Update from the Headteacher re Senior Awards Ceremony 17/9/20

Dear Parent/Carer,
I am delighted to announce that our virtual Senior Phase Awards Ceremony will be launched on our website later today.  I do hope that you will find the time to hear all about the many amazing achievements of our pupils in the Senior Phase.
It also gives me great pleasure to announce the names of those pupils who have been awarded the top academic prizes.  These prizes are awarded to pupils who have achieved the best results in SQA qualifications this session.
Senior Dux: Tamal Alam
Proxime Accessit: Aislinn Melville
Junior Dux: Ryan Johnson
Proxime Accessit: Ben Haining
I am sure that you will join me in congratulating all of our award winners.
Kind regards,
Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher re Senior Awards Ceremony

Dear Parent/Carer,

Normally at this stage in the school session we would be preparing to welcome families into the school for the Senior Phase Awards Ceremony.  This cannot take place in the usual way this year due to Covid-related restrictions on gatherings.  However, I do think it is still important that we recognise the many achievements of our learners in the Senior Phase, just as we did in June for pupils in the Broad General Education. To this end, we would like to invite families of our senior pupils to join our virtual Senior Phase Awards Ceremony that will be hosted on our website from Friday, 18th September.

I also intend presenting the Dux and Proxime Accessit medals to the pupils whose academic success has earned them this prestigious prize at a small ceremony in school.  Appropriate social distancing measures will be in place.  Invitations will go out to the families of those who will be receiving the prizes to join us for the presentation via Zoom.  Further information will follow in due course.

I do hope that you will join me in congratulating all of our prize winners in the Senior Phase.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher re Face Masks 14/9/2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for supporting your young person to wear a mask in school, one of the main health and safety measures that we have in place to keep everyone as safe as we can.  Almost all of our young people arrive at school with a mask and comply with the wearing of their mask when they are required to do so.  The school issues disposable masks to pupils who arrive without one to allow them to enter the building and access their learning.

However, I am now becoming increasingly concerned that some young people are relying on being given a disposable mask rather than bring their own reusable masks to school.  This is increasing the amount of waste that is being generated by the school which will impact on the environment. Reusable masks are a much more sustainable way forward. I  would be very grateful if you could remind your young person to take responsibility for their safety, and for the safety of others, by coming into school with a reusable mask.

Please let me know by email if you need any financial support with this as I can provide this where it is necessary.  Disposable masks will continue to be available but should be seen as a last resort.

Thank you for your support with this matter.

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from Depute Headteacher re Supported Study

Dear Parent/Carer,

We appreciate that Supported Study plays an important role in your young person’s learning at DHS and we are continuing to explore ways in which we can provide them with opportunities to enhance their learning out with school hours. E-Sgoil is part of the education system in the Western Isles and Education Scotland have provided them with significant funding to ensure that young people across that area have access to high quality learning and teaching online. They have deployed GTCS registered teachers and are using current technology to deliver real-time, interactive lessons to pupils throughout Scotland following lockdown. It’s a great opportunity for pupils, Senior Phase in particular, to take advantage of these rich learning opportunities and these live webinars take place on Monday to Thursday between 5pm and 8pm. They are approximately 45 minutes long and cover a wide range of subjects (please see attached leaflet).

Download: e-sgoilleaflet_Final

Pupils can access this resource through Glow and then sign up via Microsoft Teams. Teachers will continue to promote the webinar lessons to their classes and we are currently exploring other options to allow us to continue to provide high quality supported study online.

During the recent Parent Council meeting we discussed at-home learning in length and it was a good opportunity to remind parents/carers that our school website has a rich library of learning resources for young people to access if they are unable to attend school. The quality of the school website was commended in our recent HMIe inspection and it’s an invaluable tool which we continue to develop to ensure that our young people have high quality learning available both in and out of school.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Shaun Gordon

Depute Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher – Wednesday 9 September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Parent Council met last night for the first meeting of the session/AGM.  I was delighted that a good number of parents/carers were able to join us to contribute to conversations about our school community.  Parents/carers who attended were also able to ask questions on a range of issues from the cleaning of desks to plans for SQA assessments.  Many thanks to those who were able to attend.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 10th November and will be conducted via Zoom.  Further information will be sent to you closer to that date.  I do hope that you can put this date in your diary and join us for lively discussion and debate.

At the meeting, the Treasurer reported that almost £500 has been raised through voluntary donations from families to support us as we move through this period of recovery.  I am very grateful to families who have been in a position to do this.  The funds will be used to support our pupils in many ways, with a particular focus on those experiencing hardship at this time. The Parent Council/PTA Facebook page has further information for those who would like to find out more.

As I have said on numerous occasions now, the DHS community has never been stronger and I thank parents/carers for their ongoing support.  We could not do it without you!

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

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

Reminder – Parent Council Meeting Tuesday 8th September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

A quick reminder that there will be a virtual meeting of the Parent Council on Tuesday, 8th September, 7.00 – 8.00pm. If you would like to participate in the meeting, please email the school with the following information:

Your name

Your young person’s name and year group

Any question/topic you would like us to discuss

The school will then email joining details to you.  I would like to encourage as many parents/carers to attend the meeting to contribute to the discussions.

Thank you,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – 4 September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,
I have been asked to forward to you letters from John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, and Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director., regarding symptoms of Covid-19 and the common cold.
Please take the time to read the information in the letters.
Download: 2020 DFM Letter
Thank you,
Allyson Dobson

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

Update from the Headteacher – Monday 31 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for supporting the national guidance on the wearing of face masks in school by pupils.  I have been very impressed at the willingness of our young people to wear face masks and so protecting others.

I am aware that a very small number of pupils will be exempt on medical grounds from wearing face masks and I would be grateful if parents/carers to contact the school to confirm this is the case.  This will allow me to share this information with class teachers who may ask pupils to wear masks for certain activities.

Our first meeting of the Parent Council will take place on Tuesday, 8th September, 7.00 -8.00pm.  Again, we will hold this meeting virtually using Zoom.  Any parent/carer who wishes to join the meeting should email me their name, the name and year group of their young person and any questions/topics for discussion.  I would be grateful if this information could be with me by the end of this week.  I will then arrange for joining details to be sent to those who would like to attend on Monday.  I would like to encourage as many parents/carers as possible to join the meeting.  A very special welcome goes out to the families of our new S1 pupils who might like to find out more about the school and the effective partnership working that we have with our parental community.

 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher