Sciennes or James Gillespie's?

(15 Posts)
gilmoregirl Wed 20-Jul-11 12:28:01

I know that these are both good schools but I am torn between the two. and need to decide which catchment.

Sciennes is much bigger and there is no hope of getting into their after school club (almost two years on list!) so will need to use Skool is out which I understand is very good so that is fine.

Does any one have any pro's / con's for either to help me decide? Ot are they just much of a muchness....

Thanks a lot

Fiolondon Tue 30-Aug-11 13:35:57


scotgirl Tue 30-Aug-11 15:56:23

Why not make and appointment with the Heads and go and visit them?

We went to see 4 primary schools and it was really good to consolidate what we felt about them. It is easy to be steered by other people's perceptions, totally different when you go and look at the school yourself.

gilmoregirl Fri 02-Sep-11 14:11:35

Thank you.
I have been to both of the schools when they had a kind of "open day". I had a better feeling about Sciennes as they seemed more organised (!) James Gillespies was a bit chaotic.. I was less keen on James Gillespies due to the open plan which I thought that DS might find distracting, esp in P1 as easily distracted..... Sciennes is just so BIG though. So tricky. I emailed James Gillespies about availabilty of places and they never replied so that kind of answers that one I think.

curiouscate Fri 02-Sep-11 15:04:54

Are you looking for a place for now or are you looking for a p1 place for next year. if it is for now I think you will find that both schools are full in p1 and they had to turn away kids who applied to go there. Does Sciennes still teach in parts of the corridors? It really is a very over crowded school.

kaumana Sat 03-Sep-11 18:10:08

If you are looking in that area, have you considered Bruntsfield Primary? It has a pool! Sciennes is very overcrowded with staggered breaks etc it would not be my first choice. I really wouldn't put too much into JG lack of reponse says more of their admin rather than their teaching. Not sure how the redevelopment of JG High will have/or not an effect on the Primary. BTW have never used any of the above schools just my two cents.

WillPenn Sat 03-Sep-11 21:17:14

Sciennes is packed to the gills as far as I know and I would avoid it as a result - 95 in P1 this year vs 60 at Craiglockhart and 76 at Bruntsfield.

kaumana Sat 03-Sep-11 22:39:06

95 in P1!!!!! Ok,I know in the past it was 30 per class max so doesn't seem that extreme (but involves team teaching) but just out of interest does anyone know if Sciennes was built as a two or three stream school? i.e. 2 or 3 classes per year?

WillPenn Sun 04-Sep-11 13:15:54

I think that is 95 in total - but split between three classes I'd imagine so still just over 30 per class when the "legal" limit is now 25. There are 25 per class at Bruntsfield with three classes, and three classes with 20 in at Craiglockhart. Bruntsfield has some split classes so 2.5 classes per year, but I think Sciennes must have three all the way through with that many.

Fiolondon Sun 04-Sep-11 15:04:34

Wow! 95 in a year is starting to sound more like a secondary intake! Has it always been like this, or is this the result of an increased birth rate related to career mums waiting to have babies? Do the school buildings have capacity? Or are they using portacabins?

CatherinaJTV Mon 05-Sep-11 09:14:37

Does Sciennes still teach in parts of the corridors?

they never did that (my son is currently still in Sciennes).

CatherinaJTV Mon 05-Sep-11 09:16:41

Sciennes was built as a two or three stream school?

Sciennes is mainly a Victorian building, so it wasn't intended for a certain number of streams, I should think, but for huge class sizes. The rooms are nice and large - they do have portacabins out the back, but only three (I think) classes in there, and the classrooms rotate every year. They also have a pool in the basement.

CatherinaJTV Mon 05-Sep-11 09:17:36

Has it always been like this

Sciennes has been oversubscribed for a while. My son entered in 2005 and they were near 90 (so 3x30) and had a long wait list for P1.

Chrysanthemum5 Mon 05-Sep-11 09:22:53

Sciennes is very large, but they never taught in the corridors. They have however, had to turn a lot of 'spare' rooms in to teaching space. My son was there when it has 111 in P1, and ended up with two classes of 30, one double class of 40 and a composite class. We moved him because we felt the school was simply so crowded that teaching decisions were taking second place to managing numbers. A few years later that year now has 3 classes of 33 so the numbers are reducing.

Gillespie's is supposed to be good, but I don't know how the open place space works in practice.

kaumana Tue 06-Sep-11 20:27:20

The reason I asked my question was that South Morningside was built for two classes per year (two when I was there, am 40) (3 currently) which enabled the school to have various extra classrooms . It now has four classes in Portacabins and two in church halls and has converted the "sewing room" (don't laugh) and others .

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