December 2023

Published: 22 December 2023

It was great to finish the term with our Christmas Concert last night, ably MC’d by our Head Pupils. The standard of musical talent and dance at the school is outstanding and it was great to see so many parents/carers, former pupils, and friends of the school along to support our young people. A huge thank you to the performers themselves and all also to those who brought the concert to fruition – music teachers; musical instructors; art department; Mrs McSherry; Ms Colquhoun; Hannah Beevors; Mr Dempster; Prefect team, office team, janitors and cleaners.

Farewell and all the very best to Mr Ciaren Ross, our Piping instructor, who will take up a new post In Glasgow in the New Year. Thank you for all you have done for our Knox pipers and musical events. You will be missed.

Final Day of Term

This morning all year groups will have social dancing and after break there will be a whole school quiz, led by our Pupil Leadership Team. This will be a further opportunity to earn House points. To end the morning we will all gather in the hall to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Diligence Certificates

These were issued to pupils who achieved these this week. These certificates detail all subjects they have been nominated in. The ultimate aim is for pupils to be nominated in all of their subjects. If they are not, the goal for term two (January – April) is to aim higher and achieve this. The idea behind these awards is to create ambition (one of our school values) and raise attainment and achievement through sustained effort and commitment to their studies, thus ensuring they achieve their potential. These are really important awards and parents/carers should review these with their young person to identify their successes and also support them where ‘subjects’ missing require more sustained effort. If you wish to discuss your young person’s performance please contact their House Team.

Essentials Hub

Our Essentials Hub is now fully up and running. We are glad to say also it supported a number of families with in our community thus far. We really encourage anyone to access this support either from an environmental or financial reasons. 

On our school Website, we have a one stop shop which explains the items available and how to apply. Please use this link to find out more.   Pupils can also scan the QR code on the posters around the school to apply for items.

In terms of donations, at the moment we are in particular need of a tall hanging rail and boys suits for the leavers’ dance; anything would be hugely appreciated. 

Breakfast Club 

Breakfast is a very important start to our day and sets us up to be ready for learning. Therefore, starting after the Christmas Break we will be starting a Breakfast Club. It is open to all and everything is free. The Breakfast club will run from 8:00 - 8:20 in Ms Shepherd’s HE classroom on a Monday & Thursday, all welcome. 

S5 Curriculum

As part of the S5 PSE Programme, in the New Year, they will have three sessions on Personal Finance (run by Graham Wells). There will also be sessions on mortgages, budgeting and lifeskills (cooking/ironing etc).

Success Stories

Achievement Ties

Following on from the Achievement Tie Committee Meeting, we awarded 11 Achievement Ties and an Endeavour Certificate this term. They were awarded for the following achievements: 7 full colour ties to our S4 rugby boys for winning the National Rugby plate and being part of the school rugby team for over four years; 3 further full colours ties were awarded for dedication and long term commitment to swimming - competing at a National Level; being a semi-finalist in Scottish Novice Boxing Championships in Glasgow and winning a silver medal at his weight/class and going on to compete at an international level; for Regional and National Competition as a winning violinist at the Scottish Young Musician Ensemble of the Year 2023 and for their ongoing commitment to music within the local area.  A half colours achievement tie was also awarded to another young person for their dedication and commitment to hockey at a regional level and providing support in a coaching capacity.  This candidate was also recently selected for the East of Scotland development squad.  We hope that further competition at a national level may well lead to a full colours application in due course.  One Endeavour Certificate was awarded for persistent application and dedication to music and singing in local choirs. This young person also achieved their grade 2 on the piano. (By Mr Clark, Achievement Tie Coordinator)


Dates for your diary:

8 January 2024 – New Term – 8.25am  

10 January 2024 – S4 Parents’ Evening – 4.30 – 6.30pm (at Knox Academy)

17 January 2024 – Careers Fayre – 6 – 8pm (at Knox Academy)


Our school calendar is updated regularly and should be used to access all information throughout the year and allows you to plan ahead too.


