The coronavirus pandemic continues to muscle its way into the thoughts and actions of all staff in school – not least with a slow but steady increase in cases – but our main priority is to provide as normal a school experience as we possibly can in the most abnormal of times. By and large we’re managing it, not-withstanding the huge disruption caused when year groups have to isolate for a day and then smaller cohorts for up to two weeks. A reminder that parents can read about the full remote learning plan in last week’s blog available here. However…this blog isn’t about that as I’m determined to spend some time at least celebrating the ‘normal’ life of school where I can.
Three things have caught my eye this week. Firstly, it’s the enthusiasm that our students never fail to show for charity fundraisers. Last year was a phenomenal year with the school well on track to raise over £10,000 for charity before everything stopped, and although our creativity may be constrained this year it was no surprise at all to hear that students were keen to support Friday’s Children in Need appeal. It may be a much more scaled back affair this year but I have no doubt that the non-uniform day will raise a great deal of cash for a very worthy cause. We’ll be having to quarantine the money for a while before we can count it so we won’t have a total straight way, but in such difficult times it’s great to know that our community can still think of others above themselves.
In a similar vein our students were keen to pay their respects on Wednesday to all the men and women who have given their lives for this country in conflicts throughout the 20th Century and more recently. There was no whole school minute’s silence this year, but students and staff observed the ceremony in classrooms and our local cadets wore their uniforms with pride. New for this year was the unveiling of an amazing piece of artwork designed and created by Technologies teacher Eva-Joy Sargent. My picture here doesn’t really do the stunning piece justice at all, it really is striking and powerful.
Finally, to underline the important place that our school has in the local community, we were overjoyed last week to take receipt of a fantastic painting of the old Marple Hall that used to stand on the grounds of our school. We have a strong connection to the memory of the Bradshaw-Isherwood family who owned the Hall, and I know many local families (including my own on my wife’s side) can trace back links to the Hall itself with many a family member being employed on the estate at one time or another. The history teacher in me is keen to keep the school’s connections to the site’s illustrious past alive, and so I was thrilled to see this amazing piece of artwork donated by local resident Mrs M Stevens. The piece was painted by her father and is something of a family treasure, and we will cherish it and display it for many years to come.
Wishing you all a good weekend,
Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB
Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker