Kirkcaldy High School News 21 June 2019

Archived news: published on Friday 21 Jun 2019 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you are well. Welcome to the weekly news update ... and the countdown to the summer break.

Last week I mentioned the "Prom" at the Fernie Castle Hotel, by Cupar. What a lovely occasion it was. Well done to the Prom Committee of S6 and staff, who planned this event for months. As expected, it was a poignant and proud occasion. Special congratulations to our Prom King and Queen for 2019; Adam Halligan and Kelice Peebles.

One of this week's main highlights has undoubtedly been our Spanish language trip to Madrid, which left the school on Monday. Many thanks to the staff team of Mrs Morris, Miss Fotheringham, Miss Malcolm and leader Mr Spink. I understand that this has been an outstanding success and that the weather has been hot, sunny and dry. There are some lovely photos on "Twitter".

It's also been the residential experience for our "First Chances" students at St Andrews University. Our new S3 group attended at the start of the week and the S4 towards the end. Many thanks to Mrs Hunter, Miss Nessel and Mr Dick who are supporting this. First Chances is a fantastic programme which is targeted at young people from families with no tradition of university.

On Tuesday, Miss McIntosh took a smaller group of S3 across to Edinburgh University to take part in another "taster" day and conference experience. We are committed to developing our young people's understanding of all opportunities, including those in Higher Education. This is called the "Your Ed" programme and is a new wider access and participation programme, again aimed at creating opportunities for families with limited experience of Higher Education. It was good to meet up with Louise Wallace, former Head Girl, who was part of the support programme at Edinburgh.

We held House Assemblies reflecting on the year past and looking forward to the session ahead. These were Adam Smith on Tuesday, Carlyle on Wednesday and Oswald of Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, Ms Mahr took our Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) charity project winners along to the national Showcase at Perth Concert Hall. You may recall that a team of committed S3 won a £3000 charity donation, courtesy of the Wood Group, for a charity called Zaagi, which supports bereaved parents. This was an excellent experience and I am delighted that KHS is involved with YPI.

Wednesday evening was the opening night of “School of Rock”, our school musical show, and you can still get one of the few remaining tickets from the Office for the final show this evening. You can call 01592 583405 to enquire or purchase at the door. The show is terrific fun, with great energy and lots of talent on show. It has taken a huge effort from all the cast and the backstage crew and I am very grateful to director Mr McPherson who has shown such commitment to the show. Thanks also to the other staff supporting this production in so many different ways. Come along tonight, it's amazing. 

This last couple of days we have our Activeschools Fife "Sportstars" being photographed for our gallery. It's a celebration of participation, ambition and success and we want to encourage others to consider ways to boost their own wellbeing through exercise or physical activity. Very well done to; Kerr Wilson (Judo), Nina Wilson (Judo), Aida Shaikh Ali (Sprint Kayak), Laurie Hunter (Dance), Emily Armit (Brazilian Jujitsu), Phoebe Bright (Highland Dance), Kai Forbes (Ice Hockey), Aidan Grubb (Boxing), Rowan Mills (Ice Hockey) and Owen Tuckwell (Badminton).

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Torbain and Capshard as part of a "nurture" assessment. I was blown away by the extent to which the pupils are cared for by the teachers and the other staff, led by the excellent Headteacher, Mrs Bruce. Knowing that similar work is going on at our other associated primaries, I am heartened that our students of the future are developing so well in an emotionally supportive environment. We too value wellbeing and are regarded, especially by high school standards, as a "nurturing" school. That said, yesterday's visit has helped me see how we could do better still. I was especially taken by an initiative called "Emotion Works". If you have younger kids at Capshard or Torbain you are likely to know about this already.

This morning we had a film crew from “Kingdom FM” visiting the school to make a short film about our work as part of the “Local Hero” Awards. Last week I confirmed that we have been shortlisted for “Best School” along with two primary schools; Pitreavie and Falkland. It’s a real credit to us all  ... the staff, our young people, our parent/carer community and the partners with whom we engage. The filming went particularly well and we'll see the final cut at the presentations in August. Our young people spoke so passionately about the strengths of KHS and what it feels like to be a student here. They inspired me. It was the KHS Parent Council which made the nomination and I have been asked by our new Chairperson, Gillian McIntyre, to invite you to join us at our next meeting in September. Gillian spoke very well at our P7 Parent/Carer Evening last week.

