Principal’s Blog

The first half term of this year absolutely flew by, and it has been a pleasure to welcome all our students back after the half term break this week.

Last half term saw another 210 students join us in Year 7, growing our student body to more than 850.  I have been very pleased with the mature way that our students have conducted themselves, particularly in the light of the changes that have occurred since September.

I must say that I am absolutely delighted with our new building.  It is light, airy and the classrooms are wonderfully calm learning environments.  I was immensely proud to welcome visitors to our Open Evening, and share with them just how good the Academy is.  Thank you to our amazing students and staff, visitors gave overwhelmingly positive feedback on their experience.

The clocks have gone back and it is officially winter time.  Whilst mornings will be lighter for a while, it is going darker earlier in the evenings, and I wish to remind students and their parent/carers about how important it is for students to be safe on their journeys to and from school.  The tram station outside school is very convenient for those that travel by tram, but all students do need to be careful of the moving trams, as well as other vehicles and bikes.  Students traveling to school by bike need to make sure that they have the correct lights and other safety equipment to keep them visible and safe.

Students are very much ambassadors for the Academy, and their behaviour outside school whilst in school uniform reflects on everyone who is part of the Academy community.  I was delighted to receive some lovely feedback from a tram station user recently, who took the time to contact me to let me know how our students had “made her day” with their politeness, smartness and good behaviour.  It made me very proud to hear.

Mr Green


Hitting a High Note

Media students had a taste of sound engineering when the Hits Radio Media Bus visited the Academy today.

The Hits Radio Media Bus is a collaboration between Hits Radio and Greater Manchester Higher, an organisation that aims to improve the provision of information, advice and guidance about progression routes to higher education and improved information about the variety of options for learners.


The team talked with students about what their pathways might be after secondary school and why university might be an option for them.  The team are all media graduates who have been to universities in the Manchester area, so had plenty of experiences to share.  The bus carries sound recording equipment, and students helped to make soundbites for broadcast on Hits Radio about higher education.

Sheri Lawal, Graduate Advisor, said, “Your learners were fantastic! Confident, inquisitive and with great aspirations!”

The bus was also a big hit with students over break time, when music was played into the yard.

Health Academy Achieves Gold!

Manchester Health Academy’s PE department has been awarded the School Games Mark Gold, a fantastic achievement that ranks the school in the top 20% of schools nationally for the Academic year 2017-18.

The visiting inspector said, “It’s very clear the MHA PE staff have a big impact on the students’ lives and do far more than just teaching lessons and being concerned about passing PE accredited courses in KS4.  It was refreshing that PE staff were aware of the clubs the children play for outside of school and have extremely strong links with the local clubs and the children’s parents. “

He also commented on the Academy’s holistic approach to PE, school sport and the link into the local community, saying they demonstrated “some of the best examples of this from the 325 schools I have visited over the last 6 years”

School Games Gold Mark

The School Games Mark is a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community. Participating in this process allows schools to evaluate their PE provision and assists them in developing an action plan for future progress

Head of PE, Mr Brown, said “The department was awarded the Bronze Award in 2016-17 for the first time in the school’s history. As a department, we then planned a vision to gain the Silver Award for 2017-18 and set ourselves the aspirational target of the Gold is Award by 2020. I am so proud of my team and other staff who have supported the department over the last year to be awarded the Gold Mark.”

Shiny Happy People

It has been a wonderful beginning to the new academic year!  As I have welcomed students to the Academy, it has been heartening to see how refreshed and prepared they all are to get on with learning.

Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended our First Day Back Coffee Morning – what an amazing turnout!  I could not be there in person as I was setting the tone for our new and returning students in their assemblies, but colleagues tell me that it was a lovely event.

I am pleased to report that we are full in Year 7, a reflection on our vision to become the local secondary provider of choice in the heart of our community.

As you know, students are expected to arrive with the “MHA 5” – their school bag, pencil, pen, ruler and planner, and I have noticed that almost every child has arrived with a bag.  They are also observing our Water Only policy, and overall are demonstrating an attitude that is as good, if not better, than when we finished last year.

I am delighted to report that this summer’s GCSE results showed a significant improvement on the previous year, with some absolutely fantastic individual achievements.  When looking across Manchester, we are in the top 3 schools for improvements made since the last academic year in ‘The Basics’ (GCSE grade 4 and grade 5 in English and Maths combined) and separately in those subjects!  I congratulate students, staff and of course parents and carers for this improvement.  We aim for this trend to continue and staff have been set targets to allow for further progress to be made in the coming year.

The new building is partly open, and the new reception and classrooms are looking brilliant!  The rest of the building will be open in early October.

I am really energised by this great start to the year, and I hope students and parents/carers are too!

I am looking forward to meeting you at one of our forthcoming events, such as our Year 11 Information Evening tomorrow, or the Macmillan Coffee morning that will be held on Friday 28th September in Brooklands Library.

Mr Green, Principal

Aspire to Be a Journalist

The Aspire to Be careers programme continues. Every fortnight during Key Stage 4 lunchtime we invite a visitor into the Academy to present to Year 9 -13 students about their job role, their route into the career and the qualifications they needed.
This session, we were joined by the BBC’s Justin Bones, who talked about his career as a broadcast journalist.Previous sessions have included business and health care sciences. Full details of these sessions along with resources can be found on the Academy website.
The final Aspire to Be session will be a student feedback session on Tuesday 10th July

MHA Kicks Off Curriculum!

Manchester Health Academy is hosting a World Cup takeover of our curriculum next week, in celebration of former participant Marcus Rashford’s involvement in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford attended the Manchester United Foundation Street Reds programme, held at the Academy’s Community Sports facility, from the age of 12 until he made his first-team debut for the Reds at the age of 18.  The Wythenshawe-born striker is an inspiration to his former players and pupils as he makes his senior team World Cup debut next week.

The brainchild of Head of PE, Mr Brown, the week will see teachers across Manchester Health Academy using the World Cup as a starting point for their lessons.  Mr Brown says “The World Cup offers a fantastic opportunity for the whole school to get involved.  All students in Years 7-9 will attend their timetabled lessons and participate in a cross-curricular week based around the World Cup, for example writing match reports in English, using match data in maths, and looking at forces and trajectory of the ball in science.  While Rashford does his thing in Russia, we’ll be learning here in Manchester!”

Marcus Rashford was born in 1997 in Wythenshawe and was a pupil at Button Lane Primary School.  He played for Fletcher Moss Rangers as a child, a youth team with a reputation for producing top players.  From the age of 12, Marcus took part in Manchester United Foundation’s Street Reds programme at Manchester Health Academy’s Community Sports facility.  The programme offers free football sessions and alternative activities to young people aged 8 to 18.  Marcus went on to break George Best’s record as the youngest player to score in Europe for Manchester United, and is looking forward to playing for England in Russia this month.



Marcus Rashford pictured when he visited Street Reds at MHA in 2016.

Aspire to Be in Professional Sports

The Aspire to Be careers programme continues. Every fortnight during Key Stage 4 lunchtime we invite a visitor into the Academy to present to Year 9 -13 students about their job role, their route into the career and the qualifications they needed.
This week, we were joined by Manchester United Foundation’s Director of Operations, John Eades, who talked about careers in the world of sports, and his own exciting career path.Previous sessions have included business and health care sciences. Full details of these sessions along with resources can be found on the Academy website.