Friday, 27 January 2017

Citizenship Assembly 27.1.17



On Friday 27th January our Assembly theme was Citizenship with a particular focus on our Pupil Eco Group's recent and planned actions in school. We were delighted to welcome Kirstin Unger from the Parent Eco Group, who works so hard to improve our school grounds, planting with pupils and greening our playground so beautifully. Kirstin explained very clearly and engagingly how to take part in the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend. We look forward to hearing how many pupils took part and which birds were spotted.

Kirstin encourages participation in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
The Pupil Eco Group agreed with Kirstin's suggestion at a recent joint Parent and Pupil Eco Group  meeting to organise regular collections for loose play. Michael and Catie encouraged everyone to bring in pine cones next week. Faye encouraged classes to use the online Travel Tracker to record journeys to school and Ali reminded P6C that his class is on Litter Duty next week. We were excited to announce that Sciennes is one of ten schools to be selected for a new Eco Schools eTwinning project and we will find out more next month.

Barack Obama promoted Global Citizenship throughout his presidency and has now handed the mic to a new generation. The Obama Foundation http://www.obama.org has been set up to focus on developing the next generation of citizens and we aim to help all our children become Responsible Citizens.






We welcomed Lesley and Lorna to tell everyone about a new Scripture Union lunchtime club for P6/P7 starting after the February break.


Lorna and Lesley launch new SU Club
Our Sports Captains celebrated pupil achievements and promoted the JGHS Appeal for small toys and pencil cases. P6 Digital Leaders were congratulated on setting up a new lunchtime iPad Coding Club and P7 Digital Leaders for helping P1 in the Digital Learning Centre.

Ms Anstruther has asked for donations of dressing up clothes to help us continue to address 1 in 5 Child Poverty. Pupils Bella and Emma came up with this great idea to help include everyone in dressing up days.

Classes will be learning about digital safety this month and we wished Happy Chinese New Year to all our families celebrating.

Article 29

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


 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

'WE' Makes A Return Visit to Sciennes 7.12.16


https://www.we.org/gb/

What a superb return visit to Sciennes on Wednesday 7th December 2016 from WE, again arranged for us by Schools Co-ordinator Harriet Morgan.
 
In June 2016, Jacob, a Speaker and Facilitator from WE Free the Children, worked with half of our (then P6) pupils and it was a superb and inspirational day, providing a wealth of opportunities for our children to embrace pupil leadership. Wednesday 7th December 2016 marked a welcome return visit from the charity, where two Speakers and Facilitators, Frankie and Chloe, kindly accommodated the remaining half of our P7 pupils.
We were honoured to welcome Nicola Brentnall, the Director of The Queen’s Trust and Kate Likely, UK Director of WE, who joined us on the day.

P5, P6 and P7 pupils were invited to a special assembly at 9am and then half the P7 year group took part in WE workshops throughout the day, while Ms Sellar led the remaining pupils in a repeat of her excellent Global Goals workshop, focusing on Gender Equality.

The format of the workshops fitted ideally with our aims to develop pupil-led social action as part of the Junior Award Scheme for Schools:

Team Building/Issues Module – exploring prevalent issues in society, and globally to build confidence, identify leadership skills and also get pupils thinking about issues they care about.
Reflective Module - enabling pupils to think how they can use their skills for issues that are important to them.  
Action Planning - putting pen to paper to create a tangible action plan for children to develop and put into practice.

FROM ME TO WE: PUPIL LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP
What a wonderful, highly inspirational and motivational day which we are certain will have impressed the visiting VIPs, Anne, Kate and Alison, as much as it did the children and staff.

Frankie and Chloe skilfully led the children through complex issues, channeling their ideas and thoughts very effectively and giving them a strong sense of empowerment to make a difference.  We are very grateful that WE has been able to accommodate our entire year group of 97 P7 pupils who now have a shared experience that we will use not only to assist them with taking on social action themselves, but also cascading what they have learned to others in school. The feedback from the children evidenced how deeply they had thought about the issues raised and how positively they had responded to the session.

Our P5 and P6  pupils who also attended the Assembly with P7 in the morning have been equally positive and the visit was a huge help in taking forward our engagement with WE as a school.

The WE pack of learning resources is superb (which includes many UNCRC-linked , Curriculum for Excellence specific materials) and P5 pupils have already begun using the 'WE Won't Rest' Homelessness Section. We are very fortunate to have established a working relationship with this dynamic, pro-active charity, which has such a strong focus on pupils taking the lead, firmly rooted in the UNCRC and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.



