Principal’s Update – 15th July 2022

Mascalls Academy building.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Another bumper edition, but I am far from sorry for that with so many exciting things occurring everyday. We are so close to the end of the academic year now, a reminder not only that next Friday, 22nd July, we will finish at 12.30pm but also that until then lessons, standards and expectations on uniform, equipment and Chromebooks remain in place until the very last moment.
Considering the predicted weather, it is also prudent to continue with our current position of PE kit until the end of term. Please ensure that your son or daughter has plenty of drinks and also sun cream. Please also note that in September we will revert to full school uniform as normal.

Annual LAT Athletics Competition at Dartford Stadium

This highly competitive schools event took place at the Dartford Athletics Stadium and due to the large number of schools within the trust the event was held over two days, Monday and Thursday. The Mascalls Sports Day was also held on Tuesday which resulted in an extremely busy week for both students and staff. Despite the hot weather some great team performances were achieved along with some outstanding personal achievements.

Year 7 & 8 Girls & Boys Team (Monday)

Congratulations to all Year 7 and 8 and impressive wins were recorded by Indiana, Nancy, Lois and Emily.

Year 9 & 10 Girls & Boys Team (Thursday)

Congratulations to all Year 9 and 10 and impressive wins were recorded by Stan, Harry and Aaron, who was also awarded the prize for Best Year 9 Athlete. The Year 9 boys relay squad also won their event with a rapid 50 seconds, so another impressive performance. A special mention to those running the middle and long distance events in soaring temperatures and all athletes showed excellent effort and team spirit at both events. We await the final results but congratulations to every member of both squads – impressive work from all of you!

Mascalls students are pictured at the Annual LAT Athletics Competition.
Mascalls students are pictured at the Annual LAT Athletics Competition.

Our Biggest Sports Day Ever

Sports Day 2022 brought the highest student participation we have seen in Mascalls Academy history. It was an extremely successful day; one certainly to be remembered.

The PE department decided to dedicate the theme to this year’s Sports Day to the Commonwealth Games; an event that encompasses the Leigh Academies Trust values of ‘we keep getting better’, striving for personal best through ‘boundless ambition’ and ‘we work together’.

Advisory tasks surrounding the Commonwealth Games sports/events and the LAT values were delivered in the week build up to Sports Day and these tasks allowed for colleges to earn points towards their Sports Day final totals! The winning advisory presentation came from Miss Degotte’s 8C advisory group who made their presentation about Track Cycling. Well done to all advisories who contributed!

The morning events commenced at 8.30am with year 7 and year 8 starting the day on a high! Morning events consisted of 800m, 1200m, Long jump, shot put, Javelin, Rowing, Cycling, Table Tennis and 3v3 Basketball matches. Year 9 and 10 joined at 10am to compete in their morning events and they certainly did not disappoint.

A Referee is seen waving a white flag at a Sports Day race.

The afternoon events brought the entire school out to the field to cheer on or participate in the 100m, 200m and 300m sprints, the 4 x 4 100m relay and the highly anticipated staff and 6th form relay. The afternoon also brought the addition of the Ice cream van, which is always a highlight of the day for many!

Throughout the morning and afternoon, we had year 10 Sports Leaders and Year 12 Sport Science, Art and Media students who were all exceptional in their support of the PE department. The Sport students supported events, ran scores back to the results table, continually filled up the water at the student water station and gave out medals. The Media students were interviewing staff, taking photos and are currently putting together some footage from the day! The Art students brought out their best face paints and helped colleges adorn their college colours!

The staff relay brought its usual excitement and closed the afternoon, with Mr Hatherill winning the final leg for Shackleton college. After an extremely successful day, Mr Monk presented the Sports Day trophy to Earhart who won with 1042 points! A close 2nd place was awarded to Luther King with 1011 points and 3rd place to Shackleton with 991 points.

Can I please say a thank you to the PE department for organising such a well run event, to the Media and Art staff and students for their contributions, to all staff for their support in the afternoon and most importantly to the students, who went beyond our expectations; behaved impeccably and participated in some events out of their comfort zones on an extremely hot day!

I must point out that it wasn’t merely the performances and support that amazed this Principal personally but also the general conduct, students in the heat were calm and respectful throughout with not a single item of litter on display on our academy field. This made for a wonderful atmosphere and a chance to really relax and enjoy the event with the students, well done to all of you and thank you for making it as enjoyable for the staff as it was for the students.

Students are seen running in lanes for a race on Sports Day.
Students are seen playing Basketball together on Sports Day.
Students are seen running in lanes for a race on Sports Day.
Four male students are seen posing for a photo with a member of staff on Sports Day.

Matilda the Musical

This week we have seen the magnificent performance from our students of Matilda the Musical. Beginning rehearsals back in February, countless hours of rehearsals, at weekends and evenings the students have performed matinee shows for our local primary schools and evening performances for families and friends. Everything has been run during those shows by students, even taking over the professional sound and lighting desk. The level of performance has been quite breathtaking with emails and messages of thanks from so many that have come to watch. I would like to thank the Performing Arts staff for their tireless efforts in bringing the show together, the Art department for the scenery, the site team for props and making mobile tables and of course the students (and their parents/carers for getting them to those rehearsals)- truly a whole community product and absolutely one to be proud of.

In addition, we have been honoured to have Tim Minchin, writer of the West End show Matilda the Musical and actor/comedian send a video message all the way from Australia to our students below wishing them luck.

Tim Minchin wishes our students good luck

Open Air Cinema comes to Mascalls

On Wednesday 20th July we have the pleasure of welcoming an outdoor cinema for all students to enjoy. There will also be two ice cream vans so students can enjoy the experience of a huge outdoor LED cinema experience whilst keeping cool. Please bring a little money if your son/daughter wishes to purchase an ice cream, the event will take place during the day. What they’ll be watching is a secret, but it will be a lot of fun and a just reward for their efforts over the entire year. Again, the event is outdoors so drinks and suncream are advised.

An outdoor cinema system is seen parked on a field with the word 'Proscreens' shown on the screen.

Result of the change to the Academy Day

Following our consultation with parents/carers back in May, which showed a majority of parents/carers in support of our efforts to meet the DFE demands of the Department of Education’s White paper in extending the school day by fifteen minutes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We acknowledge that transport is the biggest factor to be considered and are continuing to liaise with Kent and the appropriate authorities regarding that. We also openly acknowledge that it will be impossible to appease every parent/carer and their individual situations, but in those situations seek your support and understanding. The current staffing situation in transport for our local areas has as yet made confirmations for September difficult, however we are committed to fulfilling our obligations and will aim to extend the academy day from January and update you on that progress in due course.

Finally, my thanks as usual go to all the parents and carers for their support. In an age where faults are readily pointed out over successes, where social media becomes the public airing ground for grievances rather than direct, constructive communication. We seem to have an acceleration to the contrary. This week our staff have received more emails of support and praise than ever before and with our students being surrounded by that very community our aim of academic excellence, character and culture will produce a generation to be proud of for years to come.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W Monk