I’m not naïve enough to think that the Covid pandemic is over, or that there won’t be some additional challenges for us to face as a school, community or nation in the months to come. However, I am also not prepared to wait indefinitely before cracking on with the job of making our school as good as it can possibly be. To be honest we’ve been planning for the ‘post-covid’ world for a while now, since September 2020 in actual fact, and we believe we are well set to emerge from the crisis stronger than how we went in.
There are though some aspects of school life that we haven’t been able to replicate fully, and one of the things we have lost since last March is the opportunity to gather whole year groups together in assemblies. Regular assemblies can be very powerful in many ways – they help students to feel a sense of community, are a great way to share messages and most of all are the best method of instilling our school’s values and ethos.
Today I am delivering/delivered a virtual assembly to Years 7, 8 and 9. A similar but adapted assembly will be given to Year 10 next week. Although not as good as the real thing, I wanted to deliver an assembly on the ethos of our school, the Marple Hall Spirit. As many parents and carers will know from Open Evening, the Marple Hall Spirit defines the five key characteristics we want to see in school. The five qualities apply equally to adults as they do to children, and we want them to guide everyone in all that they do each day. Covid most definitely robbed us of many opportunities to impress the ‘Spirit’ into the minds of our younger students, just as it hampered chances to give timely reminders to our older ones when needed.
I have made no secret of the fact that I was incredibly proud of the way that students responded to lockdowns. Amazing attendance, fantastic engagement in lessons and wonderful examples of students helping others and themselves. As we settle back into what feels like normal routines, I don’t mind saying that a small number of students in each year group seem to have lost sight of our core values, which is of course disappointing. I’d say that 98% of the cohort know what is expected of them, live the values of the Marple Hall Spirit every day and present a fantastic role model to others. They do you, the school and me proud every day – and visitors to the school regularly heap praise upon them. It is to these people then that my assembly was addressed, as by challenging and standing up to the less positive actions of the 2% we will help to stop it. In my assembly I focussed in particular on the attributes of Honesty and Respect, and I will be very interested to see how the year groups respond to my words in future days. But of course no school can hope to succeed without support from home, and so any help that parents and carers can give in promoting the Marple Hall Spirit, and especially Respect and Honesty,with their children would be gratefully received.
Our Community - Our Future
Marple Hall School
Hill Top Drive
Stockport SK6 6LB
Headteacher: Mr Joe Barker