Update from the Headteacher – 20 November 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am sure that you were as pleased as I was to hear the news of the move to Tier 2 for Midlothian Council.  This is due to a collective effort having been made by all in the local authority, with the safety measures in schools contributing greatly to this.  This now means that pupils in the senior phase (S4-6) no longer will be required to wear face coverings when in classes.  Pupils can, of course, continue to wear face coverings and I would encourage them to do so to ensure that levels of transmission of the virus remain at manageable levels.

It is still a requirement for all pupils to wear face coverings when in corridors, school buses and in certain classes where it is more difficult for physical distancing to take place.

I hope that you will take the time to read the weekly newsletter to find out what has been happening in school and as a very brief summary of other news that may be of interest to you.

Download: Friday, 20th November

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – 30 October 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I do hope that you and the family enjoyed some time together over the October break.  I am pleased to be able to report that pupils have settled back to their learning and are continuing to comply with all health and safety measures that we have in place.

My weekly bulletin is shorter this week which reflects the fact that we have just returned from the mid-term holiday.  I hope that you enjoy reading our news.  Please continue to let me know if you would like me to include particular topics or areas of interest.

Download: Friday, 30th October

Thank you as always for your support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Friday 9 October 2020

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)

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 the Headteacher – 2 October 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,
Please find attached our first weekly newsletter that will provide you with an update of relevant news from the school and wider educational world.  As intimated in an earlier email, we may send out additional emails through the course of the week if important information needs to be shared with you more quickly.
Thank you,
Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – 29/9/20

Dear Parent/Carer,
I recognise that this is the first email that I have sent out to you for a few days now.  I think that this is an indication that school is settling well into our ‘new normal’.  However, I am aware of the importance of all in the school community to stay connected as we move through this very unusual school year.  To this end, I propose to send out a weekly email that will capture the ‘weekly news’ from the school and the wider educational world.  I will, of course, send out any important information that I need to share with you in between times as necessary.
I would very much like to hear from parents/carers of topics that they would like me to include in the weekly newsletter.  Please feel free to send me your suggestions by email.
Kind regards,
Allyson Dobson