All posts by Angus MacRury

Depute Headteacher, Dunbar Primary School.

March Newsletter and Update 23 March

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we approach the Easter holidays I am hoping for sunshine and less COVID! We have recently had an increase in staff and pupils off, but fingers crossed, we hope to be returning to full classes so we can enjoy the final few weeks of term before the Easter holidays.

Obviously the First Minister’s update still means staff and parents wearing masks for a few more weeks, and in school anyone who still wants to wear a mask can do so.

I will be sending out more details about volunteers returning to our school after Easter; so if you are keen to support our reading programme, join in with numeracy games, help with the Snack Trolley or volunteer in other ways then send back the form with your son/daughter when it comes out.

Staffing Update

Mrs Eeles will be leaving her DHT role and going back into the classroom full time as from August 2022.  She has been a fantastic DHT for 9 years, but her first love has always been teaching, and as her heart really is with Dunbar Primary School we are delighted she will still be part of our team! We will be advertising the post in May.

 Class Organisation for Session 2022/23

Following the decisions being finalised last week regarding pupils staying on in Nursery, we now have our P1 numbers for next session. This allows for our class organisation to take place ready for August 2022. We will have 5 P1 classes plus a P1/2 class, there will also be a new P2/3 class and the current P4/5 will move on as a P5/6.

It is likely that most of our current Primary 1 and P2 classes will be moved about in some way and  teachers will be very involved in ensuring that as best as possible pupils will move with friendship groups.  Whilst I know many of you would prefer the classes to stay the same all of the way up until Primary 7, due to the size of our school this is not possible. Your support in being positive about changes to classes, and having the opportunity to make new friends we know helps your children with these life transitions.

 PE Kit/Uniform – Heads-Up for Nest Session

At the recent Parent Council meeting it was identified by many parents that they would like to see a return to having a school uniform based PE kit – leggings/shorts/t-shirts, etc. in school colours.  There is a poll on the PC website so everyone can have their say before we make any decisions.

We still intend to ask pupils to come into school in their PE kits on days when they are have PE as this really helps to ensure we get time in the gym or outside focusing on the activities and not changing.

However, please can I remind everyone that we do not allow football colours or crop tops or rugby shirts to be worn, so if your child does come in one of these items we will ask them to swap it for one of our stock of white PE t-shirts.

Neurodiversity Week 21st – 25th March

Please check our twitter feed and class websites for photographs and information about the activities going on this week. Miss Thomson has organised some great activities for classes to get involved, exploring the way we are all different. Children and staff are being invited to dress up to show off their unique selves on Friday 25th March as part of our celebrations. This is to celebrate and recognise that we are all unique- we all think and learn differently. Donations gathered that day will be put to further support the inclusion of all learners in our school environment. Please donate via school pay – thanks.

We are putting our assemblies from Friday that introduced this week’s activities online for parents to watch too.


The photographer will be coming to school to take individual photographs (no family combinations this time), Wednesday 27th April P4-P7 pupils and Thursday 28th April P1-P3, Cove, Wed/Thursday Nursery,  and Tuesday 3rd May is Monday/Tuesday Nursery.

 Final Day Fun for the end of term – Friday 8th April

Help us raise funds for the school by joining in our Easter Great Make Recycling Competition We would love to see your fanciest, wackiest and most inventive Easter wear – our theme is to make it out of sustainable and recycled materials as much as possible. Bag, waistcoat, hat, shoes, complete outfit if you want – anything you could wear.  If you would like to take part, bring it in or wear it on the last day of school (Friday 8th April)) when judging will take place with prizes for each class, very kindly donated by Hannah Renton at the Royal MacIntosh Hotel, Dunbar.

 We have set up a School Pay section (similar to the Red Nose Day fund) to make payment for this activity with a suggested donation of £1.   Nursery pupils will be able to take part in this activity within class with a prize for the Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Thursday cohort.

Have a great holiday and thank you for all your support for our school over this term. We look forward to the pupils returning on Monday 25th April.


Letter to Parents and Carers from Jason Leitch National Clinical Director – 21 March 2022 (vA54843187)


East Lothian Council’s Arts Service and Youth Music Initiative is delighted to be able to once again offer the NYCoS (National Youth Choir of Scotland) singing groups to all P3-P7 pupils attending an ELC primary school.  Due to Covid restrictions, we have had to change venues and shorten the block slightly but the sessions are still completely FREE.

From Monday 25 April we will be running sessions in:

Haddington & Musselburgh on Mondays

Tranent & Dunbar on Tuesdays

Cockenzie and North Berwick on Wednesdays.

