Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 20th July 2018

What a wonderful end to the term … with our Summer Fair starting the final week on Saturday. A wonderful time was had by all and our students were a real credit to our school, their parents and our community. Students and staff raised a whopping £642 and we are so grateful for all the support from not only our MHCC team but from our community too. This money raised will be split in half with half going to the new school show for next year “We will Rock you” and the other half will be spent on equipment for our lunch times and developing our outdoor spaces so that our students will directly benefit.

We had many visits this week from United Learning, our Academy Trust, as we draw ever closer to September. This week we have been working on some of the “back room” business with meetings on finances and budget, business and HR, so that we have a smooth transition. We will be spending next year on transitioning as we move to a mastery curriculum with our new Year 7s.

Thursday saw the most magnificent Sports’ Day possible. With 600 medals up for grabs, it was always going to be a fabulous day. Our student Sports’ Leaders supported our PE team and staff volunteers – it was truly a glorious day with so many of our children so proud to be taking home bronze, silver and gold medals won in so many different sports … a festival of sport.

Today saw us working our way towards a 2pm finish with our students ending the day in a full school assembly. We had prizes for 100% attendance and we celebrated with those students who were chosen as Student of the Year – congratulations go to Sabih in Year 7, Abeera in Year 8, Benish in Year 9 and our twins in Year 10, Fatima and Zahra. Well done to all of you!

We also had prizes for our students who achieved an award for being in the top 10% in the country for Biology out of 40,000 entrants, we had prizes for those students who took part in a challenge day at Manchester University that involved the Royal Society for Chemistry with Mr Hallam and finally, our Maths superstars who achieved certificates in the national Maths Challenge with Mrs James. We are very proud of you all.

In our final assembly, I spoke to the students about our plans next year to really develop the way that we recognise our students’ achievements and ensuring that our system of awarding points of recognition have a value for our students. We will have a working party of students and staff to create a system for us so that all those students who achieve points have the prospect of spending those points with us.

Our new gates will be in place next term which means that our site will finally be secure. We know how important this is to parents. This does mean that there will be no access to our site for parents to drop off children in the morning or pick them up in the afternoon. LCC and the police have been working with us to look at the safety of our site and the advice they are giving parents is for students to walk into school or be dropped off 5 or 10 mins distance from school to walk the remainder of the way.

There is also advice from the LCC traffic department who informed us on a visit that parking on our turning circle, Edge End Lane or Eckroyd Close could result in a parking ticket as there are lines to denote no parking or waiting. Please can parents be aware that this is a distinct possibility … the best advice is to find a suitable place to pick up your child from college, if indeed it is needed.

Our students left for home today, knowing that they return to college on Wednesday 5th September at 10.30am. Our new Year 7s will arrive at 8.40am on the Wednesday so that they can spend time receiving their timetables and becoming organised for the year ahead. We have been following a Red Week timetable for the last two weeks so that our students become familiar with it and our first week in September will begin again with Red Week.

Exciting times ahead for us. I hope that you have a great summer!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 13th July 2018

The weekend saw the Senior Leadership Team visiting Leeds on a residential run by TeachFirst. We began a government-funded project back in April which aims to support leadership teams in “Leading together” and learning together. On Saturday we were working on the theory of developing our strategic vision based upon how effective businesses conduct their practice. Deloitte were running those training sessions, sessions they have run with some of the very top businesses nationally and internationally. Sunday saw us developing our understanding of the Science of Learning which considers the best practice research in cognitive science and how children learn in the most effective way. So after such a busy weekend, Monday morning came upon the SLT very quickly!

And what a morning … our new timetable and our annual visit from the students in Poland. Every year a group of Polish students visit England and we are fortunate enough to spend a day with them at Marsden Heights. They experience a typical day in an English school. They had a varied experience this year as they were able to experience our Forest School firsthand. This mirrors the fact that in Marsden Heights our students in Years 7, 8 and 9 all have one day out of their normal lessons to spend in our Forest School learning new self-sufficiency skills and experiencing unusual activities.

