CORONAVIRUS - Please click here to view our latest updates/re-opening information.
Last Updated: Thursday 27th August
Working Together to avoid transmission
Our collective responsibility to avoid coming to school with symptoms & test, track and trace.
Our Collective Responsibility
It is going to be imperative in the coming weeks, that we all share the collective responsibility for keeping everyone in our school community safe. In school we have mitigated the risks that we face, however the biggest risk is for someone to attend school if they are not feeling well, have Covid-19 symptoms or should be isolating.
Testing followed by Track and Trace is an essential part of our defences and it is essential that we all use it so that we can all attend school with confidence.
Who can get a test?
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test.
Coronavirus symptoms are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
You can get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms. Do not get tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.”
Test and Trace website
Book a test here:
While you wait for a test result, your son should stay at home until the results of the test are known. You should contact the school to let us know the situation, and then immediately inform us when the results of that test arrive.
It is also essential that, should your son develop symptoms of Covid-19, you should NOT send him to school.
How KNBS will respond to an infection in school?
If a student displays symptoms of Covid-19 when they are at school, they will be supervised by a member of staff in a room away from others. We have purchased sufficient PPE in preparation for this possibility. Parents will be contacted immediately. They will need to collect their child from school as soon as possible, taking them home to self-isolate and a test will need to be arranged by the parents. This student must self-isolate until the results of the test are known. Communication is essential, and parents will be expected to contact the school immediately that they know the result of that test.
If a confirmed case of Covid-19 occurs amongst the school community, we will contact the local health protection team and work with them to use the NHS Test and Trace system to assess who has been in close contact with them and thus needs to self-isolate, and will then take appropriate action. The health protection team will liaise with the school throughout the process and will provide guidance for next steps. In certain situations, bubbles may need to isolate, which is one of the reasons that we have tried to build smaller bubbles into our larger year-group bubbles. This Public Health England flow chart is the easiest way to explain what may happen if the school is faced with a suspected or confirmed case:
Control measures in school
In accordance with Government guidelines, we will be operating year group bubbles. This means that students in each year group will not always need to socially distance from others in their year group (years 10 and 11 comprise one Key Stage 4 bubble). However, it is key that your son recognises the importance of not mixing with other bubbles. This will mean not arriving at school with students outside of his bubble and not socialising after school with those outside of his bubble either. The timetable for each year means that students will have minimal opportunities to mix with other bubbles in school; it is important that if your son does encounter students from other bubbles, he maintains social-distancing expectations. We expect that all students will use their self-discipline in complying with this in order to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
Students must also maintain the expected social distance from staff; whilst we understand this is difficult during lessons, it is vitally important that this happens whenever possible, as this also lowers the risk of transmission.
As you will have previously noted from our website, we were planning a number of precautionary measures that we would have in place ready for the new school year – we can confirm that the following are now in place:
- There are now hand sanitiser dispensers in all rooms. It will still be helpful if students have their own personal hand sanitiser and tissues.
- PPE and screening equipment will be used by all our first aid team
- We have increased capacity in our cleaning team to support more regular cleaning, and a robust schedule in place
- Cleaning staff will be using the required PPE
When your son arrives at school, he will be expected to sanitise his hands before entering the building. Each room will also have its own hand sanitiser and we will ask students to use this upon entering each room, as well as washing their hands thoroughly after using the toilet, and more often than usual generally. It is vitally important that every student supports us with this.
Although we have taken measures to minimise movement around the school, before students leave their lesson, they will be expected to wipe down their book and desk in support of the next user and to minimise the chance of transmission. This will not replace the room being cleaned by our cleaning team, it is an added hygiene measure and important life lesson.
In our previous email to you, we said that masks will be optional for students. The Government has since announced that, in the instance that our community goes into a ‘local lockdown’ due to rates of transmission of Covid-19 rising, students in secondary schools will be required to wear masks in communal areas. These communal areas will include corridors, toilets, and upon entering and leaving the school premises. These are areas where there is likely to be an increased number of students, albeit mostly those within the same year group bubble. The wearing of masks will act as an additional precaution in times where there is a higher risk of transmission, and it will be a temporary measure. If we were required to take such action, you would be notified in advance.
Our approach is that we strongly encourage all of our boys to have a mask with them. We also fully support those who want to wear a mask to help them to manage under these very different circumstances. Of course, we want to avoid masks going on and off, but we may need to ask a student to remove a mask so that we can effectively communicate with them. Finally, masks must be appropriate, fit for purpose and plain in design.
On our return, KNBS will be a cashless site. This is something that we have grown accustom to as adults, with most shops only accepting contactless or card payments.
