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FREE Parent Session – Mental Health Awareness Week

Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week, 10-17th May and this year the theme is Nature and the Environment.

As we know, some students struggle with their anxiety and wellbeing.

Kooth are offering a FREE session for parents to support this, on Wednesday 12th May 6-7pm.

It will provide really helpful tips in supporting positive mental health, and emotional wellbeing at home and in school.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 29

The best of the best!

The summer term is certainly bringing us the best of the weather so far... lots of lovely sunshine. Our staff and students are making the most of this.

Miss Bentham’s Geography class were out measuring wind speed.
Whilst Miss Pike’s Year 8 PE group were having a game of rounders.
Mr Howarth’s Year 7 PE class were team building - trying to get the golf ball to the hoop without walking!

There was also some exceptional problem solving by Bastian B in Year 9 who not only smashed the Intermediate Maths Challenge but went on to achieve a merit in the follow-on round ‘the Grey Kangaroo’. Mrs Beattie and Mrs Eames are super proud of Bastian.

Well done to Hayden H in 10Y who was a fantastic community ambassador for our school last week. On his way home from school, Hayden used his first aid skills to help an elderly gentleman who tripped as he got out of a taxi. We are immensely proud of him.

Last Friday the English Department celebrated ‘The Bard’s’ birthday by dressing as Shakespearean characters. It provoked a number of funny glances from students and staff who were surprised to see them on duty and the corridors in their full costume. Did you guess all the characters? There may have also been some celebratory cake too! Next year we hope to get more staff involved.

Mrs Jones and her team have started the important part of transition - that of getting to know your sons and daughters as much as possible before they start. Mrs Jones has thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of our new family and it seems they have also enjoyed this opportunity to ask questions about their new school. 

We continue to work with our local primary schools in providing as much information as possible to parents who are in the process of making the important decision about secondary school options. As such we are delighted to be able to offer our Primary Roadshows again this year. Whilst we remain COVID compliant there will be an element of virtual streaming, but we hope that where possible we will be able to meet face to face at your child’s primary school. Further details will be shared in the near future but for now please save the following dates:

If you are a parent of a new Year 7 student (Class of 2026) and have not yet completed the application form please do, so we have as much information as possible to ensure a smooth transition for September.

We are very lucky at Kingsway to have our lovely Mrs Flood who does a terrific job of supporting students on to the next stage of their education. She ensures that every student has a 1:1 careers appointment with an impartial careers advisor and also provides lots of information about colleges and apprenticeships. It was lovely to hear of the success of two ex-students this week:

  • After a few years break, Josh L is returning to Kingsway in the role of Learning Support Assistant for students with Special Educational Needs. It is really lovely to see ex students returning to school as employees.
  • Another ex-student Ben M has been offered the job of commis pastry chef at the famous Harrods in London! Ben’s catering skills were developed right here in Mrs Guess’s food room - we are really proud of his achievement. Well done Ben and feel free to drop off a custard slice when you're passing!

The Kingsway School is very proud of our successful teacher training programmes. In addition to the support we offer to the local universities, and other training providers, through the PGCE routes, we also recruit a number of candidates to the School Direct programme every year. We have already made a number of offers for next academic year but if you are interested in either the primary or secondary routes into education further information is available on the school website or by contacting Ms Murray on b.murray@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Tuesday 4th May Year 11 Mini Exams Start
Thursday 6th May 2021, 5-8pm Year 10 Parents’ Evening
Monday 17th & Tuesday 18th May (AM only) Year 8 HPV 2 Injections

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Kingsway Leavers 2021 Grades: Guidance for Students and Parents

This page outlines the process that will be followed by The Kingsway School awarding grades for our students in 2021. 

What have schools been asked to do?

We have been asked to generate teacher assessed grades for students. These grades must reflect a fair, reasonable and carefully considered judgement of the student’s performance across a range of evidence on the curriculum they have been taught. Teachers should use their professional judgement to balance the full range of evidence available for each student in order to make a holistic judgement.  This is different to what we were asked to do in 2020, where we stated the grade the student would have been awarded, if exams had gone ahead. This year the grades must be based on evidence of the student’s performance.  

What evidence can schools use to make their judgements?

