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Year 11 Update – 19th November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following the letter sent earlier this week, regarding proposals for Year 11, we have been listening to your feedback. It is clear that there is a wide range of views and there is not an ideal solution which will satisfy everyone. What we do know is that in our local area the rates of COVID-19 are particularly high, and therefore we cannot rule out the possibility that more families will test positive for the virus and some students will need to self-isolate. This causes disruption to students’ learning and teachers’ plans for teaching. 

Our immediate concern is to protect the Year 11 Pre-Public Examinations which take place from Friday 27th November to Friday 11th December. Already, we are well aware that the preparation for these exams has been affected for some students by the need to self-isolate for periods since the beginning of September. The aim is to minimise the risk of disruption during the exams themselves.

Having reflected on our proposal we have decided to modify the plan. Next week Year 11 students will attend school as normal, receiving their timetabled lessons in school. However, once the examinations start, students will only be expected in school when they have an examination. At other times, they will receive live lessons according to their timetable. For those students who have both morning and afternoon exams, they will remain in school and attend their timetabled lesson for period 3.

Our intention is to provide students with continuity in their studies and to reduce, as much as possible, the risk of spreading the virus between students during the examination period. There will be further information about the last week of term, but at present this is planned to be a normal school week.

The current situation is deeply unfair for our students, especially because schools in different parts of the country are not experiencing the same disruption.  We are making our concerns clear to the relevant authorities and parents have asked how they can support us. With this in mind, accompanying this email are two letter templates which can be sent to Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education) and Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester).

Thank you for your continued support in these most difficult of times.

Mrs J Lowe

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Year 11 COVID-19 Update – 17th November 2020

The close contacts have now been identified for the latest Year 11 case of COVID-19. All the close contacts have received a phone call and had an email containing the letter from Public Health England. They will return to school on Wednesday 25th November.

Those students who have been isolating, but have since not been identified as close contacts, will be able to return to school as normal tomorrow, Wednesday 18th November.

Work will be posted on Class Charts and available either on Google Classroom or with links to live lessons.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 10

Last week, I shared the virtual Remembrance Sunday event that was held in Cheadle and that representatives of The Kingsway School were very honoured to attend. Reflection upon this loss and sacrifice continued throughout the week: Ms Bowers (Head of History) held virtual assemblies with all year groups and Mr Lawton led us all in a minute’s silence with the Last Post. We were delighted that so many of our students who were self-isolating were also able to uphold the silence online. Usually, our community ambassadors are actively selling British Legion poppies, both within our school and local community. Despite being unable to do this, our students continued to do us proud and showed their respects by creating their own poppy window displays and sharing this with us all. Take a look at these wonderful images.

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

This week is National Anti-Bullying Week, and we are looking forward to Ms Nay’s (Behaviour Mentor and Anti-bullying Coordinator) virtual assemblies. 

If you have any concerns about your child we would urge you to contact the school but you may also find this link to the Anti Bullying Alliance Parents’ page useful

Anti-bullying is a year round commitment as such we were delighted to be able to welcome our new Year 7s to our growing Anti-bullying Ambassador team last week. They are; Brooke, Jaxon, Levi, Ruba, Megan, Zara, Zak & Abdul

I’m certain that alongside every other student and member of staff, they will keep a watchful eye on everyone to help keep The Kingsway Schoola safe and happy place to be.

Remote Learning Updates

As we continually respond to the new world of remote learning, I thought it would be useful to share a few updates:

Initially, we asked students to keep their cameras off but over time, students have become familiar with this new way of learning so we would like all students to keep these on but muted. This enables teachers to check understanding and engagement more immediately. 

Although accessing learning via a computer is more desirable, if your child is struggling to access Google Classroom via a computer or laptop, there are a number of alternative ways.  If your child has access to a tablet or smartphone, the Google Classroom app can be downloaded and used to join meetings and complete work. Alternatively, students who have either Playstation or Xbox are also able to access Google Classroom if their system is web-enabled. 

For students who are self-isolating, we have been trialling streaming lessons from the classroom. We are working on rolling this out further but we will be using the teacher's professional judgement on when this is used. There are many benefits to this system, but equally it does not always fit the intended learning outcomes or the nature of specific subjects and topics. Teachers will send out a message to students if they are intending to use this method and students will need to join via Google Meet - students should check the Google Classroom at the start of each timetabled lesson. Students need to be aware that teachers will share their screen and audio only and will not be able to fully monitor the chat box; sound quality may also vary. We hope that this will help students feel more connected to the class during periods of self-isolation.

School Nurse Services

After 16 years Jayne Seedhouse, our school nurse is leaving The Kingsway to start a new position within Stockport Family/NHS. Jayne joined us in 2004 and has been a wonderful addition to our pastoral care offer. She has asked us to pass on the message: “I will miss the school, the students and the wonderful staff I have worked with. I believe that The Kingsway is a great school with wonderful teaching and support and a fabulous safeguarding, pastoral and welfare team. I have very much enjoyed my time with you.” We wish Jayne all the best in her new role and thank her for all the support and work that she has done with our students over the years - good luck and we will miss you! Alison Renshaw will be joining us shortly, we look forward to welcoming her. 

Reception, on both sites, have reported that they are finding an increasing number of parents dropping off forgotten equipment. Due to COVID safety measures we are unable to allow parents to do this at this time. Please can you help your child with organisation of their bags the night before. Should you child forget any equipment we will try to provide alternatives or adjust the lesson to accommodate this but we will, unfortunately, no longer will not be able to permit visitors on to the school site until further notice.

With the nights closing in much earlier, can we take this opportunity to remind our students and families about keeping safe. A number of parents have started to park closer to the school again, making it very dangerous for our students to leave safely.  Wherever possible can you please arrange a meeting point away from the school. It is also that time of year again, to remind students that all bikes should be locked up, even if you are using the bike shed. Can our cyclists also take a few minutes to provide a service check on their bikes and check their lights and reflective gears #BeSafeBeSeen

On Friday I sent out wishes to all our students, staff, families and members of our local communities who are celebrating the Festival of Diwali. We hope you have all been enjoying the celebrations and that the festival of light has given us all a reminder about the importance of hope.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 18th December School breaks up for students at noon
Tuesday 5th January Students return to school at 8:30am

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.

Mrs J. Lowe

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Year 10 COVID-19 Update – 13th November 2020

Last Update: 15:00pm

This morning we were informed of a second case of COVID-19 within Year 10. This time we implemented a modified approach in our response. This is a trial to see if it is a better way of handling cases of COVID-19. Instead of sending the whole Year group home we have only sent home those students in the person’s friendship group, or who have been in a lesson with them during the infectious period. This has allowed about half the Year group to remain in school. Our experience has shown that there is little risk of keeping these students in school.

We are now identifying the close contacts from those students who were sent home. Families will be contacted by the end of today if they are a close contact. Close contacts will need to self-isolate until 24th November, and other students will be able to return to school as normal on Monday.

There was a supply teacher for 10X Science set 1 and we have used the usual seating plan. However, should your child believe they were in a different seat during the lesson then please contact school.

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COVID Safety and Visitors to School

May we remind parents that visiting the school is not allowed, unless you have been given an appointment. This is a key part of our COVID safety risk assessment.

Students should ensure they bring the correct equipment to school each day including a mask, homework and PE kit where necessary, as unfortunately parents cannot be admitted onto the school site to drop these off.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

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