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Lasswade High School Spring Newsletter April 2015

Dream Believe Achieve @ Lasswade

Message from the Headmaster, Mr A Williamson Welcome to the Spring Newsletter. It has been another outstanding term in Lasswade High School with a tremendous amount of student success and achievement. You will read about highlights such as school trips to Italy and New York, outstanding musical and theatrical performances including last week’s music concert and our Dance Show. We also held our inaugural Burns Supper which was a fantastic evening of traditional song, dance and entertaining speeches – even if the Head Girl highlighted, in a very humorous way, some of the Headmaster’s less redeeming characteristics! It is always difficult to pick highlights from a term, however, it is not every day you experience visitors from South Africa to brighten up the school day and it is worthwhile highlighting the outstanding work of the S6 South Africa Committee and the Modern Studies Department in the Journey for Change Project. It was wonderful to announce the launch of the Lasswade Sports Hub where young people will be actively leading the enhanced use of our incredible facilities and ensuring that all our Community partners are engaged in improving participation levels in sport and also balancing this with the pursuit of sporting excellence. As you will read, we continue to do outstandingly well in both areas with highlights relating to skiing, rugby and football this term. We also witnessed the launch of our CONABOR Merit Achievement Award which we hope and expect will grow into a motivating aspect of the recognition of our students through the ‘DREAM’ Values. We recently experienced the final part of our HMIe Follow-through Inspection and I am delighted to publish this week the final HMIe letter confirming their acknowledgement of genuine progress in relation to School Improvement. As part of this process, we experienced a visit from an independent external evaluation team who commented very positively on areas where staff, students and stakeholders were agreed that we had made significant improvement. It was pleasing to hear comments about a ‘positive climate’, ‘climate of calmness to support learning’, ‘higher standards and expectations’, ‘creative approaches to learning & teaching’, ‘students who are confident, articulate and insightful about their school’ and an overall improvement in ‘culture and ethos based on trust, encouragement and support’.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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As we fully expected, we are left with areas for improvement which we were already aware of before the engagement exercise and we will endeavour to move these forward positively in our new School Improvement Plan. Once of the most pleasing aspects of the final report over and above the positive comments about our young people is the recognition given to staff for their hard work and commitment on behalf of our students – evidenced by ‘the amount of staff prepared to give their time to support extra-curricular programs’. You will read about this in the school Newsletter in a number of areas from clubs and societies, sporting success and the brilliant number of school trips on offer at Lasswade. In addition, some teachers will be devoting time over the Easter holidays to Supported Study or marking student assessments and/or communicating via IT to support the revision process for our Senior Students. Next term will be as exciting as ever with a visit from our Shanghai exchange school, the opening of the Confucius Hub, Primary Induction, trips to Skye and Sorrento and the much awaited School Show. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Senior Students a massive ‘best wishes’ as we approach the exam diet. I always avoid the ‘good luck’ message as I believe that we make our own luck in life and that there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance on route to success!

Mr A. Williamson, Headmaster

Conabor Award Conabor: Latin. I will try my utmost Bronze Award: 50 Merits

Silver Award: 100 Merits Gold Award: 250 Merits

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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South Africa Committee: Journey for Change News update from Erinn Murray, S6, on behalf of the South Africa Committee AIMS OF THE SOUTH AFRICA COMMITTEE When the committee was set up, our main aims were to investigate the impact of gender stereotypes and inequality, in Scotland and South Africa, in a way in which people could understand and relate to. Senior students from Selkirk High School also set up a South Africa Committee to work with us. We decided to organise and host a conference and invite schools from across the country. During a discussion with Ms Simpson about her visit to South Africa last year, we decided it would be an incredible experience if we were able to bring 7 senior students from Umlazi township in South Africa over to perform a Drama highlighting key issues based on their experience of gender stereotypes and inequality. JOURNEY FOR CHANGE - FUNDRAISER To raise the money to bring the South African drama group over to Scotland, we organised a sponsored cycle/walk/swim and asked students to collect pledges of £1 for each mile they travelled. To make this more exciting we suggested the S6 and teachers had a competition to see who could cycle the most miles and raise the most money! In addition to this we held “Christmas Jumper Day”, where students could wear their favourite Christmas jumper and donate £1 to the fund. We are currently planning more fundraising events to take place over the course of the next term.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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South Africa Committee: Journey for Change VISIT OF UMLAZI STUDENTS On 2 February, we picked up our South African ‘flip-flop’ wearing visitors from the airport (it’s hot in Durban right now!) During their visit the Umlazi students stayed with host families and frequently spoke about how they felt so welcomed and cared for. We showed them what life is like in Scotland whilst learning a lot about the differences between our lives and theirs. We took them into town, to the Museum, bowling, held a Sports night, as well as doing different activities organised by host families. They also spent time at Leith Academy and Selkirk High School, as these schools helped us organise the conference, and performed their drama at James Gillespie’s High School. The experience for us, as well as them, was unforgettable. It was amazing spending time with students who are so full of energy all the time and grateful for everything. It taught us all how lucky we are to live in this country, simple things like being able to run a bath, are not as easy for them in Durban. Although we differ greatly in terms of resources, they really enjoy doing the same things as we do! CONFERENCE The Conference “Journey to Change” was held on Friday 6 February in the Assembly Hall. We sent out invitations to senior students in schools from every region. Our aim was to raise awareness of two serious issues, violence against woman and male suicide, in our country and in South Africa. As we want to bring about change we wanted to raise awareness in a positive and inspiring way. The conference was oversubscribed and we were unable to accommodate everyone who wanted to come. We used a combination of music, drama, presentations, and surveys to highlight the issues. We also welcomed a guest appearance from ‘Young Fathers’, winners of the Mercury Music Awards. We have had a very positive response from teachers and students who attended. This experience has been very rewarding for us. In addition to organising an amazing experience for seven young people from Umlazi we have also organised a conference for 200 people. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Lasswade Dance Show Article by Leia Aincough, S3 From contemporary to street dance to jazz—and even a touch of rugby—this year’s dance show had it all. It was the first and definitely not the last Lasswade High School Dance Show. The evening showcased talent from all years in solos, duets and group dances. The National 5 and Higher dancers were particularly amazing as they were practising their approaching exam (good luck to you all!). The atmosphere was great on-stage, backstage and in the audience. Lots of clapping and dancing along from the audience! A special thanks to the sound guys who did all the music for us on the night and in the practice. Thanks to Sharon and Joanne, Miss McGuire and Miss Murray—without them this show would never have happened. And, of course, a massive thank you to all the dancers and to the audience for making it such a good night.

