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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 42

All good things come to an end.

It always surprises me how quick time flies by in education. Maybe because we work in half termly chunks, or more likely because there’s so much going on and lots to do.

Last week was no exception.

We held our end of year celebration evenings to recognise the achievements of our students throughout the year. Awards were presented to to students who had:

  • achieved the acclaimed Kingsway Certificate
  • been nominated by the Heads of Departments for Effort and Achievement
  • completed the highest number of hours of enrichment during the year

We received some great feedback from our parents who agreed they were lovely evenings and were rightly proud of their child’s success at The Kingsway School.

Sadly we had to postpone the Year 9 Evening due to a clash with some football match! We will be re-arranging the evening early in the Autumn term.

Our year 8 students returned from Paris very late on Monday night. They were all a bit bleary-eyed on Tuesday morning, but buzzing from their experience. Mr Traynor and the staff on the trip were massively impressed with our students’ conduct throughout the trip. They were a credit to our school.

On Tuesday we welcomed our year 5 & 6 local primary students to take part in an intra-school Spelling Bee competition. The primary students were joined by their peers who are now Kingsway students in years 7 & 8. It was a heated competition with some tricky spellings (and a faulty buzzer!) but Outwood primary came out top with some very impressive spellings. Well done Outwood!

Also on Tuesday, we also hosted the EDT Go4Set Award ceremony and exhibition. EDT are a charity who create opportunities for students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & MAths). Kingsway had two teams (H2O and Ufikiaji) up against other high achieving schools in the North West, including Grammar schools. I am delighted to announce that our team ‘Ufikiaji’ won best overall project. What an incredibly proud moment for me and the STEM team at Kingsway.

On Wednesday, we had an Induction Day for our new teaching staff: Ms Burrows (Teacher of Maths), Ms Bowers (Teacher of History), Mr Cook (teacher of History), Ms Mullin (Teacher of English), Ms Ruane (Teacher of Business Studies). They are all really excited about starting at Kingsway and I am confident they will be a great addition to our superb team of teachers.

On Thursday, our Resourced Centre hosted a Garden Party for staff, students and their families. It was another warm day and so out came the floral table cloths, vintage teapots and scones. It was lovely to meet with the families of our current and new resourced students - events like this can help these families to make new friends because often their lives are too busy with their very special children.

On Friday, Mrs Marsh took 3 year 9 students to the Digital Advantage Graduation Awards ceremony at MMU. There were 20 teams involved in the competition to create a business App, mostly sixth form students. Three independent judges from business backgrounds selected 3 of the best Apps. I am delighted to tell you all that we did very well and came in third place. It was a very proud moment for our school and the students were excellent ambassadors for The Kingsway School.

Would you believe it? 52 days without rain and it finally came pouring down on Friday when our Duke of Edinburgh team left for their final expedition! Thank goodness the staff are well used to wet weather conditions and the rain did eventually subside to allow for a warm and successful expedition weekend. Miss Horsey did an exceptional job organising the event, supported by lots of staff, and with  only one sprained ankle to report, it was a huge success. Well done all.

And so we come to the final few days of another great year at Kingsway. I will be sending a letter home this week with the arrangements for the end of the academic year and the start of the next one.

I am particularly looking forward to our end of year celebration assembly on Friday, where the whole school comes together to celebrate students’ achievements. Please keep abreast of all that is going on at Kingsway via Facebook, Twitter and our website.

Thank you for reading my blogs - hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about all the amazing stuff that happens at Kingsway - a school with a lot to shout about!

Wishing you all a lovely summer. See you next year.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 41

Did you watch it?

I’m guessing many of you joined the rest of the nation and enjoyed watching England go through to the semi-finals of the world cup for the first time in 30 years.

I watched the second half through my fingers in the hope that we wouldn’t give away a goal or two. I could only imagine what it was like for the team manager, Gareth Southgate. Whilst the players on the pitch are doing what they have been trained and prepared to do, the manager must stand and watch and has very little control during those 90 minutes.

I know only too well that feeling at this time of year. We have done all we can for our year 11 students and can only stand by and wait for the GCSE results in August. It’s a nerve wracking time for the students, the staff and myself. We want so much for each student to have achieved their goals and gain the results that will springboard them to the next stage of their life. We also want success for our whole school community - it’s uplifting and an injection of positivity that gives us the desire to keep working hard for the next generation.

Maybe 2018 will be remembered for the hottest summer, England winning the world cup and Kingsway exceeding their best ever results! Here’s hoping… like the England football team, we’re certainly on our way!

