Shortlisted for TES Secondary school of the year award 2021

14 May 2021


Shortlisted for TES Secondary school of the year award 2021

TES Schools Awards 2021

The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the education sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the TES Schools Awards 2021.

Kingsdown School has been shortlisted for the Secondary School of the Year award 2021

Kingsdown School is one of 8 schools  shortlisted for Secondary School of the Year, and the only school in the South West. 

Kingsdown’s efforts have been recognised in this prestigious nomination as a result of securing transformational change at the school while supporting their school community through the pandemic.

In the news

The local tv news team came to see for themselves why Kingsdown School was shortlisted…


BBC Radio Wiltshire

Emma Leigh Bennett talks to Ben Prater at BBC Radio Wiltshire Click to listen…

TES editor Jon Severs said:

“It is more important this year than ever before to celebrate the fantastic work schools do, because in the past 12 months they have gone above and beyond to ensure pupils were able to be educated and be kept safe in extraordinary circumstances. We were inundated with entries that demonstrated just how hard the pandemic made the work of schools, and just how amazing the response from staff has been. We are looking forward to showcasing , as we do every year, just how vital our education professionals are to every facet of this country. “

Kingsdown champions each and every student

Headteacher, Emma Leigh-Bennett says

“I am incredibly proud of what our staff, students, governors and parents have achieved during such an incredible time. This shortlisting on the back of our nomination reflects the fact that Kingsdown truly champions each and every student”

#TESAwards

 

JustGiving Chromebooks for students - Can you help?

15 February 2021


JustGiving Chromebooks for students - Can you help?

Can you help every student at Kingsdown School have access to a Chromebook?

 

 

Schools have found themselves in a position of needing further funds to offer all students every opportunity.  Can you help us to help every student at Kingsdown to have access to a Chromebook? Please watch and listen to our students in the video above.

We are part of the RLT Justgiving campaign https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RLTHomelearning

Any donation, however small, is truly welcome.

Please name Kingsdown as the school to benefit from your donation.  Thank you.

#ambition #chromebook4everystudent #removingbarriers

Newsletter

5 November 2021


Newsletter

The latest issue of our parent newsletter is now available. See the link below:


5.11.21_Parent_20_clicks.pdf

DofE Expedition 8-10th October

29 September 2021


DofE Expedition 8-10th October

After waiting for almost a year to get their expeditions underway, excitement is now building for the upcoming Silver expedition.

Students will be walking for 3 days and camping overnight for 2.

The students will have to navigate around the Pewsey Vale, walking up to 18km across fields and roads.

Here’s hoping the weather is kind and that the sun makes an appearance!

Safe Drive, Stay Alive

4 May 2021


Safe Drive, Stay Alive

Safety is always a priority for us at Kingsdown School. As our Key Stage 4 students begin to think about their future, Years 10 & 11 have taken part in the Safe Drive, Stay Alive roadshow this week. This is virtual session about road safety, specifically focussing around young people learning to drive. As always, thank you so much to the team at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for a really high quality training session for our students.

Reporting your COVID home test results

31 March 2021


Reporting your COVID home test results

COVID home testing kits have been made available to staff and students.  Please ensure you report your results on both the NHS website, and to Kingsdown on our own form.  Links for both are below:

Report a Home Covid Test result to the NHS

Report a Home Covid Test result to Kingsdown School

A video demonstration on how to perform the home test is below:

 

Fred - Our Student Google Pioneer

20 January 2021


Fred - Our Student Google Pioneer

A big thanks to Fred, one of our year 7 students who created this video to help his peers to access Google classroom.

#remotelearning #onlinelessons #readyfreddiego #stretch

Thank You for the Thank You’s

20 January 2021


Thank You for the Thank You’s

Thanks to all of our parents and carers for their positive support and encouragement during this national lockdown.  Your comments are greatly appreciated by all of our teachers and staff.  We’d like to share some of these comments below:

“I am very impressed with how fast the school has switched over to online learning.  I have some understanding of what is needed to be done and this is no small feat.  Very well done to everyone involved.”

“My son got so much from the day being logged into the virtual classroom, I appreciate how challenging it must be but we do appreciate your efforts.”

“Total respect to you all.  I see it all in my house.  The staff and students are doing a great job.  Well done Kingsdown.  That lion is definitely roaring…”

“Brilliant work guys - thank you all.”

“It’s been a completely different experience this time round and soooo much better.  The planning, preparation and training the staff must have been immense, but it shows.  Great job and thank you.  I’m not cut out for teaching and I can now leave it in very capable hands of the professionals - thank you all Kingsdown team.”

“Thank you to all the wonderful staff doing such a brilliant job to help all students.  I think you are all so caring and amazing.”

“A big shout out to the BRILLIANT staff at Kingsdown.  You all are doing a great job.  Congratulations!!!!.  Yo - we parents are learning too.  Every day is a learning experience.  KUDOS!!!!”

 

Kitchen Closed

13 January 2021


Kitchen Closed

As of 13th January, our school kitchen will be closed till further notice.  Any student or staff member who is on-site during this lockdown will be asked to bring in their own packed lunch.  Free School Meal families have been contacted in regards to food vouchers.

Swindon Literature Festival Art Competition

14 December 2020


Swindon Literature Festival Art Competition

Year 7 student, Freya, was awarded third place in the Swindon Literature Festival art competition with her 3D model of a lark, based on Anthony McGowan’s book ‘Lark’ who also judged and chose the winners. As well as earning herself £15 worth of book tokens and a free copy of the book, Freya also documented the process of building the bird, which we all agreed was an impressive achievement in itself.

Introducing our new Support and Challenge Partner

2 December 2020


Introducing our new Support and Challenge Partner

Kingsdown School is pleased to introduce our new RLT Support and Challenge Partner - Rachael Warwick.

Rachael is the Executive Headteacher of the Ridgeway Education Trust. She is also a National Leader in Education with proven experience of raising standards in secondary education.