As this is the last HT’s update of the year, I would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me and all here at Knox Academy. Thank you for all your support throughout the term. We will look forward to welcoming all of our young people back on 8 January at 8.28am.


Sue Cook

Published: 15 December 2023

Coursing Information Event

Monday 15 January 2024 – We will be holding a coursing information event on 15 January from 18:30-19:30 for parents/ carers of pupils in S2, S3, S4 and S5. The presentation will cover information around the curriculum and the course choice process.

Careers Event 17 January 2024

The Knox Academy Career Event takes place on Wednesday 17 Jan 2024, from 6- 8pm. This was a hugely successful and well attended event in 2023.

With 60 businesses attending and a series of presentations about Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships running alongside the main exhibition, there is something for everyone. 

The extensive range of exhibitors will include universities/ colleges, training providers, as well as businesses involved in finance, gaming, food and drink, green technology, science, make up and textiles. We hope that you will take this opportunity to visit and speak with those who can help you make informed subject choices which will help you in the years ahead. Come along and be inspired:

  • Learn how your interests, strengths and skills relate to specific job roles
  • How the subjects you will select relate to jobs and careers
  • How you can begin to build business networks, skills, confidence, knowledge and ideas for choices and next steps

Here are a couple of links with further details:

List of Exhibitors

Programme of presentations about Apprenticeships (Please note that some talk times are subject to change and will be confirmed in January).

For S1-3 pupils, attendance at the career fair will help you understand more about possible future career paths as well as the subjects you’ll need to gain qualifications in. The exhibitors are keen to share with you the opportunities that exist within their organisations/ companies and their own career journeys.  They’d be delighted if you asked them about how they got into their role; what skills, qualifications they look for in their employees and applicants; what advice they could give you about what skills development to focus on at school.

 For S4-6 pupils attendance at the career fair will help you learn more about routes into college, university, apprenticeships and employment. This might include details of specific jobs that are available and the application process for their business/ organisation. Some of you may be leaving school next summer, or may be available for part-time weekend work or volunteering before then, so come along and hear about the varied opportunities for you to become inspired and ultimately hired.

Parliamentary Visit

On Monday this week the Modern Studies department welcomed Parliamentary Business Minister George Adam MSP along to a question and answer session in the school library. The session, run by Miss Laing and Mr Miller, was attended by around 25 pupils who had prepared questions. Mr Adam answered questions from pupils about how the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament work, and they went on to discuss local issues such as social housing, free school meals, council budgets, poverty and reforming prisons. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience of having a cabinet minister in their school and, as always, showed themselves to be politically aware, mature and a credit to the school.

Mr Adam, MSP for Paisley, was in Haddington as part of the Travelling Cabinet who met in the town later in the day.

S2 and S3 History Pupils become Rebels of Time

Knox Academy was delighted to welcome Craig Andrew Mooney to the school on Tuesday 12th December.  Craig is a talented author, artist, actor and producer and he was here to share his tips and experience with creating graphic novels.  Using his new book ‘The Rebel of Time’ Craig was able to show our well attended workshops how to create scenes from text.  Our pupils enjoyed creating their own comic strips and had plenty of questions for Craig about writing and acting.  We’d also like to thank ‘Night Owl Books’ of East Linton who helped with the author signings.  Many thanks to Ms Fry in the Library for hosting and organising and to the pupils for their enthusiasm (By Ms Anderson. History)

French Film Festival

The French Film Festival runs from November until the end of the year with screenings of Francophone cinema shown across the country. We are very lucky that the Fraser Centre in Tranent was an official venue this year and so we jumped at the opportunity to immerse our students in French language and culture! On Wednesday morning this week our S4-S6 pupils studying French enjoyed a trip to the centre where they were able to watch Les Deux Alfred, a recent French comedy about the pitfalls of a world reliant on modern technology. Students were able to recognise lots of vocabulary they have used in class and get insight into French culture and lifestyle. Merci beaucoup, the Fraser Centre, et à la prochaine fois! (By Ms Fletcher, Modern Languages)

Diligence Awards

These will be issued next week to pupils. These are to promote our value of ‘ambition’ and the need to work hard on a period by period, day by day basis. The aim is to be nominiated in all subjects and where a young person does not achieve a mention, that means they need to apply themselves more in that subject area next term.

