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.