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Northampton School for Boys

Northampton School for Boys

Wider School Opening to Year 10 and 12 students from June 15th 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are writing to outline to you the details of the wider opening of NSB for Y10 and Y12 students from Monday, June 15th.  The aim of the wider opening will be to provide some face to face teaching support to supplement the Y10/12 distance learning provision.

This is understandably a worrying time for parents and students alike and the thorough and extensive measures set out in the guide may seem overwhelming.  I can assure parents and students that the environment the students will be coming into will be as welcoming and relaxed as it is possible for us to make it in these circumstances and the small numbers of students on site at any one time mean that individuals will receive a very high level of care and personal support.  The measures we are applying for everyone's safety will need to be strictly adhered to, but during the past three months the children of essential workers have attended school and adhered to similar restrictions with a minimum of fuss and there has been a very positive atmosphere. We will be in early communication with home to provide additional support for students who we feel may find the transition back to school particularly difficult.

It is important to emphasise to parents and carers that the face to face support is being provided to supplement the online distance learning which remains the primary source of educational provision for the students.  As an overview, with the detail explained in the guide, each child in Y10 will be invited in for one day a week of face to face teaching which will provide support for all of their subjects over the course of the five weeks before the holidays.  In Y12 we will aim for all students to be invited in for one day of teaching support in each of the subjects that they study before the end of term.  A separate personalised email will be sent to all parents / carers following this letter, which will state the days that students need to be in school and the subjects that they will be studying on each of these designated days. The email for Y12 students who study BTEC sport will be slightly delayed until arrangements for this subject are finalised.  The BTEC students will not be returning in Week 1.

The guide is necessarily lengthy as it sets out both the organisational and health and safety plans for bringing our students in these two year groups back to the school site.  It has been split into relevant headed sections for ease of future reference.  If you have any questions about the arrangements please contact either Mr Kneeshaw or Mr Armstrong at the school in the first instance or

Students should not worry about remembering everything in the guide.  As long as students arrive at the school on the right day and on time they will be reminded of the relevant information and told what to do from that point on!

The provision offered will be reviewed on a weekly basis and may be subject to change depending on DfE / national guidance at the time.

We very much look forward to welcoming the students back to NSB over the next few weeks.  A hard copy of this letter and the Parental Guide will follow in the post.

Richard Bernard                                                          Peter Bason            Headmaster                                                                      Chair of Governors


Parental Guide – wider NSB opening from June 15th

In making these operational arrangements the school has sought to put into place a series of controls which will help to minimise the spread of COVID-19 through both direct transmission (instances when in contact with those sneezing and coughing) and indirect transmission (via touching contaminated surfaces). Through the implementation of these controls the risk of transmission of the virus at the school will be substantially reduced during the period of wider school opening.

One of the key areas of infection control that all parents must adhere to is ensuring that students who live in a household where any occupant has Coronavirus symptoms do not attend school, under any circumstances, until periods of self-isolation in line with government directives have taken place. COVID-19 symptoms currently include:

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, the normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)


The provision offered is constrained by a wide variety of significant health and safety factors. These constraints include the need to minimise the numbers of different people each student is in contact with - both other students and staff; the maximum number of students permitted in school on the same day; the unavailability of some teaching staff due to health considerations; the requirement for all students to stay in the same classroom throughout the day and the fact that we only have 5 weeks to give face to face teaching support in all the subjects. Please note that, on rare occasions, there may be a lack of subject specialist availability due to Covid-19 related reasons. In this situation face to face teaching support in that subject may not always be possible. Parents and students will be notified individually in these circumstances. Sociology A Level is the only subject that is affected by this situation at the time of writing.

Year 10

We will be running a Week A and Week B timetable for Y10.

Week A will provide a rotation of provision for the student’s Option subject, the Technology subject and the MFL or alternative to MFL subject.  

Week B will provide face to face provision for English, Maths, Science and History / Geography. 

Over the five weeks there will be Week A1, B1, A2, B2 and A3 in that order.

For each week, the whole Y10 cohort will be split into fifths - a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday group.  This will bring into school a maximum of 45 Y10 students on any one day.  Each daily group will be split into five “bubbles” of students of similar ability relevant to the subjects being taught on that day – there will be no more than eleven students in any one bubble – the average will be nine.  Students will not mix with any other student outside of their bubble during a day.  To provide subject specialist provision, students may be allocated a different day / bubble each week – which is permitted by the DfE secondary school guidance for re-opening schools. Students will remain in the same classroom and in the same seat all day unless part of the lesson or the whole lesson is taking place outside.  Students will be taught by a subject specialist but the member of staff will not necessarily always be their normal teacher.

In Week A students will be taught the same subject throughout the normal school day.

In Week B the students will receive four face to face lessons of one hour fifteen minutes duration in English, Maths, Science and History or Geography: 

In Week A1 - Y10 students will be taught in their bubble group throughout the day for their Option subject.

In Week A2 - Y10 students will be taught in their bubble group throughout the day for their MFL or alternative to MFL subject.

In Week A3 - Y10 students will be taught in their bubble group throughout the day for their Technology subject.

In Weeks B1 and B2 - Y10 students will be taught in their Week B bubble group rotating through four different subject lessons over the course of the day – English, Maths, Science and History or Geography.

The schedule of the day will vary slightly from Week A to Week B:

At the beginning of each day (8.50am for Y10) a member of the Senior Staff will undertake a short briefing with the cohort of students.  This will be in the Concourse to facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Schedule of day for Y10 Week A

8.30am - 8.50am - students arrive through the Quad, clean their hands, and go straight to the Concourse

8.50am - 9am - Briefing in the Concourse

9.00am - 11.10am - Early Morning Session  

11.10 - 11.30am - Break

11.30am - 1pm - Late Morning session 

1pm - 2pm - Lunch Break - the teacher area will be cleaned – bubbles will be fetched from classrooms 

2.00pm - 3.35pm - Afternoon Session 

If more than one specialist teacher teaches the class over the course of the day, then the teacher area in the classroom will be thoroughly cleaned between teachers.

Schedule of day for Y10 Week B

8.30am - 8.50am - students arrive through the Quad, clean their hands, and go straight to the Concourse

8.50am - 9am - Briefing in the Concourse

9am - 10.15am - Lesson 1 

10.15am - 10.25am - Internal Break whilst the teacher area in each classroom is cleaned

10.25am - 11.40am - Lesson 2 

11.40 am - 12.00noon - External Break - the teacher area will be cleaned 

12noon - 1.15pm - Lesson 3 

1.15pm - 2.20pm - Lunch Break – teacher area will be cleaned – bubbles will be fetched from classrooms 

2.20 - 3.35pm - Lesson 4

Year 12 

There will be no more than a quarter of the Y12 cohort in school on any one day - 65 students.  To minimise mixing, students will be taught one subject in a bubble of normally no more than 15 students for one day out of the week.  Where there are COVID-19 related staff shortages in a subject, some whole classes will be taught with 2m social distancing in the Sixth Form Pod or the Cripps Hall Theatre.  Students will be taught in the same classroom throughout the day - lessons or parts of lessons can also take place outside at the teacher's discretion.  Students will arrive at a different time to Y10, between 9am and 9.20am through the Cripps Hall entrance for a 9.20am start.  Students will leave school at a different time to Y10, at 3.25pm rather than 3.35pm.

Week 1 - (wk. beginning June 15th)  - Option Block 1 subjects will be taught across the week

Week 2 - (wk. beginning June 22nd)  - Option Block 2 subjects will be taught across the week

Week 3 - (wk. beginning June 29th)  - Option Block 4 subjects will be taught across the week

Week 4 - (wk. beginning July 6th)  - Option Block 5 subjects will be taught across the week

Week 5 - (wk. beginning July 13th) -  Option Block 3 subjects will be taught across the week

At the beginning of each day (9.20am for Y12) a member of SLT will undertake a short briefing with the cohort of Y12 students.  This will be held in the Concourse to facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Schedule of day for Y12

9am - 9.20am - students arrive through the entrance to the Cripps Hall, clean their hands and go straight to the Concourse

9.20am – 9.30am – Briefing in the Concourse

9.30am - 12.30pm - Morning Session - teacher can break at their discretion  

12.30 pm - 1.30 pm - Lunch Break - the teacher area will be cleaned during lunch – bubbles will be fetched for lunch from their classrooms 

1.30pm - 3.25pm - Afternoon session

If more than one specialist teacher teaches the class over the course of the day, then the teacher area in the classroom will be thoroughly cleaned between teachers.

From Week 2 onwards students in Art, Photography, Dance and Drama may be invited in to undertake additional practical work in a week when they do not study a subject from the designated weekly option block.  Where a student will be needed for these additional sessions, parents and carers will be notified of the additional days that the student is required in school for.

Dress Code for Y10 and Y12 students until the end of Term
For this five week period, in order to support the ease of daily clothes washing, the involvement of students in potential outdoor lessons and to help reduce virus transmission, students will be permitted to wear non-school uniform - smart casual or sportswear - no flip flops / beachwear or attire which could be deemed as inappropriate or offensive may be worn. Staff will also wear smart casual clothing.  This relaxation in dress rules is only for the five-week period until the end of term.  The school will review the situation prior to September when we hope to be able to implement normal full uniform rules.  Where students have a practical lesson such as Dance or Drama they should arrive in school in their appropriate practical clothing.

Entry and Exit Points to the school

Each cohort will have different entry and exit points:

Y10 students will enter and exit through the Quad.  Students should arrive between 8.30am and 8.50am. Students should not arrive earlier or later than these times.  Students will leave at the normal end of school – 3.35pm.

Y12 students will enter and exit through the Cripps Hall entrance.  Students should arrive between 9.00am and 9.20am.  Students should not arrive earlier or later than these times.  Students will leave at a slightly earlier time to Y10 - 3.25pm.

Equipment to bring to school

Students must bring their own writing equipment and exercise books for their subject if the books are not currently in school.  Paper will be provided.  Students will not be allowed to share personal equipment with other students.  Students should keep all their equipment and any packed lunch / drink in a bag which will be stored under their designated desk throughout the day.

Mental Health

The school recognises that students will have been affected by the extended period of lockdown in many ways and some students will have been facing up to very challenging circumstances at home.  All school staff are trained to look out for any signs which may indicate that a student needs support for their mental health and the school will look to support these students both in school and through signposting appropriate expert help from relevant external agencies.  It would be very helpful if parents / carers could let the school know if their child has been or is going through a difficult time at home – parents should contact Assistant Headteacher, Lindsay Greenaway at the school by phone or email –

Attendance and reporting absence from school

Where your son or daughter is unable to attend a timetabled session at school, it is extremely important that you inform the school of the reason for their absence by 10am by telephoning the main school reception on 01604 230240 or by emailing  This is because the school is required to submit a daily attendance register to the government to support the tracking of the spread of Coronavirus and to monitor the impact of opening schools more widely.

The school will need to know the reason for absence which would normally be one of the following:

  • Illness because the student has a suspected or confirmed case of Covid -19
  • Illness which is not related to Covid-19
  • Shielding because the student or another member of the household is classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
  • Self-isolating as a member of the household has a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19

Please ensure that you only report absence for those days that your son/daughter is timetabled to attend school.

Whilst the government and the school are strongly encouraging children in Y10/12 to return to school unless they are self-isolating or shielding, parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.

If students are unable to come into school to receive the face to face teaching, then they will be asked by the teacher to catch up the work missed remotely.

Distance Learning

In a week where students are coming into school for face to face support for a subject, the distance learning work set for that week in the subject will be reduced by the class teacher, as the teacher deems appropriate. Students and parents should be aware that when teachers are on-site teaching they will not be expected to be contributing to distance learning provision on that particular day and therefore may not be able to respond to distance learning related queries or questions as quickly as they would do normally.

Class or group Sizes 

The school will seek to ensure that we reduce contact between people as much as possible. 

Students will be in small 'bubble groups' of no more than 11 students in Y10 and normally no more than 15 students in Y12 (unless the whole class is being taught in a larger space).  Each bubble group will be taught in one classroom and at the same desk throughout the day (other than in outdoor lessons or in subjects which need specialist equipment).  Bubble groups of students will not mix during the day.  In order to support social distancing - each bubble group will be given clear directions to the entrance / corridors / exit that they will be allowed to move through - these route-ways will promote social distancing by eliminating  contact between different bubble groups of students.  Bubble groups of students will change on a weekly basis according to subject specialism - this has been agreed as within the government guidelines of safe practice for secondary schools by the school’s health and safety legal advisers.

Students will be seated at least 2 metres away from each other in the classroom. The teacher will have an area of space at the front of the classroom which always allows them to comfortably remain 2m away from students.

Break time / Lunch time 

Each bubble group will have a designated outside area for break times and lunch and will be supervised to ensure that they remain 2m apart. A suitable indoor space within the Concourse will also be provided for each bubble group if the weather is poor. 

