Kirkcaldy High School News 9 February 2017

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Published: Friday 09 Feb 2018 by Fife Council

Dear Parent/Carer

Welcome to the weekly update email. I hope you are well.

Last week we held interviews for the post of Principal Teacher of Music. Very well done to Ms Rachel Simpson, currently a teacher at Broxburn Academy, who has been appointed to the post. Ms Simpson is expected to take up her new role on March 12. 

This week our S4 "National 5" Prelim exams began with English on Monday and then Maths on Tuesday, before continuing all week. The programme runs until next Tuesday and the exams are a good chance for candidates to test themselves, practice the exam arrangements and work out an improvement plan with their teachers in time for May.

On Monday we also began a special boxing programme which will run over 10 weeks. It's aimed at young people who find school difficult at times and we are trying to engage in a different way. Many thanks to Rural and Urban Training (RUTS) who are delivering the experience. I mentioned last week that this group did some motorcycle maintenance classes in KHS last year and I was very impressed by their ability to relate to young people. We also had another group of soloists at the Fife Festival of Music, held in the Adam Smith. On Monday afternoon, Mr Adams (Computing) and I met with Councillor Dave Dempsey to discuss the possibility of our Computing Science students creating an app which Fife Council might use to help people across Fife to know how best to recycle domestic waste. There is some confusion about what should go in each bin and I'm hoping that our young computing scientists can create a digital solution. More news on this when we have it.

On Tuesday evening, Mrs Aitken, Mr Broadway and I went along to Capshard (at 5pm) and then Fair Isle Primary (at 6.30pm) to meet P7 parents/carers and deliver our "Roadshow". These events were well attended and there were lots of good questions. Thanks to all the young people (from S1 and S6) who joined up and spoke so well.

Wednesday saw our wind band (photograph) taking part of the Fife Festival of Music at the Adam Smith and I am pleased to say that they gave an excellent performance. Many thanks to all supporting staff, especially Instructor Mr Cuthbertson. Also, a group of S3 Biology students visited Edinburgh Zoo for the "Global Classroom" Conference. This was an terrific learning event. In the afternoon, we held the assessments for the Arkwright Engineering Scholarships. These are the UK's most prestigious awards in engineering and I must thank Mr Fulton of the CDT team for taking the lead role this year.

Yesterday we welcomed a group of 5 teachers from all over Europe, as part of a teacher exchange programme, organised by Mr Young (Depute Rector). Our guests were very impressed by the efforts of all our staff to meets the needs of young people and they liked the "family" atmosphere in KHS.

The week ends today with a visit from Claire Baker MSP, who has been meeting Advanced Higher Modern Studies class to support their dissertations on the theme of crime and punishment. It’s been quite the day for politicians as we’ve also has Lesley Laird MP (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath) in school. Lesley is delivering a talk on her work to S1 Modern Studies pupils. As part of the World Children's Rights week celebrations back in November our S1 Social Subjects classes took part in the UNICEF Outright campaign. During this campaign the classes explored the rights and experiences of refugees who come from around the world to the UK. As the final part of the project some members of the classes wrote a letter to Mrs Laird asking her about the work she does to help the refugees in our local area. They also asked if she would raise the issue of family reunion laws in Parliament.

Best wishes to Ms Mahr and Mr Mitchell of the RME Department, who are heading off to Africa tomorrow to establish our link with Groupe Scolaire Bumbogo in Kigali, Rwanda. They'll also be supporting the work of "Comfort Rwanda" and the Batsinda Street Kids Project. It's an exciting opportunity for us here and we are grateful to the British Council, which is funding the initial travel and accommodation costs. I must thank all who have contributed to the £360 raised for the "Street Kids" education charity. We are buying jotters and stationery for the next three years! Perhaps you saw the article and photo in the Fife Free Press? If not, here's the link; https://www.fifetoday.co.uk/news/education/pupils-and-staff-help-young-people-in-rwanda-1-4679822

From Sunday we have more travelling with our Modern Languages staff (thank you Mrs Morris and Mr Spink) and 22 young people off to Vannes, Brittany to stay with French families and attend school in the town. I'm sure this will be rich cultural and language experience. Pupils from Vannes visited KHS last year and enjoyed their time in Fife. 

We also have a group of 55 CDT pupils off to Paris from Tuesday for a trip which includes engineering and design workshops as well as the Eurodisney Theme Park experience. Many thanks to the staff involved Mr Hamilton, Mr I'Anson, Miss Kerr, Miss Brown, Dr Murray and Mrs Hardie. Bon voyage to all those young people off to France next week.

Wednesday is a staff training day and we are closed for pupils. The teachers and support assistants from KHS and all our associated primaries are meeting in KHS and we will have a talk form Sue Brookes, former Governor of Polmont Young Offenders Institution. Sue is renowned for her work in the rehabilitation of young people left traumatised by "Adverse Childhood Experiences" such as violence, parental alcohol misuse, drugs or neglect in the home. Having met Sue last year, I'm sure she can help our staff to become ever more able to nurture and support young people affected by trauma; either ongoing problems or bad experiences from an earlier time in their young lives. We will also be looking at literacy (especially writing) across our "cluster" group of five schools; KHS, Capshard, Fair Isle, Valley and Torbain.

Thursday and Friday are holidays, best wishes for this short break from the routine. We are back to school on Monday 19 February when the First Year will be out of class for period 1 for a special safety talk from Water Safety Scotland. This is a charity which is trying to reduce accidental drowning.

The menu next week is;

Monday: Lentil soup, Stovies with crusty bread, turnip

Tuesday: French onion soup, Chicken korma, boiled rice and vegetables

We also have baked potatoes, pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salad available every day as well as our new outdoor snack bar. Please also remember that we offer a free cup of soup with bread for all our young people, regardless of their “free school meals” status.

Our SQA "Saturday School" programme continues tomorrow with Business, Administration and Computing, many thanks to Mr Adams, Miss Murray, Miss Nessel and Miss Samfat. The following week (17 Feb) is the Holiday Weekend. The programme then resumes with: 24 Feb: French, Engineering Science, Graphic Communication and Design & Manufacture, 03 Mar: English, 10 Mar: Latin, Classical Studies, Engineering Science, Graphic Communication and Design & Manufacture, 17 Mar: Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Drama, 24 Mar: Spanish. These sessions run from 9.45am and last up to four hours. Thanks to all the staff who are giving up their time. There is evidence that this time for concentrated study can make a big difference for the exams.

May I remind you that all pupils are expected to hand in their "valuables" (eg phone, jewellery or cash) at the start of all PE lessons for safe-keeping. We will try to help when things go missing, but we cannot be held liable for any loss. It's best to pass valuable items to the teacher.

I would also remind you again of the Friends of Kirkcaldy High School Ceilidh on Friday 9 March. It's always a brilliant night out with dancing to the Bert Pozzi Band, a fish supper from Valente's and the chance to support the school. Tickets are selling fast and we are on track to sell out again. Please contact Mrs Davidson for yours.

Finally, please do remember about the ASDA (Carberry Road) wee green token appeal ... we are saving up to create an outdoor gym, which will be available for public use outside school hours. 

All the very best. I hope to see another good turnout tomorrow for our Business, Administration and Computing "Saturday School" (S4-6). 

Yours

Derek Allan

RECTOR

9 February 201

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

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