summer 2023

a term of farewells and the promise of exciting new beginnings

Everytime I press Publish I have to pinch myself at what our children, staff and families have achieved together in just one term. My last newlsetter is no exception. It's hard work to edit because there is just so much to edit. I do hope you enjoy reading it; it's aimed at children and our adult school community.

Firstly, our curriculum. I hope this newsletter reflects what we hold to be a quality education. Education in its broadest sense: academic standards, creativity, physical and personal achievement. And that all important moral purpose. Everyone in our community, whether they have children or not, should encounter well educated young people in their community and who bring moral purpose to that community

Curriculum @ Kingsmead

Art and Culture

Our online gallery, The Cave, now has four exhibition pages in the Kingsmead Primary Menu. It also hosts the NEP Art Project exhibitions since lockdown. By moving away from our Instagram gallery which still shares past work in Music and Art, we are signalling that a website is a safer place to share our work. There are no likes to chase and rank ourselves by, just a quiet calm gallery space where children's work can be shared, celebrated and enjoyed. We hope you will find a few minutes to visit The Cave to see the beautiful work and hear the wonderful music made by children this term.

Sir Antony Gormley expresses better tha I ever could why Arts aren't a 'fun' add on to the real business of education (aka scores in Maths and English) but an integral part of any quality education. For him, Art

'is intrinsic to who we are... is probably our better part. It expresses joy in being, a connection with all living beings, an awareness of... the palpable world but the absolute need of the imaginative to join it, to mark it and register our extraordinary ability to reflect on existence.'

Key Stage 1

Thank you to all the parents, carers and grandparents who joined us in making our Field for the Moonbears.


I'm with Sir Antony Gormley! When children are in the world with their loved adults, making work together, the work they make carries not only  physical value (beautiful bears) but profound cultural and social value too.

Phase leader for year 5 and 6, Mrs Debbie McHugh

The Summer term has been an incredibly busy term in UKS2. We have been learning about ‘Discovery’ in History, Geography & Science  through the naturalist, Charles Darwin and the explorer Ernest Shakleton. The children have been extremely enthusiastic about this learning and have produced some fabulous homework pieces to complement the work in school. This theme has also fed through into our English work where the children have studied books linked to Darwin and Shakleton. They have produced some fantastic diary entries, non-fiction reports, discovery narratives and instructions. 

Liv and Snow report, “In Art this term we drew songbirds as we were learning about Charles Darwin. The first lesson we learned the basics - eyes, beaks and feathers. We then made giant feathers using a variety of materials. Our teacher put these on the wall and we really like the display. Everyone was very excited to draw the birds and we finally finished them and added them to the display. They look amazing!”

Sophia liked the bird art because I liked using the special paints and pens. We drew them on white card. We watched some videos on how to draw birds, branches and feathers. We learned the different techniques with a variety of pens and pencils, it was really fun. I would love to do it again.”

music matters

Cheshire Show

This was Mrs W's last concert at the Royal Cheshire Show and it saw our string and wind players come together for a wonderful repertoire from Handel and Beethoven to European folk music  to Dr Who, The Beatles and the Adams Family. The rain may have been biblical but the sun came out for our performance. Mrs W and I were so proud of our children and the wide repertoire of music they play. We hope you enjoy listening to us. 

People not able to hear the performance in Tabley on 21st June had an opportunity on 18th July for Ms Stewart and Mrs Whitham's farewell concert with the icing on the cake being the appearance of some past musicians,k some solo pieces and The County High School Leftwich Band.

Kingsmead Cheshire Show 2023.mp4

Our membership of NEP gives opportunities for school leaders, teachers and children to work and learn together. 

Thank you to the partnership for putting on a number of events for children and staff this year. A special thank you from Ms S for making this year's theme all about the environment (at the request of junior MPs in the NEP parliament).

Northwich Sings

Year 5 joined in the NEP music festival where schools across the town spenft four evenings singing Along Came Man, a cantata with an environmental theme. The event raised £840 in donations which will be split equally between Changing Lives Together and Cheshire Search and Rescue.

Summer Art Show

People who've been along to Barons Quay may have noticed a pop up gallery by the cinema. Children attending state primary schools across the town have worked in their classes to make work reflecting one of the big concerns voiced by children in the Northwich Pupil Parliament - the environment and impact of human activity on the natural world. 

We were delighted and proud to be awarded the Judge's Choice award this year. Our work was inspired by wild meadows and included the beautiful paper flowers made at home last term. The idea was that our value can lie more in being ordinary than extraordinary. I am not sure the modern fad for standing out, being a winner or a star is always helpful for our wellbeing. Our work celebrates being one amongst many, more similar than different and no one more important than anyone else.

You can see our work with other artists at The Cave gallery and we hope you'll take time to admire not only the beautiful work made by children in our local area but the equally beautiful ideas behind it. 

Ex students play a wonderful Klezmer quintet

All five musicians are now alumni not only of us but also of The County High School Leftwich. They show that whatever we may go on to study and work in Music can bring joy and friendship, enriching all our lives.


Freya on clarinet played clarinet at the Liverpool Phil Youth Orchestra. She is currently studying biomedical Science at Lancaster university as well as taking a leading role in the university Music Society. 