No previous singing experience is required and there’s no audition. This is open to any pupil in P3-P7 who wants to sing with friends and have fun. Sessions are free but participants must register by Sunday 17th April.  Please click on the link below for more information:-

Charlotte McMillan

YMI Arts Worker (Part time)

East Lothian Council Arts Service

Weekly update 18.03.2022

Young Carers Action Day

It was Young Carers Action Day on the 16th March and Marie Prior , East Lothian Council Coordinator, has been helping Dunbar Primary pupils to learn more about Young Carers over the last month.

Here’s a display in the reception area at Lochend Campus sharing our knowledge & thoughts:

Next Dunbar G Grammar SC (Parent Council) Meeting for P7 Parents/carers 

The next parent Council Meeting is on Wednesday 6th April. This will take place from 7 – 8.30pm on Google Meet.  All parents/carers are welcome to attend. This includes parents/carers of children moving from P7 to S1 this session.

Please email if you would like to attend and a meeting link will be sent to you


Find below links if you wish to help in any way.

Support for Ukraine in East Lothian | Support for Ukraine | East Lothian Council

Scotland’s Census is the official count of every person and household in the country.

It usually takes place every 10 years. The census asks questions about people’s age, sex, home and living situation, employment, education and qualifications, as well as ethnicity. Every household in Scotland must complete the census and by doing so are helping to shape Scotland’s future.

Completing the census is important because the answers provide the Scottish Government, and many other service providers with the data they need to make important decisions that affect people’s lives and their communities. These decisions include how money will be spent on important services like education, housing, healthcare, roads and railways, and so much more.

From the end of February, households will begin to receive a letter with instructions on how to complete their census online.

Census Day is 20 March but you can fill it in as soon as you receive your letter. Just make sure you answer questions with information that will be correct on 20 March to ensure that the census team have a snapshot of the nation on this day.

Go to or call the free helpline on 0800 030 8308 for help and guidance on the questions, or if you need support to fill it in.


Weekly update 11.03.2022

P7 Transition Letter

All parents in P7 should have received an email today regarding transition to Dunbar Grammar School. If you have nor received this please contact the school office.


The next Parent Council meeting will be held online on Tuesday 15th March at 7pm.  The Agenda and Minutes of the previous meeting can be found below:-
Parent Council meetings are open to everyone.  Please e-mail
if you would like to attend.


48 weeks – School Holiday ClosuresDPSN 2021.22

Please see the arrangements for the 48 week nursery provision.  any questions please feel free to contact the nursery directly.

DUNBAR Rugby Club Easter Camps

@DunbarRfc Mini Rugby Easter Camp coming soon!!

 Monday 18th April – Thursday 21st April
10am – 2pm
 Hallhill Sports Centre, Dunbar
Free for Members / £40 for Non Members
Please sign up via the Google doc form below 

Tempest Photographs Date for Diary

Provisional dates for Tempest are Wed 27th April and Thurs 28th April. This may change if restrictions are re-applied. More information will be issued closer to the date.

Bikeability :A call for Helpers

As a school that has the highest percentage of children arriving on bikes on daily basis, we think it is critical that children in our community are taught the how to be safe on the roads around Dunbar. We need volunteers to help us with this if you can please see below.

Parents/Carers: Are you interested in helping with our @DunbarPrimary sessions in the future? We are looking to link with our cluster schools to arrange a local training course. If you are interested, please contact Mrs Eeles at Lochend Campus  

View image on Twitter

Support for Ukraine

As you may have seen on the news, collection points for Ukraine
donations have been inundated with supplies and are now asking
that you donate money instead to the Disasters Emergency
Committee. Staff at DPS today have raised funds as part of a special “Foodie Friday” Thanks to all staff who contributed
Donations can be made here:

Young Carers Action Day

Next Wednesday, 16th March, is Young Carers Action Day.
Over the past 2 weeks Marie Prior,  East Lothian Co-Ordinator for Young Carers,  has been raising awareness of what a Young Carer is and what support is available  to pupils who feel they have caring responsibilities at home.

For young/young adult carers, having the right support – such as regular breaks from caring – can be really beneficial, giving them a better chance of succeeding in all parts of their lives Find out more about how you can get involved and help take action on isolation:


Weekly Update 4th March

Some Events organised by Muirfield Riding Therapy

Fun Dog Show

Sunday 20th March 2022, 10am – 2pm

Muirfield Riding Therapy, Indoor Arena, West Fenton, EH39 5AL

All sorts of classes for all sorts of dogs! Plus, try our dog agility course. Rosettes for all classes, lots of doggie merchandise stalls, and cafe open all day. Tickets pre-book or on-the-day (subject to availability):

Spring into Song

Saturday 26th March 2022, 7pm – 9pm

Dirleton Kirk, Manse Rd, Dirleton, EH39 5EL

Join us for a delightful celebration of classical and light-hearted music from members of the Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia & local friends, including Jake Thomson, Finalist BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021. Held in historic Dirleton Kirk, followed by a reception in the Kirk Hall.

