MACFEST at Manchester Health Academy

We are looking forward to celebrating Muslim Culture and Arts at the Academy tomorrow, at our mini MACFEST!

There will be a display of students work, exhibitions of cultural artifacts, and a poetry reading by students.  Addresses will be given by the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Mr Paul Griffiths, and MACFEST Curator, author and activist Qaisra Shahraz.

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Foodbank Thank Academy

We have received a lovely letter from Wythenshawe Foodbank to thank us for the food donations we made before Christmas – students and staff donated a whopping 66kg of food altogether! Well Done and Thank You to everyone who contributed.

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MHA Moves to Reusable Water Bottles

We are making a big, positive change at the Academy – each student has been given their own re-usable water bottle to keep and use, and we will cease selling bottled water in our dining room.

With a growing student population, the Academy is using, and of course then disposing of, a large quantity of single-use bottles of water.  As it can take an astounding 450 years for a single-use water bottle to decompose, it is time to make a positive change to reduce our environmental impact.  Although re-usable bottles take more energy to produce initially, as long as they are re-used, their impact on the environment is far lower than a succession of single-use bottles.  In addition, we estimate that we are currently sending between 1 and 2 lorry loads of used bottles for sorting and recycling each week – a huge amount of plastic!

We are appealing to parents and carers to help make this a success, by supporting their child to wash and bring their bottle, filled with water, each day.  We encourage students to stay hydrated, and we now have four water stations in the dining room for their use at break and dinner time.  Our meal deal will now include an alternative item to replace the bottle of water that was included.

Let’s be the change!

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Former Student Shares Construction Journey

Our BTEC Construction students had the opportunity to hear first-hand how a former student has built his career in construction, when he visited the Academy today.

Wesley Evans, a former student of our predecessor school, Brookway High School, is a Senior Project Manager for international consultancy and construction company, Mace Construction.

Wesley shared his experiences since leaving school with the students before answering their questions.  His career path has seen him complete a degree in Construction Management at Nottingham Trent University, before embarking on a path in Site Management and then Consultancy.  He has worked in New Zealand and Australia before returning his Manchester home eighteen months ago.

Wesley’s key messages to students included the importance of hard work, the importance of knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and that a career in construction is a journey that can you take you all over the world.

Construction teacher, Mr Jones, said, “It has been brilliant for the students to meet Wesley today and to hear about his journey from where they are now to his successful career.  I was particularly fascinated to hear about Wesley’s experiences working in New Zealand in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.  I’d like to thank Wesley for taking the time to come in today, it has been fantastic.”

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Jingle and Mingle

It was with great pleasure that we welcomed local elderly residents into the Academy for our annual Christmas meal and evening of entertainment on Tuesday.  Music was provided by the Academy’s talented choir, and we were joined by local cellist and pianist Dr Robin Stephens.  After a lovely dinner, made by staff from our catering company T(n)S, and with food donated by Tesco Extra Baguley, staff from Brooklands Public Library did a paint-a-pot activity, and this was followed by bingo.

Staff and students enjoyed chatting to our guests and helping to serve the meal.

We’d like to thank Kieran Jones, Community Champion at Tesco, Kirsty Taylor of the Bideford Centre, Pearl and her team at T(n)S Catering, Ann-Marie Smith and her team at Brooklands Public Library, Dr Robin Stephens, Mrs Moreton, the Academy’s Music Teacher, and all the volunteers who made this event so lovely.

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Anti Bullying Week

Anti Bullying Week has been busy at the Academy, with assemblies, workshops and form time activities going on throughout the week.

Assemblies focussed on how we can be the change, and how our manner and actions have an impact on the feelings of other.

Today, it was lovely to see students and staff sporting their Odd Socks and raising awareness of the Anti Bullying cause.

Students in Years 7 – 10 are all invited to enter an anti bullying poster competition, and we are looking forward to seeing what they come up with on Monday 18th November!

An Author Calls

Author Stephen May spent the afternoon with students at Manchester Health Academy recently, sharing his career experiences and writing skills with them.

Stephen, whose new book, We Don’t Die of Love, was published in August by Sandstone Press, has written five novels to date, including Life! Death! Prizes!, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and The Guardian Not The Booker Prize.

He has also written plays and for television, as well as creative writing textbooks.

In a lunchtime careers talk, Stephen emphasised the importance of combining talent with perseverance in order to succeed.

Later, he led a creative writing workshop with students who aspire to write, which saw them producing short monologue pieces inspired by a postcard.

