Principal’s Statement – 22nd Apr 2022

A big welcome back to you all after the Easter holidays, I hope you and your families are well and had a wonderful break.  It has been a super start to the term helped by the sunshine, students have returned looking smart, with Chromebooks fully charged, well equipped (thank you to those parents and carers who did the great big Easter stationery shop) and happy.  Once again, in contrast to the national picture our attendance this week has again increased, it really is nice to see everyone back and settling quickly into routines.

Ernie Davis, site staff

Mascalls academy this week returned to news of the devastating loss of one our beloved site staff.  Ernie, a local resident and part of our site team, had been with Mascalls for over 20 years and knew every inch of the academy.  He could make things work, fix everything and keep the academy standing and warm come what may.  There were so many events, assemblies and visits during the academy day and the evenings that would not have been possible without Ernie and on site opening the academy up in the small hours and locking the academy down in the dark.  Ernie had a strong relationship with all of the staff, he was incredibly loved, respected and valued.  The students would have also known him well – a happy, hardworking and well respected member of staff to them who loved Mascalls with all of his heart.  As a keen falconer he would also share his passion with students, teaching them and encouraging them.  During lockdowns and snow days (remember them?!)  Ernie would be here, we simply could not keep him away.  Part of the fabric of Mascalls, part of our core – he will be sorely missed by all and our sincerest condolences go to his family at this difficult time.

Colours, half colours and Golden tickets

Next week we continue to grow our rewards system with another round of colours and half colours ties and badges for Year 11 and 10 students who have shown improvement over time, exceptional or consistent performance or outstanding contribution in isolation.  Deliberately broad to ensure everyone has an opportunity these rewards represent the pinnacle of the culture we aim to achieve at Mascalls.

In years 7-9 we introduce the Golden ticket, worth 5 reward points and the golden ticket itself to bring home.  Each member of staff could give out no more than one per day (that could be up to 80 each day) for exceptional performance, effort or improvement – for those that really are going above and beyond representing the character traits that embody personal discipline and personal development.  Always looking to celebrate success and to complement our values, aims and ethos we are incredibly proud of our students and how they are developing and want to make sure they know it.

Table tennis tables

Our outdoor table tennis tables have arrived and are already proving quite popular before school and at break and lunchtimes.  Students can bring their own equipment or pay a five pound returnable deposit (per term) to hire equipment for the term from PE.  This can be renewed termly with the deposit being returned following the return of the equipment.  It has been great to see student interacting and playing over the tables and we hope to see the next generation of Matthew Syeds emerging in due course.  A reminder that if you have any unwanted garden games, please do bring them to reception where we will ensure our students have more and more to do over break and lunchtimes.

Fearless workshops

As part of our continual PSHE provision, the charity Fearless were invited in to deliver some workshops to our students.  Fearless is the youth brand for Crimestoppers UK, a national crime reduction charity.  Their work is focused on helping young people make informed decisions about reporting crime.  They have a really important message; they don’t want any young person to live with, or in fear of crime, so they provide awareness workshops and the ability to report crime anonymously, without having to go to the police.

The sessions delivered to Year 7 and 8 students focussed on Hate Crime and online trolling and abuse.  Students were informed of the effect of such actions and were invited to contribute their experiences and understanding of the issues throughout the session.   Our Year 9 and 10 students were informed of the impact of knife crime and threatening behaviours.  Both workshops left students with the knowledge of how to report a crime via Kent Police and also via Fearless if they wish to remain anonymous.  For more information, please visit their website.

Finally, from me, as always, a thank you for the overwhelming support from our fantastic community in our first week back.  I am always reminded of the well circulating internet meme that depicts the queues for complaints versus the queue for praise – it is so pleasing to know that so many of our parents and carers take the time out of their day to thank staff in huge volumes.  We can’t possibly always agree with everyone, but there are so many positives. It is wonderful to receive that recognition, making our community even more special for us and for our amazing students, especially when they see it and emulate it too.

Yours sincerely

Mr W Monk