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EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL

Summer 2012

N O RT H BE RW I CK H IG H S CH O O L

SUMMER NEWSLETTER ‘Summer of Song’ - Singing for the Olympic Torch Parade Musselburgh 14th June 2012 Sixteen S2 and S3 pupils participated in singing workshops leading up to a performance for the Olympic Torch parade in Musselburgh. Here, three pupils tell us about the experience. My first thoughts of doing the torch was scary - I wasn't going to do it at first but Mrs Wilson said it would be good and I changed my mind – and I am glad I changed my mind! When I first met Claire, our workshop leader, I thought she was really nice. She was a good teacher and she taught us well. The rehearsals were difficult, having to learn different parts. I was absent on the day of the first rehearsal so I thought “Oh no! It will be really hard to catch up!” But I was wrong, it wasn't hard at all. The event was really good and I loved seeing the torch. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, the crowd were really enthusiastic, and I'd love to do it again. Rebecca Macrae - S3 The Olympic Torch Relay was really fun and an amazing experience for me , and I would love to do it again but I obviously can't ! I signed up for it because I wanted to get better at singing and see the torch. Claire was an amazing coach and the workshops were sooooooo much fun . Jessica Egert – S2 The practice sessions were fun as Claire, who taught us the song and everything, was really upbeat, enthusiastic and energetic. The actual performance, although tiring as we had to get up really early, was actually quite fun and I enjoyed it a lot. Seeing the torch was amazing and I'll remember it forever. Melanie Bowden – S3


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FOOTBALL NEWS This game was our annual friendly against Lenzie Academy played on Friday May 4th. This year we played it at Toryglen Football Centre, in Glasgow. The score was 8-3 to Lenzie. Captain Kieran Young scored two of the North Berwick goals and the third was scored by Stuart Lorimer. The squad was: Craig Cockburn, Jason Samson, Stuart Lorimer, Ben Cunningham, Callum Inglis, Alex Tait, Cameron Law, Kieran Young, Jack Hughes, Cameron Alexander, Connor Stevens and Tyrese Reynolds

S1 football result from the round robin Charlie Wood tournament held on 30th May at Dalkeith Campus: Lasswade 2-1 North Berwick Dalkeith 2-0 North Berwick North Berwick 3-2 Newbattle 3rd Place North Berwick Goalscorers were Matthew Brady with 3 goals and Gregor Griffiths with 1 goal

RUGBY NEWS Scott Burnside, now in S6, has been selected for the Scottish U16 Rugby squad this past season. He was then selected for the full National team at U16 level and recently represented his country in an international tournament playing against England and Canada. The crowning glory occurred when he was made captain of the team for the tournament, a first for North Berwick High School. Scott has also been selected to become a Scottish Rugby Academy Player where he will integrate his studies in the coming year with a rigorous programme of improvement in fitness and skills. Who knows where that will lead! Scott`s progress continues to be assisted by the excellent commitment by the High School rugby coaches including his father, Billy. The school would like to thank them and all the parents who help run the school teams. Pupils like Scott get their opportunities largely because of the dedication of our coaches.


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Spanish Exchange 2012 It was with great excitement that North Berwick High awaited twenty pupils of the Maestro Domingo Cáceres secondary school in Badajoz, Spain. The Spanish visitors stayed with host families around the area from 19th to 25th June and an exciting programme was lined up for them. They experienced a day in school and learnt a wide variety of things from Scottish country dancing to African drums. On the Thursday of their stay, our intrepid guests visited Stirling and the Castle – a visit to Edinburgh Castle was also planned during their stay. In addition, there was a lively social evening and the host families really came up trumps with barbecues and an array of activities over for the weekend. It is intended that in October we shall return the visit and twenty of our pupils will be able to take advantage of the tremendous experience that is staying with a host family and visiting a school in another country.

Glasgow Particle Physics Conference Putting the Interesting, in Interesting On Tuesday 12th June 2012, a group of five Advanced Higher Physics pupils and Miss Nicholson ventured to the mysterious land of Glasgow, on the 6.44 train from North Berwick. It was safe to say that everyone was extremely tired. Upon arrival, they listened to Dr. Aidan Robson, who gave them a briefing into particle physics, with a summary of the particles smaller than atoms, and the like. Afterwards, the team had the chance to analyse data from electron collisions. However, due to a technical hitch, they had to move on to simulate collisions that occur in The Large Hadron Collider. The next lecture was on the problems with detecting particles on camera, or the ATLAS experiment. Apparently, the Large Hadron Collider is the equivalent to a 170 Megapixel camera! After this, a practical experiment to try and find the charge-mass ratio of an electron. After hours of trying, they eventually worked it out. After a final talk on Large Open Questions in Physics, everyone but Miss Nicholson was confused or puzzled, yet full of new physics knowledge. The whole day was regarded a success and everybody had a great time. If you personally want to have a go at simulating colliding particles, then go to this website: http:// bit.ly/LKRSgw and click on measurement. Here’s one we did earlier! James Leslie


