New to Sciennes? – Helpful Tips

How primary 1 parents can help their child by helping our school  

Read our leaflet given out at the September primary 1 cirriculum evening.

Getting Ready for School  – some tips from current p1 parents 


Information on school uniform is available on the Sciennes website under “Policies” or follow this link.

You can order uniform that has the Sciennes logo on it via the Sciennes website. From the home page click on the “Uniform” button on the menu.  This will open “Image Scotland,”the uniform company who often become very busy with uniform orders for lots of schools over the summer. They tend to wait until there is a large amount of Sciennes orders before transferring them to school. Instead of selecting the “deliver to school” option, the faster method is to pay the delivery charge and have your uniform order delivered to your home. If you select the “deliver to school” option, it may not be delivered to school until the in-service days (that is the 2 days prior to the start of term when only the staff are in). You can call into the school reception office and collect it on the in-service days if you prefer to do this option.

There are also lots of uniform options – and it´s considerably cheaper – at Marks and Spencer, Next, Sainsbury´s, Tesco and Asda etc.

Another option is the second hand uniform sales that the Parent Council frequently hold. There is usually one in September and the clothes are generally in great condition and of good quality.

PE Kit

Any t-shirt and any shorts are acceptable for PE (Physical Education / gym) lessons. Indoor gym shoes (with a non marking sole) are also required, available from supermarkets and shoe shops. The t-shirt, shorts and shoes need to go inside a gym bag – a cloth type bag or nylon bag will do perfectly.

PE kits remain at school during term time and are returned during the holidays for washing.

School Bag

School suggest that the Primary 1 children have a large school bag or ruck sack. That is, bags which are big enough to hold a magnetic white board, and measure approximately 32 cm long, 25cm wide and 40cm deep. These are really appreciated by the teachers during the first term. Homework is carried out on these large boards and so they will be travelling to and from school most days.


Absolutely everything needs to be labelled with your child´s name on it! Things do go astray, especially on days when they are getting changed for PE. It´s likely you´ll find your items again in the lost property box (just inside the school entrance that the P1s use) if they are labelled – uniform, PE kit, shoes, school bag, packed lunch box, water bottle and pencil case.

You can sew name tags on, these are available through “Image Scotland”, although there are cheaper alternatives around too – for example.

Some parents prefer special sticky labels which can be put on everything and are washing machine and dishwasher proof. Or you can buy a permanent marker pen and write your child´s name on the care labels of clothes and onto water bottles etc.

A useful tip if you have more than one child and are getting labels printed, is to just have your surname printed, then they can be used for all children in the family.

Lost and Found

Labeling is also helpful when looking for lost items at lost and found which is located near the Girls’ Toilet.


ParentPay is the school´s online payment system, primarily established for parents to order milk and lunch for their children, and also for paying for school trips, events and active school clubs (see below for active school clubs). It saves lots of envelopes of money being sent into school every so often.

You will need to log on to ParentPay and activate your child´s account. If you scroll down the homepage of the Sciennes website there is a link to Wispay there on the right side of the page.

Your username and password for ParentPay were provided in the paperwork that was handed out at the Induction Day in June. Once you´ve logged on for the first time the username should default to your e-mail address on subsequent log ins (if not keep trying as sometimes it can take more than one attempt). Once in, it is very straightforward to order milk and school lunches.

Most children in the class have milk ordered, it is given to them in the classroom around mid-morning, usually with a story, but it is of course optional. Milk is paid for on a termly basis, while lunches can be ordered on a weekly basis – orders need to be in by midnight on Sundays for the following week’s meals.

Please note that lunch is free for all Primary 1, 2 and 3 children, but still needs to be ordered through Wisepay as there is a choice of meal each day. Please continue right to the end of the “payment” procedure in order to confirm the booking.

Any problems with ParentPay, please contact Steve Davies, the Business Manager

Parent Council Clubs

Pupils at Sciennes benefit from a wide range of clubs and activities outside of school hours, for example Chess, Drama and Mandarin. A list of all of the clubs available and who to contact can be found by on this website.

Registration and payment of Sciennes Parent Council Clubs is done directly with the club organisers. These clubs are designed for children with a genuine interest in their chosen subject.

It´s worth being aware that Parent Council Clubs and Active School Clubs (see below) don’t always start at the same time as the beginning of term, and may finish earlier than the end of term too.

Please note that Sciennes Football Club is for children in P2 and above.

Active School Clubs

There are also a range of clubs available which are known as “Active School” clubs. These tend to be sport based, can be at 8am and lunchtime as well as after school.  An email will be sent with details of current active school clubs.

They are booked on a Edinburgh Council website, either for most of the clubs which are based at Sciennes or for the few based at James Gillespie’s High School. There is a page on the Sciennes website which contains the full details of what´s available, on what day, and at what time –

After School Care

SASCS (Sciennes After School Club Scheme) provide child care after school hours – Contact Sonia or Lindsey on 0131 662 4810 or 07757 978 473. New Primary 1s are able to attend days in the summer holidays before they officially start school.

Other schemes that Sciennes parents use are “Scoosh” (Southside and Central Out of School Hours) – Contact Margaret on 0131 668 0918 and “Skool Is Out” – Contact 0131 667 8838.

First Day 

As explained at the Induction Day, the children will be attending school for only one day out of the first three days of the first week – either the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. They will be in small groups and the children will spend time getting to know their teacher and learning where to put their coats, bags etc. Parents are usually invited into the classroom on the first morning for a few moments, to observe the children settle.

Then all children will attend for the Thursday and Friday of that first week. That will be the first time that the whole class is together since the Induction Day.

School starts at 8.50am and the P1s enter the building through the left hand entrance if you are facing the school building. The line for each class will be clearly marked with chalk on the ground or a “sign post”, near the P1 entrance, in the area of playground that faces towards the shelter.

This first week will also see them finishing at 12 noon each day that they attend.  Children can stay for lunch in the first full week in which case they will be finished about 12.20pm.

In the second week they will stay for lunch and finish at the normal time of 2.50pm.

The school recommends that the parents pack a snack for break time, their water bottle, pencil case and their Personal Learning Plan / Book of Learning from nursery (there is a detailed list of what to include in the pencil case on the website – pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, coloured pencils and glue stick).

Term Dates

Please be aware of the school start of term, end of term, in-service (staff only) and pubic holiday dates by clicking the “Term Dates” button on the home page of the Sciennes website. This links directly to The City of Edinburgh Council website, whose school term dates Sciennes follows.

The dates can also be found on the Sciennes school calendar which is available on the Sciennes website under “Diary”.  This is specific to Sciennes and also contains information on school trips and events.

We hope this has been a useful guide to preparing for starting school. We appreciate that some of you will already be aware of this information from having older children at Sciennes. At the other end of the spectrum, please don´t panic if it seems overwhelming, there is still plenty of time to prepare for the start of school over the summer.

If you have any questions please don´t hesitate to get in touch, either with your Parent Rep, by visiting the website or by contacting the school office (in school hours) either by telephone 0131 667 1243, or in person.