January 2017

Published: 27 January 2017

Following on from last week’s assemblies on “lessons from Auschwitz” pupils have been reflecting on Holocaust Memorial Day. Core RMPS classes learnt about the Holocaust and found out about the people affected and their stories. . This year's theme is - How can life go on? They then chose a person, added their name to a memory tree and signed a pledge to stand up against hatred and prejudice. Ruby Smith arranged for one class to watch a live web cast of one Holocaust survivor tell her story. Everyone agreed that it was moving and powerful. Well done to all staff and pupils who got involved.

The theme of assemblies this week has been “The Learning Pit” – where we have been talking to pupils about the fact that learning isn’t easy. We talked about strategies they can use to help them through difficult bits of learning in the hope that it builds their resilience and helps them see that they can achieve what they want to with hard work and application.

Daniel Sked and James Martin in S5 represented the Local Authority at a Heritage Hero Launch event in Stirling last Saturday. They had achieved the silver Heritage Hero Award through completing 80 hours of a Traditional Trades pre-vocational course. The two boys, along with a pupil from Preston Lodge, delivered a presentation to an audience of 50 people and were the youngest presenters at the event. They spoke confidently about what they did during the course and took part in a networking session afterwards. Both boys were a credit to the school.

Last night we had our Burns’ Supper at the school. Brilliantly organised by the PTA. We were treated to fabulous speeches (Mrs Falconer, Calum Learmonth, Rebecca Keegan and Emma De Costa, and Mr McSwan), wonderful music (the Knox Academy Pipe Band, soloists Gregor Booth and Euan Naysmith, singers: Kirsty Booth, Georgia Herriot and Phoebe Hayman, and the Goat’s Toes), amazing dancing (Brigid Hay and Sally Mulroy) and informative presentations (Angus Langlands and Leo Washington-Mackay). The food was lovingly prepared by the Food Court team and served swiftly and deftly by the pupil team (Iona Cunningham, Emma West, Holly Elliot, Stuart Prentice, Calum Newman and Euan Murray). Special thanks should go Mr Illingworth for keeping the evening running so smoothly.

Have a great week.

S Ingham

Published: 20 January 2017

I could not have been more proud of Amy Mackinnon and Ruby Smith this week as they took assemblies, talking about their experiences as part of their “Lessons from Auschwitz” project. They spoke movingly of what they had seen and learned and you could have heard a pin drop in the Hall as they did it.

The Jericho has a new home at the Nungate and Haddington Community Centre, Kirkview, and will be opening the doors at the usual time of 7.15pm this coming Saturday evening – 21st January. All the usual familiar things will be on offer – Playstation, Xbox, Pool, table tennis, table games, and at the activity table this week, we will be making wooden bird feeders. Free snacks and drinks will also be available.

Before Christmas, Charlie Gates attended the Scotland Hockey U16 Talent Day, and has been selected for the Scotland U16 Development Squad. Charlie says, “I am very proud to be given the opportunity to represent my country and make my school proud.” Again, I wish Charlie all the best and hope that he goes from strength to strength.

Aidan Ballantyne competed at East District Swimming competition at the weekend. He got through to the finals for his "class" and managed to get a very creditable 6th place in the 200m breaststroke and 7th place in the 200m backstroke. Given his age, this is a fabulous result. I wish him well at future competitions.

Some of you will recognise the name of a newly-former pupil: Scott Thomson. Scott won his first senior judo title at Meadowbank last Saturday. He took gold at the Scottish Open in the Senior Men’s U60kg category, and also took bronze earlier the same day in the Junior’s after a mistake in the semi-final. Showing great spirit, he picked himself up well to fight for the bronze and then outdid himself to go on and take gold in the Senior category. I wish Scott all the best in future bouts and look forward to hearing how he goes on.

I am aware that there have been a few glitches with our online calendar, so I thought I would list some of the events that are coming up:

Tuesday 24 January (5-7pm) S3 Parents’ Consultation Evening

Thursday 26 January (7-10pm) Burns’ Supper

Wednesday 1 February (6.30pm) Course Choice Information Evening for pupils and parents (S3-5)

Monday 6 February S3 Coursing Week begins

Monday 13 Feb to Friday 17 Feb Holiday

Monday 20 Feb In-service Day (School closed to pupils)

Monday 6 March S4 Coursing Week begins

Monday 13 March S5 Coursing Week begins

Wednesday 15 March (5-7pm) S2 Parents’ Consultation Evening

Wednesday 29 March (7pm) Spring Concert


Have a great week.

S Ingham

Published: 13 January 2017


Happy New Year to one and all. I wish you everything that you wish for yourselves in the coming year.

It was good to see everyone back, well-rested and ready to make the most of 2017. I spent time in the S4 to S6 assemblies this week flagging up the time that the pupils have between now and their exams. I hope that it didn’t upset anyone, but everyone needs to know the limited amount of school days that we have between now and exam leave (on Monday it was 63 working days – gulp!) We are in the process of timetabling benchmarking assessments for the seniors and will have that up on the website next week.

Iain Gray, our local MSP, was in school this week to speak to the Higher Economics class about the new powers given to the Scottish Parliament. Pupils enjoyed hearing about how the new powers would work and they were keen to hear Iain’s views on the impact and timescale of BREXIT. Thanks to Iain for giving up his time; we appreciate the support Iain gives to the school.

I was delighted to hear from Newcastle University that a former pupil, Gillian Dodson, has graduated with a BA combined honours. She graduated in July and is probably well set into the next stage in her career and I wish her all the very best.

Before the holidays I was asked to remind parents of S1 and S2 girls about the HPV vaccinations. “The HPV vaccine, given to girls in S1 and S2, protects against certain strains of the human papilloma virus which cause cervical cancer. It is important that girls get this protection early enough for it to be effective. Girls should have all the required doses as soon as they are offered at secondary school. If you receive a consent form, make sure you discuss it and return the form to your school as soon as you can. More information about the programme can be found using the following link to the HPV page of the Immunisation Scotland website. Or you can call NHS Inform for further information on 0800 22 44 88 (8am to 10pm, every day).”

Next Wednesday we have the first Parent Council Meeting of 2017 – I look forward to seeing you at 6,15pm in the Library. There is also the S4 Parents Consultation Evening from 5pm onwards on the 19th.

Have a great week.

S Ingham