Merry Marple Hall!

We are hosting a merry event here at Marple Hall on Thursday 15th December.

The evening will be full of festive music, readings, art sales and refreshments!

The event will take place in Bradshaw Hall.

Tickets will be £6 Adult and £4 Child/pupil.

All tickets include a mince pie and a drink!

Performance Page
Book Tickets

GCSE Certificate Collection – Class Of 2022

We would like to welcome the Class of 2022 students at Marple Hall School to collect their GCSE Certificates on Thursday 8th December 4pm – 7pm at Bradshaw Hall.

The GCSE certificate collection day is a drop in, this means students can collect their certificates anytime between 4pm and 7pm on that day.

Please note that if students would like to nominate a person to collect their certificates this will have to be pre-arranged in advance, please email the exams team on: for more information regarding this option.

We look forward to seeing the Class of 2022 again!

Kindness, Respect and Anti-Bullying

Kindness, Respect and Anti-Bullying

This week I have had the privilege of speaking to every year group on the very important topic of bullying. Within the framework of our ‘Marple Hall Spirit’, and specifically under the heading of Respect, I outlined what that means to me and the importance of showing kindness to others.

As usual, students were happy to contribute to my assemblies and quite rightly identified that bullying is where someone repeatedly and deliberately tries to hurt someone physically or emotionally. Being sad, or falling out with someone, or having a one-off argument does not necessarily mean that someone is being bullied. But, being the target of deliberate and repeated abuse – especially where there is an imbalance of power – is absolutely a sign of bullying. Our school ethos makes bullying fairly rare, but even one occasion is too many. I was honest in my assembly and pointed out that bullying is, sadly, something that happens in society both in schools and in adult life. I know that it happens at MHS, but I also know that we always take reports of bullying seriously. On many occasions we are successful in resolving issues, on other occasions we don’t succeed straight away, but that doesn’t mean we’ve ‘done nothing’ especially when situations can be very complicated indeed.

What I do know for certain though is that only by working as a community can we truly put a stop to bullying behaviour. I genuinely believe that society has moved on from when I was a child, and it is now absolutely taboo to be a bully. No-one likes to be accused of it, and often complain loudly and passionately even when the evidence is clear. As a school community we can use this feeling for good. Staff and parents have a big role to play, but students themselves can have a huge impact here, and I have seen it happen when whole year groups take a stand and don’t allow bullies to prosper.

That was the main message of my assembly. I believe in the power of kindness, the strength of kindness and the courage of our young people to speak out and to support those around them. When a whole school community stands together in calling out bullying behaviour, then that behaviour stops, and that is what I want for MHS.

Have a good weekend,

Joe Barker

Ps Remember, INSET next Friday (2nd) and Monday (5th) December, no students in school!

The Children are the Future

Somebody said that once, right?

Over the course of the last couple of weeks I have found myself involved in really thought provoking discussions with different groups of students. I’ve covered a couple of lessons with a Year 11 History class, another with a Year 10 Geography class and of course taught my own Year 11 History class too. For one reason or another the work has led us into big discussions about how school works, how the world works and how leaders have to make big decisions when often all the options are ‘bad’. It’s an accepted fact now that the younger generation are interested in climate change – they are arguably leading the world in raising this issue – but we mustn’t overlook their interest in politics, economics and leadership either.

Today with my class we have been debating the political spectrum of views, from far left to far right and everything in between. Bringing that topic to life is so easy, as it basically relates to everything that matters. Health, wealth and happiness are all covered in one quick run through of political views. Students were quickly able to place themselves on the spectrum and argue for and against other points of view. We also discussed why in modern politics it can often feel like there is no real choice from one party to another, as most politicians fight for the middle ground. Also…and I haven’t really faced this problem in the last 20 years, but trying to explain why a traditionally ‘low-tax, low spend’ Conservative government signed off of furlough, the energy price cap and a significant rise in taxes is a little tricky!

In the other two lessons that I took for colleagues, my conversations were largely about school funding and how every school is facing challenges through rapidly rising costs and unfunded pay awards. Students asked me questions about how funding for school works, why not all schools are funded equally and what happens when/if the money runs out. I could confidently answer the first question, I have never properly understood the second (mainly as MHS is so poorly funded compared to similar schools elsewhere) and my honest answer to the third was we’ll have to wait and see. As I write this I’m hearing that school funding is increasing again next year, which is of course welcome, so perhaps we’ll be able to keep the lights on a little bit longer!

As always, I have no preference for one political party over another, and I always stress that to students. I am though filled with hope and joy that young people care so much about the world that they live in and how it operates. They are indeed the future and perhaps we should trust them more to start making the big decisions. After all, they are the ones with the biggest stake in the game.

