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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 12

Primary colours

All the colours of the rainbow were in Kingsway this week with an abundance of Year 5 children representing their primary schools. It was so lovely to open our doors to local children and have them experience a taste of Kingsway.

On Wednesday students from Lum Head, Cheadle, Etchells, Bolshaw, Prospect Vale, Meadowbank and Gatley primary school showed their creative flair in our Christmas Bauble Workshop led by Art Teacher and Transition Mentor, Mrs Dunn.

On Friday, Year 5 students from Gatley Primary School returned for a Science Workshop. Students carouselled between Biology with Mrs Lucas, Chemistry with Mr Insley and Physics with Mr McNulty. Message from Miss Halligan (Year 5 teacher): “We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for putting together such a fantastic science workshop for our children. They absolutely loved it and I think you've made them really excited about Science lessons at secondary school. All three teachers were brilliant and it was so great that the children got to have a go at each of the Science disciplines across the morning. It was all so organised and thoughtfully planned. We've managed to get some great photos which I know our parents will be thrilled to see too. I wish we could come back every week!“

At the other end of their education, our Year 11 students sat their first Pre-public examination. On Friday, the cohort of 320 students sat their first English and Maths exams. These exams have never been more important as they will be a key measure if the government needs to introduce contingency measures for the formal GCSEs in the summer. As in previous years, it is hoped that these exams will go ahead as planned, however with COVID still very much on our horizon, we are making sure our Year 11 cohort understands the importance of preparing really well for these PPE exams and achieving highly. We wish them all the best in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, Mr Nicolaou ran the 4th STEM enrichment session. The focus was breadboarding which is a method of prototyping circuits prior to PCB manufacture. The students also gained skills in the use of workshop tools as well as testing each stage of the circuit using the multimeter and power supply. The project was an alarm circuit based on light i.e. when it is exposed to light an LED comes on along with a buzzer as a warning. It looks like they all had a great time.

Next weekend sees the return of Cheadle Village Victorian Christmas Markets. Kingsway is delighted to be involved again, with our student ambassadors and student parliament supporting the event - running stalls. We are also offering a park and ride service from our Broadway campus. We hope to see as many of our students and their parents as possible at this festive event.

As the festive season draws closer we look forward to spreading kindness. Last year saw a phenomenal response to our reverse advent calendar, which we are hoping to be able to surpass this year. All students have been shown a Power Point reminding the importance of supporting our local food banks. A list of suitable items such as toiletries and non-perishable food items have been shared and we would appreciate it if our Kingsway family could make a donation over the next two weeks. These will then be equally distributed to our two local food banks in Gatley and Cheadle to bring some Christmas cheer to families.

Finally, SNOW! Can you believe we are preparing for snow again? Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately if snowy weather prevails - they can wear wellies/boots to travel to and from school as long as they change into suitable school shoes once in school. Likewise, a warm waterproof coat is essential as the temperature drops. 

We very much hope that we can continue with business as usual over the coming weeks. The decision to close school is a last resort and would only be taken when all other possibilities about how to keep open have been exhausted. 

The major determining factor in making any decision is the safety and welfare of the students and staff. Typically, reasons that may lead to unavoidable school closure in the winter are:

  • Severe weather conditions which makes staffing ratios unsafe
  • Heating system failures (Boilers, flooding after leaks etc.)
  • Snow and ice (affecting access or movement around the building)
  • Flooding

We will always keep parents informed of any decisions via our website and text messages. It is important that school has the right contact information for each student. Please inform your child’s form tutor or Pastoral head of Year if your contact details have changed.

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

The Year 11 Parents’ Evening will take place on Thursday 6th January, between 5pm and 8pm. Parents’ Evening appointments will be held virtually using SchoolCloud, the online Parents’ Evening system we introduced last academic year. The system allows you to schedule your own Parents’ Evening appointments and attend appointments via video call. Appointments can be made from Thursday 9th December. 

Please visit https://thekingsway.schoolcloud.co.uk/ to book your appointments.

COVID-19 Guidance

The Department for Education has recently updated its guidance to schools following the new Omicron strain of the virus. 

  1. Face coverings must be worn, unless students are exempt, in all indoor communal areas. Students will be asked to put their face covering on as they enter school each morning. Face coverings are the best line of defence against the airborne nature of the virus. We have a small limited number of masks for students who lose/break/soil their mask during the school day. It is imperative that your child arrives at school with their mask (and ideally a spare) from tomorrow. Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth. Sanctions will be issued to students who do not bring a mask into school.
  2. Students should continue to test, using the LFD tests, twice weekly. If the LFD is positive, a follow up negative PCR is required before students return to school, NHS Test and Trace will continue to identify close contacts. All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. They will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation.
  3. At the start of next term all students will take an LFD test in school. The exact details and arrangements are not known at present but this may involve a staggered start to school to accommodate this requirement. Further details will be issued before the end of term.

Our priority continues to be the delivery of face-to-face, high-quality education to all our students. Please support this by following these two simple rules:

  • ensuring your child brings a mask to school every day
  • following the guidance of NHS test and trace

If you have any queries, or need to report a COVID result, please email covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 26th November - Friday 10th December Year 11 PPEs
Friday 17th December Santa Dash
Friday 17th December @ noon Term finishes
Tuesday 4th January Students return to school at 8:30am
Thursday 6th January Year 11 Virtual Parents' Evening

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 10

Super student ambassadors

There was a lot of activity last week from different groups of students who were playing their part in our school’s vision to ‘create the best version of themselves’.

Between Tuesday and Thursday, Year 8 students took part in first aid, CPR and defibrillator training. This is part of our schools Life Skills programme and focuses on the statutory guidance which states that by the end of secondary school students should know:

  • basic treatment for common injuries
  • life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR
  • the purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed. 

Students learned about how to use a defibrillator, how to put somebody in the recovery position and how to administer CPR. Students used dummies to practice CPR and were able to put each other in the recovery position. Students were well behaved and took these sessions very seriously. A special thank you goes to Miss Lucas and Miss Horsey who planned and delivered these engaging and important sessions.

Another group of student ambassadors were our Student Parliament - a large group of students representing all year groups who met for the first parliament meeting of the year on Wednesday. There were a number of hot topics discussed including how school leaders can support improving the quality of baguettes served in the canteen to how we can provide better facilities for bike storage, and much more besides. The meeting was chaired by Mr Wood.

A number of issues were resolved at the meeting and some others will require further input from school leaders and parliament members, such as improving the areas students can access during poor weather conditions. This is something that parliament members will be taking to our PTA (The Kingsway Association) to see if they have funds to support some improved facilities. You can see how valuable your PTA contributions are to directly improving the experience for our students.

Year 9 Options

During Year 9 students will be making important choices regarding which subjects they wish to continue studying at Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11). We have maintained a broad curriculum which provides the best foundation for the next stage in their careers. Students will be placed on Options pathways to guide them about their curriculum. All students will need to select four subjects to study in addition to the core curriculum (maths, English language, English literature, science, Life skills and PE). The majority of students will have to study a Modern Foreign Language as one of their four choices, and either History, Geography or Computer Science. This will leave a further two subjects for the students to choose.

A 'What Next? Careers’ booklet will be issued at the end of November. This booklet is aimed at Year 9 students and their parents in preparation for choosing their options for GCSE. It includes information from a wide variety of employers and professions which cover a range of industries. 

‘Options Information’ booklets will be available after Christmas. These will provide information regarding course content and examination requirements.

Year 9 Options Evening is on 20th January 2022, in addition to the normal Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 3rd February. At the Options Evening parents will be given more information about the options process as well details about individual subjects.

The option forms must be submitted by Monday 28th February. It is really important that students consider their choices carefully because these will not be changed in Year 10.

Further information will be made available on the school website.

Bike pods

We have recently completed a security review and we noticed that a lot of our students favour the main bike sheds rather than our individual bike pods. These alternatives offer a private storage locker for our student bikes, which are not only more secure, but students can access them even if they leave school outside the normal times, such as for an appointment or after a match. We strongly encourage students to take advantage of these. Please speak to your child’s head of year as these are on a first come first serve basis. If there is enough demand we will look at installing more pods.

Kingsway’s blessing

On Monday we were privileged to welcome Bishop Mark Tanner of Chester to Kingsway. During his visit with us he visited a Religious Studies GCSE class where he was able to answer students' questions and support them in their studies on the topic Living the Christian Life. 

A mixture of year 7 and 8 students took part in a STEM activity afterschool on Wednesday 10th November. They looked at the science behind making honeycomb and then all had a go at producing their own. While it was cooling they all sampled one that had been made earlier. I think that they were all shocked as to how simple it is to make the inside of a Crunchie bar!

Remembrance Day

On Sunday I was very proud to see a number of our students attend the Cheadle Remembrance Parade. A range of senior students and prefects, community ambassadors and members of the Year Council, accompanied members of staff to represent The Kingsway School. They were incredibly respectful as they watched Senior Students, Charlie and Tanzeela lay a wreath on the memorial.

Throughout the week all students attended the virtual assembly led by Mr Cook, which explored our local connections to the war, and we held a minute’s silence on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This was preceded by Mr Lawton playing ‘The Last Post’ and Mr Cook, moving reading of an extract from a local soldier’s letter to his wife.

Captain Charles May. In 1912 he met his wife, Maude, and moved to Manchester with her to become a journalist with the Manchester Evening News. He wrote this letter to his wife on the day before the Battle of the Somme. He lost his life on the first day of that battle.

 I must not allow myself to dwell on the personal – there is no room for it here. Also it is demoralising. But I do not want to die. Not that I mind for myself. If it be that I am to go, I am ready. But the thought that I may never see you or our darling baby again turns my bowels to water.

…My one consolation is the happiness that has been ours. Also my conscience is clear that I have always tried to make life a joy for you. I know that if I go you will not want. That is something.

But it is the thought that we may be cut off from each other which is so terrible and that our babe may grow up without my knowing her and without her knowing me. It is difficult to face. And I know your life without me would be a dull blank.

Yet you must never let it become wholly so, for you will be left with the greatest challenge in all the world; the upbringing of our baby. God bless that child, she is the hope of life to me.

My darling, au revoir. It may well be that you will only have to read these lines as ones of passing interest. On the other hand, they may well be my last message to you. If they are, know through all your life that I loved you and baby with all my heart and soul, that you two sweet things were just all the world to me. I pray God I may do my duty, for I know, whatever that may entail, you would not have it otherwise.”

Mobile Phones/Contacting Your Child During the School Day

This week, all students have been reminded of our rules about mobile phones and communication from home. We appreciate that the majority of students will have mobile devices with them as a safeguarding measure to and from school. However, mobile devices can cause significant distractions in school. Therefore, we do not expect to see them from the moment our students come through the gates on the way into school until they are going through the gates on their way home. If we do see mobile devices they will be confiscated and students will be asked to collect them at the end of the school day.

If your child needs to contact you during the school day, they have been told to do so via their Pastoral Head of Year. If you need to contact your child for any reason during the school day please do not do so via their mobile device. Instead please do so via the Pastoral Head of Year or reception.

Dates For Your Diary

Date Event
Friday 26th November - Friday 10th December Year 11 PPEs
Friday 17th December Santa Dash
Friday 17th December @ noon Term finishes
Tuesday 4th January Students return to school at 8:30am

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 8

Here’s to half term two

I hope all our students and their families had a lovely half term break. I enjoyed a few days in Yorkshire enjoying the damp, but still stunning, Yorkshire Moors. Half term is also a time for students and staff to spend valuable time with their friends and families - something I always very much enjoy.

We start this half term with an INSET day for staff - where we are focussing on the teachers’ professional growth - how good teachers will become great teachers throughout the course of the academic year. In the afternoon we are welcoming to Kingsway the primary partners in our Trust - Meadowbank and Gatley - to look at the curriculum journey for students from 3 to 16.

Around school we have displays of the five year curriculum journeys for each subject.

These can also be found on our website

These journeys are to help students and their parents/carers have an overview of what students will be learning during their time at Kingsway and how that supports their GCSE success and post 16 progression.

By the end of last half term, we saw a significant decrease in the number of positive cases of COVID-19. This was in part thanks to the efforts of our students and staff in school by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing where possible and parents who were not sending their poorly children into school.

At the start of this new half term, we want to continue on this downward trajectory, hence the letter sent out to all parents and carers at the end of the half term advising that we continue to expect students and staff to wear face coverings in communal areas. Please prepare your child for wearing a face covering in communal spaces in school and that students carry out daily LFD tests at home if there is a positive case in your household. If the LFD test is negative, students can come to school, if it is positive students must book a PCR and remain at home.