Rachael led Didcot Girls’ School from RI to Outstanding in five years. 

Rachael visited Kingsdown on Tuesday 1st Dec and met the staff and many students. 

Rachael is looking forward to working with the Kingsdown team to secure its vision of becoming a “school of excellence bursting with pride and ambition.”

Visiting Artist

27 November 2020


Visiting Artist

Year 11 GCSE Art students spent the day with visiting artist Amanda Griffith. Working in collaboration with ‘Fresh AIr Sculpture’ Amanda introduced a variety of painting and collage techniques focusing on seed heads and natural forms.

Students used different collage and frottage styles to produce a variety of different surfaces which culminated in a final large scale painting.

Year 7 Food & Nutrition

27 November 2020


Year 7 Food & Nutrition

Year 7 Food students have just completed their first module of Food & Nutrition. Their assessment task was to ‘Design and Make a carbohydrate salad that meets the nutritional needs of teenagers and contains a range of colours, textures and flavours.’
In completing this task, students showcased the practical skills they have learnt since September including hygiene, safety and time management.
I was so impressed with their results, the students produced their own plans to enable them to work independently and had researched well into the nutrients teenagers need and added these food sources into their final recipes.
The smiles on their faces and clear enjoyment whilst they were cooking was a pleasure to see.
Well done year 7.

#ambition #stretch #pride

Mrs Sedgwick

Year 11 Student Leadership

23 October 2020


Year 11 Student Leadership

We recently launched our exciting and engaging Senior Student Leadership Development programme with our year 11s.

We were delighted to welcome back Darren King from Honda to support with this leadership training. 

Students worked through challenges that demanded and required teamwork, communication and problem solving skills. 

Each and every student challenged themselves and others in their team.  Every student said that they learned so much from these tasks, from working together and from Darren’s input. 

We are immensely proud of our senior students and the leadership potential and capacity that they have, and continue to show.

We are exciting to launch further leadership opportunities for students in years 7-10 in November. #stretch #challenge

“Our year 11 students continue to grow in their confidence and develop their communication and teamwork skills.  We are truly grateful to Honda for continuing to champion our students.  This event taught them so much about their teamwork and leadership skills.  Kingsdown has so many leaders of the future.  We are so proud of our senior student leadership team.”
Emma Leigh-Bennett - Headteacher

Chromebook Launch

12 October 2020


Chromebook Launch

Today marked a special and defining moment for students and staff at Kingsdown School as it saw the launch of the first phase of our Chromebook student launch.

This morning all of our year 11 students received a personal computer for use in school, as well as for many students, home learning.

A Chromebook is a small and lightweight laptop which runs using a Google Chrome operating system.  The device will significantly enhance the learning experience for our students both in the classroom and at home.  It further supports the championing and individualised learning and feedback already on offer at Kingsdown, and comes with access to a vast range of high quality resources that will supplement, but not replace the normal high quality excellent teaching and brilliant learning that Kingsdown prides itself on delivering.

The next phase of roll out will take place next term, and we are looking to have rolled out devices for all students in all years by the end of the academic year.

Full details of this exciting and groundbreaking project can be found here.

Food & Nutrition

9 October 2020


Food & Nutrition

It has been great to see all year groups loving being back in the kitchen.
Year 10 & 11 have enjoyed learning some new High Level practical skills ready to showcase in their GCSE exam.

Well Done Reece

7 October 2020


Well Done Reece

Reece, Year 9, took part in banger racing at Standlake during the weekend. He often races with up to 18 teenagers ranging from the age 13 to 17, and this weekend he won two 1st places and two 3rd places. Reece is a keen competitor and you will see him pictured with the Micra that he built himself.

End of Term Oct 2020

6 October 2020


End of Term Oct 2020

Please see this video below in regards to the end of term in October 2020

 

Local Paper - Behaviour has been transformed since 2017

5 October 2020


Local Paper - Behaviour has been transformed since 2017

The Swindon Advertiser has an article about the improvement of behaviour in Kingsdown Down School, please see the link below:
https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/18761392.special-report-kingsdown-school-headteacher-says-behaviour-transformed-since-2017/

Year 8 Girls Football Star!

25 September 2020


Year 8 Girls Football Star!

Huge congratulations to one of our talented year 8’s who last weekend won ‘Player of the Match’ for Abbey Meads under 13’s girls team. Well done! #ambition #stretch #challenge #pride

Cameron Parker Visit

25 September 2020


Cameron Parker Visit

Today, all of year 10 students were given the opportunity to hear a talk by Cameron Parker. Cameron is the UKs number one motivational speaker, and spoke to the students about his life experiences and how hard work and commitment will allow them all to be a success in the future. His powerful talk was well received by the students. #ambition #stretch #challenge.

Book to the Future

25 September 2020


Book to the Future

Research shows that when students are read to it significantly improves their reading age, helps their concentration and rapidly improves their vocabulary. Last week saw the launch of ‘book your future’ for year 7s. Two mornings a week the year 7s are read to by their tutor during tutor time. Our students are thoroughly enjoying this programme and is something we will be rolling out to other year groups. Well done year 7, keep up the great work. #ambition #stretch #challenge

Year 7 Transition

14 September 2020


Year 7 Transition

Last week our year 7s completed 2 transition days where they had to stretch themselves by completing a number of challenge activities to save their head teacher who had been captured and taken to the Amazon. They showed great ambition as they worked hard to break maths codes, complete science rocket experiments and conduct finger printing which resulted in the successful release of Mrs Leigh-Bennett.

Well done year 7!

