I hope this letter finds you and your families well. I am so pleased that this year so far has gone as well as we would have hoped with staff, parents and students combining to keep our young people safe and attending school. Our attendance remains high and above national and Trust averages, our academic data from Semester 1 shows that our students are benefiting from our approach, curriculum, teaching and learning and ultimately that the effects of lockdown and school closure on academic achievement are minimal. Our new break time and lunchtime routines have settled and all students now have an inside area in the event of inclement weather. Our canteen staff have been so impressed that they have asked that some of the measures remain post COVID.
I have always been aware that it is complacency that is our biggest threat and that as long as we are successful, in the minds of our students, corona virus becomes something that happens to other people, in other schools and on the news. You may have heard that many of our local secondary schools have now reported cases against a backdrop of rising cases nationally and we wish them all the best, so far, we have been very fortunate, and I want to keep it that way, but COVID is present in our outside community. The pandemic remains a real and credible threat and our sustained vigilance and being vocal about reminding, in partnership is our biggest ally.
Students have been incredibly compliant in the use of facemasks and for that we are very grateful, alarmingly we are handing out between 200 and 300 disposable masks per day to students, this is simply not sustainable long term. We will always have a supply for emergencies and occasional use, however I ask that parents please absolutely be sure that your son/daughter is leaving the house each day with a face mask or their exemption lanyard.
Community conduct and travel
During the period of national lockdown, as I have previously stated, students are to arrive immediately to site in the mornings and return immediately home in the afternoons. Our students are identifiable, like a blue beacon within the community, and as such represent us and you as parents/carers. In open retail, on all modes of transport national measures are to be followed without question, Mascalls will not be supportive of any action to the contrary and will continue to work with appropriate authorities where that message has failed to get through.
Social media once again
Social media has many positive benefits but when considered a reliable news source this is perhaps not always the case. I will never be able to understand why some reports appear, particularly in relation to false reporting of symptoms and cases. Rest assured it serves no purpose to the health and safety of our students, our staff or their families to withhold information from the wider community. In the event of a case parents will always be informed and we will always take the appropriate precautions to protect our entire community.
Finally, as usual it is left for me to thank you for your support and partnership in reinforcing our messages at home. Please keep the positive messages coming, they make all the difference to our staff and are very much appreciated. At the time of writing I can confirm we have no positive cases within our academy community, we do have some who as a precaution are self-isolating. Our continued success is only as strong as our combined efforts to ensure that all members of our community follow the rules and procedures in place, the alternative is simply not an option.
Mr W Monk