WEEK ENDED 19th DECEMBER 2008
SANTA'S BACK IN TOWN
Just when we thought he’d be too busy to pay another visit to Earlston High School, up he popped on the school stage at the concert. He wasn’t alone either as he’d brought along his family – Mrs Claus and Elfie. They made guest appearances at the concert’s “Family Fortunes”. Our own Vernon Kay – Mr Andrew Deans (Head Boy) – introduced this famous family to a packed hall.
The Claus family then compered the first half of the evening – a traditional Christmas concert. Just about every musical instrument was represented as the school orchestra took us through a musical extravaganza.
The staff choir made a first appearance and wowed the audience with their rendition of ‘California Dreaming’.
The second half of the concert was the EHS adaptation of the popular musical Mamma Mia. We were transported away from the cold winds of Earlston to the sunny Greek islands. We tapped to the beat of famous Abba songs such as Waterloo, Dancing Queen and Thank you for the Music.
The cast was from years S2 – S6 and the stage was full of life with their singing and dancing. I’ll not go into much more detail as hopefully the Border Telegraph will have reviewed the concert elsewhere in the paper. Suffice to say, Christmas came early to EHS and the present was a superb evening’s entertainment. What talent these youngster have!
S3 AND S4 DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
“It was the best ever!”, “A brill night”, “I danced every dance and didn’t sit down once – it was well cool.” And so the praise went on. The S3/S4 dance was hailed as the best one ever and everyone literally had a ball!
Mrs Susan Lawrence kept both staff and students on their feet as she compered the evening. We danced all the usual dances – Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow, as well as some less well known such as Pride of Erin Waltz.
The annual dance competition was its usual high quality. The eventual winners were Leyla and Ryan from S4. The prize being a selection box of chocolates each. Well done again to the sixth year committee ‘Fire It Up’.
We are already a ‘green bunch’ here at Earlston and have been awarded the Bronze Eco Schools Award. We are now busy earning the Silver Award. An important element of this is developing a whole school eco code.
Over the past few weeks the Go Green Group has been working on this. It takes the letters of EARLSTON and each letter represents part of the code. For instance E is Everyone has a part to play; A = Arrive at school by bus, bike of foot whenever you can; R is the Reduce, reuse, recycle message; L for Litter in the correct bin – not on the ground; S stands as a reminder to Switch off lights and computers when they’re not needed; T means Taps should be off when not in use to save water; O stands for Our environment should make us, and our community, proud and finally the N is Never damage our school or its ground.
The group is in the process of producing a copy of the code for every room in the school. They also welcome any suggestions as to how we may pass on the Go Green message to others. Their new competition to combat litter has been well received. It focuses on social areas within school – or links as we here refer to them. Because our social areas and divided into year groups, the competition is for the year with the tidiest space: no litter, no mess. This month’s winners are the first years for their link area. They receive their prize tomorrow when they are given a treat which allows them to be out of class to watch a film.
ASDAN CHRISTMAS GROTTO
On Monday 15 th December the Asdan group held a special lunchtime sale. If you recall, last year the group made delightful wooden santas, which were a huge success and raised £400 for their nominated charities – the Donkey sanctuary and the SSPCA centre at Mellerstain. This year, for one day only, the group held a sale and gave everyone their second opportunity to buy the santas. In addition, they had produced wooden planters, complete with hyacinth bulbs, which were also on sale. The ASDAN group clearly have good business sense and enterprise skills. Well done.
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WEEK ENDED 12th DECEMBER 2008
SOUTH SCHOOLS INDOOR TOURNAMENT
In the first game of the Tournament EHS played Peebles High School. Unfortunately we were on the receiving end of a very disciplined and polished performance as the Peebles girls displayed their silky skills and they won the game 2-0.
After a short break and a team talk we faced Galashiels Academy. In the first few minutes of the game Gala broke through and scored an early goal. The Earlston defence coped well under the intense pressure from the Gala strikers and captain Erin Bonnar was on form to ensure that Gala did not score any more goals. In the last minute of the game Louise Campbell took advantage of a loose ball in the circle to even the score.
This gave us the encouragement that was needed to go on and improve our performance even further in our final game against Jedburgh Grammar School. The opposition put up a fight but EHS proved too strong in the last five minutes of the game, winning 2-0, both goals from Emily Eaton Turner.
Peebles won the section outright and EHS, despite having the same points as Galashiels Academy, lost out on a place in the semi finals on goal difference. Kelso High School beat Galashiels Academy and Peebles High School beat Berwickshire High School in the semi finals. Kelso went on to beat Peebles in a very exciting final.
Well done to all the girls in the Squad. Player of the Tournament – Erin Bonnar
DRIVING TO THE FUTURE
On Friday 20 th October sixth year students took part in an event called Driving into the Future.Driving into the Future is a multi agency partnership that brings home the message of safe driving to the young drivers of tomorrow. As our current 6 th year students turn 17 their thoughts are turning to learning to drive. The event gave every student the chance to chat to a variety of experts and advice that will help them become safer drivers in the future.
One in five serious road accidents on Borders roads involves a young driver under the age of 25. In almost 70% of these accidents the young driver is the primary cause of the crash. In 40% of the crashes there is no other vehicle involved. These crashes are usually the result of loss of control by the younger driver, usually on a bend and often on rural roads.
Driving into the Future brought t6ogether the expertise from Lothian & Borders Police, Scottish Ambulance Service, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), Drugs and Alcohol Action Team(DAAT) and The Lothian & Borders safety camera Partnership. Experts were on hand to provide advice and information ranging from learning to drive, the benefits of the Pass plus Scheme, speeding, the dangers of alcohol and drugs and driving, and the consequences of a road crash.
There was a dramatic start to the event with a live theatre performance of ‘Friends Disunited’ by the Badly Bane theatre company.
The pupils found it very humorous. However the play also illustrated how the dreams and ambitions of young people can be utterly shattered by the inexperienced and over confidence of a young driver.
Earlston High School would like to say a big thank-you to everyone that was involved both in and out of the school.
PUT ON YOUR DANCING SHOES!
On Wednesday evening, everyone put on their dancing shoes and their smartest of outfits for the Christmas dance. The first and second year dance commenced at 7 o’clock prompt, with Mr McMillan announcing the first dance: the snowball waltz. Sports captains from the rugby and hockey teams took to the floor with elegance and grace. Kilts swayed to the music as the two couples began the first dance of the evening. With enviable skills, Fraser, Alexis, Richard and Lucy waltzed round the dance floor before ‘snowballing’ to gather other partners. Soon the hall was full of swirling couples in a kaleidoscope of colour.
And so the atmosphere of the evening was set – full participation and masses of fun. From the snowball waltz, dancers moved into a full programme of set dances. The PE department’s teachings had worked each dancer’s skills to perfection. Music was provided by ‘Fire It up’, the S6 dance committee who had organised the evening with guidance from Mrs Morton.
After a much needed refreshment break, it was back on the dance floor for some disco beats and a dance competition. Three couples took to the stage to compete against each other in a dance-off. Audience applause (loud enough to lift the roof!) judged the winners to be two first years – Fraser and Joanna. They were each presented with a prize and the accolade of being the best dancers of the night.
The killer heels were no longer evident as shoes were cast aside to prevent sore feet from so much dancing. The music continued to capture everyone in the hall and they literally danced the night away. All too soon, Mr Macmillan called the last dance and with a twinge of sadness everyone was soon heading off home. They were tired, they had aching feet, but they were still smiling. What a great night!
By the time you’re reading this, we’ve also had our S3 and S4 dance and tomorrow – Thursday 18 th December – it’s the seniors’ turn. Hairdresser appointments will be booked, kilts hired, shirts pressed and dresses will be hanging on wardrobe doors ready to be worn. Watch this space for an update next week. John Sergeant these guys are not!
SANTA'S IN TOWN!
‘You’d better watch out! You’d better take care! You’d better watch out and I’m telling you why’.… Santa Claus was in town! Santa was actually in Earlston High!
By lunchtime the excitement was unbearable! Then I heard it – the faint ring of bells. Could they be sleigh bells? With tension and anticipation high, I watched the door, too scared to move from the community lounge in case I missed him. Suddenly he appeared from nowhere, filling the doorspace with this red frame and filling the air with a bellowing laugh. ‘Happy Christmas!’ he cried and I wanted to run up to him to double check he was real. He was real – it was him – Santa!
Let me explain why he was in Earlston. You see every year the S6 charity committee host a café. For a nominal entry fee, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the school dining area and find a magical Christmassy world in the snug community lounge. Little elves show you to your table and serve you with steaming hot chocolate, laced with cream and with marshmallows bobbing about on top. There’s home baking too and plenty of Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas everyone!
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WEEK ENDED 5th DECEMBER 2008
PINK PARTY NEWS REPORT
This year our Pink Party for Breast Cancer Care was held on 13 November and again was a tremendous success. We raised the fantastic sum of £2000 and this could not have been achieved without the support of everyone who came along on the night. A big thanks is also due to Cullen Kilshaw for donating a sparkling start to the evening, to Maid by Marion for the balloon decorations, to everyone who so generously handed in raffle prizes and to all who helped provide our scrummy buffet. Well done to all our prize-winners, especially our Pink Princess.
EARLSTON GOES GREEN
Earlston High School has been showing it eco-friendly side this year with the help of the Environment and Communities Committee. The conscientious group has been working with the Go Green Group in the hope of achieving the prestigious Eco Schools Silver Award. To attain the award, the school must demonstrate a high level of environmental awareness and protection within the school and the surrounding area. The committee has also been working on a number of other projects including fair trade and organ donation. The committee secretary Robert Wylie informed me that the group are about to embark on a publicity campaign to make people more aware of the options they have when it comes to organ donation. Robert also spoke about the well received litter patrol the committee organised which was “welcomed by members of the community.” In addition to this, the committee has been working hard to establish links with the primary school to promote environmental projects and hopefully launch a whole new generation of green fingered pupils! Look out for more information about the committee working hard to keep our school and our streets litter free!
The evening of Tuesday 25 th November saw the first round of the ESU Juniors Debate that was held at Earlston High School. There were 2 teams from Jedburgh, 2 teams from EHS and 1 from Lasswade, plus a dummy team also from EHS.
The motion for the debate was “This house would make smoking illegal”. On the Earlston A team was Claire Bridges (S2) and Mary-Beth Patterson (S1) who competed on the proposition’s side along with Jedburgh B team and Lasswade. On the opposition – or the Earlston B team – we had Elliot Douglas and Phoebe Watson. Also on the opposition there was Jedburgh A team and the loyal Earlston dummy team consisting of Grace Reid and Holly Young.
The debate was a success and all the teams were a credit to their schools. Many interesting points were made and all the speeches were precise and to the point. At the end of the final speech, made by Grace Reid, the motion was opened to the floor. The floor then decided to crown the opposition as the rightful winners of the debate.
The judges went away and made their final decision while we congratulated each other on our speeches. When the judges came back we were all held in suspense as the winning teams were announced. The final winners were the Earlston B team and in second place came Earlston A team. Both teams had made excellent arguments and deserved their title. The winners will be going through to the next round and we hope they will do well. Congratulations to all the teams that took part and made it such a successful night.
Grace Reid & Mary-Beth Paterson
EHS CHRISTMAS CARDS
Miss Woodside in the Art Department has been working hard with her S1 and S2 classes and the members of the Enterprise Group to produce Christmas cards for sale to parents, staff and pupils. Each card shows the art work of one of Miss Woodside’s pupils on the outside along with a verse composed by Mrs Brydon’s S1 English class. The cards will be sold in packs of six at a cost of £1.50. Orders can be placed through pupils or directly with the school office. (Any cheques should be made payable to Friends of Mangu.)
The profits from the sale of these cards will be donated to the Friends of Mangu charity which is raising money for the rebuilding of Mangu Junior Secondary School in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Earlston High School has recently twinned with Mangu JSS through Global Schools Partnership with the aim of raising awareness of and respect for each other’s cultures as well as raising educational standards in the two schools. The Friends of Mangu group in EHS is also selling Mangu Aid gifts to support the work of the charity.
The members of the Friends of Mangu Committee would like to express their thanks to Miss Woodside for her tremendous enthusiasm and energy, to Mrs Brydon, to the pupils whose work is displayed in the packs of Christmas cards and to the Sixth Year volunteers for their invaluable assistance.
To see more card designs click here
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WEEK ENDED 28th NOVEMBER 2008
To support anti-bullying week we got involved in the following activities:
- S1 and S2 English classes have been dealing with the theme of Bullying through the novels they have been studying this term.
- The S4 Drama class performed a play at the S1 and S2 assembly – bullying was one of the key issues identified.
- Congratulations to Phoebe Watson and Ben Counsell of class 2E who won the anti-bullying poster competition. The poster can be seen throughout the school and on our website.
- Anti-bullying wristbands were issued to all pupils and staff to show our support in the fight to beat bullying. Many thanks to Health Promotion for their contribution towards buying these wristbands.
- Pupil Council meetings discussed the new Anti-Bullying policy. Class reps brought ideas from their register classes along with simple anti-bullying rules which we can all live by in school. This will make up the new Anti-Bullying Code of Conduct.
- Every PSE class had a lesson with an anti-bullying theme and an advice sheet on how to deal with bullying was available for those who wanted it.
- Bully Free Zone signs are widely displayed around the school to remind us all of the type of working environment we want and that bullying is an all year round issue.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to make Anti-Bullying week a success.
ARTIST IAN MURPHY VISITS EARLSTON
| Who would have thought that venturing into school at the weekend could be anything less than a nightmare? For our Advanced Higher Art class, this was a reality, as we found ourselves trooping in on Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, shocked and disorientated being up out of bed at such a ludicrous weekend hour!
On the contrary, this was in fact a different story for Earlston High School Art students. It turned out to be a fabulous opportunity to meet successful landscape artist Ian Murphy and go away with valuable advice, tips and general skills from this talented man. Murphy has his very own business which luckily enough involves him travelling around the world enabling him to encapsulate these incredible sights upon his paper. ‘What?’ I hear you ask, ‘is so special about this scenery?’ Well, these huge works of art certainly weren’t typical, common landscapes: they were taken from especially interesting and original perspectives and some were chosen to be distorted in order to enhance a particular viewpoint, allowing us to interpret them in a whole new way.
On the first day we were given enormous sheets of paper to work upon (taller than myself I might add!) and told to create a piece working from photographs from a previous visit Melrose Abbey. After a quick coffee and biscuits break, we set down to work, finding it very difficult to draw upon such a large scale, but we ploughed through, resulting in many beautiful works of art. The class worked incredibly hard, many going away with impressive finished pieces due to such inspiration. Going into school on those weekend mornings, was definitely worth it.
Aimee Leigh Hislop
The sixth years are frantically completing their applications for university this week. The school deadline is the beginning of December, to allow references to be completed and forms to be checked by the senior management team. Last year, 66% of our leavers went on to continue their education at either university or college. This year, we have 88 students (out of 94) who are applying through UCAS to universities in England and Scotland.
Ten of these students applied earlier in October as part of the first phase of applications. These students are hoping to study medicine, dentistry, vet medicine or at Oxford or Cambridge. They are now hearing back from UCAS and so far so good!
Although the panic does not stop there – the interview is next! Some of these students have also completed an additional entry requirement. For Cambridge, to study English, Georgia had to write a critical analysis of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. For dentistry, Amy was busy completing an additional form to detail her work experience and understanding of the dentistry profession. The dreaded Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) was also required for dentistry and medicine applications. It’s certainly been a busy, yet exciting, time for the applicants. We wish them all the very best as they prepare for the interviews.
The main body of applications will be sent off before Christmas to ensure we meet the January deadline set by UCAS. Good luck everyone!
On Thursday 6 th November, a group of sixth year boys took donating to charity a step further by giving more than just money – their pride. The group of 15 boys took part in a sponsored “waxathon” to raise money for the two charities, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and Wateraid. Screams could be heard from outside of the building as the gang of would be tough guys, which contained both rugby and football players, discovered that a ladies life is not as pain-free as it seems. The main event of the afternoon was St Boswells student Chris “Doddsy” Dodds, who received a superman sign waxed into his bear-like chest. Chris, who single handedly raised over £130, had this to say – “I feel it was a worthwhile experience, however I don’t think I would do it again!” As a witness to the pain that Chris and all the lads went through, I would like to take the chance to congratulate everyone that took part in the event. Well done!
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WEEK ENDED 21st NOVEMBER 2008
Monday evening saw three coaches heading off to Edinburgh, loaded with S1 and S6 students going to see Mary Poppins at the Playhouse. The excursion was open to all first years and over 100 students took part. It was the mastermind of the S6 Junior Activities committee, who organised the theatre visit from start to finish. The sixth years did a tremendous job – promoting the event, booking the tickets and transport, organising the youngsters and then accompanying them to the theatre. It was worth all their hard work as the first years loved the show. Thank you to the staff who accompanied the students and of course to the amazingly talented and organised Junior Activities Committee.
TIDY THE PLAYGROUND, SAVE THE WORLD
Prepare to save the planet, as the Eco School’s Club has changed its name and is all fired up and ready to make Earlston High a more environmentally-friendly place. The new, revamped club coincides with the recent decision of the council to make recycling easier by allowing all materials (cans, plastic bottles and cardboard boxes) to be placed in the same bag, rather than two separate bags. The club is now called Go Green, and runs on Wednesday lunchtimes from one o’clock in E3. Its main aims include to upgrade Earlston’s status from Bronze to Silver in the Eco Schools Scotland programme, and to promote recycling and other ways of looking after our area. Miss Morgan invited new members along, saying "If you have an interest in the environment, please come along - we would be happy to see you!" We hope you will give it a go and remember to recycle, recycle, recycle.
PUPIL COUNCIL MEETINGS
This week has been a busy one for the Pupil Council. Each lunch time, one of the year group Councils has met to discuss a variety of issues. Two common themes for all year groups were the feedback from the members, who recently visited the new school site, and the school’s anti-bullying policy. The week is Anti-bullying week and the school is revising its existing policy with the help of the Council. Each Council has suggested ideas for a code of conduct which will help to promote Earlston High as a bully free zone.
Another item discussed at the first and second year Council meetings was the Global School Partnership. Mr Smart was invited to the meeting to introduce the initiative to the Council. This is the next step to our partnership with Mangu Junior Secondary in Ghana. The partnership hopes to develop links between the two schools which will allow the students to have a greater understanding of each other’s culture.
Mr Smart hopes to establish a steering group to take this idea forward and students and staff would work together to promote the partnership. Students were asked for volunteers to be part of this group. The first and second years were keen on the idea and will report back to their classes and ask for volunteers.
FOG ON THE MOUNTAIN
Thank you again to the cast of ‘Fog On The Mountain’ for their performance of the one act play as part of the second year assembly. It never ceases to amaze how students can learn so many lines and remember all their moves as they act on the stage in front of an audience of 160 teenagers. Well done again to the S4 Standard Grade Drama class. Thanks also to the lighting and sound crew and to Mr Thomson.
HALL OF FAME
Next time you visit us at EHS, step into the Hall Of Fame (otherwise known as the assembly hall). It’s a celebration of wider achievement and already there’s a selection of photographs on display. The display is to promote the success of individuals, groups or teams and shows the achievements of both staff and pupils. It can be in sport, for community service, fund-raising, public speaking etc. Our aim is to gradually fill the entire walls with the achievements. You can help us with this task by letting us know of any wider achievements of your own, of a friend, a neighbour or a relative. Just email us at the high school and mark the message ‘Hall of Fame’. Our e mail address is: email@example.com
MAKE YOUR MARK
Business Management students certainly ‘made their mark’ by using their entrepreneurial skills last week. The challenge was to create an entrepreneurial idea inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values. Ideas had to be original, creative and profitable. Two teams battled it out over the day. Their Dragon’s Den style pitch at the end of the day was to sell their idea to the audience. Two judges (EHS Dragons!) Mrs McDonald and Mrs Thomson were impressed by the high quality sales pitch from the teams. The winning team, after much deliberation, was VIP (Voluntary Investment Programme). Inspired by recent new reports of youth crime and the negative perception of society towards young people, the company came up with an innovative idea. Their service would allow teenagers to have a positive input to the community and achieve award status. Their slogan was “Stand up! Stand out! Be different!” Their successful presentation has enabled the team to be put forward to the next round of Make Their Mark Challenge.
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WEEK ENDED 14th NOVEMBER 2008
STARS IN YOUR EYES
Thursday 6 th November was another glittering night in Earlston, when the red carpet was rolled out once again for all the celebrities performing in the annual ‘Stars In Your Eyes’ competition. We had an amazing line up: Eva Cassidy, Avril Lavigne, Ronan Keating, Whitney Houston, S Club 7 – to name just a few of the seventeen class acts.
The event is organised by the Parent Council Sub-Group, whose experience of the event always ensures everything runs smoothly and the audience is well entertained. The show involves many hours of rehearsal as well as the time to record the famous video-footage, which introduces the star performers to the audience.
||Mr Meikle controlled the evening with his usual wit and charm as compere. First on stage was Greenday, singing Working Class Hero. The performers, Calum, Jack, Scott and Cameron, are no strangers to the stage, already being a successful local band. The winners of the night were announced after the interval. Every member of the audience had a chance to vote and votes were counted (and verified!!) whilst the audience was treated to an explosive performance by Aimee Hislop, singing from the Rocky Horror Show.
There were three amazing winners from the vast array of talent. The best group went to S Club 7 (aka Village People) with a show-stopping version of YMCA. The girls, all from sixth year, gave the evening a real party atmosphere with their performance. The audience loved them! Another winner, this time from the solo artists, was Peter Vint from S3. Peter’s performance of the Elton John classic ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ was sensational. Peforming ‘Lady Marmalade’ from Moulin Rouge were Emma Finnen, Katie Chambers and Kirsty MacDonald. These girls looked, danced and sang superbly.
It was a great evening’s entertainment. Many thanks to all the artists and of course to the Sub Group for organising the event.