Marcel on bassoon has just done his GCSEs and moves on to Sir John Deane's in September. Marcel plays with the Halle Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Prom.

Tom on French horn played with the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra where he was taught by principal horn player Tim Jackson. Tom is now studying for a PhD in artificial intelligence at Warwick University.

Freddie on oboe has just finished GCSEs at Leftwich High and moves onto SJD with Marcel. Freddie also plays the violin beautifully. He was head person in his final year at Leftwich High School. 

Emma on flute is the Music graduate of the quintet. She studied Music with flute and singing at Bangor University. She has sung Elgar's Dream of Gerontius at the BBC Proms with the Halle choir and now is developing her career in HR.

Artie reports, “All through my time at Kingsmead I have loved the musical opportunities I have been given. Throughout this year (Yr 6 for me) I have been able to go to the Cheshire Show with our school band and orchestra and play the pieces that we have practised throughout the year. I love being able to play instruments at school, including: the trumpet, recorder, violin, cello, clarinet and many more.”

A highlight of my school year has been able to play alongside such a wonderful trumpeter. When I get lost or play a bum note, Artie covers brilliantly for me! Ms S :-)

Art and Music 

Such a big part of life at Kingsmead is our Art and Music curriculum. I would like to thank the Governors for bringing Mrs Rutter-Brown out of class for the past two years. This has given Lisa a far deeper understanding of her role than most new headteachers will have. It has also given me time to work with our new Art and Design leader, Mrs Roberts to develop a scheme of work for Art and Design that means every teacher, specialist or not, and every child can have a wonderful Art education. I have also been able to work with Mrs Harper who is ensuring that our Music curriculum in class for every child mirrors the high standards those who continue with their instrumental learning achieve. Thank you governors, Art and Music are now in a better position without me than with me. I can relax! 

Communication, language and literacy

Reading for Pleasure

Mrs Buzzard shares the business of Bookworms Club this term with some good reads for everyone over Summer. 

The Library have visited school and we very much hope that every child will enjoy reading with their loved adults rgularly over the Summer. Children's reading out of school remains tone of the strongest indicators of future success in education and  work.

Bookworms Book Club.pdf

In LKS2, we have studied The Water Horse by Dick King Smith. Children have worked incredibly hard at emulating his style by creating their own innovative legends. We were so excited to share our legends with our families at the celebration of beautiful work event and we can’t wait to read them to some of the younger children in our school.  

Izzy tells us how her writing was based upon The Water Horse. Everyone got to make up their own creature for their legend. This year, I have made a legend about a Markup.

Holly reports, During  this term, we have been learning about The Water Horse in our English lessons. The Water Horse is a legend and this term we have planned and written our own legends. My legend was called The Legend of the Drumicorn.

Isaac reports, Lately, we have been learning about Scottish history, which was my favourite thing this year because I just found it really super fun learning about Scotland through the ages.

The Legend of Podkin One-Ear

Sparrows class have been using The Legend of Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood as one of the texts they studied this year.  It tells the story of a tribe of rabbits who were attacked by the evil Gorm.  Podkin, along with his siblings Paz and Pook, have escaped and now need to find a way to survive and defeat the Gorm.  Children have been captivated by the story and think it would make an excellent movie.  For those who have really enjoyed this book, the author has written several other books about the five realms.  

Crosby from Sparrows really liked doing whole class reading.  We read Podkin One-Ear and it was based in the future and was really interesting at the end.

Megan from Sparrows really liked reading Podkin One-Ear and it is really, really good.  I would recommend it to people who like adventures.

Daisy in year 5 was chosen to perform a poem at the Storyhouse in Chester as part of a poetry project called ‘This is Me’ that was run by The Literacy Company. 

Daisy Loved going to the Chester Storyhouse to perform and share my poem that I wrote. I was representing Kingsmead and had been chosen from our year group. There were other children there from different schools.

The Me You Cannot See

by Daisy 

All you see is outside me: my rosy cheeks,

the kind smile and fluttery eyes like butterflies.

A pretty-kind-of-me.


Peel back a layer and there’s another me, a creative me.

A forever doodling, drawing, artistic girl.

An always-sketching-kind-of-me.


Peel back another layer and there’s another me, a smart me.

Devouring one book after another.

A never-without-a-book-sort-of me.


Peel back another layer and there’s another me, a music me.

The keys and notes of the clarinet.

A melody-maker-sort-of-me.


Pell back another layer and there’s another me, a kitten lover me.

Cat cuddler, kitten hugger,

A cat-obsessed-kind-of-me.


Peel back another layer and there’s another me, an innocent me.

Angelic, kind would never do such a thing.

I didn’t-do-it-blameless-me.


And deepest down kept secretly,

a tiny, shy little girl.

The girl that hides inside of me.

Health and Wellbeing

Online Safety

Thank you to our local PC and PCSO for coming in at very late notice to share their understanding of social media from a police and wider community point of view. We can't stress enough the importance of monitoring your children's online activity and the importance of respecting age guidance for apps. Thankfully there is plenty of sensible guidance out there for families and if supervision is good, all our children can be safe and responsible online. We have put some of the best advice we've found on our esafety website page. We hope you find it useful.

