kingsmead primary termly news
Welcome to a new look newsletter where a web page replaces the pdf document. We hope you enjoy reading about our exploits this term in a new medium. As in every newsletter, there are many voices sharing our thinking, learning and working together this term. Some pieces have a little down arrow - click it to read more if interested!
What a lot there is to share! It has been a very busy term and this newsletter shares some of the things that have happened over the Autumn Term, celebrating the beautiful work the children have made and demonstrating their A* attitude to all of the opportunities they engage in. Our focus this term has been on caring for ourselves, where we have been encouraging the children to reflect on their own attitudes to learning and really taking pride in their finished products. We hope you all enjoyed the opportunity to come into school and celebrate the children's beautiful work with them, giving them a real authentic audience.
In addition to our termly newsletter, Mrs R-B has introduced a weekly newsletter to try and keep you updated of upcoming events in school. We appreciate that everyone's lives are very busy and managing the daily communication from school can be a challenge, so we hope you have found it helpful to have one email communication each week outlining everything that is coming up in the week ahead. Don't forget though to take a few minutes each week to log into your child's google classroom as this is where teachers will add messages pertinent to their own classes. This is also where we communicate our thinking and learning in SMSC - Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural learning , keeping you updated of our theme each week.
curriculum @ KINGSMEAD
The curriculum is quite simply everything we learn. Learning can take place in lessons, extra curricular and optional learning, assemblies and special events. We hope you enjoy a sample of the Autumn term where the focus has been caring for ourselves. Next term we shift the lens to caring for other people and I am hopeful that children will begin to understand that when we care for anyone else, include them and value their contribution we very much continue to care for ourselves.
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE: learning in LADYBIRDS
Mrs Deb Fielden shares some of the learning in Ladybirds this term
The youngest children in school have settled well into school life and are enjoying making new friends and learning new skills. The children completed a fun bikeability course using balance bikes run by BikeRight which has helped them to improve their gross motor skills and increase their confidence using bikes.
And we've learned about space exploration and our solar system.
We have been learning to write words using the sounds we have learnt.
We've used different materials to make constructions.
The children have been making representations of features and characters from some of the wonderful stories we have read in our class.
ART and culture
Ms Catriona Stewart - It's been a real joy to lead Art and Music here since 2004. With my retirement in July, planning for these subjects has been part of my thinking and business this year and last. One of the main changes, one that's already showing big benefits, are new schemes of work. Art and Music are both subjects which non-specialist primary teachers would be lucky to have had more than one day's training (if that) before starting in a primary classroom. We're not massive fans of published schemes for most subjects but our schemes are different - they've been designed for us, our children and our curriculum.
Consistency in the Arts has been something that, truth be told, can vary more from class to class, depending on a teachers' experience, confidence and interest. Now there are two ways of achieving consistency. The work in sketchbooks and in Music is showing that we maintaining the quality and enthusiasm of the most motivated professionals in a subject. I know that Art and Design and Music are in good hands with new leaders making a strong contribution to standards across the school and beyond the classes they teach.
Art and Design
Mrs Roberts, our new subject leader for Art and Design, and I are also writing new schemes of work for our subject. Lucia is focussing on upper Key Stage 2 (Y5/6) where she teaches and I am planning for Key Stage 1 (Y1/2) and Lower Key Stage 2 (Y3/4). Our scheme uses six longer lessons/steps over the term. I am delighted with what the children and their teachers have accomplished.
Me - Myself - I
In Year 1 and 2 children have been studying self portraits. Looking at work by Paula Rego, Frida Khalo and David Hockney they honed in on Vincent Van Gogh and his particular painting style, using very visible brushstrokes.
Children thought about how they'd like to be in their self portrait, what they would wear and the position they'd take. Working from their photographs they made work that celebrated each of them in their beautiful diversity.
We love how, having been taught about an artist and his technique, the children made the work their own.
We - Ourselves - Us
The end of the unit was to curate their work. As well as displaying on the wall, we looked at how an exhibition catalogue is a book of beautiful work. Each class now has a catalogue of everyone in their class, taking us nicely from thinking and caring about ourselves into the Spring term and other people.
Mrs Melissa Buzzard on The Arts Through the Ages
Across all curriculum subjects, children have expanded their knowledge of this period in History. They have created figurative and abstract art in the style of Stone Age paintings. Additionally, in Music, they have composed their own rhythmic ostinatos and graphic scores whilst learning a Stone Age song to the tune of We Will Rock You.
Young sculptors Liv, Cory and Ethan enjoyed applying their learning of Ancient Greek pottery to their own work
In UKS2 we all made our own handmade Greek pots. Everyone made their own designs and shapes. Before we did it, we looked at an art technique called sgraffito (scratching out to reveal colour underneath) then we moulded the clay, then started making our pot shape. After, when they had dried, we started painting our own designs to show life in 2022. We really enjoyed making them, they were such fun to make.
Mrs Melissa Buzzard on taking Lower Key Stage 2 Through the Ages
The children in LKS2 have worked incredibly hard developing their knowledge of the Stone Age across the curriculum. In addition to thinking like archeologists in History lessons, children have explored this topic in English. They have written diary entries in the voice of Simon, one of the discoverers of the Stone Age paintings in the Lascaux caves and have embraced the role of journalist, writing a newspaper article about the discovery. Additionally, children have written information texts in the form of a Wikipedia page to share their knowledge from their art lessons about Stone Age paintings. Using the book, Stone Age Boy, children have imagined what it would be like to travel back in time. They have composed a character description of Om and created a survival guide with an instructional text of how to start a fire in the Stone Ages.
UKS2 leader Mrs Debbie McHugh shares how by linking learning in English with reading and writing
Our theme for the term has been the Ancient Greeks; we have found out about what life was like for them and the legacy they left behind. It has been wonderful to see the amazing homework that children have been completing linked to this so thank you for supporting them with this. We have also linked a lot of our English work to this history and geography learning and have been studying a book called ‘Who Let the Gods Out’ which the children are absolutely loving. It has been wonderful to see the amazing writing that the children have produced linked to this. We have also made Greek pots as part of our art work (see above); the children loved making these and are excited to bring them home.
A number of children, most in year 4, have taken up new instruments this year.
Hen Harrier, Emilia, reports on her new venture - learning the trumpet with Mr Harper
Hi, I'm Emilia. I started learning the trumpet four weeks ago and I have learnt four notes. I have been practicing a lot and noticed that I am getting better and better. My mum says to me "Don't play too early or too late as we have neighbours and the trumpet is very loud. I love playing the trumpet.
Emilia's trumpet playing is all the more impressive because it's not just the neighbours who don't like loud noise. Emilia has found ways of persevering with something uncomfortable at first (she now has a mute to help at practice time). I'm delighted to read that she loves playing the trumpet and look forward to playing alongside her in Band.
Music News (and some reflections from Ms S on Music in primary school)
Mrs Whitham has written to me to inform me that, along with me, she'll be retiring at the end of the academic year. We have been succession planning for Music for some time, hence Mrs Harper working a day a week with us. Mrs H will become the new Mrs W and I am confident the subject will remain one of the jewels in the Kingsmead crown.
I am supporting Mrs Harper in her new role. In addition to teaching Music in Key Stage 1, Bethan is writing schemes of work for LKS2 and UKS2, linked to their learning in other subjects (this term Prehistory and Ancient Greece). The aim is, with children also learning recorders and other instruments, to use eight shorter lessons/steps each term to teach those aspects of the Music curriculum that aren't about learning an instrument. With Mrs Harper's expertise, primary teachers are all able to provide more consistent and high quality teaching and learning across the phase; teachers are enjoying teaching the scheme, telling me they're learning lots of things too!
Music has been part of the blood running through Kingsmead's veins since we opened in 2004. Mrs W came in 2004, volunteering for the first year as we had no funding for an additional teacher. She came because she only worked in schools where the value of Music was understood. She has stayed and made playing an instrument something that has enriched so many children's lives, achievement and success right into adulthood. We have had children sing and play at the Royal Albert Hall BBC Prom concerts, we have children in their High School and Cheshire ensembles, Halle, Liverpool Phil and National Orchestras and the Halle choir. We have children studying Music at GCSE, A level and University.
The pandemic affected Music, more than any other subject (writing coming in a close second). In so many schools music lessons were the first provision to stop and the last to reopen to students. Mrs W played a massive part of keeping it alive here. Throughout lockdowns she wrote out a weekly piece for a Tune on Tuesday where every child had the tune and could play at home, keeping practice meaningful. We were the first school I know of to reopen ensemble playing with risk assessed class bands and a socially distanced string band (glad that's over!). This required Mrs W to write parts for the various collection of instruments in each of the UKS2 classes. A look at high school and Cheshire ensembles, all impacted by the pandemic, we can see that here, fewer children have given up their instruments, are making a musical contribution beyond primary school and that we are well on the road to a full recovery. And with Mrs Harper, Mr Harper, Miss Meagre and Mrs Singleton still with us next year we have every confidence it will continue to develop and thrive.
And this is no less important than recovery in the tested subjects that we are measured on.
Music is academic with its mathematical notation and Italian terms it involves learning a new language.
Music is creative and expressive whether singing or playing, as an individual and most joyfully as an ensemble.
Music is personal, touching feelings and emotions it can be hard to express in words.
Music is social where we learn that the sound we make together can be so much more than what we play alone and that everybody's part counts.
Music is physical; it takes puff, physical dexterity and strength to play and sing.
Music touches and enriches all of our humanity.
I would like to personally thank Mrs W for seeing the school year out with me. I know this has been a very personal favour to me and our school musicians. She has just had her seventieth birthday and has more than earned her retirement. There are countless musicians across Cheshire who remember Meanwhile, we have two terms to go and must crack on Ms S :-)
A Harvest anagram!
HARVEST - STARVE - HAVE - SHARE
Thank you to all the families who donated to the Mid Cheshire Foodbank. We sang songs from old hymns like All Things Bright and Beautiful to modern celebrations of vegetables with Cauliflower's Fluffy. Children had an opportunity to hear our String and Wind Bands in their first concert of the year. You can listen to songs and performances on https://www.kingsmead.cheshire.sch.uk/curriculum/arts-culture/tune-on-tuesday but will need to be logged into your @kingsmead.cheshire.sch.uk account to access the file.
Thank you to all the families who donated to the Mid Cheshire Foodbank. This year's collection was all the more needed with demand for help going up as donations decline. A bih thank you to Bridget and Jess for making our Harvest letters and your classmates for showing the school a Harvest anagram. Many, many thanks. Ms S :-)
Music connects us with people from the past as well as with each other.
communication, language and literacy
Reading for Pleasure
Mrs Melissa Buzzard is leading on reading for pleasure and it really is a match made in heaven!
Gadgeteers Reading Challenge
Thank you to all who supported their children in completing the summer reading challenge. This was especially a challenge this summer due to the temporary closure of the Northwich Library. Cheshire Libraries have been overwhelmed by the support and have passed on their thanks in the linked video (double-click to view). Gadgeteers are offering a Winter Mini Reading Challenge.
More than economic status, resilience, and perseverance, the single most important indicator of a child’s future success is reading for pleasure. Additional benefits of reading for pleasure include the following:
Increased attainment in literacy and numeracy¹
Improved general knowledge²
Supports identity explorations⁴
Encourages imagination, empathy and mindfulness of others.⁵
¹Anderson et al., 1988; OECD, 2010; Sullivan & Brown, 2013 ²Clark and Rumbold, 2006³Sullivan & Brown, 2013⁴Rothbauer, 2004⁵Kidd & Costano, 2013
One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is an enjoyment of reading. Here are some ways you can support your child to encourage a love of reading:
To bring the magic of reading to life, Kingsmead had the fortune of participating in three live author visits this term. Dragonflies were thrilled to get a shout-out from author, Nadia Shireen, when she was sharing her new book, Billy and the Pirates. All of KS2 were welcomed to join in a session with Hannah Gold, author of The Last Bear and The Lost Whale. Some children even got their questions answered by the author! Lastly, children in UKS2 were keen to attend the live session with Robin Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series. One of our students, an avid fan of their books, was thanked personally by the author! Hopefully these sessions will inspire some of our children to become authors themselves one day!
Bookworms Book Club
Bibliophiles (that means people who love books) in Year 4 and Year 5 have been celebrating books in a variety of ways. One of which is book journaling. It is a great way to track what you have read and to celebrate all the things you loved about the book. Why not give it a try!
If you are looking to purchase some books for the holidays, consider buying them from https://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/. For each purchase, 25% of the purchase price can be donated to our school to enable us to buy new books to stock our shelves.
Visit our Book Recommendations for recommendations from our students. Our Reading Rocks page also has inspiration for reading.
Mrs Emma Miller [phase leader KS1]
In Key Stage 1, English lessons we’ve been reading ‘Goldilocks and Just the One Bear’. After getting to know the story really well, the children created their own versions of this story. They were delighted to have these completed in time to share with their families on parents’ evening.
Learning to write is much more complex that we might think. Children need good hand control (drawing is great for developing fine motor skills), they need to think of what they are going to write and then how to break down each word into sounds and use the symbol (letter) for sounds they hear in the word. There are also tricky words which are best just learned. They have to keep remembering what they intended to write and think about good words and interesting sentences, using the correct letter formation.
Writing for someone else brings purpose to children's writing adding enjoyment and motivating best efforts. And from EYFS where the first writing is dictated to an adult, to Key Stage 1 the children make the most astonishing progress.
When KS1 children write for a purpose outside of the classroom there is little usefuller or kinder than a thank you letter. Maggie's letter to Jade is really special because Jade was a student here at Kingsmead before moving up to Leftwich High and a career in engineering.
UKS2 phase leader Mrs Debbie McHugh:
It was fantastic to welcome the Young Shakespeare company back in person after a few years of online productions. This is always a highlight of the academic year but did feel even more special this year. I will leave some of our reporters to fill you in on that further down.
Year 6 theatre critic Artie on Shakespeare coming to Kingsmead
This year, the Young Shakespeare Company came into school and did a performance of Twelfth Night. It was great fun and we were able to join in the performance and interact with the characters. All of Year 5/6 really enjoyed it. We all got the chance to play a part in this wonderful performance.
A big thank you to the KFA without whose financial support the annual visit of the YSC to Year 5 and 6 couldn't take place.
Below you can see what a difference a live performance makes to children's writing from a character's point of view, be it a diary entry or a poem.
My heart has been smashed like a mirror; my brother and I were inseparable until that fateful day. Our beloved Father often told us tales of storms and now there is this.
It was a sunny, slightly humid day. We couldn’t bring too much on the boat since it would weigh it down but I managed to sneak this diary on (sorry for the watery smudges!). All was calm: the swaying ship, the ocean bed peaking through the translucent water. For a moment, everything was vibrant, unique and exquisite. The seagulls soared and gracefully bobbed on the water’s turquoise surface.
Suddenly a shout from a drunken ship member had pierced the tranquill lapping of waves.
“There be a storm a brewing” and he was right…ominous clouds loomed slowly over-head.
“Brace yourselves!” had come the voice again. Surely it would pass I had remembered thinking.
But it didn’t!
Darkness had come forward and the seagulls flew rapidly away from the canopy of clouds. Rain has lashed down on us like thin piercing blades. The sea had toiled with the vessel.
Today I had the most tragic day of my life, grief has taken control of me. How can I live without my twin, my best friend Sebastian? How did this happen? The cruel waves have taken him away forever.
