All posts by Angus MacRury

Depute Headteacher, Dunbar Primary School.

Nursery Bookbug Explorer Bags

Bookbug Explorer Bag

The Bookbug Explorer Bag is given out at nursery when your child is aged 3.

The Bookbug Explorer Bag will boost every young adventurer’s love of books and reading, as well as encouraging their writing and drawing.

Your little one will love the sense of discovery and excitement as they dive into longer books. We hope you’ll enjoy cuddling up together to share a new story or enjoy an old favourite.

How do I get my free Bookbug Explorer Bag?

The Bookbug Explorer Bag will be given out on Thursday 22nd  November or when your child joins the Nursery after that date.

Does your child have Additional Support Needs?

CALL Scotland have created a fantastic pack of symbolised resources to accompany the books in the Bookbug Explorer bag. The resources can be used with children with Additional Support Needs, communication difficulties and with English as an Additional Language too! You can download the symbol sheet resources below.

You can see symbolised resources in action and get ideas on how they can be used in this video, filmed at Braidburn School in Edinburgh.

What does the Bookbug Explorer Bag include?*

  • Three picture books – These beautiful books have been specially selected by a panel of Early Years experts as well as being tested with families.
  • My Bookbug Explorer Activity Book – This activity book is a great way to encourage children to talk about the books in their Explorer Bag and share their drawings. There are activity pages based on the books and some handy book recommendations.
  • Bookbug Explorer Pencils – These 6 brightly coloured pencils are ideal for children learning to write.
  • My Bookbug Explorer CD – This CD is packed full of songs and nursery rhymes for families to enjoy. Many of the songs and rhymes can also be heard at local Bookbug Sessions. You can listen to the tracks online here.
  • 4 large postcards – These postcards are perfect for sending to grandparents, neighbours and friends, with plenty of space for children to write their own personal message.
  • Bookbug Postcard – A lovely, colourful postcard featuring a song or rhyme from the Bookbug Song and Rhyme Library.
  • Parent Leaflet – this includes tips on sharing the books and other items with children.
  • Bookbug alerts sign up form – Bookbug Alerts let a parent know when their next Bookbug Bag is due as well as giving them reading tips and book recommendations.
  • All contents come in a sturdy child sized canvas bag with smaller handles. Children will love carrying their books around by themselves!


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Primary One Bookbug Bags

We are delighted to announce that Bookbug will once again be gifting a Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag to every P1 child in Scotland during Book Week Scotland, 19-25 November.  This Bookbug Bag will help to create a lasting link between reading at school and at home. This bag also allows your child to take part in the The Bookbug Picture Book Prize. They can use the voting slip to vote for their favourite book from the bag, encouraging their love of reading by celebrating their choices.

How do I get my Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag?

Dunbar Primary School P1 Bag will gift the bag to children during Book Week Scotland, 19-25 November 2018.


What does the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag include?

This year’s P1 Family Bag includes:

Read, Write Count Bags

What is Read, Write, Count?

This week pupils in  P2 and P3 will be bringing home their Read, Write Count gift bags.

What is Read, Write, Count?

Read, Write, Count is a new campaign to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Scotland’s children by providing advice and support for the families of children in Primary 1, 2 and 3. It a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to raise attainment for all and close the attainment gap.

Read, Write, Count aims to build on the success of the PlayTalkRead and Bookbug programmes in the early years and encourage parents and families to include easy and fun reading, writing and counting activities in their everyday lives. For many years, Bookbug has gifted a bag of books to all P1 students throughout Scotland. Now, through the Read, Write, Count campaign, all P1 to P3 children will receive a free bag with books, counting games and writing materials  this week at Dunbar Primary School

Research tells us that parental involvement in children’s learning is one of the best ways to improve educational outcomes for all children. Read, Write, Count is about giving parents the confidence to get involved and provides resources to support learning at home.

The campaign is being delivered by Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Scottish Book Trust.

To find out more about the campaign and see the advice and tips for parents, visit

Read, Write, Count bags

Children in Primary 2 and 3 will receive a Read, Write, Count bag in the autumn of this year. In it are books, fun counting games and materials for writing.

Free bags of books and other learning materials have been given to children from birth to Primary 1 for a number of years with Scottish Book Trust’s Bookbug programme. Since 2015, these bags have had extra writing and counting materials from the Read, Write, Count campaign.

