All posts by Angus MacRury

Depute Headteacher, Dunbar Primary School.

Weekly Update 25th September

Dear Parents and Carers,

Playground Zones

These are changing in both Campuses on Monday 28th September.

The zones are working well and rotating them each 2 weeks allows children to explore and play in another area.

Dunbar Primary School Nursery Information

As many of you will be aware we have a great Nursery at Dunbar Primary School. You can check their website and twitter sites below to look at the great things that the children are learning.
Dunbar Primary School  Nursery website:

Nursery Update

Ordinarily we would have the opportunity to invite you into nursery and talk to you about the way that we support your child’s development. Unfortunately due to the current safety measures in place this isn’t possible, however the nursery team have put together a presentation to provide you with this information.

Nursery Improvement Plan

Welcome Back: Thank you for supporting us and the changes we have had to implement during this time. It is a delight to have all the children back and be able to welcome our new families to Dunbar Nursery. I would also like to welcome to Miss Olivia Aylward who has joined us as an Early Years Practitioner, Mrs Michelle Higginbottom, who is already a familiar face, in her new role as Early Years Practitioner and a warm welcome back Mrs Lisa Huntly.

The Bee Hive Nature Garden: During the summer we were fortunate enough to receive funding from Community Wind Power to begin developing an outdoor learning area for the nursery. This will include a literacy/story telling garden, a wildlife garden and a growing garden. We have fenced the area, planted hedgerows received from the Woodland Trust and are building a shelter for the children to use with their friends. The next step is to develop the wildlife garden. We would like to create bug hotels and bird houses and plant lots of wildlife friendly plants. All the rooms are spending a lot of time developing our outdoor areas and a big part of this is loose parts. I have added a list of loose parts and materials that we are looking for.

School Pay: If you have registered for school pay could you please contact the school office for your access code. When paying snack money you need to click on Nursery Snack 2020 not Pre order school meals. If you are having an issue registering please contact the school office.

STOP DROP AND HOP: It is the policy at Dunbar Primary School that we have NO BIKING or SCOOTING at any time on the paths and in the playgrounds. This is to stop any accidents and children being hurt or injured. Please make sure your children going to school, nursery or any younger brothers and sisters, come off their bikes/scooters at the school gates and the bike/scooter is pushed carefully to the bike racks. This policy is also in place at the end of Nursery/school sessions. Your help and support with this is greatly appreciated.

Nursery Website: Now the children have settled into nursery we will be sharing their experiences and learning on the nursery website where each room has their own page. You can access the Nursery Website here or via the link on the school website. Could you please ensure that your photograph consent


· Please have a pair of wellies every session. Also suitable outdoor clothing. Each child has their own peg which they are welcome to leave wellies and waterproofs on.

· Sun cream to be kept in bags and forms returned if not already done so.

· The children are provided with a snack in the morning and in the afternoon and water is available for children to drink throughout the day. We are asking that parents DO NOT send their children in with additional snacks and water bottles.

Diary Dates

October Holiday – Nursery and School breaks on Friday 16th October and returns on Tuesday 26th October.

Library Books

We have recently checked our Library returns since lockdown and have over 700 books currently still out on loan. Please can you help your child check for books with the Dunbar Primary School stamp that may have got mixed up with your own books and return them to school. There are also class library books given out by teacher these will also have a stamp and would be gratefully received back.

P5 Trip to Lochend Woods with ELC Rangers

Starting nest week there will be a P5 trip to Lochend Woods, led by members of the ELC Ranger Service, accompanied by members of school staff per group.

Each group will be leaving school at 1pm each time and returning at 2.45pm.

The Class dates are below:

Wednesday 30th September – Miss Denholm, P5A 

Thursday 1st October – Ms McVitie P5F 

Tuesday 6th October – Mrs Sutherland P5E

Wednesday 7th October – Mrs Whitehead P5C 

Thursday 8th October – Mrs Christopherson P5B 

MacMillan Coffee Morning 2020

The staff at both Campuses enjoyed a socially distanced coffee and cake morning today to raise funds for Macmillan
Thank you to all the staff for your support!
Special Thank you SO much to:

for  supporting our socially distanced staff @macmillancoffee
& donating these delicious treats!!

