Latest News

Weekly Update 02 June 2017

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Weekly Update 02.06.2017

All previous updates can be found here.

Weekly Update 26 May 2017

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Weekly Update 26.05.2017

All previous updates can be found here.

Weekly update 19 May 2017

Football League Cup Champions

A huge congratulations to all of our football teams who have had a fantastic year! While school football is primarily about participation and enjoyment, victories and success are always exciting and we have certainly enjoyed them this year. Continue reading

Weekly Update 12 May 2017


Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and begins in the UK this year on Saturday 27 May. It is an especially holy period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims around the world. Continue reading

Weekly Update 5 May 2017

SQA Exams

We are pleased to report that this year’s diet of SQA exams are off to a smooth start. Our new Exam Boosters (held in advance of National 5 Exams) have been well received by pupils and the Supported Study area which we have been able to create in our lovely new Library is being well used. Continue reading

Getting into Medical School – Information Day

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh will once again be running their popular ‘Getting Into Medical School Information Day’.  This year’s event will run at the College on Saturday 24 June and is open to S4 – S6 pupils from all schools in and around Edinburgh.

Convened by two local surgeons, pupils will have the opportunity to hear from current medical students, university admissions staff, foundation doctors, a military surgeon and the College President about all elements of the admissions process and the different aspects of a medical career.  Topics ranging from how to choose your medical school through to your first year as a doctor will be covered. 

Getting into Medical School Flier

Weekly Update 28 April 2017

S6 Last Day

After 13 years of education today marked the last formal day of school for our S6 students. As well as the traditional shirt-signing and interval refreshments with staff, the day’s programme included memories of the last year, including our move to the new building. The year book awards were a real highlight, presented by Mr Norman MacLean of our janitorial team. There was a lovely atmosphere and the morning was rounded off with bubble football and a bouncy castle – rumour has it that certain members of SLT even had a shot on the bouncy castle when no one was looking! We wish all of our S6 leavers good luck for the forthcoming exams and all that awaits them in the future.

Staff News

After 33 years on the staff of Portobello High School, today we said a fond farewell to Mr Bill Webster of our Maths Department, who has retired. Mr Webster will be remembered by many pupils, both as a Teacher of Maths and as a stalwart of school ski trips. We wish him a long and happy retirement.

Following interviews for a Teacher of Maths, a preferred candidate has been identified as our preferred candidate and will join us in time for the change of timetable.

Ms Ruth Cox has joined us as Acting Curricular Leader for Music and Drama, covering for Mrs Sumerling’s absence. Ms Cox is also a Music Teacher and has been seconded from her post at Dunbar Grammar School.

Mrs Claire Thomson, Pupil Support Leader for Abercorn House, has now begun her maternity leave. Following interviews yesterday, Ms Zelda Breingan of our Support for Learning Department will become Acting PSL for Abercorn House. Arrangements are in hand to cover the vacancy this will create in Support for Learning.

SQA Exams and Exam Boosters

This year’s diet of SQA Exams begin on 2 May. Please remember that we are now running Exam Booster sessions immediately before the exams which aim to help students to enter the exam in a positive frame of mind and provide a reminder of key strategies and points for individual subjects. We wish all of our learners (and parents!) good luck with the exams.

Safe Travel to School

Once again we have had concerns expressed by a number of people. We really do want to do all we can to prevent an accident involving our young people and members of our community. In the last week, concern has been expressed about young people cycling on pavements and without protective headgear. In addition, we know of at least one near miss where a young person wearing headphones crossed the road without looking. Such incidents are frightening for drivers, witnesses and our young people. Please support us by discussing these issues at home.

Maths Exam Revision Classes

The National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher maths exams take place on Friday 5th May 2017.

The Maths department is offering all learners in S4,5 and 6 the opportunity to come into the department on Tuesday 2nd May (from 8:50am) and Wednesday 3rd May (from 9:40am) to get some extra help with revision from staff.  In addition, staff will be available from 3:15pm on Thursday 4th for any final questions that learners have.

Learners should come prepared with questions to ask and revision materials.  A reminder that all pupils should be wearing school uniform when in school.

A further reminder to all learners that they should have revision materials including practice papers that were previously handed out.  

Any learners who are requiring further revision materials should see Miss Livingston.

Good luck to all our learners who are sitting maths exams!

 National 5 Hospitality Exam

Tuesday saw the first round of N5 Hospitality Exams in our new School Food Preparation Rooms. The learners worked really hard all year to develop the skills to produce a three course meal in just 2 hours 30 minutes.

The dishes were;

Starter – Mediterranean Tart

Main – Beef and Lentil Pie with Parsnip, Potato and Horseradish topping

Dessert – Orange and Berry Individual Pavlovas with Berry Coulis

The results were to a very high standard and we are hoping for good results. Well done to all in National 5 Hospitality and to Mrs Mellor for working so hard with the class this year.                                                          



Spanish Nat 5 – Visitors from Spain

Porty pupils studying Spanish at National 5 took part in a food tasting event with a group of learners from Madrid. The students were at the same age and stage as our own National 5 Spanish pupils and were welcomed to the FTT department in collaboration with the Modem Languages Department. The event was an ideal opportunity for conversation between the learners in both Spanish and English and also the chance to sample some traditional Scottish Foods. The S5/6 Hospitality students were on hand to advise on the food samples. We suspended our fizzy drinks ban to allow for a taste test of Irn Bru which was declared, “not very good” by the Spanish students! Also on offer was, Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, Cranachan, Shortbread and some Tunnock’s Teacakes. The students from both school groups very much enjoyed the event and made friends and some new social media links.                       

