Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Early Learning and Childcare Parent/Carer Surveys

City of Edinburgh Early Learning and Childcare Parent /Carer Survey-increase in hours-closing date 22/9

City of Edinburgh Council Communities and Families has received more than 800 responses to this survey so far. We wish to encourage as many parents/carers as possible to complete the survey by the closing date on the 22nd of September

The Scottish Government plans to expand Early Learning and Childcare services to almost double the number of funded hours from 600 currently to 1140 each year.  These extra hours will be available to all children aged 3 or 4 and for some children aged 2 and will be in place by 2020/21.  Families should have choice and flexibility in how they use services - including whether they use all of their child's funded hours and whether they use them during school term-time or throughout the year. 

By early learning and childcare, we mean all pre-school education such as nurseries, early years centres, childminders and playgroups.

City of Edinburgh Council is keen to maintain high quality early learning and childcare services as they change and expand, to make them work well for you and your family.  To do this, we need your help so that we can plan for the future.

We want to find out what your experience of early learning and childcare is really like in Edinburgh - whether you use it or not, what you like and if there's anything you think could be changed or improved.

Please help us with this by taking some time to complete this City of Edinburgh Council survey.  It should only take around ten minutes.

Please respond using the link to the survey below:



Scottish Government Survey of Parents and Carers

If parents/careers would like to complete a complementary Scottish Government survey, you may do so using the link below:

This Scottish Government survey is for parents and carers of children aged under 6.  The survey isn't for childminders or other providers of early learning and childcare, unless in your capacity as a parent.

The survey asks about your use of and experiences of early learning and childcare (ELC) or what was commonly known as ‘pre-school education’.  Children aged three and four, and some eligible two year olds, in Scotland are currently entitled to 600 hours of free early learning and childcare every year.  The Scottish Government plans to expand this to 1140 hours per year by 2020.  These government funded places are provided by a range of organisations such as nurseries, childminders, playgroups or family centres.

To help plan for the increase in free ELC hours, the Scottish Government is interested in hearing the views of parents and carers on how they use early learning and childcare at the moment, and how they might use this in the future.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

NEW! Book your Parents' Evening Consultation Online from Monday

We now have a new booking system for Parent Consultation Evenings. Our Parent Consultations are on Tuesday 26th and Thursday 28th September from 4-7pm. The new GroupCall system will allow you to choose appointments for your child/children and bookings will open on Monday 28th August at 9am. 
Go to:

PLEASE NOTE: You must type this address into your website browser’s ‘address bar’. Do not try to ‘Google’ this website address or use a search engine as that will not work. This is a common mistake on phones and tablets especially.
Login to see which appointments are available and select one that is convenient for you.

You will need:
•Your title and surname (these must match those we have on record for you)
•Your child’s first name, surname and date of birth

Video Help Guides

The system is live from Monday 28th August and will be open to take your bookings until 17th September at 3.25pm.

Once you have selected your preferred booking method and once in the correct parents’ evening, follow the relevant instructions from below:
  1. Individual Bookings:
    1. Scroll down until you see the booking table. Above it are the departments and teachers which are available to you.
    2. Select the department, then teacher, and click on an available time to make a booking. When you selected a time, you’re able to add any issues or comments for the teacher to take note of before the appointment.
    3. Repeat this process, making bookings for all of the teachers you need to.
    4. If you need to cancel or rearrange an appointment, click on the correct department and teacher, then click on the green appointment to change it.
    5. If you need to make bookings for another child, scroll to the top of the page. In the top left corner you should see a ‘Make a Booking for Another Child’ icon. Click this. If there is no icon, the software does not recognise that you have multiple children. This just means that you’ll need to log out and log back in again using the other child’s details.
    6. Once you have made all of your bookings, click on either E-Mail or Print my Appointments. Appointments are saved when they are made, so you don’t have to e-mail or print to ‘save’ them, but doing so will provide a confirmation with further information, possibly including rooms and instructions from the school.
  2. Automated Booking Wizard
    1. Select the teacher you wish to book. You can press ‘Select All’ to select all options
    2. If you have a second child to make bookings for then select their tab and repeat the teacher selecting process
    3. Proceed to the bottom of the page and specify your personal availability, then press Make My Bookings For Me
      1. If the wizard replies that bookings are not feasible, you have not left enough time and need tp reduce the number of teachers or increase the amount of time you’re available.
    4. Now see a list of your booking suggestions. Feel free to add comments to teachers you wish to book, if allowed
    5. Press Confirm to confirm these appointments as your bookings
    6. Press Print or E-Mail to initiate your confirmation.

