Dunedin School was established in 1979, offering an alternative to mainstream education. Since then it has built a strong reputation of supporting its pupils to excel and move into further education and positive destinations.
Pupils at the school present with issues and difficulties such as school phobia, social communication disorders and behavioural difficulties. It provides each child with a place of sanctuary within a warm and family-like atmosphere, capturing their imaginations and hearts.
With a school roll of only 21, teachers can spend more time with each pupil, and are able to tailor the curriculum to suit a child’s specific learning needs, which engages their interest and allows for incorporation of health and wellbeing activities, to nurture young people’s self-esteem and confidence.
Over the last year, the school has been running a series of activities to spark young people’s interests. This has included home-economic lessons, weekly Drake Music School sessions, enhanced IT classes with the latest technologies and a weeklong residential trip to Glencoe. This enables the children to concentrate in an enhanced learning environment, with access to equipment that supports their learning, social development and school attainment.
The David Doig Foundation awarded Dunedin School financial support to help purchase some essential equipment and provide weekly Drake Music sessions. This grant positively impacted the lives of 21 young people, providing new equipment, improving classroom teaching and IT based learning, the children also enjoyed the creative music teaching at Drake Music School. The music sessions enabled pupils to work on their own compositions and gave them new found confidence, self-esteem, independence and social skills. Many of these pupils go on to participate in the full school curriculum and look forward to a bright future.
One pupil who successfully attended the sessions for two years will be leaving the school to take up a further education course in the performing arts. Drake Music has provided the experience and skills to help her take this next step. She has thrived in this setting and has become a more confident and independent individual because of it. She has learnt multiple instruments and had one to one tuition with song writing. This experience has been such a success for her that it has encouraged her to go into the performing arts. The skills and experiences that she had during these sessions has prepared her for the level of work and demands of the college course she is moving on to.