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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 18

Congratulations and celebrations!

Congratulations to our Year 11 Hospitality and Catering students who completed the assessed practical element of their course last week. Here are some of their amazing creations:

Congratulations also go to our magnificent merit winners who each received their certificates and badges this week:

LOWRY: Patrycja K (9I) was in Mr Burniston’s Geography lesson where the class were learning about Tourism in the Thar desert which is located across the border of India and Pakistan.
RYLANDS winner Imogen D (10T) and Whitworth winner Paige R (10H) were in Mr Chohan’s Chemistry lesson conducting experiments about electrolysis.
Another RYLANDS winner - Bastian B (10T) was also in Chemistry with Mr Atherton where he was using his amazing maths skills to carry out tricky bond energy calculations.
GASKELL winner, Oscar M (9N) was preparing for a test in Miss Slater’s German lesson.
PANKHURST winner Ayesha K (7E) was in Miss Butler’s Art lesson practicing pencil drawings with shading and tones.
TURING winner, Nancy C (7I) was also in an exciting science lesson doing a practical experiment into how heat moves around liquid.

Another GASKELL winner, Alex P (9W) was writing a think piece about Disney’s Lion King story in Miss Tweedale’s English lesson. Finally, well done to WHITWORTH winner Maram A (10Y) who was not in school to pick up her certificate and badge - we will get this to you soon Maram!

Building on our successes we were delighted to celebrate the achievements of one our Year 10 students, Jess L. Jess participated in the Northern Athletics Championships, reaching the finals of the hurdles and semi-finals of the 200m. In both events she was able to set her personal best and is now ranked 6th in the country with her hurdles time.

As we have slowly been able to open up our school doors in a socially distanced and safe way, we were delighted to welcome back Loreto College. We have a long standing relationship with all our local colleges and were delighted when Danny Price, senior manager and Head of Performing Arts, was able to meet with a cohort of our Year 10 students. He spoke to them about how their attitude and actions can influence their long term success. Part of this explored how students could identify their own unique gifts and what they could control.

Term Dates

Following last week’s blog, the additional INSET days have now been set. Please see below for 2022/2023 term dates:

  • Autumn 1 ~ 1st September 2022 - 21st October 2022 (INSET Day 1st & 2nd September 2022)
  • Autumn 2 ~ 31st October 2022 - 21st December 2022 (INSET Day 31st October & 2nd December 2022)
  • Spring 1 ~ 5th January 2023 - 17th February 2023 (INSET 27th January 2023)
  • Spring 2 ~ 27th February - 31st March 2023
  • Summer 1 ~ 17th April - 26th May 2023 (Bank Holiday 1st May 2023)
  • Summer 2 ~ 5th June - 20th July 2023

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Thursday 27th January Year 9 (virtual) Options Evening
Thursday 3rd February Year 9 (virtual) Parents’ Evening
Friday 11th February Break up for Half term

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 17

Essential Equipment

All students must arrive with basic equipment for the day. Our ParentPay shop is available for parents to purchase stationery items using a debit or credit card. This is separate to your main ParentPay account, and you don’t need to have a log in, therefore any family member can access this. Once your purchase has gone through, the student will be able to collect their stationery from the relevant Year Office. The shop can be found on our school website, or here

Uniform

One of the school’s non-negotiables is that students arrive to school in full uniform. If a student arrives to school in incorrect footwear or has no jumper or blazer with them then they will be expected to correct their uniform from school supplies, where available. School sanctions will be put in place for students who refuse to correct their uniform from school supplies. If there is a problem regarding uniform then please contact your child’s Pastoral Head of Year.

Admission arrangements 2023-24

Stockport council is seeking the views of parents on the Admissions and Term Dates Consultation for academic year 2023-24. In particular the co-ordinated Admission Arrangements for applications received after the closing date(s). The current coordinated scheme, which details how applications received after the closing date are treated, is a source of confusion, and challenge. The Council is proposing to change its coordinated scheme meaning applications submitted after the closing date will be treated as such for a limited time rather than the full academic year. By doing so there will come a point in the admissions process where priority for places is purely determined by distance, sibling links and circumstance rather than be influenced by the timing of the application. Prioritising local school places for local people is a key priority for the Council and we believe this change could lead to a more sustainable, fairer process ensuring fewer children having to travel considerable distances to school.

