Friday, 17 November 2017

Pupils Take The Lead!

On Friday 17th November we celebrated the many ways our pupils continue to take the lead, ahead of UN World Children's Day on Monday 20th November. We watched a UNICEF film, made by children, for children, to inspire action.

Sixteen House and Sports Captains were introduced and we congratulated everyone who applied, encouraging all Primary Seven pupils to keep being excellent prefects and role models.

P7 pupils Niamh and Alice approached our Senior Leadership earlier in the term, inspired to take action by a BBC documentary (No More Boys and Girls - Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?) on gender bias, set in a school in England. Both girls recently spoke at a whole staff meeting, inviting all classes P1-P7 to take part in a survey designed to investigate gender bias in our own school. 650 boys and girls were asked to draw their future occupations and Niamh and Alice analysed results to explore attitudes. They presented their findings at Assembly and have many other ideas for challenging views and raising awareness of gender equality.

Mr Howie gave an inspirational presentation designed to encourage everyone to be the 'best version' of themselves possible, taking small actions to make a difference to others.

Six classes - our entire P6 and P7 year groups - are working with Ms Pearmain and class teachers to take the lead in supporting the Winter Fair on Saturday 25th November 12pm-3pm in #iwill Week. Sorla and Eliza explained how P6 have taken on Virgin Money's challenge to 'Make £5 Grow' and Henry explained P7's equally enterprising approaches to fundraising. Thank you to Mr McKenna for all his support in creating magical boxes in the Science and Technology lab.

Our ECO reps met with Mr Hutchison and Miss Ferguson this week and are taking the lead on Switch Off Fortnight. Our P6 JRSOs asked everyone to wear something bright or reflective next week at their Road Safety Assembly.

P4B girls highlighted the need to ask first if equipment or toys are being used, before taking. They reminded everyone to 'treat others as you would like to be treated', follow the 'Three Steps' and work together to make sure we respect everyone's right to be happy and safe in our playground.

Pupils were reminded that they should always come back into school if an adult is unexpectedly not there to pick them up at the end of the day.

House Captains congratulated pupils on recent achievements and announced that Tantallon is leading in House points this week.

Grange House - Maisie, James
Grange Sports - Iain, Flora
Lauder House - Fraser, Molly
Lauder Sports - Eilidh, Sam S
Sienna House - Sophia, Sam B
Sienna Sports - Louis, Emma
Tantallon House - Alice, Caspar
Tantallon Sports - Saad, Arwen

Next week's P4-7 Assembly will take place immediately after P1-3 Assembly 9.50-10.30am to allow Hall space for nativity rehearsals.

Article 2

You have the right to protection against discrimination.

Article 12

You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Dyslexia Awareness Week 6th-10th November

Sciennes is a Dyslexia Friendly school. On Friday 3rd November we featured Dyslexia Awareness in both P1-3 and P4-7 Assemblies, following Dyslexia Scotland's theme of 'Positive About Dyslexia'.

A slideshow showing famous scientists, inventors, business people, musicians, writers, artists and actors, who are said to have dyslexia, was shown as pupils were entering and leaving the Hall.

Ms Kennedy and Miss Thistlethwaite have been working with groups of dyslexic pupils who will deliver year group presentations to P4-P7 next week, in Dyslexia Awareness Week. A group of P7 pupils gave an excellent presentation at the P1-3 Assembly and P7 pupil Catherine is leading the distribution of blue ribbons next week. Video clips were shown to help explain dyslexia and develop positive attitudes towards having dyslexia and also towards dyslexic pupils who have to work hard to overcome associated challenges.

Interested pupils were invited to speak to families about attending the launch of a new Dyslexia Scotland website 'Unwrapped' for dyslexic children to be held at Central Library on George IV Bridge Thursday 9th November 5.30pm-8pm.

P7 pupils will be selling poppies next week and Mr Howie explained the significance of this.

All pupils were encouraged to have safe and happy celebrations on Bonfire Night.

Article 2

You have the right to protection against discrimination.

Article 28

You have the right to education.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

P3 Raise an Amazing £3320 for Send A Cow Charity!

On Friday 27th October Mrs Noble led the P1-3 and P4-7 Harvest Assemblies and we welcomed local Minister Stuart Irvin from St Catherine's of Argyll who told an Old Testament story about Ruth to help us think about how we can help others.

Mrs Noble led both Harvest Assemblies

Rev Stuart Irvin, St Catherine's of Argyll Church

Robert Stephens made a welcome return to accept a cheque from P3 on behalf of Send A Cow

Robert Stephens, Send a Cow Ambassador, joined us to collect a cheque for an amazing £1660! The Government has undertaken to match fund that amount, doubling it to an incredible  £3320! Thank you to all Sciennes' families for such kind generosity in supporting the Primary Three led Harvest charity appeal by contributing donations in their handmade envelopes and providing or buying wonderful homemade treats at the P3 Bake Sale held before the October break. Congratulations to Ms Anstruther and the P3 Team of pupils and staff for such a successful initiative, making a real difference to families in Africa through Send A Cow's commendable sustainable development projects.

Parent Mrs Lorna Nunn spoke at the upper school Assembly to inform pupils that the P6/7 Tuesday lunchtime Scripture Union club resumes next week. Interested pupils can pick up a form from Mrs Noble and online registration details have been emailed to families.

Pupils taking the lead is a feature at Sciennes and we noted the many existing and new initiatives driving forward pupil participation and pupil voice, including P7 pupil Catherine who is working with Ms Kennedy, Miss Thistlethwaite and a group of pupils in next week's Dyslexia Awareness Week. Our JRSOs distributed reflective Be Seen Be Safe badges, donated by a local Coop business, to all 650 pupils in readiness for the clock change at the weekend and the darkening evenings ahead.

Recent pupil achievements were celebrated and Primary Seven pupils were highly commended for their team work, positive attitudes and kindness in an excellent week at Lagganlia Outdoor Education Week, praised by our staff and Lagganlia Instructors alike.

Article 29

The right to education which develops your personality, respect for others’ rights and the environment.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

When Will There Be A Harvest for the World? P3 Making a Difference.

On Friday 29th September 2017 at both Assemblies, a group of P3 pupils joined Send A Cow Ambassador, Robert Stephens, in presenting how they are taking action as global citizens in support of four of the Sustainable Development Goals and acting to 'Make A Difference.'

Our three Primary Three classes are again leading the whole school Harvest Appeal with their Class Teachers and DHT Ms Anstruther, which this year is in support of the Send a Cow charity.

Each child in P3 is producing hand drawn collection envelopes which will be distributed to each of our families. If all our families contributed £1 we would reach a goal of £640 and be able to gift a cow to a family in Africa. Primary Three pupils are taking on different young workforce lead roles for their appeal campaign, such as Communications Teams, Publicity Teams and Finance Teams.

Send a Cow Ambassador, Robert Stephens, spoke with passion and eloquence to explain to the children how the charity works with families in Africa to provide training in not only animal husbandry but also in sanitation, irrigation and keyhole farming. He relayed the story of Jennifer whom he had visited in Uganda and saw first hand the huge difference the project had made to her life and that of her family. Jennifer was able not only to provide milk and vegetables for her own family, but could sell surplus at market to pay for tools, medicine and schooling. Perhaps most telling was Robert's final slide which showed that Jennifer had reached such a self-sufficient stage that she was able to purchase an ornamental vase, merely because she 'liked it.' 

Primary Three invited everyone to help Make A Difference by supporting their appeal with donations in the envelopes and also contributing to their planned bake sale on Friday 13th October.  We wish them great success in their endeavours and thank Robert for his gracious time supporting the children.

Article 29

The right to education which develops your personality, respect for others’ rights and the environment.

Friday, 22 September 2017

What World Do You Want to See By 2030?

On Friday 22nd September we celebrated Global Goals Week with a look at what action is already taking place at Sciennes Primary to support the Sustainable Development Global Goals (SDGs). We invited the  children to design their own Global Goals glasses to reflect the world they want to see by 2030 and asked them to think about which actions they could take this year to be Global #Goalkeepers. We asked pupils to take their Global Goals glasses home and ask their families if they are aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. Which of the Global Goals does your family support and why?

Global Goals Glasses

Our three P3 classes are taking action on SDG1, SDG2 and SDG3 by leading a whole school Harvest Appeal in support of the charity 'Send A Cow to Africa' and a speaker will address both Assemblies next week.

The Kid's Guide to Send a Cow from Send a Cow on Vimeo.

