A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

It has been great to see the leadership of our young people in action this week as our S6 Pupil Leadership Team has led a series of House Assemblies on one of the school values RESPECT.  These assemblies ended with a personal message from Nicola Sturgeon who talked about Knox Academy’s School Values and how she uses these values in her work and how if we live by these values we will do very well in life for ourselves, family, school and our community. If you go to our school website you will be able to watch the video.  I would like to thank Ms Sturgeon for her support of the school in engaging with us.

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)

I was very privileged to be invited along to Kate Bulloch’s S5 class who were presenting their cases for their particular charities to be awarded the £3000 the school has been given for being part of this project (pupils also have to fundraise for their charity as part of this). The YPI project involves young people going out, as a group, to research a charity of their choice to find out what they do, the impact the charity has on people/community/animals  etc. and what difference to them £3000 would make to their work.  During each team’s presentations the group listening to them grade them on such aspects as their knowledge of the charity, their presentation skills and what value the £3k would add to the charity’s work.  The charities the young people presented on were: Muirfield Riding Therapy, Changes, Leuchie House, The Yard and Stepping Out.  The pupils spoke eloquently and passionately about their charities and they had definitely done their research.  The overall winner has still to be decided after all pupils have presented although Leuchie House this round of presentations.   Well done to all pupils involved!

Staffing

Vacancies live/going live for:

Teacher of PE – 1FTE permanent

Teacher of Physics – 1FTE permanent – at Knox Academy until June 2019 then permanent within East Lothian Council

Teacher of HE – 0.55FTE permanent – Mon, Tue and Friday

ASN Auxiliary – Meadowpark – part time/term time – permanent

Two Biology posts – 1FTE permanent and 0.33 FTE temporary

Mr Steven Elms (PE) leaves us next Friday (post advertised) to start a new post at Dunbar Grammar School. We would all like to wish him the very best at his new school and thank him for all his hard work and commitment here, not only in the PE department but in terms of all the extra-curricular activities/events he has run and the trips he has been involved in.

Model United Nations

Last Friday, Knox Academy made an impressive debut at the third annual Model United Nations Conference hosted by North Berwick High School and attended by 18 Scottish schools from both the state and independent sectors.

Ten Knox Academy pupils – two delegations of five – represented the views of Kenya and Australia, held over seven hours of passionate, and at times, heated debate and discussion.

Over a prior preparation period, our delegates diligently researched a predetermined current world issue which comes under the remit of the UN, prepared a resolution paper and, on the day, lobbied for support from other UN members - climaxing in a debate of both the chosen paper and relevant amendments.

The Knox Academy group debated impressively and were admirably involved in the programme, conducting themselves in an exemplary and diplomatic manner, matching, and even out-performing, schools who have both attended and hosted previous Model UN Conferences over many years.

Notably, one of our pupils collected an award for the best first-time delegate in the Environment Committee, while a second had an amendment to a paper successfully voted on.

The commitment, diplomacy and tenacity show by the 10 delegates from Knox Academy was impeccable and every single pupil should be rightly proud of their performance – they are a credit to Knox Academy and themselves.  (by Adam Miller)

Squash

Dylan Pearman, S2, is a very promising squash player.  Last year Dylan was selected to play for Scotland in the under 13 squad and this year has moved into the 15 age group category.  Since the start of the season Dylan has been playing for Tyne's (Haddington) men's team and winning most of his matches. He also competes further afield on a regular basis and at the Scotsoun Gold event in September he came 7th in the boys under 15 group.  Last weekend at the Tayside and Fife gold event Dylan was runner up, beating the number 2 seed in a 5 set battle. Dylan has a number of competitions coming in December and all in the Knox Academy Community would like to wish him well at these and we will look forward to hearing how he performs.

ECO-NEWS

On Monday, students from the Eco-Committee and Green Team collaborated with children from Pear Tree Nursery to do a litter pick. Knox students guided the young nursery students around the corridors and outside the school grounds to collect litter and recycling. A large amount of recycling was collected and saved from going into bins! The Pear Tree children built their confidence with using hand-held pickers to grasp litter and Knox students were very enthusiastic in motivating and supporting the young ones! We'll be continuing this partnership throughout the year!

The Eco-Committee is also looking to collect a few household items for an upcoming project so if you have any of these items please hand them in to the school (please clean first)! We're looking for:

Glass jars (clean & empty) with lids. We mostly need mid to large sized jars.

Empty spray bottles. This could be empty spray bottles from cleaning products (e.g. window cleaners) and beauty products (e.g. toner and perfume sprays).  As long as it's possible to open the lid and refill the bottle, we'll take it.
Thank you (The Eco-Committee and Miss Laudi's class)
 

Children in Need
What an amazing day it was at the school last week as we had a dress up/dress down day for Children in Need. Our senior pupils organised the event. They also visited our local primary schools (St Marys, Kings Meadow and Haddington Infants) as well as receiving contributions from the public when they were out and about. Together we managed to raise £1944.10. This amount also includes the £166 Meadowpark raised from their various two days of activities and tasty home baking.  Well done to all involved. I believe this is the most ever raised.
 

Duke of Edinburgh Award
Thank you to Debbie Riley, Duke of Edinburgh leader and parent volunteer, who came to Knox Academy yesterday at break time to present nine of our young people with their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Awards – a very proud moment for them all.  Many of them now are going to be embarking on their Silver D of E course.  Congratulations to all and a huge thanks to Debbie Riley for supporting them through the award (photo on Twitter).
 

Haddington Business Community Partnership

Congratulations to Scarlett Totney, S1, who designed the winning logo for the new Haddington Business Community Partnership   Her winning design can be viewed in the East Lothian Courier and on our school's Twitter feed.

Dates for your diary
Parent Council – Tuesday 4th December
Christmas Dance – Thursday 6th December
S1 Parents’ Evening – Tuesday 11th December
Finally, please can I ask for parents/carers to support your young person wearing uniform to school as it creates a feeling of community at the school and helps us maintain our proud sense of tradition.  I think the uniform is striking with the blue and red colours and gives all young people an identity with the school with which they should be proud to be part of – I know I am.

Enjoy the weekend
Sue Cook

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