The SQA exams are all but a week from completion and our young people have reported fair papers and hopefully this will be reflected in the grades they will receive in August.
A warm welcome to Charlotte Todd, our new Librarian who started with us this week.
We are also currently advertising for a Senior Business Support Assistant (permanent, part-time 14 hours).
The school has been allocated probationers in Drama, Chemistry, Biology and History for session 2019-20
Common School Day
Letters have been issued this week and sent home via email for those in S4/5 (or posted if we don’t have your email so please do send your email to us – see below). This details all the timings for each school day and bus/taxi times for those travelling from further afield. This letter can also be viewed on the website and Twitter.
School Improvement Planning 2019-20
We have started planning the next steps in our improvement journey next year and for the 3-5 years beyond. As you will be aware, the school invested a lot of time in session 2017-18 looking at the school values and consulting widely on these. After this period of consultation our school values are Ambition, Respect and Community. We have focused on Respect this session and next session we will be moving forward with linking all three values through our classroom practice and the day to day life of all the school and in the wider community. Alongside this we need to develop our school vision and again, I would like to engage all of our stakeholders in doing this; pupils, parents/carers, staff, community partners and our Cluster Primary school. This is important so we have an overall vision for now and the coming years for all who will attend Knox Academy. In the next few days I will be sending out a link to this survey by text and/or email and it would be great if parents/carers could complete this to help with the development of our vision so it really is us all involved in shaping this. Thank you in advance for your participation in this. The survey will remain open for two weeks and should take a maximum of five minutes to complete.
The other aspects we will be focusing on as a school will be high quality learning, teaching and assessment and consistency of learners’ experiences; further development of digital skills for staff and pupils; positive relationships; leadership opportunities for staff and pupils; evaluating and enhancing our curriculum; inclusion – including further development of our approaches to nurture. We will also be aiming to achieve our Rights Respecting School Gold Charter and our Silver LGBTQ Charter awards. All we aim to do is to ensure that our young people achieve and attain the best they can through an inclusive and supportive environment which enables them to thrive.
Broad General Education Ceremony (S3)
Our first BGE Ceremony for S3 pupils transitioning to Senior Phase will take place on Friday 31 May. We are very privileged to welcome Prof Norman Drummond as our Guest Speaker. It is great that so many parents/carers are also going to attend this important event. Please note the earlier start time of 10.30am
Monitoring/Tracking and Reporting and Parents’ Evenings/Prelims
Thank you to parents/carers who have been part of the short life working group on this. As a result of consultation the prelims will now move to the end of November/beginning of December. The details of all Parent Evenings’ timings/dates and coursing dates will be shared soon on our school calendar as a result of consultation at this working group too.
Emails will be our main method of communicating with parents/carers from June onwards. If you have still to update your email, or have changed it, please email Emma Maguire to make her aware of this so your records can be updated. Please can you do this by Friday 31 May at very latest.
This will take place for the new S5 on Tuesday 4 June
Activities Week (Wednesday 15 - Friday 17 May)
Pupils participating in this week, and the trips to Paris, Mimosa and Dounans, seemed to have a fantastic time. Many learned new skills, developed their confidence and made new friends. These weeks are great for further developing strong working relationships between staff and pupils and pupils and their peers. A huge thank you to staff who led groups/activities and to parents/carers who came along to support some of these. Thank you also to our community partners who worked with us to offer activities or use of their facilities. Here are two reviews of activities:
On 15 May 13 Knox Academy pupils began their “MasterChef Experience” as part of Activities Week. This experience was supported by many East Lothian businesses and included two chefs who taught the pupils invaluable skills. On Wednesday, Kirsty from The Waterside Bistro was in school teaching the pupils how to make cheesecakes and lemon meringue pie. Then Chef Martin inspired the pupils with delicious Thai yellow prawn curry and trout fishcakes. Throughout the experience the pupils planned their own three course menu and cooked it on Thursday where it was judged by the senior management team. They enjoyed this immensely and unanimously agreed that Finlay Goodwin was the new Knox Academy MasterChef 2019. The activity ended with a delicious brunch on Friday at The Waterside Bistro where James, the manager, treated the pupils to a VIP experience. Special thanks must go to the local restaurants and individual chefs who supported this valuable experience, without them it would not have been possible.
