Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sciennes' Birthday Song

Fabulous, creative model birthday cakes are adorning the school and everyone has been learning our special Anniversary song. The street will be closed from 7am on Friday and thank you to all the parents who have volunteered to string and display the children's bunting.  At Assemblies Azfar in P4C will be presented with a prize for his winning motto "Believe. Achieve." Look for Miss Mackintosh and Ms McGhee's fabulous wider achievement display - view it from the opposite stairwell to get the full effect of the pupils' photographs spelling out our new motto. 

Former staff have been invited to an informal reunion on Thursday 31st May 6-8pm in the Hall.

We look forward to welcoming current families and younger siblings to our celebration family picnic on Friday 1st June at 12pm. ...and the weather forecast is looking good!

In the year of 1892
Our school first opened its doors
And the girls and boys from all around
They arrived in hordes and hordes

Aim high let your ambitions fly
Always be the best you can be
Believe. Achieve in all you do
And happy you will be

From slates and chalks and inks and nibs
To whiteboards, computers and pens.
You never know what your future will bring
But friends will still be friends.

Our school it is a happy one
For kids and adults too
And so it will continue
As each person begins anew

Words by Mrs Ford
Music by Mrs McVicker

Monday, 28 May 2012

Interscholastics at Meadowbank 28th May

Elena P6 receives silver medal for 80m sprint

Elena with event organiser Mrs Beth Walker
Well done to all our P6 and P7 athletes who competed today in the EPPSA (Edinburgh Primary Schools Sports Association) Interscholastics at Meadowbank. 30 P6 and P7 pupils took part in relay, cricket ball throw, 600m, 150m, 80m, high jump and long jump events. We moved position in the stands a couple of times to enjoy the glorious sunshine but also to cover up in the shade. Thanks very much to Mrs Sally Nowell for accompanying and to Flora's mum and dad and Jack's mum who came along to lend their support. It was good to see Mr Wallace and Miss Logan and very well done to Mrs Beth Walker, our PE Specialist, for co-ordinating the entire event for the city. Pupils achieved many healthy fourth place positions, in the heat and up against strong competition from the 40 schools who took part. P6 boys made the semi finals of the relay and P6 girls did very well to reach the finals of the relay. Congratulations are in order for P6 pupil Elena Santoyo-Brown who gained a silver medal for the 80m sprint event.

More photographs on the P6 and P7 pages Class Pages>Primary Six and Primary Seven published soon.

PTA Summer Fair Volunteers Welcome

Sciennes School Council Communications Group has produced an online form for volunteering at the PTA Summer Fair on Saturday 9th June

Dads, mums and carers are needed to volunteer for the Sciennes PTA Fair - we have an online form to make it easy to sign up. Please click on this link to see all the different ways you can get involved. Any amount of time, however small, will be very much appreciated.

The link is

Thank you.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Dozen Decades Picnic in the Playground Friday 1st June 12pm

We are very much looking forward to the 1st June 120th Celebration Family Picnic and do hope for sunshine. You should have received a separate email with a timetable for the day. Please note that the picnic is for current pupils, parents/ carers and younger siblings. Unfortunately we do not have space to include older siblings. Wonderful to see all the model birthday cakes arriving already. Final day due day is Monday when competition winners will be judged in each class.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

P5B Bake Sale

Congratulations to Anna, Grace, Lily, Eva, Rosie, Isla and Megan from P5B who raised a spectacular £179 for Marie Curie Cancer Research.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Cabinet Secretary Michael Russell at Sciennes

It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Michael Russell (Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning) and Jim Eadie (Edinburgh Southern MSP) to Sciennes on Wednesday 16th May to announce a national project examining best practice in using tablet computers and mobile devices for learning and how they can be introduced in schools on a wider scale. Mr Russell was warm and relaxed in his manner and gracious with his time. We were all impressed by the attention he gave to our P6 and P5 pupils. Thank you to Bruce Crawford, Chair of the Sciennes School Council, David McKee Senior ICT Development Officer, Karen Prophet Education Manager (with remit for Technologies), Derek Robertson National Adviser Emerging Technologies Education Scotland and Mary Turner Thomson, Sciennes' parent and author, for attending.

In a classroom crowded with P6 and some P5 pupils, school administrators, Scottish Government officials and journalists, Michael Russell, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, saw students Amir and Mixie deliver a presentation on the history of games consoles, using iPad apps and including a video produced on the device.

“There are a number of pilots already underway around the country, including the use of iPads here at Sciennes. I have asked Education Scotland for recommendations on how we can realise the benefits of mobile technology for all learners in Scotland, including ensuring how we get the best possible value for our schools, and whether national guidance is needed for the sector,” said Russell.

In two of the Sciennes' pilot classes, Ms French's and Mrs Barker's students get to keep the iPads throughout the day, taking them home to complete assignments. In other classes, particularly Miss Gaffney's and Mrs Watson's,  pupils are using the devices only in school.

Students at Sciennes showed visiting adults not only their astounding ease with technology that most of their elders have yet to get to grips with, but also the ways the technology is being used to enrich the learning experience. Classes have set up their own ‘wiki’ pages to share information and research; can be set work by their teacher in a blog format, and return it for correction; and can use a variety of free educational applications. Over the school’s wifi network, the students also have free access to the digital collection of the City of Edinburgh Libraries, introduced to Sciennes by Susan Varga.

The pilot raises a variety of interesting questions – not least whether the technology can  improve education outcomes. As well as the recommendations Education Scotland will compile, research is being conducted by Apple and by Hull University to try and establish the impact of such pilots. The pilot also raises issues of cost – both of the hardware and software involved – as well as safety questions relating to unsupervised access to the internet. However, the enthusiasm of the pupils and staff at Sciennes for the devices was self-evident.

