The children in Room 3 have been doing incredible work on their movement skills since returning to school! The children use their equipment daily as part of class routines and work so hard to stand up tall in their standing frames or take steps in their walkers. Twice a week we do focussed movement sessions where we use a range of floor based positions as well as equipment. On a Tuesday we focus on trying out activities in a range of positions, sometimes these are new or challenging but the children are so motivated. On a Friday we have a music and movement session which is linked to our story. We have been exploring all the animals’ movements from ‘The Animal Boogie’ while moving our bodies to different pop and Disney songs in a range of positions. The children work together in pairs or small groups throughout the week in their equipment and are further developing their awareness of each other…sometimes there’s a real sense of competition while we throw/kick balls or try to press the computer first but likewise sometimes it is nice just to lie together during a relaxation time or even help encourage a friend by holding up a favourite toy for them. Being active is great – amazing work Room 3!
We were delighted to be invited to the Aberdeen City Council Children and Young People’s Services Awards today which were held at the Beach Ballroom.
The Makaton Choir, led by Emmeline, our Music Therapist, had been nominated for the Creative Learning Award. There was tough competition with two other schools nominated so we were delighted when Orchard Brae were announced as the winners.
Well done to our senior pupils for representing the school today. It was wonderful to be present at the Ceremony, celebrating learning and achievements from across the City. Congratulations to everyone that was nominated!
On Wednesday 4th September the staff and pupils of Room 16 attended a music composing workshop run by Drake Music and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
We arrived in the hall and took our seats as 2 cellists played a smooth and relaxing melody. A third musician played various instruments and handed them out to pupils to join in. My favourite moment was when he started playing a trombone and one very shy pupil simply grinned and said “Wow!”
The pupils (and staff) had the opportunity to play various percussion and wind instruments. Pupils were given a sense of control as the cellos and trombone would repeat the sounds they had made. You will see lots of big grins in the photos.
We have been settling in to the new classroom, with familiar faces and new faces. In PSE we talked about what we like to do with our friends and made a poster to decorate the classroom walls.
This year we have a new class, Room 19. In Room 19 we are Senior Phase pupils (S4-6) and we are following a timetable that will allow us to progress on to the learning experiences offered in Howes Hoose, our Leavers Class.
Our learning focuses on developing independence and life skills. In our morning meeting, we chat about our day and our targets. We also practise life skills through setting the table, preparing snacks and tidying up. We take turns following a rota for chores.
We are often out and about in and around school. Our literacy and communication skills are being developed through our newspaper, the Haddo Herald, a joint venture with Howes Hoose. Some of us write the news and we use it to practise talking to others and asking questions. Going around classes to deliver the paper helps us to communicate with less familiar people and to practise using equipment such as our talkers.
Our numeracy skills are developed through wider learning opportunities such as our sandwich enterprise. We go shopping for ingredients and this lets us practise our money skills, as does managing our budget and payments. We also work on time and think about this in relation to our daily routines.
Some of us are also doing work experience this year. This begins in school with opportunities such as supporting younger pupils in Outdoor Education. We also have a young man working regularly in the school kitchen, preparing food and doing dishes and we have young people doing grass cutting, gardening and working in community centres and shops.
We think it will be a good year in Room 19!
Pinnacle Fitness contacted us to share information on their Fitness Academy sessions for people with additional learning needs. These are for secondary age pupils.
Our highlights of the year have been …
Our class enterprise: we made and sold sandwiches every week throughout the year. We donated money to Charlie House (£800), made a donation to the Bendrigg Trip and enjoyed a class outing.
We loved our time at Bendrigg.
This week we went to Hazlehead Park. We saw the Gruffalo and the Oor Wullie statues that are around Aberdeen.
We have also enjoyed work experience opportunities in and around school, including work with our Janitor and working in the school kitchen with the Catering Team.
We have had a great year and look forward to building on our learning next year, developing our skills and extending our experiences outside school.
The pupils in Howes Hoose enjoyed a day out at Knockburn Loch, open–water swimming. The weather was kind to us but the water was still a little chilly!! We had on wet-suits to keep us warm and buoyancy aids to keep us afloat! We swam all the way around the Loch, 850 metres. It was an amazing experience, “ the best day of my life so far,” according to one young man.
The facilities at Knockburn are excellent and I am sure we will be visiting again soon to take advantage of all the other activities on offer, maybe paddle boarding next. Watch this space!
Everyone enjoyed the Potted Sports organised by our PE Department on Wednesday. Thank you to everyone involved for the hard work that went into this, including our Howes Hoose pupils who supported at the stations. We all had a great time moving around in our class groups, finishing up with a running ‘marathon’ for any Secondary pupils wishing to participate. They were well supported by those opting to spectate.
A combination of Room 18 and Howes Hoose pupils recently went to Bendrigg in the Lake District. They all had a fantastic time, practising their independent living skills and taking part in a wide range of outdoor activities including caving, canoeing, zip sliding and climbing. We did ourselves proud – staff included – pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones and trying new activities. Quote of the week: “it’s been nice knowing you,” as one young man zipped off down the slide!