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Welcome back from the new Rector
7th January 2020
On behalf of all of us here at the High School of Dundee, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year!
I am delighted and privileged to be sending these good wishes to you as the new Rector of the School.
As we look to a new decade, the opportunity for all of us at HSD to provide a pupil experience that inspires, challenges and above all supports and nurtures has never been more important. We face a challenging world, but I believe that the School is ideally placed to regard this as an opportunity to think and plan creatively and collaboratively to allow us to continue to maximise the talent, resources and energy of the whole High School family.
Our integrated Curriculum has already delivered so much. It is now time to explore how we might fully integrate our academic curriculum, working collaboratively to review what and how we learn together with a view to igniting curiosity and fostering creativity. Our goal is to highlight the many intellectual connections and create an environment that embraces bright ideas and values challenge as the ultimate learning device.
As someone who believes passionately in the central importance of the pastoral, emotional intelligence is arguably the most crucial skill required to succeed. We will explore how best to teach and learn this together as a community, making our Core Values explicit and demonstrating them through all that we do and say.
The High School sits at the heart of Dundee. This provides us with a real opportunity to help improve outcomes for children and young people of all ages across the city and beyond. I am committed to continuing to build vital relationships beyond the school pillars and to sharing what we do and stand for. It is time to challenge preconceptions on all sides and work together for the greater good.
Having worked at the High School of Dundee for thirty years, I have had the amazing privilege of helping to nurture extraordinary young people who have gone out and changed the world for the better. Committed, inspirational and caring colleagues have led the way, demonstrating an ability to adapt, respond and at times reinvent the best way forward. It is this High School spirit that I recognise and wish to take to the next level. Harnessing this will be essential as we step forward into 2020, look up, look out and embrace the future with confidence and kindness.
This vision can only be realised together, involving and engaging all aspects of the community. The whole High School of Dundee family is crucial to its success.
For me the starting point is to listen, to ask the right questions and to plan the way forward collaboratively. I will be hearing from our staff individually. I will be looking to involve our pupils and wider community more directly in decision making and I want to listen most carefully to what our parents think. As a parent of two daughters who are now HSD FPs, I entrusted the school with the two people most precious to me. I therefore understand the importance of the relationship between school and home. When that is right, we can then be sure to get it right for every child in our care, nurturing, inspiring and supporting them to find what makes them tick and realise their potential. That remains our ultimate goal and vision for the future.
I am so looking forward to leading the school through the next exciting chapter together. In the words of TS Eliot: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.”
That voice will be ours.