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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 37

Last week I shared with you the success of our senior student team. This week the new Head students (Tanzeela C and Charlie L) got straight to work by joining the school’s Senior Leadership Team meeting to present their ideas to further improve our school. Here are some of their reflections:

More wonderful students last week were recognised for achieving the highest number of merits in their House. Sex & Relationships education was the curriculum being taught in their Life Skills lesson when I called in to drop off their certificates and badges. There were a few blushes as I walked into form discussions about relationships. Well done to all our merit winners last month:

Gaskell - Charlie L 10N
Lowry - Patrycja K 8I
Pankhurst - Emelia T 10E
Rylands - Imogen D 9T
Turing - Harry W-F 8K
Whitworth - Brandon S-B 8H

Duke of Edinburgh Update 

On Friday 2nd July and Saturday 3rd July, some of our wonderful Year 10 students, accompanied by our staff, completed their Duke of Edinburgh expedition - with a difference. 

The students were fantastic - walking 16km on Friday, including around Lantern Pike and then another 17.5km on Saturday, along canals and into Lyme Park. They were an absolute credit to the school on an expedition which experienced the full spectrum of weather from sunshine and rain! 

On the Friday students also cooked a meal in front of their assessors - pasta and sauce with chorizo was a winner - don't forget George's olive oil to add extra taste! 

Huge shout out to Li C, who suffered significantly with hay fever on the Friday but battled on and completed both days with great resilience and determination!

Transition Update 

Last Thursday should have been one of our annual celebration days, where we get to welcome our wonderful new Year 7s in preparation for September. Unfortunately, to ensure everyone’s safety we decided that we would move this all virtually. Dr Holdsworth and Ms Lavanini visited as many of our primaries as we could fit in. Whilst we know the day was not the same as it would have been face to face we hope that the students and their families will have enjoyed the videos from key Year 7 staff and the activities that our wonderful departments put together for them. This page will remain active throughout the summer. 

However, we are delighted that we have had over 150 Year 6s sign up for our "7-Up Summer School"! This week-long event will be packed with activities such as Forest School, cooking, art attack and even a sports day and performance. All families who have signed up will be receiving a letter by the end of this week outlining the details and programme that will be available. We hope to keep everyone updated with their progress over the summer.

Year 11 Opportunities 

Although Year 11s are not in school they are never far from our thoughts so we were delighted to be able to offer them a brilliant opportunity via the Education Learning Trust. First Aid is a hugely important life skill and one which is great to include on all future applications and CVs. As such we are delighted to have teamed up with the local organisation Millie’s Trust. They will deliver a course, at Gatley Primary School, to any of our Year 11s who sign up. The course will cover CPR, burns and choking. There are two possible time slots available on Wednesday 21st July (9:30-11:30 or 13:00-15:00). If any Year 11 student wish to attend this course and learn valuable life saving skills please send an email (from your personal email address) indicating which time slot is your preferred one to office@gatleyprimary.com

It is likely to be very popular so please sign up sooner rather than later.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 16th July Break up for Summer Holidays (students finish at noon)
Wednesday 1st September Staff INSET Day
Thursday 2nd September Staff INSET Day
Friday 3rd September Year 7 & Year 11 students return 8:30am
Monday 6th September All students return to school 8:30am

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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COVID-19 Update – 6th July 2021

Dear parent/carer,

I am writing to provide you with an update on the COVID situation at The Kingsway School.

As many of you will be aware, over the past two weeks, we have seen a spike in reported positive tests (LFD and/or PCR) for COVID-19 among our student and staff population.

This may be down to more rigorous testing, cases of the new Delta variant, increasing cases within our community and Greater Manchester region. In school, we are continuing to follow the advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England in managing our response. With a recent flurry of isolating students, I thought it would be helpful to remind parents of the latest guidance and actions the school will take and how you can help us get to the summer as simply and safely as possible. 

My child is unwell

As a school we had previously taken the approach ‘unless it’s broken, send them in’ with regards to attendance to school. However, we are in a different landscape now. If your child feels unwell, and their symptoms are COVID related (e.g. cough/cold/flu/fever etc.), please DO NOT send them into school. This saves a lot of trouble and strife for staff and families when these symptoms turn out to be COVID.

