19th December 2017

Dear Parents,

I hope that you have enjoyed the build up to Christmas that has infiltrated so many aspects of life at Kingsmead.  Wherever I go, there has been a choir, nativity, carol service, fair or Christmas performance practice, preparation or production.  We are all very appreciative of the teachers who lead and manage these different events on top of their teaching and other roles and do so with such good cheer.  All of these celebrations are opportunities for our children to showcase their many talents and our children continue to impress me with their public speaking and performing talents.

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We are all so grateful for the sterling work of the Friends of Kingsmead committee and their families, who generously give hours of their time and practical skills to organise events like our Fireworks Evening and Christmas Fair.

On Wednesday 20th December at 3pm, we are holding our annual Carol Service at St Luke’s Church, Hoylake. Everyone is warmly invited to join us for this traditional conclusion to the term. Please do note that the EYFS and Years 1 and 2 finish their term at 2pm on Wednesday but are very welcome to join us at St Luke’s with their parents. For those who do join us, please do not park in St Luke’s car park as the school bus needs to use the space to collect children after the service.

As you may know, we are developing our plans to reintroduce boarding with a proposed start date of September 2018. As part of those plans, we have developed a relationship with an organisation called Study Links. Together we will be looking for caring homes for international students studying full time at Kingsmead. Study Links has been established for nearly 20 years and pride themselves on offering excellent homestays to their students. The organisation works closely with the host families to make the experience as positive as it can be for both the student and the family. There is 24 hour support so that families never feel unsupported. If you are interested in becoming a host family please get in touch with our Bursar, Mrs Evans, or Study Links on 01274 679710.

We are also looking to increase the catchment area for our bus routes and so will be writing to you at the start of next term with some ideas and options that we have going forward. All of these developments are very exciting aspects of our future plans which I will continue to share with you as they evolve.

As we think of future plans, inevitably my thoughts turn to our Year 11 students who, I am sure, will have their revision programme for the holiday period firmly in place. Although I thoroughly recommend some time to relax during the festive season it is imperative that they keep the momentum going at this critical stage of their school career. Our Year 10 children have all received some revision guidelines too and will need to prepare for their school exams which start on Thursday 1st February; exam timetables have been sent home.

Congratulations must go to Mrs Liddy and her team in the LDU department who successfully led us through a CRESTed Inspection. This award is from the Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic pupils. It is official recognition that there are specialist teachers and resources available at Kingsmead to help and teach children with Dyslexia in a specialist department.

I would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to Mr Hollington, who has been our Head of Music for the last 2½ years. Mr Hollington leaves us to return to his career in the entertainment world. Rumour has it that he will be in the Caribbean this time next month. His cheery good humour and Elton John tribute act will be much missed by us all.

I do hope you all enjoy a restful, refreshing Christmas break and look forward to seeing the children on Wednesday 10th January 2018 at 8.30am.

Mark Gibbons