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.
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!
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!
Today we have another festive treat for you with days 9 and 10 of our Orchard Brae Advent Calendar.
For Day 9, Room 12 take you on a magical sleigh ride, accompanied by classical music from Troika. Everyone had lots of fun creating their journey after lots of hard work practising every day in school.
For Day 10, Room 7 undertake a fantastic sensory exploration of snow.
Room 12 found out all about Diwali in November. We watched a powerpoint that told us all about it and then made Mehndi patterns. We used a variety of stampers to create our patterns on an arm template for our ASDAN unit about celebrations in different communities.
Inspired by the work of a young artist called Noah (aka Background Bob) we are going to embark on a collaboration with other artists to create pieces of art.
During lockdown, Noah and his family created some backgrounds which were sent to artists around the world (including our teacher, Gemma). They painted on top of the background and now the paintings are in an exhibition and a book!
We are going to work with local people and create backgrounds for them to paint on.
We will explore paint and ways of applying it and then contact people to collaborate with.
You can see some of Noah’s collaborations on his Instagram page: www.instagram.com/background_bob
We have had a productive couple of weeks in Room 12.
One young man absolutely loved his new trike. It’s been quite a while since he’s been on one and he took to it like a duck to water. Chris Hoy needs to look out for competition!
We did some sensory art work. We did some spice painting. You can do this at home with whatever you have in your kitchen cupboards. Add spices/flavourings to different colours of paint. You can smell the paint, make pictures and in some cases see different textures of paint depending on what you use. We used vanilla flavouring, cinnamon, turmeric, chilli powder and ginger.
We also made some wool wrap leaves. We cut out some leaf shapes in cardboard (Amazon packaging comes in handy here!), making sure your leaves have jaggy or rounded edges. We used pastels to rub/colour in the leaves, then used wool to wrap around them. Some of us went extra fancy and did more than one colour of wool on our leaf.
Room 12 have been very keen to decorate their new outdoor space. A rummage in one of Anne’s many boxes of bits and bobs turned up some ready to decorate wind-chimes, in the shapes of bees, butterflies and flowers. We painted these and decided that a bit of glitter improves absolutely everything, so we added some of that too. A spray of varnish and they are weather ready and looking beautiful in our “patio area”! The sounds they make are peaceful and musical too.
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.
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:
We also continued our Life Skills around the home. It’s great to see so many young people becoming so independent!
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.