Headteacher’s Blog – Week 37

Monday 29th June 2020

We hope that the launch of our Virtual School was well received and Year 7 enjoyed their first Performing Arts session today. Tomorrow sees Maths for Year 9, whilst Year 7 and Year 8 both have an Art lesson to look forward to.  Year 10 were in good attendance today on the first of the live lessons on Paper 1 English Language and we hope to be able to greet many of our Year 10 students over the remaining days this week. Please don’t forget that the remote learning timetable will continue to support the live and face to face lessons forming an enhanced blended learning environment until we are able to have all students back in school.

Our key worker provision is continuing to prove increasingly popular with students accessing their remote and online lessons. Please can we remind parents and carers that if you are entitled to a key worker place for your child because you meet the eligibility criteria, you must ensure that you have booked your provision via the online booking system. Students cannot turn up on an ad hoc basis due to the social distancing measures and pupil/staff ratios that we need to adhere to. As the places are becoming more in demand, any student who has not secured a place via the booking system may not be permitted into the classroom in order to maintain the safety of the students and staff. Students who do secure a key worker placement, will now participate in the live online lessons, and should bring in appropriate materials such as their exercise books so that they can fully participate and engage in the classwork.

Hopefully, you will have seen that the Performing Arts Department have been working hard to develop a virtual performance of ‘This is me’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ Mr Wood has posted an update in the Google Classroom that the deadline has been extended until Wednesday 1st July. We really hope all you budding performers get involved and send it your contributions.

We also have a second reminder from Mr Wood today about the British Red Cross First Aid Champions training which is taking place for all year groups. Details of the weekly training elements and how to submit your evidence is available in the Virtual Enrichment Classroom but all students should have a go at completing these vital life-saving skills.

This is a big week for the families and students in the Class of 2025 as they will shortly be receiving their form details and on Thursday they will take part in the Virtual Transition Day. But we have a special present for them today from Malaika in Year 8, who is The KIngsway School’s first ever Poet Laureate. Malaika was asked by the transition team to create a poem for our class to help them as they join our school community. It is a fantastic piece of writing and we’re sure every student will identify with transitioning from one stage of their life to another.  

Finally, we have received a letter today for parents from Stockport’s Director of Children’s Services, Chris McLoughlin.

Tuesday 30th June 2020

Some exciting news today from Mrs Guess on our House Team Challenge:

We have a couple of challenges for all students to try. 

All students who take part will get merits in September. The winners will be announced as part of the end of term virtual rewards assembly and the winners will receive prizes in September.

Challenge 1  Masterchef challenge – Students should choose the best dish that they have made during lockdown. They should send a photograph and a description of it to their Head of House. The best one from each House will then be forwarded to Mrs Guess for the final judging.

 Challenge 2  Football tricks challenge – Students should take a video of their tricks that they have been practising during the lockdown. The video should be no longer than one minute long. The best entries will be forwarded to Mrs Lowe and the overall winner will be announced during the final virtual assembly. 

Students have until Monday 6th July to email their entry to their Head of House

  • Whitworth – h.duffy@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk
  • Rylands – j.howarth@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk
  • Gaskell – l.willett@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk
  • Lowry – k.lucas@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk
  • Turing – c.bentham@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk
  • Pankhurst – l.slater@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Good luck everyone!

Virtual school continued today with content being offered to all of Key Stage 3. Students in the key worker provision also participating in their lessons today and they produced some excellent work, such as this picture by Amelia in Year 8. 

This is a learning curve for us, as well as the students and we have a couple of guidelines we would like to reinforce.

Students must log in with their school address and their name. We have a number of students using emails which are outside of our school system and as such we do not recognise their names. Any student not using their school email, or altering their name will not be permitted into the classroom

Students are not allowed to share links to the lessons and should only attend the lessons that have been scheduled for them.  This is so we can ensure the pitch and access enables us to best support the students attending the class. Any student who shares links or enters the classroom and causes disruption may have access to the virtual lessons and ICT facilities restricted.  Conduct expectations remain the same as those in class and any student failing to uphold these standards will result in the students being ‘kicked out’ of the room and their parents being conducted regarding their behaviour, this also counts for students who have shared the classroom link without the teachers' permission.  

