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Y10

Friday 24th June

Year 10 PPE Update

Year 10 students have been exemplary in their conduct during the first week of exams – they are very clearly readying themselves for Year 11. There was unfortunately an unavoidable last-minute change to the timetable for this week – the art exam has been moved from Friday this week to 5th July. The boys have been very understanding about this. You can access the timetable of remaining exams by clicking here: Year 10 PPE.

Equipment and organisatio

We are really pleased with how our students are meeting our expectations with their uniform, and we would now like to extend this to equipment so that we can maintain our high expectations across the board for the remainder of the summer term. Students having the tools to complete their work means that there is less disruption to lessons and they can spend more time on their learning. From Monday 4th July, form tutors will be completing equipment checks every morning. Students should have with them: a school bag, a pencil case which has at least 2 pens, pencil, ruler, and rubber. We ask that you support your son in making sure he has everything he needs. If you are struggling to equip your son for school, please get in touch with your son’s Head of Year. 

Homework Update

In May, we surveyed parents about a range of matters relating to homework, including regularity, the devices that homework is completed on and homework types. Below are some of the key findings from 110 responses:

Students most commonly:

  • receive homework in core subjects weekly or more than weekly
  • receive homework in non-core subjects fortnightly or more than fortnightly
  • have homework communicated to them via Satchel One
  • access their homework using a smartphone or laptop
  • complete their homework on a laptop or smartphone
  • complete their homework either or as soon as they get in from school or after they have had dinner
  • have difficulty with homework due to not enough information being given
  • have a wide variety of homework activities being set across the curriculum
  • have adult supervision at least some of the time when they are completing homework.

These findings have given us a real insight into a range of homework-related practices, and the survey was the first step in our three-phase review. These phases will encompass the following steps:

In Phase 1, we will:

  • establish an outline homework timetable
  • make homework resources more accessible for students
  • communicate homework activities on Satchel One.

In Phase 2, we will:

  • review the effectiveness of the homework timetable
  • review the accessibility of homework
  • review the effectiveness of the communication of homework
  • review the types of homework being set.

In Phase 3, we will:

  • categorise the types of activities that should be set for homework
  • finalise the KNBS Homework Strategy.

Again, thank you to parents for completing the survey – this provided a very useful springboard for our review.

Reading Surveys for Students and Parents

In preparation for our new school library/learning resource space that we hope to have ready for September, we would like students to answer a short survey to tell us about their reading habits, in particular, the types of fiction that they would like to read. This will be set as part of their English homework in the next few days. Please can you support us in encouraging your son to complete this survey.

We would also like to ask parents a few questions about reading to get a broader picture of our reading community. There will be a short survey link in the weekly communications for week commencing 4th July. We would appreciate you completing this.

Bournville Park Commonwealth Activities

Bournville Park is working with partners like Bournville Hub and eco-Birmingham to provide family fun from 28th July to 7th Aug. They will be coordinating a range of activities in or very near to the park during the period of the Commonwealth Games, and they are keen for as many young people in our local community to take advantage of these. The programme will comprise a festival of cultural events and sporting activities aimed mainly at primary age children, but some may also be suitable for students aged 11-13. To support them in delivering this venture, they are looking for local volunteers to assist at some sessions. This could be a great opportunity for some older students to build their portfolios ready for college applications or for submitting as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. If your son would like to get involved in this, he can get in touch with the team by emailing: https://bournvillepark.wordpress.com.

Lost Property

If your son is missing any items, please can you encourage him to ask at reception in the coming weeks. We still have a mountain of lost property, including coats and shoes, but any lost property that remains after the end of term will be donated to a clothing charity on 1st August.

Message from Chair of Friends of KNBS

I am writing to inform you that I have stepped down as Chair of Friends of KNBS. I have enjoyed being able to contribute to my son's school, but after five years, it's time to let someone else have a chance. I am delighted to introduce your new Chair - Patri Garcia.

Patri has a son in Year 10 at KNBS. She is an Administrator at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital so is used to being very organised! She also used to help out with the PTA at her son's primary school so will be bringing with her a wealth of experience and some exciting new ideas. In fact, Patri is no stranger to helping out at KNBS, having been a lunchtime supervisor there many years ago. She is really excited to be taking on this role and I hope you will join me in thanking her for giving up her free time to do this.

I have one final request before I officially hand over the reins to Patri - Friends of KNBS are desperate for parent and staff volunteers. Unfortunately, there are so few members that we are unable to put on any events such as our previously successful quiz nights or even just serving refreshments at performances/Parents' Evenings etc. We are desperate to find new and exciting ways to raise money for the school, but with so few volunteers, it is proving very difficult. If you would like to join Friends of KNBS please could you email Patri at friendsofknbs@outlook.com.

So far, Friends of KNBS has funded the entire fleet of new mountain bikes, purchased the new equipment in the gym and more recently purchased new dishwashers for the Science Department. We would love to do even more, and the more help we have, the more we can raise and buy for our boys.

Being a member of the Friends isn't too time consuming at all. All that we ask is that you are able to attend most of our half-termly meetings to share your thoughts and ideas and are able to help out at events. Please do consider it.

We are also on the look-out for a new Treasurer. Our current Treasurer, Lewis Smith, will be stepping down next month. If you would like to apply or would like to find out more about the role, please contact Patri at the above email address. She will then pass on your details to Lewis, who will discuss everything with you. Again, this is not a time-consuming role. Your main responsibilities will be receiving monthly bank statements, reporting to the Chair how much is in the account, monitoring the payments for the 50/50 Club, writing cheques to the winners and making purchases for the school when requested. The Friends cannot continue without a Treasurer so it's vitally important that we find one before the end of July. Thank you to Lewis for doing such an incredible job for these last five years, he has been amazing!

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Friends; it's really lovely to see our funds being spent on the little extras in school and I really hope this can continue long into the future.

Best wishes,

Lisa Widdicombe (Former Chair)

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022. School will be closed to students on this day.  Other key dates can be found here.


Friday 17th June

Year 10 PPEs

These important exams start on Tuesday next week. Please support your son in preparing for them by making use of the revision materials he has been given by his teachers and spending some time focusing on the areas he has been directed to. He will need to ensure that he arrives at these exams, most of which will be taking place in the Sports Hall, fully equipped, with two black pens and any other equipment that is needed for each exam.

Summer Music Concert

We are very much looking forward to holding our first face-to-face music concert at KNBS since 2019. This event will take place on Friday 8th July 2022, starting at 6pm and finishing at approximately 7:30pm. If your son is interested in performing on their musical instrument or they are part of the instrumental ensembles in school who will be performing, please fill in the consent form (click here to access this: SMC Consent) and return this to Miss Naylor by Friday 24th June. Alternatively, students can see Miss Naylor or Mr Judd for a letter. If your son is not performing but you would still like to attend, please complete the form attached to the letter too. We look forward to seeing you there.

Duke of Edinburgh Volunteering

Here at Kings Norton Boys School, we have a large number of students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's award across Years 9, 10 and 11. Not only does this venture help to develop students' teamwork, communication, and personal management skills, but it also has a really positive impact in the local community.  It is great to see students volunteering their time to support a range of local organisations and charities, as well as in many more ways. We would like to say a massive well done to all students involved.  

Drama Summer School

Following an incredibly successful event last year, Drama Summer School is back, in partnership with

Birmingham Hippodrome. This event will run from 25th to the 29th July. Students will work with industry professionals to create a brand-new piece of theatre in one week, with the help of Mrs Lanham. This cost for this summer school is £50 for the week. Places are limited to thirty students so if you are interested, a £15 deposit, payable via Parent Pay, is required as soon as possible. If your son would like more information about this event, he should see Mrs Lanham.

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022.  Other key dates can be found here.

 


Friday 10th June

Year 10 PPEs

Many of our Year 10 students are already showing a real sense of commitment to preparing for their Year 10 PPEs which start on 20th June. They are making use of the revision materials that have been provided by their teachers, are asking questions about how best to revise and generally starting to show an understanding of the importance of preparation for their success. These exams are taking place in the Sports Hall, just like the current GCSE exams, to help to establish early on the routines and expectations around exams; there will certainly be a sense of gravitas about the process. Please can you support your son in the next few weeks to ensure that he is getting ready for these key exams; it is important that he does his best as the results will help teachers to plan for next steps and identify any additional support that students may need in readiness for Year 11.

Homework Survey Update

Many thanks to parents who completed our recent survey about homework. The information that you shared with us was hugely insightful and has helped us to better understand the homework habits of our students, as well as some of the difficulties that students (and parents) are having around homework. We are considering the findings very carefully and will be reviewing our current homework practices in light of what you have told us. You will receive more information about any changes relating to homework before the end of this term.

Enrichment Week 13th-20th July

Our timetable of activities for Years 7-10 is now almost full, and even if we say so ourselves, our students are very lucky to have such an action-packed week to look forward to! It includes some trips off-site, visitors to school, taster sessions for options subjects and the return of our giant inflatable, to name but a few. Once we have finalised the programme for each year group, students and parents will get a copy of this.

Learning Resource Space

Following on from the recent announcement about our up-coming Learning Resource space (name to be confirmed!), we now have a plea for your help. Stocking a library space is an expensive business, and while we have a start-up fund that will give us a stock of some new reading books, and we still have a small stock in school from when we previously had a library, we are sure that many of you have age appropriate reading materials at home that you would be more than happy to donate to us, in the interests of recycling and reusing. We are especially keen to bolster our stock of fiction, as non-fiction books have somewhat fallen out of fashion in favour of the Internet. So, if you could all have a look to see if you have any books that are age-appropriate (10-18 years) and in good condition, we are allocated one week this term that these will be able to be brought into school. Any donations will be very gratefully received.

Please send any book donations into school on the week commencing Monday 11th July. Please do not send books into school before this time.

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022.  Other key dates can be found here.


Friday 27th May

Year 10 PPEs

The Year 10 PPE timetable has now been confirmed and can be accessed here: 10 PPE. Students have been given a copy of this today and, as previously mentioned, they will be starting to receive guidance on what to revise and how best to revise for their individual subjects. It is vitally important that Year 10 students take these exams seriously and do their very best. Their performance will be used to assess their progress this year, and teachers will use this information to inform future teaching and interventions.

Eco Schools’ Green Flag

It gives us great pleasure to officially announce that KNBS as achieved the Eco Schools' Green Flag standard with merit.

Mr Julian has been working tirelessly in recent months to ensure that KNBS could meet the stringent requirements that are needed to gain this important award. This would not have been possible without the hard work and resilience of our KNBS Eco Travel Reps who have also done a fantastic job, and they are already gearing up to go above and beyond for next year. 

Please see below the comments about our school from the Eco Schools Council – they show just how impressive their preparation was: 

‘It's wonderful that you have appointed such a large Eco-Committee of 23; this shows your school’s excellent commitment to both the programme and the eco-cause. Your Environmental Review is incredibly in-depth and has clearly taken much effort. This is great work! 

‘It's brilliant that you appointed energy monitors as part of your Eco Schools work; this is a very pupil-led project that raises awareness, makes a difference and changes behaviours.

‘Outstanding! Congratulations to everyone at King’s Norton Boys’ School for the great work you have managed to do, especially throughout the pandemic and lockdown. You should all be very proud of the amazing work you have done and the great application you have submitted. We are honoured to award you with an Eco-Schools Green Flag with Merit Award. Congratulations!’

Equipment

As we head towards our final half term of 2021/22, we want to ensure that our boys continue to succeed in every lesson. Success begins with students being prepared for their lessons as this enables them to make the most of every learning opportunity, without being distracted by, for example, not having a pen, borrowing a ruler, etc. After the holidays, we will be rewarding students who come to school prepared to learn. So, as well as their full school uniform, all students should have with them a suitable school bag, a pencil case, at least two pens (black or blue), a pencil, a ruler and rubber. We will reward students who demonstrate readiness to learn in every lesson. Please could you support your son with his learning by making sure he has these items before we return on Monday 6th June. 

Enrichment Week 13-20th July

At the end of this school year, the usual school timetable will be collapsed, and students will be involved in a range of learning activities as part of Enrichment Week. We are currently finalising the timetable for this week and will share this with you in due course.

Coming Soon – Learning Resource Space

You may be aware that KNBS has not had a library now for a number of years, following the repurposing of the original library space some years ago. There has been work going on behind the scenes in recent years, to find a way to enable us to once again incorporate a space akin to a library/learning resource space that reflects the paramount importance that we place on reading in our school community. We are, therefore, delighted to inform you that plans are now in place to create just such a space, one that we hope will be ready for the start of the Autumn term. Resourcing this important space will take time (and money), and so in the coming weeks, we will be asking parents if they have any good quality, age appropriate fiction texts that they would be happy to donate to us. If you do, please do not send these into school yet; we will let you know when you can send these in.

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022.  Other key dates can be found here.

 


Friday 20th May

Head Boy Team and Head Boy Applications 

Applications are now closed for the Head Boy Team and we have been amazed at the number of students that are keen to take on one of these important student leadership roles, as well as by the quality of their letters. Mr Garvey and Miss Bishop will be deliberating in the next few days, and we have no doubt that the shortlisting process will be a very difficult one, given the calibre of applications. Shortlisted students will be invited to interview as part of the selection process. Watch this space for an update on the Head Boy Team in the coming weeks.

Year 10 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

To help students to prepare for the topics they will be examined on in the upcoming Year 10 PPEs, they will be receiving guidance from subject teachers to help them to make the most of the half term holiday. This will include what to revise and how best to revise. Please encourage your son to speak to his teachers if he has any questions about the upcoming exams – they will be more than happy to answer these and to offer support.

Parental Survey – Homework Focus

 

Following on from our recent Parent Forum meeting, we would like to gather more information from our parents about the homework habits that our students have. It is vitally important that we understand the ways that the students complete homework, for example, what devices they access and complete homework on, and when they complete homework, etc., so that we can make the homework we set as purposeful and accessible as possible. With this in mind, we would really appreciate it if you could complete a short survey by clicking this link: https://forms.office.com/r/68vUjv6E17. The deadline for completing this is Friday 27th May. 

If you would like to get involved in future Parent Forums, please contact us at enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Warmer Weather

As the weather starts to get warmer, please ensure that your son has a full water bottle to bring to school. Students can re-fill their water bottles at lunchtime in the canteen. Please also remind your son that while our school jumper is an optional part of the KNBS uniform, the blazer is compulsory, even during the Summer term, so students need to be wearing their blazers around school. When the weather is particularly warm, we do monitor this daily and will inform students if they do not need to wear this part of their uniform.

Celebration Assemblies

We just want to share with you an event that we regularly hold either at the end of a half term or the first week of the next one. We celebrate our students’ successes with certificates and prizes for a whole range of things, including:

  • 100% attendance
  • Elite, Gold and Silver students (who still have all or most of their SDfL points)
  • Sporting achievements
  • Individual successes achieved outside of school
  • Individuals with the most commendations
  • The form group with the most commendations
  • Headteacher commendations.

Again, as a result of our first Parent Forum, we learnt that some students are rather shy about their successes, and parents sometimes don’t find out about these celebrations. This is a travesty, and one we would like to make right!  So, from now on, each time we have a celebration event, we will dedicate a sizeable portion of the weekly communications to sharing our students’ successes with you. This will at least give you a springboard to start the conversation about praise and rewards at home, and hopefully keep you more informed when your son does well.

Lost Property

Another mountain of lost property is building up again, as the students discard parts of their uniform in the warmer weather during break and lunchtimes. If your son has lost any items of clothing or other belongings, please encourage him retrace his steps and if not successful to ask at Reception in the first instance. You can really help us out with this by ensuring that all key personal items and any school uniform has a name on it.

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022.  Other key dates can be found here.


Friday 13th May

Head Boy Team and Head Boy Applications 

We are delighted to report that we have already had a number of excellent applications for the Head Boy Team and there are many boys who have approached Mr Garvey and Miss Bishop to find out more about the various roles. All applications will be taken on their individual merits. As ever, we encourage applications from the breadth of our Year 10 cohort; we know that some of our students have hidden talents, and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to take a step into student leadership and out them to good use. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 18th May

Year 10 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

We can now confirm that Year 10 students will commence a two-week period of end of year PPEs on the Tuesday of the week beginning 20th June. Students will be examined in most subjects. Teachers have already started to give guidance on the topics that the exams will cover and ways that students can revise most effectively in their subject. There will be more information about these important exams in future communications.