Tickets must be pre-booked:

Weekly Update 11.02.2022

School February Break

The school will be closed for February holiday from today 11th February till Tuesday 22nd February. The 21st February is an In-service day for all teaching staff in East Lothian.

Dunbar PS Bikeability Volunteers required for 22nd, 23rd and 24th February

We are happy to announce that we can have parent helpers with our Billability Training for P7. The classes are going out with 3 trainers from Cycling Scotland but we need to have 3 other helpers to assist whilst the children are out on the road. Teachers will also be present. If you can help it would be very much appreciated. email me anytime during the holidays at:  and I will get back to you. Call  01368860997 on 21st February if you can do any other days, half days or all days. A group call has also gone out today for this.

Breaktime: 10.45-11am / Lunchtime: 12.45-1.30pm

Date Class School staff /community partners: 

min 6 

Support Cycling Scotland Support OL Overview of session
Tuesday 22 Feb 2022 P7a 0900-1035

P7b 0900-1035

P7c 1105-1235

P7d 1105-1235

P7e 1330-1500







Bike skills review and Level 2 Intro road session
Wed 23 Feb 2022 P7a 0900-1035

P7b 0900-1035

P7c 1105-1235

P7d 1105-1235

P7e 1330-1500







Observation, U turns, where to ride on road

Negotiate different road layouts

Thurs 24 Feb 2022 P7a 0900-1035

P7b 0900-1035

P7c 1105-1235

P7d 1105-1235

P7e 1330-1500







Priorities and communication on roads


P7a 30 / P7b 32 / P7c 32 / P7d 30 / P7e 28

Pavement widening works planned for Countess Road, Dunbar

Works to permanently widen the pavement to the west of the pedestrian crossing on Countess Road, Dunbar will be carried out in the week beginning 14 February during the school holidays, weather permitting.

Cllr John McMillan, Economic Development and Transportation spokesperson said: “The Spaces for People programme in 2020 funded temporary measures to create additional room for social distancing in our towns. As the pandemic recedes, we are learning from our experiences of how public spaces were used over the last few years and we are considering which of these provided sufficient benefit to make permanent.

“One such scheme was the widening of footways along Countess Road in Dunbar to make space for children going to school. The online consultation in November last year found that 81% of respondents were in favour of keeping or enhancing the section the west of the crossing and 80% supported keeping or extending the one to the east. However it is recognised that the bolt-down bollards currently in place on the eastern side have caused some difficulties for firefighters accessing the station and these will be removed until an appropriate permanent scheme can be designed.


This is a request from the Police Scotland Community Planning Officer for East Lothian.

Below is a link for the Your Police survey which runs until the 31 March 2022.

Please feel free to complete, and share far and wide amongst contacts, particularly young people and harder to reach communities.

There is also an option for an easy to read version, and BSL, and an email option to complete over the phone. We rely on the public’s input to help shape our policing priorities in each area, and it is so important for everybody to have their say.

Signalalong Workshops for parents


ELC Young Carers


ELC Young Carers Service has recently launched a poster campaign across all schools to encourage young carers to identify themselves. The ELC Young Carer website has also been updated and can be found here: Who is a Young Carer? | Young Carers | East Lothian Council



Due to the very high level of trespassing on the tracks by young people in your local area, Network Rail in partnership with Learn Live are working to help raise awareness to students across the UK educating them about the dangers of the train tracks through interactive digital delivery.

Watch the free safety videos by just entering the email into the I am registered field when you first watch the videos.

Please note these are the recommended age ranges, we would always advise you to view the clips first to gauge suitability

Please click on the link below to view the relevant safety video:

Primary school version: Age 7- 11 (with subtitles)



The Visual Artists and Craft Makers Awards scheme (VACMA) is managed by East Lothian Council Arts Service in partnership with Creative Scotland, providing funding for artists and craft makers living or working in East Lothian. The next deadline for applications is Tuesday 1 March 2022, 5pm.

Emerging artists and new graduates can apply for £500, with £750 bursaries available for more established practitioners.

Applicants are asked to detail their creative practice, what the bursary will enable them to do and how this will help support their skills and development.

