Moving on, Moving up!

Firstly, huge thanks to everyone who took the opportunity last week to ‘thank a teacher’ (or any member of staff) by visiting this website: I know that colleagues really appreciate these small tokens of thanks and it’s not too late…hint hint!

This week we are saying goodbye to the wonderful class of 2024 as they move on from MHS. On Tuesday we had a brilliant final morning, with the year group and their staff coming together in Bradshaw Hall for a celebration of their time at the school. It was lovely to see so many students their, proudly showing off their beautifully decorated school shirts before then taking part in the legendary MHS foam fight. Everyone was in great spirits and I thoroughly enjoyed the heart warming events.

Later this evening the staff and I will have the privilege of gate crashing the class of 2024 Prom at the Concorde lounge at Manchester airport. It’s always a fantastic event and it’s a real pleasure to be able to say goodbye to the year group in style. All that will be left then will be the small matter of the exam results in August, but I am sure that this particular cohort will do just fine. They have brought a lot to our school over the years from a covid affected Year 7 through to a mature and hard working Year 11. I will not be the only member of staff by a long way who will miss them all.

But…school goes on…which brings me to moving up!

This week Mr Sharp and Miss Davies have been speaking to the remaining year groups in assembly to explain that as of Monday next week, they will have ‘moved up’ to the next school year. Year 7 will be Year 8, Year 8 will be Year 9 and so on. It’s a symbolic moment as everyone gets their heads around starting afresh in September, hopefully resetting their plans and expectations and renewing a determination to do the best that they can. The moving up process can take a little getting used to, especially for the new Year 10s who have to adapt to the later KS4 breaks and lunches, but it’s an important part of the MHS journey.

Finally, a reminder that Friday 28th June is a staff training day. Staff will be in school but students have the day off.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend,

Joe Barker

National ‘Thank a Teacher’ day

I’m sending this week’s blog a few days early to correspond with National Thank a Teacher Day which takes place tomorrow, Wednesday 19th June. We’re amazingly lucky at MHS to have a wonderful school community, and it’s a regular thing for students to thank their teachers and staff at the end of lessons. When year groups leave, as is the case next week with Year 11, it’s a common sight to see students bringing in gifts for colleagues who have supported them over the years. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, that we don’t necessarily need a ‘day’ where school staff are thanked.

But…it’s always nice to take part in such things and I know how special it is when young people or parents/carers send messages in to my colleagues. It gives everyone a boost and makes people feel appreciated for the great jobs that they do every day. Working in schools is in itself very rewarding and there’s nothing I’d rather do, but it’s also very hard at times and (sadly) becoming a less attractive prospect for many. Therefore receiving a little note of thanks can make all the difference.

If any student, parent, carer, family member or colleague wants to send in a little thank you note, then you can do so using this link

It’s completely free, takes about two minutes, and messages can be sent to individual staff (not just teachers!), staff teams or the whole school. As long as you know the name of the recipient you can arrange for a message to go directly to them by inputting the email address as ‘’, or if you’re not sure then there’s the option to use the ‘info@’ address too.

It would be lovely to hear about a flood of thank-yous coming in over the next few days!

Have a great rest of the week,

Joe Barker

Confirmation of Term Dates 2024-2025

Three months ago the school opened a consultation to make a change to the published term dates for the 2024-2025 academic year. The original consultation information can be see here. Following the end of the consultation the responses were analysed and then discussed by the Governing Body.

There were 66 responses in total. The large majority of responses were in favour of the change (89%), with a minority being against the change (8%). The remaining 3% of responses did not give an opinion. Having considered the responses the Governing Body have decided to approve the change, and the term dates will therefore be as follows for next year. All other dates remain unchanged to those already published.

End of the Autumn Term: Students will be expected in school up to and including Friday 20th December 2024. This is one day later than the original published term dates. As is tradition, school will close early on the final day of term with students leaving at 12.30pm.

Start of the Spring Term: Students will be expected back in school on Monday 6th January 2025. This is two days later than the original published term dates, as a staff INSET day will take place on Friday 3rd January.

I appreciate that changing term dates after they are published online is never ideal, and I am sorry for any inconvenience caused. However, I am confident that in the main this change is both sensible and in the best interests of the school community. We will continue to communicate this change in the run up to the Christmas period 2024 so as to make sure no-one is caught out.

Best wishes,

Joe Barker

Looking ahead to Spark Day

If you’ve visited our website recently you’ll have seen the ‘pop up’ advertising our Spark Night taking place on Thursday 11th July. It’s always a great event I hope to see lots of people there.

However, Spark Night is only half the story. The following day will see Spark Day taking place on the school grounds, a massive event where students work together as form groups to put on stalls, lay on entertainment, take part in fun competitions and generally show their creativity. We’ve run several Spark Days now, both before and after Covid, and I’m really looking forward to this year’s edition. As well as having a good time, Spark Day is all about making money for good causes. We’ll be donating 50% of the proceeds to local charity, and spending the other 50% supporting extra curricular activities within school. But…and this is the crucial thing…Spark Day is a CASHLESS event. Students will be able to spend tokens on the day, bought in advance via School Gateway. All the details on how to order tokens in bundles of £2, £5 and £10 can be seen on this letter here, and I wanted to give families plenty of notice in the hope that everyone has the chance to buy some tokens and take part.

Have a great weekend,

Joe Barker

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