Students would also benefit from attending the lesson with their exercise books, should they have them at home.

Any student having difficulties accessing the network should log their issues and the network staff will respond as soon as possible. Please do not phone the school as they will be unable to answer your questions.  Should there be any queries other than technical support, please contact your child’s Raising Standards Leader in the first instance.

Wednesday 1st July 2020

Where has the sun gone? As we move into July I was expecting much less rain!

I know that many parents will be keen to know our plans for September. We are still waiting for clear guidance from the government with much speculation about secondary bubbles, staggered starts, blended learning and cohorts of 240 students in school (our average year group is 300)!

What I do know is that we will be having a slow, steady return to school so that students feel safe and secure and reconnected with their friends and our staff. 

Our current intention is that the first week in September will look something like this:

  • Monday 31st August 2020 - Bank Holiday
  • Tuesday 1st September 2020 - Staff INSET Day
  • Wednesday 2nd September 2020 - Staff INSET Day
  • Thursday 3rd September 2020 - Some year groups in (following government guidance)
  • Friday 4th September 2020 - More year groups in (following government guidance)

Our aim is for all students to be back in school by the end of the first week - however we will need to wait to hear if this is in line with government regulations. 

We break up for the summer in just over 2 weeks and expect that we can share more detailed information before then. Of course, what we don’t yet know is what may or may not happen during the 6 weeks to affect our plans. We will be keeping parents informed through our website and social media during the summer holidays.

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Today we have a much quieter school than we would have liked, as today would have been the Year 6 Transition Day. But whilst the world has paused, our Class of 2025 have not and neither have our preparations. Our Year 6 students have been amazing and over the past few months actively engaging in weekly challenges, our ‘Be Awesome Go Big at the KIngsway’ programme and their parents have also been busy with remote workshops and making value connections in the closed Facebook Group for the Class of 2025.

Whilst we are disappointed that we have not yet been able to physically welcome the students into the school we are delighted to launch our Virtual Transition Day. Here students will be able to get a taste of school life by sampling some of our lessons, completing virtual tours, and meeting key staff. We hope that they will enjoy their day in whatever format they choose to engage with and we can’t wait to see them in the Autumn term.

Friday 3rd July 2020

Happy Friday

The long awaiting guidance for schools for September was released yesterday. I am so excited at the prospect of having all our students back in school and welcoming our new Year 7s.

The guidance covered the actions schools should take to ensure all pupils in all year groups return safely, accessing a full curriculum. The intention is that secondary schools will form ‘bubbles’ the size of year groups. We are currently poring over the guidance and will share the detail of our plans for September with parents in the coming weeks. The Department for Education has provided guidance on what parents and carers need to know about schools in the autumn term.

Although the current government guidance does not stipulate masks being worn in schools, nor is it an expectation for us at Kingsway, we would support those families who wish their child to wear one. Please consider being prepared if this is the case, as availability may drop and prices rise as we nearer September.

Hand sanitiser however is key in the government’s guidance on reducing the risk of transmission and we would recommend that students bring their own sanitiser into school with them in the new academic year. Again, being prepared is advisable.

As far as uniform is concerned, the guidance has been relaxed and does not require additional washing of clothes, therefore we are expecting that students will wear full uniform in September.

Finally, a new month saw another proud moment for GCSE students. Mrs Mackay was asked by the DfE to take part in a consultancy role about Year 11 life during COVID-19. Mrs Mackay, Mr Williams and Year 11 leavers Halle B, Amy B, T’yana S and Sakib U took part in this research, alongside 3 other schools. The DfE wanted to know what Year 11 had struggled with and how they were coping with their circumstances. Yesterday, these findings were shared with Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education.  We are extremely proud of these students and are very pleased that they got the chance to have their voices heard by the people in charge! They did a brilliant job of eloquently explaining their unique position and flagging the concerns of both themselves and their contemporaries. Well done Year 11!

 


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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