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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 25

Ethos in action!

Welcome back to a new summer term. I hope you all had a lovely Easter.

The Spring term certainly ended with on a high with our amazing Sponsored Walk. Around 1500 students and 100 staff walked thirteen miles to Carr’s Park in Wilmslow and back again for charity. This year we have raised money for the six charities chosen by our students:

  • Gaskell: Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
  • Lowry: Mind
  • Pankhurst: Teenage Cancer Trust
  • Rylands: Kidscan
  • Turing: Pip Foundation
  • Whitworth: Anorexia & Bulemia Care

Some of the money raised will also go to our sister school Kingsway Kolweny in Kenya.

Whilst hundreds of students successfully completed the walk, there were a couple of students for whom this was an incredible achievement. Students like Charlotte Jennings (Year 11) and Idris Sherfif (Year 7), who overcame huge challenges to take part in the walk with their friends and family. We are so proud of them and their determination and resilience – a true reflection of our school.

Thank you to all parents, families and friends who supported our students by sponsoring them and a special thanks to those who helped us out on the day by marshalling at key points on the route or walking along with our children. With another walk under our belts, the major job now is to collect in all the sponsorship money… your help with this is much appreciated.

Our sponsored walk is just one example of our ethos in action. Another example that took place last term was the community project with Abney care home. Follow this link to see the fabulous work of our students led and supported by Mrs Heil.

Other examples of Kingsway awesomeness are:

  • Georgie Cavanagh, who won the North West Young Carers award for her short story “If I were an MP for the day”.
  • Our remarkable resourced students, who excelled at the Greater Manchester winter games last term. The tennis team were crowned champions and the Kurling team came a credible 5th.
  • Alice Poole in year 11, who came out in the top 150 of all students in the UK in the Oxford Physics Olympiad Challenge, achieving a silver award. Well done Alice, an incredible achievement.

As you will be aware, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) is a real passion of mine and something that I believe separates Kingsway from other educational establishments. We are constantly building on our successes, which have been recognised by the Museum of Science & Industry and in Parliament, by embracing opportunities to link with local businesses and industries.

Eric Wright is one of our STEM Ambassadors who come in to school to work with our students.  Eric is an Electronics Control Engineer and his 50 years experience in industry has taken him to many countries around the world. He spoke to Mr Nicolaou’s GCSE Electronics students about career opportunities in Electronics, and then moved onto concepts and principles such as communication systems, control, and programming. He brought in project kits and at the end, he was so touched by the warm welcome and respect from our children, that he left all of his kit for Mr Nicolaou to help enhance students’ knowledge. He is true gentleman with a wealth of knowledge and someone we look forward to making stronger links with.

Finally, I would like to say a huge well done to the hundreds of students who received a postcard from me congratulating them on their achievement over the Spring term, performing at or above their ambitious targets across of all their subjects. This achievement is a testament to their hard work and I am very proud of them all.

Keep up the hard work and have a good week everyone,


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 24

SUPRISE SUPRISE!

The first surprise this week was the return of the snow… goodness me, it’s the middle of March and the daffodils are out in full bloom! It is certainly interesting weather we’re having this Spring.

The second surprise was to discover that I was mentioned in the House of Commons on International Women's Day (Thursday 8th March). Mary Robinson, MP for Cheadle, gave a speech to mark the centenary of the vote for women. Mary talked about the progress being made in inspiring young girls to pursue careers in STEM based subjects, giving a particular mention to our recent MOSI award for STEM. Having started my own career as an apprentice engineer, this is something close to my heart. Kingsway works closely with local businesses to provide our students with the best experience, education and opportunities, by enhancing and enriching the delivery of the whole curriculum and building the world of work in to education.

Following nicely on the news of our mention in parliament, was the appointment of our year STEM industrial cadets. Mr Hammersley said “The field of candidates was the strongest we have ever had. There was certainly an ambition like no other year for these few places.” The successful year 9 students were Ella Stirling, Adam Charlesworth, Ali Abbas Aslam, Aroush Zia, Connie Gwilt, Daisy Freeman, Dala Guei, Eshal Qureshi, Fiona Salluku, Hafsa Al-Wandawi, Jake Lodite, Kirsten Attfield, Pippa Woods, Rowan McNally, Sarah Morgan, Thomas Brindley-Carter and Umair Daud.

Another special moment last week was to be on the panel for the selection of Head boy and Head girl. The standard of the presentations made by the shortlisted year 10 candidates was incredible. They all had fully embraced the opportunities that school had to offer during their time at Kingsway and this had prepared them well for this moment. Not only did they demonstrate a wealth of experience and a clear understanding of what the role would entail, they each had a personal passion to make a difference at the school. Their ideas included a fashion show for the homeless, financial capability lessons for students and raising mental health awareness across the student body. It really was a tough decision - these students are the best of the best. After much deliberation, we were delighted to invite Jess Crawley to take on the role of Head Girl and Ethan Wilson to be Head Boy. Their deputies will be: Grace O’Shaughnessy, Hannah James, Youmna Al-Rashedy, Judy Al-Jedai and Owen Faulkner, Meji Idowu, George Lawton & Owen Booth. I look forward to seeing them make a difference and put their stamp on our school.

