Kirkcaldy High School News 22 June 2018

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Published: Friday 22 Jun 2018 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Welcome to the weekly news update from your school. I hope you are well.

Last week I mentioned our leavers’ Prom, which was heldat Forrester Park, Dunfermline (see photo). It was a terrific final send off for the “Class of 2018”. Good luck to them all, they have been a real credit to KHS. The event went very well, and much credit goes to the staff side of the Prom Committee. Many thanks especially to Mr Fulton, Mrs Hardie, Mr I'Anson and Miss McIntosh for their excellent work. They responded magnificently at the end of the evening, when we had transport difficulties. This is being followed up.

Last Saturday, our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Support Group, @KHS_LGBT, took part in Edinburgh Pride and had a great day out. They are now getting ready for Fife Pride, to be held in Kirkcaldy on Saturday 7 July. A large number of our young people are actually organisers or helpers at this excellent community event.

This week is the penultimate week of term but despite that, it has been an exceptionally busy one. We had our new S3 First Chances group off for a residential experience at St Andrews University from Monday to Wednesday. From Wednesday onwards our S4 students then stayed at the University with their graduation at the end of the week. Many thanks to Mrs Hunter, Miss Nessel and Mr Dick for their commitment to this. Also on Monday, and again on Friday, our Advanced Higher Chemistry students spent the day at the Edinburgh University labs at King's Buildings. Thanks to Dr Murray for organising this. The other Higher Education input that day was a guest speaker from Abertay University, who spoke to our Higher Human Biology students about his stem cell research into cardiovascular disease. Many thanks to Miss Fotheringham, who set this up.

We also had the S3 Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Finals in school on Monday. This is sponsored by the Wood Group and results in a local charity receiving a cash donation of £3000. It's a very worthwhile initiative and involves groups of young people researching good causes and becoming advocates for that charity.  It was tough for the judging panel which comprised myself, David Torrance MSP and Charlie Murdoch (S3), winner of the Gordon Aikman Cup for Charity. We decided that Autism Rocks, promoted by Khai Slater and Cara Hayes were winners. Autism Rocks is a small charity based in Buckhaven and this donation was described by Morag Duff, one of the volunteers, as a "game changer". Khai and Cara's reward was to attend the National YPI Showcase at Perth Concert Hall on Wednesday, which included a performance by Emeli Sande. By all accounts, it was fantastic.

On Monday afternoon, we had “Boozebusters” Peer Educator training supported by "Clued Up" and we also held our Employability Partners Meeting after school, arranged by Miss Nessel. The aim was to set up work placements and other engagements for the year ahead. If you can help us provide "real life" or vocational experiences through any business link, please do be in touch.

On Tuesday we had an Adam Smith Assembly and Miss Osborne (History) took a group of S4 students to St Andrews University for workshops and lectures to help with their studies. This was a fantastic experience and included a talk from Michael Morpurgo, celebrated author of "War Horse". In the evening it was the AGM of our Parent Council. We discussed our latest budget position, which I am pleased to report is reasonably healthy in a time of difficulty in the public sector. I also gave a staffing update and explained that by and large, we are unlikely to have recruitment problems. I shared our Improvement Plan priorities for the year ahead (please see attached) and spoke about  the latest "Pupilwise" and "Parentwise" Survey results from Fife Council (again, please see attached reports and further comments below). Our next meeting is set for Tuesday 28 August at 7pm. Please do come along if you are able, it really is useful to have you involved in the workings of the school.

Wednesday was an Oswald Assembly and we also held a staff "Bake Off" in support of Cancer Research UK at lunchtime and this raised over £125, many thanks to Ms Collins, Head of Home Economics. At lunchtime, student members KHS LGBT+ delivered training NHS staff at Victoria Hospital. As you know, I am very proud of all their campaigning and training efforts. I think I mentioned that their pioneering work has been nominated for the CoSLA Excellence Awards by Fife Council.

Our Boozebusters sessions, delivered by the S5 peer educators to all S3 took place yesterday and we also had a group out of school all day attending the Computer Game and Animation Jam Competition at Fife College, Glenrothes.  Thanks to Mr Adams for involving us. Today we have two trips to Edinburgh ... one is a Business Studies trip to the Investment 2020 Conference and the other to the Royal Highland Show (Home Economics).

