Principal’s Statement – 17th December 2021

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Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this update finds you and your families well.  Well we finally made it to the Christmas break and it has continued to be an incredibly busy week.

Towards the end of last week our spectacular dance show, which could have sold out several times over, took place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Nearly one hundred performers from Year 7 to Year 13 performing dances was incredible and our special thanks go to Miss Butler, Miss Horn and Miss Mitchell for ensuring that was such a success.  Not content with three shows, our Christmas Showcase also took place this week with dance, drama and musical performances from a variety of year groups alongside displays of work from our year 7 students.  The event was well attended and the first time we have had Year 7 parents into the academy since joining.  Again, our thanks go to Miss Butler, Mr Hatherill, Miss Aldridge and Miss Couch (alongside many staff who also helped to decorate the hall and provide refreshments) for arranging such fantastic performances.

Students in a dance show
Students in a dance show

Following our rather successful sports leaders event last week I also wanted to share an email I received from a teacher at one of the schools involved regarding our students:

“I just wanted to reach out to extend some extremely positive feedback to Mascalls regarding its students and staff at our most recent event.

Mr Beck is always supportive of our primary school opportunities and regularly wants Mascalls involved. To us, this is amazing and Mascalls students are always exemplary. Manners, attitude, engagement and their understanding of leadership and being a role model is second to none. I can never fault them and always offer Mascalls first offer at engaging in our events.

I have seen a rise of schools wanting to engage more in our events from a secondary leadership side, but the first offering is always to Mascalls due to the amazing job they have done previously and will always do.

Mr Beck and the Sports Leaders he trains are an asset to your school and provide a big positive reflection onto the school.”

Needless to say, well done Mr Beck and all of those students involved.  Our entire community is incredibly proud of you and how you are part of such a positive legacy.

We also had a visit from Year 5 students from Paddock Wood Primary Academy who were invited to workshops in our Science department. Despite the horrible weather they arrived smiling and left even more excited having gained their Bunsen burner licences, dabbled in some Christmas chromatography and a lively demonstration from the Science team of why not to throw water on an oil fire.

Thanks go to the whole Science team who gave their afternoons to prepare the next generation of budding Scientists.

For the second year, we have had the opportunity to do a virtual exchange with a school in the north of Spain. This week some of our Year 8 students took part and although technology let us down, we were able to play a competition in English and Spanish against them with our Mascalls students coming out on top for the second year running. They behaved impeccably and we are looking forward to doing the Q&A session that we had planned about Christmas in Spain.  We are also so proud of our Year 10, 12 and 13 Spanish students who have gone into KS3 advisories this week to spread the Spanish Christmas cheer. They worked together to teach the younger student’s particular phrases and cultural traditions celebrated in Spain.  All students were using Spanish phrases and wishing each other a Feliz Navidad.

Face Masks

A reminder to parent/carers of students who travel on public transport.  The current guidance states that face coverings must be worn on all public transport, this is unlikely to change in the new year so please ensure you provide your son/daughter with a face mask prior to travel.  We also provide a huge number of face coverings to students during the day which is not sustainable, I ask that again while the current guidance remains in place do check that you have provided your son/daughter with a face covering/s for the academy day.

The January Start

Last week I explained to parents that the start date for Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 students is the Tuesday 4th January and that for Years 7, 8 and 9 students Wednesday 5th January, this allows enough time for us to test students within one day, a huge undertaking for an academy of our size – 1300 tests in two days.  Please help by refreshing your son/daughter’s memory of the log in details or contact details to speed along our registration process.  We have also provided further testing kits so that students can test prior to their return in January on either the evening of the 3rd or 4th January.

As an academy we stand ready to respond to any changes as a result of the national picture and can turn to remote learning at very short notice.  Students are all equipped with Chromebooks and will not miss a beat, in the event of further announcements you will hear directly from me at the earliest opportunity.  As before in the event of a closure, our lessons will be live and in line with the academy timetable, students simply need to log into the appropriate Google Classroom at the appropriate time.  But, we are not there yet…  So, do enjoy a safe Christmas break and do not worry, our role is to respond to the guidance provided so that you don’t have to and we will inform you as soon as we have any further information, until that point we will see you all from the 4th January.

Staff and group changes

We sadly say goodbye to Miss Navarro and Miss Tabuenca who leave us at the end of this term to relocate.  They have made an incredible contribution to the academy in their time here impacting on all of those they have taught, they will be sorely missed.  Our best wishes go to both of them for their new adventures.  New staff will be introduced in the new year.  At this time, like all other years, as we review the timetable and progress some teaching groups may change.  This will be available via the Bromcom apps.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very merry and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year.  It has been a long and very successful term, students again have continued to be fantastic through events and around the academy, representing us admirably and all only achieved through the strength of our academy community working together with one common goal, to make sure every student reaches their full potential.

See you all in the New Year, have a wonderful break.

Yours sincerely

Mr W Monk