HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 13 NOVEMBER 2020

On Wednesday morning we held our Remembrance Assembly, and at 11am we observed our two minutes silence to remember those who gave their lives so we have our freedom. Although our senior pupils were unable to collect in our local town, we distributed tins and poppies to all local shops and primary schools. We hope to raise as much money as possible given the difficult circumstances this year. Thank you to all the S6 pupils who have made this possible.

Children In Need fund raising is taking place at the school today with a ‘dress up day’ for our S6 pupils, who have coordinated this morning, and a ‘dress down’ day for S1-S5.  The S6 outfits on show were truly amazing and so colourful and we even had appearances from Donald Trump and Boris Johnson (please follow us at to see the pictures).

Our amazing Pupil Leadership lead an assembly, yesterday, on Togetherness, which is the theme of this year’s Children in Need. This ensured that all of our pupils knew why we are raising money today and the support it will give many across the nation. It also helps us raise the importance of our role as national and global citizens.

Although we were unable to have the usual events such as ‘Pie the Teacher’ (many disappointed pupils, I am sure), and ‘leg waxing’ for the senior boys, our young people still seem to be having lots of fun and raising money for such a great cause. Thank you to all parents/carers who supported donations and we will be able to update you on the total raised next week (or check our Twitter feed which should have this information later on today).  

Health and Safety at school

At present we remain in Tier 3 in East Lothian so over and above all the health and safety protocols we have had in place since the start of term (e.g. one way system; break and lunches outside if dry; face coverings in corridors and social areas) we have also had to ask senior pupils and staff to wear face coverings in class. As an added measure for track and trace purposes, we also have QR codes in social areas/Food Court so pupils can scan this on their mobile phones and this allows us to know who they are sitting near for break/lunch if they are indoors for wet weather. Mr Illingworth has updated our individual pupil risk assessments for all those young people who have one. If you wish to discuss this further with him, or request one for your young person for health reasons, please email him at sillingworth@knox.elcschool.org.uk .

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  and at Oak National Academy (some great resources for S1-S3 pupils).

S5/6 Higher/Advanced Higher Prelims and S4/5/6 N5 Structured Assessments

Further to my letter to parents/carers last week, please find a link to a letter from Alice Clubb, DHT, about the prelim timetable and flexible study during this time.  We are currently working with our Curriculum Leaders to agree the dates for all subjects N5 structured assessments and we hope to have this out to parents/carers and pupils just before Christmas (these will take place between January and March – unless the estimates dates is extended by SQA and this may change). Planned in class assessments in some subjects will still be taking place before Christmas in line with course planning which has already been shared in these subject areas

Technology for remote learning

As you will be aware, all local authorities received some funding from the Scottish Government to support the purchase of chromebooks or laptops to support some young people with remote and learning and to ensure homes had a device should we go back in to lockdown or have to access remote learning.  We used the criteria set out by the Scottish Gvt and have issued the first set of chromebooks to pupils and will soon be issuing the second set when we receive these later on this month/early December.  If your young person does not have access to a device or if you do not have a good wi-fi connection (or none at all) please contact your young person’s House Team; garleton@knox.elcschool.org.uk; lammerlaw@knox.elcschool.org.uk; traprain@knox.elcschool.org.uk so we can look at how we can support you with this. Thanks.

Awarding of Achievement Ties

The Achievement Tie Committee awarded Achievement Ties or Endeavour Certificates to 23 of the 27 nominations (with three of these being awarded to former pupils who had been nominated last session due to lockdown we were unable to progress these at this point but still wished to recognise their commitment to the school and our community).  The following pupils were successful in their nominations and received their awards yesterday (Thursday). Great to note that achievements were in the area of sport; arts; community/volunteering and were at a school, regional and national level. 

Endeavour certificates were awarded to: Charlotte Orr S4 – school hockey team; Inika Robertson S2 Traprain - Sea Cadets. 

