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Back To School!

We can't wait for our students to return to school and we're sure you're all just as excited as we are to see what the 'new normal' will be!

We realise that you will all have a lot of questions so we've put together some information on this page about getting back to school in September. Will will update this information regularly when we have further information to share with you.

On that note, we have recently sent a letter regarding face masks following the government announcements this week.  The letter outlining our approach to face masks is linked here.

You can also find a copy of the school's COVID Safe Risk Assessment linked here.

Please note first day arrangements for Wednesday 2nd September;

8.30am

Year 7 - Assemble on Rocky Park Playground on Wood Lane

Year 12 - Go to the 6th Form Centre

Year 13 - Go directly to your tutor rooms

9.30am

Years 8, 9, 10, 11 - Go directly to your tutor rooms

 

What will the Kingsmead school day look like starting September 2020?

8.25am – arrive of students at their own designated gate.  Students must head straight to period 1 where their classroom door will be open. Please see the map for year groups gates at the bottom of this page.

8.30-9.30am – period 1

9.30-10.30am – period 2

10.30-10.45am – Break 1 – students are expected to move to their year group zone where they can drink and eat.  In poor weather they will have a break in their period 2 classroom

10.45-11.45am – period 3

11.45-12.45pm – period 4

12.45-1.00pm – Break 2 – Years 7,8,9,10 students are expected to move to their year group zone where they can eat and drink.  In poor weather they will have break in their period 4 classroom.

12.45-1.05pm – Break 2 – Year 11s only – Year 11 either go to the dining room where they will have exclusive use of the facility for 20 minutes or to their year group zone

1.00-2.00pm – Period 5 (1 hour for Years 7,8,9,10,12,13)

1.05-2.00pm – Period 5 (Year 11 only)

2.00-3.00pm – Period 6 Booster sessions.  Year 11 only.  Catch up, interventions and exam support.

2.00pm – Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12/13 will be escorted to their exit gate by their teacher where they will go home to have lunch and take part in home learning activities in preparation for the next lesson.

 

What about crossing patrols with the start back of schools in September?

 

From September there will be a crossing patrol on Littleworth Road at 2pm. Unfortunately at both Hill Top and St Peters the patrol will not be available until 3pm as they are primarily there to cater for the primary schools. Students will need to take extra care when crossing these roads.

I am a new Year 7 – what do I do when I arrive?

New Year 7s are to arrive at 8:30am on Rocky Park on Wednesday 2nd September.  They will be greeted by Mr Dyke, Mrs Taylor and Mr Truby. We understand that you will not know your way around. Guides will be available to help and support you.

 

How are we going to stay safe (regarding Covid-19)? 

It is very important that you talk to you child about the fact that they cannot make any physical contact with other students at any time, even when playing in recreation areas. We know that this will be hard but will help to safeguard others.

Following government guidance year groups will have separate ‘bubbles’ (with years 12 and 13 forming one bubble) with their own entrances and exits to and from the school site and separate recreation areas next to these entrances and near their separate locker areas.

The school has been marked out with arrows and lines for everyone to walk in single file on the left at all times. There are plentiful supplies of sanitizer, tissues and cleaning materials, and cleaning of all areas will be greatly increased. Sanitizer and tissues will be available in every room and 24 wall mounted dispensers have been placed at strategic points around the school. Doors and windows will be propped open wherever possible to offer good ventilation. All tables have been adjusted to face forward in classrooms.

The timing of the school day has been collapsed and lunch has been removed (see below for further details regarding food at school) so students will not be mixing in the dining hall. Signage will be in place throughout the school to remind staff and students of all Covid related safety requirements such as distancing and hand washing. Toilets will be constantly cleaned throughout the school day by a dedicated member of staff.

Access to site is restricted; visitors and contractors will only be coming on site when it is strictly necessary. They will be given a communication on arrival regarding requirements for when they are on site and details will be held (in compliance with Data Protection) for the purposes of Track and Trace.

Plans are in place with our first aid team for dealing with suspected cases of Coronavirus.

 

Why is it important to wear the correct uniform?

The main reasons for having a school uniform are that it:

+ Promotes a sense of pride in the school and a sense of community and belonging

+ Identifies students with Kingsmead both in school and in the local community

+ It is practical and smart

+ Makes students feel equal to their peers in terms of appearance and financial circumstances

It is important that student support the school by wearing the correct uniform as loaning items will be very difficult in the current situation. If you are struggling financially at the moment with buying uniform then please contact the appropriate Key Stage Leader to discuss what support we can provide.

Year 7-9 t.truby@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 10-11 k.greenwood@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 12-13 m.cavanagh@kingsmeadschool.net

 

What are the uniform expectations, support and who would we contact if we need help?

