Headteacher’s Blog – Week 29

Monday 27th April 2020

I hope this blog finds you and your families well and in good spirits.

My thanks today to Mr Abbott, Miss Smith and Mr Oldham who supported the students in school today.

For sports we had a mishmash of basketball, table tennis and badminton. Beth and Pati had some impressive rallying skills and Aidan beat the rest of us at every sport.

In their learning session we played some literacy and numeracy games and then wrote a script.

Students had a choice of two practice D&T tasks. Firstly, a simple butt jointed pine box with an acrylic base and a lift off acrylic lid with a choice of design (time permitting) or secondly a rustic wall hanging/mobile using natural twine and a choice of pine or acrylic for their pieces. Students had free range on the design and number of pieces in their design. 

Work was cut using coping saws and finished with files and glass paper/wet and dry paper. Those students doing the wall hanging also used the battery powered hand drill.

There was a lot of information circulating this weekend in response to the Oak Academy information that we shared with you last week.  So we thought it would be useful to share our favourite top tips with you to help families negotiate home learning at this time.

The Kingsway School’s Top Ten Tips for Home Learning

  1. Establish a clear routine - one that works for your family. Use the visual year timetables, available on the website and Frog pages, to help you. Don’t be too rigid but set goals so that you feel motivated.
  2. Break the day into chunks so that you can see you have achieved things and build in rewards and activities away from school work.
  3. Compromise and space is key. Reach a compromise with your household. If you need some space but can’t find it, put a peg on your jumper as a reminder to your household that you need some quiet time or you need to work so you are not disturbed.
  4. Check Class Charts daily so you know what work has been set. All parents have their own log in so you can discuss activities with your child. Why not encourage your child to also have a go at their RSL’s daily challenge which is uploaded on to Frog?
  5. If your digital devices are in high demand in your household, go to Class Charts and log on to your account; select the ‘list tab’ on the homework calendar and change to issue date (or today’s date). You can now see all the tasks for the day and if the work does not require access to digital devices, your child can print these off and work away from the screen
  6. Don’t worry about the curriculum; it’s more important to keep your child engaged so learning habits don’t disappear.
  7. If your child shows a passion for something, let them explore it to their heart’s content.
  8. Make time to read together as a family. Model reading and your child will be more invested
  9. Use the resources provided by the teachers but don’t forget there are an array of additional resources such as Collins, Oak Academy and online lessons by BBC Bitesize
  10. Communicate with the school and staff. This includes checking the headteacher’s daily blog, social media and website, as well as emailing subject teachers. We’re all here and happy to help in any way we can.

Finally, some lovely news.  Every year the same mother duck uses our Broadway quad to bring up her little ones. Unfortunately, we rarely see the ducklings grow up and leave their nest due to the busy nature of our school. However, this year, our proud mother duck has ten beautiful babies who are growing up nicely in the quiet of our quad. One, two three …. ahhhh!

Tuesday 28th April 2020

Many thanks to Mrs Evans, Miss Brideaux, Mrs Weall and Mrs Flood who all supported the learning in school today. Also thanks to Mr Maxwell, who has been working behind the scenes to ensure that resources are still available to those students who need them.

After continuing to read "Billionaire Boy" together, students headed off to the hall and did some cardio work; Pati worked super hard on the treadmill! This was followed with a badminton competition. It turns out the Becketts are badminton champions! They got a rally of over 30 over and over again. They are now known as "The Unbeatable Becketts".

After all that physical exertion, students had some discussion time around social media and how it can be a good and a bad thing during lock down. They explored fake news and how harmful that can be and the pressure to live a "perfect" life that social media can place upon us. Also, we can all slip into bad habits and spend too much time on our screens (One student’s average screen time was over 6 hours a day... and he admitted he spends a lot of the rest of it on his X Box!).

We further explored how positive social media can be at the moment, especially to keep in touch with friends and family. Students each made a communication circle and looked at how we are using social media and devices to communicate with those we don't live with and can't see during lockdown. We each thought of a way we could get in touch with grandparents who don't have social media (write a letter) or old primary school friends we have lost touch with (send an e mail) and how important acts of kindness are when we are in lockdown. Zhara is going to send her aunty a quick text tonight, just to say hi and let her know she is thinking of her.

Finally, each person created an "Acts Of Kindness Calendar" and planned an act of kindness for every day for the rest of the week. Zhara and Pati managed to do nearly the whole month of May. These acts included: say "thank you" to parent/teacher; post a friendly note through the door of an elderly person on your street who may be feeling isolated; do something at home which you normally have to be nagged to do such as tidying their room or making a cup of tea for parents. The calendar also included planning to do things to be kind to yourself, which is also important. Mrs Evans loved being back with the students and is looking forward to seeing if they did complete their acts of kindness when we catch up again.

Just before 11am, we all met at the front of the school to commemorate the passing of 100 NHS workers, ensuring social distancing measures. Students were incredibly respectful and completed the minutes’ silence deep in thought.

