Update from the Headteacher – Friday 9 October 2020

SQA
Earlier this week an announcement was made in the Scottish Parliament by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland regarding the SQA exam diet for 2021. Exams have been cancelled for National 5 courses but will remain in place for Highers and Advanced Highers. National 5 courses will now be awarded on the basis of teachers estimates formed through the gathering of evidence throughout the school session. The SQA will work with schools throughout the year providing guidance and feedback to teachers on the correct standards for each grade. Further information will be issued by the SQA in the coming weeks to support schools with this approach. Content has been removed from courses at all levels to mitigate against the possible loss of learning time in the months ahead. Exams for Highers and Advanced Highers will begin two weeks later than normal, again to increase the time available for learning.

I am pleased that we now have clarity about the way ahead and this will allow our pupils and staff to know what they are aiming towards. The school will continue to provide updates as we receive more detailed information from SQA.

Contingency Plan
All schools in Midlothian have been asked to produce a Contingency Plan to explain to families the actions that the school will take to address challenges that we may face in the months ahead. It is the aspiration of all schools to remain open and provide pupils with full-time in-school education, however the safety of all in the school remains the priority. Please take the time to read the Contingency Plan for Dalkeith High School which is below.

Download: DHS Contingency (1)

PE
As PE classes continue outside, we would like to provide a suggested kit list in order to ensure students remain warm, dry and safe whilst working outdoors. The following items will ensure your child can participate in Covid-safe activities, continue to develop their wellbeing and enjoy their PE experience:

• Waterproof Jacket
• Fleece or warm jumper
• Hat/Gloves
• Appropriate footwear

Any family who is concerned about the financial impact of purchasing these items should email me to request support.
As always the PE department will continue to review educational guidance and look to provide alternative wellbeing activities. Please look for more information on the school website.

DHS Bees
With summer now a distant memory, it is almost time to put DHS’s first colony of honey bees to bed for the winter. Having arrived in July courtesy of our newly formed partnership with Newbattle Beekeepers Association, the colony has gone from strength to strength and it is incredibly hypnotic to sit on a sunny day and watch them zip in and out of the hive on their quests for nectar and pollen. Our senior class of budding beekeepers have all honed their skills in manipulating bees on the frames and have watched baby bees chewing their way out from their wax capped cells, marked our queen so we can more easily find her and have extracted and jarred a small amount of honey. We have provided plenty of food so the colony has enough winter stores to see them through the cold, dark months ahead and we are eagerly awaiting the spring so that we can split the colony currently occupying “Buzzingham Palace” to provide a second hive for our BGE pupils to take charge of. If you’d like to read more about our learning and successful partnership with NBA then please take a look at https://newbattlebees.org/Dalkeith-High-School-Bee-Project

Thank you for your ongoing support as we chart our way through a very unusual year.

With very best wishes,
Allyson Dobson

Update from Fiona Robertson, Executive Director – Children, Young People and Partnerships

I’m writing to thank parents, carers and pupils who are helping keep local people safe and ultimately saving lives by complying with national coronavirus restrictions. I am sure you will appreciate the significant effort of all of our staff working in schools to do the same. However, I also need to stress we must remain vigilant as local cases of coronavirus are rising. As is the case across other areas in Scotland, this is, in part, because of transmission within local gatherings.

We continue to work alongside NHS Public Health and Police Scotland to protect local people.  Please remember the restrictions in place on indoor gatherings in private homes. You should not meet anyone from outside your household inside your home or their home. This ban includes extended family members although you are permitted to provide care or support to a vulnerable person in their home and there are exemptions for childcare and tradespeople doing essential work. The rules on indoor gatherings apply to you and your family, including your young people over the age of 12, so we ask you to help them understand the rules and set an example for them too.

Where there are breaches of the legislation, Police Scotland will engage, explain the legislation and encourage compliance and will use enforcement action as a last resort.

We know that the overwhelming majority of people of all ages are following the rules and realise not meeting friends and family is hard, particularly on young people. However, to reduce the number of transmissions of the virus  and keep schools open, all of us, young and old, need to do our bit by complying with the rules.

Thank you again for you and your family’s continued support.

 

Fiona Robertson

Executive Director Children, Young People and Partnerships

Update from Depute Headteacher re COVID-19 FAQs

Dear Parent/Carer,

Please find below a document prepared by NHS Lothian that aims to clarify specific questions and concerns that have been raised by parents and carers over the past few weeks.

I would like to emphasise that a young person should not attend school if they have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms.

  • A new, continuous cough and/or
  • A fever/ high temperature and/or
  • A change or loss in taste and/or smell

Note: A new, continuous cough means coughing for longer than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.

Download: COVID-19 FAQs for parents and carers V2 010920

Kind regards,

Craig Knight

Depute Headteacher

What to do if a young person shows any symtoms of COVID-19

Dear Parent/Carer,

As a reminder, if a young person shows any symptoms of COVID-19, it is essential that they do not attend school but instead self-isolate (along with their household) and book a test.

 

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

A new, continuous cough

A fever/ high temperatures

A change or loss in taste and/or smell (anosmia).

 

If a young person tests negative they can return to school provided they are well enough and have not had a fever for 48 hours. Confirmation of the negative result should be sent to Dalkeith_hs@midlothian.gov.uk before the young person returns to school.

 

Thank you,

Craig Knight

Depute Headteacher

PE at Dalkeith High School (August 2020)

PE at Dalkeith High School – August 2020

Following recent guidance from Education Scotland, and in addition to the challenges of shared campus facilities, the PE dept has made the decision to ensure all PE lessons take place outdoors until further notice.  Staff are unable to monitor social distancing in the changing rooms.  There is no ventilation in the changing rooms and due to the nature of the corridor/ changing room layout, students changing would pose an increased risk to both staff and pupils. Therefore, changing rooms will only be used to store school bags and valuables. These will be locked during lessons.

Students are asked to dress in their PE kit on the days they have PE/ Wellbeing lessons on their timetable.  Activities have been planned to ensure light to moderate engagement.  Students should ensure they dress for the weather.

In the event of torrential rain, wet weather indoor facilities have been organised for non PE activities.

As the PE dept is a shared facility with St David’s high school, we have made plans to separate entry and exit points and all teaching areas to ensure further safety.  Students will be advised to enter and exit the DHS PE dept via the fire exit doors nearest to the astro. Further to this, additional sanitisation points will be found across the PE dept, including outdoor teaching areas.

Please find the link below, which can provide additional guidance.

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/covid-19-return-to-educational-establishments-pe/

We look forward to welcoming you back to the PE dept.