Walkers Crisps recycle project.

Recycling at PPS

Recycle your crisp packets here.

Great news – several months ago PPS applied to join the Walkers Crisps Recycle scheme – and to nominate Pencaitland Primary School PTA as the charity to support from our collection point. Any crisp packets can be recycled, but there are a few ‘no’ items too.

All has been approved now – a real collaboration for parents and carers, pupils, staff team – and the wider community too! 

For more info check our facebook page or the website for Walkers Crisps/recycle.

Note: All links will take you to external pages.

The Learning Council have also been working across the primary classes on their eco-friendly project. You’ll hear more about that at the Spring Fayre!




East Lothian Play Policy Launched

The new Play Policy for East Lothian is already being acclaimed as an example of excellent practice – the consultation carried out through to the finished document – and this is now to be embedded throughout East Lothian.

Official launch today – 23rd August – so please do download your copy now – for personal use, for groups and schools, all settings for children and young people.

Parent Council and PTA News

All Aboard the Play Train. 

Our grateful thanks to all the pupils who completed the Play Questionnaire leading up to Easter break – and to all the pupils who took part in Play Brainstorming session after lunch today. Amazing ideas – and now we will take some time to look for themes and ideas that could inspire development of the playground. Anyone who took home sheets of paper, to add ideas to today, should bring those back for the Parent Council by Friday (5th May).

The Spring Fayre PTA team has more fun planned to capture ideas so keep an eye out for more news about that.

10+ Ideas for Using Story Stones

ALSO – if anyone is digging in the garden or heading to somewhere with large pebbles / smooth rocks (eg. a stoney beach) over the next few weeks, please bring back some big smooth pebble style rocks to decorate into story stones, assuming it is allowed. You may even feel tempted to buy some from a local garden centre – and then we can create story (and number) stones with the kids too.

We hope to create collections for both Nursery and P1 – P7 to enjoy and be creative with.

What is Loose Parts Play?

Loose Parts Play – loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials.

loose-parts-play-jgpTwo play specialists here in Scotland with particular interests in Schools / Outdoor Learning and Inclusion have collaborated to create an excellent guide for http://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/. Absolutely fantastic resource for every playground and places where children can come together, collaborate, create, construct, care and thrive.


A terrific example of Parent Led Playgroup Improvement here in East Lothian can be seen and followed through Law Primary’s journey to open their grounds to a very ripe learning environment. Parents created this group following their early start to make a significant difference – and the project was born. https://www.facebook.com/PlanetPlayNB/

You may like to check out Cramond Primary in Edinburgh too….

Our PLACE – Learn Outdoors



Bye Bye Fishies!

It was a sad day. It was time to release the trout that we had looked after since they were just eggs. Dr Girvan said we had done a wonderful job in looking after them and that she had never seen so many survive and be so wriggly. We think it was because we kept the water so cold – we even had the heaters off for the whole 5 weeks. Mr Cain said it was an important part of our John Muir award. Putting more fish back into the river was helping to conserve our local area. We each got a bag of trout fry to carry to the river. Dr Girvan collected all the fish into a bucket and let them go slowly into the river. They quickly disappeared and hid under the stones. She then showed us how to collect a sample from the bottom of the river and we looked for small creatures our trout fry might eat. And then we all got a turn to try it as well. Although it was sad to see our fish go it was good that they got to go back to the real river. And at least we will get our heaters back on too!  By P5

We enjoyed looking after the fish for five weeks and keeping them cool by swapping the ice bottles over.  HannahK.

I enjoyed going in to the  river to find water insects that the fish eat.  We even caught one of our own trout but we set it back free. I can’t believe we let 200 fish out into the river. Thomas.

I could not wait to turn the heating back up but I was still sad when we had to let them free but at maximum about ten died so we were very happy with the amount that survived.  Josie s-f

I really en joyed looking after the fish. I was really suprised how many fish survived during the time. It was awsome letting them out in the river.  Euan S

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Another John Muir Update

We have been continuing with lots of activities for our John Muir award project. Last week we were out in the woods on a scavenger hunt looking for lots of different items like – a smooth piece of tree bark, a shiny holly leaf, evidence of animals, a pine cone smaller than your thumb and lots more. It was fun searching through all the bushes and the mud! Josie S’s group was the winner. They found everything but one thing on the list. We had done a scavenger hunt in the school grounds in September and we talked about how the things we had found this time were different.

Today we were back in the woods but this time we were making dens. We had to build a shelter that would hold all our group (4 or 5 of us) in case we had to survive in the wild. We even had to camouflage it so it would not scare the wildlife. I liked making the dens because you had lots of trees to choose from and lots of equipment. Our group made a stick wall and a back window and two of the boys found a small lizard or newt. It was good to explore and look  for sticks in all different sizes for different parts of the den.

Our fish are still growing. The baby trout are called fry and are using up their yolk sacs. We will be releasing them into the river. This is part of the project about conserving a wild area and we are looking after the river.

By Ellie, Rory, Olivia & Daniel P5.

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Annual Pencaitland Litter Pick-up next Sunday

On the 29th April it’s Pencaitland’s Annual Litter Pick Up day. The aim is to start at around 2pm. All kids taking part (and bringing parents with them) will be in with a chance of winning a digital camera.

Click here to get the full details on Pencaitland's Litter Pick-up day this coming Sunday, 29th AprilFamilies or groups, from the church to the brownies, who would like to help out on the day are very welcome.

Visit Pencaitland.org for the full story on when, where and how to be entered in the prize draw and how to take part in the Litter Pick-up.

Zero Waste Heroes

Dear Parent or Guardian,

We are learning how reducing the amount of waste we throw away can have a positive impact on the environment.

As part of this work we are holding a waste-free packed lunch competition on Monday 5th
March 2012.

We hope as many pupils as possible are able to participate, including those who usually have school dinners.

The ECO  group will be the local Zer0 Waste Hero Gang.

The aim of the waste-free lunch is for each pupil to bring a packed lunch, which produces as little food and packaging waste as possible. Points will be awarded to the students
or class with the least amount of rubbish that needs throwing away at the end.
A clean plate wins a sticker!

Ideas for creating a waste-free lunch include:

• use containers that can be used again. e.g. Tupperware, a flask or an old ice cream box;

• avoid using disposable packaging and individually wrapped snacks;  

and if you can’t reuse the packaging, ensure it is recyclable or compostable.


Thanks very much from the ECO



All school litter-pickups.

The ECO committee have developed an action plan on litter.

We do:

Take all classes out to do a tidy the school grounds.

Take the classes out  to pick up the local community.

We  have made a rota and gave it to all the classes so they now know that they can
keep our green flag.

In March and June 2012 the ECO committee are going to weigh the litter collected to see how much litter we have.  Last year we collected 3kg in March and reduced that by 2kg by May.

Dates for your diary: Community Council litter picking in Pencaitland will be provisionally  on 28 & 29 April

ECO committee update

The Pupil Council working with the ECO committee

You will be glad to know that the pupil council are looking at
what toys are in the playground and are looking at getting more playground

The   Nursery

As you may know the school applied for a grant to pay for the
massive refurbishment in the nursery garden. There were lots of parents who
gave up their time to help install it. THANK YOU and we are sure that the
nursery are very happy with their new equipment and are loving using it.

nursery play area