Our Community - Our Future

Determination at MHS

In the previous two blogs I have mentioned our current focus on the ‘Marple Hall Spirit’. What it is, why we have it and what it means.

As I said in assembly to students in years 7-10 last week, the Marple Hall Spirit is our school ethos. It is what we value most in people – young and old – and helps everyone to see what we care about at MHS.

We’re proud of the Marple Hall Spirit and we know that it works…or at least, we know that it did work. The Spirit was developed by the whole school community in 2016. Over 1300 people contributed to its formation and for the next few years after that it was everywhere in school, underpinning everything we did and helping to shape our school for the better. The Marple Hall Spirit was in action during the first lockdowns of 2020, with countless tales of students and staff doing good deeds and making the most of a terrible situation. It was there too when so many students logged on to live lessons, and evident as teaching staff (some of whom ar a bit old fashioned like me!) learned how to teach online.

But…perhaps…the long disruption of covid has led to a lessening of the impact of the Marple Hall Spirit. This, combined with the fact that not a single member of the student body was actually at the school when we devised it (Year 11 were in Year 5!), means that perhaps the Spirit means more to those staff who helped to write it than the students who did not. That is why we are bringing it back, especially as we embrace the world post-covid.

In form tutor periods this week and for the next four, students in Year 7-10 will look at each aspect of the Marple Hall Spirit in turn. This week the focus was on Determination:

Unsurprisingly I value every aspect of the Spirit, but I do think that there is particular power in Determination. Not giving up, being resilient, trying again, not settling for second best – these are traits that as a school we seek to nurture and reward. Determination can be seen in so many ways, and it can be a very personal thing. I have taught classes before where some of the least able students have repeatedly chosen the most challenging work, seeking out a hard path on purpose so that they learn more quickly. I’ve seen young people overcoming the most difficult of personal circumstances and still turning up every day, doing the right thing and ‘getting it right’. I’ve seen members of staff never give up with youngsters when the easy option would be to do exactly that, or adults pushing themselves well beyond their comfort zone by accepting new roles and responsibilities.

Determination can take people a very long way indeed, and if we ever needed an example of it then we need only look at the resilience and steadfastness of the public of Ukraine. As you know I’m not one for politics but I am a history teacher, and I don’t mind saying that the determination on show across that country is nothing short of amazing.

Be determined,

Joe Barker


Our Community - Our Future
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