• Budding photographers

    Budding photographers

    Last year, Room 19 entered the 'My Place Photography Competition'. Pupils were encouraged through the competition to explore their surroundings...
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    Outdoor Learning does water play

    Outdoor Learning does water play

    Over the last few weeks classes have been exploring water in Outdoor Education lessons.  We have poured, splashed, sprayed, puddled...
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    Room 16 Toaster Training

    Room 16 Toaster Training

    Room 16 have been working hard learning to use the toaster in class. We are enjoying the smells, tastes and...
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    A busy start in Room 15

    A busy start in Room 15

    Room 15 have been incredibly busy these last few weeks!  Alongside building relationships and establishing routines, we’ve also been hard...
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    Redecorating Room 14

    Redecorating Room 14

    The boys of Room 14 have settled back to school well but our classroom was a wee bit boring.  So...
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    Tattie Salad fresh from the Poly Tunnel

    Tattie Salad fresh from the Poly Tunnel

    This week some of the pupils have explored the potatoes we grew at school and have experienced making potato salad...
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    Starting back in Room 18

    Starting back in Room 18

    We have had a very busy start to the term.  Some of our favourite activities have included rounders outside, floating...
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    Story Time in Room 12

    Story Time in Room 12

    Room 12 listened very carefully to our story “A Funny Thing Happened on the way to School” by Benjamin Chaud...
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    Welcome back to Room 17!

    Welcome back to Room 17!

    Welcome Back! Room 17 have enjoyed settling back into a new school year after the summer holidays. We have really...
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    Physical Wellbeing this year

    The PE department is transitioning from Physical Education to Physical Wellbeing.  This term our focus is to regain and consolidate...
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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

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.

Green Flag Award

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Orchard Brae has been awarded a second Green Flag from Eco Schools Scotland.

In the two years since we were awarded our first Green Flag, everyone at Orchard Brae has continued to work hard on developing our Eco awareness as part of our ongoing Eco Schools journey.

We have participated in a range of activities based around the topics of Litter, Global Citizenship and Biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goal of Climate Action.

One of our biggest successes was the development of our new sensory garden which enabled us to build links with local businesses and the wider community.

We also explored different habitats and the insects and animals found in them as well as developing our knowledge of what plants need to grow through activities based around our growing garden and enterprise projects.

We have been truly amazed by the comments we received from the Eco-School Scotland Team who noted that:

‘It was inspiring to read and see how you have encouraged your students and community to become more aware around developing their knowledge of Biodiversity. It was lovely to read how you have thought of both simple, sensible, and ambitious changes that I am sure will have long lasting effects on the students and staff.

Also, just so you know this is one of the strongest applications I have seen in my short time with Eco-Schools and is something that you and all your staff you be very proud of the great work you are doing around your sustainability work.

A huge well done to all the students, staff and families for their on-going work and effort in enabling us to achieve our second Green Flag.


Outdoor Education Activities

Given the current weather situation, here are a few snow and ice activities for you to try at home!

Ice Sun Catcher:

Snow Games:

This website has some great activities and games for you to enjoy playing in the snow

Active for Life – Games To Play In The Snow

Winter Scavenger Hunt:

Science Experiments:

CBeebies – Ice Cool Skates

BBC Bitesize – Ice Sculptures

BBC Bitesize – Snow, Ice and Water

Science Sparks – Ice Decorations

Snow Volcano Experiment

Ice Luminaries:


Mark Making:

Another great website which gives you different ideas on mark making activities in the snow.  

Mark Making


10 Sparkly Snowflakes written by Tiger Tales

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Singing Hands: Winter Clothes

Children’s Mental Health Week 2021

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, led by the charity Place2Be. This year’s theme is Express Yourself and is ideal for all of our learners. There are lots of lovely ideas for creativity and self expression with links on their website such as the art ideas below. Every activity has stories and music in addition to the art ideas so there really is something for everyone.

The sample below is from the Colour Project. Click on the links for more information and a sample of what is on offer:


The Place2Be website is well worth exploring:


BBC also have links for mental health week with some fun clips for younger children on emotions:



Aberdeen City Educational Psychology Service Hub

Our colleagues at the Educational Psychology Service have recently launched their Digital Hub. This is available online and is well worth a look for supporting both you and your children. These are tough times for everyone so it’s important to care for yourself too. One of my personal favourites is the Circle of Control, a reminder to try not to waste time and energy thinking about about things I cannot control or change.

Explore the Educational Psychology Hub further here:


Place2Be Free Training for Staff

Finally, for staff there’s an opportunity to engage in free training around supporting the mental health of our children and young people. Please follow this link:


As always, feel free to share anything you enjoy!

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (29th-31st January)

Today sees the start of the 42nd annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which sees birdwatchers across the country join in the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project and we would love for pupils and staff at Orchard Brae to get involved.

Taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is really easy. Simply watch the birds for one hour at some point over the three days. This can be done in your garden, your local park or even sitting looking out your window!

Last year, over 500,000 birds were counted by Big Garden Birdwatchers in Scotland giving real insight into how our birds are doing.

Have a look at the RSPB website where you will find lots of fun activities and resources to help you participate in the Big Gard Birdwatch but here are a few to get you started.


Lucky Duck Story:

Make A Bird Feeder:

Make Paper Plate Birds:

Tally Sheets:

Here are some simple tally sheets that you can use to keep track of the birds you see.

Don’t forget to let us know how you got on with the Big Garden Birdwatch survey and activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk

PE at Home

Our PE specialists have been working hard, supported by our Young Leaders from Howes Hoose. Have you had a look in the PE classroom yet?

There are different activities each week to suit all ages and abilities. Here are a couple of activities demonstrated by the Young Leaders: throwing from a seated position and throwing from a standing position.

If you do try out any of our PE at Home videos, please share your feedback with Salvi and Amanda by commenting on their links, sharing photographs or videos. They are keen to know what you are enjoying in order that they can provide activities to meet your needs, assess our pupils’ learning, and at Secondary level, use activities towards our National Qualifications and ASDAN awards.

Welcome To Our Big Burns Day Celebrations

Welcome to the Orchard Brae Big Burns Day Celebrations!

Today, Monday 25th January, is known as Burns Day in Scotland because we celebrate the birthday of the famous Scottish poet, Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns.

To help you celebrate, we have lots of fun-filled activities and events planned for our pupils and families to take part in throughout the day.

In the morning, there activities for you to try at home, such as making shortbread, some Scottish stories, music and dance to enjoy as well as a flag inspired art activity. These will be available on the Whole School Activities Google Classroom and also posted here on the website. The timetable below has some suggested times, but feel free to take part at a time that suits you and your family best.

In the afternoon, we have a series of live events that you and your family can join in with, hosted by Keith, our drumming instructor and Emmeline, our music therapist. This includes drumming, a ceilidh and a Scottish themed Makaton choir before the grand finale of Auld Lang Syne. Links to these live events will be posted in the Whole School Activities Google Classroom, so check your gw email and make sure you accept the invitation to join! Please contact your class teacher if you don’t have an invitation to join the classroom and they can share the class code with you.

Have a wonderful day and here is a wee video from the Senior Leadership Team to start off your Burns Day celebrations!

We would love to see how you get on with you Burns Day activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Big Burns Day Celebrations: Making Shortbread

Why don’t you have a go at making some shortbread to enjoy as part of your Burns Day celebrations. Here are a few different recipes for you to choose from.

BBC Food – Shortbread Recipe

We would love to see how you get on with you Burns Day activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk