A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

06 June 2019

It was lovely to welcome our Senior Pupils back to Knox Academy on Monday after their SQA exams. The new timetable is now up and running and pupils are actively engaged in their new classes.  The new S4 will not start their new timetables until next Monday as they are out on work experience this week. A huge thank you to all the agencies/companies who have supported our young people in their work experiences and helped further develop their skills for life, learning and work.

A warm welcome to Andrea Campbell who started with us this week as a Maths teacher.

We are currently advertising for a HE teacher (3 days – permanent) to start in August.

Our new probationers in Drama, Chemistry, Biology and History will visit the school in a few weeks in readiness for starting with us in August.

Our Mandarin teacher will also start with us in August.

School Improvement Planning 2019-20
We have started planning the next steps in our improvement journey next year and for the 3-5 years beyond.  As you will be aware, the school invested a lot of time in session 2017-18 looking at the school values and consulting widely on these.  After this period of consultation our school values are Ambition, Respect and Community. We have focused on Respect this session and next session we will be moving forward with linking all three values through our classroom practice and the day to day life of all the school and in the wider community.  Alongside this we need to develop our school vision and again, I would like to engage all of our stakeholders in doing this; pupils, parents/carers, staff, community partners and our Cluster Primary schools. This is important so we have an overall vision for now and the coming years for all who will attend Knox Academy. We have consulted parents/carers and some of our pupils and are now using the information gathered for part two of our consultation. This will involve a further questionnaire to ask about words/phrases that you would like to see feature as part of our vision statement. If you could take the time to respond to this it would be very much appreciated.

If you would like to comment on any aspect of our draft School Improvement Plan for next session please send an email to Emma Maguire and mark for my attention so I can feed this in to our planning. As we take aspects of our improvement plan forward throughout the year we will of course be seeking the views of parents/carers. This will include surveys, focus groups and consulting with the Parent Council. Thank you again to all parents/carers who have been part of our recent Achievement Group and the Monitoring, Tracking and Reporting Group – your viewpoints have been highly valued and effected change. 

Broad General Education Ceremony (S3)
Our first BGE Ceremony for S3 pupils transitioning to Senior Phase took place on Friday 31 May 2019. Prof Norman Drummond was our Guest Speaker and gave a very inspiring speech about being, ‘the best you can be and looking for the best in others’ and also, ‘getting anywhere from here.’  The key messages from all who spoke very much focused on our school values of ambition, respect and community.  It was great to hear about all of our young people’s achievements over the last three years and we hope they will continue to build upon these throughout their Senior Phase.  Thank you to all the parents/carers who came along to support their young person and the event. This will now become an annual event as feedback from those attending, and the pupils, was very positive.

Hong Kong – Tsung Tsin Christian Academy Visit
We are looking for two families to host one or two visiting young people from Tsung Tsin Christian Academy in Hong Kong in November 2019.  It is intended that after their visit we will do a reciprocal visit in September 2020 and hope that those families who hosted young people will be given the first opportunity to go on this trip.  If you are interested in this and are able to host, please can you email Emma Maguire. Thank you

Royal Horticultural Society Award
On 30 May 2019 three pupils from Knox Academy, attended the Royal Horticultural Society Gardening Scotland show. The pupils planned designed and created with support an ASN Base Sensory Garden from scratch. This was a culmination of several months work from each of the pupils who all require significant support to meet their educational, social and emotional needs in school.

On the day we arrived to find our spot - a 2-metre pallet area. We had to collect compost and begin to put our garden together. The young people used the theme of a Sensory Garden with particular emphasis on each of the five senses. After several hours work we submitted our garden and awaited judging from the RHS judges and the general public. This was our 1st year entering and we were genuinely not expecting to be placed, but we had great fun creating our garden. On Sunday we learned that we had been placed 3rd, gaining a Bronze Statuette! This was a phenomenal achievement for our young people and we are immensely proud of Sarah Greenwell, Douglas Whiteside and Leo Washington Mackay.  (Angus Langlands was involved in planning the garden but was not involved in the installation on the day). They displayed ingenuity, determination and creativity and represented Knox Academy brilliantly (Karen Fraser).

SchoolPay is an easy and convenient way of paying for school meals and school trips.  Please use this as your preferred method of paying for anything for your young person. 

Dates for your Diary:

  • Tuesday 11 June - P7 Information/Transition Evening
  • Tuesday/Wednesday 18/19 June - P7 Transition Days
  • Friday 14 June - S6 Prom
  • Friday 21 Jun - SPOTY Awards (6 pm start)
  • Wednesday 26 June - Awards Ceremony (7 pm start)
  • Friday 28 June - End of term – 12.15 pm finish
  • Monday 12 August - Staff resume
  • Wednesday 14 August - Pupils resume


Sue Cook