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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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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 5

In this week’s blog, I have asked Miss Woodyer to share some important information regarding additional funding available to school. 

The Pupil Premium gives schools extra funding to raise the attainment of students from when they start school to when they leave in year 11. In order to receive this additional funding, we are required to provide information to the Department for Education confirming which children meet the criteria below.

  • All children eligible for free school meals in the last 6 years. If your child is eligible for free school meals or has been since January 2015 this will generate pupil premium funding. To be eligible for free school meals you must be in receipt of the appropriate benefits and have submitted an application for free school meals. If you qualify for the appropriate benefits but have chosen not to apply for free school meals please consider applying. You do not have to take up the free school meal for school to attract the funding. Free school meals cannot be backdated so you should only apply if you currently qualify. 
  • Children who are, or have previously been, adopted or in the care of the local authority. The pupil premium for 2021 to 2022 includes pupils who were looked after by an English or Welsh local authority immediately before being adopted, or who left local authority care on a special guardianship order or child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order). If your child meets this criteria and the school is unaware, notifying us could help your child receive the additional support that they are entitled to. We respect and understand the sensitive nature of any information passed and can assure you that all information will be received and treated with the strictest of confidence and in line with our data protection responsibilities as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR. 
  • The Service Premium gives schools extra funding to support children and young people with parents in the armed forces. Students attract the premium if they meet the following criteria:
    • One of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces. 
    • One of their parents served in the regular armed forces in the last 3 years
    • One of their parents served in the regular armed forces 
    • One of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil is in receipt of a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the War Pensions Scheme (WPS)

If your child meets one of the above Service Premium criteria please let us know as this will enable us to claim this additional funding.  

Please help us to maximise the amount of Pupil Premium that the school receives by getting in touch with our Data Manager a.page@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk  before 7th October2021 if you feel your child meets any of the above criteria.

Outdoor Coats

Now that the weather has turned some students have started to wear hoodies to school. A reminder please that hoodies are not permitted in school. We would appreciate your support by encouraging your child to wear a suitable outdoor coat to school over their blazer and to leave their hoodie at home. Students have been informed that if their hoodie is seen during the school day it will be confiscated.

Presentation Evening

Unfortunately, we have made the difficult, but sensible, decision to postpone our GCSE Presentation Evening. The event, which celebrates the success of the class of 2021, was due to take place next month. It will now take place in the new year. More information to follow.

Class Charts

As explained in the year group information evening videos, we are streamlining our communication systems. This involves Class Charts becoming a central communication tool for both parents and students. From October this will be the main method of communication, providing information on: homework; behaviour; and, announcements, including letters home and we move to a more paperless system of communication. If you have not recently logged on to Class Charts, or your son/daughter has not yet registered please do so by half term so that you do not miss vital information. If you are uncertain of your login details, please contact your child’s year team in the first instance.

Year 7

We are absolutely thrilled with how our Year 7 students are settling into The Kingsway life. This was evident last week when all Year 7 students completed their CATs test. The Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) are a battery of tests which reveal an individual’s reasoning, logic and ability to work with information and can accurately predict potential for success. Further information has been provided in Dr Holdsworth’s Year 7 Information Evening video. Any student who was absent last week will have the opportunity to complete the tests in the next couple of weeks. Further information about the results will be forthcoming, and will be used by teachers to tailor support in classrooms, including stretch and challenge.

Year 7 Virtuoso Programme

We are thrilled to announce that all our Year 7 pupils will be given an opportunity to learn an instrument, free of charge in the first instance, as part of our ‘Virtuoso programme.’ Where possible this will include the use of a school instrument for both lessons and home practice. The Kingsway prides itself on its extensive extra-curricular opportunities as we firmly believe that it provides students with: a chance to learn new skills; make new friends; and enhance future college and job applications. Learning music has also been shown to support academic performance. We hope as many students as possible will engage with this opportunity. All details can be found on the form, but it is important to note that there is a limited amount of spaces available and all applications must be completed by Friday 8th October and will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis.

Open Evening

A couple of weeks ago we made the disappointing decision to move our Open Evening to a virtual website. This means that students will not be leaving school at 12.25 this Thursday, and this has been communicated home and to the bus services that will continue as usual. If you would like to view our Open Evening offer please go to our school website at 3pm on Thursday 7th October. 

We are certain that prospective parents and their children would appreciate an opportunity to hear from our existing parents, so if you get the chance to complete the short 5 minute Parentview questionnaire that would be very much appreciated.

Reminders

  • Form tutors are monitoring the ‘hits’ of views by parents to the Information Evenings that were published last week. If you haven’t yet done so, please access the videos on the school website.
  • Your child’s planner is a key tool in communication between home and school. At the front of the planner, you will find our K:OAR agreement - this is a set of values shared between the school, students and their family. Please can you make sure that you and your child have signed this agreement.
  • Foxland Road - A polite request to be mindful of our neighbours if you are dropping off or picking up your child on Foxland Road. Please do not park across driveways or block access as this can be difficult for those who live on the road.

Celebrating our alumni

Former Kingsway student, Eli Campbell, already has a successful football career, currently playing for Everton FC, but we are absolutely delighted that he has been called up to the England U18s squad. We will be cheering him on and wish him every success.

Dates For Your Diary

Date Event
Thursday 7th October Virtual Open Evening (please note that there is no longer an early close due to the cancellation of the face to face event)
Friday 8th October School closed in lieu of Jubilee Bank Holiday
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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