PPS on The Glebe.

Three Pencaet Schools….

PPS – A Brief History

Excerpt from “Village Schools”, Ralph Barker
From Headmaster John Archer 1962 – 1979
“To deal adequately with the great changes in educational philsophy and practices in the 1960s would require a book.
In the course of these changes, Pencaitland Primary School was regarded by the Scottish Education Department Inspectorate and by the various Teacher Training Colleges to be at the forefront of the advance. 
Briefly, in 1962 teaching was on a whole class basis, the teacher imparting information for the pupils to assimilate and try to remember. This method took no account of the vast differences in intelligence, intellect and interests to be found within the range of pupils in a normal class. To change to a system whereby account was to be taken of individual abilities required a resolution in classroom practices. Henceforth the main function of the teacher was not to teach, but to create situations and opportunities to teach a child to learn for himself. In Pencaitland this took several years to evolve. Although there were still occasions when class teaching was possible, the emphasis was to swing more and more to group and individual work. 
Prior to the 1960s parental involvement in the running of the school was non-existent. In 1963 the Mothers’ Club was formed in the school. Parents also helped teachers prepare all the materials which were necessary for the new methods. With so much parental involvement, discipline slowly improved and the use of the belt was no longer necessary. 
Another innovation made in the 1960s was the formation of Children’s Clubs, covering a wide varieties, again greatly helped by the talents of parents. 
Being in the forefront of progressive education during this period, it was inevitable that the school became the focus of much attention in the educational world. Many visitors came to school from all over the world – U.S.A., Canada, Africa, Europe, Ceylon, Malaysia, Singapore. Details of these visits can be gleaned from the Log book. 
For several years in succession I was invited to lecture during the summer courses at Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh and Dundee College of Education, so that the educational philosophy and practices which were developed in Pencaitland School were dispersed widely and accepted throughout Scotland. 
This was recognised by the award of an M.B.E. in 1969, and a further M.R.E. to the Infant Teacher, Mrs. Helen Raine, some years later. It would be surprising if any other school in Scotland (Primary of Secondary) could boast of such a double honour.
More Historical Information can be found here: 

Continue reading “PPS on The Glebe.”

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



Snap Survey – consultation with children and young people.


Work on devising new Play Strategy for East Lothian is progressing quickly. Your views are invited again for the next part. Please follow the link and take a few moments to answer this short survey and pass on to others who can respond (children and young adults). Please help your children record their answers.


SNAP Survey! Free time in East Lothian survey

What do you think about opportunities for free time in East Lothian? Where do you like to hang out, what do you like to do, and what gets in the way of you doing it? This survey is and will help us write a Play Policy for East Lothian that covers children and young people’s play and free time opportunities.

If you need help to complete the survey, it’s fine to ask someone to help – just make sure the answers are your own!

The survey has five questions and takes up to about 5 minutes to complete.


Parental Involvement – Growth Mindset

Worrying reports and statistics grow annually leading to what is now referred to as a Mental Health Crisis for Adolescents and Young Adults. This article from Herald refers to Scottish teenagers in Meltdown.

Health and Well-being has to be as high on the agenda as Academic approaches, which is why Growth Mindset Strand is one of 3 chosen for PPS to concentrate in this year’s Improvement Plan – fully supported by the Parent Council. The key theme is Resilience and approaching this in a healthy understanding and caring way has started with the introduction of “Big Deal, Little Deal.”


Pencaitland Primary Living History

Over the coming weeks the Living History team hope to capture for posterity the experiences of people over the previous 40 (or even more) years that the school building in the Glebe has been in use by the local community in and around Pencaitland.

To jump to a specific recording just click the name below

Wendy Davidson
Elaine McCormack
Denise Brown
Jim Gillies
Alec Robertson

Continue reading “Pencaitland Primary Living History”

PPS 40th Anniversary: Sending Time Capsule Treasures or 2016 Snapshots

An official invite to the new school opening in 1976.
An official invite to the new school opening in 1976.


To make it as easy as possible to send in your digital memories for the 40th Anniversary Digital Time Capsule, we’ve created the email links below. Just click the link which most closely matches what you want to send in and it should open up your email software to allow you to send in your attachment. Just one per email please.

You can send in any of the following:

Continue reading “PPS 40th Anniversary: Sending Time Capsule Treasures or 2016 Snapshots”