October 2009

Published: 30 October 2009

It may have been a short week for the pupils but it has been a very busy and successful one.

During the October holiday, a group of S5 pupils attended a residential course as well as helping with the planting in St. Mary's Pleasance, where they planted nearly 2000 spring bulbs. The pupils are taking part in the Mobex Activity Award Programme (MAAP) and will undertake a number of community conservation tasks throughout the course of the programme.

Congratulations to the four pupils who have reached the Scottish Final of the ‘Institute of Ideas Debating Competition’. Alex Muir, Emma Lynas, Olivia Hansen and Tom Gates were successful in the heat against Lanark Grammar and Jedburgh Grammar on Tuesday. We wish them luck in the Scottish final that will be held at Edinburgh University in March.

Over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday, all S2 pupils formed teams to design and build a land yacht. Once completed, there were distance trials using the technology of the hairdryer. This proved very exciting and I'm sure we have many youngsters who will become engineers, designers or racing drivers! All pupils made a big effort and there was a wide variety of designs. Congratulations to all pupils involved, including the S6 pupils who helped and thanks to the Technical Department staff for the wonderful organisation of the event.

Yesterday evening the school held a consultation evening for the parents and carers of pupils in S4. It was a busy evening and I hope the parents found the information useful for supporting their youngsters in preparing for the prelims that begin on 9 November.

Finally, today the S6 Fund-raising Committee organised a 'Wear it Pink' day to support the Beat Breast Cancer Campaign. The pupils have responded in a fantastic fashion, lots of pink ties, tutus, shirts, shoes, leg-warmers etc. Details of the amount of money collected will be available next week, currently it is over £500 and rising. Well done to all involved.

Best wishes,
JB Craig


Published: 16 October 2009

Today the Faculty Challenges have been successfully completed, from sports, dancing, fashion design, a science quiz to mathematical magic, computer challenges, paper sculpture, the Seven Wonders of the World puzzles and many others. The pupils responded enthusiastically and are keen to win house points. The results will be available after the holiday.

On Tuesday evening the school hosted an Open Evening for P7 pupils and their parents/carers. This was a busy evening and the primary youngsters were able to see round the school, talk to pupils of all ages and try out various activities. Groups were lead by S6 prefects and refreshments provided by the Home Economics Department. My thanks to everyone involved in an enjoyable evening.

This week I visited the S1 classes and was delighted to find that they reported they felt settled at the school and planned to come back for more after the holiday. The theme this week was homework and all classes were commended on their homework record.

The school breaks for the October holiday today and term resumes for pupils on Tuesday 27 October at 8.44 am. I wish all pupils and staff an enjoyable and relaxing week.

Best wishes,
JB Craig


Published: 09 October 2009

A bit of a bumper week at Knox Academy. We were off to a great start with the success of the Knox team in the finals of the East Lothian Young Chef competition that took place for S4 pupils on Friday 2nd October at Preston Lodge High School. The wining team of Andrew Lund and Abbie Lindsay created a fantastic meal of chargrilled tarragon chicken with roast beetroot and crisp pancetta followed by chocolate mousse on a shortbread biscuit base. Congratulations to Andrew and Abbie and thank you to Miss Hossack of the Home Economics Department for her support.

On Monday, the seniors of the School Council, accompanied by Ms Bulloch, attended the Eco-schools Conference at the Scottish Parliament. This proved to be an informative and enjoyable day and the seniors will be reporting back to the council during the training day in early November.

Yet another theatre visit! A group of senior pupils studying Drama attended a performance in Edinburgh of 'The Dark Things', organised by Mr Campbell. There will be follow up discussions and a workshop with a member of the cast.

The Head Boy (Alasdair Brown) and Head Girl (Alexandra Muir) were part of a group who travelled to Poland on Wednesday to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. This was under the auspices of the Holocaust Educational Trust and formed part of the 'Lessons from Auschwitz' Project. This day visit was exhausting but Alasdair and Alexandra have provided very thoughtful and perceptive feedback on their trip and will be organising assemblies to make presentations to the rest of the school. Also, they will be part of the East Lothian programme for Holocaust Memorial Day in January.

All week we have been celebrating National Poetry Week with various events (and riddles) organised by the English Department. There has been a daily poem and the opportunity for everyone to nominate their favourite poem.

This week it was the turn of the S1 pupils to undertake the 'Live'n Learn' Seminar and, if that wasn't enough excitement for one week, the Friday ACE AM reached something of a crescendo today with a Q&A with a visiting speaker in the RMPS classes, an African drumming workshop with the 'Destination Africa' group and learning how to surf (virtual surfing in the Games Hall) for the Health and Well-being section.

Congratulations to all pupils who have participated in the various activities and it is a pleasure to report how well the pupils represent the school at events. Many of the events and activities of the last 2 months will be covered in detail in the 'Knox News' that will be distributed next week.

Just a reminder: the school breaks for the October holiday week on Friday 16 October at 12.05 pm and term resumes for pupils on Tuesday 27 October at 8.44 am.

Best wishes,
JB Craig


Published: 02 October 2009

The term seems to be moving on very swiftly and the school remains a busy place. Rehearsals are underway for end of term concerts and shows, seniors are finalising their UCAS applications, arrangements are progressing for the S1-3 Activities Week in May and the S4 Work Experience week in November and many sporting events are gathering pace. However, we do not lose sight of the importance of the success of pupils in their examinations and in the day to day study in lessons and at home, our core activities are learning and teaching.

It is nice to report on another successful theatre trip - this week, S4 pupils studying Standard Grade Drama went to see 'The Little Shop of Horrors' at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. All enjoyed the performance but the highlight seems to have been meeting members of the cast after the show, in particular a certain actor who is in 'Eastenders'......

Last weekend, S6 pupils and staff spent 2 nights at Dalguise. Although some found the 'challenges' of the outdoor life a little daunting, the feedback from staff and pupils has been positive. I am looking forward to seeing the photographs!

This week I have visited all S4 classes in column B on the timetable. The focus was attitude to work and study and it was a delight to note that all of their teachers reported that the pupils were satisfactory or better in this area. The S4 pupils assured me that they were working hard for the prelims and had begun their revision programmes. I hope this is the case as there are only 4 working weeks before the prelim examinations begin.

On Tuesday 13 October at 6pm we have our 'P7 Evening' (an introduction to Knox Academy). This is always a very entertaining evening and the P7 youngsters have an opportunity to see the school and to try out one or two new things. I look forward to meeting them and their parents for what I am sure will be an enjoyable evening.

Just a reminder: the school breaks for the October holiday week on Friday 16 October at 12.05 pm and term resumes for pupils on Tuesday 27 October at 8.44 am.

Best wishes,
JB Craig