Hot and cold food will be on sale at lunch time.  Students are welcome to bring a packed lunch if they wish.  There will be no food available for sale at break time.

If you would like your child to purchase lunch, please could you fill out a simple form to indicate which food choices your son / daughter would like, so that the Catering department can prepare relevant quantities.  A link to the Catering Forms are below and can also be accessed through the front page of the school website.  You will be sent a weekly reminder email / text to do this for subsequent weeks.  Please note that you should only fill out a form for the day that your son / daughter is due into school.  A reminder that you will be notified of these days by separate email following this letter.

Monday, June 15th

Click here to book

Tuesday, June 16th

Click here to book

Wednesday, June 17th

Click here to book

Thursday, June 18th

Click here to book

Friday, June 19th

Click here to book

Students in Y10 and Y12 will be called into lunch from their classrooms and will be required to queue in their bubble groups at 2m apart.  Each bubble group will sit in a designated area of the Concourse.  Students from different bubble groups will not be allowed to mix in the lunch queue.  All food, whether purchased or a packed lunch, will be eaten in the Concourse.

Students will use the normal system to pay for lunch.

Y12 will not be permitted to leave the school site for lunch.

Transport to and from School 

Students are encouraged to walk or cycle to school where possible - students must maintain a 2m gap from any other student when they are walking or cycling to school.

Students will always be able to use the school bike racks whilst maintaining social distancing of 2m.

Parents are reminded not to mix households on any school run.

Students taking the bus after school will be supervised to ensure that the students remain 2m apart from each other whilst waiting for the bus. 2m markings will support appropriately distanced queuing.

Parents will not be permitted to drop students off or to pick students up from the front of the school unless the child has a disability or injury.

Behaviour Policy 

The Behaviour Policy has been updated to state that students can be sanctioned, up to and including exclusion, if they wilfully refuse to adhere to arrangements of social distancing and / or deliberately cough or spit at students or staff thereby putting them at risk.  Any such breaches will be promptly brought to the attention of Senior Staff.

Other Policies reviewed and updated

Management of Health and Safety, Management of Fire Safety, Management of Infection Control, Child Protection and Safeguarding, Attendance, Exclusions and Pastoral / Welfare Policies have also been updated to reflect changed practice due to coronavirus.

Health and Safety Measures to protect against COVID-19 - please also see the NSB COVID-19 Risk Assessment which is available on the front page of the school website

Shielded (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) and Clinically Vulnerable children

For the vast majority of children and young people, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a mild illness.  Children and young people (0 to 18 years of age) who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield.  We do not expect these children to be attending school, and they should continue to be supported at home as much as possible.  Please contact Mr Armstrong or Mr Kneeshaw at the school if your child is shielding.

Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and are listed in this document: Staying at home and away from others (social distancing) guidance. A small minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if your child is in this category and alert the school if you decide that you wish to keep your child at home.

Living with a shielded or clinically vulnerable person
If a child lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend school.

If a child lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, as set out in the COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable guidance, it is advised they only attend school if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions.  If your son / daughter falls into this category, please contact Mr Armstrong / Mr Kneeshaw at the school to discuss the most appropriate course of action.

