And finally, congratulations to eight boys who took part in the Literature Quiz Competition at East Tilbury Library last week. The boys settled well in the crowded venue and battled to find the answers to wide ranging questions related to fiction and non-fiction books, comics, poems and author biography. The boys worked exceptionally well together demonstrating their wide reading and recall of detail. Both teams were a credit to MGS and the results were really exciting. We achieved joint first place, but with only one team able to progress to the National Final and the opportunity to travel to Canada for the World Finals. Well done to James Tyler, George Bacon, Toby Hardy and Henry Noble all from 7 Challenger; Sam Butler, Ben Collins and Andrew Betha of 8 Endeavour; and Bailey Hearn of 8Challenger.
Last night we
welcomed Year 9 parents who attended the Year 9 Information Evening. Year 9 is an important year as the boys
embark on their GCSE studies. Year 9
will be the first year group in which the boys receive the new numerical levels
9 - 1 in all of their subjects (apart from History). Assessments throughout the year will now use
these new numerical levels as opposed to the normal grades A - C in order to
understand them fully by the time the boys reach Year 11. Thank you to parents for coming along.
Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd XV rugby squads who beat Simon Langton Grammar School last Wednesday in their first game of the season. Spirits were up and so the boys went home that afternoon with a greater level of confidence for the year to come. Sadly their fixtures against Cranbrook School at the weekend ended with two losses, but the boys should feel pleased with their quality of play and use the results to drive them on in this week's training. Despite the excellent start for the 1st XI football squad, the team could not match their rugby peers losing 5 - 0 away against Simon Langton. More work to be done.
It is this time of year when all of the Honours Boards are taken away to be updated. 15 student names will be engraved on the School Hall boards, those students who gain straight As in their A-Levels, in addition to the names that will be engraved on the Sport and CCF boards. The final two boards to be engraved are the School Captain and School Vice-Captain boards, and I expect Tom and Josh are looking forward to seeing their names up whilst they are still here, as sadly all the other names are names of students who left in the summer.
Major Highway, the new Contingent Commander of the CCF, attends the Lord Lieutenant's Award Ceremony tonight in Canterbury to accept an award on behalf of Lt. Col Smith, who retired from the School and the CCF in July. Sadly Lt. Col Smith is unable to receive the award himself, marking 20 years of service to the MGS CCF, but we are incredibly proud that he is being acknowledged in this way. Congratulations Lt. Col Smith and thank you Major Highway for attending.
This Friday is MacMillan Coffee Morning, and MGS will be joining the rest of the nation in supporting the charity over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. This year we are expanding the event and inviting parents, Governors and Old Maidstonians to attend. If you are free on Friday morning between 10.30 and 11.30 and fancy a cuppa then please do visit us. You are more than welcome.
And on Thursday this week we invite Year 13 parents into school to meet with their child’s form teacher to discuss the next stages of the UCAS process. It is this time of year when the students complete their personal statements and we complete their references before the deadline later this term. We introduced this event a couple of years ago and the comments we receive from everyone involved are overwhelming positive. I hope the day is helpful.
As we say goodbye to one year group we say hello to another. Thursday this week we welcome the Year 6 boys who will be joining the School in September. They spend the entire day in school attending the Year 6 Induction Day; an opportunity to meet their form tutor, meet new friends, and see what is to come next year. Part of that day is to attend the whole school assembly which is poignant this year as we will be, as a school, acknowledging the 100th Anniversary of the start of The Battle of the Somme. Over these four years from 2014 to 2018 we are acknowledging key dates from WWI, and The Battle of the Somme is one of those events. Sadly a number of Old Maidstonians lost their lives during the battle and so it is right that we properly remember them. This week I continue meeting each class from Year 7 to year 10 to discuss with them a number of exciting changes that they will see over the next few years. To date I have spoken with 16 out of the 24 classes, and generally the response has been positive. As I said in my letter to parents about three weeks ago, parents will hear more about these changes at the beginning of the academic year from September, but it is important that the students themselves hear about the changes and be given an opportunity to ask questions that I can then answer. Understanding change is so important, and this is what these sessions are intending to do. I will have finished meeting all classes by the end of next week before Lower School Speech Day. Despite the letter that was sent out last week regarding today's industrial action by the NUT members, I wish to again express my frustration with the action taken and the impact that it has created. Asking some students to remain at home and having to cancel tonight's Year 10 Parents' Evening were decisions not taken lightly but sadly were necessary. I am continuing to discuss with staff how we can rectify the situation particularly with regards the Parents' Evening, and should be in a position in the next few days to inform parents of Year 10 how we are going to do this. Once again I deeply regret being in this position; it is incredibly frustrating that our hands were somewhat tied.
As we say goodbye to one year group we say hello to another. Thursday this week we welcome the Year 6 boys who will be joining the School in September. They spend the entire day in school attending the Year 6 Induction Day; an opportunity to meet their form tutor, meet new friends, and see what is to come next year. Part of that day is to attend the whole school assembly which is poignant this year as we will be, as a school, acknowledging the 100th Anniversary of the start of The Battle of the Somme. Over these four years from 2014 to 2018 we are acknowledging key dates from WWI, and The Battle of the Somme is one of those events. Sadly a number of Old Maidstonians lost their lives during the battle and so it is right that we properly remember them.