Friday 1st March 2024

Important Message from the School Council

re: Summer Uniform (exploring an optional change)

Over the last few years, our summer weather has become increasingly hot, and we have been grateful that the school has allowed us to wear our PE shirts during these extended warm periods.  However, we all think that a more permanent solution would be best.  The School Council has, therefore, been working with staff to look at introducing a summer polo shirt.    

As this would most likely be an alternative to wearing our white cotton shirts, tie and blazer, it would need to be branded with the school’s crest and name.  Therefore, we have been working with the Trust and a supplier to determine what this might look like.  We are delighted that the Trust has agreed to supply one polo shirt to all students who receive Pupil Premium funding.  All other polo shirts for the first year would need to be purchased by parents/carers from the supplier and would cost between £17-20.  In future years, these polo shirts will be available in all our usual uniform providers.

What do we need from you?

We need to know if you would intend to buy a polo shirt for your son and perhaps the number you might purchase.  Please can you let us know by completing our brief survey:

https://forms.office.com/e/p4E673HbPw

Thank you,

Ashton

Year 11 School Council Lead

Canteen update

What happens if a student does not have money on his account? (student debts)

Breaktime

Students who do not have funds available on their Parent Pay account, will be unable to use the catering service at breaktime.  Heads of Year and Pastoral staff may be able to provide a snack from their welfare boxes in such an emergency.

Lunchtime

At lunchtime, students with no available funds will need to see the lead Pastoral Team member on duty in the canteen to explain the situation, who can authorise a meal deal voucher. This will allow the student a meal deal on the first day of there being no available funds.

Following the lunch service our admin team will send text messages to the parents of any student who has requested a lunch voucher so that they can top up their son’s account for the next day’s service. 

Any top up will be available for the next day and school authorised lunches will not automatically come off those top up funds, as this money can only be redeemed with our catering supplier.

Free School Meals reminder

If your son is in receipt of free school meals, they are entitled to £2.65 per day. The free school meal entitlement is added to your son’s account for lunch service each day and any unused allocation is removed at the end of service (in line with the rules set out by the DfE).

Students who are entitled to free school meal funding who wish to use the catering service at morning break must have additional funds added through their Parent Pay account to cover the use of this provision (they can access the Pastoral Team welfare boxes if they do not have sufficient funds on their account.)

Y11 Period 6

Period 6 sessions will commence again next week (wb. 4th March). We appreciate that a few students still have some afternoon PPEs and therefore will be unable to attend all sessions. You can find the updated schedule here

In addition, we are in the process of putting together our revision offer for the Easter holidays. This will take place over the two-week period (excluding Bank Holidays) and each day will have a morning session (9am-12pm) and an afternoon session (12pm-3pm). We hope to share individual schedules next week and hope that students embrace the additional time and appreciate the teachers who are giving up their holiday time to provide to them. We will give more details over the next two weeks. 

Word of the Week

The Word of the Week next week is ‘conform’. This will be displayed on a poster in form rooms and if students use the word, they will get a commendation. It would be great if you could ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it.

50/50 Draw 

Our last Friends of King’s Norton Boys’ School 50/50 club draw has taken place for February 2024. We thank those who have supported us with this initiative – your contributions have helped many students enjoy extracurricular activities here at the school, and without your support this would not have been possible. 

We will shortly be launching our School Lottery fundraising campaign (run for the school by yourschoollottery.co.uk). This will enable the wider school community to take part, including our current families, the local community and our Old Nortonians network.  Further details about this platform and our fundraising targets and achievements will be distributed shortly in readiness to launch in the summer term.

February 2024                 149  (G Illey) VIEW


Friday 23rd February 2024

9-week Block

Our second 9-week monitoring period finished on Friday 2nd Friday, and we are pleased to celebrate the successes of such large groups of our school community. We want to share with our wider school community some of the headlines: 

  • In the last 9 weeks, over 125,000 commendations have been awarded across all year groups, with the average commendations per student being 152. Commendations continue to rise. On average, each student has received 20 more commendations than this period last year. 286 students have achieved more than 150 commendations in this 9-week block!
  • Those students with 100% attendance comprise just under 26% of the school. 208 students have achieved a 100% attendance record for this 9-week block.
  • 762 students (94.9%) achieved Merits in this 9-week block. 563 students achieved 150+ Merits – this is over 70% of the school population!
  • 71 students achieved the maximum number of Merits in this 9-week block – the second highest number since the 9-week blocks began. 

We will continue to remind students that all their hard work across the year, culminating in the collection of Merits, will contribute towards the end of year reward trip. Sweet treats, certificates, letters home and celebrations within forms will have already been taking place this week. Please see above a reminder of how our students qualify for rewards in each 9-week block.

A blue and white card with text

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Perhaps most encouraging is our recognition of all those wonderful students that we have that simply do the right thing each and every day. Indeed, 48% of the school population didn’t lose a single point in the last 9-week block! That is an astonishing number of boys and the highest we have had on record. It really is a testament to their commitment and the value they hold for their place at King Edward VI King’s Norton School for Boys. This figure rises to 63% for students that have only lost 2 or less points across the whole 9 weeks. And further to 74% of the entire school who have lost less than five points. This is a fantastic effort by the entire school community – students and staff alike!

We place an important emphasis on rewarding students that are working hard and showing outstanding levels of conduct. Therefore, this week we have been thrilled to share with students some very exciting additional rewards that are available to all students at the end of this academic year. We have spoken with students in assemblies this week to provide the ‘big reveal’. 

How it works?

Students will continue to collect Merits based on their attendance, SDfL behaviour points and commendations right up until the end of the year in the hope that they can achieve enough Merits to gain an invite to the end of year reward trip (which will take place at the start of next academic year). Students must maintain a good behaviour and attendance record in order to receive this reward.

Separately to this are rewards that are open to all students to try and achieve before the end of the academic year. The date range for this reward will be from Monday 26th February to Friday 12th July. During this time any students that have 96% or greater attendance record and do not lose more than five points will be entered into a prize draw for some fantastic prizes:

  • a mountain bike (available to year 7 and year 8 students)
  • a mountain bike (available to year 9 and year 10 students)
  • Apple Smartwatch (available to all students)
  • Apple air pods (available to all students).

We are so excited about making these rewards available to students and we remain committed to rewarding those students that do the right thing, day in day out. Let the competition begin!

Dr McIntosh (Assistant Headteacher – lead for key stage 3)

Mr Hanson (Assistant Headteacher – lead for key stage 4)

Y11 Elevate Education

We are excited to announce that we have our next, and final, seminar with Elevate Education coming in to further enthuse and support our Year 11 students on Friday 15th March. The session will focus on final preparations for the summer exams. There is also the latest parent webinar taking place on Tuesday 5th March. You can register for this free event below.

Year 10 English Literature Set Text

Year 10 students will be starting a new GCSE Literature text on Monday 4th March – Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. Students will require their own copy of this text so that they can annotate it as we read it and to create their own revision resource that will be invaluable in their revision for the Year 10 Pre-Public Exams and for Year 11. This text is available from Amazon and other online sellers, as well as from most bookstores. If you have financial difficulty in purchasing this text, please get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.

First Chapter Fridays 

Our First Chapter Friday for the next two weeks is from a book called ‘I am Malala’. We have chosen this book because on 8th March it is International Women’s Day. Malala is a young woman close to Birmingham’s heart and here story is a demonstration of the amazing things young people and women can do to change the world. We hope the boys find this book inspiring and seek to find out more about it or read it in full.

Word of the Week

Next week’s Word of the Week is ‘conflict’. This will be displayed on a poster in every form room and, if the boys use the word, they will get a commendation.  It would be great if you could ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it. 

Sparx Reader Updates

We are very excited that we are now mostly set up with Sparx Reader after a few small teething issues. It’s wonderful to see how much reading the boys have been doing at home and we have enjoyed rewarding this with our Sparx Reader commendations. A gentle reminder that all Year 7 English homework comes out on Monday and is due the next Monday – this should be completed by Monday morning. 

As with anything new, there can be many questions, and lots of them are relevant to everyone, so we have put together a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list which can support you with these. Please use this in the first instance to find answers to your questions. If your question is not answered on here, do feel free to get in touch via enquiry@knbs.co.uk.


Friday 9th February 2024

Standards and Expectations – Update

Last week, we shared with you a concern about some of the behaviours that we were experiencing.  Thank you for your support in addressing these issues. This final week of the half term has seen a significant improvement in self-discipline.  When we return from the half-term break, we will be able to share the key messages from the last 9-week data cycle.  

Please spare a thought this half-term for our Year 11 boys who will be spending a significant amount of their break revising for their last set of PPEs.  We urge them to have some downtime and would like to wish all our students a wonderful week.

Symphony Hall Trip

On Thursday 8th February, some of our Year 7 and Year 10 music students visited Birmingham Symphony Hall to watch a concert performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The intention of the concert was to provide secondary school students with a snapshot of the diversity of orchestral repertoire, understand the different instruments of the orchestra and experience a world renowned orchestra in our home city. Students got to hear a mixture of music, from more popular pieces such as Harry’s Wonderous World (Harry Potter) and Angry Birds, and they heard classical music by Ravel and Dvořák. They even got to have a dance to Soul Bossa Nova! The concert has hopefully enthused some of our younger years to learn an orchestral instrument and inspire our GCSE students in ways to develop their compositional work. The concert was a great opportunity to showcase the classical music world and was enjoyed by all. 

Y11 Enterprise Session

Hosted by DHL, our Year 11 students enjoyed a logistical challenge earlier this week when they were tasked with finding a solution for getting various goods from China to the UK, using only the options they were presented with by the DHL team. Each group were given a budget, along with a range of ethical and environmental considerations to adhere too. The boys had a fantastic time experiencing how logistics works within a real-life business and putting their problem-solving skills to good use.

