I hope this update finds you and your families well. We have now completed approximately 2400 tests since our return, the students have handled themselves wonderfully. At this stage there are no further updates for parent/carers regarding COVID and like you, we hope that will long continue. I will emphasise over and over that Sunday evening and Wednesday evening testing are our biggest allies moving forward. Testing kits were distributed to all students today so that you can support them at home.
This academic year we have made a huge effort to ensure that relationships continue to grow as they have done for the last two years, this year we have noticed just how polite and caring our young people have become. Never before have so many students asked staff how they are and thanked them for lessons, it really is quite humbling. Over the last eighteen months and still we have become so aware of the ‘cogs’ that continue to keep our communities running, the bus driver, HGV drivers, healthcare and hospital workers, delivery drivers to name just a few. Armed with that picture of community we continue to strengthen it by seeing our fantastic students extend that gratitude outside of the academy gates, thanking drivers, shopkeepers and ensuring our reputation grows stronger. We remind them that they are part of our community, business owners and future employers travelling alongside our students who remember the children dressed in blue who move out of the way or thank them. It may just be a foot in the door for an interview or just simply that they represent us and they represent you. They have made a fantastic start so far, well done all.
Open Evening and Helpers
On Monday 20th September we have our first live open evening for 2 years, it is always a huge event with nearly 1000 families attending. We are always in awe of our popularity which is down to the role each member of our community plays in communicating with others about Mascalls alongside the hard work and exemplary conduct of our students. We know that students are proud of our academy and would like to ask as many as possible to sign up to help us as guides for the evening by completing the link below:
Our best selling point as an academy is our very product, your son/daughter. I have frequently said how proud we are of our students and they advertise our academy far better than any adult ever could, there may even be a cookie in it for them!
National Area of Excellence
In July, following our Challenge Partners review, we were successful in gaining a National Area of Excellence accreditation for Creative Arts – consisting of Art and Performing Arts. 90% of our students select a subject from these areas at GCSE and we perform in the top 20% of schools nationally along with our wonderful Spanish department. This accreditation reflects our commitment to a broad curriculum and development of many other vitally important skills.
Creative Arts promote habits and discipline. For example, musical education has been linked with lasting improvements in both verbal and numerical literacy. Musical education, particularly learning how to play an instrument, can improve fine and gross motor skills; coordinated rhythmic movement activities and synchronizing to a beat such as in dance can produce large cognitive returns that extend beyond childhood.
Secondly, the arts require socialisation and interaction with others in teams and communities, and finally the arts stimulate regions of the brain that are important for developing language and creative capabilities – attributes which alongside our academic excellence are in high demand in the modern workplace. Your son/daughter attends one of the best academies nationwide to develop those skills.
International Schools Award
Our community does not simply end at Paddock Wood, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells we have recently been awarded the International Schools Award from the British Council in recognition of our work and partnerships across the world. We are incredibly proud of this achievement and show that Mascalls will continue to provide the best possible opportunities for students to experience authentic foreign language communication and experience other cultures.
A very quick notice to parent/carers that some of our bus routes continue to require face coverings, please ensure that you are able to support where this is the case with your son/daughter able to wear one should they be requested.
We are aware of some technical issues regarding our Scopay payment system, our IT department are working on it and I ask that if you are affected, please bear with us while we continue to work on the resolution.
Finally, for the support and work you continue to put into our community, a huge thank you. Our students are a credit to all that have a hand in their journey, and they are doing so very well.
Mr W Monk