August 2015

Published: 28 August 2015

As I intimated in last week’s update, despite it being a short week, it was a “big” week. I was delighted to spot a tweet from Judy Murray that was very complimentary of our pupils. She met them at the opening of the new tennis courts and they must have made a big impression. Well done to the pupils. Also some of our senior dramatists were able to take advantage of the Festival and take in a performance of Antigone. The performance was superb and the pupils were buzzing with questions and insights that will help them with their performance analysis work. According to Ms Whitfield the pupils were a credit to themselves and the school.

Today is our big Learning and Teaching Policy launch. Pupils will be experiencing three lessons that demonstrate what good learning looks like. Please ask them about it, and if you have any questions get in touch. Thanks to the staff who have been working hard on pulling this all together. The pupils have been having assemblies this week to clue them in about today. At these assemblies they have also been receiving their WE R Knox badge for session 2015-16. The theme is “Let’s Work Together” and the badge was designed by one of our S3s – Melissa Smith.

I am delighted to pass on further news of one of our former pupils: Emma Campbell graduated from Napier University with a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing. I know that this has been all that Emma has ever wanted to do and I wish her every success.

There’s a lot going on next week. S6 pupils have the Higher Education Convention on Monday. They can’t go without a permission slip or registering online with the event (they were told all about it on Tuesday). On Tuesday they are taking part in the annual “Tomorrow’s Driver” course that is put on for all S6s in the Authority. On Wednesday we have the first Parent School Partnership of the session – 6.15pm in the Library. Any parent is welcome to attend. On Friday we are having our inaugural “Volunteering Fayre”. We are hoping to encourage more of our youngsters to take on volunteering as a way of improving their skill set and giving something back to their community. There will be stalls set up in the Hall and Social Area between 10am and 12 noon and parents are welcome to pop in and see what’s going on for themselves and, if you’re interested, pick up some information. And finally, just a reminder about the concert that Adam and Tom Wilson are playing in takes place on the 6th September. It is to raise funds to assist families living with Leigh’s Disease. The concert is free but seats need to be reserved via or , and there will be a retiring collection.

Have a great week.

S Ingham

Published: 21 August 2015

Welcome to session 2015-16 at Knox Academy! It’s great to be back, and I am delighted to say that the pupils seem in fine fettle. The new S1s are finding their feet very quickly and are excited about their classes. The new S4s are getting into the swing of the year and, whilst it is a bit of a slog, are getting stuck in. I was delighted by the results that the new S5 and S6 achieved. They are a strong platform to build further successes on this year. The senior pupils are looking smart and have an air of purpose as I see them around the school. I must add a note of congratulations to last year’s S6 – they achieved some great results, doing both us and themselves proud. I wish them all the best as they head off on their new adventures be they at college, university, or gap years. I was also really proud to hear of some university graduations (from Aberdeen this time):

Alex Berwick MA Economics

Anna Brewster MB, BS Medicine

Alasdair Brown MA Politics and International Relations

Kelsie Hamilton MA English

Gemma Herkes MA Education

Kirsty Shaw LLB Law

Ellen Steven MA Sociology

We welcomed new staff this week: Ms Simpson (Art); Ms Laudi (French); Mr Blair (PE); Mr McCrae (RMPS); Ms MacDonald (Communication Provision) Ms Prime (DHT: Communication Provision); Mr Gilholm (Pupil Support Base); Mr McGinley (Pupil Support & Modern Studies); Ms Benson (PE); Mrs Crichton (Drama); Mrs Fraser (support for Learning); and Mr Blair in Maths will be taking over as PTC Numeracy and Technology for one day a week. I hope that they all settle in well to their roles and that they enjoy them. We are also in the process of saying farewell to a couple of staff – Mrs McKenzie (Support for Learning) and Ms Stevenson (Guidance). They are both retiring and we wish them all the very best.

There’s a lot planned for this session, so please keep an eye on this update as I try to advertise things as they come up. Next Friday sees us launch the school’s new Learning and Teaching Policy. Pupils have been involved in writing it and good learning and teaching can’t happen without their input. We are suspending the normal timetable for the day and pupils are going to lessons focusing on active learning, growth mindset and effective assessment. Pupils will be hearing about our plans in assemblies over the next week.

A couple of our pupils: Adam and Tom Wilson, are playing in a concert at the Town House on Sunday 6th September at 3pm in memory of a family member, Dudley Wilson, who tragically died from Leigh’s Disease. Seat reservations can be made via both and with donations being received at the end of the concert. The boys are both very talented musicians and would really appreciate your support.

Have a very good week

S Ingham