Whoa there. Slow down. Take it easy. Rest awhile, drop that bag, loosen your laces, take in the sights, smell the coffee. Now, give yourself a pat on the back because Walk HQ has been in contact – 108,726 steps they say you have taken, over a third of the way there. Tower Falls, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Hayden Falls, Yellowstone Lake, been and gone, just like that. Next milestone – West Thumb Geyser Basin, just under 40,000 steps to go. Ok, enough of that coffee. Tighten those laces, shoulder your bag and be on your way. It’ll not walk itself you know!
“Yes, we are going to walk Yellowstone.” I’m sorry, what? “Yellowstone, you know the National Park, in the US”. But….. bears! “Yes?”. Bears, BEARS, big big BEARS. “No, no, is a virtual walk, no bears, I promise”. Phew! Yes, pupils and staff are setting out to collectively walk 211km (310,000 steps) around Yellowstone park, taking in some famous sites and finding out all about the park on the way. How it works is each time a pupil or staff member is out for a walk they record how far they went, report back to Walk HQ, who will tally up and report progress. Our first milestone is Tower Falls, a mere 19km to get us warmed up. Now, where is my bear spray?
“Get on Yer Self”
Or so said oor pupil Alex. Well, I don’t know about you but the thought of his Raspberry Cranachan Trifle is making me feel just a little bit peckish. As fine a breakfast this honest, sonsie face could ask for (breakfast? sonsie? really? – ed). BGE pupils in English were tasked with creating an ideal Burn’s Supper, exploring Rabbie’s poems and life story, and creating a programme and order of service for the supper. And what a fine job they did of it. We here in the Dunedin blog raise our cranachan eating implements in salute to their imagination, research, writing and digital skills.
Spot that Bird
It’s the Big Bird Garden Watch (that can’t be right? – ed). Sorry, the Bird Watch Big Garden (still not right! – ed). Ok, final go. It’s the Watch Bird Garden Big this weekend (I give up – ed). To all our pupils and staff, why don’t you join teacher Steve this weekend, 30th January, and get bird spotting for the Big Garden Bird Watch. All you need is an hour of your time and a notebook, pull on your wellies, go outside (it doesn’t need to be a garden) and record all the birds you see in that time. Steve has sent all the details to your online classroom so make sure to log in and check it out. I’ll be there, hope you will be to.
By the power of…
…copper coins, aluminum foil and card soaked in vinegar! Really. A battery. Science is amazing, isn’t it? A drumroll please for this enterprising pupil getting all experimenty at home. Look for the led light turning green as contact is made. Well done you, and well done to all our pupils who are just getting on with it. We know this is a challenging time but stick in there, you are all doing fantastically well. (And yes, the title of this post is a reference to an obscure ’80s cartoon and no, I’ll not apologise for it.)
School start date
21/12/2020: In line with updated Coronavirus measures the current school holiday has been extended, and pupils are now scheduled to re-start on Monday 11th January. The school building will be closed that first week back so all learning will be online. We currently expect the school to re-open and pupils to be back in class the following week, Monday 18th January. More information will be sent out to you in the New Year but in the meantime if you have any queries, please see this letter, or email school at email@example.com
It comes but once a year and, though things may be a little constrained by circumstances that has not stood in our way here at Dunedin as pupils and staff alike embrace the seasonal spirit. A hectic last few weeks of planning and preparing, designing and making, sourcing and repurposing, decorating and dancing (dancing! really? are you sure? – ed.) culminated in our end of term party, pressies and a visit by Santa . Santa himself particularly asked that we give a special big shout out to our pupil Finn for his grotto. What a fantastic creation, and apparently much better than coming down a sooty chimney – who knew! A very Merry Christmas to all and we look forward to seeing everyone back at school in 2021. (Click on the blue door if you want to see more.)
We are always up for a challenge here at Dunedin and this one was to transform delicate, thin slivers of ice into this pleasingly angular, if ephemeral, sculpture. Winter has finally struck and one pupil took the opportunity to be icily creative. Don’t be fooled by simplicity of form though, the interplay of friction (or lack of), longitudinal instability and chilly hands made this a particularly perplexing exercise requiring patience and perseverance to complete. Quite a contrast to the glee with which it was subsequently destroyed. Well, you couldn’t not, could you?
Hop, skip & jump
For some of us (by which of course I mean me, your luddite correspondent!) Space Invaders was the pinnacle of computer gaming. Apparently though things have moved on a bit since my day! Our BGE pupils are not limited by such thinking and are busy taking their first steps into this arena, working with the GDevelop game engine to explore and understand the logic conditions and object behaviours essential to bringing games to life. In the process they are developing their own working games so can observe directly the link between the underpinning knowledge and its practical implementation. All very well but what was their high score in Space Invaders, that’s what I want to know.
