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 Whole School Project contribution boxes clever…

The ELP pupils will, as always be contributing to the work being done to make our annual Open Day the success it always is through our Whole School Project, London 2012.

We will be using a number of curricular areas to celebrate the success of our former pupil, Josh Taylor, in qualifying to represent Team GB at the London Olympics. Our plans include:

  • building “Josh’s Gym” – a 3D lifesize version of a boxing gym kitted out with suitable equipment thanks to collaboration with our excellent PE teachers
  • using boxing vocabulary in English to create written pieces about Josh’s participation at the Olympics for display at Open Day
  • creating a computer-based presentation to be used as our backdrop in our ICT lessons
  • learning about healthy hearts, lungs, diet and muscles in our ELP Science lessons and comparing Josh with other boxers such as David Haye – who would have the bigger reach, heart and weight? What difference would that make?
  • learning about the role sport and self defence lessons might have in boosting our mental health as well as our physical health in our ELP Health lessons.

We are certainly going to be boxing clever for this year’s Whole School Project contribution thanks to Josh and his wonderful news!


Information, information, information…

This week in ICT we have been looking at getting information from different resources and sources. We tend to always want to use the internet to get information and this is all well and good a lot of the time – especially in ICT! However, there are a lot of instances where we might need  or want to use alternative sources of information.

Mrs B found a lot of interesting leaflets during the school holiday for us to look at, read and scan for important information like price of entry, opening times, seasonal opening hours and attraction information. These included leaflets for Edinburgh Castle, Deep Sea World, John Muir’s Birthplace, Amazonia and many more local attractions. We each chose three leaflets each and had to explain what attracted us to them. Then we were given the task of finding:

  • the entry price for a child
  • the entry price for a family
  • the opening times at the weekend

Some of the leaflets were great and contained all of this information. Others did not. We then had to consider other forms of communication to access the missing information – including the use of the internet.

The other activity we asked to do this week was to write an email to Mrs Hoban in Dubai. We all wrote our own short email independently on our personal white boards and then typed them up into Word before attaching them to an email bound for Dubai…we await the reply with baited breath!

Our leaflet about Edinburgh Castle.

Steven chose this as one of his options. He found out it opens at 9.30am in the morning and closes at 6pm at night during the summer months. Dale chose to find out the times and prices for Deep Sea World but unfortunately their leaflet did not contain this information. He had to go onto Google to find this out. Amy chose the leaflet for Amazonia. It was the best leaflet for this information and Amy was able to find all of the prices and times she needed to access without any difficulty.

We will continue to do more of this kind of work in ICT to overlap with work being undertaken by Mrs Thomson on factual texts in English.


Preston Lodge Bafta vote decided by survey…

This week in ICT we thought we could combine some important computing skills we have acquired recently with an interest in all of the news about Oscars and Baftas…

Last weekend saw a number of performers, films and production staff win awards for their work over the last year. The BAFTAS (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) were presented to such popular films as Up, Avatar and The Hurt Locker. As part of our weekly chat about things going on in the outside world, the pupils began discussing who they thought should have won a BAFTA – and why.

Amy thought Hannah Montana the Movie should win Best Film as “it was a good story with lots of great songs”.

Steven thought that Up should win best animation because “it was really funny and it made me laugh!”

Dale hadn’t seen the film he thought might win something (Invictus) but said he thought it would because it was a film with lots of action and he “liked action films and it has God (Morgan Freeman) and Bourne (Matt Damon) in it”. Dale suggested his favourite film that he had seen in 2009 had been X Men – Origins

We wondered what kind of films other people in Preston Lodge might like? In the last few weeks we have been practising collecting data, interacting with people and using information from surveys to analyse other information at life in Preston Lodge. We have conducted an Emotions Survey and thought we could perhaps do something similar to ascertain what film might win a  PLACE? <Preston Lodge Award for Creativity and  Entertainment>

We decided to short list 7 films for consideration. They did not all have to be 2009/10 films but they did have to come from a variety of  “genres” (style of movie).

These would include action, comedy, animation, romance, drama and musical.

We used YouTube to help us find appropriate trailers (always remembering that the film chosen had to be no more than a “12” rating) to watch and analyse ourselves before coming up with our final shortlist. We made sure we included our own nominations as well.

