MGS TIMES - Maidstone Grammar School

December 2014
Welcome to the Christmas Edition of the MGS Newsletter
Terry Shambler: the 2014-15 academic year sadly started with the School acknowledging the tragic
news of Terry Shambler who died on holiday back in July. He was on holiday with a group of other MGS
students in Ayia Napa celebrating the end of the examinations, when he was involved in a road traffic
accident. Our thoughts immediately were with his family and friends, but, for the School, it was very
upsetting not to be able to support Terry’s friends and his year group, and to provide them with
opportunities to support each other. Many had left the school before the tragic event and had already
become Old Maidstonians. So, at the assembly on the first day of term, and at the annual Senior Speech
Day the following week, the School community paused for a moment to remember him.
A permanent memorial will be made in order that we go on remembering Terry and to commemorate his
time at Maidstone Grammar School. This will be in the form of The Terry Shambler Memorial Concert.
Terry loved his music and loved his friends and family, so it is befitting to have a concert that celebrates
his love of music and provide an opportunity for students to perform with their family and friends. More
details of the event will follow. Also, just this week, on Monday, a memorial rugby match took place at
Aylesford Rugby Club where Terry was a member. The match between the MGS 1 st XV and a team from
Aylesford made up of many old Maidstonians provided an opportunity for many of Terry’s former year
group who were back from university to join together and remember him.
Combined Cadet Force: the term has ended with the School receiving some very positive news about
our Combined Cadet Force and the proposed funding changes that would have affected all schools with a
CCF. The CCF has been a part of this School for over 100 years and we would certainly be a different
place if it did not exist. The funding proposals, if they had gone ahead, would have seen many schools,
including ourselves, having to re-think their cadet units and possibly see many closures. You would have
seen from my letter sent out last week that we received some tremendous news following a five month
fight to challenge the proposals. The Defence Secretary had decided not to implement the proposals and
see schools wishing to set up new CCF units following the same funding model as we do. I am sure
many of you share the School’s delight in this news and hope to see the CCF continue to be an integral
part of MGS. The traditions of MGS are the most important qualities about the School and it is important
that we protect them for future generations.
Bring Your Own Device: you will have already this year received a letter describing our developments
to embrace technology and encourage a culture of students making use of their electronic devices in
school. This will be an on-going development and will take time to become integral to the workings at
MGS. There will of course be parameters to adhere to, to ensure the high standards of safeguarding are
maintained, but I want to stress that I believe this culture of encouraging students to use their own devices
should be one based on mutual trust. The initial picture has been incredibly pleasing, and I hope to see, as
we move through the year, student devices being common place in school supporting learning and
making a positive difference to the students.
The Development Fund: another big initiative the School has been working on since September has
been to launch the birth of The MGS Development Fund. I have now spoken to students and parents of
six year groups and the feedback we have received has been very promising. The culture of philanthropic
giving will take time to grow, but the response we have received has been a positive one. So far over 70
parents have made generous donations, whether they be offers of help through volunteering or financial
Over the next five years these financial donations will raise over £40,000. This is a great start. Many,
many thanks to the parents who have already supported the Fund and if anyone else would like to get involved then please do contact the School. Remember also that we are looking for people to offer help in
other ways, and already about half a dozen parents have offered their time as a volunteer. Thank you.
The seed has been planted and we now watch the Fund grow in size and impact over the many years
The Fundamental philosophy behind the Fund is the building and strengthening of relationships and developing the Fund’s and School’s philosophy of re-engaging Maidstone Grammar School with its alumni.
There are many former students of the School that fondly remember their time here and remain in contact
with us. But there are hundreds more out there who have lost contact and we would love to re-kindle
some old acquaintances. It is hoped that we can get in contact with many former students, invite them
back into the School and share with them how we would like to see their school develop. Your children
will all become Old Maidstonians and the allegiance the students have with the School is incredible.