Kingsway, however, is not an exam factory. We are a vibrant, colourful school with heart and soul. Here’s just some of the shining examples of our Kingsway spirit over the last week:

Last week was Induction week for our new Year 7 students and their parents. It was an absolute pleasure to have met them all. We always make sure the Year 6 students enjoy their induction day and leave feeling excited and confident about joining us in September. I am sure the class of 2023 will be great Kingsway students - they have certainly made a fantastic first impression.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Kingsway School went out in force to support their Houses in our Sports Day. It was another gorgeous afternoon and we enjoyed watching all the competitors race against one another to gain points towards the Kingsway Sports Cup as the spectators cheered on. We made sure there were plenty of places for students to sit in the shade and kept students hydrated throughout the afternoon. It was a wonderful afternoon. Mr Hulme Head of PE was very impressed: “In the searing conditions, our students truly rose to the occasion and produced some fantastic displays of athletic performance, sportsmanship and bravery”. The winner of the Kingsway Sports Cup will be announced at our end of year assembly, along with the winning house for the staff relay.

Later on Wednesday, Mrs Wilde and myself went out for dinner with our NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) and their subject mentors to celebrate them completing their first year as a teacher. The first year is hard work and can be challenging, but our NQTs have all passed with flying colours and should be super proud of how far they have progressed as skilled professionals. Well done to Ms Buckley, Ms Halligan, Ms Heard, Ms Hunt, Ms Sadati and Mr Shaw.

Our amazing resourced students won our hearts last week. On Friday, they represented Stockport at the Greater Manchester School Games at the Etihad stadium. We are so proud of all the resourced students who represented their school brilliantly on a blisteringly hot day.

I also received a special visit from Zayn Khan in 7C, who brought along his Year 7 textiles soft toy project - a cat teddy named Space cat. Well done Zayn.

Another textiles masterpiece was from Year 7 student, Ahnaf Khan. Ahnaf was set with the task of designing a stuffed toy and as a keen dinosaur enthusiast, he knew straight away what he wanted to create. He drew an extremely detailed design, which even included a thagomizer (the spikes found on the tail of a dinosaur). Ahnaf selected the colours he would like to use, cut out his design and began to assemble it using a very neat running stitch. As you can see, the end product is fantastic and Ahnaf is really proud of stuffed stegosaurus toy, named Steggy.

Our Year 8 trip to Paris left in the early hours of Friday morning. I didn’t manage to wave them off at 2am, but I do hope they have a wonderful time exploring this beautiful city. More news on their trip next week.

Finally, our school community send their congratulations to Mr & Mrs Tither who brought Alice Rose in to the world on Wednesday.

As always, it’s been another exciting, wonderful and colourful week at Kingsway. Have a lovely week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 39

Oh, what a week!

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it just flashes by? Last week felt a bit like that for me, with so much going on. I’m not complaining though - I love the buzz of our busy school, and of course, the weekend comes around quickly.

So what was going on?

On Monday we had a visit by the new Director of Children’s Services (DCS) for Stockport, Chris McLoughlin. The role of the DCS is to work with schools and organisations in Stockport to ensure that the needs of Stockport children and families are met. During her visit, Chris was given a tour of the school and met some of our senior student team. They asked Chris about her role and shared their plans as student leaders for the coming year. Chris was particularly interested in the work our senior students will be undertaking to support mental health and offered support to our students in their work.

Director of Children’s Services (DCS) for Stockport, Chris McLoughlin with Senior Students, Mrs Lowe and Ms Maxey.

Also on Monday, 14 students competed in our Masterchef competition, where they had to produce and present a main course and a dessert in one and a half hours. Students designed their own menus and made a fantastic array of dishes, ranging from chateaubriand to Thai curry and traditional shepherd’s pie. Our visiting guest from the Rotary Club, Mr. Roger Shepherd was very impressed with the work ethic and the level of expertise shown. Well done to all the entrants: Alfie Saunders , Aroush Zia , Simona Miteva, Amy Berry, Lucy Kerr, Katy Hughes, Zaina Zzaman, Maha Ahmed, Olivia Ashmore, Polly Hogg, Hassan Nawaz, Aaliyah Arif, Louis Martin, Emily Briedenbach .

And the winners were:

  • 1st place – Zaina Zzaman
  • 2nd place – Lucy Kerr
  • 3rd place – Polly Hogg

These three amazing chefs will go forward to the district final in December.

On Monday evening, The Kingsway Association (our PTA), met to agree which school bids they will support from their fundraising. The money that you contribute (£10 per quarter per family) goes to some really worthy causes. There has been a lot of press recently regarding schools asking parents for contributions towards basic resources: pens, books and even toilet rolls! This is in response to the funding crisis that many schools are finding themselves in. Whilst times are certainly challenging financially, our Kingsway Association are only asked to support bids which go above and beyond the basic delivery of the curriculum.

On Monday they approved:

  • 10 Chromebooks to support the new vocational courses
  • 4 Visualisers for the Science department
  • 2 mobile display boards for Art

If you haven’t yet signed up, and would like to make your contribution you can follow this link.

