Helping Us, Helping You, Help Us, Help Them.

There are lots of ways to help our kids as they journey through time in Pencaitland Nursery and Primary School.

 Team PPS

Check out our PTA and Parent Council pages….

….and to help the easy way, right from where you are sitting now – this is what you need 🙂

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Recruiting for Parent Council.

Parent Council recruitment. 

The Parent Council for 2017-18 has two vacancies. Any parent or carer with a child in PPS is eligible. Broadly speaking, we work with school staff and parents / carers to build the best environment we can for the children to learn and be happy at school and within their community.

Come and find out more on Monday 28th (7pm in school) or contact any member of the PC (details here on website).

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#BeKind #Kindness

What’s the Colour of Love?

Anti-Bullying. Caring. Kindness. EMPATHY.

Children are such amazing, compassionate, caring and openly loving young human beings.

Sometimes though, they disconnect from others around them, and their behaviour can be callous, cruel and destructive. Often without ever realising, especially in this digital age and one where so many influences affect our young kids long before they are old enough to start processing things clearly.

After all – how many adults really stand up to bullies, the ones who aren’t hitting and pushing; the ones who just say demeaning and belittling things, encourage others to laugh at you or talk behind your back. How do kids deal with that?

Sadly, this destroys young lives. It can erode confidence and self esteem to the point they become isolated, ashamed, secretive – and desperately unhappy. Mental health of children who were once vibrant, happy and full of dreams for the future deteriorates so much, that some just don’t make it through, and certainly their attainment and success during their teen and young adult years takes a dreadful beating. The toll is often life long. Often life is not long.

There are different ways to help – and it does start early. Teaching empathy. Teaching and showing how we care for others and take care of ourselves go hand in hand. Encouraging kindness, caring and nurturing of friendships and self. Speaking out against bullying, no matter how minor it seems. Supporting those who speak out against it too.

Bullying is not something we can ever ignore – it can grow out of control, but both those bullying and those being bullied need support to change the outcome. 

Be Kind – whenever you can. Show how much you value it. Comment on your children’s kindness – and show respect for it. Recognise the kindness of others. 


Listen to your kids. What are they saying? How do they feel about it? Do they share a story about mocking someone? Do they tell you someone was calling them names or leaving them out? How are they coping with it? Has it happened before? “Give them your full attention, but not the Spanish Inquisition. You don’t want to put them off talking” – said one mum. 

More Tips from other parents / professionals:

Intervene early, as early as you can – if it’s happening at school, inform the teacher of any issue. If it is a teacher (or your child has already told their teacher, but with no action following that), judge how your feel about speaking to them directly, with without a member of the management staff of school present, or go to the Head / DHT directly. Support your child anyway you can, without losing your calm inner self if possible. Your child is watching and learning from you all the time, particularly in stressful situations. If you can talk to other parents, do that too. It can help to talk that through with someone else first as the other parents may be shocked and upset too. If you know the kids involved, you may even be able to point out truths simply and clearly too. “When you say ….. you affect _____ – it makes her/him feel upset to be made fun of. I want that to stop and for you to be kind to each other.” 

Help your child learn ways to look after themselves, no matter how others behave. * Perhaps teach them tools like meditation. * Get some support for you and them if you can – professional, through GP or local services. * Find new places and groups for your child to get involved with, to help establish new and strong friendships. * Work with the school to help deal with anti-bullying practice and the well-being of your child. * Be aware and careful around children’s access to social media, and social media’s access to your child. * Watch out for a mobile phone/tablet being always kept on them and never giving you any insight into anything being said or done through it. * Don’t blame the friends who seem to dessert your child – most are scared of being the next target through association or speaking out, instead see what you can do to work towards supporting them all and making them stronger.

It does happen here, it does happen in our local schools, and wherever kids hang out, it is always worst when kids do not think about their actions, the implications and repercussions, because they don’t even recognise what they are doing. The education to #Be Kind is not a standalone, it’s part of a wider anti-bullying approach which still has to deal with different kinds. Kids who deliberately hurt, goad, push around and intimidate are kids who also need to learn a different way of life. Respect Me is the Scottish approach – and the foundation to the new East Lothian Anti-Bullying Policy.


You don’t have to like me…agree with me…or enjoy the same things I do.
But you do have to respect me.

For children and young people who are being bullied, this short video, made with children, may be of interest.



There’s a local #kindness initiative too. Perhaps you might like to get involved this way – and include your children in seeing / doing as they may also wish to give a heart. (They don’t have to be knitted).

Support from the Start hearts – #kindness 
“Our hearts are knitted with love by volunteers and are intended as gifts to recognise the kindness that exists in our community.
If you are passed a heart it is yours in recognition of a kindness you have given. You can choose to keep it or pass it on to a family member, a colleague or complete stranger.
You decide when to give your heart, but when you do please consider sharing it by tweeting #kindness or send us a photo of your heart being given, so that we can share for you”.


Links: The current Anti-Bullying policy can be found here.

Note: This will be updated from Aug ’17, as the new policy will be rolled out to all state schools and East Lothian settings working with groups of children and young people.



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School Meals payments.