Frankie's P5-P7 Assembly - "Be the Change"
 Special visitor from The Queen’s Trust, Alison and Kate Likely, UK Director of WE
Craig Kielburger founded WE Free the Children aged 11 with his brother in Canada in 1995 and it is now an international charity and youth movement.
Iqbal Masih's story inspired Craig Kielburger to establish WE Free the Children.
Chloe and Frankie inspired and empowered P7 to be change makers.
Getting to know you and establishing respectful interaction.
Trust exercises
Issues Pictionary

Pictionary issues included litter, hunger, dirty water, homelessness and child labour.
Great to see the classes getting on so well in mixed Pictionary Teams.
This group 'blew Chloe's mind' with their great ideas for social action.
Quality co-operation in planning their campaigns.
Each Dream Team was made up of pupils from all three P7 classes.


Presenting ideas for making a difference


Global Goal 5 - Gender Equality

Ms Sellar capably led the remaining half of the group in her innovative workshops designed to familiarise pupils with the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 5 Gender Equality.


Firstly, pupils in mixed teams from each class considered the Global Goals, decided which three were most important to them and explained why.


In the afternoon session, they were then asked to list as many jobs as they could, categorise them into male and female occupations on Post-Its and display these. Their ideas were discussed with the whole group and pupils naturally began to recognise and realise many stereotypes in their initial attitudes.

Pupils explored how phrases such a "Act like a man" and "Be ladylike" can limit people.

Ms Sellar explained how Global Goal 5, Gender Equality, is a fundamental goal in achieving the other goals and showed the pupils this thought-provoking video, "Like A Girl":


 

Pupils were asked to pledge actions they will take to support gender equality.

"I pledge to let people be who they want to be."
"I promise I'll include everyone whatever their gender is."
"I promise to try to make the world a better place. Even if I fail I will try again."
"I pledge to make the Global Goals a reality."

About WE

WE is an international charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as change-makers. Over the last 20 years, WE has grown into an international movement supporting youth empowerment through educational service-learning initiatives in North America and the United Kingdom, and a holistic and sustainable international development model. It is supported by the Queen's Trust, the UN, Virgin Atlantic and has many international supporters -  Malala, Desmond Tutu, Prince Harry, Oprah will give a flavour. Their model is 'children helping children' and they promote pupil leadership and taking action, here and abroad. The scheme began in Canada, initiated  by one of the CEOs when he was 12, and is a social enterprise endeavour. 
For more information about WE, visit their website.

The 'WE' programme fits extremely well with our well established Junior Awards Scheme Scotland (JASS) programme in P6 and P7 where pupils are asked to take their own action to achieve a 'Me and My World' element. JASS is a children's version of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, and the idea for it actually came from Sciennes! It is now adopted throughout Edinburgh and beyond so has been retitled Junior Award Scheme for Schools.

The Junior Award Scheme Schools (JASS) is an accredited learning programme, celebrating wider achievement, for young people (P6-S2). Sciennes and Tollcross Primary Schools have been implementing this scheme since we piloted it in 2009.
The concept emerged from a discussion during a Sciennes P7 visit to Lagganlia between Alice Brown, Gael Logan and Barry Hewitt who came up with the idea to set up a 'Duke of Edinburgh' style award scheme for upper primary pupils. The scheme has since been developed into a city wide programme.

There are three levels (bronze, silver and gold), each requiring a higher degree of commitment. Each level also includes four sections to be completed:
  • My interest - a hobby or interest
  • Get Active, Stay Active - involvement in a sport or physical activity
  • Me and My World - a community or environmental project
  • Adventure - a teamwork challenge through involvement in an outdoor activity (e.g Benmore and Lagganlia)
http://jassawardsciennes.blogspot.co.uk/

Sciennes helped develop an online version - eJASS.


WE also fits well with our Unicef Rights Respecting Schools programme. We have recently achieved Level One and our next steps are to continue to extend knowledge of UNCRC and to expand global citizenship. The WE programme will assist us with that. We have highlighted the relevance of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development since their launch in September 2015 and the programme also supports this extremely well, as well as our involvement in the #iwillcampaign, promoting pupil social action.


Global Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities


Sciennes P4-7 Assembly SDG10 20.1.17 from Sciennes Primary School

On Friday 20th January we were delighted to welcome back Former Pupils Jamie Underwood, Li-Sian Song and James Stewart, who are now in S6 at James Gillespie's High School and preparing for a visit to twinned schools in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in February. They have asked pupils to donate pencil cases, toys, games and clothes which can be handed into the School Office until Friday 2nd February.

