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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 31

A spectacular sandwich!

It was a cracking week at Kingsway last week.

At the start of the week, over 100 year 11 students attended the English Literature revision session

on ‘An Inspector Calls’. These after school super sessions are run by all members of the English Department who deliver 10 minute recap sessions of themes, context and characters in advance of the GCSE Literature exams. This week they will be focusing on ‘Macbeth’. Well done to all the students who have been attending and going the extra mile, we’re certain it will pay off long term!

The week ended with the final Year 10 exam. After two weeks of hard slog, our Year 10 cohort have completed formal examinations in all their subjects and they have done themselves proud! Just the results to come…

Sandwiched between these two formal study activities were an array of wondrous Kingsway creativeness:

Our remarkable Resource Centre students chose to support a unique charity for the volunteer element of their Duke of Edinburgh Award. The Toilet Twinning Project enables families living in poverty to have lifesaving loos. To raise money for this special charity all Resource students took part in a fundraising car wash. Staff who supported the event drove home in gleaming cars and enough money was raised to fund two toilets for a vulnerable community.

Mrs Jones and Miss Lavanini and teachers of 7K and 7I supported our community neighbours, Friends of Scholes Park (FOSP) last week. Our Kingsway team joined Jo and Bridget from FOSP, Gatley Primary School, Lum Head Primary School and Brookside Pre School for a busy morning of planting, painting and litter picking.

The Performing Arts department and its BTEC students welcomed Sarah Lockwood, Dance tutor from Salford University into school. Sarah, accompanied by her third year student Luke, was very impressed with our young dancers. Kingsway students loved participating in exercises to improve technique and learning some new choreography. Our students were also invited to Salford University to watch their third years’ final show. In the future we hope to build on these links to help our students grow as dancers and learn about future pathways. Here’s what some of our Year 10 students thought: 

Adele C: The dance workshop was very different to what I have experienced before in dance. It opened my mind to new ways of communicating and floorwork in contemporary dance. Having an external workshop coming into the school for the first time since the pandemic was exciting. I loved it and I am looking forward to the dance trip on Friday where we will get to see dancers from the University of Salford live on stage.

Kiedi E: I really enjoyed the workshop with the lady who was very energetic and inspired me into other influences in the dance industry. I learnt new techniques, which were high level and made me consider further education in dance.

Lilly T: I loved the dance workshop and Sarah really made me realise what I need to work on in my dance ability and technique. She taught us how to add emotion into our dance and how to go to our full ability.

Lexie C: The dance workshop felt like something that would help me in my future in the dance industry as I learnt plenty of new techniques and moves that I would have never tried before. Sarah was very welcoming and extremely comfortable to work with since she and one of the current dance students, Luke, repeated some of the moves when I didn’t quite manage to grasp it after the first time. During the dance trip to the University of Salford, I hope to see more techniques from the dancers and high-level choreography.

Every day last week, Our HLTA Mrs Tudsbury delivered an assembly to year groups on Autism Awareness. Mrs Tudsbury was joined by visitor Jessica Mann, a second year music journalism student, who shared her personal experiences of having autism in school. With one in one hundred young people being diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder in the UK, the assembly helped our students gain an understanding and appreciation for their peers who struggle with autism in school.

On Friday we were visited by our fabulous Year 5 pupils from Lum Head, Prospect Vale, Cheadle Primary and Outwood. Having walked to Kingsway in the sunshine, they were entertained in the hall by ‘Mad Science’ company, led by mad scientist, Scientific Sarah. The students all learnt about how amazing air can be and how it behaves in different situations.  The experiments included ideas about pressure and forces, and most importantly lots of fun! Many of the students got involved with the demonstrations. Thank you to Mrs Lucas, from our Science Department, for organising this annual event. It was an absolute delight getting to meet the pupils, who were all so polite and respectful, and giving many of them their first look at the school.  We hope all the pupils enjoyed the show and we hope to see them again soon.

Mrs Wardle is currently undertaking a review of homework across the school. We would welcome parent and carers views on this. Please take a couple of minutes to complete this questionnaire, which will close on Monday 9th May. 

Many of our students, staff and families have been celebrating the month of Ramadan and this culminated this weekend in Eid Al Fitr. We wish Eid Mubarak to everyone in our community.

We would like to invite all parents and carers to The Kingsway Association’s ‘Wine and Cheese’ evening on Monday 9th May. As many of you with older students will know, we traditionally host this in the autumn term to welcome our new Year 7 families. Global events made that difficult over the past couple of years, so we have rescheduled this event to welcome parents and carers from all year groups across the school. It will also be an opportunity to say goodbye to many of our long-standing TKA members who have Year 11 students leaving the school. We hope to see many of you there. 

