How can high school work with the early years agenda?

East Lothian services recognise the importance of early years at a strategic level. However, finding practical ways to make this commitment more than a paper statement – particularly if your main focus isn’t early years – isn’t easy. High schools in East Lothian have come up with innovative practise that use their key main assets – the young people attending the schools.

Tots & Teens is one great example of this where play groups have been set up in High schools that offer quality play and childcare experience for toddlers at the same time as practical learning experiences for pupils. See following aarticle for more info

Another example of good practise is from Musselburgh Grammar. The ‘Working with Children’ elective course for S5, was developed by Jane Cummings community learning and development officer. The course had the following aims :-

  • A basic knowledge of child development
  • Increased skills and confidence in delivering or supporting play activities
  • Increased knowledge of food hygiene and promoting good food habits in children
  • Increased awareness of different professional roles involving work with children
  • More informed decision making about future career options involving work with children

The following are some of the comments made by young people who chose the working with children programme which was conducted at Burgh primary school

I found the story telling was really good when we went to the Burgh, I have learned to be more confident about reading in front of people

I learned what ages children can do things at

I have learned that children love getting told stories and they also like to join in.

I learned how to make gloop and playdough and how you would help children to do it

The story telling I didn’t enjoy, it was embarrassing but is good as it boosts confidence and is a good way to interact with everyone.

I learned that children develop a lot quicker than I thought and that they would develop so much when they are in the first few years… what age certain important stepping stones are.

The experience was very positive for the Burgh Primary school  giving an opportunity for the primary children to work with positive young role models

An evaluation report has been written and can be accessed here

2012 Report grammar elective

MGS Elective Course Outline

Equality in the early years

 Training Opportunities

February / March 2013

 Introduction to Equality

Adam Conference Room, John Muir House, Haddington, EH41 3HA

Friday 15th of February 9.30am -11.30am or Monday 18th March 2-4pm

 An introduction to the principles of equal opportunities and its important in early year’s services. Find out about the Equality Act and how you can show that you are meeting the needs of all those who need to access your services.

 Including Children with Additional Support Needs

Esk Room 1, Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, EH21 6AF

Tuesday 5th March:  9.30-11.30am

 An opportunity to think more about inclusion and gain practical advice about how you can include children with additional support needs in early years settings. This course is  delivered by the East Lothian Council Children’s Services Disability Team.

 Working with Gypsy Traveller Families

Adam Conference Room, John Muir House, Haddington, EH41 3HA

Tuesday 19th March:  9.30-11.30am

 Learn more about life in Gypsy Traveller families including culture, lifestyle and accessing services. Delivered by Shelter, this course will help you to think about how to work with and include Gypsy Travellers in your service.

 All Courses are FREE of charge and are open to all those working in early years services in East Lothian.

 How to Book

To book your place on any of the above courses, please contact Pauline McLaren on 01620 82 9947 or email

Please let us know if you have any special requirements that will allow you to fully participate in each session e.g. access requirements.

For more information about any of these courses, please contact Rebecca Spillane, Equalities Officer on 01620 827134 or email . If there is any training on specific equality issues that you are interested in taking part in, please email

Equality in Early Years Training Feb and March 2013

Haddington Area Group


Haddington Area Support from the Start group is led by Ginnie Moreton. Ginnie recently retired from the National Health Service where she worked as a Health Promotion Team manager.

Haddington was the last of the six cluster group to be launched. There action plan is in the formative stage but can be accessed here. The action plan will be updated after each meeting and updates can be accessed from pauline at

Action Plan Organisation Structure (1)

A profile of early years in Haddington can be accessed here

Haddington Early Years Profile

Musselburgh Area Action Plan


The leader of the Musselburgh Area Support from the Start group is Ann Hume. Ann works as the manager of the Olivebank Child & Family Centre.

The action plan for Musselburgh can be accessed here  SftS Musselburgh Clusterver4 

The plan is updated after every meeting and updates can be got from Pauline at

An early years profile for Musselburgh can be accessed here musselburgh-Early-Years-Profile



North Berwick Area Group

The North Berwick group is led jointly by Sandra King and Joyce McIntosh. Sandra works as the community development officer for North Berwick, and Joyce is the head teacher of North Berwick nursery.

The action plan for North Berwick can be accessed here Action Plan Organisation Structure September

The action plan is updated after every meeting, and updates can be got from Pauline at

A profile of early years in North Berwick can be accessed here North Berwick Early Years Profile

Prestonpans Area Group

The Prestonpans Area group which includes Longniddry, Port Seton & Cockenzie is led by Shelia Laing. Shelia works as the headteacher of Prestonpans Infants school.

The action plan for the Prestonpans group can be accessed here prestonpans org structurever5

The action plan is updated after every meeting and updates can be got from Pauline at

A profile of early years in Prestonpans area can be accessed here Prestonpans Early Years Profile B

Dunbar Area action plan


Linden Ross is the leader of the Dunbar area Support from the Start group. Linden recently retired as manager of East Lothian Homestart.

The Dunbar groups action plan can be accesed at this link SftSDunbar Clusterver2

Action plans are updated after every meeting and updates can be got by contacting Pauline at

An early years profile for Dunbar can be accessed here

Tranent Area Action Plan

The leader of the Tranent Area Support from the Start group is Lena Hutton. Lena works as a community development officer for the Tranent villages.

The action plan for the Tranent group can be found at this link Action Plan Organisation Structure (6) The action plans are updated after every meeting and updates can be obtained from Pauline – by emailing

A profile of early years in Tranent can be accessed here Early Years Profile – Tranent