Mr Howie gave an inspirational presentation on how Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Arkansas Little Rock Nine, successfully managed her emotions and response to the extreme prejudice and racist hostility she endured in 1957, just for going to school. Her remarkable dignity is an example to us all and linked very effectively to school use of 'Emotions Talk' as a support for pupils in managing their emotions. Mr Howie encouraged everyone to learn not only from role models in history but also from people around us in how we manage our emotions and stand up for what we value. We all certainly look to Mr Howie to inspire and encourage us with his engaging and deeply thought-provoking presentations, taking powerful lessons we can all learn from History and relating them to our school.

We thanked Sciennes' parent, Mr Colin Sim, who as well as recently securing £5500 for digital learning through funding applications also secured a grant of £2000 from South Central Edinburgh Neighbourhood Partnership to enhance our school grounds. There is great interest from the children in the willow structures currently being installed in the playground by Gus and his team from 'Earth Calling'.

Article 1

Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 2

You have the right to protection against discrimination.

Article 29

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

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Dr Martin Luther King Day Assembly 13.1.17



On Friday 13th January we learned about the extraordinary life of Dr Martin Luther King Junior and how his peaceful actions and brave dedication to equal rights for all led to change. We asked pupils what they could do in 2017 to make change happen and make a difference for others. Last term, P7 pupil Nicky raised almost £500 with his Save the Children Christmas Jumper campaign and P6 pupil Catherine spoke at Assembly to explain how she is being sponsored to donate a length of hair to the Little Princess Trust to help a child suffering hair loss due to cancer treatment.

We celebrated Sciennes' parent, Mr Colin Sim, who took action to make a huge difference to learning and teaching for our pupils by submitting two grant funding applications for the school. One to Aviva Life Assurance was awarded £500 and one to the OneFamily Foundation was awarded an incredible £5000! Thank you to all the Sciennes Family for voting. The money will be used to purchase a year group set of iPads.



Article 1

Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 2

You have the right to protection against discrimination.

Article 29

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


Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Edinburgh's Hogmany in Aid of Unicef


Edinburgh Castle is lit up in blue in aid of Unicef at Hogmanay. Unicef/2015/Gilmore

in aid of Unicef


Following 2015’s successful partnership, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has once again joined with Unicef to help children in danger.

Last year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay raised a fantastic amount of money to protect the children of Syria. However, the conflict has continued and there are now more children in urgent need of life-saving aid. These children have lost loved ones, homes and schools. They need someone to keep them safe and warm this winter.

Unicef will be raising money for Syria’s children through the Torchlight Parade on 30 December and various activities on New Year’s Eve, including turning Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings blue at 10pm to highlight Unicef’s work. The whole city will join together to help children in danger.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sciennes Pupils' Voices Heard on Food Insecurity

In May 2016, pupils from current P5B (then P4B) gave their opinions on a variety of issues relating to Food Insecurity, in a wonderful morning of engaging and thought provoking activities designed and led by Dr Chelsea Marshall and a team from Nourish Scotland, based at Summerhall. You can read the full report they contributed to here:



Listening to what children think about food insecurity

http://www.cypcs.org.uk/ufiles/limitjs.pdf


    Acknowledgements
This report was commissioned by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland; all copyright permission belongs to the Commissioner’s office. Photographs by Alan McCredie, design by graphics coop.

The authors of this report are: Elli Kontorravdis, Olga Bloemen and Bella Crowe from Nourish Scotland. With kind thanks to Home-Start UK Scotland for co-ordination of the activity session logistics, and to children’s rights consultant Dr Chelsea Marshall whose support was integral to the design and delivery of the activity sessions. Thanks also to Sciennes Primary School for hosting a pilot session providing valuable feedback, and to Dr Flora Douglas for comments and feedback throughout the research. Most importantly, thank you to the children and families who gave their time to share thoughts on food insecurity, and the children that contributed drawings and photographs, we hope this report is an accurate reflection of your views.

Article 12

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

Article 27

You have the right to have a good enough standard of living.



Monday, 5 December 2016

Mapping Global Goals to UNCRC

Parent Council Volunteering Meeting Monday 5th December

A sub group of our Parent Council is meeting on Monday 5th December (United Nations International Volunteer Day!) 9.00am-10.00am in the Staff Room to explore ways to increase opportunities for parents to volunteer in school. 

Any interested parents are very welcome to attend.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sciennes' Pupil Voices Heard by Scottish Government


In June 2016, some of our pupils were invited to take part in a consultation exercise led by Children's Parliament (based at Summerhall) on behalf of the Scottish Government. The pupils gave their views on the minimum age of criminal responsibility in Scotland; set at eight years of age with a proposal to raise it to twelve years of age.

