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Y9

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 Rehman

It was great to see year 9 back in school yesterday looking smart and raring to go. I was hugely impressed by the way the whole year group conducted themselves going in and out of my welcome back assembly. This is a very important year for students as they will be choosing their GCSE options. In line with his, the theme of this assembly was ‘Choices’ - choices they make every day and choices they will have to make which will affect their futures. It would be great if you could reinforce the important of your son taking ownership over the choices that he is making and thinking very carefully about whether he is making the right ones.

The Head of Year/parent partnership is key to the success of our students and I am looking forward to working with you in the coming months.

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.

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: Thursday 9th 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.