A working group has come up with some options re paying for meals in Primary Schools with cashless system too, (not just secondary schools) so a change is not far away.

Three of the six clusters are expected to trial a new system from October and if all goes to plan, the remaining 3 clusters will start from January 2018.
It will still be possible to pay by check / cash daily if necessary or preferred, but research so far has shown that most parents would prefer a cashless system if possible – so good news all round.

For a bit more info re school meals in East Lothian, check this link.

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Supporting the Learning of Young People.

Invitation for Parents and Carers – Diary Date.

Are you interested in knowing how best to support your children in their learning? Read on to see this invitation from Preston Lodge High School. 

Invitation extended.

We are really pleased to announce the launch of Preston Lodge High School’s Learning Festival for 2017.

It will be held on Saturday 28th of October at Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans.

This year we are once again offering a fantastic range of collaborative, dialogue-based professional Learning Conversations for teachers to explore, share and develop their pedagogy. In addition, we’re opening our Learning Festival up to all parents and carers interested in finding out how they could further support young people in their learning.

To find out more and to sign up, click here

We look forward to seeing you there.

 Jeni Allan

PT Classroom Practice

Preston Lodge High School

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Farewells to Mrs Ross

Emotional goodbyes….

….to Mrs Ross this morning as the children from Morning Nursery had their graduation ceremony. Always a few damp eyes around, but today there were also parents and childminders saying heart felt farewells, not just for the summer, but ‘for good’, to Margaret Ross.

Margaret joined Pencaitland Nursery when it opened and has been there ever since. 23 years of looking after our youngest PPS pupils – but with changes to the numbers for next session, Margaret is being re-deployed. This is very hard for all the staff who have worked, laughed, cared and shared with Margaret for so long. And hardest for Margaret herself.

As memories and special times are shared – we, the Parent Council, join all the other voices past and present, in saying we wish you more laughter, more happiness and more wonderful experiences in your new place of work and we hope you will keep in touch and know you always have a home from home in Pencaitland. We will miss you and we are sad that you are leaving us this way.

From a very personal point of view, Margaret has been the constant face for all my children – 5 have attended Pencaitland Nursery. The paint wasn’t dry when my eldest went, and my youngest is just coming to the end of his P1 year – we’ve even been on night’s out together and popped up in different places / crossing paths over the years.

When I told my kids Margaret (Mrs Ross) was leaving and what they remembered most – the words came:

‘Funny’, ‘daft and silly’, ‘fun’, ‘strong’, ‘kind’, ‘she loved me’ and ‘looked after us all’. ‘Mrs Ross always sorted out problems and she made us feel safe, but she played funny games with us too’. 

So, here’s to you MRS ROSS – have a wonderful summer and don’t be a stranger to all you have invested so much into.


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Get Connected


East Lothian Council.

Parents and Carers of Children and Young People with Additional Support Needs will be pleased to hear about the work of Get Connected East Lothian.

Get Connected is an project that aims to make it easier for young people with additional support needs and their families to find and contact activity providers.

  • The mission is to find what groups, clubs, organisations and activities can and do support children and young people with ASN. Whatever the nature of the additional support need, East Lothian wants to make this information far simpler to discover – AND –
  • build networks,
  • share how to make other activities (etc) inclusive through different groups / individuals sharing their experience and expertise
  • encourage the support of children and young people to enjoy as many opportunities socially as possible.

A new site and a lot of opportunity contained within it.

Contact is through Lauren Ritchie (pictured here on the right, with Sharon Saunders, Head of Adults and Children Well-Being for ELC).

Lauren has worked closely with FLIP and organised the Get Connected Breakfast Launch to share news, the logo (wee dude) and mission with a very diverse group from East Lothian of over 100 people in May 17. Information was also shared about the new Sports Charter.

Snapshot of East Lothian’s new Sports Charter.

There is even a Summer webpage set up Get Connected Summer

Summer is here and Get Connected has you covered for activities and fun!

Check out what East Lothian has on offer in Summer 2017.

Whether you would like to get active or get creative, there is a wide range on offer.



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2017/18 Staffing

Hot off the Press!

To see who is teaching where, take a look at the note to parents and carers Here:_Staffing for session 2017


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It’s HERE – What you’ve all been Waiting For.


To our Annual General Meeting on Monday 26th August ’17.

We are bursting at the seams to share what we’ve been up to – and share plans and developments for 2018 – a double whammy of

PPS – The Year of the Community AND Scotland’s – The Year of Young People 2018.

For More Info: Agenda PPSPC – 26 06 17- AGM

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Read Write Inc

The Magic Key – No More!

It’s time to say farewell to Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy….PPS Infant Dept (P1 & 2) are waving hankies…and making space for

A new literacy programme that the school have undertaken training for and will be introducing in 2017/18 session. Find out more here:

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Area Partnership News

FYI weekly publications.

To hear huge amounts of information across East Lothian, it’s a good idea to check Area Partnership Weekly Newsletters, or sign up for the FYI by email.

To share information about an event in East Lothian, you can sign up and do this through WHAT’S ON, operated by The List.

List your local community events for free and find out what’s on in East Lothian at

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