Following on from a very different, and I’m sure at many times very difficult, year for us all, here we are at the start of another school year. We would like to offer a very big and warm welcome to all the new families who have joined Orchard Brae School, whether that be in the nursery, Primary 1 or throughout the other school years. We would also like to extend a warm welcome and our support to Elaine Thomson in her new position as Head Teacher.
Before we look ahead, I’m sure that you would like to join me in giving the wonderful staff at Orchard Brae School a very big thank you for all they have done in keeping us, and our children going last year and for making learning so much fun. They worked tirelessly in carrying out the many additional tasks that the COVID risk assessment procedures asked of them, often going above and beyond the call of duty. I was often quite jealous when I heard just how varied and exciting my daughter’s school day had been!
After a rather slow start last year, primarily due to home schooling, Orchard Brae Connect (the Parent Council) held online workshops on Makaton signing, Sensory Processing and one from Sleep Scotland. We also held our first ever online coffee morning which was almost as good as our face to face ones!! Thank you to all of you who attended these events.
We hope to hold more online events this year; if you haven’t ever tried one we would be delighted if you could join us. They are very informal and everyone is always very welcome. If you have any suggestions for topics for the workshops please just let us know, but as a start to the year there will be an online Postural Management training course on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th September from 12:30 – 14:30pm, please see the attached flyer for more details.
Orchard Brae Connect met regularly online throughout last year but managed to have their last meeting face to face outside in the school playground. This gave us the chance to say a very fond farewell to Caroline and to give her our joint leaving gifts from Connect and Friends. We presented her with four apple trees, two of which have already been planted by a few of the children at school, and two of which we hope Caroline might find a place for in her garden at home. We also gave her a plaque to go along side Caroline’s trees at school and a framed picture that you can see her holding in the photo below. We would like to thank Caroline from the bottom of our hearts for all that she has done since Orchard Brae School opened in 2017. We’re sure that you will all agree that she has been an absolutely incredible Head Teacher and that we will miss her very much. We would like to wish her a very happy, and very well deserved, retirement.
Looking ahead we will be holding our AGM on Wednesday 15th September at 6:45pm, at which point the Committee Members for the next school year will be elected. We would be delighted to welcome any new members, so if you would like to get involved please just let us know. I will be stepping down as Chair after four years, but am positive that someone will be found to fill this very enjoyable and rewarding role. I would like to thank all the Connect members for their huge help and support, it has always been a real team affair!
With best wishes from all of the Orchard Brae Connect committee.
Last Friday, we held our whole school Big Pasta Creativity Challenge Day. Lots of activity ideas for both home and school were posted on the Whole School Events google classroom, but here are some pictures of just a few things that staff and pupils got up to on the day!
Our two parent groups, Friends Of Orchard Brae and Orchard Brae Connect, recently said a fond farewell to Caroline as she moves onto new adventures.
As a fitting tribute they gifted her a beautiful picture featuring the school logo and a special message in Makaton fingerspelling tiles.
They also presented her with four apple trees, two which she will plant at her house and two which have been planted in the school grounds. They also commissioned a special plaque which will be put up beside the trees in the school grounds.
Today we had a very special presentation for Oor Heedie, Caroline, to say farewell as she moves onto her next adventure!
As part of our farewell celebrations, we were delighted to share this wonderful video of our pupils for our very own ‘Sweet Caroline’ and we hope that you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it!
Huge thanks to Keith, Emmeline and all the staff for making this possible and if you missed the presentation, you can view it on the Whole School Events google classroom.
Pupils in Room 6 have been having fun participating in a range of Health & Wellbeing activities. We have been exploring the countryside, having foot spas for relaxation, and making jelly!!! One of our class also had a birthday last week so we had a party for her!!!
Are you ready for our Big Pasta Creativity Challenge Day on Friday? There will be lots of fun activities posted on the Whole School Events google classroom and you can join in the fun at home and school.
If you cannot access the google classroom, please contact your child’s class teacher for support.
And to get you ready for the big day, why not have a go at the pasta rap song by following the link below!
Individual Child Trust Fund accounts were opened for almost every child born in the UK between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. At the age of 16, they are allowed to take control of their account, and at 18 to access their money.
Unfortunately, very large numbers of young people are wholly unaware of the existence and whereabouts of their CTF accounts, which are being administered by a range of account providers. It is the most disadvantaged who are least aware, most often because they are either ‘addressee gone away’ or the account was never registered by the family following its opening by HMRC.
Recent feedback from account providers shows that c. 58% of 18 year-old CTF owners have yet to claim their accounts: in Scotland that’s already over 25,000 young adults who already risk losing access to their accounts, which are typically worth £1,000 or more. The Share Foundation (www.sharefound.org) is the registered charity which runs the Child Trust Fund and Junior ISA schemes for looked-after young people for the Department for Education. They have set up a programme of large-scale virtual events for young people aged 16-18, and a search process (https://findCTF.sharefound.org) linked to the account providers and HMRC, in order to ensure that as many as possible find their accounts. There are no charges – we just want to make the CTF scheme as effective as possible so that money set aside for young people does not end up as dormant assets.
These Zoom-based virtual events are being professionally co-ordinated, with pre-registration and recording, and they run for just over half an hour. They are being arranged with lots of participation, with break-out groups which include our CTF Ambassadors – volunteers who can explain and answer questions. New videos have been produced for the events, which are also accessible on YouTube.
For full details of the events, including links to the new videos, please visit https://www.sharefound.org/ctf-virtual-events A virtual event will be held for Scottish young people on Tuesday 6th July at 7 pm.