Enjoy your first week

GCSE Results Day 2020

20 August 2020


GCSE Results Day 2020

Congratulations to all of our Year 11 students who collected their GCSE results today. We are exceptionally proud of you all and are thrilled that the results reflect your hard work, dedication and commitment to your learning. Wishing you all the best of luck as you move on to colleges and apprenticeships, we are very much looking forward to hearing about your successes in the future. Today’s results are truly deserved- you have been a remarkable year group who have faced such a challenging year, well done to you all. #pride #ambition #kingsdownschool

results_day_1.jpg louise_results_2.png molly_results_2.png

102 Years of Service

22 July 2020


102 Years of Service

On Tuesday 21st July, we celebrated the end of the academic year 2019/20 saying ‘goodbye’ to 8 colleagues, the majority of whom are leaving us for promoted posts. We ended the farewell event with a celebration for 5 colleagues totalling 102 year of valuable service to Kingsdown School - each one being presented with a plaque to mark their service. Total dedication and commitment #RESPECT

COVID-19 Advice (updated for 21st July)

20 July 2020


COVID-19 Advice (updated for 21st July)

  Updates -

 

3rd July 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_03.07.20.pdf

19th June 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_19.06.20.pdf


12th June 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_12.06.20.pdf

5th June 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_05.06.20.pdf

3rd June 2020

Reopening plans for Kingsdown for Year 10

20200603_Reopening_letter_for_Year_10.docx_.pdf

1st June 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_01.06.20.pdf

22nd May 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_22.05.20.pdf

15th May 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_15.05.20.pdf

7th May 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_07.05.20.pdf

1st May 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_01.05.20.pdf


24th April 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_24.4.20.pdf


17th April 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_17.4.20.pdf

10th April 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_10.4.20.pdf


3rd April 2020

Parent update with advice and useful information.

Parent_COVID-19_Update_3.4.20.pdf

2020_Easter_Activities.pdf

27th March 2020

Parent update with advice and useful links.

  Parent_COVID-19_Update_27.03.pdf

24th March 2020

This update contains information on how students can access their school e-mail while at home.

  Accessing_School_E_mail_from_Home.pdf

20th March 2020

These update contains information on the government school closure announcement and who can still use the school.

  Letter_to_Parents_COVID-19_20.3.20.pdf


  20 Clicks & COVID19 Parents Update newsletter

 

13th March 2020

This update contains information on the steps the school is taking, and our plans should things develop further.

  Parent_COVID-19_Update_13th_March_2020.pdf

10th March 2020

See our updated advice on what we have been doing and our next steps in regards to the Coronavirus.

  Coronavirus_parent_update_10.3.20.pdf


Public Health England have been issuing advice and updates on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

 

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

16 July 2020


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

We are delighted to announce the total hours our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants have donated to their local community in 2019/20. We are proud of our students who continue to make a positive impact on our local community. Very well done all.

20 ‘Thank Yous’

3 July 2020


20 ‘Thank Yous’

As we welcome the start of July, we have 20 Thank you messages for staff, students and parents. Thank you!

20 Thank Yous

Google changeover

26 June 2020


Google changeover

On the afternoon of 26th June we changed some of our services over to google.  This includes school emails and how you log into Show My Homework.  The main points for students to be aware of are:

  • Guidance on logging into google are on this page: Students > Google Accounts
  • We have started changing links for emails on this website, KEN, etc to point to your new gmail account
  • Students who logged into google before, you should now be logging in using you normal email address ending in @kingsdownschool.co.uk, not the email address we gave you before only for google.
  • We have reset all students’ passwords for google, this new password was in Monday’s Student Bulletin

Update If you are having problems logging into Show My Homework, you can now only log in using your new google account (select ‘Sign in with Google’ instead of ‘Sign in with Office 365’)

Work and Achievements from Home (updated 19th June)

19 June 2020


Work and Achievements from Home (updated 19th June)

Celebrating the work and achievements of our students and staff despite working from home.

Year 11 Art New

Since January students have worked tirelessly in their sketchbooks on their chosen GCSE exam question.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewxkz7OADs4


Stable Jumps

Jodie has been making jumps for a cross country field, with sustainability at the forefront as all are made from old pallets and reused wood.


Make up

Amazing work with make up from Mia inspired by Maleficent.


Home Cooking

Some fantastic cooking done during lockdown by our amazing students.


PE’s Throw, Clap and Catch challenge


Well done to everyone that did PE’s Throw, Clap and Catch challenge.  Video of the top 3 below.


PE’s #TheRecyclingBinChallenge

Well done to everyone that did #TheRecyclingBinChallenge.  With over 50 students enter, it was a tough competition.  In 3rd place was Sam, 2nd was James, and in 1st place was Lewy with a very impressive golf trick shot.


PE Card Flip Challenge Videos


Science Assignment

To better view it, click here to download the PDF.


PE Easter Workout Challenge

A return to school for Year 10 students

17 June 2020


A return to school for Year 10 students

After what seems like an eternity, we have been thrilled to welcome back over 140 of our Year 10 students this week. Having now seen thirteen of the twenty student groups, it is clear to see they have missed us too. Each and every one of the students has conducted themselves with absolute pride and respect during their induction session - they are all now ready for next few weeks where each group will begin working on English, Maths and Science in preparation for the start of Year 11. Students commented that school felt “unusual, quiet and strange” but after the session they felt “relaxed and prepared” for the coming weeks.

Other students commented

I think the layout is good and the markers help to continually remind us about social distancing

I feel quite happy about coming back to school now

Another class commented

I have never been so excited to be in school - can we stay all afternoon? This is the most focused I have been

We are very much looking forward to seeing the remaining groups on Thursday and Friday but if you haven’t opted to return, it is certainly not too late. Please call the main office to book your child in.

Welcome back to Kingsdown School

9 June 2020


Welcome back to Kingsdown School

If you are coming into school, please see this video on how we operate now with social distancing measures.  Be aware the school is only open for those students we have made arrangements with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TqZHq8LZbY

PE Easter Challenge

22 April 2020


PE Easter Challenge

Mr Mason would like to thank everyone who participated in the PE Department’s Easter Challenge.

