A Word from Miss Cook, Head Teacher

It has been good to host very small assemblies this week (2 House classes from one year group at a time) and to be able to speak to young people face to face as opposed to virtually.  We have had a focus on our school vision and values with S2 and S3 this week. After the October break we will be speaking to S4-S6 groups at assemblies about preparing for their prelims and their mental health and wellbeing. Our Pupil Leadership Team will also be leading a series on Mental Health and Wellbeing for all year groups too.  It is World Health and Wellbeing Day this Sunday, 10 October, and the theme this year is Mental Health in an Unequal World. There is lots of fantastic information about supporting your own and others’ mental health on this website.

Staffing

Allan Aitken, one of our janitors, is retiring after being at Knox Academy for 15 years.  We would like to thank him for all his hard work at our school and wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.

We currently have adverts out for a Business Support Administrator at Knox Academy and a Pupil Support Worker at Meadowpark.

Post October break we are looking forward to welcoming the following students:

Caitlin Beveridge – English; Katherine Frost – History; Edwin Seet – Maths; Casey Morrison – PE;

Rebecca Blakeman – Chemistry; Eilidh Hunter – Modern Studies; Austin Ritchie - Biology

S1 Reports

These have been issued today, Wednesday, 13 October, and report on your young person’s achievement of a level, their effort, behaviour and home learning. In response to the survey that parents/carers and pupils completed in May, we have taken note of your feedback and changed our report to reflect this. Reports will now give one ‘positive progress comment’ and ‘two targets’ for pupils to help them focus on their next steps.  The Curriculum section of our website will detail the content of courses to allow parents/carers to be able to see the work being covered in each term rather than reports going in to this detail. Any feedback you have on the reports would be most welcome via the tear-off slips included in the reports.

SQA

A communication to pupils and parents/carers, from our Head of Education, in relation to SQA National Qualification for 2022, was emailed to parents and young people yesterday.

Senior Phase Study Support

As well as our in-school study support sessions E-Sgoil is also offering evening study support sessions (which commenced on Monday 6 September 2021), targeted support for learners and, looking ahead, provision during the Easter holidays is already being planned.  A significant number of our young people have already signed up to the evening study support sessions but it would be good if we could encourage all senior phase pupils to do this. Spreading study across the year is more advantageous than last minute cramming for exams.

School Bells

Pupils and staff are being surveyed regarding a reduction in school bells. We have also had a whole school assembly on the topic on Wednesday. School bells were put into place in schools around 150 years ago and schooling has changed a great deal since this time. A number of schools have moved to no bells/minimal bells to allow better time management (life skill), reduction in corridor movement via mass exits from classrooms on the sounding of the bell, and to reduce anxiety the sound of the bell causes for many young people with Additional Support Needs (ASN).  Our consultation will finish next Wednesday and we will then communicate the decision thereafter. If the consultation suggest a willingness to try this system, we would have a month’s trial; reducing the bells to one at the start of the day, end of break/lunch and end of the day. Following the trail period, we would carry out an evaluation to see whether this model would be retained or not.

Pupil News

Future Asset

We are keen to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at our school and currently we have five S3 girls engaging with Future Asset and local company, McInroy & Wood, to learn more about ambitious careers in investment. We are looking forward to hearing all about their experiences during their time on this programme.

Squash

Congratulations to Jamie (S1) and Dylan Pearman (S5) who came 2nd and 5th (respectively) in the Welsh Junior Squash Championships last weekend. Fantastic performance by both. We are very proud of your achievements at Knox Academy.

October Break – Venturing Out Opportunities

Venturing Out is offering activities for ages eight to fourteen during the October week’s holiday. All activities take place in East Lothian and include activities such as Bushcraft, Trail Cycling, Water Activities, Mini Expedition and Rock Climbing. Full information on all holiday activities can be found here.

Covid-19

Please 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. 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. Please note: the mobile testing unit will be at John Muir House Car Park Monday-Friday until 4pm each day.

Remote Learning Resources

As a number of pupils continue to self-isolate, work is being provided on our own Google Classrooms. Additional work/learning can be accessed at E-sgoil, West_OS and the National E-Learning offer for both Broad General Education (BGE – S1-S3) and Senior Phase (S4-S6).   All pupils can now access recorded video lessons on using their Glow login to support their learning and revision at home! (If they do not have their Glow Login details please ask them to email admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk to request these from our admin team). Pupils can find West­­_OS in the Glow App Library where they will be able to add the tile to their personal Glow Launchpad. There are lots of quality assured video lessons available for all our pupils across a range of subjects. Pupils will find this a great resource to support their learning and revision on Glow .

Dates for you diary (please also see the School Calendar for overview and updates):

Wednesday 13 October – S1 Reports issued

Monday 18 – Monday 25 October – Pupils’ Holiday (October break)

Monday 18 – Friday 22 October – Staff break (Monday 25 – In-service)

Wednesday 27 October – Parent Council 6.30-8pm (virtual meeting)

Tuesday 2 November – P7 Parents’ Information Evening – 7pm (virtual)

Tuesday 23 November – S3 Parents’ Consultation (virtual) – 5-7pm

Wednesday 8 December – S2 Parents’ Consultation (virtual) – 5-7pm

Have a great weekend

Sue Cook

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

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