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Preston Lodge High School 18 December 2009 Issue 3


Inside this issue:

School Updates


Extra Curricular


School Events


BBC Come to Preston Lodge!


Links with Community


Christmas Food




The Music Man


Christmas Past at PL


School Session Dates 2010-2011


Newsletter Dear Parent/Guardian Welcome to our Christmas newsletter. This edition has a very Christmassy feel and shows just how much has taken place in the school since the November newsletter. Preston Lodge is a great place to be at Christmas. We have had two wonderful Christmas concerts attended by many members of the community, a senior citizens’ tea party, a number of Christmas activities in classes and an enormous talent competition still to come on the last day of term. All of this is set against a backdrop of fantastic Christmas decorations, coordinated by Moira Pow, Vera Hoban and her team, and Jim Cramb. I am sure all visitors to the school this month will have been delighted by what they have seen – it really does lift the feel of the building. Students are still busy in classes and will be so up until the final days of term but we are all ready for a battery recharge and a chance to gather our thoughts for the new term. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our staff, students and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that you have a peaceful break.

Gavin Clark Head Teacher

Stage 2 2008-2009

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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School Updates

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Staffing update

In our November newsletter there were a couple of errors. Please note that the Senior Dance actually takes place on Monday 21 December and that students resume after the February holiday on Tuesday 23 February, (not 22 February as stated).

This month we bid farewell to Andy Arnot from our history department. Andy has taught history at Preston Lodge High School for 22 years and staff and students will really miss his good humour and knowledge. We have also appointed three new temporary staff: Alexander Redford (Modern Studies), Mhairi Walker (Biology) and Jacqui Thomson (Support for Learning). We welcome them into the school.

Mobile Phones

School Car Park

We have recently experienced some problems with students receiving phone calls from their parents during classtime. All families should always telephone the school office (811170) if they would like to speak to their child. Mobile phones should always be switched off when a student is in class.

If you are collecting your child from the rear car park, please avoid the bus turning point as this could prove hazardous to pupils. Thanks for your cooperation.

Diary Changes

School Uniform All parents should now have received a copy of the uniform letter. If you did not receive this letter from your child then you can access a copy of it on the home page of our website – On a separate point, we have recently received a number of queries regarding PL ‘hoodies’ and whether these can be worn in class. Although these items are very popular they do still count as an outdoor jacket and should not be worn during lessons. Whole school project This year’s whole school project will take place week beginning Monday 24 May and will see a range of different subjects offering experiences based around the theme of ‘Italy’. This work will link us with our primary colleagues and will culminate in much of their students’ work being displayed in the school. Watch this space for further information! S5 prefects As mentioned in the last newsletter we now have forty S5 students who are carrying out prefect duties around the school to great effect. A big thank you to the students who put themselves forward for this important work – all S5 and S6 prefects will be trained in conflict resolution in January.

Quiz Night 2010 The student Enterprise Team are holding a quiz night from 7-9 pm on Thursday 14 January. Fancy testing your general knowledge? Enter a team of 6 people for £10, with all proceeds going to the S6 fund. A range of prizes are on offer, refreshments will be provided and tickets are available from the school. For more information contact 0131 208 0106. Burns Supper 2010 The annual Burns Supper and ceilidh will be held on Thursday 28 January at 6.30 pm. It is open to S6 students, parents and staff, and tickets costing £10 will go on sale from the school office from 11 January. Rotary Young Musician This years Rotary Young Musician Competition will be held in the Music Department on Friday 15 January. This event is open to all students from S3-S6. There are two categories, vocal and instrumental, and prizes are awarded to the top three participants in each. Longniddry Musical Concert The senior student musicians of Preston Lodge will be performing at Longniddry Parish Church on Friday 29 January at 7.30 pm. This event offers students an opportunity to perform examination pieces in front of a large audience prior to SQA exams. Tickets, (£3) are on sale from the Music Department in school.

