Kirkcaldy High School News 28 June 2019
Published: Friday 28 Jun 2019 by Fife Council
I hope you are well. Welcome to the final weekly news update of session 2018-2019. May I take this opportunity to wish you well for the summer break.
Last week I highlighted our school show, "School of Rock", which was, in my view, completely "awesome" ... terrific fun, with great energy and lots of talent on show. It took a huge effort from all the cast and the backstage crew and I am very grateful to director Mr McPherson, who led the whole thing brilliantly well. The audience cried, laughed, cheered and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. What a credit our young people are; the performers, technical crew and stage hands. I am also deeply indebted to all the staff who chipped in to help in various capacities; Miss Wilson, Mrs Simpson, Mrs Duckett, Mr Fulton, Mr I'Anson, Mr Hunter, Mrs Cowie, Mrs Jack, Mrs Donaldson, Ms Wight, Miss Steedman, Mr Adams, Dr Murray, Mr Fleming, Miss McIntosh and Mrs Bruce. Well done Ronan Corkey (student Music teacher) who was an excellent Musical Director. A final shout out to Aiden Russell (new S6) who played Dewey, the lead role. Aiden finished the run despite having practically no voice left due to his vocal exertions. Now that's the mark of a real trouper!
I also mentioned our Spanish language trip to Madrid, which arrived home on Friday evening. Many thanks to the staff team of Mrs Morris, Miss Fotheringham, Miss Malcolm and leader Mr Spink. The trip was an outstanding success ... great fun, culturally enriching and a brilliant learning experience. Well done to all our young people, who were excellent ambassadors for Kirkcaldy.
And there was a list of "Sport Stars" last week. Please accept my apology for failing to include Ben Keddie (new S4), who is a Scotland International Ice Hockey player ... and a goalie at that. Mr Young and I had a chat with Ben this week about his being part of the U15 Scotland team, along with the other two lads named last week. Scotland won this year's Home International Conference Tournament at Sheffield at the start of May. Very well done to Ben. He is a great credit to his family and his school.
Last Saturday, the KHS LGBT+ Group had a great day out at Edinburgh Pride. It was, as always, a lovely celebration of fairness, equality and difference, and the sun shone brightly.
This week is the final week of term and on Monday, the Geography Department organised a field trip to Barns Farm by Aberdour. This was for S4 undertaking National 5 and I am very grateful to Miss Wallace for organising such a valuable experience. Despite the terrible weather, this was a highly successful and interesting field trip.
On Tuesday morning we held interviews with S5 students who are interested in the "Career Ready" Programme. This is a terrific work experience and mentoring project which includes a paid internship and often results in those involved developing a real insight into a business or industrial sector in which they have some interest. I am very thankful to Miss Malcolm, who is the Principal Teacher responsible for our "Young Workforce" initiatives and is overseeing the Career Ready programme. She and Mrs Davidson conducted the interviews.
On Wednesday, we were invited, along with the other Kirkcaldy secondary schools, to contribute to the Armed Forces Day event taking place in the Town Square. Our input was on a Remembrance theme, led by Kerr Wilson (new S3) who recently helped lay a wreath at the Menin gate, Ypres as part of our World War 1 battlefields trip. After Kerr spoke passionately about his experiences and some of the Great War dead of KHS, Dr Murray sang "Green Fields of France" by Eric Bogle. It was all very moving and an appropriate tribute to the awful sacrifices made in war. We received a lovely email from the Provost's office saying that our contribution was the highlight of the event.
Yesterday afternoon was our traditional end of session "Big Event" with inflatables, games, a mobile zoo, various stalls, music and ice cream. We had our end of term Prize Draws with the top prize being a mountain bike (worth £200) sponsored by Leslie Bike Shop and "Friends of Kirkcaldy High School". Very well done to Kenzi Livingstone (S2), who scooped that amazing top prize. We were also delighted to host a set from up and coming Fife based vocal talent Billy Reekie. Billy has recently featured in the UK top thirty and put on a show for local fans. Billy did a fabulous 30 minute set, including his hit single "Don't Come Around". The weather was excellent and it really was a brilliant way to move into holiday mode. Special thanks to our raffle sponsors: Bowlplex, Adventure Golf, Xtreme UK Trampoline Park, Fife Leisure Trust and, of course, Leslie Bike Shop. Thanks also to Premier Stores, Smeaton, who kindly sponsored all the ice cream, cones and toppings.
