Head Teacher’s Blog 21/03/2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

  • This is Iranian New Year. Happy Nowrooz to all our Iranian community. Thank you Mrs Sabeti for sharing what this means with P3C today. The children learned a lot about the ways Iranian families celebrate, their language and foods. The children asked good questions and what a good way to learn about the Spring Equinox!

Sharing the Learning:

  • P4 pupils collated all their learning about Mary Queen of Scots to write play scrips, make shadow puppets and film their production. Amazing P4! Even better, they are going to watch their plays, return to their scripts, edit and improve them. Thank you to the teachers and pupils for being so creative.
  • P5 have been making model mountains and learning about erosion. They said, “Geography is a really interesting subject”, which is good to hear.
  • P1 have been writing real letters and cards this week. Some have gone to the Parent Council to thank them for all the new P1 resources (more cards are on their way). There are some very good ‘sorry’ letters from Goldilocks to the Three Bears for eating their food and sleeping in their beds. I do hope they arrive safely!
  • Merchiston’s Maths Challenge: Hamza (P5A), Hamish (P5B), Saisharan (P5B) and Eddie (P5C) represented Bruntsfield in the annual Maths Challenge and learned a lot of new problem solving skills on the day. A great day out was had by all and they are working on ideas to have stage challenges in school.
  • World Book Day: Good to see so many children cashing in their book vouchers. Aleeshmah, Hugh, Maia, Rosa and Rose in P7C shared their stunning designs for book covers with me and I can see we have some great illustrators in our school. Well done everyone.
  • Bruntsfield raised £350 for Comic Relief. Thank you all for supporting so many good causes.
  • Showcase Event: P3 will share their learning on The Egyptians with parents and carers on Thursday 28 March 2019 at 2.30pm in the Stage Hall. I look forward to seeing you then.
  • Bruntsfield Badminton Teams represented the schools superbly and won their league matches. They were awarded 2 trophies which are displayed in our Trophy Cabinet as well as individual medals. Well done Mathilde (P6A), Savannah (P6A), Poppy (P7B), Madeleine (P7C) who played for the Girls’ Team and well done Joe (P6B), Max (P7A), Elwin (P7B), Hugh (P7C) who played for the Boys’ Team. Special thanks to their coach and club organisers.
  • Pupils from Bruntsfield Primary School performed in the P7 String Orchestra at the Resonate concert at the Queen’s Hall. They had a wonderful evening. Thank you Miss Aydin and Mr Cameron for supporting their students during rehearsals in the last month.
  • All Council staff are asked to lock their rooms when they are not using them, which I appreciate makes it difficult if children come back for things they have forgotten. I shall ask all staff to remind all the children to double check they have everything with them before they leave, to prevent the need to return. One parent suggested the children make a check list in their diary to help them remember. If anyone has any other tips, please share them with the class rep or class teacher.
  • CALA have informed us, work will commence on the Old Boroughmuir Building on Monday 25th March 2019. They have assured us they will avoid deliveries during the start and end of the school day.


You asked about:

  • Children’s Toilets: I have asked for the children’s toilets to be refurbished as part of the ongoing maintenance work of the school. We are waiting for short term repairs to be completed until the overall plan for the toilets is confirmed. The facility technicians check the toilets after break and lunch and the cleaners are in each afternoon. I have also requested they are ‘deep cleaned’ on a regular basis. Pupil support assistants (PSAs) monitor the toilets during break and lunch and we have spot checks during the day as needs arise. We shall discuss this with the PSAs and Pupil Council and find best ways to monitor them, which allows privacy but prevents mischief. We shall also talk to the children about sharing the space sensibly.
  • Wet weather: we shall allocate one person to make the call on P1 and P2 pupils coming in on wet days to give consistency. We have had a great winter and let’s hope for a good summer. This is a good time to check all the children have a water-proof jacket for wet days in the milder weather (with their names and classes on them please).
  • School Trips: I have shared your feedback on not booking trips during English half term and ensuring we have enough staff and parent helpers with the teachers. Sometimes, we only have a small selection of dates to choose from which can cause booking at times which are busy. If you would like to help on trips, please let your class teachers know.
  • Class Curricular Overviews for January to June 2019, given out at Parent Consultations, are posted on the School website.

