A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

17 December 2021

I would like to start this week's update by thanking all parents/carers for your support throughout this session - this has been very much appreciated.  Our young people have also been amazing in their work ethic and in how they have adapted to, and coped with, all the health and safety mitigations in our school. A huge thank you also goes to our staff at Knox Academy for their hard work and commitment throughout this session too. It is great that our community approach has allowed us to remain open for face/face teaching and learning for all of our pupils right up until the very last day of term.  

Today our young people are celebrating our end of term with a Christmas Quiz after break and also our Christmas Concert 2021, which was recorded, filmed, mixed and edited by Sound Production students at Edinburgh College. A huge thank you to them for such a professional finish. Please do take time to watch it over the holidays and to witness, first hand, the amazing talent of our pupils here at Knox Academy.

Coursing

Pupils in S2-5 have been participating in a ‘dummy run’ of course choices over the last 2-3 weeks. The aim of this is to enable us to try and set up a course choice column structure that will hopefully mean as many pupils as possible can get their first choices.

Unfortunately the return of the Google Forms from S4 and S5 is currently quite low, which means that being able to set up the best column structure is limited. Pupils received the Google Form via their Edubzzz email and if they have not submitted it yet, could they please do so by 18 December.

The official coursing process will begin on 19 January. An event will be held on the evening of 19 January but all of the materials will be available via the school website, so the ‘live’ content of this event will be minimal. It does mean that pupils, parents and carers can access the materials at a time that suits them.

As part of the coursing process a Careers Event will be held on 3 February – again the materials will be online. Further details about both events will be provided in January.

All S2-5 pupils will be expected to have the final choices submitted by 22 February 2022.

SQA Update

SQA has put out a reminder about the contingency plans for 2022 after being contacted by Centres and parents in regard to the Omicron variant.  These will remain the same three scenarios that were set out in September 2021. At present, we are still in Scenario One preparing for the national exam diet with significant modifications to the 2021-22 course assessments – coursework and/or exams – which were announced at the start of the session. These assessment modifications are in place to help learners by taking account of disruption to learning caused by the pandemic.

Gift and Donation Collections

Staff and pupils have been collecting donations for the Foodbank this month. Donations have been handed over to the Foodbank this week in time for Christmas.  Many thanks to all who have contributed.

The Pupil Support Base team has been collecting gifts and donations this year from staff with support from the Bridges Centre who have collected donations from our local community. We are very pleased to announce that we have enough parcels for around 40 young people at Knox (and we are very jealous of the contents!). (Susanne Fox)

Amnesty International 

Amnesty International held a bake sale on Wednesday to raise money for people who have had their rights taken away.  Many thanks go to the Amnesty youth group for baking and running the sale.  We raised £67.80 but there are a few IOUs so it will be over £70. Thanks so much for everyone's support.  

Pupils have been busy learning about cases around the world and writing cards and letters and campaigning for people to get their human rights.  Some wonderful cards have been made.  Thanks to everyone for getting involved. (By Liane Montgomery)

Scottish Winter Short Course Meet – Swimming

Congratulations to all of our swimmers - Lauren Clark, Louisa Stoddart and Owen Williamson (S5) and Helen Stoddart (S3) - who competed at the Scottish Winter Short Course Meet at the Royal Commonwealth Pool over the weekend. This event is a highly competitive event where swimmers across the nation and afar compete annually. Due to recent restrictions racing opportunities have been very limited but it was great to see our swimmers back racing again and breaking some tough milestones with Louisa taking the junior title in the 100m Butterfly. (By Lana Borwick)

Covid-19

Even though the school is not open during the holidays, please report positive cases during this time to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921. For those young people who are participating in the LFD testing, they should continue to do this over the holidays and report their results online.

Returning to school post-Christmas holidays

Pupils should carry out a LFD test the evening/morning before they return to school. Please ensure you are up-to-date with the new guidelines regarding symptoms and self-isolation. In a nutshell, if you, or anyone in your household has symptoms, or has a positive LFD test, they must self-isolate and book a PCR test. Everyone in your household must also self-isolate at this point too. You, or anyone in your household, must not return to work/school until you know this PCR test is negative. If anyone tests positive, everyone in your household must self-isolate for ten days. All others in the household should book a PCR test to see if they have Covid. Even if their PCR test is negative, they must continue to self-isolate for the ten days too - irrespective of being double vaccinated or having had a booster. These rules also apply to anyone under 18 years of age.

 

I would like to take this opportunity, to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year, from all the staff at Knox Academy.  We will look forward to welcoming pupils back to school for a prompt 8.30am start on Wednesday 5 January 2022.

Sue Cook

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