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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

23 February 2016

Welcome to the start of Term 4.  I hope you all had a good half term break and are well rested for the next few weeks.  Firstly I wish to welcome back the students and staff who have just returned from the MGS Ski Trip.  It was the first school ski trip for a few years and it is pleasing to hear that a good time was had by all.  I have already been told that the students were a credit to the School and thoroughly enjoyed being on the slopes for the week.  A big thank you to the staff members: Mr Martin, Mr Kincaid, Mr Williams, Mr Jones and Mr Terrell who accompanied the boys for the duration of the trip.

Just before half term a group of CCF RAF cadets took part in the South East Area Air Squadron Trophy Competition.  The Air Squadron Trophy is one of the most prestigious cadet competitions within the Combined Cadet Force and Maidstone Grammar School has won it on numerous occasions.  This year we have once again achieved a place in the National Final by coming second in the SE Regional Final.  We were also the highest scoring state school out of 13 competitors.  Well done to the cadets, thank you to the staff who accompanied the students, and good luck to the team who compete in the Final on Sunday 13 March.

This week we will know who next year’s School Captain and School Vice-Captain are.  Seven candidates, shortlisted from 16 applicants, took part in a rigorous interview process which involved two interviews, an assembly, two presentations, a group task and a lunch with key staff and members of the wider school community.  The outcome of the process will be announced very soon.

Finally’ on Friday all of the Year 7 boys take part in the annual BBC School Report.  This is an opportunity to illustrate how the BBC works and provide an insight in the field of journalism.  Every year the boys enjoy the experience, and it is one activity they fondly look back on when they get older.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

9 February 2016

I cannot believe we have reached the end of Term 3 and that today is Shrove Tuesday.  It only feels a few days ago that we were taking down our Christmas decorations.  Last Friday saw the last House Charity Day of the year.  Challenger and Churchill students took over the School for the day to raise money and awareness for Sarcoma UK and The ABF Soldiers’ Charity.  The highlight of the day was the showing of The Great MGS Bake Off on the big screen in the Hall which was filmed the week before.  Thank you to the staff and students who took part in the Bake Off and well done to those who won Star Baker.  Friday was also the day 22 teams competed at the annual Parents' Association Quiz Night.  Over 150 people took part in what was an enjoyable evening and congratulations to Fifty Shades of Grey Matter who won scoring 222 points out of a possible 300.  Thank you to the Parents' Association, the student helpers, Mrs Lois Birrell and everyone who took part.  The quiz illustrated one thing though, the need to brush up on our spelling as the spelling round saw some very low scores!
In all my recent Blogs I have never mentioned school assemblies, but the last five weeks’ assemblies have been particularly appropriate.  The members of staff who give the assemblies have always spoken about something specific to them or on a matter that is significant for the time of year.  Since returning to school in January, everyone, without being asked to, has spoken about resilience.  Mental resilience and mental toughness amongst young people is something I am particularly keen to see develop at MGS and so spoke about it during the first week of term.  Following this, Ms Lang, Ms Johnson and Dr Everett all then continued the theme and spoke about something specific to them, from the strength of character Shackleton had when he endeavoured to cross Antarctica 100 years ago, to Dr Everett who shared with everyone the need to find peace and time to reflect quietly.  All of the assemblies certainly made me think, and I am sure many of the students did the same.
Congratulations to Rebecca Stone of Year 12 who has been selected to represent England at the U19 Korfball World Cup taking place in March in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. She will be part of a squad of 7 boys and 7 girls and will play teams from 15 other countries. Well done and good luck Rebecca. Finally I wish to thank the 18 students who have applied to be School Captain for the 2016-17 academic year.  Reading application letters from students who wish to be considered for the role and how they feel about their school is always incredibly rewarding.  The shortlisting now begins with the interviews taking place after Half Term.  Best of luck to them all.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

2 February 2016

Today we welcome back to school the Year 12 students who spent last week attending the Harvard United Nations Conference.  I am sure they had a wonderful experience and were given the opportunity to achieve something that they thought they would never feel possible.  I expect they also enjoyed the snow.  Welcome back everyone.

This Thursday is the opportunity for parents of Year 8 students to come into school and meet their sons’ teachers.  It also provides an opportunity for the boys to find out more about the new subjects that we offer at MGS during the GCSE years and so give greater understanding to help in the up-and-coming decision making process.  We look forward to welcoming you all on Thursday.
This Wednesday we welcome a group of French students and their teachers who are spending the day in Maidstone.  They will be joining a number of lessons during the day and helping our own students in their French lessons.  We hope they enjoy the day.

There are two events taking place on Friday: the Challenger and Churchill Charity Day and the Parents’ Association Quiz Night.  The Charity Day is the final House Charity Day of the year and is the chance for the students from those two Houses to raise money and awareness for their charities, which this year are ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Sarcoma UK.  I hope everyone is able to support the two Houses and so collectively raise a substantial sum of money for two important charities. 
Also on Friday is the annual Parent’s Association Quiz Night.  It takes place in the School Hall and starts at 7.30.  This year I am in the Quiz Master’s chair once more, so there’ll be no running in the aisles!  If you are able to come along and enjoy what proves each year to be an entertaining evening then please do make contact with the School Office to book your team a table.  We look forward to seeing you there.