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Year 9

Friday 18th June 2021

Covid Update

In light of the latest announcement on Monday about the continuing Covid restrictions, some of you may be understandably anxious about the growing numbers of cases that are being reported locally, particularly amongst young people. We would like to reassure you that our continued measures in school seem to be holding fast and helping our school community to stay safe. Masks, hand sanitiser, the one-way system, staggered breaks and lunches, amongst other measures, are the mainstays of protection and we would like to thank parents for your continued support in encouraging our boys to persist with these, despite all of our frustrations. It remains vitally important that students complete their Lateral Flow Tests on Wednesdays and Sundays, and that the results are reported to us via this form here.

It is clear that the latest Delta strain is especially virulent and once it gets into a community it spreads swiftly. We are in a good place and do not want to go back to bubbles isolating. Therefore, please ensure that any positive cases are reported immediately. Additionally, we would ask you to be extra vigilant with spotting symptoms as new additions to the list are runny nose and headache. We appreciate that in the middle of hay fever season this is not particularly helpful but would ask that you are extra cautious – we all want to end the school year with a full complement of staff and students and with everybody safe and well.

INSET day 28th June Reminder

We will be holding our final INSET day on Monday 28th June. School will be open to staff on this day but closed for all students. Please make a note of this in your diary.

Sports Day

At this time of year, there is normally a frisson of excitement at the prospect of our eagerly awaited whole school Sports Day. Following Monday’s announcement, it would be imprudent of us to go ahead with our planned event, so we have decided to undertake year group bubble afternoon events to reduce the risk of Covid transmission. These will take place, weather permitting, in the week commencing 28th June. Please encourage your son to get involved, either by taking part in the events or as an enthusiastic supporter; everyone has a role to play when the Sports Day trophy is up for grabs!


Friday 11th June 2021 

Thanks

We have been impressed with how most students have once again taken to the wearing of masks in communal areas in school. They have been sensible in their conduct and gracious in accepting our gentle reminders of the importance of masks to reduce the risk of spreading Covid. While it would have been nice to end the school year mask-free, we remain committed to keeping our school community safe and feel this continued measure will help us to do so.

INSET day 28th June

We will be holding our final INSET day on Monday 28th June. School will be open to staff on this day but closed for all students. Please make a note of this in your diary.

Curriculum Enrichment Week – advance notice

The week commencing Monday 12th July is Curriculum Enrichment Week. We have a wide range of activities planned for students across all year groups and are excited about the opportunities that our boys will have. We are currently finalising details of the week and will share more information with your son in good time.

New appointments

We would like you to join us in congratulating the following existing members of staff who have been successful in securing new roles in school for the coming academic year:

Head of PE:  Mr Turner

Head of Music: Miss Naylor

Assistant Head of Year: Miss Yussuf

Assistant Head of Year: Mr Francis

They are very excited and chomping at the bit to get started!

Wellbeing Newsletter

The latest edition of our online Wellbeing Newsletter, Keeping Well @ KNBS, has some insightful comments from Ms Gowreesunker about the benefits of art therapy, as well as information about Pride Month, which is celebrated in the month of June. Click here for access.

Core GCSE Transition Booklet

A real strength of our school community is our shared desire for our students to do well and we endeavour to provide as much support as we can as they transition from KS3 to KS4. Our Year 9 Core GCSE Transition Booklet (click here) outlines how students can prepare for starting their GCSE courses in September 2021 and gives them clear ways to get ahead. It provides an overview of the topics studied in English, maths, and science, how they are assessed and how your son can best prepare for success. 

To further aid your son’s transition, we will be providing some summer support materials to help him prepare for Year 10 – please encourage him to take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity to get ahead. 

Monday 7th June 2021 

Good morning,

We hope that you have been able to take advantage of the good weather over the half term - it was lovely to see sunshine rather than rain.  

We have had very few confirmed cases in our school community since returning on the 8th of March.  In fact, we have only had 4 confirmed cases involving our students (1 in Year 11, 1 in Year 10 and 2 in Year 7).  One of these confirmed cases led to approx. 30 students needing to self-isolate and the other three students had already been at home for a good period before becoming symptomatic - so no other students had to self-isolate.  We would like to thank our community for their vigilance, as it has been a key factor in so few students needing to self-isolate.

With new variants being confirmed in parts of Birmingham, we ask again for your vigilance and support.  I am sure that you will have seen the press coverage around such variants and the suspicion that they may be more prevalent in those aged 12-18.  Public Health Birmingham have identified parts of the city where schools have had outbreaks leading up to half term, and we know how important it is to work collaboratively with our community to aid a safe return to school tomorrow (8th June).

How can you help?

Lateral Flow Tests

Please make sure that you complete a lateral flow test with your son(s) before they return, as requested in Friday's text message.  You can log those results here.

Masks

Please make sure that your son brings a clean mask to school.  Although the Government has removed the requirement for masks to be worn in schools, we will continue with our procedures as outlined before half term.  We will expect students (who are not exempt) to wear their masks in indoor communal areas (corridors, canteen, dining rooms, hall etc.). 

Once seated in lessons, students will be able to remove their masks if they want to.  We have seen a significant benefit to learning and student wellbeing since students have been able to remove masks in lessons but, of course, students can keep their masks on in lessons if it makes them feel more comfortable.

Expectations

We held virtual assemblies in the lead up to half term, reminding students of our shared expectations.  We will continue this drive to raise standards as this helps all our students' safety and achievement.  Please help us by reminding your son of the staggered times of the day and the importance of the one-way system (click here for a reminder about staggered times).

Thank you in advance for your support in helping our return to school run smoothly and safely.

Friday 28th May 2021 

At the end of the most ‘normal’ of half terms this academic year, we remain hugely impressed with the way that the vast majority of our students have just got on with things and taken all the ups and downs in their stride. We would like to wish all of our families a restful and relaxing half term break. 

INSET Day reminder 

Please remember that we are having an INSET day on 7th June. School will re-open for all students on Tuesday 8th June. 

Staying Safe Online 

School have been made aware of a citywide increase in the number of young people engaging in the posting and/or sharing of indecent and nude images via social media platforms. Today we have presented a news report to our students providing them with key information and facts around the risks and consequences of such actions. Please take the time to look at the clip on our website (click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEJFH3qKaUE) and discuss the content with your son. We will be holding follow-up activities as part of our Personal Development curriculum after the half term break. Should you require any further advice or guidance around this matter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Safeguarding Team. For further information on matters relating to online safety, please visit www.ceop.police.uk or www.childline.org.uk.

Friday 21st May 2021 

INSET Day reminder

Please remember that we are having an INSET day on 7th June to allow us to finalise the grading process for Year 11 students. School will be open to staff but closed to students on this day.

Wearing of Masks

Further to information last week about the wearing of masks no longer being compulsory in classrooms, please remind your son that students are still expected to wear these when they are moving around school, in corridors and in communal areas that are indoors.

KS3 Vocabulary

To support our continued drive on literacy, Key Stage 3 students have the learning of key vocabulary as part of their weekly homework, set on Teams. Developing a broad and ambitious vocabulary lower down the school pays dividends later on, not only in English, but across the curriculum. Thank you in advance for supporting your son with this.

Friday 14th May 2021 

Parents’ Evenings

In preparation for the upcoming virtual Parents’ Evening for Year 9, we would like you to click on this link for information about how to access the School Cloud platform that we will be using to host the events: https://support.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/article/801-video-parents-how-to-attend-appointments-over-video-call. You will receive a link in good time to allow you to log in and book appointments.

Wearing of Masks

Following the recent announcement by the Government that face masks will no longer be required in secondary school classrooms in England after 17 May, we can confirm that your son will no longer need to wear a face mask during his lessons from this date. However, we must point out that we will still be expecting students to wear these when they are moving around school, in corridors and in communal areas that are indoors, and we thank you in advance for your continuing support of this safety measure.

Enrichment week

We would like to give you advance warning of our Enrichment Week which is taking place in the week commencing 12th July. This is a chance for students to work outside of their usual timetable and to engage in a wide range of activities, including collaborative work across the curriculum. This is an opportunity to enhance and enrich their academic understanding and to cement some of the key features of learning in their key stage. We will share the programme for the week in due course.

Severn Trent Big Difference Initiative

The impact of Covid 19 upon some families has been far-reaching, and we are aware that some may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of this. We want to make you aware of an initiative that Severn Trent have introduced to support their customers who are finding it difficult to manage their household bills – the Big Difference Scheme. Click here to access their flyer for further details.

REMINDER: INSET day will take place on Monday 7th June. School will be closed to all students.

Friday 7th May 2021 

Parents’ Evenings

We can now confirm the dates for outstanding Parents’ Evenings, which had been reorganised due to disruption related to Covid-19. They are as follows:

  • Year 8 Thursday 24th June
  • Year 7 Thursday 1st July

Both of these events will be held virtually, and you will be sent details about how to attend nearer the time.

INSET Days

Many of you will be aware of the changes to Year 11 exams and assessments, which are now being marked by subject teachers rather than externally by exam boards. The additional processes arising from this change are many and all with time constraints. To ensure that we are robust in our judgements and that all students’ final grades are representative of their achievements, we are undertaking a rigorous process of standardisation and moderation prior to submitting the final grades. Therefore, we are having an INSET day on 7th June to allow us to finalise the process. School will be open to staff but closed to students on this day. We still have one more INSET day to allocate for this year and this will take place after half term.

We are yet to confirm the exact date but will let you know as soon as we do.

September start dates on website

Many of you may be tentatively thinking about booking summer holidays in light of the slightly more positive national picture. You can now access provisional dates for the 2021-22 academic year by clicking here. Please note, these dates are only provisional at present and may be subject to change depending on how the school year ends. We will give you as much notice as possible about any changes that may need to happen. Obviously, if you book using the provisional dates, we will not expect you to change your booking if the dates end up being amended.

Year 8 Vaccinations

Year 8 vaccinations are due to take place on Wednesday 30th June. Students received consent forms before Easter and any that are outstanding need to be returned to the school office as soon as possible. If you have not received your consent form or your son has lost it, please let us know so that we can ask the Immunisation Team to provide spare forms to go out in the week before vaccinations are due to take place.

Hoodies

Please remind your son that hoodies, either the zip up or pullover kind, are not to be worn in school, even on the days that he may have PE. If students want to wear a hoodie to keep them warm on the way to school, this needs to be taken off and put away before they enter the school gates. Any student wearing a hoodie will be asked to remove this and will incur a sanction if they fail to comply. We would appreciate your support with this.

Sickness and contact with home

Please remind your son that if he is feeling unwell in school, in the first instance he should ask to be seen by one of our fully trained first aiders. The triage process will ensure that we make an informed decision about whether a student needs to be collected by parents or whether they are well enough to remain in school. A small number of students have been contacting parents before seeking medical assistance, and we would not want you to be concerned unnecessarily.

Extra-Curricular Timetable

You can now access the latest extra-curricular timetable by clicking here.