Year 11 - A Fond Farewell

23 March 2020


Year 11 - A Fond Farewell

The final day of school for a Year 11 students is very important. It is a right of passage, leading to the next chapter of their lives at college, apprenticeships or sixth form. Throughout the academic year, staff and students at Kingsdown School have been working tirelessly to ensure everyone was fully prepared for the GCSE exams. For our students in year 11, we knew that last week was vital for them all. After Wednesday’s announcement, we knew that we needed a plan – a send-off that certainly wouldn’t make up for these unforeseen circumstances but would allow them to capture their memories of 5 years at Kingsdown School with a Leavers’ day celebration with style.

Students spent Thursday collecting messages from friends and staff in Kingsdown School Leaver books donated by the Art department but the real celebrations began on Friday. It has always been a tradition of ours that on Leavers Day, Kingsdown students congregate at Greenbridge McDonalds and walk through the community to arrive at school on mass. And on Friday this was no exception.  They did so with absolute class, showing the pride of Kingsdown School as they walked.  Indeed we had telephone calls from members of our community acknowledging their exceptional high standards of behaviour and personal respect.

Overnight, we arranged for a photographer to come to school and set up a photo booth where students could get photos with their friends and their teachers; a shirt signing event followed by an aerial photo which has become a new Kingsdown tradition for us in recent years. Student spent the day enjoying each other’s company, capturing happy times together before this abrupt end to their schooling.

One student said “I’m extremely grateful for the memories I’ve created at Kingsdown and hope that my year group has paved a good path for others who remain at the school. This was never the way I intended to leave school but thank you for working tirelessly to make it such an amazing day”.

For some, it was total shock - students hadn’t really processed what was about to happen but for others, this news was absolutely devastating.  Emotions were raw and the prospect of not being able to show their true capabilities with exam results has been upsetting for many.  That said, they should all be so proud of how they approached their Key Stage 4 years.

As always, we closed the day with a full Leavers’ assembly which was attended by the Year 11 cohort of 2020 as well as all the Kingsdown staff.  Tutors spoke of the pride and resilience that students had demonstrated and then there was a standing ovation for Michelle Davis, the Year 11 Progress Leader who has been the absolute champion of Cohort 2020 during their time at Kingsdown.  Michelle paid tribute to the year group by saying “you made me laugh and at times you made me cry …. As you leave Kingsdown, I will forever be proud of the young people you have become.”

After receiving a personal letter from the Headteacher with an individual silver lion badge, students left the site with a guard of honour from all staff.  Here students walked up and through staff who applauded them as they walked up the drive.  Emma Leigh-Bennett said “Having to close the school was a significant action but we all understood why.  Kingsdown school staff immediately started preparing a fond farewell for Cohort 2020 who had embraced all the changes that the school haad introduced and they embraced them so well.”  She added that “Cohort of 2020 had been such incredible role models.  We are so proud of them as individuals, as groups and as a year group.  They leave us with such high aspirations for their futures and we look forward to hearing about their future successes.”  Mrs Leigh-Bennett thanked all the staff, the tutors, the Progress Leader and Katie Winwood and Bertie Lees, the strategic leads for year 11, who together “gave year 11 a day to truly remember.”

Since Friday, we have been inundated with messages and kind words from parents and students:

“Thank you for everything you have done for my boys… I couldn’t have asked for more” – Year 11 parent

“Please can you say a huge thank you to the staff for organising today and for the time and effort that you (the headteacher) put into our school - I hope one day to see the headlines ‘Kingsdown school achieves Outstanding at OFSTED’” – Year 11 student

In her closing remarks, the Headteacher wished all the students well and promised that she and her team would provide ongoing support in the coming months.  She also assured students that a true celebration at a Year 11 Prom would happen in the future.

If any students or parents need any support in this area, then please get in touch.  All email addresses are on our website and daily work is being set via Show My Homework.  The school is running a daily special childcare provision for critical / key workers. 

More information about this is on our website.

For now – the school sends out very best wishes to all our students and their families.  Emma Leigh-Bennett said “we are looking forward to seeing our students in due course and will continue to provide daily curriculum support and support via emails and telephone calls.  We are thinking of our families at this time ”

Campaigning and voting for Senior Students

8 March 2020


Campaigning and voting for Senior Students

This week is Campaign Week (9th - 12th March)
We have 23 exceptional Senior Student candidates who are vying for staff and student votes during this year’s Campaign Week. Each student has put together a PowerPoint slide about what they would like to do if they are appointed as a Senior Student but please go and speak to them to ask them any questions you may have in the lead up to the important student vote on Thursday morning.

Kingsdown School, Swindon rated ‘Good’ in every single area - Ofsted January 2020

13 February 2020


Kingsdown School, Swindon rated ‘Good’ in every single area - Ofsted January 2020

On January 28th a team from Ofsted came to Kingsdown for a two day inspection of our school.  We are delighted to share that the inspectors confirmed Kingsdown School as “Good” in every single area inspected.

Kingsdown School Ofsted rated good

A Good school

At their last visit, in 2016, they had again judged Kingsdown School as “Requires Improvement.”  The school was also judged “Requires Improvement” in 2014 and 2012. Being judged a “Good” school is such an achievement.

This transformation has happened because of the tremendous hard work from our staff, students, parents, governors and our RLT (River Learning Trust) partners.

OpenDays.png

Supportive parents

Your support as parents has been incredibly helpful over the past few years. Ofsted inspectors stated separately that ‘for so many parents/carers to have chosen to comment so favourably via the Ofsted parent survey was unprecedented.’

Courteous students

Our very best ambassadors, of course, are always our students, who the Inspectors found ‘courteous and considerate’ and ‘thoughtful of others’.

Pride and ambition

You and your children have contributed so much to the pride and ambition we all feel for our school and students. The report mentions another unprecedented survey finding: “100% of our staff say they are proud to work at Kingsdown.”

The Ofsted report celebrates so many strengths of the school – from our curriculum, to the quality of teaching and learning, to our students’ behaviour and attitudes and our extra-curricular and enrichment activities. 