SchoolPay Recurring Payments

Please be aware that SchoolPay has been experiencing problems setting up recurring payments, and parents/carers should not use this function until further notice. This is being investigated by SchoolPay systems suppliers, and an update will be provided once this is resolved. 

S3 Christmas Cakes – competition

This year saw some of our best cake designs yet which made finding a winner particularly difficult!!  However the staff who were able to judge did come to a decision .For the first time ever not one, not two, but three boys were the winners! In first place we had Jamie Leitch with a fantastic Father Christmas design. Second was Callum Blair with a tranquil snowman cake and, in third place,  was Mesud Gopo, who designed a wonderful snowman sledging scene.

Congratulations to everyone who entered, you all put so much effort in and created some wonderful cakes (By Ms Shepherd, HE)

Christmas Dances

Our senior pupils were absolutely amazing at their Snowball on Wednesday evening. They certainly raised the roof with their singing along to the songs and danced just about every piece of music played. A truly enjoyable evening for pupils and staff alike. A huge thank you, again, to staff and parents/carers for giving up your evening to make this happen – your goodwill is very much appreciated.

Whole school Christmas Lunch

A huge thank you to our Food Court Team who put on a truly scrumptious Christmas lunch, for staff and pupils, on Wednesday. There were lots of full tummies in the afternoon but not time for that post-meal nap as back to lessons!

Success Stories

U13’s Football Team

It was great to receive an email from the North Berwick HS coach to commend our U113’s boys’ team for their impeccable conduct last weekend, following their match against NBHS.  He said they were polite, engaging and a credit to themselves, their coaches and the school. Well done boys – great ambassadors for the school and showing our values of respect and community.

Dates for your diary:

21 December – Christmas Concert – 7pm

22 December – End of Term – 12.15pm

8 January 2024 – New Term – 8.25am  

10 January 2024 – S4 Parents’ Evening – 4.30 – 6.30pm (at Knox Academy)

17 January 2024 – Careers Fayre – 6 – 8pm (at Knox Academy)

Our school calendar is updated regularly and should be used to access all information throughout the year and allows you to plan ahead too.


The final Haddington Farmers Market of the year takes place tomorrow so please go along to support our local producers if you can. Have a lovely weekend.

Sue Cook

Parent Council

The Parent Council has requested a footer on my HT’s update that remains there year round and which offers quick links to remote learning resourcescourse choicessupported study and careers news. Clicking on these headings takes you straight to these pages.

Please also look at our website for lots of other information. Please also follow us on Twitter for up-to-date news on a day to day basis.

Please also remember to follow us at: 84CEAEA2   for the latest information and updates

Published: 08 December 2023

Parliamentary Visit

On Monday 11 December we welcome the Minister for Parliamentary Business, George Adam, for a discussion and Q&A about his Scottish Government and Parliamentary work. He will meet with some of our senior Modern Studies pupils. This will be a great opportunity for them and as well as hearing about his current role there will be an opportunity to hear about his previous roles as Chief Whip and his representation on many Scottish Parliament Committees.


The prelims diet will come to an end at the beginning of next week.  The pupils have shown an excellent attitude towards these assessments and they will be beginning to get results and, most importantly, feedback on areas to work on for improvement.  For the final exams in May candidates are reminded to bring all the equipment they need and to check that calculators are in working order.