This week, 17-21 November, is national Anti-Bullying week. We hope to raise awareness of this initiative through a number of activities in school. Each pupil will be given an anti-bullying wristband to wear and be encouraged to make Earlston High School a Bully Free Zone. An up-date on the activities will follow next week.
FIRE IT UP! - COPS AND ROBBERS
Sirens were still ringing in students’ ears last week following Team Fire It Up!’s Cops and Robbers themed Halloween discos. On Wednesday the 29 th of October, first and second years donned cops and robbers themed costumes and came out in force for the first event organised by the sixth year committee. The following night the committee was hard at work again, this time for the S3 to S6 disco. I spoke to one of the chairs of the committee, Emma Jardine. “It was a really successful event and we had a great turnout. I think all the pupils enjoyed it as much as we did!!” Fire It Up are currently now hard at work for their next big event – the Christmas Dances, which will be held on the 10 th of December for first and second years, the 11 th of December for third and fourth years and the 18 th of December for fifth and sixth years. Come on guys, times running out to get those dresses and kilts organised!! Tickets for the Christmas dances go on sale on Tuesday 18 th November, at lunchtime in the main link: S1/2 and S3/4 tickets are £3. Tickets for the senior dance are £8.
HPV VACCINATIONS - DAY2
Okay ladies, it’s nearly time for the second Human Papilloma Virus injection. The injections will be taking place on Tuesday the 18 th of November and girls aged 12 to 13 will be receiving the vaccine that will help shield them against the two main causes of cervical cancer. Furthermore, girls aged 16 to 17 will also be receiving the second of the three injections. Again, if you’ve left school there’s no need to worry as you can arrange to get this vaccine through an appointment with your local NHS. These injections combined with regular smear tests are aiming to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer. Worldwide there are an estimated 470,000 new cases of cervical cancer that result in 233,000 deaths per year. So come on girls, it’s definitely worth it.
Six pupils from Earlston High School competed in The Borders Schools Public Speaking Competition on Thursday 30 th October. Kyle Blain in S4 gave an entertaining speech on the importance of all things circular and spherical in our lives while Eleanor Barton in S6 gave an excellently researched presentation on graffiti. Kyle was well supported by Jessica Bennett and Liam Blain, both S4, while special congratulations go to Robert Wyllie, S6 who won best chairperson of the night and Erin Bonnar, S6, who won best vote of thanks of the evening.
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WEEK ENDED 7th NOVEMBER 2008
1st XI HOCKEY TOURNAMENT 2008
The 1 st X1 took part in the Border Schools Hockey Tournament at Tweedbank last Tuesday. Our first game was against Kelso High School. We knew it would be a tough match so we fought hard and put our preparation into practice. This was turned on its head as Kelso went one up with a sneaky goal in the first half. Earlston didn’t manage to score the equalizer and the match ended 1-0 for Kelso.
After a quick team talk following the Kelso match Earlston were straight back on the pitch to play Jedburgh Grammar School. Earlston were hungry to win the match and piled the pressure on the Jedburgh defence. Strong running through the middle from Emily Eaton Turner and Luana Henderson created scoring opportunities for the Earlston girls but they couldn’t finish off the hard work and the game finished nil nil.
Moving into the final game Earlston knew they had to win to have a chance to reach the semi final. Earlston went into the game fired up after a motivational talk from Captain Emily Eaton Turner. Their determination to win was apparent, with the defence working hard to keep the ball out the goal, impressive work up the right hand side of the pitch, silky skills from midfield and all eleven players on the pitch giving 100%. The game finished in a no score draw with Kelso and Hawick going through to the semi finals from our section.
Player of the tournament Luana Henderson. A big thank you to Mr Tucker for umpiring all of our games and accompanying the Earlston team in the absence of Mrs Lawrence.
THE HALL OF FAME
At Earlston High School we want to recognise the wider achievements of the members of our school community, both staff and pupils. Part of the assembly hall has been set aside and we are in the process of setting up our very own Hall of Fame. This will take the form of a photo gallery with names and a short caption recording the achievement.
We would like to hear of any notable achievements of pupils or staff which you feel deserves recognition. Achievements might include youth group or sporting activities, musical awards or fundraising ventures. Pupils can hand in nominations to their register teacher or names can be e-mailed to the school at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark it Hall of Fame in some way. Please help us in our efforts to recognise the wider achievements of our school community.
MANGU AID CHRISTMAS CARD
Last Christmas, Mangu Aid Christmas Cards raised over £2000 for the community in Mangu, Ghana. We are helping them to build and equip their new school.
Mangu Magnet Gift Cards – these allow you to donate a gift to Mangu on behalf of a relative or friend, for example; a donation of £6 will buy a bag of cement (£12 will buy 2 bags), £20 will buy 10 sheets of zinc roofing etc. For each donation, you will receive a gift card and magnet to send with your Christmas greetings.
Mangu Calendar – a glossy A4 year-to-view calendar can be ordered at a cost of £1 (which will buy 3 cement blocks). A magnetic version is also available at a cost of £2. If you would like to help us in our fund raising efforts and would like an order form, please contact Mrs Mitchell, Friends of Mangu, Earlston High School.
DARE TO WEAR PINK DAY/PINK PARTY
In the build up to this year’s Pink Party, the staff wore pink on Friday 31 October to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. Some were subtle, some outrageous but it was all in a good cause – we are still counting the donations! This year’s Pink Party is being held on Thursday 13 November – tickets, priced £10, are now on sale from committee members. We have now had two such parties raising £3500 for Breast Cancer Care and anyone who has been before will tell you that you are in for a great meal, much fun and lots of laughter. If you are interested in buying a ticket, please contact Mrs Stewart Murray, Pink Party Convener.
PUPIL COUNCIL VISIT NEW SCHOOL
Members of the school’s Executive Council visited the new school last Monday. The Executive Pupil Council is made up of two representatives from each year group. These pupils are also members of a year group Council and their task at the next meeting will be to report back on the visit. Mr McLean and an engineer from the site escorted around the school. The pupils are the first pupils to actually walk up the main pathway into the building.
The tour started in the Physical Education wing, which is to the rear of the building. The sheer size of the games hall and gymnasiums amazed the students, who were also impressed by the changing facilities. Next was the wing which will accommodate practical classes such as Craft Design and Technology, Home Economicsand the three Sciences. Mr McLean explained that two of the Technical rooms were dual-purpose, having special benches which would be for both woodwork and metalwork. The group also visited the Art department’s rooms, Computing and the library. Some of these are already painted and ceilings are in place. There are even some clocks on the walls!
One of the reasons for taking the Council to the school is to help make decisions about how best to use certain areas of the school. For instance: pupil social areas at break and lunchtime, the school assembly hall, the dining area and outside seating areas.
The students were all excited about the new premises and will be leading the discussion at their year group Council meetings next week. Mr McLean hopes to take the year group Councils and other interested groups to visit the school in the coming months.
The week beginning the 17 th November is Anti- Bullying Week and to promote this there is a variety of events. The week starts with an S2 assembly, at which all pupils will be issued with an Anti-bullying wristband. However, it is not only the second years who will receive these – at registration, class representatives will issue a band to every pupil. Staff will also be part of this initiative. We are very grateful to Health promotions for assisting us with the purchase of the bands.
In Social Education, each year group will be doing an anti-bullying lesson and will receive a sheet which gives them tips and advice. There will also be Bully Free Zone posters around the school to remind pupils this is a serious issue and that we are striving to make EHS bully-free. S1 and S2 pupils are invited to enter a competition to design an anti-bullying poster.
We are also updating our anti-bullying policy and, at the pupil council, class representatives will be discussing the policy. They are in the process of gathering ideas from their register class to bring to the meeting.
'FOG ON THE MOUNTAIN'
Students studying Drama at Standard Grade performed Tim Kelly’s ‘Fog On The Mountain’ to S1 at Monday’s assembly. This is a macabre folktale in One Act, which identifies some of the issues around bullying. The cast was: Emma Finnen, Rebekah McKenzie, Hannah Durham, Jonathon McGowan, Beki Cooper and Sarah Smith. Well done to them all for an excellent production.
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WEEK ENDED 31st OCTOBER 2008
SCHOOL PHOTO REMINDER
Just a short reminder to pupils/parents and/or guardians that the school photographer in is school this Friday (7 th November). Years S1, S3, S5 and S6 will have an individual photo taken and S6’s will also have a group photo taken for the year book. There will also be a chance for family photos to be taken at break. Primary and Secondary School Family Groups will be at the start of the morning. All photos will be taken in the Assembly Hall. Rebecca Young
THE RACE WAS ON AGAIN
Young Kerry Sandilands in first year at Earlston, brought out her running shoes once again to compete in The Scottish Athletics East District Cross Country Relay Championships. This was Kerry’s first time competing in this race. There were two teams competing for the Gala Harriers Juniors (the local club she trains with). The A Team was made up of Charlotte Brown (U15), Hannah Jones (U17) and Kerry (U13). The B Team included Alison Brown (U13), Emily Jones (U15) and former pupil Gillian Ingils (U17). Kerry ran a very impressive leg in a time of 11 minuets 27 seconds, helping her team home at a great 10 th place, with the B Team following closely behind in 15 th place. Kerry’s next race is at Lasswade on the 2nd November. All the best of luck!
EVALUATING S4 WORK EXPERIENCE
The week before the October break the S4’s went on their work experience. They were scattered across the Central Belt and the Borders with one adventurous soul heading to Perth. We asked a proportion of students to evaluate their experience. The majority worked 9 till 4 pm Monday to Friday and though busy and tiring the general consensus was a valuable learning experience. Nikki worked at the Border General Hospitals in Dietetics, Jessica was at the Scottish Borders Council HQ, Rogan worked with solicitors, Scott was doing Farm Experience and Debbie was cooking up a storm in the Home Economics Department at the School. The students found the experience helped them to decide a future career.
In last week’s assembly, the week was evaluated using the ‘Who Wants a to be a Millionaire’ type key pads. Using a powerpoint presentation, the students were asked a series of questions about work experience and, using the keypad, they responded.
Their answers were immediately shown on a bar chart. Some of the responses were: 80% of students thought that their experience was ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. When asked if they would recommend work experience to the current third years, 85% said a definite ‘Yes!’ It is also interesting that half of the students thought that a week was just the right amount of time; the other half thought it should be for longer. There was a mixed response about the timing of the week and students were invited to suggest alternative times in the school year. All in all though, work experience has been a tremendous success.
EARLSTON MAKES A MARK
Earlston High School will be transformed into the Dragons Den next month as the Make Your Mark Challenge comes to the school. On November the 17 th, 12 Higher Business Management students will be taking part in the event which will kick start Enterprise week, which this year will be part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. I spoke to Chris Rome about the challenge; “I am really looking forward to the challenge and think it will be great fun. “ Stay tuned for more information about our young entrepreneurs!
EPIC FIVE -A- SIDE FOOTBALL!!!
‘It’s going to be the most electrifying event in the history of sports entertainment.’ A pretty big promise to live up to, but Joe Young – a member of the Sports Committee claims that their next event can! On October the 29 th, the long awaited five a side football tournament will commence.
I spoke to Joe about the occasion. “A vast amount of teams have entered, but there can only be one winner – my team!” he jokes. Joe debuted this season at the Sports Committees Beat the Goalie competition along with Mr. Butcher, which was a great success! I also spoke to the chairman of the committee – Neil Vint. “At the end of this event, we will hopefully have raised about £50 for the charities committee! Other events which are on the way include a staff versus pupils competition… which should be interesting!!” The long suffering (!), only female member of the committee, Amy Sharp, summed up the event; “I love being on the sports committee and this event is going to be another epic!”
Every year, there is a ‘must have’ book for all Sixth Years, which is written by the Yearbook committee. The book is essentially a record of their sixth year at Earlston High School and highlights some of the antics, challenges and highs that make being a Sixth Year so special. The book is a memento of the year group.
This year’s committee, under the guidance of Megan Wood and Charlotte Winsland, is already underway with organising items for the book. It is a huge task to ensure every member of year has a chance to be part of the yearbook. The final version is professionally published, which means the committee fund-raise and appeal to sponsors to help them to subsidise the cost of the book.
Two weeks ago, in their ‘Give the staff a treat’ campaign, the committee sold home-made traybakes and cakes to staff. Their next fund-raise is to offer themselves as a ‘slave for the day’, when they have given up some of their study periods to act as a ‘slave’. All pupils and staff are invited to pre-pay in order to book a particular slave (£5) or to take their chance at the slave auction. The auction will be held on Friday 7 th November and slaves will be in action for three days: 10 th-13 th November.
Thursday 30 th October was our Hallowe’en Day, organised by the S6 Charities committee. The evening before was a hauntingly successful S1-S3 disco (courtesy of the disco committee) and on the 30 th the cops and robbers came out for an S4-6 disco.
During lunchtime the committee taunted and haunted everyone with a series of activities. There was a traditional games arena, set up with dooking for apples and trying to eat jammy doughnuts suspended in the air on string. There was also a ‘What’s in the Box?’ game which invited participants to put their hands in a box and work out the object: baked beans, a sheep’s skull, shower gel, gooey mixtures of cornflour and water! We were dared to try our luck at guessing the contents of each box. Yeuch! It was all in a good cause though. Donations from the non-uniform participants will also help to boost the funds, which the committee is raising for Water Aid, Cystic Fibrosis and Mangu Junior Secondary School.
S1 REPORTS AND PARENTS EVENING
Parents of first years will have received the settling-in report this week. The report is an indication of how the new pupils have coped with the transition from primary to secondary and all the changes this brings. A reply slip is enclosed with each report, which asks both parents and pupils to comment on the report. Please can these be returned to register teachers as soon as possible.
There is also a chance for parents to meet their son/daughter’s teachers on Tuesday 18 th November. This follows the usual parents’ evening routine and starts at 6.30pm until 9.00pm. Letters inviting parents to the evening have already been sent and pupils are now making appointments with their teachers on their parents’ behalf. The main part of the evening will be devoted to interviews with class teachers and with the relevant Guidance teacher if required. S6 will be on hand to sign-in parents and offer tea and coffee. We look forward to seeing you on the 18 th.
S4/5 CAREERS EVENING
Parents of students in S4 and S5 are invited to a Careers Evening starting at 7.00 on Tuesday 11 November. Miss Strong will open the evening with an introduction to qualifications and progression routes. There will also be a short presentation by C Nairn from Borders College and the school’s careers adviser will explain how Careers Scotland can support students. Finally some previous students will share their experiences of life after EHS.
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WEEK ENDED 24th OCTOBER 2008
'COPS AND ROBBERS'
Team Fire it Up! Another one of the S6 committees is holding their first ever event on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The S1/S2 Halloween Disco which has been given an alternative theme – ‘Cops and Robbers’ is on tonight (Wednesday 29 th October) and is being held at Earlston High School, starting at 7:00pm and finishing at 10:00pm.
The S3-S6 Halloween Disco also with the same theme is on Thursday 30 th October and will also be held at Earlston High School (or Earlston Music Venue as its been renamed ) and will commence at 7:30 pm finishing at 10:30pm. Tickets can not be bold on the night pupils must buy the tickets at school in school time, tickets cost £2.50.
US ELECTION FEVER
With the US election approaching rapidly and the real policies of the candidates – Barack Obama and John McCain shrouded in so much rhetoric we at the press committee thought it was time to give you a straightforward analysis of some of their policies, without the usual spin.
John McCain’s Policies
John McCain and his running partner Sarah Palin have extremely strong core family values and therefore have very controversial opinions over social issues. They are both pro-life and are against abortion although it isn’t clear whether they would make it illegal. Owing to this opposition, they are incredibly supportive about adoption and foster care. Sarah Palin is eager for creationism and evolution to be taught in schools throughout America and teaching sex education should be a high priority. Ultimately the pair are against gay marriages but think the separate states should be responsible for deciding the law. John McCain feels the death penalty should be used more often and he wants to prosecute criminals, not citizens for gun ownership.
Global warming is big on the political agenda and McCain believes it must be addressed in an active manner. The illegal trade in whale meat will be clamped down upon and he plans to end commercial whaling all together. John McCain wants to improve intelligence against terrorism and he would prefer not to pull troops out of Afghanistan. He thinks a strategic bombing of Iran would be considered but only if they pose an imminent threat to the West. Due to his experiences in Vietnam he wants to support the surge in Iraq spearheaded by President Bush and bring troops home with honour.
John McCain faces stiff competition in his race to be elected as the new president of the White House in the form of the Illinois Senator Barack Obama.
Barack Obama’s Policies
Obama would spend less money in Iraq – notably, he originally didn’t vote in favour of the war even going ahead and would reduce American presence in Iraq by 16 months. He also proclaimed his hope to remove all troops from Iraq by 2013 but this was not a pledge. Obama would make sure that America abides by the human rights treaties and would be willing to meet up with Fidel Castro, Jim Jung and Hugo Chavez. Africa is an important issue to Obama and he would intervene in Darfur and fund humanitarian aid. He would let Ukraine and Georgia join NATO. Obama would insist that China improved their labour and human rights standards before trading would commence.
The results of the election have the potential to affect the whole world, including the Borders, so who would the people of Earlston vote for?
After polling 50 people in Earlston High School we found that an overwhelming 90% of people would hypothetically vote for Barack Obama. John McCain was languishing behind with a measly 6% and 4% declined to offer their opinion.
By Rebecca Elsdon & Georgia Aitkenhead
Congratulations to the following pupils for their recent Sporting Achievements:
Matthew Scott (4C) – 4 th in Scotland in Juvenile section of downhill mountain biking.
Calum Mc Neill (4A) – selected for Golf Academy.
Ali Kontothanassis (4A) and Nikki Moffat (4C) – Selected for South Under 16 Hockey Squad.
Erin Bonnar (6A), Emily Eaton Turner (6A) and Luana Henderson (5E) – Selected for South Under 18 Hockey Squad.
NON - UNIFORM DAY
The school will be holding a non-uniform day for the pupils on Thursday 30 th October to raise money towards the Sixth Year Charities which are Mangu Junior Secondary School, Water Aid and Cystic Fibrosis.
AN ENTERPRISING IDEA
First and second years have the chance to design their own greetings cards. The Friday Enterprise Club, which allows pupils to create cards using their own artwork or photos, met for the first time before the October break.
The pupils have already set to work suggesting original and interesting ideas for Christmas Cards. The cards will be sold in school and in local shops and businesses to raise money for a charity selected by the pupils. The club is open on Friday lunchtimes and is run by Miss Woodside.
Oh yes it’s the time of year again that many of us dread, it’s time for school photos. Apart from the first day back after the summer holidays, school photo day is the only other day you’ll see all the pupils with immaculate dress, polished shoes and perfectly coiffured hair. The following years will be having their individual photo taken S1, S3, S5 and S6.There will also be a chance for family photos during break and a class photo for S6 and primary school and secondary school family groups in the morning. The school photo is now scheduled for the 7 th November and not the 31 st October as indicated on the school calendar.
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WEEK ENDED 17th OCTOBER 2008
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Mrs A Eaton Turner is our newest recruit to the Behaviour Support Unit and another fresh face for Earlston High School but a familiar face for many of the S6’s. (She’s our Head Girls’ Mum!)
Originating from Kirkcaldy in Fife Mrs Eaton Turner moved to Melrose- the town of the rose- 22 years ago. After leaving school Mrs Eaton Turner went straight into work in house training as an insurance underwriter with general accident.
Being a new face can be a rather an odd experience, so we felt it was important to ask how she was settling in and if she felt that she was welcomed into the school she replied positively saying the welcome was “Excellent” and that everyone was “fantastic and friendly”. Furthermore when asked what she hoped to achieve, she replied “A job here until I retire!”
We also asked her what she likes to do in her spare time the outcome was very positive with “running, keeping fit, cooking and gardening” and of course most importantly “socialising with friends and family.”
Miss A Woodside is also another fairly new summer recruit and has joined the Art and Design department. Originally from the central belt of Scotland, Miss Woodside has lived in Hawick for the last eight years. She previously worked for over eight years as a knitwear designer for various cashmere mills in Hawick.
She studied Printed and Knitted textiles at Glasgow School of Art and then went to do a Textile Design Masters Degree with Computer Applications at Heroit Watt University in Galashiels. She said that she “enjoyed the quality of living so much so, I decided to pursue my design career working for the Scottish Borders Cashmere industry.” She later studied a teaching Diploma at Jordanhill ( Strathclyde University) and said that she “was very fortunate to be placed in the Borders at Earlston High.
Being a new teacher in the school can be quite a daunting experience but Miss Woodside was very positive saying “ Earlston High School is certainly a very high achieving school. Pupils and staff alike work to the highest possible standard in every task undertaken, to achieve the very best for all. The extra curricular activities are wide and varied. Pupils are certainly motivated and inspired to take part.
To sum it all up, staff are very friendly, helpful and always eager to help one another. The environment I am working in could not be more supportive”. As a probationer teacher she is striving to be the best teacher possible.
In addition to developing her teaching skills Miss Woodside says, she “Hopes to be understanding, considerate and help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities. This is by far my most achievement.” When asked if she felt that she was welcomed into the school she replied positively saying that “I often find that when you start a new job there is a settling in period. I felt this was not the case at Earlston High School. I was made to feel part of the team straight away.”
We also asked her what she likes doing in her spare time, however unfortunately the outcome was “To be honest, I am not sure I have any spare time at present.” Though she does enjoy “walking in the countryside, watching a good science fiction movie and/or taking photographs!”
We are glad to her that both Mrs. Eaton Turner and Miss Woodside have settled in well and we hope that they both achieve their goals at Earlston High School.
THE NEW CRAZE? WHY ITS'S ONLY JUGGLING
First there was debating, then there was volleyball, now the latest craze to hit Earlston High School is juggling. That’s right, juggling is the new volleyball and one of the most popular clubs at the school. I just had to find out what it was all about.
