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School Newsletter


School Newsletter 22 March 2017

Portobello High School Cluster Transition Event – Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Please accept my apology for the short notice regarding this information. All P.7 pupils from the five cluster schools (Brunstane, Duddingston, Parsons Green, The Royal High and Towerbank) will have the opportunity to meet for a transition event on Wednesday 22nd March at Portobello High School. They will be in mixed groups to undertake tasks regarding children’s rights. This will offer the opportunity to meet pupils from the other schools and be familiar with Portobello High School.

Transport will be by public transport. Our classes will attend the sessions as follows:

  • P.7A – Session 1 – 9.15 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.
  • With Parsons Green and one Towerbank class and one Duddingston class.
  • With Mrs. Lamas and Mr. Marin (PSA).
  • Departing 8.55 a.m.
  • P.7B – Session 2 – 11.00 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.
  • With Brunstane and one Towerbank class and one Duddingston class.
  • With Ms. Warrender and a PSA.
  • Departing 10.15 a.m.
  • Lunch will be taken as normal on return.


Thank you.

Final Camp Arrangements.

Monday 27th to Friday 31st March 2017 – Lagganlia Camp – Final details

  • Monday 27th March 2017 – Arrival arrangements
  • Children and parents should report to the school NO EARLIER than 8.45 a.m.
  • Please ensure your child can carry their own luggage.
  • Children will enter the school via the P.7 ‘line-up’ doors.
  • Children and parents should make their way to the dining hall with their luggage.
  • Parents are welcome to wait in the dining hall until departure.
  • We will try to take a group photograph before departure.

Parents are welcome to wait and wave the coach on departure.

Transport Arrangements

Our travel will be shared over two coaches (Coach A and Coach B) as follows:

  • Coach A
  • P.7A – 27 pupils
  • Staff – Mrs. Lunniss and Miss. Baigan
  • 15 pupils from Newcraighall Primary School
  • 2 staff from Newcraighall Primary School
  • Coach B
  • P.7B – 29 pupils
  • Staff – Ms. Warrender, Mrs. Young and Ms. Campbell
  • This coach will be used for any equipment/resources to be taken

**We plan for the coaches to be loaded and depart by 9.15 a.m.**

I will be travelling by car. It is useful to have access to a car in need of emergency. I will be following the coaches on the outward and return journeys.

School Uniform – it is not necessary to wear school uniform. However, it would be preferable if children wore their school ‘hoodies’.

Finally, I ask that you make any outstanding payments soon, remember that the children require a packed lunch and remind us about any medication required.

Thank you for your help – we are all very excited.    Willie French (Head Teacher)


School Newsletter February 2017



There have been several staff changes since we returned to school in January 2017.

You will be aware that following Mrs. Eileen Forrest’s retirement after many years as Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs. Tania Evans has succeeded her. I am very pleased to report that Mrs. Evans has settled in very well and very quickly. She has already led several assemblies and she has made a great effort to build positive relationships with pupils, staff and parents. I know that Mrs. Evans is a great asset to the school and she will be an excellent Deputy Head Teacher.

You will be aware that Mrs. Lunniss, P.7A teacher, departed at the end of January to take up an eighteen-month secondment as City of Edinburgh Council Science Development Officer, returning to the Royal High Primary School in August 2018. I am sure you will join me in wishing her every happiness and success for this experience. I am pleased to inform you that we have replaced Mrs. Lunniss with Mrs. Leah Lamas. Mrs. Lamas and Mrs. Lunniss worked together to ensure that there was a robust and seamless transition. Mrs. Lamas has made a great start. In addition to her upper primary experience, her class are posing her many questions as Mrs. Lamas comes from California, USA.

I am also very pleased to inform you that Ms. Alison McCarlie, our P.1 teacher, has been appointed Acting Principal Teacher at Colinton Primary School until the end of the session. Ms. McCarlie’s final day with us is Wednesday 8th February 2017 returning in August 2017. I am sure you will join me in wishing Ms. McCarlie every happiness and success in her secondment. This is a great opportunity for Ms. McCarlie. Once again we have been very fortunate to replace Ms. McCarlie with Mrs. Susan Booth. Mrs. Booth has a wealth of experience of working in several schools and her expertise is in early years; Nursery, P.1 and P.2. I am pleased to report that Ms. McCarlie and Mrs. Booth have spent several days working together to enable Mrs. Booth to familiarise herself with the work and pupils in P.1.

I welcome our three new members of staff to our school community and please say hello to Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Lamas and Mrs. Booth if you pass them.

What’s been happening?

Our P.4 and P.5 classes have been experiencing a five week course of ukulele instruction.

Ms. Clark’s P.5 class continue swimming lessons at Abbeyhill Primary School on Thursday mornings.

Our knitting club has recommenced after school on Tuesday afternoons – it would be great to have some more children attend this excellent opportunity.

Our P.6 classes have been attending ‘Bible Alive’ sessions on Monday afternoons – this is part of our curricular Religious and Moral Education programme.

Our P.3 classes have been working with Reverend Iain May from South Leith Parish Church. He visited the P.3 classes and arranged a visit to his South Leith Parish Church.

