Settling Back in Room 12

We have been getting back into the swing since returning to school.

One thing we have enjoyed is our Wednesday yoga sessions. Here we see one of our young people really enjoying the one to one yoga with Hannah who understands the needs of our class perfectly. One of our class always greets her with “Namaste”, now without prompting!

We have been choosing what we would like to do in class time. This can be through use of symbols, pictures, signing, verbally or in the case of this picture, by switch. Here, one of our pupils is choosing the song he would like to hear.

Celebrating Star Wars Day in Room 16

Room 16 have been celebrating Star Wars day! We made a google form questionnaire together to find out what everyone’s favourite Star Wars character is. We showed our results using bricks to represent the number of votes for each character. We then ordered them from the most popular character to the least popular character. Chewbacca is officially Orchard Brae’s favourite character!

Orchard Brae Kiltwalk

A few of our pupils and staff are participating in the virtual Kiltwalk at the weekend and we wish them the very best of luck!

To support, the rest of us are doing our own Kiltwalk activities in school this Friday and we would encourage pupils to wear a touch of tartan if they can – anything goes!

We will be dancing and walking on Friday and will share photos of our activities with you next week.

Room 19 Return to School

Our return to school after the Easter break has been pretty hectic.  There has been lots of giggles as we all enjoyed being back in a bigger group.  The pupils all worked hard with Google Classroom and Google meets last term.  I am so impressed at the communication skills and confidence the pupils developed during virtual lessons.  We still enjoy conference calls with peers at home as well as live music lessons online.  Here are a few photos from our first week back in school, playing “Headbandz” and mindfulness.

ASDAN Work in Room 14

We are happy to all be back together in Room 14 this term. Our focus is on developing independence and working on our ASDAN modules.

Following on from last term when we focused on handwashing, we tried out the Glitter Bug to see how thoroughly we had washed our hands. It was fascinating to look under the UV light to find which parts we had neglected. We will continue with this and we are going to be learning some Makaton signs for parts of our body.

In HE, we made ‘yogurt’. It got a mixed reaction when we tasted it, with some of us loving it and others just having a tiny taste before decided that it wasn’t for us. It’s good to see that we are developing a willingness to try tasting new foods as this may build to expanding our diet.

We have been learning about other cultures. We have done some Spanish inspired art work and we learned a Turkish dance. This is a social dance, usually done on occasions such as weddings. We all had great fun learning how to do this and really enjoyed the music. We will be learning more about Turkish and Polish culture this term.

Finally, we have been working on our end of day review, sharing our opinions on what we have liked and disliked during the day. It is important that we are enabled to give our thoughts on learning.

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.

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.

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.