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Y7

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.

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.

Reminder - Key Stage 3 Design and Technology Department Update

As part of our broad and balanced curriculum offer, your son will study Design Technology within their subject rotation. This is a hugely popular subject that engages students with both theory and practical skills. Each year, students work on the design and manufacture of a product using a range of skills such as woodworking, steel and aluminium metal working, Computer Aided Design (CAD), laser cutting, 3D printing and electrical circuit construction. By the end of the year, all Key Stage 3 students will have completed a DT project:

  • Y7: wood and steel mounted coat hook with personalised laser-cut plaque 
  • Y8: wood and acrylic lighting product with colour changing LED circuit and student C.A.D. design. 
  • Y9: aluminium aeroplane model with USB powered fan.

Once students have completed their projects, they will have the chance to bring these home, however, we ask for a contribution of £3 per academic year to cover the cost of the materials required; you can make this contribution via Parent Pay.  If you do not wish for your son to bring his design home, it will either be kept for use as an example to show other students or will be disassembled so that components can be re-used or recycled as appropriate. 


Friday 1st October 2021

Message from Miss Bishop

It is hard to believe that Year 7 students have now been attending King’s Norton Boys’ School for four weeks. I am incredibly proud of the whole year group and impressed with how they are settling into school. Year 7 students have earned over 7500 commendations – far and away the highest commendation earners in the whole school. A special mention must go to 7T who have earned the most commendations so far – well done! Next week, we are going to be introducing a new competition to all Year 7 forms as an incentive to keep earning those commendations.

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…

Key Stage 3 Design and Technology Department Update

As part of our broad and balanced curriculum offer, your son will study Design Technology within their subject rotation. This is a hugely popular subject that engages students with both theory and practical skills. Each year, students work on the design and manufacture of a product using a range of skills such as woodworking, steel and aluminium metal working, Computer Aided Design (CAD), laser cutting, 3D printing and electrical circuit construction. By the end of the year, all Key Stage 3 students will have completed a DT project:

  • Y7: wood and steel mounted coat hook with personalised laser-cut plaque 
  • Y8: wood and acrylic lighting product with colour changing LED circuit and student C.A.D. design. 
  • Y9: aluminium aeroplane model with USB powered fan.

Once students have completed their projects, they will have the chance to bring these home, however, we ask for a contribution of £3 per academic year to cover the cost of the materials required; you can make this contribution via Parent Pay.  If you do not wish for your son to bring his design home, it will either be kept for use as an example to show other students or will be disassembled so that components can be re-used or recycled as appropriate. 

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.

Year 7 CAT tests

Last week, we informed you that Year 7 students will be undertaking external Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) in the near future; these will now be taking place in school next week, but they are absolutely nothing at all for parents or students to worry about. The results of these tests will simply be used to generate expected grades for students, allowing us to accurately track their progress in school and ensure that we are providing appropriate levels of challenge and support for all.  Students cannot revise for CATs; they are cognitive, not knowledge based, assessments.

National Bike to School Week

At KNBS, we encourage students to travel to school by sustainable modes of transport, and cycling is a great way to do this. National Bike to School Week is a week-long event taking place from 27th September to 1st October. Last week, we launched Bikeability sessions for students, and this week students will be taking part in activities in form time around cycling and discussing what we can do to help reduce our impact on the environment. This is a great opportunity to celebrate cycling and the positive impact it has on students' health and wellbeing. For your chance to win a Frog Bike and your free family guide to travelling to school, click the link below:

Bike to School Week

If you would like to know more about walking or cycling to school or get your own travel map, please click here for more details: www.knbs.co.uk/parents/travelling-to-kings-norton-boys-school.

If your son would like to take part in Bikeability but has not yet signed up, please follow this link: www.knbs.co.uk/bikeability

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. 


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.

CAT tests

Due to the continued impact that Covid has had on learning in the past year, and the impact that this had on the taking of national tests and exams, including SATs for year 6 students, there is an absence of quantitative data for our current year 7 students. Key Stage 2 data is used to generate expected grades for the end of year 11, and in the absence of this, it is very hard to set realistic yet challenging targets for our new students.

