Living with COVID.
It got me at last! At the start of the second week of our Easter holidays, I felt a bit out of sorts and was stunned to see it was positive. Twice! Just to be sure.
If that had happened two years ago, I would have been terrified of the unknown and potentially a lot more poorly if I had not had the vaccinations I have since had. So I was lucky - especially as it was during the holidays so I could just relax through it.
I know not everyone has been so fortunate, there are members of our school community who have suffered badly themselves and those who have lost loved ones. You are all in our thoughts.
Now, we are advised to ‘live with COVID’. In school, we feel we have been living with COVID since the outset. We have lived with the challenge of being responsible for the health of our students as well as their education. Making adjustments to our school routines to keep them as safe as possible - one way systems, bubbles, remote education are just a few examples of a new world we were thrust into.
When I look back, I wonder - how did we do it? We had students staying in classrooms and staff between the ages of 24 and 64 running from one end of Foxland to the other end of Broadway… two or three times a day! I remember the MFL department invested in wheelie bags to transport their books and equipment - a wise move - my shoulders have not been the same since!
Even though there are no regulations or testing, we are still ‘living’ with COVID in school (please see the current guidance on the school website). Every day, we see examples of students who are struggling to slot back into the routines and expectations. These aren’t just the students who are struggling with returning to school at all, but those who have had limited structure and supervision at home over the past two years and are finding the ‘strictness’ of school a challenge. It is understandable of course - if I was allowed to eat as much chocolate as I wanted one day and then not allowed a single chocolate button the next day, I’d be confused and craving for chocolate!
So, what are we doing to help those students who are finding it difficult to return to the routine of school? Each half term we have highlighted one of our school rules to remind students what our expectations of them are and how they can achieve them. This week Miss Linnecor spoke to students about the importance of respect - a cornerstone of our ethos of Opportunity, Achievement and Respect. Students were encouraged to think about how they could be more respectful of others and their environment but also about how they should respect themselves. By acting differently they could be more proud of the person they are. Self respect is about being healthy, happy and considerate of others. There are so many students at school who are responsible and respectful members of our community and will grow into responsible and respectful citizens of the future.
The Year 10 students this week have really impressed staff with their responsible and respectful approach to the exams - this is the first opportunity they have had to sit exams in a formal manner and they have been a credit to the school and their families.
It is just dawning on our Year 11 students that they have only 24 school days left. Over 1000 days at Kingsway have been accomplished and just 24 left. During their time at Kingsway, they have faced a worldwide pandemic, disrupting their lives beyond comprehension - and yet, here they are on the cusp of fantastic success. As Ricky Gervais once said, “If you can laugh in the face of adversity, you're bullet-proof.” Bullet proof or not, they are a year group whom the staff at Kingsway will always be very proud of.
We were delighted to learn that Holly D, one of our Year 11 students, on top of preparing hard for her GCSEs, had been very busy over Easter. As well as being a talented football player signed to Manchester United, Holly played for England against Belgium and Portugal. The team won both matches (3-0 and 5-1 respectively). This is a huge achievement and we are extremely proud of Holly and wish her all the year group the very best for the exams and their future.
As our work with Year 11 draws to a close, our work with our younger students ramps up. They need a lot more support in closing the gaps caused by COVID. We also recognise that our parents need support, having not had the close relationship with school that they once had. This includes our Year 7 parents who finally had the chance to meet their child’s form tutor face to face at the Parents’ Information event last week.
If you’d like to find out a little bit more about what responsibilities your child’s form tutor has, Miss Williamson explains her role below.
It was so lovely to meet so many parents in school and hear how well their child has settled in, despite the challenges. If you were unable to attend please see a recording of the presentation below and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance.
We recognise that unless something is wrong, the opportunities for parents to come into school have been limited over the past two years. As we all live with COVID, our plan is to hold as many celebratory events as possible to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the people who hold the greatest influence on their child. With that in mind we are delighted that our Kingsway Association are holding a social event for all our parents. The Cheese & Wine evening will be held in Foxland Hall and will be an opportunity for parents to meet each other and some members of staff. This is not a fundraising event, or a recruitment drive to join the PTA, (which we can provide details of if you are interested) but an opportunity to engage with your child’s school community. We look forward to seeing as many of you there are as possible.
Living with COVID is not a burden but an opportunity to build and construct, together, the educational experience that sees each student creating the best versions of themselves.
Dates for your diary
Here’s to being the best! Have a great week everyone.
Mrs J. Lowe