Sunday, 7 February 2016

P7 Sporsthall Athletics EPSSA Silver Medallists

P7 pupils came joint Second place at the Edinburgh Final of Sportshall Athletics on Monday 11th January at Meadowbank Stadium and narrowly missed out in competing at the East Scotland Final. We wish Bonaly (who came First) and Bruntsfield (who came joint Second but with 8 First Place events to Sciennes' 4 First Place events) success in the forthcoming event. Thank you to Mrs Beth Walker for providing Silver EPSSA medals to all the pupils who took part.

Sportshall Edinburgh Final by Luke P7B
At Sportshall it was great. We had amazing fun and Liam in P7C set a new Edinburgh record of 6.7 metres and won a gold medal! At first the team were 8th and after the next event we were 4th.

The further we got through the day the more tense it became and when we got to the results everyone was so nervous and excited to see how we did but no matter how we did we went in with a message that we all remembered. No matter how well we do we can only try our best and trying our best is what we should be proud of. When the results came in we were joint 2nd with 176 points! Yash from P7B said “It was an amazing experience and loads of fun.” I'm sure everyone else would agree with him.

A Gold Medal for Liam!

Liam set a new Edinburgh Record in the Chest Push Event


Fencing Fun

Thank you to Parent Council Clubs Co-ordinator Tim Pask for forwarding these fantastic photographs from Keith Cook's Fencing Fun Breakfast Clubs last term. Keith has presented all the pupils with Achievement Certificates and it's great to see so many of our pupils taking part.

Keith Cook
Director of Fencing Fun

Saturday, 6 February 2016

P4-7 Assembly 5.2.16

At the P4-7 Assembly on Friday 5th February P7 House Captains helped us think about the Golden Rule and how it can help us to RESPECT each other's RIGHTS.

Fergus from the Pupil Council explained the 1 in 5 Make a Difference Award. Pupil Council leaders will collect class ideas next week. (P6 pupils can contribute their ideas when they get back from camp.)

P6 pupils will achieve one quarter of their Bronze JASS Award - the Adventure Certificate - when they attend Benmore Outdoor Education Centre next week.

Tanatallon are still in the lead with House Points!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Edinburgh Playing Out Meeting Tues 9th February 7.30pm

Edinburgh Playing Out is a group which is trying to encourage residential streets to have some car free time to promote playing / social time outdoors.
Interested to find out more and get involved?

Curriculum Evening – Health & Wellbeing

The Emotional and Mental Health information evening will take place in school on Thursday 4th February at 7pm. There is no cost for this evening, but we ask all interested parents / carers to book a place on Wisepay to give us an indication of the uptake. 

The aim of the evening is to highlight the importance the school places of developing happy, resilient and confident pupils. 

We will consider three main topics during the course of the evening: 
Mindfulness – to provide a brief outline of the many benefits of mindfulness for children, and to introduce the new Pawsb mindfulness programme 
Emotion Talks – to explain the programme for talking and learning about emotions and emotional well being that is used throughout the school 
Mindset – to discuss of how we foster a Growth Mindset in our pupils – the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort, persistence, trying different strategies and learning from mistakes.

Carolyn Anstruther, DHT, and Fiona Denvir, Parent Council

Free Event - Edinburgh Play Rangers 17th February 12pm-3pm

Edinburgh Play Rangers Event
Dumbiedykes Park

1 in 5 - The Make A Difference Award

1 in 5 Raising Awareness of Child Poverty in Edinburgh – The Make A Difference Award 

What would you do with £250 to help Make a Difference

Sciennes' Pupil Council met on Friday 29th January to plan a school wide launch of City of Edinburgh's 'Make a Difference Award'. Pupils will take the lead in encouraging fellow pupils, classes, staff and parents to submit ideas of how they would use the award money to help make a difference to children and families living on or below the poverty line in our school community. 

Your ideas might involve:
  • Raising awareness of the realities of living in poverty in the UK.
  • Contribute towards reducing school costs e.g. uniform, trips, books and resources for those most in need.
  • Support income/benefits advice and management for families.
Any other ideas you might have to Make a Difference? 

Schools will submit their top three ideas for judging by an independent panel. the winners from each school will then be invited to present their idea at the 1 in 5 Launch and Roll Out event on the 22nd March before receiving the £250 award money to take forward their idea in their school.

Who can enter?
Individual or groups of staff, parent councils, individual pupils or classes/tutor groups.

Submission dates for ideas?

How do I/ we enter?
Contact your school to receive a Make a Difference Award submission form.      

Article 26 The right to have help if you are poor or in need
Article 27 The right to have a good enough standard of living 
Article 28  The right to learn


P4-7 Assembly 29.1.16

P6 finalists Ben, Rachel and Cai competed to win the Steven Lui cup for Burns Recital at the P4-7 Assembly on Friday 29th January 2016. All three contenders were outstanding, giving an exceptionally high standard of performance. Congratulations to Rachel who edged forward with her very confident delivery and stage presence to win the trophy this year. Very well done to all our finalists and to all the Primary Six pupils who took part. Last year's winner, Yash, presented the cup to Rachel, which will be engraved with her name.

Jonathan in P7B, assisted by Sam, gave a superb account of how he set about achieving the 'Me and My World' section of his Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) award by supporting local charity Re-Act Scotland. An exemplary model for other pupils to follow.

P7 commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January and this 'Don't Stand By' video links HMD to the current Refugee crisis (though we had difficulty showing it at Assembly due to an erratic broadband connection).

Thank you to the Sports Captains for their contributions to this week's Assembly in celebrating pupil successes and sharing school news.

Pupils were reminded that ALL SHOULD BE ON TIME BY TEN TO NINE.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Website Strategy

We have been working with Graeme Smith, Web and Contents Manager for City of Edinburgh Council, to devise a long term strategy for our school website.  We have been considering making improvements to our website for some time, and this has been hastened by our website provider ceasing trading last week. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

The Council has selected CGI to provide its ICT services (previously provided by BT) and the new contract begins on 1st April 2016 for seven years. The Council's preferred platform for school websites is Wordpress and in time, may be able to offer web hosting for schools as part of CGI's facilities.

We have now taken our first steps in moving to a new website hosted by local company Braw Solutions which has a great deal of experience in supporting Edinburgh schools. We have worked closely with Steve Moore from Braw Solutions over several years to input to the design of eJASS and pilot it for CEC. 

Wordpress is a new platform for us and it will take some time to populate a new site but we believe that the strategy we are taking is in line with planned CEC developments. Meanwhile, we will continue to use our Blogger site and the url

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Normal Service Resumed with Website

Our website address now takes you automatically to our Blogger site, which we will continue to use meanwhile.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

P4-7 Assembly Friday 22nd January

On Friday 22nd January we celebrated highlights from Sciennes' P1-7 Scotland Week and enjoyed P4A pupil performances of "The Dark Island." Caela and Essie encouraged everyone to be kind to one another and sang "Mean" confidently. Taha, Declan and Sonny showed their Beat Box skills and the House Captains congratulated pupils on recent successes and achievements.

We also welcomed former pupils Jessica, Katie and Anna to speak to P4-7 pupils. The girls are now in their Sixth Year at James Gillespie's High School and are about to embark on a visit to Zwelinanzi High School in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, as part of a longstanding twinning between the schools. Pupils and families have been asked to support JGHS's annual Donate a Pencil Case appeal. Donations will be gratefully received and can be handed to the School Offfice until 9th February. Jessica, Katie and Anna will collect them before they fly off on 11th February.

Mr Howie's Assembly last week used William Earnest Henley's poem "Invictus" to encourage everyone to recognise what we can and cannot control, then take charge of what we can control. This week, we continued thinking about how we can respond when things do not work out as well as we might hope and watched Kid President's "Life is Like a Comic.'

"Sometimes you miss the football. Sometimes the tree eats your kite.
Things won't always be awesome, but our response can be."

Website Provider Ceases Trading

Our website provider has been experiencing difficulties for several months and has now ceased trading. We will continue to use Blogger meanwhile and aim to direct traffic to to this site:

Longer term possibilities with providers and hosting are being explored.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

P4-7 Assembly Friday 15th January

Yes you can! You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Mr Howie led the P4-7 Assembly on Friday 15th January and focused on William Earnest Henley's poem "Invictus" to encourage everyone to recognise what we can and cannot control then take charge of what we know we CAN change.

Toby in P7B gave an outstanding performance of "The World in Union", singing and playing the piano beautifully, and the Sports Captains did a superb job of celebrating recent pupil successes.

Hopscotch Theatre: Burns' Last Supper

Pupils in P4, P5 and P6 were enthralled by the exuberant, highly crafted performances of Ruth and Ross from Hopscotch Theatre when they visited Sciennes on Wednesday 20th January to give two performances of "Burns' Last Supper" in the round. Superb acting captivated our pupils, who also thoroughly enjoyed the music that enhanced their excellent storytelling. Bravo!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Sciennes Parent Council Family Ceilidhs

Sciennes Parent Council
 Family Ceilidhs
6.30pm – 8.00pm
Thursdays 21 and 28 January 2016

Ceilidh dancing with the McAlastair Ceilidh Band with June Underwood and her Highland Dancers. A fabulous fun evening for everyone.
Tickets on Wisepay NOW
Adults £4 and Children £3 each.
(Tickets include refreshments and shortbread.)

Volunteers are still needed to help out with Parent Council events and need only take a few hours of your time. Sign up here or email Thank you.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

CEC Parent/Carer Survey 2015/16
There is still time to complete the annual City of Edinburgh Parent and Carer Survey, to contribute your views about the educational provision within our school establishment. We are keen to gather as many responses as possible, so please click on the link and select 'Sciennes Primary School' to complete. The survey is open until January 18th 2016. 



Children and Families in the City of Edinburgh Council is keen to find out what parents and carers think of the education services it provides. We want to hear what you think works well and what needs to change.

Your views will help us plan our services locally and across Edinburgh. By telling us what you think, you will be helping schools to make improvements.

The questions will take about 10 minutes or so to answer.

Your answers are anonymous and no-one will be able to identify you from your answers. We do need you to tell us which school your child/children attend.

If you need more information or help to answer any of the questions, please contact David Maguire on 0131 529 2132 or by email:

If possible, please complete the questionnaire online. Alternatively, you can complete a paper copy and return it to your child's school.

Thank you for your participation.

House Assemblies 8th January 2016

On Friday 8th January we welcomed back pupils to the new session at our House Assemblies for Grange, Lauder, Sienna and Tantallon. House and Sports Captains asked pupils to think about their goals and challenges for the coming year.

Our playground has been inspected several times and while a further request is being considered, pupils were reminded to avoid the cordoned off area meanwhile. Pupil feedback on the new gravel was very positive.

Great to see almost all of our pupils in school uniform, and we appreciate parental support in continuing to encourage this. Warm, hooded jackets with hats, gloves and scarves at the ready, please, for colder weather forecast for next week.

Active Schools Clubs

Dear Parent/Carer

Active Schools is delighted to offer a range of sport and physical activity extracurricular opportunities for Term 2. I have tried to ensure all year groups are included in an activity/club at least once a week and hope that there is something in the programme that your child would like to do. If there is something your child would like to do and it’s not on the programme for this term, please ask them to let their pupil council representative know or tell me, Heather Davies, your Active Schools Coordinator.

All clubs continue to be paid for through our school's on-line WISEPAY system.
Numbers on each club are limited. Once this limit is reached payments will NO LONGER be accepted. Please access the system ASAP to ensure your child attains a place.

If your child is interested to attend, please:
Access our on line WISEPAY System
Login with your Username and Password and select Tickets and Events.
Select and pay for your chosen clubs, remembering to tick to agree consent.

Every attempt will be made to inform children and parents/carers in advance when a club has been cancelled. However, occasionally cancellations happen at the last minute; you will be notified by Text Message. Please therefore, if possible, provide a mobile number when completing your child’s EE2 form this year.

The school and I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents, teachers, tutors and volunteers who put so much time and effort into organising the sports and clubs for the children. Without them these activities would not take place.

Heather Davies
Active Schools Coordinator
James Gillespie’s High School and Cluster Primaries

Follow us on Twitter: @ActiveSchoolsED

Parent Council Clubs

Happy New Year to all and please check out the Parent Council clubs available to book for 2016!

Some important information about the next term:
All clubs will recommence W/b January 18th 2016 and will run through until Thursday 24th March.

You can register your child for any club by contacting the club leaders directly from their listing on the Parent Council website although some are operating a waiting list. You will be advised by the club leader if this is the case.

The clubs timetable is posted on the parent council website:
More details about each individual club including contact details can also be found on the website:


The club leaders will also inform you of any other dates that impact on individual clubs eg parent consultations etc.
Term ends Thursday March 24th - recommences Monday 11th April.

Any enquires should be made in the first instance to club leaders.
General enquiries should be made to Tim at 

Hope you have great term!
Sciennes Parent Council (Clubs)

Parent Council Meeting Thurs 14th January

All welcome

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Pupils Resume Thursday 7th January 2016

We look forward to welcoming pupils back to school on Thursday 7th January.

Best wishes to all our families for a healthy and happy 2016.



Term starts Thursday 7 January 2016
Mid term break
  • Monday 15 February - Friday 19 February 2016
Term ends Thursday 24 March 2016
Easter holidays
Friday 25 March - Friday 8 April 2016


Term starts Monday 11 April 2016
Mid term holidays
  • Monday 18 April 2016 , Spring Holiday
  • Monday 2 May 2016, May Day
  • Thursday 5 May 2016, staff only day to coincide with Scottish Parliament election 
  • Monday 23 May 2016, Victoria Day
Term ends Thursday 30 June 2016

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Sciennes Winter Fair - YOU Made All the Difference!

Winter Fair – well done to all of us, we’re great!
You baked, you donated, you ate, you raffled, you tombola’d, well maybe not. Anyway, the point is, you were great and all in all you raised £5,000 pounds, so thank you!
In particular, we want to thank all parents, carers, staff and local businesses who donated their time and goods. And of course, we want to thank those pupils, present and past, who gave up their Saturday to make sure the whole thing ran smoothly.
Phew, that’s a lot of thanks. However, one final thanks, that’s right, wait for it, you’ve guessed it, to the big man with the red coat, big black shiny belt and white beard who took time out of his hectic schedule to be with us on the day.

Season’s Greetings to all from Sciennes Parent Council

Saturday, 12 December 2015

RoSPA Post-Installation Inspection of Playground Report

Click on the link or on the document preview below to view the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Post-Installation Inspection Report on Sciennes' Playground, commissioned by City of Edinburgh Council:

RoSPA Post-Installation Inspection Report


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Chief Medical Officer Launches 'Who's In Health?'

Sciennes was thrilled to host Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood on Tuesday 1st December to launch the  'Who's In Health?' project in Scotland. Mrs Noble and our Science Specialist, Mr Mark McKenna, worked with the CMO's team to help deliver a programme of discussion and activities for P6C pupils, designed to encourage more young people into medical careers.

Chief Medical Officer launches campaign to show children why literacy, maths and science matters.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood today visited Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh to launch the Primary Futures ‘Who’s in Health?’ campaign; to help young children understand how people in the health sector use literacy, maths and science in their jobs.

Who’s in Health? is a free initiative for state primary schools run by the Education and Employers charity in partnership with the Medical Schools Council. It encourages volunteers from the healthcare sector to visit primary schools and chat informally to children about their jobs. This is to help the children (aged 7–11) see the relevance of what they are learning - especially in science, mathematics and English - and to broaden and raise their future aspirations. Volunteers may be hospital doctors, GPs, nurses, ambulance drivers, high street pharmacists, healthcare assistants, dieticians, surgeons, midwives, students and researchers to name just a few. Volunteers and schools connect via the free online service Primary Futures.

The schoolchildren were joined by medical student Callum Cruickshank who is in his fourth year at the University of Edinburgh and founded the “You can be a doctor" programme - an online resource to give young people the support and information they need to become a doctor.

Dr Calderwood told the children in the Schools Science Centre about her medical career and her role as Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. She said:

“Whether you are an obstetrician and gynaecologist like me, a GP, radiographer or psychologist, currently studying or a qualified professional, your talent and enthusiasm can be a fantastic motivator for children. I’d encourage as many of my colleagues in healthcare to get involved and connect with schools. I want to ensure we encourage as many young people as possible into hugely rewarding professions, like mine.”

Director of Employers and Education, Nick Chambers said:

“Many children see certain areas of health, such as medicine, as not an option for them, either because they don’t know anything about it or because they believe that such futures are for other, perhaps more privileged people. Who’s in health? inspires children and help them see the relevance of what they are learning – to careers in healthcare. The scheme is aimed at pupils aged 7-11. It is not necessary to have experience of outreach work with young people. Signing up only takes a few minutes and from there you will be put in contact with primary schools.”

The Who’s In Health initiative supports the Developing Young Workforce strategy, which encourages more employer engagement with education to support reducing youth unemployment by 40% by 2021. In addition, the new Career Education Standard (3-18) aims to better support all children and young people in making informed decisions, not only in terms of subject choice but future pathways and learning opportunities. The revised Work Placements Standard sets out expectations for the young person, employer, school, local authority and parent/carer before, during and after work placements.

Who’s in Health? is run jointly by charity Education and Employers, the National Association of Head Teachers, and the Medical Schools Council. The Medical Schools Council represents medical undergraduate and postgraduate education and training.

Primary Futures: 0207 566 4880
Medical Schools Council 0207 418 5427

Thank you to Richard Lyall (Chief Medical Officer's Team, Scottish Government) for organising this very exciting opportunity for our children.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Problems Accessing Website

Our Website Provider, Internet Kit (formerly IK Schools), has been experiencing difficulties in updating their servers over the last few months which has sometimes resulted in a message 'No input file specified' when trying to access our site. It is a major undertaking to move to a new host, but is an action we have been exploring.

Meanwhile, please access our website via this address:

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date. We currently send a Tweet each time a post is added to our website, Class Pages and many other school blogs which automatically updates our Twitter account. We also pass on information about local events and initiatives via Twitter.

We are always interested to hear any comments regarding our communications so please feel welcome to email with any feedback.