The application form and guidelines can be found on the Arts Service pages of East Lothian Council’s website, here

The VACMA funding is available to artists and makers to support their practice.  For further information about the application process, please email .



Please see link to the speech and language therapy drop in dates for pre-schoolers.

Weekly Update 04.02.2022

Dear Parents

Due to unforeseen circumstances the weekly update was temporarily suspended in September. We are re-introducing it from today and we will hopefully bring items in the school and beyond to your attention. Remember every year stage has a Twitter Feed and you can find out about things specific to your child year stage there.

REMINDER Parent/Carer Evenings  – Mon 7th – Thurs 10th February 2022

Appointment times for John Muir, The Cove and Lochend pupils were opened on Google  last Friday, please can we ask you to book a slot so that we can share the progress your son/daughter has made since we talked with you in October. Lochend Parents Nights 7th and 8th February, John Muir 9th ands 10th.February. If you have not made an appointment please do so as soon as possible.

We are really keen to get you into school to see what has been going on. Twitter and our school website cannot replace the great stuff going on in the classrooms and I am hoping that very soon we will be able to invite you into school so you can actually look at the pupils’ jotters, pictures, writing , models, etc. and really get to see what they have been doing at DPS.


The next Parent Council meeting will be held online on Tuesday 8th February at 7pm.  The Agenda and Minutes of the previous meeting can be found below:-
Parent Council meetings are open to everyone.  Please e-mail
if you would like to attend.

Safer Internet Day

Next Tuesday is Safer Internet Day, and there are some great tips and conversation-starters to be found here. The Safer Internet Centre aims to make the internet not only a safer place for children and young people, but also a place where they can maximise the benefits they can get from online activity. We recommend it!

Dunbar Cluster Active Schools



Financial Advice

An updated East Lothian Council Financial Support
programme is available to assist those who may
currently be experiencing financial hardship. Thisincludes information about assistance with meeting fuel costs. The Council can help if you’re struggling to find out what
you’re entitled to. There’s lots of information available, but it can be difficult to know what type of help may be available to. East Lothian Council offer free, impartial and confidential
advice and support. They can let you know what benefits you may be entitled
to and in some cases, can help you to apply if you’re unable to complete an application yourself. Links to the Council’s welfare advice and financial support services, and a useful booklet, can be found below.

Welfare Advice and Financial Support | East Lothian Council

Welfare Leaflet Winter 2021

DPS Uniform Bank

We would encourage all parents to use the uniform back to reduce waste, not just families struggling financially. If you have any things in particular you are looking for you can email There is a range of clothing and shoes available. Thanks must go to volunteer Anna Carpico for making this possible.Free Scho

Free School Meals (P6 and P7) and Clothing Grants

East Lothian Council offers a Free School Meal and an £120 Clothing Grant to carers who receive one of the following:

  • Income support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit but NOT Working Tax Credit with an annual income less than £16,105
  • Child Tax Credit AND Working Tax Credit with an annual income less than £7,500
  • Universal Credit – where your monthly take home pay does not exceed £625

This support is delivered discreetly so it is not obvious to peers if your child is receiving this. We would encourage families with children in receipt of free school meals in P1-P5 to still apply as there are a number of other benefits to the grant which otherwise can’t be accessed.

You can access the form online by searching ‘Free School Meals East Lothian Council’ online. Please contact Depute Amanda-Jane Thomson should you wish support to apply.

School Meals Reminder for all Parents with pupils in P1-P5

From this January 2022, every child at a local council school can get free school lunches during term-time in Primary 1 to 5. This applies to all children in these years – your family’s financial circumstances do not matter. You cabn order meals here: SchoolPay | East Lothian Council


The Kit Stop is an East Lothian based sports recycling programme designed to collect pre-loved sports kit and equipment and redistribute it back into the local community.  You can read more about it here.  Donations can be made at any of the points on themap

Information about the physical activity access funds can be found here.

For individual applications, please complete the application form which can be found here

We are recruiting  Come and join Head to @myjobscotland for more details


View image on Twitter

SCHOOL SESSION DATES 2022-23, 2023-24, 2024-25

Please find approved school session dates for the following years 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25 below. These are also available on the ELC website

School dates 2022-2023 word format

2022-2023 session dates – calendar format

School dates 2023-2024 word format

2023-2024 session dates – calendar format

School dates 2024-2025 word format

2024-2025 session dates – calendar format

These dates were approved by Education Committee on 23 November 2021

Return to School Guidance 5th January 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

There will be an update published on the school website and sent to all parents and carers on Monday 3rd January regarding return to school guidance for pupils of Dunbar Primary/Nursery.