With social media now abundant in society we hope that they will remain in contact with each other and
the School when they leave, and want to see future Maidstonians experience what they are experiencing
School Archives: alongside the work promoting the Development Fund we have also been working hard
to share with the School community the many artefacts we have in our School Archive. At this point I
wish to thank Mrs Lois Birrell who has volunteered many hundreds of hours to support the School in this
area. From lugging dusty boxes and fixing damaged items to tracking down former students, Mrs Birrell
has worked tirelessly to reach a position where we can now understand more about our School. Our history is really important to us, and the role of the School archivist is vital to ensure we learn from this history and that what we do today is preserved for future Maidstonians. Please read on in the Newsletter to
see the kind of things she has been working on. Mrs Birrell is sadly relinquishing her role as the School’s
archivist at Christmas, and I want to thank her for everything she has done to support the school, she will
Success Stories: once again the Autumn Term has been filled with many success stories, and this Newsletter describes them in more detail, so do read on. I cannot continue though without mentioning the
wonderful School production this year of Oliver. Four fantastic performances in late November saw
nearly 100 students and staff come together to perform the musical. We should all be immensely proud
of what was achieved and thank you once again to everyone who came along to watch and many thanks
to the students and staff that displayed tremendous commitment and dedication over the last few months
to create a production of such quality. A job well done.
I also wish to share with you some fantastic news about Sam Ghinn 7Cr who has been selected to represent his country in the 2015 GB Gymnastics Team. This means that Sam joins an exclusive group of current and former MGS students who have been selected to represent their country; and in fact we believe
Sam is the youngest Maidstonian to be selected. Well done again Sam and good luck next year.
Christmas Charity Day: I would like to finish by expressing how delighted I was to see the students
once again go the extra mile when asked to display their charitable nature. The number of students who
donated Christmas presents to support the Salvation Army Charity, cans of food to support the ‘You Can
Help Campaign’, and the number of Christmas jumpers being worn around the School last Friday was
fantastic. Many thanks to all of you for supplying your children with gifts to bring in and tasteful (!)
jumpers to wear. A great day was had by all.
Finally, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mr M Tomkins
Please do share any successes achieved outside of school with us so that we can include them in our
termly newsletters and provide pictures where possible. Send to: [email protected]
CCF News
The start of the year in September was overshadowed by the MOD’s proposals to cut all cadet funding for
CCFs whilst phasing in an annual charge to each cadet for facilities provided. Such was the overwhelming
protest from schools, old boys, parents, and organisations connected with the CCF that the MOD did a
complete U-turn early this December and restored the status quo – much to our relief as there had been a
distinct possibility of the end of the CCF at Maidstone Grammar School after 108 years of its existence. So
what has the CCF been doing this year?
RAF: it has been as busy as ever with the RAF enjoying a second summer camp at RAF Linton on Ouse
along with cadets from The Judd and Skinners Schools following the earlier summer camp held at RAF
Brize Norton. Three officers and ten MGS cadets were on camp with activities involving air experience
flying, visits to various sections of an RAF station, an adventure training day, and a visit to RAF Fylingdales. Air Cadet Leadership courses were successfully completed at RAF Cranwell in July by James
Goodbody (merit), Christian McLean 12Cl1 and Laurence London 12Cl2. In October four cadets attended a leadership course at RAF Wittering; Alex Bor 11Cl was awarded the honour of best junior cadet
and Louis Young 11H was the best senior cadet on the course. Terrific achievement for the boys and MGS
CCF. Speaking to the officers after the parade, it was a pleasure to hear the high esteem in which they
hold MGS CCF.
Flying has resumed with the Grob Tutor returning to service, so 0630 starts were in order to reach RAF
Wyton in Cambridgeshire in October & December. All the cadets flew on the October visit each with approx. 30 minutes in the air. Some performed aerobatics whilst others chose to have a more detailed lesson
about flying. The pilots were all ex-fast jet pilots who had flown just about everything from Hunters to
Buccaneers and Tornados. There was a high speed fly past by a Tornado which proved quite exciting. Arriving back in Maidstone at 1800 ended a long but worthwhile day. The December group were not so lucky
as flying was cancelled after arrival due to very strong wind, but the opportunity was taken for station visits
looking at different aspects of how an RAF base operates along with a visit to the museum at Duxford. The
return of powered flying is good news but unfortunately gliding has been grounded for the best part of a
year due to service history checks being required.
