Happy new (school) year! I hope that you and your family have enjoyed a super summer break and that your son/ daughter is feeling ready for the new school year. It has been great to see the Kings’ School family come together again after the holiday.
I would like to say a particular welcome to the families of our new pupils, in Year 7 and elsewhere. I hope that your daughter/son has settled in and is enjoying being at school. I am looking forward to meeting you soon and I hope that our partnership with you will be very fruitful.
As well as the new pupils, several new adults have started with us this September. Mr Tresair joins us as Head of Design Technology and we also welcome Miss Cowking to History, Miss Drain to English, Mrs Housego to Science and Mr Vasquez to Languages.
Mrs Bason, Mrs Brown, Miss Gillingham, Miss Hughes, Miss Jones Mrs Rowell are all new to the Pupil Support team and Miss Smith joins the team down at B.A.S.E. Miss Hamilton joins us in the Enterprise Suite, while Mrs Rauf and Miss Parker are new Cover Supervisors.
Our “School Direct” trainees this year are Mrs Baker (Latin), Mrs Donnachie (Science), Miss Green (History), Mr Miles (Maths), Miss Honour (Art/Photography), Mrs Johnson (Computing), Mr Rutter (English) and Miss Webber-Aucutt (Food Technology). Never one to miss an opportunity, I would like to add that the application window for teacher training with the Winchester Teaching School Alliance will shortly open for next September – you can find out more by contacting Maggi Edwards, our Teaching School Coordinator, on 01962 861161 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org – please click here to view the flyer.
School closure/staff training day
Please remember that the school will be closed to pupils on Wednesday 19 September.
As you probably know, there were significant changes to the GCSE courses once again this year and we were slightly unsure about what to expect. As it turned out, the class of 2018 (and their teachers) did really well! The headlines are:
- 81% achieved what are now called “the basics” (4s or better in both English and Maths)
- 36% achieved at least 5 A+/7+ GCSEs (with 41% of all grades being 7+/A+)
- No fewer than 23 pupils achieved at least 8 A*s/9s or 8s
We will be doing lots of additional analysis to learn what we can from the results in all subjects. Year-on-year comparisons are made very difficult by the changes, but it looks as though the “value-added” achieved by this cohort may have been our best ever.
Keeping the rules simple
The behaviour of Kings’ School pupils is exceptionally good, almost all the time – staff at the school feel very lucky to work alongside such kind, polite and right-thinking young people. We are very keen to keep it that way and so we have had a long think about school rules. As you can imagine, there is an enormous amount of theory and advice about this, but we were really impressed by the idea that it is helpful to have a very short, very simple summary of how we want Kings’ School people to be. We have chosen:
Ready – Respectful – Responsible
We will be explaining in some detail to the pupils what we mean be each of these three words, but I am sure you will get the idea. We know that almost all of our pupils are already ready AND respectful AND responsible almost all of the time, but we will be using this terminology to remind them of our expectations when things go wrong. We want you to be our partners in maintaining our high standards so we think it might be useful for you to know what we are saying!
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers
Our new rule summary does not affect our commitment to the 7 Habits programme – as you know, we provide Year 7 pupils with quite a lot of advice about this and we continue to re-visit it throughout their Kings’ careers. Mrs Gittins has kindly provided this reminder:
|What we at Kings’ are helping our pupils work towards|
|The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers||What effective teenagers tend to do|
|Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take responsibility for their lives
|Pause and think before they respond to a situation. Understand that taking Responsibility means they have the ability to choose their response! Learn to focus their time and energy on things they can control.|
|Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Plan ahead – Think about how they want their lives to be
|Consider outcomes, plan, visualise and set goals, consider what their top values are|
|Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritise, and do the most important things first
|Be organised, plan their time, recognise what is most important make time for it so they reduce their stress levels and feel in control|
|Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Have an ‘everyone can win’ attitude
|Get a balance between meeting their needs and the needs of others|
|Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood
Listen to people sincerely and communicate clearly
|Understand how their brain works and deal with conflict calmly and are able to calm others|
|Habit 6: Synergise
Work together to achieve more
|Recognise and celebrate people’s differences, work well as part of a team|
|Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Renew yourself regularly
|Look after both their physical and mental health. Find balance between school, work, friends and everything else|
Head of Drama, Mrs Lee, writes:
“Reviewing the situation, it’s a fine life being a teacher and having the privilege of directing our wonderful pupils. Our 2018 Whole School production of Oliver! promises to be a sure Bet and I’d do anything for you to see it!
Throughout rehearsals the cast have given their oom pah pah, perfecting dynamic musical numbers and compelling scenes of drama and high tension. So don’t be a Dodger; Bumble about, pick a pocket and get your tickets to see this fantastic production running from 4th – 6th October. The cast are Syke’d to have you join us and leave you crying “please sir, I want some more”. Tickets go on sale from the Drama department from Tuesday 18th September.”
Just in case any of that is not completely clear, our first big production since The Lion King opens on Thursday 4 October and runs for three nights. I am really confident that it is going to be fabulous – I hope that you will come along and be part of a very special Kings’ event – please bring all your friends and relatives, too!
You may have heard that the government will be making some additional funding available to schools to support the teachers’ pay award. The details are not yet known, but this is clearly good news – we hope it will postpone the need to make further cuts for the time being.
I would like to thank all of you for your patience with the problems we experienced in July. As you may know, we were let down by a coach company at the very last minute. I am very grateful to my colleagues, who rallied round with great creativity and flexibility; I am also grateful to those parents who sent in offers of help and messages of support. We were really sad about letting the pupils down – your encouragement was very much appreciated on a slightly trying day!
Traffic safety message
I passed this message on from staff at the Royal Winchester Golf Club earlier in the year:
“We are finding that a lot of parents are using the entrance of our car park at the back of the school to swing around and drop off their children which has nearly resulted in our members driving into the side of their cars as it is quite a blind entrance. Some mornings there can be a string of 3 or 4 cars doing this and one day there will be a nasty accident. Please can you advise parents not to do this.”
They have been in touch again to say that the problem persists – your help with this would be very much appreciated.
I was delighted to meet recently with representatives of this new(-ish) campaign group. You may have heard of other plastic-free towns and cities – apparently, there are now more than 300 across the country (you can see a map of them at https://www.sas.org.uk/communities-near-me/). The main aim is to reduce our use of plastics, especially “single-use” ones; another aim is for Winchester to achieve “plastic-free” status. This is their press release:
Plastic Free Winchester is a community group set up by three local residents to fight the growing misuse of plastic in the Winchester area. Hannah Williams, spokesperson for the group tells us, “We feel that the people of Winchester have a real desire to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use. Our group, and in particular our Facebook page, give people hints and tricks about how to achieve this.”
The group are holding a plastic free week in October to coincide with Green Week (15 – 21 October), where they will ask companies and individuals to take their “Plastic Free Pledge” – to cut out or cut-down on the amount of single use plastic used during that week.
They have been visiting schools and will continue to do so over the coming months to talk about single use plastic, and offer the chance to take the Plastic Free Pledge. By giving up single use plastics for the week and recording their progress via a bingo card.
If you are interested in taking part in their Plastic Free Week (15 – 21 October) or just in getting involved go to their Facebook page @PlasticFreeWinchester. Their ultimate aim is to get Plastic Free Community Status.
Parent Information Evenings
We want to work as closely with you as we possibly can, so that you can help your son/ daughter effectively. As such, there will be “Information Evenings” for each year group, starting at 6pm on the following days.
New Study Skills
Meet the Tutor
|Parents Evening (x)
Parents Evening (y)
|Year 8||Dealing with Social Media
|Year 9||Academic Information Evening
|Teenage anxiety/good mental health
|Self identity/positive relationships
|Year 11||Study Skills Evening
We expect that the information meetings will take 1½ – 2 hrs each – do please put the dates in your diaries and expect more details in the near future.
I should add that we are also very happy to speak to you at any time – please don’t feel you need to wait for a formal evening. For subject-specific questions, the best person to contact is your child’s teacher; for more general enquiries, their tutor is the first port-of-call. Heads of Subject and their Head of Year can help you with more serious matters and/or issues which subject teachers/ tutors have not been able to resolve. Please do not hesitate to contact us, either by phone (01962 861161) or by email to email@example.com
Term Dates and Parent Calendar
In addition to the information above the following link will provide you with both our Parent Calendar and term dates for the next academic year. Calendar and Key Dates 2018/19
The very wonderful Kings’ School Association will be working hard this year. They organise wonderful social events; they help out at parents’ evenings and concerts; they also raise money to support the school, most recently providing funding towards the Kings’ Cabin and Quad Regeneration Project. Taking an active part in the KSA is a great way to get to know the school better. We are always looking for enthusiastic parents to join our friendly team; in particular, we are very keen to appoint a new Treasurer following the sad departure of Mr Hallett who has been such an invaluable friend of the school for the last few years.
Their first two meetings this term are on Wednesday 26 September and our AGM on Monday 15 October. Both meetings start at 6pm and will be held in the Library. All parents are most welcome.
Extra curricular programme
As you know, we are proud of the extra-curricular opportunities we offer. The precise schedule changes all the time, but the timetable as it stands is here. I hope that you will have a moment to have a look at it and to encourage your daughter/son to take part.
Some of you will have heard of the workshops run at school by Lorraine Lee. She has run lots of sessions at school in the past, focusing on the teenage brain, adolescent mental health and the challenges of modern parenting and she will be contributing to our programme of parents’ information evenings (see above).
I would like to make you aware of some additional workshops that Lorraine is running at the Middle Brook Centre. We do not normally advertise events outside school, but we know Lorraine really well and her sessions are always very popular – there is more information on the attached leaflet.
Eating Disorder support
We know that several families are supporting young people with diagnosed eating disorders while others are worried about the issue without yet having a formal diagnosis. We are pleased to be hosting a dramatic production about the issue on behalf of CAMHS – this is intended for family and carers and is only suitable for those aged over 18. Please see the attached poster for more details.
House Events 2018-2019
Our Heads of Houses write:
Please find below a list of all the House activities we are offering to pupils throughout the year. These events mostly finish at 4.30pm and pupils will need PE kit for the sporting events. Where extra kit is required, this will be communicated via tutors. We would love every pupil in the school to attend at least three events this year. It really is a forum of fun and a great community for both new and established pupils to find new friends. For parents new to our school community, the pupils are split into four ‘Houses’ (Godwin, Tudor, Norman and Stuart). Each House is awarded points for placement and attendance per event, which go towards the House Cup competition (awarded during Sports Day). The current reigning House champions are Godwin House.
|10 Sept||House Photography – open for entries (Deadline for submission
|Dodgeball (Sports Hall)
Tues 11 – Year 7
Weds 12 – Year 8
Thurs 13 – Year 9
Fri 14 – Years 10 & 11
|20 Sept||Ultimate Frisbee – Whole School (Top field)|
|27 Sept||Football / Netball 7&8 (Top field/Sarum courts)|
|4 Oct||Football / Netball 9&10 (Top field/Sarum courts)|
|11 Oct||Rugby 7&8 (Bottom field)|
|18 Oct||Rugby 9&10 (Bottom field)|
|1 Nov||House Karaoke (Tower)|
|Benchball (Sports Hall)
Weds 7 – Year 7
Thurs 8 – Year 8
Fri 9 – Years 9, 10 & 11
|15 Nov||Hockey 7&8 (ATP)|
|22 Nov||Hockey 9&10 (ATP)|
|26 Dec||House Christmas Card Competition open for entries (Deadline for submission 7 Dec)|
|28 Nov||Swimming 7&8 (During Periods 1-3) (Swimming Pool)|
|29 Nov||Swimming 9&10 (During Periods 1-3) (Swimming Pool)|
|13 Dec||House Quiz (Gym)|
|17 Jan||House Bake Off (Godwin and Norman Houses)|
|24 Jan||House Bake Off (Stuart and Tudor Houses)|
|30 & 3 Jan||House Animation|
|7 Feb||Basketball / Wheelchair Basketball 7&8 (Sports Hall)|
|14 Feb||Basketball / Wheelchair Basketball 9&10 (Sports Hall)|
|28 Feb||House Countdown (Rm 29)|
|4 Mar||House Reading Begins (Ends 4 Apr)|
|7 Mar||Kings’ Got Tough|
|14 Mar||House Science|
|21 Mar||Spelling Bee (Gym)|
|30 Apr – 3 May||Kings’ Got Talent Auditions (Lunchtimes)|
|9 May||Kings’ Got Talent Final|
|16 May||Softball Whole School (ATP)|
|21 – 23 May
Tues 21 – Year 7
Weds 22 – Year 8
Thurs 23 – Years 9 & 10
|6 June||Rounders Whole School (Top field)|
|13 June||Quidditch Whole School (Middle field)|
|20 June||*Proposed* Sports Day|
|27 June||Summer Games Whole School (Middle field)|
|4 July||Capture the Flag Whole School|
|11 July||Table Tennis (Non Competitive)|
Business, Enterprise and Employability Update
Mrs Rickman writes:
Busy Autumn Term for the BEE Department…
We regularly receive feedback from both parents and volunteers that the Enterprise and Careers opportunities provided for pupils are unique selling points of Kings’. The department is busy working on a number of activities to ensure that this term will be as packed with exciting extra-curricular activities as ever.
Detailed below is a round-up of this term’s key events:
26 September – Careers and Employability
All Year 11 & 9 pupils will have an opportunity to investigate their future education and career options by attending the Kings’ Careers and Employability Fayre. There will be over 30 colleges, training providers, universities and employers available to provide first hand advice.
Year 11 pupils will visit the fayre between 1.15 pm – 3.15pm followed by Year 11 & 9 pupils and parents from 4.00pm – 6.00pm. We hope to see you there!
11 October – Year 7 Pop-up Shop Enterprise Day
All Year 7 pupils will be off-timetable for the whole of the day. They will work in teams to develop a product prototype that could be sold at their tutor group’s pop-up shop at the Kings’ Christmas Cracker. Each team will need to develop detailed costings and promotional activity for their product. They will compete with the other teams in their tutor group to win the opportunity to produce and sell their product on the tutor group’s stall in November.
***VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THIS EVENT*** We have been exceptionally lucky in recent years to have benefitted from time generously contributed by a number of parents for this event. If you would be interested in helping support a tutor group this October, particularly if you have experience in retail, marketing or manufacturing, please contact Mrs Rickman on the school email address.
27 November – Christmas Cracker
Kings’ annual Christmas event has been steadily growing in size and quality over recent years. This November’s fair will see the usual mix of pupil stalls and high quality external merchandise. In the last couple of years, we have been encouraging pupils in Years 8 – 11 to book a stall at the Cracker. A number of pupils have taken advantage of this in the past and the quality of products seen on their stalls has been outstanding. If you know your child has an interest in selling products, perhaps items that they make at home, please do encourage them to contact Mrs Rickman to book a stall or speak to their BEE teacher.
We are now taking bookings for stalls from external sellers. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Miss O’Leary on the school email address.
4 / 11 December – Year 11 Mock Interviews
Year 11 pupils will shortly be completing their mock interview application forms in their PSHEE lessons. They will be able to opt for an interview in over 30 employment sectors, delivered by external volunteers. This is fantastic practice for both college interviews and future employment and each year pupils tell us how useful this has been. They particularly appreciate the detailed feedback they receive from the interviewer afterwards.
***VOLUNTEERS NEEDED*** This year we would welcome offers to help deliver mock interviews and, in particular, need volunteers in the following sectors: Healthcare/ Medicine, Sport, Law, Engineering, Art/Design, Media, Life Sciences, Forensics and Pharmacy. Please contact Mrs Turner on the school email for further information.
New Enterprise Hut in the Quad
Due to a generous donation from the KSA, the Enterprise team have been able to install a wooden hut in the quad much like those used at the Winchester Cathedral Christmas market. In the next few weeks, the stall will be available for bookings both by Kings’ Enterprise Companies but also by any pupils wishing to develop their enterprise skills by selling products on an ad hoc basis. This is a marvellous facility and we are looking forward to making this opportunity available to as many pupils as possible over the coming year.
Kings’ Enterprise Companies/ Tycoon in Schools
Since the opening of our fabulous Enterprise Suite, there has been a growing number of small businesses run in school by pupils. We are keen to continue to encourage this trend, given the invaluable experience pupils gain from running their own businesses. Enterprise Club will be running in the Enterprise Suite on a Tuesday and Thursday after school again this year. Pupils from all year groups are encouraged to come along and get help completing a business plan and getting their business idea off the ground.
If you feel your child has entrepreneurial ambitions, please encourage them to approach Mrs Rickman or Miss Hamilton in the Enterprise Suite. We will be entering a number of these businesses into Peter Jones’ (of Dragons’ Den fame) national Tycoon in Schools competition again this year.
Our in-house caterers, Kings’ Catering have produced their very first newsletter! The Autumn Term 2018 edition is attached and may be viewed here. It has the latest catering news, regular features and even a voucher which you can cut out and use at lunchtimes! The Kings’ Catering Extra, as it is called, will be produced each term with details of the new menu, articles and special offers.
A date for your diaries – our Kings’ School Carol Service will take place in Winchester Cathedral at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11 December. This is the most wonderful occasion and is never (quite) full – do come – I am sure you will not regret it!
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 will be available online before the end of September.
Our school orchestra meet weekly in the hall after school with Mr Langridge; it is open to pupils of grade 3 standard and above and is always welcoming new members. This year, however, we have moved to a Wednesday after school, to avoid clashes with House events on a Thursday. A number of pupils also play in local orchestras that meet on a Wednesday evening; rehearsals will finish a little earlier than last year to allow sufficient time for pupils to have a break and get to their respective rehearsals.
If you want to request authorised absence (for a sporting event, for instance), please write to me.
Please be aware that we do not authorise absence for holidays.
If your child is absent because they are unwell, please notify us as soon as possible, either by text (to 01962 600028), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (01962 861161 option 1).
If you have any urgent enquiry or message, please phone the school rather than using the email system.
Important dates for next year
Wednesday 19 September – INSET DAY
Wednesday 19 September – 6.30 – 8.30pm Open Evening
Thursday 20 September – 9.30 – 11.30am Open Morning
Friday 21 September – 9.30 – 11.30am Open Morning
Monday 24 September – Year 7 Meet the Tutor
Wednesday 26 September – Year 11 Careers Fayre
Thursday 27 September – Year 9 Academic Skills Evening
Tuesday 2 October – Year 11 Study Skills Evening
Tuesday 9 October – Year 7 Internet Safety Evening
Monday 12 November – Year 7 Academic Skills Evening
Wednesday 17 October – Year 10 Academic Skills Evening