January 2022

Published: 21 January 2022

The term is well underway now after two and a half weeks back. Pupils are working well in most classes and the diligence awards, which will be issued soon to all year groups, will give feedback of their performance across their subjects.

The number of pupils bringing their own face coverings to school has risen greatly, so a huge thank you to parents/carers for supporting this. I would ask that pupils continue to attend in full school uniform and, if unable to do so, you contact your young person’s House Team to support this as we have a uniform bank at school with both new and preloved uniform. Pupils should also bring a cosy fleece/jacket should they need this to keep warm in classes (no hooded tops please – including the new rugby training tops). Please can I also ask for parental support in ensuring your young person brings a change of kit for PE for health and hygiene reasons (and also as it is winter they could get very wet and cold when outside in PE).

Staffing

Support for Learning Leader – following interviews on Monday, Mrs Jenny Wright has been appointed to this post and will start in it immediately. We will now move to advertising the Support for Learning teaching post.

Covid-19

We now have a dedicated section on our website for all things Covid, so please refer to it for the latest information.

S2-S5 Coursing (Learner Pathways)

Given the current circumstances due to the pandemic we are preparing to conduct the coursing process online. Pupils will be emailed information regarding the process, including a Google Form that will allow them to submit their initial course choices. They will have a Coursing Interview via Google Meet with their Pupil Support Leader. Course choices will be confirmed with pupils, parents and carers once all of the S3-6 coursing information is received and we have been able to establish the most efficient way of giving as many pupils their first choices, as is possible.

East Lothian Works Information Evenings – (these will help support course choices)

The East Lothian Works youth team is hosting a series of online information evenings for parents, and pupils from Knox Academy and the other East Lothian secondary schools. These sessions will be covering Foundation Apprenticeships, the School College Partnership programme, and the East Lothian Works offer, specifically the offer for 2022-2023. This is a fantastic opportunity for all parents/carers and pupils to get a strong understanding of what we are offering, and how they can get involved. It also provides a way for this information to be disseminated all in one place.

They are running the same information session over two more dates: Monday 24th January, Wednesday 26th January, all at 6pm so parents/carers and your young people can opt in to any of these. You can join these sessions by clicking here at any of these times.  The turnout at the first two sessions this week were really positive and the uptake for courses, based on the engagement by parents and pupils, has gone up, showing that attending these increased knowledge and understanding of these courses for career pathways.

Senior Phase Parent Consultation Evenings

S5/6 - Tuesday 25th January 2022 (5pm – 7pm)

We expect that pupils will join their parents and carers at these meetings to have a discussion about learning and progress in individual subject areas. Feedback will be based around pupil progress in their individual subjects, mainly based on next steps identified from their recent Prelims.  This is a great opportunity for young people to receive individual feedback, with appropriate support from their parents/carers.

Parents should contact their young person’s Pupil Support Leader, by emailing House Group inboxes, if they wish to discuss any particular pastoral concerns. (garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk, lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk, traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk ).

We look forward to seeing as many parents/carers at these Google Meets as possible.  

S5/6 College Options/Courses starting now (January)

There are a huge amount of college courses starting now (January) for those considering leaving school or for those who have already left.  Please do take some time to look at these and at the qualifications for entry. These may also help guide course choices for those in the younger year groups as they may out their career pathways.

Remote Learning

National eLearning Offer

For senior phase West_OS has an increasing number of National Qualifications based video lessons that are open access. There are live streams and on-demand recordings relating to careers and skills including the likes of Chef Gary Maclean and Paralympian explorer Karen Darke, MBE.

For S1-S3 learners there are e-Sgoil’s 20 ‘Big Questions’ interactive interdisciplinary learning spaces and live streams, with on-demand recordings from DYW Live. These resources can be found here.

E-Sgoil has Supported Study webinars and resources for Senior Phase. This has a choice of 52 different webinars covering National Qualifications - subjects and levels. This includes the ‘Your Questions’ service which allows learners to submit questions to be answered by peers and subject teachers.

Skills Development Scotland Service at Knox Academy

1:1 Appointments:

Any student, in any year, at any time, can request a careers appointment. All students in their ‘significant subject choice year’ (S3) given a 1:1 appointment.

