How good is our school?

How Good is Dalkeith High School?

In November 2017 we welcomed senior officers from Midlothian Council into Dalkeith High School to help us to answer the above question as part of a school review.

Our practice was evaluated using the ‘quality indicators’ set out in the document ‘How Good is Our School’ produced by Education Scotland.  We were delighted that the good practice that exists across the school was recognised in the report.

The following quality indicators were given evaluative ‘gradings’:

Quality Indicator (QI)

Evaluative grading


QI 2.3 Learning, teaching and assessment Good
QI 3.1 Ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion Good
QI 3.2 Raising attainment and achievement Good


The following quality indicators are not given gradings but are commented upon:

Quality Indicator (QI) Evaluation
QI 2.2 Curriculum pathways Strong
QI 2.7 Partnerships with parents/carers/others Strong


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

  • Positive relationships evident across the school
  • Good use of praise to encourage pupils in their learning
  • Feedback used well to help pupils with next steps in learning
  • All of our pupils are able to be included in learning, despite some having barriers to learning
  • Many opportunities for young people to be included in wider achievement activities
  • Attainment is good and getting even better
  • Pupils from any background can do well at Dalkeith High School
  • Very clear curriculum pathways that pupils can progress through
  • Senior Phase curriculum meets the needs of all our learners
  • Many vocational (work related) courses as well as more traditional courses
  • Supportive Parent Council and PTA and good communication with parents/carers
  • Good partnership working to help us deliver the best learning experiences


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.

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

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