Thursday, 30 April 2015

Dance Division Dance Academy at the Crags

Join Cat Perry and her team at the Crags on Fridays for Dance Academy:
Hip Hop Crew (P3-7) 2.30pm-3.15pm and
Mini Movers (P1-2) 3.15pm-4.00pm.

Email Cat or call 07951017221

P6 'TRYathlon' Event on Wisepay


P6: Edinburgh `TRYathlon' Event
Tuesday 5th May 2015 9.00am 12.00pm

Active Schools, in partnership with triathlonscotland and Edinburgh Leisure, have invited our P6 pupils to the 2015 Triathlon Event. This free annual event will again be held at Forrester/ St Augustine's High School on Tuesday 5th May 2015.

The Race distances will be: 40m Swim (approx. two lengths of our pool)/ 400m Bike / 400m Run. Pupils do not need to be strong swimmers but should be confident in the water. This is a participation rather than a competitive event where pupils will be encouraged to give Triathlon a try `TRYathlon.'

Pupils will travel by travel coach leaving school at 9.00am SHARP. Once the pupils have completed the event, they will be able to take part in many extra activities that will be provided. (Pupils who do not wish to participate in the event will remain in school with Ms French and Mr Anthony.) We will return to school in time for lunch but pupils should bring snacks and water for the morning as well as a bag to store their clothes. Pupils should wear a swimming costume underneath biking/running kit and can bring a towel if they wish.

Pre event Kit Crate
Kit crates will be provided for all participants in the St Augustine's Games Hall. Following the swim, participants will put on their bike and running kit from their crate and enter the transition to cycling. Primary Schools will complete 1 lap of the Pitch Crates will be removed following the pool section and taken to St Augustine's Games Hall for collection after the event.

Participants will be directed from the Games Hall into the Pool area with their crates where they will have a full brief of what will be expected. Staff will make it clear if there are any weaker swimmers at the Pool. Noodles and floats can be used by any participant. The participants will collect a goodie bag at the finish line and the opportunity for pictures with Elite Triathletes can take place here.

P6 pupils have been asked to note interest and we have up to 65 places available. Please log on to Wisepay and book a place if you wish your child to participate and email with any questions.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

EPSSA Swim and Dive Gala Team Photos

Just published! Great photos of the Sciennes' Swim and Dive Team who took part in the Edinburgh Primary Schools Sports Association (EPSSA) gala at the Royal Commonwealth Pool on Wednesday 1st April. Thank you to Mrs Beth Walker, one of our PE Specialists and Swimming Teacher, for organising and compering the event  for all city primary schools.
Sciennes' Swim and Dive Team 2015
Gold, Silver and Bronze Diving medals on the podium (with Boris waiting in the wings for his Gold medal)

Sciennes Diving Team
Katie's Silver medal

JGHS Active Schools Co-ordinator Jonathan Wallace (centre)
Katie Silver, Mia Gold, Boris Gold and Mhairi Bronze Diving medals!
Freya, Stella and Zoe

Sciennes Diving caps donated by Parent Council last year, organised by parent Jacqui Wright

More details and photos from the event were published earlier in the term:

Monday, 27 April 2015

Two First Place Racquet Trophies for Yash!

Four P6 pupils - Yash, Matilda, Nikolina and Morgan - represented Sciennes in the Edinburgh Primary Schools Sports Association (EPSSA) Racquets Tournament, playing Badminton and Table Tennis competitively against other city schools at Meadowbank Stadium on Monday 27th April.

Yash came First Place in both the Boys' Badminton and the Boys' Tennis Table events! Matilda came Second in the Girls' Table Tennis event and Morgan and Nikolina also played very well and all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Many thanks to Ryan Harrower (CEC Racquets Development Officer) and Mrs Beth Walker (one of our PE Specialists) for providing this excellent opportunity for the children. Thank you to Mr Terry Anthony who accompanied the pupils in the morning and Mrs Sally Nowell who escorted them in the afternoon. Yash will have his name engraved on both trophies and also received a badminton and tennis table racquet. A fantastic achievement!

Thank you to Mrs Walker for this photograph taken at Meadowbank.

First Place Fencing Salver for Milenka!

Congratulations to P6 pupil Milenka who achieved First Place in a recent Scottish Fencing Youth Development Series competition and was awarded with an engraved salver.

