You can read the Musselburgh Burgh Primary School Handbook below, or download a copy by clicking the download button.



School Contacts

Our Vision, Values and Aims

Staff List

General Information about School

Organisation of Staff

Composite Classes

School Uniform

School Meals, Fruit and Milk

Our Curriculum

Assessment and Reporting on Pupil Progress

Parents and the School


School Procedures


Pupil Voice

Health and Safety Arrangements

Complaints Procedures



Welcome to

Musselburgh Burgh Primary School.

This booklet is designed to introduce you to the Burgh; to share with you our aims, our policies and our curriculum; and to give you general information about procedures related to our school.

I hope you will find the information useful. Please keep the booklet for reference. When and where necessary, you will be informed of any changes through school newsletters.

The staff at Musselburgh Burgh Primary School strive to create a caring and secure environment in which everybody feels happy, confident and valued.  We can best achieve this when we work in partnership with parents/carers and families, so please take every opportunity to become involved in your child’s life at the Burgh.

We look forward to a long and happy partnership with you.

Jon Doyle

Head Teacher                                                        August 2024




Musselburgh Burgh Primary School

Kilwinning Street


East Lothian

EH21 7EE


Telephone:         0131-665-3407

email:                 admin@musselburghburgh.elcschool.org.uk

Business Support Administrator:   Mrs Louise Smith


Education Department:

East Lothian Council

Resources & People Services

John Muir House


EH41 3HA


Burgh Breakfast and After School Club:

Manager:                  Shannon Hughes

Telephone:               07999 144 197

email:                         admin@burghasc.co.uk



Parent Council Office Bearers:

Chair:                         Michelle Peet

Vice-Chair:                Yvonne Somerville

Treasurer:                 Laura Bourhill

Clerk:                         Stella Hervey Birrell






‘Everything is Possible’



At the Burgh, we value: 

Honesty & Respect
Kindness & Happiness
Learning & Responsibility



To provide an inclusive and nurturing space where all children and adults can feel proud, confident, safe, and inspired to have fun and succeed.

At the Burgh, we are committed to working together to deliver the values and principles of Curriculum for Excellence.

We work in partnership with our families and the wider community to ensure we deliver on our core purpose: to offer all of our pupils the best learning experience possible in a happy, safe and nurturing environment.



Head Teacher                                           Mr Jon Doyle

Depute Head Teacher                             Mrs Natalie Copland

P1                                                              Mrs Amy Hainey                                (Principal Teacher)

P2                                                              Mrs Rhian Monro / Mrs Natalie Copland

P2/3                                                          Miss Tessa Kolster

P3                                                              Mrs Vikki Wilson

P3/4                                                          Mrs Emily Macdonald                       (Principal Teacher)

P4                                                              Mrs Mary Cooper

P5                                                              Miss Katherine Kerr (NQT)

P5/6                                                          Mrs Fleur Hoole

P6                                                              Mrs Diane Chiole

P6/7                                                          Mrs Rebekah Jones                           (Principal Teacher)

P7                                                              Mrs Samantha Fulton

Support for Learning                               Miss Julie Ross

Additional Teacher                                  Mrs Nicola Davies-Jenkins

PE                                                              Mr Alasdair Dougall                           Tuesday

Art                                                             Mrs Morag McLeod                          Tuesday

French                                                      Madame Fiona Scott                         Wednesday

Music                                                        Miss Kirsten Ireland                          Thursday

Cello                                                          Mr Tim Cais                                        Thursday

Violin                                                        Mrs Carolyn Wilson                          Friday

N-Zone Nurture Specialist                      Mrs Eleanor Sherry

Early Years ASNA                                     Miss Amy Scott

Speech & Language Therapist                Miss Lucy Sellick

ASN Auxiliaries                                         Mrs Karen Anderson, Mrs Rena Brown, Mrs Lyndsay Crawford, Mrs Susan Garden, Miss Leanne Louden, Ms Teresa Lynch, Miss Hazel Sinclair, Mrs Alana Sleigh, Mrs Susan Tomlins

Business Support Administrator             Mrs Louise Smith

Senior Business Support Assistant        Mrs Jo Doherty

Business Support Assistant                    Miss Amber Jenkins

Senior Facilities Assistants                     Mr Stuart Farinie, Mr David Bremner

Playground/Dining Hall Supervisor       Mrs Hazel Warnock

Cook                                                         Mrs Theresa Mack

Kitchen Assistants                                   Mrs Laura Campbell, Mrs Mary McMillan


Senior Early Years Practitioner              Miss Jodie Stockman

Early Years Practitioners                         Mrs Linda Banks, Mrs Sarah Cunningham, Miss Dee Hood, Ms Teresa Lynch, Mrs Nicole Orr, Mrs Alison Spence

Early Years Support Worker                   Mrs Gulnaz Akhtar

This list is subject to change since personnel may vary from year to year.

Parents will be notified of any changes through regular school newsletters.



Musselburgh Burgh Primary School is a non-denominational, co-educational Local Authority School, which caters for pupils from 3-12 years of age.

The Burgh was built in 1965. The school building has been adapted to provide access for people with disabilities. The school is situated in the centre of the town behind the buildings on the south side of the High Street.  There is access for pedestrians at three points.