This week, in Scottish Climate Week, P7 have been taking action on SDG13 (Climate Action) by presenting 17 000 consultation responses to the Scottish Government's forthcoming Climate Bill with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and Friends of the Earth. Eco Schools Scotland invited Faye, Sorley and Lucy to participate as a direct result of P7A's work on air pollution last year with Mr Hutchison, Mr McKenna, Ms Christie and SEPA. The pupils cycled to Parliament from school to hand over the responses to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment.

Faye, Sorley and Lucy told everyone about their visit to Parliament with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

Newly elected P6 Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) Lyall, Essie and Anna shared details about their invitation to a training session at City Chambers, designed to support them in their lead role this year. Lyall explained that there had been workshops and one was on air quality, as a direct result of P7A's involvement with SEPA last year. Essie updated everyone on the Hands Up Scotland Travel Survey they organised and that baseline information has been added to our Living Streets Travel Tracker. Anna shared that the JRSOs will work with classes to help them use the Travel Tracker again this year to track active travel.

Supporting the world's plan for sustainable development using the Global Goals will help us all stand up for rights and P7C pupils this week articulately explained their understanding of the UNCRC to the Minister for Young People, Mark MacDonald, at a special celebratory event arranged by Together Scotland. Many thanks to Juliet Harris and Liz Millerfield for organising a very special 'picnic' lunch for the children, in recognition of all their hard work with artists Joanna, Yonnie and Lyver in creating fabulous UNCRC artwork on panels destined for the Scottish Parliament.

P7C pupils meet Mark MacDonald MSP at Together Scotland offices in Rosebery House

There was recognition for Ms MacKintosh in successfully leading engagement with Maths Week Scotland and for Ms Christie in leading a uniquely innovative and adventurous programme of cycling for P6.

P4A showed their wonderful 'Resilience Role Model' posters and Anjalie in P4 was also congratulated on her terrific Mindset poster.

We reminded pupils that to stay safe they should come back into the School Office if the person coming to collect them up is delayed.

We look forward to hearing pupils' ideas for being part of the Global Goals plan, making a difference at Sciennes, in the local community and beyond.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Global Goals House Assemblies 15.9.17

On Friday 15th September 2017 we held our first House Assemblies of the new session for P2-P7 and welcomed P2 pupils to their first ever House Assembly for Grange, Lauder, Sienna and Tantallon.

In November 2015 Sciennes achieved a Bronze Award and in May 2016, Sciennes achieved a Silver (Level One) "Rights Respecting School" award. We are working towards Gold accreditation (Level Two), achievable within three years of Silver. Our journey so far has been recorded on our Rights Respecting Sciennes Timeline. We asked pupils what it means to be a UNCRC Rights Respecting School and reminded them this includes being a Global Citizen, respecting other people's rights.

We first introduced our pupils to the United Nations' Global Goals for Sustainable Development when they were launched in September 2015. By 2030 these aim to:

End extreme poverty
Fight inequality & injustice
Fix climate change

On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) Two years on, we watched a rap to help us understand all the goals better.

2018 is the Year of Young People and we asked the children to think about and share their ideas for being #Goalkeepers, like Malala, Barack Obama and Bill and Melinda Gates. What world do they want to see by 2030?

'The World's Largest Lesson Part Three' has a food theme this year and we will be exploring this and other relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout the year. P3 will again be leading a whole school Harvest Appeal. Last year they successfully led donations to a local Foodbank charity and this year they are supporting the Send a Cow to Africa charity.

15th September is the International Day for Democracy. Congratulations to our newly elected Pupil Council members who will be the voice of their classmates throughout the year and will also be our Rights Respecting Schools Ambassadors. The results of the ECO Rep elections were also announced for each House.

Article 12

You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.

Article 29

The right to education which develops your personality, respect for others’ rights and the environment.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Challenge Yourself! Challenge Your Mindset!

On Friday 8th September we explored 'Challenge Your Mindset'  which is one of ten strategies in City of Edinburgh's Health and Wellbeing programme for "Building Resilience." The programme complements Sciennes' existing HWB work, successfully led by DHT Ms Carolyn Anstruther and staff and parent School Improvement groups over many years.

Pupils were encouraged to maintain a Growth Mindset and were reminded that their abilities need not be fixed. Believing that achievement is possible is important, but lots of effort and determination and being open to make and learn from mistakes are also keys to success. We watched videos from Class Dojo and Sport Scotland to encourage us to keep challenging ourselves and keep persevering in our efforts.

