Sciennes Routines and Traditions

The school building outwardly looks very similar now to the way it looked in 1892 when it was first opened. However, it has altered significantly internally and to some extent externally since then.

Originally the playground was divided down the middle by a railing to keep boys and girls apart: boys on the right and girls on the left.  There is still evidence of where the railing was attached to the building and you can still see ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’ engraved in  the wall above the two entrances. There were also several more trees.

The toilets at this time were outside and not attached to the building. (The Reception area and current toilets did not exist). One former pupil remembered the toilets were simply open cubicles, with no flushes, sinks or toilet paper!
Drinking water was provided from fountains in the back wall of the shelters, painted green with two iron mugs hanging from them on chains.

Before the Second World War the children were summoned to school in the morning by the bell in the bell tower on the roof. The rope that rang it hung down into a recess in the stairwell. Final year pupils remember having the privilege of pulling it sometimes.

Sciennes was unusual for its time in having  a swimming a pool – “the school with a pool”. In the early days the gym was in the basement beside the pool. The present gym contained classrooms for the first part of last century, divided by huge sliding wooden partitions which were pushed aside for assemblies. The classrooms at the ends had desks in tiers which were in place for at least sixty years. This is why the windows are so far up the walls. Windows in classrooms were designed to be high so that the outside world did not provide a distraction to pupils.

The first floor contained a sunny sewing room. Only girls were taught to sew and knit with a regular sewing teacher. On the top floor were woodwork and cookery rooms, complete with black-leaded stoves which the pupils had to polish. Nowadays the top floor houses P7 and P6 classrooms. The original cloakrooms there have now been converted to toilets and an additional learning space for upper school pupils.

The basement now contains our school library and ICT Learning Centre.

Space is at a premium in our school and a former storage cupboard has been converted to a Science Lab on the first floor.

The Dining Hall was built in the sixties and before that most pupils went home for lunch as few women worked then and the catchment was more circular. Meals were eaten at one point in huts erected in the rear playground, served from huge cauldrons – not remembered with relish.
The Dining Hall has recently been re-floored and upgraded with mirrored storage to provide a dance studio/PE space.

When the bell was rung at the start of the day all the children would line up in pairs and then march in to the sound of marches played on a piano on the first floor. In later years the piano was replaced by a record player. Many former pupils recalled the strict discipline enforced over marching in time, including having their legs belted for getting out of step!

When the school first opened, classes were often 60 strong, often barefoot, accommodated in tiered seating. Later this dropped to 40 and then to the present day 33 maximum. In recent years legislation has aimed to reduce class sizes to 25 in P1 and 30 in P2 and P3.

Learning was mainly by rote, and very boring in many former pupils’ memories! Class reading was particularly disliked, with the whole class having to wait while everyone took their turn reading aloud. In the early days, pupils who were not deemed to have made sufficient progress were held back to repeat a year, and the worst disgrace of all was having to wear the ‘dunce’ s cap’.

Slates were the normal method of writing for many years. Each desk had a slot in the front to hold the slate while not in use and each child had to provide a box with a wet sponge for cleaning the slate. These often became smelly and the screeching noise in class must have been horrendous! Later, older pupils graduated onto dip pens and inkwells.

Testing was commonplace. One former pupil remembered being moved up the tiered seating for doing well in spelling. Another remembered having mental arithmetic tests weekly and getting six old pennies for achieving first place (paid from the teacher’s own pocket). In the forties and fifties the infant mistress used to test infants herself regularly in tables and reading.
The final test for many was the ‘quali’ or qualifying exam at the end of Primary Seven. Doing well meant entrance to Boroughmuir Senior Secondary School or James Clark for the more technically minded.

Discipline was strict and pupils were frequently belted, often for minor misdemeanours. One former pupil recalled being belted for breaking a ruler and another being spanked for playing with a toy car in class. Another remembered cooling the weals on her wrists on the tiled corridor wall and being careful to hide the marks from her parents at home otherwise she would be punished again.

Belting was also the norm for many years for being late for school, with no excuses acceptable. One of the saddest ‘first day at school’ stories the Centenary Group gathered was from a pupil who started school in 1915. “My brother, six years older than me, took me to school. In those days everyone lined up in the bottom playground and marched in. A teacher stopped all latecomers at the foot of the stairs – my brother was late, but I was half an hour early for the Infant class. When Mr Watt came into the hallway everybody held out their hands. So I held out mine and got belted with everybody else. It was a nice start to my schooldays!”

However, rewards were also common and the school used to have a Dux. Medals were also handed out for good attendance and merit certificates for good work. Several former pupils reported receiving books like “Little Women” or bibles, handed out as prizes.

Acknowledgement: The extracts above are taken from a booklet produced by ‘The Sciennes’ Parent Teacher Association Centenary Group’ to mark the school’s centenary in 1992.

1892 Staff of Sciennes School

1892 – Staff of Sciennes School

Headmaster – Samuel MacCulloch Muray, from Leven Public School, Fife

1st Assistant – Thomas James Robertson, from Leith Walk Public School

Assistants – James Hart, from Dean School

Charles Watson Calder, from North Canongate School

Margaret Isabella Stewart, from Castlehill School

Jane Maxwell, from New Street School

Jane Collie, from Ruthven Public School, Banffshire

Elizabeth Graham, from Church of Scotland Normal Schools

Infant Mistress – Anne Branden,  from Bristo School

Assistants – Euphemia Monastier, from St Leonard’s School

Helen Forbes, from Bristo School

Sewing Mistress – Janet Muir

Sewing Assistant – Christina Waugh

Singing Master – Wm Geoghegan

Pupil Teachers – John Murray Mackay and

Annie Davidson



ARCHIVE Guestbook 2011-2015

Please leave a comment in our guestbook. This is a moderated guestbook so please allow a little time before your entry will be posted.

