue throughout this week.

Monday 9 September: Year 12 students should report to the Whitby Sixth Form centre at 9am. After an induction into the sixth form and orientation around the building, lessons will begin from Period 2 onwards.

Attendance at the College each day is really important, as is punctuality. Once the new academic year starts, please can you ensure that if your child is on the Normanby site they should arrive by 8.45am each morning, allowing them to proceed to their form base in time for a prompt 8.55am start to their tutor period. We have recently introduced a second bell at 8.58am. Students arriving after this point will be marked as being late.


Thank you for your continuing efforts in helping us to ensure that your son/daughter complies with the College’s uniform requirements. When dressed properly, our students look very smart. The full uniform guidelines are available on our website. Please may I remind you that our expectations about trousers are very simple: they should be black and tailored. A simple way of determining if a pair of trousers is tailored or not is to look for a waistline button and a zip to ‘do up’; leggings will not have these! Under no circumstances are black jeans, jean-style trousers or chinos acceptable.

Students arriving at the College in September, without the correct uniform, will be asked to change into the small amount of clean, laundered spare uniform that we have, or will be isolated until a parent or other family member is able to come into College with the correct uniform. Your help with this issue is greatly appreciated. Dealing with uniform non-compliance can be quite time-consuming – time that we would much better spent in supporting our students with their studies.

And finally …

Thank you for all of your support this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year as Principal at Caedmon College. It is a privilege to work alongside such hard-working and committed colleagues and it has been a delight getting to know so many talented young people across all year groups at the College. Caedmon really is a lovely school and there is so much that students, parents, staff and the wider community in Whitby can take pride in.

Whatever you have planned as a family over the next six weeks, I hope that the weather is kind. Please look out on social media for highlights of our A-level and GCSE examination results when they are published in August. We look forward to welcoming students back for the start of the new academic year in early September.

Simon Riley

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