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Request a school place (S4) at James Gillespie’s High School

(17 Posts)
Janelivingedinburgh Sat 24-Nov-18 10:36:14

Dear all,

We just moved to Edinburgh from overseas (a non-English speaking country). My daughter was born in August 2002, so the Year stage for her would be S5, according to her date of birth. However, we considered that she would benefit most if she can start from S4, as she is new to Edinburgh and needs more time to know the Scottish educational system.

We had filled in the application form and emailed the school the form on 14/11/2018, but we haven't received any updates from the school yet. I wonder how long I should wait to hear the decision from the school.

KingLooieCatz Mon 26-Nov-18 12:30:35

I suggest you phone them. I would be surprised if they didn't have a waiting list, they might just have added her name to the list. If you phone you'll get an idea how long the list is and can also discuss which year is best.

I assume you were planning for her to start there very soon. Unless you're very lucky, you might need to consider other schools that don't have a waiting list. There is a chance S5 has more places available than S4.

Janelivingedinburgh Tue 27-Nov-18 14:43:35

Thanks. I'll phone them now.

TeddysTale Wed 28-Nov-18 20:15:12

How did you get on with the school? We moved to Edinburgh this summer (from France) with a son the same age as your daughter. He was enrolled in S5 but the school (not Gillespies) gave him the option of following the S4 level courses (Nat 5s) or the S5 courses (Highers), possibly doing the Highers over two years, instead of one year. As it turned out he has settled in fine and will sit his Highers after one year. Of course, the difference is that he joined at the beginning of the school year. It will be more difficult for your daughter joining mid-year but hopefully the school can advise you.

Janelivingedinburgh Wed 28-Nov-18 23:22:34

It's good that your son is setting in well. We are now on the waiting list for Gillespies, so we are considering other school such as Leith Academy. Can someone please give me some feedback on this school?

TopangaD Sat 01-Dec-18 19:09:28

Gillespie’s and leith academy are quite far apart. What is your catchment school? It’s is rare to get into a non catchment school. Leith is a great school though. Great head teacher and staff

KingLooieCatz Sun 02-Dec-18 13:53:06

I was thinking that, if you are anywhere near Gillespie's it's going to be a nightmare trekking back and forth to Leith Academy, plus it's nice if some of school friends live near enough to meet up with after school/weekends/holidays. Not to mention you'll be fighting your way across town for parents' evenings and what nots.

What area are you in?

Piffpaffpoff Sun 02-Dec-18 13:56:41

Where’s the next nearest high school to Gillespie’s? Is it the new Boroughmuir?

Hengine Sun 02-Dec-18 14:03:01

Boroughmuir is close but also likely to have a waiting list.

Janelivingedinburgh Mon 03-Dec-18 09:15:44

Boroughmuir has a waiting list too.

We are thinking to move house; we are interested in a property in the catchment of Leith Academy.

KingLooieCatz Mon 03-Dec-18 10:55:14

Boroughmuir and Gillespies are pretty much the "most wanted" state high schools in Edinburgh. Boroughmuir was just named the best state high school in Scotland by the Times so I don't rate anyone's chances of getting in at short notice, even if in catchment. If you're thinking of moving anyway, for me a decent school child can get straight into would be the first criteria for the new home. That's how we did it. We just decided, school first and everything else will just have to fit around that. Ended up at Tollcross Primary and haven't looked back since.

KingLooieCatz Mon 03-Dec-18 10:56:43

For what it's worth we have been to Leith Academy several times for extra-curricular stuff - swimming and dance - as it has good facilities, but that's all I know about it.

Janelivingedinburgh Wed 05-Dec-18 22:34:28

Thanks for all the information. I know that Leith Academy has a swimming pool there, which seems very good. While the school's building looks old, I am glad to know that the head teacher and staff there are great. This perhaps is more important than the building itself.

Amc90 Thu 21-Feb-19 05:24:02

I got an S1 place at Boroughmuir when it was the second best and we were miles away, I went right from 2nd place on the waiting list to having a place, but the catchments have changed since then and I know it was a while ago. One thing I will say is be careful, the school wasn't and still isn't from what I've heard good with pastoral care.

Janelivingedinburgh Sat 08-Jun-19 14:54:35

Dear all,

I am very happy to see my daughter has settled in nicely at Leith, since she arrived in January this year. She sat in National 5s for Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry last month, and is feeling confident in getting a good result in August.

She was hoping to do Highers for Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry at S5, However, the school didn't offer her Higher Chemistry, as too many pupils registered this course. My daughter went to speak to the Chemistry teacher who said that my daughter can join the Higher class. My daughter also spoke to the Depute Head who is in charge for timetabling, but she still didn't get Higher Chemistry. I advised her to speak to the Depute Head again, but she began to sob and say, "I don't know how to ask this again". At the moment, instead of doing Higher Chemistry, she is doing N5 administration.

She said to me yesterday that she has been worried she may not be able to apply for Biomedical, as she didn't do Higher Chemistry at S5. Her school told her that she can do Higher Chemistry at S6, but my daughter checked the university website that Advance Higher Chemistry is advised for Biomedical, so she felt that the university won't consider her application if she didn't do Higher Chemistry at S5.

Therefore, I am thinking if I should send her to an independent school now, but I feel sorry for her, as she just settled in a new school and needs to adapt herself to another new school again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

DonegalGhirl Fri 14-Jun-19 17:32:06

I would make an appointment to see her year head, how did the school choose which students got into the higher chemistry class and why did your daughter not make the cut, depending on the answer you might be able to persuade them to give her a place. Also explain why higher chemistry in S5 is so important to your daughters plans for uni.

Similar happened to my DD when choosing Nat 5 subjects, she was told too many students had applied for Graphic Communications & she had to pick something else, we advised her not to choose another subject, called the school (not LA) to discuss with her year head and they found her a place in the Graphics class. So glad we pushed for it as it’s her best subject.

Good luck and hopefully with parents on board you’re daughter will get into the class.

Janelivingedinburgh Mon 17-Jun-19 17:30:26

Thanks DonegalGhirl!

The school told us that after the summer break, they will try to find her a place in other schools if my daughter didn't get into the class at the Leith Academy. I am not sure how it would work for my daughter, but I guess I'll need to wait until then, as the summer break is just around the corner now. Hopefully, things will work out for us.

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