S1 get the chance to be Indiana Jones !!

In the last week of August, over 80 S1 pupils took place in a community excavation at Newhailes in Musselburgh. They joined archaeologists from  Archaeology Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland as they were looking for the lost cascade and pool from the 18th century pleasure garden at Newhailes.

All pupils had training supplied by archaeologists –  how to measure out the site to be excavated;  how to excavate a piece of ground; how to record finds and the opportunity to handle, and clean , finds which had been buried for .300 years. The archaeologists were most impressed when some pupils uncovered the side of the pond –buried for 300 years- and shells which came from the Caribbean 300 years ago.

Pupils also visited a full scale Viking encampment. They saw displays of armoury and had the opportunity to handle  replica axes , swords and spears . They also visited workshops, a smithy and saw displays of Viking violence !!!

This visit provided pupils with the opportunity to participate in a range of other activities – ‘Poos from the Past’ and CSI Musselburgh – how did he/she die ?

Pupils had many opportunities to develop their skills of enquiry and analysis.

The archaeologists  also commented on the excellent behaviour , attitude and enthusiasm of the pupils ! Well done to everyone – a great day out which was enjoyed by all.


On June 7th, the new S 2 took part in  a ‘Show Racism The Red Card Event’, which was organised by East Lothian Council. The event coincided with National Sports Week , as well as the  Anti – racism Day planned for Friday 10th June in PLHS.

Pupils were  firstly asked to define racism. There were many excellent answers to this. The group then watched a documentary which used football to highlight how common, and  destructive, racism is . The film included many prominent footballers, including Craig Levein, the Scotland football manager , and members of Hearts, Rangers, Celtic,  Man U and  Hibernian, all who spoke out  strongly against racism. The most moving partof the  film was a 13 year old  Scottish boy – a talented footballer – who was about to give up playing because he faced racial abuse every time he played a game.

Two ex- footballers – Mickey Weir of Hibs and Derek  Ferguson  –  then asnswered questions about racism in football :  what they felt caused racism, what the impact of racism is on people  and what we can do to stamp out racism. Both ex- players were very impressed by the quality of the questions asked by the pupils.

Comments were also made about how well behaved pupils were and how they listened attentively to what was being said. Let’s hope that PLHS pupils will help  make a difference by challenging ,and not accepting, racism.

Thanks to Mr Johnstone  and Mrs Christie in PE  for their help.


On May 9th, Leah Main, Shelby Garrity ( both S1) , Lewis Berg, Jack Gordon (both S2). Mr Bishop and Ms Morris handed in the donations ,from the Junk for Japan Appeal ,to the Red Cross shop in North Berwick. The Red Cross are one of the major aid agencies involved in trying to help the Japanese rebuild their lives after the tsunami of March this year. The manager of the shop was ‘delighted and overwhelmed’ by the donations from PLHS. It is hoped that these donations will raise £600 + for the Appeal. The Red Cross will be publishing PLHS’s efforts in their national magazine in the near future.
Well done, and thanks, to everyone who handed in donations.

What’s so funny about ‘Dirty Money’?

Ms Duthie’s second year class, 2B3, were given the option to come up with an alternative way of assessing the unit they had been studying on Children in Factories. Together, the class decided that the two main options would either be to produce a play, or a comic using the computer programme ‘Comic Life.’ The class split in two and over several weeks worked together to write, create and perform their chosen piece. Mrs Todd took reponsibility for the drama group, while Ms Duthie supervised the production of the comic. Both groups produced some excellent work, both informative and amusing! The play, ‘Dirty Money’ received such a good response that a repeat performance was arranged, for an invited audience of SMT and Guidance. The Comic Life pages are a bright and interesting addition to the displays outside the History classrooms.

After the drama performance/presentation of the comic pupils were asked to reflect on the experience-whether they had learned anything about themselves and to think positively about fellow group members. Overall, pupils felt that taking ownership of the piece of work like this not only made remembering key facts about the topic easier, but they had all taken risks and overcome their nerves/worries to do something they would never normally have done. Well done to all the group members who amazed us all with their talent and determination.


S2 and S3 History : Making Our Opinions Heard !!!

This week both S2 and S3 history classes were ‘getting stuck into ‘ debating !!!