Established in 2006, by ex-pupil Duncan Yellowlees, who built the club with few resources and just his knowledge alone to make the club what it is today. When it began it had 4 members but in 2008 that figure has increased to 20+ . Duncan has now left school to go to university to study engineering but original members Mary Bennett and Lara Hackney have kindly taken over the running of EHS Juggling Club. I spoke to them to see why people love the club so much, its purposes and to pick up a few juggling techniques for myself (even though I was horrendously bad!)
Mary filled me in on why juggling is attracting so many members. She spoke of how practising poi (her most enjoyed skill) can improve your flexibility and strengthen arm muscles. Poi is not the only skill at the juggling club which has such benefits, juggling 3+ balls helps to improve your hand-to-eye co-ordination and improves people’s overall reaction times.
The juggling club offers many other forms of circus skills such as Diablo, clubs, contact balls, staff and devil sticks. The latest addition is plate spinning, which is very frustrating, so much so that I gave up after trying once, just before throwing the plastic plates (luckily they weren’t priceless china) everywhere in a rage.
Remember to buy next weeks paper for Part 2 of this crazy phenomenon!
By Ashleigh Dodds
CHEMISTRY CLUB SOLVES CRIME!
Last week, Mr Foggin’s Chemistry lab was transformed into a forensic lab! It was the weekly meeting of the Chemistry Club and pupils were in action creating and analysing fingerprints.
There are seven features used to identify fingerprints. Everyone has a variation on one of the features: the loop, central pocket, double loop, plain arch, tented arch, plain whorl and accidental. These are all the patterns created on the skin which help forensic scientists identify fingerprints.
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WEEK ENDED 10th OCTOBER 2008
ALL IN A DAYS WORK
Thank you again to all the local employers who have helped us by providing a placement for the S4 work experience week. Did you spot us? We were just about everywhere you can imagine: garages, equestrian centres, shops, offices, construction sites, schools, hospitals, sports facilities… even in the Scottish Parliament.
Everyone – and to coin Bruce Forsyth’s phrase – and I mean everyone, had a fantastic experience. Emily was based at the Aquarius hairdressing salon in Earlston and said, ‘This has been amazing and way better than school!’ Ryan agreed that it had been really enjoyable and was grateful to AG Lees garage in Gala for giving him the opportunity to spend his week working on cars. Sean, at Border Chainsaw, just looked like one of the employees as he worked on one of the chainsaws in the workshop. Likewise, Greg was being kept busy at Rutherford’s and had enjoyed visiting farms to mend tractors and repair parts in their workshop.
Many pupils have had their eyes opened to the demands of a working week and have coped admirably with the challenges of meeting new people and working in new environments. It has been an excellent experience. Mrs McDonald, the co-ordinator of work experience, said, ‘This has been a fantastic opportunity for our young people. Our thanks must go to the employers and employees who have helped our students have such a successful week.’
BAD LADS ARMY?
No it wasn’t! It was a terrific experience for the 7 of us who spent a working week at the Army recruiting farm beside a modern day firing range, in the hills behind Hillend dry ski slope. There were 4 different schools attending at the same time as us and in total 16 people were on the course. When we first got to the base, we were given a brief and then issued with our combats and bedding, I felt like a new recruit when we were queued up in our ‘civvies’ waiting for our uniform.
It was a week full of fun-filled activities which were both physically and mentally challenging. On Wednesday night, only our third day there, we were sent out on a RECCE patrol up in the hills. It was dark and cold and wet and muddy and raining! We had to army crawl most of the way, but we had to do it as we had been instructed to gather information about the ‘enemy’ – two of our instructors messing about on the hill top with a rubber glove and fresh supply of firewood and some matches – the only thing was - we were not to be seen. The whole night put us in a bad mood for the trek back to base, but we all got a laugh when we were almost back and section 1 (my section) prepared an ambush for section 2. We hid in thorny bushes until they were passing by. Section 2 had no idea what was happening when we sprang from the shadows and basically attacked them. They may have been slightly annoyed that we got to ambush them and not the other way around but everyone soon cheered up as the chef had prepared cheese on toast, coffee and tea for our return.
Each one of our activities counted towards which group won best section at the end of the week. Section 2 were victorious in the end but the best student award went to a boy from section 1 so we still had some glory to soak up. It was great fun and I would recommend it to anyone going on work experience next year, so long as they don’t mind getting absolutely coated in mud from head to toe!
Under 18 Knockout Cup
The girls started strong in the game against Kelso and had a couple of early shots on goal. The Earlston defence had to work exceptionally hard as Kelso upped the pace of the game at the end of the first half, eventually scoring two goals. The Earlston girls came out fighting in the second half; the game going from end to end with both teams creating scoring opportunities. After 50 minutes Kelso were worthy winners, winning game 2-0. Outstanding performances from Charlotte Winsland, who won player of the match, and Goalkeeper Holly Wallwork who made some excellent saves throughout the game. Thank you to all the parents who came to support the girls and to Mr Tucker who umpired the game.
SATURDAY 4 TH OCTOBER 2008 AGAINST HAWICK HIGH SCHOOL
EHS 1 st X1 1 HHS 1 st X1 3 Player of the match Ali Mather
EHS S3 0 HHS S3 2 Player of the match Erin Millar
EHS S2 0 HHS S2 4
EHS S1 Red Team 1 HHS S1 2
EHS S1 Blue Team 1 HHS S1 4
Well done to all the girls who took part.
HOCKEY RESULTS AGAINST JEDBURGH GRAMMAR
EHS S2 2 JGS S2 0
EHS S1 Red 4 JGS S1 ‘A’ 0
EHS S1 Red 0 JGS S1 ‘B’ 4
EHS S1 Blue 1 JGS S1 ‘b’ 2
EHS S1 Blue 4 JGS S1 ‘A’ 0
Well done to all the girls who took part.
The picture is of the girls from all four of the Earlston Hockey Teams wearing their new hockey kit.
Pupils and staff at Earlston High School are taking part in a national schools fantasy football league. Last season over 100,000 pupils from over 2,000 schools across the UK, took part. The principal is simple; entrants select a team of 11 Premiership players and have to stay within a budget of £70m. Players collect points depending on their performances in actual Premier League games, and the points are collated on the website www.schoolsfl.com. Managers can make three transfers per month to try and improve their chances. Monthly prizes are awarded for the teams that score the most points in a calendar month and there is also a cup competition based on FA cup matches.
The pre-season warm-up has just come to an end. 116 teams took part and the managers learned some important lessons on players to have and, more importantly, not have in their teams. Some crafty transfer dealings gave second year Cameron Creamer a healthy lead in the first few weeks. Despite their best efforts none of the other managers were able to catch him and he finished with an impressive 18 point lead. Congratulations go to Cameron, who will be awarded his winners medal in due course. All points are now reset, and the competition starts properly on 18th October. Who'll be crowned league champions in May; will it be West Bromwich Algebra, Bayern Neverlusen or the might of Bowden Athletic? Will the staff be able to beat the pupils?? Only time will tell as the managers jostle for position at the top (and bottom) of the table.
This was a great success. Forty five fourth year pupils enjoyed a traditional production of Macbeth at The Royal Lyceum Theatre. The central performances were strong and clear and were well supported by scenes of lavish slaughter, hallucination and toxic womenfolk. The antics of the inebriated porter were raucously enjoyed. Throughout the evening the pupils were remarkable for their good humour and the spirit of lively enquiry with which they approached the play. I was proud to be associated with them.
HIGHER GEOGRAPHY TRIP
A couple of weeks ago the Higher Geography students went on a field trip to the Lake District National Parks and the Yorkshire Dales. Miss Morgan (the trip co-ordinator) filled us in with all the fascinating details.
She said “In the Yorkshire Dales we visited limestone caves and in the Lake District we saw glaciated features.”
One of the main purposes of the trip was to look at the effects of tourism in Windermere as this is a key topic in the Rural Land Resources unit. Pupils were privileged to have been given a presentation by one of the Lake District Visitor Centre Rangers. Another reason for the trip was to “help pupils understand the Lithosphere and Rural Land Resources units in their course, whilst also giving them an experience of having a field trip away!”
Miss Morgan also stated that the behaviour of the participants was perfect despite the fear of it not going ahead as last year (which included the press members Ashleigh, Aimee and the Rebeccas!) was a complete disaster.
Well done Higher pupils! EHS is very proud!
By Ashleigh Dodds & Rebecca Elsdon
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WEEK ENDED 3rd OCTOBER 2008
EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES
The European Day of Languages (EDL), a Council of Europe initiative, is held annually on the 26 September to celebrate language and cultural diversity.
The European Day of Languages is:
- a Europe-wide celebration of all the world’s languages
- a day to kick-start language learning
- a chance to raise awareness about the value of language skills
EDL aims to:
- alert the public to the importance of language learning
- increase awareness and appreciation of all languages
- encourage lifelong language learning
Most events and activities are held on the day itself, but some people extend the celebrations over two or three days and others even have a whole week of language-related events. EDL is celebrated throughout the UK and in 45 countries across Europe.
At Earlston High School the Modern Languages Department extended celebrations to a week and other departments also got involved on the day itself. In the Modern Languages Department S1 pupils took part in a European Quiz. S2 pupils designed logos for the European Day of Languages and also participated in some language taster lessons. S3 and S4 pupils worked on group projects about European countries and also designed posters entitled ‘Learning Languages Opens Doors’.
In the P.E. department Mr Renwick and Mr. Kidd spoke French with S1 at registration and were creatively French with their names. Mr Renwick’s S3 rugby class experienced French language and French rugby as they did a lesson dealing with the French rugby style. All in all the event was an enjoyable experience for all involved.
SCHOLAR is an e-learning education programme provided to students of certain subjects by Heriot Watt University. These computer based learning materials are available on-line and each student has been given a password to access them. Parents can now access SCHOLAR to see what course materials are available. Please see the link on the school website if you are interested in more information about SCHOLAR.
SPOTLIGHT ON ..... THE CHARITIES COMMITTEE
The students of Earlston High School showed their charitable side last week when the sixth year Charities Committee raised an impressive £166.32 from their cake sale, which was held during break time.
I spoke to the treasurer of the committee Danielle. “We picked our charities during the second week of term. Friends of Mangu is one of the charities which is close to the school’s heart and the school has been fundraising for the charity for several years now. Cystic Fibrosis affects a young girl in our year so it seemed appropriate for us to support a charity which does such great work for someone we know. Finally, Water Aid seemed like a good idea because we don’t realise how important small things like water, which we take for granted, can affect and change the lives of other children in less developed countries.”
The next big event being organised by the Charities Committee will be the ‘Rock Band – Battle of the Bands’ which is taking place on the 22 nd of October. Teams of four will be “rocking off” in a bid to be named the ‘ultimate rock band’ on the popular Xbox 360 console game. I also spoke to committee member Kate. “I find it very rewarding to know that we are doing our bit for charity and its lots of fun too!” And boys…be aware…a wax-a-thon has been planned for November the 20 th. Come on guys, be a man and do your bit for charity!!
S4 WORK EXPERIENCE
Whilst you are reading this, 146 of our fourth year pupils are in the world of employment rather than being in school. We are indebted to the many local employers who have offered our students a chance to work in the real world for a week.
There’s a vast array of work experiences. If you are going to the Theatre this week, either in Peebles or in Edinburgh, then you might spot three of our students. Listen to Radio Borders and you’ll hear another! If there’s a problem with your car and you visit one of the Borders’ garages, then there’s a fair chance you’ll bump into more of our students. Hopefully, you’ll never even notice as they will have blended in with the workers – hopefully their overalls will be oily too! A poorly pet? Veterinary practices in Hawick and Galashiels have our students this week so keep an eye open for them. If your son or daughter attends a local primary school, then hopefully they’ll be able to tell you all about the enthusiastic classroom assistant who has joined them this week. The list really is endless.
Work experience is a superb form of careers education and a great learning experience for students. Next week, we’ll let you hear from some of the students themselves about how it went and what they’ve learned. Again, a sincere thanks to everyone who has helped us with this year’s work experience programme and especially to the employers and companies.
HOCKEY RESULTS AGAINST BERWICKSHIRE HIGH SCHOOL
EHS 1 ST XI 0 BHS 1 ST XI 2 Player of the Match Luana Henderson
EHS S3 0 BHS S3 5 Player of the Match Katie Douglas
EHS S2 0 BHS S2 2
EHS S1 0 BHS s1 ‘A’ 3
(Blue team) 1 BHS S1 ‘B’ 0
EHS S1 3 BHS S1 ‘B’ 0
(Red team) 0 BHS S1 ‘A’ 2
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Miss Mitchelmore is the newest recruit to the Home Economics Department; bringing another fresh face to Earlston High School. Originating from the hectic city of Edinburgh, she moved down to the Scottish Borders 8 years ago. She had a long career in hospitality managing restaurants and bars.
She studied for a BA (Hons) Degree in Home Economics at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and then progressed to achieve an MA in Textile studies at The Scottish College of Textiles (which now we know as Heriot-Watt College. She then studied for a teaching degree at Strathclyde University for a Postgraduate Degree in Education. Being a new teacher in the school can be a rather odd experience, so we felt it was important to ask how she was settling in. Her reply was: “Fantastic and challenging.”
In addition to developing her teaching skills, Miss Mitchelmore says she “hopes to be an excellent teacher and member of the team”
We also asked her what she likes do in her spare time however unfortunately the outcome was that she doesn’t have any spare time.
When asked if she felt that she was welcomed into the school she replied positively saying that:
“It was excellent and it felt as if the school, staff and pupils were like her second family.”
Glad to hear that Miss Mitchelmore has settled in well and we hope that she achieves her goals at EHS!
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WEEK ENDED 26th SEPTEMBER 2008
One of our many S6 committees this year- Team Xtreme, which organizes S1 and S2 activities, held an Xtreme Limbo event for the new first years at lunch time last week.
Different registration classes competed against each other in a sort of organized chaos for a well deserved prize.
There was an impressive turn out, the majority being boys, keen to show their competitive edge. As the bungee rope was lowered more S1’s were knocked out, until there were only three- Aden, Joe and Martin. They all did very well and impressed us with their skill which led to a joint win by Aden and Joe.
Thanks to Mr. Westgarth for his expert judging skills and to Team Xtreme for organizing the fun filled lunch time.
By Rebecca Young
THIRLESTANE RUN 2008
The impressive backdrop of Thirlestane Castle saw one of our young athletes in action again last Sunday on the 10 th anniversary of this popular race by Lauder Limpers. The sun shone and conditions underfoot were perfect for both races around the castle grounds.
Kerry Sandilands ran the race in a very impressive time of 11 minutes 48 seconds started the afternoon well for Gala Harriers and took the first place in the junior race for girls.
By Rebecca Young
TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
S1 pupils were really exercising their brains in their activities at the Tree of Knowledge presentation. Caitlin said, “Today I have learned that you should always believe in yourself and always try to work in a team.” The presentation gave the students lots of interesting information about how the brain works. In teams they were set various tasks which required positive thinking, good communication and a “can do” attitude. Aaron was really enthusiastic, “Today has been great fun. I learned a lot about how the brain functions. The team challenges really put your thinking skills to the test.” Pupils were not the only ones to benefit from the presentation. In the evening, S1 parents were equally enthusiastic and positive. Colin for Tree of Knowledge gave parents a snap-shot of the morning’s pupil presentation and lots of helpful tips for supporting the youngsters with their learning.
There were no arrows flying about but there has been lots of discussion. At the moment all S4, S5 and S6 students are setting themselves targets to achieve in their exams. The seniors have completed these as part of their Review and reports will be issued during the week beginning 6 th October. Teachers have helped the students think about their targets and the strategies they could use to achieve them. Miss Strong’s assembly on Monday focussed on the importance of aiming high and having goals and ambitions. Determination was a quality the students felt was required, as well as a positive attitude and obviously hard work!
DEATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Monday 6 th October - Start of S4 Work Experience Week
Wednesday 8 th October - S4 Parents’ Evening
Tuesday 21 st October - S3/4 Study Skills Evening
Wednesday 29 th October - Disco for S1 and S2
Friday 31 st October - School photographs
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WEEK ENDED 19th SEPTEMBER 2008
Friday the 12 th of September was an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements of some our 6 th year students in a special assembly. The 1 st years and parents of the dux medallists were invited to attend as well as the parents of the heads of school.
After an introduction from Miss Strong, the head girl Emily Eaton-Turner, who was elected by her peers and teachers, gave an impressive speech outlining the experience of sixth year. Next up was the depute head boy Gavin Robertson, who talked eloquently about the privileges of being a sixth year. Depute head girl Louise Graham then gave a humorous talk about the responsibilities of being a sixth year, which received many laughs from the audience (at the expense of a few teachers!). Head boy Andrew Deans gave the last of the sixth year speeches which was inspirational and informative.
There was a special guest appearance from the newly-retired deputy rector (and new grandfather) Mr Weierter whose amazing service to the school for many years was acknowledged and applauded. He had the honour of awarding the heads of school with certificates to show their achievements. Furthermore he handed out the dux medals to 9 pupils who accomplished the feat of 5 or more As at Higher level. These hard working people were Ailsa Aitkenhead, Georgia Aitkenhead, Eleanor Barton, Martin Bell, Karen Leung, Colin Rooney, Amy Stevenson, Faye Walker and Robert Wyllie. Many congratulations again to them! His last duty was to hand out the class rep badges for both 1 st and 6 th year. Our year is very well represented on the S6 pupil council by Bethany Sharp and Richard Ferguson (6A) Calum Brodie and Kelly Bleasdale (6B), Leanne Paterson and Martin Bell (6C) Eleanor Barton and Neil Vint (6D).
The event was finished off by a hilarious speech from Mr Weierter which reminded us what a valuable member of the school he was! We wish him well in all his future ventures and good luck to the heads of school who have started off the year very strongly. We wish all the best to every school pupil!
By Rebecca Elsdon and Georgia Aitkenhead
NEW ARRIVALS TO THE PRESS COMMITTEE
We have been lucky enough to have not just one but two new faces joining our press committee in the last fortnight. Calum Brodie, who you may have seen in last week’s columns, has ambitions of becoming a sports writer and enjoys rugby and music. I spoke to Calum about joining the press group. “I feel the press committee is a good way to kick start my career in sports journalism and hopefully this will be the beginning of the road for me!” Another addition to the group is Justine Blask, who hopes to be a fashion designer. Justine enjoys singing, dancing and appreciating good music! Look out for articles from both in coming weeks!
By Bethany Sharp
AIRLIE SAILS ON
Callum Airlie, aged just 13, recently returned from his latest successful sailing travels with his International Optimist. Whilst some were relaxing on beaches, Callum’s summer “holiday” saw him travel through an impressive six countries, including England, Wales, France, Belgium and Switzerland, and compete in two of them. In Switzerland he had the privilege of taking part in the 8-man team representing Great Britain in the Swiss Nationals. Callum worked hard against difficult conditions and managed 23 rd overall; with a remarkable three top 20 places.
His next major event is the IOCA (UK) End of Seasons regatta at Rutland, followed by the Semana Del Atlantico regatta in Vigo, Spain, where he is part of the 6-man GBR team. Good luck Callum!
By Bethany Sharp
EARLSTON SOLVES A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA!
The halls at Earlston High School were alive again with the Sound of Music last week as Principal teacher of music at Earlston (and director of the school shows) Mr Thompson announced the cast list for the summer show! The problem of Maria has finally been solved in the form of sixth year Jessica Hardwick! Angus Yellowees will be assuming the role of Captain Georg Von Trap, whilst Daniel Wilson will be playing Rolf. Our very own Aimee Hislop will be taking on the role of the Mother Abbess and Emma Finnan will be playing Liesel. I spoke to Jessica, who, ever the modest one, was shocked at winning the role! “I’m really excited about doing it and can’t to work with all the children! It’s one of my favourite musicals and I used to watch the video when I was little!” Jessica told us her favourite song in the show is Doe a Deer – which luckily, was one of the audition songs! “I’m sure it will be a really great musical as it’s a very strong cast! I just hope I can do the part and all the wonderful songs justice!” Well we know you can Jessica, and all will be out in force next June to see you and the rest of the cast in this fantastic must see!
By Bethany Sharp
SAFE T IN 'SPRINGWOOD' PARK
A few weeks ago, 30 pupils of fifth year students descended once more on Springwood Park in Kelso to attend the annual S5 Safe in T Park event. Reminiscent of flocks of well behaved sheep they wandered around the various group events. They included (things) such as Drinking and Driving, Fire Safety, Housing, Panel Question Time, Healthy Eating, First Aid, Coping with Stress, Drugs and Alcohol, Road Policing and Sexual Health. The main emphasis of Safe T in the Park was the personal safety and it was very much a fun and informative day and a great time was had by all. It would also look very positive on their Curriculum Vitae.
By Rebecca Young
A TRY FOR EARLSTON
On Tuesday the 9 th of September, Earlston under 15’s rugby team endured a closely fought encounter against an impressive Jedburgh side. The Earlston side managed to produce an impressive display of skills and determination to defeat both the opposition and the testing conditions. After going behind to an early score, Earlston bounced back through a Tolland try after good build up play by Chalmers. The side then went on to take the lead, Tolland again showing a good turn of pace to intercept a loose pass and sprint home from 50 metres. However after the halftime interval Jed bounced back with a try to take the score to 12-10 in favour of the home team. Then, with 5 minutes remaining on the clock, Cammy Scott crossed over for the visitors to ensure that the celebrations belonged to Earlston.
By Calum Brodie
The Assembly Hall was ablaze with dazzling colours last week between the 17 th and 18 th of September from 6pm to 8pm and similarly at Earlston lunchtimes, as our annual art display was held in which Higher and Advanced Higher students were given the fine chance to exhibit their stunning work.
It was great to see our work again, having been returned safely back from the SQA after marking and equally, allowed us to understand how much we have developed since then before the summer holidays. After countless hours of working worriedly after school in order to meet vital deadlines, we finally were able to see what it was all for, stand back and admire the view!
A varied group attended, consisting of parents, members of the public and fellow art students, not to mention a substantial number from other schools in the Borders, being able to take worthy inspiration for their own oncoming exams next year. All were impressed of the high standard of work being produced and it was deemed a very useful way for students aspiring to pursue a career in art or design at university or college in understanding exactly how much work was required for those time consuming portfolios!
Of course, we were certainly sure to grab a quick complimentary coffee and biscuit amongst the excitement!
The school was open very late prior to the show, our teachers Miss Thoday, Mr Kelly and Mrs Burnside worked tirelessly the night before in effort to make our art look presentable, and indeed it did, not quite The Louvre, but proper little gallery all the same! Undoubtedly a shame to be missed!
By Aimee Leigh Hislop
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WEEK ENDED 12th SEPTEMBER 2008
ART AND DESIGN EXHIBITION - 17th & 18th SEPTEMBER
The annual exhibition of work from Earlston High School’s Art and Design students is open to the public. The display showcases the talents of the senior students who have achieved Higher and Advanced Higher in this year’s exams. And what a creative and talented group they are! Come and see for yourself. The exhibition is open between 6pm and 8pm and for two nights only, Wednesday 17 th and Thursday 18 th September. The painting in the photograph is by Joanna Scott. She is now about to begin studies at Dundee College of Art.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Miss L Watson is the latest addition to the Business Studies Department; bringing another fresh face to Earlston High School. Originating from the great town of Galashiels, she studied an MA (Hons) Degree in Business Management at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and after 4 years of hard work, graduated successfully. After Edinburgh, Miss Watson re-located to Glasgow to complete her PGDE at Jordanhill. As being a new teacher in the school can be a rather odd experience, it was important to ask how she was getting on. Her reply was: “I’m really enjoying it! It is a very friendly school.”
That’s what we like to hear!
In addition to developing her teaching skills to the best they can be, Miss Watson hopes to achieve more experience in teaching Business Studies.
In her spare time she enjoys singing. In fact, she is involved in the Galashiels Operatic Society – perhaps she is Gala’s answer to Katherine Jenkins! She also enjoys socialising and meeting new people.
Miss Watson was very positive and to add more pleasing comments, when asked if her welcome was satisfactory she replied:
“Not only have my department been extremely supportive, but the whole school, staff and pupils have made me feel very welcome.”
Glad to hear that Miss Watson is settling in well and we hope that she achieves her goals at EHS!
THE DREADED VACCINE!!
The time for receiving the nerve-wracking Human Papilloma Virus injection is drawing nearer. Girls aged 12-13 will be offered a vaccine that will help shield them against the two main causes of cervical cancer. Furthermore girls aged 16-17 will receive the first of three injections on Tuesday the 16 th of September. This will be followed up by the other two remaining injections later on in the year. If you’ve left school however there’s no need to worry as you can arrange to get this vaccine through an appointment with your local NHS. These injections combined with constant smear tests are aiming to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer. Don’t worry too much about the injection gals, just grin and bear it!
SCHOOL SHOW AUDITIONS
Earlston was alive with, yes that’s it you guessed it, ‘The Sound of Music,’ last week. There seemed to be the faint and slightly eerie, yet somewhat unmistakable murmurings of ‘Doe a Deer,’ floating aimlessly back and forth through the corridors wherever one went. Perhaps I’m exaggerating a little, either way it was most positively driving everyone round the bend!
Nerves heightened ceaselessly as children from S1 – S6 anxiously approached the school assembly hall where the perilous auditions took place. Some have gone through this process in the past, but other brave contenders were trying out for the first time. The auditions weren’t really that scary, as some would imagine. Instead they were rather enjoyable and a real learning curve, proving a great way to build confidence and find out what you’re made of! It can be a real scary prospect for some: getting up in front of your peers and teachers and delivering lines and song, so a huge congratulations to all of you who had the confidence to give it a bash.
It was a fantastic turn out to say the least. Some 54 first years auditioned for a few children’s roles, (some impressive little youngsters proving a strong year group for Earlston’s future musicals too) and around 20 of our boys gave their all to the classic ‘Edelweiss,’ and 42 girls tried to solve that problem of Maria.
There were some call backs and some of us even went off to boot camp with “Simon”, ahem, sorry, Mr Thomson until the cast could be revealed to the choir on Friday lunchtime.
Aimee Leigh Hislop
S6 TREE OF KNOWLEDGE
Yet again, 6 th years enjoyed the workshops run by Tree of Knowledge and Gav (the workshop leader). Having thoroughly enjoyed Tree of Knowledge in 5 th year we were all looking forward to this year’s experience. The Tree of Knowledge is essentially about team building, encouraging group thinking, discussion and leadership skills. The company work with primary and secondary pupils as well as with a variety of other organizations and groups. At our workshop, some of the tasks were purely mental while others had a physical aspect. Most of them involved heated discussions and much hilarity. Mr. Clarke one of our Depute Rectors, spoke to Gav who said, “The S6 students have been a fantastic group to work with and I fully expect them to take a leading role in school in a very effective way.” The feedback from the students was equally positive as we thought Gav had been fantastic and everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the session.
HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE
A sea of blue descended on Kelso’s Springwood Park to attend The Higher Education Conference last week, where pupils got to meet face to face with representatives from many of Scotland’s Universities and Colleges. It was a chance to collect a variety of prospectus and get answers to the numerous questions which we had been deliberating over for many weeks.
There were 87 EHS pupils in total, 8 of whom were fifth years who are interested in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. Schools present at the morning session along with Earlston were Jedburgh Grammar, Eyemouth High School, Duns High School and Peebles High School. Roughly 30 universities and colleges were there including a stand from Careers Scotland.
Overall we found it a great experience which gave us plenty of information to help us along the way to the careers we wanted to pursue in the future.
Mrs McDonald (one of the school’s Depute Rectors) accompanied the students, and stated that “It was a really useful and informative session - a great way to introduce the students to the various universities. I was really impressed by the students and their positive attitude to the event.”
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WEEK ENDED 5th SEPTEMBER 2008
STAFF CYCLE FOR CHARITY!
On the Sunday 24 th August this disparate band of cyclists set out in fine weather and high spirits from Melrose to follow the ‘Four Abbeys’ cycle route in aid of a small locally based charity, ‘Friends of Mangu’. The group consisted of eight staff from Earlston High School, one from Selkirk High and a bank manger. From left to right; Richard Smart, Gordon ‘Spike’ Wilson, Graham Jarvie, David Mitchell, Keith Dodds, Neil Woodcock, Andrew Ker, Alistair Kid, Paul McMillan, Ian Cooper.
‘Friends of Mangu’ is a charity supporting the development of an impoverished community in the Upper West Region of Ghana where 80% of the community live below the poverty line ($1 per day).
The first task for the charity has been to work in partnership with the community of Mangu to rebuild of their Junior Secondary School. The charity is providing the money to buy the materials and the community provides the labour and skills to build the school; literally with their own hands.
Mangu Junior Secondary School had been founded by Irish Methodist missionaries in 1992. The buildings, however, were constructed from mud brick and only survived two years. Despite this setback teaching continued and classes were taught in the open under the shade of some trees. They had very few resources only three blackboards, a couple of tables and a few chairs (pupils provided their own desks).
Thanks to the hard work of staff and students of Earlston High School and Knowepark Primary School and the generosity friends and family the charity has been working for the last two years and has now raised enough money for the construction of three new classrooms, a library, a staff room and an office. (Last year alone they raised over £8000.) Though not completed, these buildings will soon be serviceable and will provide much needed shelter from the elements from the start of this new school year in Ghana.
Last week two former students of Earlston High School set out on an adventure which will surely change their lives for ever. Andrew Wands and Dean Laidlaw will be spending four months of their GAP year in Mangu where they will support the teaching in the Primary and Junior Secondary schools as well as helping with any building work on the new school. They follow in the footsteps of former Earlston High Head Boy, Andrew Mitchell who spent three months in Mangu last year.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Miss G Simpson is the new geography teacher who is covering Mrs Harvey-Jamieson’s maternity leave. Originally from Cheltenham she left a teaching post in Glasgow to join the Earlston High School team. Miss Simpson studied MA Geography with Business at the University of Glasgow. When asked how she was finding EHS she replied,
“Very good, lovely pupils, well organised department and nice staff.”
She hopes to improve her teaching technique over the coming year. In addition to this she wishes to help her pupils succeed in their exams and achieve good grades. Miss Simpson hopes that her pupils enjoy geography and use the skills learnt in the future. In her spare time she enjoys shopping, swimming and yoga (although she claims she isn’t very good!) However her number one hobby is travelling (useful given that she’s a geography teacher!) She finished the interview by telling us that the staff were very welcoming at all levels.
DODGEBALL XTREME AT EARLSTON
Last Tuesday saw Earlston High Schools first and second years go mad for an extreme dodgeball event, organised by Team Xtreme (the first and second year’s activities committee.) We spoke to committee member Hannah Taylor about the experience. “Madness and absolute carnage” were her initial words! “But in a good way, of course!” Around 60 children came along with nine teams of boys and one team of girls all competing! In the end it was team NSE and ‘The Team’ that were victorious although “all the teams seemed to really enjoy it!” History teacher Mr McKeand assisted throughout the very successful occasion! Look out for the next big event as Team Xtreme are “currently brainstorming for their next fantastic activity!” Be afraid kids, be very afraid!!
Hopeful university applicants were out in force last Wednesday for the annual university information evening at Earlston High School. The programme of events was kick started by Miss Strong who outlined the school support structure, next up was a fascinating talk by a representative from Edinburgh University – Neil Bradley (school liaison officer) -, who gave an animated presentation about general university life including finance advice, course choice and how to choose the right university for you. Also included were very informative presentations from past pupils Andrew Mitchell, former Earlston High School Head Boy, who spoke about his amazing three months spent in Mangu last year and Helen Phillips who after going to university, found that it was not the right choice for her. After two years out working, is now about to start her nursing career. Helen made it clear that although university is a common choice for a lot of pupils, it is not always the right choice for the individual and that through her two years out she was able to develop life skills which she feels she would otherwise not have gained if she had stayed at university. The final talk of the evening was given by Rebecca Wade, whose daughter currently attends Napier University. Rebecca spoke about the discussions which took place in her household which lead to her daughter taking a year out to develop further experience in music – her chosen subject. This year out helped her daughter to have a fantastic first year at university. We spoke to current Head Girl; Emily Eaton Turner who attended the event. “It was great to hear about what benefits gap years can bring as the latter part of the evening focused on this. However the first part of the evening was most relevant to me personally as I am intending to go straight from school to university. All in all, a very informative and worthwhile evening!”
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR NEW MODERN STUDIES TEACHER
We have a fresh addition to our Modern Studies Department this term, a young teacher named Mr MacLachlan. Eventually, I managed to catch up with him amongst his very busy schedule for a wee natter, just to learn a tad about the fellow.
Mr MacLachlan comes from Glasgow, having previously taught there after studying politics at the University of Glasgow. I would imagine it a significant change being down here in the Borders in our rather rural area, among the bonny fields and sheep!
Having just settled in by the end of this year and knowing how to get to the staff room for the quick coffee break, the unfortunate chap will be uprooted not dissimilar to our old school and be back to square one with everyone else, getting to grips with the newly built Earlston High. The fun never stops!
When asked how he was enjoying Earlston High School he enthusiastically retorted, ‘A blast!’ He described the staff as very helpful and friendly and children as brilliant, all being extremely polite. Poor bloke doesn’t know what he’s let himself in for, does he? Not only does he teach the young ones in their S1 studies, but all the way up to S6 taking them for Advanced Higher - not having any favourites as yet, I’ll keep you posted.
Initially, when asked what he liked to do in his spare time he modestly didn’t reveal much, later going on to confess he was somewhat partial to a spot of sailing (better get himself a pond) and particularly enjoyed all sorts of music, especially when live.
He believes education is simply getting better and better having continued to steadily improve since his own school years.
Earlston wishes Mr MacLachlan the very best at his new post, hoping it proves a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
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WEEK ENDED 29th AUGUST 2008
NEW PRESS COMMITTEE
A brand spanking new committee has been added to an already lengthy list for S6 students to participate in this academic year. So, hello and welcome to the ‘Press Group!’
A short while before the summer holidays six lucky individuals, including myself, were given the fine privilege of writing a weekly slot in the Border Telegraph and to become part of the first ever press group at Earlston High School, a date to remember! Definitely one for the calendars! And about time too! Unexpectedly, despite having been part of the school a considerable length of time, our group came to realise that we didn’t know each other terribly well and now all deem that this is an excellent chance to get to know one another, a proper bonding experience! I thought I’d give you a little insight on our sundry lot, just in case you come to ponder who on earth it is blethering on from week to week!
So here goes - first of all, we have Georgia Aitkenhead who particularly enjoys jamming on her saxophone (watch out for her street performing in Edinburgh!) and doing art and design, something she may choose to take further in later years. Next there’s Ashleigh Dodds who also takes great pleasure in music, delighting especially in instruments such as drums and guitar. She would be keen to study law in the future. Rebecca Elsdon ‘luv’s a good game of tennis now and then and takes a good deal of interest in fashion. She is also curious as to how we all tick and so would enjoy becoming a psychologist. Bethany Sharp loves to ride her own horse, particularly on the Melrose ride-outs. She participates in dance every Saturday and is equally partial to a tad music here and there. As a future career she considers journalism, coincidentally this committee suitably serving perfect practice for just that! Rebecca Young is rather keen on sport, being a keen gymnast. In addition she runs and is part of the ‘Gala Harriers.’ Let’s all hope she doesn’t get mad and chase you. She will catch up. I personally love performing of all sorts including singing, dancing and acting and thus believe media is a tremendous avenue from these hobbies. To receive a wage for something for which I have such passion and find so enjoyable would be an absolute dream in the future. So that’s us! Each week we shall strive to reveal just a fraction of events that occur in our busy little school, to mention them all would be somewhat of a rather large novel!
SETTLED INTO SIXTH YEAR
A sea of blue descended on Earlston last week as the new sixth years took their place at the top of the school. Clad in instantly recognisable bright blue jumpers bearing the sixth year logo, which this year was designed by Vikki Henderson, we quickly settled in to our new blue and yellow common room. Already “mug wars” have begun and copious quantities of coffee and tea have been drunk! Pleasant card games have quickly descended into extreme ‘Uno’ matches, lunchtime rugby on the PS2 has become a regular fixture, and this week we welcomed the arrival of the new fridge! In between all the excitement, we have been finding time to fit in Prefect responsibilities – which includes canteen duty, first year link duty and ‘Common room police!’ - , committee work, meeting our buddies and the occasional Higher or Advanced Higher essay!!
EARLSTON AT THE FINISHING LINE
THE Olympics may be over but two of the school’s young athletes were out on show competing recently in events around Scotland. Rebecca Caswell in S2 was selected by her club – Edinburgh Athletic – to run at Grangemouth stadium to compete in the Scottish Young Athletes League Final. She competed in the 100m and the 4x 100m relay. She ran very well in the 100m and ran a proud time of 13.64 seconds, with a hard tasking of running into a head wind and managed to win the gold medal! Her relay team also came an impressive 5 th, so well done to all the girls. Overall her club won 50 points and have gained a place at Manchester on the 7 th of September to compete in the Young Athletes League Finals.
Dan Purves in S3 recently competed at the Scottish Athletics Championships also held at Grangemouth last weekend. Following a very successful summer, running on the Borders Athletics circuit and winning approximately £400 in prize money and several trophies, his coach, PE teacher Mr Renwick, entered him into the National Competition, competing in the under 15s boys 1,500m. Dan qualified for the final finishing second in his heat. Dan managed an impressive 5 th in the final with a personal best of 4 minutes 33.2 seconds. It was a striking display of cunning from the Earlston pupil in his first amateur event and Dan has one more year in the under 15s age group. Congratulations to both Rebecca and Dan on their latest success!
Mr McLean delivered the traditional ‘UCAS assembly’ to the sixth year on Friday. This gave the students a clear understanding of how to apply to university and use the UCAS Apply 09 system. There are no more paper copy applications – it’s all completed on-line. Each student was given a pack of resources to kick start their application process. This included a list of UCAS deadlines, tips on how use the on-line Apply system and sample personal statements. Each student has a referee from the senior management team, who is on hand to answer questions, help with decision making and generally assist with the application process.
Parents are invited to an information evening on Wednesday 3 rd September. The evening will include a talk from a representative from Edinburgh University on choosing a course and a university and advice on finance. There will also be a talk from a former pupil about university life.
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WEEK ENDED 22nd AUGUST 2008
Staff welcomed students back to school last Tuesday and a particularly warm welcome was extended to new pupils. 154 first years waited eagerly and nervously to start their secondary school education and were welcomed by Miss Strong and the senior management team in a short assembly. Then it was off to registration and the first lesson of the day. By lunchtime, and even at the end of the day, they were still smiling!
S1 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
| It was all shiny new shoes and anxious faces last Tuesday as the new first years boarded the school buses bound for their first day at the high school. Armed with only a timetable and a map to find their way around, the first years we spoke to said the only downsides of the high school were “getting lost all the time because we couldn’t work the map!” Jennifer was “bouncing about with excitement and nerves the night before until after 12” and Alexis felt that Earlston High School was “even better than I thought it would be.” The general consensus amongst the new first years seemed to be that the school appeared a lot bigger than they remembered from their two day visit way back in June and that “high school is much more exciting than primary school!.” We hope this enjoyment continues throughout the year and we wish them luck for the rest of their time at Earlston High School!
FESTIVAL OF CHEMISTRY
After being chosen from five (very enthusiastic) teams willing to participate, our team of Jack Brydon, Ben Cunningham, Ciaran Hogg and Andrew Ogilvie attended this at Heriot Watt University, Riccarton as one of 20 teams. The morning chemical problem was the “Mystery of Salty Towers” which involved solving a crime using Chemistry (CSI eat your heart out!). The afternoon “University Chemical Challenge” was equally interesting and our team was unlucky by being on 1.5C away from the answer – all in all an excellent introduction to the relevance of Chemistry in all our lives.
Sports Academy this year was a residential course at Inverclyde National Sports Centre in Largs. The course ran from 10 th – 13 th August 2008 and a number of pupils from Earlston High School were selected to attend:
Ben Chalmers Boys Football
Aaron Lynch Boys Football
Sam Conington Boys Football
James Conington Boys Football
Natalie Bryce Girls Football
Elliot Ruthven Cricket
Richard Taylor Cricket
Ali Kontothanassis Hockey
Ali Mather Hockey
Jessica Bennett Tennis
Ailsa Jackson Tennis
Lauren McCulloch Tennis
Philip Addison Tennis
Amy Fraser Swimming
Rebecca Caswell Athletics
On the Monday afternoon the pupils took part in a speed and agility workshop and in the evening they watched a film. On the Tuesday night they took part in a Quiz and X-Factor.
The Academy was a very enjoyable experience for all the pupils and the coaching staff. The athletes worked extremely hard during all the sessions, their attitude on and off the pitch was first class and they were a credit to their Schools.
HEADS OF SCHOOL
Congratulations to the newly elected Head Boy, Head Girl and their Deputes: Andrew Deans, Emily Eaton-Turner, Gavin Robertson and Louise Graham. Elected by their peers and staff at the end of last session, the four sixth years are excited about the challenges of the year ahead. Here’s some info about them.
Andrew lives in Melrose and attended Melrose Grammar School. He achieved a successful set of results in the recent SQA exams and is hoping to build on his four Highers (English, Physics, Business Management and History) by studying two of these subjects at Advanced Higher and adding another Higher. Andrew hopes to study Economics or Law at university. ‘It’s an honour to represent Earlston High School as Head Boy and I am looking forward to the challenges of the year ahead’. As well as enjoying photography and cross- country running, Andrew has established a small web and graphic design business. He enjoys creating and updating online presences for local small businesses. Obviously a budding entrepreneur!
Head Girl is Emily Eaton Turner, also from Melrose. Emily hopes to study medicine and achieved five Highers in the recent exams (Biology, Chemistry, Maths, English and Modern Studies). This session she is taking three Advanced Highers: Chemistry, Biology and Modern Studies. Emily also finds time to enjoy sport and she plays hockey for the school XI, has represented the South district and also plays National League hockey for Fjordhus Melrose. Earlier this year, she completed her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and is now working towards her Gold Award.
Assisting Emily and Andrew are their Deputes, Gavin and Louise. Gavin lives in Earlston and studied five Highers last year. His success in these has motivated him to continue with Biology and Chemistry at Advanced Higher level. He is also studying Higher Business Management and hopes to go on to study medicine at university.
He’s ‘looking forward to the privileges of being Depute Head Boy, but also to the challenges and responsibilities the post brings.’ Gavin is a keen sportsman, playing golf, tennis and rugby for Gala Wanderers. He also manages to fit in a part time job at the Hoebridge Inn in Gattonside.
Louise is also from Earlston and achieved four Highers: History, Modern Studies, Maths and English. This session she has added Higher Business Management and continues to study History and Maths at Advanced Higher. Next year she hopes to study either Accountancy or Classical Studies at University. In her spare time, Louise helps out at Lauder Guides as a Young Leader, enjoys running and tennis. She too is ‘looking forward to 6 th Year and to representing the school.’
S6/S1 BUDDY SYSTEM
S6 students are working enthusiastically in their new roles as Buddies to the new first years. Volunteers from the sixth years have been linked to first years from their old primary in a new system to help ease the transition from primary to secondary. Last week, each first year was given a welcome card to introduce them to their Buddy. The sixth years are available to chat to their buddies at registration and in Social Education. They provide a friendly face in the crowd and will offer support to the new pupils.
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WEEK ENDED 27th JUNE 2008
CITIZENSHIP DAY PART 2
Last week’s school news outlined some of the activities from our Citizenship Day. Here’s an update on some of the other workshops.