To facilitate the opportunity for more stakeholders to comment on the consultation the council have extended by 1 week, the closing date is now Sunday 23rd January 2022.

COVID-19 Update

Remote learning

The situation in school is still very changeable, and we are working hard to cover the level of staff absences in school so that students do not need to be sent home. Each day provides its own set of challenges and it would be a sensible precaution if families have arrangements in place for your child if their Year group was placed on remote learning from home. We would endeavour to provide at least 24 hours notice, but due to the nature of the virus, and the shortage of supply staff, this may not be possible.

New COVID-19 guidelines

A new set of COVID-19 guidelines have started this week. The first is that you no longer need a confirmatory PCR test following a positive LFD test. (However, if you wish to claim the Test and Trace support payment you will need a follow-up PCR test).

From Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to school or childcare setting immediately on day 6. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace.

If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.

Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.

Student COVID-19 vaccinations

Students will be able to receive their second vaccination this week providing consent has been given. Years 10 and 11 receive theirs on Wednesday 19th and Years 7-9 on Thursday 20th.

In school measures

Students should have their own masks which must be worn in classrooms and corridors. Please ensure your child has their own hand sanitiser to use regularly during the day.

PE

Last week a number of 10 and 11 boys were very privileged to attend St George’s Park, home of the Football and the FA. Students undertook a range of activities, usually reserved for the England 1st team, including warm ups, learning about the fundamentals of footwork and body positioning, use of the cold water treatment pool and access to the state of the art £2 million hydro-recovery treadmill pool. We returned later in the week with our Year 8s who had a fantastic time under the guidance of tour guide and coach, John. A fantastic opportunity which our students represented The Kingsway School with pride and respect.

Year 7 Virtuosso Opportunities

Would you like to learn an instrument? Hopefully, many of our Year 7 parents will have seen our fantastic opportunity of free music lessons. For a very limited time we have a number of FREE spaces available on specific instruments. Our VIRTUOSSO offer allows you to play one of the following instruments, in a group with other students and a professional instrumental tutor for 6 weeks. We will even loan you an instrument! Lessons are available on the Violin, Viola, Cello, Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Timpani and Tuned/Orchestral Percussion. The offer is very limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

Term Dates

Finally, even though we are not yet halfway through the 2021/22 academic year - we are aware that some families need to plan for 2022/23 and have been asking about the term dates. I can confirm that the term dates are as follows:

  • Autumn 1 ~ 1st September 2022 - 21st October 2022 (INSET Day 1st & 2nd September 2022)
  • Autumn 2 ~ 31st October 2022 - 21st December 2022 (INSET Day 31st October 2022)
  • Spring 1 ~ 5th January 2023 - 17th February 2023
  • Spring 2 ~ 27th February - 31st March 2023
  • Summer 1 ~ 17th April - 26th May 2023 (Bank Holiday 1st May 2023)
  • Summer 2 ~ 5th June - 20th July 2023

There are additional INSET Days yet to be added. I will post the finalised calendar on our website before half term with all INSET Days included.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Monday 24th January The Kingsway Association meeting
Thursday 27th January Year 9 (virtual) Options Evening
Thursday 3rd February Year 9 (virtual) Parents’ Evening
Friday 11th February Break up for Half term

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 16

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our families. I hope you had a restful festive break.

The Autumn Term ended on a high with our festive Santa Dash. Our students raised an amazing £8000 which will be donated to Rowley Projects who work with our sister school, Kolweny Kingsway School in Kenya. Well done to everyone who participated.

Our usual staff Christmas treat was put “on ice” on the last day of term, due to concerns about infection rates in the run up to the holidays. However as a result we were able to deliver some warm turkey and stuffing barms to the Wellspring in Stockport for distribution to the homeless community.

Year 11 PPEs

COVID has been high on the agenda on our return with more testing for students, unusually high staff absence and upcoming second dose of vaccinations.

