Update from the Headteacher – Thursday 21 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,
You will no doubt be aware of the announcement made earlier today by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, regarding a phased approach to the lifting of the lockdown restrictions in Scotland.  I have attached the document ‘Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis’ for your information.  I have picked out the key messages from this document, and others relating to the opening of schools, which I have shared with you below:
  • Hub provision will continue for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils throughout the summer
  • A blended model of in-school and at-home learning will ensure almost all children and young people have access to some face-to-face learning from August onwards – there will be a phased approach to bringing pupils back
  • There is a working assumption that a blended model will last until at least to the end of the calendar year in the first instance
  • Consideration is being given on how best to support children and young people who may be unable to attend the main school setting due to health, disability or shielding reasons
  • Subject to public health guidance, teachers and other school staff should be returning to schools at some point during June, to plan and prepare for the new blended model of learning to be implemented from August
  • The start date of the new term will be standardised to 11 August 2020 which will mean an earlier than planned start for some schools – please note that not all pupils will return to the building on that date
  • Next week guidance will be published providing further advice on practical implementation measures for schools
  • All of the above should sit alongside a full risk assessment around the operation of school buildings (and any temporary additions to the school estate) to ensure that they are compliant with all health and safety requirements
I will contact you again next week with any further advice that I might have at that time.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support.  It is good to be able to begin to plan for us to return to school within the parameters set for us by the Scottish Government.
Best wishes,
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 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)

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