The Magic of New Beginnings - Vishal Prasad
Starting at a new school is an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. At MGS, we make every effort to ensure boys settle in as quickly as possible, and feel safe and happy. Rather than hearing from a teacher, we asked a few MGS Junior School boys to tell you, in their own words, what it is like to be at MGS.
Vishal Prasad, Year 5
Hello, my name is Vishal Prasad, and I am now in Year 5. I have been in MGS for two years now, and I want to share this valuable experience with you.
I was ecstatic when I got a place in MGS. It was gargantuan in size, but the kindness of the staff is as big as the School, and the pupils are very friendly. I remember my first day in Year 3, and I had already made friends before breaktime. You also get allocated a ‘Buddy’, someone who you can speak to if you want to ask for help or if you are simply asking for advice. Even in Year 5, you can still contact your Buddy.
In Years 5 and 6, the Senior School teachers connect with the Junior School pupils, as they come down to teach and make sure it’s a smooth transition into the Senior School. In Year 5, there are six periods in a day. The subjects are Maths, English, Science, History, Languages, Geography, Computing, Music, PSHE, Drama, Art, Religious Studies, Options, P.E and Games. Here, we learn countless different things every day and the teachers always find a way to make the lessons fun. There are many languages to learn. In Year 3, we learnt Spanish. We learnt French in Year 4, and we will learn Latin in Year 5. There is an exciting day in Years 3 and 4 where we dress up as something connected to other European countries in order to enhance our learning and to experience the lifestyle of being part of different countries. In Year 3, I dressed up as a famous bullfighter, El Cordobés (Yo era El Cordobés), and in Year 4, I dressed up as an animal that came from a Francophone country, I was a dolphin (Je suis un dauphin). I was a bit nervous at first, but with the class supporting me, I gained confidence.
It is really hard to choose my favourite subject, as all the lessons are fascinating, but my favourite subjects are Maths and Science. Anyone can find a favourite subject at MGS, as it allows your passion to flourish. I was selected for the Junior Maths Challenge along with four other pupils in my year, which was exciting. I never wanted to finish lessons, but the next school day is always filled with new things to learn and lots of fun!
There are many clubs to choose from that you can do either at lunch or after school, from yoga to dancing, from tennis to origami, and so much more. There is always a club that suits everyone, each one filled to the brim with happiness and laughter. I remember that each club was more fun than the last, and I was always disappointed when the club ended.
There is also an outdoor activity called Hugh Oldham, and it teaches you how to deal with challenges outside the learning curriculum and skills required to survive in the wild. There are many great activities to do such as campfire building, wild weaving, foraging and so much more. I really enjoyed doing all the activities in Hugh Oldham. You get a booklet that you can complete and then at the end of the year, you get badges! You get green in Year 3, bronze in Year 4, silver in Year 5 and gold in Year 6. I have the bronze and green badge.
The sports are exhilarating and energizing. You learn four sports in Games over the whole academic term, which are football, hockey, rugby and cricket. In P.E, you cover ball skills, athletic fundamentals, swimming and tennis. In each term, you will have an inter-house sports match competing against all the other houses. There are four houses, and they are Bradshaw (green), Plumtree (blue), Hinde (red) and Hamilton (yellow). I’m in Bradshaw.
There was a big change when an unexpected pandemic, Covid–19, occurred, which caused a national lockdown. We had to do school on an app called Microsoft Teams, where the teachers would video call us, set homework and due dates, and we could also use the chat function. The teachers overcame this challenge quickly, and made sure that the children felt like they were at school, whilst staying at home. We learnt the same amount we would do by being in school, with the lessons being just as fun and intriguing as they usually would be. Teams is a brilliant way to set work for Computing, and manage assignments if we are researching something.
MGS gives you an opportunity to have responsibility at a young age, as you can become Form Captain, or part of the School Council, in every year. You can also become a House Captain in Year 6. At the end of each term, there is a badge ceremony. You can earn badges for your accomplishments over the term. You can get the Merit badge for outstanding work, the Wise Old Owl for doing well all term, the Book Worm for showing enthusiasm towards reading, the Great Buddy for being a buddy to everyone, and many more. I have earned the Merit badge, Club Star, Choir, Orchestra badge and Form Captain.
Finally, I would like to share something very personal and upsetting to me. Earlier this year, I lost someone very close to me. The loss of my grandfather was heartbreaking. I struggled to concentrate on my schoolwork and my standards began to slip. Mrs Callaghan, my form tutor, saw I was very sad and gave me the support, nourishment and care that I needed to swiftly rise back to being the top again. She was always willing to spare time for me if I wanted to talk to her about anything. I am grateful that Mrs Callaghan has the ability to connect with students, and immediately wash their worries away. Mrs Callaghan is truly amazing.
The reason why I am sharing this, is because life will throw the unforeseen circumstances at you. We can all be rest assured that the School will identify this immediately and will handle things in the best way possible. So no matter what the situation, whether you need extra academic attention – strong or weak - or any absence from school due to illness or injury, the School will always help and support you.
MGS hones you to become an all-rounder person. This school is nestled within acres of kindness and happiness. MGS has cared for me, supported me and made me the best I could ever be. I am proud to be a MGS boy.