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Virtual Year 7 Parents’ Evening

We would like to invite you to attend our Virtual Year 7 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 18th March, between 5pm and 8pm.

The current COVID-19 pandemic means that face-to-face appointments will not be possible and meetings will need to be held virtually. We have introduced a new and easy to use online Parents’ Evening system. The system allows you to schedule your own Parents’ Evening appointments and attend appointments via video call.

Appointments can be made from Thursday 4th March up until the evening.

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:

We have put a cap of 10 on the number of Parents’ Evening appointments a family can make. This is because we are trying to strike a balance between allowing each family to see as many of the teachers as they would like to see, without doing so at the expense of families who try to make appointments later and find there are none left.

Please be aware that appointments are available with your son’s/daughter’s curriculum subject teachers but not with his/her form tutor.

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.

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.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 22

7 days and counting… until we start welcoming our students back!

We have been planning all week, readying for their return along with the return of their teachers, the vast majority of whom have been delivering lessons from home.

Here’s the plan for our students’ return to school and engagement with the LFD (Lateral Flow Device) testing programme:

  • Monday 8th March: Year 11 return at 8:30am and receive test 1
  • Tuesday 9th March: Year 10 return at 8:30am and receive test 1
  • Wednesday 10th March: Year 7 return at 8:30am and receive test 1
  • Thursday 11th March: Year 8 return at 8:30am and receive test 1, Year 11 will receive test 2
  • Friday 12th March: Year 9 return at 8:30am and receive test 1, Year 10 will receive test 2

Testing will continue w/c 15th March until all year groups have received three LFD tests in school. Henceforth, students will be issued with tests to complete at home. More information about home testing to follow.

Testing is voluntary. However, we are aiming for as near to 100% of our staff and student population as possible to engage in the testing programme so we can play our part in keeping ourselves and our families safe. If you have not done so already, please give your consent before Wednesday 3rd March 2021 to allow staff in school to plan the administration of the testing schedule.

On their return to school, students will be following the same timetable, but in new classrooms where year groups will be split across campuses and mix in three new zones. These zones will be Year 10 & 11, Year 8 & 9 and Year 7. This allows staff to teach in their own classrooms, reducing movement of teaching staff and minimising movement of students in key stage 3. As before lockdown, students in years 7, 8 & 9 should wear their PE kit on days they have PE lessons, to avoid crowds in the changing rooms.

Teachers are poised to hit the ground running when students return and will be planning for teaching new content and recapping previous content delivered during lockdown. It is important that students return ready to learn, fully equipped. Please remember that two face masks and small hand sanitiser are included in students’ expected school equipment.

It is likely that the vast majority of students are wanting to get back to normal as soon as possible. However, we are also aware there will be some students who will need extra support on their return from lockdown. Our Safeguarding and Emotional Wellbeing Lead, Miss Cropper, will be working with pastoral teams to ensure these students are identified and get the support they need. If you have any concerns about your child’s return to school, please do not hesitate to get in touch, via your child’s Pastoral Head of Year or Form Tutor.

Last week we saw our first Wednesday afternoon of Enrichment Supporting Wellbeing. It was a great success, getting students away from their screens and taking part in activities including cooking, Duke of Edinburgh and supporting charities. 

Congratulations to Poppy B in 10I who created this incredible piece of digital art work. 

Students in Mrs Mackay’s History class have been creating their own versions of the Bayeux Tapestry ‘with a lockdown twist’. Here are the fabulous entries from Robyn B, Miranda L and Isaac P in Year 7.

Thank you to Miss Dean who came into school on Thursday and delivered Drama workshops with our Vulnerable and Key Worker students. The theme was the film ‘Matilda’. Students created fabulous sketches from the film, with some very convincing Miss Trunchbull performances!

Our students are taking up every opportunity they can at the moment and we are delighted that the first batch of electronic certificates will be winging their way out to students who have been completing the seven summits step challenge. At the moment 248 summits have been completed with Josh N in 7S completing all 7 summits already. A fantastic 19,925,945 steps have been logged so far. The challenge is still open so still time to participate.

