Kirkcaldy High School News 28 February 2020

Every week the Rector sends home a news update email for carers and parents. It's a sort of log or blog. Please notify us of any change to your contact details to keep up to date. Now please read on ...

Dear Parent/Carer

Here is the latest update or "Rector's Log" as it appears on our website. I hope that you are well.  

This week we posted home the S5/6 reports. The reports include useful advice for our SQA candidates who sat prelims last month. With the exams only 6 school weeks away, I hope that all our exam candidates are putting in the required study and exam practice at home. It is proven that that's what matters now.

On Monday, Miss Tennant and Dr Murray organised an "Energiser" science event for all S1 in the Hall, in conjunction with Fife College and the RAF Outreach Team. This was a terrific success with all sorts of engineering and problem solving challenges (photo right).

On Tuesday, Miss Osborne of the History Department arranged for the "Bud" education team from Poppy Scotland to visit the school (see photos below). This is a mobile classroom/exhibition/museum experience and it was a real coup for us to have been selected. I must thank Miss Osborne for all her excellent work in relation to "Remembrance". With our school war memorial and the sacrifice of so many former students, it's fitting that it's a big part of our school. Laura and John, the staff from Poppy Scotland were so impressed by our pupils' knowledge and enthusiasm. All credit to the History team. After school, our U16 footballers had a fine win in the Fife Shield semi-final, beating a tough Auchmuty team 6-3. Special congratulations go to Jordan Tosh, who scored a hat-trick and thanks to Mr English and Mr I'Anson, coaches.

Wednesday saw another vaccination session for S3 pupils with the NHS Fife nurse team. We also had a team of high level officials from the SQA in school to discuss the National 4 English Qualification with Mrs Hume (Principal Teacher) and a group of students. This was a very helpful session for our visitors as part of their qualifications review.

Yesterday, our Rotary Interact Club members organised a charity bake sale to support two good causes, specifically a Water Survival Project in developing countries and the Fife based "STAR" Charity, supporting separated siblings in care settings. Well done to this group.

Also yesterday, Mrs Kendrick (PT Guidance) organised a training session for our Mental Health Ambassadors. This is a valuable peer mentoring programme based on the provision of "emotional first aid" and a clear referrals route for any young person finding school (or other issues) difficult at any given time.   There was a focus on mindfulness and the "Five Ways" Programme. Many thanks to Mrs Kendrick for her excellent leadership of this important initiative and thanks also to our "Ambassadors". Then last night it was our Fourth Year Parent/Carer Evening. It was good to see so many of you making it along to discuss final preparations for those SQA exams which begin at the end of April.

Very well done to Stuart Olding and Ethan Lee, who represented the school in the Disability Sport Fife Swimming Championships in Glenrothes today. Thanks to Mr Naismith, looked after them so well and is becoming more involved in Disability Sport as our new group becomes established. I am delighted to say that both our boys did very well and that Stuart won silver in the 25m freestyle. I am looking forward to welcoming them both back to school and will meet them in my office later this afternoon.

The Saturday School sessions for tomorrow are for students of English at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level.

Next week we will be completing the course choice process for S5/6 next session. We'll also have House Assemblies to celebrate British Science Week. These will follow the usual pattern, with Adam Smith on Tuesday, Carlyle Wednesday and Oswald House on Thursday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Young (Depute Head) will attend the Kirkcaldy Area Committee of Fife Council to represent KHS and speak to the latest report on the school's attainment and achievement. The Headteachers of the other three High Schools in the town will also be present. The discussion will focus on issues such as our rising roll, improving attendance pattern, reduction in exclusions, improving trends in literacy and numeracy and overall attainment at Higher, especially by S6. Mr Young will also explain how we are actively working to improve our young people's chances of gaining a "positive destination" on leaving school. I am pleased to be able to advise that the latest data, published by the Scottish Government, shows a healthy rise in the percentage of our young people entering college, university, training or employment. I must thank our team of staff who have made this their goal; Mrs Davidson (Depute), Mr Thompson (PT Guidance) and Miss Malcolm (PT "Young Workforce"). Mr Young will also highlight our wider achievements such as the recent UNICEF Rights Respecting School "Gold Award", becoming the Kingdom FM "Best School".

On that theme, next week should also see us take another step towards achieving LGBT Youth Scotland Charter status. Dr Murray and the others in the steering group have been working hard to ensure that KHS meets the standard. As you know, we are a particularly inclusive school which has done much to tackle ignorance and prejudice in respect of LGBT rights and other similar issues. Fingers crossed, we are hoping to have achieved "Charter Status" by the time Fife Pride comes around on 4 July this year. Today has been “Purple Friday”, an initiative which aims to highlight diversity and equality in wider society. Many pupils and staff have chosen to incorporate a bit of violet in their dress today. There are few photos on “Twitter”.

On Tuesday evening, Mrs Davidson will attend the annual Kirkcaldy Rotary Youth Showcase at the Dean Park Hotel. She will be joined by our young people who have been supported by Rotary this year. For example; in "Youth Speaks" public speaking, music competitions, the "Young Chef" competition and the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. Our Interact Club members will also be giving a presentation about their work.

At Wednesday's Assembly, we will present special Achievement Ties to Spencer and Owen Tuckwell, who both became age group champions at the Fife Schools Badminton Championships recently. In the evening, Mr Harrower and Miss Osborne are having a parent/carer evening for those in involve in our World War One Battlefields trip to France and Belgium this May.

In school on Thursday, Miss Hay of the Maths Department has organised our participation in the "Mathematiques Sans Frontieres" Competition. We will also be hosting a meeting of young people and local Councillors as part of the Templehall Action Group Initiative. 

On Friday we'll be holding SQA Administration and IT exams at National 5 in the Business Department. That day we have a group of 16 of our Sports Leaders officiating and judging at the Fife Primary School Athletics Championships in Glenrothes. In the evening, it's the "Friends of Kirkcaldy High School" Ceilidh with the Bert Pozzi Band. Please call 01592 583405 ... last chance to buy tickets. Saturday School for 7 March is Latin, RMPS, Classical Studies, Metalwork, Graphic Communication, Engineering Science and Drama.

In the refectory, next week's hot meal choice will be; Monday: Lentil Soup, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Tuesday: Scotch Broth, Chicken Tikka, Rice and Naan, Wednesday: Minestrone Soup, Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Thursday: Carrot and Coriander Soup, Pasta Bolognese with Garlic Bread, Friday: Leek and Potato Soup, Fish, Chips and Peas or Beans.

We also have baked potatoes, hot dogs, pizza, pasta, panini, sandwiches, filled rolls, salad and bakery items 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, and desserts are priced at £0.65. Please call if you are facing financial hardship and would appreciate help to apply for free meals. You should ask for Mrs Hardie (Family Link Worker). 

Many of you will be aware of some of the problems we are having with the school bus service, especially timing issues with the KC2 service. Stagecoach have had to register a new timetable with changes to the pickup times in the morning for this service.  I have attached a copy of the new timetable, which will start from Monday April 20.

Finally, may I ask that if you know of any family wishing to request a place at KHS from August 2020, that you please ask them to be in touch as soon as possible. Mrs Hamilton (Depute Head) and I are looking at staffing and timetabling for session 2020-2021 and we are expecting a significant rise in the school roll, with around 300 new First Years. We have had a record number of "placing requests" from outwith our usual catchment, many from outwith Kirkcaldy. Our overall school roll is likely to be around 1350 by August and this will take a good deal of planning and preparation to manage. As I say, early notice of "placing requests" is appreciated and will help us with this. Thanks.

All the very best. Take care.

Derek Allan



28 February 2020

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