Dear Parent/Carer

I hope you are well and are looking forward to the weekend. Welcome to your regular school news bulletin from KHS.

This week we had vaccinations for S3 on Monday, with protection against, diphtheria, tetanus, polio and meningitis. In the afternoon and evening, our Guidance team undertook the S4 course choice process. This seemed to go well. Please return any outstanding course choice forms by early next week at the latest.

Tuesday was the Adam Smith Assembly. Many thanks to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Support Group who led the assembly on the theme of Equality and Diversity. Alanah and Bowie covered the topic of “Coming Out”. Also, our Higher Modern Studies class enjoyed their tour of the Scottish Parliament. Many thanks to local MSPs David Torrance and Claire Baker for hosting (photo). In the afternoon (period 6), all S4-6 went to the Hall for a talk about courses and opportunities at Fife College and an input on Modern Apprenticeships.

The Tuesday evening saw our regular Parent Council meeting with a focus on Additional Needs. Many thanks to Mr Broadway (Head of Learning and Behaviour Development) who gave a short talk and took questions.  Our next meeting is Tuesday 13 March and you are all very welcome to come along to the Boardroom at 6pm. We also held a Parent/Carer event for S1 on the theme of Literacy and Growth Mindset. Many thanks to Mrs Hume (Head of English) and the Department staff who led on this. The session, which was very highly evaluated, looked at: Growth Mindset, Literacy Across Learning and working at home to develop Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening. Mrs Hume has asked me to share the websites and web links she recommended at the event: (Growth Mindset illustration)

On Wednesday, as well as the Oswald Assembly, on the theme of LGBT History Month, we had two reviewers from Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) in school all day conducting a “Thematic Review” of Personal and Social Education and Health/Wellbeing. They are visiting 50 schools around Scotland and KHS was selected to be part of this. They saw lessons, talked with several pupil groups and met with groups of staff and supporting professionals. LTS were very impressed by the quality of our PSE programme and the very positive feedback given by our pupils. They said they were clear that KHS is a nurturing and caring community of professionals which works together to “make a difference” for all of the young people. Many thanks to all who contribute to this … including you, the parents/carers. There was also an English Department trip to the Adam Smith Theatre that day for a showing of “Wonder”, a film which explores the theme of facial disfigurement and resilience. Many thanks to Miss Bell and Mrs Saunders who supervised and fed back that our young people, as usual when out and about, were a real credit to the school. Finally, after school, our senior basketball team contested a cliff-hanger of a match at Woodmill High School and eventually won out 50-48! Well done.

Yesterday we had mock interviews for S5/6, supported by several business partners. There was a focus on “Career Management Skills” and “I Can” evaluations of young people’s strengths. It’s widely recognised that we Scots are poor at acknowledging our own abilities! Many thanks to all employers and partners involved. We also hosted the UK Intermediate Maths Challenge in the Hall, thanks to Miss Brown for her work with this. We had several soloists competing in the Fife Festival of Music at the Adam Smith Theatre, thanks to Mr Britain and all the instructors for their support of our players; Holly Smith, Shannon Law, Jessica McGregor, Gemma Carpenter and Cara Hayes. Yesterday was the woodwind section, and I’m told that Holly and Gemma were particularly on form, giving “outstanding” performances according to Mr Cuthbertson, the woodwind instructor. Also, Miss Cunningham took a group to Anstruther to take part in the Fife Schools’ Literary Quiz. Team KHS did very well and enjoyed the event greatly. Very well done to winners Waid Academy, the hosts.

Today we had the Carlyle Assembly, again led by our LGBT student group and this afternoon, our wind band comes together for a rehearsal ahead of their upcoming performance at the Fife Festival of Music. It’s also a mentoring afternoon for our S5 students who are being supported by “Friends of Kirkcaldy High School”. Many thanks to FoKHS for the time and effort they give to this.

Our SQA “Saturday School” programme continues tomorrow with History, Geography and Modern Studies. Last week we had a remarkable turnout with 112 young people signing in for extra Maths lessons! That is a credit to the excellent work of Mrs Hamilton, Miss Grubb and the rest of the team. Well done to those who came in … I hope it bumps up your exam grade, that’s the aim. The rest of the programme is: 10 Feb: Business, Administration and Computing, 17 Feb: Holiday Weekend, 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 much evidence that this time can make all the difference for exam preparation.

Last week we held interviews for the post of Principal Teacher (Curriculum) of Expressive Arts. Very well done to our own Mrs Cowie, who has now been appointed to oversee learning in Art, Drama and Music. Today we have interviews for a lead teacher in Music and I should be able to share some news of this next Friday.

Next week our S4 Prelims begin with English on Monday and then Maths on Tuesday. The programme runs until 13 February. On Monday we are also running 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 will deliver the experience. This group did some motorcycle maintenance classes in KHS last year and I was very impressed by their ability to relate to young people.

On Tuesday evening, Mrs Aitken, Mr Broadway and myself will be at Capshard (5pm) and Fair Isle (6.30pm) to meet P7 parents/carers and deliver our “Roadshow”. Thanks to all the young people (Mainly S1 and S6) who are joining us.

Wednesday sees our wind band taking part of the Fife Festival of Music at the Adam Smith and a group of S3 Biology students will be out at Edinburgh Zoo for the “Global Classroom” Conference. We have attended this previously and it’s an excellent learning event.

On Thursday we are welcoming a group of 5 teachers from Eastern Europe as part of a teacher exchange programme. We also have an S1 netball match after school.

The week ends with a visit form Lesley Laird MP (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath), who will deliver a talk on her work to S1 Modern Studies pupils.

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.

We have another appeal to make. Are you an Urdu speaker? This year we have a pupil in S4 taking Higher Urdu. Part of the exam is a Listening paper and the SQA require us to have somebody present to read the exam paper in the event of a problem with the CD recording of the listening paper. We are looking for an Urdu speaking parent or supporter to help out on Monday 30 April, 3-4pm. I have to say that I have never known there to be a problem with the recordings but the exam authority expect us to have a “human voice” as a back-up. Please call 01592 583405 and ask for Mrs Davidson if you can help with this. Thanks.

I would also remind you 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. Please contact Mrs Davidson for yours.

Finally, please remember to place your green ASDA token in the KHS box if you shop there … we are saving up to create an outdoor gym, which will be available for public use outside school hours.  

All the very best to you for the weekend … and also to Scotland in the rugby. I also hope to see a good turnout tomorrow for our Social Studies “Saturday School” (S4-6).  You can follow KHS on Twitter @KirkcaldyHigh. Thanks.


Derek Allan


2 February 2018

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