June 2016

Published: 24 June 2016

Another busy week here at Knox.

The P7s turned up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for their two day visit on Tuesday and Wednesday. They got to grips with the school very quickly and seemed very much at home. It was great to see them bonding with their S6 buddies and I know that some of the P7s will be keeping in touch with the older pupils over the summer.

We’ve been having our “Money Week” this week – where, unsurprisingly, the theme of money has run through a lot of classes and lessons. We kicked off last Friday with the new S2 playing a giant “Game of Life” and we will be finishing off today with finding out if pupils know more about money, feel more comfortable about it and, hopefully, have developed their thinking around money and the cost of living. The school also hosted an IET Faraday Challenge Day yesterday for some of our new S2 pupils. The event was planned to tie in with the BBC's Make It Digital campaign and we were one of only 6 Scottish Secondary Schools to be selected to take part. This STEM activity was designed for six teams of six pupils and gave them an opportunity to research, design and make prototype solutions to genuinely tough engineering problems involving the BBC micro:bit. Some photos can be found on our Twitter account. Thank you to Mr Murdoch and Mr McSwan as well as IET and the other visiting STEM Ambassadors for their time and expertise! The winning team was Eilidh Graham, Louise Allan, Tala Davidson, Charlie Henderson, James Cameron, Tristan Swan who took home an Amazon voucher for themselves and an exclusive IET Faraday/BBC micro:bit sports watch!

Today, I attended the final presentations from the pupils who have been working with Morrison Construction this week. Their brief was to design a new hospital for Haddington. There were 13 pupils from across year groups S4 to S6 who worked together in teams looking at various aspects of the construction from designing moods boards, to coping with specification sheets, to ensuring accessibility and ease of movement. The amount of work that they had done in a week was immense. Congratulations go to Hannah, Chloe, Simon, Cammy, Lucas, Joseph, Findlay, James, Scott M, Scott L, Saoirse, Melissa and Karina, and special thanks go to Ms Leggatt for keeping the teams together and focused, and to Morrison Contruction for their support and feedback.

There’s lots going on next week – weather permitting we’ll have the sports’ day finals on the field for everyone on Tuesday. Please ensure that youngsters are prepared for the vagaries of Scottish weather (i.e. pack extra sweaters and sunscreen). We also will be having our Awards’ Ceremony on Thursday evening at 7pm. School will close for the summer on Friday 1st July at 12.05pm.

Have a good week.

S Ingham

Published: 17 June 2016

The highlight of this week has surely to be the Sport Awards Evening that was held at the school on Wednesday. The Hall was packed with pupils, parents, guests, coaches, sponsors and representatives from local sports clubs and we were treated to a celebration of all that is good about sport in Haddington. Thanks go to Mr Wands (Sport and Physical Activity Coordinator) for spearheading the whole event, to all the pupils, parents and staff who assisted, and to Sarah Clark and Michael Cavanagh for being such inspirational speakers.

This afternoon we held the S6 Leavers’ Ceremony where I formally bade farewell to our S6. The montage of the S6 journey at Knox was very emotional and I wished the year group all the very best in their next steps. Thank you to Mr Dempster for putting the montage together – it’s hours of work but is very much appreciated. I look forward to seeing the leavers at their dance next Friday.

Next Monday we are having our P7 Parents’ Evening. The school will be open from 6pm for parents to come in with their youngsters to put money on their Smart Cards etc. It will be great to see our future pupils and parents.

Have a great week.

S Ingham


Published: 10 June 2016

We had the change of timetable this week, and thanks to Mr Illingworth and Ms Skirrow, everybody seemed to turn up to the right place at the right time. I also hear that work experience has gone well for the new S4 and I look forward to seeing them next week.

I had the real pleasure of speaking to some of our new S2 about their outstanding Geography projects on various countries. Hugo Elder, Verity Currie, Jamie Gentil, and Summer Pilkington had gone over and above to produce projects of amazing quality, interest and depth. They really are great examples of what it means to be engaged in their learning. I think that they will go from strength to strength and meet the challenges of S2 square on.

I was absolutely mesmerised at the Art and Design and Design and Technology exhibition that opened on Tuesday evening here at Knox. The quality of the work was truly amazing, from lamp shades, to shelves, to design sheets. I was truly humbled by the sheer amount of time and effort that had obviously gone into all the work, and could not be prouder of the staff and pupils who worked so hard to put it all together. The parents and partners of the school with whom I chatted were really impressed by the show.

Next week we are hoping to have the heats for sports’ day (which, weather permitting, we have moved into the last week of term). So pupils should sign up for their events as soon as possible. We are also having our inaugural Sports’ Awards Evening on Wednesday. It is going to be an excellent event where we, as a school, get to celebrate all that is good about taking part in sport at all levels. I look forward to celebrating with pupils, parents, staff, representatives from sports clubs and the community and sponsors.

I was delighted to attend the opening of the Skate Park last Friday in Haddington. It was a great event, and the community really got together to celebrate the hard work that has gone into getting this resource up and running. Speaking of celebration I am off to Edinburgh College this evening to see some of our pupils receive their awards and certificates – another opportunity for me to be a very proud head teacher.

Have a great week.

S Ingham


Published: 03 June 2016

Last Sunday I was so proud to be in St Mary’s church for the opening service for the Haddington Festival. I was proud to be part of the town celebrating what is so very fine about our community, and I was incredibly proud to see the number of Knox pupils nominated for the Haddington Young Achiever Award. Congratulations go to Hannah Green, Amy Winter, and Sarah Greenwell for impressing the judging panel with their grit, determination and hard work. Sarah was awarded the final honours and we look forward to celebrating that with her at our Awards’ Ceremony.

I have to say that it has been an amazing week all in all. Activities’ Week has gone off so very well with youngsters having an excellent time whether they have been playing in a band, walking across the Forth Road Bridge, making films, or travelling far and wide. You only have to look at the school’s Twitter feed to see the variety of activities and experiences that the pupils have been offered. I would like to say a very big “thank you” to all the staff who have got involved, organised and accompanied activities – this week is a jewel in our crown and is something that we should be, justifiably, proud of. Thank you also to all the parents who support us.

Next week the new S4 are on Work Experience. I hope that they enjoy themselves and get every bit of experience they can out of the week. Sometimes pupils go to the type of job they want, some go to the type of job they think that they want, and some go to a job they would never dream of having. My main focus at school was Religious Studies so I was sent on work experience with a vicar! Now, I had never even thought of ordination at the grand old age of 17, but nevertheless it was fascinating to shadow someone else in their job, see what skills they needed, and how they handled other people. As someone far wise than me wrote, “No experience in life is ever wasted – no matter the outcome, good or bad – if you learn from it in the end.”

The New S5 return to us on Monday and will get stuck into their new timetables. I look forward to having them back in the building and getting a head start on their new courses. Whilst we do allow for some flexibility in June (sports’ days etc.) these three weeks are really valuable in terms of laying a good foundation for August.

On Tuesday of next week our inaugural Art and Design and Design and Technology Exhibition opens. Please pop into the school between 6.00pm and 7.30pm to see some of the fantastic work that our pupils are producing. Thanks to the hard work of the staff and pupils who have been pulling the exhibition together and I am really looking forward to seeing how it takes shape.

Have a very fine weekend.

S Ingham