Letter to Parents & Carers re Education Funding Cuts

The Educational Institute of Scotland, which is Scotland’s largest Teaching Union, is seeking parental involvement across all state schools in Edinburgh to rally against the education cuts proposed by the City of Edinburgh Council that were passed on 20th February 2020.

They have written a letter to all parents and carers in our school to explain the negative impact these cuts will have on education throughout the City, and you can read this in full:

Letter from the EIS regarding funding cuts

There is a small window of opportunity to fight back against these cuts, and a number of different ways we can support the EIS in this regard; the letter above contains more details on this. One key way of showing support is to sign and share this petition – EIS are hoping for at least 5,000 signatures.

Please show your support, and hopefully together we can make a difference.

Posted in Parent Council, Uncategorized

Playground Group

The Playground Group have been successful in our bid for a grant from Sustrans. This project aims to transform our school run and create a pleasant community space that will replace a short section of Sciennes Road for the benefit of the school and wider community. 

Our Feasibility & Concept Design, together with the Strategic Definition documents outlining our plans, are available for you to read.

We continue to look for support from the parent community and would be keen to hear from anyone interested to get invovled; you do not need previous experience.

Please contact Slim Gueddana for more information.

Posted in Building and Facilities, Playground Group

A shining Summer Fair!

Year of Green Action Logo

We are extremely pleased that so many families and members of our community joined us for our annual summer fair. Our dedicated staff and volunteers arrived at the school bright and early to set up for the day. A very generous donation from Victor Hugo’s of hot bacon and egg rolls arrived mid-way for an energy boost. A big thanks to Mr Reid for being on hand to help set up.

At 12pm we kicked off. The Green Team set up informative workshops in our nature strip, we had a stall raising awareness of our Clean Air campaign as well as Sciennes’ own tiniest entrepreneur Scarlet Carr selling homemade lemonade and putting their maths skills to the test working out their customers change. A great group of Primary 3 girls ran a beauty stall, giving clients excellent makeovers.
Thanks to the generous donations of our families, the toy and book stalls were bursting at the seams. Two Primary 5 Dads Darren and Maciej were ‘wheeling’ and dealing at our second-hand bike and scooter stall.

We were delighted to be joined by local business The Refillery who, with generous donations from their local suppliers had an amazing array of organic and eco-friendly products on sale. They also had a really great plastic recycling quiz on the day. Congrats to Louis in P7 who won the prize.

We had wonderful mother and daughter team Seeta and Aditi, with Tabiya from Mendhi Henna doing the most wonderful henna designs throughout the fair. They were kept very busy throughout the day. We were delighted to have Dagna and Sandra providing amazing eco-crafts for families, making bug hotels and rock painting. Our circular economy uniform and badge stalls were really popular.

I hope you all managed to visit our café, led by Justyna and Kate to keep everyone hydrated and who make an excellent cup of tea. Once again we were unbelievably impressed by the standard of baking donated to the school. A huge thanks to Susan for organising.

This year we had the biggest and most impressive plant stall to date, run by Caroline and her family. The selection was astonishing and Caroline was on hand to give buyers all of the advice they need in caring for their plants.

Our raffle did incredibly well both online and during the fair. Well done to our tombola stall who managed to sell out. Thanks to all involved and to everyone who took part.

Our food was donated from Sainsbury’s Newington and Sainsbury’s Causewayside. Pizzas were supplied by Papa John’s Newington. Our gratitude goes to our super kitchen team who worked really hard and kept everyone fed!

Primary 5 pupils worked hard before the fair and managed to produce a tremendous 19 stalls and activities on the day. With everything from homemade hair accessories, a coconut shy, laser tag, rainforest games, vegan food stall, hair designs, homemade candy floss and slime making. We couldn’t be prouder of their efforts. The money raised from the fair will be split between donations to the school and donations to a charity tackling a social issue close to their hearts. A massive thank you to all of the Primary 5 teachers for their hard work.

Sciennes Football Club joined us on the day as did the school photography club to raise money for their clubs.

Well done to Laura and her amazing ice cream stall and to Chris and his Prosecco team.

We thank you all for coming along.

We hold these events to raise much needed funds for our school. The money raised throughout the year helps provide additional opportunities for the children, essential equipment and materials as well as making sure that all pupils at Sciennes has equality of opportunity.

With your support we have managed to raise an impressive £5,000!

