All posts by Angus MacRury

Depute Headteacher, Dunbar Primary School.

GTCS Award for Dunbar Primary School

Excellence in Professional Learning Award for Schools and Learning Communities

Tonight, 20th September, the SLT and members of staff accompanied by Fiona Robertson, Head of Education will be attending The GTC SCOTLAND Excellence in Professional Learning Awards 2018 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Glasgow ,to receive the Excellence in Professional Learning Award for Schools and Learning Communities Award.

The SLT are proud of all staff who have made this award possible for the school and community and would  like to dedicate the award to everyone who works in Dunbar Primary School. They are the difference that makes Dunbar Primary School such a wonderful place to learn in, for both our pupils and staff.

Below are the Key Strengths identified by the panel 

Key Strengths

The panel enjoyed the structure of the day and would like to commend Dunbar Primary School on the following observed key strengths:

Prior to the event the documentation and the visual materials provided the panel members with a brief insight to Dunbar Primary School and gave a flavour of the excellent professional learning opportunities available for staff and pupils.

The panel were very appreciative of the open, honest and reflective nature of the school community. All staff, pupils, parents and partners spoke of their pride in the school as a learning community and a place to learn.

Through the various conversations it was very evident that the whole school community appreciate the inspirational leadership of the Headteacher and consider her an excellent professional learning role model.

Leadership of and for learning

There is a strong strategic and holistic vision of professional learning. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Principal Teachers (PTs) were considered to be strong enquiry role models who support staff to build capacity both within and outwith the learning community.

There was also strong evidence that professional learning is collaborative, staff are encouraged to take an enquiry approach. Staff are actively encouraged to take risks and are supported to bring forward new ideas. New members of staff feel very welcomed and a strong induction process helps to ensure consistency in approaches to learning and teaching across the school.

Professional Standards & Policy

Gatekeeping by the SLT supports the development of teacher agency and builds capacity to ensure a strong focus on learning and teaching through appropriate professional learning. There was evidence of an embedded culture of coaching and staff were supported to reflect on their own professional learning using coaching wheels. Tracking meetings of pupil progress are used to inform the professional learning of staff and also supported the professional review and development process.

Learning that deepens knowledge and understanding

There is a culture of creating space and time for staff to engage fully in professional learning including more in-depth learning e.g. practitioner enquiry. This time and space is greatly appreciated and valued by staff who feel that they are positively encouraged to undertake practitioner enquiry and to take ownership for and lead of their own and others’ learning. Through this professional trust staff have a ‘can do‘ attitude to professional learning. Connectedness of learning and pedagogies across pupil and teacher learning was evident and some students saw teachers as learners.

Learning by enquiry

There are multiple enquiry role models at all levels of the staff team and teachers are engaging in practitioner enquiry which is relevant to their own learning and have the autonomy to work collaboratively or individually. Teachers are encouraged to ask questions, critically engage with policy and take risks in their own learning. This fosters collaboration and professional dialogue. The impact of practitioner enquiry is beginning to be recognised and its association with student learning.


The culture of sharing staff learning between and beyond school is a strength in this learning community. Regardless of the challenging circumstances, there are multiple opportunities for professional dialogue, informal and formal, within and outwith the school community, and there is some evidence this is extending to pupils particularly in upper stages of primary.

Engaging with and involving the community and partners in pupils’ learning and acknowledging learning beyond the school gates is to be commended.

Teacher and Student Learning

There is a strong sense of teacher-as-learner and an interconnected relationship between their learning and the learning of their pupils is beginning to emerge.



Instrumental Music Tuition- Important Information Update for P4-P7 Parents from East Lothian Council

Instrumental Music Tuition

Important Update

Tuesday 11th September 2018

Dear Parent/Carer

We are writing to advise you of the following important updates in relation to your engagement with the Instrumental Music Instruction service.