Students will be issued with more LFD kits this week to ensure they have sufficient tests. These are different to our previous kits and are easier to use because they are nasal tests only and the test tubes are pre-filled with solution. Results are also ready in 15 minutes.

Below is an open letter from Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi about the importance of children aged 12 to 15 getting the vaccine.

“Dear parents, carers and guardians,

It remains my top priority as Education Secretary to protect education and make sure children are spending as much time as possible in the classroom.

Last month, the UK Chief Medical Officers recommended that the government extends the offer of a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to all 12-to-15-year-olds. This has been approved as safe and effective for this age group by the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA.

It is estimated that this country’s world leading vaccination programme has saved more than 120,000 lives. Vaccinations are building a wall of defence across the country and it is important that as many young people as possible take up the offer so we can continue to keep these defences strong.

Young people aged 12 to 15 can now book an appointment using the NHS book a vaccination service. Where possible, appointments should be booked outside of school hours to avoid missing school.

Getting the vaccine is one of the best things young people can do to protect themselves and those around them – and I want to encourage you to consider the new option for them to have their jab at a vaccination centre locally, as well as the option to have it in school.

Having the vaccine makes us all less likely to catch the virus and less likely to pass it on and so will be important in ensuring children can do the things they love like seeing their grandparents during the Christmas holiday. Young people who get COVID-19 will miss school, and may spread it to others. That is why we are encouraging you all to support your children to get vaccinated.

The school-based COVID-19 vaccination programme has already vaccinated nearly half a million young people and visited thousands of schools. If your child is 12 or older on the day the vaccinations are taking place in school, they will be able to access a vaccine.

Further information about vaccinations for 12-15-year-olds can be found at the NHS website here.

It is also particularly important that young people take a COVID-19 test and report the result before returning to school after the half-term break, helping make sure we keep the virus out of education.

Together, we’ll beat this virus and protect the education of our children.”

Later this half term, Kingsway senior students and community ambassadors will be laying a wreath in memory of local armed forces who have died in service. Below are the details of some of the events taking place in our neighbourhood.

A reminder that the council would like to hear the views of the local community on the new railway station and the walking and cycling proposals. 

We want the investment to be focused on infrastructure that will meet the needs of and provide the greatest benefits for Cheadle’s community and economy. There is a drop in event taking place on Thursday 4th November, 2.30pm-6.30pm, Cheadle Village Hall ~ 1 Brook Rd, SK8 1PQ.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 26th November - Friday 10th December Year 11 PPEs
Friday 17th December Santa Dash
Friday 17th December @ noon Term finishes
Tuesday 4th January Students return to school at 8:30am

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 7

Squid Game

We have received the following guidance from the local authority regarding the Netflix show Squid Game. 

Squid Game is currently one of the most popular shows on Netflix and has a rating of age 15 and above. The programme centres around a series of children’s games that have deadly consequences, and is very violent in nature. 

We understand that there is other adult content and despite its initial appearance it is not suitable for younger children. The BBFC have awarded Squid Game a 15 rating in the UK for “sexual violence references, injury detail, crude humour, sex, suicide, sexual images, violence.” This is very different from the 12a rating which allows younger viewers if they are supported by a parent or other guardian. The 15 rating states that the material is “suitable only for 15 years and over” with no concession for accompanying adults. Parents may not have realised the age certification of the programme and you may wish to alert them. 

Parents can also apply parental controls to Netflix if they wish by setting up a Netflix children’s profile, this limits viewing to TV shows and movies which have been carefully selected for children.

To do this:

  • Go to https://www.netflix.com/account
  • Scroll to 'Profile & Parental Controls' and click on the profile you want to manage.
  • Click 'Change' next to the Viewing Restrictions setting.
  • Enter your Netflix password.
  • Set the maturity rating for the programmes and films you want to allow in that profile.

COVID-19 update

Please see the attached joint letter to parents of secondary school and college students in England on COVID-19 testing and vaccines from the Secretaries of State for Education and for Health and Social Care.

I am pleased to communicate that our rates of COVID-19 in school have been falling week on week since we re-introduced some additional COVID controls. Following a meeting with the Local Authority we will review the current arrangements. Any changes will be announced later this week. 