A number of senior phase students who may require extra careers guidance are identified by the school at the start of the school year. Any school leavers in this group will be seen a minimum of 3 times for a 1:1 appointment.

Parents/carers are welcome to attend (currently virtually) appointments if they request to do so.

Group Engagements:

All S1 in the first couple of months at school (Intro to careers service in school)

All S2 (Carer Management Skills)

All S3 (Subject Choice)

All 4th Year (Post school options)

5th and 6th Years at request of school  e.g. Interview skills with the 6th year Employability Group.

Other information:

All students have access to an online careers account on www.myworldofwork.co.uk

We have developed another site which is continually being updated for parents and careers called www.mykidscareer.com

Young Persons’ (under 22) Free Bus Travel

All young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card from 10 January to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme from 31 January. You can apply here. At present only those who require it for essential travel are asked to apply.

Parent Council

If you wish to join our Parent Council Meeting on Monday 31 January 2022, it would be great to have you along (especially our new S1 parents/carers).  To join, please email our Chair of the Parent Council: parentcouncil@ka-net.org.uk.

Covid-19

Please continue to report all positive Covid-19 cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921. Please also inform the school so we can amend your young person’s attendance record. Pupils should continue to do twice weekly LFD tests. LFD kits are available every morning on arrival to school and during the day from the office. They can also be collected from pharmacies and test centres.

Please do not send pupils to school who have symptoms. They should self-isolate and book a PCR test and not return to school until they know this is negative and they have no symptoms.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 25 January: S5/6 Parents’ Evening

Monday 31 January – Parent Council (virtual) 6.30-8pm

Monday 14 –Friday 18 February – Mid-term break

Monday 21 February – staff in-service/pupil holiday

Have a good weekend

Sue Cook

Published: 14 January 2022

It has been brilliant to have all our young people back at school this week after S4-S6 having to learn remotely for a day and a half last week.  Although staff absence has remained high, our staff team has gone above and beyond to support cover across the school – so a huge thank you to them.

We now have a dedicated section on our website for all things Covid, so please refer to it for the latest information.

Staffing

Lisa Braid, our Home Economics Auxiliary has been appointed to the post of Classroom Assistant at Haddington Primary School. She will leave Knox Academy on Thursday 27th January 2022. We wish her all the very best in her new post. This post will be advertised today – 15hrs per week.

Business Support Assistant – advertised today – 35hrs per week

SQA

At present the SQA still intends the exam diet to take place between April and June of this year. It is vital therefore, that illness aside, that all our young people in S4/5/6 attend all of their classes as they must complete all their course and practical work to be given a predicted grade, which we would use for them should they be unable to sit their final exam due to personal circumstances/illness. We will also continue with our approaches to continuous assessment so should we be required to move to Scenario 3, (which we would only move to following Scenario 2) is based around the evidence gathered through normal in-year assessments to determine learners’ estimates, and which forms the basis of learners’ provisional results) we will be prepared for this.

Senior Phase Parent Consultation Evenings

S4 Parents’ Evening

Thank you to all parents/carers who attended this parents’ consultation last night. From speaking to our staff team the conversations were very good and allowed parents, pupils and staff to support next steps in learning/progress as our S4 move swiftly towards their SQA exams in April-June this year. If you require any support with your young person’s course choices for S5/6 or if they are moving in from school at the end of S4, support can be sought from Skills Development Scotland Advisor, Chris Trotter. He can be emailed at chris.trotter@sds.co.uk.

S5/6 - Tuesday 25th January 2022 (5pm – 7pm)

We expect that pupils will join their parents and carers at these meetings to have a discussion about learning and progress in individual subject areas. Feedback will be based around pupil progress in their individual subjects, mainly based on next steps identified from their recent Prelims.  This is a great opportunity for young people to receive individual feedback, with appropriate support from their parents/carers.

Parents should contact their young person’s Pupil Support Leader, by emailing House Group inboxes, if they wish to discuss any particular pastoral concerns. (garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk, lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk, traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk ).

We look forward to seeing as many parents/carers at these Google Meets as possible.  

S2-5 Course Choices for Session 2022-23

We are about to embark on the course choice process for next session. The process will be divided into 3 stages:

Stage 1 – information regarding the courses being offered in school and by other providers e.g. Foundation Apprenticeships and Edinburgh College, will be available via the school website from 19 January. The materials will be divided into the appropriate year groups e.g. S2 into S3 or S3 into S4. We would encourage parents and pupils to use these materials to begin their discussion/ research into what they would like to do next session.

Stage 2 – Pupils in S2-5 will be issued (by email) with a Google Form at the beginning of February. This is to be used to submit their choices.

Pupils in S3,4 and 5 will also receive coursing recommendations for the subjects that they are currently studying e.g. if they want to continue in that subject, would they be best to pursue National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher. As we have intimated previously we would ask that pupils stick to these recommendations as they are based on their performance in that subject and the professional judgement of the department.

The presentations, links and information relating to our virtual Careers Evening will be available via the school website from 3 February and we hope these resources will also be helpful in supporting pupils’ choices.

Stage 3 – All pupils in S2-5 should submit their Course Choices using the Google Form by 22 February. The choices will then be collated and we will begin the process of looking for the best fit in terms of the timetable. As always not everyone will be able to pursue all their first choices. Where changes are necessary the pupils will be spoken to by House Teams.

Once this stage has been completed, confirmation of the pupil’s courses will be emailed to them (by David Russell, DHT).  

East Lothian Works Information Evenings – (these will help support course choices)

The East Lothian Works youth team is hosting a series of online information evenings for parents, and pupils from Knox Academy and the other East Lothian secondary schools. These sessions will be covering Foundation Apprenticeships, the School College Partnership programme, and the East Lothian Works offer, specifically the offer for 2022-2023. This is a fantastic opportunity for all parents/carers and pupils to get a strong understanding of what we are offering, and how they can get involved. It also provides a way for this information to be disseminated all in one place.

They are running the same information session over four dates: Monday 17 Jan, Wednesday 19 Jan, Monday 24th Jan, Wednesday 26th Jan, all at 6pm so parents/carers and your young people can opt in to any of these. You can join these sessions by clicking here at any of these times.  

S5/6 College Options/Courses starting now (January)

There are a huge amount of college courses starting now (January) for those considering leaving school or for those who have already left.  Please do take some time to look at these and at the qualifications for entry. These may also help guide course choices for those in the younger year groups as they may out their career pathways.

Young Persons’ (under 22) Free Bus Travel

All young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card from 10 January to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme from 31 January. You can apply here. At present only those who require it for essential travel are asked to apply.

Covid-19

Please continue to report all positive Covid-19 cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921. Please also inform the school so we can amend your young person’s attendance record. Pupils should continue to do twice weekly LFD tests. LFD kits are available every morning on arrival to school and during the day from the office. They can also be collected from pharmacies and test centres.

Please do not send pupils to school who have symptoms. They should self-isolate and book a PCR test and not return to school until they know this is negative and they have no symptoms.

The Parent Club also provides useful information on testing for pupils.

Dates for your diary:

Tuesday 25 January: S5/6 Parents’ Evening

Thursday 31 January – Parent Council (virtual) 6.30-8pm

Monday 14 –Friday 18 February – Mid-term break

Monday 21 February – staff in-service/pupil holiday

Have a good weekend

Sue Cook

Please also remember to follow us at: www.ka-net.org.uk for the latest information and updates

 

Published: 07 January 2022

Happy New Year - I hope you all enjoyed a lovely festive break with family and friends. After the bumpy start to our term, with S4-S6 having to learn remotely for 2 days this week, we will resume in-school learning and teaching for all year groups from Monday onwards. The new variant, Omicron, is very much still a presence, and for this reason we may still need to move to remote learning at short notice should staff absence escalate to the point we are unable to cover classes again.

In the meantime, please can I ask for your support with our mitigations, that the Scottish Gvt has asked up to put in place. The more we can do together to prevent the spread of the virus the more likely we are to stay fully operational. We now have a dedicated section on our website for all things Covid, so please refer to it for the latest information, including our risk assessments.

Please also read the letter issued today from our Head of Education, Nicola McDowell.

Face coverings

Please can I ask parents/carers to ensure their young person brings their own face covering to school (unless exempt). These should ideally be the re-useable ones to support our Eco-School approaches. If you require support with this please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader as we have ordered a small amount of re-useable ones we can issue to those requiring them.  Thank you.

