Saturday, 22 December 2012

JGHS Usher Hall Christmas Concert

Thank you to Mr Howie for these stunning photographs.

Primary Seven pupils from each of James Gillespie's High School's feeder primary schools - Sciennes Primary, Tollcross Primary, James Gillespie's Primary, Preston Street Primary and Royal Mile Primary - performed magnificently at the superb Christmas Concert in the Usher Hall on Tuesday 18th December. Thank you to Deirdre O'Brien and Richard Deasley for organising the concert and for all their hard work in preparing pupils to sing in the P7 Choir. Thank you also to JGHS Headteacher Donald MacDonald for his kind invitation to cluster staff including Mrs Noble, Ms Gallagher, Mr Howie, Ms French and Miss Gaffney. We were as proud of our pupils as were the many parents and families who attended the event.

We look forward to welcoming back all pupils on Tuesday 8th January and wish all our families a happy holiday.

January 2013
Monday 7th Inservice Day Staff Resume
Tuesday 8th Pupils Resume

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Merry Christmas from P1!

Thank you very much to Ms McGhee for this festive photo taken at the recent P1 Nativity. Very well done to Ms Anstruther and the P1 team - Mrs Ford, Mrs Black, Ms McGhee and Ms Sellar as well as Learning Assistants Kate, Lorraine, Hildegard and Joanne - for an excellent, joyful production.

Please remind pupils to bring torches and wear something sparkly for our traditional end of term Carols on the Stairs tomorrow Thursday 20th December. 

School ends at 12 noon and we wish all our families a peaceful, restful, safe and happy holiday.

Monday, 17 December 2012

After School Club Panto

Emma in P2 and her sister Katie in P5, with friends from P5,  put on a terrific performance for families at a recent After School Club production of Cinderella.

Many thanks to Katie's and Emma's mum for the lovely photo.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas Countdown

Monday 17th P2 and P3 Christmas Parties
Tuesday 18th P7 Ball
P7 pupils who are performing at James Gillespie’s High School Concert have a rehearsal at Usher Hall am
James Gillespie’s High School Concert, Usher Hall 7.30-10.00pm  (P7 pupils to arrive from 6.50pm) 
P5 and P4 Christmas Parties
Wednesday 19th 10.30am Christmas Assembly St. Catherine’s Argyle 
(Due to limited space,1 parent representative from each class has been selected from those who expressed interest)
1.00pm P1 Christmas Party 
2.00pm Parent Volunteers - Coffee and mince pies in Staffroom
Thursday 20th Carols on the Stairs – children should bring torch
January 2013
Monday 7th Inservice Day Staff Resume
Tuesday 8th Pupils Resume

Friday, 14 December 2012

P4-7 Assembly 14.12.12

We have been learning two new carols: "The Holly and Mistletoe", suggested by Ms Anstruther, and "The Huron Carol". Ms Gregson is spending Christmas this year far from familiy and friends in Canada and we hope the traditional Canadian Huron Carol (also called "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") will remind her of home. We are also thinking about Miss Phillips spending time away from her family and friends and we wish them both a happy Christmas.
Canadian Huron Carol from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

P2 Nativity

An amazing Nativity performance by P2 Christmas STARS on Thursday 6th December in the school Hall. Ms Anstruther and the fantastic P2 team - Miss Kelly, Ms Ross and MissDodds with Mrs Whiteman and Mrs Wilkins - put on a superb show for families.

Thank you to Ms Ross for these photographs of the dazzling and talented P2 cast:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

"Fostering Hope" P7 Book Launched

Six children find themselves in a foster
home - three humans, an alien, an elf and a half-demon. As they get to know each other
they find the house is more magical than they could have imagined. It takes them
on adventures through time and space giving them the opportunity to learn how to work together and trust each other. They learn about life, obsession, discrimination, love, friendship, fear, acceptance, and most of all - hope.
Just being in the house challenges them to see the world in a different way. Can they learn to live together?
This book of short stories was put together through the Pencilling Creative Ideas project. The characters, settings, storylines and conclusions were devised by an inspired group of
-teens from Sciennes
Primary School,

Congratulations to our P7 published authors whose book "Fostering Hope" was officially launched today. Mary Turner Thomson has worked with the pupils for ten weeks, providing workshops which have helped them develop characters, settings and storylines and understand in depth the processes involved in producing a book.

If you haven't done so already, please log on to WisePay to pay for the workshops, launch party and book. 

Additional copies of the book can still be ordered at the discounted price of £5.00 each (RRP £6.99) from school, purchased at Blackwell's or ordered from Amazon.

Monday, 10 December 2012

P7 Sportshall Athletics Winners

Congratulations to our magnificent P7 athletes who came First in the Sportshall Athletics tournament today at Meadowbank, Monday 10th December. They have secured a place in the Finals which take place at Meadowbank on 14th January.

A wonderful team effort and many thanks for all the preparations by Mrs Beth Walker, our PE Specialist, who co-ordinates the entire event for the city. Thank you also to Mr Jonathan Wallace, Miss Jenny Gaffney and Mrs Aliya Tariq for accompanying and encouraging them to success. First place today is wonderful, but we are even more proud of their exemplary behaviour and sporting conduct. Well done P7s!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Basketball Sessions at Crags


Blaze basketball open sessions for primary school aged players have recently grown in popularity and a new session as been added.

The Thursday session is now up to 15-20 players every week with room for more players in the large games hall at the Crags. A Tuesday open session has now been added to meet the demand for basketball.
The P4 – P7 sessions are for girls and boys who are just starting out in basketball or currently play at their school and want to develop their skills.
A new weekly session for P1-3 aged girls and boys introduces basketball in a playful way. This session is run alongside the Thursday P4-7 session to support siblings and friends of different ages.
Tea, coffee and wifi is available in the reception area for parents who wish to stay for the duration of the session. Free parking is available also.
P4-7 open sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4.00 – 5.15pm. Come to either day or both days.
P1-3 open session: Thursdays 4.00 – 5.00pm
Where: The Crags Community Sports Centre (location)
Dates: Every week of the school year August to end June (excluding school holidays)
Coaches: All sessions are led by Blaze coaches with assistance from Blaze under 16/18 players

Cost: £2 per session

Thursday, 6 December 2012

iPad Scotland Evaluation Study Published

Hull University’s Technology Enhanced Learning Research group, led by Kevin Burden (Principal Investigator) based in the Faculty of Education, has recently completed the first national evaluation to investigate the use and impact of tablet technologies (in this case the iPad), across schools and homes in Scotland.

The study was based in eight schools and six local authorities across Scotland where iPad devices were being piloted to investigate a range of issues associated with the deployment of personal mobile devices as tools for teaching and learning. P7A and P6C classes at Sciennes Primary School in Edinburgh were part of this evaluation and we are indebted to the families involved in the pilot for their participation and engagement.

The headline findings from the study show that:

• The ownership of a personal mobile device, like the iPad, facilitates many of the pedagogical aspirations set out in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence framework.
• The adoption of mobile technologies on a personal basis significantly increases access to technology for students, both inside and beyond school, with many attendant benefits for learning which include greater motivation, engagement, parental involvement, and understanding of complex ideas.
• Personal ‘ownership’ of the device is seen as the single most important factor for successful use of this technology
• Teachers are equally engaged by the use of a device like the iPad which has a low learning curve enabling them to use it immediately as a teaching tool and a learning tool for themselves
• The use of the device is contributing to significant changes in the way teachers approach their professional role as educators and is changing the way they see themselves and their pedagogy:
• Parents also appear to become more engaged with the school and their child’s learning when the iPad travels home with the student

To read the evaluation in full please click on this link

Further details about the pilot project can be found here:

Monday, 3 December 2012

P7 Book Published Next Week!

