Principal’s Statement – 6th May 2022

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you and your families are all well and enjoying the nicer weather now it is here. This has been another great week for the students and staff at Mascalls in a reduced week due to the bank holiday (I think everyone enjoys a four day week!). At the time of writing there have been 2182 positive events, either reward points or Golden tickets with today still to go, this is over 5 times more than negative logs recorded within the academy underlining our commitment to ensuring relationships are as positive and strong as they can be based in high expectations. Our attendance also continues to exceed national statistics, our students are here, they are happy, they are rewarded and they are successful. I wrote a considerable time back about the Pygmalion or Rosenthal effect (1968) where exhibiting high expectations produces a psychological effect leading to improved performance. It is clear our students are excelling and that we are able to do so positively through the use of rewards as well as through our basic standards.

Mascalls does not finish when the buses leave

Since the pandemic, Mascalls academy have worked hard to develop the co-curriculum (after school and lunchtimes) provision. The number of clubs continues to grow, there are currently twenty two after school and lunchtime activities on offer for your son/daughter across all subjects and not including academic activities. The benefits of being involved in social, sporting, performance, creative and discussion based clubs are well documented, having a direct impact of social and educational outcomes much sought after by employers. Following the pandemic, nationally (and not just in schools) the uptake of social and sporting activities has lagged, we ask all parents/carers to review the range of after school activities found here and encourage attendance, after all which parent/carer would not their son/daughter want to:

  • Boost academic performance
  • Build social skills – Goal setting, Teamwork, Time management, Prioritisation, Problem-solving, Analytical thinking, Leadership, Public speaking
  • Gain confidence
  • Explore opportunities and uncover new talents


The Global show SMASHED were in school on Tuesday this week to tackle alcohol education using an inspiring live theatre experience with interactive workshops for students in Year 7 and 8. Students observed, explored and reflected on vital underage drinking themes including:

Smashed Live Great Britain Live Tour 2022
  • The social and emotional causes
  • The impact on young lives
  • Social influence and decision making
  • Where and how to help yourself and others

Students were excellent and fully engaged with some challenging questions and deep analysis of the scenarios in the play.

It was a real pleasure to see live performances from outside companies back in school and the thought provoking interactions from our students.

To support parents and careers in continuing conversations around alcohol at home smashed have produced a booklet here –

The High-Performance Academy visits Dulwich College to explore the archives of Ernest Shackleton

Students on a school visit to Dulwich College.
Students on a school visit to Dulwich College.

This week, students in Year 8 and Year 10 who had won a competition last semester took part in a visit to Dulwich College. In an absolutely spellbinding tour led by archivist Freddie, they learned about one of the school’s most famous former pupils, the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. Students heard about Shackleton’s various expeditions, getting an opportunity to examine equipment, clothing, and documents related to his missions. Some of the most outstanding moments included seeing the James Caird, one of Endurance‘s lifeboats that was pivotal in rescuing Shackleton’s men after his ship became crushed by pack ice. Students heard about Shackleton’s ingenuity and resourcefulness: he always found a way to ‘market’ his adventures, whether by saving photographs and important equipment, posing in Burberry polar wear, or trying to lay claim to various ‘firsts’. It was incredible to hear, for instance, how Shackleton brought along a printing press in one of his expeditions so he could be the first to publish a book in the Antarctic! After hearing horrifying tales of how Shackleton’s team had had to survive by eating various indigenous animals, it was with great delight that students concluded their trip with lunch before returning home. There will be further opportunities in the future for Mascalls to work alongside Dulwich College, and we will keep you updated about these!

Consultation on the academy day for September 2022

Following the release of the Government’s White paper on education, schools will be expected to offer 32.5 hours of education from September 2023. It is our intention to consult on a small change of the academy day with parents/carers and staff to accommodate this change from September 2022. The proposal requires a shift to the end of the academy day by fifteen minutes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to 3.15pm from September 2022. As part of our Trust wide professional development programme we will maintain a 2pm finish on Wednesdays allowing for staff to travel across the thirty one Trust academies where necessary.

Your opinion is important to us and as such will open a consultation, an opportunity for you to share your comments from today, for two weeks, closing at 5pm on Friday 20th May after which consideration and a final decision will be made. To register your opinion please complete the short questionnaire linked below that details the proposal.

Changes to time timings of the academy day 2022-23 – a consultation (parents/carers)

In addition, last week we shared a problem solving activity – the answer was … the German owned the shark, well done to all students (and parent/carers) who attempted and correctly worked out the solution. Please also see the solution which is just one of many produced by our students.

Finally, from me as always, my thanks to the parents and carers who continue to support our academy.

Answers to the Principal's problem solving game.

It was reported at the Schools and Academies show last week that nationally within schools there has been an increase in negative communication aimed at teaching staff within schools. I am pleased to see that we once again have not shared that experience, we have long noted that we believe it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable and encourage comments that are civil and constructive, clear and to the point and that are respectful and empathetic toward our community members and their opinions. As a community we simply continue to buck those trends and we are incredibly grateful.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W Monk