A car park is situated in front of the main entrance, which is for the use of staff and visitors only.  Parents are requested to use local car parking facilities.  Pupils should not be brought to school through the car park.


School Roll:

The current school roll is 295 including children in our nursery.  At present, there are 11 mainstream classes in our school, in addition to our nursery class which caters for 40 full-time places.

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7
23 28 38 40 39 40 49


School Times:

At the Burgh, we operate a soft-start to each school day and pupils can arrive at any time between 8.55 and 9.15am to allow for a calm and nurturing beginning to every morning. There are no bells at the start or end of the day, and the only bells that ring during the school session are those at the end of playtimes and lunch breaks.


(Full-time Session)

Monday – Thursday 8.45am – 3.15pm
Friday 8.30am – 12.30pm
P1 & P2 Monday – Thursday 8.55am – 3.00pm
Friday 8.55am – 12.20pm
P3 – P7 Monday – Thursday 8.55am – 3.20pm
Friday 8.55am – 12.30pm


Number of teaching staff:               14 Mainstream

                                                            1 Support for Learning

(This may change from year to year according to the school roll)

Head Teacher

Mr Doyle has overall responsibility for leading and managing the school and is responsible for ensuring that the school is a safe, healthy environment in which to work and learn. He manages the staff and plans, co-ordinates, implements and evaluates developments and innovations to ensure that every pupil receives the best possible educational experiences. He is also responsible for close liaison with families and the wider community.

Mr Doyle has strategic curricular and pastoral responsibility for all pupils from Nursery to P7, with specific responsibility for Care-Experienced Children and pupils with Additional Support Needs. The Head Teacher’s remit may vary from year to year according to the needs and priorities of the School’s Improvement Plan.

Depute Head Teacher

Mrs Copland has pastoral responsibility for pupils in the Early Years (Nursery and P1) with specific responsibility for the Management of our Nursery. She assists the HT in the management and organisation of the school and deputises for the Head Teacher as required. Mrs Copland has a part-time teaching responsibility and, this year, shares responsibility for our Primary 2 class. Again, the DHT’s remit may vary according to the needs of the School Improvement Plan.

Principal Teachers

The three Principal Teachers have full-time teaching responsibility, with Management Time each week to undertake leadership duties. Mrs Hainey shares responsibility for the Early Team (Nursery – P1) with Mrs Copland, and drives our Play Pedagogy and Numeracy & Mathematics curriculum. Mrs Macdonald shares responsibility for the First Level Team (P2-P4) with Mr Doyle, and coordinates the school’s Literacy and Outdoor Learning curriculum. Mrs Jones shares responsibility for the Second Level Team (P5-P7) with Mr Doyle, and manages our Health & Wellbeing and Inclusion curriculum.

Class Teachers

Teaching Staff work with the pupils on a day-to-day basis and are responsible for organising and implementing the curriculum at their stage, and producing and collecting

high-quality assessment evidence to inform high quality, motivating and meaningful teaching and learning experiences for every child. Pupils are taught individually, in groups or as a whole class where appropriate.

Support for Learning Teacher

Miss Ross collaborates and consults with Class Teachers and Parents/Carers on matters concerning the education of pupils with additional support needs. Pupils may work individually or in small groups with the Support for Learning Teacher, and either in the SfL room or within their own classrooms.

Visiting Specialist Teachers

Specialist Teachers visit the school regularly on a specified day, teaching groups or classes of children and working co-operatively with class teachers.

This session we have specialists for Art, P.E., Modern Languages and Music, as well as individual instrumental tuition in Violin and Cello.



The Business Support Administrator

Mrs Smith is responsible for all the clerical and administrative tasks related to the running of the school and its finances. She is supported by a full-time Senior Business Support Assistant, and a part-time Business Support Assistant.

Other Non-teaching Staff

To assist with the smooth running of the school and nursery, we have a team of Early Years Practitioners, Additional Support Needs Auxiliaries, Senior Facilities Assistants, Kitchen Staff and Cleaners, as well as Supervisory Assistants in the dining room and playground.



Depending on the size of our school role, it may be necessary each year to form composite classes in the school at certain stages.  The formation of composite classes in the school follows East Lothian Council Guidelines, which state that it is the responsibility of the Head Teacher to manage class organisation, taking account of a range of criteria, including: meeting learner needs, age (stage appropriate), social inclusion, gender balance, numbers of children per stage, and exceptional circumstances. Further information about composite classes can be found at:

Schools and learning | East Lothian Council



All children should dress in an appropriate way for school so that they are comfortable and presentable. We encourage all Burgh pupils to wear our school colours with pride.

The school uniform for P1-P7 consists of white or red polo shirt, red or grey school sweatshirt (or navy for P7) and black or grey skirt, pinafore or trousers. Black shoes or trainers are also recommended. Primary 7 pupils are invited to wear ‘leavers’ hoodies throughout their final year at the Burgh and these, along with sweatshirts and polo shirts featuring the Burgh badge, can be purchased through the school’s online uniform shop:


While our school uniform items are reasonably priced, we are very aware of the financial pressures associated with dressing rapidly growing children. With this in mind, we have a large collection of used uniform, in good condition, that is free and available to all families throughout the school year. Our spare uniform rails are accessible at the main reception every day and replenished regularly. Please help yourself to any of these items and feel welcome to donate any used clothing to the school office.

