Kirkcaldy High School News 31 May 2019

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Published: Friday 31 May 2019 by Fife Council

Last Friday I explained that, in the afternoon, Mrs Davidson (Depute Rector) and I were being assisted by Ann Mitchell of Kirkcaldy Rotary Club, Mollie Turner (current Head Girl) in conducting interviews for next year’s Prefect Leaders. We have now finalised the short leet. Very well done to; John Hamilton, Jake Ramsay, Aiden Russell, Morgan Sinclair, Natasha Stoddart, Rachel Suttie, Caitlin Tindal and Cara Turner, who will form next session's Prefect Leadership Team.

The next stage is to select the Head Boy and Girl and this will be as a result of an election which takes place on Friday 7 June. All staff and all S6 have a vote. We'll have a short "hustings" at the Colours and Prefect Ceremony after school next Tuesday, when the candidates will each deliver a two minute speech. This process is repeated early on the morning of 7 June as part of our S6 Induction. This gives all the S6 the chance to hear from the candidates before voting. 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 Anderson (retiring Head Boy) for the “handover”.

Last weekend, Mrs Wood, our Pupil Support Officer, had organised a coastal path clean up in conjunction with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. A group of around 20 pupils, parents and staff came along to litter pick the path and beaches between Seafield and Kinghorn. It was a brilliant morning ... that really is a stunning part of the coast and were joined by at least a dozen seals! We also collected about 15 bin bags full of trash. I am very grateful to Mrs Wood for her leadership of this and also the initiative she is leading to improve our school grounds. Both initiatives are related to our UN Sustainable Goals "push".

This week’s exams have been Fashion and Textile Technology on Monday, Geography on Tuesday, Psychology on Wednesday and Care today, this is the final SQA exam for 2019. Once again, many thanks to Mrs Davidson (Depute Rector), Mrs Maloney (Chief Invigilator) and the Invigilator Team. The exams have been organised and supervised exceptionally well and the results are posted home on Tuesday 6 August.

On Monday we had a visit from Carrie Lindsay, the Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services and the Heads of Education, who were in school to see some lessons, meet staff and spend some time with young people to discuss their experiences in KHS. It was good to welcome them to the school.

The feedback we received was very favourable. Our visitors commented on the exceptionally positive ethos of the school and friendly attitude of the staff and young people they met. I think that they were struck by the general feeling of "happiness" in KHS, which is the basis of wellbeing I suppose.  It's nice to have that recognised, it's one of our aims. Ms Lindsay also commented on the staff "can do" attitude and the idea, which I know is greatly appreciated by our kids, that we always "go the extra mile". Many thanks to everyone who was part of this.

On Tuesday we hosted the "Enterprising Maths" Competition for our associated Primary Schools. This was great fun, with teams from Capshard, Fair Isle, Torbain and Valley being supported by our S3 in a series of teamwork and problem solving challenges. I must thank Miss Cunningham (Principal Teacher) for her leadership of this. It was very well organised, and great fun. Congratulations go to Capshard, who now go through to the next round.

On Tuesday afternoon, we had a “debrief” session with the staff and a representative group of S2 pupils who took part in our recent Great War Battlefields trip. We invited along the 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. The feedback from our kids was excellent ... and quite emotional at times. I am delighted that Miss Osborne, Mr Harrower and Mr Mitchell are planning another trip for next May, and details will be shared with the new S2 at an assembly next week.

After school on Tuesday evening, we had a Parent Council Meeting. The main theme was be “Being Well” and how we address teenage mental health issues. Many thanks to Mrs Kendrick (Principal Teacher of Guidance) and to Alanah Ferguson (S6) and John Hamilton (S5), who contributed. The other Parent Council news is that we have been short-listed for the Kingdom FM Local Awards this year. The Parent Council had nominated KHS in the "Best School" category and we'll be making a short film to be shown at the Awards Ceremony at Rothes Halls on 23 August. Many thanks to the Parent Council members who nominated the school. Special thanks goes to Derek Dunsire, who is stepping down as Chairman, to be replaced by Gillian McIntyre for the year ahead. Congratulations and thanks to Gillian.

Wednesday was 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 were invited along to the Sky Studios. Many thanks to Miss Young and Miss Ashby, who lead on this work.

