A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

17 June 2021

On Monday 14 June we held a virtual meeting with our P7 Parents/Carers to give them some more information about the school and transition. It was lovely to meet with them all and the young people who tuned in too. We are so looking forward to welcoming all our new S1 pupils in August. Mr Illingworth is producing a FAQs sheet as a result of the meeting and this will be sent to parents/carers and primary schools soon.

Our new timetable started this week and pupils have seemed really enthusiastic and engaged in their new classes and have enjoyed moving up a year group.  These two weeks should allow all pupils to settle in to their new subjects, classes and meet their new teachers prior to the summer holidays. This should make for a smooth start to the new term in August.

Covid-19 Mitigations in Schools (post summer) – there will be an update from the Scottish Government during the summer for the return of schools in August. Any changes to health and safety mitigations for this return will be communicated to parents/carers and pupils prior to starting back on 18 August.

Staffing

We will be welcoming three new probationers to the school in August in English (Mr Welsh), Psychology (Ms Tkacz) and Ms Fletcher (French).

We are also advertising for a temporary position in Biology for session 2021-22.

Pride

On the last day of term, we are going to have a PRIDE dress down day to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBT+ community at Knox and in our community. We are asking each registration class to dress up in the colours of the LGBT+ flag. There will be a prize for the best class. The school has come a long way in being more inclusive and next year we will be working towards the Silver LGBT Charter.

Parents/Carers Information

School Improvement Plan

The full version of our School Improvement Plan is now on our website. 

School Trips and Excursions Session 2021/22

Based on the evidence currently available and lessons learned from the impact of the pandemic on residential school trips, the Council Management Team have taken the decision that no international school visits will be undertaken by ELC schools in the session 2021/2022.  The uncertainty around international travel and public safety; the short term nature of government advice; the inability to arrange pandemic cancellation insurance; and the financial risk to parents given schools need to book so far in advance to make the trips affordable are all factors in this decision.

School Uniform

To help parents/carers with planning ahead over the summer for school uniform, please see our updated letter. Please can I ask parents/carers to support us by not purchasing hooded tops for school, as we have had a no hooded top policy for two years now (see details in the letter). If anyone does need support with kitting our their young person in uniform, we have lots of uniform in school, so please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance teacher) who can support this. We are keen that all of our young people have an identity with the school. Wearing a uniform also prevents parents/carers having to purchase clothes for their young people that are often very expensive and about keeping up with the latest fashions. We want our uniform to be smart and functional and ‘leisure gear’ to be changed in to after school. Beyond the tie, the uniform can be purchased from anywhere, and this also allows pupils to decide on the style of it. Thank you for your support with this and supporting our approaches to equity too.

Seniors’ Blazers/ Badges

Blazers are available to order directly from Border Embroideries.

Badges are currently being re ordered with the updated Knox Crest- these will be available in the next school session. Further details will follow on this page once we have a clear time line of delivery and costing.

We have a small stock of previously used Blazers (all washed and laundered to reflect COVID safety) but urgently are looking for Girls school blazers if anyone would like to donate they would be greatly appreciated (by Mrs Fraser)

SQA Update/ Appeals and issuing of provision grades

S4-S6 pupils will be issued with a copy of their provisional grades on the afternoon of Tuesday 22 June. Those young people in S6, who have now left school, should pick these up from the office window, in the school vestibule, between 2pm and 4pm on this date, whilst maintaining 2M physical distancing if there is a queue.  Any not collected on this date will be posted home.

By notifying pupils on 22 June of their provisional results, the school is providing them with time to discuss any queries with us before the final submission of their provisional results on Friday 25 June 2021. The provisional results we are giving them is what they should expect to find on their SQA certificate on 10 August. SQA will not change the provisional result we submit and will only check for administrative errors and will resolve these with school if they find any.

Should pupils have any queries regarding their provisional results shared with them today, or wish to appeal any of them, they should arrange to speak to their class teacher for that subject(s) as soon as possible, and before Friday 25 June 2021, when these results will be submitted to SQA.

Head Pupils’ Elections

We have begun the process of electing our pupil leadership team for the 2021/22 session. Our pupil leadership teams have always been great ambassadors for Knox Academy and provided incredible support to fellow pupils, staff, parents and the wider community. When we return to the building after summer, the role of our pupil leaders will be more important than ever in helping our school community adjust to the circumstances and the challenges we will undoubtedly face. As in previous years, we will be electing two Head Pupils and 3 Deputes to lead the pupils of Knox Academy into next session.

