Headteacher’s Blog – Week 28

Monday 20th April 2020

Good Morning and welcome back after the Easter break. 

Thank you to Miss Littler, Miss Horsey, Mrs Rouse and Ms Linnecor who came into school to support our students today.

This morning both students and staff were raring to go with Joe Wicks to help burn off the chocolate they had consumed over the holidays.  

That was hard work!

After everyone had caught their breath, we completed some English work with Miss Littler. Students continued reading Billionaire Boy, followed by exploring rhyme and rhythm with the aim of creating their own limericks.

After break, we became bakers and made our own chocolate chip shortbread with Miss Horsey. Despite some interesting 'crumbling' skills, all students said their end product tasted nice. Well done! 

After a brisk walk around Cheadle Village with Miss Horsey and Mrs Rouse, we logged into BBC iPlayer to watch the lesson for today on CBBC. Today’s lessons covered negative numbers and gave some background information on the lead up to the Battle of Hastings. Our final task was to explore the Cultural Experience Challenge map that Mrs Bradley posted.  We listened to Beethoven’s Symphony number 5 and tried to name as many instruments as possible in the orchestra. Well done Aiden for correctly identifying a bassoon.

We have received some information from the Local Authority regarding the Seashell Trust. Please click on the image below to view details about the 2.6 Challenge taking place on Sunday 26 April to help save the UKs charities.

Tuesday 21st April 2020

Thanks to Miss Pike, Mrs Glover, Mrs Siddall and Mr Sadler who all came in today as we embarked on another day of lockdown fun!

Miss Pike took our four usual suspects for their morning session and things followed the same routine with some reading and some exercise: 

“This morning, I read Billionaire Boy for 30 minutes, then we followed the Joe Wicks live youtube workout for 30 minutes. After this, we did rallies on table tennis alternating partners to see who they could get the best rally with. We then finished off the table tennis session with a match against our first partner. Badminton was our next activity and we repeated the rally competition; Aiden and Beth got the highest by a long way this time. 

We then played a match against a different person. All of us then moved to the cardio suite where they tried to see how many calories they could burn on each machine available. Beth achieved the most calories on the rowing machine. Aiden also went on the weights machines as year 9 upwards are allowed on.”

Mrs Glover then took the students into her computer room, where they were hoping to log on and take a look at the online work their teachers had set for them today… from the looks of it, Kingsway staff are really getting into the swing of remote learning as there was lots to choose from.  Things didn’t quite go to plan though, as Mrs Glover explains:

“Those pesky internet gremlins were enjoying turning the interweb on and off and on again all afternoon! After much frustration, Aiden and Beth decided on a game of Connect 4 instead to keep them entertained. Lunch was next and after that, the group headed back to the computer room for more hijinks from those pesky gremlins. This was not a problem as Mr Sadler suggested we moved our afternoon walk forward, so myself and Mrs Siddall headed out into the gorgeous sunshine. Alas... on our return, those pesky gremlins decided to hit the off button for a final time so Mr Sadler took the group to choose a reading book instead.”

To finish the day, Mr Sadler was more than happy to abandon the dreaded digital delays and do two of his favorite things:  reading and writing.  He took the students down to our Broadway reading room, where some of Kingsway’s brand new library books (funded by The Kingsway Association) were hiding.

Reagan opted for a non-fiction book on space so he could begin to consider if aliens really did exist - he concluded that we are definitely not alone!  The girls both went with Anthony Horrowitz as they fancied reading a nail biting story instead and Aiden decided he wanted to stick with Billionaire Boy as it has been the group reader since before Easter.  Who needs the internet anyway when you have such fabulous books?

The day ended with a little bit of creative writing, where everyone had a go at writing vivid descriptions of settings using the five senses and ISPACE to help vary their sentence starters... they then home for the day! 

Wednesday 22nd April 2020

Thank you to Mr Duffy, Miss Willett, Miss Hughes and Mr Frazer who supported our little gang today.

Here’s what they’ve been up to:

This morning our students got active again with Mr Duffy: “After Joe Wicks, the group  played a few games of Naughts and Crosses relays in the sports hall before practicing some shooting in Basketball.  The Beckett team were undefeated in naughts and crosses, with Aiden winning the Basketball challenge.”

In Miss Willet’s session, the students got a chance to keep things practical by designing and making their own clocks (no excuse for being late to school now)! 

My thanks daily go out to the small number of staff in school each day, looking after a similarly small number of students. However, my thanks also go out to the huge number of parents who are doing a terrific job home-schooling a huge number of our students. Well done to you all!

