MHS Update 17-7-2020
I started writing a weekly blog when I first became Headteacher of MHS in September 2013. I think I may have missed a few weeks in the intervening eight years…but that’s 300+ blogs now. The original idea behind them was to share an insight into what is happening in school, to highlight the achievements of staff and students and to occasionally rant about school funding! My blog was not originally intended as a way to communicate important stuff which would otherwise go in a letter or on the website, or both.
But…the past four months have been different and my blog has morphed into a regular coronavirus update for parents, students, staff, governors and anyone else who cares to read it (occasionally my mum, for example!) I’ve tried to use the blog to keep people informed of what is going on with regards to school closure, remote learning, live lessons, and the return of some students to school. I hope that they have been useful, and I thank those people who have written in to tell me that they are. You have encouraged me to keep going and for that I am very grateful.
We come now to the end of the summer term and the start of the school holiday. It feels weird of course and I am sure that’s the same for everyone. Things are different; we’ve set some summer work for the first time ever, we’re planning a very different results day for Year 11 and preparations for the start of term in September still require a lot of work. There is a lot to do both in terms of working out how we will open and then implementing the measures ready for the start of term. All our initial planning is complete with risk assessments, reference guides for staff and of course the letter that went home this week. We'll share more information in the last week of August if necessary. I think we all need to prepare ourselves for a challenge in the Autumn, but if any group of students and staff can make it work then it’s those at Marple Hall.
A second, equally important strand of work is to put together an effective ‘recovery strategy’ that will enable us to help those students who have not been able to make much academic progress since March, for whatever reason, as well as ensure that those who have continue to move forwards at pace. To be honest we’re still working on the plans but we think we have the core of a successful approach that will be tailored to those who need it, making use of a range of opportunities across the school week including but not limited to Mondays between 2pm and 2.50pm. This slot is usually reserved for staff development but the situation demands a different approach, and we anticipate quite a few students staying in school for a little longer on Mondays for at least a part of next year. More info to follow in due course.
I’ll end my final blog of the year with a huge thank you. Thank you to all my exceptional colleagues, thank you to the governors who repeatedly strike the perfect balance between support and challenge, thank you to the students who make this all worthwhile and thank you to all the parents, carers and family members who have shown such patience, encouragement and support since March. Together we make this community what it is, so Thank You!