My child’s LFD test is positive

If a student’s LFD test result is positive this should be reported to the school via covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk and recorded on the child’s NHS Track and Trace App. Parents should immediately book a follow up PCR test. Whilst we await the result of the PCR test, the whole household must self isolate. In school, we will liaise with the family to identify close contacts in the 48 hours prior to testing. All close contacts are withdrawn from lessons with immediate effect and allowed to call their parents or carers to advise that they have been identified as a close contact and need to go home. We will always safely supervise any students until they are able to contact a family member.

My child’s PCR test is positive

If your child receives a positive PCR test result, you should email a screenshot of the result to covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk and record on the child’s NHS Track and Trace App. If close contacts have not already been identified (i.e. where the PCR is not a follow up to the LFD), school will begin the process of identifying close contacts as detailed above. Where the positive PCR follows a positive LFD, we will confirm with isolating close contacts the dates for the period of isolation and the child’s return date to school. Please note that the dates for self isolation are not determined by the school, but are from Public Health England; we cannot adjust or amend these dates. A confirmation letter will be sent home confirming the isolation period. A PCR test currently takes precedence over an LFD test. Any subsequent negative LFD results will not alter the period of isolation for a positive PCR test.

My child’s follow-up PCR test is negative

If a child’s follow-up PCR test is negative, they and all close contacts can return to school. The PCR results can often be reported to school in the morning, so it is important that parents check their emails/texts each morning to know if students can return to school. 

Close contacts

Close contacts are those students and staff who have been within 1 metre for 1 minute or more, or within 2 metres of the positive case for 15 minutes or more (cumulative through the day). We also ask for the names of close social contacts (i.e. friends at break or on the way to/from school). Parents can help by reporting these names to the covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk email address.

LFD testing

The school continues to receive supplies of LFD testing kits for students and staff. We distribute these on a regular basis, however the number of recorded results falls significantly short of the number of test kits distributed. Regular testing is a key component of our response to the COVID pandemic and helps to keep our school and local community safe. Please ensure your child takes their test twice a week. 

In September, we may be required by the Government to return to mass testing i.e. where tests are carried out on all consenting students in school by trained staff. This will ensure that we have minimised the risk of transmission of COVID in school on return from the summer holiday.

The school has stocks of LFD test kits and PHE leaflets (including information about recording test results). Please ask your child to speak to their form tutor if they would like any of these.

The summer holiday

Before we reach September, staff, students and parents/carers have a well deserved summer holiday to look forward to. We do not want to be reporting positive COVID cases and periods of isolation to anyone during our last week of term. Please help us to help you, by following the guidance, communicating with the school and being careful out there!

September 2021

There is currently speculation about the next academic year, and further announcements are imminent. When it is released, we will communicate our plans as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and incredible support over the past 18 months.

Wishing you a lovely, special summer break.

Mrs J Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 36

Shining the spotlight on Kingsway

What a spectacular week we have had at Kingsway this week!

On Thursday, our fabulous teacher of History, Mr Cook had the media spotlight on him and a group of students, as they buried our Coronavirus Time Capsule. For those who missed it, The Kingsway School was on BBC North West Tonight on Thursday evening. As part of their History lessons, years 7 and 8 students have been looking into what artefacts best represent the past year. Through lots of discussion these were narrowed down to the most meaningful. Some of the objects included: scissors, to represent all the bad haircuts due to hairdresser closure; toilet roll, due to shortage at the beginning of lockdown; a black glove to represent Black Lives Matters; an image of Marcus Rashford to represent the issue around Free School Meals; and of course, a computer keyboard for remote learning. Each artefact was buried with an explanation so that in 2040 the capsule can be opened as part of future History lessons.

We were also delighted that one former student has contacted us to say that they can identify the location of one of the time capsules from the 1980s. We hope to be able to locate this and share its contents with everyone soon.