Check out our SlideShare photos below to see all the fun of the fair!

Posted in Fundraising and Events, Parent Council

Winter Fair 2018 – FAQs

Admission – this year we have opted not to charge entry, instead hoping that families will be generous when inside the fair. We have an ambitious target of £7000 to raise for much needed materials for the children.

Food – we are very lucky to have Papa Johns supplying pizzas again this year. We buy these at cost to sell to you at a low price. We will also have a hot dog stand this year with vegetarian options available. There will be refreshments to buy with the added bonus of free mince pies with your purchase. We are also lucky to have a warming mulled cider/apple juice stall to get you into the mood.

Signing Stories – we are delighted to welcome one of our very own Sciennes parents to introduce the children and their families to storytelling using Signalong. Signalong is a type of sign language which uses both sign language and speech to communicate with children and adults who may have a speech, language and/or communication difficulty. If you are interested in learning more then check out the official website: Signalong

‘Elfridges? – new for this year is our secret gift room named ‘Elfridges. This is a room where no adults are allowed. The children pay £2 to enter and choose a gift from our store for a loved one (parents, grandparents, friends). Our elves wrap the gift and label it so the child is ready to present their gift to the recipient without them knowing what’s in it.

Mrs Claus’ Kitchen – Mrs Claus will be on hand to help the children decorate some festive biscuits. The biscuits are then wrapped in a festive gift bag for the children to take home (if they make it to the bag without getting eaten).

Magic Show – we are delighted to welcome back a Sciennes favourite, Gordon. There are two slots available to book for a 30-40 minute show. The children will receive a magic set as a gift to take home to hone their skills as mini magicians. This must be booked in advance on ParentPayas there is limited capacity for each slot.

Festive Cinema Shorts – we hope that the children will enjoy visiting our cinema where they can take part in themed activities and enjoy a bag of popcorn. This also gives parents a chance to browse the stalls at the fair. This must be booked in advance on ParentPayas there is limited capacity for each slot.

Circus Skills – Jack Frost will be at our fair this year, welcoming families to our event and to Sciennes if they are visiting from the local community. Jack will be holding two circus skills workshops in the new dining room. This must be booked in advance on ParentPayas there is limited capacity for each slot.

Craft Room – We will have a whole range of winter crafts available for the children (and adults if they wish) to do on the day. We’ll be making pine cone bird feeders, decorations and much more.

Posted in Current Events, Fundraising and Events, Parent Council, Tickets and Event Payments

What your money has funded this year (Aug ’18 to May ’19)

The Parent Council works closely with the school to ensure that our fundraising efforts align with key improvements and resources needed to make Sciennes primary an even better place for all of our children to grow and learn.

At the start of the year we discuss the funding requirements with the school, and also the various parent Council groups who are supporting school activities, to determine our spending plan for the year. You can read more about what we set out to fund in our previous article.

Since August 2018 your money has funded:

  • class packs
  • playground maintenance
  • 1 in 5 initiative
  • kitchen equipment for the children
  • class economy
  • school badges
  • bikeability training
  • cycle to school days

Money raised from the Summer Fair will go towards loose parts playground equipment; music subscriptions, materials for art and projects, and projectors.

Posted in Fundraising and Events, Parent Council

Playground Group – update

The Playground Group (previously known as Buildings & Facilities), has been making great progress over recent months and we thought a little round up might be useful to share with you all.

Front Playground – Textures and materials

The SMT and Playground Group are due to meet with Julie Kelly from Estates after half term, date TBC.

The Estates Dept have taken charge of the playground and the maintenance regime – although they are not paying for it.  If we want any influence they need to be lobbied.  Saara Reid has been meeting with contractors.  The Estates Dept have now hired a mini digger to replace the compacted gravel areas.  We need to establish how often the gravel parts need digging out to remain safe and playful.

Big tree

Laura Bird has have written to councillors about the Ash Tree.  Hopefully Alison Dickie will ensure that we get a replacement tree.  Saara Reid has spoken with the sculptor about the old Ash tree but as the trunk is hollow it may not have great sculptural value.  However green wood is great for woodworking (eg https://www.theashproject.org.uk/ash-spoons-ash-greenwood-working/) so we’re exploring whether perhaps the children could have some hands-on spoon carving lessons?  Earth Calling, who run the Thursday after school club, could provide the tools and teaching.  The logs and boughs could also replenish the nature strip if that is clarified in advance the tree surgeon.

Willow Bower

Kirstin Unger reported that the Willow structure was vandalised over the Xmas break.  We are investigating whether we have an insurance policy for this.  All the structures together cost £5,000 and we got a grant to pay for it originally.

Back Playground

Kirstin Unger has asked that we give the P3 growing area behind the school some attention.  In particular lopping off a big branch that shades the raised beds and an outside tap.

Nature Strip

Thanks to Saara Reid’s persistence, the contractors have removed the fence and put the gate in the right place.

Sciennes Road

Phoebe Cochrane and Judith Gillespie have made a break through with CEC.  Within six – nine months the council are planning to build out the pavement into the middle of the road and put the (still not very clear) sign in the middle.  Well done all the Sciennes Road team!!!

Sick Kids

Fiona Denvir and Douglas Rogers from the Community Council had a final go at lobbying CEC.  In the end the front car park was passed.


Jane Ewins has heroically volunteered to pull together a first draft of our application.


If anyone has questions, suggestions, or offers of help for this group, please contact Laura Bird.

Posted in Parent Council, Playground Group, Sub Groups

Events & Fundraising Meeting Minutes

The EFG met in the welcoming environment of No1 Grange on 25th October.  With only a few weeks until 1st December, the Winter Fair was the key topic discussed.

This year the EFG has a target to raise £7k in profit from the fair.  These funds have been identified already for both literacy materials for the entire school, and a PA system as the current one malfunctions and needs to be replaced. As performance is an integral part of the curriculum, this is a key priority.

Our full meeting minutes can be read here:

Events and Fundraising Meeting 25th October 7pm

Posted in Fundraising and Events, Meetings, Sub Groups

Events & Fundraising Meeting

The EFG held their first meeting of the new academic year on 3rd October to identify the fundraising target for the year ahead, and identify activities to help us achieve this.

You can read the full minutes from the meeting:

Events and Fundraising Meeting 3rd Oct

In brief, a target of £15,000 has been set for this academic year, and a number of fund raising initiatives have been identified to help us achieve this goal:

  • Winter Fair
  • P1/2/3 Friday afternoon Ceilidh
  • P4/5 Dance Party
  • P6/7 Disco
  • A comedy/music Night at Riddle’s Court. This would be a parents/carers ticketed event to raise funds. This would be after the family ceilidh.
  • A wine tasting in school.
  • Cinema events for children. We’re investigating an Into Films Membership to start a film club.
  • Our Summer Fair

For more information, or to offer help at any of these events, please email EFG Convenor, Fran Armourscienneseventsfundraising@gmail.com

Posted in Fundraising and Events, Meetings, Parent Council

Playground Improvement Plan – Phase 3

Towards the end of last year we emailed the school community about our plans to expand the playground by closing Sciennes road to motorised traffic. Although closed to traffic, we would need to maintain a route through for pedestrians and cyclists.  We included plans showing how that could be achieved with two different configurations – one with the pedestrian / cycle route following the pavement on the northern side of Sciennes road (next to the existing playground railings), the other with the pedestrian / cycle route following the pavement on the south side of Sciennes road (along the edge of the nature strip).

Playground update Aug 2018

These plans are above.  Quite a few of you came to the workshop we held at the end of last year.

We also invited your views on the playground expansion a couple of times in the summer and it was great to hear feedback and comments. At all these feedback opportunities there has been support for our plans to expand the playground and a preference for the layout which brings the pedestrian / cycle access along the north side of Sciennes road.  During this time, we have also been liaising closely with the developers of the Sick Kids Hospital site and City of Edinburgh Council.

Last week we spoke to the teachers and other staff at the school again to gauge their opinions.  The staff were also in favour of this option.

We will now move ahead to get detailed plans drawn up to submit for planning permission.  If you have any feedback of comments at this stage, please contact Laura at sciennesparentcouncil@gmail.com.  There will be an opportunity to view plans again and discuss any thoughts you might have before the Parent Council meeting on 13th Sept.

It is worth adding that we have taken advice from Ironside Farrar, transport consultants and landscape architects.

If any of you are interested in joining the group taking this project forward we would love to hear from you.  Again, please email Laura.

Posted in Building and Facilities, Parent Council

Summer Art Classes

Contact: heather@lighbulbarts.com

Summer Art Classes

Posted in Clubs News, Parent Council