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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 10

Proud as a Poppy!

Oh my goodness! I’ve just got back from the Remembrance concert in Cheadle Village. It was attended by thousands of people, including over 60 Kingsway students. It was an honour for our students to have been invited to to represent the WW1 101 fallen soldiers from Cheadle. Each of our students carried the name of a fallen soldier including Arthur, Charles and Fred Wrench - 3 out of 4 brothers who did not return to their loving family in 1918 and John E Street, who sadly died in conflict at only 17 years of age.

It was a poignant reminder that then and now, everyone affected by conflict around the world is someone’s child.

The Remembrance service was attended by local Synagogue and Mosque leaders as well as ministers from Trinity Church, St. Cuthbert’s and St. Mary’s. I was immensely proud to lead Kingsway in the parade.

Sunday followed Friday, where every single student and member of staff stood on our Broadway Field, in the wind and threatening rain to show our respects. My muddy high heels were a very small price to pay for the incredible image captured by a drone overhead. It was just amazing to be part of our school community of 1500 students and staff showing their respects for somebody’s child.

A number of our students came to school in Friday in their service uniform: Scouts, Guides, Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps, St John’s Ambulance and many more. It was lovely to see how different organisations are represented by Kingsway students.

If you’re not one of the 30K people who have seen the video on our social media… watch this!

For the past few weeks, we were honoured to be entrusted with a ' there but not there' silhouette by Gatley Village Partnership. Students had chance to see the powerful and moving silhouette at various locations around school. The ' There but not there' project commemorates the centenary of the End of World War 1, representing a member of our local community who went to fight in the war and either never returned or returned a very different person because of the atrocities they witnessed and the horrific experiences they had.

All these remembrance events were the pinnacle of another exciting week at Kingsway.

On Monday, Mrs. Maxey attended a private reception in the House of Commons in support of Anorexia and Bulimia Care and specifically the Pip Foundation. Pippa McManus was a student at the school in Years 7 & 8 who tragically died at the age of 15. It is hoped that through fundraising and charitable donations, the McManus family will be able to open the first independent support centre for eating disorders in Manchester. As a school, we have already raised approximately £5000 in support of what will be called 'Pip's Place' and it is our intention to continue to support this hugely needed resource. If you would like to make a donation privately the page can be found below.

If you need any advice or further information around eating disorders please contact either Mrs. Maxey or Miss. Cropper.

Monday also saw the start of our Year 7 Literacy Intervention week, where students had to use their literacy skills to solve the mystery of Mrs Lowe’s kidnapping! I had the pleasure of joining the students and their parents on Friday to celebrate the progress they had made during the week, thanks to Mrs Heil (English HLTA) and Mr Carr (Librarian).

I also bumped in to students from Gatley Primary School Arts Council who have been attending regular Illustration workshops with Mrs Dunn to turn their designs in to a book that describes their school ethos. Students have practised a number of printmaking techniques including sgraffito, mono-print and poly-block before selecting their choice and creating their illustration.

On Tuesday, I was conducting learning walks around the school with senior colleagues and was delighted to have been invited to join a WISE event for 30 Year 9 girls which was run by one of our Partners in Industry, BASF. WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is a charity which has been set up to enable people in business and industry to increase the participation and success of women in the STEM subjects.

Ashley, Sam, Paula, Diane and Ali, who are all employees of BASF, presented an inspirational talk called "People Like Me". It was based around the research to encourage girls to consider careers in STEM. A sense of "fitting in" can be reinforced by the careful choice of vocabulary and messages during lessons. One of the tasks involved the girls choosing a list of adjectives which described their personalities and matched them up to the types of jobs that can be found in companies like BASF.

They found out that you don't necessarily need a traditional background in Science to work for companies like BASF and that there were jobs in areas such as Digital Marketing, Sales, HR and Technical Services.

There was a real buzz in the room and the girls commented that they really enjoyed the experience of meeting people from industry, which opened their eyes to possibilities for them in the future.

BASF are continuing with their support to Kingsway by delivering another "People Like Me" event in the new year for another set of Year 9 girls. They will also be challenging our Year 8 STEM club members with a small project about Cosmetic Chemicals. Watch this space for more STEM events coming up.

On Wednesday, we hosted an Afternoon Tea for parents of students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. There was tea and some delicious cakes, but more importantly an opportunity for families to talk to one another and staff about their child’s needs.