Students' accounts to buy food will need to be topped up online via ParentPay. This is to eliminate the risk for students and staff of handling cash. Please ensure that you have activated your account using the personal log-in details that you have been previously issued. If you have any problems with this, you can contact us via email@example.com Please do not send your son in with cash to purchase his lunch- he will be unable to do so. This significantly reduces the risk of transmission.
Our new timetable is designed to keep movement around the school site to a minimum and reduce the risk of cross-bubble contamination. To do so, we have had to introduce a number of changes, including:
- staggered start and end times to the school day
- slightly longer lesson times, some of which incorporate break or lunch
Key Stage 3 – Year 7, 8 & 9
Your son will be taught in his form group, with the same students, for almost All of his lessons. This is a considerable change from how lessons are usually arranged, but this is another way that we are further reducing the risk of transmission within and between bubbles. He will receive his individual timetable when he returns to school.
Key Stage 4 – Year 10 & 11
Your son will be taught in his normal groups for all subjects. We have adapted timetables to incorporate more double lessons and sometimes your son will be taught in a non-specialist room or his teacher might some to where he already has been taught. These measures reduce the need to move and reduces the opportunities for transmission. As he is in an older year group we are expecting them to move around the building more than younger years and act as role models.
Although Year 10 & 11 are classed as a bubble they will not be taught together. They will share the dining room, canteen and social spaces at Lunch.
LOCKERS & PACKED LUNCHES
We have maintained lockers as our boys find them incredibly useful. In the past we are aware that students have shared lockers. In the current circumstances this cannot be allowed.
If a student needs to access his locker and another bubble is occupying that space, he must be careful to maintain social distancing. Staff will be around and they can support. All of our Lockers are now secured with a school padlock. These can be re-set by specific staff if students forget their combination. This avoids the need to bring keys home at the risk of losing them.
If you would like your son to have a locker please sign up on ParentPay.
A few of you have asked whether students are still allowed to bring their individual lunchboxes to school or whether they need to use disposable packaging. We encourage the use of reusable containers as students carry these with them throughout the day or keep them in their individual locker. This poses no increased risk of the transmission of Covid-19, as long as students do not share with one another.
We would like to remind you that no fizzy drinks or energy drinks are allowed as these have a proven negative impact on both health and concentration. Please also give careful consideration to sending your son with foods containing allergens, such as peanuts, as we have a number of students with severe allergies.
TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL
We are still encouraging boys to walk or to ride their bikes to school; there are huge health benefits in them doing so. We are, however, having to revise the facilities that we have for storing bikes on site, in order to further reduce the risks of transmitting Covid-19. We hope to be able to update you on the arrangements for this early next week, but please reassure your son that if he was planning to ride to school, he will still be able to do so. Please note that it is essential that any boy riding his bike to school also brings with him a suitable bike lock.
Update about bikes
In order to further minimise the risk of cross-bubble contamination, we have revised 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.
Transport to School - Update
We have been liaising with Transport for West Midlands to find out what they are putting in place to support those that need to use public transport to get to school. We can now confirm their response:
Service 18 - will increase in frequency to provide a bus every 10 minutes.
Service 27 - will be operating every 20 minutes but with a timetable change to give improved reliability, particularly in the afternoon.
Additionally, National Express have a number of spare vehicles available to them at very short notice should they be needed to meet any unmet demand on the network; this will be reported by drivers already on the route affected.
Whilst we remain confident that there is sufficient overall capacity on these routes, pupils should be mindful that vehicle capacity is reduced due to social distancing requirements and therefore they may not be able to board the first bus that comes along. Pupils should therefore leave more time for their journey to ensure they get to school on time.
In order to assist teachers, parents and pupils for returning to school we are providing travel information at the following link;
Classes will be taught in bubbles and therefore social distancing measures are not expected in classrooms; however, we have still put in place significant control measures to reduce the likelihood of transmission:
- Wherever possible, classroom layouts have been amended so that all students are facing the front
- Acrylic screens are in place for where face to face contact cannot be avoided (e.g. Canteen, PC rooms, Music practice rooms)
- The implementation of new room numberings and a one-way system will support social distancing measures across the school
- We will maintain good ventilation
- All rooms have hand sanitiser stations and students are expected to sanitise as they enter the room
- All students will wipe down their desk and books as they leave their lesson
In order to ensure that we can safely accommodate all year groups, we are staggering the lunchtimes for each year group. To further reduce the risks to students, we will not be using plates or utensils. The impact that these changes will have are:
- there will be no canteen food available during break times; your son will need to bring an appropriate snack with him
- the range of food available at lunchtime will be of a nutritious ‘takeaway’ nature that can be eaten without the need for utensils
- Screens are in place to form a transmission barrier between students and our serving counter
- Surfaces in the canteen and dining room will be wiped down between use by different bubbles
We have worked very hard to minimise the transmission risk, and your support is very much appreciated. To achieve this, it is crucial that your son meets our minimum expectations for equipment that he needs to bring to school every day. Avoiding the sharing of equipment is one way that we hope to further minimise the risk of the transmission of Covid-19.
