Update from Headteacher – Support for Families of Children with Additional Needs

Dear Parent/Carer,

Please find below the publication Support for Families of Children with Additional Needs produced by NHS Lothian and Midlothian Council.  The publication provides information about additional or special services for families with children with additional support needs who need more and/ or different help than other children the same age.

Parent Booklet ASN April 2020 PDF

I hope that some might find this useful.

 

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Wednesday 13 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would like to update you on arrangements for sharing preparatory learning activities for the new session.

Currently arrangements are in place through Show My Homework that allow pupils in all year groups to continue their learning for this session. Subject teachers are also able to send preparatory work for next session to pupils currently studying within their department. However, it has been more difficult for teachers to target pupils who will be new to departments and subjects in Session 2020-21. For example, a pupil may have opted to do a ‘crash’ National 5 or Higher in a subject that they are not studying in the current session.

In order to reach this particular group of young people and ensure that all in the senior phase can use this extra time in May to their advantage, preparatory work will be posted through the Noticeboard facility on Show My Homework for those pupils who will be new to departments in the coming session. Attached is an explanation of how to access this learning. Please note that departments will post work as soon as possible but not before Thursday 14 May and it could be a few days after this date in some cases.

Accessing Preparatory Work – SMH

There is no change for young people who are already in communication with a teacher in relation to work for a new course or level. This is an additional method of sharing work for pupils new to a particular subject.

It is important at this point to stress that due to the closure of schools the allocation of pupils to courses is not yet complete. Courses can be over-subscribed and, indeed, lacking in numbers and, therefore, not viable. Learning communication with teachers should not be read as confirmation of a place on a course. Information about the viability of courses will be shared with families as soon as possible.

Kind regards,
Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Tuesday 12 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Now that our pupils have been working from home for a number of weeks, we are keen to hear their views on the distance learning that has taken place.  A survey has been set up to capture their views and a link to the survey can be found below.  This link will also be shared with pupils on Show My Homework but we would appreciate your support in encouraging your young person to complete the survey.

A survey has also be set up to gather the views of parents/carers on our arrangements for distance learning up until now.  The link to this survey can also be found below.

Parent survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VQRJ7V9

Pupil survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VSJGVK8

We would appreciate surveys being completed by the end of the week to allow us to share results with you through the course of next week.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Monday 11 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that you enjoyed the weekend.

I am sure that many of you would have listened to the speech given by Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, on the television last night, or may have heard the subsequent reporting of the contents in the press.  In his speech, Mr Johnson refers to the possibility of schools reopening in June for some year groups.  I must stress that this refers to schools in England.  The decision to reopen schools in Scotland will be taken by the Scottish Government and no date has been given for this to happen here as yet.  As always, I will continue to update you with any information that I receive relating to our own situation.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher 7 May 2020 – P7 to S1 Transition

Dear Parent/Carer,

A focus for our work during Term 4 is the transition process from P7 into S1.  This is an important stage in the lives of young people and it is important that plans are put in place to support them through this change.  Although we are unable to undertake all of transition processes and procedures as we would normally be able to do, many of the planning meetings are taking place remotely. In addition to this, Midlothian Council have agreed a strategy for ‘virtual transition’ that all schools will work towards.

Midlothian Council P7 to S1 Transition Statement

I know that many of our families will have younger children who will be making the transition from our associated primary schools and we will keep you updated on our plans as they develop.  Information is currently on our website to assist families who are new to the school.

http://dalkeith.mgfl.net/moving-from-p7-to-s1-at-dalkeith-high-school/

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support and hope that you enjoy the holiday weekend.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Wednesday 6 May 2020

Download: coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-further-information (1)

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that your week is going well and that you have been enjoying the lovely weather when you are out and about for your daily bout of exercise.

Thank you to those who responded to my email yesterday inviting you to suggest topics that you would like me to cover in my daily emails.  I will take your suggestions on board and respond to them in due course.

Further to yesterday’s announcement by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, I now attach the document Covid-19: Framework for Decision Making – Further Information which gives illustrative examples of steps that might form part of the initial changes to current lockdown restrictions. The Scottish Government is encouraging the public to engage with the issues, evidence and analysis and have set up a digital platform to facilitate this.  A link to the digital platform can be found on page 22 of the document.  I hope that you will take the time to read the document and participate in the public engagement opportunity that is available to us.

Early information on possible options for allowing pupils to return to school can be found on page 18.  This section of the document refers to the establishment of the Education Recovery Group to begin to discuss the options for this to happen.  This national group will establish a strategic view in relation to the reopening of schools, while 10 workstreams will take forward the detailed planning of the return to school. No decision has yet been made as to the date for the possible reopening of schools.  In my role of Vice President of School Leaders Scotland, I am contributing to the work of Workstream 6 of the Education Recovery Group- Workforce Support.  I will continue to communicate the work of this national group as and when I can.  I will also be seeking your views to feed directly into the workstream that I am part of, as well as others that are relevant to our school setting.  Further information about the Education Recovery Group can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.

https://www.gov.scot/groups/covid-19-education-recovery-group/

I hope that will help to reassure you that discussions are taking place with the all interested parties to plan our return to school when it is safe for us to do so.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Tuesday 5 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Many parents/carers have said to me that they find the daily emails useful to help to keep the school community connected during this period of us working at home.  However, I would be keen to hear from you if there are any topics that you would like me to share further information on.  Please feel free to respond to this email to help to shape the ongoing communication between school and home.

Staff in school have been working hard on the new SQA procedures that will lead to the awarding of national qualifications.  This information will be sent to SQA later in the month to allow for the completion of their agreed quality assurance procedures prior to the release of results to candidates on Tuesday, 4th August. Learning activities are now being set by staff for senior phase courses for the new session and it is important that pupils engage with this work to maximise the use of the time that we now have available to us through the cancellation of this year’s exams.  This will allow our senior phase pupils to get the best start to their new courses and will help with attainment in the following year.

I am aware that some members of staff have overlooked the fact that Friday, 8th May is a school holiday and have set deadlines for the submission of work.  Any work that has been set for this date should now be submitted by Monday, 11th May.  Please accept our apologies for this oversight.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson