October 2016

Published: 14 October 2016

Firstly, a huge thanks to the Co-op in Gifford who have chosen Knox Academy PTA as one the three “good causes” that they will support with cashback between September 2016 and March 2017. They donate 1% of their profit and the total stands at £404. If you join the new Co-op membership scheme you can also vote to extend the time that the Co-op supports us. Thank you to Sally Cunningham who has lead on this from the PTA.

All this week, S6 pupils from the Community Sports Leadership Award class have been leading assemblies about their plan to get pupils involved in sport and gaining points for their Houses. They are planning on running events every month for pupils to have a go at an activity. The pupils that participate the most, thus gaining the most House points, will be eligible for a reward at the end of the session. They piloted a badminton event with the S1 recently that proved very successful and they hope to replicate that in the months to come. In that vein, we held a “Faculty Challenge” during period 3 today where pupils could get House points. I saw some competitive quizzing, fab Drama, and life-saving skills. I look forward to seeing if all of this activity results in Lammerlaw and Traprain getting a bit closer to Garleton’s points total.

We have been looking at participation in extra-curricular activities at Knox. We surveyed nearly 500 pupils at the end of last session and discovered that 90% of those surveyed participate in regular activities every week, with pupils reporting that they take part in up to three activities a week. This is great news for us, and dare I say it, seems to be contrary to the widely held view that a lot of teenagers aren’t getting involved in things and being active. I would like to thank my colleagues at Community Learning and Development for helping us with this survey, and to all those parents, carers and volunteers in our community who make these activities happen.

Calum Learmonth, our Head Prefect, has been working hard to further develop links with the community and leave a lasting legacy. We had a very productive meeting with councillors, representatives from the council, and the community to see if we can work together on a project involving St Martin’s Cemetery. The ideas are very much in the early stages, but I look forward to telling you more about this partnership project in the near future.

I know it seems a bit of time away, but I’d like to flag up the S5/6 Parents’ Evening that is due to take place on the 1 November. We haven’t sent out any appointment sheets yet, but they will be out during the first week back after the break.

School closes today at 12.05pm and will reopen to pupils on Tuesday 25 October at 8.44am.

Have a great week.

S Ingham

Published: 07 October 2016

There’s been a bit of a drop in temperature this week, and the things that I associate with autumn are kicking in – the S6 have got their script together for the Panto, we’re thinking about Hallowe’en, and, as I sit typing, the East Lothian Youth Orchestra are doing their “intensive rehearsal weekend” to prepare for their concert, here at Knox at 4.30pm on Sunday. The music is sounding great and it is well worth popping along for this short, high quality performance. Thanks to Mr Reeves, Ms Aspley and Ms Turbayne for organising the weekend.

On Wednesday the Parent Council met. It was well attended as usual, and discussions ranged far and wide. The S6 Leadership representatives updated us on their fundraising projects, the Leavers’ Dance preparations, and how they are getting on with UCAS forms. We also discussed aspects of P7 to S1 transition; collaboration with our cluster primary schools on a project; and got feedback on our tracking and monitoring. Thanks to everyone who attended.

On Thursday some senior pupils studying Business had the privilege of meeting Lyn Holmes, Finance Director of Canon UK and Ireland. As I said ion my vote of thanks, she is a truly formidable lady who has to be well versed in so many areas. She spoke to the pupils about what her job entails, and more crucially, about what she looks for in prospective employees, including advice about their presence on social media. I would like to thank Lyn and Max Sykes for taking the time out to come up from Canon HQ to spend time with the pupils.

Next Friday the school breaks for the October Holiday at 12.05pm. The pupils will have participated in the traditional Faculty Challenge during period 3 that day. It’s an opportunity for pupils to have fun and earn some House Points. School will reopen for pupils on Tuesday 25 October at the usual time.

Have a great week.

S Ingham