Discovering our ancestors in ELP ICT…

In ELP ICT this term, the pupils have been investigating their family lineage and undertaking a project that is allowing them to develop and use a wide range of computing skills whilst finding out a little more about where they come from.

We began the initial work by watching a clip from a BBC iPlayer episode of Who Do You Think You Are? In this episode famous childrens’ author, JK Rowling, explored her own family background and allowed our young people to have a simple discussion around the topic and disclose to the group what they already knew about family trees.

Our next task was to make a start on our own family tree building! Each pupil was given a basic template to take home and get parental support in completing the basic building blocks of their own ancestral line. Each family group completed a skeleton tree with details on grandparents name and dates of birth – and great grandparents if this information was to hand. Some families were also able to provide information about a further generation back.

This information was going to be used by each pupil to input data into an online family tree generator. Each student created their own online account using their school email address. Those who needed support to do this were assisted by an adult. Then data was entered into their respective trees and saved for use later on in this process.

Our next task was to find out more about our names. First of all we used online heraldry and ancestry sites to search for each of our respective surnames. We found out –

  • what our surname meant
  • where it came from
  • what its distribution in the UK was in 1880
  • whether it had a coat of arms, a clan, a tartan or a motto

Each pupil generated a MS Word document to record this information.

We then moved on to looking at first names. Each pupil was set homework to find out why they were given the name they have. They were to pay particular attention to –

  • whether they were named after a relative
  • whether they were named after someone famous
  • whether they were simply given the name because it was nice
  • whether they were given the name for any other pertinent reason

We soon discovered that our youngsters have a wide range of reasons for their first names being what they are! Two were named after someone famous, two were named after relatives and one got their name because their mum just liked it.

We also spent time using online resources to find out about the origin of each of the names. We looked for

  • country of origin
  • whether it has different forms in different languages
  • whether there was any other information about the evolution of the name
  • what the name means

Again, pupils used MS Word to create a document containing all of this important information. We had lots of fun finding out about the origins of our names – one of us has a name meaning “lion”, another has a name meaning “king” and someone else has a name meaning “stretch of water”. We also discovered the name Fiona means “ogre from Shrek”…or something like that 😉

Our next task was to look at family coats of arms in a little more detail. Each pupil was asked to find out what components there were in their respective coat of arms. They were then asked to use this information in conjunction with information about their own interests and background to create a more modern coat of arms for themselves! Using an online software template to build our own coat of arms, each pupil came up with a colourful and meaningful emblem for themselves. They included

  • a coat of arms with a Tardis, Darth Vader, Irish emblems and green flashes
  • a coat of arms with a Playstation, a cat, Hearts badge and a hill
  • a coat of arms with X Factor symbols, musical connotations and a meadow
  • a coat of arms with a hammer, a Playstation and a television

Each coat of arms was then transformed using appropriate colours – if the name had Irish origins, for example, the pupils opted for green chevrons or flashes. We then stored them for inclusion in our final family tree…

This week the pupils are going to start digging a little deeper into their family histories. Using information we have about great grandparents and other relatives born or alive before 1911, we will be using the online resource to look further back into our family history. We will be trying to use birth records, census records, marriage records and death records to establish

  • where our ancestors lived
  • who they lived with
  • what they did for a living
  • what they were called

We will use this information to extend our current trees and create a better picture of where we came from… 


CSI ELP Science…coming to a classroom near you soon!

ELP Science will be entering the realm of the forensic detective in the coming weeks and months – thanks to Inspector Ben of Scotland Yard showing an insatiable appetite for all things CSI!

We will be differentiating the current mainstream S3 Forensic Options course and introducing our Senior ELP Scientists to the world of finger prints, foot prints and deduction.

Whether it is generating our own finger prints and looking for incriminating whorls or measuring tyre treads in the mud, our intrepid investigators will be learning a range of important life skills and scientific competencies. It should even make watching CSI even more fun for them!

