June Newsletter Update

Dear Parents and Carers

This school session, has seemed to last for ever, but also its over in a flash! It is hard to remember that we were still social distancing, teaching in rows and putting in our recovery programme following two remote learning periods due to COVID19.  Gradually as the year has gone on we have almost returned to what appears to be ‘normal school life’ and I have been delighted to see parents, carers and grandparents back for at Sports Days and we are able this year to mark the P7 leavers with a dance, assembly and of course our traditional ‘clapping out ceremony,’, more details of the last day at the bottom on this letter.

Recovery Visit – East Lothian Council – Dunbar Primary School – 5553024 – Publication – Updated Final Note of Recovery Visit

We requested a Recovery Visit from HMIe, we wanted to share what we are doing in school, gather valid feedback from the inspection team and use this to shape our School Improvement Plan to ensure we are putting in place the supports to enable every pupil to achieve their potential. The visit was very positive and we were able to share our next steps and receive very useful support and advice. The full report can now be found on the school website.


Meet the Teacher in August – Monday 22nd – Thursday 25th

After positive feedback from last year’s session we have decided to go ahead with on-line 1:1 meetings with class teachers via Google Meet. It is relaxed and informal and is an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teacher and talk about your child. We want to get to know them, and you, at the start of term. More details will come to you from 15th August.


Staffing Update

The DHT who was due to start at Lochend in August has decided to withdraw, the post has been re-advertised and we will be interviewing in early September. In the meantime I will be appointing a temporary Principal Teacher, until the new DHT starts. This will be filled internally from a member of DPS staff to ensure we have an SLT member for Primary 6 and to support new initiatives next session. Vikki Henderson is leaving the Nursery to take up a post at Law Primary Nursery.

Some of our classroom assistants and ASN staff are also leaving so we say goodbye to Mrs Murray, Mrs Fraser Mrs Wallace and Mrs Greig.  Last year the Scottish Government gave all schools funding to buy in additional support staff for 1 year to support the ‘recovery phase’ following Covid19. There were temporary posts and whilst we are very sad to see these staff leave it was always part of our staff and pupil planning.

Next session we are planning our own ‘ARCH Learning Programme’ which will enable more learners to access more life-skills training, qualifications linked to community activities and support to enable them to access class activities to meet individual needs. We will share much more about this next session.

Volunteers – Snack Trolley and Reading volunteers needed for next term

Thanks to all the parents, carers and community helpers who have supported classes on trips out recently – great to have you back as we couldn’t do them without you!  Also thanks to those who replied when we sent out an email last term for volunteers, however in order to run our snack trollies we need at least another 6 at each campus – please can you call either office to give name, day/s you can help out and a telephone number  – we will come back to you.  Reading volunteers are an essential mainstay or our school and we would like to encourage you back if you did it before or we will be running some training if you fancy helping out some of our pupils with their reading practice. Please can you contact your child’s new teacher after the summer holiday – it is so rewarding and even 1 hour can make a massive difference.

‘DPS Expectations’ -an accepted standard or a way of being or doing things in our school

Next August we will return to school (fingers crossed) without restrictions and as a staff are really looking forward to starting the year when we get back to our normal ways. Covid19 did impact on school life in the past two years, and sometimes not in a positive way.

We will be begin the session on Wednesday 17th August as a fresh start, which will include sharing our ‘DPS expectations’ with our whole school community so that everyone is very clear about the rules and beliefs we have in our school regarding behaviour, uniform, attendance, moving around school, bikes & scooters and engagement in learning. In order that everyone succeeds and enjoys being at Dunbar Primary School as staff, pupils and parent/carers we all need to ensure that we understand what is expected, everyone is consistent in insisting on these expectations so that we can focus on the main purpose of being in school – learning.

To support our start of term please ensure the following:

  • We ask that DPS school uniform must be worn at all times – we have lots of uniform that is in excellent condition so please collect from us if you need any. School colours are black, red and grey and what we accept is in on the school website. We are proud of our school and uniform is the way to show and share this.
  • We will continue to ask pupils to come in their PE kit on days they have lessons, however we will now ask that they wear a school sweatshirt or cardigan during the day. A reminder that hoodies are not part of the school uniform.
  • For everyone’s safety bikes and scooters cannot be ridden in the playground, all pupils and adults must get off at the gate and wheel their bike/scooter to the racks – not leaving them on the grass.
  • Doors open at both campuses at 8.45am – pupils should be at school for this time; the expectation is that pupils will be in their class by 8.55am. It is a life skill to be on time and we want to encourage and instil this in our pupils; the teachers will be starting the learning at 8.55am and we need you to support us with this.

Returning to school on Wednesday 17th August 2022

P2 pupils will arrive at school for 8.45am and will leave at 2.50pm in the usual way.                       P2 leave at 12.00 each Friday

P3 – P7 pupils will arrive at school for 8.45am and will leave at 3.10pm in the usual way.              P3-P7 leave at 12.20 each Friday

* New Primary 1 pupils will have different start and leaving times for the first few weeks of school and this will be sent in a separate letter.

Last day arrangements – Friday 1st July

The Parent Council agreed that we would finish slightly earlier on the final day so that we are able to clap out Primary 3 and Primary 7 pupils.

Arrangements for John Muir

P3 pupils will be clapped out of school at 11.40am – P3 parents need to be waiting on the grass so they can collect their child as they leave the gates with their teacher.

P1 will then leave straight afterwards supervised by their teachers, and finally, P2 pupils will be escorted to the gates to meet whoever is collecting them.

Arrangements for Lochend

Parents are encouraged to come into the playground and line the path from the red road to the gates from 11.50 onwards.

P4-P6 pupils and teachers will form a leaving corridor from the back playground to the red road.

P7 pupils will be clapped out at 12.05 from their classrooms to the main gates, followed by P4, P5, P6 pupils.

I would like to thank you for your support over this challenging year and I hope you all have an enjoyable holiday over the next few weeks.

Finally, our Primary 7 pupils leave to start a new chapter in their lives, it does not seem five minutes since they started in Primary 1, and I have really enjoyed seeing them grow and develop and I am very proud of all they have achieved. Good luck to them and to all of our staff leaving Dunbar Primary School this year, we wish you all the best!

Mrs Helen Gillanders

Head teacher