MHS ‘Industrial Action’ update 29-6-2023

Dear Parents/Carers,

A reminder that tomorrow, Friday 30th June, is a pre-planned INSET day where no students are in school.

I am writing to you to share information about the next planned teacher strikes on Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th July. 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.

For anyone with younger children/relatives coming to the Year 6 taster day on Thursday 6th July, this is unaffected and will go ahead as planned.

Arrangements for both Wednesday 5th and Friday 7th July are as follows:

Mrs Chadwick’s Year 10 (now known as ‘year 11’ in school)

  1. Students in Year 10 will be expected in school for a normal school day.
  2. Due to number of teachers on strike who teach Year 10, only around 40% of lessons will take place as normal. Students should be prepared with the right books and equipment in case their lessons do go ahead.
  3. Where teachers are not available students will take part in supervised independent study. School can provide work for this, but students are advised to bring relevant work with them.
  4. If students have a PE lesson that day, then they will need to choose whether to take part in some physical activity OR study independently, and bring the right equipment for their choice.

Years 7-9 (now known as years 8-10 in school)

  1. School will be closed for students in Years 7-9, unless a place is requested under the provision for vulnerable learners. See below for more details.
  2. 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.

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 Monday 3rd July

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 5th July and/or 7th July 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 before each strike day. Only pre-booked meals, via the form, will be available. The deadline for letting school know is midday on Monday 3rd July

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

Pride and Post 16!

We’re unashamedly inclusive here at MHS. We believe that young people should be able to be themselves, unfettered by worries over gender, race, religion, disability, sexuality or any other important characteristics. That’s why we try hard as a school to promote inclusivity, and we’re proud to support all students and staff whoever they may be. Pride Month is one part of this permanent drive to be as inclusive as possible, and is a time to celebrate people’s differences and come together as a community to make sure no-one feels isolated or afraid because of their sexuality. In a world where all too often young people are exposed to hate and anger on social media – often perpetrated by adults who should know better as well as young people themselves – we see it as our duty to stand up for fairness, equality and hope. This month we’ve been celebrating our LGBT+ community with staff and students showing their support and allyship. Whether sharing stories of their LGBT+ heroes, wearing rainbow lanyards or shoelaces, baking (and eating) rainbow cakes, mapping out where LGBT+ people, themes and issues are covered across the curriculum or contributing to a new video for the website on why Pride matters*, it’s heart warming to know that here at MHS everyone is welcome and supported.

You can find out more about our support for LGBT+ students and staff here.

Also this week we held one of our ‘Post 16’ events, aiming to support students as they plan their futures for when they leave MHS at the end of Year 11. We had an excellent array of post 16 educational providers, employers and trainers – see below – and a brilliant turnout of mostly Year 10 students, perhaps as many as 200 people in all. Having a plan for the future is known to be a real factor in success at school, and the enthusiasm with which so many students and their parents took to the event was great to see. I’d like to thank everyone who came, all the exhibitors and of course our staff in school for making it happen – Miss Marney, Mrs Whalley and Miss Residu.

Finally, advance warning in case you missed it that there is further industrial action planned by one teaching union in July. Teachers of the NEU may be on strike for both days, and it is likely that this will lead to disruption for all or most year groups in school. I do not have the details yet but wanted to make sure everyone is aware of the dates, which are Wed 5th and Fri 7th July. The ‘year 6’ transition day scheduled for Thursday 6th July will go ahead as planned.

Best wishes,

Joe Barker

*coming soon!

MHS update 16-6-2023

A short blog this week, but still time to do more than just skirt around a few issues to do with the heat.

  1. It’s been really hot in school this week…but students and staff have shown real determination to carry on as normal. It’s not been easy at all and I’ve been impressed by the resilience on show.
  2. Like always when it’s really hot, we haven’t expected students to wear blazers all week*
  3. Students who choose to wear skirts do not have to wear tights for the rest of the academic year
  4. We have free water dispensers in four locations around the site and have encouraged all students to bring a bottle and fill up each break and lunch – hundreds have been doing so
  5. The wearing of full school uniform is an integral part of the school ethos, promoting positive attitudes, high standards and a sense of personal pride. Plenty of students this week have politely, sensibly and maturely asked if they can wear shorts instead of trousers.  We are always keen to listen to our students and have discussed with them the reasons for our choices which they have indicated they have understood.

