Maidstone Grammar School
KENT ME15 7BT
(01622) 752101 „
Im afraid this review will definately be a counter against the others as I did not go to the school. However, I do live next to it and I did go to visit the school 7 years ago before choosing my Grammar School. The first review I read of the school provided the statement 'Receives the better marks etc' which I have to go against. I have been going to Oakwood Park Grammar School (located the other side of the town) for over 7 years now and I can safely say that our students have a higher grade capacity than that of M.G. (For G.C.S.E's,As Levels and A-Levels). As I can only speak as a visitor to the school, my feelings will not be as indepth as the others, but I hope to portray my genuine opinion. On the first look of the premises, you can't help but feel overwhelmed by the high walls and dominating structures. The School has to maintain an illusion of grandeur as it is so old, but I feel it simply scares students by its prestige into working, and only cares for the grades students produce, not their own personal development. The teachers appeared to 'act' kind and collective, but I could tell that inside, they just didn't want to care for students and nurture growth, simply instruct.
The schools only advantage to me at that age was the idea that you could join a cadet force such as Army, Sea cadet etc. This was a promising idea, but I dint see how it would directly benefit me in terms of my goals and aims in life. All in all, I just didnt perceive the school as a beneficial place of residence for 5+ years.
A thoroughly recommended school. I spent seven years studying at Maidstone Grammar School (MGS) and I look back on my days there with fond memories. In Maidstone this school has the best reputation and most opportunity. Although the Girls Grammar Schools in Maidstone frequently score better than Maidstone Boys in grade results, MGS still proves to give the best all round character. Of course what you get out of MGS depends on the individual. I took part in Rugby for the school, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, World Challenge Expedition to Vietnam, Interact (charity organising) club, Combined Cadet Force, a ski trip to Italy and a Senior Prefect role. There is of course Theatre productions, music opportunities and many other sports which MGS excel at. These days everyone has grades, it is the character that distinguishes people and MGS provides a brilliant opportunity for this. The teachers are a good mix between young modern teachers and older more eccentric types. There are a few teachers which can be a bit boring; however these are in the minority. Overall the teaching is of a very high standard and there is plenty of opportunity out of class to sort out questions with the teachers. The Classes can be quite large as it is a popular school and there is always pressure to take on more people. If quite intimidated by large schools then Oakwood Boys Grammar is best for you as it is considerably smaller, however that happens to be their only real advantage over MGS. The subjects offered are wide and in sixth form if you want to study a subject not offered in MGS, you are supported in studying that subject at the Girls Grammar school. However the subjects that MGS doesn?t offer is limited only to Theatre Studies, Drama and General Studies. MGS also offers Latin, Classics, Ancient History and Philosophy amongst other subjects which are not usually offered elsewhere. The atmosphere is very traditional at MGS. There is a school
song in Latin, they have speech days where awards are handed out and church is attended around the year. In younger years these appear rather humorous but as you mature you realise how its tradition as an old school is a matter of pride.
What can I say? I think this is an amazing school. To be fair there is a degree of apathy from some teachers, but on the whole most are interested in teaching! Probably the more interested the student appears to be the better response he/she will get. There may be some amount of being set in its ways, but at least you are getting schooled in a tradition. It's worth noting such a relaxed atmosphere is created with apparent little effort. Whilst there are rules, they never seem too harsh. Good facilities, though I'd admit I don't think I got a book out from the library the entire time I was there. But then with chronic underfunding it's not surprising that theres not something to appeal to everyones taste. In the sixth form I would say things just get better. More relaxed with a greater professional attitude, you are no longer beneath the teachers but more on a par - so long as you remember who is who though. Would say quality of teaching was superb, but then I can't comment about teachers I didn't have. Even becoming disallusioned with the whole establishment didn't to do much damage at the end, you may even find teachers who agree! Ok in response to analysis of this opinion it seems I should write some more. The school is located pretty much near maidstone, about a 15 minute walk at the top of a hill, on barton road. Apart from the immediate appearence of looking like a old prison, (which does grow on you) it is a fairly welcoming place. Its been a few years since I last saw it though. Computing facilities are more than adequate (all the money has to be spent on something) with I think 3 rooms when I left equipped with decent PCs and a good fast internet connection. I would say its a shame that other departments don't benefit as much from funding but I'm sure this is a more wider issue. There are good language facilities with a talented staff and a language lab. Uniform is
just plain old black blazer and trousers really, with a bit more scope for change in the sixth form but still keeping it smart. Its hard to comment on what subjects are best taught there, my perspective is going to be influenced by my strengths. I would say sciences at GCSE receive a more apathetic teaching, but lets be honest, they are not worth the paper the certificate is printed on. At sixth form this changes, I think you realise you are there for a reson. I remember learning nothing at all from GCSE physics and deservedly got a B. I'm now doing aerospace engineering, pretty much all physics, and sailing it. So I learnt something somewhere at sometime! English was always a good one, it never really felt as intensive yet made you think. Sports facilities are good, there is certainly enough breadth of sports teams to get involved in if you are inclined. Infact that goes for any form of club or activity. If there isn't one you can easily start one. I would say that is quite the ethos really, self motivation brings rewards. I managed to fluke my way onto some engineering scheme (ironically organised by the physicists!), and this ended up being a major plus in my favour when it came to UCAS applications. But if you want to sit back and take the easy options, no problems. However the oppertunities are there and the staff will back you 100%. Well that better had now I've said that! I don't know whether I was a lucky one out but I certainly benefitted from a great relationship with my teachers. Part of me thinks I should have gone back to see them, there is still a form of attachment there! But that part of my life is over really. It's suprising how much I seem to mention some of them though, little anecdotes crop up all the time. Such relationships certainly reflect on getting great results, there is a sense of not wanting to let them down.
I was in the sixth Form at MGS as a female transferee, & my feelings are most definitely mixed. Socially, leaving my all-girls school & integrating in a mixed sixth form was one of the best moves of my life. I need a change from my old school, & MGS offered a traditional environment with new people & a good educational reputation. The people were lovely & I enjoyed my time there, however... The teaching staff were often less than enthusiastic, & a little stayed in their ways. There was little or no student-teacher rapport with many of the staff, & I think this showed in the students' general attitude of apathy. Many students skipped lessons, & frequently homework was not handed in. A levels are not difficult to survive & do well at, provided you do as you are told & turn up to the lessons. Very little extra work is needed, it is simply a case of regurgitating what you have been told in lessons. You should not just stay on on in the 6th form because you have nothing else to do: make it a positive decision to continue your education, & treat it seriously by doing the work & trying hard to meet deadlines & make sure you understand the work. Otherwise you will not do as well as you could, & you will have wasted your time. Finally, make sure you get involved in as many things as you can in the 6th form - sports, charity weeks, Ball organizing, everything - it is the best way to achieve things & meet people.