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.

Learning In Primary

Well, we’ve finally reached the end of a very cold and very snowy week in the Primary Department and given the weather conditions lots of you have loved having the opportunity to take your learning outside.

You’ve shared lots of photos and videos and we are delighted to share some of the things you have been busy learning this week.

Snowman Challenge

It’s not often we have so much snow and you have all been extremely creative in building and decorating your own snowman. It’s also been a great way to get you hands moving as you squashed, squeezed and moulded the snow. Brrrr!

Colourful Creations

Some pupils also took part in some very cold and colourful outdoor art and science this week.

We were very impressed with how you made ice marbles using balloons filled with coloured water as well as using food colouring to create artwork in the snow.

You also been busy exploring art indoors too. It’s been a great opportunity for you to work on making choices, developing your motor skills and creativity and just possibly getting a wee bit messy too!

Learning Through Outdoor Play

The weather this week has provided lots of opportunities for you to play outside and even when you’ve been playing, you’ve still been learning!

You have been able to explore the snow using your senses, feeling how cold it is against your skin, how the air smells different, how it feels to walk through it and how wet it is when it melts, especially when you forget your wellies and waterproofs!

It’s been amazing to see all the sledging you have done throughout the week, both at home and at school. Some of you have been learning to use your core strength to sit on the sledge while you are being pulled along. Others have been working on their sharing, waiting and turn taking skills when there weren’t enough sledges for everyone to have a go. It’s been fantastic to see how some of you have become more confident as the week has gone on and are now able to try sledging down a hill all by yourself!!

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Karen has set a new challenge for you…pouring! Have a look at her video below and maybe you can have a go over the long weekend. We’d love to see how everyone gets on.

However, many of you are still enjoying practising the skills from the previous challenges, especially tower building.

Life Skills

The weather has been good for helping you to practice and develop your independence in dressing, especially putting on your boots, jackets and not forgetting your cosy hats, scarves and gloves!

You’ve also been busy working on other independent life skills such as setting the table, shopping and lots and lots of yummy baking!!!

We can’t wait to see what you get up to next week even though it is the long weekend so no school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we’re sure you’ll still be having fun and learning!

Learning In Primary

We have come to the end of another busy week in the Primary Department and it has been fantastic to see all the different learning that has been taking place both at home and in school.

Exploring Art

This week our Art teacher, Diane, set us the task of exploring and creating art using flour. Lots of us took part in the messy fun, exploring flour with our senses, developing our motor skills through sprinkling the flour and creating artwork using flour and objects.

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Karen didn’t manage to set us a new challenge this week but we’ve still been having a go at the last two challenges and practising our tower building and throwing skills.

Life Skills

We’ve had another busy week working on our life skills.

We’re becoming more independent in some important life skills, such as cleaning, looking after our things and one pupil impressed us with how well he is managing to independently move around in his wheelchair!

We’ve also been busy making lots of yummy treats, crushing, mixing, chopping and stirring ingredients and no doubt enjoying a wee taste along the way!

Birthday Celebrations

A few pupils have celebrated birthdays this week, but one pupil in school had a party along with his friends in class. The cake looks like it was a hit with everyone and the birthday boy enjoyed watching some special birthday messages from the staff team.

Working Hard

Once again we’ve been working really hard on improving our skills and learning new things.

We’ve worked on your communication and literacy skills, focusing on developing our use of core vocabulary boards and switches to make requests, sharing our favourite stories, improving our writing skills and pencil control as well as working on our attention and listening skills and following instructions.

We’ve also had fun developing our fine motor skills through arts and crafts, working on pencil control, making and decorating our own musical shakers and printing as well as through sensory play.

We’ve also been learning about the world around us by using our senses in lots of different ways. We’ve enjoyed time exploring sensory activities, making music and following rhythms, working in the sensory room and playing together and co-operating using the magic carpet!

One class even took part in some fantastic science this week making their own lava lamps using oil, coloured water and alka seltzers!

It’s been great to see how much you’ve enjoyed spending time with your friends from class even when you’re apart, participating in familiar activities and taking part in live teaching sessions.

It’s definitely been another very busy week in the Primary Department and there has been lots of fun and lots of learning taking place. So relax, have a wonderful weekend and we can’t wait to see where our learning will take us next!

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:

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

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:

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:

As always, feel free to share anything you enjoy!

A Busy Week Of Learning In Primary

Wow! It has been a very busy week across the Primary Department, both in school and at home and once again, you have blown us all away with how hard you have all been working on developing your skills and learning.

Here’s just a wee snapshot of what’s been happening over the week.

Big Burns Day Celebration

On Monday, we held our first whole school themed activity day as we celebrated the birth of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns.

There were lots of fun activities for everyone to participate in whether they were at home or in school.

We got creative and designed our own versions of the saltire flag.

We made shortbread and of course we had to make sure they tasted good!

We were very fortunate to have one of our Pupils Support Assistants, Claire, play the bagpipes for us on Monday. One pupil had a go at creating his own Scottish music at home using a chanter.

In the afternoon there were a series of live Google Meets hosted by our drumming instructor, Keith and our music therapist, Emmeline. It was great to see so many familiar faces join in with the drumming, ceilidh and Makaton choir sessions.