Infection Protection and Control

  1. As outlined earlier in this letter, parents must ensure that students who live in a household with Coronavirus symptoms do not attend school until appropriate periods of self-isolation have taken place. COVID-19 symptoms currently include:
  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
  1. We will ensure that all students who attend school clean their hands at regular intervals throughout the day - this will include on entry to school, on exit from classrooms, before eating food, at the end of PE, at the end of break and lunch, after using the toilet, after coughing or sneezing and on exit from the building at the end of the school day. All students will be taken by Senior Staff to wash their hands with soap and hot water in the Concourse before having lunch.
  2. Students and staff will always be required to remain two metres apart from each other with markings / signs used to support this requirement in classrooms and around the school. Corridor traffic will be kept to an absolute minimum with signage at appropriate pinch points.  We will use one-way systems and corridor dividers as appropriate.
  3. Hand sanitiser and tissues will be provided outside / in classrooms and we will ensure that all students are briefed on the nationally advised approach of the promotion of using an elbow or tissue to cough or sneeze and to 'catch it, bin it, kill it'. There will also be a packet of antibacterial wipes in each classroom for the teacher to use as they deem necessary.
  4. We will ensure that frequently touched surfaces are cleaned in accordance with government guidance, with standard disinfecting products before the start of the school day, during external break and lunchtime and at the end of the school day.  All teacher areas in a classroom where there is subject specialist rotation of staff into the classroom will also be cleaned between each lesson, bins with tissues will be double bagged and emptied regularly during the school day.
  5. Students will be taught in the same classroom (bar any outdoor lessons or lessons which need practical equipment) at the same desk each day.  Teachers will ensure that students always remain 2m away from each other within the classroom or practical area environment.  Teachers will remain at the front of the room and, other than in emergencies, not walk past desks or support students from within 2m.
  6. Any unnecessary items from classrooms used for teaching will be removed and stored elsewhere to reduce the number of touchable surfaces in the classroom.
  7. Students will have a designated set of toilets to use which will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day - only one person will be allowed in the toilets at a time – students will be asked to use hand sanitiser before they enter the toilet and they must wash their hands with soap and hot water for twenty seconds after using the toilet.
  8. Classroom entrance doors will be propped open to reduce use of door handles and to aid ventilation but must be closed when the room is not occupied - windows will be kept open in classrooms unless the weather poses a health and safety risk to do so.
  9. Take-home resources / shared resources in class will be minimised.
  10. The sharing of school stationery and other school equipment will be minimised - any shared materials and surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected more frequently.
  11. Any equipment needed for practical lessons will be minimised in terms of use and practical equipment should not be shared.  Practical equipment will be cleaned thoroughly before the start of the school day and between uses by different daily cohorts as relevant.
  12. The First Aid Room will only be used for students who are not exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms.  G3 will be used for treating / supporting students or staff exhibiting potential COVID-19 related symptoms.
  13. The Fire Evacuation Plan has been rewritten to include reference to social distancing – marks have been set out in the areas that bubble groups and staff stand to ensure that people remain 2m apart.
  14. Visitors to the school will not be permitted other than in emergency circumstances.
  15. Parents are reminded not to mix households on school runs and only one parent should enter reception if they must come into school in the case of emergency.
  16. Students and staff will be able to wear non uniform / non business clothes to support a reduction in any risk of transmission and to support easier washing of clothes at home.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face coverings and masks

Wearing a face covering or mask in schools is not currently recommended by the Department for Education and is therefore not supported by the school and the school will not provide them for general use.  However, if staff or students wish to wear a face mask, they may do so, but it must be of plain colour(s) and without images.  The mask should not be inappropriate in the nature of, or size of branding.  When a student has finished wearing a mask it must be placed in a plastic bag or freezer bag (brought in by the student) within their main bag or placed in a bin, it must not be left lying around.

Students who travel on public transport must, in line with government policy, wear a mask whilst on the public transport system that they use.

Masks that are not disposed of must be washed at home before they are worn again in school. 

If a student becomes unwell at school 
If a student presents with COVID-19 symptoms at school, then, in line with government and Public Health England direction, they will be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19 government guidance for households with possible COVID-19 infection. This will include advising the student to self-isolate for seven days.  If a child is awaiting collection they will be kept in a ventilated room (G3) where they can be isolated behind a closed door with adult supervision if required. The adult supervisor will wear PPE as described in the section on infection control above.

If more than one person falls unwell at the same time, then different rooms will be used to treat each person. 

If the child awaiting collection needs to use a bathroom, they will use a separate bathroom which will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else. 

All areas and surfaces that the child has been in will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products.  Staff and students who have been in proximity to a student / member of staff who has been sent home with COVID-19 symptoms will not be required to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves.  All staff and students who have been in proximity to the child / member of staff who has been sent home must wash their hands thoroughly for twenty seconds immediately after COVID-19 symptoms have been suspected in an individual.

Test and Trace
The school will actively engage with the NHS Test and Trace programme to ensure that appropriate actions to follow up suspected cases of COVID-19 are taken as quickly as possible.  All students and staff who have suspected COVID-19 symptoms should look to take a test as part of the national Test and Trace system as soon as possible after the symptoms emerge.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school

When a child / member of staff with suspected COVID-19 has a test, which comes back as negative then they can immediately return to the school setting.

If the test comes back as positive, then the national Test and Trace system will need to be notified. Students and teachers who have been in contact with the individual will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days and will be tested if they display subsequent symptoms. The school will be advised / directed by Public Health England in this situation.


Northampton School for Boys, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5RT
01604 230240