April 2016

Published: 29 April 2016

As I sit typing this, bemused at the weather (snow? Really?!!), I am enjoying the S6 having their final day in school. Yesterday about 70 of them went paintballing with staff as their final fling before the exams. I would like to thank the present S6 for their hard work, tenacity, resilience and humour – they have made me very proud.

Exam leave starts for the S4 to S6 on Tuesday, but pupils are welcome to come into school at any point to get advice and help from staff. I wish the seniors all the very best with their exams, I hope it goes well for them.

Last week I mentioned that the school’s Formula 1 team were competing at Silverstone – Ms Leggatt wrote, “So we are back from Silverstone, and although the team unfortunately didn't win, they were absolutely brilliant. The competition was extremely tough and standards extremely high, and they were competing against teams that had been competing for years. Although they were disappointed, they are rightly proud of themselves, and they had a fantastic experience. What is more, they have come back brimming with ideas of what they are going to do next year in order to do even better!” I look forward to hearing more about their plans.

We had a number of pupils taking part in the Youth Games this week. We were well represented and came a very creditable third out of the six schools – not bad for the school with the smallest roll of all the secondaries. I know that the staff were extremely proud of how the pupils conducted themselves and their grit and determination. I am looking forward to hearing a more detailed report of events and hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you. Good luck to Lucy

Lemmon in S1 as she heads off to Andorra to play as part of the Under 13 Scottish National Basketball Development Squad. Lucy has had to fund part of the trip herself and would like to thank all those who have helped out – especially those who bought raffle tickets at the Spring Concert.

The school is closed to everyone on Monday 2nd May, and it’s business as usual for S1 to S3 on Tuesday. The exams start in earnest on the 4th May and anyone can check the exam timetable by following the link on the top right of this page of the website.

Have a very good week.

S Ingham

Published: 22 April 2016

There have been a number of extra-curricular successes this week.

Amanda Martin had a very successful weekend, winning the Scottish Badminton Under 13 Doubles title at Ravenscraig in Motherwell. I am absolutely delighted for her and wish her continued success - she deserves it given all her hard work . Congratulations to two of our S1  hockey players who have made it into the East of Scotland U14 Hockey Squad: Gregor Walkingshaw Charlie Gates. This is no mean feat and I am looking forward to hearing of their many triumphs.

Our F1 in Schools team (Formula Force) have spent two days this week at Silverstone competing in the UK final. The heats were streamed live on YouTube and the pupils certainly didn’t disappoint. I am really looking forward to hearing all their news when they get back.  Thanks to Ms Leggatt, Ms Moore and everyone who made the trip possible. 

Yesterday I was delighted to welcome back two alumni of the school – Robert Carr and Sara Jalicy. They visited thanks to the charity “Impressive People”, taking time out of their busy work with Anderson Strathern. They spoke to some of our junior pupils about their careers in the Law. I know that the pupils were fascinated by what they had to say, and let’s hope that they inspired some of the youngsters to think of a career in this area. It was also lovely to catch up with ex-pupils who spoke so fondly of their time at Knox Academy.

Also, yesterday a number of our S1, 2 and 3 pupils were competing the East Lothian Swimming Gala. We were well represented in all year groups and, again, I look forward to hearing how they did.

On a more mundane note: the surcharge rates for commercial and standard credit cards changed recently, this has been replicated on our online payments site. The new charges are 2.4% for all commercial credit cards and 1.4% for all standard credit cards.

Have a very good week.

S Ingham

Published: 15 April 2016

Welcome back!

The pupils seem refreshed and ready to go following their Easter Holiday. From what I have heard, pupils have managed to keep themselves occupied with sports – rugby, swimming being prominent. We also had very well attended revision sessions in the second week of the holidays, demonstrating that a large number of S4 to S6 pupils are taking their exams very seriously. We are doing all that we can to support our exam-takers, and if pupils or parents have any concerns or need support, please just get in touch.

On Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to hear that one of our S1 pupils – Isaac Ingram won his age section in the “Astro Pi Coding Challenge”. The aim of the competition was to produce code that would turn an Astro Pi Computer into an MP3 player so that music can be sent to Tim Peake on the International Space Station. “Entries were received from all over the UK and were judged across four age categories; 11 and under, 11 to 13, 14 to 16 and 17 to 18. So the outcome is that four MP3 players and four songs will be going up to the ISS for Tim to use…The judging took two days to complete.” This is a huge success for Isaac, who, when I spoke to him about it, was incredibly humble. He worked steadily on the project for a couple of months and it just goes to show that hard work and perseverance really do pay off. If you want to listen to Isaac’s entry follow this link  .

After school on Tuesday we hosted a training session for our community volunteers who help with Paired Reading. It was a great success (and thanks to Ms McBride and Mr Bristow for hosting it) and we now have 46 volunteers. This is marvellous and will enable so many more pupils to improve their reading skills.

I was excited to hear about the work of a former pupil, Kara Anderson, who is presently doing a year abroad before moving on to the next stage in her education. She’s working in Ghana through Project Trust. Kara is fully occupied, teaching English and Science, learning the local dialect “Ewe”, and broadcasting on local radio amongst other things. I am so pleased that she is enjoying her adventures and look forward to hearing more about them. Pupils who are interested in availing themselves of this opportunity should visit the Project Trust website for further information.

We are now at the time of year when we start to really gear up to welcome next year’s S1. Next Tuesday we are hosting the P7s for a Numeracy Transition Day. I am looking forward to meeting the pupils and seeing how they get on. Thanks to Mr Blair, Mr Wren and their team of S3 helpers for organising the event.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Dempster and his cohorts (Mr Blair and Mr Redford) for their hard work on redesigning the school website. I think that you’ll agree that the new design and format make it very user-friendly. We do need to do a bit of deletion of out-of-date information and that will happen in the next couple of months. In the meantime – happy surfing!

Have a good week.

S Ingham