Scottish Space School Many congratulations to Aidan Steel and Callum Grahame in S5 who have been selected to attend the Scottish Space School at Strathclyde University in the summer. This is a great opportunity to meet with astronauts from NASA and the ESA, work in university level labs and chat to various professionals in scientific careers. There is also an opportunity for students from Scottish Space School to go to Houston, Texas. The students will be monitored during the 5 day residential course and selected on merit. Fingers crossed we hear about their successes after the summer holidays. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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New York Trip Article by Eve Harris, S5 As a small group of 15 S5/S6 students we had a great time on our trip to New York in February. Our trip was packed full of activities and visiting sights such as the Empire State Building and Liberty Island. On our first morning we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and got to see the iconic New York Skyline. This was amazing despite the freezing temperatures—which did end up hitting - 18 °C on one of our days. It did start to snow when we visited the Empire State Building and being late in the evening the views were amazing as we got to see the whole city lit up for miles. We also visited the 9/11 memorial and Freedom Tower, Ellis Island and the Natural History Museum and the United Nations building which allowed us to learn a lot more with guided tours and being able to experience such famous places fist hand. This trip has been an amazing experience for us all and have enabled us to have an enjoyable time while meeting new people and experiencing a completely different environment. We would like to thank Miss Edmond for organising our trip and would highly recommend anyone thinking of going on the next trip to consider the opportunity. Look out for details of New York 2016, coming soon

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Ski Trip: Courmayeur, Italy In February 21 students and 3 staff members took the 25 hour long bus to Courmayeur, Italy for Lasswade’s biennial ski trip. All of the students spent 6 full days in Ski School with specialist instructors from Interski. Everyone in the group had some ski experience but for many it was their first time skiing on real snow. At the end of the week all skiers received an official ski grade from the instructor and all of our students were awarded an extremely high standard. The group also took part in Interski après-ski activities including ice-skating, ten pin bowling and a disco.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Boys’ Brigade trip to Kenya In February four Lasswade senior students travelled to Kenya on a humanitarian trip organised through The Boys’ Brigade. Whilst in Kenya S5 students Scott Farquhar and Cameron McVicker and S6 students Callum Pearson and Daniel Cherrie visited a school that local Boys’ Brigade companies (Bonnyrigg, Loanhead & Livingston) funded the build & development of as part of the organisation’s 125th anniversary celebrations. As part of a group of 36 travellers, the boys assisted at the school undertaking some building & landscape maintenance. The visit also included a weekend of safari at Amboseli, visiting a Massai village, visiting a rescue girls orphanage & school, an animal orphanage for elephants and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Pictured are Scott Farquhar, Callum Pearson and Cameron McVicker

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Solar Eclipse from Lasswade On Friday 20 March the UK witnessed a solar eclipse. Lasswade High School students and staff used eclipse glasses, paper and card and even telescopes to witness (through some rather cloudy skies) this momentous event. Photograph taken by Matthew Gracie, S1 The eclipse as seen through the telescope of Mairi Fairbairn, S6

Raleigh International Wilson Trail Race, Hong Kong In October staff and students from Lasswade will be joining two other Scottish schools for a running tour to Hong Kong. They will be competing as a relay in the Raleigh International Wilson Trail Race, a 78km trail run which goes from Hong Kong Island to The New Territories. Josh Harrison, Fraser Clark, Nathan Avinou and Max Roarty will be joined by Mr Chisholm and Mr Tennet for this amazing challenge. We wish them much good luck as they train between now and October. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

Pictured are Josh Harrison and Nathan Avinou pg 9

Ruth Davidson visits Lasswade Article by Head Girl , Alex McGregor and Head Boy, Jack Allan As one of our initiatives as Head Boy and Head Girl we decided to invite a number of speakers to the school to motivate the senior students who are about to undertake their final SQA examinations. This was following last year’s ‘Live-NLearn’ workshop which motivated many students to work hard and this greatly improved the school’s exam success rate. The first guest speaker, of many, was Ruth Davidson (Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party). She attended the 5th and 6th year assembly on Wednesday 11th March and spoke about her life experiences. Many would think Ms Davidson would use this opportunity to promote her politics but instead she took this time to motivate our fellow students emphasising the importance of hard work to achieve your dreams. As well as speaking to the senior assembly, Ruth presented ‘Paired Reading’ awards to S6 students and spoke with Young Enterprise and YASS students. After a short tour of the school she was interviewed by S2 students in preparation for the BBC Schools Report. Up and coming speakers include Labour MSP Sarah Boyack, SNP MSP Alasdair Allan and Football Manager and former Lasswade student, Gary Locke.

Mandarin Immersion Course, Beijing and Tianjin In July 2015 the Scottish Confucius Institute for Scottish Schools offers an immersion course in Mandarin. 100 staff and students from all over Scotland will be travelling to Beijing and Tianjin. The Lasswade group are Hannah Darling, Carys Ross, Lauren Finlayson, Jayne Murdock, Rachel Lamb and Blair Jones (not in the photo) who will be accompanied by Miss Lyon.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Lasswade Sports Hub Launch Night

Article by James Wilson, S5

When the Scottish Government was tasked with creating a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this year, the creation of Community Sports Hubs had to be up there with one of their best ideas. Here in Midlothian, we are blessed to have benefitted from such an idea and Lasswade High School is now part of an official Community Sports Hub. It is fair to say that the launch night on Thursday 5 March was a resounding success, and was a great reflection of how vital a part of our society sport truly is. The launch night, held at Lasswade High School itself, enabled young children and adults alike to come along and get a taste of a variety of different sporting activities that are available within the school and leisure facilities. There was a whole range of sports available, ranging from traditional sports such as hockey to expansive and modern sports to try such as American football. It was great to see so many young children enthralled by the prospect of the activities on offer. Representatives from various sports clubs within the community were also in attendance to aid the children in taster sessions within their sport. The heartbeat of Lasswade’s Community Sports Hub is undoubtedly the volunteers that are involved. The Lasswade Student Sports Council, fronted by Active Schools’ representatives Lauren Watt and Denise Whitehead is made up of students that are extremely passionate about sport. These students meet up every week to discuss new and fresh ideas on how to improve the school as a sporting environment. The Sports Council aims to encourage sporting participation at all levels to every student in the school. Article continues on next page Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Continued from previous page The Lasswade Community Sports Hub promotes community leadership through its four Young Hub Leaders who are students at the school. These four selected students act as role models and spokespeople to all young members of the community. The Community Sports Hub takes great value in working closely with the students of the school to ensure that they are at the heart of the decision making process and are at the forefront of taking extracurricular activity to the next level within our community. The launch night was a case of bringing all the hard work that had been done by Hub members and the Lasswade Sports Council together, to show off the wealth of activities that are available to the people of Lasswade. Any young person within the community that is interested in taking up sport should look no further. The Lasswade Community Sports Hub is the perfect platform for young people to express themselves and obtain a passion for sport.

Lasswade Young Hub Leaders 2015 Calum Smart (S5), Blair Jones (S5), Eilidh Morris (S4), Kirsty Robertson (S4) are Lasswade’s Young Hub Leaders (YHL) in the Lasswade Community Sport Hub (LCSH). In the coming year it will be their role to act as the voice of the young people in the community, to ensure that youths are at the heart of driving club sport forward in Lasswade. Recently they did a fantastic job delivering assemblies to promote the LCSH. Look out for more from the YHLs on the hub noticeboard and on the daily bulletin!

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Burns Supper Article by Lauren Thomson and Hannah Fergusson, S6 on behalf of the S6 Events Management Group On Tuesday 27 January 2015, a Burns Supper celebration was held in Lasswade High School Atrium for staff and S6 students. To begin the night with a bang, former student Graham Hogg piped in the haggis which was carried by Ian Levett. Following a recital of the address to the haggis, a Burns Supper was enjoyed thoroughly by all – although some did not love the dessert of Cranachan! Once the meal had been served and the dishes cleared away by S4 Prefects, the speeches of the night could begin. The first was ‘The Immortal Memory’ by guest speaker, Andrew Johnson, who reflected on the impact of Burns across the world. The evening was lightened by the Head Boy and Head Girl who had prepared amusing speeches containing gossip about the sixth year and staff. Any red faces caused by the contents of these speeches were soon forgotten about after Mr McKay’s Scots recital which was then followed by a supreme performance by the school singers and a ceilidh. The atrium was filled with swirling dancers and flying kilts when the superb Lasswade ceilidh band took to the stage. Ceilidh dances including the Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant and Strip the Willow were performed, a giant version of which ended the night on a high. Funds raised on the night will go towards the first ever photo booth at the S6 prom and a donation of £50 was given to the Journey for Change project. It truly was a night to remember and will hopefully begin an annual tradition at Lasswade High School. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Torness Science Trip On 24 March Mrs Fullard and Miss Gardner took a group of S3 students to Torness Power Station for their Open Learning week. The trip was excellent with EDF staff providing a range of educational activities from radiation monitoring and virtual fire fighting to engineering and sniffer dogs. It fitted in perfectly with the work being covered in class and was fun too! Here are some student comments about the day. “I thought that the trip to Torness was a really interesting and educational experience. The activity centre was fun filled and allowed us to experience precautions that must be taken, and situations that might actually happen in the power station. I also liked seeing the on-sight fire engine and thought that the staff were very helpful and accommodating. They explained the tour very well and answered questions happily. Even just finding out what the power station looked like was a great privilege!” Rhiannon Preston

“The trip to Torness was great, the activities and quizzes at the start were very fun and enjoyable and I also learned things through them. The tour was really interesting and it was good to see the security precautions the staff and workers have to take. It was a very fun trip overall.” Reece Bertram

“I really enjoyed it. It was interesting to see what a nuclear power station was like and the tour guides were really informative. The interactive activities in the morning were good, especially getting to meet the dog and the prizes were tasty! It was also interesting to hear about all the precautions that had been taken to make it completely safe. It was a cool day out and it would be interesting to go back again.” Michael Sargent

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Science Showcase Article by Phoebe Traquair, S3 On the 2 March, a selection of S3’s were asked to present a topical science project in front of teachers and students, including Mr. Mitchell. This was the final stage of a piece of group work, which started before Christmas when our teachers announced we would be researching a new field of science.

