Headteacher’s Blog – Week 35

Oh what a night (and week)!

Another busy week at Kingsway last week.

On Wednesday afternoon Mrs Djang and Mrs Burgess hosted a drop-in afternoon for new parents of students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). This was a chance for families to get a sense of the care and support which will be available from our SEND team. It was lovely to meet some of our new families.

Another chance to meet parents new to Kingsway was on Thursday evening when Miss Cropper ran a "Bridging the Gap" workshop - a guide to understanding and overcoming anxiety during the secondary transition. The workshop was aimed at parents of upcoming students in Year 6, who may have been struggling with the idea of joining a new school in September. We worked through understanding triggers, sharing good practice and offered strategies to support during the difficult time. We explored the causes for anxiety, explained how our bodies react to stress, and ideas for how we can eliminate that. Parents seemed to leave feeling much more positive for the start in September, and were signposted to the appropriate staff if they had further questions. They also had the option of leaving each other a "golden piece of advice" in an envelope to share amongst other parents following what they'd taken from the workshop.

On Thursday, nineteen Kingsway students from Year 9 attended The Daresbury Laboratories for the Go4SET regional finals of The Industrial Cadets Programme after 10 weeks of hard work. As I'm sure you can remember from last year, The Kingsway School, not only won this competition with "The Best Overall" project but also went on to win The Big Bang Competition in Birmingham with their project currently being put into production at our sister school The Kolweny Kingsway, Kenya.

Although no prizes were achieved this year (we can't win every year!) all students across 3 teams represented Kingsway superbly with judges being very complimentary about their projects, emphasising that the final decisions had been very very close. It was wonderful to see all Kingsway students graduate and receive their hard earned qualifications. The day was capped off by our own Mr. Hammersley being the guest speaker for the day, addressing all schools and industry present on "How to Increase STEM Capital in your school".

“On Thursday 20th June, the STEM program of students graduated (see photo below) and we all gained our Industrial Cadet Bronze award. After a hard 15 weeks of work, we gathered up all of our data and presented it to the panel of judges who were the backbone of the project. At the start of the project, we were given three choices to base our research on. These were: 'Create Sport' ,'Recycling' and 'My School is an Island'. Luckily, we all chose separate projects so we all accumulated different ideas. At the end of the long yet challenging 10-15 weeks, it was time to present our work to the assessors. It was quite nerve racking but it was an amazing feeling to finalize our work and show off what we were capable of doing. The feeling of graduating was amazing and it was a big milestone that I and many others managed to achieve.”

- Akira Edgson, Year 9

Year 10 students enjoyed a great day out on Thursday 20th June at the Cheadle College Taster Day.  Prior to the event, students had an opportunity to select workshops of their choice to sample 'A' Level lessons in subjects they enjoy or completely new ones which they could study post 16.  There were over 200 students, the largest number of students ever taken to Cheadle College; the day progressed smoothly with all students being engaged and focused, so much so, that we received an email (see below) from Cheadle College, complimenting our students for how well they had represented both themselves and our school.

“On Thursday we hosted 200 of your Year 10 students, who joined us for a Year 10 college taster day. All of us at The Cheadle College would like to congratulate your students for embracing the day with such a positive and mature attitude. Our teaching staff were very impressed during the subject sessions. Kingsway students were engaged and enthusiastic throughout and demonstrated smart and enquiring minds. From our side it was a real pleasure to spend the day with your students and staff.”

- Carole Vartan, (Head of Transition, Liaison, Communication and Marketing at Cheadle College)

The visit was followed up with a 'My Future' Post 16 Event for Year 10 students and families on Thursday evening.

We had a fantastic turnout this year with a vast range of exhibitors from Post 16 Education Providers, Training Agencies and Employers.

With a huge wealth of experience under one roof, I am sure the students found the evening to be of benefit as they approach their final year in school.  Decisions about what they do after Kingsway will need to be made within the next 6 months.

The exhibitors were really impressed with our students and their animated conversations and the questions they were asked.

There was also a presentation about Apprenticeship schemes, which hopefully gave a clear insight into some of the valuable opportunities that are out there if students can be prepared to work hard and look for them. Increasingly, more and more professions can be accessed through an apprenticeship and these are gaining in popularity which means the competition to secure one is getting harder.

Community spirit was alive and kicking (or shall I say picking!) on Friday. In the morning, Mrs Maxey took a group of Year 7 and 10 students to William Scholes Park to work alongside representatives from the group 'Friends of Scholes Field'.  During the morning, the students took responsibility for planting trees and plants and also walked the park’s entirety litter picking. The students also undertook a consultation process to assist in the hopeful re-development of areas of the park.  The students were delighted to help and were excited by the prospect of having more facilities available within their immediate community. 'Friends of Scholes Field' have a dedicated Facebook page for anyone wanting to support them actively with fundraising, development, social activities or just to voice opinions. As a school, we are looking forward to seeing the developments within the park and have already offered our support of any future projects.

In the afternoon, Year 7 students took part in a mammoth litter pick in and around our community. This was in response to BBC Radio Manchester’s ‘Don’t Mess with Manchester’ litter campaign in association with Keep Britain Tidy. As well as cleaning up our own campuses, students went out into their local community to clean up. You may have seen us in Scholes field in Gatley, Brookfield Park in Cheadle or in Gatley village. Some groups of students also went back to their primary schools to help clear up the surrounding areas. We tidied up around Cheadle, Gatley, Lum Head, Meadowbank, Etchells, Outwood, Prospect Vale and Bolshaw Primary schools.

My group of Ryan King, Josh Abrahams, Belle Reid and Hannah Courtney (pictured below) went to Outwood Primary. After being met by Headteacher Mrs Maud, we tidied up around their playing area, ready for their summer fair that afternoon. It was a glorious afternoon and after an hour or so of litter picking along the length of Outwood Road, we were kindly offered a cold drink and cake at Heald Green Village Hall, where local citizens were holding their community hub - thank you to the ladies and gentlemen for their kind hospitality.

I am so proud of all our students who took part in this community event - I believe we had one of the biggest community groups taking part… well done everyone. A special mention to Mrs Wardle (Deputy Headteacher) who organised the whole event.

And so, after a good wash, it was time to down our bin bags and litter pickers and get dolled up for our Year 11 Prom. Oh what a night! Held at The Mere Resort in Knutsford, it was a beautiful celebration of all Year 11 had achieved at Kingsway since 2014 and to recognise their hard work in readiness for their GCSEs, which are now over.

Alfie Bousefield and Grace O’Shaughnessy were crowned Prom King and Queen by the staff.
Miss Francis (who organised the whole event) and Mr James (who didn’t scrub up too bad) were crowned Prom Queen and King by the students.

We look forward to students reaping their true reward in their GCSE results this summer.

Finally, a reminder of some dates coming up for you to put in your diaries…

  • This weekend you will find Kingsway performing at Heald Green Festival on Saturday 29th June and again at Gatley Festival on Sunday 30th June.
  • Our friends at Cheadle Mosque are holding their fabulous CMA Open Day on Saturday 27th July 12-5pm.
  • Parents of children who will be in Year 5 or 6 in September - save the date - Wednesday 2nd October 2019 5-7:30pm for our Open Evening. Lots of great interactive activities will be taking place, plus a chance to talk to staff and students about the Kingsway experience.

Have a great week everyone.

Mrs J. Lowe

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