COVID aside, the new year has started well with our Year 11 students receiving their PPE results - many of whom were delighted with their performance which was a reflection of their hard work. There were others who saw these results as the ‘wake up call’ they needed to knuckle down for the next round of exams in February. With so much still unknown about how this cohort of students will be formally assessed in the summer, every assessment window is important. A number of Year 11 students have been invited to attend intervention classes in English, Maths and/or Science to help them achieve their potential. These students have been selected by class teachers and subject leaders who can see they have the potential and the positive attitude to achieve better results. If your child is in Year 11 and you would like some guidance on how to help them improve their results, please contact Mrs Clarke (Raising Standards Leader).

GCSE options

Year 9 students are gearing up for making their GCSE options. We are proud of the broad curriculum offered here at Kingsway where we offer the full range of EBacc subjects (English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Computer Science, French, German and Spanish) as well as a wide selection of other subjects to spark students interest and develop their talents. Subjects such as Business Studies, Travel & Tourism, Art & Design and Engineering are offered to help students springboard to university courses or employment in a range of sectors.

Uniform

In assemblies this week the focus is uniform. Wearing uniform correctly is a sign of respect for our school and like any profession in life a uniform is what is worn when students are ready to work and learn. All students are expected to wear full uniform every day and wear it the way it is meant to be worn. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you about our uniform policy.

Appendix C: Uniform Policy

  • Footwear: Plain, flat, below the ankle all black leather footwear only (including soles). Footwear should have no air pockets, different coloured laces or any additional decoration. It should not be a sports shoe.
  • Trousers: Must be school approved tailored trousers – no jeans, canvas, chinos or corduroy allowed.
  • Jewellery: No jewellery may be worn, this includes earrings and other piercings. Please note we do not allow plasters over new piercings – students will be asked to remove all piercings. Students can wear a watch; however Smart Watches are not permitted.
  • Make-up: Students seen wearing makeup will be required to remove it. Nail varnish and false nails (including gels and acrylics) are not permitted, neither are false eyelashes.
  • Outerwear: Students should wear a coat suitable for the climate. Hoodies are not permitted.
  • Promotional Clothing: Clothing which promotes e.g. sports teams, political groups, etc is not permitted
  • Haircuts: Extreme haircuts are not permissible, e.g. unnatural hair colour (including red) and shaved heads less than grade 2. As a Health and Safety measure, long hair should be tied back from the face during lessons where there is a potential Health and Safety risk, e.g. Food Technology, PE or Science experiment

Can I please remind families that only footwear that is all leather, black and without air pockets will be allowed. Any additional decoration needs to be removed. 

I would also like to reinforce that ‘Hoodies’ are not allowed in school and are not a substitute for a coat or a school blazer. If students choose to wear a hoodie to and from school, from 8:30am and until they leave school at 3pm they should be in their bags and not seen. If students are wearing hoodies during the school day then they will be confiscated. The term ‘Hoodie’ is an umbrella term that includes pull on and zip up tops with a hood that are made out of jersey material. 

Piercings, acrylic nails and false eyelashes are not permitted. If your child has had piercings, acrylic nails etc over the holidays they will be asked to remove them. If your child wishes to get a piercing, then can I suggest that this waits until the summer holidays.

If you have any queries regarding uniform then please contact your child’s Pastoral Head of Year.

Breakfast cafe

Following on from student requests we have decided to trial reopening of our breakfast cafe service. Students can come along to Foxland canteen from 8am to purchase a variety of hot food and drinks, perfect on the cold mornings! We do ask that students refrain from entering into the main building until the doors open at 8:20. 

New staff

Finally, we welcome some new staff this new year Mr Green - Head of Technology, Mrs Axon - Resource Centre Manager & Mrs Somerville - Teacher of Business Students/Computing.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Monday 10th January Breakfast Cafe reopens
Monday 24th January The Kingsway Association meeting
Thursday 27th January Year 9 (virtual) Options Evening
Thursday 3rd February Year 9 (virtual) Parents’ Evening
Friday 11th February Break up for Half term

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 14

Sounds of sleigh bells!

We have reached the last week of the Autumn term and prepare ourselves to wave goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022. There are faint sounds of sleigh bells in the air!

2021 has been a challenging year, not too dissimilar to 2020 - though at least we have had the joy of having our students with us in school and not delivering learning remotely. Who knows, 2022 may be a magnificent year!