Some classes explored the idea of prosthetic limbs whilst my class, and some others, looked into the protection of buildings during earthquakes. We were free to present our newly found information however we wished. My group, Jodi Millar (3MK2), Rebecca McGregor (3MK2) and Abigail Watson (3MK1) made the decision to present our information by designing and creating a poster by hand and producing a news report on our iPads. My group set to work and thought out a plan on how to create a good piece of work. We all took part in our news report video, whether that was behind the camera or in front. And with the poster, we left that to the more creative side of the group! We had a few lessons to perfect our presentation before we presented it to our class. Not long after we finished our display, our teacher told us that the best group or groups from selected classes would go forward and show teachers and students what we had done. My group and another out of my class were voted to go up and perform at the ‘Science Showcase’! At the ‘Science Showcase’, the selected groups and teachers gathered to see what we had worked on. We all took it in turns to show off our work and listen to the wide variety of information that everybody had worked hard to collect and piece together. It was obvious that each presentation had had a lot of effort put into it as we hardly heard or saw similar things. Wide ranges of presentation skills were used; from short movies and news reports, to posters and talks and everybody put on a good show. After each performance a lot of encouraging feedback was given, which was reassuring after speaking in front of a room of people you didn’t know too well or not know at all. It was also appreciated due to the fact that Mr. Mitchell was scribbling away at the back of the room while we delivered our talks! Overall it was a great experience and confidence booster (we even learnt a couple of things!). The presenters were all awarded a certificate from Mr. Mitchell and a handful of merits from Miss Wallerstein.

So to make a long story short, it was a successful lunchtime from the students, and hopefully teachers, point of view!

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Proud to be a Scot Article by Lewis Hanley and Russell Chisholm, S2 In January the second years celebrated Scottish culture in an event called ‘Proud to be a Scot’. All S2 students participated in a range of activities, including Scottish Country dancing. Many subjects across the school were involved in this event including Maths, PE and Home Economics. Social Subjects created a quiz about different aspects of Scotland for each S2 class to complete. In Home Economics the classes made traditional shortbread with a twist - spicy chilli and Oreo shortbreads. The Lasswade singing group, led by Miss Grigor, performed songs by Scottish artists such as Emilie Sande. Throughout the event the S2s participated in traditional Scottish dancing. We danced Strip the Willow, Military Two Steps and Dashing White Sargent. Overall it was a very good event which defied our expectations.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Mud Kitchen The National 5 Construction Skills class have designed, manufactured and installed a Mud Kitchen for the local nursery, Little Hawthorns. The students contacted local suppliers to request material donations and worked closely with the client to create a fun, educational new toy for the nursery children.

Lasswade Nursery Volunteering As you can see from other articles in the Spring Newsletter there are several ways that Lasswade Nursery works closely with the high school and increases opportunities for Lasswade students. As well as working with specific groups such as Tots to Teens. Sport and Recreation, The Prince’s Trust and the Community Project the nursery also offers senior students volunteering and work experience opportunities. S4 student Elana Todd tells us what it is like to volunteer in the nursery.

“Volunteering at the nursery has been an extremely enriching experience. I have immensely enjoyed interacting with the children; it has been a wonderful opportunity. Since helping at the nursery I have become more confident around others and I am exceedingly glad that I decided to volunteer. It has definitely been a worthwhile use of my time as I will be able to mention this work experience at future job interviews and applications because it demonstrates the possession of qualities like patience and responsibility.” Elana Todd, S4

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Prince’s Trust Article by the Prince’s Trust Class As part of the Prince's Trust class we had to do a Community Project. There were lots of choices of what we could do but we wanted to gain experience working with the Lasswade Nursery. Our teacher suggested a Christmas party so we planned for games, a bouncy castle, a visit from Santa and snacks. We all volunteered to organise different parts of the party.

The party was the best experience of the year so far, the best part was learning how to set up the bouncy castle and doing the party games with the kids.

Students work donated to the nursery S3 student Jamie English, designed, manufactured and completed this bright wooden play table as part of the coursework for his construction class. Jamie made the very kind decision to donate his piece of work to the Lasswade High School Nursery where it has been received with enthusiasm by the nursery class.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Chinese New Year Article by Rebekah Lansley, S4 On Saturday 28th February Mrs Zhang, Mr Poots, Emma Lynch, Olivia McLaughlan and I went to Fettes College for Chinese New Year celebrations. The evening consisted of a three course Chinese meal and entertainment from the Fettes students and a special performance from myself, Emma and Olivia. The performances shown ranged from traditional Scottish and Chinese instrument playing with songs and dancing. Our performance included a reading in Chinese then we sang a verse of a traditional Chinese song. I thought Saturday night at Fettes was really good. I loved the chance to perform in Mandarin which was enjoyed by the Fettes students who gave us a really warm applaud. I made friends with the students from Hong Kong who sat at our table and made us feel extremely welcome. Olivia said "I thought it was a very nice night as there was awesome entertainment. All of the Chinese exchange students were really good, we also met people from Hong Kong who were really nice. There were lots of different kinds of food on the whole it was really good and enjoyable." Emma said "I really enjoyed my time at Fettes Collage and we meet some lovely students from Hong Kong. We then ate a great Chinese meal and watched some great entertainment which we were a part of"

Primary Mandarin Lasswade cluster primaries have been involved in a 10 week programme with post graduate students from Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities. All 7 cluster primaries are involved. There are a total of 24 students who are working in the 7 primaries and also with Ms Zhang our Mandarin teacher in the high school. Ms Zhang has been advising the students on content. Mrs Mitchell and Simon McCauley from SCEN visited some of the primaries to gain some initial feedback. We are looking forward to working with the primaries and our Mandarin teacher from Tianjin. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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South Korean staff and students visit Lasswade On Thursday 29th January the Modern Languages and English Departments were visited by a group of secondary English teachers from Chungnam Province in South Korea. The visitors were in their third week of a four week professional development course at the Office of Lifelong Learning at the University of Edinburgh. Whilst studying hard the groups also enjoyed cultural visits to Glenkinchie Whisky Distillery and the Scottish Parliament.

