Key Stage 3 in Years 7 & 8: ‘Learn to Learn’
Having undergone a supportive transition from primary school, we intend to guide our Key Stage 3 pupils through a bespoke curriculum designed to expose them to a breadth of subjects, experiences and skills that helps them understand themselves as learners and grow. By the time they are ready to start their GCSE journey, they are equipped to thrive.

In order to make this happen, we have prioritised deliberate actions to make sure this journey is real for the pupils:

  • Our subject offer is academic and broad in scope. It ensures that all pupils are prepared for the demands of GCSE, but also the experiences to make informed decisions about their futures. As well as the academic core, our Key Stage 3 pupils take at least two languages, Religious Studies, multiple forms of Performing Arts and experience different forms of DT, including hands on cooking for all.
  • All Year 7 pupils study our bespoke research based course ‘Learning to Learn.’
  • Our co-curricular offer is vast, including opportunities for Key Stage 3 pupils to take part in concerts, school productions, join societies led by Sixth Formers, compete in academic competitions and represent MGS at sport in one of our many teams, including and array of rugby, cricket and football teams in each of Years 7 and 8.
  • We are passionate about reading and lead our Key Stage 3 pupils through our ‘Fourteen by 14’ reading challenge.
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum and tutor programme maps.
  • We look to accelerate the confidence of our Key Stage 3 pupils to access the curriculum via the Vertical House structure and providing early opportunities for leadership (i.e. House and School Councils and student interview panels). The tutorial curriculum is ambitious in its content as it is aimed at all Maidstonians aged from 11 through to 18, which matures and challenges our Key Stage 3 pupils.
  • Our PSCHE and tutorial curriculum is layered with continual guidance and support for our Key Stage 3 pupils in understanding age related issues that aid their physical, social, mental and cultural development.

Maidstonians in Years 7 and 8 are confident young men who quickly feel fully engaged with life at Maidstone Grammar School. The experiences that they have in Key Stage 3 allows them to make an informed choice on Key Stage 4 subjects in Year 8, with many of the wider subjects proving incredibly popular, especially Art and Food. We are incredibly proud of the young adults Maidstonians develop into and that would not be possible without the purposeful experiences that they have in Key Stage 3, and we are only seeing that develop further all the time with accelerated outcomes as pupils progress through the school.

Key Stage 4 in Years 9, 10 & 11: ‘Lay Your Foundation Stones’
We are committed to the EBacc and Maidstonians engaging with a suitably broad and demanding curriculum. All pupils take a programme of study that allows them to achieve eleven GCSEs, including at least one language, one of the humanities and RS for all. We want our pupils to have a wide understanding of many different academic disciplines and the world as a whole, as well as having the chance to engage even further with our co-curricular offer that grows again in Year 9 to include the CCF (Army, RAF and Navy) and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. In order to allow pupils the time to develop in these areas and explore with curiosity, we allow three years for Key Stage 4.

In order to keep our offer as broad and ambitious as possible, we have taken the following actions to keep these opportunities available for Maidstonians:

  • Pupils begin their programme of study in Year 9, with all taking English Language, English Literature, Maths, RS, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, PE, Games and PSHCE. All pupils also take a minimum of one language, one of humanities and two further options of their choice. We endeavour to remain flexible with our curriculum and allow students to take whatever path suits them.
  • Our three year Key Stage 4 allows subjects to cover the course content in full and have revision time at the end, but also provides scope for learning that prepares them for higher order thinking. For example, all students study ‘Jane Eyre’ in Year 9 in order to provide them with a demanding academic experience to build confidence before even starting their set GCSE texts in English. The time we allocate allows the subject curriculum maps to have that scope and flexibility.
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum and tutor programme maps.
  • Our wider programme of support transitions in Key Stage 4, as we begin to move away from the ‘Fourteen by 14’ reading challenge and ‘Learn to Learn’, and begin to introduce pupils to lectures from academics, speakers from various backgrounds and different careers, careers interviews, access to apprenticeships and preparing for decisions regarding universities.
  • As our co-curricular offer grows with the introduction of CCF and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, so does our intention to stretch pupils with academic experiences, including academic debating, reading groups and ‘Stretch and Challenge’ subject workshops. As pupils progress through Key Stage 4, they will also gain more exposure to leadership roles and actively competing alongside Sixth Formers.

We are incredibly proud of the young adults our Key Stage 4 pupils develop into and we know they value their journey due to our high retention rate for the Sixth Form. Outcomes in Key Stage 4 are consistently very strong and this is a powerful indicator that our culture of ambitious intentions leads to strong progress. So much so in fact, that starting in 2022, the entrance criteria for our Sixth Form increased from an Average Point Score of 5.5 to 5.7. This has also been introduced due to the increased interest from new pupils looking to join MGS in the Sixth Form who believe that joining us and experiencing our broad array of opportunities will help them secure a better destination when finishing school at the end of Key Stage 5. We believe that our strong record of destinations for school leavers to be a further indicator of our impact at Key Stage 4; Maidstonians have had that breadth of opportunities, challenges and experiences to equip them to succeed beyond our walls.

Key Stage 5 in Years 12 & 13: ‘Build Your Future’
We look to offer all pupils the broadest possible selection of subjects so they are free to build the programme of study that they need to build the future they dream of, free from confines and restraints. All pupils start with four A-Levels with the potential of completing them all. Not only does this intention allow us to keep our range of subjects, but we believe the ambition of doing four A-Levels creates a culture of high attainment. It also allows students who want to continue only three subjects in Year 13 to have the best chance of finding the three A-Levels that suits them best. Everything we look to achieve in Key Stage 5 is ambitious: from leadership experience, sporting opportunities, public speaking or academic lectures, everything we do is about pushing Maidstonians to get the best from themselves.

In order to implement this, we regularly reflect upon and refine the culture in Key Stage 5 through deliberate strategies:

  • An inclusive induction programme with targeted support for transferees.
  • The broadest possible curriculum with Year 12 students starting on four A-Levels.
  • The ‘Sixth Form Code’ is our agreed statement of expectations of learning in Key Stage 5 from both staff and pupils. We do no ‘ease up’ in the Sixth Form.
  • Sixth Formers are empowered to be ambassadors, mentors and leaders within our vertical House system.
  • Our co-curricular offer grows even further at Key Stage 5, with extensive opportunities to access unique experiences. Of particular note, we offer competitive level Oxbridge debating against the most prestigious schools in the country, the Model UN at Harvard, the Bar Mock Trial, ‘Meducate’ Programmes, Philosophical and Psychological thinking forums, business and investment clubs, leadership roles in societies across the school and sporting opportunities for all interests and experiences, all the way from social table tennis, to competitive netball or entering the country’s most elite rugby and football competitions.
  • The eight core qualities of Inspire to Learn and Inspire to Belong are embedded in our curriculum, tutor programme maps and careers provision.
  • Our programme of support to guide students through to their journey when they leave MGS is extensive, including a ‘Futures ‘ evening and days off timetable for bespoke sessions on finance, universities, careers and apprenticeships.

The journey of a Maidstonian through MGS to the young adult they become is something that is tangible and can be spoken about eloquently by any pupil who completes Key Stage 5. Whether they have been here for seven years, adding value step by step to that point, or joining in the Sixth Form, pupils achieve at a high level and make ever increasing progress. Our Sixth Formers are perfect ambassadors for MGS and have been challenged by their journey through the curriculum to become cultured, scholarly, critical, compassionate, resilient and emotionally intelligent. Not only do they go on to excellent university destinations or career placements, they retain a lifelong relationship with the school and regularly return to give back later in life.