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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Extra Curricular Scottish Mathematical Challenges. Well done to Iain Richardson, Darren Watson (both S6) and Cameron Wyllie (S2) who all did really well in round 1 of the Scottish Mathematical Challenge. 55 of our S5/6 students also entered the UKMT maths challenge in November. Daniel Rolland (S6) got the best score in the school and achieved a silver award. Ka Ki Kong, Laura Kerr (both S6) and Bethany O Neill (S5) also achieved silver awards while Sean Coyle, Vikki Laughlan, Alexander Mitchell, Lewis Johnston, Jack Stirling (all S6), Paul Keiller, Stephen Huish and Zheng Gao (all S5) achieved bronze awards. Well done to all students who took part! Debating Well done to Michael Hill and Bronwyn O'Neill (both S2) who took part in the Donald Dewar Debating competition on 10 December at St Mary's Music School, proposing ‘highly that Britain should opt out entertaining of the European Union. As novices up against two S6 and pupils from George Watengaging’ son's (who had five years of experience!) they gave an excellent performance. The judges commented that they," had panache", were, "highly entertaining and engaging", and would be, "stars of the land in the future". Daniel Holmes (S4) won the prize for best floor speech and summed up the night by saying," We might not have won...but we were certainly the stars." Hear, hear Daniel! Sports update The school rugby teams have high numbers training on a regular basis, and although the weather has disrupted a lot of matches the games that have taken place have been exciting. Our S1 players have tripled in numbers already this year, as word spreads about the fun and success the squad are having. Key players so far are Aiden Davies, David Singer and Craig McKirdy. The team are always on the look out for new players. The S2's are now starting to understand what is needed to be a successful rugby team, and are looking to take the next step

forward in their rugby development. Stand out players this year have been Cameron Simpson, Tyler Byrne and Adam Cherry. The S3 team started the year with mixed results but have improved due to consistent numbers training hard. In the Scottish Plate, having beaten St Columba's (Glasgow), the boys are still in the cup after Christmas….well done! Our S1 and S2 badminton teams have played in East Lothian competitions with two great results. The S2 side finished second out of six East Lothian secondaries. The S1 side played the following week, finished first and won all their matches throughout the tournament. This was a great result and a credit to all the students. School basketball has picked up with more students attending and teams participating in East Lothian competitions. The girls’ basketball team were narrowly defeated by a strong North Berwick team before beating Knox Academy girls 36-10. The boys’ and girls’ teams also had a home match against Craigmount High School in December. The girls won in style and the boys were narrowly defeated. Both teams performed really well and can start their next match with confidence. The hockey teams have continued their early season success with good wins against tough opposition. With four teams playing regular fixtures the successes will hopefully continue into the New Year. Watch this space for more details in a future newsletter. The school’s football teams have had a mixed season so far. The Seniors and Under-16s are progressing through the Scottish Cup, but unfortunately the Under-14s were beaten 4-2 by West Calder. The Senior boys progressed to Round 4 with a 2-0 win then went on to play St Augustine’s, winning 4-3 in extra-time. They now travel to Glasgow for the next round. The under 16s progressed with a great 2-1 win against last year’s finalists, Leith. This set up a home tie against George Heriots, which the boys won 6-3. There have been outstanding performances throughout the cup runs, and special mention must go to Daniel O’Rourke and Matthew Banks who have been selected for the Scotland National team at Under-16s and Under-18s level. Well done boys! Thanks to all coaches, parents and players for their ongoing support.

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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School Events Christmas Fair On 1 December Miss Angus’s S3 Hospitality class organised a Christmas Fair along with the Parent Council. The students had prepared in advance by making various Christmas craft items and tasty food to serve members of the community, staff & students with the aim of raising funds to improve the school. Stalls included home baking, wooden crafts, Christmas decorations, cards, books and cosmetics. Over £800 was raised through this event for school trips & activities.

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Christmas Concert Our annual Christmas concerts, a key event for the school and the communities we serve, took place on December 8 and 9 this year. Two packed houses watched a range of soloists, bands and choirs perform an amazingly diverse range of music. One member of the audience, a teacher for 40 years, suggested ‘that was by far the best school Christmas concert I have ever seen!’ Many thanks to Chris Bishop, Gail Lugton, Claire Parker and Linda Sinclair in the music department, all our music instructors, and all the other staff and the 240 (yes, 240!) students that helped to make this such a fantastic event. You can see more pictures of this on the school website.

Wooden Crafts—CDT

Children in Need Port Seton in Bloom

Tea and Coffee area Senior Citizens Party

After a fun filled day of fancy dress, head shaving, leg waxing and general fundraising a grand total of £1051 was raised by the school for Children in Need. This is a truly fantastic achievement and everyone involved did a fantastic job showing just how charitable the students and staff of Preston Lodge really are. In Modern Languages S1 students took part in the annual Pudsey Drive to pile in the pennies for Pudsey! Students and French teachers gave generously, while speaking French and having fun.

On Thursday 10 December we welcomed 60 senior citizens into the school for afternoon tea, a prize draw and a chance to hear some of the best bits from the Christmas concert. This event allowed our Home Economics and Music students to share their skills with the wider community, and great fun was had by all. ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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In the evening 12 lucky S6 students made the trip through to the BBC studios in Glasgow to present a cheque and be filmed as part of the live broadcast. En-route to the studios they contacted the Chris Evans Radio 2 programme, explaining how the school had raised money and in the closing moments of the show Preston Lodge got a mention. If you have a look at our website you can see the students playing Russian Roulette with raw and boiled eggs on national TV and having their pictures taken with top celebrities such as Des Clark, Gray O’Brien (Tony Gordon in Coronation Street) and Miss Scotland A great deal of fun raising money for good causes. Well done


BBC Come to Preston Lodge!

On Friday 4 December, BBC Radio Scotland broadcast their weekly topical news and discussion programme “Brian Taylor’s Big Debate” from the Assembly Hall at Preston Lodge. This was the first time that the programme had been broadcast from a school so it was a real honour for us. The panel were: Margo MacDonald, Independent MSP, Keith Brown, MSP, Malcolm Chisholm, MSP, David Watt, Director of the Institute of Directors and Clive Fairweather, former Chief Inspector of Prisons. Brian managed our famous five, and they got some great questions from an enthusiastic audience. Anyone who would like to listen to the broadcast can find it on our website. Below— Senior pupils with the BBC panel and Brian Taylor

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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Links with Community Modern Studies S3 Meet the Elderly of Prestonpans! November saw the visit of an S3 Standard Grade Modern Studies class to Harlawhill Day Centre for the Elderly. The students’ course includes a topic covering the elderly, which looks at all aspects of getting older and the sort of support which is provided for elderly people with health problems. The group were made very welcome and were able to spend time chatting in small groups with some of those who attended. The students enjoyed being able to have this direct contact and took advantage by asking lots of excellent questions. Feedback from the staff indicated that those involved had enjoyed the input from the young people and they are always happy to welcome people from Preston Lodge. The class have since written a thank you and intend to pass on some goodies. A very valuable experience for all which further allows Preston Lodge to build on its positive links with the local community. Home Economics Senior Citizens’ Concert

Rotary Young Chef Competition 2009 Friday 4 December saw 5 finalists from Preston Lodge Home Economics department compete in the school final of the Rotary Young Chef Competition 2009/10. The students created a fantastic array of dishes to tempt the judges’ taste buds. The standard was exceptionally high. Colin & Sarah (McKirdy's Steakhouse, Edinburgh), who judged the competition were excellent with the youngsters throughout, giving constructive feedback at the judging and, most importantly, praising them all. Actually the 'praising' part was easy since the standard was so high, but nevertheless was wellmerited. Following heats S2 students Eilidh Alexander, Tansu Mowat and Isla Macaskill, and S4 students Rebecca Atkins and Sean Gaffney emerged as finalists. The winner was Rebecca, with Isla the runner up and both received vouchers from Longniddry Rotary Club and go on to represent the school at the zone final on 11th January at Beeslack High School. Well done to all who entered!! Our thanks to Longniddry Rotary for their support throughout, especially Mr Gordon Smillie

Mrs Nicoll’s S3 hospitality class coordinated the refreshments for this year’s Senior Citizen concert afternoon (see earlier). They prepared Christmas Goodies and gathered contributions for the raffle hampers. A great experience in organising and running an event. Partnership working The same class are also working with P3 students at Prestonpans Infant school preparing for their Christmas party on 21 December. Seven students have visited the infant school to discuss with the P3 students what they need for their party and what games they will organise. A great opportunity to link with one of our cluster schools. Hopefully more opportunities will be created through this partnership. Head Teacher, judges and competitors.

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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Christmas Food It’s that time of year when cooking and eating tasty food is going on all over the country, and our staff and students are doing their bit…… … by cooking…. Fifteen of our staff have enjoyed preparing for the Christmas festivities in recent weeks. They have made their Christmas Pudding, discovered a whole array of wonderful vegetable dishes, and made and decorated a Christmas Cake in the after-school cookery class. Some of their efforts will be displayed on the school website shortly. … and eating! Our annual Christmas two course lunch for staff took place on Thursday 17 December, prepared and served by our senior Hospitality students. The food was restaurant standard fare, and here is the menu the students produced! Chicken breast stuffed with wild mushrooms and bacon OR Creamy Leek and camembert tartlets Both served with seasonal roasted winter vegetables Chocolate torte served with raspberry coulis and ice cream

chocolate hamper (prepared by Mrs Muir). This behemoth continues to draw looks of awe and wonderment from both students and staff. With over £100 of chocolate and assorted goodies it will keep even the most ardent chocoholic busy until at least the New Year (2011!!). Drop some cash into the school if you fancy your chances of winning this - £1 per ticket or £2 for three. As we go to print, the group are looking at planning their first group development day with representatives from Outlook Expeditions. A few students entered the Great Santa Run in Edinburgh (Sunday 13 December) and a hardy (misguided?) few are participating in the annual 'Loony Dook' on 1 January at South Queensferry (register from 9:30-11:30 am, Swim starts at mid-day). Again, if anyone finds themselves at a loose end, feel free to come and join us. Sponsor forms are available at school. The party of 24 students continue to take advantage of every available opportunity for personal and group fundraising. Other ideas at the early planning stages include ceilidhs (several!), a South American night (Pan pipes and Panama Hats optional!), a charity auction, car-boot sale, family fun-day (provisionally booked for Friday 21 May 2010), half-marathons, and bag packing. Regular updates will be made available via the school website and when dates are finalised they will be publicised. We look forward to welcoming you to one (or more!) of our fundraising events Allin samiyuq kay!



Roasted clementines with caramel sauce and ice cream

The Ecuador 2011 Team.

Tea/coffee and tablet.

Ecuador 2011 The coffers received a welcome boost with the fruits of our efforts from the Christmas Fayre. Our busy stall, sold home-baking, homemade Christmas decorations and cards and did a neat line in chilli jam. The efforts were a real testament to the dedication of both the parents and students involved. We raised just short of £500 with more still to come from the raffle of the ‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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The Music Man

Since then they’ve been well attended and exceptional events. How do you think the concerts go, overall? The feedback we get from the concerts is really, really good; people seem to love it. The students have a great time. I think the concerts are very, very successful and a really good experience for students.

This newsletter sees our intrepid team tracking down the man who coordinates our amazing Christmas concerts! What influenced you in the first place to put on the Christmas concert? The Christmas concert has been running for a lot longer than me at this school, and it is a tradition that goes on at the school every year. It’s a great event for students to get involved in and for their parents and members of the community to see what the music department and the students have to offer. In preparation for the Christmas concert, what do you enjoy doing least? All the organisation that goes on behind the scenes, all the paper work, having to put out lists of students taking part to staff, having to book everything. Basically everything that’s not actually seen at the concert. What do you enjoy doing best? Working with students in preparation for the concert, and watching how the music progresses. In your opinion, what year has been the best? Why? This year was the best. Because of the amount of work and commitment that went into it from all students and staff the whole event was wonderful and every year just seems to get better and better. What year has been the worst, in your opinion? Why? The worst year was when we didn’t have a Christmas concert, due to renovations that were going on in the school. That was pretty bad.