Wearing our school uniform is encouraged as it is comfortable to wear, easy to put on and take off, and washes well. The wearing of jeans, ‘labels’ or designer wear and – in the interests of safety – jewellery or false nails, is actively discouraged, and we welcome support from our families in encouraging children to wear school uniform.

PE Kit

We encourage children to bring a PE kit to school that can be left on their classroom peg throughout the week, as this will allows pupils to take part in all indoor and outdoor PE lessons comfortably. PE kits can be taken home at the end of each term (or more regularly if preferred) to be washed and returned to school at the start of the next term.

A pair of shorts (or tracksuit bottoms/joggers/leggings), a t-shirt, and trainers or gym shoes are required for all PE lessons. Pupils will be informed on which days their class will have PE each term. Please make sure that all items of clothing and shoes are clearly marked with your child’s name.

School Clothing Grants

East Lothian Council operates a scheme of provision to ensure that all pupils are sufficiently and suitably clad to take full advantage of the education provided. Families in receipt of Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support (and other benefits) are entitled to apply for a School Clothing Grant.  Parents and Carers who wish to apply should complete an online application form, which is available at:




School lunches are eaten in the Dining Hall, and ordered in advance and paid for online using the iPayimpact system. Pupils can choose a hot or cold meal from East Lothian’s 3-week rotating menu, or bring a packed lunch from home. If for any reason you’d prefer your child to come home for lunch, we would ask you to inform the school in advance and collect them from school at the agreed time. School lunches are free for all pupils from Nursery to P5, and for those children entitled to Free School Meals. Lunches for all other children in P6 to P7 cost £2.20 each day.

Under the Council Committee for Education policy, children in attendance at schools under the management of the Council are entitled to Free School Meals if their parents are in receipt of one of the following: 

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (but NOT Working Tax Credit) with annual income less than £17,005
  • Child Tax Credit AND Working Tax Credit with an annual income less than £7,920
  • Universal Credit where your monthly take home pay does not exceed £660

Further information and an online application form to apply for Free School Meals can be found at:



Free whole milk is provided daily for all children in the Nursery. Pupils in P1 – P7 may purchase semi-skimmed milk, which is paid for in full – either a term at a time, or for the entire school year. Pupils who qualify for Free School Meals are also entitled to daily milk free of charge. Non-dairy alternatives are also available for all children on request.


East Lothian Council use an online payments system called SchoolPay, operated by iPayimpact, to provide parents/carers with the opportunity to make all school related payments online, including paying for school meals. The system enables you to;-

  • Create your own personal account and see your balance at any time;
  • Pre-order meals for your child in advance, giving you options for their lunch;
  • Make and track payment instalments for larger items such as school trips;
  • Manage costs for all of your children – across nursery, primary and secondary schools – from the same account, making things easier and faster for you.

For more information about SchoolPay and to register for your account, please visit:



Health Promoting Schools

Pupils in P1 & P2 currently benefit from an East Lothian Council initiative to provide them with a free item of fruit 3 days per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

We are a health promoting school and try to encourage healthy eating habits as part of our school curriculum. As such, your help would be much appreciated in reinforcing this by providing healthy packed lunches and snacks for your child.

We have a number of children in school who are severely affected by life-threatening allergies to nuts and nut products. We are therefore also a NUT FREE SCHOOL and would ask for your support in not sending any nuts or nut products to school for snacks or packed lunches. This includes products such as chocolate spread on sandwiches.



Musselburgh Burgh Primary School follows the principles and practices of A Curriculum for Excellence.  This 3-18 curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils will be ‘Successful Learners, Confident Individuals, Responsible Citizens and Effective Contributors’.   These four main aims are referred to as the Four Capacities and underpin the work undertaken in school.  A Curriculum for Excellence comprises 8 curricular areas:

1          Mathematics & Numeracy

2          Languages & Literacy

3          Expressive Arts

4          Health & Wellbeing

  • Religious & Moral Education
  • Sciences
  • Social Studies
  • Technologies

The curriculum is expressed in learning experiences and outcomes for learners.  The principles of challenge and enjoyment, breadth and depth, and personalisation and choice inform the learning of all pupils.  Pupils are encouraged to think about why they are learning a particular topic and how associated skills can be used in real life and in other areas across the curriculum.

All pupils are engaged with teachers in planning and assessing aspects of learning and often have the choice of topics and ways to present their learning.  Whilst there are eight subject areas, learning will often be linked across subjects to help children apply their knowledge and skills in new and different situations.

To promote and support the development of the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to adapt, think critically and flourish in today’s world, the curriculum must be coherent, relevant and progressive. The curriculum is planned for and experienced by learners across four contexts:

  • Curriculum areas and subjects
  • Interdisciplinary learning
  • Ethos and life of the school
  • Opportunities for personal achievement

Each curricular area is broken down into a set of experiences and outcomes. The Experience describes the learning whilst the Outcome represents what the learning will achieve.  This is often explained from the pupil’s perspective as an ‘I can….’ statement. These experiences and outcomes in each area are then grouped across five levels: early, first, second, third and fourth, and senior.  In other words they give a broad indication of what children are likely to experience at various stages in their school career.

The levels are: –

Early                           –           pre-school and Primary 1, or later for some.

First                            –           to the end of P4, but earlier or later for some.

Second                       –           to the end of P7, but earlier or later for some.