Miss McGrouther's P6B class has created a display with inspiring quotes on self belief entitled "Believe in Your #Selfie." Ivy and Alba researched leadership quotes for homework, working hard to impress their teacher with their extra efforts, and shared these at Assembly.

The first Maths Week Scotland takes place next week and Ms Mackintosh is leading many maths events and activities in school.  Some classes are also taking part in a national Sumdog competition, in school, at home or both.

Today, 8th September, is International Literacy Day and pupils have been invited to take part in the First Minister's Reading Challenge again this year. Reading passports have been ordered and reading challenges will take place throughout the year. One of the first is to join a local library, which then gives access to dozens of free resources such as Mathletics and ebooks.

This week P7C pupils assisted at Assembly in a quiz and in celebrating pupil achievements.

Article 24

You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Resilience Role Models

On Friday 1st September 2017, Mr Howie led the P4-7 Assembly, continuing our 'Building Resilience' Health and Wellbeing focus by exploring Resilience Role Models and different types of role model. Mr Howie particularly focused on Teddy Roosevelt, engagingly telling the story of his fascinating, inspiring life and how he strove to overcome adversity and take on personal challenges. Mr Howie also highlighted links with some of the ten 'Be Resilient' toolkit strategies (from a City of Edinburgh HWB programme) that we will be exploring further this year.

Pupils from P7A helped launch our annual P6 and P7 Junior Awards Scheme for Schools (JASS) and we celebrated recent pupil achievements.

Article 24

You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Be The Captain of Your Ship

On Friday 25th August 2017 we introduced pupils to Skipper, the lead character in a Health and Wellbeing programme called 'Building Resilience' which has been developed by a group of Edinburgh staff led by Karen Richmond (South Morningside Primary) and Pattie Santelices (Principal Officer Mental Health & Welllbeing, City of Edinburgh Council.) The programme complements and re-enforces our own Health and Wellbeing programme, developed by Carolyn Anstruther and staff, with support from our Parent Council Health and Wellbeing group, and well established over several years.

Primary Seven pupils from P7B helped introduce ten strategies that we will focus on throughout the year to help our pupils build resilience to support good mental health. We all got on our feet to sing 'Stronger' and considered Kid President's message that things in life may not always be 'awesome', but our response can be. Pupils were invited to research 'Resilience Role Models' at home and create a poster. A selection will be shared at next week's Assembly.

We congratulated our two Fringe Festival actresses Hannah and Faye who have had rave reviews on stage. Zoe in P4A wowed us with her Spanish language skills and we celebrated Aiden and Louis' tremendous achievements competing in an international mathematics competition in Beijing over the summer holiday.

Pupils were reminded that Pupil Council and ECO rep elections will soon take place and to prepare speeches if they wish to stand for election.

Article 24

You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Sciennes Values Respect

On Friday 18th August we welcomed Primary Four pupils and all new pupils to their first upper school assembly. We also welcomed Miss Jennifer Ferguson and Miss Sophie Mitchell to the Primary Five team.

This year, we are revisiting our school vision and values so pupils were invited to think about what is most important to us in the Sciennes Family.  We are extremely grateful to parent Emma Kirk (CEO User Vision and Convenor of the Parent Council Communications Group) who recently led an excellent session to help the whole staff revisit and reflect on our vision and values. Pupil Council leaders will soon be elected, one from each class P2-P7, who will then be able to join in on discussions and support the process.

We explored ways to respect everyone's right to be safe and right to learn at Sciennes. Primary Seven pupils helped explain what 'The Golden Rule' means.

Showing respect universally unites us all: in the classroom, in the school and beyond, as global citizens.  Brad Montague's moving film ' Smuggling Hope' was shown to help us all continue to believe that we can all make a difference by upholding our values.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

World's Largest Lesson Returns 18th September

Gearing up for our third year at Sciennes Primary learning and teaching about the 17 Sustainable Development Global Goals. 

Tell everyone
Get creative
Take action

Saturday, 24 June 2017

P6 UNCRC Art Project with Together (The Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights)

UNCRC panels destined for Scottish Parliament in the Autumn

Juliet Harris and Liz Millership visiting to see UNCRC panels created Together 
We hope that families will take the opportunity to come into school before the end of term to see the wonderful UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) panels currently on display in the foyer outside the Gym Hall. They will also be on display in the Scottish Parliament in the Autumn. Below, the children explain the themes and messages in the panels.

