Sciennes Primary School was built in 1892. It stands adjacent to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and serves the communities of the Grange, Sciennes and Mayfield, on the south side of Edinburgh. The school is co-educational and non-denominational. The catchment area has a small proportion of association homes, the majority of housing being owner occupied. There are 22 classes, and the current roll is 652 pupils. 15% of our pupils are bilingual and approximately 20% come from outwith our catchment area. We celebrate and greatly value the wonderful diversity in the Sciennes family.
Our school is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, but can provide challenges for learning and teaching in the 21st Century. We have invested resources to create additional teaching areas to support individual and group learning opportunities. The school has a large hall, one general-purpose room, a two room library, ICT learning centre and science base. We are very fortunate to have a swimming pool situated in the basement. Three portable units house four classrooms to the rear of the building. An ‘outdoor classroom / garden’ has been created. There is a dining hall and kitchen area where our pupils are provided with school lunches. The dining / small hall is also used for learning and teaching and is the base for the Sciennes After School Care Scheme (SASCS). The small hall was refurbished to create a high quality dance studio / PE area. We consider this development will contribute to helping us reach target for our pupils to enjoy two hours of physical education. We have created a beautiful ‘quiet area’ in the playground to enhance experiences for children.
The Headteacher (HT), Mrs Alison Noble, is supported by three Depute Headteachers (DHT) - Ms Anstruther P1-3, Mrs Crolla P4 and Ms Gallagher P5-7. Currently, Mrs Crolla is also supporting Initial Teacher Education at Edinburgh University part time. Miss Pearmain has been appointed Principal Teacher. There is one full time and one part time Support for Learning Teacher (SfL), two part time English as An Additional Language teachers (EAL) and two Bilingual Support Assistants. The school also has teachers who provide Science and Modern Languages. In 2010-2011 we had two PE teachers three days a week and swimming teachers for P3 – P7. All classes benefited from an increase in PE opportunities, including curriculum swimming, tennis, skiing, dance and rugby. Our Active School Coordinator made a very effective contribution to enhancing experiences during and outwith school. We are fortunate to have good facilities in our local community.
The Youth Music Initiative (NYCOS) provided a music / singing teacher for P3 classes. A singing instructor provided singing and instrument experiences to P3 – P7. Small groups of pupils from P4 – P7 received tuition in violin, viola and wind instruments. In session 2011-2012 we will continue to have a PE specialist and increase PE teaching. We will increase learning opportunities in tennis and dance. A teacher of Gaelic who taught P5 in 2010 – 2011 has been allocated again to P5 classes.
The school greatly benefits from a full time Business Manager, Mrs Christie, who forms part of the Senior Management Team. The school is served effectively by our Administrator, Clerical Assistants, Learning Assistants and Service Support Officers. We are also fortunate to have very good catering and cleaning staff.
A range of services and agencies support the work of the school. The Sciennes After School Club Service (SACS) provides care after school and during school holidays. The holiday club service supports children and families from other local schools.
The School Council, including the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and various pro-active subgroups, is fully involved in the life and work of the school and very supportive and innovative.