Mr Cook isn’t the only Kingsway superstar, Mr Mahmood (Head of Business, Computing & IT) was awarded the Queen’s Award in Voluntary Service, which is the highest accolade one can receive in voluntary work and equivalent of an MBE. Mr Mahmood’s charity organisation, Myriad Foundation, were instrumental in supporting the council during the first lockdown, providing hot meals to those most vulnerable and in need. They have also conducted many projects which look to bring different communities together including a national Taste Ramadan initiative. We are very proud of Mr Mahmood.

I continue to be full of pride for all of our students and staff and as such I was delighted to see that on National Thank a Teacher day, The Kingsway School was second in the North West, and fifth nationally, for receipt of thanks from pupils, families and colleagues. The Thank a Teacher Campaign, although it recognises all staff not just teachers, is run by The Teaching Awards Trust which was established in 1998 to celebrate and recognise excellence in education. The charity’s mission is to raise the profile of the teaching profession, highlight the positive impact teachers and school leaders have in our society – with pupils, parents and the wider community, and show teachers how much they are valued.

It has been a tough year for everyone and all our staff have gone above and beyond and it was lovely to see this recognition at a national level.

One of the most pleasurable and yet difficult experiences as Headteacher is selecting our Head students from the senior student team. Along with Mr Wood and Mrs Baker (Governor) we listened to seven inspiring presentations covering topics including teenage menstruation, litter around school, mental health, getting active to get fit, racial harmony, cyber bullying and LGBTQ+. Mr Wood and I agreed that this was the highest standard of applicants we have ever had, which made selection a huge challenge.

Well done to Tanzeela C and Charlie L who were appointed as Head Students for the academic year 2021/22. Congratulations to all the senior student team (Henry M, George H, Ben H, Evie P, Aimee B, Charlie L, Bethan H, Emily F, Nathan M and Khizer S) who will do an amazing job driving forward our school.

Consider yourself at home! Well our feeder Primary schools were certainly making themselves at home last week. Bubbles of Year 6 students came to Kingsway to learn a dance routine and a song (Food, Glorious Food) from Oliver! and learn printing techniques in Art to produce promotional flyers for the Musical production which we hope will be taking place next academic year. We can’t wait to open our doors to our new Year 6 students in September and also to our families who can (fingers crossed) come into school to watch our musical spectacular, Oliver!

Congratulations to Jessica L in Year 9 who has qualified for the final of the English Schools Athletics Championships in Bedford in September. 

Our run of good luck has continued with the announcement of the latest round of CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) funding for The Kingsway School. We are delighted that our request to complete another phase of our replacement roofing, this time for the oldest parts of the school on Broadway, has been approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. This project, worth around half a million pounds, will be expected to take place over the next 12 months. Our huge thanks go to Lancaster Maloney, our project managers, who have helped to get this off the ground. 

Open Water Safety Message

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has asked schools to make students and families aware of the dangers of open water as we approach the summer holidays. The main points have been communicated to students in form time:

  • Never swim or jump into open water (if there’s no lifeguard then don’t swim). 
  • Cold Water Shock can kill in just 60 seconds
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you are coming back
  • Take warning or safety signs seriously
  • Look out for hazards around water and stick to proper pathways
  • Never enter the water to rescue your dog - who will rescue you?

More details can be found on the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service website.

Finally, a COVID-19 update. There were two reported cases of COVID-19 in school this week, resulting in a number of staff and students having to self-isolate. It was pleasing to see a small rise in the number of people submitting Lateral Flow Device test results last week. These are quick and relatively easy tests which we should all be doing twice a week. By taking the tests we are hopefully reducing the amount of disruption to school life by ensuring that asymptomatic students are not in school.  We have had to keep the wearing of masks as compulsory and would urge all parents to ensure that their children have masks for school. Large numbers are still being requested daily by students which is a waste of our resources. 

Please do not send your son or daughter to school if they have any of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, fatigue, headache, sickness or a temperature.

These measures have helped to keep the spread of COVID-19 low within school.

For anyone who has not yet been vaccinated, there is a vaccination pop up happening at the Sanderling building in Cheadle Heath this week (Thursday and Friday).

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 16th July Break up for Summer Holidays (students finish at noon)
Wednesday 1st September Staff INSET Day
Thursday 2nd September Staff INSET Day
Friday 3rd September Year 7 & Year 11 students return 8:30am
Monday 6th September All students return to school 8:30am

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 can be viewed here
  • 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.

