60 second update 18 May


This week we loved our Outdoor Classroom Day, we stayed outside the whole morning and made amazing dens and structures. We even had chat time under the shady trees!


We have been finding out lots of interesting facts about castles. On Thursday we joined P1R to watch Authors Alive with Ross Collins and learned how to draw the polar bear from his book ‘There’s a Bear on My Chair’. We made use of the sunny weather and practised writing numbers on the playground. We also drew round our shadows and have observed how they change position throughout the day.


We have found more challenges on our time machine from Sir Simon and Lady Elizabeth Preston! This week we had to build a lego mini castle, design our own Coat of Arms and create information posters about the jobs people had in castles. All tasks have been successfully completed! On Thursday we watched Authors Alive with Ross Collins. He taught us how to draw the bear in his story “There’s a Bear on my Chair!” It was fun having our library slot round the playground learning table on “Outdoor Day”.


We have been learning about energy sources this week and had a great discussion about where we get our energy from. We took our spelling out into the woods on Tuesday and tried out creative ways to write our words using lots of different materials. On Thursday we watched ‘Authors Live with Ross Collins’. He taught us how to draw the illustrations from his book “There’s a Bear on my Chair!”


We started a new maths topic this week – Money. We had a really good discussion about the different ways people can pay for the things they buy and about saving up to buy ‘big’ things. We had great fun playing a money race game to practise exchanging coins for those with an equivalent value.

In literacy, the children wrote fantastic news articles about dangerous animals escaping from Edinburgh Zoo … be on the lookout! (We now have 2 boxes for our televisions for reading the news … still need 3 more!)


Primary 4 have had an active week.  As part of our technology work on robots, we made ‘drawbots’. ‘We needed to use a motor to make the ‘drawbots’ draw.’ (Sophie) ‘We made squiggly lines. They were very slow.’ (Emma K)   We spent Tuesday afternoon at the rugby festival where we played against some of the other schools in the cluster.  ‘We met lots of our friends from other schools which was nice.’ (Willow) We have enjoyed being outdoors this week making the most of the good weather.  On Thursday it was outdoor classroom day so we did our maths, spelling, reading and science work outside).


Primary 5 have been continuing their John Muir work. We have been learning more about his life and are making posters and leaflets to show what we found out. We have been weeding the garden. We had a cricket session on Thursday which we all really enjoyed.


In Primary 6 we have been learning about Cleanliness, hygiene and safety. They then applied this knowledge into their routines. They worked collaboratively to make 2 snacks; carried out all the preparation work and made fruit salads and Rocky Road Malteaser Tray Bakes. They had a lot of fun and have reinforced their knowledge that healthier options can be just as delicious as sugary snacks. We then made some lovely 3D clay models of different foods that we will be painting next week.

We were very lucky to have a cricket taster session this week, all pupils did very well and are looking forward to our next session on the 31st May.


After a very successful camp last week it’s been another busy week for P7.  We have started putting together our own camp videos from photos and video clips.  The ‘official’ camp video will be out soon so watch the P7 blog for this.


Time for Reflection / Religious Observation Policy.

PPS needs your ideas and feedback.

One of the policies used by all schools and recently updated in E. Lothian is the Reflection / Religious Observation policy. You’ll find the policy here. 

Through this, the children add to their developing knowledge and understanding of the world around us, different cultures and beliefs by having the opportunity to develop more insight and understanding through experiences. PPS staff would like this reflected in

a) what the Policy is to be known as for our school community, as well as

b) practical suggestions for what focus the staff team could take over the next academic year and beyond.

A really lovely development for the pupils and school community, to develop spiritual awareness, key life skill of reflection and share understanding of different cultural belief systems as well as those traditionally held in local culture.

Please have a look through and think what would be meaningful, interesting and possible for staff to deliver, perhaps with help from parents / wider family members and our community or beyond.
Feedback / thoughts welcome – please send to parentcouncil@pencaitland.elcschool.org.uk or directly to school via admin@pencaitland.elcschool.org.uk.



Scotland’s Play Strategy

Scotland’s First National Play Strategy. (2013)

Scotland’s Play Strategy

Children’s play is crucial to Scotland’s well being; socially, economically and environmentally. Our people are our greatest resource and the early years of life set the pattern for children’s future development.

‘The experiences children have in early life – and the environments in which they have them – shape their developing brain architecture and strongly affect whether they grow up to be healthy, productive members of society’ (Harvard University, 2007).

Play is an essential part of a happy, healthy childhood and ‘when children play their brains do two things: they grow and the become organised and usable’ (Hughes, 2013). By investing in all our children and young people now we can strengthen their ability to achieve their full potential.

Parent Forum and Parent Council.