Parent Forum

On Wednesday evening held our very first Parent Forum since before the pandemic. We would like to say a huge thank you to all parents and governors that attended this and for their open and honest discussions on the topics of mobile phones and homework. Following on from this, we are keen to collect further information from parents about homework; there will be a survey in next week’s communication for you to complete. If you would like to get involved in future Parent Forums, please contact us at enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Charity Day – Help Needed! 


On Thursday 21st July we are planning a 'Charity Event' in school. We have already shared that our chosen charities for this year are Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We would like to show the strength of our support by dedicating the whole of this last day to raising money for these excellent causes.

The event will be for all students and aim to raise as much money as possible, and we would like to have as wide a range of money-making activities in place as is possible. This is where you could come in… 

If you, or somebody you know, could help it would be amazing. It could be:

  • donation for prizes
  • helping to source items or services (e.g. inflatable games, ice cream truck)
  • volunteering (individuals or businesses)
  • sponsorship of the event

This would help us to extend the scope of the day (although we are expecting our ‘dunk the teacher’ event to be immensely popular!).

If you are able to help, please email us via enquiry@knbs.co.uk, with the subject: Charity Event as the reference.

Communication, Queries and Questions

At points over the last two years you may well have felt a little detached from what goes on in school as face to face meetings had been shunned in favour of virtual visits! Now things are far more normal, we have recently updated our communication page, so if you have any queries or questions please check out this out to see how to make your communication with us as effective as possible: https://www.knbs.co.uk/communication.

Spring Eagle

If you have not managed to see our Spring Edition of the Eagle, it is well worth a read. Click here for access: https://sway.office.com/CtnGXmr176E1DqHz?ref=Link. Our students have done an amazing job at showcasing the excellent curriculum we have on offer at KNBS, as well as the enrichment opportunities that they have had this year.

Mobile Phones and My Child at School app

Our ongoing drive to reduce the use of mobile phones in school is proving to be hugely successful, and we would like to thank parents for their support in reinforcing this important message to students at home too.  To build on our initial success, we will remain vigilant in our bid to maintain consistent high standards.  If you worry about your son using his phone incorrectly in school, please know that 'no news is good news' as they say.  Any issues would lead to SDfL point deduction and you would see these in the ‘My Child at School’ app.  If you have not downloaded this app and would like help setting this up, please contact us via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Parking and Traffic

Over the course of this school year, many of you have made significant changes to your habits around parking close to the school and, as a result, our boys now have a much safer and calmer environment when they are leaving school.  Thank you to everyone who has helped achieve this. Recently we asked those picking up their sons(s) to:

  1. turn your engine off to minimise the air pollution around the school and the risk to our students
  2. avoid parking on the pavement, particularly at the east end of Northfield Road, as students are putting themselves at risk by entering the road due to the cars on the pavement.

We can report that a small number of car owners have had a follow up from the WM Traffic/Parking Team, but on the whole the majority of cars are parked very sensibly. We thank you for your ongoing support.

Friends of KNBS

You may remember that we shared some information with you recently about the Friends of KNBS, a group of parents who have done some wonderful work to support the school.  Their aim is to support the improvement of the school’s facilities.  They mainly help to fund some of the 'extras' that make KNBS special.  For example, they have previously helped to replace the entire fleet of mountain bikes, they bought two new table tennis tables for the canopy area and they have helped us to update the fitness room.  

We recently let you know they are short on numbers; if you can help out please email Lisa Widdicombe at friendsofknbs@gmail.com.

 


Friday 6th May

Head Boy Team and Head Boy Applications 

We are delighted to report that we have already had a number of excellent applications for the Head Boy Team and there are many boys who have approached Mr Garvey and Miss Bishop to find out more about the various roles. All applications will be taken on their individual merits. As ever, we encourage applications from the breadth of our Year 10 cohort; we know that some of our students have hidden talents, and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to take a step into student leadership and out them to good use. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 18th May.

Year 10 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

We can now confirm that Year 10 students will commence a two-week period of end of year PPEs on the Tuesday of the week beginning 20th June. Students will be examined in most subjects. Teachers have already started to give guidance on the topics that the exams will cover and ways that students can revise most effectively in their subject. There will be more information about these important exams in future communications.

Parent Forum

On Wednesday evening held our very first Parent Forum since before the pandemic. We would like to say a huge thank you to all parents and governors that attended this and for their open and honest discussions on the topics of mobile phones and homework. Following on from this, we are keen to collect further information from parents about homework; there will be a survey in next week’s communication for you to complete. If you would like to get involved in future Parent Forums, please contact us at enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Charity Day – Help Needed! 
On Thursday 21st July we are planning a 'Charity Event' in school. We have already shared that our chosen charities for this year are Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We would like to show the strength of our support by dedicating the whole of this last day to raising money for these excellent causes.

The event will be for all students and aim to raise as much money as possible, and we would like to have as wide a range of money-making activities in place as is possible. This is where you could come in… 

If you, or somebody you know, could help it would be amazing. It could be:

  • donation for prizes
  • helping to source items or services (e.g. inflatable games, ice cream truck)
  • volunteering (individuals or businesses)
  • sponsorship of the event

This would help us to extend the scope of the day (although we are expecting our ‘dunk the teacher’ event to be immensely popular!).

If you are able to help, please email us via enquiry@knbs.co.uk, with the subject: Charity Event as the reference.

Communication, Queries and Questions

At points over the last two years you may well have felt a little detached from what goes on in school as face to face meetings had been shunned in favour of virtual visits! Now things are far more normal, we have recently updated our communication page, so if you have any queries or questions please check out this out to see how to make your communication with us as effective as possible: https://www.knbs.co.uk/communication.

Spring Eagle

If you have not managed to see our Spring Edition of the Eagle, it is well worth a read. Click here for access: https://sway.office.com/CtnGXmr176E1DqHz?ref=Link. Our students have done an amazing job at showcasing the excellent curriculum we have on offer at KNBS, as well as the enrichment opportunities that they have had this year.

Mobile Phones and My Child at School app

Our ongoing drive to reduce the use of mobile phones in school is proving to be hugely successful, and we would like to thank parents for their support in reinforcing this important message to students at home too.  To build on our initial success, we will remain vigilant in our bid to maintain consistent gh standards.  If you worry about your son using his phone incorrectly in school, please know that 'no news is good news' as they say.  Any issues would lead to SDfL point deduction and you would see these in the ‘My Child at School’ app.  If you have not downloaded this app and would like help setting this up, please contact us via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Parking and Traffic

Over the course of this school year, many of you have made significant changes to your habits around parking close to the school and, as a result, our boys now have a much safer and calmer environment when they are leaving school.  Thank you to everyone who has helped achieve this. Recently we asked those picking up their sons(s) to:

  1. turn your engine off to minimise the air pollution around the school and the risk to our students
  2. avoid parking on the pavement, particularly at the east end of Northfield Road, as students are putting themselves at risk by entering the road due to the cars on the pavement.

We can report that a small number of car owners have had a follow up from the WM Traffic/Parking Team, but on the whole the majority of cars are parked very sensibly. We thank you for your ongoing support.

Friends of KNBS

You may remember that we shared some information with you recently about the Friends of KNBS, a group of parents who have done some wonderful work to support the school.  Their aim is to support the improvement of the school’s facilities.  They mainly help to fund some of the 'extras' that make KNBS special.  For example, they have previously helped to replace the entire fleet of mountain bikes, they bought two new table tennis tables for the canopy area and they have helped us to update the fitness room.  

We recently let you know they are short on numbers; if you can help out please email Lisa Widdicombe at friendsofknbs@gmail.com.

Dates for your diary

Our final INSET day is scheduled for Monday 27th June 2022.  Other key dates can be found here.


Friday 6th May

Friends of KNBS

We are incredibly grateful to the Friends of KNBS.  Without new volunteers though it is a realistic possibility that the Friends will fold.  We are desperate that this doesn't happen, and we will be sharing more information about how you can help very soon.  The Friends have made such a difference to students; it would be terrible to see it fall by the wayside.

To support their endeavours, we are sourcing admin support for the Friends, and to make life a little easier, our boys will now draw the 50/50 club. Draws will be posted on Twitter and shared in our weekly communications. Here are the winners for March and April:

March:

Number 61

April:

Number 157 - well done, you have won!  Check out Twitter to see the moment your number was selected.

https://twitter.com/knbs_school/status/1521784319873798144?s=21&t=KuYeL3BC5HQnTgZ-JwT7EQ

Head Boy Team and Head Boy Applications 

We are very proud at KNBS to have a thriving student leadership programme where students have a voice in their school and an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. An integral part of our student leadership programme is our Head Boy Team. This current team is made up of Year 11 students who are outstanding role models. They meet every half-term and have a presence at anything whole-school related. In addition to this, each member of the team is given a responsibility for a specific area to develop.  Examples of roles this year include: Chair of School Council; Head of Sports Rep; Head of Eco-Travel Reps; Head of Student Mental Health and Welfare; and Head of Student Mentoring. In addition to this, we offer one student the position of Head Boy to oversee the Head Boy Team and all the students at KNBS.  

There are many incentives to being part of the Head Boy Team. The position looks great on CVs, gives students experience in leadership and organisation, helps to set future college and job applications apart from the rest and, most importantly, allows them to have a voice at their school and make positive changes.  

Year 10 students have received an assembly today outlining the benefits of being a part of this team. We have encouraged anyone who is interested in applying to be part of the Head Boy Team to write a letter of application stating the reasons why they would like the position and what they could offer to the role. This letter will need to be handed to Mr Garvey or Miss Bishop by Wednesday 18th May. Successful applicants will then be interviewed by staff members at a later date. Please encourage your son to get involved if this is something that he might be interested in.

Extra-Curricular Timetable

Now things resemble normal life so much more in school, we have been able to update our extra-curricular timetable. Click here to access this: Extra Curricular Timetable.  Please encourage your son to attend some extra-curricular clubs as our students get so much from them. If your son is unsure whether a particular club is for him and he would like to find out more information, he can pop and see his teachers who will be more than happy to discuss this with him.

We will update the timetable as more clubs are introduced.


29th April 2022

Year 11 Exams

This week has seen the first of the GCSE exams being sat by our Modern Foreign Language students, and it is all seeming very real now…

After two years of no externally marked final GCSE exams, our Year 11 students are undertaking their final preparations so that they can showcase the very best of their knowledge and skills and gain the qualifications that they truly deserve. While the exams themselves are focussed on Year 11 students, exam season is very much a whole-school affair, and already there is an air of expectation about the place. Teaching staff are flat out tailoring revision sessions to maximise students’ learning, pastoral staff are offering support where needed to ensure that students do not burn out and are mentally prepared for this important time, and students in lower years are observing the routines and practices that they themselves will undertake in no time at all. Furthermore, they are being very respectful in observing the ‘quiet zones’ that they encounter around school, in support of students taking exams. We wish all of our 2022 Leavers the very best of luck in the coming weeks.

20-day Attendance Challenge

Good attendance is a key factor in a child's success at school, and while we know there may be the rare occasion when a child cannot attend, we want to encourage all our boys to be in school 100% of the time. Next week, we will begin a whole school 20-day Attendance Challenge. We would like all of our students to do their very best to be in school for 20 days, starting from Tuesday 3rd May. There will be a prize draw for students in each year group who have attended every day for these 20 days and rewards for the form with the highest attendance. We thank you in advance for your support in maximising your son’s attendance.

Whole School Reward Trip

It has been over two years since we last ran a reward trip of this sort, when we took a third of the school to Drayton Manor Theme Park. We are delighted to be able to reinstate this important thank you for our students. This year’s trip will take place in the new academic year and will reward those students who will have consistently met our expectations in this coming term, right up until we break up for the summer holidays. During assemblies this week, we shared the success criteria that students will need to meet to ensure that they bag an invite to this fantastic trip: 

Students need to:

  • have not lost all of their 20 SDfL points by the end of the summer term
  • be in the Elite, Gold or Silver category for this term 
  • have good attendance - above 95% - for this term (individual cases may be considered)

Year 10 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

Year 10 students will be undertaking their first set of PPEs in the Sports Hall in the final half term of this academic year. A provisional date for these starting is Monday 20th June, but this will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Your son’s teachers will soon be giving direction regarding revision and discussing how best students can revise for these exams. It is important that your son prepares for these exams and acts upon his teachers’ advice.

Set Text for English Literature

As part of the English Literature GCSE course, students are required to study a modern novel; our text choice is Pigeon English. We have established an excellent relationship with the writer, Stephen Kelman, and he visits school every year to discuss the novel with students and add an extra layer of understanding. It is vitally important that students have their own copy of the novel so that they can annotate this in lessons and create a personal revision resource alongside our study of the text. We are beginning our study of Pigeon English in the next week or so but deliveries from Amazon (other book suppliers are available) are normally very timely. If you are unable to purchase a copy of this text for your son due to financial hardship, please let us know via enquiry@knbs.co.uk and we will do our best to support with this.

Dates for your diary

We now have a dedicated ‘Key Dates’ section on our website. Please click here to access this.


Friday 8th April 2022

Head of Year 10 Message

As another busy term draws to a close, it is once again my pleasure to highlight some of positive aspects of Year 10 life here at KNBS. There have been many notable successes this term and it was pleasing to hear so many boys speak of the enriching experience when they headed to The Globe Theatre to watch Shakespeare’s Macbeth. At time of writing, many of our boys have enjoyed the chance this week to see what the world of work is like in their work experience placements. It has also been great today to see how grown up they can be – they have had mock interviews with employers and post-16 education providers who have been so impressed with their ‘soft skills’.

We have had a great year since the return of sporting extra-curricular clubs and fixtures with both the Year 10 basketball and rugby teams having successful results against Bartley Green and King Edwards Camp Hill recently; in both, the level of performance and sportsmanship were a particular delight.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that the process to recruit our Year 11 Head Boy Team will be launching shortly. I would encourage all boys to keep an eye out on their school email for further details. I know there will be a large number of students who will be wanting to apply for one of these prestigious roles, and I look forward to reading their applications. 

As we move into the final term of Year 10, I must continue to remind students of the academic challenges that lie ahead of them. I'm sure with the focus, commitment and hard work that we have seen across the year so far, we can all work together to ensure the boys take positive steps to launch them into Year 11. 

I wish all our Year 10 families a restful and safe Easter break. 

Spring Eagle

We are delighted to share with you our Spring Eagle, our virtual school magazine. This is our best ever edition because it features only contributions from students. Click here to access it: https://sway.office.com/CtnGXmr176E1DqHz?ref=Link. The students have done an amazing job at showcasing the excellent curriculum we have on offer at KNBS, as well as the enrichment opportunities that they have had this year. What a fantastic Easter treat for you all - enjoy!

Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Our Chosen Charities for 2021-22

It has been wonderful today to see so many of our students wearing their sports colours to show solidarity to Ollie, a student in Year 10 who has recently been dealt the devastating blow of being diagnosed with cancer. Lots of students have donated more than the usual £1 in support of our chosen charities, Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and we have been awed, yet again, by their show of empathy and support. Thank you to our parents for supporting our students and our school community. We have truly seen the best of our KNBS boys on the last of what has seemed like a very long term.

Modern Foreign Languages – Message from Ms Ouazzani

After Easter, for Year 10 French students, we will be introducing the 100-word Vocabulary Challenge. We have almost covered all of the Units in Theme 1 (Relationships and Family), Theme 2 (Technology and Social Media), and Theme 3 (Music, Cinema, TV, Food and Sport). Students are advised to use Memrise, our free online platform (link available on Satchel One), to build their repertoire of French words.

Additional Food Support
For any families that are struggling with financial difficulty and subsequent food insecurity, help is available from The Trussell Trust. They support a nationwide network of food banks and provide emergency food and support to local people. If your family is in need, you can get help by visiting: www.trusselltrust.org/get-help. You can also find a directory of Birmingham foodbanks at: www.findfoodbanksbrum.org.uk.

Dates for your diary

We now have a dedicated ‘Key Dates’ section on our website. Please click here to access this.


Friday 1st April 2022

Mobile Phones

Our ongoing drive on reducing the use of mobile phones in school is proving to be hugely successful, and we would like to thank parents for their support in reinforcing this important message to students at home too. It has been delightful to see students in school conversing with one another, instead of having their heads buried in their phones. Thanks in advance for your continued support with this.

Year 10 Work Experience and Mock Interviews

We would like to wish all of our students that are heading out into the world of work next week the very best of luck. For those staying in school, there will be a comprehensive programme of activities taking place, many of which are directly related to careers. Additionally, all students have a mock interview with an external provider on Friday 8thApril. This plays an important role in preparing students for Year 11 and in developing those all-important soft skills that they will need for securing their preferred post-16 pathways. We thank you in advance for your support with encouraging your son to prepare for and attend this interview.

Teenage Cancer Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital – Our Chosen Charities for 2021-22

Earlier this week, we received the very sad news that one of our Year 10 students has been diagnosed with cancer. Ollie is a keen sportsman, and this is a devastating diagnosis for him and his family and friends. Our boys have been deeply saddened by this news, so much so that they instigated an emergency meeting of the School Council to discuss ways that we can support Ollie and his family as a school. Our student leadership team has chosen Teenage Cancer Trust as the school’s chosen charity for this year, and they will be organising a range of fund-raising activities across the year to raise money for this worthy cause. The first event will be a non-uniform day, to be held on Friday 8thApril. In support of Ollie’s love of sport, and as a show of solidarity, students will be asked to wear their sporting colours (football shirts, team scarves, running attire, rugby tops, etc.), rather than the usual ‘own clothes’. Any students that are not supporters of a team can wear their school PE top instead. The usual £1 donation applies, but if families would like to contribute more, this would obviously be gratefully received.

The Spring Eagle

Our Spring Eagle will be landing on Friday next week. This edition has been handed over to our students - it contains a wide range of contributions that have been written by them about their experiences at KNBS. It is going to be our best edition yet, so please look out for the link in next week’s communications.

Dates for your diary

We now have a dedicated ‘Key Dates’ section on our website. Please click here to access this.


Monday 28th March 2022

 

Please be aware that the police have provided us with the following notification at 2pm today:

Information received from the Police:

Intelligence sharing there's a pre-planned 'water fight' in the Northfield area after school/this evening.

This was organised by students from schools other than KNBS, however, as it is on social media other students might be aware and be thinking of going.

Some intelligence suggests that there will be young people at this event with the sole intention on hurting others.

 Please inform students before the end of the school day regarding their conduct when going home. And that they may be committing criminal offences, even by just being at this event.  Officers have been allocated to the incident and will patrol the site later.

We have shared a suitable version of this information with our boys this afternoon, with a message to avoid any gatherings that had been planned and to go straight home from school.  Our prior concern is to keep our boys and community safe.  Thank you for your support with achieving this goal.


Friday 25th March 2022

Maintaining High Standards

All year groups have had an assembly this week to remind them of our ‘KNBS Boy Expectations’ and the importance of ‘Striving for Success’. One key focus has been on the use of mobile phones, and we feel it is important to share our intention and our rationale for this with you.

We have noticed more recently that students are becoming more reliant on their mobile phones and are having them on show more frequently; this has even spilled over into seeing phones out in lessons.  This has been causing disruption to the learning of others as the teacher has to deal with this and issue an appropriate sanction, all of which takes time away from students' learning.

Furthermore, the prevalence of students using their phones while moving around the building has increased, and this is impacting on their social interactions with others (students and staff) during unstructured times. This is at odds with one of the key elements of our ethos: to equip our students with life-long and transferable skills to prepare them for the responsibilities and challenges of adult life, including being able to effectively interact with others both within the school environment and in the wider world. 

We have thus reminded students of our expectations around the use of phones:

'A King’s Norton boy never uses his phone or earphones in lessons unless his teacher specifically allows it. If it is allowed his phone/ earphones will be put away out of sight before he leaves the room.'

Whilst we are not imposing a zero-tolerance stance on mobile phones, we feel it is important to maintain the high expectations that we have for our students.  To support these high expectations:

  • we affirmed the consequence of 5 SDfL points for unacceptable mobile phone use
  • we affirmed that it would be considered to be unacceptable if students were seen with their mobile phones during lessons or when moving around the school from lesson to lesson 
  • we affirmed that students will now need to hand their phone to the member of staff who issues this sanction, and this will be passed onto the Head of Year for collection at the end of the day
  • we affirmed that students can use their phones during break and lunch, but this will need to be outside or in the dining room when not eating (not the canteen where hot food is served).

The overwhelming majority of students have embraced our reaffirmed expectations today and have shown the true character that a King's Norton Boy possesses.  We would be grateful however if you could also reaffirm these messages at home. 

Attendance Drive

We know that attending school every day is a key factor in ensuring our students succeed in school. Whilst it is a parental responsibility to ensure that children attend school regularly, schools are obliged to monitor all students’ attendance and ensure support is given to those who need it, if attendance begins to drop.

The last two years have been particularly difficult regarding attendance, as Covid 19 has had an impact on some students' ability to attend. Now that we are getting back to normality, we need to review the attendance of every student and take steps to ensure our boys are here as much as possible; if they are not here they are unable to receive the education they deserve.

If you son’s attendance is currently below 90%, this is considered Persistent Absence and is a huge concern to us. It is likely that you will hear from someone at school over the next week or two as we are keen to support you and, ultimately, help you to ensure that your son is in school every day.

If you have any concerns about your son’s attendance, please contact his Head of Year. We are grateful for your continued support with this.

Water Bottles

A lovely bout of warm weather has taken us all by surprise this this week, but it has been a timely reminder of the importance of students staying hydrated in school. Please can you ensure that your son has a water bottle that he can bring to school each day. Students will need to fill their water bottles up at home, but they are also able to top this up from the canteen during break and lunchtimes. 

Work Experience

Many of our Year 10 students will be heading out into the world of work on 4th April, and we wish them well in their preparations for this. They will be thinking about their route to work, timings for ensuring that they get there on time, their work attire, as well as the skills that they are going to need to ensure that they get the most out of this opportunity.

On Friday 8th April, we will have a number of employers and post-16 providers who will be in school to conduct mock interviews with Year 10 students. This is a great chance for them to experience what it is like to engage with professionals in a formal scenario and to practise their interview skills. All students are expected to attend school on this day, however, for any students that are at work experience placements where a full programme of activities has been prepared for them and thus they are unable to attend, we will revisit this in the Summer term. We anticipate that this will only be a handful of students. 

It is vital that we know accurate numbers for this event so if your son is going to be unable to attend on Friday 8thApril for this reason, please can you email us before Wednesday 30th March at enquiry@knbs.co.uk

Dates for your diary

We now have a dedicated ‘Key Dates’ section on our website. Please click here to access this.


Friday 18th March 2022

Year 11 Pre-Public Exams

While the current round of PPEs may only seem to be relevant to our Year 11 students, it is always interesting to see how our younger students respond to seeing them preparing for the exams and lining up ready to go into the exam hall. They have witnessed the sense of gravitas around the process and the respect that Year 11s give to the exam routines, and they are learning via modelling how to behave when they get to that all-important time. Year 10 students will get their first experience of this in their end of year exams this summer.

It has been with a sense of pride that yet again we have observed almost all of our Year 11 students conducting themselves with dignity and reverence. Some of them have been in school at 7.30 to do last minute revision sessions with staff; many have given up their breaks and lunches getting into the ‘exam zone’ and ensuring that they are fully prepared. Their conduct in the exam halls has been exemplary, and we are very proud of them after this first week. One more week to go!

Parking and Traffic

Following our update on the parking and traffic situation outside the school site, there have been some improvements, and we thank those parents who are working with us to improve this. However, we still have a way to go to ensure that our students are not being put at risk when they are leaving school. If you do need to collect your son from school by car, please can you ensure that you:

  1. turn your engine off to minimise the air pollution around the school and the risk to our students
  2. avoid parking on the pavement, particularly at the East end of Northfield Road as students are putting themselves at risk by entering the road due to the cars on the pavement.

As pavement parking at the East end remains an ongoing concern, we are inviting support from the West Midlands Police Traffic team.  We are expecting random visits and camera/number plate checks.  We would like to avoid punitive follow up, however, the team are licenced to issue warnings or fines if cars are parked in a way that endangers pedestrians.

Praise for our boys 

We would like to share with you a comment from one of the Covid Vaccination Team who were in school last week to deliver the remaining vaccinations to our students. In an email to Mr Clayton, the Lead Nurse wrote: 

‘The reason for my email is to let you know how fabulous your school is; the boys were all polite and their manners were exceptional…Thank you so much for the support we have had from the school following this programme.’ 

 While we see boys meeting our high expectations day in day out, it is always nice to be reminded just how fabulous they are, especially from visitors to our school. Well done, boys! 

Lost Property

The mountain of lost property is slowly going down, but please can you encourage your son to have a rummage on the stage at break or lunchtime to see if any of the leftover items are his.

Dates for your diary

Work Experience                             Mon 4th – Fri 8th April

Easter holidays                                  Mon 11th – Fri 22nd April

INSET day                                            Monday 27th June


Friday 11th March 2022

Head of Year Message from Mr Garvey and the Year 10 Team

It appears Spring is on its way and the atmosphere around school is, as ever a buzz of academic and extra-curricular activities. By now you should have received your son’s full school report; it is pleasing to read that so many students are making fantastic progress. If this is not the case, I hope they have discussed with you and their teachers where they need to focus their efforts moving forward.

As Year 11 students embark on their final round of Pre-Public Exams, I have taken every opportunity to remind our Year 10 boys that in 12 months they will also be in the same position, and in a matter of weeks the spotlight will shift towards them.  With that in mind, I encourage every boy in Year 10 to approach the remainder of this academic year with the maturity and focus it now requires. 

This term has seen the return of face-to-face assemblies, and it is great to see the boys together in order to get key messages across. Recently we spoke about the importance of assessment and feedback in the learning process and the importance of basic standards in order set up future success. It is important that the boys now reflect on the content of their full reports and take the opportunity to build on the strengths highlighted, as well as addressing development points. It goes without saying that their efforts on the whole are to be commended, and I continue to be proud of their accomplishments to this point. As ever, the hard work has only just begun…

Year 10 Work Experience

Year 10 Work Experience week is fast approaching, and a large proportion of our boys will be heading off to their workplaces very soon. Please click here to access an important letter from Mr Kirk about some of the arrangements for that week.

Parking and Traffic

Although there have been significant improvements to parking outside of school, we still have some issues that put could our students at risk when they are leaving.

Some of our measures have been very effective, for example, the 'No Parking Zone' opposite the yellow School Zone markings; this new procedure has been followed very effectively.  We are also pleased with the new procedures for students leaving school - we have made the car park a pedestrian zone, and students leave the school by the East Gate if heading in the direction of Cotteridge and by the West Gate if heading in the direction of Northfield.  Thank you for your support in helping us and our students to get these key changes embedded.

There are two key problems left:

Problem 1: Cars with an engine running while waiting.

Solution 1: Please can you turn your engines off if you are waiting for someone to minimise the air pollution around the school and the risk to our students.

Problem 2: Cars parked on narrow pavements, leading to students stepping into the road to get past.

Solution 2: Please can you avoid parking on the pavement.  This is a particular problem at the East end of Northfield Road where the pavement and road are narrower (the West end by the bus stop has more room for cars and there are fewer issues here).  At the East end, we are concerned that students are putting themselves at risk by entering the road due to the cars on the pavement.

As pavement parking at the East end remains an ongoing concern, we are inviting support from the West Midlands Police Traffic team.  We are expecting random visits and camera/number plate checks.  We would like to avoid punitive follow up, however, the team are licenced to issue warnings or fines if cars are parked in a way that endangers pedestrians.

We understand that most parents do not collect their son(s) from school, therefore, these messages may not seem relevant.  However, this issue is affecting our students leaving school safely, and could, therefore, impact on us all.  Once more, for all those parents who have adapted to our changes to school pick-up, thank you it is much appreciated!

Tiny Forest

You will already be aware of our involvement in the Tiny Forest project that is being run in conjunction with Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Each of the 72 Tiny Forests will represent one of the 72 nations and territories competing in the Games. Our Tiny Forest nation is Pakistan, and is named after the national flower, white Jasmine.

The Tiny Forest acts as a catalyst for change in so many ways, from promoting strong and lasting connections to nature in the next generation, to building teachers’ skills and confidence in leading inspiring outdoor learning beyond the regular confines of school-based lessons. We will be encouraging staff to make the most of our Tiny Forest in the coming weeks, months and years - by spending more time in the natural environment, students will grow in their curiosity of the natural world. As a result of this, opportunities to explore critical discussion about wider issues such as climate change, sustainability and plastic pollution will be created, and this will help us to be a bigger part of positive action for the planet. 

The Tiny Forest acts as a living science laboratory, providing the space for us to build an agency to create change and gain valuable academic and social experiences. Watch out for ongoing updates about this valuable environmental and learning tool.

Lost Property

Our mountain of lost property is growing again…If your son has lost any items in the last few weeks, all lost property will be displayed on the stage during lunchtimes next week. Please encourage your son to have a look as they just might find an item that they didn’t even know they had lost!

General Assistant Vacancy

We currently have a vacancy for a General Assistant in our school canteen. If you or someone you know might be interested in applying for this post, please visit our Vacancies page on our website for further details: www.knbs.co.uk.

Dates for your diary

Work Experience                       Mon 4th – Fri 8th April

Easter holidays                          Mon 11th – Fri 22nd April

INSET day                                 Monday 27th June


Friday 4th March 2022

Free School Meals

Could your child be eligible for Free School Meals? How do you find out?

Many families may be missing out on Free School Meals for their children simply because they believe that the process of finding out if they are eligible is long-winded and time-consuming. This is not the case. Now it is quick and easy to find out. There is no form to fill in, no need to supply school with copies of your paperwork, no waiting time.

We would encourage all parents to apply online to check eligibility. The new online checking service will instantly advise you if your child is eligible to receive Free School Meals. Your details are also updated automatically so there is no need for a formal review process; everything is kept up to date after your initial application. Both parent and school are advised if you become eligible in the future so the Free School Meal allowance can be applied straightaway to your child’s dinner account. The benefits to you and your child are numerous, all for one quick, easy, confidential, one-time application.

In addition, for every child on Free School Meals, KNBS will also receive additional funding (Pupil Premium) from the Government which we will use to use support teaching and learning. Therefore, by undertaking this simple test, you will also be benefitting our school.

Please take a moment to submit this application irrespective of whether or not you are, or believe you ever will be, in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (provided you have an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400, as assessed by earnings from up to three of your most recent assessment periods)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on -paid for four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

How do I apply?

Simply apply online at www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/birmingham/

The whole process will take less than five minutes if you have the relevant information to hand. To complete an application, you will need to provide:

  • Your own name and date of birth
  • Contact details
  • National Insurance Number or National Asylum Seekers Number
  • Child's name and date of birth
  • School your child is attending/will attend.

Please be mindful that the system is very sensitive to even the smallest of errors. For example, dates of birth and middle names etc.

If you do not have access to the Internet, an application can be made by school. If you would like school to apply on your behalf or if you need any further support or assistance in completing your application, please contact enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Intake 2022-23

We are delighted to report that we have filled all 160 of our places for Year 7 in 2022-3.  We can also confirm that we remain an oversubscribed school and already have over 50 on our waiting list for September, securing our place as the school of choice for boys for so many local families.

Friends of KNBS - 50/50 Club

We are delighted to announce our latest monthly winner from the Friends of KNBS 50/50 club.

Monthly Draw Winner
February 2022 #8 - T Drummond

Dates for your diary:

Year 9 Options Evening                Thursday 24th March

Year 9 Parents’ Evening                 Thursday 7th April

Easter holidays                             Mon 11th – Fri 22nd April

INSET day                                   Monday 27th June


Friday 25th February 2022 - COVID UPDATE

On 21 February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all remaining legal coronavirus restrictions will be lifted. Just after the Prime Minister delivered his statement, the government published the ‘COVID-19 Response: Living with COVID-19’ which sets out the plans in full.

In practice the situation has not changed for anyone with a confirmed case of COVID.  They will still be expected to self-isolate for at least 5 days, and have two negative tests to bring isolation to an end.

This announcement does however bring to an end the government's call for students to test twice a week.  Over the last few weeks, the level of testing from KNBS families has been extra-ordinary and it has helped to identify several asymptotic cases,  over 50% of our total student cases for this term.  Therefore, we encourage our school community to keep testing.  To support this the school has ordered more tests, however we are not sure how many tests will arrive, it would be an excellent support if parents also ordered more tests, so we have an adequate supply.  Please do this as soon as possible while they are still free.  https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

We have worked well together so far to limit the impact of COVID, I hope we are able to continue this collaboration to negotiate the lifting of legal restrictions safely.

Thanks for your continued support,

Mr D Clayton

 

Many of the remaining legal restrictions will end from the  24th of February, including the following:

  • The legal requirement to self-isolate if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) will end. Until 1 April, people who test positive for coronavirus will be advised to stay at home for at least five full days and then continue to stay at home until they have two negative tests on consecutive days. From 1 April, the government will provide updated guidance on ongoing steps people with coronavirus should take to minimise contact with others.
  • Fully-vaccinated close contacts and close contacts under 18 will not be asked to test daily for seven days. The requirement for close contacts who are not fully vaccinated to self-isolate will also be removed. Routine contact tracing will also end from this date.

