Head Teacher's Update 070918

Over the last few weeks we have been focusing on our school values: Ambition, Respect and Community. These values were devised last session by pupils, staff and parents/partners to ensure that all in the Knox community work together to achieve successful outcomes for all.  Not only are these values being talked about during assemblies and registration but are being threaded through all lessons in the school so our young people learn to live these values as part of their daily life at Knox Academy and beyond.  It would great if parents/carers could also spend some time at home talking about what these values mean to you and how you use them in your lives.

As part of recognising these values being practised by our young people, our ‘Hot Chocolate Fridays’ are focusing on one of the values each term. This term we are focusing on respect.

Staffing

I am delighted to say that we have preferred candidates for both our Depute Head Teacher and Business Manager positions. They will both be great additions to our Senior Leadership Team and bring many key skills and qualities to lead Knox Academy.

We also have a preferred candidate for our Support for Learning position who brings a wealth of expertise and experience to this position.

We were delighted to welcome Gill Pereira on Monday as our Curriculum Leader of Technologies. Richard Watson, currently at Currie High School, will start with us in this faculty in two weeks time.

Knox Academy said a fond farewell today to Angela Leggatt, in Technologies, who is moving to a post in the City of Edinburgh.  We wish her well and thank her for all her hard work and commitment here over the years.

We currently have adverts out for Maths and Geography.

Senior Phase Parents’ Evening

It was wonderful to see so many S4/5/6 parents attending this information evening. It provided details on the senior phase curriculum, examinations and the use of Scholar to support senior pupils’ learning and revision. All pupils in these year groups also had an assembly on Scholar so know how to access it as a study tool and it would be good if parents can encourage this on a regular basis.

Thank you to Zara Machen and Caroline Falconer (DHTs) for organising the evening.  Thank you to Hana Elder who gave a pupil’s perspective on the Senior Phase and also to Mike Falconer who gave the presentation on Scholar.

Duke of Edinburgh

Well done to a group of Knox Academy’s S4 pupils who, last weekend, completed the expedition section of their bronze DofE walking from "Slack" near Clackmannan to Castle Campbell near Dollar with an overnight at the Woods Campsite near Alva.

All of the young people behaved impeccably and Frank Brown, their assessor from Musselburgh Grammar school reported that they had been an absolute pleasure to work with and had all done a great job over the two days.

They group will be giving their presentation on the expedition to an audience on Sunday 9th September, and once they have uploaded their assessor reports for the other sections, they will all have completed their bronze awards.

A huge thank you goes to Debbie Riley (parent volunteer and DofE leader for Knox Academy pupils) for supporting these pupils through their DofE.

Good luck to Ellie Barr, Carrie Evans, Adnan Ros, Josh Robertson and school staff who are out on a further DoE expedition today and tomorrow battling against the elements.

Scottish Parliament Visit (by Mr Miller)

A group of around 30 S4 and S5 pupils from Knox Academy yesterday visited the Scottish Parliament following its resumption at Holyrood after the summer recess.

Accompanied by Mr Redford and Mr Miller, the party undertook a tour of the Parliament building, during which they gained access to the Chamber, and also to some of the committee rooms.

The very illuminating experience for the pupils culminated in a question and answer session with Iain Gray, the Labour MSP for East Lothian and a former leader of Scottish Labour at Holyrood, who was accompanied by Paul Wheelhouse MSP.

The pupils behaved impeccably and were a credit to the school, both in their behaviour in and around the Parliament building, and with the quality of the questions they had for Mr Gray.

Among the topics they raised with the MSP were seeking his views on the current controversy on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, the likely effects on the funding for Scotland’s farmers after the UK leaves the EU, and, more locally, why the minority Labour administration of East Lothian Council has introduced fees for instrumental music tuition.

Volunteering Fayre

A huge thank you to all the organisations that attended Knox Academy‘s Volunteering Fayre this morning for our S4/5/6 pupils.  Pupils now have an increased understanding of what volunteering has to offer them and the skills developed from being a volunteer with these agencies/companies.  Also, they now realise that volunteering can result not only in friendships made and the development of skills but also the achievement of a Saltire Award.  Those in attendance were: Sport and Physical Activity Coordinator; MADE in East Lothian; MRT; Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home;  Meadow Park; East Coast FM; East Lothian Playscheme; Strive / Saltire Awards; Sue Ryder; Dementia Friendly East Lothian; Royal Voluntary Service and the Project Trust.  Thank you also to Jane Porter and Polly Cooke for being our keynote speakers.

Knox Academy’s Jazz Band

The Jazz Band played at St Mary’s Kirk last night as part of the ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ awards.  They put on an excellent performance which was appreciated by all.  It is lovely for our young people to be asked to play at such events so the talents of Knox Academy’s pupils are recognised widely in the community.  Thank you to Ms Woodsend for arranging this.

Knox Green Team

Back in June, 4 students from the Green Team entered the Viridor Eco-Challenge and along with Dunbar, we tied for the first place prize. ELC published the story on its website. Here is the link: https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/news/article/12814/schools_success_in_viridors_eco_challenge . On September 6th, 3 students from the Green Team are attending the Beautiful Scotland Awards in order to receive their prize. Well done to the Green Team!

Eco-Committee

The Knox Eco-Committee has already begun working on some goals for this year. Our current goals are to tackle the litter issue in the school, to make our Eco-Code more widely known in the school, and we're looking into starting up a new recycling program. Stay tuned! (by J Laudi)

S1/2 Carers

S1-S2 carers are reminded that the Wendy and Peter Pan Lyceum Theatre trip opportunity in December is filling up on a First Come, First Served basis, please make your payment through the I Pay link on the school website.

Maths Week

Next week is Scotland's Maths Week and we have Professor Adam McBride coming into school on Thursday to work with some of our Higher and S3 pupils. This offers a fantastic experience for young people to learn from one of Scotland’s most respected mathematicians.

S1/S2 Extra Curricular Fresher Fayre (11th September)

This event is a key catalyst in encouraging S1 & S2 pupils to participate in stimulating activities to complement their academic studies. There is a clear and evidenced correlation between Activity / Positive Social Networks, Ethos and Attainment!  It would be great if parents/carers could also encourage their children to engage in some of our school based clubs.

Dates for your diary:

14th-17th September (inclusive) – School Holiday

10th October – P7 Open Evening

13th -22nd October (inclusive) – School holiday

Have a fun and relaxing weekend

Sue Cook