Inspire to Belong Overview
MGS is much more than what is taught in the classroom and the exam results that are achieved. We strive to ensure that every student feels known and cared for and we want everyone at MGS to feel a sense of belonging to our community.
Alongside Inspire to Learn, Inspire to Belong is one of the two central pillars of Maidstone Grammar School. There are four key areas which we believe support all Maidstonians to develop a strong sense of belonging within our school community: Conduct, Support, Service and Leadership and Enrichment.
Conduct: We want our students to take pride in having high standards of behaviour and good conduct which is underpinned by respect, consideration and acceptance of individual differences.
Behaviour at MGS is outstanding. Students, staff and parents worked together to develop the MGS Student Code of Conduct which makes clear the key rules and expectations of the school. There is a strong emphasis on treating others with respect and respecting individual differences through our words and actions. We also believe that behaviour should be excellent on the way to and from school and on school trips where students are also representing MGS. Staff recognise and reward good behaviour, academic work, effort and service to the school through School Colour awards, departmental “Student of the Term” awards, letters of congratulations from House staff, congratulations postcards from teaching staff and Attitude to Learning marks. We encourage students to take responsibility for their conduct and behaviour. On occasion, we recognise that sanctions are necessary and the Headmaster and staff will take action if work or behaviour is unacceptable. This may include issuing a conduct mark (for low level issues), detentions and, in the most serious of cases, fixed term or permanent exclusions.
Support: We want our students and everyone in our community to help each other to feel safe and supported, working together with openness and kindness to create a sense of well-being and belonging.
Every student in the School is a member of a mixed aged vertical tutor group made up of students from Years 7 to 13. This gives the tutor group a “family feel” – older students support younger students and everyone has the chance to take on roles and responsibilities from an early age, share experiences and develop lasting friendships. Vertical tutor groups also reflect the fact that we are preparing our students for a society in which they will live and work with people of all ages.
Each tutor group belongs to one of four Houses: Barton, College, Corpus Christi and Tonbridge, each named after different sites occupied by the school throughout its long history. The academic monitoring and pastoral support of all students is overseen by the same tutor, Head of House and Assistant Head of House throughout their time at MGS. Our House and pastoral system ensures that all students and their parents receive a continuity of care from Year 7 all the way through to Year 13 and into the world of work and higher and further education.
In addition, we have an excellent Student Services Department, which includes two Student Services Managers, an Additional Educational Needs Manager, Attendance and Inclusion Manager and Careers Advisor. We also have a fully qualified inschool counsellor and a 1:1 MIND worker to support students where required. Our highly experienced pastoral team also works closely with external agencies where appropriate.
The SENCO oversees and co-ordinates support for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, supported by the Additional Educational Needs Manager. Above all, Safeguarding is absolutely integral to everything we do at MGS. We have an experienced team overseeing safeguarding in the school. Any concerns should be reported in confidence to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Deputies.
Service and Leadership: We want our students to develop an ethos of service and leadership through the positive contributions they make to their House, the school and the wider community.
House and community spirit is an integral part of MGS and we encourage all of our students to take part in the wider life of the school and make a positive contribution by “giving something back”. Students feel a strong sense of allegiance to their House and each House has its own unique and distinctive character. Students attend regular House assemblies throughout the year and Houses organise many events and competitions throughout the year, including charity days where staff and students join together to raise money in aid of charitable causes. There is also a strong spirit of competition between the Houses as all four compete annually for the prestigious House Cup. Each of the four Houses has a student House Captain, Vice Captains and Prefects and together they make up the Student Leadership Team, led by the School Captain and Vice Captain.
Enrichment: We want our students to enjoy and take part in wider enrichment opportunities beyond the academic curriculum, developing many wider characteristics such as resilience and confidence as they face new challenges and develop new skills.
MGS prides itself in its wide ranging and engaging enrichment programme. This includes academic enrichment activities such as lectures, guest speakers, subject societies and debating. It also includes a host of extra curricular activities which go above and beyond the academic curriculum enabling students to develop their wider skills and interests. We call our enrichment programme “MGS Extra”.