Next week is the final week of the session. On Monday, Dr Jones and Mrs Brewster (PSA) will take our S1 "Reading Group" on a day out at Camperdown Wildlife Park in Dundee, I hope they have a great experience.

Also on Monday, the History Department is hosting a seminar on the First World War. It will be good to welcome Fraser Brown, former curator of the Black watch Museum in Perth. On Tuesday, our Administration and IT students have planned and organised a trip to Edinburgh, where they will visit the Camera Obscura. In the afternoon we will be represented at the Capshard Leavers' Show. 

We will have a special assembly for S4 on the Wednesday. Miss Diamond wants to explain what to expect from the SQA qualifications process and exams. She is a senior appointee with the SQA. That afternoon, I intend to get along to the Torbain leavers show with some of our Student Leadership Team. In the evening we have arranged a parent/carer evening for those interested in our planned trip to Rwanda in October 2019.

Thursday afternoon is our "Big Event" to mark the end of session. We'll have the usual stalls and fun activities with bubble football, graffiti art workshop, giant inflatables and a mobile zoo as well as ice cream, face painting, nail bar etc. Many thanks to the staff committee who have planned this and booked up the different inputs.

 

Friday 29 June is the end of session and we are having a "Dress Down Day" in support of the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association. It's also our traditional last day Talent Show and I expect the buses to be at school at around 12.15pm. That will be our official closing time.

Looking ahead, the SQA exam results are posted out on Tuesday 7 August, the staff return to school on Monday 13 August and the pupils' first day in Wednesday 15 August. Please expect a further message home in mid-July, along with an electronic copy of our latest Newsletter.

Next week's menu is;

Monday: Lentil soup, Butter Chicken Tikka Masala and Rice, vegetables

Tuesday: Mushroom soup, Grilled Sausage/burger – veggie/beef/chicken, chips, baked beans

Wednesday: Scotch broth, Roast chicken and gravy, potatoes and vegetables

Thursday: Carrot and coriander soup, Mince pie, potatoes and vegetables

Friday: Buffet/sandwich menu.

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" available from 8.10am and this is free to those facing hardship (it costs 50p otherwise). We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer.

Please check, amend, sign and return the “Annual Data Check” form which was sent home this morning. We need your up to date contact details etc on record. Many thanks.

I did say I'd give some feedback about the “Parentwise” and “Pupilwise” surveys conducted online by Fife Council earlier this year. This was discussed at our Parent Council meeting this week. In terms of response rate, you should know that 41% of Fife pupils took part, including over 800 KHS young people. The parental response rate for Fife was 14%, although 22% of our parents/carers took part. Please see the attached files, which are also available on our website. See the tab on our homepage.

Remarkably, in all of the 57 questions asked over both surveys, the KHS "satisfaction" response was higher than the Fife average, often significantly higher. Overall, the Pupilwise satisfaction level was 7% above Fife and the "Parentwise" level was 15% higher.

Please see the attached reports for full details. Some of the important trends are that 74% of our young people say that they feel safe and cared for in school, 66% enjoy their learning and 61% report that they are happy in school. The equivalent Fife figures are 63%, 54% and 51%. We are heartened by this trend but will continue to work on all of these things (please see our Improvement Plan Priorities).

The "Parentwise" report shows that 65% of you feel that we take your views into account in comparison to 43% across Fife. It also indicates that 95% of our parents/carers are "happy with the school". The Fife figure is 79%. I must thank you for this very powerful vote of confidence, it means a lot for us here to have our collective efforts recognised by you. However, as I shared at the Prizegiving last week, we will strive to do better still. Usque Conabor, as it says on the badge!

Congratulations to Stephanie Blyth (S6), who has been awarded a place at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp in the Cairngorms this summer. This situation has arisen after an extra place became available and I am delighted that we will now have three young people taking part from July 7-14. Stephanie joins Kiara Montgomery and Blain Aitken at Nethy Bridge. Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy for their extensive support of our school. It really makes a difference.

Finally, a request from Templehall Gala Day Committee, asking that all former Gala Princes or Princesses please get in touch via the Templehall Gala Facebook page. It's the 10th anniversary of the Gala this year and they would love to hear from you. Perhaps you could spread the word? Maybe you know a past Prince or Princess? We have several still in school and will share the message internally.

Yours

Derek Allan

RECTOR

22 June 2018

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