To find out more details on the uniform please look at the uniform guidance on the website or click here.

After the introduction of the grey blazer in March 2019, it is now compulsory for all students in Y7-11 to wear the grey blazer. From September students will have an additional option of wearing a correctly worn traditional tie instead of the clip on tie. 

Uniform item specific to Kingsmead are only available from Crested School Wear in Cannock.

Their address is: 67 High Green, Cannock, Staffs, WS11 1BN.

Telephone: 01543 504866 

Website: www.crestedschoolwear.co.uk

Items which are not specific to Kingsmead can be purchased from any supplier of school uniform. 

If you need any further clarification then please contact your progress leader

Year 7 r.dyke@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 8 p.bradbury@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 9  t.milner@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 10  l.finch@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 11  j.taylor@kingsmeadschool.net

Year 12/13  m.cavanagh@kingsmeadschool.net

 

What are the essentials for our first day – what do we need to bring, what do we need to wear, what will we do?

All students should come prepared with their normal school equipment such as a pen, pencil, rule, scientific calculator etc.  If possible, students should bring any snacks, drinks or lunch with them.  They will be able to have these during their two designated break times.

It is very important that students bring a water bottle with them and fill this up before coming to school. Staying hydrated is an important way to stay healthy and alert at school. We have increased the number of water stations around school to support this.

 

What are the arrangements around food in school – when?  Where?

We are working with our catering company to produce a method of pre-ordering food which will be delivered to students in their recreation areas at breaktimes. This will involve completing a form online to order from the menu. Catering staff will take payment from ParentPay accounts or for Free School Meals manually so that students do not need to use the biometric fingerprint readers. Further details and training will follow very shortly. Please return here for updates, which will also be sent to parents via email on ParentPay.

Additional water coolers have been added to the school to increase the availability to students. Please ensure they bring a bottle with them for this purpose.

Arrangements for food starting in September can be viewed here.

September's menu can be viewed through this link

What do we need to do if we need to borrow an items?  Is this different due to the current guidance around Covid-19?

This will have to be different to follow current guidelines for being Covid-19 secure.  There will be a limited supply of items that students can borrow if they have forgotten / misplaced uniform items i.e shoes, blazers, trousers/skirts etc.  These should be returned to the Hub at the end of the school day.  All items, once returned, will not be used for a minimum of 72 hours.

For this reason it is important that students come prepared with the stationery they will need including pens, pencils, rule, sharper, rubber, calculator, glue stick.

 

I am worried about my child returning after the Pandemic.  Who can I call to check on them?

We know from speaking to students that they are really keen to return – to see their teachers, their friends and to learn in school.

We understand that there will be some parents and some students who may be anxious about returning to school having learned from home for the last few months.  It’s not unusual to be slightly exciting/nervous at the start of a new school year, let alone after what students have faced in recent times.

We are aware and prepared for this.  We are opening the school because we are confident that we can do so safely, in a controlled and secure way. 

We have dedicated time to ensure that students feel able to learn – this is within lessons themselves, through year groups and tutor-based time.

If you have any concerns it would help to know as early as possible (even before we officially open).  This allows us to start the process of reassuring your child (or you) as early as possible and be aware of any particular issues. 

As we are sure you appreciate we want to focus our attention on the students when they are in school and be available for them.  Please feel reassured we will contact any parents if we feel it would be helpful or you should be made aware of anything.  If however, you feel there is something more urgent you need to discuss with us during the school day, please contact their progress leader in the first instance.  They will be doing regular class drop-ins along with Senior Leadership to ensure that students are settled, happy, safe and learning.  Their emails are listed above.

 

How is Kingsmead going to support our students catching up academically?

At Kingsmead we have been able to ensure that we have maintained a strong level of learning over the last few months.  This is despite the remote nature that this learning have taken.  We recognise this doesn’t reflect the same level we achieve here in school, with the regular feedback and interaction between staff and students.

We will be using the assessments at the end of last year, quizzes and Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs) at the start of the year to identify where each individual student is in terms of their learning.  This allows us to pinpoint any specific gaps and respond to the needs of each individual, rather than making broad assumptions.

We have adjusted the curriculum to allow us to respond to students individual needs.  We have and continue to revisit how this will work in the classroom itself through a number of training sessions. 

We will use some lesson time to revisit core concepts and skills ensuring that these are secure as well as introducing new content.  This is because we recognise that there are aspects of the last few months students will want clarity on.  We are also aware it as vitally important to drive learning on so as to maintain engagement and motivation. 

