March 2020

Published: 20 March 2020

Dear parent/carer

You should have now received the letter from Lesley Brown, Chief Operating Officer (Education).

I never thought I’d ever be writing such a letter to you all.  I know, like all staff here, you will be devastated by the situation we all find ourselves in.  However, although the school building will be closed, we will continue to work closely as a school community.  We are all absolutely in this together.

Regarding SQA exams, please know that there is vast amounts of work going on both in school and out of school at the highest level to ensure that pupils are not at a disadvantage.  Please note that pupil assessment has taken place throughout the year and grade estimates are not based solely on prelims. Staff are also continuing to work closely with pupils to continue to assess remotely where young people are able to provide extra evidence of progress or complete SQA work.

The school is going to be open to a very small number of pupils next week to finish off SQA assessments and teachers will be in touch with pupils directly where this is the case.  In line with ELC advice, the school will be closed from this afternoon for all other pupils. 

To the parents of those pupils that plan to leave us in S4, S5 and of course our S6s, I am so sorry that we end their time at Knox Academy in such an unplanned way.  Please know that I, along with all staff here, wish your young person good luck in all their future endeavours and please know that we will always be here for them should they need us.  We would also hope as Former Pupils, they may work with the school and our young people in the future to pass on their talents and skills to our school community.

All pupils in S1-S6 have been provided with user names and passwords for Google Classroom and S4-S6 for Scholar UK.  Staff have been asked to ensure that work is provided for all their classes so that learning takes place during the period of closure. This inevitably will take time to set up lots of resources for all classes but teachers are working hard on this and will continue to do this as they work remotely. Provision has also been made for those unable to access IT and Mrs Clubb sent letters and information home to pupils who do not have access.  Please ensure your young person regularly accesses their EduBuzz email as this, along with Google Classroom, will be our main modes of communication with our young people.

A number of departments have given out learning packs (pencils/pens/rulers/paper etc.) to young people for use at home. We have also provided sanitary products to pupils both at the end of the school day today and yesterday. More of these can be collected from your local foodbank.

This document about managing anxiety may help in supporting your young person through this difficult time.

Please do take care and get in touch if we can help in any way through admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk. If you are able to please also follow updates on the school website (you can signup for automatic daily emails from the website if you are not already receiving) and twitter feeds (more work will be provided on these too) on .

Best wishes to all and please look after each other.

Sue Cook

Published: 13 March 2020

Recruitment

Temporary teacher of Music – a candidate was appointed subject to pre-employment checks

Parent/Carers News

ECO-COMMITTEE CLOTHING COLLECTION FOR ROCK TRUST

For the 3rd year in a row, the Eco-Committee is running a clothing collection for Rock Trust, a charitable organisation that works with young people aged 16 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. To help young people, Rock Trust also provides supplies like clothing. We're collecting donations of clean clothes in good condition (ages 16-25) from March 9 to 20! And this comes at a great time because you might be doing some spring cleaning at home and realize that in the depths of your closet, you have a lot of clothes you rarely wear! Rather than send those clothes to landfill, let's put them toward a good cause! Clothing donations can be brought to Miss Laudi's room. We look forward to seeing the Knox community come together for another good cause!

End of Term Arrangements/Events

A letter about our end of term arrangements can also be found within the Parent Zone. Please note tickets sales for our Spring Concert have been delayed but should be on sale at the beginning of next week.  Thank you for your patience.

S6 Leavers’ Ceremony

We would be delighted to invite you to attend our S6 Leavers' Ceremony full details of which can be found in a letter from Mr Tait, S6 Year Head. This will take place at 11am on Friday 24 April.

Achievement Ties – Nominations

Nomination forms are now available online/from the school office and register teachers and must be submitted by Monday 23 March, at latest, to Mr Moncrieff.  Staff, pupils/carers and coaches/leaders/community partners can nominate pupils. Please use this document for more details about the categories and criteria to apply for one.  If you require any further details please email jmoncrieff@knox.elcschool.org.uk . The Achievement Committee will meet after the Easter holidays to review all applications and pupils will be informed of the decision via a letter shortly after this.

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 27 March 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

Pupil News

East Lothian Rugby

Congratulations to Craig Sked, Ollie Craig, Joss Arnold and Avidija Husic, who were selected to play for East Lothian Falcons (Greens) against Eastern Stormers at Meadowmill on Wednesday. A great performance winning both matches.

Squash

Dylan Pearman recently competed in the last of the season's Scottish Squash Junior Gold Competitions at Bridge of Allan, convincingly winning his 3 matches 3-0 to win the boys under 15 title. In winning this competition, and previous results at the Scottish Nationals and the other two Gold events, Dylan has now been selected to play again for Scotland at the Five Nations in April. This is the third time Dylan has been selected to play for Scotland.

Football

Yesterday afternoon saw our talented S1 Football Team compete in an East-Mid Lothian cup match against Newbattle High School on home turf. Knox Academy is a newcomer to this tournament and faced a team who has a rich footballing history and significant experience in competitive matches. The final score was 3-2 to Newbattle. A huge well done to all players! (Adam Miller, Social Subjects and Coach)

This afternoon Knox Academy's will hold its first ever Six-A-Side Football Tournament at the Aubigny Centre. Hopefully this will become an annual tournament. This will be a fantastic, fun afternoon, aimed at raising awareness and funds for Knox's newly formed football teams. It will also provide a great opportunity for staff and pupils alike to blow off steam ahead of the busy exam season. (Adam Miller)

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
  • 27 March – Resilience Group Meeting – 9.30-10.30am
  • 3 April – School closes at 12.15 for Easter break

Sue Cook

Published: 06 March 2020

Recruitment

Temporary teacher of Music – interviews to take place next week

Parent/Carer news 

SQA Exam Arrangements

Letters were issued to all S4 and S5/6 pupils on Tuesday morning (and sent home for those who were absent. These are available within the Parent Zone of our website so you can refer directly to them. If your young person is in S4 or S5 and they are intending leaving school, please complete the tear-off slip on this letter and return this to the office by Friday 27 March 2020 at very latest. This allows us to ensure that all is in place to support your young person in to a positive destination.  All S6 pupils are deemed to be leavers so there is no need to return this tear-off slip.  Every pupil leaving school (including S6) must complete a leaver’s form.  This is available from the school office w.e.f 30 March and must be completed by the official leaving date of 31 May 2020.  Thank you for your support with this.

End of Term Arrangements/Events

A letter about our end of term arrangements can also be found within the Parent Zone.  I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight our end of term Spring Concert, which takes place on Wednesday 25 March. It would be great to see as many parents/carers along to this as possible to support our talented young people (for a number of our young people in S6 this will be their final concert at Knox Academy). 

S6 Leavers’ Ceremony

All S6 parents/carers are warmly invited to the S6 Leavers’ Ceremony on Friday 24th April at 11am.  Please save the date and Mr Tait, Head of S6, will be sending a letter home in the next week or so with the exact arrangements for this.

Eco-Week 2020:

The Eco-Committee's annual Eco-Week will take place next week from 9-13 March. There will be assemblies for all houses, registration videos, bulletin posts, and a charity collection during the week. Keep an eye on the school bulletin and the Eco-Committee twitter account for more information throughout Eco-Week (by Jess Laudi, Eco Team Leader)

Achievement Ties – Nominations

Nomination forms are now available online/from the school office and register teachers and must be submitted by Monday 23 March, at latest, to Mr Moncrieff.  Staff, pupils/carers and coaches/leaders/community partners can nominate pupils. Please use this document for more details about the categories and criteria to apply for one.  If you require any further details please email jmoncrieff@knox.elcschool.org.uk . The Achievement Committee will meet after the Easter holidays to review all applications and pupils will be informed of the decision via a letter shortly after this.

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 27 March 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 

Pupil News

East Lothian Showcase

This took place over two evenings this year. The first evening was held at the Brunton Theatre and the second evening, which I had the pleasure to attend, took place last night at North Berwick High School.  It was stunning to watch over two hundred pupils perform throughout the night in choirs, guitar ensembles, jazz band, wind band, orchestra and performing a piano concerto. There are so many talented young people across East Lothian Council and a huge representation last night from Knox Academy. Well done to all involved - pupils and music instrumental staff, for producing a thoroughly enjoyable and high class concert. 

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
  • 27 March – Resilience Group Meeting – 9.30-10.30am
  • 3 April – School closes at 12.15 for Easter break

Sue Cook