Positive report

There were many further positive quotes in the report that will be public from 25th February – a few include:

“Leaders have high expectations for their students. They want all students to do their best and they make this message very clear.”


“Children say they now feel safe and can learn without disruption.”


“The culture is strong and our shared vision for the future (is) ambitious.”


I wish to congratulate all our staff and students in securing this great result for Kingsdown School and our community.

My heartfelt thanks to you for your continued support in all we strive to achieve for your sons and daughters and for our community.
 
Kingsdown’s vision, to be a school of excellence bursting with pride and ambition, is truly becoming a reality.

Mrs Leigh-Bennett
Headteacher

Download the January 2020 Ofsted Report

January 2020 Ofsted Report

LINKS

» Kingsdown School Ofsted Reports
» Ofsted
» Parent View
» Swindon Advertiser

Safer Internet Day 11th February 2020

10 February 2020


Safer Internet Day 11th February 2020

‘Safer Internet Day 11th February 2020: Free to be me – exploring identity online.’

This year in the UK, Safer Internet Day will encourage young people to explore how they manage their online identity, and how the internet shapes how they think of themselves and others. We want Safer Internet Day 2020 to celebrate difference and help us work towards creating a truly inclusive internet.

The campaign will focus on what makes up online identity – such as the facts or characteristics about you, how others perceive and interact with you, as well as how online services identify you. It will also look at how offline stereotypes and discrimination are challenged or reinforced online.

Safer Internet Day will open up conversations around online identity and aims to inspire young people to support each other online and be safe.

For more information please visit:
https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

Schools Football Week

7 February 2020


Schools Football Week

This week we have been celebrating Schools’ Football Week.  Every lunchtime this week we had penalty shoot-out competitions, and raising money for the Swindon and North Wilts Deaf Children’s Society.  Congratulations to the students winning the competitions across Monday to Thursday - Callum, Lucas, Sam, & Chaz.
You can read more about various sporting events we participate in on our PE team’s blog at https://kingsdownpe.wordpress.com/.

Grease School Production

7 February 2020


Grease School Production

This week saw a magical set of 3 performances from our amazingly talented Grease cast Year 7-11. Singing, dancing, acting and just having a great time. The cast were supported by an awesome backstage crew of students and teachers. Particularly thanks to Tia Year 10 for her choreography. Shianne for being a super Deputy Stage Manager and to Mia and Charlee Year 10 for their ‘mad make-up skills’. What a team! From all of TEAM PACE…thank you and can’t wait until next year…what will it be?

Thanks to all the staff that supported backstage Miss Peters, Mrs Strett, and Mr Lawson and Mr Wicker for their brilliant direction/musical direction.

T-Levels talk with Year 10

6 February 2020


T-Levels talk with Year 10

Today, 6th February, Cirencester College Vice Principle Matt Reynolds visited Kingsdown School to talk with Year 10 students about the new T-Level Qualification.

T-Levels are a brand new, 2-year qualification that aims to give students a head start towards the future they want.  The Government has developed T-Levels to deliver world class technical education and give students a new choice after GCSEs and have been designed in partnership with business and employers to give students the knowledge and skills they need.

For more information visit:

https://www.tlevels.gov.uk/

https://www.independent.co.uk/student/career-planning/careers-in-tech-top-10-tech-industry-careers-9865807.html

If you want to read more about post 16 education options please also see our Careers Info pages for Students and Parents within our website.

Careers Blog - Labour Market Info

29 January 2020


Careers Blog - Labour Market Info

Miss Humphries has posted on the Careers Blog a post with updated labour market information covering our locality.  If you haven’t viewed our Careers Blog in a while, check it out at https://kingsdowncareers.wordpress.com/.  It contains advice useful to both students and parents with updates on upcoming events around Swindon.  We also have useful careers information in both the Student and Parent menus on this site.

CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020

27 January 2020


CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020

In January two teams of our Year 8 girls participated in the prestigious National Cyber Security Centre Girls Competition 2020. The challenges were coding based and had the girls researching and problem-solving in an unfamiliar coding environment. We wait to see if we have qualified for the semi-finals next month.

School Production - tickets on sale

24 January 2020


School Production - tickets on sale

Kingsdown’s latest school production will be ‘Grease’.

Tickets on sale from today (24th Jan) in the hall.

Prices will be:

  • Student/Concession £1
  • Adult £2

Events will be:

  • Tuesday 4th February 7pm
  • Wednesday 5th February Matinee 7pm (invited audience only)

Holocaust Memorial Day speaker broadcast

24 January 2020


Holocaust Memorial Day speaker broadcast

As part of the Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 commemorations, we have signed up to hear the powerful testimony of Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor Susan Pollock MBE this morning (24th January).  Our Year 10 GCSE RS class will be listening to Susan speak via a live web broadcast and have the chance to ask her their own questions.

Year 9 Parents’ Evening

22 January 2020


Year 9 Parents’ Evening

Our next Parents’ Evening will be taking place on Wednesday 12th February from 4:30pm for our Year 9 parents. We look forward to discussing your child’s progress and attitude to learning for each of their chosen subjects. Should you be unable to attend, please contact Mr Hathaway who can arrange an advocate to accompany your child on the evening.

Year 10 Art Ceramics Workshop

22 January 2020


Year 10 Art Ceramics Workshop

Our year 10 art students were lucky enough to take part in a ceramics workshop today. They had the opportunity to watch experts at work as well as develop some new skills of their own. It was great to see our young people getting stuck in and showing some real talent. Thank you to Mrs Slade and Mrs Heeley for organising such a wonderful experience for Kingsdown artists.

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The Journey to Excellence

20 January 2020


The Journey to Excellence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM3qSXkNI-4

GCSE London Art Trip

20 January 2020


GCSE London Art Trip

GCSE Art students had a wonderful day on the 15th January in London, exploring both the V&A and Tate Modern.

