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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.