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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

28 February 2017

This week students from Year 11 continue to meet with key staff to discuss their thoughts about life after the GCSE examinations.  The advice and guidance we give students throughout school, particularly at this stage is crucial.  It is hoped that many of the boys decide to remain at MGS and continue their studies here.

Last night and tonight I am meeting with a group of parents who wanted to come into school and ask questions regarding our imminent expansion plans and decision to reshape our pastoral and house structures.  Last night went well and I look forward to meeting different parents tonight.  If you would like to come along then please do.  The evening begins and 6pm and will last about an hour.

Last week I had the pleasure in appointing Kristian Szwedziuk and Lex Delamere-Ayling as the new School Captain and School Vice-Captain respectively.  This week I launched to the rest of Year 12 the Student Leadership Prefect Team application process.  Students will have the next two weeks to write a letter of application if they wish to be considered.  It is hoped that a decision of who will be selected will be made by the third week of March. 

This Friday the Parents' Association is hosting a Jam Tribute Night, one of a number of new events this year.  The evening starts at 7.30pm.  Do come along.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

21 February 2017

Welcome back to Term 4, I hope you all had a good break.  I also hope that this blog is reaching a much larger audience.  Following the recent Parent Forum meeting it was suggested by parents that this blog should be emailed out each week via ParentMail as well as being posted on the School website.  For those who are new to these blogs, then welcome, and I hope they provide a small insight into the life of MGS.  I have just returned from Paris where I accompanied the senior rugby squad on the 2017 Paris Rugby Tour.  24 sixth form students enjoyed the half term playing two games of rugby (won one 40 – 0 and lost one 29 – 12), took part in four training sessions, watched Racing 92 play their weekly fixture and enjoyed the sights of Paris and took in much of its culture.  Thank you Mr Hathaway for making this tour happen, and I look forward to the next one.

From this week senior staff and staff who predominantly work in the Upper School meet each student from Year 11 to discuss their progress to date and their plans for next year and beyond.  These meetings play an important part in the advice and guidance we give to the students, and I hope the boys come away with a clearer understanding of what they need to do during these last few months before their GCSE examinations.  Yesterday I had the pleasure in interviewing the shortlisted candidates for the roles of School Captain and School Vice-Captain.  I always look forward to this day, but more especially offering the roles to the successful two.  Tomorrow we welcome parents of Year 10 students to the School to attend the Year 10 Parents’ Evening.  The boys in Year 10 are about one year away from their GCSEs and so tomorrow night is a chance for parents to understand how their sons are getting on and understand more the new GCSE grading system. 
A reminder to parents of students in Years 7 to 12, there are two opportunities next Monday 27 February and Tuesday 28 February to come into school and meet with me and key staff to answer any questions you may have regarding our expansion plans and reshaping of the Pastoral and House structures of the School.  The sessions start at 6pm, please email my PA, Mrs Friend, if you would like to attend on denise.friend@mgs-kent.org.uk   And finally congratulations to Jabez Cheeseman of 7S who has just secured the role of young Harry in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.  This is an amazing opportunity and a great thing for a Maidstonian to have achieved.  Well done Jabez.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

7 February 2017

We have now dug the first hole to begin phase 1 of our 3 year building project.  On Wednesday last week we had a Ground Breaking Ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the Performing Arts Building.  Governors, parents, staff, students and representatives from the Local Authority, the architects and the building contractors were all present to witness me dig the first hole.  It has taken a long time and a great deal of hard work to reach this point, but we are all now very pleased that we will see the building get built. 
Yesterday after school I met with the Parent Forum, a group of parents who act as my sounding board and provide me with a parental perspective into the future of the School.  Last night we talked about the expansion plans, the new vertical pastoral structure, the new assessment arrangements and how we are supporting young people with their mental health.  It was a very positive meeting and we all came away with a better understanding of how the School is developing and how it goes on ensuring that it works for the benefit of all of our students. 
This week, following last Friday’s deadline, we shortlist the applicants who have applied to be the next School Captain and school Vice-Captain.  13 students applied and the interviews take place the first day back after half term.  Today we will be asking Year 12 and all of the staff who they think should take up the two roles.  Watch this space. Tomorrow we welcome parents of Year 8 to attend their Parents’ Evening.
Year 8 is a crucial year as it is when the students choose the GCSE subjects they wish to study from next year.  Subject teachers will be on hand to provide essential feedback, and also teachers who teach some of our newer subjects will be on hand to provide information about their subject. 
At the weekend 70 cadets took part in a CCF Training Camp to prepare for a variety of different events coming up later this year.  The RAF Section took part in the preliminary round of the Air Squadron Trophy and came 4th, successfully achieving a place in the Nationals.  A number of other cadets took part in some weapon handling training and the Cambrian Patrol Team Exercise.  All had a good weekend.
And Finally, William Luckhurst of Year 10 competed in the National Cold Water Championships a couple of weeks ago.  He was competing in the 15 -18 age range, and so was one of the youngest competitors there.  Despite this he secured Gold in two events namely the 90m freestyle, an absolute killer of an event in freezing water, and the 30m breaststroke.  He is now the National Champion in these two events. These results also put him in a good position for the World Championships in 2018.  Well done Will.