S6 modern linguist Kyle Bergin presents our guests with Scottish gifts on behalf of the school.

Lasswade’s Principal Teacher of Modern Languages, Mr Poots, said that the visitors had very much enjoyed visiting Lasswade, meeting staff and students and learning about the Scottish school system. They had especially enjoyed being piped into the building by Lasswade student James Wilson.

Links with China Lasswade’s links with China continue to be very strong. The Lasswade students who travelled to China in October have continued their impressive work, presenting at school assemblies, local primaries, local Rotary Group and also delivering a formal presentation to a Cross Party Group on China. In attendance was Lord Wilson of Tillyorn (former Governor of Hong Kong) and Barbara Woodward (UK Ambassador to China), both of whom spoke to the girls after their presentation. The girls got a spontaneous round of applause (a very rare occurrence at Scottish Parliament Committee meetings!!!!) In recognition of their work in China and after, the girls were officially recognised as RZSS (Royal Zoological Society of Scotland) Ambassadors in a ceremony which took place on Tuesday 3rd March. Their certificates were presented by Consul General Pan XinChun.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Wood Skills Course The Midlothian Base students have been involved in a Wood Skills Course this term. They have had the opportunity to work with an Environmental Education Consultant on a three week project, working in the woods of nearby Rosewell. All eight students have been learning about the different species of trees which grow locally and that need managed. Hopefully by the final trip the class will have made a wooden structure that will help others to explore the woods safely.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award This year’s Bronze award candidates have been busy for many months completing a range of physical activities, volunteering activities and working on improving skills as part of their award. In recent weeks the group have attended after school training sessions on first aid and emergency procedures, nutrition and cooking, navigation and route construction in readiness for their qualifying expeditions in the Pentland hills after the exams in May. Following completion of Bronze award last session, several students have chosen to work towards Silver award this session and they too have been working hard on the physical, volunteering and skills components of their award. The group will be taking part in a practice expedition over three days in June and will complete their qualifying expedition in September. Students currently in S3 will be invited to take part in this exciting achievement award programme in the coming weeks!

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Music News Young Musician and Vocalist Competition Well done to all the performers in this year’s Young Musician and Vocalist Competition which took place on Thursday 26 March. The standard of performing by all the competitors on the evening was extremely high. 2015 Winners Junior Musician - Jack Whittaker Vocalist of the Year – Megan Carlisle Senior Musician - Harry Noble End of Term Concert The three competitions (Junior/Senior and Vocalist) were combined with the Music Department’s End of Term concert which included excellent performances from the Concert and Jazz Bands, the String Orchestra, the Percussion and Guitar groups, Ceilidh Band and our wonderful singing group.

School Show Rehearsals are now well underway for this year’s Musical production of “The Wiz”, a ‘Super Soul’ version of “The Wizard of OZ”. Principal characters include Eilidh Murray as Dorothy, Rebecca Thomson as the Scarecrow, Rebekah Lansley as the Tin Man and TJ Connell as the Cowardly Lion. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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SU Assemblies Darius Namdaran, Jo Lee and Ali Wilson, who are part of our Scripture Union chaplaincy team, recently took a week of assemblies. They highlighted the importance of the choices students make now that can impact their dreams in the future.

Jo shared the story of her cancer journey and Darius shared that life is like kayaking down a river with each paddle stroke a choice that determines the direction we go. The SU group meets every Monday lunchtime in room 313. All staff and students are welcome.

Student play raises £730 for SAMH January saw the official presentation of a donation of £730 to SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) by S6 Lasswade High School student, Molly Duffield. Molly raised £730 for the charity by putting on a production of 'Trio', a play which she wrote and directed. The play was performed on 7 October 2014 in Lasswade High School Assembly Hall, during the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Photographs from the performance were included in Lasswade’s Winter Newsletter. Pictured in the photographs are Molly Duffield and the cast of Trio with Gemma Cowan, Community Fundraiser for SAMH and cast members.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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Recommended reading At parents’ evening English teachers are often asked for book titles that parents can borrow or purchase for their children. For April 2015 Lasswade School Librarian, Kat Brack, recommends these books from the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist. The Carnegie Medal is awarded to the writer of an outstanding book for young people. It is the most prestigious award for young adult literature in the UK. Kat suspects adults will love these books as much as their children.       

‘When Mr. Dog Bites’ by Brian Conaghan (14+)* ‘Apple and Rain’ by Sarah Crossan (11+) ‘Tinder’ by Sally Gardner (11+) ‘Cuckoo Song’ by Frances Hardinge (11+) ‘The Fastest Boy in the World’ by Elizabeth Laird (9+) ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Tanya Landman (14+) ‘The Middle of Nowhere’ by Geraldine McCaughrean (11+) ‘More Than This’ by Patrick Ness (14+)

The winner of the Carnegie shortlist will be announced on 22 June 2015. Keep up to date by following Lasswade School Library on Twitter @LWSchoolLibrary

*’Age ranges’ are for guidance only, as determined by the official Carnegie 2015 judging panel.

