A good start

Like in pretty much everything in life, it’s always nice to get off to a good start. In school it’s particularly important that individuals, classes, year groups and the whole school get off to a good start. It sets the tone for the year and a promising September can often bode well for the months ahead.

I feel quite well qualified now to judge these things, and I’d say that MHS has got off to a fantastic start this year. Students have come back to school motivated, determined and enthusiastic. They are turning up, working hard and being respectful. Our staff team are setting the weather for the school and doing their very best to maximise the chances of every young person here, and together adults and children alike are showing the Marple Hall Spirit in all that they do. As you know from last week’s blog it’s been a busy month, but in many ways an excellent one that will have a lasting impact.

September is ‘done’ – bring on the rest of the year!

Best wishes

Joe Barker

What a week!

One of the best things about working in a school is how busy the days are, especially in a community like MHS with over 1800 people here each day. There’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure.

This week though was perhaps verging on ‘too busy’, what with an Ofsted inspection on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by the annual Open Evening on Thursday night. We haven’t had an inspection since September 2018 and so we knew we were in line for a visit at some point this year, but knowing that didn’t lessen the sense of anticipation and excitement when the phone rang on Monday morning to tell me of the visit. What did help though is our general approach to the whole principle of Ofsted inspection, which is that we never do anything purely for the benefit of inspectors. Instead, everything we seek to do here is in the best interests of our school, and this week I was proud to see staff and students doing what they normally do, confident that we didn’t need to change anything.

I’m not able to share the outcome of the inspection until the report is finalised, which should in around five to six weeks. However, I will say that we are happy that the inspection team gained a clear and accurate view of our school, and that the feedback will be both positive and beneficial in helping us to get even better. I’d like to thank all the students and staff for their participation in the inspection, and also to every parent who filled in the Parent View survey. Your views are always so important and the inspectors were very grateful that many families responded.

Of course, that should be the end of my blog…but then we had Open Evening last night. It was BRILLIANT. Easily the busiest we’ve ever had, with the school buzzing with visitors, staff and student helpers alike. There was a great atmosphere around the whole school and I really enjoyed chatting to so many people. A huge, huge thank you to the staff for raising the energy levels once again after a very busy few days…it’s almost the weekend!

Best wishes,

Joe Barker

The journey of communication

The first two weeks of the year are now complete, and it’s been great to see students settling into the rhythm of school life again. Even more so given the change to the school day, which I have to say is probably affecting some of the staff more than the students.

One of our school priorities is to promote levels of literacy across the school community, focussing mainly on reading and vocabulary at the moment. Students will see this in action in most lessons, whether from ‘Frayer Models’ that explain key words or from different approaches to reading in class. However, we’re also keen on promoting oracy and students’ confidence when it comes to verbal communication. It’s such an important life skill and one that is often overlooked.

On Wednesday this week, all students in Years 7-10 took part in a specially planned session called ‘The Journey of Communication’. Created by the wonderful Miss Swift and delivered by almost every member of staff through form groups, these sessions challenged students to push themselves in terms of verbal communication and public speaking. I managed to visit over twenty classes that morning to see the sessions in action, and I could really get a sense of why it’s important to focus on this aspect of communication. Students took to the tasks really well, and we’re keen to build on their experiences this time next year.

My thanks to Miss Swift and the whole team for their work on this exciting new project.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Joe Barker

Welcome Back!

A very warm (!) welcome back to the new school year at Marple Hall School. It’s been a real joy and privilege to be able to welcome all our students back to us after the summer break, and particularly so for the new cohort of Year Seven students. Seeing them diving into their new school experience is wonderful, and I have been very impressed so far with their confidence, enthusiasm and determination. I also really enjoyed talking to our Year 11 cohort on Tuesday as they embark on the final chapter. They are an impressive bunch and I’m keen to see what they will achieve this year.

This is the second year in a row where we’ve started the year in blistering temperatures, and so I applaud everyone for their resilience in just getting on with the job at hand. I met my own new Year 10 GCSE history class yesterday for a double lesson, and it’s fair to say that by the end of the two hours we were all flagging slightly (due to the weather of course, not my teaching). Here’s hoping that things settled down slightly next week and we can build further on what has been a brilliant start to the year here at MHS.

But, before then, I hope everyone makes the most of what may well be the last, and hottest, weekend of the whole summer.

Best wishes

Joe Barker

Bugsy Malone – MHS Edition!

Prepare to be transported to the roaring 1920s as Marple Hall School brings the glitz, glamour, and gangster shenanigans of “Bugsy Malone” to life on the stage. The show will run from Tuesday, October 10, 2023, to Thursday, October 12, 2023 , promising three nights of toe-tapping, laughter-inducing, splurge-flying fun!

Don’t miss out on this golden opportunity to witness the hilariously captivating tale of mobsters in the 1920s underworld, all portrayed by the incredibly talented students of Marple Hall School. With iconic characters like Bugsy, Blousey, and the unforgettable Fat Sam, this show guarantees non-stop entertainment for the whole family.

📅 Event Details: Date: October 10-12, 2023  Doors: 6:30pm Location: Marple Hall School Auditorium

“Treat Yourself to a Splurge-tacular Evening!”

Tickets are available exclusively through TryBooking. Hurry, because just like a gangster showdown, these tickets are sure to disappear fast! 🎫

“Our students have poured their hearts and souls into bringing ‘Bugsy Malone’ to life. From the moment the curtains rise, the audience will be transported to a world of comedy, rivalry, and music that will have them tapping their feet and laughing in their seats!”

Head of Drama at Marple Hall School, Mr Osgood,
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker
Tel: 0161 427 7966
Fax: 0161 426 0931
Email: info@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk
Safeguarding: safeguarding@marplehall.stockport.sch.uk