Head Teacher Letter

Dear Parent,

I have now been in post as Head Teacher for almost three months and have had a great start at Duncanrig Secondary School. The school community has been very welcoming and we have started to work together to begin to shape our ideas and vision for the future. There are a number of key changes that will take place over the coming few weeks in preparation for the new term, I would like to share these with you and let you know the areas we will be looking at improving over the coming session.
In early April, we appointed two new Depute Head Teachers, Mr Martin McCabe and Mrs Annette Alexander. Mr McCabe will join us from Kear School where he is currently DHT and will take on the role of leading Inclusion, Equality and Wellbeing across the school. Mrs Alexander is currently Acting DHT at Ayr Academy and will take on curriculum planning within the new structure. Both will take up post on May 29th 2018. I am very grateful to Mrs Dougal and Mr Callaghan for stepping into the Acting DHT roles over the past two years.
Next session we will change the responsibility of DHTs from House Head to Year Head. DHTs will assume responsibility for the entire year group and will follow the year group through the school, staying with them until the end of S6. There will be no changes to the House structure and Pastoral Support Teachers will remain the same.

S1 Mrs Alexander
S2 Mr McCabe
S3 Mr Collins
S4 Mrs Boyd
S5 Mrs Reid
S6 Mrs Widdowson

In previous years at Duncanrig, there have been several changes to the school timetable before a final timetable was issued in August. This session, the school timetable will change for all young people on June 4th 2018. This will be the final school timetable and young people will start formal qualifications with their class teacher in June therefore it is important that pupils attend school throughout June as missing classes could have a detrimental effect on their progress.
Over the past few months I have been working with staff, pupils and parents to identify improvement priorities for the coming three years. There are three main areas we will be working on over the coming session;

Curriculum
Over next session we will be undertaking a complete review of our curriculum. We will be focusing on the S1-3 experience, transition from primary and the options process. Several engagement/information events for Parents will begin in early September. We will be looking at improving pathways for young people across S4-6 and developing better links with college and employers to ensure our curriculum meets the needs and develops the skills of all our young people. We will also be making improvements to our Reporting procedures.

Inclusion, Equality and Wellbeing
We will be looking to make improvements to the way young people are supported in Duncanrig Secondary. We will be working towards a more integrated Pupil Support Team and developing a greater range of in-school supports for our young people. This may include bereavement programmes, behavioural support, skills programmes and improved approaches to supporting young people with dyslexia. We will also be looking at our attendance policy to ensure young people are maximising their opportunities in school.
Learning, Teaching and Assessment
At the heart of any great school is a commitment to continually improving the quality of learning and teaching. We will be working with staff to develop their knowledge of new approaches and ensuring a greater consistency across the school. The views of our young people will be key here and we will be looking at strengthening the work of the Pupil Council as we move forward.

Over the coming weeks we will be developing the School Improvement Plan which will provide greater detail on our improvement priorities. This will be consulted on through the Parent Council which all parents are welcome to attend. The final Improvement Plan will be available on the website at the start of the new session.
I would like to thank you for your support and for the warm welcome I have received in East Kilbride. I am delighted to have taken on the role of Head teacher at Duncanrig Secondary and see a very bright future ahead for the school community.

Kind regards

Head Teacher

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