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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 10

The Pride of Kingsway

Last week, I delivered an assembly to all our students about the way in which we can show we care for others, from friends and family close to home to complete strangers. I was joined by Emma Payton in year 10 who shared her story about being diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer at the age of 8 and undergoing gruelling chemotherapy and proton beam therapy in the USA. But her story wasn’t one of sadness; instead, it was one of hope and inspiration because Emma and her family used their experience to do something for others. They introduced end of treatment’ bells to be rung by patients at the end of the course of chemotherapy.  There are now around 300 of these bells in cancer wards across the country (and beyond). If you know anyone who has undergone chemotherapy, you will appreciate the strength of mind-over-matter required to face the side effects of the treatment in order to fight this disease. The ‘end of treatment’ bells are an opportunity for families to celebrate together with the nursing team at the hospital. I was so proud of Emma, not only for being so brave speaking in front of her peers in assembly, but also for her caring attitude towards others.

I would like to continue this theme and celebrate any of our students who are caring citizens out there. If you are aware of a Kingsway student who deserves recognition for their caring and charitable approach, please drop me an email at headteacher@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk. I know we will have many young people who should be celebrated for being the ‘Pride of Kingsway’.

Another moment to be proud of (not only of our Kingsway children, but also of the service men and women who have been caught up in the events of war and conflict) came on Sunday. Myself and some other staff joined a handful of Kingsway students at the service of remembrance at the Cheadle war memorial. As well as the students representing The Kingsway School at the parade, we recognised many faces of our students in Scouts, Guides and ATC (Air Training Corps).

It was a beautiful day with representatives from across the community present, showing their respect for all who have been affected by the consequences of war.

Our students laid a wreath at the war memorial along with wreaths from local political parties, primary school, churches, synagogue and mosque.

Not to labour the point, but I continue to be proud of Kingsway students every day! Last week, Miss Tunnell shared with me the amazing news that a number of our students had entered a competition to have their creative writing published in a lovely book called ‘Mission Chaos’. Students put forward 100 word pieces of poetry, reflecting the fight for the survival of humanity. The students whose masterpieces were included in the book were Seerat Khan, Khalid Ngugi, Callum Kennear, Samra Hussain, Amy-Leigh Ashworth, Haneef Ngugi, Keira India Elise Myers, Omar Asgill, Amber Malik, Libby Leigh Pollitt, Ruben Toyne, Lily-Mae Spilman, Emma Redford, Susan Hashempour, Finlay Grieves, James Price, Owen Holt, Olivia Horn and Aimee-Lee Barlow. Well done to all of our students who took part.

Last week, some Year 8 and Year 10 pupils went to watch "Les Garçons", a play in French and by French actors. In the play, Nathalie and Thierry were babysitting Bruno, which did not go smoothly! Despite being in another language, the students were able to understand what was going on through the actions and some even got pulled out of the audience to participate! The students who watched the play were fantastic and all of the languages teachers were impressed with their listening skills and perseverance with new vocabulary.

Today "Les Garçons", tomorrow "Les Misérables"!

Sticking with the theme of helping others... can you help? Our lovely Learning Support Assistant, Miss Kijewska is collecting items for Stockport’s Foodbank ahead of the festive period. We are specifically collecting Tea bags, coffee, milk (Longlife), sugar, biscuits and juice. Please send any items you have in with your child and ask them to take it to B11, where is will be gratefully received.

For those of you who don’t know, B11 is the home of our Inclusion and Diversity department and Resourced Centre. The team hold regular events for parents and families of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Last week they had a coffee morning for families of Year 7 SEND students, giving parents and carers the opportunity to meet the B11 team, other parents with SEND children and to be informed of the support services available in the locality. If you have a child with SEND and would like more information on how we support them or signposting to other services, please get in touch with the I&D team on ext. 512.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Thursday 14 November 2019 GCSE Presentation Evening - 6:30pm
Friday 15 November 2019 Review Day
Wednesday 20 November 2019 Sports Presentation Evening - 6:30pm
Thursday 21 November 2019 Year 9 Careers Speed Dating - 5:30pm
Sunday 1 December 2019 Gatley Village Christmas Markets
Saturday 7 December 2019 Cheadle Village Victorian Christmas Markets
Monday 16 December 2019 Christmas concert at St. Mary’s Parish Church
Thursday 19 December 2019 Charity Day Santa Dash - students finish early
Monday 6 January 2020 Students return to school - 8:30am

Have a lovely week,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 8 & 9

Out and about success!

