HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 11 JANUARY 2021

S5/6 Virtual Parents’ Evening

Our S5/6 Parents' Evening will go ahead as planned from 5-7pm this evening. Mrs Clubb has liaised with all pupils in S5/6 to make them aware of this and I also highlighted this in my letter to parents/carers on Friday. We hope as many of you as possible can attend this to discuss your young person’s progress and next steps. 

Digital Access

Since the first lockdown we have distributed over 100 Chromebooks to our pupils to support home learning. However we know that some pupils will still not have access to an appropriate device for remote learning. If your young person, in S1-S6, needs to borrow one of our in-school Chromebooks for the duration of this school closure, then please email sillingworth@knox.elcschool.org.uk.  If you do not have email, please phone our school office between 9am and 2pm, on 01620-823387 so we can arrange this ASAP.

We currently have 70 Vodafone data-only SIM cards, for distribution to pupils who do not have a reliable broadband connection, and who currently access learning through 4G on their phone. Any parent or carer who feels that their young person’s learning would benefit from one of these during the school closure should email admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk and we will post a card out to you.

Parental resources

Education Scotland has produced a helpful resource on supporting remote learning for practitioners, pupils, parents and carers. You can find it here. Please note, though, that East Lothian teachers do not generally make use of the Glow platform – almost all remote learning in our county is through the Google G-Suite.

In School Learning

During school closure we are providing in-school support for the children of key workers and also for a small number of our pupils who need to be in school over this period of lockdown. We have now received details of all key worker applications, and have contacted all the other pupils we believe match the Scottish Government’s criteria for in-school learning to offer them places too.

Parents/carers who are key workers are able to make an application to East Lothian Council for a space in the in-school provision. 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. Information about the category definitions can be found here: Wherever possible, parents/carers should make use of informal childcare 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, encouraged to wear face coverings and asked to maintain physical distancing at all times.

COVID-19

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

If your young person is attending the in-school provision during this period, please do not send them to school if they, or anyone in your household has tested positive or has Covid-10 symptoms.  Please self-isolate and book a test.

School-College Partnership

SCP courses will resume on Tuesday 12th January with the same format as Term 1. Edinburgh College encourages all SCP pupils to attend planned live classes from 1.30 pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

It is worth remembering that there is a guide on how to access Moodle.  

Pupils who experience difficulties accessing their course should either call the SCP Helpline 0131 297 8649 or email schools@edinburghcollege.ac.uk stating their name, the name of their course and details of the problems they are experiencing.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

SDS is continuing to provide career, information, advice and guidance for all of our young people during lockdown.  Pupils and parents/ carers are still able to contact our Careers Adviser, Chris Trotter, for support. This can be done by emailing him at chris.trotter@sds.co.uk . If you would like to speak to a Careers Adviser please phone 0131 665 3120. Details of all SDS centres can be found on My World of Work

Support for pupils

During the first lockdown, our Pupil Support Team worked incredibly hard to help pupils and their families. We will support all pupils over this lockdown, too, and pupils or parents/carers should contact their Pupil Support Leader via the following emails if they require any advice or support:

Ms Adam/Mrs Clubb (Garleton) garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk;

Mr Meekison/Mr Russell (Lammerlaw) lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk;

Mrs Doig/Mr Illingworth (Traprain) traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk 

Support for families

This is a really worrying time for many families as they face up to reduced finances. Advice on the financial supports available for families can be found on the East Lothian Council website here.

S1 Maths: Parent/Carer Opportunity

In the Mathematics Department we have worked very hard over the last two years to develop our teaching methods to support genuine understanding of Maths. To that end I'd like to offer you the chance to be part of a series of virtual meetings where we will go through some of the methods we use in S1 (and build on in S2, S3, etc.) and how we try to put it across to our classes. Hopefully this insight will help de-mystify what we do in the Maths Department and open up a positive dialogue at Home about the Maths being learned - no more arguments because "it wasn't taught like that in my day!"

Sessions will still run as follows:

Monday 11 January 2021, 6 - 7pm: we will look at how we use two-colour counters to teach 'negative numbers'

Monday 1 February 2021, 6 - 7pm: we will look at solving equations

Monday 1 March 2021, 6 - 7pm: we will look at the 'grid method' and why it is so useful for multiplication, division and algebra!

To sign up please click here and fill the Google Form in at the bottom of the page. It would be great to see as many parents/carers here attending as possible (Mr Calum Blair. Curriculum Leader, Numeracy and Computing)

Contacting School

A reminder that you can contact us at any stage of school closure by emailing admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk.

Dates for your diary:

S4 Virtual Parents’ Evening         21 January 2021 (5-7pm)

S2 Virtual Parents’ Evening         3 February 2021 (5-7pm)

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

Sue Cook