Friday, 20 December 2013

Support for Parents and Carers

This leaflet details winter support programmes, activities and groups for South Central Parents and Carers.

Further information from:
Helena Reid
0131 672 2629
Development Officer Parent and Carer Support
City of Edinburgh Council

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Festive Fun

A bit of festive fun from Ms Anstruther...

We told the children at the Christmas Assemblies that the staff often wonder why the photocopier isn't working on a Monday morning and Mr Reid and Mr Scott often wonder what has happened to all the recycling. Elves at play when everyone else has gone home...

Try the Elf Yourself app or go online at if you want to try it out for yoursELF.

We wish all our families a wonderful, relaxing holiday and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Tuesday 7th January.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Professionally Produced Nativity DVDs

We are indebted to Alasdair Allen's grandfather, David Allen, (alias 'Papa David') who professionally filmed and edited outstanding footage of this year's P1 and P2 Nativities. Geoff at Quadrille Media produced the DVDs for us and they are now on sale through WisePay. They can be collected from the School Office.

David Allen worked as an executive producer and director at the BBC for 33 years. As well as making programmes, he was responsible for the BBC Computer Literacy Project before moving on to work on multimedia and production development. Since retiring in 2002 David has produced videos for organisations such as the BBC, Historic Royal Palaces (Kew Palace and the Tower of London) and the Bluebell Railway.

We humbly thank utterly charming David for his time, effort and great expertise.

JGHS Christmas Concert

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 17th 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, Ms French and Mrs Barker. We were as proud of our pupils as were the many parents and families who attended the event.

David The Champ!

Congratulations to Scottish Champion Boxer David in P7, seen here proudly sporting his medal. Well done for achieving this national award, David!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Wow! Record Breaking Christmas Fair

This year’s Christmas Fair raised a whopping £6,129! Thoroughly well organised and supported.  Grateful thanks to the Sciennes PTA and all volunteer helpers. A phenomenal total!

Party Season

Parties have been in full swing! Check out the Class Pages for some more photographs.
P2 had a special visitor at their party ....

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thank You Sciennes Shoppers!

Thank you to the 111 supporters of Sciennes Primary School PTA who have raised an amazing  £1,148.19

just by shopping online with There are no catches and it's completely free to use.

It's really simple – just shop online via with over 2,700 well known retailers like Amazon, Argos, M&S, eBay (and many more!) and whenever you buy something online, the retailer makes a donation to your chosen good cause.

It doesn't cost you a single penny extra.

Get started now –

No one can see details of what you have purchased - or any of your personal details - only a running total of amounts raised. Friends and family could raise funds for Sciennes, too! If you join and then refer someone who joins, Sciennes PTA will receive a £5.00 donation automatically.
Thank you to all our Sciennes Shoppers!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

P7C Book Review Blog

Ms French and P7C have set up a fantastic Book Review Blog. Well done to all the P4 and P5 pupils who have been sending them their book reviews. What a great way to share recommendations! More reviews are on their way  from Primary 6 in the next few days. We know you love to read over the holidays, so get ready to do some more reviews for P7 C in the New Year!

Computer Xplorers: Scratch Hour of Code

President Obama, Apple and Microsoft are backing Hour of Code, which aims to get 5 million students in 33,000 classrooms around the world to learn at least one hour of computer science this week.

Lynne from Computer Xplorers gave each of our Primary Seven pupils an exciting session on using Scratch - programming software which can be downloaded for free. Next term she is running sessions on Kodu for Video Game Design in her After School Club - see WisePay in January.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Computer Xplorers Workshops for P7

Our friends at Computer Xplorers have kindly offered free workshops in Scratch to our three P7 classes this week in Hour of Code Week.

The Computer Xplorers After School Clubs are hugely popular - check out WisePay from 13th January 2014 for details of their exciting projects for next term.

The P1-P4 Computer Xplorers Club will run on Mondays 27th Jan - 24th Mar exploring Anithings Cartoon Creation. The P5-P7 Computer Xplorers Club will run on Tuesdays 28th Jan- 25th March exploring Kodu for Video Game Design.

Hour of Code Free Apps

I think everybody should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.

 Steve Jobs


Hopscotch Coding for Kids

Hopscotch Tutorial

 Daisy the Dinosaur

Computer programming for 5-8 year olds

Scratch is available for free as a download, though not for mobile devices yet.

Scratch  Christmas Card

Try the Scratch tutorial


Teach yourself code with Khan Academy


Take a step further with Code Academy

Sign up for a free account to advance to next levels.