The final selection was as follows:

  • “Up” – a BAFTA winning and Oscar nominated animation comedy nominated by Steven because it is his favourite
  • “Hannah Montana the Movie” – a Disney Channel award winning musical teen film just because
  • “X men – origins” – an action movie nominated by Dale because it is his favourite
  • “Invictus” – a BAFTA winning and Oscar nominated drama nominated by Dale and Mrs B
  • “Titanic” – an Oscar winning romance nominated by Amy because she thought the ladies in the office would like it
  • “Slumdog Millionaire” – an Oscar and BAFTA winning drama nominated by Dale because he thought a lot of people liked it
  • “Avatar” – a BAFTA winning and Oscar nominated animation nominated by Steven because he wants to see it and lots of people have been to see it.

Randomly selected staff were accosted in corridors, classrooms, offices and car parks  and (as long as they were not busy with something too important to be interrupted) asked the vital question:

“Which one of these movies is the most attractive to you?”

Here are some of the completely unidentifiable responses we got from staff when they gave us their in-confidence responses…

  • An anonymous  random male member of staff who teaches music insisted that “it had to be Hannah Montana!”
  • An unnamed female member of staff who makes coffee in the staff room declared “it has to be Leonardo and Kate!”
  • A random HE teacher living next door to Mr Cruickshanks room exclaimed “I haven’t seen it but that doesn’t matter does it? Jai ho”.
  • An anonymous PT CDT living near Miss Angus said “I don’t think much of that Jai ho thing. Can I choose one I haven’t seen too?” and went for Invictus.
  • An unnamed male SfL auxiliary who wears a beanie hat said “Go girlfriend! It has to be Miley!”
  • An anonymous male PE teacher who definitely isn’t Mr Sellwood said “OH MY GOODNESS!! DID MR BISHOP AND STUART REALLY GO FOR HANNAH MONTANA? DEAR ME!”

Once our survey had been completed we brought the results back to the classroom and put the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. We had headings for each film and then totalled up the number of votes for each one.

With 40% of the overall vote the winner of the PLACE 2010 for Best Film was SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

In second place equal with 20% each of the overall vote came “AVATAR” and “HANNAH MONTANA”.

In fourth place equal with 5% each of the overall vote came “X MEN ORIGINS”, “INVICTUS”,  “TITANIC” and “UP”.

We plotted these results as a chart to display on our Blog Wall and to use as a visual aid in the coming weeks when we give a short talk about what we did in our survey and how we got the final results.

Try our Christmas Quiz to get you in the festive mood…

This week we have been working on writing our own special Christmas Quiz to practise our writing  and ICT skills. Have a wee go and see how many answers you know! (We will publish the answers later).

Question 1

What are the names of Santa’s reindeer?

Question 2

In the song “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” what will “soon be out of sight”?

Question 3

What did my true love give to me on the Fifth Day of Christmas?

Question 4

In the Christmas film “Its a wonderful life” how do we know an angel has gotten its wings?

Question 5

Who plays Santa in the “Santa Clause”?

Question 6

Who speaks to the nation at 3pm on Christmas Day?

Question 7

What Christmas movie is this photo from?

Question 8

Which band has had the most Christmas Number Ones in the last twenty years?

Question 9

When was the last time an X Factor winner wasn’t Christmas No 1?

Question 10

Who invented the Christmas Cracker?




Good luck and Merry Christmas from The Elps!

Time to Rhyme in ELPs

In English we have been looking at and finding rhyming words and we will be continuing with this all week. We have played Rhyme Bingo and have to listen very carefuly for the end sound of words like : house/mouse;fair/square. This is a great game to pass the time, especially in the car, on the bus or train. Instead of bingo you could give pionts for the highest number of rhyming words your child can find.

Challenge them further by using everyday objects around the house like plate- late, state, great, mate.

Bed – said, fed, led, tread.

Visit the library and borrow a copy of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes or Michael Rosen’s Pilly Soems.



Working with dinosaurs…The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

As part of our One Scotland look at the Lost World, written by Edinburgh author Arthur Conan Doyle, we will be taking aspects of this piece of work into a number of different subject areas.

Primarily we will be reading an abridged, differentiated version of the book courtesy of the UNESCO City of Literature 2009 – Edinburgh! Practising our reading skills will be an important part of this project.

