Marple Hall School End of Term Update 26-3-2021
At the end of a completely unexpected 12 months, this has been a term that has had it all. A full lockdown, 100% remote learning, cancelled exams, mass testing, a full return to the classroom and a positive case since we’ve been back. As a school, just like everyone in the community, we’ve had to adapt and adjust to the different challenges that have come our way.
As you know I make no secret of the fact that I’ve been incredibly proud of the school all the way through the pandemic, and especially this last term. I have been awed by the flexibility and dedication of my colleagues, humbled by the support of parents, carers and Governors and inspired by the resilience, attitude and can-do approach of the students. We may not be out of the woods yet and I am sure there are challenges to come, but one thing we can rely on is that we’ll get through it together.
A quick word on lateral flow testing. We've been asked to encourage families to carry on with the testing twice a week throughout the holiday, hence the distribution of more kits yesterday. As ever please report positive cases directly to us.
We’ve only had 6 days back in the new-normal routines, counting from the end of the mass testing regime, and already students and staff are setting into familiar routines. As students will know we paused the sitting of sanctions for the first two weeks for anything but ‘respect’ issues, and that the pause ended at the start of this week. It’s a part of a deliberate plan to keep raising our expectations to get the students back to where we know they can be, and is something that we’ll continue with after the break. I make no apology for having high standards and have every faith that students will rise to meet them. If parents or carers want to mention one thing to their children then it would be to remind term to ‘walk with purpose’ between lessons. The one-way system means we do lose some learning time, which is even more reason why our tolerance for dawdlers will shrink next term!
One of the more regrettable ‘school-experience’ losses during the pandemic has been the cancelling of all extra-curricular activities. Therefore I was overjoyed this week to see the return of after school competitive sport, courtesy of Mr Stretton and the PE and Dance faculty. On consecutive days we’ve had football and netball tournaments for forms in years 7-9, attracting enthusiastic participants and even some form tutors coming down to watch. The lack of opportunities to watch live sport must have really got to some people! Sitting in my office yesterday and hearing the cheers from the netball courts was lovely and a great symbol of hope for the future.
I’ll sign off by congratulating Year 11 and Year 9 MFL/Health and Fitness students for the calm, deliberate and unflustered way that they are handling the new approach to assessments. As a group of students and staff we have a crucial job to do to ensure students get the grades they are capable of, and we are approaching the task with a considered determination that I am sure will pay dividends. Students – do some revision over the break and come back ready to show what you can do.
Huge thanks for your ongoing support,