Personal Development – Year 7

Year 7 students are starting their new module on Relationships and Wellbeing. Your son will explore friendships, diverse identities within our community and the British Values that unite us. If you have any questions about this, please contact Miss Turley.

We encourage our students to continue the dialogue outside of the classroom so over the next six weeks let’s get talking as a household about:

  • What is your identity?
  • How we look different yet share similar interests; goals within our friendship groups
  • How to recognise discrimination and put a stop to it.

Personal development- Year 8

Year 8 students are starting their new module on Living in the Wider World. Your son will explore what is meant by stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination before exploring the impact these all have on individuals, relationships and today’s society as a whole.  If you have any questions about this, please contact Miss Turley.

We encourage our students to continue the dialogue outside of the classroom, so over the next six weeks let’s get talking as a household about:

  • What does inclusion look like and what can we do to promote it?
  • How, and why, we should challenge discrimination and how to do so safely
  • What xenophobia, religious prejudice and racism are and how we can be anti-racist and generally explore how we can stand up against these particular forms of discrimination.

Y7 Sparx Reader

This week has seen a mostly successful introduction to Sparx Reader for our Year 7 students. Homework will appear on their Sparx Reader on Monday 12th February and should be completed for Monday 19th February. We hope they are all excited to get started. Students who were absent or who couldn’t log in for any reason will be logged in and will sit the reading test after half term. 

After half term, we will be sending out a Sparx Reader crib sheet with key information and FAQs you can refer back to. Please do get in touch if you have any questions that we can add these to our FAQs. 

Word of the Week

The Word of the Week for after half term is ‘confirm’. This will be displayed on a poster in form rooms and if students use the word, they will get a commendation. It would be great if you could ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it. 

Looking for something fun to do over the half term?

EcoBirmingham is putting on different free cycling events during half term to encourage people from the local community to explore the outdoors together and have fun.

Check out the link for further details. 


Friday 2nd February 2024

INSET Day – Wednesday 7th February

This is just a gentle reminder that school will be closed to all students on Wednesday 7th February for staff INSET. Part of this day will include a range of collaborative opportunities for staff to meet and share expertise with colleagues from across the South Area Network of schools, an event that always brings huge benefit to our school community.

Standards and Expectations

Since the return to school, following the pandemic, there has been a significant national dip in behaviour. Until very recently, we have been lucky enough to avoid such a significant dip.  This last week, however, we have experienced issues that we are not used to seeing, issues that we feel cannot be tolerated.  To do so would be to let down most of our students, those who meet our shared expectations almost all of the time and have a passion for learning.  We are looking forward to rewarding and praising these students when the 9-week data is analysed.

On Monday, we will be reminding our students of our expectations and the standards that we need everyone to maintain, day in, day out. Going back to basics will help us to ensure that these expectations and standards are clear, and that they are followed.  It would be incredibly helpful if you could support us by making sure your son has the equipment he needs and is wearing the correct uniform. These are the starting points for many of our expectations, and they help students to have a mindset for learning. We know that many of you will also wish to support us by talking through the expectations and reinforcing the need to behave positively.

We are grateful for your support.

Blazers

We have almost all of our blazers back and handed out to our boys.  Thank you for your patience with this process.  We understand that heat transfer badges are not a perfect solution, however, they remain the best overall solution available.  Thank you to those parents who have added a stitch in the corners of badges – this adds a significant amount of strength and will help to keep the badges in place.  Where badges have peeled away (most often from being picked at), they can be resealed by simply covering the badge with a cloth and applying a hot iron.  We then recommend that you add a stitch or two for added stability.

For the new 2024 intake, both heat transfer blazers and shop bought blazers will be accepted.  Likewise, when blazers need replacing in the future, the uniform suppliers will have these available with embroidered pockets.

Canteen Menus

Our catering provider has been working hard to devise and implement our new three-week menus. Included below is the full catering offer that we are working towards offering from Easter. Menus will be regularly reviewed to see which options have been popular and to include seasonal options throughout the year. Our Chinese New Year themed day will be launching soon, so tell your son to keep an eye out for posters in the canteen.

Safeguarding Newsletter

This month’s Spotlight on Safeguarding newsletter focuses on mental health and includes useful information about spotting the signs of poor mental health, strategies to support poor mental health and information on Kooth, an online platform providing support for young people.

Y11 Prom

We have had an amazing response from students wishing to attend Year 11 Prom, with over half of the year group already having paid their deposit, securing their place at what will undoubtedly be the ‘event of the year’. The deadline for anyone wishing to pay their deposit is Monday 5th February, to be paid using ParentPay.

Y9 Immunisations

Year 9 students are due to have their teenage booster immunisation on Tuesday 6th February. The School Aged Immunisation Service (SAIS) will be offering these immunisations in school.

Please use the link below to provide consent if you wish your son to have the recommended vaccines.

https://www.bchcschoolagevaccs.nhs.uk

Quoting Letter Reference – 103562-331
Access Code – 8337

If you need help or advice completing the consent form, please contact the SAIS team on the phone number 0121 466 3410 or via email BCHNT.BirminghamImms@nhs.net

Year 7 Sparx Reader Launch Evening

We were delighted to see so many of our Year 7 parents in school last night at our Sparx Reader launch event. You will undoubtedly already be familiar with Sparx Maths, the online homework platform that our maths department uses. We are now delighted to have been chosen to pilot the long-awaited Sparx Reader, and have selected Year 7 students to have first access to this. The launch was also shared with Year 7 students today and they were equally as excited as parents about what Sparx Reader has to offer. If you were unable to attend the launch, the presentation can be found below. Year 7 students will be using the site for the first time next week but if you and your son want to have a sneaky peek at the platform, he can log on to the Sparx Reader site using his Sparx Maths log in, which will be used for both. Enjoy!

First Chapter Fridays 

Our First Chapter Friday for the next two weeks is from a book called ‘The Boy with the Butterfly Mind’ by Victoria Williamson. This book supports our assemblies which this week have been about Place 2Be’s Children’s Mental Health week. The novel follows two characters: one who struggles under the pressure of her perfectionism and one who struggles with having ADHD. We hope you enjoy discussing this text at home – we think this book is one that many of our boys will really enjoy!

Word of the Week

Next week’s Word of the Week is ‘confine’. This will be displayed on a poster in every form room and, if the boys use the word, they will get a commendation.  It would be great if you can ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it. 


50/50 Draw
 

Our last Friends of King’s Norton Boys’ School 50/50 club draw will take place on Thursday 29th February. We thank those who have supported us with this initiative – your contributions have helped many students enjoy extracurricular activities here at the school, and without your support this would not have been possible.    

Our latest draws are as follows:

December 2023                 108  (L Reali) VIEW DRAW

January 2024                      154  (R Withey) VIEW DRAW

School Lottery – launching soon!

We will shortly be launching our School Lottery fundraising campaign (run for the school by yourschoollottery.co.uk). This will enable the wider school community to take part, including our current families, the local community, and our Old Nortonians network.   

Further details regarding this platform and our fundraising targets and achievements will be distributed after half term.


Friday 26th January 2024

Blazer Update

On Monday we will be presenting Year 11 blazers.  This will leave almost everyone in school with their re-branded blazer.  We thank you for your patience.  There are still some outstanding blazers that will be back in school next week (e.g., blazers for students who were absent on their year groups collection day)

There are no perfect solutions to the re-branding issue and this one has met most of our objectives, particularly around reuse, recycle and cost.  Our supplier’s advice is for a stitch to be placed in each corner of the badge to support longevity. 

Of course, over time new branded blazers will begin to replace our re-branded ones, the aim is for that happen naturally over time avoiding the need for high-cost replacements at the point of conversion.

Canteen Update

The canteen has been running a three-week menu which will be reviewed to see which options have been popular.  This will help them to tailor the 3-week menu to our boys.  When this is passed to us, we will share that with you.

Year 7 Sparx Reader Launch Evening

We just want to remind you of our parent launch for Sparx reader on Thursday 1st February from 6-7pm. We are inviting all parents of Year 7 students to attend, and we are very excited to introduce you to Sparx reader. The importance of reading for supporting students’ academic progress is widely known, and we have been waiting for a platform such as this for a long time. Please pop this date in your diary and join us on Thursday to find out more!

Young Musician of the Year

We are very excited to be launching our second Young Musician of the Year competition. The competition is open to all abilities, and you can enter as a performer, a composer, rapper/vocalist and/or in a band. You do not need to have lessons in school to enter and you can enter in more than one category. Those shortlisted will perform in our finalists’ concert and those who win overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, as well as Best Band, will receive a trophy to keep and points towards their house teams. The winners’ name will be engraved on our presentation shield which is displayed in the music room. Students who wish to enter should sign up on the sheets outside music room A1.12 before Friday 2nd February. 

Word of the Week

Next week’s Word of the Week is ‘confer’. This will be displayed on a poster in form rooms and if they use the word, they will get a commendation!  It would be excellent if you could ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it. 

Year 11

We are aware that some of our boys speak an additional language at home. We are in a position where those students can be entered for their additional language as a GCSE. If you have already expressed an interest in your son sitting an additional GCSE, we will text to say that we require no further action. However, if your son does speak an additional language, but we are not yet aware of this, and you would like him to sit a in this, then could you please let us know at the earliest opportunity.

As we approach the final set of PPEs, attendance to period 6 sessions has never been more crucial. You can find the latest timetable here which will cover the final two weeks of half term. 

We have had Elevate Education in again on Thursday to deliver their ‘Ace your Exams’ session to all of Year 11. Once again, this session has gone down very well, with 132 of 135 students stating that they would recommend it to a friend and 131 students stating that they got something valuable from the session. I would like to praise the conduct of the Year 11 students who were engaged throughout, and I am hoping they can implement some of the advice they have been given this week into their revision schedule moving forward. 

Whilst we don’t want to wish the months away, we have started our planning for this year’s Prom in conjunction with Kings Norton Girls School. This is always a well-attended event and one that signifies the end of five years at KNBS. Your son has received a Prom letter this week which has all the details for your perusal. I have attached an electronic version here. ParentPay should now be live for you to be able to pay a deposit if your son would like to attend. Please note that deposits will not be accepted after Monday 5th February and your son will not be able to attend Prom once this closes.

Y11 Key Dates

EventDate
Year 11 PPE 2Tuesday 20th Feb – Friday 8th March
Elevate Education Seminar 3Friday 15th March
Year 11 Full reportWb. 8th April (TBC)
Summer GCSE Examinations beginWb. 6th May
Year 11 Prom 2024Thursday 4th July
Year 11 Celebration Event (in school – further details to follow)Wb. 15th July (specific date TBC)

Friday 19th January 2024

Y8 Parents Evening

This will take place on Thursday 25th January from 4.00pm in the Sports Hall. This will be an opportunity for you to meet your son’s teachers, to discuss his progress and to get advice on the way to make further progress. Form tutors will only be there in their capacity as subject teachers and will generally not be available for pastoral discussions. Login details have been emailed and the email contains a link to our School-Cloud booking system, as well as instructions on how to book your appointments. Appointments will be five minutes in duration, and we would request that you do your best to adhere to this limit. To help the evening run smoothly, we suggest that you either make a note of your appointments or print them off to bring along to the event.

Blazers

On Monday we will be taking in the last full year group of blazers, and they will be dispatched with any blazers that have not been processed yet.

From Tuesday to Wednesday students are allowed to bring in a spare or second blazer.  They can bring these to admin office on A block main corridor, please make sure they are named.

We did mention in earlier communications that we advise parents to place a simple stitch in each corner of the badge to secure a long-term bond to their son’s blazer.

PE Extra Curricular Activities

As we start the spring term, our PE extra-curricular timetable follows the rotation of sports we do in PE lessons. If your son wishes to take part, they will need to bring full PE kit and head to the Sports Hall at the end of the school day. We encourage as many students as possible to take part in our clubs, to help further develop their skills and techniques.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
After School 3.05-4.05pmAfter School 3.05-4.05pmAfter School 3.05-4.05pmAfter School 3.05-4.05pmAfter School 3.05-4.05pm
Staff Netball (Miss Wallace)  Meetings  Badminton Club Years 7-8 (Mr Griffiths)  
Table Tennis Club Years 7-8 (Mr Miruszenko)
Badminton Club Years 9-11 (Mr Francis)
Table Tennis Club Years 9-11 (Mr Garvey)  
Bench ball Years 7-8 (Dr Mcintosh)
Basketball Years 9-11 (Mr Turner)

KS3 Drama Club – Mrs While

I am delighted to announce that I will be running a drama club on Wednesdays from 3:05pm until 4pm. This is an excellent opportunity for boys to indulge their creativity and enhance their performance skills whilst also having fun. It is also a great chance to meet new people and develop social skills. If your son wishes to attend, please ask him to come and see Mrs While in the drama room where he can sign up. 

Personal Development Year 10

Year 10 students are starting their new module on Living in the Wider World. Your son will explore what is meant by finance, budgeting, tax expenditure and the cost of living in today’s society.  If you have any questions about this, please contact Miss Turley.

We encourage our students to continue the dialogue outside of the classroom, so over the next six weeks let’s get talking as a household about:

  • the cost of the weekly shop and why you choose the supermarket you shop at
  • wage slips and where you can find your National Insurance outgoings
  • the cost of essentials, such as gas and electricity, and how this might have changed some of our household items/goods to a ‘once a month treat’ now.

Safeguarding Newsletter

This month’s Spotlight on Safeguarding newsletter focuses on building healthy relationships and gives guidance on how you can support your son with his friendships. In addition to this, it identifies the dangers of online grooming, with a particular focus on radicalisation. The app focus is on ‘BeReal’, which we are aware is used by some of our students. 

Next month’s newsletter will centre around mental health, in keeping with Children’s Mental Health Week which is 5-11th February. We will also be delivering assemblies on this topic to all year groups in this week.

First Chapter Fridays 

This week we see the relaunch of an old favourite, First Chapter Fridays, to help boost our students’ love of reading and support their literacy development. Once a fortnight, during form time, students will be read the opening chapter of a novel by their Form Tutor or a guest member of staff. The aim of this is to expose our students to a range of genres of fictional texts, to pique their interest in texts that they may not ordinarily encounter and, ultimately, to help get everyone reading for pleasure! 

We would also encourage you as parents to read with your son as much as possible, so after each fortnight, we will be sharing the extract or information about how to access the text at home with you too so that you can talk about this at home.

You will regularly receive information about the books that we will be reading chapters from so that you can continue reading these books at home if you wish, or even get ahead of the schedule. Next week, we will be reading a text to raise awareness of Holocaust Memorial Week called ‘This is Not a Story’. This book has been written especially by author Tom Palmer for Holocaust Memorial. It describes the experiences of a brother and sister during the Holocaust and is based on real life people who Palmer interviewed while researching for the book. This book can be accessed as an audio read by Tom Palmer on the National Literacy Trust website. Enjoy!

Word of the Week

At KNBS, we are also revitalising our Word of the Week. Every week in form time, students will be introduced to a new piece of vocabulary. This will be displayed on a poster in their form room and, if they use the word, they will get a commendation. This is designed to develop our students’ vocabulary and support them in every lesson. It would be great if you could ask to hear the Word of the Week at home and encourage your children to practise using it. Next week, our Word of the Week will be ‘conduct’. 

Tuesday 16th January 2024

We have adapted our blazer hand in schedule for years 10 and 11 on the advice of our uniform supplier. See below updated schedule.

YearBlazer name checked and taken in:
Morning registration on Tuesday 9th January 
Morning registration on Wednesday 10th January 
Morning registration on Monday 15th January 
10 Morning registration on Thursday 18th January 
11 Morning registration on Monday 22nd January

Friday 12th January 2024

Catering Update

New Canteen provider:  AIP

Our new canteen provider has certainly got the boys talking.  We are very grateful for how much work they are putting in to taking on the role, they are an experienced provider working across the trust and we are pleased with the start they have made.

Many boys are a wary of change, so a new menu and new routines put them on edge.  Having said that, most of the feedback so far has been very positive, and any teething issues are being managed and solved as they come up.

The important changes are to menus, and we have included a sample menu for you.  The menus do change regularly, and once AIP are fully established, they will be asking for student feedback to help inform future provision.

Please note that the amount now provided by the Government for a free school meal is £2.65.  Therefore, AiP set their meal deal at this figure (£2.65) and it includes a main meal and pudding.  The previous meal deal did include a drink and was set at £3.  We have moved to this approach as we have water fountains and refill stations that mean water is always available free of charge.  We also noticed that an increasing number of boys were spending a lot of money on carbonate fruit juice.  It is our intention (working with the student leadership team) to remove plastic bottles from our canteen altogether.  This is an important and exciting venture that AiP are helping us fulfil in the future. We are working with them to look at refill stations for student bottles that include more than just water.  Watch this space!

Congratulations

Congratulations!

A massive congratulations to Zack in 11A who has applied to the Royal Navy as a Weapons Engineer and has successfully passed the majority of his assessments. Zack will hopefully begin his initial training post-GCSE exams. We look forward to having a Royal Navy Weapons Engineer Submariner amongst school community in the future.

Year 11

Please find a link to the next two weeks of period 6 sessions here. There are also links below to some useful post-16 information about open evenings and apprenticeships.

Measles

Please click here to view an important letter from Birmingham public health.  We have received the following advice from them this week:

“There is an increasing number of people in Birmingham with measles, with many cases being linked to Birmingham schools. Measles is a highly infectious disease that can spread rapidly – outbreaks can happen when not enough people have been vaccinated, and while most people recover completely within a couple of weeks, measles can cause serious illness and in rare cases it can be fatal.

Measles can cause enormous disruption to schools as any child or adult who has not received at least one dose of the MMR vaccination who comes into contact with a person who has measles will have to be isolated away from school or work for 21 days.

We strongly encourage families to check vaccinations are up to date.”

Numeracy Newsletters

Please click the links below to view our latest numeracy newsletters for years 7-9.

STRIVE Ranges

Now your son has had chance to settle into life at school, we felt it important to explain how we gauge the progress he is making in each of his subjects.

To assess potential in a subject, we need to look at how a student has performed previously – in the case of your son, we use his performance in KS2 SAT assessments. This is the only real indicator we have of ability. Although it is not a guaranteed indicator, it is the best method any school has.

An organisation called ‘The Fischer Family Trust’ (FFT) collects annual data for performance of all students in England and Wales at KS2 and the end of KS4 (GCSE, Cambridge National, BTEC etc). Over time, this organisation has been able to make clear links between performance at KS2 and at KS4, and it is able to give the most likely outcomes for a student in each subject at KS4 based solely upon their performance at KS2. These most likely outcomes take no account of parental income, family circumstances or any other social factor. They are simply a straight conversion. When they publish this data, FFT give the most likely grades for median (average) performance, top 20% of performers and top 5% of performers.

We have chosen to use performance of the top 20% of students nationally as our benchmark when setting aspirational targets for our students, which we call our STRIVE ranges.

Your son has been set a STRIVE range for each of his subjects. The lower of the two grades represents the minimum standard for which he should be aiming, and the upper grade provides a more aspirational grade – the grade he should be working towards if his performance is exceptional.

We are aware that students can develop intellectually at different rates. In some circumstances it becomes apparent that that the original STRIVE range offers insufficient challenge for a student. This may be because of underperformance at KS2 or because their progress has accelerated since joining the school. In these circumstances, we will raise the STRIVE range accordingly. It is unusual that we will consider lowering the STRIVE range.