Students are key to this process and they are becoming more and more accomplished at understanding how they best learn (metacognition).  We will be transparent and clear on where they are and what they have to do.  Home learning will be directed by this.  The new blended learning platform will have resources they can use to support this process.

 

What will happen regarding clubs and extra curricular activities?

At Kingsmead we offer a wide variety of Clubs and Extra-curricular activities. You will see the updated list on the screens around the school and on the school website. On the website you will also see some student feedback from last year. To see the current information on the website please click here.

We are waiting for further guidance from the government on how the Pandemic will affect our extracurricular offering. This may mean that clubs will have to be in year groups or run in their own bubble. More information on this will follow.

We are always trying to expand our list and if you have any ideas then please contact our Extra-curricular Coordinator Mr Palmer k.palmer@kingsmeadschool.net

Specific information for individual events for 2020 will also be sent out through notices and social media when we start back.

 

What will our curriculum look like?  How have the school adapted the curriculum in each year because of the Pandemic?

We have adjusted our curriculum in light of OFQUAL proposals. Examples include:

· changes to fieldwork in geography
· a choice of topics in English Literature
· changes to ”spoken language” assessments in MFL
· a range of modifications in coursework in food tech, music and PE

Each subject area has an updated detailed curriculum plan to ensure all curriculum content is covered and our students are fully prepared for assessments. Full details can be viewed following this link

 

What are the arrangements regarding collecting exam results for A levels and GCSEs?

For the safety of all concerned, we have regrettably had to take the decision not to invite students and parents into school on Thursday 13th (A-Level) and Thursday 20th (GCSE) of August to collect their  results.  The school has taken this difficult decision after consulting the Department for Education guidance for schools on Covid-19. 

On results day, Kingsmead School will send a statement of results to your child’s school email address, after 8am.  In order to ensure that you child can access their statement of results on results day, please check with them whether they can sign into their school email account.  We advise that at least one parent/carer should be with your child when they receive their statement of results. 

Further information on how grades have been awarded this year, and Ofqual/the exam boards’ standardisation process, can be found on the school website, here. We will continue to add information to this page over the coming weeks, as it becomes available.

 

What are the arrangements regarding appeals for A levels and GCSEs?

We will be publishing information regarding the appeal process on Wednesday / Thursday.  We will share arrangement with you as soon as we have confirmed arrangements from the exam boards. 

An outline of these arrangements can be found in our Information for candidates: results, appeals and certificates document (which can be found on the school website here).

 

What are the next steps for Year 11s and 13s finishing 2020?  Where can we get help if you need it?

Just like previous year, we will be providing careers and IAG support throughout the exam results period for Year 11s and 13s. 

Mrs Butler is available on both results days by phone.  Clearly she is normally popular as students wish to discuss options.  Please be patient.  We will indicate how best to arrange an appointment alongside your electronically delivered results.  It will also be possible to book a time with her throughout the days following the results.  Please arrange this in the normal way by email:

j.butler@kingsmeadschool.net

For Year 13s – we will have staff on phones available on Thursday 13th to support with any queries around University or apprenticeship places.

For Year 11s – we will also have staff on phones available on Thursday 20th to discuss potential routes/options as well as any changes you may wish to make.

We have selected some useful websites so support you which are available on the Kingsmead website in the curriculum area, under careers.

 

How is Kingsmead making sure that staff and students wellbeing is protected?

We understand that returning to school in September for many of our students will be a strange and worrying time and they may well have many questions.

We have made arrangements for students to have time to discuss any issues they may have within the safety of their tutor groups. Whilst there has been a change to the school day to allow for safer movement around school, we have designed a recovery tutor programme which will run for every student in school.

This will cover topics such as: wellbeing, confidence, online safety, tolerance and understanding. Our ‘Shield and Shelter’ team have been working with Mr Stevens before and during lockdown and are ready to be a strong student voice on our return. There will be a full tutor session on the first day as well as welcome back assemblies delivered by the Head of School and the progress teams.

Our Wellbeing team in school is fully established and is well prepared to deal with any problem students may have or want to discuss. The key stage hubs and progress team as ever will be available throughout the school day and there will be a safe appointment system for students to use alongside staff to discuss issues.

 

I am thinking about Kingsmead as my Secondary school.  Will there be an open evening?

If at all possible, we would love to have an Open Evening for all prospective students and parents.  However, due to the pandemic, we are currently planning alternative arrangements.  These will include a virtual video tour of the school, recorded interviews with Kingsmead staff conducted by our fantastic students, a recorded presentation, Cicero blogs by every department and video conferencing drop in sessions to ask any questions parents and students will have.  In addition, we are looking at running, in person, tours of the school via appointment with a member of our Senior Leadership team.  More information will be shared in September.

 

 

 

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