You can access a History of Sciennes 1892-2012, with photographs and memories from former pupils, on the main website.



Pages: 12Next >>


Caroline Henderson/ Nee Russell 22 September 2015 20:32:17
I went to Sciennes school in 1959/ 1963
I remember some of the teachers but not all. Mr. Duthie , And the swimming teacher Mr. Nimmo who taught me to swim , but unfortunately I would not go up to the deep end . And it was the case then and now. I remember some of the names in my class Dorothy Langlands, Amelia Cunningham, Linda Farquhar , Alex Hosie .
And my best friend who I would go to school each day Mary Mcleish. Such a long time ago. Great Days
WILLIAM RANDALL 25 August 2015 23:08:06
KennetH Keddie good to see you are still with us remeMber the Friday nights with Kenny Cameron playing football in the Meadows, Stewart I am in that school team FrostY morning at Kirk Brae picture was in the paper taken before a game against St Francis.
Christopher Ward 25 August 2015 17:15:18
I attended Sciennes from 1974-1982 and loved it. Great school. My teachers were:
Mrs McGuigan
Mrs. Anthony
Mrs. Harper/Mrs Grant
Mrs. WilsonI then went to JGHS, joined the army and ended up moving to Canada where I became a teacher!
Love to hear from any former classmates.
Jean Rae (Aithie) 22 August 2015 20:06:21
To Moira Drummond (nee Mackay) I was delighted to see your post on this site. My grandchildren go to Sciennes. Your message made me laugh when you mentioned the good time you had at school and especially at James Clark’s. I’d love to hear from you and can be found as Jean Rae on facebook. Love, xxx
Isla 30 June 2015 01:50:04
Hi guys, need to come see you all soon. Its been a while. I am greatful to Mr Howie for taking his time and writing me that letter I sent one back a few days later as you know I have a very short attention span so it took a while and my English teacher helped me write a reply. It brung a tear to my eye. I miss you all so much I’m in 4th year now it only seems like yesterday I started Primary 7 as a bubbly hyperactive loud 11 year old. Not much has changed to be honest but now I’m getting the support that Sciennes tried their best to give me. I understand it was hard with it being such a big school. I am now hoping to be getting put on medication for ADHD and hopefully that will calm me down and help me concentrate on my education because I really want to do well. As you know I didn’t like engaging with any support offered but the letter from Mr Howie inspired me to accept the help so I can do better and do him proud and all of you proud. Its been 4 years and I do need to let go but u can’t let go Sciennes helped me so much and I am so greatful for everything. Thank you so much! I actually love you all so much and hope to see you soon x

We love you too, Isla x

STUART REID 24 June 2015 12:03:05
Apologies to Kenny Keddie,if the office is agreeable please pass on my email Just for the info the names of most of the players in the football team are:
Back LtoR
David Gorman??although unsure,Mike Mcdonald,Goalie Peter Robertson,Peter Bolton,Kenny Proudfoot,Gerry??unsure again!
Front L to R
Stefan Stasiak,me Stuart Reid,Kenny Keddie,Peter Moore and Davie Atkinson.
From what I remember the photo is 1963 it`s the school first team,sure the strip was red,yellow and orange? and the second team strip was an ancient faded pink and grey thing.this was a good team.we scored plenty goals Stefan and Peter were great wee wingers and Davie had a magical left foot.This photo is either taken at Kirkbrae or Dr Guthrie up at liberton.
I can still remember on the friday before a game all the boys would be standing in their lines after lunchbreak and Mr Sinclair or Mr Duthie would call out the names of the boys playing that saturday.Joy if you were picked sadness if not,remember there were no subs in those days!!I also remember playing for both first and second teams on the same morning.Probably the same thing happened with the girls netball team?
I can remember Mr Sinclair took me in his car for a trial for Edinburgh schools at Warriston.I can remember the day clear as day which unfortunately it wasn`t.Mr Sinclair picked me up outside the New Vic(Odeon)in clerk st which was showing Dr No,James Bond at the time.I thought I played well in the lashing rain but did not make the squad.My brother Alan Reid(Terry Tully`s class!) was a better player and went on to win the Inter schools cup while at sciennes beating Dundee at Tannadice.He went on to play for Dunfermline and was 4 years younger.I`ve got a lot of memories of Sciennes which I will post.Pretty amazed at that because my wife Liz always says I have a hopeless memory.Apologies to any of the girls in my class because the fence down the playground split the school firmly into boy/girl activities in my opinion and I never really got to know many of the girls.Most of the boys were the same,their heads were full of nothing but”Fitba”.
Elizabeth 21 June 2015 11:47:23
Elizabeth is looking for a class photo taken with Miss Mary Leslie, a teacher during 1950,s.
Jane Russell 19 June 2015 18:19:54
Hi there

I was wondering if anyone could help me as hi … It’s Jane Russell …. I use to go to this school in probably around 1971/72/73 and was in primary school there. I lived in hillside crescent and I remember having a best friend called “johnny” … I was trying to trace anyone in my class and or knew me and or johnny please … Would mean so much to me please x

