Head Teacher’s Summer Blog

It has been so nice to finally have a traditional summer term at school. Seeing the boys and girls taking their learning outdoors whether it be Cycle Proficiency or Maths. This weather is the weather I remember when I was a pupil with long sunny days and light nights. I hope that we are all taking advantage of this climate and can hardly believe that the longest day has already passed us.

It has been another very busy term, and year, at SMPS but I hope you feel as I do that a successful one.

You will have seen from the Staffing list sent out last week that we have a number of changes happening at SMPS.  On Tuesday we had a celebration tea in the main staffroom to say our goodbye and thanks to those moving on.  With pupil numbers continuing to grow at P1 we recruited on Friday an additional class teacher who is delighted to be joining the One-ery.

At this time in Scottish education many local authorities are finding it challenging to recruit staff so we were delighted to have received more than 100+ applications for our permanent posts. Our team is now all in place and beginning the process of class handover, room changes and for some to different parts of our 3 buildings, 1 school campus.

At this time as we make our weary way towards Friday’s close, you may be thinking of new uniform for the school year ahead.   My youngest child will be going in to Primary 7 where in that school a different uniform is worn,  so I’m afraid for him over this last few weeks it’s been  a matter of making do; polo-tops a little too short, shoes that have seen better days!

I know that now is a good time to buy new uniform. Many of the major stores have special offers on but we also hold a vast amount of nearly new stock in school. Please come and have a look at out lost and found and put to a good use!

If you are buying new shoes please ensure that these are school shoes style and in black.

I also need to replenish my own wardrobe. I don’t know if its just that my trousers have shrunk due to the frequent washing or that the waist line is under severe threat from staffroom treats!



I have been very disappointed by the slow progress being made with the playground refurbishment at Comiston rd this year.  Although we have introduced more options such as loose parts play and games corners, enhancing the physical environment is proving more challenging.  However we remain fully committed to doing so and continue to engage with the council and suppliers about developing the natural garden and the removal and replacement of the trim trail areas. We have had several plans and quotes for installation and are awaiting approval from the council to proceed.

Increasing opportunities for Outdoor Learning is one of our priorities for next session and specifically making better use of the nearby Braidburn Valley Park for the older classes and Forest Kindergarden for our Younger pupils.


Sports Days:

Any Head teacher will tell you that they can handle most things but getting Sport Day successfully concluded is always a massive achievement. We were very fortunate this session with the weather: Nice and dry and not too hot.  Thank you for all the positive feedback about our water stations.

We will take on-board this year’s comments/ concerns about how difficult it was for working parents to attend on two separate days when making plans for next year’s events.

In practice it was better for the school to have the younger children accommodated at Deanbank but appreciate the need to consider timings and locations to better support parents.


New South Edinburgh School:


Finally progress on the new school at Cannan Lane has been shared with the community. It was nice to see so many interested parents and local neighbours come along to the road show. Of course these are very early stages of planning but it gives us a time scale to begin working towards. Information can be sought on the Council website.

With the future in mind it was interesting to read the comments on Facebook generated after the recent Clean Air Day survey.  I would encourage all parents to participate in the school’s travel plan as there are many questions to be answered around travel to and from the new school both during and after the build process.


School Priorities 2018-19:

Along with our cluster schools, next session SMPS will be focusing on

  1. Continuing raised attainment with particular regard to Literacy and Numeracy, and
  2. Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce

It will also be our final year of trialling different approaches to Reporting to Parents.  If you haven’t already done so could I please encourage you to return your reporting slip issues along with your child’s report last week, or if in P5 electronically within their OneNote account.


School will close to pupils at

12:00 on Friday 29th June at Comiston rd


12:25 on Friday 29th June at Deanbank

At Comiston Rd the annual ringing of the old school bell will mark our Primary 7 pupils leaving school.

School will reopen to all pupils on Wednesday 15th August 2018.



From all of us at South Morningside Primary we wish you a very pleasant and hopefully relaxing, summer holiday.


Michael Urquhart Head Teacher and Staff at SMPS.