Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you are very well and are looking forward to the weekend, an event which has come early for our pupils due to our staff training day today!

Last Sunday, Jay Elder and Isla Wright, our Head Boy and Girl, laid a wreath at the Town War Memorial after taking part in the traditional Remembrance Parade. Following that, at the Adam Smith Theatre, I delivered a brief talk about the sacrifice made by former KHS pupils in the Great War. We then had three short but highly emotional monologues given Cameron Pilmer, David Moir and Dylan Scott which were very well received, as was Dr Murray’s very moving rendition of “Willie McBride”, sometimes known as the “Green Fields of France”. Many of the audience were brought to tears and we were thanked by Colonel Jim Kinloch, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Fife, for our contribution. You are perhaps aware that KHS lost 105 former pupils and 3 serving teachers during World War 1. It is only right that we honour their sacrifice.

This week has been national anti-bullying week and most of our young people have been involved in surveys or lessons with a “respect” focus.  Also, our LGBT support group gave a presentation at the “Respectme” national conference in Glasgow on Monday. The group is recognised as leading the way in promoting tolerance and fairness. All week, “Kingdom FM” highlighted school bullying and played recorded interviews with KHS young people and staff as part of each news bulletin. I am very proud of our young people, they are such excellent ambassadors for the school. You can check out the link:

https://www.kingdomfm.co.uk/news/local-news/scottish-schools-using-respect-to-tackle-bullying/

Also, on Wednesday, we were commended by the Scottish Parliament for our work in tackling prejudice based bullying. There is another link here:

https://www.scottishparliament.tv/meeting/debate-prejudice-based-bullying-and-harassment-of-children-and-young-people-in-schools-and-review-of-personal-and-social-education-november-15-2017

David Torrance MSP speaks at 16.50 on the timer and the Mary Fee MSP at 16.59

Also on Monday, Mrs Rae (Pupil Support Officer) accompanied a group of S2 pupils to the Victoria Hospital to do some work shadowing in health related professions; physiotherapy, radiography etc. We also hosted a St Andrews University “First Chances” debating session after school. Then, also after school, Miss Mahr of the RME took a group of S2 to Discovery Point in Dundee to collect the prize they won in the Scottish School Interfaith poster competition.

After school on Tuesday, we were part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, performing “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews. Well done to all the cast and many thanks to Miss Bruce and Mr McPherson, who have shown such commitment to this project. The KHS production was brilliant.

On Wednesday we held a “Speedy STEM” event for all S2 in the Hall. This had a focus on problem solving science, maths and engineering problems. Our Biology pupils visited the labs at the Vic as part of National Pathology Week and this will be happening on multiple occasions over the next week too.

After school it was our S1 Parent/Carer Evening and this went very well. Thanks to those who completed the “Parentwise” questionnaire on the night. It was also the Mock Court Project Awards Night at Signet Library, Edinburgh. This has been an excellent competition supported by the Law Society of Scotland and I must thank Miss Ashby of the Modern Studies Department for all her work with it. Very well done to Sorcha Cross and Osama Aslam, who were named as the best defence solicitors in the East of Scotland! Sam was also given a “Rising Star” Award and selected for the final round to represent the UK in the European Mock Trial Competition which takes place in the Hague in January (see photo below).

Yesterday morning we had a special assembly with colleagues from Kirkcaldy Police, who gave a talk to all S5/6 on the “One Punch” Campaign, a violence reduction project … and the title explains all. It was a very powerful and emotional message.

As I mentioned, the week ends today with a training day for staff. The school has been closed to pupils and the staff have been focusing on Learning and Teaching (especially Co-operative Learning), Language of Learning and Growth Mindset. I must say that it has been particularly beneficial. Our staff are highly professional and value the opportunity to enhance that professionalism.

Next week we will have yeargroup assemblies on the theme of the “Rights Respecting Schools” programme. This is a UNICEF initiative and we are committed to making the world standard for promoting fairness, equality and the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

On Monday, we have an English trip to Stirling Castle to take part in a creative writing project which is based on the experiences of soldiers in the Great War. After school, there is a “First Chances” trip to St Andrews University.

On Tuesday, parents of all young people who are projected to take the National 5 Qualification in English and/or Maths in May 2018 are invited to come along to a special event at 6pm. It will be a useful opportunity for parents/carers to find out more about how they can support young people to do well in the coursework and the exam. I do hope that you can make it along. Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Hume are on hand to give advice and take questions.

On Wednesday, our S2 pupils are involved in a “STEM” session with the Hydrogen Office. This will focus on learning and job opportunities in engineering.

The week closes with a Business Education trip to the Investment 2020 Conference at Standard Life HQ in Edinburgh. We’ll also have a School Nurse Service Exhibition set up in the War Memorial area and a group of Science Club pupils will be at the Michael Woods Centre in Glenrothes competing in the “Quadcopter” Competition sponsored by Raytheon. This has involved building and flying a drone aircraft and taking part in various challenges.

The menu next week 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 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.

Many thanks to those who have completed “Parentwise” survey either on paper (eg at the S1 Parent/Carer evening this week) or online. We really value your views and it would be great if all parents and carers took about 5 minutes to do the survey online here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ParentW2017

A wee reminder, please do come along to the school on Tuesday 28 November from 6pm when we will have a special event promoted by the KHS Parent Council. It’s all about internet safety and will include issues such as online grooming, sharing inappropriate images, “sexting” and online scams. As well as our own staff explaining how we try to deliver lessons which help young people stay safe, we’ll have a special input from Scott McGready, “ethical hacker” and cyber security expert. Scott is a very skilled communicator and also has another career as a magician and consultant on TV. He will be delivering safety talks in school to all of our pupils during the day and be part of our parents evening too. It’s a bit different, and I do hope that you will be able to attend. Invite letters were issued to all young people earlier this week.

Finally, a gold engagement ring, which is likely to be of sentimental as well as monetary value, was found in school this week. Is it yours? We’ve asked the staff and pupils but have had no takers. As I say, it is probably a treasured piece of jewellery.

Wishing you “all the best”.

Derek Allan

RECTOR

17 November 2017


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