Aiming to ELP on Friday with Red Nose Day Bake Sale…

On Friday 15th March, the ELP pupils will be selling Red Nose baking to raise money for Comic Relief. We will be coming round classes during Period 2 and hoping to sell lots of goodies in aid of the charity. Having a Bake Sale is one of the 7 activities you can do to raise money. Why not check out the Comic Relief website for more information about how to do something funny for money?

We hope you will ELP our efforts by buying something from us on Friday – please bring lots of change to school!

In the meantime, here’s One Direction to help explain a little more!

ELP Burns Blog report by Ben and David…

The ELPs have been finding out about Robert Burns.

Robert Burns was born in 1759 on January 25th. He is Scotland’s most famous poet. He wrote famous poems such as “To a mouse” and “My love is like a red red rose”. His most famous song is “Auld Lang Syne” which is sung at New Year.

Here is a link to a short film about Burns. It only takes 3 minutes to watch so why not spend a little time learning something new about our most famous poet?

Ben and David

ELP effort for Children In Need Friday November 16th 2012

ELP Cooking on Friday will become ELP Pudsey Cooking – for one Friday only! The pupils will be making Pudsey Spotty Cakes during Period 1 and then will look to sell them to other people during Period 2, as our contribution towards Children in Need.The kids will bring some cakes home as usual but half of what they make will go to the charity.Please can everyone also remember to bring their cooking money with them in addition to the £1 donation all pupils are being asked for on the day.




Many thanks!


The website is up and running again…

Apologies for the non publication of ELP diaries on the school website. As so many users will be aware, the school website has been out of commission for many months. However, now that the gremlins have been banished, we are back in business as of today and ELP diaries will reappear again in the coming weeks and months.

We know many of the parents have missed this valuable insight into their youngster’s daily routine and learning and will be busy bringing you fun and games, starting with this week’s Children in Need Effort!


ELP RME update…

Overview of Term 1- This academic term the ELP students have been learning about several Autumn and Winter festivals as part of their RME Curriculum for Excellence course. We looked at festivals celebrated at this time of year in the local community and overseas. The students have explored why these festivals are important to people and how cultural and religious beliefs influence their actions.

We have looked at the Buddhist Chinese mid- Autumn Moon festival, the Christian Harvest festival, the Hindu Indian festival of Diwali, the Buddhist Thai festival of Loy Krathong, the Jewish festival of Hannukah and Christmas. To enhance our knowledge and communication skills we have read, role-played and retold traditional stories relating to these festivals and learnt many new words. We have played traditional Chinese and Indian Diwali games to develop our maths skills.

To develop our ICT, research and motor skills we have made paper lanterns, built krathong floats from bread and Thai orchids, written and wordprocessed pieces of writing, coloured- in and used the internet to find pictures on what we have learnt, made Diwali Diva lamps and Diwali money envelopes and some very cute Christmas Nativity finger puppets. We have felt some traditional Thai silk and eaten exotic Chinese fruits and Moon cake, it’s been really good fun!

Term 1. Harvest Festival

During the months of September and October, Preston Lodge High School’s Enhanced Provision students, as part of their RME curriculum, collected and donated toiletries, cleaning and household items to support Bethany Christian Trusts Harvest Homemaker Appeal. The students collected many items which were distributed amongst Bethany Christian Trust hostels and their services for homeless people.

Preston Lodge received a certificate of appreciation from Bethany and the students were awarded school based Curriculum for Excellence citizenship certificates

Term 1. Loy Krathong festival

During the months of November and December the ELP students learnt about the Thai festival of Loy Krathong. The students  built their own krathongs (using biodegradable materials) and floated them in the school pond. The students also established an international link with the The British International School of Phuket in Thailand. The ELPs sent emails to Thai students; introducing themselves, Scotland and their local community and outlining what they learnt about the Thai Loy Krathong festival. ELPS are global citizens!

Overview of Term 2-

From exploring religious festivals, beliefs and  practices celebrated in their local community and in other countries in term 1, succeeded by  studying rules that apply within groups, communities and in the world religion Christianity in Term 2,  the ELP students were presented for the SQA RMPS Access 2 modules; ‘Questioning Belief’ and ‘Questioning the World’.

