HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 9th NOVEMBER 2018

It has been another busy week at Knox Academy and this will gather pace as we move towards Christmas.  It was wonderful to see so many parents/carers at the S5/6 Parents’ Evening on Tuesday and I am sure all left with information from staff about your child’s next steps for learning to enhance their progress.  May I also take this opportunity to talk about the forthcoming Senior Phase prelims in January (timetables to follow soon).  It is important that senior pupils plan well in advance for these and devising a study programme, that they adhere to, will help them to attain their potential.  I would also like to advise parents that the website, SQA Understanding Standards, provides detailed advice on National 5 , Higher and some Advanced Higher subjects and gives helpful tips on how to answer questions to ensure maximum marks are gained. It also provides past paper questions.  It is well worth having a look at with your child.  Scholar is also a great tool for study/revision as well as Knox Academy’s own use of Show My Homework, with pertinent work issued by teachers on topics being covered.  If your child requires support in creating a study timetable please ask them to see their Guidance Teacher.

Staffing

A warm welcome to David Russell who started with us this week.

English interviews take place next Thursday, 15th November.

I have been unable to move to an appointment of a Biology teacher and this will be re-advertised shortly.  I am liaising with the Authority to support us with this recruitment.

Our advert for a PE Teacher, to replace Steven Elms, should go live this Monday.

Our Pupil Support Worker advert runs until Sunday and I am hopeful we will have enough applications to allow us to appoint shortly after this.

Steven Wands, our Active Schools Coordinator, is going on secondment for 9 months and we are liaising with Active Schools to agree a replacement for him.

Louise Steenson, one of our Home Economics teachers,  has been appointed at St Augustine’s in Edinburgh (start date to be confirmed).  An advertisement for her replacement will go live next Friday.

Scott Marnoch - On behalf of the Knox Community I would like to thank Scott for his hard work and commitment during the last eight years at Knox Academy, both as a Pupil Support Worker and in his role with the SOR.  We wish would like to wish him all the best in his new role as Active Schools Coordinator at Dunbar Grammar School.

Other staffing news

Terry Devonald, a Pupil Support Assistant at the school, was at an award ceremony yesterday with Scottish Mentoring Network.  She was nominated by her colleagues there for all the volunteering work she does. Terry didn't win the award but she was highly commended, which is quite an achievement in itself.  Well done.

Netball

Huge congratulations to our S2 Girls who played Ross High School last night at Netball.  This was a closely fought match (their first ever competitive game). The score was 12-10 to Ross High School.  A tremendous start to their season though. Thank you goes to Lana Borwick, Hana Elder and Bethany Hunter for training the team. 

Hockey

Congratulations to our Senior Girls Hockey team that competed at Mary Erskine’s tournament last week. The team acquitted themselves well and came away at the end of the tournament as 'Bowl Winners', having beaten Boroughmuir High School in their final.

Football

Mr Elms and Miss Borwick are looking forward to seeing Iris Ramage (S4) and Ella Blamire (S3) in action on Saturday morning as they are playing for Hibs U15's against Rangers in the Scottish Women’s Youth Cup Final . All in the Knox Academy community would like to wish them luck - especially Iris who is using the Cup final as one of her performances for National 5 PE (by Mr Steven Elms)

Well done to Haddington Athletic U13s read the story here.

Girls’ Morning Fitness

Miss Borwick is hoping for a push in girls’ morning fitness from all Hockey, Rugby, Football, Netball players and any other girls who would like to join in this opportunity. The session starts at 7.30am in the PE games hall or small gym followed by a lovely healthy breakfast. A great start to any day!

Careers Fayre

On Thursday a group of senior students attended the Skills Scotland event at Ingliston in Edinburgh.  It was a great opportunity to meet with local and national employers and find out more about the different careers they offer.  There were representatives from colleges too and the pupils were also well fed as they sampled what the college students had made.  Indeed, some who looked too closely at the hairdressing courses found themselves quickly gelled and glittered!  One of our pupils was invited to Glasgow to attend a taster course in animation - a chance to try out a course before he applies next session and others are certainly considering alternative careers now.  It was a useful, informative event and one which next year's seniors should all attend. (by Ms Lynn Adam)

Eco-Committee/Green Team Workshops

On Monday, Claire from KSB Scotland came to the school to deliver a workshop on Climate Change. Pupils participated in a variety of activities that illustrated the causes and effects of climate change.  Pupils and staff learned a lot from her visit about doing everything we can to be green.

S3 Forensic Science Event

We are hosting a Forensic Science event here on Monday for our S3 students. We are very lucky to have Jon Bates, an ex-forensic scientist from Sci-High to come in and speak to our pupils and to do some practical workshops with them. I am sure it will be a very interesting event and an eye-opener into how crimes are solved.

Service of Remembrance

Tomorrow I will be attending, with some senior Knox Academy pupils (who will be coordinating the retiring collection), the Service of Remembrance at the Corn Exchange. This service will commemorate the end of World War I and is being held in association with the Royal British Legion Scotland and local Veterans Groups.

The Moderator of the Church of Scotland will lead the service in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant, Major Michael Williams MBE.  Colours will be paraded followed by a Drumhead Service.

Mr Flood and senior pupils will also be attending Sunday’s service at St Mary’s Church and laying a wreath on behalf of Knox Academy at the Cenotaph. They will also be attending the Garleton Singers performance of ‘The Armed Man’ on Sunday evening.

Today we held a two minute silence at school to have time for our own reflection and to remember those who gave their lives in the line of duty.  This is a particularly poignant year as it is 100 years since the end of World War 1.  There are many tributes across East Lothian to mark this, with one of these being the gathering of pipers at War Memorials across the County, at 6am on Sunday, to play one verse of ‘When the Battle’s o’er’ – as well as the traditional tributes at 11am.

Enjoy your weekend

Sue Cook