Recruiting has been encouraging although slightly down on previous years. Over half of the Year 9 cohort
signed up for the CCF and since September have carried out tri-service training in School leading up to the
Recruits camp over a weekend just before the middle of December. This took place at St Martins Plain
Camp near Folkestone. A varied and busy training programme, beginning with the fact that 0600 really
does exist, involved personal kit preparation, First Aid, Skill at Arms, Military Knowledge, a Section Attack Demonstration, Camouflage & Concealment, Noise and Vision at night, practical Leadership Tasks, a
Signals Exercise, a Map & Compass Exercise, and a Drill Competition! All four troops worked extremely
well and Yellow Troop was the overall winner of the four competitions involved in the training. The
presentation of a beret and cap badge completed the transition from recruit to cadet and the move to the
preferred Army, RN, or RAF Section of the Contingent.
Royal Navy Section: the Royal Navy continues to grow in strength – a bigger boat may have to be considered! In early September, the RN Section travelled to Portsmouth Naval Base to visit their affiliated ship,
the Type 23 frigate HMS Kent which was undergoing an extensive refit. During the course of the tour, cadets were shown the newly installed navigation and weapons systems. While this time of the year does not
lend itself to afloat training, much use was made of the lake in Mote Park during Term one. Rafting, canoeing, and sailing (when conditions permitted) kept the section very active and occasionally very wet. What
is not often appreciated is the uptake of all sorts of courses away from school that the RN offers. Many of
our cadets have been involved in these since September. Two RN officers attended a weekend discovering
the part played by the RN in World War I - in addition to the dining experience.
The Army Section: the Army opened the year with a range day to select a team for the Cadet Skill at Arms
Competition at Pirbright in Surrey. With their one combined selection and practice day behind them the
team prepared to take on the best of the ACF and those other schools with a CCF that entered the competition. Two schools are notorious for their competition shooting so it was not surprising when one of them
took 1st and 2nd position in each of the three competition events! On obtaining a copy of the results and
scores sheet it came as quite a surprise to find that out of 31 competing teams our team had taken 4 th place
on the Electric Target Range shoot and 5th place on the Snap shoot – so no shields, no cups, and no medals
but a great effort and at least a bit of a warm glow. The Army Section prides itself on its versatility and all
round training so the next competitive event was the weekend (including overnight) Signals Competition
Exercise ‘Christmas Cracker’ on the National Radio Net. A delayed start due to a rugby match on the
school field and a slight technical error with the radio connection to the antenna was a bit unfortunate but
once underway messages were being exchanged with other contingents all over the country and this year
there were American Stations to be contacted in Germany and Afghanistan. The results are due to be published by Christmas Day.
The Contingent was well represented in Maidstone on Remembrance Sunday with 53 cadets and 4 adult
staff on parade making us probably the second largest marching group after the Royal Engineers from 36
Engineer Regiment.
The Remembrance Service was held on Armistice Day; this year it took place in the School Library where
the names of those old Maidstonians who died in World War I are displayed. The CCF organised the annual collection in School for the Royal British Legion (RBL) Poppy Appeal and raised £468.99 to help enable
the RBL to continue its vital welfare and benevolent work.
Whilst Christmas brings a welcome break, the new term in January already has us preparing for the very
competitive national RAF Ground Training Competition, two Weapon Handling Safety Training and Test
weekends and Adventure Training in the Easter break. Just as well the MOD did change its mind about cutbacks to the CCF!
Global Peace Games: Maidstone Grammar School was one of four schools in England to be invited to
take part in The Global Peace Games which was hosted by the Peace Village, Messines, Belgium. Five
students were selected as ambassadors to take part in the games funded by the UN on the 16th September
2014. Schools from Belgium and Germany also joined us on the project which was sponsored by the
NCFA (National Children’s Football Alliance).
This trip was inspired by the Christmas Truces in 1914 and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the
historic event where soldiers came out of their trenches to play a game of football against each other on the
field of No Man’s land on Christmas Eve 1914 during World War I. The aim of the project is to twin 100
schools in Kent with the Flanders Field in Belgium which will commence in a couple of month’s time.
The activities included rugby, football, cricket, cycling, peace workshops and not to mention many visits to
memorials and museums of World War I. These activities were very exciting and thrilling as we were able
to embark upon sports with people from other nations and we encountered lots of new and interesting topics of World War I. One might consider that communication between the students of different countries
would be a struggle, however, the language barrier was almost non-existent due to the communication that
we were able to do through our body language and expressions.