Following this, the students checked the welfare of our duckling family who are currently thriving with their own paddling pool - shame the weather has changed or we could have joined them! In the afternoon, students went out to the field to do some surveying on what different things lived there but unfortunately the weather forced us back inside so we adjusted the lesson and looked at designing cars with the aim that they were efficient and streamlined.

The day ended with some science kahoot quizzes - which Aiden seemed a pro at - and completing the online work provided by their teachers.

We hope you are all keeping yourself as busy and occupied at home. If your child is checking the Year Group Page on Frog daily, you will know today is Literacy Tuesday. Whilst your child will have been set a daily challenge by their RSL and we expect them to read daily, you may be thinking about ways you can support your child with their reading. The EEF have produced 7 Top Tips to Support Reading at Home. You can also support your child by encouraging them to visit our Kingsway Online Library or even encourage them to apply to be either our Poet Laureate or Literacy Ambassador roles for when we return.

Wednesday 29th April 2020

This morning our pupils took the opportunity to take part in our own 2.6 London marathon challenge. All 6 pupils managed to complete at least 2 of the challenges set which included running 2.6k, hitting a rally of 26 shots in Badminton and Table Tennis, shooting the ball in the basketball hoop 26 times and throwing and catching the ball one handed against the wall 26 times. 

We then went back to B25 to do some research about the London Marathon. The pupils created some excellent fact files about the history of the event, the fastest and slowest recorded times , the amount of money raised for charity and also their favourite runners' fancy dress costume. Some excellent work was produced!

This afternoon the students played kahoot with a geography focus. The first round was Tropical rainforests and second on world knowledge continents and oceans. We then spent an hour planning their own race across the world. This activity is based on the BBC2 series where 5 teams of two race against each other to reach the finish line first. The students tasks were to choose a continent and plan the journey across it stopping at 6 checkpoints. Their journey detail included transport used, (no planes allowed) where to stay and what attractions to visit.  We then finished the day watching the impossible (based on the Boxing day Tsunami 2004).

Thursday 30th April 2020

Many thanks to Mr Howarth, Ms Nay, Ms Clarke, Charlene Dolan and Mrs Bradbury-Cheetham who all supported the learning in school today.  Also thanks to site staff for keeping our campus open and sparklingly clean.

There were 4 students in school today. They started the day with their reading then Mr Howarth taught them some golf skills in the sports hall. They learnt how grip the club properly. Here they are practicing their swings!

Later the students continued their fitness regime by practicing shots in basketball and working on their abdominals in the cardio area.

Later students returned to the computer room to research and develop ideas for one of 10 ideas for going green led by Mrs Clarke. There was lively discussion around the opposing views of Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg! Zahra’s idea was to plant trees instead of releasing balloons for celebrations, Pati’s was to become meat free once per week and Brandon’s was to walk more than use the car.

We then completed our daily constitutional ‘walk a mile’ and were blown away by the beautiful flowers and fragrant lilac.

Finally we continued to brighten up the quad by using stencils and spray paint - it was quite tricky with the wind blowing the stencils about but we managed. This was Reagon’s favourite activity and Brandon was pleased because it was a new skill to learn.

Our Year 6 students, who are starting in September, also have received a surprise package this week:  a welcome postcard from the transition team; a transition booklet with many activities to get them to know about the school, routines and expectations, as well as goal setting for their future; and a school map to get to know their way around.  These tools will also be used to complete a number of challenges that will be set over the next few weeks.

If you are a parent or carer of a student starting at The Kingsway School and have not yet joined the dedicated Facebook group, please request membership via the below link. If you have any queries or concerns in the meantime the Transition Team are on hand to offer reassurance and guidance, please email transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk and we will respond ASAP.

Friday 1st May 2020

This morning, the students had their 30 minute read in B25. Following this we played table tennis, badminton and basketball during the 30 minute activity time. During session 1, despite some technical hitches, Mr Soles taught a lesson about sedimentary rock. The students seemed to engage well in this and we had quite a wide-ranging discussion about this topic. The session concluded with a storyboard task about the formation of sedimentary rocks.

Meanwhile our facilities team have been busy updating the school site, now that paint supplies are starting to become available. 

During these challenging times, many families have had changes in their financial situation due to Coronavirus. If you have been affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus then it might be worth exploring whether your child/ren would be eligible for free school meals. To see if you are eligible you can access eligibility information on the school website or check by clicking on the following link and completing  the Online FSM Application. Once you receive confirmation of eligibility please let us know by emailing l.stansfield@kingsway.stockort.sch.uk. You will then receive support from us in the form of an e-code that you can redeem online from a selection of supermarkets Gift cards to the value of £15 per week, per child. Should you need any further help please feel free to contact the School on Mondays or Thursdays between the hours of  9am and 2pm for support from Miss Woodyer or Miss Stansfield. 

We are aware of the government announcement regarding digital devices for disadvantaged students. As yet we have received no further information from the Department for Education. As soon as we have more details, we will contact the families of those children who might be eligible.

Our Local Authority have issued some helpful advice and guidance to support students’ well-being and families during the lockdown. See the below links.

Stockport Council Information to Support Well-being

Mrs J. Lowe

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