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S3 London Trip If you could have been at North Berwick train station at 9 am on 14th May you would have been able to smell the excitement in the air. It was going to be a brilliant five days! For four teachers to be looking after a large group of students, plus luggage (some of which was quite bulky despite being told that we would be travelling on the underground) it must have been quite stressful. Finally, after saying goodbye to our loved ones, we were on our way to Edinburgh Waverley where we got the train to King’s Cross in London. We then travelled the underground and DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to our Premier Inn. Everyone got settled and we set off to Pizza Hut at Leicester Square then to be pleasantly surprised to see Kirsten Stewart on a red carpet!! Having no idea that it was a premier for the film ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, everyone was thrilled. After dinner we walked past Downing Street and took pictures at Trafalgar Square. The end of day one, everyone was exhausted and in need of doing a ‘Lenny Henry Dive’ onto their huge beds. Day 2 started with a trip to the Houses of Parliament. After an interesting tour, where you couldn’t sit anywhere, we met Fiona O’Donnell the MP for East Lothian. Some more celebrity spotting revealed Alistair Darling, the former chancellor, followed by lunch at the Embankment Gardens. Then there was the visit to the Bank of England Museum where we had the chance to lift a solid gold bar. We finished off the afternoon with a visit to Madame Tussauds. This was one of the most exciting things on the itinerary. From the 4D movie to the Scream experience it was just great. On the way to TGI Friday we just escaped some heavy hail. Day 3 and we were off to Thorpe Park. It was exhilarating, the brave ones approaching rides like The Swarm and Stealth, others venturing over to more tame rides like The Flying Fish. We also had a talk about marketing which included looking at the adverts for Thorpe Park. Many fell asleep on the return ride to the O2 Arena for dinner at Nando’s and the movie Avengers. Day 4 was a journey to the Olympic Park. What with the construction going on we couldn’t get further than a view point but it was interesting to see the many new buildings for ourselves. Next stop the Queen’s house. Then we travelled to Hyde Park for shopping and lunch followed by Planet Hollywood for dinner and the London Eye to finish off an amazing four days. The London Eye was incredible, with chocolates and Shloer everyone marvelled at the lights and sights of London. The week had gone by fast. Day 5 had us all heading to King’s Cross Station to go home. It was sad to be leaving but we all had fond memories to tell the folks at home. Many thanks to the fabulous teachers for putting up with this unruly bunch for that long, although I can quote from twitter that “This trip has been tremendous. The pupils have been excellent. They have walked, listened, learnt and supported each other all week.” It was a truly fantastic week and if given the choice I would gladly go again.


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S3 SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT TRIP On Wednesday 30th May, a group of S3 Modern Studies pupils took a trip to the Scottish Parliament. We got a tour of the building and also got the chance to question our local MSP Iain Gray. We asked him several questions, including what he thought about independence, and his views on unemployment. Gray is against independence because he doesn’t believe that we could survive financially as a small country. However, he does support more power for the Scottish Parliament, which a lot of the pupils agreed with when he asked them for their opinion. Gray said that unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, was his biggest concern in politics at the moment, saying that there were a lot of people to blame for it and that he thought more people and political parties should work together on solving the problem. He also admitted to having felt very sleepy during some long debates in the debating chamber, but said that thankfully he had never actually fallen asleep during one! It was a great experience to see the Parliament and to question our representative, I would definitely recommend it to the S3’s next year! Rebecca Dalgleish S3

Enterprising Maths in Lothian Mr Habib entered a team of two S2 and S3 pupils into the Enterprising Maths Competition 2012 at Meadowbank. The pupils involved were: Eilidh McSherry, Jamie Bell, Greig Govenlock and Ruben Lancaster. The competition was divided into 5 stages; the first was a poster competition based around the theme of famous British mathematicians for which the pupils spent a few lunchtimes preparing. Other stages involved timed team challenges, mental challenges and a relay competition. I am pleased to report that North Berwick was an overall (all-time best) 9th out of 33 schools from the Lothians and we were the highest ranked school from East Lothian. Our team also scored the most points for the relay competition. Well done guys!

