Update from the Headteacher – 14 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

We are delighted to have our S2 pupils return to us this morning and we are very much looking forward to welcoming S3 pupils back on Monday.  The phased return has allowed us to start to evaluate our new systems and procedures as the school begins to return to full capacity again.  Any necessary adjustments will be intimated to all in our school community as and when necessary.

I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that Mrs McGlashan will be retiring from her post as Deputy Headteacher after many years of service.  I am sure that you will join me in wishing Mrs McGlashan a long, healthy and happy retirement.  Mr Knight was appointed to the post of Deputy Headteacher during the school closure and already has been working closely with Mrs McGlashan to ensure a smooth transition.  Further information will be sent to you at the beginning of next week about the staff allocated to each of our four Houses to reflect the changes.

I hope that our pupils enjoy a well deserved break over the weekend after what has been the first week back at school for most.  I have been very impressed with the way in which they have taken their responsibilities to keep everyone in the building very seriously.

With very best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher – 13 August 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

We are delighted to be welcoming our Senior Phase pupils back to school this morning.  It is lovely to have the building begin to return to a type of normal.  Pupils who were presented for National Qualifications have now been issued information about the estimates submitted to SQA by the school which will indicate their final grades.  Amended certificates will be sent by SQA in due course.

Tomorrow will see the return of our S2 pupils and we are looking forward to welcoming them back.

Information has been received from Midlothian Council to inform us that BACS payments will continue to be paid to families who are entitled to free school meals until Friday, 18th September.  Further information about arrangements from this date will follow.

Thank you once again for your support as we move towards a full reopening of the school.

Best wishes,

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

Update from the Headteacher 12 August 2020

Download: Covid Risk Assessment – Whole School Version 2 (2)

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am delighted to let you know that we now have pupils back in the building!  Our new S1 pupils arrived this morning and have already experienced the virtual assembly to welcome them to the school and provide them with details about the health and safety procedures that we all need to follow. They are now being given a tour of the school in class groups led by staff supporters.  I am sure that the rest of the day will go well and that they will arrive home with lots of stories about their first day at secondary school.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming our S4/5/6 pupils back into the school tomorrow.  Pupils should arrive in time for a 8.40am but no earlier than 8.30am.  The few pupils who arrive before 8.30am due to the earlier arrival of some of the school buses should remain in the playground until this time.  A reminder that pupils should arrive wearing PE kit if they have this subject on their timetable.  I am aware that this will impact on some senior pupils on a number of days in the week if they have chosen PE as a national qualification.  I apologise for the late notice about this but we only received the guidance on safety measures specifically for PE from Education Scotland at the start of the week.  We will evaluate the situation going forward and make any necessary amendments to arrangements within current health and safety guidelines.

Senior pupils who have opted to take a course at college, or to follow one of the Foundation Apprenticeships, will be released at lunchtime tomorrow as the courses have yet to commence.  The arrangements will also apply to Tuesday and Thursday of the following week.  Please let me know if this causes any family a difficulty and we will accommodate the young person within the school.  Information about arrangements for those courses will be sent in due course.

You will be aware that a change to the system for awarding grades for National qualifications was announced by John Swinney, Deputy first Minister, at the parliament yesterday.  The change means that pupils will now be awarded the grades that were estimated by their subject teachers.  New certificates will be issued by SQA to reflect the final grades, however the school will provide this information as soon as we can.

I have also attached the finalised risk assessment for your attention.  I hope that you will be reassured by the measures that we have put in place to keep everyone as safe as we can.  We will arrange to put some photographs on Twitter over the course of the day to show some of the measures we have put in place.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

Allyson Dobson

Headteacher

PE at Dalkeith High School (August 2020)

PE at Dalkeith High School – August 2020

Following recent guidance from Education Scotland, and in addition to the challenges of shared campus facilities, the PE dept has made the decision to ensure all PE lessons take place outdoors until further notice.  Staff are unable to monitor social distancing in the changing rooms.  There is no ventilation in the changing rooms and due to the nature of the corridor/ changing room layout, students changing would pose an increased risk to both staff and pupils. Therefore, changing rooms will only be used to store school bags and valuables. These will be locked during lessons.

Students are asked to dress in their PE kit on the days they have PE/ Wellbeing lessons on their timetable.  Activities have been planned to ensure light to moderate engagement.  Students should ensure they dress for the weather.

In the event of torrential rain, wet weather indoor facilities have been organised for non PE activities.

As the PE dept is a shared facility with St David’s high school, we have made plans to separate entry and exit points and all teaching areas to ensure further safety.  Students will be advised to enter and exit the DHS PE dept via the fire exit doors nearest to the astro. Further to this, additional sanitisation points will be found across the PE dept, including outdoor teaching areas.

Please find the link below, which can provide additional guidance.

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/learning-resources/covid-19-return-to-educational-establishments-pe/

We look forward to welcoming you back to the PE dept.