World Book Day Several S1—S3 classes celebrated World Book Day on Thursday 5 March with celebratory lessons in the library. Students took part in bookish quizzes and challenges (including a #shelfie challenge - a couple of which you can see here)

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

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S1 Reading Challenge THE LASSWADE S1 READING CHALLENGE Which medal will you win? The Lasswade S1 Reading Challenge was a month long event which took place in the English Department and the school library throughout March. The challenge was designed to encourage our S1 students to read more often and to read a wider range of texts. S1 were all challenged to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and complete either written or verbal reports about them. There was also a (very popular) competitive edge as all S1 students and classes competed for medals and prizes! Every student had the opportunity to earn a medal, which depended on the number and combination of texts they read:


Fiction Texts 2 2

Non-Fiction Texts 4 2




Also, all twelve S1 English classes competed against each other to be the class who read the most texts overall. The winning class will also earn a prize. The official count is happening right now! As the Spring Newsletter goes to print the English teachers are busy counting the report sheets for each S1 student and their classes totals.

The reading challenge has been a big success with almost all students receiving at least the Bronze Award.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

Students completing their report sheets in the library at lunchtime pg 25

YASS students visit the Scottish Parliament Students studying the YASS course ‘An introduction to law in Contemporary Scotland’ visited the Scottish Parliament. The visit includes the opportunity to sit in the public gallery for a meeting of the Justice Committee, followed by a question & answer session with members of the Committee. I am so glad to hear that Louise and Hannah enjoyed their visit to the Scottish Parliament. I have had emails come in from several of the MSPs who stayed behind for the Q&A session to say that they were incredibly impressed with the students who attended and that they really enjoyed meeting them. Louise and Hannah were very engaged in the session and asked excellent questions. Page Hunter, YASS

Harry Potter Book Night Harry Potter Book Night was held on Thursday 5 February. Lasswade School Librarian, the staff at Lasswade Library and several enthusiastic students organised a host of Harry Potter activities to mark this event. The excitement for all things Potter started a week before Book Night with daily quiz questions on the morning bulletin and library cinema every lunchtime showing ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’. On the day there were two special events. At lunchtime there was a very closely fought Harry Mr Chisholm and Mr McKay get Potter Quiz - ”You’re a quizzard, Harry.” Over 50 kitted out with their Hogwarts students took part. Two teams scored an School Uniform amazing 39/40 points! After school on Harry Potter Book Night Lasswade Library transformed into ‘Diagon Alley’: there were many Harry Potter activities including board games made by Lasswade students, treasure hunts, wand making, potion recipes, Hogwarts dress up and owl crafts. This event was a great success attracting Lasswade staff and students (and their families), Lasswade after school group and members of the public. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 263

Primary Challenge The Primary Challenge was held on 19 March in the Lasswade High School Atrium. This challenge includes all of our cluster primaries taking part in maths and science activities. The winners of the challenge were Lasswade PS and Bonnyrigg PS. “While the relay team and poster team continued the competition the rest of P7 went to the Science department and took part in some lessons. One of the lessons was learning how to use a microscope. We took out slips with tiny objects inside to put under the lens. The second lesson was to spray chemicals into fire, there was one chemical which was green coloured and when we sprayed that into the fire the fire turned brighter. The last lesson was when we used a big metal sphere to generate electricity. When we touched it our hair flew up! We also joined hands and experienced an electric shock.” By Amy and Declan, Bonnyrigg Primary

“Yesterday we took part in a splendid Maths Challenge. There were two other schools competing who were Paradykes and Rosewell. In the morning we all took part in problem solving where we were paired up and had to go round tables working out difficult problems. We all had a great time. Then we all split up into our teams which were the relay team and the poster team, everyone else had a great time at science. The maths relay was a fantastic experience for everyone involved. It was made even better when P7 won it for Bonnyrigg winning by a margin of 65 points. It didn’t stop there with the poster team coming out on top as well. It was a great day out and everyone loved it.” By Harris and Finnie, Bonnyrigg Primary

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 27

Primary Challenge continued “The two poster teams worked hard all week to prepare different graphs all about Red Nose Day and shapes. The children made detailed charts and graphs which impressed the judges. The poster teams had 45 minutes to put their posters together. It all came together well and we came 1st which we are very proud of and so are our school. It was an amazing day and all the children had fun taking part.” By Olivia and Kyle, Bonnyrigg Primary

“We enjoyed the maths challenge, because it was a fun, interactive and a good way of improving our maths. We were disappointed that we didn't win, but it was worth it in the end. We enjoyed doing different puzzles with our partners and going in groups for the relay; we thought it was a good way of practising working in a group and cooperating. It is also a good way of practising our mental maths skills. We enjoyed each of the 3 projects/tasks. Our favourite was when we changed the colour of the fire.

