March 2021

Published: 26 March 2021

It has been another productive week of learning and teaching at Knox Academy and pupils seem to have settled back in really well and enjoying face to face teaching and learning and seeing their peers. The latest guidance from the Scottish Government states a full return to school after the Easter break, with the removal of the 2M physical distancing in school but the retention of many of the current mitigations, including face coverings for staff and S1-S6 pupils (unless exempt) and a focus on ensuring all classrooms are well ventilated.

Although we will still have many of the mitigations in place to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 in school, it is going to be amazing to have our school community back together after nearly four months apart. The weather should also be better (we hope) and therefore we would hope to make as much use of outdoor learning as we can with our S1-S3 pupils. Our S4-S6 pupils will be fully engaged in their SQA assessments during the month of May and I know many of them will be studying for these over Easter. I would ask parents/carers to support them in finding a balance with this in terms of having some time off studying too and enjoy some fun, rest and relaxation so they are not exhausted come May and can give of their best.

Staffing

We are advertising for a teacher of Home Economics – this closes on 4 April and we will have interviews for this the first few weeks in the new term.

Pupil News

Parents/Carers Information

S1/2 Parents – HPV Vaccinations

If you are the parent/carer of a S1 or S2 pupil you will receive a letter, very shortly regarding, the roll out of this year’s HPV Vaccination programme. The team will be rolling out this vaccine on the 17th and 18th of May 2021. Due to NHS workload and Covid restrictions the letters have been late in arriving to schools and we have an incredibly tight window to process the return of consent letters. They must be returned to Knox Academy by the morning of 31/03/2021 as they are being uplifted on the morning of 1 April 2021.

I appreciate that this is not ideal for parents and carers but would appreciate your co-operation with this request. Many thanks (Karen Fraser, Welfare Assistant)

SQA – School Assessment Diet (May) – S4/S5/S6

This has now been finalised and Mrs Falconer is emailing home a letter to all parents/carers and S4-S6 pupils today with the details of this. These letters can also be found here. These letters have also been shared with our S4/5/6 pupils.  Our Verification Policy also provides you with our approaches to internal verification of our assessments for our SQA pupils.

Leavers’ Information – S4/5/6

The official leaving date will be Friday 4 June for all pupils in S6 and any pupils who wish to leave school in S5 and S4 (and who are 16 prior to 30 September).  The office team have sent out a Google Form to all S4-S6 pupils, via their EduBuzz emails, and this form should be completed by Friday 1 April at very latest. If your young person is leaving school is it vital we support them in to a positive destination (University, College, Employment or Training) so we can know they have a bright future ahead. The S6 Leavers’ Committee is also trying to arrange a Leavers Event so we can celebrate their time here at the school and see them all off in style.

LFD Test Kits

A number of LFD test kits have being issued this week to our young people in S1-S6 who have/parents have consented to being part of the programme.  If you wish your young person to receive a test kit prior to the holidays, so they can test before returning after the Easter break, please complete the e-consent form by Sunday 28 March so these test kits can be issued to them next week. Pupils over 16 can consent themselves but parents/carers must consent for those under 16 (before any testing kits can be handed out to this age group). Although participation is voluntary it is recommended as it is helps support our safe return to school and keeps our families/community safe too.

A reminder that these LFD tests are only for use by pupils and cannot be used by anyone else other than those whom they are registered for. Please can you remind all young people to log their results each time they complete a test. Thank you.

COVID-19

Positive Cases: Please continue to report any positive cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or telephone 01875 613921. It would be great if you can also inform the school by telephone on: 01620 823387. During the Easter break please use the covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or if you do not have access to email, telephone 01875 613921 as the school will be closed. Thank you.