Stephen says, “Creativity is more important than ever.  A modern workforce will need to be imaginative, flexible, empathetic – all skills developed through the arts. People who live creative lives are not only happier, but they can be more successful too.  I was in Norway recently and people over there were saying ‘creativity is the new oil’, so it is good to see schools like Manchester Health Academy nurturing the imagination of their students.”

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Stephen May lives in West Yorkshire and works for Arts Council England, developing and promoting arts and cultural projects in the North of England, and is researching his next book.

Students Achieve Fantastic Results

Manchester Health Academy students received their GCSE and BTEC results yesterday, and there were some fantastic and well deserved achievements to celebrate!

For the second year running there were improvements in the number of students achieving Grade 4 or higher in both English and mathematics combined. Likewise there was an improvement in those achieving Grade 5 or higher in English and mathematics.  The proportion of students achieving the highest grades also increased with one student, Joe, lost for words on earning an incredible Grade 9 in mathematics.

Away from English and mathematics there were lots of sensational results in many subjects.  In Art for example, more than 50% of students achieved the top grades of 7,8 or 9, an incredible achievement.

Students completing BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma courses in Sports and Health & Social Care also achieved great results.

Students now look forward to starting further studies, apprenticeships or joining the world of work.

Principal, Mr Green, said, “Once again I am full of admiration and so proud of our students.  Hard work and tenacity are essential ingredients if students are to meet or exceed their targets.  I am particularly proud of those who have achieved despite much personal adversity.  I must also acknowledge the dedication shown by my staff at the Academy throughout the year in supporting students to achieve this improved set of results.  Parents and carers have also played a key part in their children’s success.    Improvements to our staffing, the quality of teaching and learning and our building are paying dividends; the Academy continues its improving trend.”

Manchester Health Academy will be hosting an Open Evening on Thursday 3rd October from 5pm – 8pm, where visitors will be able to meet the Principal and staff, tour the building and speak with current students about life at the Academy.  To enquire please phone 0161 998 3992 or e-mail [email protected].

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BBC’s Steph Opens Academy Building

The new Maths and English Building at Manchester Health Academy was officially opened by BBC Journalist and Presenter, Steph McGovern, on Tuesday 2nd July 2019.

Steph talked of the importance of schools like the Academy, where students are encouraged to develop vocational skills as well as academic ones, are equipped to go out and do well in their lives, and are given insight into the world of work.

In her keynote speech, Steph talked passionately about the importance of secondary education in preparing young people for successful lives and careers, in valuing skills in every child, and how schools like the Academy are helping children to grow up to be exactly what society needs.

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Manchester Poet, and long-time collaborator with the Academy, Mike Garry, gave a moving rendition of his poem “Signify”, orating from the first floor.  He talked about how schools have changed for the better since his own school days, and highlighted the importance of students experiencing a great learning environment in terms of their aspiration and self esteem.  Following the event, Mike Garry tweeted “Young people are the future- none more so than in Wythenshawe. So, what an honour it was to read a poem at the newly built wing of Manchester Health Academy last night- a brilliant school that I’ve worked at for more than 5 years.”

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The Academy’s students helped to showcase the new teaching and learning facilities, and the Steel Pan Players gave a wonderful performance.

The official opening of the building marks the completion of an ambitious £10 million development of Manchester Health Academy’s estate, enabling the Academy to almost double its intake, while providing the highest quality of teaching and learning facilities.

The transformation programme, which started in 2016, has seen an extension and refurbishment of the dining room, the addition of a multi-use games area and FA-standard floodlit all-weather pitch, as well as the new building that is dedicated to English and Maths teaching.  While the building was under construction, new food tech, science and ICT labs were installed in the main building.

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Work Experience Worked for Me

Year 10 student at Broadoak High School, Daniel, joined Manchester Health Academy’s team for a week of work experience recently.

Here, Daniel explains how his week went, and what he go out of it.

“When I came in on the Monday morning I was extremely nervous of being in a new work place. I didn’t know anyone, but when I walked in I was welcomed by the reception staff who were really friendly, as were all the staff I met during the week.

My Line Manager for the week, Jane, asked me what I wanted to do job-wise when I was older, and I told them I wanted to be a chef.  Jane kindly altered my time table to fit in some of the catering aspect of the school.  I spent time with T(n)S Catering Manager, Pearl, and her colleague John,  who gave me a real insight into the world of catering.  During my week, the catering team had to serve lunches and break time snacks to the Academy’s 950 students, canapes for a high-profile opening event, and samples of dishes for a transition evening for 210 Year 6 pupils and their families!

I would like to say thank you to Caretaker Ian, who took me under his wing and kept me entertained this week – there is never a dull day when he’s around (apart from when I had to fill 250 pencil cases ready for new starters in Year 7).  Thank you Manchester Health Academy.”

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