On rare occasions, a student may not have sat KS2 assessments – this may be because he was privately educated, educated overseas or ill. In these cases, we will assign a nominal range for each student and review it as they progress through the school.

Year 7 Sparx Reader Parent Launch Event Thursday 1st February 6-7pm

We are delighted to have been selected to conduct a pilot of Sparx Reader, and will be launching this with our Year 7 students at the end of this half term. The name will be familiar because our students already use Sparx Maths for their homework, and it supports the maths learning that they do in class. Sparx Reader is an online reading platform that is similarly algorithmic, meaning that it tests students’ reading ability and selects reading material designed to help them to progress their skills, becoming more challenging over time. Students will read whole texts, including a range of engaging readying material, over time.

To launch this to parents and give you everything that you will need to be able to support your son’s reading at home, we are inviting all parents of Year 7 students to attend our information evening at 6-7pm on Thursday 1st February. Please make a note of this in your diary – we will remind you nearer the time.

School Blazers *Reminder*

We are proud of now being part of the King Edward VI Multi Academy Trust and we are also proud of our school, our students, and our history.  Therefore, we have collaborated carefully to ensure any rebranding is effective in maintaining our King’s Norton Boys identity whilst celebrating our partnership with King Edward VI. 

The only immediate change to current uniform is to replace the KNBS eagle crest on the blazer to the King Edward VI crest, which demonstrates our membership to the King Edward VI MAT.  The rebranding of the blazer will come at no cost to families and has been organised in line with our environmentally conscious approach to purchasing. 

What do I need to do? 

Please ensure that: 

  1. you add your son’s forename and surname to his blazer 
  2. your son has a coat to wear on the days that he will be without his blazer (this should not be a hoodie which are not permitted) 

Thank you for adding names to blazers, this has been a brilliant support and there has been a very high completion rate.   

Please send your son in with a coat on the day that he hands in his blazer.  We have decided not to take in a couple of blazers where students have not brought a coat with them, as the lads would be too cold without their blazer.   

How will rebranding happen? 

Blazers will be checked for names, taken in and boxed.  These will be delivered to our manufacturing partner who will rebrand them by adding a badge with the school’s new name and the KEVI crest.  Blazers will then be presented to the boys on their return.  

When will it happen? 

The provisional timetable is as follows: 

Year Blazer name checked and taken in: 
Morning registration on Tuesday 9th January 
Morning registration on Wednesday 10th January 
Morning registration on Monday 15th January 
10 Morning registration on Tuesday 16th January 
11 Morning registration on Thursday 18th January 

We have changed the dates when we take in blazers for year 9, 10 and 11, to avoid them being without them for an unnecessarily long time.   We are in the regular contact with our uniform supplier about the progress being made on our blazer rebrand and we are monitoring the progress carefully.  We hope not to have to make many more changes, and if we do have to adapt, we will of course let you know. 

As this type of rebrand has not been completed before, the timescales are currently estimated.  However, our uniform supplier is confident that they can return blazers to the school within 5 working days.  Once we have them back, they will be to our boys, which will help formalise the process.  Of course, if the schedule needs to change, we will keep you informed. 

What if my son was absent when blazers were taken in? 

We have kept records of all blazers that have been processed and shipped to the uniform suppliers.  Therefore, we know some students (currently only in year 7 & 8) have not had their blazer taken.  We have plans to collect these and ensure that they are rebranded once each year group has been completed. 

Are we able to get a second blazer rebranded? 

We know that some students will have a second blazer, or some students may have a spare blazer waiting at home for them to grow into.  We have ordered more badges than students, so there will be an opportunity for families to request that a second blazer is rebranded.   Once we have dealt with each student’s main blazer, we will contact you again to provide an opportunity for students to bring in a second blazer, while stocks of badges remain, we can accommodate these being rebranded. 

Is there any after care needed? 

The new crest will be sealed using a heat press and the embroidered badge has a coating that responds to heat.  It is advised that families put a stitch in each corner of the badge to ensure that it does not catch and peel.  Also, if edges do peel on a badge, it may be an option to reseal using a hot iron over a covering such as a tea towel/towel. 

Are there any other changes? 

  1. the tie remains the same 
  2. the jumper remains the same (permitted as branded (eagle) or non-branded (plain) items) 
  3. the summer PE top remains the same (permitted as branded (eagle) or non-branded (plain) items) 
  4. the rugby shirt remains as an eagle branded item (however, as stocks are used up this may this will be reviewed) 
  5. there are no changes to the remainder of non-branded uniform (shirts, trousers, shoes, sports shorts/socks etc.) 
  6. in the future new blazers will be purchased with the King Edwards VI crest and school name already embroidered on them. 


Friday 22nd December 2023

Christmas Message from the Headteacher

Goodbye to 2023. There have been many brilliant moments for our school community in 2023. Although the impact of previous lockdowns is still being felt across schools we do feel a sense of optimism as so many of our students are showing great bounce back-ability. Resilience cannot be under-estimated and we are proud of the vast majority of boys who are showing great resilience – bring on 2024. 

We would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas period and hope you have a wonderful break. I truly hope that you get a chance to spend some quality time together with your family and friends – if there is one thing that the last few years have reminded us, it is that the people in our lives and that are close to us, are the most important thing.

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2024.

Best wishes,

Dave Clayton

INSET Day Monday 8th January – school closed

School will be closed to all students on Monday 8th January for INSET. We will reopen at our usual time for all students on Tuesday 9th January.

Farewell to Ms Goult

You may well have heard that I will be moving on to ventures new in January.  I wanted to take the chance to let you know that Ms McIntosh will be starting as Assistant Headteacher in the new year, and she will bring valuable experience to our highly skilled team.  I am pleased to say that I will still be around in January as the school have organised a period of transition, so, I will share a more detailed goodbye after Christmas.  I hope you have a wonderful break with your families.

Safeguarding Newsletter

We are pleased to be able to bring you our next monthly safeguarding newsletter, ‘Spotlight on Safeguarding’. This month’s edition is focused on digital boundaries and the online world. Finally, each month will have an app focus, and this month informs you about an online streaming site called Discord.  

Click here to view.

Autumn Term Eagle Newsletter

We are thrilled to be able to share the link to the latest Eagle. It showcases the ways that we enhance our already-ambitious curriculum to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they need to have a very bright future. Click here to see this.

Food Donation Competition

A massive thank you to everyone who helped with donations for the Food Donation House Competition. Overall, as a school we collected:
 

460 cans of food!

127 packets of pasta 

57 jars/sauces

35 packets of rice

34 packets of sweets/crisps/chocolate items

22 boxes of cereal 

19 boxes of custard

16 Cup-a-Soup packets 

7 cartons/bottles of drinks

3 full boxes of toiletries 

Our Head Boy Team packed our minibus full of the food, and it has all been successfully delivered to King’s Norton Food Bank. This will go a really long way to help members of our community. Thank you very much. 

Congratulations to 7L, 8T, 9L, 10R and 11L who collected the most donations and earnt the most points for their house!

Christmas with the Community

On Thursday 21st December, students from our Peer-Reading Programme and our Christmas carollers spent the morning at our local retirement home. Students put on a festive showcase, performing Christmas songs and festive-themed poetry, including the late Benjamin Zephaniah’s Talking Turkeys. The boys then enjoyed a hot chocolate, mince pie and some socialising with the residents. We would like to thank Hamilton Court for hosting us – it was a truly special occasion, and we look forward to more visits in the future.

Merry Christmas!

Friends of KNBS 50/50 Draw

We are pleased to announce the latest winners of the Friends of KNBS 50/50 club. Details can be viewed here. We have been working hard in the background on plans to relaunch this fundraising initiative and will be providing more details in the new year…watch this space!

Darker Nights    

Dear Parents/Carers,

REMINDER FROM WEST MIDLANDS POLICE

With the darker nights fast approaching, it is important that students are reminded what we, as a school community, expect of them in terms of behaviour. 

Parents/carers and students should already be aware that as part of our safeguarding arrangements, the school has a two-way information sharing agreement in place with West Midlands Police, and we are active members of the local Police and Schools Panel.  This joint approach helps us to intervene early to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour involving our students and provide support and up-to-date safety messages.

In partnership with the police, we would also like to remind our students about the following: –

  • Anti-social behaviour: Think about how your actions and behaviour affect others; elderly and vulnerable people may be frightened by things that you might thing are just a bit of fun.
  • Personal Safety:
    • Be aware of your surroundings, take care of friends and family members and keep valuables such as phones out of public view whenever possible.
    • Don’t drink alcohol, take illegal drugs or unknown substances; they can have a big impact on your health and safety, behaviour, and your ability to do well at school. They can also be addictive and have unpredictable side effects, including sudden death. Information is available at www.talktfrank.com
  • Social Media: Don’t allow your use of social media to put you at risk of grooming, exploitation or regret in the future.  Use social media positively and avoid being negative about anyone online as comments/actions may be traced back to you and you will be held accountable.
  • Weapons in public places: Carrying a knife or other weapon will get you a criminal record which can have life-long effects on travel and job prospects.  Those who carry knives are also much more likely to be injured by them. Don’t take BB guns, gel blasters/guns, or any other real looking toy guns into public spaces as these can cause alarm to the public – which could receive a Police Firearms response.
  • Off-road bikes: These can only be ridden on private land with the landowner’s permission. Don’t risk your life and future prospects by illegally riding these on the road.
  • E-Scooters: In the UK, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a provisional or full driving licence to ride or hire an e- scooter. A privately owned e-scooter can only be used in a private place with the landowner’s permission; they are illegal to use on a road or in a public place.
  • Remember the company you keep: If your friend breaks the law, you may also be held responsible for that crime – even if you weren’t the one directly responsible.

Yours faithfully,

David Clayton
Headteacher
King’s Norton Boys’ School
Richard North
Chief Superintendent – Birmingham LPA
West Midlands Police