June 2020

Published: 26 June 2020

This has been the most unusual and challenging terms for us all, and one I am sure none of us want to repeat! 

Please find below the introduction to a letter detailing Arrangements for Return to School in August 2020 and our Contingency Plan. I am hopeful that the contingency plan will be just that and we will never have to use it as we will all be back in August.  I will be able to update parents/carers after the Depute First Minister’s speech on 30 July 2020, when we will know definitely if we are all back in August or if we need to move to our contingency plan.

I am writing to confirm the arrangements for our return to school after the summer holidays. Following the Depute First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday, the Scottish Government has now asked us to prepare for all pupils returning full-time to school from 12 August 2020 assuming it is safe to do so. At the time of writing we are waiting for further detailed guidance to be provided to all Local Authorities – including on issues such as physical distancing and transportation. Relevant information will be shared with you over the summer holidays so that you have full details on our plans for the start of the new school session.

We have also been asked by Scottish Government to ensure that we have contingency plans in place in case the virus rates increase again in the coming months, and full-time schooling is not possible. For this reason I am writing to share with you what ‘blended learning’ means for Knox Academy. Please note that, following the Scottish Government’s announcement, this is our ‘Plan B’ and we now expect our children to return full-time from 12 August. The purpose of sharing it with you is so that you will know, and can plan, what the impacts will be for your household if health and government advice changes over the summer holidays and we are asked to move to a blended learning model. (Please also see our ‘Contingency Plan for Knox Academy.’ On return we may still adopt some of the aspects within this document but this will be based on the advice from the Scottish Government nearer our return date).

My end of term Head Teacher’s Update is also now available.

I hope you all have a happy and restful holiday. Stay safe and well and fingers crossed to see all of our young people back in August.

Sue Cook
Head Teacher

Published: 23 June 2020

You may be aware that the Depute First Minister has,  this afternoon, made a statement in the Scottish Parliament about all children and young people returning to school in August. He has indicated that the Scottish Government’s planning assumption is now to have all pupils returning to schools in August if it safe to do so. He has also indicated that this will be conditional and based on the scientific and health advice. He has confirmed that the plans we were putting in place for blended learning will be a contingency and will be essential preparation in case they are needed.

We are now urgently considering the implications of this announcement on our plans for August. It is clear that final decisions on this full return will not be confirmed until during the summer holidays. We are awaiting further specific guidance and will be in touch with you again as soon as we can.   We continue to work on the assumption that staff will return to school on the 10 August 2020 and pupils will return on the 12 August 2020.

We appreciate that this is a fast changing situation and you will be keen to know what this means for your child / children.  We are committed to sharing information with you as soon as we can, including during the summer holidays.

Lesley Brown
Chief Operating Officer (Education) – Education & Children’s Services

Published: 21 June 2020

Our Virtual School Tour is now live... we hope that this will give some of our new S1s a chance to appreciate our building before they start with us in August 2020.

View the tour on our website or if using a mobile device directly within the Tour Software for the full 360° experience (knox.is/tour).

Best viewed with the Chrome Browser.

Over time further detail and scene narration will be added.

Published: 19 June 2020

The Knox Academy School Handbook has now been published for Session 2020-2021.

We look forward to welcoming our new S1 pupils in August 2020.

Published: 17 June 2020

Thank you to everyone who completed our recent parents’ survey where we sought your views about schools reopening. We received 8,246 responses which is an incredible response and we are very grateful to you for taking the time to give us your views. The results of our survey will provide the Education Service and our schools with very helpful information to support our planning for schools reopening in August. We know that this continues to be a challenging time for all families and that you are keen to know what will happen next. I’d like to thank you for your continued patience and support.

In line with the current advice from the Scottish Government, we are planning for our children returning to school in August. We are focussing on the health and wellbeing of our children and staff and we have placed Nurture at the heart of our planning, recognising that we will all need support to adjust and recover after the lockdown period. We are working closely with all Head Teachers on how we can safely bring children in to our school buildings for some in-school learning whilst also continuing with the learning at home. This will be very different for all of us and we understand that this model of ‘blended learning’ will present a challenge for everyone including families in terms of work and childcare arrangements.

... Read the full letter (PDF) from Lesley Brown, Chief Operating Officer (Education)

Published: 16 June 2020

As you’ll know Google Classroom has been essential to the way we have worked over the past few months. This online community has allowed learning to continue and is part of our digital strategy going forward into Session 2020/2021.

