Overall Long-Term Impact

We are firmly of the belief that our innovative programme will have a dramatic and transformational impact upon the students and community of Dunbar. We believe that by accessing the Schools of Ambition programme we will accelerate our plans over a three-year period to a point where the initiative will be sustained beyond the access to external funding streams.

Our expectation that the School of Ambition programme would have a transformational impact on Dunbar Grammar School and its community has been realised. Whilst it is difficult to separate the direct impact of the programme from progress which would have happened as a matter of course, it is clear to all stakeholders that the programme has accelerated our plans for improvement.

One area which we could not have anticipated is the economic downturn and a consequent, unexpected fall in the school roll. This has come about through a combination of poor roll forecasts and changes in local policies on catchment and house building. Given that much of the sustainability of the programme beyond the three year period was to be funded by subsuming aspects introduced during the project, there has had to be a re-think. Our current budgetary situation does not allow for any growth, though this situation should recover over the next three-year period. We have not been able to subsume artists in residence posts or develop the prevocational side of our curriculum. However, we have been left with much more: a capacity for change and growth. The ability of staff and students to organise and find solutions has been greatly increased. A momentum has been built up which will continue to see the school and its community develop, though perhaps at a slightly slower rate.

Students and staff willing to be leaders, taking managed risks and opening their minds to innovative, exciting and inspiring learning opportunities.

A student, parent and staff body full of confidence and cohesion, able to face all the challenges of the 21st century.

A student, parent and staff body with high expectations and a thirst for life within and beyond their own community.

A vibrant, exciting school full of successful, confident learners working together to ensure the highest level of achievement and attainment.

Students and adults with an acute level of responsibility towards their local community and an ability to assume their role as global citizens.

From all of our monitoring and evaluation we can demonstrate that we have made progress in all of our long-term objectives. Leadership at all levels, confidence and raised expectations are clear to see. As far as the impact on teaching and learning is concerned, our involvement in Curriculum for Excellence and Opening-up Learning at national level is testament to how far we have come. Dunbar is a vibrant learning community which is always looking at how to improve. Whilst work with the local community is still in its infancy, there are promising signs there, too. We continue to prepare our students for life in the 21st century and to be responsible citizens through our flagship Battlefields trip and S6 Community Experience. Dunbar Grammar is a school which has at its core the unconditional positive regard for all stakeholders and an inclusive approach to everything we do. Although times ahead might be hard from a budget point of view and we will have to strive to keep the momentum of our developments going, we are certain that our participation in the School of Ambition programme has not only accelerated our journey along the pathway to excellence (Journey to Excellence) but has given us the resilience and capacity to achieve our goals.

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