Category Archives: News

Safer Internet Day Resources

image_galleryEdinburgh’s Digital Learning Team have posted some links to useful Safer Internet Day resources from the Safer Internet Centre UK.

Safer Internet Day Resources | Digital Learning Team

The Safer Internet Centre UK have created some useful teaching packs for primary and secondary pupils as well as information for parents. These include lesson plans and resources for whole school assemblies. For a whole school, longer term approach to digital safety please see our curriculum planner which covers a progression and links to resources from 3-18.

Blogging Bootcamp

John Johnston of the Glow team is offering a “Blogging Bootcamp” for staff interested in blogging with their classes.  John was one of the first Primary teachers to really explore the potential of class blogging during his time at Sandaig Primary, see here and here, so has a lot of experience to pass on.

Get started with a class blog or boost an existing one. Join in online from the 16th February, 10 weeks, or so of blogging fun and learning.

Sign up:
You can sign up in several ways, choose what is easiest for you, it doesn’t matter how you sign up.

The bootcamp will take you through creating a blog, adding features and a range of blogging activities. Classes will have the opportunity to link up with other glow blogs and the world wide blogging community.

Each week there will be ‘technical’ tips, blogging challenges and discussion points that can be carried out in your classroom and on your blog.

What you need: A Class, somewhere to blog (glow for example). No technical knowledge needed.

While most of the technical support will be aimed at glow users the bootcamp is open to any classroom.

News Update from National Museums Scotland

downloadChristmas is nearly upon us so I thought it was time for another update from National Museums Scotland!

1. Discounted books for Teachers

We have a special discount for teachers on our children’s books from the Scotties range, perfect for topics like Romans, Mary Queen of Scots, Jacobites and many more. Find the full list of titles attached. When buying online, you will receive these books for £2.99 (for those usually £5.99) or £3.99 (for those usually £6.99).  Some are discounted at the moment anyway, but the code will give you discounts beyond Christmas and on some of those that aren’t currently discounted.

The code is available to ELC teachers from and you can find them here:

Download Scotties Book List (PDF, 5 pages,  0.15MB)


  1. Victorian Photography Exhibition announced

Our next big exhibition is Photography: A Victorian Sensation. We’ll be offering free school visits to this exhibition which runs from 19 June- 22 November 2015. Keep us in mind if you’ll be covering Victorians in the summer term, or in the new school year. More information will be available shortly, and bookings will open after the Easter holidays.

  1. Glow Meets

Our next round of Glow Meets start in January, with the Romans on 14th, followed by Dinosaurs on 21st and Mary Queen of Scots on 3rd February. Our Glow sessions are easy to sign up to and take part in and run from 1.30-2.15pm each time. Find out about our next Glow Meets here, plus other online resources:

You can sign up to get a weekly bulletin about what’s on Glow TV here


  1. Ancient Egypt

We’re looking for teachers to help us develop our new Ancient Egypt galleries in early 2015. In return for spending a day discussing the new developments with us on a Saturday in January/February, we’d provide you with lunch, refreshments, plus CPD & resources for your class. If you’d be interested, I’d love to hear from you.


  1. Visiting Us

If you’re thinking about visiting us in the spring/summer terms, do get your booking in soon. We’re now fully booked for January, but have plenty of availability for late February onwards. Find out full list of workshops, by age range, here:


If you have any other questions, get in touch.


Have a lovely festive holiday!





Sarah Cowie

Learning Officer (Schools)

Telephone: 0131 247 4046


National Museums Scotland

Chambers Street

Edinburgh EH1 1JF


You can now book for our school programmes in 2014-15. Download your programme now!


Featuring 100+ playable games, take on gaming’s greatest icons at the National Museum of Scotland.
Game Masters, 5 December 2014-20 April 2015,

Macmerry’s Had-Fab recreates iconic New York girder photo to launch Book Week Scotland

The Scotsman reports that workers at East Lothian’s Had-Fab have recreated an iconic New York photo to celebrate the start of Book Week Scotland.

Using Edinburgh as a backdrop, staff from the Had-Fab steel fabrication firm based in Tranent, remade the ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ photo, originally taken during construction of the GE Building in 1932

Full story here.

Listen to Ormiston staff at SCSSA Conference “ICT in the Classroom: Making a difference to pupil learning and a list of gifted and talented schools NYC”

scssaFollowing a 2012 inspection which highlighted that “Children’s use of a range of technologies
in their learning is impressive”, staff from Ormiston Primary were asked to contribute a talk to the recent annual conference of the Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration.

The session, by Helen Gardyne and Kirsty Dunn, was recorded and is available on the  EDUtalk web site here, or you can listen below. It’s full of interesting examples of the use of ICT to improve learning; from the use of simple web publishing to raise awareness of evaluating web sources, through to use of on-line tools to support collaborative learning activities.

I.C.T. for Teachers Not Techies!

SCSSA Helen Gardyne & Kirsty Dunn I.C.T. for Teachers Not Techies!

Helen Gardyne HT and Kirsty Dunn from Ormiston Primary School, taking about ICT across their school and Chromebooks in the classroom.

Everybody learns new things each day. It’s important to exercise your brain and expand it’s capacity. Many gifted students go to to improve their academic skills and become professionals one day.

Recording from Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration Conference: Information and Communications Technology in the Classroom – Making a Difference to Pupil Learning


Council urges teachers to go back to school!

Picture1_1_Join our supply-teaching team today.

East Lothian Council is responding to the national shortage of supply teachers by appealing to registered teachers currently not working to consider a return to the profession.

Education and Children’s Wellbeing spokesperson Councillor Shamin Akhtar says:

‘There are people out there with teaching qualifications that they are not currently using. I know of mums, for example, who have taken time out to bring up families, who might now be thinking of how to get back into teaching.

‘The supply teacher shortage is impacting on us in East Lothian in the same way that it is affecting the rest of Scotland. We are really keen to attract more teachers back into the profession, particularly into the area of supply teaching. This involves them in providing both planned and unplanned cover in respect of a range of teacher absences. The nature of supply work is such that it provides the opportunity to work flexibly with the teacher being able to carry out both short and long term supply at times that suit their own personal circumstances. Sometimes work is allocated well in advance of the date required but at other times it can be at the last minute, depending on the nature of the cover required.

‘Irrespective of the number of hours you are available to work, we would love to hear from you. We know that some of you won’t have taught for a while, so we will be offering a package of training and support to help you.

‘The shortage of supply teachers is beginning to bite so we would really like to hear now from anyone with teaching experience who is interested in supply teaching with us.

‘To find out more, phone 01620 827 766 or email

Continue reading Council urges teachers to go back to school!

Book Week Scotland 2014: Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014

rsz_bws-logos-cmyk-red-v3Location: East Lothian Libraries

Cost: Depending on event

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.


Book Week Scotland 2014 will take place from Monday 24 – Sunday 30 November 2014.

During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.

Book Week Scotland is run by Scottish Book Trust and supported by partners all over Scotland.

Donwload the full programme of the event.

For more information and the latest updates about the events visit the Book Week Scotland website and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter

Simple English Wikipedia: an easy-to-read online encyclopedia

Wikipedia-logo-simpleWikipedia is a wonderful resource for learning, but the language used can be too complex for young readers, or those for whom English is a second language.

That’s where the Simple English Wikipedia  can help. You’ll find it at

Articles in the Simple English Wikipedia use fewer words and easier grammar than the ordinary English Wikipedia. The Simple English Wikipedia is also for people with different needs, such as studentschildrenadults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English. Other people may use the Simple English Wikipedia because simple language helps them to understand unfamiliar topics or complex ideas. Source

The Simple English Wikipedia has been created by, in effect “translating” normal English Wikipedia pages into simpler language. There aren’t Simple English versions of every page, but with over 100,000 articles it still has articles on a wide range of topics.

Why not give it a try?

Halloween Fun!

The Afternoon Group had a Halloween Party today.  We had broomsticks (breadsticks) and magic wands (carrot sticks) for snack.  We came to nursery dressed up, danced to spooky music, went guising round the whole school, sang our pumpkin song to all the classes, and dooked for apples!

Here is some video of us singing the ‘Hairy Scary Castle’ song.