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Virtual Year 9 Parents’ Evening

We would like to invite you to attend our Virtual Year 9 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 4th February, 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 21st January up until the evening. Should you wish to make any changes after this date please contact the Year team.

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 17

Finding our flow

As I write this week’s blog, I feel more positive and confident about the week ahead, as I feel that I am settling into a calmer ‘flow’ rather than the frantic, reactive, survival mode I have been in for the past few weeks.

I hope that for those of you home schooling you are finding your own flow at home.

In school, we continue to provide a supervised provision for vulnerable and children of critical workers. This provision is to be used only if there is no other alternative. Where we can, we must all follow the advice to "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives"

Our in-school provision will prioritise our most vulnerable children and children of critical workers in Years 7 to 10, where no other child care arrangements can be made. The booking form will be open until 12:00 noon on a Wednesday to book places for the week ahead. However, in order to ensure student and staff safety on site and protect the quality of the remote learning, places are limited and the form will be taken down if places are filled sooner. At this stage, we have met requests for places, and thank our families for following the guidance and keeping their children at home.

The routine for students in school is the same as at home; they follow their school timetable, sat at a computer engaging in the live lessons being delivered by our teachers. Our expectations of exemplary behaviour continue as does the requirement for students to be in full school uniform.

One difference for our students and staff in school is that we are offered weekly LFD testing for COVID. We have all settled into the flow of this routine and are pleased we are doing what we can to keep our school and community safe from asymptomatic cases of the virus.

Working from home can present a challenge, not least because of the change in environment. Our staff are also having to set up remote classrooms from their homes to ensure an organised, distraction free environment, as you can see from these photos shared by Mrs Bradbury-Cheetham. Thank you to all our staff who are continually adapting to ensure the highest standard of remote learning is provided to all our students at this time.

Missing Equipment Requests

Our students are working so diligently, many are now reaching the end of their exercise books. The use of exercise books and good presentation are regarded as an indication of the pride students have in their work, as such we would prefer students not to complete their work on random pieces of paper, but want to make sure that students do not make unnecessary journeys to collect these from school. To overcome this barrier we have created a Request Missing Equipment form which students and parents are encouraged to complete so that we can post out the necessary equipment to enable students to continue to access learning activities and take pride in their work. Please use the above link to log your requests.

Changes To Lesson Times

Following feedback from staff, pupils and parents we have been looking at ways to reduce screen time to prevent eye strain, fatigue but also to encourage motivation and physical activity throughout the day. As such you will see a very small change to the length of lessons, which will be reducing from 60 minutes to 50 minutes. Staff will gradually work on this change over the course of week. From the week commencing Monday 25th January all lessons will follow this new temporary time change:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday Wednesday
8:30 - 8:50 Tutor Time 8:30 - 9:10
8:55 - 9:45 Period 1 9:15 - 10:05
10:00 - 10:50 Period 2 10:20 - 11:10
10:50 - 11:25 Break 1 11:10 - 11:35
11:25 - 12:15 Period 3 11:35 - 12:25
12:15 - 13:00 Break 2 12:25 - 13:00
13:00 - 13:50 Period 4 13:00 - 13:50
14:05 - 14:55 Period 5 14:05 - 14:55

It will be even more important that your child joins their lesson promptly and ready to begin learning.

Maths

The Maths Department have shared personalised feedback with all Year 11 students following their PPEs in December. They have asked us to remind you that year 11 students are expected to have completed independent study, based on their target areas in preparation for their retest on Wednesday 20th January.

Key Stage 3 Mathematics students are also being kept busy by being set 20 minutes homework each week on Times Tables Rock Stars. Not only will this aid their timetables and numeracy skills, but forms will also take part in Battle of the Bands, where they will get to compete to be the best form in the year.

For students who are wanting to challenge themselves, don’t forget about the following additional resources that can be accessed any time:

Please make sure you follow our social media pages for daily tips on effective remote learning.

Parent Voice

We have received some fantastic feedback from parents/carers and students on our current remote learning offer. We are not complacent, and would like to work collaboratively with parents to improve the system where needed, and remove any remaining barriers. With that in mind I would like to invite all parents and carers to complete the Parent Voice on Remote Learning. Please complete one form for each of your children. We hope that this will provide you with a platform to let us know how remote learning is going for your child and for us to be able to respond. The form will remain open until next Monday. We will then collate the information and see what we can do to ensure your child remains engaged, safe and enjoying school during this remote learning period. Many thanks in advance.

DfE and Ofqual Consultation on Summer 2021 exams

Friday evening saw the release on the much anticipated consultation on this summer’s examination proposals. The DfE and Ofqual are inviting all students, parents and teachers to express their views on the alternative arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A Level students. Following the consultation, Gavin Wiliamson will share the ways in which he wishes students to be assessed by teachers and how he wishes for teachers’ assessment to determine the student’s grade. Ofqual will then respond and put in place the arrangements in which it will regulate the exam boards.

Free School Meals Update 

This week, we will be moving onto the Government's national voucher scheme to continue to support our families whose children are eligible for free school meals. Eligible families should have received a link to a form asking you to register for the scheme and to provide us with a working email address. Once you have done this, we will upload your details to the online portal and you will receive an email containing en e-Code directly from Edenred by Friday 22nd January 2020.

If your e-Code does not come through, firstly, check your spam/junk mail and/or trash folder. If it still hasn’t arrived by Monday 25th January 2021, please contact Miss Stansfield at l.stansfield@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk to ensure that we have your correct email address. If necessary, we can resend the e-Code.

Whilst there are a number of supermarkets contributing to the school’s FSM voucher scheme, last week Marks and Spencers said that they would contribute an extra £5 if the school voucher was redeemed via their website, alongside a weekly planner to help prepare five simple, nutritious breakfasts and lunches. The Kingsway School is also sharing daily recipes which are nutritional, healthy and budget-friendly.

Finally, we love receiving emails from students and parents sharing examples of the fantastic work that is being completed in the home school. Please keep them coming. Here’s some examples, keep them coming!

Dates for your diary

Date Event
Wednesday 20th January 2021 Year 11 Maths Retests
Thursday 4th February 2021 Year 9 Virtual Parents’ Evening

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Free School Meals Update – January 2021

We will be moving onto the Government's national voucher scheme to continue to support our families whose children are eligible for free school meals. You should have received a link to a form asking you to register for the scheme and to provide us with a working email address. Once you have done this we will upload your details to the online portal and you will receive an email containing en e-Code directly from Edenred by Friday 22nd January 2020.

If your e-Code does not come through by then firstly, check your spam/junk mail and/or trash folder. If it still hasn’t arrived by Monday 25th January 2021, please contact Miss Stansfield at l.stansfield@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk to ensure that we have your correct email address. If necessary, we can resend the e-Code.

If you do not provide us with a working email address by the 20th January 2021, we will request in the post. If you have any queries with regards to free school meals please contact Miss Stansfield on the email given above.

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 16

Never a dull moment!

Well, what a busy week the first week of 2021 turned out to be.

Whilst our teachers were delivering quality remote education from their homes, we opened our school for vulnerable and children of critical workers. This in-school provision provides a supervised classroom where students log onto their remote education and join their classmates who are learning from their homes.

We have used our allocation of devices from the Department for Education, as well school Chrome books, to ensure that every student has a digital device so they can access remote learning from home. If you need help with your child accessing or using their device, support with mobile data, or a camera/microphone so they can interact in each lesson, please contact your child’s RSL in the first instance.

We understand the demands that remote learning places on families and the home, to support this we have devised a Parents Guide. We hope you find this useful. We will continue to share information and support but please do let us know how you are finding it and celebrate the successes with us too. Please make sure that you follow our social media pages to keep up to date with daily tips to support remote learning, and ensure that you have downloaded the Class Charts app so that you can track attendance, progress and homework for your child.