It’s safe to say that everyone had a fantastic day and a huge thanks to everyone who helped to organise this event and everyone who participated so enthusiastically!!

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Last week Karen, Head of Primary, set everyone a tower building challenge. This week she challenged us to develop our throwing skills and as you can see below, we all had a great time taking part! We’re looking forward to seeing what challenge Karen sets us next week.

Keeping Active

It’s important to keep active and we’ve been busy using equipment in school and at home, working on developing our balance and core strength as well as relaxing with some yoga. We’ve explored the great outdoors and despite the cold and wet weather this week, we still managed to have fun with some puddle jumping!!

Life Skills

You’ve continued to share with us with how you’ve been progressing in the development of your life skills. You’ve been very busy making lots of yummy looking treats, washing your hands and we are absolutely amazed with how well one pupil managed to use chopsticks.

Another pupil has been developing his independent feeding skills and we were delighted to see him not only try tastes of foods but also help feed himself via his gastrostomy tube. We were really impressed with his co-ordination!

Working Hard

Everyone has been busy working and learning new skills over the week.

Pupils in Room 5 have started reading the book The Colour Monster. Throughout the book different colours are associated with different emotions. This week they were exploring the colour yellow which represents happiness. These yellow themed activities certainly looked cheerful and fun and brought a smile to our faces!

Others were learning through play and sensory activities, developing their fine motor skills.

We’ve also been developing our fine motor skills through a range of craft activities too.

We’ve also been working hard on developing our communication and literacy skills this week.

In this video, one pupil wowed us with his ability to anticipated what was coming next during the story ‘Hole At The Bottom Of The Sea’.

His mum said ‘He actually got up off the chair knowing he had a seal somewhere about and had to grab it in line with the animals being mentioned as from the bottom of the sea! ‘ What a special WOW moment!

As you can see it’s been a very busy week in the Primary Department and there has been lots of fun and lots of learning taking place. Keep on smiling, have a wonderful weekend and we can’t wait to see where our learning will take us next!

Room 13 Supporting Remote Learning

Room 13 have been distributing classwork to pupils at home who cannot access the school during the epidemic.

Our pupils delivered work to pupils in Class 8 this week so that they would all have things to do at home.

At the moment Room 13 is delivering learning packs to around 20 students per week as well as delivering food through the Fare Share to households.

PE at Home

Our PE specialists have been working hard, supported by our Young Leaders from Howes Hoose. Have you had a look in the PE classroom yet?

There are different activities each week to suit all ages and abilities. Here are a couple of activities demonstrated by the Young Leaders: throwing from a seated position and throwing from a standing position.

If you do try out any of our PE at Home videos, please share your feedback with Salvi and Amanda by commenting on their links, sharing photographs or videos. They are keen to know what you are enjoying in order that they can provide activities to meet your needs, assess our pupils’ learning, and at Secondary level, use activities towards our National Qualifications and ASDAN awards.

A Busy Start To The Term In Primary

It has been an unusual start to the term as we returned to learning during lockdown. However, everyone has been very busy and working hard on learning and developing their skill whether they be at home or in school.

Here are a few pictures and videos to show you what we’ve been up to since we went ‘back to school’.

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Each week Karen, the Head of Primary, will set a creative challenge. The first challenge she set was all about building towers. As you can see, we had lots of fun, building (and knocking down!) towers. We made them out of wooden blocks, lego and other things we found around the house, such as cushions.

Learning At Home

There has been lots of wonderful work going on at home. Some of you are joining in activities through your Google Classrooms and others are working on resources that have been sent home. However you are accessing your learning, remember we are always here to support you in any way we can.

Keeping Active

It is always important to keep active, whether it be exploring equipment in gym class, practising your ball skills, playing at the park or exploring the great outdoors with family and friends.


One pupil enjoyed celebrating her birthday at home with her family. We hope you had a wonderful day!

Fine Motor Skills

Many of you have been working on developing your fine motor skills. You’ve been practising your switch work, manipulating blocks and other materials and working on your pencil control.

Life Skills

We have been very impressed with how well some pupils are progressing in the development of life skills. You’ve been very busy setting tables, cooking lots of yummy looking treats and it certainly looks like you enjoyed tasting what you made.

And Finally…

We love seeing your enthusiasm and how you are engaging with your learning. If you would like to share what you have been up to please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)

Google Classroom

Our Google Classrooms are now live!  Your child’s teacher will be using Google Classroom to share a range of learning activities with you but 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.

We are aware that some families are waiting on technology and other supports to enable them to access Google Classroom and we are currently trying to source appropriate devices.  If you require a device to support home learning and did not complete the online form sent out last week, please contact Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)

We love seeing how everyone is getting on with their learning and if you would like to share any photos or videos please do so via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)  

Countdown To Christmas

Orchard Brae Advent Calendar: Day 24

Christmas Day is almost here and we are delighted to share the final installment of the Orchard Brae Advent Calendar.

Today brings you a message from Caroline Stirton, Executive Head Teacher, along with a special video from staff.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year from everyone at Orchard Brae.