Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 23rd November 2018

My blog was deliberately delayed this week so I could include photos of our students busy practising for We Will Rock You today at Marsden Heights. Our school show will be ready for the New Year and we are all looking forward to it. As you can see the cast are clearly enjoying themselves and it will be truly memorable. Tickets will be on sale soon!

Tuesday saw our final Church and Mosque visit with Year 7. Our children represented their school so very well and we were very proud of them in terms of their behaviour, their attitude to learning and their acquisition of knowledge. A great deal of thanks go to the team who walked the children to the event, they were full of praise for our students.

Thursday saw our students at the “Engineering Because…” day hosted by Nelson & Colne College. Both of our Year 9 teams worked fantastically all day and really developed those essential ‘soft skills’ of teamwork, problem-solving, communicating, and design and manufacture.

Nelson & Colne staff were so complimentary about the way our students presented themselves and how they behaved and worked together. Our girls’ team was chosen as ‘Best Team’ on account of their teamwork, co-operation and the portfolio they put together. Mr Price was so incredibly proud of them! And so are we. They have now set their sights on winning the ‘Enjoyneering’ competition at Burnley College in February next year … we do have a great track record at this event as last year Marsden Heights teams came in 1st, 2nd and 5th. Great skill for that day to our Year 9s!

We are so very happy for and proud of Joseph Baksai for being accepted into the Burnley Shadow Youth Team squad next year. He has worked very hard over the last few months to secure this place from September 2019. I shall certainly look forward to charting his progress over the forthcoming years.

And so with that … enjoy your weekend!

Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 16th November 2018

Goodness me, what a week! Sunday was a very special day for me. As a headteacher, there cannot be many prouder moments than to watch your children at Nelson Cenotaph pay their respects for all those who lost their lives. Perhaps it can only be increased by the beautiful cascade of poppies that our students took so much care over. So many passers-by were appreciative of the work undertaken by our students.

Last week saw 8 Year 11 students off to Clitheroe Royal Grammar School for their Open Evening. It was a really enjoyable evening and the CRGS staff were really complimentary about our students. This time of the year sees many colleges offering Open Evenings so that students and parents can get a feel for the colleges and the different courses they offer.

We have great news in that we have been chosen to judge the Lancashire Book of the Year 2019. The Reading Ambassadors and other students are reading as many books from the selection as possible. They will review them and then judge which are their favourite choices. Three meetings at County Hall in Preston will be attended by some of our students and then final presentations will be at UCLAN in March where there will be visiting authors and a special lunch for eight of our best readers.

Year 10 Media students were off to Media City this week.  There was a panel talk at Salford University about careers in media and then a visit to Media City itself.  How lovely it was to see our students fortuitously meeting the Watchdog Team! Matt Allwright, Watchdog presenter, tweeted “ What a fabulous bunch!” and we couldn’t agree more.

Rehearsals are underway now for the English Speaking Union Public Speaking competition.  We are delighted that our children are involved and their topic that they will be speaking for is the motion that university should be free.  The North West heat will be in Manchester at Urmston Grammar School in December and we wish our Year 10s so much skill.  

Yesterday 3 of our students visited St. Augustine’s Primary School to support the chaplain group there who are working on a project called ‘Small Steps to Peace’. The children at St Augustine’s were inspired by the Young Voices Project run by MHCC and Blessed Trinity.  The school were working on Respect and created a short play which they delivered in an assembly. Students of the primary school watched the short ‘Young Voices’ video and our students spoke about the impact it had had on their lives and others. 

St Augustine’s students were then paired up with an MHCC student to work on Respect and created posters on ‘How can you show respect?’ and ‘What is respect?’. We hope that this will be the start of a great partnership with the primary school.
Children in Need came to MHCC today and the activities were fabulous from raffles to movie afternoon to our very own carnival in the Sports Hall. We had a fantastic team of students selling tickets for the movie afternoon after school, collecting money, drumming up support and organising the events. They were absolutely fantastic. Letters home coming their way next week.

Mrs Butler wanted to say her thanks to two lovely young ladies who were the inspiration, brains and organisation behind the Children in Need form British Bake-off today. They covered every base from entry forms, rules, certificates, prizes, judging criteria, sales and so much more. Says Mrs Butler, “Maleeha and Abeera Abbass deserve a great deal of credit for their efforts with this initiative – it was fabulous!” Results through next week. What a fabulous day when the school can raise over £1000. Such a caring and sharing school!

We happen to believe that teaching is the best job ever so it is with great pleasure that first offers for training places have been made for the PLSCITT. Places are still available for primary, primary with SEND & secondary. For any more information, contact Sara Pinder at MHCC. It really is a wonderful profession to join!

So with that … enjoy your weekend!


Headteacher’s Blog – Friday 9th November 2018

Last week there was no blog due to me being on a plane from New York back to England. I had spent 4 days in New York researching the methods used in Uncommon Schools with 4 other Headteachers. We have been working hard on the Science of Learning and I am now looking forward to developing some of their ideas within Marsden Heights to enhance the progress of our students.

This week has been Remembrance Week at Marsden Heights and we have been commemorating the centenary of the First World War. The students have been hearing stories in assembly with Mr Jackson and today staff began their lessons with why they were wearing their poppies – the stories we heard were incredibly powerful. Today we were privileged to be able to read a very powerful and haunting poem from Leonie Gowers in Year 9 which was the basis of her rap lyrics for her Music Technology project.


The red poppies grow
In the green meadow.
Where the brave soldiers died
To save our lives.

Shells and bombs fly
just like birds in the sky.
The trenches were so deep
but we can’t just sit and weep.

The red poppies grow
In the green meadow.
Where the brave soldiers died
To save our lives.

On the 11th of the 11th every year
We always celebrate and shed a tear, 
Thank you fellow soldiers
for letting us be here.

This Sunday sees Marsden Heights joining the parade to the Nelson Cenotaph. We have been proud to be part of creating, designing and installing the poppy display wrapped around the cenotaph. We joined forces with The Armed Forces Support Group, where Christine and Michael Sutcliff have painstakingly hand-produced hundreds of individual plastic poppies made from the bottoms of drinks bottles. Once drilled, cut and painted they were then brought to Marsden Heights where Miss Armstrong and Mash supported our students in individually fastening the poppies to a section of netting to make a stunning cascade of poppies. Some of our Year 10 students with the help of Pendle Council’s Engineers have now draped the cascade over the Nelson Cenotaph. This was such a great example of how different generations can work together, to create something that we are so very proud of.

This week has seen us with two sets of examinations for our Year 11s. Health and Fitness students and Food and Cookery students were busy revising for their exams. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour in the forthcoming months.

Last night saw us celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2018 at their Prize Giving Evening. Our guest speaker was Musharaf Asghar, who appeared in Educating Yorkshire, and became an internet sensation when he spoke aloud in front of his class despite having a stammer and having been told that he would not speak when he was 5 years old. It was difficult holding back the tears as we watched the video – in fact, I did not succeed!
Musharaf was an inspiration to all of us. The evening was truly stunning with musical numbers by the cast of We Will Rock You, a piano piece by Pheobe Ali and Keiron Hannah’s drum piece. Many thanks to all the staff involved and our illustrious guest, the Mayoress of Pendle too.

So with that … enjoy your weekend!