Penicuik High School

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Religion Non-denominational
Headteacher Mark Edie
Depute Headteacher Ross Jamieson, Donny MacDonald
Location 39a Carlops Road
EH26 9EP
Students 600
Website Penicuik High School

Penicuik High School is a non-denominational secondary state school located in Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland. It is situated on Carlops Road, opposite the town's main park.

Several rooms are used by the Community Learning Division which provides education to adults in a variety of areas such as creative writing, art and computer literacy.

Attached to the school, although administratively separate, is the Penicuk Leisure Centre (opened 2006) with such facilities as a library, gymnasium, swimming pool and weight room. The school uses the centre's gymnasium and pool for physical education classes on a regular basis

In the May 2011 national examinations, Penicuik High School secured the highest place in Midlothian concerning Standard Grades, with 85% of S4 students achieving 5 passes at level 4 or higher. The school ranked second in Midlothian concerning Higher examinations with 28% of those sitting receiving 3 or more Highers.[1]


As of the 2011-2012 academic year, the school had a roll of around 600 pupils. Students in each year group are divided into registration classes which are then part of the House System. The school is divided into two houses, each named after a famous Scot: Clerk Maxwell House in honour of the 19th century physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell and Liddle House in honour of the 1924 Summer Olympics Gold Medalist Eric Liddell who was a devout Christian missionary and spent many years in China.

The school follows the Scottish Education System with pupils starting in S1 (1st year) and progressing as far as S6 (6th year). As with all students in the Scottish system, pupils may leave school at the end of S4, provided that that they have reached the legal leaving age of 16, or will have done so by the last day of September that same year.

There is a uniform policy of black trousers or skirt, white shirt and black pullover. Students in S1-S4 wear a blue and white striped tie whilst S5 and S6 students wear a black tie emblazoned with the Midlothian symbol.

Penicuik High School operates a vertical guidance system whereby a Guidance teacher is responsible for a caseload encompassing students on every year level as opposed to the horizontal system where a Guidance teacher deals only with students in one year group. It is through the Guidance Team that the school has sought to promote a greater understanding and acceptance of diversity and responsible citizenship although whole school involvement is strongly promoted.


Penicuik High also operates its own record label, Burnt Out Records, and has had numerous artists visit to make guest performances in the ‘Hub’ which formerly housed Penicuik Public Library.

Since 2006, the Guidance Team has welcomed members of the GLBT Youth group to make a presentation to individual S5 (5th year) classes; as of 2011, Penicuik High was the only high school in Midlothian to engage in this programme.

In 2007 the Malawi Partnership was established with Thyolo Secondary School in southern Malawi. Students and staff of PHS have made two visits (in 2009 and 2011) to their sister school and staff members from Thyolo have been to Penicuik High.[2] As of 2011, there were plans to finance the visit of some Malawian pupils and staff to Penicuik. Since the formation of the partnership, Penicuik High has made several shipments to Thyolo of such things as toiletries, computers, football strips and general school supplies. Amongst other things, Thyolo Secondary has presented Penicuik High School with bracelets, banners and cloths made by their pupils. The two communities also issued a joint album of songs performed by their students.

Since 2007, students in S6, accompanied by the Guidance Team, have been invited to participate in a residential in the Borders where staff guide them through various team-building activities. The first residential for S1 students began in 2009, it is held in Fife and normally staffed by S1 register teachers. There is also an ongoing and developing transition programme to assist primary school students make the adjustment to high school.

Penicuik High received its first Green Flag Award in 2010 in recognition of the achievements made in becoming an eco-friendly school. Apart from ongoing efforts such as recycling and maintaining an eco-garden, every year group takes a turn to pick up litter in the local park and street area surrounding the school.

Recent events[edit]

In September 2011, the school's Model United Nations group (formed 2009) hosted its first MUN conference at Penicuik High, with some 150 students from 11 schools participating and the Director of Education, Donald Mackay, making a visit.

September also saw S6 student, Claire Emslie, play in the Women’s Under 19 European Championship first qualifying round which was held in Finland. In October, the students raised £3,000 in aid of the Marie Curie charity which works with those battling cancer.[3]

In the late autumn of 2011 the Model United Nations group received the accolade of best delegation at the annual conference organised by James Gillespie's High School. In November 2011, the head boy took part in two Radio Scotland programmes which considered practical implications of attending university.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Exam tables by region
  2. ^ Scottish Rugby website: PHS to take rugby to Malawi
  3. ^ PHS October 2011 newsletter
  4. ^ PHS November 2011newslettter
  5. ^ School website; title page

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°49′53″N 3°13′40″W / 55.83139°N 3.22778°W / 55.83139; -3.22778