The half term break next week means that the next day of industrial action by the NEU, scheduled for 28th Feb, will come round very quickly indeed. Therefore I am using this blog to outline plans for the day in order to give families as much notice as possible about disruption to normal routines. As ever, I am grateful to my colleagues for sharing what they plan to do so we can avoid unnecessary problems on ‘strike day’ itself. I am aware that there is still time for the strikes to be called off, and if they are then all this planning won’t have been necessary, but better to be prepared!
Arrangements for Tuesday 28th February
Students in Year 11 will be expected in school for a normal school day. The day will start with assembly as usual, followed by the regular ‘Blue Tuesday’ timetable.
Roughly 66% of lessons will take place as normal, and so students should be prepared with the right books and equipment
Where teachers are not available students will take part in supervised independent study.
Any practical PE lessons on the timetable for that day will take place including for Sports Studies.
School will be closed for students in Years 7-10, unless a place is requested under the provision for vulnerable learners. See below for more details.
Students not in school will be provided with work to undertake at home. This is slightly different to the previous strike and will consist of either:
Links to online platforms (as per the previous strike day), OR specific work for their class set on Satchel One, OR Teams lessons lasting between 30 and 50 minutes.
The offer will differ per lesson per student depending on whether their teacher is striking or not striking and available. A letter explaining the offer and how to access it can be seen here.
We will be able to provide accommodation for the most vulnerable learners on the day of the strike. If you believe that your child meets this criteria and wish to book a place, then please follow the link HERE. The deadline for letting school know is midday on Friday 24th February
Students will attend normal lessons where their teacher is in school, and will be supervised to do independent work where their teacher is absent.
Free school meals
The parents or carers of any child who normally receives a benefits-related Free School Meal, who will not be in school on 28th February, should also follow this link and complete the final question of the form if a meal is required. These meals will be available for collection before the end of the day on Monday 27th February from Bradshaw canteen. Only pre-booked meals, via the form, will be available. The deadline for letting school know is midday on Friday 24th February
I hope that this information above is helpful and of course, if anything changes, we will let you know.
This blog is largely aimed at those connected to students in Years 7 and 8, but hopefully the message is relevant to everyone. There’s also a little update on ‘Industrial Action’ at the end too.
This week in assemblies, following on from the very important Children’s Mental Health week messages, Mrs Osgood has spoken to Year 7 and Year 8 about the extra curricular offer in school. Mr Osgood is our Head of Drama and is also leading on the ‘extra curricular revival’ after covid, and like me he is really keen to encourage students to try out different extra curricular clubs and activities. We have a really good range of things that students can do at lunchtimes and after school, from sport to performance to games and hobbies. There’s a huge choice and it’s growing all the time. I was really encouraged in the Year 8 assembly to see that about half of the students responded ‘yes’ to Mr Osgood when he asked if they had attended at least one club or activity this year. That’s not bad…but we’d love it to be more!
To encourage our younger students to give something new a try, Mr Osgood launched the Try Three Challenge. Every student was given a simple loyalty card style piece of card, and was asked to try three activities between now and Easter. Students who get three signatures from three different things will be entered for a prize draw in the celebration assembly at the end of term. Sounds pretty good to me! Of course extra curricular activities are open to all students, and many do take part in Year 9-11, but hopefully by getting into good habits now our Year 7 and 8 students can embrace the offer and carry on for the rest of their time at the school.
Finally, as promised, a little word on upcoming industrial action. The next NEU strike is due to take place on 28th February, which is the first Tuesday back after our half term break. A lot can change between now and then, but I wanted to give families as much notice as possible that if things play out like they did on 1st February, it is highly likely that school will be closed for Years 7-10. I will confirm more when I can.
In my blog this week I’d like to promote a very important piece of work being run by the Beacon Counselling service across Stockport. Good mental health is so important when it comes to helping children learn, but often young people are unaware of how they themselves can improve their own mental health. I have spoken to many children over the years who seem to accept that having poor mental health is simply ‘who they are’, but I firmly believe that everyone can take steps to make their mental wellbeing that little bit better.
MHS are therefore proud to be supporting the Stockport-wide mental health week campaign by providing a venue and some of the stands at the ‘In person event’ as advertised on the poster below. Our Isherwood canteen will be hosting the event where attendees can speak to a wide range of providers and groups, all with the shared goal of promoting good mental health within Stockport. You don’t have to be part of the MHS community to attend, all are welcome. Just make sure you book a place as it’s likely to be popular.
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB
Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker