Update from Mr Knight – 30 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that you are all well. As we reach the end of the fourth week of the school closure, I thought it would be useful to take this opportunity to update you on the work of the pupil support team over the past few weeks.

At the heart of our school values is the exceptional support that we provide to our young people both in terms of their learning but also their health and wellbeing. Despite the school closure, supporting our young people and families has been of paramount importance with the pupil support team providing invaluable support across the school community. I would now like to update you on their work and provide you with further information should you require additional help, support or advice.

Our Pupil Support Leaders have continued to support our young people and have been speaking remotely to pupils and families to provide pastoral support, complete coursing and supporting with college applications to name but a few. Our pupil support team and school staff have also been out in the community checking in with families. The pupil support team provide an open door policy in school and despite working in a different way at the moment are still available to support in any way they can. If you would like to speak to a Pupil Support Leader please email Dalkeith_hs@midlothian.gov.uk and a member of the team will get back to you.

Regular contact and support is also provided to our young people who attend the Enhanced Complex Needs Base with learning continuing remotely and ongoing help, support and advice being provided from our ECN team. If you do require further support, again please do not hesitate to contact the ECN Base through Dalkeith_hs@midlothian.gov.uk.

During this term the pupil support team would normally be focussed on preparations for P7 pupils making the transition into S1. This continues to be a priority and arrangements are being made to support transition, albeit in a more creative way. More information will follow regarding transition procedures in due course.

I would also like to recognise that the current school closure will be of significant worry to those young people who are leaving school at the end of S4, S5 and S6. Midlothian Council are currently preparing strategies for those who may require additional support with the transition from high school into training, employment or further/higher education. I will share this information with you as soon as possible however in the meantime I would like to remind you that our Skills Development Scotland Careers Advisor, Barbara Moir continues to be available for support. She can be contacted on via email at Barbara.moir@sds.co.uk.

Should you require any additional support or have any questions regarding pupil support at Dalkeith High School, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Craig Knight

Depute Head Teacher (Acting)

Update from the Headteacher Wednesday 29 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that all in the school community are keeping well and that our pupils have settled into their learning this week.

The results of a survey commissioned by YouthLink Scotland, Young Scot and Scottish Youth Parliament were recently published.  The Lockdown Lowdown survey reflects the thoughts of 2400 young people from across Scotland.  You may find it both interesting and helpful to read the report to find out what young people across the country are thinking about the current situation that we are living through.  The link to the survey can be found below:

https://www.youthlinkscotland.org/media/4486/lockdown-lowdown-final-report.pdf

I have also been made aware that Amazon are currently making available free digital resources to help support young people who are starting to work on their new Nat 5/Higher courses that will lead towards national qualifications.  The digital resources cover a number of different subjects and will supplement the learning materials and experiences provided by teachers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=sqa+free&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

I hope that you will find this useful.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – 28 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I do hope that your day is going well so far.

Many thanks to families who responded to the email that I sent out last Friday offering the loan of PE and Music equipment.  Any further requests should be made by Wednesday lunchtime to allow for the organisation and distribution of the items as quickly as possible.

Parents/carers of S1 and S3 pupils were due to receive a report this term providing information about their young person’s progress. The following statement has now been released by Midlothian Council:

Scottish Government guidance states that ‘ local authorities and schools will be planning how they communicate with parents and families about their child’s progress during Term 4 and many early learning practitioners will wish to share information on children’s development. This will require a different format to those that may have been taken before’.

If you have not already received a progress (full) report for your child this session, you should expect by the end of this term to receive a revised, simplified version of the school’s usual format.

I will be in contact with you in due course to let you know the arrangements that we will put in place, but please do not hesitate to contact the school in the interim if you have any questions about your young person’s progress.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Monday 27 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that this email finds you well and that you managed to enjoy some time to relax over the weekend.

I am acutely aware that today would have been the first day of the SQA exams which as you know have been cancelled.  This may provoke mixed emotions in your young people who had been working so hard towards this stage in their school career.  However, I remain confident that they will achieve the qualifications that they deserve through the robust systems that SQA now have in place.

I am also aware that Friday would have been the last formal day in school for those who are leaving school this year.  Unfortunately we have not been able to celebrate as we had intended.  Rest assured, we will do what we can, when we can and in accordance with public health guidance to mark this important transition.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our leavers the very best of luck as they move to pastures new in the months ahead.

Some pupils in the senior phase have been asking questions about final decisions regarding coursing for the new session.  This will be attended to in due course, either remotely or on our return to school.

I would like to thank all in our school community for their continued support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson