About MGS

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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Tuesday 17 July 2018


At the weekend two World Challenge groups left the UK to spend the next month in Madagascar.  About 20 students from years 12 and 13 have worked incredibly hard over the last two years preparing themselves for this trip and were so excited when they gathered together at school before leaving.  A big thank you to Mrs Brooks, Ms Arbizu-Powell, Mr Hathaway and Mr Zaccarini for accompany the students and ensuring they all come back safely. 
The glorious weather on Friday meant for a wonderful Lower School Speech Day outside in the Quad.  It is always pleasing to have these special events outside as it means the entire school community can be together in one place to celebrate the achievements of the students. 
For those who don’t know him I would like to acknowledge the incredible achievements of Hamish Reilly of Corpus Christi House.  Hamish participates in the National British Triathlon Super Series for Elite Youths – events that take him across the country.  He has had some fantastic results this year, including two 3rd places and one 2nd place, and is currently topping the series rankings in 1st place overall.  A couple of weekends ago Hamish competed at Eton Dorney and secured his first ever win in the Super Series – in the extremely challenging hot weather, he managed to keep a cool head and executed his race plan to almost perfection.  As such, Hamish has just received notification of selection to race in the International Super League which is taking place in Jersey at the end of September.  He is also hoping to be selected to represent the South East Region at the National School Games taking place at Loughborough at the end of August.  Well done Hamish and good luck.
Yesterday we welcomed a number of year 4 and 5 pupils into the school to attend out Brazil Extravaganza.  This event has run for four years and provides an opportunity for primary pupils to spend some time at MGS and interact with staff and students in Brazil-themed activities.  There were many smiles at the end.
Today is the annual MGS Sports Day.  The students competed in a variety of events for their respective houses ranging from trivial pursuit and music to the typical track and field races.  It was lovely to see everyone cheer their fellow house peers on.  Following Sports Day many of us will move from the field to the new pavilion for its opening.  The Ron McCormick Sports Pavilion, to give it its official title, is being opened by Ron McCormick himself, and will be a fantastic resource for the school, providing warm, dry and clean facilities for the students to get changed in.  It will be a pleasure once again to welcome Ron back to MGS, a teacher who has been associated with MGS since 1966.
And Friday is the last day of term when we say goodbye to the 2017-18 year and look forward to the summer holiday.  I am delighted to say that Mr Graham Walker, who is retiring this year after giving MGS 37 years’ service, will be speaking. The day will finish with the usual end of term assembly dismissing the students around 2pm.
 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Tuesday 10 July 2018


Welcome back from last week’s Extended Learning Week.  I hope everyone was able to have a very rewarding experience whatever they were doing.  A big thank you to the staff, adult volunteers and all the Old Maidstonians who ensured the students had a good time.  I look forward to hearing about the many stories over the coming weeks.
 
Much has happened during the last week, particularly outside of school and the progression of the England Football Team in the World Cup.  Who would have thought we would be in the semi-finals?  I am sure we will all be watching tomorrow evening.  Good luck England.
 
The warm weather continues and so it was right yesterday to allow students to come to school more appropriately dressed.  We always closely monitor the weather and make appropriate adjustments to ensure both the students and staff are as comfortable as possible.
 
This week is a busy one.  Last night was the 6th Form Prom at Leeds Castle: an event to bring the leaving Year 13 students together once more before the go off on their summer break.  Tonight is the Year 10 Parents’ Evening where parents of Year 10 come in and hear how their sons are progressing through their GCSEs.  Thursday we welcome next year’s Year 7 boys to join us for their Year 6 Induction Day: the aim being for the boys to begin to familiarise themselves with the workings of the school as well as make some new friends.  And Friday is the annual Founders’ Day Service and Lower School Speech Day: an opportunity to celebrate the founding of the school and to acknowledge the achievements of boys in years 7 to 10. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Tuesday 26 June 2018


Firstly, I would like to thank the students and staff of both the art and performing arts departments for last week’s Art Exhibition and Summer Showcase.  After a busy day at work it was good to enjoy an evening of creativity and performance.  I particularly enjoyed the art work of Nathan Hutchins of Corpus Christi House and the performance from Charlotte Simmons and Matthew Hau of College and Barton houses respectively.  Well done all. 

