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: https://youtu.be/aBVYA-3ASt0

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. 

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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!