Lasswade High School is a really lovely building and is a great venue for the maths challenge. It had all the space and equipment we needed to complete our challenges. The school is really light and spacious. The staff were very kind and gave us help when we needed it. Lasswade High is great because it encourages students to express themselves in their own different ways. We felt that visiting Lasswade HS gave us encouragement to have more confidence about starting next year. Before the challenge, we were all fairly nervous about what would happen when we arrived. Both staff and students were kind and welcoming and we were all very comfortable in the end. We are all now very excited about coming to High school next year. Thank you for hosting the maths challenge and thanks to all the staff and students who took part.” By Loanhead Primary 7 class

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 28

Raspberry Pi Article by Martin Wilson, S6 On the 17 January, a group of 10 students from 1st to 6th year went with Mr Ingils to Strathclyde University to attend a Raspberry Pi event. Raspberry Pi is a small Linux based computer used in projects and helps to teach people about programming and creativity. The event showed off a range of projects and allowed people to interact with the creations, learning how they were made and becoming inspired to make their own. Throughout the day there were various presentations from people who had experimented with the Raspberry Pi and used it for projects such as creating their own Cloud Storage or managing a greenhouse through sensors and graphs. One was held over Skype by a Raspberry Pi employee who revealed a competition where primary and secondary schools must create a project on a Raspberry Pi which will then be sent into space by the International Space Station along with British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake. More information can be found out here: As well as the talks, there was also a classroom filled with creations using the Pi for the public to interact with. Out of the collection there was a robotic arm, retro game emulator, remote control car, and many more. Members of the group were shown by staff how the creations worked, inspiring many of us to make our own similar projects. Overall the open day showed us just how limitless our creations can be with the Raspberry Pi, sparking our interests in the world of technology and programming.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 293

Student work displayed around Lasswade Displaying student work around the communal areas and corridors of the school helps to brighten up our school as well as celebrate the brilliant pieces of work completed by students throughout the year. S4 students Lucy Inglis captured the best of our current displays. Photography by Lucy Inglis, S4

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 30

Ski Race Article by Holly Heatley, S6 The Scottish Schools Ski Race took place on Monday 16 March in Glencoe. Well done to the Lasswade Ski Team. They bravely took part in the Glencoe SSSA Qualifier. A combination of snow, cold, wind and fog made conditions difficult but the team battled through. After much delay, the race was under way but conditions made seeing the gates impossible. Eventually the runs were completed scoring Lasswade 10th place. 3rd fastest time of the day went to me (Holly Heatley), taking back a medal for the school. Overall, it was a long day but the team got through, beating several teams on the way.

Sport and Recreation Article written by the Sports and Recreation Class S5/6 Sport and Recreation class took part in organising and teaching a P3 class from Hawthornden Primary School. During this we taught a warm up, a main lesson and a cool down. The whole class performed different lessons such as football, dodge ball and long ball. Throughout this we were marked on our performance from the teacher and our peers. We were given feedback on our strengths and things we could improve on.

We have also worked with Lasswade crèche/nursery. In this we worked with 1 –3 year olds. We taught them a warm up which was called the bean game and then we taught them ball games and let them express themselves. We then finished off with a cool down called sleeping bunnies. This was a good way to calm them down and finish off a fun lesson. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 31

Lasswade Rugby The final stretch of the season has arrived and we have had some excellent games of rugby on show. There were close games for all age groups against Peebles with the U15’s losing by a try in an extremely physical encounter. The S1s and S2s have been on excellent form in recent weeks. We completed the double against Galashiels Academy away and the S2’s won against Hawick at home.

The S1’s missed out by a try in an excellent display. Our U18’s reached the semi -final of the schools bowl competition just missing out on a place in the final to Preston Lodge. Coming towards the end of the season a huge thank you must go to all of the coaches and volunteers. Your support this season had a huge effect on the programme. All teams have developed throughout the year with over 60 boys playing rugby most weekends! We have a full fixture list in place for next season which will be issued to parents before the Easter holidays.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 32

Level 4 Dance Leaders A formal presentation evening was held on Wednesday 11 February to award all of the dancers who achieved the Level 4 Dance Leaders qualification. This course was fully funded for these dancers in partnership with KIC Dance, Lasswade High School and Youth Scotland. 25 dancers have also recently sat the next level of qualification and are now busy assisting in classes as part of their course. We have a Level 1 teaching course running during the Easter break for our boys too. KIC Dance are delighted that we can have the opportunity to run these courses and are extremely grateful for the support from those involved.

Lasswade Football News For all the up to date football news follow Lasswade football on Twitter @LHSCfootball #trophytime

S1 Boys The S1 boys continue to do themselves and the school proud on the football field. They are currently sitting 2nd in the league. If the boys win all their remaining games and we can improve our goal difference we are in with a great chance of winning the league! The boys managed to get to the last 16 of the Scottish Cup but were unfortunately eliminated by Oban High School in a thrilling match. The boys will soon take part in a seven-a-side tournament held at Lasswade, so let’s hope for a successful tournament!

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 33

Lasswade Football News Continued U15 Boys The U15 Boys Football Team are the Lothian Schools FA U15 league champions. Their final match of the season was a victory over St Thomas of Aquin’s. They have only lost 3 games all season which is no mean feet in a very competitive league, league cup and Scottish Cup. Credit must go to the players for their commitment throughout the season as they are a small squad so all players have played their part. A massive thanks goes out to parent coaches Craig Bertram and Dougie Neil who not only set an excellent example to the players but they have brought a real belief, stability and commitment from all the players in the squad.

Girls Football Another successful season for girls football at Lasswade where we have been able to field teams in both U15 and U18 competitions for the first time in recent history. The girls have shown excellent commitment throughout the season. Although there have been no trophies won this year it has been a year of transition as we are the younger teams in both competitions where some of the girls are playing against opponents two years older than them. This has been a great experience for all involved and can only help add experience for the years to come. An example of this was in the U18's most recent match against Williamwood High School where one of their players is playing for Glasgow City ladies in the woman's equivalent of the Champions league against Paris St Germain in her next match. Hopefully this gives the girls an idea of how good they can be!!

