Although 2020 has meant that schools across Courier Country and Scotland have had to adapt how they teach their pupils in the face of uncertainty, communities like the High School of Dundee have risen to the challenge again and again.
Staff have been working tirelessly to make safety a top priority, while ensuring that every pupil continues to thrive in their education in these uncertain times.
Providing choices to create opportunities
Choice is paramount in enabling young people to achieve their potential and the school continues to offer 25 subjects at Higher level and 22 at Advanced Higher level.
Staff apply as much flexibility as they can to timetabling to ensure pupils aren’t restricted in their subject choices. In S3 pupils can still take eight subjects.
In the Junior Years primary importance is placed on developing core educational skills with English and maths taught in all junior classes every morning.
Specialist subject teaching from the school’s secondary teachers is built into the Junior Years curriculum for music, drama, art, sport, IT, modern languages and home economics and the pupils also learn science, history and geography as discrete subjects.
In both Junior and Senior Years, the Learning Support Team is committed to providing dedicated support for all pupils who have an additional support needs (such as dyslexia) to enable them to enjoy and achieve in all aspects of their education.
Explore, develop interests and have fun!
Beyond this, the school has been making sure pupils have the chance to explore and develop talents through the co-curriculum. And to have some fun!
A huge number of co-curricular activities are continuing to take place, some adapted to allow that to happen. The PE department has set up a weekend Super League to allow pupils to experience competitive fixtures, and a ‘Get Active’ scheme to encourage them to try new sporting activities.
In music, young people have the chance to experience performing, through performance platforms which are filmed and shared with the community and virtual concerts – keep an eye out in December!
Nearly 500 instrumental music lessons are delivered to pupils every week, either safely in person or remotely using Microsoft Teams.
The integrated curriculum 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.
The staff works hard to make sure the school is a nurturing environment in which pupils feel supported and encouraged, so that they can be happy, confident learners.
Rector Lise Hudson said: “During lockdown we took our Integrated Curriculum online, delivering live lessons from P1-S6.
“We are continuing to offer a fully blended learning experience to all pupils should they require to learn from home in the context of Covid-19.
“We have found creative ways to ensure that a vibrant co- curriculum is on offer and that we continue to take a bespoke approach to pastoral care, which is the heart of everything that we do.”
Keeping the community safe
Coronavirus has required every organisation to adapt and the school is no different. The safety of pupils and staff is a top priority and changes have been made to the school day and logistical arrangements created in response to Covid-19.
Pupils are grouped into bubbles and blocks and the school has adopted enhanced safety and hygiene measures and one-way systems, as well as maximising physical distancing and outdoor learning where possible.
The school has also increased the space available indoors by leasing the adjacent Royal Exchange building for classroom and music tuition use, and outdoors with the provision of additional covered spaces.
Take a virtual tour
Find out more about what The High School of Dundee can offer your child by taking a virtual tour.
Visit the school’s website to watch tour videos, allowing you to explore the school and hear firsthand experiences from staff, pupils, parents and former pupils.
Entrance assessments for 2021-22 entry will take place in December 2020 and January 2021. Places are limited – register your interest now by contacting email@example.com.