Mrs Black organised for Lochend and Mrs Gillanders for JMC. We had a lovely time and raised money for a fantastic charity! #Community



Dunbar Rotary Club Young Artist Competition

Primary 4 took part in the Rotary Club’s Young Artist Competition at the start of term. The theme was warmth. Here are the winning artworks! 3rd Place- Sohpie O’Brien, 2nd Place- Fernie Sturrock, 1st Place- Isla Love .We still have the prize giving to look forward to next week. Well done all.





Digital Support

The Scottish Government recently announced funding of £30 million to support Local Authorities to provide digital devices and/or the internet to young people at school who may require support with digital access to learning from home.

We have used Scottish Government Guidance to identify young people at Dunbar Primary School who fit the criteria to be offered a device to support home-learning and we will be writing home to parents/carers, shortly of those young people whom we have identified.  Devices will be available to identified students from October. These devices are Chromebooks as they support the Google platform in use by East Lothian Council (ELC) schools. Students may be asked to hand their Chromebook in periodically for software updates and to ensure they are working effectively.

As the device is owned by East Lothian Council, the young person will be asked to return the Chromebook back to Dunbar Primary School if they leave the school. During the period of loan, students will be expected to look after their device and use it for educational purposes only, as per ICT User Guidelines.

Angus J MaRury



Weekly Update 21 September 2020

Dear Parents

We hope you have had a good September weekend.


School Improvement Plan and Standards and Quality Report  Final Version

Please find below the School improvement plan and the Standards and Quality report for 2019/20.

Final SIP 2020 & 2021

Final 19&20 Dunbar Primary School Standards and Quality Report

School Times for both Campuses

A reminder of the school entry times is below.

John Muir Campus

Stage Start

Mon – Friday

Monday – Thursday

Finish Time


Finish Time

Primary 1 8.50am – 9am 2.55pm 12.00
Primary 2 8.40am   – 8.50am 2.45pm 12.05
Primary 3 8.35- 8.45am 3pm 12.10

It is really important that pupils in P4 to P7  come to school as close to the start time as possible.

Last week there were children arriving very early.  Children will be reminded not to congregate in other areas and to head to their entry zone and go inside straight inside once the doors are open.

Lochend Campus

Stage Start

Mon – Friday

Monday – Thursday

Finish Time


Finish Time

Primary 4


Primary 5


School starts at 8.45am but doors will open 10 minutes earlier for a soft start. Dismissed at 3.00pm Dismissed at 12.10pm
Primary 6


Primary 7



School starts at 8.55am but doors will open 10 minutes earlier for a soft start. Dismissed at 3.10pm Dismissed at 12.20pm

Residential Trips

Please click on the link to see the letter sent out to all East Lothian Council schools today regarding school trips:

SEPT 17 Letter – Residential Trips

Angus J MacRury , DHT

Weekly Update 11th September

Dear Parents and Carers,

Meet the Teacher

Meet the teacher this year will be a presentation  rather than parents visiting the school and the class.  All teachers have worked really hard to create a class presentation and  this will be available this Thursday, 17th September. Details of how to access the presentation will be posted here on Monday.

Year Stage Newsletters

Year stage Newsletter will also be issued via email or hard copy if required on Thursday 17th September.

Playground Zones

Both John Muir Campus and Lochend Campus will be moving classes into new playground zones on Monday 14th September.

East Lothian Courier P1 photos

These will take place in class groups outside on the steps of the PE hall at John Muir Camps on Wednesday 16th September.

Head Boy and Girl

Congratulations to two former pupils Nancy Bird and Matthew Pearson on their appointment as Head Girl and Head Boy at Dunbar Grammar School.

Friday 18th and Monday 21st September

These dates are both public holidays and all schools in East Lothian will be closed.


Please click on the link below for updated guidelines  08/09/2020 regarding the above.

COVID-19 FAQs for parents and carers 080920


Find below a copy of the school session dates that were reviewed in June 2020.

ELC School dates 2020-2021 word format

ELC – School Dates 2020-2021 – calendar format

Angus J MacRury, DHT.


Weekly Update 7th September 2020

Dear Parents

School Newsletter.

The September Newsletter can be found here:

September 2020 newsletter Final

Read Write Inc

The P1 to P3 will start Read, Write Inc. groups on Monday. The groups will be Monday to Wednesday.

