April 2017

Published: 28 April 2017

I can hardly believe that, as I write, we are in the last day before exam leave for our senior pupils. Where has the year gone?

At an assembly this week, the senior pupils were reminded about the rules for being in the Hall during an exam (please, remind them NOT to bring mobile ‘phones into the exam). I also took the opportunity to wish them the best of luck for their exams. Senior pupils are welcome to come back into school during exam leave if they want to study or catch up with staff (but they must be in Dress Code so as to be easily identifiable as members of the school community). Yesterday about half of the S6 rounded off their time at school by going on a trip Paintballing. The staff were very proud of the pupils, saying that they behaved impeccably and were marvellous fun to be around. I think that I can echo that about the whole of the S6. We will miss them, but I know that they are going out into the world well prepared to take their next steps.

I really enjoyed my visit to the S4 Design and Manufacture class this week.  They wanted to show me their final products, which were amazing.  They had chosen a design era and built shelving units in that style.  Hours and hours of hard work were evident in their final pieces, some of which would not have been out of place in galleries or showrooms.

We had a great P7 Numeracy transition event this week. Our prospective S1 pupils from our associated primary schools came up for the day on Wednesday and had a ball. They got to know each other and us a bit better and were able to demonstrate their numerical prowess. Please have look at our Twitter feed to get a sense of the day and some of the activities. I would also like to say thank you to the S3 helpers who got involved and guided proceedings.

The S3 Sky Sports Group has been particularly busy this week, being visited by Keith Cook as part of their Sky Sports work, and helping out at Haddington Infant School’s Health Week. The Depute Head Teacher wrote, “Your S3 pupils were all fantastic and we would welcome them back anytime. They were a credit to Knox Academy. All our staff were very impressed - they really were a great help.”

On Wednesday evening, instead of the Parent Council Meeting, we held a meeting to let parents and carers know about the inspection and how we are taking forward the recommendations and action points. I would like to thank the parents who attended (especially those who offered help and suggestions) and hope that we were able to inform and reassure. I am in the process of finalising the post-inspection plan and will be putting it on the website in the next couple of weeks and plan to have follow-up meetings for parents throughout the session.

Last Saturday Mr Flood and Rebecka Thorburn and Lauryn Demarco (S5) attended the annual Poppyscotland Volunteer Gathering in Stirling. They heard various speakers talking about the work Poppyscotland does in supporting veterans of various wars. It was heartfelt and inspirational. We are proud to be the Poppyscotland organisers for the Haddington area and look forward to this year’s appeal.

The school is closed on Monday 1 May owing to the May Bank Holiday. All pupils in S1 to S3 will resume at 8.44am on Tuesday 2 May. Design and Manufacture exams will take place, and senior pupils needing a place to revise are more than welcome to come in at any point.

Have a great week.

S Ingham

Published: 21 April 2017

Welcome back to the Summer Term! Pupils seem to have enjoyed their Easter Holidays – even the seniors, who had to balance having a break with cracking on with their revision.

The Easter Revision classes were well attended and I hope that they gave pupils a bit of a boost and impetus to ensure that they are in a good position to sit their exams in a couple of weeks’ time. Thanks must go to the staff that put on the classes.

At the end of March, I was delighted to hear that we have been awarded the “Cycle Friendly Secondary School Award” from Cycling Scotland. This is down to the hard work of Scott Marnoch and a team of staff and pupils, to raise the profile of cycling in the school through extra-curricular and curricular activities. I would like to thank Scott and the team for all their hard work.

Congratulations go to Andrew Syme, Ben Ritchie, Dylan Glass, Ross Campbell, and Kirk Washington Mackay on being selected to play for East Lothian Falcons U15’s vs Borders U15’s on Wednesday night. The pupils were split across two teams – one that won and one that lost. However, I think it was a valuable experience for all and I am delighted that they have represented the school, their families and their town so well.

I am delighted to say that we have had a great response from S5 to the Kickstart programme that I intimated to you last term. Our response rate, at the moment, is the highest of all schools in East and Mid Lothian. Applications need to be in by the end of today.

Just a reminder that we are holding a meeting at 6.30pm on Wednesday in the Hall to inform parents about the inspection, the outcomes and our plans. All parents and carers of pupils in the school are invited to attend and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Also, pupils from S4-6 start their Exam Leave as of Tuesday 2nd May. Pupils are more than welcome to come into school during Exam Leave to catch up with staff or revise in the school. If pupils are going to be in school for anything more than a fleeting visit, they must remember to wear Dress Code.

Have a great week.

S Ingham