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Welcome to the MGS Headmaster's Blog.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

31 October 2017

Welcome back after the week's break; I hope you all had a restful holiday. 

Term 2 starts with a number of events during this week.  Today there will be an extended form period during lesson 1 to allow form tutors to spend some time with their tutees discussing the recent assessment and attitude to learning grades.  These extended form periods are a new initiative to MGS and form part of the new pastoral restructure that we launched this year. 
Tomorrow is the first of two Post 16 Open Mornings where perspective sixth form students come round the school to see if they would like to make an application to join MGS in September.  The second one takes place on Friday.  Both mornings start at 9am and current sixth form students will be on hand to act as tour guides.  These two mornings will be followed by the Post 16 Open Evening which takes place next Thursday.
Saturday is a big day for the school as it is the annual MGS Parents' Association Firework Display.  Every year the Parents' Association puts on a wonderful firework display watched by many hundreds from the school and wider community.  Do come along.  Gates open at 6pm with the display starting at 7pm.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

17 October 2017

Congratulations to the senior rugby squads bringing home two victories at the weekend when playing Rochester Mathematical School.  The 1st XV game was particularly exciting to watch as it was touch-and-go for a while, but they managed the win in the end.  Sadly, the younger squads did not have as much success, but hopefully the senior wins will inspire the younger boys for their next game.  Good luck to the senior boys for Wednesday as they are playing The Judd School in the next round of the NatWest Cup.
On Sunday I went over to Rochester to watch Daniel Jones (OM 2017) row for Maidstone Invicta Rowing Club at the Medway Town Head Race.  He did well being part of the 3rd fastest boat on the day rowing a distance of 3 miles.  Well done Dan.
Yesterday was an extremely busy day for me as I took part in eight different meetings.  They involved a variety of different people ranging from other members of staff discussing matters in school; to governors, outside consultants and parents looking at wider topics.  A lot of discussion took place which will now be followed up in the form of specific action.
This morning was our second Year 6 Open Morning, which will be followed by Thursday's Year 6 Open Evening.  Both events are important occasions for the school as they provide opportunities for us to open our doors and welcome the wider community in to see how MGS works.  If last Friday's first Year 6 Open Morning is anything to go by, both the events this week will be extremely busy.
Tomorrow evening is the Old Maidstonians annual quiz night. It is taking in the Refectory and starts at 7pm.  Do come a long and enjoy an evening with them. 
Following the end of half term on Thursday, the staff will be in school on Friday attending their second Inset Day of the year.  A number of training themes will be addressed, but the main one will be focussing on e-safety and improving our understanding and knowledge in this vastly expanding issue.  Keeping ourselves and young people safe when it comes to the social media world is a growing concern in schools, so Friday's training is an opportunity for us to become familiar with the issues and know how to address them.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

10 October 2017

Firstly I would like to thank everyone in Tonbridge House who helped organise last Friday's Charity Day.  The atmosphere around the school was very pleasant indeed with many students taking responsibility for the numerous events that were put on to raise money.  The highlight of the day was the Karaoke performances from staff and students in the big hall at lunch!  Congratulations to Tonbridge House and thank you everyone for supporting.  Last Thursday the MGS Cross Country squad competed in the English Schools Championships First Round at Sevenoaks School.  Both the junior and intermediate squads competed at an extremely high level against schools such as Skinners', Dartford Grammar, The Judd, Chis & Sid, and a number of local independent schools.  Sadly the junior boys missed out on qualification for the next round but Alastair Shelley of Tonbridge House won the overall race by a comfortable distance.  Well done Alastair.  The intermediate boys, however, did qualify for the next round joining The Judd School and Sevenoaks School at the regional event.  If they get through that round then they will be back at Sevenoaks School for the English Schools Final.  Hamish Reilly of Corpus Christie House did extremely well taking first place in this race winning by an even more comfortable distance.  Congratulations to Hamish and to the other boys: Bashiri Ryan, Ewan Christmas, Mark Bloomfield, George Dadd and Shaun Berry.  This week is the start of a very busy four week period for the school.  Tonight we welcome parents of Year 7 boys to attend our Year 7 Welcome Evening.  It is an evening for our new Maidstonians and their parents to see how the first few weeks of school have gone, meet key staff who are responsible for Year 7 and enjoy some refreshments together provided by the Parents' Association.  We hope the event is an enjoyable one.  Tomorrow is the Performing Arts Autumn Showcase.  It is the first showcase of the year and will be held in our new Performing Arts Centre.  Do come along.  It starts at 6.30pm. And on Friday is the first of our two open mornings for parents and boys who are considering a place at MGS next year.  It is now that time of year when we open our doors and invite perspective students to tour the school and see for themselves what MGS is all about.  Guiding them around will be current year 7 students who, I think, are the best people to show the school off.  We look forward to welcoming everyone on Friday.  The second of our open mornings is taking place next Tuesday.   As well as a busy week for the school, it is also a busy week for me.  Last night I attended a MGS Development Fund Trustee meeting, today I am attending a Kent Schools Funding Forum meeting, Thursday after school I am attending a governors meeting, and on Friday I am attending a Kent and Medway Grammar Schools' Association meeting.  All of these meetings are examples of how my role requires me to look out as well as in when deciding what is best for MGS. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

3 October 2017

Thank you to everyone who supported last Friday's Macmillan Coffee Morning.  Over £500 was raised and it was lovely to see students, staff, parents, governors and Old Maidstonians come together for the event.  Thank you.
Congratulations and well done to Oli Evans (College House and Year 13) and Old Maidstonians Dan Jones (2017), Luke Collins (2014) and Joe Magid (2013) for competing as MGS in Sunday's Maidstone Invicta Autumn Head.  They competed together in a novice 4x+ but also against each other in smaller boats.  The novice 4x+ was the third fastest boat for the entire day out of the 144 boats that entered, and Dan won his category in the novice 1x.  They did the School proud.
Also at the weekend the U12 A & B, U13 and U14 rugby squads played Simon Langton Grammar School coming away with two wins for the U13 and U14 squads both winning 40 - 0.  Well done boys and hopefully the two wins will inspire the younger ones next week.
Tonight the teaching staff have their first twilight training session of the year.  We will be spending it sharing thoughts, ideas and good practice following four weeks of the new house structure.  It is important that we have such sessions like this to ensure we continue to reflect on our own practices and to go on improving.
Tomorrow we invite parents of Year 10 boys into school to attend the Year 10 Information Evening to hear what is to come for the year and hear about how the School continues to develop.  We look forward to welcoming them.
This Friday is Tonbridge House Charity Day.  The House community has planned a number of events throughout the day to raise money and awareness for Hi Kent, a registered charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, whose aim is to provide a full range of services that meet the needs of anyone with hearing difficulties, and those who have an interest in their welfare. The day complements Mr Holmes's (Head of Tonbridge House), Mr Highsted's (Head of Barton House) and Mr Terrell's (Head of PE) efforts at the weekend as they are set to run half a marathon for the charity.  Good luck to them and thank you in advance to everyone who supports the day.