Margret Represents Scotland in British Gymnastics Competition

Margret was competing on behalf of Scotland in the British finals for Level Compulsory 4 girls born 2006 (highest level for 9 yr)
The team did well and gained valuable experience from participating in the competition. Well done, Margret!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sophia Raises Funds for Playground

Great enterprise and initiative from P4 pupil Sophia, and a fabulous amount of reading! Thank you, Sophia!

This weekend Sophia Walker (P4A) participated in a 24 hour Readathon to raise money for the Sciennes Playground Redevelopment. During that time she read 382 pages. We have pledged 10p for every page read, and have donated 38.20 to FSS on her behalf. We've also set up a MyDonate page for her. 
Tanya (Sophia's mum)

UPDATE 30.4.15 Sophia has now raised an amazing £100 for Playground Developments!

Achieving Junior Award Scheme Scotland

At Sciennes, we seek to recognise and celebrate our pupils' wider achievements as Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Responsible Citizens.

JASS AWARDS in P6 and P7
We aim to allocate about six months to the Junior Award Scheme Scotland (JASS) awards at Bronze (P6) and Silver (P7) Levels and we include as many holidays within that time as possible - from the beginning of the October holiday until the end of the Easter holiday - to help pupils achieve their goals. Throughout May this term, pupils have been asked to give a short five minute talk explaining how they have achieved either 8 (Bronze) or 12 (Silver) hours in each of the four categories: Get Active, Stay Active; Adventure; My Interests; Me and My World.

Our pupils take part in so many sporting activities throughout the year that many easily achieved the minimum 8 hours in a just few weeks!

Most of our pupils have easily achieved the minimum 8 (Bronze) or 12 (Silver) Adventure award at Benmore or Lagganlia but there are many other ways to take part in adventurous activities, such as those available at the City of Edinburgh partner Outdoor Learning Centre - Bangholm - including hillwalking, kayaking mountain biking and climbing. Scout camp and Earth Calling events for example, cycling or walking trips in the outdoors - such as the P6 Cycling Adventure trip - and P6 orienteering activities earlier in the term with Ms French also count!

Any hobby or interest or skill (other than sport) such as baking, sewing, calligraphy,  learning a musical instrument, performing in a show, reading, language learning, photography or computer programming for example, can count towards achieving the 8 (P6 Bronze) or 12 (P7 Silver) Me and My Interests award.

Me and My World Ideas:

Making a Difference to Others - in school, at home, in your community, locally, nationally
This year, our pupils have generously supported local and national charity fundraisers: Food Bank, Children in Need, Poppy Day, Comic Relief, as well as taking part in Playground Fundraising events at school including Camera Obscura Family evening, Christmas Fair and the forthcoming Swimathon. Participation in these events counts towards the 'Me and My World' JASS award, as does making a difference at home such as helping family members or neighbours. Many of our pupils attend the Earth Calling after school club or Woodcraft Folk, or have taken part in Eco projects and may have been involved at home or school in recycling or gardening or planting in the playground. Helping out with Litter picking counts towards the 8 hours and Miss Gallagher, P3 Class Teacher and Eco Team leader, is planning a Spring Clean Litter Pick Up in the local area this term. Pupils might consider preparing and delivering a presentation about a charitable or environmental organisation (to the class or even at Assembly) or deciding to give their time in some way to help others in school, at home or in the community.

Although we encourage pupils to aim to complete 8 hours in each category by the end of the Easter holiday, there is still time to achieve the award since Pupil Talks will take place throughout May. Any P6 pupil unable to achieve Bronze this year can continue at that level in P7. (Pupils at James Gillespie's High School aim for the Gold JASS Award -18 hours in each category - by the end of S2.)

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Swimathon 11th-15th May

Cycling Stars and Sciennes Pupils Launch Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

Article in Herald Newspaper by Susan Swarbrick April 25th 2015

Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Louise Haston and her Team Scotland team-mate Kerry MacPhee were joined by 150 pupils to launch the programme for the 2015 Edinburgh Festival of Cycling.

The youngsters from Sciennes Primary School in the capital were celebrating the event's third year.
It will run from June 11 to 21 and features a celebration of all things cycling including films, books, photographs, talks, workshops and organised rides.

This year's festival will shine the spotlight on inspirational women in cycling.

Guest speakers include Shannon Galpin, a campaigner and activist who is using cycling to champion women's rights in Afghanistan, and Juliana Buhring, the first woman to cycle around the world.