Please note: If your young person is attending school (or in-school provision), please do not send them if they, or anyone in your household has tested positive or has Covid-19 symptoms.  Please self-isolate and book a test. If they are in S4-S6 and attending school for a practical subject(s) and they test positive using the lateral flow device testing kit, they should also self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Dates for you diary:

Friday 2 April – Monday 19 April 2021 (inclusive) – Easter Break

Monday 3 May – Bank Holiday

Monday 24 May – Pupils’ holiday (staff in-service)

Please note: There will also be two in-service days next term (April-June) to support staff with SQA assessment, moderation and verification processes. I will give more information about this as soon I know these dates.

Have a lovely weekend and remember that the Haddington Farmers Market is on this weekend if you want lots of amazing local produce.

Sue Cook

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

Published: 19 March 2021

It has been wonderful to see all of our young people back this week and engaging in face to face teaching and learning. I am sure they enjoyed seeing their peers and staff and being back together again, albeit it in a physically distanced way. S1-S3 have had three hours of literacy and numeracy (not English and Maths necessarily but subjects taught with a focus on these aspects) and health and wellbeing. S4-S6 pupils have been following their normal subjects in three hour blocks, which has allowed them to be immersed in their subjects, which supports both their learning and retention skills. We have been so pleased with our young people’s positivity and engagement in these sessions and we are very proud of their approach to the blended learning model.

I am sure like me, you are all really hopeful that transmission rates continue to decrease and we can return full time after Easter. The First Minister will give more information about this shortly but in the meantime we all need to continue to play our part in following the rules. Although school is set up to ensure 2M physical distancing, I would ask that parents/carers ask their young people to comply with these measures when walking to and from school, and if meeting others outside, to ensure the phased return to school continues to go well. The more we can all do the quicker we all get back together. Thank you for your support with this.

Staffing

We are advertising for a teacher of Home Economics – this goes live today.

Congratulations to our Science Technician who has been appointed to a post at Charles River. We will be advertising for a new Science Technician in the next week or so.

Pupil News

Career Ready

A huge congratulations to three of our S6 pupils who graduated from Career Ready at yesterday’s virtual ceremony.  Career Ready gives young people career experiences, insights and a mentor to help kick-start their futures. We have a further five pupils enrolled on it this session and working alongside mentors from Charles River, HSBC and Diageo. Thank you very much to Mrs Ferguson who coordinates this for the school and support our young people with their journey.

Knox Academy 2021 - Scottish Parliament Election Countdown

Knox Academy invites all pupils, parents/carers, family members and staff to attend a series of live webinars, hosted by our pupils and staff to mark the Scottish Parliament Elections to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021.

Many of our pupils in S4, S5 and S6 will be able to vote for the first time in this national election and Mr Miller and a group of pupils are marking this exciting occasion with a series of informative, fun and participatory sessions which will be held in the weeks running up to the election.

The programme will include live “How to” guides on registering to vote and voting on Election Day - delivered by pupils and staff. There will also be a live Virtual Knox Academy Question Time Debate Night with an opportunity for you, as our audience, to ask questions at live Q&A sessions with the candidates for the East Lothian constituency seat. Paul McLennan (SNP), Craig Hoy (Conservatives), Martin Whitfield (Labour) and Euan Davidson (Liberal Democrats) have already been in touch to express their excitement at the prospect and can’t wait to answer your questions.

There will also be an opportunity to flex your political knowledge with prizes on offer for predicting the outcomes of various elements of the election result.

The full programme, with dates and times for all of the webinars, and more information is to follow. We look forward to you joining us…

Any questions please email Mr Miller and his pupil team at: amiller@knox.elcschool.org.uk

Squash

Congratulations to Dylan (S4) and Jamie Pearman (P7) who were selected last weekend to represent Scotland in a virtual Home International Strength & Conditioning fitness competition - 4 x 1hr sessions starting on Friday evening and finishing on Sunday morning. The event had circa 180 juniors taking part from the 4 Nations. Dylan & Jamie completed all 4 of them, with Scotland coming second to Wales at the end of the weekend. Well done to both!

Sky Competition

A huge congratulations to Flo Fendick (S1) who was announced by Sky as having being placed 3rd in the nationwide competition to design a poster to illustrate , “Apprenticeship are for Everyone.”

P7 Transition

This week Knox Staff started meeting P7 classes to talk about their subject and what the P7s can expect in that subject when they move to Knox Academy.  This is part of the transition programme we shared with parents and pupils at the end of February. A huge thank you to S3 pupils who have been coordinating this with staff (Mr Illingworth, DHT)

Parents/Carers Information

S4 and S5 coursing

Many pupils have submitted their coursing requests for next session but there are a number of pupils who have intimated that they are returning have yet to do so, and the date for these submissions has now been and gone. Please can I ask parents/carers to check with your young person about this and ensure if they are returning, their form has been submitted. If you do have any questions about the coursing, please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Mrs Doig, Mr Meekison or Ms Adam). Thank you.

HPV Programme

This will take place over the next few months and will be offered to all S1 and S2 girls. The HPV vaccine has been offered free to girls in secondary schools in Scotland since 2008. High uptake of the HPV vaccine has reduced levels of cancer-causing HPV in young women in Scotland by 90%.

  • The gender neutral programme was due to launch in Lothian in 2020 and was postponed due to school closures.
  • Please ensure that your child’s consent form is returned (completed and signed!) by 31 March. Unfortunately, pupils whose forms are received after that date may not be vaccinated.
  • Every S1 pupil, regardless of gender is eligible for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for free.
  • There is no catch up programme for boys other than those who were in S1 from the launch of the programme in 2020.
  • The HPV vaccine protects against HPV which can cause head and neck, cervical and anogenital cancers.
  • In the last term before the summer holidays 2021, NHS Lothian will be vaccinating eligible pupils in S1-S6 in school who have either not started or not completed their HPV vaccination course.
  • Two doses are generally recommended for full protection.

More information

LFD Test Kits

These are being issued to all young people from S1-S6 (S1-S3 during week of 22 March) who have consented to being part of the programme.  Pupils over 16 can consent themselves but parents/carers must consent for those under 16 (before any testing kits can be handed out to this age group). The e-consent form can be completed here. These LFD tests are only for use by pupils and cannot be used by anyone else other than those whom they are registered for. Please can you remind all young people to log their results each time they complete a test. Thank you.

Although participation is voluntary it is recommended as it is helps support our safe return to school and keeps our families/community safe too.

COVID-19

Positive Cases: Please continue to report any positive cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or telephone 01875 613921.

Please note: If your young person is attending school (or in-school provision), please do not send them if they, or anyone in your household has tested positive or has Covid-19 symptoms.  Please self-isolate and book a test. If they are in S4-S6 and attending school for a practical subject(s) and they test positive using the lateral flow device testing kit, they should also self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Sue Cook

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

Published: 05 March 2021

I hope you and your family are safe and well. We have had another very productive week in school with a number of our senior phase pupils attending for practical tasks to support their SQA qualifications. Staff are continuing to be creative in how they are approaching remote learning to aim to maintain high engagement. However, hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel in regards to remote learning, with the First Minister’s announcement on Tuesday, where she has implemented a phased return to learning for all S1-S6 pupils from 15 March – 1 April, with priority being given to Senior Phase pupils to support them with their SQA qualifications. Our Senior Leadership Team is currently working on a timetable for these three weeks and will update you on this next week.  For these three weeks blended learning will be used (a mixture of in-school face/face learning and remote learning), with a full-time return to school, expected for all S1-S6 pupils, on 20 April. It is fantastic to finally see things progressing in this direction and very much welcomed by us all.

Our Senior Leadership Team and Curriculum Leaders have really enjoyed phoning some parents/carers and pupils this week to speak to them about progress and anything more we could be doing to support the home/school links (so please do answer if you see a withheld number as it could be one of us).  As well as parents being appreciative of these calls it was really useful to hear what has been working well for you and your young people and how we can tweak things to improve the remote learning experience.

