Getting help if you need it this summer

We hope that all our students enjoy themselves this summer. If, for any reason, a student is worried or upset about anything over the break then we recommend the following four actions:

  1. Contact ‘Kooth’, an excellent online mental health support platform
  2. Contact Childline
  3. Read the document entitled ‘How to help and support children when something terrible happens’ below which includes advice and guidance for supporting young people after difficult events.
  4. Email the Head of Year, pastoral manager or form tutor. It is unlikely that staff will access their emails until near to the start of term, so if a student needs help more quickly then please use one of the first three options above.


The MHS Team

MHS Open Evening 2022

We are delighted to invite parents and primary school students to come to our Open Evening on Thursday 22nd September from 4.30pm to 8pm. See poster below for more information. We look forward to welcoming you to our school!

Marple Hall School Open Evening Poster


Our focus on the Marple Hall Spirit reaches its conclusion this fortnight with the most unique of the five school characteristics – SPARK!

This week it’s been brilliant seeing students engaging really well in their celebration assemblies, a chance for us to recognise their success and give credit where it is due. Not every student can win a badge every assembly, but so many young people have done amazing things this term and we always enjoy celebrating with them.

Last night we had our first ever SPARK EVENING, a great showcase of the arts in different forms culminating in a wonderful summer concert. It’s been all too long since we could last do that, and I couldn’t stop smiling at seeing Bradshaw hall alive and buzzing again in the summer heat. Seeing the joy on the faces of performers, crew, staff and audience members alike reminded me of how important these opportunities are. Not only that, but the art auction was a roaring success – if I’d known people were that willing to part with their cash we’d have been doing auctions for years!

Finally today was our first SPARK DAY in three years, and our third in total. It’s a brilliant day where students take part in something creative in the morning, followed by a mini ‘festival on the field’ complete with live music, stalls, activities, sports events and a chance to relax and enjoy their time with friends and staff. I don’t know how much we’ve raised for charity yet, the totals will come later, but the atmosphere on the field was brilliant and students seemed to be having a great time. Thank you to all the staff – and there were MANY – who made spark day such a success.

Spark is not unique to our school, but our deliberate and determined focus on it as a worthy attribute probably is. It’s one of the things that I love about our ‘Marple Hall Spirit’, and this week has underlined just how much it matters. But we’re not done yet! Next week students will be showing their spark in a massive range of different ways during enrichment week and/or work experience, and I’d like to thank those members of staff who have given up so much time to give students these great opportunities. Running trips, especially residential ones, is not mandatory and I know some schools have stopped them completely. I’m therefore hugely grateful to our dedicated teams who put their hands up for the good of the students – you have my utmost respect.

Lastly for today and for the term, we say goodbye next week to the colleagues listed below. All are moving on to pastures new and I wish them all the very best.

Thank you to everyone for their support over the past year. I’ll allow you a few weeks respite from my weekly blogs now and will see you again in September!

Joe Barker

Goodbye and good luck to the following colleagues!

Millie Boucher, Learning Support Assistant

Luke Rondong, Learning Manager

Vanessa Sanchez, MFL Teacher

Barbara Santomartino, MFL teacher

Rosie O’Grady, Maths teacher

Rachel Lennie, MFL teacher

Harry Dennis, Science Technician

Amy Rivans, Science teacher

Dawn O’Doherty, Head of Year

Neil Cooke, Head of Year

And a special mention to

Rebecca Hitchen, Teacher of English, after 25 years of dedicated service.

MHS Gardening Club

The MHS gardening club was established in 2017 and the Class Of 2022 were the first to join.

In school, we have our own gardening area where we grow a variety of flowers and vegetables. The club meets every Thursday lunchtime and is open to all year groups. As well as gardening, the club has craft related activities, quizzes and bird bingo which has proved very popular.

A couple of weeks ago, the Class of 2022 garden club members organised a lovely garden party to mark their MHS journey. The party included a singing performance, the display of various plants and plenty of fruits, snacks and cakes which everybody enjoyed.

We would like to thank the Class of 2022 garden club members for all their contributions to the garden club since they joined in Year 7 and we wish them well in their future endeavours. See below for pictures of the day!

MHS Achieves Gold School Games Mark

We are delighted to announce that we, Marple Hall, have achieved the School Games GOLD Mark Award for the 2021/22 academic year.

The School Games Mark is a Government-led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward and recognise school’s engagement (provision and uptake) in the School Games against a national benchmark and to celebrate keeping young people active, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.

