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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

26 April 2016

We are slowly approaching the time when Years 11, 12 and 13 get into examination mode.  I hope that there is plenty of preparation and revision going on behind the scenes!  Year 13 are particularly approaching their last ever day at school.  Some are already becoming emotional and not wishing the next three weeks away too fast.  Last week it was lovely to see Year 13 altogether in their Year 13 Photo; it is hoped that many will purchase a copy and keep it for future viewing.  Last week we also said thank you and goodbye to Harry Webster and Alex Harwood, the School Captain and School Vice-Captain.  On Wednesday the HMS Maidstone Bell was rung by the both of them to signify the end of their tenure and the beginning of the two new incumbents.  Thank you once again. 

Year 8 had a thoroughly enjoyable day on Friday celebrating the work of William Shakespeare.  This day has become part of the School year and seeing the English Department dress up in 16th Century costumes to get into the spirit of the day is a great sight!  Well done boys and thank you to the staff who put the day together.

This week is a slightly quieter one, but we look forward to a new event on Wednesday for Years 7 and 8.  To further embed the House Structure into the workings of the School a science themed House event takes place on Wednesday afternoon where we see boys from Years 7 and 8 take part in a Science Fair in the School Hall which also acts as a House Competition achieving House points that will contribute to the overall House Cup which is awarded at the end of the year.  I hope that the boys enjoy themselves and learn something new about science.

Congratulations to Angus Taylor of Year 12 who won 1st prize at last night’s Public Speaking Competition.  He made two excellent speeches: one on Donald Trump and one on the EU referendum.  Well done Angus.  Many thanks also to Oli Oakley of Year 12 who partnered Angus to represent MGS and to Mrs Lewis and Mrs Brooks who supported them both.

Finally, Tom Rowe, Sam Luxton, Freddie Gache, Alex McLean, Louis Ashworth and Jack Brown all from Year 7 were part of the U12 Aylesford Bulls rugby that retained the title Kent Rugby Champions.

The boys have won a number of tournaments this year playing in other counties to keep the competition at a high level, beating London Irish and a number of other County champions along the way.  Well done boys.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Last week saw three events where Old Maidstonians returned to their school to rekindle links with friends and provide opportunities to look back fondly and remember: the A-Level Presentation Evening, the Old Boys’ Rugby and Football matches, and the Old Maidstonian Supper.  All were a delight to be a part.  By the way, the football match resulted in a 5 - 5 draw, but the rugby saw the Old Boys winning 45 – 41.  Thank you to everyone who took part; it was a glorious afternoon of sport. As we looked back with fond memories last week, this week we look forward and welcome the 175 boys and their families who will become Maidstonians from September.  Tomorrow night is the Year 6 Induction Evening for those boys who have been successful in gaining a place here and who are about to begin their MGS journey.  We look forward to welcoming them.

This week the Senior Leadership Team is spending some time popping into a selection of Performing Arts lessons to experience what the students experience each day.  Just like on previous occasions with other departments, this is simply routine and nothing to worry about.  Part of the Senior Leadership Team’s responsibility is to monitor teaching and learning across the School and part of that process is occasionally spending some time visiting lessons.  The main aim is to share the very good practice that is currently going on in the newly formed Performing Arts department and to celebrate its success.  It also can provide opportunities for members of staff to reflect on their own teaching style and develop further as a professional.  I am sure that everyone involved will learn a lot.

Today, in fact this morning, Year 13 had their year group photograph taken.  The students in Year 13 are on the cusp of leaving MGS and so it is important they have a formal token of their time at school and have something they can look back at in the years to come.  We are fortunate the weather has been kind.  On Friday Year 8 take part in the School’s annual celebration of William Shakespeare.  Saturday marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, and every year we ensure the boys in Year 8 understand more of Shakespeare’s work and develop an appreciation of his writing which has shaped many aspects of our lives.  I hope the boys enjoy the day and thank you to the staff who put on a great spectacle for them.

The Weald of Kent Grammar School is consulting on proposed changes to their admission arrangements for 2017 entry.  Details are on our website.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Tuesday 12 April 2016

Welcome back to the Summer Term; I hope you all had a good Easter Holiday.  We come back to school to a week when we welcome back many former students to three specific Old Maidstonian events.  The first event takes place today when we invite last year's Year 13 cohort to their A-Level Presentation Evening to be presented with their A-Level certificates.  Tomorrow at 2.30pm the Old Boys' Rugby and Football matches take place when former students who played for their school enjoy a 'friendly' game with the current school teams.  We look forward to two school wins!  And finally on Friday we welcome back over 100 former students at the Old Maidstonian Annual Supper.  It is always a wonderful event seeing the School Hall filled with former students reminiscing over their school days and catching up with old friends.  This year is particularly special as it sees the beginning of Neil Turrell's presidency of the Old Maidstonian Society.  We look forward to seeing him again.

Next week is also a busy one.  On Monday parents of Year 7 come into school and attend their son's Parents' Evening meeting their son's teachers for the first time since they joined back in September; and on Wednesday we welcome parents of the Year 6 boys who successfully gained a place at MGS to attend our Year 6 Induction Evening.  Not only is that evening an opportunity for the boys and their parents to begin their MGS journey, but it also signifies the end of office of the current School Captain and School Vice Captain and the beginning for the new incumbents.  It is tradition that the out-going captains ring the HMS Maidstone bell that hangs in the School Lobby to signify the exact time when they hand over the reins to the new captains.  All of the out-going and in-coming senior prefects will be present to witness this poignant and sometimes emotional occasion. Once again I would like to thank Harry Webster and Alex Harwood for doing to tremendous job this year and best wishes to Tom Lindsey and Joshua Gray who have the next year to look forward to.