The final countdown

The final countdown

I’ve spent the last five blogs focussing on the Marple Hall Spirit and what it means to be a part of our school. Naturally, this has means that our attention has been on those students who will be with us in September and beyond, as we look to strengthen our school ethos for the years ahead. In some ways therefore Year 11 have not been a part of this work, as their time is steadily coming to an end.

Therefore I wanted to dedicate this blog to the class of 2022, who as of now are on the doorstep of the exam season, the first exam season we’ve run in school since way back in 2019. There were times when it looked like the exams might not happen again, but thankfully here we are and the students have a chance to prove what they can do. I think I’ve already mentioned in recent weeks that this cohort of students have broken all records for engaging with our weekly Wednesday ‘Pomodoro’ revision nights, a sign that as a whole they are determined to do well. Students have also completed controlled assessments in many subjects – or are working to deadlines now – and the languages students are in the thick of their speaking tests which so far are going really well. Yesterday we had the PE moderation day, and Mr Stretton reported exceptional levels of commitment and determination from all those involved. That department is aiming to be in the top 1% of schools nationally and it is days like yesterday than can make ambitious goals a reality.

The main block of formal exams starts in just 11 days, and around 50 days from now it will all be over. This particular year group has faced so many challenges from lockdown in Years 9 and 10, bubbles bursting all over the place and restrictions on teaching styles, and yet they are absolutely flying at the moment. We are all so proud of them and I’m looking forward to watching them tackle the formal exams together with confidence.

Have a great long weekend,

Joe Barker

MHSL Charity Fundraising – Stockport Wellspring

Between us, we have raised a massive £2778.34 for Stockport Wellspring. The money will help the charity provide support and services for homeless people in our local area.  Thank you to everyone who contributed towards our total, with cake sales, ‘sponge a teacher’ challenges, charity bake sales, raffles, tombolas, sweets in a jar and all the other wonderful activities that took place. We really are an amazing community when we work together and this money will make a positive difference in the lives of people who need the help of the Wellspring.

MHS Tree Planting Project

Since he first joined the Student Leadership Team last year as Environmental Ambassador, Adam B in Y11 has had ambitious plans for developing biodiversity at Marple Hall. Over the 2021 summer holidays, Adam carried out an extensive biodiversity study of the school site and wrote a report which he presented to the Headteacher.  As part of this report, Adam planned to plant home-grown trees in an unused part of the school grounds, creating a new mini orchard. And finally, just before Easter, the new trees were planted on a piece of land between the drama department, music rooms and Bradshaw pastoral offices. With the help of some willing student leaders, some very keen Y7 and Y8 volunteers and Mr Barker with his gold shovel, 25 tree saplings were planted including: common oak, crab apple, goat willow, balsam poplar, European rowan, cherry- plum and common hazel. All of these tree species are native and will provide food for wildlife. The cherry-plums & crab apples will also provide beautiful blossom.  

MHSL would like to thank Mr Hutchinson and Mr Day from the site team who have helped make this plan a reality. Thanks also go to the student volunteers, Mr Roger and Mr Graves who came to help plant and, of course, thank you to Adam for his vision and tireless efforts to help care for our planet. We look forward to the new trees becoming well established and flourishing long into the future. 

The Marple Hall Spirit – Spark!

Welcome back everyone, I hope that whatever you were doing you had a good two weeks and are ready for the term ahead. It’s been great this week speaking to loads of Year 11 students who I know are very much almost there in terms of their exam preparation, making the most of the opportunity that the Easter break gave them. Still plenty of time to go though!

This blog is the fifth and final one in a set of five looking at the different elements of the Marple Hall Spirit. ‘Spark’ is perhaps the most unusual of the five attributes that we champion at MHS, and we chose it as a way to capture the many voices that offered words like ‘creative’, ‘active’, ‘confidence’ etc. The definition we chose to go with the word Spark is here:

I like this description, as spark is a lot more than just being creative or artistic or sporty. It’s also about being unafraid to stand out from the crowd, having a willingness to take a risk and ultimately to be a leader of others. There are many people in the world who have these attributes but don’t develop them, and so part of our job (we believe) is to foster these qualities and help young people channel them in the best direction.

Recently, before Easter, all students across Years 7 to 10 had the chance to ‘show their spark’ by coming up with ways for their form to raise £50 for charity. We gave forms and form tutors free rein to come up with money making schemes, all the hopes of raising at least £2400 from the 48 forms for the excellent Wellspring charity.  The final few weeks of term were manic with something happening every day – staff vs student football, staff vs student dodgeball, guess the name of the teddy bear, selling packs of sweets, sponsored silences, charity runs, charity walks, numerous raffles, plenty of cake sales and of course the obligatory ‘sponge the teacher’ events seemingly every other day! Through their spark and their generosity, overall the students raised £2,778.34. Special mention to Year Seven in general who raised the most of any year group, and in particular to Miss Danby’s form who broke the £200 mark all on their own.

Not only that, but as a sign that the impact of covid on education is finally coming to an end, this week we had our first public performances in Bradshaw Hall in 25 months. A huge well done to the dance performers and a massive thank you to the staff team led by Miss Griffies for making it possible.

Spark is real. Spark is power. Spark makes a difference!

Best wishes

Joe Barker

Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931