School Information Line and School Closure Website

 Please find details of the Aberdeen City schools telephone information service for parents/guardians.  This is the Schools Information Line.

 The main features of this service are:

  1. Emergency Arrangements message for Parents/Guardians

To be used to inform parents/guardians of emergency arrangements and important announcements, e.g. early closure arising from adverse weather conditions/failure of heating systems.

  1. Voicemail for Recording non-urgent Messages from Parents/Guardians

The system also has the potential to record brief messages of a routine nature from parents/guardians.  You will be advised at a later date if this feature is to be activated.

  1. List of Messages containing School Information

This could hold routine information for parents/guardians, e.g. the times for a Parents’ Night, School Concert details, etc.

Parents/Guardians can access these features by dialling this National Rate number:

Tel: 0870 054 1999

 A Council message will be heard followed by a request for a six-digit PIN number specific to their child’s school.

The Pin Number for Orchard Brae School is     011890.

 Once connected, a voice will speak out the name of the school and a series of prompts will guide the caller to the appropriate option.  The cost of calls is no more than 10p/call (landline calls).  You can also check school closure status on the School Closure page on the Aberdeen City Council website. Please use the link below:  

https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/school-closures

Covid-19 – Know The Symptoms

Thank you to all our families for their continued support and understanding throughout our return to school with regards to Covid-19.

We would like to remind parents and carers of the common symptoms and that pupils should not attend school if:

  • They are displaying any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 such as a high temperature (37.8C or above), a new continuous cough or a change in sense of smell or taste.
  • A member of the household has tested positive or is displaying symptoms.
  • They have been contacted as part of the Test and Protect programme.
  • If a pupil is returning from a country from which as are required to quarantine for 14 days. An up to date list of countries affected by this can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/exemptions/

Should you require to arrange a test for a your child or a member of your household, please follow the guidance given on the NHS Inform website and book a test via https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk

We recognise that accessing a drive through test site or a home test kit may be extremely challenging for some of our pupils and if this is the case, you may be eligible for testing to be carried out at home by the NHS. If you require this, please email gram.staffcovid19testing@nhs.scot giving the pupil’s name, date of birth, full address, GP information and a brief explanation for special circumstances which require the need to be tested at home rather than through a home test kit or drive through test site.

We kindly ask that parents and carers keep the school informed of any testing being undertaken and the results by phoning the school on 01224 788950.

DolphinFest 2021

RSPB Scotland is excited to announce registration is open for DolphinFest 2021

DolphinFest will help celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters by giving locals to the Granite City and communities further afield, even more opportunities to engage with, and be enthused by, local marine wildlife with a host of online marine-themed events for people to get involved with.

Running from 7-11 April, DolphinFest is a celebration of the amazing marine wildlife around Aberdeen and the North-East coast, especially the bottlenose dolphins which are seen regularly from Torry Battery, and aims to encourage people to help protect it. It will also celebrate the end of the Dolphinwatch project which has been running in Aberdeen since 2013.

Thanks to support from EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, and the involvement of organisations and individuals across Scotland, the Festival has a wide range of online events from pub quizzes to talks, music and storytime.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support DolphinFest as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. Scotland offers the perfect stage to explore our natural environment and this year’s festival provides an opportunity to enjoy online events and learn about the marine wildlife of Aberdeen and the North-East coast.”

Registration is now open for the mostly free-to-attend festival and the full programme can be viewed on the RSPB Dolphinwatch webpage. Leading up to the Festival people are being encouraged to show their excitement for DolphinFest and their love for the marine environment by decorating a dolphin or marine animal and putting it in their window.

Sadie Gorvett, RSPB Scotland’s Community Engagement Officer, who is organising the festival said: “I am so grateful to EventScotland for giving us the chance to run DolphinFest this year. With the disappointment of so many events having to be cancelled in the past 12 months, I hope DolphinFest will be something people can look forward to. It won’t be quite how we had imagined, with it now being online but, thanks to the support of so many organisations and individuals, the programme of events looks to be just as exciting. I hope DolphinFest will inspire people to get out in their local areas to experience the incredible marine environment and wildlife we are lucky to have, not just in Aberdeen but across Scotland.”

The Festival will include a series of take action talks and live Q&As from a range of organisations, a young conservationists webinar with inspiring young speakers, suggested wildlife walking trails, a series of storytime sessions with TV presenter Rory Crawford, recorded tours and videos from amazing marine locations such as St Cyrus and the Scottish Seabird Centre, activities and games with the RSPB’s Wild Challenge, Aberdeen Science Centre and The Locked Door and quizzes by Aberdeen University Marine Society and Goose’s Quizzes.