The first week of our new timetable went very well. Many students are having to cope with change as a number of them have moved from one half of the year to the other as we ensure that our bands are equal, giving all students the opportunity to be placed in the right set. Year 11 have also had major change and have found themselves split during lunchtime which is due to us moving form time to lunchtime, allowing us to spend more time on learning. During Year 11 we move students into different forms in order to facilitate new opportunities for learning and a chance to develop skills and knowledge in some of the subjects where they are under-achieving. This has proved highly successful over the years and students have secured the grades needed to secure their college places through the daily focus on English, Maths, Science or an option subject.

Thursday evening saw the Year 8s “Gradu8te” from Lower School to Upper School. It was a lovely evening, celebrating the very best qualities in our students – attendance, punctuality, commitment to their subjects and their learning and it was delightful to see them gain their certificates and know that they have earned their place in Year 9 in readiness for beginning their GCSE journey.

Tomorrow sees our annual Summer Fair. Last year the Summer Fair was a huge hit with students, staff, visitors and our community. This year sees the student leaders playing an even greater role than last year and all our Year 7-9 children contributed to the school fair by pledging chocolate and gifts in exchange for a much prized non-uniform day.

I hope you can join Marsden Heights for our Summer Fair; it promises to be a great one!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 6th July 2018

So much happening this week as we race towards the start of our new timetable on Monday and all our children move up a year.

This week sees our conversion to a United Learning Academy draw closer as the potential date is 1st September. I have been involved in completing paperwork and legal business over the last few weeks as Lancashire County Council works with United Learning to support the conversion process. For our students, from the 1st September there will likely be new signage and a badge for their uniform. We will be working over the next year to transition towards becoming a fully fledged academy.

Mrs Anwar had some wonderful news to report as two of her History classes entered a nationwide creative writing competition. Each entry was judged against the following criteria: quality of writing, originality, whether or not it linked to the competition theme and historical awareness. I am pleased to announce that Pheobe Ali, Stuart Jackson and Mustafa Hussain have been shortlisted in the age 14-15 category from hundreds of entrants!

Pheobe, Stuart and Mustafa along with their parents, carers and teachers have been invited to attend a prizegiving ceremony in Exeter on 12th September where the winners will be revealed. We wish them well.

Monday saw the beginning of our SpringWatch, with Year 7 students visiting Lomershaye Nature Reserve to take part in many different events crossing many different subjects. It was a glorious few days and each session had some fantastic activities to complete. No pond-dipping would have been possible as thanks to the dry weather, the reserve was without its usual wet areas.

This week has seen some developments with our library. With a full day of team-building and development for our Reading Ambassadors, we have seen them creating their short story openings based upon the title A Pauper’s Grave and then writing their reviews of books they have loved. Just a final update on the Reading Ambassadors’ funding raising activities.   Their target was £100 to match the £100 given to them from Lancashire County Council.  By completing a sponsored silence and having cake and goodies sales, they have succeeded in raising … a fantastic £235.64. Well done to all those involved!

Some of our student librarians travelled to Blackburn and St Wilfrid’s C of E Academy. Here Aisha Kauser tells us what it was like from her perspective … “My time in Blackburn was amazing because there were so many students all from different schools. There were twelve schools in total who came together for the day. We played three different games called: the murder mystery, fishing and we also completed a quiz. The Murder Mystery Game was where we had many different clues and suspects, but we had to choose who the murderer was. The Fishing Game was where we had to roll the dice, if we got a six then we had to fish out bobbins out of a bucket, then we had to remove the small paper tucked inside the bobbin and match the author to the book title. In the quiz we had to answer questions related to books, characters and authors. There was also a wheel of fortune with everyone’s name on it so that we all got a chance to win some fantastic prizes. I love being a librarian.” And we can see why, Aisha!

Thursday saw Marsden Heights host a Primary Maths Challenge with some of our feeder primaries. Mrs James and Mr Meadows were involved with Mrs Pickering, our Transition Co-ordinator and there were many great activities to challenge the children. The winners were St Paul’s! Congratulations to all concerned!

