February 2020

Published: 27 February 2020

This week's assemblies  focused on 'if you can choose to be anything in this world, be kind.' This links very closely with our revised school vision which asks us all to 'always choose kindness.'  The assemblies looked at how we can work as a community to be kind towards one another and respect (one of our school values) each other and our facilities.  It also covered the use of social media and how young people interact on this, and how unkind some people can be. We discussed the need to be better at using social media sites to communicate only in positive ways. We also spoke to our pupils about the outcome of our recent Education Scotland visit and thanked them for their part in ensuring a positive outcome.

Recruitment

Advertising - Temporary teacher of Music

Pupil News

Squash

At the start of February Dylan Pearman competed in the Scottish Squash Junior National Championships in the under 15's age group.  He came runner up in the finals and this great result confirms his position in Scotland as number 2 at U15.  What a fantastic performance!

Swimming – East District Championships

After some of our Knox Academy pupils returned from a warm weather camp in Torremolinos, Spain, they were straight back to an intense weekend of racing at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh representing Haddington for the final round of East District's. This event saw pupils race over 100m distances, and a 200 IM. Lucia also had the joy of spending her birthday on poolside! For many of the swimmers, they are in their final weeks of preparation before Scottish National Age Groups, one of the pinnacle meets of the season! Some notable swims are listed below. Congratulations to you all, and enjoy the final few weeks of hard work before a reduced schedule before Scottish National Age Groups! Aidan Ballantyne: 4th 100 BREAST, 5th 100 FLY and  4th 100 FREE; Lucia Bivar Segurado: 5th 100 BREAST; Lauren Clark:  10th 100 FLY; Helen Stoddart: 2nd 100 FLY and 3rd  100 FREE;  Louisa Stoddart: 1st 100 FLY, 1st 100 FREE and 4th 200 IM;  Owen Williamson: 2nd 100 BACK and 5th 100 FREE  (by Lana Borwick, PE)

Rugby

Congratulations to Hugo Elder (S5) who represented East Lothian and Borders U17 in the Forsoc Super 4s last Sunday.

Parent/Carer news

Education Scotland - Inspection

The letter and summary inspection findings are available on Education Scotland website now.  Thank you to all parents/carers and pupils who completed questionnaires or were involved in speaking to the inspectors during their visit. 

Resilience Group Friday 27 March (led by Parent Council)

As part of next year’s School Improvement Plan Knox Academy is looking to work with a group of parents/carers around the theme of resilience and how the school and parents can work together to develop our young people’s resilience.  The first meeting will take place on Friday 27March from 9.30-10.30 at Knox Academy. If you would like to be part of this group please email Lesley Pirie, Parent Council, at lesley_pirie@hotmail.com

Dates for your diary (please also refer to the CALENDAR on the school website for all events across the year):

  • Tuesday 24 March – Parent Council Meeting – 6.15-8pm in the Library  
  • Wednesday 25 March – Spring Concert – 7pm

Sue Cook

Published: 21 February 2020

I hope everyone had an enjoyable February mid-term break despite the weather.  Time is racing in now in terms of preparing our senior pupils for their SQA exams. Please encourage your young person to attend supported study for their subjects and to use google classroom and online resources such as Scholar UK and SQA Understanding Standards Understanding Standards.  If doing past papers at home, parents/carers can support this by ensuring a quiet space away from interruptions and by helping encourage timed assessments when completing past paper questions as this mimics exam conditions and the pressures associated with them.  This should mean when your young person comes to sit their exams they are prepared for these conditions. A range of Study Support Sessions are available in addition to a variety of other study skills documents to help prepare for exams

Recruitment

Pupil News

Golf

Congratulations to Niall Holman (S6) and Annie Wilson-Rumney (S5) who were part of a group of East Lothian Junior League players who visited Pinehurst, in North Carolina, for a golfing experience during the mid-term break. Both found the courses they played (one being the USA Open Course no.2) very challenging but felt the experience had brought on their own play. What an experience!

Bowls

Congratulations to Beth Riva (S5) who was selected to play for Scotland in the under 25’s bowling team.

Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January 2020)

"Don't be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good."  (Sir Nicolas Winton who rescued 669 children from Nazi occupied Europe via the Kindertransport.)  Pupils in core RMPS class have been remembering Holocaust Memorial Day for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest concentration camp during WW2.  The aim of the lessons is to remember the past to create a fairer future.  The theme of HMD this year is ‘Stand Together.’ Pupils learnt about two survivor stories - Ivor Perl Bem and Mindu Hornick who witnessed the most terrible of atrocities but managed to survive to share their incredible stories.Pupils produced work on the theme which is displayed in the RMPS department. Thanks to all pupils who engaged with the lessons. (by L Montgomery, RMPS)

Parent/Carer news

HMIe Inspection

The letter prepared by HMI following their inspection of Knox Academy, in December 2019, will be published on Tuesday 25 February 2020.  I will send out the letter to parents/carers by email on this date and it will also be placed on our website. The letter and summary inspection findings will also be available on Education Scotland’s website on this date. Thank you to all parents/carers and pupils who completed questionnaires or were involved in speaking to the inspectors during their visit. 

Resilience Group Friday 27 March (led by Parent Council)

As part of next year’s School Improvement Plan Knox Academy is looking to work with a group of parents/carers around the theme of resilience and how the school and parents can work together to develop our young people’s resilience.  The first meeting will take place on Friday 27March from 9.30-10.30 at Knox Academy. If you would like to be part of this group please email Lesley Pirie, Parent Council, at lesley_pirie@hotmail.com

S3 Broad General Education Graduation Ceremony – save the date

Broad General Education (BGE) – S3 Graduation Ceremony

Every transition is important in a young person’s life but the transition from the BGE to their Senior Phase is a very significant one.  This is an exciting stage with lots of new opportunities and challenges ahead.  As a school whose values are ambition, respect and community, we want to continue to work together with parents/carers and our partners to build upon these values and recognise the great work of our young people.  If you have a child(ren) in S3 we would like to invite you along to a Graduation Ceremony to celebrate your child’s achievements over the last three years at Knox Academy and to help prepare them for the next three years in Senior Phase.  The date is Friday 5 June at 11am.  I will be writing out to all parents/carers after the Easter holidays but wanted to give you lots of warning so you can save the date in your diaries now - thank you. We will look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible (or an extended family member/friend if you are unable to make it).

New York City Trip

Last week we had the pleasure of taking 39 of our S5/6 pupils on a Modern Studies trip to New York City. Over the course of the week we were able to squeeze in an enormous amount of activities including tours of the UN Headquarters, Ellis Island Immigration Centre and NBC Studios; we also visited the Empire State Building, took in a Broadway Show, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and many more activities including some of the pupils taking in an Ice Hockey game at Maddison Square Garden.  Each and every pupil on the trip were excellent ambassadors for Knox Academy. The youngsters were an absolute pleasure to be in the company of and the maturity and responsibility they showed throughout the trip made the teachers' jobs for the week extremely enjoyable. I would also like to thank the staff - Miss Bulloch, Mr Miller, Miss Stobie and Ms Borwick - for all their efforts in ensuring the trip ran so smoothly. As ever with pupils from Knox Academy, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of their experience and they were a credit to the school! I'm sure the pupils have managed to make some memories that will last them forever - it most certainly was an experience the staff will never forget! (by Alex Redford, Modern Studies and trip organiser).  

A huge thanks to Mr Redford too!

Dates for your diary (please also refer to the CALENDAR on the school website for all events across the year):

  • 24 March – Parent Council Meeting – 6.15-8pm in the Library  
  • 25 March – Spring Concert – 7pm

Sue Cook

Published: 06 February 2020

The last five weeks seem to have whizzed by and we are at the mid-term break already.  It is a busy time of the year, particularly for our senior pupils who are only eight weeks away from the start of the SQA exam diet.  For this reason, please can I ask parents/carers to encourage their young person to do some study during the break and to help support them in studying regularly up until their exams start and throughout these.  I gave lots of study advice and guidance in a previous HT's update and there is a lot of information on our website to support study skills too.  If your young person needs support with organising a study timetable please ask them to see their Pupil Support Leader (guidance).  Attendance at our many after school study sessions and Scholar UK can also support them.

Recruitment

Advertising - Temporary teacher of Music

Recruited - Business Support Administrator – Lisa Lambert was appointed to this post and will start on 27th February. Also we recruited a Science Technician on Wednesday – subject to pre-employment checks.

Pupil News

Young Enterprise Christmas Market

It was lovely to receive a letter from Michelle Ballantyne, MSP, congratulating our Young Enterprise Team ‘Oceanic’ for their excellent eco-products, teamwork and creativity.  Ms Ballantyne has submitted a motion in the Scottish Parliament which read as follows: “That the Parliament congratulates the Knox Academy Enterprise Team on winning the Lothians Best Overall Team Award for its participation in the Young Enterprise Christmas Market; understands that the five –strong team was named Oceanic and was composed of the S6 students, Gregor Naysmith, Ben Ritchie, Clara Wilberforce, Matthew Nelson and Charlotte Gray; notes the team sold ‘eco-packs’ that contained metal straws and bamboo toothbrushes, which raised over £200 at the market; acknowledges that. In addition to winning Best Overall Team, Oceanic took second place in both Best Sales Pitch and Best Product; commends Oceanic for its hard work in taking part in the market, and wishes everyone in the team all the best for the future.

Robert Burns

Knox Academy pupils supported 2 Burns Lunches in the local community this week. On Monday 27 January, the Goats Toes played a set of Burns tunes at the Haddington Probus Club Burns Lunch in the Maitlandfield Hotel.  Pupils who played were Isla Booth, Sophie Charbonnier, Tom Wilson, Dillon Ball, Clara Wilberforce, Isaac Ingram, Jamie Gentil, Nikolaus Hogg and Tristan Swan. The group took time outwith school to practise for the event. Thanks to Isla and Tom for organising. On Wednesday 29 January, Donald Bathgate and Catriona Dee did a great job of being the MCs at the Community Kitchen Burns Lunch. Daniel Hall piped in the haggis and the Goats Toes played 2 sets.  Comments were made on both occasions about how much people attending enjoyed the music and speeches. Well done to all the pupils involved. (Robert Flood, CL Social Subjects)

Gymnastics

Huge congratulates to Amy Reid & Oakleigh Robertson (S3) who won gold at today’s Scottish Team Gym Championships with their Saltire (Junior Level 2) team. They have also been selected to attend a Scottish Gymnastics training camp in Sweden from 9-14 Feb.

Hockey

Daniel Hall and Charlie Gates represented East District in the Scottish Under 18 Indoor Championships at the weekend. Daniel scored and Charlie made some fantastic saves in his goal keeper role. The team came second, narrowly missing out on winning due to a goal count.

Cross Country

Congratulations to all our young people who represented Knox Academy at the East Lothian Schools Cross Country Championships at Foxlake on Wednesday. Everyone gave their all and were great ambassadors for the school.  A particular congratulations go to Ryan Pirie for coming third in the S1 race.

Parent/Carer news

Careers Fayre

We held our third annual Careers Fayre on Monday evening and with over 40 stalls to visit there was a real 'buzz'. A wide variety of sectors were in attendance - the emergency services and armed forces were well represented as were Financial Services, Health & Social Care and Science, Technology & Construction. Information about our local labour market can be found here. In addition we welcomed a number of 'first timers' including Winton Castle, East Lothian Food & Drink and 'You Can Be a Doctor'. We'd like to thank all the Volunteers - including a number of Parents/ Carers from the school - who gave up their evening to support our young people to think about their future and the potential pathways available to them.

Dates for your diary (please also refer to the CALENDAR on the school website for all events across the year):

  • 7 February – school closes for mid-term at 12.15pm  
  • 17 February – staff in-service day
  • 20 February – S2-S5 Learner Pathways Information Evening – 6.30pm

Have a good mid-term break 

Sue Cook