I hope this final update from me finds you all well and warm, we have a positively balmy Sunday to look forward to it seems after a very cold week in which the students (with your support driving them in) coped admirably. Our new world which seems to experience more extreme weather is now the norm and we must find ways to adapt and cope, something we have done admirably over the last few years. Remarkably again, we have done very well this time as our attendance during this cold spell was markedly higher than during the heatwave this summer with train strikes added in for good measure. So, thank you all for the efforts you continue to make in valuing education so highly as Nelson Mandela once said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
It really is, and whilst we have outstanding digital provision there is no substitute for being face to face, in the classroom. It is also so much more than just lessons – relationships and social interactions are also vehicles to developing the skills so highly valued with employers and within teams.
Last week Miss Lyons took our sports leaders to the Angel Centre for a primary school indoor athletics competition. The pupils were excited to start the day and very helpful throughout the set-up. Each event had a group of students assigned to it at the start of the day. Four on the track, with the remaining participants in jump and throwing events. Students were an excellent help throughout the day with some outstanding feedback from the Kent schools’ games organiser. They then helped to pack all the equipment onto the event organisers’ minibus and clean up the venue. We are excited to have the sports leaders to help out in future events, they represent us so wonderfully and we are incredibly grateful.
On Wednesday, 50 Year 7s along with Miss Groves, Mrs Alldridge, Mrs Fowler and Mrs Saxby went to see Sleeping Beauty at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. The Year 7s had a fabulous time and were completely in awe of the characters, set, lighting and effects that were present throughout. This included: velociraptors, smoke bubbles, singing, dancing, jokes, Frankenstein’s monster, water fights and the flame artists.
In Module 3 our Year 7 students will be embarking on an exciting letter writing exchange with students in a school in Willisau, Switzerland. This is a fantastic opportunity for Year 7 students to develop their letter writing skills as well as a chance to learn about another country and how students live their lives in Switzerland. To begin this exchange and get in the Christmas spirit, on Monday 19th December, Year 7 students will receive a video from the students in Switzerland explaining Swiss Christmas traditions, with our Year 7s creating a video to explain English Christmas traditions in return. Thank you to Miss Couch for making this global connection and Mrs Parrish for helping organise the exchange – an excellent way to help our students become even more internationally minded.
Also, on Monday 19th December, our performing arts students and our catering students will be hosting several local residential homes for their annual Christmas party. Wowing them with their culinary skills and performances. A thank you to all of the students performing and to Miss Butler and Miss James for organising such a wonderful community event.
Early Closure – 20th December
A reminder that our last day of term, Tuesday 20th December, is a 12.30 finish. The buses will arrive at that time.
Help at Christmas
Such a family focussed period of the year but the winter months can be challenging for so many. Please be aware of the help that is available to you and also donate food to Nourish if you are able to. Three amazing organisations below are always available to help those in need.
- Nourish Community Foodbank Food donations in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells
- Shout 85258 24/hr free confidential counselling by text
- Kooth Free safe anonymous support
Finally, from me, a thank you and a partial goodbye as I will be back at various points in the new year. It has been an absolute pleasure to lead Mascalls even during one of the most challenging periods in recent history. There is most definitely something about Mascalls, it is special and so are the people who make it work so well. Asking what makes Mascalls successful is like asking which ingredient makes a recipe taste good. It’s not any single ingredient. It is the combination of many ingredients in the right proportions and in the right order, but most importantly how well everything comes together. You do, we do and our wonderful students continue to do so and the result is brilliant! The speed with which we have responded over the last few years and our achievements are a testament to each member of the community and their part. I will always feel that Mascalls arrived out of the pandemic in a much stronger position than when it entered. With Mrs Brooks as Principal there is most definitely a continuity combined with a drive to continue our improvement, an infinite target (we always want to get better, even when we’re better) and Mascalls is in a very strong place with an incredible leadership team and staff body.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2023.
Mr W Monk