Sciennes Primary Football Club resumes 22nd Aug 2020

Sciennes Primary Football Club commences training on Saturday 22 August 2020, but inevitably there will be a number of new rules that will apply as we remain in the current stage of lockdown.

The SFA has published detailed guidance on the return to football for children and young people, which we’d encourage you to read. You can read guidelines for our new procedures.  

Training will be in year groups and broken down to smaller groups of no more than 10 players per small group. There will be multiple groups of 10 players for those year groups with larger numbers.

Whilst children do not need to be socially distanced on the pitch,  off the pitch current rules apply (as well as for any parent supporters on the sidelines). Initially our sessions will run from every Saturday morning, as follows:

  • 9am – 10am for P2,3 & 4 boys, and the P2/3 and 4/5 girls
  • 10.30am – 11.30am for P5, 6 & 7 boys and P6/7 girls.

Our location on the Meadows is shown on this map . We look forward to welcoming you and your children back to The Meadows on Saturday 22 August. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact Gordon Stove.

Posted in Clubs, Clubs News

Parent Council is challenging the 33% return to school plans in August

On August 11th when City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) schools return, the current proposal is to return at 33% capacity, meaning children will have less than 30% face-to-face time with their teachers for learning. Nicola Sturgeon herself has condemned CEC for this plan and says she expects them to do more.

Our Parent Council, with L-J Stewart and Morven Cadell at the helm, have been working hard to change CEC’s views, including with other PC’s in our school cluster who issued a joint letter to CEC.

This has already been picked up by BBC Scotland on their news today (19th June), but more needs to be done.

If you feel the proposed solution is unworkable, please add your voice to the discussion by contacting any or all of the following:

City of Edinburgh Council:

Andrew KerrChief
Andy GrayEducation and Lifelong
Alistair GawEducation and

Local Councillors for Southside and Newington:

Ian PerryConvenor, Education

Some of the councillors for other wards are:

MSPs and MPs:

Posted in Current Events, Parent Council | Tagged

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

Sciennes Safer School Streets – Thank you and Guidance Notes

street signThe School and Parent Council would like to thank all Sciennes parents and carers for their support and enthusiasm for the CEC’s School Streets project. We can already see a huge improvement in the traffic situation outside the school at these critical times. In particular the streets are significantly quieter on the days when we have volunteers from school and parent community standing on the streets drawing the drivers’ attention to the restrictions.

It is vital that we have as many volunteers as possible to allow children and adults to observe social distancing and other safety guidance.

We require a minimum of 2 volunteers per session. We use a Doodle Poll to fill these sessions, and a WhatsApp group for last minute arrangements and changes.

Sessions are (currently):

  • Monday-Friday Drop-Off; 08:35 – 09:00
  • Friday Pick-up; 11:55 – 12:25

Please provide your details in this form,and we’ll be in contact.

Many thanks, Bob Carr

Continue reading

Posted in Community, Volunteer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Letter about return to school August 2020, from Parent Councils


Ian Perry, Convenor, Education Cttee, City of Edinburgh Council

Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive, City of Edinburgh Council

Andy Gray, Education and Lifelong Learning, City of Edinburgh Council

Alistair Gaw, Education and Families, City of Edinburgh Council


Cllrs, Main, Ross, Cook, Arthur, Watt, Corbett, Key , Rust, Doggart, McVey, Johnston
Daniel Johnstone MSP, Ian Murray, MP, Joanna Cherry MP

On behalf of the Parent Council Chairs from Boroughmuir High School, Buckstone Primary School, Bruntsfield Primary School,  James Gillespie’s Primary School, Tollcross Primary School, Royal Mile Primary School, James Gillespies High School, Preston Street Primary School, Taobh na Pairce, Sciennes Primary School, Bonaly Primary School, Juniper Green Primary School, Longstone Primary School, Towerbank Primary School & Nether Currie Primary School.  

We are writing to express our deep concern over the City of Edinburgh plans for the reopening of schools in August 2020.  The impact on the education, social and emotional well being of our children and of the ability of parents to return to work will be severely hindered and damaged by the approach outlined so far. 

 It is the duty of every education authority in Scotland to secure that there is adequate and efficient provision of school education in their area (section 1(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (as amended)).  It is the duty of every education authority to secure that education: is directed to the development the personality, talents and mental and physical abilities of the child to their fullest potential; and promotes the physical, social, mental and emotional health and well-being of pupils (sections 2(1) and 2A(2) of the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc. Act 2000 (as amended)).  

It is the corresponding right of every child of school age to be provided with school education by an education authority that meets those minimum standards (section 1 of the SSS Act 2000).  That fundamental right is also enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 28), adopted into UK law in 1992.

The plan for children to return to school in August outlined in the City of Edinburgh Council’s letter dated 12 June singularly fails to discharge the education authority’s obligations under the legislation noted above.   The issues with the current proposals are multiple, such as the provision of less than 30% face-to-face teaching time and the lack of clarity about online teaching provision.  It also fails to give effect to children’s rights under national and international law and is likely to increase existing inequalities significantly.  

In addition, we understand that any changes in education provision should be subject to consultation. Since 20th March 2020 when schools closed, the council have failed to engage with parent groups, for example cancelling Locality meetings, and have consistently been slow to respond to parents’ concerns.  

We appreciate that this is a national crisis but feel it is reasonable to expect more to be done at both a local and national level.  The devolved nature of responsibility for education should not result in sub-standard and inconsistent provision across the country; we consider that the current situation requires a national and coordinated response across Scotland.  Whilst primary schools are craving space  – potentially outdoor – in order to increase attendance we appreciate this is not necessarily a solution for secondary schools.

A survey conducted on 16 June 2020 of over 1000 parents in excess of 30 Edinburgh south schools. Whilst this survey was blunt it sought to extract the views of parents around the proposal published on 12 June. Parental views were as follows:

  • 89% of parents do not agree that 33% of pupils in school is adequate
  • 89% expect CEC to investigate additional buildings including libraries and church halls
  • 87% expect CEC to investigate the use of outside spaces such as the Meadows, Bruntsfield Links and Harrison Parks
  • 93% of parents expect increased support for in-home learning from August 2020
  • 93% of parents expect CEC to publish a full roadmap explaining the review points and progress towards reestablishing full school timetabling
  • 71% of parents feel communication has not been adequate since March 2020

Clearly, CEC are failing in their recognition of the severity of this issue and the impacts it will have on families on many levels. 

We ask that the Council revisit its current approach urgently, engage with parents in making plans for improved provision from August 2020 and display leadership in publishing a clear roadmap to get our schools back to full time teaching in order that families can plan the support they need for session 2020/21.   

We want the voice of parents and children to be heard so we can all work together to develop and deliver an approach that safe-guards the health and wellbeing of kids and families and of teachers and the school community whilst delivering the quality education that our children deserve,  


Parent Council Chairs:
Bruntsfield Primary School

James Gillespies Primary School

Buckstone Primary School

Boroughmuir High School 

Tollcross Primary School 

Preston Street Primary School

Royal Mile Primary School 

James Gillespies High School,

Preston Street Primary School

Taobh na Pairce

Sciennes Primary School

Bonaly Primary School

Juniper Green Primary School

Longstone Primary School

Towerbank Primary School

Nether Currie Primary School

Posted in Current Events, Parent Council | Tagged

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 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