I started the day off really looking forward to this voyage. It was a beautiful, sunny day, the sun was rising and so were the spirits of the crew. It was relaxing and joyful. The ocean shimmered, clear and calm, the waves smoothly swished in the bay.
Suddenly though the mood starter to change with a shout from the captain,
“Looks like a storm ahead!” I remember a little bit of anxiety built in my chest as a cloud more ginormous than a group of elements was ashore.
The all of a sudden, CRASH!, the ferocious waves started hunting their prey as they battered against the boat. Shortly after that, there was a huge gust of wind, followed by a wave that hurdled the deck breaking the sail down.
Then the tragic event happened, Sebastian avoided the sail and was shoved over board by the waves. At that point, I was gripped by fear, petrified of my loss. Then to my, WHOOSH!, I was snatched away.
This morning, I woke on a beautiful beach in Illyria, I thought- Where am I? Then my memory came back, my beloved Sebastia, the dreaded waves have separated us, his life is lost. I lie here in grief at the loss of my Sebastian thinking about what to do next.
Monstrous waves splash,
Ghostly clouds drift through the lightning filled sky,
Forks of lightning penetrate the black sky around me,
Will I make it to Illyria alive?
Turbulent waters rocks the boat causing chaos on the deck,
Precipitation batters the old boat,
Tumbling waves rock the boat to and fro,
Will I make it to Illyria alive?
The wooden debris drifts into the distance,
Relentless thunder claps reverberate around me,
The seas; furious waves wash me up onto an island,
Is this the end of my life?
The ominous sky looming ahead,
Forks of lightning stabbing the water.
BOOM, BANG, CRASH!
Will I survive?
Screaming for mercy,
Thunder claps of doom,
Trepidation fills our bodies
Where is Sebastian?
Overpowered by towering waves,
Terrifying wails and cries,
Is Sebastian okay?
Small voices making a big difference
Year 4 teacher, Melissa Buzzard
In the Summer Term in our Rainforest topic, LKS2 children had written a variety of letters to both MPs and CEOs of companies which use palm oil in their products. How exciting it was when we received their responses in September! As the next generation of consumers, children are determined to expect companies to consider protecting the environment. The response letters empowered the children to recognise the difference they can make in their world.
Writing a letter to people with the power to make a change is a great way to have your voice heard. Last Summer year 3 and 4 wrote to people asking for help in dealing with problems like palm oil causing deforestation in South America. Children wrote to our MP, supermarket chains and CEOs and were delighted to hear back from our MP Mike Amesbury. Taking children's writing out of the classroom and for a purpose does two important things:
Teaches that writing is a skill for life with lifelong importance outside a classroom;
Democracy and having your voice heard by people in power doesn't require you wait to turn 18. Young voices should be a part of every MPs postbag and inbox.
Health and wellbeing
Mrs Miller reports on learning to care for ourselves in Key Stage 1
We’ve had a packed autumn term in Year 1 & 2. In September, Dr Alex came to visit all the classes to teach the children about eating a healthy, balanced diet and the importance of exercise. She brought her stethoscope so we could listen to our heartbeat after running around the netball court. We also spent a lovely afternoon harvesting the apples and pears in the school grounds.
In October, Alison, Wendy and Jade from Tiger Trailers came to teach us about Road Safety. We then put this into action when we walked to Leftwich Fire Station. The wonderful team of firefighters gave us a warm welcome. They taught us about how to keep safe in the home, what to do in an emergency and showed us around all their fire fighting equipment. Back at school we have been busy designing and making our own emergency vehicles.
In November, the outreach team from Wills and Wills Dentists came to support the children’s learning about how to look after your teeth.
The Y1 children thoroughly enjoyed their sessions on the balance bikes with BikeRight. These sessions focussed on improving coordination, balance and confidence.
Mrs Rutter-Brown on the return of Community Assembly for children in year 1-6
Prior to the pandemic children used to engage in regular community assemblies, where they were given the opportunity to be the ‘organ grinders’ and really have their voice heard and be actively engaged in shaping our world. Due to restrictions we were unable to continue with these, but from January 2023, we are going to start them up again.
Children have been organised into mixed aged assembly groups, with a range of children from Year 1 to Year 6. Two Year 6 children in each of these groups will lead the assembly, supported by a class teacher, and provide an opportunity for all children, who want to, to share their thoughts and opinions on the chosen topic. Each term we will have a focus linked to our ethos of caring for others, others and the world. For the Spring Term we will be thinking about caring for others and the children will help to identify a local charity they would like to support. When we give children the chance to make their own decisions and share their experiences, thoughts and feeling they can influence positive change and really be partners in improving outcomes, not only for themselves, but for other people in the local community and for the environment.
Year 6 embrace their responsibilities alongside their rights
Mrs Debbie McHugh on a new initiative for the oldest children this year
For the first time we have made all of our Year 6 children monitors. They each applied for their roles and have been given jobs such as environmental officer, computer monitor, office assistant, Sports organising crew and peer mentors. They have taken these roles extremely seriously and we have been super impressed with the maturity they have shown when carrying out their various tasks.
Wow! What a busy and full term we have had in UKS2. The children have made a fantastic start to the academic year and we have all been so impressed with their work ethic and enthusiasm.