Important information about results and appeals

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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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 35

Terrific teamwork

After many hours of marking, moderating and collecting data the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGS) for our Year 11 students were submitted on Friday. I am so proud of our students who have faced this change in their assessment practice responsibly and respectfully. I am also incredibly impressed with the staff who have worked hard to ensure that each student receives the grade they deserve this summer to support their progression to further education or training. This has been a real team effort between teachers, Heads of Subject, senior leaders, exams invigilators and our special needs department. However, a special mention must go to our fabulous Exam Officer, Mrs Page, who has been a superstar throughout the last few months.

On Friday we welcomed Meadowbank Primary School Year 6 students who took part in a Performing Arts Day. Using the musical ‘Oliver!’ as their inspiration, students learnt dance routines, and songs and then completed a printed piece of art. The students were amazing and quickly learnt the routines with energy and enthusiasm. Our Performing Arts and Visual Art staff were delighted with the have-a-go attitude of all the students and can’t wait for some of them to join our extracurricular clubs. Here you will see some of the students in all the activities. We look forward to welcoming the other schools over the next few weeks.

Induction Day and Summer school

Last week we had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our Year 6 Induction Day. Due to the number of students from different primary schools we are unable to adhere to the government regulations. Whilst we know that this will be very disappointing to our families we wish to reassure them that our children’s safety will always be our top priority. 

However with that being said we are delighted that we will be running a Summer School for our Year 6 students in August! The 7-Up Summer School will focus on wellbeing, healthy lifestyles, as well as team bonding and orientation. Our fantastic staff will be overseeing the programme and we will keep everyone updated with all the exciting activities throughout the summer. For any Year 6 family who have not received the letter with regards to these two developments please check your emails or contact transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

COVID-19 Update

In the last week we have had 5 cases of COVID-19 in our school community. This is more than we have had for some time and reflects the local rise within Stockport. There are schools now reporting dozens of cases and are having to send whole Year groups home to isolate. A situation very similar to where we were in October.

We do not want this situation to escalate at Kingsway and need your support to ensure that our COVID prevention measures are as effective as possible.

First, please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. This should now include headaches, sore throats, sickness or lethargy. If in doubt, keep your child at home and contact our Welfare advisors.

Second, students must now wear their own mask. Our local Public Health England team has advised that face coverings are required in schools to help stop the transmission rates. At present we are issuing hundreds of masks and this is not sustainable or cost effective. Please ensure that your child has their own mask, which they will also need when going to the shops or travelling on public transport. 

Finally, students were given further Lateral Flow Test kits this week. In March these were really effective and we had over a thousand reported self-tests a week. These are now down to about three hundred a week. It has never been more important for you to encourage your child to test twice weekly and report results on the NHS app. Positive results must also be communicated to school using covid@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Many people with the new variant are asymptomatic but they are still able to spread it to others. Our best line of defence is to stop the virus from entering school in the first place. These tests are quick, and although not particularly nice, they are not painful. With only 4 weeks left until the summer holidays we can all put in that final push to keep ourselves and loved ones safe.

‘Around Midnight’

This week a group of Year 7 and 8 students worked with ‘Around Midnight’ on an exciting school project. ‘Around Midnight’ is a theatre company developing PSHE resources for Greater Manchester schools to help tackle the problem of violence, particularly amongst teenagers. A unique innovation is the use of virtual reality to help explore the types of issues raised. We are part of the pilot project supporting Around Midnight in Greater Manchester. A group of students were able to trial the virtual reality scenario using VR headsets. Further activities are planned, and Kingsway’s involvement will hopefully better safeguard our students from these types of situations.

Finally, with just four weeks to go until we break up for the summer holidays, below are the dates for the new academic year.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 16th July Break up for Summer Holidays (students finish at noon)
Wednesday 1st September Staff INSET Day
Thursday 2nd September Staff INSET Day
Friday 3rd September Year 7 & Year 11 students return 8:30am
Monday 6th September All students return to school 8:30am

Have a lovely week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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