Good Luck to all our Leavers!

At this time of the term we would usually be preparing for our Leavers to leave school with all the celebration they deserve: lots of events, a party or two, an Awards Ceremony, some hand-shakes, hugs and a few tears! This year we cannot do this before the end of term, but we can say a huge and heartfelt Thank you to all our leavers and wish them good luck for the future.

Room 17

To all the wonderful pupils in Room 17 – Thank you! You have been an absolute pleasure and joy. Although I was only your teacher for a short amount of time, it was an absolute privilege to get to know all of you and to teach you. You have all worked hard this year and tried your very best. We couldn’t ask any more of you and we are all so very proud of you.

To the parents and carers, thank you for all your support this year, especially during these more recent times. I have really enjoyed getting to know you and hearing all about how our young people are getting on at home. I have especially enjoyed seeing all the photos and hearing about all the personal stories, and I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for sharing those special memories with me.

We are all really going to miss you. I wish each of you all the luck in the world and hopefully, I will hear from you again in the future and how you are getting on. Take care, from Ru and all of us in Room 17.

 

Room 19

To our young men – two years have flown by but that is what happens when you are having fun! For all staff in Room 19, it has been a joy and a privilege to work with you both and support your deserved progress. We have learnt together and my goodness we have laughed; both of you have such wonderful senses of humour which have kept everyone in Room 19 smiling – thank you! You should both be proud of your achievements and successes; you have faced fears, overcome challenges and made enormous progress throughout your time at school – you are stars!

To your Mums and Dads – thank you for your constant support. It has been lovely getting to know you and working in partnership with you has resulted in your wonderful sons achieving so much.

So, you are young men moving on to the next chapter in your lives; keep on believing in your abilities, keep on learning and keep on having fun!

We are so proud of you both! Good luck in the future and please remember to pop back and let us know about your continuing successes.

Be proud of yourselves and take care.

Miss S, Carol, Jill, Lisa, Noreen and Sharon.

 

Howes Hoose

To the pupils who have been in The Hoose I want to say a huge THANK YOU!! You have all been absolutely amazing. We have had some serious times and some silly times! We have worked hard but also had time to have fun. You have achieved so much and should be so proud of yourselves. You have grown into exceptional young people, young people who are able to meet a challenge and be as independent as possible. Each one of you has pushed yourself and taken on tasks I am sure you never thought you would do and I cannot tell you enough how proud we are of you all.

Also to you, the parents, thank you for trusting us with your most precious gifts. Without your support and faith we would not have been able to challenge the pupils and show them what they are capable of. Opening the door and letting our young people walk through is very scary, together we have given them the key.

So our Howes Hoose Heroes, you are ready to go, to open that door to the next stage in your life and make it your own!

You are all amazing, don’t ever forget that.

From all of us who have had the privilege to work with you over the last 2 years – Sharon, Catherine, Grace, Lynn and I, THANK YOU SO MUCH and good luck.

Missing you already!!

Smithy

 

Secondary Update: Wk Beg 29th June 2020

Welcome to the final week of term! We enjoyed the sunshine last week, perfect for our Virtual Sports Day activities, and there was lots of fun had by everyone that participated. We also had a range of activities ongoing through our Google Classrooms with remote learning taking place across the classes. If you’ve not yet engaged with Google Classroom but would like more information please contact the Class Teacher. Here are some of the fun activities from the last week.

 

Literacy

One of our classes read the story of the Rainbow Fish and produced some art work in response to the story.

 

Some other pupils have been reading the Picture News each week and completing a range of literacy activities connected with it. This week, the focus was on Zoos. One of our young people designed her own zoo. She also did some research into Sea Turtles and learned lots of interesting facts.

As we move into the summer holidays it would be good to see reading continue. Did you see the post on Friday about the Reading Challenge from Aberdeen City Libraries? It would be great to get involved with, either individually or as a family. Have a look for more information:

Aberdeen Reads: Join the Summer Reading Challenge

 

Science

It was hot last week and we had some appropriately timed Science activities in one of our classes. We painted with ice cubes!

 

Life Skills

We continued our Home Economics. One class made a Caterpillar Salad to practise using a knife for cutting.

Homemade ice lollies were also on the menu, perfect for the sunny days that we had!

If you’d like to try making your own lollies, have a go by following one of these recipes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cnKNWjgH06Q8oRPPCOjZZIeXNxeNp_Vx/view?usp=sharing

We also continued our Life Skills around the home. It’s great to see so many young people becoming so independent!

