Principal’s Update – 1st July 2022

Mascalls Academy building

Dear Parents/Carers,

At this time of year as we approach the end of the academic year, review after review begins to naturally occur as we reflect on how far we have come, over 100000 reward points and nearly 1500 Golden tickets. There have been almost 40000 teaching hours and nearly 10000 hours of extra curricular clubs and trips which almost completes our first full academic year since the pandemic began three years ago. With three weeks remaining there is still much to do, multiple events and swathes of marking the end of year assessments but what an incredible challenge this year has been. The students have taken it all in their stride, we are incredibly proud of them all. As we look towards a new academic year much will continue to drive our improvements, we remain grateful to those parents/carers who support the academy and work alongside us on that journey, but as I said plenty more to do in the final three weeks.

Sixth Form Induction

No sooner had they finished their final examinations our Year 11 returned to us two days later for their sixth form induction, we expect our largest ever number of applicants both internally and externally this year meaning our sixth form continues to grow. The scale of the induction week shows promising signs that this will be our biggest cohort ever and marks an incredibly pleasing sign that our 7 year curriculum inspires more students to stay with us and join us from other schools and academies.

This week we have welcomed over 95 students daily to our 6th Form Induction Programme, with students from our own Year 11 and those who have applied from neighbouring schools. We have delivered 128 subject sessions in over 30 subject areas and have been absolutely thrilled with the level of student engagement, participation and application. This is challenging work, and homework has been set throughout the week to give students a chance to gain a true experience of life as an A-Level candidate but they have risen spectacularly to this and so impressed us with their positive approach to all that we have asked of them.

It has been wonderful to spend time getting to know these students in a different context and ask them for their feedback on the week. Many commented favourably on the smaller classroom model which allows them time to interact with staff and peers in discussion. And of course, many enjoyed the 6th Form only canteen and the addition of ‘free periods’ to their daily schedule!

Students have been encouraged to trial subjects if they are unsure about which might suit them best and we are now in the process of finalising their requests for Results Day, which this year falls on the 25th of August. They have now got an enviably long summer to enjoy and to take time to decompress after a busy two year programme of GCSE study. We have encouraged them to use some of the time to begin fostering those hobbies and interests that will develop their communication skills, confidence and resilience to ensure that they are ready for the next exciting phase of their educational journey and beyond! We wish them a restful break and look forward to welcoming the 2022 Cohort on the 1st of September.

Year 13 Prom

On Wednesday this week we also said our final goodbyes to our Year 13 students at their Prom, held at Hadlow Manor. It was a fabulous night and entirely curated by students – most notably Tia Johnson our Deputy Head Student. Thank Tia for organising such a wonderful event and good luck to all of our amazing graduates. Next week we look forward to another fantastic evening with our Year 11 students at their Prom.

Seven Year 13 students are shown dressed up together for their Prom night.

STEAM Club Soapbox Race

Through our involvement with the West Kent ISSP, Mascalls were invited to take part in the Hospice in the Weald Soapbox event in Tunbridge Wells. Held in Dunorlan Park on a reduced course to the main business race, the schools’ race was open to all Year 9 pupils to build a go-kart from an agreed set of plans held centrally by Kent College. Each school put together a team of designers and engineers and over the past few months spent time resourcing the materials and building the karts, which were designed to be built with minimal tools and facilities, and have full steering and brake systems. While the chassis themselves were a standard build. On the day, the winners were determined by time trials between the schools with prizes for the winning time but also in other categories such as the best-decorated kart. As you can imagine there was a fair amount of friendly rivalry between schools! Despite our best efforts, and a few steering issues, the Kart made its way down the track in a time of 2minutes and 19 seconds. A huge thank you to Mr Levitt for his efforts and support in building the kart.

The STEAM club is open to all students and appears on SOCs, if anyone is interested in joining the club please speak to Mr Reid.

Four students are shown posing for the camera next to a wooden car they have built in STEAM Club.
Four students are seen working with a member of staff to build a lifesize wooden car.

Finally, from me as always, as we pass ‘hump week’ of the term, your ongoing positive messages of thanks and support could not be more timely and really motivate the staff. Together we work in the best interests of all students, as expected with one or two bumps along the way, but with the positives most firmly in the majority. Have a wonderful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W Monk