I hope you all managed to have a relaxing October break, and although restrictions were in place, you still managed to make the most of the week off with your young person. It is great to say that attendance this week at school has been really good and pupils have continued to adapt to all the protocols we have in place. Please, as far as possible, can we encourage the wearing of re-useable face coverings as part of our eco-school approach? These should be washed daily to ensure they are clean. If your young person does not have a re-useable one, we have a small supply at school and if your young person speaks to their Pupil Support Leader, they will be able to supply them with one as an alternative to disposal ones.
Charli Prime leaves us today after five years leading Meadowpark as Depute Head Teacher. Charli’s passion to improve outcomes for all young people at Meadowpark and Knox Academy has been evident in all she has done since arriving at the school.
Meadowpark has not only grown in pupil numbers during her tenure, from three to twenty eight, but through her leadership working with teaching staff, a wide range of professionals and community teams, Meadowpark has increased its range of facilities. These include Art Therapy and a wide range of outdoor activities e.g. creation of a sensory garden, Loose Parts Play, cycling and kayaking, life skills programmes, work experience and volunteering. Charli has cooperated with the wider SLT team to enhance curriculum links so that more young people attend a variety of subject classes at Knox Academy.
Charli has recently established a link with Our Community Kitchen (OCK) and a community kitchen garden is being developed in Meadowpark’s grounds which will ensure both Meadowpark and Knox Academy pupils benefit from growing fruit, herbs and vegetables, developing their culinary skills, and working in the community with support from OCK. This is a tremendous community partnership with mutual benefits for both. Charli’s entrepreneurial skills have been amazing and many projects at Meadowpark and Knox Academy have come to fruition through grants/funds Charli has applied for to make her vision a reality.
We will miss Charli very much and wish her all the best in her courageous career change.
Phil Gilholm – Phil was recently nominated in the Instructor of the Year category of the 2020 Bikeability Scotland Awards. In a very competitive field, and following an initial shortlisting process, and subsequent judging panel review, Phil was selected as the Highly Commended runner-up. Judges were particularly impressed by his dedication and commitment to supporting cycle training in East Lothian during school closures, and his energy and enthusiasm, in both developing new opportunities for the young people he works with, and in encouraging colleagues to take an active role in supporting training delivery.
Cycling Scotland will present Phil’s award to him at a virtual ceremony on Thursday 5th November.
A huge congratulations to Phil from all in the Knox Academy and thank you for all you do to support our school and wider community. A very worthy winner of this award and we are very proud and privileged to have you as part of our team.
Health and Safety at school
Just a short reminder that any pupil showing Covid-19 symptoms must not attend school and you can book a test online at www.nhsinform.scot or by telephoning 0800 028 2816. Only if this test is negative should the pupil return to school. If pupils have the common cold, they should still attend school if they feel well enough to do so. An updated frequently asked questions about Covid-19, for parents/carers, has also been produced by the NHS and is well worth reading.
If your young person is absent from school, Covid-19 related or other, work will be available to access on Google Classroom and also through E-sgoil (Glow user name and password required); Scholar UK (S4-S6), SQA (past papers); SQA (subject content to work through topics) and BBC Bitesize.
The latest Covid-19 Strategic Framework can be read here .
We are awaiting advice from SQA soon about assessment data gathering and Secondary Head Teachers are meeting with our Head of Education next week to discuss an agreed way forward with prelims for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams (even though there are no final exams for National 5, prelims can be used as assessment evidence and also as preparation for S5/S6 when most will sit Higher/AH exams). I will update parents/carers and pupils following this meeting but at present we are asking our young people in S4/5/6 to work towards prelims on the dates we have currently set in our calendar – 19th November – 3rd December. They should have a study plan in place and encouraged to attend our study sessions (see below). If we do have to delay prelims slightly based on the SQA information we receive, this will give pupils extra study time. Our Pupil Leadership Team is also busy making some You Tube videos to support study methods for pupils and these will be shared soon. Further advice and support for pupils is available from all their teachers and in this link.
Please find a link to all study support subjects being offered at the school (some at lunchtimes as well as after school). Please encourage your young person to make use of these sessions as they can make a huge difference to their performance/attainment.
Achievement Ties - update
Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for Achievement Ties. The Committee met yesterday, 28th October, to review these. All pupils who were nominated will receive a letter home over the next few weeks with the outcome of their nomination.
We now have an “Attendance” inbox for parents to email with student absences/appointments. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
School Meals/Free School Meals
A reminder that pupils can still purchase school meals even without a Young Scot card (if they have forgotten it or lost it). Pupils just need to speak to the staff at the Food Court.
For those receiving free school meals - The facilities team will deliver free school meals to the homes of pupils who are isolating. Please call or email our school office if this applies to you. Parents/carers with a child who is isolating should not visit the school building to pick these up. Thank you.
East Lothian – Consultation
ELC is seeking feedback for the following draft policies:
‘Included, Engaged & Involved: Inclusion, Equality and Accessibility for All’ and ‘Respect for All: Promoting Positive and Respectful Relationships in All our Schools’.
It would be great if you, and your young person, could review these policies and provide feedback.
It was great to have over thirty parents/carers join us at our virtual meeting on Wednesday evening. An update was given by me about the school’s progress over the last eight weeks and also we discussed our School Value (Ambition, Respect and Community), Covid-19, SQA Exams and Prelims, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Virtual Parents’ Evenings and our links with Our Community Kitchen. Lots of really good discussion and questions. The minutes from the meeting will be online soon. If you would like to join the next meeting on Thursday 3 December, please email: email@example.com .
Dates for your diary
S3 Parents’ Evening – Tuesday 3rd November - Google Meets (virtual) – 5-7pm
Have a lovely weekend and if you can, please support local shops and Haddington Market which runs tomorrow from 9-1pm.