We held our annual Sports and Duke of Edinburgh Presentation Evening on Wednesday night. It was a well attended event, to celebrate students’ success representing the school in sport as well as achieving the Duke of Edinburgh awards. Special guests included Paul Griffiths (North West Duke of Edinburgh Team) and Sam James who plays for Sale Sharks Rugby Club.

More community work lies ahead with our annual Christmas Fayre on Thursday 20th December 2018. Parents are reminded to send their child in to school with an item for our Whole School Bring & Buy stall in the coming weeks, and not to forget to give them some cash on the 20th to purchase some Christmas presents, a treat for themselves or money to throw a pie in my face! (Yes … I don’t know what I was thinking!).

It’s all for a good cause, of course, our sister school Kingsway Kolweny in Kenya. We hope to raise lots of money to help our Kingsway Kolweny students with stationary, books, uniform and improvements to their school.

Finally, can I ask parent’s support with our non-negotiables:

Shoes - we have noticed a number of students are wearing trainer imitation shoes which are not in line with our school policy. Please see below and ensure your child is wearing the correct shoes for school.

The pictures below illustrate the type of school shoes that ARE permitted at The Kingsway School. Whatever style you choose, they must be of black leather only.



Nails: false/acrylic nails are not allowed in school. Girls will find themselves isolated during break times if they are wearing false/acrylic nails to school.

Mobile phones: these are not allowed from the school gates, to the school gates. Students risk having their mobile phone confiscated if they are in breach of this rule.

Thank you for your support of all we do for our local and wider community, and closer to home at Kingsway.

Have a great week everyone,

Mrs J. Lowe

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 9

Don’t miss an opportunity to shine

Our school ethos is underpinned by three key words: Opportunity, Achievement and Respect. I was delighted to hear of the opportunities that have been embraced by some of our amazing students last week. Here’s their account in their own words:

Over half term, Kirsten Attfield and Daisy Freeman (Year 10) went to London to take part in the STEMETTES programme.

We left on the train from Stockport to London at 4:23pm and arrived at London Euston by 6:30pm, as it was a very fast train. When we arrived, we went down on multiple escalators to reach the underground line to Old Street. It was extremely crowded on the tube,as it was still rush hour but we managed to get on and off again at the right stops. It was quite dark when we got back on to ground level again, though our hotel was very close and so we quickly arrived there and found our room and had our evening meal.

In the morning we had a lovely breakfast, and then left to go to the event. We got slightly lost, even though it was very near, but we still managed to get there on time. The event was really great, and we started off by playing some games to meet everyone. Then we had a series of talks on how to give a good presentation, what a good and influential team leader is like and we also heard from some ladies who gave us their inspiring stories about being a woman in STEM. My favourite part of the day was when we got to learn about presenting as I found it extremely helpful because that is what I most struggle with. It was really interesting, and we also got the chance to learn about all the Stemettes websites. There were only 10 people there, and we had a great time and learnt a lot.

During our stay in London, we also got some time to do some sightseeing: we got to visit the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and even Platform 9 3/4! Overall, I would really recommend this trip as I learnt a great deal from it and had a brilliant time.

The night before, I travelled down via train and arrived in London for just past 7pm. We checked into out hotel, went out for dinner and went out exploring in our area of London. Once we got back to the hotel after our day of travelling, I went to sleep.

At the conference, our first speaker of the day talked to us about how to present with confidence. This was beneficial as it provided tips on before, whilst and after presenting and how to deal with the nerves related to presenting. Furthermore, it taught me how to boost my confidence when talking to a large group of people. I enjoyed this talk because my confidence and presenting was one of my weakest areas and it helped me to find ways of overcoming this.

The second and third speaker enlightened us about their experiences within STEM and their journey to where they were now. This was influential and uplifting to see a strong powerful female role model in a STEM based career. Also, it showed me the different aspects and opportunities that STEM can provide and that STEM is not limited to men even though it is presented as a male dominated industry.

The fourth speaker also shared her story and how to overcome the misogynistic ideologies that men have in a workplace. I found this helpful as women are not pushed as much as men are to advance into a STEM career, especially engineering based jobs. Additionally, the fifth speaker educated us about strong, influential leaders in STEM and how they influenced the world of STEM.

Finally, we had a talk from the STEMettes leader, Lucy. She talked us through the websites and how to easily run a STEM club at our own school. Overall, I found this whole leadership conference extremely beneficial on building my confidence,leadership and presenting skills. I also met many other young STEMettes at the conference, who also helped me build more social skills.

I would like to say thank you to the STEMettes for sending me on this incredible trip that I will remember forever and to my teachers at the Kingsway school for providing me with this opportunity to further my knowledge of STEM and encouraging girls everyday to partake in STEM activities in our school.

Georgia-Mia Fowler in Year 11 was selected to represent her cadet group in London:

We travelled down to Whale Island near Portsmouth and stayed onboard HMS Bristol along with cadets from all across the country. On Friday and Saturday, we prepared for Trafalgar with the marine cadets, sea cadets, air cadets and the national sea cadet band. On the Sunday morning, we had to be up and ready in our best uniform for 6:30am to make our way down to London. When we arrived in London there were hundreds of people gathered there already. The parade was to commemorate 100 years since the battle of Trafalgar. When the parade started, we marched up to Trafalgar Square and said hymns, prayers and thanks to God. Returning from the parade we marched past Buckingham place (it’s a lot bigger and grander than I thought) to Wellington barracks where we finished the parade and took a photograph with the captain of the sea cadets. As we said our goodbyes to the people that we met, a few tears were shed. This was one of the best cadet experiences I’ve had and I won’t forget it or the people that I spent the time with.

At Kingsway, we will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of WW1 on Friday 9th November, by holding our own special moment of reflection. On Friday 9th November we are inviting all our students who participate in uniformed services eg. Cadets (Army, RAF, Navy, Marine), Scouts, Guides, St. John’s Ambulance, Police etc. to come to school in their service uniform, as a mark of respect. We will also be holding a whole school two-minute silence.

We have also been invited to to join the Churches and other Organisations in Cheadle for the Remembrance Day Parade and Service at the Cenotaph on Cheadle Green on Remembrance Sunday. Our students have been asked to parade holding aloft the names of the 101 fallen soldiers from Cheadle. This is a fantastic honour and a very special privilege on the centenary of the end of World War 1. If you would like your child to participate in this historic event, please complete the form on the letter that was sent home from Mr Wood.

I would be great to see many of our students and their families at this event.

There was a great opportunity in school last week for our year 8 students to polish their speaking and listening skills in French. Here’s Miss Hunt’s report on the event:

Our Year 8s enjoyed a performance from Onatti Productions this Thursday, a French Theatre company touring the UK. The play was entirely in French, containing lots of vocabulary which has been covered in their French lessons, as well as lots of challenging new words and phrases, which they were able to follow thanks to helpful props and fantastic acting! The play: 'La salle des énigmes' or 'The escape room', was a story about Jérémy and Marie, two French teenagers, attempting to escape a room filled with challenges and hidden clues. There was plenty of audience participation and we saw lots of our Year 8s up on stage helping to solve the escape room puzzles!

Have a great week everyone,

Mrs J. Lowe

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 8

Magnificence in all its glory!

I hope all our families had a lovely half term break!

I had four wonderful days in the city of Palma, Majorca with my daughter. It was a lovely place to visit. We did the tourist things including the open top tour bus, shopping and a visit to the cathedral, which was designed in the 13th century to reflect the sun’s light in an amazing spectacular. It was really beautiful and demonstrated how hundreds of years ago, the combined knowledge of maths, architecture and the solar system can bring about awe and wonder for many to enjoy.

Our mini-break was certainly a chance to recharge the batteries after our first half term. The final week was a particularly action packed week, but I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.

On Monday and Tuesday we had our new year 7 students perform the Musical Showcase to a hall full of families and friends. This is one of my favourite events of the school calendar. After just a handful of music lessons, the students showed how they have built relationships within their forms and fitted in to our school like a hand to a glove. The finale each evening was when each campus based year group joined together to sing The Greatest Showman hit ‘A million Dreams’. Magnificent! All I can say is that it was a good job my mascara was waterproof!

On Wednesday evening we held our Open Evening - an event to market our school to prospective parents. What a night! Our Broadway campus was buzzing with activity including: a murder mystery to solve in English; making cytoplasm in STEM and badminton rallies in PE. We had over 100 student volunteers helping out in departments on the night, or doing a sterling job giving our visitors a tour of the school. It was a very busy night, with some really positive feedback from local parents. It was a magnificent evening - a real showcase of all that is amazing at The Kingsway School.

On the back of our successful open evening, we invited local parents to a coffee morning on Thursday. This was an opportunity for them to see our school during a typical school day, across both campuses. Around 20+ parents came along and again, the feedback was positive in relation to the calm atmosphere around the school and students’ engagement in their lessons. We are repeating this event this week, on Tuesday 30th October.