We welcome new parents and details of our next meeting with be on the website.

On Tuesday, it was another year and another great turn out for The Kingsway School’s 'Chance to Shine' Cricket Festivals. Schools from all over Stockport attended the annual U15 and U13 events at Cheadle Cricket Club and The Kingsway School for a day full of high quality and competitive cricket. Both the U15s and the U13s competed in the Festivals with the U15s entering two teams due to the popularity of the schools extra curricular club and the number of cricket enthusiasts we have in both Years 9 and 10. Both the U15s and U13s teams played well with the U15s 'A' team narrowly missing out on the final. Equally, both the U15s 'B' team and U13s showed great resilience and determination throughout the day, where they faced tough competition in their groups. Well done to all of the pupils who represented The Kingsway School and showed excellent respect and teamwork across the two events.

On Wednesday evening, our Governing Board held their Summer term meeting. Our Senior Leadership Team joined governors to respond to their questions around:

  • outcomes for students,
  • teaching learning & assessment,
  • students’ behaviour, safeguarding and wellbeing and
  • the leadership and management of the school.

For the past 4 years, our school has been supported by a Local Authority School Improvement Advisor, Graham Hunt. Graham has worked closely with the senior leadership team and governors to challenge and support. This meeting was Graham’s last as our SIA as he leaves to retire and explore the world. We wish Graham well and thank him for his work with our school.

On Thursday, we had a great day hosting Lumhead primary school’s sports day. The day started out with field events in which the "living Legends" took on the "fabulous 14". The students took part in 6 field events that challenged them physically and mentally. After a short break, the pupils took on the track events, which included hurdles, the dizzy dash and the 50 metre sprint. Each and everyone of them conducted themselves in a competitive yet sporting manner. The PE Dept are looking forward to welcoming some talented athletes from Lumhead into The Kingsway School this September.

Our Post 16 evening for Year 10 took place on Thursday night. It was really well attended. The evening is designed to support students and their families make decisions about their futures by providing the opportunity to talk to local college representatives and range of employers and training providers. Our independent Careers Advisor Joanne Green was there to answer questions and our own post 16 advisor Mrs Flood, who organised the event, provided an insight into the increasingly popular world of apprenticeships. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your child’s future post school, please get in touch: s.flood@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk .

The climax of the week was our Prom. Oh, what a night! This year, our Prom was held at The Mere in Knutsford. A stunning location for our equally stunning students (and staff)! The weather topped off a perfect evening. Students arrived in an array of vehicles, enjoyed a delicious three course meal, had some memorable photographs taken and ended the night with a disco.

Our Prom King and Queen were announced: Harry Earnshaw and Charlotte Jennings and this year students voted for their own Prom King and Queen: Mr James and Ms Watson. It was a beautiful evening and the perfect end to a busy week.

Have a lovely week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 34

Eid Mubarak to our muslim families from The Kingsway School.

Last week ended the Islamic month of Ramadan for our Muslim students, staff and families, and on Friday many will have celebrated with the festival Eid al-Fitr. During the month of Ramadan, many of our Muslim students fast during daylight hours to teach them about self-discipline and remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. They also spend time with their friends and family, sharing a meal just before sunrise and just after sunset.

Whether you are religious or not, our school ethos is built on the principles of thinking of others and valuing friends and family. Our whole school will have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and celebrate one another’s achievements at our end of year whole school assembly. At the assembly we also present our chosen charities with their cheques from our fundraising across the year. A great opportunity for whole school community to come together and be proud the work we do for local and national charities as well as our sister school Kingsway Kolweny in Kenya.

Celebrating our students’ success is a mammoth job … because they do so much great stuff! Last week I had the pleasure of watching some Year 7 students presenting their ‘Nonsense Poems’ at a Poetry reading session run by Ms Tunnell, Mrs Rowley and Mrs Heil. The Year 7s have been comparing two nonsense poems in English featuring monsters: The Jabberwocky and The Wendigo. They then went on to create their own poetry inspired by the two poems.

