Headteacher’s Blog – Week 39

Monday 13th July 2020

In his speech at the start of this month about the measures schools need to take to ensure all pupils in all year groups return to school full time in the autumn, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stated that “returning to school is vital for children’s education and their wellbeing”.

I would add that returning to school is also vital to our teachers who have absolutely loved returning to their role as teachers through our virtual school. As great as that has been, I know they can’t wait to get back in September and share the same physical space (socially distanced) as our amazing young people.

I expect that after such significant disruption to their lives, what our children need most of all in September is ‘normality’.

However, in response to the government announcement, our students will face some differences so that we can create the ‘bubbles’ needed to minimise transmission of the virus. Initially, each year group will be allocated a ‘zone’ within the school and will follow their normal timetable in that zone. Subject specialist teachers will move around the school campus to the relevant classrooms.

To help support our young people with remaining in bubbles, from September, we are going to ask for our students to bring some reading material with them to school each day so that they can use any spare time to develop their literacy skills. If you require any recommendations about suitable reading materials, our English department will tweet out some recommendations this week. 

We will be sending out detailed information of the changes to parents so that they can share with their children this week.

This will include time in the canteen, which will be divided equally across year groups ensuring that ‘bubbles’ remain separate. In addition, students will enter and leave the building by separate entrances. So, our students will see some things out of the norm in September.

But what will remain unchanged is the passion in our teachers to get on with their role so that your children can be the best learners they can be. Our expectations for the students will remain high, not only in their academic achievements, but also in their conduct around school. The pastoral care we provide will continue to be exceptional with targeted support for those students who are in specific need. 

So whilst some things may look differently in September, what remains unchanged is the beating heart of The Kingsway School.

Tuesday 14th July 2020

Over the past couple weeks (and even months), our heads of departments have been leading their subject teams to manage their subject specific responses to the varying challenges that have been presented to them. Since the government’s announcement that all of our students will be returning to school in September, all teachers have been working extremely hard to map out how we can move forward in September. Our subject departments at Kingsway have fantastic curriculum plans in place for the new academic year, which will be aimed at mastering the excellent learning that our students have done over the whole of the academic year and then moving them forward onto the next stages of our high quality curriculum.

Upon their return to school, our teachers will be working with students to master their prior learning, deepen their knowledge of each subject area and build upon what they know so they can continue to make excellent progress into the next academic year. For the class of 2021 students, this will include the usual journey, where pupils will be asked to challenge themselves to be fully prepared for their summer examinations. All staff are currently partaking in the Ofqual consultation with regards to curriculum content and what the terminal exam season may look like next year. Departments will continue to work within the recommendations provided by the government via our exam boards to ensure that our GCSE curriculum is mapped and delivered in the most impactful way possible. We want the best for all our students and are firmly committed to achieving this in the most supportive way possible, so that they are fully prepared for their next steps at the end of Year 11.

It continues to be our belief at Kingsway that high quality teaching and learning in the classroom will be the key to enhancing the knowledge, skills and mastery of each subject for each learner;it is for this reason that much of our efforts will continue to be focused upon providing our pupils with high quality lessons that will ultimately inspire pupils to develop their learning and eventually succeed in any external examinations.  

We are at our best when our pupils are in front of us and we can’t wait for them to see all of the exciting learning experiences we have planned for them!

Wednesday 15th July 2020

Even with everything that has been going on the past few months, we haven’t forgotten about our fabulous Year 5 primary students and their families who will shortly be making decisions about the next stage of their education.  We are currently finalising potential plans for our Open Evening, which may look different to previous years, but we will keep you fully informed of how that is progressing. In the meantime, we hope you will find the newsletter below helpful and provide you with information about the unique nature of The Kingsway School’s transition programme.

Year 5 Transition Newsletter - July 2020

Under normal circumstances, we would be holding our whole school rewards assembly on Friday, celebrating the achievements of hundreds of students throughout the academic year. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to celebrate your child’s achievements, a virtual assembly has been recorded and will be sent out to students via their FROG noticeboard on Friday morning.

Keeping your brain active over the summer holidays is important.  At the end of every year, work is set for students to complete over the summer holidays. Raising Standards’ Leaders have sent out details of work that has been set for each subject for each year group and where the work can be found. If you require more information or guidance, please contact your child's Raising Standards Leader.

Finally, a message from our friends at Cheadle Village Partnership:

I am writing on behalf of the Cheadle Village Partnership – an organisation which is run to help the businesses and residents of Cheadle. You may be aware that we are currently trying to reintroduce a station in Cheadle.  To that end there is a survey which we are asking everybody affected to complete. The link is here through our website – www.cheadlevp.info.  We would be really grateful if you could send it out to all your staff and parents/students and ask them to complete it, the closing date is the end of July 2020.

Thursday 16th July 2020

Nearly there! One school day to go until the end of the term

Remind your child to watch the whole school assembly tomorrow - there are some great achievements pre and during lockdown.

A text is going out to parents giving some detail about the adaptations that have been made to our school in response to latest guidance. 

Parents Information for September

We have also sent out information on our school’s approach to supporting your child with their learning in September. I hope that this provides reassurance for our students and their parents.

Teaching & Learning Plans - September 2020

We will continue to keep our website updated throughout the summer holidays.

Finally, some lovely news from Mr Whitham (Head of Technology):

Year 7 and 8 have been working on a monster challenge project. This has involved students in producing a specification, mood board, researching themes and designing a monster of their own. In the final 2 weeks, students were tasked with manufacturing their monster in a material/medium of their choice. It seems that parents have been getting involved too! It's lovely to see such weird and wonderful family teamwork! 

Friday 17th July 2020

Thank you to all those parents and carers who have taken the time to provide some much appreciated feedback and praise for the work of the school during lockdown. I know we found the first few weeks difficult, but we soon found our feet and staff have really enjoyed delivering live lessons and doing what they love … teaching your children.

As mentioned yesterday, the whole school rewards assembly has now been uploaded onto the school’s FROG platform.

Parents should have also received information about our plans for September. We will continue to keep our website updated over the summer and respond to any changes in government guidance.

This has been a tough year as a Headteacher. These new and unexpected challenges I have faced have, at times, made me feel more like a trainee than an experienced leader! Some days have been particularly harder than others, especially when my best has not been good enough, but like medicine - it doesn’t always taste nice, but it makes you stronger! And so now as I turn my back on one crazy summer term and look ahead to a possibly crazier autumn term, I know that I am ready and raring to go! My thanks go to the support of my staff, the warmth of our parents and the incredible Kingsway kids who never cease to amaze and inspire me!

Please have a safe, happy and restful summer and don’t worry about next year - we’ve got this!

Happy holidays 🙂


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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