All posts by Mrs.Binnie

Support for Learning/Chemistry Teacher at Preston Lodge High School

Open Day Italiano!


May 26th 2010.


 Open Doors Afternoon 2pm-4pm

Evening Concert @7pm.


  • Visit the display of work in the school hall and foyer areas
  • Our HE dept have organised a variety of stalls in the market place
  • Taste our Italian ice cream, pizza, fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, baking, bread
  • Visit our Italian cafe
  • Bask in the sunshine in the Italian garden created by our pupils in the Learning Zone
  • Listen to the music rehearsals in the hall
  • Join us at 7pm for a master recital of Italian musical pieces by our exceptionally talented school musicians and singers



Ideas for 2010 Sixties theme…

Whether it be inspiration gathered from footage or images of Mohammed Ali or the artwork of Andy Warhol (and the above nicely combines both) we are sure that the umbrella topic of the 1960s is going to provide staff and pupils with a wealth of ideas for the coming whole school project.

With the anniversary of the current Preston Lodge “campus” very much in the forefront of our minds, the decade in which it was built should provide no end of materials for budding local historians. However, the advances on so many fronts during this memorable decade are far wider ranging than simply that of the construction of the finest educational establishment in Scotland…

In Literature, some of the winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature included the very illustrious names Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre and John Steinbeck. The book and film “Kes” (which currently is playing as a stage production in Edinburgh) was produced in 1968, “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published in 1960 and and in 1967, SE Hinton published “The Outsiders”.

In Science,  in 1961 the Soviets launched the first man in space and by the end of the decade, in 1969, Neil Armstrong had become the first man to walk on the Moon. Other life changing inventions included the contraceptive pill in 1960, the LED in 1962, LCD in 1964, Artificial Heart in 1965 and the LASER in 1960.

In Art there were a myriad of exciting influences for people to look to. In 1962, Andy Warhol famously exhibited his Campbell’s Soup Can image. Yves Klein and others brought about Nouveau Realism. Psychedelic Art reflected the social changes of the time and Photorealism evolved from Pop Art…and that’s just for starters!

History is rich in the 1960s with the Civil Rights Movement in America, the Cold War, Vietnam and the Cuban Crisis all high profile. Like a script from Forest Gump, the events of this decade are world renowned and include these (again only a taster)


· Adolf Eichmann on Trial for Role in Holocaust

· Bay of Pigs Invasion

· Peace Corps Founded

· Soviets Launch First Man in Space


· Cuban Missile Crisis

· First Person Killed Trying to Cross the Berlin Wall

· Marilyn Monroe Found Dead


· JFK Assassinated

· Martin Luther King Jr. Makes His “I Have a Dream” Speech


· Cassius Clay (a.k.a. Muhammad Ali) Becomes World Heavyweight Champion

· Civil Rights Act Passes in U.S.

· Nelson Mandela Sentenced to Life in Prison

· Warren Report on JFK’s Assassination Issued


· Japan‘s Bullet Train Opens

· Los Angeles Riots

· Malcolm X Assassinated

· New York City Great Blackout


· Black Panther Party Established

· Mao Zedong Launches the Cultural Revolution

· Mass Draft Protests in U.S.


· Che Guevara Killed

· Six-Day War in the Middle East


· Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated

· Prague Spring

· Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated


· ARPANET, the Precursor of the Internet, Created

· Yasser Arafat Becomes Leader of the PLO

Music in the 60s dominated youth culture. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, The Who, Mods and Rockers, psychadelic hippy music, soul, mowtown and popular music (pop) all were evident. Musicians were the heroes and icons that replaced the movie stars of bygone generations…

There are so many aspects of life in the 1960s that span across our curriculum and match up to things that we are already studying or interested in. If you are looking for inspiration please feel free to contact the Expressive Arts Committee. However, we are certain that you will all have fantastic ideas of your own that come under this broad umbrella theme.

Good luck!

Whole school project 2010…

In the school session 2009-10 the whole school project will be based on the 1960s. Indeed we are simply going to call it “The Sixties”.

All departments will be involved in developing their own curricular input to this project and the Expressive Arts Committee are already working away on providing you with some suggestions in the form of a soon-to-be-published mind map. However, we are sure each department will be delighted to take ownership of their own ideas and plans.

Watch this space for a Whole School Project dedicated page on the website and details of dates, as well as ideas, from the Expressive Arts Committee.

Thanking you, love and peace man…

Preston Lodge History Club update…


During the past 6 months the coolest group of pupils started coming to History Club with the delightful Miss Strachan. So far they have learned about lots of different topics including the 1960s, the Cold War, Mary Queen of Scots and Hitler.

At the moment they are investigating the life and times of the Romans.

Don’t worry – they don’t do writing or essays! The group simply eat, chat and talk historical nonsense! Watch this space – where we will tell you what we’ve been up to…

Anyone interested in joining the History Club, please come along and see Miss Strachan – it’s free and fun!

Accelerated Reader programme at Preston Lodge…

Accelerated Reader is a literacy programme being rolled out at Preston Lodge High School during the 2008-09 session. As the most widely used reading software in the world, it’s aim is to build a culture of reading throughout the school and make reading practice more effective for every student involved.

Based around modern technology, the programme sees pupils reading books pitched at their own reading level – and at their own pace. On completion of the book, the pupil sits a computer-based comprehension quiz that allows the software to analyse their understanding of the text they have read. The software generates a comprehensive report that allows staff to help the pupil decide what the next step for them may be in terms of progress through the reading scheme.

A pilot study was held in Preston Lodge during session 2007-08 involving a number of (then) S2 pupils. This cohort undertook 5 week blocks of Accelerated Reader and, by the end of the pilot, were shown to have made significant progress in their personal reading levels. The decision to roll the programme out to all new S1 pupils in 2008-09 was made and every first Year pupil in Preston Lodge this year will have blocks of Accelerated Reader timetabled into their curriculum.

In addition, the previous participants in the Pilot Study will be given the chance to continue their own progress now that they are in S3 and a new S2 cohort will also be given the opportunity to join our literacy programme.

The school hope that parents and carers will support this venture by encouraging their child’s participation in the programme and reading at home. You can download or read the  Accelerated Reader Parents’ Guide this will provide further insight into this programme and answer any questions parents and carers may have. The school Learning Support department can be contacted at any time should there be any further unanswered queries about Accelerated Reader.

The Accelerated Reader Programme at Preston Lodge has been devised and introduced by the Support for Learning department in conjunction with the English department and the school librarian. Please contact Mrs V Hoban ( in the Learning Support department for further details.

Parent Guide Book

On Our Doorstep!

Flyer for On Our Doorstep

Preston Lodge High School warmly invite you to our Open Afternoon on Thursday 22nd May 2008, from 2.30pm until 6pm.

“On our Doorstep” is our whole school cross-curricular project for 2008.


What will you see?

  • An amazing exhibition showcasing all the work from our subject areas (foyer and assembly hall)
  • “The Market Place” (in school dining hall)  Local food producers will be setting up stalls selling local produce and school pupils will be running their own market garden stall where you can buy some of the plants and flowers they have been growing this year.
  • Rolling programme of music and drama (school hall and drama studio)

All parents and pupils welcome. Please enter by the Market Place

ELP “On our doorstep” for Burn’s Night…

Black gold – a Prestonpans mining poem

This week as we look to celebrate the birthday of the national bard, Robert Burns, the ELP pupils 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 even if it is dirty and dusty

More information about the work the ELP pupils are doing for On our Doorstep can be found in the Support for Learning pages of the school website.