Good afternoon

It has been another busy week at Knox Academy and the final week of the S4/5/6 Prelims.  Pupils will receive their results over the next week or so (I know some have received results already) and Faculty Heads will be communicating with parents/carers if there are to be changes to presentation levels – hopefully not the case for most of our pupils.  As I said last week, please can I ask parents/carers to encourage a regular pattern of study from now on as the final exams will be here much faster than they think. In reality, once we return after the holidays there are only two days before S4/5/6 pupils go on study leave.  I will be sending out a letter in February with the exact details of this.


Nick Tait, the new Faculty Head of Technologies will start on 4/02/19.

Rebecca Graham, PE, starts with us on Monday and Gavin Boyle, Biology, will start in a week's time

Mrs Caroline Falconer (DHT) is embarking on a 23 month secondment as a Quality Improvement Officer with the South East Improvement.  Interviews for her acting DHT post will take place on Friday 1st February.

Job adverts for English and Home Economics close on Sunday and I will keep everyone posted after this stage in relation to interview dates.  We are also advertising for a part-time Guidance teacher as Mrs Doig will return part-time at the beginning of February.


Dylan Pearman, in S2, has been selected for the Scottish Squash Talent Squad after many great performances in recent tournaments (see January’s HT’s Update).  This is one step away from the Academy Squad and is the best in Scotland at under 19 age group.  There are currently about 15 pupils in the Academy Squad.  The Talent Squad Lead Coach will be guiding the young players through the process of developing all the necessary attributes for the athletes to begin to compete at the top level. The programme will be holistic to develop all the necessary attributes a top junior squash player requires with a strong focus on technical and skill development and coached at a level that will be understandable and workable for all athletes involved. This will be the perfect opportunity for players to build all the necessary skills to be a top squash player in a highly supportive and quality environment surrounded by their teammates.

We wish Dylan well in this squad – what an exciting opportunity to be coached and compete at such a high level at this stage.  This is a great accolade for Dylan and for Knox Academy.


A group of junior Drama pupils are preparing work to be shown to the P7 pupils and parents who will come to Knox next year, their working title for the drama is Advice to My Younger Self. We are developing it on Thursdays after school and are excited to develop this story into a funny, helpful story to show to younger pupils who are about to come to high school (by Emma Whitfield).

Holocaust Memorial Day

Ten pupils were invited to Queen Margaret University for a Holocaust Memorial Day event.

The afternoon began with the Lord Provost introducing why we should remember the Holocaust so we can learn from the past and ensure a safer and fairer future.  He also spoke of the 170 children who came on Kinder transport to East Lothian.  Professor Goldblatt then gave an interesting presentation on Treblinka and showed us a picture of a memorial where each stone represented a village where someone had lost someone in the Holocaust.  Sophie, a student of art therapy at QMU showed us a video about her travels to discover members of her family that she had lost because of the Holocaust.  Our pupils were then given an opportunity to work on a piece of art on the theme of this year's Holocaust Memorial Day "Torn from Home" and draw what they would take with them if they were torn from home.  Some of these pieces of work will be displayed in the Haddington library.  The day finished with a lighting of the candle to remember the victims.  Pupils also had a moment of reflection as they listened to the Kaddish. 

The day finished with a wee treat of a cookie and juice before travelling back by bus.  The group enjoyed the day and learnt something important (by Liane Montgomery, RE teacher)


Huge congratulations to Ben Gentil who passed his Trinity Drums Grade 3 before the Christmas holidays.

Probus Burns Lunch

The school received a lovely note thanking some of our Senior pupils for attending the Probus Burns lunch. They said what a pleasure it was to have such a lovely, well-mannered and talented group along and how much they all enjoyed their musical contribution. They particularly enjoyed the Goat's Toes and said that the future of music was safe in their hands.

PTA Burns Supper

I am sure all who attended the Burns Supper would agree with me that this was a great evening.  This was my first Burns Supper at Knox Academy and will certainly feature as one of the most memorable as staff, pupils and parents/carers came together to celebrate Scotland’s National Bard, Rabbie Burns.  I would like to personally thank the Provost, John McMillan who engaged us in a funny, historical and moving Immortal Memory. Thank you also to Sam Thomson who did the toast to the lassies and Hana Elder who did the toast to laddies –with lots of humour attached.   Also thank you to Alexander Hogg who piped the haggis in and to Connor Moore for the address to said haggis.  This was followed by the Selkirk Grace, by Angus and Ross Langlands, before we all tucked in to the scrumptious haggis, neeps and tatties provided by the Tweedale and Golf Tavern.  The S2 girls who served us looked amazing  in their chef whites and did a grand job, smiling cheerfully as they went.  Hamish Allan gave a great recital of ‘To a Mouse’ and this was followed by excellent singing from Michelle Lewis (staff) and Niamh Brotherston and Holly Kerr (duet).   Thanks also to Mr Steven Illingworth as Master of Ceremonies (and teller of some terrible jokes)! 

Finally, the whole event wouldn’t have happened without those on the PTA and volunteers who worked together to make it happen, especially  as similar to ‘To a Mouse’, ‘’The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley,” as they were unable to use the skills of our own catering staff and had to look further afield to outside catering to support the event – so a massive thank you to the PTA for making it happen!

Dates for your diary:

S3 Parents’ Evening – Thursday 31st January – 5-7pm

February holiday – 11th – 18th (Inclusive)

S2 Parents’ Evening – Tuesday 12th March – 5-7pm

Parent Council and AGM – Tuesday 19th March – 6.15-8pm (Library)

Easter holidays (staff and pupils the same) - Break up on Friday 5th April at 12.05pm and all resume at 8.44am on Tuesday 23rd April.


Have a great Burns Night and weekend

Sue Cook