I hope you all had a lovely half term break. Mine was a quiet one, with day trips out with family and friends - always a good tonic at the end of a busy half term.

Our Kingsway students have been out and about, shining like the Superstars they are!

Miss Fairclough, Miss Horsey, Mrs Watson and Mr Lawton reported that the Iceland trip was a huge success: “The trip started with a walking tour of Reykjavik followed by a jam packed day, which included a glacier walk and visiting two famous waterfalls: Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The famous Blue Lagoon was the highlight of day two and much needed relaxation for all. Next was the golden circle day, which included visiting Geysir, one of only three remaining in the world and the mesmerising Gullfoss waterfall. Pingvillir national park was the next the location where students learnt about how the two plate boundaries meet. Last activity of the trip was a visit to Laugardalslaug - Iceland's largest outdoor heated swimming pool. To top off the trip, we got a breathtaking glimpse of the northern lights over the harbour on the last night.

Wow! What an experience for our students who loved every minute of it. I am so grateful to the staff who make these life-changing experiences possible for our students. Here’s to the next trip!

More magnificent students went to Manchester last week with Mrs Rowley and Mr Carr. Some of our Year 7 students enjoyed a visit to The John Rylands Library, where they were taken on a tour and learned about the history of the building and its importance in improving the literacy of the people of Manchester during the Victorian era. Following this, students found inspiration for their gothic writing in the beautiful architecture of the library. They will be using these skills to support them in the study of the gothic genre next term.

Mrs Rowley said the students were amazing and she will be recording some extracts of their incredible work. They were all a credit to the school and their engagement and curiosity was commented on by the guide and workshop leader, Matt. I hope they were all inspired by real gothic architecture and by the chance to write in a very beautiful setting.

Congratulations to our Under 16 Girls Football Team who have been crowned Stockport Champions. The tournament was held on Thursday 17th October at Woodley Sports Centre. Miss Wildgoose reported back that the girls played exceptionally well, scoring 9 goals throughout the tournament and only conceding one. The team consisted of a range of ages but predominantly Year 9, which bodes well for further success in the future.

It was a pleasure to celebrate the amazing achievements of Year 7 this week in the best subject in the world … Maths! The following students received Numeracy Ninja Grand Master Awards:

Lucy Abbott 7T, Rehan Ishtiaq 7H, Billy Owen 7E, Harry Weatherhead-Faza 7K, Laura Sousa 7I, Sammie Clapham 7N, Laiba Choudhry 7G, Ethan Ryan 7S, Ewan Jones 7W, Anna Baldina 7A, Reece Johnson 7Y and Mark Shenton 7C

With Sammie Clapham crowned overall champion - Well done Sammie!

We held our statutory termly fire drill this week. Whilst the ground on fields was soft (not ideal for my high heels!) at least the rain held off. Our students were all exceptional - they cleared the buildings and lined up silently within 4 minutes. Well done particularly to Year 7 who were sensible and coped brilliantly.

As the weather turns more winterly, please can I remind parents and carers that students should be coming to school in a suitable outdoor coat. Hoodies and sports jackets are not appropriate; a waterproof coat with a hood to provide protection from the rain would be much more ideal.  Thank you for your cooperation with this.

We have now set our holidays for the 2020/21 academic year:

Term Date
Autumn Half Term 1 1 September - 23 October
Autumn Half Term 2 2 November - 18 December
Spring Half Term 1 4 January - 12 February
Spring Half Term 2 22 February - 26 March
Summer Half Term 1 12 April - 28 May
Summer Half Term 2 7 June - 20 July

INSET Days

Tuesday 1 September 2020
Monday 2 November 2020
Monday 4 January 2021
Monday 19 July 2021
Tuesday 20 July 2021

Please note the arrangements for the start of 2020/21 academic year are as follows: 

  • Year 7 ONLY - Wednesday 2 September at 12pm
  • ALL students - Thursday 3 September for 8:30am

Lastly, we received some sad news over the half term that Bernard Clough (ex-Head of Music at Kingsway) had sadly passed away. Dr. Trivedi let me know that “He was Head of Music at Kingsway for a long while. At his Christmas Carol concerts, he made the staff/parents/children jump up at appropriate times during Carols”. We send our thoughts to his family and friends.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Sunday 10 November 2019 Cheadle Remembrance Day Parade - 10:30am
Thursday 14 November 2019 GCSE Presentation Evening - 6:30pm
Friday 15 November 2019 Review Day
Wednesday 20 November 2019 Sports Presentation Evening - 6:30pm
Thursday 21 November 2019 Year 9 Careers Speed Dating - 5:30pm
Sunday 1 December 2019 Gatley Village Christmas Markets
Saturday 7 December 2019 Cheadle Village Victorian Christmas Markets
Monday 16 December 2019 Christmas concert at St. Mary’s Parish Church
Thursday 19 December 2019 Charity Day Santa Dash - students finish early
Monday 6 January 2020 Students return to school - 8:30am

Have a lovely week,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 6

Welcome visitors!

Last week we had four furry visitors to our school - Tricky, Gelart, Max and Mr Lucky (along with their handlers) were brought in as part of our school’s commitment to being drug and knife free. The team of 4 dogs walked around the entire school on Wednesday afternoon and carried out checks on every student and their belongings during a 2 hour period. The dogs are trained to ‘sniff out’ drugs or knives and were brought in as part of our safeguarding strategy.

Whilst we do not have any specific concerns - we want to be proactive in keeping all our students safe.

During their afternoon at Kingsway, the dogs found no student (or their possessions) in possession of drugs or knives. The handlers also commented that Kingsway was one of the most positive and safe environments they had inspected in recent times. Our students behaved incredibly well and quickly returned to learning after the dogs had visited their classroom. If you would like any more information or have any specific safeguarding concerns, please contact our designated safeguarding lead Miss Cropper.

Other welcome visitors last week were the groups of prospective parents and families who chose to have a look around our school during a typical school day. These tours took place on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and started with a cuppa and a biscuit in our library, catered by our new Year 7 students. Senior leaders escorted the parents around school, dropping in to lessons to see how well Year 7 had settled in but also to see how focussed students across the year groups were in their studies. We saw some bleep testing in GCSE PE, heard some Harry Potter reading in English and students learning historical facts in History. The feedback from the parents was really positive with feedback how calm the school was. One parent stating:

“The students are so focused! I can't believe that they've been in the classroom for such a short period of time and have got so much work done already. They're really here to learn!”

Over the last few weeks, we have been taking some time to look at the work in students’ books and how well it is presented. Asking students to keep their workbooks organised and well presented will help them when they come to revise for their assessments later in the year. Whilst most of our students keep their books organised, we have spotted the odd one here and there that are already letting standards slip. Next half term, we will continue our drive on this and class teachers will be asking students to pay special attention to keeping their work books as well presented and organised as possible.

We are super proud of one of our own this week, Mrs Marsh (Art teacher) has written and illustrated her own book to help young people suffering from bereavement. Mrs Marsh brought a prototype of her book in to school - it is a beautiful book that she started writing 13 years ago when her father sadly passed away whilst she was pregnant with her first child.

It was great to celebrate the monthly merit total winners for each house this week. The first of the year. The September merit total winners were:

Emma Boaler (8K) for Turing

Here’s Emma in Miss Sawyer’s English class where the class were learning about the damaging effects of white supremacy in relation to the text they've been studying ('Noughts and Crosses' by Malorie Blackman).

 

Jack Bray (8E) for Pankhurst

Here’s Jack making Pasta and sauce in his Food Technology lesson.

 

Aleeza Sattar (10S) for Gaskell

Here’s Aleeza in Miss Slater’s GCSE French lesson.

 

Joe Bracegirldle (10H) for Lowry

Joe was in Miss Woodyer’s GCSE Computer Science lesson, learning about the data capacity of secondary storage and how to calculate data capacity requirements for different scenarios.

 

Lewis Bartram (8H) for Whitworth

Lewis was in Miss Fairclough’s Geography lesson where they were learning about a sustainable aid project in Kenya and how it is having a positive influence on improving people’s lives.

 

Grace McKenna (9A) for Rylands

Grace was in Graphics where students were creating mood boards of inspirational images to communicate ideas of design influence of their festival, aid the creation of their festival and the design of related merchandise.

On Monday and Tuesday our Music Department put on two nights of musical magnificence in the form of our Year 7 Showcase. Students across all 12 year 7 forms all sang two songs from the eighties to current day and then collectively performed a Little Mix number called The Cure. I absolutely loved it - the children sang their hearts out, ably supported by Mr Lawton, Mr Wood, Mr Davidson and Miss Jackson. 

Merits

Students can gain merits for good classwork, homework, contributions to lessons and commitment to enrichment activities. All the merits awarded contribute to the House Cup which is presented to the Head of House at the end of the year.

Here’s the totals so far…

  • 6th place with 13852 merits is Mr Howarth’s RYLANDS house
  • 5th place with 15424 merits is Miss Slater’s PANKHURST house
  • 4th place with 15441 merits is Mr Duffy’s WHITWORTH house
  • 3rd place with 15604 merits is Miss Willet’s GASKELL house
  • 2nd place with 16685 merits is Mrs Lucas’ LOWRY house
  • 1st place with 17289 merits is Mrs Bentham’s TURING house

But it’s all to play for with 5 more half terms to go! Come on everyone, get those merits rolling in!

Dates for your diary:

  • Break up for Half Term - Friday 18th October
  • Staff INSET Day (students not in school) - Monday 28th October
  • GCSE Presentation Evening - Thursday 14th November
  • Review Day - Friday 15th November 2019
  • Sports and Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Evening - Wednesday 20th November
  • Year 9 Careers Speed Dating - Thursday 21st November

Have a lovely half term break,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 5

FAB-U-LOUS!

Who doesn’t love Strictly? It is a dazzling spectacle of glitz and glamour, showcasing the talent and hard work of the contestants.

Well, Strictly stands in the shadow of our Open Evening on Wednesday 2nd October. It was a glorious celebration of our inspirational students and staff.

There was so much going on, it’s hard to know where to begin.

The amazing year senior students gave a confident presentation to hundreds of prospective parents. They prepared their own speeches (which they learnt off-by-heart) and Powerpoint slides. One parent said she felt they were so good that it moved her tears. A huge thank you to (Boys, Girls L to R) Callum, Hassan, Josh, Joe, Lily, Aroush, Sarah, Kirsten and Amy.

Here’s a flavour of what was on offer:

  • Detective work in English to solve the clues to who committed stole Dumbledore’s lemon drops in Harry Potter!
  • Murder mystery in Maths as well as the chance to complete some ‘Doddle’ tasks!
  • Dissecting organs in Biology and chemical creativity in science!
  • Hindu snakes and ladders in RE!
  • Performances by our choir and dance groups!
  • Identifying poos from the past in History!
  • Iron Man and Woman competitions in PE!
  • All finished off with some delicious French cheese and wine in the MFL department

No wonder everyone looked exhausted when they left!

If our Open Evening was FAB-U-LOUS, then there was a glitter ball trophy for the children from our feeder primary schools who came to Kingsway to take part in a visual and performing arts showcase. Students from Lum Head, Meadowbank, Prospect Vale and Gatley Primary schools spent a day at Kingsway completing a range of activities showcasing their creative skills. This included a piece of art work, a song and a dance all around the theme of ‘The Greatest Showman’. The children were incredible and it was lovely to share the brilliance of their hard work with their parents and families who came along in the afternoon to see their performances.

It’s a ten from Kingsway!

And there is more musical magnificence to come. All Year 7 students are currently rehearsing for a compulsory part of their KS3 curriculum: ‘to perform to an audience’. The dates are below. We hope you can make it - I promise it will be one of the best nights of your life!

At the end of last month, our new Head of History, Miss Bowers, took 100 Year 11 GCSE History students to Kenilworth Castle. It was very, very wet. However, despite the rain, students explored the ruins of the castle and were given a tour of how the castle has changed from the 1100s to now. Despite truly terrible weather conditions, our students conducted themselves in a manner that made Miss Bowers and her department very proud. They actively engaged with the tour and the vast quantity of information they were given and many showed off their excellent subject knowledge. Pupils were commended by the tour guide and several pensioner visitors that they interacted with. The department are looking forward to taking Year 10 in June.

Over the past few weeks, Miss Wardle, Mrs Jones, Mr James and myself have been visiting our feeder primary schools (Bolshaw, Cheadle, Gatley, Meadowbank, Lum Head, Prospect Vale and Outwood) to provide prospective parents and students with an insight into life at The Kingsway School. We have spoken to groups of parents after school regarding their priorities and talked to groups of Year 5 & 6 children about what they are looking forward to and what they are most concerned about when moving from primary to secondary school. I would like to thank all our associated primary schools for hosting us. It was great to meet such lovely parents and incredible students.