There was a variety of physical activities, such as team building and physical challenges led by the Army. Communication skills were tested as the teams had work together to solve a whole host of problems. Kick-boxing was also very popular and students tried out their newly acquired skills on the instructor. It was an energetic and demanding challenge, but great fun too. To help them relax, Mrs McLennan led a yoga session, which really ‘stretched’ the pupils! Dance was also on the agenda and students were treated to some groovy jive and cha cha cha moves. The gym hall rocked!
In Home Economics, pupils gained an understanding of how Fair Trade works. They then made chocolate cookies using fair Trade chocolate and donated these to various groups and visitors to the school.
Throughout the morning different groups participated in the puppet workshop. Using old socks (clean!) and their sewing skills, pupils created a variety of character puppets. In the afternoon, they delighted the Earlston Primary School’s primary pupils with a puppet show and donated the toys to them.
There was also a great debate ‘Question Time’ style of activity. In the morning, senior pupils discussed school related issues: exams, uniform, the budget cuts, Scottish qualifications etc. In the afternoon, they had the opportunity to challenge three panellists with their questions: Miss Strong, our Headteacher; Mr Glenn Rodger, the Director of Education and Ms Barbara Irvine from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. This session encouraged pupils to be effective contributors as they asked very demanding and thought-provoking questions. There was a healthy debate and our thanks to the panellists for allowing themselves to be put on the spot.
In the entrance hall of the school, there’s a huge display of photographs and it has attracted the attention of pupils, staff and visitors this week. Many thanks to Miss Clark and her team for organising such a superb day. When will we have another?
"AN ENTERPRISING MATHS DAY IN THE BORDERS"
Six pupils from S3 and S4 (Rebecca Caswell, Gillian Howieson, Megan Rowlands, Rachel Aitken, Sarah Cruikshank and Kathleen Long) represented Earlston High School in the Borders Mathematics Enterprise Competition on 24th June 2008.
In preparation for the competition, they spent many lunch hours preparing a Power Point Presentation on John Napier, a famous Scottish Mathematician, and other ‘Maths Champions of the World’. Naturally, this was accompanied by the legendary song ‘We Are The Champions’ by Queen.
On the day, Ms. Stewart accompanied the team to Galashiels Academy. There were four rounds to the competition and great fun was had by all, especially when Kathleen fell off her chair during instructions for the Relay Contest (obviously the excitement was too much for her!).
The team worked well together and were narrowly beaten into 3rd place by Selkirk High in the final round by only 8 points. Well done to the winners, Galashiels Academy. We’ll be back…
Marcus Sedgwick, author of hugely successful adventure and thriller stories, came into school last Friday to speak to second year students. Mr Sedgwick shared some of his experiences of being a writer and gave students an insight into what it is like being an author. He also shared some writing tips with the students and hopefully they’ll be able to use some of these in their English work next session.
VISITS TO NEW SCHOOL
Last week, Mr McLean took two sets of visitors to the new school site. The first ever set of pupils to visit the site went on Wednesday lunchtime and came back all enthusiastic and excited. The group was from the school’s Eco- committee and Rebecca is writing a detailed report on the visit, which we’ll publish after the holidays.
The other group was the Italian visitors to Earlston as part of the town’s twinning links with Capella Maggiore. They were also very impressed and amazed at the sheer size and scale of the building. The Italians were also interested to hear how the three high schools were being funded and Mr McLean explained the PPP project.
David from Donaldson’s Butchers in Earlston spoke to pupils in Hospitality classes on Wednesday 25 June. The third years benefited from David’s expertise regarding barbeque foods and safety. The fifth and sixth year Hospitality class was given a lesson on knife care.
Mrs Morton, Principal Teacher of Home Economics said, ‘David had all the students spellbound. They were totally entertained with lots of interesting stories and useful tips.’ The lessons were so enjoyable and beneficial that David has been asked to visit the Home Economics department again. We look forward to his next lesson.
S6 SOCIAL EDUCATION
The new sixth years are already thinking about their plans for further and higher education and it’s never too soon to start thinking about life after Earlston High. In Social Education, visiting speakers from Edinburgh and Strathclyde universities have given presentations about preparing applications for UCAS, the Universities and College Admissions Service.
Edinburgh university’s presenter gave an interesting talk about the range of courses available at any one university. Even with a subject like History, for example, there is a huge range of courses to choose from: Ancient History and Classical Archaeology; Ancient Civilisations of the Mediterranean and Middle East; Scottish Historical Studies; Celtic and Scottish Studies; Economic History; Ancient History with Linguistics…. the list is endless. It was certainly food for thought and highlighted the need for everyone to start researching the different courses as soon as possible.
To help with their research into different universities, the second presentation from Strathclyde focused on getting the most out of university open days. Pupils are encouraged to find out as much as possible about the universities and to ask questions to existing students. Open days often give pupils a chance to attend a lecture, see round the students’ union, the residences and meet lecturers. At Earlston, we encourage sixth years to select up to three open days to attend.
It’s a nail biting time for all students (and probably their parents) as they await the results of their exams. The important date that no –one can forget is the 5 th August because this is results day. Every candidate will receive their results in the post on the 5 th August, but they have the opportunity to receive their results electronically by email or text. This is in addition to the posted set and is only available to the students who have registered with mysqa.com. They must register before 17 July and will need their Scottish Candidate Number. The texts or emails will be sent between 8 and 9am on Tuesday 5 th August.
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WEEK ENDED 20th JUNE 2008
| There was so much happening on Wednesday 18 June that this report will need to be in two parts. Here’s the info on part one! Participation, respect, team-work, enjoyment and challenge were the themes of the day. Everyone was involved in a real kaleidoscope of activity. That meant that there were activities for nearly 800 pupils that ranged from the physical, the mental and the creative. There really was something for everyone. Miss Clark and her organising committee were delighted with the enthusiasm from both pupils and staff. Pupils were divided into groups and had a programme of activities to follow. Most groups did five workshops so there was always some variety for them. In the Technical department, pupils produced wooden planters which were then potted up by one of the gardening groups with plants donated from staff. The planters are going to each of Earlston High School’s feeder primaries.
|| Gardeners were also busy tidying the Japanese garden and creating new flowerbeds just outside the school’s main entrance. The groups worked really hard and have certainly made a difference to the school environment. In the art rooms there was a creative buzz. Huge murals based on the ‘Tree of Life’ theme were designed and completed by the different groups. One set of creative pupils did the planning and sketching to see their ideas brought to life by the artists later in the day. The ‘recycle’ message was also a prominent theme for the day.
| Miss Robson led a workshop to create Dream-catchers. This involved using litter to create attractive and colourful displays. The pupils were making something very positive using materials which would normally just go in the bucket. Still on the re-cycle theme, pupils calculated their carbon footprints and looked at the effects of global warming and flooding. They also made a spectacular set of fashion garments in the Trashion workshop. Using old clothes, the fashion conscious pupils re-created dazzling outfits that wouldn’t go far wrong on the catwalk! Watch this space next week for some more info on a fantastic day.
EARLSTON HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VICTORIOUS
The Border Schools Tennis Championships were held at Kelso High School and Kelso Orchard Tennis Club on 17 th June 2008. The girls played Hawick in their first game. Both Earlston couples started off very strong and the first couple beat Hawick 5-1 and the second couple also beat their opponents 5-1. Next up The Berwickshire High School. Our second pairing of Katie Addison and Jessica Bennett were on court first. This was a very even game, the Earlston girls finally losing in a tie break. The first couple, Lauren and Claire McCulloch secured Earlston’s place in the semi-final with a 5-0 win over their opposition. As winners of their section Earlston then faced Selkirk High School in the semi final, winning both games 5-3 and 5-4 and in a competitive final the Earlston girls proved worthy winners, narrowly beating The Berwickshire High School by one game.
YOUNG ENGINEERS CLUB
Two teams of S4 students and their robots competed against 60 other teams at Selex in Edinburgh last Saturday. There were four events: assault course, sumo, tug of war and football. Each event tested the students’ driving skills and the versatility of their robots. Joe Bell and Duncan McClements notched up some of the fastest times of the day in the assault course. Joe’s driving skills, along with those of Robert Lindsay, Jacob Fordyce and Albert Watson, also showed in the football competition. The boys teamed up with Peebles High for the football and came first. Tremendous! The other EHS team – Calum McGee, Rogan Inglis and Duncan McClements - also performed well in each of the events. The boys have been building their robots over the last eight weeks and it was terrific to see them show such enthusiasm and skill at Saturday’s event. The teams would like to thank Mr Fordyce and Mr Inglis for helping them with transport and to Mr Hall for painting the robots. Plans are already underway to modify the robots for even better performances next year. The teams are very committed, hard working and determined. At Saturday’s event EHS came second overall out over sixty teams. Well done and good luck for next session.
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WEEK ENDED 13th JUNE 2008
Friday 6 th June was a rite of passage for approximately 100 students. It was the annual Leavers’ Evening which marks the students’ graduation from High School into pastures new.
The assembly hall was transformed to provide a ceremonial platform for the students to take one last walk along and receive their Records of Achievement. Mr Norman Roxburgh, former Headteacher of EHS, presented each student with their certificates and Mr Clarke, in the role of MC, informed the audience of each student’s hopes and aspirations.
The Heads of School – Michael, Elizabeth, Jack and Michelle, made their final speeches of the year before being presented with glass paperweights as a memento of their time at EHS. Michael, Head Boy, gave a resume of the different S6 committees; Elizabeth, Head Girl, outlined other successes of the year; Michelle, Deputy Head Girl, introduced us to the 3 nominated charities and Jack, Deputy Head Boy, congratulated the charities committee for their hard work and successful fund-raising.
Childline, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Friends of Mangu each received cheques to the value of £1800. Members of the charities committee presented the cheques and should be proud of their achievement in raising such a phenomenal amount of money.
Following the official ceremony part of the evening, the students, parents, staff and guests enjoyed a buffet and a relaxing chat. Renewed with energy, everyone reconvened in the hall to dance the night away. It was a great atmosphere and another great memory for our students to treasure of their time at EHS.
SPORTS AND THE CRYSTAL MAZE
It was gloriously sunny last Thursday and the entire school was out on the playing fields. Pupils in S2 – S4 competed in a various individual and team sports events, whilst the fifth years tackled the Crystal Maze Challenge. Thanks to the sixth years who helped out at both events.
Sports Afternoon is highly competitive, but there’s also a good mixture of fun activities and the emphasis is on participation. A highlight of the afternoon was the bleep test. This is a always challenge and one for which some pupils set themselves annual targets. It is when athletes run between two places and must do so in time with the electronic bleep. The bleep speeds up with time and so the more time someone runs, the faster they have to sprint.
Philip (S4) and Dan (S3) started in a line up for the bleep test with others from their year group. More than fifty pupils from each year group took part and Phil and Dan showed remarkable fitness and stamina as they saw off their competitors. Phil ran with his year group first and was like a machine, running an amazing 129 bleeps. Dan’s year group followed and the crowd cheered Dan to break Phil’s record and he lasted for 131 bleeps! A couple of the sixth years ran alongside Dan in the closing runs to encourage him to keep going for that new record. Well done for a superb effort.
The Crystal Maze has become an annual event for the fifth years. Based on the popular television programme of old, teams of ten students follow a course of ten challenges: some physical, some mental. Two hit challenges were the ‘team ski slalom’ hosted by Mrs Weston and Untangle hosted by Ms Bryden. Whilst basking in the sunshine, the teams had to work together to manoeuvre a huge set of wooden skis around an obstacle course. Then they moved onto Untangle – working together to untie a knot of ropes; move the body through a broom handle and finally sing a team song, tell a joke and do a party trick. Congratulations to Laura’s winning team.
Everyone enjoyed Thursday’s events. Thank you to all the participants and helpers who made it such a great success.
MATHS DEPARTMENT MEET THE P7s
Over the last few weeks members of the Maths department have been visiting the local primary schools. The teachers found this really enjoyable and were very impressed by the way the primary seven pupils tackled the ‘Badges’ investigation. The visit gave the P7s an opportunity to meet the high school Maths teachers and the department is looking forward to welcoming the pupils on the two day visit and then in August.
Representatives from Graham Construction were in school on Friday to speak to all S2, 3 and 4 pupils about the new school construction site. This was part of the pupils’ introduction to the new school, but also an information session to ensure they are mindful of the dangers of the site, especially as we approach the summer holidays.
There will be plenty of opportunities for pupils to formally and safely visit the site in the coming session. Next week the Eco- Schools Committee will be the first of these pupil groups.
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WEEK ENDED 6th JUNE 2008
SHORTS 'N' SHADES SUCCESS
Last week the senior hockey squad, other wise known as Mrs Lawrence’s hockey babes, organised a Shorts ‘n’ Shades disco for S1 to S3. Everyone arrived looking very ‘cool’, summery and ready for a great night. They were not disappointed. Mrs Lawrence’s squad had organised an excellent disco and refreshments. The squad is raising money for their tour to Belgium in the October holidays and this disco was just one in a series of fund-raisers.
Another event was the Duck Race held on Sunday 2 June. The prize for the person who sold the most ducks went to Nikki in S3, who sold 69 ducks. The girls raised a total of £346.00 from the event and would like to thank everyone who supported them
On Wednesday 4 th June we welcomed back our senior students after their study leave. Both the new S5 and S6 were off timetable for the day and took part in various induction presentations and team challenges. It was a packed programme for both year groups.
The fifth years were treated to a motivational session with the Tree of Knowledge presenters. As always, this is an energetic and enjoyable part of the day. The students threw themselves into the different challenges with great enthusiasm. Routes 2 Success also provided an interesting workshop, which asked pupils to think about their options beyond school. The two presenters, Rachel and Gayle, challenged the students to think about the various options open to them and gave them valuable information to help them plan for success.
The sixth years were keen to know what challenges faced them as the most senior students. 99 students are staying on for a sixth year at EHS and Miss Strong and the senior management team welcomed them back to school. The Heads of School for 07/08 returned to give some advice to the new year group and they were joined by other members of last session’s S6 to share thoughts on their own S6 experience.
For the afternoon, the sixth years were out on the pitches tackling all sorts of challenges organised by the Army. It was an afternoon of team-building, strategic thinking and FUN. The huge inflatable assault course was a real hit with the students and they worked in teams to complete the course.
All in all it was a very positive day. Hopefully everyone is well prepared and excited about their new status as senior students.
The English department is encouraging all pupils to have an extra hunt in their homes for any books that belong to department. It’s a ‘no questions asked’ return of books, so it doesn’t matter if you are in S5 and have had a copy of ‘Danny The Champion of the World’ since first year! Please have a look and return the books to Miss Allison.
QUESTION TIME WITH MSPs
Last week was the final visit of S4 pupils to the Scottish Parliament. They put MSPs Christine Graham and Jeremy Purvis through their paces in a challenging question time.
S1 ANXIOUSLY AWAIT THEIR REPORTS
This week will see the first year pupils receive their end of year report. Each report contains individual subject reports, when teachers comment on progress and offer advice on how to improve work even further. There’s also an indication of the level of effort the pupils have made, their conduct, presentation of work and of course homework. This is the first full report the S1 pupils have received as their earlier report was interim and gave brief comments about how they had settled into the challenges of high school.
With the report is an information sheet, which explains the different aspects of the subject reports. There is also a reply slip and parents and pupils are encouraged to make a comment. Slips should be returned to register teachers.
On Wednesday and Thursday of last week eighty plus third year pupils from Earlston high School descended on the tranquil surroundings of Wooplaw Community Wood. They were there to carry out fieldwork as part of their Standard grade Biology course. They studied the biotic and abiotic factors associated with habitats ranging from woodlands to grasslands and from streams to ponds and investigated the effects of these factors on their communities. Despite the variable weather the pupils (and staff) had an enjoyable time and gained valuable experience in practical ecology. Highlights of the trips included seeing newts and frogs, barn owls, leeches and of course the barbeque!!
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WEEK ENDED 30th MAY 2008
REFLECTIONS ON AN AMAZING WEEK IN THE ALPS
|‘It was amazing, great fun and everyone had a great time’. This seems to be the general consensus for all of the S2 excursions. Some of the dare-devils in second year went to the French Alps, where they camped in tents and had amazing experiences white water rafting, windsailing and hiking. Rory and Sam, the two pupils in the photograph, who are listening to their instructor, both thought the whole trip was ‘Brilliant’.
A definite highlight was the white water rafting. Rory and Jack reflected on their day on the rapids. ‘We had seven on our raft: us two, Murray, Emily, the two Katies and Lucy. The rafting is something we’ll always remember because it was so challenging and yet such a good laugh. One hilarious moment was when our boat got stuck because we missed the rock and went off in the wrong direction! Off into now what is called the Earlston Splitway because the water divided into two channels. The rocks in our channel – the wrong one – caught our raft. We were stranded!’
‘Another rapid, called Rabi U, was the biggest ever rapid we’d seen, about 16 km of white frothy water. Shooting down it was awesome! The whole trip was great and we’d love to go again.’
Luckily Mr Woodcock has provisionally booked this trip for next year – unfortunately it’s for next year’s S2 – sorry boys!
ENTERPRISING MATHS CHALLENGE
Galashiels Academy is hosting the ‘Enterprising Mathematics in the Borders’ Competition on Tuesday 24 th June. We are currently putting together a team comprising of three S3 and three S4 pupils and preparing a Powerpoint presentation on “A Famous Mathematician” for the event. More details to follow soon.
A MODERN STUDY OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
Standard Grade Modern Studies students visited the Scottish Parliament this week and last week. On arrival at the Parliament building, the fourth year students were met by the Education Officer, who gave a presentation to explain the workings of the Parliament and the job of MSPs. The powerpoint presentation also outlined the current strengths of the different political parties.
Next on the agenda was a meeting with South of Scotland’s MSPs, Jeremy Purvis and Christine Graham, who answered various questions from the group.
Inside the Parliament debating Chamber, the class observed the First Minister’s Question Time. Alex Salmond (SNP), First Minister, answered questions posed by the Labour leader Wendy Alexander, the Conservative leader Annabel Goldie and the Lib Dem leader Nicol Stephen, among others. It was a lively debate and gave the pupils a flavour of life in Parliament.
After the interesting visit, the students stopped off for an ice-cream at Dobbies Garden centre before heading back to the High School.
CALL UP FOR THE UNDER 15 SOUTH HOCKEY SQUAD
Congratulations to fourth year students, Ali Kontothanassis and Nikki Moffat for being selected to play hockey for the Under 15 South Hockey team. After selection trials at Tweedbank stadium a few weeks ago, at which girls from across the Borders competed for a place in the squad, the two girls were delighted with the news of their selection.
The squad currently train at Tweedbank during the week and on Sunday 25 th May competed in the Inter District Tournament at Peffermill. Congratulations to Ali and Nikki for their selection success and well done for a super tournament on Sunday.
S4 PUPILS LEND A HELPING HAND
A group of fourth years helped out at Melrose Grammar School’s Sports Day on Tuesday. About fifteen of our Standard Grade P.E. students arrived at Melrose Grammar, all kitted out for the rather dismal weather and eager to help their old primary school have a fun day.
The day was split into two: the first half was sports for the older pupils and the afternoon was devoted to the lower primary age groups. Some EHS pupils helped at the starting line– ensuring everyone had a decent sack in the sack race; no cheating with blu-tac in the egg and spoon; feet behind the line for the sprint etc. etc. Those pupils at the finishing line had the difficult task of making sure the winners received the points for their house and that all participants enjoyed their race.
Showing good humour, a responsible attitude and sporting spirit the EHS students enjoyed their day with the younger age groups. Thank you to Melrose Primary School for asking our pupils along.
The summer show is always a sell out and tickets sell like hot cakes. This year will undoubtedly be the same for this year’s production - ‘Anything Goes’. The show will run for four nights starting on Monday 23 rd June.
Here is the information I am sure you have been waiting for: tickets are released for sale to cast members on Tuesday 10 June and then for general sale on Wednesday 11 th June. They are available from the school office and cost £7 for an adult and £6 for concessions.
THE END IS NIGH
Senior students have waited patiently for the end of the exam period. They have endured four weeks of exams, endless weeks of study and now have to cope with two months of worry! Hopefully, in August, they’ll find that the blood, sweat and tears have all been worth it!
When one thing ends though another begins: on Wednesday 4 th June, the new fifth and sixth years return to school for their Induction Day. The day is divided into two sections. The first is a series of presentations and information sessions to help students make the most of their studies and time as senior pupils. The second part of the day is all about team-building, problem-solving and strategic thinking. Watch this space next week to hear how they all coped with the various tasks.
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WEEK ENDED 23rd MAY 2008
WARWICK CANAL TRIP
| A group of S2 students experienced an adventure with a difference last week learning about life on the waterways on board a 65 ft narrowboat! Working the locks kept everyone fit and almost injury free! Steering the boat presented few problems once they realised how to avoid narrow bridges, low bridges and other boats! A trip to Warwick Castle proved memorable with some still recovering from the ghost tower. Football was good despite the result. Weather was great. Food, especially the BBQ, was excellent. A fantastic trip made possible by a fantastic group of students. Well done!
From Monday 12 th May to Friday 16 th May, 31 second year pupils stayed in Carbisdale Castle, which must rank as one of the most impressive Youth Hostels in Europe. The pupils enjoyed a range of exciting outdoor activities in fine weather, including Canoeing down the River Oykel, abseiling down the 100 ft high Clock Tower of the castle, mountain biking down some exciting local forest trails and taking part in an amusing team-building rafting activity. The food and the accommodation were super and the pupils learned much about themselves, their friends and their teachers over the week.
|| Plucky second years braved entering the walls of York last week on their S2 excursion. There still exists an ancient law that states that if a Scotsman (or woman) is found within the city walls after dark, any true-born citizen of York may legally kill them with a bow and arrow. Luckily, all our lot managed to survive – the only casualties were the traumatised few who fled the York dungeons into the comforting arms of Mrs Wilson! We followed a packed itinerary taking in the local sites such as Clifford’s Tower and York Minster, cruising the Ouse, visiting the Railway Museum and the Yorkshire Wheel and filling our evenings with trips to the bowling alley, the cinema and ambling through the Shambles at dusk on our hair-raising ghost walk. The highlight of the trip was perhaps our day at Flamingoland – a hardy few sampled all the delights it had to offer. One stalwart even managed 11 trips on the terrifying Kumale Rollercoaster. A great time was had by all.
S2 ALPS EXCURSION
We arrived at the PGL campsite near Enbrum in the Alps, raring to go after a 30 hour bus journey. The weather was spectacular and managed to stay that way for most of the week. Most of our activities took place on the nearby man made lake, where we could be found windsurfing, sailing and kayaking – as well as jumping into the water and trying to get staff as wet as possible! Highlights of the trip included a half day white water rafting down a glacial river, and a trek, carrying backpacks, ending with building our own shelters and sleeping out in the mountains. We also had a half day climbing and abseiling, with nearly everyone braving the drop over an overhang. On Thursday we enjoyed a day exploring the local town of Gap, where sports equipment and chocolate were bought in equal measures. Apart from the night under the stars, we stayed in a tent village, enjoying the excellent food provided by PGL and spending our evenings down by the lake where there was a local café (conveniently showing the football on Wednesday night!), beach and football pitch. On our last night we went bowling in Gap, before a final day splashing around on the lake (this time in the rain) and finally boarding our coach for the journey back home again. It was a spectacular week and one which I’m sure we’ll all remember for a long time.
S1 SPORTING SUCCESS
|| Three first year pupils have been making names for themselves on the national and international sporting stage. Their sporting talents are quite diverse: Callum Airlie sails an Optimist; Tal Gardiner is a judo competitor and Amy Fraser is a swimmer. What they have in common is a dedication to their sport as well as their talent. Recently, they have all been competing and enjoying success. Amy regained her Scottish Championship title in April, when she swam in the Scottish Nationals Championships held in Glasgow. Callum was sixth out of 240 competitors in his major event of the year – The Optimist Inland Championships. His success has earned him a place in the British team for the Swiss National Championships in August. Tal has been collecting gold medals at a number of competitions: The British Schools’ Championships, The Durham Tournament, The Welsh Open and most recently the Budo-North -an international competition in Lund, Sweden. Congratulations to all three first years – we look forward to reporting on further success as you move up the school. Well done!
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WEEK ENDED 16th MAY 2008
WALKING FOR THEIR DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD
A group of pupils in S3 and S5 took to the hills last Friday. As part of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, the pupils had to plan a walk and camp overnight. This was their practice walk and the real assessment for the Award is next month.
At lunchtimes over the last few weeks, the group has met to discuss the expedition and get to grips with pitching tents and organising who was to take what food! All equipment was to be carried amongst them and it was a bit of a scramble by certain individuals to avoid the heavy stuff!
The route was twelve miles in length over the two days. The photograph shows the group at the Three Bretherns, which was mid-way point on day one of the walk. They then camped in the Yair forest before concluding their expedition at Galashiels Swimming Pool. As this was their practice expedition, Mr Jarvie and Mr Dodds, the two accompanying teachers, gave them good advice on how to read maps and navigate using a compass. Their teaching must have been successful because the group arrived home on Saturday all safe and well. Mrs Pyne joined the group on Friday evening at the campsite and Ms Barron brought along her three springer spaniels for the Saturday hike.
Each year, about this time, the fourth and fifth years eagerly await decisions about their school uniform. It has become a tradition that senior students design a logo for their school jumper and polo-shirt and the winning logo is embroidered onto the garments they will wear next session. The colour for the fifth years’ jumper is always grey, although the sixth years have an additional privilege: they choose the colour of their school jumper as well as a logo. It is always a difficult decision to come up with a colour everyone will wear.
The current class representatives discussed all the options and placed their vote on the colours and logos at last week’s meeting. For 2008 – 09, the sixth year jumper is powder blue.
There were lots of entries for the logo competition from the two year groups. From the S4, for their fifth year jumper, there were eighteen entries and the winning design was created by Eilidh Fraser. S5 class representatives, for their jumper next year as sixth years, selected Vikki Henderson’s logo as the winning design.
Orders for the new jumpers and polo- shirts are being taken at the moment and can be handed into the school office.
Nyree, the chairperson of the Yearbook committee, and her committee members have been very busy proof-reading this year’s edition of the S6 Yearbook. The committee has done a fantastic job of putting together a 100 page book, which celebrates their time at Earlston High School.
There are lots of photographs of the different events, reports from the subject classes, amusing wee anecdotes, and gossip, as well as profiles of the individual students. The yearbook will hopefully be available at the Leavers’ Evening on Friday 6 th June. No doubt everyone will be dashing about ensuring they have added autographs from teachers and friends as well as good luck messages to their book.
S1 SHOW THEIR ACE SKILLS AND QUALITIES
In workshops over the last two days, all first years have been working with Paul Walker from The Tree of Knowledge. The Successville programme is designed to encourage pupils to make effective contributions and be successful learners. Successville is an interactive workshop and the pupils were really enthusiastic about the different tasks and challenges. One of the aims of the session is for pupils to be motivated to ‘aim high and think big’. It also helps pupils to understand the importance of their contribution to society and to recognise the role of ‘communities’ in their learning.
Paul said the first years were, ‘really good fun and great to work with.’ Throughout the two days various teachers have been popping into the gym, where the workshops were held. They too were really positive and thought the pupils showed themselves to be ACE!
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WEEK ENDED 9th MAY 2008
FIELD OFFICERS VISIT FOR S2 PUPILS
A group of twelve S2 pupils helped out in an additional part in the Scottish Survey of Achievement this week. Twelve pupils were selected at random to meet with Mr Tim Cove and Linda McCall, the SSA field officers.
Mr Cove spoke to four of the pupils about a recent Maths investigation they had been working on. This involved setting up their own survey about mobile phones. They asked pupils aged twelve and thirteen, as well 5 year olds at Earlston Primary, to complete a questionnaire. They tested the hypothesis that more than half of 12 year olds own a mobile; nearly all 13 year olds and some five year olds. Their results showed that nearly all 12 and 13 year olds have a mobile, but no five years olds own a phone.
The second group had a team challenge to work on and the third set of four pupils showed their IT skills.
This is the final part of the survey and the pupils have been very helpful.
SPOTLIGHT ON STAFF
This week’s spotlight is on Mrs Judith Weston, who joined the English department last week. Mrs Weston has been teaching English for twelve years at Galashiels Academy and last week we welcomed her to Earlston.
Mrs Weston loves to teach ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and enjoys any work by Shakespeare. She’s looking forward to seeing David Tennant (Dr Who) perform as Hamlet in Stratford this summer. Her favourite poets are Robert Frost and Dylan Thomas. Although English is her main subject, Mrs Weston also enjoys teaching Media Studies and especially analysing her favourite programme, ‘Friends’!
So far she has found her classes to be good fun and is slowly finding her way around the school. She said, ‘It’s been a really positive experience and already I’m excited about visiting the new school site in the coming weeks.’
SENIOR MEDIA STUDIES
The seniors studying for Intermediate and Higher Media Studies allowed us to see their productions at lunchtime today. This is part of their assessment and the class had divided into small groups to work on this element of their exam. On display today were their print adverts and their moving adverts.
The adverts came from a brief set by the school’s Eco club, who acted as their client and requested a television or print advert to promote their Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign. Members of the Eco club were in the audience at today’s presentation and were delighted with the finished productions.
There were four television adverts: two of which used the Eco club’s ‘green angel’ campaign as their inspiration and focus. The students produced some stylish film, with great use of sound and camera techniques. One of the adverts, shot in black and white, used the horror genre to promote its message. It was entitled ‘Rubbishzilla’ and was a favourite with the audience.
What did the students themselves say? ‘It was great fun.’ and ‘It was harder work than I expected, but really enjoyable’ One of the students noted, ‘I look at adverts in a different way now.’
REFLECTIONS OF SOME SIXITH YEARS
How does it feel to be in the last week of classes, the last week of your school career? Is it daunting or exciting or both? A group of sixth years took a moment from studying to give think back on the last year.
Laura made a comment that everyone agreed with: ‘We started sixth year from separate friendships groups and over the course of the year have really bonded as a group.’
Once the group got chatting loads of fun memories came flooding back. ‘Remember the time we stole the clocks?’ This was just one of the fun pranks from this year’s S6 when they took clocks from some of the classrooms, and even the staffroom, changed the times and returned them! Everyone agreed that the Christmas Dance and after dance were highlights. Subject wise they reflected on how awesome they find History and who could forget the jelly baby experiments in Mr Armstrong’s Chemistry class.
The group has even established their own routines for the school day. Their ‘space’ is generally the area outside the English department, where they chat, gossip and… study. Ten o’clock is now firmly ‘muffin time’ and chocolate muffins are top of the list. Visiting Ann, the librarian, is always a must because she’s great for a chat whilst trying to keep order in the library.
Their parting reflection was again about the great friendships they had made. Good luck in the future and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
SHORTS AND SHADES
Mrs Lawrence must be in a summer mood as she has organised a Shorts and Shades Disco for all S1, S2 and S3 pupils. Fancy dress is optional and tickets are available from Mrs Lawrence or from the main link at lunchtime. Tickets cost £2.00. So hunt out those summery shorts and the cool shades and we’ll see you in the main hall on Thursday 29 th May from 7.30 until 10.00pm.
This week all S2 pupils are taking part in Excursion Week. As you read this, our pupils are involved in a variety of activities in a variety of places, both in Great Britain and abroad.
Mr Woodcock has taken a group to the French Alps for canoeing and climbing. Mrs Wilson’s excursion is in York, for some sight-seeing and of course a visit to the Flamingo Land theme park. Miss Williamson is in Paris visiting the Eiffel Tower, Euro Disney and enjoying a trip on the Seine. Outdoor pursuits is the challenge to the group who are at Carbisdale Castle. Another group will be floating down a canal in a barge and hopefully enjoying some sunshine. These are just some of the excursions this week. No doubt everyone will be having a great time and maybe next week there’ll be some photos too.
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WEEK ENDED 2nd MAY 2008
BORDERS CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY FORUM
Many thanks to the BCIF for donating two sets of safety equipment. Charlotte Waugh, training advisor for the Borders Construction Industry Forum, visited school on Tuesday to hand over the equipment and meet some third year pupils: Ryan, Josh, Debbie, Jack, Nikki, Steven and Leyla. The third years are busy organising their work placements for their week of work in October and welcomed the new equipment.
There are two bags of equipment and these are available to other high schools in the region for use during work experience. BCIF has funded the equipment and earlier in the session provided training for each secondary school’s work experience coordinator. There is a wide range of equipment: safety helmets, high visibility jackets, eye protection, ear defenders, a first aid kit and lots of jazzy coloured pink ear plugs!
BCIF is keen to support schools and help train people to protect them and keep them safe when in a work environment. Charlotte was pleased to meet Leyla, Debbie and Nikki as representatives of the third year, and encourages girls as well as boys to consider a career in the construction industry.
POND DIPPING AT GORDON COMMUNITY WOODLAND
Pond dipping was just one of the interesting activities some first and third year pupils have been involved in as part of their Science and ASDAN programmes. The first years - Charlie, Stephanie and Gavin - are working towards their Stepping Stones Award and particularly enjoyed the pond dipping and recording pond life. Their record keeping is for Springwatch and the local Biological Records Centre. Both sets of pupils have carried out woodland management tasks such as end of season native tree planting, path work and willow and hazel coppicing.
Anna Craigen, the Borders Woodland Trust’s Community and Education Liaison Officer, has been working with the pupils as part of a four week programme. The group will be accompanied by members of the school Eco committee on their next visit and this will contribute to EHS’s silver Eco-School’s Award. There is a fifth visit to the woodland planned in June to catch up on what has been happening in the woodland and observe any changes.
Pupils have been collecting all sorts of interesting information and are preparing a visual display of their findings back at school.
CRAFT AND DESIGN PROJECTS
S4 Craft and Design students have been working hard on their final projects, which contribute to a third of their overall Standard Grade award. There is a tremendous selection of projects and the photograph highlights this wide range: from jewellery boxes to tables and chairs.
The students decide on their own project, design the item and manufacture it with the support of Mr Ker, Mr Dodds and Spike. This element of personal choice develops the students’ sense of pride in their work. They are now eager to take their projects home and the high level of craftsmanship ensures they will be using them for a long time.
The projects in the photograph are a culmination of six months hard work and they look superbly professional. Well done to the S4 Craft and Design class and good luck in the written exam paper.
S4 leavers were put to the test this week as part of their preparation for the world of work. Official letters were sent to pupils to invite them to attend an interview with Mr Robin Dodyk, Technical Director of Oregon Timber Frame Limited. Mr Dodyk interviewed those interested in the construction industry and after each interview gave the students valuable feedback.
Most of the interviewees are hoping to go to Borders College after school and found this interview excellent preparation for the college selection process. Luckily, a few of the questions were similar to those on the video watched by the pupils in the previous week’s lesson with Pam Guthrie from Careers Scotland. This gave the pupils a head start and helped calm their nerves.
Our thanks must go to Mr Dodyk for visiting Earlston High and conducting the interviews. It was a very realistic experience and an excellent opportunity for pupils to test their skills and prepare for future interviews.
P7 PARENTS' EVENINGS
There are two opportunities for parents of p7 pupils to visit Earlston High this term. The first is an information session on the 15 th May, with presentations from the senior management team about the life of the school and the transition process. This will be most relevant to those parents who have not had a child come to our school in the past, although all p7 parents are welcome to attend. The presentations begin at 7pm.
The second parents’ evening is an opportunity to meet the Guidance team and have a tour of the school. This is on the 11 th June, again at 7pm. Parents should have received letters via the primary schools to invite them to these evenings.
We look forward to meeting you.
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WEEK ENDED 25th APRIL 2008
ASDAN PRESENTATION EVENING
The S4 ASDAN group hosted a presentation evening on Tuesday 22 April. Parents and staff were invited to attend to celebrate the achievements of the group. The fourth year pupils have been working on a variety of challenges for two years and the evening was a celebration of their hard work and enthusiasm.
Megan opened the evening with a formal welcome to all the guests, before Mrs Brown explained what ASDAN was all about. The students also gave very entertaining speeches about their favourite aspects of the programme. Their team work, enthusiasm and confidence were all shown as they took the stage and addressed the audience. They even added in a surprise for their two teachers, Mrs Brown and Mrs Stallard, by presenting them with gifts as a big thank you.
Miss Strong congratulated the students and Mr Roxburgh, our former Rector, presented Jack, Megan, Jenny, Michaela and Vivienne with their ASDAN Bronze and Silver Awards.
Jenny concluded the formal part of the evening with a vote of thanks and everyone enjoyed the refreshments. The group had on display their photographs, review sheets and various mementos from the different challenges. Each student had put together their own display, which made interesting reading and showed their high level of effort and commitment.
It was a first class evening from a first class group of students.
RIVALRY FOR JIMMY CHOO
Colourful, exotic, flamboyant and just clearly amazing are the shoes designed and produced by some fourth year Art students. As part of their Standard Grade, Mrs Burnside’s class completed a design unit, which contributes to a third of their final Standard Grade award. Their brief was to design a shoe for a character to wear in a West End production of a hit show: ‘The Dream Machine’. Of course, there’s no such show, but by the look of the shoes it would have been a hit!
Some of the shoes are displayed in the main corridor and Mrs Burnside has taken a variety of photographs, which she intends to send to Jimmy Choo himself!
Jenny Scouler, one of the students, said she really enjoyed the design work. The inspiration for her shoe came from sweets and she wanted to create something really bright and colourful. The students researched different styles, sketched designs and developed their ideas before producing the actual shoe. Jenny is really pleased with her finished shoe, which would suit quite an outrageous character who loves to have everyone’s attention.
EXAM LEAGUE TABLES
It is pleasing to be able to report that in the recently published National League Tables, EHS is in the top 10% of state schools in Scotland for Standard Grades and Highers. We rank 34 th out of 359 schools for our Standard Grade pass rate. Regarding the pass rate for Highers, our national ranking is 35th out of 349 state schools.
We’re not complacent though and continue to develop our courses and plan for further improvements. Parents can always help us with this by ensuring that they let us know if they have any concerns or comments. The pupils, in many subjects, are already involved in evaluating their courses - this month is often when teachers use questionnaires to ask pupils for their views. This is very valuable and helps us plan for further improvement.
SCOTTISH SURVEY OF ACHIEVEMENT
Thanks must go to the fifty second year pupils who took part in the Maths tests for the Scottish Survey of Achievement. It was quite a nerve wracking experience and hard work too. Each pupil had to sit two written papers and complete a questionnaire. A small group of pupils was also involved in practical and problem solving work. The pupils are selected at random and sit the tests without adding their names. The survey is not reporting on individual performance or that of the school itself. Our contribution is part of a national survey that gives comprehensive information about attainment.
Mr Paus has been coaching both the S1 and S2 footballers and they’re a keen bunch, training on a Friday after school! Last Wednesday, the first years had their first match against Berwickshire High School. Kick off was at five o’clock at home.
Looking very much like professionals in their smart strips, the team performed very well. Earlston won 5-2 and is looking forward to the next game away to Kelso. At the moment Earlston is sitting on top of the BOS Soccer One programme. Congratulations to all the players. Thank you also to Mr McMillan and Mr McKeand for their help.
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WEEK BEGINNING 31st MARCH 2008
BRITISH SCHOOLS' JUDO CHAMPIONSHIPS
Four EHS judo players travelled to Cardiff on Friday to compete in the National Individual Championships held at the Welsh Institute of Sport on 29 th March. Tal Gardiner, Andrew McDonald, Ali Kontothanassis and Cora Gardiner train with Sportif judo and have been working hard in their preparations for the contest. As part of that training, Tal and Andrew competed the previous weekend at the Durham Open Championships and both won beautiful glass trophies as their first prize.
In Saturday’s National Individual Championships, the players represented Earlston High and Sportif judo. Congratulations to Tal again for her success as the Gold medallist for her age band. Tal’s skills and determination were awesome. Congratulations also to Andrew McDonald, in S3, for his success as a bronze medallist. Competing against judo players from all over Great Britain, it was brilliant to see our four students show such skill and sportsmanship.
EASTER CHURCH SERVICE
The term concluded on Friday with two church services for the junior and senior school. Following the same programme, both sections of school filled the church and participated in the Easter service led by Rev Scouler.
The two hymns were ‘Morning has Broken’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’. It was good to hear everyone singing as the two hymns are well known favourites. The morning’s readings came from Luke Chapter 4 and Matthew Chapter 27. They were read by Michael McLeish, Head Boy and Elizabeth Maclean, Head Girl. The senior choir followed on from the readings and gave a superb and moving performance of ‘You Are Not Alone’, one of the songs from ‘Anything Goes.’
Rev Scouler’s address was on the theme of temptation and, as he closed the service, he wished everyone a Happy Easter and best wishes for the holidays.
Yes, it’s the dreaded ‘exam’ word again! This time it’s for the third years, whose first experience of exams in the assembly hall will start straight after the holidays. Third year students do not have study leave for these exams and will follow their usual timetable when they are not sitting an exam.
Mr Clarke reminded everyone in the assembly last week that they are responsible for bringing the necessary equipment to each exam. He also explained the zero tolerance on mobile phones.
The first exams are Technological Studies and Intermediate 1 Chemistry, which will start promptly at 9.15 on Monday 14 th April in the hall. Physics is in the afternoon and Maths follows on Tuesday 15 th. All students should have a copy of the exam timetable and additional copies are displayed on noticeboards around the school. There are exams every day for the two weeks until the final exam (Spanish) on Friday 25 April. Good luck to all the third years. If you are reading this, then hopefully you are on a break from revision. Have a quick read and then back to your books!! Good luck.
You would think that in the school holidays the school would be quiet. That’s not quite the case at Earlston. It’s a hive of activity! As well as the classrooms having new computers installed, students are also in school studying. In the Art department, it even looks like a normal school day as pupils in S4, S5 and S6 are busy working under the guidance of Ms Thoday and Mr Kelly. Some of the sixth years are preparing their portfolios for forthcoming interviews, whereas the fourth and fifth years are finishing off their folios for the exams.
The library is also open and students are busy revising for their exams. The librarian commented, ‘There are new computers installed here too and pupils have been popping in and out over the last few days. They’ve just been getting on with their work, often using laptops, as normal.’
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WEEK ENDED 14th MARCH 2008
EVERYONE HAS A NATURAL HIGH
The assembly hall was full of excitement on Tuesday, courtesy of David Graham’s Natural High presentation. David is on a whirlwind tour of the Borders secondary schools this week and we were lucky enough to enjoy his presentation at Tuesday’s S1 assembly.
The audience was in full swing, dancing, clapping and singing to the lyrics of David’s own composition, ‘Natural High’. He also had some of the pupils on stage competing in football and dance competitions. The lucky winners received goodies such as the CD of David’s song, radios, personal organisers and sports bags.
David’s message was loud and clear and he wanted everyone to understand that drug taking only led to fake highs which are short-lived. He tested our knowledge in The Risk Factor game to show us that alcohol was actually the drug which caused the most deaths in a year. Some of the audience were quite shocked by this and it certainly gave them something to think about.
Natural High is all about using our own talents and experiences to get a real buzz and feel happy. In one of the competitions, pupils had to think about the presentation’s message and come up with a catchy slogan. Claire Lowe’s caption was ‘Get the natural high and you will touch the sky; go fake and you will break.’ Jane Ramage entered the competition with ‘Nasty drugs are a killer. A natural high is a thriller.’ The winning caption came from Erin Maguire, whose rhyming slogan said, ‘Thinking of drugs makes me cry, because I don’t want to die. And then I had a natural high and that feeling makes me fly.’ Well done, Erin.
The presentation was absolutely brilliant and that was the view of everyone at the assembly. Beth Murray said, ‘I loved it. It was great on stage.’ Ryan Walker added, ‘It got everyone active.’
SWIMMING FOR SCOTLAND
Congratulations to Amy Fraser for being selected to represent Scotland at the Wise Schools Swimming International in Crawley on the 8 th March. Amy was selected for this event after winning two gold medals at the Scottish School Championships for the 100m and 200m fly.
Amy was pleased with her performance at the weekend and delighted with Scotland’s second position overall. She swam in the 100m fly, the 100m free-style as well as in the freestyle relay. Her relay team was second in the relay and Amy was really pleased with this result.
When many of us are often still in our beds, each morning at six o’clock, Amy is in the pool training. She trains for two hours each school morning and for two hours after school. A Saturday is also a training day unless she has a competition. Amy is just at the start of her season and is building up for two main competitions: the National Age Group in July and the British Championships. With commitment like this, Amy is sure to do well and we wish her all the very best.
2nd XI TOURNAMENT RESULTS
The girls had a very tough first game against Gala and had to work very hard to keep the ball out of the goals, the game finishing 0-0. Next up Kelso on the grass! First half was very even and then the girls started to play much better hockey with lots of attacking play in the second half. An awesome through ball from midfield by Amy Stevenson gave Meg Gettel the space to take the ball into the circle and put the ball passed the keeper to give Earlston a well deserved 1-0 win. The final game in the section was against Hawick. Another very tough game, play going from end to end and both teams working hard to keep the ball out the circle and create chances to score, the game finishing 0-0. This was enough to see the girls into the semi-finals where they met ‘The’ Berwickshire High School. Despite a gutsy performance both teams failed to score before the full time whistle. To decide the winner it went to penalty flicks. Meg Gettel and Amy McLean both scored but Berwickshire High School the eventual winners after sudden death penalty flicks. Well done to all the girls who were part of the 2 nd X1 squad. Special mention to Luana Henderson who did exceptionally well in goals for her first appearance.
PUPILS ARE ENCOURAGED TO HAVE THEIR SAY
Iona Stevenson, one of our sixth year students and a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, organised a lunchtime surgery with Jeremy Purvis, MSP. Approximately thirty pupils from a variety of year groups came along to the school’s community lounge on Monday 10 th March. They were keen to met Mr Purvis and put him on the spot with one or two challenging questions.
One large group of pupils came on mass and wanted to put forward their case for a youth facility in Earlston. As part of the group’s work with Youth Links, the pupils have been working with the local community to try to establish a venue for a youth club and café. Mr Purvis was very supportive and offered the group another chance to meet him and hopefully to see the plans for the existing school buildings, once the new school is complete. Iona will organise this next meeting and the pupils gave her their contact details.
The session was really positive and the pupils were definitely encouraged to have their say.
Last Wednesday and Thursday was a chance for our pupils to showcase their talents in dance. The event is so popular, with such a high number of performers, that it is staged over two evenings. For a number of weeks now, dance acts have been rehearsing at lunchtimes and after school and their hard work obviously paid off at the festival. Many of the performers choreographed their own routines and there was a great variety in style: hip hop, contemporary, tap, Irish, Highland and ballet - just about every style of dance imaginable.
One or two individuals performed more than once over the two days as members of different groups – with friends, as part of their PE class and as members of the senior or junior dance groups. Pupils from Earlston Primary School also performed and the primary seven dance, ‘Love Generation’, was one of the highlights of the show. Two of our fifth year pupils helped them with the dance, so well done to Katie Addison, Jodie Rowan and the P7 pupils. Both the senior and junior dance groups’ performances were superb and were led by Laura Scott, S6. Laura hopes to continue with dance as her career in the future.
Many thanks to Mr Renwick, who was his usual entertaining self in his role as MC, to all the dancers, musician, lighting crew and everyone who helped back stage.
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WEEK ENDED 7th MARCH 2008
Congratulations to our Depute Head Boy, Jack Lowden. This week, Jack received some terrific news: he has been accepted at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. This is a superb achievement and well deserved.
Jack secured one of only twenty-four places at the Academy out of 1500 applicants! The selection process for RSAMD is very rigorous and involved three rounds of auditions. The first was a performance of two monologues, one from a Shakespearian play and one from a more contemporary text. Jack chose the part of Benedict in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and a monologue from ‘Massage’ by Michael Wilcox. The second round was another performance of the monologues as well as a musical item. Finally, Jack performed in front of the Head of Drama and earned his place at the Academy.
Border Telegraph readers may already be familiar with the face of Jack Lowden, although usually when his photograph appears in the paper he is in costume and performing a role in either a school show or Gala opera. Just last week, the Telegraph reported on the success of ‘The Boyfriend’, in which Jack played the part of Tony. He has been a member of Galashiels Operatic Society for three years and this year is his first in a lead role.
At school, Jack has performed in the annual school show and at various concerts since he was in first year. Mr Thomson, Principal Teacher of Music, has watched Jack develop into an accomplished performer who always shows 100% professionalism. ‘Jack brings any character to life – in serious or humorous roles, scripted or improvised,’ commented Mr Thomson, who then praised Jack as a performer with ‘great talent and flair’.
Jack’s experiences of summer school at RADA in London and production classes with the Scottish Youth Theatre in Edinburgh have also helped him to develop a range of acting skills. He obviously showed these skills at the recent Glasgow auditions and we are delighted for him and wish him all the very best.
SHORTER SUMMER HOLIDAYS?
There was a mixed response amongst pupils when asked about the proposals to change term times and holiday dates. The first years had the most to say on the matter – they were quite clear in their opinions and could argue their views convincingly.
Bruce Dickson was positive about the idea of having shorter summer holidays: ‘I would like the changes because the summer holidays are just too long and you just get bored.’ Calum Aitchison agreed and thought the proposal to extend the October break and cut the summer one was a good idea. Their friends though were quite the opposite. Josh Moloney said, ‘I wouldn’t like it because it means you have less time to visit friends and family.’ Cameron Creamer was also against the proposal, ‘I would hate it because the summer is when we get all the best weather.’
The boys also had mixed views about the idea of being in school longer on a Monday to Thursday, which would give them Friday afternoons off. On the one hand, some thought that the change in school day was good because they would get time at home before it got too dark. They could even play in the snow if it was snowing on a Friday! On the other hand, the idea of getting up even earlier on a morning meant some pupils were against the idea.
Scottish Borders Council is hoping that everyone involved in school life will offer an opinion and the closing date for comments on the various proposals is 14 th April.
HAVE YOUR SAY!
On Monday 10 th March, Jeremy Purvis, MSP was in school and along with Iona Stevenson S6, our own member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, was encouraging pupils to have their say. What did they want to see happening locally and nationally? Did they think it was a good idea to be a voter at the age of 16? A Skatepark? For an update on the pupils’ opinions, see next week’s school news.
STARS IN YOUR EYES
Cast your mind back to the evening of Wednesday 7 November.… Stars In Your Eyes.
Remember how it was a superb night of entertainment and talent? We had Freddie Mercury, John Lennon and Elton John all on stage. Well the DVD of the performance is now available from Ewan Airlie, a member of the school’s The Studio film and media group. For the brilliant value of only £5 you can have 100 minutes of singing, dancing and all round talent. It also includes interviews with the acts and entertainment (also bad jokes) from Mr Meikle. Ewan and other members of The Studio meet in E3 every Thursday lunchtime – so catch a copy now!
NESTLES BOX TOPS FOR BOOKS
Throughout this session, Mr Rae has been collecting box tops from Nestles cereals etc and he is about ready to trade this in for cash for books. In the last two years, we have collected sufficient tokens to claim £85 and in total Mr Rae has claimed £240, which is a great.
He is encouraging pupils (and their parents) to have a last minute hunt for boxes and bring in as many tokens from the box tops as possible. The collection points for the tokens are: the office area, the library, L.S. open area and lab 6. The final deadline for token is Tuesday 25 th March.
Don’t stop collecting though – next year’s collecting starts in April!!
Tuesday lunchtime saw an animated debate in the English General area. The motion for the debate was “This house believes that abortion should be freely available on the NHS” and it generated lots of interesting and, at times, heated discussion from both the speakers and the 30 strong audience. Speakers were Elliot Douglas, Jodie and Claire Bridges (all S1) on one side, with Kirsty Macnab and Elizabeth Docherty (S2) on the other. Gillian Howieson made a very able chairperson, and the motion was passed. The quality of argument and level of knowledge by all was very impressive and a particular well done to the speakers.
Hockey Results Against Galashiels Academy
EHS 1 st X1 3 - GA 1 st X1 2
EHS 2 nd X1 1 - GA 2 nd X1 1
EHS S2 1 - GA S2 2
EHS S1 0 - GA S1 6
Well done to all the girls who took part.
Results From S3 Tournament
EHS 0 - SHS 2
EHS 2 - HHS 0
EHS 0 - BHS 1
Well done to all the girls who took part and a big thank you to the S2 girls who played and to Miss Barron for umpiring.
EARLSTON YOUTH LINKS
A group of pupils from Earlston High School have been attending Friday meetings of Youth links to discuss the future of the PE building. The group is hoping that when everybody moves into the new school in 2009 the PE Department can be turned into a youth café for young people in Earlston and the surrounding area to enjoy. It is said that the future of the building may involve it being demolished and a road being built on top of where it currently stands. The group feel that this would be bad for the Primary School children as it would mean that they would lose part of their play area and instead they would be surrounded by roads. If the plans of the youth links go through then the youth café would give local youngsters a chance to chill and enjoy time with their mates.
Emma Archibald, 12, from Oxton said “If a youth café opened in Earlston I would go and spend quality time having fun with my friends”
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WEEK ENDED 29th FEBRUARY 2008
EHS BASKETBALL TEAM LAY SIEGE TO THE CASTLE
On Tuesday 26 February, the senior basketball team took on Merchiston Castle School in the Scottish Schools Basketball Cup. The team was eager to redeem themselves after last year’s competition when Merchiston knocked them out of the Cup.
In the game, Earlston took an early 11–0 lead and by half time had managed to increase their score to 60-36. Preying on opposition mistakes and playing full-court press defence the entire game, EHS commanded play. It was a real team effort and the boys are to be congratulated on their impressive win: 108-56. This is the highest score ever for EHS!
Special mentions must go to Fraser Brien and Jack Lowden for their career high scores. Some of the other scorers were: Scott Runciman with an amazing 21 points; Graham Mounsey – 20 points and Nick Garbutt – 15 points. Well done to the whole team, who now advance to the quarter-finals.
Jack Lowden and Graham Mounsey
MEMORY PEN, MONITOR, MOUSE AND FLAT SCREEN - IT'S A ICT UPDATE!
Information and Computer Technology is one aspect of school life that’s always developing and in the Easter holidays the majority of our computers will be replaced. This is part Scottish Borders Council ‘refresh’, which means that each classroom will have a new computer and all computer suites will be fitted with new machines. Computing, Technical and Business Studies were lucky enough to have their new machines last term and they have made a huge difference. These new computers, as well as looking state of the art with their flat screen monitors, will allow students to log on much quicker and will be easier and quicker to use.
Another recent development is the number of laptops currently in use throughout the school. Just last week, a trolley of 20 laptops arrived in school and has been allocated to the Art Department. This is our second trolley of laptops; the other trolley is in the English department. Data projectors are used on a daily basis by many teachers and some classrooms have interactive whiteboards too. Airliner slates are also becoming more popular as an alternative to interactive whiteboards. They allow the teacher or pupil to operate the projector remotely from any part of the classroom.
To help students get the most out of our new computers, letters and orders forms have gone home this week to encourage students to buy an Earlston High School USB memory pen. The 1GB pens cost £4.50 and order forms (with payment) should be handed into the school office by Friday 7 th March.
S2 TRIP TO TEN PIN BOWLING
The S6 Junior Activities Committee has organised a trip to Fort Kinnard in Edinburgh on Tuesday 6 th March, for an evening of ten-pin bowling. This is open to all second years and will cost £8 in total. This includes two games of bowling, transport and food!
Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis and Ms Bryden will be captain of the staff bowling team. More information in next week’s news.
This week’s focus for re-cycling is jewellery. Pupils will have the chance to take home an envelope to collect any unwanted jewellery for re-cycling. This is part of the Childline Recycling programme and there will be a prize draw in school for returned envelopes. The prize is an MP3 player, so hopefully this will spur people on to look out unwanted necklaces, bracelets and brooches.
Have you considered what it would be like to have a shorter summer holiday but more time say in October? This is one of the options being considered by Scottish Borders Council at the moment and all staff, parents and pupils of Scottish Borders schools are being encouraged to comment on the three options being considered. Don’t panic if you have not had chance to look at the options yet as the deadline for responses has been extended until the end of May.
The Council is also interested in our views on changing the pattern of the school week. For instance, instead of pupils being in school for five days a week, there will be longer days on Monday to Thursday and school will finish at 12.00noon on Fridays. What do you think?
Responses can be sent to the Holiday Dates and Consultation Director, Education and Lifelong Learning, Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells or emailed to: email@example.com For copies of the document which explains the various options, please refer to the school pages of the SBC website: www.scotborders.gov.uk/life/educationandlearning/schools
One of our roving reporters here in school will be out and about next week, gathering the views of pupils and teachers.
HOCKEY RESULTS AGAINST THE BERWICKSHIRE HIGH SCHOOL
EHS 1 st X1 1 - BHS 1 st X1 4
EHS 2 nd X1 0 - BHS 2 nd X1 0
EHS S1 ‘A’ 1 - BHS S1 ‘A’ 1
EHS S1 ‘B’ 0 - BHS S1 ‘B’ 0
Well done to all the girls who took part.
Results From S2 Tournament
EHS 0 - SHS 3
EHS 0 - BHS 1
EHS 0 - PHS 1
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WEEK ENDED 22nd FEBRUARY 2008
CAREERS FAIR - PRIZE WINNER
Congratulations to fourth year student, Murray Fairgrieve, who won the lucky draw at the recent Careers Fair organised by Careers Scotland. All pupil evaluations were placed into the draw and Murray was the lucky winner. His prize of a 2GB iPod Nano was presented to him on Wednesday 20 February by David Coxall, the Careers Adviser for Earlston High School.
Murray is delighted with his prize, but also with the information he gathered from the different employers and training agencies. By speaking to various people at the fair, Murray now feels sure that engineering is what he wants to pursue as a career. Having also spoken to the Royal Navy at the event, Murray has since applied to the Navy and we wish him all the best with his application. Well done and good luck, Murray.
It is always interesting to see the developments regarding our new school. We took advantage of the recent good weather and Mr McLean visited the site and took photographs to keep us up to date. This photograph shows current progress on the front of the new school. The red steel is the framework for the entrance at ground level with the double-height library up above, a true focal point for a landmark building. When this shell is done, the steelwork for the entire building will have been completed in seven months. The two side wings in the picture show that wall building is also well advanced. Once the external blockwork is in place, the walls will be covered in pink cladding stone, harling render, manufactured panels or timber sections. Much of the roof on these wings is already in place, allowing internal work such as electrical cabling and plastering to start soon.
The senior management team has already visited the site and in the coming months we are hoping to take small groups of staff and pupils. Teachers are already thinking about the layout of their classrooms and what equipment they’ll take with them to the new school. Mr McLean regularly updates our website with additional photographs and information.
Five pupils from Earlston High competed in Friday’s evenings Young Musician Competition, organised by the Ettrick and Lauderdale Rotary Club. There were eighteen performers in total and our five entrants were: Will Hoppe, Chris Farish, Ailsa Aitkenhead, Hannah Durham and Olivia Hoppe.
Congratulations to Olivia and Chris, who are through to the next stage of the competition to be held on March 9 th. Chris performed ‘Autumn Concerto’ on the pianoforte to win the instrumental section and Olivia won the vocal section with ‘Pie Jesu’ and ‘Lonely Goatherd’.
S4 REVISION TUTORIALS
It is never too soon to start revising for the exams in May and already departments are offering revision tutorials at lunchtime and after school. The first of these tutorials was on Tuesday 19 th February when the Biology Department offered pupils in S4 a lunchtime tutorial on Cells and the World of Plants. The department will then offer tutorials on a variety of topics within the course. Following the senior prelims, tutorials will be offered for Higher Biology and Higher Human Biology.
The Maths Department also offer weekly revision sessions and these are every Wednesday from 4-5pm and Thursday lunchtimes. Pupils are encouraged to go along and ask for help with any aspect of their Maths work. There are also Maths Club Specials planned for Wednesday 19 th March and Wed 16 th April from 4 – 5pm. Reasoning skills will be the focus for these ‘specials’ and there’s a chance to win a gigantic bar of chocolate too!
Students are encouraged to keep an eye on the school’s daily news bulletin for information on other help sessions in the coming weeks.
JUNIOR AND SENIOR BOOK GROUPS
Members of the two Book Groups are busy preparing for their next meeting at the end of February. The junior group is reading Terry Prachet’s ‘A Hatful of Sky’, which is about eleven year old Tiffany Aching. She is a witch in training, who travels to The Chalks to stay with Miss Level, a witch with two bodies. Unbeknown to Tiffany, a hiver has travelled with her – an evil force that is intent on possessing her mind. Can she overcome the hiver with the help of her friends, Mistress Weatherwax and Nac MacFeegle? The book club’s verdict: This is an easy to read, entertaining book that would be loved by anyone of any age with a sense of humour!
The book selected for the senior group is ‘Notes From an Exhibition’ by Patrick Gale. It is about Rachel Kelly, an artist who is found dead, leaving behind an enigma of a life. As her husband and children appeal for information, it becomes clear that she has left behind more than her family. The book jumps around Rachel’s life – each chapter beginning with notes to one of her exhibited paintings. The chapter explains her life at the time she worked on the piece and gradually we see her legacy. Some members of the senior club enjoyed this book and its complexities; whereas others found it a little confusing to follow and difficult ‘to get into’.
Thursday 6 th March is the anniversary of Ghana’s Independence Day. It will be 51 years since Ghana achieved independent status and to help mark this and further our link with the Mangu community in Ghana we are organising a Ghana Day.
Pupils are encouraged to wear non-uniform and the Ghanaian colours of green, red and gold. Donations for the school Mangu charity will be collected at registration. There will be a parade of those in Ghanaian fancy dress in the hall at lunchtime and prizes for the winning entries. These include a trip to Tynecastle, where the winner will meet players including ‘Larry’ Kingston, just back from the African Cup of Nations, where he represented Ghana.
Also at lunchtime, there will be various activities in the hall such as face-painting, African music, African drumming, a quiz, cake and candy and other fun challenges.
As well as having Mr Smart’s link to the Mangu community, former pupil Andrew Mitchell has also spent time there. He spent two months teaching and generally mixing with and helping out the community. He also collected photograph illustrations for inclusion in the new S1/2 Geography topic on Africa.
HOCKEY IN THE HOLIDAYS
Hockey coaching courses are being run at Tweedbank and in Hawick in the Easter holidays and are open to pupils in all years. The courses run for two or three afternoons and cost between £10 and £12. Two of the courses are ‘Skill’ or ‘Talent’ courses for either S1-S3 or S4-S6. There is also a special ‘Goalkeeping’ course for one day only and a Boys Hockey Skill School, which is also for one day. Mrs Lawrence in the PE department has further information on each of these courses.
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WEEK ENDED 15th FEBRUARY 2008
The photographs of the different sports teams are now available to order from the school office. There is a photograph of each year group’s hockey and rugby team as well as the basketball teams and dance groups. Orders must be handed into the finance office by Friday 14 th March.
We now have a recycling box in the school library for old mobile phones. Already we have a good number and are keen to fill the box with as many as possible. As our library is also a community library, we would welcome any old phones from members of the public. Last week, the 4th to the 10 th February was recycling week for Childline and we will be collecting any unwanted jewellery and mobiles for recycling throughout February.
The Eco- Committee
Miss Fleming has lots of information about forthcoming open days and events for students in the current fifth year, who are thinking about applying to go to university. There are workshops and conferences on Medicine, Law, Psychology, Chemistry and Business Management. Information about Oxford and Cambridge is also available and there is a conference in Edinburgh on the 18 th March for students who are interested in finding out more about these two universities.
Miss Fleming also has information about The Sutton Trust, an organisation which runs summer schools to give students an opportunity to sample student life. Fifth years are encouraged to speak to Miss Fleming or look at the notice board in the upper link area of school for further information.
For fourth years interested in a career in Healthcare, there is a Careers Evening organised at the Borders General Hospital on Wednesday 20 th February from 6pm until 8.45pm. Again Miss Fleming has further information.
Mr Coxall, our careers adviser, is available to talk to any pupil on a Tuesday lunchtime and is running drop-in sessions in the school library from 1.20pm.
S2 CHOICE OF COURSE AND PARENTS EVENING
Guidance teachers are now interviewing the second years about their choice of course for next year. The deadline for the return of the form is Friday 7 th March. The S2 parents’ evening is on the 21 st February.
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WEEK ENDED 8th FEBRUARY 2008
CHARITY FASHION SHOW
You may have seen, in last week’s Border Telegraph, some of the great photos taken at the Fashion Show organised by the S6 Charities Committee. However, there are some photos that were missing and to appreciate the calibre of our models, you have to see these! Many thanks to the staff for modelling on the cat walk last week. Mr McMillan and Mr Renwick, from the PE department, were ultra professional as they paraded down the catwalk. Mrs Morton from Home Economics was also stylish. Not to be beaten, two members of the senior management team, Mr Weierter and Mr Clarke, were ‘on safari’ wearing some of Asda’s holiday clothing for this summer season. Mr Smart, Principal Teacher of Biology, is always keen to support the S6 Charities Committee because he has a close link to the Mangu community in Ghana, having spent two years teaching there. On the catwalk Mr Smart was true to his name and modelled some of the more formal clothing in the Tailoring section.
