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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 16

Happy New Year

A warm welcome back to our staff, students and families.

We have started 2020 with a vengeance!

I gave an assembly to all students about how proud they make me feel. Particularly when I drop in to their lessons and see them working hard with a focus on their learning. I have to remind myself what a tough job school can be - the amount of ‘stuff’ students need to learn and recall is vast. From equations in Maths and Science to quotes from Literature and learning by rote in Drama and Languages.

The standard of their written work is also exceptional. I popped in to Miss Tunnell’s Year 9 English lesson last week and saw students improving their work on Martyn Pig to achieve higher grades. I was hugely impressed with what they had written in just one lesson. Walking around lessons is a real tonic - your children are working hard and you should be rightly proud of their achievements.

In the assembly, I also talked about how our students make me proud outside the classroom. For example when they are representing the school in community events or representing school sports teams or just taking part in enrichment activities. I had the pleasure of reading the GCSE Latin coursework for a group of Year 9 students and Miss Murray who are now studying the level 2 course after successfully completing level 1 at the end of Year 8. Wow! What an accolade.

I am also proud of how respectful our students are and the maturity they demonstrate on a daily basis. They are a caring bunch, looking out for one another and behaving respectfully in school. I loved being asked “Did you have nice Christmas Miss?” last week or being wished  a “Happy New Year Miss”.

What a lovely start to 2020 I had!

Another great experience last week was our Year 11 GCSE mock results day. All Year 11 students were formally given their mock results by senior staff on Thursday morning. All students acknowledged that their results reflected the amount of studying they did. From those who achieved the highest possible grades, to those who were disappointed with their outcomes but solemnly acknowledged “I didn’t do much revision Miss”. These exams provide a crucial learning opportunity for our Class of 2020. They now know how big the mountain is they need to climb in order to get the grades needed for the next stage in their education/career pathway.

The good news is that support is here for them. All they need to do is take advantage of it .  It could be a 1:1 conversation with their teacher, attending extra-curricular revision or studying at home using online materials. Our Year 11 have only 14 school weeks until their first GCSE exam so they need to start revising now. After 5 years, that’s a lot of “stuff” they need to be able to recall in the summer!

Year 11 were joined by their parents on Thursday evening for the first parents’ evening of the academic year. The evening was really well attended with parents absorbing all the information from teachers as to how they can help their child reach their potential. Thanks to all those parents who completed the evaluation form and left some really positive comments about the education their child is receiving at Kingsway. If you were unable to attend or would like more information about how to help your child in their GCSEs, please get in touch with Year 11 RSL, Mr Wiliams (n.williams@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk).

Please join me and extend a very warm welcome to new staff who started with us this week. Mrs Nieman will be supporting the Languages department as Foreign Language Assistant and Miss McSheffrey joins us as Head of Performing Arts. Welcome to them both.

Finally, we have seen a few uniform issues creeping in this week. Namely AirPods, acrylic nails and trainers - all very welcome Christmas presents I assume, but not so welcome in school.

Please can you help us by ensuring your child has the correct uniform and equipment for school each day. Thank you.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Wednesday 15th January Year 9 SEN Coffee Afternoon
Thursday 23rd January Year 9 Options Information Evening
Wednesday 29th January Year 11 Photograph
Thursday 6th February Year 9 Parents’ Evening

Have a lovely week,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 15

Seasons greetings

Christmas is coming and we've had a week of celebrations.

Let me start with celebrating those students who have worked hard all term, getting themselves to the top of the merit tables. I was delighted to share their success with them last week by presenting their certificates and badges to them in their lessons.

Gaskell winner, Nayl Ahmed (Y10) was in Mrs Greenwood’s GCSE German lesson. Nayl was responding to the FAR marking of an exam-style writing task, which he had written on the theme of free time, so he was correcting and extending his language.

Imogen Davies (8T) and Esme MacDonald (8T) were joint winners for Rylands. They were in Mrs Bradbury-Cheethams Art lesson, where they were doing oil pastel studies of John Piper’s work - a British artist.


Emma Boaler (8K) was Turing’s highest merit total winner. Emma was in Mr Dubale’s Maths lesson, where she was in the process of completing her "red pen retest" from the first Year 8 end of unit test.  Emma then went on to learn about conversions between fractions and ratios.

Dylan Lamond (9H) was the Whitworth winner this month. Dylan was in History where Mrs Mackay was teaching the lead up to the Second World War with a focus on Chamberlain's policy of appeasement and the analysis of the cartoons of David Low.

Pankhurst winner, Zack Jordan (7E) was in Music with Mr Wood, where they were doing their assessment using duration notation. They were creating their own 4 bar rhythms then arranging them so they demonstrated Pulse, Call & Response, Polyrhythms and team/ensemble skills.