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford On 20th June a group of senior students once again be visited Stratford upon Avon to attend two performances of William Shakespeare’s plays. Following on from last year’s visit, this year students also experienced a back stage tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre before attending performances of Richard III and Julius Caeser. The pupils were accompanied by two members of staff, Mr Maxwell and Mr O’Donnell, the latter of whom also drove the minibus. Local Youth worker, Shiona Liddle of Inspire, also attended in her capacity as director of the NBHS production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Staff and pupils had as good a time as they experienced last year.

Music Results Elliot Glynn - Alto Saxophone - Grade 3 - Merit Thomas O'Brien - Alto Saxophone - Grade 3 - Merit Lindsay Hart - Clarinet - Grade 3 - Merit

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford


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Scottish Robotic Games Very early on Saturday 9 June, six intrepid members of the Young Engineers Club set off for the annual Scottish Robotic Games at Selex Galileo in Edinburgh. They had been working for over six months, building and testing their remote controlled buggies and were now ready to compete. There were forty other buggies at the event from schools and Air Cadet Units all across Scotland. For some it was their sixth games, for us it was our first! The buggies had to be checked, weighed and measured to make sure they were within the rules and working properly and safely. They are heavy enough to hurt someone if they went out of control. The first event at the competition was the assault course and NBHS were up first. Both of our buggies, TinTin and BlackJack, would be timed to see who was the best and to secure a place in the last eight. A squabble between the two buggies on the seesaw ramp saw team NBHS eliminated with a respectable 16th place out of 40. The next event saw BlackJack ‘sumo it out’ with other buggies. The valiant soldier dominated the first round nearly breaking another competitor’s buggy; unfortunately the last 16 saw BlackJack narrowly eliminated due to lack of power. After a hearty lunch, provided by the sponsors, we were ready to return to the arena for the football. In the football TinTin and BlackJack teamed up to take on the challenge. The first round was close with a last minute goal securing us the 3-2 win. The second round was very one sided with one of the opposition robots being a professionally built robot. It was inevitable that we would lose but we fought valiantly and took it down to penalty shootouts. Unclear instructions from the referee in the shootouts spelled the end of our football challenge, and we finished a respectable 5th. The last event of the day was the tug of war. This is where TinTin shone. Hamish and Steven’s brute of a buggy annihilated all in the first two rounds but the third defeated them. This elimination did not spell total defeat for TinTin as she was awarded a well-deserved 3rd place in the tug of war and her builders received bronze medals for their efforts. Overall both teams were pleased on how the day had gone and on their results. They came back full of ideas for improving their buggies and honing their driving skills for next year. All of this would not have been possible without the help of Mr McClintock who poured his own time into our ventures and for that we are incredibly grateful. Ciaran Carr

S3 Modern Studies fundraise for Rwanda The S3 Modern Studies students worked as a great team to organise and hold a fundraising afternoon and music gig for Rwandan children in the school hall in April, which raised a magnificent total of £925. This tied in with the Politics of Aid topic as part of their Standard Grade course. Former pupils Issy Ives and Kari Spence are currently in Rwanda working with the Fruits of Hope Academy in the capital, Kigali, and the S3s decided to help. The money raised is being used to buy school desks, sports equipment and art supplies. Miss Wright and Mr Docherty would like to thank all of the S3 Modern Studies students for their efforts, with special mention to the fundraising stall holders, and Beth Cameron and Becca Collins for working so hard to organise a brilliant music gig.


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Taking Learning Outdoors

After many months of planning and hard work the school’s new outdoor classrooms have arrived. With outdoor learning being a key area for development within the school, new teaching bases in the school grounds were desperately needed. In April Ruaridh Bennet, Jack Brown, Ben Currie, Craig Lyall, Gordon Ritchie, Lewis Reid, Mark Roberston and Dominic Spiden got involved in a project with The Ecology Centre from Kinghorn in Fife. The boys visited the Ecology Centre, learning new woodworking skills through building bird boxes to use in the school grounds. They also met some of the staff they would work with installing the new outdoor classrooms that were being prepared for us. During June, The Ecololgy Centre staff were on site working with the boys on the installations. The boys thoroughly enjoyed the experience, gaining many new skills to use in the future. The Ecology Centre Staff said they were delighted to have had the chance to work with the staff and pupils from North Berwick High School. They were very impressed with the effort the boys had put into the installation of the classrooms, and how friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic they had been. The result, as you can see is three fantastic outdoor learning bases within the school grounds. In the coming months the Eco Committee will be working hard with staff, developing the outdoor learning strategy for North Berwick High School. Our aim is to provide challenging experiences that stimulate learning using the natural and built environment outside the school walls.

