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Preston Lodge High School 30 June 2010 Issue 7

June Newsletter Inside this issue:

Dear Parent/Guardian School Update


School Inspection


Extra Curricular News






Session Dates 2010/2011 7 Important Dates


It is a pleasure to start this final newsletter of the year with news of our recent school inspection. In June, HMIE visited every department, observed fifty lessons and carried out a range of meetings with adults and young people. The feedback has been incredibly positive and a number of key strengths have been identified. The report will be published in September, but in the meantime I have provided a brief summary of HMIE feedback on page 4 of this newsletter and in a letter accompanying this mailing. Thank you to all staff, students and everyone connected with our school community for their support during the inspection - the school is in good heart for the work to come. Families will also find a detailed description of our amended school dress code in a separate letter. The letter details our approach to school uniform from August and we would ask you to have a careful look at its contents. I hope that all families will have a really good summer break. We can all reflect on a very successful year for the school and here’s hoping the good weather continues! Gavin Clark Head Teacher

Stage 2 2008-2009

Our packed assembly hall at 85th Anniversary celebrations

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School Update Staff Changes Congratulations to Barry Smith (PT Guidance) who has secured the post of Depute Headteacher at Kilwinning Academy. Barry has been with us for over 5 years and has gained the respect of staff and students through his dedication, integrity and openness. I would like to thank Barry for his contribution to Preston Lodge High School and whilst we regret losing such a talented member of staff we wish him every success in the future.

provide this service, but we will develop the skills of existing support staff to ensure that the needs of all students are met in the coming years. Many thanks to Hilary for her dedication and professionalism, and we wish well in her next steps. We have an enormous number of new staff joining us after the holiday and I will update you fully on these appointments in the first newsletter of next year. Additional In-service Day The Scottish Government has arranged for all schools to have an extra in-service day next session and East Lothian Council has selected Tuesday 26 October for their schools. This will give staff time to work on Curriculum for Excellence and further develop school approaches to assessment. School Dress Code

Barry Smith

We also bid farewell to Hilary Hall in our English department. Hilary has only been with us for one year and is now retiring from teaching after a long and successful career in education. We have enjoyed working with you, Hilary, and wish you well. We say goodbye this June to a number of probationers who were with us this year. Catherine McClean, Sean McFleat, Rebecca Middleton, Geoff Nicholson, Clare Parker and Tom Wallace have all played a part in our school’s progress and we wish them all the best for the future. Many have already secured jobs elsewhere, and we are delighted that Ruth Chadwick (Biology) will remain with us next year. Liz Nicoll (Home Economics) will also leave us this summer, but only for a year. Liz has been seconded to Learning and Teaching Scotland developing approaches to Food and Nutrition. Finally, Hilary Kennell, our School Counsellor for the last five years, leaves us this summer. Due to budgetary constraints we are no longer able to

I have distributed a letter to all parents along with this newsletter outlining our uniform expectations for next session. As promised, we have made some adjustments as a result of a consultation process initiated by our Student Council. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this consultation and would ask all families to take steps to ensure that all of our students are adhering to the new school dress code in August. Aims and Values As a result of inspection workload we recently decided to launch our new Aims and Values slightly later than planned. The consultation with students had to be postponed and we will now carry this important work out in early September. This is a key piece of our school improvement plan and I will contact all families with details of our new Aims and Values as soon as possible in the new term. Again, many thanks to all who contributed to the consultation. Mathematical Challenge Congratulations go to two students who performed tremendously well in the Scottish Maths Council's Mathematical Challenge. Cameron Wyllie (S2) and Darren Watson (S6) both won Bronze awards in this very challenging competition run by university Maths departments. Both boys worked really hard for these awards well done!

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Enterprising Maths Competition Julia Gribben (S2), Rebecca McArthur (S2), Brodie Sandilands (S3) and Amy Kerr (S3) recently represented the school at the annual Enterprising Maths competition, competing against forty schools from across the Lothians. The first event was to create a poster with a chess theme and answer four problem questions, and our team came second in this event. Well done! The team acquitted themselves well throughout the day and were very enthusiastic! 85th Anniversary On Thursday 10th June, Preston Lodge High School held a coffee evening to celebrate its 85th session. Tickets for the event sold out and more than 200 people attended. Among the former students, was Mr James Smith, 95 years old, who joined PL in 1926! He was given the honour of cutting the birthday cake. Former staff also attended. The music department delighted the audience with music from the last 85 years, and this was followed by speeches and the first viewing of the PL reminiscence film, "PL Homecoming", made by the S2 Film Club and a professional film maker. A new display of old school photographs and tours of the school proved very popular as well as lots of coffee and delicious cakes! A new interpretation board has also been erected outside the front door telling students, staff and visitors to the school about the history of Preston Lodge. The PL spirit was at its best and the film will be on sale any day now. Please see our website for photos of the evening and thanks to all who supported it. Louise Marr

Scottish Education Awards We were delighted to reach the finals of this year’s Scottish Education Awards for Health and Wellbeing. Although we did not pick up the big prize we were runners up, receiving a cheque for £500 and we were the only Scottish secondary school to be represented in that category.

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The judges were impressed that Preston Lodge was not resting on the laurels of its achievements to date and stated “they are adapting their current practice to develop a focused approach towards health and wellbeing". Two members of staff and three students attended the glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow and had a ball! It was a spectacular event, hosted by Jackie Bird and Romeo, with a performance from Daniel Johnston (of X-Factor fame). Thank you to all staff, students and partner agencies who made it possible for us to get through to the finals, with a special mention to Liz Nicoll who keeps the Health and Wellbeing Group motivated and on track. We're already planning our nomination for next year!

At the Awards! Mrs Nicoll, Mrs Robertson Hollie Salmon, Ashton Ritchie, Amie-Jayne Russell

Politics in Action! In response to an S2 Modern Studies class writing to our new MP for East Lothian Fiona O’Donnell MP and Iain Gray MSP recently spent time with students at Preston Lodge. On 18 June they held a Question and Answer session in the Assembly Hall with students from S2,4 and 5. Fiona and Iain introduced themselves and outlined their backgrounds and how they became involved in politics. They also spoke about their jobs and gave examples of their daily routines. The students then asked a variety of questions on topics such as independence, women's representation, ethnic minority representation as well as some controversial points being made by Jamie Walker in S5! Our guests gave some interesting answers and seemed happy to deal with even the toughest of issues. Fiona and Iain have pledged to come back in to Preston Lodge

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and work with smaller groups in a similar way. They were very impressed by the knowledge of the students involved and thanked them for their welcome and friendliness.

term on how we have spent the money. Anyone wishing to join the PL 2000 Club can do so by collecting a form from the school office. We could not provide so many extras for our students without your support. Thank you once again.

Students were also encouraged to offer their own views at any time to either of our representatives. Indeed, Iain highlighted the redevelopment planned for our coastline and the fact that any ideas on how this can meet the needs of local people would be very much welcomed. I am sure that our Modern Studies students will rise to the challenge!

V Donaldson

Our Whole School Project

Grace McGeachie

Our 5K Walk

S1 and S2 Health Days

Our Prizegiving Ceremony

Recent School Events The school has recently held an enormous number of events which have involved many staff, students and families. Just some of these are…

… and many, many more. Full details of all of these events can be found on our school website.

School Inspection HMIE visited our school for five days between the 14th and 18th June this year. Although the final report will be published in September I would like to share some of the inital messages with all families. Chloe Reid, Lucy Pollock, Marwan Chouh, Iain Gray MSP, Fiona O’Donnell MP, Taylor McKillop, Thomas Stevenson, Scott Robertson and Ms McGeachie.

Health and Wellbeing - another success! We are delighted to announce that following a visit by a panel of judges we have been awarded Level 3 Accreditation for Health Promoting Schools. The panel met with staff, students and the Chair of our Parent Council and were impressed by everything they saw and heard. On a tour of the school they commented that our school was not like other secondary schools they visited and could not quite believe the quality of display work around the corridors.

School inspectors were very impressed with Preston Lodge High School. Indeed, they described our young people as ‘amazing’. They saw that young people were very proud of their school and we were delighted that they did not witness any incidents of poor behaviour throughout the week. HMIE have already told us that our report will be positive, and that there will be no need for them to return to the school. We collaborated with HMIE on our own action points for the report, because they are confident in our ability to prioritise development work within the school. This is a massive accolade for the whole school community.

Thanks to the Health and Wellbeing Group for putting together the submission.

Although the precise wording may change between now and publication it is likely that the key strengths of Preston Lodge High School that will be identified are;

PL 2000 Club

The improving ethos of the school

May we take this opportunity to thank all our parents, staff and friends for their support over this last term. We have a healthy balance of £6925. Lots of requests have been made by departments and we will update you in the new

The high levels of staff morale

Strong leadership

The contribution of young people

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• •

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The work of all our staff in supporting students The quality of student work

We are all on a journey which will turn Preston Lodge from a good school to a great school and the inspection report provides us with a launch pad for future improvements, because our confidence in the way we work has been confirmed. I have written separately to all parents with further details of the outcomes and look forward to sharing the final report with you in September.

Sports What a sporting year it has been for teams and individuals representing Preston Lodge High School! We have gone from one success to another and you just need to look at the notice boards in the PE Department to see the range of events that we were involved in. Our main team successes this year have been; Scottish Schools U19 Badminton champions East Lothian S2 Girls Hockey champions East Lothian Golf champions East Lothian Cross Country champions Youth Games runners-up

Extra Curricular

Six 1st places and thirteen 2nd places at the County Athletics Rugby SRU Champions Gold Award


East Lothian S1 Badminton champions

Congratulations to Euan Cameron, Alexander Caughey, Andrew Morgan and Fraser Whillans for successfully representing Scotland at the school World Badminton Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria last month. The boys performed extremely well, beating Portugal and France on their way to an 11th position in the final rankings. Many thanks to Christine Black for all her efforts in supporting the boys, and further details of their exploits can be found on the school website.

East/Mid Lothian U19 Badminton champions

Duke of Edinburgh Events are now drawing to a close for this academic year. The Silver group have just returned from a very intense expedition into the Pentland Hills where they camped at Bonaly Scout Camp, which was a first for us and a very different experience from the Bronze award. We counted them out and counted them in again, some having caught more than a little sun! We will, of course, be launching the Bronze award with the new S3 in August/September and continue a packed expedition programme on return in the new academic year. A massive thank you to all the staff both in and out of school who have made the Duke of Edinburgh Award both possible and successful this year. F Kiernan

East/Mid Lothian U14 Badminton champions U15 Scottish Schools Rugby Plate quarter final lists Our main individual successes this year have been; Peter Louden, Scottish U19 800m champion Fraser Whillins, Scottish U15 badminton squad Matthew Banks, U18 Scottish Schools Football squad Danny O’Rourke, U16 Scottish Schools Football squad Kirsty Edwards, U15 Scottish Girls Basketball Rising stars to look out for in 2010/11 are; Fraser Johnston – Golf Michael McKirdy – Rugby Liam Tervet – Boxing Reece Cochrane – Football The PE Department would like to thank all the students for their hard work and enthusiasm in training and competition and we look forward to even more success in 2010/2011. Lindsey Pike

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Ecuador 2011 June has been a very successful month for us in terms of fundraising. 7th June - Mr Spence’s Sports Meal kicked us off with a massive cash injection. Local sports celebrities gave freely of their time and money to attend and make this a real money spinner. The auction of signed rugby tops, rugby balls and rounds of golf completed the afternoon’s proceedings nicely. 12th June – Port Seton and Cockenzie Gala Day had the Preston Lodge Ecuador 2011 group as the resident caterers! The sunshine brought the crowds out and mountains of home baking ensured no one went hungry. The event was well attended by students and their supportive parents. More cash flowing into the coffers!

21st June – Bagpacking in Asda’s Dunbar store and Longniddry Gala Day. Fundraising now reaching fever pitch. All hands on deck! Friday 25th June – Family fun evening led by Gary Coupland. Fun for all the family – Grandparents to Grandchildren and everyone in between! Gary is a multi-talented musician and performer. He belongs to a group whom you may have heard of, a small group who achieved some success – The Singing Kettle!!! We are particularly indebted to Gary for giving of his time so freely. It is quite a coup to have someone of such popularity and national prominence helping us out. A great way to end a very hectic few weeks fundraising. Again, any businesses who feel keen to support us in return for some advertising, please contact the school to discuss. More events are in the pipeline and no doubt when we return in August, the ovens will be fired up, home baking by the tray load and the next stage of fundraising will begin. Watch this space! F Kiernan

Tea tent at Port Seton and Cockenzie Gala Day

13th June - No rest for the wicked! The following day under grey skies, the first of hopefully many car boot sales took place. Well attended again, even with the dreich weather. Hopefully the weather will improve for the next one in August.

Car Boot Sale

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EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL Department of Education & Children’s Services School Session Dates 2010/2011 *Revised School Session Dates with extra in-service day for staff on Wednesday 18 August 2010 and Tuesday 27 October 2010 Staff

Pupils TERM 1

Staff Resume

Staff Break Autumn Holiday Staff Resume Staff Break Staff Resume

Staff Break

Monday 16 August 2010 Tuesday 17 August 2010 *Wednesday 18 August 2010

Thursday 19 August 2010 Friday 17 September 2010 Monday 20 September 2010 Tuesday 21 September 2010 Friday 15 October 2010 Monday 25 October 2010 Tuesday 26 October 2010

Wednesday 27 October 2010 Thursday 23 December 2010

= 88 days

(In-service day 1) (In-service day 2) Extra in-service Day – Curriculum for Excellence Pupils Resume Pupils Break Pupils Resume Pupils Break (In-service day 3) Extra in-service Day – Curriculum for Excellence Pupils Resume Pupils break

(End of Term 1)

= 83 days TERM 2

Staff Resume Staff Break Staff Resume Staff Break = 60 days Spring Holiday Good Friday Easter Monday

Monday 10 January 2011 Tuesday 11 January 2011 Friday 11 February 2011 Monday 21 February 2011 Friday 8 April 2011

(In-service day 4) Pupils Resume Pupils Break Pupils Resume Pupils Break

(End of Term 2)

= 59 days Monday 18 April 2011 Friday 22 April 2011 Monday 25 April 2011 TERM 3

Staff Resume May Day Holiday Staff Resume Victoria Day Staff Resume

Staff Break

Tuesday 26 April 2011 2 May 2011 Tuesday 3 May 2011 Monday 23 May 2011

Pupils Resume May Day Holiday Pupils Resume Victoria Day

Tuesday 24 May 2011 Wednesday 25 May 2011

Thursday 26 May 2011 Friday 1 July 2011

Schools Closed Schools Closed (In-service Day 5) (In-service Day 6)Curriculum for Excellence Day

Pupils Resume Pupils Break

= 47 days

= 45 days

Total – 195 days

Total – 187 days

(End of Term 3)

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Dates for Your Diary! To see our online calendar go to the School Calendar tab on

Thursday 1 July

Last day of Term—All Break for Holidays HOLIDAY

Monday 16 August

In-service Day 1

Tuesday 17 August

In-service Day 2

Wednesday 18 August

Extra In-Service Day

Thursday 19 August

Students return to school

Friday 17 September

Staff and Students break

Monday 20 September

Autumn Holiday

Tuesday 21 September

Staff and Students resume

Friday 15 October

Staff and Students break

Monday 25 October

In-service Day 4

Tuesday 26 October

Extra in-service Day

Wednesday 27 October

Students resume

Thursday 23 December

Staff and Students break

PLHS Newsletter June 2010  

The final Newsletter for session 2009/10. from Preston Lodge High School