This week sees our Kingsway family grow again as National Offer Day has come around again. We are delighted that we are again oversubscribed. This week all families who have been offered a place will receive a welcome letter and an invite to our new Facebook group for the Class of 2026. We look forward to building strong links and relationships with everyone. But if you have any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact transition@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Wednesday 3rd March - Afternoon Enrichment Supporting Wellbeing - no live lessons, all materials to be accessed via Google Classroom
Thursday 4th March World Book Day
Thursday 4th March Year 8 Spring Monitoring Data released
Thursday 4th March Year 8 Virtual Parents' Evening, 5-8pm (There will be NO live lessons P4 & P5)
Friday 5th March Year 7 Spring Monitoring Data released
Thursday 11th March Meet the Team Year 6 Parent Welcome Evening
Thursday 18th March Year 7 Virtual Parents' Evening, 5-8pm
Friday 26th March End of term

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 21

As we reach the midpoint of our academic year, we are holding our breath as we await news from our political leaders on when and how schools will be reopening from 8th March 2021.

As I write this blog there remains a conflict of opinion with some experts advising a steady, staggered return and others proposing students return in one go. We also await guidance on testing of students and staff and expectations regarding face masks. So how do we prepare for the unknown?

Well, we have plans A, B and C! The expectation of students to wear face masks in school is likely to be an expectation for all students. Like many public venues, face masks will be compulsory from the school entrance and throughout the school. The decision about face masks in classrooms is yet to be made. Please help us keep your child, other students and staff safe by emphasising the importance of wearing a face mask to your child and ensuring they are equipped with one (and a spare) each day.

We will be sharing our plan for students’ return with parents in the coming days, along with our lateral flow testing programme. Again, parents can help us to be better prepared by completing the consent form for their child to be tested. Guidance on testing of students is not yet known, and may not be an expectation. However, we are collecting consent now in the event that testing of students is part of the government’s plan for the wider opening of schools.

If you haven’t already seen the newsletters from your child’s Raising Standards’ Leader, you can find them on our letters home page.

I was thrilled to be alerted to some lovely feedback in the Manchester Evening News over half term.

"The Kingsway School in Cheadle, Stockport. The head Mrs Lowe and all staff have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic. The staff are always there for the kids and parents. My daughter is thriving still, they follow the school planner for live lessons as though it's a normal school week. Lots of fun challenges as well. Welfare checks made with their form tutor daily. This pandemic has proven that our choice of high school for our daughter was the right one 100%. Thank you Kingsway staff."

It was nice to see in black and white how appreciated our staff are and the difference they are making to our beloved students during this pandemic. 

We are thrilled that this view was also evident in the remote learning feedback that was undertaken last half term. Parents and pupils were overwhelmingly positive about the current offer, and were fully appreciative that whilst we all agree that the best place for our children is back in school, until that can happen The Kingsway’s remote offer is providing the best education in very challenging circumstances. In the interests of transparency we have produced a Remote Learning Feedback document analysing our findings and outlining our responses. 

Remember, whilst this feedback cycle has closed, you can share your feedback with Ofsted at any time of the year via Ofsted’s Parent View or just dropping an email to the school.

We have an active staff wellbeing (SWB) team at The Kingsway School, led by Mrs Gray and Miss Murray. Before half term, staff were invited to submit entries for our SWB photo competition. The theme was “go outdoors on your doorstep” and the competition was judged by ex-member of staff and parent, Kirsty Edgson, a local photographer with a good eye for creative flair. Here are the top three winners:

In third place was Mrs Beattie

In second place was Miss Burrows

In first place was Mr Soles

Like the bicycle in Mr Soles’ photograph, we encourage our students to keep themselves fit and healthy and reduce their carbon footprint by cycling to school. We have bike sheds and pods where students can safely store their bicycles. Electric scooters are not permitted on the school site and will not be allowed storage in our school facilities. We also hope that our students are keeping active with our ‘Seven Summits Challenge’ and that they will provide their tutors with their half term updates this week. We know that several are well on their way to their first summit!

We were delighted that our students have also got involved in a number of House Challenges that were set last half term. Mrs Lucas shared the final results of the Taskmaster challenges today. The final challenge was to take a photo of the best outside thing and the results are as follows -1st Rylands, Joint 2nd Lowry & Pankhurst, 4th Turing, 5th Whitworth, 6th Gaskell.

The amazing photos can be seen here. After the final competition, the Taskmater competition results are:

Mr Howarth has already launched one of this half term’s challenge and this time we are aiming high to see if we can set some World Records! The Heads of Houses are challenging our students to see if they can beat the following World Records:

Congratulations to Dylan R and Emma B in Year 9, our first students to successfully complete the STEM Den project. Dylan’s invention was a motorised solar panel that follows the sun, therefore maximising the amount of electricity produced. Emma produced a perfect running and walking shoe, including a mobile app. We hope all the other students who registered will successfully meet their deadlines and we can celebrate again.

You may recall that we recently shared some images of the fabulous cakes that Mrs Guess has been making as part of the Year 10 Food Technology demonstrations. We are delighted to inform you that over half term, Mrs Guess and her daughter were both sold out and raised over £300! This combined with a 10% discount from Morrisons supermarket meant that she was able to make a sizeable donation of over £330 worth of essential food to her local Foodbank. Well done Mrs Guess and family!

We hope that our students and their families will take inspiration from this and continue to contribute to those in need. Altruism is one of the opportunities that our students have been offered as part of the Wellbeing Wednesday enrichment programme that will commence this Wednesday afternoon. Please don’t forget to share all the wonderful things you are planning on getting involved with or completing.

Finally, some sad news regarding a retired member of our school community Mr. Tony Wintringham who passed away during half term. Tony worked at The Kingsway School for over 25 years - as Deputy Head of the Girls’ School originally and then after the merger - Head of Kingway upper site. Our thoughts are with Tony’s family at this sad time.

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Wednesday 24th February - Afternoon Enrichment Supporting Wellbeing - no live lessons, all materials to be accessed via Google Classroom
Monday 1st March Year 6 National Offer Day
Monday 1st March Year 9 Options Deadline
Wednesday 3rd March World Book Day
Thursday 4th March Year 8 Spring Monitoring Data released
Thursday 4th March Year 8 Virtual Parents' Evening, 5-8pm (There will be NO live lessons P4 & P5)
Friday 5th March Year 7 Spring Monitoring Data released
Thursday 11th March Meet the Team Year 6 Parent Welcome Evening
Thursday 18th March Year 7 Virtual Parents' Evening, 5-8pm
Wednesday 24th March Year 11 Spring Monitoring Data released
Friday 26th March End of term

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 20

As we reach the end of another half term, I would like to thank our families for all their hard work in supporting their children and our teachers with remote learning. You are doing a great job and this can be seen in the high proportion of students who are attending and engaging in their online lessons. We have also been inundated for requests for new exercise books - so there must be a lot of work being completed at home. A reminder that you can request books or other equipment using the online form.

Whilst going abroad for some winter sun, or booking a week away enjoying our country is not a possibility this half term - I hope very much that you and your children manage to get some rest and relaxation from the pressures and demands of homeschooling. But most importantly, I hope that you keep yourselves safe and well. There is light at the end of the tunnel, with news of COVID rates dropping and vaccinations increasing - it’s so close now we must try harder then ever to follow the rules in the next few weeks.

Sadly, school will remain closed after half term to all students except those who are vulnerable or children of critical workers. We hope to hear from the DfE soon if we will be allowed to open our doors to all students week commencing 8th March 2021. As soon as we hear anything, we will let you know how we will be responding, including any plans for mass testing.

Here’s to keeping our fingers crossed!

When students do return, we will expect them to wear a mask as they enter the school building. Prior to lockdown, we noticed some students wearing their mask unsafely around school, e.g. tucked under their chin. In order to support the control of the virus, we will be taking a firm stance with any students who do not wear a mask in school. Please help us by reiterating the importance of wearing a mask to your children.

In response to feedback received from staff, families and students we have been working on a plan to reduce the amount of screen time and to continue to prioritise wellbeing. With this in mind from Wednesday 24th February, every student will be encouraged to move away from their screens and to engage in a wide variety of activities.

Enrichment Supporting Wellbeing will take place every Wednesday afternoon thereafter between 1:00-3:00pm. Students will be able to access a wide variety of activities under the headings of: community, exercise, creativity, headspace, altruism and ‘other’. The activities are appropriate for all age groups and cover a wide variety of interests. Activities can be completed by individuals, with friends (COVID compliant) and families together. Some activities come with external accreditation, but all completed activities will carry a tariff of merits awarded by the school. Just a few examples of activities include: Duke of Edinburgh Award, Coronavirus Capsule, The Great Exhibition and start your own podcast. There will be over 60 activities for students to select from. 

This ‘classroom’ will go live to all students on Friday 12th February so that it can be accessed and used over the half term to alleviate some of the boredom!

For those accessing the current in-school provision next half term, they will also be able to take part in Enrichment Supporting Wellbeing.

When students return to school their ''normal' school timetable will resume automatically. 

We are also delighted to launch our Seven Summits Challenge. All tutors groups, including many tutors, will be in a virtual race to conquer the top 7 highest summits in the world, by recording their daily steps. Students will need to keep track of their daily steps, using their trackers, pedometers or even counting, and then provide their weekly step information to their tutors who will submit this once a week. For students wanting an added challenge we have set a TIF where they can choose to climb stairs as well as their steps. We hope to be able to share those leading the race over the next few weeks, and hopefully some photos to keep everyone motivated.

Some news to share from last week:

We were thrilled and grateful to have received 10 tablet devices from Martin Dawes Ltd for us to issue to our students who are having difficulties accessing remote learning at home. Thank you to our colleagues at the Education Learning Trust (ELT) who helped make this possible.

Thank you to Ms Djang (SENCO) and Mrs Rouse who last week held virtual coffee mornings with families of SEND students. This virtual space allowed parents and carers to connect and share their experiences. Additionally, this feedback, alongside all the others that have been collected over the past couple of weeks, will continue to allow us to enhance and develop our remote offer.

Thank you to those parents who fed back on the success of Year 9 Parents’ Evening which was again run remotely. It seems this online approach is much favoured by parents and staff and is likely to be here to stay! All information to support Options continues to be available on the school website, but please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions. 

Virtual Student Councils were held for each year group last week. Student representatives discussed a wide range of issues and continued to contribute to the development of our school. This information will be collated by Mr Wood and responses provided shortly. Our students continue to impress us with how connected they are as a community, even at this difficult time.

On Thursday afternoon we postponed live lessons to allow staff some screen break before parents’ evening. In school, staff and students took advantage of the screen break and had a game of mass dodgeball led by Miss Pike and Mr Howarth.

Our Behaviour Support Team of Mrs Bartle and Mrs Nay have shared their hidden talents in gardening and are running a Forest School with groups of students from our in-school provision. The before shots of our quad show how wild and unloved it had been - here’s waiting for the after shots!

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Friday 12th February School closes for Half-Term at 3pm
Monday 22nd February Students return to virtual school (Blue Week)

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Children’s Mental Health Week

This week marks Children’s Mental Health week, and in the current situation we all find ourselves in, it seems even more prevalent! 

There are many charities, organisations and virtual events taking place online this week - below is the virtual assembly, sponsored by Place2be, the organisation that set up Children’s Mental Health week six years ago.

This year’s theme is 'Creative Expression' - something which personally I believe to be key in balancing our Children’s Mental Health. Have you thought about balancing virtual learning/working from home with using Creativity as an outlet.

YoungMinds are a great organisation who have adapted their resources to be in line with the Pandemic. They have many resources for parents, and advice for parents who are worried about their child’s mental health.

For our young people, as always Mind provide some great advice and support covering all mental health issues and wellbeing. The below link will take you to their page, including a guide for CAMHS (Child and Adolsecent Mental Health Service) and how to understand the process if your child is referred for services there.

For our Stockpot residents, if any of you missed this a few weeks ago – I tweeted a guide of local support and services available to parents and children who live in the Stockport area. This includes helplines, free texting services (hopefully some of you were able to attend the Kooth Webinar last night?) and online referral signposting.

The Kooth Webinar provided some great insight into self-management tools for our young people. To reduce ever increasing anxieties and feeling of worry. The Kooth team have provided their contact details for anyone wanting to know a little more about the service, and what they do - below are their emails they have shared to our parents for support.

  • Hearher Hook - hhook@kooth.com
  • Tom Boroughs - tboroughs@kooth.com 

I’ve also attached my Top 10 Tips for Student Wellbeing - the most important I feel at the minute is limiting their screen time - why don’t you go screen free as a family for a day at the weekend?

My support is available not only for our students, but for our parents and families too - if you would like a Virtual Appointment with me to share the concerns you have around your child’s anxiety, please email me and I will be more than happy to talk with you: c.cropper@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk 

Ms C. Cropper
Operational Safeguarding and Wellbeing Lead 

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