If you go down..
…to the woods today you’re sure of a
big small surprise – as there are a few less invasive rhodedendron bushes than there was before (as Jimmy Kennedy didn’t write in the well known song about picnics and bears!). A second visit to the Green Team woods allowed our pupils the opportunity to really get stuck in to some clearing work, and we were lucky to have a cold, crisp day in which to do it. The percussive snap, crackle and pop of burning rhodies was our only musical accompaniment, and no bears were spotted, but a satisfying day outdoors was had by all.
Going for green
In December pupils and staff will be Going for Green, kicking off our quest to become a certified Eco-School and gain the Green Flag Award. Working within the overarching goal of “Life on Land” we will focus on three topics – Biodiversity, Reducing Waste and Reducing Litter, and will be exploring what we can do both in school and in the local environs to become more sustainable. Watch this space to find out more about how we are progressing.
Let me introduce you to Big Red, our daily reminder as we arrive at school to do all the things that we need to do to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. Our staff working groups, Risk Management, Infection Prevention, Communications etc., continue to review changes to Government guidance and update our policies, procedures and school practices accordingly. That’s all well and good but it is what we do on a day to day basis that really makes a difference and a massive Big Red salute is due to all our pupils for being so diligent in doing the things they need to do to keep us all safe.
A pleasure it was for your correspondent to join our pupils on their first day back out in the woods with the Green Team. Learning to keep warm and safe whilst working in the outdoors was the order of the day, but pupils also started work on stripping back areas of rampant rhododendron bushes. Brows were sweated but an understanding of the impact of alien species in woodland was also gained. We suspect more challenging conditions will be encountered throughout the winter but we are sure our pupils are more than up to the task. Click on the fire lighters to see more.
We are loving this combo of freshly made chicken nuggets and barbeque sauce and, in true Masterchef style, we award top marks for presentation. But it is not just about the finished dish – our BGE pupils are learning about food safety and hygiene and, for this dish particularly, understanding and assessing the risks of handling and cooking raw chicken. Well done them. Now, about my lunch…
Eyes on the prize
This pupil is about to connect with the airborne ball and send it out and beyond the waiting fielders. What ball you say? It is there, believe me, and your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to spot the ball in flight. We are so lucky to have the Inch Park on our doorstep and we continue to discover more and more that we can do in the grounds. Rounders is proving to be a hit (a “hit”, nice one – the editor), but whether it be walks, football, frisbee or class fieldwork, the park always provides a welcome change of pace from the classroom.
In the field…
Sunny September weather is just what the teacher ordered for Nat 4 and Nat 5 Geography fieldwork. Pupils visited a number of sites on the Braid Burn, collecting primary water flow data and assessing river bed composition. Back in the classroom this data will be used to explore and categorise the nature of the river at these points. An important learning point during the work was also that, when the water is deeper than the height of your wellies, your feet will get wet (yes, you know who you are, don’t deny it!).
Mark Twain once opined about a certain sport and a good walk ruined but this is not a view our Photography pupils would hold with. Opportunities abound when out and about with a
golf club camera in hand and imagination switched to Full Ahead. Composition is everything though and you need to be prepared to get into the right position to get that perfect shot.
King of the Castle
Like many of you during these challenging times we have taken the opportunity to get up close and personal with our local area, to explore and find those hidden gems that we didn’t realise were on our doorstep. And, would you believe it, there was an adventure just waiting for us! Pupils (and staff) had great fun rediscovering their inner clamberiness (new Dunedin word alert) and, be in no doubt, slides are for all ages.
A massive well done to all our pupils and staff for the positive way in which everyone has embraced the changes brought about by the current situation. We are learning all the time and, as government advice also evolves, we continue to review and update how we are doing things. You are getting updates direct from school but these are also posted in the Back to School section of our website. Click on the masked teacher (I wonder who it could be?) to find out more.
Johanna Konta’s and Andy Murray’s we may not be but, if giving it a go was the arbiter of success, we would be contenders. We are very lucky to have a tennis club right on our doorstep and what a great way to get some great exercise, inhale lungfuls of fresh air and physically distance all at the same time. Just a reminder though, your correspondent is not, I repeat, not a ball boy — I’m afraid those years are long gone!
Ready and waiting
Well, the day is just about upon us, we’re back to school. Yippee! We are excited – hope you are too. Things will be a little different, but hey, that’s to be expected. If you want a sneaky look at what we have been up to while you’ve been away why don’t you click on school and see our specially made video (thanks Anne).