On the whole, this trip was a once in a life time opportunity in which we were able to mix ourselves in with
other cultures as if we were at school having a normal PE lesson with another form. Throughout the course
of the week we made lifelong friends who we will be sure to visit sometime in the future. Ultimately, we
were able to understand why the sacrifices our grandfathers made were so important to the peace which we
all now live in, as this was the main purpose of the unforgettable project.
For further information please go to
Niraj Gautam 10H
Emirates Arsenal Trip: on the 18th November we went to the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club. After a long drive there we cracked on, with completing our various tasks for the day. This included having a stadium tour and also completing several EQSS (Environmental surveys) around the local
The purpose of the trip was to look at whether Arsenal’s move from Highbury (the previous stadium) to the
Emirates benefited the local area. We investigated whether or not the locals and councils agreed with the
Our favourite part of the trip was sitting in the changing rooms! We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. It really
expanded our knowledge.
Kit Warner & Sebastian Mead 8Cr
Oliver - School Production
On the 26th - 29th November, the story of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist was brought to life in the Big Hall.
Ben Johnston 13Cl2, a stalwart of the annual school musical for the last three years and who produced a
masterly and engaging performance as Beadle Bumble, offers his impressions of the show.
For the first time in Maidstone Grammar School history, the school musical was performed in the round to
sell-out audiences. Oliver, directed by Dr Froud, gave the paying public the opportunity to get up close
with some of the iconic characters in the play, such as Nancy, Fagin and, of course, Oliver. The 360 degree
extravaganza made for four nights of superb entertainment!
In the later stages of rehearsal, particularly in mid-November, the cast really started to feel the pressure of
putting on such a well-known show, a musical in which all the songs are popular. This was made ever more
difficult, due to the layout of the performance area. We constantly had to make sure that our voices could
be heard all around, and it was easy to forget that you always had your back to a part of the audience.
The cast was comprised of well over thirty actors, many of whom were in Year 7 and 8. These boys were
ideal for some of the larger musical numbers such as ‘Food Glorious Food’ and ‘You’ve Got to Pick a
Pocket or Two’. They did a fine job of portraying the pauper boys, and also Fagin’s gang members. Their
work ethic and enthusiasm should be commended. A particular mention should go to Oliver Leyland 9S
who played the Artful Dodger with a worrying degree of competency, and Theo Hazlehurst 8Cl who
made the Oliver role his own.
In the upper end of the school, Year 11s and Sixth Form Students played more principal parts. Rowen
Hughes 13Cr3 played the Nancy role with confidence and compassion and sang brilliantly, whilst Angus
Poulter 12E3 gave a spine- chilling performance as the villainous Bill Sykes. Elsewhere, Ryan Costello’s
13E2 portrayal of the boys’ “guardian” Fagin was simply mesmerising. His musical and acting abilities
were first rate, and I know that a few front row parents were temporarily scarred by his audience interaction! Congratulations also to Imogen Mott 13Cl1 who played Widow Corney with a great sense of comedy, Danny Sharp 11Cr as the lugubrious Mr Sowerberry and Rebecca Gillett 13Cr2 as his screeching
wife. Supporting the cast was a 15 strong orchestra whose playing was faultless. Overall, the whole company should be extremely proud, and should give themselves a pat on the back. A job well done!
We must thank the people that made the show a reality. Thank you to Dr Froud, whose direction was inspired, and who was ably assisted by Mr Goddard, Miss Tomes and Mr Shillito as Musical Director. We
are very grateful to Miss Lewis and Mrs Acaster for their hard work in choreography, Mr Martin and the
Sound and Light Team for their technical assistance, and Miss Morton and Miss Lang for their sterling efforts in the prop and costume department. It was something of a triumph that Miss Burton, as prompt, went
largely unnoticed!
Year 11 GCSE Drama Showcase: since September, 11A Drama students have been studying the play
‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. On 10th December, the students performed to a live audience in the
Drama Studio. This performance is a scripted piece, and the first of two controlled assessments which
form 60% of their final mark.
‘Blood Brothers’ tells the story of twins, Mickey and Edward. Out of desperation, their mother, Mrs Johnstone, gives Edward away to childless Mrs Lyons. It is agreed the parentage of the boys will remain a secret between the two women. By chance, the twins meet and become friends. The play tells the story of
their friendship, highlighting the contrast in the lives and fortunes of the two boys.