Caroline Brooke 09 April 2015 08:25:09
I started at Sciennes school in 1958. Does anyone remember going downstairs for school dinners I remember horrible tasting potatoes and we learned to count with coloured pieces of wood no. 1 was the smallest piece and they gradually got bigger up to no. 10 My two brothers were John and Arthur Brown There were also children from Barnardos home, one girl looked after me a lot, she was a bit older than me We used to swap scraps at play time. Can any one remember these things?
Leigh Hogg 23 March 2015 10:46:57
Dear Former Pupils, from around 1948-55, I have been trying to remember the names of my classmates – we first had Miss Campbell and then Miss Clay as our teachers – I so far have 12 boys and 9 girls, all of whose faces I remember well – Herbert Spencer, Raymod and Barton Scott, Pete Bisset, Ian McPherson, Andrew Meek, Peter Rust, Tom Bee, Freddy Perring, Robert Urquart, Marjory Scarlett, Elspeth Bird, Caroline Williams, Chrissy Wozniac, Janet White, Ada Pagan, Olive Maine, Mauren Anderson, Myra Ross. Any of you who read this can contact me at the email listed.
Caroline Brooke 08 February 2015 09:27:04
I saw Sciennes school last year 2014 for the first time in 55 years. It was a moving experience.Iwas only six when we moved away but I remember it amazingly well. mainly the railings which separated the girls from the boys at playtime. My two brothers were on the other side. I wasn,t happy with it at all
Malcolm Gibb 30 January 2015 10:59:08
I’ve just seen one of my old class photos on the history section posted by Kenneth Watters. It brings back so many memories and forgotten names. I remember those times well, good and bad, but I wouldn’t have changed them for anything.
I remember helping to build the Weather station which lasted a long time in the playground.
Great days.
Chris duffy 20 January 2015 20:39:28
Hey Paul Bhasin, I remember you! We were best pals and I loved your dads shop lol free sweeties!! Get in touch if you read this…
Pamela Bainbridge ne Toyne 15 January 2015 23:12:52
I attended Sciennes from 1955 andWould like to contact old girls and boys but do not have a code
For the attention of Isla 01 January 2015 13:08:47
Isla, thank you for your message via our website. It would be great to see you, if you can come in sometime? You can contact me at
Hope 2015 is a better one for you, Isla – it is up to YOU to make it better. We know you can.
Dianne Bolton (Hunter) 06 December 2014 11:25:12
Just wanted everyone to know what a wonder Angela Downie (Lancashire) is. when I was visiting last year from Canada she took me everywhere. Great ambassador for Sciennes. I remember Mr. Nimmo still with great fear and trepidation. Haven’t swum since then despite owning pool over here.
Beverley Raeburn (nee Gorman) 28 November 2014 11:36:16
I met up with Angela and Janice a few weeks ago and it’s amazing what we all remembered/forgot about our experience at Sciennes. Amazing coincidences as usual – turned out that Janice used to work at RBS with her husband David, and David used to work with my ex!
carol mcgregor 23 October 2014 21:53:27
I attended Sciennes Primary School from 1953-1963 and remember Mr Duthie and Mr Nimmo very well. Mr Duthie making us all march in from the playground to marching music to our respective classes.
Beverley Raeburn (nee Gorman) 17 October 2014 21:36:18
Hi Bill – so are you a baker then? Nice of you to respond to my message, but alas my memory is not as good as yours! Glad you said 31 Buccleuch Place – Ron insists we lived at No 32. I think we were only there with our Mum for about 18 months/2 years. Really only remember Janice and Alan McArthur and the Lakowskis over the road from us. l also have a sister Carol-Anne a year older than me who has been in Australia since 1966; Ron, my brother Pete (six years younger) and I are all in Edinburgh. Carol and Ron went to Darroch, I went to Boroughmuir and Pete went to Liberton. Pete and his wife own the Pan Pan Bridal shop opposite Buccleuch Place! I have been in touch with Angela Lancashire and she, Janice and I are meeting up for lunch in a couple of weeks’ time, so it will be fun reminiscing.
Best Wishes
Bill Stewart 15 October 2014 21:32:34
Hi all, this is in response to Beverly Gorman. Yes I remember you and Ronnie quite well. You lived at 31 Buccleuch Place and if my memory serves me well there was a younger Gorman as well Allan I think but could be wrong. I lived across the street at number 8 Buccleuch. I was at Sciennes from “53 until 1960 then on to Jimmies. I’ve lived in Canada since “73 but I’m on this site often. Hope you remember me. P.S. Janice Pringle lived at no. 35. I can remember most of the ones who lived around our street since I lived there for 25 years. Hope everyone is well.
Beverley Raeburn (nee Gorman) 01 October 2014 14:57:23
I was in Primary 6/7 at Sciennes in 1958/59 and my two grand-daughters have been at Sciennes since Primary 1. Isla is now in Primary 6 and Estelle is in 3rd year at James Gillespies.
I was disappointed to miss the Centenary Celebrations but have just been on this fabulous website and found two messages from Angela Downie (nee Lancashire) (7 November 2011 and 9 June 2012) who was in my class. Janice Pringle lived in the same street as me and I became friendly with Maureen Hickey when we went to Boroughmuir, but lost touch after I got married and moved south. I remember Rhoda Bird (who sadly died very young), Andrew Cockburn and George Dall and I did meet Elaine Purves a few times in the 1970s as she lived near me at Fairmilehead. I remember our teacher Mr Duthie and Mr Nimmo, but I think I learned to swim with Miss King?
I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me – I had a twin brother Ronnie who was in another class at Sciennes.
Rob Trigg ( Aussie ) 26 September 2014 18:20:19
Hi to all.
I posted a comment a couple of days ago, thank you to those responsible for putting it up. I was in a bit of a rush at the time and didn’t mention I am over from Aus staying in Edinburgh at the moment and have visited where we lived, not far from the school as a 9/ 10 year old. Things don’t change much around here. Lovely solid old buildings. We moved in our last year here to Dalgety Bay, and I went to Aberdour Primary in about 1969- for some reason everyone still called me Aussie. Love to hear from anyone who remembers me, or my mum (Mrs Trigg) who taught at Sciennes and other school I can’t remember. I still remember playing soccer in The Meadows after school- I had a kick of an Aussie rules footy with my own boy there yesterday. Regards to all.Aussie. 1966-68
Rob Trigg 25 September 2014 12:19:07
Hi my name is Rob Trigg from Australia. I’m going back a bit, but I was at Sciennes from 1964-1967 and was known as Aussie, for obvious reasons. Pleased to see the 120 years celebration was so successful. The headmaster at my time was Mr Robertson. Other teachers I remember were Mr Mathewson and Miss Hepburn taught me. My mum, Mrs Trigg, also taught there, and taught her students to sing Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gumtree. Does anyone remember little Aussie? You would need to be about 57 years old unfortunately. Regards to all.
siikzckenneth keddie 10 September 2014 21:47:52
I just came across this site and have been reading through it. Totally surprised to be reading through the history and coming across the soccer team and see myself smack in the middle. I also see an e mail from Stuart Reid and hope that this is the same Stuart Reid that was on the team and in the photo right beside me. Would like to hear from you if it is.
I left for Canada in 1973 and am working in Toronto so it was good to read through the site and ignite my memory bank.
My last 3 years were my best in school and Miss Hepburn was the teacher and the best one that I had at Sciennes.
Malcolm Gibb 30 August 2014 16:00:53
I attended Sciennes from 1960 to 1968. I loved my years here and twenty years after I left I revisited the school and it was so emotional to see my old classrooms. For the last two years my teacher was Mr Ian Lusk. I also remember marching down the stairs to music at home time.
I can only remember some class mates – Kenneth Waters, Terry Tully, Colin Mclean.
I’m 58 now but still think of my time at Sciennes, a great school.
Adeena 19 August 2014 10:34:13
I have started JGHS and am having a great time here, settling in well. Would like to say hello to Mrs Noble the head teacher and also my p7 teacher Mr Howie. My younger sister Ayesha has just started p1 and I hope she will also have an amazing time at Sciennes like I did. I will never forget my primary school memories. It’s been great to have attended a really good primary school. I will try to come back and visit some time in the future. Until then goodbye.
maggie simpson 09 August 2014 01:23:17
Just came across this site and read comment from Moira Mackay (as was). I was at James Clarks and in same class. I was Margaret Reid then .. happy days indeed .. would be lovely to see you anytime you are in Edinburgh .. I remember you loved Paul McCartney and fainted at the Beatles concert! Good memories .. I met Andrea briefly a couple of years ago she looked well .. anyway will stop here and maybe hear back ..
Paul Bhasin 30 July 2014 13:50:59
Hiya just wondering if anyone remembers me ? I was at Sciennes in the mid 80’s….if it helps my dad used to own the local newsagents on Sciennes Road, where everyone used to go after school to get their sweets !……I also have a elder sister called Anita.
kamran farooq 09 June 2014 16:37:36
I was at Sciennes from 1985 – 1992 anyone remember me ?

Yes I do, Kamran! Hope all well with you and please feel welcome to drop by.
Ms Gallagher

Myra King (wood) 17 March 2014 15:32:12
Hi Elaine Duek can you please send me your e-mail address thanks myra

Dear Elaine,
We contacted Myra to say you had been in touch but the email you used does not seem to be current. If you reply to this post we can pass your email address to Myra. Thanks

Isla Smith 26 February 2014 13:00:26
Hi, could I come in and see Mr Howie?
Elaine Dueck (Forrest) 18 February 2014 18:08:12
I went to Sciennes in 1953 It is lovely to revisit I recognize the name Myra Wood
Shirley 12 September 2013 05:33:49
My Mother and one of her brothers attended Sciennes School probably between 1910 and 1920, that is just a guess. However both myself and a couple of my family members have been to look at the school when we visisted Edinburgh.
My mum was born in 1905
John Lennie 31 July 2013 22:28:14
I was born at Causewayside in Sept 49. I am sure I was there from 54/55 until 59 when we flitted to Liberton area. My teacher was a Miss Keppie who used to send me to the headmistress for “punishment”, which led to me legging it out the back gates into the meadows on more than one occasion. I had a couple of friends called Graham Bee from Sciennes area and another who I think was called David Cheyne and he lived up at Forest Rd next to what was the old TA hall. Heard, too late, there was an open day a few years ago, would have loved to have gone, especially when I heard Keppie was there too lol. If you are out there, Noreen Leckie, you were the light of my life and I still think of you and that chance meeting we had in the late 80`s, what happened to the photo`s you were going to send me. I would love to hear from anyone that knew me – happy days
Jack Fraenkel 30 July 2013 07:25:48
Hi there my initial ‘Alma mater’, I attended Sciennes from 1956 or 7 before going on to Darroch from ’64 – 68. Like so many of the comments from my cohort I have many fond memories of Mr Duthie (from my memory played basketball not football), Mr Matheson, Miss Peggy and of course both Headmasters; Mr Robertson and then Dr Gray.
I’ve been living in Australia since 1972 but am a regular visitor back to Edinburgh. My sister still lives in Warrender Park Rd.
Happy to reconnect and my email address is available from this site’s moderator
Lindsay (Lucy M 2a mum) 26 June 2013 13:02:09
Good luck to all the children from Sciennes that are involved in the dance division concert tonight, if it is as good as the rehearsal it will be great.
ISLA 19 June 2013 21:32:40
Please can you post the surprise video from the P7 leaving show plz plz plz plz plz xx

It was lovely to see you at the high school. Arrange to come in sometime next session and Mr Howie said he will dig it out and let you see it. Sorry but we can’t publish the staff’s dance moves online, creative as they are!

Myaha 19 June 2013 21:28:52
Can’t believe it is almost a year since I left Sciennes. Still miss everything about it and it felt weird walking past all the p7s today when they came up for a visit. Hope to see you soon xxxxxx
Isla Smith, Liam Jones and Jamie Shaw 11 April 2013 11:15:44
Hi guys!
Cant wait till the next time we see you. We hope to visit sometime
Joy 09 April 2013 19:18:48
Hello, my name is Joy and I joined this school in P4c last month .I think this school is really big. I’ve already made lots of new friends and I really enjoy being here.

And we are delighted to have you, Joy!

Adrienne Rose 28 March 2013 20:54:38
I attended school here in the late 1950’s. When I was visiting family in Edinburgh in 2008 (I’m now in Canada), I took a walk of the Meadows and found the school. What a nice feeling to see it again, and still running strong. Warm regards from Canada..
Dianne Bolton (Hunter) 03 March 2013 12:55:07
Just found this site and excited to see folks who knew Mr. Duthie. I was at Sciennes from about 1950-1957. My name then was Dianne Hunter and I wonder if you could pass this along to Angela Lancashire who seems to know some of the same folks I do. I will be in Edinburgh in the middle of May this year (2013) and would love to be in touch with anyone who remembers me.

This site is bringing back lots of memories. Does anyone remember Mr. Nimmo the swimming teacher?

Dianne Bolton (Hunter) 03 March 2013 12:49:41
What a delight to find this site and I see folks who must have been there when I was (1950-57 approx). I’ll be there this May and would love to connect with anyone who went there in the ’50,s. My sister Gloria and I used to travel in from Gilmerton Dykes every day
Aileen Ellis 09 February 2013 16:37:50
I attended Sciennes from 1959 – 1962. I remember a Moira McDonald in my class. We used to chase and hide from a tall girl called Janet. I was friends with another girl called Pamela Feeney. She sadly died some years ago.
Stuart Reid 24 January 2013 12:52:12
Just came upon the sight by accident but glad I did.I was at the school for 7 years between 1957 and 1964 before going on to darroch and boroughmuir.Unfortunately I have a hopeless memory and the classmates names that I have are mostly first names.A few I remember John Stark,John Syme Tommy Mitchell Stuart Robertson in my own class.Like most of the boys at that time my head was full of football and because of that and the fact that the girls were separated by the fence,I hardly knew any of the girls by name.I have not been back to Sciennes in 50 years but I can still do a virtual tour in my mind.I can still remember quite a lot of the teachers.Mr Duthie(who played with Hibs I recall!).It was he along with Mr Sinclair that organised the football teams so they were vip`s.There was also a music teacher called Ms Burnett(could be wrong?) and Mrs Hepburn I think ?Then of course there was “The Robbie”as we called Mr Robertson the headmaster also known as “the Heedie”I can remember cracking one of the small panes of glass in his office with a footballbut this was one of the few occasions when I did not get a dose of the “Lochgelly”He was pretty strict but fair.I can remember quite a lot about my schooldays but ahhh! the names?
Isla 26 December 2012 15:44:05
Hey…It was lovely to see Mr Howie, Ms Gallagher and Mrs Noble at the Carol Concert. I will try and pop in but I am quite busy but I will try! The Concert was amazing! If the P7’s weren’t there I don’t think it would have been the best performance of the night

Love Isla x x x x x

We were all delighted to see you, Isla. It was a fabulous concert. Have a great holiday and hope to see you in the new year.

Ignacio Porras 18 December 2012 12:25:33
The next day, December 20th, my son Nacho, leave the school. Unable to continue living in Edinburgh and returned to Spain. I want to thank the warm welcome received by Nacho from the beginning, and I have to say that the experience in Sciennes Primary School, has been fantastic.
Thanks to everyone who have help to him for living this experience.
billy stewart 14 December 2012 19:22:30
Just read the e-mail from Moira Mckay. I remember her well and her sister Joyce. Believe it or not I too live in Canada, Kingston Ontario to be exact, since 1973. went to Sciennes from 1953 to 1960 great days. I too went on to Jimmy’s. My e-mail is, hopefully Moira will get in touch and we can swap a few names and see if we can remember everyone. Hope to hear from you Moira.
Ian Inkster 07 December 2012 10:08:10
Hiya all

I was, thankfully as its turns out, a pupil at Sciennes from circa 1953 to 1959, when my family left Scotland to follow (belatedly) Watt and Scott southwards.
I returned for the first time on Thursday night and it was a wonderful experience. Neil happened to be in, as was Susan the cleaner, and they welcomed me and my wife on a drizzly, icy late pm. The school looks splendid, not just the computer suite etc but the whole fabric from the playground tree to the gleam of the wood on those famous bannisters!

I never again lived in Scotland, working and living in England, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, the US, Spain and elsewhere, a perambulating Scotsman in the old tradition. Sciennes is the only place I have visited from my distant past that is larger in life than in my imagination! All the streets of Roseneath and of Marchmont Crescent, the buildings and the shops etc are all smaller than I remember, I of course now larger so with perspective vastly heightened and lengthened! Of course many changes were obvious; we ate in the evening in a restaurant that had long ago been the flat of my auntie Coney on Argyle Place, the church down the hill has made way for a modernistic block with, strangely, small crosses on its apartment windows, etc etc. But most corners and lanes are still there and its easy enough to discover important elements of my local past.

But Sciennes was a stopper! Apart from a wonderful and entirely informal welcome and the brilliantly lit rooms and corridors, the atmospher even of the empty school on a wet and dour day was lovely. So well done Sciennes, I am glad to have been there even if those were not my best days of life, and its a real shock to now learn that this was the posh school – the school of choice amongst wise parents. I am glad I had a wise mum and dad back in the 1950s.

Professor Ian Inkster
Nottingham, London and Kaohsiung.

Anonymous from P7 2011-12 24 October 2012 18:03:07
I wish this song was out when I left Sciennes!!
Moira Drummond (nee Mackay) 19 October 2012 19:18:40
Update to previous message, I attended Sciennes from 1955-1961. Classmates: Linda Mack, Carol Christie Madeleine Frame, Sandra Wilson. George Gilmartin, Tom & Jim Winters, Stephen Wozniak to name a few
Moira Drummond (nee Mackay) 19 October 2012 18:54:16
Born and raised at 32 Buccleuch Street, my sister Joyce and I walked through the Meadows every day to school. I remember how strict it was, the marching and always getting caught for talking. Played on the Netball Team and participated in the finals at Meadowbank. Miss Steele was a great teacher. Played the violin for three years but never mastered it. Am now working in the office of a Primary School in Canada (how different things are!) Been in Canada since 1978 but visit Edinburgh every year. Showed Sciennes to my four grandkids when we were over three years ago. Although I enjoyed my time at Sciennes and think of it fondly I had an even better time at James Clark’s (Jimmy’s)
Isla 01 October 2012 20:31:54
Hey how’s it going? I have visited twice so far and not seen Mr Howie. I notice you guys have painted the hall………..I miss the good old days at Sciennes and I hope every teacher is as cool as they were when I went! x
Holly, Myaha, Ellis 29 September 2012 16:20:21
Hi. We remember the good old days with Eda and her rock n roll and Mr H with pink wig and Ms R with her Rebel mob-ile. Can you please put up the surprise video for the P7 Graduation?


Hello girls. Off to Lagganlia soon but will try.

Isla 24 July 2012 12:38:19
I am missing you sooooo much. I just want to say I love you all and I will never forget you xxxxxx
Isla, Myaha and Jasmin 22 July 2012 19:34:35
Hey Ms Gallagher we were wondering if you could put up the suprise video from the graduation show up on Vimeo as Jasmin saw you had P7 2 years ago ( Maddy B’s year) on it if you can that would be great thnx
Isla, Myaha and Jasmin xxxxxxxxx (will visit soon!!!)Hello girls. Mr Howie made the video and I’ll ask him if he can post it.
Margery MacKay 21 July 2012 12:08:24
I attended Sciennes between 1957 and 1963.
I still have the photo of the netball team I played in and my class photo. My best friend was Carole
who emigrated to Canada in 1962 and we kept in touch and between us we managed recently to name the 38 people in our class. Big classes then! but the teaching was brilliant. Miss Hepburn taught us French and Geography in a very imaginative way.
I also remember the singing and the mock up shop we had. What prompted me to write was I met a former pupil yesterday by chance-50 years on.
Myaha 05 July 2012 11:02:02
I just want to say goodbye to everyone in the Sciennes family and all my old class mates. I hope in 20 years I can still remember them all.

Thank you
Myaha xxxxxxx

Myaha 05 July 2012 10:59:11
Mr Howie said that p7 went fast and it did. As I have finished Sciennes now I have started to see photos from primary 1 and on and have loved all of the bonds I’ve made that will last a lifetime so thanks to Mr Howie, Miss Phillips and Ms Ross.
Isla :D!! 03 July 2012 21:23:15
I was in tears on Friday. Mrs Noble and Ms Gallagher were really nice when I came over to say goodbye and I want to say thanks to all the teachers and pupils I shared 7 years with. Mr McKenna inspired me by writing this in my memory book
SAY IT LONG SAY IT LOUD I’M SCIENNES AND I’M PROUD. He was a real inspiration. I will miss you guys so so much.
I will visit soon
Isla xx
Isla 28 June 2012 20:21:49
Leavers’ Dance was yesterday night. At first I was nervous to go in because none of my friends have seen me in a dress but after that I had an amazing time. Tomorrow is the last day. I am really going to miss Sciennes 🙁 ILY (I love you) all.
Isla xxxxWe love you, too, Isla
Isla 26 June 2012 22:23:02
Graduation was yesterday!! It was amazing. I started to cry just after I got my certificate and then when I went home. Luckily most of my friends will be in the same high school as me and I can’t wait till high school but I’m gonna miss Sciennes very much!!!!!
Myaha 22 June 2012 21:05:54
5 days left just to think that I have made friendships to last a life and bonds that I will never forget.

Farewell old friend/old school and HELLO high school/new friends/teachers.