Careers It is time to wish everyone who is moving on to work, training, college, university or a gap year all the very best and to remind them that they are welcome to contact me if they require any advice or information in the future. As part of our work we follow up all school leavers in September 2012 and again in March 2013 so please encourage them to reply and let us know their destination. As part of my input in school I try, wherever possible, to post lots of information on the careers blog and this includes information on vacancies, training opportunities, along with any talks I deliver (you can view a recent input to a 3rd year group here) and you can use the blog to post questions as well. You can also follow via twitter and the link is on the right hand side of the main page. Parents are a great source of information as well so please feel free to send me any vacancy or careers related materials you are aware of. To kick off the 2012/13 session I will start collecting information from S6 to make sure they are aware of the careers resources they may need in advance and this will be backed up with careers newsletters for S5 and S6 when they return and these will be posted as well. Can I ask all S6 who have not completed the online careers questionnaire to do so now. It only takes a few minutes and it really does help. On Wednesday 8 August from 2pm to 5pm a careers adviser will available at the North Berwick Youth Club to answer any questions you may have after the exam results are published. This is a drop in session and no appointment is necessary. I am available during July and August so use the blog or the contact details below to get in touch and I hope you have a good summer. The main Skills Development Scotland site to access all our services is here Mick Burns Careers Adviser mick.burns@sds.co.uk Tel: 0131 665 3120


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A Midsummer Night’s Dream On 13th, 14th and 15th June, a total of 29 pupils from various year groups took part in the school’s performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There were both school and public performances of this most famous of Shakespeare’s comedies, set amidst the glitz and glamour of 1950s New York. The production was directed by Inspire’s Shiona Liddle, assisted by Rachel Nelson of S6 and by Mr Maxwell of the English Department. Staff from the CDT and Art departments also provided invaluable ideas and practical assistance with staging. The actors’ hair was styled by the North Berwick High School Salon. Overall it was a fantastic educational experience and a great time was had by all.

The Fairies

The Lovers

The Mechanicals

S6 Senior Positions Warm congratulations to the following pupils who have been appointed to senior roles in school: Head Girl

Lara Frostwick

Depute Head Girl

Maggie Goodlad

Head Boy

Jordan Swanston

Depute Head Boy

Fergus Jones

Craig House Captains

Craig House Vice Captains

Helen Dooner

Nandini Nagra

Connor Cleary

Graham Swan

Fidra House Captains

Fidra House Vice Captains

Connie Dale

Matt Wallace

Findlay Glynn

Gregor Wood

Glen House Captains

Glen House Vice Captains

Rhona Thomson

Beth Pearson

Keira Wilkins

Andrew Black

Oliver Crowe

Peter Jeffries

Law House Captains

Law House Vice Captains

Nina Murdoch

Morag Ainslie

Kerry McAlpine

Euan Cragg

Grant Cowe

Dylan Sibbald

As there are two register classes in Glen and Law Houses, each House has six captains; Craig and Fidra, with just one register class, each have four captains. We have a super senior team and look forward to a very successful session 2012 – 13.


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New Lanark On the Wednesday of our activities week, we took the bus to New Lanark, a history experience about the cotton mills and Robert Owen’s input on the modern, now wool making business. Robert Owen bought New Lanark from the Dale family in 1800. He introduced lots of changes to improve the lives of those working and living in the village, such as: Abolishing the practice of employing young orphans. Offering children education instead of work, at such a young age. Making houses for his workers. Making sure everyone could get doctors and a few more, so that he could have good, happy people working for him. When we first arrived at New Lanark we went on the Annie McLeod Ride, which helped us understand more about the conditions of the workers’ lives before Robert Owen, and then how much improvement he made while he was the owner. After that, we went on a tour, where we saw the living conditions and the houses as they improved over the years, starting with ten to twelve people in one room, and ending at five to six per house. Next we went to see Robert Owen’s house, which was unusually in the same place as where all the workers lived, but it was quite a bit bigger and nicer than the rest. It had his study, drawing room, kitchen, bedroom and dining room. Afterwards we had lunch, and then went to the school house. We dressed up in what the children would have worn as their school uniform, and sat at the school benches and tried to draw on the slate boards, as they would have done. Finally we made our way to the gift shop and saw what they now make at New Lanark out of 100% Scottish wool, and looked at all the souvenirs. Once everyone had finished looking, we got back on the bus and went home. How long will it take Francis to master his ball and cup game we wonder?

