Update from the Headteacher – Friday 24 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we reach the end of the first week of term I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting your young person’s learning as you have been throughout this week and prior to the Easter break.  I hope that the guidance that we have issued will help our pupils to better manage their workload and sets the tone for the weeks ahead.

 

In addition to the online materials that are issued by staff, I can now offer additional resources to those who might need them.  Both the PE and the Music department are able to make available equipment that could be used to further enhance the learning experience at home.  Messages from each of the departments can be seen below.  Please respond by email if you would like to take advantage of this offer, stating your young person’s name and the item they would like to borrow.  When we have collated the information we will then turn our attention to working out the logistics for distribution of the items.

 

Music Department

For those who are continuing with music into the senior phase, we are aware that access to instruments may pose a potential barrier to some of our pupils. The Music Department would like to offer the opportunity for S3-S5 pupils who are continuing with music next year to borrow an instrument, providing this instrument is then returned when schools re-open.

We can provide pupils with small xylophones/glockenspiels and beaters, keyboards and guitars. For Higher and Advanced Higher pupils we may also be able to offer a bass guitar. Please note that the number of instruments available is limited therefore we will do our best to accommodate all requests.

In addition, if your son/daughter has left their own personal instrument in school, special arrangement could also be made to reunite your child with their instrument.

 

PE

In order to facilitate additional learning experiences and continue to develop your child’s physical fitness and competencies, the school is able to supply additional PE based equipment.  Families should consider this option if they do not have sports based resources at home.  Items  offered can be used for both indoor and outdoor use and provide versatile options for engagement.  It is vital that ‘play’ is an active part of any young person’s day, particularly during these challenging times.  Please note a limited number of items are available and families should specify their preferred item from the following list:

Forza Garden Football – Size 4, ideal for families with access to outdoor space

Table Tennis Bat and Ball Set – To enhance hand/eye coordination, rhythm and timing and creative play.

Fitness/ Exercise Mat – Perfect for indoor/ outdoor circuits, Yoga or Pilates

Tennis Ball/ Shuttlecocks – Perfect for indoor creative games and to develop hand/eye coordination

 

I would also like to remind you that families can request to borrow a Chromebook to allow access to learning and I have given you the link to follow that I shared with you a couple of weeks ago.  There is a restriction of one device per family.

https://sites.google.com/mc.glow.scot/distancelearning-parentcarer/chromebookloan

Please also let us know if there are any further issues with the regards to the supply of stationery.  We can arrange for supplies to be replenished or can deliver packs to families who have not as yet requested them.

I hope that you enjoy a restful weekend and can enjoy the sunshine, albeit for a much shortened period of the day than we would like.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Funded Training Opportunities for Parents / Carers

Funded Training Opportunities for Parents / Carers

On top of supporting the learning of our young people, we would also like to promote opportunities that are available for our parents and carers. The Skills Network are currently offering a suite of funded distance learning courses that give you the opportunity to achieve a range of nationally recognised qualifications.

If you are interested in applying for any of these courses or wish to find out more, please follow the link below.

https://dbwcsscotland.theskillsnetwork.com/?campaign=CC

Craig Knight
Depute Headteacher (Acting)
Dalkeith High School

Update from the Headteacher 23 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following the cancellation of the 2020 exam diet, I fully understand that this is an uncertain time for young people who have worked hard throughout the year and, with their parents/carers, are worried about what the current situation now means for them and their future.

At the request of the Deputy First Minister, SQA have been asked to develop an alternative certification model for this year based on three broad principles:

Fairness to all learners

Safe and secure certification of qualifications

Maintaining the integrity and credibility of the qualifications system, so ensuring that standards are maintained

I have attached information regarding the procedures that will be used by SQA.  I hope that you will find this information useful.

SQA Procedures May 2020 parents_carers

Rest assured that our teachers have a wealth of evidence to draw upon in order to make an accurate professional judgement of what your young person is capable of achieving. Dalkeith High School is absolutely committed to getting this right so that the hard work of our pupils can be properly recognised and accredited by SQA following this robust process.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Pupil Support

The pupil support team continue to be available to help support both our young people and families. If you require any support, please do not hesitate to contact the pupil support team via the school email address. Dalkeith_hs@midlothian.gov.uk

Update from the Headteacher 22 April 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope that all in the family are well and that you have been able to enjoy the sunshine during your daily exercise session outdoors.

 

Mr Gordon has sent a message to pupils through our Show My Homework platform which I hope will help to further support distance learning. I have attached this information for you to read; it would be helpful if you could discuss this advice with your young person and reassure them their wellbeing is paramount to us at this time.

Deadline email to pupils – SMH

Please do not hesitate to contact the school with any issues regarding learning.  I am sure that you will agree that it is vital that we have open and frank communication taking place between school and the home at all times but particularly now that we are working remotely.

 

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Message from the Headteacher – Nature & Purpose of Learning in Term 4

Dear Parent/Carer,
I hope that you and all in the family are well and that our young people have settled back into the new term as best they can.
You may have heard in yesterday’s briefing from Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, that guidance has been produced by the government on the nature and purpose of learning during Term 4 while schools remain closed.  I have attached this guidance for your consideration supporting-pupils-parents-teachers-learning-during-term-4 but have summarised the main messages below:
  • There is a clear understanding on the part of the government that schools are closed but learning continues
  • There is no expectation that school can be replicated at home
  • The wellbeing of our young people is paramount
  • Learning activities set by schools should be ambitious but realistic
  • The key goal in Term 4 is to maintain engagement in learning
  • Digital platform, such as Show My Homework, will be main vehicle by which schools will share the learning with pupils
This advice very much resonates with the approach that we have taken as a school throughout the period of school closure.
Following a virtual meeting with our Extended Leadership Team this morning, I would like to add to the guidance that we have already shared with you:
  • Our school will make tasks available to allow pupils to progress in their learning throughout Term 4; this includes pupils moving from S3 into the senior phase and those moving from one stage to another in the senior phase e.g. from National 5 to Higher
  • New learning will shared with pupils in both the Broad General Education (BGE) and in the senior phase
  • Teachers will allow time for the consolidation of new learning that takes place during Term 4 on our return to school
  • Pupils who have indicated that they would like to study courses at Advanced Higher level, and have been recommended to do so, will be provided with learning activities at this level.  However, I do need to remind you that final decisions regarding the viability of Advanced Higher classes run by our school in the new session have yet to be taken.  We would always look to work with other local schools to support us if we are unable to run certain Advanced Higher classes
  • We will be working on plans to ‘stagger’ deadlines for the submission of work to different department to help to address concerns regarding deadlines being set for the same day in the week/date; more information will follow regarding this
I do hope that this information helps you to understand the rationale behind the learning activities that will be shared with our pupils in the weeks ahead.
Kind regards,
Allyson Dobson