Senior Students 2018-19

Talking of making their mark, this was something that our year 9 boys’ football team certainly achieved. The everton Football Club 8-aside Festival was an event where our team did not lose a single game throughout the entire day, not conceding a single goal; it was little surprise that they went ahead and won the whole tournament! Well done boys: Oliver Winn, Lewis Barry, Nathan Downes, James Vare, Barney McGurrin, Kai Johnston, Eli Campbell, Brandon Bailey, Jack Bewley & Josh Kindon.

The culmination of a brilliant week at Kingsway was being interviewed by our own BBC School Reporters, 18 year 7 students who spent 2 days working on local issues such as litter in school and wider issues including women’s rights. I’m looking forward to seeing their final presentations which will be posted on our website. Thanks to Miss Daley who led this initiative and provided the students with such a wonderful experience.

Have a great week.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 23

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE GIRLS!

As a member of the superior sex ; ) I was delighted that Kingsway girls were invited to attend an Inspiring Women’s Day event to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday.

A small group of year 9 girls were invited by friend of Kingsway and professional boxer, Stacey Copeland to AutoTrader Head Offices in Manchester, where they listened to guest speakers from Law, Technology, Sport & Music as well as taking part in interactive activities. The girls were accompanied by Mrs Ward and Mrs Heil who fed back:

“Our girls were an absolute credit to themselves and the school, and contributed enthusiastically all day. I was very proud to see them exploring and challenging some of the barriers and preconceptions they face as young women”.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe. This follows our Vote 100 event to mark the centenary of women getting vote. Kingsway students were asked to vote for their inspirational women. Stacey Copeland, who spoke at our whole school assembly last summer, was just one of the nominees. The winner will be announced later this term.

Another group of inspiring young women last week were our Under 13 Girls’ Football Team who were crowned Stockport Champions. The team were Anna Hollingshead, Holly Deering, Megan Walker, Rocio McGillvary, Ellie Banks, Millie Le Favre and Leah Cotterill. Well done girls.

International Women’s Day fell in the same week as National Careers Week, National Apprenticeship Week and Risky Business Week which we also celebrated at Kingsway.

National Careers Week promotes the importance of good careers education and guidance for students. This is something we excel at here at Kingsway, which is recognised by our Inspiring IAG GOLD award; we are one of a few schools to have been awarded this prestigious award. We are very lucky to have Mrs Flood on our staff whose job it is to ensure all students leave us with good quality careers advice. The impact of her work is that nearly all (99%) of our students leave us to progress to further education, employment or training. Whether that is an Oxbridge degree or an apprenticeship route, what we instill in our students is to be excellent at whatever they choose to do.

During Risky Business Week we raise students’ awareness of and educate them on the risks they could face during or after school. These include:

  • Financial Debt
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Bullying (e.g. race, sexuality)
  • Self-harm and mental health
  • Sex & relationships

Throughout the week, classes attended a range of workshops and presentations by the police, Samaritans, St. John’s Ambulance and many more. Thanks to Ms Carrigan who organised a full and informative week for our students.

One of the RBW presentations was from PCSO Mohammed Asaad from GMP Police, who spoke to our students about Anti Social Behaviour. I have also recently spoken to our students about the importance of representing their school positively at all times, especially whilst they are wearing the Kingsway school uniform. I have high expectations for our students’ behaviour and conduct both in and out of school. During the school day, their behaviour is good. You just need to walk around school during lesson times to see a calm and orderly environment, where students are polite and respectful to their teachers and other staff. Although we hope that our students carry this behaviour with them outside of school and into our local community, this is an area where their parents and carers can also have a huge impact. As a school, we will always work with our local community to monitor students' conduct outside of the the school premises, but also ask that parents reinforce the message about behaviour in the community and know where their children are after school.

One last request from our families and members of our community... Are you free on Thursday 29th March 2018? It’s our Whole School Sponsored Walk event - a highlight in our school’s calendar and we need volunteers to help 1500 students cross the roads and complete the 13 mile journey. If you are happy to help, please can you drop an email, by the end of this week, to Senior Teacher, Mr Hammersley, who is organising the event (n.hammersley@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk)

Have a great week.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 21

GREASE IS THE WORD! - This blog is ‘hopelessly devoted’ to the amazing cast and crew of GREASE!

Directed by Mr Lawton, along with Mr Wood and Mr Sagar - the production was an outstanding showcase of musical, acting and dancing talents. There were some real stand-out performances that left little wonder why many of the cast have their sights on futures in the performing arts.

The main cast in order of appearance were:

Grease! Production

Rebekah Higginbotham Year 11 (Miss Lynch): Rebekah plans to study acting further once she has left school. Grease has been her first effort at a musical, having previously been involved in pantomimes.

Kate Rogers Year 10 (Patty Simcox): An avid cheerleader and athlete, Kate plans to get an apprenticeship in either animal care or in sports.

Caleb Lyndon Year 8 (Eugene Florczyk): Despite Caleb’s proficiency as a singer and musician, he plans to study sports. In the future, he wants to explore the world and discover something new.

Ella Norman Year 11 (Jan): Ella wants to further develop her acting abilities by training and studying at Manchester College.

Estefany Fuguett Gutierrez Year 11 (Marty): As well as playing piano at the RNCM, Estefany plans to study art and maths at college.

Scarlett Dean Year 11 (Rizzo): Scarlett is currently rehearsing for a performance of West Side Story at the RNCM and plans to study acting at Manchester College.

Grease! Production

Adam Turner Year 11 (Doody): Unfortunately for us, Adam won’t be keeping up with playing guitar! He plans to study acting at Xaverian College.

Alfie Bousfield Year 10 (Roger): Alfie is a keen drummer and a big musical presence at Kingsway; he plans to further his musical abilities in the hopes of becoming a freelance or session drummer.

Ethan Cash Year 11 (Kenickie): As well as being a dynamic actor and singer, Ethan is also a euphonium player who aims to become a secondary school music teacher in the future.

Max Carter Year 11 (Sonny): After Grease, Max plans to study chemical engineering at Xaverian.

Kenzie Nicholson Year 11 (Frenchy): Kenzie does not plan on dropping out of Beauty School! Instead she wants to continue singing and study Photography and Performing Arts at Loreto College.

Ellie Nicholls Year 11 (Sandy): Once she has finished at Kingsway, Ellie plans to carry on performing whilst she studies music and acting at Xaverian College in the hopes of teaching music at a secondary school.

Harry Earnshaw Year 11 (Danny): Harry is a singer, actor and piano player. He aims to push his musicianship even further by attending Xaverian College to study music composition.

Jake Lyndon Year 10 (Vince Fontaine): An active member of the school band, Jake is a skilled piano player and plans to study music composition and performance at Xaverian College.

Grease! Production

Emily Carson Year 11 (Cha Cha): Emily has already received a scholarship for dance from the prestigious Bird College of Dance with the aim of studying to become professional. She is also an associate member of Hammond Performing Arts School.

Mr Nicolaou Year dot (Johnny Casino): Mr Nicolaou, a teacher of electronics in the Design & Technology department has stars in his eyes to be the next X-Factor winner! Watch out for those blind auditions!

Finally thanks to the special guest appearances of Teen Angels: Mr Wood, Mrs James, Mr Williams and Mr Lawton who gave truly angelic performances over the week.

As any hollywood producer will tell you, an Oscar winning show is a team effort. And this was no exception for our school production. The backstage crew of Grace O’Shaughnessy, Sam McManus, Rory Taylor, Mia Simister, Annabel Taylor, Lara Barbera, James Fagan and Jared Ikin made sure each show ran like Greased Lightin’

Born to hand jive’ … and to perform were the ensemble performers of Olivia Ashmore, Millicent Burnham, Lauren Williams, Lily Fogwill, Lucy Kerr, Neve Myers, Lottie Gibson, Sarah Morgan, Daisie Gormley, Ruby McGowan, Heidi Simmons, Emma Young, Tilly Earnshaw, Akira Edgson, Kitty Hinde and and Amy Berry.

Finally, the team wouldn’t be complete without the support of the professional musicians and technicians which included ex-students Ben Attfield and year 11 Sam Woods and the staff behind the scenes, who helped with the costumes, choreography, set, ticket sales and refreshments.

I would like to thank all our parents, families, students, staff and governors who came to watch the show over the five nights and gave the cast well-deserved rapturous applause. This was Mr Lawton’s first production as Head of Music and I’m sure you’ll agree he did a fabulous job. Move over Andrew Lloyd-Webber!

If you missed it… where were you? The video below will give you a flavour of our Bafta award winning production of Grease.

Have a great week.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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Headteacher’s Blog – Week 20

One key function of a Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team is to drive forward the school’s improvement. This is underpinned by our school’s improvement plan: a set of actions that the school commit to undertaking over the academic year to bring about the continued development of the school.

We are focussing our energies on 3 key actions this year:

1. Supporting students to achieve ambitious targets and to overcome disadvantage.

These ambitious targets are set for students’ Achievement, Attendance, Attitude and Aspiration … the 4 As.
We define Achievement as both attainment (what they achieve at the end of the year) and progress (how far they have come from their starting point in year 7). These are measured by Attainment 8 and Progress 8.