Year 6 have taken part in Bikeability

Robyn, Mason, Jack and Olivia report on their experience

This term Year 6 were given the opportunity to improve their cycling skills. Two specially trained instructors from Bike Right came into school and took out small groups of children for a day at a time. After checking that our bikes and helmets were roadworthy, we then started our day off with cycling around the netball court, practising weaving, communication and emergency stops. (Level one skills). After break, we went out onto the less busy roads on Kingsmead and learnt about the different bike positions and how to pass a parked car. Even though the heat was almost unbearable we couldn’t have had more fun. The second half of the Level 2 skills was learning how to safely cross junctions and stay in your lane. We then started to introduce using eye contact and hand signalling.

Once we had mastered this, we learnt how to cross roundabouts and go up and down hills safely. Thank you to Paul and Mike for teaching us Bikeability ~ we really appreciate you helping us to stay safe, especially as we are about to go to high school.

Bridget in year 6 really enjoyed the Year 6 Bikeability Level 1 & 2. We got to go out of the school campus for a day to learn about how to be safe while riding our bikes by ourselves on the roads. My favourite thing was in the afternoon when we went on a T-Junction and rode our bikes, we did it in pairs, learning how to ride it safely. We learned about things like emergency car lights, how to say thank you to cars, how to make cars aware of which direction we were travelling in, junctions, roads, round abouts and finally u-turns. Us Year 6 had a great experience, we really recommend it for future students. It was great!

Health & Wellbeing Week

At the end of June we held a health and wellbeing week in school. This gave classes the opportunity to reflect in physical and mental wellbeing. As part of this week Mr & Mrs Heywood spent the day in school running some taster Tag Rugby sessions. The whole school got to take part in them. It was brilliant to see how engaged the children were and how much fun they had. We would like to take the opportunity to thank Mr & Mrs Heywood for giving up their time to come into school and run these.

sporting news

Thank you to Chris Story at VRSSP 

PE and Sport leader, Debbie McHugh takes us through just some of the term's physical activity

This term we have once again been awarded the Gold School Games Mark for demonstrating a great inclusive approach to physical activity and school sport. This is the 3rd year in the row that we have been extremely proud to receive this award.

This year has seen us, as a school, attend almost every sporting fixture that has been on offer to us. This has meant we have needed a lot of parental support with help getting children to fixtures so we would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for all of their support with this. We wouldn’t be able to be such A* participants without your support. 

It has been a really busy term for sporting events which has seen us participate with lots of success

We celebrated National School Sports Week by attending several sporting events. This week saw the groups of children attend Tri-Golf, Tennis, Girls Shooting Stars football event, Girls World Cup football event and tag rugby. These events were thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended. Our reporters state:

Aidan reports on the Tri- Golf event, In June, I went with other children from Yr3/4 and Yr5/6 to Vale Royal Abbey to play Tri-Golf. My favourite game to play was Tunnel Ball. In teams we had to putt the ball towards a hole without hitting any cones. It was a very hot day but we had a lot of fun!

Ethan from Hedgehogs enjoyed the tag rugby event even though I needed an ice pack! I scored a few tries. I have played some rugby before. In the first match it was 5-1 to the other team and the second match was 3-1 to us with a diving try by me. It was a really fun afternoon.

Matilda from Hedgehogs liked it when I took part in the Shooting Stars Football. Although we didn’t play football, I really enjoyed it because we could dress up as a Disney character and we took part in a lot of fun activities that were Disney related.

Isabella from Hedgehogs really enjoyed the Girls World Cup Football Tournament, it was tiring but I loved it! After the first match we won, we were definitely less worried than we were at the start. The teams were very strong but everyone had an equal chance of winning.

Isabelle from Sparrows went to the football Shooting Stars and it was fun because I got to take part in Disney Movies themed sporting events which linked to the story of that movie. Thank you, Mrs McHugh, for arranging the events.

Emily from Sparrows went on an event called Shooting Stars and there were lots of fun Disney-themed activities.

Eva from Sparrows was one of a  few people out of Year 3 and 4 who went to try out cricket.  We played against different schools and it was amazing.

Molly from Sparrows reports, This last term, some of us went to a cricket event against other schools and we got medals!

We also recently attended the Quad Kids athletics event at Leftwich High School, this was a fabulous event that saw us take part in a range of throwing, jumping and running events. The team performed brilliantly and went on to win the whole event. 

Year 2 Gardening Club

Rainwater is best for plants and more environmetally friendly too. 


On the 28th June, we held our annual Sports Day. This is always a highlight of the year for many children and adults. The range of sports that the children participate in always give a wide range of children an opportunity to shine and it is wonderful to see the huge smiles on their faces as they take part. The children participated in groups across their key stage alongside their family members to earn points. It is always lovely to welcome past students too from Leftwich High School to help run this event. The weather just about held up for us although it was certainly a little bit soggy in the afternoon for EYFS & KS1. It was lovely to welcome parents and family members to celebrate these events. The winning team this year were Argentina. 

Dhiviyesh in Hedgehogs reports, On the 28th June, we had Sports Day! I was in team Australia (we wore dark blue t-shirts). My favourite thing was the sprint race. I came 3rd and my friend, Ben came 1st (he was in team Spain). Sadly my team didn’t win, Argentina did but it didn’t matter because I had a really good time at Sports Day… especially the ice pops!

