SCOTLAND’S First Minister has sent a personal video message to Haddington’s secondary school backing its values.

Nicola Sturgeon got in touch with Knox Academy after the school’s headteacher Sue Cook had sent her a letter about the school’s values.

A consultation involving pupils, staff, parents and carers, and the wider community, identified the school’s core values as ‘ambition, respect and community’.

In her video message, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think the values of Knox Academy of ambition, respect and community are hugely important.

“For me, ambition does not necessarily mean trying to be the best at something. It means setting yourself high standards, to try as hard as you can and to do your best.

“Respect is about how we speak to and act towards other people. It means treating everyone equally as you would like them to treat you.

“Finally, when I think of the word community, I think of people working together and looking out for one another. Community is about everyone feeling that they belong and that they are part of something bigger than just themselves.

“As First Minister, I try my best to demonstrate and to promote these values in every way I can. So I’m delighted that you are all thinking about what they mean to you as pupils at Knox Academy. I’m confident that if you continue to live by these values you will all go on to achieve great things in the future for yourselves, for your family, for your school and for Scotland.”

Ms Cook thanked the First Minister for the message and explained how the school had come to reach its core values. She said: “The core values came about through a year of consultation with staff, pupils and parents/carers in session 2017/18.

“It was important to update the school’s old values of ‘Wisdom, Respect and Engagement’, which have been the values for a number of years, to ones which reflected the values of our current cohort and which they had investment and ownership of.

“Our values are a very important aspect of our school and are at the core of all we do on a day to day basis.

“I wrote to Ms Sturgeon and she very kindly agreed to engage with us in looking at our values by saying what ambition, respect and community meant to her, in her role, and what she perceived it would mean to us at Knox Academy.

“Pupils watching the video at assembly listened attentively and we all really appreciated Ms Sturgeon giving of her time to support us in this way.”