We have noticed that many students are reluctant to turn their cameras on during their live lessons. This makes teaching in an interactive manner difficult. Along with independent tasks to provide time for screen breaks, during their lessons, teachers will also be including activities that require all students to turn on their cameras. Please make sure your child has a camera and has it turned on when the teacher asks them to do so. We want to address the social interaction they are missing from their classmates as well as filling gaps in knowledge.

Remote learning can present many challenges but it is fabulous to see the efforts that the students and staff are going to. Ms Guess has been providing a cook-along session with her Year 10. This week they made homemade shepherd’s pie and next week, upside-down pineapple pudding is on the menu!

We are also very excited and proud that our Year 8 girls will represent The Kingsway School in a virtual national competition. Cyberfirst is a competition run by GCHQ and we are delighted that Aminah M, Elizabeth F, Hannah P, Jwan A, Laiba C, Lucy A, Lucy W, Mary R, Thea G and Patrycja K will form three teams for the first round during the week commencing 25th January. The girls were nominated by their Maths teachers because they are logical problem solvers. This week they have been given training videos to keep them busy at home! We wish them all the best and will keep you up to date with their progress.

The government advice is that where possible we should be staying at home and where possible parents should be keeping their children at home. Our in-school offer prioritises those children who are vulnerable and school is the best place for them to learn, as well as the children of parents and carers whose work is critical to the battle against the spread of the virus. 

Those parents who are eligible and need placement can book our in-school provision no later than 3pm on the Wednesday before the week ahead. In order to deliver a safe and effective offer in school and protect the quality of the provision being delivered at home, places in school will be limited on a daily basis. Please do not be offended if we ask for evidence of your critical worker role in order to prioritise a place for your child.

Developing skills was not unique to our students last week, with Year 11 teachers venturing into the realm of remote parents’ evening. For some of our more verbal colleagues it, having a strict five minute slot presented a challenge but the reality was a huge success with positive feedback from staff and students alike.

Mrs Evans hopes the technology will work as she embarks on her first virtual Parents Evening.

We intend for our future parents’ evening events to operate in the same way and will be in touch with our Year 9 families shortly about the upcoming options information evening and parents’ evening later this month.

If you’d have told me a year ago that we would be turning a school space into a mass testing site, operated by school staff, I’d have thought you were kidding me! But in another Kingsway first, last week we did just that. Eleven staff donned their PPE and after completing the relevant training, began testing our staff and students who were in school. By the end of the week, over 80 staff and students had been tested successfully - this is helping those of us who are still working in school stay safe and also protecting the families of those children who are still attending school.  More information will follow shortly about the testing of the whole school community on their return to school.

In other news

We wish the best of luck to the Year 11 students sitting their OCR National examinations in Sport Studies and Health & Social Care this week.

Mrs Rouse is continuing her literacy intervention remotely to help students improve their reading skills so they can fully access their curriculum. If you have any concerns about your child’s literacy skills, email Mrs Rouse k.rouse@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk

Mrs Nay our Anti-Bullying coordinator led a poster competition before Christmas. Our resource centre students took part in the competition and were all winners. Well done guys! Here they are with their certificates. See their winning entries here!

As well being great advocates for anti-bullying, our resource centre students also celebrated success last term - all passing their AQA assessment in Skills for Life. Here they are with their well deserved exam certificates.

Finally, the recent media headlines included ‘Parents turn tables on Williamson’ in response to the Secretary of State for Education’s message to parents to complain to Ofsted if they are dissatisfied with their child’s remote learning offer. #Ofsted began trending on Twitter with thousands of parents praising the response of their schools to the pandemic to Ofsted. I was overjoyed to hear that some of our parents have joined the band of supportive parents. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you want to join the movement, you can email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk or complete Ofsted’s Parent View. 

This situation is not ideal for staff or students, but we are all doing our best and I am glad that this is being brought to the attention of our nation’s leaders.

Have a good week, and stay safe and well.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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