    How do I login to the Parents' Evening Booking System? from Parents' Evening Booking System on Vimeo.

    How do I make an appointment? from Parents' Evening Booking System on Vimeo.

    How do I cancel or rearrange appointments? from Parents' Evening Booking System on Vimeo.

    How do I make an appointment for my other child? from Parents' Evening Booking System on Vimeo.

    How do I print my Parents' Evening Booking System appointments? from Parents' Evening Booking System on Vimeo.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Be The Captain of Your Ship

On Friday 25th August 2017 we introduced pupils to Skipper, the lead character in a Health and Wellbeing programme called 'Building Resilience' which has been developed by a group of Edinburgh staff led by Karen Richmond (South Morningside Primary) and Pattie Santelices (Principal Officer Mental Health & Welllbeing, City of Edinburgh Council.) The programme complements and re-enforces our own Health and Wellbeing programme, developed by Carolyn Anstruther and staff, with support from our Parent Council Health and Wellbeing group, and well established over several years.

Primary Seven pupils from P7B helped introduce ten strategies that we will focus on throughout the year to help our pupils build resilience to support good mental health. We all got on our feet to sing 'Stronger' and considered Kid President's message that things in life may not always be 'awesome', but our response can be. Pupils were invited to research 'Resilience Role Models' at home and create a poster. A selection will be shared at next week's Assembly.

We congratulated our two Fringe Festival actresses Hannah and Faye who have had rave reviews for their stage performances. Zoe in P4A wowed us with her Spanish language skills and we celebrated Aiden and Louis' tremendous achievements competing in an international mathematics competition in Beijing over the summer holiday.

Pupils were reminded that Pupil Council and ECO rep elections will soon take place and to prepare speeches if they wish to stand for election.

Article 24

You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Aim High, Let Your Ambitions Fly!

On Friday 18th August we welcomed Primary Four pupils and all new pupils to their first upper school assembly. We also welcomed Miss Jennifer Ferguson and Miss Sophie Mitchell to the Primary Five team and Ms Anisimoviene to the Primary Four team.

This year, we are revisiting our school vision and values so pupils were invited to think about what is most important to us in the Sciennes Family.  We are extremely grateful to parent Emma Kirk (CEO User Vision and Convenor of the Parent Council Communications Group) who recently led an excellent session to help the whole staff revisit and reflect on our vision and values. Pupil Council leaders will soon be elected, one from each class P2-P7, who will then be able to join in on discussions and support the process.

We explored ways to respect everyone's right to be safe and right to learn at Sciennes. Primary Seven pupils helped explain what 'The Golden Rule' means.

Showing respect universally unites us all: in the classroom, in the school and beyond, as global citizens.  Brad Montague's moving film ' Smuggling Hope' was shown to help us all continue to believe that we can all make a difference by upholding our values.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Off To A Great Start!

We have all enjoyed welcoming back pupils to Sciennes, refreshed and ready for learning after the summer break. We are very grateful for your support with school uniform and helping us to discourage the children from wearing jeans.  Please note that P1-P6 pupils wear navy blue, with our royal blue uniform reserved to distinguish our P7 senior pupils. (Summer dresses for girls should be blue or red.)

As well as our new Primary One pupils, we have many new pupils throughout the school who are already settling extremely well . We warmly welcome back Principal Teacher Ms Shona Pearmain and Class Teachers Ms Jenny Gaffney, Mrs Emma Kidd and Mrs Kat Watson from maternity leave. We are delighted to welcome Miss Jennifer Ferguson to P5 and Miss Nicolle Chewun to P3. Miss Sophie Mitchell, MA Student, joins the P5 team and will later join the P2 team.

Thank you for equipping pupils with sharp pencils, rulers, glue sticks, coloured pencils and erasers (which can also be borrowed) in pencil cases as well as a water bottle and full P.E. kit which includes a change of clothes and a change of indoor shoes in a P.E. bag. Pupils will require P.E. kits in school each week and we appreciate labelling of ALL items of clothing. P7 pupils will have the privilege of using the Meadows at lunch break from 12.45pm-1.15pm from Monday so should bring a change of shoes in a bag.

We encourage our pupils to be punctual, arriving ready to enter school by 8.50am at the latest and are grateful for your support in ensuring the children are ready to make their way into school from 8.45am. P1 classes will continue to line up and be escorted into school by their Class Teachers at 8.50am.

Further information can be found in our online weekly newsletter from Mrs Noble - The Sciennes Flyer.  Each year group will soon receive a paper copy Class Newsletter from their Class Teachers containing an overview of the term and detailing forthcoming informal 'Meet the Teacher' sessions. Each class has its own blog which will be added to throughout the year and you can access using the CLASSES tab above.

We regularly Tweet updates (which include posts from each of our school blogs, and also publish posts on our Facebook page) so we encourage you to sign up to Twitter and follow us to keep informed.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all our families a safe and happy, sunny summer holiday. Pupils resume on Wednesday 16th August.

Parents and carers of any new pupils in P2-P7 joining Sciennes for the first time should accompany them to the Hall on the first day of the new session where they will be met by a member of the Senior Leadership Team and taken to class.

We are grateful for parental support in ensuring all our pupils wear school uniform and details of this can be found in our School Uniform Policy:

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Where Has the P7 Class Page Gone?

All Class Pages have now been moved on a year for 2017-2018 and can be accessed from the CLASSES button on this website. We have also changed from using Blogger to Wordpress for our Class Pages and some others.

This year's P7 Page has become 'Class of 2010' and can be accessed from the LINKS buttons on the Sciennes website (see screenshot below)

Friday, 30 June 2017

Mrs Noble Leads the End of Year Assembly 2017

This video captures just a glimpse of another busy year at Sciennes Primary School.

Sciennes Primary Schoool Review of 2016-17 from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Happy 125th Birthday, Sciennes!
Well done to all our pupils, staff and families for working so hard and so well together throughout 2016-2017, "in all the good times and in all the bad times."

Once a year we all come together in the Hall -  twenty two classes from Primary 1 to Primary 7 - for our End of Year Assembly, led by Headteacher Mrs Alison Noble. We were delighted to welcome Parent Council representatives: outgoing Co-Convenor of Fundraising and Events (EFG), Aileen Nimmo and new Chair of EFG, Jayamthi Sanahanam. Mrs Noble thanked them both, and also Phoebe Cochrane (Chair of Parent Council) and Tim Pask (Vice Chair of Parent Council, for the huge contribution they have made to the school throughout the year, particularly in creating opportunities to WOW our pupils with the World of Work Summer Fair. Phoebe and Tim will continue in their posts as Chair and Vice Chair of the Parent Council in August.

Mrs Noble invited everyone to take part in the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge taking place at libraries across the city, including Newington Library. 

Mrs Noble led everyone in our fond farewells to staff and pupils who are moving on.  

We wished Miss Stewardson well in taking up a teaching position in Madrid for a year

We wished Mrs Joanne Hogan well in taking some time out to study.

The Sciennes Family wished Mrs Sally Nowell, Pupil Support Assistant a very happy retirement after 17 years of tireless dedication at school. Mrs Nowell's knowledge and love of literacy have successfully developed and honed reading skills in hundreds of pupils over the years and we will miss her sorely, as a colleague and friend.

Mrs Claire Ford, Senior Teacher and Class Teacher to P1D is retiring after 33 years dedicated service to the children and families at Sciennes. Mrs Ford has made a wonderful contribution to the life and work of the school and is loved and respected by all. We will miss Mrs Ford tremendously but we are very glad that she will keep in touch and keeping our fingers crossed we might be able to coax her back from time to time!

