I hope this update finds you and your families well. What a fantastic half term! As the records show, it has been one of the longest ever, 8 weeks, but the students have handled it superbly. It may not sound much to the average adult but there is certainly a discernible difference, related to fatigue usually, in the students much after about six weeks.
We have talked over the last few weeks, beginning with my student briefing a couple of weeks ago, about red head/blue head thinking an example of mental preparation from the New Zealand All Blacks where world class mental skills are given complete parity to the development of the physical skills. For Mascalls we develop individual character on a par with academic development. In a rugby context a red head is characterised by frustration, unclear thinking, being overwhelmed and off task. Blue head, in contrast, sees the individual clearly concentrating on the process – calm, certain of their role and thinking, fully engaged, concentrating and performing to the best of their ability. It’s obvious which state is more suitable for delivering under the pressure that can come with international Test matches and in the context of our academy the process of learning and personal development is our entire focus, success becomes a by-product of that process.
We have been in awe of how the students have responded to potential triggers, such as fatigue and end of term assessments and still they continue to amaze, recognising what they can control and what they can influence to maintain focus on the task at hand. This term we have had a flood of visitors to the academy almost daily – from reviewers to parents and carers, parent tours, two open evenings, five open mornings and 4 curriculum reviews. The observations back regarding how wonderful our students are has been incredible.
Not just on site too, this term we have had a number of trips – the return of school trips has been much welcomed, with a Thorpe Park Trip, a theatre trip to Tunbridge Wells to see The Play goes Wrong, a Design trip to Ikea and an Art trip to South Bank in London with members of the public consistently praising our students on how smart they look and how well they behave. In addition, on duty in Paddock Wood this week, Mrs Brooks was stopped by a member of the public to inform her of just how amazing our students have been this year.
You will shortly receive the reports for your son/daughter showing knowledge organiser scores and attitude to learning grades alongside grades in Years 11 and 13. Please keep any eye on your Bromcom Parent app (My Child at School) for those reports to appear, the same report will also appear in the student app. Your first port of call for any queries will always be firstname.lastname@example.org and the relevant College team.
It seems absurd to talk to secondary aged school children about the need for road safety awareness, but nevertheless following one or two reports of students not crossing road safely or stepping into the road I urge all parents and carers to discuss with their sons and daughters the need for vigilance. The public footpaths in Paddock Wood can be narrow in places and not always ideal for the number of students as they stroll to the station and into town, please be careful not to overtake others by stepping off the pavement, the potential consequences do not even bear thinking about.
Vaccine roll out for secondary school aged children
We were contacted this week by the School Age Immunisation Service for Kent and Medway regarding the COVID vaccine and you would have received a letter and information pack from them via us. They will be in the academy offering both the flu and the COVID vaccine to students on the 19th and 22nd November, please read the information carefully and provide the consent where you need to. There is also and NHS contact on the letter for any queries, the academy itself will not be taking queries over the process or the vaccine, we are simply providing the venue as we do for any other vaccine. If you have any queries regarding the vaccine or process please use the link in the letter.
In addition, with regards to our home testing, please ensure that you recommence your home testing beginning in the evening of Sunday 7th November before your son/daughter returns for next term.
Finally, from me, my thanks continue to go to all parents and carers for your part in ensuring our students and their reputation grow from strength to strength locally and beyond, to arrive at this point, in a pandemic and fatigued, with credit evidenced by the communications we receive from our community and beyond is testament to our combined efforts. Amazing.
Have a fantastic and safe half term.
Mr W Monk