Countdown To Christmas

Orchard Brae Advent Calendar: Days 11 and 12

Welcome to the next instalment of the Orchard Brae Advent Calendar. Today we bring you two festive treats for Days 11 and 12.

For Day 11, Room 18 have been and busy making their own chefs hats in preparation for ‘I Know A Turkey’.

For Day 12, Room 8 got on their best party clothes in order to bring you a wonderful Christmas Waltz.

The Bucket Time – Attention Autism in Room 8

One of our favourite activities in Room 8 is ‘The bucket time’.

Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities.

This activity helps the children in Room 8:

  • To engage attention
  • To improve joint attention
  • To develop shared enjoyment in group activities
  • To increase attention in adult-led activities
  • To encourage spontaneous interaction in a natural group setting
  • To increase non-verbal and verbal communication through commenting
  • To build a wealth and depth of vocabulary
  • To have fun!

The Attention Autism programme progresses through a series of stages, building on each skill level. Each new stage is introduced when the group is ready to expand attention skills. Room 8 has reached stage 3.

Stage 1: The Bucket to Focus Attention

Our purple bucket is filled with visually engaging objects and toys, aiming to gain the shared attention of the group.

First, a song is sung: ‘I’ve got something in my bucket, in my bucket, in my bucket. I’ve got something in my bucket, I wonder what it is?”

Next, the adult leader shows each item to the group and uses simple repetitive vocabulary to comment on the various objects. Our favourites are the naughty monkey, the pig, and the horn.

Stage 2: The Attention Builder

Visually stimulating activities are shown to the group by the adult leader, aiming to sustain attention for a longer period. The activities are fun, visually engaging and can often involve delightful mess! The favourite in room 8 is “Splash the cake!’.

Stage 3: Turn taking and Re-engaging Attention

The adult leader demonstrates a simple activity, often modelled with another adult in the group. Some children are then invited to have a turn, but only if they are comfortable to do so.

The children in our group get a turn, which then teaches important emotional regulation skills, as well as the essential skills of waiting, turn-taking and learning through modelling. I could say the favourite activities have been ‘Make your cake – Halloween party’, ‘The bread shop’ and ‘Choose an instrument’.

So far, the Bucket time sessions have been fun and “offered an irresistible invitation to learn”!

Room 8’s Rocket Bat

There’s an old saying: what goes up must come down. This activity is a perfect chance to challenge that idea, shooting a rocket high into the air by rapidly squashing a plastic bottle launcher. We’ll never get this rocket into space, but some real rockets do go fast enough to prove the saying wrong.

What’s the science?

The bottle we used as the rocket launcher is not really empty: there is air inside it. Air is elastic (squashy), and when we compressed it, it pushed back and the pressure inside increased. In the activity, the sudden increase in air pressure inside the bottle pushed hard on the bottom of the rocket, sending it flying high into the air.

We challenge you to make your very own rocket mouse and launcher – see how high your bat can fly!

We needed:

  • An empty plastic milk bottle (4- or 6-pint bottles work best)
  • Things to decorate your rocket
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A rocket bat template

We followed these steps:

  • Cut out a template along the dotted lines.
  • Rolled it into a cone shape and secured it with tape – this was our rocket.
  • Decorated our rocket adding some bat wings
  • Popped it on top of our bottle.
  • Hit the sides and launched our rocket into the air!

Science in our world

Just as increasing the air pressure in the bottle sends the rocket flying, we use air pressure when we squeeze shampoo or ketchup from a plastic bottle.

Marble Runs In Room 8

Marble runs are great for open-ended building. They’re an example of using Science, Technology, and Math. And, they’re a lot of fun, both for the kids and the adults.

The boys and girls in Room 8 discovered so many benefits of building their two marble runs.

Everyone in Room 8 sloped, bent, twisted, turned to make building a marble run challenging, but it was fun.  So, engineering or building something is one of the benefits.

So many questions as ‘Will it work if I ….?’ The benefits are problem solving and trial and error.

Everyone from the box and the other people building the marble run. Next benefit – following directions.

It took a LONG time to build a big marble run. It can also take time to make something new work or figure out how to successfully connect different pieces. There’s not a lot of instant gratification with a marble run. So, the patience was the key.

Building a marble run wasn’t easy. But, sticking with the process and not giving up helped build patience and perseverance.

Marble runs are open-ended activities. There are lots of ways to build and construct marble runs, so the possibilities are endless. Being creative, wewere building two marble runs.

We needed everyone participating while building our successful marble run. So, we have been cooperative.

Weincorporated a lot of Math naturally when we were building our marble run. For example, counting how many pieces are needed to complete the marble run. Predicting which one will be fastest or estimating how long it will take to complete the marble run.

Precision and care were needed when we were connecting pieces of a marble run. So, building a marble run helped us to develop our hand-eye coordination.