To combat this, our year 7 students will be undertaking external Cognitive Abilities Tests (CATs) in the coming weeks. These will be conducted online and will be externally marked. The activities test students’ abilities in four different areas:

  • reasoning with words
  • reasoning with number
  • reasoning with shape and design
  • thinking with and mentally manipulating precise shapes.

The results of these tests will be used to generate the expected grades for students, allowing us to accurately track their progress in school and ensure that we are providing appropriate levels of challenge and support for all.  Students cannot revise for CATs; they are cognitive, not knowledge based, assessments.

Bikeability

Bikeability is the national cycle training programme supported by the Department for Transport. The course builds the skills and confidence for students to ride their bikes in a safe, controlled manner and to transition carefully from the pavement to the road. 

This is a chance for students to develop their cycle handling on roads and junctions. It is also an opportunity for them to challenge themselves and build their self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as having problem solving opportunities and develop their teamwork skills.  

If you would like your son to take part in Bikeability sessions or would like more information, please see the link below:

www.knbs.co.uk/bikeability


Friday 10th September 2021

Welcome from Miss Bishop

I would like to take this opportunity to again wish you a very warm welcome to King’s Norton Boys’ School. This first week at school has been an outstanding success, and I am incredibly proud of every single student in Year 7. The transition from primary to secondary school can be a difficult time for both students and for parents, but I have been overwhelmed by the resilience that the year group is already showing. Year 7 students have already received over 1700 commendations, which are our rewards given to boys who meet our KNBS Boy expectations and embody our STRIVE values. This is seriously impressive and bodes well for an outstanding future.

Students are quickly adapting to the changes in ‘big school’, like having to remember their equipment for different lessons. One thing you can do to help them is to make sure that every item of clothing, including PE kit, is clearly labelled. This would help us to quickly reunite any lost items with their correct owner. My final word is that I remain hugely excited to be working with what promises to be one of the best year groups in the school.

Curriculum News

At King’s Norton Boys’ School, we have designed our Key Stage 3 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 3. 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), 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.

Outdoor Education – Climbing Tower: ‘The Rock’

Starting next week there will be an opportunity for all year 7 students to take part in a climbing session on ‘The Rock’, our privately-owned climbing tower based on the school site. This will be a chance for students to challenge themselves in a different environment, which will help to develop their Endeavour, Teamwork, and Resilience, some of our core STRIVE values.

All students will give climbing and belaying a go, supporting their fellow students and setting personal challenges along the way. It is not a competition; it is just about getting outside of the classroom, learning in the great outdoors, in a fun, safe environment. 

In the coming weeks you will receive a text with you son’s allocated date and session time, as well as a link to further information and the all-important consent form, which must be completed and returned for your son to take part. Sessions will be two hours long and will run during this first half term.  

We encourage all students to get involved; if they really do not want to climb, they can help assist on the ground and still be part of the team.


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: Monday 6th September 2021

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

Latest Update: 27th August 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uniform 

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

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

Other mitigations we could implement:

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

On-Site testing

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

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

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

Preliminary Return to School and Testing Schedule*:

Thursday 2nd September

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

Friday 3rd September

Monday 6th September

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

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

Tuesday 7th September

Years 7 and 11 attend school as normal.

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

Wednesday 8th September

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

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

Thursday 9th September

All students attend school as normal.

Second tests will be built into students’ timetables

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

Required Parent/Carer Action: Consent

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

Home Testing 

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

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

Required Parent/Carer Action: Home testing

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

Tracing close contacts and Isolation 

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

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

Isolation is no longer required if:

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

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

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

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

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

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

0121 628 0100 or covid19@knbs.co.uk

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

Bubbles 

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

Other mitigations we could implement:

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

Our September timetable starts with a form period (8:30 - 8:50) and ends with a form period (2:55 - 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.