Chelsea Stinson, Children's Voices Project Manager from the Children's Parliament (based at Summerhall) approached us with a very exciting opportunity to work with Together - the Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights (see video below).  


Over the past few months, Together and the Scottish Universities Insight Institute  hosted four seminars on children's rights in law, practice and policy, sharing national international examples of good practice with a diverse group of delegates: 

As part of this seminar series, Together has been working to ensure that children and young people play a key role and that key messages from the seminars are accessible to everyone. Together commissioned artists Joanna Boyce, Yonnie and Lyver to work with our P6 pupils to present key messages in a creative and engaging way.

Three young people who had attended the seminars (Joel, Thomas and Suki) interpreted the key messages and themes then P6C pupils from Miss Katy Stewardson's class - Arwen, Thomas, Alma, Luis, Eilidh, Isaac, Eamon and Rachel - worked closely with the artists to visualise the imagery suggested, for example 'rights in the clouds', 'a policy factory', 'a meadow of rights' and 'connected Together in a daisy chain.'

During the project on 7th, 8th and 9th of June, Miss Stewardson's whole class discussed and worked on visualising UNCRC articles, particularly Article 42 Everyone should know about the UNCRC (finding ways to depict 42 of the articles) and Article 31 The right to play and rest.

P6C have included their own images of 42 articles of the UNRC
P6C's ideas will help create a new Playground Charter

Juliet and Liz from Together Alliance visited P6C on Election Day 8th June when Emily illustrated Article 4

Isaac - The Policy Factory
"My panel showed all adults trying to let children have the rights but the children aren't actually involved in the process. I enjoyed working with the people and painting the mural." Isaac

The Policy Factory, but where are the children?

The Policy Factory from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Thomas - Right in Reach?

"My panel shows the children reaching for their rights. They aren't getting their rights because the adults are not letting the children help them make the policies. It is important children are involved in things about them." Thomas

How can we help all children to reach their rights?

Right in Reach? from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Luis - Teardrop
" My panel was the one about not getting heard. And children not getting respect. There was a teardrop in the middle because the child was sad that no one was listening to her." Luis

A tear for the child who says, "No one asked me."

Teardrop from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Eilidh - The Children's Rights Clan

"Painting the mural was really fun. The artists were nice and helpful. I learned that I could change rights for other children in Scotland. I got better at painting over the two and a half days and enjoyed myself. I hope the mural changes the MSPs' views on decisions about kids' rights." Eilidh

The Clan, all Together for Children's Rights, including Noel, Leo and Suki

The Children's Rights Clan from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Alma - Right at the Heart

"This panel is where kids are well heard by all the adults. Instead of doing homework straight after school, this girl went outside, had some fresh air and learned more insects. Her teacher teaches mindfulness to her at school and all the children are well treated and well heard." Alma

Getting It Right, at the Heart

Right at the Heart from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Eamon - Equations

"I think I got a lot out of painting the mural. I developed my teamwork skills while having fun with my friends. The panel I worked on the most was the Equations board which is about three people talking to each other about how rights should just be there, that every child has them." Eamon

It All Adds Up - every child born equals the same rights

Equations from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Rachel -The Meadow of Children's Rights

I really enjoyed working on the mural because it involved being very creative! I liked the ideas Joel, Thomas and Suki had come up with, so it was fun painting and building on them. The mural shows a powerful message to me and I hope it will do the same for anyone else who sees it!" Rachel

Journey along the panels to reach the Meadow of Children's Rights

The Meadow of Rights from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Arwen - Daisy Chained Together

When I painted this mural I learned that everyone has rights and that my voice should be heard. My panel/talking bit was about passing on the word of rights and that everyone should know about them. The mural was very fun to do and I learned lots about rights." Arwen

All connected Together

The Daisy Chain from Sciennes Primary School on Vimeo.

Thank you Lyver, Yonnie and Joanna!

Introducing the project to P6C with Class Teacher Miss Katy Stewardson

Miss Stewardson's whole class discussed and worked on visualising UNCRC articles:

Juliet Harris and Liz Millership from Together - the Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights - visiting P6C

P6C created their Class Charter with Miss Stewardson at the beginning of the year
Thank you Mrs Aliya Tariq for wonderful assistance with art project

Article 1

Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 12

You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.

Article 42

All adults and children should know about this convention.