Importance of the early years

The early years are essential for establishing the building blocks of reading, writing and maths, as well as starting to explore the wider world through social and scientific topics.

We use a variety of teaching methodologies and technologies coupled with good old-fashioned academic rigour to ensure that our children are stimulated and fully equipped to meet the challenges of 21st Century life.

Specialist Teachers

In Primary 1 our class teachers provide children with a very strong start to their educational journey in our bright and airy classrooms. Specialist teaching is provided in PE and Music from the very start, with Modern Languages developed initially by trained class teachers and, from Primary 3, by language specialists.  From Primary 5 there is also specialist teaching in art and drama.

The size of the school means that when a year group brings to the stage a drama, music and dance production every child takes part.  In their time in the Junior School, children will participate in several shows or presentations, including class assemblies of a very high standard.  

This year our Primary 6 production of ‘Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies’ merited a fulsome review on BBC Radio Scotland!

Digital Learning

In meeting our responsibility of preparing our children for the future, we make intelligent use of technology throughout the Junior School and every child works with their own personal device from Primary 1.

Junior School teachers report wide ranging pupil advancements through the use of iPads.  Children are showing more initiative in all areas of learning, for instance, they frequently tackle reading material far more advanced than is normal for their age, through the flexibility of high-quality resources such as Britannica Online.  

The way children are discussing and sharing information with each other is remarkable – and they especially enjoy the new ‘Thinking Space’ in our impressive new library.

PE & Games

With a dedicated PE teacher appointed as Head of Junior School Sport, all our P1-P3 pupils undertake a wide and varied PE curriculum with two specialist lessons per week.

From Primary 4 onwards the children have a whole afternoon dedicated to specialist Games coaching. This involves rugby for boys and hockey for girls in the autumn and spring terms and Cricket, Athletics and Tennis in the summer. Whilst working carefully and progressively on skills the emphasis is on teamwork, enjoyment and fun in all of these sessions.

Outdoor Learning

Research has shown that that time spent outdoors in green spaces can make a radical improvement to concentration, memory and the readiness to learn.  This is why all of our Junior School teachers regularly take classes and learning outdoors.

Outdoor activities often take place in our neighbouring Children’s Wood or The Botanic Gardens and include creative writing, practical maths, storytelling, science investigations, Forest School sessions, outdoor play and planting.  

We passionately believe that lessons in any area of the curriculum can be delivered outside in a way that makes a bigger impact on learners, leading to deeper engagement.  It also results in our children being happier, healthier and more resilient than they would otherwise be.

All our pupils from Primary 5 and 6 enjoy a two or three night residential trip to an outdoor activity centre offering them adventurous and challenging experiences and unrivalled opportunities to develop their personal and group skills.  These trips also foster independence and resilience.