Kirkcaldy High School News 23 August 2019

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Published: Friday 23 Aug 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you are well and that you and your family have enjoyed a happy summer break. That said, I fully understand that, after seven weeks, you might well feel that it's time to get back to school! Welcome to the first weekly "log" of the new session. For new parents/carers of our S1 intake welcome to your first such log.

Those S1 pupils have made a very good start, and have greatly impressed their teachers, Mr Young (Yearhead) and myself with their cheerfulness and good manners. Thank you for your support with uniform too. All of our kids are looking smart this week.

Congratulations to those young people who did well in the SQA exams. I know that whatever the outcome, we can help our students move on to achieve their best. All of our pupils received a copy of our most recent Newsletter yesterday, but sometimes these are mislaid. Please see attached for an electronic copy ... it has a wee tribute to our top exam performers as well as a round up of last term and a calendar of important dates for this term (see photo).

The staff started back on Monday and Tuesday with staff training days which had a focus on important issues such as our improvement plans, additional support needs, the exam results and homework policy. A major part of our work in the year ahead will be supported by an organisation called "Pivotal" education to improve the consistency of way we handle routine situations. There is considerable evidence that when adults do this and exhibit calmness and kindness in a predictable way, young people learn better and develop improved social skills. I'm pleased to report that calmness and kindness are staff default positions here already but we want to make this a really strong feature of KHS going forward.

To help us do this, it's important that expectations are widely known, especially in terms of issues such as uniform and mobile phones. We've covered these at assemblies this week. Please be reminded that our dress code is quite simple. We expect a plain white shirt and visible school tie, knotted near the throat. Any jumper worn should be plain dark or of the KHS branded type and trousers/skirts should be plain black. Same goes for shoes, and trainers are acceptable so long as they are black. Our blazers are particularly smart, hard wearing and practical. They are available from the school or online form "Academy Uniforms" at a very good price. Leggings without pockets are not acceptable, nor are very thin leggings/jeggings through which underwear can be seen. Hoodies are not acceptable wear in class. Should any parent/carer need help in acquiring uniform, please just ask. We have a "bank", and much of it is new stock.

Mobile 'phones must be switched off and out of sight in lessons and in corridors unless the teacher makes it clear that their use can be part of learning. There should be no use of earphones in classes or corridors; it's rude and can be dangerous. Pupils are welcome to make use of a 'phone during break or lunch eg to listen to music or browse the internet. Please do not call or send messages to your son/daughter during lesson times as this can be a real distraction. If you do need to be in touch for an important reason, please call 01592 583405 and we will have your son/daughter taken out of class to speak to you. Any pupil who breaks our 'phone rules may have their phone confiscated for the lesson and we'll contact you if this is a persistent problem. I'm sure you would want to ensure that learning is given priority over Fortnite, Youtube or Snapchat during lesson time?

As for the session ahead, school holiday dates are available on the "Fife Direct" website and please note that the Scottish Government has granted 2 extra teacher training days for this session. These are Monday 21 October 2019 and Monday 6 January 2020. Also, I understand that the traditional May Day holiday is moving from the Monday to Friday 8 May 2020. This is to be confirmed very shortly.

Please note that Parent/Carer evenings for the session ahead will usually run from 5-7pm and we'll send you details of how to book appointments electronically about 2 weeks in advance. The dates are; S1 Parents’ Evening - Thursday 7 or Tuesday 12 May 2020, S2 Parents’ Evening - Thursday 7 November 2019,  S3 Parents’ Evening - Tues 17 September 2019 and Wednesday 27 May 2020, S4 Parents’ Evening - Thursday 27 February 2020, S5/6 Parents’ Evening - Wednesday 2 October 2019.

Our senior students were asked to return books in early June. However, not all have done so. Please ensure that all books are returned in the first week of the new term or we may need to send a bill for replacement costs. You’ll appreciate that textbooks are essential for the new classes.

Next week are holding House Assemblies with the usual pattern; Adam Smith on Tuesday, Carlyle on Wednesday and Oswald on Thursday. On Tuesday morning, Mrs Davidson and I are meeting with Fife College to discuss new courses for our Senior Phase students. At lunchtime on the Tuesday, it will be my pleasure to accompany Jake Ramsay, Megan Ramsay and Liam Nisbet along to the regular meeting of Kirkcaldy Rotary Club where they will give an illustrated talk about their experiences at Nethybridge in the Cairngorms over the summer. All three were sponsored to take part in outwards bounds adventure training as part of the "RYLA" programme and we are very grateful to the club members for their most excellent support. On Tuesday evening there is a regular meeting of the “Friends of Kirkcaldy High School”. If you are interested in this excellent support group, please respond to this email message and I will give you a call to discuss.

On Thursday we will be elisting the help of “Skills Development Scotland” to train up our new group of “My World of Work” Ambassadors. These are S6 students who will help younger pupils to plan career and subject choices, working with S1-3 pupils and supporting vocational initiatives in our local primary schools. I am grateful to Mrs Davidson for her work with this, and also to Julie Lautredou, our lead SDS Careers Advisor.

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" (sponsored by Stephens the Bakers) available from 8.10am and this is free for those facing hardship. We have cereal, toast and jam and juice on offer.

Looking ahead, parents of the new S1 should soon expect a letter from Mr Young about our outdoor activity days at Fordell Firs (25 – 27 September). This is a great team building exercise for our new intake and costs only £15 for the day. There is no charge for those entitled to free meals.

Do wish us luck for the Kingdom FM "Local Hero" Awards this evening. KHS is up for "Best School" and Mr Young and I will be attending the awards ceremony at the Rothes Halls in Glenrothes. To be shortlisted is a great accolade and I am very proud of all our staff, pupils and parents/carers. One aspect of the submission made was the highly positive response in the “Parentwise” survey last year. You’ll maybe recall that I was able to report that parental satisfaction of Kirkcaldy High parents/carers was significantly higher than other Fife secondary schools. It was the KHS Parent Council which nominated the school.

Very best wishes for the weekend, the term ahead and this whole session. Working together it can be a happy and successful time. Should you need any help or assistance, we are at your service.

Derek Allan


23 August 2019

Kirkcaldy High School - Enquiries
Tel: 01592 583405 Contact Kirkcaldy High School - Enquiries online
By Post: Kirkcaldy High School Dunnikier Way Kirkcaldy Fife KY1 3LR
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