HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 16 SEPTEMBER 2021

It has been a quick five weeks and we are at the September weekend holiday already. I would like to praise our young people for their high level of engagement in learning and many of the extra-curricular sports and study clubs we are running. They have really been brilliant! Thank you also to our staff team who have worked so hard to provide interesting lessons and support for all our young people to ensure they progress. A final thank you to parents/carers and our partners for working closely with us to support all of our young people in achieving their potential. A true community approach.

Staffing

It has been great to welcome our two new Music Instructors: Felicity Hudson for Piano and Keyboard and David Laing for Upper Stings.  Both have already settled in and had a hugely positive impact on our pupils.

Mitigations in Schools – update

The First Minister announced in her statement on Tuesday that in order to keep staff and pupils safe in school all mitigations will remain until at least the October break. This includes the wearing of face coverings by all pupils and staff (unless exempt). There will be a continued requirement for staff to keep at least a metre distance from each other and young people when they are in school too. The Scottish Government has also strengthened their recommendation to take a lateral flow test before returning to school.  This is in addition to current advice for staff and pupils to take a lateral flow test, with a few days between these, twice a week, and record the results and to book a PCR test if this is positive or if young people show symptoms (loss of taste or smell/high temperature/continuous cough for an hour or more). If you wish to sign up for LFD testing please complete the online consent form.  LFD test kits can be picked up by pupils first thing in the morning or at reception any time during the school day. They can also be picked up free from testing centres and pharmacies.

Knox Academy Awards Evening 2021

All young people receiving awards have been notified and should now have received their certificate. Filming/photographs for the ceremony took place this week and the event will be aired, live, on the evening of Thursday 30 September. More information will follow shortly. 

Success at Knox Academy

Along with hard work and commitment to learning, attendance and punctuality ensure that your young person has the best possible chance of achieving their potential. We have been discussing positive relationships, attendance and being on time over the last few weeks at registration.  If parents/carers could support our approaches to this by discussing this at home too that would be much appreciated. By working together we can always achieve the best outcomes.

S3 Reports

These will be issued next Wednesday 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 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.

S5 Interviews

The Pupil Support Leaders have really enjoyed meeting up, individually, with our S5 pupils and ensuring we can support them to be on track with their learning and their aspirations.  Planning study programmes now is vital in preparing for their prelims at the end of November. Most subject areas have study programmes up and running now, either during lunchtime or after school. Attending all lessons is a key part of being successful too as this ensures that they are up-to-date with their learning. However, if off, pupils should access work on Google classrooms, revise work covered and work through relevant questions in past papers.

SQA News

SQA released an update yesterday regarding National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Assessments for 2021-22 and possible scenarios based on public health advice.  Please do read this and discuss it with your young person if they are in S4/5/6.  Thank you.

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.

Remote Learning Resources

Beyond work on our own Google Classrooms for those young people who are self-isolating or absent, work 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 .

Extra-curricular Activities (Active Schools)

You can sign your young person up to Extra Curricular Activities.  We look forward to seeing everyone getting active and we would encourage all pupils to join one sports club to support health and wellbeing, develop their skills and make new friends.

If anyone has any issues signing up to classes please get in contact with Thomas Salkeld  tsalkeld@elcschool.org.uk

Parent Council

It was lovely to have about 30 parents/carers at our first meeting of the year on Tuesday 7 September 2021.  We had two S1 pupils speak eloquently about their experiences so far at Knox Academy. There were also presentations on our SQA results and all the work Pupil Support is doing in regards to nurture and supporting mental health and wellbeing. The next meeting is on 27 October at 6.30pm (virtual meeting). At this meeting our invited speaker is Dr Adam Burley, who will be talking about relationships and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). We will also have Dr Lyon who will answer questions on Additional Support Needs (ASN). If you would like to attend this meeting please email our Chair of the Parent Council: parentcouncil@ka-net.org.uk

House Ties/School badges (School Pay)

All payments to the school should be made through the SchoolPay system. If you wish to purchase a house tie or school badge please do this using the ‘School Shop’ on SchoolPay. Once you have purchased a tie or badge online, your young person can collect their item from the school office. If you have any questions regarding this please contact Lisa Lambert on 01620 823387.

 

Pupil News

Haddington Community Council 14 September 2021

Thank you to Tom Riddell and Katie Moore, two of our Depute Head Pupils, who attended HCC with Mr Flood on Tuesday evening. They told the Council about the Pupil Parliament, working towards our silver LGBTQ award and our fundraising activities – the MacMillan Coffee Morning and the whole school run/walk during November to raise money for CHAS (more information to come on this as we would like all staff, pupils and parents/carers to get involved in this fund-raiser).

Achievements in/out of School and Achievement Ties

We are very keen to celebrate the success of our pupils so if your young person had achieved in an event out of school, please do contact us to let us know so we can celebrate it and share it with our community. We will be inviting applications for Achievement Ties in February 2022 and it would be great if as many parents/coaches/pupils applied for these as possible if they fit the categories.

 

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

Friday 17 September – Holiday (all)

Monday 20 September – Holiday (all)

Tuesday 21 September – Flu Vaccination Programme

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)

 

Have a lovely long weekend  

Sue Cook

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