That same day, Miss Steedman and Miss Malcolm took our S1 Netball and Football teams to Glenrothes High School to compete in the Dave Garland Memorial Tournament.  The tournament attracts teams from schools across Fife and is always a sporting highlight of the summer term

Yesterday, Mr Young attended a meeting with our “Cluster” Headteachers at Valley Primary to set up arrangements for the year ahead and in school we hosted the grand final of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. Eight teams of S3 pupils delivered presentations before judges Cara Hayes, Kai Slater, Blake McBride and myself. Cara and Kai were last year's winners supporting "Autism Rocks". Each of the teams "pitched" on behalf of a selected local charity. This year's winning charity and recipient of the £3000 prize is Zaagi, which provides comfort to bereaved parents of stillborn children or children who have died in infancy through designing and making (by hand) gowns, wraps and mementos from recycled wedding dresses. It's an unusual idea and Zaagi is a small scale enterprise, £3000 makes a huge difference. Very well done to Paige Dougall, Hayley Smith, Josh Calderwood and Scott Moffat, (pictured below with Kim of Zaagi) who promoted their cause so very effectively. There were tears. Also, very many thanks to Ms Mahr (our coordinator) and all the staff supporting YPI.

Our school nurse “drop-in” operates as usual today, with sexual health advice, contraception and pregnancy testing as part of the wider service offered. Young people have been advised that this service now operates from a more spacious and private space with a waiting room. It can be found behind the Community Reception (which is only used in the evenings) diagonally opposite the Guidance Suite.

As you are likely aware, Monday is a public Holiday and Tuesday is a staff training day. The main theme will be our collective work on a new relationships framework guided by a programme called "Pivotal". We recently underwent an audit and scored very well. However, our aim is to become more consistent in terms of school uniform, expectations and how we handle conflict ... all of which can occasionally cause problems.

After school on Tuesday we will be joined by Councillor Jim Leishman, the Provost of Fife. The Provost will present our Sports Colours Awards, Saltire Volunteer Awards and help us with the Prefect presentations. We'll also have short speeches from our Head Boy and Head Girl candidates.

Back to school on Wednesday and it's our new timetable. Many thanks to Mrs Hamilton (Depute Head), who has put in the hours to get this right.

We also have two Science trips to Edinburgh, with a team of four S1 taking part in the Salter's Festival of Chemistry at Heriot-Watt University and our S2 "Go4SET" team taking part in the national final of this "STEM" competition at Our Dynamic Earth. KHS were declared winners of the Fife and East Scotland heat which was held at Fife College last month and I am hopeful that our floating eco-friendly research station will impress the judges. Many thanks to Miss Tennant (Principal Teacher) for her excellent work with this.

On Thursday we will hold Yeargroup Assemblies and as well as a "setting the tone" input from me, the Deputes will lead. For S5, there is a change of Yearhead. S2 will have an additional input on our proposed World War 1 Battlefields trip in May 2020, S3 will have a focus on the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, S4 will have an SQA theme and S5 will be introduced to a programme called "Career Ready" by Miss Malcolm, our work placement coordinator, and Mrs Davidson (Depute).

The week ends with our Induction Day for S6 and I am grateful to Mr Farquharson (Guidance) for the programme he has developed involving employers, support agencies and providers of further and higher education.

At lunchtime on Friday we have a special treat. Ramiza Ahmad (S3) has got together with a group of Muslim kids to organise our first ever Eid Party, marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting period for followers of Islam. We are expecting around 60 Muslim and non-Muslim pupils and a large group of staff to get together to enjoy some home cooking. I liked Ramiza's invitation, which began "Calling All Curry Loving Teachers and Staff!" That's me!

Also at break and lunchtime that day, the pupils involved in our trip to Madrid at the end of June are holding a bake sale in the War Memorial area. At lunchtime we are having a meeting for those interested in taking part in a proposed arts trip to Italy. The main themes will be based on music, drama and the visual arts and the location (to be confirmed) is likely to be Veneto, the area around Venice. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity.

On that culinary theme, the hot meal menu for next week is as follows;

Wednesday: Minestrone soup, Pork sausage casserole, potatoes and vegetables Thursday: French onion soup, Roast Beef, Potatoes and vegetables Friday: Leek and potato soup, Breaded fish/Steakbake, 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.

Finally, I must give yet another plug for our school show, "School of Rock", which takes place in KHS over three nights, June 19-21.  It's sure to 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.

You know to be in touch if you require assistance. The Guidance Teacher is the usual first point of contact.

All the very best to you

Derek Allan


31 May 2019




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