Charities The Charities Committee has been busy throughout the year with events, dress down days, bake sales, sale of fundraising items and a Fun Day at the end of the spring term. The pupils have raised a total of £6008. At recent assemblies cheques for £1625 were presented to the two charities, Muirfield Riding Therapy and Help for Heroes as can be seen in the attached photographs. In addition cheques have recently been sent to Marie Curie (£750) and Teenage Cancer Trust (£450). This tremendous achievement is due to the hard work and enthusiasm of the committee. I should like to thank all pupils, present and past, and their parents for their tremendous support over the last twenty years of fundraising. I wish you the very best for the future. Mrs Macaskill


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Pupil Support The Department has had a busy Summer term to date which has seen an energetic activities week in May, farewell to some of our senior pupils and of course the end of the SQA exams. The activities week saw Support staff assisting on a number of the day trips and Mrs Barlow away on the PGL trip. The first day saw young people and staff taking part in the beach walk from Aberlady to North Berwick, a visit to Edinburgh Zoo and the highlight of seeing the pandas and closer to home taking part in the preparation for the school sports and hockey and football. Tuesday saw some young people visit Tynecastle to see the Hearts Football Ground and develop their football skills; also a visit to Glasgow Science Centre. The next day, Wednesday was another outdoor day with a beach barbeque, a treasure hunt, visit to New Lanark museum and participation in the ‘Mad Scientist’ at school. Thursday was supposed to be the school sports day for S1 and S2. However, it was cancelled due to wet weather. The young people were occupied by doing different activities in school which teachers organised. The S3 were fortunate enough to enjoy a visit to “Edinburgh Dungeons” and then to the cinema to see ‘The Avengers’ in 3D. Finally, Friday was a ‘Film’ activity for the S1 young people, house softball and football for the S2 and beach games and barbecue for the S3. All the young people who are supported took part in all the activities and had a really enjoyable week with all their friends. The Department has continued to invite various subject departments to the Support base for tea/ coffee and cake once a month on a Thursday interval. May saw the Business Education, RMPS, Computing, Home Economics, Music and Art teachers visit the Support base and enjoy the hospitality of Department. This month we will be inviting the Modern Languages, Guidance, PE, and Office Staff to enjoy some hospitality from the young people and Support teachers and assistants. May and June were very busy months for the Department as we supported many young people with their various SQA assessment arrangements; we hope these have assisted them in achieving their potential. Finally we would like to wish the S6 very best wishes with the next phase of their life, especially one young man, Graham. The S6 were super paired readers to the younger pupils and excellent class helpers, so thank you from us all in Support.


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SPORTS LEADERSHIP During the session 2011-12 we ran the Community Sports Leadership Award for the first time. The course culminated with the sports leaders utilising all their newly acquired skills and organising a series of events for Law primary school pupils. Their teacher Mrs McNiven made the following observations…….

“During these sessions I observed the sports leaders taking initiative and adopting a very assertive but fair and fun approach with the children. They were very organised and even when rain stopped play on the astroturf, they took it in their stride and moved smoothly and efficiently inside the sports centre. They had good rapport with the children and communicated the rules and expectations clearly to them. It was also very valuable for the children to work with such good role models for each sport.” Here is some feedback from the P5 children: “ I think they were very good at teaching and we learned something each time.” “I thought it was very good especially when it started raining and they still took us into the sports centre and carried on, it didn`t spoil our fun.” “I used to be really bad at rounders but I really liked soft ball and think I am good at it.” “They were very organised and it was always enjoyable.” “They sacrificed some of their time to work with us and I think that was kind of them.” “ They taught us like proper adults.” “ They were responsible and they helped us learn new sports.” “ They included tips that really helped you.” “ Although they were older they were kind to us and really made time to talk to us”. Twenty eight senior pupils successfully completed the award this year and I very much hope they continue their involvement in local clubs and activities so that they use their new skills to benefit the community as a whole. This course is proving very popular and we have a new cohort signed up for session 2012-13, a total of 38 pupils!