In Science we will be looking at dinosaurs from a scientific point of view – investigating what scientists think they know about the lives of dinosaurs, where they lived, what they ate and how they perhaps disappeared from the planet. We will be looking at modern day survivors of the Jurassic era – how has the crocodile managed to hang around for so long, when other animals have gone?

In Gardening we will be finding out from the Botanic Gardens and other useful sources of information what sort of plants might have been growing when the dinosaurs roamed the planet. We can use this information to help us plan our own model of The Lost World. We want to make sure the greenery we use is appropriate to the time.

In Social Studies we will be looking more closely at the history of the dinosaur – the timelines some scientists have given to the various animals based on the fossilised remains that archeologists have found. We will become detectives in working out our own history of the dinosaur!

With Miss Strachan we will look more closely at the work of Arthur Conan Doyle – becoming detectives again, like his famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. We hope to visit some of the landmarks in Edinburgh where he was born, lived, studied or worked.

As part of our preparations for all of this work we have been undertaking research using books,experts, ICT and media broadcasts.

Mr McKay unwittingly became something of an “eye witness” for our pupils when he wandered into a history lesson this week. Asked by the children what he knew about dinosaurs, Mr McKay impressed us with tales of how dinosaurs lay and tend their eggs – explaining how baby dino gender is determined by egg temperature. Later on the same day the pupils could be heard innocently telling another member of staff that Mr McKay had been around with the dinosaurs…

We have sourced a number of fabulous items including the following link to a BBCi player programme first broadcast on February 19th. Please be aware there are time limits on accessing it. It would be fantastic if the children were to have the opportunity to watch this programme for themselves in the relaxation of their own homes. It is part of the Little Howard’s Big Questions series. The programme is called Could Dinosaurs Ever Come Back?


We hope that you all enjoy it.


Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année

“Bonjour, Ms Russell, ça va?”

“Bonjour, ça va bien ,merci. Et toi?”

“Oh, comme ci comme ça. Au revoir Ms Russell”

“Au revoir”.


Which translates :


“Hello Ms Russell are you ok?”

“Hello, yes very well thank you. And you?”

“Oh so so. Good bye Ms Russell.”

“Good bye.”


They particularly enjoy the opportunity to say “Bof!”

Which means “ Not so good”.


We have also made Christmas cards that say Joyeux Noël and posters, which show the months of the year.


So from the ELPS and Ms Russell


Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!


Can you do better?







  Missing Words




Ms Russell gave a sheet that had sentences with missing words.

At the bottom of the sheet was a list of words that would fit into the spaces – one word for each sentence.


However Ms Russell knows how clever we are and she folded the paper over so we couldn’t see the words and we had to think of alternative words.


We all took it in turns to read, and we had Ms Russell and Sophie and Mrs Cullen to help us, but we really tried as much as we could on our own.


Here is a selection of the sentences and the words that were suggested __(__)__alongside the many words we came up with!!


  1. I ___(hit)__ the ball very hard.    kicked       threw
  2. The ___(wind)__ blew in the trees.   balloon   kite  hat   paper
  3. The bad dog___(bit)__ a hole in the slipper.   chewed    ripped    ate
  4. My sister has __( six)__ dolls   Barbie    Bratz   china    19    baby
  5. We sailed on a _(big)__ boat to France.  slow   fast    fancy   Sealink
  6. Sam’s mum took __(him)__  to the zoo.  me   you  friends  us   a bus


So use your imagination whenever you can to improve your vocabulary!

A walk in the park…

Using Looking and Thinking text book we have created a story called A Walk in the Park. We looked for clues, and gave the people in the picture names and identities. The ELPs are very good at naming people!

We all contributed, and hope you enjoy the story.

A Walk in the Park


It is a warm spring day and a mother and her two children are walking through the park. One child is too small to walk and is being pushed in a pram. The other child is holding his mother’s hand. Bobby is the little boy who is holding his mum’s hand, and the baby is called Bryce.

A dog is sitting down and has been tied to a tree. The dog is looking at the baby in the pram. The dog is called Frodo.

Rob and Hecker, the gardeners, are reading a newspaper. They are sitting on the park bench. They have been busy digging and planting new trees to make the park look tidy.

Granny Joan and Susanne are walking over the bridge and they are going to town to do their shopping and have some lunch.

Grant is on his bike on the other side of the park hedge watching the steam from the train.



Nov 2008.