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.

Young Leaders Of Learning

The Young Leaders of Learning programme has been developed by Education Scotland with the aim of enabling and empowering pupils to have an increasing say in their education and school. As a school, we have been in the fortunate position of working alongside Maxine Jolly, Senior Education Officer for Education Scotland, in adapting the programme for use in ASN schools.

Yesterday, a group of secondary pupils participated in a training day at the Beacon Centre alongside colleagues and pupils from Bucksburn Academy ASN Wing.

The students worked together in identifying the key skills required to be an effective young Leader and had great fun designing their Leaders.

The students also spent time identifying and comparing key areas of the two schools and sharing their likes and dislikes.

We’re absolutely thrilled to be the first group of pupils and staff trained from specialist settings and we look forward to participating in the programme with Bucksburn Academy ASN Wing over the rest of this term.

Our Musical Activities Week

At the end of term, we had our annual activities week, which was kindly organised by Emmeline, our Music Therapist.  The week had the focus of exploring our right to access different genres of music, and what an exciting week it was!

On Monday, we were joined by Amy Strachan, a soprano singer and the B Naturals choir.  Both completely captivated us with their amazing vocal talents and many pupils continued to explore the operatic genre throughout the week in their classes.

On Tuesday morning there was lots of fun as we played and danced along with the Aberdeen Strathspey And Reel Society, listening to a range of traditional Scottish tunes and dancing a few reels too!  In the afternoon we were joined by the Confucius Institute who performed some popular Chinese songs as well as one from a Chinese opera as well.  Both of these groups allowed us to investigate and have a go at playing their instruments and well all loved the Chinese harp and flute as well as the fiddle and accordion.  It was a fantastic day allowing us to explore music from two very distinct and different cultures.

On Wednesday, we were entertained by Duncan and Bill who performed a range of folk music for us.  The hall was full to the brim and everyone had a brilliant time listening to Duncan and Bill’s wide variety of music.

On Thursday, we had hoped to have a picnic in the park but unfortunately the Scottish weather had other ideas!  Instead we had an improvised fourth of July picnic in the hall with musical accompaniments from the Fyvie Folk Club.  The Folk Club played a wide variety of music and their leader Bernie had even written us a specific song and poem in the spot!

On Friday we rounded off our musical activities week with a Makaton sing-a-long in the morning and a disco in the afternoon.

It was a truly magical and musical week which gave all the students (and staff!) the opportunity to experience a wide range of music genres and we all discovered something new and exciting.  A huge thank you to all of our special guests and performers and thank you to Emmeline for organising such an amazing experience for us.