As you will appreciate we are in a dynamic situation and any local school guidance published tomorrow may be superseded by updated National Guidance prior to Wednesday 5th January. If this is the casse we will update as a matter of priority.

H Gillanders, Headteacher

Weekly Update 16.09.21

Dear Parents and Carers,

Some of the following Items appear on the school Newsletter issued 15th September.

Full Newsletter available below:

September 2021 Newsletter


As from Tuesday 21st September we are able to put in place some changes to the school routines following guidance from the Health Protection Team and East Lothian Council. We will be using our dining halls at both campuses and we will be able to remove class bubbles.  This will mean that our morning breaks and lunchtimes will move to one session.

Menus will go home with pupils today. Remember that ALL P4 pupils are now entitle to free  a school meal.

Our timings will therefore be from Tuesday 21st September:

P1 P2 P3 P4 – P7
Soft Start Time 8.45am – 8.55am 8.45am – 8.55am 8.45am – 8.55am 8.45 – 8.55am
Break Time 10 – 10.15am  or 10.15 – 10.30am 10.45 – 11am
Lunch 11.45 – 12.45pm 12 – 1pm 12.15 – 1pm 12.45 – 1.30pm
Leaving Time 2.45pm

(12.00 Friday)


(12.10 Friday)


12.20pm Friday)


(12.20pm on Friday)

 Please can we ask that pupils are in the school building by 8.55am – this is important as formal lessons will start at this time and we need your help and support so latecomers do not miss out on vital learning experiences and the important information at the start of the day.

 School Improvement Plan 2021-22 and Standard and Quality Report  2020-21

Unfortunately, the current COVID restrictions mean that I am unable to meet you all in the hall 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 a family friendly version of our School Improvement Plan for 2021/22 and our school Standards and Quality Report which looks back to 2019/20, which we can all acknowledge was the very strangest of times. Full versions of both documents are below.

Helen Gillanders, Head Teacher.

School Improvement Plan 2021-22

DPS SIP 2020 & 2021 (inc Cove & Nursery)

Standards And Quality Report 2020-21

DPS S&Q Report 2020 & 2021

Important Dates for Diaries

Friday 17th September and Monday 20th September are both school holidays

Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th October are P1 – P3 Parent Night appointments via Google Meet – info will be sent out

Wednesday 13th & Thursday 14th October are P4 – P7 Parent Night appointments via Google Meet – info will be sent out

Wednesday 13th October – Flu Vaccination in school for pupils if parents/carers requested

Monday 18th October to Monday 25th October (inclusive) is the October ½ term break.  Pupils return on Tuesday 26th October.

School Uniform

Prior to the start of this term we have been much more relaxed about our school uniform, however I now feel that as from October 26th we want to welcome all our pupils back in school colours and taking a pride in the DPS uniform.

We hope you will agree that wearing the uniform in school creates a pride and ethos of belonging and we hope it supports you at home knowing that the rules of wearing red, black grey and white items are what we expect.

A reminder though that hoodies are not part of our school uniform but can be worn as part of P.E kit.

The Vaccination Bus will be at Fort Kinnaird this weekend, so if you still need your Covid jab, why not drop in. More info about all vaccination opportunities at


Documents home this week:

NHS Lothian : Letter to Schools Sept 2021

Scottish Government Covid Update

The latest Scottish Government Update advised that all current mitigations in schools (including face coverings) will remain in place until at least the October Holidays

Information Update

A pack is going home with students over the next few weeks containing a PC1 and an Annual Data Check form which is required to be checked by parent/carers, updated as appropriate, signed and returned. Packs will contain photo permission forms and school closure forms if we do not hold a copy on file.

If you have no email address, it is essential that you inform the school. Where this is the case, the weekly email information is automatically updated on our website.

NHS Flu Vaccinations 13th October in both Campuses

The deadline for returning the vaccination forms has been extended. Please return these to the school office asap. All willing school staff will also be vaccinated on this day.

Angus MacRury, DHT

School Improvement plan and Standards and Quality Report

Dear Parents and Carers,

Unfortunately, the current COVID restrictions mean that I am unable to meet you all in the hall 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 a family friendly version of our School Improvement Plan for 2021/22 and our school Standards and Quality Report which looks back to 2019/20, which we can all acknowledge was the very strangest of times. I will arrange for these to be sent to you via email. Full versions of both documents are below: Helen Gillanders, Head Teacher.

School Improvement Plan 2021-22

DPS SIP 2020 & 2021 (inc Cove & Nursery)

Standards And Quality Report 2020-21

DPS S&Q Report 2020 & 2021