Good news

I received a lovely message from the manager of the Headway Charity Shop in Cheadle village. Last week, two of our students Oscar and Esme (pictured below) were awarded a certificate of achievement and dedication to the charity. Oscar and Esme have been volunteering for over 12 months every Saturday for the charity that works to improve life after brain injury.

As mentioned last week, I had the pleasure of a celebratory breakfast with the Year 10 students with outstanding Attitude to Learning. Mrs Bradley (Year 10 RSL) also joined us for a scrummy pain au chocolat. Surprisingly, all that remained was the fruit!

Year 7 updates

For the first half term, Year 7 students have been able to leave at 2:50pm to support a staggered exit. From next half term onwards this will come in line with the rest of the school and students will leave with the bell at 3pm. They will also move more in line with the Break 2 lunches. At the moment they leave period 3 with their class teacher at 12:15pm, but from half term this will be 12:20pm as they are now all familiar with the systems in school. Before students return to school please can we ask you to check that their Parent Pay accounts have been topped up ready for their lunches on Tuesday 2nd November.

Miss ABC

Let me introduce our Anti-Bullying Coordinator, Miss Nay!

Hi, My name is Miss Nay and I’m one of the Behaviour Mentors of The Kingsway School. I’m also the Anti-Bullying Coordinator. I am available if any students have concerns or worries regarding bullying either for themselves or others.

We have at least 2 student Ambassadors for each year group who are approachable with a friendly face for the first contact.

Any conversation with a student will be treated with sensitivity and understanding. We have a thorough system in place to deal with any issues, small or large.

Posters are available in the classrooms with my email details and a dedicated Anti-Bullying mobile number. You can of course speak to any adult in school who can direct students to me. The Anti Bullying mobile number is 07871 074544 and my email address is missabc@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 22nd October School closes for Half Term
Monday 1st November INSET Day
Tuesday 2nd November School re-opens

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 6

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week which runs from 9th to 16th October. The awareness week is an opportunity to bring people together, highlight Greater Manchester’s zero tolerance to hate crime and encourage both victims and witnesses to take a stand and report hate crime.

Greater Manchester stands together for National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Hate crime will not be tolerated here. If you’ve been a victim or witness of hate, report it and get support ~ www.letsendhatecrime.com

Please always contact your child’s year team if you have any concerns about the mental health of your child. There is further support from our local authority for any young person who suffers with low mood or anxiety. 

COVID-19

A reminder that our school has different rules in place following advice from Stockport Public Health, and these are different to the national guidelines.

At present, students and staff need to wear a mask in school, although they do not have to wear them during lessons. Students must bring their own mask with them each day.

Isolation guidance is also different. If a person tests positive for COVID-19 in a household, then any children attending Kingsway MUST isolate and book a PCR test. They can return to school if they have a negative PCR result.

Home testing using the Lateral Flow device kits is a foundation of the government’s efforts to control the virus in schools. Please can you ensure that all your children test twice weekly. 

Our rates of COVID-19 are still high, but due to these measures we have seen the numbers begin to level off.

Student News

More great news - Year 11 student Holly D has been called up to the under 16 England squad to play Wales on October 31st.

Holly is a shining example of the importance of enrichment. Opportunities outside of the classroom build students’ character and confidence and allow them to learn new skills and develop talents. Enrichment is the focus of this week’s assembly, expertly delivered by our senior student team.

Finally, congratulations to the following fabulous Year 10 students who achieved the highest possible ATL (attitude to learning) scores on their last assessment: Emma B, Luke R, Jamie P, Esme M, Imogen D, Lilly T and Bastian B. They will be enjoying a delicious breakfast with myself and Mrs Bradley later this week.

Whilst we didn’t have our face to face event Open Evening continued using our virtual platforms. Whilst technology can never replace the real thing we hope that the Virtual Event will provide some insight into our beating heart. If you haven’t seen it yet please take a look. We will also be updating our social media platforms with daily insights from students and staff to give you further insight. 


Last week we also got to meet Year 6 pupils at Gatley Primary when some of our teachers went across to deliver our Performing Arts workshop. Led by Mrs Dunn, students got involved with art, dance, drama and music all around the theme of Oliver. We hope they enjoyed it as much as we had and we looked forward to visiting our other schools throughout this week.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 22nd October School closes for Half Term
Monday 1st November INSET Day
Tuesday 2nd November School re-opens

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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