  1. Student work produced in response to assessment materials normally provided by the exam board including past papers, and the groups of questions being provided to support evidence gathering this summer, or similar materials such as practice or sample papers.
  2. Non-exam assessment (NEA) work (often referred to as coursework), even if this has not been fully completed.
  3. Student work produced in centre-devised tasks that reflect the specification, that follow the same format as exam board materials and have been marked in a way that reflects exam board mark schemes. 
  4. Internal tests and trial exams taken over the course of study.
  5. Records of a student’s capability and performance over the course of study in performance-based subjects such as music and PE.
  6. Records of each student’s standard of work over the course of study. 

Schools have been asked to consider the following in relation to the evidence: 

  • More recent evidence is likely to be more representative of student performance although there may be exceptions. 
  • As far as possible, evidence should be consistent across a class or cohort of students. 
  • Teachers can use evidence from any point during the course, provided they are confident that it is the student’s own work. 
  • The range and amount of evidence could vary between subjects.
  • When deciding the weighting evidence is given, teachers should consider the extent to which the evidence covers the content of the course and assessment objectives, when and where the assessment took place and the level of support that was given.
  • While there is no set requirement for the minimum amount of content that students must have been taught, the Head of Centres will be required to confirm that students have been taught sufficient content to form the basis for a grade. 
  • Evidence for students must be based on content they have been taught. 

How will we award grades at The Kingsway School?

  • Each department has identified evidence from across the course of study that fulfils the characteristics listed above. 
  • The evidence mix varies between departments, but most will include the May mini exams and the December PPEs (Mock exams). To view the evidence mix please click here.
  • Teachers will use the evidence collected to assign a Teacher Assessed Grade for each student in their class(es). They will use their professional judgement to balance the full range of evidence available for each student. 
  • Teachers will use only the evidence presented. Decisions about potential must not factor into the student’s grades. It would not be appropriate to refer to projected grades or target grades.  “A grade derived from a predicted trajectory or target grade is not permitted”. JCQ Guidance
  • When making decisions about grades, the teacher will consider the following factors:
    • When the assessment took place
    • Coverage of assessment objectives
    • Coverage of content
    • Authenticity – is the evidence the student’s own work?
    • Level of control – was it taken in timed conditions? Was there an opportunity for redrafting? Was it supervised? 
    • Marking – how much support was available when applying the mark scheme? What internal standardisation processes have been applied? 

There might be some circumstances where the evidence mix will be adjusted for certain students, these are detailed below: 

Access Arrangements

Students with special educational needs or disabilities can be given access arrangements for assessments. For example, they might be given additional time, a scribe or different coloured paper. For the formal assessments such as the May mini exams or December PPEs, these access arrangements are put in place consistently. For other evidence, access arrangements might not have been put in place. Where access arrangements were not in place, we might remove that assessment from the evidence mix or use alternative evidence where appropriate to do so.  

Mitigating circumstances

Where a student had to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 for a significantly greater length of time compared to their peers, we will consider the impact of this for the individual. We might take actions such as removing evidence or using alternative evidence where appropriate to do so. Parents do not need to inform the school of periods of self-isolation as will refer to the school’s attendance records for Year 11.  

There may be other mitigating circumstances that you wish the school to be aware of which may have had an adverse affect on your son/daughter during Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11). Where a student was affected by adverse circumstances such as a temporary injury or death of a family member we ask that you notify the school by completing this form: https://forms.gle/knEgVSTZwUfq7sEc7 by Tuesday 18th May. Mitigating circumstances will be considered by the school on a case by case basis and we might take actions such as removing that assessment from the evidence mix or we may use alternative evidence where appropriate to do so.  

Internal quality assurance process

  • We have written a Centre Policy in line with JCQ guidance. The policy provides a summary of our approach to assessment and quality assurance. This will be made available on the school website once it has been reviewed by the awarding organisation.
  • Once the grades have been determined by teachers, checks will be carried out by Heads of Department. This is to ensure that a consistent and fair approach was used between classes in a subject. 
  • Once the grades have been checked by Heads of Department, further checks will be carried out by Senior Teachers. This is to ensure that a consistent and fair approach was used between different subjects.
  • Checking mechanisms will ensure: 
    • Teachers have determined grades objectively and without bias.
    • Access Arrangements and mitigating circumstances have been appropriately considered.

External quality assurance process

Checks will take place by our awarding organisation to ensure that the grades we award are consistent and fair compared to other schools:

  • Our awarding organisation will review the Centre Policy.
    • Our awarding organisation might organise a virtual meeting to ensure the systems we have adopted are appropriate.
  • We will be required to submit samples of work from five students in at least two subjects at GCSE, one of which is likely to be English language or maths. 

Evidence and grades

  • Although teachers may share results associated with individual pieces of evidence, they must not share with students the grades submitted to awarding organisations before results are released.
  • Students/Parents must not attempt to enter into a negotiation about grades as this is considered examination malpractice. 

What will be submitted to the exam boards?

  • A grade for each candidate 
  • Grade decisions for the endorsements in spoken language in GCSE English Language and MFL.

Appeals

The arrangements for awarding grades to students in summer 2021 include internal and external quality assurance measures which aim to ensure that on results day students are issued with fair and consistent grades that have been objectively reached.

In the instance that a student wishes to appeal a grade, there are two key stages to the appeals process:

Stage 1: centre review

The student can ask The Kingsway School if an administrative or procedural error has occurred. Students should be aware that their grade could go down, up or stay the same. If we find that an error has occurred, we can submit a request to the awarding organisation to correct the error and amend the grade without the need to make an appeal to the awarding organisation.

Stage 2: appeal to the awarding organisation 

The second stage of the process is referred to as an appeal to the awarding organisation (submitted by The Kingsway School on the student’s behalf). An appeal should be submitted if the student considers that we did not follow our procedure properly – outlined in the Centre Policy, the awarding organisation has made an administrative error, or the student considers that the grade awarded was an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. Students should be aware that grades can go down, up or stay the same.

Timeline

  • Tuesday 18th May - Deadline for mitigating circumstances form
  • Friday 18th June - Deadline for submission of grades
  • Thursday 12th August - GCSE results day

Further details about how students can collect their results will be made available nearer the time. 

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Relationships Sex and Health Education Parental Consultation

  1. This consultation seeks your views on our RSE and Health Education policy, which has been developed in line with requirements from the Department for Education (DfE).
  2. In June 2019, the DfE published “Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education” (June 2019). This guidance:
    • Makes it compulsory for all schools to have an RSE Policy.
    • Sets out the topics that need to be taught to students by the end of secondary schools; and
    • Makes changes to the right of parents or carers to withdraw their child from the elements of sex education that are not taught as part of the compulsory national science curriculum.

Please see link to the guidance - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/relationships-education-relationships-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education 

  1. The new requirements formalise expectations but don’t make significant changes to what we teach our students. Many of the topics required by the DfE were already taught as part of our Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum, and in other subjects.
  2. We’ve worked hard to make sure that our new curriculum reflects:
    • Our values of equality, inclusion and respect for all students and communities;
    • Our students’ age and maturity levels, as well as their cultural and religious backgrounds;
    • Every students’ learning needs; and
    • What students need to know to be healthy and safe in school, in their personal relationships and in the wider world
  1. This policy has been published on The Kingsway School website. Parents and carers have been invited to complete the online form to express your views on this policy.

The deadline for responses is 12th May 2021.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 28

Seeing the world differently

The Kingsway School prides itself on its diversity, so we welcomed the assembly focus for this week on ‘Autism: Seeing the World Differently.’ National Autism week fell within our Easter holidays, but recognising neurodiversity is an important conversation so we held our own event this week. Mrs Burgess, our resource based manager, shared an assembly with all year groups. This identified a number of recognisable people who have autism, such as Chris Packham (presenter), Anne Hegarty (TV personality) and Talia Grant (actor). Additional information was shared with all staff to increase awareness.

Enrichment

We are delighted that we have been able to introduce our extensive enrichment programme, and even more thrilled at how popular they have been. It feels like a return to normal. All of the enrichment programmes can be found on the school website and cover Sports, Humanities, STEM and The Arts. 

There are some new additions, such as the marathon challenge that was mentioned last week, but we are also delighted to broaden our Performing Arts offer. Starting this week students are being encouraged to get involved with: musical theatre; dance; acting; choir and even start working towards LAMDA which is a nationally recognised qualification in Acting, Musical Theatre and Public Speaking. We will also be running the Arts Award. All students, regardless of ability or experience, are encouraged to come and try new skills, and will have the opportunity to perform in the July showcase. We hope to uncover the next generation of Kingsway stars! 

Further information on all the enrichment opportunities are available on the website, with regular information being updated via the Frog platform.

EDT Industrial Cadets

Over half term we were delighted that 14 of our students undertook a flexible study course exploring routes into STEM. Students completed 20 hours of study over the 2 weeks, culminating in the students being awarded a Bronze Industrial Cadets award. An amazing achievement and use of their holidays. Well done to: Adam W; Alec N; Amelia E; Amelia T-M; Aneesa K; Caden T; Dylan L; Emily F; Emma B; Khalid N; Luke R; Mariam R; Nina B and Sophie J. Many thanks to Mrs Khan for organising and overseeing the programme. If you would like to be involved in any of the Routes into STEM courses that are running in May and July registration is now open and can be accessed through the tweet below:

Year 8 Speech Competition

Year 8 have recently been learning about how to write persuasive speeches and were given the opportunity to enter their speeches on the theme of ‘equality’ and ‘making the future a better place’ into a competition. The competition was judged by Sarah Jones, who is a lawyer who works to get justice for people with disabilities and for a charity who support women working towards equality in developing countries.

Sarah provided us with some really rich feedback

“It has been a real honour and a privilege to read the incredible speeches drafted by the Year 8 students. I want to thank everybody… because even taking part is making a difference - the very practice of putting our thoughts together and setting out ideas on equality are an important way to recognise the problems that we face in equality. 

The overall quality of the shortlisted speeches has been phenomenal. I am astounded that this level of quality writing has been produced by students only in Year 8! It gives me hope for the future. I find it inspiring to think what these students will go on to achieve, when they are already capable of producing work and words of this calibre at such a young age. I wish them all every success in their education and future careers. The world will certainly be a better place with students like this in it.”

We are so proud of everyone but a particular well done to:

  • 1st Place Aminah M (who has won a voucher and an opportunity to meet Sarah)
  • 2nd Place Rose S 

and our runners up - Pati K, Zach K, Meriyam C

‘The Big Ask’

We hope that all our students can stand up and have an increased awareness of the impact their voice can make on improving opportunities for young people. As such we would encourage as many of our students to participate in the largest ever survey of children and young people, which is being undertaken by the Children’s Commissioner of England, Rachel de Souza. The focus of the survey is for children and young people to inform the Government what they need to live happier lives, something that considering the past year is so important. The survey will take between 5-10 minutes and can be found via the link below.

Community

The Kingsway School is proud of its involvement in the local community and supporting local businesses and we are thrilled that this is a two-way street. We are extremely grateful to Piccolo, CoffeeFix, Bxrbers, Angela Lewis Hair and Brow Lounge for their kind donations of prizes and vouchers to support our students. If you are a local business owner and would like to donate a reward to our students please contact Mrs Jones on a.jones@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Noticeboard and messages

As you can imagine there is always a lot going on in our wonderful, busy school. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please take a moment to read the year newsletters written by your child’s RSL

There are a number of career opportunities that are updated on almost a daily basis by Mrs Flood. These can be accessed via the school’s noticeboard. We recommend that families in Year 9, 10 and 11 check these regularly for information relating to colleges, apprenticeships, or general careers advice.

LFD Testing

Last week all students collected their next batch of LFD tests to be completed at home. We continue to remind students to complete these twice a week (ideally Sunday and Wednesday evening). If there is a positive result, please don’t forget to inform the school (only positive results need to be reported). The current guidance is that following a positive test, students should seek a PCR test. If the PCR is positive then self isolation should commence, if the test is negative please inform school and we can confirm your child’s return to school. The email address for reporting a case of COVID-19 is covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Parking

Thank you to families who read my previous messages about the increasing parking issues outside Foxland and Broadway. This continues to present increased risks for our students, so we would continue to urge families not to use these areas at the beginning and end of school, but to arrange a nearby meeting point. Your cooperation in this is greatly appreciated.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Monday 3rd May Bank Holiday
Tuesday 4th May Year 11 Mini Exams Start
Thursday 6th May 2021, 5-8pm Year 10 Parents’ Evening

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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