Welcome to Prestonfield Primary School

Birds Eye View DSCF5605


It is always a pleasure to welcome new children and their families to our school and to keep up with existing friends. We are a small school with 210 primary children plus a 30 morning and 30 afternoon afternoon place Nursery.
We have a huge heart and great ambitions!
We are a non-denominational, co-educational school for children of both primary and nursery age. We are located in South Edinburgh and have stunning views of Arthur’s Seat. We strive to provide our children with learning experiences of the highest quality, in a positive and caring environment, where everyone can feel happy, confident and valued.
We are committed to working in partnership with parents and members of our community, to ensure that all our children achieve the very best and can also take on an active role in society.
If you would like to get involved in the life and work of our school, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
We look forward to welcoming you to Prestonfield.
Mr. Ben Horsburgh
Head Teacher

Prestonfield Primary School – Our Vision, Values and Aims

Two pupils- Drawing
‘To go further than we thought,
To run faster than we hoped,
To reach higher than we dreamed,
To become the people we wish to be.’


Prestonfield Primary School is an exciting, happy and safe place to be, where we all enjoy developing our talents and learning together, promoting care and respect for each other and celebrating achievement and success.


At Prestonfield Primary School we:


  • All the children, their parents/carers and the staff listen to each other and work together to make our School the best possible place to learn.
  • We work closely with our families and with members of our local community by involving them in the life and work of the School.
  • We recognise that we all have different experiences, talents, skills and abilities that add to the richness of our learning environment.
  • Within our wider School community, we promote tolerance and understanding of one another and value diversity.


  • We provide a safe and caring environment where we can all feel valued, welcomed and respected.
  • Everyone is treated equally and we promote the values of kindness, fairness and respect for all.
  • We encourage a caring attitude towards our School, the local community and the world around us, reaching out to help others wherever possible.
  • We promote a healthy lifestyle so that we can become successful, confident, responsible and effective.


  • We try hard to approach all new experiences with confidence, enthusiasm and determination.
  • We have an exciting curriculum where all our learners can reach their potential and develop their knowledge and skills to meet the challenges ahead.
  • We talk with our teachers about what we are going to learn, how we are going to learn, how successful we have been and what our next steps will be.
  • We learn about life by exploring the world beyond the School gates and by inviting visitors in to share their knowledge and experiences with us.


The community of Prestonfield was designed and built as a Garden Village during the early 1930’s. The School, which was opened in 1931, was an architectural period piece of considerable character possessing several interesting and unusual features.

It was built at a time when penicillin had not yet arrived and the effects of major infectious diseases were sometimes quite devastating. The architect Bernard Widdows was commissioned to design an open-air school for the new housing area at Prestonfield. The result was a single storey building planned around a square courtyard laid out with roses and grass. There were wide verandahs leading to the centre garden. Each classroom had two glass sides that could fold up to let in the fresh air and also skylight windows allowing plenty of air to circulate to help protect against the spread of infection. Six miles of piping provided under-floor heating so the children had ‘warm feet – cool heads’. Over the years, adaptations to the original design allowed for a slightly warmer temperature for children and teachers!

King George VDSCF5603King George V and Queen Mary visited the school on their visit to Edinburgh in 1934. An entry in the school log on 11 July 1934 read: ‘Their Majesties the King and Queen paid a surprise visit to the School this forenoon. They visited all the classes and spoke to several of the teachers and pupils. On departing, the King expressed his delight with everything he had seen.’

In the 1930’s Edinburgh pioneered a programme of introducing art into schools and school playgrounds. As part of this programme a sculpture was commissioned for Prestonfield School and set in the centre of the open-air square, round which the classrooms of the school are arranged. The sculptor was Thomas Whalen. An article written in The Scotsman newspaper on June 18 1935 on the subject of ‘Art in the Schoolyard’, described this sculpture in some detail.


DSCF5607“The sculpture makes an admirable open-air decoration for an attractively designed school. The group consists of a mother holding a child in the attitude of placing it in a bath, the infant being held at arms’ length. The pedestal on which the sculpture is placed rises from a circular pool of water. The sculpture has a realistic appearance when the water of the fountain sprays upon the figures. It would be interesting to know, if that were possible, how much this fine piece of sculpture will count in the real and lasting education of the children who look at it, as they often will do, from the schoolyard, and what influences it will have on their future.” This feature of the garden is well preserved and remains as beautiful today as it was in the 1930’s.
In 1996 the Secretary of State for Scotland included Prestonfield School as one of Scotland’s Listed Buildings because of its special architectural and historic interest.

There was a spacious area around the school designed for informal play. Mature trees, which predated the building, enhanced this play area and there were extensive lawns and gardens. The external environment has changed radically over the years. The trees were felled, some because of age while others succumbed to Dutch elm disease and the areas of green were gradually erased by tarmacadam.


One thought on “Home

  1. Derek Kerr says:

    I attended Prestonfield Primary School between 1965-1973 and have nothing but fond memories of my time there. We were told that the school building was modeled on the idea of a Roman villa (quadrangle, under-floor heating, floor-tiled internal and external veranda, a central statue). It certainly fired our interest in Roman history to know this. The internal gardens were perfectly manicured with (I think) box hedges on each corner where we would capture caterpillars. The school also boasted the largest playground of any primary school in Edinburgh. To this 4-year old, the nursery also boasted the largest white rabbit called Thumper! Miss Ross-Keat was our first head-mistress. Mr Pringle succeeded her in about 1970 and he saw through the transformation of the building in around 1972-3. Those works meant we were all decanted to the former James Clark’s school in St Leonards.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.