 

Transitions

Looking ahead, we’ve been putting plans in place for transition of pupils to their new classes, staff sharing information with one another in virtual meetings where pupils are moving on. It may be that there are things about your child that have changed during the time at home. We’d be really grateful if you would share this with us – information such as any changes in likes or dislikes, motivators, sensory needs, communication or diet. These will be passed on to the new teachers.

Virtual Sports Day

Huge thanks to Amanda and Salvi, our PE teachers and Scott, Active Schools, for organising our Virtual Sports Day, and thanks to everyone that took part. Pupils and staff have been joining in over the course of the week to complete up to 8 challenges. It’s been fun seeing how you’ve been getting on, how things have been adapted to support our individual strengths, and also to see some healthy competition within your families! We hope you enjoy the photos. If you’ve not had a chance to get involved yet, why not try out some activities over the weekend, or even in the summer holidays?

 

Beat the Goalie

We set up our own goals and took on a challenge. The different options suggested were:

  1. Kick from further back
  2. Kick backwards
  3. Pass to someone before trying to score
  4. Kick blindfolded

 

Obstacle Course

Your challenge was to be creative and have fun, using various objects around the house and garden to build obstacles.

 

Throwing

We practised throwing with different challenges for anyone finding it easy:

  1. Throw from further back
  2. Throw backwards
  3. Throw under leg
  4. Throw blindfold

 

Water Run

Always a popular activity on Sports Day, thankfully we’ve had some sunny weather! As you can see, some of us really entered into the spirit of things and got very wet! Trying out the different options, you can see we had some team work in action:

  1. As a team
  2. With obstacles
  3. With holes in the cup
  4. Add food colouring to water

 

Egg and Spoon

A sports day classic, this can be adapted by using a frying pan or plastic bowl instead of a spoon. All sorts of things can be improvised in place of an egg, such as a potato, a scrunched up sock, newspaper, and anything else you can think of!

The options included:

  1. Race against each other
  2. Add obstacles
  3. Time yourself

 

Bowling

Our challenge was to practise bowling using empty plastic bottles as the target – a good way of re-using plastic. Keeping things safe for indoors, rolled up socks, a toilet roll or even a teddy were suggested alternatives to a ball.

Again, different options to increase the challenge:

  1. Bowl from further back
  2. Bowl from sitting
  3. Bowl standing
  4. Bowl blindfold

 

Running

The only event I personally tried, again there were options to make things a bit more interesting:

  1. Have a race against each other
  2. Run backwards
  3. Shuttle run with toys
  4. Run with obstacles (hurdles)

One inventive Grandad even encouraged running by turning on the garden hose!

 

Tower Building

This activity allowed us to be even more creative, using any number of objects to:

  1. Build a tower and push it down
  2. Shuttle run to build a tower
  3. Build a tower as high as you can
  4. Build a tower as a team

It looks like good fun was had by all.

A fabulous effort! We hope you had fun. You’re all winners!

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.

 

 

 

Secondary Update: Wk Beg. 22nd June 2020

We had a very successful start to the use of our Google Classrooms last week with a large number of pupils getting involved and lots of positive feedback. Some of our Senior classes have very much enjoyed catching up on Google Meets and it’s been lovely for our staff to see you all ‘in person’ and chat with you as we’re all missing the social contact and communication that is such an integral part of what we do at Orchard Brae.

This week is our Virtual Sports Day for the whole school. Running for the whole week there are a range of activities for us to join in with and everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Please do share your photographs through the Virtual Sports Day ‘classroom’. Everyone that has signed up to Google will have an invitation waiting in their Gmail account if you’ve not already signed up to participate.

Over the last week we’ve engaged in a range of activities across the Department.

 

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

Barefoot Books are a favourite of many Orchard Brae pupils. Room 12 chose to base their learning around the Barefoot Book, ‘There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea’. Pupils enjoyed listening to the song and produced some amazing art work in response. It was lovely to hear how focused this young man was and how well he concentrated in order to hold his paintbrush and work on his pictures.

Here is the song if anyone wishes to watch and listen:

 

 

Life Skills

This week we tried making fruit smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to use up any extra fruit. We also made Father’s Day biscuits. I think one Dad is in for a very special treat. These look delicious!

 

 

Enjoying the Outdoors

It’s great to get outdoors and to see the sunshine. We have been exploring a range of outdoor spaces around our local areas. Have you managed to get out and about?

