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Unlocking your child's potential during lockdown
6th January 2021
At the High School of Dundee, we’ve been working hard to give our pupils the best school experience during these unprecedented times.
Our focus is on enabling every pupil to achieve their full potential. Our Integrated Curriculum therefore brings together the academic, the co-curricular and pupil health and wellbeing to provide a coordinated, genuine all-round education with the pupil at the heart.
Our vision remains the same in 2020/21, but we realise this year more than ever we need to be flexible and agile as we switch to online learning again. Our arrangements for the January 2021 lockdown are outlined below and closely follow the set up we had in place during the 2020 lockdown.
Online learning and teaching
Just as if you were in the School itself, a timetable of lessons is in place with most of them delivered live using Microsoft Teams. More than 600 live lessons take place each week in the Senior Years and around 220 take place each week in Junior Years. Our teachers are also creating pre-recorded lessons and continuously uploading resources to our Virtual Learning Environment.
Our Learning Skills Team continues to provide timetabled support. Our Junior Years teachers have devised activities which ensure that pupils stay engaged with one another and have a chance to work and play alongside their friends virtually, whilst our Senior Years Guidance Teachers meet their groups online every week and continue to provide one to one pastoral support. PE lessons and music tuition - around 500 virtual individual music lessons a week - also take place online.
We are also providing care for key workers and vulnerable children at our main campus and at the Mayfield Nursery.
Building essential skills
Now more than ever, we want to be sure that we’re also building skills in creativity, resilience and confidence so that our pupils are able to adapt to our ever-changing world and take responsibility for their own learning in the widest sense. At the beginning of lockdown we are concentrating on providing the core subjects and will introduce more co-curricular activities as and when we are able. During the last lockdown, as well as taking part in Sport and Cookery weekly challenges, our pupils created wellbeing podcasts, produced their own lockdown newsletter, came together for virtual ensemble music performances, took part in a virtual Sports Day, took on some phenomenal charity work, transformed their homework into creative video showcases, and much much more.
A flexible future
What we’ve put in place has been in response to COVID-19, but we think it’s also a crucial part of our future; we know that we’ll need to be flexible and agile as we move forwards and out of the pandemic. Our remote learning programme allows us to do that, ensuring that our pupils can continue with high quality education regardless of where or how they are learning. The pandemic has also reinforced vital whole school values such as togetherness and adaptability which have already served to strengthen our community.
Wellbeing and our values
Rector Lise Hudson says, “The wellbeing of our pupils is always our number 1 priority, and is something we have worked hard to protect and safeguard during lockdown; we listen to our pupils' concerns and their feedback and respond to their needs.
“We are a community that works to support each other and kindness is at the heart of all that we do. We have learnt how precious our shared humanity is and the power that we have to change the world for the better through our individual and collective actions.”
Moving out of lockdown
We worked hard on our plans for returning to school and nursery in August 2020. For details of the arrangements we put in place, which allowed us to implement physical distancing, adopt enhanced safety and hygiene measures, and respond to a range of different scenarios, please click here.
We don’t have a crystal ball to allow us to see how the pandemic and vaccination programme will progress from here. But we know that when we can return to school, we'll be ready.
You can still join us during lockdown
Here at HSD we have children joining us all year round and even during lockdown.
“My son has been very happy with the process so far. There is a good quantity of information/resources available for him. The online classes where there is real interactive teaching makes a big difference in enabling him to feel some confidence in the process of settling into a new school. To meet the teachers and to have some very basic interaction has been helpful for him to begin to feel a part of the school. Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming”.
Parent of a pupil who joined the school during lockdown
Our Admissions team is ready to answer your questions, give you a flavour of life at the School and to arrange virtual meetings with key members of teaching staff.
If you’d like to find out more about joining the school, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org