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Room 8’s Amazing Trick

Can you pick up ice with a piece of string?

Impress people with this trick!

Try picking up a piece of ice with a string. Can you do it without tying any knots?

Room 8 will show you how!

What you need is:

  • Ice cube
  • Salt
  • String
  • Glass
  • Water
  • Scissors

How we did it?

  1. We have filled a glass to the top with water (we added some food colouring for more fun).
  2. We have chosen a piece of colourful string around 20 centimetres long.
  3. We have placed an ice cube in the water. What have we observed? It has floated. Anything else? Of course. The ice cube has been cold.
  4. We have laid the string across the ice cube and glass. Nothing has happened.
  5. We have tried a magic trick: we have covered the ice cube and string with a layer of salt (we have tasted it also). Oh, no! Very salty!!!
  6. We have left them for 10 seconds – we have counted the seconds.
  7. Carefully, we have pick up the ends of the string and what do you think? Magic. We managed to lift up the ice cubes! Wow! Well done, Room 8!

What’s happening?

Salt lowers the freezing point of water to below 0 degrees Celsius. When we added salt to the ice cube, the salt lowered the melting point of the ice. The salt is in a thin layer, so it melts a thin layer on top of the ice cube. The water cooled down further and re-froze around the string.

Now we understand why Ray, our janitor, uses salt in winter to prevent the road and our playground from getting icy and dangerous.

It is you turn now! You could challenge your friends and parents. See if they can work out how you did it. Good luck!

Orchard Brae Clothing Exchange

Thanks to everyone that has sent in items for our Clothing Exchange. Please remember that you’re welcome to pop in and browse any time. It’s a great way to save money and help the planet by passing things on that our children and young people have grown out of.

We’ve got clothing in a wider range of sizes now. All sizes of clothing are welcome as our pupils go from age 3-18.

Out and about with Alan in Outdoor Education

Room 8

Room 8 took part in a scavenger hunt at Duthie Park.  We were looking for various items, including fish, flowers and the big frog in the pond.

Some pupils were able to read the words and reinforce their numeracy skills by counting what they had to find.

Sadly, the turtles were being shy and we only saw 3.


Room 10

Room 10 pupils were exploring a farm path near Orchard Brae.  We were exploring to see what we could find.  Some of the pupils loved splashing in puddles so it was just as well they were wearing wellies!


Room 14

It was too cold to go out, so we did our outdoor learning indoors!

We looked at pictures of trees of trees silhouetted against a winter sunset, and then tried to recreate this on paper, using natural materials.

We used charcoal to rub over leaves and twigs to create the trees, then used various materials to make clouds.  We stuck this down on a dark blue background, which looked very effective!


Room 18

Room 18 have been helping to dig over the sandpit.

The sandpit needed to be raked and dug over.  We also needed to brush sand from the playground.  The class used rakes to move sand, and the progress was amazing. Sand was moved from the edge back into the middle, where it was needed.


Uniform Exchange: Save money and help the environment!

We are pleased to announce that we now have a Uniform Exchange in the front reception area of Orchard Brae. We have a small stock of clothing at present including footwear, trousers, school sweatshirts and polo shirts. We also have some bodysuits in smaller sizes. Free sanitary products will be available at all times.

You are welcome to come in and browse at any time, taking what you need for your child.

Donations of clothing (footwear, outdoor jackets or trousers, school uniform) are welcome and can be sent in with your child – please pop a note into the diary so that we know they are for the Uniform Exchange. Our pupils are aged 3 – 18, so all sizes are welcome including adult sizes.

Let’s help ourselves by saving money and passing on clothes that our children have outgrown, and help the environment too by re-using good clothing.

Noodles, Reindeer and Remembrance in Outdoor Education

Room 19 have been looking at preparing food for our Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award.  We tested 2 different brands of noodles, and enjoyed eating them both.  Even those who were not sure, once they tried them, discovered that they were nice to eat.

We assembled and used a Trangia stove to boil water, and add then added to the dried noodles.  Part of our assessment will be making a hot meal, from scratch, using a stove.

We have also cooked sausages outside which were very popular.

This week we even made hot chocolate, heating up chocolate milk on a stove.

We all agree – food tastes better when cooked outside!


Outdoor learning has looked at using natural materials like grass, beech nuts and twigs to make textured animals.  We have made spikey hedgehogs from twigs. We also made soft fluffy reindeer for their fur, and small twigs to make their antlers.  Some of our reindeer also had a shiny red nose like Rudolph.


We also made poppies to celebrate Armistice Day out of heart shaped pieces of red paper.  We were using scissors, paint, different colours to recreate poppies in the wild.

Room 8 Explore ‘Grandpa’s Handkerchief’

Room 8 have just started looking at a new story, ‘Grandpa’s Handkerchief’.  The story is about a sociable and kindly Grandpa who plays with his grand-children every day – thus providing us with  a fun way to learn the days of the week.

Red, blue, yellow, green… Grandpa’s handkerchiefs are useful in so many ways!  For waving to trains, making a sailing boat, bandaging a knee, or reminding Grandpa about a special birthday!

Each day focuses on a different activity.  Monday is about trains singing and dancing. Tuesday is about playing at the park. Wednesday we are going to be pirates with hats and swords. Thursday is party with a very exciting and unusual cake. Friday is baking. Saturday is football and Sunday is gardening.

The class are going to be working on this story over the next three weeks as we learn the different songs and actions to accompany each exciting day with ‘Grandpa’s Handkerchief’.

Christmas Fair: 30th November 2019

Room 12 are holding another doll raffle, to be drawn at the Christmas Fair on 30th November 2019, all proceeds to Orchard Brae.

Included in the prize is a beautiful wicker basket bed, bedding, the doll and several outfits – from a bride’s dress, to clown’s outfit to pyjamas and matching dressing gown and more. Doll donated and bedding and outfits beautifully made by the mum of one of Room 12’s class teachers.

Tickets to win all this are £1! Come and see us at the fair to buy your ticket!

There will also be many dolly clothes at our stall available to buy separately. These are unique, handmade and better than any dolls clothes you’ll see in the shops!

Halloween Fun at the Pupil Council Disco

The pupil council decided they wanted a Halloween disco and a pumpkin carving competition on Halloween. We enjoyed a whole school disco, with all the tunes being selected in advance by the pupils.  There were lots of fantastic costumes too.

Colours On The Moooove With Room 8

The Magic Milk Experiment

The Magic Milk experiment has been a ton of fun! This science activity with milk and food colouring was great for Room 8.

Finding creative ways to hook the children, to intrigue them, and ignite their desire to want to learn more about a particular subject really drove me. The Dancing Milk science experiment is one of my favourite experiments to achieve this hook.

Not only is making milk dance fun for kids and adults to watch, but this easy and inexpensive activity also combines science and art.

Some very unusual interactions take place when we mixed a little milk, food colouring, and a drop of liquid soap. After an explosion of movement, everyone watched a beautiful, graceful dancing milk! We have had a lot of fun!

What happened?

Milk has fat in it and the food colouring floats on top of the fat. When we added the dish soap to the milk, the fat separated and moved making our magical milk art!