Kirkcaldy High School News 1 February 2019

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Published: Friday 01 Feb 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Welcome to our regular update. I hope you are well.

This week has been a busy one, with our involvement in the Rotary Club “Young Chef” Competition last Saturday up at Dundee and Angus College. Well done to Jake Ramsay (S5), who competed so well and many thanks to Ms Collins (Head of Head Economics), who supported Jake in this and the previous rounds. There were 16 budding masterchefs competing, but unfortunately Jake did not quite make it to the Scottish final this time.

We welcomed two new student teachers this week: Ms Gambling in Chemistry and Mr Corkey in Music. We’ve also had Yeargroup Assemblies on the theme of Teenage Mental Health, led by Mrs Kendrick (Guidance) and Christine Paterson of “DAPL”. We’ve also had more specific inputs on different days, with Edinburgh University staff talking to S2 about course choice and St Andrews University in this morning to talk to the S5 about the Sutton Trust Summer School programme. This is a fantastic programme which is free for kids from working class backgrounds.

Also this morning, the Anthony Nolan Trust have been recruiting potential bone marrow donors from S5/6. Many thanks to our “Learning Council” members and other S6 volunteers, who have agreed to become “champions” of this worthy cause. We’ve actually had a film crew in from Stirling University making a documentary about this issue. Ally Boyle MBE, who leads the partnership is pictured below right.

At the assemblies, I highlighted the recent drug related incident at Dunfermline High School and urged our young people to be alert to the danger of drugs in school and the wider community. They have been reminded to take care of themselves and their friends, resist peer pressure and report any suspicious substances etc they see.

At lunchtime on Tuesday, Mrs Davidson and I accompanied our “Youth Speaks” public speaking team along  the Rotary Club of Kirkcaldy lunch, at the Dean Park Hotel, to give a talk. This was good practice for the next round of this important UK wide competition, which takes place at Stirling University in March. Best wishes to Umar Mohammed, Cara Hayes and Morgan Faulds. They were magnificent on Tuesday and are competing for a place in the UK final which takes place in Nottingham in May. I really must thank the Rotary for all their support. We’ve had the “Young Chef”, “Young Musician” and “Youth Speaks” competitions and we also have three places at the Rotary Youth Leadership camp in the Cairngorms this summer.

Also at lunchtime on Tuesday, our UNICEF “Rights Respecting School” group met with a view to becoming involved in a consultation about extended rights for young people. This is new legislation being planned by the Scottish Government. Our LGBT group will be part of this too. On Tuesday evening we held a special parent/carer evening for S1. It was all about “Growth Mindset” and focused on encouraging reading and literacy skills. Many thanks to Ms Cunningham and the English team who delivered this event. Thanks also to those of you who came along. I know that you found it very useful.

On Wednesday we had our outdoor learning group at Falkland Estate once again and in the afternoon, Ms Mahr organised for a guest speaker from the Humanist Society of Scotland to address S2 RME classes. We like to make lessons more relevant in this way and this was a particularly interesting session.

Yesterday, all S4 had a study skills session with Live’n’Learn, a well-established education and training agency. This went well.  Then, last night, Dr Murray and I, accompanied by a small group of pupils, attended a special reception at the Scottish Parliament to mark the beginning of LGBT History Month. We were invited by Jenny Gilruth, the MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes, in recognition of our inclusive practice in this area. We are having special assemblies to mark the month and to recognise the struggle which has been (and still is) faced by gay, lesbian and transgender people to access fair treatment. Our group are aslo selling rainbow laces and we’ll mark “Purple Friday” at the end of the month too.

The week ends today with a further Live’n’Learn session, this time for S5 students. We are hopeful that these inputs will help our young people become more “exam ready”.  With that in mind, tomorrow’s “Saturday School” is Health and Food Technology and History.

In sport this week: Owen Tuckwell (S3) came first in his pool last Saturday at the SSPA Badminton and is now in League 1 and our senior A netball squad lost out to a very strong by a strong Beath side. 

Next week starts with a big focus on employability and the world of work. On Monday, we are hosting the Scottish Government’s “Early Learning and Childcare Roadshow”, which is a recruitment drive in this growth area. The recent expansion of nursery places and hours means that there are thousands of new jobs becoming available in this field over the next couple of years. We’ll have almost 100 young people involved and I am grateful to Miss Malcom (our Principal Teacher in charge of Workforce Development) for her work with this. We are expecting a small group of Lochgelly High School pupils to join us in the afternoon.

Also on Monday, Mrs Davidson is taking a group of young people with an interest in the motor industry along to the Kwik Fit Training Academy at Broxburn. I understand that we are the only Fife school involved like this. We’ve been before and it really is worthwhile.

On Tuesday, our S1 pupils will all be involved in a STEM “Energiser” event in the assembly hall. This is delivered by “Tomorrow’s Engineers” and is always great fun. It continues on into Wednesday. Also on Tuesday, our LGBT+ group will be involved in delivering inclusive training for Fife Council Youth Leaders. This is in the evening. The group will also meet with LGBT Youth Scotland after school on Wednesday as we plan how KHS can be accredited with the LGBTYS “Charter” (Gold Standard).

Also on Tuesday evening, we are hosting the Fife final of the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Public Speaking Competition. Best wishes to Amber Thomson and Logan Piotrowicz (S3), who will debate the impact of internet access, alongside the 3 other finalists; 2 teams from Queen Anne, and one from Inverkeithing. Perhaps you saw the photo in the Fife Free Press? You are welcome to come along and the event starts at 6pm sharp. Many thanks to Miss Osborne (History), who is supporting Amber and Logan.

I’ll be attending a Fife Headteachers’ meeting on Thursday along at Levenmouth Academy. In school, we’ll be staging the UK Mathematics Challenge (Intermediate). Many thanks to Miss Cunningham (Principal Teacher of Numeracy) who is organizing this. She has also set up a fun Maths based version of “The Chase” at lunchtime on Thursday and Friday, involving staff and pupils. Proceeds from this, and a bake sale on Friday, are to be split between the NSPCC and a Scottish based charity called “Children 1st”.

On Friday morning, the senior pupils who have signed up for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Donor Register will give a sample mouth swab which becomes part of a stem cell record. Thanks to all who have responded to this excellent cause.

Next Saturday’s study school is Business Management, Administration and IT and Computing Science. I would urge all those in SQA exams in these areas to come in on Saturday morning. It’s a great chance to get ready for May.

Next week's canteen hot meal menu is as follows:

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, Lasagne, garlic bread and vegetables Friday Yellow split pea soup, Breaded fish/Sausage roll, 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" available from 8.10am and this is free to those facing hardship (it costs 44p otherwise). We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer.

Well done to two of our S4 girls, who sent off cheques this week as part of the fund raising in memory of Ethan King and Connor Aird. Chelsea Lithgow and Kelsey Robertson were the chief organisers of the sponsored 5k “Fun Run” which was held in Beveridge Park on 1 December last year. The excellent sum of £2811 was raised and this has been divided between the families and good causes, including supporting the trauma unit at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. As you know, I am very proud of all our young people, and especially those such as Chelsea and Kelsey, who have shown such leadership and compassion at a very difficult time.

As I mentioned last week, please do get involved in the ongoing public consultation about the future of Templehall Community Centre. There are exciting plans for redevelopment and an exhibition has been set up at the Centre. Other plans include a “pop up” van and a family fun day on Thursday 14 February (our mid term break). Get your voice heard.

We have been fortunate so far this winter in terms of severe weather. However, we’ll all recall the “Beast from the East” and will need to be prepared. You can check out Fife Council’s best advice here: www.fifedirect.org.uk/winter. There is also the opportunity to sign up for a text alert in the event that we have to close for any reason. Follow the link on the “Winter” page. I would also advise you to make use of Twitter to keep up to date with all sorts of KHS news, including weather alerts or closure information. You can follow us @KirkcaldyHigh

If there is anything with which we can be of assistance, please do be in touch. Also, if you know of any parent/carer from outwith our “catchment” who will want their child to join our First Year in August, please ask them to submit their placing request as soon as possible. It looks very much like we will be more or less full, with most available places now confirmed.

Looking ahead, please be reminded that we are closed to pupils on Wednesday 13 February for in-service training for staff. Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February are then the mid-term holidays.

Finally, please call the school if you wish to reserve tickets for the “friends of Kirkcaldy High School” Ceilidh, which takes place in school on the evening of Friday 8 March. Tickets are £10 and this includes dancing to the Bert Pozzi Band and a fish supper. We also have a bar available on the night. It’s a great cause and the group has donated thousands for school improvement over the last couple of sessions. Please ask for Mrs Davidson, who is overseeing ticket sales. The last few ceilidhs have been a sell out.

Derek Allan

RECTOR

1 February 2019

 

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