Active Learning

In Nursery and in Primary 1 and 2 the classrooms are designed with a young child’s need for movement, creativity and learning firmly in mind. Children are encouraged to ‘choose’ activities through structured active play and the activities available are carefully designed to allow for the teaching and development of literacy, number, motor and social skills. Active play continues into Primary 2 and beyond.

Literacy and English

This covers the skills necessary for communication: listening, talking, reading and writing. Children are encouraged to express their ideas and are given opportunities to develop this expression through speech and writing.


In Primary 1 and 2 we use a phonics programme as the starting point for reading and writing. We teach children the sounds and then build on this learning to help them read and write words based on the sounds taught.


Reading is one of the most important skills required by children as they progress through education and life. The various skills of comprehension are developed to help your child to cope with reading across the curriculum. Children are all encouraged to read for pleasure and enjoyment.

Once a child can read well, the higher reading skills like skimming text, reading a reference book for information and reviewing books become more important. At all times we try to show children that books are great fun and encourage them to be critical and selective in the reading.

Through pupil buddying, author, storyteller and drama company visits and attending the annual Edinburgh Book Festival, children’s interest in reading, as well as developing their knowledge of the process of writing, is encouraged.


Children are encouraged to write freely and fluently to develop their language skills. In Nursery the early stages of mark making and writing develop and from Primary 1 onwards, pupils are taught to develop skills in spelling, grammar and sentence construction. Throughout the school year, different styles of writing such as personal, functional and imaginative are introduced and developed. We often have parents helping in ‘writing workshops’ in the early years.

Mathematics and Numeracy

Children learn concepts gradually and the pace of learning is determined by the ability of the individual child. In any one class children may be working at different levels.

Mathematics includes work on mental arithmetic, number, money, measure, shape position and movement as well as information handling and problem solving.

There is an emphasis on active learning and with concrete materials and working with peers. Throughout the school, pupils receive daily activities involving mental maths, learning different strategies and applying them across the curriculum to solve problems.

A glossary of useful mathematical terms can be found below.

Technologies including ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

This area of learning permeates all aspects of the curriculum and integral to this programme are the ICT skills which are seen as a tool to support the teaching and learning across the curriculum.

Each class has a laptop computer and the school has a computer suite to support the learning of skills for all children from Nursery to Primary 7.  A class set of iPads and two in the nursery are enabling pupils to be much more versatile in their learning of ICT skills.  Simple word processing is taught in Primary 1 and expanded as the children progress through school. Educational games and information handling also form part of the ICT curriculum, supported by appropriate software. All classes are linked to the internet and through WiFi.  Every classroom, including the Additional Support for Learning classroom has an interactive whiteboard to support and motivate learning across the curriculum.

Social Studies and Sciences

Social Studies and Sciences begin in the early years with the children’s known world, their families and their immediate surroundings. As they progress through the school, their horizons are gradually widened and their knowledge extended and deepened. Their own world is then compared with other environments past and present.
Children are frequently taken on outings related to their classroom work, including the zoo, outdoor centres, museums, theatres and art galleries.

Religious and Moral Education

At Roseburn we believe that parents are responsible for the development of faith or beliefs of their child. Here at school, the major world religions are studied and compared. Pupils are encouraged to explore the natural world, relationships, moral values and ‘ultimate questions’.
Whole school assemblies are held once a fortnight where we celebrate the success of our pupils. Individual classes give presentations on class curricular topics and outside agencies, eg. 'Children First' and 'Childline' address the children on pertinent issues. In addition, fortnightly whole school assemblies are held.
Religious Observance complements our RME curriculum. We have identified some school assemblies throughout the year which will be jointly delivered with the minister from Murrayfield Parish Church, Keith Graham. The dates for this year are as follows: 14th September, 5th October (Harvest), 9th November (Remembrance), 21st December – Christmas concert in Murrayfield Church, 25th January, 29th March – Easter, 27th June – Prizegiving and Leavers’ assembly in Murrayfield Church.
Rev Graham also enjoys planned visits to each of the classes over the course of the year to deliver presentations linked to the RME work of the class. In addition, our Primary 4 Christmas service, our Primary 7 Remembrance service and our Primary 7 Leaver's service are all held in Murrayfield Parish Church.
Due to our strong links with the church we also have a joint agreement with Murrayfield and the churches in Kwamebikrom, Ghana and a number of joint visits have been made by school staff and church representatives to Ghana to promote not only the ecumenical links but to help develop medical and educational opportunties for the people of the village.
These arrangements embrace the wide cultural differences which we are privileged to have in our school population, however parents have the right for their child to be withdrawn from Religious Observance and should consult the Head Teacher if they wish to do so and alternative arrangements will be made.


