Post Office trip is First Class…

This week as part of our Life Skills development we paid a visit to the local Post Office. Our mission was to investigate:

  • how much a first class stamp cost
  • how long it takes for first class mail to be delivered
  • how much a small parcel being posted to Dundee would cost
  • how we buy stamps
  • how we get someone else to post our parcel
  • how we post a card or letter

We walked to the Post Office, practising our Green Cross Code along the way, rehearsing the lines we would have to say when we got there. Dale was to try and post a parcel, Amy was to find out how much a stamp cost and Steven was to put the stamp on a card and find out where you posted it. This was going to involve speaking to new people, asking important questions and listening hard to the answers. We were going to have to work as a team and bring back what we learnt to the classroom for discussion before writing up an item on our trip.

Eyemouth – linking our lessons on the body to our local area and art…


We have been studying the human body in Science this year and have enjoyed finding out all about our interesting organs and beautiful bones. We also have been looking at wonderful pictures in Art and our Cross-curricular lessons and we came across this fabulous painting that we thought tied our science in nicely with our art and our school!

The painting is by world renowned local artist John Bellany, who is a great supporter of Preston Lodge High School and its pupils, and is a representation of a boat in Eyemouth Harbour.

The pupils, who are thoroughly enjoying their physiology lessons in Science, immediately made a connection and we decided to look a bit more closely at Eyemouth, Bellany’s work and have a go ourselves of making pictures of Eyemouth, as well as eyes and mouths!

Firstly, we broke down the word Eyemouth into its two main component parts – was the town really called Eyemouth because of some famous eye and mouth? Nobody in the class was really sure, so we decided to do a bit of research.

We soon discovered that there was no eye in the biological sense but rather that there was a river called Eye Water that ran into Eyemouth Harbour. We then discovered that rivers have mouths too (but there are no teeth and no tongue). A river mouth is where the river flows into the sea.

So…Eyemouth is where the Eye Water flows into the North Sea – at the mouth!


We also decided to do a bit more research about Bellany – some of the pupils remembered that they had seen a picture by Bellany in Ms Nanson’s room and elsewhere in the school. Where would we find these pictures and could Ms Nanson help us in researching this artist?

We took the picture we had (the one featured at the top of the page) and we went on a Bellany Hunt round the school. Had we really seen more Bellany prints? Or were some of the pictures by someone else?

We went to a lovely picture of an arch that is hung just outside the main school hall. It is made up of lovely oranges and reds and browns and looks a lot like a Bellany in terms of colour but we soon realised it had been made by some of the school art pupils for On Our Doorstep and, no matter how attractive and professional it may seem, is not a Bellany. We had fun looking at it though.

However, it was not long before we did find more than one print of another Bellany picture in the school – and our brainiac memory wizards were to be proven absolutely 100% correct. Ms Nanson does have a Bellany print on her classroom wall! She was very pleased that some of her pupils had noticed it and remembered it. It was similar in style to our picture at the top and used many of the same colours. It was, however, of a different scene. We liked it a lot all the same – thank you Ms Nanson!

We found at least one other example of Bellany around the school building, showing his influence on our work, and we went back to class full armed to tackle our next task – to make our own version of Eyemouth Harbour trying to use the colours and style of the artist. We were going to have to choose our materials and equipment carefully…

Orange…yellow…brown…red…bright green…bright blue…big strokes….bold shapes…bright and warm. Some of the things we talked about before we started. The end results were spectacular and can be viewed on display in the Learning Zone from next week onwards.

We then looked at different artwork portraying Eyemouth Harbour in various ways – have a look for yourself by following the link at the top to some of the pictures we considered.

All of this interesting work came about because one of our pupils made the connection between their science work and the name of a place not far from Preston Lodge. We just love cross-curricular lessons!


Week beginning May 19th 2008…

This week is On our Doorstep week!

On our Doorstep

Follow the above link to find out more about the coming Open Afternoon this Thursday May 22nd – and please feel free to come in and see what your child has been doing. You will not be disappointed!

The ELP contribution to On Our Doorstep is substantial:

  • a short performance of their original play The 124 Bus
  • a display of Prestonpans photographs past and present found by using the resources of the internet in their ICT class
  • a superb 3D model of Prestonpans (do not miss!)
  • a pictorial map of East Lothian undertaken in their geography lessons
  • the sale of our Science market garden plants including peppers, nasturtiums, cornflowers, sunflowers, tomatoes, onions, chilli peppers and more…
  • art work including pictures of our own doorsteps
  • bird boxes made in CDT that look like Prestonpans houses

And more! 