Working as a pair or a group of three, the students performed either an amalgamation of scenes involving
the two main characters of Mickey and Edward at different point in their lives, or one complete scene from
early on in the play. Both extracts start when Mickey and Edward meet for the first time at the age of seven and become blood brothers. Preparing for their roles took time; some students had to portray Mickey or
Edward at different ages; some had to play a female role; one student had to play two characters. Playing a
character at different ages, particularly a young age or a different gender, presents challenges to an actor.
Careful characterisation is needed, requiring thorough exploration through thought-tracking, role play and
Thank you so much to the parents and staff who came to watch; such support is much appreciated. Having
a live audience to perform to was extremely beneficial. They boys were fantastic and I am proud of them
I would like to thank Dr Brewer, Mrs Morton, Mr Willmott, Mr Martin, the Sound and Light team and the
caretaking team who all helped to make the first GCSE Drama Showcase a successful evening.
Miss Burton.
Drama Department
My Poetry Idol – courtesy of Young Writers: how exciting – many more of our Year 8 and 9 students
are now published poets!
After their success in ‘A Twist in the Tale’ and ‘The
Poetry Games’ in the earlier part of last academic
year, MGS students in Years 7 and 8 (now 8 and 9)
were invited to take part in a new poetry competition called ‘My Poetry Idol: Someone Special’.
Their objective? To write a poem about a person
they idolise.
In terms of subject, the world was their oyster – they were
free to write about anyone they chose; their mother, their
father, a sibling, a friend, a sportsman, a celebrity – anyone they liked! Any style of poetry was welcome and no
fewer than sixty-seven of our students poems have been
published in the latest collection ‘My Poetry Idol: Someone Special.’
Congratulations to them all!
Year 8 Careers Day: on 7th October all Year 8 students were off-timetable for the day, taking part in an
Applied Learning Day focusing on careers and work-related learning. Students undertook a series of fun,
interactive lessons, delivered by MGS staff and external Careers Advisers from the CXK service, designed
to help them find out more about different career areas. They had the opportunity to get ideas about the
types of careers that might suit them in the future, and also develop important skills such as decision making, presentation, team-working and research skills.
Some students’ quotes from the day:
“I liked hearing about all the different jobs you could do because you could see other options”
“Before today I had not a clue about what I wanted to do. Now I have found a few careers that seem appealing to me”
“I enjoyed doing all the different activities as they were all interactive and useful”
“It gave me a lot of different job ideas that I didn’t know about before, but I liked”
“I enjoyed the way in which each game had a meaning and gave us a skill e.g. teamwork”
“It was not just building our skills but was also fun”
Maidstone Grammar School University Fair: on the 24th September 2014, Maidstone Grammar School
held its first ever University Fair, which was open to students in Year 11 and above attending MGS and
other local schools. Forty five of the UK’s leading universities from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were present to offer advice and information to students and parents about their courses and institutions. Advice was also available on studying overseas and taking a gap year. The event was a huge success, attracting over 1000 visitors and will now become an annual event for the school.
Exhibitors’ quotes:
Imperial: “The evening seemed to be a great success from where I was standing; the hall was packed with
bright and inquisitive students”
Cardiff: “It was a pleasure to speak to the students and my colleague mentioned their preparedness for
higher education and the interest of parents as worthy of a mention.”
Leicester: “It was refreshing to hear so many questions from Year 11 students regarding their A Level options as well as enquiries from Year 12/13 students.”
University College London: “From my perspective there was a huge amount of interest and it was incredibly well organised”
Newcastle: “It was a pleasure to attend your University Fair last week; we had some really positive questions from both your students and their parents”
St. Andrews: “Thank you for a wonderful fair – it was certainly worthwhile attending. Based on the success of this year's I am delighted to be asked to return”
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme 2014 Season: at the start of the year 96 Year 10 boys (over half of
the year group) signed up to the Award Scheme & started their training, this number reduced over the
months due to other commitments or not being able to fully commit to the mandatory training requirements. The training took place throughout the year after school on every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
to prepare for a ‘Practice Expedition’ before the summer break. It took three weekends to get our twelve
groups through to the standard required. (Each participant must successfully complete at least one practice
Once the holidays were over it was a panic to get four groups ready for their Assessed expedition which
took place over the weekend 12th – 14th September. The remaining boys had a little longer to prepare for
their expedition; one was at the end of September & the final one was 10th – 12th October which turned
out to be a very wet one! All of our 79 boys that took part in the assessed expeditions did very well and
can now move on to completing their other 3 sections of the award before going onto the silver or gold
award. A very good year for our boys.
J Wadsworth - Award Leader
Chess On Wednesday 16 December our chess team won the first round of the English Chess Federation
Schools Competition against Blue Skies School. Our team were on average 2 years younger than our opponents, but we won 4 games to 2. Our boys were a credit to our school. The team consisted of Alex Bor
11Cl (Team Captain), Jordan Allsop 11Cl, Alfie Nayler 11E, Kai Burley 11 Cl, Luhith Herath 7E, Peter Corrigan 7H.
These boys have shown great commitment to chess, attending chess club on Monday and Wednesday
lunchtimes on a regular basis. Alex Bor has been attending since year 7! The next round will be against
King School Canterbury in the new year.
Y13 Mathematicians recognised by the Mathematical Gazette. Congratulations to Andrew Rout 13I1
and William Grace 13I1 for their excellent solutions to the Student Problems of the Mathematical Association’s Mathematical Gazette. The solutions were published in the November edition and William was
awarded the 1st prize of £25. It has been a few years since we have had students whose efforts have been
recognised in this way and it is very pleasing to see the thriving Mathematical community that exists in the
Sixth Form.
School Archives: we are beginning to re-discover the School archive and hope to rejuvenate interest not
only in our own history but also that of the local community. Understanding history helps us make sense of
the present and guides us into the future, so it has been interesting is to find that, despite all the changes in
education, nothing really changes. Previous headmasters had the same worries that I have, often about
changes in education! They said the same things in speeches as I do: exam results, sports and celebrating
success. There are core words such as ‘family’, ‘community’, ‘development’, ‘standards’, ‘donation’ and
‘deficit’ which appear throughout the last 130 years of The Maidstonian. The latter two words, with alarming regularity!
As well as the archive being our collective history, each item has its own history; every photograph tells a
story and each beautifully signed, hand-written letter is a reminder of a time when we wrote to each other,
rather than texted or emailed.
We can see the faces of the ‘boys’ who died in
WW1, in their cricket or rugby kit, their OTC
uniform or the whole school photograph, and
this brings each of them, and their stories, to
life again.
Ernest Hart in Form Vb in 1909, with a rather cheeky grin on his face, and as a very different young man in
uniform shortly before his death, aged 24, on 13 October 1915 at the Battle of Loos
Letters, invoices and receipts are also a fascinating insight into how people’s lives, language and handwriting have changed over the years. Earlier documents, especially formal and official ones, are almost works
of art in their own right; the paper or vellum, seals, stamps and script are all elaborate and impressive.
However, there is little waste. Shorter or informal correspondence is often written on an A5 sheet of paper
or perhaps the reply is written on the original letter. Sometimes, there are three or four letters on the same
sheet of paper! Then there is also the evidence of paper shortages during WWII when carbon copies are
often on torn scraps of greaseproof paper. Incidentally, this is where the use of ‘Cc’ originates, even though
carbon copies are a thing of the past.
In our archive, the typewriter doesn’t make much of an appearance until about 1900 and, without correcting fluid, (which was not invented until 1951) mistakes were almost always corrected by hand! Its use
gradually increases until computers and printers took over in the 1980s and today it is rare to see any document written by hand, let alone an official or business one. Nowadays, most correspondence is, quite frankly, rather dull in comparison, with few of the flourishes and little of the ornamentation which make many
of the documents in our archive so interesting.
Apart from the vast amount of information contained in the back editions of The Maidstonian, we have
programmes from plays and concerts going back to 1921, photographs of school productions dating from
the late 19th century and some of Dr Henniker’s original musical scores (the earliest from 1872), including
the original School song, ‘Olim Meminisse Juvabit’ which predates his composition of our current School
song, ‘Gaudeamus’.
Some students do not know that getting a cap for playing for one’s country means just that, but we have
caps dating from the 1920s. These were awarded for representing the School and are made of navy blue
velvet, with gold trim and embroidered dates, all topped off with an extravagant gold tassel!
We also have an Old Maidstonian Society blazer
from the 1930s in the archive. It is a wonderfully
gaudy collection of navy blue, gold, purple and
cream stripes with a rather outlandishly embroidered badge. A few students, much to their enjoyment and amusement, tried it on and some
were actually rather keen on its reintroduction!
Maidstone Grammar School has been at the heart of the local community for many years; grandfathers, fathers and sons all attended the School and became part of its extended family. Students stayed in touch and
older copies of The Maidstonian chronicle births, marriages and deaths, together with holidays, jobs and
promotions, and all without Facebook and Twitter! However, the advent of social media has added a new
dimension to history and our archive; genealogy is a popular hobby and we are now helping people add to
their own family history, even though they may never have been to MGS, Maidstone or even the U.K!
The ability to have a ‘hands on’ approach to the School’s rich history makes our archive a wonderful (and
worldwide) resource and one we hope to use more effectively in the future.
Achievements and Successes:
Art & Design: Harry Mews 12Cr1 won the bronze award in the 11-16 category of the Downton Awards,
It was for a photographic triptych, of which 35 schools entered this year's show with over 330 pieces submitted.
The students below were selected by jury to exhibit in the 2015 Downton Awards at County Hall:
Isobelle Cooper (graduated A2 Photography)
Alex Webb 12S2 (AS Fine Art)
Harry Mews 12Cr1 (AS Fine Art)
Triathlon: Hamish Reilly 7S competed for the Triathlon England South East Region against the London
region in October at the Olympic Velopark. Selection had been based on performance throughout the season. Hamish did exceptionally well, and came 4th overall in his category, and 3rd placed South East competitor.
Windsurfing: Tom Cunningham 9Cl took part in The Bic Techno 6.8 windsurfing title at the prestigious
RYA Zone Championships at the Dabchicks Sailing Club and West Mersea Yacht Club in Essex. Tom
won 2 of his opening 3 races and finished 2nd in the other on day 1 of the 2 day event. Tom backed that
impressive effort up with 3 further victories and 2 seconds to successfully finish 1st overall. Well done
Gymnastics: Samuel Ghinn 7Cr - Sam took part in a Gymnastics competition in September in which he
qualified to represent the South East region at the National Finals in Birmingham in November . Sam received the fantastic news in November that he has been elected by the British Gymnastics to be part of the
GB National Squad for 2015. He will be required to attend 8 4-day training camps throughout next year at
Lilishall National Sport Centre in Shropshire with the National Coaching Team.
Rugby: Our rugby 2nd XI won their League with a played 9 won 8 record. They are also in the 1/4 final of
the Kent Cup
Cross Country: MGS won both the Year 7 and Junior races at the Maidstone and district x-country, with
15 boys now having been selected for the District team at the Kent Championship
Daniel Reidy 6H1 achieved a Black Belt First Dan in Karate at
the Shi-Zen-Do karate club.
Science: over the Summer Hannah Smith-Fawcett 6I2 went on a Nuffield Bursary scheme, doing some
very good Chemistry research. She showed good initiative and drive, setting it up and carrying it out.
Kent Youth County Council Elections: congratulations to Joshua Gray and Oliver Oakley both 11Cr
for being elected on to the Council.
Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal: when we sent a letter to you asking for your help in sending in
unwrapped Christmas presents and gifts so that we could support the Salvation Army Christmas Present
Appeal we envisaged a good response from you, our parent body. Well, you will be pleased to hear that your
response to the letter was nothing short of overwhelming and so heart-warming. We are delighted to tell you
that we collected over 400 toys and gifts for the Appeal. Captain Lynne Clifton from the Salvation Army
arrived in her car to pick up the gifts – even she did not expect the school to have collected so many presents.
These almost filled one of the School’s mini buses!
Your on-going generosity never ceases to amaze us. Thank you!
Mrs H Cook
Raising Funds, Raising Learning
A new academic year, a new term, which saw our main annual event, The MGS PA’s Fireworks night
take place. Once again we had fantastic support from parents, staff, friends, school prefects and our community for this Spectacular on 8 November 2014. A torrential downpour did its best to challenge us midway through, but it could not dampen our spirit and the show had to go on!
This event raised a net contribution to the PA’s charity funds of just over £5,200 and the PA would like to
thank Mr Cahalin who was able to provide match funding for this event from his employer. We hope that
everyone enjoyed the evening and that we will see you all again next year.
The PATH Lottery (Parents’ Association Two Hundred Lottery) has nearly 130 numbers being entered
into the monthly draws raising nearly £1000 for the school. The next monthly draw will take place at the
end of December along with our first end of term SUPER SIZE JACKPOT of £100. If you wish to enter,
please go to the school’s website and navigate to the ‘Community’ tab. From there you can access the Parents’ page where you will find the Parents’ Association. The PATH lottery is explained in full and a form
can be downloaded. Please note that online payments will not be available after Thursday 18 th December.
At the beginning of December the PA launched a new fundraising initiative, which was our Christmas
Shopping Evening. This was deemed a great success with 40 stalls of unique and interesting gift ideas. Along with music, mulled wine and mince pies it was the perfect start to getting into the Christmas
spirit, and raised nearly £800 for the PA. A big thanks to all who attended, the staff that helped us set up
and clear away and the sound ‘n’ lighting team. We do hope that even more of you will come next year.
We receive regular donations via the easy fundraising site where members have shopped online via this
website. We now have 239 registered members and have raised over £350 in the last quarter from donations received. This does not require you to do much apart from visit your online shop via this site and of
course there is still time to makes some last minute Christmas purchases online so PLEASE, PLEASE
JOIN IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY – it’s extremely straightforward and does not cost you a penny to
sign up. Please go to , to register and shop.
Raising Funds, Raising Learning
Last week the PA ran their annual Christmas Wreath-Making Workshop. This year saw a staggering 55
people attending this fun packed, creative evening resulting in a wide variety of stunning wreaths as well as
raising nearly £800. Wine, soft drinks, mince pies, nibbles and other festive treats were included in the
evening along with festive cheer and Christmas music.
The final fundraiser this term was the Grand Christmas Draw. All prize winners will be contacted before
the end of this term and will also be published on the School’s website on the PA’s news page. We are delighted to tell you that this year we sold more tickets than ever before and have raised an incredible £2400.
Thank you so much for your support.
The PA also held a Year 7 Welcome BBQ for both parents and students and provided refreshments at the
11+ open evenings and the recent production of Oliver Twist, which was packed out every night.
Finally the Parents' Association would like to thank all of you who have supported us during this term.
Please check our page regularly on the school’s website to see what events are coming up and where the
funds are spent. Remember, your PA is only as good as the support it receives from you, the parents!
Why not GET INVOLVED? There are many ways that you can help. Please contact the Parents’ Association via the school website, or talk to us at one of our events.
With festive wishes to you all
MGS Calendar dates
Term 3
5 January 2015
6 January 2015
12 January 2015
12-16 January 2015
15 January 2015
9-23 January 2015
20 January 2015
22 January 2015
26 Jan to 30 Jan 2015
26-Jan to 2 Feb 2015
2 February 2015
6 February 2015
9 February 2015
10-13 February 2015
13 February 2015
13 February 2015
16-20 February 2015
First day of Term 3
Year 11 GCSE Mathematics Exam Paper 1
Year 11 GCSE Mathematics Exam Paper 2
Year 13 Trial Exams in class
Year 9 Consultation Evening
Year 12 Trial Exams in class
Year 8 Choices & Consultation Evening
Year 8 Applied Learning Day
Year 8 exams in class
Year 12 Harvard Trip
Year 11 Academic Interview Day
PA Quiz Night
Year 13 Consultation Evening
Year 11 Sixth Form Interviews
Challenger & Churchill Charities’ Day
Last Day of Term 3
Spring Break
Term 4
23 February 2015
25 February 2015
27 February 2015
9 March 2015
12 March 2015
17 March 2015
19 March 2015
20 March 2015
24 March 2015
27 March 2015
30 March 2015
31 March 2015
1 April 2015
2 April 2015
First day of Term 4
Year 7 Consultation Evening
Year 7 BBC School Report (Day 1)
Year 8 Academic Interview Day
Year 10 Men C & DTP Vaccinations
Year 11 Consultation Evening
Year 7 BBC School Report (Day 2)
Red Nose Day
Spring Concert
OM Supper & AGM
A Level Presentation Evening
Year 10 Consultation Evening
Old Boys’ Rugby Match at MGS 2.30pm
End of Term 4 (2.30pm finish)
First Day back in Term 5 – Monday 20 April 2015
(Please retain)