Isla 22 June 2012 21:03:15
Hey, 5 more days. I am crying just thinking about leaving, I have had 7 AMAZING!!! years at Sciennes and had lots of great memories and AWESOME TEACHERS!!!!!!!
I hope all future pupils enjoy their years at Sciennes as Sciennes is the best school to go to!!!! I hope that in Gillespies I feel the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOODBYE!!! xxxxxx
Isla 19 June 2012 20:40:02
Had a great time today on the first day of the 3 day visit at JGHS. I met lots of new people in my class yesterday at Meggetland and I met an old friend from nursery. I am gonna miss Sciennes!!!!!!!!
Isla 13 June 2012 19:11:22
2 weeks left!!
Off to JGHS next week for the three day visit and the Graduation is on the following Monday!!!!!! I want to leave Sciennes but I also don’t as I have had so many good memories here. I am sad and happy to be leaving. I want to thank all the teachers I had from P1-P7!!! and Mrs Noble and Ms Gallagher. I hope Sciennes will always stay the best school!!!!!!!!We’ll always be here for you, Isla, so you can come back anytime to visit and let us know how well you’re doing. We’ll miss you.
John &william kay 11 June 2012 11:52:25
Hello Ms Gallagher,
My brother and I were very pleased to meet you on Sat the 9th June. The short tour was well worth it. Your kind attention and help was very much appreciated .I was at the school from Aug 1944 and my brother from 1946. I will email you the photo as promised ,also I have my swimming certificate if you would like to see them. Take care and many thanks for all your help. It was a wonderful interlude to our stay in Edinburgh
Mr J M KayIt was my pleasure to welcome you back and I’ll email you the photographs we took.




(Please contact school for Angela’s email address)

Myaha 03 June 2012 20:03:11
The school party was amazing! I had a great time. I hope the leavers’ dance is like that as I left the school feeling happy and want to say thank you for the cupcake,ice pop and the fun time. We gave people a peek preview of our graduation show dance.
Tilda 30 May 2012 19:01:32
Hi my friend Laura invited me to the party but I just read that it was only for current students so can I go ??? or not


Tilda, you have a special, personal invitation and we asked Laura to contact you. We would love to see you!

myaha 😀 27 May 2012 19:53:59
We have about 5-6 weeks left of my primary life and I am thinking about how far I have come from being a bit worried at the start about high school but now looking forward to it and knowing that I can leave Sciennes Primary with my head held high. I want to say thanks to all the teachers I have had in my 4 years at Sciennes
Christine 25 May 2012 09:06:44
Attended Sciennes from 1967 – 1975. Mr Fox best teacher and remember Mrs Waugh who was always there when you felt unwell.

A year to remember for all in my year as most will turn 50 this year: Linda, Eleanor, Caroline, Beth, Gail, Norah, Jennifer, Martin, Richard, Stuart, Timothy, James, Jimmy.
Good times!

Billy 24 May 2012 17:15:10
Would love to come and see you sometime. I pass a lot but school is on so I don’t go in and in the next few weeks I am going on holiday but next year I will. We’re S3 now! Hard to think that was 2 years ago.
Isla 23 May 2012 17:58:45
I am in P7C going up to JGHS. I have had brilliant times at Sciennes! I hope everyone else who is going to High School this year feels the same way!
Will and Billy 20 May 2012 18:13:55
Hey Hey Ms G
Best teacher for years of our life with you!!!!!
(Will) I’m glad you know it wasn’t me who put graffiti on the amphitheatre!
(Billy) Hey Ms G hope to hear from youYou’ll always be Sciennes boys! Please come and see us soon
Keith Mitchell 18 May 2012 11:12:05
Hi, I went to Sciennes between 76 and 83. Have wonderful memories of this school. Went on to James Gillespies before joining the army. After the army I did a degree in biology at Edinburgh Uni and then a masters in Paris. Now workng in Geneva.
Looking to catch up with classmates Michael Millar, Christopher Stacey et al..
Robert Veitch 15 May 2012 12:49:34
For Alice Edge. Sylvia Lees, your cousin, was in my class at Sciennes and she’s in my class photo, if I can find it. Sylvia was awesome as I remember her. Also, Alice I see your name was Scott and another girl, Janet Scott, was in my class too. We went to Boroughmuir together.
This was in the period 1939-45, just like Peter Woodley but not the same class it seems. The most striking difference between then and now is the amount of traffic, don’t you think? If we saw a car in Sciennes Road in the early forties everyone would be talking about it. And it was horses that pulled the coal lorries, the bakers’ vans and so on.
myaha 11 May 2012 19:06:10
As it is coming up to the last 6-7 weeks I am thinking about how much I have learned,enjoyed and loved being at Sciennes.

i want to say thank you and THIS HAS BEEN LIFE CHANGING!!!! xxxx Thank you

Isla 10 May 2012 20:10:55
P7 is great! Mr Howie is my fave teacher. If I have a problem he will ALWAYS help out. I have about 6 weeks left at Sciennes. I don’t want to leave – it’s going to be emotional for most people.
I just want to say thanks to all the teachers I have had over the years and I will miss Sciennes soooooo much
From Isla xxx
myaha 😀 05 May 2012 17:28:47
P7 is good and I am looking forward to the leavers’ dance and leaving show. I saw the old school log books and they were so cool.
Alex Mclean 01 May 2012 15:54:50
Hi Anyone remember me ? 1966 / 72. Top o the class for football ability !!! Nothing else :):) Mr Fox best teacher. Played for Sciennes football team scored 33 goals in 1 season:)

Alex Mclean.