Pencaitland Primary School Parent Council & Forum

We are all a part of the parent forum if we have a child in Pencaitland Primary and/or Nursery. The collective voice of the Parent Forum, is represented by the Parent Council – currently composed of 9 parents, teacher rep and community rep (who is also a parent rep currently). Head teacher Nicola Wilson also attends each meeting as an advisor and to ensure the Parent Council has relevant information regarding PPS. The meetings are open to all the wider parent forum. To express interest or intent to attend a meeting, please contact Clerk through PC email, noted below.


**”Parent” is used to describe both parents and carers including guardians.** Together we work with the school staff, to help support our children, improve outcomes and be the best advocates we can for the children collectively.

The Parent Council is the group of parents/carers who endeavour to communicate between the wider parent forum and the school staff, support fellow parents / carers, the children in general and the staff to deliver the best school days and learning environment possible. We work closely with the PTA in this regard too.

To find out more about the current parent council, you can find information and minutes from meetings, dates of meetings and who’s who by looking through the Parent Council tab.

CC0 Creative Commons

If you would like to bring up any issues to the parent council, we are all happy to hear ideas / suggestions / concerns either via your class rep, chair or by emailing your concern to parent council and asking for the matter to be raised at the next meeting if possible.

[We cannot discuss individual children or individual staff members, so your class rep will advise if the matter you wish to discuss is outwith our remit and something for your class teacher or head teacher to deal with in the first instance].

Next Meeting: 30th April 2018. 7pm PPS.

A quick reminder of the current parent council reps.

Nursery – Vivien Dykes. P1 – Dave Osborne. P2 – Erica Burberry. P3 – Loreen Pardoe. P4 – Neill Russell. P5 – Jim Fraser / Flor Jackman. P6 – Carol Snow. P7 – Ralph Averbuch.

The AGM will be in June and if anyone is interested in putting their name forward for Parent Council, please do contact the PC Clerk through parentcouncil@pencaitland.elcschool.org.uk by w/c 4th June 2018.

Connect Newsletter (formerly the SPTC)


The Spring newsletter is now available – which includes a summary of the inspirational talk from Sir John Jones and more. Formerly the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, the organisation has re-branded and carries out excellent work in Scotland supporting the role of families in children’s education in partnership with the work of staff in education, to help children develop throughout each year.


School Session 2019/2020 consultation

Attached are the proposed school session dates for 2019/2020 which will be open from today on the Council’s Consultation Hub until Friday 4 May.  The council wish to seek stakeholders views.  Neighbouring authorities, City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian have set, or are in the process off setting their session dates and these dates are available on the respective websites. The link to the consultation hub is


ELC – draft School dates 2019-2020 word format



60 second update

23 March 2018


We had outdoor snack this week and we loved it! We all sat round the big table and chatted while we were eating. It was fun!


P1B enjoyed learning to play Twinkle Twinkle and Frere Jacques on the boomwhackers.


We have been learning about patterns and sequences and made Easter Eggs with pretty designs. We did some number work in PE this week. We had to work out our score

by adding the points where our balls landed. In writing we wrote about our favourite toys.

We all remembered to leave finger spaces and put a full stop at the end of a sentence.



In P2 this week we have been learning all about the Easter story and creating some wonderful Easter art. In our topic work we have been finishing off our models from our map of Struay as well as learning about toys from the past 50 years. We also learned about syllables and how to work out how many syllables a word has.


As Mrs Grant has been off sick this week, we have been working with Miss Wilson. We have been learning about The Commonwealth Games.  We have found out where they will be held and the sports that athletes will compete in.  We designed our own mascots too and gave them a name.



P4 have been looking at the heart and lungs. The children tried to find their pulse.  We also talked about our favourite places in East Lothian with Mrs Burns.


We have had a busy and exciting week. On Monday we visited Kinwegar recycling centre and found out what happens to all of our rubbish. We then went to the beach at Musselburgh to help clear up the litter. We were all surprised at how many bits of plastic we found. On Wednesday we had our last rugby session with Michael, we have our festival next week. Then yesterday we had our Big Drumming performance. A very busy but productive week.



Primary 6 have had a very excited and busy week. We have completed our biodiversity challenge by creating a Bug Hotel. It is located in our playground near the large bench. Primary 5 and 6 were wonderful in their Big Drumming Adventure performance yesterday; both classes worked extremely hard and they put on a fantastic show. We were very happy to see so many family members in the audience.


After the excitement of 3 visits last week, P7 have been in school all week. However, it has still been exciting as we have been working on our short films for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Schools Film Competition.   We’ve nearly finished them.  Watch the P7 blog next week where they will be posted.

Listen, Think, Draw

It was lovely to have Clare Mills of Listen, Think, Draw in school,

to work with so many of the pupils, some of the parents and the staff to create a visual storyboard of the vision and values / ethos of the school on Tuesday.

Lots shared, particularly by the pupils involved, to further expand on the ideas already collated – and this should make a lovely representative display for the foyer, which may be added to in time.

Thanks Clare!

*** New School Logo ***

The winning design took elements from 3 different designs:

Isaac (P1R)
Niamh C (P6)
Sam (P7)

Well done to these three and to everyone who took part.