Year 6 is so much more than tests - making a positive contribution and becoming young leaders is no less important for their bright futures than their academic and other achievement in class. In addition to the jobs children have applied for, a couple of year 6 children in each class were nominated by their teachers as tour guides. Parents looking at Reception places for September 2023, people applying for the headteacher job and Mr Ellis our Associate School Improvement Advisor have all commented on how eloquently they talk about learning and being part of their Kingsmead community. The tour guides have even returned for the night shift when we have had evening visitors. Thank you to them for their commitment and for being such fine ambassadors and exemplary Kingsmead citizens!
Some children in Year 5 and 6 have been having some forest school sessions with our Forest School Leader, Gemma Sproston. They have been busy working together to solve problems as a team and develop their cooperation skills. Children have built a fire, used a fire steel, made smores and built dens. They have also demonstrated a real interest in nature and a curiosity in the outside world, finding some fantastic fungi and tremendous toads in the school grounds.
In Key Stage 1 children have been thinking about how those people who help us get about. For their Design/Technology learning this term they designed and made emergency vehicles with wheels.
In DT we have been designing and making Seasonal Soup
Mrs Debbie McHugh on the term's food technology
With the current economic climate, we have discussed trying to have less food waste and how we can use up food that maybe gets left over in houses at the end of each week. The children have loved preparing the vegetables for this and have learnt how to be safe in the kitchen. There were some mixed responses from the taste tests we did though - mushroom soup was definitely not a favourite!!
Holly was moved to tears!
One of the things that I liked the most about making the vegetable soup was chopping up the onion and getting so emotional from it!!!
Florence found that safety can be hard work
I enjoyed it but found it hard to cut up the celery with the safety knife.
Lottie wishes carrots could be more thoughtful about their shape
It was hard to peel the carrot because of the shape of the carrot and because I had never peeled one before.
Back to Mrs McHugh:
The UKS2 team would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support and would like to wish you all a restful holiday and a happy new year!
Multiplication Check Results
Mrs Buzzard congratulates children and their parents on securing some super results in the Year 4 multiplication check.
The Standards and Testing Agency has reported the results from last academic year’s Multiplication Tables Check. Current Year 5 children should feel proud as they scored above the national average on their times table check from Year 4 with a greater percentage achieving a perfect score. Thank you to parents and carers for supporting your children. We deeply appreciate your support.
More important than scores in a national test or screening is the rapid recall and knowledge that the children take up to Year 5 and 6. Mathematics in Upper Key Stage 2 is planned on the presumption that children know their tables. Having these important number facts at your fingertips enables children to grapple with the challenge of year 5 Maths without the cognitive overload of having to work out number facts first. Like learning spellings and musical scales, for the overwhelming majority of children learning tables is just a matter of putting in the time and a high score is something achievable for almost everyone. So while Ms S may not be a massive fan of high stakes tests (see SATS sit in below) she is100% up for children learning and knowing their times tables.
Mrs McHugh leads Physical Education and Sport in school.
It has been fantastic to return to a full sporting calendar with competitions against other schools resuming to their full capacity after the pandemic. It has been an extremely successful term for us too with great success at the competitions we have taken part in.
Both our mixed football teams and girls football teams won their cluster events and moved through to the next round to take part in finals against a wider range of schools. The mixed team finished runners up in their finals and put on a fantastic performance on the day. The girls finals had to be cancelled due to weather but will hopefully be rearranged in the new year. We have seen teams from both Year 3/4 and 5/6 attend netball competitions. The Yr 5/6 team again won this event and will go on to represent Kingsmead at the next level.
The Spring term looks to be super busy with sport with some finals approaching and further competitions on offer for our children. We have also begun the process of organising a new sports kit for our teams to wear when at competitions so watch this space!
School Games Award - Gold Again!
Year 6 Sports correspondents Liv and Joseph report on collecting a special award for our school
On Wednesday 23rd November, we [Liv and Joseph] attended and sports award ceremony, we went with our head teacher, Mrs Stewart [shout out to her] we also went with Mrs McHugh. We sat down and listened to a speech from Chris Story and some words from the town mayor.
Whilst we were there, we were thrilled to also receive a special award for helping to support Mr Story’s work on making the School Games mark more eco-friendly. We were the only school to win the eco friendly award where we got some sustainable wooden badges. We also won the gold award. There are 4 stages in awards, there is: the bronze award , the silver award , the gold award and the platinum award. We are not eligible to receive the platinum yet as we have to receive the gold award a few more times first. We hope it won’t be too long before we can achieve that!
With only 31% of schools across the country earning a school games award, to be Gold standard again it something to really celebrate. Thank you Mrs Mc Hugh, the parents, carers and staff who help and all the children who have competed, watched and taken pride in physical activity here in school.
Girls Football Tournament - September 2022
Sports correspondents Matilda and Sophia in YEar 6
We went to Leftwich High School for a netball tournament. We we went, we played two teams- Antrobus and Davenham. The games we played were fun but also a bit challenging. We won most games and at the end it was a tie so it went to goal difference and we won. We were so surprised that we won the Leftwich Cluster and went through to the finals. There were a lot of teams but we had great fun!
