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. TAs 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.
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.
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.
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
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.