Year 7 Celebration Assembly

17 January 2020


Year 7 Celebration Assembly

Congratulations to the 116 Year 7 students who were awarded this week for receiving an excellent academic report. Well done for demonstrating #stretch #challenge #ambition #kingsdownschool

Congratulations to Year 8 students

17 January 2020


Congratulations to Year 8 students

Toy Appeal 2019

19 December 2019


Toy Appeal 2019

This year Kingsdown school students have raised close on £4000.00 for a number of charities.

Today we were delighted to give our donation to the Toy Appeal run by the Salvation Army.

Our thanks to all our students for their continued generosity.

Making Christingles

18 December 2019


Making Christingles

This morning (18th December) we have Year 9 Religious Studies students learning about how Christians celebrate Christmas and creating their own Christingles.

Our C Block now smells of oranges and sweets!

Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree

17 December 2019


Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree

Thank you so much to all the year 7 and 8 students who joined us for the Christmas disco tonight and to Miss Robertson and Mrs Boyall for organising the event. With just a few days until we break up for the Christmas holiday, it was a fantastic way to celebrate the end of a very busy term. It was great to see so many of you on the dance floor enjoying yourselves- it is hard to believe that just 13 weeks ago, many of you were starting your first week of secondary school. We are so glad you have settled in are now well and truly part of the family, merry Christmas to all of you.

Cohort 2020 Parents’ event, Thursday 9th January, 6pm

8 December 2019


Cohort 2020 Parents’ event, Thursday 9th January, 6pm

2020 is a big year for our students in Year 11 and to help them prepare for a busy 6 months, we will be starting term 3 by hosting several events focusing on their exams later in the year. This will begin with a workshop for students on Tuesday 7th January followed by a Parents’ event on Thursday 9th January at 6pm. This will include a selection of sessions designed to support Parents with the challenges of getting a teenager through the exam period successfully and sharing advice and guidance or time planning, motivation, anxiety as well as effective revision. Invitations to this event will be sent out on Thursday 12th December.

2019 Lit Fest Illustration Winner

3 December 2019


2019 Lit Fest Illustration Winner

This year, as part of the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature, 11 secondary schools took part in the illustration competition. Jodie from Kingsdown came 1st in the year 9-11 category – winning £30 in WH Smith vouchers, a certificate presented by the Mayor of Swindon and a workshop with the other winners at Swindon College with professional author and illustrator, Steve Antony.

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The brief was to illustrate the following passage from the 2019 Carnegie Medal winning book The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

I go to the art room
and Isabelle is there with headphones
and a journal and a bag of spicy Doritos.
She starts reading,
Her hands fluttering in the air.
I put my apple down to focus,
Because this feel like an important moment…

 

An exciting Summer for Year 11

2 December 2019


An exciting Summer for Year 11

We were delighted to welcome NCS - the National Citizen Service to year 11 assembly on Friday. As always, they gave a fantastic presentation to our students offering them the opportunity of a lifetime once they complete their GCSE exams. Students need to return their application forms to Student Services to secure their place but for those students that missed the assembly, the video can be found here

This is the best £50 you will spend for your child - a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate the end of a very special year.

GCSE Certificate Collection

2 December 2019


GCSE Certificate Collection

GCSE Certificates will be available for collection all this week (commencing 2nd December) from 3.15pm until 5.30pm each day.

All students must bring ID. If they are sending someone else to collect the certificates, that person must bring a signed note from the student authorising them to collect on their behalf. We will not hand any certificates over without a signed letter of authorisation.

We will only hold the certificates for 12 months then they will be destroyed.

Please note once you have collected your exam certificates you MUST check them thoroughly and report any errors immediately. Keep them safe. We are unable to provide any additional copies should you lose or damage them. If you require a replacement, you will need to contact the examination board direct. The Exam boards will charge you for any additional copies.

Change of Date for Year 7 Parents’ Evening

1 December 2019


Change of Date for Year 7 Parents’ Evening

Please be aware that there has been a change of date for Year 7 Parents’ Evening that was originally on Thursday 19th December. The new date is Thursday 16th January from 4:30-7:30pm. Appointments will be booked online and information about this will be shared with parents via GroupCall.

Year 7 Progress Rewards

29 November 2019


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Year 7 students receiving their Beat badges this week for their pride, ambition, respect, responsibility, stretch and challenge in lessons.
Well Done!!! Mrs. Boyall and Miss Robertson are very proud of you all.

Year 9 Progress Rewards

26 November 2019


Year 9 Progress Rewards

Congratulations to our 118 Year 9 excellent progress report winners. Year 9 celebrated last week by receiving Beat badges for gaining an excellent progress report with all good or outstanding in every category. An amazing achievement – Well Done!!

Mrs. Boyall

Kingsdown School Sports Tour 2019

22 November 2019


Kingsdown School Sports Tour 2019

Football

Every two years Kingsdown school take between 30-50 students to stay in Salou and compete against Spanish teams and English teams in football and netball. This year we took 36 of our students. 11 girls played netball and 25 boys played football.

The boys each had a number of training sessions ran by UEFA A coaches. Luckily this year, we got to train at ex La Liga 123 side CF Reus’ stadium, which has hosted the likes of Athletico Madrid, Antone Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Koke, just last year in the Spanish version of the FA Cup. They then played against two Spanish opposition at amazing venues. The football came to an end with a training session and tournament in some fantastic facilities called Futbol Salou, against other English schools. One of our teams came second in that tournament.

Netball

11 girls participated in our Barcelona Sports Tour, ranging from year 8, 9 and 10. After settling in on the first night and having a great day looking around Barcelona Football Stadium and walking around Park Guell they looked forward to their second night in the hotel ready for netball on the Tuesday. On the Tuesday morning we were taken with about 10 other schools to a fantastic venue called Reus de PLOMS. We were introduced to the 6 coaches that would be taking our sessions and this included an international umpire, a senior England Netball coach as well as other very experienced netball coaches. This gave the girls a chance to have four hours of high-quality netball coaching and the coaches were able to pick up on specific aspects of the girls play that were improved on. Tuesday evening meant the girls were able to grab a cultural experience and go bowling, this allowed us to have some down time and we were able to complete some team bonding.