The bags are a great way to inspire parents and children to read, write and count together and are a great first step in increasing children’s literacy and numeracy skills. Book Week Scotland is a national celebration of books and reading. During Book Week Scotland, Scottish Book Trust holds around 800 book events all over Scotland with schools, libraries, bookshops and many others. Gifting the bags during Book Week Scotland can draw pupils’ and parents’ attention to this national celebration and encourage them to participate in the week’s events, laying the groundwork for further engagement in reading. In school, Book Week Scotland can provide a platform for lots of activities celebrating books, and there are competitions, games and things to do online, including free online author events




Dyslexia Unwrapped

Hello, Is your Child Dyslexic?

 Dyslexia Unwrapped, is the online hub for young people with dyslexia. It’s fun, informative and designed just for you. Watch a vid, find support, get involved. Click on the link above to have a look around the site.
We have  updated our Dyslexia support pages today and have added a wealth of resources and Links from Dyslexia Scotland and CALL Scotland, as well as links to other resources.

Newsletter November

Dear Parents and Carers,

Find below an extract from our latest Newsletter

Rights Respecting School Bronze Award

Dunbar Primary School has successfully achieved the first stage of the Rights Respecting School Award! We were delighted to achieve the Bronze Award this term, recognising us as a ‘Rights Committed’ school. The Rights Respecting School ambassadors, along with Mrs Whitehead (P6 class teacher), are now busy creating the winter RRS Newsletter. This is due out towards the end of term and will give you more information about this fantastic achievement.

Friday 16th November – Children in Need and Dunbar Christmas Lights Fundraising

We are planning a dress down day (your choice of PJs, onesies, casual clothes etc.) for a small donation on Friday 16th November to raise money for Children in Need and Dunbar Christmas Lights. There will also be a cake stall on this day for both John Muir & Lochend Campus. All cakes will cost between 20p – 50p.  Baking donations (nut free) are welcomed on the Thursday or Friday morning.  All money raised will be split 50/50 between Children in Need and Dunbar Christmas Lights.

‘Resilience – The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope’ Screening

We have organised a screening of this documentary at John Muir Campus on Tuesday 20th November at 6.15pm. It’s an excellent film which explains Adverse Childhood Experiences, their relevance to the children we teach and the possible impacts they can have later on in life.

There is no cost to book. Donations welcome on the night.  To book, please click on: (or find the link on our twitter page or school website).

Find the rest of the Newsletter here: 2 November Newsletter 2018

Resilience Screening 20th November 2018


We  have organised a screening of the Resilience documentary at John Muir Campus on Tuesday 20th November at 18:15. It’s an excellent film which explains Adverse Childhood Experiences, their relevance to the children we teach and the possible impacts they can have later on in life.  There is no cost to book. Donations welcome on the night. THIS IS OPEN TO ALL SCHOOLS IN THE DUNBAR CLUSTER

Tickets/Booking for non DPS staff can be obtained through Eventbrite. Click image above or link below.

The child may not remember, but the body remembers.

Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. As the new documentary Resilience reveals, toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune. Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress—and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose.



HARVEST ASSEMBLY in John Muir and Lochend

Dear Parents and Carers

Harvest Assembly and Collection for Dunbar Foodbanks

We will be holding our Harvest Collection and Assembly on Friday 26th October.

This is a very special assembly where we think about all the wonderful foods that we grow and enjoy both locally and around the world.

It is also an opportunity to think about others who may not, for lots of reasons, have enough food to feed themselves and their families. We can all help in a small way by donating a food item to Dunbar Basics Bank. The children are encouraged to bring in an item to our assembly.

Please find a ‘shopping list’ of items that the Basics Bank would love to receive.

Thanks so much for your support.

A J MacRury , DHT.

Tinned Chilli Con Carne, Tinned Mince, Tinned Chicken Curry, Tinned Chicken in White Sauce, Tinned Stew,Tinned Pies,Tinned Fish,Tinned Soups,Tinned Ravioli, Tinned Spaghetti, Tinned Spaghetti Bolognese, Tinned Macaroni Cheese, Tinned Baked Beans with Sausages,  Tinned Hot Dogs,Tinned Meatballs, Tinned Haggis, Tinned Fruit, Tinned Custard, Tinned Rice Pudding, Tinned Potatoes,  Tinned Vegetables, Tinned Tomatoes, Tinned Beans, Tinned Ham, Jars of pasta/curry sauce, Breakfast Cereal, Diluting Juice, Carton Juice (not refrigerated), Dried Rice, Pasta, Lentils, Stock Cubes, Jam, Teabags, Coffee, Sugar, Long-life Milk, Spray deodorants, Shaving Foam, Shampoo, Shower Gel, Soap, Soap Powder (smaller boxes/bottles best), Toilet Rolls, Toothpaste.


