Autumn supper booking form

Here is an online form for booking: for details of the menu etc see the Autumn Supper Flyer 2021.

    Autumn Supper 2021 Online booking

    I have made a payment of £ by for the purchase of place(s) at £13.00 each for the Old Maidstonians Autumn Supper being held at the school on Saturday 25th September 2021.

    Your Name (required)

    Year of joining MGS

    Please give either your email address or a telephone number

    Your Email

    A personal e-mail address is preferable to a company or university address, which might change.

    Your preferred phone number(required)


    Alternative phone number (optional)

    Payment will be acknowledged by telephone or e-mail, but tickets will not be issued.

    A vegetarian choice is included in the menu: see the flyer advertising the event.

    A New Chapter: An address by the Headmaster

    The school headmaster, Mark Tomkins, gave the following address at the first Quad assembly of the year. 28th May 2021

     

    Good afternoon everyone and a warm welcome to this first Quad assembly
    of the year.

    I am delighted to be finally speaking to you all as one
    school community – it has been a very, very long time indeed.  In fact,
    the last time I spoke to the entire school community was 14 months ago
    on Friday 20 March last year when I said goodbye to you all, before we
    all embarked on the first national lockdown.  At that time, we did not
    know what to expect – and we certainly would not have predicted what we
    all have experienced over the last 14 months – but what we did know was
    that saying goodbye to each other at that point in the school year was
    not right – it felt as if we were existing an alternative life, and that
    a parallel world was happening alongside our normal one.  But being here
    today, looking back on what has happened, we can say for certain that we
    have all come a long way and experienced something that many generations
    have not.  And although MGS will be changed by this experience, I
    believe we can be stronger and better than ever before: more resilient,
    more innovative, more dynamic, but also more generous.  And also today,
    as we look back on the last 14 months, I would like to extend a huge
    thank you to you all for the collective efforts put in from both staff
    and students.  We should all be very proud of what we have achieved: to
    the staff who have stepped up when the moment required them to; and to
    you the students who have all appreciated the situation we have been in
    and worked with us to provide you with the best experience possible.
    And so, when we look back in years to come, we can look back knowing
    when the time came for MGS to respond – we did, and we did it right.

    If we can imagine for a moment the life history of Maidstone Grammar
    School as a set of 472 books – one book for every year since 1549 when
    the school was initially founded; just like the seven books in the Harry
    Potter series – one book for each year Harry was at Hogwarts.  Now, each
    and every Maidstonian, current and former, would have their own set of
    books amongst the 472, and those sets of books for each Maidstonian
    would be unique and special to that person.  But, as well as individual
    students having their own set, each student would be a character
    contributing to the overall story.  Amongst the 472 books there would be
    books acknowledging key historical events, such as the 1^st and 2^nd
    World War periods; there would be books containing amazing news stories;
    and there would be books containing sad ones.

    But back on Friday 20 March last year it felt as though someone took the
    book that we were reading away from us and gave us a new one; and that
    new one has been the one we have been reading for the last 14 months.

    Now, this new book that was handed to us back in March last year was one
    that was initially unrecognisable – it was full of story lines and
    concepts that we were unfamiliar with, and for a long time it was
    difficult to read.  In fact, there were moments that made us feel so
    overwhelmed we wanted to throw the book against a wall and crave for the
    old one back; but it also, at times, forced us to have an open mind and
    try new things; and it even sometimes, when things turned out well, made
    us feel exhilarated and rewarded.

    But today marks a significant point in this book.  We are still reading
    the book, because the story has not been concluded, but we have turned
    over the page to start a new chapter, and this new chapter is the part
    of the story that is building up to the end, and as we see the new
    chapter heading, we are hoping for a number of things.  Firstly, we want
    to make sure that this /is/ the chapter that is building up to the end,
    and that we begin to recognise aspects of the previous book that was
    taken away from us all those months ago.  But at the same time, we want
    this new chapter to continue to acknowledge aspects of the previous
    chapters that we have just finished reading – that we initially found
    hard to read.    Because, after these last 14 months reading this book,
    we have in some way become familiar with its writing and got used to the
    story it has been telling; it has opened our minds and given us
    different things to consider.  But even though we have become familiar
    with it, we also know that if we don’t return to elements of the old
    book, then we may slowly forget what we enjoyed about it; and the love
    we had for it will fade and not be carried on by future readers.  We now
    want the best parts of both books.

    So, what does all this mean to you?  As current Maidstonians we want to
    bring back elements of the old MGS.  We want to do simple things like to
    be able to move more freely around school; to take part in activities
    that we have missed; to return to a place where our learning had an end
    point that was totally in our hands; and we want to rekindle the
    connections that we have missed with our fellow Maidstonians.  And I am
    delighted to say that we have already started seeing this.

    But at the same time as doing this we also want to take with us into our
    lives ahead the new things that we have enjoyed and come to value.
    Things like how we are delivering the curriculum; how we have used
    technology in our teaching; how we have all been using our devices to
    communicate; and, on a bigger scale, how we have re-evaluated our lives
    – identifying what is important.

    For me, on a practical level, I will be wanting to use Microsoft OneNote
    much more in the delivery of my lessons; I will be wanting to use the
    Assignments function in Microsoft Teams for setting homework; I will be
    wanting to encourage your parents to buy into the new way of doing
    parents’ evenings via our school cloud system; but on a larger scale, I
    will be wanting to find as much time as possible for me, which is
    something that I have neglected for years.

