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!