HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 11 SEPTEMBER 2020

All of our pupils seem really settled in our ‘new’ normal and the associated routines.  Our extra-curricular sessions will be starting post September break for Active Schools and our Supported Study sessions. Please can I encourage parents/carers to discuss participation in these with your young person as they add value to their skills set in terms of both their academic and wider achievements.

Staffing

We interviewed for the Depute Head Teacher (Meadowpark) on Tuesday and we now have a preferred candidate for this post based on pre-employment checks. I would hope to let you know in the next few weeks who the new member of the school team will be.

Health and Safety around the 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. Some frequently asked questions about Covid-19, for parents/carers, have also been produced by the NHS and are well worth reading.

A reminder that pupils are all being encouraged to enjoy the fresh air and breaks and lunches and go outside after eating in the Food Court/social area. Although we have been exceptionally lucky with the weather it is going to start to turn colder, and if dry, we will still be asking them to go outside to stop crowds gathering and also as a measure of reducing transmission and keeping everyone safe and Covid-19 free as best as we can. For this reason please ensure you young person has a warm jacket and hat/gloves. Thank you.

UCAS Evening – Tuesday 22 September

This evening will be a virtual event and pupils should log in to a Google Meet, with their parents/carers joining them through this login. Students Award Agency Scotland, Edinburgh University and Mr Meekison will coordinate this event and it will start at 6.30pm.  The Google Meet details will be sent to those senior pupils in S5/6 pupils who are interested in applying for University. If you feel there will be an issue accessing this event due to IT, please let Mr Meekison know smeekison@knox.elcschool.org.uk so we can offer you a Chromebook to ensure you can attend.

Virtual Awards Event – change of date – Wednesday 30th September

All our award winners have now been notified, and those who consented have had their photographs taken with their certificates/medals/trophies on Wednesday. Pupils were then given their certificates to take home to take pride of place there. Trophies are no longer being given home and instead pupils received a commemorative medal with the name of their award on it and their name engraved on it too.  This means rather than having the trophy for the year and having to give it back, they have a keepsake – which is much nicer. Trophies will also be engraved with each award winner’s name on it and will be displayed in our main foyer for all to see. Our wider achievement award winners, Duke of Edinburgh, will also receive a mention at the ceremony. During this session Knox Academy pupils completing DofE completed 447 hours of developing a skill; 447 hours of physical activity and 495 hours of volunteering in our local community – tremendous!  The social value of this equated with £2,153.25. Well done to all involved!

The awards ceremony will be posted on our website on Wednesday 30th September for all to see so we can celebrate the achievements of our young people as a whole community.  Although not everyone will receive an award at this event, I would like to highlight that our termly diligence awards, and bi-annual achievement ties, also recognise the hard work and commitment of many of our young people to learning and wider achievement at the school and community throughout the year. 

Achievement Ties

Our achievement ties are designed to recognise our wider achievement of our young people both in school and in the wider community. An achievement tie can be awarded for a high level of commitment and endeavour in an activity for eighteen months, or for a significant achievement e.g. winning a National Award such as a poetry competition.  Achievement ties can be awarded for Sport, Citizenship (when a young person provides support or services to the local or wider community e.g. working in charity shops/volunteering etc.), Enterprise (involved in leading initiatives/global areas of interest e.g. Eco-Committee, Amnesty, Fairtrade etc.) and Expressive Arts/Technologies. There will also be a further category ‘other’ for anyone wishing to be considered for an achievement tie that does not fall into the previous four categories.  There are two achievement ties: (1) one gold stripe and the House colour; this will be referred to as a ‘half colours’ achievement tie (2) Two gold stripes and the House colour; this will be referred to as a ‘full colours’ achievement tie. 

The Achievement Committee will meet twice a year, in October and March, to consider all nominations, which can be submitted by pupils, parents/carers, coaches and our community partners, using our online form.  The outcome of this committee will be communicated directly to pupils by letter, and if successful, they will be awarded their achievement tie, alongside other Achievement Tie winners, by the Head Teacher, Depute Head Teachers and Mr Clark (Achievement Coordinator).  Achievement Tie winners will also be mentioned at House Assemblies to celebrate their success widely.

Nominations are open from 14th September until Friday 2nd October. Those who applied in March of this year need not re-apply as your applications will be considered in this grouping. 

Eco-Committee Uniform Program

Over the last year and a half, the Eco-Committee has been collecting uniform donations from families in the Knox community. We now have a large collection of clean uniform items, including white shirts, black jumpers, trousers, and blazers. All of the donated items are in great condition! If any family is in need of uniform items, these are free to take! We want to give these clothes to students at our school so that they can be worn once again. 

The goals of this initiative were threefold: to prevent uniform items from going to waste, to reduce the constant re-buying of new clothes, and to further support families in our community. If any students or families would like to access the clothes, they can get in touch with Miss Laudi or the guidance team and we'll happily arrange a time for students to come browse the uniform collection. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us - we're happy to give these clothes a new home. (by J.Laudi)

Trips – S6 Dalguise

Dalguise refunds have been processed except for the few whose cards have expired. If that is the case you will have received an email requesting the new expiry date so that your refund can be processed.

Parent Council

If you would like to come along to our next Parent Council on Wednesday 28th October, please let Lesley Pirie (Chair) know by emailing her at parentcouncil@ka-net.org.uk so you can be invited to the virtual meeting. 

Dates for your diary

A reminder that the September long weekend holiday is Friday 18 – Monday 21 September (inclusive)

The October holiday is Monday 19 – Friday 23 (inclusive)

Please also remember to follow us on our website and twitter feeds for the most up-to-date information: www.ka-net.org.uk     Twitter_logo_blue[1]   

Have a lovely weekend

Sue Cook