Do you like the Christmas period, or are you a Scrooge? I’m most definitely a scrooge. No question about that. The Christmas concert is the hardest part of my job. It’s incredibly tiring. I’m too old to enjoy Christmas, and if Christmas disappeared, it would not bother me. Gosh. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas? The end of Christmas. (Laughs) And being well fed by my mother. What do you usually do on Christmas Day? Get well fed by mother (laughs) and sit about watching TV. What’s your favourite Christmas number one? My favourite Christmas number one would be ‘Stay Another Day’ by East 17. What’s the best present you’ve ever got? Skis and boots. Yes, I really enjoy skiing, and when I was very, very young I was given skis and boots. I was only about 7 or something. When you were at school, did you perform in concerts? I performed in concerts from the age of about 7. I’ve been in more concerts than I can remember. I performed in many types of concerts: Christmas concerts, pantomimes, end of term shows. So yes, lots. And to finish off, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this year’s Christmas concert? 11. Ellen Whillans, Kirsty McLeod and Christie Sinclair

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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Christmas Past at PL

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17 December 1943 At a meeting of the staff it was decided to institute a fund as a memorial to the late Rector, Mr Miller, to establish a prize to be called the Andrew H Miller Prize.

In Preston Lodge High School’s 85th session we looked through the school’s first log book to see how students and staff spent December many years ago.

20 December 1943

22 December 1924

27 December 1944

A school party was held for classes II, III and IV in the Parish Church Hall today from 3.30 to 7pm. The arrangements were carried through under the supervision of Miss Smith. About 80 students were present.

A Former Students’ Dance was held in the school at which were present several FPs on leave from HM Forces. (Note the date – school events didn’t stop for the holidays!)

24 December 1924 The school closed at 1.45pm today for the Christmas vacation. (What a late finish!) 21 December 1925 Owing to a heavy fall of snow the county roads are blocked and the attendance has fallen to 169. The Ormiston bus brought in 15 students, but the Pencaitland bus had to return empty as the road was completely blocked to traffic. 24 December 1930 School closed for Xmas vacation at 1.15pm, a double attendance being marked. Staff Dance held on Friday 19, Senior Students’ on Saturday 20 and 3rd year on Monday 22 December. 1 December 1933 Performance of The Merchant of Venice given in Gym by the Osiris Players. All students assembled in Gym at 1.30 and performance lasted till 4pm – a most successful experiment.

Classes IV, V and VI hleld their annual party in the Gymnasium from 5.30 pm to 10 pm. (A long do!)

17 December 1946 The Literary and Debating Society presented two plays in two performances: 1. to school in afternoon and 2. to parents in the evening. 23 December 1948 School closed for Christmas vacation at 3.15pm. Mrs Hattan and Miss Fisher ceased duty, having resigned, Mrs Hattan for domestic reasons, Miss Fisher as she is soon to be married. (In those days women could not remain as teachers if they got married!) 20 December 1950 The school attended divine service (Carol Singing) in Preston Parish Church. Service was conducted by Rev. W Smith and Rev. Lawson. 15 December 1952 School attended divine service in Preston Parish Church. Service took the form of “Nine Carols and Nine Lessons” read by students

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

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East Lothian Council Department of Education & Children’s Services School Session Dates 2010-2011 Monday 16 August 2010

Staff Resume

Tuesday 17 August 2010

In-service day 1 In-service day 2

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Pupils Resume

Friday 17 September 2010

Pupils and Staff Break

Monday 20 September 2010

Autumn Holiday

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Pupils and Staff Resume

Friday 15 October 2010

Pupils and Staff Break

Monday 25 October 2010

Staff Resume

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Pupils Resume

Thursday 23 December 2010

Pupils and Staff Break

Monday 10 January 2011

Staff Resume

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Pupils Resume

Friday 11 February 2011

Pupils and Staff Break

Monday 21 February 2011

Pupils and Staff Resume

Friday 8 April 2011

Pupils and Staff Break

In-service day 3

End of Term 1 In-service day 4

Spring Holiday

Friday 22 April 2011

Good Friday

Monday 25 April 2011

Easter Monday Pupils and Staff Resume

Monday 2 May 2011 Tuesday 3 May 2011

Term 3 May Day Holiday

Schools Closed

Victoria Day

Schools Closed

Pupils and Staff Resume

Monday 23 May 2011 Tuesday 24 May 2011

Term 2

End of Term 2

Monday 18 April 2011

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Term 1

Staff Resume

Wednesday 25 May 2011

In-service day 5 In-service day 6

Thursday 26 May 2011

Pupils Resume

Friday 1 July 2011

Pupils and Staff Break

End of Term 3

‘Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our staff, students and parents’

PLHS Dec 2009 Newsletter  

Preston Lodge High School Newletter - December 2009

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