Headteacher’s Blog – Week 34

Monday 8th June 2020

I'm sure many of you have seen some of the heart-breaking scenes on the news this past week, and your children may have a number of questions in response to the violence and unrest in America, and recent global protests. The tragic death of George Floyd has caused many of us to stop and think carefully about the kind of country we want to live in, the kind of communities we are trying to build and the kind of people we want to be.

Our Kingsway community celebrates its rich diversity which includes people from a wide variety of social, cultural, racial, religious and economic backgrounds. We believe this diversity makes us stronger as a community and enriches the experience of our students. We believe education should build bridges not walls. At Kingsway everyone really does matter.

Our school motto is a ‘posse ad esse’ - from the possible to the actual, or turning potential into reality. Our hope is that students at The Kingsway are not just on a journey which looks towards academic success but one which also contributes to the development of character and community. Over the past few years our Kingsway curriculum has been undergoing significant re-design to embed diversity further into the fabric of the school; whether that be through our Powerful Knowledge activities, our Cultural Capital and Lifeskills lessons, or at a subject level in, for example, History and English, even the diversity of books in our library. Through our school curriculum and culture I am confident in saying that our students are educated and guided to being respectful, kind, tolerant human beings who make a positive difference in our community and the wider world..

This newsletter has been shared with all year groups via their Raising Standard Leaders and might help your families process some of the current events and understand how we can work together to create a more just and tolerant world. Although we can feel small and powerless at times like these remember that only you have the ability to impact your little corner of the world.

We have posted a message to families on our website, with regards to our expectations and concessions to our uniform in light of COVID-19 and Government recommendations. Should there be any changes these will be clearly communicated but if there are any families who are experiencing any difficulties we urge you to contact your child’s pastoral team who will be able to give you further guidance and support.

Tuesday 9th June 2020

We had 16 students in school today supported by our team of teaching and support staff.

Whilst the key worker provision was going on, school leaders and premises staff were working hard to make sure that school is ready for the wider opening to Year 10 students from next week. We are aware of the media attention locally around the R number, with some greater manchester authorities choosing not to open until they feel it is safe to do so. We have received today the following information from Stockport local authority:

  • The number of cases, hospital admissions and deaths in Stockport remain low and are declining.
  • In the last two weeks, based on PHE data of the number of new cases, Stockport’s position was a rate of 6.8 per 100,000 in the previous 14 days, which is below the Greater Manchester position of 16.8 per 100,000 and below the national rate of 9.2 per 100,000

We will continue to be vigilant and watch the local landscape, but currently our plans for wider opening remain the same. I appreciate these are uncertain times for our students and their families and aim to keep you well informed of any developments or changes to our plans.

Our website contains all the latest information including a list of FAQs based on parent queries, which we will constantly keep up to date.

Teachers are continuing to review the remote learning offer and ways in which we can ensure that we minimise any disadvantage to our children caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. Heads of departments are looking at ways to make the learning experience at home more engaging and interactive. We continue to encourage your child to communicate with their teachers and form tutors via email. Here’s some guidance you can share with your child on how to send emails.

When sending an email to your teacher it should be in a semi formal format.

Some useful guidelines are:

  • Ensure that your picture/user name/title is appropriate and formal. No nicknames should be used or pictures which could be interpreted as offensive.
  • Opening line: Good Morning/afternoon, Hello Mr/Mrs/Miss
  • Content of question/response: Don't use abbreviations/text speak/slang.
  • End with: Thankyou, looking forward to hearing from you, from, and then your name. 

Wednesday 10th June 2020

All students should receive a well-being call/communication from their form tutor next week. For Years 7, 8 and 9 this will be either a phone call or a google meet set up by their Form Tutor.

For Year 10, this will be a face to face meeting in school in groups of 8 on the following days:

Date \ Room F2 F9 F16
Monday 15th June 10T 10H 10E
Tuesday 16th June 10K 10I 10N
Wednesday 17th June 10G 10W 10S
Thursday 18th June 10A 10Y 10C

Parents have received an email with this information and form tutors have emailed students today with their appointment times.

Students will need to wear the modified school uniform - school trousers/skirt and school shirt/blouse. These sessions will be used to provide support for students and to give more information about the subject days that will follow this half term.

I have picked up via social media that some parents are disappointed that their child’s initial face to face meeting is for 45 minutes that week and focussing on their pastoral care initially. I can honestly say that these decisions we are making at school are not to disappoint parents, but are to manage best the safety and well-being of our students and their teachers.  I can understand parents’ eagerness for their child to access some subject specialist content as quickly as possible, and we are keen for that to happen too. If you have any specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly (j.lowe@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk). 

Whilst it is a busy time for school leaders, I will always endeavor to get back to you. In an ideal world, I would much rather have the opportunity to respond directly than pick up via social media angst.

We are genuinely looking forward to seeing more students back in school next week. Our staff are ready and waiting and our premises are prepped for the safe welcome of our young people. Thank you to the support from one of our parents and PTA chair, Shaun Holdham, whose company Drytac, kindly provided our COVID-19 signage. Many thanks Shaun.

Thursday 11th June 2020

We are so pleased with how a majority of our students are engaging with their remote learning. We know there are lots of barriers and this can make learning extra challenging. However a number of teachers of Year 7 have identified some of the students who are regularly going above and beyond on a day by day basis.  

The Raising Standards Leaders have been celebrating students on a weekly basis as part of their weekly celebrations which are shared every Friday on the school platform but Ms Hulance (Y7 RSL) has asked me to make a special mention to the following students for their exceptional effort and engagement with learning.  Well done to:  Oscar M; Harry W-F; Darcey K; Sam C; Zach K; and Harry S. You really are showing resilience, dedication and commitment to your studies.  Bravo, to our home learning heroes!

Year 7 Celebration Assembly

Year 8 Celebration Assembly

Year 9 Celebration Assembly

We now know that we will not be seeing Year 7, 8 and 9 back in school this academic year, with the exception of those who are children of key workers. We are sad to know we won’t be seeing them for a few more months, but understand the importance of keeping students and teachers safe and helping keep down the rate of spread of the virus.

However, our plans to open to Year 10 next week are going ahead and Mr Knott, Deputy Headteacher, has produced a video for Year 10 students showing them the changes to the school premises and the social distancing measures they will need to adhere to. You can view the video below:

Just to clarify for parents who are sending their children into school from next week, the basic uniform requirement is white shirt and school trousers/skirt - no branding necessary. Students are also asked to bring in their own equipment (pen, pencil, ruler and calculator) and exercise books if they wish to use them - paper will be provided. If you have any questions regarding the return to school for Year 10, please refer to the FAQs on our school website or get in touch with your child’s form tutor, Dr Holdsworth or Mr Knott.

Friday 12th June 2020

Happy Friday to our families. A short update from me today.

Next week sees the start of students returning to school, though only a few at a time over the course of the week. Nonetheless, I am delighted and excited to see our young people - we have missed them!

By the end of next week, all students in years 7 to 10 should have received some direct contact from their form tutor. This will initially focus on how school can support them in their lockdown experience. Future conversations will look at where we can help those who have fallen behind, catch up.

Cheadle FM 87.9 is a new community radio station that was set up to bring local people together during lockdown. Mr Williams has recorded an interview for a show that Luke Blakeley is hosting around how life as a teacher has changed during lockdown. The show will air on Friday 19th June between 9am and 11am. Please tune in!


Mrs J. Lowe

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