Headteacher’s Blog – Week 33

Feast and fast

I would like to wish ‘Eid Mubarak’ to all our staff, students and families who have fasted for the last 30 days for the muslim tradition of Ramadan. For 30 days, our muslim community have not only fasted from food, but they have also refrained from anger and sin, instead focussing on charity and worship. Whilst many of us may consider fasting for 30 days a difficult, even unsurmountable, Ramadan is one of the most important months in the islamic calendar. Here’s what one of our year… students, Malaika Shehzad said: “I fast because it shows respect for my faith and enables me to demonstrate my dedication to my faith. Although it is tricky in the summer term, persevering not only allows me to show commitment but also shows me that I can achieve anything with a clear purpose and focus". I have been so proud to observe our staff and students respect their faith for the last 30 days and hope they had the most fabulous party when they could finally break their fast.

Whilst food and water may have been on short supply for our muslim students last month, there was plenty of rain for our Duke of Edinburgh participants this weekend. Here’s a report from Miss Horsey, expedition leader:

"This was most certainly our wettest expedition to date, with 38 students - walking in the rain, cooking in the rain, taking down camp in the rain and finishing in the rain; we certainly saw the UK's Great British weather on this expedition. Despite the more challenging weather conditions, the students’ determination to succeed shone through and all 38 students crossed the finish line on Saturday afternoon. Another highlight was the pancake breakfast teams, who cooked pancakes in the rain and gained orders from all teachers for a chocolate covered pancake - reminder girls, for some reason, we are still waiting for our pancakes...

A huge congratulations to all and I hope that Sunday's weather was kind enough to let them dry their equipment out, ready for the next group, next week!"

Last week, Ms Dean and Mr Hemmings took a group of students to The Edge Theatre in Chorlton. Ranging from Years 7-10 this is an annual event where students participated in workshops for the English & Drama Day. The theme for this year was “betrayal and forgiveness.” Students worked on an overall piece based on Macbeth, as interleaving and revision for the English Literature study of the play. They then worked in their groups to use a stimulus and create their own performance, which they performed in front of parents/carers in the evening. A Year 10 student was attached to each group to encourage student leadership and allow them to offer their Drama GCSE expertise. Miss Dean said it was “a truly joyful day”.

As part of our continual drive to improve communication between school and home, we are launching a new homework platform for students. As a parent you will already have access to the behaviour management systems on Class Charts so we are delighted that this facility will now offer a clearer more transparent way of tracking and supporting your child's homework. Students will still record homework in their planner, but staff will also electronically log the due date, homework task and even resources for students to access outside of school. Students will have their own log in details which will give them access to the homework area only. You as a parent/carer will be able to see the homework and the rewards and sanctions, giving you greater understanding of how your child is progressing in school. Students will come home with their letter this week, which has additional information and their personalised log in details. They can download the app or access the webpage if they prefer, however students will still be expected to comply with the ‘no mobile phone’ expectations in school. Later in the summer term, we will be seeking some student and parent voice to see how the system has improved.

Last month BBC Radio Manchester launched a new community initiative aimed at improving the local area. We are delighted to say that on the afternoon of Friday 21st June, all our Year 7 students will be taking part in 'Don't Mess with Manchester'. During this time, students and staff will be positioned around our school, in the local community and also at their primary schools, collecting litter as part of the wider ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign. Further details will be sent home next week, outlining all the areas that we will be seeking to improve. At Kingsway we take a great deal of pride in our students and the communities in which they live, so we are delighted that we will be able to show our respects to our local residents and wider community but contributing to its upkeep. We are also hoping for some media coverage… watch this space.

As ever, this half term is always a busy one, but it is also really exciting as we welcome new families. Mrs Hadfield, Mrs Jones, Mrs Djang and Mrs Burgess have all been working very hard building new, and developing existing, relationships with the many Year 6 students who will be joining the Kingsway family in September. In addition to the many fantastic events that have been offered to our local primary schools, ably coordinated by our fabulous Mrs Dunn, we have also a number of exciting opportunities in the next couple of weeks, aimed specifically at making sure that the move between primary and secondary is a smooth and successful one. On Monday 10th June we have a Year 6 parent workshop on 'Supporting your child with literacy and numeracy at secondary' where we are also launching our summer challenge; and on Thursday 20th June Miss Cropper is leading a second workshop on 'reducing anxiety in transition'. All of this is building to our wonderful transition day on Thursday 4th July, where we are welcoming all our Year 6 students and parents who are joining us in September.

All event details are on the school website but if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the transition team on transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Have a great week everyone.

Mrs J. Lowe

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