A mahoosive thankyou to Mrs Ramsden who's coached the team come rain or shine. She has led our team in style and the young player show skill, sportsmanship and character in equal measure.
Girls Football Tournament - September 2022
Sports correspondents Amelia and Charlie in Year 5 and Bridget and Liv from Year 6
On the 21st September, the Year 5 and 6 Girls football team went to Leftwich High to play in a competition. We played quite a few matches against other schools. Some of the schools were harder than others. With about 10 Year 5 and 6 girls we had to rotate as we played 7 a side. We played several matches, we lost one match but won all the rest. At the end of the competition, we won. We had won the cluster event and were so pleased. We will now go on to play in the finals against other schools in Cheshire.
We came 1st place and now we are attending a final at Winsford Academy. Our Headteacher Mrs Stewart came along with us as well as our sports teacher Mrs McHugh. We had so much fun and we love being able to have a girls team as well as having a mixed team.
There were 8 teams in the tournament and we managed to beat all of them but as well as winning we also had fun playing with our friends and classmates. All of the girls loved it - it was a great experience. There was no arguing and everyone played fairly.
We came 1st, which means we now move on to represent the Leftwich cluster. Everyone swapped positions regularly, and we all offered to go in goal as we had no girl that normally goes in goal. Lots of the other teams played really well, and there were lots of supportive players. We played 6 matches, and had 3 games off, where we could hydrate and discuss tactics.
Our Lioness' did us proud and Mrs McH and I were as pleased about the sportsmanship as we were the win. We wish the girls the very best in their next round where they represent not just us but the local schools in our area. Ms S
Mixed Football Tournament at Leftwich High School - October 2022
Football correspondent Ryan in Year 6 enjoyed the whole event
Our school Kingsmead participated in a football tournament at Leftwich High. Kingsmead performed really well as a team, there was loads of support by the parents and other players. The mixed football tournament was really fun. It helped to improve teamwork, stamina and physical ability. It was a competitive competition but all the other teams were nice. I really enjoyed the competition and got to play in different positions and wear the school sports kit.
We had to bring two teams as the football competition was very popular. We were in two group stages and then went on to go into semi-finals and then the finals. One kingsmead team won all games of their group stage matches,and went onto the final but the other team lost two and drew one. Everyone played fairly. At some point everyone on the green kingsmead team had to go in the goal but the pink and black team had a permanent goalie who loved to play in goal. It started to rain half way through the tournament and it did not stop us fighting to win.
As with all great games, luck and skill combine and footie provides the perfect balance . Both Kingsmead teams played their hearts out and delivered the way we always ask them to - in the following order:
A* sportsmanship: respecting the Ref, other teams and one another. Everyone took turns to be subbed and our two teams kept up good spirits - unlimited.
Skill and passion: some super passing and selfless play (Darcey , our own Trent Alexander Arnold), I'm looking at you). Wonderful finish (Joe, you know the shot I mean), a wonderful kick in that would have been the goal of the tournament if luck had gone with skill (Harry). Both teams benefitted from stalwart keepers, making many saves including in times of onslaught!).
Victory: phew - we reached the final and the blues and greens cheered on the pinks and pinks an blacks, and like the Kop at Anfield, they helped deliver a last minute clincher and avoid the penalty shoot out (which for reasons of sport and weather we were all keen to avoid). Number 3 may be the least important part of playing in a tournament but we all so love it when it happens. Ms S
Caring for other people
Mrs Bodger and the Mid Day team have benefitted from an uber useful and kind team of lunchtime volunteers. Pictured here is the organ grinder of a wonderful team of mid-day volunteers who help out.
Next term we will shift the lens from ourselves to other people and will begin the term by thinking how everybody, unlimited, can take even better care of our Mid-Day assistants. I can tell you that supporting children over lunch is among the hardest job in any school. Children are less controlled and structures are there but less so. Children need to let of steam and also take the reins to some extent at playtimes and lunchtimes and this makes the work of the adults who care for them exhausting physically, emotionally and mentally. It may be just over an hour but it's full on.
Achievement beyond the school gates
Strictly KingsmeadLewis and his partner won a Ballroom competition.
Gardeners WorldOver the summer Holly and Louis wanted to hold a plant sale to raise money for their school. See photo they made Approx £12.50 from it.
Big SATS sit in
On 6th December we joined with schools across England, elected politicians in Westminster and others in inviting adults to come and experience something of the tests our ten and eleven year olds will be sitting in May 2023.
Our fabulous parents and a grandparent all deserve a medal for bravery! I think it came as a real surprise to them just how difficult the questions are. You might have caught the item on BBC Northwest Tonight where parents commented how grammatical terms hadn't existed in their days. But looking on and watching the children (who were meant to be checking the examinees weren't cheating) got me thinking - perhaps it's not really difficulty which is the problem. Perhaps it's the very high stakes, the message that High School will use the scores, that you might not be the 'expected' standard that take the joy out of the difficulty.