This report outlines some of the responses from all the young people who took part in the project:

http://www.childrensparliament.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Minimum-age-of-Criminal-Responsibility-CP-Final-Report-2016.pdf

On Thursday 30th November, Early Years Minister Mark McDonald announced that the Scottish government is to introduce a bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38160549

Article 12

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

Article 40

You have the right to help in defending yourself if you are accused of breaking the law.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

#iwill week



Celebrating #iwill Week, our three P6 Junior Road Safety Officers, Amelia, Declan and Josh, showed how they can step up to serve our school community by planning and leading a Road Safety session for Assembly. They invited all pupils in P4-7 to dress up brightly in luminous, reflective clothing and gave prizes in each class for the brightest clothing to get across their message of 'Be Bright, Be Seen." They performed a stunning trick using 'Magic Thumbs' that lit up as they 'threw' lights to one another. Fantastic! Many thanks to friend of Sciennes, City of Edinburgh Road Safety Officer Mark Symonds who kindly gave each of our JRSOs a high viz vest and shone torches on pupils' clothing to re-enforce the point about being bright, day and night. Everyone was invited to think about what they could pledge to do in Active Travel to fight Climate Change.








The new P7 House and Sports Captains confidently introduced themselves and we were delighted that almost half the year group showed interest in stepping up to take on additional responsibilities, as role models and ambassadors for Sciennes. All who applied were entirely capable of taking up the posts so it was a very difficult decision but there will be lots of opportunities for all Primary Sevens to take the lead.

Our wonderful Primary Sevens have also been working hard as young entrepreneurs, using Virgin Money's' Make £5 Grow' and funds loaned by the Parent Council to plan, design and create an array of exciting stalls for the Winter Fair on Saturday 26th November 12pm-3pm as part of their Silver Junior Award for Schools (JASS). A representative from each P7 group spoke at Assembly to explain and publicise their event. Loads happening tomorrow! Come and check out what they have on offer in the new Dining Hall.

P4 stars, Molly, Rosa, Joesph, Cara and Scarlet finally got to perform their fabulous dance routine with music! They wowed the audience with their moves and confidence. Great job!

P3 have been rehearsing and performing their Dance Show in the Hall recently, so there has not been an Assembly for a few weeks. Several huge achievements to celebrate within that time, including phenomenal success in Chess, P6 Amelia being chosen as overall winner in Ian Murray MP's Christmas Card competition (from 2000 entries!) and P7 David achieving an extraordinary two gold medals in the Edinburgh and Midlothian Swimming Championships! Well done to all our high achievers who know that hard work pays off!

We hope to see everyone at the amazing International Winter Fair on Saturday. Many months of effort from Jay and Aileen in leading the Parent Council Events and Fundraising Group and an army of volunteers saying "#iwill!" are tremendously valued by the school. Come and see a Magic Show, bid in the Silent Auction, browse CDs, books and toys, take a chance with a Tombola raffle ticket and enjoy lunch and a mince pie. Just some of the many activities and events on offer! Check out the Parent Council and school websites for details.

Please also support our bids to win thousands of pounds for technology (see emails for information). Thank you very much to P2 Dad, Colin Sim, for all his efforts in submitting funding bids on our behalf and to everyone who has supported by voting. We are now Finalists in the Aviva Community Fund bid, beating hundreds of other bids, and have a 1 in 4 chance of gaining £5000! We would be very grateful for your continued support in voting for us again in the Aviva bid and also in the One Family Foundation bid.


Looking forward to all the fun of the Fair!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

'WE Free the Children' Returning to Sciennes!


We are tremendously excited about an upcoming return visit to Sciennes on Wednesday 7th December from WE Free the Children, again arranged for us by Schools Co-ordinator Harriet Morgan.

Jacob, from WE Free the Children, visited in June to work with half of our (then P6) pupils and it was a superb and inspirational day, providing a wealth of opportunities for our children to embrace pupil leadership. Wednesday 7th December will mark a return visit from the charity, where a Speaker and Facilitator will work with the remaining half of our P7 pupils.

We are honoured to welcome Nicola Brentnall, the Director of The Queen’s Trust and Kate Likely, UK Director of Free the Children, who will join us on the day.

P6 and P7 pupils have been invited to a special assembly at 9am and then half the P7 year group will take part in Free the Children workshops throughout the day, while Ms Sellar will lead the remaining pupils in a repeat of her excellent Global Goals workshop, focusing on Gender Equality.