Class S2A2  were ‘transported ‘ back to 1821 and had to debate the motion : Child Labour should  be abolished immediately !  The class divided into groups before hand to prepare their arguments – the Factory Owners Vs the Child Workers ! then the debate began. Phrases such as ‘ Stop exploiting us !  We want to stop being   beaten  and fined if we don’t work hard enough ‘  and ‘Shut up you lot ! You don’t deserve to work never mind being paid ‘ were only some of the opinions  aired. The debate became very heated and many excellent points were made. All in the class joined in and when evaluating the task, they said that this had been a great way of  showing what they had learnt and that they had really had to think about what they were arguing for ! The  motion was passed but unfortunately it would take to 1867 until child labour was  finally abolished.

And then there was  the S3 class !!!!

The year 1902 (historically significant for Hibs supporters!)

The motion : British women should have suffrage .

The debate …well , even the  class’s  resident sexists-  Chris B , Fraser W and Lewis R – argued their points very well …….for women’s suffrage !!! Again, some excellent arguments were made on both sides and the debate became very heated !!!  The motion was passed by a huge majority ( apart from the resident sexists !!) but unfortunately, it would not  be until 1928 that all women and men achieved suffrage on the same terms !

Well done to all S2 and s3 debaters for your super contributions !

100 Years of International Women’s day – PLHS’s Contribution !!!

Preston Lodge Staff and pupils had a very busy time celebrating International Women’s Day.

The week kicked off with a series of assemblies delivered by pupils on the significance of Women’s Day. On Tuesday lunchtime the school was rocked by the cries of Catherine Blair, a local suffragette, who chained herself to pillar in the entrance hall. Assisted by Elsie Inglis, a Suffragist, the two women led the pupils and staff on a march around the school at lunchtime on Tuesday 8th March.  She certainly got the attention of most pupils-a great way of reaching everyone in the school and get them talking about women’s issues. Elsie and Catherine also delivered an entertaining workshop to S3 history pupils.

The PL History Club created a display about inspirational women throughout history which was displayed in the reception area beside a display case, provided by the Museum Service, showing the objects which have changed the lives of women in the past 100 years. They also took this display down to an IWD event at Longniddry Community Centre.  Ms Morris organised a poll asking pupils which object/item had changed women’s lives most in the last 100 years-ready made meals came in at no 1!

A massive thank you to Sarah Cowie and East Lothian Museum Service for the time and effort they put in to working with PL pupils and staff on this project.


                                           JUNK FOR JAPAN


A REMINDER to all of us in the PLHS Community – staff and pupils- to bring any unwanted item, which is in good condition, to Ms Morris’s room by FRIDAY April 1st , so that we CAN make a difference to the lives of children in Japan , whose lives have been destroyed by the  recent tsunami


Remember we need books, board games, toys, unwanted gifts, dvds, old jewellery ….any thing in good condition which can be sold by the Red Cross to raise money.

Tilinanu Orphanage Speaker

Last month former pupil Catriona Oliver came to Preston Lodge High School’s Modern Studies department to give S1-S4 pupils an insight into the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. Catriona spent two prlonged periods at the Tilinanu orphanage in Lilongwe, Malawi and gave pupils an inspiring account of her time there as she helped to care for, and educate the 34 girls who reside at Tilinanu. Such was the inspiration of Catriona’s account of her time there, that a number of pupils have since contacted her to enquire about one day visiting the orphanage in Malawi themselves. It was fantastic for Preston Lodge pupils to see a former pupil making such a difference in the global community, and has undoubtedly inspired many to reach such heights in the future. We hope to have Catriona back in the department in the near future!

 Tilinanu Children

 For more information :


facebook : tilinanu orphanage a.h.p

Arthur’s Seat from The RME Dept, Preston Lodge.

The view of Edinburgh, from the RME Department, means that it enjoys many a visit from guests in the school to enjoy the panorama which spans from The Pentlands, across the skyline of Edinburgh, The Forth; with its bridges, to Fife and the North Sea; it is, quite simply, breathtaking. Captured last week at sunset after a fresh covering of snow, we can now share this view with you all; Happy Christmas everyone, from us all in the Social and Moral Department!