What I find most problematic with the tests is not that they're difficult but that they try to do too much. They are a measure of how English children are achieving nationally in English and Mathematics. However, because they are also used to measure schools in a league table, there is a temptation to teach to the test (somewhat skewing the reality of the National Picture). There's a temptation to narrow the year 6 curriculum to that which is tested and measured, reducing the quality of education as well as enjoyment and achievement for children. Another problem with focussing too heavily on tests for external accountability is that it is too easy to lose sight of our core purpose - to provide the best education for our children that we can. The best compliment I've had from a High School is being told years ago by a colleague up at Leftwich that our children come up with SATS scores that they take with them and can use and apply in year 7. Teaching to the test might push you up a place or two on a league table but in year 7, children who've been overly coached are not able to replicate test achievement in class. And our children do brilliantly up at High School and beyond (t's the compensation for being so long in the tooth to see how they get on). While there' may be argument for this with GCSE and A level - passports to college, higher education and work, this isn't the case at primary school. No college, university or employer will want to know your score age ten or eleven!
SATS have been part and parcel of school life almost since I began teaching over twenty years ago. First there were levels and a typical child could be expected to achieve a level 4. Then letters arrived and it was a 4B that was expected. Level 6 papers appeared with some questions remarkably similar to an A level statistics paper. And now it's 80-120 with 100 being known as the 'expected standard.' The expected standard now is broadly equivalent to a 5C or more in old scores. As the adults who attended the Big Sats Sit In discovered - they are "well hard".
We send home SATS results in sealed envelopes for parents. I wonder what would happen if families made the choice not to inform their child of their score at all. This would make the inevitable comparing of one another impossible. Comparisons are upsetting for some and encourage children to rank themselves and others on what is a very narrow measure? Perhaps parents and carers might tell their child that they are proud of them, trying their best with such very hard tests and that they are confident they'll have a successful and happy time at High School. This might be a way for everybody (unlimited ;-) to approach the next phase of their education with hope and optimism.
We aim for attendance to be as high as it can be; this is good for individual children and other people too, their classmates and adults who teach and care for them. Having noticed an increase in persistent and unauthorised absence we recognise the need to work in partnership with all families. To support we are sharing again this NHS link https://www.simplethings-nhs.com/
Attendance is the first step to having a high quality education. Before anything else, you can't benefit from a curriculum, learn and make progress when you're not in school. One way to maximise attendance is to keep children at home when they're unwell and with any vomiting or diarrhea observe the 48 hour rule. When infections are minimised there will be fewer school absences and work days lost caring for unwell children.
Towards the end of term, and in the last week especially, we saw infections on the rise. A potentially worrying number of teaching staff have been off work with Covid. We're hopeful the Christmas break may offer something of a circuit break and reduce the inevitable impact on education when infections are high.
elf run for st luke's hospice
Despite the weather trying it's best to put a halt to our fundraising event, we were still able to go ahead, with a few alterations. Instead of completing a run or walk around the school grounds, the little elves took part in a festive workout in the school hall, completing exercises to the 12 days of Christmas. The children all joined in wholeheartedly and had lots of fun getting fit and 'elfie'. St Luke's have been to collect all of your generous donations and will update us in the new year with the total raised.
Mrs Wood has informed us of her resignation as Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA). Mrs Wood has made a fantastic contribution to children's wellbeing in school and at home with her gentle support and guidance. Mrs Emilia Dabrowska has last term trained as an ELSA and will be taking on some more ELSA work in addition to running the Rookery (a safe place for more supported lunchtimes). Due to the financial challenges that parents and carers have already been informed about, we won't be recruiting a specific ELSA at this point in time. We will be considering how to provide an appropriate level of support within each phase, particularly Key Stage 2 where there is greater demand.
Governors are pressing ahead with recruiting my replacement. Our Chair of Governors, Mrs Joanne Watkins and the selection panel found your parent and carer views very helpful and they will continue to inform the process threough the focus of interview questions and the process of the two days.
Thank you to the parents and carers who suggested that we offer families the opportunity to make additional donations for other children so that trips and visits remain financially viable for the school. Donations have been received with gratitude and will be used to support bursaries.
Like all public sector bodies, inflation brings rising costs. Schools and hospitals, unlike manufacturers, don't work for profit. When rising wages (not to be begrudged after a decade of austerity and real terms pay cuts for everyone working in schools) are not met with additional central government funding, this places services in a precarious position. The process begins with central government informing the Local Authority of their exact funding allocation and then for the LA to make appropriate calculations for individual schools. While more recent announcements from central government have allayed some of our worst fears, we won't have an accurate forecast of our budgetary position until around mid-February at the earliest.
This is why all decisions around staffing have to be considered very carefully. We can only provide services within our means which explains why some posts may not be fully replaced should a colleague leave us.
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed in any way, large or small, to the coffers this term. We have been humbled by the kind donations to school fund, to support bursaries for children's school trips and supporting non uniform dates. We can't thank you enough for this support.
Thank you so much to the children first, but also the adults who made this Christmas so special. Concerts and nativities are priceless gifts; memories stay with us long after things we buy have faded.
The KFA team would like to say a huge thank you to teaching staff, administration staff, parents and carers for all your support with the fundraising activities that we have held during this term. Without your help these events would not be the great success that they have been.
We are delighted to let you know that the fundraising events that we have held since the start of term in September (Disco, Christmas Artwork, Guess the Name of the Elf & The Winter Crafts and Childcare) have raised over £3,600. In addition to this we have received money from amazon smile, school lottery and easy fundraising.
Roll Up Roll Up! Exciting news! Date for your diary!
