Headteachers Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope your daughter/son has enjoyed their first half-term and that they and you are looking forward to a little time off next week – Year 11 pupils will want to spend some time revising for the mock exams, but I hope that younger pupils will enjoy a full break.

Funding update

First, thank you for the support that you gave to our campaign for improved school funding at Westminster on Friday 28 September. Over 2000 headteachers took part in a very polite and well-reported demonstration (I was interviewed on Swedish radio!)

It is clear from the emails that colleagues and I received (more than 40 to Kings’ alone) that parents overwhelmingly support the need for much improved investment in our schools. As soon as we receive a reply to our letter from the chancellor, I will let you know. I am sure everyone will watch with interest to see how he responds to our requests during the Autumn Statement (Budget) on Monday 29 October.

Headteachers across the country hope very much that the Government and the Department for Education, in particular, will stop providing parents and the wider public with misleading information about spending on schools. It is neither helpful nor fair that schools and families are treated in this way and the articles below clearly confirm that this must stop.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-45746062

https://www.tes.com/news/greening-treasury-sees-education-cost-not-investment

The Worth Less? campaign has always used independently sourced evidence and this has given strength to their campaign work. Frankly, it is entirely wrong to suggest that spending on schools is much higher than in other comparable countries, when spending on tuition fees and independent (private) schools should not really be included. This adds billions of pounds to headline data and is simply an unacceptable defence of real-term cuts.

I would again like to thank you for your support and confirm that our campaign will remain reasonable and determined with a single goal of ensuring that every school and pupil receives a much better deal in the near future.

Remembrance

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. 11 November is a Sunday, so we have decided to mark the occasion at school on Friday 9 November. As I mentioned in a recent letter, the plan is to make this a big, whole-school event – we hope to be outside, on the middle field, and to welcome a large number of guests.

This year, we would again like to extend the invitation to those parents and Kings’ School Alumni who are either currently serving in the Armed Forces or who are veterans. We would particularly welcome a uniformed presence to join us for coffee at 10am, followed by the whole school Service of Remembrance, and then chat informally with some of our pupils afterwards. Our guests normally leave shortly after noon.

We would very much welcome serving personnel or veterans to join us in our Service. If you are a member of the Armed Forces or Veteran and would wish to support this remembrance – please contact the school with name and summary of service details by email to:

Kings.school@kings-winchester.hants.sch.uk please put “Remembrance 100” in the subject line

Children in Need – Friday 16 November
As you may know, we hold one Non-Uniform Day at Kings’ per term. Members of our School Council have voted to repeat the tradition of recent years and have this close to Christmas and linked to Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.
We also have charities supported by individual year groups; beyond this, we are very happy for pupils to suggest small scale individual or group-based activities for other charities such as Children in Need if they want to undertake these. (We are mindful though of the fact that we want to avoid pupils’ peers and parents being asked for donations on a frequent basis!) Any pupils wanting to conduct individual or small group charity projects of this nature should speak with their Head of Year in the first instance or to Mr Jeckells, Deputy Headteacher.
Winchester Teaching School Alliance

As you probably know, Kings’ is part of the Winchester Teaching School Alliance. This means that you can train to be a teacher with us! We are currently recruiting graduates to start in September 2019 following the “School Direct” route – if you would like more information, do get in touch with my colleague Maggi Edwards at enquiries@wtsa.info.

We have noticed more and more people charting a route into teaching via the positions of Learning Support Assistant and/or Cover Supervisor. These are two excellent ways to get experience of what classroom-life is all about, either as a fulfilling job in themselves or as stepping stones towards a full teaching qualification. Whilst we do not have vacancies as I write, it is definitely worth keeping an eye on our website as vacancies in both areas arise fairly regularly.

You can find the latest edition of the WTSA newsletter here.

Carol Service
The school Carol Service will take place in Winchester Cathedral at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 December. It is always a wonderful experience and I would urge you to come along, even if your son/daughter is not performing – it is a unique opportunity for the Kings’ family to gather and to celebrate.

Every year, a group of parents, staff and friends of Kings’ School form a choir to sing a couple of carols at the event. Rehearsals will take place on Tuesday evenings throughout November in the school hall, from 7.30 – 8.40pm. If you would like to take part, an application form and further information regarding repertoire etc. are available online until Friday 2nd November, with the first rehearsal taking place in the main school hall on Tuesday 6th November.

Christmas Cracker

Our amazing Christmas Cracker takes place on Tuesday 27 November from 6.00pm-8.00pm – do come along and bring both friends and family!

This Christmas market is an ideal to opportunity to buy (and sell!) Christmas gifts, crafts and cards. We have a large number of stalls run both by pupils and high quality external sellers. If you would like to book a stall, or would just like more information, please contact Mrs Rickman (E.Rickman@kingswinchester.hants.sch.uk). Do put the date in your diary now and come along to support the school!

Year 11 Mock Interviews
Year 11 Mock Interviews are taking place on Tuesday 4 and Tuesday 11 December. An exciting opportunity for pupils to experience a real interview, increase their knowledge of a particular employment sector and understand the qualification and skill requirements for specific job roles.

Danemark memories

We have decided to name our new Business Studies and Computing block “Danemark”. Danemark was the name of the girls’ school which was Kings’ predecessor on our current site.

We hope to put together a display to commemorate the old school; we also plan a grand opening ceremony in the new year. We would love to hear from you or your relatives if you went to Danemark; we would also love to borrow any Danemark memorabilia that you have in your possession. If you can help us out, please contact Edyth Miles in the school library, via E.Miles@kings-winchester.hants.sch.uk.

House news

We have enjoyed a really busy and well-attended first half-term, with Tudor taking a narrow lead into the halfterm break.

Next term’s programme is below – do encourage your son/daughter to come along and take part.

HALF TERM 1st Nov House Karaoke (Tower) 6th-9th Nov Lunchtimes Benchball (Sports Hall) Weds 7th – Year 7 Thurs 8th – Year 8 Fri 9th – Year 9, 10 & 11 15th Nov Hockey 7&8 (ATP) 22nd Nov Hockey 9&10 (ATP) 26th Dec House Christmas Card Competition open for entries (Deadline for submission 7th Dec) 28th Nov Swimming 7&8 (During Periods 1-3) (Swimming Pool) 29th Nov Swimming 9&10 (During Periods 1-3) (Swimming Pool) 13th Dec House Quiz (Gym)

Half term

Please click here for half term ideas from the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Important dates

I would like to remind all parents that the last day of term (Friday 21 December) is a half-day, with pupils leaving after registration at 12.20pm.

Monday 22 October Half Term

Monday 29 October Year 11 Mock exams start

Friday 16 November KSA Quiz Night

Tuesday 27 November Christmas Cracker event

Friday 30  November Inset Day

Tuesday 11 December Christmas Concert Tuesday

18 December Year 7 Christmas lunches

Wednesday 19 December Years 8 + 9 Christmas lunches

Thursday 20 December Years 10 + 11 Christmas lunches

Friday 21 December School finishes 12.20pm

Yours faithfully

Matthew Leeming