Update 29th June 2018

Message from the Head Teacher, Paul Raffaelli

Dear all,

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing my last ever Friday e-mail. After 20 very happy years as an Assistant Head Teacher, Depute Head Teacher, Principal Behaviour Support Officer in John Muir House and finally Head Teacher at Dunbar Grammar, I am confident that I am leaving the school in a great position.  I have seen the pupil roll grow from under 600 to nearly 900 and with a P7 intake of over 200 for the first time numbers will continue to rise.  I am certain that my successor, Claire Slowther, will continue to take the school forward to great things.  Everyone says that Dunbar and its wider communities are very special and that the Grammar is a special place.  I am surely biased but given the amount of positive comments from visitors, students, parents/carers and educational specialists, there must be some truth in this!  Being a Head Teacher is challenging these days but still, I believe, one of the best jobs in the world.  It has been an honour and privilege to work with so many committed, talented members of staff whom I will miss dearly.  However, it is time to move on and I would, therefore, thank everyone connected with the wider community for their unswerving support and wish you all the best for the future.

Paul Raffaelli

28th June 2018

House Competition

Students in Lauderdale, the winners of the House Competition, enjoyed a great day at ‘Jump In’ on Wednesday 27th June.

Maths on Flags Competition

Schools in East Lothian were offered an amazing opportunity to create maths calculations that will feature on flags at the Scottish Open in Gullane and seen by viewers all over the world!

We are pleased to announce that designs from this school will feature on three of the back 9 holes!

  • Alisha Mallen (S4) = 10th hole
  • Jemma Brown (S2) = 11th hole
  • Ynyra Ambrozevich (S2) = 13th hole

Well done to our winners and to all who entered.  We would love to see photographs of them in action, so if you can get a picture of any of the three Dunbar Grammar holes send it into us, with the answer of course!! Please Tweet @dunbargrammar

Success in Recycling Competition

Well done to Milla Berggren, Kitty Bird, Tess Brennan, Rachael Dickson and Isabella Love who took part in a recycling  competition run by Viridor and East Lothian Council yesterday. They were equal winners with Knox Academy! The team really impressed the judges with their presentation and their ideas to improve recycling in East Lothian. Mr Robertson and Ms Fallon said they were absolutely amazing and were excellent ambassadors for Dunbar Grammar School!

Results and Post-Results Service

A letter was given out to all new S5 and S6 students last week regarding SQA results and the post-results service: Post Results Letter 2018

Reminder that the results are due for publication on Tuesday 7 August.

Introduction of Charging for Instrumental Music Instruction 

Please find attached a communication from Fiona Robertson, Head of Education, regarding the introduction of charging for Instrumental Music Instruction: Introduction of Charging for Instrumental Music Instruction

Saying Goodbye to Members of Staff

The following members of staff are retiring:

  • Paul Raffaelli, Head Teacher
  • Iain Robertson, Acting Depute Head Teacher
  • Lesley Gillies, PT Pupil Support

We will also be saying our fond farewells to the following staff:

  • Ben Davies-Jenkins, Art
  • Lyndsey Peacocke, Biology
  • Curtis Fairgrieve, School Office

We would also like to congratulate the following teachers who have successfully completed their initial teacher training:

  • Zahra Rafiq, Geography
  • Elaine McRitchie, History
  • Caitlin Bruce, Music
  • Stuart Smith, PE
  • Rebecca Graham, PE

Our sincere thanks to all of them and best wishes for the future!

Exercise Safe Sanctuary

50 of our senior students were involved in an ELC Emergency Planning event on Tuesday morning. Thanks to everyone involved, especially the S4 students that stepped in at the last minute.


DGS bi-annual visit to California set off on Thursday morning, following in the footsteps of John Muir. Students have enjoyed a wonderful three days with their host families in Martinez, Dunbar’s twin town. Host families expressed how impressed they were with our students and said they are a credit to both the school and their families.

