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Tuesday 23 May 2023

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Hello, Mr Hanratty here.

Although it's the final week of term, there have been no signs of things slowing down as we approach the end. Take a moment to read about many of the exciting events that have taken place at MGS since my last blog post and leading up to the end of term.

Firstly, I wish to express admiration for the maturity and conscientious approach Year 11 and 13 students demonstrated during their GCSE and A-Level exams last week. We've been impressed by their conduct and wish them success as they continue their exams.

Yesterday, Mr Highway and the CCF team launched their recruitment process for Year 8 students to join the CCF - the largest and oldest co-curricular activity at MGS, spanning over 100 years. Our students are always eager to sign up each year, and Year 8 were no exception. The early numbers suggest that we are on track for large contingents again in Year 9 next academic year. It is great to see so many of your students serving their community in this way.

While on the subject of the CCF, we are delighted to share that our Army section won Gold at the recent Cambrian Patrol competition held last weekend. The MGS CCF team showcased a display of grit and determination, securing themselves one of the few prestigious Gold Awards presented at the event. The Cambrian Patrol, is the premier cadet competition and is based in the Brecon Beacons, the birthplace of the infantry, with a prime objective of testing cadets both physically and mentally. With teams from all over the UK competing against each other, the standards are high and demanding, and we are incredibly proud of our team's outstanding performance. Well done to all.

This week, Year 8 completes their End of Year Exams in lessons, marking their final chance to showcase their academic progress since Year 7, before they start their GCSE courses in September. We wish them the best in their exams.

In terms of career development, this Thursday, Year 10 students will receive a briefing from Mid Kent College about Post 16 options and careers during their assembly. This event complements our Careers Programme, which equips students with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience for succeeding in the world of work.

Similarly, our Year 9 students benefited from last week's Business Challenge, which culminated in them pitching innovative ideas and solutions to business leaders. We thank the local businesses that partnered with our students to complete this challenge: The Rotary Club of Maidstone Riverside, Maidstone Leisure Centre, Maidstone Community Support Centre, Golding Homes, Fusion Maidstone HLC, and Mid Kent Mind. We also thank Alison Temple from Firebird Training for organising the event. Congratulations to the winners of this challenge: Ben W, Theo V B, Ethan W, and Sebastian F, all from Year 9 Corpus Christi House. Their Business Partner for this activity was Julie Herbert from Golding Homes. Well done to all.

Adding to our co-curricular activities, a Year 10 Theatre trip to Wicked at The Apollo Victoria Theatre in the West End is scheduled for tomorrow. Such trips enrich our curriculum, often bringing to life the lessons learned in class.

On a different note, this Friday not only marks the end of term but also a non-uniform day, with a theme of "Wear something green" in support of Mental Health Foundation Awareness Week. Tonbridge House continues to lead on mental health awareness throughout May, building on our efforts from April's Autism Awareness Month. These events form an integral part of our curriculum, helping us to promote understanding and inclusivity.

We're also delighted to announce that Cucina has successfully retained the school meal contract for another three years, following a highly competitive tender process.

In relation to sport, congratulations to Daniel Jones (Old Maidstonian 2017) who has been selected to row for Great Britain at this Thursday's and Friday’s European Championships in Slovenia in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls. Since leaving MGS, Dan has actively continued with his love of the sport, rowing at university as well as training with the GB squad in Scotland. We are delighted for him and wish him well.

In relation to last week's sports fixtures, several matches played out with varying results. On Tuesday, our U14A football team put on an impressive performance, securing a 4-1 win in a friendly against Aylesford School. The following day, our Cricket 1st X1 played a friendly against The Canterbury Academy but, unfortunately, they weren't able to secure a victory.

Reflecting on last week’s County Athletics Championship, MGS placed a commendable 6th overall. Some of the standouts from the day include: Noah S (Y8 Corpus Christi House) placing 2nd in the Junior Shotput, Theo R (Y10 Corpus Christi House) winning the 800m inter-race, and Alan B (Year 10 Corpus Christi House) placing 3rd in the 1500m inter-race. Both our junior and inter 4 x100m relay teams came second in their respective races. Well done to all.

Looking ahead to this week's fixtures, today we have a cricket match between our U13A side and Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School at 2.30pm. Also this evening, our U14A football side will take part in the District Cup Football Final against Oakwood Park Grammar School, with an 6.30pm start at The Gallagher Stadium. Good luck to the staff and team, and fingers crossed for what is no doubt going to be an exciting final. Tomorrow, we will host a friendly cricket match between our 1st XI and Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School at 2pm, a U12A cricket match against Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys in the Kent Plate, as well as an athletics meet featuring MGS Year 9 & 10 against Oakwood Park Grammar School at 2pm.

As I said at the start, there’s lots going on, and we wish our staff and students a restful break when they break for Half Term on Friday. Staff return for term 6 on Monday 5th June for Inset training, while students return on Tuesday 6th. In Term 6, GCSE and A-Level exams will continue alongside Year 7 exams, welcome events for next year’s Year 7 students, Extended Learning Week, UCAS Day, Induction Days for Year 6 and prospective Sixth Form students, and Sports Day, amongst many other exciting events. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys a peaceful break and some sunshine.

 Mr Hanratty