June 2020

Published: 26 June 2020

After a very unusual term, we have finally made it to the last day of term.  I would like to thank you all as parents/carers for all your support of your young people in their school learning throughout this pandemic and also of our school. It truly has been a team effort and it is so wonderful that we have a caring community who works so closely together to bring about the best outcomes we can for all of our young people. I feel very privileged to be the Head Teacher at Knox Academy and have the opportunity to work with such an amazing staff, pupils, parents/carers and wider community , who have shown incredible kindness and empathy throughout this pandemic. Thank you!

Head Pupil

On Monday afternoon at 4pm, we held a virtual Head Pupil Question Time on Google Meet for our Head Pupil Candidates to convince pupils and staff to vote for them!  Mr Miller chaired the live question and answer event so that voters had a chance to see the candidates in action and find out a little more about their policies and personality. This also followed on from all candidates producing manifestos, which were of an extremely high quality. Voting took place on Tuesday and as a result of this Rachel Broadley and Julia Dale were voted in as our Head Pupils and Thomas Guy, Hugo Elder and Duncan Riley as our Depute Head Pupils. Congratulations to them.

I would like to thank all of our young people who ran as candidates for these positions, in what was a closely run race. For those young people not appointed as one of the Senior Pupil Leadership Team, which I know will be disappointing to them, I would want to re-assure them that they are highly valued members of the Knox Academy pupil team and that we would very much like to work with them to take some of their suggestions in their manifestos forward and to use their leadership skills in supporting our school community.

SQA Results/ Re-coursing/Appeals

The SQA results are due out on 4 August. In the aftermath of the results being issued, we would like to process any requests for changes to courses as timeously as possible. In order to assist this process and in an attempt to make it as fair as possible, pupils will be asked to submit any requests for changes, via a Google Form, by Friday 7 August. This will allow staff to then begin processing them for the 10 August.  If for any reason you are unable to complete the form, please email the relevant Pupil Support Leader (Guidance Teacher) or phone the school from 10 August.

Exact details of the process and a link to the Form will be emailed to pupils in the ‘new’ S5 and S6 the week before the 4 August.  Please bear in mind that a request for a change of course/ level is not a guarantee that it is possible and until the change has been confirmed, pupils should continue to follow the timetabled classes they will have been allocated.

If pupils or parents/ carers have any questions about re-coursing, they should contact their pupil’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance) in the first instance.

Appeals – any young person wishing to appeal their result(s) should contact our SQA Coordinator, Mr Luke, who will support them with this process. Mr Luke can be emailed on pluke@knox.elcschool.org.uk .

Good luck to everyone receiving their results on 4 August.


Thanks to those parent/carers who have responded to the Guardian Summary consent form. More information about this can be found on the school website and if you have not already done so you can access the form here. Please note that you need to do this with your child as they need to use their Edubuzz login to access the form and you also need to do this for each child in your household separately.

Guardian Summaries allow parent(s)/carer(s) to receive regular updates about the work posted on their child’s Google Classrooms. You are also able to control the frequency of these updates or decide to opt-out of receiving them at a later date (by Calum Blair, CL Numeracy and Computing).

Skills Development Scotland

My name is Chris Trotter and I provide career support from Skills Development Scotland to pupils at Knox Academy. I hope you and your families are keeping safe and well during this pandemic. During this time, like pupils, Career Advisers are unable to attend school, but we continue working from home, for us this is likely to be until at least October. With this in mind Skills Development Scotland still want to support pupils to develop their Career Management Skills to help them make career decisions that are right for them, as they move through school and eventually leave. I may be contacting your young person in the senior part of the school between now and October (including the summer holiday) to discuss their plans for the year ahead although you or your young person can also contact us at a time that suits you by calling our local Musselburgh office on 0131 665 3120. Thank you for your time and I look forward to working with your young person in the year ahead, (Chris Trotter. Careers Adviser)

Free School Meals/Clothing Grants

We are aware that some parents/carers circumstances may have changed as a result of Covid-19 and this may mean you are now eligible for Free School Meals and/or a Clothing Grant.  If you think this may apply to you, please visit the Free School Meals and Clothing Grants area of the East Lothian Council website for further information and the relevant forms. If you need help completing these forms there is support available on the website or alternatively please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance teacher) who should also be able to help you via a telephone call/email.

Awards Evening

This will now take place on Wednesday 16 September.  We will await Scottish Government advice nearer the time to see whether this will be a virtual event, a pupils’ only event or whether we can have parents/carers attend too. More information will follow in August.

School Handbook

Our updated school handbook is now available to read. Full of detailed information for parents and carers and well worth reading in readiness for the start of the new term in August.

Eco-Schools Online Learning

If you're looking for ways to fill your time over the summer break, Keep Scotland Beautiful is offering several online learning courses. These courses and challenges are free, they cover a range of topics (including cloud formations and climate change), and they are suitable for various ages. Parents and students can work on them together or students can simply take on the challenge themselves! For more information and to sign up, visit the KSB website. (by Ms. Laudi)

All our staff at Knox Academy are so excited to be welcoming our young people back to the school in August and to see them all face to face again.  I hope they are equally excited to be coming back to school as well.   Until then, stay safe and well and enjoy the summer break

Sue Cook

Published: 19 June 2020

I hope this update finds you all safe and well.  Thank you to all parents/carers for all your ongoing support of our work at Knox Academy and supporting your young person’s engagement with home-learning as best as you can whilst ensuring their health and wellbeing.

Re-opening of Schools

Thank you for your patience in waiting to hear what Knox Academy’s Blended Learning Model will look like to allow you to plan ahead for August.  We have been working exceptionally hard to agree this model, within the parameters set by the Scottish Government and the school and staffing capacity, keeping the health and safety of our young people and staff at the fore, whilst also ensuring that we adhere to the 2m social distancing (and have a plan B should this move to 1m during the summer break).  We hope to share our plans with you at the start of next week once they have been agreed by East Lothian Council.


Over the last term we have provided a number of devices to our young people during the period of lockdown to enable access to distance learning.  In order to plan the blended learning approaches and to support the refresh of devices where applicable, we are now asking that these be returned to Knox Academy on Wednesday 24th June between 1-3pm.  These devices should be returned, with their chargers and cables to Mr Flood at the Knox Academy reception area.  If you are unable to return them this day please email sillingworth@knox.elcschool.org.uk to arrange another agreed time for this before Friday 26th June (the last day of this term).  We would hope following the summer to re-issue new devices to pupils who require them for blended learning.  Thank you for supporting this request.

Head Pupil Question Time

On Monday afternoon at 4pm, we will be holding a virtual Head Pupil Question Time on Google Meet for our Head Pupil Candidates to convince you to vote for them!  Mr Miller (Knox’s very own Fiona Bruce) will chair the live question and answer event so that voters have a chance to see the candidates in action and find out a little more about their policies and personality. We would like to encourage questions from all year groups as well as parents and carers. If you have a question you would like to put to our candidates, please send it via EduBuzz email to Mr Miller (amiller@edubuzz.org). (by Alex Redford)


The East Lothian schools’ Librarian Team has created a Wakelet which is full of online resources to help support your young person’s learning at home.

School Leavers

As the Head Teacher, it’s always fascinating to see the variety of career pathways pupils embark upon, knowing that all will make a positive impact in their own way no matter what path they take.  All at Knox Academy wish all our leavers the very best for their future.

Leavers’ Information

All leavers will have been sent a LIME survey this week via email, which everyone who is not returning to school must complete. This includes very important information with regards to their intended destination and occupation, as well as an up to date contact number so that we can offer any support or follow up alongside colleagues from Skills Development Scotland. Please make sure your young person completes this as soon as they can. 

Leavers unsure of their next step: Support available 

A reminder that if anyone is leaving school, but unsure of their next steps, please get in touch.  The Pupil Support Team (Guidance), our Skills Development Scotland careers advisor, Chris Trotter, are all able to offer support in helping you find out what’s right for you. If any of your plans have changed due to coronavirus this website might be helpful to you.

Pupils going to College and University

Many of our leavers have already accepted a place at college or university for next year, but some are still to do so.  A reminder for those who have made an application and received an offer.  Please accept these before the deadline passes, if you haven’t already done so, and intend on taking up a place on your chosen course.  If you’ve any questions about this, please contact your guidance teacher for more information. 

Free School Meals/Clothing Grants

We are aware that some parents/carers circumstances may have changed as a result of Covid-19 and this may mean you are now eligible for Free School Meals and/or a Clothing Grant.  If you think this may apply to you, please visit the Free School Meals and Clothing Grants area of the East Lothian Council website for further information and the relevant forms. If you need help completing these forms there is support available on the website or alternatively please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance teacher) who should also be able to help you via a telephone call/email.

Psychological Services

East Lothian’s Educational Psychology Service has provided some useful advice for parents and carers which can be found on our school website.  

Have a lovely weekend

Sue Cook

Published: 12 June 2020

We continue to get a good engagement in our remote learning from our young people since the start of our new timetable. It was also great to see so many of our pupils involved in our Virtual Sports event last week (more on this below) and this week has seen us celebrate Pride. Thank you to all pupils, staff and parents/carers for continuing to engage with all we are doing at Knox Academy and ensuring our value of community shines through.

Session 2020-21 Dates
The new school session will start on 12 August 2020 for young people in East Lothian Council as 10 August and 11 August 2020  will be staff in-service days. As the term is now starting a week earlier than anticipated, pupils and staff will receive this week back at the end of next session and school will finish on Friday 25 June 2021. 

Re-opening of Schools (Parental Survey from ELC and Pupil Survey from Knox Academy)
We are all looking forward to welcoming our young people back into school in August and we are busy preparing for this and should be in a position next week to communicate in detail about what Knox Academy’s ‘Blended Learning’ model will be.  This week we have been working on our school capacity plans to see how many pupils we can accommodate safely at Knox Academy in August. This is based on classroom sizes, social distancing regulations of 2m and staffing capacity. This means that about 30% of our school capacity can only be in school on any one day.  The exact details of when each year group will be in school will be communicated to all parents and pupils prior to the end of term. Please be assured we have done our best to devise a model that takes into account safety of our young people and staff first and foremost whilst ensuring all year groups have face to face teaching alongside their home learning (blended learning).

To help us get this right for our young people we would appreciate your views as parents/carers. I would be most grateful if you could complete this short survey regarding your child’s return to school in August by Monday 15 June 2020 4pm.

Mr Illingworth, our Depute Head Teacher, has also sent out an email on Health and Wellbeing to all our young people via their EduBuzz emails. Please could you encourage them to complete this? Thank you.

As well as using the specific information gleaned from this feedback to help in our planning for welcoming our young people back to Knox Academy, our focus will be very much on re-connecting with our young people and a focus on nurture.  East Lothian Psychological Services Team has prepared a video for parents/carers explaining what this entails.

Covid-19 Research Project
A former pupil at the University of Birmingham is conducting a research project exploring teen well-being during the Covid pandemic. It is for young people aged 11-15. An email will also be sent to S1-S4 EduBuzz accounts so pupils can click the link in this should they wish to complete it. All those taking part have the chance to win one of six £30 Amazon Vouchers. It would be great if parents/carers could encourage their young person to get involved.

Skills Development Scotland Results Helpline
Skills Development Scotland has asked me to make parents/carers and young people aware that their ‘Results Helpline’ will open at 8am on results day – Tuesday 4 August 2020 - with careers advisers offering support for young people and their parents and carers. No matter what your results, advisers can discuss your options and next steps such as course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, Confirmation and Clearing, Modern, Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships and jobs or volunteering.

The helpline will be open:

  • 4-5 August - 8am – 8pm 
  • 6-7 August - 9am – 5pm
  • 10-12 August - 9am –5pm

Call the SDS Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 or visit MyWorldofWork

Online Safety
We are conscious that online learning will continue into the future and that young people will be spending more time on social media apps/chat rooms and therefore safety online is paramount. Our Community Link Police Officer has been in touch to suggest that parents and pupils may find the following links useful to help support online safety.

The main source of advice is the UK Safer Internet Centre. Parents can also sign up for National Online Safety.

A tried and tested resource for pupils and parents with very good information is Thinkuknow.

School Uniform for Session 2020-21
When we return in August we would still like to ask all pupils to wear School Uniform. If possible, I would also like to ask parents/carers to purchase pens/pencils/ruler and pencil case for your young person to bring to school to ensure that these pieces of equipment are not shared or borrowed for health and safety reasons during the Covid-19 recovery period. If parents are also able to provide hand sanitiser as part of this ‘kit’ that would also be much appreciated, although this will also be available at areas throughout the school, along with hand washing facilities. Should young people wish to wear a face mask, we are happy for them to do this, and these should be provided by home. Pupils should also be aware that some of our staff may also wear face masks too.

‘This week Knox Academy has been celebrating Pride. The school is currently working towards achieving our silver LGBT Youth Scotland charter. The week has allowed us to celebrate our fantastic diversity at Knox and highlight that the school is an inclusive and friendly place to be. The LGBT+ Allies group worked hard to put together an engaging programme of activities and important messages this week to try and encourage LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) inclusion for staff and learners. We have also set up a twitter account  to share important LGBT+ information. Today (Friday) we will be encouraging staff, pupils and the wider Knox Academy community to wear the colours of the rainbow to show their support for equality and inclusion at our school and in our local and wider community and to share their photographs on our Twitter feed (by Nicola Stobie, LGBTQ+ coordinator).  I would also like to say a massive thank you to Ms Stobie, Ms Adam and the LGBT Allies Group who put this week together. It was phenomenal!

Virtual Sports Week 2020 - Results!
A huge thank you to all pupils and staff who took part in this event.  We were overwhelmed by the number of participants and with all of your evidence submitted.  Pupils from all over the school including Meadowpark took part and we were impressed with some of your results.  After totalling up all the scores - the point totals are now availableCongratulations to Garleton who have won the House Sports Trophy.  

Just for interest - we also totalled the distance/times/repetitions you all managed to complete for your houses.  Pretty impressive - Knox Rocks!

Finally, all individual successes will have prizes winging their way to you courtesy of Leisure Time Sports – a huge thank you to them for their generosity in providing these prizes. Thanks again to all who participated - hope you had some fun trying these challenges out.  Stay active folks and stay safe. #Knox4Sport (by Jenny Leighton and Lana Borwick)


Have a lovely weekend

Sue Cook

Published: 05 June 2020

I hope you are all safe and well and that most of you were able to take advantage of our beautiful weather last weekend to catch up with one other household, in a garden or open space, to enjoy some time together after so long. 

Re-opening of Schools

At this moment in time I have no further update for parents/carers and young people about what the model will look like for our return to Knox Academy in August. I am working proactively alongside other Head Teachers and East Lothian Council to find the best outcome for all our pupils and to maximise their time in school, with some of their learning continuing to be through online Google Classrooms (blended learning – again, if anyone needs a Chromebook to access remote learning please contact us on admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk ).  As I am sure you will understand, this is a very complex task and the health, wellbeing and safety of all our pupils and staff will be first and foremost in all our decision making. Thank you for your support and patience as we work on this, and as soon as I am able to provide you with more information I will be in touch.  The Education Service at East Lothian Council will also be surveying parents/carers in the coming weeks to gather your views about the re-opening of schools. Mr Illingworth, Depute Head Teacher at Knox, has also prepared a questionnaire for our young people and this will be sent out, via EduBuzz emails over the next day or two, so we can use this information to help us in our planning and support of all of our young people on their return. Please can I ask parents/carers to encourage your young person to complete this?  Thank you. The latest information from East Lothian Council on what is happening in June and preparation for August can be read here.


Congratulations to Jason Moncrieff who will leave Knox Academy’s Physics department to join Dalkeith High School as one of their Physicists. We wish him all the best and thank him for all he has done for the school in his time here.

Thank you also goes to Andy Johnstone, who covered for staff leave last session in Physics, also moves on from us at the end of this. We wish him all the best for the future.

Julia Harrison, English is also moving on from Knox Academy. We would like to wish her well for her future and thank her for all the work she did with the young people and Communications team in her time here.

I would also like to welcome Wendy Doig who returns to her full time as Pupil Support Leader for Traprain House. Also a warm welcome to Laura Loughrey, Music, who returned to Knox Academy this week following maternity leave.

SQA News

With no exams this year SQA has been working on an alternative certification model to ensure that the work of all young people who were due to sit these are not disadvantaged.  The latest update in regard to this was released on Wednesday 3 June. Results will be out on Tuesday 4 August and pupils should have registered with MySQA for results by text or email rather than waiting for the Royal Mail. An appeals service will also be available this year and any young person wishing to appeal post results should contact Mr Peter Luke, our Business Manager and SQA Coordinator on the following email pluke@knox.elcschool.org.uk so he can discuss this with the relevant subject department.

Virtual Sports Day 2020

This week has seen a shift in online learning with the introduction of a virtual sports day.  Thanks to all who have entered their challenge results online already.  Friday is the final day for entering data to be in with a chance of winning points for houses.  Winning house and individual prize winners will be announced next week. At the point of writing, the PE dept have had over 400 responses to the challenges set which is fantastic!  S1 (new S2 pupils) have been particularly active with around 50% of results being down to their efforts.  Some amazing evidence has also been submitted by teachers across the school which we will put together in a montage with some pupil evidence for you to see soon.  Mrs Doig has shown great form for Traprain, Ms Adam for Garleton and Mr Russell for Lammerlaw!  With equally excellent input from Mrs Stewart, Mrs Cochrane, Mr Mackay, Mr Redford, Mrs Wright, Ms Bulloch & Mrs Montgomery to name but a few.  The Communications Faculty have done themselves proud with many entries from them and a particular mention goes out to the 'Garleton Goddesses' aka Miss Cahoon and Mrs Reynolds for their TikTok efforts. GO Garleton/Lammerlaw/Traprain! (by Jenny Leighton, Curriculum Leader Health and Wellbeing)

S6 Leavers’ Prom

As many of you will already be aware, we have had to postpone our annual S6 Leavers Dance due to the current pandemic. However, Miss McBride and The Leavers Committee have been working hard to find an alternative option to help the S6 still celebrate this important transition in their lives. The following is what they have agreed: New Date: Friday 18 December 2020, at Eskmills, Musselburgh. The new cost: £50.00 per head. As a result of working closely with the venue to provide music and the removal of the need for transport we have been able to reduce the price by £15.00 per head. The office will be processing refunds in the comings days/weeks. There are still a number of pupils with outstanding balances on their accounts. The Leavers Committee are contacting those this applies to individually so if these could be paid prior to the Summer Break that would be much appreciated. If the balance remains unpaid we will assume this is because you not wish to attend. (by Hannah McBride)

Have a good weekend everyone and please ensure you have some time to relax too, in what has been a very challenging and anxious time for all. If we can do anything to support you, please do email us and we will forward this email to a member of staff best able to support you. Stay safe and well.

Sue Cook