Thanks to all those parents who came to visit us on Thursday evening for our Year 10 Parents Evening. It was good to meet so many of you to discuss your children’s progress and the support that we are offering our students.

Today saw Park High students come and visit Marsden Heights with Rauf from Building Bridges with the Pendle Schools Linking Project. This team of students is working on community cohesion and today were working on presentations. They looked fabulous when I popped in.

All Year 10 students were involved in Mock interviews with employers today. Our employers could not praise our children enough. They were so impressed with their confidence and their willingness to commit to the interview process … so are we!

Next week sees changes for our students … a new timetable, new subjects and new staff. We have also changed our day to get the most out of our lessons. Our start time and end time are the same but we moving our taught form period to before or after lunch. We will definitely be getting used to the changes next week.

Next week’s blog will feature the names of the successful 6 students who will be part of Pendle Elite and we look forward to welcoming our visitors from Poland on Monday for their annual visit.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 29th June 2018

Well, just when we think that we cannot get any busier, we then experienced this week. We have had so many wonderful things to celebrate with our students.

Saturday saw 10 of our fabulous Year 8 netballers visiting Manchester Thunder. They experienced the final of the Thunder tournament and then the final match of the season for Manchester Thunder vs Team Bath in the Super League. The girls studied their positions and Abeera even took her notebook which proved helpful as they were able to film new warm ups and Abeera is now going to help lead this in the new season. 

The girls also learnt about Mexican Waves followed by doing the YMCA, things which they had not experienced before. It was a gripping game that was thoroughly enjoyed. Their behaviour was perfect and they were an absolute credit to our school.

This week I was able to sign the cheque for a 2BR radio campaign, which had been presented to me by Ozzy, one of our Year 7s. Ozzy explained his reasons for the school investing in the radio campaign for our Open Evening, he explained what it would do for Marsden Heights and then secured the cost through his confidence and excitement … and now he is putting together a team to deliver our advert!

Business was the order of the day on Tuesday as Marsden Heights hosted our first ever Employer Speed Networking Event for all our Year 7 and Year 8 students. Students had the opportunity to meet up to 18 employers, who kindly gave up their day to come in on a ‘carousel’ basis. Students were really engaged in the event and initial employer feedback has been really positive. Well done, Marsden Heights!

Wednesday afternoon saw the first ever Marsden Heights’s Got Talent! And boy did we have talent! There were 24 entries with 34 children involved. There was a huge range of acts from Science experiments to dancing, singing and drumming. Kieran came first with his professional drumming, Pheobe came second with her fantastic piano playing and Demantas came third with his fabulous rap. Well done to all the participants!

Wednesday also saw me visiting Nelson Fire Station to watch our Year 10 students in action. They have been attending every Wednesday since Christmas to learn about the work of the fire station and to practise the skills that firefighters use every day. I was so impressed and so proud of our Year 10s. They were absolutely brilliant – so professional, so effective and such fabulous teamwork and leadership on display. They will be passing out next week in front of parents and staff. We feel extremely lucky to be involved in such a great project.

Wednesday was a very busy day with Mr Stead and myself incredibly lucky to attend Nelson Council Offices to watch some of our Year 7s presenting their thoughts and feelings about the Pendle Schools Linking project. We were so proud to hear the girls talking to councillors, to teachers and other visitors about how engaged they were in the community cohesion project and how much they had enjoyed it so far.

Our decision was also made on Wednesday for the post of Head Girl and Boy. Congratulations to Head Girl, Marriyah Ahmed and Head Boy, Daanyaal Ali, who take up their duties immediately.

Congratulations also go to all of the shortlisted candidates; their presentations were so very interesting, varied and all had something to offer the college in terms of its future development. Our intention is to use this wealth of talent and form a Student Leadership Team which will take forward these ideas and support the development of the college.

Two New Intake Days later and we have found out a great deal about our class of 2023. They are enthusiastic, excited about the prospect of coming to Marsden Heights and will step through those doors in September knowing that they can achieve and go on to do any career with hard work and a full commitment to college life. Delighted to see so many parents and hear how their children had enjoyed their first day at secondary school.

