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Key Information regarding re-opening in September 2021

Key Information Regarding Re-opening in September 2021

This page contains all the information you need to support your son’s return to school in September 2021. We will update it as new information becomes available or updated guidance allows us to confirm our plans.

Latest Update: 27th August 2021

We are now receiving key information from the DfE about what is expected from schools as our students return in the Autumn Term. In their Contingency Framework they clearly establish their approach:

“The Government has made it a national priority that education and childcare settings should continue to operate as normally as possible”

It is therefore our role to help our students to return to school as normally as possible, balancing this with the continued need to mitigate against the transmission of Covid, and have additional mitigations ready to roll out if transmission in school or locally is on the rise.

This webpage therefore sets out our shared responsibilities in achieving this and the plans for September.  It includes possible adaptations that we can make; the Government has established a threshold for when additional action would be required in order to address a rise in transmission:

“5 children, pupils, students or staff, who are likely to have mixed closely, test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period”.

If we were to meet this threshold, we would instigate adaptations to the way the school operates, letting students, families and staff know what these changes were.  We have become accustomed to reviewing our plans regularly, and we intend to continue with our Friday communications to families to provide you with the information that you need to support the successful re-opening of KNBS.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this important information and for your continued flexibility and support.

Uniform 

We understand that it has sometimes been difficult to replace uniform during lockdown. However, in order to start 2021-22 as we mean to go on, it is essential that all students are in full school uniform in September. Our Pastoral Team will be sending a separate communication providing clarity about our uniform expectations. 

In line with Leisure Centres and Sports Clubs, we will move back to students using our changing facilities before and after their PE lessons. Lockers are available through Parent Pay so students do not need to carry their kit and belongings around with them all day.

Other mitigations we could implement:

  • If we need to then students will come to school in their PE kit on PE days.
Testing  

On-Site testing

We will run a testing centre in our school sports hall so that all students can have a test before they return to school, with a second test structured into their timetable.

Although this will stagger the start to term for students, it brings peace of mind that your son is not returning to school with an asymptomatic case of Covid. This helps us to keep each other safe.

Therefore, we will stagger our starts to enable students to have a test the day before they start back at school to limit any infection entering the school. Our testing regime and centre was very effective last year, and we will build on that experience to help this run as smoothly as possible.

Preliminary Return to School and Testing Schedule*:

Thursday 2nd September

INSET days - training for staff and time to complete the setting up of testing stations and inducting testing staff

Friday 3rd September

Monday 6th September

Year 7 Induction Day – Year 7 testing will be built into their morning programme.

Year 11 are provided appointments to attend school for their first test, going home afterwards.

Tuesday 7th September

Years 7 and 11 attend school as normal.

Years 10 and Year 8 are provided appointments to attend school for their first test, going home afterwards.

Wednesday 8th September

Years 7, 8, 10 and 11 attend school as normal.

Year 9 are provided appointments to attend school for their first test, going home afterwards.

Thursday 9th September

All students attend school as normal.

Second tests will be built into students’ timetables

*Please be aware that our preliminary schedule may have to change if there are issues with the supply of testers or test kits.  We do not expect this to happen, however if it does, we will contact you to make you aware.

Required Parent/Carer Action: Consent

We need your consent for testing.  If you have previously provided this, we do not need it again.  For those who are new to the school, please provide your consent via this form.

Home Testing 

Once the on-site testing is complete then we will need our families to recommence the home testing. This is important as it stops positive cases coming into school and reduces the risk of transmission. We will provide test kits as they arrive from the DfE. However, last year we experienced some delays in the kits arriving in school, therefore, we suggest that families use this link to order spare tests, just in case there are issues with supply from the DfE:

www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

Required Parent/Carer Action: Home testing

Complete 2 LFT tests each week – letting us know asap if your son tests positive via: covid19@knbs.co.uk

Tracing close contacts and Isolation 

This is probably the biggest change to the way schools have worked during the pandemic to this point:

Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing”.

Isolation is no longer required if:

“Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons”

If students are a close contact, then they should take a PCR test to double check that they are not spreading the virus.  They would only need to isolate if that test returned a positive result.

Required Parent/Carer Action: Informing School of a Positive Case

Even though the responsibility for test and trace has changed, it is essential that we know of positive cases so we can monitor possible transmission and support with blended learning.

Please make sure you share any positive test results with us via:

0121 628 0100 or covid19@knbs.co.uk

It would be helpful if you could be ready to share your son’s close contacts so that we can monitor and share that important information with them and their families.  We can also then support with the organising of PCR tests quickly and effectively.

Bubbles 

The DfE no longer requires schools to organise their students into bubbles. We will still limit our main activities to year groups (e.g., assemblies, lessons, extra-curricular clubs) except for peer mentoring and tuition programmes. We will continue to have some separation of year groups at lunch and break time.

Other mitigations we could implement:

  • We can return to bubbles by dividing the playground for different year groups.
  • We can move to separate canteen slots for different year groups.
Start/Finish times (and parking)  

Our September timetable starts with a form period (8:30 - 8:50) and ends with a form period (2:50 - 3:05). In our review of 2020-21, we have missed this opportunity to start the day positively with all students.

Our school day:

Time Period Breaks
8.30 — 8.50 Form Period (AM Registration)  
8.50 — 9.50 Period 1  
9.50 — 11.10 Period 2 10.20 — 10.40    Year 7 & Year 8 Break
10.50 — 11.10    Years 9, 10 & 11 Break
11.10 — 12.10 Period 3  
12.10 — 13.55 Period 4 12.10 — 12.55    Year 7 & Year 8 Lunch
13.10 — 13.55    Years 9, 10 & 11 Lunch
13.55 — 14.55 Period 5  
14.55 — 15.05 Form Period (PM Registration)  

At the beginning of term, we will operate a staggered end to the day:

  • Years 7 & 8 will finish at 2:55 (after period 5)
  • Years 9, 10 and 11 will finish at 3:05 (after form – unless they have after school sessions)

We intend to run this for the September and then review it.

Other mitigations we could implement:

If required, we can move to staggered starts and/or finishes

  • Years 7 & 8 would start at 8:30 and finish between 2:55 – 3:00
  • Years 9, 10 & 11 would start at 8:40 and finish from 3:00 – 3:05

Required Parent/Carer Action: Collecting Students after school

Parking is tight near to the school, and we have been tasked with reducing the number of cars waiting near to school, especially those parked on the kerb. Local officers will be spending more time outside of schools monitoring this as there is a direct link between parked cards and accidents.

If you are collecting your son after school, please arrange a safe space to meet him. This could be in nearby roads that are not as busy, or even at Row Heath car park, which is only a short walk away.

Breaks 

We intend to have two break times:

  • One 20-minute break for Years 7 & 8
  • One 20-minute break for Years 9, 10 & 11

Other mitigations we could implement:

If we need to adapt this, we have the capacity to move to more breaks

Lunchtimes  

We intend to have two lunch times:

  • One 45-minute break for Years 7 & 8
  • One 45-minute break for Years 9, 10 & 11

Other mitigations we could implement:

If we need to adapt this, we have the capacity to move to more lunches that are a little shorter.

Assemblies and Events  

We plan to re-introduce our assembly programme; these will take place in morning form time, and each year group will have an allocated assembly day. 

These new guidelines mean that we can plan to start running after school clubs/enrichment activities, especially after we had successfully started to re-introduce these in the summer term. The new guidelines do however prevent us planning for visiting speakers, large events, face-to-face parents’ evenings, residentials or theatre groups. We will monitor the guidance and re-introduce these when it is safe to do so.

Other mitigations we could implement:

  • We can move to virtual assemblies held in form rooms if required.
Hygiene 

We will continue to provide sanitiser in classrooms, toilets, canteen and dining room (sanitiser in science will not be alcohol based so that experiments can again take place).

We will not be asking students to clean desks at the end of lessons.

Other mitigations we could implement:

We can move back to desk cleaning if required.

Student Movement  

We will maintain our one-way system in the school building. It has worked well and is something we intend to keep longer term.

Other mitigations we could implement:

  • No adaptations required.
Face Coverings  

The vast majority of our boys have been excellent in wearing their face masks.  As they are no longer required in the guidelines and most places that our boys visit will not require them either (e.g. cinema, shops) we do not intend to wear masks/face coverings in school from September. If any boy wishes to wear a mask in and around school, we will support his decision.

Other mitigations we could implement:

  • We can move back to wearing masks in communal areas and/or in classrooms.

Required Parent/Carer Action: Face Masks

Our boys are used to having and wearing face masks when they are required to do so. Please can you make sure that they keep their face mask in their blazer pocket so that they are ready to use them if they need to.

We will encourage our students to keep using face masks on public transport and will keep parents informed if we think that this is not happening.

Travel to School  

We are currently developing an action plan to support students’ travel to school.  This will be shared with families on completion. It will encourage boys to walk or to ride their bikes to school; there are huge health benefits in them doing so, and it will encourage fewer cars within the vicinity of the school.

Cycling: we can now return to storing our bikes in suitable bike sheds. We plan to develop a bike shed area for Years 7 & 8 and use our main bike shelter for Years 9, 10 & 11.

Public Transport: we will encourage our students to continue wearing face coverings on Public Transport, though this is not mandatory.

Other mitigations we could implement:

If required, we can revise our arrangements for the storage of students’ bikes on the school site. Students who ride their bike to school will be advised during their induction of where to store their bikes.

Required Parent/Carer Action: Bike security

We have noticed that not all boys bring a bike lock; please make sure that they have a lock and remind them to lock their bike up even when in a bike shed.