I hope this update finds you and your families well. Thank you again for another positive week of remote learning. This week as we approach that half way mark to half term, dare I say it, there is a feel of routine about the situation. I am not sure how I feel about that, firstly because I certainly don’t want to jinx but most importantly, and I know I speak on behalf of all of the staff here, we really do miss having students in the academy. It is, however testament to the strong relationships between staff, student and parents that in this global crisis, we have been able to move seamlessly to remote provision and our live provision has meant that interactions between staff and students can continue. In addition, parents, please rest assured that if you need us for help, support or guidance we are here. Please make sure you stay in touch and if you need to, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are yet to hear any further updates from the Department for Education regarding a potential return for our students. Breaking with tradition, the Education Secretary has stated that he would like to give schools two weeks’ notice before a potential return. At this point Mascalls stands ready to ensure a smooth return for all of our students as soon as we are allowed to. We are fast approaching a half term and naturally reports will speculate as to when our return may be, whatever the report, please rely on us to ensure the right messages get through. As soon as we are informed, we will communicate with you at the first opportunity. In the meantime, our amazing staff will continue delivering the content to our incredible students to ensure they are not disadvantaged and can return to the routine and structure of face to face learning just as seamlessly as the move to remote provision.
This week staff have been collating engagement scores for all of our students in all subjects, this, along with knowledge organiser scores and Year 7-9 MYP Interim Grades will be provided to you towards the end of this term. It is remarkably pleasing to see that engagement scores are significantly up in all year groups compared with the first lockdown earlier last year. There are a small number that remain low and it is absolutely vital that those parents and carers communicate with the academy and seek support where necessary, particularly in Year 11 and 13 where all work being completed currently will count towards final examination grades. In the final two year groups who have yet to receive their Chromebook loan devices we have managed to support by procuring laptops devices for those most in need, 4G routers and additional mobile data to assist. If we are informed, we can and we will help.
Logging into Google Meet and Google Classroom
Please make sure that your son/daughter has logged into Google with their own academy account details, staff will not provide access to any Google Meet or Classroom without an @maslearner account. There have been a minority of issues where students are on a parent’s, carer’s or even a sibling’s account and have been refused entry. Please do not be offended, it is simply safeguarding our digital environment. Please also remind your son/daughter that everything written in the chat function is stored so to keep the chat free for learning as it would be in the classroom.
Excellent tools within Google, but you must use Chrome to access them
Throughout the pandemic we have invested significantly in technology, some of which only appears in the Google Chrome Browser. Please be reminded that Read & Write is amongst some of the most useful and enables students to have content read to them, have word recommendations and dictionary suggestions alongside reading overlays. Please have a look at our online learning portal for further information.
Finally, my continued gratitude to parents and carers for your ongoing support. Your positive emails continue to flow in, believe me it has a huge impact on our staff. It certainly signifies a really uplifting change in the strength of our community culture when more parents put pen to paper (fingers to keyboards) to communicate positively with us. These actions in the trickiest of times underpin our aim to develop the most determined, most resilient and compassionate characters enabling them to make a positive contribution to our culture and making us proud for years to come, far beyond their brief time with us here at Mascalls.
Mr W Monk