About MGS

Welcome to the MGS Headmaster's Blog.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Tuesday 21 March 2023

It has been humbling to see how the MGS community has pulled together since hearing the news of the tragic death of a fellow Maidstonian last week. Our focus over the last 10 days has been to support each other and ourselves as we all come to terms with what happened. People have phenomenal capacity, and that has been evident all around the school.

Last Friday was another example of this, when we held a charity day to acknowledge Comic Relief. It was decided this year to split the money between Comic Relief and Maidstone Mind; and during the day sixth form students took park in a 300km rowathon as well as selling hundreds of cakes to the hungry masses. Thank you to everyone who took park and helped organise the day.

Last Friday we also welcomed back an Old Maidstonian who left here in 1978. He had kindly supported the resourcing of the new MFL department - a project that was completed last summer. His support at that time was greatly appreciated; it has already gone a long way to make a positive impact on the teaching of languages at MGS. Thank you.

At the weekend a number of the Royal Navy cadets had a wonderful time at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.  Whilst there they were trained to run a field gun, took small boats out onto the River Dart, learnt life-saving and man over board techniques in the pool, played water polo, and performed PLT’s on the low rope course.  Thank you to Mr Pinn and Miss Alloy for accompanying the cadets.

This week parents of year 13 students get to hear how their children are getting on at the Year 13 Parents' Evening. It is just under two months before the A Level examinations begin, so this parents' evening is an opportunity to hear what now needs to be done during this final push. 

Finally, this week, we welcome more Old Maidstonians back to MGS to attend the annual Old Maidstonian Supper. It takes place on Friday 24 March in the Big Hall, and is always a lovely occasion when seeing former students return to their old school to reconnect with one another. Shared memories, familiar faces, good food and the singing of the School Song will all be enjoyed throughout the evening.

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Tuesday 14 March 2023

We started the week with the sad news of the death of a member of our school community.  The entire school has been deeply saddened by the sudden death of a fellow Maidstonian, and our deepest condolences and thoughts are with the family and friends at this time. 

On other matters, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week we will be interviewing for of a new deputy head.  Mr R Ferguson will be leaving MGS at the end of the academic year to take up his first headship position, and so over the last couple of weeks we have been in the process of finding his replacement.  That process ends this week as we interview the shortlisted candidates and hopefully appoint.  With a deputy head position it is important to gauge a variety of views, so joining me in the interview process will be a number of governors, staff and of course, students.  Thank you to everyone who is taking part in the process.

On Friday, MGS will be supporting Comic Relief in the usual way.  Students and staff will be allowed to dress down for the day; cakes will be sold throughout the day made by a team of students; and the prefect teams of Year 12 and Year 13 will be competing against each other in an all-day rowathon.  Thank you in advance to everyone who will be supporting the day.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Tuesday 7 March 2023

This week it is the turn of Year 9 to complete a set of examinations. After six months of studying for their GCSEs, it is a good time for Year 9 to understand where they are and what they need to be doing going forward. Good luck Year 9. 

Tomorrow is the Year 11 Parents' Evening.  Following the Year 11 mock examinations a couple of weeks ago it is a chance for the parents to hear about how their children are getting on and what they now need to do in these last few weeks of school. I am sure the evening will be a positive one for many; but I am also sure it will be a nudge for others!

Congratulations once again to the senior hockey squad who won their fourth consecutive match last week against a tough Langley School, maintaining their 100% record this season. Good job everyone. 

On Sunday, a few of the RAF cadets took part in the final of the prestigious RAF Air Squadron Trophy. In the past we have won the trophy, so the expectations on the cadets were high. Sadly the cadets did not place, but they did come second in the Command Task, being beaten by only one point.  Thank you to the staff who supported the cadets.

Over the last few weeks, the rugby players have been returning to school after doing well at the numerous Rugby 7s tournaments that take place this time of year. Beating schools such as Dartford Grammar School and The Judd School are significant wins, and are examples that illustrate how MGS Rugby has progressed over the last few years. Well done to everyone involved, and good luck to the senior players who take part in the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s im a couple of weeks.

Finally, I had the absolute pleasure last week in inviting Rafe Lamb and Jessica Riedl to be next year's school captain and school vice-captain. After a rigorous application and interview process, involving 25 applicants and eight shortlisted candidates, these two students demonstrated the qualities that were need to do well in the roles. Congratulations to them both, and well done to the other six shortlisted candidates who did themselves proud.


Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Tuesday 28 February 2023

Following last week’s school captain and school vice-captain interviews, I am delighted to announce that Rafe Lamb and Jess Riedl, both of Year 12, will be taking on the respective roles for the 2023-24 academic year.  Congratulations to them both, and well done to the other shortlisted candidates who did extremely well reaching the final eight. 

Congratulations must also go to the MGS Senior Hockey Squad who won their third game of the season beating Ashford School 5:0.  That is a 100% record so far.  Well done to the players and thank you to Mrs Cook for supporting them.

This week it is the turn of for year 13 students to complete their second set of mock examinations.  With only three months before the A-Level examinations, this set of mock examinations marks the beginning of the ‘business end of the year’.  Good luck to them all, and let us hope the revision for the summer is well underway!


Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Welcome back to school and to Term 4; I hope you had a good half term break. 

Firstly, I would like to thank the entire school community for supporting the non-uniform day that we had on Friday 10 February in aid of the DEC Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal.  Since that day we have watched the story unfold, seeing images of both hope and despair of the many millions of people who have been impacted.  Thank you MGS.

We return to school this week with three weeks of internal examinations.  Years 11 and 13 go through another set of mock examinations following their first set before Christmas, and Year 9 complete their examinations during the second week of March.  Good luck to them all.

It is at this time of year when I spend a couple of days interviewing candidates for next year’s school captain and school vice-captain roles. This week I am interviewing eight shortlisted candidates from an original group of 25 applicants to see who will take over from Ethan and Sam from April.  I will announce the two successful candidates in next week’s blog.

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who attended the MGS Parents’ Association Quiz Night last Friday.  Fun was had by all, with the Hudson family beating the Senior Leadership Team by one point!  Congratulations to the Hudson family.  A huge thank you must go to the Parents’ Association, the sixth form helpers, and to Mrs Friend for supporting the event.

I would also like to congratulate College House for their charity day which I mentioned in last week’s blog.  The charity day on Friday 26 January was for the British Heart Foundation, and after adding up all the money a total of over £2600 was raised.  Well done to College House, and to Mr Hughes, Miss Dimmick and the College House prefects for their efforts.

But a huge congratulations must go to the Senior Hockey Squad who played their first game last Wednesday in over 15 years.  Not only was it their first game, it was also their first win, beating Gravesend Grammar School 4 – 3.  Well done to the players and thank you Mr Saunders and Mrs Cook for training them.

Yesterday, parents of year 12 students attended our UCAS Information Evening: an evening to learn more about the UCAS process that will begin in earnest very soon.  Thank you for coming, and I hope that the evening was informative.

This week we enjoy the Upper School Spelling Bee where our senior students compete against each other to find the best speller amongst them.  Good luck to everyone who is taking part; and thank you to Miss Wilson for once again organising the competition.

Wednesday is another evening for parents, but this time for parents of Year 8 at the Year 8 Parents’ Evening.  It is at this time of the year when year 8 students begin the process of choosing their options, and so Wednesday’s parents’ evening is suitably positioned to help parents and students make informed choices.

And, on Friday, a group of students in years 7 and 8 fly out to Italy to have a long weekend learning more about Pompeii and what life was like for Romans when Pompeii was destroyed in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius.  I am sure they will have wonderful time.  Thank you to Ms Adams for organising the trip. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Tuesday 31 January 2023

I write this blog from Boston, Massachusetts whilst accompanying 24 students at the Harvard Model United Nations Conference.  Once again, the experience of attending such an event was truly incredible. The students debated world issues on a world stage with 4000 other students from across 60+ other countries. It was an absolute pleasure seeing them do their thing; an experience they will never forget.  Thank you to Mrs Van Mol for organising the trip and supporting the students over the last four months, and thank you to Miss Alloy for joining us both.

Continuing my thanks, I wish to also thank members of the Senior Leadership Team for looking after MGS whilst I was away, and Mr Hughes, Miss Dimmick and College House for organising last week’s charity day.  Even though I could not attend, the day went extremely well, which included Mr Hughes running 30 miles on a treadmill - helping to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.  Thank you College House and well done Mr Hughes.

This week we look ahead to February and LGBTQ+ History Month.  Throughout February we will be flying the rainbow flag on top of the gatehouse as well as putting on a number of events to raise the profile of this very important issue.  It all begins with my assemblies highlighting the history behind the Month.  

On Friday we see the return of the February Parents’ Association Quiz Night.  Due to Covid we had to cancel the 2021 one, and last year the event moved to the summer.  Once again I am quizmaster, and this year’s theme is the number 10.  Do come along.  Doors open at 7pm, with the quiz starting at 7.30pm.