We also had trips during the week with Year 10 to Burnley College and Thomas Whitham where the students experienced lessons in a wide variety of subjects. Wednesday 27th June all students in Year 10 visited Burnley College for a Post-16 Taster Day. Students were given the opportunity to select 3 workshops to take part in, hopefully allowing them to experience future Post-16 option choices.

All students were engaged and enthusiastic; their behaviour was exemplary and staff have commented on how well our students communicated with tutors and showed real application in their workshops.

On Friday 29th June 70 of our students attended a taster day at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form. Students experienced a number of A Level lessons, a ‘pathways’ session and a ‘Team Challenge’ session where they were put into teams with students from PVC and Sir John Thursby, to complete a number of curriculum-rated challenges. All students had a wonderful day, they were engaged and enthused by the excellent session provided by TWSF staff. Once again our students represented MHCC with great pride!

Here’s to another wonderful week!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 22nd June 2018

Well, what a week! Monday began with 17 of our Year 7s out in Colne Town Centre, where they were met by 17 other students from Park High. They engaged in a Talkoake event, discussing key community issues in relation, to equality, integration and the barriers they face.

Our students were amazing, they spoke confidently and professionally on many sensitive issues regarding our communities. They acted with great maturity and openly discussed topics which traditionally many adults would shy away from. They represented Marsden Heights with great integrity and many members of the public commented on how well the students conveyed their message of peace, harmony and integration – they proved to be a real credit and upheld Marsden Heights in the brightest of lights.

Early Monday morning also saw our Positive Voices setting off to London to visit our MP, Andrew Stephenson at the Houses of Parliament, the sights of London and then onto Islington to work with community groups.

We look forward to seeing the impact of this visit in a project based upon knife crime.

Tuesday saw Marsden Heights on their way to Oxford with our Year 10 Pendle Elite and Mrs Brade. Their task was to deliver a presentation in front of a varied and prestigious audience at Oxford University . There were some really fantastic subjects researched by the students. I was lucky enough to listen to them on their practice run, I can say they were truly wonderful.

Wednesday evening saw our Prom and what a fantastic night … it was at Mitton Hall. Our students were absolutely wonderful to behold and the staff at Mitton Hall were so impressed with them all.

Our support for others has been superb this week … the large bin for clothing is almost overflowing as our students and staff raise money for Pendleside Hospice. The staff were also treated to a cake sale organised by Mrs Semple to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Today I have lost a great deal of money as our Rave Readers and Reading Ambassadors are doing a sponsored silence on Wednesday next week to raise money for the ‘We Are Reading’ scheme. The goal is to raise £100 to match the £100 that we have already been given by Pendle Challenge and I think I personally must have sponsored that much just in one day as our children proved to be very persuasive.  This money will be used in school to promote reading.  Please support the students who are taking part in the sponsored silence if you are able.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 15th June 2018

This week has been very busy and has seen us as a school focusing on our relational grace, humility, through our assemblies and tutor time. We continue to collect items of clothing to donate to others who may be in need and we are amassing quite a collection. Any donations would be gratefully received.

On Wednesday four of our students visited the ‘Salters Festival of Chemistry’ at Manchester University and it was a great success. We were so proud of our students who clearly loved the experience and were a real asset to our school.

The day started with an introduction in a large lecture theatre in the Main Chemistry Building, the students were told of the challenges they were to complete; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first was a forensic investigation using chemical analysis techniques (including Chromatography and pH indicators) where the correct culprit was to be discovered. The second was to create a chemical egg timer, using rates of reaction and this was independently judged to find the closest to 1 minute.

The students were treated to an amazing Flash – Bang chemistry demonstration before the prize-giving.

The best part by far was that Marsden Heights were awarded First Prize for achieving a chemical reaction which took exactly 1:00.00 minute as independently judged! They came back with prizes for themselves and for school … a truly superb performance! We are very proud.

