Headteacher’s Blog – Week 2

Happy Hands, Enthusiastic Faces and Safe Learning Spaces!

Week one - great learning, safely delivered - tick!

What a brilliant start all our students have made upon their return to school. They have very quickly adapted to the new routines to keep each other and their teachers safe and have positively engaged in the classroom, making the most out of each learning opportunity.

Particularly, our new Year 7 students who have made a fantastic start to their lessons. Our teachers report that they are happy, enthusiastic and respectful. They have a real thirst for knowledge and have made a really positive start to this academic year. Here are just two experiences: a Year 7 insight into what it is like to join The Kingsway community and a Year 8 experience of our COVID controls.

Transition Diary - by Meadow King, Year 7 student

“I was really excited about starting Kingsway but a little bit nervous too. I was mostly worried about getting there on a bus and then finding my way around. The other worry was that the teachers would shout a lot but that wasn’t the case...

I’ve been getting the bus with friends and the teachers are really kind and supportive. I have never once got lost as I travel around with my new friends, who I meet in the playground and go to form with me. 

The subjects are really fun but my favourite has to be PE as we played dodgeball, which was really enjoyable and everyone was a team player. We supported my friend who was the last player standing.  We lost but it didn’t matter as we had a great time. 

My first few days at Kingsway has been great so far and I am sure there will be more of that to come.”

Corona Diaries - by Zach Kates, Literacy Ambassador and Year 8 student

“This week, I returned to The Kingsway School, like thousands of students in England. Although it was scary because of the new Covid-19 rules, I was full of joy to see my friends and teachers. I also loved meeting my new teachers and enjoyed my new lessons, such as Dance and German. 

During the first two days of school, me and my form completed mental health activities to help us prepare for Monday when we would start our subjects. We talked about self-doubt, achievement and being yourself.

On Monday, the whole school started lessons. On this day, everything felt much more lively and exciting. Although it was fun, it was also strange because I wasn’t at home, doing online work, like I had been for the past 6 months! Everybody felt a little confused on this day, even some teachers, as they were not in their usual classrooms.
Even though it was exciting, we still had to respect the Covid-19 rules. For example, each year group are in their own zones and are not allowed to go in each other's zones. Also, during breaks, only one year group was allowed in the canteen. These are all rules to keep us safe. 

In school, I feel much more comfortable that I expected to because my teachers are always there to ask questions and my friends are always there to make me laugh and feel happy! 
Returning to school has been exciting, strange and fun. I have enjoyed it a lot and I am glad to be back.”

Unfortunately, due to the current situation we have had to change the format of a number of forthcoming events. The Parent Information Evenings, which were due to take place next week for each year group, will be replaced by a virtual recording. This will feature key updates and whole school information from myself, year group updates from the relevant Raising Standards Leader, information on attendance, Free School Meals and communication systems, such as the school website and Class Charts. These will all be shared with parents on Thursday 17th September.

We are also saddened to say that our annual ‘whizz bang’ Open Evening, where our students are the real ambassadors of our school, will not go ahead. This is a shame for prospective students and their families - we know how important this event is in helping them choose a school for their child. In its place, we are currently developing a virtual webpage that will go live on our website on Wednesday 7th October.  Additionally, we will have organised virtual roadshows with each of our local feeder primary schools, so there will be a chance to meet myself and the transition team.

Last week, the Prime Minister launched the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ campaign, urging us all to continue to wash our hands, cover our face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak. In school, we require our students to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas, where it is not possible to observe social distancing. Staff check students have their masks as they enter the building and expect them to use the hand sanitiser stations. A small number of students are arriving to school without their mask, and whilst initially we had a small stock of disposable masks to ensure these students could access their lessons, we will no longer be able to provide masks for those students who do not bring them to school, or have lost or  damaged them (often in the case of disposable masks). Please, please, please help us to safely provide your child with their education by sending them into school with a suitable face covering (preferably reusable).

From this week, students without masks will not be allowed to travel to their classrooms for their lessons.

On a similar note, although many students are wearing their mask as they embark on the bus, members of the public and drivers have reported concerns that they remove these as they take their seats. If your child is using public transport, please explain to them they need to comply with the regulations to ensure both their safety and that of other passengers.

We have also seen a rise in the number of students being dropped off by car. Whilst we appreciate the cooperation of parents with the new bollard system at the top of Foxland, please could we urge parents to be mindful of our neighbours; to not park on pavements or block their driveways. It would be great to further develop the new scheme in partnership with Sainsburys where we have launched a new park and stride initiative. Not only would this ease congestion and pollution around the school, it would also ensure pupil safety and promote healthy lifestyles by students building a short walk into their daily routines.

Finally, we were delighted to hear that our fabulous Resource Centre has won Stockport’s SHAPES award in recognition of our commitment to sporting competition and inclusion. Well done to Mrs Burgess, Mr Randles and our Resource Centre team.

Thank you to all our parents for your continued support during these challenging times - together we will keep our community safe.

Have a lovely week,

Mrs J. Lowe

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