The format of the workshops fits ideally with our aims to develop pupil-led social action as part of the Junior Award Scheme for Schools:

Team Building/Issues Module – exploring prevalent issues in society, and globally to build confidence, identify leadership skills and also get pupils thinking about issues they care about.
Reflective Module - enabling pupils to think how they can use their skills for issues that are important to them.  
Action Planning - putting pen to paper to create a tangible action plan for children to develop and put into practice.


Free the Children

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that believes in a world where all young people are free to achieve their fullest potential as change-makers. Over the last 20 years, Free The Children has grown into an international movement supporting youth empowerment through educational service-learning initiatives in North America and the United Kingdom, and a holistic and sustainable international development model. It is supported by the Queen's Trust, the UN, Virgin Atlantic and has many international supporters -  Malala, Desmond Tutu, Prince Harry, Oprah will give a flavour. Their model is 'children helping children' and they promote pupil leadership and taking action, here and abroad. The scheme began in Canada, initiated  by one of the CEOs when he was 12, and is a social enterprise endeavour. 

For more information about Free the Children, visit their website.

The 'Free the Children' programme fits extremely well with our well established Junior Awards Scheme Scotland (JASS) programme in P6 and P7 where pupils are asked to take their own action to achieve a 'Me and My World' element. JASS is a children's version of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, and the idea for it actually came from Sciennes! It is now adopted throughout Edinburgh and beyond so has been retitled Junior Award Scheme for Schools.

The Junior Award Scheme Schools (JASS) is an accredited learning programme, celebrating wider achievement, for young people (P6-S2). Sciennes and Tollcross Primary Schools have been implementing this scheme since we piloted it in 2009.
The concept emerged from a discussion during a Sciennes P7 visit to Lagganlia between Alice Brown, Gael Logan and Barry Hewitt who came up with the idea to set up a 'Duke of Edinburgh' style award scheme for upper primary pupils. The scheme has since been developed into a city wide programme.

There are three levels (bronze, silver and gold), each requiring a higher degree of commitment. Each level also includes four sections to be completed:
  • My interest - a hobby or interest
  • Get Active, Stay Active - involvement in a sport or physical activity
  • Me and My World - a community or environmental project
  • Adventure - a teamwork challenge through involvement in an outdoor activity (e.g Benmore and Lagganlia)
http://jassawardsciennes.blogspot.co.uk/

Sciennes helped develop an online version - eJASS.


Free the Children also fits well with our Unicef Rights Respecting Schools programme. We have recently achieved Level One and our next steps are to continue to extend knowledge of UNCRC and to expand global citizenship. The Free the Children programme will assist us with that. We have highlighted the relevance of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development since their launch in September 2015 and the programme also supports this extremely well.

21st - 25th November #iwill Week

Making social action part of life for 10-20 year-olds

The #iwill campaign promotes social action among 10-20 year-olds. This includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering which fits very well with our P6 and P7 annual participation in the 'Me and My World' section of the Junior Award Scheme for Schools (an accredited learning programme for 10-14 year olds which promotes and celebrates wider achievement).

http://www.iwill.org.uk/get-involved/iwillweek-2016/

We are delighted to feature amongst a host of partner agencies from around the UK that are supporting this initiative to promote pupil-led social action.

http://www.iwill.org.uk/iwill-pledges/



Saturday, 12 November 2016

Sciennes Receives a Special Certificate from Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS)


Joan Alexander with Cameron, Anna and Sarah
Thank you very much to Joan Alexander and all at the Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) team as well as Friends of the Award (FOTA) for inviting Sciennes to the FOTA Annual General Meeting on Thursday 10th November.

P7 pupils Anna and Cameron received a special certificate on behalf of the school, in kind recognition of Sciennes' ongoing contribution and commitment to JASS and eJASS.


Anna's sister, Sarah, also attended with their mum, Mrs Aileen Nimmo. Thank you also to Mrs Claire Marshall for accompanying her son Cameron to the event, held in the prestigious European Room of the City Chambers. Councillor Elaine Aitken, deputising for the Lord Provost, presented our pupils with the certificate and they were also congratulated by MSP Miles Briggs.

What a wonderful celebration of volunteering, pupil-led social action and wider achievement! Many adult volunteers were recognised and celebrated for their contribution, as well as the young people they have supported in achieving both Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the Junior Award for Schools. A lovely evening and we were very proud of all three of our pupil ambassadors.

Superb P7 Sciennes' ambassadors, proudly sporting their Bronze JASS medals and already aiming for the Silver JASS award

Councillor Elaine Aitken, deputising for the Lord Provost, presents Anna and Cameron with a special certificate for Sciennes

Thanks, mums!