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.

Online BookBug Session

Aberdeen City Libraries’ will be releasing a Bookbug video this Saturday (27 February) and it will feature a few more extra-sensory elements and communication supports than usual.

The session includes a visual timetable (Boardmaker symbols), some Makaton signing, an accessible music-and-movement activity and a sensory story time, with suggestions and encouragement for families to create their own sensory stories at home using basic materials. We really hope that this sort of session will be even more engaging for all families than our regular selection of songs, rhymes and a story.

The session will be released on http://facebook.com/Aberdeen.City.Libraries on Saturday 27 February at 10 am and will be available to view for two months thereafter.

LIVE PE: Wednesday 24th Feb at 2 pm

We have big news this week! Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will have a LIVE PE lesson. To join us all you need to do is to check the ‘PE at Home’ class on Wednesday at 2 pm and there will be a link for the ‘Meet’.

You will need: comfy clothes and a willingness to have fun!

Amanda and Salvi look forward to seeing you!

The PE at home classroom on Google is updated weekly and the team are doing a great job in providing a range of activities to suit pupils of all abilities. These include Dance, Boccia, Orienteering, Scavenger Hunts (this week’s is a lovely sensory, texture hunt) and our regular PE with Salvi and Amanda, ably supported by our own Young Leaders in school.

Please ask your child’s class teacher for a link if you are not in the PE at Home classroom.

Hard at Work and Play in Secondary

There’s been lots of work going on in Secondary over the last couple of weeks. It’s good to see pupils continuing to to work towards ASDAN awards and SQA qualifications while learning remotely. There have also been some very successful Google Meets and I know the staff involved in these have very much enjoyed seeing you all!

We have one young lady who working on SQA: Looking After Animals. She is taking good care of her new kitten.

We have pupils working on SQA Leisure Time Activities. This supports us in trying out new activities alongside engaging in things we already know and enjoy.

We’ve also been keeping fit, both indoors and out. There is a great range of activities in the PE Google Classroom. Please do pop in for a look if you’ve not already done so. Throwing and catching has been practised this week.

Life Skills and Independence

We continue to work on our life skills and independence. We’ve been baking: scones, a rainbow cake and savoury pancakes are a few of the recipes we’ve tried. Cooking and baking are great ways to practice our numeracy skills.

Assembly ‘Homework’

Our Secondary Assembly theme was ‘Love’ and we’ve now been tasked with showing love for someone over the next two weeks. This can take many forms: doing something to help someone else, being kind to someone, doing something that someone else enjoys, or for our staff and parents, showing yourself some kindness and taking a bit of time for you!

Following our previous Assembly where we had a theme of ‘Express Yourself’ in line with Children’s Mental Health Week, we enjoyed seeing photos of how others have done this.

Reading and Relaxing at Home

Being Creative through Art and Music

Enjoying Time Outdoors

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:

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/parents-and-carers/

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

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/childrens-mental-health-week/zk37bdm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/pshe-eyfs-ks1-feeling-happy/znnhvk7

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:

https://sites.google.com/ab-ed.org/educational-psychology-service/parentscarers

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:

https://www.place2be.org.uk/our-services/services-for-schools/mental-health-champions-foundation-programme/

As always, feel free to share anything you enjoy!

Big Burns Day Celebrations: Scottish Stories

As part of our Big Burns Day celebrations we have two very special stories to share with you.

Hamish The Highland Cow by Natalie Russell

Hamish is a Highland cow and very hairy. He hates having baths and never cuts his hair. Why should he when his shaggy coat is the perfect place to keep his favourite sweet – toffees! But one day his friends get fed up with the increasingly smelly Hamish, and they hatch a plan that involves a hairdresser and, yes, toffees!

One of Early Years Practitioners, Lorraine, has read this story for you in Doric and there are suggestions for some props to help you recreate the tale as a sensory story. Their is also a PowerPoint with some great activities for you to try related to the story.

The Tale o The Wee Mowdie That Wantit Tae Ken Wha Keeched On His Heid by Werner Holzwarth (translated by Matthew Mackie)

You may know of a popular children’s book ‘The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was None of his Business’ but have you heard of the Scots translation ‘The Tale o The Wee Mowdie That Wantit Tae Ken Wha Keeched On His Heid’?

An awfu stramash befaws the wee mowdie, yin bricht sunny morn. It looks a bit like a link sasser, an the warst o’t is – it faws richt ontae his heid. Oor gallus wee hero gangs oot tae speir wha’s keeched on his heid. 

This version, read by one of our teachers, Anne, was a hit during our bedtime story series in the first lockdown. Why don’t you watch the video and maybe have a go at some of the activities? And don’t worry, there’s even a glossary to help if you’re unsure of some of the dialect!

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

Exploring Maths In Room 10

Room 10 have been busy investigating measurement using different materials.

We used connecting blocks and joined them together to see who make the tallest group of blocks and worked collaboratively to create the longest group.

We also took maths out into the playground, measuring the length of lines using leaves and other materials and comparing our heights to the width of the path. There was also an impromptu lesson on volume and capacity as we watched the dumper truck put a tonne of sand into our sandpit!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar And Celebrating Bonfire Night In Room 11

We have been having lots of fun in Rm 11 recently. Children have been enjoying participating in a range of the activities around the story   “The very hungry caterpillar”. We have been tasting different foods, using different resources to paint caterpillars and enjoying messy play!

We have also remembered to celebrate Bonfire and had a great fun splashing balloons filled with paint onto a big sheet of paper and creating lovely fireworks!

Bedtime Story – Saturday 21st November

Tonight, we are delighted to bring you a new bedtime story.

This story is one of Room 8’s favourites and is read by the class teacher and a very special helper. 

Remember, you can always look back at our previous stories on our new Orchard Brae YouTube Channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTu54C_q3kCJsdSO8mlIonw

So get comfy and cuddle up because it’s time for a new Bedtime Story. Tonight’s story is…

The Paper Dolls (written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb)

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.