A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

21 January 2022

The term is well underway now after two and a half weeks back. Pupils are working well in most classes and the diligence awards, which will be issued soon to all year groups, will give feedback of their performance across their subjects.

The number of pupils bringing their own face coverings to school has risen greatly, so a huge thank you to parents/carers for supporting this. I would ask that pupils continue to attend in full school uniform and, if unable to do so, you contact your young person’s House Team to support this as we have a uniform bank at school with both new and preloved uniform. Pupils should also bring a cosy fleece/jacket should they need this to keep warm in classes (no hooded tops please – including the new rugby training tops). Please can I also ask for parental support in ensuring your young person brings a change of kit for PE for health and hygiene reasons (and also as it is winter they could get very wet and cold when outside in PE).

Staffing

Support for Learning Leader – following interviews on Monday, Mrs Jenny Wright has been appointed to this post and will start in it immediately. We will now move to advertising the Support for Learning teaching post.

Covid-19

We now have a dedicated section on our website for all things Covid, so please refer to it for the latest information.

S2-S5 Coursing (Learner Pathways)

Given the current circumstances due to the pandemic we are preparing to conduct the coursing process online. Pupils will be emailed information regarding the process, including a Google Form that will allow them to submit their initial course choices. They will have a Coursing Interview via Google Meet with their Pupil Support Leader. Course choices will be confirmed with pupils, parents and carers once all of the S3-6 coursing information is received and we have been able to establish the most efficient way of giving as many pupils their first choices, as is possible.

East Lothian Works Information Evenings – (these will help support course choices)

The East Lothian Works youth team is hosting a series of online information evenings for parents, and pupils from Knox Academy and the other East Lothian secondary schools. These sessions will be covering Foundation Apprenticeships, the School College Partnership programme, and the East Lothian Works offer, specifically the offer for 2022-2023. This is a fantastic opportunity for all parents/carers and pupils to get a strong understanding of what we are offering, and how they can get involved. It also provides a way for this information to be disseminated all in one place.

They are running the same information session over two more dates: Monday 24th January, Wednesday 26th January, all at 6pm so parents/carers and your young people can opt in to any of these. You can join these sessions by clicking here at any of these times.  The turnout at the first two sessions this week were really positive and the uptake for courses, based on the engagement by parents and pupils, has gone up, showing that attending these increased knowledge and understanding of these courses for career pathways.

Senior Phase Parent Consultation Evenings

S5/6 - Tuesday 25th January 2022 (5pm – 7pm)

We expect that pupils will join their parents and carers at these meetings to have a discussion about learning and progress in individual subject areas. Feedback will be based around pupil progress in their individual subjects, mainly based on next steps identified from their recent Prelims.  This is a great opportunity for young people to receive individual feedback, with appropriate support from their parents/carers.

Parents should contact their young person’s Pupil Support Leader, by emailing House Group inboxes, if they wish to discuss any particular pastoral concerns. (garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk, lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk, traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk ).

We look forward to seeing as many parents/carers at these Google Meets as possible.  

S5/6 College Options/Courses starting now (January)

There are a huge amount of college courses starting now (January) for those considering leaving school or for those who have already left.  Please do take some time to look at these and at the qualifications for entry. These may also help guide course choices for those in the younger year groups as they may out their career pathways.

Remote Learning

National eLearning Offer

For senior phase West_OS has an increasing number of National Qualifications based video lessons that are open access. There are live streams and on-demand recordings relating to careers and skills including the likes of Chef Gary Maclean and Paralympian explorer Karen Darke, MBE.

For S1-S3 learners there are e-Sgoil’s 20 ‘Big Questions’ interactive interdisciplinary learning spaces and live streams, with on-demand recordings from DYW Live. These resources can be found here.

E-Sgoil has Supported Study webinars and resources for Senior Phase. This has a choice of 52 different webinars covering National Qualifications - subjects and levels. This includes the ‘Your Questions’ service which allows learners to submit questions to be answered by peers and subject teachers.

Skills Development Scotland Service at Knox Academy

1:1 Appointments:

Any student, in any year, at any time, can request a careers appointment. All students in their ‘significant subject choice year’ (S3) given a 1:1 appointment.

A number of senior phase students who may require extra careers guidance are identified by the school at the start of the school year. Any school leavers in this group will be seen a minimum of 3 times for a 1:1 appointment.

Parents/carers are welcome to attend (currently virtually) appointments if they request to do so.

Group Engagements:

All S1 in the first couple of months at school (Intro to careers service in school)

All S2 (Carer Management Skills)

All S3 (Subject Choice)

All 4th Year (Post school options)

5th and 6th Years at request of school  e.g. Interview skills with the 6th year Employability Group.

Other information:

All students have access to an online careers account on www.myworldofwork.co.uk

We have developed another site which is continually being updated for parents and careers called www.mykidscareer.com

Young Persons’ (under 22) Free Bus Travel

All young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card from 10 January to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme from 31 January. You can apply here. At present only those who require it for essential travel are asked to apply.

Parent Council

If you wish to join our Parent Council Meeting on Monday 31 January 2022, it would be great to have you along (especially our new S1 parents/carers).  To join, please email our Chair of the Parent Council: parentcouncil@ka-net.org.uk.

Covid-19

Please continue to report all positive Covid-19 cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921. Please also inform the school so we can amend your young person’s attendance record. Pupils should continue to do twice weekly LFD tests. LFD kits are available every morning on arrival to school and during the day from the office. They can also be collected from pharmacies and test centres.

Please do not send pupils to school who have symptoms. They should self-isolate and book a PCR test and not return to school until they know this is negative and they have no symptoms.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 25 January: S5/6 Parents’ Evening

Monday 31 January – Parent Council (virtual) 6.30-8pm

Monday 14 –Friday 18 February – Mid-term break

Monday 21 February – staff in-service/pupil holiday

Have a good weekend

Sue Cook