Developing literacy and communication is a central focus of our school’s work. We aim to enable all of our pupils to be effective communicators at their own individual level, starting with a positive and consistent affirmation. With the support of Speech and Language therapists, we baseline our pupils skills using APEC bands and use targets to guide our focus on communication development. We use an inclusive communication approach; our youngsters are supported through accessible low/high tech communication strategies and resources such as Eye Gaze, PODD and PIXON boards. It is vital that our school community can communicate with one another, therefore Makaton is our chosen additional language. We have a clear focus on developing literacy for all pupils. Each BGE class plans a book study each term. We have a focus on functional and environmental print. Senior phase pupils are encouraged to generalise their literacy skills into work placements and through leadership roles. Literacy and communication skills are required across all areas of the curriculum, therefore we practice and apply skills throughout the school day in many contexts and encourage the same within the home.
We hope all our pupils in Primary 1 are enjoying exploring the books that they received in their BookBug packs which were sent home recently. These are a free gift from Scottish Book Trust, and the three picture books they contain are those shortlisted for the BookBug Picture Book Prize.
Room 18 have been hearing the story of George’s Marvellous Medicine during lunch time book club and we are really enjoying it! We had a go at making our own potions by measuring out different colours of water and mixing them together. We have been learning how to measure water in different ways and it was a good chance to practise pouring and measuring carefully.
Room 10 have been enjoying ‘Making their marks’ in class and are getting better and more independent in it each time. Lots of dexterity is being used and fine motor skills are being developed as the children hold brushes and pencils, and they are making personal colour choices too. We are experiencing the sensation of writing our names with lots of support, and beginning to understand what our names ‘feel’ like.
Room 3 pupils have been having a great time exploring the story ‘Mrs Vicker’s Knickers, written by Kara Lebihan and illustrated by Deborah Allwright.
In the story, poor Mrs Vickers is pegging up her pretty pink knickers when a gust of wind whisks them up into the sky. Her pink frillies spiral away on the breeze, causing quite a commotion. They land on a fire-engine’s windscreen, get hooked over the traffic lights, twirl through a classroom, twist over the zoo and even round a rollercoaster. Finally Mrs Vickers’ knickers startle a parachutist who spins down to earth, crashing into Mrs Vickers’ washing-line and sending all her other knickers off on their own adventures.
Using Mrs Vicker’s knickers as their inspiration, we have been looking at movement and forces. This included using toy cars and ramps, creating artwork using salad spinners, pushing Big Macs, passing objects to our friends, feeling water spray on our faces.
Why don’t you have a look at all the fun we’ve been having!
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.
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.
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.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!