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

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

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 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.

Our Sensory Garden

We were overwhelmed by the response we had to our sensory garden appeal. The donations of resources, time and money have helped to make a unique and already well loved area for our pupils to enjoy and explore.

A huge extra special Orchard Brae thanks to:

  • The Little City Garden – design and landscaping
  • Gerbera Designs – landscaping
  • James Gettka – landscaping
  • Morrison Construction – access path
  • Mike Bruce – path
  • James Millerby – boulders
  • Jenna Killoh – pallets
  • Dobbies Aberdeen – compost
  • Trees Are Us – logs
  • GI Cladding and Joinery – posts
  • Clan Miller Construction – slabs and posts
  • Bissett and Ross – tarpaulin
  • Alpha Fencing – new gate and fence
  • MB Landscapes – boulders
  • Karen Underwood – fruit tree
  • Karen Robertson – fairy house
  • James Polson Garden Creations – woodwork sculptures
  • BFLABDN – art work
  • Round Table Aberdeen – sponsorship for artwork
  • Linda Lovie – tactile sensory display
  • Dulex Paint Aberdeen – paint
  • Khyber Pass Association – donation
  • Unison Union – donation
  • Mrs Ann Thain – donation
  • Betty Craig – donation
  • Evelyn Drennan – donation
  • And last but not least our amazing fundraising families, the Simons and the Cruikshanks.

Marble Runs In Room 8

Marble runs are great for open-ended building. They’re an example of using Science, Technology, and Math. And, they’re a lot of fun, both for the kids and the adults.

The boys and girls in Room 8 discovered so many benefits of building their two marble runs.

Everyone in Room 8 sloped, bent, twisted, turned to make building a marble run challenging, but it was fun.  So, engineering or building something is one of the benefits.

So many questions as ‘Will it work if I ….?’ The benefits are problem solving and trial and error.

Everyone from the box and the other people building the marble run. Next benefit – following directions.

It took a LONG time to build a big marble run. It can also take time to make something new work or figure out how to successfully connect different pieces. There’s not a lot of instant gratification with a marble run. So, the patience was the key.

Building a marble run wasn’t easy. But, sticking with the process and not giving up helped build patience and perseverance.

Marble runs are open-ended activities. There are lots of ways to build and construct marble runs, so the possibilities are endless. Being creative, wewere building two marble runs.

We needed everyone participating while building our successful marble run. So, we have been cooperative.

Weincorporated a lot of Math naturally when we were building our marble run. For example, counting how many pieces are needed to complete the marble run. Predicting which one will be fastest or estimating how long it will take to complete the marble run.

Precision and care were needed when we were connecting pieces of a marble run. So, building a marble run helped us to develop our hand-eye coordination.

All the colours, shapes, and different types of pieces, combined with constructing a marble run that’s long, tall, superfast, had many starting points, gave plenty of opportunities for children to use their imagination.

Home Economics: Developing Independence

Liz and Grace have had a busy start to the session, working with many pupils across the school. In our primary classes pupils focus on experiencing foods with opportunities to handle, taste and talk about a variety of foods. Hygiene is also a very important part of the routine at all times.

In Secondary, pupils continue working on routine and hygiene, experiencing different foods. As they progress, skills and independence are developed. Pupils at Senior Phase make a range of snacks and meals, some showing great aptitude and skill. We use our skills in literacy and numeracy to follow recipes and practise measurement. We are very adept at cutting and chopping. We’ve enjoyed fruit pancakes and have made apple crumble, enjoying the seasonal produce available.

Friends Of Orchard Brae Kiltwalk

Our fabulous fundraisers have been busy again, participating in the Kiltwalk. While the official event was cancelled due to Covid-19, the virtual event held last weekend was a huge success!

Everyone met at Tesco car park in Banchory on Sunday afternoon and set off on their walk through the woodland paths to Crathes Castle. It was a dry warm day and everyone enjoyed our walk, with a pit stop at the castle grounds for snack and drinks of juice for the kids and coffee for the grownups. Everyone then headed back to the car park and reached the finish line of their walk.

So far the team have raised over £900, plus there will be a further 50% matched from Hunter foundation.  If you would like to contribute, please follow the link below.

Making Friends In Room 4

Children and adults in Room 4 have been getting to know each other through fun activities and games!

We have been learning through the much loved book “The very hungry caterpillar”. We have had a lot of fun doing sensory activities, fine motor skill activities, music and art!

Summer Fruits

We have been collecting raspberries and brambles in the lane near school and making jam.  Then a colleague, kindly, brought in plums and apples from her farm.  So we all practised using a butter knife to chop up plums and apples to make more jam.  Our favourite recipe is for plum and cinnamon jam.

We also used a traditional apple press to make our own apple juice.  We all took turns to mulch and squash the apples it was hard work. “Don’t break it!” we were warned by one student.   After that we all enjoyed the apple juice.  Some quotes from the students:


“That actually tastes really good”

“Thumbs up from me!”

“It’s horrible!”

Watch out Beechgrove, here come Room 18!

At the start of term, Room 18 planted some seeds. We planted carrots, lovely red radishes, cress and some lettuce.

We have already enjoyed eating the cress with egg in sandwiches.

We have watered the plants using our watering can and kept an eye on them as they grow. This week we re-planted the seedlings into the sensory garden vegetable trough which one of our young men had painted. The radishes will be ready for snack very soon. Watch out for more carrot updates!

Autism Outreach Service – Presentation: Nursery to P1 Transition

This is a new presentation written by Hayley McFarlane, a member of the Autism Outreach Team. Under the current circumstances we thought it would provide useful information for those schools with pupils transitioning into Primary 1 from Nursery.

Specifically the presentation will look at how to support transition through the use of visuals.