Headteacher’s Blog – Week 1

Welcome Back

Just where did those 6 weeks go? The sun, sea and little bit of Sangria seem a distant memory as I get back in to the rhythm of school life. Whilst I’m waking up to dark mornings rather than the bright sunny ones from last term, I’m glad to be back in a routine.

I am delighted to share with you the news that the Class of 2018 did really well in their GCSE results this summer, achieving our best ever results for the percentage of students achieving a grade 4 or higher in both English and Mathematics. Furthermore, the year group achieved over 80 grade 9s - the highest grade possible in these new, tougher reformed GCSEs. A great start to the new academic year.

I will miss the Class of 2018; they were a great bunch of students. But stepping to fill their void, are the class of 2023! It was a real delight to meet them and many of their families on their first day on Wednesday.

We call the first week for year 7 ‘Kickstart to Kingsway’ and fill it with activities to help them make new friends, find their way around our school and get to meet lots of staff. I always deliver a session to get to meet all our new starters in their first few days. What a delightful group they are. I have been so impressed with how well they have bonded as a year group and the new friendships that have quickly blossomed.

You can see what they’ve been up to below.

We would love to hear back from our new parents about your experience of the transition that your child has received. You can do this by dropping an email to transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk or by completing the Parent View questionnaire on the Ofsted website.

Mrs Heil had some great news on our return this September. Young Writers UK have awarded The Kingsway School with 5-Star Writing School status for services to literacy. A great reflection of the work we do to support students’ literacy skills and develop a love of reading for pleasure.

Of course, it has also been lovely to welcome back our older Kingsway students who all arrived last week as smart as a new pin.

We are hitting the ground running this September, with strict rules on punctuality to school and uniform. Students are expected to be in form or assembly by 8:30am. They need to make sure they arrive to school in plenty of time to get to their form room. As last year, students who are not in school on time, will receive a 20 minute detention after school.

I noticed a few breaches to our uniform policy last week in the form of girls’ skirts and shoes. Girls must wear the Kingsway badged skirt and wear it at full length (not rolled up)!

I am aware that over the summer some footwear manufacturers have aggressively been marketing a fashion trainer as a school shoe. Whilst they may initially appear to conform to the school guidance (eg black leather and are not sports branded), their style is too much like a trainer and does not meet the agreed policy which has the expectation of smart black, sturdy leather shoes. However, I am sympathetic that as a parent you will have spent a great deal of money and would have also been trying to get a good balance between the policy and a fashion shoe for your child. As such this footwear- and only this footwear, will be excused up until the end of the autumn term. During this time we will create clear guidance which will be shared with parents and students and will include visual representations of approved styles. We will also contact the main local suppliers of shoes and provide them with the information for future reference. Any other shoes that do not meet the policy such as trainers, sports branded, ankle, non-leather (inc canvas and suede), slipper shoes and ankle shoes/boots will continue not to be permitted.

Lastly, there’s been a lot on the news recently in relation to the use of mobile phones in schools. we have always been very clear with our policy - mobile phones are not allowed in school from the point of arrival to the school gates in the morning to leaving in the afternoon.

I am always grateful for the continued support of our parents with our policies for students.

Some advance notice that our Open evening takes place on Wednesday 17th October 2018 5pm. Please share the date with your friends and family with year 4, 5 and 6 children. In order to prepare the school for this event, we will be closing early on that day (12:00pm). I will write to remind you nearer the time.

Finally, I was thrilled when Mrs Griffiths shared with me a blog post by now Year 9 student Abigail Fung following her school trip to Paris. The trip was such a success that we are running it again next year with over 100 year 8 students.

Here’s Abigail’s blog:

Omg, I was so excited!  I was going to Paris with my friends! Departing at 2.30am was not my idea of fun but I was so excited, the tiredness didn’t even bother me! After the long yet fun journey to Paris, we finally arrived to be greeted at PGL Chateau de Grande Romaine by the cheerful and enthusiastic staff.

As soon as we got off the coach, we all thought the place was amazing! We checked out our rooms before going on a tour of the PGL centre. It was all very exciting.  They had a football pitches, basketball courts, a swimming pool, badminton courts and even a games room! I knew we were all going to have an awesome time. Following the tour and dinner, the PGL held lots of fun activities.  It was a great end to a lovely day.

The next day we went into the centre of Paris for a day trip. We visited the Eiffel tower first, where we could go up to the 2nd floor. It was awesome! It was even more magnificent than I ever imagined.  You literally could see the whole of Paris from there, it was breathtaking.

We then went on a river cruise down the Seine. It was particularly hilarious when we were all asked to pose for photos with other tourists throughout the whole journey. As we travelled through the streets of Paris, we drove past the Notre Dame, Arc du Triomphe and Sacre Coeur before we came to the Champs Elysees. I felt emotional because I have always wanted to go to Paris and the places we visited were so beautiful!  They were everything I had imagined them to be and more. My only regret was not having the chance to go inside the Notre Dame and seeing the beautiful colours of the glass windows.

Visiting Parc Astrix theme park was really exciting. It was great spending time with my friends having lots of fun. There was rides to suit everyone including massive rollercoasters to water rides and even a few shows. I am definitely not a roller-coaster person but it was really fun watching my friends who were all very excited.

It was a great holiday and I made lots of new friends, had lots of laughs, tried to speak French and even tried a few French delicacies including snails, which I am proud of!!! Adieu Paris pour le moment!

No wonder Paris is known as the City of Love!

A bientot!

Mrs J. Lowe

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