We are pleased to announce that the ‘Pencilling Creative Ideas’ project has been running again for its third year and the P7s will become published authors when their book "FOSTERING HOPE" is launched on 12th December 2012.

Their book is being professionally published by WhiteWater Publishing Ltd. Perfectly timed to make ideal Christmas presents for friends and family with all proceeds of pre-ordered books going back into the school for future projects.

If you want to pre-order your copy as gifts or to keep, please pay online via Wisepay on the school website.

• A great personal gift for friends, relatives, and colleagues!
• Takes pressure out of Xmas shopping
• A lovely momento of a great school project to keep
• Lower cost as pre-ordered books will be £5 each (cover price will be around £6.99 after launch)

"Fostering Hope" provides a rare and fascinating insight into the thoughts and interests of Primary Seven pupils and how they have begun to make sense of the world for themselves and develop their own values. Through the creation of this wonderful book, Mary Turner Thomson has given Sciennes' pupils a vehicle for passing on their own strong moral messages which will be of interest and benefit to many other children, as well as adults. A glorious celebration of what you can achieve if you believe.

Boyd Anderson Ski Race 2012

Congratulations to all our P6 and P7 skiers who competed at the annual Boyd Anderson Ski Race at Midlothian Ski Centre, Hillend. Thank you very much to our parent helpers and to Mrs Clarkson and Mr and Mrs Wright for transporting the pupils to and from a practice session last week and the event itself on Monday 3rd December. Thanks also to Ms French for encouraging the teams. Callum and Robbie had to withdraw due to injuries - and we wish them a speedy recovery. Thanks Bruno for stepping in for Callum. Amazingly, the P6 team - Bruno, Robert, Lily, Grace and Holly - still managed to win third place medals! Well done everyone who took part and to the valiant efforts of Eilidh, Adam, Hector, Kirsty, Olive and Daisy!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

PTA Christmas Fair

Thank you to the PTA for organising such a wonderful Christmas Fair. Sciennes was buzzing with families enjoying warm mince pies and perusing the Silent Auction, Hamper Raffle, toys, crafts, Christmas crafts, books, dvds, lucky dip, tombola, magic show, face painting, nail bar, and 'Splat the Rat' stalls.

The total raised is an amazing £4000! Thank you to all who came along and to all the members of our magnificent PTA, Ms Anstruther and Mrs Maguire who helped make it such a success.

Santa flew in specially and was so inundated he had to leave the building early. Thank you very much Santa, and we hope the children who missed him were not too disappointed. Santa had magnificent P7 Elf helpers : Sam, Aidan, Ruka, Sara, Casey, Eilidh Clarkson, Logan, Hannah, Catherine, Isla, Sanaa, Keir, Josephe Bartlett, Holly, Dawood, Eilidh Cline and Hector. Thank you to Ms French and Gillian Clarkson for the great costumes! Here are a few snaps of some of our Elves:

PTA Christmas Fair

Sciennes PTA Christmas Fair Saturday 1st December 2-4pm. 

Come along and enjoy a coffee, warm mince pie, tombola, books, toys, home baking and visit Santa. 

Thank you to our families for generous donations and to our PTA for sterling organisation.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

British Tae Kwon Do Champion!

We think Saul in P4C might just be Sciennes' first ever British champion! Congratulations on winning first place at the recent Tae Kwon Do Championships in Coventry.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Edinburgh Gang Show 2012

Thomas and Olivia in P5C and Zoe in P5A have been performing in the annual Gang Show at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh this week.

Mrs Barker's son Michael, a former Sciennes pupil now at James Gillespie's High School,  has also been appearing in the show and features in the publicity material - in this brochure and on billboards and buses all around town!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Congratulations Chess Champions!

Well done Atharva, Joseph, Kim and Robert who were one of three teams who all came first in the Lothian Primary Schools Chess Championships!

Another sparkling success for Sciennes' amazing after school Chess Club which reflects so well on the dedication and enthusiasm of all the parents who have run it over many years. The club continues to produce numerous top quality players.