Accelerated Reader

As of Monday 7th September any P5 – P7 pupil can start quizzing on A.R using the Chrome books in the classroom.
The current P4 classes will be added to AR over the course of this session and will undertake a STAR Reading Assessment when they are ready to do so.
STAR Reader Assessments

Currently we can only have one class in the ICT Suite every day so that it gets fully cleaned and fogged in between classes. This will mean it will take longer than previous years to get all P5-P7 children through their STAR assessments. Mrs Eeles has organised a timetable to achieve this starting from Monday 7th September
Lochend and John Muir School Libraries
Lochend  and John Muir Libraries are NOT open at the moment so pupils will need to read books from  class libraries or ones brought in from home and quarantined for 72 hours.  We are still working out how we move forward with a system to get the library up and running this term.

Play Ground Zones

John Muir Campus will be moving playground play zones on Monday 7th September. In both Campuses the play ground zones are used to ensure classes are kept in their bubbles during break and lunchtimes. We have planned to rotate these fortnightly to allow the classes access to different opportunities of play in each zone.

COVID-19 and school: FAQs for parents and carers

These Frequently Asked Questions bring together some of the questions parents and carers have asked since schools started back following the summer break.

COVID-19 FAQs for parents and carers V2 010920

If you have other questions please look at the NHS Inform website or ask your child’s school. The school will contact NHS Lothian Health Protection Team if they need help giving you an answer.

Dunbar Primary School-Zones of Regulation

Support for Every Pupil with two programmes – Zones of Regulation and Building Resilience

We recognised that pupils would feel all kind of emotions when they started back and all classes from Nursery to Primary 7 have been using two resources that are helping them try and make sense of their emotions, feelings and support them in dealing with reconnecting with school.


Communication is crucial in our school to ensure that we keep you updated and informed; equally it is vital that you feel able to contact us with any questions or concerns.  In most instances your child’s class teacher is the best person to contact. We know that the best time is to call at the end of the school day once the pupils have been dismissed.   Members of the Senior Leadership Team all look after a specific stage and if the teacher cannot be contacted then you should contact this person:

Nursery:   Miss De’Ath               Primary 1:  Mrs Legge

Primary 2:  Mrs Wight                Primary 3:  Miss Ross

Primary 4:  Mr MacRury           Primary 5:  Mrs Kelly

Primary 6:  Mrs Eeles                  Primary 7:  Miss Eunson

We are all contactable during the day, however we are unfortunately unable to meet in the school unless in exceptional circumstances.

Meet the Teacher – Stage presentations will be available from Monday 14th September.

Due to the current restrictions on adults being in schools we will be offering our Meet the Teacher sessions on-line. Each stage from P1-P7 and The Cove have created a presentation with details about the year ahead and will share information relevant to each year group.

Unfortunately, it also means that Mrs Gillanders is unable to meet you all in the halls at each campus and talk to you about our whole school plans for the coming year and to reflect on last session. We have produced family friendly versions of our School Improvement Plan for 2020/21 and our school Standards and Quality Report which looks back to 2019/20, which we can all acknowledge was the very strangest of times from March onwards. These will be sent  via email to all parents.

Full versions of both documents are also available here.

Parent Friendly School Improvement Plan 2020 (1)

Final 19&20 Dunbar Primary School Standards and Quality Report

Angus MacRury, DHT on behalf of Dunbar Primary School



Weekly Update 31 August 2020

Monday 31st August 2020 Weekly Update

Welcome to the new weekly update that will be sent out every Friday to keep parents updated with whole school and whole year stage updates.


Most year stages have a Twitter account. On this site you will find pictures and information for that year stage. You can access the Twitter feeds without having an account on any web browser. The main school Twitter page has a feed on the school website. Currently the P3 year stage post to the main school site.

Face Coverings – New Guidance – 31 August 2020 Secondary Schools ONLY

As you’ll be aware, the Scottish Government has announced that, from Monday 31 August 2020, face coverings should be worn by young people attending secondary schools when they are moving around the school in corridors and confined communal areas (such as toilets, social areas, PE changing rooms) where physical distancing is particularly difficult to maintain. There is no requirement currently for pupils in Primary Schools to wear face coverings, although children are free to do so if they wish.

Playground Zones

The children in both Campuses will be shown their new playground Zones for the next two week starting 21st August. This system has worked very well and we congratulate the children on playing in their zones extremely well.

