Sciennes Primary School was built in 1892. It stands adjacent to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and serves the communities of the Grange, Sciennes and Mayfield, on the south side of Edinburgh. The school is co-educational and non-denominational. The catchment area has a small proportion of association homes, the majority of housing being owner occupied. There are 23 classes, and the current roll is 665 pupils. 15% of our pupils are bilingual and approximately 20% come from outwith our catchment area. We celebrate and greatly value the wonderful diversity in the Sciennes family.
Our school is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture, but can provide challenges for learning and teaching in the 21stCentury. We have invested resources to create additional teaching areas to support individual and group learning opportunities. The school has a large hall, one general-purpose room and science base. We are very fortunate to have a swimming pool situated in the basement. A portable unit houses two classrooms to the rear of the building. An ‘outdoor classroom / garden’ has been created. There are two dining hall and kitchen areas where our pupils are provided with school lunches. The dining / small halls are also used for learning and teaching and one is the base for the Sciennes After School Care Scheme (SASCS). The small hall was refurbished to create a high quality dance studio / PE area and a new Dining Hall opened in August 2017. Our new dining hall contributes to helping us reach target for our pupils to enjoy two hours of physical education. We have a stimulating playground to enhance breaktimes as well as outdoor learning experiences for children.
The Headteacher (HT), Mr Andrew Hunter, is supported by two Depute Headteachers (DHT) – Ms Anstruther P1-3 and Ms Gallagher P5-7. Ms Jenni McGrouther and Mr John Armstrong have been appointed Principal Teachers. There are two part time Additional Support for Learning Teachera (ASL), one part time English as An Additional Language teacher (EAL) and one Bilingual Support Assistant. The school also has teachers who provide Science and a number of student Assistants supporting Modern Languages. In 2019-2020 we have one PE teacher two days a week, one PE teacher one day a week and a swimming teacher once a week for P3 – P7. All classes have benefited from an increase in PE opportunities, including curriculum swimming, tennis, dance and rugby. Our Active School Coordinator made a very effective contribution to enhancing experiences during and outwith school. We are fortunate to have good facilities in our local community.
The Youth Music Initiative (NYCOS) provided a music / singing teacher for P3 classes. Pupils from P4 – P7 received tuition in violin, viola and wind instruments and P4 and P5 will again have an eight week block of ukulele tuition funded by Creative Scotland. A Music Showcase is planned for the end of May at Marchmont St Giles.
The school greatly benefits from the support of a part-time Business Manager, Mr Steve Davies, who forms part of the Senior Leadership Team.The school is served effectively by our Administrator(Mrs Brenda Ellis), Clerical Assistants, Pupil Support Assistants and Service Support Officers. We are also fortunate to have very good catering and cleaning staff.
A range of services and agencies support the work of the school. The Sciennes After School Club Service (SACS) provides care after school, at a new Breakfast Club and during school holidays. The holiday club service supports children and families from other local schools. In 2019 a new weekly Homework was established.
The Parent Council, including the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and various pro-active subgroups, is fully involved in the life and work of the school and very supportive and innovative.