We are grateful for all you are doing to help support your child during this difficult time, which will in turn support the school when the lockdown is eventually lifted.

Before Easter, we sent out a parent survey to gather your thoughts on how remote learning was going so far. We appreciated all the positive comments you fed back and have taken account of your comments regarding more structure and direction on what the children should be doing each day. You will therefore have received a revised remote learning timetable via your child’s Raising Standards Leader this week. We hope you find this helpful. 

For students in Year 11, Mr Williams has sent a newsletter with some helpful tips on bridging the gap between lockdown and their post school pathway. 

Furthermore, parents can signpost students to two new websites; Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize.

The Oak National Academy has launched an online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are all free to use.

The BBC has launched an education package across TV and online which features celebrities and teachers, who will help to keep children learning at home and will support parents.

Stockport Youth Council have also sent information to support our home-schooling students. You can find more information via this newsletter:

Stockport Youth Council - Newsletter

Finally, I would like to share with you a lovely thank you letter we received from The Christie NHS Hospital today, thanking us for our donation of much needed PPE.

Thursday 23rd April 2020

Thanks to Mrs Wild,  Mr Dubale, Mrs Jones , Mrs Wheeler and Miss Woodyer, who all came in to support our two students today. 

Miss Wild took both of the students to choose some books from the mini library and they both read calmly for 20 minutes. 

This was followed by a trip to the cardio suite to do a bit of wake up walking, running and cycling, and then the boys played badminton . To finish this morning's exercise, Mrs Wild joined them for a basketball game (keeping 2 metres apart) which Mrs Wild lost - not surprisingly.

It was then back to the computer room for a 'Let's think' session based around a short film called 'Alma', focusing on clues that foreshadow a surprising ending, and how foreshadowing is a common tool used to create tension in texts.

After a short break, Mr Dubale then took the students outside to do problem solving work and playing of chess in the sunshine. Later on, they moved back to the computer room when it became a little chilly.

After lunch, Brandon and Regan headed back to the computer room with Mr Dubale and did some more  problem solving, this time completing a few mathematics  puzzles. For this afternoon’s  exercise the boys and Mr Dubale wanted to “shoot more baskets”  and took a trip back to the sports hall. 

Following their exercise, they returned to work in the computer room with Miss Woodyer where they were hoping to use Google classroom to do some online learning and send a few emails to their teachers. However once again, those pesky gremlins had other ideas so Miss Woodyer taught them a little bit of coding in python. To finish the day, Miss Woodyer granted the boys some  gaming time, playing the classic game of “Guess Who”.

Following on from yesterday, we have been looking for resources to share with  families on how best to cope with learning from home, at this time.  The Education Endowment Foundation has produced an informative video to help establish routines to help with learning and building in day to day activities:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/videos/EEF_Supporting_daily_routines_during_school_closures.mp4

Additionally there is a checklist to help your child see their progress throughout the day:

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Publications/Covid-19_Resources/Resources_for_parents/Supporting_home_learning_routines_-_Planning_the_day.pdf

These would be really useful, especially when used alongside the visual year group timetables that were shared by Raising Standards Leaders, earlier this week.  These can also be found here:

Transition for Year 6 continues to be one of our priorities; we are certain that many children and families may be concerned about this.  As such, we have set up a Facebook Group specifically for the parents and carers of the Class of 2025.  Please send a request to join to receive tips, advice and news with regards to your son or daughter’s transition to The Kingsway School.

The English Department have been working hard to make literacy accessible to all and we are delighted to share with you our online library.  It has a wide range of resources available including audible books and competitions for both reading and writing.  Why not take a look via Google Classroom.

Friday 24th April 2020

At The Kingsway School we are always seeking to provide a quality education for all children.  The sudden speed at which we had to apply extensive remote learning took not only us, but the nation by surprise.  Since then we have had some time to reflect and improve upon this to ensure that all our students could still access quality education, even if not physically in school - this was always going to be challenging but our staff rose to the occasion as usual. 

However, we are not complacent and also acknowledge that the initial response and provision may not have been as polished and smooth as we would have liked. So, a couple of week’s ago we circulated a parent voice questionnaire in response to the remote learning that was being set.    

The below link is in response to that feedback. Overall there was much positivity and gratefulness to the staff, and acknowledgement of the reliance of our wonderful students.  However there were a key number of points that we have addressed and in the interests of transparency and clarity (especially at this very confusing time) we have summarised our response.  We hope you find this useful. 

Parent voice and response to remote learning provision (April 2020)


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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