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are” someone famous once said. The summer holidays though! What better time to read for ourselves, to read for pleasure, and enjoyment, to learn new things, to explore others’ worlds, to escape ours for an hour or two. What to read you ask? (You did ask, didn’t you?) Click next door for loads of ideas.
PS If you read that laugh out loud classic, I Swapped my Brother on the Internet, please don’t actually swap a sibling on the internet.
Yum, more cakes. We haven’t had any for a while and then, like buses, two come along at once – baked to celebrate the arrival of the summer holidays (we will grab any excuse to “celebrate” if cakes are involved). They look delish – well done to our pupil bakers, and have a great summer holiday.
Well Dunedin pupils, the summer holidays are nearly upon us and that is as good an excuse for a party as any (not that we ever need an excuse!). Come and join in our end of year party next Wednesday, 24th June at 11am. Details will be winging their way to you shortly so keep your eye on your school email. Click on the party hat to find out more.
See you there.
School start date
Dunedin School is planning to re-open for the Autumn term, 2020-2021, on Wednesday, 19th of August. To see further information about re-opening, and contact details should you like more information or have any questions, please click on the calendar image.
It’s that time again, newsletter time. Now, a warning to start with, there are jokes in this edition but, please, I take no responsibility for them. On a positive note though, don’t miss the revealing interview with Rosie – I mean, who would have thought it! No, shhhh… can’t say more here, click left to get the goss.
19cm and rising
Steve, our Chemistry teacher, seems like a man happy in his work. Don’t be misled though – a serious scientific experiment is underway. Notice the row of sunflowers to his left, whose development is now under strict observation. An apical height of 19cm Steve tells me. Apical height you ask? Check in next week when Steve will tell us more.
Pen to paper
A blank page, a story to write, and searching for inspiration? Sometimes it is best to just put pen to paper and see what flows out, something our S3 pupil has done here to great effect. Definitely a page turner, though it is a work in progress so you will need to keep your eye out for the next installment.
Ahead of the game
Do you like what we did there? Ahead of the game. A head. Head – do you get it? Oh never mind! Instead, why don’t you click on this excerpt from a stunning set of paintings by one of our senior pupils.
Well I never knew that. Did you? In water! Pull the other one I can hear you saying. No, honest, just mousey on over and click on the bagel if you don’t believe me.
Another wonderful video contribution from the team that brought you Caking the bake. Just what’s needed if you’re feeling the strain of lockdown.
A big super-duper ukelele Happy Birthday from everyone at Dunedin to Ciara – 17 today. You can click on the candles (I wouldn’t) if you would like to hear a birthday message (really, no, I just wouldn’t) for Ciara from staff (ok, if you must, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!).
We hope you have a fantastic day and, if you happen to get a cake, save some for us.
A simple remit it may seem but if your task is to photograph “reflections and shadows”, just where would you start? Inspiration is not a problem for this pupil though – we are loving the range of subject matter in these images and, if you click on the left, know you will too. Fantastic work.
Have you heard? Our second summer term newsletter is now up and live. Some good to know stuff, some fun stuff, and a competition! Haven’t you read it yet?
Dystopian it may be, but one pupil has let their imagination run riot developing a full suite of futuristic warrior characters. Click on the link (if you dare) to get a taste of some more of these characters.
(User warning – not to be viewed whilst drinking your hot cocoa before bed!)
Our phone is down!
BT are doing some work to our landline at the moment so unfortunately it is not working. Sorry about that. In the meantime if you need to get in touch please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school mobile on 07518 051277
Who hasn’t been daydreaming just a little bit during lockdown, about places you would like to be, people you would like to be with, things you would like to be doing? One of our pupil’s has put those musings into collage form – why don’t you check it out? Note though that baby goats are not cute. Not cute I tell ya!
Caking the bake
There’s just no two ways about it, we are partial to a good cake here at Dunedin. Lockdown means we won’t get to enjoy a slice (or two!) of this particular one but why not whet your appetite anyway by joining our pupil as she conjours it up. Oh, and the video making is pretty exceptional as well.
Don’t click here then, you might want to eat the page! Pupils have been hard at work at home, cooking and baking for HE and VE (Home Economics and VE Day). Well done to all our budding chefs, it all looks so tasty.
PS. I’m away to raid the fridge.
The Summer term is in full swing, or it should be, and so all our staff have a message for you. Click on the image to see what they’re saying.
What’s happening, what’s going on? We’ve started a newsletter. Click on the pic to find out what’s what!