James Gillespie's Primary

(17 Posts)
rlouisemacleod Wed 11-May-16 20:50:21

Hello, we are relocating to Edinburgh as DH has a new job! I am excited as I love the city but it all feels like a rush as our DS is due to start P1 in August. Edinburgh Council advise that James Gillespie's and Sciennes have in-catchment places left for new arrivers but I know very little about JGPS. Are there any current parents on Mumsnet who may be able to advise? Many thanks!

catdil Thu 12-May-16 11:44:57

What do you need to know - my dd also starts p1 in August there :-)

rlouisemacleod Thu 12-May-16 13:06:44

Thanks Catdil, I think I am feeling nervous about signing up to a school I haven't visited! I have heard that the teaching is open plan at the school and can't imagine how that works in practice, also it seems from the newsletters that there is quite a high staff turnover. However the curriculum and activities look great and there is a lovely new playground. What were your impressions when you visited the school?
Many thanks!

catdil Thu 12-May-16 21:24:14

So I must profess I don't love the open plan. My ds went to bruntsfield which was a more traditional Victorian school. However all the parents rave about gillespies and say it's great. When we got shown round the kids were very polite and seemed to genuinely love the school. I wouldn't say staff turnover is any worse than else where and now they have a new head it will likely settle down. Tbh unless you go private I would say it's a safe bet and a decent state school which has the benefits of the new secondary next door with a pool etc.
There is a settle morning middle of June are you coming for that?

catdil Thu 12-May-16 21:28:38

One other point - after school care is a nightmare and over subscribed at all the south Edinburgh schools here.

I know people at sciennes as well - it is a more traditional Victorian school similar to bruntsfield. It seems very big in comparison - that sad gillespies has 90 kids this year in p1! Another option might be St. Peter's if that appeals? Private options are plentiful but not cheap!

rlouisemacleod Fri 13-May-16 10:25:42

Thank you Catdil! I may well see you in June!

Bellebelle Fri 13-May-16 21:45:38

Gillespies is a great school, I went to another similar open plan school in Edinburgh (Cramond) and it was never an issue.

Tollcross is another primary school in the area which is also great but doesn't get as much good press as its more of a city centre school than Gillespies even though the schools are barely 10 minutes apart. School roll is growing but only around 200 pupils at present so it's a small school in comparison to others in the area with lots of space due to the Gaelic unit moving to a new school a few years ago. Head teacher and teaching staff are great and very low turnover, everyone knows each other which is lovely.

rlouisemacleod Sat 14-May-16 19:58:11

Thank you Bellebelle, I'll have a look at Tollcross - the council didn't mention that one though so they may not have places

KingLooieCatz Tue 17-May-16 12:16:30

Gillespie's and Sciennes are very well regarded.

Tollcross tends to have places for out of catchment but gradually less so. It has breakfast club from 8am and after school club until 6pm, and there is no waiting list. The holiday club is 08.30-5.30.

Tollcross is not regarded as one of the top desirable schools, lacks the leafy suburb setting, but the last report was very good. It is much smaller than most of the south Edinburgh schools at just over 200 kids in total. Old fashioned Victorian build.

MumsKnitter Wed 18-May-16 13:30:19

What KingLooie said!

nbest Tue 15-Aug-17 20:28:11

Hi! Sorry to jump onto this thread from last year but we moved to Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago and my daughter is starting in P2 at Gillespie's tomorrow. It looks like your kids are going to be in the same year group as her?

I just wondered what anyone thought of the Skool is Out after school care as I am trying to figure out what to do for after school care and I've been offered a couple of days (still not sure what I would do the other days when I get a job or what to do with my 3 year old but one thing at a time). Any tips much appreciated as I am still finding my feet!

catdil Tue 15-Aug-17 23:29:02

I love the after school
Club - they really do try and do stuff with the kids. You are lucky to be getting any days from what I hear as they have had to turn loads down!
Good luck tomorrow. My daughter is p2a for info ...

nbest Wed 16-Aug-17 20:06:36

Thank you catdil that's great to hear!

Shire14 Wed 04-Oct-17 14:19:06

Can I ask if you went with Gillespies and if so, how you're finding it so far? My daughter is due to go there next year.
Catdil, nbest, do you feel as if your kids get enough individual attention? It sounds like the classes are pretty big! Thanks

nbest Wed 04-Oct-17 17:33:14

Hi Shire14. My daughter has settled in really well and we're both very happy with the school. From what I can gather she gets enough attention and they seem to split them into groups for different activities so they aren't always doing things in a big group. Have you signed up to go to the open day? (I can't remember when it is but I know it's coming up). You'll get a feel for the school then.

catdil Thu 05-Oct-17 08:57:12

Yes I do and I am really happy with the school whereas I can say I wasn’t with my sons (he went to a different school as we then moved). I will warn you though I hated Gillespies when I went on the open day - I just could not get my head around the open plan with no doors on classrooms. I am delighted to say I have been proved totally wrong and I am a massive convert and advocate now. The playground is ace as well with the links right on the doorstep.

Shire14 Fri 06-Oct-17 20:36:02

Thanks nbest and catdil, glad to hear that and I'm glad it's going well for your children. We're planning to go to the open day in November.

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