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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Tuesday 12 December 2017

I hope you all enjoyed the first snowfall of the year at the weekend.  Fortunately there was no need to shut the school!  Sadly, due to the inclement weather at the weekend all of the rugby matches against Judd were cancelled, which is a shame as many of the players look forward to the fixture.  Despite the cold weather the CCF Recruit Camp still too place.  Thank you to the members of staff and other volunteers who gave up their weekend to support the cadets.  I hope everyone was able to stay warm and dry.
Yesterday The Salvation Army Toy Appeal ended with all of the gifts being placed under the MGS Christmas tree before being delivered to the charity later in the afternoon.  Thank you so much to everyone who donated a present; once again we have been overwhelmed with the response.  As I mention this I also wish to thank Corpus Christi House for staging the Charity Day on Friday.  The total amount raised is still to be calculated, but many students and members of staff were getting involved throughout the day donating money.
With Christmas fast approaching there are a number of events coming up this week and next before we finish next Wednesday.  Last night the Parents' Association ran the annual wreath making event, which was again well attended.  Tonight the SLT enjoy a festive meal together after work, which will be followed by two days of Christmas lunches on Wednesday and Thursday served by Independent Catering.  And next Tuesday is the annual MGS Carol Service at All Saints Church starting at 7.30pm.  If you fancy singing a few carols and enjoying a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine then please do come along.

Also this week I held a Parent Forum meeting on Monday; parents of year 8 students will be invited in on Thursday to attend the Year 8 Information Evening to hear about the GCSE options process which begins straight after the Christmas holiday, and linked to this on Thursday and Friday Year 8 take part in their Careers Day where they begin to consider what kinds of things they would like to do after leaving school.
And on Friday we invite students and staff to wear their Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save The Children.  This has become an annual event in the MGS calendar which coincides with the national campaign to wear your Christmas jumpers to work.  Let's hope many join in.



Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Firstly I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone involved in last week's school production of School of Rock.  Cast, crew and musicians should all be very proud of themselves.  There were so many positive comments each morning following the night's performances, and these, plus the size of the audiences, were testament to the quality of the production.  This was the best school production in recent years.  A massive thank you to the members of staff, led by Mrs Brooks, who have supported the students over the last three months; to the Parents' Association who supplied refreshments each night, and to all the prefects who acted as ushers.  Well done everyone. Last week the U16 football squad won the 5th round of the National Cup beating Heathside Academy in Weybridge 1-0.  This puts them through as one of the last 16 teams in the competition. They performed brilliantly and did the school proud. The U15B squad is also through to the last 16 of their National Cup competition.  They beat Plume Academy from Chelmsford 3-1 yesterday afternoon.  Well done boys.  The U14 team also have the same opportunity today, so good luck to them. Yesterday we welcomed over 30 visiting headteachers, senior staff and bursars who attended a training session here looking at the new data protection regulations which will come into force next May.  Please look out for any changes we make in how we collect and store data over the coming months. Tonight is the first parents' evening of the year.  We welcome parents of year 12 students to hear from subject staff about how their children are progressing with their A Level studies.  We hope it is an informative evening. Tomorrow is a busy day. Mr Ferguson and I are attending a course at Dartford Girls Grammar School looking at how schools develop thinking in the classroom; Year 11 students will be receiving their mock exam results just as they would on results day in August; and another reminder that the MGS choir will be performing a few Christmas carols in town supporting the Demelza House Carolathon.  Friday is the second House Charity Day and this time it is Corpus Christi’s.  The usual non-uniform and fun activities will be taking place during the day, but it is at this charity day where we also ask for food items to be donated to support the local homeless charity.  It is also the day when The Salvation Army comes into school to collect the many toys and presents that have been donated by you.  Once again the response from you all has been incredible. And finally there are two Parents’ Association events this weekend.  On Friday night there is the MGS PA Race Night and on Saturday is an already planned trip to Lille.  Thank you to the Parents’ Association for arranging these two events and if you would like to come along on Friday night to the race evening, then please do.





Tuesday, 28 November 2017

28 November 2017

Congratulations to the Year 11 boys who played a brilliant game of football in the 4th round of the National School Cup last Wednesday beating St Thomas’ College in Dulwich 5 - 4.  Well done boys.  They now progress to the 5th round of the competition.

Sadly due to the cold weather over the weekend the home rugby fixtures against St Olaves were cancelled.  Many of the players were looking forward to the tough competition, but hopefully they will be rescheduled at another time.  The away teams did get a chance to play but with mixed fortune.  I am pleased to report though that the 1st XV won pretty confidently 33 – 12.  Well done lads. The next big match is on Saturday 9 December when MGS plays The Judd School! 