In the meantime, I implore our families to send their children to school with a face mask. We all (staff, students, parents) deserve a healthy, happy Christmas and we have been disappointed with the numbers of students arriving at school without a mask. This national expectation is to keep us all safe from the virus - Delta or Omicron variant.

On Friday, staff came to school in their Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save the Children charity. Our fundraising will continue on our last day with our new tradition of a Santa run to raise money for our sister school in Kenya - Kolweny Kingsway.

Return to school

As mentioned in last week’s blog, students will be following a staggered return to school to ensure that we have tested all consenting students prior to the start of the Spring term. The details are as follows:

COVID Testing Schedule - January 2022

Time Tuesday ~ 4/1/22 Wednesday ~ 5/1/22 Thursday ~ 6/1/22
09:00 7I 7N 7W 8H 8C 8E 9E 9I 9N
09:30 7A 7T 7H 8N 8K 8W 9T 9G 9S 9R
10:00 7E 7K 7G 8G 8S 8T 9W 9A 9Y
10:30 7S 7Y 7C 8I 8A 8Y 9H 9K 9C
11:30 11T 11H 10H 10Y
12:00 11A 11E 10A 10I
13:00 11I 11G 10E 10S
13:30 11S 11K 10N 10G 10R
14:00 11W 11Y 10T 10K
14:30 11C 11N 11R

N.B. ~ Years 11 and 10 will attend their test, and then go home. They start school at 8:30am the next day following their timetable as normal. 

Years 7, 8 and 9 will attend at their scheduled time and remain in school following their normal timetable.

Year 11 exams

Our Year 11 students have reached the end of their PPE examinations. As yet, we are still unsure if this cohort will be sitting their GCSE examinations in the summer, so these PPE exams could be an important factor of their GCSE outcome. They will be receiving their results of these PPE exams in a mock results day on Thursday 6th January 2022.

Protecting our students

We have been made aware of some reports of males acting suspiciously in cars. Their behaviour has left children feeling unsafe. The local authority has sent us some information to remind parents, and young people about steps they can take to keep safe when out and about. 

Statistics show that crime against young children by strangers is rare. Even so, there are steps you can take to help to protect your child:

  • stay alert, and keep personal media devices turned off, so they can hear what's going on around them- earphones can be distracting and limit awareness of surroundings
  • stick to busy, well-lit roads, and avoid short cuts
  • if your child thinks someone is following them, they should cross the road or go to a place with lots of people around, like a bus stop or shop
  • when travelling by bus, your child should try to use bus stops on busy roads, sit near to others and near the driver when possible
  • if someone tries to take something from your child, tell them never to fight
  • tell them to keep mobile phones and other valuables out of sight
  • if your child has to use a lift – tell them to try to use them with friends, and not to feel worried about getting out if they are uncomfortable about someone else being in there
  • encourage your child to speak up if they are being bullied or feel they might be in danger

Check list for young people

  • Think - before you go out
  • Where are you going?
  • How are you getting there?
  • Who are you going with?
  • Who needs to know?
  • Take only the money you need and keep it in a safe place.
  • How are you getting home?
  • Is your mobile charged and have you got credit?
  • Keep your mobile handy but out of sight
  • Keep valuables such as devices, jewellery and items of expensive clothing out of sight
  • Who will you contact in an emergency?

 The NSPCC have produced this guide to help parents decide if their child is ready to travel alone/ stay home alone.

Please encourage your families to report incidents of concern to the police via 101 or to use the GMP chat facility. In emergencies always use 999.

Breakfast cafe

Once all the students have returned in full in January, we will be trialling our canteen opening for breakfast from 8:00 until 8:15 on the Foxland Campus only. We hope this will help our students to have a great start to the day with a range of hot and cold food and drinks on offer to purchase. Students must not come into the main building at this time but are welcome to eat inside the dining hall. We will review this after the February half term.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 17th December Santa Dash
Friday 17th December @ noon Term finishes
Tuesday 4th January - Thursday 6th January Students return to school - see information above for dates
Thursday 6th January Year 11 Virtual Parents' Evening
Monday 10th January Breakfast cafe reopens

Finally, I would like to wish our families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 13

Being the best versions of themselves!