The Hour of Code 9th-13th December

Friday, 6 December 2013

A Man Who Truly Believed and Achieved

“It always seems impossible until it's done.”
                                     Nelson Mandela

Rave Reviews for the Lyceum's "A Christmas Carol"

P3-P7 pupils visited the Lyceum Theatre on Friday 6th December to see their production of "A Christmas Carol" and were completely bowled over by the performance. Rave reviews from delighted pupils, parents and staff who thought it was expertly played and staged. A real winner!

"The best Lyceum Christmas Show ever"

"Christmas in a box'

"Spellbinding from start to finish"

"Perfectly pitched"

"Truly magical"

Thank you to all the parents who accompanied and to our Community Police Officers for escorting.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

PTA Christmas Fair Amazing Raising!

Thank you to all the families who came along to the Christmas Fair on Saturday 30th November.  This fun-filled event included a magic show, craft activities,  tombola, home baking, face painting, lucky dip, hamper raffle, P7 crafts and games, an appearance from Santa and lots, lots more. We are indebted to Aileen Nimmo, Chair of the PTA and all the parents, pupils and staff who worked so hard to make the Fair such a success. An amazing £5300 was raised in two hours!

Keeping Sciennes Beautiful

The Eco Committee, Mr Kearton, Mrs Mackay and Mrs Nowell would like to thank the Sciennes families who stayed back after school on Friday 29th November to support their Clean Up campaign.

Children from P1 to P7 enthusiastically wielded litter pickers and bin bags supplied by the Council and Keeping Scotland Beautiful.

With everyone's help  one of the big school bins was completely filled  in just half an hour!

It has been found that where litter is already present in an area, people are more likely to drop their litter. Hopefully, just by making the Sciennes area cleaner, people will be deterred from dropping litter in future.

Look at what was found! Well done everyone!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Apple TV
We would like to thank Jamie Marshall from XMA and London film maker Anton who produced this very glossy film explaining 1:1 at Sciennes, and how our programme sits within City of Edinburgh Council's vision and strategy for technology in our schools.

What we find most striking is the remarkable confidence of our pupils in discussing the impact of iPads on their learning.

1:1 Expanded at Sciennes

Ninety eight P7 pupils at Sciennes now have exclusive use of an iPad to support their learning for school and home use. Thank you to all the families who came along to the Launch night and to Anna Mitchell and Richard Burgess from City of Edinburgh's DigITal Learning Team for their expert advice and support. Thanks also to Class Teachers Mrs Fiona Barker and Mr Forrest Howie, Headteacher Mrs Noble and Business Manager Ms Christie. Ms Wendy French's class have had exclusive, personal use of an iPad since April 2011 (with Mrs Barker in P5 and P6) and we are delighted to be able to expand the programme to an entire year group. We will invite families back into school for hands on workshops and informal drop in surgeries and look forward to working together.

"Sciennes Scenes" Book Launched

 Published authors! Thanks Mary Turner Thomson! Angelita, Ben and Ciara read extracts from their book "Sciennes Scenes" and Jemima, Reda and Callum gave speeches at our Launch in the Hall.
 Celebratory cake all round in each class!
 Robyn Thomson was in P7 when her year group's book "On the Line" became our first book published with her mum, Mary. Today marked the publication of Sciennes' fourth book.
Callum impressed us all with his no notes speech. Fabulous!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sciennes Scenes

The P7 pupils become published authors and will have their own book launch party on Thursday 28th November when they will be given one copy of their book each. Many thanks to Mary Turner Thomson for guiding them through the entire process of planning, writing, editing, marketing and advertising through a series of workshops.

1:1 iPad Programme Thursday 28th November 2013

N.B. All parents/carers in P7A and P7B, please note that two contracts require to be completed online before we can issue your child with an iPad on Thursday 28th November 7.00pm-7.45pm.

Parent/Carer and Pupil iPAD Responsible Use Contract

Pupil ICT Responsible Use Contract 

A child friendly version of the iPad Contract is available which can be more easily understood by your child and we ask that you read it together before completing the online contracts above.

We would also appreciate parents/carers completing this Doodle Poll if you plan to attend the Launch on Thursday 28th November and to make an alternative arrangement to come into school if you cannot attend the Launch.

 Thank you

Edinburgh Gangshow

Congratulations to P6 pupils who performed so successfully in the Edinburgh Gangshow at the King's Theatre.

More photographs on the P6 Class Page, where they received this lovely comment:

Congratulations to all! You were fantastic - I know how hard you all worked in rehearsals and it was worth every minute. The show was brilliant - and the Junior Gang were the best!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Saul in P5 is Tae Kwon Do World Champion!