The session ends today with a "Dress Down Day" in support of Motor Neurone Disease Scotland and our traditional Talent Show, organised by the S6.Very well done to overall winner Phoebe Bright S3 (pictured). Phoebe is a wonderful Irish Dancer. We are anticipating the school buses at 12.15pm Please note that this is the last time we will have an early close at Christmas and the Summer recess. Fife Council has announced that schools will operate as usual on these days as of session 2019-2020.
We have quite a significant amount of staffing news to share. Firstly, many thanks and very best wishes to all the staff leaving KHS this week; Mrs Meek, Head of Social Subjects (retirement), Mrs Rollo, PE (retirement), Mr Shandley, Supported Learning (retirement), Ms Wight, Geography (to PTC Social Subjects at Queen Anne), Miss Ashby (to join the Guidance Team at St Andrew's High School), Mr Hussain, Computing (to Holyrood High School, Edinburgh) and Ms Russell, Business Education (to Inverkeithing High School).
Meanwhile, of course, will be welcoming several new staff after the break; Mr Andy Jones (new PTC Social Subjects), Mrs Dale Collie (Art and Design), Ms Suzanne Squires (Principal Teacher Supported Learning), Miss Lizzie Hay (Maths), Mr Dawid Udinkan (English), Mr Ross Paterson (Modern Studies), Ms Kharis Lipton (Business Education), Mr Johnny Pennel (PE), Ms Lea Crepieux (French), Mr Michael Sanderson (History) and Ms Joanne Devenney (RME). Also, welcome Mr Billy Naismith as a new PSA in Supported Learning (also from August) and we have another similar vacancy to fill.
There were also interviews on Tuesday for our Guidance team vacancy and I am pleased to report that Mrs Kerek will continue to work with the young people of Adam Smith House. Best wishes to Mrs Nelson, who is reducing her hours to from August and will job share her role as Head of Business and Computing with Ms Nessel.
Lastly, and this is particularly big news. Many congratulations to Mrs Sharon Hamilton, who was confirmed as Depute Headteacher in a permanent capacity earlier this week. The interviews took place on Monday and I am delighted that Mrs Hamilton will continue in the role she has played so effectively for the year past on a temporary basis. She has become a vital part of the leadership team here after Mrs Aitken's move to become Head at Lochgelly.
I do hope that you have heard of the Café Inc. project? It's a Fife Council initiative to ensure that no young people (especially those who would normally qualify for free school meals) go hungry over the summer break. between 11.45am and 1pm, drop in lunch cafes will be available in Fair Isle and Valley Primary Schools, and other places around Kirkcaldy. Lunch is free, not confined to any age group and there is no application process. Well done to Fife Council, which is committed to reducing inequality.
On that theme, we were pleased to be able to send a donation to Kirkcaldy Foodbank this week after a collection taken at our recent Eid Party, marking the end of Ramadan, the Moslem fast period. There is also a pot of cash raised at "School of Rock" and we'll pass that on too.
Again on that theme of equity and fairness, please be reminded that applications for the Educational Maintenance Grant (EMA) can be accessed and completed at www.fifedirect.org.uk/ema If your son or daughter was in receipt of EMA for 2018/19 they still need to reapply for the coming academic year. Once the application is approved, young people should bring their completed ‘Learning Agreement’ to the school office. The EMA is available to young people from less well off backgrounds staying on at school after their sixteenth birthday.
I will be in touch with an email over the holidays to make you aware of arrangements for returning to school. We will have a significant amount of building work and decorating going on so please do not expect to be able to access school easily. Please do phone ahead, and please do bear in mind that our Office team will be facing significant disruption to their normal working conditions.
As you likely know, the SQA exam results come out on Tuesday 6 August. The SQA now offer a "Post Results Service" in place of the old appeals system. Any pupil who think they have a priority case (ie those pupils with conditional places at college/university who have narrowly missed the criteria) are invited to come in to school on Monday 12 August to discuss with Mrs Davidson.
Thanks for all your help and support over what has been another excellent session for our development as a school community. I'm already looking forward to the next steps. But in the meantime I'm going to enjoy some "down time". I do hope that you can do the same.
A' the best!
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