Principal’s Statement – 1st April 2022

Mascalls Academy building

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this final update for this term finds you and your families well as we head into the Easter break. Now we are past the one year mark since we returned last year from national school closures you can all enjoy a well earned rest. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks publicly to our staff who this term have worked tirelessly to ensure our academy functions as normal, not just for lessons, but also with trips and co-curricular activities when at points we have had as much as one fifth of our staff absent. As a result of that exceptional work our students have maintained an attendance far above national average and as a result are continuing to make fantastic progress.

Changes to COVID Recommendations

This week all schools in England received an email from the Department of Education following the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, setting out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April. I copy the most relevant points below:

  • adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature
  • children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend
  • adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice will be 3 days

Needless to say, if you are in any doubt about what to do, please contact the academy attendance team and we will continue to work with you as we have always done.

Student Equipment and Chromebook Charging

We have worked very hard to introduce free Chromebooks to all students in the academy at no cost to parents/carers. As part of our basic standards we ask that they are charged fully for the start of each day and that the charger is brought to the academy along with the Chromebook as if it were also part of the basic equipment list. We have noticed that a growing number of students do not arrive with the Chromebook fully charged which should in most cases last the full day, particularly in our Nightingale classroom. A considerable amount of teaching time can be lost where chargers are being found and Chromebooks requiring charge, please as parents/carer ensure that your son/daughter arrives each day with the appropriate charge.

Further to this please consider a refresh of your son/daughter’s stationary supplies this Easter ensuring they have all of the basic equipment required to ensure no time is lost in lessons handing out replacements for lost equipment, we would always prefer not to escalate to standards detentions for a lack of basic equipment or Chromebook charge so arriving each day fully equipped and ready to learn would certainly be a far better alternative. As a reminder please see the equipment list below and enjoy an Easter stationary refresh which I’m sure everybody loves!

Pencil Case, School Bag, Pens, Planner, Pencils, English Mini Dictionary, Coloured Pens or Pencils, Spanish Mini Dictionary, Glue Stick, Reading Book, Pencil Sharpener, Scientific Calculator, Ruler Protractor and Compass, Rubber, Highlighter Pen.

If you have any issues purchasing the necessary equipment, please contact your son/daughter’s advisor and we will support where possible.

Table Tennis Tournament

This week brought a great turn out for our Table Tennis tournament with students attending from year 7 all of the way through to year 12. Below are the final positions, huge well done to all who took part and to the overall winner Jacob!

  • 1st place- Jacob Driver
  • 2nd place- Ryan Martin
  • 3rd place- Mr Matthews
Mascalls students compete against one another in a Table Tennis Tournament at the school.

Page Turners Book Awards

Mascalls students attend the Page Turners Book Awards at Kent College Pembury.

This year, members of the Year 7 and 8 Page Turners Book Clubs have been meeting in the new library and reading from a shortlist of ten books with the common theme of friendship. Our students, along with students from 15 other local secondary schools, have all been reading avidly and voting for their favourite books. All this hard work culminated in the Page Turners Book Awards which took place on Wednesday evening at Kent College Pembury. It was a really exciting evening with two very engaging, entertaining, inspiring and fun-filled performances from two of the shortlisted authors – Polly Ho-Yen and Sarah Crossan. We learned about using our ‘brain compost’ for creative writing from Polly, and Sarah brought Romeo and Juliet right up to date for us in the 21st century with a very lively discussion. Students also got to dress up, eat pizza, and buy books from the bookstall, with Sarah Crossan signing copies of her books for anyone who wanted.
And the overall winner on the night was … Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen – a very worthy winner! Year 7 and 8 book clubs will be continuing in the library after the Easter break.

Mascalls students attend the Page Turners Book Awards at Kent College Pembury.
A winner's name is announced at the Page Turners Book Awards at Kent College Pembury.

Finally, my thanks continue to go to those parents/carers for your ongoing support after what has been another term of surprising challenges. You continue to boost our energy supplies and as a result our fantastic students continue to excel. Have a safe and relaxing Easter break, you all deserve it.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W Monk