Lateral Flow Tests

The Scottish Gvt has asked that as many pupils as possible engage in the Lateral Flow Tests and have requested that they carry out these tests twice weekly or when meeting up with other groups of people out with school. With the new approaches to self-isolation, which were announced on 5 January by the First Minister, a supply of the LFD test kits will be necessary for all pupils/households. We have a supply of the new nasal-only test kits to address previous feedback from some participants about the discomfort of throat swabbing. These new types of test kit only take around 15-20 minutes for results to be returned, reducing the amount of time involved in testing. The UK Government has also updated their online reporting portal so that household accounts can be created. This allows parents to record results for more than one child without having to re-enter data multiple times. Reporting online now takes only a few minutes if participants use their phones. Test kits can be picked up at the front of the school every morning and from the office throughout the day. These tests should only be carried out at home.    

School Uniform/ventilation

Thank you for supporting your people continuing to wear school uniform (equity, a sense of community and gets pupils in work mode as different from their casual clothes). I would suggest, that in order to ensure they are warm during lessons, they bring a cosy fleece or wear a few extra jumpers/ layers (hooded tops are not part of our uniform) as classrooms will be well ventilated in order to minimise the spread of Covid. If you do need any support with uniform please do get in touch with your young person’s House Team as we have our uniform bank, as part of our Eco-school. We have lots of new and pre-loved uniform in it. We are also aware that many families financial position has changed during the pandemic and financial support in buying school uniform and for free school meals is available from East Lothian Council. For details of eligibility and how to apply please follow this link.

Self-isolation

Please take time to read the summary of all the changes, effective from 6 January 2022 so you know what to do if your young person, or someone in your household, tests positive or has Covid.

Vaccinations

The Scottish Government is promoting Covid vaccinations/booster vaccinations for those 12yrs and over. Our local vaccination centre is the Haddington Corn Exchange.  

Staffing

Today we bid a fond farewell to Dr Lyons, Support for Learning Leader, who leaves us to take up a post at a school in Pathead. We wish her all the very best in her new role.  Interviews for her replacement will take place on Monday 17 January.

Senior Phase Parent Consultation Evenings

S4 - Thursday 13th January 2022 (5pm – 7pm)

S5/6 - Tuesday 25th January 2022 (5pm – 7pm)

Due to both the current Covid19 restrictions and based on our survey results from parents/carers in May 2021, we are running our parents’ evenings via GoogleMeet. Letters and appointment sheets have been sent out via email to both S4 Parents/carers and young people via email. Paper copies will be distributed via registration on Monday. S5/6 will receive similar communication in due course. We expect that pupils will join their parents and carers at these meetings to have a discussion about learning and progress in individual subject areas. Feedback will be based around pupil progress in their individual subjects, mainly based on next steps identified from their recent Prelims.  This is a great opportunity for young people to receive individual feedback, with appropriate support from their parents/carers.

Parents should contact their young person’s Pupil Support Leader, by emailing House Group inboxes, if they wish to discuss any particular pastoral concerns. (garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk, lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk, traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk ).

We look forward to seeing as many parents/carers at these Google Meets as possible.  

S2-S5 Learner Pathway Choices

Detailed information will be issued to both pupils and parents, in a few weeks time, by Mr Russell.

Young Persons’ (under 22) Free Bus Travel

All young people and children aged 5-21 years can apply for a card from 10 January to access the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme from 31 January. You can apply here.

 

Thank you for your continued support as we embark on a new year and a new term. We will do our utmost to ensure we support all our young people in whatever way they need to ensure they achieve the best outcomes they can at Knox Academy. If you would like to discuss any specific support for your young person please do contact their House Team in the first instance.

Ms Adam/Mrs Falconer (Garleton) garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk

Mr Meekison/Mr Russell (Lammerlaw) lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk

Mrs Doig/Mr Illingworth (Traprain) traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk

If you do not have email, please phone the school office on: 01620 823387.

Dates for your diary:

Thursday 13 January: S4 Parents’ Evening.

Tuesday 25 January: S5/6 Parents’ Evening

Thursday 31 January – Parent Council (virtual) 6.30-8pm

Monday 14 –Friday 18 February – Mid-term break

Monday 21 February – staff in-service/pupil holiday

Have a good weekend

Sue Cook

Please also remember to follow us at: www.ka-net.org.uk for the latest information and updates