Kirkcaldy High School News 17 August 2018

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Published: Friday 17 Aug 2018 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Welcome to the weekly news update from your school … the first since our young people returned on Wednesday. I do hope you have had a good holiday … and I do appreciate that many of you will be delighted to see your kids head back to school! I am delighted to report that we are off to a good start. Our S1 seem a particularly cheerful and well behaved group. They have impressed the teachers so far.

This week we had staff training on Monday and Tuesday. This had a focus on improving learning and teaching, exam results, course choices and meeting pupils’ needs.

On Wednesday we extended tutor time to allow for the new timetables to be checked over and we welcomed those new starts in the Hall. I think I mentioned that following Mrs Aitken’s move to Lochgelly High School, Mr Young will be Yearhead for S1 and S2. We have Mrs Hamilton as a new Depute looking after S3, Miss Diamond staying with S4 and Mrs Davidson as Head of S5/6. The other significant change is that Mrs Thompson’s Guidance pupils are now the responsibility of Mr Mitchell for the period during which Mrs Thompson “acts up” as Head of English.

Yesterday we let the new classes meet with their new teachers and today we’ve had Yeargroup assemblies. We have been sharing expectations for the year ahead and reminding young people of their responsibilities. As you would expect, we’ve been reinforcing the school’s values of “Respect for Self, Respect for Others and Respect for Learning”.

At the S5/6 Assembly I asked for volunteers to come forward to help at the Templehall Gala which takes place tomorrow on the field off Fair Isle Road. Many thanks to all who have said they will help with erecting stalls, face painting or supervising the parade.

Next week we have House Assemblies with introductions of the House Leaders and House Captains, a further focus on the year ahead and a number of presentations of certificates etc. On Wednesday our Active Schools Ambassadors are out on a training day. Also on Wednesday and again on Friday we are hosting teachers from Eastern Europe as part of their professional learning. It’s always good to welcome our European colleagues and they always seem to be impressed … especially by the “ethos” or “feel” of KHS.

On Thursday we have a group of English pupils attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival and in the evening we’ll have a “Friends of Kirkcaldy High School” meeting at 7pm.

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 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. We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer.

I mentioned our new starts earlier and I am happy to report that the school roll is currently standing at its highest level in recent years. We are anticipating that once all the summer leavers are taken into account, the roll will be around 1170 or so. For the past 10 years we’ve had about 1100 pupils. KHS feels noticeably busier this term.

As well as the pupil new starts, it has been a pleasure to welcome several new members of the teaching staff … and it’s just as well given the rising roll! We have recruited the following teachers; Business: Ms Russell, Computing: Mr Hussain, English: Ms Patton, Mrs Campbell and Miss Wilson, PE: Miss Steedman, Biology: Mrs Scott and Miss McFall, History: Miss McGhee, Geography: Miss Wallace, Maths: Miss Cunningham and Mr Donaldson. Welcome to them all, they seem to be settling in very well.

I also mentioned those SQA exams earlier. Perhaps you saw some of the media coverage? It was lovely to see those delightful pictures of Taylor Williams on the cover of The Courier. Taylor had managed to meet quite tough entry criteria for St Andrews University and it was great to have her and a group of ten other students in school to share the tension, and the joy. Fife Council had asked us to invite some young people in to school to open their results and this was covered by The Courier, The FFP and Kingdom FM.

Overall, we can report some very pleasing outcomes in the exams. The S4 did less well on average than in recent years but these things tend to fluctuate year on year. The Higher results were excellent, with many indicators standing at “best ever” levels. For example, 1 in 3 of the group which came to us in S1 five years ago have gone on to achieve at least three Highers.

I am reluctant to focus on any particular students as every individual has a different personal best. However, we did have a group of young people across S4-6 who scored straight A grades and could not have done any better. Special congratulations go to John Hamilton, Megan Jobson, Sorcha Cross, Maja Kheirallah, Craig Kelly, Natasha Sinclair, Gabrielle Ward, Kitty Pham and Morgan Stokes.

One final piece of news. You are likely aware that our LGBT+ Support Group has been responsible for some excellent work in our school … and even at regional and national level. We take a rights based approach to promoting equality and diversity issues and the group has worked very hard to challenge homophobia and bullying. This has been recognised, and the group is shortlisted in the COSLA Excellence Awards 2018. We are named in the top three most “innovative and passionate” improvement projects across Scotland (see www.awards.cosla.gov.uk).

Councils from all over the country nominated hundreds of different local government initiatives and it is a huge honour for KHS to have been recognised. Congratulations to all the young people and staff involved. You’ll hear more of this before the final judging on 11 October. The presentations take place at a glamourous ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews.

With very best wishes.

Derek Allan

RECTOR

17 August 2018

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