From 21 February, school staff and pupils in most settings will no longer be advised to test twice weekly. Staff and secondary-age pupils in specialist SEND settings, alternative provision and SEND units in mainstream schools or equivalent in FE colleges are currently advised to continue twice weekly testing.  From 1 April, the government will no longer provide free symptomatic and asymptomatic tests to the general public. Free testing will be made available in limited circumstances, including for a small number of at-risk groups and social care staff.

From 1 April, the government will remove the requirement for employers to explicitly consider coronavirus in their risk assessments.


Friday 18th February 2022

Lateral Flow Tests

We are running low on the stock of lateral flow tests held in school, and delivery from the DfE has become less reliable.  Therefore, we ask families to order some kits, so that we are not left in a situation where we do not have enough for students to keep testing. You can access these online via this link: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.

INSET Day Advance Warning

Please note that our final INSET day of the year will be on 27th June. School will be closed to students on this day to enable staff to undertake Continued Professional Development.

Curriculum Week

Planning is in its infancy for this year’s Curriculum Week which will take place towards the end of the academic year at a time to be confirmed in the coming weeks. We would like to include some important elements of Personal Development for all year groups across the week and want to tailor it to suits the needs of our students. It would be immensely helpful to have parental feedback on this matter, so we would like you to complete a brief survey about your son’s Personal Development needs. Click here to access this: https://forms.office.com/r/QPCGWkMKpF.

Work Experience Deadline

We are thrilled that so many of our students have been successful in securing a work experience placement – if your son is one of those students, please congratulate him from us. For those students that may not yet have managed to gain a place, there is still time, but the deadline is drawing near, and the final date for us being able to accept completed forms is 18th March. By this date, students need to have handed a completed Work Experience form to Mr Kirk to enable their placement to be health and safety checked. Placements will only be granted to students whose placement has undergone this statutory process. If students have thus far been unsuccessful getting a placement, they could try places like barbers, leisure centres, libraries, cafes, shops, primary schools or other public facilities. A chance to gain experience of a workplace will be of great advantage to students, even if it isn't directly in their desired field, so please use the half term break to support them in exploring these options.

New Fitness Equipment

Our boys have been making good use of the new fitness equipment that has recently been added to the already-fabulous Sports Hall. The PE department would like to thank everyone who supported the purchase of the equipment, with a special thanks to the Friends of KNBS. This equipment will support our ongoing drive to get our boys moving and keep them fit and healthy.

Dates for your Diary

Easter holidays                              Mon 11th – Fri 22nd April

INSET day                                   Monday 27th June


Friday 11th February 2022

Well-being@KNBS

Next week is Children's Mental Health Week, and whilst it is important for us to mark this specific week in school, mental health has been a key focus for us since we returned after the first lockdown. The topic of mental health forms an integral part of our Personal Development curriculum; assemblies and form time activities support the curriculum using a range of strategies to raise awareness of anxiety and help our boys to develop coping strategies for managing this. We have worked hard to foster an environment where students can be open about their worries and concerns, not least through our ‘Tell Someone’ campaign. Last week, Miss Mills delivered virtual assemblies to all year groups around the theme 'We all have Mental Health'. It encouraged our students to consider their own resilience and how they can support themselves in managing their mental health. Please find below the link to our Well-being@KNBS newsletter; it would be great if you could take some time to read this with your son and discuss some of the topics raised: Well-being@KNBS

Friends of KNBS

You may remember that we shared some information with you recently about the Friends of KNBS. This is a group of parents and staff who get together to support the school.  Their aim is to raise money to support the improvement of the school’s facilities.  They mainly help to fund some of the 'extras' that make KNBS extra special.  For example, they have previously helped to replace the entire fleet of mountain bikes and, last year, they bought two new table tennis tables for the canopy area. If you would like to get involved and support the Friends in the invaluable work that they do, please get in touch via: friendsofknbs@gmail.com.

Parent Forum

Following on from our communication last week, if you are interested in being involved in our new Parent Forum, or if you would just like some more information about this, please get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk

Spring Term: Dates for your diary

Monday 21st - Friday 25th February:       Half Term

Monday 28th February:                         Return to school (normal times)

Covid vaccinations for students – 08/03/22

As noted in last weeks communications we are expecting the schools immunisation team to return to site to carry out second vaccinations for Covid 19. Vaccinations are open to all students over the age of 12 on or before 08/03/22

As the original parent consent form only offered a single dose of the vaccine, we are now requesting that parents complete another form to confirm that they wish their child to have dose 2 in school. This same form can be used to request dose 1 for those children who missed, or where not eligible to receive their vaccination in the first round.

To ensure that your child can receive the vaccination in this round please complete and return the consent form to  the main office by 09:00 on Monday 28th February, Unfortunately, due to the nature of this vaccination programme and the need to pre-order vaccines, it is unlikely the vaccinations team be able to vaccinate any child in school whose consent form is returned after this date.

Clinic sessions are also open to any children who require either dose 1 or dose 2 of the Covid 19 vaccine but do not want to have it in school. These can be booked online on the Birmingham and Solihull Vaccination website which contains the latest information and links for you to book the appointment Walk-ins – Birmingham & Solihull NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service (birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk) 


Friday 4th February 2022

Update

As the week has progressed so have the number of COVID cases both in the student and staff population.  It has been quite a week and at times we have not been able to function as normal.  Friday’s absences meant that we had to trigger one of our contingency plan; combining groups in the hall.  We understand that this is less than perfect, but we are doing all we can to avoid having to reduce students time in school. 

COVID-19 lateral flow testing kits:

Test kits have been handed out during form times over Thursday and Friday this week, students should continue their twice weekly testing.  If for any reason your son did not receive his test kits or students require additional test kits, please continue to contact the school via  COVID19@knbs.co.uk

With masks no longer being compulsory in school (although students are still welcome to wear them if they prefer) our first line of defence against Covid in our school community is regular home testing with LFD kits. This all-important preventative method is helping us to reduce the number of students and staff catching the virus. We extend a massive thank you to those families that are diligent in taking the tests and reporting cases.

HPV Vaccinations:

Year 9 Students who previously received the first dose of their HPV vaccine last spring, will receive their second dose on 10/02/22, It's important to have both doses of the vaccine to be properly protected.  Any students who are unable to attend for their second dose will be eligible to receive it through their doctor’s surgery.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

We have now received a proposed date of 08/03/22 for students to receive their second covid vaccination, the school’s immunisation team will provide new consent forms closer to the time and any students 12-15 who have yet to receive their first vaccination will also be eligible at this point.

My Child at School APP

We are delighted to be launching the My Child at School portal which will help us to share up to date information with you, about your son. The portal will be in the form of an app and will allow you to access this information:

  • Curriculum Overview (STRIVE Grades)
  • Data Collection (Update contact details etc)
  • Progress Reports
  • Timetable
  • Self-Discipline for Learning (SDfL point loss and comments from teachers)
  • Attendance information
  • Basic School Calendar (this will be added to over time)

We have now launched this with Year 7 families, next week is the turn of Year 8.  Soon we will be launching with the remaining year groups.

Lost Property

We continue to collect a weekly pile of lost property.  This is checked and items with names on are returned to students.  Please, please, please add your son’s name to the label of his uniform it will help us return items if your son misplaces them.

Friends of KNBS

A reminder to contact Lisa Widdicombe if you are willing to become part of our Friends of KNBS team.

Email contact via: friendsofknbs@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible supporting this group and helping it to survive and flourish in the future. 

Parent Forum

The Leadership Team and Governors of King’s Norton Boys’ School are keen to collaborate with parents/carers to help with the continual development of our school. Therefore, we want to establish the Parent Forum to encourage greater representation from those who have a son(s) at the school and provide a place to discuss and evaluate proposed or suggested developments.

What a Parent Forum Is:

A Parent Forum is a body of parents/carers, Governors, and staff, who meet regularly to discuss themed items and key developments.  It is an inclusive and accessible way to involve parents/carers in discussions about developments that are planned, areas causing any concern, and issues raised by parents.  It is a forum through which parents/carers can be consulted, learn more about the school and how they can be involved in it, be provided with information, and encouraged to network with other parents/carers. Involvement in the Parent Forum is less formal and requires a lesser commitment than being a member of the Governing Body, whilst enabling parents/carers to make a real contribution to the school.

Functions of the Parent Forum:

The Headteacher and Governing Body remains the decision-maker and provides the strategic leadership for the school. The Parent Forum has a consultative and advisory role; it is a means to strengthen the voice of parents/carers and to enable them to express their opinions and ensure that that voice is clear when developments and decisions are being made.  Parents/carers are a driving force behind their son’s achievements, and their support is essential for continued successful improvements we wish to make to our school. 

The Parent Forum also supports the Governing Body in promoting the well-being of students and staff. Parents/carers value not only educational achievement at the school, but a commitment to a positive ethos and a range of activities and opportunities beyond the formal curriculum. Involvement in the Parent Forum is an opportunity to generate a culture of genuine participation and to attempt to improve the depth and detail in the feedback that the school receives.

The Benefits of a Parent Forum

The following benefits of having a Parent Forum have been identified:

  • The school draws new and different parents/carers into active involvement
  • The school gains an understanding of parents’ and carers’ views and experiences
  • The school has a useful and clear platform for engaging with parents/carers
  • The school collaborates with parents/carers to communicate decisions and their reasons, find solutions to issues raised, spot and share problems that parents/carers can help with.

If you are interested in joining our parent forum group, please let us know via enquiry@knbs.co.uk

Spring Term: Dates for your diary

Monday 21st - Friday 25th February:                 Half Term

Monday 28th February:                                 Return to school (normal times)


Friday 28th January 2022

INSET Day on Wednesday 2nd February

Please note that school is closed to students on Wednesday 2nd February to allow for staff to undertake training with other schools from across the South Network.

Safety Message

We have been informed of an incident that happened after school in Cotteridge in the last couple of days. Please advise your son to be vigilant of groups of young people and to keep their personal belongings, such as mobile phones, out of sight wherever possible.

Masks Update

While the wearing of masks around school and in classrooms has been a necessity in recent weeks, there is no denying the benefits to both students’ learning and their social interactions when they are not wearing them. With masks no longer being compulsory in school (although students are still welcome to wear them if they prefer) our first line of defence against Covid in our school community is regular home testing with LFD kits. This all-important preventative method is helping us to reduce the number of students catching the virus. We extend a massive thank you to those families that are diligent in taking the tests and those who are reporting cases via covid19@knbs.co.uk. Please can you all continue to do this.

Updating Personal Details

It is vitally important that we have the latest details for students and parents on file so that we are able to contact parents either by email, phone or by post. Please can you ensure that any details that need updating are sent to us either by calling school or by email to enquiry@knbs.co.uk with CHANGE OF DETAILS in the subject bar. Please ensure that you tell us the student name and year group along with the change in details.

Friends of KNBS

We are delighted to announce recent winners from the Friends of KNBS 50/50 club. Click here to view more information.

Tiny Forest

Work is now underway for our Tiny Forest that is being created on our school site, with thanks to the Commonwealth Games 2022 and Earthwatch. Students from across the year groups have been involved in this and they have shown enthusiasm and commitment to making this a success. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on this exciting venture.

My Child at School APP

We are delighted to be launching the My Child at School portal which will help us to share up to date information with you, about your son. We are in the process of rolling this out to year 7 parents and hope to make it available to the rest of the school in the coming weeks. 

The portal will be in the form of an app and will allow you to access this information:

  • Curriculum Overview (STRIVE Grades)
  • Data Collection (Update contact details etc)
  • Progress Reports
  • Timetable
  • Self-Discipline for Learning (SDfL point loss and comments from teachers)
  • Attendance information
  • Basic School Calendar (this will be added to over time)

We will be in touch with you shortly with more information of how to set up your account. 

 


Friday 21st January 2022

Recent Changes to Covid Requirements

Whilst we welcome the evidence that the spread of the virus is slowing down, we are a little apprehensive that the reduction in restrictions might make us a little too complacent.  At this point we seem to have stabilised staff absence linked to Covid, but the same cannot be said for student cases and we are seeing weekly and sometimes daily additions to the number of students that have tested positive.

We remain extremely grateful for every family that is regularly testing.  The majority of the reported student cases are asymptomatic, which shows the importance of this testing.  Please, please, please keep testing, as this seems to be our best form of defence against virus transmission. 

If you require additional tests, please let us know at covid19@knbs.co.uk.

Wearing of Masks

Following the latest updates, the wearing of masks in classrooms is no longer compulsory, however, these do remain mandatory for use in communal areas and when students are moving around school. Students are very welcome to continue to wear a mask in class if they feel more comfortable in doing so. Please ensure that your son has his own face mask with him each day so that we can help to keep our school community safe. 

Changes to Isolation Periods

Covid isolation periods seem to have been changing much more often recently.  We thought it might be helpful to summarise these changes for you so that you are clear on what is expected:

The isolation period remains at 10 days, unless you are willing to carry out LFD tests.  If your son were to receive two consecutive LFD tests (taken 24 hours apart and the first test being no sooner than day 5), he would be able to end his self-isolation sooner.  There are several scenarios if one or more of these LFD tests came back positive, so we thought it would be helpful to share current requirements and various scenarios with you in visual format:

Tiny Forest

We are delighted to announce that we have applied for, and been successful in being awarded, a Tiny Forest.  Severn Trent and Earthwatch are planting 72 tiny, yet powerful, forests to coincide with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. We are keen for as many of our school community and neighbours to get involved in this. Please click here to access a letter giving more details about this exciting initiative and to find out how you can get involved.

Work Experience – Your Help is Needed

As part of the careers programme here at KNBS, the opportunity for our students to experience the world of work is an invaluable aspect of their Careers education. This year, work experience placements are commencing from 4th April for the duration of that week. Many students have successfully secured a work experience placement, but we are appealing to parents to get in contact with us if you are able to offer a placement for one of our students. Health and safety checks legally have to be done but we will initiate these using a third-party organisation. Any opportunities that are made available to our students are greatly appreciated, regardless of whether they last for one day only or the full week.

If you are able to offer a work experience placement for any of our students, please email Mr Kirk at s.kirk@knbs.co.uk.


Friday 14th January 2022

An update from Friends of KNBS

The Friends of KNBS is a group of parents and staff who get together to support the school.  Our aim is to raise money to support the improvement of the school’s facilities.  We mainly help to fund some of the 'extras' that make KNBS extra special.  For example, we have previously helped to replace the entire fleet of mountain bikes and, last year, we bought two new table tennis tables for the canopy area.

Our latest project is to improve the fitness suite, which now has a new home in the Sports Hall.  Through their partnership with Halesowen Athletics Club, the school has been able to source some additional fitness items. 

 

 

 

2 static bikes

1 step machine

1 cross trainer

1 pectoral deck

The Friends are delighted to be paying for these items from our previous fundraising, whilst the school will pay for delivery, installation and safety checks.

Up to now, the Friends have been involved in a number of school events that have helped us build up our funds, including:

  • Quiz nights
  • Fundraising events
  • Helping out at school events, organising refreshments
  • 50/50 Club.

While we are happy to continue with these fundraising staples (Covid-permitting), we are also open to new ideas and new ways of working with the school.  We already have a plan to include some of the Head Boy Team as members.

50/50 Club

During the pandemic and the subsequent loss of face-to-face contact, we have found it hard to keep the 50/50 club in operation.  This club has been in operation for many years, and often parents will sign up in Year 7, paying monthly for a number(s) in our monthly draw.  When we announce the January draw in the Friday communications, we will share a link about the 50/50 club and how you can sign up if you want to join us in our exploits.

We admit that we have had trouble with checking who has paid into the 50/50 club so that the draws can be made appropriately, and this has been compounded by some difficulty in getting a new cheque book to pay the monthly prize.  We are delighted though to announce that the school have been brilliant and have now organised and paid for an independent admin person to come into school on the last Thursday of every month and complete the appropriate checks and draws.  We would like to take this opportunity to share the draws for the last six months, which have now been checked and verified and signed off.  By the January draw, a web page will have been created that will provide the details of the last twelve months of draws.

Draw 

Number 

Winner 

July 21 

162 

C Hinks 

August 21 

40 

C Lane 

September 21 

110 

K McDonald 

October 21 

103 

S Palmer 

November 21 

132 

S Yates 

December 21 

60 

N Simms 

 

January 2022

Will be drawn on Thursday 27th of January and shared with everyone on Friday 28th of January.

The Future

We did have quite a large and active team, but sadly, the Covid pandemic stopped us in our tracks for a long time.  During the pandemic shutdown, we have lost quite a few members because their sons have reached the end of their KNBS schooling.  It is important that we think to the future and ensuring the longevity of Friends support; we welcome interest from new set of parents, so please contact us if you would like to know more or would like to join the Friends of KNBS. We are keen to develop a more substantial team who can build on the positive impact that we have had already.

Email contact via: friendsofknbs@gmail.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this; we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible supporting this group and helping it to survive and flourish in the future. 

Kindest regards, 

Mrs Lisa Widdicombe 

Current Chair (Friends of KNBS)

 

Parents of Children with SEND

You may remember last term that we informed you about upcoming opportunities to get involved in the way that SEND provision is shaped across the city. Please see below for two events that are taking place before the end of the month. If you would like more information about attending these events, please do not hesitate to get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.


Friday 7th January 2022

Message from Mr Clayton

Thank you for your overwhelming support for our testing programme and our staggered return to school.  When setting the programme up, we very much had in mind the likely changes that school would return to and a concern around staff availability.  These fears came to fruition with twelve members of staff being unable to return to school on the 4th January.  We have also had significant problems sourcing a testing team; agency testers have been very hard to come by.  On this occasion, a cautious approach seems to have been a sensible one. 

I would like to thank staff for their flexibility over the last three days, - it is impressive how they have stepped in to teach classes for missing staff.  I also want to send our thoughts and best wishes to those in our KNBS family who were unwell during the break or who have had difficult experiences, including family bereavement, over the festive period.   

You should have received a text link to our contingency plans (see also here).  We will regularly review them at a local level with Public Health Birmingham and keep an eye on the bigger picture as national guidance is reviewed and changed. Our main hope is to stay open and fully operational.  It seems increasingly unlikely that the DfE will instigate a national school closure, so our staffing levels are the biggest threat to us being able to maintain face-to-face teaching for all year groups throughout the term. It is my greatest worry, as we start a new term, that there will come a point when we do not have enough staff to teach the boys and open safely. Of course, I will keep you updated as things develop, and hope that these fears will not become a reality. 

May I wish you all a Happy New Year - I hope 2022 brings peace and good health to you all. 

Amendments to Covid Testing Advice

Once students have had their onsite test (if eligible), we need them to complete a second test at home (additional tests will be provided to students from the school’s test centre).

We strongly encourage all students to continue taking tests twice weekly at home.  

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

Recommended Parent/Carer Action:

Updated Guidance on LFD and PCR Testing 

If you do not have symptoms and have a positive LFD test, you are no longer required to confirm this with a PCR test.  You should isolate with the test date as day 1. If you do have symptoms, you should book a PCR test and if it is positive you should isolate in line with requirements.  

Parking and Traffic

Our messages around parking have led to an improved situation in the area immediately outside of school.  This area, alongside and opposite the yellow school zone markings, is the best that it has ever been. 

Our problem is now the areas at either end of the school zone.  The biggest problem appears to be the cars that park partially on the pavement, especially where the path is narrow towards the Cotteridge end of Northfield Road.  We appreciate that the rationale behind this for parents is likely to be to keep the traffic moving, but our observations would suggest that the reduced pathway and resulting pedestrian congestion causes students to walk in the road, thus making them unsafe.  Please avoid parking on the path outside and adjacent to the school as this puts our boys’ safety at risk. 

For those parents who do collect their son from school, can we please also ask that you turn off your engine while you wait.  We all want to the air around school to be free from pollution, especially when it can be avoided so easily. 

Finally, thank you to everyone who has made alternative plans for the dropping off and collection of your son; this helps to limit the traffic around school and keep our boys safe. These repeated messages are to achieve that outcome – to ensure every boy can safely arrive at and leave the school site and make his way home on clear, safe paths. 

Lost Property

We still had a significant number of PE tops, trainers, lunch boxes and pencil cases left in our lost property at the end of last term.  We tried very hard to get all named items back to students, however, a huge amount of lost property does not have name on it.   

Please add names to the labels in your son’s clothes and his property - it makes it so much easier to reunite the boys with their items. 

Spring Term: Dates for your diary

Monday 10th January:                           Year 11 iMedia exam 

Thursday 13th January:                         Student Flu vaccinations 

Thursday 20th January:                         Virtual Year 11 Parents' Evening 

Wednesday 26th January:                      Year 11 GCSE Drama exam 

Wednesday 2nd February:                     South Area Staff Training Day - school closed to all students 

Monday 21st - Friday 25th February:      Half Term

Monday 28th February:                         Return to school

Future dates:

Covid Vaccination day for students (awaiting confirmation)

PE Curriculum

Our boys undertake a wide range of PE activities across the year. Below you can see the planned activities for the next term.  Of course, there may be changes required, dependent upon weather etc.; we will communicate these with the boys as necessary.

Year Group 

Sports this term 

Kit required 

Badminton/Table-tennis/Fitness/Basketball 

Inside 

Badminton/Table-tennis/Fitness/Basketball 

Inside 

Badminton/Table-tennis/Fitness/Basketball 

Inside 

10 

Badminton/Table-tennis/Fitness/Basketball/Football 

Inside/Outside optional 

11 

Badminton/Table-tennis/Fitness/Basketball/Football 

Inside/Outside optional 

PE Extra Curricular Timetable

While we remain extra-cautious in school regarding Covid, we are keen to maintain our sporting extra-curricular clubs, while ensuring appropriate measures to prevent transmission. Please see the updated timetable below:

Monday  

Tuesday 

Wednesday 

Thursday 

After School 

3.05-4.05pm 

approx.

After School 

3.05-4.05pm 

approx.

After School 

3.05-4.05pm 

approx.

After School 

3.05-4.05pm 

approx.

 

Badminton Club 

Years 7-8 

(KF) 

 

Table Tennis Club  

Years 7-8 

(AMI) 

 

Badminton Club 

Years 9-11 

(PG) 

 

Table Tennis Club 

Years 9-11 

(MT) 

 

 

Week 1 

Rugby Club 

Years 7-8 

(KF and AMI) 

 

Basketball Club 

Years 9-11 

(PG) 

 

Week 2 

Rugby Club 

Years 9-11 

(KF) 

 

Basketball Club 

Years 7-8 

(MT) 

 

Basketball House Games 

 

Year 7 - 20/01/22  

 

Year 8 – 27/01/22 

 

Year 9 – 03/02/22 

 

Year 11 – 10/02/22 

 

Year 10 – 17/02/22 

 

 

 

Autumn Term
 

Friday 17th December 2021

Message from Mr Clayton

When we returned in September, we were not certain of the obstacles that we would face and how that would affect what we are trying to achieve as a school.  I pay tribute to the staff and students as they have achieved some wonderful things so far this year and we have made strides in helping our boys make progress.  Our latest edition of The Eagle is packed full of wonderful examples of this.  It is also excellent that we have been able to run extra-curricular clubs and activities; they are such an important part of KNBS, and so many of the boys have taken advantage of this wonderful offer.

As we enter another period of uncertainty, I hope that you all get the chance to rest, relax and re-set. We look forward to seeing the boys in the new year to do it all again for another term.

Happy Holidays!

Head of Year Message Year 10

As this Autumn term draws to a close, it once again gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to provide the final update of this calendar year. Whilst this term has seen a continuation of the uncertainty we have become accustomed to in the last 18 months, I have to give credit once again to our Year 10 boys and the resilience and flexibility they have demonstrated. 

It was fantastic to be able to speak to some parents during our recent Parents’ Evening to discuss the data generated by our new academic reports. The overwhelming message was extremely positive with so many of our boys making very good progress, however, it is fair to say that the hard work is far from over…

The end of term also provides a welcome opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge hard work and positive achievements, and it was nice to have the opportunity to relax and watch a movie with some 52 'Elite' Year 10 students in the final week. The boys opted for 'Home Alone', despite my insistence on watching 'The Goonies'!

As ever I cannot stress to all our Year 10 boys the importance of enjoying the opportunity to have a relaxing break and ensure they are suitably refreshed and ready to go again in January. May I also take the opportunity to wish all our families in the KNBS community a healthy and happy festive period.

Return to School Plan

Please refer to our previous communication from this week regarding our staggered return to school plans to allow for Covid testing after the holidays. You can also access this communication here: www.knbs.co.uk/y10-weeklyupdates-2122.

Autumn 2021 Eagle

The first 2021-22 edition of our virtual school magazine, The Eagle, is now available by clicking this link: https://sway.office.com/mlmshSeDD3Nv6Cx8?ref=Link. The key focus is Teaching and Learning, with departments sharing some insights into the ways that students learn in their lessons; we think you will agree that this in an impressive array of examples of how learning at KNBS has definitely returned to ‘normal’. Enjoy!

Work Experience

Many of our students have already secured excellent work experience placements and are looking forward to finding out more about their particular career and workplace. If your son has not already, please can you support him over the holidays in making contact with suitable workplaces. The deadline for this is Friday 18th March.

Support during the holidays

We understand that for some families in our community, Christmas can be a difficult time of year.  Please be reassured that there are organisations that can help and offer a variety of support if you find yourselves in a time of need.  Please see the attached flyer published by From Birmingham With Love (Birmingham City Council Website).  This provides a range of information about the many services that are available. There are also free sports activities available during the week leading up to Christmas (detailed in the attached flyer), but these are on a first come first served basis. In addition to this, you can also contact www.Northfieldcommunity.org to access food vouchers/parcels, emergency crisis funds and other essential services.

Birmingham Children's Partnership support links

Platinun FC's FREE winter events for kids 

Parent Governor Elections

Thank you to everyone who put themselves forward for the vacant Parent Governor role, and all those who voted.

Our congratulations goes to Mr V Winslow who received the most votes and we look forward to him joining the Governing Board in the new year, as Parent Governor.


Wednesday 15th December 2021

COVID Update and Re-opening Information

We want to provide as much clarity as possible on the current arrangements for COVID prevention and how this will affect the start to the Spring term.

Testing in January prior to students returning to school and the classroom

We have organised testers to be in school from the 4th - 6th of January so that we can set up our test centre in accordance with the Department for Education expectations.  All students will be provided with a testing timeslot for them to attend and complete their supervised test.

We will allow students to leave as soon as their test is complete to avoid any further risk of transmission and will follow up any positive tests with a phone call home and support to book a PCR test for confirmation.  These students will remain off school until those results are received and then for the appropriate number of days if it returns as a positive test confirmation.

All other students will return to school the day after their test.  However, they should test again at home 3 to 5 days after this initial test as part of our regime to keep our school as transmission-free as possible.

Testing Timetable:

Start times confirmed:

  • Years 11 and 10 will test on Tuesday 4th January and start school at 8:30 on Wednesday 5th January
  • Years 7 and 9 will test on Wednesday 5th January and start school at 8:30 on Thursday 6th January
  • Year 8 will test on Thursday 6th January and start school on at 8:30am on Friday 7th January.

Daily testing of close contacts for COVID-19 – updated guidance for schools

We have been informed that children and young people aged between 5 -18 who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, are strongly advised to take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for seven days and continue to attend their education setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result.  This will be organised through Track and Trace.  However, if we have spare test kits that can help facilitate this, we will of course support families in achieving this.

Update on the delivery of the 12 -15 vaccination programme

We have been informed that:

“Young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a minimum of 12 weeks from the first dose, following advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Vaccination for this group will continue to be deployed primarily by the school age immunisation service (SAIS). In-school vaccination will begin from Monday 10 January and all schools should have received at least one visit before February half-term. We expect most schools to require multiple visits so vaccines can be administered to all consenting pupils. SAIS teams will be in touch with schools from the start of next term to discuss what is best for their circumstances.

Over the Christmas holidays, parents can already book first vaccinations for their child, if aged 12 or over, through the NHS booking system. Second doses will be available for eligible children by Monday 20 December.

Further information on vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds is available on the NHS website.”

Many parents have shared their experiences of trying to get the vaccine and these have not always been as straightforward as hoped.  We remain committed to working with the SIAS team to offer vaccinations in school, as we have done for the first doses and the upcoming flu vaccination.  We have very little control over the dates for vaccination, however, we will try and fit around any dates provided.  We are waiting to hear from them regarding a date, and once we have this, we will organise a venue and share the consent forms with you as soon as we have them.  Of course, no student will be provided with a vaccine without parental consent.

COVID adaptions in school

We envisage that face masks will remain in communal areas, and on school and public transport for the foreseeable future. Please help us by getting your son to bring a clean face mask with him to school.  We are currently giving out a large number of masks each day to those that have forgotten or lost theirs, but this is unsustainable.

Sanitiser is still found in all classrooms, eating areas and toilets.  We will continue to use this to reduce the risk of transmission.

Ventilation is essential in school and we will continue to use ventilation and monitor the school with CO2 monitors.

We have already increased our cleaning regime and will continue to fog classrooms; all classrooms will be quarantined and/or fogged prior to the boys’ return in January.


Friday 10th December 2021

January Return to School Plans

The DfE have tasked schools with testing their students before they return to school after the Christmas break. They will be having one supervised test in school and we will be asking parents to complete a follow up test at home (which we will provide). 

We are currently in talks with our testers, planning our test centre and scheduling form group time slots between the 4th-6th January.  We intend to publish a more detailed schedule next week and follow up with a text confirmation and a text reminder of your son's test slot.

*Please be aware that we are working from our current consent list for testing; it might not be possible to exclude those who have refused consent from our form group text messages.

We recently sent test kits home and encourage all students to continue with their twice-weekly testing regime during the holidays.  If you require additional kits they can be ordered from:

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

Early Finish on Last Day of Term – Friday 17th December

Please note that there will be an early finish to the school day on Friday 17th December. Students are scheduled to finish school on the following staggered end points:

Year 7:                  12:15

Year 8:                  12:20

Year 9:                  12:35

Year 10:                12:30

Year 11:                12:25

If siblings are walking home together then the hall will be available to use as a meeting point.

Lost Property

Yet again, we have amassed a mountain of lost property. We are keen for these items to find their rightful owners before the end of term, so they will be on the stage in the hall at the start of next week. Please encourage your son to come to the hall at break and lunchtimes next week to see whether there are any items he may have lost.

Autumn 2021 Eagle – Landing Next Week

The first 2021-22 edition of our virtual school magazine, The Eagle, will be available next week. The key focus is Teaching and Learning, with departments sharing some insights into the ways that students learn in their lessons. Keep your eyes peeled for this – we are sure it will make an interesting read.

Birmingham City Council SEND Parent Meetings

Parents of children with SEND may be aware that work is well underway to improve the way SEND support services are planned and provided for children, young people and families in Birmingham. It is a priority to them that they involve as many SEND parents and carers on this journey, so that they deliver the right support for families who use the SEND services in order to produce the very best outcomes for children and young people. There are a number of parent engagement events on offer in the coming weeks, with the first being held on 15th December. If you are the parent of a child with SEND and you would like to find out more about these, please get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Christmas Jumper Day Friday 17th December

We are, as ever, keen to support Save the Children by recognising their Christmas Jumper Day. However, as we have recently had a non-uniform day, we have moved this event to Friday 17th December, the last day of school, so that we can go all out to both support this worthwhile cause and lead into the Christmas break with a bit of fun. Last year, we had some wonderful Christmas-themed outfits so, if your son would like to wear his Christmas jumper or another appropriate outfit in support of the charity, please ensure he brings his £1 donation to pop in the buckets.

Donate in December – Christmas Charity Appeal

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of families who have supported the B31 Foodbank, our Christmas charity this year. We are still taking donations up until Tuesday 14th December so you can drop these into reception. It is wonderful that we can help to make a difference to some of our local families. Please see the list below for some guidance on what to donate:

Urgent needs: tinned ham, tinned salmon, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, ready-made tinned or packet custard for Christmas food parcels, sugar 500g (not larger), potato Smash, jam/honey, porridge, UHT whole milk, long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, liquid or bar soap, gender neutral roll-on/stick deodorant gender neutral shampoo, disposable razors, strong carrier bags, toilet rolls, washing up liquid (not bigger than 500ml), single or duo wrapped toothbrushes

Low in stock: cereal (not greater than 500g, UHT semi-skinned milk, tinned rice pudding , noodles pack/pot, teabags (40s or 80s), instant coffee (not decaffeinated), rice, tinned potatoes, crisps, ready-made custard (tinned or carton - not powder) laundry power/liquid (not family sized), squash, baby wipes, chocolate and snack bars, tinned/packet vegetarian meal.

Christmas items NOT needed as they are well stocked: mince pies, Christmas puddings, chocolate and selection boxes.


Friday 3rd December 2021

Covid Testing

On our return to school in January, we are expected to organise testing for our students.  The DfE have set out clear expectations for schools that students should complete one supervised test and then a follow up test at home.

We are currently working to recruit testing staff and will let you know of our plans for those first few days in January as soon as we can.  We will try to limit the disruption to learning as much as possible but are grateful that the DfE have provided time to complete these tests, as they reassure students, families and staff about the safety of the environment we are returning to.

On Wednesday 1st December, we provided LFD test kits to all students in school.  This should enable testing twice a week for the rest of term and over the Christmas holiday.  We do have some spare test kits so please feel free to contact reception if you require more (e.g. if your son was absent on Wednesday).

Year 10 Parents’ Evening Survey

We hope that last night’s Parents’ Evening was as useful for you as it was for us. As much as we would have liked to see you all face-to-face, it was nevertheless lovely for us to meet you all virtually to share (and gain) information about your son. As part of our continual drive to improve our home/school partnership, we would be grateful if you could complete a short survey about last night’s event so that we can build on this for the future. Click here to access this: http://forms.knbs.co.uk/#PIzQ06LK

Donate in December – Christmas Charity Appeal

This year we are supporting our local B30 Foodbank, which helps and feeds local families in need.  If you are able to, it would be wonderful if you could donate food items and toiletries (see specific items needed below). You or your son can drop any donated items into reception up until Tuesday 14th December. We thank you in advance for any contributions - these can make a tangible difference to local families.

Urgent needs: tinned ham, tinned salmon, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, ready-made tinned or packet custard for Christmas food parcels, sugar 500g (not larger), potato Smash, jam/honey, porridge, UHT whole milk, long-life fruit juice, tinned tomatoes, liquid or bar soap, gender neutral roll-on/stick deodorant gender neutral shampoo, disposable razors, strong carrier bags, toilet rolls, washing up liquid (not bigger than 500ml), single or duo wrapped toothbrushes

Low in stock: cereal (not greater than 500g, UHT semi-skinned milk, tinned rice pudding , noodles pack/pot, teabags (40s or 80s), instant coffee (not decaffeinated), rice, tinned potatoes, crisps, ready-made custard (tinned or carton - not powder) laundry power/liquid (not family sized), squash, baby wipes, chocolate and snack bars, tinned/packet vegetarian meal.

Christmas items NOT needed as they are well stocked: mince pies, Christmas puddings, chocolate and selection boxes

PARENT GOVERNOR ELECTION

This election will be decided by a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, lots will be drawn.  So please take the time to cast your vote before it closes.

Parent Governor Candidates:

  • Mrs J Bishop

Candidate Statement

Why would you like to become a school governor at King’s Norton Boys’ School?

I would like to become a governor at Kings Norton Boys School because I am passionate about the education and pastoral support that young people receive.

I work in a strategic role within housing and homelessness and also have extensive experience of working with vulnerable adults with a variety of support needs. I have managed frontline services so have an understanding of the needs individuals present with, as well as what services they can access and barriers that may prevent them from doing so.

I have seen the effects that childhood trauma and poor education have on people and am keen to ensure that young people and their parents or carers are supported through challenging situations. I have a strong understanding of trauma informed working, and safeguarding. I have trained and mentored staff on how to work more effectively with complex individuals, and feel I can bring this to the role of parent governor.

Why do you think your skills and experience will make you an effective school governor?

I have extensive experience of working directly with vulnerable adults, and in more strategic roles developing policy and shaping services. I believe my skills and experience will enhance the governing body.

The skills I have developed include training individuals to provide more effective services; adding services to ensure they are performing to excellent standards; identifying gaps in delivery and working towards solutions to resolve these. I am empathic and able to communicate sensitively around difficult topics.

  • Miss Laura Roberts

Candidate Statement

Why would you like to become a school governor at King’s Norton Boys’ School?

I would like to be considered as a parent governor for your school as I have a son in year 8 and another starting next year, I also have a strong belief in giving all children the maximum opportunities to discover their full potential through education and extra curriculum activities alike. I am confident and comfortable in questioning leaders and holding them to account for the school, pupils and staff performance.

Why do you think your skills and experience will make you an effective school governor?

I have previously been a governor and have a very good understanding of the role and commitment involved. I also have 13 years experience in finance and expenses and 18 years in total as a NHS admin worker, with that comes an extensive knowledge of data protection, health and safety and importance of policies, procedures and confidentiality. Above all this I am a mother of five and believe no matter what your background all children deserve to be encouraged to achieve there very best potential.

  • Mr Vincent Winslow

Candidate Statement

Why would you like to become a school governor at King’s Norton Boys’ School?

As an ex-pupil of KNBS, I have always felt I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to the school for helping to make me who I am today. I am a local boy who was taught about respect, behaviour and given support and direction on how to achieve what I wanted in life. For this I will always hold KNBS extremely close to my heart and a place that gave me lifelong friends.

My wife and I are blessed to have two sons and a daughter, our eldest son who left a few years ago following an amazing time spent at KNBS and our other son who has just started in Year 7 who is equally finding KNBS life fulfilling as he settles. Our daughter has just started Year 7 at Kings Norton Girls’ School.

I now have the experience within my life where I can give something back to our local community and believe as parent Governor, I can support other parents, pupils and the school with future development and give pupils the best chance to be successful in their time at KNBS and beyond so that they are able to fulfil their true potential.

Why do you think your skills and experience will make you an effective school governor?

I am currently employed as an account manager for a Facilities Maintenance company, my role involves having full accountability for financial and service delivery performance, health and safety management, operational processes and implementing change management within business to achieve short- and long-term goals for both the business, our clients and colleagues.

This is an industry I have worked within at varying levels of management for the last 31 years. During this time, this has included maintaining various educational settings from schools to colleges and Universities ensuring safety and compliance.

As an FA Qualified football coach, part of my role is the continuous development and safety of my players at all times, including well-being, safeguarding and ensuring all players can enjoy their time safely whilst they are playing, giving them a set of usable skills to take into their life outside of football for themselves or working within or leading teams.

These skills combined, my role as a parent Governor will allow me to assist in ensuring continuous development of both statutory and strategic responsibilities, ensuring overall compliance for King’s Norton Boys, making it the school people want to be part of for years to come.

Each family can submit one vote for their selected candidate, regardless of the number of students you have attending the school. As indicated on the online form you should vote by clicking the box alongside the name of the parent you wish to support. Once you have selected your candidate and submitted your vote you will receive a notification. All votes must be completed by 3pm on Friday 10th December 2021.

If it is not possible for you to vote via this form for any reason, please contact the school via email at enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Votes can be made using our online ballot form

https://forms.office.com/r/Mka9WZTMNx


Friday 26th November 2021

Anti-Bullying at KNBS – Message from Mr Rehman

I would like to open this week’s communication with an introduction to myself, Mr Rehman. As well as being Head of Year 9, I am also the Anti-Bullying lead at KNBS. Last week was Anti-Bullying Week, and every school across the country marked the week with a very simple theme: 'One Kind Word'. I held assemblies for all year groups where I exemplified the positive impact that one kind word can have on an individual (click here to find out more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmgiR5s0cHU). We also held Odd Socks Day on Monday to celebrate the fact that we all have our differences. There were some fantastic odd-sock pairings from students and staff alike. Special mention must go to our kitchen staff, the PE department and a number of students, all of whom had really pulled out all the stops; they have received prizes for their participation and efforts. 

One of the key intentions of the assembly was to ensure that all students understand what our definition of bullying is and to know that we take bullying very seriously. We do not tolerate any kind of bullying, whether it is verbal, physical or online, and any instances that arise will be dealt with swiftly. The most important message that I wanted to get across to students is that if something doesn't seem or feel right, they must tell someone. Please make time this weekend to speak to your son about this and reinforce our key messages. 

STRIVE Grade Range Assembly

This week, Mr Clayton delivered a virtual assembly about STRIVE grade ranges to all students; they have a STRIVE grade range for every subject. In the presentation, he reminded them that the lower grade in the range is based upon the evidence that we received about their prior attainment at primary school. This evidence has suggested that if they achieve this grade at the end of Year 11, they will achieve in line with expectation. However, we have high aspirations for all our students, and Mr Clayton reinforced this by explaining that the upper grade is what we would like them to aim for at the end of Year 11, if not even higher. It has been encouraging to hear boys around school and in lessons talking about their STRIVE grade ranges and demonstrating their desire to aim high. Please talk to your son about his STRIVE grade ranges – a little encouragement from home can make a massive difference.

Vaccinations

Further to our previous communications, we have been informed that any remaining Covid vaccinations for eligible students aged 12-15 will need to be conducted at vaccination centres, not on the school site. Parents must follow the link below to access the 12-15 booking form. This link also includes an explanation of the role of consent and a handy checklist:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/book-or-manage-a-1st-or-2nd-dose-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination/

Children in Need Non-Uniform Day

It was wonderful to once again see the generosity of our boys when we held our non-uniform day for Children in Need on Friday last week. We raised a whopping £638 to donate to Children in Need. Thanks to all parents, students and staff who supported this worthwhile cause.

Year 10 Virtual Parents’ Evening 2nd December

You should all now have received your School Cloud log-in details and be able to book appointments for the upcoming Parents’ Evening which is taking place next week. If you have not yet received these, please let us know via enquiry@knbs.co.uk. You can also get a refresher on how to use School Cloud by clicking the link below: https://support.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/article/801-video-parents-how-to-attend-appointments-over-video-call.

Parent Governor Ballot

Please click here to view a letter from our Chair of Governors, Simon Chatterton, detailing the process for voting for our Parent Governor vacancy.


Friday 19th November 2021

Sharing Successes Message from Mr Garvey

What a start to the year it has been for a significant number of our boys. It is so encouraging to see so many of our boys striving to be the very best versions of themselves. I am proud to relay to you that exactly 50% of the school are Elite students. That is to say that these boys have not lost a single point since starting school again in September. This really is an outstanding achievement. Students that have only lost two points or fewer are our Gold students. This percentage of students rises to 68% of the school. It is incredible to see so many of our boys meeting our expectations of being a KNBS boy, day in day out. To all of those students, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to each of them. Keep up the great work!

To offer you more context to our Elite, Gold and Silver groups, you can click here to access our behaviour policy, which also explains how our Self Discipline for Learning (SDfL) system works.

Covid Vaccination Mop-Up Change of Date

Further to our previous communications regarding outstanding Covid vaccinations taking place on 6th December, we regret to inform you that for reasons outside of our control, this date is no longer available; we are awaiting an update on when our revised slot will be. For parents of eligible students who would like to have a Covid vaccination, below is the link for you to access the 12-15 booking form. This also includes an explanation of the role of consent and a handy checklist:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/book-or-manage-a-1st-or-2nd-dose-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination/

INSET Day Reminder – School Closed to Students on Monday 22nd November

Please remember that this coming Monday is a school INSET day so school will be closed for all students. Staff will be continuing their Professional Development, with activities focussing specifically on developing Teaching and Learning Strategies and embedding our new Assessment and Feedback Strategy.

English Set Text Reminder

Students are required to study set texts for their English Literature GCSE. They are currently studying Macbeth, and students with their own copies are able to create a valuable revision resource by making annotations in their text that will be useful later on. If your son does not already have his own copy of the text, it would be beneficial for him to own one going forward, along with other set texts that are required later in the year. If you require financial assistance with this, please let us know via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Year 10 Parents’ Evening Update

Further to recent communication, we have taken the decision to make the upcoming Year 10 Parents’ Evening on Thursday 2nd December a virtual event. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, and we have spent considerable time weighing up the pros and cons of both. However, while we acknowledge the huge benefits of parents meeting their sons’ teachers face to face, we feel that our priority has to be keeping our school community safe. We are also mindful that with every precaution still in place, a risk of transmission is still present; we hope that by presenting this virtually, we will be helping to secure a Covid-free festive break for everyone.

The virtual parents’ evenings that we held last year were overwhelmingly successful. Most of you will already have experienced School Cloud, the online platform that we used to deliver them. You will require a personal log in to book and attend appointments – these will be sent to you early next week. You can get a refresher on how to use School Cloud by clicking the link below: https://support.parentseveningsystem.co.uk/article/801-video-parents-how-to-attend-appointments-over-video-call.

If you have any questions about this virtual event, please contact us on enquiry@knbs.co.uk.


Friday 12th November 2021

In our assemblies this week, Ms Goult returned to focus again on our Tell Someone campaign. This was to say thank you to the boys for helping us create a school where we can be open with each other, allowing us to help make our students feel happy and safe at school. She talked to the boys about how we want them to continue talking to us about the things that don't feel right to them, no matter how small. Please continue to have conversations at home with your son and encourage him to tell someone if things are bothering him. If he doesn't feel he can speak to a member of staff in school, he can use the Tell Someone email (tellsomeone@knbs.co.uk) or use the Tell Someone button on the website to let us know, and we can then offer appropriate support.

Covid Vaccination Mop-Up Session 6th December

For students aged 12-15 who missed or were unable to have the Covid vaccinations earlier this term, but would still like to have this, the vaccination team are back in school on 6th December. Parents of students who have not had the vaccination will receive a consent form in the coming weeks that must be completed and returned to us. Students cannot be vaccinated without your consent.

INSET Day Reminder

Please remember that the date of our next INSET day is Monday 22nd November. Please make a note of this in your diary. School will be closed for all students on this day. Staff will be continuing their Professional Development, with activities focussing specifically on developing Teaching and Learning Strategies and embedding our new Assessment and Feedback Strategy.

Year 10 Parents’ Evening Thursday 2nd December

Year 10 Parents’ Evening will be taking place on Thursday 2nd December. We are tentatively hopeful that this will be a face-to-face event with some safety restrictions in place, but we will confirm this in next week’s communications and provide details of booking arrangements.

GCSE Pod

We are delighted to announce that KNBS has invested in ‘GCSEPod’, the award-winning digital content and revision materials provider used by over 1,700 schools worldwide. As a subscriber, your son now has access to their library of over 6,500 Pods; these are three to five-minute videos designed to deliver knowledge in short bursts. GCSEPod makes learning and revision much more manageable. Every Pod is mapped to an exam board and contains all the right facts, quotes, keywords, dates and annotated diagrams that your son needs for GCSE success, all neatly organised into topics and exam playlists.

One of the best things about GCSEPod is that it is so easy to access. You can download any Pod to your son’s mobile device, and they can watch it at any time, in any place, with or without Internet connection. It is like they are carrying a whole set of textbooks in their pocket!

Make sure you download the GCSEPod app from the App Store (Apple and Android are supported) to access this feature. Your son has been issued with his username and password during a session at school this afternoon. More information, including useful tutorials and videos, can be found at www.gcsepod.com/parents.

Work Experience Message from Mr Kirk

Your son will be given the opportunity to attend a work experience placement this academic year. It will be his responsibility to seek out and contact businesses and organisations in order to discuss a potential placement with them. Form Tutors at school will support and guide students with both their research and communications. In our many years of past experience we have found that joint effort from teachers at school and parents at home yields the most successful results, and so we ask that you talk to your son about what work experience he would like to perform and encourage him through the stages. He will face rejection and maybe even no response at all from some businesses. This is common but we urge students to be resilient and continue to send out emails and make phone calls so as to secure themselves a work placement experience. Even if a placement isn't directly in the line of work that your son has aspirations for, he can still gain useful experience from it and it can provide him with the chance to reflect upon what he has learnt in readiness for future applications or interviews. 

The deadline for securing the work experience placement is Friday 8th March 2022. By this date, a completed KNBS Work Experience Form will need to be returned to school. The deadline is in advance of the week of work experience because Health and Safety checks will need to be completed to confirm the placement. It is advised that the paperwork is returned as soon as possible. The work experience placement itself will run between Monday 4th April and Friday 8th April.

If you have any questions about work experience, please contact Mr Kirk via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Parent Governor Vacancy Information – Letter from Chair of Governors, Simon Chatterton

We have had some interest in the Parent Governor vacancy that was shared last week. Just in case you missed it, here is Simon Chatterton’s message again:

We currently have a vacancy for one parent governor and are seeking nominations for an enthusiastic and committed parent or carer to join the governing board.

There are no particular qualifications required for the role but, following an analysis of the results of our skills audit, we have skills gaps in the areas of health and safety and safeguarding and would be particularly keen to receive nominations from someone with experience in any of these areas. Additionally, we would be keen to receive nominations from parents who are involved in our local business community.

The core functions of the governing board are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation, its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The term of office for all governors is four years.