Olivia in Hedgehogs really liked Sports Day because my team won against all the other teams in school. I liked it mainly though because I liked the throwing, running and football dribbling, they were my favourite activities.

Cory reports, loved doing Sports Day, it was so fun. We got to throw javelins and I got second and first in it. We also did the ladders and skip and the leaders so that I went really fast. Finally, we did some dribbling and long jump. In long jump, Max got the furthest. Our team won 3rd place for our teamwork and we were cheering for other people. Argentina won and we all cheered with happiness.

A huge thank you to Mrs McHugh and Ms Towers and the Year 9 Leftwichers who returned to help with a wonderful Sports Day. For me, one of the highlights of having hung around so long is catching up with ex-pupils and sports day is a wonderful opportunity. The group who came back this time are remembered very fondly here for their excellent humour despite terrible weather for their Conway residential when they were in year 5. Which happened to be something of a coincidence ;-)

Sportspeople award ~ children who did their very best and cheered on and supported teammates. There is no 'I' in 'team'. 

Football Focus

Our football team has played in Division 1 in the Northwich Mini League. They have played 6 matches, each team home and away. They had two very tough matches against Hartford Primary School, which although ended up in defeat were fantastic matches. Our two matches against Cuddington saw us win both of those as well as our two matches against Barnton. We are super proud of how the team have gelled and worked together. They have represented Kingsmead brilliantly in all of their matches. Well done to all of those involved.

It cannot be said that getting match reports off our players is always the easiest. Thanks to the boys who have all contributed on the pitch and with the pen to celebrate our achievements in the first division of the Northwich Mini League. 

Football Correspondents, Deniz and Jack report on our first match against Cuddington

During Tuesday's match at Cuddington everyone worked their socks off with a fantastic performance! A 5-0 win for Kingsmead in the first match of the season has boosted everyone's confidence.

As soon as the match started we showed amazing energy and after the first goal we didn't have any signs of slowing down.  ...

Fin had a quiet game but when needed he stepped into action keeping a convincing clean sheet. Mason had a great game, constantly winning the ball back and playing great passes. Jacob played fantastic, he had great passing and when the time was right he would dribble down the pitch. Ryan showed great energy and put in lots of work which paid off when he scored a beautiful sliding goal! Jack had a brilliant game constantly battling to win the ball and when he won it he had some amazing runs finished with beautiful passes. Deniz’s work rate was amazing and every time he had the ball he would dribble through all of their players and look for the pass, and early on he volleyed it over the keeper to make it 2-0. Joseph was unreal through the entire game with 2 amazing goals and numerous runs down the wing. He also looked to make options in the pockets and cover the space. Overall Kingsmead played brilliantly although Cuddington deserves just as much respect for not giving up throughout the entire game.

All credit to Cuddington for sheer resilience and determination even when they were 5 goals down! The goal scores were: Ryan (Mason’s assist), Deniz (Jack's- assist), own goal from Mason's corner, Joseph scored a great solo goal and the fifth was Joseph finish from a Deniz assist.

Although football is a competitive sport no-one lost their heads and it was a great kick about and an enjoyable game. Everyone was really happy with their performance at the end of the match. Afterwards we shook hands and both teams gave three cheers for the opposition.

Overall it was really fun and we can not wait for our next match.

It was a cracking match and everyone was a stand out player for Mr and Ms S on the terraces. Mason kept the team buoyant and always has an eye and ear for the Ref, great captain qualities on show from start to finish. Another stand out player was the Cuddington goalie who made some cracking saves and now is training alongside Deniz in their team out of school. If we do find ourselves losing heavily (and we will), I hope we will show the same positive attitude and resilience as the super team at Cuddington.

Jacob, Deniz, James and Joseph

On Thursday evening we hosted Barnton primary school for a year 5 and 6 football match. After a quick warm up Barnton kicked off and the game was underway. ...

Soon after kick off we conceded an early goal but kept our heads high and continued to play our football. Our efforts paid off when Joe crossed the ball into Mason who finished it off beautifully. After some more end to end football the referee blew the whistle for half time. After an inspirational speech by Mrs McHugh we started the second half brightly as Jacob took a dart of a throw that Joe ran on to and finished accurately and powerfully. Almost straight after our goal, Barnton hit back and played a through ball that led to an equaliser making it 2-2. After some more intense football, Joe laid the ball back for Deniz to run on to and finish into the top right corner. 3-2! With less than a minute to go a Barnton player went on a good run which led to a one-on-one that our goalkeeper Fin brilliantly dealt with. Soon after the final whistle blew, all the players shook hands and each team did 3 cheers to show respect to each other.

Mrs' McH and R-B and Ms S have never been prouder of our team

It is a fact of sport that the measure of a team can often be more in the manner of defeat than victory...

We always knew playing Hartford away was going to be a toughie. Hartford are (and as a Liverpool fan I struggle to write this sentence) the Man City of Northwich Mini League. But the boys held their heads high, kept their cool, played with skill and passion and showed determination up to the final whistle. As with our match against Cuddington, the score line didn't reflect the play of the losing side (this time it was us). Our lads were fantastic; three key players were unavailable and Ethan and Alex stepped up brilliantly. Our usual defence and keeper unavailable, Ethan kept his cool, saving numerous shots on target. Ryan and Alex did well keeping the ball up our end for much of the play. We were particularly unlucky to come away goalless as a Deniz free kick in the second half was one Alisson Becker would have struggled to save. Joe had a challenge with a super strong defence but kept at it. I hope the boys were as proud of their performance as two headteachers and our new deputy head were!