Submission of registration forms – returning pupils

With the introduction of charging for the service it is vital that all pupils who want to continue to receive instrumental instruction are formally registered and with this in mind we have extended the deadline for submission of registration forms for returning pupils to Tuesday 18 September 2018. With this in mind we are confident that this extension will allow sufficient time for all registration forms for returning pupils to be returned. However, for those who do not return their forms, it will not be possible for music tuition to continue and parents/carers will be advised accordingly.

Submission of registration forms – new pupils

Instrumental instructors are currently undertaking selection procedures for new pupils entering the service with the submission of registration forms having already started and this will continue in the coming days/weeks. Schools will by now have informed parents/carers of the selection process which is underway. The pupils selected will receive a registration form which needs to be completed by the parent/carer, signed off by the Music Instructor and then submitted to the Education Department as soon as possible for processing.

Payment for tuition

First payments will now be made from 15 October 2018 and not 15 September 2018 as previously indicated. This change to the payment schedule will enable all parents/carers to use the new online payment system which East Lothian Council is currently rolling out across the county. This new online payments system has a range of new features and in due course will also have the ability for parents to make automatic recurring payments, to improve the user experience further. Notification of when this new feature is available will be advised at the appropriate time. Page 2 of 2

IN THE MEANTIME PLEASE DO NOT MAKE ANY PAYMENTS UNTIL YOU RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION LETTER AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE FROM US. This information will explain how, where and when to make payments. A confirmation letter with a payment schedule will be issued over the coming weeks. Lessons will still continue for returning pupils during this period as long as a registration form has been submitted.

Please note, the revised payment periods will now be: Option 1: 10 monthly payments.

Payments will begin in October and be paid by the 15th of each month on an ongoing basis up to and including July 2019.

Option 2: 3 termly payments.

Payable October 15th, January 15th and April 15th.

Option 3: I wish to pay the full amount in 1 payment.

Payable by October 15th.


Information Update – Instrumental Music Tuition 11-09-18FINAL

How we teach reading: The Read Write Inc Phonics programme

Dunbar Primary School

How we teach reading

The Read Write Inc Phonics programme

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child is given the opportunity to learn to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading.

Please come along to find out about how we teach reading in Dunbar Primary School and find out how you can help your child on their reading journey.

Date: Monday 10th of September. Venue: Main Hall

Time: morning: 9am to 09.30am         or       evening: 6pm-6.30pm


Thank you


Roseanne Rice

Read, Write, Inc. Leader.

Head Teachers Presentation

Last week Helen Gillanders, Head Teacher,  gave a presentation to over 500 parents in both campuses find below the slides from her presentation which highlighted the journey Dunbar Primary School is on.

Headteacher Presentaton Meet the Teacher Tues August 2018

A summary of priorities this year are :

  • Numeracy

3 days support teacher at Lochend

Count Me In support at John Muir

6 days of training for all teachers & support staff

Teacher Trio’s- observation to impact on teaching through professional enquiry and reading by teaching staff

  • Family Support Worker

Support to improve attendance, lateness and engagement in school

Provide support to parents

  • Behaviour

Nurture Room – develop pupils’ social and emotional literacy

Restorative Approaches – for whole school as part of our

Behaviour programme – Ready, Respectful, Safe

Managing Behaviour for Learning

National STEM Learning Centre

A MacRury DHT

Respect For All-Anti-bullying Policy

Respect for All – Anti-bullying Policy

Respect for All

East Lothian Anti-Bullying Policy


East Lothian Council is committed to creating and sustaining a safe, positive and inclusive environment where respect is shown to and is given by all of its children, young people, staff and parents/carers.  Positive relationships are central to developing and maintaining inclusive environments.

Every child and young person in East Lothian has the right to grow up free from bullying behaviour and prejudice-based bullying and experience a learning environment which welcomes diversity and nurtures respect for all.  East Lothian Council is therefore committed to protecting children and young people from all forms of bullying.