Our P.7 classes attended the Edinburgh International Festival/Scottish Opera workshop entitled ‘The Art of Listening’ at The Hub at the top of The Royal Mile.

Our classes have produced and presented some outstanding art work depicting Scots’ culture on our ‘Wonderful Work Boards’ along the bottom corridor – please come into school and view our wonderful art work.

Week beginning Monday 23rd January was our ‘Scots’ Focus Week’ – classes focussed on some areas of Scots’ culture.

All girls from P.1 to P.5 participated in a football skills session organised by our Active Schools Coordinator Paddy Dearlove and delivered by Hibernian FC youth coach. There will be a further four sessions in March. We have some excellent footballers within our girls’ group and many more really keen and enthusiastic. There are many girls’ clubs and girls’ football participation is very high – please support your daughters if they are keen.

Our mini-kickers club for P.1 to P.3 pupils has commenced at 8 a.m. on Thursday mornings. This takes place in the hall and presently there are three boys and one girl attending. I have observed these sessions and they are excellent – please encourage more children to participate.

Thanks to our Parent Council for an outstanding evening – The Scots’ Ceilidh Night – a large number of families attended this event on the evening of Thursday 26th January.

On Friday 27th January we welcomed a huge number of adults to our Scots’ Assembly – our children used this opportunity to showcase their talent to perform Scots’ Songs and Rhymes. My thanks to all parents for attending and my thanks to our staff for their hard work.


On Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th February our children benefited from school library open days – we are always keen to encourage children’s enthusiasm and love of reading. My thanks to Ms. McCarlie and Mrs. Jenny Hunt (P.1 parent) for organising the open days.

Lego Club has now resumed. Owing to the popularity of this extra-curricular activity, we now have two sessions; Wednesday and Friday. My sincere thank you to Becky Entwistle (P.2 parent) for leading and organising this.

Infant Nativity Play – many parents and families enjoyed our P.1 to P.3 nativity play. My sincere thanks to Jez Curnow (P.2 parent) who filmed the nativity professionally. This can be viewed at https://vimeopro.com/timebasetv/rhps-christmas-counts using the following password RHPSN161216

You will be aware that we have an excellent choir led by Mrs. Belfall (music specialist) and Ms. Campbell (P.3B) teacher. Before the Easter Holiday, our choir will be performing at the Queen’s Hall and the Assembly Rooms. Our choir performed for the STV Christmas Songbook. This can be viewed at http://player.stv.tv/episode/3eql/scotlands-choirs/

Please remember to visit our school website – it contains lots of information and photographs.

February Mid-Term Holiday – I remind you that Nursery and School close for the mid-term holiday on Friday 10th February 2017. This is a routine Friday, therefore school and nursery close at the usual times.

School and nursery resume for the remainder of the term on Monday 20th February 2017.

I hope all pupils, staff and any parents who are on holiday, a relaxing and happy break.

Communication – please e mail, write or call in the event you would like to share a concern or some good news. E mail me at willie.french@royalhigh-pri.edin.sch.uk or 0131 669 3200

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Key Dates for this term to assist your forward planning:

March 2017

  • Friday 3rd March 2017 at 9.30 a.m. – WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY CELEBRATING WORLD BOOK DAY
  • Wednesday 8th March 2017 – 4.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. – PARENT CONSULTATIONS.
  • Thursday 9th March 2017 – 5.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. – PARENT CONSULTATIONS.
  • Friday 10th March 2017 at 9.15 a.m. – Ms. Campbell and P.3B Class Assembly – all parents invited to attend.
  • Tuesday 14th March 2017 – evening – The choir will perform in ‘From Studio to Stage’ event at The Queen’s Hall.
  • Wednesday 15th March 2017 – evening – The choir will perform in The Glee Choir Competition at The Assembly Rooms on George Street.
  • Friday 17th March 2017 at 9.45 a.m. – Mrs. Lamas P.7A and Ms. Warrender’s P.7B joint P.7 stage assembly – all parents invited to attend.
  • Wednesday 22nd March 2017 – School Open Morning.
  • Wednesday 22nd March 2017 – Nursery ‘Stay and Play’ Day.
  • Monday 27th March 2017 – P.7 Group leave for Lagganlia Camp.
  • Friday 31st March 2017 – P.7 Group return from Lagganlia Camp.
  • Friday 31st March 2017 – SCHOOL AND NURSERY CLOSE FOR EASTER HOLIDAY – school and nursery closes at normal times.

This list of dates is not exhaustive, other dates will be added during the course of the term.

Please remember to visit our website. The City of Edinburgh Council Digital Learning Team has commended our website for the photographic content of activities. My sincere thanks to staff and Brian Cairnie our Business Manager for updating the website consistently.

Finally, please remember to communicate when you think it is appropriate. We cannot deal with concerns or worries until you inform us. Conversely, please do not hesitate to communicate good news. You can e mail me at willie.french@royalhigh-pri.edin.sch.uk

Best wishes,

Willie French (Head Teacher)

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