Kirkcaldy High School News 24 May 2019

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Published: Friday 24 May 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent or Carer

I hope that our weekly email finds you well. Welcome to the "Rector's Log" with your weekly news round up.

For this week, our main theme in learning has been the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We have been heightening awareness of the importance of protecting our environment and of the dangers of pollution and climate change. As you are aware, governments around the world are recognising that we need to do things very differently to combat the "climate emergency". It’s been great to see so many linked learning experiences going on in so many areas of the curriculum … please ask your son or daughter about it.

As well as this being the theme of much of our learning across S1-3 this week, it was the basis of lessons for the Primary 6 visits for a taster day on Tuesday. Thanks to Miss Diamond, who organised the whole programme and also to Miss Ashby and Ms Young for their work with this strand of learning, it’s an important part of the UNICEF "Rights Respecting School" programme.

On Wednesday, the Modern Studies Department arranged a visit to Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for the S3 classes (photo), part of their learning about law, order and justice. I understand that this was very interesting. We also had staff and young people attending the “Stonewall” Education Conference in Glasgow. As you are aware, creating a highly inclusive school environment is very important to us and this is a further chance to develop approaches and share ideas, building on our equalities training last week.

Also, our S3 Parent/Carer Evening took place last night and once again we used the online booking system. It seemed to go very smoothly as far as I was aware. If you have any comments at all, positive or otherwise, please press “reply”.

We are ending this week with a very busy Friday today. Parents/carers of S1 pupils can expect school reports to be posted home. Please do discuss the teacher comments and return the feedback form next week. There’s a pupil comment section too.

Also this morning we had an early start with a “Business Breakfast” in school for those employers and businesses who support us in “Developing the Young Workforce”. Many thanks to Miss Malcolm, who leads on this and has set up the engagement in our Boardroom. We are looking at ways to extend our work placements and visits. If you can help with this, please do be in touch. It was really lovely to be able to welcome such a large and active group of business partners to the school this morning (photo).

Also today, Mrs Brown and our S3 Classical Studies class members are part of a very exciting archaeological dig on East Lomond Hill. I think I mentioned previously that we are working with the Falkand Stewardship Trust to excavate an Iron Age hillfort. I have to reiterate … how cool is that?

Furthermore, our S3 “RUTS” group is along at Knockhill for an off-road motorbike training day. They will put into practice some of the mechanical skills they learned last week. Many thanks to Mrs Rae (Pupil Support Officer), who is supporting this programme. It really is a brilliant skills based course. Back in school this afternoon, Mrs Davidson (Depute Rector) and I are assisted by Ann Mitchell of Kirkcaldy Rotary Club, Fraser Anderson and Mollie Turner (current Head Boy and Girl) in conducting interviews for next year’s Head Boy and Head Girl. We have drawn up a short leet of potential candidates, based on prefect interviews and nominations from staff. When the final group is selected, all S6 and staff will have the final say in an election to be held on Friday 7 June. The first public appearance of our new Head Boy and Girl will be at Prizegiving on Tuesday 11 June, when they will be welcomed on stage by Mollie and Fraser for the “handover”.

Tomorrow, Mrs Wood, our Pupil Support Officer, has organised a coastal path clean up in conjunction with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. A good number of pupils have signed up to litter pick the path between Seafield and Kinghorn. We are meeting at the Seafield car park at 10am and you are very welcome to join us. I am very grateful to Mrs Wood for her leadership of this and also the initiative she is leading to improve our school grounds; more of this in a future message.

I should also add that it has been good to welcome back Miss Yvonne Nessel to the Business Education Department this week. Miss Nessel has had a spell as Head of Department at a school in Aberdeen and I am delighted that she has now decided to return to Fife. 

This week’s exams have been Dance, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Classical Studies, Graphic Communication, Computing Science, Health and Food Technology, Italian, Drama and Art and Design. Next week it’s Fashion and Textile Technology on Monday, Geography on Tuesday, Psychology on Wednesday and Care on Friday 31 May, this is the final SQA exam for 2019. Best wishes to all our candidates, and congratulations to Mrs Davidson (Depute Rector), Mrs Maloney (Chief Invigilator) and the Invigilator Team. The exams have been organised and supervised exceptionally well. The results are now posted home on Tuesday 6 August.

