Kirkcaldy High School News 13 September 2019

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Published: Friday 13 Sep 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Best of luck for Black Friday … I hope that you are well despite the alleged bad omens associated with today! Here is the news from KHS.

This week we have had Yeargroup Assemblies with the usual pattern and the main theme has been “Pupil Voice” with an emphasis on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Stonewall “No Bystanders” Pledge, with its focus on challenging bullying behaviour. As I’m sure you are aware, this is a big theme in our school, with our values of Respect for Self, Others and Learning. We’ll be expecting an accreditation from the people from the UNICEF Rights Respecting School programme in November, and next week Miss Diamond will be in contact about a survey we are asking you to complete. Many thanks in advance for your help with this. At the Assemblies we also had an input from Stephen and Brendan, Fife Council Youth Workers, to explain about the work of the Templehall Action Group and to encourage our young people to participate.

On Monday, those S4 who are currently studying the National 5 Mathematics course undertook a “mini prelim” in the Hall. Miss Grubb, Head of Maths, is sure that it will be useful to test young people’s progress at this point. In the afternoon, a large group of young people with an interest in the automotive industry were over at the Kwik Fit Training Academy in Broxburn for a hands-on session (see photo below). Many thanks to Mrs Davidson, who leads on this. I understand that we are the only Fife school involved in this way, and it was very worthwhile. There are some excellent pictures on “Twitter”. In the evening, a group of pupils were back in Glasgow for the Scotland v Belgium Euro qualifier. Sadly, despite this enthusiastic backing, Scotland were narrowly thrashed … again.

On Tuesday, after our S2 Assembly, it was the first mentoring session for S5/6 students being supported by “FoKHS” members. I am very grateful to all our mentors, who helped last session’s S6 students to achieve “best ever” SQA exam results. It’s a great way of helping young people who are not used to the study requirements of Higher courses, to keep “on track”.

The S3 Assembly was on Wednesday and in the afternoon, Calum Jackson and John Hamilton (both S6) attended Dundee University as part of their Advanced Higher Physics study programme. The Assembly for S4 was yesterday and S5/6 took place this morning. Many thanks to Miss Young and the young people of our “Rights Respecting School” Group for their leadership of these engagements.

Special recognition goes to Eilidh Drummond, Rebecca Greig and Phoebe Brand (above). All spoke really well and I thank them for extending our school’s understanding of Human Rights. 

Next week we will welcome a new member of staff to KHS as we are joined by Suzanne Squires as our Principal Teacher responsible for Supported Learning. Ms Squires was previously of the “DAS” at Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes.

We’ll be holding House Assemblies with Adam Smith on Tuesday, Carlyle on Wednesday and Oswald on Thursday. These are being led by Mrs Rae (Pupil Support Officer) and a group of young people on the theme of Period Poverty. We hare conducting a survey to gauge young people’s needs. Here is the link;https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=oyzTzM4Wj0KVQTctawUZKaYCNgqO6ytNp29-u9j82e9UNVFKVzAzQ0hPQ0FLRUVLQlhRQzJZUDhWRS4u

Please be reminded that free sanitary items are available in all our facilities. There is no need for any young person to miss lessons for want of appropriate support. Our PSO team are especially skilled in helping young people with this.

Next Tuesday is also our S3 Parent/Carer Evening. This takes place between 5-7pm and you can pick your own time slots or use the “wizard” available with the online booking system. Please call 01592 583405 if you have any problems making appointments. The system has been “live” for the last fortnight.

We have another “Parents’ Evening” next week, but this takes a different format. It’s for parents and carers of S1 and we’ll have a focus on developing positive attitudes to reading and numbers. You’ve likely heard of “Growth Mindset”? The evening runs from 6-7pm, with hands on sessions led by some of our lead professionals in literacy and numeracy, Mrs Hume and Mrs Hamilton, Miss Wilson and Miss Hay.

The hot meal menu for next week 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. There is also our "Breakfast Club" (sponsored by Stephens the Bakers) available from 8.10am and this is completely free for those facing hardship. We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer. Lunchtime meals are priced at £2.20 for pupils, and this is the value of the “Free Meal” entitlement. Main courses are £1.55 for pupils and desserts are priced at £0.65 for pupils and £1.10 for staff.

Just a wee reminder for parents/carers of S1 that payment for our forthcoming adventure trip to Fordell Firs (25-27 September) is now due. If you can use the online iPay Impact system that would be very convenient. It’s also the way to “top up” the Myfife school meals card. Do call if you need support. Many thanks. Young people qualifying for free meals will not be required to pay. If you think that you may qualify for free meals and need some support to make an application please do call us and ask for Mrs Hardie, our Family Link Worker.

Please remember our “FoKHS” Race Night. This takes place in the school Hall on Friday 8 November and is always brilliant fun. It’s also an excellent way to support KHS. FoKHS raises thousands of pounds annually to assist the school. Please call us and ask for Mrs Davidson to purchase tickets, or to sponsor a race or a horse.

Mr Stewart (Head of PE), has asked me to remind you that if your son/daughter has an injury or is feeling unwell, you should please provide them with a note to explain this. The pupil should still bring, and change into, their PE kit as they may well be able to take part in certain parts of the lesson. The PE staff can modify practices and activities or give other tasks such as officiating to pupils when they can't fully take part in the full lesson. If a pupil arrives for their PE lesson without kit, they will usually be extracted to senior classes with written work to complete.

I am very grateful to Carolyn Brown, our school link Educational Psychologist, who has produced another leaflet for you (see attachment), this time focussing on the issue of body image (especially in the context of social media). You may recall that earlier this year, Carolyn produced parents guides on issues such as teenage anxiety, eating disorders and exam stress. I hope you find the information useful. I think it’s very relevant.

The other attachment is our regular “Employability Bulletin” put together by Miss Malcolm. It’s a useful reminder of one of our purposes; to have young people ready to enter the job market or move on to another “positive destination”. Thanks to Miss Malcolm.

Finally, I mentioned the Stonewall "No Bystanders" pledge earlier. All our young people and staff are being invited to sign the pledge during morning tutor time. You are perhaps aware that Stonewall is a charity which primarily looks after the rights and welfare of LGBT people who have faced discrimination or harassment. However, the pledge goes wider, and is a commitment to challenge bullying behaviour of all types. The words of the pledge are; “I will never be a bystander to hateful language and abuse. If I hear it, I will call it out and report it, and if I can, I will stop it. By adding my name, I promise to stand up for fairness, kindness and to never be a bystander.”

The pledge covers all types of bullying and particularly hate related to the “protected characteristics” listed in the 2010 Equality Act (https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights) These are; age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

As a school, we are fully committed to promoting equality. I am very proud that we are a school where everyone is equally welcome. In fact, KHS is regarded as one of the leading schools in Scotland in this respect. You’ll perhaps recall the COSLA Excellence Award presented last year? We are working with LGBT Youth Scotland on their “Charter”. You can find out more on our website, including our own “Equalities Statement”.

Have a lovely weekend everyone … at least there are no more Scotland games for a month or so!

Aye yours

Derek Allan

RECTOR

13 September 2019

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