Start of term update

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September 16th 2021

Start of Term Update

 

Dear Parents/Carers

Thank you so much for your support at the start of this term; it has meant a smooth beginning for our students as they return to school after the holidays. The students look really smart in their uniforms and, with the support of extended tutor sessions in the first week, have found their way around the school site to new teachers and classes remarkably well. Please support the school on an occasion when we might contact you over a uniform issue.

We have received many emails like this one and really appreciate it:

My son has loved his first week at Kingdown. One day I asked what the highlights had been and he said everything! I've been so impressed with the transition work last term, summer school, and the first week.

Conversely, do tell us via your child’s tutor straight away if you have any concerns – we want all our students to be safe and happy here. All staff contact details are on our website.

You should be proud of their politeness, confidence and respect for each other after such a disrupted couple of years – we certainly are!

 

Summer School 2021

If we may look back for a moment, we just wanted to mention the success of Summer School, a two week programme in the holidays for our new Year 7s, lead by Head of House Mr Player. 236 students attended over the two weeks and took part in raft building, academic tutoring, sport and team games. We think it has given Year 7 confidence as they start and thank you for the lovely emails that have flooded in like this one:

“A massive thank you to all involved with summer school. My son has loved it and it has been a great way to settle him into his new school. The teachers and all involved have made it fun, exciting, and a positive, happy experience. He has made a few new friends and you have given him the chance to adjust to a new bigger school before the day and everything that comes with it.”

 

Teaching and Learning

Our teachers and leaders spent the summer term and beyond re-structuring their curriculum plans based on what students needed from the Term 6 assessments, both in terms of knowledge and skills, to ensure they catch up on lost learning. We are also running extra maths and English lessons for students identified as needing this, with more to come as the year unfolds.

All of our teaching staff are spending September with allocated time to get to know the students that they teach. Teachers are the best at measuring where additional support or extension is needed and we are pleased with the consideration being given and the resulting actions.

It has been great to see students so engaged and keen to learn this term already. Science are delighted to be back in their rooms so students can carry out experiments; likewise, our ‘practical’ subjects that the student enjoy so much have all their specialist facilities back to bring their curricula to life.

You can support us with the learning by ensuring you check our Go4Schools system for homework; new Year 7s will be taught how to log on and use it in IT lessons, as well as our school email system. Helping students organize their time to get homework done is very much appreciated.

We are also proud to be reading as a whole school this year and all students will read the same book in Tutor Time this year to encourage a love of books and words and develop their literacy skills further. We will all be reading the UNESCO award winning novel ‘Scavengers’ by Darren Simpson – you are welcome to buy a copy and read along with us at home!

 

Open Evening

We are holding an Open Evening for prospective Year 5 and 6 children and their parents on Thursday 30th September between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. We look forward to welcoming you if you have younger children in these year groups. We also ask for your support in promoting this event as widely as possible to your friends with children looking for a secondary school. With the deadline for applications to secondary school fast approaching (October 31st), we are happy to share our fantastic school with future and prospective parents. Do keep an eye on our website and communication home and around our local communities on final details.

We know that Kingdown School really does raise the opportunities a young person has for a successful future and look forward to sharing more of our plans and vision when you visit us.

 

Extra-Curricular and Enrichment Activities

Our after-school clubs are running again this term and we have late buses from Tuesday to Thursday. Our PE and sports clubs are on the school website and run from 3.00 to 4.00pm. The full offer, with our Performing Arts clubs and subject related clubs are available on the website and are do keep an eye out on Twitter too (@kingdownschool); as well as this, we share the clubs with students on our Daily Tutor Update.  

The legendary Kingdown School Sponsored Walk will go ahead on 1st October.  We are all excited about this and recommend some training walks as a family as it is a hilly 20k walk!

 

Covid Update

Like in March 2021, Kingdown School were able to set up a testing centre to accommodate Lateral Flow Testing for students for whom consent had been given. Unlike in March, this time we were able to run the test centre using our excellent business staff. Sincere thanks to all business staff who ran the test centre along with their normal job roles.

We ask parents to continue to support our measures and approaches regarding covid. These are outlined below.

Symptoms of covid

  • If your child has covid symptoms at school, we will contact home and ask you to book a PCR test. If accessing a PCR test centre is problematic (there is one in Warminster town centre), then the school has postal PCR tests that can be shared.
  • If your child has covid symptoms at home, please call the absence line (01985 224224) and give the details of when symptoms started

Results of a Lateral Flow Test

  • Please continue to send results from your twice weekly Lateral Flow Testing to the school web form (link) on Tuesday and Sunday
  • If you complete a Lateral Flow Test outside of these times and it is positive, please email covid@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk

Results of a PCR Test

  • If you send your child for a PCR test, please remember to contact the school
  • Please email covid@kingdown.wilts.sch.uk along with the date of symptoms, date of PCR and result date of PCR

As you might be aware, the track and trace of close contacts is now undertaken by NHS and the Test and Trace system. Students will be contacted by the NHS to ask for details of any close contacts.

Please rest assured that Kingdown School will continue to contact parents if we feel it appropriate based on information shared by the confirmed case. We are often in a better situation to act quickly and to contact individuals if needed.

Finally, we’d like to thank you for the messages and words of support for us as we take the school forward as new Heads, with Rob Price as Executive Head, under Acorn’s guidance.  We are excited about the year ahead and what our amazing school can offer your child.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Helen Carpenter                            Toby Holman

 

Heads of School

 

Follow us on Twitter @kingdownschool