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 34

Sports Clubs: Mondays & Tuesdays Mondays Time




Monday lunchtime


Mrs Main

Sports Hall

Monday afterschool

Dance Club S3 – S6

Miss McGuire

Dance Studio

School of Rugby S1

Mr McCarthy

Lasswade Rugby Club/ Sports Hall

School of Rugby S2 4.30 – 5.30

Mr Moody

Lasswade Rugby Club/ Sports Hall

Girls Rugby

Mr Gray


American Football £2.50

Touchdown UK






Tuesday lunchtime

School of Rugby S1

Mr McCarthy



Miss Watt S4 Volunteers

Sports Hall


Miss Watt

Sports Hall

Badminton S1- S6

Mrs Main & Mrs Wright

Sports Hall A/B

Higher Dance

Miss Murray

Dance Studio A

Dance Club S1-S2 Hockey

Miss McGuire

Dance Studio A

Lorraine Nicholson Bennett



Tuesday after school

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 35

Sports Clubs: Wednesdays & Thursdays Wednesdays Time




Wednesday lunchtime

Table Tennis S1 – S6

Mr Gulzar

Dance Studio A

Staff Sports Club

Mr Gray

Sports Hall

Basketball Club S1-S6

John Igoe

Sports Hall

Gymnastics Club S1-S6

Mrs Burge

Gymnastics Academy


Miss Murray


School of Rugby S1 (6 – 7pm) S2 (6.30-7.30) S3 (6.30-7.30)

Mr McCarthy

Lasswade Rugby Club

Netball S1-S6

Miss Watt

Sport Hall A


Mr Gray/Miss Petrie

Dance Studio A

Wednesday after school

Thursdays Time




Thursday lunchtime

Rugby S1

Mr McCarthy

See Mr McCarthy

S1/2 5 a-side

Mr Dewar S5 Volunteers

Sports Hall

Girls Football

Mr Dewar


Schools of Rugby Mr McCarthy S2

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

Lasswade Rugby Club

pg 36

Lasswade Sports Council At the end of last term Lasswade Sports Council (LSC) enjoyed a day out tubing at Hillend in celebration of their efforts during the term! Since then the LSC have been involved in organising and running the Midlothian Giant Heptathlon event, in which the Lasswade S1-S2 team came 3rd overall! More recently the LSC helped to launch the Lasswade Community Sport Hub, which is an exciting chance for students to become more involved in club sport.

If you are interested in joining the LSC and helping promote events in the school, please come along to our meetings on Thursday lunchtime in the P.E. classroom or contact Miss Watt (P.E.) or Denise (Active Schools) @Lasswadesports

Get involved!

Giant Heptathlon Congratulations to the S1/2 Giant Heptathlon Team who came 3rd overall in the Midlothian competition.

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 37

Lasswade Parent Council The Parent Council meets every month and have been actively involved in contributing to a number of issues which have arisen this term. There have been lively debates about exam leave, the curriculum and plans to commence the higher course in English and Maths for some of the current 3rd year so they would not sit a national 5 in those subjects. There has been a presentation from the Sports Council and links between the Parent Council and the student bodies such as the Events Team, Charities Team and Sports Council have been formed. The Parent Council Fund Raising Group organised a bingo night which was held on 20 March. This was a great evening with lots of prizes won – especially by Mr Mitchell! A massive thanks to those who attended and helped us raise over £600 to support the merit award scheme. The fundraising sub group are planning a summer fair for June so watch out for more information on this all the funds raised will go directly to the school to fund the new merit scheme. It would be great to see lots more parents coming along to events. This scheme impacts on all students as the merit achievement award scheme is based on the CONABOR Award where students are merited by teachers & non teaching staff for fulfilling the school values. The fund raising group have also applied for a grant from Sainsburys who have a community grant funded by the plastic bag levy. We have asked for £450 for the sports council to fund an Active Boys day following on from the huge success of the Active Girls day last term. The funding from Active Schools has been withdrawn from this project and we don’t want the boys to miss out! All parents are welcome to our meetings. The Dates, Minutes and Agendas are all on the school website. Thank you for all your donations at school events and for supporting our fundraising initiatives. It makes a big difference to the school and the students!

Communication and meetings Parent Council meeting dates next term: Thursday 23 April 2015 Tuesday 19 May 2015 Thursday 18 June 2015

Meetings start at 7pm and usually last 90 minutes.

Contact: Parent Council email address: Parent Council on Twitter:

Parent Council Meetings take place in the Conference Room of the Lasswade Centre. @lhspc

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 38

‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ update The Scottish Government is currently consulting on detailed guidance that supports parts of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act. This Act is a new lar that will give children, young people and their families extra support and will encourage everyone to talk about children’s wellbeing using the same words. The consultation on the guidance is due to run until 1 May. It is mainly aimed at the people who support your chid—including parents’ organisations - but individual parents are welcome to get involved if they wish. You can take part in the consultation via this link This is also a leaflet on the Scottish Government's website with more information:

Important Parent Information Term dates The last day of term for students is Wednesday 1 April. School will finish at 3.30 as normal. Staff and students return to school at 8.30 on Monday 20 April Term 3 holidays: Monday 4 May & Monday 18 May 2015 The last day of term 3 is Friday 3 July 2015. Important dates for next term Tuesday 12 May 2015: Monday 15 June 2015:

S1 Parents’ Evening S1 - S6 Prize Giving

Parking in disabled bays We respectfully remind parents and visitors not to park/wait in the designated disabled parking bays in the Lasswade Centre car park. Please be aware that the car park is now regularly patrolled by police and fines will be issued. Many thanks for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

pg 39

Lasswade High School Newsletter, April 2015

The End! Lasswade High School wishes all our students, families and partner organisations best wishes for a restful Easter break. We look forward to welcoming you back next term

Lasswade spring newsletter 2015  
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