Former Sciennes' pupils now play in the Scotland Chess Squad:
Boys U14 Jamie Underwood
Boys U18 Sam Gregory

At the season's opening Lothian Schools League  Competition at the Wester Hailes Education Centre on 18/11/12, Sciennes teams swept the board winning all 3 sections.
The P5 & Under section was won by the Sciennes A Team - Angus and Theo Michell, Sergi Mackinlay Vich and Paul Wang.
The P6/7 Challengers section was won by Sciennes B Team - Jingzhong Fan, Paul Tiplady, Olivia Kay and Akilan Ganeshram
The P6/7 Seniors section was won by Sciennes A Team - Robert Davis, Joseph Bartlett, Kimberley Zou and Atharva Patwardhan.
On and individual basis, Theo  had a perfect result with 6 wins out of 6, whilst Robert, Atharva, Sergi and Paul Wang were close behind losing just 1 game each.
In recognition of this feat Robert Davis, as Captain of the Senior Team, was invited to make the presentations to the prize winning teams.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Scots Fiddle Festival

Thank you very much to Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal who performed at the P4-P7 Assembly on Friday and talked about their experiences of playing fiddle and guitar. Eilidh organises the Scots Fiddle Festival and we hope some of our families managed along to join in the fun at the weekend, including a closing 'Stramash' jam session.

Computer Xplorers After School Club

Lynne Kerr gave a presentation at Friday's Upper School Assembly to give details of the next round of her highly successful after school Computing club which begins in January for P5-P7. Look out for application forms this week.

We are hoping to be able to extend the club to P1-P4 after the February break and will give details later in the session.

Children in Need 2012

Very well done to Ms French and Primary Seven for organising donations and Pyjama wearing to raise money for Children in Need. A final total will be announced here soon, which looks like exceeding £500! Thank you to everyone for supporting them in their endeavours.

Stuart in P2A won the Pudsey competition.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

National Literacy Network - eLiteracy at Sciennes

Sciennes was delighted to be invited to Stirling Management Centre on Thursday 8th November to share ideas and practice with colleagues from across the country. Published author and Sciennes' parent, Mary Turner Thomson, was able to share how her innovative and enterprising "Pencilling Creative Ideas" project has enabled three successive P7 year groups to become published authors themselves. Workshops on writing, editing, illustrating and marketing have provided a real life context to explore what is involved in publishing a book and our pupils' books are available in bookstores, on Amazon and Kindle.

"On the Line"
"On the Line" Kindle edition
"Mother Nature's Children"
"Mother Nature's Children" Kindle edition

Time Education Supplement Article

We also shared how we had created an ebook published in iTunes for our school's 120th Anniversary, using sponsorship from the Big Lottery Fund and Growing Confidence scheme. The first instalment is available as a download.

This book was produced using a Mac computer and iBooks Author software, with some of the content coming from a Google Doc, some from an existing printed Centenary Booklet which was digitised using OCR software and some content from pupils using iPads. This book could only be published using a Mac computer and the downloaded book can only be viewed on an iPad.

Sciennes is part of a national 1:1 pilot using iPads in one P6 and one P7 class.
Children in the P7 class with Ms French have created their own ebooks from scratch using an app called Book Creator.


Fiona Barker's innovative practice in using a Wikispace for 'Big Writing' and Reading Conferencing was also highlighted.

We have had tremendous support from Susan Varga of City of Edinburgh Libraries and we shared how their Overdrive app gives access to hundreds of free ebooks and resources on our pupils' iPads.

Sciennes was also fortunate to be invited to make a presentation at Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 1st November at the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) Technology Conference where we shared how 1:1 iPads are enabling greater personalisation and choice within learning and teaching.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Pudseys Pj party Friday 16th

P7s organising fundraising for Children in Need.
Wear your pyjamas or dress up as Pudsey or Blush-donation of up to £1.
Prizes for best dressed!