I hope this update finds you and your families well. It is so nice to finally see the weather warming up which makes such a difference to the academy at various points throughout the day. There has been a wonderfully relaxed and calm feel to the academy this week. The transition back to full school uniform has been marvellous leaving the students looking incredibly smart and professional looking. We are incredibly grateful for that support from parents/carers.
I am pleased to announce that following 200 expressions of interest in lockers we have now ordered them and are awaiting confirmation. As soon as that arrives we will communicate the lease agreements with parents and carers and look to have lockers available as soon as possible for the students.
Mascalls is aware of the potential impact that news of the Ukraine-Russia conflict has on people within our community and we have adapted our advisory programme to support. The impact of such crises is utterly devastating.
“We can’t control everything children hear, and in the absence of the truth they will piece snippets together and create their own narrative. Open conversations will help you to deal with the exaggerations that can develop on social media and WhatsApp groups.” EDPSY.ORG.UK – ‘Talking to children and young people about war in Ukraine’, John McMullen and Dan O’Hare, March 1 2022
“Our children are constantly absorbing things they read, see and hear and it’s completely natural for them to be picking up on the situation in Ukraine and feeling anxious and also asking questions about what is going on.” Professor Vivian Hill, UCL Institute of Education, Psychology and Human Development.
Our focus is on the humanitarian crisis that results from this or indeed any conflict of this nature and how as a community we can respond and show our support to those in need and allow students to communicate with us openly whilst presenting accurately and sensitively.
Careers, STEM and Science Week
This week was national careers week where our advisory programme delivered a number of careers related activities and presentations to students. We have looked at Women in Stem to celebrate international women’s day, attended a virtual careers fair and explored the alternative routes of apprenticeships. There are still lots for students to access through the resources provided and their Unifrog accounts.
Mars Day 2022 will also land on Monday 14 March. This date celebrates a few milestones – the 6th anniversary of the launch of the first ExoMars mission, the Trace Gas Orbiter; NASA’s Perseverance rover exploring Mars for just over a year; and a year since the first Mars Day 2021. Mars Day and Mars Week will also run in parallel to British Science Week 2022, where Mascalls will focus on STEM careers and the subject of Growth.
Social Media Assemblies
This week we held assemblies relating to character and how our online character may differ from our real life character. We talked about all of the characteristics that make us who we are, our values and our beliefs. Online, many sociological studies show that social media use amongst adolescents can tend towards characteristics of an echo chamber amplifying the most sensational information which may not necessarily be the most accurate. Johann Hari often talks about attention and the impact of viral content on individuals in his book Stolen Focus, which is a fascinating read for parents/carers. We ask simply that you continue to keep an open dialogue with your son/daughter about social media use and monitor their use. Please also make use of the resources from the National Online Safety as parents/carers students are often far more social media savvy than we are! It does help, even if it is just a little. If you need any further information on National Online Safety please contact reception.
SOCS and our Co-Curricular Programme
Our ever growing co-curricular plan now incorporates girl’s rugby with many new opportunities arriving each week. The impact of co-curriculum on students who participate extends far beyond the traditional academic into social and emotional well being. Following the two years plus we have experienced please look to encourage your son/daughter to take part by registering with SOCS to see the entire programme and monitor attendance at clubs. If you have any queries please contact Mrs Butler who oversees our co-curricular programme.
Following significant investment of over £20000 in our curriculum and co-curriculum we are beginning to see the technology and opportunities for our students grow rapidly. Over the last few weeks we have seen our 3D printer use growing with students printing models, engines, nuts and bolts. It really is opening them up to a new world of technology.
Finally, from me as always, our thanks continue to go to those parents who support us constructively and share our desire to ensure that Mascalls continues to be the best it can possibly be for our amazing young people. They are doing very well indeed.
Mr W Monk | Principal