I'd love to report that the return leg at home was the triumph of hope over experience but experience won through I'm afraid. Before the match, I talked to the boys for three things ~ in order:

Now the top two are non negotiable for Mrs R-B , Mrs McH and me and as they're totally within our team's gift. Thanks boys, we weren't disappointed.

Ms S :-)

Finlay reports on the last match of the season

Kingsmead played Cuddington on the 10th July at our school. The weather was a bit wet during the game. Kingsmead were strong and kept on scoring, Cuddington pulled one back though but Kingsmead’s goals were enough to win 8-1.

Ryan sums up the season

This year we have competed in a lot of football events and it has been insanely fun. It has been competitive; we have won most of our matches but did lose a couple but this didn’t matter because we have had lots of fun. The other teams have all been really nice to play against and everyone always handshakes at the end of the matches.


Mrs Buzzard on the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check

The MULTIPLICATION TABLES CHECK is a statutory requirement for all children in Year 4 and takes place in the summer term. It is a quick check children’s ability to recall times tables facts (within 12 × 12) fluently. This is a key skill that is important for their future progression in mathematics. 

Children answered 25 questions online with 6 seconds for each question.  They needed to not only know their times tables but also had to know how to enter their results in a quick and efficient manner whilst managing their nerves. This is no mean feat for a nine-year old. If you want to test your own skills, visit!

There is no pass mark for the multiplication tables check. The purpose of the check is to help to identify any children who may need additional support with their times tables. However, for comparison purposes, the mean score of UK pupils in 2022 was 19.8 with 27% of pupils scoring 25. Kingsmead pupils' results this year had a mean score of 22 with 45% of our children this year scoring 25/25 which is significantly above last year’s national results. Of course, we can't judge one cohort against another with different children but I can tell you that teachers and children have been working very hard on tis key skill for Mathematics enjoyment and success in year 5. Our Year 4 pupils have worked incredibly hard this year and have made admirable progress.  They should be commended for their effort and feel proud of their achievement.   

Emily from Sparrows reports, “I thought the multiplication was really easy because I practised my times tables most nights for a whole year.  I felt proud of myself when I saw my results.”

Scarlett from Sparrows reports, “The multiplication check was quite hard but I managed to learn my tables by going on TTRS (Times Table Rock Stars).  I think I had a lot of time because there was a pause between each question.  Next year, for Year 5 I already know my times tables.”

Ms S thinks the practice and finding the test easy were not unrelated facts!  And as Scarlett tells us, the real reason is not to get a test outcome. The reasons we need to know tables is so we can have some knowledge at our fingertips and can then use it to put our minds to more complicated and interesting stuff. 

Bake Off!

Mrs Buzzard may have moved from leading D/T to English but her enthusiasm for food tech is undiminished!

Children in LKS2 have shown us their incredible baking skills this term. We have explored bread in all its varieties and learned how important it is in cultures around the world.  We learned how wheat becomes flour and the importance of the invention of the grist mill by Oliver Evans.  Children discovered how reaping wheat was improved by the invention of the reaping machine by Patrick Bell. They also studied how the invention of the steam engine by James Watt was utilised in mills.  Children especially enjoyed some hands-on lessons in which they got to observe differences in various types of flour. Who knew that corn flour was squeaky?!  

Another favourite lesson was the bread-tasting session in which children recorded their observations using all their senses.  Some of the products tested were malted loaves, oat and honey bread, pretzels, and seeded flatbreads.  

Olivia Tried around eight different breads and we rated them from 1-10. Some were salty. Some were sweet. Some also had seeds on it.  I liked five breads!

Amy tells us, I have done a lesson on tasting bread. I enjoyed it because we got to taste bread that you had never seen or tasted before in school with all your friends.

Children also put their sense of smell to good use by attempting to identify a variety of spices, herbs and ingredients by sense of smell alone.  This was a tricky task as we rely heavily on our sense of sight.  

Sophie reports, The smelling ingredients lesson was very fun but hard because we couldn’t see any of the ingredients so we had to use our sense of smell to figure out what was in the cup.

Lucia found that The bread ingredient smelling was quite difficult because we couldn’t see the ingredients and a tissue was on it.  So I could only smell the tissue, but it was very fun since we were engaged. Cardamom was one that I didn’t like.  When we found the answers, we were all so excited.

By far, the favourite was baking their own loaf of bread! Children learned to follow a recipe, measure accurately and knead dough. They should be incredibly proud of their bakes! Their final challenge was to innovate the bread recipe and bake it as homework. We look forward to seeing photos of their innovations!

Sophie thought Baking bread was a very fun lesson because we could take the bread that we baked home with us. Most of Sparrows were very patient because the ingredients were going around each table. There were two people at each table.  It tasted amazing!

Edward Liked baking bread because it was really fun. I want to say thank you to Mrs Buzzard for buying the ingredients and a thank you to Crosby for helping me and being an amazing baking partner.

Caring for our environment this term

Our curriculum will always go beyond lessons in class. Special events and activities bring us together and have their part to play in educating the next generation. 