- Two black pens, a pencil, a ruler, a rubber, all in a pencil case
- A water bottle
- A full-size bag
Non-essential but extremely helpful items:
- coloured pencils
- protractor and compass
- glue stick
- headphones (3.5mm jack plug)
Adaptations to School uniform
We appreciate that the news in our last email, that students should wear their PE kit for the whole day when they are timetabled to have PE, may have raised a number of questions; we hope these will be answered here:
- your son can wear KNBS PE kit all day on the days he has a timetabled PE lesson
- the PE kit must be KNBS PE kit as detailed in our uniform expectations
- your son can wear trainers for the whole day
- if the weather is cold, your son can wear plain blue or black jogging bottoms, but he must still have KNBS PE shorts on underneath to wear in his PE lesson; no tracksuit bottoms are to be worn in PE lessons
- he is allowed to wear a KNBS rugby top or KNBS blazer for warmth around school; no hoodies or tracksuit tops are allowed
- students will be undertaking football activities in their PE lessons at some point during this half term; your son can bring in football boots and/or shin pads to wear for PE lessons, as appropriate; you can find more information about this at: https://schoolsfootball.org/covid-19-guidance/
- if you have any concerns about your son undertaking this, please get in contact with Mr Milton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- no gum shields will be needed until contact rugby is allowed back in school; students will be informed by PE staff when this will happen
- if the weather conditions are poor, students will not do outdoor PE to avoid them having to sit in wet kit for the remainder of the day
- on the days he doesn't have PE, your son must wear normal KNBS uniform.
There will be no extra-curricular or sporting activities taking place outside of lessons, apart from peripatetic music lessons, until further notice. If your son has previously undertaken instrument lessons, he will be given more information about this in due course. We do not plan to run any trips in the short term either.
We are sure that you understand this move and please be aware that we will keep this under review as we learn more about the impact of re-opening of schools and society.
Adapted School Policies
How will we ensure students meet our revised expectations at KNBS?
The behaviour policy has been updated to incorporate additional expectations around our new procedures. These will be communicated to students upon their return. We will have a zero-tolerance policy regarding students who fail to adhere to safety measures put in place to safeguard against the transmission of Covid-19.
You have chosen us as we have high expectations for all the boys who attend our school. These circumstances we find ourselves in need more routine and compliance, not less. Therefore, we will be looking to our boys to step up to the challenge and show us the best of themselves; we are certain they can do it.
Food Technology Practical Lessons
Students in Key Stage 3 undertake Food Technology lessons as part of our subject rotation, with many students going on to select Food Preparation and Nutrition as one of their GCSE options in Year 10 and 11.
We think that carefully planned practical activities should be part of your son's Food Technology provision for the duration of the time they spend studying this subject. The school has taken advice from the CLEAPSS Science and Technology advisory service to allow us to develop procedures to enable students to complete practical cooking activities in a ‘Covid Secure’ environment. We understand that some students, parents and carers may be apprehensive about practical cooking activities and so this letter explains the enhanced procedures that will be implemented during these lessons.
- Students will remain within their ‘bubble’ during all lessons.
- Only one ‘bubble’ will complete practical cooking activities in the food tech room per day.
- Students will sanitise their hands using alcohol-based hand sanitiser on entry to the classroom and will wash hands with soap and water before handling food items.
- Teachers will remain 2m away from students where possible. When teachers need to give direct support to students during practical work, they will wear disposable gloves and a face visor.
- Students will be required provide and wear either a mask or face visor for the duration of practical cooking activities.
- Plastic aprons that can be sanitised will be available however we encourage students to bring in their own, clean, apron.
- All surfaces will have been sanitised prior to cooking tasks commencing.
- All cooking equipment used by students will have been cleaned and sterilised before use. Sterilisation will be completed through either 72 hour quarantine or the use of a commercial sterilisation product such as Milton.
- All dishes will be ‘hot’ and must be thoroughly reheated before consumption.
- Students will need to bring in their own container to store and take home cooked food.
We are confident that these measures will allow practical cooking to take place in as safe an environment as possible however we understand that some may wish to opt out of these activities. If you do wish for your son to opt out, it is still important that students develop practical cooking skills. Students will still be expected to plan and develop dishes as part of their cooking lessons and we ask, where possible, that they are given the opportunity to prepare these dishes at home, with photographs taken so that students can be given feedback on this important element of the course.
If you would like to opt out of practical cooking tasks or would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Mrs Brown via email: email@example.com