On Friday, I had the pleasure of awarding the first monthly merit total winners to the students with the highest merit total in their House for September. The winners were ;

  • Gaskell: Ibrahim Khetab (8N)
  • Rylands: Amy Berry (10A)
  • Turing: Emma Boaler (7K)
  • Pankhurst: Ella-Grace Smith (9E)
  • Whitworth: Emily Foster (8H)
  • Lowry: Rocio McGillivray (9H)

Well done to the magnificent six!

Finally, can I ask for your support in phasing out students’ need to bring cash in to school. We are asking parents and carers to load dinner money on to your child’s account directly via ParentPay rather than using our onsite revaluation machines. The benefits to this include:

  • Having a more convenient way of paying for school meals - no more looking for change every morning.
  • Discouraging the misuse of school dinner money (e.g. buying sweets from shops outside of the school grounds).
  • Alleviating many of the associated problems with the use of cash in schools (e.g. loss)
  • Queuing times are reduced.
  • No disruption or inconvenience caused if the revaluation machine stops working.

Thank you for your support with this.

Have a great week everyone,

Mrs J. Lowe

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 6

A time to laugh and a time to cry

There was some great activity in The Kingsway School last week.

On Monday evening we welcomed our new year 7 parents who came to hear from Dr. Holdsworth (Year 7 Raising Standards Leader) what to expect in the year ahead.

On a sweltering Tuesday, I had the pleasure of visiting two of our feeder primary schools: Meadowbank and Gatley. I took two of our new year 7 students along to Meadowbank, Lexie and Ben, to talk to the year 6 students about their experience in moving from Meadowbank to Kingsway. It was great to hear Lexi & Ben talk about how happy they are at Kingsway and how well they have settled in to the life of our school.

Later that evening, along with Ms Cuttress (Year 9 Raising Standards Leader) and Miss Hartt (Second in Maths department), we visited Gatley Primary school to talk to parents of year 4, 5 & 6 students about our school and answer any questions they had for us.

One concern raised by parents was in relation to some of our students’ behaviour on the way home from school, in particular through Scholes Field. So on Thursday and Friday I donned my high-vis gilet and walked from Kingsway to gatley Primary at the end of the school day. It was lovely to chat to people in the local community and they seemed pleased to see us having a presence in the area. Our Kingsway students were also happily chatting away to me on their way home.

On Wednesday I went back to Gatley Primary School, this time with Mrs Hadfield (transition mentor) and new Year 7 students Ella and Caitlin. The year 5 and 6 Gatley students asked questions about after school clubs, what was on the menu in the canteen and our Rewards Day Out trip. Ella and Caitlin also reassured them about getting lost and how the older students helped them find their way around in their first few days. It was a pleasant reminder of what kind and caring older students we have at Kingsway.

On Thursday, I taught my first practical lesson of Pasta and Sauce to my delightful year 8 class. Whilst it wasn’t quite Masterchef, I had observed Mrs Knowles delivering the lesson the week prior and was in awe of the speed at which students need to work to be able to prep, cook and clean in the 50 or so minutes of the lesson. My year 8 class did themselves proud and produced some great Pasta and Sauce dishes. I was particularly proud of them when they offered to share their ingredients with two boys who had forgotten to bring any. Another sign of kindness at Kingsway.

Thursday evening was the last of our Information Evenings, for year 8. It was a packed out night, with Mrs Clarke giving an overview of the year ahead and Mr Singh testing the parents on Pythagoras Theorem (I was quite impressed with our parents!). Here’s the question he set: Find the length of the side ‘c’.

Finally on Friday we had a visit from a ‘Living History Group’, who dressed in their WW1 uniforms and gave our year 9 students an interactive presentation about what it would have been like to have been a soldier in WW1. The students even got the chance to dress up!

We also hosted Gatley and Bolshaw Primary Schools on Friday for a Year 6 Performing and Visual Arts Showcase. With the help of Mr Lawton (Head of Music), Mrs Dunn (Transition Lead Teacher) and Mrs Kendall (Dance Teacher) the children all created pieces of Art, Music and Dance themed on the musical Grease. At 4pm, parents came to see their performances that really got us all clapping along to ‘We go Together’. A wonderful end to a great week.

Until ….

The staff found themselves managing a very difficult situation at the end of the school day, when a student from another local high school came to Kingsway to fight with one of our year 11 boys. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I am devastated, frustrated and angry. Whilst we work very hard with our students to ensure they understand what I expect from them when they are in their Kingsway uniform, on Friday afternoon a number of students went out of their way to bring our school’s name into disrepute in our local community. This is the first time in my 5 years of Headship at Kingsway that the students have let me down in such a public way and I will be taking appropriate action on return to school next week. Fortunately, the staff at the school were quickly on hand to diffuse the situation and disperse the group of students. On behalf of the school, I would like to apologise to any members of our community who were affected in any way.

What I must not lose sight of is the vast, vast majority of Kingsway students who are delightful, diligent and respectful members of our school and local communities. Students whom I talk about passionately in my blogs every week.

We have another fabulous week ahead at Kingsway with my favourite events of the year:

I look forward to seeing many parents and families at these events next week, where you will see the wonder of my job in action!

Have a great week everyone,

Mrs J. Lowe

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 5

Safety first!

At the heart of our school is our commitment to safeguarding your child or children and for us to foster our ethos of Opportunity, Achievement and Respect. Sadly we are receiving complaints from our neighbours within our community with regards to parents misuse of parking in the mornings and after school.

This makes it difficult for all our students walking to school and limits their potential to cross roads safely when negotiating so many cars parked so close to the school campus. Additionally it causes considerable frustration for local residents when leaving their drives or legitimately parking their cars next to their homes. Could I please ask parents to be as considerate as possible when dropping students off to school or collecting at the end of the day. It would be very much appreciated if parents could try their utmost to avoid Foxland and Silverdale Road, Broadway and High Grove Road.

In an age where we are encouraging healthy lifestyles it will not do the children any harm to walk that extra distance to a road where the traffic is less congested and your car is less likely to add to these already very busy and congested roads. As always, if your child has any medical needs or other, which means you need to be parked close to the school, please contact your Pastoral Head of Year to discuss further, so that we can help with a solution.

We are also aware that some of our students are showing a blatant disregard to their own safety. Whilst we have staff out on duty at the end of the school day, we rely on students’ own awareness to keep themselves safe during their journey home. Please can you help us by reiterating to your children the importance of road safety. We have had reports from local residents of:

  • Students stepping out into the road without looking
  • Students cycling on the opposite side of the road (particularly down Foxland Road and Silverdale Road)
  • And most worryingly, students crossing the A34 at the end of the day, rather than using the subway

Pastoral staff work hard in school to make sure our students feel happy and safe. We want that to continue outside the school gates.

You may have heard in the news last month about the Headteachers who marched to Downing Street to highlight the financial challenges that schools face in the current climate. I didn’t go to London, but I do support the campaign to improve funding in our schools. Stockport is one of the lowest funded authorities in England, and as Heads we have to carefully manage our budgets to meet the needs of our children including those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. This Friday, Stockport Primary and Secondary Headteachers are joining together in a Positive Day of Action to get the message across to that ‘Our children in Stockport are worth more’. We will be writing to our local MPs and putting information on our website. Whilst we won’t be marching or striking, but instead working in our schools, we still  want our voice to be heard for the children in our schools.

I will jump off my soapbox now and share with you some of the great things that happened at Kingsway last week.

On Monday, The Kingsway Association met to consider bids from across the school for the little extras that our budget doesn’t quite stretch to. The committee is small, yet mighty in its power to support our children. Last week, they agreed to purchase:

  • 30 pairs of running spikes for the PE department
  • Cake boxes for Mother’s Day cake baking in Food Technology
  • A reading room on Broadway campus
  • Text books for the GCSE Latin course run by the scholars club
  • The coach to take students to an English & Drama day in Sale

You can support the work of The Kingsway Association by contributing £10 per quarter by completing the standing order formOr come along to our next meeting on Foxland Campus on 21st January 2019 at 6:30pm.

Mrs Hadfield and I took ex-students back to Bolshaw and Outwood Primary schools last week, handing out invitations to our Open Evening (17th October) and Coffee Mornings (18th & 30th October) to the year 5 and 6 students. The primary children were a delight and asked lots of great questions. It was a real treat to visit both schools, where we were made to feel very welcome.

On Tuesday, Mr Williams held a Year 10 Information Evening for parents, giving an insight on what to expect in the coming months as the students embark on their GCSE courses. This was followed on Thursday by Miss Cuttress who led the Year 9 Information evening, It was great to see so many parents in school keen to learn more about the opportunities that lay ahead to support their children with the new curriculum.

This week is the turn of year 7 (5:30pm Monday and year 8 5:30pm Thursday), both on Foxland campus.

Finally, I was delighted to open an email from Mrs Dunn last week showcasing the talent of Nayl Ahmed in year 9 who produced this incredible piece of Art homework. Well done Nayl - I look forward to seeing your work in the Tate Gallery in the future.

Have a great week everyone.

Mrs J. Lowe

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