HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 26th OCTOBER 2018

It was nice to see our pupils and staff returning to school after the October break looking energised.  Our first day back, Monday, involved all ELC staff gathering together to look at the Common School Day (further details below for parents/carers) and also to look at the Digital Learning Strategy for ELC schools.  In the afternoon I delivered a session on Moral Purpose and Values and Caroline Falconer (DHT) and Kate Bulloch (Social Subjects) delivered a session on Learning and Teaching.  Feedback from staff was very positive and they enjoyed reflecting on their own and the school’s values and how they align with their classroom practice.

Attainment Reviews

During this week it has been really fruitful for me to meet with each Faculty Head, members of their faculty and the DHT link to review the SQA attainment for 2017-18.  This in-depth analysis has allowed us to create individualised action plans for each faculty which will allow them to continue to drive forward attainment in each of their subject areas.  Various approaches will be used across different faculties but the use of such tools as Senior Phase Tracking booklets and Flip Learning (where pupils perhaps watch a video or revise aspects of the course before it is formally taught) will support pupils and staff in raising attainment.

Staffing

There is no update on staffing from my previous HT update

Common School Day Feasibility Study

On 12 June 2018 a paper was presented to Cabinet seeking approval to undertake a feasibility study and consultation on the introduction of a Common Secondary School Day and potential resultant benefits for Primary education. A feasibility consultation document has now been prepared and a feasibility consultation has commenced.

East Lothian Council Education Service would like to hear your views on the feasibility consultation, which will run until Sunday 11 November 2018. The link to the online survey can be found on our school website.

East Coast FM

We are very lucky to have our own radio stars at Knox Academy who do a sterling role in running some of the programmes you may listen to on East Coast FM at the weekend.  They also broadcast worldwide on the internet!   Paul Vernon, in S4, has been volunteering at the radio station for four years now as part of the Knox Academy School Bell team.  The ‘School Bell’ is a programme produced and run by the Knox Academy team (11 members) and they are on air every Wednesday and Friday from 6-8pm (please listen in if you haven’t already).  When Paul initially started he was on the Wednesday show but now leads the Friday evening show, taking requests from locals as well as running the technical side of the programme.  Paul enjoyed it so much he now gets up super early (5am) to run the Saturday morning breakfast programme from 6-8am.  Paul also helps at community events and gala days in and around Haddington and is a regular at East Coast FM gigs at the Corn Exchange.  He has also gained a Saltire Award for over 1000 hours of volunteering and has been nominated for the Young Volunteer of the Year at the forthcoming Inspiring Volunteers Awards.  We wish him luck with this nomination. 

East Lothian Schools Macmillan Concert

What a breath taking evening of music our young musicians put on at St Mary's Kirk this week.  The venue was full of local support for our young talented performers raising money for such a worthy cause.  The night was filled with exceptionally talented musicians led by our team of skilled music instructors.  Dillon Ball's Cello solo was simply beautiful followed by Oscar Pirie’s toe tapping rendition of Baker Street on the Saxophone.  The evening finished with a stand out performance by the Knox Academy Jazz Band playing ‘You've got to Wing it’ and ‘Berg Africa’. The whole evening was fantastic and inspiring!  Well done to all involved!  (by Gill Pereira – Head of Technologies)

Knox Academy U18s Rugby

Knox Academy has got through to the Scottish Cup Plate and the match will take place in Kingussie on Wednesday 31st October.  All in the Knox Community would like to wish the team the best of luck in this match.  Hopefully the long coach journey will provide time for some motivational team talk so when they arrive on the pitch they lead from the word go! We look forward to hearing the result. 

I am off to the East Lothian Sports Awards tonight at the Brunton Theatre and look forward to celebrating the successes of all in the East Lothian Community.

Have a good weekend

Sue Cook