A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

16 August 2019

Good afternoon

I hope you all had a great summer.  It is fantastic to be back at school and it was wonderful to welcome all our young people back to Knox Academy on Wednesday, along with our new S1.  I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new parents/carers who have joined the Knox Academy community this year, whether their young person is in S1 or joined another year group.  We will all do our best to ensure your young person achieves their potential and enjoys their time here. 

If parents/carers do have any questions about their young person the initial point of contact is their Guidance teacher.  This is Ms Adam for Garleton pupils; Mr Meekison for Lammerlaw and Mrs Doig/Ms McBride for Traprain pupils. They will do their best to answer your questions or seek out answers for you.

Staffing

We welcomed a number of new teachers to the school this year:

Mr Paul McFadden (Chemistry), Mr Howard Barnhurst (History), Ms Sarah McDonald (Drama), Ms  Morven Pack (Biology), Ms Maura Maloney – Mandarin (SWIRE), Mr Nick Swanston (Meadowpark), Ms Valentine and Ms Smith (Pupil Support Assistants at Meadowpark) and Ms Lorraine Arnott (Admin at Meadowpark).

School Calendar

The main events throughout our school year are now detailed on our website under 'Calendar’. This gives a day by day account of all our events and is updated throughout the year to ensure it is accurate and when any new events are added. Parents/carers should refer to it now to identify events for their young person so you know well in advance to make any necessary plans. Thank you.

SQA Results

We are very pleased with our pupils’ performance in the recent SQA exams.  Many of our S4-S6 pupils achieved a variety of qualifications ranging from National 2 through to Advanced Higher, demonstrating the school works really closely with our young people to provide courses and qualifications that meet their needs and yet provide challenge. We also have many other courses our young people achieve qualifications in such as Duke of Edinburgh and Bikeability.

S4 - Nearly 50% of our S4 pupils achieved 5 or more National 5 qualifications and 31% attained 7. Nine pupils attained all A passes and a further six attained 6As and a B pass.

S5 - In S5, 24 of our pupils attained 5 Highers, with a number of these pupils attaining all A passes.  62.8% of our S5 attained 1 or more higher qualifications.

S6 – Seven pupils attained 3 Advanced Higher passes, with two pupils attaining As in all three.  A further 26 pupils attained a mixture of Advanced Highers and Highers.  Other pupils in our S6 cohort (82 pupils in total in S6 this year) attained a mixture of Highers/National 5s and National 5s/National 4s. Our S6 pupils have moved on to a variety of positive destinations ranging from University, College, Employment and Volunteering.  We wish them well in this exciting stage of their lives.

Assemblies

I will be holding a series of assemblies next week to speak to our young people about our school values, which are Ambition, Respect and Community.  I will also be asking for their input in helping us devise our school’s vision statement, which parents/carers/staff and our community partners will also be asked to participate in so our vision is very much a joint one which we all strive towards (I hope to get this survey out to parents/carers next week to ask for your views).   My assemblies will also let our young people know what we are trying to achieve at Knox Academy to make their experience here the best it can be and how they can be a major part of that (our School Improvement Plan). I will also be speaking about the exam results and how well we did, but with our school’s value of Ambition, how well we can still do.

Bags for Help

As part of our efforts to establish Knox Academy's Inclusion Fund during the months of May/June Knox Academy was part of Tesco Haddington's Bags for Help token scheme. Thanks to the commitment of the whole community of Haddington and Knox Academy the maximum award of £4,000 will be donated to us. This money will make a real difference to so many pupils at Knox Academy so that available money does not cause a barrier to the fabulous opportunities available throughout a pupil’s school career. Any pupil, parent or carer who would like to access support from the Inclusion Fund should contact Miss McBride in the first instance (email the school admin account or phone the school).  (by Ms McBride)

Department of Trade Summer School

After winning the regional Department of Trade Summer School we were invited to attend the prize day in London along with five other schools from around the UK.   The event took place in the famous Locarno rooms of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on 17 July.  It was a busy day with lots of speakers from the world of international trade including Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade and The Mayor of The City of London.  We took part two final challenges to decide the overall winner. Our first task was to design a strategy to boost the awareness of International Trade and its benefits among young people. The team presented our idea to the room and were pleased with the judges’ feedback which told us they were impressed with our innovative ideas as well as the quality and confidence of our presentation. We received a commendation but were pipped at the post by another team.

After lunch, where we mingled with business leaders as well as being joined at our table by Liam Fox – who knew exactly where Haddington was as he used to be a GP in Pathhead!,  we completed the final challenge which was a Treasure Hunt. As a team we solved lots of clues whilst walking around Westminster and the surrounding area and took lots of interesting photos.  We were delighted to win the prize for this challenge! To top off the day we visited Downing Street and got a photo outside the famous No 10 door. We all enjoyed the experience and are keen to find out more about opportunities in the future with the DIT.  The pupils that attended were Asher Borthwick, Andrew Syme, Niall Holman and Taylor Aldred, accompanied by Mrs Ferguson. (by Pupil team)

Cook of the Year

Knox Academy’s Catering Assistant, Maria Miller, has reached the final of the School Cook of the Year competition.  We are delighted for her!  She will be filmed preparing her food on 23 August and some of our young people will get the chance to taste her final produce.  Fingers crossed she wins!  I will keep you posted.

Dates for your diary:

20 August 2019                             School Photos (S1 and S6)

28 August                                       2MOROS Safety – Brunton Theatre (Seniors)

3 September                                 Parent Council – School Library – 6.15-8pm – all welcome

4 September                                  S4 Physics Trip – Torness

13-16 September (inclusive)       Autumn Holiday

Have a great weekend

Sue Cook