Have a great weekend!

Joe Barker

*As it stands, due to cooler weather, we expect blazers to be brought into school on Monday 19th June.

The best job in the world

‘You can be whatever you want Joseph, but don’t be a teacher’.

These words were said to me on many an occasion by my mother, partly as she had grown sick of the amount of time my primary school teaching father spent working. I guess she didn’t want me or my sister to consign ourselves to a similar life of long evenings planning and marking. It didn’t work of course. Both my sister and I became teachers, with my sister following in dad’s footsteps as a primary school teacher whilst I opted for ‘big school’ (I made the right choice…)

There have been times when I’ve wished I’d listened to mum. Sometimes this job is really hard, and it is easy to fall into a trap of working all hours and barely coming up for breath. But, if I’m honest, those feelings of regret are few and far between. Instead I think I made exactly the right career choice for me. I loved being a classroom teacher, I love working in a school, I love working with young people and all the other wonderful adults who share the same passion as me, whatever their role in school. I am incredibly privileged to be able to lead school and I never take that for granted, even though I’m six weeks away from a decade of being a headteacher.

Being a member of staff in a comprehensive school is the best job in the world, especially when we get to work with fantastic students like we do here at MHS. Not every learner here is perfectly well behaved, not all are here on time, not all attend often enough and not all will achieve as well as they should. That’s all part of life in a comprehensive and whilst we’ll always strive to help them do their best, there will probably always be some who will struggle. But, equally, I never want to lose sight of all those many, many students who do behave well all the time, who are here every day, who compete all their work and who do everything that is asked of them. To all those students, please know that you make our school what it is. You are the core of our success, an example to us all, and you should never underestimate how important you are.

My dad has dementia now and having just turned 87 he’s finding life a bit tough. He forgets things and struggles to remember both his childhood and what happened last week. But, remarkably, get him on the topic of ‘Bradford Moor First School’ around 1990 and he’ll talk for hours. Being a teacher is who is he, it shaped him and it’s shaped me. It’s the best job in the world.

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker

Spark Night 2023

Join us for an Unforgettable Evening at Marple Hall School’s Creative Art Spark Night!

Mark your calendars for an extraordinary night of artistic brilliance as Marple Hall School presents the highly anticipated Creative Art Spark Night! On 13th July 2023, Bradshaw Hall will come alive with an explosion of talent, showcasing the remarkable creativity of our students and the vibrant arts community that thrives within our walls.

Prepare to be mesmerised by an enchanting array of performances and exhibitions featuring art, music, drama and dance. Our talented students will take centre stage, captivating your hearts and igniting your imaginations with their extraordinary abilities.

But that’s not all! This year’s Creative Art Spark Night promises even more excitement with an incredible art auction, where you can bid on exquisite artworks crafted by our talented young artists. Take home a stunning piece to adorn your walls while supporting the budding talent within our school community.

Indulge in the artistic ambience as you peruse our delightful summer fair stalls, offering an assortment of fun games and artistic creations. The evening will be an immersive experience, transporting you into a world of beauty, passion, and boundless creativity. From the visually stunning art exhibition to the soul-stirring performances, every moment will leave you spellbound.

Marple Hall School’s Creative Art Spark Night is not just an event; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education. By attending this remarkable evening, you contribute to nurturing the artistic development of our students and supporting their dreams.

So, gather your friends, family, and art enthusiasts alike, and join us for a night that will leave an indelible mark on your heart. Let the talents of our students inspire and uplift you, as their dedication and passion shine brightly through their performances and artworks.

Don’t miss out on this remarkable event! The Creative Art Spark Night at Marple Hall School is an experience like no other, bringing together our community in celebration of the arts. Save the date and prepare to be dazzled on 13th July. We can’t wait to share this magical night with you!

For more information and to secure your tickets, click here or contact our school office. Be sure to follow us on social media for updates and sneak peeks into the incredible talent that awaits you at Marple Hall School’s Creative Art Spark Night!

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