LIVE PE: Wednesday 24th Feb at 2 pm

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.

Enjoying our Learning in Secondary

Burns Celebrations to start the week

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!

Expressive Arts

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.

Working Hard

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!

Remote Learning in Secondary

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.

Secondary Assembly: 14th January

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!

Countdown To Christmas

Orchard Brae Advent Calendar: Days 19 and 20

We hope that you are enjoying the Orchard Brae Advent Calendar and that today’s festive features get you into the spirit for a fun filled Christmas.

For Day 19, Ashgrove Nursery PM are delighted to share their wonderful Nativity outfits along with ‘Little Donkey’.

For Day 20, Room 15 bring you their own unique version of ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’.

It’s beginning to look like Christmas in Room 15!

Room 15 has been incorporating lots of festive activities recently (we definitely broke the no Christmas stuff before 1st December rule!).

We have spent a lot of time working on our expressive arts Christmas video, applying our communication, musical and dramatic skills (and having lots of fun).  Our class elf helped us to talk about “snow”!  We’ve finished the video this week and have really enjoyed watching it (on repeat, by popular demand!) and can’t wait to share it with you later this month.

This week we explored the ASDAN to decide how we want to decorate a room by creating our own Christmas tree – we each chose which decorations we wanted to add and glued them onto the tree, and it now adorns our classroom wall making the room feel a bit more festive!  Our story this week has been Stick Man, and we made our own Stick Man from playground resources as part of our outdoor education sessions.

Our Attention Autism sessions this week have also had a Christmas theme – the dancing Christmas tree has been a firm favourite, and it has been fabulous to see the engagement and spontaneous communication this has motivated our learners to share – “more”!  Our stage 4 activity today is making our Christmas cards.

Alongside lots of fun we equip our learners to better understand events around them and be able to communicate about them.  We have also continued to use the “special activity” symbol to continue to build our resilience to changes in routine, which can be many at this time of year.

As our next website post will be after the holidays, the team in Room 15 want to pass on our best wishes for a happy, safe and restful break to all – Merry Christmas!

Special Activity Exploration in Room 15

One of the learning aims we are exploring this term is building our resilience to changes in routine – this time of year has plenty of them! – as we use the symbol for “special activity” to reassure our learners that the changes are planned and can be something to look forward to.

We had a celebration of our class achievements at the end of term, with each of our learners choosing photographs to go into a presentation of what they have done.  Everyone took home a certificate and some of our learners were very proud of theirs!  A special mention must also go out to our class member who won the secondary department star of the month for her fabulous signing – well done!

Since returning from the October holidays we have been as busy as ever!

We have worked hard on our ASDANs, exploring team work and group work skills.  We worked in teams to build towers, and created a beautiful Halloween collaborative art project.  We had lots of fun decorating our pumpkin for Halloween as well as Halloween themed bucket time activities.

This week we have had lots of firework related activities – we made cheese straw bonfires in home economics, focused for lots of fireworks activities for bucket time, a cola mentos firework for our ASDAN science (causing a change) and for outdoor education we went out to search for sticks to build our own bonfire before watching fireworks.  As we build our familiarity with seasonal events we also build our resilience to routine variations and our capacity to communicate about them.

We’re looking forward to lots more “special activity” events this term!

Work Hard, Play Hard in Room 15

Room 15 have had an extremely busy first few weeks back at school, working hard on our communication skills throughout the day and skills for regulation as well as jumping into our ASDANs for this year. At the start of the year we had a mini project to pop together a wee video for our former drama specialist Sam, and we’re very proud of the finished result!  You can find the video here:

Our ASDANs have focused on the positive relationships we have at school and beyond.  At the start of term we explored who is in our class and being able to recognise them and communicating our relationship with them – friend or teacher.  We’ve revisited communicating how we feel, and this year we have begun to explore recognising emotions using zones of regulation as well as character portrayals from the film “Inside Out” (and some fabulous acting from the staff team!).  We’ve explored what a good friend is through role play, and it has been wonderful to hear some of our learners applying this outside of school too.  We’ve explored what rules we have in school and matched signs around the building to our own pictures, then practiced following these rules around the school.  We’ve shared messages with our own in-class mail system.

The secret to Room 15 though is how much work we sneak in pretending to be play!  We’ve been building our focused and shared attention skills as well as spontaneous communication with bucket time, and we’ve had bubble machines, talking birds, a flying snitch and skateboarding dogs emerge from the bucket so far this term!  We’ve revisited our road safety skills practicing crossing the road as independently as possible.  In role play sessions we’ve pretended we’re at the fairground and the theme park, using our communication systems to share our experiences.  We’ve used daily group games to enhance our communication and team-work skills as well as showing fantastic progress with several numeracy skills (one of our learners has learned to say a new number, another is telling time to the hour with minimal prompting).

Well done Class 15!