On 15 May a group of 14 pupils started their “Health and Beauty Experience” as part of Knox Academy’s Activities Week. Two beauticians from Cherish ran the whole of Wednesday concentrating on nail care and facials. Then on Thursday the pupils had a morning session of mindfulness in the sunshine. Julia Low from Remedial Health, with Julia came in to teach the pupils some massage techniques. After lunch Tanya Dixon from Utopia gave each pupil individual hand massages and spoke to them about keeping their minds healthy. Then on the Friday the pupils took part in a photo shoot showing off their new skills and also enjoyed a delicious and healthy lunch. Altogether it was a great success.
Planning has already started for next year! Can I also take this opportunity to ask you to support the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme to support Knox Academy's Activities Week by voting for us? Voting will take place between Wednesday 1 May 2019 and Sunday 30 June 2019. This will mean that we can offer more activities free of charge or with minimal costs attached, meaning finance is not a barrier!
On Monday afternoon, the Eco-Committee invited the Bin It Roadshow to present to all S1 students. This is the second year that we've had the roadshow at Knox Academy. The presenters educated students on the problem of litter and how we can all do our part to keep or public spaces clean. Did you know it can take as long as 450 years for a plastic water bottle to decompose?! Better to recycle it! The Bin It show was interactive and engaging, with a few cheesy puns thrown in. It was great to have them at Knox to spread the message of eco-conscious living (by Jess Laudi).
Joss Arnold (S2) has just been selected for the Borders and East Lothian U16 training squad who will train and play fixtures against the other Scotland regions (Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc.) in August. A great achievement for Joss who has just turned 14!
Charlie Gates (S4) played goalie for Scotland U16s against England and Wales recently.
72 Knox pupils travelled to Meadowmill on Tuesday 21 May to represent the school at the Youth Games. We had teams competing in football, rugby, hockey, badminton and basketball throughout the day, with some of our S3 leadership team attending to help assist with organisation and coaching of the S1/S2 teams.
Gutsy performances were on display throughout the day, with many of our athletes having to cross over into multiple events, some of which they had little experience in. However, in the Knox spirit, all competitors were fiercely ambitious and were respectful of their opponents. The badminton team took an inexperienced group of S1 players alongside the expertise of Dylan Pearman and his squash abilities. They completed the highest team performance of the day with a 3rd place finish, and an excellent building block for next year. The football teams came up against some strong opposition however the never die attitude meant that wins were picked up in the boys games, and the girls managed to net a goal regardless of only having one ‘footballer’ on the pitch! Thank you to all the hockey girls that geared up and played almost 90 minutes of football to help us pick up the points! Moving forward, the team events will come down to the final date in the calendar for County Sports where competitors will look to climb Knox up the table through track and field events. (by Lana Borwick)
Staff/Pupil Half Marathon
Good luck to all staff and pupils running the Edinburgh Half Marathon this Sunday in aid of East Lothian Special Needs Playscheme. Please do come along to support them along the way. The event finishes at Musselburgh Racecourse.
Dates for your Diary:
Friday 31 May S3 BGE Graduation Ceremony (10.30am)
Monday 3 June Start of new timetable (all years)
Tuesday 11 June P7 Information/Transition Evening
Tuesday/Wednesday 11/12 June P7 Transition Days
Friday 14 June S6 Prom
Friday 21 June SPOTY Awards (6pm start)
Wednesday 26 June Awards Ceremony (7pm start)
Friday 28 June End of term – 12.15 finish
Monday 12 August Staff resume
Wednesday 14 August Pupils resume