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Author Topic: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School  (Read 19646 times)

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corium

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 12:01:31 PM »
Just to add whatever your views anyone can put their views on the formal consultation whether a parent or a member of the wider community. This needs to be done by July 29th to:


 
Schools Organisaton
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Services to People
3rd Floor Stopford House
Stockport SK1 3XE
Or via email to schools.organisation@stockport.gov.uk

corium

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 09:46:37 AM »
The Marple Hall proposals are relatively small - the maximum size anticipated is, I think 120/ 150 students and this won't happen straight away. I would have thought the bigger threat to CAMS is Derbyshire providing an attractive alternative as I understand 25-30% of CAMS students come from across the border. Also to be considered is that though still some years away there is a big population growth working it's way up the system

Dave

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 07:45:34 AM »
I'm a great believer in the benefits of market forces in all sorts of areas, so I'm not sure why my support for them in FE should be particularly 'interesting'.   I would only have had reservations about the MHS proposals if taxpayers' money were being wasted, which could have occurred if MHS were to be allocated substantial capital grants for their plans, at the same time as the college is also receiving capital funding for its scheme on Buxton Lane.  But AFAIK that is not happening.  So the only financial impact on public spending will be that the sixth-formers at MHS will cost us more than the students at the college, as explained above by Henry01.  But I think that additional cost could be justified by the benefits.

As for Bowden Guy's speculation about the longer term impact on the college, he could well be right - we shall see. But if the college can press ahead with improving its facilities on Buxton Lane it could still hold its place in the market.  As Howard says, 'shiny sells'!  And as for consolidating in Cheadle, I believe the college has similar problems over there, with increasing competition from other new sixth forms. 

Bowden Guy

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2014, 09:34:37 PM »
Dave, how interesting to see that you are a supporter of market forces in Further Education. My take on this development is that it will be the final nail in the coffin for Cheadle & Marple College in Marple. I suspect that, within three years, they will consolidate their operations in Cheadle.  I said as much to "Miss Marple" when she was haranguing us in Market Street a couple of years ago.

Dave

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 10:39:08 AM »
On top of this, the college appears to be more settled, with the grade 2 Ofsted etc. I would never want my own children to go to a school sixth form (especially an untested one) when I am lucky enough to have a sixth form college on my doorstep.

Well a new sixth from at MHS would hardly be 'untested' - there was a substantial and very good sixth form there until about 1990.

Good luck to them  I say.  It's good to provide choice, to suit the needs of different kinds of youngsters.  And as Henrietta has said, the MHS staff certainly won't have any difficulty teaching to A level - they are generally very well qualified. And over time, I suspect the addition of a sixth form will help the school attract more applications for teaching vacancies, as the opportunity to teach to a more advanced level tends to be an attraction to people working in education.  And more applicants means that the school can be even more choosy about who it appoints. 

Hollins makes several very good points, especially this: 
Sixth forms within secondary schools allow continuity in teaching from the lower forms, rather than what happens at the moment: sixth-form colleges have to go back to the lowest common denominator when students from various feeder schools with different curricula enter. There is also a considerable loss of teaching time in the summer term after GCSEs have finished but pupils have nothing to go on to.

And there are some significant advantages to the younger pupils having 16-18 year olds staying on.  For example, it tends to strengthen the quality and quantity of extra-curricular activities - sport, music, drama etc. 

The only major problem, I suspect, will be facilities.  AFAIK MHS have got no additional capital to build new accommodation.  Sixth form students expect (and in some cases need) specialised equipment and facilities - laboratories, studios, maybe a nice common room etc. 


Henry01

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 12:19:11 PM »
I have said this before in other posts but I feel it is worth repeating.