Third and Fourth    –           S1 to S3, but earlier for some.  The Fourth level

broadly equates to SCQF Level 4

Senior Phase           –           S4 to S6 and college or other means of study.

Further information on Curriculum for Excellence can be found at:


http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/thecurriculum and




Our Early Level curriculum aims to nurture each child and support their intellectual, social, emotional and physical development, while assisting them to reach their full potential. Across the Early Years, the basis of the curriculum is play, which is a natural activity for young children. Our Early Years team use play to extend and develop children’s learning across two years of nursery, and in Primary 1 where we have introduced a play-based curriculum.

Our play-based curriculum across the Early Years is founded upon the principles and best practice identified within Education Scotland’s National Guidance for Early Years, Realising the Ambition: Being Me, which can be read here:


A prepared, structured and inclusive learning environment – both inside and outdoors – is essential at both stages, and provision includes sand, water, paint, playdough, building blocks, craft materials, small world, books, musical instruments, home corners, role play, risky play, cooking and baking. Provocations and incidental learning areas are introduced regularly, to support learning that is responsive to the interests of children and planned in collaboration with the learners.

In these carefully structured environments, language is enriched and the acquisition of early literacy and numeracy skills, as well as skills of enquiry and exploration, can begin.



Skills in Mathematics and Numeracy are important throughout our everyday lives, whether it be for budgeting the cost of living, telling the time, measuring carpets, catching a bus, etc.

Our Numeracy curriculum is divided into 8 areas: –

  • Estimation and Rounding
  • Number and Number Processes
  • Fractions, Decimal Fractions and Percentages
  • Money
  • Time
  • Measurement
  • Data and Analysis
  • Ideas of Chance and Uncertainty

Our Mathematics curriculum is divided into 7 areas: –

  • Expressions and Equations
  • Angles, Symmetry and Transformation
  • Multiples, Factors and Primes
  • Patterns and Relationships
  • Powers and Roots
  • Properties of 2D Shapes and 3D Objects
  • Mathematics – its impact on the world; past, present and future

Where appropriate, Numeracy and Maths skills are taught through an active and enquiry-based approach, and developed within a wider context that can be linked to topics the children may be studying across other areas of the curriculum, such as Social Studies, Science, Health & Wellbeing, Technologies etc.



The Curriculum for Excellence Guidelines separate Language into 3 main components:

1          Reading

          2          Writing

          3          Listening & Talking


Reading is both an essential life skill and the key to a lifelong enjoyment of literature. We aim to nurture and encourage both of these by developing the skills needed to read and comprehend, by promoting good reading habits, and by providing opportunities to engage with a variety of texts.

Pupils across Early and First Level learn to read and write by following the Read Write Inc. phonics programme, which teaches children the full range of alphabet sounds, the letters that represent them, and how to form these when writing. Reading books progress through coloured levels, building on prior learning, to enable children to develop confidence and enjoy success.

Once pupils are ready to progress to reading longer books and novels, more advanced comprehension skills are developed through engagement with a variety of group texts including fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry.

Accelerated Reader is used alongside set reading groups to support personalisation and choice, and to encourage challenge and enjoyment. Pupils choose books from a graded selection according to their individual interests and abilities. Once they have finished their book, quizzes can be completed to assess their comprehension providing teachers with valuable assessment evidence.



Writing is essential for children to be able to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes, and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving them order and meaning.

This session, we are introducing a new curricular programme based on the principles of PM Writing, which offers pupils shared, guided and independent writing experiences within a variety of different text types. Children are supported to translate their oral literacy skills into extended written pieces, with an understanding that if they cannot say a sentence, then they will not be able to write it.

In the Early Years, Spelling, Grammar and Handwriting are taught through the Read Write Inc. programme. Beyond this, children follow the Nelson spelling and grammar programmes, and are encouraged to develop neat and legible handwriting with a focus on formation of letter shapes and accurate joining.

More information about each of our Literacy programmes can be found at:

Read Write Inc:             https://www.ruthmiskin.com/parents/

Accelerated Reader:     https://intl.renaissance.com

PM Writing:                   https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/pmwriting

Nelson:                            https://global.oup.com/education/content



Throughout their time in school, children are encouraged to talk about their own experiences and to communicate effectively, clearly and confidently with peers and adults for various purposes. Listening and Talking skills are developed through a variety of formal and informal learning situations, such as individual and group presentations, class assembly performances, participation in discussions and debates, or by responding to texts, media and other stimuli.



French is taught throughout the school, beginning in Primary 1 where vocabulary is introduced through songs, games and daily routines. From Primary 5 onwards, pupils are introduced to a second modern foreign language, which can vary from year to year depending on the expertise of staff and the interests of the learners, and may include German, Spanish and Mandarin.



Learning in Health and Wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing, now and in the future. The four areas covered in health and wellbeing are:

  1. Mental, Emotional, Social and Physical Wellbeing
  2. Planning for Choices and Changes
  3. Physical Activity and Sport
  4. Food and Health
  5. Substance Misuse
  6. Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood

Physical Activity and Sport

PE lessons are delivered indoors and outside by class teachers and our visiting PE specialist. Children also have regular opportunities to take part in a variety of sporting activities delivered in partnership with East Lothian’s Sports Development Officers, including Rugby and Swimming.

PE is a very important part of the curriculum for developing both self-reliance and teamwork. It encourages pupils to become aware of their physical environment, the potential of their own bodies, and to enjoy sport and physical activity. Children will need T-shirt, shorts and trainers/gym shoes to participate in PE lessons.

Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood

Learning about RSHP can prepare children for things like body changes, developing healthy relationships and keeping themselves safe. Lessons from P1 to P7 will present facts in an objective, balanced and sensitive manner within the framework of curricular values and an awareness of the law. More information about the National RSHP Resource can be found at https://rshp.scot









In the Early Years, we give children opportunities to experience various art materials and forms, like painting, drawing, colouring, cutting, gluing and modelling. As pupils progress, we introduce them to the relationships between colours, line and shape, and explore the work and techniques of famous artists.






Throughout their time in school, children have opportunities to sing and make music with different instruments, while being encouraged to listen to and appreciate different types of music. There are also opportunities for weekly specialist music tuition from P4, including cello and violin.






Through Drama, children explore relationships, events and themes, in real or imaginary situations, which can be linked to other areas of the curriculum. Performing and presenting skills can be developed through opportunities to be creative and experience inspiration and enjoyment.






Dance is taught largely through PE and can include creating and performing. Pupils are encouraged to develop their technical skills and the quality of their movement, and to use their imagination to crate and choreograph dance sequences.






Religious and Moral Education is a process where children engage in a search for meaning, value and purpose in life. Children learn about the history and beliefs of Christianity and other world religions. This might include opportunities for classes to visit places of religious significance. Parents who do not wish their child to be involved in activities or studies on a religious or moral theme should contact the Head Teacher.







Through learning in the Sciences, children develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. The key concepts are identified as: Planet Earth; Forces; Electricity and Waves; Biological Systems; Materials and Topical Science. Science is taught both as a discrete subject and linked to class topics.







Children develop their understanding of the world by learning about other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances; they also develop their understanding of their environment and how it has been shaped. The three main concepts are: People, past events and societies; People, place and environment; People in society, economy and business.






The main concepts are: Digital Literacy; Food and Textile Technology; Technological Developments in Society and Business; Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics and Computing Science.



These are designed and planned to enrich pupils’ experiences of their environment, and are linked to ongoing learning within the classroom.  These may range from local outings to residential visits within the UK. You will be notified of any planned trips by letter, and may be asked to make a minimal contribution towards the cost or to accompany the class on the outing.


High quality learning takes place both inside and outdoors, and pupils at the Burgh have regular opportunities to learn in both of these environments throughout the year. Families should ensure that children come to school appropriately dressed for all weathers.

Motivating and sustainable Outdoor Learning opportunities are provided to schools through the East Lothian Outdoor Learning Service.  The aim of the service is to provide first class experiences of outdoor education for schools and other groups and to offer a support and advice service for outdoor activity in East Lothian. Further information can be found at: http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/outdoorlearning



Extra-curricular activities will vary from term to term and may include the following, depending on the changing expertise of school staff and interests of pupils:

Junior Choir                           –           P5 – P7

Cycle Club (Bikeability)         –           P6 – P7

Girls Football                         –           P5 – P7

Boys Football                         –           P6 – P7

Basketball                               –           P5 – P7

Construction Club                 –           P1 – P5

Coding                                     –           P5 – P7

Art                                           –           P4 – P7

Book Group                            –           P6 – P7

Journalism                             –           P7

Librarians                               –           P6




Assessment is an integral part of learning and teaching. It tells us what children know, understand and are able to do, and informs their next steps in learning. Effective assessment allows staff and parents/carers to support children to make progress in all areas by identifying their individual key strengths and areas for development. Assessment should be a continuous process that recognises children are individuals who make progress at their own rate.

As part of everyday learning, teachers are continuously assessing their pupils’ progress using learning intentions and success criteria as measures of pupils’ success.  Teachers will employ a variety of formative and summative assessment strategies to ensure effective learning is taking place, and will routinely feedback to children on their areas of strength and development needs. Pupils will also be included in evaluating their own progress through self-assessment and peer-assessment activities.


Progress is now defined as ‘how much’ and ‘how well’ a child is learning, and not solely on ‘how fast’ they are learning, although pace is still important. The curriculum is designed to enable children to achieve greater breadth and depth of learning whilst also securing the development of skills and knowledge.

  • If your child has demonstrated knowledge, understanding and skills across a breadth of learning, whilst meeting challenges across this breadth to deepen learning, and has applied all of this in another context or curricular area consistently, then the teacher will report that your child has ‘achieved the level’.

All learning is a journey of progress, which is rarely linear and takes many routes and pathways.  Children may take longer to progress in some areas to ensure a secure learning foundation that will enable them to make further progress confidently.

Parental Consultations to discuss individual children’s progress are held twice during the school year in October and March. Individual Progress and Achievement Reports for all pupils are issued to families in June. Staff and pupils from P1 to P7 use individual Online Learning Profiles to record, celebrate and share evidence of each child’s progress. These Google Classroom profiles are easily accessible for families at home on smartphones, tablets and other devices. Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time to discuss their child’s progress or any concerns they may have. All appointments can be made through the school office.

Further information about assessment and reporting can be found at:



Communication with Parents

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 amended the definition of “parent” in the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 to include “guardian, and any person who is liable to maintain or has parental responsibilities in relation to, or has care of, a child or young person”.

