Category Archives: Head Teacher’s Blog

Standards and Quality report 2016-17

Dear families,

Hopefully you will enjoy reading our Standards and Quality report for the past school session which also includes our ‘next steps’ for the 2017-18 session.

Abbeyhill Standards and Quality Report for Families June 2017

Our full School Improvement Plan for the year ahead is available on request from the school office (0131 661 3054 /

Kind regards,

Sally Ketchin
Head Teacher



Spring term…the story so far!

We’ve been very busy at Abbeyhill so far this term, as always. We’ve started to build on the experience we had helping to launch the Edinburgh Adapts plan in November and small groups of children have been working with me to develop ideas for a few themes for the City Vision 2050. It’s a bit of a brain bender to think that far into the future but we’ve had some good ideas around ‘Community Safety’ and ‘Digital and Technology’. We’re hoping to make them into a video!
We’ve had our most successful Walking Bus yet with 30 children and parents taking part at the end of January; the theme was ‘tartan’ to coincide with Burns’ Day. It’s a lovely, sociable way to start the day and encourages sustainable travel to school so we will keep running them regularly. Less children do now travel to school by car which we’re pleased about and is hopefully down to a combination of factors such as our focus on sustainability and the environmental impact of various types of travel, road safety and of course the fact that Abbey Street is closed to non-permit holders before and after school as part of the School Streets/Safer Routes to School initiative. Our P7s had a ‘Bikeability’ session this week which saw them take to the roads and increase their confidence about doing so. Lots more bikes have been seen in the bike shed since!

Our Artists in Residence programme is also flourishing with other schools now showing interest in what we do. We’re continuing to work with the Talbot Rice and Collective Galleries and it’s easy to see the benefits that the children get from working with professional artists both in school and in formal gallery spaces. We’ve also struck up a new partnership with the Edinburgh Art Festival and look forward to developing it over the next few years. Of course, all the work the children are doing will be exhibited at the Colony of Artists festival on 23rd/24th September – put the dates in your diary!

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s been happening in school so remember to check our website regularly and follow us on Twitter @AbbeyhillPS to keep up with all things Abbeyhill!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher




Abbeyhill Festivities 

What an amazing term we’ve had at Abbeyhill! December alone has been incredibly busy; our Parent Council organised the Winter Talent Show which was a fantastic evening and enjoyed by everyone. It made us all proud to see how confident the children were in front of a large audience and in an unfamiliar venue. We’re hoping it becomes an annual tradition! We’ve also had a whole school trip to the pantomime at the Brunton Theatre, the P7 ceilidh, which was a magical evening as always, and the P1 Nativity (which was tinged with sadness as it’s the last one that we’ll do at the London Road Parish Church which is due to close in January 2017). P6 ran a very successful market stall at the Stockbridge Market at the beginning of the month, selling handmade wreaths and candles (see our Twitter feed @AbbeyhillPS for photos). They made £500 so well done to the P6 fundraising committee as that brings their total for the session so far to £1000 with all the money raised going towards their P7 camp in October 2017. Still to come this week, we’ve got family film night, Christmas parties and a Christmas singalong before term ends on Thursday – there’s no winding down here!!

No matter where you are this Christmas, whether you celebrate or not, from all of us at Abbeyhill we wish you a happy and safe holiday and look forward to seeing everyone when term starts on Tuesday 10th January. 

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Happy holidays!

It’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of another school year. Looking back, we have had yet another fantastic session where children have learned and progressed through a range of exciting and creative experiences.
We’ve seen the start of the School Streets pilot (September 2015) and had numerous walking buses to promote safe and sustainable travel to school. We’ve visited parliament, Edinburgh Castle, the Museum of Childhood, Holyrood Park, Aberdour beach, Bonaly outdoor centre, Meadowbank, Gambados, Alien Rock, Port Edgar, the Collective Gallery, the Talbot Rice Gallery and many, many more to support and develop our learning. Our Parent Council have grown in strength and numbers with the highlight of the Abbeyhill calendar being without a doubt the Summer Carnival at the beginning of June. We’re already looking forward to the next one! We have hosted volunteers, parent helpers, teaching students and Pirniehall Primary who spent a few months with us while their school was under repair. It is testament to the positive, welcoming environment of Abbeyhill that our staff and children welcomed Pirniehall with open arms and new friendships were forged! Pirniehall joined in with our key events such as our Sports Day and whole school Walk a Mile for Health Week and it was lovely to have them with us.
The end of our year is tinged with sadness as we say goodbye to three members of staff; Miss Jormola, Miss Smith and Miss Stewart. Miss Jormola is going back to Finland, Miss Smith has secured a permanent contract at Juniper Green Primary following completion of her probationary teaching year and Miss Stewart is going to the Royal High Primary to spread her already very skilled and talented teaching wings. We will miss you.
We will also miss our wonderful P7s who have been an absolutely fantastic year group all the way through Abbeyhill, from Nursery to the present day. They are a class that is full of character with genuine affection for each other with a great sense of humour! As they go off to their different high schools we wish them nothing but the very best of luck for their futures and hope they don’t forget us here at Abbeyhill.
From everyone at Abbeyhill, have a wonderful summer and we will see you when school and Nursery resumes on 17th August.

Sally Barker, Head Teacher

Term 1 – done!

Well, what a busy first term it has been at Abbeyhill Primary! August seems a long time ago, our ‘new’ Primary 1s are now familiar faces, as are all our new Nursery starts and new staff. We’ve had a fantastic term as you will see from our website and Twitter feed with every class enjoying learning indoors and outdoors, trips to the museum, the Palace, the Talbot Rice Gallery and the Collective Gallery to name a just a few!

We’ve had ‘classroom warming’ after P2 unexpectedly found themselves in the Music Room for the first week of term and have become a safer school as part of the School Streets pilot which Abbeyhill is taking part in for 18 months. We loved our ‘Walking Buses’ which marked the start of the pilot and the Walker’s Breakfast that awaited everyone at school! We were even paid a visit by the Minister for Sport who wanted to find out all about it.

We took part in the 10th annual Colony of Artists festival in September and our relationships with the Talbot Rice and Collective Galleries continue to grow and flourish; we can’t wait to exhibit our work in 2016!

Our Library has been revitalised thanks to Mr Martin and the Parent Council and everyone is enjoying using it. Whole school ‘Drop it and read’ sessions have been very popular over the term!

P7 have made fantastic fundraising efforts towards their mini-camp in the summer term; they need to raise £90 per pupil and are over halfway there having hosted bake sales, run ‘Lucky Numbers’ and single-handedly organised and ran ‘Mingle All the Way’ where they raised over £600! Thanks to everyone who has supported them so far.

Next term will be just as busy although much shorter as finish very early for Easter. No doubt we will cram it all in though…. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at Abbeyhill and don’t forget to watch our Christmas choir on STV Edinburgh on Christmas Day!

Sally Barker, Head Teacher