On that theme of filming/media, you may recall that we had a camera crew from BBC2 in last week making a documentary with Mike Haines of “Global Acts of Kindness”. Some young people may receive a consent letter soon as they are likely to appear in shots taken in the Hall. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about this. All young people present gave their own consent on the day.

We also have a group of Hospitality and Catering students across at the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh today. Thanks to Ms Collins for setting this one up.

Next week is the final week of term and on Monday, the Geography Department have organised a field trip to Barnes Farm by Aberdour. This is for S4 undertaking National 5 and I am very grateful to Miss Wallace for organising such a valuable experience. Those who can are being asked to contribute £2 towards travel costs but we will waive this charge for those claiming free meals. 

On Tuesday morning we are holding interviews with S5 students who are interested in the "Career Ready" Programme. This is a terrific work experience and mentoring project which includes a paid internship and often results in those involved developing a real insight into a business or industrial sector in which they have some interest. I am very thankful to Miss Malcolm, who is the Principal Teacher responsible for our "Young Workforce" initiatives and is overseeing the Career Ready programme.

On Wednesday, we have been invited, along with the other Kirkcaldy secondary schools, to contribute to the Armed Forces Day event taking place in the Town Square. Our input will be on a Remembrance theme and will be led by Kerr Wilson (new S3) who recently helped lay a wreath at the Menin gate, Ypres as part of our World War 1 battlefields trip. Miss Osborne (History) and Dr Murray (Chemistry) will join Kerr and I at the event. Dr Murray has been asked by the organisers to sing "Green Fields of France" by Eric Bogle.

Thursday afternoon is our traditional end of session "Big Event" with inflatables, games, music and ice cream. We'll also have our end of term Prize Draws with top prize being a mountain bike sponsored by Leslie Bike Shop and "Friends of Kirkcaldy High School". We are also delighted to be hosting a set from up and coming Fife based vocal talent Billy Reekie. Billy has recently featured in the UK top thirty and is putting on a show for local fans. He is dropping in this afternoon with his agent to suss out our Hall. We are expecting him to put on a 30 minute show, including his hit single "Don't Come Around", next Thursday afternoon.

The session ends next Friday with a "Dress Down Day" in support of Motor Neurone Disease Scotland and our traditional Talent Show, organised by the S6. We are anticipating the school buses at 12.15pm.

Next week’s hot meal menu is:

Monday: Lentil soup, Macaroni Cheese, chips, vegetables Tuesday: Tomato soup, lasagne Wednesday: Minestrone soup, Pork sausage casserole, potatoes and vegetables Thursday: French onion soup, Roast Beef, Potatoes and vegetables Friday: Cold buffet and sandwiches only.

As we approach the end of term, please note that we do not allow vehicles into the playground during the school day. This includes the area at our main entrance. If you are picking your son/daughter up for an appointment, please park in the visitor or astroturf pitch car park and approach on foot. You will understand that the playground is no place for moving vehicles.

For those of you with kids in S5/6, you are probably aware that the SQA results are due out on Tuesday 6 August. Best wishes to all our candidates. Mrs Davidson has asked me to share a letter (attached) with you. It covers the expectations and deadlines around the "Post Results Service". This replaced the "Appeals" process a few years back.

Finally, please watch out for two important pieces if communication (in one envelope) coming home via your son/daughter next week. We ask that you sign and return both letters. These are Fife Council's "Annual Data Check" and "General Permission Form". Apologies that both are a bit wordy ... as I say they are official Fife communications which are required to follow a set standard. Adam Smith and Carlyle House pupils receive the envelopes on Monday, with Oswald on Tuesday. As I say, please do sign and return as soon as you are able.

Best regards ... and have a braw weekend, it looks like the weather is to be a bit more agreeable than of late.

Derek Allan


21 June 2019

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