Update from the Headteacher – Friday 23 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am delighted to report that we once again up and running!  Despite the challenges that we have had along the way, we are now fully reopened and all pupils have returned to full-time, in-school learning.  We have thoroughly enjoyed having our pupils back in the building and all are making good progress with their learning since their return on Tuesday.  There may be other challenges that we will need to face as the term proceeds but will face them together as a school community as we always do.  But for now……onwards and upwards!

National Qualifications Update Midlothian statement on ACM (1)

DHS Newsletter Friday, 23rd April

Formal Assessment 2 Calendar FA2 Calendar (1)

 

Best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Parent Council Meeting – Tuesday 27 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,
I am delighted to report that the school has now reopened for all pupils on a full-time basis. We are back!
There will be an opportunity for all parents/carers to join us at our next Parent Council meeting which will be held on Tuesday, 27th April, 7 – 8pm. The meeting will be held via Zoom and any parent/carer who would like to attend should email the school office with the following information by Friday, 23rd April:
  • Name of parent/carer
  • Email address for parent/carer
  • Name/class of pupil
  • Any questions/topics you would like us to discuss
I would like to thank all in our school community for their support throughout the previous term.
With very best wishes,
Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – 7 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,
I hope that you have enjoyed the Easter break so far.  It is important that all of our pupils take a break to recharge the batteries before coming back for the start of the new term.
An announcement was made by the Scottish Government yesterday confirming that all pupils will return to in-school learning on a full-time basis on return from the Easter break.  For school in Midlothian, this means a full return for all pupils on Tuesday, 20th April.
A few reminders of important messages to get us off to a good start are noted below:
  • Pupils should remain in the playground until the start of period 1
  • Pupils should enter the building through the door closest to their period 1 class
  • Hands should be sanitised on entry to the building and into individual classrooms
  • Desks/chairs will be cleaned on entry to a classroom and before leaving
  • The one-way system for movement around the school will operate
  • Masks should be worn by all pupils at all times unless they are eating/drinking – this includes transport
  • Pupils will follow their normal timetables (re-issued prior to the start of the school holiday)
  • 2m social distancing measures will not be in place
  • School uniform should be worn except on days when pupils have PE on their timetables (changing rooms still not in use)
  • All food and drink for the day should be brought into school – water bottles can be refilled in classrooms that have sinks
  • All jotters, pencil cases, other equipment should be brought into school in a school bag
  • Mobile phone ‘bag or box’ policy will apply in classrooms
I am very pleased to be in the position of being able to welcome all of our pupils back full-time.  It has been a long and challenging year so far, but the full reopening of our school is a clear indication that we are moving in the right direction.
Thank you for you ongoing support.
Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Thursday 1 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

As we reach the end of a very unusual term, I would like to reflect on our experiences as a school community.  Little did we know when we broke for the Christmas holidays that we would still be following a blended learning model at this point in the school session.  The efforts of all in our school community have been commendable: the staff who have successfully juggled online learning with in-school learning, whilst maintaining the highest professional standards; our pupils who have shown great resilience throughout an ever-changing and, at times, unsettling situation; and our families who trust us to do our very best for our young people.

I know that we may face further challenges on our return to school as we continue to chart our way through the remainder of the session, but I am confident that we will face those challenges with our usual determination and positivity.  We have come so far on our journey and we will complete the journey together as a strong school community.

School will reopen on Tuesday, 20th April and we anticipate that this will be a return to full-time, in-school learning for all.  This will be confirmed by the Scottish Government on Tuesday, 6th April.  I will contact you during the holiday period if there are any changes to arrangements that you need to know about.  The updated risk assessment will be sent out by email by Mr Knight to inform you of the risk mitigation factors that will be in place.

I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you a very relaxing break.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Friday 26 March 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

As the second week of blended learning for all of our pupils comes to an end, I am pleased to report that pupils are continuing to enjoy being back in the building and reconnecting with their friends, teachers and in-school learning.  Next week will see us operate the same patterns of attendance for in-school learning as we have done in the past two weeks.

Please see below the weekly newsletter to keep you up to date with other news.

Download: Friday, 26th March

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Allyson Dobson

Routine Ready Initiative – Survey for Parents/Carers

Consultation with Parent Council Chairs/Parent Representatives – March 2021

 

A small group of practitioners from Education and partners have met to discuss the challenges parents/carers face which can have a negative impact on attendance in school or engagement in learning.

 

We highlighted the following and would like to know if you have any other challenges you feel should be added to these:

 

  • Establishing and maintaining routines in the home
  • Parent/carer health – physical and mental (sometimes undiagnosed)
  • Alcohol or drug misuse
  • Lack of IT Skills – hampering home learning
  • Financial challenges – impacting on clothing, food, learning resources
  • Transport costs if children are further away from school they attend
  • Domestic violence

 

We feel strongly that helping families with routines at home would positively impact on some of the above challenges, including mental and physical health.  So we’d like to do the following:

 

  • A poster campaign around being ‘Routine Ready’ (taking message away from just ‘attendance’ and putting spotlight on routines).
  • Linked to this would be a parent/carer leaflet giving information about importance of routine, ideas/strategies for doing this well at home, the difference in routines for weekdays/weekends, in school/home school learning; positive impact (research based) on mental and physical health of children and adults.
  • Helpline numbers for getting support with any of the other challenges listed above that might be impacting on their attendance/engagement.
  • A competition to design a logo for the routine ready campaign which will outline a learning task that will be shared with teachers across the authority. This will introduce the idea of routines to the children and help them to create a logo to represent the initiative.
  • The posters and parents leaflets will be made available widely, including, for example, doctors’ surgeries.
  • There will be a Routine Reward Chart for children to use daily and gain rewards (we will give suggestions to parents around kinds of rewards to offer).
  • We will also use social media platforms to promote the initiative as widely as possible and this may include creating voice overs/videos made by parents/people in our communities.

 

What do you think?  Could you let us know your feedback by completing this short (5 question) survey using the following link by 31 March 2021.

 

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ITT4JF/

Update from the Headteacher – Friday 19 March 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am delighted to report to you that this week has gone very well.  It has been wonderful to see our pupils return to us, albeit for a reduced period of time due to the need for social distancing. Our senior phase pupils have re-engaged with in-school learning with great ease.  Our pupils in S1 to S3 have really appreciated having an opportunity to reconnect with friends, teachers and school in general.

The pattern that we followed this week will be repeated over the next couple of weeks leading up to the Easter holiday.

We are certainly moving in the right direction and I hope that we will be able to return to school full-time after the Easter break, without the need for 2m social distancing, if the level of prevalence of the virus continues to fall.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Allyson Dobson

Update from the Headteacher – Friday 12 March 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,
We are very much looking forward to welcoming our pupils back into the building through the course of next week.  It has been a challenging few months since the start of the year but the pupils returning to school is a clear indication that we are moving in a positive direction.
Full plans were shared with pupils and their families earlier in the week but please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your unstinting support throughout.
With very best wishes,
Allyson Dobson