It was a busy, buzzing week in Kingsway - I was glad of the long bank holiday. Nonetheless,  here’s to another week just like it!

Dates for your diary 

Date Event
Thursday 5th May Year 8 Parent Information Evening
Monday 9th May, 6pm The Kingsway Association Cheese & Wine Evening in Foxland Hall
Tuesday 10th May, 5:30pm Year 6 Parent Workshop - supporting your child with numeracy
Tuesday 10th May, 6:30pm Kingsway Showcase

Have a great week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 30

Living with COVID.

It got me at last! At the start of the second week of our Easter holidays, I felt a bit out of sorts and was stunned to see it was positive. Twice! Just to be sure.

If that had happened two years ago, I would have been terrified of the unknown and potentially a lot more poorly if I had not had the vaccinations I have since had. So I was lucky - especially as it was during the holidays so I could just relax through it.

I know not everyone has been so fortunate, there are members of our school community who have suffered badly themselves and those who have lost loved ones. You are all in our thoughts.

Now, we are advised to ‘live with COVID’. In school, we feel we have been living with COVID since the outset. We have lived with the challenge of being responsible for the health of our students as well as their education. Making adjustments to our school routines to keep them as safe as possible - one way systems, bubbles, remote education are just a few examples of a new world we were thrust into.

When I look back, I wonder - how did we do it? We had students staying in classrooms and staff between the ages of 24 and 64 running from one end of Foxland to the other end of Broadway… two or three times a day! I remember the MFL department invested in wheelie bags to transport their books and equipment - a wise move - my shoulders have not been the same since!

Even though there are no regulations or testing, we are still ‘living’ with COVID in school (please see the current guidance on the school website). Every day, we see examples of students who are struggling to slot back into the routines and expectations. These aren’t just the students who are struggling with returning to school at all, but those who have had limited structure and supervision at home over the past two years and are finding the ‘strictness’ of school a challenge. It is understandable of course - if I was allowed to eat as much chocolate as I wanted one day and then not allowed a single chocolate button the next day, I’d be confused and craving for chocolate!

So, what are we doing to help those students who are finding it difficult to return to the routine of school? Each half term we have highlighted one of our school rules to remind students what our expectations of them are and how they can achieve them. This week Miss Linnecor spoke to students about the importance of respect - a cornerstone of our ethos of Opportunity, Achievement and Respect. Students were encouraged to think about how they could be more respectful of others and their environment but also about how they should respect themselves. By acting differently they could be more proud of the person they are. Self respect is about being healthy, happy and considerate of others. There are so many students at school who are responsible and respectful members of our community and will grow into responsible and respectful citizens of the future. 

The Year 10 students this week have really impressed staff with their responsible and respectful approach to the exams - this is the first opportunity they have had to sit exams in a formal manner and they have been a credit to the school and their families.

It is just dawning on our Year 11 students that they have only 24 school days left. Over 1000 days at Kingsway have been accomplished and just 24 left. During their time at Kingsway, they have faced a worldwide pandemic, disrupting their lives beyond comprehension - and yet, here they are on the cusp of fantastic success. As Ricky Gervais once said, “If you can laugh in the face of adversity, you're bullet-proof.” Bullet proof or not, they are a year group whom the staff at Kingsway will always be very proud of.

We were delighted to learn that Holly D, one of our Year 11 students, on top of preparing hard for her GCSEs, had been very busy over Easter. As well as being a talented football player signed to Manchester United, Holly played for England against Belgium and Portugal. The team won both matches (3-0 and 5-1 respectively). This is a huge achievement and we are extremely proud of Holly and wish her all the year group the very best for the exams and their future.

As our work with Year 11 draws to a close, our work with our younger students ramps up. They need a lot more support in closing the gaps caused by COVID. We also recognise that our parents need support, having not had the close relationship with school that they once had. This includes our Year 7 parents who finally had the chance to meet their child’s form tutor face to face at the Parents’ Information event last week. 

If you’d like to find out a little bit more about what responsibilities your child’s form tutor has, Miss Williamson explains her role below.

It was so lovely to meet so many parents in school and hear how well their child has settled in, despite the challenges. If you were unable to attend please see a recording of the presentation below and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance.

We recognise that unless something is wrong, the opportunities for parents to come into school have been limited over the past two years. As we all live with COVID, our plan is to hold as many celebratory events as possible to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the people who hold the greatest influence on their child. With that in mind we are delighted that our Kingsway Association are holding a social event for all our parents. The Cheese & Wine evening will be held in Foxland Hall and will be an opportunity for parents to meet each other and some members of staff. This is not a fundraising event, or a recruitment drive to join the PTA, (which we can provide details of if you are interested) but an opportunity to engage with your child’s school community. We look forward to seeing as many of you there are as possible.

Living with COVID is not a burden but an opportunity to build and construct, together, the educational experience that sees each student creating the best versions of themselves.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Monday 2nd May May Day Bank Holiday
Tuesday 3rd May, 5pm Year 6 Parent Workshop (Online Safety)
Thursday 5th May Year 8 Parent Information Evening
Tuesday 9th May, 6pm The Kingsway Association Cheese & Wine Evening - Foxland Hall
Tuesday 10th May, 6:30pm Kingsway Showcase

Here’s to being the best! Have a great week everyone.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 27

Summer spectacular!

Welcome to the summer term… it has certainly come around fast.

I hope you and your family had a really lovely Easter break. I certainly enjoyed some much needed rest and relaxation and spending quality time with family and friends.

This week our Year 10 students start their end of year PPE exams and in just a few weeks time our Year 11 students will start their GCSE examinations. It has been two years since a year group has sat these exams in a traditional setting and it has been admirable to see how prepared the Year 11 cohort are in the two recent seasons of PPE exams. They have worked hard for these exams and I have every confidence students will achieve the grades they deserve because EFFORT = REWARD.

We ended the Spring term with two great achievements:

  • The Year 11 football team narrowly lost out to Priestnall in the Stockport School boys football finals. The team, coached by Mr Hulme, are incredibly talented and we are really proud of their fantastic achievements all season.
  • Ms Nay and her anti-bullying ambassadors led a fabulous fundraising event at the end of term with three members of staff (Mr Dubale, Mr Cook and Mr Abbott) volunteering to have their hair or beard shaved for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust. Unfortunately, I was not available to volunteer that morning (!)… nonetheless they raised £1858.72. Well done guys.

We also welcomed Year 6 parents last term in the first of our ‘Meet the Team’ events,  led by Mrs Wardle and Mrs Jones. This was an opportunity for parents to receive valuable information to help best prepare their child for their start at Kingsway in September. We also informed parents of the transition activities that will take place before September to help their child feel at home at Kingsway, including a summer school which builds on the success of the summer school last year. If you have a child starting with us in September and would like any information about the support we can offer in transition, please email transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Another joyful activity last week of term was the Year 11 photograph. Over 300 students and a dozen or so staff collected together to have our commemorative photograph taken. It is a really proud moment for me as Headteacher to join these amazing young people as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. Here’s a sneaky preview of the before shot! 

Living with COVID-19

At the end of last term the Government announced measures for living with COVID-19. The basis of these measures is to treat COVID-19 in the same way as other infectious respiratory diseases. The need to test for COVID-19 has generally been removed, as has access to free tests.

A student who has symptoms of a respiratory illness and a high temperature should not attend school and avoid contact with other people, until they feel able to resume normal activities AND no longer have a high temperature.

If a student has received a positive COVID-19 test then they should remain at home for 3 days after the test result and avoid contact with other people. This period is extended to 5 days for an adult.

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick

Break time sports activities

Break times are much needed free time for students to catch up with friends, be fed and watered and to take a break from learning. Some students have asked for more structured activities during break time, so we have invited a local coaching company to come and trial break time sports activities such as cricket and dodgeball. This trial will continue in the summer term on Broadway campus and if proven to be popular, it will extend across both campuses.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Wednesday 20th April Year 10 PPEs Start
Thursday 21st April Year 7 Parent Information Evening, 5pm in Foxland Hall
Thursday 5th May (TBC) Year 8 Parent Information Evening
Monday 2nd May May Day Bank Holiday

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 26

Springing into action

Spring is certainly here… what a lovely weekend we have had. I hope you managed to enjoy some of the early sunshine.

Kingsway students certainly shone during the last two weeks.

Year 10 students all took part in Mock interviews. It was great to have this event back in school this year for the first time since 2019. We were delighted to welcome back our business volunteers who came in to meet and interview our Year 10 students. Before their allocated interview, students had a briefing to explain the process and had 'interview tips' highlighted to them. We were realistic that in light of the last two years our students may have felt overwhelmed and a little out of their depth in this situation but we needn't have worried, Year 10 students stepped up to the challenge beautifully and presented themselves in a mature, focused and very able manner. All our volunteers were hugely impressed with the calibre of our Year 10 students and how they approached this task. The aim of this exercise is to ensure that students have experienced an interview environment in preparation for their real college or apprenticeship interviews which will normally be in approximately 7 months! Huge thanks goes to all our business Volunteers and to Our Futures for delivering these days!

On Wednesday 16th March, around 100 members of our Student Parliament came together to raise questions and solutions about school matters to myself, Caterlink, Mrs Wardle and Mr Wood. A hot topic at the moment is the provision of activities at break time. In response to student voice, we are launching a trial of break time enrichment with a view to a full roll out after Easter. More information to follow.

Also on Wednesday we welcomed back over 150 ex-students from the Class of 2021 who came to school to enjoy an informal presentation event organised by Mrs Guess. There were balloons, donuts and lots of staff there to celebrate their GCSE success. Our grown-up ex-students left with their formal GCSE certificates and lots of lovely words about their time at Kingsway. We will miss them. We are very proud of each one of them.

There were more shining stars  in National Poetry Week assemblies. Led by Mr Carr, our Year 7 poets recited poems, limericks and sonnets to each of our year groups.

Well done to Simeon H, Josh S, Prith S & Veer-Raj S.

I'd rather have fingers than toes,
I'd rather have ears than a nose;
And as for my hair,
I'm glad it's all there,
I'll be awfully sad when it goes.

The CEO of our Trust, Miss Murray, joined me earlier in the week. We talked about developments at Kingsway and our culture of being the best versions of ourselves. On the back of this, Miss Murray joined me in a walk around school to award our merit winners with their certificates and badges. Well done to these superstars:

Whitworth: Luke R (Year 10)
Turing: Nancy C (Year 7)
Gaskell: Oscar M (Year 9) / Lowry: Patrycja K (Year 9)
Pankhurst: Alyesha K (Year 7)

And finally well done to Bastian B (Y10) who was the merit winner for Rylands - but was busy having his Mock interview.

I was delighted to see our Trust’s promotional video which contains lots of Kingsway students, and a cameo from our own Miss Dean.  Parents can also read ELT’s Annual Report.

Year 9 Art and Design students have been working on their self-portraits. They have been focusing on proportion, tone and mark making. These are some from 9G which are on display in the Art room.

We have welcomed A* coaching to school - a small team of sports coaches who are working with our students at break time to offer enrichment activities. This is currently a pilot which we will be rolling out over the summer term.

With the good weather came some poor behaviour by a small number of our student body. Sadly, some students behaved in a manner which fell well below our expected standards in Gatley last week. I would like to reassure our community that any behaviour which reflects badly on the school is taken seriously. Parents are informed and sanctions issued. We also take every effort to restore relations with the community e.g. last week a student who was involved in an altercation in Gatley, delivered flowers to the kind bystander who tried to help.

Thankfully, the vast majority of students in our school are a credit to our ethos of being ‘the best versions of themselves’. Here’s just one of the lovely social media messages we received from a member of our community. Please keep them coming!

Bike security

Please may I remind students that they should secure their bikes with a lock when using the communal bike sheds as we cannot be held responsible for any losses where these are not secure. Alternatively you could also request one of our individual bike pods which are a great way of keeping your bike safe and secure. Please contact the relevant head of year for more information. 

Dates for your diary

Date Event
30th March Meet the Team (Year 6 Welcome Event)
1st April School closes for Easter at 3pm
Tuesday 19th April School re-opens at 8:30am

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 24

Caring for one another

Last week was Golden week in school, a week where we put wellbeing at the forefront of our daily routine as teachers and support staff. There were a range of activities for staff to enjoy including Pilates Flow and Mindfulness class, staff badminton and lots of goodies to eat at the Big Breakfast. Staff also took part in a Random Act of Kindness and delivered small gifts for one another to brighten the day. It was a lovely week - all organised by our fabulous Staff wellbeing team.

Saddened by the tragic events in Ukraine, The Kingsway School launched its own fundraising appeal last week. We have already raised over £300 to help the victims of the war. Our Just Giving page is also available to parents and members of our community. If you would like to contribute to the DEC Ukraine Appeal please visit our Just Giving page.

National Offer Day

Last week we saw our Kingsway family extend again as many of our families received notification of their child’s secondary school allocation. We were warmed to hear about so many applications naming The Kingsway School. Whilst we understand that some families have not received their preferred option can we encourage you to liaise directly with your residential Local Authority who will be working hard to resolve your concerns. In the meantime we have a number of events planned in addition to our usual transition programme. We have been delighted that so many parents have joined our private Class of 2027 Facebook group which will enable us to keep you up to date with key information until you join us in September.