Author Tamara von Werthern will talk about her play, The White Bike, which was inspired by the death of Eilidh Cairns from Northumberland, who died aged 30 after being run over by a lorry as she cycled to work in London six years ago.

Other events will include the inaugural Capital Trail, a self-supported mountain bike adventure route covering 147 miles through the stunning landscapes and remote trails of southern Scotland.

An estimated 4000 cyclists are expected to descend on the capital today for the fourth annual Pedal on Parliament ride to lobby for safer conditions on the nation's roads.

Celebrated Author Janis Mackay is Sciennes' Patron Of Reading!

We are absolutely delighted that Scottish Author Janis Mackay has recently become Sciennes' Patron of Reading.

What is a Patron of Reading?
A Patron of Reading is a school's special, designated children's author with whom the school forms a personal attachment. The author might be a writer of fiction, a writer of non-fiction, a poet, a storyteller, a graphic novelist or an illustrator. They will work with the school for a period of approximately three years to raise the profile of reading for pleasure with pupils, parents and staff.

Ms Bethan Owen's P5 pupils were so utterly spellbound by the story and characters in Janis' award winning book "The Accidental Time Traveller" that she arranged a visit to the National Library of Scotland. There they had fantastic support from NLS staff to examine the diaries and letters of a little girl called Marjorie Fleming, who lived in Fife and Edinburgh around 1820, and on whom one of the central characters in the book is based. Following discussion about the Patron of Reading Scheme with Liz Gray (City of Edinburgh Senior QIO for Literacy and Languages) and given the truly inspiring NLS experience and the fact that Janis is a local author, Ms Owen decided to contact Janis directly to ask her to consider becoming our Patron of Reading. We are all thrilled that she has agreed to link with us and has responded so enthusiastically. We look forward to welcoming Janis to P5A next week and to speak at both P1-3 and P4-7 Assemblies on Friday about her books "The Wee Seal", "The Selkie Girl" and "The Reluctant Time Traveller."

Tweet from Janis:
Calling creative kids - want to write? today? creative writing workshop @ScotStoryCentre with author Janis Mackay 2 - 4pm. for age 8 - 15
Janis is also performing at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Thursday 30th April in a City of Literature Tradfest performance called ‘Sassie Lassies’ – stories of women and girls with a Canadian storyteller and a musician at 7.30pm

Janis Mackay (2nd from left) receiving Scottish Children's Book Award in 2013

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sciennes Helps Launch Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2015

On Friday 24th April, Sciennes Primary helped launch Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2015, with our first Cycle to School Day of the new term.

 Edinburgh Festival of Cycling programme.

Later, P4-7 pupils at Assembly celebrated the life of John Muir and learned how small changes can have a big impact.  On Earth Day, earlier in the week, we received the thrilling news that we would be able to expand outdoor learning for all our children, with a successful bid to SportScotland Legacy 2014 for £56,000 towards playground improvements! Our blog post about gaining our Third Green Eco Flag was also published on Earth Day, in City of Edinburgh's Bright Futures blog. School Grounds and Transport, along with Litter, are the eco topics we are focusing on in aiming for our Fourth Green Flag in 2016. We are looking forward to taking part in Living Streets' Walking campaign in May.

Article in today's Herald by Susan Swarbrick

Scottish elite mountain biker Kerry MacPhee and Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Louise Haston with 150 Sciennes' pupils and families
Business Manager Angela Christie (far left) is our key driving force in Sciennes' Active Travel initiatives
Angela Christie

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling Press Launch in Sciennes' Playground

Great photo Markus Stitz

Thanks to Chris Hill for "Sciennes Cycle Ride The Movie"


Pitching to Save the Planet
Sciennes' parent Nigel Douglas is posing the question to Sir Richard Branson, do you “Want to Save the Planet?” via his “Pitch to Rich 2015” competition.

Nigel is Founder and CEO of Global Surface Intelligence (GSi) and seeks your help in voting for his pitch to win Virgin Business' exciting competition. Please share via social media networks and vote now to help Nigel's innovative software mitigate climate change.

