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INFORMATION – Monday 19 December 2016


Staffing Information – with effect from Monday 9th January 2017

Mrs. Tania Evans

I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Tania Evans will succeed Mrs. Forrest as our Deputy Head Teacher with effect from Monday 9th January 2017.

Mrs. Evans graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Psychology and thereafter undertook her Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Education at The University of Edinburgh.

Mrs. Evans has been a member of the teaching staff at Abbeyhill Primary School since 2005. In February 2009 Mrs. Evans was appointed to the position of Principal Teacher at Abbeyhill Primary School. For the duration of 2012/13 school session, Mrs. Evans was seconded to the position of Deputy Head Teacher at Flora Stevenson Primary School.

Mrs. Evans has taught all stages throughout the primary school ensuring she has gained very good experience. In addition to her breadth of experience, Mrs. Evans has specific expertise and knowledge of Literacy and Health and Well Being.

Mrs. Evans was appointed following a rigorous recruitment process that included two parents representing the Parent Council.
Please join me in ensuring a positive welcome for Mrs. Evans and I have no doubt that she will add much value to the life of the school and its community.

Primary 2 – Mrs. Weston

At the start of the school session I informed parents that Mrs. Weston would teach P.2 until the end of this term with Ms. Cairns succeeding Mrs. Weston on return from maternity leave.

There has been a change in circumstance and I can confirm that Mrs. Weston will continue as our P.2 class teacher until the end of the session in June 2017.

Primary 3A – Mrs. Bonar and Ms. Cairns

I can confirm that with effect from Monday 9th January 2017, the teaching of P.3A will be shared by Mrs. Bonar and Ms. Cairns. Mrs. Bonar teaches the class full time presently. Ms. Cairns, returning from maternity leave, will teach P.3A on Mondays and Tuesdays. Mrs. Bonar, upon reducing her hours, will teach P.3A on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I can assure you that there will be a smooth transition with regard to this change. Mrs. Bonar and Ms. Cairns will be planning for this transition. We welcome Ms. Cairns back to the Royal High Primary School following maternity leave.

Primary 3B – Mrs. Forrest – Mrs. Evans

Parents and carers of children in P.3B will be aware that Ms. Campbell is the class teacher. However, as Ms. Campbell is in her probation year, she is entitled to one-day non-teaching per week. Until presently, Mrs. Forrest has been teaching P.3B on Thursdays. On return in January 2017, Mrs. Evans will be teaching P.3B on Thursdays.

Primary 6B – Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Torrance

We welcome Mrs. Torrance back to the Royal High Primary School in January 2017. Mrs. Torrance returns from maternity leave. Mrs. Torrance will be job-sharing the teaching of P.6B with Mrs. Grant. Mrs. Torrance will teach P.6B on Mondays, Tuesdays and alternate Fridays. Mrs. Grant will teach P.6B on Wednesdays, Thursdays and alternate Fridays. Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Torrance will be planning to ensure that there is a seamless transition.

Madame Genevieve McPhail

It is with a combination of regret and pleasure that I inform you of Madame McPhail’s retirement. Many in the school community will have little or no knowledge of Madame McPhail. However, I am in a good position to inform you and share with you the enormously valued contribution Madame McPhail has made to the Royal High Primary School and to the primary schools in the Portobello High School Cluster.

For some years now the teaching of an additional language has been legislation for all P.6 and P.7 classes in Scotland.
Since 2002, some fourteen years ago, Madame McPhail has been our Modern Languages French teacher, encouraging the learning of French to P.6 and P.7 pupils in the Portobello High School Cluster.

Every Wednesday morning, Madame McPhail prepares carefully and teaches French most successfully to our P.6 and P.7 pupils.
Madame McPhail is a native of France. She trained and qualified as a teacher in France and taught for five years near the city of Bordeaux. She then, in her own words, ‘emigrated to Scotland’, where she married Mr. McPhail and started a family.

Madame McPhail started her career in Scotland teaching French as a foreign language at the Steiner School. She taught every age group from P.1 up to S.6. Thereafter, she started to teach French to the P.6 and P.7 pupils in the Portobello High School Cluster primary schools. Sometimes Madame McPhail extended her teaching of French to P.4, P.5 and even to nursery children. In 2002 there were six cluster primary schools; Brunstane, Duddingston, Lismore, Parsons Green, The Royal High and Towerbank. Lismore closed in 2009 and Brunstane dropped off Madame McPhail’s timetable. There were times when Madame McPhail could be teaching up to six hundred pupils across the cluster. During the course of the last ten years Madame McPhail has also been a tutor for the French Modern Language in the Primary School course and taught adult classes at the French Institute.

To teach so many different pupils over so many schools requires careful and time consuming planning and preparation. Madame McPhail has been completely dedicated to teaching French and she has approached her role with passion and enthusiasm. Madame McPhail works tirelessly and often had to write comments for the report cards of every child in the cluster. Her ability to become familiar with every child has been a great achievement and she has endeared herself to children and staff. It has been a great asset to have the teaching of French delivered by a native speaker.

I am sure you will join me in thanking Madame McPhail for her tireless commitment and outstanding contribution. She will be greatly missed.

I wish Madame McPhail a happy, healthy and most fulfilling retirement.

Mrs. Hilary Brown will join the school and cluster in late January to replace Madame McPhail.

Thank you to everyone for their continued help and support.

Willie French  (Head Teacher)


About The Royal High Primary

The Royal High Primary School buildings were completed during 1931. We are all extremely proud of our listed building set within its beautiful grounds. The grounds and buildings, enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff, help to convey our heritage and enthusiasm for learning.

As an ECO school we are delighted to have gained five Green Flags and you can see one flying proudly in front of the school. We have a strong commitment to our environment and are currently working on achieving our sixth Green Flag.

Read more about the history of The Royal High

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