As always, if you need our help in any way, please just ask.

Kind regards, Carol Kyle

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary, Head Teacher's Blog

Wear what you want for Save the Children!

The Pupil Council would like to raise money for Save The Children.

All pupils are invited to ‘wear what they want’ on Friday 22nd March and bring in £1 as a donation.

Thank you!

Jenny Dobie and The Pupil Council

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary

Skiing from Oct 2018 – March 2019

We started our Ski journey in Oct with over 40 kids who had never put on skis to over 40 kids at the end of the 8 week block not only able to ski a bit but able to ski well from the top! Most got from zero when they started to a grade 3 or 4 which is excellent.

In the second group we had 23 kids and all of them could ski to a certain grade so the majority were able to get the next grade up which was excellent too. The ones who already had their grade 7 were bettering their skills on the slopes which is why we do 8 week blocks. We are not just there to get the next grade, we are there to hone skills and make children better skiers on the slopes and teach them how to behave  with regard to risk to themselves and others. Consideration is a biggie too around helping themselves and others when the going gets tough.

When we go to Hillend for these 8 weeks, they are not only learning or bettering their skiing they are bettering themselves.

They learn to respect others, from the instructors, cafe staff and  bus driver.That might not seem like much but a thank you and clearing up and putting your own rubbish in the bin after being in the cafe is all that can make someone else’s day better. Our school has the best reputation at Hillend for being kind, thoughtful and considerate to the staff in the cafe.


They are learning the true value of resilience as they live it on the slopes. It can be very scary and very difficult to make yourself do something that your body is telling you “I don’t want to do this” but it is the getting up and continuing that counts and skiing is one of those sports that teaches that life skill. If we learn young to face those fears we become better adults coping with it.



Posted in Bruntsfield Primary, Sports News

Gibb Memorial Badminton Quaich

Badminton TeamThe Gibb Memorial Primary Badminton Quaich consists of eight school teams representing Scottish regions. The teams play 5 games in each match against each other: Girls Singles, Girls Doubles, Boys Singles, Boys Doubles and Mixed Doubles.


This year’s Bruntsfield team did brilliantly winning 6 of their 7 matches.  3 teams were in the same position at the end of all the matches – 6 wins. However, when it came down to games won, Bruntsfield had won 24 games out of 35 and another team had won 26.  Bruntsfield were the Runners-up – the 2nd best Badminton primary school team in Scotland


The children were complimented on their sportsmanship and fairness in games too and they were the only team to go to the organisers at the end of the day and thank them before leaving.


A big thank you to coach Mike for getting the team match-ready, and keeping them going through the day. His nerves may be shot for the next 12 months after the nail-biting finish!

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary, Sports News

Head Teacher’s Blog 21/02/19

Dear Parents and Carers,

  • I would like to share the Thank You from a P4 parent:  “What a fantastic event last Friday was!  We, as a family, were absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity, in every sense, shown by the Bruntsfield Primary School Community. To raise £983 by selling cakes and wearing jeans was extraordinary. Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to the school staff, parents and, of course, the young people, who made this all happen.” A great effort everyone, thank you all and special thanks from me to the P4 parents who led this.
  • The fundraising continued with £293.12 raised today for Fair Trade.

·         Lunches: 82 children turned up for lunch on Wednesday, without their lunches being ordered on ParentPay. Fortunately, the kitchen staff were able to cook extra this week, but this has time and resource implications. They have asked me to remind everyone, they will not always be able do this. Please remember to always book lunches in advance, especially following a holiday.

·         A few things have gone missing from school lately: a coat, trainers, cello and ukulele. We are doing all we can to find them. Please remember to put your child’s name or initials and class on everything. This allows found property to be returned quickly. Please also lock bikes and scooters in the bike shed and avoid leaving them there overnight. We shall remind children to check they have everything at the end of each activity and at the end of the day. Please help us reinforce this message at home. Hopefully, the missing items will turn up quickly.

·         The City of Edinburgh Council Sports Development Team have a new Multi-Sport Skillz Holiday Programme this Easter! The programme caters for P3 – P7 pupils and includes; football, cricket, badminton, rugby, tennis and yoga! Details have been emailed to you and further information is available from Euan Morrice at The Sports Development Team, Tel 0131 334 9290 or by email at euan.morrice@ea.edin.sch.uk

·         ‘Woodcraft Folk’ run an after school club on a Friday evening from 6:15pm – 7:30pm for children (6 to 15 years) where they learn about the world and how to value our planet and each other. Danielle from Wooodcraft attended our Gathering on Monday to share what they do with the children. If you would like to find out more or be involved, please contact Danielle on 07419 129397 or by email danielle.moore@woodcraftfolk.org.uk

·         Redevelopment of the original Boroughmuir High School: CALA have informed us one of their contractors started work on the 18 February for the first stage of development. They will keep us updated as things progress and forward their travel plan when complete.

·         You may be aware, the City of Edinburgh Council submitted a planning application for a new primary school at Canaan Lane. You may view the plans using the Council’s online planning portal under ‘Canaan Lane’, reference 19/00435/FUL.

As always, if there is anything we can do to help, please contact the class teacher, one of the DHTs or myself.

Kind regards,

Carol Kyle,

Head Teacher

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary, Head Teacher's Blog

Fair Trade Bake Sale


Thank you to all the families who donated to our Bake Sale this morning! It was very successful and the Pupil Council worked hard selling all the baking. We made £293.12! Well done everyone!

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary

Fairtrade Fortnight

The Pupil Council have organised a Bake Sale on Thursday 21st of February 2019 during morning break time.

Donations of baking are needed by 9:30am on the day!

Here is a recipe for Fairtrade cupcakes that you may want to try!

All baking will be priced at 25p or 50p.

Thank you! 116EB3FE-4B9E-4B96-8D5E-EB7A807F61BC.jpeg

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary

Head Teacher’s Blog 7/02/19

Dear Parents and Carers,

  • We wish all our Chinese Community a ‘Happy Chinese New Year’. We celebrated in our Gathering and there are lots of events happening around the city.
  • City Vision 2050: I thought I would share feedback from the children’s suggestions from the consultation on the City Vision 2015. “They are fantastic and the children have put a lot of work and effort into completing the pads. The Lord Provost and 2050 City Vision team will be most delighted.” Great response everyone, I think our future is in safe in our children’s hands!
  • Fundraising: One of our parents, is running the London Marathon and raising money for the Niemann-Pick UK Charity which directly supports children with a very rare illness. P4 parents would like to support this by having a ‘Fun Day’ on Friday 8 February with a donation of £1 to wear jeans to school. They have also organised a bake sale in the Dining Room at 10.30am for the children and staff. Please support this very good cause.
  • The Council have checked the roof and wall area at the steps to the rear playground. If the steps are closed, please use the steps at the other side of the school and we shall do all we can to minimise disruption. If there is any follow up work, I shall update you as information comes to me.
  • The Junior Road Safety Team of pupils met with Mr Duncan, our parent on this group and discussed the issues with parking in the area. Interestingly, the children did not share the same worries as adults do about cars in the area. They said all the drivers were very courteous to them and gave them time to cross, which we appreciate, thank you. They thought it was good to get used to busy roads. However, they did agree there is room for safety improvements to keep the traffic flowing and reducing emissions for clean air.
  • The Eco Team are planning to plant vegetables in our pots. If you would like to help, or have tools you would like to donate, please contact Miss Kidd and the Eco Team.

