Principal’s Statement – 10th February 2022

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Dear Parents/ Carers,

I hope this update finds you and your families well. It is safe to say that after another exceptional term where students continue to excel academically and through attendance they absolutely all deserve a well earned half term break.  Assessment information has been collected and you will shortly receive an update on your son/daughter’s knowledge organiser scores and attitude to learning.  For Year 11 and 13 we will be holding a mock results assembly in the first week back to mimic the real thing in August (which really is not that far away!) so for those results you will have to wait a little longer.

Habits – how to make them and keep them

Last week we briefed the students on the power of habits and how just 1% improvement per day can have a significant improvement over a long period of time and in fact appears much more manageable than large changes.  The effect of such small changes does take a while to accumulate but eventually success becomes almost unavoidable, this is why making or changing habits is so difficult.  At Mascalls we focus on the learning habits and characteristics, the small things, that evidence states provide students with the best possible opportunity for success over the long term far beyond their time here, from the remembering to bring in full equipment each day and school uniform to eye contact when in discussion or talking with a teacher or peer, presentation of work and appropriate email communication, behaviour or character as well as standards because they are different.  Over time these things accumulate and will ensure our students will stand out from the crowd in the modern workplace and society.

A graph showing the plateau of latent potential


James Clear in 2018 goes further to state that the most successful organisations focus on behaviours and not discrete targets and presents an effective way to develop song habits.  Sir Chris Hoy, one of the most successful British Olympic cyclists of all time is often perceived to have targeted gold.  He did, but so did the cyclist who finished second, third and fourth (and so on) so perhaps the target was not what made the difference. There are more examples of people who target gold (or success) and don’t achieve it.  What Sir Chris Hoy did was he improved his diet, his sleep patterns, his recovery and training.  He looked at his behaviours, the systems, and it was that that led to his success.  His changes were identity based not outcome based he started to behave like an olympic gold medalist by changing a few small things in different areas and stuck to them.

Many students say they want to be millionaires, an outcome which takes a long time achieve (where many give up in the Valley of Disappointment in the diagram above) but the most successful identify today how a successful, potential millionaire would behave.  The same for a student who wants to become a doctor, it takes a long time which can be daunting, but how would a doctor behave today?  How hard would they work, how accurate would they be today and for the next few years?  The examples are everywhere: lawyers, sportspeople, business leaders.  Our belief in the potential of each student to achieve the most incredible things is unshakeable and they can, by the smallest efforts each day.

The Power of Parents and Carers

We have long discussed that the combined efforts of our community are the route to success for our amazing young people.  The more engaged with learning parents and carers are (although they always try to keep you at arm’s length!) the more success becomes likely, from encouraging attendance to talking about homework, school work and revision it all adds up.  Cognitive Science is now in the forefront of education. But we know it can be tricky for parents to keep up-to-date with the latest research and tools.  That’s why we are able to provide a free webinar exclusively for parents/carers with Patrice Bain the hugely successful author.

The webinar is aimed at “Empowering the Teaching Triangle: Student, Parent, and Teacher” and takes place on Tuesday, 15th February, 5.30 pm online via the link below.  If you have watched your child struggle with schoolwork, if you would like to know how best to help your child with learning, Patrice Bain (@PatriceBain1), teacher and parent, has worked with cognitive scientists for over 15 years in identifying principles and strategies that increase learning and decrease anxiety. Author of Powerful Teaching: “Unleash the Science of Learning” and “A Parent’s Guide to Powerful Teaching”, Patrice will discuss evidence-based tools and strategies that work.

– Link to register:

Bounce forward, our partner for Healthy Minds has also presented us with a fantastic opportunity for parents and carers.

Raise Resilience is a series of on-line sessions for parents.  It starts with personal resilience to remind you to look after yourself (easily forgotten) and takes you through key ingredients for building resilience in a way that is helpful for you and your children.

The sessions provide practical skills and information proven to support positive changes in cognition, behaviour, and mindsets. This is an opportunity that really helps with the small day-to-day stuff and can be a set of tools that help you and your children thrive in life.

There are 6 sessions in total which have been fully funded through the Frank Brake Community Foundation and Kent Community Foundation to bring to parents in Kent for FREE!  To learn more please click on the link below:

Next term

We look forward to seeing all of our students back with us on Monday 21st February and remind parents and carers we return to our normal school uniform policy. The good news is that we finally appear to have a solution to providing lockers and look forward to updating you shortly.

Finally, as always, our thanks go to all of the parents and carers who continue to contact so many members of staff with their positive messages and thanks, it really does inspire our staff, always much needed at the end of a term.  We are also so grateful for the completion of yet another parent survey so soon after the OFSTED one and the incredible scores you have provided once more. 

Have a safe and relaxing half term

Yours sincerely

Mr W Monk