Principal’s Update – 9th December 2022

Mascalls Academy building

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this update finds you well and most importantly warm considering the cold snap we are currently experiencing. Extremes of weather seem to be the norm for us now and our ability to continue with business as usual from the searing heat of the summer to our current freeze has been tested, in each case we have always continued with our provision. Nothing will change this time.

A photo taken at the Mascalls Dance Show.

Our sold out dance show has taken place this week, the result of hours of practice from over 100 dancers across the academy and hours of preparation and organisation from the staff. I attended yesterday evening and was blown away by the professionalism, quality and at times raw emotion in the pieces, my thanks go to Miss Butler and her team and I wish them the best of luck for the remaining performances.

A photo taken at the Mascalls Dance Show.

Something else has happened this week with nearly one thousand additional rewards achieved by our students compared to usual, over four thousand in total – incredible! For every point issued a negative through our behaviour system there are seven rewards. We are super proud of each and every one of them, well done and keep it up. This ratio typifies our commitment to high standards, high expectations and strong relationships leading to incredible progress within the classroom.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Mascalls Academy will do everything within its powers to ensure that the academy is always open for our students. Working from home for skilled and professional adults is a very different concept to working from home for students who are still developing knowledge and skills, so we must preserve what the evidence shows us is effective by being open. We have an incredible site team who are able to make the site safe for our students. Our biggest challenges during adverse weather are public transport and roads (which affects the number of staff on site), not site logistics or safety. We have a snow plan which can be found by clicking here, and we will communicate clearly with you only through official channels.

Strep A

I wrote to you earlier in the week (click here to view the letter) regarding the current news regarding Strep A. Strep A is a bacterial infection spread by close contact and as such very different to coronavirus which is spread through airborne particles over distance. We will utilise all of the protocols advised by Public Health England, but most importantly the current advice is much like COVID in that good hand hygiene and catch it, kill it, bin it will help. Please discuss this with your son/daughter. Like before, as the adults surrounding our wonderful children, we will remain calm and communicate clearly only via official channels working with the evidence and agencies as required.

Guidance on how to prevent and protect against Strep A infection.

Free School Meals

Free School Meals/Pupil Premium Payments are available to all eligible pupils attending Kent County Council maintained schools. If you are not already in receipt of free school meals an application must be submitted to secure both Free School Meals and the Pupil Premium Payment. Your eligibility will be checked and your application processed straight away. If your application is successful the school will be notified and your child should start receiving their free school meal within 24 hours. KCC may ask for proof of benefit after you apply.

Once you have applied, and if you are successful you will not need to apply again unless KCC tells you to. If your child is eligible for free school meals with an active application on the 31st March 2018, they will remain eligible until 31 March 2023.

How to apply

Application forms are available from the KCC website:

Click here to apply

If your child is not currently eligible for free school meals or you are waiting for a benefit application to be approved and need food and supplies urgently, please contact Kent Support and Assistance Service.

Finally, from me, in my penultimate update, I would like to thank all the parents and carers who have shown their continued support of the Academy through COVID, school closures, Chromebook rollout, Ofsted, Challenge Partners, heatwaves, cold spells and so much more. It really has been an honour to be the principal of such a wonderful community and I look forward to continuing that work with an exceptional leadership and staff body from January as Academies director for Central Kent.

Yours sincerely,

Mr W Monk