Our physical activity and school sport achievements this year include PE Lessons following the National Curriculum offering a wide and variety of sports such as:

  • Extra-Curricular Clubs: Hockey, Netball, Football, Handball, Rugby, Trampolining, Basketball, Cricket, Tennis, Rounders, Softball, Dance Club
  • Athletics Providing Competitive Opportunities: Leagues/Competitions/Tournaments: Hockey, Cross Country, Netball, Football, Handball, Rugby, Basketball, Cricket, Rounders, Athletics, Swimming and Rock Climbing.
  • Intra School Events: Netball and Football National Schools Sports Week Girls and Boys Active Project Sport England Project Sports Day External Sports Coaches/Clubs promoting school sports and physical activity: Rugby and Cricket Sports Leadership Opportunities at the SHAPEs events and during lessons.
  • Monitoring of Pupil Engagement through registers, pupil voice, questionnaires, surveys and focus groups.
  • Promotion & Marketing of School Sport through Timetable of Clubs, Fixtures List, Social Media advertising clubs, fixtures and results, Website, School Bulletin, Newsletters, PE noticeboards and PE displays CPD Training for the delivery of Sport and Education: Yoga and Boxing.
  • School Club Links

We are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of physical activity and school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our events possible.  We are committed to using the School Games to try and engage those young people who haven’t previously been active or represented our school and to try and ensure that all our students have a positive experience and want to try out new activities beyond school too in our community.  We believe in the power of physical activity and school sport as a school and give opportunities to those young people that need it most either as a participant, leader, official or volunteer.

As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas linked to the five School Games outcomes and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded this year.

A special thanks to:

A special thanks goes to our wonderful PE department: Mr Stretton, Mr Angove, Mrs Stone, Mr White, Miss Cargin, Mr Meredith, Miss Griffies, Mr Garrett and Mrs Smith, SHAPEs Stockport Team: Jude Riddings, Dan Turner and Lee Sanders, external sports coaches, parents/carers and of course our pupils, who continue to demonstrate hard work and determination to make all this possible.

Mrs Smith


We look forward to applying once again in 2023!

GOLD Marple Hall School Games Mark Certificate

Welcome to the class of 2027!

Last year, in the grip of the pandemic, we were one of only two schools in Stockport who managed to put on a Year 6/7 transition day. It was great at the time, although not all primary schools could attend and so we weren’t able to meet every member of the new year group. Today was the official transition day for the class of 2027 and it went brilliantly. 99.7% of the new cohort spent their day with us today, meeting their new form mates and taking part in a series of lessons to show them what a typical day looks like at our school. I was lucky enough to teach one class for history and was really impressed with the work that they have done in their primary schools, and the confident and articulate way that they spoke.

It was also really nice to be able to speak to parents and carers in person for the first time since 2019! The information evening is always a busy affair and so we have all the information you need available online if you’d like to go over anything again.

Not only did we welcome the new Year 7 intake this week, but we were also able to welcome Year 5 students for our science challenge on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a whole load of Year 1 and 2 students for a morning of sport on Tuesday as well. It’s brilliant to be able to open our doors again to local schools and see youngsters enjoying the facilities. It’s also really good to see the care and consideration shown for all these visitors by our existing students. I’m not entirely sure I had the same experience back in my day, but the conduct of our existing students made me very proud too.

Have a lovely sunny weekend,

Joe Barker

Celebrating with the Class of 2022

One of the most regrettable ‘losses’ caused by Covid was the denial, to thousands of children, of access to traditional rites of passage. The most obvious examples are all those Year 11 and Year 13 students who never got a prom, or even a leavers assembly in 2020. The university students who didn’t get a proper graduation, and the year 6s who never got to say a proper goodbye to their primary school. These things are traditions (or have more recently become traditions in the case of the latter) for a reason – they matter to people, and are part of who we are.

I remember that saying goodbye to the class of 2020 in March that year, the morning after Boris had announced a lockdown for the following Monday, was the most challenging assembly I have ever delivered. At the time we reassured them, and ourselves, that we would get them all together when covid was over and mark their time at the school. That never happened of course, and life moves on, but I regret we couldn’t do it.

Therefore it’s been genuinely lovely to be able to give the class of 2022 the full leaver’s experience. They were utterly superb on Tuesday for the leavers assembly and ‘foam on the field’, and last night (Thursday 30th) we had a wonderful time at the leaver’s Prom. The new venue of the Concorde Lounge at Manchester Airport was brilliant, with students and staff alike enjoying the surroundings and a free tour of the plane to boot! It was a lovely evening and a fitting way to say goodbye to a year group who have been through so much.

I’m aware that the majority of readers of this blog won’t have a direct connection to the class of 2022, but showing younger children what awaits them is all part of the journey and I’m hoping that they too are looking forward to their rites of passage.

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