Sciennes School Fundraising Campaign 2020-2023

Who is involved?

As a school, we are incredibly lucky to have the support of Sciennes Parent Council and our charity, Friends of Sciennes School (FSS), who both raise funding to help us achieve our shared aim of enhancing the educational growth and experience of our children, aligned to the School’s Quality Improvement Plan.

Our traditional fundraising activities run by the Parent Council Fundraising Group include: the winter and summer fairs; P1 tea towels; Christmas cards; sponsored events (eg swimathon, fun run); second hand uniform and badge sales; social events for the children; and providing teas and coffees at parent consultations.

The FSS, as a charitable trust, has also benefitted from the generosity of families and the community through charitable donations and grants from charitable trusts and funding bodies. Thanks to the gift-aid scheme, FSS can reclaim money from the government on charitable donations from UK taxpayers, including donations in relation to sponsored events, at no extra cost to the donor. Gift Aid is a tax relief allowing UK charities to reclaim an extra 25% in tax on every eligible donation made by a UK taxpayer resulting in a significant boost to FSS income. Higher rate tax payers can reclaim additional tax relief (via their tax return).

Due to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, our ability to deliver many of our usual fundraising activities has been seriously curtailed over the 2019/20 school year and is likely to continue for the remainder of the 2020/21 school year and potentially beyond. Despite this, both groups have been working hard to develop alternative means of fundraising which are both safe for our school community and sustainable in the future.

What are our funding priorities?

Working with the School, we have set a number of ambitious fundraising targets for the year ahead with an overall aim of enhancing the educational growth and experience of our children as summarised below.

Resource/opportunity needed2020-21* Proposed source of funding
Subsidising activities/excursions for low income families£3,000FSS
15 Promethean (interactive) Boards£11,167PC & FSS
Extra-curricular opportunities£5,000FSS
Sumdog subscription£2,000PC
Playground maintenance£2,000PC
Contingency funding£3,000PC
TOTAL£26,167PC & FSS
*NOTE: the activities and sums will be the same for academic years 2021-22 and 2022-23

One of the key areas from a financial perspective is the purchase of Promethean Boards.  The school have advised the Parent Council and FSS that the majority of the current ‘smart’ technology boards within the school classrooms are faulty / no longer operational and that it would be beneficial for our children’s learning experience for new boards to be installed. It has been confirmed that the purchase of these boards are not covered by statutory or local funding.  John Armstrong, Principal Teacher, has undertaken considerable research on the technology options and associated costs.  

To meet these funding targets and provide these resources for the whole school, both groups have created fundraising opportunities.

How will we raise the funds?

Sciennes Parent Council will provide opportunities for events based fundraising throughout the academic year 2020-21, giving families the opportunity to support school fundraising via:

  • P1 tea towels
  • Halloween trail
  • Christmas cards
  • Sale of Sciennes branded merchandise
  • Winter trail
  • Spring and/or Summer events TBC

However, with current and expected continuing restrictions, we anticipate that these events, at least in the immediate future, will not be enough to raise all of the funding needed.

Therefore, Friends of Sciennes School will launch a specific and targeted fundraising campaign in the New Year, in line with its charitable objectives.

This fundraising campaign will run for the next three years. It will include a mix of:

  • seeking individual donations from the school community and Sciennes alumni
  • sponsored events within the school community (when conditions permit).

These events will provide further opportunities for our pupils to take the lead in ideas that will generate extra funds and enhance their leadership, organisational and educational skills.

How can you help?

Support the FSS Fundraising Campaign

In previous years, staff, pupils and parents have taken part in a variety of organised events (e.g. Edinburgh Marathon) and have kindly donated part or all of the donations received to FSS. Your employer may also have a charity match funding scheme in place which the FSS would be delighted to receive. If you have an event in mind and would be willing to support FSS please contact Andrew Hunter (Chair of FSS) in the first instance.  

FSS welcome charitable donations at any time and these can be made via the FSS JustGiving Campaign site or by contacting Andrew Hunter. If you are a UK taxpayer please tick the gift-aid box to enable FSS to reclaim an additional 25% of your donation in tax from the government.

Support the Parent Council events-based fundraising

Get involved with the planned Winter Trail and other fundraising activities, as a participant or as a helper. We hope that our combined efforts will provide families the opportunity to support the school in a way that is financially accessible and achievable in a safe manner in the current time. Your continued time and generosity in supporting these activities is greatly appreciated by the school and all of our pupils.

Finally, if you have any ideas for fundraising or are able to help with these activities, please get in touch with the Fundraising Group at They would be delighted to hear from you.

Sciennes Primary Parent Council

Trustees of Friends of Sciennes School

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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