Ruth Cumming(HOPKINS) 27 April 2012 22:25:37
1950-1951,my one year in Edinburgh and at Sciennes Primary. Born in Glasgow 1940. Childhood between Scotland and Nigeria where parents were missionaries. Came to Australia Nov1951 as assisted migrants. Now retired secondary teacher in Melbourne,4 children and 8 grandchildren. Fond memories of Sciennes after 12 schools on 3 continents. Any photos from 195110 -11 yr olds? Best friends Moira Symonds and Margaret Henderson.
Dahlia 20 April 2012 09:50:31
I have visited the school yesterday and I really want to say BIG THANK you to everyone works in the school. I was worried about moving my children from their school in Glasgow but meeting the head teacher and the staff made was amazing. We called in the morning and we were given an appointment straight away. The head teacher gave us a tour and explained everything we wanted to know. The head teacher was fantastic and staff were professional, efficient and welcoming. I consider the tour as one of the best experiences that I ever had and I am looking forward for my kids to be in the school.
Holly 😀 16 April 2012 18:06:29
Hi does anyone know when the P7C VE day party is?
thank you
Holly:DThursday 19th April, Holly

See Class Pages>P7 for Jiving videos!

marlene (Bennnett) whitworth 16 April 2012 02:11:31
A further memory just flashed to me! A young girl Cynthia Lee from Jamaica was a girl I knew in 1944-1945. Her Dad was training at University there to become a doctor. Thanks again!
marlene (Bennnett) whitworth 01 April 2012 03:03:26
I attended Sciennes School in 1944, unaware I had sat for my scholarship,told my Mum we had an exam! We lived at 10 Meadow place in Edinburgh. My Auntie was in a show with Harry Gordon at the King’s Theatre. I was in a play at the school as a Queen I believe. It was a brief but Very memorable time.It wasn’t until we returned to Hornchurch, Essex, I discovered I had passed the exam, which enabled me to go to Romford Grammar school for girls. I do remember the swimming pool, and would admire the nurses inputting patients on the balconies for some air. I must have been able to see them from my classroom. Oh needless to say , got the strap for talking!!! It is amusing I have lived in Canada most of my life now , at present live on Vancouver Island. Thank you , I only recently discovered the name of the school, in fact I did visit Edinburgh for one day in 1991 and sat outside the beautiful school. Magical memories altogether of my year in Edinburgh.
PETER WOODLEY 31 March 2012 07:02:50
Isla 27 March 2012 19:57:04
Loving the new website xx

🙂 Thanks, Isla

Myra King 22 March 2012 16:48:23
I went to Sciennes in 1953, have have managed to contact a class mate just recently, I was Myra Wood then, great website thanks
Jane Malvod 06 March 2012 20:38:45
I can remember this school 20 years ago and just seeing it makes me remember the good old days. Thanks for my trip back to my early years.
Isla 05 February 2012 19:33:15
Isla 05 December 2011 17:35:42
P7’s in Choir are going to the Marchmont tree lighting ceremony on Saturday 10th with Mrs Noble and Mrs McVicker. Sadly Tabitha will miss it she is going back to Nigeria. She will be missed by us all.
Isla 04 December 2011 19:00:36
The Christmas Fair was great! We made over 150 pounds in Santa’s Grotto. I was an elf for Santa.

I can’t wait for the Sportshall Athletics competition!

Kiki 04 December 2011 13:55:53
Hi, I’m from Germany and looking for English schools for a project in my English lessons. This is a very nice website which has helped me a lot.
Greetings from Saxony.
holly:D 22 November 2011 18:09:12
I love being in p7. Mr Howie’s the best. I’m a Junior Road Safety Officer and Lagganlia was great!
Norma Hughes 21 November 2011 17:42:15
I was at Sciennes Primary School from 1956. My first teacher was Mrs Keppie her single name was Laura Brand and danced on the TV show THE WHITE HEATHER CLUB. She was a fantastic teacher. I still remember my first day she was playing the piano and singing.
Jenifer Regiment nee Longuard 14 November 2011 21:05:06
Hi my name is Jenifer Regiment nee Longuard. I came to this school in 1947 till 1953. I came in P2 and left in P7. After that I went to Blackpool for S1. I now have 1 child Angela and 3 grandchildren Molly Erin And John who go to Hardmon Primary in Manchester
Lots of love from Jenifer
Robert Jamieson 11 November 2011 20:34:10
Follow-up . . .

I’ve made a Sciennes School Badge from memory as I could not find an original. If you have an original I’ll make an EXACT replica if you like.

I’ve also found an old school class photo in front of the tree in the front playground around 1957.


Robert Jamieson 11 November 2011 19:37:46
I was born in Causewayside in 1947 and was at Sciennes Primary from 1952 until going on to Boroughmuir in 1958.

I remember we lined up at the back of the school on Melvile Drive with our Union Flags to watch the Queen after her coronation.

I learned to swim in the pool (still have the Certificate) where Mr Nimmo (we called him minnow) was the teacher. Mr Duthie (George was also a footballer for Dunfermline Athletic and ‘Tas’ Taylor was the sports teacher and we had a good football team at Meggetland every saturday morning playing in red/navy hoops. My registered teacher was Mr Mathieson.

I was looking for the old Sciennes School badge but cannot find it?

aqsa 08 November 2011 20:43:19
I left Sciennes in June and am now in s1. I really enjoyed my time there. All the teachers were amazing and the experience was amazing. I loved every second of Sciennes. I miss it sooo much. I really want to come back but I really enjoy high school. I thank Ms McGhee for getting me ready for high school and supporting me when I got upset about leaving and how no one I knew was going to the same school as me . The highlight of my 7 years was p7. There was never ever a dull moment. I would love to thank everyone at Sciennes for making my 7 years there amazing. Thank you x