Finally, Lowry winner, Hannah Phillips (7I) was taking part in the scholars’ workshop.

On 13th December, Year 7 scholars were invited to a workshop presented by Stephen Frew from ‘Tomorrows Engineers’. This is a charity which aims to enthuse and instruct young people about the world of engineering and STEM.

The scholars spent the day learning about renewable sources of energy, discussing why these are important in the industry of today, and then making and testing electric cars. Students worked together as engineering teams and spent time considering variables in order to achieve a set distance for their car before it ran out of energy.

Students were encouraged to develop creative technological ideas in order to enter the ‘bright ideas’ student STEM challenge and become engineers of the future.

Dr Holdsworth, who organised the event said:

“The 50 students taking part today were chosen based on achieving and maintaining greater depth in their Year 7 studies and being awarded the highest Attitude To Learning scores in the year group. We hope that by providing our students with enhanced learning opportunities that we can help them to compete for the most sought after college and university places in the future.”

Congratulations to Della Skarratt, Emma Young, Georgie Cavanagh, Grace Knight, Ayesha Khan, Laiba CHoudhry, Emma Boaler, Kate Scott, Rebecca Ikin and Faith Francis who helped to raise £32,020 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. We received some lovely certificates for the girls from the RBL thanking them for supporting the armed forces community, past and present.

On Monday evening, The Kingsway School performed their annual Christmas Concert at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Cheadle. It was amazing - our best ever! There were performances from our talented orchestra, Kirsten Attfield who performed a clarinet solo, the beautiful chamber orchestra, the fabulous French singers, the flute choir, the super guitar ensembles, the gorgeous Year 7 Chamber Choir, Tilly Earnshaw & May Bradley’s duet, the stunning Year 10 GCSE performance and our school choir's grand finale. Not to mention the outstanding staff choir who performed a christmas song written by our very own head of Music, Mr Lawton. It was a truly wonderful evening - thanks to all the staff, students and families who supported the event.

As I write this blog, school is limbering up for our inaugural Santa Dash. So far students have pledged over £4,000 towards charity for the event, which takes place on Thursday morning. More information to follow via social media and the school website.

Finally, as part of their work to deliver the best possible outcomes for children and young people, Stockport local authority officers have co-produced (with children, young people and families) a set of outcomes which create a framework for measuring how well every child or young person, including those with SEND, reaches their own goals. To collect a wider view on the proposed outcomes the local authority have asked schools to share the following link for parents to complete:


Dates for your diary

Date Event
Thursday 19 December 2019 Charity Day Santa Dash - students finish early at 12pm
Monday 6 January 2020 Students return to school at 8:30am
Thursday 9 January 2020 Year 11 PPE Results Day
Year 11 Parents' Evening 5-8pm

Wishing all our families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 14

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Goodness me! This half term is flying by - not only in school, but also with festive preparations at home too. We have our tree up and outside lights and the turkey is on order! There’s something about Christmas that makes hard work fun!

Kingsway also got into the festive spirit this weekend at Cheadle Victorian Christmas Market day. Near ‘Splat the Victorian Rat’ and the Coconut shy you will have found the amazing ‘Human Fruit Machine’, Manned by Kingsway’s student ambassadors!  The stall was great fun for children of all ages. The Cheadle markets were a huge success with hundreds of visitors throughout the day. I even got the chance to do a bit of Christmas shopping from the craft fair and makers’ market.

Here’s Liam, Georgie and Jodie being the fruit machine!

On Friday 6th December, a small corner of Kingsway was transformed into a Christmas grotto for a bauble painting workshop. Year 5 students from Cheadle Primary, Prospect Vale, Etchells, Lum Head and Gatley painted snowmen and penguins, whilst singing along to festive music and enjoying a visit from Father Christmas himself. What a great way to start the festive fun!

Finally, congratulations to ex-student Ben Metcalf who has just competed in the national finals at World Skills UK live at the NEC in the patisserie and confectionery section. Ben got the silver medal in his category. Well done Ben and congratulations - feel free to bring some delicious cakes for me to try!

Date Event
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 13

STEM Success

As I’m sure you are aware, The Kingsway School is proud of our broad and rich curriculum offer, and we have always fought hard to save subjects like the technologies and creative subjects from extinction as a result of the government’s focus on the EBacc qualifications.