On a beautiful Autumn Thursday morning, Mr James took some Year 7 students to join the ‘Friends of Scholes Park’, planting flowers in their community planters. The FOSP committee were really impressed with our students, especially the way in which they supported the younger students with the task at hand. Well done guys for making a positive contribution to our community.

Finally, we have a couple of vacant positions at our school. It is a fantastic place to work. If you are interested in any of the following posts, please see our website for more information:

  • Receptionist
  • Learning Support Assistant (Mainstream SEN students)
  • Resourced Support Integrated Assistant (Resourced SEN students)

Dates for your diary:

  • Year 7 Showcase (THEKIN) - Monday 14th October 2019 6:30pm
  • Year 7 Showcase (GSWAYC) - Tuesday 15th October 2019 6:30pm

Have a lovely week,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 4

A plea for help!

With the unsettled weather we have been having recently, we have noticed an increase in the number of families who are dropping off or picking up their children in cars. This is creating a huge safety issue, particularly on our Foxland campus.

The volume of vehicles in close proximity to our school gates is causing a threat to the safety of our students who walk or cycle from this campus. 

We have received a letter from local councillors advising us that they have received a number of complaints from local residents in relation to inconsiderate parking outside schools in Cheadle and Gatley. A Stockport-wide initiative is being introduced to deter parents and relatives from parking recklessly. This is in the form of an adapted car that can take photographs of illegally parked vehicles so a fixed penalty notice can be issued. The camera-car will be moving around schools locally, especially at the start and end of the school day. We will not know in advance when the car will be visiting Kingsway.

In the interests of our students, and your purse, please do not park inconsiderately, but instead, if your child needs a lift to or from school, arrange to meet them away from the school.

On a similar note, we were delighted that TfGM have agreed to put on a new ‘Yellow Bus’ school service (Y21) to transport students safely to and from South Manchester. There were over 84 applications for the 52 place bus, however, currently not all students are taking their place on the bus, instead choosing to walk home, through Scholes Park. We would like as many of our South Manchester students as possible to use this. Any student who has been issued with a pass but no longer needs it should return it to TfGM, in order to free up places. For more information on the route and applying for a pass, please visit the TfGM website.

With darker evenings drawing close, please can you encourage your child to take the bus home to keep themselves safe and warm on their way to and from school. For more information, including access to financial support for the bus journey, please contact the school’s business manager, Mrs Heard: (k.heard@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk).

One final safety reminder to our families - please be aware that you must not come on to the school site if you are accompanying your child to and from school. If you need to access the school, please report to the reception on either campus.

Thank you for your help in keeping your children safe.

Parents can also help us with donations of any unwanted items that we can put to good use. 

Examples include:

  • Pieces of uniform (in good quality), particularly ties, jumpers & blazers (drop off with either reception)
  • Outdoor kit for Duke of Edinburgh explorers such as walking boots, waterproof coats, sleeping bags, tents etc. (drop off with or email Miss Horsey j.horsey@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk for more information)
  • Old musical instruments no longer being used (drop off with or email Mr Lawton p.lawton@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk for more information)
  • Books for our library - we are currently sourcing sets of Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 13 Story Treehouse series, David Walliams series and Tom Gates series (drop off with or email Mr Carr b.carr@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk for more information)

Inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales (Patron), the Industrial Cadets programme is a national industry-led accreditation designed to enhance workplace experiences for young people. We are delighted to announce that The Kingsway School has been shortlisted for the Industrial Cadets Awards 2019 recognising the achievement of the students who have taken part in the accredited Industrial Cadets programme, making a difference in the world of STEM. Credit is due to Miss Khan and Mr Hammersley for all their work in promoting STEM across our school. The awards take place in November 2019. Watch this space!

Dates for your diary:

  • Open Evening - Wednesday 2nd October 2019 5:00-7:30pm (students finish at 12:25)
  • Year 7 Showcase (THEKIN) - Monday 14th October 2019 6:30pm
  • Year 7 Showcase (GSWAYC) - Tuesday 15th October 2019 6:30pm

Have a lovely week,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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