November Blog

                     Dear Parent / Carer,   welcome to my November Blog.  
As you will see we have been very busy again this month in school before the festivities commence. I hope that you found the seasonal activities diary and costs helpful. We are trying hard to look at budgets across the school and give timely information. As a school we get asked to participate in an endless number of worthwhile charities and educational experiences . With the support of our families and the Parent Council we hope that the years spent  at SMPS are full of rich experiences and enjoyment for all our pupils.

 Staffing: We are delighted to inform you that a joint practice has been established between Craigour Park PS and SMPS. Mrs Carol Patterson (DHT) will be working on Mondays and Tuesdays across the school over the next few weeks, initially supporting P7 and the Second level, looking at Attainment, Achievement and Inclusion.

Mr Urquhart will continue to have over-all responsibility for P5,6 and 7 during Mrs Morgan’s secondment.

Wider Achievement:

 Edinburgh Leisure Swimming Gala, Warrender Swim Centre, Friday 13 October

Friday 13th might be unlucky for some, but celebrations were in store for three South Morningside girls, each of whom took bronze medal in the Edinburgh Leisure swimming gala held on the last day of term at Warrender pool. Well done to Sara, P6B, Phoebe , P7A, and Anna , P7A, for their medal wins in 50m breaststroke, 50m back crawl and 50m front crawl respectively

We wish our pupils competing in the Edinburgh and Midlothian Schools Swimming Championships and the Boyd Anderson Ski Cup later this month the best of luck.


Early Years:

P1 enrolment:

It was a very busy day at Deanbank last week as Edinburgh Council began enrolling children in to catchment schools for next session. While the allocation of places will not be finalised till much later in the session, it was very nice to meet new families joining our school community and those with older brothers and sisters already in school.

It looks like another bumper year at SMPS with numbers significantly higher than this time last year.


We have had many requests from across the city and beyond to view our approaches to play-based learning and the One-ery. In order to keep disruption to learning as minimal as possible we are holding a by invitation professional’s day) on 30th November.

Nursery Staff led a session during the October In- Service Day on Forest Kindergarten developments both at FairmileHead and within the One-ery setting. As a Head Teacher it was important to me to see the whole school team learning from each other and in particular the staff based at Fairmile Head taking a leading role: 3 sites- one community!

We are very pleased that our 6th learning zone (Outdoor) has opened this week following approval from the Council.

Early Years capacity:

I am meeting with the Senior Manager and the Quality Improvement Officer for Early Years to look at nursery provision at the end of next week. As you may know Edinburgh is committed to providing 1140 hours of Nursery provision and SMPS and CEC must plan to meet that need as required across our existing Nursery, the new school at Cannan Lane and our Comiston Rd site.


Global Citizenship:  Panama

 Earlier this month a number of trainee teachers visited SMPS to learn about Scottish education and the Curriculum for Excellence approaches.  In exchange pupils learned something about Panama and experienced Spanish language.


Digital Literacy:

We are pleased to inform you that the latest versions of Interactive-Whiteboard technologies have been successfully rolled out to 2 of the P7 classes. A third board is on order. Existing hardware such as projectors and boards are being redeployed across the school as required.

If you would like to view the possibilities available with these boards s demonstration video is available on the Avocor website.

We have chosen these boards to complement our strategy for Digital Literacy based on Windows10 and Microsoft 365. In addition, these digital displays do not require a projector and come with a built in computer meaning that they can be positioned anywhere in the classroom and removing the very costly replacement projector bulbs. The anti-glare InGlass technology means that the screen is unaffected by sunlight too.


All pupils in the 2nd level have been issued with personal log-in details which will enable them to complete tasks, store work and assignments and share learning targets.

I-pads and hand held devices:

Staff participated in a training session last week led by the Digital Learning Team exploring and identifying a range of i-pad apps which supported quality learning and teaching. Many of these are very useful at home to support reinforcement of learning such as times tables and phonics.  Please ask your teacher if you would like any advice.

Parental Feedback:

Following comments raised by parents we have been discussing the issue of snacks and drinks on school trips and activities.

Parents are normally asked to provide a snack when we know that we will be out-and-about for more than 2 hours.  However suitable supervised toileting is often an issue*. Almost all venues that we visit do have access to water fountains and we will add that request to our booking enquiry and risk assessments.

Parents are asked to bear this point in mind when making the decision to include a drink with the snack.

Where a school based activity is in excess of 2 hours such as Sports Day or whole school events at Comiston Rd, then water will be made available. *

Michael Urquhart.  Head teacher.