Z Monaco

Week beginning January 30th 2012…

This week we will be looking to work very hard at completing the work we would like to finish before half term starts on February 10th…


This week we will be finishing our series of lessons on protecting our personal information when online. Using the Hector Protector series as a starting point for this topic, we have been finding out what we can safely put on the internet, who we can trust and how we can keep ourselves safe when gaming, on social network sites or message boards.

More information can be found on the ELP ICT link on this site including details of the CEOP website we have used resources from.

ELP Science

In Science our Junior ELPs have completed their woodland habitat word bank and used many of these new terms to make a revision game “Woodland Bingo”. We will be moving on to start making our model habitat in the coming weeks – with pupils being given the choice of designing a woodland habitat, a polar habitat or a marine habitat.

Our Senior ELPs have been continuing their work looking at the range of frequencies different species can hear at. More details can be found on the ELP Science pages of this website.

ELP Health

In conjunction with our ELP ICT lessons, recently we have been concentrating on keeping ourselves safe online. This week however we will be looking at real life scenarios where we may need to apply the self same rules…


Keeping ourselves safe…online!

In Health and ICT recently we have been working on a joint project which hopes to help us make good choices when trying to keep ourselves safe online.

Using the excellent resources provided by CEOP endorsed “Think u Know”, we have been exploring what can go wrong and how we can prevent this happening to us.

We have been using the series “Hector Protector” to work through some scenarios that can arise where our personal details may be shared with people we ought not to share them with – and deciding for ourselves who we know might legally need our private information and who we should not give it to.

We have learned about the problems that can arise through interactive online gaming with a story of Lee and Kim and, for the older pupils, we have also been negotiating the pitfalls of social networking sites. A very good video showing the dangers of the likes of Facebook has helped us have very mature debate and discussion around this.

The above link takes you to the site we have been predominantly using – it might be a good idea for your to take some time to familiarise yourself with some of the videos and materials so that you can also discuss this at home with your child.

Week beginning January 23rd 2012…

This week our ELP pupils will be keeping busy with a number of exciting topics!

ELP Science

Our Senior ELP Scientists will be continuing their work on the Sound and Music unit from Physics Int 1/Acc 3  with lessons concentrating on the hearing ranges of different animals. We will be asking some of the interesting questions our pupils came up with last week and trying to find a solution to them

  • Can fish hear? Do they have ears?
  • Why can a dog hear things we can’t?
  • Why do people say dolphins and whales talk to each other – they live under water?
  • Do elephants big ears mean they have the best hearing?
  • What animal has the best hearing?
  • How do bats and owls use hearing to hunt?

Our Junior ELP Scientists will be contininuing their work on animal habitats by exploring woodland wildlife in more depth. We will be looking at where the following animals live:

  • rabbit
  • badger
  • owl
  • bee
  • caterpillar
  • frog

ELP ICT and ELP Health

We will continue with our serious of lessons about keeping ourselves safe when online. Using a variety of stage appropriate resources from CEOP we are addressing the need to keep personal information private whilst online unless you are dealing with a trusted person or institution. We will continue to work on the need for safe gaming and Facebook use – using multimedia resources to consolidate and elaborate what we learn.


Our ELP pupils very much enjoyed their boccia day at Meadowmill last Tuesday. This week they will be back to normal undertaking work in the fitness suite. Please ensure PE kit is brought in on the days we have PE on the timetable – thank you.

ELP Home Economics

Due to their regular teacher, Mrs Beattie, now being on maternity leave the ELP HE classes will be taken by Mrs Waldie. The pupils are all very familiar with Mrs W and we do not anticipate anything other than a very smooth transition in terms of changing class 😉

Burns Night

As always, the annual Burns Supper event will be held in school this week. Further information can be found on the front page of the school website and tickets obtained from Mrs Hunter in Home Economics. All parents and adult members of families are welcome.