Have a good weekend,

Joe Barker

Remembrance Day Service

Many thanks to Sophie E and Harry W in Year 11 for representing Marple Hall at the Remembrance Day service in Memorial Park on Sunday 13th November. Harry and Sophie laid a wreath on behalf of our school community.

They Rocked Us!

A week or so ago I mentioned the school production that was taking place this week, ‘We Will Rock You’. I have just come home after seeing the show on the closing night and all I can say is ‘Wow!’

It was a fantastic experience, a true showcase of the creative talent that lives at Marple Hall School and an example to everyone of what can be achieved when hard working people come together. The acting, the singing, the dancing, the comedy were all so good, all framed within stunning sets, great costumes, incredibly professional music, wonderful make-up, brilliant sound and lighting and great back stage support. I’m fully aware that I’m a completely unreliable witness and I’m totally biased, but in my opinion it more than rivalled the professional version of the same show I saw in Manchester four or five years ago. I’m just sad that anyone reading this, and didn’t get to go, has now completely missed it!

Throughout the week the cast has performed the show six times, twice a day for three days. It’s brilliant that so many friends and family could see it, but I’m also excited by the fact that hundreds of primary aged children saw the show on Tuesday and Wednesday, and our whole Year 9 got to see it this afternoon. I was teaching at the time so couldn’t see their reaction, but I know that they lapped it up and loved it as much as I did tonight. Of course the hope is that this will light a fire of ambition inside a year 9, or year 6, or year 5, and that as a result we’ll see that young person on stage one day.

I worry sometimes about the students who just come to school for the core hours. The form time, the lessons and the lunch…and nothing else. This show, along with seeing all the sports teams practicing and playing since September, brought it home to me what we lost during Covid and what absolutely must get back.

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker

MHS update 4/11/2022

MHS update 4/11/2022

For a couple of years my weekly blogs were dominated by covid and as a result were often fairly practical in nature. Just twelve months ago we were still operating partial one-way systems, sitting in well ventilated (ie freezing) classrooms and asking everyone to wear ‘masks on the move’. Happily there’s no need to any of those things now and therefore my blogs can usually return to what they were always meant to be – a little snapshot into life at school. However, as you’ll see, today’s blog is a bit of a mixture.

Firstly, a big ‘shout out’ to everyone involved in final preparations for next week’s school performance of ‘We Will Rock You’. I know that a huge amount of effort has gone in so far and that the cast and crew are working flat out, and I can’t wait to see Bradshaw Hall buzzing next week.

Secondly, advance warning to parents and carers that we’re planning on making a small change to how we manage movement around Bradshaw building. This is the main building housing English, Maths, Humanities and Creative arts, and when it is busy it is VERY busy. As our school gets more and more numerous, and more classrooms are created on corridors that remain stubbornly narrow, I have been concerned about quite how busy some of the corridors and entrances are getting. Therefore shortly we are going to reintroduce one of the old covid measures and restrict access to Bradshaw building to two doors only. This might sound counter-productive, but actually this is much easier to manage safely and will ensure that students can get to their lessons more easily. I’ll be speaking to students about this next week before the change happens.

Thirdly, as you’ll know from an email yesterday from Miss Gregory, we have taken the decision to temporarily ban ‘Prime’ drinks in school. These hard-to-come-by drinks are incredibly popular amongst some teenagers and are being sold on for greatly inflated prices, causing unnecessary arguments in school as well as pressure on youngsters to be seen with them having spent well over the odds. As impressive as the ‘Prime’ marketing strategy may be, we don’t need any more distractions in school and so for now at least the drinks will be confiscated if seen. I know that not everyone will agree with this approach, but I hope you can support what we are trying to do.

Finally, and this will only affect a small number of students, we are going to track much more closely when a student leaves a lesson for any reason. We know that attendance in school is the single biggest factor in how much students learn, and so it makes sense to also assume that the amount of time a student spends in lessons during the school day is also very important. Whilst the vast majority of students are in class all the time, some students are not and miss too much learning time. This might be them going to the toilet several times a day, visiting first aid, attending internal appointments or a wide range of other reasons. Next week I’ll be speaking to colleagues about how we will be doing this, and will then inform students and parents of the new processes.

That’s it for now, I’m off to see some students play the ukulele.

Best wishes

Joe Barker

Y9 Immunisation Information

MHS have now moved to paperless consents for the Year 9 Meningitis vaccinations.

All year 9 students at Marple Hall School will be offered a TETANUS / DIPHTHERIA / POLIO (Td/IPV) and MENINGITIS ACWY Immunisation. The Immunisation team will be in school Wednesday 07.12.22 and Thursday 08.12.22.

Parents should have now received an email from school with regard to signing up to Thomson Parent Portal, the invitation letter can also be found below.

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