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Kidnapped On Thursday 3rd May, 25 lucky S1 and S2 pupils attended the production of ‘Kidnapped’, by Robert Louis Stevenson, at the Brunton Theatre. The play, adapted by the Cumbernauld Theatre, was enjoyed by everyone. Although there were many characters, there were only three actors, all of whom were very enthusiastic and expressive. The play was well rehearsed which made it a pleasure to watch. The fact that we got front row seats really immersed us in the drama. It felt like we could have been in any of the locations that the play was set in. Mrs Fleming’s class of S2 have been reading the book as well, which made the experience even more enjoyable. ‘Kidnapped’ is the tale of young Davie Balfour, a recently orphaned 17 year old who must set out to find his fortune. His search leads him to ‘House of Shaws’, owned by his mysterious uncle who Davie has never heard of. He soon finds out he is not welcome in his uncle’s company and is in great danger. The story takes us all over Scotland, telling tales of shipwrecks, Jacobite rebels and much more. The play was a great chance for pupils to improve their literacy and have fun as, for some, this was their first trip to the theatre. It was an adventure for all, one we would definitely do again. Daisy Chambers and Jamie Bell S2

S3 Day Activities On Monday we went to the zoo. We had to wait a while for the animal handling but it was really good when we got to hold the different animals and when we went in we nearly walked into a parrot on its cage because it was standing so still. Ross Patrick and Nick Thomson, ‘the hard guys’, nearly passed out when the snake was brought out. The pandas weren’t as good as expected as they were small and slept all day only one was awake. Tuesday was pretty good apart from relying on public transport. Hearts stadium at Tynecastle was cold but the training was fun. On Wednesday we went geocaching which was a lot more fun than expected as we got to run about Tyninghame looking for things that you couldn’t see. In the afternoon we did a scientist workshop where we made slime which went absolutely everywhere. Thursday was the best day as it was the most fun. We went to the dungeons and ‘the two hard guys’ nearly died with fear from the ghosts. The movie we saw in the afternoon was really good and indulging in sweets made it even better. Friday was staggered by the Scottish weather as we were meant to go to the beach but instead we had to play guitar hero in music and then have our bbq in HE but it was still a great end to an amazing week! Lewis Edgar and Hamish Barbour


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Fieldwork in the Geography Department Pupils in the Geography Department have recently enjoyed various fieldtrips. On a very cold and crisp December day the MER (Managing Environmental Resources) class enjoyed a visit to Torness Power station. This provided a very useful comparison with a visit to Aikengall Wind Farm in the Lammermuir Hills the previous month. Both are important – although in their own different ways- contributors to electricity generation in East Lothian. Pupils were able to draw their own conclusions about the benefits of both and how their impact on the local environment can be managed. The MER class had a grand finale to their course with a boat trip to Craigleith. Part of this course looks at how the environment in the local area can be used as a resource; the Firth of Forth is a valuable water resource which has the potential to be used as a lobster hatchery. Jane McMinn came to school to give a very informative talk to the class, then invited us all to see how lobsters are caught by local fishermen. Unfortunately the weather was against us; our proposed trip to the Bass Rock was curtailed to a very choppy “cruise” around Craigleith in an easterly gale on a very cold day in April! We were lucky enough to see lots of young seals, diving gannets and comical puffins, but it was far too rough to be hauling in lobster creels! We beat a hasty retreat to the shelter of the harbour to see the demonstration pools for the proposed hatchery before both pupils and staff turned even more green! Our sincere thanks to Jane from the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery for making this trip possible and we look forward to working with the Hatchery team over the coming years with the MER class. More recently, our S4 Geographers have enjoyed a gloriously sunny day of fieldwork along the coast, starting at the picturesque harbour of Cove, where the features of coastal erosion studied in the classroom can be so clearly seen. They looked briefly at the various land uses to the south of Dunbar: Torness, the cement works, the wind farms in the Lammermuir Hills and the landfill site. The locational factors for these important contributors to the East Lothian economy were discussed. The day finished at Belhaven Bay, where various features of coastal deposition can be seen. Conflicting land uses were identified, particularly those which cause severe damage to the fragile saltmarsh ecosystem and potential solutions to these conflicts were discussed. Thanks are due to Mrs Lawson, Mr McDowell and Mrs Skeldon for helping the Geography staff with this fieldwork, and to all of our S4 pupils for making this such a successful and enjoyable day out of the classroom! The various fieldtrips we have done this year just go to show how lucky we are in East Lothian to have so many opportunities on our doorstep. We look forward to many more trips next year!


