Google Classroom Survey

Thank you to everyone that has completed our Google Classroom survey for their child to date. If you have not already done so, we would be grateful if you would complete the form on Survey Monkey. This is to ensure that you have access to the necessary IT to enable your child to access it. Please click on the link below:

Please note this applies to Primary and Secondary pupils only.

Remote Learning in the Secondary Department

While we very much miss seeing our young people in person, it’s lovely to receive your e-mail updates sharing the learning that you’re doing in or around your homes. We hope you’re benefiting from the learning ideas our teachers are sending out. Please remember to let us know what’s going down well (or not) and if there’s anything you’d like more of. We’ll do our best to accommodate your individual needs.


Life Skills

Life skills is a big focus in the secondary curriculum and young people are encouraged to be as independent as possible. It’s great to hear that this is carrying on at home with support being offered in day-to-day activities around the home.


Leisure Time

Learning is important, but equally so is leisure and relaxation. Although we’re all adjusting to things, these are challenging times and it’s important for everyone in the family to take time to relax in whatever suits. Our mental health and wellbeing is very important at all times, but particularly just now.



Clap for Carers

Some of us have joined our families and neighbours in clapping and making lots of noise to show support for all the carers and keyworkers who continue to work in our hospitals and communities just now.


Enjoying the Outdoors

Naomi sent home a recipe for Dandelion Honey a couple of weeks ago. Dandelions can be the bane of your life if you’re a gardener, but this may let you see them in a different light. Give it a go and let us know how you get on!


Looking After Myself

It’s important to look after ourselves. Tempting as it is to stay in your PJs as there’s nothing to get dressed for, getting up, showered and dressed can make you feel so much better about things if you’re having a down day. It’s good to see our young people from Howes Hoose continuing to take pride in their appearance. We’re also taking care of our physical health and continuing our physiotherapy and MOVE work at home.


Have a good week and please share your photos with us (via our GMail accounts) if you’d like to feature on the website. I’m sure your friends would love to see you!


Secondary Update

We hope that you’re all doing well and surviving life in ‘lockdown’. Thank you for sending us updates from home and replying to our e-mails. We do enjoy hearing from you and are always happy to have feedback on what activities young people are enjoying at home in order that we can provide suitable resources and activities. Please remember that we’re here to support you and welcome contact; everyone is missing school!

Some of our families have been sharing some lovely photos from home. If you’d like us to share photographs on the website please let us know. These should be sent to your child’s class teacher via their G-Mail account.


The following website is worth a look as there are lots of fun sites for online learning and activity:

Keep in touch!


Secondary Update

School closure activities for Room 15 – Week Four

Thanks to Amanda for sharing her activities this week! Below are some ideas for families wanting to do “school” activities with their children – if any of these ideas look good to you, give them a go! Equally, if this isn’t what your child is needing just now please don’t put pressure on yourself or them to complete this. It’s also great to take more time on a previous week’s activities if your child is benefiting from those. Let me know if you have any particular learning requests for future weeks.

This week has LOTS of ideas – please don’t worry about fitting everything in, please do what works for you and your child.

Literacy – Theme park

This is an activity we do in class to work on communication skills without even realising it! You’ll need our theme park PowerPoint ( – please download for best use) and you might want to add to the experience with props at home – maybe a water spray for the water slide, use a garden swing for the pirate ship, you could even create your own rides – bubble boat ride? You choose! A wee video with how to do this activity is here How does this build communication skills? We can talk about:

· I like it!

· I don’t like it!

· Scary! / I’m scared!

· Exciting! / I’m excited!

· Faster!

· Slow down!

· Help!!!

· Let’s do it again! / Do it again?

· Do something different?

· More?

· What’s next?

· You choose a ride.

· Oops! You’re wet!

· Finished?

And many more!

Please remember that as we model with our child’s communication device (e.g. PODD, PIXON, TouchChat) that the device should not be taken away from the child.


Numeracy and mathematics – Applying money skills

For those who have been learning to recognise a coin, we’re going to apply that skill in two ways this week.

First – sorting. You’ll need two places to sort coins into, it might be two boxes, it might be two sheets of paper on a table or the floor, or it might be two cereal bowls – absolutely anything! More confident learners might work with lots of different coins, those building their confidence might work with two different coins to sort. Ask your child to sort the coins – the one they have been learning to recognise into one container, the other coin(s) into the other – you will probably need to show them what to do the first few times. Some learners who are not yet working at the level of recognising a coin might still choose to do this activity looking at “same” and “different”.

Second – add coin skills to the theme park activity (see literacy, above). Each ride costs the coin your child has been learning to recognise. Provide your child with a container (purse, food tub, envelope, anything!) with several coins. If your child has become very confident with recognising a coin you could put lots of different coins into the container, if your child is still learning to recognise their coin then perhaps just a few of the coin they are learning to recognise and a few of a very different looking coin. Ask your child to find the coin they are working on each time they want to access a theme park “ride”. If you’re wanting to expand this, you could have items for sale at the theme park – snacks, bubbles, light up toys – or you could add additional rides (there are some great videos online, just check them first so you know what to expect and there isn’t anything too scary!).

Alternative option (for learners not using coins): Let’s build a tower

Use any items you have at home for this – they don’t have to be building blocks! Using different items helps us to understand shapes and their properties – brick shapes are useful for towers, balls are not! We might count how many bricks we have, we might focus only on communicating “more” or “all gone” when it falls down.


Health and wellbeing – body parts & self-care

Body parts – will take you to some of the songs we use to practice finding body parts. Can you find the body parts mentioned in the song? Can you use your communication system to label body parts?

Self-care – What makes you happy? During a stressful time such as this, it’s even more important that we look after ourselves. Can we share with others what we would like to do? Can we communicate how we feel afterwards?

For physical movement this week, you might want to try some yoga ( – this one continues our theme park theme for this week).


Social studies – weather record or job role play

Weather – we looked at the weather in weeks one and two – let’s link it to our work on the season by keeping a note of the weather for a longer period (it can be more than a week if you’d like) to help us build our understanding of a season as a longer unit of time. You might record the weather with symbols, sensory resources (e.g. smooth / shiny materials for sunny, cotton wool clouds, sponge for rain, folded paper fan for wind) or with photographs of yourself in the different weathers. A simple chart and symbols can be found here: Can you use your communication device to share what the weather is today? Where is the sun? How long is the sun in the sky for?

Job role play – as part of our ASDAN work we have explored lots of different jobs through role play. I’m sharing with families some resources for role-playing a dentist, but you might prefer to role play a job that a friend or family member does (or has done in the past). Some learners will be learning what a dentist does, others might explore sensory resources such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash (if they won’t swallow it!), or mirrors to look at their teeth. Through this we get to experience different roles people in our communities have and how they can help us. Resources: dentist PowerPoint (download for best use) here: and Makaton signs about the dentist here:


Technology – cooking!

It’s been a while since we did any food technology, so this week I’m sharing a few ideas for easy recipes to try at home. These are symbol supported recipes – no quantities are mentioned, just the

actions, but I promise you can’t go too wrong! Your child might focus on one part of this activity – perhaps washing their hands, perhaps wearing an apron, perhaps mixing skills or knife skills, perhaps safety. If your child will get more from the activity by focussing on one element, please do spend time on that!

(I’m sharing several recipes so you can choose (or your child can choose) which one looks best, you don’t have to do all of them!)

Recipes: Coleslaw: Guacamole: Strawberry smoothie: Vegetable wedges:


Science – spring “treasure” hunt

Can you find each item from the worksheet ( )? For any you might not be able to find in or around your homes, fear not – I’ve put together a document with pictures of each item ( ). Equally you might have toy animals at home or perhaps you could use your art work this week?


Sensory play – flower ice

Freeze some flowers in ice and enjoy melting the ice together to get to the flowers and splashing in the water once the ice has melted!


Expressive Arts

Can you sing / sign along to “Bring Me Sunshine”? Can you dance along? Can you add your own music?

Spring art – can you choose one of the projects on the worksheet ( to try at home? (If you don’t have any paints at home, you might want to try an online recipe for making your own, or you can leave this option out)



Ramadan has recently started, so let’s explore things with links to Ramadan.

An interactive colouring activity can be found by logging in to TwinklGo ( ) and using the code PU7192.

Muslims often break their fast by eating dates – can you try a date (or other dried fruit such as raisins if you don’t have dates). Do you like it? Can you share the fruit out to your family?

