Academy is situated on the north west periphery of Dundee,
on the northern side of the ring road. The school, built
in 1960, was formed in 1997 by the merger of two of
the city secondary schools, Rockwell High School and
Kirkton High School, on the former Kirkton site. The
school roll is currently 705. It is a six-year comprehensive
set in over 20 acres of its own grounds with exceptional
views to the North. The school serves the Ardler, St
Mary's, Downfield, Kirkton, Trottick and Mill of Mains
areas, a mixture of both authority and privately owned
housing. There are seven catchment area primary schools.
recent years, there has been considerable upgrading
of the building. The accommodation is in three main
teaching blocks with a Central Administration suite,
Guidance suite, Assembly Hall, Dining Hall and Library
Resource Centre. The school is well equipped with updated
Business Studies, Technology and Computing laboratories.
Two of the three main blocks have been double-glazed
and the exterior reclad and further refurbishment completed
in Music, Home Economics and Chemistry. The school has
provision for athletics and football and has tennis
courts, swimming pool, gymnasium and a dance and fitness
to existing ethos
school has Community School status and strong local
community links, seeing itself as 'a school at the heart
of the community', involving itself in community activities
wherever possible and maintaining close links with all
associated primaries. A strong tradition of charity
fund-raising exists and this is further strengthened
through work experience and community placements. The
school has strong and positive links with its School
Board and the active Parent Teacher Association.
staff offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities
including dance, music, sport, specialist interest groups
and we publish our own newspaper. Outside visits are
encouraged such as regular school trips abroad and theatre
visits. Considerable work has been done to promote a
positive ethos in the school and to improve pupil cooperation
and behaviour. Staff is committed to the school and
provides a very impressive range of extra-curricular
activities with a high level of participation. Much
of this work is supported by a school sports co-ordinator.
prefect system has been set up and senior pupils have
been encouraged to take extra responsibilities such
as paired learning and peer support. Each year, senior
pupil volunteers receive peer support training and then
operate as link mentors with the incoming S1. This involves
them in attending Social Education classes, buddying
and visiting registration classes. Seniors also attend
a Youth Leadership Weekend following which they are
involved in organising pupil events.
New Community School status from 1999 and associated
funding have enhanced existing opportunities for pupil
participation. NCSs aim quite specifically to support
pupils who, for a wide variety of reasons, may find
successful participation in school and in the wider
community more difficult.
of Baldragon's pupil participation in decision-making
Pupil Council has been in existence since 1995. At that
point, the Pupil Council developed out of work done
in Modern Studies in S1 on representation and participation.
A logical extension of the work done on democracy and
class elections was to put theory into practice. Senior
Management agreed to give elected class representatives
an opportunity to put forward pupil views and to be
consulted on decisions that affected them.
was slow in the early days of the Pupil Council. Not
many of the grand dreams materialised and there was
a degree of disillusionment, certainly on the side of
the pupils. They were listened to but not much happened.
The status of the Pupil Council, however, was given
a great boost at the time of the merger of the two schools
that were to become Baldragon Academy. A great deal
of effort was put into involving pupils in order to
ease some of the inevitable tensions.
representatives from both schools met to discuss concerns
and air views. Pupils were consulted, via the Pupil
Council, on issues such as the new school tie and the
school name. The Pupil Council also met with the Director
of Education to discuss pupil concerns during the process.
The profile of the Pupil Council was much higher for
a period and those involved gained in self-confidence.
However, other perennial issues were never really addressed
- there was rarely a meeting when the state of the toilets
or school dinner matters were not on the agenda! Changes
were made, repairs carried out, but pupils still complained.
The Pupil Council came to accept that some issues could
not easily be resolved and that others were beyond their
remit. However, the wider pupil community did not see
this so easily and there was still a notion that the
Pupil Council never got anything done. Two way communication
was not effective.
were also problems in identifying staff volunteers to
support the Council. Meetings relied on staff and pupils
giving up lunchtimes and there were frequent clashes
with other extra-curricular activities. The motivated
pupils tended to be the ones involved in everything
from athletics to choir and the staff willing to volunteer
were also the ones involved in other activities. The
lack of visible successes and low participation rates
led to deteriorating interest. Volunteer staff and pupils
became scarcer and meetings tailed off for several years.
merger in 1997 meant that the school went through a
period of significant change and much development is
still on-going. These complement national and local
policies that promote the development of citizenship,
pupil participation, responsibility and ownership. It
was clear that the Pupil Council could contribute to
such developments and ethos. It was time for a fresh
start. This was helped by the participation of one of
the new House Captains who has a strong belief in pupil
representation and who had been involved before with
the Pupil Council.
consultation between this House Captain, the Rector
and the PT Modern Studies, a new format was drafted
in the first term of the 2001-2002 session, staff was
consulted and the Council was accorded official status
within school policy. Positive changes involved:
down the time commitment
the membership of committees and the council more
greater responsibility to pupils for the organisation
arrangements on paper
that pupils, staff and parents were made aware of
the new set up
A: Pupil members of the School Council
meet with the SMT on a regular basis to
raise matters brought to their attention
by class representatives.
participation is paramount within the
context of group-work, the breakfast club
(see Picture B below), the drop-in facility
and the Citywide Pupil Council. Within
Baldragon, we have specific extra-curricular
groups focussing on media activity such
as film making, music and drama, issue
based group-work, school leavers' groups,
young women's group and outdoor education
groups. The breakfast club attracts between
30 and 50 young people on a daily basis
and has presently over 130 registered
users. The drop-in centre, 'The Edge',
provides information, activities
and direct access to an adult for young
people as appropriate.
NCS Integration Manager
B: The School Breakfast Club has an appreciative
membership of 130 registered users.