If you do have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the transition team on transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Dates at a glance
Event Led by Date Time Location Eventbrite Sign-up
Meet The Team Evening
PARENTS ONLY
Mrs Lowe (Headteacher), members of the Transition Team & Senior Leaders 30th March Session 1 ~ 4-5pm
Session 2 ~ 5:30-6:30pm
Foxland Hall Sign up here
Bridging the Gap (1) - Online safety & social media at secondary school
PARENTS ONLY
Ms Woodyer & Mrs Bull (Teachers of Computing & Business Studies) 3rd May 5:30pm Foxland Hall Sign up here
Bridging the Gap (2) - Numeracy to support your child at secondary school
PARENTS ONLY
Mrs Dyson (Head of Key Stage 3 Mathematics) 10th May 5:30pm Foxland Hall Sign up here
Bridging the Gap (3) - Reducing anxieties in the transition to secondary school
PARENTS ONLY
Mrs Mann (Operational Safeguarding Lead), Ms Nay (Anti-bullying Co-ordinator), Mr James (Cultural Mentor) 17th May 5:30pm Foxland Hall Sign up here
Bridging the Gap (4) - Literacy to support your child at secondary school
PARENTS ONLY
Mrs Sawyers (Head of Year 7 & 8 English) 26th May 5:30pm Foxland Hall Sign up here
Year 6 SEN Evening Ms Djang (SENCO) 15th June Invite only - Ms Djang to co-ordinate with individual families directly.
Transition Day & Parent Evening Transition Team 7th July ~ Further information, including details of Form Tutor to be sent near the time.
Summer School 22nd - 26th August ~ Further information to be sent at a later date.
Start of Term / Kickstart to Kingsway Monday 5th September ~ Further information to be sent at a later date.

Battle of the books

We were delighted to celebrate World Book Day with our annual Battle of the Books event - even more so to welcome pupils and their families back into school. There were some amazing performances from a wide variety of students all debating their book and engaging in a verbal battle. The panel of judges were astounded by the originality and creativity of the arguments. Year 7 were in good form with 3 representations from 8 students, and a special award was made to the Percy Jackson team who incorporated role plan, presentation skills and a boy band tribute into their performance. But the overall winner, after 4 years of contributing to this event was Emma B and Rebecca I in Year 10. Their engaging and persuasive debate around the book ‘A Recipe for a Perfect Wife’ by Karma Brown had all the judges and the audience running out to purchase their own copy.

Well done to all the participants as well as Mr Carr and Miss Williamson for organising and all the judges for making a very difficult decision.

National Careers Week

(7th to 12th March) was celebrated in school focusing on all 'Careers'.

During registration students had a daily quote to think about. This encouraged them to think and start a discussion about their future journey and the opportunities to work hard, overcome barriers and not limit themselves. We want our students to be the best version of themselves and have the brightest future so it is never too early to think about the Post-16 journey. Subject teachers directed more focus in their daily lessons to career paths which had an element of their subject in order for students to understand the breadth and diversity of where school subjects can lead. Students also had an opportunity to learn the career's journey their teachers had taken. Staff posted on their classroom doors the jobs they had previously had before working at Kingsway. There were many surprising and very different routes that our staff followed to ultimately end up in teaching. This was to highlight the number of transferable skills which allow you to progress in different directions.

We hope this focus in school coupled with the Parental Guide posted on Class Charts was the beginning of some interesting follow-up conversations at home.

Enrichment

At The Kingsway School we are very proud of our enrichment programme. There are so many different activities available and they all add to the experience of secondary school as well as providing key employability skills. Students are regularly updated on new opportunities, for example in recent weeks PE have offered Fencing and Performing Arts are holding auditions for The Kingsway Showcase. Students should keep an eye out for the information shared by tutors and class teachers, as well as our weekly updates on the PE twitter page for clubs and fixtures.

CCTV Upgrade

We are in the process of upgrading our outdated CCTV system in the external areas which we feel will aid security of the site and reduce the number of incidents. Students are still advised to bring a bike lock or use the allocated bike pods. Sadly, our facilities staff who look after the crossings have been subjected to abuse by members of the public in recent times and this will not be tolerated. For this reason we will also be providing them with body worn cameras which can be activated in the event of an incident.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
15th / 17th March Kingsway Showcase Auditions 3:15-5pm in F41
16th March Class of 2021 GCSE Presentation Event - 3-4pm in Foxland Canteen
24th March Year 7 Parents’ Evening
29th March Year 11 Macbeth Super Revision Session - 3pm in Broadway Hall
30th March Year 11 Photograph
30th March Meet the Team (Year 6 Welcome Event)
1st April School closes for Easter at 3pm
Tuesday 19th April School re-opens at 8:30am

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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