Outstanding Photography
Yet more wonderful photography by Markus Stitz who has published all photographs of the launch of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling (edfoc) on Flickr:

Ross Crook who supports our Cycle Training and leads an after school Bike Club at Sciennes

Kirsty, one of our Junior Road Safety Officers
Chris Hill, former Sciennes' parent and great friend to the school who supports our Active Travel initiatives
Lovely smiling faces

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Innovative iPad Modelling for Pupils and Staff
Andrew Jewell
Anna Millar
Andrew Jewell (Head of Education and Development, Scotland for iTeach-UK) and Anna Millar (formerly of City of Edinburgh's Digital Learning Team) are providing us with iPad training days arranged by the DigITal Learning Team where they model and then discuss innovative iPad lessons with pupils and staff. Andrew also ran an excellent 'Learning with iPads' CPD as a twilight session at Sciennes for staff on Wednesday 22nd April.

Andrew was heavily involved in launching the 1:1 national iPad pilot that Ms Wendy French and Mrs Fiona Barker embarked upon in 2011 and he really inspired us and opened our eyes to possibilities. He is a highly respected international presenter, who has only recently left his own school - Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock (the first in the world to have 1:1 at every stage from P1 to P7) to become a full time trainer. Anna Millar is a great friend to the school who has worked closely with us and with colleagues across all sectors of the city developing and leading training designed to maximise the use of iPads in Learning and Teaching. We are delighted to welcome them both to Sciennes and are excited to take forward their innovative practice with our pupils.

Successful SportScotland Award for Playground Improvements

The Minister for Sport, Jamie Hepburn, today announced that Sciennes Primary has been successful in its bid for match funding towards our ambitious Playground Improvements, receiving the full amount of £56 000. Thrilling news!

Sporting projects from across the country are set to receive a funding boost thanks to the success of last year's Commonwealth Games.

A total of 34 projects across Scotland will share over £1.5m from the Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund.

The awards are the fifth and final allocation of the £10m project, which aided a total of 188 projects across every local authority in the country.

Jamie Hepburn, minister of sport, announced the projects to benefit from the final tranche of money at the Cumbernauld Centurions BMX Club, one of the first facilities to receive funds.

"These 34 new awards are part of almost 200 projects to receive investment from the Legacy 2014 Active Places Fund which is playing an important role in improving and creating excellent facilities all over the country.

"This £10 million investment has helped deliver an impressive breadth of community, school, outdoors, and sports-based projects and is an integral component of the significant and positive legacy."

Sciennes Community Active Play Experience

An innovative consultation process in 2013-2014 by the Parent Council Communications Group, driven by Parent Council Chair Claire Wheeler, led to a sector leading example of best practice in action planning. Surveying our families identified how our playground could be improved and focused minds on how to make improvements a reality. Fellow members of the Parent Council subsequently formed a Playground Improvement Group, working alongside Headteacher Mrs Alison Noble and Business Manager Ms Angela Christie to shape the vision and enlist the dedicated support of the Parent Council Fundraising and Events Group (FEG), led by Chair Aileen Nimmo.

Plans formulated by the group were indeed ambitious - £56 000 is the target for school based fundraising - and with today's announcement of our successful application to SportScotland to match fund that sum, we hope that our entire community will continue to see and seize this as a remarkable, long dreamt of opportunity. We are indebted to parent Tanya Boughtflower particularly for her assistance in preparing the successful bid. An incredible £38 000 has already been raised by the school and we hope our forthcoming Swimathon will edge us further forward towards our target amount.

Another of our Playground Improvement Group drivers, parent Stuart Sheehan, has rightly acknowledged the wealth of talent and resourcefulness within our community and convincingly appealed to all to grasp this landmark project as an ideal opportunity to create a legacy for all Sciennes' pupils - current and future. Sports Minister Jamie Hepburn's announcement today fortifies Sciennes' motto that if we Believe we can indeed Achieve.

Today is The Day... The Day We Did It!

Thrilling news that today Sciennes has been awarded match funding for our Playground Improvements in full from SportScotland's Legacy Fund.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Generous Fundraising Event at the Yard

We have received a wonderful invitation from Celine Sinclair, P1 mum and Chief Executive of The Yard, to visit and enjoy this unique indoor and outdoor adventure centre. The Yard is a charity and Celine has most generously offered sessions as a fundraiser for our school Playground improvements.

Sunday 10th May

Session 1    12.00-2.00pm
Session 2     2.30-4.30pm

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis and entry will be £10 per family. With only 60 space available per session, we advise booking promptly. The amazing facilities, created for pupils with additional needs, are an exciting adventure playground for ALL children.

To register, please email

To find out more about The Yard please see website at

Welcome to The Yard on Vimeo.