Update 24 March 2020

SQA Update 4.15pm Tuesday 24th March 2020

Please see the latest update from the SQA https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93658.html

Higher and Advanced Higher Coursework is no longer required to be submitted.  If students have completed coursework, this can be used as part of their evidence which teachers can draw upon.

We are still awaiting further guidance from the SQA on estimates.   Any SQA queries should be sent to mailto:dgssqaconcerns@dunbargrammar.elcschool.org.uk

Dear DGS Community

I hope you are all well and are starting to settle into a new routine.  These are highly unusual times we find ourselves in, but I wanted to write to you all to reassure you that Dunbar Grammar School may have had to close its physical doors, but our digital ones are certainly open!  In this update I would like to cover several areas, which I know you may have questions around.  We pride ourselves on being a caring community which supports everyone to RISE to be their best.  In these uncertain and challenging times, this is especially important.

Learning at Home for Students in S1 to S3

All class teachers are posting tasks on Show My Homework.  I realise yesterday (23rd March) the platform had some IT issues, but my understanding is that these have been rectified.  We have selected to use this platform as it offers parents/carers the opportunity to have an overview of work set.  In some cases, teachers may be posting links to Google classroom, however we still ask them to indicate this on Show my Homework to maintain the parent/carer overview.

I know some parents and carers may be feeling overwhelmed with supporting their young person with the array of tasks being set from different teachers. I  would like to reassure parents and carers that this is a marathon and not a sprint! We have no idea of timescales and it is important that each family finds a schedule which works for them.  Relaxation, exercise and family time are crucially important and this must be balanced with school work.

To help support this, Mr Maxton has put together a suggested timetable for S1/2/3 students which they can use as a guide for how long to be spending on different subject areas. This can be found here: BGE Suggested Timetable. This is merely a suggestion, but we realise having a formal structure may help some students. As a Leadership Team we will also be maintaining an overview of work posted to ensure as a school, we have a good balance.

If you have any feedback on this, please just contact us on admin@dunbargrammar.elcschool.org.uk.

Learning at Home for Senior Phase Students

At this stage we are still awaiting further Guidance from the SQA.  In the meantime, teachers are setting work on Google Classroom for all senior students to complete.  As I said on Friday, this will help add to the bank of evidence teachers have for each student.

As soon as I have an update from the SQA, I will share this with you.  In the meantime, if you have any SQA related queries, please send them to dgssqaconcerns@dunbargrammar.elcschool.org.uk and Mr McBride (DHT with SQA responsibility) will get back to you.

Student Support

Student wellbeing is always at the centre of all we do and the Pupil Support Team are here to support you during this unusual and difficult time.

You can get in touch with us in the following ways:

Wellbeing Concerns

Parents/carers can email dgspupilsupport@dunbargrammar.elcschool.org.uk. This mailbox is CONFIDENTIAL and looked after by Mrs. McIntosh and Mr. Offer.

Guidance teachers will be on hand to get back in touch with you during normal school hours. Please note, emails will not be checked or responded to beyond these times, e.g. evenings or weekends.

In line with the school’s safeguarding and Child Protection guidelines there may be times where information that is communicated online, or in person, may need to be shared with others.

If there is a significant concern that someone is at risk of harm then this information must be shared.

Information may be shared with:

  • Other school staff including the Senior Leadership Team
  • Parents / Carers
  • Other organisations such as Health, Social Work or the Police.

Learning concerns

Here is some useful information from our Educational Psychologist service:

Rescheduling Trips and Events

We are planning on rescheduling our planned trips  which include

  • The Battlefields (S3)
  • Germany (S1)
  • California (S5/6)
  • Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions

We would kindly ask for your patience whilst we await further Foreign Office advice over the coming weeks and liaise with our Tour Operators/travel providers to identify alternative dates.

We will also be working closely with the S6 Leadership Team to identify a rescheduled date for Prom.

There are incredibly challenging times, but I have been humbled by the kindness and care of our entire school and wider community.  We will continue to work together in the Dunbar way to ensure that we look after each other.  I will continue to share insights into the (remote) working life of the school via Twitter and I will also be sending out a comprehensive Friday email.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Claire Slowther, Head Teacher

Update 20 March 2020

Dear parent/carer

Please see attached a letter from Lesley Brown, Chief Operating Officer (Education):

I never thought I’d ever be writing such an update.  I know, like all staff here, you will be shocked by the situation we all find ourselves in.  However, although the school building will be closed, we will continue as a school community.  We are absolutely all in this together. I am immensely proud to be the head teacher of such an amazing school and we will continue to be a caring community which supports each other and together we will RISE through this situation.

Regarding SQA exams, please know that there is vast amounts of work going on both in school and out of school at the highest level to ensure that students are not at a disadvantage come the end of this.  I have met with all Senior Students who were in school today and a copy of my presentation can be found here:  Senior SQA Update  Please note that student assessment has taken place throughout the year and estimates will not be based solely on prelims.   Senior students will continue to work via google classroom and teachers will be setting and assessing work over the coming weeks.  A rigorous quality assurance process of all estimates will be carried out. We will be following SQA guidance and a copy of estimates which are submitted will be posted to all students.

The school may be open to small numbers of students to finish off SQA assessments, but at this stage I am not in a position to give any further information on this.  As it stands, please assume the school will be closed to all students from this afternoon.  Should this change in any way we will be in contact with the small number of students directly.

To the parents of those students that plan to leave us in S4, 5 and of course our S6s, I am so, so sorry that we end your time as part of the Dunbar Grammar community in such a way.  We will be looking at rescheduling our leavers events as soon as possible. Please know that I, along with all staff here, wish your child good luck in all their future endeavours and please know that we will always be here if you need us.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

On Monday I will send out comprehensive information around arrangements for online learning.  It is important that all students have access to IT at home.  Should this not be the case, please do get in touch with the school and we will try and help with this.

We are also in a position to provide sanitary products should you need them, having been gifted a significant amount recently for us in school.  I believe these are now in short supply in shops.  These have been offered to students over the past few days.

I have included a document that may help in supporting your child through this difficult time.

Please do take care and get in touch if we can help in any way.

Best wishes to all

Claire Slowther, Head Teacher

Free School Meals

Free school meals will be available from Monday 23 March for all children who are in receipt of free milk or clothing grants.  These will be served from the 6 children’s hubs from 11.30am until  12.30pm:

  • Dunbar Primary School (John Muir Campus),
  • St Mary’s Primary School/Haddington Primary School (infants building),
  • Law Primary School, North Berwick,
  • Preston Tower Primary School (infants building), Prestonpans,
  • Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School, Tranent;
  • Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School, Musselburgh

Information to Key Workers

Medication in School

Medication has been handed back to students today, where possible. Any medication not collected will be kept in the school office until the school reopens.

Senior Phase Google Classroom Codes (S4-S6)

Parent and Student quick guide to Google Classroom:

The following document has all Senior Phase Google Classroom codes.  If a student is absent from school, they should check the classrooms for each of their subjects to allow them to catch up on missed work.

Links to On-line Learning Resources (S1-S3)

 Maths and Numeracy

Mathematics (all levels) – https://corbettmaths.com

Languages

English

Level 3 work: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/zy4qn39

Level 4 work: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/levels/zvk2fg8

Modern Languages – We have posted information and resources on ShowMyHomework for you to access here:

https://www.satchelone.com/login?userType=student

Health and Well-being

PE – Follow the link to Joe Wicks workouts and select one to complete (would be good to start with a beginners workout and progress from there)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=joe+wicks+hiit+workout

The PE dept want to see as many pupils as possible doing a number of workouts (if you are able) Please share a quick clip or picture and tag @DGSSPORT on Instagram or Twitter to let us know how you have got on.

Home Economics – Follow the link to the step by step guide on how to create a delicious Easter Cake.

Please share a picture of your decorated Easter Cake(s) and tag @DGS Home Ec to let us see your finished work.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easter-brownie-bites

Religious and Moral Education – Follow the link to the BBC Ethics page

Select a moral issue and research about this specific issue. Create a poster, leaflet or slide relating to this issue.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/guide/

Technologies

Computing – Follow the links below

S3 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zcc8mp3 – revise

S2 – https://scratch.mit.edu/ – work through tutorials &

https://idea.org.uk/ – create with edubuzz account

S1 – https://makecode.microbit.org/

Business Studies – BBC Bitesize for S3 only

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/z8xsr82

The Idea Awards – concentrate on entrepreneur badges first. For s2 and S3.

https://idea.org.uk/

Science

Students can access a range of 3rd and 4th level resources on BBC BiteSize found here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Social Subjects

Information and resources for all social subjects has been added to Show My Homework, found here:

https://www.satchelone.com/login?userType=student

Support for Learning & PSE

Resources for PSE are available to students from S1 to S3, these can be accessed by logging into their Google Classroom. Codes are also available on the school website.

Additional Support for Learning – Doorway Online is a collection of free and highly accessible educational games that learners will find easy to use independently. Each activity has a range of accessibility and difficulty options.

There are touch typing games, memory and matching, time and money, literacy and number.  Good for all students.

https://www.doorwayonline.org.uk/

Duke of Edinburgh Announcements

Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards’ Evening

  • Thursday 2nd of April
  • This event is being postponed.

Bronze Duke of Edinburgh (Third Year Group) 

  • Following advice from the Authority training and expeditions are being postponed.

Silver Duke of Edinburgh (Fourth Year Group)

  • Following advice from the Authority training and expeditions are being postponed.

Gold Duke of Edinburgh (Sixth Year Group)

  • Following advice from the Authority training and expeditions are being postponed.
  • We will look to ensure groups are able to move forward to complete their assessed expeditions at an appropriate time.

Sections of the Award

  • Further advice on the Volunteering, Skills and Physical Recreation sections will be added to the Duke of Edinburgh website in due course.
  • There will be advice on changing sections to activities which meet the government advice on social distancing and safety.