I hope this update finds you and your families well. This week students engaged in our first school diversity week. Our students showed an immensely open-minded and caring approach to some very topical issues and we are very proud of their community awareness and global citizenship. We have also been working incredibly hard this week with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB) in achieving verification for our Middle Years Programme (MYP). The process has involved a rigorous two day evaluation where IB Evaluation leaders meet with staff leaders at all levels, parents and governors, they also observe lessons and meet with students. The entire community has pulled together to showcase just how amazing we are and, although we await the final report, we are incredibly pleased with the outcome and proud of what we have achieved. The IB process opens Mascalls up to a global community of schools where we can support and challenge each other in bringing out the best possible opportunities for our learners. Where we prioritise character and culture, the IB underpins character development and a successful culture with approaches to learning and learner profile characteristics, where we prioritise knowledge acquisition, the IB develop conceptual understanding and inquiry based learning. It is a perfect match and prepares our students for life and success in the modern world and although it is delivered in our lower year groups, the impact on GCSEs, A Levels and further study is impressive.
For the last eighteen months during term time, I have written weekly updates to our community with the aim of ensuring full awareness of our context, successes and challenges as we navigate the global pandemic. It was always our intent to be open as we recognised and continue to recognise our place in our community as a centre of calm and consistency in the best interests of our wonderful young people. We have learned that our community partnership has grown from strength to strength in the face of incredible challenges and that open, constructive and positive communication and partnership is key to success. In the last few weeks and statements this term we will reflect on how much we have achieved together and set out our challenges for the future, the communication will not change, although the frequency in the new academic year may, just a little.
Had you said eighteen months ago we would have experienced 24 weeks of national school closures, a seismic shift to remote and then blended learning, established an on site testing centre for 3600 student tests whilst providing all students with devices along the way challenging the core of our training and experience I probably would have disbelieved you. But here we are, navigating a vastly different landscape, successfully. And, without doubt, every member of our community has played its part. It is remarkable really when you consider the biggest disruptions of the past were caused by snow days, most definitely a thing of the past! It is abundantly clear that the biggest impacting factors on the success of our young people is the quality of teaching and the support of parents and carers in collaboration, we are blessed with the presence of both. Now we look forward to our new year, and with it the hope that the disruption continues to diminish but with the confidence that we are more than capable of responding.
Again, I must state that despite it all the risk remains, our greatest defence now is home testing, Sundays and Wednesdays, on the evening before you come to school on a Monday and midway through the week. Please continue to keep this as part of your regime. Continue to follow guidance and encourage support of our prevention measures on site and on public transport to and from the academy.
Finally, thank you to all of the parents and carers who continually support our staff and our students. You keep us going. There is an immense pride in our community and our achievements, share it, everywhere.
Mr W Monk