At last the sun has made an appearance and the temperature appears to have recovered when the haar doesn’t make an appearance.
I am pleased to announce following interviews on Wednesday 2nd June, that Elaine Thomson is the preferred candidate for the Head Teacher post. I am sure you will all join me in sharing our congratulations. Elaine will be in touch in due course with more information regarding end of term activities and any information relating to next term.
As the end of term approaches in 3 weeks I have been invited into classes to join their snack. I have had great fun spending time in many classes. I have had such an array of snacks and treats and been very well looked after. More visits over the next few weeks. 😊
I am delighted to say our Holiday Fun Club will be running for the first 4 weeks of the holidays. More information on how to book sessions will follow shortly.
I have attached the most recent updated Covid-19 risk assessment with the changes highlighted in green. Despite the fact that we move to protection level-1 from Saturday 5th June there has been no changes to the guidance for schools.
Today we move into protection level 2 which has been long awaited by everyone. I have listed below what this means as a guide as I know how confusing it can get trying to keep track of what is and is not permitted within the different protection levels.
At Level 2:
you can meet socially in groups of up to:
6 people from 3 households in your home or theirs – and can stay overnight
6 people from 3 households in an indoor public place like a café, pub or restaurant
8 people from 8 households outdoors
under 12s do not count towards the total number of people or households meeting outside but do count towards household numbers indoors
you do not need to physically distance from family and friends in a private home
you can travel anywhere in Scotland in Levels 0, 1 or 2 but must not enter a Level 3 or 4 area unless for a permitted reason
you can travel to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands – before you travel you must check the travel rules in those countries
you can provide informal childcare, for example to look after a grandchild
up to 50 people can attend weddings and funerals
tradespeople can carry out any work in your home such as painting, decorating or repairing
you should work from home where possible
What can open at Level 2
Places and business that can open at Level 2 include:
cafés, pubs and restaurants
all shops and stores
all close contact services including hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons
gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools
public buildings like libraries and community centres
We have certainly seen a change in the weather this week but we have enjoyed a busy week in school. In outdoor learning the children have been planting a variety of trees within the grounds creating our very own orchard. Look out for photos appearing on our website.
As part of my final term here at Orchard Brae I have been invited by each class for a special appointment to spend tie with them in class and enjoy a wee snack together. This week I have been in Room 9 and Room 18. I am really looking forward to spending some time with each class. I will keep you posted on what I get up to. Room 9 shared a lovely snack with me and then we went out to plant some trees in the new orchard. I am visiting Room 18 tomorrow afternoon. 😊
Next week sees the May Day holiday Monday and then an Inset day on Tuesday 4th. Work starts on the new polytunnel next week and we will share pictures once it is complete. I hear we have a pumpkin patch planned and that the seeds have already been planted so lots of growing going on.
I have attached a couple documents that I was asked to share by Karen Crozier one of our NHS physiotherapists. Karen is looking for help with a research project that she is doing relating to 24 hour postural management. The documents will also be posted on our website and FaceBook page if you are unable to access via this email.
I have attached a copy of the school’s updated Covid-19 risk assessment. This reflects the changes in guidance from the Scottish Government as well as Aberdeen City Council’s guidance.
It has been nice to see the school busy with the full return and I continue to work closely with NHS, Health Protection Team and families of those pupils that have not yet been able to return to school to ensure we have procedures in place that will enable this to happen as far as is possible.
The display of tartan in school today has been tremendous to mark our virtual Kiltwalk day. I have seen a kilt, tartan troose, tartan skirts and many more tartan garments and the weather has been on our side too. I know many of the pupils, parents/carers and staff have been busy fund raising for Friends of Orchard Brae so a very big thank you to everyone.
We have reached the end of another term and I would like to thank you all for the way you have supported the school and worked with us to get through another challenging period of national lockdown. I congratulate you all in the many ways you have embraced online learning with your child and joined in and contributed to the many sessions and activities that have taken place over the term.
As we go into the 2 week Easter break we can remain positive that on 6th April the First Minister will confirm that a full return to school will be possible from 12th April as long as the virus levels stay low.
I have a couple of links that I would like to share with you which I hope you will find helpful.
Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that as unpaid carers you are eligible to sign up for a covid-19 vaccine. Please use the link below to register:
Episode6: Understanding the adolescent brain and impact on teen mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown
Episode7: Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
Episode8: Resources you may find helpful
Episode9: Supporting your child on the return to school following lockdown
Please don’t forget you all very welcome to join in with our Virtual Kiltwalk activities on 23rd April. The day will be full of activities from walking to dancing and we would love it if you could join us in any way you can. A wee hint of tartan will be the dress code of the day.
It has been great to see so many more children return to school this week and we look forward to a full return from 12th April which I hope First Minister will confirm.
We have 1 week left of this term before we break for the Easter holidays. I know First Minister published the route map out of lockdown this week which had many different dates and what is to happen on those dates.
I have included a link for you below which I hope you might find useful.
This Monday sees the next stage of the phased return to schools.
P4-P7 children return from Monday and over the next 2 weeks S1-S6 pupils who are not attending under the keyworker or vulnerable pupil criteria will also be in school on a rota basis.
We continue to work hard with our health and safety colleagues and health protection team to find solutions that I hope will enable children who have been unable to access in school learning since the start of the pandemic to also return to school as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please find the link to the March Education Service Newsletter below:
I have a few pieces of information to share with you today.
I will start with the phased return to school. As I am sure you will have heard First Minister shared more detail of the return to school.
From March 15th should the Covid-19 figures allow P4-P7 and S4-S6 will return to school. We are expecting further guidance and detail to be released early next week along with information regarding S1-S3. I will of course keep you informed.
The levels of Covid-19 continue to improve in the NHS Grampian area which is encouraging and it is positive to have more detail of the Scottish Governments timeline for coming out of lockdown should the levels of the virus continue to improve.
The school submitted the report to have out Eco Schools Green Flag status revalidated, and I am delighted to say we passed with flying colours. A big thank you to Amy Dunnett PT Primary for compiling the report and to the pupils and staff for all their hard work. I have attached a copy of the feedback for your information.
Please find a couple of links below which you may find helpful:
What’s new in the city to support families?
ACC are launching Stronger Families Series – a range of free events for parent and carers to support children’s health and wellbeing (P7-S3). The main events will take place throughout March with additional focused webinars in April and May. There is something for everyone, why not sign-up now. To find out more information and book a space click here.
Information from NHS Grampian
NHS Grampian are currently developing a new family-based healthy lifestyle service that offers support to help your child get active, eat well and work towards a healthy weight. A range of topics will be covered including healthy eating, physical activity and behaviour change. The programme would run throughout Grampian and we are seeking the views of local families to help shape what the service could look like. Thank you for taking the time to answer this questionnaire. It should take around 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be treated anonymously.
The First Minister has confirmed that the first stage of the phased return to schools can start from Monday 22nd. We are delighted to be welcoming our Nursery, P1-P3 and a small number of our Senior Phase pupils back into school this Monday.
I am very aware that the first phase of the return leaves many families with the challenge of continuing to support their child at home. I am expecting the next update from the First Minister around 2nd of March. In her briefing in parliament on Tuesday First Minister said that the next potential date for stage 2 of the return could be 15th March.
The Scottish Government will be publishing their framework for coming out of lockdown in the next 2 weeks. In this the main focus is the continued return of schools which is their main priority.
The next area they will be looking at is the potential increase in family contact. When it comes to the re-opening of the economy the first thing will be the re-opening of non-essential shops.
The infection rate in the Grampian area continues to come down which is positive news indeed. I have attached our updated Covid-19 Operational Risk Assessment. You will also find a copy of this on our website (Covid-19 – Orchard Brae School).
We had a very busy 2 days of inset with the staff engaging is a wide range of professional learning, all of which was done remotely with exception of the first aid training. Amy Dunnett the PT Primary has submitted our Eco Green Flag revalidation report. I will let you know the outcome as soon as I know. The poly tunnel for the outdoor learning class will be delivered in the next 2 weeks. A very big thank you to Friends of Orchard Brae for funding this. Looking forward to the spring, we have a significant number of fruit tree saplings arriving which have been donated by the Woodland Trust.