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S3 Choose Your Own Highland Adventure Every year we have a number of S3 pupils who embrace the idea of a true, old-style adventure, striking out to do a variety of activities in their own backyard, so to speak. This year, adventure came in spades when the S3 Highland Adventure party formulated their very own adventure, full of remote beauty, rustic living and independent travel. Sea-kayaking to a remote Scottish bothy was the order of the day. Setting off on Monday morning, we kitted up at the ever-wonderful Outdoor Learning Department in Musselburgh before journeying onwards to Fort William. As ever with adventurous shenanigans, we just HAD to stop for fish’n’chips on the way and if you’ve ever eaten at The Real Food Café in Tyndrum, you’ll appreciate that this really was the best place to start an adventure! Later that evening the food shopping was done, youth hostel found and we were ready to focus on the next few days’ travel. The plan: to launch our boats at Lochailort jetty and paddle all of our kit – tents, stoves, food, etc. – round the headland to the Peanmeanach Bothy. This bothy, maintained by the Mountain Bothy Association, is the one remaining building amongst a half-dozen ruined shielings. It stands as a reminder of lives hard-lived in a wild and beautiful part of our country. What a joy to be there, and to be blessed with a more favourable weather forecast than we had anticipated. We pitched our tents, explored all around the bay, found a very little wood and made a fire in the bothy. The water around the peninsula jutting out East of Arisaig is pristine and we were able to collect mussels at low tide and cook them fresh on hot ash…delicious! By mid-week we were exploring further afield by sea, stopping on a number of rocky islands and white-sand beaches that are only accessible by sea (or a very long walk!). Our little group made a 3km crossing over open sea, feeling very exposed and very proud! We were joined at our bothy by an Outward Bound group for the final night. Jealously they peered at our wonderful boats – they had made their way to the bothy on foot with full back-packs, shunning the “easy” path in and travelling instead for 5 hours over rough terrain to our little Shangrila. We didn’t envy them – sea travel is definitely the way to go!! Or so we thought…travelling back to Lochailort into a headwind and persistent drizzle the next day gave us no little cause for second thought. But not for long. Tired but quietly satisfied with ourselves we reached Glencoe Youth Hostel. After a much-needed shower (phew!) we made our way to the wonderful Clachaig Inn for 3 courses of great grub. Fresh air certainly gives you an appetite! Unfortunately our spell of good weather had ended and plans to climb Buchaille Etive Mor on the Friday had to be canned due to snow. Enthusiastic as ever, our lads were undeterred and a decision was reached to climb at Ratho instead, on our way home.


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S3 Choose Your Own Highland Adventure contd. Throughout the week the boys who had chosen this S3 trip were cheerful, enthusiastic, considerate and simply great fun! The overall consensus was that they had achieved something that they had never done before, and visited a new place. They learned how to depend on each other, and how to depend on themselves, in a rugged and unforgiving environment. Each one of them showed great tenacity and resilience, especially on the Thursday morning when they had to start the day in the rain. They also learned how fantastically lucky we are to have such natural treasures so close to home and that, with an adventurous spirit and a bit of grit, their backyard can reveal some wonderful experiences. Thank you, boys, for making it such a great week! Grateful thanks go also to Mr Jones for showing the utmost courage and actually getting into a sea kayak, far less paddling it on the open seas! And, of course, to Martyn Pegg from Outdoor Learning. Without the support of the highly qualified staff at Outdoor Learning, such experiences as we had would be severely limited for our young people. Next year, I fervently hope to help another group of young explorers formulate their own Scottish Adventure. Places will be limited to a dozen so that we have the freedom to truly explore anywhere with no restrictions. So get your thinking caps on, S2! Where do you want to go? Miss Ritchie

Golf Trip Report On Monday 14th May nine boys, accompanied by Mr Young and Mrs Waddell set out westward to Stranraer, where, it must be added, there had been an inch of rain the previous day. However, this somewhat unnerving prospect was not to faze the group, who left with spirits high and confidence that a fantastic week of golf lay ahead. South West Scotland was not to disappoint. After a thoroughly enjoyable round at the picturesque and surprisingly dry Stranraer, we checked into the hotel and were met with a very pleasant surprise. Spacious rooms, leisure facilities including a swimming pool and jacuzzi, a games room of high standard and dining room fit for royalty with high class, five course meals at dinner and hearty cooked breakfast in the mornings to fuel our days. The other golf courses we played were superb and offered a variety of tests. All the guys rose to the challenge and played some outstanding golf, notably by the best golfer of the week winner, Daniel Darrie. A scenic drive home, via McDonalds obviously, wrapped up what had been a fantastic trip. Huge thanks from all the golfers must go to Mr Young and Mrs Waddell for all their hard work and organisation, transportation, and leadership. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable on all accounts and was made all the better by fairly good weather. James Fox