Effective communication between school and parents is vital and can take many forms and have many purposes.  Schools are supported by East Lothian Council to use a range of ways to ensure that all parents and carers have the information they need to support their own child’s learning and to help them become involved in the life of the school.

Communication with parents can sometimes be difficult when parents are separated or divorced. Both parents retain parental responsibilities, unless the court has specifically removed those responsibilities and, in relation to placing requests, appeals against certain educational decisions, and access to pupils’ records, both parents will normally have equal rights.

Schools will therefore request the names and addresses of both parents at the time of enrolment and at the annual update of data.  The parent(s) with whom the pupil resides will automatically receive all communications from the school. If a parent lives apart from the family home they will be added to the school’s distribution list to receive copies of all communications regarding the pupil, including newsletters, progress reports and invitations to attend Parents’ Consultations, unless otherwise advised.

The school is dependent on the parent with whom the pupil resides supplying any appropriate information, i.e. the address of the parent not living in the family home, details of any Court proceedings prohibiting that parent’s involvement in the child’s education, or any other relevant documentation.

Parents/carers should note that children can only be collected from school by the parent with whom they reside unless the parent/carer has authorised an alternative arrangement. If someone else is to collect the pupil, the school should be informed in advance.

Parents and the School

During the time that your child is a pupil at the Burgh, we will strive to maintain close relationships with you regarding your child’s progress and what is happening in the school. Positive partnerships between parents and the school are integral to the successful education of our learners, and our families are warmly encouraged to become involved in the life of the school. Parents can contact the school at any time to request an appointment to see the Head Teacher, Depute Head Teacher, Class Teacher or Support for Learning Teacher.

Communication with Parents

Communication with families is generally through:

  • Individual Letters or Phone Calls about progress or any concerns that may arise;
  • End of year Pupil Progress Reports, which are issued in June;
  • Parent Consultation appointments held twice each year in October and March;
  • Class Letters. information about trips and events;
  • Regular ‘Stay & Play’ session for Nursery and Primary 1-2 families;
  • School and Nursery Newsletters, which are issued monthly;
  • School Functions and Events. Class Assemblies, Christmas Coffee Mornings;
  • Information Evenings. P7 Camp, P1 Induction, RSHP, Curriculum.

Responsibility of Parents

Education begins in the home and continues as a partnership between each family and the school. To ensure that your child achieves maximum benefit from their time at the Burgh, you are encouraged to:

  • Make sure that your child attends regularly, on time, and follows the school dress code. Brightly coloured hair, jewellery and make-up are not encouraged;
  • Take an active interest in all of your child’s learning and progress;
  • Support the school in any way you are able.


The Scottish Parliament passed a law called the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 to encourage and support more parents/carers to become involved in their children’s education.

The main aims of this Act are to:

  • Help parents become more involved with their child’s education and learning;
  • Welcome parents/carers as active participants in the life of the school;
  • Provide easier ways for parents/carers to express their views and wishes.

To help achieve these aims, all parents/carers will automatically be members of the Parent Forum at their child’s school and will be entitled to have a say in what happens at the school. As a member of the Parent Forum, parents/carers will have a say in selecting their Parent Council (the representative body) to work on behalf of all parents/carers at the school.

The role of the Parent Council is to:

  • Support the school in its work with pupils;
  • Represent the views of all parents/carers;
  • Encourage links between the school, parents/carers, pupils, pre-school groups and the wider community;
  • Consult with and report back to the Parent Forum.

Parent Councils have been recognised in law since August 2007.  For more information on the Parental Involvement Act or to find out about parents as partners in their children’s learning, please contact the school or visit the ParentZone website http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/parentzone.



Every child has a right to be provided with an education and this should enable them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities. Parents have a duty to provide education for their child and are responsible for ensuring that their child attends school regularly.

Good school attendance is both the foundation of our ambition for Burgh pupils to reach their full potential, and fundamental to our commitment to Getting it Right for Every Child and raising attainment for all learners. Poor attendance has been linked to lower levels of attainment; peer relationships; emotional and behavioural difficulties and poorer employment opportunities. Low levels of attendance can also be linked to how connected children and young people feel to their school community.

Parents are also reminded of the importance of children arriving at school on time as this prevents disruption to the learning and teaching and can minimise anxiety felt by children who arrive in class after the start of the school day. Children who arrive late for school must report to the school office upon arrival.

We recognise that promoting good school attendance can be a complex and multi-faceted issue that, ultimately, relies on strong partnerships with families and, in some circumstances, multi-agency support.


Please inform the school when your child is going to be absent, by contacting the school office on each day of your child’s absence, unless you are able to indicate on the first day how long the absence will last. Please call the school number on 0131 665 3407 and select Option 1 to notify us of your child’s absence.

Parents or Carers of any child who has not arrived in school by 10.00am, and where no reason for their absence has been received, will be contacted by GroupCall in the first instance. We will then attempt to reach out to all emergency contacts held for each child if we are still unable to ascertain the reason for their absence. This will be the process for the first two days of any unexplained absence. On the third day of absence, if no contact has been made and the child remains absent without explanation, the school will report the child missing to the Children’s Wellbeing Service.

