All posts by S McDonald

Sent on behalf of ELC Early Learning & Childcare Team



East Lothian Council  is consulting parents and carers on the future provision of early learning and childcare in Musselburgh, Haddington, North Berwick, Tranent and Dunbar and their surrounding areas.

The consultation has already taken place in the Prestonpans area.


The consultations are all on the East Lothian Consultation Hub and run until 23rd October. They cover children’s age ranges up to 12 years old.  Please could you distribute to your networks for the attention of as many parents and carers as possible.


Apologies for any cross posting.


Many Thanks


Pauline Homer

Liz Humphrys

Mary Preston


Nursery Hours – calling all parents

National survey on the expansion of free early learning and childcare in Scotland

As you’ll be aware the Scottish Government is planning to nearly double the hours of free early learning and childcare by 2020. Because the views of parents and carers are crucial for the success of this expansion, the Government has commissioned independent researchers to undertake a survey of parents. It is now asking for your help in sharing the survey link ( with as many parents of 0-5 year old children in your community as possible.

All parents taking part will have the opportunity to be entered into a prize draw and have the chance to win one of 10 x GBP100 cash prizes.

Please complete the survey to have your voice heard!

Many thanks

Stephanie McDonald

We Need Your Votes

St Martin’s R.C. Primary calls out to all our parents and carers for votes to bag a share of bag charge fund

St Martin’s RC Primary Nursery is bidding to bag a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects. Greenspace Scotland is working with Groundwork to provide support to communities in Scotland.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

St Martin’s RC Primary Nursery is one of the groups on the shortlist.

We are looking for funding for ‘Balance Bikes for Nursery Children with Learning Needs’. These will also be used with children in P1 and P2 classes.

Voting is open in the Musselburgh Extra Tesco store throughout July and August. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop. Shoppers do not need to purchase a bag to be eligible for a token.

Parents and carers please make an extra effort to shop at Musselburgh Tesco throughout July and August 2017, insist on a token each time you shop, out your token in the in-store voting box to vote for our school cause and help support our bid for funding!




Pupil Equity Funding

Pupil Equity Funding (PFE) has been provided by the Scottish Government to raise attainment (standards) amongst children who face barriers to their learning due to the impact   poverty can have. Each school has been allocated an amount of money based on the numbers of children in the school that are eligible for free school meals. A total of £1.5m has been made available to 41 East Lothian Schools for the session 2017/2018; it is expected that this will be made available each year for the duration of the current administration.


We would like to ask you a few questions to get your thoughts on how you would like this money spent or suggestions on other developments that you would like to see your child experience if they are experiencing difficulty throughout the curriculum.

Please click on the link below to give us your thoughts

Religious Observance in a Catholic School

Religious Observance in a Catholic School

The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 imposes a statutory duty on local authorities to provide “Religious Observance” in Scottish schools. This is defined in a national R.O. Review Group report published in 2004 as comprising: “community acts which aim to promote the spiritual development of all members of the school’s community and express and celebrate the shared values of the school community”.

In a letter of guidance issued by the Scottish Government in February 2011, it is acknowledged that Catholic schools take a distinctive approach to the provision of Religious Observance:

Scottish Government Ministers welcome the tradition that, in Roman Catholic denominational schools, Catholic Liturgy will largely shape the nature and frequency of religious observance activities in the classroom and in the wider school community. So, at times, children and young people will be invited to participate in, and sometimes to lead, prayer and reflection in classrooms and at assemblies. At other times, to honour particular occasions or feasts, chaplains will lead school communities in the celebration of Mass and other forms of liturgical celebration.

Catholic schools follow the customs and practices of the Church in order to nourish the spirituality and faith of pupils and staff.

Our Catholic tradition is enriched by ancient rites, prayers and devotions which help young people to become aware of, and show reverence to, the sacred presence of the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Guided by this tradition, we celebrate various seasons and special feast days to honour God, Mary his Mother and the Saints.

Religious observance is evident in the following school activities:

  • Pupils are invited to pray with their teachers at times in classrooms and assemblies, as well as in liturgical services.
  • All classrooms display a Crucifix on the wall
  • In some classrooms and other areas of the school, a sacred space will feature a copy of the Bible and will be decorated with signs and symbols that reflect the changing seasons of the Church Calendar Year i.e., Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Pentecost.
  • This regular practice of Prayer is complemented by religious services conducted, sometimes as part of an Assembly, to mark special occasions – e.g., the distribution of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, the seasons of Advent or Lent.
  • To mark special Feast Days and Holy Days of Obligation, Mass is celebrated by the school chaplain, with the school community, in school buildings or in local parishes.
  • At certain stages, pupils are able to participate in retreats and pilgrimages to places of special significance within the Catholic tradition.

While Religious Education is governed by separate Church guidance, it is complemented by Religious Observance practices and, together, these experiences help pupils to develop their understanding of the Catholic faith, to experience opportunities for spiritual growth and to commit to beliefs, values and actions in a positive response to God’s invitation to faith.

In terms of pupil participation in R.O. Scottish Government guidance makes it clear that it makes an important contribution to pupils’ development and that it promotes the ethos of a school by bringing pupils together and creating a sense of community. However, it also makes clear that parents have the right to withdraw children from participation in religious observance and that this right should always be made known to parents and their wishes respected. The Scottish Government also recognises that:

Where a parent chooses a denominational school for their child’s education, they choose to opt in to the school’s ethos and practice which is imbued with religious faith and religious observance. In denominational schools, it is therefore more difficult to extricate a pupil from all experiences which are influenced by the school’s faith character.

Curriculum For Excellence – Provision of Religious Observance in Schools, Scottish Government, 17 February 2011



Anti-bullying Information

Dear Parent

I am please to inform you that respectme, the Scottish National Anti-bullying Service has offered to deliver Parent Workshops in East Lothian.

The content will cover:

  • Distinguishing between what bullying behaviour is and what it is not
  • Exploring the latest research in Scotland on online bullying and face to face bullying
  • Identifying what parents can do to deal with bullying behaviour
  • Understanding what to do if your child is bullying someone else
  • Exploring how to help to create environments where bullying cannot flourish

We will run two workshops on Wednesday 15th March 2017. One at 12.30-2.30pm at the Corn Exchange in Haddington and another at 6.30-8.30pm at Knox Academy in Haddington.

We can offer 40 places on each workshop so they will be available on a first come, first serve basis. If we are over subscribed we may be able to offer additional workshops.

If interested please e-mail stating what time you would like to attend.

Also, following on from an Initial Consultation in October 2016 we are now seeking parents views on the draft East Lothian Anti-bullying Policy “Respect for all”. You can view and comment on this at

Kind Regards

Marie Prior

Anti-bullying Policy Working Group

We need foster carers now


    We urgently need new foster carers in East Lothian.  Fostering with East Lothian Council means great support, great training and a good financial package. More importantly, as part of our fostering team, you’ll be doing something fantastic, helping children and young people from East Lothian to stay in East Lothian, close to the people that are important to them – helping them to feel safe, loved and nurtured in your home.  Do this for East Lothian children in need. Foster East Lothian!


    To find out more phone us on 01620 827 643 or visit East Lothian Council’s fostering web site at