The Circus is coming to Kingsmead!!!!
Happy's Circus will be coming to Kingsmead Primary School on Sunday 21st May 2023. A big top that seats 600 people will be on the school playing field and we hope to have some stalls and activities as well for people to enjoy before the show starts.
Further information and early bird tickets will be on sale from late January. If you would like to be part of the team helping to organise this exciting event, please send the KFA an email: email@example.com
Wishing you all an enjoyable break.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
The KFA Team
Thank you to Amelia and her incredibly hard working team. From Film Night to the Winter Craft Day, sorting Christmas cards and gifts they put in a tremendous number of hours for everybody's children. The KFA have supported our ethos by considering single use plastic at discos and ensuring that every child can join in if they wish. The KFA show parent partnership at its best - everyone together for the benefit of all our children (unlimited!).
Last words from headteacher, Ms Catriona Stewart
All that's left is wish you all the happiest of holidays and for those families celebrating Christmas we hope you have a very special time with family and friends. We would like to wish everyone, a happy New Year and look forward to seeing you, bright eyed and bushy tailed, in 2023!
2022 - over and out!
At the end of every term we like to leave last words for celebrating past students, the young people who go on to make a difference to their own futures, the experience of others and the world they share with us. Who children become - and guiding them to become their best self - is the fundamental and ethical purpose of education. It is one we share with parents, carers and of course the children themselves. We work hard to offer every child a good path to a bright future. But at the end of primary school that path has not yet been trodden, our children's characters and best selves are yet to become. Our alumni, our past pupils, show us that the path embarked on back in primary school is offering up a bright future for them, their peers and community.
Year 11 Freddie Medland, has been chosen to be Head Prefect at Leftwich High for his final year at CHSL. We remember Freddie as a fine violinist who also took up the oboe as part of an endangered instrument scholarship. The decision to be 'head prefects' rather than 'head boy' and 'head girl' was their idea so as not be gender specific.
This is the first time Leftwich have selected Head prefects for many years and we are very proud that one of our past pupils was chosen for this bit of extra responsibility. We know Freddie will represent his peers usefully and kindly and be a wonderful ambassador for his High School, just as he was here five years ago. We are really proud that Freddie been recognised for his hard work, attitude and determination, and is great to see young people who may not be the loudest or boldest putting themselves forward as brilliant examples of young people that care about education and the importance of a student voice.
Also in Year 11 at CHSL, Marcel has been made joint principal bassoon at the National Youth Orchestra. Marcel too took up bassoon here, on an endangered instrument scholarship. He plays clarinet and piano and we have heard he is developing a real love of Jazz as well as the classical repertoire. Children and young people can hear Marcel for free on 8th January at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall; it's a great programme with Britten's Sea Interludes and Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra. With adult tickets at a reduced price it would be
Having seen and heard Marcel play bassoon at The Bridgewater Hall this news was a) wonderful and b) no big surprise! It's been great to celebrate two such accomplished and modest young men this term. Both showed us a quiet thoughtfulness and deep interest in learning while they were here. I'm delighted this is being embedded in their good characters as young adults.
Abhi and Kaitlyn
We all have idols and perhaps who we idolise says more about us than it does the person we admire. But few of us hear back from an idol. And even fewer get a Hand Written Reply!
Abhi and Kaitlyn cut their environmentalist teeth here at Kingsmead and in their final year at school undertook writing to the local MP, environment minister and appeared in the local paper, sharing their message of hope for the future more widely. Well, I am delighted to report that their environmental activism and desire to communicate has continued into year 7.
The girls have shared a letter they wrote to Sir David Attenborough, click the arrow to read it.
Dear Sir David Attenborough,
We are two young girls, called Kaitlyn and Abhi, who have justed started year seven in high school writing to you as we, like you, care about young children's futures and the environment. We have looked up to you all our lives and you have become our idol. We have finally come to an age, after watching many of your wildlife programmes, where we want to act, now!
In our last academic year at primary school, we found our great passion for the wildlife surrounding us; we realised what was happening to Planet Earth and our future. We knew we needed to do something, we knew we needed to act.
Half way through year six, we started writing a letter to you, Mike Amesbury (our MP), George Eustice who used to the environment minister and our headmistress got it in the newspaper as well! We spent almost three months of break times and lunch times to form this letter. Our letter was fionally formed with a gold cover and seven colourful pages. Our letter consisted of nine separate sections, including: |Climate Change, Threat to Animals, David Attenborough (yes, there is a section on you!), Greenhouse Gases, No Planets 2!, Importance of Plants, Deforestation, White is This Happening?, A Better Future and Solutions.
We are delighted to say that once our headmistress had put the letter on Instagram Mike Amesbury replied and said how he would be thinking of us when he is voting in parliament!
We would like to thank you for taking your time reading this. We would like to say a heartfelt thank you for introducing our passion for the environment.
Kaitlyn O'Neill and Abhirami Nair
We remember Tash very fondly as a full on hard worker who gave her best efforts in school whether in class as a hardworking student or at playtimes as a good friend. Tash went on from Leftwich High to study at Reasheath and it was a bonus to this year's harvest collection to see her, volunteering at the Mid Cheshire Foodbank. We collected 8 crates and 6 bags of much needed provisions for hard up friends and neighbours in our local area.