With the public examinations almost over students from years 11 and 13 return to school this week to hand back their textbooks that they have used for the last few years.  On Wednesday, we also welcome Year 13 back for their Leavers’ Tea – an opportunity for the students to say goodbye one last time before they disappear to enjoy a well-deserved summer break.  Cake and punch will be enjoyed by us all in the Quad.  

Friday is the annual Pre-Sixth Form Induction Day.  Prospective sixth form students from MGS and elsewhere spend a day in school learning about life in the sixth form and what to expect with their A-Level choices.  We hope they all have an enjoyable and informative day.

This week also sees staff put the final touches to next week’s Extended Learning Week.  We always look forward to this week, and we hope the weather holds out to give an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.  Good luck also to Year 12 and those students from Year 10 who have chosen to undertake a week’s work experience at that time.  

Finally, congratulations to Simon Coppard of Corpus Christi House who competed at the UK National U20 Athletics Championships last weekend at Bedford in the 800m. On the Saturday, he ran 1:52:93 in his heat and had the 3rd quickest time which allowed him to qualify for the final.  As the only U18 left in the competition, he was the youngest athlete by two years. In a hard and tactical final on the Sunday, he ran 1:53:90 and placed 7th.  As well as this competition, Simon ran the European Youth Championship qualifying standard in Brighton on the 30th May with a new PB of 1:50:82 and finds out soon whether he will be selected to participate at these international championships in Gyor Hungary for Great Britain.  Well done Simon and good luck.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tuesday 19 June 2018


Firstly, I would like to thank Year 12 for responding so positively to last week’s UCAS and PSHCE days; and to Ms Kruppa, Mr Holmes and all of the presenters for organising the event.  Two informative and productive days.

The main event this week is taking place tomorrow: the annual Art Exhibition, which this year is being called XI Hour, and the Summer Showcase.  Starting at 4pm in the School Hall there will be an opportunity to walk round and enjoy an art exhibition displaying students’ GCSE and A Level art work.  Jacqueline Davies is the guest of honour and will be speaking and making presentations at 5pm.  The exhibition will then be followed at 6.30pm with a performance from the Guadeamus Band and a showing by drama students of the excellent play DNA by Dennis Kelly.  Please be warned though that this play does contain some themes that are of a more adult nature.  Please do come along and enjoy an excellent afternoon and evening.  

For those who don’t know him I would like to acknowledge the incredible work that Sam Ghinn of  Barton House is undertaking.  Sam is in the GB Junior Men’s Gymnastics Team.  He trains 27 hours a week at the Pegasus Gymnastics Club on top of managing all of his school work.  He is currently training for the European Junior Championships and his ultimate aim is to compete at the Olympics.  On Saturday Sam competed in the U16 Gymnova Pegasus Open.  He had a good competition taking overall silver medal as well as gold on floor and pommel and silver on high bar, vault and rings.  His next competition will be the British Teams competition on 15th July and he will be competing at a senior level in a team representing Pegasus against the other top senior teams across the UK.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tuesday 12 June 2018


Thank you to Mr Holmes, Mr Goddard, Mr Chapman and a number of students who joined me on Sunday supporting the charity football match at Gallagher Stadium in aid of the Young Lives Foundation: a charity that supports vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Kent.  It was an enjoyable afternoon which raised a lot of money for the charity.  Thank you also to everyone who contributed a £1 at last Friday’s non-uniform day; another example of how charitable we are as a school.  We raised in excess of £1000.  Thank you and well done.
Today Year 12 are off timetable learning more about the UCAS process.  Ms Kruppa has put a very exciting programme together which includes outside speakers who hopefully will provide some motivating and inspirational words for the students.  The day follows last night’s Year 12 UCAS Evening where parents came in to hear from key staff about all things UCAS and the world of work, and follows yesterday afternoon’s Mock Results Day where students received the grades for their recent examinations. 
Tomorrow Year 12 are again off timetable to take part in a PSHCE themed day.  Students will experience a number of different workshops from first aid training and drug awareness to how to look after themselves financially. 
Also, today and tomorrow I am out of school attending the Grammar School Heads’ Association annual conference.  Each year all of the grammar school headteachers across the country meet in London to share thoughts and ideas about their roles and how they can all work together to support each other.  The conference is always very informative.  This year’s key note speaker is the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Education Minister, and in fact Old Maidstonian.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Tuesday 5 June 2018


