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Abbeyhill Primary School
Abbey Street, EH7 5SJ, UK Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 661 3054

Welcome to Abbeyhill Primary School



The curriculum in Scottish schools is currently subject to ongoing review and development for children aged 5-14 years. The 5-14 Development Programme defines the curriculum in terms of:

English Language
Environmental Studies
Expressive Arts
Religious and Moral Education
Personal and Social Education

Learning in the school is based on a range of strategies, including investigating, problem-solving and discussion, in addition to exposition by the teacher (or direct teaching methods), and often involves activities using a wide variety of materials. Each child will be assessed to determine his or her levels of work. Group and individual methods will form the basis of the teaching in order that the curriculum can be tailored as far as possible to fit the needs of each child.
English Language

The development of each child's language skills is pursued through an integrated programme of language work involving listening, speaking, writing and reading. Early reading material is based on the child's own natural language, progressing thereafter, through a graded reading programme - Oxford Reading Tree. To this is linked the child's writing, combined with speaking and listening. Later, the child develops his reading through appropriate fiction and non-fiction material. He also learns skills of comprehension and reference to help him understand what he reads and to assist him in searching for and using information. Alongside this will develop the necessary skills of spelling, punctuation, language structures and handwriting, each at a level appropriate to the child's needs. Writing will form an important part of this development and the child will follow a programme which will start with simple stories leading on to different forms of writing activities. Much emphasis will be laid on speaking and discussion and activities, such as Drama, will play a part in this programme. At all stages, much of the child's language development is achieved through work in the Environmental Studies programme.

In Mathematics, the basic understanding necessary to the mathematical development of a young child comes from sorting, matching and ordering. The beginnings lie in discovering likeness and differences. Children are, therefore, given ample opportunities for such activities. Play may be structured to obtain mathematical experience without distracting from other benefits. Meanwhile, the language of mathematics is concurrently developing and in conversation the Infant Teacher encourages its use and application during baking, play in water and model making from junk and construction kits.

Thereafter, children are taught to recognise numerals and the one-to-one relationship of numbers. It is essential that each child has a firm grasp of basic number facts and much time is spent on this before the introduction of the four main processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. An understanding of place value is vital to the child's progress in mathematics.

The core Mathematics scheme used is Heinemann Mathematics. It encourages the development of the child's skills and much practical work is given in Shape, Time, Area, Volume, Measurement, Information Handling and Problem Solving. Each child is given freedom to develop and proceed at his/her own rate in an appropriate group but at the same time follows a definite progression in Mathematics, as outlined in 5-14 Curricular Guidelines.

Every encouragement is given to each child to think and reason for him/herself. The aim is to give him/her a knowledge and appreciation of Mathematics as a creative subject - of its order, pattern and quantity relationships and of its vital part in every day life and in the environment.
Environmental Studies
In the course of their exploration of the environment children will encounter a range of subjects: science, history, geography, home economics, technology, health education and information technology. These aspects of study are particularly related to the children's observation of their surroundings. Through environmental studies, children both learn about the world around them and develop the understanding, skills and attitudes necessary to interpret it. Children are encouraged to learn in a variety of ways; through explanation, enquiry, activity and discussion. They will also learn in a variety of settings within and beyond the classroom. Environmental Studies also provides a context for and brings relevance to, learning in Mathematics, in English Language, in the Expressive Arts and in Religious and Moral Education. Equally, skills and understanding, acquired in other curricular areas are applied within Environmental Studies and enable children to study and understand the world around them more effectively. It also encourages children to make informed decisions about their own behaviour. Positive and caring attitudes are fostered using problem solving, decision making and practical action to improve the environment. Children are taught how to develop skills in researching, recording, planning and evaluating their experiences. They are taught how to use specialised equipment and have to collect and provide information. Every class has access to an Apple Mac Computer and these are used for research, word processing or developing skills in the main curricular areas. From 1999 each class has had access to the Internet.

The aims in Environmental Studies, therefore, are:

· To acquire knowledge about the environment, relevant to the needs, interests and abilities of pupils.

· To develop skills; researching, recording, planning, interpreting and evaluating experiences, using tools, manipulating equipment, collecting and sorting data.

· To provide knowledge and understanding of healthy and safe living.

· To develop the practical use of computers and other forms of information technology in the course of the child's learning, relevant to individual abilities and needs.

· To encourage positive and informed attitudes; enjoyment, confidence, awareness, enthusiasm and an interest in conservation.

Expressive Arts
This broad title encompasses the four areas of Drama, Art, Music and Physical Education.

Physical Education

Abbeyhill is fortunate to have its own swimming pool. Although we do have to share this with other schools, we are able to offer a swimming programme which involves Nursery to P7 pupils. Our Physical Education specialist, Mrs L Rolland, also takes classes for P.E. in our school hall and classes are timetabled for this throughout the year. Class teachers also teach P.E. during the school week.


Children experience Music in class with their class teachers. Mr J Young is our Music Teacher. Mr Gavin Pagan is a visiting tutor who teaches selected pupils the violin, and Mrs V Young teaches the Cello. Selection is by achieving a certain standard in a musical aptitude test.


Children are given a variety of opportunities to express themselves through Drama. The 5 - 14 Curriculum is taught by teachers developing lessons through Environmental Studies projects or via commercially produced drama tapes. Performances are often given to groups, classes or parents throughout the year.

Art and Design

Through Art and Design activities children are given opportunities to create pictures and models in a number of ways using a variety of materials. Their work is displayed throughout the school.

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