Update from the Headteacher – Monday 31 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for supporting the national guidance on the wearing of face masks in school by pupils.  I have been very impressed at the willingness of our young people to wear face masks and so protecting others.

I am aware that a very small number of pupils will be exempt on medical grounds from wearing face masks and I would be grateful if parents/carers to contact the school to confirm this is the case.  This will allow me to share this information with class teachers who may ask pupils to wear masks for certain activities.

Our first meeting of the Parent Council will take place on Tuesday, 8th September, 7.00 -8.00pm.  Again, we will hold this meeting virtually using Zoom.  Any parent/carer who wishes to join the meeting should email me their name, the name and year group of their young person and any questions/topics for discussion.  I would be grateful if this information could be with me by the end of this week.  I will then arrange for joining details to be sent to those who would like to attend on Monday.  I would like to encourage as many parents/carers as possible to join the meeting.  A very special welcome goes out to the families of our new S1 pupils who might like to find out more about the school and the effective partnership working that we have with our parental community.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher – 28 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

A reminder that all pupils need to wear a face mask from Monday when travelling on school/public buses, in corridors and other busy areas.  They may be asked by their class teachers to wear their masks for certain activities.  At present, the wearing of face masks in classes is not a requirement but some pupils are choosing to do so.  Pupils have been shown a video about the safe use of face masks this morning.

I am also pleased to be able to inform you that we had a visit from an Environmental Health Officer yesterday to review our safety measures to control the spread of Covid-19.  The officer was very satisfied with all procedures in place and has not made any recommendations with regards to additional measures.  He was extremely complimentary about the way in which the school has dealt with the one isolated confirmed case.

I would like to thank you for your support throughout the week.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher – 27 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am aware that the news of a positive case of Covid-19 will have caused concern.  I am now in a position to provide you with some context to the case while maintaining the privacy of those involved.

The timing of the onset of symptoms experienced by the young person would indicate that this is a case of community transmission rather than transmission within the school. The young person has been self-isolating at home since becoming symptomatic.  The investigation yesterday focused on identifying those people that the young person was in contact with at the most infectious stage of the disease.  The school has been working closely with the Health Protection Team at NHS Lothian.  Contact has been made with all those identified and advice has been given to them to self-isolate.

The Health Protection Team are very satisfied with the control measures that the school has in place and have not suggested any additions.  The wearing of face masks from next Monday will add to the robust safety mitigation measures.

This is a stark reminder to all that the virus is still very much circulating in the local community and emphasises the need for all to be vigilant and to follow all the advice that has been given.  Please keep your child at home if they show any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, high temperature, loss of smell/taste).  I understand that our pupils will be concerned about the continuity of their learning; we will be working to provide learning experiences for those pupils who need to remain at home through Show My Homework.

Thank you for your continued support.

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher re face masks

Dear Parent/Carer,

You will be aware that the Scottish Government are now recommending the use of face masks by pupils and staff in secondary schools.

Face masks should be used in the following areas:

On school transport

In corridors

In other areas of congestion

The wearing of face masks will commence on Monday, 31st August and pupils will be expected to wear them if travelling to school on school buses and to enter the school building in the morning.  The wearing of face masks in classes is not required at this stage but some pupils may chose to do so.  Pupils may be asked to wear face masks by teachers for certain activities e.g. in Home Economics. The use of face masks is required when pupils are moving between classes and as they exit the building at the end of the day.  They will also be required when travelling home by school bus at the end of the day.

A short video will be shown to pupils by their teachers on Friday, period 1 to explain the safe use of face masks.

To keep everyone in the building as safe as we can, it is vital that all pupils and staff follow this advice.

Please let me know if you require any assistance to purchase face masks.

 

Thank you again for your ongoing support.

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

 

Chromebook Loan

You may be aware that some Dalkeith High School young people benefited from the use of a Midlothian-owned Chromebook during the prolonged period of school closure. This allowed our young people to continue to engage with their learning despite not physically being in the school building. Those families that are currently benefiting from the use of a loaned device, can continue this loan for the foreseeable future, unless the device is no longer required.

As a school, we are committed to ensuring digital access for all our young people and I am pleased to announce the Chromebook loan scheme will continue to accept new requests. If a Dalkeith High School young person in your household does not have access to ICT you can request a Chromebook loan by emailing Dalkeith_HS@midlothian.gov.uk. Please provide us with the name/names of your young person/persons, their year group, the number of young people in your family and if you also require access to the internet. Requests should be made by Thursday 27th August. These request will then be considered by the authority.

Kind regards,

Craig Knight

Depute Headteacher

Dalkeith High School

Message from the Headteacher (Courses in the Senior Phase)

Dear Parent/Carer,

I have a couple of items to update you on today regarding courses in the Senior Phase.

Firstly, a message for parents/carers of pupils who have opted to study one of the courses offered by Edinburgh College.  The opening of colleges is likely to happen during Phase 4 of the route map out of lockdown as set out by Scottish Government.  As you are aware, schools reopened during Phase 3.  As a result of the different timescales involved and until the college opens, learning will be provided online by college staff.  This week will involve pupils participating in an Induction Programme. Pupils are encouraged to do this at home if they have access to technology and if they can make it home for the programme commencing at 1.30pm.  Those who are unable to do so, or do not have access to technology, should remain in school.  This will apply to Tuesday and Thursday of this week and until further notice.  Further information about the leraning programmes on offer from the college will be sent to you later this week.

Pupils following one of the Foundation apprenticeships should also work at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher – 21 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we reach the end of the first full week of teaching, I am pleased to report that the transition back into school has been relatively smooth.

I have been very impressed by the way in which our S1 pupils have adjusted to life in the secondary school and they have very quickly become an integral part of our school community.  New friendships have been formed, a variety of subjects have been enjoyed and most are finding their way around the building quite easily.  It is a pleasure to have them with us.

I have also been impressed by the way in which all pupils are understanding of the need for the new health and safety measures that we now have in place.  We will continue to evaluate our practice and make necessary changes as needed.

School photographs will be taking place on Tuesday, 25th August for S1 and S4 pupils.  Some pupils may have PE on Tuesday and would be coming into school in their kit in accordance with the instructions given, but on this occasion it would be better for them to wear school uniform for the purposes of having their school photograph taken.  The PE department will amend their teaching programme on Tuesday accordingly.

I wish everyone in the family a relaxing weekend and thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher