Reading challenges for all!

I’ve mentioned the importance of reading a few times in my blog, as here at MHS we know how life changing it can be if students can develop good reading habits. Youngsters who read, and especially those who read fiction, are much more likely to make progress across ALL their subject areas. Obviously students spend some time in their lessons reading, and more time still in their form groups, but if students want to reach their potential then that is only the start. Students need to read in their own time of they are to see the most gains, and those who read a lot will surely succeed a lot too.

As a school we have support in place for those students who find reading hard and we’re committed to increasing this support as much as we can. We’re also keen to encourage students to read for pleasure, and so it was great seeing how many students visited the Hub during our special ‘open’ lunchtime on Tuesday.

Not only this, but in her assemblies this week and next, Mrs Lawton is setting students two reading challenges. There are two that they can have a go at; the ’10×30 reading challenge’ and the ’16 b4 16 reading challenge’. The details, copied from Mrs Lawton’s message to students in the weekly bulletin, are below.

It would be great if school and families together can have a big collective push on reading with all our young people. It really really matters!


Joe Barker

As mentioned in Mrs Lawton’s assembly, we are challenging you to read for 10 minutes a day for 30 days. Start by downloading any free Reading apps such as ibooks and Pocketbook. If you want, you can just keep a written record in your school planner/own notebook. Stick to the challenge of reading for 10 minutes a day and at the end of the 30 days take a screen shot of your reading streak on your app or a photo of your written record and email it to You will receive a limited edition star reading badge to wear on your blazer.


We are also looking for our first 10 readers to meet the 16 before 16 challenge. You can pick up a passbook from the Hub at lunchtime/in your Hub lesson. This is a longer challenge which will require great determination and therefore carries these rewards:

Industrial Action 27th April and 2nd May

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am writing to you to share information about the next planned teacher strikes on Thursday 27th April and Tuesday 2nd May. As I have explained in previous blogs, these strikes are not action against the school but are instead about concerns over teachers’ pay and the overall funding for schools, which is damaging to every child’s education and leading to challenges recruiting and retaining school staff. These issues affect MHS as much as they do all schools.

Arrangements for both Thursday 27th April and Tuesday 2nd May are as follows:

Year 11

  1. Students in Year 11 will be expected in school for a normal school day. The whole year group photograph will take place in the morning of Thursday 27th April.
  2. Roughly 60% of lessons will take place as normal, and so students should be prepared with the right books and equipment.
  3. Where teachers are not available students will take part in supervised independent study.
  4. If students have a PE lessons that day, then they will need to choose whether to take part in some physical activity OR study in the hall, and bring the right equipment for their choice.

Years 7-10

  1. 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.
  2. Some Year 10 students will be invited into school on Thursday 27th April to take part in the ’employer interviews’ as part of Careers education. Students will be informed early next week if they are to attend.
  3. Year 10 Performing Arts students will be in for the day on the 2nd May for their exam prep.
  4. Some Year 9 MFL students may be invited into school on Tuesday 2nd May for the speaking test. Again, individual students will be informed.
  5. Year 8 HPV vaccinations scheduled for 2nd May will be rescheduled. A separate email will be sent to parents of Year 8.
  6. Students not in school will be provided with work to undertake at home. This 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. Where the class teacher is not on strike, every lesson will begin with at least a short online Teams session where the tasks for the class will be explained by the teacher. This is different to the last strike.

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.

Vulnerable Learners

We may 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 Tuesday 25th April.

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 27th April and/or 2nd May should also follow the link below and complete the final question of the form if a meal is required. These meals will be available for collection from Bradshaw Canteen before the end of the day on Wednesday 26th April for the first of the two strike days. Meals will be available from 9.30am on the 2nd May for the second strike day. Only pre-booked meals, via the form, will be available. The deadline for letting school know is midday on Tuesday 26th April.

The form for requesting a meal is HERE, please see final question.

I hope that this information above is helpful and of course, if anything changes, we will let you know.

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