Gossip Girl stirs the pot about missing cakes with Miss Angus!


This week Gossip Girl has been interviewing Miss Angus, our Home Economics teacher. Hoping to get some of the gossip about those gannets in CDT Gossip Girl asked the questions nobody else dares!

Gossip Girl – Miss Angus how long have you been at Preston Lodge?

Miss Angus – I am now in my sixth year here.

Gossip Girl – Did you always want to be a cooking teacher?

Miss Angus – No! I wanted to be a primary teacher but then I spent a week in a secondary school and loved it and so changed my mind!

Gossip Girl – What is your favourite food?

Miss Angus – I love all food but I really like an Indian meal from the take away!

Gossip Girl – Who is your favourite TV cook?

Miss Angus – James Martin who does a programme on a Saturday morning – I think he’s rather dishy!

Gossip Girl – Why do you like him?

Miss Angus – He makes great food with lots of butter, cream and nice meats. And he’s rather dishy!

Gossip Girl – Is it true Mr Cruickshank steals all the cakes?

Miss Angus – YES! He is terrible! He is SO GREEDY! He just has to smell the aroma of baking and he appears at my door pretending he has a question to ask. He is awful!

Gossip Girl – We hear you are getting married this summer – what will be your new name?

Miss Angus – Mrs Beattie!

Gossip Girl – Is it true that Mandy and Fiona are going to be your bridesmaids and wear big pink fluffy dresses?

Miss Angus – They are going to be my bridesmaids but I won’t put them in pink. Possibly lilac with pink trim!

Miss Angus asked for a lovely photo of James Martin to accompany this interview. (Not Mr Cruickshank aka greedyguts).

Star turns…

This week in ICT we have been practising our writing skills in addition to our word processing and blogging techniques…

We were asked by Mrs B to write a short story about one of two events:

  • the school concert
  • the Variety Club Party

Our short story was to contain the following:

  • which event we were describing
  • at least two different reasons why we enjoyed the event
  • an image to illustrate our feelings (to be obtained by using our internet skills)

Half of us chose to write about the school concert and the other half chose to write about the Variety Club Party. Here are some of the extracts lifted from our MS Word files – we hope you enjoy reading them.

We went to the EICC to have fun! We got to see a band playing and we got to see a girl dancing. And the band was playing “Dashing through the snow” and then Santa came in to the hall. We went by train and taxi and walked”.

“We had fun at the concert. Mum and Dad and Gran and Paw came to watch. I liked the bag pipes.I liked the trumpet.”



I   had  fun at  the  Christmas    concert   I   sang a song and  I   watched  the   pipes   and drums .   I sang Living  in my own world  and everyone    cried!

These simple stories took a lot of effort and enthusiasm to write for our special young persons. They set about their task with great vigour and used a number of strategies and techniques to help them work as independently as possible – they especially loved using the MS Word “WordTalk” Toolbar to check their own writing made sense. (Especially as you can make the tool voice Scottish – this always raises a giggle!)

Our pupils may not be able to express themselves in written or oral form in the same way as their mainstream peers however they are most certainly able to relay to us in their own way what being involved in things like the school concert means to them.

Whether is was the sheer force of the energy levels in the build up to the event, the incessant chatter about the performance to all who would listen, the excitement of being given a dressingroom and private buffet (thank you so much Mrs Pow!) or the emotional tears before, during and after the shows – we KNOW how much this meant to these youngsters. Inclusion is best served properly – and we can only express our heartfelt thanks to the Music Department for making these young people feel completely included.

*So many staff assist us in delivering an integrated and elaborated programme for our ELP youngsters that ensures they have as real a taste of inclusion as we can possibly manage. It’s a time of year for saying thank you and we appreciate the hard work and care that is put into the ELP pupils from so many mainstream teachers and other staff.

We regularly ask the pupils for feedback as to how they are enjoying and coping with the rigours of the programme and – without fail – when we ask about the “best things” about being at Preston Lodge the pupils tell us they love the classes where mainstream and SfL staff come together to make things happen. So a huge THANK YOU to all the mainstream staff and support staff who have made these children so happy in their school life.

These young people feel they belong to this school, are hugely proud of this school and are thriving in this school thanks to all your efforts. It is impossible to imagine life without them now and whether it is simply that you say hello to them and make them feel part of things, let them feed your fish, get your shopping so they can practise using money, teach them to make toast, encourage them to sing, make jewellery boxes with them, dance with them, sing with them, play dodge ball with them, encourage their art work, show them how their bodies work or make them laugh…a big THANK YOU.

And a Merry Christmas 😉

Variety is the spice of life!

On Monday December 14th 2009, our ELP pupils were lucky enough to attend this year’s annual Variety Club Christmas Party at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The event is nationally renowned and we were delighted to be able to give our pupils the opportunity to take part in something that is such a well known annual occasion.

The trip was ably and diligently marshalled by Mrs Todd, assisted by Mrs Menzies, Mr Leslie and Mrs Binnie – and we would like to say a big “thank you”, especially to Mrs Todd, for making this happen.

We travelled in a variety of ways in order to get to the EICC (pictured above).

Firstly, we set out on foot in the cold December rain to the local train station – taking the long way round in order that our wheelchair bound pupils could access the platform for Edinburgh. We then boarded the 10.37am train into the city, with a kind guard helping us get ramps sorted so that our wheels could access the carriage. We watched as we whizzed past Wallyford, Musselburgh, Portobello before finally reaching our destination – Waverley Station.


As we arrived we could see the Christmas lights, the trees, the German Market and the big wheel pictured above. Edinburgh looked very festive indeed! The EICC is not really very far from the station however it is not well served by a bus service at the moment – much to do with the fact Princes Street is still a permanent road works. We also had to consider the needs of all of our party and so opted to take a 5 minute taxi hop to Haymarket. Again we had the services of a kind taxi driver who helped us get our hot wheels into the first cab (with a bit of help from Rachael). Soon we were on our way down Castle Terrace and heading towards the main event!

When we arrived we were greeted by two very smart men wearing uniforms. At first some of us thought the Navy were guarding the event but then it was explained to us that the men were in uniform for their job – they were to be smart and professional looking when they greeted visitors into the centre. We were soon shown down into the main function suite (pictured above). It was set out with lots of big round tables, had lovely twinkling lights all round the walls of the room and had a very Christmassy feel indeed! Table 31 had been set aside for Preston Lodge – the organisers had thought of everything – and there were exactly the right number of chairs for our personnel. We felt we had been made very welcome indeed!

The party started off with a lovely concert performed by a variety of organisations:

  • Lighthouse Dance Project (a dance group with special needs dancers who performed two routines in delightful manner)
  • Firrhill High School Orchestra and Percussion Band (who were frankly outstanding – there were hairs standing up on the back of necks during their performances)
  • West Lothian Wind Band (who ran an excellent medley of Christmas classics)
  • A young lady called Beth who performed extracts from River Dance (and amazed Dale with her coiled, curly hair!)

and one other special guest star…can you guess who it was?

Father Christmas dropped by on his way to Lapland to continue making his Ben 10s and Hannah Montana dolls. With him he brought a sleigh full of presents – each one specially chosen for our lucky guests! Mrs Todd and Dale went up to meet Santa when he called out our school name and collected a sack of goodies for our table. There were lovely toiletries and leather handbags for the girls and CD players for the boys. Some got art sets and others got cuddly toys. It was a very generous Santa we encountered in Edinburgh!

After the excitement of the sleigh and the presents Santa spent a lot of time going round the tables meeting all the boys and girls. Some of us got our photographs taken with him – and we will download these later this week during ICT.

The party then got into full flow with a disco and games. We danced like Beyonce, musical statued with the best of them and took part in a massive conga round the EICC. (We have a lovely photo of Mrs Todd taking part in this – so watch this space!)

Sadly, it was all too soon time to go home. And we made our way back to Prestonpans via planes, trains and automobiles (well foot, train and taxi).

We all had a fab time and just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who made it possible, especially Mrs Todd!

12 days of Christmas and having fun in ICT!

This week in ICT we have been using our internet and Microsoft Word skills to make a presentation on The Twelve Days of Christmas for our classroom wall. In planning how we were going to approach this mission, we had FAR TOO MUCH FUN singing the lyrics to the song 😉

We divided the 12 days into 3 bundles of 4 and allocated each bundle to one team. Team Dale had the task of finding suitable illustrations for days 1 to 4, Team Amy had to find lovely pictures to show off days 5 through to 8 and Team Steven were given the job of coming up with images for days 9 to 12. With great vigour we set about finding Lords a leaping, geese a laying and golden rings.


We used Word to capture our images and arrange them into an order – a numerical order but without the numbers. Instead of a number one, we had a partridge in a pear tree, instead of number seven we had the swans swimming…and created a fabulously festive number line for our younger ELP colleagues to use in maths throughout the month of December.

Oh and we sung for Scotland along the way…

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!

Blood, blood, glorious blood…ew!


In ELP Science this week we have been finding out about BLOOD (ew!)

We have found out that blood is a mixture made up of:

·      red blood cells

·      plasma

·      white blood cells

We have found out that blood comes in different types. Steven has found some interesting information about the blood groups. They are:

·      A

·      B

·      O

·      AB

Steven found this map using Google. It shows the spread of the blood group A across the earth’s population. He also found maps for blood groups B and O.



Amy investigated red blood cells. She found out they were this shape and colour…


We think it looks like a counter from Connect 4 😉

Dale investigated white blood cells. He loved this photograph from a microscope that shows a white blood cell in amongst the red ones. We discovered that white blood cells fight disease and infection and that we need them to stay healthy.




In the next few weeks we will be bringing you more information about blood. The information will be brought to you using the letters B, O and A…


Gossip Girl meets…Mrs Donaldson!

This week Gossip Girl meets the woman responsible for looking after sick pupils and working in the office, Mrs Donaldson.

Gossip Girl – How long have you been at Preston Lodge?

Mrs D – well, I have worked in the school for 17 years! 10 years in the kitchen, 7 years working with pupils.

Gossip Girl- Do you have to put bandages on people?

Mrs D – Yes I do, sometimes. It depends if they have a sprain or a cut or graze. Sometimes people need a bandage to keep things clean or give support.

Gossip Girl- If Dale was not well would you look after him?

Mrs D – Of course I would – for a while. It is most important however to contact the parents though.

Gossip Girl- Do you give people medicines like paracetamol?

Mrs D- Sometimes, yes. Some people need medicines handed out every day. However I am not allowed to give out paracetamol unless it is provided by parents.

Gossip Girl- When you go home after a busy day do you get to put your feet up and does your husband make the tea?

Mrs D- This is very difficult to answer! DO I HAVE TO BE HONEST?

No, I don’t get to put my feet up. Sometimes I do First Aid training after school and my husband doesn’t know how to cook!

Gossip Girl- when you are ill, who looks after you?

Mrs D – well, thankfully I am not unwell very often. However, my daughter is going to be a nurse and if I’m really bad she would help me.

Gossip Girl- were you 21 recently?

Mrs D – Of course! Just within the last few weeks!

Gossip Girl – Mrs Trolley spread rumours about you – are they true? Is it true that you walked about Edinburgh in the dark in the middle of the night with your underwear on?

Mrs D – Oh my goodness, all my secrets have been given away! Do I need to tell the truth again? Yes – I did! Why? I did it to raise money for Breast Cancer research – it is called the MOONWALK.

Mrs D was asked by Gossip Girl which photo she would like to accompany her interview and Mrs D made a very different request! She told us that MR BISHOP was her pin up and could she have a photo of him? We agreed and the photograph has been taken…it will soon be on the server and will appear here in due course. What a great reason to come back and read this interview TWICE 😉

Fishy business by Steven…

We have 3 fish. They live in Dr Voges room. They are called Rainbow HB and the fish with no name.


We used to have a fish called Fingers but he died. So we went to Dobbies to buy new fish with Mrs B. We bought two fish and called them Rainbow and HB (Hanna Banana!).


The other fish was given to Dr Voge by the Sixth Year Physics class. We can’t decide what to call it so it is the fish with no name.


We feed the fish three times each week. This is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We clean the fish out once a term before the holiday.


We like the fish because they are good fun and we have to take care of them. Best of all is that we get to visit Dr Voge. He is the best!

PS We looked for a picture of Doc Voge using Google image but the best they could come up with was this (which Mrs B thought was quite funny but we dont know why!) 😉

Readers Letter Page


Dear ELP Editors,

I am delighted with the Gossip Girl article.  You have done a fantastic job and it was a real honour to be interviewed by you.  I feel like a celebrity.

Mrs Robertson

PS  It is a great picture of George Clooney

Julia Robertson
Depute Head Teacher
Preston Lodge High School

Biology trip to Cumbrae – Special ELP Report

Principal Teacher of Biology, Mrs Allan, recently visited a special scientific centre on the West Coast of Scotland. Our ELP Science Correspondent, Phil de Beaker, decided to get along to the hub of activity that is the Science Department to interview our favourite Mrs A about this exciting visit.

ELP Science Correspondent – Mrs Allan,  where did you go on this weekend trip?

Mrs A –  I went to an island called Cumbrae on the west coast of Scotland to visit a Marine Station.

ELP Science Correspondent – Why did you go?

Mrs A – I went to find out what happens there because I would like to take a group of Advanced Higher pupils there next year. Oh and I also thought it would be quite fun!

ELP Science Correspondent – How did you get there?

Mrs A – I drove to Largs and then got the ferry boat across the Firth of Clyde to Cumbrae.

ELP Science Correspondent – Where did you stay?

Mrs A – I stayed in a fabulous 5 Star hotel with a sauna, jacuzzi and heated swimming pool. It was so relaxing – that when I got back home, I looked into an infrared sauna sale at the mall and checked when it would be cheapest to get one this year for our home.

ELP Science Correspondent – When did you go?

Mrs A – I went on the 4th of September. I had to miss one day of school to go on the Friday and I came back on the Sunday night.

ELP Science Correspondent – What did you see?

Mrs A – Oh, I saw so many wonderful things! Lobsters, sun stars, lemon sole, plankton, crabs with big claws strong enough to cut off your finger! You’ll be amazed when you see all my photographs.

ELP Science Correspondent – What was the weather like?

Mrs A – We had typical Scottish weather. Sunshine on the Friday, pouring rain on the Saturday! The photos will show it well.

ELP Science Correspondent – Mrs A, a sneaky question. What were the pupils from Ross High like?

Mrs A – The pupils at Ross High were great. However, Preston Lodge pupils – especially you lot – will always be my favourites!

ELP Science Correspondent says : Mrs A’s photographs will soon be made available as a slideshow on the school website – please don’t miss them as they are magic!