You asked about:

  • Buddy Benches: they are a great way of children meeting new friends. We call them ‘Friendship Stops’ at Bruntsfield, using the same terms as in our Building Resilience programme. Children may choose to sit on the seats at the ‘Friendship Stops’ and one of the Playground Activity Leaders (PALs) or pupil support assistants will match them up to a group to play with. The PALS will remind the children how to use them and show the younger ones how they can use them.
  • French is taught from P1-P7 and in addition, Mandarin is taught in P5 and German in P6 and P7. We have a Cluster Plan which all the staff follow. The focus is on spoken language in primary schools to encourage the children to build confidence and skills. Please contact the class teacher if your child is not sharing their learning with you.
  • Updates from class teachers throughout the term: Each stage has a page on the website and information on trips are emailed to parents and carers. Taking notes home safely is a good way to help the children become Responsible Citizens (one of the 4 Capacities of Success in Curriculum for Excellence). Sometimes children need a little more help with this and the teachers have them practice taking notes within school. Please help us by reinforcing the need to keep notes safe in school bags and to share messages at home. I shall discuss ways teachers can keep you informed at the next staff meeting to see what else we can do to help.
  • Children returning to school before 48 hours and spreading sickness: If your child has the sickness bug, please keep them off for 48 hours to allow them to fully recover and prevent infection spreading round the class. If they are sent to school and they are unwell, we do contact parents, but this is distressing for the child when they should be tucked up in bed.
  • Headlice: I am told there have been infections in school this week. If anyone has headlice in school, please let us know and we shall let all families know. If we all check everyone’s hair over the February Break, hopefully we can stop it spreading. Please remember to check other family members and child minders’ hair too. Our local pharmacist has a selection of lotions and combs to help.
  • Playfighting: is not permitted, despite it being the game of choice for a few. Playground Activity Leaders (PALs) and our pupil support assistants always stop this and guide the children to another game. Teachers are updated by the pupil support assistants after break if there are any follow up discussions to be had.
  • Notice Board: I appreciate not everyone is in school to see notices displayed. To help, the office staff will email any information to you and post information on the website as well as updating the board at the main door and at the school gates.
  • Accidents are recorded in our First Aid Log Book and on the Council recording system if a child has gone to hospital. We do monitor for trends and talk to the children about any issues as they arise. Encouraging the children to always look where they are going and to run with care and consideration for others is the best way to avoid bumps. Children continually develop skills in the playground, in PE and in their free time, to help them negotiate the spaces around them safely.
  • Traffic: The police are aware of concerns about traffic at drop off and pick up times and they are working with parking wardens to keep the traffic flowing and eliminating double parking during peak times. The Junior Road Safety Team have some ideas and will share them with the children after the February Break. Concerns have been passed to the Council and the School Traffic Officer is working with us to find solutions. The one thing which helps the most, is to walk to school and /or park in a safe place.
  • Bullying: Our focus is being kind to others this month and the children are sharing what makes a good friend. Please remember, if anyone is being bullied in school, please talk to the class teacher, the DHT or myself, we are all here to help.
  • Lost property: It is really helpful if children check lost property at lunch time when they are in the Dining Hall. That way, we reunite belongings to their owner as quickly as possible. If you would like to check, it is best on a Friday afternoon, as there are not so many children in the Dining Hall at after school club. Each week, all items marked with a child’s initial and class are returned to their rooms, adding the class has really helped speed this process up.
  • School opens on Monday 18 February.

Have a lovely Chinese New Year and a great February Holiday.