The group is now in Yosemite Valley and about to embark on a three day trek, sleeping out under the stars, followed by five days in San Francisco.

Before leaving home, students were visited by members of the local John Muir Birthplace Association and presented books on John Muir.

Preparing for Next Session


Please ensure that appropriate uniform has been obtained before the beginning of next term.  If you are in any doubt as to what constitutes uniform, please follow this link: Parental Information

Please note that black or grey trousers, including denim, are acceptable, however, these must not be ripped.

Black trainers with any different coloured motifs or laces are not part of our uniform agreement.

School uniform already ordered can be collected from the school office during the in-service days on Monday 13 from 1.30pm or Tuesday 14 August.

Please note that it is agreed school policy that parents/carers will provide students NOT wearing school uniform with a note.  Any parent/carer who does not wish to support East Lothian’s policy should contact the school to discuss with one of the Senior Management Team.

Water Bottles/Food

It is an educational fact that the drinking of water throughout the day can support the learning process.  Students are encouraged to bring water bottles with them to school, which can be filled up from one of our three chilled filtered units.  However, this should be done before classes or during break and lunchtime, not during class time. Please note that the office cannot provide students with cups or bottles.  The consumption of fizzy drinks or juices is not permitted during lessons.  Energy drinks will be confiscated from students for collection at the end of the day.  No students should be bringing hot food from LOOKs into the school.  Students will be asked to leave the school grounds to consume this.  Finally, no food, especially hot, should be consumed in the school hall, library, changing rooms, stairs and stairwells and corridors.  Any consumption of food or drink in a classroom has to be agreed and supervised by a member of staff.

Please can students remember their smartcards or PINs as this can cause a delay in the Bistro queues which are set to get longer and longer.  Any student who does not have their card can apply for a new one – remember this also gives you reductions in many retail outlets!  Students who turn up at the Bistro without their card or PIN will be asked to go to the end of the queue and only dealt with if time allows.  Those who arrive with money, will be sent to the social area to load their accounts.  So, please get yourselves organised over the holidays. Students also need their smartcards in the library to have books issued.

Students entitled to concessions

As a school community, we would encourage all parents/carers to check their eligibility for concessions. These cover school meals, uniform, and in some cases travel. See below for application form.


Please check that all students have equipment needed for their classes, for example, pens, pencils, rulers etc., and an appropriate school bag.

PE Kit and Deodorants

Students need to bring appropriate kit for both indoor and outdoor activities.  Examples include shorts, tracksuit trousers, T-shirt, sweatshirt, trainers and football boots.  Students should not use spray deodorants in the changing rooms as this may trigger other students’ asthma or other conditions.  Valuables should ideally be left at home, or handed to your PE teacher at the start of the lesson for safe-keeping.

The Parent and Carers’ Survival Guide

This leaflet has been put together for our new parents and carers to enhance the transition to secondary school:

Local Events:

PTA Afternoon Tea with Prosecco

  • Sat 8th September 3pm-5pm
  • Belhaven Parish Church Hall
  • £10 ticket    over 18s only

This very popular fun event is back.  An enjoyable way to raise funds to enhance the learning experience of our children in the school while catching up with your friends after the long holidays.  Please come and buy your tickets from the school office as soon as possible.

Dates for Your Diary

Break for the summer Fri 29 June
In-service Days Mon 13 / Tues 14 August
School Uniform collection Mon 13  PM/ Tues 14 August
Students resume Wed 15 August

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

If you would like to sign up to this year’s group you must collect a letter from Miss Williams during registration or on your way to Maths. Spaces are limited to 42. Students must collect and return a slip which will then go into a hat after the summer. The deadline for returns is 21 August.

Battlefields 2019

We launched Battlefields 2019 at assembly last week.  Information went home with new S3 students:

Have a great summer and we look forward to starting the new term on Wednesday 15th August 2018!

Finally, thanks for all the support from students, parents and carers.