Water in school 

In Lochend the children can refill their water bottles in class.

In John Muir water bottles can be refilled from cold jugs supplied to each class through the day.

NHS Advice

Flu Immunisation. We would be grateful if you could return the permission slips for flu vaccine as soon as possible as these will be uplifted by the NHS shortly for processing. We will share dates for flu clinics as soon as we have had this confirmed.

NHS Coronavirus Information from East Lothian Council:


Parents are requested to return PC1 Forms as soon as possible. These were sent out electronically last week. If you require a  hard copy please contact the school office and one will be sent home via pupil post.

The School Day

The timings for arrival and departure are below. There is no change to previous timings.

School Newsletter

The school Newsletter from Mrs Gillanders will be issued on Friday 4th September and will be available here on the school website. Parents who request paper copies will have them sent home as usual.

John Muir Campus

Stage Start

Mon – Friday

Monday – Thursday

Finish Time


Finish Time

Primary 1 8.50am – 9am 2.55pm 12.00
Primary 2 8.40am   – 8.50am 2.45pm 12.05
Primary 3 8.35- 8.45am 3pm 12.10


Lochend Campus

Stage Start

Mon – Friday

Monday – Thursday

Finish Time


Finish Time

Primary 4


Primary 5


School starts at 8.45am but doors will open 10 minutes earlier for a soft start. Dismissed at 3.00pm Dismissed at 12.10pm
Primary 6


Primary 7



School starts at 8.55am but doors will open 10 minutes earlier for a soft start. Dismissed at 3.10pm Dismissed at 12.20pm


On PE days it would be advisable if children could bring with them a fresh pair of socks and a a school jumper or sweatshirt in their bag. This is to give them the chance to change into some dry clothes if weather is poor. All PE currently is outdoors.


A MacRury, DHT.

Pupil Lockdown Survey, June 26th 2020.





Dear Parents

Click on image for Survey.

As you will be aware we conducted a survey with P2 to P7 regarding their opinions on home learning and their Health and Well-being.

We conducted two surveys,  one for P2 and P3 and the other for P4-P7.
There were 54 surveys that had full data on submitted on them from P2 and P3.
There were 236 surveys fully completed in P4 to P7.
In total 290 surveys were used for the attached tables.
There were some issues with blank surveys (46) and unfinished surveys (38)
There were surveys that were not submitted.
Children also made suggestions and comments and the most common ones are on the presentation.

The teachers, support staff and SLT will take their time over the next few weeks to look at the survey and adapt and target learning in the first six weeks to prioritise issues raised by pupils in their responses.

A MacRury, DHT.

DPS Pupil Survey

Scotland Learns: Parents and Carers Newsletter

We are delighted to bring you the newest edition of the Scotland Learns: Parents and Carers Newsletter. You can see the latest issue of this Scotland Learns parents newsletter.

We hope you have found the learning activities, links, hints and tips in #ScotlandLearns supportive and useful.

In this newsletter you will find:
new learning activities on literacy, numeracy, Gaelic, as well as health and wellbeing; advice on supporting children who are deaf;
hints and tips for helping your child with reading; advice for those planning to go to college; and a fun creativity challenge

East Lothian Council

Chief Operating Officer for Education Lesley Brown has written to families following the announcement from the Depute First Minister this afternoon that councils should plan for pupils to return to school full-time from August if it is safe to do so. 

Dear parents & carers,

You may be aware that the Depute First Minister has, this afternoon, made a statement in the Scottish Parliament about all children and young people returning to school in August. He has indicated that the Scottish Government’s planning assumption is now to have all pupils returning to schools in August if it safe to do so. He has also indicated that this will be conditional and based on the scientific and health advice. He has confirmed that the plans we were putting in place for blended learning will be a contingency and will be essential preparation in case they are needed.

We are now urgently considering the implications of this announcement on our plans for August. It is clear that final decisions on this full return will not be confirmed until during the summer holidays. We are awaiting further specific guidance and will be in touch with you again as soon as we can. We continue to work on the assumption that staff will return to school on the 10th August and pupils will return on the 12th August.

We appreciate that this is a fast changing situation and you will be keen to know what this means for your child / children. We are committed to sharing information with you as soon as we can, including during the summer holidays.

Kind regards,

Lesley Brown

Chief Operating Officer (Education) – Education & Children’s Services