News & Updates

Fidelis et Fortis

The clock that never worked, the sinister Green Lady, the day we nearly drowned the Queen Mother – it’s all in a sparkling new book, Faithful and Brave: A Celebration of James Gillespie’s High School. Commissioned by the James Gillespie’s Trust to mark the opening of our new campus, and penned by award-winning journalist John MacLeod, himself a former Gillespie’s pupil – Faithful and Brave is 304 fact-packed and heavily illustrated pages, covering our entire history from the last days of Mr Gillespie to Callum Skinner’s Olympic glories in August 2016. A gripping read, a physically beautiful book and the perfect present, with a warm foreword by Grant Stott – it’s unputdownable. Buy your copy right now. And another for a friend!

Email the school at: admin@jamesgillespies.edin.sch.uk to reserve a copy and arrange for collection. Price is £17.99 if collected from school or £21.25 if the book is to be posted.

Electronic payment: 

  • Account name: James Gillespie’s Trust
  • Sort Code: 30 13 01
  • Account no: 00972295

Open Morning

November 5th, and a beautiful day for people to see round the new school buildings of James Gillespie’s High School. Former pupil and Olympic medallist Callum Skinner formally opened the fitness suite in the Eric Liddell Building. It was wonderful to meet so many interested former pupils who were keen to see how different JGHS is now from what it was like in their time.

James Gillespie’s High School Opening

Today, 26 October 2016, the new James Gillespie’s High School buildings were officially opened byJohn Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills, and Councillor Paul Godzik, Convenor of Education, Children & Families.

We were taken on tours of the new school and entertained by some highly talented pupils. The new school is truly ready for the 21st century and I’m sure it will serve its pupils admirably! 

Head Teacher Mr Macdonald welcomed three former head teachers, Dr Pat Thomas, Alex Wallace & Colin Finlayson, to join in the celebrations for the school opening.

Olympic Success!

We are delighted that Callum Skinner, British track cyclist and former pupil at James Gillespie’s High School, has won both a gold and a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio. Callum has worked incredibly hard to achieve this, and James Gillespie’s Trust is proud to have made a small contribution to his funding along the way.

While he was at James Gillespie’s, Callum applied for (and was awarded) a small grant of £250 towards travel to his training weekends and competitions and for various pieces of equipment for his bike. The comment on the web site was: “He hopes his success will lead him to the Olympics!” Well, Callum, you’ve done it – we’re so proud of your achievements!

Many thanks to Judith, Callum’s mum, for providing this photo for the website!  It was taken on his 24th birthday (20/8/16) while they were still in Rio – hence the tropical background! 

The New School Campus

Here are some very recent photos of the new school buildings of James Gillespie’s High School. 

All staff and pupils are looking forward to a brand new campus when they resume on 15 August 2016.

The black circles on the ground are where trees will be planted in October. The new planting may look little sparse right now but just give it a year or two …

A Wee Celebration of the Old School!

What a great time we had on Saturday 8 June – we had so many visitors who were enjoying themselves so much, catching up with old friends and browsing through old photos & magazines, that they didn’t want to go home! Thanks to the school for giving the old school building such a magnificent send-off!

See what some of our visitors had to say …

Many thanks for a a wonderful afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed .. .everything! The hall was particularly welcoming with the yellow table cloths and flowers – great tea and lovely JG cakes. We were in the library for ages – and found ourselves in old photographs, and enjoyed all the old magazines. We look forward to the 2016 open day, to see what transformations have come about.

What a fabulous open day. Thanks for sending me the details. Of course the glorious sunshine was a bonus! Had a super tour of the school and some delicious cakes! Here’s to the next one!

Fidelis et Forte CD

At last our long-awaited CD is ready and on sale. There are 13 piano solos by pupils at James Gillespie’s High School on the CD and the stunning cover was designed by artists from S6. As there are so many talented and creative pupils at James Gillespie’s, we hope it will be the first of many CDs we produce over the coming year. At £5 + £1 p&p, I’m sure you will agree that this CD is exceptionally good value!

*** Please note, there are no longer any of these CDs for sale. ***

Open Afternoon … 3 March 2012

Once again a very successful Open Afternoon was held in the library of James Gillespie’s High School. We were thrilled to welcome such a wide age range of former pupils, from some who had only left Gillespie’s a few years ago to a venerable ex-Gillespie girl of 95!

It was also an opportunity for former pupils to meet Mr Donald Macdonald, the new headteacher at James Gillespie’s. Mr Macdonald was delighted to be able to chat to former pupils from a variety of generations, and I know that our former pupils were very kean to exchange views with him.

During the afternoon we played the CD (Fidelis et Forte) that had been made by the music department at James Gillespie’s and some of the alumni watched the DVD (Living Stories) that was made several years ago.

Many thanks to those of you who attended and helped to make the afternoon so successful and so enjoyable! And also many thanks to the people who helped to set up the display … without you the afternoon could not have gone ahead!

Tours of Bruntsfield House

On Saturday 26 March 2011 about 35 former pupils of James Gillespie’s High School joined Allison & me for a tour of Bruntsfield House. Mr Wallace, the current head teacher, was delighted to tell us about the illuminated stained glass display created to mark the 400th anniversary of the building of Bruntsfield House. Thank you to Alice and her friends for providing the very welcome teas & coffees! I think everyone enjoyed revisiting a building that had been an important part of their youth. Below are some photos and memories of Bruntsfield House.

“In Primary 2 we had an arithmetic lesson but each week two lucky girls would be taken off up the narrow staircase for an art class. I hated arithmetic and every week I would hope it was my turn. There were so many of us in the class, I’m sure I only got to paint twice!”

(1960s)

“Miss Brodie’s class received a box of Canadian apples and a box of biscuits to have with our milk … after she married and moved to Canada.”

(1940s)

“Making tablet and putting it in bags to distribute as prizes on sports day.”

(1950s)

“The large music room in Bruntsfield House will forever be associated with Mr Somerville’s music classes … trying to beat out 4 different rhythms with different bits of the body … tricky co-ordination!”  

(1970s)

“Interesting to see the old building again … but how was anyone allowed to make such a mess of conversion?”

Running for the Trust!!

The Trust is pleased to announce that, as a  result of donations to Jeremy Hughes’ BUPA Great Winter Run around Holyrood Park on January 8th 2011, a fantastic

£1,185 plus gift aid

has been raised. This will help to support ongoing activities that include student projects involving sports, music and science, the Gillespie Book project and global citizenship within the school.

© Copyright 2019 James Gillespie's Trust. Registered charity number SCO22811.