The week started with a delightful breakfast, celebrating the fantastic achievement of a group of Year 7 students who were all awarded a clean sweep of grade 4’s for attitude to learning in every subject. Dr Holdsworth and I enjoyed our shared breakfast hearing about the aspirations and ambitions of these remarkable young people. Well done to Sean S, Khudzai M, Emma F, Jess H, Megan J, Izzy K, Millie K, Charlie S & Cole W.

I met more outstanding students last week when I had the opportunity to deliver the House Merit awards. The October winners were:

Alex P (9W) and Patrycja K (9I) who were both in Mrs Beattie’s maths lesson where they were solving higher level algebra problems, expanding triple brackets.

Izzy K (7C) was in Miss Hulance’s lesson where she was working in a group writing paragraphs on Gothic characters from GCSE texts including Jekyll and Hyde, Dracula and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Eleanor S (7T) was in Miss Ashton’s MFL class where students were learning to tell the time using analogue and digital clocks.

Bastian B (10T) was in Mrs Dyson’s maths class where the students were drawing and interpreting cumulative frequency curves and box plots.

Lastly, Nancy C (7I) was in Mrs Parkin’s History lesson where the class were learning why the Romans invaded Britain and all the resources that Britain had including corn, silver, leather and people for their army or to use as slaves.

Well done to all our House Merit winners!

Victorian Christmas Markets

Despite the cold, wet, windy weather - spirits were high at Saturday’s Victorian Christmas Markets in Cheadle. I joined our senior students and community ambassadors who were running traditional stalls such as splat the rat, hoopla and the human fruit machine. My thanks go to Mr Wood, Mrs Jones and Miss Lee who braved the weather alongside our young people to help our community.

Our students had some lovely comments from members of the community who praised their politeness and resilience (in the stormy weather). It was lovely to receive these emails today:

“I thought I would drop you an email to inform you how helpful and courteous your pupils were on Saturday at The Craft Fair Market at Trinity Church, helping us to carry out our stock to the car, after a very long day, this help was much appreciated.”

“Just a quick note of thanks to the Year 8 students that helped carry my stock back to my car after the Christmas Fair at Trinity Church. The 3 girls and 2 boys were polite, chatty and helpful and a credit to the school.”

Return to school

As we move into the final fortnight of this autumn term, things are revving up in school. Our Year 11s continue with their PPE exams and plans are underway for our Santa dash at the end of term. We are also preparing for LFD testing our students on their return in January. As you will be aware, the government’s latest guidance is for all secondary schools to test pupils prior to them starting the new term. Our schedule will be as follows:

  • Tuesday 4th January a.m. Year 7 arrive at allocated times, test, stay in school and go to lessons
  • Tuesday 4th January break 1 onwards. Year 11 arrive at allocated times, test, and return home
  • Wednesday 5th January Year 7 & 11 in normal lessons all day
  • Wednesday 5th January a.m. Year 8 arrive at allocated times, test, stay in school and go to lessons
  • Wednesday 5th January break 1 onwards Year 10 arrive at allocated times, test and then return home
  • Thursday 6th January Year 7, 8, 10 & 11 in normal lessons all day
  • Thursday 6th January a.m. Year 9 arrive at allocated times, test, stay in school and go to lessons

More information will be sent home shortly with details of the testing time for each group.

For those of you who might be jetting off somewhere during the holidays, please be aware of government changes to travel requirements. From 04:00 GMT on Tuesday 30th November, anyone entering the UK from a foreign country (apart from Ireland), will be required to take a PCR test - a lateral flow test will no longer be accepted. The PCR test must be booked before travel, and bought privately from a government-approved list of providers.

While people are waiting for a result, they must self-isolate – regardless of age or vaccination status. People can stop self-isolating if their test is negative. Attendance at school is therefore not permitted while staff or students are awaiting their result. Additional requirements apply to red list countries.

Finally, as Father Christmas gets ready for his magic worldwide delivery service, can I remind families that gifts such as AirPods, mobile phones, jewellery (including new piercings), acrylic nails, false eyelashes and trainers need to stay at home in the new year and not make their way into school!

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 17th December Santa Dash
Friday 17th December @ noon Term finishes
Tuesday 4th January - Thursday 6th January Students return to school - see information above for dates
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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