Next week we have a visit from Carrie Lindsay, the Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services and the Heads of Education, who are in school on Monday to see some lessons, meet staff and spend some time with young people to discuss their experiences in KHS. It will be good to welcome them to the school.

On Tuesday afternoon, we are having a “debrief” session with the staff and some of the S2 pupils who took part in our recent Great War Battlefields trip. We’ll be meeting in the Boardroom and have invited a member of FoKHS who was good enough to sponsor the trip. This generous person, who wishes to remain anonymous, part funded places for young people facing financial disadvantage to allow them to visit Belgium and France. We are very grateful. Maybe you saw the lovely picture of our kids at the Menin Gate in Ypres in the Fife Free Press this week? I am very pleased to learn that Mr Harrower and Miss Osborne are planning another trip for next May, please stand by for details soon. After school on Tuesday we have a Parent Council Meeting at 6pm and you are very welcome to join us. The main theme will be “wellbeing” and how we address teenage mental health issues.

Wednesday is especially busy, with our Social Subjects pupils making a documentary film at the Sky TV Studios in Livingston. Our school won the Scottish heat of the “Sky Ocean Rescue” Competition, highlighting the danger of plastic pollution and I am delighted that they will gain such a rich opportunity. Many thanks to Miss Young and Miss Ashby. That same day, Miss Steedman and Miss Malcolm are taking our S1 Netball and Football teams to Glenrothes High School to compete in the Dave Garland Memorial Tournament. Dave was a colleague and friend of mine from my time at Glenrothes High. He was a fantastic PE Teacher who died of Motor Neurone Disease in 1995. The tournament draws teams from schools across Fife. Best wishes to our teams, we are defending the football title.

On Thursday, Mr Young is out at a meeting with our “Cluster” Headteachers at Valley Primary and in school we’ll be hosting the grand final of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. Teams of S3 pupils are delivering presentations before a panel of judges on behalf of a selected local charity. The winning charity is then awarded £3000. Last year, the school supported “Autism Rocks” in this way. Good luck to all of our eight heat winners.

The hot meal menu for next week is as follows;

Monday:Lentil soup, Stovies with crusty bread, turnip Tuesday: French onion soup, Chicken korma, boiled rice and vegetables Wednesday: Tomato soup, Steak pie, potatoes and vegetables Thursday: Green pea soup, Sweet chilli beef and noodles, vegetables Friday: Vegetable soup, Breaded fish/Scotch pie, chips, peas.

We also have baked potatoes, pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salad available every day as well as our outdoor snack bar. Please do be aware that we offer a free cup of soup with bread for all our young people, regardless of their “free school meals” status. We also have our "Breakfast Club" (sponsored by Stephens the Bakers) available from 8.10am and this is completely free to those facing hardship. We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer with coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

I must give another plug for our school show, "School of Rock", which takes place in KHS over three nights, June 19-21.  I am sure that it will be a big hit. Tickets are priced at £5 and £3 and are available from the school office. Payment can also be made using the online iPayimpact system.  Tickets for the show can then be collected from the office any time before the day of the show.  If you need any assistance logging on to the iPayimpact system, please contact the school office.

In closing, a wee note about Yearhead arrangements for next session. As you perhaps know, Mr Young is currently Yearhead for S1 and S2. We intend to keep this arrangement for next session, when we are expecting one of our largest ever intake groups to form the new S1. Mrs Hamilton will stay with the current S3 on into S4 as we think this can better help with the tracking of progress at an important stage. Miss Diamond (currently S4) will take on the new S3 and Mrs Davidson stays with S5 and S6. The Yearheads will be in touch before the change of timetable on 4 June.

As always, do be in touch if you require assistance. The Guidance Teacher is the usual first point of contact.

All the best to you

Derek Allan


24 May 2019

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By Post: Kirkcaldy High School Dunnikier Way Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 3LR
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