Welcome back to the final term of the year; for those who were able to have the week off, I hope it was an enjoyable one.  Now term 6 has started, the GCE A Level examinations begin in earnest.  Year 13 students will now be joining students from Year 11 in sitting their examinations.  Examinations continue for the entire month of June.  Good luck to them all. 

Examinations in years 7, 9 and 10 are now complete.  Teachers are now busy marking them with results coming out soon.  Students in Year 12 receive their Year 12 UCAS exam results next week.  The publishing of them coincides with the Year 12 UCAS Evening next Monday: an evening for parents and students to understand the process.  We look forward to welcoming parents then.

Yesterday staff completed a day’s training on a number of things that included supporting students with diabetes and epilepsy, understanding the new data protection regulations and how they will affect what we do in school, and informing all staff on the new arrangements and processes for UCAS reference writing.  It was a good day.

This week we have our first Quad assembly.  With the weather being much better this time of year we are able to have the entire school at assembly outside in the Quad.  For me they are always enjoyable as it is rare to have the entire school community together. 

On Wednesday evening from 6pm we are inviting members of the wider school community to hear about our plans for an all-weather pitch.  Local residents, neighbours and parents are all welcome to attend the evening.  Please do let my PA, Mrs Friend know if you would like to come along.

On Friday this week we are holding a non-uniform day to raise money for the Young Lives Foundation: a charity that supports vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Kent.  The timing of the non-uniform day is poignant as the Young Lives Foundation is hosting a charity football match on Sunday 10th June at the Gallagher Stadium, kick-off at 3pm.  Do go along and support.  Tickets can be purchased on the gate.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

22 May 2018


Firstly, I would like to thank the entire cadet force for last Thursday’s CCF Biennial Inspection.  The Inspecting Officer and accompanying team enjoyed an afternoon in school watching a number of activities and drills conducted by the cadets and staff across all three contingents.  Once again the students were a credit to the school and to the contingent.  Well done and thank you.

 

Last Friday we said goodbye to the ‘Class of 2018’.  The students of Year 13 are now Old Maidstonians following an emotional few hours in school that culminated in their Leavers’ Assembly and the singing of the School Song.  Thank you everyone, and good luck in your up and coming exams.

 

Yesterday afternoon the ‘Family of MGS’ met for the first time to discuss how the School moves forward over the next few years.  The workings of the Parents’ Association, the Old Maidstonian Society and the MGS Development Fund are all integral in supporting the School to further develop the experiences of the students. 

 

Congratulations to Simon Coppard of Corpus Christi House who is now the Kent U20 800m Champion.  He has been the U17 Kent Champion for the last two years, so this event was a huge step up for him as he was the youngest competitor.  The race took place at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford and his time was 1.54.93.  Well done Simon.

Six boys in Year 9 are all part of Coxheath and Farleigh Junior Football club: William Riggs-Sutton, William Turner, Thomas Rankin, Matthew Taylor, Owen Jeffrey and Toby Griffith.  The U14 team has made it through to the Express Cabs League Challenge Cup Final – The Jack Small Cup, to be played at the Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone on 27th May at 12.45pm against Rochester FC. They have also, just at the weekend, become champions of the Express Cabs Primary League U14 division two. The parents, families, friends and coaches are so proud of the boys. They have worked hard the whole season, playing in all weathers to achieve this.  Well done boys for getting this far and good luck on 27th.