The Doobla by Sarah Baden

The Doobla
The Doobla
Its arms are longer than a ruler.
Its eyes are even cooler
His teeth are very long
He'll sing you a special song.
Its lips are blue and slimy
and puffy
sticky

The Doobla
The Doobla
I met it just a life ago
I saw it in Brazil
Then it went to kill
The Doobla is swagalicious
It finds you delicious
it's very suspicious
and extremely balicious
My advice is for you to beware
I am sure your family is scared
Because survival is rare
This monster is deadly

I was also delighted to be on the judging panel again for the Year 9 Public Speaking Competition. The theme was ‘If I ruled with world’ and the teams of students gave inspiring and confident speeches about changes they would like to see in the world they are growing up in to. They focussed on current political issues including stereotypes, world hunger and gun crime. Along with Mr Sadler and Mrs Heil, I was so impressed with the sophisticated and intellectual content of their persuasive and emotive presentations. These are certainly Oxbridge candidates of the future! I would like to thank Ms Cuttress and Ms Dean who organised the evening along with Head Girl Jess Crawley and Deputy Head Girl Grace O’Shaughnessy, who were coaches for the teams. All the teams were amazing, but it was a competition and the winners were Team 'Labelled': Sannah Ahmad, Amy Berry, Pippa Woods, Fiona Sallaku; Kirsten Attfield; Sarah Morgan. Well done also to the two star speakers: Sarah Morgan and Joe Cownie and a special mention to Lottie Gibson.

Also last week, 31 pupils from Prospect Vale Primary School attended an afternoon Electronics session at The Kingsway School. The main objectives were to learn about components and how to put together a circuit onto prototype board. They worked in teams using a circuit diagram to build and test an alarm circuit which reacted to light. They were really excited when they got the circuit functioning and the classroom filled with the sound of sirens as each alarm was successfully tested and working. These amazing pupils then confidently developed their circuits e.g. the alarm reacting to moisture, darkness and dryness. Mr Nicolaou who ran the session said “It was a pleasure to meet the pupils and their teachers, and it was an enjoyable afternoon for all.”

Have a lovely week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 33

A bucket full of brilliance!

In education, we love to use the adjective outstanding but what about amazing, incredible, exceptional? Over the last few weeks there has been plenty of brilliance at The Kingsway School.

Mrs Marsh invited me to see the final pieces of GCSE art work by her Year 11 class. Oh my word! I was taken aback by the incredible talent of our teenage artists including the brilliant Sungleen Moon. Sungleen chose exam question no 3, "In the news" for her controlled test and created a range of fantastic responses on the theme of "Equality" as a result of researching the artist Hannah Hoch. Her her final piece is shown below and is the result of her own artistic journal which detailed her creative journey.

Sungleen Moon - "Equality"

Mrs Marsh also led a group of Year 9 students in an Art Progress Workshop. They have only attended two sessions so far, and the standard of their work is exceptional.

On Monday last week, I had the pleasure of presenting the Class of 2019 Senior Students their ties. Jess, Ethan, Judy, Hannah, Meji, Owen B, Grace, Youmna, Owen F and George gleefully removed their house ties and replaced with the multi-coloured senior student ties. They have been discussing the legacy they will leave behind through their work over the coming year. As a team, they have agreed their priorities will focus on community liaison, student wellbeing (inc. mental health), Enrichment, charities, rewards and primary transition. They certainly have the skills to make a real difference to our school community.

On Thursday, our Student STEM Ambassadors spent the day at John Crane Engineering in Manchester who were celebrating their 100th anniversary. Our students are working with John Crane engineers on a Wateraid project for our sister school in Kolweny, Kenya. Our students presented to their staff on the progress of their projects so far. Mr Hammersley reported back that the students excelled themselves and they found the day very beneficial and are much more confident and secure now in speaking to an audience.

There were more moments of magic for some Year 9 Kingsway students who went through the gruelling process of applying to be House Captains. The successful students who will take on the role of leading their house fundraising over the coming year, were:

On Friday morning, we had a lovely visit from our local MP, Mary Robinson. Mary is a great supporter of the work we are doing here at Kingsway, in particular in relation to our academic pathways in to STEM careers.

During her visit, Mary saw some super bright Year 8 mathematicians solving angle problems, a class of skilled Year 7 students who were loving the electronics curriculum available here and a group of gifted Year 9 students who had made rockets in their lab and were testing them out on the field.

One of the Year 9 students, Ella Stirling, who was Stockport’s Youth Parliament rep last year talked to Mary about her career plan to be a political journalist. Mary was really impressed with not only the standard of STEM education taking place at Kingsway, but also the broad and balanced curriculum we are offering to support our students’ future success in a range of careers.

Finally, on Friday afternoon our new parent governors came in to school to get a feel for the ethos of our school. They were taken around our campuses by Year 10 students Grace and Mia. The feedback from our new governors was really positive:

“Thank you for this afternoon, it was lovely having an insight in to the school day. I am amazed at how quiet and calm the school was and how welcoming the teachers were. The children were all engaged, well mannered and happy to tell us what they were doing...”

“Thank you for inviting us in to school this afternoon. Grace and Mia gave us a brilliant tour - they are both a credit to you and the school. I already feel incredibly proud to be a parent governor at The Kingsway School”.

At Kingsway we have a winning formula: amazing students, awesome staff and ambitious governors. Not forgetting the wonderful parents, carers and members of our local community!

Have a lovely week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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