Summer 2012

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Parent Council News The Parent Council would like to thank everyone for taking time to complete the recent Parent Survey. The responses have provided very positive feedback on some issues as well as highlighting concerns in others. Early indications are that practically everyone is happy with SEEMIS as a form of communication and that 85% use the school website to find out information but would like access to more information. The greatest number of comments received were about lunchtime facilities, closely followed by comments on homework. A wide range of comments were made about the way achievements are recognised in the school with the majority satisfied but many issues were raised. We were also very grateful to receive 8 offers of occasional help with particular skills and issues. We will provide a fuller update on the survey early next term when we have completed the analysis. We have joined forces with Law Primary School Parent Council on the impact of the proposed housing development on the schools and met the Council about it earlier this year. North Berwick Trust, who hold the land in trust for the local community, turned down our request to meet to discuss the issues. We were invited along to a meeting with North Berwick Community Council and they have provided support regarding the impact on the school by writing to the Council but they feel that any concerns we have about the capacity of the school to accommodate the growth in school roll from the proposed 500 houses should be discussed directly with the Council. We were pleased to meet the new Councillors following the recent elections and they were able to provide some reassurances and we continue to discuss our concerns. Progress over the year has been very slow and your Parent Council remain concerned about the risk of the school becoming land locked by the Mains Farm housing development and road safety issues for pupils due to the significant increase in traffic forecast along Grange Road. The Parent Council also had an important role in the appointment of the new Depute, John Rutter. Following training for the purpose, we were represented at all stages in the appointment process and two of the five members sitting on the final Appointment Panel were from the Parent Council. We welcome John to the school and look forward to the contribution we are confident he will make to the future development of the school. This year we have attended East Lothian Area Parent Council meetings and we have built up a good rapport over the year with members from other Parent Councils. They have been an invaluable means of learning about how they deal with issues such as Curriculum for Excellence, Communication with parents, teaching of languages, etc. Following the highly successful careers convention that the Parent Council organised in 2011, we will discuss with the School Management Team which department will organise this in the 2012/13 session to ensure continuity. We have established a Skills for School database but we would like to expand this to include more trades and local companies to provide regular work placements for those pupils not fully engaging with the school. We would like to extend an offer to any local businesses to attend a Parent Council meeting and work with us to develop an understanding of the wonderful range of skills and abilities pupils have within the school and the opportunities this presents for them. As always, remember you are all welcome to attend any of our meetings (without becoming a member). Our next meeting is the AGM on Tuesday 25th September at 7pm at the school and we expect to confirm in the near future a particularly interesting presentation (details to follow). Parent Council meetings are held every 6 weeks during term time and we normally ask someone from the school or externally to make a short presentation about a current topic of interest, which in the past have included particularly interesting talks on Curriculum for Excellence, Outdoor Learning and Departmental teaching for particular subjects. We are putting together the programme for next year and will publish the programme on the website. We would really appreciate having a bank of people who we can briefly consult on particular issues we are dealing with once or twice a year, so if you feel you would be able to assist or wish to discuss any other issue please contact us as ParentCouncil@NorthBerwickHigh.elcschool.org.uk.


Summer 2012

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EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & CHILDREN’S SERVICES SESSION DATES 2012/13 AMENDED – 21 MAY 2012 TERM 1 In-service Day 1 In-service Day 2 Extra In-service Day (1) for Secondary Staff only Pupils Resume (Primary Schools only) Pupils Resume (Secondary pupils) September Holiday (schools closed for staff & pupils) Primary Staff & Pupils Resume Extra In-service Day (2) for Secondary staff only Secondary Pupils Resume All break (October break) October break In-service Day 3 Pupils Resume All break (Christmas)

Monday Tuesday Wednesday

13 August 14 August 15 August

2012 2012 2012

Wednesday Thursday Monday

15 August 16 August 17 September

2012 2012 2012

Tuesday Tuesday

18 September 18 September

2012 2012

Wednesday Friday Monday – Friday Monday Tuesday Thursday

19 September 12 October 15-19 October 22 October 23 October 20 December = 85 pupil days (primary) = 83 pupil days (secondary) = 88 Staff days

2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012

TERM 2 In-service Day 4 Pupils Resume All break February break All resume All break (Easter) Good Friday Easter Monday

Monday Tuesday Friday Monday – Friday Monday Friday Friday Monday

7 January 8 January 8 February 11 – 15 February 18 February 22 March 29 March 1 April = 49 pupil days = 50 staff days

2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013

TERM 3 All resume Spring holiday (Schools Closed) May Day (Schools Closed) All resume Victoria Day (Schools Closed) In-service Day 5 Pupils Resume Term ends

Monday Monday Monday Tuesday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Friday

8 April 15 April 6 May 7 May 20 May 21 May 22 May 28 June = 56 pupil days = 57 staff days

2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013 2013


Summer Newsletter 2012  

Summer Newsletter 2012

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