In readiness for my recent assemblies to S4/5/6 pupils on our school value of ‘ambition’ prior to them going on exam leave, I decided to do some research about Knox Academy and our notable former pupils. As with all research I became a little side tracked but came across some facts I would like to share as I think you will also find them interesting. Knox Academy is one of the oldest schools in the world and is the descendant of a medieval grammar school. It was established in 1379, meaning we are now 640 years old and the 19th Century building was dedicated to John Knox. Unfortunately I don’t think I will still be around for the 700th anniversary but I am sure many of you will be, along with our current and future pupils. One of our former pupils was a signatory to the United States Declaration of Independence and another was Lord Mayor of London. I am sure you will also know many more ‘famous’ former pupils and if you do, please do let me know.
I feel very privileged to be the Head Teacher of a school steeped in history.
Gavin Boyle, Biology, started with us on Monday 18th February.
Mrs Caroline Falconer (DHT) is embarking on a 23 month secondment as a Quality Improvement Officer with the South East Improvement. It is hoped her replacement, Alice Clubb, will start with us in March.
Bill Plain, our Librarian will also be moving on to another post at the end of March and I would like to thank Bill for all his sterling work here over the years. He will be missed. We will be recruiting for a new Librarian over the coming weeks.
Interviews took place for English last week and I am pleased to say we have a preferred candidate who will start with us at the end of May. Interviews also took place for the Guidance job share (Traprain House) with Mrs Wendy Doig. I delighted to say that Hannah McBride was successful and starts this Thursday in this role.
I have also advertised for full time positions in Modern Studies and PE and these are being interviewed this week.
We are re-advertising for a part-time Home Economics teacher.
The Art and Design Department is delighted to announce that Liam Golecki's artwork was Highly Commended in the recent RSA Schools Art Award. His study (a composition from his National 5 Folio) will be exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy Academicians' Gallery, Edinburgh from 9th March until 3rd April. The exhibition will showcase winning entries and highly commended pupils’ art work from across Scotland.
Over the weekend of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February several Knox Academy pupils took part in the final round of the East District Age Group Championships. This was held at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, and for some was the first long course (50m) event of the season. Knox Academy pupils put on stellar performances with many personal best swims. Notable performances across the weekend were Aidan Ballantyne (1st 200 IM, 1st 100 FREE 3rd 100 BREAST); Louisa Stoddart (1st 100 FLY) and Owen Williamson (3rd 100 BACK). Congratulations to all swimmers on some outstanding personal achievements, and in particular to Lauren Clark in S2 who has achieved a consideration time for Scottish National Age Groups in the 100 FLY and a massive 11 second personal best in the 200 IM (by Lana Borwick, PE)
You will remember my recent posts about our S2 pupil, Dylan Pearman, who is doing exceptionally well in the sport of Squash. Due to his successes this season, Dylan has been selected to represent Scotland at under 15 in this year’s Five Nations in Galway, Ireland - the U15 team consists of 4 boys & 3 girls. Dylan will head off to this on 5th April and we wish him all the best in his performance and look forward to hearing how this goes following the Easter holidays.
The Parents/Carers of National 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher Drama students are invited to support performers at the open dress rehearsal of their performance exam pieces on Thursday 14th March, from 5pm in the Drama Studio.
SQA examiners shall be in to mark exam pieces for National 5 and Higher on Thursday 21st March and Advanced Higher on Wednesday 27th March. To all our performers in exams this year, Break a Leg! (by Emma Whitfield, Drama)
Music – Spring Concert
Spring Concert - please note the change of date to 28th March 2019 – dress rehearsal/performance to P7s in the afternoon with the evening performance at 7pm. Tickets available soon and there is no reserved seating at our concerts (tickets may be numbered but this is just to allow us to keep note of numbers sold).
Exam Leave for S4/5/6 and Common School Day
All parents/carers should have received letters on the Common School Day and parents of S4/5/6 should have received letters in relation to Exam Leave. Copies of these letters are also on the school website for reference.
Model United Nations Conference
Last Saturday, Knox Academy again made a significant impression with their magnificent performance at the weekend long Model United Nations Conference hosted by Hutchesons’ Grammar School in Glasgow.
As the only public school in attendance, our pupils proudly championed the state school sector, outshining many, if not all, of the 33 independent fee-paying schools in attendance.
Ten Knox Academy pupils – two delegations of five – represented the views of Poland and the Netherlands, held over two days of inspirational, and at times, deeply passionate debate and discussion.
Over a prior preparation period, our delegates diligently researched predetermined current world issues which come under the remit of the UN, prepared resolution papers and, over the weekend, lobbied for support from other UN members - climaxing in a debate of both the chosen papers and relevant amendments.
The Knox Academy group debated magnificently, outwitting many of their committee counterparts and showed the necessary diplomacy when building coalitions with others. Teaching staff across the conference and the event organisers remarked on how admirably involved in the programme, and how well that Knox Academy pupils had conducted themselves for the entirety of the weekend - a truly exemplary display of diplomacy, manners, nous and intellect.
During the award ceremony on Sunday afternoon, one of our pupils collected an award for the best overall delegate in the Economic and Social Committee, while other pupils had amendments to papers successfully voted on. During the conference closing speech, both of our delegations were given honourable mentions for their performance - a truly proud moment for the pupils and teacher alike.
The commitment, discipline and spirit shown by the ten delegates from Knox Academy was impeccable and every single pupil should be rightly proud of their performance and contribution – you are a credit to Knox Academy and yourselves. (by Adam Miller, Modern Studies)
Ten Marathons in Ten Days!!
Vicky Lyon, our PT Support for Learning has one of the school values in spades – that of ambition (and a bigger spade of tenacity I am sure). Vicky is running these marathons in aid of Simpson’s Special Care Baby Unit, Edinburgh; a cause very close to her heart. Here’s her story:
I've known Scott's parents for years. Craig was an NQT when I taught at Lasswade and his wife Charlotte is also a teacher. They also have a fabulous fur baby Freya, a madcap Jack Russell.
Scott was born in November 2018 with transposition of the main arteries, a hole in his heart and an obstruction. He needed emergency surgery just after birth and in February this year his surgeon confirmed he will also need the following procedures to be carried out as soon as he is strong enough:
1. His heart is missing significant muscle tissue which needs to be replaced
2. The arteries leading to his heart need switched about
3. There is a muscle obstruction in his heart that must be removed.
It was their story and that of other friends who have experienced baby loss that prompted me to embark on my 2019 mad-cap challenge to complete 10 marathons in 10 days and raise awareness and hopefully a few quid for the Special Care Baby Unit in Edinburgh so they can carry on supporting Special Care Babies and their families
So here is the plan:
Saturday 13th April Phoenix: Day 1 of 10 in 10 (Top Run 3) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Sunday 14th April Phoenix: Day 2 of 10 in 10 (Groovy Baby Marathon) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Monday 15th April Phoenix: Day 3 of 10 in 10 (Movies Day Marathon) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Tuesday 16th April Phoenix: Day 4 of 10 in 10 (PJs on the Path) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Wednesday 17th April Phoenix: Day 5 of 10 in 10 (Di-PLOD-ocus BONES ) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Thursday 18th April Phoenix Day 6 of 10 in 10 (Tricera-TROT BONES ) Walton on Thames (Surrey)
Friday 19th April 2019 Enigma: Day 7 of 10 in 10 (Good Friday 50k) Milton Keynes
Sat 20th April 2019 SVN: Day 8 of 10 in 10 (Northampton Cakeathon)
Sun 21st April 2019 SVN: Day 9 of 10 in 10 (Northampton Chocothon)
Monday 22nd April Enigma: Day 10 of 10 in 10 (Easter Monday) Milton Keynes
Tuesday 23rd April Back to school!
All the Knox Academy community wish you all the best in this wonderful act of compassion.
Finally, please can I encourage parents/carers and friends of the school to follow us on Twitter @knoxacademy and @knoxacademyHT. This allows you to keep up-to-date with our day to day news as it happens. The school calendar, on our website, is also kept up-to-date with all of our events and parents/carers should continue to refer to this regularly so you know of any events that are coming up for your child(ren).