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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

24 November 2015

Last week and this week are two relatively quiet weeks in the School calendar.  With Year 11 on study leave completing their mock exams there have been fewer students in school, but of course the marking of those exam papers adds to the work load.  Very soon Year 11 will know how well they have done, providing them with a greater understanding of what their strengths and areas for development are.  There will also be a Parents’ Evening on Monday 14th December for the parents of Year 11 to meet subject teachers following the outcome of the exams. 

Congratulations and bad luck must be expressed to the U15 rugby squad.  Congratulations to the squad as they reached the semi-final of the Kent Cup beating a number of very good sides on the way.  Last Tuesday they played The Judd School in the semi-final but sadly lost 32 – 15.  The weather on that day was appalling; both teams played remarkably well considering the conditions.  Bad luck boys, but also well done for reaching the semi-final of the competition.  Good luck to the same squad for this Thursday as they play The Skinners’ School in the next round of the National Cup. 
The newly formed Performing Arts Department have a busy few weeks.  This Thursday is the date for the Autumn Concert where a number of talented musicians will perform a variety of pieces as soloists, ensembles, full bands, orchestras and choirs.  The concert begins at 7pm.  Also Wednesday 9th December to Saturday 12th December are the dates for this year’s School Production, Return To The Forbidden Planet.  Led once again by Dr Froud, a cast and crew of staff and students will be putting on four glorious nights of the 1950s classic.  Please do come along.

Finally, an advanced warning that Thursday 3rd December from 6pm is the MGS Parents’ Association Christmas Fair and Pamper Evening.  Following the success of last year’s event, the Parents’ Association is holding a bigger event this year which will include more stalls selling a variety of Christmas gifts, and opportunities to indulge yourself while you shop.  The evening will begin at 6pm.  Entrance is £3 and for that you will receive a mince pie and glass of mulled wine to enjoy as your browse.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

17 November 2015

The highlight of last week was the BBC Children In Need Charity Day.  Once again the community of the School came together to support a worthy cause; wearing something spotty and yellow and watching some teachers and students take part in what we called, ‘The Great MGS Wax Off’.  During lunch questions were put to two opposing teams; students and staff, and any wrong answers resulted in that person having parts of their legs waxed.  It’s funny how some of the questions were ridiculously hard; it was as though it was all planned!  Thank you to the 6th Form students who organised the day, and thank you to everyone who supported.

Tuesday night the teaching staff spent some time after school talking about learning.  The core business of what we do each day is learning, and so it should always be at the forefront of what we do.  In order for MGS to continue to develop and improve we have begun to have more detailed conversations about learning and what learning at MGS is.  There is a long road to follow from this initial first meeting, but over time it is hoped that students themselves will be able to articulate more how it is they learn, what characteristics of learning they have and have a greater desire and zest for learning.  All of this will then hopefully impact in a positive way on raising standards.
On Thursday a group of about 15 students from years 8 to 10 took part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival; a national programme offering students from all backgrounds the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on their local stage.  Mrs Brooks, the Head of Performing Arts, led the boys in an extract of Julius Caesar at The Sinden Theatre, Tenterden.  The boys were brilliant, and it was clear that they had worked incredibly hard in a short space of time to put on what they did.  Well done boys, many thanks to Mrs Brooks, Mr Lozano, Ms Lang and Josh Bennett of Year 12 who worked with the cast and thank you to the staff and parents who went along to support them.  A wonderful evening.

Today the U15 rugby squad play The Judd School in the semi-final of the Kent Cup.  The boys, led by Mr Holmes, are having a great season, and reaching the semi-final of the Kent Cup is already a massive achievement.  The match is away at Judd, so I am going along to give them as much support and encouragement as I can.  Good luck boys and I hope to be returning to school with some excellent news.
Finally, congratulations to Sam Smale of Year 12 and Elyas Sadighi who left last year, who have both been awarded Gold at the Downton Art Exhibition currently underway at County Hall.  Well done boys.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10 November 2015

A huge thank you to everyone who came along on Saturday night to support the MGS Parents’ Association annual Firework Display.  Once again it was a huge success both in terms of raising a significant amount of money for the School and also bringing members of the School Community together.  The display was the best I have seen and the attendance was much higher than previous years.  The event would not be possible if it were not for the hard work and support many members of the Parents’ Association give; thank you all ever so much.
Last Thursday was the Post 16 Open Evening, aimed at Year 11 students both from MGS and other schools who are thinking about A-Level studies.  It was very well attended and hopefully informative giving details of specific subjects, what to expect at MGS's 6th Form and the application process.  Many thanks to the 6th Form students who helped out; all were a credit to the School.
Wednesday this week is a very important day for the School.  Our present and future is about reflecting on the past and appreciating our history, so 11th November is integral to what we do.  At around 10.40am there will be a small service in the School Hall in front of the WWI Memorial Boards to remember all Old Maidstonians who lost their lives in combat.  During the last few weeks CCF cadets have been going round the School selling poppies, and many hundreds of students are proudly wearing theirs each day, and this week Mrs Sewell, the Deputy Head, is giving the assembly on the theme of Remembrance.  We will continue to remember.
Friday is also an important day when we acknowledge BBC Children In Need.  There will be number of events during the day to raise money for the charity alongside the normal Charity Day arrangement of non-uniform.  I encourage all students to get involved, and that way we can raise a large amount for what is an important cause.  The theme for the day is, 'Wear Something Yellow or Spotty'.
To complement this Headmaster's Blog there will soon be a Student Blog where news and chat from a student perspective will be posted for all to read.  A small group of Year 8 students have come up with the idea themselves and only last night did they pitch it to me and the Senior Leadership Team.  I commend them on their passion and interest for the concept and their ability to present it in front of us all.  We all look forward to the first edition which will probably be in January.
Finally, congratulations to Oliver Leyland of Year 10 who has been selected for the London Broncos Rugby League Scholarship Programme.  This is in addition to the Saracens Kent Elite Squad that he is already a part of.  Well done Oli.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

3 November 2015

Welcome back to the start of Term 2; I hope you all enjoyed the break and well-deserved rest.  Despite the event being nearly two weeks ago this is the first opportunity I have had to thank everyone for another excellent Year 6 Open Evening.  Over 500 current MGS students supported their School offering to be guides and helpers for perspective Maidstonians.  They were a credit to themselves and to the School.  Thank you all very much.

This Thursday is the Post 16 Open Evening, which is very similar to the Year 6 Open Evening, but for students who are considering studying A-Levels here.  Thank you in advance to the many 6th Form students who are offering to act as guides and advisers during the evening.
Over the half term a couple of building projects have been completed.  The Boys’ Entrance, as we call it, now has new doors replacing the previous ones which were looking a little tired.  The overall aim is to make that entrance into the School a much better one for the students, and replacing the doors was the first phase.   Also, part of the pathway in the Quad nearest the School Hall has been widened.  This will do a number of things: it will provide more space for the students when waiting to come into assembly; it will prevent students damaging the grass in the Quad as they walk between lessons; and it will help when we have our Speech Days in July and September each year.  Both projects will certainly add to the overall aesthetics of the School grounds.

Just to remind you all that this Saturday 7th November is the MGS Parents’ Association Fireworks Display.  Doors open at 6pm with the display beginning at 7pm.  Many hundreds of people come along each year to enjoy the display and their support raises a lot of money for the School.  If you are free this Saturday please do come along and bring your friends and family.  Wrap up warm!
Finally, next Friday 13th November is BBC Children In Need.  Each year MGS supports the day putting on a number of activities that raise money and awareness for the charity.  More details will follow but we look forward to fun filled day next week.