'We fail our children miserably if we assume the school can do everything'
We work in partnership with the Local Authority who support us with services including moderation of teachers' assessments for EYFS, Year 2 and 6, HR, health and safety and budget and finance support. We also contribute to the education in Cheshire West and Chester, for example by Ms Stewart working with the Local Authority as an Associate School Improvement Adviser.
Edsential is a community interest company that supports us through a range of services including school meals, governor services and music. It is through our partnership with Edsential and the music hub that we are able to provide Endangered Instrument Scholarships to our talented musicians. Kingsmeaders, past and present, contribute to Edsential's music ensembles including Cheshire Youth Orchestra, Vale Royal Wind Band, Mezzo and Training Band and Super Strings. One of our governors, Mrs Rocke is chair of Cheshire Youth Orchestra and helps us have strong music links in the locality.
Our Town - year 2Austrian artist and architecture doctor Hudertwasser didn't work in Northwich. But if he had...
Junior MPs - year 4Just like for MPs at the House of Commons, children were selected before the election. These children presented to classmates who voted for the people they wanted to represent the Kingsmead students at the Northwich Pupil Parliament.
Along with the overwhelming majority of maintained primary schools and academies in the Northwich area, we are members of the Northwich Education Partnership. As a group of state primary schools we are committed to working together to the benefit of all the town's children.
The Northwich Art Town Trail showcased art in our schools by children in years 2 and 4. In 2018 the theme was Our Town. This year it was Stories, our Waterhorse and Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark have been on show at Specsavers and the Hearing Centre. The town trail is held in February to make a useful and kind contribution to our local community and traders in the lull and dull of the dark winter months after Christmas.
Northwich Sings brings together year 5 children of the schools in a vocal celebration. 2018 - Wind in the Willows.
Northwich Pupil Parliament enables children to decide on and lead initiatives in their own schools. 2018 MPs choose to look at homelessness and litter with July litter-pick planned across the area. In 2019 the children started with a No Outsiders theme and thought first about gender and how this can be limiting at playtime with notions of girls' and boys' games and interests. Children in year 4 were elected this year, giving them time to learn the role and in year 6 will be passing on the baton and supporting new MPs.
Staff also enjoy the benefits of partnership working. Headteachers meet termly. This year they have shared data on standards and have set up a working party to look at how we can share our practice around behaviour and the increase in high needs children in this area (at a time of diminishing school budgets). NEP has developed a programme of CPD (continuous professional development) for Newly and Recently Qualified teachers, who can access local training and support to nurture excellent teachers in all our schools. The partnership has also provided training for leaders and governors on data protection and GDPR.
No Outsiders has had a big impact in schools across town. NEP funded training for Mrs Hammond and Ms Maynes and it gave a fantastic focus to World Book Day this year, fitting beautifully with being useful and kind and ready to learn.
Since September 2012 our ex pupils have benefitted from and contributed to the excellent education for sixth formers at Sir John Deane's. Students provide excellent role models and support for our children as learning mentors. They have also supported young musicians, sportsmen and women and science staff and students make an invaluable contribution to Science Week.
Ms Kerry Kirkwood, the college principal is a Governor at Kingsmead and Kingsmead's headteacher, Ms Catriona Stewart, is a trustee of the John Brunner Trust.
We have also shared some of our practice around students with specific difficulties and attendance with the college.
The overwhelming majority of our pupils transfer to The County High School Leftwich in year 7. There they make a great contribution to the school not only with impressive outcomes at GCSE but also as musicians, sportsmen and women. Children from year 5 enjoy the Masterclasses at Leftwich. Ex-students return every year as Sports Ambassadors, helping us with Sports Day.
In March our Band and Orchestra will join older students (many of them our alumni) in a biannual concert up the the High School.
The Vale Royal School Sports Partnership enables our children to participate widely in inter-school competitions. Chris Story has led INSET days at Kingsmead and teachers have attended professional development events led by the SSP. HIgh School specialist PE teachers are released from Leftwich High and has supported our teachers' skills and knowledge through leading and coaching PE teaching at Kingsmead.