 

We hope you all have a good week. Keep the photos coming and have fun with our Sports Day activities!

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

 

Secondary Department: Wk Beg 15th June

It’s been another busy week for our learners at home and once again we’ve enjoyed sharing the stories of what you’ve been doing. It’s lovely to hear that among the challenges we’re also having fun with our families and enjoying activity together, such as the Joe Wickes PE sessions. I wonder how many of us (adults) will come emerge from this fitter than when we started.

Now that our Google Classrooms are up and running it will hopefully be easier for you to share your learning experiences. If you would like to be on the website please share let us know when you share photographs with the teachers.

Here are a few snippets of what’s being going on over the last week.

 

Science

We enjoy investigating and you’re never too old to learn through ‘play’. We made our own lava lamp and there have been experiments with colour – isn’t it amazing what you can do with Skittles? We have also made our own slime and dough.

If you’d like to try making your own ‘slime’, give this recipe a go and let us know how you get on:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kM11fgB1ZdQp3ffUeTuftcshzOx3KQjM/view?usp=sharing

 

Life Skills

Our work on life skills has continued at home and again it has been very heartening to hear how you’re getting on. Helping with making beds, hoovering, doing the dishes and supporting with meal preparation benefits the whole family.

We’ve enjoyed baking (honey biscuits) and have made fruit kebabs.

Let us know what you’ve done to help out at home this week. Have a good week whatever you do!

 

 

Google Classroom

We are very excited because today is the day that Google Classroom goes live at Orchard Brae and huge thanks to everyone who managed to log into their Google Classroom accounts last week.  And for those of you who haven’t managed to log on yet here is a video of some of the fun and exciting things you’ll find in Google Classroom!

If you are having any difficulty accessing Google Classroom or require any further supports and advice, please contact your child’s teacher who will be happy to help you.

Secondary Update: Wk Beg 8th June

We’ve had some lovely days over the last week and it’s been good to see many of you enjoying your time outdoors. Please keep sharing your photographs with us by sending them to your Class Teachers Gmail accounts.

Learning Outdoors

A walk in the woods is good for our mental health and wellbeing, enjoying the peace and quiet, away from the hustle and bustle of life in the city. It’s amazing what you can find!

The fine weather has also been great for gardeners and one thing many people celebrated this week was the reopening of our local garden centres.

 

Science

Home learning can be lots of fun. What do you like doing best? This pupil loves science!

 

Life Skills

Our Howes Hoose pupils are continuing to spread their wings and show how much they’ve learned over their time in Orchard Brae. How happy does this young man look as he sets the table for a meal and cooks for himself!

 

We hope you all have a good week and look forward to seeing and hearing what you’ve been doing.

Secondary Update: Week Ending 29th May

Thanks to everyone that has shared photographs of their remote learning this week. It gives us all joy to see your photographs or hear how you’re getting on. We hope that you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the sunshine. It looks like it’s going to be very warm so remember your suncream or protective clothing if you’re advantage of another spell of fine weather.

This week you’ve all been very busy! Here are some of the photos that have been shared …

Life Skills

Pupils from Howes Hoose have continued working on their life skills both indoors and out. It makes us very happy to see how you’re transferring your skills and becoming very independent at home.

 

Minibeasts

One of our Room 14 pupils made a ladybird using playdough and a rock he found when out on a walk.

He also recreated his favourite scene from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This took a lot of time, making paper mache rocks and a spider’s body, and then painting the box to hold the scene. I’m sure you’ll agree it looks amazing!

 

Family Time

I know from staff as well as pupils that it can be tough just now trying to find creative ways to keep the family entertained. Please always remember that we’re all doing the best that we can! One family in particular have been going to great lengths to entertain themselves and even features on a TV series of Lockdown Diaries.

 

Fitness

Our PE colleagues have shared some links for fitness videos you can try at home. Why not give them a go as a family? The feedback from one of our young people was that the whole family enjoyed lots of fun and laughter as a result.

https://imoves.com/home-learning/1257

https://imoves.com/home-learning/1330

 

Thank You!

Finally, thank you to Mortey and Sam from Aberdeen Bon Accord Rotary Club. They visited school this week, having been in contact to arrange a way of accessing the grounds to avoid being in contact with anyone, and very kindly cut our grass. It had been growing very long during the period of lockdown. This is very much appreciated by us all.