We have students preparing for trips next week as two groups of our students are off to London and Oxford. Our Positive Voices group are off to visit the Houses of Parliament and work on a project on knife crime with International Alert and our Year 10 Pendle Elite group are off to visit Oxford University and deliver their presentations on such incredibly diverse subjects – check out their titles:

How did the growth of Islam create a Golden Age of enlightenment?
Nephilim – where are they now?
Will the atrocity that is animal cruelty ever end?
How are black people treated by the FBI and portrayed in the media?
Why is it difficult for humans to achieve peace?
Muhaamad Ali: The Life of a Legend.

I was lucky enough to be an audience for their presentations and I was blown away by their delivery skills and the quality of their content. We wish Maleeha, Shaun, Ammaarah, Naziyha, Halima and Daanyaal the very best of skill for their presentations.

May I take this opportunity of wishing Eid Mubarak to our students, staff, parents and all the members of our community. Blessings to all!

Enjoy your weekend.

My First Headteacher’s Blog!

Welcome to my first headteacher’s blog. I am very excited to be able to share with you every Friday, the events of the week at Marsden Heights. Being headteacher is a most rewarding role and I am very lucky to have some amazing children in our school, who make a difference every day. It has been kindness week where we have been pledging to do things for others within our community and we have been collecting unwanted clothes and donating them to others more needy than ourselves. A huge congratulations to the team who have been selling postcards and then delivering them – I am sure we will have raised a great deal of money for our charity work too.

So … this week has seen our Year 11 sitting their exams with English, Maths, History and Science papers taking place. Their exam conduct has been absolutely fantastic – just what we would expect. Our invigilators have been full of praise for how wonderful they have been.

Congratulations to our Reading Ambassadors. Our 10 chosen students are from Years 7-9 and were chosen for this leadership role which will involve leading reading events in school; attending training in other schools; participating in community reading events; meeting authors, and a whole host of other wonderful activities.  We look forward to seeing each of them wearing their special hoody in MHCC colours with our logo on the front and Reading Ambassador  #readtoachieve on the back. Well done to Fatimah, Hassan, Esha, Tayiba, Hamnah, Mohammad, Nida, Pheobe, Zainab and Mariam!

Friday saw a visit from Andrew Stephenson, our local MP, who came to talk to our Positive Voices 6 about life in Parliament. This is in preparation for their trip to London where they have been invited to visit the Houses of Parliament as well as working on a knife crime project with International Alert. The questions for Andrew were certainly varied and we found out all about the Mayoress of Colne’s golden chain to kings having their heads chopped off and how the commonwealth works. Needless to say our students are really looking forward to travelling to London in a few weeks time.

Friday evening saw me accepting an invitation to the Community Iftari Event at Nelson Central Ghausia Mosque. It was an honour and a privilege to share the evening as a community with Imam Khalid Mehmood, the mosque committee, members of the mosque and community leaders. It was an informative and enjoyable evening and allowed us to come together in fellowship and in partnership.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


2017 Year 11 past students may collect their GCSE examination certificates from 2.30pm until 3.30pm on Wednesday 22nd November, where you can meet up with old friends and teachers.

After this, certificates will be available to collect from the school office from Thursday 23rd onward.

The Prince’s Teaching Institute

Marsden Heights Community College featured on The Prince’s Teaching Institute’s website as ‘School of the week!

Our links with The Prince’s Teaching Institute have provided the means through which our students can obtain access to the very best specialists and professionals available in Britain through the inspiration that our teachers bring back into the classroom. We are proud of our partnership with The Prince’s Teaching Institute which has revitalised our staff in terms of their love of the subjects which they teach and the joy of learning which has been passed so successfully to our students. . We remain committed to The Prince’s Teaching Institute and look forward to playing a full and active role in its development in the future through the school to school support which is facilitated at all levels through its good offices.

Read all about it here

Wet Bandits Canoe Challenge

The year eight pupils from Marsden Heights Community College and social group Mum 2 Mum travelled six miles along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal as part of the Wet Bandits Canoe Challenge to raise funds for Age UK Lancashire. Read all about it here