ROTARY CLUB CHEF OF THE YEAR
Well done to Owen Murray who won the school competition held in his hospitality class. Owen will now go onto represent Lauderdale at the District Competition to be held on Saturday 16 th February, at the Edinburgh International School of Food and Wine. His task for Saturday’s competition is to prepare a healthy three course meal for two people, costing £10 a head. Good luck, Owen!
Have you ever wondered exactly what teachers do on in-service days? Do they sit around chatting and drinking endless cups of coffee? The answer of course is no! This week, one of the in-service days is a joint day with high school staff and all the teachers from the cluster primary schools. Together they will follow a programme which explores the idea of Creativity, which is part of ACE - A Curriculum for Excellence.
The guest speaker for the day is Ian Smith from Learning Unlimited. Mr Smith has worked in Scottish education for more than 30 years and has delivered workshops to over 40,000 of Scotland’s teachers. The teachers on Tuesday 12 February will work together to share practice and to develop their understanding of creativity.
So it doesn’t look as if there’ll be much time for chatting and drinking endless cups of coffee. Mr Smith will have them working hard!
S5 AND S5 PRELIMS
These begin on Thursday 14 th February with English as the first exam, followed by Information Systems in the afternoon. Exams for other subjects then continue until the final exams on Tuesday 26 th February, which is Music and Administration. Senior pupils are on study leave for this exam period and hopefully they will use this time wisely. We will see them back in class on Wednesday 27 th February. Good luck to all our fifth and sixth years as they make their final preparations for the prelims.
On Tuesday, the second round of the Donald Dewar Law Society Debating Competition took place at Earlston High. Teams from St George’s School for Girls, Stewart’s Melville, Jedburgh Grammar and our own team (Iona Stevenson S6 and Jacqueline Gillie S4) debated a difficult motion: ‘This House believes that immigrants are a drain on Scotland’s public services.’
Iona and Jacqueline were opposing the motion. Although they were unsuccessful at getting through to the semi-final, the judges praised the girls for the excellent content of their speeches. The girls are to be congratulated for their success in the competition and the quality of their debate. St George’s went through to the semi-finals.
Richard Wales, the red squirrel conservation officer for the South of Scotland, came into school last Wednesday to talk to senior pupils about his project. He is supervising an attempt to conserve the population of red squirrels in the Borders.
He talked to pupils about the problems the red squirrels are facing; talking mostly about the competition between the reds and the greys for food and shelter. He also explained about the threat of the squirrel pox virus, which fortunately has not yet spread to Scotland. Grey squirrels are immune to this virus but are carriers of it. Unfortunately, to red squirrels this virus is deadly. It is therefore a threat to the red squirrel population. Richard concluded his interesting presentation by answering questions from the audience.
Rachel, Claire, Katie
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WEEK ENDED 1ST FEBRUARY 2008
Last Thursday’s Burns Supper was a night that did justice to our National Bard. The assembly hall was festooned with tartan, tables were gently lit by candles and decorated with tartan and flowers. Every seat was taken as parents, staff and senior students enjoyed a traditional supper and celebrated the life and works of Robert Burns.
Mr Scott Renwick was in top form as the evening’s chairman and kept everything running like clockwork. His jokes were even funny! The Selkirk Grace was said by Deputy Head Boy, Jack Lowden, and Marc Wilkinson ceremoniously piped in the haggis. Another S6 student, Duncan Yellowlees, gave a classic address and toast to the haggis. It was a lively and entertaining start to the night. Duncan set high standards for the other speakers to follow, which they did!
The first guest speaker was Dr Cliff Sharp, a parent with two children at the school. Dr Sharp had the difficult task of delivering the Immortal Memory. Now at some Burns Suppers it is rumoured that this is the least entertaining of the night. Not so at Earlston High as Dr Sharp kept us informed of the Bard’s life in verse! Witty, informative and cleverly written, Dr Sharp showed his own skills at writing poetry.
The other guest speaker was Mr Cameron Rudkin, who wowed the audience so much at last year’s supper that we invited him back. Luckily he was pleased to do so and the audience was delighted with his rendition of Tam O’Shanter. We were enthralled by his ability to remember all the words as well as providing actions to help those of us who are not so familiar with Burns’ language (or Mr Rudkin’s Hawick accent!)
Then it was the turn of the sixth years to toast the lassies and reply. Michael McLeish, Head Boy, was very complimentary in his toast to the lassies despite his references to their dangerous driving. Head Girl, Elizabeth McLean, acknowledged and thanked Michael as well as giving her own account of the pros and cons of the male sixth years. Despite the boys’ vanity, Elizabeth said, the girls were glad to have their company.
It was not all speeches though and Elizabeth and Jack performed some musical numbers for the audience to enjoy. Together they sang ‘Ye Banks and Braes’ and as soloists Jack sang ‘My Love is like a Red, Red Rose’ and Elizabeth played a set of three marches on the accordion.
To conclude a super night, Deputy Head Girl Michelle Inglis gave the vote of thanks and Mr Renwick led the audience into Auld Lang Syne. The Parent Council Sub Group did a tremendous job organising the event. Thanks also to the canteen staff for providing the supper and to the fourth year students who so professionally served the meal.
FRIENDS OF MANGU
Just a quick update regarding our link with the Mangu Community in Ghana - £2000 has now been sent to the community and they hope to put a roof on the three classrooms, staffroom and library which have been constructed. Thanks again to all the staff and friends who have supported the project.
The charity Childline is running a recycling week on the 4 th to 10 th February. We thought it would be great to get involved with this. We will be collecting any unwanted jewellery and mobile phones for re-cycling throughout February.
ARE YOU A GREEN ANGEL OR A RED DEVIL?
This is the question the Eco-committee is asking staff each week from now on. In their quest to make us more environmentally friendly, the committee has come up with the idea of Green Angel and Red Devil. Each week, the committee will be on the look out for staff who are helping the environment – have they turned off the classroom lights when there’s no one in the room? Do they use the recycling bins for their used paper? If so, they may be nominated for the Green Angel award. If not, then they had better change their ways for fear of being nominated a Red Devil!
Mrs Lawrence’s hockey squad had their first fund-raiser on Wednesday 30 th January. This was to help them raise funds for their tour to Belgium in October. Teams of four competed for the title Quiz Team 2008 and Mrs Lawrence tested their general knowledge, sports knowledge and there were a few questions ‘with a twist’.
The quiz has become an annual event for the hockey squad to organise and there is always fierce competition between the rival teams. Mrs Lawrence,(not that she’s biased!) says the team to beat is always the one from the PE staff. Wednesday’s quiz followed that pattern and Mr Kidd and Mr Renwick, also known as The Hounds of Zaroth, were on form in most of the categories, except sport!!
Teams were of parents, pupils and staff and the winners were ……the PE staff! The winning pupil team was a group of S3 boys: Liam Morrison, Forbes McGillivray and Daniel Wilson. It was a great night and everyone enjoyed the challenge of answering the questions. Many thanks to Mrs Lawrence and her hockey squad.
SUCCESS ON THE MAT
As always, judo players at Earlston High have been busy training and entering competitions. There are five judo players from Sportif judo club, four in S3 and one in S1, who train with their coach Peter Gardiner. At the Welsh Open competition two weeks ago, Tal and Cora Gardiner achieved bronze and silver medals respectively in their weight categories. At last weekend’s competition in Newcastle, the squad also performed well. Tal Gardiner won the gold medal and Ali Mather won silver.
“Going to the Dogs” by Ian McCormack on Tuesday 29 th January. The S4 Drama class excellently performed this play, concerning topics such as truancy, to a very appreciative audience of family and friends.
CONSULTATION ON CHANGE TO SCHOOL SESSION AND SCHOOL WEEK
This consultation document is available on the Scottish Borders website. The school has a few copies available.
HOCKEY RESULTS AGAINST KELSO HIGH SCHOOL
EHS 1 st X1 3 - KHS 1 st X1 1
EHS 2 nd X1 2 - KHS 2 nd X1 0
EHS S2 0 - KHS S2 6
EHS S1 1 - KHS S1 5
Well done to all the girls who took part.
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WEEK ENDED 25th JANUARY 2008
S1and S2 pupils have been pledging to be more environmentally friendly. They have written their pledges onto ‘leaves’ which are displayed on the noticeboard at the entrance to the school. Each ‘leaf’ outlines an individual’s pledge and a colourful ‘tree’ of pledges provides an attractive and meaningful display.
Some of the pledges are quite simple and yet are effective ways of saving energy and helping our environment. Pupils have pledged to turn off their Playstation or Xbox; to turn off the television rather than leave it on standby; have a shower instead of a bath and recycle paper rather than put it in the bin. The Eco- Committee is pleased to report that the green bins for recycling plastic bottles are working well. Thank you.
HIGHER BIOLOGY STUDENTS VISIT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
Although this trip was scheduled for the previous week, but was cancelled due to bad weather, it was definitely worth waiting for.
We left school after registration and arrived at the education centre at eleven o’clock. Once inside we split into two groups. One group remained inside the centre to do several experiments relating to measuring water loss in plants in different conditions. For this we used a potometer and atmometer.
The other group went on a tour of some of the greenhouses to see plants which have adapted to certain water conditions. For instance xerophyte plants have adapted to a lack of water and hydrophyte plants have adapted to an excess of water. We were also fascinated by the aquariums and the various tropical fish (some of which seemed really big and we were disappointed that we couldn’t ‘find Nemo’!)
After a quick break of about fifteen minutes, the two groups changed over before heading back to Earlston. When we arrived back at school, we were met by snow and some of the school buses were lined up to take pupils home slightly earlier because of the weather conditions.
Charlotte Winsland, Faye Walker, Hannah Taylor
S3/S4 WORK EXPERIENCE
Thinking time is nearly over for the current S3 regarding their work experience. Mr Weierter had introduced the work experience programme in an assembly in November, when he asked pupils to think about what types of jobs they would like to consider for work experience. This week, in Personal and Social Education, pupils are looking at possibilities for work experience and are beginning to plan their week of work. The week allocated for work experience is the 6 th – 10 th October – the week immediately before the October holiday.
ANYTHING GOES - EHS SUMMER SHOW
The assembly hall was packed with eager pupils, all wanting to collect their copy of the music and script for this year’s show- ‘Anything Goes’. Pupils from S2-S6 filled the hall to listen to Mr Thomson explain the rehearsal schedule. Preparations for this year’s show started way back in September, when auditions were held. Head Boy, Jack Lowden, and Head Girl, Elizabeth McLaren, again have principal roles and lead a strong cast including Jessica Hardwick, Fraser Brien, Rebekah Chapman and Angus and Duncan Yellowlees. Coming through the ranks and gaining confidence are new principals from third year: Emma Finnen, Rowan Hayworth and Daniel Wilson.
‘Anything Goes’ is a musical comedy set in the 1920’s written by Cole Porter. Mr Thomson says it’s a lively and vibrant show, full of comic moments and energetic tap numbers. He is looking forward to working with the cast to deliver another run of sell-out performances in June.
THE BEACH RAVE FROM TEAM DISCO
Team Disco, the S6 dance committee, has already established itself as a great provider of fun nights and amazing music. Who can forget the superb ‘Rave 2 The Grave’ disco at Halloween?
This time the disco is entitled ‘The Beach Rave’ and is for pupils in S1 and S2 on Wednesday 6 th February. Tickets cost £2.50 and are on sale from members of Team Disco in the main link at break and lunchtimes.
S4 GUIDANCE INTERVIEWS
Having just received their S4 reports, pupils are now being interviewed by their Guidance teacher. At the interview, there is a chance to discuss the recent reports and set targets for the May exams. It is also the first opportunity to discuss the individual pupil’s ideas for next session. If they are hoping to return to school for fifth year, it allows them to reflect on their prelim performance and consider which courses would best suit them in S5. On each subject report, the teacher has made a recommendation for the level of course most suited to the individual pupil, which is based on their present performance. This is a good starting point for the discussion. Hopefully, after the interview, pupils will have a clearer idea of the possibilities for S5 and will use the Decisions booklet to help them select their courses.
S6 'DE-STRESS' IN SOCIAL EDUCATION
Many thanks to Jane Russell, Satyananda Yoga teacher, for introducing sixth year students to Breathe and Relax – techniques for mental and emotional well being.
For two weeks now, Jane has led students through some breathing techniques and Yoga Nidra. This is a systematic, staged practice with the aim of achieving a state of deep relaxation and leads to greater awareness of physical, mental and emotional faculties. Not only does the body relax but so do the mind and emotions which leads to better health, emotional stability and increased mental focus. Louise Gladstone in S6 said she found the session very relaxing and it was especially good at this time of year.
HOCKEY RESULTS AGAINST KELSO HIGH SCHOOL
EHS 1 st X1 3 KHS 1 st X1 1
EHS 2 nd X1 4 KHS 2 nd X1 1
EHS S1 ‘A’ 1 KHS S1 ‘A’ 0
EHS S1 ‘B’ 2 KHS S1 ‘B’ 1
Well done to all the girls who took part and a big thank you to Miss Barron for umpiring.
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
The entries were narrowed won and judged by a panel including staff and students. The winner is Chris Watson, S4, for documentary film about Ripley, the West Highland terrier and his life in the Borders. Chris wins the £25 Amazon voucher. Second place and a £10 voucher, went to Becca Fox, S3, for her very amusing Santa animation. Kassim Behaddad received a special mention for the highly unusual Doll Reunion film.
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WEEK ENDED 18th JANUARY 2008
On the 12 th December, a vigorous junior debate on the abolition of school uniform took place in the English Department. Presenting a convincing case, Elizabeth Docherty, Kirsty McNab and Gillian Henderson argued that uniform is a valuable addition to the school. But how did they manage to convince the audience on this divisive issue? Their points were varied and numerous.
Safety and security was a big issue – it is much easier to maintain control of who is in school if everyone is wearing the same uniform. Maintaining a sense of pride in the school is also important. Wearing uniform reminds us that it’s not just a fashion show and it stops people bullying each other because someone hasn’t got the best designer clothes. It stops people from feeling self-conscious about their own wardrobe and if you look around, it’s still possible to express your personality through uniform.
We don’t see any reason therefore why we shouldn’t have school uniform or a school dress code and we think it is a good thing.
Elizabeth Docherty, Holly Young, Robert Wyllie, Gillian Henderson
Four pupils represented the school recently at an ‘Open Space’ event at the Langlee Centre in Galashiels. This event brought together pupils from both primary and secondary schools across the Borders to work with each other in discussing what makes for the best classroom teaching and learning – a key issue in the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ project. Brainstorming exercises produced a wide range of ideas which will be used to design and professionally produce a set of posters for use in all Borders schools. Earlston High School was well represented by Grace Gilbert of S1, Ailsa Brien and Eion Smith of S2 and Kyle Blain of S3 who worked hard at the morning’s tasks. We hope that they can become involved again at the stage of refining the posters before printing.
BY 'GEORGE' - IT'S THE FASHION SHOW!
The S6 Charities Committee is now selling tickets for the Fashion Show to be held in the school hall on Thursday 31 st January at 7pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions and are available from the school office or from any member of the Charities Committee. Cheese and wine will be available and a glass of wine or a soft drink is included in the ticket price. Models will be wearing clothes from the ‘George’ range at Asda as well as other Asda clothing.
There is a frenzy of activity at the school at the moment as the models prepare for the catwalk. Models are from first to sixth year as well as staff helping out too. This event is open to the general public and the models are hoping that the hall will be packed with an enthusiastic audience.
The S6 Charities Committee presented information on their nominated charities to the first years at this week’s assembly. The first years have been very supportive of the events organised by the committee and this was a chance for them to see where their contributions will be go at the end of the year. Sithu Aye, chairperson for the charities committee, led an interesting presentation to the year group and thanked them for their support
This year’s Earlston High Dance Festival will be on the 12 th and 13 th March and initial preparations started this week. The festival is an opportunity for any individual, group or class in the school to showcase their dance skills at the evening performances. All types of dance are encouraged such as jazz, ballet, Highland, Irish or contemporary. It really is up to the entrants to decide on the style of dance they want to perform. Application forms for the Festival are available from the PE department and names can be added to a rehearsal schedule. Applications should be returned to Mrs Lawrence by Thursday the 28th February and auditions will be held from 29th February until 7 th March.
DOBE - STUDY SEMINAR
It looks like an ipod; it can be a usb memory stick; you can write documents using Notepad; record yourself and that’s just a few of the DoBe’s uses. A DoBe is a new study tool which some third years are using to help support their learning. The third years have agreed to trial the tool and attended a study seminar led by Steve Reid, who intrigued the group with the DoBe. Steve introduced study skills to the pupils and explained how the brain works better when hydrated. One point Steve made was that if we are 100% hydrated, we can concentrate for 45minutes. However, if we are only 98% hydrated then this lowers our ability to concentrate to only 20 minutes. He then explained all the different uses of the DoBe to help them with their studying and homework.
Steve is so keen to support and motivate the pupils, he has even added videos of himself and voice overs to the DoBe so they can hear his ideas and have his support 24/7.
Thirty pupils in S3 have signed up to use the DoBe and they are all really keen and enthusiastic. Craig said, ‘it looks good but it seems a bit complicated until I get used to it’.Josh added, ‘It looks quite cool. I collected mine this morning and am looking forward to using it’. Ryan summed it up in one word, which means he thought it was great: ‘rapid’. The great thing about the DoBe is that it’s not just for when the pupils are in school and Sarah said, ‘It’s handy to listen to when I’m at home and I can learn things even when I’m walking the dog.’
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WEEK ENDED 11th JANUARY 2008
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Happy New Year to everyone connected with Earlston High School and to all the readers of our weekly news. Snow tried to deter us from attending school on Monday 7 th January, but we were too keen! Well done to everyone who made it into school despite the winter weather and difficult driving conditions. After an enjoyable Christmas holiday, pupils and staff are all set for another busy term.
Has anyone broken their New Year’s resolution yet? Here are some examples of resolutions made by EHS pupils and staff. Miss Strong aims to get fit in preparation for her adventure to Tanzania in July 2008. She has to be fit enough to climb Kilimanjaro (World’s highest walkable mountain) as well as cope with the altitude, go on safari to the Serengeti and dive in Zanzibar! Mr Thomson has already started to work on his resolution, which is to be able to play his new saxophone properly. Miss Macinnes wants to learn to play golf; Mr Kidd is finishing writing his novel and Miss Allison strives to be more organised. Mr Weierter’s resolution is to never make one and he even manages to keep it!
In S1, Emma is trying not to talk too much in class; Claire Bridges is trying not to say ‘like’ and whatever’ too much and David Bain has promised Miss Macinnes that he won’t drink Irn Bru before English. The ‘Ali’s’ in S3 want to get up earlier in the morning and try to get to bed at an earlier time too. Jessica is trying not to drink as much Powerade and Phil is determined to be the best player in Club Penguin! Some S4 pupils’ resolutions were very sport and fitness related. Graeme wants to be able to do 90kg on the bench press and Natalie, Laura and Luana intend to start a new sport and eat less junk food. Sixth years’ resolutions ranged from running marathons to not biting their nails! Good luck everyone with your New Year challenges.
Do you know that it takes up to 450 years for a plastic bottle to degrade? The school’s Eco- Committee is urging us to recycle our empty plastic bottles by putting them in the new green bins, which are situated around the school.
HOCKEY TOUR 2008
Mrs Lawrence is now taking names and deposits for this year’s hockey tour scheduled for October. The tour is open to girls in S3, S4 and S5. As with last year, the trip is to Belgium. It will involve matches against hockey clubs in and around Blankenburg, a visit to Bobbejaarland Theme Park and loads of fun!
SOUTH UNDER 18 INDOOR HOCKEY SQUAD
Congratulations to Erin Bonnar, Suzanna Ruthven and Caitlin Tiemessen who were selected for South Under 18 Indoor Hockey Squad. We wish them luck in the Inter-District Tournament which will be held in Aberdeen on Saturday 2 nd February 2008.
In Social Education in the coming weeks, pupils in S2, S4 and S5 will be considering their courses and options for next session. For S2, it is a particularly exciting time as this is their first opportunity to have a say in what courses they want to study. Social Education and Guidance teachers will give them lots of advice and support to help them with this process. There is also an information evening for parents about the S2 Choice of Course on Tuesday 5 February. The usual parents’ evening for meeting teachers is on Thursday 21 st February.
S4 pupils now have the opportunity to actually decide if school is where they want to study next session, or are will they go into employment, training or college. Those who decide to remain at school may hope to go to university in the future and their choice of course is very important. The UCAS website and Careers Scotland website will be good starting points to check out the current entrance requirements for specific university courses.
S5 pupils also have difficult but exciting decisions to make about next session. This term is very busy for them as they prepare for their prelims in February. No doubt the recent parents’ evening will help pupils and their parents consider the options for next year.
S4 pupils will receive their reports next week, which will reflect their performance in the recent prelim exams and offer them strategies to improve their learning. The reports also give pupils an indication of the level of course most suited to them in S5 based on their current performance, such as Higher or Intermediate. This will help guide them in their choice of course for next session. Please could parents discuss the reports with their son/daughter and return the report reply slip to the register teacher.
FRIENDS OF MANGU CHRISTMAS GIFT CARDS
A huge thank you is due to all pupils, staff and parents who placed orders for gift cards and made donations to Friends of Mangu. Your generosity was overwhelming and following a rather hectic pre-Christmas rush of orders, we can now reveal that the grand total of £2187 was raised and this will be on its way to Mangu shortly to provide much needed building materials.
Of course Mangu Gift Cards are not just for Christmas, they will also be available throughout the year. We are currently working on a price list of furniture and fittings which will be added to the gift list. Order forms available on request from Mrs Mitchell, Earlston High School. Thank you again.
January is often a time when the adverts tell us we should be booking our holidays. With this in mind, it might be useful to remind everyone of the following dates:
Friday 6 th June – Leavers’ Evening
Friday 27 th June – last day of summer term
Tuesday 19th August – first day back for pupils after the summer
Monday 13 th October – first day of the October holiday and back to school on Monday 20 th October.
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