When a child or young person’s attendance falls below 90% in any four week period, and there are no mitigating factors, the school will instigate a process of intervention and associated supports, in accordance with local authority guidance and exercising professional judgement. This process may include a formal letter, telephone consultations and Child Planning Meeting, as we try to work with families to support an improvement in attendance to an acceptable level. If no improvement in attendance takes place over a 16 week period, a referral to Children’s Services will be made.

More information about East Lothian Council’s Positive Approach to Promoting School Attendance, as well as other local authority guidance within East Lothian’s Included, Engaged & Involved policy suite, is available here:

East Lothian EduHub – Policy, Process and Guidance (google.com)



There are certain standard school procedures beginning with the enrolment of your child for Nursery.  These may seem strange and time consuming at first, but are very helpful for running the school smoothly and efficiently, and are concerned with the care and well-being of all children.

Each Primary and Secondary school in East Lothian has an identified catchment area with clear boundaries. Children living within the catchment area are given priority for places in this school. Entitlement to a place in a school is based on the child’s home address and not on attendance at an associated Nursery class. The catchment boundary lines are available to view at:


Nursery Enrolment and Admission

Parents can obtain Nursery enrolment forms from the School Office. Please complete and return these to the school’s Business Support Administrator.

  • Children’s names can be placed on the waiting list for a Nursery placement as soon as they are two years old.
  • Only one nursery application form per child should be completed and returned to the preferred first choice of nursery.
  • The completed form and child’s Birth Certificate should be brought to school when enrolling.

 Nursery admission is generally at the start of the school session or at the beginning of the term following your child’s third birthday. A short transition period, including an initial visit accompanied by a Parent/Carer, is arranged for each individual child to allow them to “settle in” to Nursery. Please note that enrolment in our Nursery does not guarantee your child a place in P1 if you live outwith our catchment area.

Primary 1 Enrolment

Primary 1 enrolment takes place in the autumn term preceding your child’s entry to school. This has involved an online process in recent years, although new parents and carers are welcome to visit the school for an informal meeting with a member of the Management Team in addition to this.

An enhanced and carefully-planned transition programme for our new Primary 1 children begins around April/May in the summer term preceding your child’s entry to school. This includes an information evening for all parents and carers, as well as a number of transition activities and visits to the school for our new pupils. This invaluable process helps to dispel any worries around this important stage in your child’s life.

Transition to Secondary School

Most pupils attending Musselburgh Burgh Primary School will usually transfer to Musselburgh Grammar School following their P7 year. From August 2023, however, some of our pupils will transfer to the new Rosehill High School in Wallyford, depending on their home address. It should be noted that attendance at an associated primary school does not automatically guarantee transfer to the associated secondary school and if you wish your child to attend a non-district Secondary School, you will need to make an out-of-catchment placement request during their P7 year. Applications can be made here:


Links with both high schools are established and developed within our school.  P7 pupils enjoy a taste of secondary school life when they visit their high school in the summer term preceding their transfer and on various other occasions throughout the session. An appropriate enhanced transition program can also be arranged for identified pupils.

Visiting the School

When visiting the school, please call at the main reception. Our Admin team will arrange for you to meet the Head Teacher or a member of promoted staff, or collect your child for an appointment, and they can collect any forms, notes or other information you may wish to give to the school about your child. Visitors to the school are requested to sign in and out and wear a visitor’s sticker whilst in the building.

Staff Car Park

The school car park is only for the use of school staff and visiting colleagues, and accessible car parking spaces are for Blue Badge holders only. Parents are requested to use local car parking arrangements. For health and safety purposes, we request that parents do not walk up the main school drive with children when dropping them off or collecting them from school.  Please use the gate and path adjacent to the Nursery to access the main reception.

School Crossing Patrols

Crossing patrols are on duty from 8.30 – 9.00am and 2.55 – 3.40pm each school day. Children are expected to cross the road under their supervision. Our local crossing patrols are situated at Dalrymple Loan, High Street (R.S.McColl), Town Hall, Loretto RC School and Newbigging.

Breakfast and After School Clubs

Each weekday, a Breakfast Club operates from 7.45am until the start of the school day, and the After School Club runs from the end of the school day until 5.45 pm. These clubs are run by Edinburgh and Lothian Out of School Care Network (ELOSCN) and managed by a committee of parents, providing local children with a safe place to stay and play before and after school. They also operate during most school holidays.

Occasional and Emergency Arrangements

In the event of an emergency such as a heating failure and pupils having to be sent home without warning, please make sure the school has up-to-date contact information including addresses and telephone numbers for yourselves, and any emergency contacts.  Information about such emergencies would be communicated to all families by text message through GroupCall.



Our school does not tolerate bullying in any form and, in adopting East Lothian Council’s policy, Respect for All: A Positive Approach to Preventing Bullying, we have taken a clear position on bullying, which is shared with children and parents.

Any suspicions and all reports of bullying are taken seriously and investigated, and all incidents of bullying – involving children or staff – are recorded and communicated. If your child is involved in a bullying incident, this will be recorded and you will be informed.

We take positive steps, such as supporting Anti Bullying Week and using a Buddy system, to discourage unkind behaviour, promote peer support and raise awareness of issues. Through our school Health and Wellbeing programme, class discussions and whole school assemblies, we aim to equip all of our children with the skills and understanding to deal with bullying, while promoting a happy, tolerant, inclusive and respectful environment in keeping with our school values.