A rainbow bench, using designs created by P5A, is being developed for the playground to commemorate Mr Hewitt
We marked the recent passing of our very dear friend and colleague, Mrs Linda Young, who retired from Sciennes in 2014 after a teaching career which began at Corstorphine, then Rosewell before she joined Sciennes, dedicating herself to all the many children in her care here for over twenty years. Mrs Young was full of fun and very thorough in supporting her pupils' learning. She also had a wonderful ability to enable each of her pupils to create outstanding artwork. She was dearly loved by us all and will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and best wishes are with her family.

We wished fond farewell to our wonderful Primary Sevens, very proud of their confidence and readiness for the next steps to secondary school and beyond. Mr Howie provided an end of term treat with a video of staff dancing to The Soupdragons "I'm Free." P7 sang the finale song from their show beautifully and it was a joy to see them dance a conga together in the Hall at the end of Assembly.

Words penned by Mrs Claire Ford for Sciennes' 120th Anniversary
Mr Howie created a funny video of staff dancing to "I'm Free' by the Soupdragons as an end of term treat for our wonderful P7s. Publishing our end of term staff videos makes it less likely the will join in, so below is the next best thing...

Mrs Noble rang the bell and led them out in procession as the other classes lined the stairwell on the last day of term. Keep in touch, Primary Seven! A wonderful year group and you can be truly proud of all you have achieved together. We look forward to hearing of your continuing success.

Wishing all our families a safe, happy and relaxing holiday. We look forward to welcoming pupils back to Sciennes on WEDNESDAY 16th AUGUST.

P5 Scottish Opera

The Tale o' Tam o' Shanter from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Thank you very much to parent Jimmy Chow for filming and editing this great video of P5's Scottish Opera performance.

Sports Day 2017

Sciennes Sports Day from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Thank you very much to parent Richard Melvin for creating this joyful video of Sports Day.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

UNCRC Art Project with Together Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights

UNCRC panels destined for Scottish Parliament in the Autumn
We hope that families will take an opportunity to come into school this week to see the wonderful UNCRC panels on display in the foyer outside the Gym Hall before the end of term. They will also be on display in the Scottish Parliament in the Autumn.
Juliet Harris and Liz Millership visiting to see UNCRC panels created Together 

Chelsea Stinson, Children's Voices Project Manager from the Children's Parliament (based at Summerhall) approached us with a very exciting opportunity to work with Together - the Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights (see video below).  


Over the past few months, Together and the Scottish Universities Insight Institute  hosted four seminars on children's rights in law, practice and policy, sharing national international examples of good practice with a diverse group of delegates: 

As part of this seminar series, Together have been working to ensure that children and young people play a key role and that key messages from the seminars are accessible to everyone. Together commissioned artists Joanna Boyce, Yonnie and Lyver to work with our P6 pupils to present key messages in a creative and engaging way.

Three young people who had attended the seminars (Joel, Thomas and Suki) interpreted the key messages and themes then P6C pupils from Miss Stewardson's class - Arwen, Thomas, Alma, Luis, Eilidh, Isaac, Eamon and Rachel - worked closely with the artists to visualise the imagery suggested, for example 'rights in the clouds', 'a policy factory', 'a meadow of rights' and 'connected in a daisy chain.'

During the project on 7th, 8th and 9th of June, Miss Stewardson's whole class discussed and worked on visualising UNCRC articles, particularly Articles 42 Everyone should know about the UNCRC (finding ways to depict 42 of the articles) and 31 The right to play.

Isaac - The Policy Factory

The Policy Factory, but where are the children?

The Policy Factory from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Thomas - Right in Reach?

How can we help all children to reach their rights?

Reaching for Rights from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Luis - Teardrop

A tear for the child who says, "No one asked me."

Teardrop from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Eilidh - The Children's Rights Clan

The Clan, all Together for Children's Rights, including Joel, Thomas and Suki

The Children's Rights Clan from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Alma - Right at the Heart

Getting It Right, at the Heart

Children at the Heart from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Eamon - Equations

It All Adds Up - every child born has the same rights

Equations from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Rachel -The Meadow of Children's Rights

Take a journey along the panels to reach the Meadow of Children's Rights

The Meadow of Rights from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Arwen - Daisy Chain

All connected Together

The Daisy Chain from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.