The children will spend many of their lessons this week doing the final preparations for the big day. This will include rehearsing in the drama studio, setting up our 3D model as pride of place in the school, finishing the final touches on much of our art work and moving our plants ready for sale.

It will be a busy week all round but we will also ensure that the key subject areas of English and Maths are still undertaken.

We look forward to showing you all our fantastic work on Thursday – bring a camera to take photos of your child’s great work!

East Lothian Multisports fun!

Today our ELP pupils enjoyed a trip to Meadowmill to take part in an East Lothian multisports event attended by all the local secondary schools. The pupils had a fabulous time trying out four very different sports and were thoroughly exhausted (but happy) afterwards.

The four sports the children enjoyed were

  • archery
  • curling
  • carpet bowls
  • boules

Thank you to Mr Bennion, Mrs Torley, Mrs Reid and Mr Leslie for helping us with this fantastic trip!

The Number 124 Bus

The pupils have been rehearsing their performance of a short and sweet play about East Lothian called “The 124 Bus”.

The children devised the script, setting and roles themselves – creating a 3 minute invitation to enjoy the sites of East Lothian with them.

In ICT lessons they searched for images of East Lothian to be used as a backdrop to the performance. To do this they used their ever improving skills with the search engine Google.

In Drama they were given specialist input from school Drama Teacher Mrs Gammie – with props, ideas, rehearsal space and feedback much appreciated!

In Maths we used the 124 bus timetable to practise our skills using time and money.

In Social Studies we found out about the Battle of Prestonpans and the story of the creation of the St Andrew’s Cross at Athelstaneford.

The performance will be undertaken as part of the On Our Doorstep project on May 22nd 2008. Please feel free to take three or four minutes out of your schedule at Open Afternoon to come and see these wonderful pupils perform a completely original piece of drama!

Mapping out the world…

Since the February half term the children have been undertaking a geography module taught by Mr Simcock and Mr Samuel.

This module has involved the children learning about

  • maps and how they show where places in Scotland (and the world) are
  • making their own maps of East Lothian (pictorial)
  • making their own 3D model of East Lothian (highlighting landmarks)
  • countries of the UK and their names
  • flags of the UK countries
  • flags of the world (USA, Canada, South Africa, France and so on…)
  • national dress of various countries (from kilts to kimonos!)
  • names of the continents

Much of the work has been carried out allowing the children to express themselves through creative arts in conjunction with write on work sheets.

Their work will be displayed at On Our Doorstep in May – all are welcome!

The Preston Lodge Weather Station commission…the rain gauge!

Amy and Dale check on the rain gauge

Our rain gauge made from a 2l juice bottle, beaker and waterproof tape

(Here is our Rain Gauge made from recycled materials…we check on it at regular times throughout the week, take a note of any rainfall, record the volume and then empty the gauge if it is getting too full…)

The ELP students have spent the last few weeks designing, constructing, testing and then commissioning our very own Preston Lodge Weather Station.

We will be using our weather station to predict and record the weather at Preston Lodge High School – and compare it to the forecasts predicted by the BBC or Met Office meteorologists! This project will run continuously through until the summer holidays and we shall display our results, findings (and hopefully our own weather forecast animation!) at the school Open Day for On Our Doorstep in May.

Here you can find updates of our progress in the form of a photographic diary…

Black gold – a Prestonpans poem to celebrate Burn’s Night

Black gold – a Prestonpans mining poem

This week as we look to celebrate the birthday of the national bard, Robert Burns, we have chosen to read and discuss a poem called Black Gold. This poem was written by Prestoungrange Poet Laureate, John Lindsay, to mark Burn’s Night 2006.

It can be read again at home with your child by clicking on the link above.

In class we have talked about the following thoughts and ideas having read the poem:

  • mining is/was a very dirty job
  • miners work hard – they get very sweaty!
  • mining is/was a dangerous job – the poem speaks about death
  • miners are like brothers – with jokes and fun at lunchtime
  • miners work hard because their fathers worked hard too
  • coal is called black gold because it is important and precious evern if it is dirty and dusty