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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

15 December 2015

First I would like to express how incredibly honoured I felt during Friday’s Charity Day.  The response from students and parents in support of the day, particularly seeing hundreds of cans of food being brought into school to help with the Homeless Care Appeal and the huge array of Christmas presents under the School Christmas tree for the Salvation Army was unbelievable.  Thank you so much once again for you generosity and charitable nature that we are so very proud of at MGS. The Charity Day raised funds for Porchlight and for Hi Kent. 

A massive thank you also to the cast and crew, led by Dr Froud, for four wonderful performances of Return To The Forbidden Planet.  Like with many productions the day before the opening night there were many concerned faces and anxious voices, but they were short lived, as yet again the students and staff pulled it out of the bag to produce a delightful evening’s entertainment.  Thank you again Dr Froud for your leadership and commitment over the last few months, to all the other members of staff in the cast and crew who supported him, and to the many students who took part who we can all be very proud of.
On Tuesday last week the staff meeting after school focussed on learning and the sharing of good practice within and across departments.  Room 60 was a hive of activity and debate, created simply by colleagues sharing good ideas that they use in their classroom.  This meeting was part of a year long sequence of meetings that is aimed at reflecting on our core business of learning, and ensuring that the students get the best possible learning diet in the classroom. 

Sadly the three wins out of five at last year’s rugby fixtures with The Judd School was not repeated.  Only four squads played: 1st and 2nd XVs, U14s and U13s, and only the U13 squad won.  Well done to the Year 8 boys who played and brought home a win that keeps a slight chink in the Judd armour.  Bad luck to the other squads, but it is hoped that they will respond positively next year.
Thank you to the parents of Year 11 students who attended the Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Monday.  Hopefully the opportunity to meet the teachers was both helpful and informative following a busy term of work which has included mock exams and the beginnings of the process of applying to join the 6th Form.

Finally, I wish to thank the staff and students of the School for another productive and busy term and wish you all a wonderful Christmas and peaceful New Year. 

 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

8 December 2015

Thank you very much to the many students, parents, members of staff and governors who supported the Parents’ Association Christmas Fayre last Thursday.  The School Hall was transformed into a Christmas market selling a variety of gifts that would certainly fill a few Christmas stockings.  Many thanks to the Parents’ Association for staging the event and to the students who helped during the evening ensuring the event ran smoothly.

Thank you to the parents of Year 12 students who attended the Year 12 Parents’ Evening on Wednesday.  Hopefully the opportunity to meet the teachers was both helpful and informative following a term’s work of A-Level studies. 
On Friday we acknowledged the academic success of last year’s Year 11 students, presenting them with their GCSE certificates at a presentation afternoon.  Parents of Year 12 were invited in to share the moment their sons received accreditation of all the hard work they had put in during their GCSE studies.  Well done boys and thank you for making it a lovely occasion.

I hope the cadets who attended the CCF camp to St Martin’s Plain, Folkestone at the weekend enjoyed themselves, particularly the Year 9 cadets as it was their first CCF camp since joining the MGS Cadet Unit.  Thank you very much to the staff who gave up their weekend to accompany the cadets as without their support such opportunities would not be available. 
The Year 8 footballers were sadly beaten last week 3-0 by Ravenswood School. However, they have performed admirably this year and reached the last 64 of the National Cup which had over 600 entries this year. They have been a credit to the School.  Thanks also to Mr Darbey who should get a special mention for all the hard work and time he has committed to the team.  Thank you.

This week is another busy week as it is the week in which the annual School Production takes place.  Return to the Forbidden Planet opens on Wednesday 9 December for four nights and is hopefully going to be a wonderful occasion in which to enjoy a December evening.  Tickets are still available from the School Bursary, so please do come along.  Good luck to the cast and crew.  You may be luck and see a glimpse of me performing!
Finally, good luck to all the rugby squads this weekend as they prepare to play The Judd School.  The MGS vs. Judd match is the match of the season.  Everyone who plays rugby wants to be in the side that is chosen, and then play well in order to bring home a win.  Last year MGS won three out of the five matches, so let’s hope we can do better this year.  Matches take place on 12th December. 

 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

1 December 2015

After a couple of relatively quiet weeks the next three leading up to the end of term are busy ones.  This week there are three events in which parents are invited to come into school.  Parents of Year 12 students on Wednesday attend their child’s Parents' Consultation Evening and on Friday they attend the GCSE Presentation Afternoon, a formal occasion where we present Year 12 with their GCSE Certificates and acknowledge the year group's academic achievements.  In between those two events, on Thursday all parents are invited into school for the Parents' Association Christmas Fayre and Pamper Evening; an opportunity to pick up some Christmas gifts and be pampered in the process.  We look forward to seeing many of you there.  In the week beginning Monday 7 December, the main event is the School Production: Return To The Forbidden Planet, being put on over four days from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th.  Tickets are now available from the School Bursary.  The show starts at 7.30pm each night.  On Wednesday 16 December, in the final week of the term, the School Carol Service takes place at All Saints Church, Maidstone at 7.30pm.  This particular event always hopes to provide an opportunity for the whole school community to come together, including many Old Maidstonians, some who are returning home for Christmas from university.
Looking back on last week, on Thursday saw a very good Autumn Concert.  With some high quality performances once again, the evening provided the first opportunity for the newly formed Performing Arts department to illustrate the excellent talent at MGS.  This year's concert saw a number of memorable singers, singing a range of songs, with some bringing a tear to the eyes of some of the audience!  Well done to all of the performers and musicians, and thank you to the staff members who continuously support them.  On Friday I had a meeting with our School Improvement Partner (or SIP).  With MGS still being a maintained school and not an academy, we still have a relationship with the Local Authority, and part of that is to have regular meetings with someone who simply keeps a little eye on what we are doing.  The overwhelming message at the meeting was one of positivity and support.  The Local Authority is extremely pleased how MGS is currently developing and is excited about what we want to achieve in the future.  Congratulations to the many students who play school sport, particularly as we have recently seen some outstanding performances.  Last week the 1st and 2nd XI football teams beat Norton Knatchbull 7-2 and Simon Langton 6-1 respectively, with both teams still in with an excellent chance of winning their respective league titles.  On Saturday the weekly rugby fixture was against Dartford Grammar School, a school that has a good track record against us.  This year we beat Dartford in five out of the seven fixtures, with all the Home matches coming away with a win.  The U12B squad beat Dartford 20-15, the U13s won 56-5, the U15s won 29-12, the 2nd XV won 10-7, and the 1st XV won a very exciting and tense match 22-19.  Well done boys and good luck to every squad in two weeks’ time as they prepare to play our, and mine, biggest rival, The Judd School.  Matches are on Saturday 12 December, so please do come along if you can.