At King’s Norton Boys’ School, we always aim for positive and purposeful partnerships with parents, which undoubtedly bring important benefits to the pupils. One of the most significant ways you can help in promoting this aim is to volunteer to be a parent governor. The governing board’s main tasks are to support the school, ensure that all pupils receive a high-quality education and plan for future development and improvement.

Parent governors are welcomed as valued members of the team and play a vital role in ensuring the governing board is aware of the views of parents and the local community.

We are confident that there are parents prepared to volunteer to take on this key role and give their time and commitment to help us continue to develop and improve the school's performance.

Governors currently meet as a board each month, 12 times a year. Meetings are usually held on the last Thursday of the month, start at 6.30pm, and finish at 8.30pm. All meetings are normally held at the school, however under the current social distancing guidelines meetings have been mostly held virtually via Microsoft Teams.

If needed, additional meetings will be planned with, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, seven days’ notice is given. In addition, every governor has a ‘link’ role, some of which are statutory roles with other roles linked to the pillars that underpin our school’s strategic vision.

Governors are occasionally required to visit the school during the day for monitoring visits and are encouraged to support school events, where possible.

We offer new governors a comprehensive and supportive induction, and each new governor is assigned a mentor. Full training for the role is also available.

If you are interested in becoming a governor and meet the requirements set out in ‘Annex A – Qualifications and disqualifications to serve as a school governor’, please complete the application form at http://URL TBC and return via email to governorrecruitment@knbs.co.uk

By nominating yourself for the role of parent governor, you will believe you have the skills and commitment to undertake the role. You are also nominating yourself to be a person of trust to represent the views of parents when working with other governors and the headteacher, to promote high standards and strategically develop the school. The parent governor’s role is not to represent individual parents’ views or to report back directly to parents.

Should you have any questions about the role please do not hesitate to contact the school who will pass your details on.

Nominations must be submitted by 1:00pm on 22 November 2021 If there are more nominations than vacancies, an election will be from on 29 November 2021 and all parents will be sent a digital voting URL.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Chatterton

Chair of Governing Board

 


Friday 5th November 2021

Message from Mr Garvey

It had been a pleasure to welcome the boys back following half term and I trust all our families had a restful break. That said, I'm sure the boys are aware that it is straight back to down business at KNBS. It goes without saying that we are well and truly in the swing of things, so to speak, and many of our boys have met the initial demands that Key Stage 4 and GCSE study brings, extremely well. I can only speak with pride at how Year 10 have adapted to this rise in expectation, and the level of maturity and quality of work on display when I have the opportunity to visit the boys in lesson continues to impress. This week in our assembly the boys had the opportunity to reflect on their start to Year 10 and consider the implications of self-discipline, positive behaviour, and of course hard work. We also took the opportunity to look at the positive trends in behaviour and, of course, special acknowledgement must go to the 60 plus Elite students who remain on 20 SDfL points, a clear indication of their commitment to success here at KNBS.  

I look forward to providing further updates later in the term - have a great weekend.

INSET Day Reminder

In the last communication we informed you about the date of our next INSET day which will be Monday 22nd November. Please make a note of this in your diary. School will be closed for all students on this day. Staff will be continuing their Professional Development, with activities focussing specifically on developing Teaching and Learning Strategies and embedding our new Assessment and Feedback Strategy.

Year 10 Parents’ Evening Thursday 2nd December

Year 10 Parents’ Evening will be taking place on Thursday 2nd December. We are unsure whether this will be a face-to-face or virtual event at present, but we are monitoring the Covid situation locally and will make a decision very soon. In the meantime, please make a note of this important date in your diary.

Learning Support Update

The past eighteen months in Learning Support have been very different to normal, echoing the events taking place in the outside world. In response to our students’ return to school after the various lockdowns, we found ourselves supporting them in very different ways to how we had previously done so, and our usual literacy, numeracy and academic support had taken a back seat to allow us to give the additional emotional and mental health support that has been needed. While this support remains a focus for us as a whole school, as well as for the Learning Support team, it is time now to encourage the students with SEND who have made greater use of their Hub Passes and the Learning Support department generally, to fully integrate back into lessons so that they can make the most of their learning at KNBS.

During this next half term, the following changes will be taking place as we transition back to our more normal way of supporting students:

  • Literacy, numeracy and social skills interventions will be recommencing
  • The Hub will become the KS3 Intervention Room
  • The Workroom will become the KS4 Intervention Room
  • Hub Passes will be being recalled, starting with Year 11 this week and working down to Year 7 across the half term
  • Students with SEND will be issued with a new card that allows them to alert or remind staff of their additional needs, particularly unfamiliar or new staff.

We have discussed these changes with the students that use the Hub most frequently and they are happy with them and feel reassured that the support that they need will still be available to them. If you have any queries regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

Firework Safety

Many of you may be attending organised bonfires and firework displays at the weekend and some may be hosting events at home. Please remind your son of the importance of being safe and sensible when in the possession of fireworks or around fire.

Parent Governor Vacancy

We currently have a vacancy for one parent governor and are seeking nominations for an enthusiastic and committed parent or carer to join the governing board.

There are no particular qualifications required for the role but, following an analysis of the results of our skills audit, we have skills gaps in the areas of health and safety and safeguarding and would be particularly keen to receive nominations from someone with experience in any of these areas. Additionally, we would be keen to receive nominations from parents who are involved in our local business community.

The core functions of the governing board are:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction.
  • Holding senior leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation, its pupils, and the performance management of staff.
  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The term of office for all governors is four years.

At King’s Norton Boys’ School, we always aim for positive and purposeful partnerships with parents, which undoubtedly bring important benefits to the pupils. One of the most significant ways you can help in promoting this aim is to volunteer to be a parent governor. The governing board’s main tasks are to support the school, ensure that all pupils receive a high-quality education and plan for future development and improvement.

Parent governors are welcomed as valued members of the team and play a vital role in ensuring the governing board is aware of the views of parents and the local community.

We are confident that there are parents prepared to volunteer to take on this key role and give their time and commitment to help us continue to develop and improve the school's performance.

Governors currently meet as a board each month, 12 times a year. Meetings are usually held on the last Thursday of the month, start at 6.30pm, and finish at 8.30pm. All meetings are normally held at the school, however under the current social distancing guidelines meetings have been mostly held virtually via Microsoft Teams.

If needed, additional meetings will be planned with, unless there are extraordinary circumstances, seven days’ notice is given. In addition, every governor has a ‘link’ role, some of which are statutory roles with other roles linked to the pillars that underpin our school’s strategic vision.

Governors are occasionally required to visit the school during the day for monitoring visits and are encouraged to support school events, where possible.

We offer new governors a comprehensive and supportive induction, and each new governor is assigned a mentor. Full training for the role is also available.

If you are interested in becoming a governor and meet the requirements set out in ‘Annex A – Qualifications and disqualifications to serve as a school governor’, please complete the application form available to download from here and return via email to governorrecruitment@knbs.co.uk.

By nominating yourself for the role of parent governor, you will believe you have the skills and commitment to undertake the role. You are also nominating yourself to be a person of trust to represent the views of parents when working with other governors and the headteacher, to promote high standards and strategically develop the school. The parent governor’s role is not to represent individual parents’ views or to report back directly to parents.

Should you have any questions about the role please do not hesitate to contact the school who will pass your details on.

Nominations must be submitted by 1:00pm on 22 November 2021 If there are more nominations than vacancies, an election will be from on 29 November 2021 and all parents will be sent a digital voting URL.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Chatterton

Chair of Governing Board


Friday 22nd October 2021

Student Covid-19 Vaccination Update

If your son is one of the students that is eligible for but has not yet received their Covid-19 vaccination, please read the NHS update below carefully:

"The NHS has confirmed that alongside the in-school vaccination programme, 12- to 15-year-old pupils that are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine will be able to receive their jab at walk-in centres from the October half term. Parents of pupils aged 12- to 15- will receive a letter from the NHS which will include information around the vaccination programme and how to book an appointment out of school."

Safety Message from West Midlands Police

With the half term holiday almost upon us and the darker nights drawing in, there is an important safety message from West Midlands Police available here. Please read this and share the contents with your son – we want all of our students to return to us safe and well after their week off.

Advance Warning of INSET Day

Please make a note in your diary of the date for our next INSET day which will be Monday 22nd November. School will be closed for all students on this day. Staff will be continuing their Professional Development, with activities focussing specifically on developing Teaching and Learning Strategies and embedding our new Assessment and Feedback Strategy.

Work Experience – Mr Kirk

We are now able to confirm that we have a date in the calendar for Year 10 Work Experience. After two years of being unable to offer this invaluable ‘real-world’ careers experience to our boys, we are pleased to have it as part of our Careers provision once again.  This will take place in the week commencing 4th April, just before Easter. Students, with the support of their families, need to begin researching the careers that they are interested in and creating a list of possible companies that they could contact. Form Tutors will be providing support for students to assist them in doing this in the coming weeks but popular careers, such as medicine, the police force, university placements and engineering firms, get booked up very quickly. Please take the opportunity over the half term break to discuss work experience with your son so that he is ready to start contacting companies in the near future.

Videoing of Students

We have a very thorough approach to school improvement, and we are determined to maintain our continual advancements.  Our motto, ‘Humani Semper Contendimus’, translates into 'we humans always striving'.  As part of this strive to improve, we often observe lessons to help develop strategies for our boys to reach higher standards and make greater progress in their learning. 

One mechanism that we intend to use more often is the occasional recording of lessons, which provides the professionals in our school with the perfect tool for reflection on their practice.  If you would not want your son to take part in a lesson that was recorded, for training purposes, then please let us know.  We can assure you that these recordings would only be used for our internal development and only ever shared with our Teacher Training providers.  The data would be stored securely, and we would not share these videos publicly.

Footwear in PE

With the approach of more inclement weather, it is important that all students wear appropriate footwear for their PE lessons that take place on the field. We advise that upon their return after the holiday, for the autumn/winter period, students wear football boots for their PE lessons outside.


Friday 15th October 2021

STRIVE – Resilience

This week our assemblies have been focussed on the topic of resilience: what it is, why it is important, what it looks like and how it can be improved. This is one of our STRIVE values - these underpin our ethos at KNBS. Many of the boys reflected upon moments in the last few weeks that they have maybe not been as resilient as they would like and they have challenged themselves to make their resilience ‘muscle’ stronger by using it more often.

School Fund

On the 3rd of September, we shared with you our aim for school fund: that if each family contributes, we will be able to achieve our aim of making our school-run Outdoor Education sessions free to all for the foreseeable future.

We are committed to maintaining our Outdoor Education programme, as we feel it is essential to provide these opportunities to our boys.  I am really pleased to report that so far (as of 14th of October) 154 families have contributed to our School Fund.  Thank you for helping to secure Outdoor Education for the next two terms. 

​Families will find the school fund contribution item on their Parent Pay account at www.parentpay.com. Although this is currently set to £25, we understand that some families cannot afford this much, therefore, there is the option to reduce the amount contributed – all contributions, however big or small, will be very gratefully received.

Head Boy Team

Following a rigorous application and interview process, we are delighted to announce our Head Boy Team for 2021/2022. The places were, as ever, hotly contested, and all applicants did very well. However, the boys named below were exceptional; they all had a very clear idea about what contribution they can make to our school community as part of the Head Boy Team. We congratulate them all and look forward to working with them and seeing the positive impact they can make.

Role

Student

Head Boy                                                            

George Widdicombe  

Deputy Head Boy and Vice Chair of School Council

Tom Lane 

Deputy Head Boy and Head of Sports Reps

Robert Masunga 

Deputy Head of Sports Reps

Mervely Kiese 

Head of Eco/Travel Reps

Jake Marks 

Deputy Head of Eco/Travel Reps

Joseph Griffiths

Head of Student Mental Health and Welfare

Thamim Haque 

Deputy Head of Mental Health and Welfare

David McKoy 

Head of Student Mentoring

Callum Main 

Deputy Head of Student Mentoring

Liam Campbell

 


Friday 8th October 2021

Vaccinations

The amount of teamwork that has gone into pulling everything together to enable the Covid vaccinations to go ahead with our students today has been outstanding; from the vaccination teams to our administration staff, everything has run like clockwork. However, we would like to extend a huge thank you to our parents for being so prompt with returning consent forms, as without this, these could not have gone ahead. It is great to know that so many more of our school community will soon have an extra layer of protection from Covid.

Parking and Road Safety

Thank you to the well over 600 families who are actively supporting our parking and traffic intervention.  We are pleased to report that the new exit system that we have put in place for our students has eased pedestrian congestion and helped alleviate some key issues too.  We also acknowledge a huge reduction in the number of parents who are:

  • parking over someone’s drive
  • parking on or opposite the yellow no-stopping zone.

However, on some days, we do still observe a handful of issues that affect our boys, particularly as they leave school.  These are:

  • parking on kerb sides near the school which makes it difficult for boys to walk on the path
  • parking in a congested fashion which makes it difficult for other traffic users and buses to move freely along the road.

For example, we were horrified last week when a boy moved into the road to walk around a parent car that had parked on the pavement.  We will continue to monitor the situation and have started to record the details of those who persistently put our boys at risk.  To avoid a follow-up from West Midlands Police, we urge you to consider if a drop off or pick-up is necessary, and if it is, to arrange a suitable place a short walk away from school where your son can be dropped off or collected safely, allowing all students to walk safely on their way in and out of school.

Peer on Peer Abuse

You may be aware of recent national publicity around the topic of peer-on-peer abuse. This can take many forms, from online harassment, misogyny or homophobia, through to physical and/or sexual abuse. It is of course something we take very seriously, and it is addressed a number of times across the curriculum, during your son's time with us. It would be wrong to assume that our students are not at risk of exposure to such things, so we seek regular professional development in order to understand, spot the signs and deal appropriately with such situations as they may arise. You may be interested in the recent BBC Panorama programme which focused on peer-on-peer abuse, which not only gives some insight into what this is but also highlights the growing impact that this is having on young people. We would advise that adults watch this first to determine whether it is appropriate for their son to watch too. It was first aired on 6th September and is available via the following link (you will need to set up a free BBC account in order to view BBC iPlayer): https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000zgwk/panorama-whos-protecting-our-kids

Mental Health Support

The mental health of our school community is always at the forefront of our practices, never more so than on Mental Health Day which was on Thursday this week. There is a range of support on offer for parents and young people who may need additional help. If you are concerned about the emotional wellbeing of your son, Kooth is one of a number of organisations that is offering such support; please click here for details of how to access this.


Friday 1st October 2021

Message from Mr Garvey

As ever, it is pleasing to report that the positive start made by Year 10 continues; the vast majority of boys demonstrate a positive attitude to school life on a daily basis and are progressing extremely well in their lessons. Putting the past 18 months behind us, it now appears the school year is well and truly underway and there is a buzz of activity around the school. The boys have engaged superbly with a range of activities, including assemblies on topics such as 'Student Leadership' and 'Student Well-being'. This week they, have had the opportunity to visit our careers fair. Here they could engage with a range of post-16 providers, which has certainly given them a lot to think about!

As a PE teacher, it is extremely pleasing to see the full return of extra-curricular sporting activities and fixtures here at KNBS, with participation numbers across all year groups at an all-time high. Special mention, of course, must go to the Year 10 football team who, under the tutelage of Mr Turner, have put in some excellent performances. Mr Francis has similarly been bowled over by the progress of the rugby squad who hope to compete in their opening fixture in the coming weeks (further updates on our sporting success can be found on the KNBS PE Twitter page). On that rather smug note, I wish you all a fantastic weekend.

COVID Update

Vaccinations for 12-16 year olds

We are provisionally booked in for our Covid vaccinations on the 8th of October.  The arrival of the consent forms from the School Vaccination Team is imminent and so these will be issued to boys on Monday. We will confirm this to parents via text message. We will need the support of our families to get these consent forms back swiftly by Wednesday 6th October at 9am at the very latest. Therefore, we would be grateful if you start this conversation now so that when the consent form arrives on Monday you are ready to make your decision.

There are suggestions that Vaccination Teams will use the Gillick Competencies Check to administer a vaccination to a consenting student who has not returned his form.  We have discussed this with the NHS School Vaccination Team and can confirm that vaccinations will ONLY be given to KNBS students who provide the completed and signed parental consent form.

Cases

We are witnessing a rise in community cases and have a number of students off school at the moment with a confirmed case of Covid.  Contact tracing is now completed by NHS Test and Trace, but we continue to share this information with Public Health Birmingham, and we analyse this case information for links between students.  In school, we are continuing our rota of deep cleaning (fogging) the school, we continue to ventilate classrooms, we have reintroduced screens in our canteen, and we are reinforcing the use of hand sanitiser for when students enter classrooms.

How you can help

The majority of our families consent to Lateral Flow Testing.  We understand, however, that over time the regularity of this testing does tend to take a dip.  Please keep up these tests as we have clear evidence that asymptomatic cases are being identified by them.

Please do not send your son to school if he has one of these symptoms (remember they may be mild in children), and book a PCR test:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste.

Thank you for your continued help and support. We send our best wishes to those members of our school community recovering from the COVID-19 virus.

Open Evening – advance notice

Please be reminded that on Tuesday 5th October there will be an early school closure to allow for our final preparations for Open Evening. These will be the amended timings for during the school day:

  • There will be no canteen food for Years 7 and 8 during morning break
  • Years 9, 10 and 11 brunch will run from 10:50 - 11:30
  • Years 7 and 8 lunch will run from 11:30 - 12:20
  • Years 9, 10 and 11 leave at 12:20
  • Years 7 and 8 have a form period at 12:20 leaving school at 12:30.

Tell Someone

Last week our pastoral Assistant Head Teacher, Ms Goult, delivered assemblies introducing our 'Tell Someone' campaign. Our boys are very open and honest with us and most of them are happy to talk to a member of staff if they are worried about something. However, we want them to know that it doesn't matter how big or small the worry is, or whether it is about themselves or someone else, telling a friend or a member of staff when something does not seem right is the most important thing to do. We would urge you to reiterate this message with your son in relation to mental health matters, bullying or any other issue your son or another student may be experiencing. 

Student Leadership

This week, we have launched our Student Leadership programme to the whole school during their assemblies. At King’s Norton Boys’ School, we take pride in providing opportunities for students to work on vital leadership skills and offering a platform for students to have an input into their own school. If your son is interested in becoming involved in one of the whole school Student Leadership programmes, they should talk to their Form Tutor and prepare a campaign speech to explain why they would be suitable for their chosen role. Candidates will be delivering their speeches to their forms during registration next week, before being voted into the different positions that are available by their Form Tutor and their peers. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop the ‘soft skills’ that are so desirable to post-16 providers and employers. Please encourage your son to get involved. 

Lost Property and naming items

Last week, we told you that we have an ever-growing mountain of lost property, including some high-priced items such as trainers and coats. This is now in danger of overtaking the school office. In the first instance, can you please check that your son has all of his belongings, from PE kit to pencil case. Following this, if everything is present, can you please name as much as you can so as to help us avoid our office staff disappearing under the lost property mountain before the end of term!

Parents and Carers of Children with Autism and ADHD

There is a range of activities available across the city to support children with autism and ADHD, and their parents. Please click here for more information.

Sports Team Sponsorship Opportunity

We are keen to upgrade some of our school sports team kits and are interested in having local business sponsorship. This is a great opportunity for a local business to raise their profile in the community, as well as providing support for our boys. Any business that sponsors a sports team will receive:

  • a team photo in the kit they provided (this will also be displayed in our Sports Hall)
  • their business logo on those shirts
  • a thank you and business link on our website
  • social media recognition with a business link.

If you or someone you know may be interested in this opportunity, please contact us at enquiry@knbs.co.uk using the word ‘sponsorship’ in the subject bar. 

New Sporting Opportunity

It has been brought to our attention that some of our students partake in the exciting sport of fencing outside of school.  Their club has informed us that they are looking for new members so if you or your son would like to try something new, they welcome your interest: www.birminghamfencingclub.org.uk.


Friday 24th September 2021

It has been great to have some autumn sun this week and to see our boys making the most of our wonderful outdoor space at break and lunchtimes. Around school, at one end of the scale we have Year 7 students who are settling in well and finding their feet; at the other end, Year 11 students have been exemplary in their conduct during their Pre-Public Exams. School is beginning to feel, dare we say it, all rather normal again…

Covid Vaccinations 8th October 

You may be aware that plans are underway for school age young people to be offered their Covid vaccination, and that schools will be hosting the school's vaccination nurses to enable them to deliver of this programme. We have been provisionally given the date of 8th October for this programme to start in school but there are many logistical matters, including parental consent, that need to be organised ahead of this.  Nevertheless, we want to keep you abreast of the plans, and as soon as we have the relevant documents, we will share them with you. 

Open Evening – advance notice

We are now in a position to confirm our plans to hold our modified Open Evening on the 5th October. On this day, we will revert back to an early school closure, with amended timings during the school day:

  • There will be no canteen food for Years 7 and 8 during morning break
  • Years 9, 10 and 11 brunch will run from 10:50 - 11:30
  • Years 7 and 8 lunch will run from 11:30 - 12:20
  • Years 9, 10 and 11 leave at 12:20
  • Years 7 and 8 have a form period at 12:20 leaving school at 12:30.

Lost Property and naming items

We collect a large amount of lost property each day.  When these items are named, we return them to the owner with ease.  Unfortunately, many items are not named, so please can we ask you to add your name to your son's property (particularly blazers) so that lost items can find their way home.

Sports Fixtures Updates from Mr Turner

We are delighted that sports fixtures are back up and running and we are keen to get as many students as possible to take part in this vital addition to our Physical Education offer at KNBS. Please see the list below of upcoming football fixtures for the week commencing 27/09/21, all of which are home games:

Monday:           Turves Green Year 9

Tuesday:           Turves Green Year 8

Wednesday:     Coventry Year 10

Friday:              Tudor Grange Year 7

Please note that as part of our ongoing measures to protect our school community, no spectators from either home or visiting teams will be allowed on site to watch matches. We will review this arrangement regularly and keep you updated on any changes.

There are also recreational sports clubs now on offer in school. Please remind your son to check his form noticeboard or ask his Form Tutor for more information. 

Careers Update

Choosing a college, 6th form or apprenticeship for your son’s next steps after KNBS is an important decision and one that you will undoubtedly want to give careful consideration to. Visiting post-16 providers will help your son to start narrowing down the field, and many of our local providers are welcoming students back on site to have a look around and speak to the subject teachers. Below is a list of some upcoming open events that are coming soon but please be aware that you may need to book onto these events in advance in order for you to be able to attend:

  • Cadbury College: Thursday 30th September and Saturday 2nd October
  • South and City College: Thursday 30th September and 17th November
  • Halesowen College: Saturday 16th October (10am-4pm) and Wednesday 10th November (5pm-7pm)
  • Access Creative College: Monday 25th October
  • Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College:  Saturday 16th October (10am-2pm) and Saturday 13th November (10am-2pm)
  • Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet): Saturday 16th October (10am-1pm)
  • Solihull Sixth Form College: Saturday 16th October (9.30am-3.30pm)
  • Kings Norton Girls' School: Monday 27th September (5pm-8pm), Tuesday 28th September (9am-11am) and Wednesday 29th September (9am-11am)
  • Bishop Challoner Sixth Form: Wednesday 22nd September
  • Colmers School and Sixth Form College: Thursday 23rd September
  • University of Birmingham School: Thursday 23rd September

If your son would like further careers advice, you can visit Birmingham Careers Service website at: https://www.birminghamcareersservice.co.uk. If you have any questions that you feel we can help with in school, please contact Mr Kirk at enquiry@knbs.co.uk.


Friday 17th September 2021

Attendance

We are so pleased to have our boys back in school after a difficult 18 months, and this year we are hoping for a little less disruption.  See below link to our Spotlight on Attendance letter from Birmingham City Council. It highlights the importance of good attendance along with the partnership between school, parents, and carers.  

Please be reminded that school starts at 8.30am for all students.  A student arriving late to school must sign in at Reception if the gate has been closed. It would be helpful, if your child is absent, to let school know before 9am each day.  If it is a prolonged absence, a call is required each day. If you know your son is going to be absent due to a medical appointment, please let us know in advance with evidence of the absence, such as an appointment letter.

If you have any concerns or queries regarding attendance, please contact your son’s Head of Year. 

Parking and Road Safety

We are aware that the vast majority of parents do not drop off or pick their son up from school, however, this issue should remain important to all of us, as the road conditions outside of school affect all our boys’ safety as they leave the site.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us in this endeavour.

We have seen a significant improvement in the parking conditions outside of school, but we are conscious that we do not want to simply push the problem to where we cannot see it.  So, we want to let you know about the second phase of our road safety work:

Stage 2 involves our newly formed partnership with our local WM Police Road Safety Team.  They want us to forward to them the car registration details of any cars that are parked illegally or inconsiderately, for example:

  • Parking on kerb sides near the school which makes it difficult for boys to walk on the path
  • Parking in a congested fashion which makes it difficult for other traffic users and buses to move freely along the road
  • Parking over someone’s drive
  • Parking opposite the yellow no-stopping zone.

To avoid a follow-up from WM Police, we urge you to consider if a drop off or pick-up is necessary, and if it is, to arrange a suitable place a short walk away from school where your son can be dropped off or collected safely, allowing all students to walk safely on their way in and out of school.  We thank you in advance for your consideration and thank all those parents who already do this.

Open Evening – advance notice

We know how important these events are to our prospective families, so we are pleased to say that we are on track to hold a modified Open Evening, with a series of tours taking place on the 5th October.  On this day, we will revert back to an early school closure.  This will most likely be between 12:30 and 13:00, but once we have more details, we will update you.

Curriculum News - Homework

Our homework strategy acknowledges the importance of learning beyond the classroom, and it recognises that homework must consolidate, reinforce, and extend the learning that takes place in the classroom to enable our students to be successful. It encourages independent learning, self-discipline, personal organisation, responsibility and reinforces our home/school partnership. 

All departments are encouraged to:

  • Identify a range of meaningful tasks which facilitate progression in learning  
  • Identify a variety of tasks which assess a range of subject skills  
  • Integrate homework tasks with lesson planning and learning outcomes 
  • Set homework that supports best retrieval practice such as low stake testing, summarising, past papers, quizzes, labelling, revision cards and spacing these out to further consolidate learning  
  • Provide timely and constructive feedback which sustains student motivation and facilitates progression.  

We thank you in advance for your support in encouraging your son to complete homework in a timely manner and to the best of his ability.

Careers Fair Reminder

Please be reminded that there is a careers fair in school on Thursday 30th September; parents will also be able to attend after school. We will give more details of this event soon, including timings of when you can attend, as well as examples of providers and businesses that are attending.

For parents wishing to attend the fair after school, there will be a booking system, as places will be limited to ensure that we minimise any risk of Covid transmission, details of which will be emailed out next week. Any attendees will also need to provide evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Test upon entry. More details about all of this will follow shortly.


Friday 10th September 2021

Welcome from Mr Garvey

It has been a great pleasure to welcome the year 10 students back this week - the vast majority of whom have looked extremely smart in their uniform and have demonstrated a real eagerness to engage with the first few lessons of Key Stage 4. It has been fantastic to have the opportunity to address the year group as a whole in assembly and to ensure that the boys are aware of the incredible network of support the school offers well as the importance of the next two years. 

I am extremely proud once again to have the opportunity to work with such a great bunch of boys and I sincerely look forward to meeting every challenge we face over the next year head on and together.

Curriculum News

At King’s Norton Boys’ School, we have designed our Key Stage 4 curriculum with our students’ learning at the centre. Our curriculum provides a broad and balanced education for all our students and offers them excellent opportunities to develop as individuals as well as learners. Our approach to teaching and learning supports our curriculum by ensuring that lessons build on prior learning and provide opportunities for guided and prolonged independent practice. 

We are proud that our curriculum is taught by specialist teachers with a deep knowledge of and a passion for their subject. We want our students to be ambitious and resilient so that they know how to learn for themselves. While teachers encourage, support and guide students, we also expect them to take responsibility for their own learning and to be able to work both independently and collaboratively, to relish challenges and to persevere when they find things hard.

The opportunities available to students at KNBS are plentiful, and we offer our students a wide range of new and exciting experiences through extra-curricular activities that are designed to build Self-discipline, Teamwork, Resilience, Initiative, Vision and Endeavour. These are our core STRIVE values.

We greatly value the support that our parents offer, both to their son and to the school as a whole and we feel it is important for you know and understand the curriculum that your son will be following. The link below is to the curriculum booklets which are a comprehensive guide to the curriculum our students will study during Key Stage 4. It gives an overview of all the content covered for each of the subjects that they study, as well as the assessments that will take place. It also provides information on provision for students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), Careers Advice, Student Leadership opportunities and our extensive Outdoor Education programme.

School Fund

We are hugely grateful to those parents who have already given generously to our school fund. If you are planning to do so but have not yet, you can do this via Parent Pay.

Fantasy football

Mr Butler is once again running a Fantasy Football league in school. This is always a hugely popular event that helps to build a sense of community. Students have been given all the details to allow them to enter via their Form Tutors but if they need any more information, they can also pop in to see Mr Butler.

There will be prizes for the winner in each year group, the knockout cup winner and many more. We had 106 entries last season. It would be great to beat that.

Careers News

It is never too early to start boys thinking about their future aspirations and with this in mind, there is going to be a careers fair in school on Thursday 30th September. Parents will also be able to attend after school; we will give more details of this event soon, including timings of when parents can attend the fair, as well as examples of providers and businesses that are attending.


Friday 3rd September 2021

Well, here it is – the first official weekly communication of the new year. We are excited to be welcoming all our students back next week, albeit in a staggered fashion but are even more excited to be able to do so with more of a semblance of normality than last year. Moreover, we are delighted to be able to start sharing with you updates on matters relating to school life that are not just Covid-related, such as extra-curricular activities, curriculum design, careers etc., all the really important stuff that makes KNBS such a great learning community.

Staggered Starts

You will already have received communication from us regarding the staggered start times for the different year groups next week. Please see the schedule below to ensure that your son is in school at his designated time for testing and first day back.

Testing Consent

If you have not already done so, please complete the consent form to enable your son to do a Covid test in school prior to his return by clicking here.

Parent Pay

KNBS is a cashless school. All parents have a Parent Pay log in so that they can make payments for things such as school lunches, trips etc. If you have lost or forgotten your log in details, please email enquiry@knbs.co.uk so that these can be reissued in time for you to put money on your son’s account for lunches next week, if needed.

School Photographs

The photographer will be in school on Friday next week. You will be sent a link early next week so that parents who wish to can purchase their son’s photograph, as this now has to be done online as we are a cashless school.

PE Kit Supply Shortage

Local school uniform suppliers have informed us that they continue to have shortages in some KNBS PE kit. If you have been unable to purchase these items, your son should wear a plain white T-shirt and black or navy shorts. They are going to update us when these items are back in stock.

School Fund

We are very grateful for those families who have previously contributed to our annual school fund; it has enabled us to improve facilities and resources for our boys. This year we wanted to be more transparent about school fund and what we intend to use it for. We are fully aware of how the pandemic has had a financial impact on schools and in our communities, therefore it is even more important to ensure our school fund is used effectively to support our boys. 

This year, and from now on, we want to make a significant link between school fund and our Outdoor Education programme.  The recent issues experienced due to Covid, and the associated collective trauma, makes the experiences that we offer our boys through our Outdoor Education programme even more important (www.knbs.co.uk/outdooreducation).

Our aim is to remove individual session payments for our Outdoor Education programme and enhance our outdoor learning opportunities in curriculum areas.  If each family contributes £25 to school fund, we will be able to achieve our aim of making our school-run outdoor adventure sessions free to all. 

As always, we remain flexible and understand that some families may find it hard to contribute this much, and others may want to pay more. Therefore, £25 is a suggested amount, but families have the option to contribute what they can.  Families will find the school fund contribution item on their parent pay account (www.parentpay.com).

We are also looking for local businesses to help support some of Outdoor Education programme. If you, or someone you know, would like to discuss this further, please get in touch with Mr Julian at b.julian@knbs.co.uk.

Year 11 Pre-Public Exams

Year 11 PPEs for core subjects (English, maths and science) take place in the week commencing 20th September; subject teachers will be giving them more guidance about these next week. Please support your son in his preparation for these important assessments.

Year 11 Period 6 Lessons

These start from next week for some subjects and there will be a formal timetable for period 6 lessons for other subjects in the coming weeks:

English: compulsory for all students – Wednesday 3-4pm

Science – triple science students only – Thursday 3-4pm

Year 10 Macbeth texts

In English, Year 10 students will be studying Macbeth as one of their GCSE texts. We advise that they have their own copy so that they can annotate this during lessons and create a useful revision resource for future use. Ideally, students will have this ready for their first lesson next week.

We hope that everyone will have a restful weekend before the business of learning starts in earnest next week!


Key Information Regarding Re-opening in September 2021

Start of Term: Wednesday 8th 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 

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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 (2:55 - 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.