Half Colours Achievement Ties were awarded to: Leah Thomson S2 Garleton -  Commitment to Haddington Athletic Girls Football;  Ivy Briggs - S3 for years of dedication to orchestra, Jazz band at school and East Lothian levels;  Stella Stewart - S3 – swimming at regional and district level;  Lauren Clark S4 – school and regional swimming champion; Joss Arnold S4 – school, East Lothian Falcons and East Lothian Borders rugby teams; Abigail Watson S5 – Taekwondo; Carrie Evans S6- years of broadcasting for East Coast FM;  Joshua Halliday S6  - years of commitment to school and East Lothian Falcons; Hugo Elder S6 –  years of commitment to school and East Lothian Falcons rugby;   Duncan Reilly S6 –  years of commitment to school and East Lothian Falcons rugby;  Stephen Tennant S6 –years of commitment to school Rugby ; Rowan Hamilton S6 – years of commitment to school Rugby ; Holly Cameron S6 - years of commitment to swimming as a competitor, and coaching to support younger generations  Paris McCallum S6- years of commitment boxing and supporting the younger generation of athletes; Kaci Smith S5 (Dance and supporting wider community events)

Full Colours Achievement Ties were awarded to: Leila Maycock, S3 – Winner of UK National Writing Competition; Eilidh Robertson, S6 – Music- school and regional level; Rachel Broadley S6 – Regional and Scottish level - Badminton

Former pupils – awarded with Endeavour Certificates: Jocelyn McKnight: for her outstanding contribution to school life and supporting many pupils during her time at Knox Academy; Dillon Ball - years of commitment to school rugby and playing for East Lothian Falcons; Connor Lynn - years of commitment to school rugby and playing for East Lothian Falcons)

Congratulations to all who were nominated. The next Achievement Tie nominations will be in March 2021 and I know there are many more of our young people who meet the criteria for an Endeavour Certificate or Achievement Tie, so please apply for them (or encourage them to apply themselves).  Applications can be sent in from now onwards right up until the start of March 2021. It is important we continue to build the spirit of ambition and community as our school values and recognise all our young people who demonstrate these values at a school, local and national level.

Diligence Awards  

These will be issued at the start of December. Diligence nominations, from subject teachers, are given to those pupils who have demonstrated hard work and commitment, on a day to day basis, throughout Term 1 (August – December).  The certificate will detail all subjects they have been nominated in. The ultimate aim is for pupils to be nominated in all of their subjects. If they are not, the goal for term two (January – April) is to aim higher and achieve this. The idea behind these awards is to create ambition (one of our school values) and raise attainment and achievement through sustained effort and commitment to their studies, thus ensuring they achieve their potential. These are really important awards and parents/carers should review these with their young person to identify their successes and also support them where ‘subjects’ missing require more sustained effort. More information on our diligence awards is available by clicking on this link Diligence Awards

Communication

Most of our communication is by email to parents/carers so if you have still to provide us with your email please do so ASAP so you don’t miss out on any information from us.  Please send an email to admin@knox.elcschool.org.uk to give us your email information. Thank you. If you have a question to ask about your young person or a question in general about the school, please email your young person’s Pupil Support Leader in the first instance as they will be best placed to help you.  If need be, they will refer any questions on to the House Depute Head Teachers.  The email addresses are as follows:

Ms Adam - ladam1@knox.elcschool.org.uk (Garleton Pupil Support Leader (PSL))

Mr Meekison - smeekison@knox.elcschool.org.uk  (Lammerlaw PSL) 

Mrs Doig - wdoig@knox.elcschool.org.uk  (Traprain)

Dr Lyon - vlyon@knox.elcschool.org.uk (PSL Support for Learning)

Ms Fox - sfox@knox.elcschool.org.uk (PSL for Inclusion)

Attendance

We now have an “Attendance” inbox for parents to email with student absences/appointments. Please email attendance@knox.elcschool.org.uk

Clothing grants are also available and if you would like support with this please contact your young person’s Pupil Support Leader (Ms Adam/Mr Meekison/Mrs Doig).

Parent Council

If you would like to come along to our next Parent Council on Thursday 3 December, 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

2 December – S1 Parents’ Evening (virtual) – more information to follow shortly

3 December – Parent Council – 6.30 – 7.45 – virtual meeting

Have a lovely weekend

Sue Cook

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