Headteachers Newsletter

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope you and your family are enjoying the lengthening days and brighter weather and that you will be able to take some time off together during the Easter holiday. We have had another busy but successful term – I hope your son/daughter has enjoyed it.

If your child is joining us in Year 7 in September, you may be receiving this email for the first time – welcome to Kings’!

 

Governors’ Surveys

If you have attended a parents’ evening recently, you will know that school governors have been surveying parents’ opinions about the school. They will provide a comprehensive summary of what you said when they have information from every year group.

I am relieved to say that the initial results look very positive, with fulsome praise for many aspects of the school’s work – parents seem particularly appreciative of the quality of teaching and also of the high level of pastoral support on offer.

A number of parents have asked about communication with the school. There is a page all about this on the website. Amongst other things it says:

 

Whom to contact

1.Pupil absence –

Email: pupilabsence@kings-winchester.hants.sch.uk

Pupil Absence Text: 01962 600028

 

2. General welfare and pastoral enquiries – Tutor

Questions about specific subjects – Subject Teacher

 

3. Serious welfare and pastoral issues – Head of Year

Serious subject-specific issues – Head of Subject

 

4.Issues that cannot be resolved at levels 2 or 3 – linked member of the Senior Leadership Team

How to contact them

Phone the school on 01962 861161 or email kings.school@kings-winchester.hants.sch.uk.

What should happen

We aim to respond to telephone messages and emails within two school days.

Some other parents have asked about the school’s approach to bullying. I would like to say that we take it very seriously – I feel very strongly about it personally and a zero-tolerance approach to bullying sits right at the heart of the school’s values. We say:

“At Kings’ School, everyone works together. Knowing that all human beings are equally and infinitely valuable and that they have equal rights and equal dignity, we promote respect, kindness and courtesy. We aim to enjoy our learning and to care for, and protect, every member of the school family.”

A couple of years ago, staff and pupils spent some time working on this issue. We drew up a ‘Charter for Action’ – it is displayed on Reception and it looks like this:

In the assembly I do on it, I say:

Always….

  • Challenge it
  • Remember, it is not the victim’s fault
  • Tell someone, preferably us

Never….

  • Tolerate it
  • Give up

Remember, you cannot be neutral – if you are there, you are involved, one way or another

If you think your son/daughter is being bullied, please tell us – their Head of Year will usually be the best person to contact.

 

 

Setting

I am regularly asked about the school’s thinking on pupil grouping. I thought it might be useful to share our recently-agreed protocol on this:

‘We are committed to setting by prior academic attainment in many subjects. We believe that it helps pupils, who feel more confident knowing that their class-mates probably feel about as confident as they do; we also think it helps teachers, who can pitch content and tasks so they are appropriately challenging. Setting also allows us to concentrate additional adults where they are most needed and to provide smaller classes for pupils who need most support.

Grouping pupils in this way requires us to make sure that they make great progress from their starting points in every set and that pupils in lower-attaining sets are not restricted by lower expectations. 

Initial decisions about setting should be based on all available evidence. This will usually include primary school test data, qualitative comments from primary school, baseline test data from Kings’, CAT scores and teacher comments on attainment at Kings’ prior to setting.

Pupils should be in the best possible set for them to make progress. A change of sets should only be considered when pupils are very clearly in the ‘wrong’ set academically or, in some cases, socially. There should be no expectation of an automatic change of set on the basis only of exam or test scores. In practice, outcomes, tasks and expectations overlap between adjacent sets and so moving pupils between sets should not happen frequently.’

 

Osborne project

Many thanks for your responses to my message about our exciting new project with Osborne School. I am pleased to report that they were (almost) all enthusiastic and supportive.

One parent asked about the financial side of things – perhaps I should have said explicitly that there is no financial benefit to Kings’. We will be charging Osborne a modest “occupation cost” to cover utilities and caretaking; apart from that, there is no impact on our budget.

 

Show Your Appreciation scheme

Many, many thanks to all the kind parents who have said “thank you” to school staff by donating a prize. Winners this term have been:

 

  • Chocolates – Miss Birebent – Pupil Support
  • Silver gift Bag – Miss Ransome – English
  • Whiskey – Mrs Skerritt – Drama
  • Sherry – Mrs Sessions-King – Science
  • Fudge – Miss Morris-Thomas – Science
  • M&S Voucher – Miss Parker – Cover Supervisor
  • Amazon Gift Card – Mrs Stringer – English
  • M&S Gift Card – Miss Clarkson – Head of Year 9
  • M&S Chocolates – Mrs Twiggs – PD Resourced Provision Co-ordinator
  • White Wine – Miss Begum – Pupil Support
  • Rose Wine – Mrs Spencer – Science
  • Surprise Parcel – Mrs Ive

I cannot over-state how grateful the winners have been and what a positive impact the scheme has had – we have a few more prizes in reserve but we would be very grateful for more! Please drop any donation off at Reception.

 

Sponsored run

Many thanks to everyone who has sponsored our staff running team in support of the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital. I am happy to say we are over halfway to our £5000 target.

As a reminder:

15 Kings’ staff are participating in either the Southampton Half or Full Marathon on Sunday 5 May in order to raise funds for the Piam Brown Ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital. 

The ward provides care for children from birth to 16 years of age with all forms of cancer and is providing excellent support for one of our own Year 10 Kings’ pupils.

I would like to thank those of you who have already made a donation via our Just Giving Page – your support and generosity is very much appreciated.

We are keen to push on towards our fundraising target, so if you are yet to make a donation and would like to do so, the link to our page can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kings-school .

 Alternatively, donations can be made via our collection box at School Reception or by sending your contribution in an envelope marked ‘Piam Brown Fundraising’, via your child.

 

Eco News

We make progress!  I am delighted to report that pricing adjustments in the canteen means that there is an increased number of (easily-recyclable) cans sold and therefore a reduction in the number of plastic bottles by about 1,050 every month.

Free software

Due to our school Microsoft licencing, we are able to offer your son/daughter a downloadable copy of Microsoft Office whilst they are at Kings’. If your son/daughter would like to take advantage of this they should visit www.rmunify.com and login using their school email address ending in ‘@kings-winchester.hants.sch.uk’ and their network password. They can then click on the Microsoft Office download tile and follow the on screen instructions.

The download is available for Mac and PC users.

 

Changes to Cashless Catering System from 23rd April 2019

As you may know, up to now we have automatically extended credit of up to £3.00 to pupils who have insufficient funds in their accounts. This arrangement has proved to be very difficult to administer, in practice, and therefore this provision will cease when school re-opens after the Easter holidays.

From that point, if a pupil does not have sufficient credit on their account, they will be able to obtain a token from Reception to the value of £2.30: this can be exchanged at the main tills only for a hot meal and dessert. Our policy of never refusing to provide a pupil with lunch remains unchanged. Parents of any pupil receiving a lunch token will be contacted to request immediate payment into their lunch account.

We would be grateful if parents could make sure that lunch accounts remain ‘topped up’.  It is possible to set an automatic text reminder on ParentPay.  Go to ParentPay, View / edit profile>Phones & emails to register your mobile.  Once a mobile number is registered then go to the ‘I want to….’ area of the home page, click ‘Pay for Items’ and then ‘Other’.  SMS messages are charged at 6 pence per text and the SMS text balance needs to be maintained to a value of at least £2.40.

Should you have any concerns or questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Please click here for the latest edition of Kings’ Catering

 

KSA news

Please click here for news from the KSA.

 

Half term activities

Please click here for some Half term activity ideas from the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

 

Important dates

 

Friday 5 April                     Inset Day

Monday 22 April                Bank holiday

Tuesday 23 April                Start of summer term

Monday 6 May                   Bank holiday

Thursday 9 May                 Year 10 Parents’ Evening

Wednesday 22 May           Year 9 Pastoral Information Evening

Monday 27 May                 Half Term

 

Yours faithfully

 

Matthew Leeming

Headteacher