Suspended Timetable 2017

The Suspended Timetable normally runs the last week of term.  It is a chance for all pupils to take part in a wide range of activities over the course of three days.

You can download the Suspended Timetable booklet & choice page by clicking on the links below:

Suspended Timetable Choice Page 2017

Suspended Timetable Booklet 2017

You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files. Click here to download it if it is not installed on your computer.

Weekly Update 21 April 2017

SQA Exams

This year’s diet of SQA Exams begin on 2 May. This week all learners took part in an assembly which set out arrangements and expectations. They were also issued with a letter and personalised timetable. We wish all of learners (and parents!) good luck with the exams.

Exam Boosters

Following a positive trial during our prelims, all departments will now be offering exam booster sessions immediately before the start of their SQA exams. These sessions aim to help students to enter the exam in a positive frame of mind and provide a reminder of key strategies and points for individual subjects. Further information is contained in the letter which was issued to pupils this week.

S6 Last Day

Friday 28 April is the last formal day of school for our S6. A letter will be sent to all S6 parents detailing arrangements for the day. All other learners should attend classes as normal on this day and the usual high expectations regarding behavior will apply.

Suspended Timetable

Suspended Timetable this year runs during the last week of term and offers an opportunity to take part in a range of different activities. S1 and 2 learners received information about this year’s programme this morning in Key Adult Groups. Learners in S3 -5 can access this information on the school website.

Staff Achievement

Congratulations to Julie Nisbet from our Modern Studies Department, who has been shortlisted for the Health Champion section in the Local Hero Award, run by the Edinburgh Evening News.

A Health Champion is someone who has improved people’s health and/ or made an impact on the quality of life of an individual. They may work in the NHS or health care industry, providing a service above and beyond the call of duty, taking personal responsibility for a person’s wellbeing. They may be a champion for health and well-being issues, healthy lifestyles and exercise in the community. Ms Nisbet has been nominated for her Clubbercise work.

Visit to Napier University

Learners studying for a National Progression Award in Cyber Security would like to say thanks to Peter, Craig and Rich for the penetrating insight into web apps that they were able to benefit from during their visit to Napier University. Thanks to Mrs Stewart-Kmicha for organising.

Weekly Update, 31 March 2017

Spring Holiday
School closes at 12.30pm today for the spring holiday and re-opens on Tuesday 19 April at 8.30am. please be aware that the school office will also be closed for most of the holiday period. We wish all of our learners and families a happy holiday.

Recent assemblies in the school have had a strong focus on social justice and social courage. Last week our head team spoke very powerfully about the school’s 1 in 5 project. Across Edinburgh 1 in 5 children and young people live in poverty and the Portobello and Craigmillar council ward has a figure of 28% of families living in poverty, so this is very much an issue for us as a school community. The head team spoke very movingly about the impact that this has on young people’s experiences in and out of school and the support available and the following short film was shown:

This week, Rev Dr Stewart Weaver, of St Philip’s Church, picked up on this theme with his assembly and shared the story of Erwin James, who turned his life around while in prison and went on to become a writer. He reflected on the impact that childhood poverty and trauma had for this man and spoke about the power of small choices.

Spanish Students in Visit to Porty
Yesterday we welcomed a group of pupils from a school in Madrid to the Food and Textile Technology and Modern Languages departments for a visit while they were in Edinburgh on a trip. The departments organised a set of food and language based activities for them during the afternoon including food tasting, sampling and quizzes etc. The Spanish N5 class and the N5 hospitality classes met with our visitors and joined in the activities. Many thanks to Mrs Bradley and Mr McCulloch for their organisation!

Maths Department
After school revision:  
A reminder to all pupils that the maths department runs after school revision Monday to Thursday, all pupils are welcome to attend.

Revision materials for SQA exams: all pupils studying National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher should have received practice papers from their maths teacher to aid revision over the Easter Holidays, these supplement revision materials handed out prior to the prelims and the February holidays.  Any pupil requiring anything further should speak to Miss Livingston.

PHS Debating Team Alexander Fraser and Rachel Lawson, both S6, competed once again in the English Speaking Union’s Mace Competition yesterday at Moray House School of Education. Though they lost out to Douglas Academy in the semi-final, this represents the best ever performance by a Portobello debating team in this prestigious competition and we are very proud of their achievements. Thanks to Ms Sinclair in the English Department for her support of the team.

Media Screening
Wednesday evening saw our N5 and Higher Media classes take part in an evening screening of their work in our assembly hall. Learners’ families and staff enjoyed seeing the fruits of the labours of media classes this year with film topics ranging from a documentary about the move to the new school, to a film about synchronized swimming and many more in between! Thanks to Ms Allen for arranging this opportunity which we hope will become an annual event. 

click to enlarge

Architectural Award
We are delighted that Portobello High School has been shortlisted for the prestigious RIAS / RIBA Architectural Award. A team of judges toured the school yesterday. For one of them, the visit had special significance – Lorraine Landels, Hon FRIAS, is a former Porty pupil and attended school in both the Annex and the Duddingston Road building. Here she is pictured in front of the Brunstane House notice board – Lorraine was Brunstane House Captain when she was at school!