Reminder. Grandparents Day

Where:    Dunbar Primary School at John Muir Campus.

When:     Wednesday 10th October from 9.00 – 9.45am.

Why:         We would like to invite our Grandparents to

come in and see how we are developing our learning

NB: some classes will be at PE and Music


Where:    Dunbar Primary School at Lochend  Campus.

When:     Thursday 11th October from 9.00 – 9.45am

Why: We would like to invite our Grandparents to

come in and see how we are developing our learning

NB: some classes will be at Science, PE and German

Refreshments will be served from 9.45 – 10.30 on both sites in the Dining Hall.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Managing Head Lice infection in Children

25-Head Lice Facts Detection Treatment-Oct2017-English

Dear Parents/Guardian

Managing Head Lice Infection in Children

The Scottish Executive has issued advice about head lice infection. This is based on a report, the 1998 Stafford Report, “Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Head Lice”.  For your information, I have set out the main aspects of this new advice. The advice is still lengthy so it may be useful to highlight the key changes that it will make:-

  • The responsibility for checking for, and dealing with, head lice infection will lie with parents or carers.
  • Neither the school nurse, nor any other member of the school staff will check for, or deal with head lice infection.
  • The school will not issue letters alerting you to head lice infections in your child’s class. Head lice infections are now so common that such letters could be issued on a daily basis.
  • If any member of the school staff notices that a child has a head lice infection, they will inform the parents or carers of that child.
  • Because infections are now so common, you should check your child’s hair on a weekly basis.
  • If you find any sign of head lice infection you should treat it using one of the methods set out below.

Head lice

Head lice are small, six legged wingless insects which are pin-head size when they hatch. Less than match-head size when fully grown and are grey/brown in colour.  They lie on or very close to the scalp at the base of the hair.  Eggs are laid in sacs which are very small and well camouflaged.  They are securely glued to hairs where they hatch after a period of 7-10 days.  Nits are the empty egg sacs, which are white and shiny – they are often easier to see than head lice themselves. **A head lice infection cannot be diagnosed unless a living louse has been found on the head.**


The primary responsibility for the identification, treatment and prevention of the head lice in a family lies with the parents. Regular checking of the children’s heads is important, but it is a parental responsibility.


Weekly checking, by “wet combing” is an effective means of detection.

“Wet combing” involves washing the hair and applying conditioner, then combing through with a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles. Taking a section at a time, a fine tooth detection comb is then pulled downwards through the hair, keeping the comb close to the scalp (where head lice are often located).  The comb is checked for lice after each section.  The comb must be fine enough to catch the lice and a pharmacist should be able to recommend a comb for this purpose, if parents are in any doubt.  This process should be completed weekly.  If head lice are found, all other family members should be checked and, if necessary, treated.  Checks should be continued following treatment to ensure that it has been effective and to detect any re-infection.


Once infection is detected, there are two treatment approaches. One is the use of insecticide lotions and an alternative is removal by wet combing, sometimes called ‘bug busting’.  Both methods require continued combing to remove any unhatched egg

Re-infection can occur if a child has direct head to head contact with someone else who has head lice. It is likely that a child will become re-infected unless the whole family, and all those who have been in close contact with the child, have been checked and, if lice are found, treated.

   Insecticide treatment should never be used as a preventative measure as the use of  An alternative option for dealing with head lice is wet combing, sometimes called ‘bug busting’. This is a non-chemical approach that involves mechanical removal of all lice from the hair after the hair has been washed and conditioned. With the conditioner still in, the hair is combed gradually using a fine tooth comb, section by section, in order to remove the lice.‘Bug busting’ is time consuming and to be effective, must be carried out every 3 days for up to 3 weeks to remove newly hatched lice. Insecticide treatments offer a more immediate solution to a head lice infection, but some parents may have concerns about using these sorts of treatments.

The ‘Bug Buster Kit’ is now available for prescribing by health professionals. Only one kit is required for a family and it is reusable. The kit, which includes an illustrated guide and combs, is available from some pharmacies and by mail order from: Community Hygiene Concern (Charity Reg No: 801371)LONDONHelp Line: 020 7686 4321 

If parents have any enquiries relating to any other the above please contact the school directly or The Scottish Executive Health Department, Women and Children’s Unit, St. Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG.


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.