Health and Wellbeing

At all stages of the school we encourage healthy living and healthy choices for life. As with all schools, we are a health promoting school where these skills and informed attitudes are an integral part of all learning and activities across the whole curriculum including our ECO and Fairtrade work, outdoor learning opportunities and gardening through our 'Garden Gang'.  We are an accredited Fairtrade School until 2016 and are close to gaining our third and permanent Green Flag for our ECO activites. 

Each year we organise a Health Week where all pupils experience new health promoting activities.  We believe strongly in regular exercise and the learning of skills, co-operation and competition in physical education.  We are committed to providing at least two hours of PE each week.

Physical education can take the form of games, swimming, athletics, gymnastics and related fitness activities. Through PE, we aim to give pupils an understanding of their body; to develop and apply skills, to design and create, work with others and develop fitness.
In May/June, the children take part in Sports Day in Roseburn Park and there is also an Edinburgh inter-schools athletics competition to which the school often sends a team.

Classes in Primaries 4 and 6 attend Dalry Swimming Pool for weekly swimming sessions throughout the year as part of the educational curriculum. A parent's rota is necessary to help teachers supervise the travelling and changing.

Our Active Schools Sports Co-ordinator organises after school clubs such as judo, netball and basketball.

The beginnings of health and well being in education take place at the earliest possible stages, in the early years and in the home. Children are guided towards an awareness of the needs of others and they learn the importance of sharing, waiting their turn and co-operating with others.

Much of this is covered through our City of Edinburgh 'Creating Confident Kids' programme. The need for care of the body cleanliness, fresh air and exercise is taught, not only for the child’s own health, but for that of the community as well.

Sex education, drugs awareness and personal safety programmes are introduced in the upper school, closely following Local Authority and National guidelines. Parents are informed of the topics taught and are invited to discuss the topics covered, staff answering any questions parents may have.

Expressive Arts

The expressive arts include dance, music, drama and art and design.

Art and Design

The art and design curriculum will involve pupils in investigating materials and media; expressing ideas and solutions; and understanding, appreciating and sharing in the product of others. Pupils also study various artists and classes often visit local art galleries.  Roseburn is extremely proud of its achievements in art and design, having gained many awards for pupil work including those received in the annual National Art Galleries Competition.  A highlight of the last few years has been an annual 'art exhibition' weekend  where children's and local artist's work is exhibited and sold, the proceeds raised going to chosen charities.


Within the primary school, drama is used as a teaching aid for many other subjects as well as an expressive art form in its own right. Children learn and have fun through drama thus promoting self-expression and self-confidence.

Each year every child is involved in a school performance: Primaries 1 and 2 entertain their parents with a ‘Spring Show’; Primaries 3 and 4 celebrate Harvest with a show for local senior citizens; Primary 5 present a Scots Assembly; Primary 6 help us to remember the meaning of Christmas and Primary 7 reflect on their time with us in the leaving service before moving on to their high school.


Children are encouraged to enjoy and participate in all types of music making and music appreciation. Opportunities for this are given within general classroom work and through the various school productions which all pupils are involved in at some point during each school year.

Modern Foreign Languages

Modern foreign language teaching (French or German) takes place in Primary 5, 6 and 7.   Mrs Denvir and Ms Gardner are the language teachers for Roseburn.

Assessment and Reporting

A programme of assessment, both formative and summative, takes place at all stages across the school. Edinburgh’s Baseline is used at the beginning of Primary 1. Screening programmes take place annually for all pupils from Primary 1 to Primary 7 to measure progress in spelling, reading and maths.
Standardised testing is also carried out annually by the local authority at the Primary 4 and Primary 7 stages.