On Wednesday the girls had a very early start in order to get in training and match time. We spent the morning completing a coaching session with our coach- Julie, this allowed more time for the girls to perfect their play as a whole team. After lunch we then had a tournament against the other schools which consisted of different ages, we were able to give a player of the match after every game and the girls played their absolute socks off, representing Kingsdown with pride.

Excursions

After a long journey on the coach, students got to stretch their legs and had a wander down to Salou to see the beautiful town and sandy beaches. After they had a dip in the hotel swimming pool.

The next day was a trip to Barcelona, Camp Nou, home of Lionel Messi. After a tour of Messi’s house, students went to Park Guell, a famous park designed by Barcelona’s very own Guadi. The views of the city from above were beautiful.
After a couple more days filled with football, netball and the all you can eat buffet, it was time to head to PortAventura, Europe’s biggest theme park with Europe’s highest rollercoaster.

Then, that evening, after the adrenaline rush of the rollercoasters drop and loops, it was time to say goodbye, with amazing memories and new friendships made. We look forward to taking our next set of students, we know they will be as amazing as these 36 students were. For more information and detailed blogs from each day, please follow the link https://kingsdownpe.wordpress.com/

 

War Horse Theatre Trip

22 November 2019


War Horse Theatre Trip

On Thursday 21st November our GCSE Drama students attended a performance of War Horse at Wembley Park’s Troubadour Theatre (a converted warehouse- originally set up to film Britain’s Got Talent, Pop Idol and The X Factor).

Twelve years on from its premiere here at the National Theatre the show remains a heart-tugging, visually inventive spectacle. At root the story of a spirited colt and the boy who tames’ him, it’s an occasion to reflect on the magnitude of both human and equine sacrifice in the First World War — not only the ten million military ­personnel who died, but the eight ­million horses, about a million of which were British.
The Michael Morpurgo novel on which the play is based affords readers an unusual horse’s-eye view of war’s devastation. Nick Stafford’s adaptation breaks with this, and heroic steed Joey, transplanted from a Devon farm to a role in the cavalry in war-torn France, has no voice. Yet he’s still a remarkably articulate presence — snorting, twitching and looking at everything around him with uncanny intensity.
Among the human cast it’s Scott Miller who stands out as Joey’s master Albert, a model of unswerving devotion. But the magic lies in the puppetry, designed by the South African company Handspring.

Each of the horses — made of gauze and bamboo, leather and plywood — is manipulated by three people, who create the illusion of these huge creatures’ soulful nobility.
The visually spectacular performance had all the GCSE Drama students spellbound for the entire time and stimulated lively conversations and several questions during our coach journey back. The staff were really impressed with the outstanding behaviour of all our students and hope that this first theatrical experience for many of our students has inspired a love and curiosity about the power of theatre to transport an audience, even for a brief time to another place and time.

BIG Bang Engineering

15 November 2019


BIG Bang Engineering

On Thursday 7th November all 180 Year 10 students at KDS took part in a BIG Bang Engineering lesson. This was part of a national programme involving 50,000 students to promote the choices within engineering careers.

Our students started with a quick quiz on engineering careers. They then watched a 30 minute national video link of interviews, vox pops, question and answer sessions with a variety of different engineers.

Our students learnt not just about the different engineering roles worldwide but also the possible educational routes to becoming engineers. The support available within these career paths - especially for women.

The year 10s finished off with an intra-year team competition to build a bridge using only a newspaper, sellotape and scissors. This created some great ideas and followed the theme of having to problem solve with sometimes limited resources in a short period of time. The winning team will receive their prize in the next reward assembly.

Mr Radcliffe

LitFest

14 November 2019


LitFest

This year, Kingsdown school had the privilege of welcoming two talented and established authors to talk to our students about the world of reading and writing. On Monday 11th November, Karen Gregory, who is originally from Swindon and author of 3 books, presented her work and life as a writer to our year 7’s. She spoke about the challenges of being a writer and the need for perseverance, including dealing with rejections – her first book ‘Countless’ was rejected 20 times before being picked up by Bloomsbury publishing. Karen used the ‘potato challenge’ to demonstrate this concept. 4 year 7 volunteers stood in front of the stage with a straw in one hand and a potato in the other. They then had to get the flimsy straw all the way through the potato and out the other side. Their straws bent and buckled under the pressure, and just as they were about to give up – success! One student managed to work out how to do it (you’ll have to work it out for yourself). The message was received loud and clear – perseverance is the key to success. Karen then spent 2 hours in Kingsdown’s library working with a group of year 8 and 9’s getting them to think about empathy – what it is and why it’s an important tool, not only for a writer but for life. The students wrote short stories from the perspective of their chosen animal and came up with some amazing work, which Karen was extremely impressed by.

On Tuesday 12th November, Mark Lowery – the part time primary school teacher and author of children’s books such as ‘The Jam Doughnut that ruined my life’, came to Kingsdown school to give an unforgettable performance to students from our local primary schools. The students (and staff) looked on with curious and excited eyes as Mark revealed a locked safe, which he explained would make sense by the end of the performance. Mark had the students out of their seats, cheering and laughing as he channelled the energy and humour found throughout his books for all to be a part of. Students volunteered and took part in exercises that demonstrated to the audience how a writer can create, make or even break their characters by setting them challenges – one of which was walking blindfolded whilst balancing a ping pong ball on the end of a spatula. During the performance Mark also had his volunteers take part in some maths and card tricks before ramping up the energy and excitement towards the end with the big reveal… the combination to the safe – which had subtly been given to the audience on numerous occasions from the start! Inside the safe was … a lion (the emblem of Kingsdown school).

