St. David’s is situated on the south side of Dalkeith in Kippielaw. It is a one stream co-educational Roman Catholic Primary School for children of primary school age with a catchment area that serves Dalkeith, Eskbank, King’s Lines, Danderhall, Pathhead and surrounding areas. We continue to strengthen our links with St David’s R C Church and work closely with Father Andrew Gardener.
Our role currently stands at 208 across 7 classes with a number of children accessing Shared Placements. Learners are accommodated in a purpose built, semi open plan school. The building contains seven classrooms, a Family ‘Hub’, Support for Learning Base, school hall and library. There are outdoor learning areas with extensive school grounds utilised for both curricular and extra-curricular activities. The local area is growing and expanding and the school will soon benefit from an extension providing three new classrooms (due for completion October 2018) and a nursery provision (due for completion February 2019).
At present, fourteen teachers provide high quality learning experiences for learners. This includes an Acting Head Teacher, Acting Depute Head Teacher, Acting Principal Teacher, two Support for Learning teachers and visiting teachers of art and religious education. The school also benefits from instructors of brass, woodwind and violin providing musical instruction for P6 and P7 learners and an English as an Additional Language (EAL) Assistant.
The school also employs the support of an Administrative Assistant, four Learning Assistants, a Senior Child Care Development Worker and Breakfast Club and dining room supervisors. Cleaning and catering are contracted to the Midlothian’s catering and cleaning services. A crossing patrol operates at the entrance to the school on Lauder Road and there are various other crossing patrol points which serve the school along Lauder Road.
The levels of deprivation in our school are high with 58% of our families living in SIMD 1 – SIMD 4. 19% of children are in receipt of free school meals and clothing allowances which we recognise is not reflective of our pupil population. We are currently working with University of Edinburgh to understand the possible barriers to families applying for free school meals and seeking solutions to support families who are entitled to apply for these supports. At present we are in receipt of £84,000 in Pupil Equity Funding to close the poverty related attainment gap. In Session 2018/2019, the school will benefit from a further £80,400. In addition to this, St David’s Primary will also receive £6804 to reduce the cost of the school day from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).
St David’s has a wide range of supports available to all learners and families. The school provides an extensive range of personalised, pastoral support responsive to the needs of individuals and their families. The school has widened its partnership working through PEF. It is currently providing additional therapeutic services through Play Therapy Base and Home Link Family Support.
St David’s has an extensive programme of extra curricular activities before school, during lunchtime break and after school. We provide a fantastic Breakfast club which is entirely free enabling up to 200 pupils to receive a breakfast each week. Active Schools provide a range of after school clubs including basketball, football and dance.
We have an excellent working partnership with St David’s R C High School and feeder nurseries and provide rich opportunities to support transition from Nursery to Primary 1 and from Primary 7 to S1.
Visitors frequently comment on our happy and welcoming school and our well mannered, engaged and enthusiastic learners. We have a strong staff team who are eager to drive improvements and improve outcomes for learners. The team are united and work well together. Leadership is promoted at every level and staff take collective responsibility for planning and evaluating the school’s progress. We have been able to enhance our staffing provision greatly through the use of PEF.
We are supported by our Parent Council who work exceptionally hard to support the school. Their efforts and contributions provide essential fundraising for school funds and assist with the development of key objectives. Some of their work this session has included delivery of Bikeability, hosting of Christmas parties, funding of travelling Pantomime, development of school garden and eco work and the initial planning of reducing the cost of the school day. We are eager to widen participation and ensure authentic engagement for all parents/ carers to further strengthen our school community.