In particular, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects are close to my heart and Mr Hammersley and Miss Khan have been keeping our STEM torch alight for a number of years now. Their work has been recognised in parliament by local MP, Mary Robinson and through local and national awards including:

  • Excellence in STEM Award 2017 from the Museum of Science and Industry
  • Best Team Award, Pupil Choice Award and Best Overall Project Award from North West EDT Go4SET - The University of Manchester
  • The Era Foundation - Outstanding STEM Teacher - Mr Hammersley 2017
  • The Big Bang Special Award winner for Environmental/Scientific Advancement
  • The Rotary Club of Great Britain & Ireland Special Award for Environmental & Scientific Advancement

and then last week, we received the great news from Mr Hammersley and Miss Khan that Kingsway were awarded the UK’s Industrial Cadet Award.

Here’s Mr Hammersley’s report:

“On the 21st November, myself and Miss Khan set off very early in the morning to London for the EDT Industrial Cadet Awards at The Institution of Engineering and Technology.  We were shortlisted with just 3 other schools, nationwide, for this highly prestigious national award.

We already knew that Kingsway had been nominated for the award with judges summing up our application as “a very inclusive attitude towards STEM. From year 7 they run a Stemettes club during break times, as well as getting their year 9s to attend STEM activities supported by Industrial Links. Year 9s are also invited to apply for the Go4SET programme. The school has very active links with post 16 providers and work hard to ensure that their students are skilled to the levels that colleges desire. They won the North West Best Project in 2018 and an award at The Big Bang. They have also been one of the first schools to gain The STEM Excellence Award in Stockport from The Museum of Science and Industry.”

The judging panel was made up of some of the largest engineering companies and academic institutions within the United Kingdom, and were unanimous in their judging decision and I am extremely proud to announce that The Kingsway School won the award.”

UK Industrial Cadets Award for School/College 2019.

This highlights that the STEM provision and the STEM capital that we have developed at The Kingsway School, is without doubt, judged as the best in the country for 2019.

The event endorsed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was a huge accolade for all the hard work that Mr. Hammersley and Miss Khan have put into making STEM such a success at The KIngsway School.

Mr. Hammersley and Miss Khan summed up their day:

“It was a considerable honour to be presented with the award. To receive such recognition from EDT, Industry and Academia and to know that our next future King is aware of us and The Kingsway School. We were treated like VIP celebrities all day and left feeling extremely proud of the recognition for our hard work and achievements to date and so grateful to the numerous Industrial links that have been so incredibly supportive of The Kingsway School over the years, particularly John Crane and N.G. Bailey. It’s hard to know where we go from here!”

John Crane have been our industrial partner for a number of years and this email was received from Neil Slater (European Business Development Manager): “I would  like to say  well doneon behalf of us all at John Crane.  This is amazing and as far as I can see, more than well deserved. You have both shown a massive level of enthusiasm, determination, motivation and just sheer loyalty to the scheme you believe in. In an age of targets and the changing of nature of teaching from a vocational to business like role, you show an approach and desire to help the children, which is inspirational and in my humble opinion above and beyond the cause.”

On Sunday, we were lucky enough to be invited by Gatley Village Partnership to their annual Christmas market and light switch-on. Our 'community ambassadors' supported Mrs Jones with the organisation and sale of cakes and hot chocolate cones to a very busy and bustling event. Huge thanks to some of our Year 7 students who kindly donated cakes-we made a huge £141.35 which will support some of our future community events.

A polite reminder from our school nurses Mrs Kelman and Mrs Jones: “Students should not be picked up from school without authorisation from the school. We have seen an increase in students contacting parents directly without being seen by the school nurse. Alerted parents are turning up to school to collect their child without the school’s awareness. The school nurse will always encourage your child to stay in school where they are deemed well enough so they can continue to access their learning and avoid lost learning time. If they feel your child is too unwell to carry on with their lessons, they will contact parents or carers. Thank you for your cooperation.

Dates For Your Diary

Date Event
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 11 & 12

Smiling and successful

Oh what a night! On Thursday night, the entire staff came out to celebrate the GCSE success of the Class of 2019.  It was an absolute delight to see them back in school, looking all grown up and sharing their experiences of college and work. It was a well turned out evening, with families joining their children to watch them receive their formal GCSE certificates.  We also celebrated the individual performances of Owen Faulkner and Lara Barbara, who achieved 17 Grade 9s at GCSE between them. An outstanding achievement! Ex-head boy and girl, Ethan Wilson and Jess Crawley, gave a lovely speech to their year group. Following this, our ex-students were shown a video of their prom and results day, along with some footage of their first days at Kingsway - much to everyone’s joy!

The highlight of the evening for many was our guest speaker Stacey Copeland, who gave a truly inspiring speech about her challenging journey to sporting success. Stacey won the Commonwealth women’s boxing championship, previously playing professional football for her country. She has overcome many obstacles to achieve her success and has used her experiences and success to start a project called ‘Pave the way’. The project aims to inspire women and young people through sport to use their passion and skills to secure careers in the profession they love. Whether their passion, I hope the Class of 2019 follow their dreams.

