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.

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.

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!

Home Economics: Developing Independence

Liz and Grace have had a busy start to the session, working with many pupils across the school. In our primary classes pupils focus on experiencing foods with opportunities to handle, taste and talk about a variety of foods. Hygiene is also a very important part of the routine at all times.

In Secondary, pupils continue working on routine and hygiene, experiencing different foods. As they progress, skills and independence are developed. Pupils at Senior Phase make a range of snacks and meals, some showing great aptitude and skill. We use our skills in literacy and numeracy to follow recipes and practise measurement. We are very adept at cutting and chopping. We’ve enjoyed fruit pancakes and have made apple crumble, enjoying the seasonal produce available.

Watch out Beechgrove, here come Room 18!

At the start of term, Room 18 planted some seeds. We planted carrots, lovely red radishes, cress and some lettuce.

We have already enjoyed eating the cress with egg in sandwiches.

We have watered the plants using our watering can and kept an eye on them as they grow. This week we re-planted the seedlings into the sensory garden vegetable trough which one of our young men had painted. The radishes will be ready for snack very soon. Watch out for more carrot updates!

World First Aid Day

Today is World First Aid Day and the pupils in Room 5 have been very busy learning about first aid and helping others.

We are very boisterous and full of fun at Orchard Brae and sometimes we have bumps and falls when we are playing.  We had fun learning some first aid to treat our bumps.  We also celebrated World First Aid Day and found a free British Red cross App that our Mums and Dads can download so they know what to do if we have an accident. 

Here’s the link for the app: https://www.redcross.org.uk/first-aid/first-aid-apps

We also made a video showing some of the First Aid skills we learned. We hope you like it

Keeping Safe and Healthy in Room 16

This week Room 16 were using some EXTRA long straw and paint to make some ‘germ’ posters. We will be completing them next week by drawing on some scary faces, adding some googly eyes and writing a note to remind people to wash their hands. We read a social story about all the different times of day we need to wash our hands to keep healthy and safe and why this is so important!

Primary Department Activities – Week Beginning 22nd June

Our Google Classrooms have gone live!  Your child’s teacher will be using Google Classroom to share activities with you but we are aware that some families are waiting on technology and other supports to enable them to access Google Classroom so we will still be posting a selection of activities here too.  If you haven’t logged in yet or having difficulty accessing Google Classroom please contact your child’s teacher who will be able to offer you support and advice.  Here is a short video to show you some of the exciting things happening on Google Classroom.

If you would like to share how you have got on with our activities, please share any photos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk.  Downloading videos from the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page appears to be working again (fingers crossed!) however if you are having any issues, please send them using a free transfer site such as Dropbox or WeTransfer.

Virtual Sports Day:

This week we are holding our first ever Virtual Sports Day and we would like to thank our PE teachers, Amanda and Salvi for organising this.  Our Virtual Sports Day will start on Monday 22nd June and we would love for as many of our pupils, families and staff as possible to join in.

There will be 8 challenges for you to try at home and you will have the whole week to complete as many challenges as you can. Each challenge will have a short video clip which will include a demonstration of the task and suggested equipment to use. Challenges can be copied, adapted or you can even devise your own.

If you would like to participate, please check your child’s ab-ed.org email where you will find an invitation to join and access the Virtual Sports Day Google Classroom.

Story Of The Week: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

This week’s story is a wonderful shimmering underwater adventure – The Rainbow Fish.  Troughout this story, the Rainbow Fish gradually realises the importance of friendship and sharing!

Using the link below you can watch and listen to the story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifXlc0QI2kY

The book study below has some great activities for you to try at home based on the story.

Links and additional documents to support the activities can be found below:

Activity 1: Fish Outlines

Activity 3: Aquarium Sensory Bag

Activity 5: Fishy Biscuit Recipe

This recipe can also be found at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easiest-ever-biscuits

Other Activity Ideas:

Be Resilient!

Education Scotland, in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council, produced a Resilience Alphabet full of fun think, say, do activities designed to promote resilience and develop coping strategies.  There are a series of activities for each letter of the alphabet, so pick a letter and give it a go!

https://education.gov.scot/improvement/scotland-learns/health-and-wellbeing-activities/resilience-alphabet/

Learning Grid: Life Skills

Here is a learning grid for Life Skills.  It contains 16 activity ideas for you to help develop and promote your child’s independence in a range of household and life skills tasks.

These activities are only suggestions and we would recommend that, where appropriate, you adapt these activities to meet your child’s ability level.