HEAD TEACHER'S UPDATE 15 JANUARY 2021

This week’s remote learning has started off exceptionally well and we have been very pleased with our young people’s engagement in it.  We have held assemblies for our S1-S3 pupils and we are following this up with S4-S6 pupils next week.  Although we are encouraging them to follow their timetables if they can, to help support them in fostering a good routine for their learning, we do understand that a flexible approach is required based on their own and family’s individual needs.

We have spoken to our young people about focusing on the ‘quality’ of their work over ‘quantity,’ and pacing themselves. We have highlighted the need to submit work to their teachers to ensure they get feedback to help them progress and if they are able to, to engage in Google Meets to collaborate with their peers and teachers and to ask questions.

We also highlighted to our young people the need to balance their studies with their own mental health and wellbeing and to get out and about during the day too for a walk/jog and get some fresh air into their lungs and also to take some of their learning offline, as staring at a computer screen all day is not good for any of us.  It would be great if you can support them in finding this balance too. More information is available in the Remote Learning Guidelines I sent out on Monday of this week. We will also be asking our young people about their experiences of their remote learning, via a survey and some focus groups, over the next few weeks, so we can review how things are going for them and to see what we can change or tweak to better support them.

Staffing

Alice Clubb, acting DHT, who has been an amazing addition to Knox Academy, will return to her substantive post as Curriculum Leader Maths at North Berwick High School on 15 February 2021. Caroline Falconer, who has been Quality Improvement Manager at the SEIC, will return on that date to her substantive DHT post here.

S1 Maths: Parent/Carer Opportunity

A huge thank you to all the S1 Parents who attended our virtual maths event on Monday evening. The feedback from this has been exceptionally positive as it allowed parents/carers to see how maths is taught at Knox Academy and to help them support their young person at home with this.  There are two more events planned for:

Monday 1 February 2021, 6 - 7pm: looking at solving equations

Monday 1 March 2021, 6 - 7pm: looking 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.  Please do come along.

S5/6 Virtual Parents’ Evening

This seemed to go really well and parental feedback was positive in regard to discussion about their young person’s progress and next steps. Thank you to all parents/carers and pupils who attended.

S4 Parents’ Evening – 21 January 2021

If your young person is in S4 please encourage them to sign up for a parents’ evening appointment with their teachers via their Google Classrooms.  Pupils must be present with their parents/carers to enable the meeting to go ahead as this meeting is accessed through your young person’s EduBuzz account. If you need a Chromebook for this, please contact Mr Illingworth sillingworth@knox.elcschool.org.uk.

Digital Access

If any young person still requires a Chromebook to access remote learning please email sillingworth@knox.elcschool.org.uk . We also 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.

Google Classroom: Guardian Summary

As you’ll know, Knox Academy uses Google Classroom to support learning at home and as part of our digital strategy we want to roll out an additional feature of Google Classroom which is designed to help Parents/Carers gain an overview of the set tasks and assignments.

This feature is called Guardian Summaries and it enables Parents/Carers to receive e-mail updates about:

Missing work—Work not turned in when the summary was sent.

Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails).

Class activities—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers.

As a parent/carer you will be able to control the frequency of these updates or decide to opt-out of receiving them at a later date.   

Please can parents/carers also remind their young person that all Google Meets/Assemblies must be accessed via their EduBuzz accounts or access to these will be denied. This is for data protection reasons.

Setting up Guardian Summaries 

To setup Guardian Summaries use the link: knox.is/guardiansummary which requires your child to log in via Edubuzz. This must be done by each child in your household for whom you wish to receive e-mail updates. 

We will use the main contact email we have on record but there will be an option in the form to add a second email address. It is therefore essential that the pupil record is accurate so please contact us if you wish to make any changes to your stored information.  

Please also note that, due to GDPR regulations, your young person may choose to opt out of sharing information with you and if they decline permission we will not be able to set up the summaries for you. (By Calum Blair, CL Maths and Numeracy)

In School Learning

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 (S4-S6 must wear these as do staff supporting this provision) 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 .

Please note: 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.

Support for pupils

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

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 

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