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Dunedin is a small independent school of 21 secondary levels pupils (S1-S6) and provides education for young people who have struggled with mainstream education as a result of personal, social and emotional difficulties. We offer pupils a safe supportive and caring environment in which to develop self-respect and self-worth, encouraging a positive attitude to learning and enabling them to aspire to their full potential.

What support needs do the students of Dunedin have and how does the school cater to these? 

Pupils arrive at Dunedin having experienced significant personal, social and emotional barriers to their learning. Some pupils have additional learning and support needs such as ASD, ADHD,  dyspraxia, dyslexia and dyscalculia. Many pupils have spent some time out of school and are highly anxious and our smaller environment helps them to rebuild their confidence. Class sizes are up to five in a class and each pupil has an individual tutor. There is also an opportunity for individual support with SFL, which is tailored to each pupil. Strategies are shared with all staff so each pupil has a coherent approach across subjects.

How do children benefit from attending Dunedin, as opposed to mainstream schools?

We aim to offer an alternative to the mainstream setting so that the young people who come to us feel they can make a fresh start. We strive to provide a supportive and nurturing environment, sympathetic to individual needs.  We foster the emotional wellbeing of the pupils and encourage them to re-engage with their own education and develop a positive attitude towards learning.

How does Dunedin tailor its support to meet the individual needs of students? 

Dunedin endeavours to provide structured yet flexible learning opportunities tailored to the individual, in a welcoming, sympathetic and calm environment.

The school provides a broad curriculum of examinable and non- examinable subjects. Pupils work towards National Qualifications from National 1 to Higher Level and we also offer NPA qualifications.  The school's flexible approach to learning allows pupils to develop at their own pace, and a high staff-to-pupil ratio and small group teaching also cater to individual needs.  Teaching groups are carefully considered to create a calm learning environment and although a group usually comprises pupils working at similar levels, the ability to co-operate is also an important factor. 

The school also operates a tutor system which means that each pupil is allocated to a particular member of staff who oversees their pastoral care. Over time, the member of staff will develop a good working relationship with both the pupil and their family.  Dunedin also works closely with other professionals such as educational psychologists and mental health professionals to provide the best support for pupils.  

For senior pupils we have a transitions coordinator who is preparing them to move on from school. This enables us to continue supporting them for a period of time after leaving.

What extra-curricular activities are on offer at the school?

Outdoor education and school trips play an important part in the pupils' personal and educational experience at Dunedin and we are always looking for ways to take learning out of the classroom. Examples include a 2-week summer outdoor education programme, an annual 2-night residential trip to Glencoe, Green Team and opportunities to work towards the John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

If parents are interested in finding out how Dunedin can support their child, what should they do?

Are you interested in learning more about this independent school? Visit the Dunedin School’s SCIS profile here or visit school website