Throughout the Festival people will be encouraged to not only enjoy the marine environment on their doorstep but to take action to protect it by taking part in the Big Blue Clean Up event, with Turning the Plastic Tide offering their top tips for safe litter picking. 

DolphinFest is part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 where Scotland continues to celebrate its coasts and waters with a programme of activities and events which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape.

The festival this year will also celebrate the end of Dolphinwatch, a project led by RSPB Scotland in Partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters – celebrating the water that makes the country’s landscape so special and loved.

Running since 2013, the project included the popular Dolphinwatch viewing which brought thousands of locals and tourists to the iconic Torry Battery to see dolphins and latterly a schools’ programme, community talks and DolphinFest. The project was supported and funded throughout the years by a number of other organisations.

The full programme is available to download at rspb.org.uk/dolphinwatch along with a special DolphinFest colouring in sheet. Most events are free and do not require booking, but people need to register for the festival at https://rspb.eventsair.com/dolphin-fest/reg-form/Site/Register

Tickets for Treasure Quest must be purchased separately from thelockeddoor.co.uk. Details of other events that require booking or have charges are available in the programme.

You can also keep up to date and share your dolphin colouring in at facebook.com/RSPBNorthEastScotland

Letter To Parents/Carers – 26th March 2021

We have reached the end of another term and I would like to thank you all for the way you have supported the school and worked with us to get through another challenging period of national lockdown. I congratulate you all in the many ways you have embraced online learning with your child and joined in and contributed to the many sessions and activities that have taken place over the term.

As we go into the 2 week Easter break we can remain positive that on 6th April the First Minister will confirm that a full return to school will be possible from 12th April as long as the virus levels stay low.

I have a couple of links that I would like to share with you which I hope you will find helpful.

Firstly,  I would like to draw your attention to the fact that as unpaid carers you are eligible to sign up for a covid-19 vaccine. Please use the link below to register:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/vaccinating-carers

Hopefully many will apply and uptake on this option – the more of us that are vaccinated the more protection we have for our whole school community.

I received information from the Child and Family Mental Health (CAMHS) Early Intervention Team this week with a link to a series of webinars they have available to support parents and carers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCID3OzHwlngMuHVcoQXZvYQ

The webinar topics include:

  • Episode1: Welcome and meet the team 
  • Episode2: Body tools​for anxiety 
  • Episode3: Thinking tools​for anxiety 
  • Episode4: Managing anxious behaviours​ 
  • Episode5: Talking to your child about anxiety​ 
  • Episode6: Understanding the adolescent brain and impact on teen mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown 
  • Episode7: Looking after your mental health and wellbeing 
  • Episode8: Resources you may find helpful 
  • Episode9: Supporting your child on the return to school following lockdown 

Please don’t forget you all very welcome to join in with our Virtual Kiltwalk activities on 23rd April. The day will be full of activities from walking to dancing and we would love it if you could join us in any way you can. A wee hint of tartan will be the dress code of the day.

If you wish to raise funds for Friends of Orchard Brae you can register for free by emailing Lisa Simons at friendsoforchardbrae@mail.com

I hope you all have a good Easter break.

Take and stay safe and well

Regards

Caroline

Reconnecting in Secondary

We’ve been very happy to see the majority of our secondary pupils returning over the last couple of weeks. Pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with staff in school and see some of their friends again. Staff have been delighted to welcome pupils back and to return to some semblance of our normal routine. We do hope this will continue after the holiday, but as detailed in the letter from our Chief Education Officer, we have to await further guidance on next steps.

We’ve been very busy in the time that we’ve been back in school. Here is a selection of what we’ve been doing:

Learning Outdoors

We’ve been making the most of the good weather and enjoying learning in the fresh air. Some of us have enjoyed local walks and outdoor play.

Others have been busy in the grounds with gardening and litter picking. Room 14 particularly enjoyed the litter pick.

Health and Wellbeing

It has been great to see so many of our young people observing the safety rules around school. We’ve all become increasingly independent in maintaining good hand hygiene. Target work has continued and we have also been working on our ASDAN units. We’ve also had lots of fun!

Working Hard

We’ve been delighted with how well our pupils have settled back into their routines. Lots of learning is taking place, with good use being made of games and technology.

