Principal’s statement 14th January 2022

Dear parent/carer,

I hope this update finds you and your families well. This has been a busy week for students with our Year 11 and 13 students beginning the second of two weeks of mock examinations, not to scare Year 10s and 12s but this does mean there are only 38 school weeks until your mock exams finish!  Needless to say, their conduct and focus has been exemplary.  There is no appetite from the Department for Education to do anything but ensure exams go ahead this summer and when you consider Year 13 students had no examinations in Year 11, these mock examinations are a vital part of their preparation.  Both Year 11 and 13 students will find some minor changes to some examinations specific to the subject, but ultimately revision and personal preparation builds from now.  Parents and carers – now is the time to begin to monitor, cajole and push!  And as I always say, physically see the revision being done.

Ready to Learn

Over the coming weeks and continuing to build on our success from OFSTED we will be introducing our ‘ready to learn’ strategy, with your help. Ready to learn for Mascalls means arriving punctually with all of the correct equipment and correct uniform, an overwhelming majority of our students do this – but we want them all, every day. These basic expectations or cultural norms are the foundation for future success. The first challenge from students is always that uniform, punctuality or equipment does not affect learning but yet a fascinating study from Michael Beer in 1990 studied some of the highest performing organisations in the world and found that the similarities between them was clear.  A remarkable 89% of the top performing organisations set targets for employees on basic behaviours such as punctuality, dressing smartly, presentation of work and conduct over numerical targets.  You may have even heard of ‘Lombardi time,’ named after the famous Vince Lombardi who stated regarding his team meetings, made more famous by Sir Clive Woodward:

“If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late.”  Vince Lombardi

The study concluded that consistent basic standards are the route to sustained excellence because focus is then on the job at hand – in our case learning. So, parents/carers can help, with conversations at home about uniform, punctuality to school and to lessons, basic equipment (checks), charged Chromebooks, deadlines, homework, presentation – every single day.  But, the responsibility is entirely theirs developing the personal discipline identified in our character and culture ethos. Being ready to learn on arrival at the academy means our focus can continue to be on providing the most engaging and challenging lessons where we can celebrate academic excellence.

Trip to the National Archives

This week, History students in Years 12 and 13 enjoyed an opportunity to visit the National Archives in a trip led by Dr Pollack and Mr Neve. On arrival, students were able to admire a replica ‘Cabinet Table’ at which government ministers sit, together with documents relating to the Prime Ministers that form a key part of their studies of Britain between 1906 and 1957. There was much excitement in the archives around the publication of the 1921 census, and Mr Neve and several students had a go at tracking down ancestors! By far the highlight of the trip was a workshop on female suffrage between 1906 and 1914. Students used a range of documents including detailed police records, newspapers, and magazines to study the campaign for women’s votes through the government’s eyes. The results were sometimes moving and surprising, and it was incredible to see how suffragettes communicated in code and the treatment to which they were subjected. As a final bonus, the students were able to handle Tudor documents from the reign of Mary I. Several students commented that the past was brought to life vividly through their reading of the precious documents, and it was a brilliant occasion to deepen both their engagement with sources and their understanding of the time period.

Young creatives 

Not content with ensuring that our existing students have access to the best teaching and opportunities in creative arts, our National Area of Excellence is branching out!  We are now able to offer the opportunities for younger children on Tuesdays. 

  • 4pm-4:30pm – YC1 Junior Contemporary Dance (Children aged 4-6)
  • 4:15pm-5pm – YC2 Contemporary Street Dance (Children aged 7-11)

To  purchase  a  place,  please  see our  Eventbrite  page: Eventbrite or  search ‘Mascalls  Academy’  in  Eventbrite.

Thinking of taking on the best job in the world?

Are you thinking about joining the most rewarding profession or know someone who is? Kent and Medway Training (KMT) has been working in partnership with many schools throughout Kent and South East London for over 25 years to successfully train thousands of teachers. Our wide range of partner schools play a huge part in developing talented individuals into the teachers they want to become. If you’re thinking of becoming a teacher, or if you know someone who is, it is not too late yet. We are still recruiting until the end of the academic year, so why not get started today! We would be delighted to hear from you. We have opportunities available for both Primary and Secondary training. All you need to have, or have pending, is a degree and a strong desire to teach and inspire the minds of the future. If you have any questions or would like some further guidance on your application then please contact our recruitment team at recruitment@kmtraining.org.uk.

Finally, from me as always, my thanks go to the amazing parents and carers who continue to support us. Together we have created quite possibly the most amazing basis for even more success and the excitement is palpable at just how much our amazing young people are capable of.

Yours sincerely

Mr W Monk | Principal