As part of our digital strategy we now want to roll out an additional feature of Google Classroom which is designed to help Parents/Carers gain an overview of the set tasks and assignments. This feature is called Guardian Summaries and it enables Parents/Carers to receive e-mail updates about:

  • Missing work — Work not turned in when the summary was sent.
  • Upcoming work — Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails).
  • Class activities — Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers.

As a parent/carer you will be able to control the frequency of these updates or decide to opt-out of receiving them at a later date.

Setting up Guardian Summaries
To setup Guardian Summaries your child will need to follow these steps. This must be done by each child in your household for whom you wish to receive e-mail updates.

All pupils have been sent an email with Subject title: Guardian Summary Permission to their Edubuzz account. Your child should complete this form. If this has not been delivered for any reason, use the link: knox.is/guardiansummary which requires your child to log in via Edubuzz.

We will use the main contact email we have on record but there will be an option in the form to add a second email address. It is therefore essential that the pupil record is accurate so please contact us if you wish to make any changes to your stored information.

Please also note that, due to GDPR regulations, your child may choose to opt out of sharing information with you and if they decline permission we will not be able to set up the summaries for you.

Published: 12 June 2020

Please note that all cancelled Activities Week 2020 trips have now been refunded.

Individual transactions have been reversed and should show on your bank statement.

An automated message has been sent to your email however please ignore the last statement – “You had not made any payments for this so you do not need to do anything further”. Sorry for any confusion caused.

The School Admin Team

Published: 11 June 2020

All pupils and staff will be able to vote for the new head pupils on Tuesday 23 June 2020. Below are the manifestos from all candidates to help to inform your decision.  As we will be unable to hold our live hustings event as usual, we will publish campaign videos next week. There will also be the opportunity for pupils to take part in a virtual Question Time prior to the voting.

Good luck to all the candidates!

Published: 10 June 2020

A former student at the University of Birmingham is conducting a research project exploring teen well-being during the Covid pandemic. It would be great if we could support this study for young people aged 11-15.  All those taking part have the chance to win one of six £30 Amazon Vouchers. Parents/Carers could perhaps encourage their young person to get involved. Thanks.

Published: 09 June 2020

Our Headteachers and school staff are currently progressing their plans to welcome children and young people back into school in August. To help us get this as right as we can for children and young people we would appreciate your views. We would be most grateful of you could complete this short survey regarding your child’s return to school in August by Monday 15 June 2020 4 pm. Paper copies are available from the School Office by request. Thank you.

Published: 04 June 2020

The First Minister last week announced that Scotland has entered Phase 1 of its recovery route map.

More details will be published in the coming weeks about what this means for the county's schools as further information is made available by the national Education Recovery Group. However the council has confirmed what this means for its Children’s Hubs and schools.

Chief Operating Officer for Education Lesley Brown said: “Our Hubs were welcomed by the families who have been eligible for this provision. It has allowed our keyworkers to continue with their essential roles and provided stability and support for their children while they do so. As our staff return to schools we must look at how we can combine the requirements to continue to provide this emergency childcare, plan for a new and very different academic year, and continue to support distance learning. Children currently attending the six Children’s Hubs will move to their own school for childcare during June.  Parents are being informed about this change and the arrangements being put in place to support their child.

“Learning from the Hubs has also been helpful to us as we establish new routines and practices and this experience will be vital as we move forward.”

Read the full Press Release...

Published: 03 June 2020

The Children’s Parliament want to share how the Coronavirus Lockdown is experienced by children.

They have now launched the June 2020 How are you doing? survey, available. Children can come to the survey anew, or be returning after completing it in previous months.

If you visit Coronovirus Kids you will also find:

  • A report on findings from our April and May How are you doing? surveys. In April and May we had an amazing response, nearly 4,000 children each month. The survey captures a national picture on a range of areas from home life, to learning in lockdown, to mental and physical health, family and peer relationships.
  • There is a one-page childrens' feedback report.
  • We have also developed a short ‘note’ for practitioners and policy makers about how they might think about using the insight we are providing.
  • This is also where we publish the Corona Times Journal, with children reporting on life at the moment. The last Journal, number 3, looked at learning in lockdown and the return to school.

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