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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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Virtual Year 11 Parents’ Evening

We would like to invite you to attend our Virtual Year 11 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 6th January, between 5pm and 8pm.

Parents’ Evening appointments will be held virtually using SchoolCloud, the online Parents’ Evening system we introduced last academic year. The system allows you to schedule your own Parents’ Evening appointments and attend appointments via video call.

Appointments can be made from Thursday 9th December.

Please visit https://thekingsway.schoolcloud.co.uk/ to book your appointments. Login with the following information:

  • Parent Title
  • Parent Surname
  • Student’s First Name
  • Student’s Surname
  • Student’s Date of Birth

A video guide about how to login, book appointments and manage the video appointments can be viewed here:

If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the Year team who will be able to discuss arranging telephone calls with teachers.

Please note that all appointments are strictly limited to 5 minutes duration. After the five minutes have elapsed, the video call will automatically end so that all appointments keep to time. A countdown clock will appear on your screen so that you know how much time remains.

Invite another parent or guardian

A new feature of the Parents Evening System is the ability to invite another parent or guardian to your appointments. You can do this once you have made your bookings (or when you later log in and go to My Bookings). More details can be found on the Video Appointments: Parents - How to attend appointments over video call page.

On the night itself

Visit https://thekingsway.schoolcloud.co.uk/ and sign in and your appointments will load at the correct time.  All you need to do is be signed in and your appointments will automatically appear at the correct time.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 12

Primary colours

All the colours of the rainbow were in Kingsway this week with an abundance of Year 5 children representing their primary schools. It was so lovely to open our doors to local children and have them experience a taste of Kingsway.

On Wednesday students from Lum Head, Cheadle, Etchells, Bolshaw, Prospect Vale, Meadowbank and Gatley primary school showed their creative flair in our Christmas Bauble Workshop led by Art Teacher and Transition Mentor, Mrs Dunn.

On Friday, Year 5 students from Gatley Primary School returned for a Science Workshop. Students carouselled between Biology with Mrs Lucas, Chemistry with Mr Insley and Physics with Mr McNulty. Message from Miss Halligan (Year 5 teacher): “We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for putting together such a fantastic science workshop for our children. They absolutely loved it and I think you've made them really excited about Science lessons at secondary school. All three teachers were brilliant and it was so great that the children got to have a go at each of the Science disciplines across the morning. It was all so organised and thoughtfully planned. We've managed to get some great photos which I know our parents will be thrilled to see too. I wish we could come back every week!“

At the other end of their education, our Year 11 students sat their first Pre-public examination. On Friday, the cohort of 320 students sat their first English and Maths exams. These exams have never been more important as they will be a key measure if the government needs to introduce contingency measures for the formal GCSEs in the summer. As in previous years, it is hoped that these exams will go ahead as planned, however with COVID still very much on our horizon, we are making sure our Year 11 cohort understands the importance of preparing really well for these PPE exams and achieving highly. We wish them all the best in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, Mr Nicolaou ran the 4th STEM enrichment session. The focus was breadboarding which is a method of prototyping circuits prior to PCB manufacture. The students also gained skills in the use of workshop tools as well as testing each stage of the circuit using the multimeter and power supply. The project was an alarm circuit based on light i.e. when it is exposed to light an LED comes on along with a buzzer as a warning. It looks like they all had a great time.

Next weekend sees the return of Cheadle Village Victorian Christmas Markets. Kingsway is delighted to be involved again, with our student ambassadors and student parliament supporting the event - running stalls. We are also offering a park and ride service from our Broadway campus. We hope to see as many of our students and their parents as possible at this festive event.

As the festive season draws closer we look forward to spreading kindness. Last year saw a phenomenal response to our reverse advent calendar, which we are hoping to be able to surpass this year. All students have been shown a Power Point reminding the importance of supporting our local food banks. A list of suitable items such as toiletries and non-perishable food items have been shared and we would appreciate it if our Kingsway family could make a donation over the next two weeks. These will then be equally distributed to our two local food banks in Gatley and Cheadle to bring some Christmas cheer to families.

Finally, SNOW! Can you believe we are preparing for snow again? Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately if snowy weather prevails - they can wear wellies/boots to travel to and from school as long as they change into suitable school shoes once in school. Likewise, a warm waterproof coat is essential as the temperature drops. 

We very much hope that we can continue with business as usual over the coming weeks. The decision to close school is a last resort and would only be taken when all other possibilities about how to keep open have been exhausted. 

The major determining factor in making any decision is the safety and welfare of the students and staff. Typically, reasons that may lead to unavoidable school closure in the winter are:

  • Severe weather conditions which makes staffing ratios unsafe
  • Heating system failures (Boilers, flooding after leaks etc.)
  • Snow and ice (affecting access or movement around the building)
  • Flooding

We will always keep parents informed of any decisions via our website and text messages. It is important that school has the right contact information for each student. Please inform your child’s form tutor or Pastoral head of Year if your contact details have changed.

Year 11 Parents’ Evening

The Year 11 Parents’ Evening will take place on Thursday 6th January, between 5pm and 8pm. Parents’ Evening appointments will be held virtually using SchoolCloud, the online Parents’ Evening system we introduced last academic year. The system allows you to schedule your own Parents’ Evening appointments and attend appointments via video call. Appointments can be made from Thursday 9th December. 

Please visit https://thekingsway.schoolcloud.co.uk/ to book your appointments.

COVID-19 Guidance

The Department for Education has recently updated its guidance to schools following the new Omicron strain of the virus. 

  1. Face coverings must be worn, unless students are exempt, in all indoor communal areas. Students will be asked to put their face covering on as they enter school each morning. Face coverings are the best line of defence against the airborne nature of the virus. We have a small limited number of masks for students who lose/break/soil their mask during the school day. It is imperative that your child arrives at school with their mask (and ideally a spare) from tomorrow. Face coverings should cover the nose and mouth. Sanctions will be issued to students who do not bring a mask into school.
  2. Students should continue to test, using the LFD tests, twice weekly. If the LFD is positive, a follow up negative PCR is required before students return to school, NHS Test and Trace will continue to identify close contacts. All individuals who have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, irrespective of vaccination status and age, will be contacted directly and required to self-isolate immediately and asked to book a PCR test. They will be informed by the local health protection team or NHS Test and Trace if they fall into this category and provided details about self-isolation.
  3. At the start of next term all students will take an LFD test in school. The exact details and arrangements are not known at present but this may involve a staggered start to school to accommodate this requirement. Further details will be issued before the end of term.

Our priority continues to be the delivery of face-to-face, high-quality education to all our students. Please support this by following these two simple rules:

  • ensuring your child brings a mask to school every day
  • following the guidance of NHS test and trace

If you have any queries, or need to report a COVID result, please email covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

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
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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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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