Kind regards,

Carol Kyle

Posted in Bruntsfield Primary, Head Teacher's Blog

Get Active

The main focus of this unit is on building understanding of how keeping physically active can also help to contribute to our mental health. Exercise releases endorphins and
dopamine – brain chemicals that affect our mood and make us feel happier. It brings
down high levels of stress chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol. Some scientific
studies have shown that regular exercise can be as effective as anti‐depressant
medication in treating mild to moderate depression, but also that it could help protect
people against experiencing depression in the first place. One study showed that the
effects of exercise and activity on mental health were enhanced if taking place outside in
green space. Activities that can contribute to your mental health go beyond just physical
exercise and can encompass a wide range of hobbies, interests and passions. Research
has found that doing things you enjoy, are passionate about or are good at gives you a
sense of achievement, meaning and fulfilment which also contribute to your wellbeing.
Key messages to communicate
1.Being active is not only good for the body but also for the mind
In this section, pupils are encouraged to explore how our body and our mind are
connected. That being active can help us feel better as well as being good for our
physical health. We don’t all need to run marathons – there are simple things we can all do to be more active each day. And we can also boost our well-being by unplugging from
technology, getting outside and – importantly – making sure we get enough sleep! It is
important to explore how sometimes when we lack the energy and do not feel like being
active, this is the very thing that can increase our mood and motivation again.

2. I have a range of hobbies and interests that I enjoy doing
In this section, pupils will explore what passions, hobbies and interests they have that they enjoy and give them a sense of achievement. Doing something you enjoy can improve your confidence and help you stay well so it is important to make time to do things you like, whether it’s reading, singing, drama, music or playing with friends. These activities can help keep our batteries topped up and give us opportunities to have fun and deal with any difficult emotions in a positive way.

3. Doing anything new involves taking a risk
Finding something we enjoy will always involve taking a risk as we challenge ourselves to try new things. Encouraging pupils to take a risk by challenging themselves to try new
activities, skills, hobbies or experiences will help build their confidence to tackle future
ones. It also is a platform for helping to demonstrate how our brains grow and change
whenever we do different things (and this continues throughout life – so it’s never too late to learn something new!)

Posted in Building Resilience

Look On The Bright Side

The main focus of this unit is on how the importance for our wellbeing on how we
perceive, interpret and respond to the events that happen to us. Research has found
that it is not necessarily the events or situations we experience throughout life that
negatively impact on our mental wellbeing but crucially how we interpret, perceive
or think about these events. For example, how one person reacts to becoming
pregnant, starting a new job, having an accident or getting a divorce may vary
greatly from the next person as it depends on whether they perceive the life event
as a positive or a stressful one. Professor Aaron Antonovsky believed that our ability
to manage stressful situations and stay well often depended on how we perceived,
interpreted and ‘made coherent sense of’ these experiences. Encouraging children
to understand how their thinking impacts on their feelings and behaviour, how to
look at things from different perspectives and develop good reasoning and
questioning skills are all helpful for challenging negative or limiting patterns of
thinking. Another way to change unhelpful patterns of thinking is by consciously
focusing on things that you perceive are going well in your life (i.e. what you are
thankful for).
Research has found that daily reflections on gratitude can significantly
improve people’s mood, wellbeing and even alleviate depression.

Key messages to communicate
1. The way you think can affect the way you feel.
In this section, children are encouraged to raise awareness of how their thinking can
influence our feelings and behaviour. Using the example of the Helpful Thinking Helmet,
it encourages children to develop skills to question and challenge some of the
unhelpful thinking that can negatively impact on our wellbeing.

2. There are different ways of looking at the same thing.
This section explores how we can all look at the same situation from different
perspectives. It uses the Big Deal/Little Deal classroom activities to help develop our
skills of reasoning and reflection to help us to better make sense of the setbacks and
daily hassles we may experience.

3. Focusing on what you are grateful for can help.
This section is about helping children to cultivate ‘an attitude of gratitude’ through a
range of different classroom activities. A focus on the positive things in our life or what
we are grateful for has been associated with improved wellbeing and is a helpful tool
for children to have in their toolkit.

Posted in Building Resilience