How good is our school?

How Good is Dalkeith High School?

As part of the ongoing self-evaluation of our practice, we recently welcomed senior officers from Midlothian Council into Dalkeith High School to help us to answer the above question.

All schools should evaluate their practice against the Quality Indicators set out in the document ‘How Good is Our School’ produced by Education Scotland.

The report from the team highlighted many key strengths and successes including:

  • Clear evidence of strong and effective leadership
  • Strong commitment of school staff to continued improvement
  • A very positive ethos reflected in excellent relationships between staff and young people
  • Staff know the young people well and understand nature of the community context they are working in
  • Effective support given to young people by staff to produce positive outcomes
  • Excellent tracking, monitoring and reporting systems that allow parents/carers to support young people in their learning
  • A focus on the recognition and rewarding of positive achievement
  • A wide range of curriculum options that allow all young people to achieve their full potential

A few areas for further development were also identified during the visit and will be incorporated in our Improvement Plan as we move forward towards the new session.

  • Further improve pace and challenge in the Broad General Education (BGE)
  • Differentiation of learning to meet the needs of all learners should become consistent across the school
  • A more consistent use of group work and active learning to ensure that all learners are engaging with the learning

Overall evaluations:

Quality Indicator 1.3 Leadership of Change

Evaluated as being very good

Quality Indicator 2.3 Learning, teaching and assessment

Evaluated as being good with many aspects of very good practice

We are delighted with the report as it recognises the commendable practice within the school that brings benefits for all of our young people.  Thank you for all that you do to support the school.

Dalkeith High School: Determined Happy Successful

Letter about our pupils from a fellow passenger on a flight back from Barcelona

Dear Mrs Dobson,

First of all I’d like to apologise for taking so long to send this email as the occasion I’m about to refer to happened a couple of months ago now but let me explain.

My family and I were returning to Edinburgh from Barcelona at the beginning of the summer holidays on a RyanAir flight which had been delayed for around an hour for boarding and (to our horror) a further 3 hours once we were all boarded and the doors were locked. This is never welcome news and my 3 year old daughter didn’t cope particularly well which resulted in her bumping her head and tears ensued. It was at this point that a pupil from (one of a group who were celebrating a successful performance of Hairspray – I think)

Dalkeith High School stepped forward to offer her cuddly toy dog to my very upset daughter. This act of kindness saw my daughter not only calm down but actually sleep for most of the delay such was her delight and resultant comfort. For this act alone I can’t thank this pupil enough, it was a truly selfless gesture which made a little girl (and her parents) very happy and sets the young lady in question out for particular commendation. We didn’t catch her name but she and her friends will know who she is and I hope our gratitude can be relayed to her.

That’s the main part but a special mention is deserved for all the young adults in the group and their teacher. Those are tough circumstances for any traveller and there were several ‘adults’ on the flight that dealt with the situation poorly while every pupil from Dalkeith High was polite, well-behaved, courteous and considerate from start to finish and I can’t tell you how impressed we were. The teacher in charge was also notable for her calm yet firm approach in ensuring her charges comfort and safety whilst this was all going on.

As I say it was a while ago so I apologise for the delay in contacting you but young people are too often misrepresented these days and I couldn’t let this pass without comment.

All the children and staff were top-notch and an absolute credit to the school, I wish them all the very best for what I’m sure will be a bright future!

Welcome to our school website!

See below for an introduction from our Headteacher…

I am delighted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Dalkeith High School. Our website is intended to provide you with important information about our school, its staff and our facilities.

A visit to our school can be arranged by contacting the school office. Further information is available in our handbook and from our associated primary schools.

Our school motto is ‘Labor Vincit’ which means ‘Hard work prevails’. The motto was devised, along with the school badge, in 1914. Although there had been a high school in Dalkeith for several centuries, it was the new school established in June 1914 that we identify as being the origin of the contemporary Dalkeith High School.

Famous pupils in the academic field include Sir James Stagg (Chief Meteorologist to General Eisenhower); Professor Sir John Bruce (Honorary Surgeon to the Queen); Professor Neil Smith (Professor of Anthropology & Geography at the City University of New York); Professor Robert Hume (Professor of Developmental Medicine at Dundee Univesity); Professor Gillian R Knapp, nee Revill (Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University) and Professor John Finlay (History of Scots Law & European Legal History at the University of Glasgow).

It is a blend of academic and personal success that we seek today for each of our students, and a firm grounding in the life skills required for the years ahead. My hope is to continue to improve the life chances of every one of our young people at Dalkeith High School. We certainly are pupil-centred in all that we do. After all, it is by the nature and conduct of our senior students as they leave school that we will be judged. Are our young people ready to succeed in the 21st century society? I believe they most certainly are. Our progress in recent years has been significant. We have more opportunities, both in a curricular and an extra-curricular sense, than ever before.

Please feel free to contact us at the school. We are here to help. I look forward to meeting you  and to securing a bright future for your son or daughter.

Allyson Dobson, Headteacher