A really special part of our work this year was that although Year 2 and 4 made the field, many more hands contributed. Children in school were invited to sign the work and families at home made beautiful paper wildflowers to populate our grassy meadow. 


As well as applying for the Green Flag Mrs Gajjar and the Eco Group entered the King's Coronation Biodiversity competition. We came second from entries across Cheshire West and Chester. Did you know the Local Authority and Town and Parish Councils have a statutory duty to improve biodiversity in the areas they have responsibility for?

Application for our 8th Green Flag

This is the kitemark that chimes so well with our mission statement 'caring for ourselves, other people and our environment' which was taken from the Eco Schools kitemark back in 2004 as, governors and I, back before we opened for children, couldn't think of a better one. I'd have predicted our mission might have changed but every time we review our ethos and values it remains as relevant today as ever. The sea we swim in may change but core values are such important rocks on which we can sit.

And here's what the assessor for our 8th Green Flag wrote today (20th July)

Thanks for applying for an Eco-Schools Award, the submission was innovative, impactful, and inspirational – good luck! And well done for achieving 8 Green Flags! Thank you so much for submitting such a terrific application. We have loved reading about your journey and are incredibly impressed by all you have achieved. We have no hesitation in awarding you an Eco-Schools Green Flag with Distinction, congratulations! 

Thank you Mrs Gajjar and the Eco group for being key in us achieving this award, so close to my heart. Do read on to see all the fantastic things they have to say about you...

It’s very impressive that you have formed such a large Eco-Committee. It shows that young people in your school are aware of environmental issues and committed to being active and creating positive change. This knowledge and attitude has provided your school with excellent foundations for the many successes that you’ve achieved this year this year. It’s brilliant to read that you paired young and older Eco Councillors to complete the Environmental Review and involved a variety of stakeholders to discover the answers. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and raise awareness within the school. 

Your Action Plan shows that your Eco-Committee have carefully considered how they can involve their entire school in their planned Eco-Schools’ activities to achieve maximum impacts and raise awareness amongst their school community. We love the idea of sending the children home with 5 activities for tackling the energy topic. 

It is fantastic to read that Eco-Schools and environmental issues have become an embedded part of your learning, and from the examples provided it’s also clear that staff members have used this environmental focus to enrich learning in your school. Your Eco-Committee have used a wide variety of methods to inform their school community about their work including, this shows they take pride in their achievements and are working hard to involve and educate all around them. We love a digital Eco-Board here at Eco-Schools, well done ~ yours is a wonderful example and we love the addition of an end of year report. 

Time is a common challenge, familiar to all educators. It creates a pressure and takes resilience to keep going. With this context, your achievements are even greater and we feel lucky that you’ve committed to our programme and delivered the achievements that you have. This is a big achievement. Your statistics for monitoring and evaluation are impressive, well done on raising £250 for charities. We loved the poster hunt idea. We can’t wait to see pictures of your fostering skills with hedgehogs next year! Your acrostic poem Eco-Code is beautifully designed, and easy to follow with a powerful message. It’s a great reflection of the ethos your Eco-Committee have created, well done to all involved! We loved reading about your environmentally-themed week of learning, this is a great way to make eco-education a community event. Thank you for your question suggestions for next year’s Environmental Review, they’re intelligent ideas that we will take into consideration when compiling next year’s review. 

Hedgehog Mania

Mrs' Gajjar and Rutter-Brown were delighted to receive so many entries for this term's big Eco competition. But it made judging very hard! 

Sixty two children, around a fifth of the school,  spent their own time thinking about how to protect hedgehogs and communicate this in their posters. There were so many good posters it was hard to choose but three children, from KS1, LKS2 and UKS2 will get to look after hedgehogs at Northwich Hedgehog Rescue. The children also made recycled craft items to sell in school and raised an amazing £100 for Northwich Hedgehog Rescue. 

We are hoping to be fostering some hedgehogs, and care for them in school before they can be released in our own school grounds.

Children among the fantastic poster makers went to Northwich Hedgehog Rescue to meet some of our new prickly schoolmates.

Key Stage 1 visit to Chester Zoo

The zoo has been a world leader in taking zoos from caged animals to centres of nature conservation. The zoo trip enables children to have that close up expeirence of animals and see them through new eyes. Marshalls Arm Nature Reserve does much the same for our local wildlife ~

Who is looking at who?

Big Walk and Wheel

This is one competition I always want to win! It cares for ourselves (keeping us fit and healthy), other people (by reducing pollution) and the environment (reducing our impact on climate change). Happy days - we came top among the big schools. This is a very special competition as it is one where school, children and their families all made a positive contribution. Thank you to everyone who walks, cycles and scoots to school. 

and other special events 

Roll up! roll up!

The KFA thank everyone who joined us on 21st May for the fantiastic Happys Circus event. The sun was shining and the day was a great success. Thank you to Mr Jones and school staff and parents and carers who gave their time to making the event possible. We raised ... a whopping £1265 for school.

A huge thank you to the KFA for organising a Summer event with a difference. As with so many Great Times, behind it was an awful lot of hard work. A mahoosive thank you to our wonderful KFA and especially Mrs Visscher for ensuring a happy event for circus folk and visitors from our school community and further afield. 

With the new king's focus on volunteering and Mrs R-B's blog April 2023 we are hopeful that the new school year will bring many more volunteers to the KFA.

Year 6 head off in style

What better way than to say farewell to year 6 than Marbury Country Park and the wonderful open air swimming pool there.

Most children go on to Leftwich High


Out of school

Our children participate and compete widely. They are lynch pins of Cheshire Music ensembles. Leftwich High School Band came out of their school to ours at the end of term and it was a joy to welcome so many ex-musicians back, Mrs W and I were delighted and so proud that they have kept up their musical education and many string players who play in Edsential ensembles have taken up drums, oboes and bassoons just so they can make a contribution up at High School with Mrs Curry ~ priceless! 

Olivia and Olivia want to share their out of school passions and successes with you ~ thank you girls, we are proud of you.  

I started ballet at 3 years old so have been doing it almost 7 years. My teacher is Miss Rachel who I really like.  I enjoy it because its nice, calm, peaceful and very relaxing. I have done 2 exams and I’m now in Grade 3. I have also done 2 shows which I really enjoyed. This year I won a trophy for best progress and I get to keep it until May 2024. This year, I auditioned for associate programs at 2 ballet schools (Elmhurst Ballet School and The Royal School of Ballet).  The auditions were really fun and enjoyable. 


I’ve got a place on the Elmhurst program and start in September. I’m so happy about this!! I have also been offered 12 online classes with The Royal School of Ballet!

Liv was among a group of cheerleading competitors in Italy this term. Liv is a keen footballer here and lynch pin of our netball team. We look forward to hearing about more of her sporting success up at Leftwich High. 

staffing news

With some farewells and welcome aboards the school has seen quite a few changes this year. 

Lisa Rutter-Brown will be replacing me five days a week next year as Kingsmead's second headteacher. Like me, she's been here since day 1 in September 2004. She has been a huge part in shaping our ethos and vision from being our first Reception teacher to SENCo and deputy head. Our work on inclusion and pastoral care has been under her leadership and guidance. I can think of no one I'd rather take up the reins at Kingsmead. I came to Kingsmead to set up a brand new school; it really has been like my baby. So it was as much great news for me as for other staff, children and the wider school community when the governors announced her appointment. I know there will be changes ~ good! But I also know that what makes our school what it is, our core ethos and values, will continue. The waters we are in will of course change, but what is our core moral purpose, the education of future generations and development of children's characters, needs solid foundations. I look forward to hearing and reading about the school's evolution and development.

Mrs Debbie McHugh will take on the role of deputy headteacher. Mrs McHugh has led Upper Key Stage 2 and PE and Sport for many years. She has seen us sustain our School Games Mark Gold and ensured that participation in sport is something Kingsmead has an excellent track record for. Like Lisa, Debbie not only talks the talk of our values but lives them, every day from the smallest interaction with a child to the big things her leadership has brought to our school.

I would like to thank Governors for their considerable wisdom and support in ensuring such effective succession planning. By a focus on staff development and training the school has retained some outstanding colleagues who might have otherwise left us for new challenges. School staff recruitment and retention is a concern across the country and by investing in the people working with us, from support staff to business manager to teachers to headteacher when  posts become vacant the school is assured of a strong candidate and not rely on luck. This doesn't mean roles are guaranteed but it does place us on a secure footing. 

In the office we said goodbye to Mrs Oliver. Michelle has been a part of our community since September 2004. As a parent of Kate and Chloe and member of the office team she has made an outstanding contribution to school life. Michelle has been a meticulous organiser of school trips and enrichment; it's only when you work in a school that you really understand the work that goes into taking children off site. As attendance officer Michelle has been diligent in attention to detail and ensuring that Mrs R-B and I have timely information to help us make attendance in school as good as it can be. The organisation of Night Owls and Early Birds has been developed and led by Michelle too. The systems, attention to detail and commitment to doing the right thing will be Michelle's legacy. We hope she will enjoy and long, happy retirement, one filled with term time holidays! If anyone were heaving a sigh of relief in the term time holiday department I'm afraid it's out of the frying pan into the fire as the equally vigilant and committed Mrs Visscher will be taking on the role of attendance officer ;-) Mrs Hodges also leaves us this year. Helen too has worked in the office from the very earliest days. She has ensured we are well stocked with pencils and books etc, she has ensured that bills are paid and school fund and dinner money are all in order. Never underestimate the importance of great 'back office' support, it is the oil in the machine. Helen has also been very much front of house, providing help and a welcome for anyone visiting the school or having a query. 

Kate Smith will be leaving our teaching support and SEN team to work with the Local Authority SEN team. As a qualified early years teacher we know how lucky we were to attract Kate to Kingsmead. She will now be developing her career supporting families with children with high needs across Stoke. We wish her every success and will miss her and Joey.

Mid Day assistants Mrs Julie Lee and Miss Katie Konca left us this term. Our midday team do one of the trickiest jobs in school; helping children navigate the unstructured times of day. It involves watching their play, interacting and offering guidance and support for the hustle and bustle of over three hundred children playing together. If any parents or carers are interested in this work, please get in touch with Mrs R-B. Some parents have found it a useful introduction when considering a career as a teaching assistant or teacher. If you can enjoy the one and a half hours supporting our children at lunchtime there's a good chance a career in education is something for you! 

Home and School in partnership 

Thank you to the overwhelming majority of families: children, parents and extended family who are such excellent and valued contributors to each child's education. We know we can't give any child the education we would wish for them without your partnership...

Thank you for reading stories to your children and developing them learn the joy of books. Thank you for reading with them when they bring books home. The pleasure and sense of belonging in a book this brings gives them the resilience for the cracking of the phonics code and determination to succeed.

Thank you for all the conversations you have with your children. Not just about what they did at school but about politics, culture, the world, nature and the family they come from. When speech and language go beyond the transactional (Have you brushed your teeth yet?) children's curiosity and intellect are triggered and they listen and achieve better in education and life.

Thank you for understanding that when things here in school aren't quite to your taste or preference, there might be a good reason for them anyway. Thank you for preferring that we spend our time focussing on the quality of education we provide over explaining every small, not so very important decision we make. 

Thank you for getting that if we want high standards of behaviour for other people's children, we expect them for our own children too. Thank you when you don't require detailed investigations and debriefing should your child's behaviour require a little support or challenge.

Thank you for knowing we don't have 'good' children and 'bad' children, just an array of beautiful nippers, each with something to offer and each with something they might improve upon. We have no 'bullies,' 'racists,' 'sexists', no -ists at all. Our children are young; their characters aren't formed yet. Thank you for supporting us when we expect your children to practise usefulness and kindness to themselves, others (unlimited) and the environment. Thank you for supporting us when we do not allow them to practise what would be unacceptable in their future adult selves.  

Thank you for bringing your concerns and suggestions to us with kindness and respect. So many of your ideas can be seen in school: from the Friday email to the homepage of the website; how children in UKS2 go in for lunch and the book awards (for children who read above and beyond what we expect); the uniform exchange and healthier school deserts. All these and many more routines in school come from your ideas respectfully shared.

amazing alumni

celebrating our past pupils

We remember Clio as a student who participated in lots of activities. Whether Art Club, as a clarinetist in Wind Band or creative crafter with the crochet hook, Clio put as much care into her optional learning as she did her lessons in the classroom.

We are delighted to hear that she took her opportunity grabbing nature up to Leftwich High School. Clio has been training for Circus skills since year 4 and still trains at Barnton. She trains in cocoon, hopp, trapeze and general circus skills. We don't know what Clio's career path will be but whether she joins the circus, goes off to university or college her aptitude for taking the opportunities life presents will serve her well. 

Very last words

This is the last time you will be hearing from this headteacher. So a few final words for those interested... 

My working life has included babysitting, cleaning, bakery, shop and bar work, being an architect's technician, graphic designer and illustrator and fresco restorer in Italy before happening upon teaching as as career a bit later than many. Each job has brought its joys, its frustrations and each has taught me much. But taking on the headship at our wonderful primary school has been, I can say without a moment's doubt, the job of my life. Which means I sign off with mixed feelings. There's never a right time to leave but there can definitely be a wrong one. I hope you feel I have sustained the joy, interest and energy our children deserve right up until the last day of term. 

I am delighted and relieved to be able to leave a school I joined before it opened in 2004 in such capable hands. When I started at Kingsmead I was relatively new to headship and was sustained by the usefulness and kindness of colleagues, governors, children and their families. I have learned such a lot along the way (and very much so from my colleagues who will be with you all in September). I made mistakes for sure. I might do things I did nineteen years ago differently today. That is life: we live, we learn, we know and understand more with experience and years. I do know we have an intelligent school community who, together, have great capacity to do what the Kingsmead team (helped a bit by my leadership I hope), has tried to do every year since September 2004 ~ think more deeply, act more effectively and with that learning and experience, do the very best we can for the children we serve in the situation we find ourselves in. 

This is, I believe, what school improvement really is. Not to 'top' a league table which ranks schools against one another, blind to each school's individual cohorts, their strengths and vulnerabilities. Nor  has it been to bind ourselves relentlessly to the latest Ofsted framework, serving one external master in a tail wags dog manner, leaving other important matters until after inspectors have been to ace only what mattered to them on that day. A school's quality and the matter of their improvement is more complex than that which can be measured over a few days. More complex maybe, but more interesting and joyful too. 

Our work has one core purpose: to improve our school year on year. Our work is to do the very best for the particular children we serve, in the context in which we find ourselves (including years of pandemic). Our work is to focus on school improvement which puts children first. To put children first we must care for our staff, being useful to them in their career aspirations and progression, in respect of their family commitments and individual strengths and interests. As children are children first, 'learners' second, so our adult colleagues are people first, employees second. Our job is to avoid complacency, whether from being oversubscribed, successful Ofsted inspections or academic outcomes for particular cohorts. Our work has been to do this within the values and ethos of of our school so that improvement sits comfortably within our culture, always congruent (or fitting without gaps) with our moral purpose. 

I know that Lisa, Debbie, senior leaders, pastoral, business and subject leaders will lead the Kingsmead team in this endeavour. Much will change and that change will remain true to our values and core purpose ~ the development of intelligent, useful and kind young citizens on who the future of our community, our country and indeed our world will depend. 

I am so incredibly grateful to the governors who appointed me, way back in 2003, for allowing me to have been a blade of grass in the field that is our school community. 

With love, 

Ms Catriona Stewart :-)

Over and Out!!!