Staffing

Following successful interviews yesterday, we have appointed three new teachers at Meadowpark. This is subject to the usual pre-employment checks and I will be able to update you with staff names once these have been completed.

Pupil News

Poppy Scotland Annual Gathering

Heather Mackinnon and myself, along with Mr Flood, attended the Poppyscotland Annual Gathering on Saturday 27 February. This was held virtually this year where they shared some of their hopes and ambitions for this year‘s Poppyscotland appeal. They detailed their huge success in donations last year. Despite all the challenges that they faced they managed to still collect some money on the streets and turned to online banking to gather money as well. They are hoping to be even more successful this year and raise lots of money in many different ways. We were lucky enough to hear from some people that benefit from your donations and the impact that Poppyscotland has had on their lives and it is incredible. (by Bethany Ross, S5)

World Book Day

Working from home hasn't stopped the English department from celebrating World Book Day 2021. All junior pupils were invited to take part in a live Kahoot quiz hosted by Mrs Reynolds and Miss Kavak. Both pupils and staff had lots of fun. As well as this, pupils turned into detectives in order to ‘Guess The Teacher Behind The Book’ and we hope pupils found this fun and entertaining! All pupils have also received an e-voucher to use towards a book from participating shops...get reading! (by Ms Machen, CL Communications).

Lateral Flow Test Devices for S4-S6

The latest information on this testing can be accessed by staff, senior pupils and families here. The testing only applies to the small number of pupils in S4-S6 attending school for practical tasks. However it will be applicable to all in S4-S6 as school resumes on a larger scale from 15 March. All pupils (S4-S6) and staff who attended school this week have been offered the chance to be part of the testing programme and been given consent forms and kits if they wished to participate. Testing is voluntary but recommended and many of our young people who have attended for practical subjects over the last few weeks have engaged in this.

S5 Learner Pathways

A reminder that S5 into S6 will have their coursing interviews w/b 8 March. Pupils should ensure they are checking their emails regularly as PSLs will be in touch with details as to when their interview will take place.

S4/5/6 Reporting

There will be no S4/5/6 reports issued at this point in the session and these will be issued early/mid-June instead. Teachers will be having learner conversations with all S4-S6 pupils during the weeks of 15 -26 March where they will discuss progress and next steps with them in each of their subject areas.  More detail about this will follow in a letter next week.

In School Learning – all pupils

Parents/carers who are key workers are able to make an application to East Lothian Council to request a space in the in-school provision for P4-S3 pupils only. Priority will be given to those key workers in category 1 and category 2 where both parent/carers are key workers or where there is a single parent who is a key worker. Wherever possible, parents/carers should make use of informal young person care arrangements in line with the Scottish Government Guidance. As always, health and safety of our school community comes first. In order to ensure the risk of transmission remains low, there is a need to limit the number of pupils working in school with a focus on supporting those in the most need. When in school, all pupils will be working in defined ‘bubbles’ (including at break and lunchtimes), asked to ensure hand sanitising on entry/exit to the building, asked to wear face coverings) and asked to maintain 2M physical distancing at all times.

COVID-19

Positive Cases: Please continue to report any positive cases to covidinschools@eastlothian.gov.uk or telephone 01875 613921.

Please note: If your young person is attending school (or in-school provision), please do not send them if they, or anyone in your household has tested positive or has Covid-19 symptoms.  Please self-isolate and book a test. If they are in S4-S6 and attending school for a practical subject(s) and they test positive using the lateral flow device testing kit, they should also self-isolate and book a PCR test.

Support for pupils

If you or your young person requires any advice or support please contact their House Team in the first instance:

Ms Adam/Mrs Falconer (Garleton) garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk(link sends e-mail);

Mr Meekison/Mr Russell (Lammerlaw) lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk(link sends e-mail);

Mrs Doig/Mr Illingworth (Traprain) traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk(link sends e-mail) 

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe.

Sue Cook

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