Whilst I was enjoying a quiet and lazy long weekend, some of our more adventurous staff and the S6 were away at Dalguise on the traditional Staff-S6 weekend. Mr Illingworth (Head of S6) reported: “Sixty intrepid souls climbed trees, made rafts, swung down mountainsides, solved problems, devised dance routines, crawled through tunnels, and got muddy. As ever we are very proud of the way our pupils, particularly the way they threw themselves (literally and metaphorically) in to every challenge.” I would like to thank all members of staff and the S6 for giving up their weekend in this very worthwhile endeavour.
Some of our young physicists went on a trip to Torness Power Station on Tuesday. Ms Dornan organised the visit and had this to say: “Our trip to Torness was a great success; the pupils were a credit to themselves and the school. We were taken on a tour of the EDF nuclear facility which included viewing the reactors (from a safe distance!), visiting the turbines and the control centre. Pupils learnt about the mining and preparation of uranium for use as a nuclear fuel and all about the safety procedures in place at the facility. We also met the civil nuclear constabulary who patrol the perimeter of Torness. The tour guides discussed with pupils the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear power and urged them to form their own opinions about the future of the U.K.'s energy production. Finally we went for a walk to view where sea water -used to cool the condensers- enters and leaves the plant. Here pupils learnt that water is on average 4 degrees warmer than the surrounding sea which has led to a change in ecosystem within the area- there is now a small barrier reef forming! All in all it was a very successful visit which the pupils got a lot out of.”
I have been visiting more classes this week. The S1s were having a grand time in their RMPS class. They were starting to look at Moral Issues and were getting stuck in during the group discussions. It was great to hear pupils holding very different views on situations, and being able to put their ideas forward in a calm and rational fashion. In Maths, I joined some S3 as they learned about scale and how to employ the Area Scale Factor. They worked well and were willing to risk getting answers wrong in the pursuit of their learning – the Growth Mindset work that we have been doing must be having an impact. Finally, I joined a senior Biology class for a heart dissection. It really helped the pupils put into context all that they had been learning about the cardiovascular system.
Yesterday evening saw (or possibly more accurately heard) the start of the East Lothian Orchestra intensive rehearsal “weekend”. The orchestra gathers at Knox for rehearsals on Thursday evening, Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday which culminates with a short concert at 4pm on Sunday. I look forward to hearing the pieces that they have practised and I know that all the pupils concerned get a huge amount out of the experience.
S1 parents should have received a letter inviting them to the S1 settling-in evening on Thursday 1st of October. It’s a brief get together (usually about an hour) where we are able to let parents know how their youngsters are settling in, talk a bit about our values and the curriculum, and for parents to raise any concerns that they might have. I look forward to seeing parents there.
Have a good week.