(Note for health needs – dates are very healthy in many ways, but for anyone watching blood sugar you might want to check how dates fit into your diet plan!)


Sensory Story

In other news, one of our pupils has been having fun at home with his brother, making Sensory Stories. Here is one that they have given permission for us to share:

It’s lovely to see how creative everyone is being and the different ways we’re finding to pass time and have fun!

Secondary Update

We hope that you are all able to enjoy some of the lovely weather we’ve been having. We’ve enjoyed hearing from you through replies to our e-mails. Please keep replying and do get in touch if there is anything further we can do to support.

Some ideas that have been shared with classes may be of interest to other families. Have a look below:


Making Natural Paints (Room 16)

Step 1 – collect items when out on a walk, in the garden or in the kitchen

Step 2  – make the paints

Step 3  – paint!

There are several websites with different ideas for what to use.  These are the websites Jenny looked at for inspiration:

Twinkl – mud paint

Activity Village –

Recycle Nation  –

Jenny had a trial run with her kids yesterday.  They think they added too much water.  So they collected up loads of old calpol syringes from the kitchen drawer and had fun in the garden (remember to take in the washing first!).  If you use less water, you can paint with a brush, like water colours.  It was great fun, very sensory (smell, touch, sound, physical) and as it had 3 steps, it became a project to revisit throughout the day. Best of all it was free and used what they had in the house and what they found on their walk.  You can also use food colouring if you prefer.

As with any painting activity, be aware that this may stain fabrics.


Ideas from Room 15

Below are some ideas for families wanting to do “school” activities with their children – if any of these ideas look good to you, give them a go!  Equally, if this isn’t what your child is needing just now please don’t put pressure on yourself or them to complete this.  Let me know if you have any particular learning requests for future weeks.

Information about how to do each activity is underneath.


 Literacy – Let’s share our likes and dislikes.

There are lots of ways to talk about what we like or don’t like – perhaps the most useful is for us to frequently share both likes and dislikes (some of our learners worry about sharing dislikes, so it helps to see us talking about likes and dislikes).  Please use the child’s communication system (e.g. PODD, PIXON, TouchChat).

One way to share likes, dislikes (and everything in-between) is a talking mat inspired activity.  I’ve popped together a video for how you might do this ( ), and if you’re keen, this could go towards your ASDAN Transition Challenge Citizenship unit, if you want to send a photo and/or a wee sentence I’ll pop it into your evidence folder.


Numeracy and mathematics – Applying money skills.

We’ve been looking at recognising one coin – let’s continue to apply that skill (and maybe refresh our memories after a wee holiday!).  I’ve shared with our class a symbol food shopping list for learners to use (and a template you could use them on can be found here: ), but you can use whatever resources you have at home – perhaps packaging to recreate a food shop, maybe books to make a book shop, clothes to make a clothes store or toys to make a toy shop.

When your child has found the items on their list, ask them to pay for it with the coin they have been working to recognise.  Don’t worry if your child “buys” an expensive item with a 1p coin, it’s the skill rather than the realism that matters!


Alternative option (for learners not using coins): Play music and dance with your child.  Pause at different points and ask your child “More?  Or Finished?” (encouraging signing, use of communication device or personal signifiers as your child requires).


Bonus Easter activity – if you haven’t already, you might want to try an egg hunt.  You could give clues with directional language (up, down, left, right, near, far), talk about the colour of eggs, how big they are, how many there are – there’s lots of maths hiding in an egg hunt!


Health and wellbeing –can you try two different activities and show which you liked the most?  Ideas could include listening to music, watching a movie, playing a ball game, playing a card or board game – you choose! This could link to your ASDAN recreation work if you’re very keen – a photo and/or wee sentence about what you’ve done could be added to your evidence folder if you’d like to share one.


Physical activity – quite a few of our class enjoy Kidz Bop, so I’m sharing a video here you might want to dance along to together (and there are many more on their channel if you’re interested in more).  You might try to copy the moves or enjoy freestyle dance – enjoy!


Social studies – I’m not suggesting anything for this week, as if you’re doing the shopping role play above you’re already learning about how shops provide us with what we need in our daily lives.


Technology – Can you activate your preferred choice from the song PowerPoint from before the holidays (you can find it here if you need – ) yourself?  (With physical help as required).  Can you tap a touch screen or click a mouse positioned over your chosen song?  This can contribute to your ASDAN ICT work if you’re super keen – take a photo and/or write a wee sentence about what you have done and we’ll pop it in your folder.


Science – Spring sensory profile.

We’ve looked at some of the features of spring already (weather and flowers), let’s build our understanding of the season with more sensory work.

What can you see?  (The sun?  Flowers?  Leaves coming out on the trees?)  What can you feel? (The breeze?  Lighter clothing with warmer weather?  The warmth of the sun?)  What can you hear? (Birds or other animals?)  What can you smell?  (Flowers?  Spring foods?)  What can you taste?  (Spring foods might include carrots, mint, lettuce greens, peas.)


Expressive arts – Can you sing / sign along to “Try Everything”? Can you dance to the music?


Additional suggestion – Let’s “try everything” with an art version of Simon Says!  (This might get messy depending on the activity you choose!)

Choose any art activity that engages and you have the resources for.  Using your child’s communication system (being mindful to not take it from them!), take turns to give a simple instruction – e.g. if I was painting I might instruct a colour or where to paint (or both!).  If your child is less familiar with the instruction, you might start with a small range of instructions to keep it simple.  It might be one or both of you that creates their own piece of art, but whoever is taking part MUST “try everything” that is instructed with the communication system.  Once understanding is evident, you might have some fun with silly instructions!


RME – sharing.

Using a preferred toy or resource of your child’s, take turns using it to encourage your child to understand how to share.  (If your child is very new to learning how to share, please start with something they can happily part with for a short time so that sharing does not become a negative experience.)



Home Learning: Secondary Department

We hope you’re all fit and well, managing to find your new ‘normal’ during these difficult times.

Our teachers are working hard to try to support you and your child in learning at home. Please check your e-mail as ideas will be popping into your Inbox regularly. These e-mails are intended to give suggestions of activities that might help to fill your day. There is no expectation that things must be done and we most certainly do not wish to add additional stress to your family life! Dip in and out of learning as you feel appropriate and do let teachers know if there’s anything you’ve found particularly useful.

We would be very grateful if you would maintain contact with your child’s class teacher during this period of closure to let us know that you’re safe and well. If we can support in any way, please do let us know.

Healthy regards,


Storytime: Elevenses with David Walliams

You’re never too old to enjoy a story! Many of our senior classes enjoy listening to stories and in these uncertain times all of us (adults too) can benefit from a bit of escapism! Please tune in daily to listen to author David Walliams sharing stories. While stories are shared at 11 am, they can be accessed throughout the day.  The link to his website is:


Animal Discovery: Live Webcams

Some of our pupils show an interest in animals and nature. There are Live Webcams at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park that the children may enjoy. (Highland Wildlife Park) (Edinburgh Zoo)

For our Secondary pupils, the National Geographic Kids website can provide more information. Although not all pupils can access it fully independently, there are pictures to look at and discuss, and some interesting video clips to watch:

Have a look and find out what your favourite animals are.



Sport Relief 2020

Many thanks to Amanda, Salvi, Sam and Scott for organising fun activities for us all to join in with to support Sport Relief 2020. We kicked off the morning with a select band signing up to Run a Mile. Thanks to Room 19 for braving the cold throughout our challenge, the spectators that cheered us on from the warmth of the classrooms and those that came out for playtime, supporting with cheers as we ran our loops. Each of us did 5 loops of the playground in total.

At lunchtime we enjoyed dance sessions with Sam. We all had lots of fun!

Finally, the whole school joined in for the afternoon to Walk a Mile with a Smile. We were grateful that the sun came out and warmed up the playground nicely for us. We also had some special visitors – the sumos!

Our day was just for fun, but we also received generous donations towards Sport Relief, raising a total of £165! Well done to everyone for taking part!

Clothing Exchange

Room 16 have been doing a great job, supporting the Clothing Exchange scheme. Pupils are regularly tidying up the area, washing, sorting and folding new clothing. It’s good to see an increase in sizes available too. Please keep sending items in if they’re in good condition and no longer of use to your child. Do also feel free to pop in and browse any time or let us know via the home school diary if you’d like the class team to have a look on your behalf.