Who could fail to be happy to return when learning is so much fun?

If you’d like to engage in some messy activities at home our advice is:

Take it outside OR get your child involved in the tidying! It’s never too early to work on independent living skills.

Qualifications in the Senior Phase

Our senior phase pupils have continued working towards their ASDAN and SQA qualifications and we thank everyone that has supported in this during our period of remote learning. Room 19 have been successfully working on SQA Science: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. They’ve created some beautiful instruments.

Happy Holidays!

While some pupils have just returned to school, others have been supported throughout the lockdown period. We’ve had lots of learning going on remotely and thank all parents, carers and staff for supporting our pupils with this. In speaking with families, I know that there have been differing levels of engagement for a host of reasons, and we would like to thank all of you for the support you’ve given during this challenging time. Google Classrooms will remain ‘open’ should you wish to make use of activities during the holidays, but please do take a break if you can, relax, enjoy time outdoors, and focus on well-being.

Autism Outreach Service – CAMHS Grampian webinars

The NHS Grampian CAMHS Early Intervention team have developed a series of webinars to support parents to support themselves and their children during a time when they know anxiety is likely to be increased.

CAMHS Grampian – a mental health service for under 18’s based in Aberdeen and Moray.

The videos are linked below.

Episode1: Welcome and meet the team 

Episode2: Body tools​ for anxiety 

Episode3: Thinking tools​for anxiety 

Episode4: Managing anxious behaviours​ 

Episode5: Talking to your child about anxiety​ 

Episode6: Understanding the adolescent brain and impact on teen mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown 

Episode7: Looking after your mental health and wellbeing 

Episode8: Resources you may find helpful 

Episode9: Supporting your child on the return to school following lockdown 

Supporting Families experiencing anxiety on the return to school

Adjustment and Returning to School live webinar

Kiltwalk 2021

On Friday 23rd April, Orchard Brae will participate in some fun Kiltwalk activities. Pupils and staff will be dancing and walking, along with potentially other fun activities. Pupils can wear something tartan to school that day if they wish. There is no expectation of fundraising or donations.

However, if anyone is keen to fundraise, Friends of Orchard Brae still have Kiltwalk places available for both adults and children to help raise money to further develop our Outdoor Learning Area. Registration for these places is free and if interested please e-mail: friendsoforchardbrae@mail.com

All money raised through this year’s Kiltwalk will be topped up with an additional 50% from The Hunter Foundation.

Letter To Parents/Carers – 19th March 2021

It has been great to see so many more children return to school this week and we look forward to a full return from 12th April which I hope First Minister will confirm.

We have 1 week left of this term before we break for the Easter holidays. I know First Minister published the route map out of lockdown this week which had many different dates and what is to happen on those dates.

I have included a link for you below which I hope you might find useful.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): timetable for easing restrictions – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

This link takes you to the government web page and lists each date and the changes that are proposed as long as the virus levels continue to be supressed.

I have attached 2 documents that Police Scotland has asked that all schools share with families regarding online safety and railway safety. These documents will also be posted on our website.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Caroline

Rights Respecting School

Orchard Brae are beginning the journey to becoming a Rights Respecting School. In line with our vision and aims (https://orchardbrae.aberdeen.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Orchard-Brae-Visions-and-Aims.pdf), we aspire to be a school where children’s rights are at the heart of our ethos and culture, to improve well-being and to develop every child’s talents and abilities to their full potential.  Moving towards summer we will be working to put together an action plan to allow us to progress this work with pupils taking the lead as we go forward, our aim being to gain Rights Respecting School Awards through Unicef UK in recognition of sustained practice in this area.

Unicef UK is the world’s leading organisation working for children and young people and their rights. In 1989, governments across the world agreed that all children have the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and earlier this week the Scottish Government reached agreement that the UNCRC will become be incorporated in domestic law. These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential.

Pupils and staff will learn about children’s rights, with staff supporting children to access their rights every day. Rights and respect will be modeled in all relationships, supporting our children in developing their awareness of good citizenship.

We really hope that you will be able to support our school on the journey towards becoming a Unicef UK Rights Respecting School. Further information sessions will be scheduled for parents and carers next term.

A user friendly version of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3rYe27f

The full UNCRC convention can be found here: https://cypcs.org.uk/rights/uncrc/full-uncrc/

For further information about Rights Respecting Schools please visit:  www.unicef.org.uk/rrsa

We look forward to sharing our learning with you as we move forward together at Orchard Brae.