Marple Hall Update 28-5-2021
Today is the last day of the penultimate half term, by far definitely the most normal half term in well over a year. There’s a lot that we still can’t do – mixed year group extra curricular activities for one – but there is more perhaps that we can do, and that is worth celebrating. Today is the last full day in school for the whole Year 11 cohort. The Teacher-Assessed-Grade assessments are finally over, and whilst the staff now have a major task ahead to decide on grades and complete the pretty complicated formalities, it has been a pleasure to work alongside such hard-working and sensible Year 11 students. Today isn’t quite goodbye as we’ll see the students again on the morning of 15th June, but for now, so long!
This blog is therefore more focussed on the students who will be with us after the half term break. There’ll be some important changes to how the school will operate with benefits for students in all four remaining year groups. Here are the main points as explained to students this week:
1) Our current Year 10 cohort will be moved over from Bradshaw Canteen to Isherwood for break and lunch. Older students tend to prefer Isherwood canteen and we’re happy to symbolise their new status as the oldest year group with a move across the site.
2) Our current Year 9s will shift from the first break and lunch time to the second, again a sign of their new status as members of Key Stage Four. This means a shift to their daily pattern as they’ll have two lessons before break and just one after lunch, and they will keep the use of Bradshaw canteen as they do now.
3) Year eight will remain on the same break and lunchtimes as is currently the place, sharing the time with Year 7, but they will have the perk of having access to the school field every day (weather permitting). This means a lot to the students…
4) Finally, and most importantly, Year Seven will be able to have the exclusive use of Bradshaw canteen for break and lunch. This is a major change, as the very welcome knock on effect is that they no longer have to vacate the canteens before older students arrive and so they will no longer have to leave the lessons one and three 10 minutes early. The shortened lessons for Year 7 have been the most regrettable part of the whole covid precautions from September to now, and I am thrilled that we can give students full length lessons from now on.
For all students we are keeping to our rules on mask wearing in the corridors and canteens for at least another two school weeks. That will take us to the next milestone in the national ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown at which point we will review again.
Much will therefore change for students when they return. What won’t change though are our expectations. We have high standards and we make no apology for them, as our job is to help students make the most of their education.
On Wednesday a colleague of mine was chatting to a Year 11 student who joined MHS part way through her school career, having been at another local school until then. The student was saying she will miss this place and began to compare her two schools. MHS is more strict, she said, especially when it comes to making sure students actually go to lessons. Is that good or bad, my colleague asked? The answer was definitely good. Whilst she enjoyed both schools in different ways, there is no doubt in her mind which school expected more of her, challenged her more, will give her better GCSEs and a better chance for the future. I’ll take that.
Have a safe week everyone,