I will miss the Class of 2019; they were a bundle of extraordinary individuals, who I have every confidence will go on to achieve great things!

We were also delighted last week to hear from Miss Wildgoose that our Year 10 girls Dodgeball team were crowned Stockport champions - well done to Emma Hill, Holly Failie, Emma Redford, Isheenah Blake, Alice Gill, Brooke Jones and Clara Thompson.

A few days after our GCSE Presentation evening, we celebrated more success at our annual Sports Presentation Evening. The hall was packed with students and their families who were there to collect their colours and awards in reflection of their commitment to their school team and high level performance. At Kingsway, we offer so many sports including: athletics, badminton, cricket, cross-country, football, netball, rounders, rugby and trampolining.  This means that there were many badges, medals and trophies to award. In addition, we heard from Mr Hulme about what an incredibly successful year our sports teams had in 2018/19, with many teams crowned Stockport and Greater Manchester champions!

Our guest speaker was ex-Kingsway student, Rebecca Podlaski who is now Director of Sport at an Independent School in Sheffield. Rebecca’s talked to the audience about how she embraced the opportunities presented to her during her time at Kingsway and as a result she developed skills and friends for life!

Mr Howarth was delighted when his Year 7/8 cricket team won the award for ‘Team of the Year’.

Other individual successes were recognised with the Sports Personality of the Year awards:

  • Year 7: Emma Boaler & Josh Crawley
  • Year 8: Charlie Lund & Harry Andrews
  • Year 9: Roccio McGilvray & Luke Ogden
  • Year 10: Polly Hogg & Eli Campbell
  • Year 11: Grace O’Shaughnessy & Owen Booth

Well done to all our young sporting ambassadors and thank you for winning so many trophies! I always believed Kingsway is the best school in Stockport 🙂

Last Friday was Review Day, where all students and their parents/carers had a face-to-face review of their progress with their form tutor. The primary focus for the review meeting was the first monitoring report of the academic year. Discussions included reflections on student academic performance and their attitude to learning so far this year.  As well as this, students were asked to set targets to help them achieve their full potential for the remainder of the academic year. All students are encouraged to exhibit the key attributes of a Kingsway learner and this is measured in the ATL (attitude to learning) score based on the following criteria:

  • Try your best when producing classwork
  • Present your work to a high standard
  • Concentrate on the task in hand
  • Actively engage in lessons
  • Collaborate well with other students
  • Talking should contribute to learning
  • Work independently and have strategies for finding answers
  • Don’t give up - persevere when facing difficulties
  • Be brave - take risks with your learning and challenge yourself
  • Respond appropriately to constructive feedback given by staff
  • Take advantage of opportunities offered in and out of lessons

If you would like to discuss your child’s academic progress or ATL scores, please get in touch with their Raising Standards’ Leader.

On Wednesday 20th November, four members of The Kingsway School Senior Student team represented us at the inaugural Stockport Youth Climate Change summit. The summit, hosted by the University of Manchester, was the inspiration of Mellor Primary School's Headteacher Jim Nicholson and saw both Primary and Secondary School students giving 3 minute presentations about Climate Change. Presentations focussed on a variety of topics: the impact of single use plastics, global warming; palm oil and clean water.  All the presentations emphasised how these issues need immediate action. The message from all the youth delegates was simple: "act now to save our future".

Kingsway's Senior Students were an absolute credit.  They were Kirsten Attfield, Sarah Morgan, Joshua Kindon and Aroush Zia.

Careers Speed Dating

Thursday 21st November saw our 6th annual Year 9 Careers ‘Speed Dating’ Event!  As the name implies, this was a fast moving but informative event, which we hope was enjoyed by all. This evening is all about furnishing our young Year 9 students with lots of information about the wealth and breadth of careers available.  Some professions they would have heard of, some were completely new to them. Our objective was to highlight different future pathways and ensure that our students knew what various careers entailed and also what subjects would help them achieve if they decided to follow a specific route.  This evening always successfully assists our students in making those all important GCSE subject choices, although we do find that parents enjoy it just as much as our students! We are fortunate enough over the years to have built up a really positive relationship with local firms and employers who all willingly give up their time for free with only the promise of a sandwich and a cup of tea!  We have some volunteers who have come every year since the introduction of this event. It is also lovely to see that more and more parents are getting on board and coming in as volunteers after experiencing this evening with their child in Year 9 and recognising the value of it!

A huge thank you to all our volunteers and to Year 9 students and their parents for attending this event.

Dates for your diary:

Date Event
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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