Welcome to the first blog of this academic year.
I hope that all our families had a lovely summer break. I expect many of you will have opted for a stay-cation, either enjoying some days out in your locality or exploring the jewels of our country. I had the pleasure of touring the west coast of Scotland - what a beautiful country and lovely people. I would highly recommend it if you’ve not had the chance to visit this corner of our nation.
I do love the summer holiday, but I was also delighted to be back at school to welcome our new Year 7 and Year 11. Both year groups started with a creative programme to support their return to school. Year 7 enjoyed a Kickstart to Kingsway whilst Year 11 were given a launch to their final GCSE year including a motivational talk from Mr Beezy and an inspirational presentation by ex student Sophie Galustian.
Over the summer we had our GCSE results day, earlier than usual, but a wonderful celebration nonetheless of outstanding academic achievement. We had a bumper crop of grade 9s across all subjects. Whilst these grades were teacher assessed, our students got the grades they deserved - grades which they worked hard for, throughout their time at Kingsway. Students such as:
- Nayl A, Sam W and Emma R who all achieved nine grade 9s - what an outstanding achievement.
- Joe B achieved eight grade 9s and one grade 8
- Emma Y and Emma P both achieved six grade 9s and three grade 8s
- Roccio M achieved ten GCSE grades: seven 9s, two 8s and one grade 7
There were many, many more delighted students on results day who are moving onto the next stage of their education thanks to their determination and the hard work and support of their teachers and staff.
Results day wouldn’t be possible without the fabulous work of our exams officer Mrs Page who supports our year 11 students throughout their important final year.
We are also delighted to hear from our local colleges about the success of former students. Every year, despite the competition, ex Kingsway students succeed in securing places at Oxford or Cambridge University. This summer was no different with at least two ex-students excellent at Loreto sixth form college. Huge congratulations to:
- William W who has been offered a place at Robinson College, University of Cambridge to read Mathematics, and
- Faizan Ali N who has been offered a place at Queen’s college, University of Cambridge to read Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion.
The letter from the Principal at Loreto says “Our work builds on the excellent teaching and support that (these students) enjoyed at The Kingsway School”.
We wish both boys, and all Kingsway alumni, every success in their futures.
More academic success was also celebrated six thousand miles away in our sister school, Kolweny Kingsway in Kenya. Sadly, our Sponsored Walk has been postponed due to the pandemic. However, our previous fundraising efforts supported two students in their educational journey: Jackline and John Odoongo. They both did really well in their KCSE exams and like our local alumni, John plans to go to University where he can continue his love of learning in Maths, Agriculture and Physics. Once restrictions allow, we will be resurrecting our charity to work to support more Kolweny students progress to further education or employment.
Over the summer we were delighted to welcome nearly 180 of our Year 7s to the 7-Up Summer School. During this week students undertook a variety of subjects such as Science, Food Technology, Maths, English, Sports, Art, Performing Arts and even Forest School. The students quickly formed many bonds and found their way around the school. Great fun was had on the Sports Afternoon where even the staff got competitive, and there may have been the odd water balloon over staff heads! The week culminated in a spectacular showcase from Hairspray with many parents and family members in attendance. We loved meeting everyone and hope that it gave them some great memories to the start of their Kingsway Journey.
COVID-19 Controls and Home testing arrangements
New guidelines are in place this term for the control of COVID-19. The main control remains the need not to attend school if a child has COVID-19, or any symptoms of COVID-19. The increased levels of cleaning and ventilation have been maintained to reduce the spread of the virus. All cases of COVID-19 must be reported to school because we have to inform Public Health.
All students should have their own hand sanitiser which they use regularly during the day, and we would recommend that they wear a face mask.
Another major control is the use of Lateral Flow tests to detect asymptomatic cases. We have completed nearly 2000 tests since the start of term. Students have now been issued with home testing kits, which allow students to test for the next 3 weeks. These home test kits are the same as we used last term. It is worth noting that they are different to the ones we used in the school test centre. There are instructions in the packs. It is expected that home testing will continue throughout this term.
Under the new arrangements it is even more important that students test at home twice weekly, tests should be completed 3 days apart, and we would suggest Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Report all results on the NHS app, and all positive results to school using our email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any positive results will need to be confirmed by a PCR test.
This term students identified as close contacts do not need to self-isolate, which will reduce the amount of disruption caused. Instead they will be informed by NHS Test and Trace and then they will need to have a PCR test.
Through our own testing we detected 9 cases of COVID-19, and currently have a further 25 students who have tested positive out of school. Our control measures may change at any moment if we feel cases are linked or the Public Health Authorities believe local rates require more action in school. This would mean the previous measures could be introduced, such as the need to wear face masks or the use of bubbles. To try and ensure that this does not happen we would urge you to follow our guidelines closely and participate in home testing.
Home school agreement/behaviour policy
The core values of Opportunity, Achievement and Respect are central to our school ethos. We promote these values in partnership with our students and their parents/carers. At the start of every year, in order to strengthen the tripartite partnership between school, student and parents/carers we ask that all 3 parties sign our KOAR agreement. This agreement is in your child’s planner. We ask that you and your child read this carefully and sign the relevant sections.
In addition to our KOAR agreement there is a link to a Parent version of the School’s Behaviour Policy.
At the time of writing we are looking forward to hosting a face to face Open Evening on Thursday 7th October. Whilst this will be a slightly different format to ensure safety for everyone we would be delighted to welcome prospective parents to the evening. Full details will be on the website. Just a reminder that should the live Open Evening go ahead, students will finish school at lunch time so that staff can set up. School is closed the following day in lieu of the Jubilee Bank Holiday which falls in May half term.
The term ‘Blended learning’ has risen to prominence over the last 18 months and refers to the idea that the classroom is not the only place that students learn. It is widely acknowledged that secondary students that also learn effectively outside of the classroom are more likely to thrive academically. The increased prominence of digital learning and online learning platforms have made learning outside of the classroom easier than ever. At The Kingsway School, our main platform for digital learning continues to be Google Classroom. ALL students will have access to an online classroom for each subject on their timetable, which they can access remotely when they wish to study outside of the classroom.
More information about Blended Learning can be found on our website.
Dates for your diary
Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.
Mrs J. Lowe