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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

31 January 2017

Firstly, congratulations and well done to the senior rugby squad who played and beat Skinners’ School on Wednesday last week 21 – 19.  The boys played extremely well, and the result was a good one considering it has come just before they travel to Paris in half term for their rugby tour.  Well done boys.

Last Friday I attended an Old Maidstonian event in London which invited former students to gather together and catch up with each other before travelling home after their day at work.  It was good to meet a variety of OMs ranging from students who left in the 50s to those who left only a few years ago. 

Yesterday we spent the day interviewing candidates for the Assistant Headteacher position that will be vacant from September following Dr Everett’s decision to retire.  Governors, staff and students were all involved in the process and I am pleased to say that we were able to make an appointment.

Thursday this week is the deadline for all applicants from Year 11 who wish to join our sixth form from September.  We are always oversubscribed and so it is hoped, once again, that many students finally join us in September after the many months’ long process.

This Friday is the annual Parents’ Association Quiz Night, which this year has a British theme.  The event is always very popular, but if you have not purchased your tickets yet, and you still wish to come along, then please make contact with the School straight away.  See you there.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Tuesday 24 January 2017

All of this week a group of Year 12 students are in Boston and New York to attend the Harvard Model United Nations Conference.  Each year the students on return speak very positively about their experiences and are always ready to promote the trip to subsequent year groups.  We look forward to hearing how they got on when they return next Monday.

Yesterday I was involved in interviewing a number of members of staff for a new role which we have created to start in September.  Part of the interview involved the shortlisted candidates taking part in a student led interview and an assembly.  It is always important to get a student perspective; young people are incredibly perceptive.  Thank you to them for their views.

Today is the Year 9 Parents' Evening.  Subject teachers will be available to meet parents and discuss the progress of the boys since starting their GCSE courses.  With some staff being fully booked, if parents are unable to make appointments then please do let us know.  There will be plenty of senior staff on hand to answer any questions or concerns, but I will be unavailable as I am attending a meeting elsewhere in Kent. I hope the evening goes well.

On Friday I am attending the first Kent and Medway Grammar Schools' Association meeting of 2017.  The meetings always provide opportunities to network with fellow Heads and discuss issues that affect us all. 

Following this meeting I will be commuting into London to attend an Old Maidstonian event.  With Neil Turrell, Headmaster of MGS from 1992 to 2009, being President of the Old Maidstonian Society this year the Committee felt it would appropriate to organise an event in London to encourage Old Maidstonians who work in London to meet over a couple of drinks before commuting home.  There will be a number of former students attending, and so I look forward to meeting them and sharing with them how their school has developed since they left.

Finally congratulations to Hamish Reilly, Bashri Ryan and Simon Coppard who have all been selected to represent Kent Schools at the English Schools Cross Country Championships in March.  All of them took part in the Kent Schools Championship at the weekend coming 2nd, 4th and 3rd respectively in their respective races.  As well as these three boys Matthew Howson also competed at the weekend in one of the Maidstone District teams finishing 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 28th.   Well done boys. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Following the very brief snowy conditions at the end of last week, it is good to be back to normality.  Two and a half hours stuck on Bluebell Hill on Thursday evening was the highlight of my week!

This week Year 13 students are on study leave and coming in to school to complete their mock examinations.  It is hoped the results of these examinations provide a good idea of where students are and what they need to do to prepare for the real ones later in the year.  Good luck to all.

Last night after school I attended the Old Maidstonians Society January meeting.  It was a chance for the Committee to discuss a number of matters and prepare for the Old Maidstonians Annual Supper coming up in March.  The work the Committee does is incredibly important, ensuring that as many Old Maidstonians remain in contact with each other and with the School.  When a Maidstonian becomes an Old Maidstonian, the School motto, ‘Olim Meminisse Juvabit’ really begins to mean a lot.

Throughout the year a number of training opportunities are put on for staff to support them with their own professional development, and tonight a large proportion of the staff are remaining at school for an additional hour to take part in some of that bespoke training, which includes a session on ‘Being Creative in the Classroom’.  

Congratulations to Sam Ghinn of Year 9 who has been selected to be a member of the British Gymnastics training squad for boys aged 14-17. Well done Sam.

And finally I am pleased to announce that work begins from next Monday on phase 1 of our 2 year building project.  BEC was awarded the contract just before Christmas for the Performing Arts and Science and Computing buildings.  It all starts next week beginning with the Performing Arts building.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

10 January 2017

I hope after last week everyone has settled back into term.  The Spring Term for me is always the hardest despite it not being as long as the Autumn Term.  Students are beginning to prepare for the summer examinations and complete all their necessary coursework, but also, as a school, we really begin thinking ahead and preparing for the next academic year.  There is always a lot to do.

Yesterday I launched with Year 12 the School Captain and School Vice-Captain application process.  Those students who are interested in applying now have four weeks to put their letters of application together as the deadline is Friday 3 February.  Following shortlisting there will be interviews in the first week back following the February Half Term.  I look forward to seeing who applies.

All of this week boys in year 8 are completing their Year 8 examinations which will help them decide what GCSE subjects they wish to study from next year.  Last week’s Year 8 Information Evening was the beginning of the GCSE Options process and by the end of the period all the boys will know what they will be studying.

Next week Year 13 will be completing their mock examinations, which will be their last internally set examination before the real ones in the summer.  Make sure you all prepare yourselves well and good luck to everyone.

Just an advance warning that there is a Year 9 Parents’ Evening coming up in a couple of weeks: Tuesday 24 January.  This will be the first chance parents hear feedback from teachers about their son’s progress since beginning their GCSEs.  We look forward to welcoming parents then.

 

 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

3 January 2017

Welcome back everyone and Happy New Year.  I hope you all had a well-deserved and peaceful break.  This week is a slightly quieter and shorter one to start the year off. 

On Thursday we welcome parents of Year 8 to attend their son’s Information Evening.  Year 8 is an important year as the boys choose what GCSE subjects they would like to study from next year, and this Information Evening begins that process.  The Year 8 Exams begin next Monday which will help the boys and their parents consider their strengths and subjects of interest.  We look forward to meeting parents on Thursday. 

Before next week’s Blog I would have also spoken to Year 12 regarding the up-and-coming application process to become the next School Captain and Vice-Captain.  Despite the interviews for the roles not being until after February Half Term, the process needs to begin early to allow interested students a chance to apply and for us to shortlist.  I look forward to receiving application letters in the near future.

Have a good first week back everyone.