    But, despite learning new ways of doing things and having a different
    outlook on my life ahead, there has been one thing I have wanted to see
    return at MGS for a long time, and that is what we are doing today: the
    opportunity to come together as one community and recognise that we all
    belong to something much bigger.  So, to Year 7, and to our newest Year
    12 students who joined the School in September, this is what you have
    missed: seeing the whole school together as one.  So, after nine months
    of already being here I would like to say, welcome to your school;
    welcome to Maidstone Grammar School; and welcome to being a
    Maidstonian.  What you are seeing today is special and is something that
    we are all incredibly proud of.

    Now, I have just used the word ‘belong’ to illustrate a point – and
    belong to MGS we certainly do – and very soon we are going to see and
    hear that word belong much more often.

    Over the last four years since 2017 we have been developing the quality
    of the experience students get in the classroom; and we have called it
    ‘Inspire to Learn’.  You are now seeing massive displays around the
    school illustrating this very point.  But over the last 14 months we
    have come to recognise that now, more than ever before, there is another
    strand of Maidstone Grammar School that we wish to see develop – and
    that strand starts today in this very assembly – and we are going to be
    calling it ‘Inspire to Belong’.

    Students of Maidstone Grammar School have always referred to themselves
    as Maidstonians, and being a Maidstonian means something very special
    indeed.  Being a Maidstonian means that you belong to a community; that
    you belong to the traditions of the place; that you feel safe and
    supported; that you are nurtured into fine young men and women; and that
    you have a connection with other Maidstonians that lasts forever.

    Having such a thriving community of Maidstonians means we have common
    ground between each other in this generation and also with each other
    across different generations.  And what creates that common ground
    between different year groups is the of sharing common goals, beliefs,
    values and outlook.  These qualities, which are seen all around the
    school, are the essence of our community.  And being a community of
    Maidstonians with shared values is probably the most wonderful aspect of
    this school.  We are all individuals with our own identities, but we are
    also all the same with shared values.  We all treasure how important
    this school is to us – it provides us with a foundation that we will
    carry away with us for a very long time.  But most of all we treasure
    the friendships and relationships we build here with others.  And it is
    this aspect of Maidstone Grammar School that is a delight to see and be
    a part of.

    This feeling and culture that has been a part of Maidstone Grammar
    School has been somewhat lost during the last 14 months.  It is
    certainly strong enough to survive a pandemic, but if not rekindled,
    could soon fade as new Maidstonians arrive; and so next term, as well as
    the new academic year, is a perfect time to remind ourselves of what we
    have missed, and so we are launching our ‘Inspire to Belong’ agenda.  We
    want Maidstonians to be reminded of what they belong to; how they thrive
    as one community; and how they interconnect with others.  And as I said
    a few minutes ago, this has already been seen.  The numerous inter-house
    tournaments that have taken place have been such a delight to witness.
    Seeing over half a year group stay behind after school to play in one of
    them is testament to how those students feel towards their school and
    their house.

    So, see today as a fresh beginning: an opportunity to regroup and do the
    things that we have missed.  For example, with the summer months ahead
    we will be having whole school assemblies outside in the Quad; we can
    now have house assemblies back in the hall – as you have seen this week
    we can spread you out in your individual year groups more safely; we can
    begin to introduce more extra-curricular activities that we have been
    longing to restart; and we can begin to think about returning to
    vertical forms, which is hopefully going to happen in September.  Yes,
    verticality will return, and we will return to it as soon as it is safe
    to do so.

    But the most significant change that we have made, and that you have
    already experienced this week, is the moving around the school site for
    your lessons.  Now, moving around is not only good because you get to be
    taught in subject-specific areas and teachers get to teach in their own
    classrooms with their resources to hand; you also get to have a bit of
    exercise and fresh air between lessons.

    But for me, moving around the school site achieves something much
    bigger.  It reminds us that we all belong to something much greater: a
    community of Maidstonians far beyond our own friendship or year group
    bubbles.  It reminds us that we belong to a community of people that we
    have something in common with – allowing us to extend kindness and
    respect to everyone.  And it is these aspects, and all of the other
    aspects I have mentioned, that make MGS what it is; and so, I look
    forward to steering the school over the coming months back to what we
    remember, but at the same time embracing the new things we have learnt
    and seeing things with a fresh set of eyes.  So, please join me in this
    journey.

    Transcript provided by Mark Tomkins

    2021 Autumn Supper

    On Saturday 25th September the Society is holding an Autumn Supper in the School Hall as an occasion to get members and partners together for a sociable evening with fellow OM’s.
    We had to cancel two Annual Suppers in April 2020 and this year so this will be something of an occasion to “catch up” with fellow members, but with less formality than the Annual Supper.

    Here is a link to the flyer with full details including menu and booking details (PDF format). This has also been emailed to members.
    Autumn Supper Flyer 2021.
    An online booking form is available here
    Autumn supper booking form

    The event will start at around 4.00 pm and the school will be open so that members can see recent developments and major upgrades to the school’s facilities: the “All Weather” sports pitch; the new pavilion; the refurbished library; as well as recent classroom and laboratory upgrades.

    Year 13 leavers from 2020 and 2021 were denied any traditional “farewell fling” to end their school days so this will be a superb opportunity for them to get together.

    A buffet supper is being arranged for around 6.30 pm at £13 per head: details and menu are in the flyer. A pay bar will be provided for drinks before and during the meal. Our President Nancy Powell and the Headmaster will say a few words of welcome (much less formal than the Annual Supper!) and after the meal members will be welcome to socialise and chat with friends further, with proceedings coming to a close sometime between 8.30 and 9.00 pm. So not a “late” night but one starting in daylight to see what has become of our old school.

    Hopefully this will be well supported and will take the place of the “London Event” we have held in recent years. As a Saturday evening it should be easier for OM’s from across the South East to get to Maidstone to meet and have a Reunion with friends.

    Your Committee hope that the traditional Annual Supper will be held as usual in the Spring of 2022.