I hope this update finds you and your families well. I have had the good fortune this week to spend a much larger than usual amount of time visiting classrooms from the perspective of showing a number of visitors around our site. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the level of focus and determination shown by our students in class and have lost count of the number of superlatives used to describe them by those who have visited. We absolutely maintain that our students are clearly making fantastic progress and developing character through interactions with each other and adults saying please, thank you and asking questions, showing an interest and care for each other. We know it isn’t simply the academic excellence that we are aspiring to but also that we are simply nice people who are proud to be part of the Mascalls community, we also know it is the combination of academic progress and character that deliver success long after their time here. And they are doing us proud.
We work very closely with the businesses and community in Paddock Wood and beyond who again are incredibly complimentary about the conduct of our students and we frequently appear at the stations and shops to make sure standards are high. Many adults who are not familiar with large groups of young people can find crowds difficult no matter how well they conduct themselves and we ask that as parents/carers you discuss with your son/daughter how we can support our community and businesses in being aware of others within our community. Simple gestures such as ensuring there is enough footpath for others to comfortably pass, only entering the local shops if you intend to purchase and moderating the volume or content of conversations between friends go a long way to ensuring that our reputation is maintained and in fact enhanced. After all, in this community and beyond are our future employers and partners, we will add value to our community and the reputation of an academy can often be enough to secure an interview to that all important first job.
The Police Sniffer Dog
As part of our ongoing commitment to safeguarding our students and to be able to say confidently we are a drugs free site we frequently welcome (unannounced) detection dogs from K9 deployment. This week we were joined by Chester, Ted and their handler. For the day Chester and Ted were able to freely roam the entire site with Mrs Brooks and their handler, into classrooms and at break times seeing every year group and class in the academy.
As part of our ongoing educational plan in PSHE we spoke to students about the consequences of drug use and the ease of detection with such impressively trained animals. It was a fantastic experience with no indications of any issue on our site and most pleasing were the reactions of the students and engagement in how we keep them safe. So many students interacted with the dog handler and were polite enough to ask permission to stroke Chester and Ted in addition to asking really insightful questions. Many as a result, may well be inspired to pursue a career in the police force or canine handling and we wish them the best of luck in doing so.
Mocks & Academic Reports
We have been so impressed with the conduct and focus of our students from year 11 and 13 during their mock examinations, the information we analyse from those results provide a huge insight into the very specific areas that will form part of our curriculum focus leading up to the final exams this summer. In all other years Knowledge Organiser assessments will be taking place towards the end of term and parents/carers can always help by quizzing, questioning and showing an interest in how your son/daughter prepares for those tests. One of the most effective ways of securing knowledge in the long term memory is in using flashcards. Shared with you before is an image of how they can best be utilised.
The more frequently your son or daughter can recall, explain or discuss content with you the more embedded it will become in the long term memory and easier to recall when in an examination. Over a five year or seven year period, done regularly, this also develops the brain to a point where new information also becomes easier to store making success inevitable.
You can expect to see the academic reports with Attitude to learning and Knowledge Organiser grades appear on your My Child at School app, for Year 11 and 13 you will have little longer to wait for mock results as we plan a full mock results day and assembly to mirror that in summer.
Finally, from me, my continuing gratitude goes to those parents or carers who support sending positive messages to staff and in many cases sharing our successes with the community. It actually is not possible without your help and partnership, for that we are incredibly grateful.
Mr W Monk