I hope this update finds you and your families well. There is always a hope that following an OFSTED inspection there is somewhat of a reprieve, just to catch your breath, absolutely not so at Mascalls. We are still pushing hard to make sure that our students are in the best possible position for learning, in particular our Year 11 and 13 students who are rapidly approaching their mock examinations. Notwithstanding OFSTED, it is always the students and their happiness, wellbeing and success that will always be our core purpose. However, as soon as we are able, we will share those OFSTED outcomes with you.
Bereko… and a Non-Uniform Day
Mascalls Academy have had a long standing relationship with the Paddock Wood Bereko Community Partnership and have funded many things for the Secondary School in Bereko previously including school uniform, resources and letters with students. Bereko is in the district of Kondoa in Tanzania and is in an area where drought is common and there is a lack of infrastructure to support the local economy. Life for people living in the area is challenging and the Bereko Partnership have recently helped fund a sustainable source of income through the Bereko Garden. The garden is irrigated in order to grow produce that can be sold and provide an income and a developing economy to the local community. We want to support this development especially when COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the people who live in Bereko and their ability to earn a living. Mrs Brooks was due to visit Bereko and represent the academy in 2020 but due to the COVID-19 outbreak this was unable to take place. The intention is for Mrs Brooks to visit in 2022, hopefully with a select number of students to join and feedback their experiences to the rest of the academy. As a result of our continued support of the Bereko Partnership, we will be holding a non-uniform day on the 3rd December where students can pay £2 to wear their own clothes for the day and the money will go to support this cause. The payment should be made on ScoPay. In addition to this, any donations to the Year 7 Sharing Event will also be going to the Bereko cause.
Surviving Winter Campaign
Mascalls are also incredibly proud to work with the Paddock Wood and District Lions, a local group who work tirelessly to make a difference to individual’s lives from fundraising and social events to supporting local charities and causes to helping to provide school uniforms. This year the Lions will be focussing on their Surviving Winter campaign, particularly pertinent given rising energy costs, in order to help families and individuals to heat their homes. It is always a stark reminder that in the 21st century there are still so many in need of support just to heat their home. Please do support this charity and campaign if you are able to do so. Visit their website or Just Giving page to donate.
Mascalls, not just international, now also linked to space
This week, students in Years 8 and 10 were invited to attend the High-Performance Academy’s inaugural event: a livestream lecture and Q&A session with the pioneering American engineer, astronaut, and artist Nicole Stott. In an awe-inspiring talk, Nicole spoke to students about the technical details of going to the loo in space, about what space smells like (‘sweet and metallic’, apparently), and about the overwhelming sensation of gravity on the return to earth. Students were able to ask lots of questions, and Nicole delighted us with her stories and good humour. As well as learning that she had enjoyed the ‘best sleep of her life’ aboard the International Space Station, Nicole also shared her philosophy that the arts and sciences are not so opposed or separated. As ‘crew mates’ aboard the planet earth, she also reminded us that we should always strive to have each other’s backs. ‘Space unites us’, Nicole said, and a few times suggested that politicians and world leaders might gain a sense of perspective and strive for action if more were sent into space and got to see earth from a distance!
So much Christmas
As we reach December and the countdown to Christmas begins there are a significant number of events planned. In addition to the non-uniform day, Friday 10th December is Christmas jumper day where students can wear their wildest Christmas jumper, donations for our worthy causes however small can again be made via Scopay. Our sixth form students will be supporting the Paddock Wood community wardens delivering food via the foodbank, if you wish to donate food please send it in with your son/daughter.
Students from Performing Arts will also be performing at the Paddock Wood light up this Sunday alongside students from Design Technology representing the academy selling their own arts and crafts.
Sunday 28th November is the first all day dance rehearsal. Nearly 100 students from different year groups will be rehearsing from 9am-4pm to prepare for the sold out dance show. They will be doing the same again next Sunday on top of a full week at school in preparation. We are extremely proud of the commitment these students give to making the show a success.
On Wednesday 1st December we will welcome 40 residents from two local care homes for a Christmas tea. This is a collaborative event between Performing Arts and DT where the guests will be treated to a small performance from each department and Christmas tea made by students from Catering.
9th, 10th and 11th December – ‘Tear the Ground Away’ – The Mascalls Academy Annual Dance show which sold out in just over a week. Miss Butler released extra tickets for each night which sold in 24hours. We are so excited to have live performances back at the academy.
14th December is the Year 7 Christmas Sharing in aid of the Bereko Community. Friends and relatives will be welcomed with festive drinks before enjoying students’ performances and readings. All year students are involved please complete the consent form to reserve seats. Tickets for this event are free but we will be accepting donations for this evening in support of the school’s international charity The Bereko Community via Eventbrite.
Finally, as always, my thanks go to our entire community for their ongoing support. The foundations you provide for our students at home and in the support of our aims and ethos really are helping to build a strength of character and a culture that many other academies only aspire to. The breadth of charitable activities and fundraisers taking place this term also go to show that Mascalls Academy can transform lives and really is the heart of a vibrant and caring community.
Have a lovely weekend.
Mr W Monk