We will Remember them

11 November 2019


We will Remember them

Today Kingsdown School joined together for a two minute silence to remember those who have and are currently serving in our armed forces - to whom we owe so much. #pride #respect #kingsdown

The Kingsdown Journey to Excellence

10 November 2019


The Kingsdown Journey to Excellence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM3qSXkNI-4

 

A Spooktacular end to Term 1 for Year 7

22 October 2019


A Spooktacular end to Term 1 for Year 7

Starting secondary school can be a daunting experience for students and it is hard to believe that in the blink of an eye, term 1 is over! The year 7 students have made a fantastic impression and we were delighted to welcome over 90 of them back to school this evening to celebrate the end of term with our Halloween movie night.

Thank you to Mrs Boyall and Miss Robertson for hosting - the drama studio looked wonderfully spooky, without cauldrons full of sweet treats and popcorn for the very excitable students. We look forward to a successful term 2 beginning on Monday 4th November.

Wishing you all a safe a restful half term and well done for all that you have achieved.

Local praise for Kingsdown School

19 October 2019


Local praise for Kingsdown School

Justin Tomlinson MP recently visited Kingsdown School, and was evidently impressed by the transformation of the school, and indeed the amazing results of Cohort 2019, so much so, Mr Tomlinson shared the following statement with the Swindon Advertiser following his visit:

“I visited Kingsdown School and met with Headteacher Emma Leigh-Bennett to catch up on her first two years in charge.  I was very pleased to hear about the significant improvements that have been made – which saw students who received their GCSEs this year perform, on average, half a grade better than the previous year’s students across their best eight subjects. 
While at the school I spoke to several students – including the head boy, head girl and deputy head girl - and I was very impressed with how engaged and enthusiastic they were, fantastic advocates for the school.
It is great to hear about the improvements at Kingsdown, a key school within our community.”


If you haven’t already seen for yourself the incredible #pride and #ambition at Kingsdown, feel free to make an appointment to visit. 

Cameron Parker inspires Year 11 Students

19 October 2019


 Cameron Parker inspires Year 11 Students

Students at Kingsdown School concluded their first week of mock examinations with a fantastic presentation from motivational speaker, Cameron Parker. Within minutes of the presentation beginning students were captivated by the stories and experiences Cameron was able to share about his life.

Cameron has a remarkably relatable quality, which coupled with a fantastic sense of humour saw the students smiling, laughing and able to consider their future hopes and dreams in a relaxed, yet inspiring manner.

Students were visibly enthused by the session and upon thanking Cameron at the end of the session one said,

Thank you, I’ve never thought about it like that. Your presentation was epic!

Another student said,

Great presentation, thanks for today!

Thank you, Year 11, for engaging so well in the session and we hope you feel inspired to continue to follow your dreams. If you require further careers support please speak to your tutor, Progress Leader or Director of Progress to arrange a careers appointment with Miss Humphries in term 2.

 

Year 11 Information Evening

16 September 2019


Year 11 Information Evening

Thank you to all our year 11 parents who supported and attended our information evening where strategies, advice and guidance about how to support your year 11 student was shared.  All resources and links are on our website. 
Again – thank you for your continued support. 

#KDSCohort2020 #kingsdownschool

Congratulations Cohort 2019 - Truly Amazing Results

23 August 2019


Congratulations Cohort 2019 - Truly Amazing Results

Kingsdown School is celebrating transformational results.  These results show a significant movement from last year where students performed on average half a grade better than last year’s students across their best eight subjects. Over 11 different subjects improved upon their progress scores from last year.

The vast majority of subjects, including the core subjects of English, Maths and Science have all secured a 3-year trend of improvement. Taken together, these results are the best outcomes in the school’s history. This improvement has been achieved by redesigning a knowledge-rich curriculum and developing our assessments, a rigorous focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning in all lessons and embedding high expectations for all particularly with regards to attendance, behaviour and attitude to learning. Our students in Cohort 2019 worked incredibly hard, and should feed very proud of their achievements.

We were thrilled with many individual student achievements.  These significant individual successes included:
• Lea who achieved 5 grade 9s and 5 grade 8s
• Charlotte who achieved 5 grade 9s, 4 grade 8s and 1 grade 7
• Vicky who achieved 4 grade 9s, 2 grade 8s, 2 grade 7s and 1 grade 6
• Daniel who achieved 4 grade 9s, 1 grade 8, 3 grade 7s and 1 grade 6
• Hannah who achieved 4 grade 9s, 1 grade 8, 1 grade 7 and 1 grade 6

There were many transformational results including:
• 80% of students achieved grade 4+ in English Literature – an improvement over 3 years of 17%
• 63% of students achieved grade 5+ in Computer Science – an improvement over 3 years of 47%
• 89% of students achieved grade 5+ in Chemistry – an improvement over 3 years of 29%
• 52% of students achieved grade 7+ in RS – a 3-year trend of over 40+%

Emma Leigh-Bennett, Headteacher said:
“We are absolutely delighted to see such a strong set of GCSEs results for our Cohort of 2019. These achievements are well-deserved and give our students with firm foundation that will open doors for future ambitions.”

“I would also like to give a special mention to our whole staff team who worked tirelessly to champion and ensure that each and every student was able to achieve their very best.  These results would not have been possible without their support and expert guidance.  I would also like to thank all our parents for their continued support.” 

Many congratulations to Cohort 2019. We are immensely proud of you all.

Mrs Leigh-Bennett
Headteacher

Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition

28 May 2019


Duke of Edinburgh Silver Expedition

Congratulations to our silver Duke of Edinburgh students who were out on their expedition last weekend. We are very proud of you all.

“Superbly Impressive”

29 April 2019


“Superbly Impressive”

“Superbly Impressive” - personal reflection from Kier Pritchard, Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police & ex-Kingsdown student, who came to visit the school today (29th April) after being invited to see our high expectations both in and outside the classroom.

Beats - Pride
Beats - Ambition
Beats - Stretch
Beats - Challenge
Beats - Respect
Beats - Responsibility