Last November we posted about Saul's remarkable success as Sciennes' first ever British Champion. We are all so incredibly impressed by his amazing achievement in being crowned Tae Kwon Do WORLD CHAMPION for his age group. All the more remarkable because he only took up the sport a year and a half ago, when he joined a Sciennes Active Schools Club. Saul is also Scottish Champion and we wish him success in the European Championships in Switzerland later this year.

More photographs on the P5 Class Page.

Anti Bullying Week 18th-22nd November

Sciennes held House Assemblies for Grange, Lauder, Sienna and Tantallon on Friday 22nd November. Our theme was Anti-Bullying to tie in with the annual nationwide Anti-Bullying Week campaign. All our P6 and P7 pupils have completed an online survey about bullying for City of Edinburgh. Our House Captains read poems at the Assemblies and we talked about what bullying is and what we can do together to stop it.

Research shows potential of mobile tech for learning

Posted on City of Edinburgh's Bright Futures Blog by
Pupils getting creative with their devices
Sciennes pupils getting creative with their devices

A study on the use of mobile technology in Edinburgh schools has found that students become more creative and independent when given their own tablet computer.

The research focused on the experiences of pupils in two high schools and two primary schools.
David McKee of the Digital Learning Team tells us more about the findings.

Throughout session 2012-13, mobile devices were given to all pupils in a year group or class in four schools across the city – Gracemount High School, Forrester High School, Broomhouse Primary and Sciennes Primary. This approach, often referred to as ‘1:1 digital learning‘, allows pupils to use their devices in and out of school, creating a seamless link between class and home learning.

The research, carried out by Hull University, identified a number of benefits to learning including increased independence, engagement and motivation. There was also evidence that teachers were developing new approaches to learning, and setting more authentic and realistic tasks for pupils.
Parents were also enthusiastic – one Sciennes parent said:
It has definitely helped him to be more independent; his creative writing is now that of a child way beyond his years as he is not held back by the slowness of pencil and paper.
Many more Edinburgh schools are now working towards 1:1 digital learning, with over 6500 iPads already in use across the city.
You can see our Digital Learning Team blog for more about the Edinburgh 1:1 Mobile Evaluation.
Also see a recent article about the study in TES Connect: Students upwardly mobile with iPads.

Author Visit to P1 and P2 in Book Week Scotland

Many thanks to author Linda Strachan for her visit to P1 and P2 and sharing the adventures of "Hamish McHaggis" which all take place around Scotland. Very apt for Book Week Scotland
25th November to 1st December.
More photographs on Primary One's Class Page.

Linda will also be bringing Hamish McHaggis to our friends at local bookshop Looking Glass Books in Edinburgh on Sunday 1st December. Looking Glass Books is located in Quartermile, just off the Meadows, 3 Porters Walk, Edinburgh, EH3 9GG.

Christmas Fair Silent Auction


On offer at Saturday’s silent auction, a Daytime Personal Training Session with Alex Arthur MBE, nicknamed "Amazing" Alex Arthur! Arthur is a former British, Commonwealth, European Boxing Union and WBO super featherweight champion.

On offer at Saturday’s silent auction, a Family Ticket to A Christmas Carol at Royal Lyceum
Treat yourself to a generous helping of traditional Christmas fayre with the classic tale, beautifully adapted for stage by Neil Duffield. This much loved story perfectly captures the magic of Christmas and positively sparkles on stage with an ensemble cast playing the many memorable characters -Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, Mrs Fezziwig, Tiny Tim and, of course, the old humbug himself, Ebenezer Scrooge Esquire!

Scrooge is shown the cruel mistakes and misconceptions he has made during his life when the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit him one cold and wintry night in December. He comes to his senses and realizes that there is more to life than being mean and miserable – and that a kind heart and generous spirit makes the world a happier place for everyone.

With Christmas carols, a wonderfully evocative set and the odd flurry of snow, this show will bring the joy of Christmas straight to the heart of Edinburgh. DON’T BE A HUMBUG!
See more at:


On offer at Saturday’s silent auction, 2 tickets to the matinee performance of Scottish Ballet’s Hansel & Gretel at the Festival Theatre on Saturday 11th January.

Unwrap a tasty new Christmas treat next year with the world premiere of Christopher Hampson’s fantastical Hansel & Gretel.

Scottish Ballet is excited to unveil Artistic Director Christopher Hampson’s first full length ballet for the Company. 

This brand new Hansel & Gretel takes creative twists and turns inspired by the Grimm Brother’s famous fairy tale – and the stories and imagination of the people of Scotland.

Meet Hansel, Gretel and a bewitching ballerina who is not at all as she seems. Deliciously surreal, mouth-wateringly inventive and with more than a sprinkle of festive magic - do you dare to go down to the woods next winter on an enchanted journey with Scotland’s national dance company?