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Category: Secondary Department
Welcome to the Secondary Department
The secondary department has 8 classes and pupils follow the principles of Curriculum for Excellence: a broad general education in S1-S3 and the Senior Phase in S4- S6. The curriculum is varied, relevant, challenging, enjoyable and adapted to meet our pupil’s individual needs. Pupils also visit a range of specialists, have access to relevant therapeutic inputs and participate in wider community events.
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.
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.
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:
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:
We’ve had another busy week of remote learning. Starting on Monday with our whole school Burns Day Celebration, the week was started with great enthusiasm!
Daily Circle Time
To keep our routine going, many classes continue to do daily circle time. Some of our learners have their own circle time packs at home to support the familiar routine, others use the class slides to provide structure. It’s great to receive feedback on how our learners are getting on: ‘He thoroughly enjoys circle time.’
For one young man, circle time is also an opportunity to practise his bench sitting.
Personal Independence and Life Skills
We continue to develop independence in personal care. Staff take time to support us in doing things for ourselves. Handwashing is very important during a pandemic!
We’ve been cooking and baking. There was some delicious French Onion Soup on offer this week and beautiful golden shortbread. Look out Masterchef, here we come!
We enjoyed art, PE, drumming and music through Makaton Choir. A very detailed drawing was done to decorate a drum for a music session with Keith – the drawing is of a hunter being chased by an African lady that is protecting the animals!
We also took time to relax, both indoors and out.
We worked hard on a range of learning activities and tasks, some online and some more practical.
One of our senior pupils made an amazing cat house as part of her SQA work. I think you’ll agree, this is for one very lucky cat!
Finally, to round off the week we had an Assembly. We talked about mental health and the theme ‘Express Yourself’. Staff shared the ways that they express themselves and show that they’re unique. The slides are available to view in the Google Assembly classroom for anyone that was unable to join us. Our challenge for the next assembly on 12th February is to share a photo of us doing something that we enjoy – anything goes!
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.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for both staff and pupils in our Secondary Department. With a new round of remote learning we’ve slipped back into things a little easier. We’ve got lots of activities on offer within our Google Classrooms and we’re seeing more pupils engaging with this. Circle time and stories are proving popular and it’s great to see our young people getting involved in helping around the home.
Although we have some sessions ‘live’, such as Makaton Choir (every Monday at 2 pm) and Assembly (1:30 pm on Friday 29th January), other activities are in the form of pre-recorded video or materials that can be accessed at a time of your convenience. We do appreciate that family life is busy, everyone juggling remote learner(s) with other commitments, so we invite you dip in and out when it suits your schedule.
Here are a few photos from our remote learning over the last couple of weeks. If you’d like your child to be featured, please let the class teacher know that you’re happy for your photographs to be shared.
We’re learning in everything we do. Please ask your class teachers if you need any further support.
Tomorrow (14th January) we will be having our first Secondary Assembly of the New Year. Our assemblies have been virtual since our return after the initial lockdown due to having to restrict the numbers for gatherings and our young people have responded well to this.
Tomorrow we would like to invite both our remote learners and those staff and pupils in school to join us. If you have not yet signed up, please do so by accepting the invitation sent via Google Classroom. If you are having any issue, please contact the Class Teacher for further support.
The link will go ‘live’ in Assembly Classroom a few minutes before we start. I hope you can come along!
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) email@example.com.
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) firstname.lastname@example.org.