I have always thought Marple is very fortunate to have a sixth form college. They do a lot with less funding:

Funding per student in sixth form colleges: £4601 - success rates are 84%
Funding per student in secondary school sixth forms: £5620 - success rates are 69%
Funding per student in secondary academies: £7880

On top of this, the college appears to be more settled, with the grade 2 Ofsted etc. I would never want my own children to go to a school sixth form (especially an untested one) when I am lucky enough to have a sixth form college on my doorstep.

corium

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2014, 12:07:07 PM »
MHS gave up on the AS Maths as far as I know. My older child did it and many didn't get good/pass grades even though they got A* in GCSE (only the very top set did it).

This is true, however it is being replaced with a new bridging qualification whose name escapes me for the moment (one of my children is interested)

The Marple Hall ASs have gradually been removed. This was partially due to low numbers &  University views in relation to early language Ass but as I know (from family experience) there were also problems when people went on to college and wanted to do the A2. Aquinas saw it as an unfortunate inconvenience, CAMS treated it with something approaching a rant against a school it was supposed to be working with as its main feeder

Though I like the 6th form college I idea I do recognise it may not be the best for some and the (limited) MHS proposals will give an alternative to those who prefer a more traditional 6th form approach. My personal experience over the last couple of years is that at the options stage the staff at Aquinas do a far more positive job than CAMS where I have had some shocking experiences in terms of trying to "sell" the college to students as a place to go. One, yes could be an off night but several across different subjects?

1877

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2014, 11:42:04 AM »
Having attended a new parents' forum at Marple Sixth Form College last night I am even more sceptical about the Marple Hall proposal. I noted that the A level pass rate last summer was 99.5% and the equivalent figure for BTEC level 3 100%. Even more striking was the fact that in terms of success (retention x achievement) our local college outperforms Loreto, Xaverian, Ashton and Aquinas by some distance.
It was also pointed out that 24% of those who progressed to university did so at a prestigious Russell Group university. Further cause to support our local college I think.

Howard

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 09:49:12 AM »
My children went to MHS and then on to college. One went to CAMSFC and one is at Aquinas. As far as the teaching quality goes, I can't really see much difference. However, my son chose Aquinas because CAMSFC didn't have the courses he needed, specifically computing. With the importance of computing to modern life I find this quite surprising. Both colleges have a specific track to deal with incoming students who have already done AS maths from schools such as MHS.

When visiting the colleges, Aquinas does feel a world apart in it's facilities. It certainly feels far more like a modern university than CAMSFC which has its aging and sub-standard infrastructure. It feels like an old secondary school which is exactly what it is. Aquinas, with its modern building, is far more attractive. Let's face it, shiny sells. I know this is what CAMSFC's ASDA plan was supposed to correct. However, that's history. I suspect that if pupils look at their local sixth form options and see two aging secondary school buildings and one open, bright, shiny campus with excellent facilities, Aquinas could prove more attractive than CAMSFC and MHS.

JMC

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 09:16:43 AM »
I have a child in year 10 and she is going to Marple College like her older sibling. College is a better step between school and uni in my opinion. Wearing own clothes, teachers called first names, more self directed study etc. Also location in the centre (although MIA would argue this  ;)) means they can go to the park at lunch or one of the numerous shops.

I never got the obsession with going to Aquinas when there is a college on your doorstep. If a child makes an effort they will do well in most colleges. No need to ring round in panic early in the morning to get a place.

MHS gave up on the AS Maths as far as I know. My older child did it and many didn't get good/pass grades even though they got A* in GCSE (only the very top set did it).

As for kids having to stay in school till 18, this happens now (age is 17 now) and nothing is actually done about it or enforced so it seems a bit pointless.

My login is Henrietta

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 10:38:59 PM »
Marple Hall School intends to formally apply to add a sixth form from September 2015. The rationale remains to provide additional choice regarding post-16 study. What was, when first mooted before Christmas, a proposal of dubious merit that is surely even more the case now that the local colleges have both secured grade 2 "good" ratings from Ofsted. With its proposed limited A level offer (with all subjects being available at both local colleges) being one characterised by duplication rather than additionality one wonders who stands to gain from this proposal. From their own data only 18% of the Year 10 students who would be eligible to apply indicated that they would consider applying to the MHS sixth form, hardly a ringing endorsement of the proposal. I struggle to comprehend how a staff with little or no experience of delivering A level will contribute to raising standards of achievement post-16. At a time when public spending is under ever closer scrutiny it would appear to be profligate to take the school in this direction. As Larkin said in his poem "Dockery and Son"-

"Why did he think adding meant increase?
 To me it was dilution."


What an odd idea that you have to be specially trained to teach 6th form curricula! Teachers train to teach all levels and age groups.

I taught for the greater part of my working life and somehow managed to teach all secondary age groups from 1st year/year 7 to A level  and achieved good results at all levels and I wasn't unusual in this. In any case teachers do have in-service training, you know.

Leaving aside the academic advantages to being in a dedicated 6th form, it gives the older pupils the opportunity to learn a degree of responsibility  by being involved in the day to day running of the school and for the younger pupils to have examples to look up to and learn from, often sub-consciously. I only taught in one school where this didn't work and that was one where the sixth form was kept completely separate from the rest of the school and had no interaction with the younger pupils.

In one of the best schools I taught in, the 6th form not only provided prefects but also ran out-of-school and lunch time activities. They certainly had privileges but those privileges had to be earned and they took their positions and their responsibilities to the school and to their fellow pupils very seriously.

As has been said the requirement for all pupils to remain at school until 18 will mean that more places will be required and it is likely that if many secondary schools establish 6th forms they are likely to concentrate on the academic side while their less academic and/or more practically minded pupils will choose more vocational paths through places like CAMSFC. Oops! That sounds like the old 11Plus -  I'll go and wash my mouth out!

hollins

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Re: Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 05:05:06 PM »
Young people now have to stay in education until 18, so more sixth-form places (or apprenticeships) are required somewhere. I hadn't noticed the population of Marple decreasing. As class sizes are restricted, duplication is inevitable anyway.

Since Marple Hall will be focusing on A-levels rather than vocational courses, those who live in Marple but might previously have gone to Aquinas College may greatly appreciate a local sixth form that they can walk to rather than a long and slow bus journey every morning and evening.

Most secondary-school teachers should be capable of teaching A-level in their own subject, and many might actually prefer it. In the past few years Marple Hall has been putting many students into AS-levels anyway, particularly in Maths. Having A-level teaching on site might allow pupils considerably more flexibility as to exactly when they took exams.

Sixth forms within secondary schools allow continuity in teaching from the lower forms, rather than what happens at the moment: sixth-form colleges have to go back to the lowest common denominator when students from various feeder schools with different curricula enter. There is also a considerable loss of teaching time in the summer term after GCSEs have finished but pupils have nothing to go on to.

Some students prefer sixth-form colleges; some prefer schools with sixth forms. Give them a choice rather than force them down one route. They all have to be taught somewhere, so I doubt that public spending will have much relevance.

1877

  • Guest
Application to add a Sixth Form at Marple Hall School
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 02:48:00 PM »
Marple Hall School intends to formally apply to add a sixth form from September 2015. The rationale remains to provide additional choice regarding post-16 study. What was, when first mooted before Christmas, a proposal of dubious merit that is surely even more the case now that the local colleges have both secured grade 2 "good" ratings from Ofsted. With its proposed limited A level offer (with all subjects being available at both local colleges) being one characterised by duplication rather than additionality one wonders who stands to gain from this proposal. From their own data only 18% of the Year 10 students who would be eligible to apply indicated that they would consider applying to the MHS sixth form, hardly a ringing endorsement of the proposal. I struggle to comprehend how a staff with little or no experience of delivering A level will contribute to raising standards of achievement post-16. At a time when public spending is under ever closer scrutiny it would appear to be profligate to take the school in this direction. As Larkin said in his poem "Dockery and Son"-

"Why did he think adding meant increase?
 To me it was dilution."