The candidates have submitted their manifestos for consideration from a panel which includes pupils and staff and on Monday they will submit their campaign videos which will again be judged and ranked by pupils and staff. We hope to also run a live Question Time next Wednesday which will be an opportunity for pupils and staff to directly speak to the candidates.

The interviews will take place on Monday and Tuesday evening and the whole school vote will be on Thursday 24th June, with voting for staff and pupils closing at 2pm, therefore the successful candidates will be known by the end of next week.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what this year's candidates will have to offer! (Mr Miller)

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

The final of this will be held on Tuesday 22 June, wherein the five final S5 teams will put forward their case to win £3000 for their charity – which they have worked on researching over the last six months. We have external guests joining us virtually to judge it.

Haddington Athletic Football Club – free summer camps

These are free for all age groups and will take place on the 3G at Whittinghame Drive. Places must be booked ahead of these camps.

5-9 July, 10am – 1pm

19-23 July, 10am-1pm

26 – 30 July, 10am-1pm GIRLS ONLY

2 – 6 August, 10am-1pm

To book a place phone: 07756022558 or email: info@haddingtonathletic.co.uk . Please provide your young person’s name and contact number.

Wider Achievement – Football

Congratulations to Aidan Smith, Murray Bowsher and Tobie Craig who were playing in a Cup Final, last Sunday. The boys play for Haddington Athletic CFC U14s and they won the John Crawford Cup, beating Dalkeith Thistle 2-1 and beating all other teams in the South East Region. This is a fantastic achievement in their first season of 11-aside match. Well done!

Accessing web sites at home using East Lothian Council/School devices (by ELC)

Having been reviewing our security in relation to learning devices used by pupils in our schools I wish to bring the following to your attention. With pupils making good use of Chromebook and other devices that can be attached to any wireless network, it enables them to work normally anywhere there’s a suitable wireless network, not just in school, such as on trips and visits as well as at home. This capability has been a great help over the last year, enabling large numbers of Chromebooks to go home with learners who would otherwise have inadequate computer access.

We’ve had some questions from parents over whether in-school web filtering happens when the devices are used at home. Web filtering is the technology which is designed to block access, as far as these systems can, to inappropriate web content.

When your child uses a device at home, it does not connect via these school/Council filters, so therefore requires the same supervision as any other networked device used in the home. It connects to the internet directly via the home Internet Service Provider (ISP), typically BT, Sky, TalkTalk or Virgin Media. If it’s a home wireless network, it will default to the ISP’s content filtering. If it’s connected via a portable hotspot issued by the Council, it will use another third party web filter, configured to give similar access and protection as the filtering when devices are used in school. If it’s connected via any other portable hotspot, or via a mobile phone hotspot (known as “tethering”) then it will use the phone’s network operator’s filtering.

All the main internet providers in the UK offer their own parental controls which can be used, if appropriate, to prevent age inappropriate content being accessed on any devices in your home.

LFD Testing in school

As Community transmission continues in East Lothian and schools report positive cases of COVID it remains crucial to continue to carry out testing if you have given consent for your young person to be part of this programme (or they have consented themselves if over 16).   This programme is voluntary but recommended.

Kits are available from the school office at any time and Mrs Fraser is present each morning to distribute kits to those who require them at the front of the school entrance hall. Despite nearly being the end of term it is vital that we aim to identify anyone with symptoms at the school and maintain safety of all at the school, as well as supporting our community and keep it safe too. Please also see below the current guidance from ELC;

“Testing continues to play an important role, in and out of schools/settings, in our fight against COVID-19. Staff should continue to test themselves and report results, and are asked to encourage young people in secondary schools to do likewise.” 

If your young person is part of the testing programme please remind them to pick up some more kits from the school prior to leaving for the summer holidays. This will allow them to test prior to returning and during the summer too, should they so wish.

Asymptomatic Testing in East Lothian

If you are asymptomatic, you can also visit a mobile unit in East Lothian to be tested.

COVID-19

Positive Cases: Please report positive cases to the school by phoning us on 01620-823387. Please also report any positive cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921.Thank you.

Please note: Those pupils required to self-isolate as result of contact tracing MUST book a PCR test as per NHS guidelines.

Dates for you diary:

Friday 25 June - End of term

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend when it comes.

Sue Cook

Please also remember to follow us at: www.ka-net.org.uk for the latest information and updates