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!

Assembly

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!

Room 13’s Intrepid Explorers

Room 13 has been able to access the school bus and use it to take our students out and about and find out what’s happening in our city.

The students take it in turns in the bus, as per covid rules, to find interesting things that are going on and take back some photos for the rest of the school.

Our two intrepid outdoor correspondents this week were finding out what has been happening around the city coastline.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.