Also at the weekend the RAF Section attended RAF Honington for the Air Cadet Organisation National Drill Finals.  MGS was there as the best of over 200 CCF units against the best of the Air Training Corps regions. Sadly we did not place in the Drill Finals but did win the Inspection phase of the competition and therefore are the best turned-out cadets in the entire organisation.  The cadets met the Commandant Air Cadets: Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty who congratulated them for their efforts.  Thank you to everyone who went along and well done to all the cadets.

This week we see four enthusiastic performances of this year’s school production School of Rock.  Cast, musicians and crew, supported by many members of staff have been rehearsing hard for the last three months.  Good luck to them all and ‘break a leg.’  The first performance is on Wednesday at 7.30pm.  Do come along.

An advance notice on Wednesday 6 December the MGS choir will be performing a few Christmas carols in town supporting the Demelza House Carolathon.  They will be performing at 12pm, so if you are in town Christmas shopping please do go along and support.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

21 November 2017

Firstly I would like to thank the prefect team for organising last Friday's Children In Need Charity Day.  Everyone in the school came in non-uniform, 700 cakes were made and sold, and some of the sixth form students took part in a 12 hour table tennis marathon.  I would particularly like to acknowledge the school captain, Kristian, who played table tennis for the entire time.  Well done Kristian and thank you everyone.

Yesterday the Year 11 mock exams finished so the students are back in school from today.  Over the next two weeks, teachers will be marking their exams and compiling the results before they are issued on Wednesday 6 December at the Mock Results Day.  During that time teachers will also be writing their reports which will go home just before the end of term and provide an insight into how Year 11 are performing.

This week is another slightly quieter one.  Rehearsals for School of Rock enter their final week before putting on four performances the following week, and I am attending the annual Kent Association of Headteachers Conference on Thursday, which is an opportunity for all Kent heads to network, share ideas and come away with some new ideas that could be incorporated into our schools.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

14 November 2017

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who supported last week's Post 16 Open Evening.  It was a very busy evening welcoming current and future students and parents to see what we offer in the sixth form.  Once again the prefects, helpers and tour guides were a credit to the school, and thank you to many parents who provided positive and valuable feedback.  We look forward to welcoming a new Year 12 cohort in September.
On Saturday I enjoyed a tense but exciting 1st XV rugby match against Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School.  It is the very first rugby match I have watched that saw no tries.  The final score, fortunately, was 3-0 to us.  Well done boys.
Thank you to the 68 CCF cadets and members of staff who attended the Remembrance Service in Maidstone on Sunday.  Remembrance is very important to MGS and we feel very proud indeed to be asked to attend the town’s service and lay a wreath in memory of all the Maidstonians who sadly lost their lives in conflict.
After two busy weeks following October half term, this week is slightly quieter.  This week sees the beginning of the Year 11 mock exams.  Year 11 students have six days of mock examinations that will provide them and us some understanding of how well they are doing to date, and how well they will do next summer.  Good luck boys and keep revising hard.
Rehearsals continue and intensify for this year's school production.  School of Rock, but the MGS version, starts on Wednesday 29 November for a four day season.  The students and staff involved have been rehearsing a lot behind the scenes(!), but in the last week they have moved their rehearsals to the main hall which reminds them that the first night is not too far away.
And on Friday the annual BBC Children In Need Appeal takes place.  The theme this year is, ‘Wear something in your house colours’, so hopefully we will see seas of red, yellow, blue and green around the school.  Please do support the day.  Also on Friday I am accompanying Mr Stone and Ms Lancaster to a meeting at Rainham Mark Grammar School in Gillingham.  As part of the Kent and Medway Headteachers’ Association, the heads of mathematics and English are meeting to reflect on the new GCSE examination in their subjects and establish what the picture was across the county.




Tuesday, 7 November 2017

7 November 2017

Firstly would like to thank everyone who supported the MGS PA Firework Display on Saturday.  The rain stopped just at the right time to allow us to enjoy a wonderful display.  Thank you to the Parents’ Association who organise this event each year.  It is their biggest fundraiser, and their support of the school is very much welcomed.  Thank you.

Yesterday our Area Education Officer, Mr Jared Nehra visited the school to see our new Performing Arts building.  He was instrumental in ensuring the local authority supported our building plans and so it was fitting that he visited us to see what we have been able to achieve.

Today, all of Year 12 take part in the Licence to Kill presentation that we do each year.  The presentation is delivered by KCC and is, I believe, the best PSHCE resource I have ever seen.  I know that the students will reflect on what they see and hear.

Thursday is our Post 16 Open Evening where many of our own Year 11 students and prospective students from other schools will visit to see if they would like to study A Levels at MGS.  The evening will involve the Subject Fair, tours of the school, and presentations by key staff illustrating why students should come to MGS.  The evening starts at 4.30pm.

Friday is a particularly busy but important.  In the morning we have our Remembrance Service commemorating the fallen Old Maidstonians from past conflicts, and in the afternoon Year 12 students receive congratulations and acknowledgment at the GCSE Certificate Presentation Afternoon where they will be presented with their GCSE certificates. 

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.