All the colours, shapes, and different types of pieces, combined with constructing a marble run that’s long, tall, superfast, had many starting points, gave plenty of opportunities for children to use their imagination.

Aberdeen Reads: Join the Summer Reading Challenge

Aberdeen City Libraries have announced an exciting new reading challenge for the summer. Starting tomorrow (27th June) and running until 29th August, everyone is welcome to register as an individual or family / group. Register for the challenge online: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=aw-pJD2_E02ip4k2nOs16xSlCSTRm75Nn6t-EpSexzdUN0kySlJWRlpJUEdRSEdZUlhLRTczUDZDTSQlQCN0PWcu

There are 9 reading related challenges and you can choose those that appeal. Full details of all the challenges are on the Aberdeen Reads website:

Click to access Aberdeen%20Reads%20final%20form.pdf

 

There is something for everyone!

 

Some ideas of how you might use the challenge are:

 

Places

Read some of your favourite stories that are set in other countries (real or imaginary). Two of my personal favourites are:

Where The Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak), a lovely picture book for younger readers, and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (C S Lewis) for older readers.

 

Get Creative

Across the school we’ve seen lovely photos of our children and young people engaging in Life Skills and Arts & Crafts during our period of remote learning. Why not challenge yourself to bake or cook something new? You might find a no-cook recipe that will encourage even greater independence. Try a new craft project and make something useful, or use some of your old junk to create something inspired by a book. Lots of exciting crafty projects can be done using recycled materials and this helps our environment.

 

Ec0-Friendly

Use recycled materials to create a favourite character or a scene from one of your books. One young man from Room 14 did this previously, creating his favourite scene from Harry Potter.

 

Cover Versions

Some of our Secondary pupils enjoy the Harry Potter books. These are magical stories to escape into and are very enjoyable to read aloud. Why not compare the film and the book to find out which you like best? Horrid Henry is always a favourite and episodes can be watched on TV. Do you like the TV episode or the story best? Popular with many of our younger pupils is Disney Cars or any other Disney movie. Again, see what you like best – the film or the book. There are also lots of E-comics on the library website, including Disney.

 

Favourite Place

Try reading in different places and find out what your favourite place to read is. I like to read in the garden, particularly on a fine day.

 

Let us know how you get on and feel free to share with your teachers the stories that you have enjoyed.

 

 

 

Online Learning Survey

We’ve now been learning remotely for more weeks than we care to remember! This week is particularly exciting with the launch of our Google Classrooms (GSuite) and it’s great to see so many families getting involved with this.

As always, our aim is to support our children and young people as best we can, and we have a Leadership Group working together to focus on how do this as we move towards ‘blending learning’ from August. In order to support their work we’d really appreciate your thoughts on what we have offered so far, any issues or difficulties you’ve experienced, and what you would like to see as we move forward.

All feedback is welcome so please take a few minutes to share your views if you have not already done so. Thank you.

https://forms.gle/oparbBDTDzYbex8Z7

 

Google Classroom Survey

Thank you to everyone that has completed our Google Classroom survey for their child to date. If you have not already done so, we would be grateful if you would complete the form on Survey Monkey. This is to ensure that you have access to the necessary IT to enable your child to access it. Please click on the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GLX5LM5

Please note this applies to Primary and Secondary pupils only.

POSTPONED: Friends of Orchard Brae 5k Fun Run

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 our planned Fun Run is postponed until further notice. We will maintain contact with the City Events Team at Aberdeen City Council and hope that we can have our event at some time in the future. For now, our priority is to keep our school and wider community safe and well.

 

Sport Relief 2020

Many thanks to Amanda, Salvi, Sam and Scott for organising fun activities for us all to join in with to support Sport Relief 2020. We kicked off the morning with a select band signing up to Run a Mile. Thanks to Room 19 for braving the cold throughout our challenge, the spectators that cheered us on from the warmth of the classrooms and those that came out for playtime, supporting with cheers as we ran our loops. Each of us did 5 loops of the playground in total.

At lunchtime we enjoyed dance sessions with Sam. We all had lots of fun!

Finally, the whole school joined in for the afternoon to Walk a Mile with a Smile. We were grateful that the sun came out and warmed up the playground nicely for us. We also had some special visitors – the sumos!

Our day was just for fun, but we also received generous donations towards Sport Relief, raising a total of £165! Well done to everyone for taking part!

Clothing Exchange

Room 16 have been doing a great job, supporting the Clothing Exchange scheme. Pupils are regularly tidying up the area, washing, sorting and folding new clothing. It’s good to see an increase in sizes available too. Please keep sending items in if they’re in good condition and no longer of use to your child. Do also feel free to pop in and browse any time or let us know via the home school diary if you’d like the class team to have a look on your behalf.