This commitment is consistent with the policy of the Scottish Government as outlined in the National Approach to Anti-bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People (2010) and is supported by the work of respectme, Scotland’s national anti-bullying service. The context of this policy in relation to other national and local policies can be found in Appendix 1.

In addition to ensuring this policy is in line with the National Policy the views of children and young people, parents/carers and staff across East Lothian were sought through initial consultation with stakeholders in order to identify key issues and further consultation on the draft policy to ensure the policy meets local need.

A MacRury



School Improvement Plan 2018-19 and Sand Q Report 2017-18

Dear Parents

Please find below the School Improvement Plan and the Standards and Quality report  from improvement priorities last Session for Dunbar Primary School. Below is the opening statement of the Standards and Quality Report which introduces the context of the school and community. Paper copies are available from the school on request.

Context of the School

Dunbar Primary School is a very large school split over two campuses; the role continues to rise as additional housing is planned for Dunbar. We currently have 1248 pupil, 36 classes in the main school and 8 classes in our nursery. John Muir Campus houses our nursery with a roll of 240, P1-P3 classes of 390 pupils and our Wraparound care facility. We also have an Authority Communication Base for primary pupils; all pupils allocated a mainstream class and where possible, depending on the severity and need, we aim to integrate them into class as much as possible. Lichen Campus has 20 classes for P4-P7 of 572 pupils. 

The Headteacher has no class commitment; there are 5 deputies all with 0.2FTE FTE, two based at each campus and one who has responsibility for the Cove. The school is also supported by two full-time PT Inclusion and Support at each campus and a full-time PT who has responsibility for the nursery and one other PT with full-time class commitment. Pupils are supported by 3 full and 3 part time additional support needs auxiliaries and the equivalent of ten full-time classroom assistants.

We see ourselves as community school and work hard to engage with and support the community of Dunbar. We have very supportive and proactive parents, a large and enthusiastic volunteer network and pupils who are engaged and motivated to learn.

Final Copy SIP 18 – 19 FINAL

Final DPS S&Q 2017-18 FINAL

Weekly Update

Monday 7th May

May Day Holiday, School Closed

Tuesday 8th May

In-Service day, School Closed to pupils

Wednesday 9th May

P6 Rugby sessions on field (45mins each)

P7 Transition Day – Gym Hall, dance studio and ICT Suite. See Below

9 – 10.30: Ridge Cooking x six P6 pupils using Healthy Snack Room

9.30 Onwards – P2 Zoolab visit @ Old Phonics Room

Thursday 10th May

9.00-10.00: P5A John Muir Drama

10.45-12.15:  P5B John Muir Drama

P7 Guidance Meetings with staff from DGS

10.45am – 1pm: P6 Little & Large Cooking Comp at DGS – Jenny P attending with x 10 P6 pupils

Girls football training @ Gym hall

Friday 11th May

9.00-10.30: P5 Club Golf

Transition Information for P7 Parents/Carers

It is a busy time in terms of Transition events! On Wednesday 9th May, teachers from DGS will be visiting all of the new S1 students at Dunbar Primary.  They have a morning of activities planned and a great sports event for the afternoon.  We will be adding regular transition updates to this page over the next two months.

Our S5 Peace Ambassadors have made 4 short videos for P7 students and their parents/carers:

The Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership Summer School 2018

The Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership Summer School 2018 is back this year to offer an even wider range of free activities to children aged between 8 and 15 over the summer holidays.  There are 11 courses on offer, including adventure cookery, learning about how animals work, music technology, watersports, to name a few.  Children who attend one of the schools in the Dunbar cluster or who live in the area, and are in receipt of Child Tax Credit, are invited to apply.  Please note, however, that if a family’s current circumstances prevent any child from taking part in summer activities, for reasons such as poor health or disability, then applications are also welcome.  Please click on the following link for an application form: Application Form.  Application forms must be handed in to the Lochend or John Muir Campus office by Tuesday 16th May 2016.