S1 Maths – Parental Workshops

The second of our 4 S1 parent/carer workshops was held on Monday 4 December in the Maths Department. Thanks to everyone who came along - feedback received was incredibly positive with our next session to be held on Monday 29 January. Sign up details will be sent out in due course. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to have an insight into the maths/numeracy your child is being taught and how we are teaching it! (By Mrs Campbell, Maths)

Diligence Awards

We are hoping to issue these to pupils by the last week of this term. More information on our diligence awards is available by clicking on this link Diligence Awards.

Christmas Dances

A great night was had by all our young people who attended the S1-S3 Christmas Dance and they were a credit to the school and themselves - they all looked amazing and behaved impeccably. Senior tickets, for the dance next Wednesday, are still on sale and should be purchased before the end of the day on Monday 11 December 2023. Thank you again to all staff and the PTA for supporting these.

PSB Christmas Lunch

The PSB held their annual Christmas Lunch this week - a bit earlier than usual as we are losing Jacquie Paton (Pupil Support Worker) from the team who has supported our young people for the past 18 months. Jacqui is off to a new role at Holyrood High School next week. A massive thank you to Craig and Anna at The Victoria Inn who provided us with a huge turkey breast and all the trimmings! Everyone enjoyed the feast and there were full bellies all around! (By Ms Fox)

Whole school Christmas Lunch

A reminder that this wil be available for all staff and pupils next week, on Wednesday 13 December. Vegetarian and Vegan alternatives available. It will just be Christmas lunch on this day.

Vaccination – Teenage Booster

A reminder that the consent forms for The Diphtheria/Tetanus/ Polio and Meningitis ACWY Booster Vaccination Letters for all the S3 pupils and some S4s, S5s and S6s must be returned prior to the Christmas break. These can be handed directly to Mrs Swallow in the medical room or handed into the Office. If for any reason your young person misses any of the booster/vaccines at the school the Community Vaccination Team offer mop up clinics and parents/carers/pupils are invited to call 0131 446 4082 to arrange an appointment.

Health and Safety

If you wish to drop your young person off at school please do so at the back car park. Please do not stop in the yellow criss-cross box at the front of the school or in the layby outside the dining room area (which is used for deliveries to our food court). Thank you.

End of term arrangements

All parents/carers should have received a letter, via email, about this but you can also read it here.

Success Stories

Rugby Plate Final

Huge congratulations to our Under 16s team (a mixed team with Dunbar Grammar School) who won the National Schools Plate, which took place at Murrayfield on Wednesday. The final score was Dunbar/Knox Team 72 and Lomond & Helensburgh 0. There was some amazing play from both teams.

Drawing competition

Congratulations to Ellie McKenzie and Delilah Brady, who were awarded first prize in the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Drawing competition.


Murray Bowsher (S5) reached the finals of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Consolation Salver at Castle Park Golf Club on Sunday 19 November. He finished 2 under par having lost to his opponent who was 3 under after 18 holes of match play and a further 6 holes being played in a 'play off' very close competition. Well done, Murray!


Congratulations to Bella Gold (S4), whom, after nine years of hard work, has achieved her black belt in Karate!


Good luck to Jamie Pearman (S3) who is playing Dunlop Pontefract Gold Squash Championships this weekend.


Dates for your diary:

9 December – S1 Enterprise Fayre – Knox Academy – 10 - Midday

13 December – S4-S6 Christmas Dance - 7 - 9.30pm

21 December – Christmas Concert – 7pm

22 December - School Term Ends - 12.15pm

Our school calendar is updated regularly and should be used to access all information throughout the year and allows you to plan ahead too.


Sue Cook

Parent Council

The Parent Council has requested a footer on my HT’s update that remains there year round and which offers quick links to remote learning resourcescourse choicessupported study and careers news. Clicking on these headings takes you straight to these pages.

Please also look at our website for lots of other information. Please also follow us on Twitter for up-to-date news on a day to day basis.

Please also remember to follow us at: 84CEAEA2   for the latest information and updates.