Pupils can approach any member of staff – not just their own teacher – if they or any of their peers are being bullied. If you have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child or any other pupil, at any time, please contact any member of school staff who will ensure your concern is dealt with appropriately and effectively. Your concerns will always be treated seriously and we will work together to find a solution.

Information on East Lothian’s Anti Bullying and Exclusion policies can be found on the Council website at East Lothian EduHub – Policy, Process and Guidance (google.com)



Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, the views of children must be taken in to account when major decisions are being made which will affect their lives. At the Burgh, our pupils are at the heart of everything we do; their voice is essential to how the school is run and their views are important in identifying priorities for school improvement.

In 2022, the Burgh achieved its Rights Respecting Schools Silver Level award in recognition of our successful efforts to put the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at the heart of our planning, policies, practice and ethos. We make all pupils aware of their right to express themselves and be heard, as well as their responsibility to listen to others respectfully.

There are various representative groups at the Burgh which support and promote pupil voice. Each class from P2-7 elects a representative to serve on the Pupil Council, whilst the P1 class is allocated a P7 pupil to gather and represent their views on their behalf. The Pupil Council meet regularly with staff to evaluate various aspects of school life from a learner perspective and to recommend changes for improvement. Other active pupil voice groups include our House Captain and Vice-Captain teams, P6 Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs), Pupil Librarians, Connecting Classrooms group, and the Eco Reps.


It is our expectation that pupils will behave responsibly at all times and comply with all safety requirements in every area of the school and playground. The support of parents and carers in promoting good practice in relation to Health and Safety matters is of great importance to the school.

In the interest of safety and security, parents and carers are reminded that, when visiting the school for any reason, they must report to the school office in the first instance rather than going straight to their child’s class. Each of the playground entry gates will remain locked throughout the day, from the end of soft start – 9.15am – until shortly before pick-up time at 2.45pm.

Medical/First Aid

Accidents involving pupils do occur at school from time to time and, occasionally, these can result in minor injuries. In such circumstances, basic emergency first aid will be administered by trained members of staff. In the case of a more serious accident, any head knock, or your child being taken ill at school, preliminary first aid treatment will be administered by trained staff and you will be contacted immediately.  Please ensure that the school is informed of any changes of address, telephone numbers or emergency contact details.

We have a number of members of staff who are trained in Emergency First Aid. If an occasion arises when a parent or carer cannot be contacted following an accident, injury or sudden illness, the school will ensure that necessary medical treatment is given, including taking the pupil to the doctors or hospital. It is imperative that parents and carers inform the school of any medical conditions, including allergies, and keep emergency contact information up to date.

If your child is absent from school due to being unwell with vomiting or diarrhoea, they should not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode of sickness and/or diarrhoea. Your child might feel better sooner than this, but their illness may still be contagious and we must consider the health of all of our pupils.

Administration of Medicine and Medical Procedures

All medicines, whether prescribed or ‘over the counter’, can be given only to children whose parents/carers have provided written permission on a standard form available from the School Office. These forms are necessary to provide school staff with clear and specific information about your child’s medication, including the dosage, frequency of administration and any other specific information about the medicine.

NB A note from a parent/carer is not acceptable and children must not carry medication in school at any times. All medication must be held securely by school staff and should be handed in to the reception when completing the permission form.

Please call at the school office to sign a permission form if your child will require to have medication administered by a trained member of staff during the school day.

All members of staff who have been trained in the administration of specific drugs to pupils suffering from epileptic seizure or a severe allergic reaction, and who are required to administer specific drugs to those pupils, will be covered by East Lothian Council’s Public Liability Policy.

Individual Health Care Plans are in place for those pupils who require them. The School Nursing service are also available to advise schools on any specific health related issues.

Child Protection Procedures

East Lothian Council is committed to ensuring that all children have the right to be cared for and protected from harm and abuse; they have the right to grow up in a safe environment in which their rights are respected and their needs met. This commitment is consistent with every child and young person’s right to feel safe and to be listened to, as stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989).

Child protection is a complex system requiring the interaction of services, the public, children and families. For the system to work effectively, it is essential that everyone understands the contribution they can make and how those contributions work together to provide the best outcomes for children and young people. For further information and to read East Lothian Council’s policy on Child Protection and Safeguarding, go to: East Lothian EduHub – Policy, Process and Guidance (google.com)


Most complaints can and should be resolved at a school level. If you have a cause for concern about your child’s progress, the first person to speak to will normally be the class teacher and a meeting or telephone consultation can be scheduled by contacting the school office. However, if your concern is more serious you may wish to speak to the Head Teacher or another member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team. Please do not hesitate to contact the school office to arrange a convenient time.

If you remain dissatisfied then procedures are contained within ‘How to make a comment, compliment or complaint about a Council service’. Details of this document along with further information are available from the school office or on the council website at: http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/complaints. East Lothian Council does not tolerate physical or verbal abuse towards staff. Such abuse is a criminal offence and may lead to prosecution.

All information contained in this booklet is accurate at the time of compilation but remains subject to change, depending on variations in roll, staffing and resources.


East Lothian Council’s ‘John Muir House Handbook’ (updated January 2023) contains further information for parents and carers, including Local Authority Policies and Practical Information, and can be found and read here:

John Muir House Handbook (January 2023)