What is also clear is that an iPad in every Scottish state school pupil’s book bag is not on the immediate horizon. The Scottish Government is conscious of the cost that would entail, and Russell confirmed that there is currently no budget to purchase iPads for students across Scotland.

However, the Cabinet Secretary declared himself to be “excited” by what he saw at Sciennes and said the Scottish pilots offer a unique learning experience around how technology can be better put to use in the classroom.

“I want Scottish school pupils to be both connected and collaborative and I want to see digital technology being used purposefully both in and out of school,” said Russell. “The range of mobile devices that are now available and the promise of what they can bring to teaching and learning is very exciting and something that must be embraced. I want to drive forward a culture change in Scottish education and ensure new technologies can be embedded into learning. This is an exciting time to be at school, and we must ensure that the potential for technology to aid learning in Scottish schools is maximised.”
by Paris Gourtsoyannis
Photographs with acknowledgement to Stewart Attwood The Herald, David Bremner The Scotsman and The Evening News. Thank you to Seonag MacKinnon, Education Correspondent for BBC Scotland.

This morning I visited Sciennes Primary in Edinburgh to see the Primary 5 & 6 iPad Pilot Class.

It was a fantastic visit to a school with real enthusiasm and strong educational leadership visible at every level. The children themselves were immersed in deep and connected learning and their teachers are dedicated and committed to getting the best every day.

I think Education Scotland and the country is going to learn a lot from these pilots in various places, using various technologies. And much joyful learning is already taking place."

The Daily What - iPads for Learning

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

P6 Pupils Win Tag Rugby Competition!

Congratulations to P6 pupils Amaya, Sam, Eimear, Alex H, Elena, Jude, Hector, Murdo, Esther, Iqbal, Danny and Struan who won the inaugural EPSSA (Edinburgh Primary Schools Sports Association) Tag Rugby competition on Monday 14th May at Murrayfield. Many thanks to Mr Jonathan Wallace (our Active Sports Co-ordinator) and Rory (Tag Rugby Sports Development Offficer) for accompanying and helping select the team, along with our PE Specialist Mrs Beth Walker who also helped co-ordinate the event. Not only did the pupils win, but they also showed fantastic sporting attitudes. A genuine credit to themselves and the school.

Bea Wins Silver Medal for Fencing

Congratulations to Bea in P6A, sporting a silver medal won in a recent fencing competition.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Swimathon Timetable Mon 14th - Thurs 17th


























Wednesday, 9 May 2012

P5 Scottish Opera

Well done Primary Five for a truly spectacular performance with Scottish Opera on Tuesday 8th May. Superbly well prepared and word perfect! The P5 teachers worked so hard to help prepare the children. Thank you to families who helped support at home and for the fabulous turnout on the day.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A reminder that Monday May 7th and Monday May 21st are holidays.

Friday, 4 May 2012

PTA Swimathon

Less than 2 weeks to go before our Swimathon starts. Your child should have received a sponsor sheet and timetable. Although we have provided hard copies of the sponsor sheet we would encourage you to donate through our Charity page at BT MyDonate will substantially reduce the administration time involved in collecting money and claiming back Gift Aid. We would welcome helpers to count laps/lengths and to generally cheer and encourage. If you are able to spare some time please contact the Chair of the PTA, Emma Laurenson at


Thanks to all who supported this year's fairtrade fortnight. This year, Sciennes pupils and staff made individual pledges to take a next step towards supporting Fairtrade in their own way. There were lots of fabulous ideas from having Fairtrade bananas for snack time to giving Mum Fairtrade flowers for Mothers' Day. The Fairtrade tuckshop, cake sale and hampers raised £204.12 which will be used to buy Fairtrade resources for the school. Congratulations to Daisy Phillip (6A) and Romy Purser (1A) for winning the hampers.
Ms Ross

Information about Trips/School Events

A reminder to all parents and carers that information regarding trips/events is posted on Wisepay. To alert parents an e-mail is sent to the relevant class/year group when a new posting is made.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Actress Lynda Bellingham launches the Generations@School Project at Sciennes

Actress Lynda Bellingham joined the children at Sciennes Primary School, Edinburgh, to launch the European Commission Generations@Schools Project in the UK on Thursday 26th April, 2012.

Lynda talked to the children about what it is like to be older and the bond many children have with their grandparents. She read a short extract from a book and afterwards answered questions from the children about what it was like being on Dr Who and how much she enjoyed dancing on Strictly Come Dancing.

"It would be lovely to see as many schools as possible getting involved in the Generations@School project in the same way Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh has today", Lynda declared. "It’s a good way to help encourage more interaction between our generations."

The Generations@Schools project is part of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, and it encourages schools to invite local community members like the St Catherine’s Argyle Church Lunch Club in Sciennes, who also joined the launch, into the classroom to build closer intergenerational relationships.

Head Teacher at Sciennes Primary School, Alison Noble, said: "Our choir, orchestra and classes perform at the lunch club, which helps to build our children’s confidence. We’re very keen to develop this project to help develop and expand our established links."

Wider Achievement Day Friday 4th May

So many of our children have  had tremendous success in their pursuits and activities this session and P6 and P7 pupils are aiming for Bronze and Silver in Edinburgh's Junior Award Scheme Scotland (JASS). All pupils P1-P7 have been asked to dress up on Friday 4th May for Wider Achievement Day. Pupils can decide to carry a musical instrument, or book or tennis racket, or wear a badge or medal to illustrate their personal achievements.  Ms Mackintosh and Mr Hewitt have organised the day in celebration of the pupils' achievements.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Thursday 3rd April

A reminder that school will be closed to pupils on Thursday 3rd May for election day.