Support for Year 11 students and their parents/carers

This summer we celebrated great exam results for our class of 2022. I’m a firm believer that there is more to life than GCSE results, and at MHS we value the all round education of students more than just grades on a certificate, but we also know that qualifications matter and we will always support students to reach their potential. The class of 2022 had to cope with the disruption of their school years 9 and 10, as well as take on the first set of national exams since 2019. As I have said before we were really proud of their attitude and determination, and many students rightly did amazingly well.

The class of 2023 (the new Year 11s) also suffered great disruption to their studies, and they too will be facing a ‘first’ since covid. Unlike last year, where most subjects were reduced in size to compensate for Covid, the class of 2023 will be taking on the full specifications. A new challenge but one that I am confident our students will rise to. On Wednesday this week we held the first of our ‘Pomodoro’ revision sessions – independent study for two hours after school – and a record 170 students attended of their own accord. That’s a significant sign that these students mean business, almost a full year out from the exams.

Expert support for Year 11 students and parents/carers

We know that Year 11 is stressful for both students and parents/carers alike, and so we are really pleased be able to bring back a really positive event that went down incredibly well pre Covid. We have organised a fantastic outside speaker – Lisa Wisher from ‘Bright Futures’  – to discuss the best ways parents/carers can support their child’s mental health throughout Year 11. Our fantastic Senior Assistant Headteacher Lyn Lawton will also provide key information our revision programme. I thoroughly recommend the session to anyone with a Year 11 student living in their house!

Places at this event are likely to be very popular and over 60 have already gone, so please sign up HERE as soon as possible to secure your ticket. It’s free but is ticket-only due to demand!

Best wishes

Joe Barker

Year 11 Special Event: 12th October 6.30pm

We have organised a fantastic outside speaker – Lisa Wisher from ‘Bright Futures’ – to discuss the best ways parents/guardians can support their child’s mental health throughout Year 11. Our Assistant Headteacher will also provide key information on our revision programme. Places at this event are likely to be very popular, so please sign up HERE as soon as possible to secure your ticket.

Open Evening 2022

I’m quite disciplined in when I write my blog – usually either a Thursday evening or a Friday morning. Occasionally I write my blog late at night after a school event, such as a school production, or in this case the 2022 Open Evening.

Covid meant that we haven’t been able to hold a real-life Open Evening since 2019, three long years ago. Tonight’s event was therefore special for more than one reason, and I was thrilled to see how vibrant and exciting the school felt. Despite the persistent rain, upwards of 500 families joined us over the evening and all three of the talks in the hall were standing room only. The staff put on a great display in each subject and were ably assisted by almost 200 student helpers and guides. There was an overwhelmingly positive feeling from so many people and it was lovely to bump into a great many parents who already have children at the school, but who due to the pandemic we haven’t seen in years.

So, thank you to my colleagues, the students and everybody who attended our 2022 Open Evening. It was a really special evening and made me prouder than ever to work at our wonderful MHS.

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker

MHS Update 15-9-2022

In the days following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth we have been conscious to avoid unnecessary communication with parents and carers. Of course some communication from us is essential for the safeguarding of students and the efficient running of the school, but I shall restrict this blog to confirming arrangements for next week.

School is fully closed on Monday 19th September as a mark of respect for the Queen’s Funeral.

School will also be closing early to students on Thursday 22nd September due to the annual Open Evening taking place later that day. Students will be leaving site at 12.20pm. Please see recent correspondence regarding buses.

School will be open at all other times next week.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Joe Barker

Welcome back

School re-opened this week and it’s been great to see everyone back together after the long summer break. A particular welcome of course to our new Year Seven cohort, as well as to our new colleagues. All seem to have settled in well so far – students and adults alike!

The start of the year is always a time of great promise and hope. A chance for students to set their stall out, push themselves that bit more in all that they do, and for everyone in the school to give their best at all times. I said as much to every student across my five assemblies on Monday and Tuesday this week, a theme that I will be picking up again next week too. For those in Years 10 and Year 11, who are of course nearer to the ‘pointy end’ of their school careers, they can take great confidence from the fantastic outcomes for the Class of 2022. The students who have just left did so with comfortably the best non-Covid affected exam results that the school has ever had, showing strong progress from when they joined us and with an amazing 33% of all grades achieved being at grade 7 or higher. As I said to Year 10 and Year 11 this week, grades like these are there for the taking if they want them. ‘All’ they need to do is work hard, seek advice and never give up.

Starting the new year has also been refreshing due to the lack of a need for Covid restrictions. The memory fades fast, but just 12 months ago we were still at a stage of ‘masks on the move’, windows wide open and nothing ‘extra’ on top of the curriculum. I cannot express how good it is to have the school running 99% normally again.

Turning to the world outside of school, I’m writing this blog after following the news coverage of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I’m aware that not everyone reading this blog will be a supporter of the royal family, and not everyone will share the same level of sadness regarding The Queen’s death. However, you don’t have to be a royalist to appreciate that yesterday was a monumental day in the history of this country. The Queen has indeed been a constant presence over such a long time and her loss will no doubt be felt deeply my many, many people. We spend a lot of time in school promoting in students a sense of responsibility, consideration and decency, three qualities that The Queen showed in abundance. Long live the King.

Best wishes,

Joe Barker

Heartbeat Chorus – ‘Be More Adele’ Workshop

Heartbeat Chorus are holding a singing workshop on Sat 10th September at Marple Hall. There will be 2 workshops running – one is for Adults and we will be learning an Adele song in 4 part harmony, the other is a youth chorus and they will be learning one of the arrangements from Pitch Perfect. The youth stream is open to girls from aged 14. This is a great opportunity to join the chorus and friends and family will be able to come along at the end of the day and watch them perform with the chorus. For anyone who is not familiar with Heartbeat- look them up on YouTube and watch some of our medal winning performances! 

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