  • Attainment 8: Schools get a score based on how well pupils have performed in up to 8 qualifications, which include: English, Maths, 3 English Baccalaureate qualifications (including Sciences, Computer Science, History, Geography and Languages), and 3 other additional approved qualifications.
  • Progress 8: This score shows how much progress pupils at this school made between the end of key stage 2 and the end of key stage 4, compared to pupils across England who got similar results at the end of key stage 2. This is based on results in the same 8 qualifications as Attainment 8.

If you are a parent of year 9 or above, you may be familiar with this terminology as achieving Attainment 8 relies on students choosing the right set of subjects in their options.

Many of our current Year 11 cohort are showing promising signs that they will do exceptionally well in both Attainment 8 and Progress 8 in the summer. This is a reflection of their hard work across all their subjects. If you are worried that your Year 11 child is not studying hard enough for their GCSEs, please get in touch with Mrs Clarke (k.clarke@kingsway.stockport.sch.uk) who will be able to advise you on how your child can revise, and ultimately succeed.

2. Secure excellent teaching embedded on core principles for classroom practice.

At The Kingsway School our mantra for teaching and learning is Engagement, Challenge and Progress. We have excellent teachers who use their subject knowledge and skills to get the most out of students’ learning every lesson. However, we recognise that this needs to be more consistent across the school in all subjects at all levels.

As part of our commitment to enabling our students to reach their potential and keeping our staff abreast of new developments in Teaching and Learning, on Monday 12th February 2018 we have an exciting training event for our staff.

Ross McGill, the ‘most followed educator on Twitter in the UK’ and founder of one of the most popular education websites in the U.K, is visiting the school to deliver high-impact classroom strategies which teachers can use in their classrooms. We are very excited to welcome Ross to our school and look forward to him sharing his expertise with us. Ross is an award-winning blogger, author and teacher with over 20 years teaching and school leadership experience in some of the most challenging schools in London. In December 2015, he was nominated for The Sunday Times ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain 2015‘ and remains the only classroom teacher to have featured to this day.

3. Develop students’ exemplary behaviour in school and in wider society.

This year we have introduced new software to record, monitor and report on students’ behaviour in and around school. This software allows staff to easily issue rewards and sanctions and provides the school with the data to target our actions.
In a recent report to the senior leadership team and governors, Ms Dobson shared the improvements seen in behaviour around the school.

However, we know that there are some key areas for us to work on, including:

  • Students arriving late to lesson and/or without their equipment or homework
  • Incidents of low level disruption to learning in some classes
  • A focus on poor behaviour choices by some boys in years 8 and 9

Whilst many visitors to school comment on the exceptional behaviour of our students, we will continue to strive to reach our own high expectations of standards of student conduct and attitudes to learning. We are proud of our students and hope that they feel proud to be members of our school.

House merit total winners
Some students were are particularly proud of are the merit total winners. In January, these super students were:

  • Pankhurst: Fin Hanks (7C)
  • Whitworth: Emily Foster (7H)
  • Rylands: Dani Hampshire (8K)
  • Lowry: Rocio McGilllivray (8H)
  • Gaskell: Lola Hawson (7N)
  • Turing: Izzy Chalmers-Morris (7G) and Emma Payton (8A)

Stars of the week
Well done too to the following students nominated for star of the week:

  • Lola Howson 7N nominated by Miss Owen for always working so hard in Maths and being determined to make progress
  • Georgie Kavanagh 8W won The Young Carers Competition with her entry 'If I was an MP for the Day'
  • Emma Redford and Sienna Stewart nominated by Mrs Knowles for amazing food homework booklets
  • Laura Wood nominated by Mrs Burgess for completing her travel training and now travelling independently to school on a bus
  • Nazneen Aslam, Codie Hollingshead, Joe Lloyd and Akira Edgson nominated by Mrs Maxey for supporting the school as the student panel who helped to gain the school the LPPA Award

Last week Kingsway commemorated the centenary of the 1918 Representation Of The People Act, which gave women over 30 the vote with our Kingsway Wonder Women 2018 vote. Students provided nominations which will then go forward to provide the 15 women in the running for our full school vote in April. Watch this space for the prestigious award of winner of Kingsway Wonder Woman 2018! I’m sure all our Pankhurst students will have been particularly proud, being members of a house which is part of our local History with the Pankhurst family living nearby in Manchester.

Finally, thank you to all our parents, friends and staff who will be supporting the fantastic talents of the cast of Grease this week. If you haven’t yet done so, please get your tickets here.

After all, as parents and members of our school community ….You’re the one that I want!

Have a great week.


Mrs J. Lowe
Headteacher

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